Monday, November 10, 2014

PA Animals: Bald Eagle

 At Trough Creek State Park, we hiked quite a way to a vantage point for seeing a resident eagle family. Two white heads poked out of the huge nest. Mamma and papa eagle took turns bringing food for the two babies.

After our trip, I read more about bald eagles and found out read more
that it was good we couldn't get any closer to the Trough Creek nest. For one thing, people being too close can disrupt the nesting process, causing the parents to neglect or even leave their young. The regulations under The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act say that it is illegal to be closer than 660 feet. 

Parent eagles start with a five foot wide and two feet high beginning nest and add to it each year. They then use the same nest year after year. In fact, the nest being too heavy or in a dangerous position for humans is the only reason that you are allowed to touch a nest. Even then, you need a permit.

Messing with eagles in any way without a permit can result in a $250,000 fine and/or jail for up to five years for an individual. Government has been involved in eagle protection since 1900 when the Lacey Act passed that prohibited commerce of illegal animals or animal parts, including the bald eagle. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 between the United States, Mexico, Japan, and the Soviet Union protects migratory birds, their nests, and their eggs.

Here is an excellent documentary on the history of bald eagles in Pennsylvania,

“Bald Eagle,” Wildlife Notes, Harrisburg: PA Game Commission, 2013

“The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,, Web, Nov. 8, 2014

Beaudry, Frederic, “The Lacey Act,”, Web, Nov. 8, 2014

“Birds Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,, Web, Nov. 8, 2014. 

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