One of Nebraska's most public bald eagle nests is seeking a bit of privacy.
Ice anglers and other visitors to Lake Wanahoo State Recreation Area near Wahoo are asked to comply with an exclusion zone implemented to protect the lake's nesting eagles. The area is closed to all access from Dec. 1 to July 15.
A pair of bald eagles built a nest in a large, dead cottonwood in the lake near the boat ramp in 2011. They produced two fledglings that year and two more last year.
Joel Jorgensen of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said he hopes the resident breeding pair will return to their nest soon and begin breeding activities.
Bald eagles are particularly sensitive to disturbance during the early portion of their breeding cycle, which includes courtship, nest building and maintenance and egg-laying. Activity may begin in December and increases in February. The first eggs are usually laid by early March.
Federal laws prohibit killing or harming the birds, or disturbing nesting eagles.
The Lake Wanahoo nest can be seen from several areas around the lake and is easily viewed with binoculars or a spotting scope.
— David Hendee