Where eagles dare has Metairie abuzz

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - For the past several months, Metairie residents have been seeing a sight they've never seen before: A  pair of eagles have built a nest in the heart of suburbia, and they've  been putting on a majestic show.

It  looks like a clump of twigs in a backyard Metairie tree. Back in the fall, a pair of eagles chose the Foote's backyard to begin building the first eagle nest seen in Metairie that anyone can remember.

"I think it's great, and it's crazy that they chose Metairie too," said Chloe Foote, a Metairie resident with a front row seat.

What is believed to be the female has been remaining on the nest, either sitting on an egg, or staying close to a fledgling. The male is usually away on business.

"Primarily the male's job is to go out and get food, and bring it back," said Carolyn Atherton, the bird curator at Audobon Institute.

But the male may share egg-sitting duties, and in this Bissonet neighborhood, they are putting on a near-constant show.

"I took my daughter, and said let's go see an eagle, and he was coming down the street right over my head," said resident Perry Manning.

The nest is not fa, from food sources, though the eagle may also eat road kill.

"We've seen feathers from other birds, and then one day I was driving and saw him with a fish, and I called my mom. It was cool," said resident Isaac Foote.

Some residents say there's a side benefit to having the eagles in their neighborhood: They're seeing fewer rodents than they used to.

"We used to see a lot of possums, but I haven't seen any lately," said Foote.

They are part of an eagle  success story that's seen nesting pairs in Algiers, St Tammany, Plaquemines Parish and all across the metro.

"I just got a call on a new nest in the Belle Chasse area," said Atherton.

If they can make it in Metairie and Algiers, America's national symbol could be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

"We were thinking all these people coming out may scare 'em off, but they've stuck it out so far," said Manning.

Bird experts say if this Metairie  nest is a successful one, they will likely be back again next year.

The Audubon bird curator says the adult eagles will likely migrate out of Metairie by May, but will return again in October. She urges any onlookers to follow the law and keep a safe distance from the nest, since eagles are a protected species.

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