Eagles nesting at Deer Flat Refuge

eagleA pair of bald eagles has begun to nest along the north shore of Lake Lowell near the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Nampa.

To help the eagles successfully raise their family, the area near the nest has been closed, but there’s a good opportunity to see the eagles nest from a distance, according to the refuge.

“Nesting eagles can be sensitive to disturbance” according to Stan Culling, acting refuge manager.  Adult eagles will  sometimes abandon nests if bothered frequently. Even if they keep nesting, the eagles may leave when people come near and that increases the possibility of chicks dying from exposure or hunger if left alone too long or too often.

“The pair that nested at this location last year raised one eaglet,” said Culling. “We ask the public to respect this closed area to help the eagles successfully raise young again this year.”

While the area near the nest is closed, there are still great eagle-watching opportunities. The nest can be seen from an observation platform on the hill west of the refuge visitor center. Although eagles and their nests are very large and can be seen with the naked eye from a considerable distance, visitors should bring binoculars or a spotting scope for the best views.

The area will remain closed until the chicks leave the nest, probably in early July. The closed area will be clearly marked with signs, and the closed section of the path will be blocked with temporary flagging. Visitors are also reminded that dogs must be leashed on the refuge. Visitors within the closed area or with dogs off leash can be cited.

Bald eagles are magnificent birds – file photo of an eagle along the Boise River by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman

Posted in Into the Outdoors