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We were aiming high when David Hancock put the plans in motion to get cameras ready for the 2011 nesting season - and the members and friends of Hancock Wildlife and the eagles have come through! We've raised over $15,000, with donations coming from well over 100 people. Really spectacular, given that this is a time when the eagles are not at the nests that often - and people aren't visiting the website as much as when the eagles are actively nesting.
If you haven't done so lately, please visit the article that started the current fund drive - Donations Needed to Prepare for the 2010-2011 Nesting Season. Karen Bills has done a great job of adding notes as each nest was visited and cams installed or given a full cleaning/maintenance check - so you can see how many of the items on our wish list have actually been accomplished. David, Karen, Ken Cillis and Richard Pitt had a very busy week and a half in September doing all the installs, checking the nests - and knowing their eye for detail, probably leaving a fish-flavored mint on the "pillows" for the returning eagles!
The next step is connecting the new cams - White Rock with its marvelous view of Boundary Bay; Pacific Coast Terminals - Port Moody, one of the industrial sites mentioned as possibilities at the end of the additional list; and Delta 2, which should have a topic telling more about the nest before long. There's also a second cam in the works for Lafarge, which will add sound as well as a close-up view if all goes well. And hopefully everyone has now seen the new wide-angle/infrared cam at Sidney - which should teach us more about where the eagles (and hopefully fledglings) perch - and what they do at night.
The camera component of all these is in place - the work that remains involved setting up and configuring the computers and other equipment on the ground, upgrading internet access to handle streaming cameras, and similar projects - and we're hoping that work will be complete before long so everyone can see these great nests, and get to know the eagle pairs before nesting season.
If you've gone through the list of what we'd like to do - and made a note of the estimated cost for the items now marked done (including the $1000 estimate for Port Moody as one of the industrial sites), you'll see that total estimate (which was too low) was $16,000 - very close to what we actually raised. As is often the case, I don't think any of the installations were actually under budget, and several were quite a bit over (the price of one of the types of cameras had gone up quite a lot, for instance) - so if you haven't had a chance to donate (or your circumstances will now allow you to donate a little more) - we do actually need a bit more money to cover the basic expenses of the cam installation and maintenance projects David and his crew did in September.
Donations received by Sunday, October 31st, will be included in the final total to be announced on November 1st. (And we might add a "PS" announcement on the 8th if additional checks arrive that week.) If you are sending a check and would like to let Karen Bills know she'll add it to the total we announce on Monday. You can contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your support - whether financial or by posting observations or by helping out on the forum or in other ways.
And have a wonderful eagle-watching season!
P.S. We also have a number of ongoing expenses, and several projects we'd love to pursue - if we had the funds. If you're interested in being part of a group looking at ways to increase our overall income and to reach out to other constituencies, please let me know. Thanks! ~JudyB