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Report on 2014 -- 2015 Season Repairs & Updates

The following nest tree cam cleaning and updates were undertaken for the 2014-2015 Season.  The annual services for each nest largely include the costs for cable connections, monthly server fees, day-to-day service costs when Ken, Ben or Mike have to spend time keeping the cams running and the replacement or upgrades of any encoders, servers, cams or components that happen during the year.  Then come our annual cleaning and upgrades as needed. The following defines these final year-end events.

Ken, Ben and Mike supervise our techy work.   I, David Hancock, arrange lifts or climbers as needed.
1.   White Rock  Sept 4-5:   We did a major effort with the WR nest  Last year we had installed a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cam in the adjacent tree but it only ran about 2 weeks then simply quit.  This season we decided to invest in two new PTZs – one to replace the wide angle PTZ that had failed and the other to replace the fixed close-up cam that had quit in June.
Russ had supplied the regular climbing crew as the lift to get me up there can no longer get around the now landscaped grounds.   The first great surprise, as we were standing beside the new cam that had fallen 100 feet down the tree as the climber was pulling it up him, was not just that this new Vivotek was still running after this incredible fall, but there on the nest tree, 6 feet up from the ground, was the obvious answer why the fixed close-up cam had died!!  Here was the line coming down the tree but it had been hit, probably by a tractor blade and been severed.  Ken quickly spliced it and wonders of wonders it started streaming.  The second miracle of the day!!
After two days of frustration in attempting to get the PTZ cams level and functional the task was accomplished except that Brad had to go back a third day to tie down a loose strap and move the mic a bit higher.  So today we have a PTZ and a fixed cam in the nest tree, a PTZ and fixed wide angle cam in the adjacent tree and the third PTZ to the south of the nest tree that looks out over Boundary Bay.  So I suspect we now have the world's best camerized nest overlooking the best bald eagle habitat in the world.  Over the next couple of weeks Ken hopes to get all this up and running.  In situ are 3 PTZ and 2 fixed cams.
Note:  The PTZ we removed proved to be semi functional and we are about to send it back to the manufacturer for review.

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Rivers Day 2014

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:

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Expanded Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Season of the Eagle & Salmon -- a must to attend for 2014!!

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: for schedule of events.

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A Good Eagle Story - Harrison Mills Eagle Nest

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.

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Why the Eagles Returned


Hancock here:

Peter said it all! 

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).



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