About Delta-2 - From David Hancock
Friday, February 04 2011 @ 05:06 PM EST
Contributed by: Pat B
This nest is located on the property of JudyD, one of the first teachers to talk about our eagles in her classroom at Beach Grove Elementary in Delta. Two years after she started these discussions, a pair of eagles returned to the old nest on her property and have re-established themselves. What teacher has an eagles' nest 150 feet outside her kitchen!
This pair's territory, which I have been following since the late 1990's, became our first pair to move to a 140 foot high tension power pole and establish a nest and raise young in this region. Historically the nest suffered great difficulties, annually falling out of the tower and the young often falling and dying. A few years later, they moved to an adjacent tower and had more success. However, last year they abandoned the second tower and moved back to the tree nest they now occupy.
In the intervening years the site was re-occupied by red-tailed hawks for a few years and after the red-tail chicks were killed and eaten by the eagles in 2006 I thought someone, red-tail or eagle, would occupy the site in 2007. So I placed two cams in the nest that 2006 fall.
No one lived in the site for the next two years so we removed the cams in the fall of 2009 and used them elsewhere. As stated, the eagles returned in 2010 and reared young.
Why the birds abandoned their successful tower I am not certain, but I suspect it was probably due to the high amount of construction activity beside the tower.
So the adults reared two young in the summer of 2010. After fledging and departing the region on their fall migration, we again placed two cams in the nest. One cam is a fixed focus cam to give a wide angle perspective of the nest. The other cam is an Axis PTZ 18 power cam that can be controlled to its close-up or wide angle perspective.
JudyD, the resident teacher and nest coordinator, will be back shortly after some absence from the area and may lead discussions on this interesting pair.
I have only briefly touched on their history. Of course, I do not know the true history of these eagles. Have the pair remained the same, or has one or the other been replaced by another mate over the nearly 15 years I have followed this territory? What I do know is that a pair have consistently defended the territory and repeatedly used this nest tree and both nearby towers as hunting, feeding and nesting perches over these years.
Another interesting piece of background is that they were one of the first pairs ever to have a cam placed in their nest - back years before 2006 when we started to broadcast the Hornby Island and Sidney nests. A young lad, wishing to give his grandmother an intimate view of the eagles nesting in her back yard, placed a small $30 cam in the tree beside the nest, hard wired the cam to his grandmother's TV and voilą, grandma had an eagle in her kitchen. Well not quite.
The problem was that the grandson placed the cam in the nest after the first egg was laid, and the pair abandoned the site as of that day. The grandmother, whom I got to know quite well, was devastated. Nothing had nested in the tree for 3 years when red-tails, who had been nesting there in previous years, returned. Then in 2006 the eagles ate the young red-tails in a very noisy attack witnessed by the new residents, JudyD and her husband, who had just moved onto the property.
Once we get to follow this pair more intently we may pin down some more details.