Late Wednesday and early Thursday in Bird World

16-17 March 2022

Each of us has turned to watching and caring for the birds and other wildlife for as many reasons as there are humans. One of the most commonly cited is ‘The birds bring me joy’. Unlike scientists who try to be arm’s length, most of us have our favourite bird families that we watch. We even have our favourite chicks in the clutch. Certainly I admit to that – Ervie at Port Lincoln was always my guy out of the three. I like the third hatches that survive. They are spunky and creative and, I hope, have facilities for survival in the wild that maybe the eldest who often ate first and the most doesn’t have. It is particularly difficult when we see our bird families struggling. We worry. We cry. My fingernails get shorter.

It is easy to miss what is happening on the Dale River nest. If you look the rewind is only an hour. I wanted to find out what was happening on this nest. Did something happen to a parent? No, both came on the nest around 19:00. So I went to the link in the information under the streaming cam to find out about Wednesday’s feedings.

The Dale Hollow group were able to tell me the chicks had eaten well – all of them once and there was a second feeding in the morning. It was not videotaped so no one was sure if all ate. I also learned something else from Keisha Howell who has been making the videos of the nest and posting them on YouTube. In the early days, DH16 who I have been calling Little Bit, was fed so much for a tiny little chick that it actually balked at feedings. Apparently it still has trouble eating too much food at once. That is good to know. I included the video of the early morning feed in an earlier posting. If you missed that video, here it is:

I would encourage anyone interested in this nest to join the discussion group and ask as many questions as you like. There are very knowledgable people who will be happy to help you. This is how we all learn – by asking questions. And no question is a stupid question! Ever. The link to the group is:

https://discord.gg/B6pVtJfhDt.

There is concern as the Black Storks and Ospreys move from Africa up to Latvia, Estonia, and Finland that the wildlife will get caught in the war in the Ukraine. There is someone called Ann that is diligently creating maps and posting information on Looduskalender from information provided by the satellite tracker on Karl II. I have cut and pasted the most recent information from this discussion group below. If you would like to check this yourself, here is the link to Looduskalender:

These are the fish ponds where Karl II refuelled:

On his fall journey to Africa, Karl II stopped in the Ukraine. There are many nature reserve areas along the shore of the Black Sea around Odessa. You can see from the simple map below the countries that he will fly over to reach a resting spot on the Black Sea. We worry for him, for his mate and for all the others who are making their way home to the Baltic Region.

California loves their Bald Eagle families. I often wondered why some nests were more popular in terms of viewers than others and as one reader, ‘B’ explained to me last week, the eagles are all over the news in California. Californians love their Bald Eagle families – they are celebrities. ‘B’ was referring to Jackie and Shadow at the time. Now it is Thunder and Akecheta’s turn!

https://abc7.com/catlina-eagles-egg-hatching-thunder-and-akecheta-institute-for-wildlife-studies/11654477/?fbclid=IwAR353ylAfPCzqiZ7T37-J6XneWj6ii26s4LzintGIeyT__QCj5RbwtIgK80

I am going to bore you with baby pictures. These are Thunder and Akecheta’s threesome being fed by Dad, Akecheta, this afternoon at 14:43. There are slight movements in each frame. In some you can see their sweet tails and in others you can glimpse their faces. Talk about adorable! I haven’t been able to take my eyes off these three little cuddles since they hatched.

Cheta is taking parenting very seriously this year. He rarely leaves sight of the nestlings.

I believe we have, from left to right: Little Bob, Middle Bob, and Big Bob. Big Bob is longer and ‘lanky’ than Middle Bob who is more round. Being so much younger, Little is just little – but not that little. Gosh, they are cute. The age difference is the same between Little and Big as it is at Dale Hollow. That is interesting.

Oops!

Everyone ate well.

Thunder and Akecheta have been widening the nest cup so that all three can line up to eat. It is far too difficult if it is deep and narrow. Most often the little ones have trouble getting to the front or get trampled in the process. Not here!

The three had a nice fish breakfast Thursday morning. They seemed so sleepy when Thunder got them up for a feed.

There are some really outstanding Bald Eagle parents out there. Cheta has matured since he first had chicks at the age of 4 two years ago. Having lost two seasons he broods, has learned to feed quite well actually, and does security. I am impressed.

Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear are another super couple who also suffered for two seasons and who have just the sweetest little eaglet this year. How many feedings a day? There were eleven. It goes without saying that I wish River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake would feed their eaglets more. The wee nestlings need less food more often.

Jackie and Shadow’s baby is 13 days old today. Eleven feedings. Look at all the fish on the nest. A Gold Star family.

One of those other Gold Star Bald eagle families is Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. Their two this season, E19 and E20 are taking turns going higher and higher in the nest tree as they prepare for fledging. We will miss these two and their antics. They are super healthy and well prepared for living in the wild. Do you remember how excited you were as Christmas approached and hatch at this nest? Now just look at them! They were the first eaglets of the season (on streaming cam) to hatch if I remember correctly.

Both E19 and E20 were enjoying the breeze up on the branches this morning. They look healthy! That is great.

Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson are flapping their wings. It is not going to be long until they branch. Two really beautiful eagles – stunningly gorgeous.

It’s a foggy late morning at the NEFlorida nest in Jacksonville. Look at how big these two are. They are waiting for a fish delivery!

Beautiful Mum Gabby keeps watch over the nest with her two 2022 hatches.

Both Middle and Little (or Little and Mini) ate well at the Captiva nest Thursday morning. Andy brought in a fish at 10:29:30. Both were hungry. I continue to say that this is a good sign. Lena even had some nice fish left for her. At the both were full and wanted to watch the people on the fishing boat below.

It is hot in Florida today and all the news in the state is about Avian Flu. I sure hope these four miss that. We should know today or tomorrow the results on Big from the UGA Vet School.

Both chicks are hungry but luck closely at Middle. He wants all the little innards and Lena doesn’t want him to eat it particularly. He has his mouth open wide.

Both of the chicks are well behaved and Lena feeds Middle some first and then goes to Little. Neither are submissive to the other. The nest is very calm.

Middle is full and has gone to the side to see the boats and to get some air. Look he is so hot. Yes. My phone says it is 27 C. One of the hottest days so far.

There is fish left for Lena. She will enjoy the tail of the Sheepshead. You can see Little under her left wing. His feathers re coming in good now.

So cute. The pair of them together washing the boats. Best buddies.

Middle and Little were having some more fish around 12:30 Thursday. Lena is a great Mom keeping them hydrated and shading her ever growing babies.

B15 a the Berry College is up on the perch this morning. Making more and more progress. What a gorgeous bird!

Right on time. Big Red and Arthur now have their second egg of the 2022 season. It was laid at 11:05 Thursday morning.

The egg is wet and soft and Big Red will let it cool and harden before attempting to lay on it or it would break.

The only thing about Big Red that looks 19 years old are her feet.

How gorgeous. If you have never watched a Red-tail Hawk nest then you should join in with Big Red and Arthur. There is a moderated chat with experts that is open a few hours a day. It is amazing what you can learn and the fabulous Laura Culley, a long time falconer, will be on board.

Here is the link to one of Cornell’s cameras on the nest. As far as I am aware, there are only 2 RTH nests on streaming cam in the world. Egg 3 will be expected on the 19th!

There is great news coming out of the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie, LM12 arrived first in the UK on the 13th. He was joined by his mate Blue NC0 today. How grand. Both made it home for another fantastic Scottish Osprey breeding season!

Rutland Water’s Manton Bay is being worked on by the female, Maya. She arrived back in the UK on 15 March. Normally her and her mate arrive within half an hour of one another. No sign of Blue 33 yet. It is early days in the Osprey migration from Africa.

Port Lincoln Osprey posted this along with their news on their FB of other Osprey nests and platforms. Everyone noticed that Ervie was missing a claw when he was last on the barge eating his puffer. The posting was on 13 March. I found tracking information for Desy and the Phantom but could not find Ervie’s. He is fine and staying around Port Lincoln.

Have a super day everyone. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Google Maps, Looduskalender, West End Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Rutland Water Manton Bay, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

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