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A pair of bald eagles has once again returned and is actively tending to its nest within the Pinery Narrows area in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31.
The Pinery Narrows area is north of Station Road Bridge Trailhead in Brecksville, just across the river from Sagamore Hills. The railroad tracks and a 30-foot right-of-way on either side of the tracks are closed to all pedestrian traffic from the Route 82 bridge north to the Fitzwater Maintenance Yard for Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, bridle trail, and Cuyahoga River will remain open. However, the closure area may be expanded if needed to protect the eagles.
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. Human disturbance can disrupt this constant care, jeopardizing nesting success.
Park visitors are asked to observe any posted restrictions within the eagle nesting zone. 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. Both federal laws prohibit taking, killing, selling, or otherwise harming eagles, their nests, or eggs.
Bald eagles returned to the Cuyahoga Valley in 2006, after an absence of 70 years. They have nested in the Pinery Narrows every year since then. Their 2016 nest was successful with three fledglings, making a total of 12 since 2007.
CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.