Big continues her attack at Dale Hollow and other stories in Bird World on Sunday

27 March 2022

Jack brings in yet more toys for the kids as Harriet lays the third and, hopefully, final egg today at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest on the King George V River.

Not to be out done by the Cornell Red tail hawks with their four eggs, the female at the Syracuse Red tail Hawk nest has now laid four eggs! Goodness. While we might want to think that this is a prey rich summer, I had a conversation about Avian Flu with someone who is involved in that research. They said that Avian Flu H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain, is spreading like wild fire. Could the extra egg be part of a natural reaction to this? The general consensus is that 1 out of 3 fledglings survive. Are the hawks laying 4 eggs with the hope now that 1 in 4 survives this year with the spread of the flu? It reminded me of a quote on the Looduskalender Forum byIrene Ripperberg: “Clearly animals know more than we think and think more than we know.”

I had hoped that the afternoon would be a good one for Middle Little. While Little Middle did eat, those feedings did not come without enduring the wrath of Big. At 12:06:54 a parents flies in with a piece of fish. Big immediately goes after Little Middle who will get nothing of that prey drop. At 14:19:13 there is a large fish and a small piece left from earlier on the nest. Little Middle moves and Big goes on the attack. LM watches as Big is fed. By 14:26:47, Little Middle is at the rim of the nest moving cautiously. Little Middle gets a bite at 14:29:00 and a few more bites. Big gets up and Little Middle goes into submission. Big ate the rest of the fish and the tail. Little Middle did have a crop, part of which was left from the morning. Obey flew in with another fish at 15:28:58. Middle was where he landed. He gave Little Middle some bites which LM snatched and grabbed til Obey flew off at 15:32:39. At 17:52:47 River moves the large fish Obey brought in earlier and begins to feed Big. Little Middle moves over by Dad who has arrived at 17:54:24 hoping he has some more food. He doesn’t. Little Middle moves over to the rim and cautiously up to River who gives him some bites.

Big appears to be sleeping. At 18:15:27 – only three minutes later- Big goes into an attack. Oh, how I wish that Big would have just slept. There is hardly any food left – it ate an entire fish!

She tries to get Little Middle’s head to inflict the most damage which despite a large crop she does. Little Middle appears to be quite frightened. Big moves up to eat again. Middle Little must move – Big goes on the attack again at 18:16:11 in spite of having a big crop. Big positions herself so that she can grab Little Middle’s head and she twists it.

I had hoped that the beaking was going to slow down. It certainly does not appear to have anything to do with whether Big is full of not. One of our readers ‘BG’ observed that Big has a much more difficult time attacking Little Middle if she has a big crop which she does in the image below. It is hard for her to go over the top of the back anymore. That said, she was surely determined today and shifted to the side so that she could grab Middle’s head and neck which she shook.

While Little Middle is getting bigger and Big is often so full she can’t do anything, Little Middle must be cautious. And we have to hope that much more food comes on this nest. As it happens what is being brought in is enough for Big but barely enough for Little to have lots which it needs now. Both eaglets are 27 days old today – 28 if you count hatch day.

In the image below, Big is trying to go down to the head on the side at a slightly different angle than the image above. She has strong legs and, in fact, could, if she got wild enough, push Little Middle out of the nest. Despite being full, she simply could not sand that River would feed Middle Little a few bites of scrap fish.

Big is huge compared to Little middle. Look at her legs!

River feeds Big as he pushes Little Middle from the back. Little Middle raises its head and Bit goes at it again at 18:16:25.

Little Middle tries to get away by moving up close to River. River feeds Big. Nothing for Little Middle.

I am putting the image below in as a comparison of the size of the two. There remain many ways that Big can harm Little Middle but let us look at the positive. Despite not getting lots of food and cheeping wanting more, Little Middle did eat and did have a crop. He also had a really good PS this afternoon.

I am continually checking on Karl II and his movements curious as to if he can ‘smell’ or ‘sense’ war and not go to his normal watering hole in the Ukraine.

One of the British that travel to The Gambia to monitor Ospreys, Chris Wood, notes that many of the Ospreys arrive and go right to the same tree that they have done in many years previous. Will this also be the case for Karl II that he will, nonetheless, go to his normal spots despite the war?

Karl II is through Bulgaria, almost. Will he continue through Poland up to Latvia? We wait for the transmissions.

The people of Mlady Buky, The Czech Republic, are awaiting the arrival of their two White Storks. This community is the one who saved the father and the three storklets (originally four but Dad selected) by providing food for them last year.

Are you fond of Goshawks? The Goshawk nest at Riga, Latvia has its first egg today.

For any of the Latvian nests, I urge you to subscribe to The Latvian Fund for Nature’s streaming cams. There is no charge. You can do a search on YouTube and then select the nests you wish to watch. You will get a notice if something happens! There you will also find all of the videos of Milda the White-tailed Eagle at Durbe, her trials and joys.

There is a lovely little video of the adults at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest doing a tandem feeding. Oh, I just love this when the parents work together to make sure their chicks survive – if at all possible.

I love Red tail hawks and A Place Called Hope posted this today. I wanted to share it with you. If I were a raptor and needed rehab, I would really like to find myself at APCH.

The second egg for Mr President and Lotus at the National Arboretum Nest in DC is 35 days old. I so hope that this one hatches and the chick survives to fledge. It would be wonderful for this new pair. This is 18:13 this evening. Lotus is being very careful when she rolls that egg!

The following was posted a few hours ago. It looks like there is an internal pip happening. Please send your warmest wishes to Mr President and Lotus for a successful hatch for DC9.

R2 was returned to the nest by Ron Magill at the Miami Zoo. The remaining monofilament was removed successfully from its foot. These images were posted on Ron Magill’s FB page:

How wonderful! So happy for R2. He is sleeping on the rim of the nest tonight.

Everything is fine on the Captiva Osprey Nest of Andy and Lena in Florida. The beautiful juvenile plumage is coming in on both Middle and Little. They are growing so fast! Still no news on what killed Big.

Today, Grinnell protected the egg at the Peregrine Falcon scrape in The Campanile while Annie chased off the intruder. Here is a short video clip of that action.

Cal Falcons just posted another. The couple have been busy with intruders.

And before I close, a quick look at the West End Bald eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta where the trio of eaglets continues to thrive and grow without a second of discord. Remarkable parenting at this nest!

Look at how big they are. This just brings tears to my eyes. Two parents working together got this fantastic result for Thunder and Akecheta.

It looks like Ervie went out to the water. I hope he caught a nice fish! His tracker continues to work and he remains around Port Lincoln. Joy. Now if we only had news of Falky and Bazza.

Life is good at the nests!

Thank you so much for joining me. My blog may not be out til late on Monday. Hopefully the news will be good at Dale Hollow. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB or Forum: Looduskalender, Latvian Fund for Nature, Mlady Buky Stork cam, Captiva Osprey Cam, Ron Magill, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Cal Falcons, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Pix Cams, Port Lincoln Ospreys, A Place Called Hope, and WRDC Bald Eagles.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the latest updates! Ervie must have been looking for puffer fish! Lol
    Sad to hear that Big has been attacking little middle again in a bad way. Prayers that it gets better as little middle grows. So bring in more fish River and Obey! ❤️❤️🙏🙏
    Thanks for the links to watch in Riga Latvia and the videos and pics of our birds as well.
    Take care and we will be looking for the blog when you can send it.
    Linda

    1. You are so welcome, Linda! Yes, absolutely, our ‘Puffer Lover’. It is too bad about Big. It is like attacking is imprinted or something on here. Middle Little cannot even lift its head. So sad…I worry about the self-feeding but want to think positive. Keep sending your prayers to LM. Take care, Linda, and thank you.

  2. Lily says:

    So sad to hear things are backtracking at Dale Hollow. Poor Middle, I can’t imagine the stress, never knowing when an attack will come. I’m worried about the head beaking and pulling. This is definitely a day by day situation. Hope Little Middle has a better day tomorrow and Big goes into food comas so Middle can have substantial meals.

    All hope is on DC9, seeing that internal pip was such a joy. I hope we have good news tomorrow as the baby makes it’s way into the world to h/s loving parents. It’s been so long since Mr. P raised a Little and Lotus has been such a good mom, caring for her eggs.

    Sending warm thoughts and prayers to Mr. P and Lotus and Little Middle, may h/s crop be full all day without attacks from Big.

    1. It is surely up and down on that nest at Dale Hollow without reasoning or rationale sometimes. This morning turned out good in the end. So a feeding at a time. The pip looks good for DC9. Fingers crossed…and the weather is not so great for WE. Will monitor BB. Thanks so much for your comments, Lily!

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