National Bird Day

Today is 5 January and in North America this marks National Bird Day. As all of you are aware, our feathered friends have many challenges. Climate change, warming oceans, loss of habitat, hydro pole electrocution, window strike, disease, rodenticide secondary poisoning, lead poisoning, illegal pet trade, and many more are threats. This is a day to raise awareness. For me, it is also a day to contemplate the joy the birds bring to my life and all their teachings.

Well, I truly messed up. When I was writing about the National Arboretum Nest, I said The First Lady. This lovely couple is Mr President and Lotus – not The First Lady. Apparently, TFL left and this young lady showed up and Mr President took a liking to her. Wow. I missed that!

This is the new couple at The National Arboretum in Washington, DC Bald Eagle Nest. I checked on the American Eagle Foundation and they still have TFL listed for this nest but, that is not TFL, it is Lotus.

Two things happened in our birding community yesterday. One of them is important to everyone. It concerns photographing birds. One of the members of the Manitoba Birding and Photography group was out taking photos of Snowy Owls in rural Manitoba, about an hour outside of our main city, Winnipeg. He was on a public gravel road and had pulled over to eat his sandwich and drink the tea in his thermos. He was not trespassing. Without warning, two pick up trucks with three men blocked his car. They accused him of being an environmental spy on their hog operation. He showed them his camera and told him he was taking pictures of Snowy Owls. They did not believe him. They told him others had said the same thing. He knew that it would only be members of our group but, he just kept his mouth shut. He felt threatened. He was finally able to get out of the situation but, when he returned he gave some advice to all of us which I am passing on to you. He advised anyone going out birding and taking photographs to make sure their cell phone is charged and that they have cell service. He suggested not stopping in areas of no cell service. Apparently he had neither. I am going to go a little further and suggest that 1) you have a charger for your phone in your car; 2) you make sure you have cell service; 3) if possible have another person with you; 4) make sure you have lots of petrol; 5) know where you are located; and 6) tell someone where you are going!

I also want to add a little something to this. I lived near to where this man might have been photographing owls for a long time. People used to stop and take photographs of the animals. It did not bother me. That said, the world has changed and people are more fearful than the days when we didn’t lock our doors and left the keys in our vehicles. Exercise caution. Someone might really be afraid that you are taking photos of their property for other reasons.

The other thing was a listing of things you can use to feed birds that was being circulated on FB. if you didn’t see it, I am posting it below. This might come in handy if you run out of birdseed and suet. I note that Crows like other items such as hard boiled eggs and hamburger meat. They sometimes will eat fruit.

The two eaglets of Harriet and M15 have been both naughty and nice this morning. Both are well feed and thank goodness they have had a quiet sleep. They keep those adults on their toes!

Port Lincoln posted several photographs of Mum on their FB page. She was having a bit of a spa day. How gorgeous! You can check out Ervie’s progress and any postings about the family by searching for Port Lincoln Osprey on FB. You do not have to be a member of the group to look at the media, the discussions, or to make comments.

This note is also from Port Lincoln: “Ervie had watchers worried a couple of days ago when he took over Bazza’s spot on the nest and didn’t move but today he has really spread his wings and crossed the Peninsula to Proper Bay. This is a favoured fishing location for Mum and Dad so it certainly looks as though they are showing him the ropes.”

Ervie is growing up and maybe, just maybe, he was saying goodbye to all the other day. Mum and Dad did well this year with the three boys. It was simply a great Osprey nest to watch.

If you are a fan of Pale Male, Bruce Yolton has posted some lovely images of him. I want to also note that Pale Male and Octavia were seen in Central Park the other day hunting as well. I believe this Red-tail Hawk is 32 years old. Amazing.

If you cannot open some of the things I post and they have that little sideways ‘V’ on the bottom right, if you click on it you will find the link and you can cut and paste.

I will be checking on all the nests throughout the day. There are intruders hanging around the Achieva Osprey nest. One of them is the one that Tiny Tot Tumbles battled several times. I can see no action on the third egg at Miami-Dade but it is hard to see in that nest. There was supposed to be signs of a pip yesterday morning. It is getting busy, thankfully. And on a personal note, the repairman is returning to put a part on my furnace within the hour – thank goodness for small miracles as our temperatures begin to plummet again to -32 C.

Take care everyone. It is wonderful to have you with me. Be safe, stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page, National Arboretum Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.

5 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    That is ok Mary Ann. I know they are saying this isn’t TFL. Nobody knows where she went. Last season the young eagle took up with Mr P while TFL was away. She was staying away a lot so I don’t know if something happened to her or if she had a ramble with this eagle there now but for a while she was still coming and I remember ran the young one off last season too. I sure wish we knew what happened to TFL and Romeo and Juliette. All went missing and no one seems to know.
    Thank you for letting us know it’s National bird day! 🙏❤️ I love and pray for all of them.
    Linda

    1. I was thinking about Ma Berry, too. Retirement might be good! A little like Iris. They gave a lot to the Bald Eagle and Osprey world. Maybe they can enjoy the breeding season by not breeding! It is hard not to know what happens when you get so involved with their lives. Romeo reminds me of Joe at Captiva. Both might have felt like they let the family down and just left. Without trackers we will never know, sadly. I hope that they are off enjoying themselves.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        I hope they are enjoying retirement too. I guess we will never know. I was so happy to know that Ma Berry was seen and photos posted of her in Alabama and Georgia. I pray Romeo found Juliette and they are together. TFL was a wonderful Mom eagle with a few sad seasons that may have started her to not nest again. I saved a photo of her and Mr P in a snow storm that was awesome! Dad Decorah was another that went missing and never found. And of course our Beloved Rachel at Hog Island. So many came up missing and never heard of again. I pray Iris will be here this season too! 🙏
        Thank you Mary Ann for the link to Pale Male Hawk. His age is amazing too!
        Good luck to all the little eaglets !💕
        Have a great day!
        Linda

  2. Thank you again Mary Ann, for all this additional information. I truly appreciate the advice and suggestions, along with all the nest news. Hope your furnace has been fixed now and that you’re keeping warm!

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