Thursday Afternoon in Bird World

For more than a week now I haver been wondering what is going on at the Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagle nest. There was torrential rain and then snow. At the beginning of the season, I saw tandem feedings and was so hopeful that this was another great nest. Sadly, that just simply does not appear to be the case. While other raptor mothers are covering their chicks from the hot sun, nothing is happening at Dale Hollow. Little Bit does not have all its thermal down. Little Bit is also crying out for food. I want to be wrong because you always hear ‘The Eagles Know Best’ but with the case of River and Obey, I am not sure. Did the rain stir up the lake and it is so murky that they cannot get fish? did the snow send the critters underground? At any rate, I am very worried about Little Bit surviving. I do not wish to cause undue alarm but what happened here?

A small fish was brought in to the Dale Harbour nest around 14:30. You can see for yourself what is happening. I suspect that the Big sibling might well eat all of it – and yes, that is what happened.

Are River and Obey eating off camera?

If the fish brought on to the nest is only one of these a day or two, then it is possible that the other two siblings will not get any food. It is so sad. They might well be beyond getting up to the table.

Little Bit is at the bottom of the screen. Both of them know not to get near the food until Big is finished. Little Bit is really suffering today. It has had nothing to eat for approximately 30+ hours and is crying and crying. At any other nest, this wee babe would be getting 8 or 10 small meals a day.

Middle is walking away towards Little Bit.

Neither Little Bit or Middle had any food to eat. Neither made any effort to go up to the table. They are dehyrated and lethargic. The fish is all gone. Big has an enormous crop. Sadly, unless another fish comes on the nest and Little Bit gets fed full, I do not believe this poor little nestling will survive. The middle chick might have a better chance. Are both Little Bit and Middle too dehydrated, too hungry, too tired – and too intimidated by Big – to ever get up to the table again? We wait.

It is a hard reality. The eagles only need one chick to survive. Watching this nest is extremely difficult when we look at the others. I continue to wonder what is going on.

This is the last image I have today of the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. It pretty much says it all. Big is over by River at the opposite side and Middle and Little Bit are together sadly alone, beyond hungry.

In comparison, Thunder and Akecheta were feeding the three chicks on their nest before daylight and several times after.

We can also compare what is happening at Big Bear Valley with Shadow and Jackie. It is 11:55 and the wee only Bob has been fed four times. There have also been multiple poop shots.

The two eagles of Abby and Blaze at Eagle Country hatched on the 11th and 14th of February. Gosh, they have grown and are lookin’ good.

What a beautiful sight at the Duke Farms Bald Eagles. You might recall that the second hatch was so tiny and died. The surviving eaglet is doing very, very well. The nest is full of fish and Mum is there not only shading but keeping the chick warm.

Mark your calendars. Pip watch begins on the 19th for Liberty and Guardian at the Redding California Bald Eagle nest. Last year the couple fledged three lovely juveniles.

Here is the link to the streaming cam at Redding.

There were sure some beautiful images coming out of Iowa at the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest of Mr North and DNF today. Eggs were laid on 16 and 19 of February and we are about a week from pip watch!

The top image is of Mr North.

This is DNF. You can compare her with Mr North above so you can recognize who is on the nest.

A close up of DNF below.

The nest is on top of a White Oak Tree near a small forest area with a stream on private farmland north of Decorah, Iowa. The nest is 17 metres or 56 feet above the ground.

I love how the different regions provide such a variety of nesting materials. In Florida and Louisiana there is Spanish Moss and in Iowa it is corn husks and wheat stalks.

This is DNF on the nest below. She has grey eye shadow.

Here is the link to the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest.

The nest of Martin and Rosa at Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagle nest in Virginia is also covered with corn husks. Wow. The couple laid two eggs. The first on Feb 1 and the second on Feb 4. The first little eaglet hatched on the 13th and is now 4 days old. If the other egg is going to hatch, we should be seeing a pip soon.

Andy brought in some nice fish for the family so far today. In fact, Andy has made three fish deliveries so far today. A Sand Perch at 08:32:40; a Sheepshead at 10:20:31, and this Ladyfish at 14:41:53.

Little (Mini on chat) has a big crop now. Compare with the image above.

These two are doing really, really well. I am quite optimistic for the two of them. There is no news yet on the cause of Big’s death.

If you missed it, there are now two eggs at Cornell’s Red-tail Hawk. One more to go!

There is the beautiful Big Red with her dark morph incubating those two eggs. She will leave the nest periodically to eat. Normally, Arthur will have her meal ready for her off camera.

There are the two precious eggs. The second was laid today.

Here is a close up with markings that was posted on the Cornell Twitter account so you can tell the difference between the eggs.

Big Red is giving Arthur, her mate, more incubation duties! Fantastic. He is a great mate.

Arthur is also very handsome! It will be interesting to see which of the populations of chipmunks or squirrels are the most plentiful on the nest this year.

That is it for my Thursday afternoon report. All of the nests are doing quite well except for Dale Hollow which, sadly, is a tragedy in the making. Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to having you with me again. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife, Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Explore.org, Redding California Eagles, Eagle Country, Friends of Big Bear Lake, and Duke Farms.

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