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'Ma and Pa' eagles return to White Rock area

The two eagles nicknamed "Ma and Pa" have returned to their White Rock-area nest.

It is the third time the nesting pair have chosen to lay their eggs and raise their offspring atop a tree on a privately owned bluff overlooking Boundary Bay.

Branches were wired into the top of the tree and sticks were left invitingly in the yard below to encourage the pair to settle there two years ago.

"We gave them a foundation and building materials," said David Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, the group that also installed two inconspicuous web cameras to provide continuous live-streaming video of the nest at

http://www.hancockwildlife.org

On Tuesday (March 13), Ma and Pa's first egg appeared, the exact same date as their first egg last year.

Hancock said it shows how the light cycle so precisely effects the species.

"While the weather can change annually, the light cycle, the period of sunlight available each day, is very precisely the same each year," Hancock observed.

"And of course our eagles, as well as most birds, have their hormonal cycles controlled by this period of light."

If history continues to repeat itself, the second egg will appear on Friday (March 16).

This year, some television watchers will be able to follow the eagles' progress on Shaw Tv cable channel 4.

The plan is to provide regular 7:30 a.m. updates from Monday to Thursday, before children go to school, Hancock said.

Hancock said his own observations suggest the lower Fraser Valley still has a great many eagles, primarily younger birds, still hanging around key food areas like Boundary Bay and the local landfill.
It is probably because few spawning salmon were available up the coast this past fall to keep the eagles spread out, Hancock believes.

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