New eagle crowding nesting eagle pair

February 18, 2008

A pair of bald eagles nesting in Virginia's Norfolk Botanical Garden are used to being visited by people, but now must deal with an interloping female eagle.

The majestic birds have had tens of thousands of visitors watch them, in person or via webcam, but the newly arrived female eagle may cause them to lose three eggs laid this month, the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press reported. Another adult and juvenile also have been spotted in the area.

Researchers have seen the new female and the nesting female sitting on branches together, as well as flying through the air side by side.

Biologists are attributing the situation to the dramatic recovery of the Chesapeake Bay's bald eagle population. In 1977, Virginia had 33 nesting pairs of bald eagles. Last year, when the bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list, that number was put at 560 pairs.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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