The White Rock Eagles

Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 02:14 PM EDT

Contributed by: davidh

The Lower Mainland of BC, or better known as Greater Vancouver, is the Bald Eagle Capitol of the World.  White Rock is part of that great re-conquering of the area by its greatest avian predator - the bald eagle.  Additionally White Rock sits between the two greatest natural areas of eagle habitat, the intertidal flats of Boundary Bay and Semiahmoo Bay.  If our City by the Sea had not gone through such a "scorched tree policy" these past years, many more pairs of eagles would be nesting in our City.  As it is, exclusive of the First Nations property, I only know of one actual pair nesting in the city area and that is near our western border.

The surrounding Surrey penninsula area indeed is home to about 12 more pairs and Delta and Surrey total areas are home to about 100 pairs.  Since the United States (Alaska) quit offering a bounty on bald eagles over half a century ago, this has again become eagle country.

The only disappointment is alluded to above -- White Rock has removed most of the big trees so necessary to support a huge eagle nest.  We have recently further degraded the eagle habitat by removing their favorite perch trees along Center Street.   On the other hand, I recently met with Mayor Baldwin and his Chief Administrative Officer as we were "depressingly" discussing the removal of those last few conifer above the "The Hump" on Marine Drive.  The encouraging thing was that the Mayor said he would take up my suggestion and get the BNSF Railroad to organize the installation of an artificial nest pole on the Railroad property of the Hump.  Now that would set White Rock in the record book  -- if they encouraged the nesting of eagles back in the 'beach center of town' -- just above the famous white rock.  Wonderful. 

Now the Mayor has promised to organize this but I know, as you know, that this will only happen if the public puts the pressure on to see that the BNSF makes some contribution to our beautiful area.  Let's get the eagles back on "The Hump" -- this time, as I am sure would have happened before we cut down all the big trees, breeding again in the most beautiful and productive bald eagle habitat of the continent.

Your Surrey neighbors, I included, want to see this happen.

David Hancock
Bald Eagle Spokesperson & Biologist

Hancock Wildlife Foundation