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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – On State Road 3 near the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, two bald eagles scout the terrain from their vantage point atop a pole.    There are 18 active eagle nests within Kennedy's boundaries, including several in the vicinity of the landing strip. Bald eagles mate for life, choosing the tops of large trees to build nests, which they typically use and enlarge each year. Nests may reach 10 feet across and weigh half a ton. The birds travel great distances, but usually return to breeding grounds within 100 miles of the place where they were raised. Bald eagles may live 15 to 25 years in the wild. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge coexists with Kennedy Space Center and provides a habitat for 330 species of birds including the bald eagle. A variety of other wildlife - 117 kinds of fish, 65 types of amphibians and reptiles, 31 different mammals, and 1,045 species of plants - also inhabit the refuge. For information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Index.html. For information on Kennedy Space Center, visit http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Thornsley

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – On State Road 3 near the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, two bald eagles scout the terrain from their vantage point atop a pole. There are 18 active eagle nests within Kennedy's boundaries, including several in the vicinity of the landing strip. Bald eagles mate for life, choosing the tops of large trees to build nests, which they typically use and enlarge each year. Nests may reach 10 feet across and weigh half a ton. The birds travel great distances, but usually return to breeding grounds within 100 miles of the place where they were raised. Bald eagles may live 15 to 25 years in the wild. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge coexists with Kennedy Space Center and provides a habitat for 330 species of birds including the bald eagle. A variety of other wildlife - 117 kinds of fish, 65 types of amphibians and reptiles, 31 different mammals, and 1,045 species of plants - also inhabit the refuge. For information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Index.html. For information on Kennedy Space Center, visit http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Thornsley

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