Sunday, 30 October 2016

Bald Eagle (Pygargue à tête blanche) at the Grand River, Cambridge, ON

30 October 2016

     The Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus, no longer subjected to the senseless and unremitting persecution by mankind that it suffered for so long, is making a recovery in our area and several strongholds for this species may be found with relative ease. It is still not common, but a dedicated searcher in the right habitat, can generally locate an eagle or two.


     Miriam and I first spotted this individual as it lifted off from the water and flew to a perch along the river's edge. 
     The primary diet of the Bald Eagle is fish, which it catches live by grabbing prey from the water in its huge talons, or for which it scavenges, exhibiting no reluctance to feed on a dead carcass.

     The Grand River hosts a substantial population of ducks too and winter populations, especially of Mallard Anas platyrynchos, are significant. Bald Eagles are very adept at carefully scanning a flock of ducks for an injured individual and an easy meal is thereby procured. 
     This species may be more common than it has been for many years; it is nonetheless a very special sighting and one in which we rejoice.     
     On a completely different note, Miriam showed me a curious comment on Facebook from an American of our acquaintance stating that she wished "foreigners" would stop making comments about the terrifying prospect of having Donald Trump elected President of the United States, and would concentrate on getting their own house in order.
     If elected, Donald Trump, would have his finger on the nuclear button and that alarming fact transcends any national borders. Any irrational act on his part would not respect national boundaries.
     And the United States still lays claim to being the leader of the free world (a fact which many would dispute - and would certainly be abrogated by a Trump presidency), so they can't make that assertion and then tell the rest of the world to mind its own business.
     In any event the following video expresses my sentiments entirely and I hope that our friends south of the border will come to their senses and elect Hillary Clinton on 8 November. She is a flawed candidate to be sure, but is so much more preferable to Donald Trump there is no contest.
     The rest of the world shakes its collective head in disbelief and dismay that out of a population of 330 millions these are the best two candidates available.


  1. Wow. Amazing photos and Eagle. Well done. Greetings.

  2. I'd not noticed the jesses, David, and (having looked) I'm still not convinced! It just looks like leaves to me - just like the others, away from the bird!

    I wholly share your views on the Trump issue and the unsatisfactory nature of the forthcoming USA elections. Frightening times!

    Love to you both - - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard: Right before your message was posted I looked at all the pictures (at the urging of Miriam) and had concluded that they were in fact leaves or seed pods and removed the reference to jesses. Kudos to you too!

  3. Such a handsome bird!
    I'm amazed to see people comparing Clinton and Trump, like they would be somehow on a same level or in a same category. Clinton is not perfect - nobody of us is, but she has competence, experience, values... and she's tough enough to survive the US elections. Wishing her the best of luck.

  4. Hi David. I am pleased for you and your environment that Bald Eagles are making something of a comeback. It will take time but you are getting there. I am sorry to say that a compatriot of yours, one Mark Carney is not doing so well and may well be on the way back hone sooner than anticipated. Ah well, such is politics.

  5. Fantastic Bald Eagle posing. Excellent photos.

  6. I enjoyed the eagle pictures, but I must say that I am in total agreement with your political views. I feel DT would lead my country to ruin.

  7. Great to see the Eagle. There's been a pair around the valley this summer. As for the electiong, I share your disbelief that this is the best they can do!

  8. Fantastic birds, very clever to catch their food but I guess it's normal for them.
    Won't be long the election will be over - a few weeks I think.... let's hope there is a good turn out for voting.

  9. Hi David.

    This magnificent bird of prey.
    Beautifully imaged.

    Greetings from Patricia.

  10. Wonderful raptor.. Congrats for the pics.. :-)))

  11. The Eagle is wonderful. I completely agree with your last few paragraphs , as I think you already know. I only wish you could vote (along with most everybody I know up North, down South and across the pond). I just don't understand at all.....

  12. Hello David, They are such magnificant birds and it is good to read that they are doing so well. So nice you and Miriam were able to spot it and take some great pictures of it. And here in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe we follow also close the elections in the US. It is hard to believe this is true that this is happening.

  13. Great to see this mighty big eagle.
    Very special to see this and therefore be able to shoot yet :-)
    Really amazing!