14 April 2023
It was overcast and coolish, 1 C, in the early morning of Thursday. It felt like rain; we could use it, but the drops never came. The Dark-eyed Juncos are eating the Millet spread over the deck, the little woodpecker has been at the feeder, and 18 European Starlings showed up at about 1000. It is now noon. They should be happy. There is Bark Butter with Mealworms along with their favourite suet. Hoping they come back. Last year’s numbers were high for Starlings. Hoping it is the same this migration. People take them for granted, like Sparrows, but what happens when they are gone? They are under threat. So, this garden embraces them and the Sparrows; believe it or not, they all co-exist nicely for the most part. Right now, they all need food. Those long journeys and habitat loss in my area over the winter due to the ever-expanding need for humans to have more extensive houses means that we should all pitch in and feed them – if we can.
Snail mail. We don’t get so much of it anymore; it is always a welcome treat. Today the publications from Birdlife International and Living Bird were in the post. I realise that having them sent costs the environment. I hope they will be helpful in the future to others as they are going in dedicated binders.
Lots to learn. The National Whitebark Pine Restoration Plan members have worked for 14 years to get a plan to restore this tree species. They hope to have a tree with genetic resistance to white pine blister rust and they are really expecting the Clark’s Nutcracker to spread those seeds. It could help to restore many lost forests for the future. The Smithsonian now has a bird friendly chocolate certification programme to go along with their Birds and Beans coffee and Caffe Ibis Coffee. You can normally order from the Smithsonian. In Canada, coffee can be ordered directly from the roaster in Toronto. Some specialty bird feed providers also have one lb bags of coffee beans such as Preferred Perch in Winnipeg. What else did. learn? That both the Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks that visit my garden like Dark-eyed Juncos as prey items along with lots of House Sparrows, Mourning Doves, and Starlings. Cornell did a great study on what birds should actually be the State birds and only two states kept the ones that they celebrate: Louisiana with the Brown Pelican and Oklahoma with the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. In Manitoba, where I live our provincial bird would be the Connecticut Warbler. 33% of the entire population breeds here. Our provincial animal is currently the Great Grey Owl.
Heather Corfield at Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn has written a lovely blog dedicated to the memory of Mrs G, the formidable female Osprey that has populated the area. She laid 60 eggs and fledged 52 chicks. She has at least 130 grand-chicks along with countless great-grand chicks. She had only two mates, Ochre 11 (98) to 2015 and then our dear Aran since then. She bred at Glaslyn for 19 years and was the oldest UK Osprey. It is a good read about a very remarkable bird. As Heather says, we knew the day would come. She was at least 23-24 years old – but it doesn’t make it any easier. Mrs G did not return from migration and it is unknown when and where she died.
Does get much cuter than fluffy little Peregrine Falcon eyases! OK. Big Red, yes, I do love Red-tail Hawk eyases the most!!!!!! Annie giving the two nestlings at Cal Falcons their first feeding at 0720 on Thursday morning.
There were two adorable little white white fluff balls with no egg shell present.
No shell but a visible crack in the one shell to the left.
Now Annie looking rather mischievous…and there is a half shell on the scrape. Looks like we have hatch 3.
Annie turned around at 11:53 and moved the shell and you can see a tiny wet pink eyas.
The reveal and Lou gets to see that his family has just grown some more. Best be out there hunting, Lou!
Later…the new hatch will be ready for some prey tomorrow! It is less than five hours old in the following images.
These eyases will grow dramatically from their hatch to fledging. Think 40 days. At first, their eyes are closed except when food begging; the eyes open like slits. By the fifth day, their eyes will be fully open all the time except when they are sleeping and they can focus and see clearly.
At that time their weight will have doubled from when they hatched! I am such a fan of falcons and hawks…you will be overwhelmed with ‘baby pictures’.
‘A’ says, “Little Lou is enjoying being a dad. As soon as Annie decides to take a prey gift for herself, he’s onto those chicks and the remaining egg. I wonder if he is counting. Does he notice that these well-behaved eggs are progressively being swapped out for these small fluffy wriggling things. He’s doing such a good job of covering everything and everyone he needs to, at least so far… That won’t last long, especially if that last egg hatches.”
Do you know how Peregrine Falcons get such amazing colours to their eggs? Here is the answer from the Chicago Peregrine Program:
“As an egg moves down the female’s oviduct it presses against glands that produce colored pigments. Peregrine egg colors range from pale creamy to a dark rusty brown. Marking patterns develop by if the eggs are in motion or not when they reach the glands with pigment. If the Peregrine egg is stationary at the time when it comes in contact with the glands, it’ll become spotted. If the egg was in motion, it would have streaks. Because the egg can continue to gain color down the oviduct, and as the egg can rotate slightly while it moves, you can have color laid over where color was already added.The pigments in the glands become depleted with each successive egg laid. Looking at this egg set from The Field Museum, we would estimate the egg on the far right was laid first, while the one on the far left came last.”
For more information about egg color in birds – check out this link from Cornell –https://www.allaboutbirds.org/…/the-beauty-and…/…#
Falcons are either laying eggs or have hatches…it is so much fun. Seriously if you have never watched a falcon scrape you need to start! Everyone eats! The incidence of sibling rivalry/siblicide is so diminished compared to ospreys and eagles. You will be astonished.
The Michigan Spartan scrape box has four eggs!
Oh, and then there are the most gorgeous osplets with their juvenile feathers at Moorings Park eating breakfast. Gosh, they are all beautiful.
Oh, and Idris preparing a fish for Telyn Blue 3J at the Dyfi Osprey platform in Wales. The anticipation of the first egg is growing.
we have two first eggs – at Dyfi and at Llyn Clywedog! Telyn laid her egg at 17:40 with Seren coming in twelve minutes later at 17:53. Congratulations!
Telyn – congratulations to one of my most favourite couples, Idris and Telyn!
Idris sees their egg!
Beautiful Seren Blue 5F. 17:53:20.
Dylan had been up on the perch since 0615 expecting an egg today so he was there when the big event happened.
Just look at that beautiful pristine landscape. What wonderful places these Welsh ospreys have for their platforms!
Several have wondered why there are not more osprey platforms in the Glaslyn Valley. Well, there was Aran and Mrs G’s platform. Then another platform was placed just at the boundary of Port Cresor which is now occupied by Aeron Z2 (2017 Monty and Gleans) and Blue 014. At the time, some believed the placement was to ‘steal’ Mrs G from Glaslyn. There has certainly been a lot of interest in the Glaslyn nest from Monty and Glesni’s boys that hatched at Dyfi including Z1, Aeron’s full brother, Tegid (2016, Monty and Gleans). He briefly appeared on the nest. Did he steal the female’s fish? His nest is ON4 on private property. Is there a move to consolidate Monty’s family holdings in Glaslyn now that Aran is trying to establish himself with a new mate? Aran got Tegid moving!
Tegid is the 2016 hatch of Monty and Gleans and was known as ‘The White Egg’. He was harassed by Blue 24 (female) if I recall. Good to see you Tegid. Now go home to Snowdonia!!!!!
Aran flapping after sending off Tegid. Sadly, the whole event sent the nice female off and she hasn’t been seen on the nest on Friday. Aran was sky dancing to another female, a more aggressive one to him.
Ringo fledged at the Webter, Texas Bald Eagle nest near Houston but, s/he has continued to return to the nest for food lured by parents. Thursday was no exception. This is fantastic. These parents are teaching Ringo exactly the sane way that M15 is teaching the Es to survive independently. Great mantle, Ringo! Looks like a big girl to me.
There are two eggs at the Golden Eagle nest in Romania. Siblicide is common in Golden Eagle nests so watch this nest with that warning.
The cam operator at Cornell Bird Lab gave us some incredible close up images of Big Red today. It will not be long until hatch watch for her and Arthur.
She is incredibly beautiful, our 20 year old Red-tail Hawk ‘Queen’.
Achieva and Dale Hollow: River brought in a nice fish at 10:22 Thursday morning. Despite the intruder close by, River fed both eaglets well. Yes!
DH18 decided to do some self-feeding on the last of the fish bone. Way to go little one.
DH17’s wing span!
A view of the Obey River.
Both osplets at Achieva had crops during the 0800 fish feed! Good news.
The three eaglets at PA Farm Country are growing and doing very well, indeed. No issues at this nest to report.
Gabby and V3 might not have had a nest of eaglets this year but they are positively delighted being with one another and I am looking forward to November next year when, hopefully, they will lay a clutch of eggs for the first time together.
I have been watching the Dulles-Greenway nest reasonably close. On Thursday by late afternoon, all I could see were two short feedings with the third hatch not getting anything at the second. Are there intruders about? or am I missing feedings?
All looks well at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest.
The eaglet at US Steel is 8 days old.
Cholyn and Chase’s single hatch this season is not going to go hungry. The nest is loaded with a variety of prey items for this chubby little fluff ball.
In Estonia, Karl II waits for the arrival of his mate, Kaia, at their Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest. Karl II arrived yesterday from migration. Kaia is close behind.
There are some dates that you should mark on your calendar. The first one is a day that many of you will not recognise – National Curlew Day which is the 21st of April on the feast day of St Brueno, the patron saint of Curlews. The species is critically-endangered in many places around the world because of modern agricultural politics, climate change, habitat encroachment. Instead of me telling you about Curlews, read about them. Find ou what their status is where you live. These lovely shore birds migrate and they need wetlands, they need not to be shot! See what you can do to help in your area.
The other two days are about bird counts. 13 May. Mark it on your calendar. It is Global Big Day that helps us celebrate the birds that are in our environment. The second event is World Migratory Bird Day which is held twice a year to celebrate the marvellous journeys our birds make in the spring and fall. Please sign up to eBird to help track the birds and to see where help is needed. Last year 51,455 birds worldwide entered their statistics from 201 countries for 7,673 bird species.
Many of you have pets or have had in the past. Did you take them to the crematorium? Did you leave them with the Vet if they had to be euthanised? Last year we saw dumped pets euthanised in several landfills around the Minneapolis area.
This could not have been an isolated incident, but it came to light only because of the Bald Eagles eating the carrion found at the dump and having to go into rehab. Reports have come that a similar incident happened in the Pacific-Northwest in the Cowlitz district in Washington from one of our readers. Why are we hearing about this? Has there been a change in human behaviour during and after the pandemic? Did pet crematoriums close so that vets are left dealing with animals left in their charge? What can be done? If your pet is sick, you should learn how your vet clinic disposes of the body. That should be a priority. Are they assigning these animals to another business that should be disposing of them correctly but is dumping them? It is entirely possible that these contractors are not following laws or protocols. Ask. The vets’ drugs can cause our carrion eaters – Crows, Vultures, Bald Eagles, etc. – to get ill and die. This is not a good situation. Talk to your local wildlife rehab clinic and veterinary surgeon if you want to help and do not have pets. They might not be aware!
A sad story coming from Arkansas in the US. What’s with the need to kill other living beings? I do not get it.
Thank you so much for being with me. Take care all. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, news, and streaming cams that helped inform my blog today: ‘A’, ‘B’, Heather Corfield and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Chicago Peregrine Program, Olga Kysil and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, Moorings Osprey, Dyfi Osprey, CarnyXWild, Paul White and the Webster TX Eagles, Associate Wild Bucovina, Cornell RTH Cam, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Achieva Credit Union, PA Game Commission, NEFL-AEF, Dulles-Greenway, PIX Cam, IWS and Explore.org, Eagle Club of Estonia, and CBS News.
Golden eagles are one of the species that practise obligate siblicide, so if there is more than one chick on the nest, only the oldest will fledge. Ever. Just a warning to sensitive viewers.
Little Lou is really enjoying his parental duties and tried to feed the babies today while Annie wasn’t looking. He didn’t get far, but he prepared the food beautifully. What a darling he is. Don’t you just love how these dads really want to participate in the parenting of their chicks? It’s beyond adorable.
It is very worrying that Dulles Greenway is suffering a food shortage. This is a nest that has been doing extremely well, with virtually no bonking and a youngest with great confidence. It would be tragic if that were to change. Martin and Rosa are experienced parents, so hopefully it is just a short-term glitch relating to weather or some other temporary factor and normal food service to the nest will resume very soon.
Angel, the leucistic red-tailed hawk, and her mate Tom are incubating their two eggs together. Tom is very young (he was still a subadult last year and the couple had no eggs) and this is his first year as a dad, so talons crossed for this gorgeous bird and her adoring Tom.
Thank you Mary Ann for explanation of how eggs get their color. I have a porcelain hummingbird egg on a necklace and never gave it a thought as to why there are brown dots, and some have squiggles from the dot—amazing. Thanks for all the reporting, you save me time of being online ☺️❤️
Oh, you are so very welcome, Rita. I learn so much every day. It is nice to share these things hoping that someone also discovers something new!