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Bull Shoals State Park Eagle Awareness

Wildlife News
Submirtted by Christi_T

The Bull Shoals-White River State Park here in Arkansas has an annual Eagle Awareness program. I haven't been to it before, but I wasn't involved in all that David has sparked in me! If anyone is interested in attending, contact me and I'll help with information about area accommodations. Here's the little write-up about it.

Each year approximately 100 bald eagles visit the Bull Shoals area. Enjoy festivities centered on our national symbol. Activities include lake tours, guided bird walks, guest speakers, live bird demonstrations and live entertainment. Contact the park for a detailed schedule.

Admission: Free, except lake cruises. Cruises: $6.25 adults, $3 kids ages 6-12
E-mail: bullshoalswhiteriver at arkansas.com

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Goldstream Intertidal Camera - Microwave Link

Goldstream Park Cameras

I've just returned from 2 days on Vancouver Island installing a wireless microwave link from the Ecology center, out to a marina and from there to a private residence where we can get Telus ADSL service.

The Ecology center has a slow satellite link for internet that is not suitable for video, and this microwave link is the only way we have found to get the pictures out in real time at a reasonable cost.

We still have to put the encoders and the rest of the computer equipment in, so I'll be back over there tomorrow to finish up - but the hard part, putting up the radios and the antennas, is now done. Of course all this outside work had to be done in the midst of one of our West Coast rain storms. Fortunately I had help from Darren, the resident biologist (more about him in other articles) and Bob Chappel, our Victoria resident camera guru.

Read on for some more pictures.


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THE EAGLES HAVE RETURNED TO SAANICH

Victoria/Sidney NestI have spent a couple of days with eagles in saanich, the 13th and 16th. i arrived at about 8:30 on the 13th. and stopped at the airport or south end of the beach. Glassed the area and didn't see any eagles. There were a couple of blue herons feeding, and some geese. I drove down to the nest site and sat watching the nest. There were the usual crowes flitting about. Then, a large red tailed hawk landed in the top of a fir tree in the field. Most have migrated south by this time, but the weather here has been extremely mild. He left after about half an hour.

Next to arrive in the tree top was a small hawk. The crowes buz bombed him and then he buzzed them. He left, shortly there after. I then heard the familiar chirp of an eagle. It was the adults. They both arrived and sat in the viewing tree in the field. They flew to the nest and then pa started to gather branches and take them to the nest. Ma would then place them while pa satup on a branch and watched. He would then go and get more branches and twigs.

They did this for two hours and then flew south. They landed in various perch trees along the beach. When i left, they were both in the same tree at the south end of the beach. They have staked out their territory for another year.

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Nov 6 -- Hornby Island Bald Eagles - UPDATE

Hornby Island Nest 2006-2008

Doug Carrick Reports from Hornby Island: November 6, 2006

Although the Hornby Island Eagles failed to hatch any chicks last May, they remained in their territory for the remainder of the season, feeding mainly on midshipmen - eight inch fish found around tidal pools at low tide. In mid-August, most eagles on Hornby leave on migration for the salmon rivers up the coast, but the actual date of leaving depends on the family situation. In the year 2000 for example, our eagles had one eaglet, Squeaky, who was very late learning to fly. As a result, the family was late to begin migration, not leaving until September 2. This year,in contrast, when our eagles had no eaglets to be concerned about, they left much earlier, on July 28.

In September, while the eagles were on migration I had Jed Young, the arborist, install a second camera up the tree. It is placed behind the first camera, up higher and has a wider angle of focus so as to take in, not just the nest, but also the branches around the nest where future eaglets (if there are any) will practice flying. I feel optimistic about future eaglets ever since I was informed about the Winnipeg eagles, 40 years of age, fledging an eaglet. Ours are 23 years of age.

They were expected to return on October 2, and they did return, right on schedule to the day. There seems to be little variation on the expected return date of the eagles (1 or 2 days) compared with the variation in leaving dates (1 or 2 weeks). As in other years, the eagles came back to their territory, using all their perch trees for 20 days, but totally ignored their nest. The previous two years, they finally landed in the nest on October 22. This year, they were one day later - on October 23. From then on they started re-arranging sticks in the nest and then started bringing new sticks and branches. By November 3,4 and 5, they were in full swing - bringing 7 or 8 sticks per day. They also brought several small branches with their needles still on and threw them in the center of the nest. They leave them there until the needles fall off and then discard the empty twigs to the edge of the nest. They seem to like the needles for insulation and padding.

Will keep you informed.

Doug Carrick

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Hornby Island Update

Hornby Island Nest 2006-2008 While the eagles were on migration, the original camera was raised up a foot to keep up with the eagles adding 6 inches of material to their nest each year. Also, a second camera was installed back further to take in the wider view of the branches surrounding the nest. While up the tree, Jed Young noticed a section of the nest had fallen away but we assume the eagles will fix that up. On October 2, right on schedule, the eagles returned to their territory and, as usual, used their perch trees only - totally ignoring the nest. On October 23, also right on schedule, they had their first examination of the nest and were totally unconcerned about the second camera. By October 27, the eagles were in full swing - adding new branches including a maple with six yellow leaves and a long straight stick which they haven't placed yet, not knowing what to do with it? They also brought a three foot branch with green needles on it. They lay these in the nest waiting for the needles to fall off, then move the twiggy part to the side of the nest. They seem to like these needles for insulation, softness, and possible to fend off parasites? This is their eighteenth year in this same nest - a very rare thing. In a study I made of 14 eagle families over a 6 year period, half of them had moved locations at least once in this time - which makes it difficult to keep track of each family. Will provide up-dates on the Hornby Eagles from time to time. Doug
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