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

29 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

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

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

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

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

Here is the announcement:


In other news:

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

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


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

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

A Common Merganser.

An adult Tundra Swan and below it a juvenile.

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

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

A Mute Swan. Note the different bill.

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

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

A pair of Mute Swans.

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

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


Nest News:

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

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

Zoe prepares for her take off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you find Connick?

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

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

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

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

It is little Boots time for some food.

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

Nancy and her mate were also busy in Minnesota.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Captiva adults named Angus and Mabel…Monday in Bird World

23 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

Making News:

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

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

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

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

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

Nest News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CE9 is still being fed well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ringo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is L, the Mum, brooding the chick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egg stealing, eaglets and more…Bird World for Wednesday

11 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The month of January is flying by. My children are back in their classrooms teaching and I am enjoying the benefits of retirement – being here with you and the birds. I must begin with a request. If you have been writing to me at my outlook address (check your e-mail) and I have not responded, my apologies. Lewis finally chewed through the entire cord despite my putting electric tape all over it. He does not like the cord to the Mac Air – thank goodness. I will get a replacement but, I think moving forward please send letters to me at this address now that I have this other machine: maryannsteggles@icloud.com

Doesn’t he just look innocent? I blamed it on teething but I think Lewis is just ‘nuts’ about dangly things. In the image below, he has uncovered a window that was ‘wrapped’ so that he could not get to it. Surprise! The foamy stuff that has dried over the years caused me great anxiety. Of course – he found it! Terrible Mum put him in ‘time out’ until I could remove the window to the basement! You would have thought I was pulling his toe nails out. Poor thing. I wonder what he will think when I do trim those nails this evening?

Missy is a very big girl and she is not even six months old. That is the beautiful blanket that was given to her when she was adopted – I love the pastel granny squares. Perfect for such a sweet girl. The issue is her size! This is my grandmother’s old quarter-cut oak dining table. It is 50 inches in circumference (without the leaves) or 127 cm. Stretched out Missy is 38 inches or 96.52. How do you say Maine Coon? BTW. Yes, they have taken over the dining room table. They like the light on – like a heat lamp!!!!!!!

They are not fighting. Missy sleeps with her head on Lewis’s leg. Seriously. They are almost always inseparable. Never seen anything like it.

In the Mailbox:

Question: ‘A’ wonders if Indigo is capable of catching his own prey.

Answer: The majority of the resources that I read and have checked state that Peregrine Falcon Fledglings in North America can and do catch their own prey after about 4 weeks from leaving the scrape. So Indigo is certainly capable. He has been bringing in beetles which we all presume that he has caught. It reminds me of Izzi with his cicadas and then eating them like popsicles on the ledge of the scrape. If Indigo has not caught a bird yet, he is able to and should be doing so soon. I asked how much an adult peregrine needs to eat in a day and from several centres that do peregrine falcon recovery, the answer is approximately 70 grams of food a day is good for an adult – that is apparently equivalent to two Starlings or Blackbirds.

This video is actually from the 30th of December so it is now 12 days ago. Indigo arrives at the scrape with a large bug. He is so pleased with himself over these bug catches that it leads one to believe that they are his first successful hunting forays. Good protein in those bugs, too, for our young lad.

In the News:

Gemeff sent me this news item the other morning and it was too late to include in my blog for that day. You might think that egg collecting and putting feathers in ladies hats died out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Turns out Scotland Yard has been working on Operation Easter Egg for 25 years. This is very sad, indeed. I am reminded of the four eggs stolen from Taiaroa Head where the Royal Albatross nest late in 2022. Despicable. You can find the entire story at Raptor Persecution UK.

‘A’ has written to me about the torrential rains and flooding that Melbourne has experienced. Have you ‘A’ or any of our other readers in Melbourne seen these floating platforms? and if so, are they working to help wildlife? I would love to have a personal account. They look brilliant and I am reminded of the floating loon nests that I just wrote about in my blog posted on 10 January.

Most of the people who read my blog know that helping wildlife makes you feel good. Many of us recognise the animals that come regularly to our gardens. An article appearing today in The Guardian carries the following message from the author:

Getting to know animals as individuals with varying personalities and behaviour grants them elevated importance. But be aware that it is likely to push you closer to vegetarianism and inspire you towards conservation. Because once you have a relationship and an attachment to another living creature, they become part of your sphere of compassion. And then there is no choice but to protect both the animal and its environment. 

Kate Ahmad, The Guardian, Befriending a wild animal will make you a better human – here’s why

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/06/befriending-a-wild-animal-will-make-you-a-better-human-heres-why?CMP=share_btn_link

Ever wondered what it would be like to go to a Red Kite feeding station? I have and I would love to see these magnificent raptors. The Bellymack Hill Feeding Station is near Castle Douglas and the Galloway Red Kite Trail. This is a great little 10:04 minute video created by visitors to see the kites being fed. They also got to see other farm animals. At 1400 every day, food is put out for the raptors. They have hides where you can watch. Your admission helps buy the food. So, if you travel to anywhere in the UK, check and see if there is a Red Kite feeding station! Watch them for me! And if I get there first, I will publish lots of photos.

We all have dreams and like seeing Red Kites in the Wild come to feed, I really would like to see Ospreys migrating to their winter homes and then go on a trek to photograph and count them in those winter regions. Jean-Marie duPart goes up and down the Senegalese coast and into the parks and rivers in search of ospreys and he reports back. There seems to be more good news this year for various nests. You can catch his reports on FB by searching for his name: Jean-Marie Depart. He works for Nature et Oiseaux Sénégal .

The Nests We are Watching (some of them):

Connie and Clive’s first eaglet together is a cutie – CE9. So happy for this eagle couple after all they have been through.

Little eaglet is tuckered out. Hatching is hard work!

Some fish for the wee one? That first feeding will just be little bits and bobs and some fish juice and saliva. It is actually unclear whether the eaglet has been fed. Certainly Connie has eaten!!!!! Little one will be strong and hungry tomorrow morning screaming for fish.

Lady Hawk caught the hatch in a video. Dad Clive was on the nest when it hatched. The chick hatched at 11:22 on Tuesday. For whatever reason, Connie has yet to feed it despite fish on the nest.

Louis and Anna’s little eaglet is a chubby little one…so sweet. Anna is already covering up Louis’s fish – hoping that those nasty flies and mosquitoes will stay away. Maybe these nests need Zappers! I think the fact that the beautiful Spirit Bluff peregrine falcon chicks jumped to their death because of black flies has me on edge now when I see lots of insects. And, yes…we need insects. I am not proposing that we don’t have them. We need more actually but, maybe just not on smelly eagle nests when there are babies.

KNF E#-01 and 02 are doing well. Both have had big crops and there is no issue about an eaglet not being fed. Everything is going along fine.

It continues to look like Pearl is self feeding at the Superbeaks nest while Tico is being fed …that said, Muhlady also feeds Pearl but the oldest eaglet is trying. She is just over a month old.

At the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest, Harriet got a break around 0742 Tuesday morning. M15 took over the feeding and let Mum hang out having a break. M15 is fantastic. I love it when he feeds the eaglets because each gets to eat. He will also step in and feed the little one, this year little E22, if 21 is getting the majority. I often wonder if he came from a nest where he was the last hatch with a big sister? Things are fine at this nest!

These kids had a bunny breakfast. While eagles bring many things to their nests, some of the prey M15 delivers is road kill – bunnies, cats, etc. Bald Eagles eat almost anything – fish, ducks, Coots that they have caught, other mammals they have hunted, and carrion.

M15 and Harriet have given E22 several little private feedings. Fantastic.

The weather is nasty at the nest of Shadow and Jackie in Big Bear Valley today. Strong howling winds, blowing snow/ice. I really hope our gal doesn’t decide to lay her eggs during this period of bad weather. This storm caused power outages, etc even in San Jose where Sequoia has her scrape (an hour south approximately).

The winds have calmed down slightly.

They have calmed down for Sequoia, also.

It poured on the University of California-Berkeley campus. I hope that Annie is safe. So glad no chicks in the nest for Annie. Weather, wet weather, is difficult when there are new chicks. Many studies show that the decline in Peregrine Falcons in the far northern region is often due to rain – the damp cold and hunting for prey become issues for the adults.

The weather looks pretty good in Iowa. Both eagles were at the nest at Decorah, near the trout hatchery, at dawn. They later worked on the nest.

In Australia, Zoe was at the nest early hoping for a fish on the 11th. Before Dad arrived she turned and I would almost guess she had already had something to eat. Look at her profile. This is at 07:11. I think our girl is catching fish although it is a bit of a mystery. She did leave the nest between dawn and the time the fish was delivered. Was it enough? or did she get a fish drop off camera? I am so curious about this huge crop.

Dad obliged at 0714. Zoe is 116 days old today (115 when this fish was delivered in Australia).

For Achieva Osprey fans, Diane and Jack have both been at the nest today in St Petersburg, Florida. Jack brought Diane a fish and Diane was seen defending the nest. Her leg must be getting better. Such good news! Now if a fairy would repair the hole in the centre of that nest.

Thank you so much for being with me today. It is so exciting having a few more little eaglets to enjoy – and also to have a few nests with eaglets developing at different stages. It is a real way to visually see the changes from week to week at different nests. Somehow I always find I remember these developments easier if I can ‘see’ them rather than read about them. We should be watching for pips at both Captiva and KNF-E1. Pips will be coming up at Barry College in a week or so. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their letters, tweets, announcements, blogs, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: ‘A’, Geemeff, Orange CSU Peregrine Falcons, Raptor Persecution UK, #BirdTheFeckAtHome, The Guardian, Red Kite Feeding YouTube Video, Window to Wildlife, Lady Hawk, KNF E1 and KNF E3, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, FOBBV, San Jose City Hall Falcons, Cal Falcons, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org.

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