Early Friday in Bird World

11 March 2022

The sun is shining down on the snow that blew and fell over night. It is -22 degrees C with the wind chill at -32 C. The birds are arriving early! We are all hoping that spring will be here soon. Yesterday I put out two seed cylinders. If you have not seen these they are fantastic for the birds who have difficulty eating at some of the ‘normal’ feeders such as the European Starlings. Of course, Dyson likes to sit on top of the cylinders and munch away while the Black-Capped Chickadee flies in with the speed of Sharpie getting seeds. I really like the Starlings and the Old World Sparrows, many do not. It feels good to supply them with supplemental food in the winter. My City is nothing but a building site and the habitat where the birds foraged is no longer.

I know someone else who likes Starlings! Ferris Akel has posted a short video of the European Starlings on his deck at the feeders. Have a look.

That is not the kind of action that my daughter is getting at hers! She is taking care of this squirrel and rabbit who seem to have worked out how to help one another and keep the birds away. It is funny and wonderful!

I went to bed worrying about the Captiva Osprey nest.

In my head I kept hearing my grandmother say, ‘Everything works out the way it is supposed to’ with the saying, ‘Change what you can, accept what you can’t, and be smart enough to know the difference.’

There is a huge issue of fish delivery at the Captiva Osprey nest. The last time that the Mum, Lena, and Middle and Little Bob had more than a few bites of fish was 8 March. Big has had all the fish for the 9th and 10th. We are entering the third day. As much as all of us might want to pull a tank of live fish to the dock at Lori’s for Andy and Lena, I cannot do this. This area of Florida is experiencing hot and humid weather. There is no quick fix for the weather patterns that are impacting many nor can I put a halt to the intense competition for food (fish) in this particular area of Florida. In other words, if I am smart, I will recognize that I have to accept the situation and just hope that there is a turn around at this nest.

Well, Andy has brought in three fish so far this morning. They were a Sheepshead, a Lady Fish, and the last one is a Spotted Trout. brought in a big fish. Big has been eating and eating and eating.

Big ate the first two fish. Little and Middle who had to have been starving each kept out of the way.

We are now on the third fish. Big is obviously full. Look at that crop. Lena fed him slow. Good for her. That will allow the other two fish to settle and send Big into a food stupor. Hopefully there will be fish left for Mum and the other two siblings, Middle and Little.

Lena has eaten some bites and given at least one to Middle. Big is keeping Little from going to eat. Let’s wait a few minutes and see if Big will pass out and ignore the others.

No. Big has gone back to the table! We saw this type of behaviour at the Achieva Credit Union last season when Sibling 2 would eat til it was almost sick to keep the others away from the fish.

Lena must eat and so must the other two including Little. The heat will have dehydrated them over the past three days.

It is 11:56 nest time. Big is out for the count and Little is being fed. Middle is looking out to the water. Interesting.

Little Bob is eating for the first time in 72 hours save for a couple of scraps on the 9th. Look at how open his beak is. Oh, I hope this wee babe gets good and full.

Little has been eating for 19 minutes. This is so good. Tears and more tears.

This has been a very good fishing day for Andy. I hope that he continues to bring in the fish so everyone, including Mum, goes to bed tonight full to the brim. There is bad weather coming for the weekend and that will cause the fishing to drop. (See map below). As I finish, there is still fish. Lena is feeding Middle along with herself and more bites for Little. What a relief.

Little ate for 24 minutes. He is ready to have a nice nap. Lena and Middle will finish up the fish.

It is difficult to decide which nests to check there are so many now. If you follow the VGCCO Osprey nest (the Venice Golf and Country Club), they now have two hatches and Denton Homes in Iowa has eggs. I completely missed both of those.

The West End Territory or West End Bald Eagle nest on Catalina Island just makes me smile. It is in a beautiful location and it is the home of Thunder and Akecheta.

In the image below, Thunder is on the nest in the middle. Akecheta is to the left on the tall peak guarding the area.

Akecheta has grown up. He is learning how to feed his babies and he seems to fully understand the importance of working with Thunder to keep the Ravens away from the nest! This is huge.

Yesterday a couple of really good videos were posted. If you have time take a peak. Shadow has been watching the way Thunder feed the chicks. Here we get to see his progress! This is our proud first-time Papa wanting to be involved. It is simply precious.

Lady Hawk took the second video clip:

It looks like the sun is really helping to dry out the nest of River and Obey. River also has the chicks out in front so they can get the warmth of the sun, too. There are fish hiding underneath the grasses for lunch.

River has fed all of the kids several times this morning. Little Bit is getting around so much better today. That warm sunshine is really helping. Life is good at Dale Hollow Lake.

Oh, the nest of Jasper and NE27 is a soggy mess. The rains on the 10th, yesterday, were torrential. Mum Gabby tried to keep her sweet way-too-big-to-brood babies dry! What a fabulous Mum she is, too.

Gabby trying to get a little sleep while brooding the kids.

Today, Jasper and NE27 are still wet and the nest is a soaking mess. Both eaglets have been self feeding.

The parents were in and out feeding the two after leaving them to try for themselves.

NE27 has been self-feeding for some time. He will still remain submissive if the parent is only feeding one, Jasper. But, when he is ready, he will do the old snatch and grab if necessary.

Both eaglets are developing fine. There are no issues save for the weather and it looks like they are in for more rain over the weekend.

Big Red and Arthur were both working on the final touches to their nest on the campus of Cornell University. Arthur was in first with Big Red coming in after and ‘tweaking’ his efforts.

Arthur brought in some greenery.

If you have watched the Royal Albatross nests on Taiaroa Head, you will know that the NZ DOC rangers spray for fly strike. Big Red and Arthur use pine boughs to ward off insects.

The nest as Arthur left it.

He flew back in with a twig – working on the side rails so the little ones do not roll out of the nest cup accidentially.

Arthur is very handsome!

Gorgeous deep brown eyes! looks like he has also had some breakfast or made a prey drop to Big Red off camera.

Big Red comes in a few minutes later to check on the decorating.

She will work and get it all tweaked.

When she is finished, she looks out to see if she can see Arthur with her ‘eyes like a hawk’. LOL.

The weather forecast shows a ‘weather bomb’ headed for Big Red and Arthur’s nest over the weekend with more rain for the nests in Florida and the SE.

The nest of Jackie and Shadow should get a break from the weather this weekend. The strong winds from yesterday – winds that almost blew Shadow off the nest – have calmed today. Thank goodness. That beautiful chick is 8 days old today. Wow. Where did the time go?

First feeding of the day around 05:42. The sun is just coming over the mountains in the distance.

Just look at that little one sitting up so straight and tall. This is the second feeding and there will probably be at least six more today. Jackie and Shadow have done an amazing job with this wee babe. We are so fortunate to be witness to their job, just like Thunder and Akecheta at the West End.

Thank you so much for joining me today. We can all rest easy. Everyone at Captiva has eaten! Take care everyone. Stay safe.

My thanks go to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, CNN Weather Tracker, my daughter, Ferris Akel for his video, and Explore.org

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! I’m so Thankful that all three littles were able to get fed today 🙏💕💕💕
    Thank you for all the photos and updates on all of them. Sending best wishes as these storms and cold weather come through tomorrow and Sunday. The parents sure have a lot to take care of during these weather conditions. Bless them all.
    Have a Good Friday Mary Ann and we look forward to hearing from you again soon!
    Linda

    1. You are more than welcome, Linda. It was such a relief – a joy – to write that the osplets and Mum had some food today. We know that there are ‘dry’ spells but it is so hard on them when they are so small like Little. But, today was good. One day at a time. Enjoy the rest of you day, too. Thank you so much for your comment, Linda.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        I really like the feeder at your daughters! That is so cute and funny of the squirrel and bunny rabbit! It’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us!
        Have a great evening
        Linda

      2. She will have to change the name to ‘squirrel feeder’. Apparently those two are there most of the day! So glad you enjoyed it, Linda.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s