A spokesperson for Bartlett Tree Experts confirmed the company was working on the property that served as a nesting site for a juvenile eagle currently receiving care at a rehabilitation centre, but not on the tree with the nest itself.
Nathan Franklyn, arborist representative with Bartlett Tree Experts, said he hopes that noise from the work did not directly contribute to the eagle leaving his nest. “If it was caused by that, I would feel terrible if that were the case,” he said. “But who is to really know why that bird would fledge? They do at some point.”
Franklyn said crews are aware that they need to be wary when working, adding that Bartlett cares for wildlife and its habitat.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t see this nest,” he said. “We weren’t notified of it. We had no knowledge (and) we are working on the ground.” Franklyn later specified that the work included ornamental tree and hedge pruning as well as some removal of smaller shrubs and fallen down stems. “Zero tree climbing activities were used on this job,” he said.
Staff with BCSPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) in Metchosin recovered the animal from a property bordering the one with the tree, which the animal had left for unknown reasons.
Franklyn said he is aware that the animal is currently receiving care at Wild ARC. “I’d be curious to know how the little guy is doing, as I am sure everybody else is,” he said.
Little information about its condition is available, other than the bird is being assessed by the centre’s wildlife rehabilitators.
“We’re hoping the eagle will be able to be put back in their nest with their family,” Wild ARC assistant manager Rebecca Meyer wrote in an email Wednesday.
Franklyn said the company is a strong advocate for bird habitat, pointing to its involvement in supplying owl habitat at Saxe Point. Franklyn also said he encourages customers to leave trees for bird habitat.
He said the company would be open to assist in returning the animal to the nest. “We work in trees, we have means to climb into trees,” he said. “So if there is any way we could help this bird and that is where it needs to go, we are all for that.”
The nest has a history. In 2017, a different nesting pair of bald eagles attracted significant attention by raising a red-tailed hawk.
Black Press Media has reached out to Wild ARC for an update on the eagle’s condition.
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