Eagle population growing in central Ohio, officials say


If you've noticed more eagles flying around central Ohio, you're absolutely right.

The bald eagle population is growing and now is the best time to take the kids outside to see them.

"A full size female can be over three feet tall. Their nest, you and I can fit into their nest, and fit no problem at all," explained Metro Parks Director Tim Moloney.

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"There's science out on this. We stopped using DDT in the 60's and 70's. There's scientific evidence that weakened their shells so babies couldn't be born. There's other conservation efforts, like this 1,100 acre park we're in. It's a great place for eagles to hunt and fish, but also raise their young," Moloney explained, as he looked at two eagles sitting in a tree.

"They're kind of finishing up their nests for the year, getting ready to lay their eggs. There's no leaves on the trees so it's a great time to see them," Moloney said.

In 1979, there were just four bald eagle nests in Ohio.

In 2019, the Ohio Division of Wildlife staff counted a record-setting number of 230 immature eagles and 210 adult eagles, for a total of 440 bald eagles. This is a 75% increase over last year's total of 252 eagles.

Also in 2019, a nesting survey revealed approximately 346 eagle nests within the state, with pairs producing an estimated 445 young.

"it's just amazing that our children and our children's children are able to see this bird like it once roamed Ohio and a country," Moloney said.

Aside from High Banks Metro Park, there are other parks that have the eagles, including Pickerington Ponds, Three Creeks Metro Park and on the Scioto Greenway Trail off Spring Street and Dublin Road.

There are also free programs at the Metro Parks where you can tag along with the naturalists to look for eagles.

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