SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Bald Eagles are a national symbol. On Saturday, folks at Shenango River Lake came out to see the beautiful birds for a special event.
The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 300 people showed up for Eagle Fest at Shenango River Lake.
The event coincides with their official tally of how many bald eagles live at the lake.
On Friday, in their official tally, they saw at least 19 bald eagles.
Once on the endangered species list, the bald eagle population is making a comeback.
“I think we have 10 active nests on the lake, so 20 or so birds and each nest could have one to three eaglets a year,” said Matthew Pook, a park ranger with the Army Corp of Engineers.
The Army Corps of Engineers partners up with other organizations to keep tabs on the eagle population.
“It’s a nationwide survey. The Army Corps of Engineers participates with the forest service, local PA game commission. They take the numbers and see how the eagle population is doing,” Pook said. “In this area, they are rebounding pretty good.”
One avid bird watcher, “Birdman” Bill Drolsbaugh, says he’s been birding for at least 45 years.
“It started out with my dad. He put a good interest in airplanes and it shifted over to birds. Anything that flies, I usually know what it is,” Drolsbaugh said.
Drolsbaugh helped put on the event and says it’s a great opportunity to learn more about eagles.
“It’s a valuable outdoor research, and it’s to improve community relationships,” he said.
Others at the event say getting out to the lake is a nice break from their usual routine.
“It’s nice to get out. Because of COVID, everybody is inside, and this is outdoors, and it’s just nice to see other environments and other habitats,” said Carole Babyak, a bird enthusiast.
Saturday is the first Eagle Fest held at the lake.
The Army Corps of Engineers says this is an event they plan to host annually. Next year’s event should be around the same time.