Monday Morning in Bird World

25 February 2022

It is a beautiful morning on the Canadian Prairies. The sun is out a little bit and white snow fell overnight. The birds are very happy. They do not like the 45 kph gusts last night or the torrential rain on Saturday. I am also feeling lucky that we are not flooding and sad for the people and wildlife that are struggling with continuing flood waters in southern Manitoba and at various parts of Winnipeg.

I am going to begin with the sad news.

I wanted to make sure before I provided any more incorrect information about Little Bit. I have been monitoring the nest for many hours at UFlorida. Despite being fed Sunday after 86 hours without food, Little Bit lost its struggle to live. The precise time is unknown. The tiny wee one was almost delirious eating fish yesterday. It was such a joyful ten minutes watching Little Bit have some fish. It made us hopeful. At the time, the little one had not had a ps in a long time and at what point are its internal organs damaged? The heat at the top of the nest is hugely problematic in terms of hydration if fish are not consumed for that is where the osplets get their water. Little Bit got to eat because three fish came on the nest in quick succession. With the arrival of the third one, Big beaked Little Bit and fought with Middle. After some fish, the older two finally collapsed. It was only on their collapse that Little Bit got to eat and eat it did for ten minutes. I bet fish never tasted so good. Then another fish arrived, a 4th one, at 18:32:45. The female dragged that fish right across Little Bit’s head. It looks as if that is the precise place where Little Bit passed on. I had hoped for a miracle for this third hatch who wanted to live and who had such a wonderful start to life. This nest truly looked promising. The turn came on 10 April and for the past two weeks the baby suffered great abuse. There was a bit of a reprieve on the 18th and then the programme of siblicide began again on the 19th. — Those are a summary of the facts as we know them of Little Bit’s struggle to live on this nest. I had so hoped you would be alive and eating this morning, Little Bit. It was not meant to be. Fly high, Little One. Fly high. Soar.

The Osprey nest at Captiva is vacant this morning. Middle (or Little) was there yesterday. The parents should be feeding the chicks off camera. There has been no word on Little (or MiniO) since she fledged. If you look at the tree closest to the shore to the left of the scrape box you will see what I believe is an Osprey. This was Middle (or Little’s) tree that it liked to sit on. Perhaps it is him.

If you are in the market for a property at Captiva with an Osprey and Eagle nest, Lori Covert’s property is for sale.

The falcons and the hawks have been ignored, at times, in favour of the eagles and the ospreys so I want to check on some of these other nests while returning to a couple of Osprey nests that are normally very stable.

There is a Red-tail Hawk nest streaming cam in San Francisco at The Presidio. I had no idea. What a surprise in the wee hours of the morning when it just appeared. There are two chicks. They still have their white down and they are feisty!

The Presidio’s resident Red-tailed Hawk pair have been hard at work preparing their nest 100 feet up in one of the Presidio’s blue gum eucalyptus trees. The information tells me that “The Presidio is an important stop on the Pacific Flyway, the major north-south flyway for migratory birds, which means it’s a hotspot for birdwatching with 323 different types of birds spotted (so far!) in the park.”

The two eggs were laid the middle of March. The site does not state when they hatched but they look to be less than a week old but slightly older than Big Red’s chick, L1.

I do not know anything about this nest but I am quite excited. With only two chicks in this nest, both of them should grow happily. In general, it is easier to watch the hawk and falcon nests than the eagles and Ospreys as food competition and sibling rivalry are much less frequent.

Breakfast Monday morning. So well behaved like little falcons normally are.

This is simply fantastic news. Here is the link to follow this Red-tail Hawk family in California!

Early morning at the Buckinghamshire Council offices in the UK and there is that beautiful Peregrine Falcon. No eggs yet. Predicting soon!

We also have Peregrine Falcons in Manitoba. There are several streaming cams as part of the Peregrine Recovery Project. Ella and Pip have their scrape on the top of the Radisson Hotel in downtown Winnipeg. The couple have three eggs. Check out The Peregrine Chick on Twitter for news.

The last of the three eggs were laid on the 22nd of April and now it is hard incubation. Egg 1 was laid on the 17th with egg 2 on the 20th. Ella was tucked up tight as the cold weather returned to the ‘peg.

One of the great things that the local group has done is to compile a listing of Peregrine Falcon cameras in North America as well as world sites. It is not comprehensive as I see it does not include the Utica, New York scrape. Utica, you might want to send them a note and ask to be included. On that same page as the listing are a number of books related to Peregrine Falcons and other links. For the cameras, you just have to click on the site and presto – another cam with falcons to keep you awake!

I cannot find the live feed for the Utica cam of Astrid and her mate but, an article was posted on on the 24th on Falcon Watch Utica FB page.

It was a gorgeous morning at the Cape Henlopen Osprey Nest in Lewes, Delaware this morning. Mum and Dad were both on the nest. Dad kept coming to see if he could have a turn at incubation and Mum kept refusing!

The site will not let me embed their camera link so search for the nest at YouTube.

L3 has hatched for Big Red and Arthur at the Cornell nest in Ithaca. That happy event happened at 06:03 this morning. Lined up from left to right: L3, L2, and L1. Big Red is trying to convince them that they want an early morning breakfast!

It looks like it is hard to keep 3 moving chicks and an egg comfortably under you, Big Red.

It is hard to see from the glare but Rhett and Scarlett are back making nestorations and mating on the Savannah Osprey Nest that was previously leased to the Great Horned Owls. I wonder how the season will go. It is late Osprey eggs in the region but, I guess we will find out!

Here is the link to this camera. Note that the Ospreys are not always on the nest.

Annie and Alden at the UCalifornia-Berkeley’s Campanile scrape are doing fantastic. What a great team they are! During the Q & A a question was asked about Alden’s personality or character. We learned some very intriguing things about Annie’s new mate. The first is that he ‘sings or talks’ a lot more than Grinnell. Alden also likes to hunt at night. The raptors are asleep but the other birds are awake and flying. The light pollution aids in hunting but the falcons have good night vision. This could also help Alden with his hunting since he has a badly healed injury in his left ankle area (this is what CalFalcons believes observing him). Alden has no trouble killing his prey but he might have difficulties holding on to it so if he dropped it at night there is less chance that a predator would get it! Smart one, Alden. It might surprise you but Cal Falcons noticed that Alden is much more aggressive in his defence of Annie and the eggs and the territory than Grinnell. For now, Alden is working hard for Annie and those three eggs. That is his only focus!

Hatch watch is May 5-6 and Sean and Lynn will be holding another Q & A at that time. These are great opportunities to learn about falcons! If you miss them, the couple are great to archive them on YouTube for you. Here is the link to the CalFalcons cam:

If you are wanting to watch an Osprey nest, I cannot recommend one more highly right now than Richmond and Rosie at the Richmond Shipping Yards in San Francisco Bay. They are a solid couple that has no trouble raising three osplets! This year they have three eggs that hatched on April 5, 8, and 11.

Here is the link to the camera of the SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon:


Do you love kestrels? The first egg has been laid in the Yorkshire Dales kestrel nest! It arrived yesterday, the 24th of April at 12:50.

The Jackdaws have been a problem for this raptor couple. I hope they do not return! Here is the link to the camera which is operational from 08:00-20:00 daily, nest time.

The Cornell Bird Lab also has a kestrel nest that has four eggs. The fourth was laid on 23 April at 12:11 and it appears that hard incubation may have begun. This nest has not had a problem with Jackdaws that I am aware of!

Here is the link to this Kestrel nest in Wisconsin:

At 10:39, Mum and the two eldest surviving chicks on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest all had large crops. It is very possible that like the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest, this Osprey nest will settle down and there will be no more food rivalry. Only time will tell if the fish deliveries can keep up with the demand.

Thank you for joining me today. This has been a hop and skip around some familiar nests with some new ones added. I will check on all our favourites later today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages or Twitter feeds: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Presidio RTH SF, Buckinghamshire Council, Peregrine Chick, Utica Peregrine Falcons FB, Cape Henlopen SP Ospreys, Cornell RTH, Landings Savannah Osprey, and Cal Falcons.

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