14 March 2022
Gosh, it has been a busy day and I am trying to play catch up!
The big news of the day is that the internationally famous Red-tail Hawk at Cornell University, Big Red – named after their football team – laid her first egg of the 2022 season. She went into labour about 15:09 and the first reveal of the egg was at 15:11.
The three at the Captiva Osprey nest have eaten well again today. I cannot say for sure but it looks like at least seven fish were brought to Lena to feed Big, Middle, and Little Bob. There were five brought in by 15:30 with two other deliveries at 17:14 and 18:30. The images below are from a feeding that was still ongoing at 18:49 today. The kiddos had already been eating for 20 minutes!
I know i sound like a broken record but I look for their fat little bottoms. Middle Bob, facing to the Gulf, has a fat little bottom. Little is right up at Mum’s beak wanting some more fish!
Middle has passed out in a food coma.
Everyone will go to bed with a crop the size of a golf ball. These chicks are doing well. Big will be 4 weeks old on Wednesday, Middle 4 weeks old on Thursday, and Little will be 4 weeks old on Saturday. All the troubles that plagued this nest with the Crows will be more or less a non-worry after the chicks are 30 days old. They are big enough that the Crows will not bother them. What a wonderful relief. Andy has been working hard to get fish on the nest since the fish drought a few days ago.
As far as I can tell, each of the eaglets at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta have eaten well today. If someone asks you who is brooding, if you said Cheta, without looking, you would be right 8 times out of 10. Oh, this new dad sure loves to brood the little ones even on a hot day when everyone is panting to get cool!
Dale Hollow is an on again, off again nest. I have been disappointed that River and Obey are not tandem feeding the three kids. Big is really a bother to everyone. That said Little ate today and so did Middle. Hopefully the dominance issue will fade away like it has done at Captiva once food security is back in Big’s mind. Also River seems to be a bit distracted. I don’t know if there are predators in the area but she has stopped feeding abruptly on several occasions.
It is good to remember that there are third hatches (or second) this year that have had to wait for their big sibling to finish eating before they got anything. The first one that comes to mind is actually Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald eagle nest of Gabby and Samson. Rocket is a great name for this eaglet that became a pro at the ‘snatch and grab’. Rocket was also well equipped for self-feeding and was doing its own feeding on the extra prey left in the nest at least 9 days before Jasper even considered it could feed itself. The other one this year is also Little Bob at the Captiva nest mentioned in this blog. Things can turn around and sometimes they don’t. It is hard to watch but those third hatches that survive a dominant big sibling often have better survival skills for the wild.
I mentioned that a Bald eaglet will grow from being 3 inches to over a metre tall or 3 feet in 3 months. Have a look at how quickly Kakapo chicks grow from this posting by the Kakapo Recovery. The oldest chick is starting to get its beautiful green plumage!
If you missed it, the first confirmed banded Osprey on a streaming cam in the UK (or first Osprey without all that) is LM12 known as Laddie who arrived on the nest that he shares with his mate Blue NC0 yesterday at noon. Isn’t he handsome?
I am also very happy to announce that Karl II, the male at the Karula National Forest Black Stork Nest in Estonia, is still in Africa. His tracker pinged and he is near Khartoum. I am so relieved. I hope that all of the storks remain for the moment in Africa. Perhaps the war in the Ukraine – well, the Storks and other birds stop in the nature reserves in the south of Ukraine near Odessa. Karl II spent much time there. This is a very dangerous place at the moment for wildlife. I don’t need to say another word. I know that each of you understands the concerns of moving through this region to get to the spring and summer homes.
There is something wonderful about being an ‘only child’. You do not have to share your parents or the food with anyone and there is not a big sibling that is going to beak you!
The to be named eaglet on the nest of Jackie and Shadow is simply beautiful and delicate. If you look you can see a black dot behind the eye. That is the ear forming. Feathers will grow over it. This wonderful little one is growing right before our eyes. If it wasn’t for Fiona the flying squirrel that shares the nest and drives Jackie nuts or the Ravens this could well be one of the most calm nests on the planet.
I had hoped to get to a few more of the nests but it is time to call it quits for the evening. The only nest that is having any difficulty is Dale Hollow and I need to look at it more carefully tomorrow. I would love to see a tandem feeding there – a chance to get Middle and Little Bit full to the brim. And quite a lot of fish on the nest with River feeding til all were full…I don’t believe River would pay any mind to me. She has been mothering eaglets for 21 years. I am certainly no expert compared to that!
Take care everyone. There should be more ospreys arriving tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe even Iris will show up in Montana this week. Now that would be a good chance to jump up and down! Thank you for joining me. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, West End Eagles, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Kakapo Recovery, and Looduskalendar.