Death spiral at Centreport, food fest at SWFlorida…Friday in Bird World

17 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I am writing this late Thursday evening. Tomorrow is one of those days with a thousand little things to do and it is going to start early. It is currently -18 C on the Canadian Prairies and nearing 40 degrees C in Melbourne. I so hope our Australian friends do not go from rains and flooding to fires this year. Keep them all in your thoughts.

February is a month that is full of winter activities in Canada. In Winnipeg, from the 17th – 26th, it is the Festival du Voyaguer. Celebrated in the French area of our City, St Boniface, it is a time to come together doing winter activities, music, arts and culture, games, in celebration of the voyageur, Métis, and Indigenous histories or our province. There is amazing French and Indigenous food, snow shoeing, maple sugar candy…sledding. It is the largest French cultural event in this region of Canada. Lots of fun! I am definitely looking forward to a sleigh ride on either Saturday or Sunday.

First up, I have received word from ‘H’ that the new male D4 whose eggs Mum is likely to lay any time at CentrePort is injured or dead and has not returned to the nest. Would the D% male destroy the eggs of D4? Ospreys sure do and it is quite possible. We wait to see. The new male being called D5 is at the nest. Here is that death spiral – slo-mo and at the end the real time. Took seconds.

Today I made some video clips for us because you really need to just watch how well 22 did (with some intimidation from 21). It was a very special day on this nest.

I had received word that one of the persons that I go to for eagle advice had sound knowledge that there are three female eagles around the SWFlorida nest. After reading and looking and being terribly confused, it appears that there is some clarity as to what happened yesterday even though many will not agree. One of the issues was the camera moving and well, confusion over which female was which. The very hungry female was booted out of the nest and did not return today. The other female who has been on the branch did return last night and stood guard while M15 slept. At least that is my take on all of this based on reports from the ground. — At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. No one was injured. M15 was back to his amazing self on Thursday delivering many meals and everyone had nice crops including Dad – it made me joyful to see his crop so full. He had been neglecting himself to feed the babies it seemed.

And then there is more confusing spreading this morning by another post…I prefer to focus on M15 and the eaglets…but I will put this here as I know almost everyone is interested.

The deliveries could well be good today at SWFlorida. M15 brought in a nice fish at 12:34. It was a whole one and he had some bites…it is not until 3 and a half minutes into the feeding that 22 figures out how to get some of that fish. He did well. Have a look! (22 is very nervous and 21 earlier raised its neck and moved towards 22 – all it took to get the little one to move out of the way of dad’s beak).

M15 brought in the innards of some animal at 13:36. At the time of his arrival, he had a nice crop so Dad had a good meal somewhere.

And so did the Es, both of them. E22 wanted to eat, tried to shy, and then went for it. You will see both 21 and 22 working nice pieces. Excellent.

It did turn out to be a good day and E22 mustered up some courage again and had some food. It doesn’t take much and now 21 has taken to wing flapping, too…but..E22 is getting its mojo back with every bite. He sticks with Dad and winds up with a nice crop! Yes, you can pull out the tissues now. I sure did.

Ah..looking out over the rails with a crop..lovely.

E22 had a nice crop after that feeding…and then at 17:17:16, M15 brought in a whole Armoured Catfish. 22 was right there…and 22 was fed until 17:37 when he couldn’t eat anymore and went over to the rim. E21 wasn’t bothered…full and wanting to sleep. They had lots and lots of food today!

Great job getting the fish flakes out of that!

M15 with his massive crop ready for night duty. He continues to look tired but…he ate well today and he has too…he is hunting for 3! So proud of you dad..with everything going on you did great today. Keep up the good work. Your babies are getting their juvenile feathers..

Sadly, Angus and Mabel continue to have an intruder, the same female intruder? at their nest. Mabel is desperately trying to hang on to Angus and her nest. Heidi Mc caught Angus chasing the intruder off the nest and then, she got her leg caught in nest material. There is a video of this curious interaction below.

Angus appears upset. Is he is trying to help her. The female was unharmed. She flew away and returned to the nest. Mabel has not been seen since morning. Will this female be Angus’s new mate? Did Mabel leave the territory?

This is a video of the skirmishes on the first day. If you are not aware of what is happening.

This is the video of the female hanging off the edge of the nest today. We wait to see…if Mabel doesn’t return and this female is consistently on the nest…well,…what do we think?

Even at 1700 Thursday evening, Angus was still having problems with intruders.

Amidst all the chaos on Wednesday, two nests have eggs that had troubles last year. Bella and Smitty at the NCTC nest and Nancy and her new beau at MN-DNR have their first egg of the 2023 season. In 2022, an injury that kept Bella from the nest for 21 days and an intruding female meant that the loved couple did not have any eggs to hatch. Nancy lost her young mate, Harry, and a shortage of food caused siblicide with only E-1 surviving. It pushed E-2 off the nest! Hoping for much better results this year although things seem pretty tumultuous all over Bird World at the moment.

Paul K caught the arrival of Bella and Smitty’s egg:

The gorgeous Nancy at the MN-DNR nest incubating her first egg of the 2023 season. New mate is Beau.

Nancy and Beau’s first egg is making the news.

Liberty and Guardian seem to be having intruders again today. They have been in and out of the nest and on and off the egg – although they would also be practising delayed incubation. The egg was left for the longest from 09:57-12:54 (so far) on Thursday. A Magpie has been eating scraps off the nest. Oh, for some stability! These two are fantastic parents.

Want to see one of the most precious eagle eggs. It is number 5 for this season and it belongs to Audacity and Jak at Sauces Canyon, Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands. The other four broke easily because of the thin shell due to DDT contamination in the food of the eaglets..the soil, the water, everything at the end being so much more concentrated than at the other end of the islands. Oh, let us all hope for this one egg to make it for this tenacious couple.

Gorgeous Jackie on those two precious eggs Thursday night. Pip watch started yesterday. We have seen eggs survive 5 hours at a stretch in frigid temperatures. The nests also hold the heat. But whether or not these two eggs of Jackie and Shadow are viable is, of course, not known until it is too late for them to be hatching. The couple have been seen mating and it is possible they think there is something wrong — but we wait. Miracles happen. If not this clutch, there is time for another.

At the PA Farm Country Bald Eagle, we now have four eggs. This beautiful couple – Lisa and Oliver – had four eggs hatch last year…sadly that little cutie pie fourth hatch died of hypothermia when it could not get under Mum on a very frigid night.

Nests really have been neglected by me with all the troubles at the SWFlorida nest..hope for stability! Thursday was an especially good day for everyone – M15, 21 and 22.

Connick is growing like a bad weed but, on Thursday, he decided that in addition to fish, he would try eating a plastic washer that came to the nest. This should show up in a pellet.

Diamond is home and Elain has it on video for us. Sorry folks – lots of videos today. Sometimes it is good to see – especially if it is 22 doing the old snatch and grab!

Some news of interest to our Albatross fans…

Other news from our Albatross, Wisdom is a grandmother (image below with her distinctive band). Wisdom is the oldest Laysan Albatross in the world at 70+ years. She is still raising chicks.

Every species of bird gives us new and interesting opportunities to learn. I know that many head over to the Albatross and the Royal Cam family when they need to sit and feel warm and fuzzy. There is absolutely nothing so moving as seeing those albatross parents look down at their chick – the love just radiates out everywhere. I would also recommend to you having a change of pace and instead of just watching the Bald Eagles and Ospreys with all their drama (OK…Annie at Cal Falcons has had a revolving door of tragedy lately), try the hawks. There was something so magical about Big Red and Arthur having four eggs last year and raising four eyases to fledge…and little L4 clamouring over its big sibs to get right under Mum’s beak for food. There wasn’t any fear in that one…and she still resides on the territory of her parents hunting successfully and looking so much like her mother that you would think they were twins. While some things are the same, certain behaviours are different. Watch and compare with some of the other species…see what you learn!

Everyone was devastated when Sue and Otto died of Avian Flu earlier this year. They were the long-term Red-tail Hawk residents at Syracuse University. Their son, Jesse, has taken over Dad’s territory with his new mate Sarah. We wish them a long and healthy life!

There is a new Red-tail Hawk couple on steaming cam and this time the female is unusual. She is leucistic, the partial or total loss of pigmentation. Angel is 7 years old and her new mate, unnamed male, replacing her previous mate, Mohawk, is 3 years old. Their nest is in an undisclosed location for their safety in Tennessee. Right now they are nest building. There are very few Red-tail Hawk streaming cams in the world. The most well know is Big Red at the Cornell Campus and her mate, Arthur. This is another wonderful opportunity to see these amazing hawks raise their eyases…so different than eagles and ospreys. I find them comforting compared to the drama at some of the other raptor nests.

Here is the link to Angel’s cam:

And, of course, absolutely, there is Big Red and her family on the Cornell Campus. Their streaming cam is up and running just in time!

And last…one nest where the eagles still stay on alert, where the female calls the male and he comes flying in, where both are healthy with Chrome-Yellow Beaks and talons…it is, of course, Gabby and V3. She calls, he comes. Adorable. They have been at the nest tree a lot today. I continue to ask: Do they know something that we do not?

Look at the colour of the talons…and check out the feet.

Gabby is stunning…I have wished that we could get her with M15.

V3 still has some old injuries on his talons healing (at the back). Always check out the colour of those beaks and talons. Gabby is incredibly healthy…just bright chrome-yellow.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please check out the hawks and send all your positive wishes to all of the nests. Anything can happen and when it does it can cause so much turmoil and even death. The raptors need all the love we can send them. And take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Oh, and I almost forgot. Two things. The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway. Please join in. Here is the information:

The final vote and names to be voted on will be announced tomorrow at Cal Falcons.

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, announcements that make up my blog today: ‘H’, ‘A’, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Stephanie L Hope and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Window to Wildlife, Heidi Mc and Window to Wildlife, Paul K and NCTC Bald Eagle Cam, MN-DNR, Duluth News Tribune, FORE, IWS and, FOBBV, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, Friends of Midway Atoll, Red-tailed Hawk Tales, Sherri Van Syckel and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cam News, Cornell Lab, and Cal Falcons.

If you would like to subscribe to the Bird World blog, here is your chance to be part of this amazing international community. You can unsubscribe anytime!


  1. Mary Cheadle says:

    Thanks, as always, Mary Ann for your updates. I hope you have a lovely time at the cultural event this weekend & you get to take a sleigh ride. 😊

    1. Oh, thank you, Mary. It is always fun but we really enjoyed it with the grandchildren years ago. One of the delights is the food including the area where they heat Maple Syrup and then drizzle it on snow to make Maple Taffy. — I wish the updates were more positive!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the updates. Good luck to Audacity and Jack on their 5th egg. 🙏❤️❤️ Also to Jackie and Shadow, Bella and Smitty, PA Farm Country,Nancy and Beau and others. Hope the intruders leave Liberty and Guardian alone! They are good parents and we are waiting on eggs.
    The news from the Albatrosses brings hope for Wisdom’s grand chick! Prayers all goes well. I wonder if she has been seen or have I missed something?
    Thank you for all the picks and links Mary Ann! I must get busy on all of them.
    I hope all goes well for M15 and the chicks continue to do good and fledge. I’m so glad the intruder that snapped at the little ones with the bad talons hasn’t returned!
    I still have hope for Harriett. I know she would be there if she could. There was some question I saw about an eagle that had flecks in her eye but the date was on the internet rescued before Harriett went missing. It was also mentioned about if the eagle was a male it could be Samson. The eagle looked fine but had one eye that may have been blind in it. Eagles can live with one eye and they can also live with one foot.
    Thank you for the link to follow Angel and also we look forward to Our red Hawk and falcons to watch soon.
    Have a good day Mary Ann and a good time at the cultural event this weekend.
    Take care!

    1. Oh, those poor eagles have already broken that 5th egg…so sad for them..That had that beautiful rabbit…so proud of 22 today, Linda. I haven’t gone back to see if there is anything else. I think or hope that the hawks will be joyful after all the distress of the eagles this year so far…thanks for writing in. You must be starting to think that spring will be here soon!

  3. Alison says:

    Angel is just so amazingly beautiful. I wonder whether she passes that leucistic gene on to any of her offspring or whether they are normally coloured red-tailed hawks. I also wonder how common it is for a mature female to wait a year for her chosen mate to mature. They must have a strong bond. Let us hope they produce some beautiful chicks this year.

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