Eagle Watch

P1010215


Project Eagle Watch locates, photographs, and monitors the nests of Bald Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, and Great Blue Herons.  The goal of the project is to protect wildlife trees used by these and other birds and to preserve their surrounding
habitats.


Eagle Watch-2014 Report & 9 year Project Summary   

August 9, 2014  

BACKGROUND

Eagle Watch began in 2005 when I became the Coordinator on Pender Island for monitoring the nests of Bald  Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, and Great Blue Herons. At that time I began reporting data to WiTS (Wildlife Tree Stewardship), an initiative of BC Nature, a program of monitoring the 4 mentioned birds along the BC west coast. The nest trees of these 4 birds are protected by the BC Wildlife Act.  At least 75 local Pender monitors have participated.  The project has discovered a total of 68 nests on Pender: 40 Bald Eagle, 8 Osprey, 2 Peregrine Falcon, and 18 Great Blue Heron.

I began to locate, map, photograph, and monitor all nests found, recruiting old and new nest monitors on Pender. Over the successive 9 years, the following numbers of nests were discovered on the island:

41 = Bald Eagle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

8   = Osprey

2   = Peregrine Falcon

19 = Great Blue Heron

In addition to Pender Island, I extended the monitoring range, searching for nests throughout the Southern Gulf Islands, covering 60 islands. (I also did brief stints of nest locating/monitoring farther north on Hornby, Denman and Gabriola Islands, although the bulk of my monitoring was on the Southern Gulf Islands).

Over the 9 years I located over 225 Bald Eagle nests throughout the Southern Gulf Islands, as well as several nests of Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, and Great Blue Heron.


LIAISON EFFORTS

Numerous individuals were enlisted to monitor nests over this 9 year period. Working with these monitors, and other interested people across the Gulf Islands, was a great pleasure and a source of enthusiasm.

Throughout these years, I liaised with Islands Trust, WiTS, CRD, Parks Canada, Conservancy groups, boat skippers, and other interested individuals. Other efforts included writing articles and doing display booths at various functions.


FUNDING SOURCES

Islands Trust, Capital Regional District(CRD), Pender Island Conservancy Association(PICA), Pender Island Field Naturalists(PIFN), Pender Lion's Club, Pender Kayak, Pender Island Trust Protection Society, WiTS(Wildlife Tree Stewardship), Baillie Fund(Bird Studies Canada), Public Conservation Assistance Fund(PCAF), and donations from private individuals.


NOTABLE POINTS OF INTEREST ON PENDER

The North Pender Local Trust Committee in 2007 established Development Permit Areas(DPA's) around the then known nests of Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Great Blue Herons, based upon nests I located.

Veteran Trees - These old trees, particularly along the shoreline and mainly Douglas Fir, are important nest trees for Eagles and Osprey and should be protected as much as possible.

Public vs. Private Land - Currently for Bald Eagles, 27 nests are on private land with only 2 on public park land. For Osprey, 2 on private and 2 on public. For Peregrine Falcon, 2 are on private land. From this, it is obvious that the responsibility is mainly with private landowners for protecting these nest trees.

In 2014, 2 new Bald Eagle and 1 Osprey nest were discovered. I suspect there are other still unknown nests.

2014: 8 Eaglets Fledged from 7 nests.  At least 3 Ospreys fledged from 4 nests.  At least 1 Peregrine Falcon fledged from 1 nest, with the second nest result unknown.


CONCLUSIONS FOR PENDER

Bald Eagles: Their populations have been stable during the past 9 years. Please see the Pender Nest Chart at the end of this report.

Osprey: Stable populations.

Peregrine Falcon: Stable populations.

Great Blue Heron: Unstable. No Heron nests have been located on Pender for the past 6 years. Prior to that a few nests had been located with some nesting success.

It is difficult to assess the population trends of these 4 birds on other Southern Gulf Islands. The little that I do know suggests that at least the Eagles are doing well.


A PERSONAL NOTE

I wish to step aside as Coordinator of Eagle Watch. However, I will continue to serve as the "official" Coordinator until another can be found. I will do some minimal monitoring in 2015. When a new Coordinator comes along, there are maps, data, and equipment to be passed along to that person, and I am willing to train such.


FINAL FUNDING NOTE

This 2014 season completes a 5 year grant from PCAF (Public Conservation Assistance Fund) which PICA received in 2010. There was $205.71 left in this grant to be used for expenses at the completion of the 2013 season. 

This current 2014 season, all of this remaining grant money was spent on transportation, as outlined here: 434.3 kms@ $.50/km = $217.15.

Last Season in 2013, PICA gave me an accidental overpayment of$71.91. So PICA owes me only $133.80 for mileage during this 2014 season. This completes the use of the PCAF grant monies for which a final report has been written and sent to PCAF. I have attached a copy of this report for the PICA files.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


 PENDER ISLAND – EAGLE NEST SUMMARY, 2006-2014

                                                         2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011    2012   2013    2014

Occupied Territories .............        19         19          19           19         19        19         19        19        21

Total # of Nests .....................        32                                                  27        29        28        28       29

Active Nests/Territories ........        11        14           11           11         12         13         16        13        12

Inactive Nests/Territories .....         8          5            8            8           7           5           4          6         9

Successful Nest Attempts .....          7          6            8            8           7         10           9          9         7

Failed Nest Attempts ...........          4          8            3             6           5          3            7          5         5

Eaglets Fledged ...................           9          7            8           10           8        12          12        12         8

Nests with 2 Eaglets .............          1          0            ?             2           1           0           3          4          1


2013
At this time there were 19 known Bald Eagle territories on Pender.  The number of Eaglets fledging each year has been consistent overall. The 2013 breeding season saw a record number of 4 twin nests, i.e., 4 nests that each fledged 2 Eaglets.  As well, 2 new Eagle nests were discovered in 2013.  The 2013 season saw the following numbers of birds fledged: 12 Bald Eagle, 7 Osprey, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 0 Great Blue Heron (no Heron nests have been reported on Pender since 2008).

Acknowledgments
Dave Manning, Coordinator of the project, wishes to recognize and thank all monitors, past and present.  Thanks also to those who have provided marine support, namely: Derek Holzapfel, Bob Vergette, Jim MacDonald, and Jim Burrows, all of whom skippered their boats for the project.

Liaison Efforts
Project Eagle Watch has coordinated with WiTS (Wildlife Tree Stewardship), Islands Trust, CRD, Parks Canada, and the Conservancy groups of Pender, Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, and Salt Spring.

Let’s enjoy all the lovely birds of our islands!

Anyone interested in monitoring nests can contact Dave Manning, 250 629-3638.

last picture with nest-May.7.11 Baby Eagle
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PCAF PROJECT REPORT FORM


Project Number  #892

South Gulf Islands Wildlife Nest Tree Watch Project

Amount of Grant   $2,266.00

Name of Sponsor   Pender Island Conservancy Association

Name of Coordinator   David Manning

Is this a Progress report or Final report?   Final


Budget Report


A. Contributions by Applicant

1. Volunteer labour @ $10.00/hour   $ 5000

2. Other allowable donations (such as club funds, donated services, materials or equipment)   $ 5900


B. Expenditure of PCAF Grant

List items and dollar values. Include general categories such as building supplies, major equipment, transportation, rentals, meals and miscellaneous.

Materials and Supplies  $163

Boat Fuel  $1440

Automobile Mileage  $538.00

Ferry  $85.00

Food  $40.00

Total:  $ 2266.00


Results


When was the proposed project completed?   2008/2014

Give a brief summary of the project. Any relevant photos, maps, posters or brochures should be attached.

Project located, mapped, photographed and monitored, via boat and foot, the nests of Bald Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, and Great Blue Herons (all of which are protected by the BC Wildlife Act), throughout the Southern Gulf Islands. 60 islands were searched. Over 1000 nest surveys occurred over the 5 year grant period. New nests located 2010-2014 = 80 Bald Eagle, 3 Osprey, 21 Great Blue Heron.

Please describe the benefits of the project to the environment and community. What difference did your project make?

Nest information helps local governments and private landowners to protect these nest and nest trees, as well as other potential nest trees.

North Pender Island Local Trust Committee purchased a report from the project Coordinator to comment on the Eagle and other raptor nesting patterns and compare results to the previous years in order to assess the effectiveness of Raptor Nest Development Permit Areas on North Pender Island.

Many volunteer monitors and landowners participated on the project with many educational opportunities for all.

Conservation covenants were encouraged when appropriate.

Liaison efforts happened between Conservancy groups many other individuals in the Southern Gulf Islands.


Additional comments or observations about your experience:

Other grants and donations were received from: the national organization, Bird Studies Canada, a local Nature Club, a "Fee for Service" contract from a local Conservancy group, and private contributors. Liaison efforts with Parks Canada, CRD, WiTS, Islands Trust, various Conservancy groups and Nature Clubs. No Great Blue Heron Nests were located on Pender Island since 2008. Some boat skippers volunteered time and fuel expenses. Numerous monitors participated. Auto and foot travel was extensive to locate, photograph, and monitor nests. We learned after the first grant year (2010) that the project needed to be scaled down after such massive time and travel commitments and the increased expense of auto, boat, and ferry travel; hence, we reduced the geographic area considerably. The bulk of the project was during the bird breeding season, March-August. On Pender in 2013, there were 4 twin Eagle chick nests, a record in recent years.


Would you apply for a PCAF grant in the future? What suggestions do you have for us or for other volunteer groups wanting to do a conservation project?

Pender Island Conservancy Association may apply for a future grant. This is the second PCAF grant received for this Nest Tree Watch Project. We might seek a future grant for this or another project.

It is difficult to know precise details of any grant in advance, although we stuck pretty well with our original application. Volunteer labor can be hard to foresee. We suggest each applicant have one Coordinator to oversee all the details of the project and PCAF funding, reporting back to the organization as often as is helpful. Having received a PCAF grant previously in 2009, we found it easier to perform the necessary application procedure. We appreciate the slightly simplified Final Project Report Form in the "Results" section.

Finally, we do applaud you for offering grant monies for these type of projects.  It has been extremely valuable for this Nest Tree Watch Project. Thank You!