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 to 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/

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photos of masked-marijuana-clinic robber released by Abbotsford police

Gunman robbed dispensary for cash and weed, still at large

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Abbotsford-Mission has Canada’s third-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions & reduces mobility, researcher says

Abbotsford weed dispensary held up by masked robber with weapon

City’s second pot-shop robbery to take place in one month

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Trudeau promises update on blockades as Wet’suwet’en chiefs meet Mohawk supporters

B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to Coastal GasLink

Woman missing in Metro Vancouver

Police seek public’s help locating Atefeh Jadidian, last seen in Maple Ridge

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

UPDATE: ‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

Most Read