Bald eagle population increases in Columbus

Wild bald eagle (Photo by Micah Walter/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The population of bald eagles has soared across Indiana as officials have spotted four nests in a city more than 45 miles south of Indianapolis.

The Columbus Republic reports that Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources officials say there are four eagles nests in the Columbus area in Bartholomew County. Three of the nests have been reported as active, including one most recently spotted is located along the Flat Rock River.

Allisyn Gillet, a non-game bird biologist with the department, says the fourth nest is listed as unknown for activity because it hasn’t been checked since 2010.

Gillet says 300 pairs of bald eagles have been identified as continuing to nest in Indiana, with nearly 160 nests that are being continually monitored considered to be in good shape.

The species were once endangered in the state due to hunting and the use of pesticides, according to DNR.

To help expand the eagles’ population, 73 eaglets were brought to Lake Monroe from Wisconsin and Alaska in 1985. Since then, the number of nesting territories has continued to increase.

Bald eagles continued to do so well that they were removed from the state’s endangered list and marked down to a “species of special concern” in 2008.

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