Prolific Hornby Island eagles expecting offspring again

A special Hornby Island family, is awaiting the arrival of two new members.
People all over the world are anticipating the hatching of two baby eagles, predicted to hatch late this April.

Fans of Hornby Island eagles hope this scene will soon be repeated.

Fans of Hornby Island eagles hope this scene will soon be repeated.

A special Hornby Island family, is awaiting the arrival of two new members. People all over the world are anticipating the hatching of two baby eagles, predicted to hatch late this April.Since 2006, Douglas Carrick along with WildEarth TV has been broadcasting the lives of the bald eagles’ journey into parenthood. Over the years, 18 out of 42 eggs have fledged, leaving viewers of The Eagles of Hornby Island, a website streaming live video from the eagles nest, both devastated and delighted.The two latest eggs, laid March 22 and March 26, are expected to hatch in late April. Having moved in 21 years ago, the eagle couple are estimated to be 28 years old, fostering about two eggs a year.”The same year that we built our house, the eagles built their nest,” explains Douglas Carrick, who has been documenting the activity in the nest for the past six years. “As the years went by I kept a diary and recorded what went on.”They’ve lived up there for 21 years, and we’ve grown very connected.”Bald eagles stay with each other until death, and live to be about 30 years of age. In 2006 and 2010, eggs from the nest failed to hatch, leaving viewers with an unhappy ending.Hope, an eaglet from 2009, along with Thunder and Lightning, both born in 2007, and many of their brothers and sisters have gone on to prosper, leaving the nest to growing into strong young fledglings. In 2010 the Hornby Eagle Group was established. Its website at www.hornbyeagles.com provides live video feeds of the eagles’ nest.”They’re like a married couple, with the female dominating,” Douglas says, describing the pair. “They take turns after the chicks hatch, to feed and watch them.”Avid observers of the nest hope the number of chicks fledged this year will rise to 20. “It’s hard to say if they will hatch,” says Carrick. “Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But it’s always interesting.”See A8.Katja Walther is a Grade 11 student at Georges P. Vanier Secondary School.

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