Sharp-eyed volunteers spot Ohio’s newest eagles

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COLUMBUS — The first eaglet of 2009 has hatched in Ashtabula County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The agency’s volunteer eagle watchers, who have been observing this nest (named the “Underwood” nest) since incubation began in early February, reported at least one eaglet hatched March 12.

It will be several weeks before they can determine the total number of eaglets in the nest.

The incubation period for bald eagle eggs is 35 days. Young eagles fledge 72 to 75 days after hatching and leave their home nesting territory by the time they are 18 to 20 weeks old.

Gaining ground

A record 206 active eagle territories have been identified in the state so far this year. Thirty years ago, there were only four nesting pairs of bald eagles in the state, mostly along the Lake Erie shore. In 2008, 184 eagle pairs produced over 222 young.

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