[Excerpt] “Bald eagles have been known to have alternative nests within their territory,” Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson for the MNR, said Monday in an email. “Authorizing the removal of this nest will encourage these bald eagles to relocate farther away from these turbines while allowing the project to proceed as planned.”
This is not NextEra’s first experience with eagle-nest removal. Spokesperson Josie Hernandez says the company has removed eagle nests in Maine and Florida as well. Wildlife biologists have told NextEra that breeding pairs will rebuild without disruption to their breeding cycle if the nest is removed soon enough before spring.
“We understand some may be concerned about the removal of the nest and we share that concern,” Hernandez said. “However, after discussions with experts, we believe the action taken was absolutely in the best interests of the eagles and would significantly reduce the risk of harm coming to them.”
Jody Allair is a biologist with Bird Studies Canada in Port Rowan. He is the chief monitor of the bald eagle nesting program in southern Ontario. The MNR sought his opinion before issuing the removal permit.
Allair became aware of the nest last November. It is a new nest belonging to a young mating pair. Allair told the MNR that the nest should be left alone and the turbines relocated elsewhere. Allair only learned of the nest’s removal on Monday.
Allair said no one can predict with certainty whether this mating pair will skip a year due to habitat disruption. That, he says, remains to be seen. Allair’s email and voice mail is overflowing with outrage over the incident.
“I was very surprised and disappointed by the MNR’s unprecedented decision to remove this nest,” he said. “The bald eagle is no longer listed as endangered. But we have always afforded their nests some measure of protection. There are a lot of people really unhappy with this. People have a lot of questions, and so do I.” Read article