Sunday in Bird World

Hi Everyone!

It is another cold day on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starlings were sitting on the tips of the Lilac branches on a bright sunny morning. It is -30. Notice how blue the sky is on a cold, cold day.

The Starlings puff up all their feathers. They seem more interested in sunning themselves than eating today.

Little Red was leaping from the fence to the feeders and back again, collecting nuts as quick as he could. It looks like Dyson & Co have decided to hibernate during this week or two of extreme weather. I do not blame them!

M15 found a possum that had been killed on the road and brought it to the nest in Fort Myers. That is one of the ways that Eagles get killed – removing carrion from the roads and taking it to the nest OR sitting on the road and eating the prey item. Our wildlife rehabbers suggest carrying a shovel in your car and stopping and removing dead animals from the road and placing them way back in the ditch. It will certainly help all the raptors.

In a late Sunday afternoon feeding, E20 got smart for a bit and stood behind E19 when Harriet got up to feed them.

If you are wondering which one is which, it is easy to identify them. Currently, E19 has a bit of PS and food on its back and it is slightly bigger. E19 is in front. E20 is a fluffy clean white ball. A sweetie.

So far their eyes are looking great. No sign of any infection.

The other day when E20 climbed out of the nest cup for a feeding, it was too close to Harriet’s beak making it difficult for her to feed it. By standing behind E19, E20 is at the right place for food and away from E19’s beak. So the first bites go to E20.

The next bite goes to E19. Harriet is such a good mother. There should never been any feelings of food insecurity on this nest.

Adorable.

I was a bit shocked to see an individual on the FB group of the SWFlorida Eaglets write expecting E19 to kill E20. Siblicide in Bald Eagles is very rare. I include below some information from a study. You will see that storms cause more deaths. There has never been a death due to siblicide on this nest in SWFlorida. Everyone can rest easy.

From the researcher in Maine:

“I studied 62 webcam Bald Eagle nests with direct observations of the nest bowl recorded over a period of up to 8 years. The total number of nest seasons was 240. Of that number, there were 91 with just one hatch or none, 105 nestings with 2 hatches, 42 with 3 hatches and 2 with 4 hatches. (These are all direct observations of egg-laying, hatch, eaglet development and fledge.)

Of the 105 nestings with 2 hatches, both eaglets successfully fledged 77 times (73%), 1 eaglet fledged and 1 died 22 times (21%), and both died 6 times (6%). Of the 34 who died, the cause of death was parent neglect (6), killed by intruder (4), storm (4), failed in the first day or two (3), accident (5), illness (1), unknown (7), possible siblicide (1), and known siblicide (3). Based on these figures (including the possible siblicide), the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 2 eaglets is 3.8%.

Of the 42 nestings with 3 hatches, all 3 eaglets fledged 35 times (83%), 2 fledged and 1 died 3 times (7%), 1 fledged and 2 died 2 times (5%), and all three died 2 times (5%). Of the 13 who died, the cause of death was storm (eight), poison (2), accident (1), unknown (1), and siblicide (1). Based on these figures, the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 3 siblings is 2%.

Of the 2 nestings with 4 hatches, all 4 eaglets successfully fledged on one, and 2 on the other. The cause of death of the 2 who died was storm (1), died in the first day or so (1).

The known incidence of siblicide on these 62 random nests of 396 hatched eaglets was 4 eaglets, 3 of whom were from the same nest in Maine, and all were attributed to lack of food and/or parent neglect. That’s 1%. It would be less than 0.3% if I discounted that one nest in Maine.”

That should put everyone’s mind to rest when they are watching the Bald Eagle nests.

And as I close, E20 is eating again and E19 is looking at something else. It was a good feeding!

Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Australian Sea Eagles, did not return to their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park after having been harassed by both the Currawong and the BooBook Owls the previous night.

It has been confirmed that there are boxes for ducks at the Duck Pond but our Daisy seems to prefer nests to them. Let us all hope she changes her mind.

Samson is giving Gabby a break at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam near Jacksonville. He is incubating NE26 and 27. (Legacy was NE24 and the unviable egg was considered NE25). We will be on hatch watch in about 12 days. How wonderful.

It is an interesting morning at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. Ervie is the one who has been on the nest and who is prey calling – very loudly.

Falky has landed on the nearby ropes and is hoping for a chance at the breakfast fish this morning, too. I wonder how much fishing Ervie is actually doing??? He has been sitting on that nest a long time prey crying instead of fishing….

The other Bald Eagle nest that currently has two little eaglets is Hilton Head. The eaglets are doing fine. I will include the link to the camera since they are not on YouTube. They are adorable and I urge you to stop in and have a look. There is no rewind function, however!

The link to the camera is here:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/hilton-head-land-trust-eagles

Someone asked me what nest I am looking forward to the most in 2022. That is a real hard one! In the United States, it would have to be Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks at Cornell University. Here are K1 and K2 from last spring’s nest. K3 will hatch the day after. They are just super parents. Big Red will be laying her eggs in March.

Unlike Bald Eagles who hatch with grey soft natal down, Red-tail Hawks have the most beautiful soft white down and white spikey hair on the top of their heads! They melt my heart instantly.

5 May 2021. K1 and K2.

I love Peregrine Falcons so Annie and Grinnell will be at the top of my list and as for Osprey Nests in the US, you can’t get better than Richmond and Rosie out in California. I try to keep track of several Osprey nests in the UK, the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia, and for this year, the Osprey nests in Finland. Then there is the Black Kite Nest in a Taipei Cemetery. That should keep me out of trouble!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

5 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you so much on this Sunday afternoon for sharing all these nest photos and updates for all our beautiful birds! The starlings must have been very cold and hope their feet were not frozen.🙏 We had a rooster when I was growing up that his feet and his comb froze overnight.
    My Dad reached up and got him from his roosting spot and we took him in and thawed his feet but his comb always laid down after that. It was very sad but he would not stay in the coop.
    Little red was very smart to gather his food before Dyson came! Lol! 🐿🐿
    The little ones at H and M15’s nest are really doing well💕💕 but I hope M15 stays off of the roads! 🙏❤️🦅
    I don’t blame the sea eaglets for not coming back to their nest today since the currowongs and boo owls wouldn’t leave them alone. I pray that Daisy finds the duck boxes🙏❤️
    There will be a lot of nests to watch this winter season and prayers for all to do well with their eggs and hatches. Prayers for them all!🙏
    The little baby hawks are durable in the photo! Thanks for sharing them! We look forward to watching them also and the others too!
    Have a great Sunday evening Mary Ann and rest and take care!
    Linda

    1. Oh, thank you for sharing your story about the rooster. How kind of your father. That rooster was lucky! People who love birds and animals are so wonderful.

  2. Lots of interesting information here, Mary Ann — as always! I wish the Sea Eagles would find another place to nest – away from the carawongs. And all the other predators that keep attacking that nest. And more than anything, I hope Daisy will check out the nest boxes and give up on laying her eggs in a sea eagle nest!

    So sad to think of all the ways humans make it difficult for birds (and all wildlife) to survive. Heartbreaking. I doubt it would occur to most people to remove roadkill from a highway and possibly save an eagle’s life in doing so. Thank you for raising our consciousness about such things.

    I love all the photos – especially those two red-tailed hawk babies!! Talk about cute!

    Wow, so many nests, so little time! Thank you again for everything. Your posts always inspire me.

    1. I am very interested in the artificial platform and nest that Miami-Dad County built this year for a pair of Bald Eagles. I do not see any reason why, if Australian got itself busy and got permission they could build a nest for the sea eagles along the River instead of inside the forest. There are so many injured by road kill but one of the biggest issues is the use of lead in hunting and fishing equipment. It is an easy fix – just stop using it and stop manufacturing it. Simple. It costs about $1.50 for a bit of kit more. You are always welcome. It is my pleasure, Betty. We do our small parts to try and help them.

      1. Hopefully more people will become aware of the problems that eagles and other birds face with shrinking habitats around the world. And perhaps it will happen – we can only hope – that someone will pick up on the idea of building a nest platform for these Australian Sea Eagles. Thank you again for all you do to educate us, Mary Ann.

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