The Sidney eagle’s nest could provide wild drama this baby season as viewers wonder: are there three

The Sidney eagle’s nest could provide wild drama this baby season as viewers wonder: are there three

Multiple eagle eggs make for fruitful viewing

The eggs could start hatching as early as Monday on the Peninsula’s top reality show.

Ma and Pa Sidney are caring for a handful of eggs in their popular web-cammed eagle nest. They expect their first egg to hatch Monday, but the bigger question has become; how many eggs are there?

Among the screen grabs and streaming video, some claim to see four eggs among the images.

“We’ve had a funny thing happen,” said David Hancock. “All of a sudden there were two or three pictures showing four eggs. There’s only one or two records of an eagle nest ever having four eggs.”

The Sidney eagles (the nest is actually in North Saanich) have successfully raised young each year since the first cameras went in, in the 2006 season.

“Sidney might go on the record … and that would be awesome if they could rear four chicks,” he said. “The edge of the nest is quite high, it could be the fourth egg’s down at the bottom.” Four mouths to feed would add to the drama.

“Our Sidney pair has actually raised three young,” Hancock said, noting they believe it’s the same pair of birds since cameras began filming.

“As a biologist it was fascinating … they do a shuffle, and a second bird comes in and takes over, not allowing for egg exposure.

“Last year the female got up and left the nest, it was one minute 17 seconds,” he said. In that time a raven swooped in and stole an egg.

“Then she sat down and covered the (remaining) egg more carefully. This year she’s going to have to do a lot of it because there’s three,” Hancock said.

Three or four, the multiple eggs should create more interaction in the nest.

“That always makes for some kind of excitement. Ninety per cent of them have two eggs or one, for a reason,” he said. “Our pair has previously raised three, so they’re pretty good, and we think it’s the same birds.”

View the Peninsula nest online at www.hancockwildlife.org, look for the link ‘Live Camera Sites’.