Royal Botanical Gardens announces birth of two eaglets, just weeks after species removed from endangered list

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Contest launched to name the pair. Photo credit: Royal Botanical Gardens/Garrine Tsang


Hamilton-Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) announced on June 1 that Cootes Paradise is home to two newly born baby bald eagles.

In celebration of the eaglets hatching, the RBG launched a baby naming contest on their website.

The goal is to name the new eaglets before they fledge (i.e., fly from their nest for the first time). Their fledgling is expected in late June.

Tys Theysmeyer, Head of Natural Lands at RBG, said that they work hard to nurture the natural habitat on their lands.

“Species like bald eagles nesting and thriving is very exciting”, he said.

Naming suggestions were accepted from Thursday, June 1 until Sunday, June 11. The five shortlisted pairs of names are as follows:

  • Eugene and Marty (Eugene Levy, and Martin Short formerly of Westdale)
  • Mig & Izi (migizi meaning bald eagle in Ojibwe)
  • Oak and Sassafras
  • Landroval, and Meneldor (Great eagles from Lord of the Rings)
  • Gizhiise (s/he flies fast) and Giiwose (s/he hunts)

Voting remains open until Thursday, June 15 at 11:59pm. Click here to vote. 

The organization says that the two winning names as determined by the voting process will be announced on Friday, June 16.

Two participants in the naming contest will also receive a free one-year RBG membership.

The contest also provides a chance for the RBG “to raise awareness for continuing conservation efforts,” says a media statement.

Alongside the contest, they are raising funds towards habitat restoration and conservation. Every donation of $50 or more comes with a bald eagle stuffed animal and a special RBG Conservation Certificate. 

Donations are also tax deductible since the RBG is a registered charitable organization in addition to being the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site.

The birth of the new eaglets follows a May 17 announcement by Ontario’s Environment Minister David Piccini that bald eagles are no longer on the endangered species list in the province.

Most recently, eagles had a “species of special concern” designation. The move comes after the species was considered at risk for 50 years.

Minister Piccini called the development a “big win”.

He said that it’s thanks to “the collective efforts of the Ontario government to protect species, and so many others who have given their time and effort to create habitat to protect the species.”

“It’s been decades of hard work to get where we are today,” Piccini continued.

The designation of bald eagles as no longer at risk was made by an independent committee.

Bald eagles became seriously endangered in the 1960s and 70s because of the usage of DDT insecticides in Ontario which weakened their eggs.

DDT was eventually banned by the Ontario government.

Subsequently, the number of documented bald eagle nests went from the low 20s in the 1990s to almost 2,600 in 2022.


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