More bald eagles nesting in the Buckeye state, enough to sustain population
The number of bald eagles nesting in Ohio is on the rise and recent survey information suggests there is more than enough nesting activity to sustain the once endangered species.
Since 2020, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is estimating the number of bald eagle nests has increased by 14%. According to the ODNR, the most recent bald eagle census estimates 806 nests in the state. In 2020, 707 nests were counted in 85 counties including Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull.
In 2021, the average number of young in each nest was about 1.5 eaglets per nest. The ODNR says that is "well above the number of 1 per nest needed to sustain the population."
"That means the number of eagles in the state of Ohio will at least maintain, or possible grow, depending on many different factors; weather and so forth," said Ohio Division of Wildlife Spokesperson Jamey Emmert.
The most recent survey included searching for eagle nests in woodlots and along rivers. The survey included flying over Mosquito Creek Wildlife area, as well as other areas in the state known to be home to the national bird.
According to the ODNR, bald eagles thrive in spaces with clean water and plenty of fish. Everett credits the H2Ohio plan for helping make a difference.
"That's a big reason why eagles are doing so well today, is protecting habitat and protecting water quality," said Emmert. "A lot of folks ask us - why did they suffer such a tremendous loss
The bald eagle was once considered an endangered species. According to the ODNR, in 1979, there were only four nesting pairs counted in all of Ohio. In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The bald eagle was then removed from Ohio's list in 2012.
The national bird is protected by both state and federal law, which make it illegal to disturb.
Ohioans are encouraged to report bald eagle sighting, or nests they believe officials may not be aware of, here.