Dallas officials take steps to protect bald eagles nesting at White Rock Lake
An increasingly famous pair of bald eagles are nesting on the east side of Dallas' White Rock Lake.
Although bald eagles have been spotted near the lake since at least 2019, bird lovers and neighbors began to spot this nest in October. It's a male and female, presumably mating. Some watchers have speculated that baby birds are already on the way.
As word has crept out and onlookers have gathered, the city of Dallas and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have begun taking steps to protect the birds and their nest from the inevitable cellphone-wielding intruders. (Feel free to download the photo with this story and call it your own.)
Signs proclaiming it a "sensitive birding area" have been installed, with a warning that eagles are protected and a violation can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year, or both. Police officers guarded the area over the weekend.
A park near the birds has been closed, with temporary fencing set up near the parking lot. Dallas City Council member Paula Blackmon told WFAA that a chain-link fence is expected to go up this week and that authorities are surveilling the area.
Bald eagles are not uncommon in Texas skies, but experts say that the location the birds chose to in a busy area off Buckner Boulevard to make their little nursery/home is rare.
Some people have named them "Nick and Nora," because, in addition to wanting to take cellphone pix, humans also seem to love to give animals cute names.
City of Dallas Urban Biologist Brett Johnson told KRLD that, despite the challenges the location presents, there are no plans to relocate them.
"I wish they had chosen a slightly different location near White Rock Lake," Johnson said. "The area they're hanging out in does get a lot of activity. They hang out right next to what is technically a state highway. That presents some potential challenges we're trying to work through."
Johnson is advising people to observe a distance of 100 yards. For perspective: Imagine you are pregnant and possibly about to give birth, and a giant thing — that may well be malevolent — is hovering right outside your window.
Eagles are federally protected. The "Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act" prohibits anyone from taking bald or golden eagles, including their parts, nests, or eggs.