Thursday, October 23, 2014

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New nesting site to help Lake Waco bald eagles

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TWC News: New nesting site to help Lake Waco bald eagles
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If wildlife photographer Brian Boyd were to rank his favorite animals, eagles would be at the top of the list.

He and other bird watchers have been busy since a pair of bald eagles began nesting at Lake Waco. The American icon was once on the endangered species list, but in recent decades, their numbers have grown, and they're showing up in places they haven't been seen before.

“That's why people like the eagle so much, and admire and respect it,” Boyd said. “It stands for what America's supposed to stand for."

Currently, the two Lake Waco bald eagles are caring for a baby in the nest. Two hatchlings died last year after a storm knocked them out of the nesting tree.

“We're concerned because they always build in the cottonwood trees that are around the lake,” Janet Wallace with the Central Texas Audubon Society said. “Those are not the most stable trees."

The Audubon Society is now working with the Waco Zoo and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a sturdy nesting platform on Lake Waco. A webcam on the structure will show live video of future hatchlings and they are planning an educational program for local schools.

If construction finishes before spring, officials hope the birds will return year after year.

The exact location of the platform is still undecided. The Audubon society also plans an observation blind so that people can see the birds up close without disturbing them.

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