Bald Eagles Slow New Guntersville Runway Project

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Photo by Gary Dumer of a bald eagle that is nesting near the Guntersville Airport.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– A pair of bald eagles nesting near the airport in Guntersville is delaying a new runway project.  The eagles are nesting in a pine tree that needs to be cleared for the new runway.

City officials say federal law requires that all logging and construction within 600 feet stop while the birds are nesting.

Local wildlife photographer Gary Dumer says there are probably 25 to 30 bald eagles in Marshall County.

“And that’s between Langston and Blue Bluff,” he said.

Dumer was able to get close enough to the nest to shoot a few photos of one of the eagles.

He says once the eagles have raised their chicks and left the nest it can be taken down.

“Oh they will come back and look for this one.  But they will build another one within a quarter to a half mile of here.”

The six million dollar runway project could be delayed until March or April.   A new runway is being built because the current runway can’t handle jet aircraft.


  • Waymon

    “Oh they will come back and look for this one. But they will build another one within a quarter to a half mile of here.”

    I am glad the person, or persons who said the above realize that the Eagles are smart enough to relocate, and not delay the project to long, as opposed to the dummies who delayed the I-65 bridge construction over the Tennessee River, for many years!

  • judy Rollins

    I live in a near by city. Please tell me that they are going to wait to build the new run way. As a side note who lands a jet down in Guntersville? It is a quaint, small lakeside town. Lots of beautiful houses lakeside.

  • Catherine Hicks

    Excuse me on a point in the article.. about the taking down of nest.. According to federal law to my knowledge once you have an established nest it cannot be removed til 7 years inactive.. I as an eagle watcher have had to deal with this a couple of times.. Maybe it is Florida state law so forgive me if I am incorrect.. I just get very very upset at when man interferes with nature for his convenience and greed.

    • Marilyn Cotter

      That may have changes since the eagles have been delisted from endangered. We are fighting for a pair of eagles in Norfolk Botanical Gardens since the airport has asked for and received permission to take down their nests and harass them with paint-balls and noise. Very sad. But as eagles defend their territory is is proving to be difficult for the city and the airport.

      • Catherine Hicks

        Very well aware of the situation in Norfolk and your battle… And very sad about it.. We had the same situation DURING NESTING/FLEDGING season at Sanford International Airport several year ago… They removed 7 nest bordering the runways etc WITH babies still in nest.. Audubon Birds of Prey Center in Maitland did what they could.. and fought it.. But were able to take in and foster the young.. but that is very very difficult even when you rescue/rehab/release center. Right now I am working a couple of volunteer jobs that involve animals both domestic and wild.. It tears my stomach up when I see for real the images that are on tv, media of mans inhumanity to animals.. to me it is an indication of why mankind has gone down the tubes in the way they treat each other… I need to get off my sounding post.. before NSA blocks me… LOL

      • Catherine Hicks

        I guess you didn’t get my point.. or maybe you did and I just didn’t interpret your reply right..LOL.. I am totally frustrated with agencies of both state and federal that have established rules etc for the protection and safety of animals.. YET if it is for monetary gain..etc. they change the rules.. I get airport safety etc.. now days more and more eagles and other birds are getting killed by planes and electric power poles.. My point being with “advances” of man’s agenda which usually involves money, power, greed and political agenda/payback… we LOSE the very essence of humanity.

      • Catherine Hicks

        Sorry Waymon… You did get my point… LOL Just because the government wants/approves DOESN’T make it the RIGHT thing to do. Don’t we know about that…

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