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Arizona Game and Fish warns humans to respect bald eagle nesting areas

Some people are creating problems for bald eagles in Arizona.

Earlier this month, bald eagle nestwatchers, people who are trained to collect behavioral data, began monitoring different areas.

During the first week, they reported people flying drones too close, presumably to get a better view, and photographers hiking into nest areas even though they’re closed to the public. In another case, a boat entered a closure area and the noise caused the adult eagle to leave. Then, a raven swooped in and ate an egg.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says people should obey signs and buoys alerting to closures and avoid using drones, which eagles may view as predators. Human interference can lead to the young being left unattended and at risk. Bald eagles are territorial and, if people get too close, they will focus intently on humans and may vocalize or circle the area. The department says if that happens, people should immediately leave the area.

Anyone who witnesses harassment or shooting of bald eagles can call Game and Fish’s hotline at 1-800-352-0700 or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement at 480- 967-7900.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.