Both Red-tail Hawks found dead at Syracuse, another fish on E22’s head?…Tuesday in Bird World

24 January 2022

Good Morning to all of you,

Thank you so much for your letters and your comments. I really do enjoy hearing from you. I cannot always answer immediately but, I try not to be too long!

I am having to have a big laugh because I don’t want a big cry! No, no, nothing to do with birds. It is auto-correct! I have gone over this blog twice and keep finding the auto correct correcting things after I have moved on…it seems I have to check the words 3x before it stops. (I do like it to catch my spelling as I go so it is a bit of a double-edged sword for me). So I hope when you read this that the word ‘allopreening’ will be there and not ‘alley preening’!

It snowed a bit and the winds were blowing at times in the gardens. The European Starlings came early to feed off the suet cylinders. There were 43 of them! That is the highest count I have had all year.

The House Sparrows were absolutely everywhere. At the feeders. On the ground foraging and in the lilacs. Everywhere I looked there was a sparrow. Squint. They are in layers blending in to the lilacs and feeding with the Starlings at the suet.

The kittens loved watching them flit about. No Dove today. I hope it has found a wonderful and safe place for food!


Making News:

I am shaking my head in complete disbelief. Just the other day I posted the passing of Sue, the beautiful RTH and mate of Otto, at Syracuse University. She died of what appears to be head trauma on the 18th. The photo of Sue in the announcement was taken in the Oakwood Cemetery on that same day. Otto was found dead on the 19th in the cemetery. Did he also die on the 18th? or the 19th? I find this simply too much of a coincidence and it makes me highly suspicious that something caused these two beautiful birds to meet their demise that is not immediately evident. We will find out from the necroscopy, thank goodness. But that does not make this less a tragedy. If these deaths are not an accident or a natural cause, then the sadness is deepened. Condolences to everyone at Syracuse University and all those that loved Sue and Otto.

Did you know that the Ventana Wildlife Society provides lead free ammunition to hunters in specific counties in California to help halt the Condors (and other wildlife) from getting ill or dying from lead poisoning?

The VWS website gives all the information on what they offer and who is eligible. If you know of someone who hunts or is a rancher in these areas and they continue to use lead ammunition, please have them get in touch with the VWS immediately. The Condors will thank you!

The VWS produced a really short video about Cedric and his recovery from lead poisoning.

Do you want to know more about Condors? Do you love them as much as I do? Why not check out the monthly Zoom chats with the folks at the Ventana Wildlife Society? Go to ventananews.org and click on the link that you see below, to the left.

Skycalls, fluffy white chicks with cute pink bills and feet, allopreening adults, what isn’t there to love about an albatross?

Lady Hawk gives us some real cutie pie images of the Royal Cam chick in this video.

No Osprey egg yet at the Achieva Credit Union nest in St Petersburg, Florida but, we should be looking towards the end of January if our gal, Diane, sticks to her previous pattern of egg-laying.

They have mated on the pole, on the nest and probably around the neighbourhood…when do you think there will be an egg?

CE9 can really handle those big bites that Connie gives it. If Mum would only stop putting her beak under CE9’s, I think they would get a success rating of 100%. The wee one continues to benefit from numerous feedings per day and is growing stronger and stronger.

CE9 and Dudley.

Connie decides it is time for a feeding.

Clive arrives to check on his baby and the pantry and then is off doing territorial protection.

A bit of a stringy mess.

From an empty crop to a full one.

CE9 is getting very, very full.

Nap time. How many whole and partial fish can you find on this nest?

As the sun sets over the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Connie, Clive, and CE9, the little one gets its last fish meal of the day.

In 2014, the Bald Eagles at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ laid their first egg on the 17th of February. In 2022, the first egg was laid on the 17th of January – precisely a month earlier. This year that first egg was laid on 20 January so the eagles are sticking with this earlier nesting time. It only makes me wonder – as we wish for eggs from Gabby and Rose – if it might just be too hot in Florida for such a late hatch?

And just like clockwork, there is a second egg at Duke Farms!

It looks like Alex on the KNF-E3 nest trying to coax the two eaglets, 01 and 02 over to have some nice fresh fish.

Can you see the Mohawks?

Mum flies to the nest and both adults look over to the lake. Is there an intruder?

Are the parents testing the youngsters? Alex took off and Mum flew back to the branch. That whole fish is still there. Wonder if anyone will move to the table and try to eat it?

E01 is trying to balance itself to stand and walk. 02 looks on with interest.

Walking on a stick nest is not as easy as it looks.

The parent watches when its chick pecks at the fish. The babies are growing up with those big heavy wings and feathers coming in.

Would you like some fish?

Confidence is back in 02. The meal went well.

Do you like the Pittsburgh-Hayes Eagle nest? Mum and Dad were there today – and mating ——in the snow!

There are winter storm warnings for various parts of the US including Oklahoma, my old home State, and a system tracking up through Iowa, Ohio, and into New York. I went to check on Big Red’s nest to see if she was getting the snow that was hitting Pittsburg and the camera was down. Then the computer did a funny thing and there was Superbeaks. I was not expecting this image. It is smaller here but filled up my entire screen almost – and I held my breath. Do not, listen you two, look so far down that you go flipsy.

What is of such interest below? is it a parent on a lower branch?

There are not a lot of ‘dandelions’ left on these two as those almost black juvenile feathers continue to grow longer and longer.

Oh, it is windy on the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. The storm system is east of the Colorado River and is not expected to hit them. Yippeeee. They get a break. Shadow brought in prey and is incubating while Jackie has a break.

The wind is gusty. You can see it blowing the feathers on the back of Shadow’s head above and then it is calm below.

Do you know why raptors roll their eggs? FOBBV reminds us: “Eggs are rolled regularly to prevent the embryo & egg membranes from sticking to the shell & to distribute albumen & heat evenly.”

Thank you, Sharon Pollock. I wish my eyes were a little better but, what a beautiful sight that was of Jackie and Shadow soaring together around and over the nest tree. Just amazing.

Mabel and Angus are sure a handsome couple at the Captiva Osprey nest.

What a difference! The warm sunshine of Florida to the hoar frost in Iowa at the Decorah Eagle nest. It sure is beautiful.

Fans of the Redding Eagles…there was an adult on the nest today!

The cuteness of Ron and Rose caught by HeidiMc.

It is not clear what is happening with the second egg at Berry College. Are those marks or is that chick trying to get out of that shell?

This is little Boots at Webster, Texas raising its head for a bite of fish. It ‘appears’ from the posts today that things are going well and Ringo is behaving her/his self.

Worry spread through the SWFlorida Eagle fans as blood appeared on the top of E22’s head – it was another fish landing there!

Someone will be watching to see if this is just blood from the fish or a possible scratch caused by the fish on the nape of 22.

22 ate well and there was little if any beaking that I could see today.

Zoe is 129 days old. Mum delivered a single fish to her girl yesterday and, she might well have had a fish off camera. Today Zoe left the nest and it appears she might have returned wet from an excursion or she might have tried fishing off the barge (the camera was stuck on zoom). It is really hard to tell. What we do know is that Zoe is still home. From my perspective she looks ‘well fed’ and healthy.

One last tidbit about the falcons…but not Annie and the New Guy or Indigo but Sequoia and her mate at the San Jose City Hall scrape. Seems you have to be careful where you stash away your prey in San Jose, too.

Who is Sequoia’s mate? HeidiMc found out! Shasta is a very interesting falcon.

What the poster below doesn’t say is when you set out and kill any insect or animal, it has a severe impact on the food chain. Think mice and rats. Secondary poisoning in domestic pets and raptors is real. We need those insects, we need the pigeons (yes people put poison on their roofs to kill the pigeons – those pigeons could kill our beautiful peregrine falcons), etc. So take care and talk about this with your friends and loved ones.

Thank you so very much for being with us today. Tomorrow I will have a review of Florence A Merriam’s Birds Through An Opera Glass. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their announcements, posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: HeidiMc, Red-tailed Hawk Tails, Ventana Wildlife Society, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Duke Farms, KNF-E3, Pix Cams, Superbeaks, FOBBV, Sharon Pollock and FOBBV, Raptor Research Project and Explore.org, Redding Eagles, HeidiMc and the WRDC, Duke Farms, Bel-A-Donna and Berry College, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Pollinator Friendly Yards.

If you would like to join our wonderful birding community and receive a copy of my blog in your inbox daily, please feel free to subscribe. I desperately try not to load up your inbox and there is generally only one blog per day unless something really crazy happens and I think you will want to know asap. You can unsubscribe at any time!

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

9 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MO and FO are working on technique.

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

Gabby and V3 on alert today.

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

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

A screaming Indigo!!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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