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 2021, we have watched as seventeen 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, new male Trooper showed himself to be a good partner for Ma and provider for their eaglets from 2019 through 2021. Trooper was last seen on February 8, 2022; there were males around, but Ma did not choose one and nest in 2022, though she appeared to have a consistent companion known as DM (for Delta Male) by the end of summer.
The new Delta 2 nest was installed on Monday, September 12, 2022! Details and lots of pictures are on the forum starting here. Big thanks to everyone who donated to the GoFundMe drive that made this happen and to our annual maintenance drive for work on all the cams!
As of December 1st, we have had owls visit the new nest several times, but have not seen the eagles there. Local observers report that there is a pair of eagles building a new nest on one of the large power line towers nearby, unfortunately out of sight of the cams. We suspect this is Ma Delta and DM, but have not been able to confirm that. Eagles do sometimes start nests, then change their minds, so there’s still a chance they might check out the nest on a pole at some point.
December 26 – Ma Delta brought some food to the new nest – first time we’ve seen an eagle there! DM may have stopped by one of the perches afterwards. More info, pictures and videos on the forum starting here – https://forum.hancockwildlife.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=574&start=19740#p630762.
A juvenile bald eagle stopped by the new nest later on December 26 to snack on the leftovers and spend the night and the next day; no idea what might have happened, but the young eagle was missing their right foot. The future will be challenging for this young eagle, but we’re hoping for the best. Posts start here – https://forum.hancockwildlife.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=574&start=19755#p630859. Sadly the young eagle did not make it; he or she flew off the nest for no apparent reason around 10:30 pm on December 27, and his or her body was found under the nest the next morning. David Hancock said the youngster was very skinny and the foot may have been lost to electrocution.
June 27 – zoomer and local observer RoseA visited the nest site and got a photo of an eaglet in the tower nest. We think there may have been eggs laid around March 13, which might have resulted in hatching around April 20. That would make the eaglet around 10 weeks old. Link to photos of the site visit start here.
August 16 update – Speculating a bit, if the hatch date was April 20, the eaglet would have been 12 weeks old on July 13. Eaglets generally fledge when they are between 10 and 14 weeks old. The eaglet – likely a fledgling by then – was seen perched on the tower August 4 (possibly about 15 weeks old). Two eagles were seen on the nest on August 8; the observer couldn’t tell if one was the fledgling or both were adults. There have been no sightings since then.
Delta 2 East View
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Delta 2 West View
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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…. Ma and Trooper produced three eggs again in 2021, and two of them hatched, becoming Hope and Chase (named for communities in British Columbia); both eaglets fledged successfully.
2022 was a year of many changes. Trooper disappeared on February 8; there were males around during the spring, but Ma did not choose one and nest in 2022, though she appeared to have a consistent companion by the end of summer. He was named DM (for Delta Male) once it appeared that he would be Ma Delta’s new mate. On June 13, observers noted that Ma had apparently reinjured her left leg, which had healed successfully after having been broken in 2014; it improved over the summer, but she had a significant limp for the remainder of the season. If that weren’t enough, the nest tree was dying and began to fall apart. The branch holding the West cam broke in November 2021; the cam continued to stream for a while, though at a strange angle, but the branch and cam fell to the ground in mid-March. The remaining camera came loose, showing a slanted view of the nest, and the cam finally went offline in August. HWF started a GoFundMe drive to replace the dying tree and falling nest with a secure nest on a pole – and that new nest was installed on September 12 (lots of pictures starting here). Now we wait for the eagles to return and see if they adopt the new nest we provided for them.
Please join us on the Delta 2 Discussion Forum and share your observations, click below.
Thanks to the 185 wonderful people
who donated to our GoFundMe campaign
to build a safe and sturdy nest
for Ma Delta and her new mate!
2024 Nesting Season – September 2023 – August 2024
This Nest has been Adopted By:
~ Irish Eyes ~
~ Gilbert Family ~
~ In appreciation of the HWF volunteers ~
~ JudyB ~
~ Richard and Alice Currie ~
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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