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Help eagles to earn an Eagle award

POLAND — The latest addition to Poland Township Park is an eagle-nesting platform recently installed near the wetlands area on the north end of the park.

A Poland Boy Scout chose to help the eagles as his Eagle Award project. Earlier this month, Life-Scout Joey Wrenn, son of Joe and Debra Wrenn, completed the nesting-platform installation. He is a junior at Cardinal Mooney High School and is a member of Scout Troop 9002 based out of Poland United Methodist Church.

According to Poland Township Park Advisory Board member Laurie Fox, Wrenn noticed an increase in eagle sightings.

“He noticed that bald eagles are sighted pretty frequently around Poland,” Fox said. “He felt that installing a nesting platform for the eagles would give them a place to nest and provide an opportunity for people in the community to observe them.”

Fox said this nesting platform is believed to be the first of its kind for the area. The section of park where the platform was installed is near a wetland area that is a prime hunting ground for winged raptors.

Wrenn also is hoping to bring more people to the park to watch the eagles safely.

“I thought this project was something that isn’t typically done, and it would bring new visitors to the park,” he said.

RESEARCH

The work began in April. Wrenn had to research eagles and nests before coming up with a plan.

“I researched other completed nests and found out 5-feet-by-5-feet was the best measurement for the eagles,” Wrenn said.

With the design in place, Wrenn began building the structure at home. The platform was made from pressure-treated lumber. Then came the attractive detailing: Wrenn took sticks and wood shavings and attached them around the edges to resemble a nest, and to attract the eagles.

“We built the platform at home,” he said, “Then we had a local electric company donate the pole and another company helped put the pole in place.”

Wrenn had assistance from his family and fellow Scouts. At home, the platform took about four hours to build, he said. At the park, the finished platform was attached to a pole donated by Republic Services.

Fox said Bob Magni, owner of RLM Electric, donated his time and equipment to install the nest on the north end of the park near the wetlands area. Ken Filicky, Poland Township Park Board chairman, was on hand to observe the installation.

Filicky said eagles have been spotted in the park, but no nests have been seen, and he hopes an eagle will find its way to this nesting area in the spring.

“Once the platform was raised, I felt that I did something meaningful to the park and the surrounding area,” Wrenn said.

BIRD WATCHING

One of the facts that Wrenn learned during his research was that Ohio had only four eagle nests in 1979. Last year, the state had 712, including seven in Mahoning County.

Wrenn added that he will be checking the nest frequently for its first inhabitant.

Filicky said Wrenn would be joining an already large group of bird watchers in the park.

“Birders who frequent the park have reported seeing two adult eagles and two juveniles,” Filicky said. “They believe they may be the ones nesting along Pine Lake in southern Mahoning County.”

As for Wrenn’s recent project, Filicky said it is an asset to the park’s wildlife plan. He hopes to have eagles in the nest come spring. They will join the long list of birds identified in the park.

“We have identified 185 bird species in the park,” he said. “We have 110 nesting boxes placed throughout the park and a winter feeding station.”

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