Skip to main content

going bald is thrilling!


Tom Thomas, Special to the Hamilton Spectator
Bald eagles 'fooling around' at Cootes
Remote location of nest prevents check for eggs


The Hamilton Spectator

(May 8, 2009)

Birdwatchers want to know if bald eagles with a new nest in Cootes Paradise plan to raise a family this year or are just fooling around.

With their nest hidden nine or 10 storeys up in a white pine tree on the north shore of the Cootes marsh, no one has been able to confirm if there are eggs or not.

"It seems they're just playing house," said Jody Allair, a Bird Studies Canada biologist in Port Rowan.

That wouldn't be unusual, he said. "It might be a practice nest. It's common for a pair to give it a try, figure things out. Hopefully next year they will nest. If they're bonding and building a nest, that's all good. It looks great for next year."

But Ancaster birder Mike Street, a member of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, still has hopes for Cootes eaglets this year.

He says adult eagles were migrating north past Beamer's Conservation Area near Grimsby as recently as last weekend, and he figures some of them intend to mate and reproduce this season.

"What Jody says is true, but there are late starters. It could easily be that there will be eggs in the nest here."

Cootes is a nature sanctuary owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens, and nesting or not, RBG aquatic ecologist Tys Theysmeyer "is thrilled beyond thrilled beyond thrilled" that eagles are interested in setting up housekeeping in the wetland at the west end of Hamilton Harbour.

As many as nine bald eagles wintered there the last two years, and two stayed around last summer. That raised hopes they would try nesting this year, so the RBG built an artificial nest platform in a white pine in late March.

The next day, according to Theysmeyer, eagles were seen carrying branches -- but not to the pine with the platform.

"The eagles decided they had a better tree," he said, "one I had picked out as a nest site originally but rejected because it couldn't be seen as easily from viewing points along our trails.

"The place they've chosen you almost cannot see. When the surrounding trees leaf out, you won't be able to see it at all. We need a webcam; we'll stick one in next year."

The RBG had already closed trails in the area to protect potential nesting sites. Theysmeyer says the nest tree "is as far as you can get from any official trail. It's like they took a ruler out and found a place as far from people as they could get."

The Cootes nest might qualify as the first on the north shore of Lake Ontario in a half century or more, although Chris Risley of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources said eagles have nested for some years on islands in eastern Lake Ontario.

The nearest nest to Hamilton in recent years has been on the Grand River in Caledonia, where chicks are reported again this year.

Allair reports 33 pairs nested in southern Ontario last year.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650



http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/562389

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Where did the water go? Art action in Lot M Parking

West Campus Eco-Art Project  A walking activity and site activation on McMaster’s West Campus.  West Campus Eco-Art Project is a project that incorporates creative walking activities and an artistic site activation connected with the West Campus Redesign Initiative at McMaster University. The initiative provides opportunities for connecting with nature through an on-line informational video, walking excursions and creative activities that deepen knowledge and experience with place in all its complexities (social history, citizen science, ecology and diversity).  Focusing on the Coldwater creek valley on McMaster’s West Campus, participants will learn about the history and unique features of the area and will be invited to then engage with the site through observation, sketching and stencil-making. Stencils will be used to paint text and image on the parking lot asphalt to delineate a blue line that marks an historic water route.  The project is supported by the McMaster Museum of Art (

McMaster's Parking Problem: Next Level

I'm sharing a recent article published in the Dundas Star News about McMaster's plan to build a - get this - $17-million dollar parking structure. Seventeen million. Yes, $17,000,000.00 That's a lot of money to provide temporary shelter for vehicles of people who choose to drive to campus. We will be following this closely. Here's the article.  Cootes Drive six-storey McMaster University parking garage under review Variances or amendment to zoning bylaw expected to permit parking structure Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Friday, March 5, 2021 Zoning bylaw variances, or amendments, could be required for a planned six-storey, 567-space McMaster University parking garage west of Cootes Drive, and north of Thorndale Crescent. University spokesperson Michelle Donavon said the $17-million structure on parking lot K at Westaway Road will help ongoing efforts to re-naturalize parts of the west campus, by moving some surface parking into the structure. “These plans will increa

a vision for nature in Cootes

View the Eco-Park Document here Make Cootes national park, group urges TheSpec.com - Local - Make Cootes national park, group urges Create eco-park in urbanized area Eric McGuinness , The Hamilton Spectator (Jan 28, 2009) The idea of a Cootes Paradise National Park is being revived by local conservationists. But they say it is jeopardized by plans for a self-storage warehouse beside the Desjardins Canal at the east entrance to Dundas. They point to a new vision of an urban eco-park -- maybe a national park -- incorporating the Cootes marsh, drafted by Urban Strategies Inc., the firm responsible for McMaster University's campus master plan among other Hamilton projects. Joe Berridge, a partner who has helped reshape waterfronts in Toronto, New York and London, produced the concept document at the invitation of Ben Vanderbrug, retired general manager of the Hamilton Conservati