Wildlife News

Hancock here:  

On Christmas day Christian Sasse and I were visiting various nests and viewing eagles in the Boundary Bay area.   We hardly got started down 96 St and coming towards us was an adult eagle carrying dinner.  We were stopped as she alit on the telephone pole beside us.  Out came Christian's big lens, his cell phone was snapped into place and within a few seconds he was broadcasting this eagle tearing apart a duck to the world.

Within a few more seconds, his cell phone was displaying questions from viewers around the world, China, Spain, California, etc.  What bird is that?  Where are you? I’m not sure this is the Christmas treat I was expecting.  Wow, the bird is banded?  Is this a tame eagle?  On and on for 45 minutes the questions came in as we tried to answer them over the cell.  What an incredible technology, so instant, so incredibly high resolution, so intimate, but how so incredibly simple?  

This toy has become Christian’s obsession.  He says it is his transference of my enthusiasm to him that he is now rebroadcasting live to thousands of others.  If he is not wowing the followers with eagles, it’s the details of the moon's craters!    I had seen Hubble images of the moon’s craters but ‘an on the spot live projection of pieces of a crater’ never!  Reading the band numbers of an eagle, the details of the nictitating membrane as the eagle shields off the blowing icy rain while we sit in the car talking and broadcasting to the world is quite extraordinary.  The last time out we were seeing the extraordinary details of Ma and Pa at Nest Number #298 in Delta, BC arguing over who had the rights to place each stick in the nest.

The miracle of this technology, called Periscope, is not just the ease of instant world-wide broadcast from a cell phone, but the incredibly high resolution, and even more wondrous, the entire files are archived for later viewing.

Here is the url to the 45 minute video, Christian’s archives and some background on Periscope:

We hope Christian is going to fully integrate this technology with our HWF Forums and live cams, from which he/we of course will give live broadcasts from below the nests. 

I wish you all a fine Festive season and a wonderful New Year.


David Hancock

P.S. from Karen Bills:  We have obtained the numbers from this eagle's leg band and discovered that she is NOT from nest #169, which is just one mile to the east from where David and Christian were, but from nest #298, 3 miles to the west, which we call the Delta Turf Farm nest.  This serves to educate us that any given eagle seen is not nessarily associated with the nearest nest as we would normally assume as probable.  Eagle nest #169, you might also recall, was where a fledgling chick from that nest that was run over by the coal train and killed. 


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