Methuen

Development project ruffles feathers in Methuen: ‘We want to keep eagles nest'

Neighbors against the project want to protect a bald eagles nest on Lowell Street

NBC Universal, Inc.

A development project in Methuen, Massachusetts, has ruffled the feathers of neighbors who are looking to protect a pair of bald eagles nesting in the area.

The eagles nest is located at 799 Lowell St. right behind Regency at Methuen, a 55+ gated community. The nest is now standing at the site where O’Brien Homes Incorporated plans to build a single-family home.

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Neighbors in the area say the eagles have been there for close to 10 years and come back each year to hatch their babies. Over the past few months, community members have met with the mayor and state agencies to try and protect the nests.

Stuart Malis has lived in the area for about nine years and regularly takes pictures of the eagles. He says it's very bothersome that there's a residential development project on the land where the eagles nest is.

"We were very upset because we loved watching the eagles," another neighbor said. "We have all told the city that we don't want the house built, we want to keep the eagles nest."

Bald eagles are currently listed as a species of special concern under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program proposed protective measures for the eagles like limiting construction activity to certain times of year.

NBC10 Boston spoke off camera to the president of O’Brien Inc., Kevin O’Brien, who told us they are following what the Methuen Conservation Commission has instructed them to do.

O'Brien says the company plans to stay 400 feet away from the nest with construction taking place starting Sept. 1 through the end of October.

The Methuen Conservation Commission is reviewing the project and there will be another hearing Thursday.

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