MEDINA TWP. — Scott Horkey and Tanya Sypolt, along with their 8-year-old daughter Adelina, muddied their shoes and pants Saturday at Medina Marsh Preserve.
It happened as they trudged along a wet, grassy trail leading to a viewing area, where volunteers offered the young Medina County family a peek through binoculars and telescopic camera lenses aimed at the treetops.
“We came here to see the bald eagles nesting,” Scott said. “We thought it would be a nice Mother’s Day activity.”
The eagle-watching was part of a Mother’s Day program at the marsh, which is off Fenn Road. The free event included guided hikes through the 126-acre wetland preserve and visits with rescued and rehabilitated owls and hawks. Children made crafts for their moms.
The Mother’s Day program was organized by Western Reserve Land Conservancy, which helped preserve the marsh, and Medina Raptor Center, which brought the owls and falcons. The Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District, Medina County Park District, Ohio Wetlands Association and Davey Resource Group also helped.
The marsh, in the floodplain of the West Branch of the Rocky River, is home to a blue heron rookery and a pond. Plenty of blue heron were seen Saturday.
Emily Bacha, director of communications and marketing with the conservancy, said a bald eagle couple had nested in the marsh and were raising two eaglets. It’s one of two known eagles’ nests in Medina County, said Lynn Josefsen, a conservancy volunteer.
Bill Jordan, of the raptor center and a conservancy volunteer, said both adult eagles were in the nest Saturday morning with their young. By afternoon, one of the adults had left, and presumably was searching for food.
Jordan, Josefsen and Ray Stewart of the wetlands association had set up cameras in a far corner of the marsh and were snapping photos of the eagles. Anyone passing by had a chance to peer through the camera lenses.
“Visitors have shown a lot of interest in the eagles this morning,” Jordan said.
To reach the viewing area, though, visitors had to tramp through mud. For Scott, Tanya and Adelina, a look at the bald eagle family was worth a little mess.
Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4065.