Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bald Eagle Sighting

Earlier this morning an adult bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was sighted along a fence row in a farm field near St. Clairsville, approximately 10 miles north of the Captina watershed basin.  Once a member of the endangered species list due to pesticide poisoning, the bald eagle has made a strong comeback in Ohio with 150 breeding pairs documented statewide in 2008.  Bald eagles prefer nesting sites near large bodies of water where plentiful sources of fish can be found.  Whats more impressive than the size and coloration of bald eagles is their nests which can exceed six feet in diameter, three feet in depth and weigh over a ton!  As you can probably imagine it takes a hefty tree to support one of these nests.  The same nests are often used to rear several generations.  No eagle nesting sites have been documented in the Captina watershed, but adults are occasionally spotted in trees along the Ohio River.  Thanks to Brian Porterfield for the photo.

The bald eagle has one of the most recognizable color patterns
of any bird and is unmistakable even at long distances.

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