BALD EAGLE NESTING ALONG THE OHIO RIVER FOR FIRST TIME|
IN MODERN MEMORY
Nests recorded for the first time in Brown and Highland counties
COLUMBUS, OH - For the first time in modern memory, a bald eagle nest has been identified along the Buckeye side of the Ohio River in Brown County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The nest, a first for Brown County, is one of 14 new bald eagle nests identified in the state thus far this year. An additional new eagle nest was discovered at Rocky Fork Lake in Highland County on March 30.
“It is exciting to see that bald eagles are nesting along or near the Ohio River. In fact, the Brown and Highland county nests are the first in modern times to be located in southwestern Ohio,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife.
The Brown County nest is located about two miles east of Higginsport on the Brown County Rural Water property at 3818 U.S. 52. Individuals are reminded that state and federal laws protect bald eagles and their nest sites. Any type of disturbance around a nest could cause the birds to abandon the site or discourage them from using the nest in the future.
By mid-April, an observation area will be set up for those interested in viewing the Brown County eagles. The eagles are currently incubating an unknown number of eggs, which are expected to hatch in the next two weeks. Prospective “eagle watchers” should bring binoculars or a spotting scope for best viewing.
There are currently 122 eagle nests in 39 Ohio counties. Most of the nests are located along Lake Erie’s western marshes, but in the last few years more nests have been discovered inland as bald eagles expand their range throughout the state.
Of the 122 nests across the state, 104 pairs have laid eggs and begun incubation and five of those nests have had successful hatches. Besides the Brown County nest, 12 other new eagle pairs have also been identified so far. Four of the new pairs are in Sandusky County, two in Wood County, and one each in Erie, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Seneca and Trumbull counties.
Active nests are located in the following 39 Ohio counties: Ashtabula (3), Brown (1); Coshocton (1); Crawford (1); Defiance (2); Delaware (1); Erie (11); Geauga (3); Guernsey (1); Hancock (1); Hardin (1); Harrison (1); Henry (1); Highland (1); Holmes (1); Huron (2); Knox (3); Lake (1); Lorain (2); Lucas (6); Mahoning (2); Marion (1); Mercer (1); Morgan (1); Muskingum (1); Noble (1); Ottawa (16); Pickaway (1), Portage (4); Putnam (1); Richland (1); Ross (3); Sandusky (18); Seneca (6); Trumbull (7); Tuscarawas (1); Wayne (1); Wood (5); and Wyandot (7).
Anyone who observes eagle-nesting activity should contact the state wildlife officer for that county, a wildlife district office, or call 1-800-WILDLIFE.
The Division of Wildlife initiated the state’s bald eagle restoration program in 1979 when only four bald eagle pairs were known to be nesting in Ohio. The bald eagle management program is partially funded by donations to the state income tax check-off program for Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species. Contributions to the fund can be made by checking line 24 on form 1040 or line 16 on EZ form of the 2004 state income tax refund.
The program is also funded by the sale of Ohio conservation license plates, including the bald eagle and cardinal plates. The license plates can be purchased through a deputy registrar license outlet, on the Internet at oplates.com or by calling the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 1-888-PLATES3.