BALD EAGLE BANDING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
COLUMBUS, OH – Bald eagle young will be banded at 9:00 a.m. June 5th at the Big Island Wildlife Area in Marion County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. This event will be open to the public and offers the opportunity to see our national symbol up close.
A climbing team will set up at the nest tree, dubbed the Elgin Nest, at 9:00 a.m. They will then climb to the nest and retrieve the eaglet(s). While on the ground the eaglet(s) will be given a brief health examination and fitted with metal leg bands that will be used to identify the eagle in the future. Once the banding is complete the eaglet(s) will be returned safely to the nest.
Anyone attending should be advised that a short walk will be necessary to reach the event area so appropriate footwear is recommended as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. This event is also weather dependant; heavy rain, high winds or lightning would be cause for postponement.
Bald eagles are a state endangered species, but will be downlisted to threatened on July 1, 2008. In 1979 there were only 4 nesting pairs in the state. Through restoration efforts by the Division of Wildlife there are now at least 186 nests in the state.
“The Elgin Nest provides a great banding opportunity for the second year in a row,” said Dan Huss, district manager for the Division of Wildlife. “We hope many people are able to take advantage of this added opportunity to get an even closer look at an eagle and help celebrate their upgraded status in Ohio.”
The Big Island Wildlife Area is located five miles west of Marion on State Route 95. To reach the banding site, take State Route 95 five miles heading west from Marion. Turn left (south) on State Route 203 and right (west) on LaRue-Prospect Road. The banding site is approximately one mile west of Elgin High School on LaRue-Prospect Road. Parking will be available in numerous lots along LaRue-Prospect Road. Look for Division of Wildlife staff.
Ohio’s Bald Eagle Management Program is funded by donations to the Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Fund. Individuals can contribute by checking the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s line on their Ohio State Income Tax Form and by purchasing a Wildlife Conservation license plate featuring the cardinal or bald eagle.