18 March 2022
Good Morning Everyone,
It is the start of the weekend. What is going to happen today in Bird World? The Ospreys are arriving in the UK. It is like each one got a separate train car, so one or two arrive, we take a breath, and another is spotted on a nest! It is going to be a busy few days.
Before we get to what is happening at the Eagle and Osprey nests, I want to update you on Karl II and his Black Stork family. We have not heard from Karl II since he landed in Chad in September. His tracker is working and he has begun his journey back to the Karula National Forest Black Stork Nest in Estonia. We wait for the tracker to kick in for his mate, Kaia. Now, to get home through Ukraine. What a relief. There is also news of Waba, who remains in Sudan foraging.
The latest tracking has Karl II heading to Khartoum.
Waba remains in Sudan between Murshid and New Halfa.
Sometimes you wonder what is happening. Then you go back to information that you already know and apply it to see if it is a fact in the new instance. So, the Red-tail Hawk Big Red fills her eyases up with food if she doesn’t want them to fledge. It could be a sunny day, and you wonder what she is doing, and then a storm comes, and you go ‘right’ – eyases can’t fly with wet feathers. So, on Friday, Anna and Louis brought 16 fish to Trey on the Kisatchie National Forest E1 nest. Wowzers.
M15 has been busy. There were at least five prey deliveries to E21 and 22 on Friday—feast and then famine—just like life in the wild. M15 is teaching these two so much! Or are the females leaving him alone today so he can hunt?
Vija gives us the video of the fifth delivery of the day. Look at that mantling job of 22!!!!!!!!!! We are all so proud of you, little one.
Oh, and a fish. 22 is making up for 21 stealing all its fish.
This is what E21’s branching looked like from the ground. Thank you Lisa Russo, SW Florida and Saunders Photography!
Here is that branching in a video clip by Lady Hawk.
Today and a few days old…hard to imagine.
Good night M15, good night Es.
It is no secret that I worry about eaglets that have a difference – such as two days – in their hatch or if they have a first-time Mum, OR if both of these instances collide. I have fretted over Rose’s feeding techniques at the WRDC nest. She is getting there slowly. It reminds me of Anna at the KNF-E1 nest two years ago with her first eaglet, Kisatchie. She gave him huge bites, and he didn’t know how to hold his head. Of course, they figured it out, and he fledged, big and bold. Rose is figuring it out, and Ron is helping her!
It is 1700 at the Moorings Park Osprey platform. Sally is stuffing Abby and Victor. The pair behave themselves during the feedings (most of the time) and do their usual beaking about when Sally isn’t brooding. That is pretty normal and as long as both are eating well, everything should be fine. It is sometimes difficult to watch as they can get really rough with one another.
It is hot and Sally is shading the babies while they eat. (So difficult to get a good screen captures of them).
You can see the thermal down coming in. Look at those little bodies below. I always think it must make them ‘cranky’ – all that itching and hormone changes.
Notice the copper-red feathers coming in at the head on Victor, below.
Our cute fluffy chicks look more like their relatives, the dinosaurs today. Of course, they are actually dinosaurs.
If you squint, you can see those crops getting full. All is well at the Moorings. That is Victor closest to you.
Harry brought in a nice fish at 1915 and Sally immediately began ‘stuffing’ Abby and Victor. Their crops were so full they could hardly move after. Well done, Sally!
Victor has his beak wide open! Just look at how dark these two are now.
There are two hatches (3?) at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey Platform. The camera drives me crazy as it is so low a resolution that you can hardly see what is happening. That is why I do not report on this nest very often. You can tell there are two because of the stripes on their back if you look close enough – squint, hard!
At the Achieva Osprey nest, Diane is not allowing Jack to come and incubate, and she is acting as if there could be a hatch. The three eggs were laid on 08, 11, and 14 of February making the oldest 37 days today.
The two eaglets at Duke Farms are nothing short of being little darlings. So sweet. No trouble. Experienced parents, and the weather has turned warm enough for them to be out from underneath Mum and Dad for a bit.
Rosa and Martin are working hard to keep the two new Dulles-Greenway eaglets fed and warm – DG3 and DG4. Will there be a DG5? They are our little fluff balls today, just like the ones at the WRDC. I am always fascinated by the eaglets, some born with those dark goggles and some not.
Shadow and Jackie have been on and off the nest today at Big Bear. We are all waiting and watching you two!
Baiba gives a montage of the work that Jackie and Shadow did a couple of days ago! We are in suspense as to how this will work out but…hopeful.
Meanwhile, Liberty and Guardian are getting no rest at their nest in Redding, California this year. They can hardly incubate their only egg without an intruder popping up.
Blue 33 has been a busy boy since he returned from migration. Goodness gracious, the energy he has. Not only has he had to hang out with Blue 25, who seems to be wanting to hedge her bets in case her mate doesn’t return, but he has also been caught mating with 25 and even brought her a fish. Incredible.
Maya and Blue 33 are a ‘super’ couple having raised two sets of four osplets. Some nests have trouble keeping up with two chicks – not these two. Many of you have asked about the ospreys that kick other male’s eggs out of the nest. I often post a video of a couple but I did not realise that Blue 33 was one of them until today when Geemeff sent me the following note:
#Maya got her name in 2014, was known as #Mrs5R and was paired with #Blue28. She’d laid 3 eggs but then #Blue33 arrived, evicted Blue28, kicked out the eggs and spent the rest of the season bonding with Maya. The pair returned the following year and to date have 23 chicks!Geemeff, 17 March 2023
Geemeff added that we do not know how old Maya is; she is unhinged. Blue 33 is a 2011 hatch. Blue 25 is the long-time mate of Blue 11. Both hatched in 2010, and the couple has been together since 2013.
Blue 25 is relaxing a little too much in the nest Blue 33 is building for his mate, Maya.
Osprey arrival at Theave! They are coming and they are coming in steady!
How many of you could write an article for The Guardian on how birds changed your life or inspired you to love birds? I bet every one of you! Here is an interesting read about someone who fell in love with an NZ parrot, the Kea.
Anyone who knows me, understands that Mr Crow is a big part of my life. Last year, he blessed me by bringing his three fledglings to my garden many times daily until they came on their own. It was the same with Junior, the Blue Jay. Today, one of the Blue Jays came to the garden along with a Pileated Woodpecker. Spring is coming! The woodpecker has been here all winter but, the Blue Jays took off late in the year. So nice to have them back. But, back to the Crows. ‘R’ sent me a very interesting article that I would like to share with you. Its focus is on the repopulation or the saving of the Crows
This crow is ‘very intelligent’ — and it’s struggling to survive in the wild
Plans to repopulate Hawaii’s forests with its “very intelligent” crows have been upended in part by its natural predator, the Hawaiian hawk. Now scientists are tracking the hawk in order to save the corvids.
March 17, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. EDT
FERN ACRES, Hawaii — Amy Durham wound the straps under the wing, over the wing, under the other wing, over the other wing, making sure the backpack-like device stays comfortably strapped to the Hawaiian hawk for many months.
“This may be your best work yet,” said Diego Johnson, one of her colleagues holding the straps on the chocolate-colored hawk’s chest as Durham secured a lightweight GPS transmitter to its back.
These San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance researchers are trekking around the mountainous jungles of Hawaii’s Big Island not just to understand the ‘io, one of the state’s only birds of prey, which is considered at risk. It’s crucial, too, for restoring an even more endangered bird species — the ‘alalā, or Hawaiian crow.
Known for its problem-solving abilities, the Hawaiian crow is one of the most remarkable bird species in the world. The ‘alalā, whose name means to “yell” in the local language, is one of the only birds in the world known to naturally use — and even make — its own tools.
Yet this distinctive crow that many dub “very intelligent” has been extinct in the wild for two decades, with the only about 120 alive in human care today.
So far, plans to repopulate Hawaii’s forests with its native crows have been upended in part by the ‘io. The hawks are the crows’ natural predator, and have come after the corvids during prior reintroduction efforts.
The ʻio, the endemic and endangered native Hawaiian hawk species, is one of only two native raptors found in Hawaii. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
The wing feathers of an ʻio. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
The talons of an ʻio are tagged by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance scientists before its release for future identification. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
By tracking the hawks, scientists with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources are trying to figure out where it is safest to reintroduce the crows so they can again thrive in the wild. At the heart of their research is a riddle: How do you protect two rare birds when one keeps attacking the other?
“They’ve coexisted for many, many, many years,” said Bryce Masuda, conservation program manager for the zoo. Now his team is trying to get these two bird species found nowhere else on Earth to coexist again.
Bringing back a ‘family god’
Ever since people set foot in the Hawaiian archipelago, humans have been enthralled by the islands’ crows.
Its glossy black feathers adorned Native Hawaiian robes. Its imposing beak and piercing eyes led some families to regard the ‘alalā as a manifestation of an ‘aumakua, or “family god” that watches over them.
When Capt. James Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778, many murders of crows stalked the islands’ volcanic hillsides.
The Mauna Loa eruption of 2022 is seen at dawn from the southeast area of Hawaii Island. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
A fence line along a gravel road separates invasive animals from the native forest in the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
An ʻalalā, the endemic and endangered Hawaiian crow species, on an aviary window at the Maui Bird Conservation Center. (Eric J. Franke for The Washington Post)
Over the centuries, a variety of factors — disease, destruction of forests for farming and cattle ranching and predation by cats and other nonnative animals — conspired to drive the crow’s population down.
By 1992, there were only 13 ‘alalā in Hawaii’s forests. The last wild ones were spotted a decade later. The only ‘alalā known to exist today live in a pair of breeding centers run by the San Diego Zoo on the Big Island and Maui.
A picture of one of the survivors caught the attention of Christian Rutz, a behavioral ecologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
For more than a decade, he had studied a different corvid species called the New Caledonian crow. Without any training, chicks in New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific, pick up sticks to collect grubs from crevices. At the time, no other crow was known to naturally use tools.
But Rutz suspected there were others. When he saw the Hawaiian crow’s straight beak and forward-facing eyes — features perfect for holding and manipulating twigs — he phoned the San Diego Zoo’s bird conservation center.
A manager told him the Hawaiian crows were always flying around with sticks in their bills. Rutz was stunned. “I booked myself pretty much onto the next flight to Hawaii,” he said.The Washington Post, 17 March 2023
There are osprey sightings at Chesapeake Conservancy and Patuxent today, too!
If you have been looking for the GROWLS streaming cam, it doesn’t exist. Possibly because of the attention last season, the land owners do not want a camera on the nest where Junior hatched, and Malala was adopted. Sharron Palmer-Hunt advises that they will put up the camera that they have when a suitable nest is located.
Since it is St Patrick’s Day when I am writing, let us all wish the luck of the Irish to Jak and Audacity at Sauces Canyon. Their seventh egg – lucky number 7 – is still holding!
There are many in the UK fighting for justice for the raptors. Trying to get those that are responsible for maintaining the laws to do their job. It is incredibly frustrating to find the evidence and then stand bewildered when no one does enough about it to cause real change. Hats off to those who diligently work for the raptors.
Isn’t it time that game shooting was stopped?
If you live in the UK, why not add your name to help stop the trawling of Sandeels so that birds like the Puffins can continue to have a food source?
Thank you so much for being with me today. I will try and include a look at a few other nests that have been neglected at the weekend. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘R’, ‘Geemeff’, Kisatchie National Forest E-1, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Vija and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lisa Russo and SW Florida Eagles and Saunders Photography, Lady Hawk and Sw Florida Eagles, WRDC, Moorings Park Ospreys, VGCCO, Achieva Credit Union, Duke Farms, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, FOBBV, Baiba and FOBBV, FORE, Theave Ospreys, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Chesapeake Conservancy and Explore.org, IWS and Explore.org, Raptor Persecution UK, and @MeganMcCubbin.