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Two eagle pairs nesting in Metro Parks

6/6/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

SUMMIT COUNTY — Metro Parks, Serving Summit County biologists have confirmed two nesting pairs of bald eagles on park district property.

One of the new nests is in Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls and the second is in a conservation area in Clinton adjacent to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Park officials do not yet know how many young eaglets may be in the nests but said a clutch could contain up to three eggs.

They added the nests are only the third and fourth known nests in Summit County in several decades.

“We’ve been aware of these nests for several months, and there have been several reported sightings in those areas,” said Mike Johnson, the park district’s chief of natural resources. “We waited to release this news until the tree canopy could provide some cover, though people may still be able to see the eagles flying overhead.”

There are no trails to the nest sites and no public access where the nests are located. Park officials said that’s a good thing because human disturbance could impact the birds — a federally endangered species just a short time ago.

Of the two previously known Summit County nests, one is in the Nimisila Reservoir area in Green. A second was discovered earlier this year on property near the Bath Nature Preserve.

Johnson said the nests show that conservationists in Ohio have made great strides by cleaning up rivers and making public lands hospitable places for sensitive wildlife like eagles.

Ohio had just four bald eagle nests in 1979, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. By 2008, there were more than 150 nesting pairs. Nests are typically 5 to 6 feet wide and 2 to 4 feet tall.

Though no longer endangered, bald eagles are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The laws prohibit taking, killing, selling or otherwise harming eagles, their nests or eggs.

“There may be a time in the near future when an eagle’s nest is as common as a hawk’s nest,” Johnson said. “Until then, we have to be sure to keep our distance and give these birds of prey the respect they deserve.”

 

Kathleen Folkerth contributed to this report.

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