Late Sunday in Bird World

13 March 2022

As we all know, behaviours of nestlings can turn on the weather. After seeing the three osplets at the Captiva Nest behaving nicely at meals today, it was heart wrenching to watch the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. Just about the time that everything looked good on the Dale Hollow nest, the oldest of the siblings took it upon itself to make certain that Middle and Little Bit got nothing to eat. In other words, she asserted her dominance. It seems that the recent snow storm probably caused these issues. This is precisely what happened at Captiva. Now that the weather system has passed and lots of fish have been brought to the nest, Captiva has returned to its normal state of calm. I hope that the same happens at Dale Hollow. Little Bit is so small, much smaller than Little Bob at Captiva. Fingers crossed.

Neither of the two smaller siblings got any of that meal. River was feeding and pulling off the bones to feed Big. It looked like the remainder of a Coot.

Thankfully another fish came on the nest. Big was right up there but, Big got full and there was fish left. Hoorah! The good thing about prey items coming in close together when there is a dominant sib.

What really impressed me was Little. When it looked like River was going to give the bite of food to Middle, Little stretched its neck and did a grab. It caught River’s attention! Look at Little in the image below stretching that neck. This Little Bit is hungry and is determined to get some food now that Big has eaten its fill.

Now that Little Bit has River’s attention it is getting some nice bites and a little crop is forming.

I noticed that Little Bit kept looking at the fish and at one point was pecking at it. Is this Little One going to be like Rocket at the NEFlorida nest and start pecking at the open fish on the nest when it is hungry? leading to a really early self-feeding? It certainly stretched that neck and did a grab. Give it a week and we will have a really good snatch and grabber in Little Bit.

There is a breakfast fish left on the nest. It is not clear if there are any fish hidden under the straw. Happy Eagle Dreams everyone.

River returned to the nest and was feeding the eaglets again at 18:10. Just look who is up there at the front. Oh, this is good. Everyone will get some of that fish before bedtime.

It was a whole different story at the Captiva Osprey nest. Andy brought in the 11th fish for Lena and the three kids at 17:26:07. You could almost hear the osplets saying, ‘Oh, please Dad, no more fish. Please, no more fish’. There has to be a point when they are just so full they cannot consider another bite.

By 18:24, all three were passed out in food comas. Think we will see a bit of growth tonight?! Maybe. Hopefully they will sleep well for Lena and Andy. What a day it was. I thought 10 fish was a record but 11! The one thing I did not notice was a lot of recreational boat traffic for a Sunday. Maybe I missed it. Could that and a slight dip in temperatures help Andy fish like this?

It is hard to believe but all of these little eaglets will go from being about 7.62 cm or 3 inches to 91.44 cm (nearly a metre) or 3 feet tall in 3 months. Yes. You read that correctly. Pretty unbelievable. All that prey is turned into eagles the size of the parents.

Life is good over at the West End Eagle nest. Look at those little fuzz balls. So cute. I love it when they put their wings around one another.

Then it switches. The wee one is in there somewhere. There is lots of food on this nest. The parents eat really well and feed the babes til they are full.

Thunder might should have been called ‘lighting’ because that is the speed that she uses when she does a feeding!

Akecheta loves being a Dad. Every time I check on this nest he is brooding. What a great partner you are this year, Cheta.

It is 16:14 on the Big Bear Valley nest. I have never heard or seen wind like this. The gusts have gotten stronger throughout the afternoon. Jackie is hanging on with the baby underneath her. There have been six feedings at the nest today so everything is fine. They are just going to have to hold on – nothing new for Jackie and Shadow. They can handle it.

Oh, the camera could do with a really good wipe at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby. Rocket and Jasper are so gorgeous. They have both been self feeding and parents come and go helping out once in awhile. I have not seen any move to branch yet with either Rocket or Jasper.

Gabby loves being a Mum and she is going to enjoy every minute with Jasper and Rocket that she can.

Cheta just doesn’t want to get off the nest this evening!

Have a look at these two! R1 and R2 have grown like weeds!

Right now you can tell R1 who is on the left from R2 because there is a large white patch on his chest. But gosh, if it wasn’t there, it is very hard to tell the two apart. This Papadam chair nest has really worked well. Just look at both of them standing up so straight. They will be up on that branch before long.

Or maybe they won’t branch and will flap on the rim and fly off. R1 is doing a great job of getting some exercise into its wings.

As the sun sets, it has turned out to be a really good day for all of the nests! I am so hoping to have some news about Grinnell and Annie who seem to be in some kind of standoff with one another and of course, our dear Ervie. Wasn’t that a wonderful picture of him in the pine tree? There will be more Osprey arrivals in the UK tomorrow. Wonder who we will see?

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. Look to the birds for joy in a weary world.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, West End Bald Eagles, the WRDC, NEFlorida and the AEF, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! I was actually watching the Dale Hollow when the big one wouldn’t let the others eat and I had to turn it off. I’m so glad to know that another fish came in and the middle and little got to eat!🙏 hope this continues !
    I’m excited over the UK ospreys arriving and looking forward to watching them.
    Prayers for all the good news to continue.
    Have a good evening and thanks once again for all the joy you bring us Mary Ann!
    Linda

    1. You are always welcome. I appreciate your comments and your devotion to the nests. Linda, I was frightened that Big would actually injure Little Bit when I saw that. He is so tiny. But, the youngest two did get to eat and as far as I could tell there is still fish on the nest. I have to check. I do not remember the last time I saw Obey. Ospreys arriving at the UK and Iris, soon. It is going to get so busy.

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