Home News Ohio’s Bald Eagle Population Continues to Thrive in 2024

Ohio’s Bald Eagle Population Continues to Thrive in 2024


COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Ohioans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, they can take pride in the continued success of the bald eagle population in the Buckeye State. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, the 2024 annual spring survey estimates 841 active eagle nests across Ohio.

Although this year’s estimate is slightly lower than last year’s 910 nests, key indicators show that Ohio’s bald eagle population is healthy and resilient. The nest success rate—representing the number of nests with eggs or eaglets—was an impressive 82% in 2024, compared to 48% in 2022 and 73% in 2023. Additionally, the number of eaglets per active nest rose to 1.6 this year, up from 0.8 in 2022 and 1.2 in 2023.

The Division of Wildlife’s 2024 bald eagle nesting survey involved aerial surveys over five designated blocks, each approximately 10 square miles. Two of these blocks, located near Sandusky on Lake Erie and over Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area in northeast Ohio, are surveyed annually. The other three blocks rotate each year; in 2024, these included areas along the Maumee River (Defiance/Henry counties), around Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer/Auglaize counties), and near Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area (Wayne County).

Bald eagle conservation efforts by the Division of Wildlife focus on preserving habitats, particularly wetlands and wooded river corridors. The division also collaborates with wildlife rehabilitators and enforces state and federal protections. Bald eagles thrive in areas with clean water and ample fish, such as Lake Erie and other large bodies of water in Ohio.

Ohioans are encouraged to report bald eagle nests through the wildohio.gov website or the HuntFish OH mobile app. Bald eagle conservation is supported by sales of specialty license plates, donations to the Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Fund, and purchases of the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp.

The bald eagle’s remarkable recovery from only four nesting pairs in Ohio in 1979 to its removal from the federal endangered species list in 2007 and Ohio’s list in 2012 is a testament to dedicated conservation efforts. These majestic birds remain protected under state law and the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits disturbing eagles. Observers are reminded to maintain a respectful distance of at least 100 yards from nests to avoid causing the birds to abandon their eggs.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. For more information, visit wildohio.gov.