Part of Deer Flat Refuge closed

Posted at 1:01 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 15:21:13-05

A pair of bald eagles has begun to nest 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 the public.

“Nesting eagles can be sensitive to disturbance,” said Refuge Manager Annette deKnijf. “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.”

Officials have posted signs along the trail Tuesday, restricting public access to some areas.

“Unfortunately, the pair that nested near this location last year did not successfully raise young,” said deKnijf. “We ask the public to respect this closed area to help the eagles successfully raise young this year.”

The closed area is mainly in the southeast corner of the Refuge.

While the area near the nest is closed, there are still great viewing opportunities, deKnijf stated.

The eagles (similar to those pictured) 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. For more information, call 208.467.9278 or visit

“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,” deKnijf added.

The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is located at 13751 Upper Embankment Road in Nampa.