30 May 2022
The last time that Little Bit had a full crop was the 26th May. He had eaten well for ten days and then the weather changed and then the weekend came and well, Little Bit was going on 72 hours without much food. All your positive wishes have made a difference. The food arrived today. But it was Little Bit’s actions that demonstrate what a brave eaglet he is – and how he knows how to ‘read’ his environment. Little Bit is very careful not to agitate 16. Little Bit appears to feel safe and secure around 15. Oh, how I wish we knew their genders.
Check it out. Food has arrived and Mum has been feeding. That is Little Bit to the right of Mum being fed! No one bothered him. Mum fed well.
You can see his beach ball size crop in the image below.
Little Bit has a huge crop showing at 17:18:09 and again at 17:52:34 – so he did not crop drop immediately from the earlier food. This means that Little Bit had food in his stomach. Crops are actually marvellous storage tanks for the birds allowing them to store food and then drop it down to the stomach when they need nourishment. It is reassuring to see Little Bit 17 with that big of a crop today. It has been a good day – few attacks from 16 and food to eat – a great combination equalling success. Little Bit worked hard to get food off of carrion (road kill) when it was on the nest. The older siblings could not be bothered. In the wild, they will have to bother – to eat what is there and eat even if they are full because it is never known when the next meal will come.
The image of Little Bit looking out beyond the nest with that big drop just brings tears to my eyes.
Little Bit has the energy and the joy of a full tummy so he flaps his wings.
Then there was another delivery! It came at 20:15:50. Little Bit is on the railing to the left.
Little Bit still has a crop from the earlier feeding. What is interesting to me is that the adult is very slow to begin feeding. This is a good thing. Slow feedings always benefit the wee ones hoping to get some bites.
At 28:50 Little Bit 17 begins to make his move from his corner by the tree. Just look. A day of eating has made such a huge difference. Little Bit 17 is getting his mojo back! He is reading his environment – this is crucial for a juvenile eaglet to survive in the wild. Don’t kid yourself. Everything that has happened to Little Bit on this nest is preparing him to survive in the wild. Watching, waiting. Knowing which birds attack and which are friendly. Good skills.
At 20:30:10 Little Bit makes his move to get under the adult to try and snatch and grab from under the tail behind the legs.
But wait…Little Bit doesn’t do that. Instead he goes right up to the adult beak and begins snatching and grabbing food — right from the beak!!!!! Food that might have gone to the big sibling waiting.
The big sibling does nothing. It has to be 15.
At 20:35:30 Little Bit is bursting full and has followed the adult. Little Bit is attempting to pull the last skin of the fish out of the parent’s beak. Yes, I am serious. Big sibling is looking on as this is happening.
Big sibling watches Little Bit play tug-o-war with the adult! Does everyone need a tissue? Little Bit’s bravery is just shining through. The adult ate the skin- they are hungry, too, but the level of confidence that has been shown today is the old Little Bit. Welcome back sweet little one.
Even with his full crop, Little Bit 17 is still eating every morsel of food he can find in the nest. One of the biggest lessons that Little Bit has learned is that you do not always have food. You need to conserve your energy and you have to eat what is available even if you do not like it.
Little Bit ‘staggers’ over to his favourite spot in the nest and heads to sleep.
Sweet Eagle Dreams to you Little Bit and to all your friends out there in Bird World.
This is just the best news in Bird World today. Thank you for sending all of your positive wishes to this nest and, especially, to Little Bit who is so deserving a full life beyond the confines of this nest! Keep it up!!!!!! We still have three weeks probably before Little Bit fledges. He needs to grow lots of feathers and get his strength up.
In other news, the eldest chick of Annie, Grinnell, and Alden – the female – has left the scrape box! Here is a video of this big milestone.
Tomorrow Cal Falcons will announce the final names. Please vote. There will be a short window of opportunity!
Thank you so much for joining me. This has been a miraculous day at the ND-LEEF nest. Little Bit is 55 days old. Fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the ND-LEEF streaming cam where I took my screen captures.