Mar 22, 2013
After several years of nesting attempts the bald eagles of Cootes Paradise Nature Sanctuary have managed to hatch young. The first eaglet was noted during monitoring of the nest site on March 22, 2013, with a second observed on March 23. The nest has been monitored weekly from the nearby trail since the eagles were first spotted on the nest back in mid-February. Given the egg incubation time of about 35 days it is entirely possible eggs were laid on Valentine’s Day. At present it is unknown how many eggs are in the nest.
These are the first bald eagles to be hatched on the shores of Lake Ontario since bald eagle populations throughout North America collapsed decades ago. Read more about the Cootes Paradise eagles in Royal Botanical Gardens' Botanical News.
The nest is located in the Hopkins Woods Special Protection Area on the north shore of Cootes Paradise Marsh. The eagles are best seen from the Marshwalk Boardwalk in Cootes Paradise; this will allow the best view of the nest without getting too close. Scan the trees for their massive nest, and for the adults sitting nearby. Binoculars or a spotting scope will be helpful!
Help keep the eagles safe by staying on the trail and keeping pets on a leash. Getting too close could spook the parents, and expose the young to predators and the elements. Leaving the trail or letting your dog off-leash could not only spook the parents from the nest, but also disturb many of the other species in the protected areas.
Click on the image on the left to download an information brochure on the Bald Eagles, provided courtesy of Royal Botanical Gardens (please note this is a 3.2 MB file). A trail map can be accessed on the Royal Botanical Gardens website.