Good Morning Everyone,
Well, I am super excited. ‘A’ just sent me the best news coming out of Bird World today. Tico is home!
Many feared the worst after Tico was forced off the nest branch on Saturday when Pearl accidentally landed on or near him. He was seen upside down dangling in a bush across the road, and then he disappeared. BOGs searched. Muhlady and PePe called and tried to lure him back to the nest with food. Nothing happened. And then, at 17:35 Sunday afternoon, the 5th of March, Tico landed on the nest tree. Tears of joy.
This is LadyDeeagle55’s comment on the live chat: “17:35:07 Tico arrives home to attic branch then drops down to nest while Pearl is still way up on the left of nest tree.”
This is fantastic.
‘H’ sent me the link to the video capture of Tico coming home! She also added that they needed to know that Pearl was at the top of the tree to be sure it was Tico. Smart thinking!
When an eaglet (or osplet) does not return to the nest after fledging (or being forced fledged), there is a real fear for survival.
In the Mailbox:
‘J’ asks: “I was just wondering if you could talk about R23-3’s damaged talon. Do they heal? Will the actual nail fall off? Will it grow back?”
These are great questions; they have been on everyone’s mind since we first saw R23-3’s injured feet. First, let’s get to some facts in case some do not know. Those talons (and beaks) carry the eagle’s prey and nesting materials to the nest. They are also used to fight their enemies. Talons are essential for the eagle’s survival. Each foot has four talons, three in the front and one in the back, the hallux. The talons are made out of keratin. It is a protein. Human hair and nails are also made out of keratin.
So have a good look at the image below. Do you remember where the main injuries were on R23-3’s feet and talons? She appeared to have multiple marks and gouges, with one main injury on DIGIT IV, the Outer Talon. We saw it early as black, and I even called her ‘black taloned’. I feared that the injury was necrotic and would eventually kill her. There was no soft tissue swelling, just a deep gouge with a dark, dry scab. That scab eventually came off. The female adult appears to be eating and in good health. She enjoys her baths with M15 and socialising with him in the pond and on the branch. In other words, she is not lethargic.
That hallux is important because it digs into the prey items and allows the raptors to carry their food to where they will eat it or feed their young. The talons are grey in colour when the eaglets are in the nest and turn a shiny black as they age and fledge. They will remain that shiny black throughout their lives..
Now back to the question. The injuries on the female R23-3 appear to be healing. She has yet to lose her talon. If the entire talon were to be pulled out, growing a new one would be a very slow process. You might recall that Ervie, the third hatch Osprey at Port Lincoln in 2022, lost a talon. It was believed to be pulled out when he was fishing, but we do not know. It took nearly 8 months to see any growth in that talon.
We know that the female can bring carrion to the nest tree. We have seen her. She is also eating, arriving with a crop when she has yet to take a fish from the nest. We have yet to see the female actively hunting and carrying a large, heavy prey item to the nest tree. We, therefore, cannot make any observations on her ability or lack of ability to transport prey with that right foot.
If the foot continues to heal as it appears to, this female will be fine. Some eagles are flying and living with only one leg, as we have witnessed this year or managing with a leg with an old injury that did not heal properly, as Ma Berry did for years at Berry College. Feet get damaged regularly. V3’s feet are rough at the NEFl nest (with Gabby). Let us wait and watch to see how she does!
Hard to see the full extent of the injuries in the image below. We can, however, determine which is the most injured toe on the right foot.
We can also see some damage on the left foot.
It must be noted that Peregrine Falcons have been observed with talons with broken ends, which do not appear to grow back. In other words, the entire black talon needs to be pulled out and it is possible that it will regrow slowly.
In the News:
How might climate change impact the Northern Hemisphere’s sea birds? This is a great article coming out of Birdlife International on this topic. Have a read!
Have you been missing Indigo? wondering if he was still around the scrape on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia? thinking that Diamond and Xavier might be having some peace and quiet? No. Indigo is still there! Elain caught him on video!
Jackie and Shadow are so loved. They get more visitors to their streaming cam in the Big Bear Valley east of Los Angeles than any other eagle family in the US. We are saddened by the non-viability of their first clutch of eggs in 2023. It is not clear whether or not they will lay more eggs. The couple has left these two and the wind and ice are pelting down. Love you, Jackie and Shadow! Today, they made the USToday News. Thanks, ‘B’, for letting me know!
M15 is on top of his game. On Sunday, the single parent delivered 3 fish to the nest of E21 and 22 before noon! Way to go, Dad! There were a total of five for the entire day.
Gosh, these eaglets are gorgeous.
The tails indicate the difference. E22 on the left and E21 on the right. Otherwise it is really difficult to tell them apart.
Such beautiful and precious babies. E21 below panting to keep cool.
The end of the day posting from SW Florida Eagles:
I mentioned that Duke Farms’s male will be 23 this year. That hatch date is 11 March. He was taken in as a foster eaglet at Duke Farms when he was a fortnight old. His two recently hatched eaglets are growing and are ever so strong! Just fluffy little snow people…adorable.
The osplets at Moorings Park in Naples, Florida are doing great. No worries at this nest so far.
Monday morning there was some frustration on the osprey nest by the osplets. Sally was hungry and there was a lot of fish. Harry finally gave her a break so that she could eat. The little osplets sure wanted some fish! They were up and waiting as Mum ate. There is nothing to worry about. At this stage of their development, they will eat a little fish many times a day not a lot of fish a few times.
At the Achieva Osprey nest, Jack and Diane have been doing incubation rotations. There are still some days til pip watch for these two.
Big Red and Arthur continue to work on the nest and mate on the light stands. Eggs soon, please!
Big Red and Arthur’s 2022 hatch, L4, remains on the Cornell Campus. Bravo! They are paying her no mind and she is going on about her business hunting in a very prey rich territory.
Happy Hatch Day!
There are now four eggs at the Peregrine Falcon nest in Japan. Will there be a 5th?
Watching for the second egg to be laid at Cal Falcons. Annie has been in the scrape box most of the day.
At 14:51 there was still just one egg. Soon!
At 15:09, Lou is on incubation duties.
‘H’ sent me news that the second egg arrived around 0430 Monday 6 March. Thanks, ‘H’.
Lou is getting the hang of ‘enfluffeling’!
Connie and Clive’s only eaglet, Connick, is looking for roles in more superhero movies. Looks at those legs!!!!! Wow. This eaglet is big and strong.
Connick is a huge, beautiful, well-nourished eaglet! Sometimes there is no place to go when the sun is hot on the nest. Connick can regulate his temperature now.
Gabby and V3 are both at the nest tree today. V3 provided for Gabby the security she needed with so many intruders and hopeful suitors. This nest is pleasantly peaceful now. Have you noticed that it is the same at SW Florida except for the GHOs?
Thanks, ‘T’ for the head’s up. The West End streaming cam was panning around, and guess who the camera caught? Akecheta!!!!!! Oh, it would be grand if they could figure out how to get this camera to focus on the new nest of Thunder and Akecheta. The time is 13:13 Sunday, 5 March. Nice to see you, Dad.
We may not be able to get everyone to stop using rodenticide but each of us can start by remembering that ‘Raptors are the Solution.’ If you know of someone with rodent problems, discuss with them why you do not use these highly designed poisons. If they have domestic pets, it might help save their lives, too. My cat Duncan would still be alive if a neighbour had not used this terrible poison and if Duncan had not caught the mouse that ate it. We will simply not be able to convince everyone but it is worth a try.
I want to thank Dave Hancock and all the folks in British Columbia who work tirelessly to support the well-being of Bald Eagles. There are more Bald Eagles in British Columbia than anywhere in the world. Due to climate change and rising temperatures during breeding and nesting season, Dave Hancock has also been working on eagle nest shades. He is an amazing man who has spent his entire life trying to improve their lives. Some of you will be familiar with the nest cams in British Columbia. They also have a web site with lots of information on eagles.
At the Corona, California GHO nest, the four owlets appear to be very healthy. The fourth is tiny, but size does not mean it is not well. Owlvira seems to be able to manage to feed all of them quite well. Potential names have been posted on chat, and now those are being put into a list for voting.
You can see the size difference in the image below as all are snuggled upright to stay warm.
Thanks so much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘B’, ‘H’, ‘A’, ‘J’, Superbeaks, Lady Deeagle55 and Superbeaks, Avianreport.com, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Birdlife.org, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWEagleCam.com, Duke Farms, Moorings Park Ospreys, HeidiMc and Achieva Credit Union, Cornell RTH, @Cornellhawks, Kakapo Recovery, JPFalcon Cam, Cal Falcons, SKHideaways and Cal Falcons, Window to Wildlife, NEFL-AEF, IWS and Explore.org, Raptors are the Solution, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and California Corona Owls.
Interesting update as usual, thank you Mary Ann. I particularly enjoyed the information about feet and talons with regards to injuries, and the diagram was very helpful.
Oh, thank you, Geemeff. I am so pleased to know that was useful. I wish I had a better image of R23-3’s injuries.
Hello Mary Ann and thank you for this great newsletter! Congratulations to Annie with their second egg and the Japanese nest with 5! Good luck to Big Red and Authur with their nest As it is looking so good and ready! The little owlets are adorable. Thanks you for the pics of them. The Hancock Foundation does wonderful and I’m so glad for the new shades! What a great idea! I hope it will happen all over !
Good to see Akecheta! Connick is so beautiful and getting so big as are E21 and E22! Wow they grow up so fast!
The talon info and photos are very interesting and I’m glad M15’s new friend is getting better and hers are healing.
I’m so thankful Tico came back and is fine. ❤️. The duck is beautiful in the Birdlife International photo. Thank you for all the updates and photos Mary Ann!
Have a good Monday and see you soon again here
Thank you so much, Linda. I am always so happy to send out the news especially when there is more good than bad! Isn’t it getting busy?! And yes, Tico. So relieved. Take care!