Late Saturday in Bird World

30 April 2022

It is still raining in southern Manitoba. There are images on FB of deer trying to find dry ground and food. They are walking along the railway tracks south of Winnipeg. They will, so sadly, have a long way to go. The birds have been with us all day grabbing on to the vines that grow on the side of the house, stopping to eat when the rain is not too heavy, and then looking for shelter again when it starts. Will this really turn to snow tomorrow? It is better for the birds for sure. I just hope the promise of 20 degrees C or 68 F really happens on Thursday. Everyone and all things could use a dry out.

The Grackles arrived this week. I have a new ‘used’ ‘refurbished’ camera and it is heavier than my old one. It is going to take some getting used to. So please bear with me!

Grackles are so overlooked. Isn’t it stunning? Just look at the colours!!!!!!!! Mr Grackle and his family of eight normally spend the summer with us in our garden. Two years ago when their single surviving chick fledged, the whole extended family arrived, perching on the cable line, swaying back and forth, in joyous celebration. Last year Mr Crow took all the newborn chicks. I yelled at him. He doesn’t like me!

The focus is soft. I will work on that but, at least, those gorgeous wing feathers and that beautiful indigo head came through.

The European Starlings were here today, also. They discovered the meal worms and got all excited.

Dyson is not bothered by the birds.

I caught Hedwig, an Eastern Cottontail, waiting for the Grackles to leave the deck. Hedwig has decided that he likes to have his food – carrots, sunflower seeds, and millet – on the deck by the Japanese lantern. It is always so good to see him.

Scraggles and Little Red were running around, too. It is reassuring to see them, to know that they are alright. Their lives are not easy.

It has been a really tough season for our streaming bird families. One day I will sit down and write down the names together and find images of all the ones we have lost since January. We get attached to them and losing E2 today and having Harry missing from their MN-DNR nest – well, it hit many very, very hard. Harry was a popular young dad – four years old!!!!!! They fledged two last year. He barely had his white head this year – and he was an excellent provider. Nancy should be able to keep herself and E1 alive if the intruders will leave and she can go hunt. Please send warm thoughts their way.

I wanted to just send you some lovely images of Big Red and Arthur’s nest on the grounds of Cornell in Ithaca, New York. Big Red makes me happy. She adores being a Mom and every year she rises to the top as Bird Mother of the Year. If I could arrange it, Big Red, those would be chippies on a stick instead of yellow tulips!

The images are in no particular order. Most of the time when I pop in to check on them if they are not streaming behind everything else, Big Red is feeding the chicks. That is Little L4 getting some nice squirrel. The pantry is decreasing and Arthur will, no doubt, be working to fill it again.

How about a fur lined nest with Squirrelillows?

Keeping the nest insect and pest free is a big job. Big Red is always aerating.

More food. Wee L4 is back up there.

L4 looks just like a little snow person there on the far right. S/he has figured out a good place to be when it is feeding time.

I will check on the other nests tomorrow. The activity at the MN-DNR nest took the wind out of my sails. It is heart breaking. And enough with the intruders. There are way too many eagles and ospreys without nests and I am told way too many male Bald Eagles without a partner that this is becoming a big problem. All I know is that intruders caused the death of Grinnell at the CalFalcon scrape, almost killed Bella, have probably killed Harry – and the list goes on. A Bald Eagle (not Connie or her mate) chased one of the Osprey fledglings from Captiva today. I am certain that you have a long list also. Then there is blatant siblicide. Dale Hollow. UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys. MN-DNR.

I hope the garden animals and seeing Big Red in all her glory with four eyases -for the very first time- will bring a smile to your face. Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me today. See you soon!

Thank you to Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam at Ithaca where I took my screen captures.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for all these updates!
    I’m so sad also about the little eaglet.
    It was such a cutie in the photo!🙏💕😢
    Hope they find the Dad eagle and he is ok 🙏❤️🦅.
    Have a great evening and thanks for all the garden photos! I love it when you post Dyson and Hedwig and all the others photos.
    Have a good evening and look forward to tomorrow’s newsletter.
    Linda

    1. You are so very welcome. I cannot wait for the rain and snow to stop and maybe the garden friends and visiting birds will have a chance to enjoy some warm sunshine.

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