Elusive Rocky Fork Bald Eagle Sighted

   After three years of trying to sight the elusive Rocky Fork State Park bald eagle, I have finally succeeded on that end. Today I decided to go on a trip to Rocky Fork State Park. Unfortunately I wasn't able to spend much time birdwatching at the lake, because it got dark too soon. However, it was a good trip despite the fact that I only saw to noteworthy species. The trip kicked off with a Sharp-Shinned Hawk flying directly infront of me as I pulled in to the park entrance. It was probably only about 12 feet infront of the hood of my car. After parking, I took a short walk over to where I had last seen the sharp-shinned hawk in hopes of photographing it. When my search proved fruitless, I drove to the opposite end of the lake to look for ducks and the fabled Rocky Fork eagle nest (which to this day I still have not found). No sooner than I had gotten out of my car and began scanning the treetops through my binos, I saw a large brown bird with the tell-tale white head and tail of our nation's symbol. My sighting was short as the eagle flew low over the lake near the opposite shore. After loosing the eagle for a moment in my binoculars, I was unable to relocate the bird.

   The bird was flying in the general vacinity of it's nest, which, as stated earlier, I have not yet managed to locate. I have tried more times than I can remember to locate its nest (not to mention how many tries it took to just see the bird itself, and the nest doesn't even move!!!) I have read from ODNR's website that the nest is located on the shore opposite the park office and is in the wetlands where no boats are allowed. I also read in another eBird report before that the nest can be seen from the parking loop near the park office. However, with multiple searches for the nest, even in winter when no leaves are on the trees, I remain unable to find their alleged nest. I did, however locate two very large nests in the same tree. Due to the distance, I am not able to tell an approximate size, and thus they could be great-blue heron nests. However, they could be an original and alternate eagle nest. I am planning to make some precise calculations to determine the approximate size of the nest and then compare it to the size of an eagle and heron to find out which species the nests most likely belong to. If I determine that they are eagle nests, I will take a compass bearing of the nest location and map out their exact location so that I can find them even with the leaves on the trees in summer. Enough with the possible eagle nests. I will suffice my article to say that I am extremely happy to have at long last seen the elusive bald eagle of Rocky Fork Lake. 

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