Late Monday in Bird World

16 May 2022

I was waiting to see if Big and Middle got any fish today. Then I had to go out but when I returned, at 14:44:15 Mum delivered a ‘piece of fish’. It looked like a 4 or 5 inch catfish steak. Seriously? These chicks have not eaten since yesterday and they are growing and big. Of course, Big was acting up and a couple of times lunged at Middle — but not enough to keep Middle from trying to get some bites right away. The only hydration the chicks get is from the fish – it must be hot on top of that nest. That piece of fish lasted until 15:56:37 and that it includes the time Mum ate some bites and moved the fish to the other side of the nest. So, less than 12 minutes. Big got the tail and Middle got some bites. Did I ever mention that the Peregrine Falcon Mum at the Manchester NH nest feeds the five eyases for an hour? Everyone gets fed. What is up with this nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville? Does it have anything to do with that ‘other’ nest that was shown on the pan around the practice field nest that ‘R’ alerted me to? I wonder. Thanks, R!

The two chicks were really hungry.

Mum settles down. Big is on her right and Middle is on the left.

Big decides she wants to walk over to the other rim and flap her wings so Mum gives Middle a bite of fish.

Well, Big did not like that. She took a very aggressive stance and Middle went into submission. Mum just put her head down.

When Mum moves to the other side you can see the size of the meal – seriously, this is a snack. This nest needs an entire catfish or two, maybe three, not a snack.

Notice the difference in the length of the tail between the two.

Middle sneaks around and under Mum and this manages to get him some bites.

It started pitching down rain towards the end of the feeding. Mum finished the feeding as quickly as she could and took off!

It’s nearly 18:00 and I have seen nothing on the nest but that one chunk of fish. If you see the two get fed, let me know!

Do I dare hope that these two might more fish? So that is one Bird Mum at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest.

It was an entirely different story at the nest of Red-tail Hawks Big Red and Arthur. Big Red knows that a storm is coming. She can tell in her hollow bones. So what does she does she do? She fills the chicks up with food first. She finishes feeding just about the time the storm hits. Then she does everything she can to wrap those chicks in the safety of her wings!

There are four and she is holding them as tight and close as she can.

Just look at that – Mumbrella!

Check the time. Four hours and counting. Big Red will not let anything – weather or an intruder – harm her chicks if she can possibly help it!

I wonder if you were a bird which Bird Mum you would want to be caring for you?

I went back to check on Big Red. At 18:47 she was still hunkered down over her chicks.

At 19:08 Big Red was off the chicks; the system has passed. She flew off the nest a couple of minutes later to take a break and get some prey. The four eyases are, of course, fine. They are extremely lucky to have Big Red and Arthur – utterly devoted parents. I should point out that Arthur dropped some prey onto the nest around 16:00 in the middle of the storm. If you picked the UFlorida-Gainesville male and female as parents, would you like to change your mind? Just sayin’.

Wow. Lucy laid her fourth Osprey egg on the nest she shares with George on Long Island. Oh, gosh, golly. Would I want to be the 4th hatch? I don’t think so despite George being a fabulous provider. (Note: Blue 33 (11) and Maya did successfully fledge four one year – it is rare).

Lucy did not start hard incubation until after she laid the third egg. Fingers crossed for this great couple. We will be checking on them as hatch approaches which won’t be until mid-June.

Here is the link to their Osprey cam.

The five eyases at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape had a nice dinner at 18:00. They should almost be set for the night now.

There is a cracking article on the BBC site on Dr Peter Sharpe traveling to the Chanel Islands to save the eaglets.

The balloon story struck a nerve in a few people. ‘B’ writes that every time he goes out on a wilderness backpacking trip – far from other humans – he inevitably finds balloons on the ground. ‘B’ points out that if you drop a deflated balloon on the ground it is littering but if you allow it to float into the sky it is considered ‘fun’. Back down on the ground the balloons cause havoc along with many other things – mesh fruit and vegetable bags along with face masks. Why do humans just feel they can make the planet their garbage bin? I wonder if educating at the elementary level might have a lasting change in the future? Thanks B!

‘S’ sent me a link. The Big island of Hawaii, Oahu, is banning the release of balloons in January 2023 but ‘S’ feels that they should just ban balloons period. Agreed! ‘S’ also notes that two of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai and Oahu, had trouble with wind turbines and the Shearwaters. ‘S’ hopes, like all of us, that more research into location and bird deaths are undertaken before anymore are put into position especially on migratory bird paths. Thanks S!

The eaglets in the Dale Hollow nest are still on the nest. Keisha Howell posted their age as 79 days old today. I had it as 78 (if they hatched on 28 Feb) but, hey – the point is they could fledge anytime.

It was a hard nest to watch at times. I know that each of us is thrilled that there will be two healthy eaglets fledging from this nest near Dale Hollow Lake on the Obey River.

The Barnegat Light Osprey nest is one that is a favourite of many including ‘S’. This Osprey nest is located in Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, Ocean County, New Jersey. It is 19:00 nest time and there is a big storm – a quick mover – that is going to plow through the area. It should all be over by 20:00. This nest is very exposed – just the way that Ospreys like it! But it can get super windy and rock the nest and the camera making the wind appear worse than it is.

Duke and Daisy have three eggs on this nest. The last was laid on 27 April. The couple have had good past seasons. They fledged two in 2018, three in each of 2019 and 2020. In 2021, three hatched but only two fledged.

Duke is extremely handsome. He arrived on the nest on the 8th of April this year just like he does every year (he must be related to Iris). Daisy was waiting on her sixteen year old mate even though some younger males had been trying to court her! He quickly brought Daisy a fish and got rid of the youngsters.

Here is the link to their camera.

I want to close with a cute image of Alden trying to brood the two chicks. Like all the others, the two at Cal Falcons have grown too big and do not fit under the adults very well anymore! Alden is helping out in every way that he can. Sweet.

I received my long sleeve shirt with Annie and Grinnell on the front. It is fabulous! If you wanted one but didn’t order, there are still some remaining. Go to the Cal Falcons website: I am going to wear mine tomorrow as I put the finishing touches on Little Red’s new condo! Stay tuned.

Thank you so much for being with me this afternoon. We continue to wait for a pip for Richmond and Rosie. I hope that each of you has a lovely, lovely evening and a wonderful morning. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Osprey Zone, Peregrine Zone, DHEC, Conservation Wildlife Foundation of NJ, and Cal Falcons.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Hello Mary Ann and thanks for this great newsletter! That is a great idea to ban the balloons and also the turbines to be painted for the migrating birds too.
    Hope more fish will come to the Gainsville Florida nest.
    Alden is such a cute Dad brooding the chicks.
    Big Red is a great Mom ! Those little ones are very comfy under her wings no
    Matter how long !
    All the others are doing so well too
    And thanks for all the photos links and great updates!
    Have a great evening and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Linda. It was nice to see a good sized fish come on the UFlorida nest this morning. They are eating right now. Relief!

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