Saturday in Bird World

28 May 2022

Do you like condors? If so, then you should be listening to the once monthly Condor discussions and updates from Ventana Wildlife. They take care of Central California’s Condors – Big Sur and Pinnacle. The home of Iniko 1031!

Part of today’s discussion touched on the issue of lead toxicity. The Bay Area has high levels of lead caused by the old mining industries. Because the California Condors and the Buzzards in the areas feed on carrion – dead carcasses – they are susceptible to the lead from the ammunition used in hunting. Did you know that part of the programme of thee Ventana Wildlife Society is to get lead-free zones? Since 2012 they have been providing lead-free ammunition to the farmers and hunters in their area to attempt to eradicate the problem in their area.

Before the pandemic there were 100 California Condors in the Central California area. Today there are 87. That is the bad news along with stories about those special birds lost – some just turning 2 years old, others just getting to their prime and ready to breed. Condors normally live to be 50-60 years old in the wild so these were significant young loses. Those who work with the birds talk about how each is such an individual and how they get to know them so well – losing one is a very personal issue. The good news is that the hatch rates in Central California are catching up with those in Southern California and they are hopeful that next year will be better.

The next discussion is slated for the 30th of June. Here is the link to the presentation of 26 May. Very informative.

Little Bit 17 really deserves a standing ovation. I am so impressed with this wee eaglet on Friday! Little Bit 17 had some big meals on the 26th – the last being an overly stuffed crop at 21:25 Thursday night. Indeed, Little Bit had full crops every day from the 16th of May to the 26th.

It was rainy today. A small fish was dropped off by one of the adults after 20:15. The oldest ND15 got the fish – it was not that big. What was significant was that Little Bit 17 went right up into 15’s face for the entire time Big Bob was eating the fish. Little Bit 17 really earned his name as the ‘Snatch and Grab King’ today, though. Yes, he got a little fish that was dropped – actually one nice piece. But the heroics was when the snatched and grabbed and got the fish tail!!!!!!! I know you don’t believe me. It is true.

There is 17 moving to get right up at the front where the action in. Little Bit is clearly a very brave eaglet that given half a chance can survive in the wild because he is not afraid of the hard work in getting food.

Little Bit 17 showed no fear when ND16 was coming up from behind.

Little Bit has the tail – it still has a nice bit of tender fish left! Go 17!!!!!!

Little Bit 17 is mantling his cache. So far 16 has not noticed that 17 has the fish tail. Remember 16 is also hungry.

Then 16 notices and starts to try and get the piece of fish. 17 mantles harder. 17 will also keep the fish in its beak and mantle turning around and around.

Little Bit gets his treasure over to the other rim of the nest away from 16. However, he is alongside 15 and 15 would very much like to have that fish tail as well.

Little Bit 17 was able to get a few bites of the fish before Big Bob took the tail back but, what a brave little eaglet to go up against both wanting his food. I am so proud of Little Bit. That is really something to go up against these two – just look at how big they are compared to him.

We really need more fish brought on to the nest. If the adults just drop off small fish Little Bit might lose out. He does better when Mum comes in and if he can feed on an opposite side. Little Bit can also self-feed as good or better than the older siblings. So if they are full and there is fish available there is no issue with this ‘Little Eaglet Who Could’ feeding itself! We just need fish!!!!!! Lots of fish. No time for parents to be cutting back the fish. Both of the adults should be out fishing and providing 5 or 6 fish to the nest. We would really see a huge growth spurt in 17 because the other two are levelling off now.

Saturday morning has not been good for Little Bit. The big siblings are really hungry today with so little food since the evening of the 26th. There have been three deliveries: 08:44, 09:01, and 10:54. The power of the bigger siblings was really pronounced. At 08:43 Little Bit was attacked by one of the big siblings. We are now assured that it is not a lack of feather growth on its head but a bigger sibling – I suspect 16 – pulled it out!

The parents at the ND-LEEF nest need to come in with a huge fish and then another one and another to get this back on track after that single day of bad weather.

The two osplets at UFlorida-Gainesville cannot blame the parents for being hungry today. A catfish with its head came on the nest a little after 08:00. Catfish are problematic for the best self-feeders until they figure out how to unzip them. Both chicks had a bit of a go at it and then the fish was moved over to the rim of the nest.

Their looks were priceless. Think they learned a lesson today – keep the fish in the middle of the nest!

Thankfully Dad arrived a few minutes later, at 08:13:52, with a nice chunk of fish.

Looks like Big Bob gets it.

Middle is sniffing around for that fish. Stop for a moment though and look at the dark bands on their tails.

Middle gets it! Remember Middle is really good at snatch and grab. Meanwhile the adult was watching everything that was going on with its kids. There will be more fish today. Th adult did not have a crop so he needs to eat, too.

Middle really enjoyed that chunk of fish. Big did not try to take it nor did she try to attack. This nest really turned around with two nice osplets that are healthy and will fledge. Middle finished the fish tail at 08:48.

I wish every eaglet, storklet, eyas, or hawklet – whatever you wish to call them was fed as well as the two osplets on the nest of Richmond and Rosie in the SF Bay. Today the duo were fed for over half an hour – you can compare this with the length of feeding at some of the nests with much larger offspring. They were so full that when one rolled backwards with a flake of fish in its mouth – it could not get up!

Mom is on the nest at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Is she thinking that Ervie might be going to land with one of his puffers and she wants to be there to chase him away? While it is true that other parents like Diamond and Xavier had to chase Izzi away as breeding season approached, I lived in some kind of ‘delusional’ hope that Mum and Dad might tolerate Ervie at the barge.

Ervie’s talon has not grown in but he has brought a significant size fish to the nest, not just puffers. That demonstrates that he can catch larger fish. We should not worry about that. We will just miss him as he has been such a character – and oh what joy he has brought to our lives!!!!!

Hats off to Dylan and Seren who did a tandem feeding at the Llyn Clywedog Osprey nest today. I had said that I was concerned about the third hatch on this nest – it looks like they were, too. Well done – great parenting! Now if we could only get Laddie to stay in that nest and feed Little Bob (Loch of the Lowes).

This is just wonderful to see. Tears!!!!!

As the sun rises, Seren is feeding the trio. They are all lined up and it looks like everyone will have a wee crop. Nice.

Idris has the fish on the nest and Seren is doing the first feeding of the day at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales.

And then – there were 3 at the Dyfi nest! I love how Emyr Evans at the Dyfi Osprey Project collects and puts the data out there. Chick 1 hatched on 25 May at 39 days in the shell. Chick 2 hatched on the 26th of May at 36.9 cays in the shell. Chick 3 hatched on 28 May at 35.7 days in the shell. All look great and all hatched within the normal range with the eldest being the longest and the third being the shortest gestation period. Let’s see if this impacts their growth over the season. The closeness of the hatches will certainly bode well for the third osplet as it is only two days younger. Telyn really ‘nailed’ that incubation. These three should thrive. Congratulations Telyn and Idris!

Daddy Longlegs (Idris) has brought in a nice fish for Telyn and the trio.

Good Morning Dorcha at the Loch Arkaig nest. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day! Now where is Louis with the breakfish?

Blue 33 has the fish on the platform as the sun rises over the water at Rutland. Maya is waking up but the Three Bobs seem to be wanting to sleep in on Saturday!

Blue NC0 had to take a personal break at the Loch of the Lowes. There are the three wee ones in the nest. They look good.

She is back and is waiting for Laddie to bring the first fish of the day. Just look at those lovely rose gold kissing everything at the loch. Beautiful.

Sometimes Blue NC0 makes it difficult to tell who has been fed and who hasn’t. At one feeding where I could clearly see, all three chicks were fed. Nice. I do not think that Little Bob is out of the woods yet. Fingers crossed.

The falcons at the Manchester NH scrape are really losing their baby down. The flapping of the wings sends it flying all over the scrape. Their legs are strong and – well, this has been an amazing nest to watch in terms of the sheer effort by the parents to make sure that each of the five survived and thrived.

Spirit hatched on 3 March. She is 86 days old today. Bald Eagles generally fledge from 10-14 weeks. Spirit is certainly looking out to the territory!

Kana’kini has been doing a lot of hovering and today she actually did that with a stick in her mouth. Here they are the three of them – whoever dubbed the trio ‘The Three Amigos’ is so right. What a fabulous group of eaglets to watch and the thanks goes to Thunder and Akecheta who kept feeding them and kept bringing food to the nest! Great parenting.

Those little ones at Cal Falcons are so adorable. I was sooooo shocked at the little male. He reminds me so much of the male at Captiva Ospreys – Middle Little. He was really loud too. You could hear him fish calling in Fort Myers. Alden and Annie are doing a fantastic job. It was very interesting to me that Cal Falcons noted that Alden was ferocious in his protection of the scrape with Annie yesterday whereas Grinnell used to leave that to Annie.

Want to take part in the naming. See the band at the bottom of the image.

The sun is beginning to come out. The weather forecast is for rain for four days but I am hoping to get out to our other nature centre sometime. Maybe today! Thank you so much for joining me. Wish for fish for ND-LEEF. The river should be going down and clearing after the storm so Suckers and Catfish will be easier to catch for the eagles. Little Bit 17 needs a lot of fish to be delivered so that it can get some. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Ventana Wildlife Society, ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, CarnyX Wild, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the People’s Post Code Lottery, LRWT, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Networks, FOBBV, Explore.org, and Cal Falcons.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann as you covered a lot of nests this morning! Prayers for little 17 T No-Leef 🙏❤️ Prayers for all little ones to get enough food and congratulations to the new hatches. 🙏❤️
    Have a great Saturday and hope to hear from you later this evening Mary Ann!
    Linda

    1. No food yet today. Apparently the river is full of boats!!!!!! Fingers crossed. Aren’t the new hatches adorable? No newsletter late today. Spent the day out birding. The weather was beautiful.

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