The Hornby Eagle Group (HEG) formed in 2009 to continue broadcasting the Hornby Eagles webcam, which was first streamed in 2006. In December 2010, the Group became a registered non-profit Society in British Columbia and was renamed the Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society (HEGPS).
For two years, we were privileged to broadcast a live, intimate view of a beloved pair of bald eagles, Mom and Dad Hornby, and their eaglets Phoenix (2010) and Alexandra & David (2011). The original webcams were retired in the autumn of 2011.
In April 2012, HEGPS installed a new camera on "Gregg's Tree", which is about 230 feet from the nest tree; while the view is not as intimate as provided by the older cameras, we can see the Hornby's territory and perch trees, as well as the nest tree and nest itself. The Hornby Island ground crew continue to monitor the nest and post videos and photographs of the Hornby Eagles in our forum (Our Nature Zone).
Hornby Eagles: The Next Generation
Mom and Dad Hornby were the stars of the world's first eagle cam, which became available for public viewing in 2006. We had the privilege of sharing their lives and learning from them until, sadly, Mom disappeared in 2015.
Dad grieved for Mom for two years, but accepted a young female to help him hold the territory. We estimated that Em (named for her collar) was hatched in 2009, and it was fascinating to witness her development and the ways in which Dad taught her. They bred in 2017, but their hatchling did not survive.
In 2018 Dad was injured by a competing male, but he survived with Em's help. She guarded him and brought food for him as he healed, and soon they were mating and working on the nest. However, conflicts with competing males continued and one day, Dad too disappeared.
Em refused the males who were competing with one another for her attention; she tolerated a few, but chased off others. After she returned from the salmon runs, it was clear that she favoured a young male who stood out to us because of a healed injury to his lower left beak. As yet unnamed, "Mr. Em" has much to learn about adult life, but Em patiently helps him.
On April 10th, Mr. and Ms. Em produced their first egg! He is not quite sure what to make of this and his answer to most appeals by Em is to bring a stick to the nest. However, he performed his first egg roll and scootch (incubation) enthusiastically.
We have a wonderful opportunity to observe the inheritance of a territory passed from Dad to Em, whom he found worthy. We have the opportunity to observe this new pair as they begin their journey together. We have the opportunity to witness the behavioural development of this first-time parent, and the ways in which Em encourages him. As ever, the old tree and its inhabitants offer us insights into things not well understood.
We hope you will join us in this new chapter in the story of Territory Ten, Hornby Island. We hope too that some of you will help support this project so that we can continue to stream and to share information through the forum, Facebook pages and chatroom through the next months and hopefully into next year. Any and all donations will be gratefully accepted.
Read earlier updates here.