Fireworks frighten the wits out of Diamond…Monday in Bird world

13 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The weather on the Canadian Prairies continues to be mild. The snow is slowly melting and the ice that sometimes forms at the edge of our roof where the heat escapes is disappearing, if it was there in the first place. The birds continue to sing a slightly different tune like they did yesterday and if I had not seen the forecast for colder weather to hit, one might believe that spring was around the corner. And of course, it is! Right?

As far as kittens go, they are now six months old. The tufts on Missy’s ears can be seen if you squint. She is now 8 lbs and 6 oz. and her tail looks more and more like that of a raccoon daily. Hence, the name Maine Coon. I don’t know if you can tell but her hair is thick and wooly, various layers to help these cats keep warm in the cold. Hopefully she will never experience it! I don’t know how she came to be alone, only days old, under a truck and taken to the Humane Society and then…adopted by us. Well, we are so happy she is part of the family!

Nests are very busy. The Ospreys that have eggs are incubating them. Still eagles laying eggs…Tico and Pearl growing…intruders that are protecting nests. It has been a busy few days. Watching the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty and hoping for egg 1 of the 2023 season…it will be her first egg in two years. Injury and female intruder complicated matters so that there was no clutch at this nest last year.

First up. Loud bangs and lights – fireworks set off in the night – terrified Diamond at the Orange scrape on the Charles Sturt University campus in Australia. Cilla Kinross is investigating and has called security. Have a look at Heidi Mc’s video from all of the cams. And remember this whenever you hear anyone thinking of celebrations with fireworks. They need to be outlawed.

Oh, I hope that Indigo and Xavier are alright. Thanks HMc!

Making News:

A Red Kite fell out of the sky…discovered to have several shotgun pellets in its body at rehab. Here is the story.

More at Raptor Persecution UK:

Most of us know this but, sometimes we need a little reminder and a nudge – the restorative power of nature! A walk in a forest, a stroll around the block, a trip to a park…sitting and listening to the sounds of birds. It is magic.

At the Nests:

Sadly, Jak and Audacity have lost their 4th egg to breakage. The root cause is the lingering DDT (DDE) in the region, the food, the fish – the Channel Islands. Some areas were exposed to more than others. This couple has not had a good history – so sad for the – but the outlook is not good as this has obviously impacted Audacity’s ability to form hard shells. Here is a report discussing the dumping of the DDT in the Channel Islands that helps us understand that dumping these horrific toxins in the sea was more extensive than was thought.

At the nest of Shadow and Jackie, Shadow spent the majority of the day incubating the eggs. He came in with a fish for Jackie and there was some concern about the eggs being left on and off during the day several times including 0919, 1029, 1151, 1439, 1541, etc. Some people thought that Jackie was missing but she isn’t. Is she getting some much needed time off the nest before she is brooding eaglets? With pip watch on a couple of days away, I wonder if this marvellous couple can hear their eaglets.

There was some question about how long eggs can be left and still have the eaglets be viable. If you recall, Milda left her eggs unattended in cold weather in Latvia for approximately 5 hours. No one thought the eggs would be viable but, yes, the two eaglets hatched sadly to later succumb to starvation. (It was a bad year for Milda the White-tailed Eagle as she had lost her mate right after laying her eggs). The on and off for these two for the past couple of days should not be a problem if we consider the situation at the Drube WTE nest of Milda.

Jackie mantling her fish at 12:55.

Rolling those two precious eggs at 15:15.

One of the times the eggs were left the longest, 1541-1749.

Official pip watch as stated by FOBBV is 15 February. Here is the daily recap with all the comings and goings as kept by FOBBV:

Connick is growing and growing and is one of the sweetest little eaglets. Nice fish coming on the nest and even a family meal together with Mum Connie and Dad Clive.

If you have been falling all the happenings at the SWFlorida Eagle nest, you will know by now that the Frequent Female Visitor has been protecting the territory and chasing away other intruders. Several have remarked that this behaviour reminds them of M15 when he arrived as the Frequent Male Visitor. M15 wound up helping Harriet look after E6.

The highlights of Sunday at the SWFlorida nest are – E22 did a fantastic mantling job on a nice piece of fish that he snatched and grabbed from the first delivery at 10:04. It is the first time that E22 has been seen mantling.

Due to the lack of deliveries the past couple of days, 21 is feeling a bit peckish and decided to beak 22 just to remind the younger sibling who eats first. Well, M15 fed both eaglets, 21 first, manoeuvring that fish so that 22 got a feeding, too. It was a good sized fish. Both ate and both had crops of various sizes. Well done, Dad.

E22 is being submissive while 21 eats first.

This is E22 at 1040. It looks like a pretty good crop to me.

The presence of the Frequent Female Visitor is disturbing M15’s ability to hunt. At 14:44 I noted that no other prey items had been delivered.

At 1532 M15 is on the nest and pulls half a fish from the nesting material. It is not entirely clear how much fish each eaglet received. I continue to remind myself that Dad needs to eat..if the eaglets are hungry then imagine that Dad is too.

22 held back and was rather submissive. In the end, it had some fish. Both ate today. Not as much as those days when 5 or 6 deliveries were coming in but they both ate. This is important. 21 will stay peckish and peck if it senses that food is scarce. It is a survival mechanism. All of us know this and we also will recall that this nest is quite calm when adequate prey is coming in. Send positive wishes. With everything going on, M15 needs all our love!

E22 found some fish scraps and is enjoying them.

The eaglets are hungry. Dad is hungry. Let us hope that more fish come to the nest or a nice big rabbit today…All intruders need to disappear!

Martin and Rosa at the Dulles Greenway nest in Virginia have their third egg. It was laid today. Congratulations to this extremely popular eagle couple.

Just a reminder! One more day and suggestions open for Annie’s ‘New Guy’ at Cal Falcons. Needs to be related to Cal-Berkeley and should be male – since we obviously know the gender! Search for Cal Falcons on FB or Twitter.

As we near Valentine’s Day, we can start looking for the arrival of Rosie at the Osprey nest in SF Bay. And speaking of Ospreys, ‘A’ wonders when the ospreys will start arriving in the UK. Well, ‘A’, Blue 33 and Maya are often the first to arrive at Rutland Water around 26 March. 6 weeks or so away. The time will pass quickly! I see no news on Zoe’s transmission. Get into cell range, Zoe! Please.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, announcements, and streaming cams that make up my blog: Heidi Mc and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, South Essex Wildlife Hospital, Raptor Persecution UK, The Guardian, Phys.Org, FOBBV, Window to Wildlife, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Sassa Bird and Dulles-Greenaway Eagles, and Cal Falcons.


  1. Sabine says:

    Hi, Mary Ann! Thank you for another thoughtful post ♥️ Just a small note – Milda is ours – Latvian. But the story’s completely accurate. She had a rough year. Last year was difficult too – a stranger destroyed her eggs; however, it might have been for the best since the new partner Voldis still has some learning to do in regard to incubating, food deliveries and caring for his mate. Milda is very beloved in Latvia, and soon we will be able to watch the turnout of another season. They are restoring the nest already! And, yes, we’ll never know the eagle’s way of thinking and preferred incubation patterns. I’m not giving up on J & S eggs 🙏 There was an interesting FB comment that some seismic activity was observed – maybe that’s the explanation for the erratic incubation schedule. They probably feel frightened under such circumstances. And that leads straight to that firework story – ugh, where to begin…as a dog owner I know this all too well…and one thing when the animals can be safe in their homes, but what havoc it can cause to wildlife…They must become a thing of the past! I really hope that Bella and Smitty will have a successful season after everything they went through last year 🤞♥️

    1. Thank you for that correction, Sabine. I will fix it! Not certain re Jackie and Shadow but I remembered Milda. I wasn’t quite sure of the temperature there but it was cool like BBV, maybe even more so. We hope. They have kept such good care but all manner of things can disturb wildlife. The flash camera…the female intruder…all have set up a not so good situation at SWFlorida. Dad and the eaglets are both really hungry…hoping for a turn around. I see Jackie is back on the nest after leaving eggs for so long this morning…we wait.

  2. Hello Lady…Your kittens are gorgeous…I’m angry about the fireworks at the scape of Indigo/Diamond & Xavier…My heart breaks for Jak & Audacity, I’m hoping they may have another clutch,but good survivors. I pray..My man M is doing a good job, wondering if there’s a slight problem of not enough food in the area? The weather conditions look very dry conditions on the Pritchett estate, all bird life is searching for food. Yes there’s the pond on the estate & across the street & a river near by..It just appears that since people were warned about feeding M & his family, that now we see the real feedings & yes, this protective intruder is not helping M at all ..TY for this blog, I’m hoping Diamond/Xavier & Indigo are all right & other wildlife in that area

    1. Hi JanMarie, Thank you so much for writing in and Lewis and Missy say ‘thank you’! You are more than welcome for the blog. It is my pleasure. The raptors, like the kittens, test our nerves but keep us human and caring. The kittens are so precious..and are sure keeping me on my toes kitten proofing a house. It is hard to imagine but we think Missy must have gotten lost. Lewis was with a feral mother. All went into care and all got adopted. There is a huge move here to take rescues not animals from breeders. These two rescues sure won my heart! Yes, I want to sit the culprits in a metal building and start setting off fireworks around them (at the place where it would be loudest inside) to see what it is like with no sound cancelling headphones. Unspeakable. M is doing a good job. You said that right, JanMarie. Better today. Getting back to the rhythm of the 6 deliveries. The Pritchetts stocked the pond on the Saturday so that was 9 days ago. There should be lots of fish splashing around in there. I wonder if those Ladyfish (the silvery ones) aren’t from that pond? or maybe M doesn’t fish there! The female has been around today sitting on the end of a branch. I wish she would go and get some fish and drop them on the nest! She might have better luck winning M’s affections that way. I wish a big rabbit would run across that field again…it was a field rabbit as far as I know and good food – lots for all.

  3. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for the updates and they are always so very informative. The kittens are growing up so fast. The pictures are just so cute. Thank you for sharing them with us. I hope Bella and Smitty have a good season. 🙏and without those intruders. Also praying that Audacity and Jack have another clutch. 🙏
    I hate what the firecrackers do to our animals. It frightens every animal I know of. I look forward to the new updates soon. Take care Mary Ann!

    1. Oh, I wish they would ban the fireworks! Everywhere. They are entirely unnecessary. I do feel sorry for Audacity and Jak…their record and I guess the health and fish they eat from those contaminated waters do not help. So sad for them. I was hoping someone could give them a dummy egg to incubate and then give them an eaglet to raise.

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