Eagle Crys, Jet Planes and Chain Saws
Thursday, April 02 2009 @ 04:26 PM EDT
Contributed by: richardpitt
It is again eaglet hatching season - we have three nests on camera and eggs in all, and the calls from around the world are coming into the switchboard about the various noises and sights these live feeds are showing.
It is heartening to know that so many people have concern for the eagles' (and by inference the many other wild species) interests but there is a limit to what we can do.
The first thing to understand is that every single one of the nests was built by the eagles where the sights and sounds were already present. Sidney is near the Victoria International Airport as well as a seaplane base.
The Hornby Island nest is in the midst of a number of homes and there is at least one neighbour who uses a chainsaw frequently and has done so for years. The barking dogs in the background can just as easily be seals in the waters about 200 feet away, on the other side of Doug Carrick's waterfront home; this has proven to be the case several times.
The O.W.L. nest is on a road, right beside the Delta airport South of Vancouver. It is low in branches on a piece of property where the Orphaned Wild Life compound is - and any lights and sounds around it were there before the eagles built the nest.
The "Urban Eagle" as David Hancock has been studying it for over 10 years now, is different from the wild eagles in one major respect: it nests where man is by choice. They find food because of man - road kill and other delicacies such as garbage, and they put up with things like heavy traffic noise and other distractions.
They also tend to nest closer together than they do in the wild. David's rule of thumb in the wild is about 1 mile radius - but I know of many nests around Vancouver where there is as little as a hundred yards between them (three near the Fraser river in Delta come to mind - close to Deas Island park)
The area around the Vancouver dumpsite in Delta (Burns Bog area) has hundreds of eagles year-round - and is surrounded by nests. Most are right on roadways (over top of a busy intersection on Highway 10 for example - just up the road from OWL) and all are closer together than wild nests would be.
Please understand this when you hear things in the background or see that a light is on in the background of the video. The eagles like this - it certainly is not an issue for them or they simply would not nest and raise their young.
So please stop calling the office with tales of woe for the birds. We can't do anything about the problem - and wouldn't even if we could. Yes, urban noise and visual polution is a problem - but the eagles seem to be adapting to it just fine thank you.