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'Reptile Guy' out of business: Shelter provider puts animals up for sale

Wildlife News

By Neil Corbett - Abbotsford News
Published: February 16, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: February 16, 2011 3:38 PM


The Reptile Guy is out of business.

Mike Hopcraft has 100 different animals at his warehouse on Peardonville Road, including a 15-foot Burmese python, tortoises, a camen, an American alligator, spiders, scorpions and other creatures.

Now he has listed many for sale, and is looking to find homes for the others.

“I don’t have the funds to keep it going, unless some miracle funding comes through.”

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Where eagles die

Wildlife News

Brendan Borrell. Published online 18 January 2011 Flaws in Alaskan island rat-eradication project laid bare.

American bald eagle

Misjudgements made two years ago during a rat-eradication programme on Alaska's aptly named Rat Island, which led to the death of more than 420 birds — including 46 bald eagles — have now been detailed.

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Travels on the Island

Wildlife News

Since arriving here at Hancock Wildlife a few months ago, I see eagles and raptors everywhere I look. Of course, that’s not to hard in this end of the world, with more than 50 nests just in the general neighbourhood of the office itself. The dump where David has undertaken counts a few times in the last couple of months is also not too far from here and it takes a lot of concentration just to keep my eyes glued on the road as I drive past, knowing all too well that if I glance to the left, I am quite likely to see dozens of eagles, hanging around in the trees surrounding the place, or, another dozen up in the air. Breathtaking!

And, this follows with any drive I take. If there is an eagle around, I’m much more likely to spot it. Just this weekend, I was over on the island, taking some friends to see the renowned Butchart Gardens. As we’re coming down the sole road that leads to these gardens, we noticed a new winery had opened up, and outside there were two huge banners stating that “The Raptors have Arrived!” Intrigued, we pulled in and the sign didn’t lie, there are indeed raptors being kept at the winery. The idea, which I had read about just last week is that the raptors become pest control, dealing with small rodents and starlings , along with other small birds that can wreak havoc on a winery’s grapes. Below is a story regarding a similar setup in Oregon and when I return to the island in 2 weeks, I’ll stop in again and get some pictures. I missed their final show for the day by about 10 minutes, however I did get a glimpse of a pair of hawks, an owl and a truly huge golden eagle. The winery itself is called Church and State Winery and the newspaper story is below as well as the story I had come across last week from Oregon :

Raptors at the winery

Church and State Wines

Raptors as pest control in Oregon

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All eyes on webcam eagles as eggs set to hatch next month in Sidney, Hornby island

Wildlife News

An eagle nest near Sidney is a busy place after a third egg hatched in this 2009 image captured from David Hancock's wildlife webcam.

Photograph by: Hancock Wildlife Channel, .

Every intimate detail of the domestic life of the bald eagle is being recorded by webcams strategically placed beside nests in Sidney and Hornby Island.

Mom and Dad Hornby have two eggs, one laid on March 22 and the other on March 26, meaning they could start hatching April 26. The Sidney pair have three eggs — something achieved by only about four per cent of eagle couples — which could start hatching as early as April 11.

Hatching is a tense time for eagle watchers. In Hornby, where there have been more failures than successes, baby hopes are running high.

Doug and Sheila Carrick, who started watching the nest with a video camera in 2004 — and are now assisted by the Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society and — have ridden an emotional roller coaster with the eagles.

In 2006 the eggs failed to hatch; 2007, two eaglets hatched; 2008, no eggs; 2009, two eggs hatched, but one eaglet died at 11 days; last year, one egg hatched, but the eaglet died at 76 days from a type of pneumonia.

The Sidney camera is one of six eagle sites — most on the Lower Mainland — under surveillance by the not-for-profit Hancock Wildlife Foundation. A hummingbird nest in Victoria has also been added.

Dave Hancock is hoping all goes smoothly — especially in the Sidney nest where, last year, viewers were horrified to see a raven grab one of the eggs during a moment of inattention by mom.

Read the rest of the story here:


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It's a Bird! It's a Plane!It's ... a New Seagull-Like Robot Spy Drone!

Wildlife News



A new robotic flying drone [1], styled like a seagull, has arrived [2] on the scene. It doesn't squawk, poop or steal french fries from your hand, but it's an example of incredible bio-mimicking design that could be the future of airborne robots.

We've met a Festo robot before [3]--a robotic manipulator/gripper arm with a design that's heavily inspired by elephant trunk muscles--and so we know about the company's penchant for using bio-inspired thinking in its robot engineering. Festo actually has a whole suite of innovations under its Bionic Learning Network umbrella, but the Smart Bird is the most eye-popping among them.

Read the rest of the story and view the amazing video here:


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National Conservation Training Center Issues Statement on Resident Eagles

Wildlife News


Caption // Photo Credit: Todd Harless USFWS


Shepherdstown, WV – Since 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) has connected people to nature by streaming live video of a pair of American bald eagles to viewers across the country and abroad via a camera placed near the eagles’ nest.

The NCTC eagle cam serves as an educational tool to showcase eagle biology, including mating behavior, egg laying, incubation, and in a successful year, rearing eagle chicks until they are old enough to leave the nest. Although the NCTC campus is closed to the public (with the exception of the annual open house and occasional special events), the cam records video year round can be accessed online anytime at:

Read the rest of the story here:

Read and/or post comments about this nest in the HWF Discussion Forum here:


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Bald eagles return to Lake Ontario shore

Wildlife News

Tys Theijsmeijer, head of natural lands at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, points to a map showing where two bald eagles are nesting in Cootes Paradise in Hamilton.

Are a couple of American icons making babies in a Hamilton marsh?

If successful, the pair of bald eagles nesting in a tall white pine in Cootes Paradise just might be breeding the first homegrown young on Lake Ontario’s north shore in 50 years.


The majestic creature, whose wingspan is more than two metres, is the national bird and a patriotic symbol of the United States.

The eagles were first spotted in the wilderness area west of Highway 403 in 2009, when the male was too immature to reproduce, said Tys Theijsmeijer, head of natural lands for Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

“We’ve just been waiting for the immature one to graduate to adulthood,” he said. “In the interim they built a nest.”

Read the rest of the story here:



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Eggs in eagle-cam nests mean newborn chicks will be in view soon

Wildlife News



It's not a fast-moving show and has only intermittent episodes of sex and violence, but it's one of the few produced-in-B.C shows that brings in viewers from all over the world.

The eagle cams are up and running in five eagle nests, including Sidney, and, to the excitement of Dave Hancock of the not-for-profit Hancock Wildlife Foundation, four out the five eagle pairs have already produced eggs.

"A lot of us get a tremendous amount of egg joy through this and, as scientists, we acquire so much understanding of how the eagles behave," Hancock said.

"We see all the intimate behaviour."

Read the rest of the story here:



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