Twice a year, bald eagles from as far as Canada and Florida flock by the thousands to a stretch of the Rappahannock River in Virginia for an all-you-can-eat buffet. There they dive bomb the waters for shad, catfish and waterfowl.

Conservationists say the site is one of the most important East Coast gathering places for bald eagles. But they warn the eagles are threatened by a luxury resort being proposed for nearly 1,000 acres atop cliffs where eagles gather. The planned resort on Fones Cliffs has angered land preservation advocates, property owners and others.

The developer of Fones Cliffs Resort and Spa counters that opponents are thwarting economic development. He says the resort would bring jobs to this area about a two hours' drive south of the nation's capital.