All eyes on webcam eagles as eggs set to hatch next month in Sidney, Hornby island

Wildlife News
 
 
 
 
 

An eagle nest near Sidney is a busy place after a third egg hatched in this 2009 image captured from David Hancock's wildlife webcam.

Photograph by: Hancock Wildlife Channel, .

Every intimate detail of the domestic life of the bald eagle is being recorded by webcams strategically placed beside nests in Sidney and Hornby Island.

Mom and Dad Hornby have two eggs, one laid on March 22 and the other on March 26, meaning they could start hatching April 26. The Sidney pair have three eggs — something achieved by only about four per cent of eagle couples — which could start hatching as early as April 11.

Hatching is a tense time for eagle watchers. In Hornby, where there have been more failures than successes, baby hopes are running high.

Doug and Sheila Carrick, who started watching the nest with a video camera in 2004 — and are now assisted by the Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society and WildEarth.tv — have ridden an emotional roller coaster with the eagles.

In 2006 the eggs failed to hatch; 2007, two eaglets hatched; 2008, no eggs; 2009, two eggs hatched, but one eaglet died at 11 days; last year, one egg hatched, but the eaglet died at 76 days from a type of pneumonia.

The Sidney camera is one of six eagle sites — most on the Lower Mainland — under surveillance by the not-for-profit Hancock Wildlife Foundation. A hummingbird nest in Victoria has also been added.

Dave Hancock is hoping all goes smoothly — especially in the Sidney nest where, last year, viewers were horrified to see a raven grab one of the eggs during a moment of inattention by mom.

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