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City to remove eagles' nests near airport

Aug. 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The mayor of Norfolk, Va., says eagles' nests near Norfolk International Airport are a threat to aviation and must be removed, despite pleas to preserve them.

At a City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Paul Fraim said steps must be taken immediately to remove the bald eagle nests at Norfolk Botanical Garden, in light of two bird strikes at the airport in April -- one of which killed an eagle and caused $150,000 in damage to the landing gear of an airplane -- the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday.

Fans of the bald eagles follow the birds on Eagle Cam -- a Web site operated by WVEC-TV, Hampton Roads. Some eagle supporters at the Tuesday meeting requested a delay in the removal of the nests, but the city has applied for permits to remove one main nest and two partial nests from the botanical gardens, the newspaper said.

At the meeting, council members Tommy Smigiel and Barclay Winn asked City Attorney Barnard Pishko about the city's liability in a hypothetical collision resulting in a fatality. Pishko answered that "any plaintiff's attorney worth his salt" would name the city as a defendant in a lawsuit.

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