Sunshine and warmer temperatures are bringing out the birdwatchers this week, and they’re especially enjoying the many bald eagle nests scattered around the state.
Several watchers and photographers were spotted Monday checking out a nest with the mother and two babies in the Grandview area of Columbus. People have been flocking to this spot since reports of the nest started coming in last year.
The bald eagle–a national symbol of the United States–was once on the endangered species list. But after years of efforts from biologists and the concerned public, that’s no longer the case.
Birdwatchers here in Ohio don’t have to go far to observe the striking bird.
“I thought you had to go out west, maybe Jackson Hole, to be able to see bald eagles,” remarked Teresa Schleifer of Columbus.
Michael Berryhill of Hillsboro drives all over the state.
“Any time we get a day off and it’s halfway decent out, we’re running all over the place and finding them,” he says.
Bald eagles are a huge success story in the Buckeye State. Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Bill Bullard explains what draws them to central Ohio.
“Along the Scioto River, it’s a great place for eagles,” Bullard says. “There’s a corridor with a lot of large trees, and they have access to food. While it’s unconventional to be within a few miles of a downtown city like Columbus, we’re gonna start seeing more and more of this.”
So while the eagles normally don’t like a lot of people around them, Bullard says that the more they move out to places like this, the more tolerant they will become. More chances for people to observe their beauty and behavior.
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Realize that you could be on private property, since many of these spots are near residential areas.