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Bald Eagles

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(with thanks to listed sources)

Winter is often a stressful season for all wildlife. The presence of humans can further stress the eagles and force them to use precious energy that they need to survive. Most eagles tolerate a moderate level of vehicle traffic and human activities, but some become agitated if approached too closely.

1.  maintain a minimum 300 m distance

2.  remain in or near your vehicle

3.  high powered binoculars, telephoto lens, a spotting scope are essential tools for eagle viewing

4. move slowly and talk softly. Avoid yelling, door slamming and horn honking.

5. keep all pets in your vehicle

6. do not trespass on private property

7. park only in designated areas along Fountain Street:
[a] Trans Canada Trail parking lot
{b} Moyer's Landing entrance at locked gate





Did you know?

"Bald Eagles have defined seasonal habitat requirements. In the winter, they are attracted to areas of open water that support their preferred prey (fish, small mammals and waterfowl)1

"Bald eagles are capable of seeing fish in the water from several hundred feet above while soaring, gliding, or in flapping flight. They locate and catch dead fish much more rapidly and efficiently than live fish, because dead fish float with their light underside facing up." 2

An eagle's eye is almost as large as a human's, but its sharpness is a least four time that of a person with perfect vision. That means that an eagle flying at an altitude of 1000 feet over open country could spot prey over an area of almost 3 square miles from a fixed position. 2

"There is evidence that at least four eagles are currently utilizing ice-free portions of the Grand River corridor within Cambridge city limits as wintering areas." 1

Eagles are opportunistic in their feeding habits. Average daily food consumption is from 250 - 550 grams per day, or between 5 - 10% of their body weight Fish is the number one food type.




  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) has provided recommendation that apply to all sections of Linear Trail and some sections of the Grand Trunk Trail.

"A voluntary program to discourage the use of existing trails in the morning hours (sunrise to 10:00 AM), during the November to March period, would reduce disturbance to eagles during the period of greatest foraging activity."    (p. 30, OMNR 2001)

The City of Cambridge has installed signs on the entrance gates to Moyer's Landing at Bean-Ormston Park. Your compliance with the OMNR recommendation would be appreciated. Please do no walk past the gate or through the abutting private property.

OMNR comments about trails

"No new winter trails should be constructed within the designated bald eagle wintering habitat and setback areas....."

"Given that eagles using the subject area are already acclimatized to a relatively high level of disturbance (existing roads, bridges, trails, residences), it is recommended a 300 m setback be established between any new trails, or sidewalks, in areas designated as bald eagle wintering habitat."

"Users of existing and future trails should be educated about the sensitivity of wintering bald eagles to disturbances. This needs to be done carefully so that the educational program does not attract additional people wishing to view eagles at a close distance."