Interesting Week on White Rock Eagle Cam
Sunday, January 30 2011 @ 10:04 AM EST
Contributed by: JudyB
The pair of bald eagles who built a a nest high in the trees on the White Rock bluff overlooking Boundary Bay in Surrey, BC, haven't been spending a lot of time at their nest over the last week or so. But the nest has not been empty - viewers of our White Rock Eagle Cam have been treated to glimpses of a variety of eagles and other wildlife drawn to this area with its great view of Boundary Bay.
It also poses a bit of a dilemma for us as online wildlife researchers - we would love to know exactly how much time the White Rock eagles spend at their nest - and who else stops by when they're away. And while we suspect they won't be such gracious hosts once they're getting ready to lay their eggs (probably in early March) - we don't know when exactly they will set up a "no fly" zone around their nest to keep other eagles away.
And to do that, we need more people to watch the nest and post their observations and screenshots in our White Rock Discussion and Observation thread. No experience necessary - and the folks posting there will be happy to help with any questions. Please give it a try - without your help, we're going to miss a lot that happens, like this morning's very brief visit by a young eagle!
Please read on to learn more about this week's visitors.
The parade of visitors began on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, when Hancock Wildlife Forum member garyandjudy noticed someone perched on one of the branches below the nest - here's one of her great screenshots on the left, and you can see more of her screenshots on our discussion thread for the White Rock Eagle Cam.
Our guest picked a gloomy day to visit, so even the higher resolution picture on the right taken from the White Rock archives doesn't really provide a good look. (The archives are a member-only feature, so if the link doesn't work, please log in - or join!)
The next morning, January 26, we had another visitor - a 5 year sub-adult eagle. This is an eagle in its fifth year, so probably about 4-3/4 years old and already showing a lot of the white feathers that it will have as an adult.
It stayed in the nest for almost an hour, poking about - perhaps looking for scraps of food - or perhaps (humanizing just a little) thinking about the day in the not too distant future when he or she will be building a nest like this to raise a family.
I've included quite a few pictures to show the transitional feather patterns - and there are a lot more in the thread in our Discussion Forum. I'm also adding a high-resolution picture from our member-only archives, to show a bit more detail.
A couple of crows visited the afternoon of the 27th, but most people have seen crows, so I'm not going to include pictures. They did poke around in the nest a bit, and it looked as if they took a bit of bedding away, probably to add to their own nest.
The more interesting visitor was a young eagle, most likely less than a year old, who stopped by for a minute or so - and was very photogenic against the pastel colors of Boundary Bay. He or she left as soon as I took this screencap.
As it began to get dark on the evening of the 27th, a young juvie arrived and perched in the branches in the lower left; a moment later, an older juvie arrived and perched in the lower right; both spent the night, leaving around 7:30 the morning of January 28th.
We got a great picture of the older juvie from a local watcher and photographer, showing that it was most likely a 3 year eagle. Please click the thumbnail on the right to see the beautiful picture of a handsome young eagle.
The other visitor is likely 1-2 years old - there's very little white visible. It might be the visitor from yesterday noon - but there are a lot of young eagles in the area this time of year - and the White Rock pair chose a very attractive tree to build their nest.
Someone did fly in the evening of the 28th, but it was too dark to identify the bird, or to tell if he or she spent the night.
And the morning of January 29th, the White Rock pair returned - and set to work fixing up their nest.
There have been a few other eagles in the neighborhood since then - but they have not stayed long!