Tulsa Construction Puts Bald Eagles In Danger

Friday, April 3rd 2015, 11:33 pm
By: News On 6

The stark contrasts in color make America's bird, the bald eagle, stand out.

"Just be aware, you can't miss an eagle nest; it's that big in the trees," says state game warden Carlos Gomez.

Up until a couple of days ago, there was a nest that went unnoticed as construction crews worked on a road that will ultimately be used to haul dirt from the River Spirit casino expansion project. "The construction vehicles [were] very close to the nest. I was watching the birds as well, and I could tell by their behavior they were not very happy," stated Tulsa Audubon Society member Todd Humphrey.

Wildlife experts say eagles are typically very tolerant of humans, except between December and May when chicks are hatched and raised. Heavy equipment too close to them can cause problems, leaving the chicks vulnerable to avian predators, and hunger. “It's during the working hours that [the] heavy equipment [causes] this disruption that would keep the parents scared, back and unable to feed the young," explained Gomez.

Word of the construction spread to the Tulsa Audubon Society and the state game wardens, who then reached out to the Muscogee Creek Nation after realizing the threat to the eagles. 

The threat to the birds has caused construction to be postponed.

Wildlife advocates say this sense of caring is something everyone should adopt. "This is our symbol, and I think that every one of us needs to have some ownership in making sure bald eagles thrive here in the United States,”Humphrey elaborated.

Concern for the eagles has heightened since the recent tornado wiped out nearly half of the nests in the tornado zone, killing seven chicks.

It's going to take about six more weeks before the chicks are ready to fly out on their own, and until then road construction will be on hold.