If a Bald Eagle Nests in Urbanized Disturbed Land But is Protected byState and Federal Laws, Can it Stop a Developer From Building inIvanhoe Village?

Photo Credit: Bungalower

Update 2:36pm Friday December 4th: U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Audubon Society are currently looking into the situation. They will go out to do a site visit, log the bird and the nest, and GPS it, according to Greg Workman, with Florida Fish and Wildlife. 

Workman says it's early in breeding season, so they want to check and see if the nest is active or not. They want to make sure they do their due diligence so they can log the nest and the bird correctly if it is indeed an active site (meaning the nest is active). 

When we asked what could happen if the bird and nest is officially identified as Bald Eagle, he wouldnt provide specifics. He said if the bird is in fact an eagle, there are several alternatives that can happen. Each situation is different. They would consult with US Fish and Wildlife, look at the surrounding area and other details


According to Bungalower, what was thought to be an osprey utilizing a nest atop a cell phone tower in Ivanhoe Village turns out to be a Bald Eagle.

The bald eagle is nesting on a piece of property soon to be developed into The Yard, a mixed use development to include housing, restaurants and shopping.

Bald eagles are federally protected:
"Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on August 9, 2007, and are no longer protected under the Endangered Species Act. However, bald eagles remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Bald and Golden Eagle Act prohibits anyone from taking, possessing, or transporting any bald eagle or any golden eagle, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such birds without prior authorization."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a Bald Eagle Nest Locator, and as of Friday December 4, the nest in Ivanhoe Village was not on the map.

We spoke with a longtime business resident Mark (name withheld), a cabinetry specialist, who told us the Eagle has been at the nest for at least 4 weeks. 

We got a different story from the owner of A and T Antiques, Greg Toler. He says the bald eagle has been there at least one year. 

We sent our grainy cell phone photos of the bird to Matt Smith at the Audubon Center of Florida as well as the City of Orlando.

Smith at the Audubon Center did not return our voicemail or text.

The City of Orlando sent us this message:
The City does not regulate threatened or endangered species, that is the role of the state and federal government. If The Yard has an endangered or threatened species on the property, it is their responsibility to follow all state and federal regulations related to that species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would be the appropriate entity to assist with any regulation regarding that.
We called Florida Fish and Wildlife, but they wouldn't speak to us unless we went through their information officer. We called their Information Officer and got their voicemail.

A person can pull a permit to remove eagles nests.
If you are concerned about an eagle nest that may pose safety issues or conflict with other uses, you may be eligible for a permit to remove or relocate the nest. This permit authorizes removal or relocation of:
  • an active or inactive nest where it is necessary to alleviate a safety emergency to humans or eagles (or both); 
  • an inactive nest to ensure public health and safety; 
  • an inactive nest to restore operation of a man-made structure that has been rendered inoperable by the presence of the nest; or
  • an inactive nest in certain other instances where the removal or relocation of that nest (or the mitigation for its removal) will provide a clear and substantial benefit to eagles. 
The regulations authorizing permits for removal or relocation of bald or golden eagle nests can be found in the Code of the Federal Register 50 CFR 22.27.
The Division of Habitat and Species can tell you if a permit was pulled to remove the eagle's nest at The Yard site. Their number is 850-921-5990.  Since we're media, the only person we can speak to is their Information Officer, Greg, who has not returned our voicemail.

If the developers of The Yard has not pulled a permit and still begin construction without a permit pulled, the Wildlife Alert number is 1-888-404-3922.

According to Bungalower, the land the eagle's nest is on is what's known as "Urbanized Disturbed Land." This means they are not required to submit an Environmental Assessment.

Had the Environment Assessment been done, the eagle's nest would have been spotted, noted and there would not be this panic occurring one day after construction walls went up around 1/3 of the property in preparation for demolition.

The area known as Urbanized Disturbed Land is massive, stretching North almost to Fairbanks in Winter Park, South to Holden Ave, East to Semoran and West to SR 423:

The dark grey area is zoned Urbanized Disturbed Land. This means developers don't have to submit an Environmental Assessment.