Early Monday in Bird World

9 May 2022

As citizens of Manitoba, we are really learning about what it means to live on the floor of what was once Lake Agassiz —- in other words, a flood plain. Two more Colorado Lows are set to dump more water on a province that is flooded south of Winnipeg and north of Winnipeg. One big lake save for those communities who spent funds on creating their own dams. The loss is enormous but looking at it from a wildlife perspective, one has to wonder where all the deer, the nests, and the animals have gone. I have seen one image of deer walking along a railroad track that runs from Winnipeg to the US border trying to find dry land and food. That border is now closed as are many highways and even some bridges in my City. Years ago one of our Premiers decided to build what was teasingly called ‘Duff’s Ditch’. Well, everyone should be grateful to Duff Roblin for having that kind of insight. The City is mostly dry and safe.

There are few birds in the garden as the raindrops begin to fall on a grey day.

I am as nervous as Blue 33 (11) is as he comes in and off the nest at Manton Bay checking on Maya and the eggs. There are three. At one point you could only see two, has there been a hatch? So, we wait for confirmation one way or the other! I cannot see any egg shells so I suspect that pesky egg is hiding!

It is certainly time to begin checking on the Black Stork nests in Estonia and Latvia. There is something curious that I noticed which I suspect my friends in Estonia have known all along. Jan and Jaanika laid their eggs a whole month earlier this year than last. In 2020, the eggs were laid on 12 May, 14 May, 16 May, and the 18th of May. Hatch from 14-17 June. This year the eggs were laid on 15, 17, 19, 21 April, 23 and the sixth and final egg on 25 April! This is excellent – the timing. Last year the couple was so very late that Janika started her migration before the chicks had fledged. It was a very difficult time and the food for the chicks was supplemented by fish being brought to the nest by the wildlife specialist, J Kuze.

The Black Stork in Estonia is so rare that every effort is made to help them that is possible.

I am not a stork expert. It would seem, however, that the parents cannot support six storklings very easily and they will probably select the three strongest. But, we wait to see.

Here is the link to Jan and Jaanika’s streaming cam in Jogeva County, Estonia:

I also checked on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in the Karula National Forest in the south of Estonia. The eggs for this year were laid on almost the identical dates as last year. Those days were 24, 26, 29 April and 1 May. Hatch began in 2021 on 28 May.

This is the link to Karl II and Kaia’s nest in the forest.

Sadly, it appears that Grafs and Grafiene did not return to their nest this year in the Sigulda Region of Latvia. Did they not survive migration? or did they decide to locate their nest elsewhere? I do know the answer to this but I will try to find out.

There is only one osprey nest in Latvia. This year only the male returned, Theo. He tried to attract many females to his beautiful nest. It is hoped that a young female, tagged UV and an Estonian female, will stay with them. Mating was attempted this morning but UV was not receptive. Sadly, this nest is a bit haunted. None of the former chicks have survived due to goshawk predation.

Here is the link to the Kurzeme camera of Theo:

In comparison, the Osprey nest of Ivo an Iiris in Tarta County, Estonia has done well. All of the couple’s chicks fledged last year!

Pip watch will begin on the 21st of May. That is only 12 days from now. Here is a link to Ivo and Iiris’s streaming camera:

Gosh, Big Red is gorgeous. It is so hard to believe she is 19 years old. She is in such good shape this year. What a beautiful golden glow on her and the four eyases as a new morning wakes up on the Cornell Campus.

This is a great nest to watch! There is plenty of time to watch these eyases develop, fledge, and then learn to be a ‘hawk’. Arthur will teach them flying and hunting with Big Red joining in. There is nothing better than seeing the parents teach the chicks how to hunt a squirrel in a tree!!!!!!

The two eyases at the Red-tail Hawk at the Presidio Trust Building in San Francisco are doing fine. These two are really growing. Look at the size of that wing. Wow.

Peregrine Falcon chicks are doing well this morning, too. The chicks at the scrape in the tower of Chichester Cathedral just had their afternoon tea.

All five eyases were fed and happy this morning at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape.

Sleeping babies at Utica, New York scrape. Will the other eggs hatch? We will see.

Henry and Poppy do a great job taking care of their two chicks at the Cromer scrape. If you are interested in their day to day activities, there is a great blog with this nest that has images and comments of everything that happens on the nest. I will post it after the image of the chicks!

https://www.cromerperegrineproject.co.uk/post/cromer-peregrine-activity-log-08-05-2022

If you are wondering about the third egg at the U-Cal Berkeley scrape of Annie and Alden, don’t. It is non-viable. If it were going to hatch it would have happened on Saturday. What will they do with it? Incubate it, roll it around, or break it – or maybe Sean or Lynne will collect it for the museum when they clean the scrape.

Two healthy chicks are good. They are incredibly adorable.

All three eaglets are accounted for on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta.

TH1 at the nest of Chase and Cholyn is getting its blood feathers. There are a few lingering dandelions on the top of the head. It will not be long until this wee one looks like its cousins at the West End.

I checked on two nests in the East – PIttsburgh Hayes with its triplets and the National Arboretum nest. They are all awake and looking good this morning.

The three are beginning to fill up the nest!

Breakfast time for DC9. Looking good. There was a little concern earlier for DC9 because a bird had been brought on the nest as a prey item. Everything seems to be alright.

I want to leave you with a smile. A Canada Goose has chosen a planter on the deck of a Calgary, Alberta couple to lay its eggs three years in a row!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/a-calgary-couple-s-unusual-houseguests-return-every-spring-to-lay-eggs-in-their-planter-1.6445267?fbclid=IwAR0ofbF90vvx29SCgnb-y60yl1bmVOCUlRz_3iiz5Cs_CasPpui7bPNEof0

Lots happening today. Some exciting. Some sad. The youngest golden eaglet has been killed at the Estonian nest. It had been beaked by its eldest sibling earlier and prey became scarce and the oldest killed the youngest today. That was the Golden Eagle nest in the Soomaa National Park in Southwestern Estonia. As I mention often, the rate of siblicide is much higher in nests other than falcons and hawks.

Thank you for joining me on this rainy grey day in Manitoba. Take care everyone. See you soon – hopefully with a news of the first Osprey hatch in the UK!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LRWT, Eagle Club of Estonia, Latvian Fund for Nature, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Presidio Trust, Chichester Cathedral, Peregrine Networks, Utica Falcons, Cromer Peregrines, Explore.org, Pix Cams, and the NADC-AEF.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for this very nice newsletter. Many nests to watch and I can’t get to them all it seems. Thanks to you and your updates ! Thanks for the photos and links to all of them and updates. I am sad to learn of the little baby golden eaglet. 😢 I guess I’ll
    Never understand how a mother eagle
    Could let this happen.
    Thanks Mary Ann and hope the weather clears up soon there. Here is hot already.
    Have a good afternoon and take
    Care!
    Linda

    1. The hardest thing is that there are two eggs and the eldest almost always kills the little one. It is awful to watch – the suffering. I just wonder how much prey is in those forests for the birds? But you are welcome for some new nests. I know you have so many that you watch already. I do love finding new ones! and hope they are good. I hope you had a lovely day yesterday, Linda. Happy Mother’s Day late!

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