Save French Creek Estuary Land has documented eagles nesting on a Douglas Fir tree near the French Creek Marina. (SFCEL photo)

Bald eagle family in French Creek to get a new home

Artificial nest will be a first of its kind on Vancouver Island

An artificial nest will be constructed for a family of bald eagles, currently living near the French Creek Marina in a tree deemed unsafe and requiring removal.

The project will be conducted by biologist David Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, which has built more than 20 nests for eagles on the Lower Mainland.

The artificial nest will be located at the French Creek Estuary and will be a first of its kind on Vancouver Island.

Property owners French Creek House Ltd. had planned to chop down the decaying Douglas fir tree in 2019 for safety reasons, as it is located near the road and a parking lot. But Save French Creek Estuary Land, a local conservation group, intervened due to the eagles nesting in the tree. The plan was halted and a decision was made to seek the expertise of Hancock to relocate the nest. Earlier this year, the group documented the eagles raising a pair of eaglets. This reinforced the group’s stance on preserving the habitat.

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

RELATED: Solutions sough for French Creek tree that housed eagle’s nest

On Sunday, Sept. 6, Hancock’s team will scale a tree in the estuary and haul branches to build the nest. Hancock has had a high success rate in establishing alternatives to natural nests and has documented eagles that have adapted to their new homes.

The construction of the replacement nest will be funded by the property owners, who also offered to pay for the installation of a webcam at the nest and the construction of a second eagle nest in the area.

French Creek Estuary Land lies in the unceded territory of the Qualicum and Snaw-Naw-As First Nations and is governed by the Regional District of Nanaimo. It has been the focus of a passionate community conservation effort for decades.

“French Creek Estuary Land could become the first eagle preserve on Vancouver Island,” said Hancock, who proposed the idea due to the area’s significance for nesting and northern wintering eagles. “It’s an incredibly diverse and rich habitat supporting 180 species of birds, over 60 species of waterfowl, salmon, river otters, beaver and many other species of wildlife.”

The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society and the Save Estuary Land Society have partnered to support the Hancock foundation with nest constructions and webcam placement.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

ConservationParksvillequalicum beachWildlife

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

Just Posted

Port Hardy Mounties help First Nation chief build smokehouse

‘We have great maya’xala for all the community members, in each of the communities…’

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Access to remote Side Bay beach up in the bureaucratic air

Roads to the pristine north west coast Vancouver Island beach at risk of being deactivated

Mount Cain planning a modified winter season for north Island ski and snowboarders

Skiing is a COVID-friendly activity, but shared public spaces require adjustment

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read