Ervie and the fish

Before I begin, I want to thank ‘A-M’ for alerting me that Ervie had caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. I was not watching at the time and in my excitement to tell you, I forgot to thank her. My sincerest apologies. I always appreciate all of the news you send me, especially when I can only be in one place at a time! Thank you ‘A-M’.

Yes, Ervie caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. It was magnificent and happened at 13:37:14. Ervie had to be so excited.

Ervie was so proud of his fish and rightly so. Indeed, he was so happy that he wasn’t paying full attention. And the fish was still alive. Yes…if you are thinking fluttering fish on nest, you have it. Ervie was a bit shocked when the fish started moving away and fell into a hole at the top right of the nest!

There is Ervie looking down that hole in amazement. It ate his fish!

Everyone had faith that Ervie, the chick who could dig out old fish tails from the nest, would be able to retrieve his fish ——- and he did!

Well done, Ervie. Today you gained some confidence and you learned a lesson – pin your fish down hard while you eat it!

The very curious thing is that Ervie, who was obviously hungry, did not gobble up his fish. He also walked around the nest like something distasteful was stuck to his foot. One of the knowledgable chatters suggested that it was a ‘toadfish’ and that maybe he didn’t like the taste of it.

So what is a toadfish? The Common Toadfish grows to approximately 15 cm or 6 inches in length. The fish is actually covered with some prickles which could account for why Ervie didn’t like it stuck to the pads on his feet. They are found along the coasts in shallow water and sometimes bury themselves in sand with only their eyes showing. The fish is toxic to humans who, if they consume the fish can die of respiratory failure. It carries the same neurotoxins in its tissue as the Blue-ringed Octopus or the Pufferfish. Those toxins are Tetrodotoxin.

I asked a biologist if this could harm the transfer of information from Ervie’s nerves to his muscles and they were unclear as to the impact. Perhaps the toxins do not harm the sea hawks like they do humans. Still, as my grandmother would say, it is a good thing Ervie did not like the taste of the fish and didn’t finish it just in case. Over time, Ervie will discover the fish that are good to eat and those that aren’t.

“Tetractenos hamiltoni Common toadfish has a deadly secret #marineexplorer #underwatersydney” by Marine Explorer 

Dad watched his son closely. At 17:52, he brought Ervie a nice fish to eat. Thanks, Dad!

Dad has a nice crop. It looks like he made sure that the fish was dead by eating its head before delivering to our sweet boy.

Ervie has spent the night in Dad’s shed hanging on to Dad’s favourite blue rope sleeping.

Other Bird World News: The Ravens came to attack the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Shadow was not home. Jackie defended the nest of two eggs valiantly. This will not be thee last time they come. They know there are eggs in there and Jackie and Shadow are going to have to be vigilant! It is believed that E20 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 has officially started self-feeding. Jean-Marie Dupart has counted 220 Ospreys at the Langue de Barbarie Park in Senegal. This is a record! Ferris Akel will be hosting his birding tour of the area around Ithaca today starting around 1pm Eastern time. Go to YouTube and Search for Ferris Akel Tour Live. For those fans of E19 and E20, they are some of the feature wildlife that are in CROW’s 2022 calendar. The calendars are now 50% off. Here is the link to order: https://bit.ly/2022CROWCalendar There is no news on Bella at the NCTC nest. She has not returned to the nest since the last time she was seen injured on 1 February. The search party was not able to find her. The new female and Smitty have been exchanging fish on the nest. We are on egg watch for the Redding Eagles. Lots and lots happening. The poor weather seems to have moved out of the nest areas!

This is Pittsburgh-Hayes a few minutes ago. We are on egg watch there, too.

The sun is shining down and the snow is melting in Ithaca for Big Red and Arthur.

Not-so-little Kincaid has a big crop this morning at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. The thermal down is coming in nicely and just look at those big feet! Oh, you are growing way too fast Kincaid.

It is a cloudy day on the Canadian Prairies. No snow warnings and it is now a balmy -15 C. Someone asked me how we stay warm. For the most part, the houses in Canada are well insulated with double or triple pane windows. Central Air is pretty standard. We pay very high heating bills (very high) in the winter even if our homes are insulated well and have great windows if the extreme cold weather lingers for several weeks. Smart persons really bundle up before going out in -35 degree weather. Coats, boots, ski pants all rated to -35 or -45 help tremendously along with gloves and toques (knit hats). I prefer the dry snow over the wet – that makes you cold to the bone!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Pix Cameras, Cornell Bird Labs, and the KNF Bald Eagle nest.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thanks for the update on Ervie! As well as all the other nests too! Thanks for the links and photos as well. Hope the toadfish don’t make Ervie sick. 🙏❤️
    Have a great Saturday and we ok forward to hearing from you soon again.
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda. The toadfish is still on the nest! He did not eat it and thank goodness. Ervie will learn what fish to catch and not. Poor thing. He got the puffer – which he did eat – and this one to the nest. I do hope he ate other fish in other places. He is a darling!

  2. Thanks for keeping us up to date, Mary Ann. Poor Ervie, I felt so bad the fish he was so proud of catching turned out to be a bad one. Hope that doesn’t discourage him from trying again right away. He needs some positive reinforcement!

    Also hoping they find Bella. That’s so sad…. please continue to keep us posted on that front.

    It’s good news to hear that E20 is officially self feeding already!

    Glad you’re keeping warm. I just can’t imagine temps so cold. (I think the coldest temp I’ve ever experienced was 0° Fahrenheit.) Please keep taking care, and thanks again for all you do, Mary Ann.

    1. Oh, it is all my pleasure. Gabby is holding in there with the storm and there is no news on Bella, sadly. I do not know if they ever found Juliette from the NE Florida nest when she was injured. I wish there were more human made nests for the birds. The nest take overs are getting too common and I wonder what the % is in the wild where there are no cameras. And we are warm and happy. Stay in when it is too bad outside. Thank you for your concern.

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