Delta 2 Nest Information
There have been eagles in this territory in Delta, British Columbia, not far from the Tsawwassen Ferry, since at least the late 1990s. They initially took over and rebuilt a red tail hawk nest, then nested on high tension power poles for a few years, then moved back to the nest in 2010 and successfully raised two eaglets. A camera was installed for 2011, and as of fall 2020, we have watched as fifteen young eagles were successfully raised here. There have been some challenges – the female broke her left leg in February 2014, probably while defending her territory against another eagle, and even though she could barely put any weight on that leg, she and her partner produced two fertile eggs and both eaglets fledged successfully. It’s now been several years since she broke the leg, and she occasionally favours it slightly, but as of 2019 she seems fine; she laid 3 eggs for the first time in 2020, though only two hatched. Original male Pa Delta disappeared during the 2018 nesting season – and while we still miss him, Trooper has shown himself to be a good partner for Ma and provider for their eaglets. There are other eagle pairs nesting nearby – and the cameras are powerful enough, and the “zoomers” who control them are skilled enough, that we can not only see the resident pair perched on towers guarding their territory – we can sometimes see the neighbours on a further pole, near where the territories meet.
We saw the first adult in the area on October 3rd, and confirmed that both Trooper and Ma Delta were back on October 13.
We have eggs! There are three eggs, laid February 27 at 3:17 pm, March 2 at 3:05 pm, and March 5 at 6:03 pm. This is the second time Ma has laid three eggs (only two hatched last year) – and this is the earliest she’s laid her first egg. It generally takes 35-40 days for an egg to hatch, so we’ll start looking for chicks on April 3rd, though it’s likely to be a few days after that before the first little one appears.
We have a chick! The first egg hatched at 5:30 pm on April 8th – there are pictures of the final stages of the hatch starting here – https://forum.hancockwildlife.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=499&start=13290#p441804. As of the morning of the 9th, we’ve seen a pip (the little hole that shows a hatch is in progress) in a second egg – so it’s an exciting time to be watching!
Two chicks! The second one hatched at 7:08 am on April 10, about a day and a half after the first.
Delta 2 East View
Delta 2 West View
The eagles have laid two eggs every year since we began watching them in 2011. The first year we watched, chicks Oreo and Jet (named by local schoolchildren) both fledged – but older eaglet Oreo took a bit of a detour, falling from the nest when he wasn’t quite old enough to fly and spending some time at O.W.L. (the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society) before taking his first flight. 2012 was a sadder year – older chick Goldwing died when he or she was a little over seven weeks old, but happily younger chick Linux fledged successfully. Only one egg hatched successfully in 2013, and Tux fledged successfully. 2014, the year when the female broke her leg just before the nesting season, both eggs hatched, and Ariel and Hunter fledged successfully.
2015 started normally and the pair laid the usual two eggs, but something disrupted incubation partway through the nesting cycle, and the eggs were often left uncovered, and didn’t hatch; it may have been a bit of a blessing in disguise, as having a longer break away from the nest than usual may have helped the female’s leg to heal. We didn’t think we’d be able to watch the eagles in 2016 – the nest tree was blown down in a windstorm just a couple of weeks before they usually return from their summer break – but happily HWF was able to bring in a lift and climbers, build a nest in a nearby tree where the pair often perched, install two cameras – and have everything ready for the return of the eagles! The eagles accepted the new nest and laid two eggs, both of which hatched; older chick Ace fledged successfully, but sadly Pippen died when he or she was about 6-1/2 weeks old. 2017 was a happier year – the pair laid the usual two eggs, and Spirit and Jewel fledged successfully. As the 2018 nesting season begins, the eagles have returned and are working on their nest – and Ma’s leg is looking great!
The pair laid two eggs in 2018, and both hatched successfully. However, on June 17, when the chicks were about 7 weeks old, Pa Delta disappeared, perhaps as a result of a fight with another male trying to take over the territory. There were intruders in the area, but Ma safely raised Dusk and Dawn to fledging. By the end of the season, there was a male helping to defend the territory, and he seemed to be courting Ma and not threatening the fledglings, and he was named Trooper by forum members. Ma and Trooper both returned for the 2019 nesting season and laid two eggs, and Bella and Coola (named after the community of Bella Coola on the west coast of BC) both fledged successfully.
For the first time since we’ve been watching, Ma laid three eggs in 2020 – which is a tribute not only to her health and strength but also to her belief that Trooper will be able to provide food for a larger family. As it turned out, only two of them hatched; the chicks were named Sunny and Shadow. Older eaglet Sunny had an accidental fledge, slipping from the nest when 81 days old; local observers found Sunny on the ground that evening but weren’t able to catch him/her, and Sunny never returned to the nest. Shadow had a similar accidental fledge a few days later but was able to fly to a nearby tree, and remained in the area with Ma and Trooper for almost another month. An interesting footnote to Sunny’s disappearance – soon afterwards, two eaglets were observed in a nest that was thought to only have one chick, and that nest was in the direction Sunny was heading, so maybe….
Please join us on the Delta 2 Discussion Forum and share your observations, click below.
2021 Nesting Season – September 2020 – August 2021
This Nest has been Adopted By:
~ Shirley/luvtheanimals ~
~ In loving Memory of Anna Bachmann ~
~ Sandy_W ~
~ Irish Eyes ~
~ Kitcat/Marianne ~
~ Y. A. Proctor ~
~ Jean ~
~ dragonfly/Liana ~
~ JudyB ~
~ Christine Carey aka CC398 ~
~ In Memory of Harry Stothers ~
~ The very generous ongoing support from Jane McLennan on behalf of her grand-children Tamsyn, Lucille, Finola, Hanna and her great-grand-children Ivy, Winter and Winona ~
~ Alice and Richard Currie ~
~ In Memory of Godfeather – A friend to all ~
~ Bonnie (txsun) ~
Note, the map is for reference only; the exact location is not public to avoid any potential disruptions in the lives of the eagles and those living near them. Thanks!
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