White Rock Nest Information
On a private portion of the White Rock bluff overlooking Boundary Bay is a small grove of evergreens. One tree, only about 100 feet from the back porch of the home, had an eagle nest in it. The owner donated the installation of three pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras for us to watch this active eagle nest – a close-up cam looking down into the nest, a wide-angle cam in a neighbouring tree that provides a spectacular view of Boundary Bay (and of young eagles learning to branch), and a territory cam that shows more of the area around the nest. The eagles raised two chicks in 2010, and the first cams were installed for the 2011 nesting season. The eagles built a new nest in a nearby tree in 2016, and the close-up camera was moved and a fourth camera added for 2017. As of fall 2019, we have watched as 12 young eagles fledged successfully and seen a number of spectacular sunsets over Boundary Bay.
As of February 21, 2020, the eagles have been spending more time working on their nest than in the past few years, and we are hoping that we’ll see eggs and chicks for the first time since 2017.
We have eggs! The first egg was laid at 6:10 pm on March 10 and the second at 7:58 pm on March 13. We’ll begin watching for signs of a hatch on April 14.
We have a chick! The little one hatched at 10:52 am on April 18th. The other egg did not hatch – no clue why, but there was no sign of a hatch in progress, so it may not have been fertile or may have stopped developing at some point during the process. We are very happy that we’ll again be able to watch this great set of parents raise a chick – and early indications are that it will be very well fed!
Our chick has a name – meet Quebec! The property owner is a pilot, and provides names based on the phonetic alphabet (he’s skipped some letters as some make better names than others).
Quebec fledged on July 2nd – but it was a very unusual fledge. It happened at 3:07 am while still dark; Quebec appeared to wake from a sound sleep, run to the edge of the nest, and jump or fly away (video – slow motion at end); he or she was was 75 days old, so younger than most but old enough to flap or glide safely to the ground – or maybe to a branch. Several people who know the area have searched near the nest and found no sign of Quebec. Unfortunately there are many eagles and fledglings visiting the beach near the nest; we’ve seen a fledgling that reminded observers of Quebec a couple of times, but unless he or she returns to the nest or we see an adult land on the nest with food and then bring it to one of the fledglings, it will be really hard to know for sure. Safe travels, Quebec – and it would be great if you stopped by the nest!
White Rock Closeup
White Rock Wide Angle
White Rock North
White Rock South/Bluff
The eagles here laid two eggs in 2011, the first year we watched, and Charlie and Delta fledged successfully. There were two eggs again in 2012, and Echo and Foxtrot fledged successfully. The nest was looking a bit precarious by the end of the 2012 nesting season, so when David Hancock installed additional PTZ cams, he made sure they would also provide a look at another tree that looked promising for a nest, and may have added a few branches to help them get started in case they decide to move. 2013 was a hard year at White Rock; it appeared to many observers that a new, possibly young, pair took over the nest. They laid two eggs, but were not consistent about incubating them, and near the hatch date, a sub adult landed while the adults were away and broke one of the eggs; David Hancock reviewed the video of the event, and said it looked as if the embryo had stopped developing at 10-12 days, probably from lack of incubation. The second egg was broken a few days later and also appeared only minimally developed.
We don’t know if the original pair returned in 2014 or if the previous year’s pair had matured, but there were three eggs laid; one was damaged during the nesting season, but the other two hatched and Indy and Jules fledged successfully. There were two eggs in 2015, and Kilo and Lima fledged successfully – but about two weeks after they fledged, while they were still using the nest for food drops – the nest came down. We were very happy that both fledglings were old enough that they didn’t need a nest. The eagles built a new nest for 2016, in a tree which was just barely visible from one of the cams; local observers reported that they appeared to be incubating, and we eventually saw two chicks (who were not named). The new nest fell down when the chicks were about 10 weeks old, and fortunately both chicks were able to cling to branches, and there was enough nest left that one at a time could lie down, at least initially. The eaglets were fed on the branches, and both fledged successfully and spent several weeks in the area, visiting the old nest tree and the human-built nest, so were eventually seen up close on the cams.
In preparation for 2017, some supports were added to the new nest tree and cams were installed – and happily they used the nest, laid two eggs – and Mary (after David Hancock’s late wife Mary Scott) and Oscar (returning to the aviation alphabet) fledged successfully. There were intruders in the area in 2018 (David Hancock says three pairs have nests that are too close for comfort) and the female appeared to have been injured defending her territory; she held the territory and recovered, but they did not lay any eggs. Unfortunately, 2019 was a repeat of 2018 (without any injuries) – the eagles were around, but did not lay any eggs. As we start into the 2020 season, both adults are back and seem to be working on their nest more than in the past two years, so we’re hoping….
Thanks to Russ Cmolik for sponsoring cam installation!
2020 Nesting Season – September 2019 – August 2020
This Nest has been Adopted By:
~ Rosana Inacio ~
~ In Memory of Gail Morris ~
~ JudyB ~
Note, the map above 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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