Little hidden gems. Every city, every town, every place has them. Places that hide in plain sight, beckoning you to become a tourist in your own town as you pass them by on your way home. Here at the Hollow we are blessed with a multitude of little hidden gems, including one of our favourite new places, The Pacific Northwest Raptors.
Now hold on just a minute! What could possibly be so special about this place that two amicable, peace-loving (as in we prefer to stay in one piece!) toads would willingly put themselves in front of honest-to-goodness live raptors? Well, you’ll just have to trust us on this one as we prepare for a new adventure in our latest series “Birds Of A Feather“.
This beautiful bird is a Golden Eagle. We are very lucky in British Columbia to have a fairly robust population of eagles, with Bald Eagles being the most common. Not that long ago, eagle populations were threatened by the use of a certain pesticide that affected their egg shells. Now we are happy to say that they are on the rebound and doing very well. It just doesn’t matter how many times I see an eagle as I am walking or driving, I just have to stop and watch in utter amazement. Regal and majestic, they truly seem to own the sky as they effortlessly soar above.
All of the birds at the centre have been born and raised in captivity, or have been rescued from different places. At first glance we questioned the need for the tether, but in fact these birds are very territorial and the comfortable tether keeps them all safe.
These two little noisy golden eagle chicks are just two and a half weeks old. Not quite sure yet what to do with two floppy little legs and some serious talons, they proved to us all that their lungs were, in fact, working just fine! They were so cute that I had to make Mr. Toad promise not to pop them into his camera bag and keep them as pets…having two spoiled and undoubtedly tasty cats already at home, I can’t say it was one of his best thought-out ideas.
As well as being able to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures, there is a flying demonstration twice a day so you can see these graceful birds in action. Or should I say, you can feel them in action as they swoop down over your head and leave you utterly breathless.
It is clear in this shot that this bird, well, calls the shots. The birds fly free every day and are able to leave if they choose. The reason they come back is the trust and friendship that has evolved over time with the very caring staff and dedicated volunteers of the centre, who proudly refer to themselves as “bird nerds”. Indeed, the respect and affection shared by all is obvious and heartwarming.
If just looking isn’t exciting enough and you really want to get a “bird’s eye view”, you can always sign up for a “Hawk Walk” or an “Owl Prowl” and have them land on your arm for a truly unforgettable experience.
Maybe not the best option for a toad, however.
Thanks so much for coming along to the Pacific Northwest Raptors with us today. We just cannot figure out why it took us so long to finally visit this unique place, but one thing is for certain…we’ll be back again and again!
Please feel free to leave any comments, we always love to hear from you!
Until next time!