Stéphane’s Blog for May 25, 2011

Golden Eagle!

On a bright and cool morning, this May 25th, a young Golden Eagle was seen soaring above Middle Bluff! Even though Golden Eagles are spring regulars at Cabot Head, I was amazed to see one so late in the season. As a young, there is no rush for this eagle to go north and find a mate to breed. Nonetheless, it was striking to see it. It is our 4th Golden Eagle of the season, an incredibly high and significant number when one thinks that the entire province population was estimated between 10 to 20 pairs. I do not know what the proportion of immatures and non-breeders is for the Golden Eagle population. Golden Eagles take 5 years to reach full adult maturity, so maybe 30 or 40% of “floaters” could be an somewhat educated guess. Which would mean that the province population could be around 70 individuals (that’s assuming 20 pairs and 30% of floaters). 4 Golden Eagles represent thus around 5% of the province population…

Well, it’s all based on limited information and guesstimates. I guess I am trying to convey how significant it is to see 4 Golden Eagles in one little corner of the Bruce Peninsula in one spring!

Besides the Golden, we had our usual adult Bald Eagles, joined today by an immature one. In the songbird category, it is a Blue-winged Warbler that was the highlight (heard briefly, as on Monday). Also of note is a female Common Goldeneye on Wingfield basin yesterday.

Otherwise, it was very much a non-migratory day, with birds singing on territories and not much moving through. Given that conditions were quite optimal for migration (good weather in between 2 major depressions), it gave me a feeling that most of the spring migration is now over.