Eagle Statement January 17, 2013

Posted by & filed under Garden News.

The male eagle has been seen in the vicinity of the Garden as well as periodically making attempts to rebuild a nest.  This nest building is being discouraged by Federal authorities in keeping with the desire to preserve both eagles and aircraft passengers. As you are aware several eagles have been killed by eagle/aircraft collisions at Norfolk International Airport.  Based on those instances and the potential for catastrophic aircraft loss it was determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the city of Norfolk that the eagle nest at Norfolk Botanical Garden had to be removed in order to reduce the potential for both eagle and human mortality resulting from further eagle/aircraft collisions.

The permitting for all nest removals was undertaken by the City of Norfolk, the property owner, and approved by State and Federal authorities. Nest removals and accompanying nesting discouragement is conducted, through the City permit, by the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Division.

The goal of all these actions is to encourage eagles to nest farther away from the airport and therefore reduce the likelihood of further eagle/aircraft strikes.  These actions have been conducted early in the nesting season in order for the eagles to find an alternative nesting site.  It has been an unpopular decision, and is viewed by some as anti-eagle.  This is not the case.  No eagles are being physically harmed. Quite the opposite, the goal is to preserve eagles by reducing the chances of additional collisions and the resulting eagle deaths.

28 Responses to “Eagle Statement January 17, 2013”

  1. Bill and Ruth Morgan

    My husband and I are from Potter, Nebraska and for 2 years we started our day with the eagles and ended our day with the eagles. We cried and cried when the Mother was killed. It was like a death in our family. Then last year was so interesting. We were so looking forward to this year and a new mate. Finally, today we did further reading and found out why there is no eagle cam. Thank you so much for all you kind folks there did. We still haven’t given up hope of the male rebuilding a nest and letting us look into his life again. I know you are discouraging it, but, we can always hope.

  2. Darcie Schauf

    I am a college student working on an informative essay about the safety and protection of these eagles and would appreciate any further information on them you may have available. Thank you

  3. Judy

    Sorry to hear..so can you still watch the eagles at new lication

  4. Laurel

    It’s understandable to prevent a repeat of the tragedy of 2011. But if another eagle cam goes up at another location, will you notify us? Thank you.

  5. Vicky Garza

    Very sadden!!! Tears are still coming down hope is the last thing we should loose. Praying for the EAGELS and The CITY .

  6. Glenda Johnson

    I understand the actions regarding the eagles, but I am sad.
    I saw pictures posted by Duane Noblick taken January 13 and the eagle was sitting in a nest. Does this mean a nest has been located outside the garden? If it is inside the garden, my wish is to leave them alone. Thanks for providing info on your website.

  7. Naomi E. Reber

    I will really miss the Eagle Cam this year. I will be having surgery and therefore I’ll be housebound quite a while, so I’ll defininitely miss the eagles.

  8. Judith

    Can we watch eagles from another website – this was so enjoyable for me and others as well.

  9. Linda

    I’m ambivalent about your taking down the eagle cam. I was literally
    heartsick and inconsolable after Mom got killed; and we came to NBG last
    May, hoping to see Dad with a mate. We did get to see him, but alas: no eggs.
    I agree with your decision to discourage further nesting. I couldn’t stand it if Dad
    got killed. Thank you for previous years’ worth of pure ecstasy, watching them.

  10. Pink Floyd

    Wow…What can I say? If the United States Department of Agriculture, Federal Aviation Administration, U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries and the city of Norfolk all agree at the same time…it must be right. Plus, it’s not easy or economical to move an airport. I’ m just saying…
    So many viewers became enamored and possessive of the eagles and eaglets. Some might even have categorized it as an obsession to a certain degree. I think it’s safe to say the project took on a life of its own and was too good to be true. What an outstanding run it was for the years we had them. No one will never know how many lives where touched, enriched or maybe even saved by the eagle cam.
    I will search for another eagle cam to follow and delight in. After all, it’s really the cycle of life that is so beautiful and important…it’s all good. Until later Eagle Nation.

  11. Marian

    I understand the decision, but this year, more than others, we’re all wondering which mate dad will choose. Will there be any way of finding out that information?

  12. Elva Howton

    The federal person responsible for keeping Dad Norfolk from building a nest at the Gardens stated for The Virginian Pilot that if the female eagle laid an egg on the ground, it would not be that serious since eagles are no longer endangered. This man has no idea how important the eagles and their offspring are to those who have watched and loved them over the years. It’s so sad that the eagles will lose their eggs this year by laying them on the ground when no nest is available. He also stated that Dad Norfolk has been trying to rebuild nests, only to have them torn down by the humans. Heartbreaking that it has come to this for our beloved eagles.

  13. Susan Cooros

    So sorry for your loss but hopefully they will move farther away from danger. Watch the eagles in North Fort Myers, Florida, at http://www.ustream.tv. There are a mom and dad and two
    eaglets born January 2013.

  14. DeeDee

    I am so sad at this decision. I understand – just makes me sad. Lets pray they don’t lay eggs on the ground.

  15. Janet Touchon

    Where are the eagles supposed to go when people keep developing all the land in Hampton Roads? It disgusts me that every answer to conflict between nature and humanity involves catering to the selfish desires of humanity. I guess we’ll finally learn nature’s value and our place in it when there are no animals, no plants, no insects, no life. Including ours.

  16. Jasmine

    I for one, will never be settled with what transpired and how this whole thing was handled. The fact that the male is still being chased away from his home only serves to add to my annoyance with this issue. I am saddened horribly by the tragedy that all involved are perpetuating. This is a huge black eye in the history of the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

  17. Bobbie

    There are so few instances of humans, as a group, sacrificing for the good of other animals. Can anyone think of even one? For the most part, they aren’t willing even to be inconvenienced. I would be interested to know if there were things the airport could have done to mitigate the danger. And how far away does the eagle have to be before he is allowed to nest? My guess is it will still be a pretty easy flight back to the area of the garden/airport. So …

  18. Linda

    As a long-time follower of the NBG eagles, I am very displeased with Norfolk Botanical Gardens and not only how they handled the eviction of Dad Norfolk and DT(or another female) but by the fact that these eagles, that put NBG on the map for folks all over the world, don’t even get a mention to say how they are doing, if they were finally able to build another nest off premises or anything at all! The last I saw was that Dad and DT were being “scared away” from the property. Doesn’t NBG even have the courtesy to let eagle cam followers know what NBG has done to help them secure another nesting area or even if they keep up with their whereabouts? Yes, it was terrible when Mom Norfolk was hit by the plane. Unfortunately, these things happen but how many years were the eagles building on NBG’s premises? A lot of years. Have a little courtesy for the dedicated followers of these beautiful birds. I know there were quite a few photographers who kept up the eagles. Can NBG at least have a site where photographers can post pictures of our country’s famous national birds and where comments can still continue? A response to some of these questions would be appreciated. I just see questions and no answers.

  19. Joan

    I agree – those of us who had become devoted watchers of the Norfolk Botantical Gardens eagle cam feel an attachment to this eagle and his mate. We would really like to have some information about how he is doing – is he still with #3, have they built a nest, are there eggs. We watched this cam and became family with this eagle. We would really like to know how he is doing and yes if the photographers are still there taking pictures of him than some pictures would be great. Hope all of the eagle cam followers feel the same way.

  20. R. Eacker

    I’m just catching up on all of this. I disagree with the decision to remove the nest. I am a pilot and I’ve flown into Norfolk many times. If there have been multiple incidents of eagle strikes at the airport, it’s probably because of the density of the eagle population there. Were all the eagles killed birds from the nest? I know one was. Only two birds occupy the nest, plus any babies that don’t necessarily remain in the area forever. Removing the nest may not decrease the probability of a bird strike at all. It sounds like it’s just a great habitat for them. There has been a nest within blocks of my local airport for 20 years, just off the approach end of one of the runways. There is also a large population of wintering eagles that hang out in the vicinity of the nest every year. I witnessed 8 of them this week, all hanging out in trees and fishing in the small lake. There have been no eagle strikes at the airport, although one was killed by a minivan on a nearby highway. It will be interesting to see if this has any impact on eagle strikes or not. I can’t tell you how many times I see large hawks sitting on taxiway lights at airports. There’s always a risk when man and nature try to find a way to coexist. It’s just one nest, it’s not like a giant flock of geese.

  21. Sharon

    I, too, would love to know how Dad is doing and if he’s found another mate. Surely someone has seen him and could report.

  22. Lynn

    I followed Mom and Dad Norfolk for several years – could not believe when Mom was killed – could not believe all the happenings with females last year – and then certainly could not believe that the nest was removed. I live in NC so I don’t know the “politics” in your area, but what I do know, there are more than just eagles that fly over that same airport each and every day. Have they removed all eagles nest in the area, have they removed every birds nest in the area? Very very sad that the nest was removed – that the male and his current mate have tried to rebuild only to be harassed. It is such a shame. I can’t believe it is allowed to happen. Please let me know what female Dad Norfolk is currently with (I can’t follow it anymore – can’t find information on it other than facebook which I am not on) and does anyone “think” they have eggs/eaglets anywhere? I so enjoyed watching the eagle cam year after year – sad it was taken away from me and all of us, but then I think what Dad Norfolk has lost – too much!

  23. Keith Carson

    I used to visit the NBG to see the eagles before moving away in 2006. What a wonderful resource, albeit a hazardous environment with the airport so close. For those who love the eagle cam experience, there is another in Shepherdstown, WV at http://outdoorchannel.com/content.aspx?id=3933. If that link doesn’t work just google eagle cam shepherdstown. I was watching this morning as an adult was feeding two chicks.

  24. Cynthia "DEE DEE"

    I left the area before the decision was made to remove the nest and discourage rebuilding by the male. I mss the NBG and the people working there so much. hello to Miss Marcia at WOW from Andrew, Jake, and Caroline. Eagles, like humans, are creatures of habit and imprint. We do not always see what is best for us right away. I will miss that nest when I return to HR. But, knowing the eagles are safer means much more. God blrss us, everyone- eagles especially.

  25. Cynthia "DEE DEE"


  26. gail biondi

    you people are playing god…….how dare you?

  27. chris

    Could someone just PLEASE tell us faithful followers of the NBG eagles which female the male ended up with this year? ? ? ?

  28. NBG

    We are about 99% sure that the 3rd female (last year known as dirty tail) paired with the male. We cannot be 100% sure since some of the more obvious markings from a distance, i.e. the dirty tail, changed when she molted. Since we do not have a cam in operation, it is harder to get a closer look.