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 2019, we have watched the pair successfully raise thirteen young eagles. 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 she is heading into the 2020 nesting season as a very strong, capable eagle. 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.
Ma Delta and Trooper have both returned and have done a good job preparing their nest and guarding their territory – and they look ready for eggs. They may not wait until March this year – so keep your eyes on the nest!
We have eggs! Not only did Ma Delta lay her first egg on the earliest date since we started watching in 2011 – for the first time ever she laid three eggs! This 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. The eggs were laid March 1 at 5:39 pm, March 4 at 2:26 pm, and March 7 at 7:04 pm. We’ll start looking for signs of a hatch in progress on April 5th.
The first chick hatched at 4 am on April 11 and the second chick hatched the following day at 4:10 am – almost exactly a day apart! One of the three eggs, likely the first one laid, did not hatch; there was no sign of a hatch in progress, so it likely either wasn’t fertile or stopped developing fairly early in the process.
Our chicks have names! Introducing Sunny and Shadow, winners of a poll by forum members watching the cams; the member suggesting this pair of names referenced an aboriginal meaning – “The eagle feather is divided into two parts, dark and white. This represents daylight and darkness, summer and winter. The white feather tells of summer when all is bright and the dark feather represents the dark days of winter.”
Older eaglet Sunny had an accidental fledge the evening of July 1 – he was on a branch and tried to hop back to the nest, slipped, and ended up on the ground. Experienced local observers found him in one of the fields near the nest that evening but were unable to capture him – he can fly, though wasn’t getting much height. As of July 4, he hasn’t returned to the nest and there haven’t been any sightings, though rescuers and the zoomer team have been looking. Sunny was 81 days old when it happened, so close to the time he (or she) would have fledged normally, and it does take time for eaglets to develop the strength needed to fly up to a nest – so we are all hoping he’ll return. Update – as of July 9, we have not seen Sunny.
Younger eaglet Shadow had a similar accidental fledge the evening of July 4; happily he was able to fly to a nearby tree, where he spent the night. Shadow returned to the nest the next day, and as of July 9 is doing a lot of coming and going and exploring the area.
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.
Please join us on the Delta 2 Discussion Forum and share your observations, click below.
2020 Nesting Season – September 2019 – August 2020
This Nest has been Adopted By:
~ Jacki Hatfield and Bruce Goodwin ~
~ Sandy_W ~
~ Yolande A. Proctor ~
~ Alice and Richard Currie ~
~ Jean ~
~ JudyB ~
~ Pat B ~
~ In Memory of Harry Stothers ~
~ In honor of Carol MacKay’s 60th birthday – a friend to all ~
~ Anne and Ron ~
~ Monica & Warren Jolly in honour of their Wedding day! ~
~ In fond memory of Earl Cleven, a long time friend of HWF ~
Pre-Adoptions for the 2021 Nesting Season –
September 2020 – August 2021
~ Shirley/luvtheanimals ~
~ In loving Memory of Anna Bachmann ~
~ Sandy_W ~
~ Irish Eyes ~
~ Kitcat/Marianne ~
~ Y. A. Proctor ~
~ Jean ~
~ dragonfly/Liana ~
~ JudyB ~
Note, the map above 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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