Letter: Way to have a safe 4th is to ban fireworks

Editor,

On July 4, I watched an unrelenting barrage of fireworks launched by a large group of party-goers approximately 100 feet from a well-documented, active bald eagle’s nest near Clinton. I live 500 feet from the nest and have observed the adult pair of bald eagles successfully produce offspring in this nest for the past 12 years.

As soon as the fireworks began the parents flew off to find safe haven. A single fledgling, about 8-10 weeks old, did not fly off as he appeared too physically undeveloped. As darkness took over the baby hunkered down in the nest and the barrage of fireworks inundated the nest area unabated for the next hour.

Twenty-four hours later, only one of the parents returned briefly to the nest area and the baby was nowhere to be seen.

So, what happened to the fledgling? As of July 7 no one knows. It is clearly not in the nest anymore. It’s possible, in sheer terror the fledgling just jumped out of the nest and fell to the ground.

Alternatively, he might have successfully flown away. What is clear is the fledgling was driven from the nest in the most unimaginably difficult conditions, barraged with loud, repeated booms, shock waves and flash bangs.

The Bald and Golden Eagle Act protects eagles from “disturbances.”

The night of terror this fledgling experienced clearly meets the definition of “disturbance.”

In previous years, after the maiden daytime flight the parents and the fledgling remain very close to the nest area for the next month to continue training to improve flight and fishing skills.

Enough is enough.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife needs to investigate this incident. The bigger question, though, is what to do about the continuing problems associated with residential fireworks.

Age, alcohol, “reservation-grade” fireworks, basic lack of common sense and respect for others are common features of the bigger problem. Maybe we should do what many other communities have done in Western Washington and ban residential fireworks?

It is unfortunate that a few ruin it for everyone, but that is often the case. This problem will probably only get worse as Whidbey Island has become the dumping ground for all the revelers banned from discharging fireworks in other communities.

Other local governments have concluded the only way to have a safe Fourth of July is to ban residential fireworks.

Dave Pearson

Clinton

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Book illustrates risk that Marxism presents to U.S.

Editor, I recently subscribed to Whidbey News-Times. On only my second issue,… Continue reading

Letter: Aircraft training is vital to safety of crews, others

Editor, Opposition to Navy flight training use of Outlying Field Coupeville citing… Continue reading

Letter: Berry is a fitting representative of the United States

Editor, This is in response to Fred Wilferth’s letter to the editor… Continue reading

Letter: Fox News about the only network presenting facts

Editor, Why on earth would you folks print a political cartoon demeaning… Continue reading

Letter: Website long written off as an unreliable source

Editor, I would like to point out to letter writer Elizabeth Guss… Continue reading

Letter: Citizen interests not represented by a ‘clique’

Editor, When I read last Saturday’s edition of the South Whidbey Record,… Continue reading

Letter: It’s time to take action to prevent death at the bridge

Editor, I am tired of people jumping off Deception Pass Bridge. More… Continue reading

Letter: Vaccination rate is appallingly low across the country

Editor, We are all connected in so many ways, but the truth… Continue reading

Letter: Candidates, learn the issues before addressing them

Editor, My husband and I attended the Whidbey Island Fair last weekend… Continue reading

Most Read