Wow! What an afternoon in Bird World

21 April 2022

I have hardly moved from observing two bird streaming cams so far today. Those are the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam and the Cornell Red-tail Hawk cam of Big Red and Arthur. Each nest had potential issues. Blood was seen on the outside of the egg of L1. Was this just the normal amount of blood coming off the umbilical cord? and then a second egg began to pip! At the Florida nest it is difficult to tell who is the nastiest towards Little Bit. Is it Big? or is it Middle? Last year at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, the largest sibling let the Middle one constrain and peck Tiny Tot Tumbles, the third hatch. It was horrible. Tiny Tot survived and became the dominant one on the nest. I am hoping Little Bit does, too.

A nice sized piece of fish arrived on the UFlorida nest. Little Bit had none of the earlier fish and was hungry. He managed to grab a bite from Mum before he was clobbered by one of the older siblings. Our little scrapper from a few days ago quickly went into submission. He has to be tired and somewhat dehydrated but, like all third hatches, he hung in there and waited and watched.

Big is hovering over Little Bit.

Little Bit looks like he is down and not paying attention.

Watch. There Little Bit goes scurrying behind Big. He needs some of this fish to help rehydrate him and help him get strong again.

Both Big and Middle had eaten earlier and had big crops. It is good they got full quickly at this feeding so Little Bit could have some food.

At 15:17 we get a glimpse of Little Bit’s head behind Mum. He is in a food coma. Mum continues to eat on the fish and give more bites to the bigger siblings once in awhile until well past 15:30. There was lots of fish at this feeding and things should be settling down but both the two bigger siblings still believe that there is not enough coming on the nest for three. We wait and hope for another large fish today before bedtime for these three. That should help ease the anxiety although often there is lots of food on the nest and the older siblings continue to exert their dominance.

The miracle might have happened. At 16:58 a nice fish landed on the nest. The two older siblings have big crops. Little Bit looks so skinny.

His wings are so thin.

The big ones ate some of that fish but there is lots left. Little Bit is going to get a lot of fish (I hope). Sometimes the older ones eat til you think they will be sick just to keep the youngest from getting any food.

You can see Little Bit’s skinny wings up by Mom’s left shoulder being fed. This is their biggest growth period. Little Bit needs lots of food. It looks like he gets fed and then one of the bigger ones moves in for some more. I hope he stays put and lets them eat so when they leave he is there ready for more.

There. Little Bit was fed until 17:13 and moved away full.

Little Bit has gone to sleep. Meanwhile it looks like Middle Bob is back up for more fish. Around 17:15 chaos breaks out. Little Bit raises its head like it wants more fish. Big and Middle get into it and then they go after Little Bit. This is not a happy Osprey nest. Middle continues to be the worst towards Little Bit. He will snatch him by the nape of the neck and shake the baby. That always scares me.

They are full. Middle and Big have eaten and eaten. The power plays are entirely unnecessary. Wish for Little Bit to be strong and smart as well as tenacious. He needs to outwit the big ones.

Well, Little Bit is eating again and the two older siblings are watching! Bravo.

It is nerve wrecking. The two are now resting. Little Bit continues to eat! He eats til he is full and then Mum enjoys some of the nice fish. It is 17:25. We can all rest easy tonight. More fish tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Please, Dad.

Big Red and Arthur have four eggs. The first began with a pip yesterday afternoon. That hatch has caused some worry because of some blood showing. It is normal for there to be a little blood from the umbilical cord. We will have to wait and see. The chick is alive. Is it having trouble with that inner membrane of the egg which is really tough to get through? Around noon another egg began pipping!

You can clearly see the pipping from the second egg, the splotchy one, at the top. L1’s egg is to the far left.

Arthur has brought the first prey item to the nest for the Ls or Big Red if she gets hungry. Big Red will probably remain on the eggs til L1 has hatched fully.

Grab some sleep now Big Red. You are going to be very busy tomorrow.

It is 15:26 and Big Red is extremely restless, rolling and checking on the eggs. Fingers crossed for that wee one to get through that membrane and the rest of that egg!

What do you do while you are waiting for one egg to finish hatching and another to get on with its pipping – on a very windy day? You play with sticks!

At 15:52 we get a glimpse.

Well, I am worn out with the excitement. L1 is working hard to get out of that egg. There is lots of movement. Gosh, I bet everyone watching Big Red and this little one struggle to get out of that egg are having sympathy pains. It won’t be long. Then L2 will be hot on the trail. It would be grand if the four hatched within 24-48 hours.

None of the raptors normally help the little ones hatching. It can actually cause them harm. I have seen some remove a half egg shell that is sticking if the hatchling is free elsewhere. Akecheta did that this year with one of the triplets.

It is now 17:02.

Big Red is not going to lay on the egg. She is going to just wiggle her breast feathers over it. Good progress. It is 17:03 and you can see the little one move. It needs to pop that top off – but it might need to rest a bit. Hatching is very tiring.

The Glaslyn Osprey nest cam is back on line. What a soft nest Mrs G and Aran have made. You can see Mrs G rolling the first egg. We will be looking for a second tomorrow.

Aran looks particularly handsome in the sunshine as he sits on the perch. He has returned from migration in top form!

Towards dusk Aran arrives at the nest with a fish for Mrs G.

He takes over incubation duties while Mrs G eats on the perch. All is well on the Glaslyn nest! Yes.

Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, has her nest on a parking lot near Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. It is cool and blustery there today. Iris arrived a little after 14:00 and did some nest work and then stood and looked around.

I wonder if Iris is looking for Louis? Does she think he might grace her with a visit and a fish? It is hard to say. Louis still considers his primary nest with Starr over at their new nest at the baseball park.

Well, Iris is nothing short of stunning for a bird that is 28 or 29 years old (they are unsure since she is unringed). Simply gorgeous.

The failed nest in Illinois is getting a new artificial nest and the two surviving eaglets will be taken up as soon as it is secured! Amazing work. Thank you to Ellen for posting this on the Big Bear FB page.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful to know that the two eaglets will be back with their parents in a safe nest. We will have, for sure, at least one hatch tonight at the Cornell Red-tail Hawk nest and Little Bit will sleep and grow. What a relief to see him get a good feed. Take care everyone. There should be a fuzzy eyas in the news for tomorrow. Maybe 2. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Cornell Lab RTH, U-Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Montana Osprey Project.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! Iโ€™m so glad little bit got
    to eat! Hopefully he will be like the other number 3โ€™s we were worried about last season and be first instead of last! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•. We send best wishes for the 2 little eyases trying to hatch ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•
    We will be looking forward to the next newsletter !
    Take care and have a good evening!
    Linda

    1. You are so very welcome. It is my joy! I couldn’t agree with you more!!!!!! Let us hope that Little Bit gets to be the dominant one and have Big wait a bit!!!!!!! Have a good evening as we wait for L1 anxiously.

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