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Let the eagles stay: Burnaby senior

Wildlife News
One of our Foundation members, Will Patterson (aka willpat) got his name in the local Burnaby, BC paper this weekend with his stand on an eagle nest on property slated for development.

"By Michael McQuillan/NewsLeader

Mario Bartel/Newsleader
Will Patterson says he's worried a plan to develop a vacant lot on Norfolk St., just off Canada Way, will disturb an eagle's nest in a tall cottonwood tree at the edge of the lot.

A Burnaby senior wants to stop a developer from taking out trees on an undeveloped lot that is home to an bald eagles’ nest.

Will Patterson spent much of the spring and summer watching and videotaping a pair of eagles successfully raise their two eaglets. The tree stands in a property slated for development and Patterson would like the city of Burnaby to protect the area by reversing its original decision.

The property is in Broadview Park off Norfolk Street. It’s believed the eagles built the nest in February.

Around the same time, the city OK’d the development plans for a high density four-storey building.

Now that the nest has been discovered, Patterson says that’s a good reason for the city to review the development plans..."

For the full story, please see the Burnaby Newsleader web site

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The Orca Oil Spill Aftermath: HELP!

Planet EarthThis update is from Paul & Helena Spong of the ORCA LAB

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Subject: Robson Bight oil spill action alert
From: orcalab

Hello everyone,

Many of you already know about the August 20th oil spill that happened when a barge tipped its load of logging equipment into the waters of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve in British Columbia, Canada. The Reserve was created in 1982 to protect vital orca habitat. Nearly 60 orcas, fully 25% of the Northern Resident orca community, were exposed to toxic diesel vapours in the aftermath of the accident. Severe health consequences (e.g. lung lesions, pneumonia) are possible, though it may take considerable time for them to appear. Next year, we may know more.

In the meantime, the equipment, which carried 19,000L of diesel and other oils, remains on the bottom in an unknown state. It needs to be inspected as a matter of urgency, before winter storms arrive, to assess the remaining danger. Canada's Coastguard, the responsible agency, is dragging its feet on the inspection issue, despite pressure from provincial and local governments, and the public at large. NGOs, led by the Living Oceans Society and Greenpeace, have vowed to undertake the inspection if Canada's federal government refuses. The orcas are simply too important to allow uncertainty.

We are writing this to ask you to do two things that will help:

1. Go to the Living Oceans web site and send a message to Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans:

2. Contribute what you can to NGO funds being raised for the underwater inspection. $16,000 more is needed:

Canada's government needs to hear our voices. NGOs need our support, so they can act if governments refuse.
What we are asking will take just a few minutes of your time, and money you can afford. Please act now.

For the orcas, thank you very much!

Paul & Helena

Background:

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The Naming of Species


Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Speciation



It is likely only in the last few 10's of thousand years that man began to question the relationships between himself and nature. It is only with extensive world travel particularly spurred onward by seafaring nations during the last two millennia returning home with weird and wonderfully different creatures that we seriously began to collect the different living and ‘dead’ plants and animals. About 200 years ago the mounting collections of artifacts became recognized as national treasures and proof of the new lands conquered and explored.

Boxes, jars, rooms and buildings of exotic treasures needed to be organized. Organization began with labeling, lists, indexes and these eventually demanded an overview of how and why one plant or animal belonged in one file or the other. Certainly the boxes and individual creatures were bunched by Countries, or continents or islands. It was logical to put ‘cats’ together with other ‘cat-like’ creatures. Palm trees, while wildly different from different areas of the world, were clearly “palm trees” Some had glorious dates, others didn’t but they were still palm-like. Relationships and hierarchies just naturally grew. Jars, boxes and stuffed animals or dried plants just logically ended up in association with or next to other similar specimens.
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Age of a Bald Eagle Nest

Bald Eagle Biology

Bald Eagle Nest: Probably pushing 100 years old -- PLUS!

Between 1963 and 1967 a bald eagle nest in my Barkley Sound Vancouver Island study area was annually used and produced 1 or 2 young each year. This leaning cedar tree was probably in excess of 300 years of age. The nest was very old from many years of constant use. I had climbed to the nest in the 1960's and my notes state it was a very old nest, “well weathered and lived in”.Size, 6 feet 2 inches across and about 2.5 feet deep. The nest had probably been occupied the previous 30 - 50 years.

This nest was one of 136 occupied territories in that part of Barkley Sound that I studied.


Another Visit in 2003


In July of 2003 my wife, daughter and I were kayaking in Barkley Sound and as we rounded the southern end of this same Island I stated how in the early days my favorite nest was suspended over the water in a leaning cedar tree. We rounded the bend and there was the same leaning cedar – with two large full grown young standing in the nest.

As an update to the above. Barkley Sound was largely logged prior to the 1950's and by the 1970's was designated part of the West Coast Regional National Park. During my study period in the mid 1960's we never saw more than 1 kayak or canoe party per summer and perhaps 3 to 5 pleasure boats. Commercial salmon trollers and shrimp trawlers were constantly working the Imperial Eagle Channel. Today the adjacent area houses numerous trailer parks and campsites, boat launch ramps and an incredible armada of kayaks, canoes and pleasure boats. And the area seemed to have as many bald eagles as it did 40 years ago. Not all is lost.

A question comes to mind: Will a tree sustain an eagles nest for two or three hundred years? Certainly the trees can live twice that long. And how many different adult eagles nested in this single location?


David Hancock
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Adult & Chick Sexual Size Differences-1

Bald Eagle Biology

My measurements show that the bald eagles in our area, southern British
Columbia, generally weigh between 5 and 12 pounds (closer average 7 -11 pounds) . When I repeat this to my Alaskan colleagues they point out they have caught several 13 pound birds. And I believe they do.

I actually suspect many are seasonally bigger here as well. An eagle stuffing itself for days on end on salmon gains great weight. Most of the eagles I caught were during the summer when food was less available – and they had to work harder to get it. The general breakdown is 5 - 8 pounds for males and 8 -12 pounds for females.

It is interesting to note that in each of the first 5 years of an eagles life its wingspan gets shorter and has less width. The big soaring wings of the juveniles, so necessary to get them to their first free food, which might be 1000 miles (1600km) with minimal energy expansion -- the northern salmon runs -- get shorter and better adapted to fast maneuverable flight to match the eagles flying needs which become greatest when it has to be able to hunt within a home range to support a family. Before that it has more freedom to soar and the larger sails are obviously better adapted to that. A female just off the nest might have 6'4" wing span but at maturity it might only be 6'.

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