Remembering Sue and Otto intruders everywhere…Thursday in Bird World

26 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the ‘almost’ end of the week is looking good for all of you.

Thank you for your notes about the kittens. They are doing great. There are times I wonder if I will survive! My entire house looks like a kitten day care!!!!!! They prefer boxes and paper shopping bags to any kind of toy from the pet store. They want to sleep in baskets with soft blankets, on top of tables with soft blankets, and in drawers. I am trying to remember to cut all those handles – and you should, too. They can get their necks through them. They have been playing with this bag for a couple of weeks now. Taking turns being inside and out. It is just about torn to shreds! Lewis always appears to be chewing on something and Missey is always a darling – oh, no, she never causes any mischief! Never! LOL.

In the News:

Sue and Otto are remembered. It is a lovely article about this adored pair of Red-tail Hawks. In it, I also note that they are giving different days for the birds death. I will try and confirm which is correct.

https://news.syr.edu/blog/2023/01/25/remembering-su-sue-and-otto-syracuse-universitys-resident-hawk-pair/.

A Place called Hope – one of my all-time favourite wildlife rehabilitation centres – is asking for help. Unusual donations. They want more specimens of raptors killed by rodenticide and lead. They are gathering evidence so that a bill can be passed in Connecticut to stop the sale of both rodenticides and lead. Do you work at a centre that can help? And even if you don’t, read the request. It is shocking how many deaths there are so quickly….we need to stop this, we need to help our raptors.

The faces of some of those affected and some who have died due to rat poison and lead.

The joy I felt at seeing Cattle Egrets, in the pastures and small allotments in Grenada following the goats and cows, is hard to describe. Imagine being a farmer in the UK, changing your way of doings things to bring health to your land, and now you have cattle egrets! Just imagine how thrilling – a sign of a healthy space.

The article below gives a good history of the cattle egret. It is a really good read while demonstrating that biodiversity can work if we make the effort to change our practice. “Numbers of cattle egrets are booming in Britain, boosted by wildlife-friendly farming where cows are grazed on gentle rotations designed to improve soil quality and boost invertebrate populations.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/25/cattle-egrets-uk-wildlife-friendly-farms-have-had-a-few?CMP=share_btn_link

In Melbourne, scientists are wondering if a change in climate is the cause for the rise of the ‘devil bird’ in Melbourne’s suburbs. If you live in Melbourne, have you seen one of these?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/26/unusual-sightings-of-devil-bird-across-melbourne-raise-migration-mysteries-for-researchers?CMP=share_btn_link

We don’t get to see the Layman Albatross nesting on Kauai, Hawaii on streaming cams, only through the postings of Hob Osterlund. Thank you, Holly Parsons, for this re-post on the hatch of the little Moli.

A Sanibel eaglet that fell out of its nest now has been adopted and has its forever home. Congratulations!

In the Nests:

Louis and Anna’s little chick is doing fantastic. Oh, they had a soggy start to Wednesday after the storms pushed through the area but, everyone is fine.

Cody got the camera up and running at the E3 nest. Thank you Cody! You can really tell the difference between E01 and E03 now. E01 being the one with the most juvenile feathers. It feels like it happened overnight!

Just look at how well those eaglets are camouflaged in that nest. Both have serious crops from being well fed.

Coot is still on the menu. There must be an absolute abundance of Coots on Kincaid Lake this time of year.

02 is stretching its wings much to the curiosity of big sibling. They both have fuzzy Mohawks and you can see the feathers coming in along with those huge feet!

There is information on the chat roll for both KNF-E1 and KNF-E3 about naming 01 which I am presuming can only be Alex and Andria’s 01 chick from the E3 nest. “We will have a 24hour poll to name O1 on Friday the 27th starting at noon and ending on Saturday the 28th at noon. 3 names will be selected by local Forest Service employees then voted on in the chat.” Send in a name…give that little eaglet something to wear proudly all its life. Mark your calendars..this Friday til noon Saturday to come up with a great name. Then the 3 finalists.

It really was a scary time. On the 24th of January the Ravens came to the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Shadow came to the rescue. How terrifying for Jackie! The Eagles have to be constantly vigilant against Ravens and like Harriet and M15, the GHOs. Those Ravens know that Jackie has two precious eggs and they want them!

Here is another view of the threat by the Ravens.

Ranger Sharyn comes by and does a weight check on Sweet Pea. That is one of the nicknames that the South Plateau chick has at the moment. There will be a naming contest after the middle of February when all of the eggs have hatched. I wonder what the name will be? Names become important – they often help us to remember the birds easier than if they have a number. Scientific studies have also shown that our attachment to the wildlife/raptors/sea birds is more intense if they have a name. I am all for whatever it takes to help people care – and to help others to understand how important it is to care for these beautiful birds – all of them – before it is too late.

I am reposting one of Sharon Dunne’s screen captures of L and GLY together during the changeover. Just a gorgeous couple. Thank you, Sharon.

‘A’ sent me the link to this video capturing the moment that GLY sees his chick for the first time. Thanks, A!

The feedings for CE9 continue to go well. The little eaglet has responded in kind by growing and growing! CE9 is sweetness in a tiny bundle. So glad this little one is thriving.

Oh, sweetness in a food coma.

At 12:47:21 Clive feeds Connie and Connie feeds CE9. Precious. CE9 just wants lunch not fooling around parents!!!!!! This little eaglet will have its name today!!!!!! Wonder what it will be?

The last meal of the day at Captiva as the sun sets.

You may have also noticed that Connie continues to bury the unviable egg in the nest now.

The weather forecasts do not look good. The winds are really starting to pick up at Pa Berry and Missy’s nest in Georgia. B16 remains a beautiful little energetic fluff ball. There is some speculation that B16 is actually the second egg hatching at 36 days. Second eggs tend to hatch earlier than first due to delayed incubation. Chatters note that this would be in line with hatching last year also. One wonderful eaglet is fine.

Missy is making sure that the hatches are tight so little B16 is warm and dry. I would love to see these eagle nests catch a break one year from the snow and ice…we will see what happens later today and tomorrow as that system sweeps through the US.

The ospreys at Achieva have been mating and alerting from the nest. Are we going to see eggs in the next week?

The cam operator gave us some very good close ups at the Superbeaks nest this morning. Pearl is 49 days old and Tico is 48 days old today.

Texas already had the storms and the tornadoes and thankfully, the Webster Bald Eagles are just fine! Ringo and Boots up and eating well. Thankful for small miracles as there were no less than 14 confirmed tornadoes in Texas on the 24th.

Nancy and her mate were at the MN-DNR nest working on getting things ready for eggs.

They were working on the rails today.

The predicted snow is starting to fall on the Mum at Duke Farms and her egg. Oh, this poor dear. I remember a couple of years ago her being buried under snow. They survive of course but, it is so hard to watch. We just want to help them and ease any misery and pain they might have.

The snow and winds have hit Iowa and the precipitation is accumulating on both the nests at Decorah.

So far, the snow has not reached Pittsburgh and the US Steel Bald Eagle nest.

There are a lot of intruders. Harriet has had to defend the nest and now Bella is having to defend the NCTC nest. Stay safe, Bella. We do not want a repeat of last year where you were injured and gone for nearly 3 weeks.

Heading to Australia to check to see if Zoe is on the barge nest and yes, there she is. Zoe is 131 days old on Thursday in Australia. Yesterday Mum brought her one fish. I wonder if there will be any deliveries today. It is 1500 and I see no deliveries yet – unless I missed something. Zoe looks remarkably well fed and in good health.

Diamond was in the scrape box on the waterpower of the Charles Sturt University in Orange. It is now 15:21 and Indigo has not been seen or heard so far today.

Thank you so very much for being with us today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, announcements, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’, A Place Called Hope, The Guardian, Holly Parsons Albatross Lovers FB and Hob Osterlund, Terry carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and New and WAVY.COM KNF-E1 and E3, FOBBV, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ and NZ DOC, Window to Wildlife, Berry College, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, Paul White and the Webster TX Eagle Group, MN-DNR, Duke Farms, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Pix Cams, Deb Stecyk and the NCTC, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

If you would like to be a member of our bird loving family, we would love to have you join us. There is normally one posting per day unless there is some big excitement. I try hard not to load up your inbox. No ads, no fees. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Both Red-tail Hawks found dead at Syracuse, another fish on E22’s head?…Tuesday in Bird World

24 January 2022

Good Morning to all of you,

Thank you so much for your letters and your comments. I really do enjoy hearing from you. I cannot always answer immediately but, I try not to be too long!

I am having to have a big laugh because I don’t want a big cry! No, no, nothing to do with birds. It is auto-correct! I have gone over this blog twice and keep finding the auto correct correcting things after I have moved on…it seems I have to check the words 3x before it stops. (I do like it to catch my spelling as I go so it is a bit of a double-edged sword for me). So I hope when you read this that the word ‘allopreening’ will be there and not ‘alley preening’!

It snowed a bit and the winds were blowing at times in the gardens. The European Starlings came early to feed off the suet cylinders. There were 43 of them! That is the highest count I have had all year.

The House Sparrows were absolutely everywhere. At the feeders. On the ground foraging and in the lilacs. Everywhere I looked there was a sparrow. Squint. They are in layers blending in to the lilacs and feeding with the Starlings at the suet.

The kittens loved watching them flit about. No Dove today. I hope it has found a wonderful and safe place for food!


Making News:

I am shaking my head in complete disbelief. Just the other day I posted the passing of Sue, the beautiful RTH and mate of Otto, at Syracuse University. She died of what appears to be head trauma on the 18th. The photo of Sue in the announcement was taken in the Oakwood Cemetery on that same day. Otto was found dead on the 19th in the cemetery. Did he also die on the 18th? or the 19th? I find this simply too much of a coincidence and it makes me highly suspicious that something caused these two beautiful birds to meet their demise that is not immediately evident. We will find out from the necroscopy, thank goodness. But that does not make this less a tragedy. If these deaths are not an accident or a natural cause, then the sadness is deepened. Condolences to everyone at Syracuse University and all those that loved Sue and Otto.

Did you know that the Ventana Wildlife Society provides lead free ammunition to hunters in specific counties in California to help halt the Condors (and other wildlife) from getting ill or dying from lead poisoning?

The VWS website gives all the information on what they offer and who is eligible. If you know of someone who hunts or is a rancher in these areas and they continue to use lead ammunition, please have them get in touch with the VWS immediately. The Condors will thank you!

The VWS produced a really short video about Cedric and his recovery from lead poisoning.

Do you want to know more about Condors? Do you love them as much as I do? Why not check out the monthly Zoom chats with the folks at the Ventana Wildlife Society? Go to ventananews.org and click on the link that you see below, to the left.

Skycalls, fluffy white chicks with cute pink bills and feet, allopreening adults, what isn’t there to love about an albatross?

Lady Hawk gives us some real cutie pie images of the Royal Cam chick in this video.

No Osprey egg yet at the Achieva Credit Union nest in St Petersburg, Florida but, we should be looking towards the end of January if our gal, Diane, sticks to her previous pattern of egg-laying.

They have mated on the pole, on the nest and probably around the neighbourhood…when do you think there will be an egg?

CE9 can really handle those big bites that Connie gives it. If Mum would only stop putting her beak under CE9’s, I think they would get a success rating of 100%. The wee one continues to benefit from numerous feedings per day and is growing stronger and stronger.

CE9 and Dudley.

Connie decides it is time for a feeding.

Clive arrives to check on his baby and the pantry and then is off doing territorial protection.

A bit of a stringy mess.

From an empty crop to a full one.

CE9 is getting very, very full.

Nap time. How many whole and partial fish can you find on this nest?

As the sun sets over the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Connie, Clive, and CE9, the little one gets its last fish meal of the day.

In 2014, the Bald Eagles at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ laid their first egg on the 17th of February. In 2022, the first egg was laid on the 17th of January – precisely a month earlier. This year that first egg was laid on 20 January so the eagles are sticking with this earlier nesting time. It only makes me wonder – as we wish for eggs from Gabby and Rose – if it might just be too hot in Florida for such a late hatch?

And just like clockwork, there is a second egg at Duke Farms!

It looks like Alex on the KNF-E3 nest trying to coax the two eaglets, 01 and 02 over to have some nice fresh fish.

Can you see the Mohawks?

Mum flies to the nest and both adults look over to the lake. Is there an intruder?

Are the parents testing the youngsters? Alex took off and Mum flew back to the branch. That whole fish is still there. Wonder if anyone will move to the table and try to eat it?

E01 is trying to balance itself to stand and walk. 02 looks on with interest.

Walking on a stick nest is not as easy as it looks.

The parent watches when its chick pecks at the fish. The babies are growing up with those big heavy wings and feathers coming in.

Would you like some fish?

Confidence is back in 02. The meal went well.

Do you like the Pittsburgh-Hayes Eagle nest? Mum and Dad were there today – and mating ——in the snow!

There are winter storm warnings for various parts of the US including Oklahoma, my old home State, and a system tracking up through Iowa, Ohio, and into New York. I went to check on Big Red’s nest to see if she was getting the snow that was hitting Pittsburg and the camera was down. Then the computer did a funny thing and there was Superbeaks. I was not expecting this image. It is smaller here but filled up my entire screen almost – and I held my breath. Do not, listen you two, look so far down that you go flipsy.

What is of such interest below? is it a parent on a lower branch?

There are not a lot of ‘dandelions’ left on these two as those almost black juvenile feathers continue to grow longer and longer.

Oh, it is windy on the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. The storm system is east of the Colorado River and is not expected to hit them. Yippeeee. They get a break. Shadow brought in prey and is incubating while Jackie has a break.

The wind is gusty. You can see it blowing the feathers on the back of Shadow’s head above and then it is calm below.

Do you know why raptors roll their eggs? FOBBV reminds us: “Eggs are rolled regularly to prevent the embryo & egg membranes from sticking to the shell & to distribute albumen & heat evenly.”

Thank you, Sharon Pollock. I wish my eyes were a little better but, what a beautiful sight that was of Jackie and Shadow soaring together around and over the nest tree. Just amazing.

Mabel and Angus are sure a handsome couple at the Captiva Osprey nest.

What a difference! The warm sunshine of Florida to the hoar frost in Iowa at the Decorah Eagle nest. It sure is beautiful.

Fans of the Redding Eagles…there was an adult on the nest today!

The cuteness of Ron and Rose caught by HeidiMc.

It is not clear what is happening with the second egg at Berry College. Are those marks or is that chick trying to get out of that shell?

This is little Boots at Webster, Texas raising its head for a bite of fish. It ‘appears’ from the posts today that things are going well and Ringo is behaving her/his self.

Worry spread through the SWFlorida Eagle fans as blood appeared on the top of E22’s head – it was another fish landing there!

Someone will be watching to see if this is just blood from the fish or a possible scratch caused by the fish on the nape of 22.

22 ate well and there was little if any beaking that I could see today.

Zoe is 129 days old. Mum delivered a single fish to her girl yesterday and, she might well have had a fish off camera. Today Zoe left the nest and it appears she might have returned wet from an excursion or she might have tried fishing off the barge (the camera was stuck on zoom). It is really hard to tell. What we do know is that Zoe is still home. From my perspective she looks ‘well fed’ and healthy.

One last tidbit about the falcons…but not Annie and the New Guy or Indigo but Sequoia and her mate at the San Jose City Hall scrape. Seems you have to be careful where you stash away your prey in San Jose, too.

Who is Sequoia’s mate? HeidiMc found out! Shasta is a very interesting falcon.

What the poster below doesn’t say is when you set out and kill any insect or animal, it has a severe impact on the food chain. Think mice and rats. Secondary poisoning in domestic pets and raptors is real. We need those insects, we need the pigeons (yes people put poison on their roofs to kill the pigeons – those pigeons could kill our beautiful peregrine falcons), etc. So take care and talk about this with your friends and loved ones.

Thank you so very much for being with us today. Tomorrow I will have a review of Florence A Merriam’s Birds Through An Opera Glass. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their announcements, posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: HeidiMc, Red-tailed Hawk Tails, Ventana Wildlife Society, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Duke Farms, KNF-E3, Pix Cams, Superbeaks, FOBBV, Sharon Pollock and FOBBV, Raptor Research Project and Explore.org, Redding Eagles, HeidiMc and the WRDC, Duke Farms, Bel-A-Donna and Berry College, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Pollinator Friendly Yards.

If you would like to join our wonderful birding community and receive a copy of my blog in your inbox daily, please feel free to subscribe. I desperately try not to load up your inbox and there is generally only one blog per day unless something really crazy happens and I think you will want to know asap. You can unsubscribe at any time!

Captiva eagle feedings are better…Thursday in Bird World

19 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It was a wonderful day yesterday. Wonderful in that – for the second day in a row – a beautiful Mourning Dove was in the garden. Yesterday, she was eating on the snow under the feeders. Today, she spent the entire day pecking at the snow on my neighbour’s roof. Why? Five cats in the garden. Five. One had the nerve to sit right under the feeders. These are fat cats, pets, let out to go to the loo, and then called to come in. How do you spell furious? No one follows the by-laws and why should they? The City doesn’t even enforce them!!!!! Why bother then?

Prior to the demise of the Passenger Pigeon in our province in 1878, the Mourning Dove appeared. Normally they are only present in our province the south and central areas from April to mid-October. A few, however, remain in the winter and wow! I feel so lucky to have seen one. The shiny patch below the ear (rather round spot) signals the difference between this Dove and the Eurasian Collared Dove with its dark crescent collar.

In the mailbox:

‘L’ sent a link to a great article on Wisdom. What is it that allows some birds to live so long? Wisdom will be 71. How is this possible? Thanks, ‘L’!

https://www.audubon.org/news/why-birds-are-anti-aging-superstars

‘H’ wrote to tell me that there is a problem with sibling rivalry at the Bald Eagle nest at Paul White’s in Webster, Texas. The older sibling has apparently plucked all of the feathers off the back of the wee one. There is plenty of fish on the nest. These two are so very tiny.

Paul White says:


Webster, TX copyright Paul W. White 1/18/2023 Boots gets most of this feeding. Boy, his back has been taking a beating, it’s bloody! Ringo bites him even when he is sleeping and there is no reason for rivalry. I have never seen the bonking this vicious before.

Pat Burke, a very wise eagle loving woman shared her thoughts with the Webster Texas Eagle Watchers FB page. I always value Pat’s wisdom.

I get so many questions every year about why raptors in the US are so much more aggressive than those in the UK. The question usually focuses on ospreys because there are no Bald Eagles in the UK. So the real question is why on nests with plenty of food does one eagle turn on the other? Admittedly, the eaglets on the Webster nest are really quite young. We need to remember that eaglets are blind when they hatch and acquire their sight and focus over a period of a few days. That is why they are often called ‘bobbleheads’. Every beak is a potential adult with food! But what about if they are older? like the eaglets at KNF-E3? We often think of dominance but are there more subtle underlying issues? Toxins/pollutants/contaminated soil and water where the eagles get their prey? DNA? There sure are a lot of refineries and pipelines around Webster, Texas. Check it out. How about Alexandria, Louisiana? Check it out. They are there, too. You just need to Google: are there any refineries around Webster, Texas? are there any refineries around Alexandria, La? Not saying. Just thinking. Always so many questions about the level of aggression in US raptors versus those in the UK.

Making News:

Some good news!

But, there is also sad news today. The female Red-tail Hawk at Syracuse University has died from head trauma – either a building or window strike or a car/bus. How very sad for all of our friends at Syracuse who watched Sue raise her eyases for the past 12 years. .

Oh, more good news. Teaming together to save the Bald Eagles and their chicks – the culprit: monofilament line. Please, please clean up after yourself if you fish, tell others to do so, and help out if you see fishing line, old masks, mesh bags…A good idea is to take a couple of bags with you if you go for a walk. You can use one as a glove. Pick up and try to properly dispose. Cutting the fishing line into tiny pieces helps. Then clean your hands!

A Place Called Hope is where you want to wind up if you are a raptor. They are fantastic. They have put out a FB announcement. If you know of anyone in this area who has lost a pet Cockatoo, get in touch.

Monitoring the Nests (some of them):

Let’s start with a wonderful Peregrine Falcon scrape and the amazing and ever loud, Indigo! This should put a smile on our faces.

Elain has her great daily summary video from Diamond and Xavier’s scrape. Yes, Indigo is still home! Love that loud kid, don’t you?

After the rain it is so nice to see Annie and her new ‘stingy male’! Thanks SK Hideaways. If he wants to win her heart, he had best part with that food. Note to self: maybe he is shy and gives her prey off camera?

Jackie and Shadow were both on the nest at 12:43. Early alerting and then relaxed. No signs of a fish delivery from Shadow so far on the 18th (til noon nest time). It looks like he might have been busy protecting the territory.

Shadow never likes to give up his turn to incubate.

At the Northeast Florida nest of Gabby and V3, the couple are working on their nest. Looks like more material being brought in. What a lovely couple.

There were some good views of Pearl and Tico at the Superbeaks Nest today. Gosh, these are lovely eaglets. Very attentive parents, lots of prey. An amazing nest! Pearl is the darkest – on the right and Tico is on the left. This is the difference in one day in eagle development.

The adults at the Duke Farm nest have been on and off and are working to get restorations finished before egg laying. There was a juvenile that flew to the nest and made a bit of a mess but all seems to be well.

It is, at times, very difficult to say what is happening at Captiva but, it is clear that Clive is a great male. The nest is full of fish – 7 or 8 of them and some pieces. Clive is doing a smacking job feeding the little one. I want to be hopeful.

At the last feeding of the day, 17:57, the eaglet has a smallish crop and is covered in fish juice.

The features of the eaglet are exaggerated because the feathers around its head, neck, and throat are all glued to its body from the fish juice. Hopefully a good night under Mum will help with that. It looks as if it has some fish today. Please keep sending your positive wishes towards this family. It will help you to see that ‘lump’ in the throat – the crop. So hopeful. There were 8 feedings on Wednesday and it would appear that baby and Mum are figuring out this feeding.

Feedings much better Thursday morning at Captiva. Feeling so happy for the little one.

So what happened to all the fish being delivered to the KNF-E3 nest? The kids have been eating off that old piece of Coot all day Wednesday. KNF-E3-01 was walking today and moving sticks about just like the adults, too! Making great strides including having a go at self-feeding. At the same time, the oldest eaglet has prevented the youngest from eating until it straddles up close to Mum and gets a few beakfuls. There are no piles of fish on this nest and when 02 did get some food, it was the hard old parts of the Coot. Where is Alex? and where is some fresh fish?

Is the beaking that began in earnest a couple of days ago because the adults cleaned up the nest and there is not a pile of fish? food insecurity?

The streaming cam went out shortly after 14:42 and this feeding. 02 is so hungry but 01 filled itself to the brim at the expense of the younger sibling. 01 can hardly stand its crop is so big. You can see that tiny little crop of 02’s.

Notice how much bigger 01 – probably a female – and 02 – probably a male – is.

Coot and fish on offer at KNF-E1 and their cam is off line also. Hoping everyone is safe.

Harriet and M15’s eaglets are getting curious about the outside world. Still so tiny! And sweet. No obvious beaking on this nest.

No word on any pips yet at Berry College.

Both eagles at the US Steel nest in Pittsburg, PA today.

Oh, I love these video clips that HeidiMc does of Ron and Rose…I wish we could get this kind of cute interaction on the nest of Gabby and V3! You have to pay really close attention…look at what Rose does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am still laughing. Great job editing, Heidi. Do we think Ron is going to get the hint?

There was some excitement with Diane and Jack over at the Achieva Credit Union. Diane is certainly better and was feeling frisky. Bonding took place on top of the perch pole. Now – that is a feat and it really shows how much improved and healed her leg is. Fantastic. Not sure how successful that mating attempt was but, it was a first me – ospreys on a pole.

In South Australia, Zoe is 123 days old today. On Wednesday, Mum and Dad delivered 3 fish to their girl (Dad 2 and Mum 1). Zoe is not starving!!!!!!!! Delivery times were 09:55, 13:45, and 21:19.

So much news…so many nests!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. Hope to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their letters, their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘L’, ‘H’, Audubon.org, Webster Texas Eagle Watchers FB, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, Red-tail Hawk Tales, Judy Eddy Bald Eagles 101, Fox 13 News Tampa Bay, A Place Called Hope, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Cal Falcons, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, Duke Farms, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Berry College, US Steel Eagles, Heidi Mc and WRDC, Achieva Credit Union, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

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Pipping at SW Florida? Sad news coming out of Sydney… Monday in Bird World

2 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that the first day of the new year started off in the right direction for everyone. At my house, it meant eating black-eyed peas for luck that I learned as a child growing up in Oklahoma. Today was also a day spent with my daughter and her family – a real treat with everyone together but the son and daughter in law who live in the Caribbean. That said, we did connect with them through the wonderful world of technology so, we were all in ‘the glass room’ together. Laughing. Smiling. Everyone is so busy that it was splendid just to stop, share a meal, and catch up on all the news.


In the mailbox: Geemeff sends us news from Yorkshire in the UK.There are some places that are taking bold moves and are forward thinking that have cancelled New Year’s Eve fireworks. If you know of other Councils or Cities, let me know! This is a good way to start the new year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-64139048.amp

And ‘C’ writes that they have named their squirrel visitor Dyson, too! I think this is marvellous. It is a perfect name for these smart squirrels all around the world who can outwit any bird feeder manufacturer!!!!!!!! (at least the ones in my garden, anyway)


Top story for this morning. At 1027 when Harriet got up, it appeared that there could be a beak pecking its way through the shell of the narrow end of one of the eggs. But, it is now unclear about that mark. It appears to have been some nesting material that caused all the excitement. Harriet is restless. But only a tiny little peck visible in one egg.

There is disturbing weather news coming for the US for the next couple of days and it could have a huge impact on the birds. In San Francisco on Sunday, they received 5.65 inches of rain. That is the most rain ever recorded since 1849 when records began. So what happens to the falcons when it rains like this? Do their prey hide? That area needs water. The reserves are filling but, in some places, there are floods that are going to be problematic and the rain is set to continue with another system moving in.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/02/weather-tracker-san-francisco-hit-by-second-rainiest-day-on-record?CMP=share_btn_link

The system that brought all the rain to California is going to move into the central US where it will meet up with warm area from the Gulf region. It is going to bring snow and ice to the nests in Iowa. Tornadoes for the area around Alexandria, Louisiana could happen today hitting the nests of Anna and Louis and Andria and Alex and Andria are going to be right in the middle of it, according to one of the current forecasts. I do not watch the weather that much but, I do check on anything that will impact our raptors!

That pink is ice and I am thinking about all of the eagles and other wildlife and birds in that region including Decorah (the system will move through Iowa).

This is a band of tornadoes potentially and Alexandria, Louisiana is right in the middle of it along with our Kistachie National Forest eagle families. You send out all the positive wishes you can to those little eaglets and their parents in E3.

Gabby and V3 were at the nest making restorations today together. I think that it is safe to say that V3 is the ‘chosen’ one to become Gabby’s mate. While we might have had another favourite out of the many suitors that came to the nest, only Gabby knows ‘the why’ of choosing V3 over anyone else. Seeing them together, working on their future, was certainly a wonderful way to spend part of the first day of the new year.

I like his eyes, he brought food, and he seemingly keeps the rest of the intruders away – a real good security guard for the nest and for Gabby. May their lives be long, healthy, and productive – as in cute little eaglets! They sure are a striking couple. But, V3 needs a name. Wonder what it will be?

He is a good provider. Just look at the crop on V3!!!!!! Sadly, Gabby isn’t always there to receive the food gifts.

Another raptor family, Big Red and Arthur, were spotted today on the Cornell Campus by Suzanne Arnold Horning. It is always a gift to see them when it is not nesting time and it is thanks to the BOGS that we are assured of their well-being. Thank you Suzanne!

Arthur sitting on top of a post looking for a vole to move in the grass. If you think about it, raptors hunt so differently. The Red-tail Hawks sit, sometimes for 45 minutes to an hour, elevated – waiting and watching and then they swoop down. Hen Harriers on the other hand fly low over the landscape once they have identified where their dinner might be. Ospreys hover focusing when they find a fish and then making that dramatic dive. They are as different in their behaviours as they are in their plumage. And Red-tail Hawks are gorgeous. My friend Toni died this year. Her and I used to banter back and forth over the most beautiful plumage. I can say that she certainly got me to appreciating that of the White-bellied sea eagle juveniles. In the end, though, they are all gorgeous in their unique ways.

Big Red. She is looking really good for a 20 year old Red-tail Hawk!

Cornell posted other images of Big Red from the 31st on their Twitter feed today.

It was raining at Orange and Elain caught some good images of one wet falcon in her daily summary of life with Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo.

There was lots of action on New Year’s Day and Deb Steyck caught Bella and Smitty arriving at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest. It is good to see them together. Last year Bella was injured in a territorial battle. She did not return to the nest for some three weeks while Smitty took up with another female. Bella kicked her off the nest and out of the area and, well, it is good to see the two together this year. Hopefully there will be little eaglets this year to make up for last!

So let’s have a conversation about one legged eagles. But before I begin, there are deer in my community that live a normal life in our urban forests and have only three legs. When I grew up, my parents had a three legged dog. They were able to adapt. While one might want to argue that an eagle with just a single leg could not possibly fish or feed itself and would starve to death, please read further down. And if you know of an eagle in the wild living with a handicap, send me a note.

There has been a bit of discussion about Clay, the one legged eagle that was in rehab at Wild Heart Ranch near Tulsa was euthanised. I have not followed this case closely but, it was a second trip for the bird who went back to the first place where it was rescued. Clay arrived with a badly infected foot that was later determined to be dead along other injuries. It is not clear to me how he was injured. It is, however, my understanding that the regulations of the USFWS do not allow wildlife rehabbers to keep one-legged Bald Eagles. Please correct me if I am wrong. I also came to understand today that it was that policy that drove the euthanasia. Again, please correct me if I am wrong. No one wants an eagle to suffer, let us be clear. This decision has prompted some to ask about the policy in light of animals living in the wild with less that the normal number of legs.

Today, an individual who has spent years around the Mississippi taking images of the Love Trio, Dennis Brecht, posted a photo he took of a Bald Eagle with one leg flying around the Mississippi at the location in the posting. Just saying. That eagle looks pretty healthy. — I have seen Dennis’s images for several years now and do not believe him to be a person who would deliberately manipulate an image.

So this brings me to another eaglet, WBSE 29 – who we all grew to love at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Park has been euthanised. I just received a note from a very trusted individual who taught me much about eagles and kept my focus straight and not off in fantasy land. Tonight there are plenty of people whose emotions range from disappointment to fury. Here is the announcement:

As you know SE29 was rescued in early October, after some sort of severe trauma (we are not sure if he flew into a window or was hit by a car).

When he arrived he was bleeding from inside the beak indicating a bleed in the lung following the trauma. He also suffered a particularly nasty fracture just above the foot, which you can see in the radiograph attached to this post. The challenge about this fracture is firstly, that it is quite oblique, and secondly, that it is very far down in the bone, making the orthopaedic repair required quite difficult.

While stabilising and after consultation with many other raptor veterinarians around the world, we initially tried to stabilise the foot in a special cast. But it became apparent quite soon that due to the oblique nature of the fracture the fragments just could not be immobilised properly and there was still some sliding.

Normally these fractures in birds are repaired with an external fixation device. This involves crossbars through the bone which are connected and held in position by external rods. The goal is to have two crossbars in each fragment of the bone. We knew that trying to repair this fracture would be a push, because of the little room left for us in the fragment closer to the foot.

But SE29 was a young bird (this helps with healing) and he was dealing well with the process of being in care, having a generally gentle demeanour, so repair was attempted) and we placed a type 2 external fixation device. You can see on the picture what this structure looks like.

We then had to wait for the bone to mend until we could remove the pins. During this whole process SE29 has been a gentle, strong bird and has allowed us to take him through the rehabilitation process.

However, we have promised ourselves, we would only persevere with his rehabilitation if there was a reasonable chance for SE29 to return into the wild. This is where he came from, and the life of freedom is what he should have if we could make it so.

Two months into the rehabilitation process, the external fixation device was removed and it became clear that some of the tendons making the digits move did not work normally any more, and possibly there was some joint damage at the tarsometatarsal – phalanx 1 joint.

The foot is a structure a raptor just cannot live without, and we had to accept that our attempts had not worked out as we hoped. We knew it was a push from the start (again, this was a very unfavourable fracture), but SE29 had just been doing so well until then and he made us hope even more it would work out in the end. Unfortunately at this point it became clear, SE29 would not be able to be released and he was euthanased for the reasons described above.

Much like all of you, who fell in love with this little bird from since he was an egg, working with him and getting to know him also allowed him to take a very special place in our hearts and sharing these news fills us with sadness. But we are glad that we did give this bird a chance, because otherwise we would have never known.

Raptor Recovery Australia FB

WBSE29 was a beautiful vibrant bird.

There are tears flowing in so many places.

The sad truth about all of this is that the situation in the Sydney Olympic Forest is untenable. The population of Pied Currawongs, Magpies, BooBook Owls, and Ravens has grown unchecked. The sea eagles do not eat them. The energy it would take to catch them would not warrant the amount of meat on their carcass. The small birds, however, attack the sea eaglets and the adults at the nest relentlessly and chase the eaglets out of the forest the minute they fledge. That means that the parents are not able to feed them, to teach them to hunt and the fledglings cannot improve their flying in peace like we see at so many other nests. Then smaller birds attack the sea eaglets when they are grounded. They were even attacking 29 when it was wrapped in a blanket being rescued! The only way that the eaglets that we grow to love so much can survive is if they are picked up the minute they are grounded and taken into a facility that will go the extra mile to ensure that they are given every opportunity to live and be released. One very good thing is that the folks on the ground- and there is a growing number of caring individuals – are dedicated to watching out for the eaglets. They make sure that care is sought the minute they see them in danger – it is the only way that they will have a chance of survival.

Maybe that nest tree should be cut down, too! Believe me I never advocate cutting down trees but, what will it take for the menacing small birds to leave the WBSE in peace?

There is some really welcome good news coming out of New Zealand today. Dr Andrew Rigby has tweeted the following announcement about the flightless green parrots that we love so much – the Kakapo.

Spend a little time with Alex and Andria – Alex working on the chair rails and those cute little eagles, 01 and 02.

Gosh, it is going to get really busy soon. Those eagle nests that are not on pip watch right now or taking care of eaglets, are really getting restorations. Nancy and her new mate arrived early at the MN-DNR nest to work on their nest.

Zoe is 107 days old today. Yesterday Dad brought in one fish for Zoe and Mum brought in two! The times were late in the day: 1606, 1759, and 1816. I wonder if they are waiting to see if their girl will go out on her own before bringing in fish for her????? Is Zoe fishing yet?

Zoe and her parents are Eastern Ospreys. Unlike the Ospreys in Europe and North America and Canada, they do not migrate. In trying to search for recent research on post-fledge independence, I came across a study about Western nests that clearly indicate that the birds become independent a month to six weeks (some stay for ten weeks) after fledgling. The timing, of course, is related to their need to be ready for migration. But what about the Eastern Ospreys at Port Lincoln? Ervie was being fed much longer last year. We attributed it to his missing talon but, what is the average age for Eastern ospreys to become independent, fully independent of their parents? According to information from Susan Close, MP, Minister for the Environment and Water in South Australia, “Young were found to fledge at 9-10 weeks of age in a study on Kangaroo Island (Dennis 2007a), and are sometimes provided with fish for a further 5-6 weeks by the male.”

If we take the extreme dates, the number of days for the non-migratory Eastern Osprey to become fully independent of their parents, is 112 days. Zoe is now 107 so she is well within that range. Interesting to note is that Mum is also providing fish for her daughter. It is normally the male – in all of the Osprey species. Is Mum providing more food for Zoe because, as we fear, there is ‘something wrong’ with Dad. He had two seizures on camera and was seen at times not to fish to his usual standard. That could have been for many reasons but, is he unwell? We do not know the answer to this and might not find out for some time but, clearly, let’s watch those fish deliveries and also, let us watch how long Zoe stays on the nest getting food.

Here is the report by the Minister of the Environment and Water on the status of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles and the Ospreys and the government’s plan for them as they are endangered. It is a worthwhile report to read – to help us understand how the South Australian government sees the recovery of these magnificent raptors. It is recent – July 2022.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their videos, letters, posts, announcements, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Geemeff, ‘C’, The Weather Guy, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, Suzanne Arnold Horning, @CornellHawks, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Deb Stick and the NTCT, Wild Heart Rescue FB, Dennis Brecht, Raptor Recovery Australia, @takapo, KNF-E3, MN-DNR, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and the South Australia Government.

Victor, Kisatchie E3, and more in Bird World

31 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone. Wishing each of you a wonderful end to 2022.

Today’s blog is brought to you by Dyson! Not only can Dyson ‘suck up’ birdseed quicker than any other squirrel I have ever met but, today, she figured out how to get the feeder off the hook, drop the seed cylinder onto the ground, and just sit there gobbling up all those fine black oil seeds, millet, peanuts, and cranberries. So clever. It would be impossible to get mad at her – she is curious, intelligent, and a hard worker! She is a survivor in an urban environment that is not always friendly.

Isn’t she adorable?

From Dyson and all her friends in the garden, we wish each of you some tasty treats, good health, and love in the new year!


Now, let us deal with the sadness first. A juvenile Bald Eagle landed on the Delta 2 nest in British Columbia. Immediately it was noticed that the juvie had lost a leg or a foot. The older eagles brought it some food. Sadly, yesterday, the bird was found dead at the foot of the nest in very emaciated condition.

Then on to the good news. Recognise this beautiful juvenile? Hint: Hatched in the Channel Islands. Sister: Lillibet. Was taken into care due to extreme zinc toxicity. It’s handsome, strong, and resilient Victor!!!!!!!

There is even more good news.

Kingpin and Redwood Queen’s offspring, California Condor 1030 Iniko, was caught in her nest during the Dolan Fire of August 2020 in Big Sur. The nest tree burned and so did the streaming cam and no one knew if Iniko survived. But, miracles do happen, and Iniko survived and Redwood Queen came back and took care of her little one. Kingpin is presumed to have died in the fire. Then a male condor came and there was a fight and Iniko fledged too early and was injured. Taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, Iniko was released into the wild a year ago along with two other condors, Rachel Carlson and Dian Fossy at San Simeon. Today photographs of Iniko in the wild were released. Doing well!

Please, always keep in mind that there are so few California Condors. Their lives are precarious and they often die because of lead poisoning from the carrion they eat and are now susceptible to Avian Flu (eating dead diseased birds). Always grateful to the Ventana Wildlife Society for the work they do to protect and rehabilitate these birds and make the wilder safe for them.

Both eagles E3-01 and E3-02 at the Kistachie National Forest nest of Alex and Andria are doing well. That little one (02) got some good bites today and there is so much food on that nest! Still the parents love to eat, too, and the little ones got full, Mum ate, and they wanted some more. They didn’t get any but, it won’t be long before another feeding. Andria is doing fantastic.

Pine has been brought in to help with the flies. I wonder if it works as a deodoriser, too??

Look at those precious little wings. 02 has already learned to balance using its wings! Incredible.

Highlights of the feedings at E3:

The cam operator at Superbeaks did some nice close ups of the nest on Friday afternoon. There are two eaglets. Squint in the image to see the two. Just look at the crop on that one that we can see clearly. Goodness gracious. You can also imagine how big they are compared to the wee ones at Kisatchie.

Gabby and V3 are working on the nest. They fly in and out and he brings prey. Life seems to have settled down at The Hamlet near Jacksonville, Florida for our beautiful girl.

Jackie and Shadow have been working on their nest at Big Bear almost daily and today they had a little help from Fiona.

Elain’s highlights from the scrape of Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo for 30 December. Some bonding and then comes screaming Indigo. You can sure tell that Indigo is related to Izzi!!!!!!!!!!

Before 0700, one of the adults, it looked like Dad’s legs, delivered a breakfast fish to Zoe in the nest. It was a really nice fish and it looks like Zoe still has a crop at 1100 hrs.

At 1415, Mum brought in another portion of a fish, a decent size, to Zoe. There were times in-between these two prey drops to Zoe that she was picking up sticks on the nest, resting, and was off the nest. She did appear to have a crop at noon. Was there another fish? Perhaps. I could not see it in the rewind but that does not mean she did not eat off camera.

Cooper’s Hawk. A female often comes around the garden and in 2019, I was fortunate to be sitting on a bench in The English Garden, a part of our Assiniboine Park, when a pair of fledgling Cooper’s Hawks were hunting for insects.

I have been picking at that book, Slow Birding and came across some interesting facts about Cooper’s Hawks today. I would like to share one of those with you because it will shed some light on the efforts by all the bird parents to feed their young.

Heinz Meng studied the diets of Cooper’s Hawks in Ithaca, New York (Cornell) from 1948 to 1958 before their numbers were decimated by DDT. He discovered that it took 66 birds or mammals to raise a single Cooper’s Hawk chick to fledgling at 6 weeks. As the nestlings grew the number of prey items increased. “On a daily basis, this is four meals a day in the first week, five a day during the second week, then varying between seven and nine prey a day during the remaining weeks.” That is a lot of food for each chick – and this does not count the mother while she is incubating the eggs. Now imagine much larger birds, on the nest for a longer period, like eagles and ospreys. Those males work darn hard!

Did you ever think about a bird’s beak or bill? Next time you are looking at different birds, pay particular attention to the part that makes certain that they can consume their food whether it be seeds, insects, or prey items. In the instance of the Common Crossbill, their beak – look at it – means that they have to live in pine forests. They would starve to death otherwise!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/30/country-diary-these-stocky-finches-serve-a-life-sentence-confined-to-coniferous-forests?CMP=share_btn_link

Last a call for rodents and frozen fish for Clay the Eagle from my childhood home state of Oklahoma. Smart eagle to go back to where it was rescued the first time! Poor thing. Do you know anyone there who can help?

As we leave 2022 behind, it is natural for most of us to make a list of ways that we would like to change our lives – our New Year’s resolutions. I do not know if we can slow our planet down from climate crisis demise but, I do know that I want to find more ways to be useful. One of the things that Slow Birding taught me is that we should start in our own homes and gardens. Do the best we can with what we have. Remember – the wildlife rehabilitation centres near you need clean old towels just as much as they need donations of money. Know someone who has lost a pet and has lots of food left? Wildlife rehabilitation centres take pet food, too. Clean gently used sheets. Check their websites for they will often have a wish list.

Also remember to be gentle to yourself in 2022. Remember – if you can – that a walk outside. It removes all the pressures of the day. Just 5 minutes can change a bad day into a good one!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live nest Cams and News, Stephanie Ross and the Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Tim Huntington and Webnectar Photograph, KNF-E3, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, FOBBV, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and The Guardian.

Ron waits for Rita, Gabby thwarts V3’s advances for now…and more in Bird World

12 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, I sure could use some blue skies right now. It is grey…everything is grey and brown. The temperature is hovering right at 0 degrees C. Even the birds are damp to the core. I will have to remember the beautiful blue sky of Grenada, those gorgeous hibiscus, and the birds filling the air with song. Thankfully all of the garden animals are doing well and happy to have me back along with the kittens. The Starlings are still here. There are 31. A host of House Sparrows and a Robin somewhere. The squirrels are here and Dyson was enjoying one of the new hard seed cylinders the last I checked this afternoon. The Crows are about and one Blue Jay has been for a visit. Life is good. I have no complaints save that it would be so nice to see some sun. On the Canadian prairies, that means it is cold. So bring it on! The cold and blue skies.


In the Mailbox: A question came in from ‘V’ wondering if there was a reason I was not mentioning Superbeaks.

This is a great question and I wanted to share it with everyone!

I briefly mentioned Superbeaks when the nest in Central Florida came on line, when there were eggs, and the hatches including the second one in my blog this morning, 11 December. It is not a nest that I consistently follow. Indeed, there are far too many nests to follow. It looks like there is good fishing around for Dad, Pepe. He brought a huge fish to the nest this morning.

I am an Osprey and hawk/falcon person. That said between the end of the UK Osprey season and the beginning again in spring, I watch other nests including the Bald Eagles in the US. There are ‘good’ Bald Eagle nests and some whose track record is not so good. There are nests where help is sought and others where it is thwarted, even if the on going potential tragedy is human caused. I know nothing about the Superbeaks nest but, will quietly watch them this year and see.

I highly recommend for Bald Eagles: the steady as you go team of Harriet and M15 at SWFlorida. They raise competitive eaglets so you just have to hold your breath at the early bopping but, normally, the eaglets grow up to be feisty besties. The relationship between M15 and Harriet is worth watching on its own.

Liberty and Guardian at the Redding Nest are fantastic. With the Redding Nest, you get commentary and videos by Gary and here is the chart for dates at the Redding nest that has been posted recently by Gary.

The Channel Islands nests of Thunder and Akecheta (West End), Chase and Cholyn (Two Harbours) and Andor and Cruz (Fraser Point) are excellent. Glacier Gardens comes on later. They are in Juneau. Alaska. How about Martin and Rosa at Dullas-Fairway? Clive and Connie at Captiva have 2 eggs.

Rolling the two eggs at Captiva. There is no confirmation yet of when they were laid.

Fingers crossed for a good season after rodenticide deaths in 2020, no eaglets last year, and the hurricane this year. There are others such as US Steel, the nests in Decorah but last year, they were hit with Avian Flu like Hilton Head. The National Arboretum Nest of Mr President and Lotus, both of the nests in the Kisatchie National Forest, E1 and E3, as well as the Metro Aviation Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana, Berry College with Pa Berry and Missey – the list is long!

Pa Berry and Missy working on their nest in Georgia.

There is no reason to believe that Avian Flu will not rear its ugly head this year also. We must remember that. It will impact birds eating birds or carrior (dead animals).

There are far too many nests to follow and everyone has their favourites. If you have recommendations – or nests not to watch recommendations – send me a comment. I would love to hear from you.

One of my favourites is Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. They have had some problems in the past but we are always cheering them on and last year the amazing Spirit kept our hearts glowing.

The snow is really coming down at the nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear Valley!

It is now Sunday afternoon and V2, the suitor trying to charm Gabby with the smokey head, has not been seen since Friday. V3 seems to be making a strong case but so far, – well, at least until now – Gabby is being aloof as to whether or not she will choose him as a mate.

There was a fly by at 11:37 at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta on Sunday. No telling which of the Bald Eagles it was. But, look at the nest! Thunder and Akecheta will be bringing in lots of materials for this coming season.

Quite a different view than we are used to at Two Harbours.

Dr Peter Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies takes good care of the Channel Islands Eagles and their babies. If they fall down the cliff, he will figure out a way to get them back up to the nest, if he possibly can. He is our hero!


Checking on the two Australian nests still active, let’s head to Orange first where Indigo has had a nice breakfast delivery from Xavier and has been eating it in the scrape.

Xavier and Diamond are teaching Indigo valuable life lessons. If you leave your prey, someone will come and steal it!

Elain’s latest video on the Orange scrape. Such a wonderful falcon family.

At the Osprey nest in Port Lincoln, Zoe was eyeing a fish in the water. She seems to have flown to the left and then turned around and flew past the barge. Did she see a fish? or was this just a quick wet talon tried to catch a fish story?

Watching the water at 09:41:19.

Zoe flies off the nest to the left.

Later Dad flies in with a fish. Mum flies over but Zoe had that fish while Dad was still in the air. It seems that Mum just makes sure that her beautiful daughter gets her fill. It looks like she knows that there will never be anything left. You did well Mum in a year that had a lack of fish. You did well.

Zoe will do well.

There is news on WBSE27 and it is excellent. So happy for this amazing eagle who did so well in rehab!

It would appear that Gabby is rejecting the advances of V3.

Lady Hawk caught it on video for us.

In Miami, Ron continues to perfect the nest that he shared with Rita in the Miami Zoo not knowing what has happened to his mate.

Yesterday I posted the autopsy results regarding the two year old male Hesgyn, the last chick that Monty raised at Dyfi with Telyn.

K3 did not die of poisoning or by being shot – thankfully. It is possible he had a slight injury that prevented him from fishing causing his death which could have been compounded by the high temperatures in Wales at the time. It was 35-38 degrees C in Wales. He was hungry and died of starvation according to the autopsy. It put a smile on my face when one reader, DT, of the posting said, ” “Sad news. Feeding them shouldn’t be seen as feeding other types of birds. When it helps them survive we should never hesitate to feed any wild birds”

I could not have said this better. We must be prepared to set up artificial pools with fish just like the Great Egret had in the Caribbean. We have caused this dire situation and we must be prepared to rally and fix it. Ospreys have successfully been fed when it was necessary. They do not like frozen fish but, please, if possible no more deaths when the weather turns how. Let’s help them out – and this call for action includes those nests in the Pacific NW of the US and Canada, too. Where it is possible.

Tragic news coming in from the US this morning as more and more eagles are being found ill or dead because people are not cremating their pets and their euthanised bodies are killing birds that eat carrion. This is easily prevented!

For all of my parrot loving readers, here is another streaming cam in South Africa you might really enjoy. How wonderful – the third time was a charm. Aren’t those babies adorable?

Thank you so very much for being with me today as I jumped around some of the nests that we have been watching. Gosh, those little Galahs are soooooo cute. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Redding Eagles and Gary, Window to Wildlife, Berry college, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF Explore.org and the IWS, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Dyfi Osprey Project, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Bald Eagles Live Nests and News, Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc.

Sharpie returns, Gabby’s suitors, Hesgyn’s autopsy and more in Bird World

11 December 2022

Oh, gosh, it is grey and dreary here in Manitoba. The sun did not break through at all today. There were moments when I wish we could ‘wiggle’ our noses and be transported elsewhere. I wanted to feel the warmth of the sun, see the green grass, and sit and just listen to the Tropical Mockingbird and Bananaquit.

At the same time, had I not been sitting where I was, I would have missed Sharpie’s visit! I know that he has been about or the larger female Cooper’s Hawk, but I had just not caught him landing. Today, he did!

It is so nice to see you, Sharpie. You are looking quite healthy with those chrome yellow legs.

At the same time, he caused the 31 European Starlings that were feeding to gather and form a murmuration. It was the first time I had seen these birds clustering and flying together to confuse a predator. It was not like anything I have seen when there are thousands of Starlings together forming intricate patterns. These 31 were a loose knit group but, they did manage to keep the hawk at bay with their flying formations.

Sunday morning and Sharpie is back trying to get a songbird feeding in the lilacs. The three Crows are all upset causing the songbirds to flit and fly away. I figure Sharpie is hungry. He is not giving up easily.

I suspect, like Diamond, Sharpie prefers something other than a Starling – perhaps, his usual House Sparrow. He is too small to go after a Crow but, the Crows get excited when anyone enters their territory. I never resent him taking one of the Sparrows. Everyone has to eat to survive. Sharpie just takes what he needs, eats it all but the feathers and even some of those, some days. He doesn’t waste – like humans do.

While I was away, one of our readers, ‘L’ sent me a photo of a hawk wondering what it was. I knew but I decided to ask Merlin and sure enough, Merlin photo ID said Cooper’s Hawk as opposed to the image above which Merlin IDed as a Sharp-shinned.

Which brings me to a point I want to make. At one time I was not happy with Merlin Bird ID. It drove me nuts. While I was on holiday, there were so many songbirds singing at the same time that I could not separate them. Additionally, they were tropical birds that are completely unknown to me. The Merlin Song ID was incredible. The only bird that it did not identify was the Carib Grackle which surprised me.

The other positive besides knowing all of the birds that are around you is that by using the app, you can learn the song of species that were originally unknown to you. By the end of the week, I was able to tell 8 Caribbean birds by their song. That is pretty good for someone who is tone deaf! Just imagine what you could do. It is free. I really do urge you to put it on your phones. Go out, take a friend, or a young person and teach them to hear the songs and identify the birds. Make an outing of it. It is really fun and it helps Cornell understand where birds are located even when they don’t think they should be! Like Sharpie. Once I sent them the image with all its meta-data, they quit telling me that there could not be a Sharp-shinned Hawk in Winnipeg at this time of year.

The final report has come in on Hesgyn, the last chick that Monty raised with Telyn, found dead this summer in Wales after living through his migration and returning to find a mate. The report is cumulative – meaning that that the most recent finding and autopsy report is at the bottom. It would appear that Hesgyn’s return coincided with the tremendous heat that Wales had during that singular week. The impact on the ability of this magnificent osprey to fish – after returning from Africa – could have been the natural cause of his death. No human cause.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/hesgyn-has-died

It was nice to see Zoe with a great big fish delivery from Dad. At 0701:14, Zoe sees Dad arriving.

At 0701:20, Dad lands on the nest. Mum begins to fly over from the ropes to the nest.

It was a big fish, not a teaser. Mum seemed to hope there would be some left but, Zoe does love her fish! And has a history of being unable to share.

By 0735, Zoe has finished the entire fish!

At 0801, Zoe sits with Dad over on the ropes. He doesn’t seem to have budged a centimetre from the earlier image above.

At the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond on the campus of Charles Sturt University, Diamond was having a nice siesta in the afternoon sun. She is so beautiful. Her and Xavier must be very happy with Indigo’s progress.

Indigo arrives and thinks the ledge is a good place for an afternoon nap, too.

Elain has another great highlights of the Day for our Orange Falcon family.

The biggest news in Bird World continues to be the competition for Gabby’s heart and nest.

In order to try and keep the identification of the suitors separate and apart from one another and Samson, the AEF have gone to identifying the birds using their tail feathers.

Tail Comparison: Top Row L to R: Samson, V1. Bottom Row L to R: V2, V3

I have not seen V2 at the nest today. There is now the third male, V3, who has been working on the nest and Gabby has not chased him away. Gabby even got into the nest with V3 for a bit.

V3 has slept on the nest and is very alert.

There is very little known about Gabby including her age. She became Samson’s mate at this nest in 2018. She was an adult so she is at least 9 years old now. She has a nest in a good location and there are many suitors. To date, I do not believe we have noticed a brood patch on Gabby. A brood patch is the spot where the feathers do not exist – they fall out when it is time to incubate eggs. The skin of the adult touches the eggs and helps to keep them warm. If the feathers would there, the warmth of the parental body would not exist – so this brood patch has developed over eons to assist the eagles with incubation.

Wonder who Gabby will choose? There seems to be plenty of time so as the AEF suggests, get some popcorn and sit back and watch. It truly is a soap opera. Meanwhile, Harriet is only letting M15 have a little incubation time while Anna down at the KNF nest in Louisiana loves to give Louis plenty of time with their eggs.

M15 brought Harriet a tasty treat today, right off the Road Kill menu – rabbit. Harriet wanted it plain, not in a cassoulet.

Meanwhile at the Kistachie National Forest nest, Louis is getting another chance to incubate the eggs overnight. Wow! These young eagle mums are really sharing the whole experience with their mates. It looks there is some rain and a little lighting near the nest in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Congratulations to Superbeaks – the Central Florida Bald Eagle nest – on their second hatch as announced by Paul Kolnik on Bald Eagles 101.

‘A’ reminded me that Wisdom is not only the oldest Laysan Albatross in the world but she is also the oldest banded bird in the world. Incredible. There is a new announcement from the Midway Atoll. It seems that Wisdom has returned and was seen on the 24th of November but, her mate has sadly not. Will she get another mate? We wait to see. What an amazing seabird Wisdom is…incredible.

Remember that Ferris Akel has his live tour on Saturdays starting at noon Eastern on YouTube. Today, he didn’t catch big Red on the Cornell Campus, our queen of the Red-tail Hawks. Ferris did find her mate, Arthur – and it is always good to see either of them and extremely special when it is both.

Some thoughts from David Suzuki.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care everyone. See you soon! One last one to put a smile on your face – the ever loving Jackie and Shadow kissing in the nest yesterday while they did renovations.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: David Suzuki Foundation, Bald Eagles 101, Ferris Akel Tours, US Fish and Wildlife Services and ‘A’, Tonya Irwin and KNF Bald Eagles FB, Lady Hawk, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, the AEF FB, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, and FOBBV.

Early Saturday in Bird World

10 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone from a snowy, icy landscape – the Canadian Prairies. As many of you suggested, it was a huge culture shock going from bright sun and warm seas to frozen. It is always good to be away but, it is equally nice to get ‘home’. Thank you for all your wonderful letters and best wishes. I had an epic time!

The big news is still coming out of Samson and Gabby’s nest in The Hamlet near Jacksonville. Will there be a nest take over? will Gabby get a new mate? where is V2 this morning as I write this? did Samson appear? Wow. Everything else pales in comparison.

This is a short catch up on some news that we are following this morning.

I want to start with a disgusting arrogant display that has gone viral. It was posted by Geemeff, one of our readers.

What a disgusting individual.

Was it Samson visiting the NE Florida nest? We would have to see his toe – one is flattened. But, gosh, it sure looks like him.

Maybe the word is out and all of them know that Gabby is now single (sadly) and they are lining up for her to choose? They should try bringing her fish!

There was a musical nest. V2 was there and gone, then Gabby left and V2 returned, and then he saw Gabby and escorted her back to the nest.

Postings of a third visitor.

But where was V2 last night. It looks like Gabby spent the night alone – again!

Gosh, I love these daily videos that Elain posts of the highlights at the Orange scrape in Australia of Diamond and Xavier. That little Indigo reminds me so much of Izzi – chasing the parents out of the scrape in the morning, pair bonding, and snacking.

Why do I like them? Elain edits the entire day into a short video and includes the main highlights.

Now for a few smiles.

Falcons in the Middle East fly in their own 747s. Challenger the famous US Eagle in the care of the American Eagle Association likes to fly SW Airlines.

Have you been following the World Cup of Birds? Let’s see who is left standing! Pick your favourite bird out of those left and follow what happens. Morocco stunned everyone when they beat Brazil putting the Rufous Bellied Thrush out of action. So will Moussier’s Redstart take home the cup? England is playing France today – the Robin vs the Gallic Rooster! Stay tuned.

For all Osprey fans, there is an Osprey still in Londonderry today – at the Bann Estuary. Does this bird know something we do not know? I mean seriously shouldn’t he be sunning himself in Spain right now or Africa? or does he need to get out of town quick?

Zoe is flying over shallow water and getting those wings to work. Dad brought Zoe 3 fish yesterday and Mum brought her 1. They are taking good care of their daughter! Here is her most recent tracking release.

We haven’t done a check on Karl II’s family recently so let’s have a look and see where Waba and Bonus are today.

Waba is still loving Sudan and fishing at the Nile River.

Bonus started flying over the Eastern Desert. There has been no transmission since the 4th of December. We wait. Please send Bonus your best wishes.

Thank you for being with me for this quick look at what is the main story in Bird World – Gabby and her nest. Send out your warmest wishes to Rita who is healing nicely in Miami and to dear Alden and Samson – we wish you would still appear! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and posts which make up my blog this morning: NEFL-AEF, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam Project and Cilla Kinross and Elain, American Eagle Live Nest Cams, Southwest Airlines, Raptors of the World, Port Lincoln Ospreys FB, Looduskalender, and Geemeff.

Harriet lays her first egg of the season! and more news in Bird World

30 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I want to thank everyone who sent an e-mail or who made a comment about the loss of Orange’s dear darling Rubus. It was extremely difficult for everyone not least of all those wonderful people at Orange. We all loved the feisty little eyas. What joy he brought!

It would be helpful if there were an international protocol in place that everyone agreed on and knew. If a raptor is grounded and does not flee when a human approaches, it should be placed in care for an examination. No guessing, no regrets. Just a clear protocol. If the raptor requires care, it can receive it. If it doesn’t, it is released where it was found or at its nest, if known. Perhaps protocols could be put in place in memory of Rubus.

Meanwhile, Indigo is doing very well and thriving. Wonderful news. This is him yesterday eating a huge prey item! So glad he is visiting the scrape.


Sulphur-crested Cockatoo” by NathanaelBC is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

It is not about raptors but, after the week we have had and now with Harriet having an injury from the GHOW hit last night, we need a laugh. We seriously need a laugh just to take us away even for a few minutes. This Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo will certainly help.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-30/cockatoo-video-dropping-pot-plants-melbourne/101710478?fbclid=IwAR2dBBKdcL_6wP-BBMZYqu9IC3iaThR1hi0dMv1wI_hkPV5nwOpS_Pn2sjk


“G’ sent me a great article on Glen, the only surviving Tweed Valley osprey fledgling. It is a great article and you realise how miraculous this bird’s adventure has been – almost blown out to sea, having to flap its wings for 36 hours over the ocean! And finally finding a small piece of land to rest for 11 hours. Thanks, ‘G’. Glen deserves a long and safe life.

Here is the link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-63795390

Congratulations to M15 and to Harriet for their first egg of the 2022 season! The time was 18:09:34. M15 was there with Harriet during her labour.

Sharon Pollock posted a video of the happy moment:


At the nest of Pa Berry and Missy, Pa has had to deal with a GHOW strike like Harriet did the night before she laid her egg.


Many of you will have seen Tiger Mozone’s name on the PLO chat. Tiger runs a FB group re Ospreys and is encyclopaedic when it comes to the history of UK Ospreys. Tiger and Chloe Baker have a web site with much information on the UK Ospreys – magicats. He also has a Twitter account. Check him out.

Tiger and I have been chatting today about the state of the fish at Port Lincoln. I have been – well, almost, pulling my hair out over the lack of fish. Is it because of commercial fishing? flooding and silt? changing water temperatures due to climate change? Dad’s age? You have probably asked yourself the same thing. So far no one seems to have come up with an answer but Tiger and I talked about practical or possible solutions. I have always maintained that fish must be provided. But how do you provide fish? Well, large commercial-like tanks such as the ones that the Ospreys in South America steal from is one solution. Tiger thinks a fish pond or stocking the lagoon where the barge is located. I wonder how many regulations there are for doing this? Are there any more than all of the permissions required for intervention?

Zoe is wide awake and wanting fish. Dad will deliver early today. I wonder if she spotted him flying off.

Did you know that there is a river that was created and stocked just so photographers could take images of Osprey fishing? Yes. It is the River Gwash and Tiger told me about it today. So if you can build a river in the UK and stock it so Ospreys can fish and charge people to photograph them in a hide doing just that then, why not stock the lagoon where the barge is and – from a safe distance – allow people for a charge to photograph them? Why not? It might bring more tourism to the area, too! That along with Osprey Excursions.

The Gwash River runs through Rutland, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire.

Other places stock ponds and lochs for the osprey such as Rutland and Keider. It is time that everyone considered this as humans have mismanaged our planet so much. We owe it to these beautiful birds.


Alden has still not been seen. A video clip of Annie reacting to the visiting male.

Dear Gabby waits for Samson’s return. If you did not see my correction, Samson was not injured. There was a posting on FB showing what appeared to be an injury to Samson’s head; I carried that information in a blog. The AEF wishes for everyone to know that he was not seen injured when he was at the nest. I had posted the update in a later blog but it seems some did not see it. Apologies for any confusion.

This is the latest announcement from the AEF on FB at the time of writing this blog:

We know that Bella returned to her nest after three weeks and there is a story surfacing out of Hanover of the resident female returning to her nest after being absent for a week. It gives me hope that Samson will return!

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2018/04/09/hanover-nests-resident-female-eagle-returns-fighting-expected/497774002/

Jackie and Shadow always put a smile on my face and here they are working on their nest at Big Bear. Adorable. I received a note that Shadow had been away since the 24th returning today, 5 days later (the information is second hand but comes from a trusted source). So, let us all take a deep breath and believe that Samson just took a wee break before it all begins, too.

The Southern Royal Osprey are a delight to watch and I know that many of enjoyed watching Lillibet, the 2022 Royal Cam chick grow and fledge and the marvelous care that YRK gave to her daughter after OGK went missing in May. There is a new Royal family and Dad, GLY, is incubating that precious egg. Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk) has published a video of the new family and some visitors.

Migration News:

Waba is still in the Sudan.

Bonus is still in Turkey but he has started moving South! Well done, Bonus.

There is a silver lining in today’s news with the arrival of the first egg at the Bald Eagle nest of M15 and Harriet in Fort Myers, Florida.

Please send your best wishes to Rita so that she is strong enough for her operation. ‘H’ wrote this morning to tell me it is scheduled for 1500 Eastern time today. Send good wishes to Alden and Samson wherever they are please come home if you can, and to everyone at Orange and all those who loved little Rubus. He is much missed.

Thank you for being with me. This is not a very long blog but I hope there is something good in there for everyone. I am now ready to try and start packing! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’ and ‘G’ for their notes, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and S Pollock, Berry College, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, River Gwash Ospreys, abc.net.au, York Dispatch, FOBBV, NZ DOC and Sharon Dunne, and Looduskalender Forum.

Darling Rubus is dead…and other news in Bird World

Hello Everyone,

What a very sad morning it is.

It was 2100 Monday evening on the Canadian Prairies when I started this blog and the world looked so much better with the idea that our little lad could be flying around with his older brother, Indigo Now that hope has shattered. This morning I know that all of you are feeling the same hole in your life. What a lively character Rubus was — and what immense joy he gave us stretching his little neck to get food and running all over the scrape box screaming and staring into the camera. Oh, little one, you shall be missed.

I am so very glad to have the kittens and the garden animals this morning. The kittens are being as cute as they can be. Both of them spend lots of time looking out to the garden watching the squirrels, the birds, and Hedwig – the rabbit, who came to visit us today.


Our thoughts go out to Diamond and Xavier and to Indigo who must carry on now and to Cilla Kinross and everyone at Orange and to all those around the world who dared love this little bundle of fluff that was Rubus.

Our dear darling little lad. This morning we are all weeping for you.

The speculation as to which fledgling is which has ended at Orange. The body of dear little Rubus was found and it appears he died some time ago. Here is the announcement from Cilla Kinross:

“NEWS 29th November 2022 Bad news about Rubus. His body was found today by one of our medical staff (who also watch the livestream). Cause of death is unknown. I thought at first broken neck because of the angle, but it seemed intact. I have asked the vet for an autopsy, but she said that it is too far gone, so it looks like he died a few days after last seen on 23rd November. That’s a pity as I would like to have known whether it was caused by trichomoniasis (canker) as has been suggested by some watchers. We’ve never had a case here, but the parasite could be present in the local pigeon population and transferred in the prey.”

It is hard to take it all in. Liz M has put together a compilation of Rubus’s life for us.

I will be doing a tribute to Rubus in the coming days and will then add him to our ‘Wall of Remembrance’. So sad today as I know you all are.


I have hoped so much that there would be some good news at the nest of Gabby and Samson, of Annie and Alden, and of Ron and Rita. The only sure thing is that Zoe loves fish and will eat any and all that land on her nest.

Cal Falcons has ‘finally’ issued a statement about what is happening at The Campanile. Thankfully that news is not bad. We just have to wait.

As the sun set over The Hamlet, Gabby looked out over the trees. She has been hunting and has a huge crop. The male intruder appears not to be about but, Gabby has to be wondering where her mate is. What has happened to him?

I am so glad that Gabby has eaten well.

I was reminded, this evening, that Bella was injured. She had extensive injuries and was away from the NCTC nest that she shares with Smitty for three weeks before returning and booting an interested female off. Samson could return. That is my mantra. In fact, I received a note from ‘T’ and the blood on the side of Samson’s face was not an injury but, was from a Coot that he had eaten earlier. Thanks, ‘T’.

In Miami…

Rita, the Bald Eagle mate of Ron, at the Miami Zoo, was a celebrity before she was critically injured with a double compound fracture to her right wing on Sunday. She has been stabilized and operated on and what a lucky eagle she is – had she not been found so quickly and taken to care by the police who found her, she would have died. Maggots had already started growing. So sad.

A round of applause to everyone who helped this injured eagle. The next 48 hours will be crucial – send Rita all your best wishes. The surgery will not happen for another 2 or 3 days and then months and months of rehab before she could released, if she is released. Ron has been on the nest looking for her and just doesn’t understand what has gone on because she was picked up miles away from the nest.

https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/rita-the-bald-eagle-in-critical-condition-at-zoo-miami/

Here is TV coverage of Rita and her injury with more details.

In California, Jackie was caught on camera — yes, the camera is back up and running after the storm thanks to everyone for that. It is so good to see you, Jackie.

In Florida, the GHOWs are striking at Harriet and M15 again.


Port Lincoln Ospreys:

I wonder if Zoe dreams about fish dinners?

Once Zoe spotted Dad away, she flew over by Mum and waited for him to return with ‘her’ breakfast.

Dad did not disappoint. He brought a nice little fish for Zoe.

And our Zoe made quick work of that little fish and was ready for more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No. 17. The Red List. The Scaup

There are two Scaup. Dominic Couzens in his text for Red Sixty Seven, suggests that the one in the United Kingdom be called the Greater Scaup because there is a Lesser Scaup across the pond in America. The one in the United Kingdom actually resides in both the United Kingdom, Europe and the ‘New World’. That is why, Couzens argues it should be the ‘greater’.

The Scaup breed in the taiga and the Arctic Tundra in the spring. They return to the United Kingdom in the autumn where they will spend the winter. They are medium sized diving ducks – not dabblers. They dive deep searching for aquatic invertebrates and plants. They normally feed during the day but have been seen foraging at night if the water has been disturbed during the day by boats and human activity. Did you know that to catch the invertebrates, the Scaup stick their bill into the mud, snap it closed, and swim forward scooping it up. They have been known to dive to 7 metres!

Greater Scaup LMO 1” by THE Holy Hand Grenade! is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Look carefully at the Greater Scaup above with its magnificent green head, glowing yellow eye, white bill with the tell-tale black ‘V’ at the base. This marks them out from their American counterpart whose head is an iridescent purple, the black ‘V’ at the base of the bill is missing, and the head is less round. The Greater Scaup has a black neck and breast, white underparts, a dabbled grey and white wing and back, with black tail feathers.

The female is a beauty. Her head is black with that striking yellow eye. She has a white crescent between her bill and her eye. The breast is a lovely chestnut, the back and wings a mottled chestnut and white with a black tail.

Greater Scaup (Female)” by Rick Leche is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Scaup make their nests on the ground where the eggs can easily be predated by foxes, dogs, The female lines her nest with the down from her breast. The nests are generally near the edge of the water in areas that are known not to flood. Generally between 8 and 13 eggs are laid.

Their main threat is human development, although they are preyed upon by owls, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and humans.  But there are other threats as well including water pollution and climate change. Alarmingly they are also caught up as bycatch when trawlers are out looking for fish.


It has been a difficult last few days in Bird World. As a friend reminded me, “it would not hurt so much if we didn’t care so deeply.” Continue to care. The Birds need all of us and more. Continue to feel. Do not get numb to the challenges they face that cut their lives much more shorter than they should be. Send out your best wishes to Samson for a safe return to Gabby, to Rita so she will stabilize for her surgery, to Alden so he will return to Annie.

I am sorry this letter comes with nothing but sadness save for Zoe who is thriving which is a good thing. Raise a glass of something – juice, water, your favourite adult drink – to our little lad. Soar high little Rubus. Soar high. You were much loved.

Thank you for being with me this morning. Please take care. I hope to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’ for the news bites about Rita, Envirobites, Port Lincoln Osprey, Openverse, Lady Hawk and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Channel 10 News Miami, WFLA News, FOBBV, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam Project and Cilla Kinross, and Liz M for her tribute to Rubus.