Late Wednesday in Bird World

We remain in an Extreme Cold Warning on the Canadian Prairies while Australia and New Zealand have been having Maritime Heat Events. Both are equally challenging for our feathered friends. As for the humans, the furnace is fixed, the heat is on and my -35 degree C ski pants arrived today along with the -35 degree C rated boots. There will be no excuse for not heading out to walk the trails and check on those several hundred ducks that continue to live on our Assiniboine River. Today at the feeders, the normal 28 or so European Starlings and several hundred Sparrows were joined by no less than 10 Black-capped Chickadees. There could have been more as they darted in and out with seeds. They are such beautiful little birds. Some of the Starlings, like the one below, seemed to really get into eating the snow!

Others seemed to prefer to poof up their feathers and hang out with one another in the Lilac Bushes. They leave about 16:00 and I am constantly wondering where they roost at night. They return just after dawn waiting patiently – or impatiently – for the Bark Butter and Meal Worms.

For those who might have missed it, Royal Albatross YRK returned to Taiaroa Head on Day 15 to relieve her mate, OGK. It was an emotional homecoming. This morning the NZ Rangers returned the ‘real egg’ that had been in the incubator to YRK and removed the dummy egg. I could watch these two all day long if I had the time. Talk about a loving couple. In case you missed it, here is that reunion:

There are so many Bald Eagles or Ospreys named Harriet that it can be confusing when trying to keep the nests straight as to who belongs to which one. Harriet and Mitch are at the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest.

Those babies are really adorable.

At Hilton Head the menu appears to be almost exclusively fish.

Harriet of M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Nest has herself a handful. Today, each chick was trying to climb completely out of the nest bowl – one going one direction and the other one going the other. It is no wonder that we see both Harriet and M15 bringing in reinforcing branches for the sides of the nest.

E19 is full and has passed out in a food coma. E20 thinks it can still hold some more fish! Indeed, these two eat really well when fish is on the menu.

Everyone was talking about a pip and a possible hatch at the WRDC Miami-
Dade Bald Eagle nest. I have been unable to confirm a hatch. Rita was busy feeding the two and what was special on the menu? an Ibis.

The White Ibis lives in the estuaries and along the shores of the Southeastern United States. They are easily identified by their bright red legs and red bill. With these long tweezer like beaks they dig in the mud for crabs, crayfish, marine worms, frogs, and lizards.

“Ibis” by sabl3t3k is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

These two seemed, when I was watching, to settle down and eat. They have had a diet of only fish up til today when the Ibis was delivered.

I cannot tell if there is anything happening with the egg or not. R2 hatched on 2 January so if R3 had hatched today there would be three days difference and tomorrow it will be greater. Again, two healthy eaglets are perfect. Maybe there will not be a third.

There are a myriad of other Bald Eagle nests that have either one egg or the couple are preparing for breeding. I cannot keep up with all of them!

There are certainly funny things that go on at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when all three of the boys are on deck. Ervie – yes, you read that correctly – decided to pay the barge a visit Thursday afternoon PL time. He flew in around 13:00 and chaos ensued, in a manner of speaking. All of the lads thought Dad was flying in with a fish and they were quite animated. When Dad landed on the bottom deck without a fish, Ervie flew right into Dad’s nest! Ervie tried to steal fish from Bazza a few times, got a piece of fish and then proceeded to drop it. Mum picked it up! Who says an Osprey will not pick up a fish that has been dropped? At the end of it all, I think everyone was just happy to see Ervie!

It is amazing how loud three juvenile Ospreys can be when they see Dad flying in with a fish and each one of them wants it. Incredible. Bazza is on the nest, Ervie is on the corner of the ropes and Falky is on the yellow and black ropes. Mum is down below.

Dad has flown in and is next to Mum below deck and Ervie has landed right in the middle of the sticks.

Somehow Ervie comes up with a piece of fish and is eating it on the nest with Bazza.

There is a lot of condensation but that is Ervie on the left and Bazza on the right. Ervie has a piece of fish.

It truly is good to see Ervie – to see all three of them. They are safe and healthy, just maybe a little hungry. Flying takes a lot of energy and the weather has been hot, windy, and the water is choppy. Tough conditions for juveniles learning to fish.

Thank you so very much for joining me. It is always my pleasure to bring you some news about our beautiful birds. As National Bird Day comes to a close, I am forever grateful for the joy these characters bring us. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, WRDC Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! It is so wonderful to see the good news! Thanks for the update on Ervie and the others. So glad to see that YRK got the egg back today. All the photos and news were really many Blessings to see on National Bird Day!
    It’s good to know your furnace is fixed and about your winter clothing and boots came in. It’s extremely cold so be careful out there tomorrow and take care!
    Good evening to you!
    Linda

    1. Good news is always welcome. Such a relief that YRK came home. I hope OGK finds lots of food quickly. Take care and thank you. It is always my pleasure, Linda.

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