Winter Solstice in Bird World

As all of you know, Daisy the Duck has occupied my mind for some 20 days now without much of a break. She has just arrived home to the nest – it is the Summer Solstice 22 December in Australia – and I am going to take some time to check in on the other nests that are normally watched.

It has been a horrible day for Gabby who is incubating two eggs on the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest called The Hamlet. It is just outside Jacksonville.

Bald Eagles generally have 35 days of incubation. Gabby and Samson were really wise. They did not start hard incubation until the second egg was laid meaning that the two eaglets will be born close together with no older sibling advantage. They will just bop each other taking turns! This means that the hatch date is 19 January. Mark your calendars.

For me, this is great timing. Harriet and M15s eaglets are set to hatch in 3-4 days. We won’t be watching two bobble head nests at once. Oh, those high winds are really hitting Fort Myers. You can see Harriet’s feathers blowing.

It is a beautiful day over in Decorah, Iowa with the Decorah Bald Eagles. No eggs – it is winter! But the Eagles are around. The nest is at a trout hatchery – lucky raptors. Smiling. Everyone should have a source of fish for their Ospreys and their Raptors. Takes about 350-400 a season. Not bad for giving life to these beautiful birds and their family.

The Bald Eagles in Iowa generally lay their eggs in mid-February.

The Decorah Eagles are not to be confused with the Decorah North Eagles!!!!! It is home to Mr and Mrs North.

The camera is live at Duke Farms in New Jersey. No eggs yet. In fact, it should be about a month until we see eggs on this nest. I hope this Mum has better weather this year! She was encased in ice and snow most of incubation in early 2021.

Diamond is starting the day in the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange. Both her and Xavier have been examining the new gravel that Cilla Kinross provided awhile ago. They have also had bad weather with torrential rains but it looks like they will have a nice day today. Fingers crossed.

Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest in Big Bear, California are doing nestorations. It looks like they are going to have a white Christmas.

Last year Bonnie and Clyde, the Great Horned Owls, took over a young Bald Eagles couple’s nest on Farmer Derek’s property. They raised two owlets. The nest is currently unoccupied but one of the Bald Eagles did a fly by at 07:19 this morning. Will there be a battle over this nest?

The eagle is right at the horizon line with the blue sky. You should be able to see it.

Anna has taken over incubation duties of the two eggs on the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. This is her and Louis’s second breeding attempt. They fledged Kisatchie last season.

Clive is on incubation duty at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. Another storm is really starting to churn in that area. It will effect the eagles as well as the ospreys – and, of course, it is the same storm that is hitting Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers.

It is a beautiful winter’s day – perfect for the Winter Solstice – at Glacier Gardens. I wonder what Kindness is doing? She was such a special juvie.

Alaska is a perfect place for Bald Eagles, too. When Dave Hancock put the satellite trackers on the 7 or 8 fledglings in British Columbia that survived that horrific heat wave, all of them flew north to Alaska.

Lena is waiting for Andy to bring her some fish at the Captiva Osprey Nest. This couple was really hit hard – along with Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest – from the storms the other day. It is good to see that all had no problems. There is another storm brewing today.

Ervie got the morning fish and Bazza is not happy. Apparently, Ervie woke up in the middle of the night and kicked Bazza off the nest. I can understand why he is grumpy.

Ervie is doing a great mantling job. Third hatch turned out to be the ‘King Pin’. Wonder if Bazza remembers how he tried to treat Ervie? Do raptors have a memory like elephants?

Daisy is fine. Wishing for a quiet day for her.

This is a wee bit of a catch up with some of our other favourite nests. Cal Falcons raised $3500 through the sale of t-shirts to support Lindsay Wildlife for treating Grinnell. That is fantastic! There is no news of who Annie will pair with for the 2022 breeding season. Watching birds is all about patience. Sometimes I don’t have any!!!!!!

Thank you so much for stopping in to check on the nests. The birds will weather the current storms in Florida. They are used to them but, still, we worry. Wishing all of you a very happy Winter solstice. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle and the AEF, SWFlorida and the Pritchett Family, Captiva Osprey, Captiva Bald Eagle, KNF Bald Eagles, Glacier Gardens, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Farmer Derek, Friends of Big Bear Eagles, Duke Farms, the Raptor Research Project at Explore.org, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks so much Mary Ann for the updates on all the nests. I wish them all good luck this season with their eggs ! I pray the storms are not too bad there for the ones who are going through them today. 🙏❤️
    Have a good Winter Soltice day and take care!
    I’ll be Looking forward to the next newsletter
    Linda

    1. Oh, yes, all good wishes to them through the storms. I always feel bad for the birds when they have to incubate in the rain and wind. It probably doesn’t bother them at all! And thank you. I is 16:09 and already the birds have been gone from the garden for over an hour. It will be dark in a few minutes! Then we can begin counting til spring…..which means bobble head Ospreys at Achieva!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait.

  2. Another uplifting report, thank you! I too hope all these nests weather the severe storms and that eggs stay intact and ready to hatch on schedule.
    I was watching the snow fall on Glacier Gardens this morning, and began to worry. All that snow piled on the nest must be so heavy for that poor tree. But I guess it goes through this every winter. (And yes, re Kindness — I wonder where he is now. It’s hard not ever knowing how they’re doing. What a beautiful fledgling he was!)

    1. It is always my pleasure. We plant a tree for a person in the family when they die. Our yard is becoming a forest. I can say with some confidence that trees can collapse under the weight of the snow. That is a huge Sitka Pine, I believe. It should be alright. Kindness is so fortunate. He would have found that treasure trove of Chum Salmon. I hope that the eagles and all the wildlife continue to thrive in Alaska especially as the animals are moving north. There was an article I printed today about the permafrost thawing in parts of Alaska creating lakes. Must find it. I will post the link if I do. — There was something ‘special’ about Kindness – a very gentle bird, so loving.

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