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Crisis at Sidney - CTV Interview and Options

David Hancock speaks to CTV news reporter Marie Weisgarber about  "Donald/Flyer"  the eaglet at Sidney that has a foot caught in what appears to be fishing line - what can be done - May 17, 2011  (about 9 minutes)

As our faithful viewers know, one of the eaglets at our Sidney nest has its foot caught in something and has been in some distress about this since Friday, May 13.

Donald-Flyer, the first-born of the three eaglets in this nest got caught initially early Friday but managed to get loose, only to be again caught, possibly on something different, later that afternoon. The eaglet has been caught ever since, nestled up against the left edge of the nest as viewed from the closeup camera view (lower right on the wide-angle view)

Background to this nest: The Sidney pair were the parents of the first year's brood of two chicks that made history by being watched by literally millons of people in the 2006 nesting season after the eggs at Hornby Island failed to hatch. This nest was known to David to already contain 2 chicks at the time that the Hornby failure on camera was unfolding. It is on private property, about 1000 feet (300 meters) from the site's business office and nearest power/internet. At that time, the nest was in a lower tree than today; a gary oak tree in the middle of the meadow. Since then, the original nest has fallen down, and the eagles decided to move to a much higher tree - but one that is dead; something that is not typical. We missed one season of viewing due to this move, but due to its nature as our original pair, we again have cameras on on the nest, even though we now have cameras in much easier to visit locations.

Because this nest is in the middle of a wild field, getting access to it at any but the driest time of the year is almost impossible. The surrounding ground is uneven clay with blackberry vines covering much of the area and stumps, fence posts and potholes hidden beneath the tall grasses that cover the rest. Today, nobody would even consider putting a camera on this pair now that much easier nests are available, largely because of the publicity this nest drew in the first years we showed in.



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David gives an overview of what happened to the eaglet and of the options available to us to rescue it. At the time this interview was given, the basic option is to simply wait things out and hope that the ground gets firmer since this has been a very wet spring, and the clay-based ground is covered in standing water and extremely soft; too soft to hold the weight of the crane necessary to get to the nest without disturbing the tree, which might cause the nest to fall.

CTV News broadcast of this interview - May 17, 2011




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