Injured bald eagle on display at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio - Spotting eagles along Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline is becoming more of a common occurrence. But people still gather when there is an opportunity to see one up close.

The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village recently acquired a bald eagle from the Back To The Wild Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Education Center in Castalia, Ohio.

"In September, he was entered into their rehabilitation program," said Amy Lemonds of the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.

"They suspect he contracted the West Nile virus, which is known to cause a lot of damage to bird populations," Lemonds said.

The illness may even stop the bird from being able to properly grow feathers. As a result, it cannot fly and will have to spend its life in captivity.

Interest in the bird was high before July Fourth.

"The eagle is unique to North America. It's very popular and has always been considered our American symbol," Lemonds said.

The bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007, but it is still protected.

An estimated 213 eagles' nests have been found throughout Ohio. An estimated 321 young have been produced.

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