Eagles: Circle of Life in Stanley Park

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the eagles this year in Stanley Park. Sadly, Stanley Park Ecology Society received a deceased adult bald eagle on May 31. The eagle was found beside the Stanley Park bus loop and is currently under examination by the Animal Health Centre. The preliminary necropsy report exhibited hemorrhage within the bird’s abdomen and lesions on its feet. The veterinarian suspects that the eagle was electrocuted, possibly from the bus electric line. We are still waiting for additional information to confirm cause of death. We have been noticing fighting between some adult bald eagles around the area and we are wondering if the eagle was injured or confused before being electrocuted.

Photo: Michael Schmidt

This is very saddening – these eagles are like family to us here at the Ecology Society.  Kushi opi mani wi (Starla Bob) our Eco Monitor/Educator notes that the  Indigenous community holds eagles in high respect and honour as they are seen to be close with the Creator and watch over the people. “This eagle has lived for 25 to 35 years, amazing mature wise eagle,” writes Starla.

The SPES Conservation team is regularly monitoring the nesting bald eagles around the Park and is hoping to determine the cause of the eagle’s death. We are still unsure if the eagle was one of the nesting pairs in the Park or one of the floating eagles (eagles using the area for resting and feeding, but not nesting).

A bald eagle chick waiting for mom and dad to come back to the nest. (Photo: ©2009 Mark White)

On a happier note, at least four eaglets are growing up and getting ready to fly away from their nests in Stanley Park. Recently, we located one of five eagles’ nests in the Park. The sound of an eaglet’s cry led our Conservation Technician to spot the nest along Pipeline Road.  Keep your ears and eyes open for little fuzzy heads popping out of the tall Douglas firs, one of their favourite nesting and perching trees!

Finally found! An active eagle nest along Pipeline Road in Stanley Park. (Photo: Ariane Comeau/SPES)

 

By Kushi opi mani wi (Starla Bob), Eco Monitor/Educator,

and Ariane Comeau, Conservation Technician/Environmental Educator