Little Bit passes over the Rainbow Bridge at Dale Hollow

I have only witnessed once, in many years, the level of aggression and violence that DH14 has shown to DH16 at the Dale Hollow nest. It is Friday at 12:31 and Little Bit has not had food in 72 hours. That it was still breathing and moving this morning gave me some kind of hope that a miracle would happen. Two fish came on the Dale Hollow nest. One in the early morning with River and the second a smaller one brought in by Obey at 12:09. Big ate both of them. No other chick was fed.

In both instances, the older sibling could hardly eat for beaking the other two siblings. She was particularly ferocious – pulling off fur down to the skin and placing DH16s head in its mouth and whipping it around. The level of violence was unbelievable. I have seen older ospreys intimidate younger ones from eating. I have seen many nests with three chicks thrive. The West End Bald eagle nest is doing really well. The fact that DH16, the small one on the Dale Hollow Nest fondly called Little Bit or Tater Tot was ONLY three days younger than the other two speaks volumes about what happened on this nest. I know that there will be many who wanted Little Bit to get up and fight another day but the immense suffering and pain that this little babe has had to endure for three days has finally stopped.

We need to use the right words. Little Bit was killed by its older sibling, DH14 at around 12:27-28. Siblicide.

I have not included any images. They were simply horrible. It is a very sad occasion. Sadly, Big will now turn its complete attention to the Middle chick who hatched on the same day as it.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh Mary Ann this is indeed horrific and I couldn’t watch since yesterday. I am so sad and sorry for the little one. Now
    There will be the middle one left for it to terrorize. I pray it doesn’t and it is more bigs size so maybe it can make it through. May little
    Bit Rest In Peace and no more
    Suffering 🙏💕🦅
    Take care Mary Ann!

    1. Little Bit moved. I cannot imagine the suffering and pain. Still a faint heart beat but shallow and just opening and closing eyes is all it can do. It is the most horrible thing I have witnessed. Storks are kind!

  2. Alicia says:

    Sad to tell you, but as of 2:22pm EST, he is still alive and moved his head. I hope he goes soon. Poor baby. Heartbreaking

    1. Oh, my goodness. I cannot imagine this. He was upside down and dead/ possum dead? Even the mods thought he was dead. I am sorry to learn this.

    2. Oh, my apologies, I said ‘L’ on my blog just now. I will correct that in my next one. It is beyond sad. The pain this little one has had to endure I would not wish to inflict on anyone. Thank you for letting me know.

  3. Lisa says:

    Thank you for keeping those of us who just don’t want to witness the suffering informed. I read every blog that you write due to your compassion and also the questioning of dynamics on Individual nests. The 3rd born can leave us in absolute awe or in tears. Rip Little Bit

    1. Dear Lisa, Thank you so much for writing to me. I wish I could say that it was my pleasure to report this nest but it absolutely wasn’t. My heart was broken when this nest turned sideways and I wish I knew ‘why’. I am delighted, however, to hear that you are enjoying the other nests and my blogs. I hope that all the other third borns this year do well! Take care and thank you again.

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