Good Morning Everyone! It’s Saturday. We hope that each of you had a good week. For those going back to school, it must have been a bit of a shock after the holiday break. Have a good weekend. Get outside if you can – even if it is only for a few minutes. Makes all the difference in the world smelling the fresh air, feeling the sun on your cheeks, and I hope seeing a bird!
The kittens have a new ‘enrichment’ activity toy.
They have had so much fun and have spent so much time figuring out things. Lewis can now use both paws. It is past midnight and Missey is working on her technique. Cute.
My top story is yet another death by lead. As long time readers will recognise, I am a big fan of all the work that the Ventana Wildlife Society and the LA Zoo do for the California Condors. So, today, when I received the link to this Twitter feed from Geemeff, I was once again saddened beyond belief. Lead in hunting and fishing equipment needs to be banned from being manufactured and used. Pull it off the shelves. There are alternatives – copper and stainless steel. Yes, at the moment because their production numbers are not as high as lead, they are a bit more expensive. About $1.50 US a box of cartridges for shooting I was told (not sure the size). So, the use of lead is not necessary. It is also not necessary by the military. Ban lead! Just do it.
First feathered friend for the 2023 Memorial Wall. So sad. It is so unnecessary that I just want to stand in the middle of the street and scream but that won’t help. So today I am going to write my Member of Parliament, the Honourable Web Kinew. He is Indigenous and has a good chance of being our next Premier in Manitoba. He might just care enough to do something when he has the power and the people. Clearly our current government in Manitoba will do nothing. But it needs to be a federal law here, in the US, everywhere-!!!!!!! So make a resolution to write to your Department of Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior in the US, your Congress member, and your Senator. Their e-mail addresses will be published. Then why not write your President.
BTW. The Ventana Wildlife Society is hiring a lead specialist for outreach to ranchers in the area of Big Sur and Pinnacles. Know anyone that fits the description? Please forward.
I always wonder if the DNR puts up a few bird cams to make us feel soft and fuzzy towards them. They derive huge income from selling hunting licenses. The specific amount is published. Check it out and then get mad. But don’t donate to their cameras until they take a stand against lead. A serious one. For those of you living in other parts of the world, check out the use of lead in your country and let me know what you find out. It would be appreciated.
While you are at it, how do you think about selling licenses to drill for oil and natural gas in pristine waters that could easily impact wildlife? aren’t we, as an international society, telling those folks in power that it is time to invest in renewables? not fossil fuels?
Have a look at this 1:39 minute video on the birds and the land in Alaska – and imagine an oil spill. Please help them by writing to your politicians pressing them to stop licensing for oil and natural gas – anywhere.
Hello Everyone! You cannot have my prey!!!!!!!!! Got that, Mum. I am telling everyone so they know – you cannot have it!
Elain’s great video for 6 January shows us the many visits of Indigo and the interactions in the scrape box at Orange on Charles Sturt University’s water tower! And, of course, it begins with Indigo arriving with prey screaming his head off!!!!!!
Well, it’s love. No other pictures of the sweetie pie E21 and Harriet needed. Just look at the love in a mother’s eye to her recently hatched wee one. Precious. Who says eagles do not have feelings?
Meanwhile, it is after 1700 on Friday and E22 is working away with its tooth visible trying to get out of that shell. Soon!
Oh, goodness. If you were watching, Harriet went to roll the egg and E21 got stuck on her talon and went out of the nest cup. The little ones cannot move to get back under Mum and they cannot regulate their temperature. Thankfully Harriet saw what had happened and within 10 minutes had E21 back under her by rolling it with her beak!!!!!!!!! It was a little tense watching it as Harriet had to stop a couple of times but she managed to get the job done. E21 had its first adventure!
Welcome E22! I saw you for the first time at 07:06.
A little later. You are more dried off and E21 is no worse for his adventure.
At 09:36:03, V3 flies in and meets Gabby on the nest. She sees him coming before he lands and begins calling.
The couple begin working on the nest. — I think that it is time to recognise that V3 is the ‘main man’ now. Whether or not this new pairing will produce eggs and eaglets this year is unknown. Will V3 be around next year if they do not have eaglets now? Who knows. For now, it is time to enjoy the two of them together and be happy for Gabby.
The couple get an entire five minutes together before V3 is off protecting the realm. I am thinking about getting him a Superman suit.
Both appeared back together on camera at 13:47. Give V3 a big hand of applause. He is keeping everyone else away from the natal nest. Bravo.
They are both constantly vigilant. Each one watching from different sides for intruders that could attack the nest. It has to be very stressful.
Gabby flew in with a huge crop and V3 flew in after her with a large crop, too. They dined together it seems.
They are a couple. They are together in the morning, during the day, and at night. No doubt about it. And who says they aren’t mating at their ‘special’ spot off camera??? Or maybe they aren’t. Who knows???
Superbeaks. Pearl is 28 days old today and Tico is 27 days. Let us examine the pair more closely through a few images. That is Pearl closest to the rails and little Tico at the back by Mum.
What do you notice about these two eaglets immediately? There could be several things.
Let’s work on some terms and the one I want is not in the image below!!!!!!!! Their rictus or smile is now yellow. This happens during week 4. Their eyes are the best 90% chocolate you can purchase! When they get older their eyes will lighten to that celadon colour that can be white, lightest of watery blue, or very light grey-green. Their cere is still black. Their Maxilla is black. These will change to chrome-yellow as they age. Now look. Dandelions on the top of the head with thick grey down. Those dandelions will begin to look like ‘Mohawks’ very soon. The blood feathers are growing in. This thick down will remain under them to help the eagles regulate their temperature. Now it covers all of their body.
Pearl is getting much more stable on her legs and was seen flapping her wings.
I thought I had a screen capture. One of the eaglets, Pearl, was flapping her wings building up some muscles. They are both developing just fine. There is so much food! Some chatters noticed a bit of bonking by Pearl to Tico and that Pearl had eaten most of one meal but, they are both fine. The last time I checked Tico was being fed.
Now just imagine. In 28 days time, Little E21 is going to look like the eaglet in the image above. Hard to get around that, isn’t it? They grow so fast.
Jackie and Shadow have been on and off their snowy nest all day.
Thunder and Akecheta were perched on Tor together today. Time 16:02.
Anna and Louis are not giving us any hints. For the past two years, this Louisiana Bald Eagle couple whose natal nest is E1 at the Kisatchie National Forest have had only one hatch. Will it be the same this year? Egg 1 is 38 days old today and egg 2 is 34 days old. The average hatch time in Louisiana is 35-39 days. So things are going to happen shortly. Wish them luck! This is their third breeding year together and both are nicely equipped to raise two healthy eaglets. Louis will just pile more fish on the nest. Can you imagine? He was so excited the first year, 18 fish (Anna brought in some to equal 20) on the nest at once!
The wee ones at the E3 nest of Alex and Andria are ‘lanky teenagers’ now. Not round little cuddly eaglets. They are growing their feathers and getting bigger and bigger. E3-01 was out of the nest cup the other day and E3-02 made that leap today.
Oh, precious. Notice. They do not yet have yellow smiles!!!!! But they do have black specks and those black specks indicate grey wooly down and feathers!!!!!!
Both eagles were at Decorah today. When you look at that image, I want to give a shout out to the Raptor Resource Project and Explore. They have done an amazing job – with the quality of the images – and their ability for close ups and pans. Just beautiful.
The juvenile was back at Decorah North.
Good news for Achieva Osprey fans. Barbara Snyder reports on FB that there was a successful mating attempt today. Diane’s leg must be getting better. Cannot think of more joyful news. Thanks Barbara!
Bird sightings in Dulwich. I could hug the author…they even like to see Sparrows. I wish so much that people who dislike sparrows would stop to think that not only do they need to eat but they are in rapid decline in certain locations. I love my sparrows. Each has a different face and some you come to recognise as they reappear daily.
Everyone reading my blog knows that habitat loss, climate change and the sheer impact of the human population is killing both wildlife and our planet. An article in The New York Times discusses the impact on various species. Save it and read it when you have time. But read it so that you can talk about this with others. Thank you.
My blog is mostly about raptors. But, I love all birds (and other wildlife) and I am absolutely entranced by Loons. As many of you know, I have wanted to get a good look at them and have travelled throughout my province trying to do so. I did finally see ‘two at a great distance’ in 2022. There is a new book out about loons. Stay tuned!!!!!!!! It has received rave reviews. I hope to have it read in a couple of weeks.
Thank you so much for joining me. I expect we will wake up to E22 with all of us holding our breath and hoping that E21 is a ‘darling’ of a big sib. Tomorrow one story I will be following is the loss of wildlife due to outdated farming and farmland practices in the UK. Don’t ever think it is just the UK. All I have to do is drive to the nature centre for my walk to see all the farmland given over to large housing developments. No birds there. Hardly a tree! There is more bad weather with more record breaking rainfall coming to California from the 9-14th. Jackie and Shadow could see lots of snow while our falcons and eagles in the Channel Islands will have rain. If you live in an area that has the potential for flooding and mudslides, please do take extra precautions. Everyone take care. Winter weather can be very hazardous. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, their Twitter feeds, their announcements, postings, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Geemeff, Ventana Wildlife Society, GoGreen, Cornell Bird Lab, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Birdie Cam, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, FOBBV, IWS and Explore.org, KNF-E1, KNF-E3, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Barbara Snyder and Achieva, Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam, The Guardian and Amazon.ca