Annie and the ‘new guy’, Gabby arrives home with an injury…and more for Saturday in Bird World

24 December 2022

When the sun is out and it is incredible cold, we get ‘sun dogs’. The Manitoba Weather Network posted this lovely image today and I want all of you to see what they look like. We love the ‘sun dogs’ but, it would be nice if they happened when it was not soooooo cold.

Wikipedia says, “A sun dog (or sundog) or mock sun, also called a parhelion[1] (plural parhelia) in meteorology, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to one or both sides of the Sun. Two sun dogs often flank the Sun within a 22° halo. The sun dog is a member of the family of halos caused by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere. Sun dogs typically appear as a pair of subtly colored patches of light, around 22° to the left and right of the Sun, and at the same altitude above the horizon as the Sun. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but are not always obvious or bright. Sun dogs are best seen and most conspicuous when the Sun is near the horizon.

In contrast, my daughter in law sent me a photo of an Egret that was seen on her travels in the Caribbean today. Oh, gosh. I miss those warm mornings waking up to the sound of the Tropical Mockingbirds. Look closely and you will see a very large Iguana!

The kittens are doing well. Lewis has decided that he prefers looking at birds and flowers on the laptop screen! He has offered to be my official helper this season. Meanwhile, Missy prefers to look at real birds outside.

The male eagle at the Centreport Bald Eagle Nest on Long Island, New York has died at 0347 on the 23rd of December. Him and his mate known only as Mom fledged 5 sets of eaglets. Dad did not appear to feel well during the past week. I do not know how old he was and no one is sure of the circumstances. He was rescued by Bobby Hovrath of WINORR but, nothing could be done. I believe a necroscopy will be performed to find out the cause of the death.

This leads me to a question by ‘A’ in the post: What are the latest thoughts on Avian Flu and its impact this year? (I am not saying that the male at Centre Port died of Avian Flu but, it is a possibility and we need to brace ourselves for more deaths this year due directly to H5N1).

Clearly, Avian Flu is on everyone’s mind. France and the UK are trying to implement strict protocols to fight this so that there is not another instance of millions of birds dying from the spread of H5N1, highly pathogenic Avian Flu. Here is one article from Nature:

The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) in the US is extremely worried about what might happen in 2023. Here is their latest announcement:

November 3, 2022—As bird flu outbreaks in wild birds and poultry continue across the U.S., the country approaches a record number of birds affected compared to previous bird flu outbreaks. Since early 2022, more than 49 million birds in 46 states have either died as a result of bird flu virus infection or have been culled (killed) due to exposure to infected birds. This number is nearing the 50.5 million birds in 21 states that were affected by the largest bird flu outbreak that occurred in 2015. Even so, the number of states affected in 2022 is already more than double the number of states that were affected in 2015. Although the overall risk to the general public from the current bird flu outbreaks remains low, it is important that people take preventive measures around infected or potentially infected birds/poultry to prevent the spread of bird flu viruses to themselves or to other birds/poultry and other animals, including pets. This applies not just to workplace or wildlife settings but potentially to household settings where people have backyard flocks or pet birds with potential exposures to wild or domestic infected birds”.

This article entitled ‘The World is Addicted to Chicken and so is the Avian Flu Virus’ is rather enlightening:

Continuing on with Bald Eagles, the E3 nest in the Kisatchie National Forest is now on Pip Watch! I can hardly believe it. Time flies as fast as the Concorde flew!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At Gabby’s nest near Jacksonville, Florida, there were two visitors today. V2 and V9. Looks like V9 was there towards the end of the day. Did he stay? what have him and Gabby been doing off camera? (if anything). V9 is certainly handsome and his resemblance to Samson has not escaped anyone. But -. We wait to see.

One of my fondest memories of Samson was his stepping in and feeding the eaglets especially the second hatch if the first had dominated a feeding. He was an incredible Dad.

Sadly, Gabby has been at the nest this morning with what looks like a puncture on her head. Send her your warmest wishes. It should heal on its own but, I hope this does not mean that there is a territorial fight with females for the nest. Poor Gabby. What a season she has had.

The WRDC Bald Eagle nest in Miami seems to be settling down. It looks like Ron and V2 have been spending much time together on and off the nest. Fingers crossed! Now if we can just get Gabby settled in with a new mate of her choice.

PePe is really trying to get the award for most fish in a nest in Florida. If you look the nest is already full of fish and he comes in with a huge shark. Everyone is eating well at Superbeaks. Incredible. Muhlady is really excited.

Elain’s wonderful video summary of the comings and goings at the scrape on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia beings with a warning kek-kek-kek from one of the adults.

Oh, I couldn’t catch it. Watch closely. Annie and the ‘New Guy’ beak kiss near the beginning of their bonding session. We will have to see but this looks serious.

For all of the Iris fans out there, Montana is now counting down the days til the oldest Osprey in the world returns to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana in the spring.

Iris is seriously gorgeous.

Getting anxious for Osprey season? I sure am so with the end of the year approaching, Richmond can be thinking about Rosie’s return. She is usually there by Valentine’s Day, the 14th of February.

If you are a fan of the Threave Ospreys, then you will be pleased to hear that one of the 2022 fledglings has been seen safely spending its winter in Senegal! Migration is so arduous and so many of the first year birds never make it to Africa. Just heart warming when they do.

Tim Mackrill has put together a really informative one hour talk on UK Ospreys and migration. You don’t have to listen to the talk all at one time, you can stop and start. However, if you are a huge osprey fan then I urge you to listen. Mackrill has been working with Ospreys for some time and is now head of the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation after working at Rutland Water and writing their ‘huge’ and beautiful book on the Rutland Ospreys.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their letters, their posts, their videos and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: The Osprey leadership Foundation, Friends of Threave Osprey, Golden Gate Audubon, Hellgate Osprey Twitter, Cal Falcons, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Superbeaks, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, Raptors of the World, the CDC, the Guardian, Nature, and to ‘A’ who asked about Avian Flu.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh thank you Mary Ann for all these updates, wonderful photos, news about the sun dogs, and links. It is a great Christmas Eve and hope all will do well at their nests.🙏❤️ We pray for Gabbys injury that there is no conflict with another female. I sure hope she chooses the one who favors Samson or the beige feathered one. But I’m sure she knows who she wants. ❤️🦅
    So sad to hear of the Centerpoint dad eagle passing. I sure hope the Mom is ok.
    I’m glad they are running the test. 🙏
    The photo of Lewis at the computer screen is so cute! They are very smart kittens indeed!💕💕
    Thanks for the video on the Ospreys at Christmas! I look forward to
    Watching this.
    Have a good day Mary Ann and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

    1. You are always so very welcome, Linda. gabby appears to be alright. I actually thought it might have been prey blood but it did look somewhat like an injury. She certainly has lots of eagles visiting – makes me dizzy. I have given up trying to keep them straight. it doesn’t matter anymore – the only thing that is important is she gets someone who will be very good at providing for her and protecting her and the eaglets. We live in hope!!!!!! Lewis loves to watch the birds on the screen but not outside. He is a very odd little kitten who I adore but, you cannot hardly ever separate him and Missy. Always touching one another with their arm wrapped around. I wonder if it is because they were moved so many times when they were so young.

  2. Alison says:

    Annie seems to be getting quite attached to her new suitor, who may be small but certainly appears very healthy. Just look how orange his feet and ceres are! I am still wondering where Alden is, but perhaps he is a wanderer, as someone suggested, saving damsels in distress.

    1. Sadly, dear Alden has not been seen since 23 of November so it has been more than a month. I want to also think of him flying around saving the widowed falcons! The new guy is rather cute and I think he could be a very good mate for Annie. He sure does love to scrape!!!!!!!!!!! Fingers crossed he is a good hunter and shares his food with Annie and those eyases.

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