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 continues to monitor the nest and post videos and photographs of Mom and Dad Hornby in our forum (Our Nature Zone).
September 26, 2016
First, a heartfelt Thank You to several generous donors who responded to our fundraising campaign. We did raise enough to allow us to continue broadcasting the cam for the 2016-2017 season.
However, on August 2, 2016, a powerful thunder and lightning storm moved through the area, resulting in several lightning strikes in the vicinity of Grassy Point. At 4:24 A.M., the cam went dark. It came back by itself 20 minutes later, but we no longer had sound from the microphone or the ability to move the camera via the PTZ controls. In late August, the cam was removed from the tree and sent for technical evaluation to Securco, the company that designed and installed the system. Securco was unable to get the camera working again, the DVR is only semi-responsive and they were also unsuccessful with the microphone. They are bringing in another DVR to see if the microphone, at least, can be "brought back."
We are exploring options to replace the system - it is apparently now possible to get a high definition camera that is analog rather than digital (Hornby Island's internet will not support digital). Hopefully, a new system will be within our budget.
Things were quiet during the spring and summer. Em, the female that attached herself to Dad last year, returned and stuck to him like glue again, helping to defend the territory. A good herring spawn in March brought other eagles to the area, but there were no huge battles like the ones we saw last year. At first, Dad did not seem all that interested in Em as a mate, but later on they mated and even did a bit of nestoration. There were no eggs and both eagles eventually withdrew from the nest area. Of course, we don't know what happened in August, but presumably Dad left to go look for salmon and Em did too.
Yesterday (September 25), booni photographed an eagle in Dad's perch tree in Hidden Beach. It sure looks like Dad is back! Check the forum for notes and photos: Ground Observations 2016-2017
Dad Hornby returned to his territory in September 2015 but despite our hopes Mom Hornby, whom we last saw on cam March 16, 2015, has not returned to join Dad. We are unsure of her fate, but if we don't see her again we will continue to rejoice in having known and learned from her. We witnessed the strong pair bond she and Dad shared and watched them through several years of breeding successes and sorrows. They have enthralled us, made us laugh, made us cry, and taught us much about eagles and nature.
HEGPS would like to continue to broadcast the Hornby Eagles Nest and Territory cam to see Dad's life journey continue without his longtime mate. Unfortunately, our current funds will allow us to broadcast only through the end of the 2016 season (September 30). Thanks to the generosity that Hornby Eagle fans displayed when we last held a fundraiser in 2013, we were able to fund the project well beyond our goal at that time, but those funds will soon be expended.
Our costs for one year currently run at least $5500, distributed between expenses directly related to the webcam and indirect expenses related to hosting the forum and website. Direct cam expenses are roughly $4000 (tree climbs and supplies for cleaning, insurance, technical support, telephone, and internet). Indirect expenses are about $1500 (website and forum web hosting, government registration fees, bank fees, post office box rental, postage, and miscellaneous supplies). This minimal amount does not include funding for any major repairs or potential replacement of the camera system, nor does it cover annual donations to local wildlife rehab facilities or expenses related to wildlife rescues carried out by HEART.
Please note that no member of HEGPS receives any remuneration for working on this project; it has been a labor of love for all of us.
If you have loved watching the Hornby Eagles, learning about nature, making new friends with a shared love of wildlife, and sharing the highs and lows of an eagle pair's lives, please help us to continue bringing the cam to you. A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated. Please visit our Support page for information on making a donation by cheque or use the PayPal button on this page.
If we are not successful in fully funding an additional year of the broadcast, we have two alternate plans. One is to continue to maintain the Our Nature Zone forum, which we believe is an invaluable resource for information about eagles and other wildlife on Hornby Island, but the cam and website would be closed. If we cannot maintain even the forum (minimum costs are about $60/month), then the entire project would be ended and any remaining funds would be donated to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS).
Thank you for your support over the past several years and your continued interest in the Hornby Eagles.
Read earlier updates here.