The latest snowstorm may have caused a disruption to some humans, but it didn’t stop a bald eagle on a South Surrey preserve from laying its first egg on Wednesday.
With a dusting of snow lining the nest, dad Sur and mom Res welcomed their first egg at 4:02 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Surrey Bald Eagle Reserve, a conservation project lead by the Hancock Wildlife Foundation.
“I sure hope she sits tight to keep this first egg warm,” said David Hancock, biologist and founder of the non-profit.
Hancock began studying bald eagles in the mid 1950s on southern Vancouver Island, later expanding to the Gulf Islands, Barkley Sound and parts of the Great Bear Rain Forest of central British Columbia.
More recently, Hancock and his team have been monitoring the nesting and wintering populations of eagles in the Greater Vancouver and Lower Fraser Valley regions, including 20 nests in Langley.
Unfortunately the Langley nests are not set up to provide a live video feed, and Hancock is actively looking for a sponsor to adopt a nest.
However, live streams are provided at five other nests, Delta, White Rock, South Surrey, Harrison Mills and French Creek on Vancouver Island.
Hancock expects Res’s second egg to arrive Saturday afternoon, and the public can view her laying the egg live on the foundation’s online stream at hancockwildlife.org/surrey-reserve-cams.
Most hatchlings in this area arrive in April.
“With the Fraser Valley still hosting a large number of high tundra and boreal forest nesting eagles of northern Canada that winter in our valley, many eagles are visible to our valley residents,” Hancock noted. “The two or possibly three eggs will take 36 or 37 days to hatch, so we should have a young eaglet April 1 – my birthday!”
Last year Res laid the pair’s first egg on Feb. 27.
“This is its third year of producing young at this artificial site – two each year so far,” Hancock noted. “Quite rewarding to have these eagles nesting in a condo development.”