The Good, the Ugly, the Terrific in Bird World

23 March 2022

I am going to start with the ‘Ugly’ so that the ending of this posting can possibly be joyful. Please forgive any typos or grammar today. It has been crazy!

The Dale Hollow nest continues to be quite unsettled. Yesterday morning both of the chicks enjoyed about half an American coot each. They were still filled late in the afternoon. As many of you know the camera was turned away from the nest for some time. It was speculated by many, including me, that River had been digging in the nest and fed Little Bit’s body to Big.

There was, however, an unidentified object on the nest that I have now IDed. I finally put a scope up to view it. Go down to the bottom. Those are the whitish-pink feet and talons of a nestling Bald Eagle. Move up. You can see the wing. The ‘fur’ is the thermal down of an eaglet and it is not Little Bit who did not have her down and was not that big. This object is no longer on the nest. But it is decidedly a nestling eaglet.

Is it possible that the reason the camera was turned away was the delivery of live nestlings to be eaten taken from another nest?

Middle has had nothing to eat since the Coot. There was an unidentifiable object that appeared to be a pelt of some kind brought on and today at 13:24:29 River flew in with what looked like a sheet of dry fish skin. Big clearly wanted to send a message to Middle. “There is only enough for me!” and Big went on the attack before the dried skin landed on the nest.

There needs to be a couple of big fish or another Coot brought on to this nest right away to calm Big’s warpath down! So where are the fish? or the Coot? It is nearly 14:00 – every other Bald Eagle nest had food early this morning!

Update for Dale Hollow: At 14:18:49 a big fish with head is brought on to the nest. The adult begins to feed Big immediately.

Middle is listening and carefully watching. He begins to mov slowly around to the right of the nest rim at 14:26:22.

At that same moment, the adult moves the fish and Big who stopped being fed notices Little and goes on the attack.

Middle is so terrified that once it gets up to the beak of the parent – thankfully they turned to face the rim so it could be on the opposite side – it first refuses. Middle takes its first bite at 14:40:36.

It is extremely difficult to see how much fish – during the feeding – that each of the eaglets got.

At 15:16:07, you can see that Middle has a nice crop. There is also some fish on the nest.

So, Middle has eaten today and that is wonderful. There is enough fish for each of them to have something later but…that will depend on the mood of Big. It is terrifying to the garden birds when Sharpie comes and is successful in its hunting. I cannot image what it would be like to live with something like a ‘hawk’ right in the nest with you. Middle will need to continue watching and listening. He did well today. It was only when the adult moved the fish that Big noticed Middle was moving. If that did not happen, Middle would have quietly gotten up front. Still, after being beaked many times, he moved up to eat. It is wonderful.

I was getting ready to close and well, Middle gets the ‘Gold Star’ of the day. It quietly went up to one of the two pieces of fish and began self-feeding. Not the full blown self-feeding we think of but it was holding the tail piece down and getting fish. Big had no idea what was going on!

River has flown in to feed both of the eaglets the remaining fish. Big did beak and tower over Middle because it was already up there ready to eat.

It did, later, get some of the fish.

Middle has a nice crop and has moved away from the feeding area.

At the Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagle nest, Martin has been fishing. He brought in another big one for Rosa’s pantry with several on the nest! This little one is never going to have to worry about being hungry.

Martin took time to feed Rosa some of the fresh fish before the baby was fed. Sweet.

No one is going to mess with the three eaglets at the West End nest of Akecheta and Thunder. Dad is doing a great job shading the babies from the hot California sun today.

For those of you who might have missed it, Big Red and Arthur now have 4 eggs on their Cornell University campus nest. Four. The newest egg was laid at 12:17:40.

Here is the link to Big Red and Arthur’s camera, one of only two RTH cams:

My first and continuing loves were hawks and falcons. While Big Red was laying that 4th egg, Annie was spending an awful lot of time in the scrape box. In fact, it is 13:47 in Berkley California and Annie is still there. She first arrived at 07:39 staying until 10:18. She returned for a really quick visit at 11:06 returning at 12:40. She has been in the scrape since then.

If you have not watched Peregrine Falcons raise their chicks, I highly recommend that you do. You will learn a lot and can compare them to the bigger raptors.

Congratulations to Harry and Nancy at the MN DNR nest. Their first egg hatched yesterday. Poor Nancy was soaked to the skin but she kept those eggs and that baby warm and dry. This is a really beautiful couple. Here is the video.

This is today. You can just see the one fur ball. Harry was an amazing day last year at the age of 4. Looking forward to this season. Just hope the rain and cold will blow away!

‘B’ sent me a note while I was out shopping for birdseed. R1 at the WRDC nest flew back into the nest at 13:10. Thanks ‘B’. I would have missed it. This is wonderful news.

If you are looking for the eagle cam link at the Miami Zoo, here it is:

https://www.zoomiami.org/bald-eagle-cam

E19 has been enjoying the pond at the Pritchett Farm. I wonder how many times the eaglets watched their parents enjoying the water? Beautiful view.

Mr North is on the Decorah North nest in Iowa. We are on pip/hatch watch.

It is time to turn the attention to the Ospreys in the UK. At the Loch of the Lowes nest, LM12 or Laddie has been working to create the most wonderful nest for Blue NC0 since March 13. NC0 arrived at 18:19. The same bit of cool greeting for Laddie when he flew in as met Blue 33 (11) at Rutland. Go and get a fish Laddie. She has flown a great distance to get back to you safely. Oh, it is getting dark. Hurry up! or she will be hollering all night.

Last Osprey breeding season, person or persons took a boat and chainsaw and cut down the Osprey platform at Lyn Brenig. This halted the breeding season of the Ospreys that were there. They never recovered. A new pole has been installed and the streaming cam is now live.

At Rutland Water Manton Bay, Blue 33 (11) and Maya are working on the nest. Maya is supervising after Blue kept hitting her with that branch.

Here comes Maya with soft nesting material. Blue brought Maya a nice fish later and there has been mating on the nest.

Reports of an Osprey just south of Loch Arkaig. Is it Louis? We will find out tomorrow!

It is all good. Middle at Dale Hollow is full and sound asleep.

If you missed the talk on restoring Bald Eagles to the Channel Islands, here is the link. Explore.org does a lot of very interesting presentations – not just on eagles! The one prior to this was about the need to maintain the large Sequoyah Forests and how this might done.

It has been a pretty terrific day in Bird World except for the Sauces nest of Jak and Audacity. It appears that their egg might not be viable.

We are almost at the point that other than tossing him off the nest, Big’s actions will not mean much other than intimidation. Thank goodness. Both hatched on 28 Feb so they are 25 days old today. Oh, River started feeding the remaining piece of fish. Big ate first but she positioned herself and Middle moved up and is being fed. It is 17:17:41. Look at middle’s fat legs and bottom. This eaglet is filling out. Tears!

Will close on this magical moment.

Thank you for joining me today. It is lovely to have you here with me and the raptors. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Dulles-Greenaway BE, Rutland Manton Bay, Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Pix Cams, Decorah North, WRDC, MN DNR, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Cam RTH, and the West End Bald Eagles.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thanks again for such a great newsletter! So glad to know that middle is eating well today! And also growing!
    Prayers are being answered for middle🙏💕. All the links and photos are wonderful! Thank you so much for them all. Have a great evening and see you soon on here!
    Linda

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