David Hancock, the Chairman of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, is both a wildlife biologist and publisher of Hancock House Publishers Ltd. and, in his capacity as researcher, writer, photographer and lecturer, he and his wife, Mary, travel a great deal each year. David also guides many wildlife film crews, tours and safaris, particularly to bald eagle, bear and orca destinations along the British Columbia and Alaska coasts, or to other parts of the world. He also acts as a consultant to individuals or Wildlife authorities about mitigation for eagles or installing artificial bald eagle nests. During these adventures he often sends in reports on the travels and wildlife encountered or the studies being undertaken.
This part of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation web site carries many of these reports. Others are linked into the menu to the left. You are invited to travel with him.
David also is pleased to do audio visual presentations to large and small audiences on the values of wildlife or on eagles or whales. David has in the past done an annual "guest biologist" series of presentations for Princess Cruises. His schedule of lectures, can be found in this section and on our HWF Calendar.of Events.
Hancock here: as you may note from the past I think ecologically how creatures are interdependent. The key to all our existences is water -- pure clean rain, rivers and oceans filled with it. The challenge for most of us is that greed driven exploitation never -- well seldom -- considers this essential component adequately. The HWF supports the Harrison Salmon Stronghold and the water-based ecology that supports their salmon and eagles. British Columbia has been a leader in this key resource management with our former BCIT environmental director, Dr. Mark Angelo, being the founder of Rivers Day -- here in BC, then for all of Canada and then he convinced the United Nations to support World Rivers Day.
Coming up on September 28 is the world's acknowledgement of our most important resource and Hancock Wildlife Foundation will again support one of the local initiatives at Mission, BC. There will be displays, talks (not too much!!) and riverbank events on the shores of the Fraser River at Mission -- just on the east side of the Mission Bridge. Come support our Fraser River and HWF from 11 AM - 4 PM. See you by the river.
Below are some comments on the World Rivers Day:
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Schedule of Events --- 2014
Eagle Release and preliminary schedule.
• November 12, 2014 Official ‘eagle release’ at Pretty Estates Resort
Season of the Eagles Festivals:
The season will be marked by THREE weekends of festivities, lectures and displays.
• Weekend #1 November 15 -16 19th Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF)
David Hancock will provide lectures on the Wondrous Bald Eagle Recovery at Harrison Mills, the Bald Eagle Capital of the World, at the Tapadera Estates viewing site and act as a guide on numerous Fraser River Safari Eagle Tours through November and December. Other speakers will give presentations each weekend on other natural history topics. The FVBEF will host displays and various open houses at different locations on this first weekend – see: www.fvbef.ca for schedule of events.
Banders, Rehabilitators, Citizen Scientists - Contribute to Bald Eagle Knowledge
On March 5, 2013 an adult bald eagle showed up on the Harrison Mills Bald Eagle nest -- in view of our live streaming cams. On March 10 and thereafter two adult eagles were seen working on the nest. However it wasn't until March 31 that we noticed that the female was banded. A number of our volunteers immediately started to focus in on the band numbers. Nine numbers would be needed to get the records from the central North American band office, the USF&WS in Patuxent, Maryland to track down the history of this bird. Only 4 or 5 numbers could be seen on the facing curve of the band. This could be one of thousands of banded eagles -- but which one? Where did our late arriving female come from before appearing on our cams? This was an interesting challenge to unfold -- or uncurl -- over the next 3 months of the breeding season.
But let me give you the background. This Harrison Mills nest (HM) overlooks the world's largest winter gathering of bald eagles ever witnessed -- I counted 7,362 eagles individually in about 2 square kilometers of the Chehalis Flats, directly to the north and east of this nest on December 18, 2010. Probably well over 10,000 eagles were then present in the 5 kilometer area along the Harrison River that we consider our annual bald eagle winter count area. The eagles were here for one purpose, to gorge on the spawned out carcasses of the 5 species of salmon dominating this river -- Canada's first Salmon Stronghold River. Harrison Mills is the region surrounding the Chehalis Flats, the alluvial fan into the Harrison River which supports Canada's most important complex of spawning salmon which in turn attracts the huge numbers of bald eagles.
Peter Nye has been studying New York eagles since 1976 when he started the NY bald eagle reintroduction project. From the early 1980s he spent his summers collecting eaglets from Alaskan nests. These were of course the nests my friend, Jim King, had first surveyed by air and then Jack Hodges had expanded with his boat surveys. Northern Alaskan bald eagles from Admiralty and Chichagof Islands became the new breeding stock that Peter Nye collected for the New York introduction. The full story of Peter Nye's NY eagles and their origin is given in the book Bald Eagles in Alaska by Bruce Wright & Phil Schempf (Hancock House 2010).
In more than 60 years of dealing with eagles, not counting our incidents getting world coverage on TV and live streaming Web, no actual bald eagle nest has resulted in more people simply asking me directly: "Do you know of the eagles nesting on the tower by Boundary Bay?"
So here is what I know from my records of "HWF Nest #152" -- but one of nearly 400 nests we have documented in the Fraser Valley. I would call it just the 'Tower Nest' but I have 9 pairs locally nesting on similar towers -- and several in and around Boundary Bay because we humans have long-ago chopped down most of the trees in which they would prefer to nest. But no doubt, this is the most obvious nest to many: the Boundary Bay Highway 99 Tower Nest #152 -- okay, the Tower nest!!
In the fall of 2010 I noticed adult eagles perched on the tower where earlier that year, and for the 3 previous years, Red-tailed hawks had successfully nested. Comments from neighbors started during the spring and summer of 2011. The eagles were so obvious standing on the tower and the nest was growing throughout the spring to a noticeable size. I had seen considerable nest activity during the spring of 2011, including seeing an adult sitting in the incubation position suggesting she had eggs. However the pair was not successful that season. By late summer the adults had departed, as all our eagles do, on their northern migration but were back on the tower by early November 2011 -- getting ready for the 2012 breeding season.