Early Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

Oh, the torrential rain has finally stopped and the temperature is dropping. The Baltimore Orioles – who are arriving in droves and have arrived for the past week – are still with us eating jellies of all sorts and oranges by the dozen. What I have learned is that they will eat any kind of jelly including a lovely Danish Orange as well as the cranberry sauce jelly in a tin. They will also eat out of any type of dish! From tiny little sauce ones to cereal bowls. It doesn’t matter as long as it has jelly in it!!!!!!!!!! A neighbour told me they would eat applesauce as well. They certainly are beautiful birds but gosh they aggravate me. The males will bully the females from getting any jelly. I tried spacing the little bowls but, no. They are like all the Bigs – they see a whiff of a movement and they dart to make sure the smaller not so bright coloured female stays in the Lilac bushes! Can you hear me growling?

The Orioles will also eat anywhere. You do not need a fancy feeder for them although they sure make an impressive line including ones with a roof. I bought a small hanging one to test. The placement of the nails to hold the oranges is such that the birds have to duck under the large navel oranges to get to the jelly. I would not purchase one of these again despite Mr O’s approval. He finished off one orange half and then moved to the other side to finish off this half and finally most of the jelly.

Oh, look who finally got some jelly!

I was hesitant to check on the ND-LEEF nest this morning. 17 would have been without food for approximately 60 hours. The fishing had been bad because of the high muddy waters but also the Mum just seemed less inclined to feed the small eaglet. Seeing nests like this makes us all anxious and sad. To survive the third hatch – especially if they are small on a nest with two much larger siblings – really have to become super clever. They need enough energy to be tenacious when food does come on the nest ——– and sometimes they have to feed themselves when Mum won’t do it! This morning a miracle happened on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. No, the mother didn’t go out of her way to feed the small one. That said a fish was left on the nest. The two older siblings did not bother but little 17, without food for at least 60 hours, self-fed the entire fish. Yes, he ate the entire fish and passed out in a food coma. This is the moment when the heartbreak turns into a glorious celebration!!!!!!!!

Little 17 moved around hoping that Mum might feed him but she did not.

A fish was left in the middle of the nest. One of the big siblings did peck at it but nothing more. Take a good look at the size of that fish.

19 minutes later. Little 17 pulled the fish to the other side of the nest and started eating. The siblings did not bother him. He ate and ate and ate some more. Fast.

That is all that is left of the fish – that little bit. Little 17 is sleeping on a huge beach ball crop. Smile. He has lived another day. While we would like for him to have food at every meal it does not appear that it is going to happen on this nest with this Mum. Will she change her ways if he grows big? We will see. But for now let us wish for large chunks of fish to be left on the nest with the other two having eaten. Little 17 can easily feed himself. He is a pro! This is what is going to keep him alive. So wish for fish – extra fish!

Why do I saw fish? Unless it is a catfish where the eaglet has to fight with that bony head, it is easier for this wee one to eat the fish than fight with fur, etc on a squirrel and, I would rather because of Avian Flu that the birds eat anything but birds!

Happy Eagle Dreams Little 17. You have the attributes of a survivor.

As we also know, the female at the UFloria-Gainesville nest favours the largest, Big. There is a fish on the nest. Big has intimidated Middle for a second but Middle is doing snatch and grab and Mum even fed him a couple of pieces. The level of intimidation and harm is so much less now that Middle is bigger. Hopefully Middle will persist and get a good portion of that fish!

Yesterday Dr Sharpe and team banded the two chicks at the Anacapa Peregrine nest on the cliffs in the Channel Islands. Dr Sharpe is so kind to move the backpack so everyone can see. Notice how gentle the person is holding the chick and how relaxed the chick seems to be. The other one appears frozen – . There is a boy and a girl in the scrape. Tremendous!

The five eyases at the Manchester NH Peregrine Falcon scrape are being banded today!

No one wants to show their bling and I have not seen any posting on the genders, etc. yet.

A nice lunch has arrived for the five after their ordeal!

Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 had their first hatch yesterday. There is now a pip in the second egg. How exciting. I hope that they all hatch one after another! Here is a short video clip of Blue NC0 feeding the first Bob.

Robert Fuller posted an update on the Kestrel chicks. For those that do not know, Mother Kestrel was in an altercation. She had six chicks in the nest. She returned once and then has not been seen. Robert Fuller removed 3 of the smallest chicks to feed leaving Father Kestrel the 3 largest. Father Kestrel learned to feed his babies. The plan was to return the 3 small ones to the nest box when they were strong enough and hope all would go well. It has! Father Kestrel has proven he is up to the task of caring for all 6 of his babies – and Fuller’s intervention meant that those 3 little ones get a second chance at life.

Here is the announcement on Robert Fuller’s FB page today:

Three perfect little osplets in a row! Blue 33 has been on and off the nest bringing food and enjoying a chance to feed the chicks. Maya takes every opportunity she can to get fish into them and look how they are changing. Can you identify the hatch order from the back of their heads, from the plumage development? Look close.

If you said – from left to right – 3, 1, and 2 you are correct. The oldest, in the middle, is losing the soft grey down and getting that oily head of the Reptilian period. So is osplet 2 but not as much. 3 still has its soft down.

The only eaglet on the nest at Dale Hollow is Middle or DH15.

At the National Arboretum nest of Mr President, Lotus, and DC9 hints are being given about ‘branching’.

Middle Little O has been on and off the Captiva Osprey nest this morning hoping that Dad Andy will deliver a fish to the platform! Oh, how nice it would be if Little Mini O flew up so we could see her.

There is no word yet when Dr Sharpe will be going to ring Two Harbours 1. It should be soon.

If you checked on the West End amigos and saw only 2, you are experiencing Highlights on one of the cameras. They are all still on the cliff nest!

Go to this streaming cam:

So many nests, not ever enough time! Today though it was enough to see Little Bob at the ND-LEEF fed itself to the point of crop explosion. Feeling joyful and relieved.

Thank you for joining me today. It is Victoria Long Weekend aka May Long Weekend in Canada and there are probably Bank Holidays in the UK and elsewhere. Have fun, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, ND-LEEF, DHEC, Captiva Ospreys, NADC-AEF, LRWT, Peregrine Network, Robert Fuller, Scottish Wildlife Trust, University of Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Anacapa Peregrines and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for this wonderful update on little 17 eating a whole fish! I’m gonna call that an Angel fish! So good to see the baby full and sleeping 💕
    Love the photos and updates on your Orioles and all others! The oriole feeder is so pretty! Glad the females get some jelly at least! Lol. I didnt know the males were like that! They are beautiful birds but we don’t have them here.
    Thank you for all the other updates and photos and links to watch.
    It’s just awesome!
    Have a great afternoon and I hope to hear from you again soon!
    Linda

    1. Oh, thank you, Linda. That is a perfect name for that fish – Angel Fish. Little 17 did well. I so hope another one comes on that nest! I did not know that about the male Orioles either but yes, and I suspect other species, too. I was delighted when she got some jelly. One man in our City built a big feeder for them with framing in between and filled it with oranges and watermelon slices!!!!!!! They also like Smucker’s Grape Jelly – not the healthy lower sugar kind from the Birdseed store!!!!!! They are all coming in again. I only get about 30 but some people have 100s. And it is freezing outside. Poor things.

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