Though not exactly like the swallows returning to Capistrano, a pair of bald eagles has once again been spotted at Cuyahoga Valley National Park and seems interested in nesting there.
Park officials say that on January 17 there were "were positive signs of bald eagle nesting activity in the Pinery Narrows area" of the park. As a result, the area surrounding the nest will be closed and trail restrictions will remain in effect until July. The Pinery Narrows area is north of Station Road Bridge Trailhead in Brecksville, Ohio.
While the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail remains open, the National Park Service will close certain areas surrounding the bald eagle nest to human traffic to minimize disturbance. Additional restrictions include the following:
1. The railroad tracks and 30-foot right-of-way on either side are closed to all pedestrian traffic, from the Route 82 Bridge at Station Road visitor use area north to the railroad tracks at Fitzwater Road.
2. The Cuyahoga River downstream of the Brecksville Dam to the Fitzwater Road Bridge is closed to all water activities (boating, fishing, and wading.)
Please observe any posted trail restrictions north of the Station Road Bridge Trailhead within the eagle nesting zone.
According to a park release, in late winter eagles lay one to three eggs that are incubated for approximately 35 days. Eagle eggs are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures so adults must remain on the nest constantly, the release added. Human disturbance can disrupt this constant care, jeopardizing nesting success.
Although recently removed from the endangered species list, the bald eagle is still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the release notes. Both federal laws prohibit taking, killing, selling or otherwise harming eagles, their nests or eggs.