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The Herons are Back

Stanley Park Heronry
As of Valentine's Day, February 14th, there are herons in the heronry at Stanley Park. According to Dalyce (Raptore) there were 3 birds visible on the camera that day. We've had the camera going for some time now, but there has been nothing to watch. Now our patience has been rewarded.

Yesterday (Feb 27th) I was sitting at my desk with the minimal versions of the cameras up on one of my screens when some movement in the Heron cam caught my eye. The host of our camera position was home and had taken the time to re-focus the camera on some of the birds that were there, zooming in for a better look. I phoned her and we discussed the camera settings, and she got it set on one nest with a bird in it. We got some great shots of the bird for a while, then it decided to walk off the branch and fly away, so she again set the camera to point at and take in several of the nests in the "B" tree.

Yesterday was one of Vancouver's reasons why we all live here - bright, sunny, blue sky, clear air and lots of snow visible on the North Shore mountains after the light snowfall of the previous day. I told her that I might visit if I got the chance. I decided in the early afternoon to ride the Honda down and take some pictures of the birds.

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Close but not here yet

Victoria/Sidney NestDavid Hancock and I just got back from visiting the site of another nest - this one of an osprey on the docks in Esquimalt, near Victoria.

While over on Vancouver Island, we visited the Sidney nest site where I did some minor maintenance on one of the servers and David took some photos. I've been watching the feed off and on for the past couple of weeks while working on getting one version of our free streaming working (or not... seems I'm still learning that anything that can go wrong, does). Most times I've been watching the birds have not been there, or have not been doing anything. Only one time in over two weeks ago did I see them building.

Today they were both in the nest and I grabbed some of the high-res from the archive server to show you.

Read on for more on what has been happening and why

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Campbell River BC (Vancouver Is) Bald Eagle Festival: March 3/07

Festivals and Fun The Campbell River Bald EAgle Festival is about to hold its 2nd Annual Event.

If it turns out like last year it will be incredible -- again. Maj Birch, the organizer and energy behind the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, promises both great weather and record number of eagles. Actually I predict the record number of eagles.

Unlike the other west coast Festivals, the Campbell River one is set when all the local breeding eagles are on their territories. However, the area gets hundreds of additional northern birds still going north and hundreds of sub-adults that do not have to stay on a nest territory. These brids gather in this area -- right through to Doug Carrick and his Hornby Island area, to feed on the schooling balls of herring gathering to spawn.

I can't remember the name of the beautiful Museum but it is on the highway as you enter Campbell River. You can always tell it as a pair of nearby nesting birds perch beside the hghway above the Musuem doorway -- quite a greeting to most people.

Doug and I will be on hand with talks, hopefully answering questions etc. As will lots of other speakers and a whole building full of interesting exhbits.

I hope to see you in Campbell River. It opens at 10:00. March 3

David Hancock

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Complications and Frustrations

Victoria/Sidney NestThis was originally posted to the Discussion Forum's Sidney BC Bald Eagle Nest section yesterday.

The cameras at Sidney are not yet available to the public for a number of reasons, some of them technical, some of them contractual, and some of them just plain bad luck.

The cameras are in - and have been seen to be working to the encoders at the Epicure offices, but the ADSL lines were not in to start with. Then they were finally in, and one of the cameras doesn't want to show up at the distribution point, and we have no audio.

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A first view of the Stanley Park Heronry

Stanley Park HeronryOn the afternoon of December 18, 2006, I visited the heronry near the tennis courts by English Bay, just on the Eastern edge of Stanley Park. I was accompanied by Dalyce the heron expert from the Stanely Park Ecology Society. As much as anything, I wanted to see for myself the extent of the colony since the last time I'd seen herons at the park, they were in the trees around what at that time was the zoo area, near the famous Stanley Park Aquarium, in a whole different area of the park. I also wanted to see what damage the trees had received in the storms of the previous weeks. The park in general has sustained huge impact, with acres of trees in some parts simply devastated. Right near the nest we saw this conifer's root ball with the tree itself fortunately pointing away from the nest trees.

Dalyce met me near the parking lot of the Parks Board offices which is just below some of the trees the herons have taken over. She had a plan of the area showing the trees with monikers of "A", "B", etc. and we discussed the potential placement of one or more cameras.

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