Eagle watching? Make sure you follow these federal laws

Every day more and more bald eagle enthusiasts are showing up at Carillon Historical Park trying to get a glimpse of Willa and Orv and their three fledglings.

With crowds continuing to flock to see the birds, News Center 7 checked in with an eagle expert to see what’s the right way to watch from a distance.

>> Now there are three! Another eaglet is spotted in the nest at Carillon Historical Park

“I haven’t seen anything except all these people gathered around here and it’s interesting to just watch the people,” said Stuart Stall of Washington Twp.

Friday’s gray skies might have made it easier for people hoping to do some bird watching.

“Actually, I did see the head in the nest,” said Kathy Weisenbach of Kettering.

A group of people stood around with cameras ready to catch a glimpse of the eaglets.

“It’s wonderful to have the eagles back again,” said Jim Weller.

But he added that it’s important to follow federal law in the midst of eagle excitement.

“You’re not allowed to approach the nest,” he said. “You’re not allowed to disturb the birds.”

Federal law states that people must stay at least 330 feet from the nest.

“I think everyone is very respectful,” said Weisenbach.

Taking pictures is OK.

“They chose a place in a very public place, a lot of human activity underneath” said Weller. “They’ve acclimated well to people here.”

But picking up anything from the bird is not allowed.

“Possessing any part of an eagle, including a discarded feather, you might found on the ground, is prohibited by federal law,” he said.

Overall, Weller appreciates the eagles because of their majesty.

“The big thing is just have a deep respect for the bird,” he said. “Realize not only what they are — they are wild creatures, they are interesting to watch — but you need to have respect for their solitude and you need to have respect for their strength.”

While using a drone might let you get up close enough to the nest to look in, experts say it’s both illegal and not safe for the eagles.

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