Early Saturday in Bird World

05 March 2022

Weather wise it is a horrible morning at the Big Bear Valley nest of Shadow and Jacket. Snow or ice pellets are flying through the air. Yes, literally, the wind is terrible. On top of all of that, a sub-adult Bald Eagle has been trying to land on the nest tree and Shadow has had to move it out of the territory.

Some believe that the intruder might be Simba, Jackie and Shadow’s 2019 fledge. The problem with all intruders is that the responsible parent for the nest can get injured. I wish they would stay away!

That is Shadow escorting the sub-adult out of the territory at 08:44.

The wee babe had its first feeding at 07:45. You cannot tell – it is a ‘still’ image- but the wind is really whipping the adult around trying to get to the prey for the baby’s first feeding of the day.

This little one will be fed quickly and then back under the adult so as not to get a chill.

This is Shadow giving the baby its first feeding for the morning.

Jackie will feed the baby at 09:57.

I have simply not been able to take my eyes off this little one. It is incredibly strong. Just look at it sit up straight. It knows precisely which way to go to line up for a feeding. It is not 48 hours old yet. A beautiful healthy eaglet. For Jackie and Shadow this is a miracle baby. I have to admit that I have not thought much about the other egg instead focusing on the needs of this one and how well it is doing.

Little ones have been fed and are wiggling around the nest and out of the egg cup at Dale Hollow Lake, home to River and Obey.

At first, when I only saw the one, my heart sank.

There they are. Everyone is moving to get into the shade provided by River.

Little cuties. The third hatch appears to be doing well despite its small size in relation to the twins.

There is an issue with the nest and three eggs of Jack and Harriet at the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. There is no certainty as to what has occurred – did squirrels get the eggs? did they fall down a hole in the nest made by squirrels so that they cannot be incubated and are now unviable? did a predator take the eggs? Whether or not Jack and Diane will try for a second clutch is unknown at this time.

So far, there have been two feedings at the Captiva Osprey Nest. The first came after 08:00 but before the 08:34 listed by the chat. The second was at 10:08:07. All are doing well but, like Shadow and Jackie, Andy and Lena are having to deal with several intruders in their air space this morning.

There is Little Bob up front eyeing that fish just like our precious Ervie. Everyone seems to have a bit of a crop left from the earlier feeding. Let us hope that Andy is able to do some good fishing this afternoon so that these babies can have full tummies and crops for bedtime.

Ferris Akel’s tour turned up a Northern Harrier right away. As we were watching it, you could hear the Canada Geese overhead migrating to the north. They are coming home!

Northern Harriers are often the easiest of the hawks to spot because they fly low over the ground. Like owls, Harriers can also hunt by sound because of their large parabolic facial disk. You can see that easily in the image below. They eat small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

What a beautiful hawk. They are large hawks standing from 43-58 cm high with a wingspan of 97-122 cm.

We see them on the Canadian Prairies hunting low.

The Canada Geese are in formation which means they are migrating. I always love hearing them in the sky. It is a good sign that spring has returned to the Canadian Prairies.

Ferris also saw five Hooded Mergansers and now has spotted a group of Red-wing Blackbirds. Oh, I loved seeing those at our wetlands centre last year. They are not common in the urban area where I live.

The snow is melting in the Finger Lakes area of New York and making areas of water for the waterfowl as well as revealing any grains left from the harvest.

There are ducks, swans, and geese landing to rest and feed.

The sounds of the waterfowl vocalizing is beautiful.

There were hundreds of Snow Geese flying in to feed and rest.

What a beautiful sight. Thousands of these birds settle on the farmer’s fields here on the Canadian Prairies as they begin to arrive for spring. They breed in the far north, in the tundra, of my province on Hudson’s Bay. They will feed on waste grain and new sprouts coming up. In the image below they are taking advantage of the grains and vegetation that have been covered by snow. They are large waterfowl, 60-80 cm in length with a wingspan of 1.3-1.5 m.

Their arrival in northern New York, near the Canadian border with Ontario, gives me hope that spring is, indeed, coming.

Thank you for joining me this morning. It is a beautiful cloudy but albeit warmer day here and I hope to get in a good walk today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Achieva Credit Union, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and, of course, Ferris Akel Tours.


  1. Mary Ann, thanks so much for all the updates the last two days. I too have been captivated by Jackie and Shadow these last few days. The weather has made me very nervous though and I had to stop watching for awhile. Can’t stand to see Jackie huddled up in the cold, being pelted by snow and ice, and I worry for all of them. Hopefully the weather there will start warming up ASAP. That second egg should be hatching soon (hopefully) and things are going to get even busier. Wish they didn’t have to worry about predators along with the bad weather!

    I hope spring arrives soon where you are too, Mary Ann- and that things start warming up. Wishing you a peaceful weekend!

    1. Me, too. I remember asking the question about why certain nests are more poplar than others and there I was with 8600 people watching Jackie wait for that hatch. Mesmerizing these two are. The joy at having a chick. Honestly I do not care if the other one hatches. It is so hard to fit 2 six week old chicks under a parent and that has caused problems at this nest in the past with one perishing. So one healthy one kept warm and full is perfect -. I adore them. Thank you and you, too. Nice and peaceful!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the updates! Hopefully the snow will stop soon at the Big Bear nest.
    I’m so happy to see Spring arriving! It’s a very nice Season and all our birds will be coming in again, hopefully. We already have the gold finches coming in.
    Have a great day!

    1. You are very welcome. It will be so nice when spring settles in. I am so longing to see green grass and laves. Oh, how grand. I love Gold Finches. Enjoy them for me!

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