A mother hummingbird feeds her babies in a Victoria nest.

A mother hummingbird feeds her babies in a Victoria nest.

Internet sensations move to private property

Famous eagle pair made famous in last year's rescue operation goes offline

embed code for eaglet rescue vid:

The Peninsula’s most popular Internet couple are off the air this year. Ma and Pa Sidney, whose North Saanich nest scene streamed live for the past few years, moved 200 yards away – off Epicure land.

“We told people they would probably move. Every nest we’ve ever been into … every single one abandon it the next year,” said David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife Foundation.

The tale of the eagle pair’s firstborn of the season, named Flyer by the students of Sidney elementary, and his big toe captured audiences around the world. Hancock and another wildlife specialist approached the nest via truck crane and freed Flyer’s talon from fishing wire, allowing the bird to fledge from the nest. The rescue operation was caught on a web camera and streamed to the Internet.

“They started to build a new nest within two days of us being there. It may not have just been us, it may have been we were the tipping point,” Hancock said.

The pair had already built before on Epicure land. They abandoned the previous nest to build last year’s nest. “During the summer their old nest toppled right out of the tree, so they know something about construction that we don’t know,” Hancock said.

The tree they were in last year was also a dead tree.

“Next year [or] five years from now they may well move back there [to Epicure],” Hancock said. “The bottom line is, from the eagles’ perspective, they’re going to raise their young somewhere there. That’s their territory.”

The eagles moved to a nearby property without camera capability.

“The eagles will do fine and we have other sites,” Hancock said. “We simply can’t access it.”

Hancock Wildlife still hosts cameras at nests in White Rock, Delta and Vancouver.

“The site we have at White Rock has two HD cameras, so it has a technical capacity that is so different than what we had at Sidney,” Hancock said. “We didn’t have those kinds of cameras then. Since then, everything we do is going to HD cameras. … If they came back and we put new cameras in, we’d be putting in these new generation HD cameras.”

A new Victoria webcam at hancockwildlife.org features Anna hummingbird nests.

“The gentleman had this camera and we just do the distribution,” Hancock said. “It’s just one of those neat things.”

Eric Pittman of Victoria already followed two nests, and plans to post more.

“It’s just fascinating to watch birds go from egg to flight in such a short period of time,” Pittman said. Hummingbirds go from egg to fledging in about six weeks.

“Those little incredible creatures, they produce four broods of young every year,” Hancock said.

Pittman also posts at hummingbirdsupclose.com.


Related links:

Watch the video of the eagle rescue

FledgeFest draws worldwide audience

Crisis averted: Eaglet survives intervention

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