Seth (right) and Asher Baartman would like to see more local protection for the rare peregrine falcon. (Submitted)

Seth (right) and Asher Baartman would like to see more local protection for the rare peregrine falcon. (Submitted)

Young Abbotsford birdwatchers want more protection for peregrine falcon

Seth and Asher Baartman write a letter to local quarry and provincial government expressing concern

A pair of young Abbotsford birdwatchers don’t want the rare peregrine falcon to leave local skies.

Seth and Asher Baartman recently wrote a letter to Mountainside Quarries and the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) stating that they are worried they will never get to see one if the quarry resumes its operation and removes the bird’s nest.

RELATED: Should rare peregrine falcon nest make way for re-opening of Abbotsford gravel quarry?

Eight-year-old Seth and five-year-old Asher were made aware of the plight involving the bird’s nest through coverage in The Abbotsford News. The boys believe the nest should not be moved and would like to see it remain where it has been located for many years.

They read the recent story stating that the company has received approval to remove the nest from its quarry. On-site nest ledges and nest boxes will now be constructed and they will be monitored for five years. Satellite transmitters will also be placed on the falcons and they will be studied for four years.

RELATED: Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

The birds are on the province’s “red list” for threatened or endangered species, and the provincial Wildlife Act specifically protects the nests of peregrine falcons, along with five other prominent birds. Biologists believe only a couple dozen of the birds live in the Lower Mainland. Local environmental scientists that The News spoke to said once birds are moved off their familiar site, it’s unlikely they will return.

It is believed to be the only remaining nesting pair of the birds located south of the Fraser River.

The boys, who attend John Calvin Christian School in Yarrow, first got interested in birds a few years ago after their grandfather pointed out a red-tailed hawk to them. They also became fascinated with bald eagles after several sightings. There are two bald eagle nests down a road in their neighbourhood, and they have seen as many as eight eagles once in a nearby tree on Boundary Road near the Sumas border.

Seth said he recently got a set of new binoculars and hopes to see a peregrine falcon. Their mother Jill Baartman said Seth knows all sorts of facts about birds of prey and has become somewhat of a bird expert in their house.

The boys’ letter reads:

“We watch a lot of eagles in Abbotsford. We hope to see a peregrine falcon. They are amazing birds that can fly up to 390 km/h. Please do not move this special falcon next on Sumas Mountain. They are threatened species in BC. Thanks for saying you will build a new ledge for them. But people who study raptors do not think they will come back. So we will probably never see one if you start mining by the nest.”

The pair then went on to suggest a new idea for the quarry and the provincial government:

“You could build a wire fence to stop falling rocks instead on this 30 yard stretch. Please send a letter back.”

A fundraiser to appeal the decision has been launched by a group of local homeowners and conservationists. It has raised $2,550 thus far. The fundraiser can be found at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The letter written by both boys which was sent to the quarry and the provincial government. (Submitted)

The letter written by both boys which was sent to the quarry and the provincial government. (Submitted)

The boys have become passionate about birdwatching after encountering eagles in their neighbourhood trees. (Submitted)

The boys have become passionate about birdwatching after encountering eagles in their neighbourhood trees. (Submitted)

Seth (right) and Asher Baartman would like to see more local protection for the rare peregrine falcon. (Submitted)

Seth (right) and Asher Baartman would like to see more local protection for the rare peregrine falcon. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Okanagan high school girls volleyball players Georgia MacLean of Lake Country’s George Elliot Secondary (from left), Olivia Pederson of Vernon Christian School, Kassidy Schaper-Kotter of Vernon Secondary and Makenna Lane from W.L. Seaton Secondary have signed to play college volleyball with Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College. (File photos)
Fraser Valley college inks quartet of Okanagan recruits

Columbia Bible College Bearcats in Abbotsford sign four players to women’s volleyball squad

Items seized by Chilliwack RCMP and Abbotsford Police during a Feb. 23 traffic stop. (RCMP photo)
Police from Chilliwack and Abbotsford seize drugs in traffic stop

Chilliwack RCMP worked with the Abbotsford PD to seize four kilograms of suspected fentanyl

(Black Press file photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for man who tried to grab boy near Robertson elementary school

A man in a parked minivan reached out the driver side window as a young boy passed by

Hope’s station house, moved from its original location along the railroad to 111 Old Hope Princeton Way. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Emergency crews are on scene at Walnut Grove Secondary School after a report of a bomb threat at Walnut Grove Secondary School on March 3, 2021. The school was safely evacuated. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Bomb threat forces evacuation of Langley high school

Police asked the public to avoid 88th Avenue and Walnut Grove Drive

Most Read