Eggs, Coots, and more…it is Thursday in Bird World

12 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the week has been good to you. I think of everyone in the paths of the storms that I am reading about and I hope that all of you are safe.

I am repeating the story of Jackie laying her first egg. 3884 people were watching the nest at the time. It went up to over 4000. Incredible. Jackie and Shadow are much loved. It just made me giddy and all of us wish this couple the very best of luck this year. Let us hope for good weather, no predators and nothing untoward.

From the Bookshelf:

I continue to sing the praises of Slow Birding. It is my pick of all the books I have read so far as being one of the most informative and easy to understand. If you like picture books, it is not for you!!!!! Last night I tackled the chapter on American Coots. They visit us and last summer I had the privilege of seeing several at the ponds around our city on a daily basis. I want to share with you what I learned – it is fascinating.

Coots are not ducks. They are rails but they spend their time in the water – like a duck. Their bodies are a deep espresso brown black, the head a darker shade than the body. Their bill is white with a shield that ranges in colour from a deep red-brown to brick red. You can see this below. They have red eyes. Stunning. Their secondary feathers have a white trim and there is a tiny white line going down the middle of the tail to its tip. Their feet have toes and those toes have evolved over time to have phalanges that help them to swim.

American Coot (Fulica americana)” by Jacob McGinnis is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

In the image below notice the red on the head of the chick.

Mud Hen or American Coot (Fulica americana) feeding her baby” by Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Some interesting facts about Coot behaviour:

  • Baby Coots have red heads. When predators are about they will stick their heads deep into leaves or into the nest so the predator cannot see them. As they age they can dive and camouflage their head by being under water. There is, on average, a five day spread between the first hatch and the last.
  • Adult Coots can tell the parasitic eggs (eggs laid by another Coot in their nest) from their own eggs due to patterns on the shell.
  • Adult Coot parents divide up the brood – older chicks with fading red heads and younger ones with red feathers. Chicks who kept their red feathers were the favourites of the adults to be fed. Unlike ducklings who can forage themselves, baby Coots are fed by the parents.

Making News:

Did you know that the Kakapo Recovery group check out the Rimu fruit, essential for Kakapo survival, to determine when breeding will begin? I didn’t.

More raptors are arriving in wildlife rehabilitation centres now that they are having to scavenge for food. Often this means that they are eating the innards left from hunters in the fields and woods – those are loaded with lead and it sends them right into care if they don’t die first. Sadly, this Golden Eagle got help but it was too late. This is entirely preventable. Write your representatives and urge them to ban all levels of lead in fishing and hunting equipment! Now. Thank you.

I would give just about anything to see a pile of ducks quacking away in my local park’s pond. They will return in the late spring. For now I have to rely on stories of others. I hate no idea, however, that Wigeons whistled, did you?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/11/birdwatch-whistling-wigeons-winter-highlight?CMP=share_btn_link

Nest News:

How many of you worried and fretted that Connie had not fed the little eaglet? I sure did! Connie has now fed the eaglet – about 24.5 hours after it hatched! Yippeee. Oh, I bet that first bite of fish tasted good! Little one holding its head up nicely. There is no sign that the second egg is pipping but it could be. Perhaps the egg that hatched was actually the second one laid. We wait. The raptors will teach us patience whether we like it or not!

Connie fed the little one again at 13:39 and at 14:20. I am making an assumption that the feedings will be nearly hourly from this point onwards for a few days during daylight hours. Clive has brought in Mullet and Trout. Good job, Dad.

Thursday>. No obvious pip in the second egg at Captiva.

Oh, that little one at the KNF E1 nest of Anna and Louis is just a cute little butterball. Will that second egg hatch? I cannot see a pip there either. Oh, those little wings. Adorable. Just adorable. No signs of a pip in the other egg.

I do not see a pip on the second egg at KNF-E1 Thursday morning either but it could be there.

One big difference that you might notice is that Andria feeds her eaglets more often than Anna. That is a really good thing for those two eaglets especially the second hatch as it remains much smaller than the first. Both are being civilised and both are well fed and cared for – no worries here.

Jack and Diane were bringing in bark to the nest in St Petersburg Florida. I am sure hoping that they leave it as a liner to cover up that hole. Last year their eggs rolled in there and with the help of Crows, the couple had no osplets. The year prior they fledged three. Diane’s leg appears to be improving daily.

Both PePe and Muhlady have brought in fish to the nest. These eaglets, Pearl and Tico, are so lucky. What a great source for fish their nest has.

Pearl is really getting her juvenile feathers.

Just look at this beautiful eaglet.

Gabby and V3 were both at the nest this morning. V3’s talons have really taken a beating but they appear healing or healed. Then off to secure the territory while Gabby stays home! What a guy.

Gabby lets out a big cry at 09:46.

Both V3 and Gabby are at the nest tonight on their respective perches watching for intruders and probably hoping to get some rest.

We have all noticed the large number of intruders at Gabby’s nest – and, of course, no Samson is what started all of this. The Centre for Conservation Biology has noticed that Bald Eagles spend more time guarding than they did 20 years ago due to the growing number of eagles in the area. Here is an article that arrived in my inbox today. It really sheds some light on what could be happening in The Hamlet.

They continue to work on the nest at Big Bear. With body temperatures of 105 degrees, Jackie and Shadow can melt the snow on the nest very quickly. Keep an eye out for any fluff being brought to the nest bowl. That will signal egg laying.

Well, goodness. I said watch for the eagles to bring in soft nesting material and look what happened late Wednesday afternoon!

That nest bole has been occupied for longer than an hour. I am not ready for this! But it just might be that Jackie is!!!!!!!!!!! She certainly wouldn’t listen to me.

Oh, tears. Jackie just laid her first egg. Beautiful. Between 1557 and 1600. Jackie made it look easy.

There is a fully history of the Big Bear nest under the streaming cam. It is very possible that Jackie is the 2012 hatch of Ricky and Lucy. In 2019, Shadow arrives at the nest and refuses to leave. Eventually, Jackie’s mate Mr BB leaves the area. Jackie and Shadow fledged Cookie and samba in 2019. Tragedy strikes for the pair in 2020 and 2021. Last year Jackie laid eggs on 22 January and 25th. One of those hatched. It was Spirit who stole our hearts and who fledged on 31 May.

Jackie was still keeping that precious egg safe at 1800.

E21 and 22 are really enjoying the fish that was brought in on Wednesday. they are cuties. Both M15 and Harriet fed the little ones fish and both were nicely behaved. Yes.

Indigo loves bringing beetles into the scrape that he has caught. Today there were four that Elain caught in her video! Indigo is so proud of his catch.

Ron and Rose are still working on the nest in Miami-Dade. Today, Ron brought Rose a fish in the nest. How sweet.

I am waiting for the pip watch at Berry College for Pa Berry and Missey. Last year they raised a strong eaglet B15 that stayed in the area and entertained people well into the fall with his flying skills. They are not on YouTube. You must Google Berry College Eagle Cam.

The eagles are working on the nest at Duke Farms.

And the new couple at the Captiva Osprey nest, MO and FO, are working on eating a catfish (or is it a shark?) and mating at the same time. Good luck with that.

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my blog: Openverse, Kakapo Recover, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, The Guardian, Window to Wildlife, NF-E1 and E3, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, Centre for Conservation Biology, FOBBV, SWFL Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, WRDC, Berry College Bald Eagles, and Duke Farms Bald Eagles.

A hatch for Connie and Clive…Tuesday in Bird World

10 January 2022

Good Morning,

Lots of eagle parents busy feeding eaglets – from those a month old at Superbeaks to newly hatched. It is ‘egg citing’.

Making News: Hopefully all manner of organisations and individuals will keep a very focused light on the gaming estates in the UK. Will the judiciary finally give sentences to gamekeepers that are appropriate for all the laws that they have broken? Will they give sentences and fines long and large enough to deter this horrific behaviour. Sue Belcher wrote a poem about snares. Read it. If you don’t live in the UK but love our raptors and other wildlife, it will help you to understand what the fight is about. I am happy to spread the word on the plight of wildlife caught in these medieval devices. Thank you Sue!

Checking on some of the nests we are watching:

At 11;22, Connie and Clive have their first hatch at the Captiva Bald Eagle cam. It is to be really celebrated. Connie and Joe lost their two beautiful hatches, Peace and Love, to rodenticide secondary poisoning in 2020. No eggs in 2021. Then Hurricane Ian came and tore down Connie and her new mate’s nest, Joe. Congratulations Captiva!

Jackie often lays her eggs in March. Generally egg laying is timed to the availability of prey items. Despite that historic fact, Shadow and Jackie have been mating on the nest today and Jackie continues to check out the nest bowl. Will we have eggs early at Big Bear Valley?

It started off as another f/soggy day at the Kisatchie Forest nest of Alex and Andria. ‘A’ was the first to alert me to the fact that the weather is often very different on one side of the lake from the other. Andria dig a really good job keeping those feisty little eaglets with their clown feet underneath her so they would stay warm and dry. No thermal down yet so this is important. It is coming!

More chair rails, Alex!!!

E3-02 was so full that he could hardly get himself up and over to the dining table for the next meal.

As the sun set Monday night in Alexandria, Louisiana, two very full eaglets tucked in tight under Mum sleeping. Beautiful.

Eaglet E1-03 is a cutie pie! Louis is filling the nest with Coot and fish already. Anna has changed so much since her first hatch, Kisatchie. He didn’t know what to do and Anna didn’t know how to feed an eaglet. Of course, they got it together but, we sat at the edge of our seats. Now Anna is experienced and this little one is simply a cutie who loves its fish and Coot. Look at those precious wings.

Oh, such a chubby little baby. Cute. So cute.

If you have not watched the nest of Louis and Anna, it is a good one to have on your list. Here is the link:

This is the status of the pip for Connie and Clive at 17:41 Monday evening.

Both Gabby and V3 were in the nest at 06:51 Monday morning.

V3 was last seen at the tree at 1531. There had been an adult eagle land on the nest tree with an injured eye and talons but it would not have been V3.

At 18:05, Gabby waits on Wallenda. She is still tucked on Wallenda and waiting for V3at midnight.

At Superbeaks, Pearl appears to be doing some self-feeding.

And, oh, goodness. Every eaglet or osplet should know that you NEVER look your sibling directly in the eye. It is definitely not a good idea.

Big PS before bed.

At the nest of Harriet and M15, the two eaglets, E21 and E22, are doing grand. E21 is 6 days old today and E22 is 3.5 days old. That is actually a big difference. Both are eating well and Harriet is feeding them as much as each needs. E22 does not need as much food as E21 – so don’t panic and count the bites and worry if they are not equal! It is all good in Fort Myers on the Pritchett property.

Harriet gave E22 a private feeding while 21 slept – Harriet is experienced and smart! Lady Hawk put it on video for us.

Martin and Rosa have been doing restorations at the Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam in W Virginia on Monday. Oh, those talons make me ache. Send some very soothing hand cream to the nest, please!

Indigo had a very interesting day. Check out Elain’s video:

So what is up with Annie and the ‘new guy’? I am not sure. He was till working on his prey deliveries the other day.

Book Review: Loon Lessons. Uncommon Encounters with the Great Northern Diver by James D Paruk (2021, University of Minnesota Press).

Loons. Who doesn’t love a loon? Anyone spending time in the forest and lake areas of Canada or Minnesota – or other places – has memories of their calls -the tremolo, yodel, or wail. I have tried hard to ‘see’ them because I have listened to those calls for years but, did not get sight of the diving waterfowl. I finally did. I will not tell you that I love loons more than big bad raptors – I don’t. But they are iconic for the province that I live in and I want to know more about them so I can appreciate their life, its blessings, and challenges more. This book really helped me on all accounts. The book is full of 30 years of experience by today’s leading expert on loons.

As a former academic, ‘scholarly’ articles can be a bit dry and daunting especially if they are in any of the fields of science (sorry). What I noticed immediately was that Paruk’s friendly and accessible writing style immediately drew me in. What a wonderful way to open a preface by saying, “To appreciate any organism, I am convinced we do not need years of training – all we need to do is watch our children marvel at a deer or a squirrel from a window. A sense of wonder and our innate curiosity can lay the foundation for developing and maintaining an appreciation for the natural world.” Excellent. The volume is divided into 12 chapters moving from biology, courtship and nesting behaviour, migration, conservation threats, and how loons are adapting to a changing world. The book is printed in black and white and at first you might ask, “where are the photographs of this magnificent bird with its black and white plumage”? You will find those images in the middle of the book – and I learned, looking through those images – that some loons have other coloured plumage such as the Red necked Loon!

Besides behaviour, one of the things that I was most interested in reading first were the challenges that loons face and what is being done to help them. You may have seen the artificial floating nests with avian guards (a bit of a camouflage cover over the top) on some loon streaming cams. These help the loons protect their nests and keep them safe from predators. The floating nests also keep the eggs out of harms way in times of flooding. It was very clear to me that the Bald Eagles who nest on the shore near Hecla Island and whose nests were destroyed by the 2022 flood might benefit from some floating platforms of some sort. There are other ways that we can help.

The threats to the loon sound like a broken record for all birds including raptors – mercury affects the central nervous system and it is present at very high levels in many of the ponds and lakes in the northern part of my province. As a natural occurring material, it was released into the water when the land was dredged for the many hydro-electric dams. Lead. Oh, what a culprit lead is – and please tell me why, knowing what it does to all birds and wildlife – has it not been banned? I clearly believe that humans that have the power to stop painful deaths or long term rehabilitation must wear bloody blinders. It is making me angry and I wonder how they would feel dying of lead poisoning? On page 173, Paruk states, “In recent decades, the EPA and USFWS failed to pass further measures to reduce the use of lead in hunting and fishing gear despite mounting evidence of its toxicity in the environment”. He continues by adding that six states took it upon themselves to pass legislation curtailing the use of certain levels of lead in fishing equipment. Those states are New Hampshire (sinkers 1 ounce or less), Massachusetts (lead sinkers on two reservoirs loons use for breeding), Maine, New York, Vermont banned “the sale of lead sinkers of one-half ounce or less and restarted their use as well.” Washington State banned the use of lead tackle on 12 of the 13 lakes used for breeding by loons. Since 2010, no additional state has done anything to ban lead ——–that was 13 years ago. It is time our American friends reading this blog get busy lobbying for the end of lead – the end of it period. Not just certain amounts. All lead. Paruk states, “I am left wondering how many more eagles, loons, condors, cranes, and swans have to die before a change in policy is warranted. The EPA was designed to protect the health of humans and the environment…acknowledges that lead is toxic to wildlife but not enough to warrant a national ban of lead tackle. Despite the mounting evidence that ingested fishing tackle leads to numerous wildlife deaths, the EPA refuses to recognise that there is a serious problem nationally. Because the federal government has failed to act on banning lead tackle, the responsibility shifts to state governments to take action” (174-75). If you want to do something to help the wildlife in the US, then US citizens reading my blog should carefully craft a letter to their state environmental officials copying them to the EPS and the USFWS demanding action now. Mercury and lead but there are also serious environmental threats to loons and other wildlife – including oil and its spillage such as The Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf. The other day I posted a copy of a Tweet indicating that licenses to drill for oil and natural gas off the coast of Alaska – pristine waters – were being accepted and had one application. Are they serious? Of course, monofilament fishing line is a source of painful injury or death. Other polluted waters, habitat loss, etc. The list is endless.

It is a really good read. You can learn so much just about loons, their behaviour and their migration but you can also get in deep with the challenges they face and how these might be rectified. Price in Canadian dollars: $34.95.

(Disclosure: I do not receive free books to review. If I see a new book that interests me, I buy it and am very happy to spread the word on those that will educate us, cause us to be curious, raise our awareness.)

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, posts, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: @Belcherspoems, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, KNF-1, KNF-3, Window to Wildlife, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, Lady Hawk and SWFL Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle Cam, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Cal Falcons, and Amazon.

It’s Love…Saturday in Bird World

Good Morning Everyone! It’s Saturday. We hope that each of you had a good week. For those going back to school, it must have been a bit of a shock after the holiday break. Have a good weekend. Get outside if you can – even if it is only for a few minutes. Makes all the difference in the world smelling the fresh air, feeling the sun on your cheeks, and I hope seeing a bird!

The kittens have a new ‘enrichment’ activity toy.

They have had so much fun and have spent so much time figuring out things. Lewis can now use both paws. It is past midnight and Missey is working on her technique. Cute.

My top story is yet another death by lead. As long time readers will recognise, I am a big fan of all the work that the Ventana Wildlife Society and the LA Zoo do for the California Condors. So, today, when I received the link to this Twitter feed from Geemeff, I was once again saddened beyond belief. Lead in hunting and fishing equipment needs to be banned from being manufactured and used. Pull it off the shelves. There are alternatives – copper and stainless steel. Yes, at the moment because their production numbers are not as high as lead, they are a bit more expensive. About $1.50 US a box of cartridges for shooting I was told (not sure the size). So, the use of lead is not necessary. It is also not necessary by the military. Ban lead! Just do it.

First feathered friend for the 2023 Memorial Wall. So sad. It is so unnecessary that I just want to stand in the middle of the street and scream but that won’t help. So today I am going to write my Member of Parliament, the Honourable Web Kinew. He is Indigenous and has a good chance of being our next Premier in Manitoba. He might just care enough to do something when he has the power and the people. Clearly our current government in Manitoba will do nothing. But it needs to be a federal law here, in the US, everywhere-!!!!!!! So make a resolution to write to your Department of Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior in the US, your Congress member, and your Senator. Their e-mail addresses will be published. Then why not write your President.

BTW. The Ventana Wildlife Society is hiring a lead specialist for outreach to ranchers in the area of Big Sur and Pinnacles. Know anyone that fits the description? Please forward.

I always wonder if the DNR puts up a few bird cams to make us feel soft and fuzzy towards them. They derive huge income from selling hunting licenses. The specific amount is published. Check it out and then get mad. But don’t donate to their cameras until they take a stand against lead. A serious one. For those of you living in other parts of the world, check out the use of lead in your country and let me know what you find out. It would be appreciated.

While you are at it, how do you think about selling licenses to drill for oil and natural gas in pristine waters that could easily impact wildlife? aren’t we, as an international society, telling those folks in power that it is time to invest in renewables? not fossil fuels?

Have a look at this 1:39 minute video on the birds and the land in Alaska – and imagine an oil spill. Please help them by writing to your politicians pressing them to stop licensing for oil and natural gas – anywhere.

Hello Everyone! You cannot have my prey!!!!!!!!! Got that, Mum. I am telling everyone so they know – you cannot have it!

Elain’s great video for 6 January shows us the many visits of Indigo and the interactions in the scrape box at Orange on Charles Sturt University’s water tower! And, of course, it begins with Indigo arriving with prey screaming his head off!!!!!!

Well, it’s love. No other pictures of the sweetie pie E21 and Harriet needed. Just look at the love in a mother’s eye to her recently hatched wee one. Precious. Who says eagles do not have feelings?

Meanwhile, it is after 1700 on Friday and E22 is working away with its tooth visible trying to get out of that shell. Soon!

Oh, goodness. If you were watching, Harriet went to roll the egg and E21 got stuck on her talon and went out of the nest cup. The little ones cannot move to get back under Mum and they cannot regulate their temperature. Thankfully Harriet saw what had happened and within 10 minutes had E21 back under her by rolling it with her beak!!!!!!!!! It was a little tense watching it as Harriet had to stop a couple of times but she managed to get the job done. E21 had its first adventure!

Welcome E22! I saw you for the first time at 07:06.

A little later. You are more dried off and E21 is no worse for his adventure.

At 09:36:03, V3 flies in and meets Gabby on the nest. She sees him coming before he lands and begins calling.

The couple begin working on the nest. — I think that it is time to recognise that V3 is the ‘main man’ now. Whether or not this new pairing will produce eggs and eaglets this year is unknown. Will V3 be around next year if they do not have eaglets now? Who knows. For now, it is time to enjoy the two of them together and be happy for Gabby.

The couple get an entire five minutes together before V3 is off protecting the realm. I am thinking about getting him a Superman suit.

Both appeared back together on camera at 13:47. Give V3 a big hand of applause. He is keeping everyone else away from the natal nest. Bravo.

They are both constantly vigilant. Each one watching from different sides for intruders that could attack the nest. It has to be very stressful.

Gabby flew in with a huge crop and V3 flew in after her with a large crop, too. They dined together it seems.

They are a couple. They are together in the morning, during the day, and at night. No doubt about it. And who says they aren’t mating at their ‘special’ spot off camera??? Or maybe they aren’t. Who knows???

Superbeaks. Pearl is 28 days old today and Tico is 27 days. Let us examine the pair more closely through a few images. That is Pearl closest to the rails and little Tico at the back by Mum.

What do you notice about these two eaglets immediately? There could be several things.

Let’s work on some terms and the one I want is not in the image below!!!!!!!! Their rictus or smile is now yellow. This happens during week 4. Their eyes are the best 90% chocolate you can purchase! When they get older their eyes will lighten to that celadon colour that can be white, lightest of watery blue, or very light grey-green. Their cere is still black. Their Maxilla is black. These will change to chrome-yellow as they age. Now look. Dandelions on the top of the head with thick grey down. Those dandelions will begin to look like ‘Mohawks’ very soon. The blood feathers are growing in. This thick down will remain under them to help the eagles regulate their temperature. Now it covers all of their body.

Pearl is getting much more stable on her legs and was seen flapping her wings.

I thought I had a screen capture. One of the eaglets, Pearl, was flapping her wings building up some muscles. They are both developing just fine. There is so much food! Some chatters noticed a bit of bonking by Pearl to Tico and that Pearl had eaten most of one meal but, they are both fine. The last time I checked Tico was being fed.

Now just imagine. In 28 days time, Little E21 is going to look like the eaglet in the image above. Hard to get around that, isn’t it? They grow so fast.

Jackie and Shadow have been on and off their snowy nest all day.

Thunder and Akecheta were perched on Tor together today. Time 16:02.

Anna and Louis are not giving us any hints. For the past two years, this Louisiana Bald Eagle couple whose natal nest is E1 at the Kisatchie National Forest have had only one hatch. Will it be the same this year? Egg 1 is 38 days old today and egg 2 is 34 days old. The average hatch time in Louisiana is 35-39 days. So things are going to happen shortly. Wish them luck! This is their third breeding year together and both are nicely equipped to raise two healthy eaglets. Louis will just pile more fish on the nest. Can you imagine? He was so excited the first year, 18 fish (Anna brought in some to equal 20) on the nest at once!

The wee ones at the E3 nest of Alex and Andria are ‘lanky teenagers’ now. Not round little cuddly eaglets. They are growing their feathers and getting bigger and bigger. E3-01 was out of the nest cup the other day and E3-02 made that leap today.

Oh, precious. Notice. They do not yet have yellow smiles!!!!! But they do have black specks and those black specks indicate grey wooly down and feathers!!!!!!

Both eagles were at Decorah today. When you look at that image, I want to give a shout out to the Raptor Resource Project and Explore. They have done an amazing job – with the quality of the images – and their ability for close ups and pans. Just beautiful.

The juvenile was back at Decorah North.

Good news for Achieva Osprey fans. Barbara Snyder reports on FB that there was a successful mating attempt today. Diane’s leg must be getting better. Cannot think of more joyful news. Thanks Barbara!

Bird sightings in Dulwich. I could hug the author…they even like to see Sparrows. I wish so much that people who dislike sparrows would stop to think that not only do they need to eat but they are in rapid decline in certain locations. I love my sparrows. Each has a different face and some you come to recognise as they reappear daily.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/06/country-diary-a-flock-of-seagulls-and-a-lesson-in-resolve?CMP=share_btn_link

Everyone reading my blog knows that habitat loss, climate change and the sheer impact of the human population is killing both wildlife and our planet. An article in The New York Times discusses the impact on various species. Save it and read it when you have time. But read it so that you can talk about this with others. Thank you.

My blog is mostly about raptors. But, I love all birds (and other wildlife) and I am absolutely entranced by Loons. As many of you know, I have wanted to get a good look at them and have travelled throughout my province trying to do so. I did finally see ‘two at a great distance’ in 2022. There is a new book out about loons. Stay tuned!!!!!!!! It has received rave reviews. I hope to have it read in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much for joining me. I expect we will wake up to E22 with all of us holding our breath and hoping that E21 is a ‘darling’ of a big sib. Tomorrow one story I will be following is the loss of wildlife due to outdated farming and farmland practices in the UK. Don’t ever think it is just the UK. All I have to do is drive to the nature centre for my walk to see all the farmland given over to large housing developments. No birds there. Hardly a tree! There is more bad weather with more record breaking rainfall coming to California from the 9-14th. Jackie and Shadow could see lots of snow while our falcons and eagles in the Channel Islands will have rain. If you live in an area that has the potential for flooding and mudslides, please do take extra precautions. Everyone take care. Winter weather can be very hazardous. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, their Twitter feeds, their announcements, postings, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Geemeff, Ventana Wildlife Society, GoGreen, Cornell Bird Lab, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Birdie Cam, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, FOBBV, IWS and Explore.org, KNF-E1, KNF-E3, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Barbara Snyder and Achieva, Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam, The Guardian and Amazon.ca

Pip for Anna and Louis, hatching at SWFlorida…Wednesday in Bird World

4 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

The excitement has been growing with more than 2528 persons watching Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Nest as their first hatch of the 2022-23 season is trying to make its way into the world. It is now 1000 Wednesday morning. The little one has been working away for 26 hours and there could be much time to go. It is hard trying to get through those hard shells and often the wee babes are exhausted when they have finished hammering away with their egg tooth. It can take from 24-72 hours. Jackie is not giving away any peeks. There is a pip for Anna and Louis in Louisiana also. Things are beginning to happen….and they will begin to happen fast it seems.

On Everyone’s Mind:

At just after 0800 on Tuesday 3 January, SWFlorida announced that the pip on one of Harriet and M15’s eggs was official.

From pip to hatch can be 24-72 hours.

By mid-afternoon, the little beak could be seen moving inside the small hole. There are now cracks appearing that will radiate out from the pip hole.

Gracie Shepherd caught that little beak working on that shell.

No announcement of a hatch yet this morning.

Making News:

There is a pip for Anna and Louis at the Kistanchie National Forest E-1 nest this morning.

What does politics, friendships, old school ties, and hush ups have to do with the persecution of raptors and the use of illegal poisons in the UK to kill Corvids and other birds and wildlife? It would appear a lot! Despicable.

Check out the latest blog at raptor persecution.uk.org

To counter these horrific deaths in the UK, there is good news coming out of Minnesota. Remember the 10 eagles that survived (3 died) that had eaten euthanised pets at a landfill? Well, they are well enough to be released back into the wild. Well done Raptor Centre! What a great story for the new year.

Another good news story of a sub-adult eagle being rescued and then found to be suffering from some rodenticide poisoning. Thank goodness for the wildlife rehabbers that spotted the thinness and took blood tests and treated this beautiful boy.

No news on any charges being laid for those that dumped the dead euthanised pets.

The raptors have such a difficult time because of humans. Two of the leading causes of their misery can be eliminated easily: ban the use and use of rodenticides with heavy prosecution for any found using these designer poisons and ban the sale and use of lead ammunition and fishing equipment. Every wildlife rehabber in the world will be grateful.

Loving the Kakapo? and thrilled that there more living than ever before they were almost made extinct? The new ones are going to get names! Congratulations everyone. It has been a good year – a real indication of the efforts being made to keep the islands disease and pest free.

Let’s educate ourselves. The Audubon Society has put out a really informative article about feeding birds. It is not just about the food but how our actions can actually harm our feathered friends. Many of you wrote to tell me that you had Scrub Jays in your area but, have never seen a Blue Jay like Junior and Mr Blue Jay. Scrub Jays are a species under threat; they are on the IUCN Red List for endangered birds. How do you help?

Bird lovers quickly realized that Florida Scrub-Jays will come readily to the hand for peanuts. Unfortunately, studies have shown that jays fed by humans reproduce earlier in the year than those that are not. As a result, their fledglings hatch before the caterpillars they rely on for nutrition are available, leading to malnourishment and starvation. People also feed jays near roads, and collision with vehicles is a major cause of their death. Thus, it’s now illegal to feed Florida Scrub-Jays unless you have a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

The Audubon Society, ‘When It’s Okay (or Not) to Feed Birds

Here is the entire article. It isn’t long but it is packed with good information.

https://www.audubon.org/news/when-its-okay-or-not-feed-birds

Nest News:

It was soggy in Louisiana as that weather system moved through the area. Andria was wet. The winds are quiet but there is a 95% chance of continued rain the area. It is 77 degrees F.

Andria took advantage of a dry moment to feed the two eaglets.

The eagles at Kincaid Lake are so lucky – a huge stocked area for them to get their prey. The eagles at Decorah, Iowa are lucky, too. A trout farm right across the road!

Images of Gabby at NEFlorida’s Bald Eagle nest at The Hamlet on 3 January. She is beautiful. Where is V3? At 1745 V3 is on the branch, he jumps into the nest alerting and flies off to the right alerting.

V3 is a very good defender of the realm. Some think he has new battle scars on his talons. Probably. He is wet but has a big crop. Been fishing?

V3 does have some cuts on his talons but the blood could also be from the prey that he ate. It does not have to be a battle wound with blood.

Before he takes off, we get a really good look at his crop. This eagle is a good hunter. He is quick to protect the territory keeping all intruders away. Just what Gabby needs.

Those darn mosquitoes and other bugs are not bothering Gabby and V3 as much tonight and both are on the nest. Probably guarding it, too.

Rose and Ron were working on their nest today. Gee, I wonder if we will have eggs there this year?? Apparently Ron and Rose had a visitor to the nest – V1, the first female to try and win Ron’s affections. And who says Eagles do not hold grudges and do silly things in revenge??? Apparently V1 did a ‘ps’ right in the nest bowl where Ron rests today!

Ron and Rose are a beautiful couple. They posed for the camera after the restorations.

Things are still going well at the Superbeaks Eagle nest in Central Florida. It is frustrating trying to get to see the eagles. Without a time stamp I cannot tell you when to rewind but, if you do rewind, you can catch glimpses as the sunlight on the camera lens changes throughout the day. A worrisome hole or a nest collapse where the rim meets the branch on the left has appeared. I hope PePe or Muhlady will bring in sticks to close it up!

It is wet in Louisiana and snow fell on the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and her new mate but, it is unclear how the weather forecasts for ice and snow played out (or will) in the US.

It is snowing and the wind is blowing hard at the nest of Jackie and Samson in Big Bear.

Guess who shows up even with the snow? Time 0644 for Jackie!

Baiba did a winter wonderland video of the visit of the Big Bear eagles today.

The camera operator found Thunder looking out over the water from her perch near her West End nest in the Channel Islands. Time 1518.

It’s raining in Pittsburg. At the US Steel nest, one of the eagles is perched watching the traffic below.

One of the hardest nests to watch in 2020 was the Achieva Osprey nest. The third hatch, called Tumbles by the chatters, was much loved and so very, very tiny. That little one had a will to live like no other osplet I have ever seen – before or after. Everyone counted the bites it got, sat up thinking tonight was the night Tumbles would die (at least 3 times). Adding up all the time in 6 weeks that Tumbles did not get any food equalled 12 days. 72 hours in one stretch was the most.

Well, Mum started catching her famous catfish and she realised that that this third hatch wanted to live and she fed it – sometimes in the dark after the others were full. Tiny Tot Tumbles began to thrive. Tiny Tot became dominant and stayed on the nest after fledge defending it against even adult ospreys. Sadly, today, Tiny Tot’s Mum is injured. It is possible that her leg is fractured. She still comes to the nest. Dad tried to mate but she cannot carry his weight. What will happen to her? Can she be retrieved (the nest is in St Petersburgh, Florida)? and taken into rehab? In the image below, she is calling when she sees Dad arriving with fish for her. He is taking care of her. Anyone reading this know a wildlife rehab in the area that can be asked what might be done? or should be?

The average for Bald Eagles is 35 days. Harriet and M15 are right on the dot. Is the first egg at Metro Aviation not viable? 39 days today. We know that eggs in the southern states where it is warmer generally hatch earlier than those laid in the north.

Everything you wanted to know about Bald Eagles and their eggs is in this simple one page read by AvianReport:

Elain provides a great video of Indigo bringing his prey into the scrape. Always turn the sound up to get the full effect of this darling falcon!

This image came up on a feed. It is such an incredible photograph that it caught my eye. I want to send it out to all our friends in Japan who know there are osprey there but, might not have seen any. Isn’t this a gorgeous image? To get a shot like this you would be in a hide level with the water. There are actually sites that will sell you time to try and get your perfect image!

We are going to close today with an article in The Guardian on the dangers of fireworks to animals. Those reading my blog know this – but, now you have information that you can use to try and get others to cancel any loud fireworks displays.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/dec/30/do-fireworks-harm-animals-we-ask-an-expert?CMP=share_btn_link

Thank you so much for being with me today. We could have a couple of hatchings the next time we meet! Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Gracie Shepard and SWFLorida Eagle Cam, SWFL and the D Pritchett Family, KNF-E1, Raptor Persecution UK, Lolo Williams Twitter Feed, The Raptor Centre, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles live Nest and Cams, Kakapo Recovery, KNF-E3, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Superbeaks, MN-DNR, FOBBV, IWS and Explore.org, US Steel Eagle Cam, Achieva ospreys, Metro Aviation, Avian Report, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Birds of Prey, and The Guardian.

New Year’s Day in Bird World

1 January 2023

Happy New Year Everyone!

From my family, from Missy and Lewis, and from all the garden animals, we wish each of you the very best for 2023. It means the world to me to know that there are so many people, from all over the world, caring so much for the health and safety of our feathered friends. It is comforting in a world where the news is often full of doom and gloom to read about a species on the rebound, to see the efforts of the many groups including Conservation without Borders track and find a single osprey and bring attention to it so that villagers care, or others who battle the injuries our raptors suffer daily.


It has finally happened. All of the old calendars are put away and a new one is on the fridge. At one point, several years ago, I thought that paper calendars would be replaced by digital ones but, that seems not to be the case. This year so many groups had fundraisers by selling calendars. It was so difficult to choose but I want to give a shout out to Mary Cheadle from the Friends of Loch Arkaig and Heather C at Glaslyn. They both go above and beyond making sure to get their calendars to all parts of the world without a problem. I love the Friends of Loch Arkaig calendar with images of Louis and Dorcha and their family, Glaslyn is full of super quality photographs of Aran and Mrs G with their kids, the smaller format BTO Calendar has the cutest puffin on the cover and is full of images of the birds on The Red List, while DaniConnorWild has both a Red Squirrel Calendar and a Wildlife one this year. Every group has a fundraiser and it is difficult to choose! My plan is to rotate them throughout the year – and I do get to see the holidays in Wales and the UK that are different from ours in Canada.

If one of your resolutions for 2023 was to cut down your carbon footprint, then a study and a quiz in The New York Times ‘What’s the Best Way to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint’ might be an eye opener. The article is really interesting and confirms some of what I have read in Bill McGuire’s Hothouse Planet. Here is the article – take the quiz, see how you do! You might be very surprised.

Before fireworks are set off for any celebration including the new year, a word of warning. They not only scare and harm our pets but they decidedly harm the wildlife including, of course, our birds. Dogs are especially sensitive and Missy and Lewis were particularly upset but it was not until a few moments ago that I realised the timing of their upsetness. The fireworks were set off around 2230 not midnight. Please spread the word!

Read more on REGI caring for bald eagle injured by fireworks at https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/08/regi-caring-for-bald-eagle-injured-by-

There are many articles popping up on the Internet. Now how do we get the right people in the city offices to sit down and consider not having fireworks? The research suggests that the birds are more devastating to birds than other wildlife.

life/body=Check out this article https://benitolink.com/fireworks-can-have-devastating-effects-on-wild

Today I have received several notes from concerned readers. Some are staying up with their pets to comfort them if the fireworks scare them. Others are demanding accountability for the millions spent that could be used for other things. The fireworks in Sydney, Australia cost 5.8 million Australian dollars. Unbelievable. But, I am not just picking on Sydney. Across the world, fireworks lit up the skies at a time when people and the planet are struggling. Would it not be money better spent on schools, health care, the environment? I started wondering how much each wildlife rehabber would get if that money was divided up amongst the centres in and around Sydney? and all the other huge centres around the world that set them off last night. Oh, I am such a party pooper!!!!!

Now on to some really good news. It just shows how a group representing our beautiful eagles and the wildlife can band together and stop developers. How awesome.

You may remember that there was a development proposal for 50 luxury condominiums in the Big Bear Valley. FOBBV set about to try and block this development. The good news is they won! A win for the environment and the wildlife including our beloved Jackie and Shadow who live in Big Bear Valley. We can win. We just have to have solid facts and a persuasive argument. Congratulations FOBBV!

Our legal challenge to San Bernardino County’s approval of the Moon Camp development project was successful! The Superior Court ruled in our favor on two items— The proposed mitigation for the destruction of acres of endangered Ashy Gray Paintbrush was invalid; and The potential impacts to fire evacuation from this project were inadequately analyzed and mitigated.Background: In 2020, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Center for Biological Diversity and San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society filed a legal challenge under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) to the County approval of Moon Camp. The proposal was for 50 (luxury home) lots and a 50+ slip private marina. The property is a primary foraging site for our Fawnskin nesting bald eagles and other wintering bald eagles. The site hosts 17 acres of endangered Ashy Gray Indian Paintbrush and Pebble Plains habitat found only in Big Bear Valley, as well as other endangered plant and wildlife species.

Jackie and Shadow were both at the nest today. Apparently Jackie didn’t stay miffed. Yesterday Shadow brought a big fish to the nest and wasn’t sharing. Shadow!!!!!!!

Jackie was sure trying out that nest bowl. She had some people wondering if she was going to lay eggs. It would seem she is just testing but, they could surprise us.

The storm came through and left a lot of snow on the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Doesn’t it look like a magical winter fairyland?

FOBBV has posted a banner saying they are now on ‘egg watch’ for Jackie and Shadow.

Rose and Ron have been working on the WRDC nest. Will they have eggs this year, too? Remember the season in Florida can extend to May! What a long time. It would sure be nice for the hatches to be spread out a little. Then we could enjoy each separate nest a bit better.

I hope that you took the time to watch the video clip of the feeding at Superbeaks that was on yesterday’s blog. PePe and Muhlady are managing the two eaglets fine. There is lots of prey brought to the nest and Muhlady fills the oldest eagle up to the brim. It staggers away ready for a food coma – or simply to watch Mum feed the younger sibling. Everything is very civilised and it appears – but, it is difficult to see – that both are doing well. A parent was on a branch and the eagles, now that they have their grey thermal down, are being left alone. Still, a parent is very near!

One eaglet is sleeping (left) and one is peering out over the rim on the right. Squint!

It is nearing 1500 at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. V3 has been in and out all day, once arriving even panting. Gabby has not been at the nest yet since 1755 on Friday. She is most likely nearby on another tree. And BTW. If you saw the picture of V3 with something hanging from his beak – he just didn’t use his napkin properly (or at all!). It is grass not fishing line. No worries there.

Gabby was certainly around and at 0700 the pair – and they do now seem to be a couple – were working on their nest. Let us wish them the best for 2023. We wait to see if there will be eggs and little eaglets.

I have said it so many times. Everyone reading my blog for any period of time knows that I get really nervous when the second egg hatches and if there is a third hatch, I start breathing deeply. The little one at the Kistachie National Forest nest E3-02 is getting stronger and staying more upright. There is lots of fish which Alex and Andria also love to eat. The second image shows the difference in size of the two eaglets. The eldest really got a great head start because it was so strong when it hatched. That second hatch, on the right in the image below, is just a cutie pie. Such a little sweetie.

Just look at the size difference.

There is a lot of fish on this nest just like there will be on E1. Alex and Louis really take advantage of the fact that Kincaid Lake is right at their door step and it is stocked!

With so much fish on this nest, the adult can feed one til it is full and passes out and then turn their attention to the other one who will get all of their attention and lots of fish – unless Mum tires out! They are doing well at this nest. In the image below, the first hatch is full with a nice crop. It just sits there nicely and watches the wee one getting fed with no trouble.

Alex is a real keeper and like M15 and Samson, steps up to feed the little one. E3-01 was fast asleep and he fed 02 to the brim! Thanks, Alex.

The little one got some nice bites during the second feeding, 0738, of the morning on New Year’s Day.

Nancy and her new mate were at the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest today doing some restorations. It will be awhile til there are eggs on this nest.

It is Pip Watch at Metro Aviation Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana.

It is about a week til we will be on pip watch for Connie and Clive at the Captiva Eagle nest on the Barrier Islands in Florida. So far everything looks good.

Everyone is a fan of Harriet and M15 and we are about 2 days away from pip/hatch watch at their Southwest Florida nest on the Pritchett property.

Things are going to start to happen so quickly at these eagle nests that we will simply not be able to keep up!

Challenger the Bald Eagle, known for flying in football stadiums and at the Super Bowls, is retiring at the new AMERICAN EAGLE FOUNDATION Centre in Tennessee. His successor is currently named Atlas and is being trained to become an ambassador. What intrigued me was the statement that Atlas will not be flying in sporting events but will be attending various environmental events including those with fisherman to educate them on recycling monofilament line and the use of lead. What a great change! From entertainment to education. Fantastic.

Don’t you just feel so good inside when a kind person stops and helps a raptor in need? Here is the result of quick action on everyone’s part. Remember always. We love seeing the raptors grow up in the nest from hatch to fledge but it is a very challenging world they face and it is the wildlife rehabilitation centres that put them back together and give them a second chance at life. So when you are donating – anything from clean old sheets and towels, cat food, time, or money – think of your favourite rehabber!

Injured bald eagle returns to Cave City skies

It looks like Ferris found a Red-tail Hawk on his tour of the Cornell Campus late Saturday afternoon. There was some discussion about the band. Big Red is banded but the chatters seem to think that this band protrudes a big. Is it BR? Dark brown eyes so not L4.

Before Ferris could focus the camera, she was off!

Cilla Kinross caught Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo flying around the tower. There is a prey drop, too. Watch carefully.

Cilla Kinross posted some images she took away from the streaming cams. Thanks Cilla, they are lovely!

I do love ducks, any ducks. Still, I cannot fathom what 28,000 Red-head ducks floating on water in the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan would look like. Can you imagine the sound? Most people seemed to think it was an oil slick. Why were there so many? and why did others gather with them? Have a read.

The extreme weather of 2022 was more than a misery to wildlife who endured searing heat, flooding, landslides, extreme cold and more. The climate crisis is making population numbers dwindle. While the article is about the UK, it could well be written about areas of all countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/28/uk-wildlife-devastated-by-litany-of-weather-extremes-in-2022?CMP=share_btn_link

Thank you so very much for being with me the first day of 2023. Please take care. Thank you again for all of your messages of good cheer. They are so appreciated. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their videos, posts, notes, and streaming cams which make up my screen captures: The New York Times, FOBBV, Benitolink, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, KNF-E3, MN-DNR, AEF, WNYK, Ferris Akel Tours, Cilla Kinross, The Guardian, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, WRDC, and Window to Wildlife.

Is V9 the winner? and other news for Thursday in Bird World

22 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is still freezing. The last time I checked it was -26 degrees C. The furnace is working over time. But I am out of the parking pad and someone is coming to clear all of the snow so I won’t get stuck in there next time there is a blizzard. Tomorrow is the day to make sure that the birdseed and the cat food are topped up so that there is plenty to take all of the garden friends along with Missy and Lewis into the new year. I do not know about you but, I dislike crowds immensely, hate malls even more, and hope to get out and home before many wake up in the morning. Fingers crossed.

It is the day after the Winter solstice. A long time friend sent this to me and I want to share it with you – even if it is a day late.

A Winter Solstice Blessing

May you find peace in the promise of the solstice night, that each day forward is blessed with more light, that the cycle of nature, unbroken and true, brings faith to your soul and well-being to you. Rejoice in the darkness, in the silence find rest and may the days that follow be abundantly blessed. (Source unknown)


Bird World has gotten very quiet for the past few days. The only action that is happening is at the nests of Gabby and Ron where there remains some question as to which of the visitors each of them might choose. SuperBeaks is just steady as you go. This nest will go on my must watch list of eagle nests for next year.

Now at Northeast Florida. Too many visitors to follow. Too many discussions over who is who or if one is old enough to mate, etc. There is plenty of evidence for 4 year olds fathering healthy chicks including Harry at the MN-DNR nest in 2021 and again in 2022 before he disappeared. Is it possible Gabby might not have a mate this year? Of course it is. We should sit back and relax. It is a learning opportunity.

The camera has been down. There is another camera that the AEF have access to while the cameras we use to see the nest are down. Well done Gabby and V9. I gather they are friendly and working on the nest. Great news. Now if he can prove that he can keep intruders away, bring fish, and be truly a grand mate for Gabby — well, there could be little eaglets popping their heads up at this nest in the new year. Hopeful.

There is news of Rita requiring a little more removal of the wing. It is not clear if this is the tip that was removed several days ago or a new surgery. I am trying to clarify. It is certain that she will not fly again and they are looking for a permanent home for her. And this brings me to a problem that we all must consider every time we want a bird to be an ambassador or an educational bird —— they must have a place to go. That place has to have funds to feed and care for the wildlife they have. Many places are just over run with raptors and other birds. So when you consider making donations, please do keep this in mind. The costs involved are high and almost without exception these facilities work on a shoe string through the generosity of volunteers and donations.

Meanwhile Ron seems not to have settled on a new mate yet and appears to not like at least one of the females coming around.

In San Jose at the City Hall, Sequoia, the son of Grinnell and Annie, is calling his mate! This is just so wonderful. While it never makes up for losing birds, it is sure nice to see ones that we have watched from hatch to fledge begin their own families.

For those of you that love Peregrine Falcons and want to know more, here is a hefty book that has come out. Mark Avery wrote a good review in his recent monthly blog and this is part of his report, “This is a monumental book about what is regarded as the fastest animal on the planet (or flying over it). At over 500 pages, and amply and attractively illustrated, this is a tribute to and reference source about a marvellous bird. The brilliance of this bird is well captured in many of the photographs but the text is full of information about Peregrines from everywhere in the world where they occur. Chapters cover falcons in general, an introduction to this species, flight, diet, breeding behaviours and characteristics, movements, friends and foes and population numbers and trends. It feels like an encyclopedic coverage and the book is packed with information, but information delivered in a very palatable form.”

Speaking of falcons, Indigo is still being fed, still hiding food in the scrape and having Mum, Diamond, take it! Indigo has also started something unusual. Bringing grass into the scrape box! Goodness.

The SuperBeaks nest is wonderful. I am so glad that several readers asked me about them. I have had several giggles. While we have been frustrated not being able to see the eaglets, ‘S’ admits that we are getting a reprieve from worrying about them, too. We aren’t sitting and counting the bites this one or that one gets. We just sit and watch PePe bring in large fish and Muhlady feed the bobbleheads. We cannot even seen any beaking! It is actually quite nice. By the time we can see them clearly all of that will have passed!

There is a wee little head showing in the top image.

Both Pepe and Muhlady are on the nest vocalising.

Have not seen Jackie or Shadow at the Big Bear nest today but, there were a couple of Crows (or are they Ravens – difficult to tell) visiting trying to find any leftover bits of fish. Jackie and Shadow were there on Tuesday working away.

Here is a very short compilation for the winter solstice with recent images of the eagles at Big Bear – our adorable Jackie and Shadow.

The GHOs have been after M15 at the SWFlorida nest again – and, of course, since their nest is on the same property, we can expect an increase in this behaviour. Do the Eagles bothered the owls? Probably not. Maybe they should!

Cornell has put out its season highlights from the Royal Cam nest at Tiaroa Head. It opens with OGK doing a sky call – so get the tissue box. What a grand mate and dad he was. Last seen in mid-May (19 May I am told). We will forever miss him as will his long time mate, YRK, who will, perhaps, find another mate and raise more chicks. We will have to wait and see. And it could be a very long wait.

I know that many of you have wondered what happened to Mahlala, the Red tail hawk raised by the eagles on Gabriola Island. Their eaglet Junior, you will remember, was electrocuted on a power pole. I found this announcement today re their FB presence: “UPDATE: 12 20 22 GROWLS Eagle Nest Cam (Gabriola Rescue Of Wildlife Society). This FB Group is temporarily paused for 168 days. An admin paused this group on July 30, 2022. Group activity will resume on January 15, 2023 at 3:00 AM“.

No one knows why the FB was abruptly paused.

As for Mahlala, there are a large number of Red-tail Hawks in the general area. She was not banded so it would be difficult to tell her apart from any other unless you had clear identifying features which we don’t because the camera images were not clear. Did she return to the nest? Maybe GROWLS will tell us when they come back to life!

I posted an image of L4 that was taken during the Ferris Akel Tour last Saturday. Here are other images from this morning’s Cornell Hawks Twitter feed. It is nice to see the juvenile still doing so very well. That is a nice crop – and still in Mum and Dad’s territory without problem.

No. 21 The Red List. The Woodcock

Oh, look at that image. The eyes set way back on their head allow them to see predators when they have their long beak thrust into the ground hunting for food. They have short legs and are rather ’round’ compared to other birds.

Males perform a remarkable ‘sky dance’ on spring and summer nights, in a high, twisting flight, with chippering, twittering, bubbling sounds. These sky dances attract the females who will mate with one of the males. The males – like Daisy the Duck’s mate – take no part in the care of the eggs or the hatchlings!

Audubon Society says, “Downy young leave nest a few hours after hatching. Female tends young and feeds them. After a few days, young may begin probing in soil, learning to search for food. Young can make short flights at age 2 weeks, fly fairly well at 3 weeks, independent at about 5 weeks.” So not like ducklings or goslings that are precocial – able to care for themselves after 24 hours of hatching.

Woodcock vintage drawing” by Free Public Domain Illustrations by rawpixel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

There are Woodcocks that are resident in the UK and there are others, several hundreds of thousands, that fly from Finland and Russia – a distance of some 3000 km, to over winter in the UK. They arrive during the first week in November. They like damp woodland where they nest in a feathered scrape on the ground. There are stories of the Woodcock carrying their chicks between their legs and body in their feet if danger should arrive. There are also stories of them carrying a stick in their mouth when they fly over the ocean to the UK so if they tire during their flight they have some wood to land on in the ocean.

Many feed at night thrusting their long beak probing around in the soil – their heads go up and down so often they have been compared to ‘sewing machines’. They fine worms and Beatles and suck them up like spaghetti. Can you imagine? I would love to see one.

British writers such as Drayton, Shakespeare, and Milton used them as a metaphor for ‘foolish love’.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola” by Peregrine’s Bird Photography is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

The threats for the Woodcock vary from geographical location. In the US, fires are burning up habitat, climate change is drying up the wetlands, spring heat waves are driving the chicks from the nest, and heavy rains are endangering the eggs and the nests altogether. In all areas, habitat loss is driving a decline in populations. In the UK, those threats also exist along with the legal hunting of the Woodcock which begins on 1 November despite their being on The Red List. Wild Justice has asked the government to change the date to 1 December to try and help protect during the breeding season!

Two recent short articles from The Guardian are quite good.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jun/08/birds.woodcock?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/06/country-diary-claxton-norfolk-birds-woodcock-snipe-wigeon?CMP=share_btn_link

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their notes, their posts, and videos that make up my screen captures: Cornell Hawks Twitter page, Superbeaks Bald Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Mark Avery Book Reviews, San Jose City Hall, Openverse, NZ DOC and Cornell Bird Lab, FOBBV, San Jose City Hall, WRDC, and the NEFL-AEF.

The Flight of the Osprey and more…in Bird World

21 December 2022

Oh, good morning to you. It is Winter/Summer Solstice depending on where you live. The shortest day/longest night OR if you are in Australia, the longest day and the longest night.

It is cold on the Canadian Prairies. The temperatures plummeted. Yesterday we had beautiful blue skies and sun but it is overcast today and still cold. It is -24 this morning as I write this.

Oh, I do love getting your letters and comments. I learn something new every day. In the mail, ‘V’ asks, “Are you aware that Blue Jays are rare in the PNW? I live in the Seattle area and we have scrub jays and stellar jays but, I haven’t seen a blue jay since I left the midwest.” I had no idea! So, as you are reading this, think about dropping me a line to let me know if you have Blue Jays where you live. I would be very interested to know!

It would be really nice to walk along with the dogs and see all the raptors, to be followed by a Red Kite. How grand!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/19/country-diary-raptors-are-always-the-most-visible-creatures-up-here?CMP=share_btn_link

Maybe what New York City needs is a lot more raptors. Raptors are proven to get rid of more vermin than any of the modern day rodenticides that if consumed by rats can cause huge secondary poisoning in pets and raptors. Just think of those lovely Red-tail Hawks living around Central Park seeing a slow moving rat because it ate rodenticide! I hope that the individual who has this position considers an alternative and if you live in New York City and love the birds and raptors, who take your pets for a walk, maybe you should write this new rat ridder a letter and let him know your views about using raptors.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/dec/19/new-york-rats-eric-adams-meera-joshi?CMP=share_btn_link

K4 at his roost in Guinea

Thank you to geemeff, we have the final link on YouTube for the discussions with the Flight of the Osprey tem. Topics how important tagging is in conservation, finding out the challenges for the ospreys in their winter homes, and this wonderful bird, 4K from Belvoir Castle. Please take the time to listen. You will really enjoy the effort, the villagers, and then the spotting of 4K. You will learn much but, this entire programme sets out to help the conservation of the ospreys at their winter homes, their spring and summer breeding grounds and their migratory routes. It is so heart warming that the visit of Sasha Dench and others to the villages where the UK Osprey winter will help them appreciate the birds and the need to help them if they get caught in the fishing nets. Maybe someone – a kind resourceful individual will figure out a way to remove the garbage from Africa – the plastic bottles and the nets that are no longer useful so that they do not wind up in the rivers, the mangroves and the oceans. It can be done if there is a will to do it.

The Flight of the Osprey is about migration and conservation. Today, Hawk Mountain released its end of the year report for the migration over the mountains in Pennsylvania. Here is that count:

Elain can capture a day in the life of the Peregrine Falcons at Orange, Australia in a few minutes. Thank you! Your editing is so welcome and wonderful. It seems that Indigo is very loud and still at home. Diamond has been sneaking in and taking Indigo’s stashed prey out of the corner and eating it. There is a lesson there: eat everything you can when you can – you don’t know who will steal it and when your next meal will arrive!

At Port Lincoln, Zoe is developing her diving skills. Do not be surprised if she comes up with a fish one day!

Someone spread the word around Ron’s nest that he is now an eligible bachelor according to Sassa Bird and the females are coming from hither and yon to try and win his affections. The WRDC nest is turning out to be like Gabby’s. Who knew so many eagles wanted to be streaming cam stars?

She seems to like him! But does he like her?

At the NE Florida nest of Gabby, we await our ‘Queen of the Nest to return’ and guess who is on a branch waiting for her too? V9. It is nearing 1700 when Gabby returns to the nest. Fingers crossed.

Gracie Shepherd caught V9 and Gabby last night getting closer on the branch.

In Louisiana, it has been pitching rain. Louis came to the nest to protect Anna. What a darling.

Except for Zoe, it is all about the eagles right now. There are so many nests. At this time of year as many worry if Gabby will have a mate, if Ron will settle with one of the females, or if you are worrying about Avian Flu, let us stop. I have posted this thirteen minute video before but, it is good to do it again so that we can be reminded that human intervention can save the lives of our birds and it can also help them in being able to return to the wild. We can make a positive difference!

Look at those faces. Oh, I can’t wait to see little eaglets and osplets again!

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

Thank you to the following for their questions, posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘Geemeff’ and ‘V’, KNF A-1, Gracie Shepherd and the NEFL-AEF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Hawk Mountain, Conservation without Borders, The Guardian, and Stockholms Vildfågel Rehab.

Another male at Gabby’s nest? Pa and Missy Berry have 2nd egg…and more in Bird World

17 December 2022

It is a bit like a winter fairyland outside if you can stay in and not have to drive. The main City streets are clear but in the country cars have been sliding into the ditch all of Friday. Hopefully no one was injured and…everyone can stay home until the weather improves.

I am having a hard time getting over the fact that someone stomped four beautiful Hen Harrier chicks to their death. It is simply unimaginable. And, yet, cruelty to animals appears to be on the rise. What has happened to us? We pollute our planet til it is gasping for breath and then treat the wildlife that we share it with in disdain. I say ‘we’. Anyone who reads my blog does not harm anything but, how can we cause a sea change in the rest of humanity? Of course, those four chicks are only the tip of the iceberg as evidenced by the listing of 77 Hen Harriers killed or missing (those known) since 2018 when the persecution of the birds was to end. Humans can be very disgusting. One of the latest below. If you wish to follow Dr Ruth Tingay’s blog, Raptor Persecution UK, go to raptorpersecutionuk.org

While the UK is battling this intentional killing, there are serious persecutions of raptors happening throughout the world. No country is immune it seems. What a sadness.

This morning, we need something uplifting and I cannot think of a sweeter sound that little eaglets wanting more bites of prey and being fed by their mum. In this case, it is Muhlady at the Superbeaks nest. You can hear them and see them, finally. That nest bowl is deep! And a good thing. We will not worry about them falling over!

The soap opera continues at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest. It is surely a good thing that Gabby has not laid her eggs yet because it is a revolving door of suitors. Just when we think V3 is the winner – ‘behind door number 3’- he disappears and is missing for 24 hours and then V1 shows up! My question is: will V2 return?

According to ‘J’ who is watching this nest closely, Gabby was not too happy when V1 showed up instead of V2. (Rollin’ Rag is calling this one new but some have identified him as V1). ‘H’ says we need to buy more popcorn!!!!!! Yes, ‘H’, it is the best soap opera in Bird World at the moment. Indeed, I have not ever seen anything like it. Have you?

Here is another announcement – with another sub-adult visitor.

Gabby waits, looking off in the distance. Oh, I would give anything if Samson would fly in!

As Ron waits for Rita to return in the WRDC nest at the Miami Zoo, Rita is busy getting well in the clinic. Here is the latest news form Ron Magill:

The WRDC welcomes any and all donations to help with Rita’s care.

At the Bald Eagle nest on the grounds of Berry College in Georgia, Pa and Missey welcomed their second egg on Friday. Let hard incubation commence. Oh, I hope the snow and ice are not bad this year. Poor Missey is often buried, just like some of the other Mums.

Jackie and Shadow are used to snow and, as we all know, eagles prefer it cooler than hotter. The couple were caught working on their nest in Big Bear Valley today. Lovely to see you Jackie and Shadow.

This is the view of the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest of Nancy and her new mate today.

There is also snow at our favourite US Osprey nest – of Iris in Missoula, Montana. She is the oldest living Osprey that we know of…And we can look forward to her return the first week of April. While it is doubtful there will ever be osplets fledged off this nest again, it is always good to see Iris. Reassuring that everything is right with the world.

Good news coming out of San Jose City Hall. Annie and Grinnell’s 2020 hatch Sequoia is bonding with her mate! on camera!!!!!!!! It doesn’t bring sweet Grinnell back but his amazing personality will hopefully live on in his children and grandchildren!

Grandmother Annie’s ‘new guy’ sure does like to scrape! He’s hoping she will choose him. Let’s wait and see!

In Port Lincoln, Zoe remains on the natal nest and Dad continues to feed his big girl. She flew off the nest to get that fish! Look at that plumage. Zoe is rather magnificent.

A short but very precious video of Indigo lekking.

In the UK, the banning of certain fishing might help to keep some birds from extinction~including the darling Puffin. This is very good news. Now let us just hope that there will be oversight. Perhaps more and more governments will begin to take seriously the needs of our wildlife for food and habitat and begin restricting other fishing and building permits to help protect the sea birds.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/16/uk-may-ban-sandeel-fishing-in-move-to-save-threatened-seabirds?CMP=share_btn_link

There is, however, other disturbing news and that is the decline in the number of insects – vital to the health of many birds – and humans, too!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/15/flying-insect-numbers-plunge-64-since-2004-uk-survey-finds?CMP=share_btn_link

Ever wonder what Ospreys do after they fly from their spring and summer breeding grounds to their winter homes? Well, apparently they don’t do much! I became particularly interested in 4K because of Belvoir Castle (pronounced ‘Beaver’ Castle). When I was studying at Leicester University, Belvoir Castle and the Benton Estate were frequent haunts of mine when I needed to clear my head. There were no Ospreys back then so this is very exciting!

Tim Mackrill is giving a free talk on Ospreys. Here is the information:

When I was a student of Dr Klaus Klostermaier, I visited Germany for the first time. It was eons ago. I returned commenting on being able to open the windows and have no ‘bugs’. Manitoba is always awash with mosquitoes. Well, my tutor set me down and gave me a good talking to – you see he grew up in Germany before heading to Rome to become a priest and then to India where he was disavowed. It seems I was quite ‘wet behind the ears’. Germany’s industrial pollution had killed the insects so vital to life. That said, Germany spent considerable effort cleaning up its rivers and I wonder today about the insect population. So a world without insects biting us is not a good world at all!

It is now a week until the Christmas holiday celebrations for some of my readers. Others are celebrating Hanukah which ends on 26 December – right when Kwanza beings. It is a busy time of year.

I have been overwhelmed by the urge – the sheer panic – I see in so many when I go out. They are scampering about like starved mice to buy and buy. In keeping with the notion that the world has too much stuff, we are cancelling presents this year and from now forward. Instead ,we are opting for a simple Vegan pot luck. Today, I also got a fantastic idea to make that potluck even more fun from my friend, Sassa Bird. She is going to teach her friends and family to make bird seed ornaments. What a delightful idea. She is happy for all of us to join in the fun! It is a win-win.

Here is an easy recipe for that very expensive Bark Butter that my garden birds love: 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal, 1/2 cup of oatmeal (either quick or original, it doesn’t matter), 1/2 cup of lard (you need real lard not shortening and you can ask your butcher if you cannot find it), and the last ingredient is 1/2 cup of peanut butter (either smooth or chunky). It should be a wee bit sticky so it doesn’t crumble. I add more peanut butter if I need to. You can smear this on the trunks of trees, you can dip the tops of pine cones in it. One clever way I saw was to roll it in a log and chill it. Then roll it in cranberries. Cut in shapes and place in suet holders. I promise your guests will learn something and all the birds will be grateful. There is not a visitor to my garden that doesn’t love this mixture.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. I hope that all of you are well. I wish you good friendships, some good food, and lots of smiles and laughs as we bring 2022 closer to an end. We are all hoping in Bird World that it will be a better year. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, their videos, their posts, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘H’ and ‘J’ for all the news on NEFL and the giggles, Sassa Bird for the great holiday idea, The Guardian, Tim Mackrill Twitter feed, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, San Jose City Hall, Cal Falcons, Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, MN-DNR Bald Eagle Cam, FOBBV, Berry College Eagles, Ron Magill and the WRDC, NEFL-AEF, Rollin Rag, and Superbeaks.

Ervie, Gabby and more… Friday in Bird World

16 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that today’s blog finds all of you well and slowing down…as the days get shorter and winter sets in, it is a time for good books and comfy blankets and a big mug of tea.

We continue to have lots of snow. It is incredibly beautiful. We remain under a ‘Special Weather Alert’ with more snow coming overnight. I took the photo and climbed over to relieve that wee Scot’s Pine of the weight…

Often the most excitement is right in your back garden. As the snow blows and whips through the lilacs, it is certainly a nice place to enjoy the birds and animals. Indeed, we often forget the beauty that is around us.

A new book asks us to slow down, stop racing to fill in the valued ‘life list’ and enjoy what is in front of us! I have not read it but it is ordered! Will keep you posted.

I love Cormorants. They grace the waters near to where I live in the summer and it is always a treat to find one even closer to home in one of the city’s ponds. One of our provinces proposed to ‘cull’ them because they eat too many fish! I won’t get started. So, it was a joyful moment when The Guardian features this story today.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/14/country-diary-a-winged-hunter-with-a-hunted-look?CMP=share_btn_link

There is tracking information on Ervie who still remains in his natal nest territory. Fran Solly mentioned that Ervie likes to fish where the wind is off shore.

This is Zoe’s tracking. Everyone is wondering if she will bring home a puffer for her first fish. What do you think?

The Raptor Centre in Minnesota is reporting that the 10 surviving Bald Eagles out of 13 poisoned because they ate euthanised pets at a landfill are showing signs of improvement.

Remember Cilla Kinross cleaning Xavier and Diamond’s scrape and removing Dudley? Here is Holly Parson’s post on Cilla’s findings:

Off in the distance, storms hit the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US on Thursday. The soap opera continues at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest. Gabby and V3 kept the nest safe ushering intruders out of the territory and hanging on as the rain and strong winds hit. Let us hope that the tornadoes stay away!

Gabby had an enormous crop later in the day!!!!! Good grief. I haven’t seen a crop like this on an eagle for a long time.

There are more than a dozen tornadoes being reported in Central Florida. That warranted a check on the Superbeaks Nest of Pepe and Muhlady.

The day started out quite nice. What a beautiful sunrise over the water.

Squint. You can now see a little bobblehead getting its breakfast.

And then the rains came. Muhlady is hunkered down on Pearl and Tico keeping them warm and dry.

The weather cleared but, because there is no time stamp on the streaming cam, I cannot tell you when. Muhlady is up feeding the two eaglets and you can see another little bobblehead if you look closely.

It is just overcast in Miami as Ron waits for his Rita to return. I find this just heart breaking. Last night I looked at some old images of Arnold and Amelia, the Canada Geese. A snapping turtle bit Arnold’s foot and he needed surgery. The wildlife rehabbers took great care to allow Amelia, once she came calling at their door, to eat with Arnold and be a part of his life until he was released. Poor Ron has no idea what has happened to Rita. I wish that there was some way to communicate with Ron.

It is much calmer in Big Bear Valley at Jackie and Shadow’s nest. The snow is even melting rather nicely.

Look carefully and you can see Thunder and Akecheta on the rock face to the right. So wonderful to see them again.

No one around Two Harbours or Fraser Point nests that I could tell.

It was particularly fitting that the National Eagle Centre posted this reminder about eagles and storms. Do they really fly above the storms as the urban myth tells us? No! Have a read:

And another reminder. Terry Carmen posted a video about how Bald Eagles get lead poisoning. Remember it is entirely preventable! You can help by spreading the word.

Dad continues to take good care of Zoe. It seems now that those flyovers by Mum are just to get Zoe to defend her prey since there are no siblings in the nest to fight her for it like Ervie, Bazza, and Falky did last year.

In Orange, Xavier and Diamond were able to pair bond without any interruption by Indigo yesterday!

There are currently only 252 kākāpō left on the planet.  Apparently all 252 of them are thinking about Christmas. Who would have thought? Three ways to enjoy the holidays the Kakapo Way!

https://bit.ly/3FTusXR

Thank you so very much for being with me today. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their messages, their videos, posts, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Terry Carmen, National Eagle Centre, IWS and Explore.org, FOBBV, WRDC, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, Holly Parsons and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, The Raptor Centre, Friends of Osprey, The Guardian, The New York Times, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Scirocco @ Kakapo Recovery.

Featured Image: Muhlady feeding the eaglets. 15 December 2022.

Wednesday in Bird World

14 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is relative quiet in Bird World as things begin to settle down between Gabby and V3 and Annie and the new guy at Berkeley. The first Bald Eagle nest to have hatches that is on a streaming cam is at Superbeaks in Central Florida. There are eggs now at SWFlorida (2), Berry College (1), Kistachie National Forest at both nests E1 and E3, Captiva (2), and Metro Aviation in Northwest Louisiana (2).

Tonya Irwin has created a great chart:

We continue to keep an eye on Port Lincoln and the scrape of Diamond and Xavier at Orange while, at the same time, watching for any news coming out of Sydney Sea Eagles. I am also hoping that the streaming cam at the new Osprey platform for Lena and Andy at Captiva will be on line soon.

There is a big storm brewing that is destined to bring about a foot of snow to areas just south of me. It is unclear if it will impact Winnipeg. However, the birds and squirrels were really crowding the feeders late this afternoon. They are often very good indicators of any bad weather that is heading our way.

Dyson was not prepared to give up her spot on the seed cylinder. These are fabulous. There is no mess and if you are going to be away for a few days and worried about your visiting birds in the winter, they will also give you peace of mind. We feed hundreds of birds a day and if Dyson didn’t love them so much, I think one would last about a week.

Dyson has her thick fur coat on. Isn’t she gorgeous? I like to think that the food we provide helps her endure the cold of our ‘Winterpeg winters’.

The Sparrows and the Starlings prefer the softer cornmeal and peanut butter cylinder that has a substantial amount of suet in it.

Junior is looking for peanuts! All of Dyson’s kidless have taken them. Junior is not happy.

Sharpie of course would not mind having one of those House Sparrows for his lunch. I think he is out of luck today.

Making News:

A major investigation as to how 13 Bald Eagles were poisoned at the Inver Grove Heights landfill is underway. Three of the eagles have died and the other 10 are recovering at The Raptor Centre at the University of Minnesota. What terrible unnecessary suffering and death.

https://www.facebook.com/TheRaptorCenter/?mibextid=ZbWKw

The last episode with Sasha Dench and The Flight of the Osprey on BBC 4 Radio is here. The programme is about 13 minutes long. I urge you to have a listen. Thank you, Geemeff, for recording the programme and sending us the link. Very thoughtful as so many do not live in the UK.

The announcement that an enormous number of budgies are being taken into care and need homes in the Baltimore area came on my Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters FB. If you or someone you know might be interested in providing a home, please read the posting carefully and make that call.

News has come in from the Kakapo Recovery that all of the transmitters have now been changed on Anchor Island. The last bird was Alison and she was found to be in good health. Wonderful news. It has to be difficult trying to find these pesky little non-flying parrots to treat them and change the batteries in their transmitters so they can be found!


It’s the first egg of the season for Pa Berry and Missy at Berry College in Georgia. Happened at 0950 13 December. Congratulations!

Pa Berry flying in with more nesting material and seeing their first egg for the first time.

The soap opera at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest continues. Will Gabby choose the bachelor behind door 3, V3?

He flew in with a nice catfish. It was obviously for Gabby but she was not home. Later they worked on the nest together.

‘H’ sends news that V3 is now playing ‘hard to get’. Order some more popcorn!

Harriet and M15 have an alternative nest on the property of the Pritchett family. A GHOW has taken up residence there and this owl could be the one that attacks Harriet and M15. Two days ago, that owl was attacked by a trio of Crows. Thanks EJ for sending us this link!

Jackie and Shadow have been pair bonding/mating at Big Bear.

Checking in on our Australian birds:

Diamond was not happy to have the scrape box cleaned by Cilla!

At Port Lincoln, Zoe is 87 days old today. Yesterday, Dad brought his girl 3 fish. Well done, Dad! At one time 06:55 Zoe was on the ropes with what looked like a fish. Did she catch it? No one knows.

I just love this image from yesterday with that crest. Today Zoe has been on and off the nest.


In California, Annie and ‘the new guy’ have been pair bonding in the scrape. He is cute. So tiny. I wonder if he will be the one? He is sure a good scraper! But will he be a good provider for Annie and the eases?

Migration News: Waba continues to feed at the Nile River. There has been no transmission from Bonus since he was flying through the Eastern Desert of Egypt. It is likely we will not hear from him until spring. Send your good thoughts your way.

It is that time of year when people are thinking about suet and putting out tasty treats for the birds. Here is some advice from the RSPB in the UK.

In our garden, Mr Crow and the Blue Jays will be having some special foods during the holiday season. They both like to eat off the deck directly or at a table feeder. I will be putting out Meal Worms, Fresh Cranberries, Hard boiled Eggs, and cubes of streaky bacon along with peanuts in the shell.

Thank you so very much for joining me today. I hope to get back to the list of vulnerable birds in the UK, The Red List, tomorrow. Take care everyone. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Geemeff for sending me the link to the BBC 4 Radio series, ‘H’ for the video of V3 playing hard to get, ‘EJ’ for the link to the Crows attacking the GHOW, Geemeff and The Flight of the Osprey, BBC Radio 4, Tonya Irwin, The Raptor Centre, Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, The Kakapo Recovery, Berry College Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, FOBBV, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Looduskalender Forum, and the RSPB.