29 January 2022
Good Morning Everyone,
There are two big news items this morning. The test results on Sue and Otto, the beloved Syracuse University Red-tail Hawks and Zoe, the Port Lincoln 2022 Osprey fledgling.
Sadly, it was no coincidence. Testing reveals that Sue and Otto, the long time resident Red Tail Hawks at Syracuse University, had Avian Flu. There are still tests pending. How did they catch it? They either ate infected prey, came into contact with the saliva of an infected bird or the feces of an infected bird. We know that Avian Flu is around. We read about it several times in a fortnight and yet, when it hits home to two much beloved Red-tail Hawks, it becomes more real. Our condolences go out to everyone.
This is a very frightening situation with regard to birds and waterfowl in the area. It is a distance of 59 miles from Syracuse to Cornell which is at at the southern end of Cayuga Lake.
Sue and Otta together in a much happier time. They raised 28 eyases to fledge.
Here is the announcement:
In other news:
People can make a difference. We do not have to sit back and let developers and governments allow sacred woodlands to be destroyed. Have a read!
On Ferris Akel’s Saturday tour to the wildlife areas around Ithaca, New York, there were lots of ducks – Red Heads and Canvas Backs – Canada Geese and Tundra Swans along with Mallards and Mergansers. Oh, I do miss the waterfowl and can’t wait for April when they start returning to Manitoba to breed.
The waterfowl in the images below, captured during Ferris Akel’s tour, is at the northern end of Cayuga Lake. Please look at the map I posted above to locate Cayuga Lake, Syracuse, and then Cornell so you know where Sue and Otto had their nest and where Ferris takes his tours (he does not go to Syracuse on Saturdays).
A Common Merganser.
An adult Tundra Swan and below it a juvenile.
Note the grey head and the bill which is not solid black – the indications of a juvenile Tundra Swan.
A group of 3 adults and a single juvenile Tundra Swan preparing to land on Cayuga Lake.
A Mute Swan. Note the different bill.
Notice the orange bill and the bulging nodule above the bill plus the black patch from the eye to the bill. A Mute Swan. Mute Swans are larger than Tundra Swans. The Tundra Swans have a black bill and black legs.
A good comparison of the Mute Swan and the Juvenile Tundra. Despite the Mute being farther behind, you can see how much larger these swans are than the Tundra.
A pair of Mute Swans.
Bald Eagles on a partially frozen pond – both adults and juveniles.
Always nice to lurk and listen to Ferris’s tours and then jump up to look if he finds Big Red, Arthur, and any of the kids on the Cornell Campus. No hawks today!
I have to start with Zoe who is 134 days old today. Yesterday (Sunday in Australia) she left the barge and flew to White Flats where there is a River and a Reservoir. Dad brought her one fish on Saturday; it is not known if she caught any fish herself . She remained on the barge in the rain Saturday evening. What ever possessed our girl to fly off and head inland instead of staying by the water is beyond me but, if you recall, Solly also travelled inland at times surprising everyone. Has our girl left her natal nest for good? I feel a little overwhelmed with Zoe leaving. She was always there, screaming for fish. I imagined she would be there much longer.
She flew off the nest at 07:55:43. It was windy and the water was choppy.
Zoe prepares for her take off.
Zoe has been gone for almost four hours at the time I am writing this. Will she return to the barge? Or will these beautiful tail feathers be our last sighting of her at Port Lincoln? It is always a bittersweet moment. We want the fledglings to have their freedom and we want them safe at home.
If this is the last we see of you, Zoe, other than photographs and sat pak tracking, live a long life. Life it fully, have many chicks, stay safe, always have a full crop.
It has been a rough year at the Port Lincoln nest losing Little and Middle Bobs. Mum and Dad were brilliant throughout it all. They will be eating fish alone in peace without a screaming Zoe. They will be building up their strength again before it is August – and if time flies as fast as it has, we will just be seeing the UK Ospreys leaving for migration when Mum and Dad think of eggs again at Port Lincoln.
Parent enjoying a fish meal in peace without Zoe screaming wanting it. The time is 12:18.
There were 277 votes cast in the naming contest for the oldest eaglet at Kistachie National Forest (KNF) E3 nest. Hello Valentine. Votes for naming Valentine’s younger sibling will start next Friday at noon nest time. Then it will be the turn of Anna and Louis’s little one to get its name. We will vote on one out of three pre-selected names.
Valentine got to the table first but, 02 was not long in getting up there to enjoy some nice fresh fish.
Gabby and V3 were together at their nest early in the morning near Jacksonville. This is V3. Note the nick under the nostril on the right side.
This amazing new couple. V3 in the back, Gabby in the front.
Can you find Connick?
That little eaglet of Connie and Clive’s is changing rapidly!
Connick loves the freshest fish on the nest…don’t blame him/her. The old fish must be dry and a little hard.
The sun is setting on the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Connie and Clive and little Connick is cheeping and wanting some last fish – he is watching Connie eat. Don’t blame him! “Fill me up Mum!” Connie finished the fish and I did not see the wee one get any before fed. Connick was full already. He just wanted a topper. It is a long time til breakfast. At least 12 hours if not a little more.
Everything seems to be going fine at the nest of Ringo and Boots in Webster, Texas. Isn’t this wonderful? You might recall that little Boots had literally been plucked (back of head, nape, and upper back) of feathers. But, Boots wants to live and that is precisely what is happening – and the beaking has stopped. Wish we knew what started those frenzied attacks when the eaglets were so young but, at the same time, it is just nice it is over. So grateful for Paul White’s videos and updates.
It is little Boots time for some food.
If you are US Steel eagle fans, the eagles are working on the nest!!!!!
Nancy and her mate were also busy in Minnesota.
It is always a winter wonderland scene in Decorah, Iowa when the snow falls. Isn’t that just beautiful? What a gorgeous view for the eagles.
Nest restorations include new corn husks. Have you noticed all the different materials the eagles use for the interior of their nests depending on where they live?
This is the scene at Decorah North. I did not see anyone there today.
Jackie is gorgeous in the morning light coming from the sun rising over Big Bear Lake in California.
Jackie was quite alert today. The Ravens/Crows were around making noises at 0933 and I heard them again when I checked back at 1058. I wish they would go away and not want those eggs!
Everyone is doing fine at Superbeaks. They are working those wings. Pearl is 51 days old today and Tico is 50 days old. The next couple of weeks will speed by in a flash…and then we are into fledge watch around 77 days for Florida Bald Eagles.
What an amazing nest this has been to watch this year. I thank everyone who recommended it to me. Pearl and Tico are so healthy and PePe and Muhlady were amazing parents. There appeared to be not a hungry moment on this nest.
It is hard to spot any remaining dandelions. There are just gorgeous espresso juvenile feathers. Beautiful dark eyes and of course the beak is dark black and grey almost ombre style.
At the opposite end is our little butterball cutie pie, B16 at Berry College. Before we blink, B16 will be standing and walking just like Tico and Pearl.
Dad came in with a huge rabbit. B16 was really hoping that Mum might give some of that for lunch but, no, she went and dug in the pantry til she found something nice and ripe!
Ron and Rose can just crack you up! Heidi Mc caught an unusual moment from today for us.
Jack continues to deliver fish to Diane at the nest in St Petersburg. Eggs should be laid if Diane is on her normal schedule this coming week.
Mabel and Angus have been hanging out today at the Captiva Osprey nest. No eggs yet either! Soon maybe. Or not.
It looks like there is some question about whether or not the nest rails are high enough. No, they are not!
Last but never least. Annie and the New Guy caught on streaming cam. Thanks SK Hideaways.
I am so very sorry to have brought you the news about Sue and Otto. Avian Flu is deadly and it can spread like a wildfire. It has not dissipated during the winter months in North America as some might have hoped. Please keep all the birds and wildlife in your most positive thoughts.
Thank you so much for being with me. The nests are all in good form. No worries at all. Looking forward to seeing you soon! Take care of yourself.
Thank you to the following for the announcements, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Red-tailed Hawk Tales, The Guardian, Ferris Akel Tours, Friends of Osprey, Port Lincoln Osprey, KNF-E3, NEFL-AEF, Window to Wildlife, Paul White and the Webster Eagle Watchers, Pix Cams, MN-DNR, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Berry College Eagle Cam, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, and Achieva Credit Union.
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Good Sunday morning Mary Ann!
Thanks for these updates. It is indeed sad about the avian flu with our birds.
Let us keep them in our prayers and positive thoughts this season and always. Especially for Big Red and Authur being as close as they are to where Sue and Otto were nesting. It’s
Praying for all the birds. So glad that the little ones are doing well at all the nests. Hope Zoe is ok wherever she is. I wonder if she has seen Ervie out there?
Have a good and Blessed Sunday and take care! See you again soon here !
I have to say I am so glad 01 was not named Trey, given I believe 01 is female. I suppose Valentine could be a gender-neutral name, though it does have a specifically male variation (Valentino).
That map leaves me absolutely terrified at how close Ithaca and Big Red/Arthur/the Ls are to SU and the avian flu deaths of Sue and Otto, separated only by a lake full of waterbirds, the main carriers of said flu! I suppose it is going to be something of a lottery. Different birds will have different risk levels depending on their locations and feeding habits. The bald eagles, in theory, should fare best, as birds are a relatively small part of their diet (more fish with the odd rabbit or possum).
Falcons, on the other hand, are at the most risk, I would think, with a diet almost totally made up of other birds. That worries me because I am SO hopeful that Annie and her New Guy will produce a scrape full of fluffy white eyases this season. Things seem to be going along nicely between them. Let’s hope New Guy’s lovemaking is as good as his scraping.
Speaking of lovemaking, Harriet would be impressed at Rose giving Ron ‘the foot’. She is one pushy female. I laughed so hard watching Ron pressing himself flat into the nest! He’s NOT moving! Which leads to the question: Why is he so obsessed with lying in the nest bowl? It’s so strange.
It’s lovely to see our other favourite falcon couple, Diamond and Xavier, finally getting some uninterrupted adult time at Orange, much as we adore Indigo, though that familiar screech remains a reassuring sound around the campus. Bringing up two chicks was a big task this year, especially for Diamond it seemed. (We miss you, Rubus.)
This of course is why we come to love these birds so much – they have distinct personalities and fascinating social interactions. They don’t just hunt and breed instinctively and then die. They also live intensely real social and emotional lives, and once we truly see that, our relationship to them is forever changed. Mary Ann, thank you for helping so many people make that connection.
I am so late in responding to comments. My apologies. I am quite fearful of what might happen if the Avian Flu spreads like wildlife amongst the birds around Cayuga Lake and then BeeBee Lake. We live in hope! You are so right. They are such quirky individuals…adorable birds. Make our hearts melt.
Gosh, I’ll miss Zoe if she has left the nest for the long term, but glad she has the tracker to let us keep track of her adventures and hope she will be back for a visit sometime. Wishing her safe travels and good fishing. Mum and Dad will probably enjoy a little peace for a while in any case.
I found myself really worrying about her, too, Bill! She is OK. When that tracker went off after not hearing it was such a relief! She is on her way and I hope she lives a long, long time. So sorry for the late response.
While the loss of Sue & Otto is so sad – they leave a big gap – I can’t help feeling relieved that it was not down to animal cruelty which seems to be on the rise lately. Having said that, avian flu is a scourge and needs to be got rid of as a matter of urgency.
Fly high Sue & Otto…
So sorry for the late replies…it is a huge loss. I am glad that it wasn’t something sinister either, Geemeff. But terrified of what Avian Flu is going to do this year – in NA and in the UK and Europe.