They are back. The two bald eagles who call this tree home, near the waterfront in Vanier Park, have returned from wherever they spent the winter, which is probably Brackendale, just north of Vancouver.
It is home to the largest gathering of bald eagles in North America and around four thousand eagles arrive there in November, remaining until mid February. This area is a particularly good source of salmon for them, as they come to feed on the dying fish who have spawned in the local streams and rivers.
I need a camera with a more powerful zoom! Trust me, they are there: one on the left and one near the top, in the centre. Click to enlarge. Do you think they have quarreled? You can also see the very large nest which has been there for many years. Once the tree comes into leaf we see neither the nest nor the eagles as we pass by this spot regularly on our Thursday walk.
A short YouTube video of some bald eagles at Brackendale, taken in the winter of 2008.
Interesting bald eagle facts for your enjoyment (taken from here)
The bald eagle – or Haliaeetus leucocephalus – is the only eagle unique to North America and covers most of the continent from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. Their diet consists mainly of fish of which they consume nearly a pound a day.
The world population of bald eagles is 70,000, of which BC is home to 20,000 of the birds.
Bald eagles have an impressive wingspan of 6 to 8 feet, mate for life, and can reach the age of forty years.
Eagles fly at 50 kilometres/hour (31 miles/hour) and dive at an incredible speed of 160 kilometres/hour (100 miles/hour).
Bald eagles see 8 times better than humans.
Only two decades ago the eagles were near extinction. Populations are healthier now due to increased restrictions on DDT and other pesticide use.