Spunky gets his own ‘hawk’-umentary

Red-tailed hawk raised by eagles in Sidney part of new online documentary


Spunky, Sidney’s Red-tailed hawk that managed to survive being raised in an eagle’s nest, is the subject of a new documentary.

Created by one of the photographers who helped document the rare incident this past spring and summer, the film is called Hawk Raised by Eagles: The Complete Story.

Compiled by Sidney photographer Christian Sasse, the documentary went online November 8 on Sasse’s YouTube page.

Sasse described the work as “the rare, complete story from summer 2017 of a red-tailed hawk being raised in an eagle’s nest.”

The hawk was spotted with a sibling in a nest of three young eaglets. Presumably, they were stolen form their own parents’ nest as a food source. Witnesses said at the time one hawk ‘disappeared’ and one remained.

Dubbed Spunky, the smaller hawk fought the eaglets for food and acted tough in order to survive. He matured earlier than the young eagles and he was able to fly away.

No one has reported seeing him since and he wasn’t tagged. Most people wished him well and the Town of Sidney declared August 6, 2017 as Bald Eagle Hawklet Day.

The documentary includes new footage and is already getting positive comments on Sasse’s YouTube page.


Sandra Jocobsen from Victoria rests on the back of her car as she observes the eagles’ nest. She said she had to come to Sidney to see the eagles and the baby hawk. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

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