NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - USDA officials are looking into relocating bald eagles' nests at the Norfolk Botanical Garden due to close proximity of the Norfolk Airport.
There have been a small number of eagle strikes involving planes at the Norfolk Airport, the most recent In April of last year when a female eagle thought to be returning to the nest with food for her baby collided with a landing plane.
The eagle was killed and the landing gear on the US Airways flight sustained some damage but the plane landed safely.
From 2010 to present, there have been seven eagle strikes in Virginia, five in the Norfolk/Newport News area alone.
"The bottom line is trying to provide airline safety," director of the Norfolk Botanical Garden Don Buma said. "The USDA, the FAA and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would like to see the eagles moved farther away from the airport."
A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson tells 10 On Your Side the dramatic rise in the number of eagle strikes have led them to the conclusion that it would be best to remove the eagle nests from the Norfolk Botanical Garden and begin a process of dispersal.
"Once the nest is removed, there will be activities undertaken to keep the birds from trying to re-nest," USDA Wildlife Service's Carol Bannerman said. "We understand that people really love the birds and love the eagles but we don't want to love the eagles to death."
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