HAMILTON -- For the first time in decades, bald eagles have successfully hatched on the north shore of Lake Ontario -- news that has bird enthusiasts flocking to the Hamilton area to spot the eaglets.

The parents have been nesting in the marsh at Cootes Paradise Nature Sanctuary in recent years, but the successful hatching of healthy young marks a historic first for the region, suggesting the majestic birds are once again beginning to thrive.

Species-at-risk biologist Kathryn Harrison, of the Royal Botanical Gardens which administers Cootes Paradise, said it’s believed to be the first time since 1955 that eaglets have hatched anywhere along Lake Ontario’s shoreline between Kingston and Hamilton.