High-volume builder Hayden Homes will take over construction of a southeast Bend subdivision near a golden eagle nesting site.
The nest’s exact location hasn’t been disclosed, but it is adjacent to the planned subdivision, which is off Brosterhous Road north of Tillicum Village, said Geoff Harris, Central Oregon regional director for Hayden Homes. Active in the area since 2014, the mating pair of eagles alternates among three nests in the area, according to the Oregon Eagle Foundation.
Work on the 82-lot Arena Acres subdivision will begin around June 15, Harris said. Redmond-based Hayden Homes bought the property from Arbor Builders and obtained a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which restricts construction activity to seasons when the eagles aren’t using the nest.
Harris expects building the subdivision to take about four years, a year longer than the typical schedule for a project the same size. Building in Bend is so expensive, he said, even a complicated project is worthwhile if Hayden can still sell homes that will be affordable to people earning 100% to 120% of the area median income.
“Our plan right now is we’ll just do roads and utilities, and we’ll wait until next year’s construction season, according to the permit, for home construction,” Harris said.
“It’s an expensive approach, but it seemed like it was one of the appropriate precautions.”
The nest has produced eaglets in the past, said Elizabeth Materna, spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service. “The nest was used this spring,” she said in an email. “However, a biologist recently reported that the nest has failed.” The eggs didn’t hatch, she said.
Hayden will be able to work outside through December, Harris said. Then Jan. 1 through April 1, the Fish and Wildlife Service will monitor for activity every two weeks. If there’s activity in the nest before April 1, the monitoring will continue into June.
During the eagles’ active period, construction work can go on inside homes as long as walls and roofs are in place, Harris said.
Altering the construction schedule as the permit requires will give the eagles the best chance of continued breeding into future years, Materna said. “We will continue to coordinate closely to ensure the best possible success for the eagle nest, while also making sure construction is not unnecessarily delayed.”
Eagles generally avoid populated areas, but biologists believe the raptors chose southeast Bend because of abundant prey, Materna said. The Fish and Wildlife service receives about a dozen applications each year for the “eagle incidental take permit” in the Pacific Northwest region covering Oregon, Washington and Idaho, she said.
— Reporter: 541-617-7860, email@example.com