The question is: eagles or kids on bikes?

I have written about the Wild Bunnies of Kitsilano and the Wild Beavers of Kitsilano, here is another story about the wild life in the area.

Have you been walking along and automatically followed the gaze when others were looking up? You may have seen our eagles in a tree near the Coast Guard Station, since 1999.

Due to noisy human disturbances along that part of Vanier Park, the family moved to a quieter (they thought) spot in a tree in the forest area, between the Burrard Bridge, Vanier Park, the False Creek Marina and the Music Academy. And they seem to like it there.

Unfortunately, these resident pair of bald eagles built their nest directly above the BMX Bike Park in the fall of 2017 when it was not being used. And it is also located right where a Pump Track Expansion has been approved. This nest is situated in a structurally unstable tree.

A new nesting location and permanent infrastructure will provide a better long-term solution that will enhance eagle habitat in the park. These Vanier Park eagles have chosen and successfully reared their young in our area for years – shall we continue giving these wonderful birds a chance to continue?

The provincial government recommends a minimum buffer zone of 100 – 200 metres when eagles are nesting. Attempts at signage requesting quiet during nesting have not been followed. This year, the Park Board closed the existing bike jump during the critical eagle nesting period to ensure the eagles above the site the best opportunities for success.

The Park Board idea for the Vanier Park Forest is trying to find a balance between the environment and recreation. The Board is proposing options and would like your feedback by completing a survey by June 13th on the following:

  • A bike pump track* for children and youth;
  • A permanent bald eagle nesting pole to provide long-term habitat and minimize disturbance to our eagles; and
  • Stewardship initiative for the forest to address challenges with invasive species, way-finding and
    disposal of garbage.

*A pump track is a small, dirt track designed for bikes that has tight and banked corners and small bumps forming a continuous loop – the goal is to go around the track without pedalling.

Photo: Reddit

Last modified: June 7, 2019

2 Responses to " The Wild Eagles of Kitsilano "

  1. Mary Ann says:

    This area you are writing about is due to have construction of apartments and high rises within the next 5-10 years. Will be the eagles still have a say in this area when construction is about to begin? I would think we both the bikes and the eagles can live together. The cyclists are not a noisy group.

  2. tim says:

    “The question is: eagles or kids on bikes?” This seems to be a false dichotomy. Why only one? The existing bike park has been there for 10 years without causing any problems to the eagles. The proposed pump track just makes the bike park more accessible to kids and beginners.

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