Record raptors hit town in time for Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Wildlife News

 

By Jack Christie
 

Look up. Look way up. If your eyesight is as good as a great blue heron’s, you’ll be able to spot black specks soaring above the Lower Mainland. Even if your vision is less discerning, get ready to welcome back bald eagles that are migrating south from summer feeding grounds in Alaska and B.C.’s central coast.

On the phone from the Hancock Wildlife Foundation in Surrey, David Hancock could barely contain his excitement. The honorary director of the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival had just returned from a bird count in the Harrison River estuary and expressed amazement to the Georgia Straight at what he’d witnessed.

“Usually at the end of October, you’ll find two- to three hundred bald eagles feeding by the river,” said the biologist, who has spent the better part of 50 years observing eagles. “There are already 500 to 600, and they are coming in at a rate of about 100 a day. At this pace, I predict we’ll have at least 1,500 to 2,000 for the festival [November 20-21].”

When Hancock first began photographing and writing about eagles in the early 1960s, the newly graduated UBC student could only find three nesting pairs of adults. Today he estimates there are about 300. What brought the increase?

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.straight.com/article-357209/vancouver/record-raptors-hit-town-time-festival

 

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