It's 333 feet down the left field line at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, a good view for eagle eyes. But the spring training home of the Orioles is a bad spot to canoodle for America's bird.
Instead, Sarasota County workers safely evicted a pair of bald eagles Friday, removing their love nest in the left field lights after state and federal wildlife officials were consulted.
"There was a safety hazard" for the birds, said Michelle van Deventer, Bald Eagle Coordinator for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Bald eagles were taken off the threatened and endangered species list in 2007. State and federal safeguards still exist, including the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which dates to 1940. There are roughly 1,500 mating bald eagle pairs in Florida, according to the FWC.
Four years ago a bald eagle pair reportedly settled into the right field lights at Ed Smith and a similar eviction took place. The bald eagle mating season in Florida begins in October and runs through May. Eggs are typically laid by January, well before pitchers and catchers report for spring training.
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» Captive breeding may be the last chance to save Florida's grasshopper sparrow, North America's most endangered bird. (Via Audubon)