Late Tuesday and Early Wednesday in Bird World

Late Tuesday afternoon I was watching the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis. It was such a calming and funny experience. Ten fish were on the nest. Ten. Not tinny weeny fish but substantial fish or portions of. When Louis is brooding the baby, he will get up and start to eat some of the fish. Two things happen. First, the eaglet seems to recognize that Dad is not such a great feeder and ignores him eating.

Then, secondly, Anna sees or hears Louis in the pantry and immediately comes to the nest with a request for him to leave the food.

At this point, she begins eating the fish – and the little one gets itself over to where she is so s/he can have some of that fish, too. How smart. Six days old and already recognizes the best feeder of the parents.

This little one is so strong. It held itself up high and steady for long periods of time. Incredible.

Anna helps to strengthen the chick’s neck by making it stretch to get the food.

It was hilarious and just what I needed at the end of the day. This little eaglet will go on to have more feedings before it gets dark. Anna wants the baby to sleep well so it can grow – and be quiet. This baby is quite loud when it is hungry – which is rare.

One of the individuals on the KNF chat stated that the KNF nest was their top nest to watch and that they had stopped viewing another nest because of the violence of the older eaglet to the younger. I know at least two Bald Eagle nests that the person could have been referring to – and even I had wondered if I wouldn’t take a break from both of them for at least a week to let things settle.

It is very difficult watching streaming cams. Very difficult. The birds bring us much joy and enrich our lives. They teach us so much. We want them to play fair and survive. We grieve when one dies and we yell at the screen when the eaglets hurt one another especially when there is food to spare. So along with the joy comes a lot of anxiety and grieving.

One of the nests has to be SWFlorida’s. I held my breath and checked on E19 and E20 as the sun was beginning to set in Fort Myers. Both of them had crops. Yes, E19s is bigger but the fact that E20 will go to sleep full means a lot. In order to have a crop of any kind, E20 had to do the old snatch and grab. And then Mum ran out of food.

This morning, Wednesday, I also checked in on the SWFlorida nest. A nice sized sturgeon had been delivered. Big enough to feed both eaglets well but, E19 was determined that it was going to eat most of it. It was only after 19 was full that 20 was able to begin doing the snatch and grab, again.

E19 continues to be miserable.

In the past I have praised Harriet and M15 – especially M15 – for stepping in to help so that both eaglets get fed to the brim. That doesn’t seem to be happening yet. I am disappointed.

One of the ‘oddest’ issues is that by the time E20 gets its turn, the amount of prey on the nest has significantly diminished or, in one instance, was all gone but a tail.

I did not check the WRDC nest. I will but, not until the end of the week. I want to give the sibling rivalry some time to settle. There are plenty of nests and lots of activity to keep me out of trouble.

As it happens Berry College was one nest that I was shy about watching or recommending. Today, Berry College posted the cutest video of B15 on FB and its reaction to a big stick on the nest. They sped up the frame rate so everything is happening fast – like slapstick comedy. I hope you enjoy this. It does show you that B15 is a real character and secondly, that it is a good thing that other egg didn’t hatch!

This morning it was 8 degrees F or -13 C. Very cold at Berry College. B15 was quivering its wings while Pa Berry fed it a breakfast of squirrel and hidden fish!

Pa Berry does a good job feeding his baby.

B15 is doing very well. Less than a week ago it fit into the size of that egg!

The Bald Eagle couple at Big Bear, Jackie and Shadow, have a loyal fan base. Last year they lost both of their clutches. Everyone is hoping that this year this popular couple will be successful. They have certainly been doing nest renovations making way for eggs!

Jackie and Shadow have a beautiful view of Big Bear Lake. Sadly, as I often mention, the area still contains the residual effects of the DDT that was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to rid it of mosquitoes more than 50 years ago. This could be, in part, the cause of the thin egg shells.

It is egg watch for Jackie and Shadow.

As I mentioned earlier, Louis and Anna have the sweetest little eaglet. Louis is a fantastic provider. There are reports of cold icy weather heading towards Louisiana. I hope that it veers away from this nest!

Samson and Gabby also have a gorgeous place for a nest.

What a beautiful egg cup.

Samson rolls the eggs giving Gabby a chance for some food and a break.

Gabby is on deck this morning (Wednesday) and tomorrow, Thursday the 20th is the beginning of pip watch for Samson and Gabby at the American Eagle Foundation! Yes. I am so excited along with all of their loyal fans.

Ervie only got a couple of small fish yesterday. He was on and off the nest so that chatters are now giving him the nickname of ‘Boomerang’. He spent the night on the perch after being spooked by a boat that got too close to the barge at 21:08:23. This is at least the third incident this breeding season. Just the other day two youngsters on paddle boards appeared right by the barge. It really does unsettle the birds.

I am delighted that Daisy the Duck is still not laying eggs on the WBSE nest. Each day that she isn’t there is a day to celebrate albeit we do miss seeing her.

I know that each of us wish that this was ‘our’ Daisy after her eggs hatched on that big nest. Talk about adorable. These ducklings follow their Mum perfectly til they get to the stream!

I hope that put a smile on your face. And, Daisy, I hope that in about a month this might be you! We all do.

It is -25 C on the Canadian Prairies and we had more snow last night. Everything is beautiful and white and typically, on very cold days, the sky is blue and the sun is bright. The Blue Jay family has been absent now for over a month. I hope they decided to leave town for warmer climates. Ah, but where to go? It was colder in Georgia yesterday than it was in Winnipeg! Dyson was out doing what he does best —-eating! I caught him on the large suet cylinder yesterday afternoon. What Dyson doesn’t know is that I removed the cage from around the big suet so that he could eat all he wanted. Don’t tell him or he will think I am an old ‘softie’. Notice how thick Dyson’s fur has gotten since the fall.

The European Starlings were everywhere. The numbers typically range between 27 or 28 up to 56 to 58 at a time. They do tend to intimidate the smaller birds from coming to the feeders until they are full. This has meant watching and keeping food topped up until around 16:00 when everyone leaves.

In the middle of the all the chaos caused by the Starlings is the Chickadee who visits several times a day. Slipping in and out when there are not so many other birds around.

Little Red is around but he has only let me photograph his tail at one of the feeders – cheeky little thing. The other two Grey Squirrels come and go as well along with Sharpie who sweeps through a couple of times a day checking to see if he can grab a snack. They seem to be braving the bitter winter weather and the snow with more grace than I seem to have. It certainly feels like spring is a long way away.

Dyson knows precisely where I fill the feeders. When he finishes there will be nothing left but the shells from the Black-Oil Seeds.

Thank you so much for joining me today. From me and all the garden friends, take care, see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Friends of Big Bear.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thanks for this newsletter! It is good to know all the critters are fine and eating at your place. The photos of them are so enjoyable to see! I pray for the 2 nests that we know of the smaller hatchlings will be ok and get fed enough food. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’• I am pretty sure the one on H and M15โ€™s nest will be ok. These parents have so much experience and know what and how to do with this situation. Thank goodness!๐Ÿ™
    Have a good day and thanks for all you do for us.
    Linda

    1. M15 stepped up and fed 20! Which was precisely what I hoped would happen. R2 got a couple of feedings but R1 just finished almost an entire fish, R2 kept its head down rather than get pecked. But, both younger chicks have eaten today. There has never been a siblicide on the SWFlorida Nest, never. So, yes. No problem there and I think R2 will be fine also. It is learning how to survive. Neither want to get injured. Fingers crossed.

  2. Thanks for another great report, Mary Ann. I enjoyed the videos – so funny the one of B15 and the stick! (Glad his mom finally moved it away.)
    Also loved the one of the mama duck and her babies. Such a long way they had to go, with so many obstacles and roads to cross – and all the while mama looking so proud and happy. And yes, wouldn’t it be nice if Daisy could have that kind of success. Hopefully she will eventually.
    Also fun to see all your photos and to know all your wildlife creatures are doing well (thanks to your TLC). Hopefully spring is around the corner!
    Meanwhile, take good care.

    1. You are positively welcome. That video was a hoot! I re-filmed it from their site. Hope no one minded. It was just too funny not to share. Those ducklings were amazing…they had to go so far. I tried to imagine Daisy making it through the forest with hers. Oh, I do hope she is alright.

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