New Year’s Day in Bird World

1 January 2023

Happy New Year Everyone!

From my family, from Missy and Lewis, and from all the garden animals, we wish each of you the very best for 2023. It means the world to me to know that there are so many people, from all over the world, caring so much for the health and safety of our feathered friends. It is comforting in a world where the news is often full of doom and gloom to read about a species on the rebound, to see the efforts of the many groups including Conservation without Borders track and find a single osprey and bring attention to it so that villagers care, or others who battle the injuries our raptors suffer daily.


It has finally happened. All of the old calendars are put away and a new one is on the fridge. At one point, several years ago, I thought that paper calendars would be replaced by digital ones but, that seems not to be the case. This year so many groups had fundraisers by selling calendars. It was so difficult to choose but I want to give a shout out to Mary Cheadle from the Friends of Loch Arkaig and Heather C at Glaslyn. They both go above and beyond making sure to get their calendars to all parts of the world without a problem. I love the Friends of Loch Arkaig calendar with images of Louis and Dorcha and their family, Glaslyn is full of super quality photographs of Aran and Mrs G with their kids, the smaller format BTO Calendar has the cutest puffin on the cover and is full of images of the birds on The Red List, while DaniConnorWild has both a Red Squirrel Calendar and a Wildlife one this year. Every group has a fundraiser and it is difficult to choose! My plan is to rotate them throughout the year – and I do get to see the holidays in Wales and the UK that are different from ours in Canada.

If one of your resolutions for 2023 was to cut down your carbon footprint, then a study and a quiz in The New York Times ‘What’s the Best Way to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint’ might be an eye opener. The article is really interesting and confirms some of what I have read in Bill McGuire’s Hothouse Planet. Here is the article – take the quiz, see how you do! You might be very surprised.

Before fireworks are set off for any celebration including the new year, a word of warning. They not only scare and harm our pets but they decidedly harm the wildlife including, of course, our birds. Dogs are especially sensitive and Missy and Lewis were particularly upset but it was not until a few moments ago that I realised the timing of their upsetness. The fireworks were set off around 2230 not midnight. Please spread the word!

Read more on REGI caring for bald eagle injured by fireworks at https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/08/regi-caring-for-bald-eagle-injured-by-

There are many articles popping up on the Internet. Now how do we get the right people in the city offices to sit down and consider not having fireworks? The research suggests that the birds are more devastating to birds than other wildlife.

life/body=Check out this article https://benitolink.com/fireworks-can-have-devastating-effects-on-wild

Today I have received several notes from concerned readers. Some are staying up with their pets to comfort them if the fireworks scare them. Others are demanding accountability for the millions spent that could be used for other things. The fireworks in Sydney, Australia cost 5.8 million Australian dollars. Unbelievable. But, I am not just picking on Sydney. Across the world, fireworks lit up the skies at a time when people and the planet are struggling. Would it not be money better spent on schools, health care, the environment? I started wondering how much each wildlife rehabber would get if that money was divided up amongst the centres in and around Sydney? and all the other huge centres around the world that set them off last night. Oh, I am such a party pooper!!!!!

Now on to some really good news. It just shows how a group representing our beautiful eagles and the wildlife can band together and stop developers. How awesome.

You may remember that there was a development proposal for 50 luxury condominiums in the Big Bear Valley. FOBBV set about to try and block this development. The good news is they won! A win for the environment and the wildlife including our beloved Jackie and Shadow who live in Big Bear Valley. We can win. We just have to have solid facts and a persuasive argument. Congratulations FOBBV!

Our legal challenge to San Bernardino County’s approval of the Moon Camp development project was successful! The Superior Court ruled in our favor on two items— The proposed mitigation for the destruction of acres of endangered Ashy Gray Paintbrush was invalid; and The potential impacts to fire evacuation from this project were inadequately analyzed and mitigated.Background: In 2020, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Center for Biological Diversity and San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society filed a legal challenge under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) to the County approval of Moon Camp. The proposal was for 50 (luxury home) lots and a 50+ slip private marina. The property is a primary foraging site for our Fawnskin nesting bald eagles and other wintering bald eagles. The site hosts 17 acres of endangered Ashy Gray Indian Paintbrush and Pebble Plains habitat found only in Big Bear Valley, as well as other endangered plant and wildlife species.

Jackie and Shadow were both at the nest today. Apparently Jackie didn’t stay miffed. Yesterday Shadow brought a big fish to the nest and wasn’t sharing. Shadow!!!!!!!

Jackie was sure trying out that nest bowl. She had some people wondering if she was going to lay eggs. It would seem she is just testing but, they could surprise us.

The storm came through and left a lot of snow on the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Doesn’t it look like a magical winter fairyland?

FOBBV has posted a banner saying they are now on ‘egg watch’ for Jackie and Shadow.

Rose and Ron have been working on the WRDC nest. Will they have eggs this year, too? Remember the season in Florida can extend to May! What a long time. It would sure be nice for the hatches to be spread out a little. Then we could enjoy each separate nest a bit better.

I hope that you took the time to watch the video clip of the feeding at Superbeaks that was on yesterday’s blog. PePe and Muhlady are managing the two eaglets fine. There is lots of prey brought to the nest and Muhlady fills the oldest eagle up to the brim. It staggers away ready for a food coma – or simply to watch Mum feed the younger sibling. Everything is very civilised and it appears – but, it is difficult to see – that both are doing well. A parent was on a branch and the eagles, now that they have their grey thermal down, are being left alone. Still, a parent is very near!

One eaglet is sleeping (left) and one is peering out over the rim on the right. Squint!

It is nearing 1500 at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. V3 has been in and out all day, once arriving even panting. Gabby has not been at the nest yet since 1755 on Friday. She is most likely nearby on another tree. And BTW. If you saw the picture of V3 with something hanging from his beak – he just didn’t use his napkin properly (or at all!). It is grass not fishing line. No worries there.

Gabby was certainly around and at 0700 the pair – and they do now seem to be a couple – were working on their nest. Let us wish them the best for 2023. We wait to see if there will be eggs and little eaglets.

I have said it so many times. Everyone reading my blog for any period of time knows that I get really nervous when the second egg hatches and if there is a third hatch, I start breathing deeply. The little one at the Kistachie National Forest nest E3-02 is getting stronger and staying more upright. There is lots of fish which Alex and Andria also love to eat. The second image shows the difference in size of the two eaglets. The eldest really got a great head start because it was so strong when it hatched. That second hatch, on the right in the image below, is just a cutie pie. Such a little sweetie.

Just look at the size difference.

There is a lot of fish on this nest just like there will be on E1. Alex and Louis really take advantage of the fact that Kincaid Lake is right at their door step and it is stocked!

With so much fish on this nest, the adult can feed one til it is full and passes out and then turn their attention to the other one who will get all of their attention and lots of fish – unless Mum tires out! They are doing well at this nest. In the image below, the first hatch is full with a nice crop. It just sits there nicely and watches the wee one getting fed with no trouble.

Alex is a real keeper and like M15 and Samson, steps up to feed the little one. E3-01 was fast asleep and he fed 02 to the brim! Thanks, Alex.

The little one got some nice bites during the second feeding, 0738, of the morning on New Year’s Day.

Nancy and her new mate were at the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest today doing some restorations. It will be awhile til there are eggs on this nest.

It is Pip Watch at Metro Aviation Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana.

It is about a week til we will be on pip watch for Connie and Clive at the Captiva Eagle nest on the Barrier Islands in Florida. So far everything looks good.

Everyone is a fan of Harriet and M15 and we are about 2 days away from pip/hatch watch at their Southwest Florida nest on the Pritchett property.

Things are going to start to happen so quickly at these eagle nests that we will simply not be able to keep up!

Challenger the Bald Eagle, known for flying in football stadiums and at the Super Bowls, is retiring at the new AMERICAN EAGLE FOUNDATION Centre in Tennessee. His successor is currently named Atlas and is being trained to become an ambassador. What intrigued me was the statement that Atlas will not be flying in sporting events but will be attending various environmental events including those with fisherman to educate them on recycling monofilament line and the use of lead. What a great change! From entertainment to education. Fantastic.

Don’t you just feel so good inside when a kind person stops and helps a raptor in need? Here is the result of quick action on everyone’s part. Remember always. We love seeing the raptors grow up in the nest from hatch to fledge but it is a very challenging world they face and it is the wildlife rehabilitation centres that put them back together and give them a second chance at life. So when you are donating – anything from clean old sheets and towels, cat food, time, or money – think of your favourite rehabber!

Injured bald eagle returns to Cave City skies

It looks like Ferris found a Red-tail Hawk on his tour of the Cornell Campus late Saturday afternoon. There was some discussion about the band. Big Red is banded but the chatters seem to think that this band protrudes a big. Is it BR? Dark brown eyes so not L4.

Before Ferris could focus the camera, she was off!

Cilla Kinross caught Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo flying around the tower. There is a prey drop, too. Watch carefully.

Cilla Kinross posted some images she took away from the streaming cams. Thanks Cilla, they are lovely!

I do love ducks, any ducks. Still, I cannot fathom what 28,000 Red-head ducks floating on water in the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan would look like. Can you imagine the sound? Most people seemed to think it was an oil slick. Why were there so many? and why did others gather with them? Have a read.

The extreme weather of 2022 was more than a misery to wildlife who endured searing heat, flooding, landslides, extreme cold and more. The climate crisis is making population numbers dwindle. While the article is about the UK, it could well be written about areas of all countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/28/uk-wildlife-devastated-by-litany-of-weather-extremes-in-2022?CMP=share_btn_link

Thank you so very much for being with me the first day of 2023. Please take care. Thank you again for all of your messages of good cheer. They are so appreciated. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their videos, posts, notes, and streaming cams which make up my screen captures: The New York Times, FOBBV, Benitolink, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, KNF-E3, MN-DNR, AEF, WNYK, Ferris Akel Tours, Cilla Kinross, The Guardian, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, WRDC, and Window to Wildlife.

6 Comments

  1. Cindy Hunter says:

    Happy New Year Mary Ann! Wishing you all the best in 2023 and beyond! You can’t imagine the joy and education you bring to me and others. My day is not complete until I read your blog. I don’t know how you research, “reply to all”, and write such extensive, educational information so frequently!!!

    I have to admit that I have named “our squirrel,” Dyson. Our Schnauzer can distinguish which one she is and goes nuts when she arrives!

    Thank you for the joy!!

    1. Oh, Cindy, thank you so much for your note. It is my pleasure and I am so glad that you are enjoying the blog and that there is something in it that is worthwhile. It means the world to me to hear that. Thank you for taking the time to write me. And I am so thrilled that there is another squirrel named Dyson! May they live long and bring us much pleasure – and it sounds like Dyson has already won the heart of your dog. That is splendid. Happy 2023!

  2. InstructorRita says:

    Happy New Year! I hear you when you say 5.8 mil could be distributed to nests and rehabbers…but it is all about tourism. It brings Sydney big bucks on the return for such a display. An educational tour I was considering, included New Zealand but not the southern island, home to the royal albatross. Since my heart was set on the south island, this trip was declined; there will be a time. Thanks for your excellent nest news coverage, it is an exciting time all around for N.A.’s eagles, and, viva la FOBBV ❤️. Go well 😊❤️🎉

    1. Hi Rita, Yes, tourism and business and profits growing from one year to another. Birds also bring in tourists!!!!!!! Just like the trip you were planning – and what a trip that would be. With your huge knowledge of the sea birds in the region, it would be amazing. I hope you get there!!!!!!! All the very best to you for 2023, Rita. I hope that it is a fabulous year for you.

  3. Geemeff says:

    Fireworks and wildlife: well done to Scarborough Council for cancelling the NYE fireworks to protect Thor the Walrus!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-64139048.amp

    1. Oh, this is fantastic news. Just what we need to hear. Thank you so much Geemeff for sending this link!!!!!!! And hats off to Scarborough. More Councils need to be as bold and forward looking.

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