Sue and Otto died of Avian Flu, Zoe leaves barge?…Sunday in Bird World

29 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

There are two big news items this morning. The test results on Sue and Otto, the beloved Syracuse University Red-tail Hawks and Zoe, the Port Lincoln 2022 Osprey fledgling.

Sadly, it was no coincidence. Testing reveals that Sue and Otto, the long time resident Red Tail Hawks at Syracuse University, had Avian Flu. There are still tests pending. How did they catch it? They either ate infected prey, came into contact with the saliva of an infected bird or the feces of an infected bird. We know that Avian Flu is around. We read about it several times in a fortnight and yet, when it hits home to two much beloved Red-tail Hawks, it becomes more real. Our condolences go out to everyone.

This is a very frightening situation with regard to birds and waterfowl in the area. It is a distance of 59 miles from Syracuse to Cornell which is at at the southern end of Cayuga Lake.

Sue and Otta together in a much happier time. They raised 28 eyases to fledge.

Here is the announcement:


In other news:

People can make a difference. We do not have to sit back and let developers and governments allow sacred woodlands to be destroyed. Have a read!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/28/brockley-residents-raise-100000-to-save-patch-of-ancient-london-woodland?CMP=share_btn_link


On Ferris Akel’s Saturday tour to the wildlife areas around Ithaca, New York, there were lots of ducks – Red Heads and Canvas Backs – Canada Geese and Tundra Swans along with Mallards and Mergansers. Oh, I do miss the waterfowl and can’t wait for April when they start returning to Manitoba to breed.

The waterfowl in the images below, captured during Ferris Akel’s tour, is at the northern end of Cayuga Lake. Please look at the map I posted above to locate Cayuga Lake, Syracuse, and then Cornell so you know where Sue and Otto had their nest and where Ferris takes his tours (he does not go to Syracuse on Saturdays).

A Common Merganser.

An adult Tundra Swan and below it a juvenile.

Note the grey head and the bill which is not solid black – the indications of a juvenile Tundra Swan.

A group of 3 adults and a single juvenile Tundra Swan preparing to land on Cayuga Lake.

A Mute Swan. Note the different bill.

Notice the orange bill and the bulging nodule above the bill plus the black patch from the eye to the bill. A Mute Swan. Mute Swans are larger than Tundra Swans. The Tundra Swans have a black bill and black legs.

A good comparison of the Mute Swan and the Juvenile Tundra. Despite the Mute being farther behind, you can see how much larger these swans are than the Tundra.

A pair of Mute Swans.

Bald Eagles on a partially frozen pond – both adults and juveniles.

Always nice to lurk and listen to Ferris’s tours and then jump up to look if he finds Big Red, Arthur, and any of the kids on the Cornell Campus. No hawks today!


Nest News:

I have to start with Zoe who is 134 days old today. Yesterday (Sunday in Australia) she left the barge and flew to White Flats where there is a River and a Reservoir. Dad brought her one fish on Saturday; it is not known if she caught any fish herself . She remained on the barge in the rain Saturday evening. What ever possessed our girl to fly off and head inland instead of staying by the water is beyond me but, if you recall, Solly also travelled inland at times surprising everyone. Has our girl left her natal nest for good? I feel a little overwhelmed with Zoe leaving. She was always there, screaming for fish. I imagined she would be there much longer.

She flew off the nest at 07:55:43. It was windy and the water was choppy.

Zoe prepares for her take off.

Zoe has been gone for almost four hours at the time I am writing this. Will she return to the barge? Or will these beautiful tail feathers be our last sighting of her at Port Lincoln? It is always a bittersweet moment. We want the fledglings to have their freedom and we want them safe at home.

If this is the last we see of you, Zoe, other than photographs and sat pak tracking, live a long life. Life it fully, have many chicks, stay safe, always have a full crop.

It has been a rough year at the Port Lincoln nest losing Little and Middle Bobs. Mum and Dad were brilliant throughout it all. They will be eating fish alone in peace without a screaming Zoe. They will be building up their strength again before it is August – and if time flies as fast as it has, we will just be seeing the UK Ospreys leaving for migration when Mum and Dad think of eggs again at Port Lincoln.

Parent enjoying a fish meal in peace without Zoe screaming wanting it. The time is 12:18.

There were 277 votes cast in the naming contest for the oldest eaglet at Kistachie National Forest (KNF) E3 nest. Hello Valentine. Votes for naming Valentine’s younger sibling will start next Friday at noon nest time. Then it will be the turn of Anna and Louis’s little one to get its name. We will vote on one out of three pre-selected names.

Valentine got to the table first but, 02 was not long in getting up there to enjoy some nice fresh fish.

Gabby and V3 were together at their nest early in the morning near Jacksonville. This is V3. Note the nick under the nostril on the right side.

This amazing new couple. V3 in the back, Gabby in the front.

Can you find Connick?

That little eaglet of Connie and Clive’s is changing rapidly!

Connick loves the freshest fish on the nest…don’t blame him/her. The old fish must be dry and a little hard.

The sun is setting on the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Connie and Clive and little Connick is cheeping and wanting some last fish – he is watching Connie eat. Don’t blame him! “Fill me up Mum!” Connie finished the fish and I did not see the wee one get any before fed. Connick was full already. He just wanted a topper. It is a long time til breakfast. At least 12 hours if not a little more.

Everything seems to be going fine at the nest of Ringo and Boots in Webster, Texas. Isn’t this wonderful? You might recall that little Boots had literally been plucked (back of head, nape, and upper back) of feathers. But, Boots wants to live and that is precisely what is happening – and the beaking has stopped. Wish we knew what started those frenzied attacks when the eaglets were so young but, at the same time, it is just nice it is over. So grateful for Paul White’s videos and updates.

It is little Boots time for some food.

If you are US Steel eagle fans, the eagles are working on the nest!!!!!

Nancy and her mate were also busy in Minnesota.

It is always a winter wonderland scene in Decorah, Iowa when the snow falls. Isn’t that just beautiful? What a gorgeous view for the eagles.

Nest restorations include new corn husks. Have you noticed all the different materials the eagles use for the interior of their nests depending on where they live?

This is the scene at Decorah North. I did not see anyone there today.

Jackie is gorgeous in the morning light coming from the sun rising over Big Bear Lake in California.

Jackie was quite alert today. The Ravens/Crows were around making noises at 0933 and I heard them again when I checked back at 1058. I wish they would go away and not want those eggs!

Everyone is doing fine at Superbeaks. They are working those wings. Pearl is 51 days old today and Tico is 50 days old. The next couple of weeks will speed by in a flash…and then we are into fledge watch around 77 days for Florida Bald Eagles.

What an amazing nest this has been to watch this year. I thank everyone who recommended it to me. Pearl and Tico are so healthy and PePe and Muhlady were amazing parents. There appeared to be not a hungry moment on this nest.

It is hard to spot any remaining dandelions. There are just gorgeous espresso juvenile feathers. Beautiful dark eyes and of course the beak is dark black and grey almost ombre style.

At the opposite end is our little butterball cutie pie, B16 at Berry College. Before we blink, B16 will be standing and walking just like Tico and Pearl.

Dad came in with a huge rabbit. B16 was really hoping that Mum might give some of that for lunch but, no, she went and dug in the pantry til she found something nice and ripe!

Ron and Rose can just crack you up! Heidi Mc caught an unusual moment from today for us.

Jack continues to deliver fish to Diane at the nest in St Petersburg. Eggs should be laid if Diane is on her normal schedule this coming week.

Mabel and Angus have been hanging out today at the Captiva Osprey nest. No eggs yet either! Soon maybe. Or not.

It looks like there is some question about whether or not the nest rails are high enough. No, they are not!

Last but never least. Annie and the New Guy caught on streaming cam. Thanks SK Hideaways.

I am so very sorry to have brought you the news about Sue and Otto. Avian Flu is deadly and it can spread like a wildfire. It has not dissipated during the winter months in North America as some might have hoped. Please keep all the birds and wildlife in your most positive thoughts.

Thank you so much for being with me. The nests are all in good form. No worries at all. Looking forward to seeing you soon! Take care of yourself.

Thank you to the following for the announcements, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Red-tailed Hawk Tales, The Guardian, Ferris Akel Tours, Friends of Osprey, Port Lincoln Osprey, KNF-E3, NEFL-AEF, Window to Wildlife, Paul White and the Webster Eagle Watchers, Pix Cams, MN-DNR, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Berry College Eagle Cam, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, and Achieva Credit Union.

If you would like to subscribe so that the blog comes to your inbox daily, just fill in the information below. There is normally only one posting per day. On occasion two. I do not want to fill your e-mail. there are no ads nor are there any fees – just a large group of people from around the world joining together who love raptors.

Captiva adults named Angus and Mabel…Monday in Bird World

23 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

For those celebrating the Chinese New Year or Tet, I hope that you had a wonderful time with friends and/or family and that your upcoming year will be all you wish it to be.

I am always on about the weather but, this week will be reasonable on the Canadian Prairies. The meteorologists are forecasting that we will be thrown into the -25 degree C range beginning in a week and that those extreme temperatures will last for at least a week. I am not looking forward to this because it causes me to worry about the few birds that visit the garden that really should have gone South sooner or the tundra swan north of me. Without our technologically advanced clothing, humans actually cannot endure those blustery temperatures like the birds. Still, I worry about them when I see their little legs. So there will be lots of high protein, high-energy suet cylinders all around the lilacs for everyone in a week.

Today there were the sparrows and dear Dyson who has managed to consume almost an entire hard seed cylinder in 36 hours. Can you see her? She blends in well. She also scares all the other little songbirds away when she runs through the lilac bushes making sure her summer children do not bother her while she is eating.

The European Starlings arrive around 12:30. They are as good as some of the European and Japanese trains that are on the ‘minute’. The Starlings only eat (as far as I can see) this cornmeal-peanut butter mixture formed into cylinders. It is high energy and helps keep them fit and warm.

The lighting was not good and I had the camera set to automatic but, this image of the Dove came out not so bad. The kittens really love seeing ‘their’ friend.

Making News:

We are going to start with the horrible reality of Avian Flu because other than the news items, the state of Bird World is really pretty good late on Sunday evening, the 22nd of January, the Year of the Water Rabbit.

Avian Flu has been found in bears! While everyone really hoped that this killer would ‘go away’, it isn’t. Every week new outbreaks are documented in birds that require euthanasia. It is sad and what scares me most is that it could become much worse in the spring.

We have read about the killings of raptors in the UK. We know that storks are shot when they migrate over certain countries. We also know that beautiful eagles and hawks are shot in the US and elsewhere. I cannot even imagine, for a second, aiming a gun at a bird to try and injure or kill it. Not even if I were starving. Today, APCH has a new patient – a Red Tail Hawk that was shot! This makes me angry.

Another victim of lead poisoning. Rainy has been receiving medical attention since she was admitted to the Winged Freedom Raptor Hospital. What I want you to notice is how tiny that piece of lead is that was causing her to be deathly ill. Now imagine a hunter leaving the innards of a deer full of lead shot and the carrion eaters consuming that lead so that they have a meal and can survive another day with food.

Here is the update. So happy for the good news.

Nest News:

The new pair of Ospreys at Lori Covert’s Captiva Osprey platform have been named Mabel and Angus after Lori Covert’s maternal grandparents.

Love is in the air at The Campanile on the University of California-Berkeley campus. Annie and the ‘new guy’. Thanks Sassa Bird for the re-post and to moon-rabbit-rising for those amazing images.

SK Hideaways caught The New Guy and his amazing scraping..a world record?

Oh, it is a windy day for Jackie at the Big Bear Valley nest. You can hear icy-snow pelting the camera lens. Jackie takes it all in stride.

Jackie is so peaceful. On Sunday, Shadow delivered a fish and tried to incubate. Jackie told him ‘no’. I guess he will have to resort to the ‘stick persuasion method’ tomorrow. :))

It has been a busy Sunday at the Achieva Credit Union nest. Jack and Diane are mating, making nestorations, and Jack continues to provide fish gifts for Diane during the day. Well done, Jack! I might even think there was a new invigorated ‘you’ this year! You are being very attentive. Keep it up!

Indigo is still chasing his parents at Orange! He is so adorable…who would ever mind all that screaming? Elain’s highlights from the 22nd.

CE9 is still being fed well.

Lots of crops and a moment, over by the fish, when it seemed that CE9 would be self-feeding well before expected. So how long do you think it will take before CE9 is nibbling these fish?

Sweet little CE9. It will have a name next week. Did you vote? Go to the Window for Wildlife FB or Lori Covert Instagram and send them your name. Needs to be gender-neutral.

Oh, it is soaking at the Captiva Eagle Nest of Connie and Clive Monday morning. That did not stop Connie feeding little CE9. Oh, this baby is a sweetie. Moving around when it hears Mum so it can have some more of that fish Clive has stacked on the nest.

The wee babe is growing. Look at it compared to the egg today. And CE9 is able to handle those big bites of Mum! Such a relief that things are going well here.

The kids at Superbeaks just seem to be getting bigger by the day. That nest is going to be crazy when they both start to vigorously flap those wings. What a wonderful nest this has been to watch — it was like watching the Albatross. We could not see any of the early behaviour and we were not stressed.

You can get a really good look at the thermal down underneath the feathers in the image below.

Ron brought Rita a really nice fish to the WRDC nest in Miami-Dade.

HeidiMc’s latest video of Ron and Rose. Such characters!

B16, Missy and Pa Berry’s nestling, has been enjoying lots of rabbit.

Missy wanted to feed the wee babe the minute it hatched. She had to wait til morning and she filled it with rabbit…there must be lots of rabbits around Berry College in Georgia.

B16 is a cute little butterball of a baby. Pa Berry has several rabbits and a squirrel on the nest. Good thing as the snow is starting to come down on Missy and B16.

For those who have not been able to check on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Zoe is still on the barge. She flew in this morning and the minute she put a talon on the nest she started screaming for fish. That’s our Zoe!

Zoe has her landing gear down as she approaches the barge.

Zoe got caught in some cross winds. Rudder full open. Raised the wings to correct and slow.

For a moment I thought she had something in her talon. That would have been so special.

Landing at 09:18:10. Zoe immediately starts screaming for fish!

Zoe is 127 days old. Yesterday Mum and Dad each brought a fish to their big girl. On the 17th of January Zoe brought a fish to the nest but, she did not catch it herself. It was a delivery off the barge.

Nancy and her new mate at the MN-DNR nest have been working on the railings at the nest early Sunday morning. It is quiet now. Snow is starting to fall.

It is very difficult to see but it would appear that the redness on Boots’ neck and back from Ringo plucking, has dissipated. In the video clips that were posted by Paul White on Sunday, there appeared to be civil behaviour. There is a huge difference in the size of the eaglets. Let us hope that all of the beaking is over.

The nest in Webster, Texas home to Ringo and Boots.

Ringo.

Little Boots. See how the area that had been plucked appears to not be red. White fluffy down on the head. A real change and a nice one. The nest has been beak free for a couple of days.

Everything seems fine at the Webster TX nest Monday morning. Little Boots is having what appears to be a good breakfast.

All is well with Gabby and V3. You can hear the wind blowing hard on the nest tree in The Hamlet Sunday evening. The nest is ready and in good shape with a nice soft egg cup – if we have eggs this year from this new couple.

It is a beautiful nest. I know that we are all hoping to see little eaglets. Fingers crossed.

Dr Peter Sharpe is one of our heroes. The care and attention he gives to the Channel Islands eagles is unparalleled. He also helps other groups in the area including Cal Falcons. Just look at this landscape and imagine taking a boat and climbing a cliff to save an eaglet that has gotten out of the nest and that is clinging for life literally to the rock.

Akecheta was looking out from the rocks on Sunday at 17:57 and Thunder flew across the frame below.

Iowa has snow. The camera at Decorah North caught a beautiful deer sleeping in the snow today.

I wonder if the eagle was watching the deer below the tree.

At the southern end of New Zealand is the Taiaroa Head near Dunedin. That is where the Royal Albatross colony lays their eggs. The Royal Cam chick hatched a few days ago. It is already growing – doubling its weight, etc. Incredible. The NZ DOC rangers do wellness checks which include a quick examination and a weigh in to make certain that every chick is healthy and progressing well. Here are some images from the Royal Cam nest for today.

Flystrike (and the larvae that the flies leave) is a real threat to the health and life of the wee albatross chicks. Notice that big fly trying to get under the adult! Flystrike is a threat to the nestlings for a fortnight (2 weeks) after the chick is returned to its parent and placed in the nest. You will continue to see checking for fly strike and spraying around the nest and in it until then.

This is L, the Mum, brooding the chick.

The rangers are so very gentle when they remove the chick from the nest.

L stimulating the beak of her chick to feed. So sweet.

Harriet gave E21 and 22 their final feeding of the day around 18:20. By 18:30 both eaglets had very large crops. That is the little one, E22, closest to Mum’s beak.

It is a soaking Monday morning. Harriet kept the babies dry and then needed to feed the chirping wiggle worms.

It turned out to be a nice day rather than a wet one at the Kisatchie National Forest nests Monday. That is KNF-E3 02 sitting up with its clown feet. Feeding of Coot appears to have gone well.

Baby of Anna and Louis was enjoying a non-rainy day feed as well.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: The New York Times, A Place Called Hope, Winged Freedom Raptor Hospital, Window to Wildlife, Sassa Bird and Cal Falcons plus moon_rabbit_rising, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, FOBBV, Achieva Credit Union, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Superbeaks, WRDC, Heidi MC and WRDC, Berry College, Port Lincoln Ospreys, MN-DNR, Paul White and Webster Eagle Watchers FB, NEFL-AEF, IWS and Explore.org, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, NZ DOC, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, KNF-E3, and KNF-E1.

We would love to have you as part of our bird loving family. There is normally only one post per day unless something special happens. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Rose and Ron bonding…Friday in Bird World

13 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Here it is, Friday the 13th. I wonder how many people reading this are superstitious?

On Thursday afternoon, I put on the heavy coat and took out the camera and battery, warmest boots, scarf, toque and headed out to the nature centre. It was -12 degrees C with only a 4 kph wind and 84% humidity. Damp. It was a lovely day in the forest and a few friends were around the feeders.

Several Red Squirrels were running about enjoying the peanuts knocked down from the feeders by the birds or another squirrel ‘friend’.

‘Squirrel Friend’ in action!

A sweet little female Downy Woodpecker enjoying the suet. I love feeding suet in the winter because, unlike peanuts and Black Oil seed, have to be cleared up regularly.

The Black-capped Chickadees are simply precious. They flit about taking one seed, fly to a branch, open and eat it and fly back to get another – all day long.

What a treat it was to see a White-breasted Nuthatch.

Merlin Sound ID alerted me to a Yellow Flicker in the area but I did not see it. The deer were not around today near the hide.

Making News:

It is easy to worry about our favourite feathered families with the heavy rains and floods that have been happening in California (and at other places in the US and around the world). That makes it so much of a relief to see that Annie and her new male friend are at The Campanile and are safe.

They are putting sat pads on Ospreys in Senegal! It seems that the people in Africa are as curious about where their ospreys go to breed as we are to find out where they winter. This is just grand.

Creating new wetlands is a good thing.

If you missed The Flight of the Osprey presentations/shows/talks, Geemeff has reposted the links so that you can watch/hear:

The expectations are that Avian Flu will continue to kill domestic and wild birds. Are you noticing any shortage of eggs? Tests are going on now as duck hunting season is in full swing in places like California. The researcher in this article ” will deliver her samples to UC Davis, where lab personnel will test them first for avian flu in general and ultimately for the specific strain known as Goose/Guangdong (Gs/GD) lineage highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Gs/GD HPAI is the deadliest and most infectious bird flu ever to strike Europe or North America, according to wildlife epidemiologists. The strain ravages domestic poultry flocks and can sicken and kill more species of wild birds across a greater geographic area than any previous outbreak, leaving an unprecedented trail of death. So far, the virus has affected more than 52 million domestic poultry birds in the U.S. and has been tested for and confirmed in 4,362 wild birds across the country.” 

The first eagle in SW Virgina confirmed to have bird flu. This year there could be some very serious hardships.

I was interviewed last week about the impact of war on wildlife. Today there is an article appearing in The Guardian about Hooded Crows around Babyn Yar near Kyiv. Keeping in mind that there has been so much destruction in Ukraine, it is a very interesting article to read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/12/country-diary-the-silently-screaming-ravine-is-now-filled-with-bird-chatter?CMP=share_btn_link

In the mailbox:

‘L’ send me the latest Audubon news that shows their lobbying of the federal government has included many of their concerns about the environment and wildlife. Thanks, ‘L’. Have a read:

https://www.audubon.org/news/recently-passed-federal-funding-package-makes-investments-natural-climate

‘A’ has noticed that Clive is bringing a lot of trout to Connie and CJ7. Where is the trout coming from? That is such an interesting question. Thank you for asking it, ‘A’. I am reminded of when Dylan has brought Brown Trout into the nest at Llyn Clywedog that he shares with Serena Blue 5F. Dylan could get them from the local Reservoir but often humans are there fishing. I was so impressed with John Williams who tracked Dylan in a round about way and discovered that Dylan will escort intruders up to 25 miles away from the nest and it seems he stops along the way back home to fish! So now, where does Clive get those trout? Believe it or not, Captiva is well known for its winter fishing which includes Trout. Fresh Water Fishing Advice said this, “Spotted seatrout fishing is good in Captiva year-round. The season to fish for spotted seatrout in the region is high between January and October. The best time of the year to catch spotted seatrout in the area is between April and June.”

Checking the Nests:

The two eaglets at Superbeaks are growing and growing and then growing some more. It is difficult to get a screen capture of both of them together so I was pleased about the first image. It is early morning and Pearl and Tico are waiting for a fish delivery and breakfast. Their crops are empty!

Tico is 34 days old and Pearl is 35 days old today.

It is not long until fish arrive on the nest and these two get fed til they are full to the brim.

It is a wonder they can bend over. I am very impressed with these parents, PePe and Muhlady.

The two eaglets at the Kistachie National Forest E-2 nest of Alex and Andria are nothing short of precious. So civil to one another.

It is possible that KNF-E1-03 will be an only eaglet this year. In fact, this chick could be from the second egg. No matter. It will thrive under the watchful eye of Louis and Anna.

17:42. Probably the last meal of the day for the wee eaglet. Some people love the little pink feet but I love those little wings and the peek at the tail appearing.

Tonya Irwin gives us a short video of Louis taking care of E1-03 Thursday morning. Louis is such a proud daddy.

Shadow saw the precious egg that Jackie laid at 1600 on Wednesday early Thursday morning. Tine 07:06:22. After this, he flew out and returned with a nice fish for Jackie.

Jackie does not want to begin hard incubation until she is sure the second egg is in the nest. Otherwise the eaglets would be too different in birth times and this could cause severe rivalry. But, Jackie also knows that she cannot leave the egg alone or the Crows will get it. Little Fiona came to the nest but Fiona will not bother the egg.

One good way is for Jackie to perch near the egg – or Shadow – protecting the nest should a predator arrive.

What a sweet look – a marvel. Jackie looking at that egg she has laid. Oh, let us all hope that this is a good year for our Big Bear Valley couple. They deserve it. What fantastic parents they were to Spirit.

Notice how Jackie is sleeping over the egg to protect it from any predators but it is not yet hard incubating so if there is a second egg, the eaglets will hatch closer together. What a brilliant idea to keep the Crows at bay.

The California news is already celebrating Jackie and Shadow’s first egg! Oh, how wonderful.

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/the-scene/the-first-egg-of-2023-arrives-for-big-bears-beloved-bald-eagles/3071805/?_osource=db_npd_nbc_knbc_eml_shr

Connie and Clive’s little one had a nice big crop today. There are lots of fish on that nest! Some of them are hidden. The little one looks fine despite some concerns over Connie eating more than she is feeding the chick. It does not look like the second egg will hatch. Like the KNF-E1 nest, it is possible that this chick was actually from the second egg.

Gabby and V3 were working on the nest this morning. He is rather handsome. I know he is not Samson but there are things about him that remind me of Samson – like his tight ‘jeans’.

HeidiMc caught Ron and Rose bonding in the WRDC nest in Miami yesterday. They are such a funny eagle couple! I love how Rose nibbles on Ron’s feathers. Oh, so sweet.

The beaking at the Southwest Florida nest of E21 and E22, kidlets of Harriet and M15, is not that bad. The problem is E22 who does seem to stare E21 right in the eye and then aim at him/her with its beak and then E21 shows 22 who is boss.

Look carefully. You are going to see black dots. Those are not bugs. The plumage is beginning to change. Yes, already. You will see the thermal down but you will also begin to see tiny black dots where the shafts of the feathers are emerging. You will also notice that the egg tooth is disappearing.

E22 you should never look 21 in the eye. Never!

For now, 21 is the oldest and is the boss. Just leave things alone.

A short clip from SK Hideaways showing E21 and 22 eating a meal and rather behaving. They do not always. E22 can still get rough.

It is raining in Fort Myers and Harriet is keeping the two wiggle worms underneath her!!!!!! M15 has a big rabbit on deck for dinner when it stops.

Indigo the beetle-slayer! and Diamond chaser. Indigo is so proud of his beetles. Just imagine what it will be like when he gets his first ‘real’ prey!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is lots of news and things happening in the world. It is hard to keep track of everything and report on all the birds. All of the hatched eagles at every nest appear to be doing just fine. That is wonderful news. Diane at the Achieva Osprey nest appears to be so much better on her her injured leg. She even flew off with a fish in that leg’s talon today. I do not think we will see any more chicks at Captiva or KNF-01. Keep watching as we have Berry College Eagles coming up and for all of the Royal Albatross fans, the pip on the Royal cam chick is about a fortnight away?

Thank you so very much for being with me. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their questions, their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’, ‘L’, Cal Falcons, SKHideaways and Cal Falcons, Project Tougoupeu FB, BBC Dorset, Geemeff, Bay Nature, L Doyle and Bald Eagles Live Nests and Cams, Audubon News, Superbeaks, KNF E3, KNF E1, Tonya Irwin and KNF-E1, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, HeidiMc and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, SK Hideaway and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, and Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Waiting for E22, wildlife protection laws in Northern Ireland and more…Friday in Bird World

6 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It was -12 degrees C with no wind Thursday. The sky was a bright blue and there was hoar frost on the trees and shrubs. My photographs do not do the frost justice – it is like a fairy wonderland out there.

Today was my first walk at the nature centre this year. The lake is frozen and it is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

According to the Woodland Trust, “Hoar frost is a type of feathery frost that forms as a result of specific climatic conditions. The word ‘hoar’ comes from old English and refers to the old age appearance of the frost: the way the ice crystals form makes it look like white hair or a beard. It forms when the water vapour in the air comes into contact with solid surfaces that are already below freezing point. Ice crystals form immediately, and the ice continues to grow as more water vapour is frozen. On a still night, it can grow well on tree branches, where the surface temperature is unlikely to rise above zero for several hours.”

It was a bit of a fairy tale day. I had not expected to see any birds but, right off, there was a pair of Downy Woodpeckers – a male and a female – as I entered the forest. It felt like a really nice greeting.

When I went to submit the three Downy Woodpeckers to eBird, Cornell thought that was absolutely too many for this date. Thankfully I had images of the three of them. (The third was at a feeder).

There were only two Red Squirrels that I could see. One was eating out of this feeder and the other one was finding seed on the ground.

The Chickadees are so sweet. They will follow you through the forest.

There had been five deer feeding I was told but, this was the only one left when I got to the hide. It was about 3 metres away from me.

It was a good day to get outside for other reasons, too. E21 hatched! E22 is on its way and will be here by tomorrow morning. E21 is so cute and adorable and in a few days everyone will be yelling at that eaglet to stop beaking its sibling. It just happens. So, today was a good day just to be somewhere else.

And it starts. Those lovely soft feathers are going to be just coated and matted together with fish juice and pieces of prey! M15 had the honours of dropping this big piece of prey on E21’s little beak.

Oh, I hope E21 isn’t a little stinker. Looks like an eaglet with attitude.

Harriet is a pro of an Eagle Mother. How old is she now? 26? 28? The fact that the second egg is already pipping is a testament to her experience. The closer they are in hatch times, the better for them – more evenly matched in their dust ups.

Harriet was feeding E21 when the camera zoomed in and caught the precise moment that E22 broke through the membrane and the shell. Lady Hawk has it on video:

The progress at 0736 Florida time Friday morning for E22.

I am so glad that I did not get to see inside the Superbeaks nest. If you think the age and size difference is a lot at KNF-E3 with Alex and Andria, it has to be even a little more at Superbeaks. That first hatch is monster size compared to the little second one. We are now at the stage where they both have thermal down, there is plenty of food, and both are being fed well. My only worry – that will cause some minutes of loss of sleep – is that one area of the nest without a rail. One of the eaglets was hanging its head over that end today! By the way, jump for joy. The rain cleared off the camera (mostly).

Pepe is an amazing fisher and Muhlady has managed to raise two very different aged eaglets. Remarkable. Now I wish they would get their carpentry skills out and get with adding some chair rails before I have a heart attack!

Our very own Dave Hancock answers some questions that have come up about Bald Eagles and mating.

There they are. The beautiful Liberty and Guardian.

Thunder and Akecheta were at their West End nest in the Channel Islands. There has been rain and storms in the area but, it sure is beautiful around 1630 when the pair were spotted on the streaming cam.

The other Channel Islands nests – Fraser Point and Two Harbours – continue to show highlights from last season.

There was rain and pelting hail and show today at Big Bear. It did not stop Jackie from coming to the nest to eat her late lunch at 1344!

Nancy came to the MN-DNR to do a nest check today after the snowy weather yesterday.

The two eaglets at the KNF-E3 nest are doing fantastic. Prey items are continually brought to the nest and if the angle is right you can see the feathers coming in on the wing tips of 01.

They are both getting longer and more slender looking as they move towards losing that natal down and getting their wooly coat.

They still seem to have fat little bottoms with tails coming in.

Gosh, Andria is huge. She sure loves her fish!

The continuing saga of Gabby and V3! Thanks ‘J’. I didn’t see this but saw them sitting together. These two seem to have communication problems over prey deliveries and now Gabby’s signals to want to mate. Goodness.

Lots of eyes trying to get a glimpse of the eggs at the KNF-E1 nest of Louis and Anna. Is there a pip? It is not clear.

My memory – of the first eaglets to die in 2022 of Avian Flu – was the Hilton Head Eagle nest. At the time it was unclear if the parents had gotten sick or died from eating the virus laden prey. This announcement was posted in December. We will wait to see if the eagles return to the nest? Perhaps, sadly, they also passed away later. The GHOWs are still at the nest today, 5 January.

It appears that Diane – of Jack and Diane – at the Achieva Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida is doing better today with her injured leg. That is excellent news!

I am continually surprised at how adaptable wildlife her to the challenges thrown at them. At the same time, I wonder why we do not give them that change to prove themselves? Why not a one legged eagle? Dennis Brecht has photographed one. Just asking. Check out this fox! Only 2 legs.

One reason that I continually peck at this issue is that when I was born, my dad had a three-legged dog that guarded my basket and enjoyed life like any other four-legged animal. I do not recall her having issues but, I do know that she lived to be more than 20 years old.

Before I went to the nature centre, I had a couple of things to pick up. Without naming the store, I noticed a woman fumbling around with a lot of things in aisle 6 – this aisle was fully of products to get rid of ants, mice, etc. I decided to ‘be nosey’. The woman told me she had mice and she had successfully used the traps with the cubes of rodenticide poisoning and also just to be sure, she puts glue traps on the floor around the traps.

I am so aware of the harmful effects of secondary rodenticide poisoning because of Missy and Lewis and losing a cat years ago to these designer toxins. Of course, we read about secondary poisoning for our eagles and other raptors every day. Every day. So I asked the woman some questions. How do you dispose of the glue pads once you have caught your mouse who has died a horrifically painful death? Did she imagine that the garbage bag could get ripped open by wildlife at the landfill and then it would also ‘trap’ them? Did she know that the mice eating the solid blocks of poison go outside, get sludgy and a local cat or hawk can eat them and die? I recounted the horrible death of Duncan – nothing the vets could do. This woman had no idea. She also had no idea that our City outlawed the use and sale of both products. So why are they still on the store’s shelf? My rant had zero impact as I saw her loading the items in her cart. She is more troubled by having the mice around and doesn’t care what happens to the pets of others or the wildlife. Sad.

All of this brings me to a very sad story. Remember the eagle floating on the ice? the one who was saved? and went into rehab?

More eagles in a different state – this time Montana – poisoned from euthanised pets being dumped. It sounds like this practice is more wide spread than anyone would have thought. Isn’t it time for someone to investigate and get in touch with every Vet society there is to stop this inhumane dumping practice that is causing widespread suffering in the Eagles. Cremation is the only way. Just do it.

Keeping in the thread of rodenticide and all manner of illegal killing of raptors – their persecution, we know that there are people working very hard to change laws in every country. Once on the books to try and get those laws enforced and then strengthen them when need be. It is not easy as you have seen by the postings from Raptor Persecution UK. I want to be hopeful that ‘finally’ people at all levels – including the highest in governments – will notice that there is a sea change and the population wants our wildlife, our water, and our land protected. We know the importance of this – help spread the word. Finally for today and certainly not least, Northern Ireland passed its own laws similar to those in the UK. Well done, Wild Justice. You can follow their progress and that in the UK by following Wild Justice and Raptor Persecution UK. Here is the announcement. Thanks, Geemeff for reminding me to post this important information!

Northern Ireland: new general licences which permit killing of a variety of birds are now published (link 1 below) The new licences are much improved: fewer species are listed and the lists make a lot more biological sense. For a bit more detail see our blog (link 2 below) 

These licences are now much closer in line with those in England (where we have taken successful legal challenges), Wales (where we took the former licences to court and although we lost the case, the changes that followed were what we had asked for) and Scotland (where changes have happened in response to those elsewhere in the UK and without us having to intervene, as yet). In particular, the slimmed down version of the ‘conservation’ licence, TPG3, only applies during the breeding season and only includes a couple of corvid species.  In addition, the licences are much better and more tightly worded than before.  

It has taken a long time, and quite a lot of effort, and quite a lot of money spent on legal fees, to get these changes but they wouldn’t have happened without Wild Justice. And by Wild Justice we mean you, our supporters too because many of you responded to the consultations (one aborted and one completed) that the Northern Ireland authorities launched.  And, of course, you funded all the legal challenges across the UK. You helped get this change – thank you.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourself as we await the hatch of E22. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, announcements, postings, Twitter feeds, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Superbeaks, FORE, IWS and Explore.org, FOBBV, MN-DNR, KNF-E3, NEFL-AEF , NEFL-AEF and Lady Hawk, KNF-E1, Hilton Head Island Trust, Achieva Ospreys, The Telegraph, Terry Carman and Bald Eagle Live Nest Cams, Geemeff and Wild Justice, and Wild Skies Raptor Centre.

Welcome to the world E21!…and other news in Bird World for Thursday

5 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

As I begin writing this blog, there is a fuzzy ball under the front of Harriet. The time is 2034 on the 4th of January. More than two thousand persons are watching the streaming cam hoping for a first glimpse of this little fuzzy ball. Harriet and M15 are probably the ‘most popular’ Bald Eagles in the world and everyone wishes them well as they begin a new year. We can look forward to E22 hatching – and I hope he isn’t too far behind! This couple produces strong scrappy eaglets.

But before we go there, Geemeff sent me a video this morning. I laughed and laughed and perhaps, before you begin reading this you could use a big giggle. It is Alia – one of my all time favourite female ospreys and her three in 2020. Hang on to the end. Do not take your eyes off Captain, JJ7. Thank you Geemeff. I needed this more than anything. Your timing was perfect.

Here is the progress during the early evening of 4 January to the hatch:

Hey, Little One…I’m M15, your daddy! Just look at M15. He has done a fantastic job incubating the eggs (or trying to get Harriet up off them so she could). He knows that there will be a new little eaglet soon…he looks down with adoring eyes. All those foot kicks from Harriet seemed to work.

Working away…pecking with that egg tooth to get that hard shell to crack open. Gosh, just look at that…I bet that crack goes all the way around.

At 1834, the egg shell was fully cracked and much of it was in bits and pieces.

At 2034 a little fluff ball appears. How exciting! Welcome to the world E21.

At 2137 some egg shells are pushed away, out from under the eaglet in the nest.

At 202308, we get to see the little one.

‘J’ wrote first thing that she is ‘in love’ with E21. And she sent several photos of this cutie. Thanks, ‘J’. E21 is adorable and look at those cutie pie pink tootsies.

Oh, you already look like you have attitude! I sure hope E22 hatches fast!!!!!!!

At the KNF nest E1 of Anna and Louis, the chat moderator Tonya Irwin said this evening that the pip that they thought they had seen Wednesday morning – day 35 of the incubation – was just wishful thinking. They did not see it again during the day.

It is often very difficult to tell if there is a pip or a crack. Nesting materials can trick us all the time!

At the E-3 nest, Andria is doing an amazing job feeding the two eaglets. As many of you have noticed, 01 is pretty ‘chill’ until 02 gives it a poke and then 01 does one back to show who is boss. Most of that seems to be calming down (or I have just missed it). When it looks like they might both be full, Andria holds the bite of fish in between the two and waits to see if either will take it. Then she might press it closer. Both are doing extremely well. There is plenty of fish and no worries at this nest that I can see.

I wish the hatches would slow down. It is nice to get to watch a nest for a few days without rushing off to check on another. These two at E3 are adorable. Look carefully. You can see 01’s tail feathers just sprouting and a few black specks. Time passes too quickly.

Over the course of 2022, I posted numerous instances where raptors were killed on estates and/or by gamekeepers. Just yesterday I questioned whether or not there was some collusion between the authorities since it appears that charges are slow to be laid with penalties often small. Well, there is good news. A gamekeeper has pleaded guilty with sentencing to follow. I really hope he gets the most extreme sentence since he violated every law regarding raptors, firearms, and pesticides. Please go to the Raptor Persecution UK blog for all the details.

But why did I say collusion? and why did I ask about ties that bind people together causing them to overlook illegal activities when they are paid to do the opposite? This is why:

By keeping these horrific acts in the public eye, a few individuals have even risked their own lives to ensure that the restoration of these endangered raptors can move ahead hopefully without them being shot quicker than they can hatch and fledge!

I noticed that someone made a comment that they thought gamekeepers were employed to protect the wildlife. That is a misunderstanding. Games keepers are hired by the grouse hunting estates. They manage the wildlife that is ‘shot’ by people coming for shooting weekends. They are not hired to protect the raptors that might want to have a Red Grouse or a Pheasant for a meal. This is the full job description by one agency:

Gamekeepers look after game, including pheasants, partridges and grouse, as well as animals such as ducks, deer and fish. You’ll care for and protect the animals, and also the areas where they live. Gamekeepers organise the events where people shoot game.

That bad weather that was supposed to hit a little earlier is now causing snow and wind in Minnesota at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and her new mate.

There was some snow earlier in Decorah, Iowa and as of this evening, it appears to have turned to rain which could produce quite icy conditions.

These same weather conditions were at the nest of Mr North and Mrs DNF.

It appears dry in South Bend, Indiana this evening, home to the ND-LEEF Bald Eagles – OR do we just call it Little Bit ND17’s natal nest? I sure wonder where he is and how he is doing after going into rehab at death’s door and coming out in such fine shape, flying and learning to catch prey with his parents and siblings. What a joyous ending that was! The adults have done a fantastic job – just look at those chair rails on this nest. You might remember that there was literally only a tiny piece of the original nest left. Eagles are dedicated. It is amazing how quickly they can put a nest back together! I just wish this one had a little larger area for the eaglets. But, oh, well…

As the sun set at Captiva, I did not see any Ospreys at the platform nest today.

There is another week before we will be looking for a pip at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Connie and Clive. Really wish them well. Connie and Joe’s two eaglets died of secondary rodenticide poisoning in 2020. The grief drove Joe from the nest. There were no eaglets last year so, there is much hope for this couple for 2023.

Rose was in the nest checking it out today and then Ron came along and they were both at the WRDC Bald Eagle nest in Miami.

My friend ‘A’ is astonished at the size of the oldest eaglet at Superbeaks. She mentions this all the time. PePe has made sure there is tonnes of food on this nest and Muhlady has fed those eaglets, stuffing the oldest one to the brim and then feeding the second. What you bet this big one is a large female? Look at that crop! Goodness. Muhlady feeds them until there are no more fish cries. It doesn’t matter if it takes 30 or 45 minutes. What a great Mum!

If playing footsie on a branch close to one another is the image everyone has been wanting, we have had several of Gabby and V3 yesterday and today. It is also readily apparent that V3 is going to be the ‘defender of the realm’ that we all had hoped he would be. He looks to be in good shape.

Of course, we have a problem. V3 flew in with a squirrel at 1003 and Gabby was on the branch. She was so excited and made such a racket that it scared him and he flew off with the squirrel. “V3 this is not how it is done…”.

It looks to be mostly highlights at the Channel Island Bald Eagle nests. It is a perfect time to go back and see the ‘Three Amigos’ from 2022 at the West End.

It is one thing to read about Bird Flu. It is another to see the impact of this deadly virus. Here is another good read from The Guardian in which one witness said: ““Most died out at sea and had been swept in to shore. Some would simply stand, comatose, oblivious to my presence. I would find them lifeless the next morning in the same spot I left them,” he says. “What struck me was that the vast majority of the dead birds I encountered had been fine, healthy creatures in excellent condition. They were not emaciated or undernourished.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/04/guardian-readers-describe-impact-of-bird-flu-aoe?CMP=share_btn_link

Just devastating and, of course, there are real fears for 2023 as Avian Flu seems to be staying, not leaving.

Let’s pop in and see what is happening with Zoe. On the 5th of January, in Australia, Zoe was 109 days old. Dad brought in 2 fish and Mum brought Zoe 1. I wonder what will happen today? Zoe will be 110 days old. She is nearing the average of 112 for leaving the nest but, will she? I don’t think so. She seems very comfortable.

And from ‘H’ a photo to help me with my Port Lincoln Nesting diaries seems appropriate here, too. A rather rotund Zoe!

Elain’s video of Indigo’s visit to the box on 4 January:

Thank you for being with me today. Some of you have asked for pictures in the garden and others of Lewis and Missy. The garden animals are not all that cooperative these days. Dyson & Company have been staying in the lilacs. I have not seen Little Red or the Crows in our yard for a few days and the Blue Jay has stayed in the lilacs as well. It appears to be the hawk who has begun hiding in the wood box and the neighbouring cats let out to ‘do their business’ which means coming in my yard to try and catch a bird. Of course, they all have collars and are well fed! It upsets me that people let them out. We have bylaws and in fact, the cats will have better health if they stay inside and won’t get hit by foolish fast drivers taking a short cut through our neighbourhood. Oh, ….they make me mad. Those people with those cats. Lewis and Missy will never taste a song bird. They can look and enjoy them!

These are not great images. The kittens are either playing full tilt – which means running and sliding and getting into all manner of mischief OR their battery is completely worn down and they are sleeping. Louis’s hidden-hole has been found. He has been going into a Chinese dresser from the back in a small opening. I pulled out a drawer and was shocked to find him the other day. Missy likes to sleep on top of a basket or a blanket on the table.

The tuffs at the tips of Missy’s ears are growing out. She has to be brushed every day and her tail is turning into something you could use to dust all the furniture. That is the Maine Coon in her.

She is looking down at Lewis – one or the other will jump on the other and then they will run all over the house. They certainly get good exercise.

Individuals in our community make blankets for each kitten that is adopted. This is the most beautiful granny square little blanket any kitten could ever hope to have! And what a generous and wonderful idea.

Missy likes to pretend she is ‘in the jungle’ when she stalks the birds outside from the conservatory.

Take care everyone. We will see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, blogs, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘A’, ‘Geemeff and Friends of Locks Arkaig, Woodland Trust, and People’s Post Code Lottery’, ‘J’, and ‘H’, SWFL Bald Eagles and the D Pritchett Family, KNF-E1 and E-3, Raptor Persecution UK, MN-DNR, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, ND-LEEF, Window to Wildlife, WRDC, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, ‘G’ video and NEFL-AEF, The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Is it a new couple at the WRDC? has Gabby finally settled on her mate?…and more in Bird World

25 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

From all of us on the Canadian Prairies, we wish you good health, joy, some laughter, and much love at this time of the year.

The kittens hope that you have some good tasty treats. Lewis would love some turkey but, sadly, he will only see it coming from a tin! I wonder what he will think of tofu with Tamarind sauce? I will let you know.

Missy hopes that you have a friend to share some time with – she especially is grateful to have Lewis for a little brother to play with and cuddle when it is chilly.

Dyson hopes that you have a lot of nuts and seeds!

The Starlings think a Bark Butter pie would just be the best ending for a special celebration. They would certainly not want it to be a ‘Black Bird’ pie in case anyone mistook them. Did you know that in medieval times they really did put birds in pies? They would fly out of the pies during the vast banquets on the estates and then the men would go and shoot them? It is true! One of the best books on medieval falconry is, Robbin S Oggins’s The Kings and Their Hawks. Falconry in Medieval England. Oh, so many stories.

My Starlings say make it a ‘Vegetarian’ pie!!!!! or a mincemeat one.

Mr Blue Jay reminds us that we need to take care of one another and all the animals. He wishes you a wonderful 2023!

A friend sent me this lovely image and I don’t think ‘S’ would mind if I share it with you. What a beautiful illustration of all the animals and I do love badgers! It is perfect.

So from all of us, good joy and good cheer! We are so glad that you are part of our big family.


M15 is, by far, the most favourite male Bald Eagle according to my readers. Samson was my heart throb but Akecheta comes up a close second and, then, of course, there is Shadow. And, yes, of course. I adore M15. Not only is he a softie when it comes to feeding the eaglets especially one that might get left out a bit but, he also takes great care of Harriet as Lady Hawk shows us in this video:

This version of the Twelve Days of Christmas was posted on the SWFL Eagle cam chat by Marie Chism. It is wonderful and a whole lot of fun.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
A nest in a pine tree

On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight stalkers stalking
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine fish a dancing
Eight stalkers stalking
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten horns a blowing
Nine fish a dancing
Eight stalkers stalking
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the 11th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven crows a crowing
Ten horns a blowing
Nine fish a dancing
Eight stalkers stalking
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree

On the 12th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
12 beak kisses
Eleven crows a crowing
Ten horns a blowing
Nine fish a dancing
Eight stalkers stalking
Seven starlings singing
Six ducks a playing
Five nose bling (five nose bling)
Four cameras watching
Three screamin squee’s
Two little eggs
And a nest in a pine tree


One of the nice things about the end of the year is that very talented people put in a season summary of their favourite nast. My very first love were the hawks and falcons and my heart still melts when I see Big Red on her nest with Arthur. It is remarkable. She will be 20 years old this spring having hatched in Brooktondale, New York (about 7.5 miles away from Ithaca) in the spring of 2003.

Today it is snowing. There is a ‘bomb cyclone’ that caused all manner of disruption for a 2000 mile stretch. It is terribly cold with a strong wind in Ithaca. There is fear for millions because of the storm and the cold. These are caused by “a collision of cold, dry air from the north and warm, moist air from the sout,” according to The Guardian. Hopefully Big Red, Arthur, and L4 are tucked in safe and warm and that all are safe – humans and wildlife as there are power outages just when warmth is required.

Big Red and Arthur working on their nest in the snow in 2022. Big Red laid her first egg on the 14th of March. 9 days later she laid her 4th egg – unprecedented for Big Red. All of the erases fledged.

L4 is in the middle. It is ‘Cutie Pie’ L4 that remains on the Cornell campus with Big Red and Arthur. L3 is in care. L1 was killed striking a window on the campus shortly after fledgling. L2 has dispersed.

L4 was not the first to fledge but that little one, who clamoured over its siblings not afraid of anything, was the first of the four to catch its own prey. It is still doing that and Mum and Dad do not seem to mind sharing the space with L4. And why should they? It is a large plentiful spot and L4 is a very special little one. No one thought there would be four and no one thought that the 4th would be as vivacious as he was…just look at that crop. L4 as the first up to the beak. He reminds me of Ervie, the 2021 hatch at Port Lincoln. Nothing phased Ervie either and he is still living in his parent’s territory, too. Gosh, I will never forget the dustups up Bazza….those three males at PLO were quite the characters.

It is a beautiful winter wonderland at the Deborah Eagle nest in Iowa today. The eagles have been around during the last week. There is, however, no sign of the Deborah North eagles, yet.

The death of the much loved male at the Centreport Bald Eagle nest on Long Island made the news:

I do not want to link the death of Dad at Centreport with Avian Flu but it has to be something that is considered when they do the necropsy. There are dire warnings coming that stress the deaths to our avian world will be akin to those of DDT before it was banned. They are calling it the second Silent Spring. We must prepare ourselves that we will see Avian Flu raise its head with a vengeance as we move into the new year and spring. ““The last time we experienced such large-scale and rapid losses of wild birds in the UK would be the impacts of DDT on birds of prey in the 1950s and 1960s associated with the Silent Spring narrative, or the widespread declines of farmland birds during the 1970s and 80s as a result of agricultural intensification, ” says the author of the article below that appears in The Guardian today.

And, yes, we must do something about it – and that something could mean the closing of the large factory farms that supply poultry around the world. A return to buying local from small farms where the birds are allowed to run freely and have a decent life before they are killed. Or giving up poultry (and meat) altogether. We must be prepared to pay more to help end this vicious cycle of bird flu if we really care about those feathered friends.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/23/deaths-thousands-wild-birds-avian-flu-new-silent-spring-aoe?CMP=share_btn_link

In Australia, everyone is wishing Zoe a happy 14th week birthday today.

Zoe being her best self – screaming for fish!

In Northeast Florida, everyone is wishing the revolving door of potential mates for Gabby would come to an end. V11, according to the AEF, was in the nest moving sticks around this morning shortly after 0803. (The other day it was Gabby and V9).

At 0823, Gabby was in the nest helping V11. This looks promising. Fingers crossed. Gabby needs a mate that will keep the other intruders out of the territory. Come on V11 – show us your stuff. Can you deliver huge fish? can you feed eaglets til their crops burst? can you bring food for Gabby and protect her? You have big talons to feel since Samson is not here. We need to know you are up to this — but, most of all, Gabby needs a strong male partner.

They were together after 1700.

Good night Gabby.

At the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty, Smitty has been at the nest today. No sign of Bella today.

Gosh, I don’t know what I would do if Elain stopped posting her daily summaries of the Orange scrape. I certainly look forward to them and seeing what has happened at the scrape of Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo!

Just giggle when you see Indigo with his prey!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, just about the time you think that you might get a better glimpse at the two eaglets at the Superbeaks nest, the parents, PePe and Muhlady, notice that there is a hole in the side of the nest that a chick could fall from. So what do they do? Stuff it with a pine branch blocking our view. There are two of them, little grey bobbleheads — and there is quite a lot of fish. No one is hungry on this nest.

Oh, just look with its soft feathers on the top of its head all stuck up straight. Adorable.

You can see both heads. Look carefully.

You can see the fish stacked up and look how well they fixed that hole. They must have heard us worrying about the little ones falling out. Well done you two. What great parents you are!

News of Ron and V2 comes to us from Pat Burke. Please note that it is Ron on the right.

V2 and Ron might be dreaming of eggs and eaglets but, Alex and Andria are getting ready any day for them! Now, how many days is it til we will have pip watch for M15 and Harriet….a week? Must check the dates.

Wishing all of you the very best that the season has to offer. Thank you so much for being a part of this great community of bird lovers. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many kind souls working to make the world a whole lot better for our feathered friends. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Darleen Hawkins and the Kistachie National Forest Eagle Cam Fans, Pat Burke and Ron and Rita’s Nest Watchers, Superbeaks, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NCTC Bald Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey, NEFL-AEF, Long Island News, Cornell Bird Lab, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Marie Chism, Lady Hawk and SWFL and D Pritchett, and ‘S’ for that lovely image.