What a great photograph! Two brothers from Sudbury, Ontario were out hunting when they came across a magnificent bald eagle with its leg caught in a trap. They worked diligently to release the bird and then, before releasing it back into the wild, took a few photographs of it including this memorable selfie.
The eagle has always been an impressive bird in Ontario. Nineteen Ontario lakes are named Eagle Lake. Over forty Ontario localities have names starting with Eagle.
And yet, about fifty years ago, the Southern Ontario eagle population was all but wiped out. Historically Bald Eagles were shot as pests or trophies, and many shoreline areas where they bred were developed for housing or industry. Worse still was the use of pesticides such as DDT which rendered the egg shells so thin that they broke when adults sat on them.
Happily, the species has rebounded due to an intensive re-introduction program and environmental clean-up efforts. It now can be seen in much of its former southern Ontario range. I have had them several times during my own walks.
Bald eagles always nest near a large lake or river where they can do most of their hunting. They eat fish, easily capture birds as large as ducks and will feed on carrion.
As with many birds of prey, female Bald eagles are usually larger and can weigh up to 6.8 kg. Males weigh between 2.7 and 4 kg. The wingspan is more than 2 meters and lifespan in between 25 and 40 years. They are perfectly adapted for hunting their prey and have hooked yellow beaks, large talons and over-sized feet equipped with small spikes. Their eyesight is four to seven times greater than human eyesight.
A big THANK-YOU to those brothers in Sudbury!