Bald Eagle Nest
Bald Eagle nest on Pony Island at Indian Lake in Ohio. The photo on the left was taken by Joe Thrailkill on April 18, 2009. After the leaves come on, this nest will be very difficult to find.
The photo was taken some distance from the nest, in a boat with a hand held 520mm lens.
The photo on the right was taken by Janet Castor in early June. The nest can be seen from the east side of Pony Island. Look above the tree line.
May 18, 2009 – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife recorded the pair and one hatched eaglet earlier this week. Officials say the eaglet will be ready to fly in mid to late June.
“The last known nesting pair of bald eagles at Indian Lake was in 1908 located at what is now Crane Town Island,” Frank Giannola, Indian Lake Park manager, said. “It has actually been over 100 years since we’ve had a nest at the lake.”
The nest, located on Pony Island, has no public access, but can be seen easily from a passing boat. Bald eagles and their nests are protected by the federal government and tampering with nests can result in abandonment by the nesting pair. Officials discourage anyone from trying to get too close to the nesting pair and its chick.
Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife counted a record 215 nests in the state this year, the twenty-second consecutive year that the state’s breeding bald eagle population has increased.
Of those 215 nests, 113 were known to be successful in producing young eagles. Current reports from wildlife biologists and volunteer observers have estimated a minimum of 197 total young eagles produced in nests in 52 Ohio counties.
Bald eagles have made a dramatic comeback in the three years since being removed from the federal Endangered Species List. In 1979 only four bald eagle pairs were found in the state. The Division of Wildlife has helped reestablish Ohio’s eagle population through habitat development and protection; fostering of young eagles; and extensive observation of eagle nesting behavior.
Most eagle nests in Ohio are located along the shores of Lake Erie, but now some are well inland, including nests in Delaware, Hancock, Mercer and Wyandot counties. Counties with new nests in 2009 were Butler, Franklin, Hamilton, Logan, Medina, Montgomery, Paulding, Pike and Scioto.
An average eagle nest ranges from 3 to 5 feet in width and 3 to 6 feet in depth. The nests are usually built high in tall trees. Both male and female eagles share in the incubation and feeding of the young, which begin to leave the nest at about 12 weeks of age. An adult bald eagle has snow-white head and tail feathers. Its body color is very dark brown, almost black. Yellow eyes, beak and feet accent the bird’s appearance. Young eagles do not achieve this appearance until the age of 5 or 6 years. Until that time, they are uniformly dark brown from head to tail feather. Their undersides are mottled white with buff and cream blotches.
Information from the Ohio Division of Wildlife
We have swans at Indian Lake. This photo was taken by Patricia from Prospect, OH on August 18, 2009.
Thank you Patricia.
At the first cold front, migratory birds will begin stopping at the lake to feed. The following are protected at the lake:
- Blue Heron – The blue heron population has been noticeably increasing at the lake. These large long necked birds are great fisherman.
- Osprey – Ospreys are blackish brown above and white on the undersides and on the head, with a blackish brown band through the eye and across the cheek, an irregular, spotted bank across the breast, and a barred tail. In flight an osprey can be identified by its white undersides, a distinct bend in the front of each wing, and a black “wrist” mark at the point of each bend. Ospreys have been released in several locations in Ohio and have been seen hunting at Indian Lake.
- Bald Eagle – A bald eagle nest has been found at Indian Lake on Pony Island. Official park ranger reports indicate one bald eagle spotted in the location of Avondale. Ospreys and Eagles are very similar in appearance. The two species generally do not habitat together because they are competitors. All eagles have large, heavy, hooked bills and strong, sharp claws called talons. They are usually brown, black, or gray, sometimes with markings on the head, neck, wings, or tail. The bald eagle is not really bald; it was named for its white head. The rest of its plumage is brown, except for its white tail.
- Egret – This beautiful bird is very popular at the lake and can easily be seen in the game preserve if you look carefully among the lily pads. Thank you Renee Yaeger for this photo.
- Mallards – Colorful Mallards can be seen in the channels and on the open lake in the spring.
- Badger – One badger has been spotted in logan county.
Beavers – This beaver was seen on the northside of Indian Lake at Islandview on January 19, 2015.