Bald Eagles on Big Lake
Bald Eagles are known to nest in the taller trees surrounding the marshland on the far west side of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park. Upwardly mobile, bald eagles typically expand their nests each season (nests can reach a diameter of up to 2.5 metres) to accommodate the two or three eaglets raised each year.
Found only in North America and weighing in between 2.6 and 4.5 kilograms, an adult eagle has a wingspan of up to 2.5 metres and is almost a metre long.
While residing in their summer home on Big Lake, our local eagles feed primarily on fish, found for example near the mouth of the Sturgeon River where the following photos were taken. Bald eagles spend their winters in typical snowbird fashion in the central and southern United States and along the Pacific Coast.
Once considered an endangered species because of the toxic effects of DDT on its primary food source (fish) and the effect of DDT in thinning raptor egg shells thus increasing mortality in its young, eagle populations have rebounded in recent years following the ban on DDT spawned by Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Concerted efforts are currently underway, however, to re-introduce DDT so it remains to be seen whether eagle populations can be maintained.
More information on this fascinating raptor is available here.