Efforts to Protect Bald Eagles at the Norfolk City Botanical Gardens

On behalf of the grassroots group Eagle On Alliance the firm today sent a letter to the City Manager for Norfolk  Virginia, detailing multiple violations of a permit issued under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act with respect to eagles that have been making their nest at the Norfolk Botanical Garden for over a decade.  In October 2012, the City was given a permit by the Fish and Wildlife Service to remove 3 eagles nests at the Garden, claiming that these eagles pose a risk of an airplane collision at the nearby International Norfolk Airport.  Since then, the City, with the help of the United States Department of Agriculture (and federal taxpayer money) has removed at least 6 nests, as the eagle pair – determined to engage in successful nesting this Spring – continue to rebuild their nest each time it is torn down by the City.   Although there are other ways for the Airport to protect the public from any risk of an eagle-plane collision at the Airport, Eagle On Alliance has also suggested taking measures to help these eagles relocate their nest further away from the Airport.  However, to date, the City has rejected these proposals and insists on continuing to destroy the nest each time the eagles reconstruct it.  Because, as the FWS itself acknowledges, “bald eagles exhibit high nest fidelity,” the City apparently intends to continue to tear down these nests indefinitely, rather than pursue more reasonable alternatives.  A copy of the letter sent by the firm can be found here; a recent photograph of one of the eagles building its nest can be found here.