Eagles at Shelley Lake: Enjoy the View but Do Not Disturb

News posted Feb. 19, 2019 - 6:00 am
Shelley Lake Eagles

An active bald eagle nest has been identified at Shelly Lake Park. The location these eagles have chosen provides the public with a unique opportunity to see the birds and experience their feeding and nesting behaviors from a paved trail. Our dedicated community of park visitors and trail users continue to provide valuable assistance monitoring the activity of the birds around Shelley Lake which is greatly appreciated.

If you have any information or questions, reach out to Brian Smith with our Nature Programs at

The Raleigh Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Department (PRCR) is taking the following steps in accordance with guidance from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to discourage disturbance of the nest while allowing compatible activities to continue:

  • Inter-agency coordination - The City of Raleigh PRCR is coordinating with the USFWS to utilize best management practices during the bald eagle nesting period. Find additional information here.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) – Drones larger than 400 grams (.88lbs) are not allowed at this site. For more information on where you can take off and land drones of this size visit keyword “drones”. The USFWS guidelines also recommend "aircraft" stay at least 1000 feet away from nests. To report incompatible drone activity, use the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission number below.
  • Grounds Maintenance – The City will temporarily alter maintenance in a 330-foot buffer area around the nest tree per USFWS guidelines. The use of loud power equipment such as mowers, blowers, weed trimmers etc. will be suspended at least until the young eagles are able to fly. The use of pickup trucks on the greenway for trash pickup is compatible with the location of the nest and will continue.
  • Trail use – The trail adjacent to the nest site will remain open. According to USFWS, studies conducted to evaluate nest disturbance from activities like hiking and biking have not indicated negative impacts to eagle nest success in areas where the activities were existing when the nest was built.
  • Signage – Temporary signage related to the use of unmanned aerial systems and “viewing etiquette” are posted on the Shelly Lake trail.
  • Communication – Please refer reports of nest disturbance to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s wildlife violation, questions, or concerns line at 1-800-622-7131 (Raleigh Area 919-707-0040).


  • Shelley Lake Park
  • 1400 West Millbrook Road
  • Raleigh, NC 27614

For more information, contact

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