Unusual bald eagle sighting in Kent 'beautiful to see'
After a concerned citizen called Kent police Sunday morning, a responding officer found the city had a feathered visitor just enjoying breakfast.
"[A bald eagle] was along the side of the road eating roadkill, as far as I know, and someone was afraid that it might get hit by a car," said Police Lt. Mike Lewis.
Lewis said the call came in that the eagle was at the side of Middlebury Road in the area of Munroe Falls-Kent Road at about 9:15 a.m. before flying up into a tree.
"We wanted to make sure that the bird was not injured," said Lewis. "It didn't appear to be injured at all. It was just eating something on the side of the road. But it flew away. Seemed perfectly fine."
Lewis said he cannot recall seeing any reports of other bald eagle sightings in Kent, but after the police department posted about this eagle on Facebook, people commenting said they had seen bald eagles in the area.
"So I don't think it's too terribly uncommon," he said.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 707 bald eagle nests were counted in Ohio's 88 counties in a 2020 survey, with 90, the highest number, in Ottawa County at Lake Erie's west end.
In the 18-county Northeast Ohio region, 188 nests were counted, including eight in Portage. Erie County had the highest number at 32 and Cuyahoga County the fewest with three. Among counties bordering with Portage, Trumbull had the highest number by far with 26 nests.
Bald eagles are no longer classified as endangered by the federal government, but their numbers are still being monitored.
Adult bald eagles are easily recognized, with white feathers on the head, neck and tail in mature birds, and brown body feathers. Their eyes, beaks and feet are yellow. Younger birds are mostly brown, with mottled white and buff and cream blotches underneath until they are five or six years old.
Both new and established bald eagle couples go through courtship and nest building from October to December. The female lays her brood, typically up to three eggs, between mid-February to late March. The eggs hatch after about 35 days.
The parents share parenting responsibilities equally, taking turns sitting on the eggs to incubate them and feeding the chicks, which leave the nest after 10 to 13 weeks.
Bald eagles are found in small concentrations, usually around larger bodies of water, especially if there is an ample supply of fish for food. In Ohio, the marsh region of western Lake Erie holds an especially large number of bald eagles compared to the rest of the state.
Eagles are highly territorial. This is especially true when they are raising their young so they will build their nests away from other eagle nests. Mature eagles generally live in the same area year round, but young eagles sometimes migrate during the spring and fall.
Lewis said that for the police department, it is just something nice that happened on a Sunday morning.
"It wasn't really an incident where we took too much action. It was just something beautiful to see," he said.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Unusual bald eagle sighting in Kent 'beautiful to see'