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 Harrison Mills 2013 Observations/Discussion
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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:44 PM EDT (Read 572563 times)  
Pat B

This nest is 175 feet up a huge Douglas fir - on the 10th green of the Sandpiper Golf course!
The 2 PTZ cams will offer fantastic views of the eagle activity on the Chehalis - Harrison Flats to the North East.

The cams also see where the Chehalis Fish cam is situated - and later - where the Eagle Cafe will be!

Link to the Cams

Map of the area
Click on image to download
Thank you, Terrytvgal for finding this for me.

Parents arrive home: March 10, 2013...Two eagles were seen on the nest.. .

April 3 Mom spend the night on the nest

Eggs Laid:. First Egg...April 4, at 8:24pm...Second Egg...April 8, at 7:44 pro
Adults Named by Pretty Estates Resort: Mr. and Mrs Honeycomb, located in the Penthouse Nest

Eggs Hatch.. First Egg Hatched May 10 at 6:07pm

Egg # 2 hatched May 14 at 1:52pm

Eaglets Named by Pretty Estates Resort: Birdie and Bogey (their nest is on the edge of a golf course)

Sad News: The younger eaglet died June 6, at 5:09 am; he or she made a valiant effort, but the older eaglet was enough bigger and stronger to prevent the younger one from being fed.

Branching:..July 15, 2013..Birdie is 9 1/ 2 weeks old.......

Fledge: Birdie Fledged Sunday Aug.4 at 8:48am ..... He is 86 days old.

Birdie returned to the nest 4 days later.. Thursday...Aug.8 a 2:13pm
...

HERE

Last seen on the nest

Adults: Dad was last seen on the nest August 5.. Mom last seen on the nest Aug.8....

Birdie:.Birdie last seen on the nest Aug.11..... We saw a sighting of one of the adults coming towards the nest area on Aug. 11 after Birdie had left..........

The following added by jkr on April 26, 2013

A bit of information about our ptz cam operations.

Our zoomers have been requested to keep the zoom cam and the embedded cam open simultaneously. There is a delay from the time they zoom the cam and the time you see it so they need to see when the change takes place before moving the camera again.

Having two windows open on their screen, which may be all they can fit on their monitor, they can't always read what is being posted at the forum at that time. If you post that you want the zoom changed or the panning changed our zoomerss are not aware of your request until after they leave zooming and open the forum window again.

Our own zoomers are not the only people who can access our cam controls. The landowners have access to change the zoom/pan which takes it out of our control. David and Ken can also change the cam at any given time without our knowledge. It is not always our own zoom team on the cameras.

Our zoomers are experienced eagle observers. If the cam zooms in closely they may be checking on the health of a chick/adult, checking food items, checking markings on an adult (eg: Delta Dad has a small spot next to his pupil on the right eye which identifies him from Mom), checking beaks/feet which may change colour if eagles are poisoned, and panning the area checking for intruders and watching eaglets once they learn to branch. Many times observations which may be of concern are reported to David Hancock for his biology records.

We wish we could accommodate all requests to have the camera in the exact spot each of you want it to be but that is impossible.

Thanks.



How to tell who is who -

Mrs Honeycomb has a band on her right leg, and appears to have a feather missing on the side of her tail; it may have broken - sometimes it looks as if I can see the top part of it.


(Picture courtesy of IrishEyes)


Mr Honeycomb has a dark stripe on the edge of one of his tail feathers:

Click on image to download




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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT  
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Site Sponsorship: These nest cams and incredible installation have been funded by the Pretty Estates, operators of the host Sandpiper Golf Resort and the fine Rivers Edge Restaurant and, of course, the cams are maintained by our Foundation. Thanks again, Betty Anne.
David H
Link to the Sand Piper Golf Course
Link to the Webcam on Sandpiper Golf Course
It shows the edge of the golf course that can be seen from the Tower Cams.

Click on image to download


The following members of Hancock Wildlife chose to honor their favorite fine feathered family and support the work of Hancock Wildlife by adopting the Harrison Mills nest for 2013:

Click on image to download



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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:47 PM EDT  
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As a courtesy to viewers with slower internet connections, please limit the pictures in each post to no more than a total of 150,000 bytes (150KB), and please do not post animations (though it's fine to post a link to them).
To avoid horizontal scrolling, please do not post pictures that are more than 500 pixels wide - though it's fine to post a 500-pixel-wide thumbnail that clicks to a much larger picture. The forum attachment software conveniently handles that task - so you can attach larger pictures, and a properly-sized clickable image will appear in your post.

Here is the first scap of the nest.
Click on image to download


Click on image to download



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By: karenbills (offline) on Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT  
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FROM DAVID HANCOCK:

New Harrison Mills Nest for 2012 - 2013:

This is something I have wanted for years. Harrison Mills is the name of the community where we have our annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. The Chehalis - Harrison Flats is where the largest concentration of eagles has ever been recorded. Just beside this nest site is where in December of 2010 I individually counted 7,362 eagles -- with probably another 2,500 to 3,500 not viewable in the rivers' dips and hollows or on the other side of trees. This is also where we have the Chehalis underwater cam -- and as you might suspect this is where we have erected the Tower to house our 2 big HD PTZ cams for viewing the wintering eagles. Also nearby is where the Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge is preparing the Bald Eagle Cafe. Harrison Mills is the newly acclaimed Bald Eagle Capital of the World and we will be bringing so many elements of this biological wonder to you live.

For years I have wanted to have one of the local eagle nests support cams. But there was a problem. All the local nests, and there are about 7 within about a mile, have no easy power access. Sure we put the tower cams out but only when Dana of Four Stones kindly donated the very expensive Fuel Cell. Finally a nesting pair of eagles set up residence right on the 10th Green of the Sandpiper Golf Course. The owner, Betty Anne Falconer, and the Pretty Estates have long supported the Festival and now the family has said they wanted to fund these nest cams on the 10th Green. Wonderful but with a small concern on my part.

My concern is not that this nest is higher than any I have ever seen -- 172 feet up a huge Douglas Fir that then continues up another 50 plus feet. It is not that reaching it requires a 200 foot crane -- I love dangling in the canopy. My concern is that I have not witnessed this site fledge young. I and many others saw adults in the nest this spring and early summer. On several late summer trips however I did not see chicks. Of course they could easily be hidden. It is not an easy nest to view from the ground. My worry was that I did not see branchers jumping around the limbs in late summer. Again, they could have been there and missed. Let's hope so.

So you can understand my elation when the crane got me about 175 feet up and there in the nest was a dead 8.5 week old chick. This is probably the only time I rejoiced at seeing a dead eaglet. But this at least confirmed the activeness of the site. As we know chicks do die and we don't always get to know why. At the same time I was encouraged knowing that this nest is subject to the territorial owners, the eagle parents, having to put up with 5,000 to 10,000 eagles visiting their nesting territory during the salmon spawn. What a challenge this must present to them. To defend this territory against so many intruders would seem impossible. I so much look forward to this opportunity to view this pair and how they adapt to so many other eagles invading their territory.

The way the branches were located it only became possible to 'hang' cams, not place them on top of a limb above a nest, so we had to incorporate 2 HD PTZ cams in the tree. From the viewer's perspective it should be even more wonderful. Not just will we be able to see the nest life in detail, the surrounding perch and feeding trees, but off to the northeast is an incredible view of the Chehalis - Harrison Flats -- the sight where the world's largest gathering of bald eagles annually occurs. The site overlooks where our underwater cam views the spawning salmon and the Tower cams, but will also overview the upcoming Bald Eagle Cafe site -- quite an integrating image of this incredibly rich ecosystem.

Site Sponsorship: These nest cams and incredible installation have been funded by the Pretty Estates, operators of the host Sandpiper Golf Resort and the fine Rivers Edge Restaurant, by Shaw Cable for the outbound bandwidth, and of course the cams are maintained by our Foundation. Thanks again, Betty Anne.



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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, September 27 2012 @ 12:17 PM EDT  
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David Hancock
Written on June 2, 2013.

[Added by JudyB - this article was written when it looked as if little Bogey might beat the odds against a much smaller, four-day-younger eaglet; sadly, that did not happen - Bogey passed away at 5:09 am on June 6. Rest in peace, little one. sad]

Harrison Mills Eaglets - doing fine in spite of size difference.

A four day differential in hatching dates is an invitation to a "survival of the fittest" challenge going the way of the bully but so far our HM chicks seem to be coping. At 9:44 AM, June 2, both chicks are peppy and with half full crops. The parents are apparently doing a good job providing food. Oops -- as I write, 9:50 AM, big chick head pounds the little one who instantly turns away to lessen the beating. This of course, the turning the other cheek, is the successful way to thwart fratricide. However, the other side of that issue is that when the big sibling is full, there still must be enough food to keep the little one growing and healthy. You would also like to think the little one would catch up but this surely does not seem to be happening here -- at least not yet. At 10:00 AM the big one again pounded the little one -- and yet they both have 1/2 full crops.

From the first couple of days the size differential of the two chicks seemed to be expanding -- and this has continued. On the other side, the little one has learned the "turn away response very effectively" and has been getting enough food to keep vibrant, active and apparently healthy. Now at 23 and 19 days of age the size difference is quite exceptional considering there were only two eggs - though they were laid four days apart. 'Perky' seems to be the desired behavior and the little one seems to foil attacks effectively and come back strong -- but smaller in proportion -- each day. My guess is that if enough food is delivered we will see both chicks fledge. If not then the system has done presumably what it was supposed to do -- at least produce 1 chick under poor food availability rather than let both starve.

I have no real insight into the two chicks' gender. The obvious difference in size suggests that one might be a small male and the other a larger female. This is probably the case but we could also, as some of you have observed, be seeing the accentuated growth of the bully well over the stunted growth of the late chick -- regardless of or exaggerated by innate gender size expectations. By fledging time the chicks should be to full size and the gender differences more normal. To my understanding there is no data to suggest that the first hatched is predominantly one gender or the other.

At some point I have probably pointed out that in most raptors the smaller male actually develops its final body and flight feathers 2 to 4 days before the female -- or at least catches up with a larger female at the last stages of feather growth. This data is more from observations of hundreds of captive bred raptors raised side-by-side. This presumably lets the smaller male catch up and participate in fledging activities -- flight and hunting training for some species. The interesting question is, 'Can such a smaller late developing sibling ever catch up to its full potential size by fledging time?' Or will it remain a runt? I think it will catch up to its potential size.

The Harrison Mills adult pair and the chicks have been a marvelous study. As some of you know, I had already written off the productivity of this territory for 2013 since we had so little adult activity at the site from October through February. When I had installed the two cams back in September, 2012 I had been elated to find a dead chick in the nest. That was my first confirmation that the site had been occupied since seeing adults on site in April, 2012.

We had some early winter excitement with the toeless eagle in attendance a few nights, visits by a couple of other adult birds but nobody showing regularity or staying power. Then these adults came along late, went through intensive but brief nest building, laid eggs and followed through with incredible discipline of incubation, brooding and now feeding the young.

I believe this is a new pair that took up residency, showing up on March 10, 2013 and laying the first egg April 4. They seem a well experienced pair. They are certainly doing well and if the river and fields produce the food we could easily see the pair fledge both chicks. The pair directly eastward across the Harrison River beside the Old Orchard Campsite now have two big chicks -- their usual.

To me the really interesting question about this pair is "Where did they come from?" How or where did they seem to acquire all the professional experience to do so many things right? When you compare the inadequate behaviors at the White Rock nest, with all the different birds attempting to nest this year that resulted in total failure, this late arriving pair seems to have it all together. How? Did they come from another nest nearby? This is actually more possible that you might have thought.

About two miles north of this nest is the famous Morris Valley Slough and this area has been part of my study. It is just on the northern side of the Sts'ailes village - the Harrison Mills nest is on the southern side. The Morris Valley nest, overseeing this very famous and rich Morris Valley Slough had a pair of eagles nesting on the eastern shoreline. By the way you can see one nest from the other across the Chehalis alluvial fan. This nest was directly in line with the newly advancing BC Hydro power line and the nest was removed. I was actually brought in to consult on the mitigation. What could be done in return for removal of the nest? Well the answer was quite simple in my mind. First considerations were given to the rare and endangered frogs in the slough. Then there were lots of adjacent very large trees that could support a bald eagle nest. The 'removal permit' had requested Hydro to improve two or three alternative but nearby trees. I simply advised the climbing crew what nearby trees to place crossbars and take out a couple of "flight blocking branches" to facilitate a new nest. The real challenge here was that the nest removal and work up in the new trees was done in late January when the eagles were already on territory. Then with the huge helicopters, the many work crews and researchers using this same site I doubted we could expect the eagles to establish a new nest this season.

Perhaps this pair decided to simply move downstream two miles and take advantage of the unoccupied HM site. I personally suspect this is the case and the Harrison Mill nest site and territory was literally the immediate territory to the south and they took advantage of it. Six years ago there was another nesting territory between the Morris Valley nest and what is now our Harrison Mills nest. However, that nest tree on the Sts'ailse village site, was in a tree that fell. This meant that the Morris Valley pair held the adjacent territory making the move even less a shift. If the experienced Morris Valley pair are indeed our pair it certainly explains why they arrived on the scene late - when they were driven off their territory in February by continuing human activity - and why they had so much parental experience.

I was back once to see if the Morris Valley pair was there but I could not see them I will follow up on this shortly. In the meantime our pair of HM chicks are giving us some marvelous further insight into the eagles' ways. The Harrison River has been defined as Canada's first Salmon Stronghold river because it produces so many fish. Let's hope our HM pair benefit adequately to rear both young.

David Hancock



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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, September 27 2012 @ 12:18 PM EDT  
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Added December 2, 2012:

IrishEyes put together the following timeline of visits. We have twice seen an adult with an injury or deformity to the left foot, and are trying to discover if she or he is one of the resident pair, or an eagle visiting the area for the salmon run. ~JudyB

TIME LINE OF EAGLE NEST VISITS

October 26, 2012..Eagle lying in the nest - only two pictures - here

.STARTING HERE

November 14, 2012... The eagle with the deformed foot was first seen on this Nest Nov.14, 2012 at 6:24pm.. she spend the night and left the morning of Nov.15 at 7:34am.

STARTING HERE

November 17, 2012... Another eagle was seen on the nest at 8:20am .. feet were intact... the eagle flew of at 10:09am.
Then at 10:48am.and 10;51AM. what we think was the same eagle made another brief appearance..

STARTING HERE

November 22.. at 9:41am .9:47am...Brief appearance was made by an eagle .. no abnormality noted.

STARTING HERE

Dec.1, 2012.. . Eagle with deformed foot seen on the nest at 3:11pm.. it was a wet and windy day..

STARTING HERE

From December 1:
Click on image to download

Feb.19, 2013... Eagle seen on the nest ..

STARTING HERE

MARCH 5, 2013.. Eagle in the nest

HERE



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By: karenbills (offline) on Saturday, September 29 2012 @ 01:00 PM EDT  
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Here's my pictures to complete David's report I posted above. All pics are clickable twice to see full screen size.

The 200 ft. crane.
Click on image to download

I had to walk back quite a way to get the full tree in camera view. This nest is 175 ft. high according to Larry's measurement gadget, much higher than 138 ft. as we had originally thought.
Click on image to download

David and Larry/urban eagle are seen almost at the nest. It was very hard to maneuver the crane in there. It took several attempts and a couple of hours from the time we arrived until the guys finally made it to the nest to start the work.
Click on image to download


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By: karenbills (offline) on Saturday, September 29 2012 @ 01:04 PM EDT  
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Larry and David arriving at the nest.
Click on image to download

I was intrigued by the underside of the huge Douglas Fir as see from below.
Click on image to download

David and Larry coming back down to earth many hours later, starving and exhausted from that heat.
Click on image to download


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