6 February 2022
Good Morning Everyone.
More than 3600 people were watching. Around the world, tears of joy, amidst a strange almost disbelief, were flowing as M15 fed his youngest eaglet, E22. With each bite, 22’s crop seemed to get bigger and bigger. It was a sight that we have not seen since last week before his Mum, Harriet, disappeared after leaving the nest in the late afternoon on Thursday. We hoped for the best, prepared for the worst and when everything good came together just after 1600, none of us could hold back the joy.
The day did not start as hopeful. The pictures below are from the first fish feeding. 21 got all of that feeding but there was half a fish left on the nest. 22 managed to peck at some of the fish left on the nest.
22 even sat on it trying to get food. He is just not old enough and he was not strong enough to clasp down and pull out the fish but it did appear that he got some flakes.
That half fish was left on the nest. M15 flew in with another fish. He fed 21 til its crop was about to pop. Because 21 had eaten and eaten and eaten earlier, when it got full this time, it went over to the rim of the nest and went to sleep. E21 was watching and listening. He moved around to the bottom of the nest close to Dad. Dad leans in to offer 22 food. 22 is very frightened and he is starving. He used the technique of snatch and grab, snatch and grab in order to get as much fish into his body as he can in a short period of time all the while worrying that 21 will come over and start beaking him. But, it didn’t happen. M15 coaxes his youngest eaglet. The longer 22 is fed – and it was a long feeding in excess of 14 minutes (was it 20?), 22 begins to relax more, moves closer to Dad. M15 beams. He has done his job. Both of his eaglets are alive. Harriet would be proud.
I videotaped the first 5 minutes of the feeding. See how he has moved around the nest and how M15 brings food to his baby. Most of you will remember that M15, in the past, had always managed to help the underdog on the nest. I always wondered if maybe he wasn’t that underdog himself. Today, though, he pulled the Rabbit out of the Hat and created a miracle. E22 finished the feeding with a large crop. He will not die today! — And 22 has the instincts of a survivor. Eating anything on the nest regardless of what it is – fur or bone. Eagles have to do that in the wild. Watching and waiting. Sometimes the opportunity doesn’t arrive. It did today at 16:03.
Here is 5 minutes of that very long feeding!
What a difference when 22 feels ‘safe’ enough to get up close with Dad and eat. You can almost sense that 22 has forgotten about 21 fast asleep on the other side. That fish must have tasted delicious!
The man of the hour, M15.
The sun is setting on M15 and the Es in Fort Myers Florida. It will be the 4th night without Harriet. Send this family all your good wishes.
M15 also had to defend the nest. Lady Hawk caught it! Thanks ‘A’.
There is a lovely article with some of the history of the Pritchett eagles.
We must wait and have patience. It is hard to do. 21 is not going to immediately be nice and let 22 eat. Do not expect that. 22 on the other hand has some food and some strength and did, indeed, get enough food for the next 2 days. M15 also needs to eat. He has to be both Mum and Dad – a big job and he needs to care for himself.
The Stellar’s Eagle is back in Maine.
Three Kakapo are celebrating hatch day today – with three names!
From the Nests:
There is happiness in other part of Bird World and today, we are going to focus on them, for the most part.
Zoe seems to be moving! If the fishing were good at the ponds that Marge located, would Zoe leave? So what is up with our girl? Now I just wonder if Mum and Dad shouldn’t get the fish ready for their girl?
Rosa and Martin at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest in Virginia have their first egg of the 2023 season. Congratulations!
More first eggs – this time at the Osprey platform at the Venice Golf and Country Club in Florida.
At the Webster, Texas Bald Eagle nest Ringo is now out of the egg cup and crawling up to the table. Very good, Ringo!
It is always a good day at Superbeaks. Muhlady has brought in a huge fish in the last few minutes and Pearl and Tico have eaten well all morning (it is 1400 in Florida on Sunday). Just look at those beautiful wings. I hesitated to watch this nest and am so glad I did. It is on the top of my ‘to watch list’ for 2023-24.
Beautiful juveniles. Long curved beaks to tear the prey look as if they have been spray painted ombre, yellow smiles, piercing black eyes, and dark espresso feathers mark these eaglets as ‘juveniles’. So today the difference between a ‘juvenile’ eaglet and a sub-adult eaglet is age. A juvenile is an eaglet enjoying its first plumage. Remember those soft little white/grey downy nestlings. Well, that was replaced by the plumage you see below. An immature or a sub-adult is older than one year and has replaced this juvenile plumage for ‘immature’ plumage. When Pearl and Tico grow in new feathers next year, they will actually begin to turn a lighter brown. Sometimes the beaks will begin to change colour a bit. It is when they are 2 and a half that we should see more yellow on the beak and much more white beginning to appear, large white flecks, over their body. They will not, of course, have the pure yellow beak and white head with dark espresso body until they are adults at 5 years.
It is a gorgeous day in Florida. There are Brown and American White Pelicans in the water around the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Clive, Connie, and Connick. Simply gorgeous. Oh, I cannot wait for spring and the pelicans return to Manitoba! About a third of North America’s American White Pelicans spend their late spring and summer with us on the Canadian Prairies.
Oh, Connick! You look like you are having ‘fish’ dreams.
What a happy little eaglet.
Little B16 is good. That eaglet is really growing…I love how Pa and Missy are so loving and caring for this wee one. You just know it is so special.
Sunday evening they both wanted to feed the baby.
The weather around Big Bear Lake has gone from calm, to blustery with what sounded like blowing snow or ice pellets, to sunny. Jackie is being very vigilant about those two eggs…9 days folks.
Turn the volume down! Indigo is home!!!!!!
Oh, it is chilly at the nest of Bonnie and Clyde on Farmer Derek’s property. Amazing camouflage. Could you see Bonnie in the nest if you didn’t know she was there?
I have been, sometimes, worried about Nugget at the KNF-E3 nest. Even with so many fish on the nest, Nugget will hold back if Valentine is up eating. Happy to say they both seem to be doing quite well. Valentine’s juvenile feathers are really coming in and you can tell the two apart easily. Today, Valentine stood on the rails!
The Norths have been at Decorah North today working on the nest, eating fish, and looking out over their territory.
The identical behaviour is taking place at Decorah, the Bald Eagle couple near the trout fishery.
I have not reported on Gabby with everything going on at the opposite side of the State of Florida. She is great. Just look at these images of her and her big crop! What a beautiful female.
You could fool me into thinking that this is that amazing male with the grey head. Handsome. Did he return for a visit? I don’t see a nick on the right side under the cere. Not V3. Interesting.
He is hanging around the nest…are we in for another season of ‘As the Nest Turns?’
It has been a good day. There are a lot more nests, eggs being rolled, eggs thinking about being laid. The relief at seeing M15 feed E22 for what was a good 15 or so minutes was overwhelming. There had to be tears flowing around the world. Many had given up and I have to admit that I did not believe that 22 was going to make it without some kind of miracle. Well, that miracle came. So I am going to stop here and just ask you to continue sending the most positive wishes you can to the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest of M15 and the Es.
Thank you for being with me today. Take care. See you soon.
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Thank you to the following for their posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures and blog: ‘A’, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, News-Press, Joan Herzog and MAINE Birds FB, Kakapo Recovery, Friends of Osprey, Dulles-Greenaway Eagle Cam, Cathy Cohen and Ospreys (Pandion Haliaetus), Paul White and the Webster Texas Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, Window to Wildlife, Berry College, FOBBV, Elain and the Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Farmer Derek, KNF-E3, NEFL-AEF, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org
Thank you Mary Ann for all the updates. So glad that M15 gave little E22 💕the private feeding while E21 💕was sleeping! God Bless this nest 🙏
Still praying for Harriett to show up at her home ❤️🦅🙏
The male eagle visiting Gabbys nest is a really handsome one! He may be the same one from before. I’m
Surprised V3 didn’t run him off. We will
See what happens with ‘As the nest turns’ !
Have a good Monday evening Mary Ann and we look forward to hearing from you again soon.
M15 is “man of the hour” indeed. He’ll be up for “eagle dad of the year” if he can get E22 and feisty E21 to fledge in Harriet’s absence. I saw M15 got in a nice feed of 22 again midday today — not as long as yesterday, as 21 came out of food coma to reassert dominance — but hopefully enough to keep 22 going. E22 is fortunate to have M15 looking out for him/her. Thanks for all the updates, Mary Ann.