Eagle biologist David Hancock inspects a tree, which was once home to an eagle nest, in South Surrey. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Prominent B.C. eagle nesting tree cut down

City investigating after tree, near Highway 99, was illegally damaged

The city is investigating after it had to remove a tree that was home to one of the “most noticeable eagle’s nests in Surrey.”

Surrey’s manager of trees Nadia Chan told Peace Arch News that she received a call Tuesday afternoon that a tree, located on private property at the corner of Croydon Drive and 20 Avenue, had been partially cut and was at risk of falling.

A city arbourist visited the site that afternoon and determined that the tree was at high risk of falling because it had been cut on both sides, and “almost entirely the way through,” Chan said.

Surrey eagle biologist David Hancock, owner of Hancock Wildlife Foundation, was there to supervise the removal of the tree Tuesday evening.

“I had no alternative (but) to say that it had to come down,” Hancock told PAN, adding that the tree was hanging on by two inches of wood.

Hancock said he’s known of the eagle nest, which could be easily spotted from Highway 99, for the past eight years. It has been used to raise bald eagles every year since then, he added.

Chan said the city’s first priority was to secure the area. Crews began closing the road, and removing the tree at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Chan said an investigation has been opened by both the city and province, and they are yet to have any leads on who may be responsible for damaging the tree. She said the city notified the province because the damage caused to the tree is an infraction of the Wildlife Act.

“So many people drive by and see it so easily. The tree and the area around it was slated to be saved. The fact that (someone) just said ‘the hell with it, I’m just going to pay the fine and cut it down’… that’s sheer greed,” Hancock said.

Hancock said there were no eagles in the tree when it was cut down, but he did see an eagle nesting in the tree on Sunday (July 22).

“The nest is an active nest. It’s raised young every year.”

While the tree was being removed, Hancock said a group of neighbours gathered to see what was going on.

“It was not pleasant, but everybody behaved themselves.”

Chan said the city did not issue any permits for the removal of the tree.

“The person who started the removal complicated matters. It was a dangerous removal. The company that we had on site did an amazing job at bringing that tree down safely,” Chan said.

Hancock said the person who initially cut the tree wedged out a section and then cut through the other side.

“All of a sudden, it wasn’t going to go in the direction he wanted so he abandoned the area and got the hell out of there,” Hancock said. “It was about to fall on the power lines.”

Chan agreed that the power lines were a concern.

“Now Surrey doesn’t have its showpiece bald-eagles nest. One of the most productive. It’s kind of sad,” Hancock said.

Wednesday afternoon, Surrey resident Brian Thorsteen was walking near the fallen tree. A pile of twigs and feathers, which used to be an approximate five-foot-by-five-foot eagles nest, was scattered across the ground.

Thorsteen said he didn’t want to take a closer look because “it makes me feel sick.”

He told PAN he was in the area at approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, and could hear juvenile eagles crying from a nearby tree.

Hancock said he’s interested in rallying the community together to build a new eagle nest in the area.

Just Posted

Rampage come from behind to beat Ice Demons

Prince Rupert scored five goals in the third period to secure the win on Jan. 18

City of Prince Rupert still waiting on street light upgrades

Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure said work would be complete in 2018

How sweet it is: Sugar Shack is back for ninth year

On Jan. 23 the popular Francophone festival in Prince Rupert kicks off with a social

City of Prince Rupert to explore funding for Kwinitsa airport ferry

New roll-on, roll-off berth would be called “Rupert’s Landing”

RCMP asks again for public’s assistance to find Binh Tran

Tran was last seen around the 1600 block of Park Avenue on Dec. 11

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read