The Hornby Eagle Group (HEG) formed in 2009 to continue broadcasting the Hornby Eagles webcam, which was first streamed in 2006. In December 2010, the Group became a registered non-profit Society in British Columbia and was renamed the Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society (HEGPS).
For two years, we were privileged to broadcast a live, intimate view of a beloved pair of bald eagles, Mom and Dad Hornby, and their eaglets Phoenix (2010) and Alexandra & David (2011). The original webcams were retired in the autumn of 2011. In April 2012, HEGPS installed a new camera on "Gregg's Tree", which is about 230 feet from the nest tree; while the view is not as intimate as provided by the older cameras, we can see the Hornby's territory and perch trees, as well as the nest tree and nest itself. The Hornby Island ground crew continues to monitor the nest and post videos and photographs of Mom and Dad Hornby in our forum (Our Nature Zone).
After a relatively uneventful January and February, March 2015 turned out to be a time of great change for Mom and Dad.
On the evening of March 1, Mom flew off to chase another eagle. She did not return for her usual brief late-night nest visit. When we next saw Mom, her face, eyes, beak, and the back of her head had several discolored areas that eventually resolved into areas of injury (rather than clinging food from foraging). Mom and Dad were seen together on the cam through March 15 and by our ground observer on March 14.
A great number of eagles were in the territory at that time, awaiting herring. Eagles of all ages competed for fish and for good perches. This year, there seemed to be more food competition than usual. There were also a number of new adults, some of whom were vying for Dad's attention. While it appears that many visitors in for the herring spawn may have dispersed, we continue to see some immatures and some young females.
At this time (April 2, 2015), we appear to have two or more females (five and six years of age) competing for Dad's attention. We do not know whether Mom has died, has been vanquished, or has removed herself from the fray. There have been no reports of dead or injured/grounded eagles on the island to date. Dad continues to hold and defend the territory.
The months of November and December 2014 were relatively uneventful for Mom and Dad. Weatherwise, there were a few strong storms with high winds and rain, which they (and the nest) weathered sucessfully. The days were short and we had a few issues with the cam system, so some days the cam observations were not as extensive as usual. The Ground Observations topic in the Forum holds some interesting information and wonderful photos for the past couple of months.
Other eagles (as well as a Perigrine Falcon) have been in the area, sometimes eliciting loud calls from both eagles, plus the occasional chase. However, sometimes the visitor has perched on the same tree as Mom and Dad or in a nearby tree.
We have seen both Mom and Dad visiting the nest - Dad brought food to the nest for Mom on December 16 and we believe there was a mating off-nest on December 19. However, there has not been any nest repair activity as would be common for the Fall months. What will 2015 bring for the eagles? Stay tuned ... and check the Forum for daily information.
Read earlier updates here.