LAKE MILTON, Ohio (WKBN) – A viewer in Lake Milton shared his encounter with a bald eagle at the lake.

Bill Mcle said he’s lived in Lake Milton his whole life and was sitting on his late grandfather’s dock on Tuesday to clear his head and “gain peace of mind” when a bald eagle swooped down and perched on the shore next to him for a drink, just a few feet away.

Mcle watched the bird and attempted to record it on his cellphone but that proved to be too lengthy of a task as the eagle flew up into a nearby tree. However, Mcle was then able to snap a picture.

Bald eagle sightings in Ohio are becoming more common as the population has increased through diligent efforts of wildlife biologists and a concerned public, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

As of 2022, an Ohio nesting survey found a 2% increase in bald eagle nests from 2021. However, that’s lower than the growth rates of 7% and 29% over the past several years as populations have begun to slow and stabilize.

The bird is no longer on the endangered species list. But while its federal and state status is now delisted, it is still in a federal monitoring stage for five years, according to ODNR.