The most famous Red-tailed Hawk!

When I was in Nome, Kerry Finley wrote me to tell me that a young Red-tailed Hawk chick had been spotted in a Bald Eagle nest near his home in Sidney, BC.

He had been watching this nest for many years but had never seen anything like this. Well I asked him to send me photos because it was truly unbelievable. He did just that and all he said was true. No one could figure out how the chick got there or how it was still alive. David Hancock was contacted (a well known biologist and expert on Bald Eagles) and he said that most likely the Hawk was brought to the nest as prey but the mothering instinct kicked in when she returned to the nest and the hawk opened its mouth squawking for food. You can read his words HERE

The bird was and is being fed by its adoptive parents and there is no signs of aggression from the adult Bald Eagles or from its 3 much larger Eaglet siblings.

In May there was actually 2 Red-tailed Hawk chicks in the nest but one perished (perhaps to due starvation or predation) as of May 29th. This little guy lived, why we will never know.

You can see a photo of the young bird here:

Young Red-tailed Hawk in nest with Bald Eagles in Sidney, BC - Photo: Suzanne Huot

You can watch a film of it eating in the nest below:

I contacted the Vancouver sun,Times Colonist, BC CTV News and Global News a few weeks ago and they all did stories on it. See them below:

Vancouver Sun story

Times Colonist story

CTV News Story

NPR story

BBC even picked up the story somehow with a sensational title
"Bald Eagle Adopts Mortal Enemy baby Red-tailed Hawk"

Well now the young Hawk has left the nest and fledged. It's still sticking right by the nest alongside its adoptive parents and siblings. The birds are all doing well and the Red-tailed Hawk has not been attacked once or turned into prey as many thought would happen.

Nature never ceases to astound us. Maybe people should give Bald Eagles more credit they aren't as predatory as we may think. Bald Eagles are more of a scavenger than a predator like a Golden Eagle but of course they do kill and eat birds and animals. However, this sentient Eagle is caring and looking after a much smaller and weaker raptor.

The whole story is completely fascinating.

Here is a video Kerry sent me of the birds today. You can see the family with the adult Bald Eagle sticking close to the Hawk that they are still caring for.

Time will tell what will happen to this family and especially to this Hawk but right now we are seeing two species in the wild that are showing a bond and connection.

My friend gave me this book "Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom" by Jennifer S. Holland for my birthday awhile ago and I might just write the author to let her know about this story. See more on the book HERE

Predators can befriend prey and this is what has happened here. Nature is so complex and there is so much we really don't understand and have yet to learn. Maybe we shouldn't always judge predators in a negative fashion where we see them  solely as killing machines. This Eagle family has proven that they are capable of so much more.

I'll keep you updated with how the story unfolds.


  1. This is so interesting hope the hawk makes it

    1. Thanks me too! it is so amazing to witness such a sight! we have so much to learn from nature.

  2. Wow! Amazing story! That juvie Red-tailed Hawk looks so funny among the Bald Eagles! Curious how it will turn out.

    1. THANks Viktor I've updated the hawk story with a video from global news tonight as it took flight see here


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