Birds are watching over the construction at Ed Smith Stadium, but they aren't orioles.
Two American bald eagles have made their home in the right field lights of the stadium, more than a hundred feet above the field -- but close enough to cause problems for the Baltimore Orioles.
The feathered couple have construction crews, the county and team officials concerned because of state and federal laws that prohibit disturbing the national bird.
The $24 million renovation of the stadium -- part of a $31.2 million deal the county struck with the team in 2009 -- is not expected to be delayed because of the nest, said Sarasota County spokesperson Carolyn Eastwood.
But that could change once eagle eggs hatch, which could bring a host of complications as the ballclub makes its way to Sarasota for the first time.
As spring training approaches, workers have already been rushed. Any delay could throw a wrench in the first training season, which local leaders hope will bring tourists and re-energize the dismal local economy.
Workers first noticed the nest three to four weeks ago, but did not stop construction.
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Hancock Wildlife Foundation