Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

July 7, 2005

Pitt at Pymatuning: Where eagles soar & ducks walk on fish

Pymatuning is best known for wildlife both regal and grotesque.

The 30,000-acre Pymatuning Natural Area straddling the Pennsylvania and Ohio state line, with some of its land protected from human intrusion, provided Pennsylvania’s only site where the bald eagle nested in the 1960s and 1970s.

Now, the area is frequented by families of about 14 nesting pairs, one of the largest bald eagle populations in either state.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Pymatuning area is the spillway where the ducks literally walk on the fish. There, huge schools of carp line the spillway tighter than sardines in a can, waiting for tourists to throw bread or grain. As part of the chow line, the ducks walk on the backs of the carp to catch a few morsels.

The wetlands in the Pymatuning area are the second largest in the state. The Pymatuning reservoir and its shorelines provide critical habitat to a multitude of resident and migratory bird species in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including thousands of geese, ducks and swans. And it is the state’s only regular nesting area for the black tern.

The Pymatuning area, consisting of state parks and other protected areas in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, attracts more than 4.5 million visitors a year.

Leave a Reply