Eagle deaths avoidable

  • Jul. 8, 2015 11:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverThe bald eagle believed to have clipped some power lines before careening into a house June 1 in Masset has returned home. After spending three weeks in the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society centre in Delta, the mature male eagle has now fully healed. He has been banded with an identifying tag and released back into the wild. The eagle had flown into a residence near the dock in Masset. “There is no one on-island who is qualified to care for these animals,” said Leila Riddall, the volunteer, people contact about injured eagles and birds on Haida Gwaii. She added that the injured birds have to be under proper care to extend the likelihood of survival. She said she is relieved to have the eagle home, safe and sound, but the celebration was cut short when another another injured eagle was found and sent off to the OWL centre. “This is a serious issue,” Ms. Riddall said. “Close to 20 birds have been sent down to the OWL centre this year.”She is now appealing for public assistance on the issue, as these injuries are in large part caused by the human habit of throwing fish and other food scraps on the shore to attract eagles for photographing.Ms. Riddall and other conservation groups are now speaking out strongly of the dangers of feeding eagles, of which there are plenty. In some cases the birds will fight over food, not paying attention to their surroundings, and unintentionally fly into power lines, windows and other obstacles. Other hazards of feeding the eagles are that the juveniles don’t learn how to hunt for themselves and may gain too much weight to fly properly. When an eagle flies into power lines or runs prey into the lines they can receive a powerful shock. The survival rate for eagle electrocution is extremely low. Just five per cent will survive a run-in with power lines. Additionally, Ms. Riddall said, people and lodge employees sometimes throw fish waste on the beach without ensuring the food waste is safe for the birds to eat. “Some of the fish still have hooks in them, or [the meat] is rancid,” Ms. Riddall said. “Rancid food is just as bad for eagles as it is for us.”The recent injured eagle’s fate is unknown. Its likelyhood of survival will be assessed when it arrives at the ICU of O.W.L. It is unknown if it will be as lucky as the male eagle who has now come home fully recoved.Pacific Coastal Airlines has a standing agreement to transport the eagles from Haida Gwaii to the OWL centre in Delta free of charge. Most of the injured eagles found on Haida Gwaii are sent to the O.W.L facility in Delta.

Just Posted

Maritime Museum project receives legacy grant

A special project of the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society has been… Continue reading

Richardson Ranch celebrating 100 years of family and ranching in Haida Gwaii

Tlell Polled Hereford’s continue to win awards while the ranch becomes a popular spot for visitors

Indigenous voices finally heard with final MMIWG report, says Northwest B.C. advocate

The report contains more than 200 recommendations to multiple levels of government

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

New exhibit at Haida Gwaii Heritage Centre, Kay Llnagaay

Ubiquitous Cocoons: My metamorphosing life by Kathy Pick will be running until Sept. 1, 2019

First ever Nisga’a mortuary totem pole unveiled in Prince Rupert cemetery on Father’s Day weekend

The pole was unveiled at Fairview Cemetery in honour of the late Robert Tait, renowned carver

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read