Bald Eagle Nest - Hornby Island

The Hornby Island Eagle Nest site of the 2005-2006 season has entered the history books as the largest single live streaming video experience to date. 40,000 live streams going 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for over 4 months.

The storms of late 2006 took out the cables to both the original, close-up camera, and the new wide-angle camera that Doug had installed, so there was no video from this nest for 2007 season. The pair raised 2 eaglets - much to the surprise of Doug who had only seen one until the second one started branching prior to fledging.

In the 2008 season the eagles did not raise any young.

This camera is not available to us at this time.

Check out the main camera page for links to our current crop of nests. Please check out the FAQ and the Hornby Island discussion topic in the forum for more information - as well as the Media Gallery for past pictures and video. We especially like the Member's Media Gallery contributions from Corra Anne and Bociany.

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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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Hornby Island Eagle not SHOT!

Hornby Island Nest 2006-2008

Another interesting misinterpertation!!! The Horby Island Eagle has NOT been Shot!

I guess one has to chalk up to human behavior, or misbehavior, the inabitlity of some people to look for problems, create them from nothing, or read something bad into whatever they want. I had thought earlier that we shoud save the total Forum responses, not just for the interesting, thought provoking and sincere questions, but perhaps for the exceptional few who are not at all interested in the eagles, their incredibly facinating behaviior or questions about their environment, but seem hell bent on finding something to bicker about or distort -- for whatever reasons their contorted minds have conjured up. Could these demented souls be more interesting than the eagles? No -- I go for the eagles.

Here is Doug Carricks simple comment on the latest misunderstandings or bs ! He still has the live feed from the camera coming into his livingroom and knows of what he speaks.
David Hancock


FROM : DOUGLAS CARRICK on Hornby Island Date: August 9, 2006 10:25:16 PM CDT

I was informed about the BB shot rumour for the first time just 20 minutes ago. There is absolutely no truth to it. One problem about being shot in the nest is that they just don't use the nest any more. More important, I have seen them in surrounding perch trees every day up to July 29. On July 30, they went on migration.

I have been watching them particularly closely this year because so many people would be interested in the life of these "senior eagles" and I visualize myself as becoming an eagle geriatrician. Over the years, I have observed the average migration date for Hornby eagles is mid-August. But delays in migration occur in the case of late-hatching and late-flying eaglets. About six years ago, the eagle family two miles down the beach, which I call the "Dysfunctional Family", had an eaglet that fell from the nest too early and was ever so slow to learn to fly. Because of this, the family didn't migrate until mid September.

On the other hand eagles not burdened with offspring generally leave earlier. This year, I was watching closely to confirm just that. And they did leave earlier. All this is to say, that I have been watching the eagles especially closely this year and that they were managing very well until the date of migration. Neither eagle was shot by a BB, I can assure you.


PS -- NOTE: this is the bald eagle pair that so valiantly sat their two infertile eggs. We are hopng that they will do better next year. =======================

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The Streaming Eagle Nest - A trip to the nest site (updated)

Hornby Island Nest 2006-2008

The nest is in the "Snag" dead center - the tree that has no top

The Quinitsa travels from Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island to Denman Island, first hop to Hornby.

I've just returned from another trip to Hornby Island on my Goldwing to visit and work on the computer hardware connected to the camera in the now world-famous live eagle nest camera.

Update One of the reasons I wrote this was to extend the experience of the nest to people who will never visit Hornby. The trip there is by no means the longest or most boring I've ever taken, and it certainly is nothing like visiting the Antarctic or something - it's just an out of the way place that happened to already have a camera in an eagle's nest in a tree as well as high speed Internet fairly close by.

People who live 3 ferry rides from a major city and 2 ferry rides from what others consider civilization do so for any number of reasons. Some of them do it because of the beauty and some do it because of the solitude.

The fact is that the Internet breaks down distance to the point where any point on the planet is less than 1 second from any other point - by wire.

The eagle nest we view could be anywhere on the planet - or at least anywhere within several hundred miles of where it actually is. Even though we know exactly where it is, it still is invisible by any means we employ other than the camera painstakingly installed when the eagles were not there.

I've given you a vicarious trip to the nest. Please respect the privacy of the island inhabitants and try to resist the urge to arrive in droves. If nothing else you'll save the locals from having to deal with more than the normal rush-minute (when the ferry arrives/departs)

On the other hand, please do visit the area. Parksville, Quallicum, Comox, Courtenay, Campbell River, Port Alberni and all the places in between (my favourite is Coombs - where they have goats on the roof of the local emporium). Fanny Bay - oysters! Lots of places and all have eagles. I spotted what has to be a 1 ton nest just North of Quallicum on the new Highway - in a tree to the West out in the middle of an open area. I was doing 110kph in a rain storm and was past before I could even think about stopping (and no turn around for miles) but I have to go back and take some pictures next time I'm there

Anyway, it is hard to put the stuff back into Pandora' s box, but at least we've tried :)

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Hornby Island Eagle Eggs Lost

Hornby Island Nest 2006-2008 ---- The Bald Eagles at Hornby Island BC have lost their eggs. They apparently were infertile ----
see bottom of page for link

----- 1st egg laid March 21 at 5:45 PM
----- Second Egg laid: March 24.
----- Eggs failed and site shut down May 5, 2006 (see new nest with young here)


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