Alden missing, Samson missing, Rita injured…Monday in Bird World

28 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I am earlier than I thought I would be today because there is more breaking news. We will start off with the kittens because they, so far, are a good thing to wake up to – no injuries, just boundless energy and cuddles.

Missy and Lewis hope that everyone has had a good day so far. They have discovered something! The in-floor heating comes up through the tiles, through the basket, and into their blanket. Talk about cosy.

These two will not be separated. Missy is the leader, the alpha cat and Lewis follows along dutifully. Same basket. Same food dish. Same water dish. Same tent for sleeping. Together. In all my years with cats – and that is a lot!-I have never seen or enjoyed anything so much.

We are still waiting word on Samson at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. As I noted it is not unusual for eagles to take a couple of days off before the incubation period starts or even during. However, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest, if memory holds, it is always Gabby who is away and Samson dealing with incubating eggs or eaglets. Oh, let us all hope he is just a bit out of sorts and gets home soon.

For those of you that do not know him, Samson is the eaglet of Romeo and Juliet. The NEFlorida nest that Samson now shares with Gabby was Samson’s natal nest. Samson hatched on 23 December 2013. That means that he is 9 years old. Simon left the area on the 22nd of April 2014 and returned in 2018. Him and Gabby have had 3 seasons of eaglets. In 2019, they fledged Jules and Romey, named after Samson’s parents. In 2020, it was the ever cute Legacy and in 2021, Jasper and Rocket fledged. Samson is an absolutely devoted mate to Gabby and a super dad to his kids.

Samson with Legacy. 2020

Samson remains missing this morning.

The intruder has literally jumped into the nest at NEFL. Gabby was there and was keeping him at a distance.

At the WRDC Bald Eagle nest in the Miami Zoo, the home of Ron and Rita, I have received word from ‘H’ that Rita has been found injured. An announcement just released states that the injury is not as bad as they thought at first. Rita has a broken wing. She is in surgery. Updates will be issued as more is known.

One would think it would be enough with Samson missing and feared that he will not return, Rita’s broken wing and the fact that she could likely miss the 2022 season but, Alden has not been seen for 5 days (not since 23 November) and a male intruder has been at Cal Falcons. Annie has not chased him away. Does this mean we have lost Alden in a territorial dispute, too?

Darling Alden who gave us the loaf, moth chasing, and who saved the 2021 season after Grinnell was killed. Are you really gone?

Cal Falcons has not, it seems, issued any official word other than releasing the videos and the statement of Alden missing for 5 days.

The observation board at Port Lincoln has Mum delivering 2 fish and Dad none but Dad did deliver a fish tail – literally the tail – to Zoe at 18:26. I am not sure she was impressed.

The anticipation of another fish got Zoe quite excited.

It was nice to see Dad with a crop and when the fish tail landed, Zoe has still had a crop from the earlier fish provided by Mum. Zoe is not suffering from a lack of food!

I checked for updates on SE30 and SE29 and could not find any. The last was a couple of weeks ago. I will let you know if there is any news at all.

Need a new Osprey cam to watch? Cottesloe has long wanted one and now it is a reality. Cottesloe is in Western Australia. It will be fantastic to have another cam to go along with Port Lincoln next year.

In New Zealand, the Royal Cam couple for the year has been decided and the camera at Taiaroa Head has been moved. Thanks Ranger Sharyn!

I will be monitoring the situations to see if there is any change with Alden, Samson, or Rita, I will let you know. Please send out your warmest and most positive wishes to Samson and Gabby, Annie and to Alden, and Rita and Ron.

Thank you for joining me this morning. I wish that the news I was bringing was much better. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘H’ for alerting me to the situation at Orange and Dade County and for their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Cottesloe Streaming Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and NZ DOC.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thanks for the updates on Samson, Alden, and Rita. Prayers for
    All of them. 🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️
    We will
    Be looking forward to any updates.
    Have a good day Mary Ann with those cute kitties. They are so cute in their basket too💕💕

    1. You are so very welcome, Linda. I would love to be sending out good news! Let us all send our prayers and positive wishes to all of those nests.

  2. B says:

    So much drama! Rubus, Samson, Rita, and now Alden! May all be well and thrive! Thanks, Mary Ann, for keeping us posted.

    1. You are very welcome, Bill. It I snot the news I like sending out – it has been quite the year. I was reminded today that Bella was very, very bloody at the NTCT nest with Smitty and she was gone for 3 weeks. A new female came about but Bella booted her when she got home. I hope Samson is healing. Gabby left the nest and has eaten and I do not see the intruder there tonight. Alden. Not breeding season. Mixed messages on how long he has been away. It appears they were together on the 25th. So, he could show up any time now. I am hoping. Alden ‘mothed and loafed’ his way into our hearts – and Annie’s. Rita should be fine. And Rubus, well…that is such a confusion place it is difficult to know what is what. All I know is that Zoe is one loud Osprey fledgling who loves eating fish.

  3. Tavi says:

    Sam definitely wasn’t injured in that photo. The cam team have said that it’s only a bit of mud from catching a coot.

    1. Oh, thank you so much Tavi! That is welcome news. Much appreciated.

  4. Jill says:

    In case you hadn’t heard. From Cillia: Bad news about Rubus. His body was found today by one of our medical staff (who also watch the livestream). Cause of death is unknown. I thought at first broken neck because of the angle, but it seemed intact. I have asked the vet for an autopsy, but she said that it is too far gone, so it looks like he died a few days after last seen on 23rd November. That’s a pity as I would like to have known whether it was caused by trichomoniasis (canker) as has been suggested by some watchers. We’ve never had a case here, but the parasite could be present in the local pigeon population and transferred in the prey.

    1. Sadly, I knew. It was hard to turn the blog around this morning as, like everyone else, we had hoped that Rubus was up soaring with Indigo. A piece of our heart has been pulled out…but, yes, it would have been helpful to know about the trichomoniasis. If it is in the pigeons. It can be overcome with antibiotics so I return to Shines putting Rubus back up in the tree. There needs to be a protocol for grounded raptors. If on the ground they go to care for a check up. If OK, they are released. If not, kept and treated and then released. I continue to wish as I know everyone else does that this had happened.

      1. Jill says:

        I didn’t know if you had seen the video from a few days ago when Xavier arrives at the box distressed (see link). I didn’t want to comment in chat, but can’t help but wonder if this was the moment that they knew they had lost their chick. The mod posted this as a short bonding, but perhaps it was something else.   My heart is broken (again) for this little one who wanted nothing more than to survive. He tried so hard and as humans we gave away our responsibility to ensure his survival.

         FalconCam Project~Diamond arrives for a short bonding💞2:52 p.m. 2022/11/25

        | | | | | |


        | | | | FalconCam Project~Diamond arrives for a short bonding💞2:52 p.m. 2022/11/25




      2. Dear Jill, I will seek these out. This system seems to only show the titles but I can find them. But, without looking, I have seen adults/parents bond after the loss so your instincts on what was going on in the scrape could be ever so valid. It is extremely heart wrenching that Rubus was not put into care when the opportunity presented itself. In fact, I believe that in memory of Rubus, there should be a straight forward protocol – any downed raptor is to be placed into care for examination. If fit to return to the wild, it is released where it was picked up or at the known nesting area. If not, stays into rehab until the bird can be returned to the wild or is offered as an ambassador. Then no one has to worry about a missed opportunity. I am certain that the individual who had Rubus in their arms feels horrible right now.

  5. Akane says:

    Thanks for all the updates. And thanks again for the sweet kitty pictures and the Dyson pictures.
    I have always thought Indigo looks like Izzi and Rubus looks like Yurruga…
    How sad that the results are so similar too. It is very heartbreaking 😢.
    I pray for Samson, Aldin and the other missing birds.

    1. I am so glad you have enjoyed the kittens and seeing Dyson. She is so fat and fluffy this time of year and appears to be in good health. I have been concerned for the squirrels because the city has marked trees to be cut. So far their trees are safe and healthy! Thank goodness. Yes, I thought much the same. Izzi and Indigo! I felt that little Rubus was always fragile from the beginning until he started running all over the scrape. It is very heartbreaking every time we lose one. Hoping, like you, for the safe return of the others.

  6. Sabine says:

    Oh no, it’s so heartbreaking about Rubus! He brought us so much joy and happiness by growing up from that much younger fluffball into a strong falcon fledgling. All the beloved peregrine falcon families have lost one of their precious offsprings this year – Annie & Alden, Collins mum & dad, and now Xavier & Di. Survival really is as tough as the statistics show. Hoping from the bottom of my heart for Samson to return and for Rita to overcome her injury! Thank you, Mary Ann!

    1. Rubus was such a character…it is a reminder of how fragile their lives are. They teeter on the edge. Sabine, if we could harness the love and the feeling of loss this morning and do something to make the world better there would be a sea change for our feathered friends.

  7. Bootsie says:

    I first started watching sw fl eagles Harriet M15 season 10 i needed to smile laugh losing job to covid two breast cancer surgeries back to back radiation a son catatonic and having to rent part of my house to a TENANT to survive. I smiled laughed rejoiced with E19 E20 now season 11 and an egg laid HOWEVER i just learned about GABBY and Samson and its upsetting depressing heart breaking im just learning about bald EAGLES and this is disturbing MATE for life i thought i married man of my dreams ive KNOWN since 1986 married and divorced 2019 he moved out Feb 2020 after i had lost my job covid and had breast cancer surgery Dec 2020 SO watching GABBY and missing Samson is breaking my HEART as did my divorce of 8 years marriage knowing edward sunce 1986

    1. Dear Bootsie, Thank you so much for your comment. First of all, I can just tell that you are a very strong woman and have had so many challenges to overcome. Yes, you understand fully what Gabby is feeling. I cannot even imagine her and Ron – Gabby without Samson and Rita without Ron. The last couple is for sure. I really hope that Samson returns. These birds become like members of our family. They bring us such joy and well, we hold their hand or wing when they are troubled. How does a human explain to Ron that Rita was injured and that is why she isn’t there? I just hope Samson returns…I do feel he is injured and that is why he is not back because he is not healed enough to fight off these intruders. When he is, he will come home. Soon please! If he is no longer with us, then I hope Gabby gets a good mate. — I also cannot image two breast cancer surgeries back to back but you survived them, Bootsie. More power to you. It is unfortunate that your husband was not strong enough to hold your ‘wing’. I wish you good health – and let us hope that we have two feisty eaglets from Harriet and M15. I see she laid her second egg a few hours ago.

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