News

Bald eagles return to NOTL nest

By Penny Coles, Niagara Advance

Jean Porter, who took this photo of two bald eagles in a tree on her front lawn, has named them Ozzie and Harriet.

Jean Porter, who took this photo of two bald eagles in a tree on her front lawn, has named them Ozzie and Harriet.

For the second year since she moved into her Niagara Parkway home more than a decade ago, Jean Porter in enjoying uninvited — but welcome — company.

She and her husband Reg can sit on their front porch in Niagara-on-the-Lake and watch two bald eagles who have a nest close by, in one of the mature trees on their large front lawn.

She has named them Ozzie and Harriet, and Jean, who usually has her camera with her when she's outside now, captured a photo of the pair in which she thinks Harriet is “giving Ozzie the devil.”

The eagles spend most of their time in a tree closer to the house, rather than in the nest — Jean, who says she's not much of an expert on birds, wonders if the nest is too crowded with babies.

When she sits watching the adult eagles, she often finds herself talking to them, she said.

Last year, her first sighting and the realization she had an eagle's nest on her lawn was in early June, when she saw a large awkward and gawky bird on her lawn. She looked around and discovered an adult eagle not far away, watching from a tree, and realized the bird on her lawn was a young eagle. She eventually found the nest, and took several photos over the season, often seeing one adult and one baby out on a branch.

Last year, when bird expert Kayo Roy learned about the nest, he said while the number of eagles is increasing in Niagara, that might be the only nest in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He said eagles will return to their nest in following years as long as they feel safe, and he wouldn't expect them to travel far — the Niagara River is a good source of food for them throughout the winter.