Roughly 8 years ago, David Hancock spotted a new eagle nest in Surrey, located at 20 Ave and Croydon. As David tends to do, he made a note within his large database of nests around BC, and kept an eye on it. It’s been an active nest for all of these years, with a regular nesting pair who have produced offspring from this nest. Below is a selection of pictures of the nest in action. The nest was known as one of the “most noticeable eagle’s nests in Surrey.”
Some pictures of the tree and area from before the loss :
On Tuesday afternoon, Nadia Chan, manager of trees for Surrey, stated that the tree, located on private property, had been partially cut through and was at risk of falling. The city sent their arborist over, who came to the same conclusion, as the tree had been cut on both sides. David Hancock arrived in the evening to review the removal of the tree. “I had no alternative (but) to say that it had to come down,” Hancock told PAN, adding that the tree was hanging on by two inches of wood. Full details on the tree removal can be found in this link on the Abbynews.com site : Abbynews.com : Prominent B.C. eagle nesting tree cut down
David Hancock also did an interview with GlobalTV regarding the unfortunate loss of the nest :
Below are some images and movies from the felling of the tree.
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On August 6th, David Hancock and Christian Sasse of SassePhoto revisited the Croydon site live on youtube.
David is very interested in rallying the community together to quickly build a new nest in the area, ideally before September when the original nest occupants will return. Below are David’s thoughts on this :
Croydon Drive – Bald Eagle Nest has been Cut Down
So what can we do? July 27, 2018
Sometimes severe circumstances demand and even offer incredible cures. The blatant ‘cut down of an Active Bald Eagle Nest’ is just that. Furthermore, this eagle nest at the heart of south Surrey in the center of our premier shopping and residential heartland has been – I fear — very deliberatively cut down in the hopes that a ‘mere fine’ would be well worth the financial gain. For the eagles this site is centered on their unique access of some of the world’s best feeding habitat, both Semiahmoo Bay to the south and Mud Bay and the two rivers delta’s to the north.
In short, the violation of the Wildlife Act under Section 34 has mitigation remedies not just of simple fines but offers up both Creative Fines Section 84 1-2 and Additional Fines Section 84.3 that allow recovery of any financial advantages gained though the violation of the Act. This could readily mean that the destruction of this active bald eagle nest and the nest tree needs to be compensated by not just replacing the nest and tree but giving additional values to equal any monetary advantage gained through the nest and tree’s loss. This means that the now degraded eagle habitat needs to be compensated for as eagles cannot live without protective nesting habitat. The resolution is relatively straight forward. To give the nesting eagles a secure nesting site in this now degraded habitat would require giving some protection to the surrounding habitat, a newly defined Bald Eagle Preserve, but this park would also need to have an artificial pole and nest erected to give immediate relief to the nesting eagles, along with the planting of living trees that will grow to support a nest in 60 to 80 years.
In approaching South Surrey along Highway 99 just past the Nicomekl River you encounter a prophetic sign welcoming you to Super Natural British Columbia — it is up to us to see that we keep it that way. And most importantly the Province has enacted the BC Wildlife Act to facilitate this.
Interestingly, this project of the pole and nest construction has already, in the first 24 hours, had ‘tentative approval’. It is apparent that this egregious error of judgement in cutting down this wildlife treasure is sufficiently offensive that no other reasonable options are acceptable.
I am hoping through this letter to initiate community support to have this egregious wrong righted. Over the years I have worked with various local and provincial government departments to show that the Mitigation Plan suggested is viable — perhaps the ONLY viable option when something so purposefully destructive as this has already happened. This Croydon Drive Bald Eagle Nest Mitigation Proposal lays out two totally interrelated and simultaneous required actions: (a) the immediate preservation of the lands and trees surrounding the old bald eagle nest – the function of the City of Surrey and (b) the preparation and erection of a pole and nest that must be in place by September 10 so that the eagles returning from their northern migration see the alternative nesting site ready and waiting – this will be my responsibility to find the pole and have the nest constructed and lay the groundwork for its installation. The schedule is very tight but manageable.
The Hancock Wildlife Foundation has built a number of such successful artificial nests hence we were asked to complete this ‘time and experience’ driven project without bid. Because it is imperative that this nest pole and nest be in position before the eagles return at the end of September or early October we have been instructed, so as to not again be unnecessarily disrupting the nesting eagles, to undertake this planning on the above time schedule. By next week I will have hopefully located a pole and got some prices on the nest construction and erection. I will work with Surrey City people to approve the precise site and any local geological engineering as in previous sites.
What I am hoping with this note is to generate community support; initially we may only need to have support of key environmental organizations, their key executives etc., but we need to simultaneously gather individual names to show resident and surrounding individuals’ support for this project. I am hopeful the government agencies will undertake what is needed. In the meantime HWF is setting up a web page outlining and tracking this Mitigation effort. Keeping it on track will depend upon public interest. If anybody or groups want to discuss this I am available. I feel incredibly optimistic that many groups conservation and habitat efforts are coming together on this specific issue. Wonderful!
See: https://hancockwildlife.org/croydon (this page)
Croydon Strategy: How to Mitigate Vandalism of a Bald Eagle Nest
by David Hancock and associates, July 29, 2018
Basically this brazen violation of the BC Wildlife Act and local City of Surrey Bylaws and years of developer assurances needs some strong public response to promote very punitive measures to prevent further destructive ecological happenings locally.
While I have been called upon for over 50 years “to speak for eagles” and I have worked extensively to determine ways the adaptiveness of bald eagles can be utilized to help them share our urban and suburban environments, I am reluctant to be leader of this public demand for effective mitigation. I feel happier being called upon to provide advice that has proven successful. So, what I have done is set up some way that the Hancock Wildlife Foundation can support this public outreach and lend support to the government agencies to seek the ecologically acceptable ‘righting of this wrong.’
Background: I have worked for several years with the local and provincial governments to develop ways bald eagle disturbances can be effectively mitigated. In this Croydon Eagle Mitigation I have already been asked for advice, both what was the history of this breeding pair and what do I think is practical from our box of ecological tools to bring about a mitigation that would / should see eagles nesting at this site in the future. That I want to do — and I believe we can present a plan to accomplish this.
Strategy: To accomplish environmental awareness requires more than the Province posting a sign in Surrey to state: “ Super Natural British Columbia“; it requires the City of Surrey to do more to protect these incredible unique elements of our City that contribute to BC being Super — and Surrey staying Super! Bylaws need to be enforced and where necessary strengthened. But most importantly, and I cannot state this enough, nothing will happen if the citizenry does not state that they demand this. AND I sense the City and Province are ready.
- I have attended the tragic eagle nesting site, reviewed the options for the eagles’ recovery with different government levels and I believe that we can offer the eagles of the future a satisfactory plan to allow them to live with us at Croydon Drive.
- I have gathered together the beginnings of a list of “concerned citizens and conservation organizations to whom I now wish to assemble — somehow and somewhere to develop and execute a Mitigation Plan. Who will organize this meeting and where can this happen? Please come forward if you even just support the topic.
- Please contact me: David Hancock cell: 604 761-1025 or office: 604 538-1114 This is urgent and I wish to go forward immediately with community support.
(( This is being sent to my preliminary list of committed community minded souls — please pass this along to all your friends — this is essential. ))
The images of the Global News account are/were available from Global TV or will be at Hancockwildlife.org
Croydon Bald Eagle Concerned Citizen: I want to be notified of actions
if you’d like updates with respect to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation’s efforts to restore a nest to this location, please join our newsletter. Thank you!
This is also becoming a topic of discussion within our long running Forum, if you follow this link: Forum Discussion on the Croydon Nest