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Tue., Oct. 6
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Bald eagles population is stable


PARISHVILLE — Extra precautions will be taken to keep people away from a bald eagle nest on the Upper Raquette River.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending that buoys restricting access to the area around the nest be installed by May 1.

In recent times, four out of five nesting attempts failed to produce chicks at the nest, prompting concern that boat activity was contributing to the problem. At the most recent aerial inspection in April, the nest was intact but no eagles or eggs were seen at it.

To keep boats out of the nest buffer, DEC is recommending floating signs at the water approach.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners and its subsidiary Erie Boulevard Hydropower operate a series of hydroelectric projects on the river. As part of its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the company files the DEC’s annual bald eagle field observations with the federal agency.

The north country’s population of nesting bald eagles is stable, DEC spokesman Stephen W. Litwhiler said.

It is critical that bald eagle nesting habitat — usually found in big trees near water — is protected, he said.

As of 2010, there were nine or 10 nesting territories in St. Lawrence County, three or four in Jefferson County and about 10 in Franklin County.

There are usually about 100 bald eagles that winter on the St. Lawrence River and surrounding area, feeding on fish in the open waters and deer carcasses along roads, Mr. Litwhiler said.

DEC is always interested in receiving eagle reports from the public, he said.

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