Name the Eagle, Connick’s Crop Popping, and the Es eat…Friday in Bird World

3 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Remember to head over to the streaming cam of Kistachie National Forest Bald Eagle Nest E3 to vote on 02’s name! Here are the choices…let’s make sure little one gets a great name!

I saw this and simply had to share it with everyone. Or maybe it isn’t that funny. I do love Condor humour!

Making News:

Little Boots is 20 days old today. He looks so young. With good care and good food, he will catch up we hope.

Just look at that sweet face. Little Boots is in care. As everyone noticed, he was extremely weak in the nest. Let us hope that he can be stabilised and that apparent feet and leg deformities can be repaired by the loving folks down in Houston at the Wildlife Center of Texas.

Here is the posting. I would like to draw your attention to “nest cam footage showed him to be struggling to sit up and move around in the nest, impairing his chances for survival.” There is the perfect wording to get help for an eagle on a nest that is not thriving. I am impressed. Nothing caused by a human just good old compassion and perhaps some monofilament line in that egg cup.

If you are interesting in donating for little Boots care, please do so. Here is the information. I went on line and went to their website: Wildlife Centre of Texas. It was quick and easy. Go Boots!

A British Columbia juvenile Bald Eagle got itself into some mischief and is being flown to OWL.

Continuing with the issues raised in the movie The Albatross, young people are doing amazing drawings. Will this make them better environmental citizens? How many of us can take a pledge to stop using plastic? Let’s try it. Maybe it will catch on like a bad cold.

‘A’ wondered what it would take to get rid of those plastic gyros in the oceans. Certainly people have tried various methods. And we know from The Flight of the Osprey that countries are having a hard time dealing with plastic…so, let’s just not buy anything with plastic. Do it a day at a time. It is frightening what we have done with our oceans. I remember when I first moved to Southern Manitoba eons ago and I wanted to purchase a cream separator. People laughed. They were hard to clean and they just shoved them down the river bank. I kid you not. Out of sight, out of mind — like the oceans.

In my province, groups are joining forces around Brandon to build nesting boxes for Bluebirds! Wow. What a great idea.

Some of you will remember that the adult Ospreys were chased off their platform at the Cape Henlopen State Park last year. The male was killed. The female appears, from the announcement, to be alive. The three osplets starved to death on the nest in front of viewers and were carried off by the intruders. It was a tragedy that tore our hearts out. Well, there is a new platform going up!

And yet another story about lead poisoning. Seriously lead is something that could happen rather quickly if there was a will. Continue to lobby everyone you can. Take 15 minutes or 30 minutes one day and send an e-mail to your elected officials. Get others to join in. Tell them no more lead. And how about adding plastic to that, too?

Now something to give us hope. A good news story about a Bald Eagle in rehab for 6 months being released. YES!

Zoe continues to explore the area around Mt Hope. She has also started heading south…will she return to the barge? That would be a bit crazy. Let us all hope she is finding her wings and some fish!

Checking on the nests:

I do not see any Osprey eggs at either Achieva or Captiva on Thursday.

At the Captiva Eagle nest, little Connick is such a darling.

Oh, just look at these later images. Connick really likes to spread out and sleep….and two proud parents!

What a great image of the three – Clive, Connie, and Connick.

At 16:55 Connick had a huge crop!

It looks like the parents are smiling at Connick with his almost ready to pop crop. Their baby has grown and thrived.

There must be a fishing contest at the lake near Superbeaks. It is only mid-afternoon and PePe has brought in 8 fish! Yes, you read that correctly. 8 fish to the nest for Pearl and Tico (and of course, the rest of the family, Mum Muhlady). PePe you better eat some of these fish if you aren’t eating the heads!

It’s a gorgeous day out in California at Jackie and Shadow’s nest. The question of the day was: What was the name of Jackie’s former mate? Do you know? It was Mr B. Shadow landed on the nest and wanted the nest and Jackie and wouldn’t leave — Shadow got them both! That was 2018 after Jackie and Mr B’s fledgling, Stormy, had flown. The three of them could not persuade Shadow to leave…oh, you gotta love this guy.

Do you realise that pip watch will begin on 15 February? That is only 12 days away!!!!!!!!!!!

Are Harriet and M15 moving E21 and 22 into another phase of training to be an independent eagle? No good food left on the nest just what looks to be pieces of a dried up catfish. 22 was pecking on that. Then sadly, 22 got up to the table first with 21 moving up and 22 went into submission. Things seem terribly wrong on this nest but, it is Harriet and M15. They are pros and they want their eaglets to thrive. So are we to think of this lack of food and little pieces as a teaching moment? Not every day will see a full crop. But, let’s do keep an eye. It is worrying a lot of people.

You can see the primary feathers coming in on that outstretched wing. Note the milky transparent tube – the quill – that holds the blood feather. One of the reasons that eaglets preen so much is to release the feather from that transparent quill.

Now we all know that 22 is a bit of a stinker…let’s watch and see what Harriet and M15 do tomorrow. Certainly no peace today and 22 was crying for food and hoping to get some that M15 brought in. In fact, every time that 22 even tried to eat that old dried fish, 21 started beaking its younger sibling. 22 is quick to go into submission. So what has set 21 off? Is it the lack of food on the nest? Again, let us see what tomorrow brings. Harriet has never lost an eaglet. Never. In fact, there could be a windfall of food on the nest tomorrow – just like there is in the wild – some days there is too much food and for many others, nothing.

Ah, there is food this morning, Friday. Both Es have a crop. 21 ate first with 22 in submission and then 22 was fed and had a nice crop. Let us all take a big sigh of relief.

Lady Hawk caught 22 walking Thursday – hey, a giant step!

Gabby and V3 are a gorgeous couple. 18:24 Thursday evening on the nest together.

And last another Canadian story but not about Bluebirds this time…it is from David Hancock and the Surrey Bald Eagle Nest. Two new bonded eagles working with a meal and a stick. Have another laugh as we wait to hear how Boots is doing.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’ Sherri van Syckel and California Condor Recovery Group, KNF, Wildlife Centre of Texas, Heather Simms and the Webster Texas Eagle Watchers, Terry Carman and the Bald Eagle Live Nest Cams and News, Joyce Hartmann and the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels, Brandon Sun, Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park, MLive.com, JET/FOX/YourErie, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Superbeaks, FOBBV, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL Bald Eagles and the AEF, and the Dave Hancock Wildlife Foundation.

Zoe is fine!

1 February 2022

Since the posting of my blog earlier this morning, good news has come in for Zoe. She is in phone range and her transmitter is working. She is on Flinder’s Island off the west coast of South Australia.

Flinder’s Island is Connect with nature in the wildlife haven that is Flinders Island. The Woolford family has owned the island for generations where they operate a Merino sheep farm and they also harvest abalone. There is apparently an Osprey nest there with chicks so we will see how welcome Zoe is. She might be on the move again!

Thanks to Friends of Osprey and Port Lincoln Osprey for the posting and the tracking map.

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.

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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Egg swap at Royal Albatross Cam…Tuesday in Bird World

17 January 2022

Hello Everyone!

The start of the week was rather exciting with the pip of the Royal Cam chick’s egg! The worries about Jackie in the snow and the two eggs at Big Bear. Of course, we shouldn’t worry. Shadow and Jackie have this! Oh, I adore them. My only worry is CJ7 at Captiva which will be explained as this blog unravels today. I have written CROW to find out if there are any circumstances in which they might intervene. I probably will not hear back but, if the chick gets conjunctivitis, they might. They did with E17 and E18 at SWFlorida several years ago.

I found Dyson on top of the neighbour’s house at the corner watching me. Notice how ‘wooly’ she is and those gorgeous little ear tufts. Oh, she is a sweetheart in her winter coat. The squirrels begin growing extra fur in late September here inn Manitoba. Those many layers help them to stay warm in our brutal cold.

Robert Archambeau used to tell us to look ‘to nature’ for colours and patterns to inspire ceramics. I imagine that a lot of textile designers might like to do the same. This is a European Starling in non-breeding plumage. Note the white dots on the chest indicating the ‘non-breeding’. But look at the espresso brown wing feathers lined with that rusty taupe. Then there is that brilliant emerald green sometimes changing to blue and purple depending on the light with its light tips. I mean this is a real beauty. It kept watching me til I was finished…one of the first times I have been able to capture a Starling and see its eye. I love how the camera and this lens cuts through that branch and gives us the detail of the bird with some boke behind.

There were so many Starlings that came to the suet feeders today.

This is not a great photograph but I am including it for a reason. Notice the dark stocky male to the right and then look below. Cornell says that there are white spots all over during the winter but, this is obviously, not evident in these bird’s plumage. The bird at the lower right (not the House Sparrow) is a non-breeding female. Look also at the light marks around the dark eyes. In breeding season, the long beaks of the Starlings will be a bright yellow. You can see a hint of this on the bird to the far left.

One of Dyson’s babies from last summer is enjoying the nuts and sultanas around the small roofed feeder on the deck today. What a little cutie pie.


Making News:

Another unnecessary and painful death on a grouse moor hunting estate! Maybe the only way to get the gamekeepers and the property owners to abide by the law is to take away any licenses that are associated with grouse hunting. There has to be something that will break this endless cycle of raptor deaths that are entirely unnecessary and inhumane.

Did you know?


On Monday, I wrote about an incident that occurred on the KNF E3 nest with E01 launching an aggressive attack on E02. I wanted to check and see how old E01 was at the time and the eaglet that hatched on the 26th of December was 20 days old. We note that the blood feathers are just starting to grow in and there remain numerous ‘dandelions’ from the natal down as the layer of thermal down grows in fully.

The eaglets have had their breakfast and everything appears to be fine on Monday morning. E01 is attempting to stand and flap its wings and I caught E02 trying to do the same and walk.

In the top image, the eaglets’ crops are full and E02 is letting its now getting heavy wings flop to the side. Also note that there is plenty of fish on this nest so food insecurity is not an issue with the dust up that happened on Sunday. It is the ‘clown feet’ stage. Notice how much larger E01’s feet are than E02.

E01 is ‘itchy’. This might be a better image to see the size difference in the feet of the eaglets.

The little one of Anna and Louis is a darling. It just wants some Coot! And Anna loves her Coot, too. Sometimes it appears she gives the eaglet a bite but, she does not. She leans down, then changes her mind! Am I more frustrated than the baby eaglet?

Anna leans over to feed little E03 and changes her mind.

“Wait Mama. Can I have a bite?”

Finally…a half hour later.

There are lots of fish on the nest of Connie and Clive at Captiva. An early feeding at 07:56.

Connie fed the little one and at 08:50, there was a little crop.

At 0900, you can see that little crop better.

Want some more fish? It is 09:39.

A little more fish and lots of fish juice around 10:14. Connie is a messy feeder. Poor baby is just soaked in fish juice. Connie does not feed the eaglet a lot.

By 11:39, the little one is wanting some more fish! Maybe not this time. Mum is really wanting some lunch, too.

By 12:26, the eaglet is really wanting some of that fish. “Hey, I want some fish, too!” Connie has eaten half of it. This little one is going to crawl out of that egg cup one day and start nibbling at those fish. Just wait!

Despite some observations, CJ7 was never stuffed – maybe half. The adults certainly eat and it does get fed but, it is frustrating watching at times. Connie ate half a fish. Yes, I know the adults have to eat, too. But, gosh, golly…stuff the little one and then eat, please. Stuff it full. Don’t stop half way over with a bite and then eat it, Mum.

Finally at 13:10:55, some bites but only after Connie moved to the other side – barely missing CJ7 went she stepped over the egg cup.

Sometimes I feel that I am too much of an auntie so I was thrilled when I accidentally found this comment by fellow Canadian, Deb Steyck, writing about Captiva on the 16th.

“Yesterday there were 8 fish visible on the nest so the pantry is full the adults just have to work on the delivery of better feedings. Sometimes i wonder if both adults are new parents; even Connie seems a bit rusty at feeding does make you wonder. By the end of the day yesterday there was a small noteable crop but not full like we would expect especially with frequent feedings and only one eaglet on the nest.”

Seriously I ache for this little babe. I hope that Connie gets her act together. There is so much fish juice. Will this cause an eye infection?

The little one was actually able to hold on to this big piece and eat. it will be the last meal of the day.

Jackie has had a miserable several days ever since she laid that second egg. That storm in Big Bear appears not to be going anywhere soon – and I do hope that it would so that prey could be brought and Jackie relieved.

Jackie is covered at 0200 on the 16th of January.

At 0727 on the 16th it appears that Jackie has gotten up and removed the snow from her back and head. The weather remains a misery. 2540 persons are watching and worrying for Jackie.

There is a winter storm warning for an area south of BB Lake. The forecast for the BB Lake area is as follows:

By 10:51:55, it is clearing a bit but the wind is still very strong.

Oh, bless his heart. Once everything had cleared, Shadow appears on the nest with prey for Jackie and even gives her a break as he takes over incubation a few minutes after she finishes eating. Jackie was so happy to have the food and the break. 14:04. Thank you, Shadow!

Jackie returns at 15:52 and Shadow is off incubation duty. I love how he sees her coming and begins to call, the high pitched calls and the chortles. So sweet as they greet one another. The equivalent of the Albatross sky call.

Just look at how long and sharp those talons are! I thought trimming Lewis’s nails was bad enough. Imagine!

All is well at the Northeast Florida nest of Gabby and V3. V3 will fly in and Gabby will be there seconds later. They have worked on the nest and slept at the nest. While there may or may not be any eggs this season, the pair appear to be a bonded couple and V3 seems to have established himself. There have been no intruders at the nest for some time now. They are a lovely couple. Wishing Gabby the best, the very best.

V3

V3

V3 on the left and Gabby on the right.

Want to see a crop?!!!!!!! Gabby had an amazing dinner!!!!!!! Would love to see CJ7 look like this. :))))). Just saying.

E22 is no worse for wear after having Harriet deliver a huge fish on top of it at the Southwest Florida nest she shares with M15. Later in the day both were looking out of the rails at the world beyond.

As the sun sets over the Central Florida Superbeaks Bald Eagle nest, Tico and Pearl are going to sleep with nice big crops. Nite everyone!

Mum and Dad were both bringing sticks to the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest – the natal nest of our own Little Bit ND17.

At the Osprey platform on the grounds of the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida, Jack delivered a fish to Diane at 07:28. After the couple continue to work on the nest periodically.

FO and Mo were both at the Captiva Osprey platform in Florida today.

I was so hoping that the Florida-Gainesville Osprey nest would be up and running this year but, sadly, no. This was the announcement from the University:

Unfortunately, at this time, there will not be an osprey camera for 2023. The nest was located on the lights at the softball ballfield and these lights were changed (to new LED lights) in the fall of 2022. We are not sure if the ospreys will build a new nest with the new light structure. Please stay tuned for updates about whether it is possible to install another osprey camera in 2024. Thanks for your support! And don’t worry, the osprey parents (Stella and Talon) will build another nest somewhere if not at this exact location.

Zoe is 121 days old. On the 16th of January in Australia, Mum delivered a fish and so did Dad. Those deliveries came at 14:10 and 17:29. Zoe appears to have a nice crop from the earlier feeding. Mum will arrive in about five minutes with a fish for her girl.

At 10:44 after fish calling, Zoe flew off the nest and returned a minute later with a fish. She did not catch it. Her feathers are not wet. It was a hand off from one of the parents. Gotta be.

Zoe is certainly vocal!! She is 122 days old today.

Sixteen minutes later and Zoe is still eating her fish.

If you are missing Indigo highlights by Elain, Indigo has been heard outside the scrape box but has not been inside for more than two days now.

The egg of L and GLY has been swopped out for the dummy egg at 10:08 Australian time Tuesday Jan 17. Everything seemed to go smoothly. Fly spray added to nest to prevent fly strike when the chick is returned from the incubator. It is ‘egg citing’ on Taiaroa Head. Love the NZ DOC that does so much for its beloved birds. I would love to see their misters on some of the osprey nests in the Pacific NW (Canada and US). Or feeding hungry chicks if something happens to their parent/s?

And a pip has been confirmed. There are currently three eggs in the incubator at Taiaroa Head.

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, their announcements, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Raptor Persecution UK, A Mighty Girl, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Window to Wildlife, Deb Steyck and Bald Eagles 101, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, SWFL and D Pritchett, Superbeaks, ND-LEEF, Achieva Credit Union, U-Florida Gainesville, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and NZ DOC.

It’s 2 eggs for Jackie and Shadow, 2016 Royal Cam chick returns…Sunday in Bird World

15 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, what a lovely weekend we are having on the Canadian Prairies. It is currently -5 C with a 4 km/h wind. It is lovely. Just lovely except that it is ‘grey’. No blue sky. No sun. Looking forward to a walk in the forest today! Will keep you posted on what I see. I hope the weekend has been kind.

Making News:

Eagle Nest Removal. One of our blog family did some additional research on the removal of the nest on that cell tower that I mentioned a day or two ago. ‘B’ located a news article from South Carolina with information including the e-mail address to write if you are concerned by these actions. As we are all too aware, nests are being cut down and blown down by weather and it is breeding season. You should read the article carefully. The eagles were present and around – this was NOT a disused nest! Indeed, it is outrageous that it was removed.

I will include a link to the article. ‘B’ draws our attention to a final paragraph. If you wish to voice your concerns about this incident – please use the e-mail below. The link to the article is below the quote and above the albatross image. Thank you for taking the time to speak up for our raptors who cannot speak for themselves!

“The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources responded to reports of the removal of a large raptor nest in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has initiated an investigation regarding the removal, and inquiries concerning this incident should be directed to Office of Communications, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Office at fw4_comms@fws.gov .”

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2890157123613/fed-investigating-removal-of-mt-pleasant-eagle-s-nest

The 2016 Royal Cam chick, Moana, has been confirmed to have arrived at Taiaroa Head after 7 years at sea. Talk about incredible. Just think about that. She is very steady on her feet and Ranger Sharyn wonders if she didn’t arrive earlier and wasn’t spotted. She settled down by her half-brother GLY for a bit. Oh, my goodness. This is fantastic news.

American Golden-Plover with Yellowlegs” by Dendroica cerulea is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Have you ever seen a Golden Plover? We do not, as far as I know, attract them to Manitoba but, oh, they are so gorgeous. I can only imagine them at sunset!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/14/country-diary-a-golden-glint-in-the-gwynt?CMP=share_btn_link

More lead poisoning. I was going to try and put together a form letter for everyone to send to their various agencies but, the laws regarding lead vary from State to State and Country to Country. If this is an issue where you live – and it certainly is in the US and Canada – find out what the laws are. We know that some states have partial led bans. Get informed. Then use some of the information from posts such as the one below to write to your state and federal agencies asking them to ban lead from fishing and hunting equipment. Your letter should not be longer than a page and it should get to the point with facts.

Lincolnshire detectives warn that the poisoning of raptors could lead to human death. “The RSPB has described Lincolnshire as “a national hotspot” for the persecution of birds of prey”. How sad. Why do people believe they have a right to kill or severely injure animals or birds?

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-64225792

The AEF has made a memorial video of Samson. It shows some beautiful close ups of him, images of him and Gabby, and their kids. Get a tissue. I assume that they have now determined that something fatal has happened. So very sorry and sad. He was a magnificent partner and dad and I will just never forget the tender care he gave to Legacy and Jasper and Rocket. I did not watch this nest the year of Jules and Romeo).

There has been some discussion about physically challenged raptors. Here is another example of an eagle with one leg that landed on the Fort St Vrain nest in Colorado. Wonder when it lost its leg? and how it hunts its prey? There are places where challenged raptors can live out their lives; ‘L’ send me some information on them but, what about in the wild? Is it a case for not euthanising raptors if they have a single leg injury? I am, of course, thinking of our beloved WBSE26 right off the top but, there are others. I don’t know the answer. I am thinking out loud. Is it inhumane to even think that eagles could be freed with one leg? It is curious.

Checking on the nests:

Jackie laid her first egg on 11 January at 15:58. It is a horrible day in Big Bear Valley. It started out rather nice and quickly changed into high winds with pelting hail/rain/snow. Jackie will be laying egg 2 on this miserable day. Shadow has taken turns incubating and the pair have been on and off and always one of them around the nest at Big Bear.

At 12:28, there was still only one egg. The weather has changed the hour prior and is starting to get quite nasty for our darling Jackie.

Gabby at 13:54 Saturday. The cameras went out shortly after.

The second egg was laid before 17:11 on Saturday the 14th. In miserable weather. Poor Jackie. She must be hungry, too. Let us all hope tomorrow is a better day.

It looks like it is a much nicer day in central Florida for Superbeaks.

The first image is an unusual one. I am posting it here so you will see the blood feathers coming in on Pearl’s wing.

Connie and Clive’s little eaglet has fish juice on its feathers. It cannot be helped. Poor thing. Connie definitely likes to eat and I have yelled at her a few times to feed the baby! There is fish on the nest. Once Connie gets started and is not distracted, the eaglet normally winds up with a crop. Poor little one is also learning how to handle those huge bites…hence all the fish juice everywhere.

Anna is a bit like Connie. She sure likes her fish! Anna is making KNF E1-03 really stretch its neck to get any food. I must admit to getting irritated at both Anna and Connie. I want to see them feeding that wee babe til it can’t move and then having a big lunch themselves! Oh, well…they are never going to listen to me.

At the KNF E3 nest of Alex and Andria, E01 and 02 are doing fantastic. They look like two old wooly grey carpets. There is always an adult around but both can regulate their temperature now and it is a lovely day near Kincaid Lake in Louisiana.

Lots of good feedings and M15 and Harriet together in the later afternoon. These two are such sweethearts. I wonder if they are both male?

Ron and Rose were working on their nest on Saturday. That Rose is certainly a sweetheart. She is so smitten with her man.

MO and FO have both been at the Captiva Osprey platform nest on Saturday. (This is the same osprey).

Jack and Diane have been at the nest on the parking lot of the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg. They seem to be vigilantly watching for intruders instead of actually working on any aspect of the nest. Diane’s leg looks like it is almost entirely healed. Wonderful news.

Jack went fishing and came in with a nice fish breakfast for Diane at 07:52.

In Australia, Zoe had no fish deliveries on the 14th and nothing so far (noon) on the 15th none. The waters are very choppy. She is 119 days old. Mum and Dad could have trouble getting their own fish. Mum delivered one fish on the 13th. It looks as if Zoe is hunting around in the nest for leftovers, even dried fish. Is she catching her own? I don’t know but Mum and Dad fish at Delamere where Ervie does and Zoe might have followed them. Surely the parents are encouraging our girl to become independent and move out of the nest. She isn’t fish screaming either but that could be because Mum and Dad are not visible.

Nearly 1600 on Sunday for Zoe and no fish deliveries for more than 48 hours. She is either extremely hungry or she is fishing and eating off cam.

We will end in Australia with Elain’s nest highlights from Orange and the family of Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo.

Beautiful Diamond.

Save for poor Moana and Jackie, it has been a very quiet day. Pip watch soon for Berry College!

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, Openverse, The Guardian, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, BBC, AEF, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E1, KNF-E3, SWFL and D Pritchett, WRDC, Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Anna and Louis have a hatch, pip for Connie and Clive…Monday in Bird World

9 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that you had a lovely weekend. Maybe some time to watch some birds? or did you stay glued to the screen over the Es at Southwest Florida? It was beautiful here on the Canadian Prairies with a reasonable temperature but, the wind remained such that being outside had you gasping for breath. I am hoping to get out this coming week! Til then I am still working on all my new year’s cleaning! How can two kittens, not big cats yet, leave behind so many furry balls every day? It is like they invite friends over and party all night! Quietly.


I love the Starlings that come to my garden. I would not want them to ever stop coming. They are on the Red List in the UK – they were one of the first birds I posted when I began listing the 20 or so out of the 160 odd that are vulnerable to extinction. Here they are in murmuration.

Have a read. The decline in winter birds that migrate to the UK and their empty nests has many worried. Once there would have been 2 million Starlings murmuring in Somerset at dusk, now there is only 25% of that number. What is the cause?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/08/uk-wintering-birds-sharp-decline?CMP=share_btn_link

HeidiMc has a lovely video of a day in the life of Ron and Rose..greetings, working on the nest, lots of chortling and a fish delivery. A nice celebration of a new relationship! Thanks H.

And another video by Golden Gate Audubon. Peregrine Falcons have been spending time on Richmond and Rosie’s Whirly Crane Osprey nest in SF Bay. I wondered if they were any of the fledged CalFalcon chicks but they answered this in the description – no. If they find out where the falcon was banded, they will let us know. Until then…he or she is a cutie.

There is news of WBSE27: On the 14th of December, WBSE 27 was at Swan Bay on the Karuah River. You can see Sydney and then the red pin. It is a distance of 188 km.

Isn’t she beautiful? I wish Lady and Dad knew their baby was safe and doing well.

WBSE27 is 17 months old and is going through her first moult. As a result she has shed her tracker which was attached to her tail. WBSE 27 is banded so any future sightings will be from the band and not the tracker. “Now SE27 starts the new year afresh – while we can no longer follow her adventures, we have a wealth of information to analyse and share! We are happy that she has found her way in the world after such a rocky start. She is familiar with a wide expanse of the Hunter Region of NSW, and has established travel corridors, roosting and feeding areas. We hope that in the next few years she’ll be able to find a territory, mate and nesting site, and one day produce chicks of her own to continue the journey.” Tears. After watching these beautiful babies thrive on the nest, it is a tragedy that they are so attacked by the smaller birds to the point of near death or death unless someone finds them and takes them so they can have the care they require. WBSE30 will get a sat pak tracker when she is released and we will be able to watch another baby.

My wish for the new year is that all of the sea eagle fledglings go and sit in front of the Discovery Centre – right away after fledging – and are taken into care so they will be able to thrive in the wild knowing how to hunt prey and fly well like 27. OR that someone comes up with a solution to the Currawongs, Boobook Owls, and Magpies that harass them til they are no longer in their parents territory, are injured, or stave to death.

Suzanne Arnold Horning caught Big Red and Arthur out in the sunshine on Sunday. Big Red first and Arthur the second image. Thanks SAH.

There are birds that instantly will draw me to tears – tears of joy and relief. In Ferris Akel’s tour of 7 January, we saw Big Red and L4 hunting. Cornell has posted a tweet showing L2 on Sunday morning. Also Karel Sedlacek had Arthur on his iPhone presentation on Sunday. So why am I so happy? All of Big Red and Arthur’s kids from 2022 are accounted for: L3 is in care but preparing for release in the spring (we believe). L2 and L4 are hunting in their parent’s territory. Sadly, we lost L1 when she hit a glass corridor at Cornell (shame on them for having no bird proofing on that!). This is the very first year that I can remember fledglings being present in January! There is obviously plenty of food and Mum and Dad are not anxious for them to go anywhere. Tears of joy.

Finally a good look at both of the eaglets on the Superbeaks cam at once and look at those crops. Goodness these eaglets are being well fed and nicely cared for by Pepe and Muhlady. Notice also that a big stick has been placed across that opening to the left! Yes.

Big crops for both E3-01 and E3-02 at 1302 on Sunday! And it looks like there are still about nine fish on that nest. Alex is a great provider.

Alex came in yesterday and diffused a bonking event. E3-01 was 12 days old. Bonking seems to start with the growth of the thermal down (or at the age of about 8 days in Ospreys). It is hard to watch and entirely not understandable with a nest with so much fish but, in fact, food sometimes has nothing to do with it. Just a dominance issue. Thanks, Alex, for stepping in. Not worried about them…the eldest just making sure the little one knows who is boss!

Sunday. Look at the fish on the nest of Alex and Andria. Both babies eating well.

The key is to let the older sibling eat til it is about to pop and then feed the younger. This is only a problem if there is not enough food. On this nest there is tonnes of fish. No shortage here and both parents are willing to feed til they each have a crop as in the image above and below. The eldest can be a stinker.

Anna is listening to the eggs as she has a fish lunch at the E1 nest in the Kisatchie National Forest. There is a pip in one of the eggs.

And there is a hatch!!!!! Welcome to the world, E1-03.

Oh, precious. Louis will start hauling in the fish now. Can’t wait to see what he brings in – last year he was so excited he brought in 11 and Anna brought in 9 for a total of 20 fish on the nest in a single day. These eagles in Louisiana hatched at Kincaid Lake eat well!

MO and FO are still there. Reports are coming in from the SW coast of Florida that a lot of Ospreys are now returning to the area. I hope there are not too many nest fights. Will Lena return? Is Andy still out there?

MO and FO are working on technique.

E21 and 22 are fed well. There is some beaking at times. Still, they are adorable. How many eaglets has Harriet raised? Everyone to fledge as far as I know. I do not worry about these two at all.

Gabby and V3 on alert today.

Both Gabby and V3 were sleeping at the nest tonight. You could see Gabby on cam 1 and V3 on cam 2.

It is nearing 0700 and Zoe is awake wishing for a breakfast fish. Mum and Dad appear to be trying to get their girl to go out and fish for her own breakfast. Yesterday Dad brought a fish and Mum brought a fish but the times for the deliveries were late in the day: 16:42 and 17:50. So our girl went to sleep full to the brim. Today she is 113 days old.

A screaming Indigo!!!!!!!

I wanted to stop and check on Karl II’s family – the Black Storks from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There has been no transmission from Karl or Kaia since they were in Africa and this is expected. There has been no transmission from Bonus since he was crossing the Eastern Desert in Egypt and I do not know yet what to think about that. Urdu (2021) remains in Turkey near the Aegean Sea although he flew west and not south. Perhaps Udu will stay in Turkey??

Little Waba (2022) seems to have really settled in to staying in Sudan on their side of the Nile. He is actively fishing.

A few bobble heads to watch and keep you yelling at the screen when they are beaking. It does end! It is often not nice to watch. If it drives you crazy, take a few days off. It looks like Diane at Achieva has a problem. She flipped in the nest into that hole in the centre. Last year that ‘hole’ at their eggs. No sense laying them this year if that hole that the squirrels made is not patched!!!! It appears that the eggs at Metro Aviation are not viable. The female is new replacing a long term mate of the male this year. The new female is very restless on the eggs tonight. Maybe a miracle late hatch? It would be nice as that nest has a history of successful fledges.

Last, congratulations to Connie and Clive on the pip of their first egg at Captiva. Last year their eggs were not viable. Wonderful news after the tragedy of Hurricane Ian, too.

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

Thanks to the following for their notes, posts, videos, announcements, tweets, and photos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: The Guardian, Heidi Mc and WRDC, Golden Gate Audubon, Raptor Recovery Australia, Suzanne Arnold Horning, @CornellHawks, Superbeaks, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Window to Wildlife, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, PLO, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Looduskalender.

Bobbleheads, pips…Sunday Morning in Bird World

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, Saturday looked promising for a nice walk in the forest. No! It was only -12 C but the winds were gusting more than 16 kph which means wind burn. I ‘decided’ reluctantly that it would be a good morning to clean house while listening to Ferris Akel’s tour. At the same time, I was very much aware of the European Starlings – all 40 of them – that had descended on the garden. Out went two new cylinders -a plain butter bark one and a seed cylinder. The images are poor because of the light. The Starlings came not just to eat but to ‘sun’ themselves on the tips of the lilac branches rotating their bodies to get warm. Brilliant.

These Starlings are nothing short of gorgeous. They live in harmony with the many sparrows that show up at the feeders. It is the squirrels that cause most of the havoc claiming the entire 10 metres of lilac bushes as their own.

All four of the squirrels were out and about – Dyson and two summer babies and Little Red. The images of them could not be lightened any more. It is unfortunate as this little summer offspring of Dyson is so cute. My offering is one meagre image. This little male was finding peanuts in the snow and eating them. So sweet.


My top story is a shout out to the wildlife rehabbers and the vets in Prince Edward Island for undertaking only the second spinal cord compression injury and the eagle surviving! When I was a professor, one of the things I valued was curiosity above almost everything else. ‘What if I did this?’ ‘How can we improve that?’ ‘Could something like this work?’ Questions that often result in our wildlife having a second chance at life. I wish more vets and rehabbers were as curious as some who make milestones in our understanding of raptor injuries and the potential with groundbreaking surgeries. Congratulations to everyone.

More good news. Another six of the Bald Eagles who suffered in Minnesota from phenobarbital poisoning (and some with high lead levels) were recently released. The staff at the wildlife rehab centre had to physically remove the poisoned/euthanized pets from the stomach of these beautiful birds before they could be treated. There were thirteen in total. One had Avian Flu along with the poisoning and died. Another two died leaving ten that were nursed back to health.

‘A’ has reminded me that pip watch will begin in one week at the Royal Albatross Colony on Taiaroa Head. The Royal Cam parents are GLY and L. What is so fascinating to me is how the NZ DOC recognises the impacts on Climate change and is trying to do something about it! ‘A’ included this quote from Ranger Sharyn Broni when she wrote, “

Virtually all the eggs will be hatched in the incubators as the increasingly hot summers make the risk of fly strike too great. We see the effects of climate change on these large birds quite markedly. During the 1950s for example, this type of work would have been unnecessary. By the 1990s conditions were more frequently hot enough to cause fly strike at some nests some of the time. It was during the 1990s that methods to repel flies and also to keep toroa cooler on the nest began. By 2018 fly strike is almost a certainty if the egg is left at the nest to hatch.

The dummy egg holds the parents on the nest while the egg hatches in the incubator over several days. The nest will be sprayed with AIL (Avian Insect Liquidator) to clear out any flies that may be living in the nest. The newly hatched chick has AIL applied to it prior to it being returned to the nest.

It is a whole lot better cleaning out kitchen cupboards and little ‘kitten’ things all over the house while listening to Ferris Akel’s Saturday Morning Bird tour of the Montezeuma/Ithaca area of the Finger Lakes area of upstate NY. I can stop and look if I hear something of interest or just listen. Ferris is a great advocate for being outside and for birdwatching as a way to let the stress of the world go! I will keep reminding all of us this winter as it is far too easy to stay inside on bad weather days. And sometimes advisable to do so!

There were Snowy Owls, swans of various species, gulls of various types including a Black-backed gull, Canada geese, Red-tail Hawks (a young adult with a red tail and light eyes), Northern Mockingbird, and Bald Eagles on the morning’s tour.

The images were chosen for very specific reasons.

Snowy Owls like ‘snowy, northern climates’. There are always a few around a small airport that Ferris frequents. They are commonly seen in the fields of the province where I live, and one, as you know, is in Southern California this winter!!!!!

A juvenile Tundra Swan with the grey head. Strangely, we have one still living in Winnipeg in an area that has some open water. It should not be here. Will it survive? So far our temperatures have not been constant -32 to -38 C. So, I am hopeful. Our climate is changing so it will be interesting if more stay in the future.

It is Bald Eagle hatch season in the US and while we all get giddy over little pink tootsies, it is good to know how the little eaglets change in their appearance until they become the iconic bird with it sure white head. The image below – look closely, has the yellow smile I spoke about yesterday in the eaglets on the Superbeaks nest. Its eyes are still dark but not as dark as the month olds at Superbeaks. They will continue to lighten. The cere, mandible, and beak are all espresso brown. The head is brown and the body has scattered white and brown striations on the chest. The eagle at the top fits nicely into being a year and a half old according to Avian Reports picture chart on eagle development (below this image). If it were a year old it would have prominent white streaks in its head.

The two eagles below are an adult pair. The beak and the head are definitive means of attributing age. Look at the chart often. It will not take you long to single out the age. But, always remember, eagles can get ‘stains’ on their feathers, especially the tail feathers and sometimes the head. So then look at the beak!

This is a gorgeous Red-tail Hawk. We know that it is at least a year old because it has its red tail. But the eyes remain light so it is not a full adult yet. What a beautiful hawk. My goodness you would think that it was a copy of a young Big Red with its extraordinary apron.

Those eyes are part way between a juvenile (blue/green) and an adult (dark chocolate).

Ferris spotted Big Red when he entered the Cornell Campus. For some reason, the sighting was very emotional. Big Red will be 20 years old this year. What she has gone through to survive that long is beyond imagination. As far as we know, she has only ever had one chick not fledge and that was K2 who had to be taken into care because of a beak/jaw infection/deformity and who had to be euthanised. She is the most famous Red-tail Hawk in the world and rightly so. She will be laying eggs in mid-March.

Ferris caught up with Big Red on one of the light stands as the light was really going late in the day. You can see the wind is really blowing. She is holding on tight to the bars of the stand. Every sighting of her is a joy. It is 1 degree C and the wind is blowing at 14 kph on the ground so it is really windy on the top of the tower. Evan the tower is moving a lot.

Ferris also found L4, the 2022 fledgling of Big Red and Arthur. It was the first year that Big Red had four eggs and had four fledglings. No one believed a 19 year old hawk could do that – Big Red is changing everything we know about Red-tail Hawks in the wild.

In this side view, you can clearly see that the eyes are still light. Not yet a year old.

L4 looking up as some Canada Geese fly overhead.

Little E22 is already such a cutie. Harriet and M15 are a dynamic duo. The DNA running through those two eagles gives us very strong eaglets right out of the broken egg shell. E22 is standing up pretty good…only a few hours after hatching.

Want some fish, E22?

By late afternoon, it was apparent that 21 and 22 had several feedings. There was fish juice all over them. Any bearing came accidentally from 22 whose eyes are not yet focusing. Harriet and M15 must be the most patient feeders!

At 1757, they both had juice and matted feathers everywhere especially 22. The following image gives you a terrific look at that egg tooth and how it extends so much below the mandible. Imagine the eagle on its back hammering away.

Harriet and M15 are great partners. It was only a matter of time before 21 bonked 22. So Harriet, who had been feeding the pair alone, called in M15 to help. Lady Hawk caught the tandem feeding in the following video.

At Anna and Louis’s KNF E-1 nest there have been plenty of opportunities Saturday morning to see the eggs but, no obvious pip. Eggs are 39 days old and 34 days. Average hatch time in Louisiana is 35-39 days so folks are sitting on the edge of their seats to see if this young couple will have a hatch (or two) this year.

Both Anna and Louis have been incubating and rolling the eggs. Louis is a great provider and Anna has proven to be a really good eagle Mum. I was so hopeful they would have two chicks this year as the food resources are there but, it might well be that they, again, have only one. One is fine!

Oh goodness. There is a pip seen after 1300 Saturday. Jumping up and down! Tomorrow there will be a wee one for Anna and Louis. (could be later in the day on Sunday depending on its progress)

At 1652, you can really see the progress that little eaglet is making. Well done!

It is raining in Louisiana this morning. Louis covered the eggs with nesting material not giving us any hint as to how the hatching is going!

At the E3, nest of Alex and Andria, the two eaglets are growing like bad weeds in the garden plot.

Look at the bottom of E3-01!!!!!!! Well fed eaglets, both of them.

Eggs are being rolled at Metro Aviation. It is unclear if there is a pip. I saw a black spot but I think it is nesting material. Will these eggs hatch? The first egg is 42 days old today. The second egg is 39 days. Remember the average is 35-39 for Louisiana Bald Eagle eggs. It is possible that neither egg is viable. But we wait and hope for this couple.

At Berry College, Pa Berry was on the nest. We have some time before pip watch for these two Georgia Bald Eagles. Egg 1 is 26 days old today and egg 2 is 23 days old.

All is well at Superbeaks! Both are on the nest and I haven’t had to scream yet today about the lack of chair rails…but, oh, I wish these eagles would strengthen the sides of this nest.

Rolling eggs at Captiva. Next week is pip watch for Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. That is a very clear camera image!!

At the Captiva Osprey nest, Andy and Lena are now replaced by FO and MO. They need to bring more nesting material and everyone would love to see some fish gifts. There is still time! Rumours have it that the pair mated on the nest for the first time on Saturday. I did not see it and I screamed at the rewind on the camera! I can neither confirm nor deny.

Elain continues to keep us up to date with her daily video summaries from Orange. Indigo made only one appearance on the 7th of January! Much more quiet, yes.

Geemeff posted an article on Twitter that is really informative about tracking devices and how they are so useful to our understanding of the movements, behaviour, and challenges our wildlife face. It is a really good read!

So where does a disappearing elusive Australian Painted-Snipe go if no one has hardly ever seen one? Just look at how lovely it is in the image above. I love that white eye line.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/08/vanishing-bird-the-mystery-of-the-near-mythical-australian-painted-snipe?CMP=share_btn_link

Keeping closer to home and keeping in mind that lovely book, Slow Birding (I think it is the favourite of 2022), I want to remind all of us that we can do things at home now or next year to enrich the lives of the visitors to our own gardens.

  • Provide shelter. No, it doesn’t need to be some elaborate structure. It could mean leaving some of those tall perennials in place to provide a place away from the wind or rain. If like me you have had to cut trees down (yes, sadly), place the limbs and branches around the garden preferably stacking them. Great shelter. In addition, the rotting wood will provide great feasts for birds that feed on insect life. I have several different 60 cm tree trunks that are now about 20 years old. The birds peck away at them in the spring and summer as they are slowing breaking down into a kind of mulch.
  • Looking at the seed and garden catalogues and wishing. Consider – and you must consider your own planting zone – climbers for shelter in the fall and winter but also plants that are bird, bee, and butterfly friendly in your area. I am looking for quick growing berry bushes and a couple of trees with berries right now to plant in the spring. The birds will all thank you.
  • If you have the space, the finances, and the physical ability, why not set up a couple of bird feeders? Feeding the birds really gives them a boost and a better chance at winter survival. Also consider seeds with shells and no shells. All of my garden birds love the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds but the empty shells make a huge mess. You can purchase already hulled seeds. (I rake mind and push them to the back of the mini-forest where they break down and help the soil). If you do put up feeders or bird feeding tables, you have to be able to clean them. Feeding birds is also about responsibility to them so they do not get disease. “The National Wildlife Health Center recommends cleaning bird baths and feeders with a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach. (If there is visible debris, scrub it off before soaking in the bleach solution.) Dry out the feeder before hanging it back up”.
  • Want to give the birds some treats? These ideas I originally found on the RSPB website. You can blend birdseed with unsalted nuts, raisins, and lard and press it into moulds or over pinecones and hang outside. Do you have some old hard cheese that could be grated? (no Blue apparently). Birds love it. My Starlings are loving pieces of apple and pear as well as raisins, sultanas, and currants. It is a good way to use up some bruised fruit. I put chunks into a tray feeder.

It is always my pleasure to bring you some of the recent news about our feathered friends. I did not cover Zoe today but rest assured, the girl is eating! Dad brought her a fish yesterday and it is believed Mum added one to that as well. Most days she has 3 fish delivered by Daddy and Mummy Door Dash. Oh, they must be wishing she would move out of the house?? But, they will dutifully continue to feed their girl. No fear. They are dedicated. It is nearing noon in Australia as I write this and Zoe is 112 days old and she is yelling at Mum who is on the ropes for a fish. Time to become independent dear girl. Or are we set to break other records? She is exploring the area but is she exploring places where she could catch fish? And Ervie! Oh, I wish someone would submit some images of Ervie. Missing that beautiful boy.

Oh, thank you so much for being with me today. It is wonderful to know that there is such a supportive community ‘out there’ for our feathered friends. Please take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, announcements, articles, posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘A’ and NZ DOC, Ferris Akel Tours, Avian Reports, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Lady Haw, and SWEagle Cam and D Pritchett, KNF 1, KNF 3, Metro Aviation, Berry College Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, Window to Wildlife, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Geemeff, The Guardian, and Port Lincoln Ospreys and Friends of Osprey.

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

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

5 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At 202308, we get to see the little one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care everyone. We will see you soon!

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