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 naturalimagescanada.ca .
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.
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.
North Saanich nesting ospreys
Local photographer and FOSH supporter Terry Venables kindly shared the photos in this post. You can see more of Terry’s work on his blog.
Terry’s success as a photographer depends not only on good equipment and the skills to deploy it but also on knowing his neighbourhood/locale, his “naturehood” and spending time there. Knowing our “naturehoods” and visting them as quiet witnesses, with or without a camera, has many rewards, not least of them is a kinship with these spaces and a sense of responsibility for their well-being. Terry’s photos point to what we could see with our own eyes, the excitement we could share with others. Like Terry, let’s find out what’s going on in our “naturehoods” by getting out there early and often.