Fantastic Thursday – It’s all about Mother Goose!

28 April 2022

It is Thursday but, for some reason, it feels like Saturday. I could not possibly tell you why. Does this ever happen to you? It has also been quite a number of hours waiting. Waiting for the goslings Mum to take the leap and them to follow at Decorah and waiting for L4 at Big Red and Arthur’s nest on the Cornell Campus.

It is nearing 08:30 Saturday morning in Decorah, Iowa. The precipitation that was falling earlier appears to have stopped. One little gosling was thirsty and drank the drops on Mother Goose’s feathers – and so did Mother Goose. How long has she been on the nest without getting off? 48 hours? She must be hungry and very thirsty since she has not been able to leave since the wee ones began hatching. It is quite windy. Will that impact the timing for leaving the nest?

They are certainly squiggly and – well, curious little ones. Adorable.

Mother Goose’s body and system of wings and tail opening and lowering reminds me of one of those big cargo planes where they raise the tail up and lower a ramp. Did they look at a goose for the design?

Watching and listening for her Mate.

It is 10:46 in Decorah. Mother Goose continues to look and listen for the ‘Go’ sign. I wonder how much those wind gusts impact the decision? There are five, BTW, goslings. It appears the sixth egg has not hatched.

There are 1878 people watching and waiting the Decorah Mother Goose nest. Splendid. It is a joyful change. Those fuzzy little yellow goslings with the black legs and webbed feet, black bill, and black dot on their head and back are darlings. They are also precocial. They hatch with down, can walk and swim, and can feed themselves. They will stay to learn from Mum and Dad and for safety.

The first time it didn’t work. Mother Goose jumped down at 12:02 CDT but the goslings did not follow. Mother and Father Goose called and called. It was windy. So, Mum returned, gathered up the kids and got them warm and waited for a bit. Then she tried it again! This time everything went perfectly. She hesitated at the spot where she was jumping so the goslings would see and follow her from there.

This time they seem to be paying more attention to what Mum is doing.

Gosh they are cute.

At first, we held our breath. Only three???

The parents were calling and looking for the other two.

Four of the goslings are with the parents. One is missing in the tall grass. There are volunteers from Raptor Resource Project on the ground helping to find the baby. There is lots of grass for it to eat and water. It is just a matter of time til all are together. It was a beautiful nest to watch.

Thank you to the person who did the video of the goslings getting down. Notice that the Sparrow and the Starling come in to get some of that nice fluffy down for their nests.

There are the four. The parents are hanging around. With them and the boots on the ground, I am really hopeful that the youngest gosling will be reunited with its family shortly. It hatched last night and is 24 hours younger than the other siblings.

One woman said that this is more nerve-wrecking than watching an eaglet fledge. Yes, it truly is! Especially when you think they will get caught in the twigs on the nest trying to get down.

We are waiting for L4. There may have been a pip on the 25th of April at 0655 but this is still only a possibility. The little one is still hammering away. Because so many people watch the eagle and osprey nests, it is worrying when you realize that there will be a week’s difference between L1 and L4. Falcon and hawk nestlings are not like eagle and ospreys. Yes, they appear to be ‘beaking’ but it is because their eyesight has not cleared and every black beak with pink inside – just like Big Red – is a potential food source. The experts have said there should not be any worries as long as there is lots of food. That said, this is the first time Big Red has had 4 eggs. So we wait. Hopefully that hatch will occur today.

Big Red likes to keep her kids full to the brim and Arthur is an excellent hunter. There is a pile of prey on the nest already and apparently there are lots of squirrels and chipmunks, voles, etc in the Finger Lakes area this year.

Progress. I sure hope that L4 doesn’t tire itself out getting out. It happens.

The first osplet has hatched at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest for Jack and Harriet at 22:06:43 on the 27th of April (yesterday). Their nest is located at the mouth of the Machodoc Creek in King George, Virginia. Thankfully many of the toys that Jack brings in have found themselves either blown off the nest or moved to the edges so that they do not harm the wee babies.

Jack brought in a nice fish. Harriet would much rather have a fish than have a toy! It is hard to see but the chick is in that deep egg cup. The first feeding of the wee one happened around 10:00 Thursday the 28th.

If you are looking for more Osprey nests to watch or want to check out a new one, here is a good resource with a description of each nest and a link:

https://www.mangolinkcam.com/webcams/birds/ospreys.html

Ospreys come to Canada near the end of April or early May for breeding. One of our national news casters covered the arrival of the couple at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia named Oscar and Ethel.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dartmouth-ospreys-thriving-in-new-nest-site-1.6431333?fbclid=IwAR0p-oXCG5r8-5eQWKTsJZqimU0h3hgZ3kLnpmCyYUwEVwpH9tDkxWLM6Vk

I am looking forward to the flood waters subsiding and travelling on some of the rural roads to check on the Osprey nests in Manitoba.

At the Osprey nest in Lyn Brenig, Wales, LM6 and LD2 have their second egg of the season. Oh, bless their hearts that they returned. The community worked so hard to get a new platform up where their old nest had been when it was chainsawed down last year. There was no promise that they would return but, now – wow. Two eggs with the promise of a third probably.

This is the link to the Lyn Brenig streaming cam:

We are about a week away from the hatch at The Campanile. Alden has been a terrific mate. Him and Rosie seem to be working – as my mother would have said, ‘like a well oiled clock’. Here they are changing incubation duties.

Life seems to be good in Bird World. I did a quick check on all the nests and even the ones that have eaten duck seem to be alright. What an exciting day with those goslings finally getting off the eagle’s nest and down into the water. They are so adorable. I will now turn my attention to Big Red and L4 while I continue reading that amazing book, The Eagle Man about the life of Charles Broly. It is excellent. What is surprising, so far, is that many of the concerns that the Broly’s had in the early 1950s still seem to be prevalent today. One day I hope to get around to writing a review for all of you. If you see a copy, grab it. I would not have thought a book about eagles and eagle banding would be a page turner but it is.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Lyn Brenig Osprey Cam, and Cal Falcons.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for all the updates!
    Prayers for them to find little 5. I actually was in the car a lot today and we were watching with my iPad linked to the iPhone and it was on the charger in our car as often as I could. Saw the little number 5 go off the side on the sticks but it didn’t show when it landed on the ground on my iPad
    So I pray it isn’t stuck in there in some
    Sticks somewhere or a predator got it from the ground🙏❤️ Thanks to everyone who is helping with the search and thanks to the cam ops and mods too.
    Thank you for all the coverage and pics and links you just gave us. Your newsletters are always awesome!
    Have a great afternoon and I look forward to hearing from you again soon !
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda, Yes Raptor Resource Project did see little 5 make it to the ground. Sadly, it has been found deceased. I do not know what happened. It was the youngest of them and only hatched last night. But always happy for the four who are alive and well. Hopefully they will stay safe!

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