Wildlife at Indian Lake, OH

Bald Eagle perched ready for flight

We were on our pontoon on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 and went past the eagle’s nest. Saw two adult eagles and it looked like two little eaglet heads in the nest. Later, we saw this eagle taking flight from his perch in the tree! Very exciting!
Marcia and Bob Laman
Wapakoneta, Ohio


Greeting new residents on Seminole Island at Indian Lake is this beautiful White Owl. The owl favors their backyard bird bath. Thank you Linda Oakley for these photos.

White Owl at Indian LakeWhite Owl at Indian Lake



ALERT – Mute Swans at Indian Lake

Since 2005 a pair of mute swans have been taking up residence in the Long Island area of Indian Lake.  It is unknown by what means they came to be at Indian Lake.  It is illegal to place animals in Indian Lake, but this appears to be what has happened.

Please take note: Although these animals are beautiful to watch, they can create problems and conflicts with humans and other wildlife.

  1. Swan conflicts with humans and human safety: Swans can weigh up to 30 lbs and can become aggressive to humans, especially during nesting season.  They can and have inflicted injury to humans, especially children in some cases.  Any swans which threaten the well being of people, or cause injury will be removed.  In addition, property owners who encounter swans that prevent people from utilizing their property may request the removal of the offending swans.
  2. Competition between mute swans and trumpet swans:  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, under the direction of the Division of Wildlife, has initiated a reintroduction program for the trumpeter swan.  Unlike the mute swan, which is not native, the trumpeter swan was formerly in Ohio.  In addition, the trumpeter swan is an endangered species.  Although we have no knowledge of this occurring, the potential for conflict and competition between these two species are there.
  3. Population control:  Although a limited amount of swans will most likely not have an adverse effect on native species or human activity, their population will be closely monitored and controlled when necessary to prevent any further conflicts.

This first photo of the swan family was taken Saturday, May 5,2012, along the east side of Long Island. The second photo was taken August 26, 2012.
Thank you Joe Thrailkill for sending it.

Swan family at Indian Lake

Swan family grown up

For further Information you can contact
Regional Park Manager, Frank Giannola at 937-843-2717
Gary A. Ludwig, Wildlife Management Supervisor,
614-644-3925 extension 1021

Bald Eagles at Indian Lake, Ohio

Two Bald Eagles in tree tops on Pony Island

Bald eagle photos taken by the Tyler family of Vandalia, Ohio.
Great Photo. Thank you Tylers.

Both mature Bald Eagles in the trees on Pony Island

Two baby eagles at Indian Lake

“We went out three times over the weekend. Finally, took these yesterday (July 28, 2010). We think these are the only pictures of the babies, taken on Pony island. Very exciting. My sons and I were jumping up and down in the boat! We wanted to see the adults. But, this was more exciting.” Paul

Bald Eagle photos taken by Joe Thrailkill on Saturday & Sunday, June 5/6, 2010, at Pony Island, Indian Lake. “I saw one juvenile eagle, but others could have been in the nest. These photos were taken June 5 & 6, from a boat with a telephoto lens.”

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:

  1. Blue Heron – The blue heron population has been noticeably increasing at the lake. These large long necked birds are great fisherman.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mallards – Colorful Mallards can be seen in the channels and on the open lake in the spring.
  6. 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.

Beavers have returned to outlying lake areas. Thank you Diann Brown from Fairborn Ohio for these beaver photos taken on May 9, 2009 at Chippewa Marina. “We were at the state park camping for a few days, and were surprised to see this little guy foraging at lake’s edge.”

Information on wild life was contributed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Indian Lake’s Wildlife Ranger. Photos are copywrited by Grolier Encyclopedia. For more information about Ohio wildlife visit this website.

If you have wildlife photos, we would be happy to post them. Just email to: webmaster@indianlake.com.