FORT RILEY, Kan. (KSNT) – A bald eagle nest located near Fort Riley was declared inactive by environmentalists on Wednesday after they discovered the only eaglet residing in the nest had perished.

A photo of a female bald eagle tending to the nest near Fort Riley. (Photo Courtesy/Fort Riley Environmental Division)

According to the Fort Riley Environmental Division, bald eagles moved into a nest near the Outdoor Chapel located on the Fort Riley hiking trail. They were confirmed to have an eaglet in the nest on March 30 this year. The spot has seen regular use by bald eagles over the years and a viewing station has been set up for guests to observe the nest from afar.

The Fort Riley Environmentalist Division announced on April 27 the eaglet in the nest had passed away due to unknown causes after confirming the nesting pair that had been watching over the eaglet had left the site. While the reason for the eaglet’s death isn’t known at the moment, biologists with the Fort Riley Environmentalist Division suspect it was a casualty of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

HPAI has swept through the state of Kansas recently, causing illness and death among both domesticated and wild bird species. It was even thought to have afflicted another adult bald eagle recently near Emporia which displayed signs of being sick.