Bald eagles are breeding resident birds of Tofino. They mate for life and use the same nest year after year adding to it so that the nest becomes quite large. As in most birds of prey the females are larger than the males. Of course they are not bald, but have white feathers on their heads and tails. One explanation for the name Bald Eagle is that bald has meant "white-headed" in the past. Young eagles are all brown resembling a Golden Eagle, until their fifth or sixth year. Bald Eagles are mostly fish eating and are part of the sea-eagle family.
Migrating shorebirds find Tofino a safe haven to rest and nourish themselves for their journey. The birds fly in flock formation at high altitudes and exploit winds to save energy and not loose body weight on their migrating flight. This year the winds very favourable and the big flocks of migrating birds usually seen at springtime in Tofino kept flying to take full advantage. That's why one did not see the huge number of birds on our beaches this year. Below are two of the migrating birds, a Semipalmated Plower and a Western Sandpiper, taking some R&R time on Chesterman Beach.
Semipalmated Plower and Western Sandpiper touring Chesterman Beach.
Moving in at low tide to find lunch | Western Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plower | And bingo - some lunch!