A nesting male bald eagle has gone missing in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation. A pair of eagles have been nesting in a secluded spot in the park since 2009. Four baby eaglets have been hatched during that time. This year one egg has been seen in the nest.
This year, park appointed observers have noticed that the male eagle has not been seen at the nest for more than a week. If there is no male to provide food for the nesting female, she must leave the nest to find it herself. This leaves the nest unattended and the egg at risk.
On April 1, park officials received a call saying that a dead eagle was seen near Grayton Road and I-480.
Metroparks Naturalist Min Keung is still optimistic but said, "It is a possibility that the eagle that was found near 480 and Grayton was the same eagle."
Nest observers will still monitor the site hoping for the return of the male eagle. The female may still sit on the egg for up to two more weeks waiting for the return of the male or of a suitable male eagle that can help her with the nesting. If she feels the egg will not hatch, she will abandon the egg and search for a new mate.
Keung said although the nest may not produce any eaglets this year, nesting eagles in the park is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
"We are a viable nesting habitat for the bald eagles. That this area is getting better in terms of cleaner water, more fish, that eagles are coming here - fantastic. And that they might come and nest again? It's a success story for us."
As of 2012, there were 210 pairs of eagles in Ohio. Eagles can live from 10 to 15 years.