Simon tries to save habitat
|High up in the top of the ancient red gum, the baby bird chirps for its mother, who soars in the clear blue sky above the nest, hunting for food to feed her fledgling.
This is her home; for nearly twenty years she returned to breed, always to this same tree in the hills of Western Australia.
Below the tree there stands a young boy, eyes raised to the sky, observing the great Wedge Tailed Eagle as she dives and swoops upon some hapless floor dwelling creature.
The boy is only ten years old yet he has a wildness about him. He feels a part of nature, as much a part of the forest as the birds, animals and insects surrounding his home.
His obsession with nature grows as he himself grows. Climbing high into the trees he takes photographs of nests and babies. He swims in the creeks, becomes a part of the landscape as he observes kangaroos graze and lizards scurry to hide underneath rock crevices .
The boy has become a man, long brown limbs and bare feet cling to the branches far above the ground. A colourful scarf keeps his dreadlocked hair from out of his eyes as reaches the nest built by the pair of eagles who come back to mate each year
She glares at him with her brown, gleaming eye. The massive beak, which could tear a rabbit apart, remains closed. She knows him, for the last fifteen years he’s climbed this tree and checked out her chicks. She knows he wouldn’t harm them.
“Hello, how’s the family?”
The bird cocks her head, giving him one of her questioning stares. The smell from the nest is putrid, bones from numerous small animals scattered throughout.
“Time you had a spring clean girl.”
From this height he can see for miles over the tree tops. The tree sways beneath him. As the wind picks up, it brings the forest to life, the leaves a whispering audience.
The man, whose name is Simon, is now a world renowned conservationist, his specialty, the Wedge Tail Eagle. So great is the trust between man and bird she allows him to attach a tracker to her back.
He becomes the first person in the world to discover how far an Eagle roams when she leaves her nest each March. The tracker revealing the thousands of miles she covers, flying up to 500 kilometres in one day, reaching an altitude of three miles and diving at over 100 kilometres per hour.
Whilst she is away, Simon is at a rally in the Perth Hills speaking passionately about a proposed development.
A diminutive figure, he stands alone in front of a huge crowd who’d turned up to hear him despite the heavy rain. They wave banners proclaiming “ Save our Perth Hills!”
He tells of his childhood home, his years of passion and observation of “his” Eagle.
The rain falls heavier, as if in sympathy with his words and the plight of all the forest creatures.
“She’ll be home soon, searching for her tree!” His voice broke and the tears mingled with the raindrops.