Ron has a mate or two?…and more news from Bird World

20 December 2022

Good Morning to All,

Today is hair cut day in our house and the hairdresser is coming to us! I knew a wonderful woman who started this service when I lived in the UK. It would have been perfect during the pandemic and we wish this young person well. I am thrilled not to have to dig my car out of the snow! Nonetheless, the sun is trying to poke out of the clouds and blue skies are coming. It is now -21 degrees C and either a good day to stay in as planned or a day for a heavy coat and boots!

Nest News:

It seems that we are still waiting to see things settle down for Gabby. However, Ron is looking younger and feistier than ever with his new gal. It was a big surprise when I got a note from ‘H’ in the mail. It seems that Ron in the Miami Zoo was busy courting while we wondered if he was out fishing. Busy working on the nest. We all thought he was pining away for Rita! Well, it appears not. There is a new woman and as ‘H’ suggests, it looks like he has been cultivating the relationship for awhile now.

Here is a short video clip of the female bringing in a stick to the nest. Ron didn’t mind. It was as if he was expecting her. I suspect he has been courting her for some time before asking her home!!!!!! He wants it to go well.

Well, my goodness. You are a sly one, Ron! She is a beauty. We are all so happy for you knowing that we knew Rita could not return. It looks like you knew that as well. Congratulations! I hope she loves your Papadam nest built by Ron Magill and friends! For a long, long time. Some are suggesting her name is Rose. I do not yet know if that is official but, there is talk about banding future eaglets from the nest so we can learn of their dispersal. That would be wonderful.

Well, just when we thought it was settled for Ron there is a new female in the nest this morning! Goodness.

Things still do not seem to have settled at the nest of Gabby. Oh, how we all wish to wake up and see a handsome lad on that nest who can not only win Gabby’s heart but keep all of the other intruders at bay.

Lady Hawk caught the interaction between V4 and V6.

The AEF got it, too:

As night falls, it appears that V6 is back on the nest with Gabby.

There were some chortles happening when the IR camera came on and V6 flew to another branch (or off the tree altogether).

To be continued….Gabby and the Revolving Nest!

Iowa has received its share of snow. The landscape is lovely and the Eagles at Deborah are working on their nest today despite the weather.

This is the nest over at Decorah North today.

Liberty and Guardian were checking on their nest today, too. It was early morning in California! Everyone it seems is starting to think of breeding season! So nice to see you Liberty and Guardian.

Port Lincoln did a 23 minute close-up video of Zoe. She is really beautiful and I hope her and her pink bracelet thrive. Her flights are not going far from the barge. Perhaps in the new year.

I have to give Pepe and Muhlady a big hand. What a great parents they are. Pepe keeps huge fish coming on to the nest and Muhlady continues to care for the eaglets. It seems that even Pepe has turned out to be excellent at feeding those chicks. You can hear them and we are beginning to get better glimpses of their little heads. I am always reluctant to recommend a new nest but, I am going out on a limb and suggesting you might want to watch this one! I will put the camera link below.

Well, that is what it does to me every time I try to copy their link. Go to YouTube and search for Superbeaks Eagle Nest. You will find them!

Pepe has just brought in another one of his sharks and he seems to be quite hungry. The little ones are asking for fish, too and he is happy to oblige.

Connie and Clive have beautiful weather to incubate their two eggs on Captiva Island, part of the Barrier Islands hit so badly by Hurricane Ian.

I didn’t see Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear today but you can hear the snow dripping as it melts slowly up in the mountains east of Los Angeles.

Here is the link to their new cam if you do not have it.

One of my favourite nests is E-1 in the Kistachie National Forest of Anna and Louis. Two years ago this young couple hatched and fledged the first eaglet off this nest since 2013. Louis is a tremendous fisher – Master Class all around. He piles the nest up. They had a fledge in 2020 and another in 2021. Let’s see what happens this year. We can be sure that Louis will bring in a lot of fish (our there is something seriously wrong) and Anna will be equally hungry – she loves her fish, too. There is a chat and a great team of moderators including Tonya Irwin and the rangers, Cody and Steve.

From the Mailbox:

‘G’ sent me a link to a nest in South Africa that has new babies, just hatched. The nest was built for Bush Babies but the feathered friends took it over.

So what is a Green Wood Hoopoe? I didn’t know and this is what eBird says, “An elongated, metallic-green-black bird with red feet and a long, decurved, red-orange bill. Juveniles have dark bills but are often in the company of adults. It flies heavily, with the long floppy, white-tipped tail dangling behind. Pairs and groups of up to 14 birds are highly social, occupying savanna, woodland, riverine forest, and gardens, where they nest and roost in natural cavities. Clambers in trees, probing bark and crevices for insects and small vertebrates. They communicate using a strong cackling chatter that sounds maniacal. The almost identical Grant’s and Violet woodhoopoes (with which it sometimes hybridizes) differ from Green Woodhoopoe only by having a coppery-purple (not glossy greenish) metallic sheen.

This nest will be fun to watch. Great timing too.

Migration News:

Checking on Karl II and his family. There has been no news from Karl II and Kaia since they arrived in Africa. Kaia was in Chad and it is assumed that Karl lost contact and is safe in his winter grounds. All contact was lost with Bonus when he flew over the Eastern Desert. The only one of the Black Storks from Karl II’s family still transmitting is Little Waba who continues foraging around the Nile River. The joke is he went down one side and is going back up the other. The fear is he will land in Khartoum.

Still, he is safe, he is eating, and he is moving. That is what counts right now!

The area is near the eastern shore of the huge Merowe Reservoir.

Let us hope that the entire family of Karl II has a good winter and returns safely to their nests in Estonia in the spring.

‘J’ wrote to ask me how the book was going. Well, Slow Birding is highly recommended! I was not distracted to go to one or another projects and I am about a third to a half finished with it. The writing is excellent and covers birds such as the Blue Jay, Cooper’s Hawk, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Flickers, White-throated Sparrows, and American Coots amongst many others. I had no idea that there is not a State in the US that does not have a Blue Jay for its ‘bird’. How could this be? The author, of course, asks the same question. Just watching Junior and the three nestlings grow to fledge this year with the little ones tapping on the window when the peanuts were gone was incredible. They brought laughs and big smiles every day. Their noise does not bother me. Indeed, like the Crows, they are most loud when the cats come around wanting to harm the other birds. The author obviously loves her garden birds and did, when she was teaching, have her students undertake slow birding. There are activities within the book but, I promise you will never look at a House Sparrow the same way you did before reading this volume. I do highly recommend it and if you have a birding friend that needs a gift, it would be a welcome one to their library. There are no beautiful coloured photographs which is fine. I prefer a good read. There are some lovely black and white drawings and it is the text that is so remarkable!

For those who have marvelled at Alden and Xavier helping out with the eyases or the new M2022 at Melbourne, many scientists did DNA tests on quite a large number of nests of the different birds in the book. Many males were found to be caring for the chicks of another! This includes European Starlings. The book is full of similar findings that are quite intriguing. There is something to learn on every page.

It is a lovely sympathetic book bringing out things about the most common of birds that are relatively unknown. I think you will appreciate these garden birds much more after reading it. Sadly, it focuses on the US and I know my friend, ‘J’ who has never seen a Blue Jay in Germany would love to! Maybe someone will do a backyard study of European birds. I would enjoy learning about them, too. Perhaps it is you. But please do not think, for a second, this book would only be useful or of interest to Americans. There is plenty of science and cultural traditions weaving their way through the pages and mention of other countries that I think anyone would find it a great read – and useful to return to as a reference. There are few volumes I can say that about.

Speaking of books, here is an announcement that might be of interest to some of you:

Thank you to everyone for being with us today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, their notes, streaming cams, etc that make up my screen captures: ‘G’ and ‘J’ for their notes and suggestions, Pacific Rim Conservation, Looduskalender Forum, Live Nest Cam and the Green Wood Hoopoe, KNF-A1, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Redding Eagles, Deborah North and Deborah, and Raptor Research, Lady Hawk, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, and J Strassman, Slow Birding.

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