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Victoria/Sidney Nest

THEY ARE GONE ! --- Victoria & Sidney & Parents have Headed North.

Aug 20 – I visited the nest site this morning and did not see an eagle. This followed many reports from the local viewers that the birds had not been seen for about 3 days.

I will post a few photos of this trip here.

– As I drove around Pat Bay, the adults feeding grounds, I found a great gathering – hundreds of gulls and crows swarmed the beach ramp in front of the Indian Reserve. And their in the midst of this was a large black bird. I pulled off the road and realized I was looking at a juvenile turkey vulture surrounded by the mass of gulls and crows. What a banquet. Here on the boat ramp were A100 salmon heads with frames attached and two huge 4 foot long dogfish sharks. The natives had just received a bin of fish from the northern rivers and here, as in eons past, were the wasted frames – being offered to the eagles and gulls. But no eagles were here.

With this huge amount of free food, even attracting the turkey vultures, it was very evident that our eagles must have left or they would have been holding council at this table! With no Vic and Sid and parents it confirms they have gone. They would not have missed this banquet. It was a reconfirmation that our family was gone – a sad realization but at the same time a joyous moment that we have all been hoping for all these months. Our adult eagles has produced a family and successfully got them on their way. The next big test is totally that of the youngsters. Can they learn to hunt, battle each other to gain a place in eagle society, survive 5 years and establish a breeding territory. The obstacles are great but eagles have been increasing in numbers in recent years so we have every reason to believe they will be successful. Well I sure hope so.

ANOTHER NOTE: ON the ferry trip through Active Pass yesterday and in travelling up the Fraser Valley today, I checked out another 17 nests and not one adult or juvenile eagle was seen. The biological clock is pretty definite -- they have cleared out to find easy food on the northern salmon runs.

THE VICTORIA GANG: Before I left for Victoria I had sent out to our gang and to Ed Clunn at Infotec that the moment was near and that if, as the locals now believed, our family had moved north on their search for the earliest salmon runs, then we would plan to terminate the site broadcast as of Tuesday – 3pm. Since I did not get home from Victoria until 1:30 AM – the BC Ferries had a breakdown and a man-overboard rescue, and since I had to be nearly 100 miles away at 0800 this AM I simply did not have time to write this note till now – 1500 Monday. I also see now in my email that some people thought the ceremony of “cutting the umbilical cord = cutting video connection” at 3PM was to be done in Victoria – and they asked to come. Actually since Mary Jane is coming up from California I suggested we would simply phone from here and have the people at Epicure do this as we “tipped a glass of wine, shed a few tears and gave many a hopeful wish” for our family. Just now as I am writing this I see a black screen so perhaps Infotec jumped the gun. Richard says he can see that the signal is coming in to the Infotec office – its just not getting out of Los Angeles. Time will tell. But our birds are on their way!

ANOTHER QUICK UPDATE: www.hancockwildlifechannel.org. For those of you posting your videos, photo files and discussions these are now totally available from www.hancockwildlifechannel.org – our new site that over the next few weeks will have a completely new look. Richard has already made the site ready to accept all your video clips etc and the discussion forums - in a similar structure as before at Infotec. Please follow this for the upcoming LIVE CAMS. We have now made arrangements for 3 Live Eagle Cams, peregrine falcons, a red-tail hawk and some other sites – which is all about to unfold.

VICTORIA DEVOTEES: After I visited the site I took 8 new camera housing to Bob to finish preparation for the new CAMS. I then for the first time met with HarryJ, Frank & Annette and BirdsofPrey – who has materialized into a Leslie!! In fact they have now all become real people -- not just posting bylines. We had a great coffee at the Oak Bay Marina and swapped tales. What a fine group and I was so honored with their presence and this of course backup up by the incredible world-wide following these past months and the reaffirmation that you have given to Doug and me. It has literally been a life changing experience. Thank you all so much.

Lets hope we see our eagle friends back next year. And that the new LIVE CAMs we are preparing will be interesting to you.

David Hancock

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