A Beautiful Friday in Bird World

The sun was out and the sky was blue on the Canadian Prairies today. We went to check on the American White Pelicans at Lockport Historical Park. There were hundreds and hundreds of them in the water below the dam. Did you know that Manitoba is home to one-third of the world’s White Pelicans during the summer migration?

The birds cooperate with one another to get food. They swim side by side in large groups forcing the fish to swim into the more shallow waters where they can catch them.

Photos taken with my phone from a distance. Not fantastic. Plan another outing next week!

You might recall that the two eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest were banded. The results of the gender testing reveal that the oldest, E1 is a female and the youngest, E2 is a male. Their father, Harry, is a sub-adult male, just four years old and their mother, Nancy, is a very young adult female. So this is a very young family on this year – probably first time parents. They have done an amazing job!

One of the things that we found out about Legacy for the three days that she was missing in action was that she went to another Bald Eagle nest in the area. She might have thought it was hers at the beginning or maybe she was simply really hungry – one of the neighbours of Legacy’s nest tree reported this. It mirrors what happened to Kistachie today. Louis had flown in with his morning fish. Gabby was watching over Kisatchie as he was self-feeding. A juvenile saw Louis with the fish and followed him to the nest.

Anna senses the other bird in the area and moves to get between the juvenile who lands on a branch and Kisatchie on the nest. Anna was not going to let that other eaglet hurt her baby!

Look how Anna moves over to protect Kisatchie.

Anna secured the situation and is on the offensive determined to get rid of the intruder who is mantled on the branch!

Anna physically attacks the juvenile intruder. Feathers were flying.

And that bird left!

Legacy might have gotten a similar reception on the other BE nest. If so, this could account for her reluctance to leave her own nest, at the moment.

With everything else going on, it is sometimes easy to miss those birds that have given me the greatest pain and joy this year so far – and that will always be Legacy and Tiny Tot. Today Tiny Tot is nine hatch weeks old today. Happy hatch day, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot!

Tiny had a lot of fish today and at 3pm had quite the substantial crop. You are looking good! He has flapped his wings and his tail is growing. There has been no jumping yet or hovering which I am glad for because that means a fledge is imminent.

Eyes remain on the Rutland Mantou Nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11).

At 17:00 Maya was not giving anything away about a hatch.

Blue 33 (11) took a turn at incubating the three eggs.

And now Maya is sleeping. She knows how busy she is going to be once that first egg hatches. Smart girl, grab some winks.

Iris needed to eat and it was raining. She probably needed a rest and relaxation break, too. So she left her precious egg uncovered and unguarded. It was still there when she returned.

My resolution for 2021 was to not buy anything new. My biggest problem is books but, with the exception of three, all of the books I have purchased have been used. In the mail today was Life of Ospreys written in 2008 by Roy Dennis. One of the new books is his recent publication on the sixty years he has spent helping to reintroduce Ospreys to the UK. This is a man who loves these beautiful birds and has devoted his life to learning about them and protecting them. It is a joy to read.

Tomorrow is Bird Count Day. You do not need to spend any money to participate. In fact, you don’t have to leave your own garden and you can count all day or for only ten minutes. All you have to do is sign up to eBird and tick off the tally. As the counts come in, Cornell Bird Lab will have a map showing where the birds are. This is a great way to study the impact of migration. Right now there are many male birds already resident where I live waiting for their female partners to return to their summer breeding grounds. Let us hope they make it back safely. To sign up go to this site and follow the directions. Grab a cuppa and join in!

https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-8-may-2021

Thanks for joining me today. Spring is coming. The leaves are starting to unfurl, the peony shoots are coming up, and the garden centres are busy.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: LRWT Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the MN DNR.

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