Early Thursday in Bird World

19 May 2022

It is another coolish day. They continue to mention snow coming! But how pleasant was it to wake up to three Baltimore Orioles already in the garden. My dial for being irritated at some birds preventing others from eating goes from mildly irked to outrage. The male Baltimore Orioles prevent the females from having the oranges or jelly! So I took the tiniest little bowls and put grape jelly in them. There are six. Surely the males can’t be at each one of them if they are eating jelly! Aaaargh.

Do we think those pesky eyases of Annie, Grinnell, and Alden told Mum what they did when Dad Alden was trying to feed them? As ‘B’ said – it is very apparent that this is Alden’s first adventure with chicks! Alden you are adorable and you are determined to figure this out and be a great Dad! Annie is giving the chicks their breakfast and later, Alden is in to give Annie a break so she can eat, too. He is doing a great job brooding and shading the chicks.

Seeing Ervie at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is such a treat and now he has been there several days in a row! It is definitely taking a long time for that talon to grow in. It is growing and that is wonderful. Has Ervie lived on Puffer Fish all this time? He sure seems quick to catch them! And is Dad still bringing him a fish once in awhile? I collected a few more images of one of our favourite Osprey fledglings to share with you. We never know when it will be the last time to see him.

Ervie had at least two fish. It is not clear if the earliest was a puffer or was a fish brought by Dad. I think it was Dad.

A shot I shared last evening showing that talon growing in ever so slowly.

Ervie should have perfected his fishing skills by the time that talon is in. My gosh. Will it be in by Christmas? It certainly has a long way to go and I wonder if he wears it down using it??

Ervie looks really healthy and strong despite the talon issue. I wonder how many Puffers he has caught and eaten? Ervie is also very handsome! Sadly his injury has probably allowed us to see him all the time – or maybe Ervie is also, in addition, a home body. Wonder what Mum and Dad will do when breeding season is very close?

Richmond and Rosie now have their full cohort of chicks. SF Ospreys made a video of that second hatch. You can see that first little cutie, too. Two Bobs.

The first chick hatched for Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 at Loch of the Lowes. No more than it was getting out of the last of the shell, Blue NC0 had to fight off an intruder. It has been terrible for them this year. Fingers crossed that their presence does not do any harm to the chicks!

There is a fish ready and waiting!

It certainly is prime Osprey real estate. No one is allowed on the loch from April to September during breeding season. Nothing to disturb the Ospreys! Can you imagine how nice this would be elsewhere? Why do humans with motorized recreational vehicles have precedence? Why not canoes or kayaks?

Speaking of water, the river level around the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest is dropping and this might help with fish deliveries to the nest. Little 17 will be in need of food today for sure. Both parents have touched at the nest but I have seen no deliveries. (0730 and 0830)

It has been very hot at the Llyn Clywedog Nest. Seren Blue 5F hasn’t had a fish either. Dylan is a great provider so hopefully as it gets cooler in the evening something will come to the nest. Seren should be hearing chicks as we are on pip watch for these two. The wet and cold weather really hampered the breeding season of the Welsh Ospreys last year. Seren laid three eggs but only one hatched. Still, they raised the Biggest Bob ever in Welsh Osprey history in 2021. Everyone thought the chick was a huge female – not so. An enormous male!!!!!!! Blue 496 weighed 1400 grams.

Seren is an incredible Mum. She spent a couple of years at the Pont Cresor nest in a polygamous relationship with Aran. After two seasons of unsuccessful breeding, she flew the coop and found Dylan at Llyn Clywedog. Dylan has been here since 2016. The couple have been a mated pair since 2020. Seren spends her winters in The Gambia. Chris Woods has tracke her there to the same tree every year!

The image by Chris Wood made the rounds of some of the FB groups so I do hope that it is alright to include it here. We are all very grateful for his efforts in tracking down the Ospreys at the Tanji Quarry in The Gambia during the winter months!

Chris reported this year that they are taking lots of sand from the Tanji Quarry and he is wishing that they would stop for the sake of the birds.

The American Eagle Foundation has put together a slide show of this seasons activities at the Northeast Florida nest of Samson, Gabby, Jasper, and Rocket.

I am very happy to report that the Kestrel chicks – the smallest three – that Robert Fuller took out of the nest and raised til they were strong enough to go back with the others have been returned to Father Kestrel who is now in charge of six growing nestlings! Fantastic. A good intervention on the part of a human when the female disappeared. Father Kestrel has accomplished being both security, prey provider, and feeder!

Dad delivered a fish to the UFlorida-Gainesville nest at 11:42. Middle was right on the ball and mantled and grabbed that fish and started self feeding! Mum is going to fly in and feed the chicks but this is the second time today that Middle has been working on self-feeding. So proud of this little one. It is no longer as intimidated by Big as it was.

Our Middle is doing fabulous. So proud of him. He is now big enough that Big really cannot intimidate him like he could even a week ago.

All five of the eyases at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape are doing great.

The five at the Belgian scrape in Oundenaare Tower are sleeping on a feather bed and loosing their baby down. All are flapping and it is getting a little crowded inside that box.

The Anacapa eyases are also doing great. I love that they live in the cliffs in a natural setting. Everyone is working on self-feeding.

The only problem nest that I can see is the ND-LEEF one. I have not, however, checked all of the nests this morning. It is time to go out and work on that penthouse for Little Red! Before the snow arrives.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care everyone, see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, Cal Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust, ND-LEEF, CarnyxWildd, Chris Wood, Robert Fuller, AEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Peregrine Networks, and Oundenaare Tower Falcons.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

3 May 2022

News has come that the male at Denton Homes, Majestic Dad, has died. Avian Flu has been confirmed. The Denton Homes nest lost three eaglets and an adult male. The female, Majestic Mum, looks good on cam and is being monitored.

For those looking for information, here are two publications that have good solid information as well as some of the latest news on the spread.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(avian-and-other-zoonotic)?fbclid=IwAR2wNC51JO4V2JADpz_SGHQR_ovyiwyYpVmAVyxsMBt_rGxtzhROMqBSZEM

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/wildbirds.htm?fbclid=IwAR03jx2Iw6YSAPQL9jJ4zvAzT58C9UcEgEAiAycbiOyALsOY1wEsLmjzJbA

This is one of the last images of E2, that sweet little eaglet off the MN-DNR nest that became a victim of siblicide at the age of 5 weeks. E2 hatched on 23 May and was shoved off the nest by E1 and subsequently euthanized on 30 April.

Dr Sharpe has been very busy. Another chick was to be banded on Santa Rosa Island and Dr Sharpe arrived just in time as the nest had collapsed and dropped. Here is that announcement

There are now five baby Peregrine Falcons in the Manchester, New Hampshire nest

Here is the link to that streaming camera (there are 2 of them).

There is an unease this morning on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. I have observed fish being brought in but a bewildered adult and no feeding of the eaglets. An adult brought a fish on at 10:19 (or thereabouts). Both of the chicks began to scream for food. It was interesting watching what is happening. The adult eventually gave up and dropped the fish on the nest. Middle began to self-feed. You might have noticed him chewing on other bits of old fish and bones on the nest.

In the image below, the adult has brought in the fish. Middle is trying to get under here to be fed. (Big has the darker back plumage).

Middle anticipated that the adult would be feeding them and is trying to get to a point away from Big so that it gets some food.

The female places the fish in the middle of the nest leaving it. She did not feed the chicks when she brought in the piece of fish.

The chicks look on as the adult flies away. They do not understand what is going on – the same as me!

Middle begins to self-feed.

The chicks give up on the self-feeding. This picture was taken at 10:31.

At 10:47 an adult lands on the nest.

The adult, at first, appears to be a small piece of fish tail that they have brought in. Then the adult pulls part of a catfish – the head and part of the body – out of the nest. Both chicks are prey crying very loud. The adult appears confused as Middle tries to self feed. Is this Dad? and was it Dad earlier?

The adult looks completely bewildered.

Middle is attempting to self-feed. What is going on at this nest?

Middle had very little food yesterday and, if that were the case the day before, is not starving but getting there. It is clear that Big has no crop and is also hungry but not like Middle.

Middle may have gotten a little flesh off the open end.

While the dropping of the fish on the nest is a good strategy for both if there are two pieces and both chicks are self-feeding, it is clear that these two are not ready to feed themselves. Where is the female?

At 12 noon the adult returns, chicks crying desperately for food. The adult looks around. Is this Dad again? (From the behaviour I am assuming Dad). Where is Mum? If you observe the Mum feeding the chicks (or the dad) please send me a note. I cannot watch the nest all day today, unfortunately. I am quite concerned.

This has been posted on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Nest page if you would like to help name the chicks, the adults, and the nest:

All I have to do is flip over to the Red-tail Hawk nest at Cornell and there is an instant smile. The four Ls do not have to worry about getting fed. Arthur is constantly bringing in food and Big Red feeds each beak until there is not one asking for food.

Larger clutch, direct feeding, lots of food on the nest, no history of siblicide – that is the difference at the Red-tail Hawk nest as compared with the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest.

The West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta is an example of two parents working hard to make sure that each of their offspring survive —- and thrive! Both parents were active bringing in food. Several times they had tandem feedings. And look – Sky, Ahota, and Kanakini. They should all fledge and we hope return and raise their own families in the Channel Islands.

The Mum and Dad at Pittsburgh-Hayes consistently raise triplets to fledge. They hatched on 21, 22, and 25th of March making them 43, 42, and 39 days old.

These are Bald Eagle nests. Examples of siblicide that I listed yesterday include both Bald Eagles and Ospreys. It will be enlightening, at the end of the season, to compare data on species in terms of survival rates. It is also complicated and might not reveal a true picture in terms of prey availability, parenting, genetic predisposition to siblicide, etc. unfortunately. Another interesting comparison will be the rate of success of 3 clutch Ospreys in the UK with those in North America.

At the Hellgate Canyon nest of Iris in Missoula, Montana, the oldest osprey in the world laid her first egg of the 2022 season at 08:13.

Louis arrived a little later – fishless – to see the egg and do what Louis does.

I want to repost Dr Erick Greene’s letter about Iris’s relationship with Louis and why I should not be – nor you – upset with the fact that he has two nests. There is a huge change in the Osprey population that use the Clark Fork River for their food supply. Much of what Dr Greene says can also be applied to other species who are under pressure.

The Anacapa Falcons are doing well.

Things seem to have settled for now so that Bukachek and Betty can take care of their five eggs in the Mlade Buky White Stork nest in The Czech Republic. They have had disturbances – as recent as two days ago- from intruders like so many other nests this year.

It is a soaking morning on the Bald Eagle nest at Notre Dame University. There has been some strife at the nest with regard to the third hatch getting feed. It seems that there are good days and not so good. The weather might well impact feeding and behaviour today.

This is the history of this nest back to 2015: One chick, ND1 in 2015; ND2 in 2016; ND 3 and 4 in 2017; ND 5 and 6 in 2018, ND 7, 8, and 9 in 2019; ND 10, 11, and chick 12 who died on May 14 in 2020); ND 13 and 14 with a non-viable egg also in 2021. The hatches this year (2022) are ND 15, 16, and 17. Hopefully all three will make it.

Notice the turtle shells. James Broley commented that the Bald Eagles love turtle and he always found turtle shells in their nests when he went to band the chicks.

Beautiful female with her two eggs in the Barlinka Forest nest in Poland.

Wow! I just came across this Osprey nest at the US Steelworks Plant in Washington State.

It really helps to have metal workers when you need an upgrade. The original nest was on top of a light pole. Look carefully. In 2012, when a lighting upgrade was required, it was felt that a new nest platform should be constructed. The workers incorporated the old nest with the new metal one in hopes of attracting the birds to use it.

I do not know anything about the history of this Osprey nest. It is in Kalamana, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest had tremendous problems with the extreme summer heat causing many nests to fail. Chicks were leaping to their death to get away from the heat. So this is a warning if you start to watch this nest – there could be issues related to weather at this nest.

Eyases have hatched at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape in the UK. The adults are Poppy and Henry.

The nest is on top of the Cromer Church Tower. In 2020, the resident pair fledged three chicks. In 2021, no viable eggs were laid. Now look at the little ones this year. Fantastic.

Here is a short video of their feeding. Notice how the female holds the prey.

Here is a link to the Cromer Peregrine Falcon page that has a link to the camera as well as lots of images and information.

https://www.cromerperegrineproject.co.uk/

And here is a link to the YouTube streaming cam for Cromer.

I am very interested in the White-tail Eagle nest at the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. Last year the couple hatched two chicks that perished from Avian Flu. It was the first recognized instance of H5N1 during spring breeding and marked a shift from the Avian Flu being prevalent in the fall and winter when it did not impact the breeding season. The two eagles have returned to the nest where WTE have been raised since the 1870s.

Will they lay eggs this season? If so, they are very, very late. In a normal season the eggs would be laid around the third week in March with hatching in late April. We are now 3 March.

This is the link to this nest in Estonia.

If you are watching the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest today and see a feeding, if you do not mind sending me your observations I would be very grateful and would, of course, credit you for those! I am very worried about this nest. The female has to eat and it is possible that she is as ‘starving’ as Middle. Two fish on a nest is not enough to support the female plus two growing and demanding chicks. Thank you so much!

So many nests and so much happening – lots of good and much sadness recently. Thank you for joining me today. It is so nice having you here. Please take good care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Eagle Club of Estonia, Cromer Peregrine Falcons, U-Florida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH, Montana Osprey Project, Steelscape Osprey Cam, Peregrine Falcon Networks, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Explore.org, Pix Cams, ND-LEEF, Barlinka Ospreys, Mlade Buky Storks, and Anacapa Falcons.

Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

22-23 April 2022

Friday was drawing to a close. Big Red had been restless all of Thursday and it was a wonderful relief when L1 hatched and was deemed ‘perfect’ after a worry over some blood coming from the egg earlier. Tonight (Friday late) Big Red is trying as best she can to get some sleep while L2 is hatching. The cracking is such that we now have gone beyond a mere pip.

If all four of the eggs hatch, Big Red s going to need to grab those naps as much as she can.

Big Red is not giving away any hints Saturday morning. But you can see the more than pip in the back right egg and a pip in the back left egg. L1 is doing fine. Being an Only Child – even for a short time – has its advantages.

Arthur brought in another starling in the morning. There are now 2 Starlings (one partially eaten), 1 grey bird, and a partially eaten snake in the nest.

Dawn is just breaking in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland. You can hear the songbirds singing as the sun rises through the pine trees. This just reminds me of a fairy tale forest. White-tail Eagles are so beautiful with their lighter heads and darker bodies – all seemingly touched with a bit of silver.

Mum left to take a wee break. Both of the eaglets are still alive and appear to be doing well.

Mum returns to brood the chicks in the soft morning light.

Do you know the Anacapa Peregrine Falcon Nest? This couple have been together since 2013 raising chicks on the cliff face on the remote Anacapa Island in California. They are known as Mr and Mrs A.

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands where we have a couple of familiar Bald Eagle Nests, Two Harbours (Chase & Cholyn) and West End (Akecheta and Thunder).

Two chicks have hatched this year. Just look like white fluffy little teddy bears with big pink beaks and pink toes and feet. So cute. They are 3 days old. It is hoped that the third egg is non-viable. It is typical for not all of the falcon eggs to hatch. These chicks are big and strong and that chick would be behind.

Here is a feeding from yesterday.

This is a feeding from today.

This is the link to the streaming cam for all you falcon lovers!

https://explore.org/livecams/falcons/peregrine-falcon-anacapa

I want to check on the status of the Black Stork nest that was the home of Grafs and Grafiene last year. The very late arrival of the female last year caused issues at the nest. The male returned earlier in April this year. Many on the Forum are wondering if it was Grafs or another male. The male worked away bring twigs and moss to prepare such a nice nest. Now it is the 22nd of April and there is no female yet. The male sings and looks around. Fingers crossed for a quick arrival of a female to this gorgeous nest in Sigulda County. Come on Grafiene!!!!!

Here is the link to the nest:

Karl II is working very hard on the nest he shares with Kaia. He is very handsome!

Karl II and Kaia have had a male intruder land on the nest. Kaia helped magnificently in defending the nest. Unlike other species, the males and females will defend the nest against opposite genders. There are apparently a lot of single male floaters due to a lack of female storks. They are causing problems with established nests. We are waiting for an egg at this nest!

Here are the couple defending their nest.

Mum and Dad returned to Glacier Gardens yesterday! Looking forward to another great year up in Alaska. Kindness was the sweetest little eaglet. It was a great name and touched the heart of so many. It is so nice to see Mum and Dad.

There are now three eggs at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Dyland and Seren Blue 5F. Dylan is a great fisher but he also loves to incubate and he wasn’t wanting to give up that spot Saturday afternoon!

Mrs G and Aran have two eggs now.

Cheers are happening in Poole Harbour because CJ7 and Blue022 have their first egg. There will be more. The first hatch will be historic – the first Osprey in Poole Harbour in over 200 years!!!!!!!!! Incredible. The community worked hard to relocate Ospreys to the area and it looks like they will have success this year.

This is such wonderful news for this couple that began bonding last breeding season.

The very first osprey of the 2022 season has hatched in the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve in Maremma in Tuscany, Italy yesterday.

The situation at the Florida-Gainesville Osprey nest is not improving. I captured a couple of images of Little Bit taking a few bites of a fish on the nest before Middle went after him. You have to look carefully. Its tiny head is in the very centre of the nest under the tail of that fish.

The minute the older sibling notices Little Bit move it attacks despite it having a full crop.

The two large siblings prevented Little Bit from getting any food even though they were clearly full.

Feeding and any movement by Little Bit triggers their aggressive behaviour. The ability of both Big and Middle to dominate the food coming into the nest is directly seen in the growth progression of the three nestlings. I often smile when I see people in chat rooms saying not to call the dominant birds bullies but in his 1979 article “Sibling Aggression among Nestling Ospreys in Florida Bay” in The Auk (vol. 96, no 2, 415-17) Alan Poole says just that in discussing the difference in size of the nestlings “however, 3 days after the first sibling bullying was seen, nestling A was 165 heavier than B…” (416). The older two are simply that – bullies. What I did find interesting about Poole’s study was that he did not find the same level of aggression in the Ospreys in the Chesapeake Bay area. Some of you will have observed, as I have, sibling competition and aggression at several Florida Osprey nests such as Achieva Credit Union (2021), Captiva (2022), Pink Pearl (2022), and Gainesville currently. You might well know of others in the last couple of years.

Little Bit mustered the courage to get to the beak but there was no fish left.

In the image below you can see the size difference between Big, Middle, and Little Bit. The older ones will continue to have the advantage unless this chick gets fed – it had a few bites yesterday and some fish later on the 21st. Tiny Tot lasted for 72 hours before getting some fish at Achieva in 2021. Indeed, that chick had – in a month – the equivalent of 12 full days without food. She went on to become dominant. It remains unclear to me if Little Bit will survive the weekend, sadly.

Little or MiniO fledged yesterday morning early (the 22nd) and has not returned to the nest. It is unclear to me whether she is in a tree or is grounded. Middle (or Little) is in the nest with Lena fish calling to Andy.

I never like to close with sad news but I have just heard that two of the eaglets at the Denton Homes nest have died. It is suspected that it is Avian Flu. We will see if the third survives but it is doubtful. The Dad is there and is very confused. The surviving chick is in the nest with the two deceased ones. — It was thought that Avian Flu was mostly staying on the East coast. This is a move into the heartland being triggered by migrating birds? There will be concern for other nests in the region. Please send them your warmest and most positive energy.

We have had rain since the wee hours of the morning on Friday. It has filled several of the low areas of the garden with water. The worry is that they are reporting a drop in temperature that would freeze the ground surface causing the rain not to soak in (the ground is already saturated) and create wide scale flooding. We worry about the animals. All of the squirrels, Hedwig, Mr and Mrs Woodpecker along with a myriad of Juncos, Sparrows, Grackles and Starlings have been trying to eat. It is difficult to convince Hedwig that we have special food for him on a plate that is relatively dry!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. I hope to have some happy news on Big Red and Arthur’s L2 later this evening. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Brywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Biehki Online Bory Tucholskie, Estonian Eagle Club, Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve, CarnyxWild, Explore.Org, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.