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Courtenay - Alberni MP Gord Johns ask Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan some excellent questions in parliament the other day. Many important issues are raised, including shellfish aquaculture industry capture, the new Aquaculture Act and Conditions of License, ghost gear, and the decline of both herring and salmon. ... See MoreSee Less

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Beautiful photos by Gerry Ambury. ... See MoreSee Less

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Beautiful photos. We are so fortunate to have such magnificent beings in our local waters. ... See MoreSee Less

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The combination of high winds and king tides today provides a glimpse of what "normal" sea level might look like in the years to come.King Tides

Tis the Season: the highest tides of the year are coming up! This week, starting Tuesday we get 5.0 meter highs and a month later in December there is a series of highs of 5.2 meters (17 feet).
Interesting things to observe include:
• Ferry ramps sloping up to the boat deck
• heavy driftwood on the move
• low bank erosion eg. Fillongly just north of the campground
• Komas Bluff erosion – seen via Morning Beach
• Gravelly Bay breakwater overtopped by storm waves
• preview of sea-level rise?

Photos from past years may be seen at:
www.denman-conservancy.org/denman-nature/king-tides/

This week’s tides for Denman Island:

17th Nov 7:57 am 5.0 meters
18th Nov 8:52 am 5.0
19th Nov 9:47 am 5.0
20th Nov 10:43 am 5.0
(Grapevine shows tides for Hornby Island at Ford Cove which is probably accurate for Gravelly Bay)

Please share your photos with us.
Email photos to: info@denmanconservancy.org and we will post them here.

photo:
Denman West Terminal
25 December 2010 at 9.25 am
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The documentary premieres tonight at 8pm on CBC. You can also stream now on CBC Gem.Is it too late to turn the tide on plastics in our ocean? ‘Creatures of Convenience’ is a new documentary that follows the story of a filmmaker and young father who explores solutions to reduce plastic waste in his family with help from experts including Ocean Wise’s #PeterRoss, #AnnaPosacka and #TanyaOtero. The documentary premieres tonight at 8pm on CBC! Also available to stream now on @CBCGem. Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup #plasticwise #oceanwise #science #creaturesofconvenience ... See MoreSee Less

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Nice posting on eagles by Fanny Bay NatureTraditionally, eagles symbolize power, strength, courage, authority, and freedom. As such, they have been featured on the flags and heraldry of powerful families, clans, and nations, beginning as early as 102 BC, when an eagle became the emblem of the legions of the Roman Empire. Many countries have since used eagles as symbols of national identity - Germany, Mexico, France, Iceland, and Nigeria, to name but a very few. The eagle of choice for any one design varies as widely as the countries - African fish eagle, golden eagle, tawny eagle, and, of course, the bald eagle, officially adopted as the emblem of the United States in 1787.
The bald eagle is the only sea eagle endemic to North America. Its range encompasses most parts of Canada, northern Mexico, and all of the United States except Hawaii. One of the largest birds of prey (raptors) in North America, a bald eagle weighs from three to seven kilograms and has a wingspan of about two metres. In contrast to many animal species, male bald eagles are smaller than their female counterparts by about 25%. As both sexes have the same plumage of dark brown bodies and white heads, this size difference is the only way to tell one sex from the other at a distance. Closer up, the rear toe (called the hallux) of the female bald eagle is generally longer than that of the male and is also used to identify sex.
Bald eagles have excellent vision, able to see clearly four to seven times further than humans can. With two centers of focus, a bald eagle can see forward and to the side simultaneously, hence the expression “eagle eye.” Besides the normal set of eyelids, a bald eagle has an extra set called a nictitating membrane. A bald eagle can close this membrane and still see through it, protecting the eyes as well as helping to clean and moisten them.
With its impressive wingspan, a bald eagle can fly at speeds up to 55 kph, and up to an altitude of about 3000 metres, high over its hunting territory, which may be as extensive as 10,000 acres. Mainly hunting prey of much smaller size than itself, fish make up over half of a bald eagle's diet, while smaller birds, such as seagulls, and small mammals, such as squirrels and rabbits, round out the menu.
The word ‘raptor’ comes from the Latin word ‘rapere,’ which means ‘to seize by force,’ and this is certainly how a bald eagle captures its prey. The power of an eagle’s grip comes from the strong leg muscles that can contract to clamp down the tendons in the lower legs and toes, closing all the talons together in a vice-like hold. A bald eagle’s grip is believed to be about ten times stronger than the grip of an adult human hand and can exert 400 pounds per square inch (psi) in pressure, or crushing strength, according to conservative estimates, or up to 800 psi in more generous assessments. This conjures up grim images of a fierce predator snatching up unsuspecting prey with its talons, crushing it to death, and mercilessly ripping it apart, however bald eagles are also opportunistic carnivores, opting for an easy meal whenever possible - stealing from other fish-eating birds, cleaning up waste from fish processing plants, feasting on carrion, and scavenging in dumpsters and campsites.
There is no doubt that the bald eagle has acquired a fierce reputation through its hunting style, size, eagle eyes, hooked beak, and sharp talons. But what about the cry of the bald eagle? For those who have only heard a bald eagle cry in a movie or television show, the impression is that a bald eagle has a bold, piercing scream that matches its reputation. In reality, the cry of a bald eagle is a surprisingly weak-sounding whine or a series of high-pitched whistling or piping, not at all in keeping with its popular image. In fact, filmmakers usually dub over the bald eagle cry with the call of the red-tailed hawk! Weak cry aside, bald eagles are powerful birds, strong enough to kill a human, although they have never been known to attack adult humans as prey. It’s a good thing that bald eagles don’t hold grudges, because humans and human activities are the only threat to their existence!
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