COLUMBIA, Conn. (AP) — Independence Day was unusually quiet in one small Connecticut town as residents heeded a request to protect a family of bald eagles.

Carmen Vance, the first selectman of Columbia, said nobody set off fireworks around Columbia Lake during the long holiday weekend. State officials had warned the noise could startle an eaglet out of her nest before she was ready to fly.

Last summer, a pair of eagles became the first to call the lake home since the species returned to the state in 1992.

This spring, an eaglet appeared in the nest, which is located about 100 feet (30 meters) up in a tree.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is advising people not to visit the nest. Disturbing it, they said, could lead the birds to leave the area for good. Eagles, which mate for life, normally return to the same nesting site for years.

Vance said residents have become protective of the eagles

“I understand that there is a family just across the small cove from the nest that have been holding off blasting out rock for a foundation in a new house construction project so as not to frighten the eaglet,” she said.

Environmental officials say the young eagle should be ready to fly in a couple of weeks and likely will stay with its parents through August before heading out on its own.

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