Skip to main content

reason to expand natural areas: eagles!



Photo Courtesy of Jamie Smith
Bald eagles at Cootes are a rare pair
At-risk species making a comeback in area landscape


The Hamilton Spectator

(Jun 7, 2010) 

A pair of bald eagles is sticking around Hamilton for a third summer, a sign the area's natural lands are improving, experts say.
If the birds breed, that would make them the first mating pair of bald eagles on Lake Ontario in 50 years.
Their presence in Cootes Paradise, along with growing numbers of at-risk species making a comeback, is encouraging for local conservationists.
"One of the main things it means is we're doing something right," said Lee Oliver, communications manager at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
"We're trying to bring back an ecological balance."
Along with the two bald eagles, there are nine or 10 male Blanding's turtles, which look similar to tortoises and are very rare, Oliver said.
"It's like a bad party -- we haven't been able to find a female yet," he said.
It's not just animals that have returned. Plant life has made a comeback as well.
For example, the few-flowered club-rush is a grass-like plant that has only existed in Cootes since 2001, Oliver said. It was in Toronto's Rouge Park before that.
The RBG also burns invasive grass species to allow later-blooming native grasses to grow instead, and it diverts invasive giant goldfish carp back into Lake Ontario.
These changes are mainly credited to the RBG's Project Paradise, an effort to preserve its natural lands and nature sanctuaries, including Cootes, during about the last 10 years, Oliver said.
As for the bald eagles, it appears as though they've made a tall pine tree on Lake Ontario's north shore their home -- and tried to make another nest on the south shore near McMaster University.
They likely won't have eaglets until next season because one of them is too young, said Tys Theysmeyer, head of conservation at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
"Eventually we'll have little ones," he said, adding their mating season is in March.
Though the older bird has matured enough to show its white head and tail, the other is "splotchy," he said.
The fact that they're sticking around Cootes Paradise is "quite a phenomenon for this area," said Jim Quinn, McMaster biology professor and ornithologist.
He said youth is just one of the possible reasons why they haven't yet had eaglets. Others could be that they are laying infertile eggs or they're exploring the area first.
jdunning@thespec.com
905-526-3368

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series.
August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington.

Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species.

Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well!

The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair.

If it rains the session will be cancelled.


For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit urquhartbutterfly.c…

History Hike in West Campus Tuesday, September 11 at 2pm

We're going on a hike to introduce McMaster students (and any other interested participants) to this former RBG Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary and coldwater creek floodplain  - currently a parking lot - to examine the past, present and future of this place that is undergoing an important ecological transformation.
Tour Leaders Dan Coleman (English Professor and author of Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place)Randy Kay (Restore Cootes)Judy Major-Girardin (School of the Arts)

Salamander Safety!

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/4430337-city-closing-king-road-for-salamanders-starting-march-27/

King Road will close from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road from March 27-April 17 to allow the endangered Jefferson salamander safe passage during its annual migration to lay eggs.

Beginning in 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road completely for a three-week period.

“The closure is a significant conservation measure because the annual migration puts salamanders at risk,” said Bruce Zvaniga, the city’s director of transportation services, in a press release.

“There is good evidence that the effort has allowed the Jefferson salamanders to travel safely across King Road, helping preserve a unique part of Burlington’s biodiversity.”

The Jefferson salamander is a protected species and is nationally and provincially endangered.

In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along t…