Bald Eagles in Elgin County

They’re back. I can tell by the line of cars parked along the busy country road. If there are several vehicles parked, but spaced out along the road, there may be one or two big, long cameras pointing out a car window. If there is a cluster of cars parked together, the inhabitants of those cars have emerged and can be seen congregated, and chatting, with their heads turned to the north and their faces angled upwards. Chances are that there is a beautiful bald eagle in the forest, sitting in a massive nest near the tree top. The nest is a bit obscured by all the branches, and one needs to focus to see that distinctive, white head.  If the roadsters are lucky, they will clearly see the other eagle perched on a favoured branch, at the very outside edge of the forest –  a site chosen no doubt to give it clear view of the gawkers at the roadside.  This is the third year that they are have used that nest, a nest that must have been so carefully and skilfully constructed.  The first year, as I was driving to work, I was so surprised to catch sight of such a huge clump of sticks at the top of the forest. Could it really weigh 2000 lbs? How strong can those supporting tree limbs at the tree top be? Imagine sitting up there – the view, the gentle swaying, the frog chorus at night, and being so much closer to the stars.

There are a few sightings of bald eagle nests throughout Elgin County. This site is on Ron McNeil Line, just west of Wellington Road, in the forest on the north side, not far from my home. Soon, the leaves will be unfurled, the view of the nest will be obscured, and the line of cars will disappear. I will still be looking to sky everyday though as I drive by the forest, always hoping to catch a glimpse of a magnificent bird, gliding ever so gracefully into the forest.

Book Suggestions:

Birds of Elgin County by Naturalists of Elgin County

Birds of Elgin County

Birds of Canada ed. David M. Bird

Birds of Canada

 

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