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Bald Eagles Nest and Hamilton’s Biodiversity Action Plan

March 8, 2022

By Tys Theijsmeijer, Head of Natural Lands, Royal Botanical Gardens.

One of our more famous species and among the first to nest annually is our local Bald Eagles, and they are once again are on a nest incubating egg(s).  For the second year in a row, the Bald Eagles selected a nest around Valentine’s Day and have chosen to go with last year’s nest in a towering White Pine Tree – in a location disguised from public view. The Bald Eagles are one of the iconic species for the word “Endangered Species” and “nature”, and fundamental to our local biodiversity. The positive news is they are recolonizing throughout their range, including southern Ontario, with perhaps as many as 10 other nest sites now found within 50km of Royal Botanical Gardens (but only still one pair at RBG). A fantastic story, however, it contrasts with what is happening to the natural world with its ever-growing list of “Endangered” species.

Bald Eagle Nest in Large Pine Tree
bald eagle in flight

Biodiversity Sustainability and Action

The word biodiversity is broader than nature and includes all life on earth which means people as well. This then means it refers to our own survival. As Canadians, we voted for a government to join in the signing of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (signed in 1994), with impressively the central office for the world currently located in Montreal and a Canada-wide strategy. The actions that stem from this are things like Endangered Species Acts, Invasive Species Strategies, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (for restoring clean water), and then most importantly for communities to take action. The question of how to act locally can seem a daunting one given the scale of things wrapped up in the word “biodiversity”.

To help provide strategic guidance the City of Hamilton has formed a multi-stakeholder committee and initiated the Hamilton Biodiversity Action Plan, the exact thing needed to shape and facilitate local action.

Watch for coming open houses through the City of Hamilton to add your voice to how this develops.

Project Partnership

To affect long-term, city-wide improvements to biodiversity, the partners developing the biodiversity action plan come from a variety of organizations. Just like an ecosystem, the diversity of partners helping to write and implement the Biodiversity Action Plan will help make it more resilient. The Hamilton Naturalist Club has taken the lead and has hired a Biodiversity Action Plan coordinator, who is helping to lead the project.

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