Once the northern rivers’ fish supply is frozen up, eagles will fly thousands of miles a day to reach the Chehalis Flats for dead salmon snacks. (David Hancock file photo)

Thousands of eagles return to Fraser Valley

Eagle biologist David Hancock says in the 1960s, he counted only three nesting pairs in the valley

South Surrey eagle biologist David Hancock says every day for the next two months, hundreds of bald eagles will be returning to the Fraser Valley.

It’s a dramatic comparison to when Hancock, the founder of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, began researching the birds in the 1960s.

Hancock told Peace Arch News Sunday that in the ’60s, he counted only three nesting pairs in the valley.

“Local eagles had been defined as ‘vermin’ and were regularly shot – particularly by Americans who got $2 for each pair of eagle legs. Eagles only became icons of good when Rachel Carson led the world in an educational campaign against pesticides and changed our attitude towards predators at all the same time. It took the eagles 20 years to believe we could be trusted neighbours,” Hancock wrote to PAN.

Today, Hancock estimates that there are 19 nests in Vancouver, more than 80 in Delta, and 43 in Surrey.

“I have identified over 480 nesting territories in the valley but expect there are well over 550 pairs nesting between Vancouver and Hope,” Hancock wrote.

SEE ALSO: $5,000 offered to person who cut down prominent South Surrey eagle nest tree

Yesterday, Hancock counted between 500 to 550 eagles at Harrison and Chehalis rivers.

“With the cold weather north of us I expect we could see 200 to 500 per day arriving through November and December. Now the southern challenge is will our reduced spawning fish stock be able to feed them. The key is about 35,000 eagle migrants are on their way south looking for a free dinner.”

Residents in White Rock, South Surrey and Delta can keep track of locally nesting eagles. Hancock has installed cameras on a number of nests throughout the area, which can be found here.

The 24th annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival is to take place Nov. 16-17 at Harrison Mills.

More information on the event can be found at http://fraservalleybaldeaglefestival.ca/

Just Posted

New Surrey Police force ‘swallowing up’ city’s funds, Annis says

City councillor says draft city budget shows new force coming at expense of ‘everything else’ in the city

Cloverdale Rec. Centre to host course on writing and publishing family history

Surrey Libraries brings courses on family history research to Cloverdale

Panthers storm to playoff victory over Hyacks

Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir stuns New West in big win in B.C. high school football AAA playoff semifinals

Totems, Mariners win South Fraser volleyball titles

South Surrey teams now advance to provincial high school championships in Langley

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Family dog dies in B.C. house fire

Cause of Chilliwack blaze on Nov. 16 considered accidental

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

VIDEO: Giants toppled by visiting Hurricanes

Sunday afternoon play at Langley Events Centre saw a team from Lethbridge defeat Vancouver, 6-0

Most Read