Tulsa Man Believes Bald Eagle Nesting Spot Destroyed By Construction
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa man says a popular nesting spot for bald eagles is gone, and he’s deeply disturbed.
"It was all trees, and now it's all gone. It's not there anymore," said wildlife conservation advocate, Phillip Hathaway.
Hathaway likes to walk, bike, or just watch the birds; but this week, he said his view of the Arkansas River from the 71st-and-Riverside area started to look drastically different.
"I felt like I was kicked in the stomach,” he said. “It was just that horrible shock, a terrible feeling, and I had trouble sleeping that night."
Hathaway said the area on the west side of the river used to be full of trees, and some of them held bald eagle nests.
He said construction crews bulldozed them down earlier this week.
"Every day they took out more trees. You can see now, they took out about the size of a football field - hundreds of large trees," he said.
Hathaway doesn't have any photos of the eagle nests, but, from past News On 6 stories, we know eagles do nest in that area.
Last April, the Muscogee Creek Nation even postponed construction on the River Spirit Casino to let a nest of eaglets mature.
Hathaway is concerned the trees were taken down without proper permits.
We called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Migratory Bird Program, which specializes in these cases. They confirmed it is against federal law to disturb a bald eagle's habitat, the question is - what constitutes a habitat?
The Tulsa Audubon Society said this is a critical time for bald eagles as they're looking for nests before laying eggs next month.