The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

July 4, 2013

Bob Garrett's column: Eagle flies high

This Fourth of the July, the American Bald Eagle is flying high.

With more than 250 nesting pairs now accounted for in our state, another high point is being celebrated in one of our nation's most-successful conservation stories. This year marks the 30th anniversary year of the efforts to restore bald eagle populations in Pennsylvania.

Already our national symbol, eagles are a fitting reminder of our nation's strength and freedom. Now, thanks to this remarkable comeback, the bald eagles that call our valley home also symbolize the resiliency of the American spirit to each of us.

So far this year, 252 eagle nests have been confirmed throughout our state, with nesting eagles present in 56 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Did you know that your family can be part of this conservation success story?

If you spot an eagle nest that you don't think has been previously identified, you may contact the Game Commission through its public comments email address at pgccomments@pa.gov, and use the words "Eagle Nest Information" in the subject line. If you do come across a nest, please do your best to keep your distance. Disturbing eagles is illegal under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Some nesting pairs are tolerant of human activity, while others are much more sensitive. Their reaction to you may depend on the activity that you're doing, the nesting cycle stage, and if the eagles are used to seeing people.

n A little more down to Earth

Are you looking for a great outdoor activity to do today? In New Berlin, they will be racing turtles starting at 1 p.m. The New Berlin Turtle Derby has been around for just about a half century.

Kids can register to race a turtle, if they've been lucky enough to find one. Later this afternoon, there will be cow plop bingo and lots of other fun activities for the whole family. Tonight at 10 p.m., there will be a huge fireworks display in the Commons.

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