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Bald-eagle sighting catches Austintowner by surprise

Published: Sat, November 27, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By kristine gill



Jackleen Buzzelli knew something was up during her morning walk.

The Austintown resident walks her dogs by Woodside Lake each day and noticed recently that the ducks were unusually quiet.

“Usually they’re quacking and hungry,” Buzzelli said.

But then she looked up and noticed a large bird take off overhead.

“Its wingspan was so big, I thought it was a herring,” she said.

It was a bald eagle, and Buzzelli had enough time to get a camera out to snap a few photos.

“It was awesome,” she said.

Buzzelli’s mother, Dorothy Mehalco, who lives with her, didn’t believe the bird could be the nation’s official bird.

“I said, ‘Now come on. We’re in a residential area,” Mehalco said.

But she believed it once Buzzelli pointed it out in some trees behind their home.

“He stayed maybe 20 or 25 minutes, then flew off,” Mehalco said, adding that the other birds didn’t seem to bother the eagle.

“He wasn’t afraid of anybody,” she said. “He was going to eat and do his thing.”

Buzzelli said the bird had some type of prey in its mouth and, as it flew, a flock of crows took off after it.

She said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources suggested that the crows wanted only a piece of its food.

Buzzelli later called ODNR and the Ford Nature Education Center at Mill Creek Park to ask about the sighting.

Carol Vigorito, a naturalist with the Ford Nature Center, said there are quite a few bald eagles in the area.

“We very often see juvenile eagles especially fishing at our lake here,” Vigorito said.

Bald eagles are native to Ohio and the lower 48 states, according to the ODNR.

Dan Kramer is the district wildlife management supervisor for 19 Northeast Ohio counties through the ODNR. Kramer said bald eagles are threatened — meaning their numbers are low enough to warrant special government protection.

ODNR keeps track of the number of nests in the state, which reached about 250 last year. There are at least three nests in Mahoning County, Kramer said.


1timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Though I haven't seen any yet. I sure would like to. Their wing span amazes me! We have them here in Columbiana Cty. They've been spotted a Guilford Lake South of Salem,Oh.

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2hsisover(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I love hearing about their sightings. It's a sign of their successful return. I now live along a river in IL and have seen them a few times. It's breathtaking.
I'm gonna have to pay closer attention & try to catch that 'herring'in flight.

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3mcluvin(72 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

We saw one at Moraine St. Park while out with our Cub Scout Pack a couple of years ago. Seeing one in the wild is impressive. They are such beautiful powerful birds. It was also nice to see the young Scouts appreciate and recognize the rare opportunity to view our nations symbol of freedom.

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"“Its wingspan was so big, I thought it was a herring,” she said."

Here is a tip Kristine ! Herrings don't fly unless transported by air when they are pickled and in jars . Herons on the other hand enjoy Herring fresh and not pickled . I hope that this explained the difference between Herrings and Herons .

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5Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I think we all knew what she meant when she said Herrings . And what a shame that some here are rude enough to point out her mistake and pick apart a nice story . When I;m in Austintown I sure will on the look out for one .

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6imwildflower(15 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A friend and I saw a bald eagle when we were kayaking on Lake Newport in Mill Creek Park a couple years ago. I guess they're here...just not many of them.

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7southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A beautiful bird! Majestical in appearance and so graceful. You are fortunate to have seen this magnifcant bird.

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8southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A beautiful bird! Majestical in appearance and so graceful. You are fortunate to have seen this magnifcant bird.

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9redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

What is comical to me are the remarks about flying herrings. I guess if you are not educated as to the fact that there is a large bird named a Herring Gull AKA Herring you may not realize that the people that appear to be laughing with you may actually be laughing at you!


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