On two occasions, when I’ve gone to see the Baton Rouge bald eagles’ nest, I’ve encountered groups of people photographing and/or watching the eagles, hanging out right in front of the nest, and even right below the nest, for long periods of time. (I usually walk by, take a few pictures and leave, walk a couple of miles then stop again for a minute on the way back).

Yesterday, there were four or five people who stood on the trail right in front of the nest for about four hours. They never moved. I saw them around noon from the road when I passed by and they were still there at 2 p.m. when I walked the trail and still there at 4 p.m. when I was walking back. At one point, I saw both of the adult eagles flyabout a mile from the nest, which from what I understand, one of the parents should be staying close to the nest at all times right now, as the eaglets are not old enough to be left unattended.

I really wish people would use good judgment and stop being so selfish. People who go to view the nest need to realize that their presence, especially for hours at a time, is not in the best interest of the eagles and could very well interfere with them and cause problems.

Both of the times that I’ve encountered groups of people standing around gawking, I’ve seen the adults flying over and calling, which is a sign that the eagles are alarmed, and being disturbed. People should not be camping out in front of the nest for hours on end. Do the right thing, people, stop and look for a minute or two, take a few pics if you want to, then leave.

Standing in front of the nest for hours watching and/or taking pics is selfish and people need to have some respect and give these eagles some space and privacy while they raise their young.

Angie Smiley

legal assistant

Baton Rouge