There is excitement on Taiaroa Head. The Royal Cam chick for 2022 pipped its egg today and the NZ DOC rangers promptly removed that egg from under YRK replacing it with a dummy. Why you ask? Fly strike is when flies lay their eggs, in the hot summer months, on various things including hatching Albatross chicks. Fly strike can be fatal as the fly eggs hatch into maggots that eat their host. So, for the safety of the very endangered Royal Albatross, the eggs are removed at pip to hatch in an incubator. The chick will be returned to the parents to feed and brood as soon as it is safe to do so. Last time OGK was on the nest. Wonder if he will fly in just time time for the return of the chick? Oh, it is so exciting.
The NZ DOC made a short video of the removal of the egg:
At the end of the day, the Kisatchie National Forest yet-to-be-named eaglet was fed 14 times between 06:52 and 17:41. That is 14 feedings in 10 hours and 45 minutes. Wow.
Anna wanted to feed the little eaglet at 17:08 but the baby had something over its beak. You can see it in the image below. Turns out it is some of Anna’s underbelly feathers. Anna tried to feed the chick but it could eat with that big wad over its beak.
Anna realizes the problem and begins to pull the fluff off the little one.
To the relief of everyone, Anna removed the fluff without a problem and the baby had its penultimate feeding of the day.
This is one of the most hilarious Bald Eagle couples I have ever seen. Louis fills the nest with food, so much it could not possibly be eaten. If he comes around to try and have a snack without having to go fishing, Anna perks up.
This is precisely what happened below. Anna was brooding the eaglet and she sees Louis arriving. She makes this very interesting vocalization and gets up and goes over to move a piece of fish. Louis is watching all of this. The little one says, ‘Sure, Mum, if you want me to, I will eat again!’
Louis decides he will be cool and he plays ‘hide the baby’ while Anna is trying to feed the eaglet (again). In the end, Louis winds up digging in the nest and finding a piece of old fish bone which he takes with his beak and flies off the nest. Meanwhile, the little eaglet is still being fed by Mum! That was the last feeding documented before the camera froze. Maybe you had to be watching. The interaction between these two parents is so funny. Louis did do something very useful today. He brought in some more branches to build up the walls of the nest. There are places with holes in them that will need to be covered.
Dad delivered Ervie’s breakfast fish to the nest at 08:30:59.
Ervie was so happy when he saw Dad flying in with a fish.
Later, the cam operator gave everyone some really nice close ups of Ervie staring at the water looking for fish.
I made a short video clip. It was wonderful to see Ervie interested in the water and the fish! Enjoy. There is a severe weather warning for Port Lincoln. The warning is for intense rainfall, severe warnings for heavy rain beginning at 16:00. Later in the evening possibilities of thunder and lighting. Stay safe Osprey family!
At the WRDC nest, it has been hot. Tomorrow they are looking for temperatures around 18 with a 40% chance of rain. I am happy to report that R2 ate and both eaglets seemed perky and happy. In the image below, R1 is full and looking out of the nest while R2 is eating.
Happy sleeping babies.
CROW has announced a virtual speaker series. Some of you might be interested. The guest is Ron Magill, ‘Mr Miami Zoo’ who is responsible for this human made nest for Ron and Rita. It sounds like a really interesting topic.
It will get down to 11 degrees C at the nest of Samson and Gabby in Jacksonville, Florida. That is 51.8 F. There is a chance of rain on Saturday.
The American Eagle Foundation posted the following information today about hatching. Super informative as we wait for Gabby and Samson’s eggs to pip!
Hatching is hard work. Before starting to break out of the egg the chick has three things it must accomplish. It must ﬁrst switch from being dependent on the oxygen diﬀusing through the pores in the eggshell into the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell and start to use its own lungs to breathe. The chick takes its ﬁrst proper breath and ﬁlls its lungs the moment it punctures the air cell inside the top of the egg. (Internal Pip) This step is essential because by this stage of development there is not enough oxygen diﬀusing through the pores in the shell to support the chick’s respiratory requirements. Taking a breath from the air cell provides the oxygen and the energy necessary to break through the eggshell. Before it takes that ﬁrst breath, the chick has to start shutting oﬀ the blood supply to the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell, and withdraw that blood into its body. The blood vessels are programmed to close oﬀ at the point where they emerge from the bird’s umbilicus, and just before the chick starts cutting round the shell. Third, the chick has to take what is left of the yolk and draw it into its abdomen. It does this by sucking up the remaining yolk through the stalk that connects the yolk to the chick’s small intestines. This “yolk sac” is a food reserve for the ﬁrst few hours or days after hatching.
Hopefully we will have a pip tomorrow at NEFlorida. We are also watching the Achieva Osprey nest of Jack and Diane. There have been gifts of food and mating on the nest. Diane normally lays her eggs on the 22 or 23rd of January. Oh, so close! Stay tuned for news. So we are on pip watch, hatch watch, and egg watch! Crazy.
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and my video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the WRDC.