Surrey Reserve Nest Information
There have been eagles in this territory for at least 20 years – but these cams show a new nest set up in the fall of 2018 to replace one that blew down. Happily for us, the eagles named Sur (M) and Res (F) for Surrey Reserve accepted the nest and successfully raised two chicks in 2019; as of the fall of 2021, they had successfully raised 6 young eagles. The Surrey Reserve is a tract of land set aside for the eagles in an area of rapid development (read more about that below) and fortunately the eagles don’t seem to mind the construction in their back yard – and perhaps they took notes: nest preparation in 2020 and 2021 looked much plusher than the perfectly adequate nest of 2019. 2022 was a year of change – Sur and Res were replaced by a younger pair we’re temporarily calling Surrey Male and Surrey Female (details in the history section further down the page). They did not nest in 2022, but began fixing up the nest in the fall before leaving in search of salmon, so we are hoping they will return for 2023.
Surrey Male (SM) arrived back on the nest the evening of October 9; as it began to get light on the morning of October 11, a second eagle was perched beside him on a branch we call the Night Perch – and it did turn out to be Surrey Female (SF); she may have arrived the previous evening.
March 9 – our eagles have names! Our beautiful and powerful female is now Brit – short for British Columbia, and our handsome and dedicated male is now Rey – named for Surrey Reserve.
March 24 – there’s an egg! We think this is the first egg ever for our young pair, laid by Brit at 4:22 pm. Rey didn’t get a peek until the next morning, and (humanizing a little) it seemed to take him a while to realize what it was and what he should do, but he has now begun to share in the incubation duties. Lots more details and pictures on our forum starting here – https://forum.hancockwildlife.org/viewtopic.php?f=114&t=640&start=3510#p657194.
Surrey Reserve North/Closeup
Surrey Reserve South/Wide Angle
Eagles have been nesting in this rapidly developing part of Surrey for at least 20 years, and cam sponsors Dawson & Sawyer were the second developers who approached David Hancock for advice on how to develop a region that contained an active bald eagle nest. There were some challenges – the original nest fell down, the eagles moved, a new nest with cameras was provided in the fall of 2018 (full story here) – and happily the eagles adopted the new nest built for them in British Columbia’s first bald eagle reserve. (A bald eagle reserve is a section of forest large enough to support an eagle nest which is set aside by a developer who is clearing land adjacent to it.)
Male Sur and female Res moved into the nest that had been built for them, and made it their own – and laid their first egg on camera on March 7, 2019, with a second egg three days later, on March 10. Both eggs hatched, and eaglets Dee and Ess (pronounced like the letters D and S) fledged successfully. The eaglets were named in honor of Dawson & Sawyer, the developers who helped make the Surrey Eagle Reserve and this nest possible. The pair returned in 2020 and laid their two eggs a little earlier; both hatched, and Thor and Loki (named by owners of the Eagles townhome complex next to the Reserve) both fledged successfully. Loki had a mishap a few days after fledging and ended up dangling from a powerline; she was rescued and spent a couple of weeks in rehab where it was determined she had no serious injuries (and that she was probably female, based on her weight). She was released near the nest, but did not stop by to wave to viewers before heading north; she was banded (blue band on left leg with silver D over 3) – and equipped with a tracker (link for interactive map) (link for discussion on our forum). She moved into Alaska at the end of August 2020 and the cell towers there have a different frequency so we may not hear from her until it’s cold enough for her to head south to BC. Thor was last seen on the nest around the time the tracker showed Loki heading north – so they may not have flown up together, but I think they got the same signal that it was time to go. ~JudyB
Sur and Res returned in the fall and laid two eggs a little earlier than the previous year; both hatched successfully, and the chicks originally designated as SR5 and SR6 were named Tiku and Tucca by students from ÉÉC Saint-Joseph in Port Colborne, ON. Everything turned out fine in the end, but we had a scary couple of days. Tiku tried to land next to younger sibling Tucca and they both fell off the branch by the nest and down into the maze of branches underneath. Tiku managed to get balanced on a little branch and flew off about 20 minutes later, but didn’t make it back to the nest until the following evening. (The adults were feeding him while he was off the nest.) Tucca had a harder time – though only a day and a half younger, he was at least a few days behind in development, probably because there were some days when food was scarce and only the older eaglet was fed. Less experienced and less strong, Tucca ended up further down among the branches, with no clear path big enough for an eagle to fly out. And Tucca was there for two of the hottest days ever in BC, with no way for the adults to get to him to bring food. For two full days, Tucca called for food, and flapped as much as he could among the branches, and moved around a bit, looking for a way out. And at 10:05 am on June 26, Tucca officially fledged, flying out of the nest tree and landing on a nearby Douglas fir. This was not only his first flight but also his first landing – and like many a young eagle before him, he grabbed the branch and spun around, ending up upside down. He let go, and landed on another branch, also upside down. And then (I love this part of the “Tucca on the Move” video), instinct kicked in, he turned his neck in one of the impossible looking ways eagles can so his head was right side up, picked a destination, turned his body to match his head as he was letting go – and flew off! And disappeared for more than a day. Late in the evening of June 27, local observers reported that they could see both fledglings perched in different trees – and early on June 28, they both came to the nest. (More details and videos here.) They were both around for at least two weeks; the last time an eaglet was seen was July 19 (probably Tucca); the adults last visited the nest on July 22, though we saw adults in the area occasionally until the end of July, with calls heard a couple of times in mid August. 2020 eaglet Loki had a successful first year, coming back from Alaska, spending some time on Vancouver Island and Washington State, and heading back to Alaska to celebrate the first anniversary of her fledge; as of mid-September, she hasn’t checked in for a month, but she was “off the radar” for two months last fall, so I’m hoping she’s back in the same area with more salmon than cell towers.
2022 was a year of changes. Res and Sur returned as usual in the fall, but a male intruder challenged Sur on November 12 – and that was the last time we saw Sur. Ever the optimist, I’m hoping that Sur realized he couldn’t win against a younger, stronger opponent and chose to leave and find a new territory. Res and the new male were seen together a few days later, and seemed to be getting along (although the young male was as likely to try to grab her food as to bring her food gifts). On December 23, we observed them doing some work on the nest, after which she flew off; that was the last time we saw Mom Res. A young female arrived at the nest at the end of December; there were several eagles around, so we’re not positive that she is the one who eventually became the new female here, but I think it’s likely. They did not prepare the nest or lay eggs this year – and it’s quite common for new pairs to have a “getting to know you” year before settling down, and both these adults appeared to have some gray shading on their white feathers initially, suggesting they are young. By late summer they were doing some work on the nest, before leaving for the salmon runs as most coastal eagles do in the fall; we agreed that they were no longer “new” and temporarily named them Surrey Male (SM) and Surrey Female (SF). There’s a lot more information on the forum here. We are hoping they will return – and perhaps raise a couple of chicks in 2023.
Please join us on the Surrey Reserve Discussion Forum and share your observations, click below.
Thanks to Dawson & Sawyer for developing the
first British Columbia Bald Eagle Nest Reserve
and installing… (more)
2023 Nesting Season – September 2022 – August 2023
This Nest has been Adopted By:
~ Irish Eyes ~
~ gemini ~
~ Charlie Ipcar ~
~ JudyB ~
~ CC ~
~ In appreciation of the HWF volunteers ~
~ The very generous ongoing support from Jane McLennan on behalf of her grand-children Tamsyn, Lucille, Finola, Hanna and her great-grand-children Ivy, Winter, Winona and Bea ~
Thanks to Dawson & Sawyer for developing the first British Columbia Bald Eagle Nest Reserve, installing the nest frame and the two CAMS. This whole project first required considerable faith that the Hancock Wildlife Foundation history of developing successful Mitigation Plans could again be effective. The British Columbia Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Natural Resources had to work within the BC Wildlife Act and with the City of Surrey and Dawson & Sawyer on the basis of developing a practical plan to benefit bald eagles. Will it work this season or will the development in the region cause a pause holding off the eagles from using the artificial nest for a year or two? See the background of the nest for the full story.
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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