IMG_4768 (2)

Bungalower readers recently reached out to us with reports of a bald eagle taking up residence in the center of Ivanhoe Village’s Alden Warehouse district. The cell tower located just behind the now former home of Thirsty Topher is known as a regular roosting spot for ospreys, but rarely bald eagles.

It also happens to be in the center of the upcoming Yard at Ivanhoe Village development. So we looked into it.

When we reached out to the developer of the Yard at Ivanhoe Village project, Inverlad Development, they informed us that they were aware of a roosting osprey pair that had been nesting there for a while. They had already hired an environmental specialist who was monitoring the nest and who would relocate the nest once the birds had moved on from the tower.

The City echoed the developer’s statement and the State’s Fish and Wildlife department had no record of an eagle nest being reported there.

We investigated ourselves but saw no record of an eagle nesting in the tower. The only proof we were given was the following photograph submitted to us by an anonymous neighbor.

20151127_153730 (1)
Photo via neighbor

We took the liberty of zooming in on the photo for you, but the quality is still less than ideal.

Right when we’d decided to start emailing the readers who had reached out to us about the eagle that they had been wrong and it was in fact an osprey, we were lucky enough to see a mature bald eagle dive into Lake Ivanhoe and fly off with a fish in the direction of the tower.

We sent some of our photos to experts at the Birds of Prey Center and local chapter of the Audubon Society for authentification. Bob Sanders, a field trip leader and instructor for Orange Audubon Society, confirmed that it is indeed an adult bald eagle.

We’ve reached out to Inverlad for a statement regarding the eagle’s presence and how it could affect their construction schedule but have yet to hear back. The development was expected to break ground either this weekend or early next week with the demolition of some of the warehouses on Alden which have already been fenced off.

The bald eagle is protected by both state and federal eagle laws. The Florida eagle rule, F.A.C. 68A-16.002, outlines that it is illegal to disturb or take an eagle in Florida. Disturb means:

To agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, 1) injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior. In addition to immediate impacts, this definition also covers impacts that result from human caused alterations initiated around a previously used nest site during a time when eagles are not present, if, upon the eagle=s return, such alterations agitate or bother an eagle to a degree that injures an eagle or substantially interferes with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering habits and causes, or is likely to cause, a loss of productivity or nest abandonment.

Lake Formosa, right next door to the tower and the impending development project, is also home to the wood stork, another threatened species. Recently removed from the Endangered Species list, the wood stork has been downgraded to Threatened as its numbers have been slowly increasing.

Most developments must complete an Environmental Assessment before being allowed to break ground, but according to the City of Orlando the subject property is designated as an “Urbanized Disturbed Land” and according to the Public Information Office, “Per the City’s Comprehensive Plan, lands lying within urbanized disturbed areas are exempt from the requirements of requiring Environmental Assessments. The City does not regulate threatened or endangered species, that is the role of the state and federal government.”

You can see on a map of the City’s Urbanized Disturbed Land areas by clicking HERE and scrolling to page 26.
Despite the fact that it is not their “role” to regulate threatened species in City limits, the City of Orlando stated that they have “reached out to the developer and let them know if they do indeed have an endangered or threatened species on the property, it is their responsibility to follow all state and federal regulations related to that species.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the aforementioned state agency that deals with these situations and they have informed us that they are looking into the matter.

IMG_4764 (2)

IMG_4765 (2)

IMG_4786 (2)

IMG_4773 (2)

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

Join the Conversation


Have something to say? Type it below. Holding back can give you pimples.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. There is an osprey nest in a tower that an eagle visited. But it is never too soon to jump to conclusions.

  2. Well researched article, Brendan.
    Good photo too.
    I had told you in a reply to your FB post about an eagle pair taking over that osprey nest following the hurricanes of 2004, and that the ospreys defended their nest and eventually drove them off. I had contacted FWC at the time, but because the eagles had already been driven off, that agency determined it to be an osprey nest.
    I’ve been observing the tower and haven’t seen the eagle perched, but saw one circling high overhead yesterday while the osprey pair flew closer to the nest.
    If the eagle in your photo is half of a mated pair, their previous nest may have been damaged. If the eagles are serious about stealing this nest, they will have to be there pretty continuously, and not just one of them.
    This bird may also be a juvenile searching for a territory of its own. There are no less than three urban eagle pairs nesting within a few miles of this spot, so any fledged juveniles will be searching for a territory. FWC eagle experts have told me that Florida is already near its carrying capacity for bald eagles.
    This could get very interesting, but whatever the eagle(s) decide to do, I don’t think it will stop the Yard from being developed.

  3. This isn’t about us being disappointed Brian. Haha but if we were, it would be in you not considering us a news site.

  4. This tower had an active osprey nest in it. The developers were aware and took the necessary precautions with it. The eagle seems to be a surprise to everyone.

  5. There is a 600′ radius that has to be maintained from an active nest. Nests are typically active October-May and can be relocated when they are inactive. I hope ospreys move in after the Eagles leave so outlet neighborhood can stay as is (and Topher can move back to their original spot)

  6. I’ve been seeing that bald eagle lately, flying over Alden Rd. I’ll make sure to try to snap a picture next time it visits!

  7. not sure what ‘active’ nest legally translates too… egg(s) present? or eagle(s) beginning to take over nest? Looking forward to seeing how this unfolds. If anyone knows someone in the local news. This would be a good local story to cover. Eagles vs Bulldozers

  8. Samantha Little Beth Evans Lott Jim Bronzo Matt Smith Gina Holt Robert Veal CAN’T a portion of this project be stopped to preserve this Eagle’s nest!? Please see here.. Thank you!!

  9. I thought they could NOT legally develop with an eagle nest present!? Samantha Little Beth Evans Lott Robert Veal Jim Bronzo Gina Holt Matt Smith ???

  10. Maria you might like this. Protect the eagle! Maybe this might hold off destroying the entire warehouse district. From a couple past architectural projects I’ve worked on, I believe an undisturbed 500 ft radius around a bald eagles nest had to be maintained. Maybe the eagles will begin breeding here… and the artist district can partially stay. can only hope.