10 February 2022
Good Morning Everyone!
It is hard to turn on the SWFlorida streaming cam and not see M15 there with a big fish feeding the Es. So far on Thursday there were 4 feedings and M15 has already fed both eaglets breakfast Friday morning. When 22 slid right in by 21, I almost fell out of my desk chair. The environment on this nest has changed so much since our worries of a week ago. The food security that M15 has established is really working wonders, bringing a normalcy back to this beautiful eagle nest. When do you remember 21 giving 22 a thorough going over? Many thought 22 might not live – including me. Well, I am sure happy to have to eat those words! Life is good. In fact, even the GHOs are cooperating. Their owlets, there are two of them, will fledge and be away from the natal nest before the Es even branch! That in itself is a miracle and will stop a lot of potential problems. M15 and the eaglets are very blessed.
Those four feedings were 09:18:14, 10:10:28, 14:43:40 (a massive catfish), and 15:58:25 with another big fish. Here are a few images from those feedings.
09:18:20. 21 is going to eat first. Notice those beautiful feathers coming in on the back of 21. The eagles are losing their fluffy white natal down, they have grown their thermal down, and now the feathers that will mark them as juveniles are growing in. The eaglets are healthy, they are developing as they should, and I noticed that 22 is even standing on its feet.
09:19. E21 is really enjoying this nice breakfast.
09:34. E22 did not mess out. Look, E22 has a really nice crop.
M15 hangs in there, surveys what is happening and manages by moving the prey and himself to make sure both of his children get fed. Lovely. It is almost impossible to hold back the tears of joy just looking at how well this family is doing. I think it gives us hope for other nests that find themselves missing an adult at a crucial time.
10:10. 22 is there for some bites. You can really tell the two apart now. Glance at the image above. It is like someone took a crochet hook and tied in some feathers to the down and made a gorgeous cape for 21 with some black fringe at the terminal end of the tail. Beautiful.
14:44. Huge catfish lands on the nest. This is really a nice one and it is going to feed everyone. I know that some of you are now beginning to worry that M15 is taking such good care of the eaglets that he is neglecting himself. Let us hope not. He has to take care so that he can be all things to these two babies. There is still a long way to go before they fly the coop er’ tree.
This is the image that really brought tears to my eyes today. It is 14:52. Both of the eaglets have crops, they are side by side, they are facing dad. 22 looks as if he is smiling. There is no tension or fear in this image. Instead, it is two eaglets and their dad in the sunshine enjoying a catfish meal together.
When I captured this screen image, it was almost one week since Harriet went missing. M15 is doing her proud. Notice also how heavy 21’s wings are now. They are drooping just like they are supposed to. Also notice the size of the feet.
No animosity between the eaglets although 22 remains careful and quick to duck if he thinks 21 might beak. Actually smart. It will help him later when he is around lots of birds that want to take his food.
22 really does like to peck at the nest overs. A survivor.
15:10 and the rest of that catfish belongs to 22 and Dad.
You are amazing M15!
As the eaglets try and sleep, rain is beginning to fall on them. I wonder if M15 will go down to the nest? No, he did not. He is doing sentry duty on the branch. Let us hope that the GHOs are so busy feeding themselves and the two owlets at night that they do not have any time to go fly into M15.
The Friday morning first feeding was around 0800. 21 ate and then 22. A distraction for Dad in-between. Both eaglets are quite fine. My friend ‘A’ wrote that it was the first time she didn’t check on the SWFlorida Nest first. Gosh, that is the most wonderful thing to say.
21 at 0805.
22 eating at 0826.
You can Make a Difference:
Do you eat tuna? swordfish? Do you know someone who does? Do you know how it is caught? is it by pole? or is it by long-line trawler? The problem right now is one of trust. What certification can we trust? Here is an article from the BBC. There are many more, some supported by the long line fishing industry to make you think that line fishing is sustainable. It is not. There are ways that long line trawlers can make fishing safe. Some groups and countries will even provide free sparkly lines or the boat crews can bait the lines at night or put them over the side BUT are those ships churning fish into the bellies of boats 24/7 really doing the right thing for the environment? for the birds? I have stopped eating fish altogether – it is one way to be sure. 90% of the ocean’s fish, since the end of the nineteenth century, are gone. Feeding humans is causing the birds that rely on the fish from the sea to starve. Do you really need that can of tuna?
There is a battle going on right now to save the Albatross – all of them but, especially the Antipodean Albatross. Since 2005, their population number has decreased by 60%. In 20 years, if we do not dramatically change the way tuna and swordfish are caught, these gentle sentinels will be extinct. Someone I know -and I am sure you have seen her name if you are part of the Orange Peregrine Falcon FB group- Holly Parsons, reached out to me. She is on a campaign to stop people from eating tuna and swordfish and to do something about the deaths that are occurring due to long line fishing. This is, of course, something very dear to my heart and to another friend, ‘R’.
A beautiful video – so well made – and short. Please watch and then share it! The more people that understand the issues and step forward to end long line fishing trawlers, the better the world will be. Thank you! Thanks Holly for reaching out.
In the News:
Falco, the Eurasian Owl that escaped when vandals cut its cage at the New York City Zoo, has been delighting viewers around Central Park. But can the owl survive in the wild? Many are afraid that it cannot.
Two female bald Eagles fighting in Nova Scotia, Canada get so enraged with one another over a territory or prey defence – and so tangled – that both ended up in rehab. Great little video (note: there is a cruise ad at the beginning – just bear with it to get to the story).
https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/talon-locked-bald-eagles-treated-at-nova-scotia-s-hope-for-wildlife-1.6261910?utm_campaign=trueAnthem: New Content (Feed)
What an idea. Train a team of Spaniels to sniff out and kill rodents to save the lives of birds – it is a Welsh trial but, I am wondering if a team of these dogs would not work to aid those islands with Albatross that are getting bitten and killed by rats??? What do you think?
Germany is taking the injury and/or killing of raptors seriously. Let’s see this happen with those that keep getting their sentencing postponed in the UK. It is time to stand up for wildlife and the environment – no matter where we live. The raptors cannot go to court and speak for themselves, neither can the Buzzards, the White-tail Eagles, the Storks – all of them. They need our help since we are, in fact, the ones that took away their pristine environment, turned them into hats and fancy dress, and put their eggs in cases while poisoning the water and land where they get their food.
‘H’ and I have been making lists of what kills ospreys for almost a year now, going back and forth. Conservation without Borders posted a list of 37 items that need tackling to make the world safe. Have a read – lots we haven’t even considered! What can each of us do to help?
Do not dye birds for fun! It kills them. I want to ask: what idiot would think this is a good idea? Once again, you can help. If you hear of anyone – or any civic project – that is going to release artificially coloured birds – you try and stop them. Reason with them, phone the news stations, whatever it takes to peacefully stop a potential death sentence.
Big Red and Arthur’s fourth hatch in 2022, L4, is still on the Cornell campus. There is also what seems to be a light coloured Red-tailed male around. Here is Cornell’s tweet:
OK. They are not raptors – not by a long shot but, I do dearly love these flightless parrots of New Zealand – the Kakapo. The Recovery project is continuing with naming the 55 that survived to be a year old from the 2022 hatch! What an incredible number of survivors. Aren’t they adorable?
In the Nests:
The ‘New Guy’ at Cal Falcons and Annie have been eating and mating on the ledge. Sharon Pollock captured the action for us. Will we have some eggs in that scrape at The Campanile soon?
There is an injury to the talon of HD at Decorah. How will he fare?
We saw Diamond soaking wet and in much need of a trip to the salon yesterday. I didn’t have images of Indigo. Elain has caught that wee fledgling! So happy Indigo made it to the scrape.
Angus brought a live Sheepshead fish to Mabel at the Captiva Nest – and she dropped it when flying off. So sad for her. The video capture by HeidiMc is quick. Don’t look away!
Connick, the only eaglet of Clive and Connie, seems to eat and be in a perpetual food coma. He is growing and growing. Really strong thick legs and such beautiful thermal down. Cute little tail that he seems to like to wiggle. Just look at Connick’s mohawk…too funny. He still has his light grey mouth…watch as it will turn to yellow.
Connick, that crop is so big. Can you even lift yourself up?
As we get closer and closer to pip watch for Jackie and Shadow, the Ravens are being relentless in their harassment, flying all about the tree. Thursday morning Jackie went flat to protect the eggs. Then she began doing several alarm vocalisations. We are 5 days away from pip watch. Jackie and Shadow are being extremely vigilant. After the eaglet/s hatch, they will need to continue this high level of security. The eaglets will not be safe from predation until they are about a month old.
I have not checked on all the nests today. Jak and Audacity at Sauces Canyon do have a third egg. Typically the shell of the third can be thinner than the others. Let us all collectively hope that this one egg might make it to hatch!
I did check on the Black Storks, Waba and Udu. Waba is the 2022 hatch of Karl and Kaia and Udu is a 2021 hatch from the Karula National Forest nest in Estonia. Waba continues to fish in the Sudan.
Udu is in Turkey but not around the earthquake area.
There has not been tracking information for Kaia since she landed in Chad, from Karl when he would be flying to his wintering home form the Nile, or from Bonus who was last heard from when he was in the Western Desert. We hope that when spring migration begins, their transmitters will start to send signals. Zoe has not sent a transmission for 36 hours. Friends of Osprey are not worried as she is in the area where there was no cell coverage before. Send everyone your positive and good energy. ‘H’ just wrote to me and said that Zoe has now missed another tracking notice. Please send good wishes that she is simply out of range.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their tweets, videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures and blog: ‘A’, ‘H’, Holly Parsons, Southwest Florida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, CTV News Atlantic, The Guardian, CABS, The BBC, Live Ocean, Conservation without Borders, @Cornell Hawks, Kakapo Recovery, Sharon Pollock and Cal Falcons, Raptor Resource Project, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Window to Wildlife, Heidi Mc and Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, and Looduskalender English Forum.