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 PMV - Esplanade Nest
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By: davidh (offline) on Friday, February 01 2013 @ 09:06 PM EST (Read 1389 times)  
davidh

RE PMV -- The Esplanade Nest:

Hi to all with additional questions on the Esplanade Nesting Bald Eagles.


This specific nest was issued a "Permit to Remove Nest Tree" by the Ministry of Environment to facilitate development of the City of North Vancouver and the Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) shoreline for new roads, the Spirit Trail etc. I came into this picture after the permit was issued to take down the tree. My point in restating this is that with the tree removal already permitted by the powers to be, I was asked to do something in the way of mitigation to help the eagles at three possible new nest sites. Wow -- I have previously seen so many eagle nests come down but now in 2013 the MOE (Ministry of Environment) is making a "nest removal" contingent upon helping the eagles elsewhere. Wonderful for eagles. I have been advocating this for some time so it is wonderful to see this happen. I am not supporting taking down the nest, that has already been permitted. I am now trying to speak for the eagles to get them something back. The people fighting to keep trees (usually me!) have lost this battle and now we are seeking something back for the eagles. And the eagles are finally getting something back -- wonderful. I have been given the opportunity to try and guide what would benefit the eagles. I am trying to find some alternative locations where we can do something for these and other nearby eagles. I have explained some of the options we considered in the Report on the Esplanade Nest .

Comments on the Esplanade Nesting Pair: In interviewing various people and consulting my notes and those of the other North Shore eagle devotee, David Cook, it appeared that this Esplanade Territory has been occupied for at least five years. Two earlier attempts were made by the eagles to place a nest in the nearby crane. These failed. Someone suggested the sticks were removed by workers to avoid mechanical problems for the crane. Whatever the reasons it then appears about three years ago that the territorial pair tried building a nest in the present site on The Esplanade - 200m from the crane.

Territorial Pair: I keep using this term 'territorial pair' as the great feeding areas along the shoreline are divided by the eagles into distinct territories. These can change geographically depending upon the pair's efforts or lack thereof. They also change as new birds come on the scene. It is not uncommon for one of a pair to die or disappear and then a new bird has to become familiar with the territory and redefine the boundaries by new disputes.

These territories are flexible and ever changing. Basically the territories stay about the same but details on which perch belongs to whom will change. Also as our eagles accommodate to human activities this has enabled many eagles to move more comfortably into close proximity to human activity. For many of my territories this accommodation can result in a large territory being subdivided into two territories -- one pair more readily accepting a nest site closer to another or closer to people. Then of course if a pair, well accommodated to human activity and nesting with lots of activity happening below the nest, loses a partner the new partner may not accept the nest close to people and another site has to be found in the territory. The dynamics of these birds is interesting to watch and constantly altering the territorial boundaries.

The Esplanade Nest: This is probably the only tree in the territory close to the water that could possibly hold a nest due to the heavy bulky structure. Even this tree, to my observations was far from perfect as the nest had partially fallen or, as reported by some, blown apart in winter storms. In the winter of 2012 and early January of 2013 fully mature adults, probably the mature adults from last season, were again seen in the nest tree. Since the tree was climbed January 20 I have been sent two images of a sub-adult eagle in the tree. This bird has some brown makings on the head and the outer tail feather is rimmed in dark brown. At a distance this looks like an adult but up close this bird is possibly going to enter the breeding population this year or next. This is probably one of the 1500+ non-residents still wintering in the lower mainland. The eagle with the dark feathers in the white head and tail is certainly not the mature eagles that have occupied the site the previous years.

One of the challenges in our very food rich area for our nesting eagles is that our birds start to hold their territories in October and stay around their territory throughout the winter defending it against newcomers and even probably against northern birds that can't go north until their nesting territories thaw in late February or March. This entanglement of nesting territory holders and temporary winter visitors reaches its peak in our mild weathered area. Many of our local sub-adults or wintering birds will utilize any nest or big nesting tree, particularly with a nest to perch in, as an obvious safe sitting place. If someone built a nest here that is a statement to all passing eagles of some sort of safeness. This is like our putting out a chair to sit in. We assume the chair is an invitation to sit. A tree with a nest is an invitation, particularly if no other adult is present, to a safe place to sit. Over the past week since the Port authorized climber went up the tree a couple of passing sub-adult eagles have stopped here. Of course the sub-adults just entering the breeding plumage could also be looking to locate a nest of their own. Hopefully our new poles and nests will either satisfy an existing territory holder or entice a new pair to nest.

A Caution: As anybody who follows my comments knows, I go to great lengths to never be seen in or up level with an active nest. My data shows the eagles simple take that as a violation of their sovereign nest and go and nest elsewhere. Unfortunately, from the picture in the North Shore News of the climber up the tree, something I did not personally witness as I was not on site at that time, this intrusion would probably cause the eagles to seek other options for the nest. This nest has been violated. This is now mute as I just learned the tree has been taken down (Jan 31). Of course, other nest tree options are not readily available here or in many of the lower mainland feeding territories. This is why we have proposed to place some high poles with nesting structures on the top to offer the eagles a site that is not "violated". I am optimistic they will accept our offerings. They certainly have built nests on a lot of regional towers -- not always desirable by Hydro or the cell companies.

I am so thankful that the Port Metro Vancouver people are saying they want eagles in our Harbour and more importantly they are going to considerable cost to accommodate them. Sure it is a loss to lose this nest but my challenge is to see that the eagles get three new nesting options in mitigation.

We now have this forum thread (PMV- Esplanade Nest) dedicated to this and the other new North Shore sites so people can add their comments and photos. These threads will be about the eagles and how they are doing in the Harbor and will not be about the bigger picture of "Do we want coal or development in the City?" Those topics are dealt with elsewhere.

Thanks for the interest in our eagles -- keep it up -- that is what has brought about this first mitigation effort -- the concerns of you.

David Hancock

See also my - report on the Low Level Road Project Regarding Bald Eagle Nest Mitigation


Map of the area (click bigger)

Click on image to download


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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 03:49 PM EST  
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The Story of the PMV (Port Metro Vancouver) Esplanade Eagles

The development of the North Shore Harbor, known as the Lower Road & Spirit Trail Development, has been the home of a pair of territorial bald eagles for at least 5 years. The pair reportedly tried twice to nest on an old crane that is slated for re-building - this did not work. Then in the spring of 2011 they built a nest in a cottonwood tree above the Esplanade road but did not succeed in raising young in 2011. Reported during the winter of 2011, much of the nest blew down. Then they again came back in the fall of 2011 and were seen on their favorite cranes beside the water’s edge and occasionally in or near the nest tree. Then I was about to get involved!

The Port Metro Vancouver, in cooperation with the City of North Vancouver, proposed and received a development permit for the site. This is quite a large and controversial development involving a lot of the shoreline, railroads, street roads and a huge waterfront walkway for pedestrians. The existing nest tree was within this development and a permit had been issued to remove the entire grove of trees and the sidewalk. The Ministry of Environment made the permit to remove the nest contingent upon the Port to provide 3 “bald eagle nest improvements” in place of the removed nest tree. At this point, I was contacted to give advice on the improvements.

With their Permit to remove in hand my position was to do what I could for the eagles. All too often, no matter how much protesting I did, all I ever witnessed was the loss of an eagles nest - never never never any replacement! This project offered something back for the eagles - and we who loved the eagles - so I quickly set about reviewing my eagle nest history along the North Shore. I also immediately called upon David Cook, a local resident and North Shore eagle documenter. Deciding on how to help the eagles along one of the most food productive shorelines for eagles was not difficult. This shoreline historically would have been lined with great trees offering many eagle nesting opportunities. Most of the shoreline trees have been replaced by docks, terminals and cranes — with few places offering nesting opportunities along the shoreline.

The challenge was simple. Could we locate within existing bald eagle territories, particularly in those territories with no or poor nesting opportunities, a place we would be allowed to place a pole and nest. We, the Davids, believe we have. In fact we have had two sites we think are incredible for eagles already approved.

The first site is the same distance from the removed nest as it is to the crane site but to the east, right on the foreshore on the east side of the Seaspan terminals. At one stage of my life I too lived just a little farther east along the shoreline in a fine floating home that a previous wife and I had built -- so I very much appreciate this real estate and how important it is to eagles and a lot of other wildlife. I envy them their view.
So the attached images, probably supplemented with those of some of the supporters who attended the nest rising, show the original crane that the eagles had attempted to nest in, the taken down Esplanade nest, and the erection of the new pole and nest.

Hopefully even this late in the year the nest pole will attract some inquisitive eagles and maybe even get lived in by next year. I am hoping our web cam supporters will keep us updated. In the meantime we are working on getting the next nest ready and honing down the third site for some kind of improvement. I wish to thank the Ministry of Environment and Port Metro Vancouver for positively proposing and acting on this bald eagle mitigation -- it is a real “first class” first!

David Hancock


Slide Show of the Story of the Esplanade Bald Eagles. (Click Slide Show at upper left corner - viewing time per slide can be changed and slide show can be viewed full size. )

Video Camera
Surrounding area of the original nest the morning it came down. (click on Download and then select the program to open with - be patient! Depending on your computer it may take a minute or so to open because it is a Hi Def file!)



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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 04:24 PM EST  
gemini

Follow the plight of the Esplanade nest at the following links:

January 24, 2013

Proetesters Stall Eagles' Nest Removal

January 28, 2013
Eagles' Nest Staying Put, says Activist

January 30, 2013
Report on the Low Level Road Project Regarding Bald Eagle Nest Mitigation

February 1, 2013

Port Removes Eagle Nestt



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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 05:14 PM EST  
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Eagle watching as
Click on image to download

they prepare to take down the nest
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The Nest is down!
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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 05:15 PM EST  
gemini

February 1, 2013

Artificial eagles' nest erected on port land

February 1, 2013

CBC TV News, Vancouver, features David Hancock and the erecting of the Atificial Eagle Nest which he designed. It was erected this morning on Port of Metro Vancouver property in North Vancouver.

Video Camera David raising the pole for the Artificial Nest (CBS News spot begins at the 13:00 minute mark.)
Photos to come

February 3, 2013

Will Eagles Feel at Home?



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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 05:44 PM EST  
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Artificial Nest going up!

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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 05:45 PM EST  
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Click on image to download

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By: gemini (offline) on Saturday, February 02 2013 @ 05:47 PM EST  
gemini

For continuity of the story of the Esplanade nest, the following posts have been moved from the Other Vancouver Area Eagle Nests thread.


Thursday May 17, 2012 @10:12PM

Quote by: embirr

I've looked around this forum but haven't seen anyone mention the eagles' nest on Esplanade in Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver. The pair of eagles can be seen frequently perched upon an old shipbuilding crane just to the east of Lonsdale pier. (I wish I had a camera with a better zoom lens)!

But the saddest thing is this nest is in danger of being torn down. The proposed Low Level road improvement project has an expanded road right where their nest now is. The proposal says the nest is going to be removed; although they will have to get permission from the government.

http://www.cnv.org/?c=2&i=389 - details in the pdf attached (see pg 13 for wildlife impact).

Please help spread the word about this!




Thursday January 24, 2013 @04:46PM

Quote by: gemini

It looks like Embirr's worst fears are being realized! (see post 2 above this one)

Please read the story - Protesters Stall Eagles' Nest Removal

And all this in the name of progress!





Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:53PM


Quote by: ConfusionCircle

WOW! Where is that vantage point from?




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