Artificial nest for bald eagles the first of its kind on Vancouver Island

Eagle expert David Hancock, left, and Myles Lamont check the treetop where they would build the eagle’s nest at the French Creek Estuary. (Michael Briones photo)
Biologist Myles Lamont scales the tree where the eagle’s nest would be built. (Michael Briones photo)
Biologist Myles Lamont scales the tree where the eagle’s nest would be built. (Michael Briones photo)
Eagle expert David Hancock, left, and Myles Lamont pile the branches that will serve as the foundation of an eagle nest they were building at the French Creek Estuary. (Michael Briones photo)
Biologist Myles Lamont scales the tree where the eagle’s nest would be built. (Michael Briones photo)

Conservation groups watched in delight as members of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation build the first artificial nest for eagles in the French Creek Estuary on Sunday, Sept. 6.

The nest is the first of its kind on Vancouver Island.

The new home will replace the current nest on a Douglas fir tree near the French Creek Marina. The decaying tree poses a risk to the public and will have to be chopped down.

Denise Foster of the Save Estuary Land Society said eagle mitigation work is a significant undertaking for the area.

“We’re pretty excited to see a bald eagle’s nest being constructed here, the first on Vancouver Island right here on the French Creek Estuary land,” said Foster. “Our society has been working to protect this land and have been working with Friends of French Creek Conservation Society for a long time. It’s an ecologically important area and the eagle’s nest is a tribute to the importance of the land for bald eagles.”

The building process took more than five hours. Before that, Hancock’s crew of biologists, along with local conservationists, scoured the area for a suitable tree. Not many have the natural structure that can firmly support the nest in place.

RELATED: Watch: Eagles return to French Creek tree saved from chopping block

The found one just behind a residence on Viking Way Road near Columbia Beach in French Creek. Hancock said it used to have an eagle nest on it but it fell to the ground due to a bad foundation.

“It’s our belief that the very pair that went over the marina nest started here about six years ago,” Hancock explained. “So we’re going to make them a nice foundation on the same tree that they had a bad foundation. We’re going to improve it for them. We’re hopeful they’re going to come back.”

Hancock said they are building a platform that the eagles will see as an alternative once they return and find their former home is gone. It’s a process that Hancock says has had a 100 per cent success rate.

Biologist Myles Lamont, who has helped the foundation build 20 nest in the last 10 years, scaled the tree and built the braces that formed the base of the nest’s platform.

“We’re using natural materials, replicating a natural nest, as close to as we can get it because birds adapt to it much better that way,” said Lamont.

The owners of the sanctuary, French Creek House Ltd., have supported the project and funded the replacement nest, includinb the installation of a webcam.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beachWildlife

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

Just Posted

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

Electrical issue causes heavy smoke to billow from Oak Bay Avenue coffee shop

Victoria and Oak Bay fire crews responded to smoke at Victoria café

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Most Read