By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun

November 12, 2009


This may be where eagles dare . . . but not quite yet
function resizeImage() { var imgBox = document.getElementById('imageBox'); var photo = document.getElementById('storyphoto'); if (imgBox != null & photo != null) { if(photo.width >= 460) { imgBox.className = 'imagesize460'; } else { if(photo.width >= 300) { imgBox.className = 'imagesize310'; } else { imgBox.className = 'imageboxpadding'; } = photo.width + 'px'; } } } function getStoryFontSize() { var storyfontsize = getCookie('storyfontsize'); // use cookied value, if present if (storyfontsize != null) { setClass('story_content',storyfontsize); } else // default it to para14 if no cookie { setClass('story_content','para14'); } } function getCookie( check_name ) { // split this cookie up into name/value pairs var a_all_cookies = document.cookie.split( ';' ); var a_temp_cookie = ''; var cookie_name = ''; var cookie_value = ''; var b_cookie_found = false; // set boolean t/f default f for ( i = 0; i < a_all_cookies.length; i++ ) { // split apart each name=value pair a_temp_cookie = a_all_cookies[i].split( '=' ); // and trim left/right whitespace while we're at it cookie_name = a_temp_cookie[0].replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, ''); // if the extracted name matches passed check_name if ( cookie_name == check_name ) { b_cookie_found = true; // we need to handle case where cookie has no value but exists (no = sign, that is): if ( a_temp_cookie.length > 1 ) { cookie_value = unescape( a_temp_cookie[1].replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, '') ); } // note that in cases where cookie is initialized but no value, null is returned return cookie_value; break; } a_temp_cookie = null; cookie_name = ''; } if ( !b_cookie_found ) { return null; } }
LaFarge Ready Mix site at 2095 Commissioner has installed an artificial eagle nest next to the real one in a cottonwood tree, in Vancouver, B.C. on November 11, 2009.

LaFarge Ready Mix site at 2095 Commissioner has installed an artificial eagle nest next to the real one in a cottonwood tree, in Vancouver, B.C. on November 11, 2009.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun

Lafarge built it. The eagles have come. Now will they nest in it?

The multinational concrete giant has installed an artificial nest atop a 20-metre-high wooden pole for a pair of bald eagles whose habitat is the industrial Vancouver waterfront on Burrard Inlet.

The artificial nest is adjacent to a lone cottonwood tree but about five metres higher on the same Lafarge ready-mix site on Commissioner Street where the eagles maintain their own long-standing nest.

The immature cottonwood continues to lose branches in high winds and is at risk of falling over. Other trees on the leased Port Metro Vancouver property were cleared about a year ago for Lafarge’s $20-million ready-mix plant.

The eagles raised three eaglets in the cottonwood last year, and have recently returned to the site after feeding on salmon up the coast. So far, they haven’t been observed on the artificial nest and it’s uncertain whether they will adopt it come breeding season in February, or stick with their old nest.

Either way, the artificial nest is there as insurance and another place for the eagles to perch.

David Hancock, whose Hancock Wildlife Foundation specializes in live wildlife video cams for education, worked with Lafarge to install the artificial nest and rig up a camera that will eventually monitor the pair of eagles.

He said he collected about 100 kilograms of alder and elderberry brush that had been cleared by the International Boundary Commission near his home on Zero Avenue in Surrey. The eagles can use it as nesting material.

The two-metre-wide nest is set within a steel structure, with two perches atop.

“We’re giving them a head start, not putting them out of the job of nest-building,” Hancock said.

Lafarge vice-president Bruce Willmer said the company has spent about $50,000 to date, including construction of the artificial nest site and landscaping improvements at the base of the cottonwood.

“We haven’t seen them on it yet,” he said of the artificial nest. “I’m sure they will. They sit on containers and the corners of buildings.

“These are urban eagles.”

// load up cookied story font size getStoryFontSize();
document.write("image");document.getElementById("img1").src="" + window.location.hostname.toLowerCase() + "&C5=&C6=&C7=" + escape(window.location.href) + "&C8=" + escape(document.title) + "&C9=" + escape(document.referrer) + "&rn=" + Math.floor(Math.random()*99999999);