Fwd: Regional Eagle Update (Tampa-St. Pete)

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Fwd: Regional Eagle Update (Tampa-St. Pete)


Pinellas - Last year we had 21 productive nests.  This year we have 18
nests incubating so far, but one failed a few days shy of hatching so
that makes 17, barring any I haven't heard about yet and there are
plenty more that I expect will be productive.  One nest, in Tarpon
Springs, has been under siege by a single adult female and aerial
battles have been going on for nearly a week!  We've had reports of
several sub adults at Fred Howard Park and reports of multiple pairs of
adult bald eagles at Derby Lanes in the Gandy area.  Several nests have
been built but are not being used yet.  We do have hatchlings at Bayside
Bridge.  They are the first to hatch for the second consecutive year
after incubating 3 times for 90+ days and being last 3 years ago.  They
did successfully fend off a competitor during incubation so they get a
gold star this year.  An ordinance to protect eagles during the
development review process was passed last week in Tarpon Springs.

Pasco - No parking signs have been approved  on Bailee's Bluff Road
near the eagles nest at the Progress Energy Power Plant.  The tree with
the nest fell this summer and the eagles rebuilt in a live pine even
closer to the roadside.  The nest has been a popular destination, and
people can still see the eagles, but they  will need to park at one of
the two nearby parks or the bait shop.  I am advising all that go to
that nest to be extremely cautious.  Watching eagles and taking pictures
of them can be very distracting and we really don't want to see anyone
hit by a car out there.  Recently there was a very close call which
required a law enforcement response.  Ultimately, this will curtail some
of the intense people activity at the nest and hopefully provide the
eagles some peace to raise their young.    Pasco County has done their
part to be as protective as possible in the buffer zone.  Regardless of
how tolerant they are, eagles are better off without crowds.  The main
goal is still to find and fund a safe way for everyone to photograph and
enjoy the eagles.   A plan has been discussed with Pasco Tourist
Development Council to enhance the Great Florida Birding Trail in that
area and provide a safe spot for eagle watchers and photographers that
adheres to  the Bald Eagle Management Plan.  This might include a pull
off or a viewing platform as well as an eagle festival so I hope
everyone will be patient for the time being. It doesn't make it any
easier for eagle watch either and no, we don't have free parking passes.
   I'm still looking for the eagle with the transmitter in the eastern
portion of the county.  So many eagles, so little time.

Hillsborough - activity is sparser than expected.  Several cell tower
nests are inactive.  Where are all the eagles?  Hmmm, maybe they went to
Tarpon Springs.  The big concern I have for Hillsborough is HL43 in
Seffner.  This nest is under pressure from TECO which is using eminent
domain to use a portion of the eagle watchers property too!  The new
power corridor would be placed in between an old growth forest known as
Simmons Hammock and the lake where the eagles fish.  Too much of this
forest will be lost, including rare plants. TECO has adhered to the Bald
Eagle Management Plan, for the most part, staying 660 feet away, except
on one side where they are at 330 feet.  I personally expect better than
that from power companies.  I feel they should be better than anyone
else when it comes to protecting nests.  They were not at the APLIC
meeting as far as I know and I do not know if they are even members of
the consortium of power companies that aim to protect raptors and other
birds.  I have so many pictures of osprey nests on TECO lines that I
can't count them all.  They do have lots of deterrents, but overall, as
a citizen observer, I would give TECO a failing grade, a big fat F,  on
the implementation of their Avian Protection Plans.  Most of all,
because  they won't even sit down at the table and talk with us.  Also,
HL4, what we call the pony farm nest, is not looking too good.  The nest
is on a property for sale and the nest tree AND surrounding pines died
very quickly.  I do see some other pines yellowing on another property
so this is probably a natural occurrence.

Polk - More information from Polk will be coming from Lake Region

Thanks for all you do.  Have a great holiday season!  Please use my new
cell number from now on.

Thank you,

Barb Walker