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Bald eagle sightings on the rise across Ohio with estimate 900 nests statewide

By Emily Sanderson

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    CINCINNATI, Ohio (WLWT) — Once on the verge of extinction, bald eagles are now soaring in Ohio.

And you can actually see them in flight right here in the Cincinnati area.

When you think about bald eagles, you probably picture them in wide-open spaces.

But these beautiful birds actually prefer lakes and reservoirs with lots of fish and surrounding forests.

So, to see one in person, you have to find a good water source.

The bald eagle is a great comeback story.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, their numbers plummeted thanks to the pesticide DDT.

But once it was banned, the number of eagles began to rebound and it was taken off the endangered list in 2007.

If you spot a nest, you need to stay at least 100 yards away when birdwatching.

Any closer and you could cause the eagles to abandon their eggs.

The majority of nests are located on private property including one in Harrison at the Green Acres Kayak Rental along the Whitewater River.

Owner Sharon Lutz shared her passion for the eagle pair with us.

“A lot of people don’t realize that there are eagles in Hamilton County and along the rivers here. So a lot of people are pleasantly surprised when they come down,” Lutz said. ” I think it was back in 2009, I first saw an eagle out here on the river and it just makes your hair stand up on your arms. They’re beautiful.”

Lutz fondly named the eagles “Ed” and “Babe” after her parents.

Bald eagles typically lay their eggs in February and March and incubate them until they hatch around 35 days later.

Because it is nesting season, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said this is the perfect time to spot one.

The last survey in 2020 showed there are three known nests in Hamilton County, eight in Butler County and four both in Warren and Clermont counties.

And, the population is growing the number of nests across Ohio has increased by more than 14 percent, with more than 900 now in the state.

That’s compared to 1979 when there were four.

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