Crooked River Reflections | CVNP’s 17th bald eagle hatchling takes flight

by Arrye Rosser

When Cuyahoga Valley National Park was established in 1974, it was uncommon to find much more than catfish living in its namesake river. The first sign that things were turning around was in 2007. That year, a pair of bald eagles successfully fledged an eaglet from the first nest ever documented in the valley. To make that happen, the parents fed a lot of fish into that little beak. 

Cuyahoga Valley’s first eaglet takes flight at Pinery Narrows in 2007. (Photo: Vaughn Stitt.) 

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Later that summer, the US Fish & Wildlife Service removed bald eagles from the list of Threatened and Endangered Species. At the time, it felt miraculous.

A parent patiently sits as the 2020 eaglet stretches its wings days before fledging. (Photo: Rick McMeechan.)

Fast forward to 2020. Eaglet #17 took its first flight in June, the same month that two dams were removed nearby in the Station Road Bridge area. To celebrate the river’s recovery we put together a digital baby book showing each eaglet raised in the Pinery Narrows. View the full story and photos at

Arrye Rosser is an interpretive and education specialist at Cuyahoga Valley National Park and co-curator of Crooked River Contrasts, a photo series on the past and present of the Cuyahoga River.