Is He/She Gonna Make It – Part 2


Thursday evening, June 22, some of us went to see the big eagle’s nest on  Summerset Place off Beaufort Road in Sidney.  All was quiet at the nest when we arrived so we chatted with several of the birdwatchers (including Terry Venables whose pictures often appear on this website). The adult eagles showed up with food that stirred the nestlings into action. The young hawk whom Terry calls LittleEagle demonstrated his growing strength and agility by hopping and flapping from branch to branch near the nest while his seemingly enormous nestmates contented themselves by perching on the edge of the nest and flapping their wings.  Terry captured these pre-flight dances on video which you can see on his blog .

Next morning (Friday), I went back to the nest area with a friend, hoping to see the hawk again. Too late. LittleEagle had flown from the nest on a descending flight path and landed clumsily in a big fir tree out of sight, but not out of earshot because he he/she kept up a clamour for attention and food. Once again, LittleEagle made the newspapers.  There was speculation and handwringing as to what the future held for the critter. But the story goes on because on Sunday morning LittleEagle was back at the nest, showing off and being fed (see Terry’s blog, link above).

Today, Monday, June 26, LittleEagle is still hanging out near the nest, a more accomplished aeronaut but still reliant on beak-outs from adoptive parents while the cameras click below.

Farrell Boyce



Is He/She Gonna Make It?

_26_0070 don't fall!By now almost everybody has heard or read about the “adoption” of a red-tailed hawk chick by a family of eagles here in Sidney BC.  From the Victoria Times-Colonist article of June 8, 2017  TC June 8 2017  to news media around the world, this story has  stirred much speculation, mostly around the question “What were they all thinking?”  Local photographers, Suzanne Huot and Terry Venables  Terry’s blog   have documented  progress of the adopted hawk, now almost fully fledged, totally outsized by his step-siblings (if we must transfer the terminology appropriate to our species).  But all of us critters are fashioned from the same stardust – so wish us all luck!

And for good measure , here’s another of Terry’s photos posted on his  Fathers’ Day message.

_26_7913 first feeding


Friends of Shoal Harbour Are Having a Beach Party 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 25 and You’re Invited!

Canoeists practice their strokes in front of Lillian Hoffar Park

Here’s an opportunity to get mud on your knees and a close look at the inhabitants of the intertidal zone of Lillian Hoffar Park, part of Tsehum Harbour, North Saanich. We (FOSH and the Saanich Inlet Protection Society (SIPS) Shorekeepers) are organizing a beach survey to explore the diversity of plants and animals that call Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary home.

Shorekeepers extract, identify and count critters in the top 10cm of beach material within the square (25 cm quadrat|)

We hope to confirm our hunch that, despite the increased human activity on the Harbour, there remain stretches of shoreline that support  an abundant flora and fauna, sources of food for the many birds, that frequent the Bird Sanctuary. Come and join us for a fun and informative morning.


Sunday morning June 25 is a good time for a beach survey because one of the lowest tides of the year occurs at 12 noon  Here’s the plan:

* 10:00 am: Meet at Liilian Hoffar Park in the open area adjacent to the Tsehum Harbour shore. Wear old clothes. Bring gumboots or wading shoes, sunhat and sunscreen. We’ll supply all the equipment you’ll need, and have coffee and juice on hand.

* 10:15 to 10:30 am Explanation and orientation by Denis Coupland of the SIPS Shorekeepers

* 10:30 am to 12:30 pm noon: Digging, identifying and counting according to the Shorekeeping protocol. The beach profile will have been surveyed and the sampling sites laid out on the previous day (Saturday, June 24). We hope to have a few experienced shorekeepers joining us to help with the critter ID and data recording.

* 12:30 pm: Debriefing, wind-up and snacks. We’ll post our findings on this website (

Everyone is welcome. If you plan to come please RSVP to Farrell (250 656 7953 or to Sue (250 655 6300 ). Hope to see you on the beach!

A word of warning about parking: There is space only for 3 – 4 vehicles at Lillian Hoffar Park and there is no parking immediately adjacent on Resthaven Drive. Parking space is available at Parkland High School on McDonald Park Road about 400 m north of Lillian Hoffar Park entrance.


Map of Tsehum Harbour area (Sreetwise Map Book of Greater Victoria)