For Hometown News
Florida Power & Light Co. reported a bald eagle has hatched atop the first nesting platform the company constructed for the iconic bird.
FPL built an independent pole and platform southwest of Daytona Beach in Volusia County after a bald eagle nest was identified on one of the company's transmission structures.
FPL, with permits from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, relocated the bald eagle nest to the new 70-foot high platform in fall 2013. Within 45 days of the nest's transfer to the platform, a pair of eagles made their home in the nest. The original location of the nest posed a safety hazard to the eagles and needed to be removed, but viable nesting trees were not present in the immediate area.
"At FPL, we take seriously our commitment to environmental stewardship," said Randall LaBauve, vice president for environmental services at FPL. "We strive to provide our customers with the most reliable electric service at the lowest cost, while balancing the need to maintain Florida's special ecosystem and protected wildlife that live throughout our service area."
Less than 100 bald eagle nesting sites existed in Florida when the bald eagle population was first surveyed in 1973, according to the FWC. More than 1,450 nests were documented during the 2012 FWC annual statewide survey of known eagle territories. Florida has one of the densest concentrations of nesting eagles in the lower 48 states and has more nests than any state other than Alaska and Minnesota, according to the FWC.
"We appreciate FPL's efforts to discourage eagles and other large birds from nesting on high-voltage utility structures, and provide safe, alternative nesting platforms where it is appropriate," said Michelle van Deventer, FWC bald eagle plan coordinator.