Despite having a broken leg, South Surrey eagle continues to care for young

Despite having a broken leg, South Surrey eagle continues to care for young

Wildlife foundation will not catch injured bird

Despite having what appears to be a broken leg, an eagle that has taken residency in Surrey’s first bald-eagle reserve is exhibiting the power of motherhood.

Eagle specialist and Hancock Wildlife Foundation director David Hancock alerted Peace Arch News to the injured bird this week.

The eagle is nesting in South Surrey’s Douglas neighbourhood, in an area set aside as a bald-eagle reserve that was created last year in conjunction with the construction of a nearby townhome development.

Hancock and his team, as part of a deal with developer Dawson & Sawyer, built the framework for a nest in the ‘The Eagles’ development near 0 Avenue and 172 Street.

RELATED: Camera installed at Surrey eagle preserve

A pair of eagles finished the build this spring, and made it their South Surrey home.

Hancock hosts a 24-hour live-stream of the eagle nest on his website.

He said the mother was spotted on video feeding her young and “limping” around her nest.

Hancock told PAN Sunday that he considered catching the eagle and bringing her to a vet, but instead he will allow nature to take its course, which, drawing from his experience, might be for the best.

About four years ago, one of the eagles Hancock was tracking – based in Delta – snapped her leg after getting in a fight.

“The leg was literally snapped off, it was flopping back and fourth. We thought that was the end of her and she was about to lay eggs,” Hancock said.

RELATED: Map tracks GPS-equipped bald eagles throughout Surrey

Hancock said the mother “flopped” over in the nest, and laid there for about a month while her partner brought her food.

“A month later that damn leg was solid. It was slightly out of position… It wasn’t perfectly straight, it was a bit sideways. But she could still contract her claw.”

The Delta eagle, Hancock said, ended up outliving two males.

Despite the injury, the South Surrey eagle continues to hunt and bring back food for her young. Hancock said the foundation decided, as a group, to let her be.

“I would have to take her to a vet. The dad would have to look after the kids totally by himself, and we’ve seen her bring food in,” Hancock said. “I don’t think we could justify intruding. As much as I want to catch her, I think I will bypass her.”

As for the young, they’ve grown considerably since they hatched from their eggs in March. Hancock said the two eaglets will leave the nest in a matter of weeks. Completely brown in colour, the eagles will begin to show a white head after five years.

RELATED: Eggs in South Surrey bald-eagle perserve hatch

Hancock said the mother will only enter the nest to feed her young, or if it’s raining.

“If there was a big pouring rain you would see an interesting phenomenon. Mom would come in and perform what we call a ‘mumbrella,’” Hancock said.

“Mom comes in and she stands over them and holds her wings over the chicks, even when they’re almost fully grown, giving them protection from the weather. It’s kind of neat.”

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

Just Posted

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

‘Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few,’ CEO Anita Huberman says

The 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography machine, new to the Surrey Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (submitted photo)
New 3D breast-cancer technology in Surrey ‘has already helped so many women’

Digital breast tomosynthesis new to Surrey Breast Health Clinic

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
South Surrey Spanish Flu survivor marks 105 years

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

Gurdawara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar in Surrey is warning the public of a possible COVID-19 exposure at the temple between Nov. 18 and 20. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey gurdwara warns of possible COVID-19 exposure

Facebook post says individual was at the temple Nov. 18 to 20

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Most Read