THE EAGLES HAVE RETURNED TO SAANICH

Victoria/Sidney NestI have spent a couple of days with eagles in saanich, the 13th and 16th. i arrived at about 8:30 on the 13th. and stopped at the airport or south end of the beach. Glassed the area and didn't see any eagles. There were a couple of blue herons feeding, and some geese. I drove down to the nest site and sat watching the nest. There were the usual crowes flitting about. Then, a large red tailed hawk landed in the top of a fir tree in the field. Most have migrated south by this time, but the weather here has been extremely mild. He left after about half an hour.

Next to arrive in the tree top was a small hawk. The crowes buz bombed him and then he buzzed them. He left, shortly there after. I then heard the familiar chirp of an eagle. It was the adults. They both arrived and sat in the viewing tree in the field. They flew to the nest and then pa started to gather branches and take them to the nest. Ma would then place them while pa satup on a branch and watched. He would then go and get more branches and twigs.

They did this for two hours and then flew south. They landed in various perch trees along the beach. When i left, they were both in the same tree at the south end of the beach. They have staked out their territory for another year.
On the 16th I arrived earlier, about 8 am. The nest building was going full tilt. I saw them fly at a tree full tilt and grab the end of a branch to break it off for the nest. Sometimes they would get a good sized piece (6 ft. long), but often just the tip would break off. This would happen when they attempted to snag a green branch. They are tough to break.

All of the fir trees in the area have been stripped of their lower dead branches in past nest building. Pa was clever, as he would fly across the road to get branches. Ma did most of the nest weaving, but she would also gather sticks and haul them to the nest. Some were so large she could barely carry them. At about 2 o'clock they seemed to quit. The day was warm and windy. They both caught the thermals and flew up and up heading west along the ocean. Perhaps going hunting. The birds are super energetic. Their feathers are clean and brite. The nest is looking better day by day and hopefully will lead to a great season of viewing. I have posted some pictures under the HARRYMILT ALBUM. Enjoy, Harry Johnson.

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