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Bald eagle nest alters construction plans in Manassas

This is a March 2015 photo of a bald eagle nest at Cannon Branch Historical Park in Manassas, Va. Officials say this nest has been active for years. (Courtesy City of Manassas)

WASHINGTON — A bald eagle nest has altered the construction schedule for two office buildings in Manassas, Virginia.

The nest, located at Cannon Branch Historical Park, is in a tree on the property line of work to be done at 10659 and 10689 Gateway Boulevard.

To avoid disturbing it during nesting season, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the property owners reached an agreement that major work on the project would start Aug. 1 and conclude Dec. 1 — two months earlier than initially planned.

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The clearing is happening near the tree where the eagles are nesting. (Courtesy Victor Rook)

“Building construction as it pertains to eagle disturbance in this scenario will only include major construction activities such as underground utilities, paving and exterior shell of the building,” the agreement states.

Some residents were critical of the construction project, disturbed by what they characterized as the destruction of the eagle’s homeland.

Manassas author, filmmaker and blogger Victor Rook said in a recent blog post that he was outraged by the proximity of construction to the nest.

Rook captured a video of clearing occurring on the property prior to the FWS specified Aug. 1 start date. Rook posted the video July 21, 2016.

Watch the video below:

WTOP calls to FWS regarding the potential consequences about an alleged start-date violation were not immediately returned.

“Now their immediate nesting area has been taken away. Gone. Removed,” Rook wrote on his blog. “And whatever gets erected there in the coming months, mere yards away from the nest, will most certainly have an impact on them.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Victor Rook’s name in a photo caption.

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