Two rare bald eagles have made Hamilton their home after facing near extinction for decades.
The eagles first nested in Cootes Paradise at the Royal Botanical Gardens in 2009 and have nested every summer since, although they have yet to lay any eggs.
“Hopefully one day soon they’ll have young,” Tys Theysmeyer, head of natural lands at the RBG, said.
“The first two years they were too young. The last two years are a little more puzzling. If they don’t have any young next year then we must have an issue with their ability to reproduce, which is entirely possible.”
Theysmeyer pointed to pollution as a likely factor affecting the birds’ reproduction — it wouldn’t be the first time. Decades ago, the pesticide DDT leached through the food chain, causing egg shell softness and whittled down the eagle population to all but four active nests in all of the Great Lakes by the early 1980s.
With stricter restrictions on pesticide use, the eagle population slowly began to recover. Today, there is a growing, healthy population of the eagles, with more than 60 nests across the Great Lakes and the numbers are increasing every year, according to Theysmeyer.