What is better than a Peregrine Falcon Kiss?

Lots of people keep track of hurricanes and tropical storms. Most watch because they or their loved ones, or both, live in the line of the storm. Bird watchers also track weather systems. There are currently two systems that might impact our beloved Big Red and family as well as the birds that are migrating over Hawk Mountain, PA.

Henri is going to give some heavy rain and wind. Ithaca is west of the darkest green band but could get some rain.

Tropical Disturbance Fred will also give some heavy rain in the same area. There were flash flood warnings for Ithaca last night. It is 1:03 am Thursday morning in Ithaca and there are rain drops dripping off the metal supports of the light stand that Big Red and Arthur’s nest is on. The rain does not look heavy at the moment. There is also a peculiar corn plant growing out of the centre of the nest!

Heavy rain will impact the hawks ability to hunt. They would have felt the pressure system coming and hopefully caught more food yesterday.

This isn’t the beginning of the season. Hurricane season runs until 30 November.

Baby Kindness (I wonder if she would mind if I call her that?) is not worried about hurricanes. Today, she is 83 days old. Kindness branched yesterday and all she has on her mind is ___________________. If you said flying you are 100% correct. She has really been putting on a show for the people watching the live stream today.

Oh, she really gets some nice air under those wings going back and forth from the branch to the nest.

Wow. Look at those wings. Magnificent.

Kindness has spent a lot of time considering what is below that branch she is sitting on. Sometimes she gets the branch to bouncing a bit and that seems to unnerve her slightly and she flies back to the nest.

For several days, I have been talking about the migration of Ospreys in Wisconsin, like Malin, or those living in the United Kingdom or in Northeastern Europe. The Bald Eagles in Alaska do not migrate south of Alaska unless there is no food. In 1972, the State Legislature established a long stretch of the In Chilkat River as critical bald eagle habitat. The goal was to protect the birds, some 4000 of them, that move from the interior to the Chilikat River Valley where they feed on the Chum Salmon run during the late fall and winter. The juveniles normally eat spawned and dead salmon or the carcasses left behind by bears.

The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is located in the Tongass National Forest just fifteen minutes away from Juneau. This is where Liberty and Freedom have their nest and where Kindness will fledge. There are meadows, forests, and glaciers. What a spectacular place to be a Bald Eagle!

“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the features of the park is the Mendenhall Glacier.

“Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest” by jcsullivan24 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Liberty, Freedom, and Kindness are not far from the Chilikat River Valley and the Alaska Chilikat Bald Eagle Reserve.

In the spring, many of the Bald Eagles will head to areas rich with Herring and Eulachon. These include the Stikine River, Copper River Delta, Silka Sound and Kenai Bend. You can see some of those on the map below. The Copper River flows from Prince William Sound while Silka Sound is closer to Juneau on the far right bottom.

Kindness is fortunate to live in such a beautiful state with what we all hope are abundant resources for her and all the wildlife forever.

There are so many worries in the world. The birds bring so much joy to each of us filled with nail-biting anxiety and that bittersweet moment when our friends fledge to begin their lives off the nest.

Malin is beginning to feel the wind beneath his wings. For so long I did not believe that Malin’s feathers would develop and he would fly – but here he is preparing just for that. Joy.

Like other birds, Malin is doing much more wing strengthening flapping as fledge approaches. The energy from the fish he is eating gives rise to lots of exercising after a feed.

For tonight though, Malin is sleeping like a duckling dreaming of fish.

While Kindness and Malin are dreaming of fish and flying, Xavier and Diamond are constantly pair bonding while preparing for their 2021 eggs and hatches. After doing their courtship dance in the scrape box today, they sealed the deal with a kiss – peregrine falcon style.

Can you think of a better way to end this newsletter? I can’t!

Want to catch the adventures of Xavier and Diamond, here is the link:

Well, what could be better than a Peregrine Falcon kiss? Three Black storklings eating the fish that Urmas brought them. That is actually cause for a big celebration!

When the storklings woke up at dawn and found the fish gift from Urmas, they began to eat.

The feeding of the storklings is a success! Congratulations.

Thank you for joining me this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and the Falconcam Project Charles Sturt University, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, Google Maps, Cornell Bird Labs Red Tail Hawk Streaming Cam, and the National Hurricane Centre.

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