Was the rat brought to the WRDC nest poisoned?

Last season, a rat was brought on as prey to the Bald Eagle nest at Captiva on Sanibel Island. It was fed to Peace and Hope. Both died of rodenticide poisoning. There have been far too many deaths due to rodenticide. The list is too long for me to type but every wildlife rehabber will tell you that everyone of those deaths was preventable!

Today a rat was brought to the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita and the eaglets, R1 and R2, ate it. The following was posted on a FB group that I belong to. Rodenticide is meat for rats and mice but it often causes the secondary poisoning of raptors as well as domestic cats or dogs. Everyone is working very hard to get this designer poison banned.

The rats are so easy to catch once they have eaten the poison. They become sluggish and are easy to catch.

Please send your positive wishes to this nest and help the raptors by not using rodenticide and telling everyone you know to not use it and why. I have first hand experience with our lovely cat, Duncan, dying from this. It is a horrific death. Agonizing.

Ervie had two fish deliveries so far. One was at 10:24 and the other was at 12:47:44. Ervie has also been off the nest exploring the area which is wonderful news.

Port Lincoln also zoomed in the camera on Ervie eating his fish. The result was some beautiful portraits of my favourite Osprey fledgling. Told you I was biased!

In the image below, Ervie is giving the ‘snake eye’ look that many Ospreys, like Iris at the Hell Gate Canyon Nest in Montana is so famous for.

Ervie loves to eat! He is really doing a great job eating this nice fish!

The hatch at Berry College is progressing. The extra shell was over the smaller end of the egg. One small victory! B15 is doing very well, too. Let us all hope that B15 is very nice to its sibling once it has hatched.

By 16:00, the little one at the KNF nest was chattering away wanting more fish. Anna waited a couple of minutes and got up and gave that sweetie a really nice feeding. I was surprised that it could hold any more fish after the previous meal but, there was room for a few nice size bites. At that time, 5 fish or parts of fish could be seen on the camera. The one that Anna is feeding yet-to-be-named eaglet had just been brought in by Louis. This baby will never have to worry about there not being enough fish! Last year Louis brought in a turtle but, as far as I know there are no worries about rats coming on to this nest as prey. Lake Kincaid is right out the front door!

I went back to check the WBSE nest and Daisy has not returned since she was there in the morning. There is still much time left in the day, however.

I am so sorry to worry anyone about the eaglets on the WRDC nest. It is reassuring that they are being monitored and I hope at the first sign of a problem they will be removed from the nest and taken into care — with positive results! Three things that would really improve the lives of the raptors ——- ban rodenticides along with lead in hunting and fishing equipment.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on the latest comings and goings. This is brief because I wanted to alert you to the issue at hand. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Bald Eagles Rodenticide and Lead FB page.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for these updates. I happen to get up and saw the post as I took my iPhone off charge. I will definitely keep the little ones in prayer that the rat wasn’t poison with that awful chemical that should have been banned a long time ago. 🙏
    So glad to hear Ervie is exploring and getting fed too. Good luck Ervie with your fishing. ❤️
    I hope Daisy finds another place to lay her eggs too 🙏
    Good night Mary Ann and thanks for all the updates. Prayers are going up for all the nests we follow with little ones and with eggs to be hatched soon🙏

    Linda

    1. Oh, thank you, Linda. I checked them on and off and R1 and R2 seem to be OK but anytime there is a rat brought to the nest I freeze. When I saw Diane’s warning I kinda froze. The eaglets look fine but we wait and send warm wishes and prayers their way. They have such good parents that well, it doesn’t seem fair, since they lost their two last year because of the nest collapse. Fingers crossed!

  2. Oh no – I’m sorry to hear there’s a possibility Ron and Rita might’ve fed their babies rats infected with poison today. One more thing to cross fingers for. They’re such a beautiful family.

    Speaking of which, I observed something very sweet on their nest this afternoon. Not sure which parent was on the nest, but you could see the two eaglets together resting, and then one of them woke up and started pecking at the other one’s head over and over. The parent (I’m assuming Rita) saw this and reached down with her beak and very gently (like rolling an egg) moved the chick’s head away from its sibling, getting it to stop. It was subtle, and I don’t know if anyone else watching would’ve noticed. It appeared to me that Rita deliberately put a stop to the pecking. She then went over to a piece of prey and started to eat as if to say “come and get it!” – which the chick did (while the other slept). Such interactions fascinate me. Wish I’d thought to get a time stamp.

    1. I kept checking them this morning and R1 and R2, so far, look fine. Not all rats have rodenticide poisoning but it sure is scary when one shows up on a nest. You just have to hold your breath. I think Rita is a very experienced Mum. The other day Ron fed R2 separately as well. R1 seems to get a buzz in its bonnet once in awhile and wants to peck. I love your close observations, Betty. Thank you for sharing them with me. And good for her getting that one over to eat! These birds are extraordinary teachers, aren’t they?

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