CE9 at Captiva eating well, dual feeding at KNF-E3…Friday in Bird World

20 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It is a good day or, rather, I should say, Thursday was a great day in Bird World.

Thursday turned out to be a fantastic day for a walk at the nature centre. It was only -8 degrees C with a wind of 8 km/h. Did the 5.65 km trail. It felt good to get out and breathe in some fresh air. There were even a few critters around.

This male Downy Woodpecker was having a real go at this pole.

Then he decided he would check out the Black Oil Seed feeder tube.

This little Red Squirrel has figured out how to get the peanuts out of the feeder. The sky was too bright behind and I cannot lighten the image any more but, I hope you can see him a bit. He was adorable.

His friend, on the ground, found some peanuts, too. The colour of their plumage is so beautiful. Love that red with the black tips on the fur of the tail.

The Black-capped Chicadees flitted in and out to the feeders when the others were not there.

The squirrels were everywhere!

There was a White-breasted Nuthatch on the square feeder when I turned the corner. We normally think of them feeding upside down on a tree or a tube feeder but, there it stood. Notice the long beak and then stop for a moment. Everyone knows that raptors have a back toe called a hallux. But did you know that the Nuthatch has one, too? The White-breasted nuthatch has three toes in front and the hallux or back toe which is long, behind. It helps them to grip tree trunks so that they can forage upside down!

Compare the length in the image below of the hallux and one of the front toes.

The Nuthatch sees me, gets its peanut and prepares to take off into the forest. It was a lovely day. Thankful to have real birds to see!


In the News:

Warming temperatures are causing fewer swans to winter in Britain. What if the tundra in Russia warms as well? I am very interested in the story of the swans. During the summer, there was a family of Tundra swans at one of the wetlands that I frequent. I took some poor photographs of them for you. As it happens, a Tundra Swan that should have migrated is wintering in Manitoba in the area north of me about an hour known as the Interlake. It has discovered an area of water fed by an Artesian well. Will it be able to get food? will we get really cold temperatures? or is Manitoba set for continuing warmer winters that might suit some swans? I wonder.

It appears that the warming climates in the UK might not be beneficial to the swans during the winter.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/19/bewicks-swan-population-vanishing-britain-climate-crisis?CMP=share_btn_link

Checking on the nests:

As it happens I was confused about the name of the eaglet at the Captiva Nest and had seen and been given different ones. then I confused all of you. Apologies all around! ‘F’ and ‘M’ wrote to confirm (thank you both) and I mention this below but, for everyone – it is Captiva Eaglet 9 or CE9. (LOL. I had CJ7 on my mind once – apologies. Thinking about Osprey!)

The worries at both the Captiva Bald Eagle nest and for any for the second eaglet at KNF-E3 clearly can take a back burner. Connie and CE9 are doing well. There is nothing wrong with the ability of the eaglet to open its beak and eat as seen in the second image below. The wee one has a full crop also.

That late feeding of Clive the other evening made all the difference in the world to this eaglet getting strong in order to hold that head up. Fantastic.

The eaglet is getting stronger. We can see this by how it moves around the egg cup and is holding up its head – not much bobbling. The eyes are clear and focused so none of that fish juice seems to have caused any issues. This will all help with the feedings. Sweet little one. So happy to see this. Such relief.

I am just so over the moon for the turn around on the Captiva nest that I don’t know what to do! The next couple of images are from later in the afternoon. Baby has a nice crop and less juice on the head. Magnificent.

A new Coot had been brought on the KNF-E3 nest and a nice large fish. The eaglets are pecking at the Coot and Andria gives them a good feed from the fish. E02 ate first and this time nothing E01 did deterred the little one from the table. It is amazing how seeing food on a nest can calm things down!

The pair had a good feeding with Mum at 16:16. You can see the crops. Oh, oh, and fat little bottoms with tails. 02 is getting its mohawk. Watch for their ‘lips’ to turn yellow!

Thanks to ‘A’, I did not miss the dual feeding for the last meal of the day. Alex flew down to the nest at 17:47 and joined Andria in feeding the eaglets. E02 was stuffed!!!!!!! It was a good day. Nice to see the babies going to bed full to the top of the crop. Alex brought that fish in at 17:46. A nice big half of one so lots of food for all.

At the KNF-E1 nest of Anna and Louis, Mum makes E03 stretch that neck (this is great for building good muscles) for its fish. Not a big crop from this feeding but fine.

If the eaglets at Superbeaks are not bursting at the crop, we might wonder what is wrong. They appear to be doing some self-feeding and some winger sizing. Towards the end of the day Muhlady lands on the nest to give the pair a feeding. Tico is eating first and getting some nice bites. Pearl is watching from behind. After awhile, Pearl decides she is ‘fed up’ with Tico’s grabbing all the prey and she becomes dominant. No worries. Sibling stuck at the back and wanting food. A series of images from Thursday so you could see how big these eaglets are. Another feeding followed. Muhlady likes to keep those babies full and happy.

Both eaglets still have a few dandelions on their heads. Pearl is darker overall as she has lost more of the dandelions on her body than Tico.

Wingersizing and self-feeding.

Big world out there for a 5 week old eaglet.

The eaglets are walking on the nest and are the size of a turkey about now. They have grow so well and Pepe and Muhlady have been amazing parents to these two. At 42 days or 6 weeks, the eaglets will be the size of their parents. Can you believe it? Look at how strong Pearl is and how steady she is on her legs now…improving every day.

Big world out there!

This is where I can identify the eaglets. Tico is nearest to us and Pearl is behind Mum. She waited and did not get a good location. Tico began eating first at the 16:04 feeding.

Tico got some really nice bites! Look at Pearl watching closely.

Tico gets more and more bites and Pearl is getting impatient. She wants to be fed by Mum, too.

Enough. Pearl wants some bites and she tells Tico.

You can see how dark Pearl’s head is and her body compared to Tico’s.

Pearl gets fed but Tico is a real good one at the snatch and grab. No one goes away hungry.

Meal is finished. Pearl is on the left and Tico is on the right. Now you can see their plumage differences better.

As the sun goes down, the pair are fed again just so they go to bed with a full tummy. What a fabulous nest. So lucky to be able to watch this family of four.

As many of you know, M15 dropped a fish on E22. There has been much concern over E22’s eye. E22 has been eating well and following with its eyes today (Thursday). This morning, Friday, E22’s eyes look much better. The Pritchetts have posted a bit of a long stating that E21 has been bit of a stinker this morning. See below with this morning’s images.

These details are form the Pritchett website.

“9:45a H still on the attic. E’s resting at the rails. 9:49a H flies to the drive snag. 9:50a M in with a squirrel. E’s move close to M , watch it being defurred. E21 warns E22 off, E22 submits. 9:57a M feeds E21, E22 moves away.”

Here is the link to their page. You will also notice that they state no intervention will take place. I find this interesting after E17 and E18 and their conjunctivitis. But…what is important is that E22’s eyes seem much better!

https://dickpritchettrealestate.com/southwest-florida…/

Wingersizes:

At Big Bear, Shadow brought in an American Coot yesterday. Jackie has been feeding off of it. For those that do not know, a Coot is not a duck. It is specifically a rail but, it swims in the water and forages in the ponds. It is black with a distinctive white beak and a brick-red cere. They are large and the eagles eat off of them for days!

Shadow is up to his old tricks to get Jackie off the eggs so he can have some incubation time — it is called ‘Let’s Move some Sticks’!

Notice that Jackie’s beak is clean when she leaves. It will have the marks of eating bloody prey when she returns.

You can get a good look at Shadow’s hallux (right foot) in the image below.

Here comes Daddy!

Jackie is back with a slightly bloody beak. She must have had a nice Coot lunch.

As evening arrived, the snow flakes began to fall on the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear.

Zoe is 124 days old. Dad delivered 1 fish for his girl on the 20th (Australian time/day). She is anxiously awaiting more deliveries today. The camera showed a view of the old barge ? with an Osprey on it. I could not see a tracker but it does not mean it wasn’t Zoe. It was 07:09. She has been flying more and PLO are wondering if she is following Mum and Dad to fish.

Osprey is almost in the centre. Head turned to the right, back towards us.

In Florida, Jack and Diane have done an amazing job transforming that Achieva Osprey nest. My goodness, it doesn’t look like the same place. Let us all continue to hope that the bark brought in will help with that hole that the Crows and squirrels made last year that cost this couple their clutch.

Adjustments being made at Captiva Osprey platform. MO and FO returned to the nest after. I am not thinking eggs in the immediate future. No soft materials in that nest and no defined egg cup.

But, of course, they will go ahead and lay the eggs tomorrow just to show me that there is an egg cup hiding there in the centre and we can’t see it!

Sadly, the reign of terror at the Bald Eagle nest in Webster, Texas continues. The little one is only safe from the beaking when it is under Mum. It has found a way to hide but, clearly this situation is painful. It is unclear ‘why’ the eldest sibling, at such a young age, has launched into such brutal attacks when there is plenty of food on the nest. Bobbleheads cannot focus and often have beaking sessions when they are young but, it is rare to see such frenzied attacks. It reminds me of DH14 towards DH16 last year at the Dale Hollow nest last year. So very sad. I hope the behaviour stops before the wee one dies.

Let’s leave on a good note. The ‘new guy’ at The Campanile has finally brought a prey gift to Annie!!!!!!!!!! Yipppppeeeeee.

There are major and wonderful gains at Captiva with CE9. There is fish and both eagles at KNF-E3 ate well. Jackie and Shadow are fine. Gabby and V3 are fine. Diane and Jack seem to be thinking of eggs and Diane’s leg is good…and I forgot to check at Berry College! Egg 1 is 36 days old and egg 2 is 33 days old. We are still a little shy of pip watch and it seems nothing has happened. Saturday maybe!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘F and M’, ‘A’, The Guardian, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E3, Ron and Ruth Aguillard, KNF-E1, Superbeaks, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Carol Shores Rifkin and the NEFL and SWFL Eaglecam Watercress Club, FOBBV, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Achieva Credit Union, SK Hideaway and Cal Falcons.

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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Thanks to Clive, CE9 goes to sleep with a crop…Wednesday in Bird World

18 January 2022

Hello Everyone!

The temperature was -9 with 15 km/h winds and 85% humidity. It was the wind and the humidity that were the issues at the nature centre. That cold wind just went through all the layers. It was the first time my hands have been cold and I always wear the same gloves. It was eerily quiet.

Few were out in the forest and a lone deer was walking around not paying any mind. He looked over at me. What a beauty. How privileged to be able to see these gorgeous creatures in an urban environment where they are safe. I caught up with him again as I wandered on the paths.

It was a good day to get out for a walk and for a few minutes move past the worry of the little one at Captiva. We expect every raptor parent to be a Harriet or an M15 and the truth is, they aren’t. They are all individuals. To get a combination of great parenting, a super source for prey, and not bad weather is a big feat for all of our raptor families. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and watching a little eaglet hungry on a nest bursting with fish is almost too much. There is hope though and all of you continue to send your most positive wishes to the Captiva nest. At 18:11ish, Clive – please note this – Clive – begins feeding the wee one. At 18:22 and then again in a minute, the little eaglet had the best crop that I have seen. I am absolutely in tears. Tears of joy. As ‘A’ notes, Clive watched the nest and I am certain he is concerned for his baby crying for food when the nest is full. Thanks, Clive, for stepping in and feeding CE9.

The kittens offer a welcome respite. Missy is just a bundle of fluff and sweetness. Lewis is ‘something else’. It is rare that he sits still.

In the mailbox:

You will remember the removal of the Bald Eagle nest – with the eagles in the area – from a microwave tower – in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina caused such furore and for good reason. Highly illegal. Many of us wrote to the USFWS. I am pleased to report that along with those who wrote to tell me they had received responses, I received one as well this morning. One reader, ‘B’ wants us to note the crime tips address to report such illegal activities to protected wildlife. Put it in your phone if you live in the US. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write. So many responses appear to have led to a form letter and that is a good thing. The governmental agencies, wherever we live, that are responsible for the protection of our raptors, need to know that the public is outraged when there is non-compliance.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve and manage both bald eagle and golden eagle populations to assure both species continue to thrive.  

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection act prohibits anyone from disturbing the birds without a permit.  Disturb means to cause injury, interfere with normal breeding, feeding and sheltering behavior or nest abandonment.  Penalties for doing so could result in fines up to $5,000 or imprisoned up to a year or both.  The Service has developed a National Bald Eagle Management Plan that helps to determine appropriate buffers and distances from certain activities to protect our bald eagle populations.  

Bald eagles are increasing in numbers throughout the State, showing greater tolerance to human presence and establishing new nesting territories closer to development.  

This expansion of territories exposes them more frequently to human activities, and they continue to adapt.  We are committed to working with others to continue advancing eagle conservation and protection while enabling partners to meet their operational goals. We are able to confirm there is an active investigation.

Per Service policy, we do not comment on active investigations, nor do we share information regarding holders of permits and activities as some of this information is considered Personally Identifiable Information and cannot be released.  The Service welcomes tips regarding this case.  Information can be submitted at: https://www.fws.gov/wildlife-crime-tips

‘A’ sent us more news about the floating platforms to help wildlife on the Yarra River in Australia. Brilliant idea especially after the flooding we had in Manitoba.

https://www.docklandsnews.com.au/floating-wetlands-set-to-transform-the-yarra-river-in-docklands/

Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust reminds us:

Not raptors but a thank you to a special young woman who dedicated her life to saving wildlife. Today is Dian Fossey’s birthday. One of the released condors by the VENTANA WILDLIFE SOCIETY in 2022 was named after Dian.

Speaking of VENTANA WILDLIFE SOCIETY, they were able to clear the roads up to Big Sur after the horrific weather to deliver lead-free carrion to the Condors! Yes.

At the nests:

The short throttling and some head beaking by the oldest eaglet on the KNF-E3 nest have caused 02 to be a little wary of its sibling. I notice that Alex has been on and off the nest and that the wee one has waited this morning for the oldest to eat before it ventured to the table. At 0939 the second hatch also had a private feeding. The eaglets are 23 and 20 days old. Normally with Bald Eagles any aggression ends at around 30 days but, this was unexpected and one has to wonder about hormonal changes with the growth of the blood feathers. Or a slow down in food deliveries.

At 0736, E01 is eating and E02 is holding back before going up to the table to avoid confrontation and beaking. Smart move little one. Notice that it is watching.

02 is up at the table and Dad is on the nest. Both will have crops.

At 0748, E02 had a nice crop.

At 0924:

At 0938, E02 gets a bit of a private feeding.

At 1028, both have medium sized crops.

Oh, gosh, golly. Anna has her mojo back. She is doing great feeding KNF E1-03. Little fella had a huge crop and could hardly move at one of the later feedings. Images from 3 different afternoon feedings.

Crop was so big, 03’s head just fell to the side in a food coma.

There continues to be concern for the eaglet at Captiva. CROW is aware of the situation and monitoring it but there are laws and hurdles and one must be mindful. It is much better for the eaglet to be on the nest. There has been speculation as to if there is something wrong with the eaglets beak but, from my seat, the bites have been too big and Connie has been too quick to pull back and eat those that are a proper size. It is unclear what she expects a new little eaglet to do. She should be waiting and holding and encouraging. Let us all hope that this happen and CE9 begins to thrive. As someone said, we would all hate to see an eaglet starve on a nest full of fish. So let us all send positive wishes that the adults gather themselves and get the feedings going properly.

The eaglet’s talons look dehydrated to me. Maybe it is the angle but I like to think about those fat little pinkies at SWFlorida and above at the KNF nest. Let’s see how CE9’s are in a few days if it gets some good meals from Dad.

There is just so much fish juice going on this baby. But, you can see a bit of a crop in the second image and right now, that is all I care about. This baby needs fish and it needs a wash.

I am going to sleep a little better tonight. I want you to look at its crop. It is hungry and it is figuring this out, too, and is getting some of that fish. Time 18:12:25-18:13:29. Clive, you need to step in more often. You are a great provider. I guess you need to feed this baby til Connie figures out what to do! Not every female is a natural mother.

The weather has shifted at Big Bear. Shadow has delivered two fish to Jacket so far on Tuesday and it is only 1300. The first arrived at 11:10 and the second at 12:03. Things are good at Big Bear. Bless their hearts they aren’t going to let any Crows get these eggs!

Shadow, you are wonderful!

Eating first fish.

Sweet Eagle Dreams, Jackie.

If you missed Jackie and the snow storm, SK Hideaways caught it in video for all of us.

These days whenever I am a little frustrated with a nest, I just go and check on Superbeaks! Pearl has lost her Mohawks. You will see in later images that Tico still has his. They are so curious about what is happening outside and below the nest. These two ‘always’ have big crops. Mum of the Week Award goes to Muhlady!

We are into week 5 and going into week 6. During weeks 5-6. they should be poking their heads out of the nest rim and observing the world around them – which they are doing. The parents will begin to spend more time near the nest but not directly in it with the eaglets. The eaglets will be fed by the parents up until about week 6 when they should be self-feeding. Of course, we know from watching the nests that the parents will feed them on and off much longer, encoring self-feeding so they can become fully independent. By week 6, they should be standing and walking with some ease. Their juvenile feather growth continues. By the end of week 7, they should be nearing their full growth. These eaglets are just spot on in terms of their development. Thanks for the close ups, cam op!

Just look at this healthy eaglet!!!!!!!!!

And now for the other end!

Check out the tail growth from a different view.

Last meal of the day on Monday. Tico is nearest to us. You can still see the dandelions on top of his head which should be gone by Wednesday. Muhlady is feeding Tico and he is stealing pieces of fish when she is slow to offer. Well done, Tico.

Thunder and Akecheta were checking on the state of their nest at the West End in the Channel Islands today.

Is it possible that our Gabby has another potential mate? Seriously. He is quite handsome. Actually, he is stunning. Or did he just happen by Monday evening? V3 will make quick work of this one!

And he did. V3 is on the perch at 1700 Tuesday evening!

This image of Gabby and V3 on the Lumberyard Branch is making the rounds. I don’t know where it started…but smile.

For all the Redding Eagle fans, Gary has a video up. The solar panels on the camera could not get charged during the fortnight of storms and rain in the area. The camera is now up and here is a great video showing Liberty (she is 24) and Guardian (he is 9) at the nest!

At the WRDC nest or Ron and Rose, it is clear that Ron has been working hard to get a nest ready and look at that soft egg cup. He sure does love to cuddle up in it and try it out. I wish I could speak Eagle but I wonder if he is trying to tell Rose that the eggs go in that nice soft spot. What do you think?

“Now, Rose, all you have to do is lay the eggs in this nice little space in the centre of the nest.” “Then I will bring you lots of fish, and in about 38 days there will be little eaglets just like us to feed.”

Indigo paid a visit to the scrape box! It has been several days despite his loud calling being heard. Nice to see you, Indigo. Elain made one of her videos showing Indigo entranced with spider webs. Enjoy!

Zoe is 123 days old. She is hoping for fish today. Zoe loves to be served…but, when she figures out if she goes fishing and she finally catches one..well, our girl will be off and running. She will be so excited. Fish! Anytime she wants one (if she catches it).

That is a quick look at some of the nests we are watching. There are many more – all working on repairing nests and getting ready for their breeding season. Send warm wishes to the little one on the Captiva nest. Positive energy can do wonders.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, tweets, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’, ‘B’, Window to Wildlife, USFWS, Dockland news, LRWT, Mighty Gals, Ventura Wildlife Service, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, FOBBV, SK Hideaways and FOBBV, Superbeaks, IWS and Explore.org, NEFL-AEF, Gary’s Eagle Videos and the Redding Eagles, WRDC, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

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.

Rose and Ron bonding…Friday in Bird World

13 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Here it is, Friday the 13th. I wonder how many people reading this are superstitious?

On Thursday afternoon, I put on the heavy coat and took out the camera and battery, warmest boots, scarf, toque and headed out to the nature centre. It was -12 degrees C with only a 4 kph wind and 84% humidity. Damp. It was a lovely day in the forest and a few friends were around the feeders.

Several Red Squirrels were running about enjoying the peanuts knocked down from the feeders by the birds or another squirrel ‘friend’.

‘Squirrel Friend’ in action!

A sweet little female Downy Woodpecker enjoying the suet. I love feeding suet in the winter because, unlike peanuts and Black Oil seed, have to be cleared up regularly.

The Black-capped Chickadees are simply precious. They flit about taking one seed, fly to a branch, open and eat it and fly back to get another – all day long.

What a treat it was to see a White-breasted Nuthatch.

Merlin Sound ID alerted me to a Yellow Flicker in the area but I did not see it. The deer were not around today near the hide.

Making News:

It is easy to worry about our favourite feathered families with the heavy rains and floods that have been happening in California (and at other places in the US and around the world). That makes it so much of a relief to see that Annie and her new male friend are at The Campanile and are safe.

They are putting sat pads on Ospreys in Senegal! It seems that the people in Africa are as curious about where their ospreys go to breed as we are to find out where they winter. This is just grand.

Creating new wetlands is a good thing.

If you missed The Flight of the Osprey presentations/shows/talks, Geemeff has reposted the links so that you can watch/hear:

The expectations are that Avian Flu will continue to kill domestic and wild birds. Are you noticing any shortage of eggs? Tests are going on now as duck hunting season is in full swing in places like California. The researcher in this article ” will deliver her samples to UC Davis, where lab personnel will test them first for avian flu in general and ultimately for the specific strain known as Goose/Guangdong (Gs/GD) lineage highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Gs/GD HPAI is the deadliest and most infectious bird flu ever to strike Europe or North America, according to wildlife epidemiologists. The strain ravages domestic poultry flocks and can sicken and kill more species of wild birds across a greater geographic area than any previous outbreak, leaving an unprecedented trail of death. So far, the virus has affected more than 52 million domestic poultry birds in the U.S. and has been tested for and confirmed in 4,362 wild birds across the country.” 

The first eagle in SW Virgina confirmed to have bird flu. This year there could be some very serious hardships.

I was interviewed last week about the impact of war on wildlife. Today there is an article appearing in The Guardian about Hooded Crows around Babyn Yar near Kyiv. Keeping in mind that there has been so much destruction in Ukraine, it is a very interesting article to read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/12/country-diary-the-silently-screaming-ravine-is-now-filled-with-bird-chatter?CMP=share_btn_link

In the mailbox:

‘L’ send me the latest Audubon news that shows their lobbying of the federal government has included many of their concerns about the environment and wildlife. Thanks, ‘L’. Have a read:

https://www.audubon.org/news/recently-passed-federal-funding-package-makes-investments-natural-climate

‘A’ has noticed that Clive is bringing a lot of trout to Connie and CJ7. Where is the trout coming from? That is such an interesting question. Thank you for asking it, ‘A’. I am reminded of when Dylan has brought Brown Trout into the nest at Llyn Clywedog that he shares with Serena Blue 5F. Dylan could get them from the local Reservoir but often humans are there fishing. I was so impressed with John Williams who tracked Dylan in a round about way and discovered that Dylan will escort intruders up to 25 miles away from the nest and it seems he stops along the way back home to fish! So now, where does Clive get those trout? Believe it or not, Captiva is well known for its winter fishing which includes Trout. Fresh Water Fishing Advice said this, “Spotted seatrout fishing is good in Captiva year-round. The season to fish for spotted seatrout in the region is high between January and October. The best time of the year to catch spotted seatrout in the area is between April and June.”

Checking the Nests:

The two eaglets at Superbeaks are growing and growing and then growing some more. It is difficult to get a screen capture of both of them together so I was pleased about the first image. It is early morning and Pearl and Tico are waiting for a fish delivery and breakfast. Their crops are empty!

Tico is 34 days old and Pearl is 35 days old today.

It is not long until fish arrive on the nest and these two get fed til they are full to the brim.

It is a wonder they can bend over. I am very impressed with these parents, PePe and Muhlady.

The two eaglets at the Kistachie National Forest E-2 nest of Alex and Andria are nothing short of precious. So civil to one another.

It is possible that KNF-E1-03 will be an only eaglet this year. In fact, this chick could be from the second egg. No matter. It will thrive under the watchful eye of Louis and Anna.

17:42. Probably the last meal of the day for the wee eaglet. Some people love the little pink feet but I love those little wings and the peek at the tail appearing.

Tonya Irwin gives us a short video of Louis taking care of E1-03 Thursday morning. Louis is such a proud daddy.

Shadow saw the precious egg that Jackie laid at 1600 on Wednesday early Thursday morning. Tine 07:06:22. After this, he flew out and returned with a nice fish for Jackie.

Jackie does not want to begin hard incubation until she is sure the second egg is in the nest. Otherwise the eaglets would be too different in birth times and this could cause severe rivalry. But, Jackie also knows that she cannot leave the egg alone or the Crows will get it. Little Fiona came to the nest but Fiona will not bother the egg.

One good way is for Jackie to perch near the egg – or Shadow – protecting the nest should a predator arrive.

What a sweet look – a marvel. Jackie looking at that egg she has laid. Oh, let us all hope that this is a good year for our Big Bear Valley couple. They deserve it. What fantastic parents they were to Spirit.

Notice how Jackie is sleeping over the egg to protect it from any predators but it is not yet hard incubating so if there is a second egg, the eaglets will hatch closer together. What a brilliant idea to keep the Crows at bay.

The California news is already celebrating Jackie and Shadow’s first egg! Oh, how wonderful.

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/the-scene/the-first-egg-of-2023-arrives-for-big-bears-beloved-bald-eagles/3071805/?_osource=db_npd_nbc_knbc_eml_shr

Connie and Clive’s little one had a nice big crop today. There are lots of fish on that nest! Some of them are hidden. The little one looks fine despite some concerns over Connie eating more than she is feeding the chick. It does not look like the second egg will hatch. Like the KNF-E1 nest, it is possible that this chick was actually from the second egg.

Gabby and V3 were working on the nest this morning. He is rather handsome. I know he is not Samson but there are things about him that remind me of Samson – like his tight ‘jeans’.

HeidiMc caught Ron and Rose bonding in the WRDC nest in Miami yesterday. They are such a funny eagle couple! I love how Rose nibbles on Ron’s feathers. Oh, so sweet.

The beaking at the Southwest Florida nest of E21 and E22, kidlets of Harriet and M15, is not that bad. The problem is E22 who does seem to stare E21 right in the eye and then aim at him/her with its beak and then E21 shows 22 who is boss.

Look carefully. You are going to see black dots. Those are not bugs. The plumage is beginning to change. Yes, already. You will see the thermal down but you will also begin to see tiny black dots where the shafts of the feathers are emerging. You will also notice that the egg tooth is disappearing.

E22 you should never look 21 in the eye. Never!

For now, 21 is the oldest and is the boss. Just leave things alone.

A short clip from SK Hideaways showing E21 and 22 eating a meal and rather behaving. They do not always. E22 can still get rough.

It is raining in Fort Myers and Harriet is keeping the two wiggle worms underneath her!!!!!! M15 has a big rabbit on deck for dinner when it stops.

Indigo the beetle-slayer! and Diamond chaser. Indigo is so proud of his beetles. Just imagine what it will be like when he gets his first ‘real’ prey!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is lots of news and things happening in the world. It is hard to keep track of everything and report on all the birds. All of the hatched eagles at every nest appear to be doing just fine. That is wonderful news. Diane at the Achieva Osprey nest appears to be so much better on her her injured leg. She even flew off with a fish in that leg’s talon today. I do not think we will see any more chicks at Captiva or KNF-01. Keep watching as we have Berry College Eagles coming up and for all of the Royal Albatross fans, the pip on the Royal cam chick is about a fortnight away?

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

Thank you to the following for their questions, their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’, ‘L’, Cal Falcons, SKHideaways and Cal Falcons, Project Tougoupeu FB, BBC Dorset, Geemeff, Bay Nature, L Doyle and Bald Eagles Live Nests and Cams, Audubon News, Superbeaks, KNF E3, KNF E1, Tonya Irwin and KNF-E1, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, HeidiMc and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, SK Hideaway and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, and Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

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.

Waiting for E22, wildlife protection laws in Northern Ireland and more…Friday in Bird World

6 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It was -12 degrees C with no wind Thursday. The sky was a bright blue and there was hoar frost on the trees and shrubs. My photographs do not do the frost justice – it is like a fairy wonderland out there.

Today was my first walk at the nature centre this year. The lake is frozen and it is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

According to the Woodland Trust, “Hoar frost is a type of feathery frost that forms as a result of specific climatic conditions. The word ‘hoar’ comes from old English and refers to the old age appearance of the frost: the way the ice crystals form makes it look like white hair or a beard. It forms when the water vapour in the air comes into contact with solid surfaces that are already below freezing point. Ice crystals form immediately, and the ice continues to grow as more water vapour is frozen. On a still night, it can grow well on tree branches, where the surface temperature is unlikely to rise above zero for several hours.”

It was a bit of a fairy tale day. I had not expected to see any birds but, right off, there was a pair of Downy Woodpeckers – a male and a female – as I entered the forest. It felt like a really nice greeting.

When I went to submit the three Downy Woodpeckers to eBird, Cornell thought that was absolutely too many for this date. Thankfully I had images of the three of them. (The third was at a feeder).

There were only two Red Squirrels that I could see. One was eating out of this feeder and the other one was finding seed on the ground.

The Chickadees are so sweet. They will follow you through the forest.

There had been five deer feeding I was told but, this was the only one left when I got to the hide. It was about 3 metres away from me.

It was a good day to get outside for other reasons, too. E21 hatched! E22 is on its way and will be here by tomorrow morning. E21 is so cute and adorable and in a few days everyone will be yelling at that eaglet to stop beaking its sibling. It just happens. So, today was a good day just to be somewhere else.

And it starts. Those lovely soft feathers are going to be just coated and matted together with fish juice and pieces of prey! M15 had the honours of dropping this big piece of prey on E21’s little beak.

Oh, I hope E21 isn’t a little stinker. Looks like an eaglet with attitude.

Harriet is a pro of an Eagle Mother. How old is she now? 26? 28? The fact that the second egg is already pipping is a testament to her experience. The closer they are in hatch times, the better for them – more evenly matched in their dust ups.

Harriet was feeding E21 when the camera zoomed in and caught the precise moment that E22 broke through the membrane and the shell. Lady Hawk has it on video:

The progress at 0736 Florida time Friday morning for E22.

I am so glad that I did not get to see inside the Superbeaks nest. If you think the age and size difference is a lot at KNF-E3 with Alex and Andria, it has to be even a little more at Superbeaks. That first hatch is monster size compared to the little second one. We are now at the stage where they both have thermal down, there is plenty of food, and both are being fed well. My only worry – that will cause some minutes of loss of sleep – is that one area of the nest without a rail. One of the eaglets was hanging its head over that end today! By the way, jump for joy. The rain cleared off the camera (mostly).

Pepe is an amazing fisher and Muhlady has managed to raise two very different aged eaglets. Remarkable. Now I wish they would get their carpentry skills out and get with adding some chair rails before I have a heart attack!

Our very own Dave Hancock answers some questions that have come up about Bald Eagles and mating.

There they are. The beautiful Liberty and Guardian.

Thunder and Akecheta were at their West End nest in the Channel Islands. There has been rain and storms in the area but, it sure is beautiful around 1630 when the pair were spotted on the streaming cam.

The other Channel Islands nests – Fraser Point and Two Harbours – continue to show highlights from last season.

There was rain and pelting hail and show today at Big Bear. It did not stop Jackie from coming to the nest to eat her late lunch at 1344!

Nancy came to the MN-DNR to do a nest check today after the snowy weather yesterday.

The two eaglets at the KNF-E3 nest are doing fantastic. Prey items are continually brought to the nest and if the angle is right you can see the feathers coming in on the wing tips of 01.

They are both getting longer and more slender looking as they move towards losing that natal down and getting their wooly coat.

They still seem to have fat little bottoms with tails coming in.

Gosh, Andria is huge. She sure loves her fish!

The continuing saga of Gabby and V3! Thanks ‘J’. I didn’t see this but saw them sitting together. These two seem to have communication problems over prey deliveries and now Gabby’s signals to want to mate. Goodness.

Lots of eyes trying to get a glimpse of the eggs at the KNF-E1 nest of Louis and Anna. Is there a pip? It is not clear.

My memory – of the first eaglets to die in 2022 of Avian Flu – was the Hilton Head Eagle nest. At the time it was unclear if the parents had gotten sick or died from eating the virus laden prey. This announcement was posted in December. We will wait to see if the eagles return to the nest? Perhaps, sadly, they also passed away later. The GHOWs are still at the nest today, 5 January.

It appears that Diane – of Jack and Diane – at the Achieva Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida is doing better today with her injured leg. That is excellent news!

I am continually surprised at how adaptable wildlife her to the challenges thrown at them. At the same time, I wonder why we do not give them that change to prove themselves? Why not a one legged eagle? Dennis Brecht has photographed one. Just asking. Check out this fox! Only 2 legs.

One reason that I continually peck at this issue is that when I was born, my dad had a three-legged dog that guarded my basket and enjoyed life like any other four-legged animal. I do not recall her having issues but, I do know that she lived to be more than 20 years old.

Before I went to the nature centre, I had a couple of things to pick up. Without naming the store, I noticed a woman fumbling around with a lot of things in aisle 6 – this aisle was fully of products to get rid of ants, mice, etc. I decided to ‘be nosey’. The woman told me she had mice and she had successfully used the traps with the cubes of rodenticide poisoning and also just to be sure, she puts glue traps on the floor around the traps.

I am so aware of the harmful effects of secondary rodenticide poisoning because of Missy and Lewis and losing a cat years ago to these designer toxins. Of course, we read about secondary poisoning for our eagles and other raptors every day. Every day. So I asked the woman some questions. How do you dispose of the glue pads once you have caught your mouse who has died a horrifically painful death? Did she imagine that the garbage bag could get ripped open by wildlife at the landfill and then it would also ‘trap’ them? Did she know that the mice eating the solid blocks of poison go outside, get sludgy and a local cat or hawk can eat them and die? I recounted the horrible death of Duncan – nothing the vets could do. This woman had no idea. She also had no idea that our City outlawed the use and sale of both products. So why are they still on the store’s shelf? My rant had zero impact as I saw her loading the items in her cart. She is more troubled by having the mice around and doesn’t care what happens to the pets of others or the wildlife. Sad.

All of this brings me to a very sad story. Remember the eagle floating on the ice? the one who was saved? and went into rehab?

More eagles in a different state – this time Montana – poisoned from euthanised pets being dumped. It sounds like this practice is more wide spread than anyone would have thought. Isn’t it time for someone to investigate and get in touch with every Vet society there is to stop this inhumane dumping practice that is causing widespread suffering in the Eagles. Cremation is the only way. Just do it.

Keeping in the thread of rodenticide and all manner of illegal killing of raptors – their persecution, we know that there are people working very hard to change laws in every country. Once on the books to try and get those laws enforced and then strengthen them when need be. It is not easy as you have seen by the postings from Raptor Persecution UK. I want to be hopeful that ‘finally’ people at all levels – including the highest in governments – will notice that there is a sea change and the population wants our wildlife, our water, and our land protected. We know the importance of this – help spread the word. Finally for today and certainly not least, Northern Ireland passed its own laws similar to those in the UK. Well done, Wild Justice. You can follow their progress and that in the UK by following Wild Justice and Raptor Persecution UK. Here is the announcement. Thanks, Geemeff for reminding me to post this important information!

Northern Ireland: new general licences which permit killing of a variety of birds are now published (link 1 below) The new licences are much improved: fewer species are listed and the lists make a lot more biological sense. For a bit more detail see our blog (link 2 below) 

These licences are now much closer in line with those in England (where we have taken successful legal challenges), Wales (where we took the former licences to court and although we lost the case, the changes that followed were what we had asked for) and Scotland (where changes have happened in response to those elsewhere in the UK and without us having to intervene, as yet). In particular, the slimmed down version of the ‘conservation’ licence, TPG3, only applies during the breeding season and only includes a couple of corvid species.  In addition, the licences are much better and more tightly worded than before.  

It has taken a long time, and quite a lot of effort, and quite a lot of money spent on legal fees, to get these changes but they wouldn’t have happened without Wild Justice. And by Wild Justice we mean you, our supporters too because many of you responded to the consultations (one aborted and one completed) that the Northern Ireland authorities launched.  And, of course, you funded all the legal challenges across the UK. You helped get this change – thank you.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourself as we await the hatch of E22. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, announcements, postings, Twitter feeds, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Superbeaks, FORE, IWS and Explore.org, FOBBV, MN-DNR, KNF-E3, NEFL-AEF , NEFL-AEF and Lady Hawk, KNF-E1, Hilton Head Island Trust, Achieva Ospreys, The Telegraph, Terry Carman and Bald Eagle Live Nest Cams, Geemeff and Wild Justice, and Wild Skies Raptor Centre.