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Route 1 Millstone River Bridge Replacement


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Where is the construction project?
A:

The project is located (pdf 1.9m) on Route 1 at the Millstone River between milepost 11.8 and milepost 12.09 in West Windsor, Mercer County and Plainsboro, Middlesex County.

The file above is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free from the state Adobe Access page, to view the files.

   
Q. What is the construction schedule?
A: Construction on this project started in March 2009 and is expected to be completed in December 2010.
   
Q.

What is the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act?

A:

This Act was originally enacted in 1940 as the Bald Eagle Protection Act to protect Bald Eagles and later amended to include Golden Eagles. It prohibits the taking or possession of and commerce in Bald and Golden Eagles, part, feathers, nests, or eggs with limited exceptions. The definition of take includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb. Bald Eagles may not be taken for any purpose unless a permit is issued prior to the taking. Activities which can be authorized by permit are: Scientific collecting/research, exhibition, tribal religious, depredation, falconry, and the taking of inactive Golden Eagle nests, which interfere with resource development or recovery operations. Currently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has a permitting process in the proposal stage for other activities, which may disturb Bald Eagles or take an eagle nest where their location poses a risk to human or eagle safety.

   
Q. What rules apply to the Bald Eagle's nest?
A: The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act makes it "illegal to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer for sale, transport, export, or import a Bald or Golden eagle, alive or dead (including products made from them), or any part, nests, or eggs thereof without a valid permit to do so." There are legal requirements concerning the scientific and exhibition purposes of this nest.
   
Q. What penalties are involved for noncompliance?
A: A criminal violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act can result in a year in prison and a fine of $100,000 for an individual or $200,000 for an organization. A second violation of the Eagle Act is a felony and can result in a maximum of two years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for an organization. Maximum civil penalties are $5,000 for each violation.
   
Q. Does delisting of the Bald Eagle mean that we no longer need to assess potential project impacts to this species?
A: The Bald Eagle is no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act; however Bald Eagles are still federally protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
   
Q. Does the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act apply only to activities with a Federal Nexus?
A: No, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act applies to everyone. For New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) projects, this means a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) biologist must assess potential project impacts to Bald Eagles to ensure they are in compliance with the Eagle Act. Compliance with the Eagle Act is also part of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation.
   
Q. What is the average lifetime of a Bald Eagle?
A: Most of what is known about how long eagles live is from birds kept in captivity. These birds may live 40 years or longer. Information from a few wild, banded eagles shows that they may live to be 30 or a little older in the wild.
   
Q. How many pounds of food does a Bald Eagle eat in a day?
A:

A Bald Eagle eats approximately .5-1.5 pounds a day.

   
Q. How can an eagle see animals on the ground while soaring high above ground?
A:

Eagles have extremely keen vision. Their eyes are specially designed for long distance focus and clarity. The eye is large with a large retinal surface area and a high concentration of cones (eyes have rods and cones which allow sight) which aid in visual acuity and color perception. It has been estimated that eagles can see 3-4 times farther than humans and that they can see another eagle soaring nearly 50 miles away.

   
Q. How long do they stay (on nesting grounds) after they migrate in spring?
A:

It all depends on the area where they breed. Eagles migrating to and breeding at northern latitudes (i.e., Yukon Territory) probably stay a shorter period of time, and have a shorter nesting season than those at southern latitudes (i.e., California). This is because of the shorter season in the northern areas. The water stays frozen later into the spring, and fall comes earlier there.

   
Q. Do Bald Eagles have only one mate for life?
A:

Typically, yes, although occasionally an intruding adult (not one of the pair) comes in (usually a female) and battles the resident bird for the territory, sometimes then taking over. If one of the pair dies, the other will find a new mate and usually stay in the same territory.

   
Q. What age do Bald Eagles reach their sexual maturity?
A:

Bald Eagles reach their sexual maturity at five years of age, but can begin breeding as ealy as four years old.

   
Q. Does the Bald Eagle mate with other eagles?
A:

No.

   
Q. How long does it take for the Bald Eagle's eggs to hatch and how long until it can fly?
A:

The eggs take 35 days to hatch. The young eaglets then nest for 10-12 weeks or more until they first leave the nest (fledge).

   
Q. When do eagles learn to fly and how?
A:

Eagles learn to fly at between 10-12 weeks when they fledge, and then with more and more practice to and from the nest and surrounding trees over the next month or two.

   
Q. How long does it take the eaglet's feathers to turn brown?
A:

The feathers are brown as soon as they start to appear, which begin at five weeks of age; they are almost fully feathered by nine weeks. The full white head and tail is not obtained until 5-6 years of age.

 
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  Last Updated:  January 14, 2010