“Ohio’s bald eagle population continues to expand throughout the state. The
mild temperatures of early January have made eagle viewing excellent this
year. Open water has held Ohio birds and enticed northern birds to winter
over, giving us a tremendous count this year,” said Mark Shieldcastle, a
biologist with the Division of Wildlife.
Bald eagles were observed in 63 of Ohio's 88 counties during this year's
two-week survey. Counties along the western shore of Lake Erie continue to
report the largest number of eagles. Sandusky County had the greatest
number of sightings with 98 birds.
Throughout the survey period large concentrations of eagles were recorded
in a single location. One hundred and seven eagles were seen at one time on
Sandusky Bay. During a separate observation, 56 were spotted near an area
of open water on the bay. Twenty-six eagles were seen on Pickerel Creek
Counties with the highest counts of bald eagles were: Sandusky-98,
Ottawa-71, Erie-51, Knox-24, Wyandot-24, and Trumbull-24.
Good concentrations of bald eagles also were sighted along some inland
waterways, including around the mouth of the Sandusky River, and along the
Kokosing, Scioto, and Muskingum rivers. The southern most locations in the
state to report bald eagle sightings were in Brown, Clermont, Gallia,
Scioto and Hamilton counties along the Ohio River.
In 2005, Brown County recorded its first bald eagle nest in modern times,
which also successfully fledged one eaglet. Last spring, a total 136
eaglets fledged from a record 125 nests in Ohio.
State wildlife officials and volunteers conduct the mid-winter survey each
January as part of a national effort coordinated by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The survey documents trends in wintering populations of
eagles in the lower 48 states, including both the bald and golden eagles.
Although rarely seen in Ohio, two golden eagles (one adult and one
immature) were spotted this year. The number of sightings could increase as
the golden eagle population increases in the eastern Arctic, and as a
successful reintroduction effort in Georgia and Tennessee expands.
The annual eagle assessment includes both a standardized aerial survey and
With the tremendous growth in eagle nests across the state, new volunteers
will be needed this year to assist the division in monitoring the
activities of nesting birds. Workshops to train volunteer monitors will be
held January 29 at the Carroll Township Hall in Ottawa County; February 1
at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area in Trumbull County, and February 11 at
the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Marion and Wyandot counties. For
additional information on these training sessions, contact the Crane Creek
Research Station at 419-898-0960.
The state’s bald eagle management program is funded by contributions to the
state income tax check-off program for Wildlife Diversity and Endangered
Species and by the sale of Ohio conservation license plates, including both
the bald eagle and cardinal plates. Contributions to the check-off fund can
be made by checking the appropriate line on the 2005 Ohio state income tax
form. Conservation license plates can be purchased through a deputy
registrar license outlet or by calling the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at
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