Saturday morning in Bird World

Lady and Dad at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest welcomed WBSE 28 at 5:41 pm on 31 July.

The egg began to split open at 17:08. You can see the egg tooth of the chick that is banging away at the shell. Once it is all cracked like it is now, the chick will wiggle and push to get out. Lady often helps by pulling off the bottom of the shell. She removed the shell of 27 so that it would not adhere to 28’s shell and cause difficulties. The females often eat the shells to help them regain their calcium that has been partially depleted making the eggs.

By 17:41 WBSE 28 was completely out of the shell and for some crazy reason the streaming cam decided to switch to IR mode! Let us all hope that 27 is a gentle and caring older sibling til these two get big enough and out of the bobble head stage!

Congratulations to everyone down in Sydney!

It was wonderful luck to wake up in Canada and see Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. It was 14:15 and she was busy eating a nice big fish all alone. Wow.

Tiny Little kept looking about while devouring her afternoon meal. With two big siblings and no where to hide I am certain that she is hoping they don’t show up.

Tiny Little has grown into a beautiful fledgling. At the time of banding they believed that Tiny Little (or Little Bob, LB) was a female but could not say for certain as her growth was so much behind the other two but, she has caught up. Look at those strong stout legs. She is a gorgeous female.

Thinking maybe I might get lucky, I decided to check on the Collins Marsh chick just in case there was an early morning fish delivery. At first, it did not look hopeful and then the chick and Mum began food calling. Dad must have been in sight of the nest.

Ah, what a relief to see this little one getting fed early in the day. Let us hope that the deliveries continue in rapid succession. This chick needs a lot of fish to grow as big as Tiny Little before it needs to migrate.

It seems everyone is eating! Zenit, on the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest in Romania, has received a delivery, too. Here is Mom arriving with the prey at 11:01:09. She calls out to Zenit.

It is not even a second before Zenit arrives, very excited, on the nest.

Mom moves off that nest quickly as Zenit mantles his lunch.

In Romania, as in other cultures, the Golden Eagle is a symbol of noblility and power. Images of double-headed eagles can be found on the buildings and coins of ancient civilizations in the Middle East such as Sumer and Babylon. The Romans, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Byzantines each used the symbol of the Golden Eagle for their empires. The Aquila (eagle) appears on the standards (the top of the spears of the Romans while the Byzantines were fond of the double-headed eagle which symbolized the dual role of the emperor as both secular and religious head.

An illustration of the vexilloid of the Roman Empire with the Golden Eagle standard:

This is the flag of the Holy Roman Empire:

Wikimedia Commons

Today the Golden Eagle continues to appear as an emblem of the government for various countries and rulers of Europe including that of the President of the Russian Federation. So even in contemporary times the beautiful eagle adorns the coins, buildings, flags, and uniforms representing their power and authority.

Historically, the Golden Eagle was widespread throughout Romania. There was a steep decline in the numbers of breeding pairs in the 20th century due to the use of pesticides both for agriculture and the control of mosquitoes. Hunting and the lack of sufficient food also caused a decline in the numbers. In 2002, it is estimated that there were only 30-40 nesting pairs in the country. This figure doubled in 2012 to 50-60 pairs. There are approximately 300 breeding pairs in Romania today. Current threats to the Golden Eagles continue to be a lack of prey, illegal logging, loss of habitat, poaching, and poisoning. The Golden Eagle is, thus, very rare in Romania.

“Golden eagle (2)” by jack_spellingbacon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Zenit is an adult, his wings will be up to 2.1 metres or 7 feet and he will weigh from 3.2 to 6.6 kilograms or 7 to 14.5 lbs. Females are one quarter to one half larger than the males. Juveniles have been known to travel up to 1000 km or 621 miles after they leave their natal nest. Zenit will reach maturity when he is around 5 years old. Golden Eagles have been known to live up to 32 years but the average is 15-20 years.

At the time he is an adult, Zenit will be an ‘Avian Apex Predator’. That means that healthy adult birds are not prey to any other raptor or mammal. They are at the top of the food chain. Zenit’s eyesight is 8 times that of a human – much better than mine! He will hunt rabbits, young deer, goats, and ibex but he will also eat carrion, birds, and squirrels.

It has been a great learning experience watching Zenit grow from being a chick into this beautiful juvenile.

It is a dark and gloomy Saturday. It is difficult to tell if the strange look in the sky is from the fires, perhaps an impending rainy day, or both. It might be a great day to sip hot tea and read. A copy of The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival arrived from a used book store in the UK yesterday. It looks like it is a perfect day to dig into it.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and The Discovery Center, Collins Marsh Nature Reserve Osprey Cam, Asociata Wild Bucovina, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Mary Ann for such an interesting newsletter! Congratulations on the second egg hatching at the sea eagles nest! 💕💕
    That is awesome of Tiny Little! She is a beauty eating her big fishy!❤️🐟
    Zenit looks like she / he will be a very large eagle as she/ he is already big now and beautiful too! ❤️ Golden eagles are huge and I watched a documentary on them recently that was on TV and I was so excited to see the power these eagles have!
    Thank you Mary Ann for the photos of the eagles symbols from the Roman Empire! I showed them to my husband and he was really interested and thought they were very beautiful too!
    The eagle is also the symbol for his hometown too!
    Thank you Mary Ann and look forward to the next newsletter!
    Enjoy your book and take care! Linda

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