NORFOLK-- The battle is still flying high to save the eagle nests at Norfolk Botanical Garden.

'We've been watching these eagles for a long time, and it's very important that they not destroy their nests. This is their natural habitat, and this is where they need to be,' eagle supporter John Donaldson said.

Saturday afternoon, eagle fans met at the garden and decorated a tree to show their support for the birds.

Federal, state and local wildlife officials said one complete nest and two partial nests need to be removed because of the danger to wildlife and aircraft coming and going from nearby Norfolk International Airport. The FAA cited concerns about four bald eagles being struck by aircraft in the last 10 years. The USDA identified bald eagles as 'an extremely high' hazard risk to aircraft.

The city has applied for state and federal permits to remove the nests before nesting season begins in the next few months. City council member Tommy Smigiel would like to delay the removal of the nests for a year to look at options to save the eagles and the flying public, like a radar system to warn planes.

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