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More bald eagles nesting in southwestern Ohio

WILMINGTON, Ohio (Josh Knight) -- Bald eagles have been spotted near Cowan Lake State Park since last year.

But this year, the family is growing.

Erin Shaw, Naturalist of Ohio State Parks, said, "This is the first nesting pair that we know of in Clinton County.  So, it's really exciting you know, to be out on the lake and see a bald eagle fly overhead."
   
Last spring, the mating pair had one eaglet survive, and late this winter the mother laid more eggs.  Several bald eagle nests have been built closer to Cincinnati in the last couple of years.

"This is the greatest conservation effort that America has experienced," Shaw said.

Now, it might be hard to imagine our national symbol near extinction. But about forty years ago, that was the case for the bald eagle.  With only four nesting pairs known of in the entire state of Ohio.  But now more and more of them are flourishing and they are calling parts of Ohio much closer to Cincinnati, home.

"We almost lost the eagles back in the 60's.  Not only the eagles but a lot of the Ospreys and the other birds that were eating fish," Shaw continued.
   
Using DDT as a pesticide had dramatic effects down the food chain.  Fish were eating bugs containing DDT, then eagles and other birds were eating the fish, which led to extremely fragile eggs and no offspring.
   
DDT was banned in the early 70's.  In 2007 the bald eagle came off of any sort of endangered list.  They are thriving farther north near Lake Erie and will likely continuing branching farther south.

"I think they'll stay.  They're nest is bigger than it was last year, so they are building on it.  They mate for life.  So as long as they are happy and safe and feel good here, they will stay," said Shaw.


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