8 March 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
I hope that your week is going well! We have been sent back into the deep freeze. This morning it was -21 C. It is -12 C now, with the promise of much warmer weather at the weekend. Yippeee. When it is really cold, I keep the door to the conservatory closed. Missy and Lewis do not like it these days! They stand and stare but quickly settle into the other living area with nice windows looking out to the birds. Lewis has taken a keen interest in them as of late. It is nice to see both kittens enjoying the out-of-doors safely indoors!
We are going to start with Jackie and Shadow. It is terrific that Ravens ate the two eggs of our beloved couple. I have never said that before! The Ravens arrived at the Big Bear nest at 15:01. They were cautious, looking out for the eagle pair and then getting busy consuming the eggs. Jackie and Shadow can move forward. I have used, and so have many others, the term ‘second clutch’ about the Big Bear nest, but that is the wrong term. The appropriate wording is ‘replacement clutch’ about when the first clutch of eggs is non-viable or lost to predators. At least when they return to the nest, the eggs will be gone. Jackie and Shadow will have closure. Thanks, ‘B’ for letting me know about this!
Jackie and Shadow are going to be on television. Here is the information if you get CBS.
There are currently 2 eggs at the Two Harbours nest of Chase & Cholyn, 1 egg at Sauces with Jak and Audacity (please keep sending best wishes to them), and three eggs at Bald Canyon. I have had no news or seen anything about the Fraser Point nest of Andor & Cruz (they are showing highlights). For those anxious to discover what is happening with Thunder and Akecheta’s nest, Dr Sharpe is travelling to the area at the weekend and will send out a report confirming if there are eggs.
This has just been posted from the IWS Tuesday late.
Akecheta shows up at the old West End nest site where three eaglets fledged last year. Time is 11:31 on the 7th of March.
He was still there at 12:11 enjoying the sun and the view.
Bald Canyon Eggs. Three always make me nervous. Two eaglets are a handful. It is difficult to image the resources and feedings required for three in comparison.
Cholyn at Two Harbours incubating her two eggs. I believe she is 25 years old this year.
Some of the best news is that Jak and Audacity’s seventh egg is still in tact. Today is day 9.
The Channel Islands Bald Eagles are part of a reintroduction project by the Institute for Wildlife Studies. Most of us know Dr Sharpe and his team from the intervention efforts at three of the nests during the 2022 breeding season: eaglet rescue at West End, eaglet rescue at Two Harbours, and Victor removed to rehab from the Fraser Point nest.
You might not know the history of DDT on the Channel Islands. Here is an introductory excerpt from the IWS website:
Bald eagles were present on the Channel Islands until the mid-1950s or early 1960s, but no successful nesting activity was known. The reasons for the decline and eventual disappearance of bald eagles on the Channel Islands are not completely understood. Possible causes include shooting, egg collecting, nest destruction, poisoning, removal of young from nests, and nest disturbance (Kiff 1980). The most likely cause of population declines, however, was the production and use of the industrial pesticide DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro ethane). Between 1947 and 1961 an estimated 37 to 53 million liters of DDT-contaminated acid sludge, containing 348-696 metric tons of DDT, were disposed of in an ocean dump site 16 km northwest of Catalina Island. In addition, it was estimated that another 1800 metric tons of DDT were discharged from the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant outfall, 3.3 km offshore of Palos Verdes Peninsula (Chartrand et al. 1985). The introduction of DDT into the Santa Monica Basin marine ecosystem was implicated in the decline of two other piscivorous bird populations on the Channel Islands, the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) (Risebrough et al. 1971, Gress et al. 1973). These declines coincided with the decline of bald eagles as a breeding species on the Channel Islands.
I have mentioned it before, but DDT was also sprayed on Big Bear Lake. The toll this believed to be harmless insecticide wrought on all wildlife is unbelievable and ongoing.
Here are the links to all of the Channel Islands cameras including the falcons.
We are three days away from pip watch at the WRDC nest of Ron and Rose in Miami. It is hot at the nest! 86 degrees F. Oh, goodness. We will get to see how eaglets do in the heat. You have observed them when it is cold and snowy.
Pepe and Muhlady have had a wonderful year. Tico and Pearl were on the nest Tuesday at 15:10, having some fish. They are observed flying around the area. Excellent.
On Tuesday, M15 had to contend with an intruder who even entered the nest. Still, he brought in 3 fish, and two prey items – an odd bit of something and a road kill possum. M15 is a constant observer – either in the nest or on the branch – of how the eaglets are doing with their self-feeding. Each of us must be smiling from ear to ear. We all have favourites every year, and 22 has certainly won over the hearts and minds of so many. No longer submissive and cowering but strong and surviving.
Mid-afternoon, Dad brings in a fish and feeds the other eaglet the rest of the road kill.
At 1646, Dad is in the nest cleaning up some of the tidbits that would attract predators and feeding the eaglets their final meal for the day (presumably). E22 is right up there snatching and grabbing that old possum!
Good Night SW Florida. Where is R23-3? Am I missing something?
The two eaglets at Duke Farms each ate well on Tuesday. They are sure growing! Fuzzy little ones with big crops.
In Louisiana, KNF-E1-03, Trey, was almost hit by a falling perch branch!
At the nest of Big Red and Arthur, Arthur flew into the nest early (0626) with more greenery. He checked out the nest bowl and off he went!
Big Red was in later inspecting everything that Arthur did just to make sure it is perfect.
The snow is starting to fall on the nest of our adorable Red-tail Hawks Tuesday evening. It is -1 C with 25 kph winds. Very windy!
The osplets at Mooring Park in Naples, Florida appear to be doing quite well.
Mum Sally needed a quick early morning break.
After the osplets hatch, the Mom stays in the nest most of the time. That said, she does take breaks, and, at this nest, Dad can be seen relieving her so she can have a stretch and a relaxation break. Still, his primary role is food delivery – ‘Daddy Door Dash’ and security. Alan Poole reminds us that the number of fish deliveries doubles and triples in the first 20 days after hatch. This is a rapid growth period.
Ospreys are semi-precocial. This means that they are not as developed as ducks or chickens who, after 24 hours, can walk, are covered with feathers, and feed themselves. Ducks and chickens are precocial. On the other hand, Songbirds are born altricial –naked and require complete care. Osplets are in between. They need their parents to feed them. They cannot regulate their temperature until they are 2 to 3 weeks old.
In terms of growth, osplets should “triple their body weight in the first eight days after hatch and then double that again in the next four days”, according to Poole. By the time they are a month old, they will be 70-80% of their adult size if all has gone well.
The GHOs in Corona, California are growing. That nest is getting tight. All four are doing well. The fourth hatch – about a 1/4 of the size of the oldest – has had some personal feedings.
We all knew it…just from the size, but it has now been confirmed. Sweet Pea or South Plateau Royal Cam chick is a male! A little boy. So nice for a change.
We have seen 3-D printers make beaks for eagles and bits and bobs for humans, but, we have been waiting for legs. Now, when will we see these on an eagle? Surely they can use their mind to clinch the toes and talons, right?
Each of us wants to know what happens when one of the birds fledges. This is especially true when they have had a tragedy, such as ND17, when it fell from the collapsing nest. In the UK, at Balgavies Lach, Blue 640, known as The Bairn, did just that – fell out of a collapsing tree, too. That juvenile was spotted in Senegal! It survived its first migration. This is the reason for a huge celebration.
Now this is exciting!
Do you live near enough to the Audubon Centre of Prey in Maitland, Florida, to go for a celebration of baby owls? Oh, it looks like fun! What a great way to get items needed for the rehabilitation of our raptors.
The Cal Falcons t-shirt and hoodie fundraiser has begun for 2023. This design is fantastic, and on Wednesday, 8 March, if Annie is on time, she will lay her 3rd egg around 1600 scrape time.
To look at the options in colour and style, head off to: https://www.customink.com/fundraising/campanile-falcons23 The proceeds go to Cal Falcons not into a generic fundraising at Berkeley.
The Institute of Wildlife Studies (Dr Sharpe) is having their annual fundraiser, also.
Wisdom, the oldest living banded albatross in the world (early 70s) is a grandmother again!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Keep an eye on Annie and Lou’s scrape and, of course, the WRDC nest of Ron and Rose as pip watch approaches. Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you so much to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my blog today: ‘B’, ‘H’, FOBBV, Jana Maria Johnson Jamar and FOBBV, IWS, IWS and Explore.org, Jann Gallivan and CIEL, WRDC, Superbeaks, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Duke Farms, Tonya and KNF-E1, Cornell RTH, Moorings Park Ospreys, Corona California Owl Cam, Sharon Dunne and the Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, David Attenborough Fans, Ospreys, The Telegraph, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Cal Falsons, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels.
I was interested to note that according to the Orange Falcons moderators, Indigo has not been seen since 4 March and it is presumed he has now left the territory. However, Elaine has video of him in the scrape on 5 March, so he has not been gone as long as they say he has. Today is 9 March in Australia, so who knows? It all depends on whether he is hungry, I suppose, but this is the moment where I really wish Cilla could get permission to band those eyases (she is a qualified bird bander). We would love to know where they end up, and even whether they are still alive. And surely that would be useful to know for a whole range of research reasons.
Sad to hear the pair of fluffy little angels at Duke Farms have discovered there is another use for their beaks. Hopefully it will end quickly – they are very close together in size.
Fingers crossed for Jak and Audacity and waiting anxiously on a third egg from Annie, which should be due any time now.
Hi there, Yes, Indigo is about. He hasn’t left yet! Elain is good at catching him on the streaming cam. Duke Farms should settle down with just two of them and the two osplets did a bit of beaking but both nests should be fine. Sorry it took me a bit to answer your comments – they are always welcome, Alison.
Thank you Mary Ann! I guess its ok for the ravens to get the eggs this time. But it’s so sad for Jackie and Shadow.
Thanks for all the photos. The ones of Thunder and akcheka nests are amazing. Little Authur is really working hard on their nest! He’s such a good mate and father.
Have a good evening and look forward to tomorrow’s newsletter
You are so welcome for the newsletters, Linda. Sorry it has taken me awhile to answer. Other things in life have kept me running around. Always grateful for your comments…It is so sad about Shadow and Jackie but I am glad Shadow is not going to incubate unviable eggs for 60 days. They might have a replacement clutch but then again, they might not. We wait. I wonder if their egg viability is impacted by the lingering DDT in the lake and the fish they eat.