BETA03 (tracked since 11/26/20)
HWF tracked bald eagle BETA03 was tagged and banded on November 26, 2020, at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta, BC. He appeared to be male based on measurements taken at the time of banding and that was confirmed with a blood test; his USFW band number is 0709-01998 and he has a more readable blue band on his left leg with the characters H over 3. BETA03’s age at banding appeared to be about 8 months, so he likely hatched in the spring of 2020 (as did BETA04/Loki).
He has done more exploring inland than many of our tagged eagles, and also flew up into the Alaskan Panhandle in 2021 (his first full year of learning to be an independent eagle). In 2022 he spent some time exploring another area new to him, a bit south of the Panhandle, and also seems to have found several areas closer to Vancouver where he spent some time, including the Landfill. There’s a summary of his travels through the end of 2022 further down on this page, and we’ll be adding to that when we have time.
Please visit our Hancock Wildlife Forum thread for more information about what HWF tracked bald eagle BETA03 has been doing since then.
Summary of Travels (November 2020 – June 2021)
- BETA03 received his tracker as a first-year eagle on November 26 2020 at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta, BC
- Stayed near the Landfill for about 3 months, then headed north on February 24, 2021
- Backtracked a bit on the 25th, then headed north again arriving near Sechelt on February 26
- Explored the area between Sechelt and a little north of Campbell River until April 19, mostly along the water but occasionally venturing inland
- Continued to be based in that general area until June 3, with some longer side trips, going north to the Homathko River – Tatlayoko Protected area from April 20-22, then down to Stuart Island, and down towards the area he’d been spending most of his time, between Sechelt and Manson’s Landing (across from Campbell River); on May 14 he headed up past Squamish, then past Whistler and out to Gold Bridge on May 15, returning to Squamish on/by the 16th, then back to the area where he was spending the most time, where he stayed until heading north on June 3rd or 4th.
- He did quite a bit of exploring from June 3 to June 25, and unlike many of the other eagles, he didn’t go up the coast but headed inland. He flew from Stewart Island (a bit above Campbell River) to Burns Lake in two days (June 4 & 5), a distance of about 429 km or 266 miles – wow! Then he spent about a week (June 6-13) along the Buckley River, a bit east of Houston. By the 17th he was getting close to Port Edward and Prince Rupert, and he stayed in that area through June 25, then headed north.
Summary of Travels (July 2021 – December 2021)
- He at the Mt Edziza Provincial Park on June 28, and explored that area until July 11, spending time at Kakiddi Lake.
- He then headed northwest towards Kaketsa mountain, then turned north and headed up to the Inklin River, where he spent July 13 and 14, and then made another long flight south, checking in from the Stikine River on the 15th (I am so amazed at how far and fast these eagles can fly!); he was there for a couple of days, then continued south, crossing into Alaska on the 18th, and ending up on Mitkof Island on July 21st.
- He explored Mitkof Island until early August, then headed north, visiting neighboring Kupreanof Island, crossing Frederick Sound around August 11, and spending a few days around Farragut Bay; he then headed northwest and spent time on the coast along Port Houghton, before heading down the coast and crossing back to Mitkof Island around October 1. The data points were sketchy for much of September and October, possibly because there was less sun or because there were so few towers.
- On October 17 he checked in from near Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, and the tracker shows that he was getting close to Powell River 24 hours later; that’s a distance of about 862 kilometers or 536 miles, which is a lot further than I’d expect an eagle to fly in a day. (BETA04/Loki flew 448 kilometers/279 miles mostly in one day when he decided it was time to head north – and that seemed above average; 200 km/125 miles in a day is mentioned as not uncommon on several sites.) He seemed to be in the same place from October 18 – 28, so I’m guessing he was in transit part of that time, and by the time he reached a cell tower and uploaded data, some of it was missing. But we do know he was heading south during that period, and it was October 30th when he checked in and provided the data from the days he’d been off the radar, and he was near Sliammon then, a bit closer to Powell River
- BETA03 stayed in Sliammon through November 18, with a few little excursions; there’s a salmon hatchery on a creek there which might have been of interest to him.
- By November 20, he had moved south of Powell River to Nelson Island, and by the 23rd he was at the Sechelt Landfill, which he had visited in the past.
- He began moving south again on December 6th, and reached the Delta Landfill on December 8th. He’s made a few excursions south to Point Roberts and to Patos and Sucia Islands, and a quick visit to White Rock, but as of January 9, 2022, he’s still based at the landfill.
Summary of Travels (January 2022 – July 2022)
- BETA03 left the area near the Vancouver Landfill in Delta on January 21, 2022, and headed up the coast towards Sechelt; he spent some time there, then further up the coast to Sliammon, then back to the Sechelt landfill by February 1st
- He was back in Delta near the landfill by February 6, and was generally spending time there, Sechelt, Sliammon, and the places in between in February.
- He headed inland toward Squamish on March 6, ending up near Alice Lake Provincial Park north of Brackendale for a couple of weeks, then around March 25, he headed back to the coast, visiting islands offshore from Powell River.
After that, he returned to the Squamish landfill on April 1st, then back to Sechelt on the coast, then up the coast to Powell River, then back to Squamish on April 6; Powell River to Squamish is about 100km/62 miles – I have to note that this 2-year-old eagle has lots of energy!
- BETA03 stayed in Squamish for a few days, then went back to the coast near Sechelt on April 11 and up to Powell River the next day; he stayed in that general area until May 9, when he headed back to Squamish then continued inland to Pemberton on May 11, staying in that area for a couple of days before heading back to the coast on May 14.
- He stayed mostly in the general area around Powell River until July 3 when he went to the Sechelt area for about a week before heading back to Powell River, where he stayed until July 21.
- On July 22 he headed further up the coast towards Stuart Island and explored some of the islands up that way, returning to Powell River on July 29.
Summary of Travels (August 2022 – December 2022)
- He went back up to Stuart Island on July 31, then up to Phillips Arm on August 3rd, which I think from the lines is a place he had not explored before; he stayed there until August 10, then continued up the coast, going past Kitamaat Village on August 25, and making his way up to the Skeena River on September 2nd.
- It looks as if he turned up the Skeena River, then turned off onto the Lakelse River; he was in that area from September 6 through October 23rd (Lynne’s great coverage of his explorations there begin here – https://forum.hancockwildlife.org/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=549&start=90#p606087 – and notes that other tagged eagles are here, suggesting this may be a good place to go for salmon)
- From October 24 to November 6, BETA03 seemed to be leisurely heading south, possibly checking some other little rivers on the way – and then he made a long flight (maybe 80 km) to Bella Bella on the 7th, then another long flight almost to Stuart Island on the 8th (100 km?). He stopped in Heydon Bay for a little over a week, then over to Cortes Island on the 18th; the next day he was back near Sliammon where he stayed until December 15
- He took a quick trip over to Courtenay and possibly other spots on Vancouver Island December 16-17; he headed back to the mainland and then headed south, arriving back in Delta on December 22nd.
- He stayed near the landfill until January 19, 2023, then headed up the coast to the area around Beaver Island, which is where he is as of this update.
Please visit our Hancock Wildlife Forum thread for lots more information about the places BETA03 has explored and to see what he has been doing since then – forum member and Topic Assistant Lynne has been doing a wonderful job finding information about the places he’s been. .
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