Shifting our Focus-- the future of the Bald Eagle Nest
All of us have been engaged in a "citizen science" project. By documenting our observations here on the FORUM, we have added to the fund of knowledge about the new phenomenon of urban Bald Eagles. It will be important for us to determine just how long the fledglings stay at the nest. How many days after fledging do they return to sleep on the nest? When do they finally disappear, to wander to lands more or less far to the north? How does their behavior change toward each other, whether nestmates to each other or to parents, and between the adults?
While the watching is now not as exciting, it is nevertheless interesting. Lest we lose sight of the importance of our role in protecting this nest, I suggest we gradually turn our efforts towards assuring that the eagles have a future in Pembroke Pines.
Happily, in my opinion at least, Pembroke Pines is already a "bird sanctuary" of sorts. The new Nature Center at the West Pines Soccer Park is only a short distance to the east of the nest. You may have seen my photos of deer and Black-necked Stilts at that location.
There is every reason to believe that the City will continue its track record. So far, the measures to protect the nest have been temporary: the plastic fence, the "No Trespassing," "No Parking" and "Eagle Nesting Area" signs, the temporary chain link fence, the traffic cones, and the helpful police officers that let people know that violators can face punishment.
Now is the time for us to unite to assure that more permanent safeguards are put in place. I believe a high priority should be given to protecting the nest against wild fire. We have seen the devastation caused by Melaleuca forest fires, even in the past couple of weeks. A fire could easily "ladder" up to the nest tree, destroying it in an instant.
Therefore, I have created a new Web page devoted to a vision that ultimately could include a Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle sanctuary. Realistically, the first steps must be small.