Delta eagles dining fine

This eagle at the Vancouver Landfill is one of many who use the area to hunt for prey. - Boaz Joseph file photo
This eagle at the Vancouver Landfill is one of many who use the area to hunt for prey.
— image credit: Boaz Joseph file photo

A steady and relatively plentiful diet of seagulls, ducks and rodents is keeping Delta’s local bald eagle population pretty well fed.

Reports in the media a few weeks ago expressed concern the collapse of the chum salmon run in the Howe Sound/Squamish River area due to a toxic spill caused by a train derailment in 2005 had left plenty of bald eagles in dire straits for food.

Sue Davies, an educator at OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre) in east Ladner said that doesn’t appear to be the case.

“The birds know where to go for food,” Davies said, adding good numbers made for the Harrison area where this year’s sockeye salmon run left a good food supply. “There were so many fish the eagles weren’t fighting each other for food.”

While only a small percentage of the bald eagle population from the Howe Sound area may have traveled as far as Delta in search of better feeding grounds, what they would have found was an assortment to dine on.

Davies said bald eagles here are fortunate to have a good population of ducks, seagulls and rodents—especially at the Vancouver Landfill—to eat.

“People always talk about the eagles at the landfill, and they are not there eating garbage. They’re there for the rats. That and the heat from the landfill (produced by rotting garbage),” Davies said.

Given the number of resident bald eagles in Delta, that’s favourable news for the species.

Davies said that of the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 bald eagles in the Lower Mainland, just over half are located here.

Based on observations, other than the odd one or two bald eagles—mostly juveniles—who appear on the thin side, the majority in Delta are of healthy weight for this time of the year, Davies said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

We Day, host Selena Gomez to rock out Rogers Arena in Vancouver
Young voices from Africa
Four galleries set to honour late artist
The Scene
‘Iconic’ White Rock artist to be featured in calendar
South Surrey businesses victims of smash-and-grab robbers
Fraser Health scales down mobile flu shot clinics
CRMG issues challenge to candidates
It’s a dog’s life at Surrey Little Theatre

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.