Bald eagles nesting at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
A pair of bald eagles has begun to set up housekeeping along the north shore of Lake Lowell near the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. To help the eagles successfully raise their family, the area near the nest has been closed to all entry.
Bald eagles can be sensitive to disturbance, especially while nesting. Adults will sometimes abandon nests if frequently bothered. Even if they keep nesting, the eagles may leave when people come near. Such disturbance may increase the possibility of chicks dying from exposure or hunger if left alone too long or too often.
The pair that nested last year raised two eaglets, according to Jennifer Brown-Scott, Refuge Manager. “We ask the public to respect this closed area to increase the likelihood that the eagles succeed in raising young again this year,” Brown-Scott said.
While the area near the nest is closed, there are still great viewing opportunities. The nest can be seen from an observation platform on the hill west of the 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 and fined up to $100 per violation.