Sooke man captures wild neighbours on camera, including bears, otters and birds
SOOKE -- The bird kept leaping from the windowsill and trying to fly through the glass.
“There you go,” Jordan said calmly, trying to entice the bird into his hand. “Come on.”
Jordan didn’t see when the bird first flew into his house and started bumping into the closed window. But before he began recording his attempt to rescue the animal, he tried reasoning with it.
“This isn’t going to work for you,” Jordan recalls saying while cupping his hand for the bird to climb into. “Even if you do get through the window, there’s a screen on the other side.”
When he finally caught the bird, and offered it a ride back to the open door it arrived through, it flew away to another closed window.
All of this was caught on camera, including Jordan telling to bird not to fly towards the other window. “That’s not the door!” You can also hear him sighing, when he realizes his words were lost in translation.
But Jordan is undeterred. This wasn’t his first encounter with wildlife.
He shows me video of a squirrel that hitched a ride during his move from Ontario to Vancouver Island.
“Hey buddy!” Jordan says zooming in on the squirrel’s head poking through the crack between the vehicle’s hood and front window. “Are you in my car?!”
The stowaway safely jumped ship at the next stop.
When Jordan arrived at his new home near the Sooke River, he discovered that his new neighbours were the ‘pop-by and say hi’ type – cue the footage of the otters swimming up to him – who’d always lend a helping hand when there were chores to do – see the bear sitting in Jordan’s tree picking apples – and ‘join in a friendly game when the day’s work was done’ – cue the video of Jordan playing golf with a deer.
“I’d hit the ball towards the deer,” Jordan explains, showing how the deer would walk over to the ball and push it with its nose before looking back at him. “It’s like, ‘Here it is!’”
And then there were those rare times when Jordan just didn’t have time to socialize with the neighbours.
“Be calm. Be assertive. Deep voice,” he laughs before showing me video of a family of bears, including cubs, just steps from his front deck.
“I need you guys to go. I need to go to work,” Jordan says on the video, before the bears turn and saunter off.
“Thank you!” Jordan calls after them. “I hope you enjoyed my yard.”
When I ask why his neighbours obliged his request, Jordan answers with a smile: “Be nice and polite. Be Canadian!”
Which brings us back to that bird struggling inside Jordan’s house to return outside.
The video shows it looking out the window, attempting to fly through the glass and bouncing off it back to the windowsill.
Perhaps it’s a metaphor for living in the pandemic.
“Being able to see what’s on the other side, but not being able to get back to it,” Jordan says. “That’s where we are now.”
Anxious. Afraid. Stuck. Feelings that Jordan attempts to balance with the positivity of daily walks in nature, and connecting with his wild neighbours.
It’s like getting a helping hand from nature. Jordan offers his hand to the bird, which finally jumps on.
“I opened the window for you,” he says to the bird, slowly moving it over to another window, and putting his hand outside. “Be free.”
But the bird doesn’t fly away. It just sits on his hand, looks outside and then back at the human who helped it. Perhaps it’s having a moment like Jordan has in nature — feeling less stuck and more peaceful and taking a moment to express gratitude.
“You know those moments in the movies when they look back?” Jordan smiles, wondering what the bird was thinking. “It’s looking at you with those thank-you eyes.”
And then the bird launches itself off Jordan’s hand, through the open window, and into the wilderness.
“Fly!” Jordan yells to it, before waving goodbye. “Be free.”