OHIO – In 1979, only four breeding pairs of bald eagles were reported in Ohio, according to officials with the state’s Department of Natural Resources. In 2019 a nesting survey showed approximately 707 Eagle nests are within the state of Ohio, what changed?
Several different factors contributed to the decline and almost extinction of the Ohio Bald Eagle and most of it was the use of a pesticide called DDT. DDT, Habitat destruction, illegal shooting, and contamination of its food source were the top factors according to Ohio game and wildlife.
The Endangered Species act banned the use of DDT and conservation actions taken by the public has rebounded the Eagle Population since the late 70’s.
According to Wildlife statistics since the banning of DDT and more resources around protecting of nesting sites Eagles have soared. From 2013 to 2017 population was more than just stabilized but a 5% increase was seen, and in the last two years that increase has risen to an unprecedented 20 to 30%.
In 2019 the same nesting survey as reported above said that bald eagle pairs have produced an estimated 445 young eagles in one year alone. In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the Bald Eagle from the federal endangered species list. In 2019 most states including Ohio took the large bird off the endangered species, but bald and golden eagles are still protected under multiple federal laws and regulations. Eagles, their feathers, as well as nest and roost sites are all protected
Eagles nest around waterways as fish is one of the main food sources for Eagles. We have had reports of Eagles all along the Scioto River in Pickaway County and in local parks like Deer creek and Hargus. So the next time you look up and see a bird of prey look closer it may be a young eagle, not a hawk.
A new Survey from Ohio Division of Wildlife in 2020 reported 707 total nests in Ohio, and 9 in Pickaway county. In a Pickaway Parks meeting today they claim that a fallen nest along the Scioto river has been remade by local Eagles and another has shown up. Others in the meeting said that they feel more nests are here and wanted to make sure people are reporting nests that they find.