Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

22-23 April 2022

Friday was drawing to a close. Big Red had been restless all of Thursday and it was a wonderful relief when L1 hatched and was deemed ‘perfect’ after a worry over some blood coming from the egg earlier. Tonight (Friday late) Big Red is trying as best she can to get some sleep while L2 is hatching. The cracking is such that we now have gone beyond a mere pip.

If all four of the eggs hatch, Big Red s going to need to grab those naps as much as she can.

Big Red is not giving away any hints Saturday morning. But you can see the more than pip in the back right egg and a pip in the back left egg. L1 is doing fine. Being an Only Child – even for a short time – has its advantages.

Arthur brought in another starling in the morning. There are now 2 Starlings (one partially eaten), 1 grey bird, and a partially eaten snake in the nest.

Dawn is just breaking in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland. You can hear the songbirds singing as the sun rises through the pine trees. This just reminds me of a fairy tale forest. White-tail Eagles are so beautiful with their lighter heads and darker bodies – all seemingly touched with a bit of silver.

Mum left to take a wee break. Both of the eaglets are still alive and appear to be doing well.

Mum returns to brood the chicks in the soft morning light.

Do you know the Anacapa Peregrine Falcon Nest? This couple have been together since 2013 raising chicks on the cliff face on the remote Anacapa Island in California. They are known as Mr and Mrs A.

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands where we have a couple of familiar Bald Eagle Nests, Two Harbours (Chase & Cholyn) and West End (Akecheta and Thunder).

Two chicks have hatched this year. Just look like white fluffy little teddy bears with big pink beaks and pink toes and feet. So cute. They are 3 days old. It is hoped that the third egg is non-viable. It is typical for not all of the falcon eggs to hatch. These chicks are big and strong and that chick would be behind.

Here is a feeding from yesterday.

This is a feeding from today.

This is the link to the streaming cam for all you falcon lovers!

https://explore.org/livecams/falcons/peregrine-falcon-anacapa

I want to check on the status of the Black Stork nest that was the home of Grafs and Grafiene last year. The very late arrival of the female last year caused issues at the nest. The male returned earlier in April this year. Many on the Forum are wondering if it was Grafs or another male. The male worked away bring twigs and moss to prepare such a nice nest. Now it is the 22nd of April and there is no female yet. The male sings and looks around. Fingers crossed for a quick arrival of a female to this gorgeous nest in Sigulda County. Come on Grafiene!!!!!

Here is the link to the nest:

Karl II is working very hard on the nest he shares with Kaia. He is very handsome!

Karl II and Kaia have had a male intruder land on the nest. Kaia helped magnificently in defending the nest. Unlike other species, the males and females will defend the nest against opposite genders. There are apparently a lot of single male floaters due to a lack of female storks. They are causing problems with established nests. We are waiting for an egg at this nest!

Here are the couple defending their nest.

Mum and Dad returned to Glacier Gardens yesterday! Looking forward to another great year up in Alaska. Kindness was the sweetest little eaglet. It was a great name and touched the heart of so many. It is so nice to see Mum and Dad.

There are now three eggs at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Dyland and Seren Blue 5F. Dylan is a great fisher but he also loves to incubate and he wasn’t wanting to give up that spot Saturday afternoon!

Mrs G and Aran have two eggs now.

Cheers are happening in Poole Harbour because CJ7 and Blue022 have their first egg. There will be more. The first hatch will be historic – the first Osprey in Poole Harbour in over 200 years!!!!!!!!! Incredible. The community worked hard to relocate Ospreys to the area and it looks like they will have success this year.

This is such wonderful news for this couple that began bonding last breeding season.

The very first osprey of the 2022 season has hatched in the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve in Maremma in Tuscany, Italy yesterday.

The situation at the Florida-Gainesville Osprey nest is not improving. I captured a couple of images of Little Bit taking a few bites of a fish on the nest before Middle went after him. You have to look carefully. Its tiny head is in the very centre of the nest under the tail of that fish.

The minute the older sibling notices Little Bit move it attacks despite it having a full crop.

The two large siblings prevented Little Bit from getting any food even though they were clearly full.

Feeding and any movement by Little Bit triggers their aggressive behaviour. The ability of both Big and Middle to dominate the food coming into the nest is directly seen in the growth progression of the three nestlings. I often smile when I see people in chat rooms saying not to call the dominant birds bullies but in his 1979 article “Sibling Aggression among Nestling Ospreys in Florida Bay” in The Auk (vol. 96, no 2, 415-17) Alan Poole says just that in discussing the difference in size of the nestlings “however, 3 days after the first sibling bullying was seen, nestling A was 165 heavier than B…” (416). The older two are simply that – bullies. What I did find interesting about Poole’s study was that he did not find the same level of aggression in the Ospreys in the Chesapeake Bay area. Some of you will have observed, as I have, sibling competition and aggression at several Florida Osprey nests such as Achieva Credit Union (2021), Captiva (2022), Pink Pearl (2022), and Gainesville currently. You might well know of others in the last couple of years.

Little Bit mustered the courage to get to the beak but there was no fish left.

In the image below you can see the size difference between Big, Middle, and Little Bit. The older ones will continue to have the advantage unless this chick gets fed – it had a few bites yesterday and some fish later on the 21st. Tiny Tot lasted for 72 hours before getting some fish at Achieva in 2021. Indeed, that chick had – in a month – the equivalent of 12 full days without food. She went on to become dominant. It remains unclear to me if Little Bit will survive the weekend, sadly.

Little or MiniO fledged yesterday morning early (the 22nd) and has not returned to the nest. It is unclear to me whether she is in a tree or is grounded. Middle (or Little) is in the nest with Lena fish calling to Andy.

I never like to close with sad news but I have just heard that two of the eaglets at the Denton Homes nest have died. It is suspected that it is Avian Flu. We will see if the third survives but it is doubtful. The Dad is there and is very confused. The surviving chick is in the nest with the two deceased ones. — It was thought that Avian Flu was mostly staying on the East coast. This is a move into the heartland being triggered by migrating birds? There will be concern for other nests in the region. Please send them your warmest and most positive energy.

We have had rain since the wee hours of the morning on Friday. It has filled several of the low areas of the garden with water. The worry is that they are reporting a drop in temperature that would freeze the ground surface causing the rain not to soak in (the ground is already saturated) and create wide scale flooding. We worry about the animals. All of the squirrels, Hedwig, Mr and Mrs Woodpecker along with a myriad of Juncos, Sparrows, Grackles and Starlings have been trying to eat. It is difficult to convince Hedwig that we have special food for him on a plate that is relatively dry!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. I hope to have some happy news on Big Red and Arthur’s L2 later this evening. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Brywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Biehki Online Bory Tucholskie, Estonian Eagle Club, Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve, CarnyxWild, Explore.Org, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! I’m still worried about little bit at Florida nest and will keep praying for it. I wish the Mom would be sure it got fed like some of the nests
    We follow and like the dad helps too. 🙏💕.
    Have a good Saturday afternoon and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
    Linda

    1. We need a miracle. This nest just turned upside down. I do not understand why more fish are not being delivered. They need two big ones close together it would seem. So sad. Such potential in the early days. I have noticed that this period of the Ospreys lives – when they change to the Reptile stage – seems to be the real start. If Little Bit can eat and live through this it could be like Tiny Tot Tumbles. We live in hope and pray for a miracle.

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