Goslings leap…Wednesday in Bird World

26 April 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

My blog is shorter today as I had an eye exam which took nearly 3 hours on Tuesday! Yes. An exceptional doctor who is working hard to help me keep my eyesight. Because of all the drops and the long time, I did not get to review the nest happenings like I would typically want to. That said, some exciting news is coming from both Decorah and, I hope later today, Dale Hollow.

First up, however, I had a question, from ‘T’, in the comments that I felt was worth sharing with all of you: “Next year, I will ‘boycott’ this nest. Will you also exclude it from the blog? We need to send a signal that people will not watch nests with such a cruelly inflexible non-intervention policy.”

Thank you for your question, ‘T’. My intention was not to mention Dale Hollow at all because of the issues that came about during the 2022 season when DH16 was so viciously killed by DH14 – and the fact that DH15 got entangled in fishing line and the reaction was, last year, the same as this one. Thankfully, the monofilament line worked its way free of DH 15.

My interest was in comparing the behaviour at the Dale Hollow nest with with the SW Florida nest- both single parent nests. As it happened, some of my readers did not want to watch once siblicide had occurred at Dale Hollow, but, they did want news of the eaglets. I was happy to provide that news. Then came the issue with the fishing line and hook and the entanglement of both eaglets. I am proud to have worked with many great people to spread the phone numbers and e-mail addresses so that the proper authorities knew what was happening at this nest and could not ignore it. I want to think that the individuals who were always so against intervention will be humbled and will understand that it is not their decision whether the eaglets get help. Indeed, anyone who runs a streaming cam should be objective. Part of their role should be to report any issues regarding the nest to the proper authorities for their assistance if required. It is then up to the various agencies to find a solution within the Migratory Bird Act. In this case, as last year, human-caused issues with wildlife warrant an intervention.

There are three problem nests. They have always had problems. They are Port Lincoln Ospreys, Achieva Credit Union, and Dale Hollow. They cause great anxiety and I do not recommend them. I will watch the Osprey nests because that is my area of research, but I have no plans to include Dale Hollow in my blog next year. It is important that we support those institutions and individuals who will seek quick and proper help for the raptors. We saw just such a rescue yesterday through the IWS in California. CROW is another good agency and SW Florida is tops along with Captiva on getting help when help is required. There are many others as well.

BC1 being hydrated by Nicole from the IWS during the rescue at Bald Canyon on the 24th of April 2023. Dr Sharpe and his team have conducted many rescues – some have been heroic feats involving cars, boats, and climbing steep cliffs. They are an excellent agency to support!

All six of the goslings have hatched. Father Goose is wanting Mum to come to the stream but the last hatch is still a wee tired. I wonder if Mother Goose will wait til in the morning?

SK Hideaways caught these energetic goslings! They are so healthy looking – tomorrow, they will take the leap to the stream off of the nest 70 feet in the air.

They lept. All six! What a privilege. ‘A’ writes: “They jumped. It was WAY quicker than last year – it took the six under five minutes to vacate the nest. At the bottom, three gathered with mum, and were joined after a moment or two by another pair. Dad came to join them. The sixth has not yet appeared. After about 15 minutes of searching, calling, listening for it, the parents eventually headed slowly for the water. When they got there, the goslings were not behind them. After a very quick dip, both parents returned to the riverbank to wait for the goslings and to continue quietly calling them. Gradually, the five appeared from the grass and joined their parents in the water. There are BOTG, who will be looking for the sixth gosling now that the parents and the other five are no longer close to the nest tree. Fingers crossed that the missing sixth chick has a bad sense of direction, as happened with one gosling last year, and can be pointed in the right direction by the BOTG. “———–The sixth was taken to the Vet. Poor Mother Goose. She has gone to the nest looking for it. And, yes, they can count and they know how many children they had! Let us hope its leg is OK.

Here is the video from AntiqueRose:

A permit and a rescue. We will not know when the attempt is made, but a Vet will be present to help the eaglets if necessary – if they can get to the nest. It is up to the rescuers now. Each agency has come together for the two Dale Hollow eaglets. So thankful for all the e-mails, phone calls, prayers, and anything else you did to facilitate this rescue attempt. There is power in people. Do not forget it. You might need to stand up for the raptors again. Do not hesitate!

DHEC and Twin Lakes have been asked to shut down the camera until the rescue is completed – from midnight Tuesday night until noon on Wednesday. Looks like it could start very early Wednesday morning! If you ever sent out positive wishes for a successful outcome, please send it to the rescue team. Then we can flood the AEF with thank yous and donations.

These two have been through a lot. They will never know the army that worked so hard for them -.

Other good news is that Middle Bob at Achieva in St Petersburg got some good bites of fish in the 1330 feeding. Well done Middle Bob for holding your ground and eating! This is a good turning point. Keep it up!

Murphy’s eaglet is growing! That little eaglet is watching everything Murphy is doing and learning. What an experience this 31 year old male Bald Eagle has had getting to raise this little one.

The little cutie pie at Decorah Hatchery nest is 19 days old today. Like Murphy’s eaglet, it is really growing and before we know it we will look up and see juvenile feathers coming in all over.

The Pitkin Country Trails Osprey Mum is under snow and it is continuing to fall very hard Tuesday night.

Dorcha was really wanting some fish and Louis finally brought her dinner! He has been wanting incubation time….well, Louis, just bring more fish! Dorcha will fly away for her meal and you can have nest time!

A beautiful Tuesday morning at the Decorah Hatchery Eagles.

It was hot in The Campanile scrape of Annie and Lou Tuesday. The couple each spent time shading the chicks until the sun was no longer pounding down on them.

Sleepy time.

The little falcons are eating well. No worries for any of them!

‘H’ reports that the second egg was laid at Barnegat Light in New Jersey. Congratulations Duke and Daisy!

We continue to be on pip watch for Tom and Angel. Tom is doing a great job coming in quickly to give Angel a break!

Little Arthur is on incubation duty over at Cornell this morning as Big Red takes a short break. We are getting close to pip watch for these two! Can’t wait. It is so much easier on the mind watching falcons and hawks.

It was short today. The other nests continue to do alright. Expecting eggs at more nests today so there should be lots of news tomorrow including the Dale Hollow Rescue. The camera is down and we wait in the hope that not only is the rescue a success but that it will set a precedent for this nest and this community. Thank you American Eagle Foundation! For now, let us find joy in the six that leaped and send your best wishes for the little one and its leg with the hope it gets back to its family quickly, if that is possible.

Thank you for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to everyone for their notes, their comments, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog today: ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘T’, IWS and Explore.org, Decorah Goose Cam, SKHideaways and Decorah Goose Cam, AntiqueRose and the Decorah GooseCam, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Murphy and the WRC, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Pitkin County Trails Osprey Cam, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery, and the Woodland Trust, Cal Falcons, Barnegat Light Ospreys and New Jersey Conservation, and Cornell Bird Lab.


  1. Sabine says:

    I am so thankful Mary Ann for everything you’re reporting and doing for the sake of our beloved birds! I know that Dale Hollow nest is almost never easy to watch, but this year it was absolutely essential to raise awareness of the specific issue. As many of you, I’m anxiously waiting for any news. Also, River’s tremendous efforts were so deserving of highlighting and discussing them. A one-parent nest is something to behold of. It was quite clear that River wouldn’t be able to raise three by herself, and I am sad for every bit of suffering that the deceased eaglet had to endure, but taking into account that River’s already quite old she’s doing an incredible job, because, again, we probably have a very faint idea of what she’s actually dealing with outside the camera view. So happy for those gosslings and hope that the sixth will also survive and thrive. And I truly hope that this is a turning point for the Middle Bob at Achieva nest and he/she will become more and more assertive in his/her feeding efforts. We definitely need your eyesight too, Mary
    Ann! Hope you get your rest after such a lengthy doctor’s appointment! Lots of love

    1. You are so very welcome. It is always my pleasure and I was happy to be a small part of a big army who worked so hard to get help for Dale Hollow. The rescue was a success. Anything is possible…never let anyone tell you otherwise! Tears of joy.

    2. Alison says:

      Sabine, I could not agree with you more. Dale Hollow was, as usual, very stressful to watch, but had viewers not persisted this year, this rescue could not have happened. So thank you Mary Ann and thank you to all the bird lovers who made it clear that this rescue must be attempted. The relief that this rescue is finally going to occur is overwhelming.

      1. The intervention needed to happen earlier and could have without the obstruction that happened…on the other hand you are so correct. If we had not watched this play out we could not have helped and that is perhaps one good reason to continue to keep an eye on Dale Hollow!

  2. Thank you Mary Ann ! So happy to hear about the goslings and hope the little one that went to the vet will be ok. They are little darlings. 💕💕💕💕💕💕
    So glad the AEF is able to get the eaglets from Dale Hollow! They know what to do and I’m so thankful for them 🙏. Hope all goes well 🙏❤️❤️🦅🦅
    Thank you for all the updates and hope all goes well for all the others and hope to hear from you soon again! Take care of your eyes!

    1. You are always so very welcome and the good news is the eaglets were rescued. DH17 stays on the nest and DH18 goes into care. Tears of joy.

  3. InstructorRita says:

    Oh Mary Ann, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray that your eyes will be better; you bring so many of us joy every day, by writing the Nest News. Take good care and many blessings to you. 😊❤️🙏

    1. Oh, thank you so much! I have a very good eye doctor so fingers crossed. Looks like surgery in the fall!

  4. Alison says:

    I noted that the sixth gosling did eventually get to the water, where it joined its family, but it did appear to have problems keeping up with the others and fighting the current, and one of the parents had to put its body downstream of the little one to stop it being swept away. At that stage, I worried that there might be some injury to the gosling, and it appears that is indeed the case. I so hope they can restore the chick to full health and return it to its family.

    I find it amazing how well they can count – how many eggs they have, how many have hatched, how many have jumped and so on. Those parents were fantastic, protecting their goslings on the ground, guiding them to the water, introducing them to their new world. It was SO exciting. Even my housemate was riveted, and he thinks I’m a little mad, waking him at 3am with the sound of honking geese, screaming eaglets and excited eyases. Nature truly is awe-inspiring.

    I am starting to wonder whether Tom, who was too young to father chicks last year, has yet fully grasped the intricacies of copulation, so that Angel’s eggs may be infertile. I do hope not, but that one-week hatch window won’t stay open much longer.

    1. We wait to see for Angel. You could be so right on that one. Fingers crossed! The goslings were amazing and I understand that the 6th goslings had a temporary paralysis. Hoping it gets back to its family!

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