Friday Morning in Bird World

18 March 2022

I am a night owl and not generally up before 07:00. This morning I wanted to check on the status of the Dale Hollow nest. In all the sadness there, it is good to pause and to continue to thank all those amazing ‘bird’ mothers and dads out there. Over the years I have seen them separate chicks, get their mate to help with tandem feedings, and go fishing or hunting themselves to ensure that there was ample food for all on the nest. I am desperately trying to understand the ‘root cause’ of the issues at Dale Hollow that have taken us to this morning. River has come into the nest alerting and Big is still attacking. Rain started at 10:17.

It was a beautiful morning on the Gulf of Mexico at the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida. Lena was up waiting and trusting that Andy was going to get a fish on the nest for Middle and Little (Little and Mini). Andy did not disappoint!

The chicks are full and Lena is going to go for her bath to get off all the fish. Middle and Little look great!

At the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby, breakfast has arrived. Jasper is being fed and Rocket is self-feeding. If you are new to this nest, the eldest, Jasper once demanded to be fed first and tried to keep Rocket from eating. Rocket became an expert at the ‘snatch and grab’. Rocket even took fish from the parents and was a pro at self-feeding early. Rocket learned great survival skills.

These two have not branched yet but that stage of their development is coming soon.

DG1 has had a few feedings already this morning at the Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagle nest in Virginia. Martin even took a turn at feeding the chick while Rosa had a break.

This little one is alert and ready for some more fish!

There is a second egg but time for pip is passing. Maybe this little one DG1 will be an only child.

There are three eggs being incubated at the Pittsburg Hayes Bald Eagle nest and this week we are on pip watch.

Are you a teacher looking for resources to teach about Bald Eagles? The Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagle nest has posted a link to the Audubon Resources. Not a teacher? Have a peek. We are never too old to learn!

The US Steel Bald Eagle nest was built in 2019. Eaglets have fledged from that nest in 2020 (1 fledge) and in 2021 (2 fledges). There are two eggs being incubated on this nest and Dad is on duty this morning.

At the White-tailed Eagle nest in Matsalu National Park in Western Estonia, the breeding couple are on the nest. Last year, two eggs were laid. The first on 20 March and the 2nd egg on the 24th of March. Both chicks died. Cause of death was confirmed to be H5N1, the highly pathogenic Avian Flu.

The White-tailed eagles are extremely rare in the Balkans and it is hoped that this nest is successful in fledging little eaglets this year. Here is a link to the camera:

Milda is at her nest in Durbe Municipality near the city of Liepaja in Western Latvia.

Milda has a new partner this year after losing her long time mate, Raimis, last year after she had laid her eggs. Her new mate, Mr L, and Milda bonded last year. I hope that he is of good help to her and that this nest also has successful fledges this year. There are many interlopers and both eagles have been on alert today.

Everything is great at the West End Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. The three sleepy heads looked around when it was time for breakfast! Like what, is it that time already!?

The to be named chick at the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow is 15 days old today. It is doing really, really well. It is good to keep in perspective the size of this chick compared to DH16, Little Bit, on the Dale Hollow nest. There are stressors on the little ones that cause a lack of feather development or lines in the feathers. This wee one is getting 8 or 10 feedings a day and is extremely healthy.

Big Red is patiently incubating her two eggs in the shade on the grounds of Cornell University campus in Ithaca.

That is it for me this morning. Every nest that we are following is doing well except for Dale Hollow. I really hate to see the Little Bit suffer. Nature is not kind. I hope to have some new Osprey arrivals for you late this evening. There is still no word on the cause of Big’s death at Captiva. We wait for the results.

Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Pix Cams, Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute of Wildlife Studies, Latvian Fund for Nature, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Dulles-Greenaway Bald Eagles, and NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the latest updates on all the nests ! There seems to be one out of several every time that has a problem. I remember there was a time at that same nest a few years ago that one of their eaglets was aggressive like big and killed the little one. I had to stop watching them for some time. Prayers little one and middle one will make it somehow if it’s meant to be.
    Thank you Mary Ann for the links also.
    and we look forward to your newsletter
    again soon!

    1. Hi Linda. It has been a really tough morning because of Dale Hollow. DH16 was only three days younger than the other two. It suffered a horrible death at the beak of the big one. I am glad to say it is no longer suffering. I just hope that the Middle one stops getting attacked. Apparently in 2017 something similar happened at the nest.

  2. Sabine says:

    Hi, Mary Ann! Thank you for your wonderful newsletters. I am so deeply saddened by the passing of chicks in Captiva Osprey Nest and in Dale Hollow Bald Eagle Nest. Again, we are reminded that laws of nature are sometimes cruel. If I may, regarding the Estonian WTE Nest, this sadly is not the same last year’s couple Eve and Eeerik. Both disappeared shortly after their chicks died from bird flu. This is a ringed female who has been seen visiting the nest for some time and today actually visited it several times with two different males. Besides, another female appeared later in the afternoon, and both fought judging by what could be seen on live stream. Both of them were seen afterwards with some blood on their legs. More on today’s events here in the Estonian bird-watchers forum: I was so in love with the previous couple Eve and Eerik – it took me a long time to get over the tragedy at their nest. Now it is “open season” on who’s gonna conquer the nest eventually. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for all egles to survive!

    1. Dear Sabine, I just saw this and I will include this new information on the Estonian WTE nest. I suspect the parents probably died of bird flu, also. Thank you again. I hope that they have a great season. The world needs a good news story for sure. Thank you so much!

  3. Sabine says:

    Sorry for the additional comment, but I just wanted to add on our Latvian WTE nest – Milda has a new partner now – Voldis (a shortened version of the name of the Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky). She has recently laid 2 eggs (15/03 and 18/03), but Voldis seems a bit inexperienced and is not willing to incubate for longer periods of time, nor is he bringing food for Milda while she incubates. We hope the situation improves, but it may as well be that the eggs do not hatch this year under these circumstances. Hope dies last, of course!

    1. Thank you, Sabine. You have solved a bit of a mystery. I saw Mr L and then I saw the name Voldis. I like how he is named after Zelensky. I hope you are alright. I think of you so often. If it is OK, I will quote you in my quick blog update.

      1. Sabine says:

        Of course, Mary Ann! I am glad to provide some useful information. Mr. L was last seen on 18/02. Voldis has been with Milda since 20/02. Thank you, I’m alright, but these days most of us wake up and go to sleep with Ukraine and Ukrainian people’s suffering on our minds. The laws of nature can be understood, though with difficulty sometimes, but it’s impossible to understand the atrocities happening right next door, so to speak. Sending my love.

      2. Oh, thank you for this…and yes, suffering and killing. I cannot understand it at all. Ordinary people who try to build a home, a life a family, have grandchildren are the victims of power struggles that I do not think should be allowed to exist. We have been through so many difficult times lately. We are all fragile.

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