Oh, there is such good news. Milda is a white tailed Eagle. Milda and her mate, Raimis, had nested and raised chicks near Kureze in Durbe County since 2017. Last year was a tragic year for the female eagle.
Milda laid her three eggs and everything appeared to be normal. However, on the late evening of 27 March 2021, Raimis left the nest to hunt and did not return. Raimis was presumed dead or very seriously injured. Several males came around the nest tree but, they were not interested in helping Milda with another male’s eggs. They were only interested in Milda. Even then they did not supply her with food. She grew weaker and more hungry over the days. After the 8th day of no food, Milda had to fly off the nest leaving the eggs alone in the cold. Then one male, Cips, looked as if he would assist her.
To everyone’s surprise, even seasoned researchers in Latvia, the two eggs hatched. You could not stop the tears around the world as people watched the miracle unfolding. The second egg hatched three days later.
Sadly, Cips was not reliable and Milda was starving. I cannot emphasize this enough because it explains Milda’s behaviour. Cips had brought a crow onto the nest and Milda fed both of the hatchlings but not herself. Then Cips came and took the crow that Milda had been feeding the chicks. Milda tried to take it from him. Then, Milda found an old fish on the nest. She was so hungry she ate it all and did not feed the chicks. Until that time, Milda had fed the chicks almost ever hour. They were healthy! and adorable. Miracle babies. The weather at the nest was not good. A storm was coming and there was no food on the nest. It was very cold. Milda flew off the nest to find food. A male – was it Mr Cips? – stood over the babies but would not brood them while Milda was away. They froze to death. Anyone watching could not believe what was happening. It was simply a tragedy but outlines for all of us watching the nests that a single parent cannot do all the work of both parents. Perhaps if the chicks had been near fledge but even then that is not guaranteed as we saw the tragedy unfold on Spilve’s nest the previous year with Klints.
So, today I am bringing you some really good news. Milda has recovered from the trauma – physical and mental. It appears that she may have a new mate that is being called Mr L. He brought a fish to the nest and Milda flew in and accepted it! Oh, I so hope that Milda has a strong reliable partner. It will be wonderful to see some beautiful eaglets fledge from this nest next spring.
Janis Kuze the leading ornithologist in the area said, “It is important that the Right now, we hope that the female will continue to stay in the area, form a new pair, and have a successful nesting next year.”
The Latvian Fund for Nature prepared a short film about the White-tailed eagle covering the time of preparing the nest to fledging. It was released in 2015 and has English subtitles. That said you can pretty much tell what is happening from the beautiful visuals. Here is the link:
Here is the link to watch Milda and her new mate. They will be preparing the nest with eggs laid in March.
I am so excited for the people of Latvia and for all of us that love White-tail Eagles. Send positive wishes for the pair bond to grow even stronger for Milda and her new mate, Mr L.
There is also some other good news around the world from Latvia. The very first egg of the season has been laid on Taiaroa Head at the Royal Albatross Colony. The male has been a bachelor for 18 years! This feels like another miracle. Congratulations to everyone at the NZ DOC!
Thank you for joining me today. I look forward to bringing you news of Milda and her mate as she is incubating eggs in the spring. Take care everyone!
Thank you to the Latvian Fund for Nature for sponsoring the camera where I took my screen captures.