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This is a sad update — but on the mend. The two chicks at the BBC (Boundary Bay Central) CAMS had just so wonderfully come into the world to a couple of proud parents and the line went dead.

These are the two new HD CAMs that Barbara so kindly sponsored after the adults had immediately returned to their territory and saw we had installed a new nest. It took them a few minutes to accept the nest perches and then much of the fall trying to re-nest at their old nest which kept falling out of the tiny tree. But eventually, even after borrowing some of our branches to try and insert in their failing efforts at the tree nest, they settled down and decided to nest in our fine shade-covered nest. The two chicks came to life in a wonderful hatching series.

Last week the two BBC CAMS went black. The homeowner was not contactable so our CAM technician, Michael started at the site where we download into the pipe for web distribution. No signal was received. Then Michael went down the dyke and found that the power was off to the base of the pole. The challenge was pinned down. The next day I was able to make contact with the landowner supplying the power and we learned the house he had just bought had a whole series of ‘non-conforming’ electrical connections and the power had to be re-wired. The good news is that he is presently having this done. He hopes to have us reconnected in 10 to 12 days. Thanks Tony, for this contribution to the broadcast and public outreach of this important ecological site.

As a bit of further background, this Nest Territory 570, our BBC Cam site, is situated in Delta BC. Delta is also the home of about two-thirds of the surrounding shores of Boundary Bay. This Bay is probably the richest bald eagle habitat in all of North America. I have been saying for the past many years Delta houses more bald eagle nests than any other city in the world. Delta alone has 84 active eagle nesting territories that we have located. Probably another half dozen plus exist in or around the Burns Bog that is largely inaccessible.

The natural feeding areas of Boundary Bay and the adjacent Vancouver Landfill, just a kilometer inland, not only feed these 84 pairs, but for much of the late winter months are the host for most of the 35,000 northern wintering eagles before they go back to northern Canada and Alaska to breed when their lakes thaw in late March. Our recent Tracking studies have also revealed that many of the eagles nesting throughout the entire lower Mainland depend upon Delta as well.

It now seems likely that most of the 300+ pairs of the lower Mainland visit Delta daily or at least each week. And this is less than half of the 700 active territories we have located in the Valley west of Hope. It is not uncommon to spot two to three thousand of these migrating eagles at the Landfill in an hour.

Delta is the uncontested “Bald Eagle Capital of the World.” This not only gives the region incredible bragging rights — but also incredible promotional rights — and both come together with incredible responsibilities as well. But that is another story for another day. Then we will go into why Delta and a few surrounding cities in the lower Valley are also the Raptor Capital of Canada.

With the ‘black screen puzzle” solved, we will just have to wait out the few days in darkness. No option. Then there will be light!! Sorry about that.

Stay well. You can always check in on the Surrey Reserve nest eaglet – some will remember that the other egg was soft-shelled and immediately broke. Or jump across Boundary Bay to view Russ’s pair, the White Rock nest, now with two chicks named “Whiskey and Xray.” The whole story about one of our long-time supporters is rich with eagle lore: it started with the first two chicks “A and B” chicks named after the pilot’s alphabetical nomenclature. You are working on that!! Indeed he has been supporting this nest territory since 2009. You also probably guessed Russ is my favorite pilot – a late bloomer who did not learn to fly until after he retired. He is now catching up on a promise to learn a new profession every year. What a way to stay bright, alert and fit. I am going to go back and try and now learn English! Maybe I will learn to write short sentences!

This year Russ graduated at the head of his class to become a licensed Semi-Trailer long-haul Truck Driver. I can just see him crossing Africa driving a semi-trailer tractor pulling a couple of helicopters so he can check out the African Fish Eagle nests for us. I hope he invites me.