Wildlife researcher: Ohio bald eagle population is thriving

FILE-This Tuesday, May 1, 2012 file photo shows a bald eagle landing on a branch at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio. Ohio’s bald eagle population appears to be thriving, a wildlife researcher with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said. The number of eaglets hatched jumped from 189 in 2013 to an estimated 347 in 2014. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s bald eagle population appears to be thriving, according to a state wildlife researcher.

Flight surveys showed a slight increase in the number of nests last year, from an estimated 187 in 2013 to around 200 last year, the (Lorain) Morning Journal reports. The number of eaglets hatched jumped from 189 in 2013 to an estimated 347 in 2014.

Laurie Graber, a wildlife research technician at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said it’s not entirely clear why the number of hatchlings varies from year to year, but she thinks the availability of food is a likely factor. Fish are the eagle’s dinner of choice, but they will eat animals dead or alive if fish aren’t available, Graber said.

The newspaper reported that there are at least five bald eagle nests in Lorain County, which is just west of Cleveland, and five or six nests in Lake County, just east of Cleveland. There could be additional nests in those two counties, Graber said.

The Lorain County Metro Parks system plans to install an “eagle cam” to keep an eye on a nest at a county park in North Ridgeville, and a school district wants to install an eagle cam for a nest in Avon Lake.

A Lorain County naturalist said the pair of eagles in North Ridgeville is in its 13th mating season and the birds are using their third nest in the park after the previous two blew down. Their latest home is a starter nest created for them by the county.

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Information from: The Morning Journal, http://www.morningjournal.com

 

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