I’ve always considered Romeo & Juliette to be the King & Queen of Tofino’s harbour! Their nest tree is on Beck island.It use to be on Deadman island. The nest fell to the ground during a large wind storm,so they moved house.

Deadman island has a interesting history. The island is halfway between Opitsat (native village on Meares island) & Tofino. The natives would put their dead up in the tree branches on this island.They would put the body into a small wooden box.Many times the arms & legs would need to be broken to fit into this small box. The bodies were placed here because of superstitions.If their loved one died,it was thought to be because of evil spirits.Because of these evil spirits the last thing the family wanted was to have these spirits hang around.So they placed the bodies on this isolated island in the middle of the harbour.

There maybe of been a practical reason to this history? If someone died of a deadly contagious disease,keeping the body far away seems prudent!

I’ve heard the natives are very protective of this island.No whites can land on the island.I’ve never seen anyone there myself.I’m about the only one who goes near it.I sometimes walk around on the adjacent mudflats looking for a better angle.

The only living inhabitants are Romeo & Juliette!


28 thoughts on “THE KING & QUEEN OF TOFINO

  1. Romeo and Juliet are majestic. Very interesting story about the boxes of the dead. Many Native peoples consider the burial places sacred and don’t want anyone to come near out of respect for the deceased.

  2. Very interesting history about Deadman Island. I guess it had been a safe place to build the original nest, knowing no humans would mess with it. We have ceremonial burial grounds in Mount Pleasant, Michigan for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Much controversy ensued after they built Soaring Eagle Casino nearby several years ago, but I don’t think they buried their dead in quite the same manner as you described … that is very unusual. Great pictures – I like how you had one eagle in focus and the other out of focus. Also, my what big nostrils on that beak!

      1. Parker is doing well and yesterday I had to leave extra peanuts as we have snow and a wintry mix slated for every day this week – maybe Friday is salvageable, but it will be snow-covered and icy on the trail so likely I won’t go until the weekend once the temperature warms up. I got a cute picture yesterday Wayne … the sun was shining and I took a picture of my shadow, as well as Parker’s shadow, while he sat nearby munching peanuts.

        On Sunday, we had a beautifully sunny day, but it was still cold. We rarely get a mute swan at the Park … I’ve seen two in the nearly five years I’ve been walking there. Two came in and landed on the water, making a big splash. Went to investigate. Took a lot of pictures … will show you the link so you can see how big the one swan was (I believe they were a pair). I was nowhere near them, just taking photos, and the male came close to the banks of the Creek, making snorting noises – I figured he was under the water and that was why. In the blink of an eye, he climbed out of the water and came up toward me. I walked backward into the snow. Tossed him some peanuts from my coat pocket and he stopped in his tracks, but not before snorting a few more times and coming up dangerously close for comfort. :) There were no cygnets and I was doing nothing but taking pictures. I lack the magic touch for swans I guess. He had large black feet like in your recent picture of the trumpeter swan. No more pictures of swans, except using zoom!

      2. I like the shot of you & Parker Linda! Such a little furry wonder he is!
        As far as the Swan goes,he knows the drill with humans.Humans feed them & all he wanted was for you to feed him.He might of been scoffing at the trivial amount you tossed but I don’t think he was being aggressive.When they are aggressive…….you know it!

      3. One day you’ll see me taking Parker home under my arm! He is a cutie pie. What astounded me with the swan Wayne was that one moment he was at the water’s edge and the next moment he was in my face. Did you see the size of his beak in the picture? When I Googled “what kind of noises do mute swans make?” and found they snort when they are agitated, I realized he had been agitated for awhile. So you’re saying this was nothing – he was just funnin’ with me and hoping I’d have some food for him? He sure was stomping his feet like he meant business! The Canada geese look tame next to him. All kidding aside, the pair of them were beautiful creatures.

      4. Yes, humans are not as fun as your pals at the Park, even if they are giving you peanuts. I will leave the swan photography up to you going forward Wayne.

  3. What an interesting story with a practical reason behind it – I believe your interpretation! Romeo and Juliet are magnificent. How many babies do they have each year? How long do they live? Do they mate for life?

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