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Trail users not likely to be fined for passing close to eagles nest

Written by Teresa Boeckel, The York Daily Record | May 4, 2015 11:50 AM
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Photo by Jason Plotkin, Daily Record/Sunday News

An eagle sits in its nest Friday along the rail trail in Springettsbury Township. The new stretch runs from a parking lot at Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road to a new bridge over the creek at Emig Road.

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Photo by Jason Plotkin, Daily Record/Sunday News

With her husband, Robert, looking on Linda Reich of York Township takes photographs of an eagle in it's nest while the duo walk along the rail trail in Springettsbury Township on Friday,

If you have walked or ridden a bike on the new section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, you might be aware that a pair of bald eagles are nesting nearby.

One of the eagles flew across the Codorus Creek during a ceremony held on Earth Day to celebrate the opening of the new section of trail along the Northern Extension. The new stretch runs from a parking lot at Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road to a new bridge over the creek at Emig Road.

The nest is very close to the trail, which has been busy on a recent weekend, said Travis Lau, a spokesman for the state Game Commission.

"We are keeping an eye on it," he said.

Q Will trail users be fined for getting too close?

A Not likely.

"This pair of eagles doesn't seem to be bothered by anything," Lau said.

They live close to Route 30 and the Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant -- it's a very noisy area. They have been OK with an access road being put in and a well being drilled in the area.

Trail users should stay on the trail no matter where they are on the rail trail, said Gwen Loose, the executive director of the York County Rail Trail Authority.

Q Why is this one different from the one in Hanover?

A Karen Lippy, a Hanover birdwatcher, was cited a few months ago with disturbing an eagle nest at Codorus State Park after she said she took a television crew too close to the bald eagle nest. Two WGAL television employees also received warnings.

The citation and warnings were not based on any specific distance to stay away from the eagles, Lau said. The citation and warnings were issued after video showed that the eagle flew from the nest and the eggs were left uncovered in the cold for about half an hour.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says on its website that walkers and bike riders should stay at least 330 feet away from a nest during breeding season if the activity will be visible or can be heard from the nest.

Q How long has the nest near the rail trail been in this area?

A The nest has been active for 6 to 7 years, Lau said.

Officials believe that the pair has at least one chick in the nest this season, he said.

Contact Teresa Boeckel at (717) 771-2031.

Learn more about the eagles at Codorus State Park from our website devoted to the feathered family.

More...

Nest etiquette: Watch the Hanover eagles without breaking the law

Bullseye! Bald eagle cam nailed by waste, Game Commission says

Learn more about the bald eagle nest in Codorus State Park

Why are the York County eagles calling to each other?


This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

Trail users not likely to be fined for passing close to eagles nest

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