As I write this, I know that there are tears flowing in homes around the world and with the NZ DOC rangers. OGK has been incubating his egg (replaced 2 days ago with a dummy for safety) for 15 days straight. Today the rangers gave him 600 ml of liquids to ward off dehydration as he waited for his mate, YRK to return from foraging so the pair could change shifts.
15 days is a long time. YRK was not the only mate to be out foraging for a longer period. There are several others now that have been away for 13 days. The rangers believe it is because there is a marine heatwave around parts of New Zealand and Australia at the moment. These are extreme weather events that used to occur periodically and now happen 4 to 5 times more often. In this instance, it is extreme heat, not cold. This might have meant that the fish were not located where the birds predicted they would be and they had to go further to forage.
YRK flew in at 14:43 New Zealand time to the sheer delight of OGK. The morning calm gave way to strong winds with lots of Albies flying in at mid-afternoon. Maybe some of the others who have been at sea for so long are among them.
Who says that birds do not smile or have emotions? Just look at OGK’s smile. If you know of anyone that feels that way, you should show them this beautiful pair of Royal Albatross getting reacquainted with one another after 15 days!
Here she comes and he is smiling.
Who says all landings have to be perfect!
Oh, that must feel good to OGK. It is called Allopreening. Preening is when a bird cleans their feathers and allopreening is when they do it to another. It looks like a nice head massage to me!
OGK does some allopreening.
It is much better in a video clip! OGK knows that YRK is arriving before we see her. He immediately begins to do sky calls. What a devoted couple!
This morning Bazza woke up and ate the fish tail that was left over from the previous evening’s fish. Later, Falky arrives at the nest and waits like Bazza normally does for a delivery. Falky got lucky! He mantled that fish for a long time fearing that one of his brothers would fly in and take it away.
In the image below Falky is doing a perfect mantle. He has his wings apread out and down along with his tail so that others cannot see if he has a fish or not. It also helps him protect his food.
There is at least one sibling about and I think it is Bazza. Falky has a time trying to walk with that fish on his talons.
Falky eventually moves the fish over on the ropes where he finishes it off. Meanwhile Bazza is on the nest hoping for a delivery. He might have to wait all day. The parents are delivering fewer and fewer fish to the lads believing it is time that they are out fishing for themselves.
Ervie has not been seen on camera. That does not mean that he is not on the barge somewhere; he has not been on the nest begging for food which tells me that Ervie has been doing some fishing and is out finding his own meals. Hopefully he will return to the nest one more time so we can see that handsome bird. If not, surely the locals will follow his tracker and submit some images of Ervie out living the life of a young Osprey.
At the three Bald Eagle nests I have been monitoring, the eaglets are all well fed and they are doing great. Some of you will have noticed that E19 has been much less aggressive to E20. Normally, the beaking/bonking stops during the second week. The eaglets can support their heads and their focus is better. By this time, they have also learned that food is available and stable – everyone gets fed.
Harriet and M15 thought they would get a chance to have a meal with some of those tasty leftovers on the nest but, guess what? E19 and 20 woke up! Those two seem to be sleeping or eating, eating or sleeping.
Look at how big those wings are getting. Those two can scramble up that nest bowl if they want! E19 did take a tumble backwards today allowing E20 to really chow down but, there are no worries here. Everyone is fed and happy, even Mum and Dad.
M15 is really good at feeding the babies.
Both the eaglets at Hilton Head and Miami-Dade are also doing well.
Eggs were being rolled up at The Hamlet today. Gabby was busy aerating the nest bowl and rolling them around.
That nest looks nice and soft.
She is listening.
Oh, the next two weeks cannot pass quick enough! So excited for the hatch on NEFlorida’s Bald Eagle nest. I have quite the soft spot for Samson and his mate.
Jackie visits the nest that holds much hope for her and her mate, Shadow, up at Big Bear, California this morning. It is a beautiful crisp winter’s day in northern California.
All is well in Bird World. It is such a relief to see YRK back on the nest and OGK flying out to sea. The rangers will return the egg and remove the dummy later today, probably. It is always good to have wonderful news. They had hydrated OGK this morning so he is also good if it takes him awhile to find fish with the unusually hot weather.
Thank you for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.