For the love of Ospreys

14 April 2022

The first time I watched an Osprey nest I swore I would never watch another one. Here I am years later. My book shelves are full of information on Ospreys, I dream about Ospreys, I do research on third hatches. My mind is filled with ‘Osprey’. These birds can take you to the lowest depths and send you to the highest heights of joy. Together many of us cheered on Ervie – the third hatch at Port Lincoln, Australia in 2021 – who was clever and survived winning our hearts and the sat-pak over Bazza and Falky. Since then he has had at least one talon pulled out – it is growing ever so slowly. As a result, Ervie has stayed around Port Lincoln. Ervie has entertained us by returning to the nest barge over and over with his puffers. It is the best! We get to enjoy him longer.

The camera at the Achieva Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida is now on line. It looks terrific. While the camera was out of order, Diane laid three more eggs – a second clutch. The first fell in a hole in the nest (or so it was believed). Normally, the eggs would be hatching at the end of February or beginning of March. The hot Florida weather may pose a problem. I found it very endearing when I discovered, this morning, that David Hancock is adding a shade canopy to all of the Bald Eagle nests he is building in British Columbia. That is something that may become very necessary at the Florida nests!

Jack and Diane fledged three last year. It was not an easy nest to watch as Tiny Tot Tumbles struggled. More than three times we thought TTT would die but she was clever and persistent. She learned to eat old dried fish and she lived to become the most dominant – and beautiful. In the end, Diane went and caught cat fish to supplement what Jack brought to the nest. This is what turned the corner for Tiny Tot.

After fledging, Tiny Tot remained at the nest for some time. She even defended it against adult intruders on her own and with Jack. Oh, how I wish she was banded!

But, I will warn you. With the late hatch and the heat, there is no telling what will happen at this nest.

I have no idea how the three will be doing in a week at the U of Florida Gainesville nest. It is hot! The chicks are enjoying the shade under Mum.

These are also three of the most active little ones I have ever seen!!!!!!

At least two are up out of the egg cup. If Little Bit isn’t yet, he will be out of there soon clamouring around on the Spanish Moss.

Lena and Andy were one month ahead of the normal egg laying time in Florida. Their two osplets are just about ready to fledge. They are beginning to get a little air under their wings and it won’t be long til they are hovering about. Andy and Lena did a great job this year.

By laying the eggs a month early at Captiva, Andy and Lena might have saved their chicks from the Crows and other predators that predated their nest for two years.

The two are yelling at Andy to get the breakfast fish on the nest pronto! Lena can sit back and let them take care of it – if she chooses. They can be pretty loud.

You can still watch this nest and enjoy seeing these two beautiful birds fledge! Here is the link:

Idris has brought a large Mullet onto the Dfyi nest in Wales today but Telyn wants more fish and she is really telling him!

I am not sure what is happening in Loch Arkaig. Louis and Dorcha seem to be playing musical nests. Yesterday it felt certain that Louis and his new mate of last year would go back to the old nest but, today, Dorcha has been on the one that they used as a couple last year. It doesn’t matter for watchers – cam 1 or in this case, cam 2 – we can see them at either one!

Mrs G and Aran on the Glaslyn nest – now that everything is sorted and the females are where they should be – everyone can settle. Aran brought in five fish so far today – 3 yellow-bellied trout, 1 sea trout, and 1 flounder. He is an incredible fisher.

Mrs G, the oldest UK Osprey.

Aran! And he is very handsome.

While we wait for Mrs G to lay her first egg, Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes nest laid her first a day ago and we will be watching for egg 2 shortly.

Seren and Dylan have their first egg yesterday at the Llyn Clywedog Nest in Cumbria.

One of my favourite nests is the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. This nest fledged three last year. It was the home of a third osplet that no one thought would survive – the others were monstrous when the third hatched. It was to the keen parenting and the tenaciousness of Tiny Little Bob. She fledged as Blue 463 and she was queen of this nest! It was incredible to watch her figure out how to get around the big ones.

They are not on YouTube and there is no rewind on the two cameras. You can access them here:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

That is a very quick run through some of the nests. I wanted you to know about Achieva in case it was a nest that you watch. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida Ospreys at Gainesville, Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, Achieva Credit Union, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig, Dyfi Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and CarnyxWild.

Thursday in Bird World

10 March 2022

Dyson, Scraggles, Little Red, and Mr Downy were all out in the garden along with the pile of European Starlings and Sparrows plus a couple of Grackles who have returned early. It is cold, -22 but, no snow just bright, bright sunshine. The most interesting book came in the post yesterday. It is Winter World. The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich. It is not just about birds but it is very interesting and full of science that I didn’t know. Originally published in 2003 in hardback. Lots and lots of sound scientific information on how my garden friends survive the winter including the squirrels, the birds and other animals and birds such as weasels and Kinglet’s. I have wondered what all of the Crows eat and there is even a chapter on that. What I have learned is that trees with edible berries are not only beautiful but so helpful to our wildlife friends – including insects – in keeping alive in the cold.

There is a lot to be thankful for and people who are out working to save the lives of the most endangered of our feathered friends. It was wonderful to see a posting about the hatches of the Kakapo. In all, they are doing remarkably well.

As the sun was setting, there were some remarkably loving and tender moments at the Big Bear nest of Jackie and Shadow.

Just look at the crop on that wee babe. Everyone is home sharing dinner together!

The little one was fed really early. The wind at Big Bear Valley is so strong that it almost blew Shadow off the nest! I wonder how good his fishing will be this morning?

Jackie is keeping the wee babe full. Just look at how big this chick is compared to that egg it was squished in last week.

Everyone is sharing a second breakfast together. Lovely.

It also appears that Jack and Diane are not letting the loss of three eggs dampen their day! They have been bringing strips of bark into that nest and on Wednesday were even mating on the nest. Talk about optimistic! We wish them all the luck in the world on what might be a second clutch.

The three eaglets at the Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagle nest of River and Obey are doing fine this morning. It sure is nice to see the sun shining down on that nest for a change!

The twins are just so much bigger than Little Bit. You can really see that this morning. If it gets caught in the middle of them, it is hard to get out.

I will give River a great virtual big hug. Look at how she is leaning over to feed Little Bit.

Big Red has really been putting the final touches on her nest on the Fernow Light Stand on the Cornell University campus. Her and Arthur have been working diligently between the snowstorms to get it in tiptop shape. Looking good!

At the Captiva Osprey nest there was only one fish delivered yesterday. Big ate almost all of it. Andy has just delivered the first fish of the morning. It is 11:24 and it is small. Already everyone knows that Big will get it all – again. So what is going on? Apparently there have been huge flocks of pelicans flying into the area early in the morning. There is certainly a lot of competition for food. I hope that he will be able to get more fish on the nest today. From the experiences at Achieva Credit Union last year, the other two are still OK. Tiny Tot once went 72 hours without food – about the same size as Little Bob now. But let us all wish for some good fish for them today.

And then there were two! Congratulations Thunder and Akecheta at the West End Eagle nest on Catalina on your second hatch!

This little one probably hatched around 04:00. It will need more rest until it is ready to eat.

I love how Cheta is watching how Thunder feeds the babies. He is going to be really busy supplying fish now that there are two of them – and, of course, security at this nest is paramount.

Just a beautiful Bald Eagle family!

What a lovely way to end the morning – with Akecheta learning how to feed his now two little ones. There is one more egg to go! This family will be very busy if it hatches. If it does we will be looking for that on Saturday.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Kakapo Recovery, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Explore.org, and Achieva Credit Union.

Early Saturday in Bird World

05 March 2022

Weather wise it is a horrible morning at the Big Bear Valley nest of Shadow and Jacket. Snow or ice pellets are flying through the air. Yes, literally, the wind is terrible. On top of all of that, a sub-adult Bald Eagle has been trying to land on the nest tree and Shadow has had to move it out of the territory.

Some believe that the intruder might be Simba, Jackie and Shadow’s 2019 fledge. The problem with all intruders is that the responsible parent for the nest can get injured. I wish they would stay away!

That is Shadow escorting the sub-adult out of the territory at 08:44.

The wee babe had its first feeding at 07:45. You cannot tell – it is a ‘still’ image- but the wind is really whipping the adult around trying to get to the prey for the baby’s first feeding of the day.

This little one will be fed quickly and then back under the adult so as not to get a chill.

This is Shadow giving the baby its first feeding for the morning.

Jackie will feed the baby at 09:57.

I have simply not been able to take my eyes off this little one. It is incredibly strong. Just look at it sit up straight. It knows precisely which way to go to line up for a feeding. It is not 48 hours old yet. A beautiful healthy eaglet. For Jackie and Shadow this is a miracle baby. I have to admit that I have not thought much about the other egg instead focusing on the needs of this one and how well it is doing.

Little ones have been fed and are wiggling around the nest and out of the egg cup at Dale Hollow Lake, home to River and Obey.

At first, when I only saw the one, my heart sank.

There they are. Everyone is moving to get into the shade provided by River.

Little cuties. The third hatch appears to be doing well despite its small size in relation to the twins.

There is an issue with the nest and three eggs of Jack and Harriet at the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. There is no certainty as to what has occurred – did squirrels get the eggs? did they fall down a hole in the nest made by squirrels so that they cannot be incubated and are now unviable? did a predator take the eggs? Whether or not Jack and Diane will try for a second clutch is unknown at this time.

So far, there have been two feedings at the Captiva Osprey Nest. The first came after 08:00 but before the 08:34 listed by the chat. The second was at 10:08:07. All are doing well but, like Shadow and Jackie, Andy and Lena are having to deal with several intruders in their air space this morning.

There is Little Bob up front eyeing that fish just like our precious Ervie. Everyone seems to have a bit of a crop left from the earlier feeding. Let us hope that Andy is able to do some good fishing this afternoon so that these babies can have full tummies and crops for bedtime.

Ferris Akel’s tour turned up a Northern Harrier right away. As we were watching it, you could hear the Canada Geese overhead migrating to the north. They are coming home!

Northern Harriers are often the easiest of the hawks to spot because they fly low over the ground. Like owls, Harriers can also hunt by sound because of their large parabolic facial disk. You can see that easily in the image below. They eat small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

What a beautiful hawk. They are large hawks standing from 43-58 cm high with a wingspan of 97-122 cm.

We see them on the Canadian Prairies hunting low.

The Canada Geese are in formation which means they are migrating. I always love hearing them in the sky. It is a good sign that spring has returned to the Canadian Prairies.

Ferris also saw five Hooded Mergansers and now has spotted a group of Red-wing Blackbirds. Oh, I loved seeing those at our wetlands centre last year. They are not common in the urban area where I live.

The snow is melting in the Finger Lakes area of New York and making areas of water for the waterfowl as well as revealing any grains left from the harvest.

There are ducks, swans, and geese landing to rest and feed.

The sounds of the waterfowl vocalizing is beautiful.

There were hundreds of Snow Geese flying in to feed and rest.

What a beautiful sight. Thousands of these birds settle on the farmer’s fields here on the Canadian Prairies as they begin to arrive for spring. They breed in the far north, in the tundra, of my province on Hudson’s Bay. They will feed on waste grain and new sprouts coming up. In the image below they are taking advantage of the grains and vegetation that have been covered by snow. They are large waterfowl, 60-80 cm in length with a wingspan of 1.3-1.5 m.

Their arrival in northern New York, near the Canadian border with Ontario, gives me hope that spring is, indeed, coming.

Thank you for joining me this morning. It is a beautiful cloudy but albeit warmer day here and I hope to get in a good walk today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Achieva Credit Union, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and, of course, Ferris Akel Tours.

Friday Morning in Bird World

04 March 2022

I am certain that Jackie and Shadow would have liked the weather up in the San Bernardino Mountains to be warm and sunny – not a heavy snowfall overnight and snow showers for later today. Still, Shadow had a fish on the nest in anticipation of feeding a chick or Jackie and all is well.

What a beautiful image of a happy Mum, Jackie, and chick 1. The chick was fed at 08:05 for the first time from the fish on the nest.

This image should bring tears to thousands.

Shadow has been wanting some time with the baby but last I looked Jackie was still not accommodating him. Hopefully he will go out and stock from fish on the nest – a little, not enough to attract a mass of Ravens.

Jackie knows that she must keep the baby warm in the cold and wet weather. She will have it out eating only a very, very short time. Once hatched, the chicks can survive on the egg yolk they have absorbed for 24 hours.

What a beautiful couple. I wonder how many sticks Shadow is going to bring in to the nest in his nervous happiness?

Beautiful. The love this family has for their little one and the joy of nearly 9 thousands people watching brings light to a world so weary.

It has all paid off, Shadow.

While Jackie and Shadow adjust to being parents for the first time in three years, Arthur and Big Red are preparing for their sixth breeding season together. They have both been working on the nest this morning now that the snow has melted.

Arthur just loves to work on the nest cup. I sure hope Big Red lets him have some more incubation and brooding duties this year. She is overly careful when it comes to those eyases!

Big Red sits on the lights fluffed up looking out on her territory. Oddly, this is also one of her favourite places for mating. Is she giving Arthur a hint today???

The three osplets at Captiva had a striped fish early this morning, the Sheepshead. What a strange name for a fish! It is noon there now and Lena would love another delivery. In the blink of an eye I saw Andy fly out to the water, I wonder if he was lucky?

That is Big Bob peeking out from under Lena first thing in the morning.

Big Bob certainly had a nice crop after that feeding but Little Bob could have done with some more fish, for sure! Yesterday Big Bob was pecking at Little. Hopefully that will end soon.

Lena moves around the nest like a clock making sure the chicks are shaded. Andy, your family needs a fish!!!!!! Stock up today. Tomorrow is Saturday and all the boats will be out on the water.

At the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15, E19 has branched! It won’t be long til E20 is up on the Veranda with its sibling. Oh, how big they have grown. I remember the anticipation around Christmas at their hatch! That was not so long ago. E19 and E20 grew up in a blink.

The two chicks at Duke Farms seem to be doing well. Do you remember when E19 and 20 looked like this?

The baby is so tiny. Glad to see Mum feeding it and the other behaving.

Other Bald Eagle nests are continuing with their egg laying. There are now 2 eggs at the US Steel nest, and 1 at both Fort St Vrain and Fraser Point. No doubt there will be more news coming today. The folks at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest have reached out to the Audubon Society to help them with the predicament of the eggs at the nest in St Petersburg. Are there three eggs? have they fallen so deep because of squirrels working on the nest cup? have the three eggs been eaten by Ravens or other animals?

I have been hoping to see several dual feedings at the Dale Hollow Lake nest on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky of River and Obey. I have either missed them in re-wind or they haven’t happened. It was reassuring this morning to see that the wee babe was being fed after the twins were full.

Today is the day that the Cal Falcon team will be discussing the recent absence of Annie (she has returned) at 12 noon Pacific Time. If you are interested in peregrine falcons and the nest at The Campanile in particular, tune in if you can. You can find that session here:

Sean has indicated that he will be archiving the discussion immediately after it closes at the same link if you can’t make it. Thanks, Sean!

Thank you for joining me today. The joy at the Big Bear Valley nest of Shadow and Jackie has brought such a bright light to thousands. Please continue to send your warm wishes to them. This is just the beginning of their journey as a family – and there is one more egg to hatch! Fingers crossed. That said, if there is only one —— one is gold.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett.

Thursday in Bird World

3 March 2022

It is afternoon on the Canadian prairies. The skies are partly blue, the sun is shining really, really bright and as I look out my window, I can see that Little Red has now been joined by several other Red Squirrels chasing one another up and down the telephone poles. It must be spring in their minds! It is -14 and hopefully it will warm up before the astronomical spring is officially here.

A hospital architect, Roger Ulrich, did a study about nature and healing/recovery or gall bladder patients. The paper he wrote for Science, ‘View Through a Window May Influence Recovery From Surgery’ compared gall bladder surgery patients who had windows that looked out to trees with those who had a brick wall view. Ulrich found that those that had the tree view ‘spent less time in hospital, required fewer painkillers, had better evaluations from nurses and experienced fewer post-operative complications’. This leads me to believe that it is important – for each of us – that the place where you spend most of your time has a view of nature! This is the primary reason my desk is located where I can look out on to the garden with all of the birds flying in and out and the squirrels running around. Having moved from a space with no windows, I know that what Ulrich discovered works on normal daily living. So turn your world upside down and move your favourite chair to a window! Your spirits will be lifted and it could be of great benefit to your health, both mental and physical.

Thankfully my posting of the Pip at Big Bear last evening was true. Often times it is easy to think a dirty smudge is the little chick pecking away with its egg tooth. That pip is bigger this morning. Thankfully. Along with 6589 other people, I am holding my breath (well, figuratively) until this chick has hatched. These are anxious moments for this lovely couple.

The two images below were captured at 07:28 nest time. You can still go back and rewind if you wish. The pip hole is clearly bigger. Jackie looks down with great hope – as she hears her baby working to hatch.

The pip is noticeably bigger. It began at 15:47:26 on the 2nd of March.

Send your most positive wishes to Jackie and Shadow and this wee one. Tears from around the world will flow when it is free! Get the tissue box ready.

It is -3 in Ithaca, New York. The snow on Big Red and Arthur’s nest is slowly melting with the bright sun shining in on the Fernow light stand.

I have not seen Big Red or Arthur at the nest today – oh, but I could be so wrong. Arthur is so quick delivering those sticks that if you don’t go very slowly on the rewind you will miss him.

I ached for Lena and the trio at the Captiva Osprey nest last night. Lena kept calling for a fish delivery for the evening so the babies could go to bed full. I did not see that happen. Lena flew off and brought up a small piece of fish tail at 07:27:31 this morning, you can imagine how hungry the three were. Still there was no beaking. The second fish, a really nice one, came in at 09:37:27.

Here is that tiny piece that comes in first thing. I am not sure where Lena found it. Perhaps there is a stash under the tree or she went under the tree to Andy to get it??

It is easy to see that this 09:37 fish will fill all the little ones up and provide some nourishment for Lena, also. Little Bob is right up front with Middle Bob. Big Bob will join them as s/he turns around to get in line. The two older siblings continue to be noticeably darker than Little Bob whose head is clearly turning oily black in the image below. Little Bob will enter the reptile stage soon enough.

Lena filled them all up. Despite the irregularity, the chicks are growing and developing according to schedule and Mum looks alright. Would I like for them to have the 7 daily fish deliveries like Dad provided at Port Lincoln, absolutely.

Fans of Ervie continue to check in at the Port Lincoln Barge. Yesterday, the cam operator zoomed in on a beautiful Cormorant that has taken a liking to Falky’s perch.

This is an Australian Pied Cormorant. They are large black and white birds. They fish in the shallow waters around the barge.

If you are used to the dark brown Double-crested Cormorants of North America, it might take you awhile to recognize these Australian versions on the barge.

I did a couple of nest checks. My goodness, R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest at the Miami Zoo have grown in the last couple of days. They are walking much more steady and both are self-feeding and doing quite a good job of it. Beautiful beautiful birds.

Both are really tearing up the pantry to try and find some more food!

This has turned out to be a fabulous nest design. I really wish that something like this would be placed on both the Dahlgren and the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nests. It could make a huge outcome to the success of any future breeding seasons. — Richmond and Rosie need some help, too, with their nest on the Whirley crane. My goodness they no more than get the twigs and the Ravens and Crows take them! Can you hear me screaming unfair????????????

Despite some shenanigans by the oldest of the twins at the Dale Hollow nest, DH16 seems to be doing alright. So cute and fluffy with their tiny little wings.

In the next photo they are lined up by hatch time with the biggest in front.

Those three wee ones are quite a contrast to Kincaid at the KNF Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis. Kincaid is 50 days old today. Wow. And what a beautiful eaglet he is!

Louis and Anna have done a superb job raising their second eaglet.

It is time for me to get ready and go for my walk. It will be so nice to be outside in the fresh winter air. If you have been longing to move your chair near a window and cannot do it yourself, ask someone to help you. Don’t try and do it by yourself! It really will improve your day.

Please continue to send your warm and special wishes to Jackie and Shadow! Remember that tomorrow, Friday, 4 March at 2pm San Francisco time, there will be a Q & A on Annie and Grinnell by the Cal Falcon team. Here is that link. You can set it to alert you.

If you need more falcon activity, the couple at the New Hampshire falcon scrape are doing a lot of kerchuffing lately at the scrape box.

There is an adult on the perch on the left top.

Their eggs are normally laid in less than three weeks. Here is the link to that nest cam:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

A deep thanks to the streaming bird cams sponsored by the following where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey, WRDC Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles and the KNF Bald Eagles.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

It turned out to be just a grand day for a walk at our park. In fact, while it was -11 C my winter walking clothes rated for the extreme winter temperatures to -30 C proved to be way too hot! It was hard to get the attention of the Red Squirrels because they were thinking ‘spring’ as they chased one another up and down the paths and up a tree, over a branch to another tree.

The photo below should go in the bin. When the little Red squirrel heard me, it stuck its head out of its nest. Before I could even get the camera focused, it was down on the ground. Sadly, the bars of the fence around The English Garden were very much in the way. But, there he is. Cute. Wanting some seed!

S/he scurried down the tree in anticipation of some seeds.

Quite the cutie and much more comfortable with humans than the squirrels in my garden.

Gosh, they are quick. Several big leaps like this and this wee Red almost landed at the fence.

Properly rewarded with some peanuts and Black Oil Seed.

This gorgeous Black-capped Chickadee landed right above me. I could hear the call but could not see the little songbird. So I turned quickly, turned the camera lens all the way to 600 mm and just hoped that I had an image.

When I finished my laps of the garden,, I returned to where I began. The little red squirrel was still eating its seed. No other squirrel cut in and took any. How wonderful.

There is always the question of feeding the animals at the park. Signage went up at the duck ponds not to feed the waterfowl. This was to stop people from feeding them bread so that they did not eat the plants growing in the water. But in the dead of winter? Habitats are lost, the seeds that might normally be available might not be. It is difficult. I have chosen to feed the wildlife. Make sure if you do that you always place the food in a safe place for them.

Annie’s return was cause for a major celebration. Cal Falcons posted a video of that moment! There is a close up at around 15:00 minutes.

This one shows Annie in the scrape reclaiming her ‘nest’.

Everything just feels right at The Campanile with Annie home.

The ospreys at Captiva, Florida had three good feedings today. The last one was at 18:14.

Lena arrives with a piece of fish. There was some concern as she had been away from the nest for 20 minutes leaving the chicks uncovered. Now that there are Crows about, this is a wee bit dangerous.

You can see how Big Bob is gradually changing and getting so dark. His head is like black oil and if you look carefully there are some coppery feathers coming in. Big Bob still has his crop from the earlier feeding at 15:51.

Little Bob is in the middle. The older siblings are rapidly changing in appearance.

Oh, look at those fat little bottoms. These chicks are doing well.

Bedtime! And look who is peeking out!!!!!!! Little Bob with a nice crop. Fantastic.

There is some concern at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest. Squirrels had been making holes in the nest. Diane had laid three eggs set to hatch in about 10-14 days. She has been seen spending less and less time on the nest. It is thought that the eggs have rolled down the holes created by the squirrel. There is only one camera and we cannot see down into the nest. There are certainly not any eggs visible but maybe the egg cup is just really deep. Still the behaviour indicates that something has happened. We wait and watch.

Today at the WWII Whirley crane in the Richmond Shipyards, Richmond and Rosie was taking in the view of their territory together! Looking forward to a great year from these two!

Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

The feedings at Dale Hollow are going well. The twins wanted to exert their seniority at the table today but, in the end, a female Bald Eagle with at least 17 or 18 years experience raising eaglets can handle anything. River is an excellent Mum and Obey also likes to tandem feed the kids. I have no worries about this nest.

It is a gorgeous day at the nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear Lake, California. We remain on pip watch.

Shadow is on incubation duties and you can hear the Ravens in the background. Jackie and Shadow have to be extremely careful not to be tricked or lured by the Ravens who desperately would like those eggs.

According to the mods, the eggs are 35 and 38 days old. Again, due to the high elevation, pips will come later than other nests at lower elevations.

Thank you so much for joining me on a quick check of some of the nests we are watching. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Ospreys, Cal Falcons, and Achieva Credit Union.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

22.2.22

Most of you know by now that I am not a great owl fan especially those that take over nests belonging to successful Osprey couples. That doesn’t stop me from thinking that they are also cute and adorable. This is a sweet little video of Mum eating a rodent and chewing it to a fine mush and feeding the owlet at the Savannah Skidaway Island nest.

The plumage of the female Great Horned Owl is simply gorgeous. The camera close ups of the feed are wonderful. You will note that the eyes of the owlet remain closed. It will be a couple more days before they are open.

Before I was able to post this, Cornell made a video of this Mum defending her nest. She really opened her wings fully. She had a look like ‘You had better not mess with me today!’

Ithaca, New York is in line for some of the rain in the system that is going through the Northeastern US. It has already started raining at the nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell University campus.

Andy and Lena’s trio had a really nice feeding – several of them – and they are now sound asleep!

There were four feedings in total today at the Captiva nest according to the chat moderator. I caught the times for three of them: 6:52:18, 08:59, 12:48. The last must have been later and for the life of me, I can’t find it but I know it has to be there. Four feedings. If you want to do a comparison, the average number of feedings per day at Port Lincoln was seven.

Lena had a break. Andy took over brooding and did a pretty nice job.

Lena continues to dry off.

Diane is busy incubating three eggs on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Those eggs will be looking to pip the middle of March. Oh, it is exciting. This is Tiny Tot Tumbles nest!!!!! I hope the third hatch is as determined and creative as TTT. If so, it will thrive.

At the Minnesota DNR nest of Harry and Nancy, Nancy was shocked to find a racoon coming up to eat the eggs. Harry successfully defended the family!

R1 and R2 both had big crops this afternoon. R2’s was large when he started getting fed. It is just so nice to see these two doing well. I worried for awhile and my friend that watches this nest said not to – it would all work out – and it did! Thank you!

These two little darlings are Fern and Thunder. They are chicks of Blazer and Abby over at the Eagle Country nest. Adorable. Just look at them staring straight at the camera! It is nice to see a couple of bobbleheads! All of the other eaglets are growing so fast!

Before I close, it is time to start paying attention to some of the White-tailed Eagle nests in northern Europe. One of the ones that I follow is the nest of Milda near Durbe in Latvia. Last year Milda last her mate and her two miracle chicks to very unfortunate circumstances. She has arrived at the nest and there is another ‘new’ (?) male with her or is this is a dangerous interloper? I really hope that she has a reliable partner like she had in Raimis and we get to see some lovely little chicks this year.

Every nest does seem to be doing well. Bella and Smitty have been alerting and chasing an intruder – probably the new female that fought with Bella. It is so nice to see Bella feeling well, healed. Life is good!

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Window on Wildlife and Captiva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab, Achieva Credit Union, Eagle Country, and the WRDC.

Friday in Bird World

The Lost Words is a book by Robert MacFarlane, Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Its focus is on the words that the editors of the Oxford Children’s Dictionary removed. Its 128 pages, 27.9 x 37.6 cm in size, are gorgeously illustrated with the watercolours of Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator, who lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The missing words that concerned MacFarlane are the following: acorn, Adder, Bluebell, Bramble, Conker, dandelion, fern, heather, heron, Ivy, Kingfisher, Lark, Magpie, Newt, Otter, Raven, Starling, Weasel, Willow, and Wren. At a time when our focus as adults should be to strive to install the wonder of the natural world and our responsibility to it in the children, why, then, would anyone choose to remove words that are directly connected with our environment.

I mentioned this book awhile ago. I have returned to it many times always admiring the illustrations, such as the images of the Ravens on the forest floor amongst the fallen conkers. Conkers are the fruit of the Horse Chestnut Tree, Aesculus hippocastanum. Horse Chestnut trees can grow quite large. Ironically, the conkers are poisonous to horses and I believe, all other animals. The type of poison is called esculin.

That illustration conjured up a beautiful memory of the time my family spent in England. Up on the gorse was a Conker Tree. We had never seen conkers – it was something wonderful and new. The children played a game with them. First you had to drill a hole and run a cord through the conker and secure it with a nice big knot at the bottom. The children would then ‘conk’ their conkers trying to see whose would break first! It was free entertainment and kept them busy for hours.

“Conkers on a string” by MrsEds is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Creative Commons had this historical picture of two young lads trying to break the others’ conker.

“Its conker time” by theirhistory 

The rolling hills with their public paths were marvellous places for the children and the adults to take walks and breathe in the air. We were fortunate to have a ‘gorse’ within 50 or 60 feet from where we lived. It was full of butterflies and birds and the most delicious blackberries. It was a time when children played outside with their mates. No one set in front of the telly or spent hours looking at screens. Bikes were ridden and trees were climbed. In the three years we lived in Lincolnshire, it snowed once. There was about 4 cm on the ground – just enough. Still, everything stopped. Children stayed home from school and anything and everything that could be used as a sled was used to slide down the hills of the gorse. I wonder what all those children would think about the snow in my garden today?

The nice thing about snow is that it can cause people to slow down. To enjoy a cup of hot tea and a book. To stop running around worrying about things that are not always that important, to pause long enough to take in the moments.

It seems like it is rather quiet in Bird World but, is it really? Eaglets are growing bigger by the day all the while their plumage is changing. Thankfully, none are ready to fledge. E19 and E20 spend time flapping their wings as does the Osceola eaglet. Other eagles are incubating eggs. It is not time for Osprey season unless they are in Florida. Diane is incubating 3 eggs at Achieva in St Petersburg while Lena, laying hers a month early at Captiva, will be on hatch watch this weekend. Annie and Grinnell are only dreaming of eyases. Today Grinnell had to tell a 2 year old juvenile female to get off the ledge of The Campanile. Cal Falcons posted a video of that encounter.

Ervie continues to fish call off the barge at Port Lincoln. We can hear him but we cannot see him.

Kincaid is 29 days old today. He is starting to walk. It is so cute to see those first ‘baby steps’. Louis brought in what looks like an egret (or a part of an egret). When it looked like Louis might want to eat some of it, Anna promptly arrived at the nest. To Anna, prey brought to the nest belongs to her and Kincaid, not Louis who brought it! Anna is pretty strict in that regard. Not all female Bald Eagles behave that way. Anna proceeded to try and remove one long leg while Kincaid, with an already large crop, waited patiently.

Kincaid is mimicking what Anna is doing as he grabs the other leg and pulls on it. So cute. Kincaid also keeps himself busy moving around nesting material. These little eaglets learn from watching the adults.

Kincaid is already making attempts at self-feeding.

Kincaid is, of course, not the only one trying out eating by itself. I posted an image of R2 at the WRDC nest a week ago eating a fish. The eaglets of Harriet and M15 are also attempting eating on their own. E20 has become a bit of a pro. It seems like all of the eaglets grew up faster than they have ever done previously. Does it seem that way to you?

At the White-tailed Eagle nest of Milda and her new mate near Durbe, Latvia, the snow has melted. Milda will be laying her eggs about the same time as Big Red in Ithaca, New York – the third week of March – if all goes to plan.

There is more snow forecast for Big Red’s territory. The temperature in Ithaca is 1 C.

What I like about the image below is that you can see the nest cup area that Big Red and Arthur have been working on. In Milda’s nest sprigs of pine with their cones line the area of the egg cup. It is so fascinating watching the couples prepare for the upcoming breeding season. It is so intriguing. I would love to ‘speak hawk’ and sit by Big Red and Arthur when they discuss what needs to be done!

At least five eagles poisoned, one dead, four in serious condition in Manchester Maryland. Was this lead poisoning? or was this something else more sinister to impact all of the birds at the same time? There is an investigation underway.

Here is a short informative video of why eagles eat carrion in the winter.

https://fb.watch/b6jnYJByKa/

There is good news coming out of Australia about WBSE 27. You might remember that twice, after fledging, 27 was taken into care. 27 was not taught by the parents to take care of itself. Once 27 fledged, it was taunted and chased by the Pied Currawong. Both times 27 was extremely dehydrated. The last time the Currawong had gathered and had pecked 27s head. When 27 was taken into care the last time, I hoped that rehabilitation would include flight training as well as training for getting prey. This takes longer than a two week stay in a clinic. Some wildlife rehabbers keep birds for 2 years to make certain they are capable of caring for themselves with confidence. It looks like 27 is getting that great training. The news is excellent!

Isn’t she lovely? And – yes – 27 is a she!

I wish that all of the sea eagles that fledge from the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park would not be harangued by the Pied Currawong. They chase them out of the forest. They never learn to fly or to catch prey. How many of them survive, if any, unless they wind up in care?

The camera is now working again at Port Lincoln. Ervie was on the nest and, at various times, in the shed with Dad. Sometimes he was in the shed alone. I cannot tell you if he had a fish but there was definitely a lot of fish calling.

Checking in on Jack and Diane at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest and Jack is busy delivering fish and helping incubate the eggs.

If you are into garden animals and song birds, with a few surprises, you might want to check out Wildlife Kate. She has several wildlife cams and is featured on Springwatch in the UK. Have a look. You might find something really interesting like Yew Pond, or the Kestrel Box, or the Woodland Pond.

This is Woodland Pond. The cameras are live with no rewind. Enjoy.

https://www.wildlifekate.co.uk/

I haven’t posted anything about the eaglet at Berry College for a few days. Thermal down is coming in nicely. Pa Berry did a great job feeding the little one this morning. B15 is still walking around on its tarsus (not yet with its feet) and doing a lot of preening. B15 is doing great. Missy and Pa Berry are doing a great job raising this baby.

B15 is a sweet little eaglet. You can see how its plumage is beginning to change.

I will leave you with a gorgeous image of Jackie incubating her eggs at Big Bear Bald Eagle nest in California. Fingers crossed for a great season for her and Shadow!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Achieva Credit Union, Wildlife Kate, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, Latvian Fund for Nature, and Sea Eagle Cam FB Page.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

Ever since our big storm with all the snow and -35 temperatures the number of birds visiting the garden feeders has decreased. The European Starlings that once graced the Lilac Bushes and all the neighbouring trees are down to a handful from a record number of 58. The regulars are here along with about 40 Sparrows. That is also a huge decline. I wonder what is going on?? It is -9 and the wind has ranged from 23 kph to now 16 kph. It was the first time that my fingers felt like they were freezing when I was on my walk. One bird and lots of squirrels running around, a few people walking dogs. The garden was so peaceful.

Diane at the Achieva Osprey Nest laid her third egg this morning, 9 February, at 07:36. She has been incubating the other two eggs since the second was laid. 37 days is the average for hatching to begin. So the middle of March there should be bobbleheads on this nest. My intention will be to stock up on all manner of ‘calming’ teas should sibling 1 turn out to the brute that it was last year.

The third hatch survived only by its sheer determination not to die many times over and finally, Diane recognizing this and she began to go and catch catfish and made sure it ate. Chatters dubbed #3 ‘Tumbles’ because it was tripping over its feet. I called it Tiny Tot and then merged the two names together. Turns out that Tiny Tot Tumbles became the most formidable chick on the nest, taking over control and staying to even help Jack defend the nest. She was an incredible bird.

The nest is located in a parking lot of an Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida. There is a chat connected with the streaming cam but there has been no moderator. Here is the link to the Achieva Camera:

This morning Big Red and Arthur paid another visit to the Fernow Tower Light Stand. This has been Big Red’s nest choice for the past few years. The nest is on the grounds of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The hawks live on their campus territory year round.

The couple will continue to refurbish this nest for at least another 5 weeks. The earliest Big Red has laid her eggs as on 13 March and she did that only once. She laid the first egg on 14 March once and the 16th twice. I tend to think of her as laying on average around the 23rd but, the birds are surprising everyone this year.

Arthur flew in with a stick at 09:56:36.

Getting the right placement of the twigs on the nest is important as Big Red is very particular.

Here comes Big Red to join Arthur with her own big stick.

Oh, there is our beautiful Big Red, the Queen of all Red-tail Hawks, in good form landing on her nest. She is 19 years old. Hatched in 2003 in Brooktondale, NY, just down the road from Ithaca. Banded on 10 October of that same year. Arthur is from a nest adjacent to Big Red’s territory. Arthur is 7 years old this year. Big Red and Arthur became a bonded couple after Big Red’s first mate, Ezra, was killed in 2017. This will be the 5th breeding season for Big Red and Arthur! Can’t wait.

Both are carefully looking at what needs to be done to whip this nest into shape for this season.

If you look carefully, Arthur has already had breakfast. The evidence is on his talons. Oh, I hope this is a good year for chipmunks for the Ls. Yes, they will be the Ls.

Arthur flies off to get more twigs and Big Red settles in to work on that nest cup.

And here is Arthur. Big Red has flown off and he is giving this nest cup a once over, too. Look at that magnificent tail. That is what makes the Red-tail Hawks ‘red tails’. The hawks do not get their red tails until they are a year old. Until then they have to settle with two colours of grey stripes. In fact, when Big Red picked Arthur out of other possible mates, he did not yet have his red tail! That tail is almost like a badge of honour. If you survive your first year, you get the mark of the red tail. In reality, only 1 out of 3 eyasses survive their first year. The challenges for the youngsters are enormous.

I am going to start marking the days on my calendar. There are two cameras and a dedicated team of moderators on the chat. You will learn everything you wanted to know about hawks and more. Once the chicks fledge there are birders on the ground (BOGs) that submit photos and videos so that we can keep up with them til they leave the territory.

Here is the link to one of the cameras:

Sadly, the streaming cam to the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is still off line. Oh, I wonder how Ervie and Mum and Dad are doing.

The Netherlands is reporting the third White-tail Eagle killed by a wind turbine. This is 3 out of 15 specially banded birds. There is an easy fix for the birds – install bird alarm systems and/or paint one of the blades black so that the birds can ‘see’ the moving blade. It is well known that this really helps in diminishing the numbers of birds deaths. As we build more and more wind farms, measures must be taken to protect all of the birds, not just eagles. Painting one blade black is a cheap easy fix that can be done in the factory that has been known about for a number of years. So why isn’t this being done?

There was another ground search for Bella at the NCTC Bald Eagle Nest with no luck in finding her. Meanwhile, Smitty and the new female have been working on the nest and mating. I hope that Bella is somewhere recovering from her injuries.

Harriet and M15s eaglets continue to change into juveniles right before our eyes. They sure love to eat! And they have gorgeous juvenile plumage with only a few dandelions lurking about. The top image is E20. What a crop. Don’t need to worry about this one getting its share anymore.

Harriet and M15 keeping the babies full.

Things are going alright on the WRDC in Miami. Both R1 and R2 are progressing in their feather development. Both are getting much more steady on their feet and there is a nice big fish on the nest for dinner. R2 has survived. Worry time is past (for me anyway).

NE26 and 27 are doing great. They survived all the torrential downpours in Jacksonville two days ago. Gabby was such a trooper keeping those kids dry and fed. I was ever so impressed.

Still on egg watch at the Pittsburgh-Hays nest. The adults are busy watching a train pass on the upper tracks at the moment.

Here is a link to their streaming cam:

There is egg watch for Liberty and Guardian at the Redding, California nest. My goodness the wind is just blowing and howling there.

Here is the link to their streaming cam. Also watch out for those very informative videos by Gary.

This coming weekend it is hatch watch for Lena and Andy at the Captiva Osprey Nest on Santibel Island, Florida. I cannot find that streaming cam live anymore. The owner of the property said that he would cut the power once the eggs hatched so maybe it is just offline. I will check again later and report back if i find it operative tomorrow.

Everything is just fine at the Kistachie National Forest nest in Louisiana. The pantry has food and Kincaid is growing like crazy. This is the best set up to actually hear Eagles chitter with one another. Yesterday little Kincaid joined in. It was precious. Highly recommended. There is not a lot of action since the feedings are spread out but it is a great nest ‘to listen’ when the parents are about on and off the tree.

This is not even a dent into all the on line nests. B15 at Berry College is doing great as are the pair of eaglets at Hilton Head. Jackie and Shadow continue to incubate their eggs. So far so good. The same with Thunder and Cheta. While we wait for Big Red to get her clutch started, the wait is also on for the return of all the European birds from African to their spring and summer homes in Europe and the UK. In addition, Lady and Dad have been visiting their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park. Expect eggs around the beginning of June. Wow. Time melts.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am so happy to have you here with me and the birds.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Achieva Credit Union, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, WRDC, KNF, Pix Cameras, and Redding Eagles.

Sunday in Bird World

The wind has not let up at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson. Gabby has gotten up twice to make sure the little NE26 and 27 are fed. Thank goodness that Samson filled up the pantry because he would not be able to go and fish in these winds.

The babies are growing and need more food. You can see the white dot of the ear on NE26 standing up.

These two still do not have their thermal down and Gabby has to be very careful to keep them warm and dry.

I feel for all of the birds who have these intense storms. They, on the other hand, just get on with life as best they can!

There are now two eggs on the Achieva Osprey Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida. Congratulations Jack and Diane. Jack has been bringing fish to the nest and taking his turn at incubation. That nest looks a little wet, too.

It is hard to believe it, sitting here in frigid Canada, but the first Red Kites have begun their northerly migration from Africa passing over Poole Harbour today! Gosh, golly. Red Kites are beautiful raptors. They are about 66 cm or one foot in length with a very distinctive forked tail, angular body, and reddy-brown body.

“Flying red kite” by Tambako the Jaguar is licensed under CC.

Just look at this gorgeous under carriage.

“Flying red kite” by Tambako the Jaguar is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

I am getting excited for the streaming cam to come on line in the Taiwan cemetery that has a Black Kite nest. That should be about the middle of March.

It is a gorgeous day in Pittsburg. We continue to be on egg watch at this nest.

Liberty and Guardian have both been on the nest in Redding, California and there is egg watch there, too, just like at Pittsburgh-Hays.

Thunder has three eggs at the West End Bald Eagle nest. Her and Cheta keep taking turns incubating them. Oh, I so hope these two have a successful season but they are going to have to be diligent! Those Ravens are intelligent and they sit back and wait and watch. We know this from Daisy the Duck’s experience on the WBSE nest.

Connie and Clive, as mentioned in an earlier blog, have buried their last unviable egg. The first broke. Both have brought greenery into the nest and covered the place where the egg is buried. Will there be a second clutch? or is this greenery a way of bringing closure to a lost season for this new pair?

It is a gorgeous day over at the Duke Farm Bald Eagle nest in Hillsborough, NJ. Gosh, I bet everyone was glad that storm was gone!

There is a really beautiful Snowy Owl over on the Mississippi Flyway Streaming Cam today.

Lena is on the eggs over at the Captiva Osprey Nest on Santibel. There are fire trucks in the background and oh, she is loud! You can easily hear human voices over the nest microphone, too. That is really something folks should be aware of when they walk by these nests!!!!!! If they know they are by a nest.

The eggs were laid on 8, 11, and 14 January. Can you believe we could be on hatch watch? To my knowledge, the streaming cam on Andy and Lena will be turned off if the eggs hatch. It will be kept off until such time the owner believes that the Crows are no longer a threat. I will try to keep you posted.

It is early Monday morning in Australia and it looks like Ervie is the only one on the barge. Individuals continue to ask where Mum is. Traditionally, in migrating Ospreys, the Mum leaves the nest and the Dad feeds the chicks til they leave. At that point he begins his migration. Australian Ospreys do not migrate. That said Mum has done her job and is probably over on the Old Barge resting and getting her strength back. There is no need to worry! She probably got tired of Ervie’s very loud prey calling. Dad hangs out on the barge with Ervie some of the time. Dad definitely provides food for Ervie.

I want to leave you today on the happiest of notes. It is a courtship display by our two favourite North American Peregrine Falcons, Annie and Grinnell, on The Campanile today.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Captiva Osprey Cam, Mississippi Flyway, Duke Farms, Explore.org, Captiva Bald Eagle Cam, Pix Cams, Redding Bald Eagles, Achieva Credit Union, and NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.