Late Wednesday Bird World check in

The streaming cam is now back on line at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Instead of being late Wednesday it is Thursday. It is a wet miserable day there, too. The osplets are waiting for their breakfast fish to arrive. It is currently 10:30.

The stark contrast between that gorgeous blue of the Port Lincoln waters and the white of the talons makes it almost appear as if Mum and the chicks had gone shopping for those vinyl ‘mod’ boots of the Twiggy era.

Mum is amazing. She tries absolutely everything to try and crowd the chicks under here so they will not get wet. Of course, their feathering will not keep them dry but there is nothing so nice to keep a chill off as being toasty warm under Mum.

The chicks are standing a bit more. Isn’t that one cute? You can really see the development of the tail. Their pantaloons are showing, too. The term has been adopted for decades when talking about the upper leg feathers of the raptors. Originally, the casual name for them was ‘britches’. They are actually the crural feathers and they cover the tibial area of the leg. They continue up to the chest.

Look at those wing and tail feathers! Wow. Growing before our eyes they are.

The skies open again around 9:37 and Mum works hard to crowd in next to the chicks.

Once the rain stops she is off to try and catch a fish for everyone’s breakfast. She has been fishing more and it is certainly keeping the wee babes happy – and full.

It is really beginning to be difficult to tell which chick is which. Each had some type of a mark on their head. Little Bob had a big circle and he had the white webbing pattern on his cere with a huge white swipe with a wide paint brush under his eye. If that him in the middle?

Big ‘sometimes-not-so-nice’ sibling is in the very front. Her eye is much darker with a wider eye stripe. She has always appeared much darker than the other chicks. Did you know that professional ball players adopted adding a black line under their eyes to keep off the glare?

You can really see the very dark wooly down on the chick standing up. You can also see how the crural feathers continue on to the chest area easier, too.

Now look. Is that our Little Bob at the back? I think so. The circle and the white are there as is the white on the cere. Oh, but they could be fooling us. Even their sizes are coming together so that it is difficult to recognize one from the other.

Let us hope that a nice fish for their breakfast arrives soon!

Ah. There is Little Bob turned around facing Mum in case a fish lands right there.

Awwww. Xavier. What a sweetie. He has arrived with the third item of prey for the baby at 10:14 but Diamond is ignoring him. The chick is full having had two feedings already. Maybe Xavier will get a chance to enjoy that Starling himself.

Remember to go and vote on the names for Xavier and Diamond’s baby. Cilla Kinross selected Maori names for weather. You can find the form here:

https://forms.gle/iPQhxDCLtEh19jp38

As the sun sets in central Louisiana, Anna and Louis are still on the nest making adjustments for the upcoming eggs. They have now flown off and are roosting elsewhere.

Wish for a fish! The trio at Port Lincoln will be very hungry when it arrives.

Take care. Thank you so much for joining me this evening.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Tuesday in Bird World

Grinnell and Annie are working hard to prepare the three boys for fledging and starting their lives outside of the scrape box. Today is 25 May and fledging should fall into 27-29 May – two days away! It is possible the youngest will be the 31st but you never know.

Grinnell has had the three lined up getting lessons and is working hard on teaching them aspects of self-feeding.

Not so sure they are listening to the instructions on plucking the pigeon!

Ever wonder what it might be like feeding your chicks when they are almost as big as you and there are three of them? Have a look.

Here is a very short clip of Kaknu taking the lunch and running away with it today:

This year has been plagued by a lack of chipmunks. Instead, the Ks seem to have been living on Starling. Something unexpected happened this morning – Arthur brought in a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk! Big Red had to have been delighted.

Sometimes Big Red takes a break and flies over to another of the light stands. She can keep a close eye on the Ks from here. On occasion Arthur will do a prey drop for her there and many times you will see the two of them sitting side by side looking out onto their territory.

Big Red was delighted with that chipmunk for breakfast! It looks like there is a partial chipmunk sitting on the nest. Maybe we will see more.

It is not going to be long until these Ks are running and jumping on the ledge, flapping their wings, and getting stronger to fly. Their first flight is usually from this ledge across the street to one of the trees where the parents are waiting for them.

Just look at Big Red’s eyes and face. Oh, she loves being a mother.

“Oh, don’t you want just one more bite?”

Big Red did look tired this morning. Here she is taking some ZZZZs along with the Ks. In three and a half weeks time, the Ks will fledge. It is hard to believe. They will remain with Big Red and Arthur who will teach them to hunt and give them all kinds of exercises to help them later. Big Red and Arthur will also gradually expand the area the Ks are hunting in to include the entire campus. Sometimes they even go on family hunting trips for squirrels – working cooperatively to get the prey out of the tree.

I would like to introduce you to another species of raptor. It is the Booted Eagle, the Hieraaetus Pennatus. This pair of Booted Eagles lives in a pine forest within the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park near Madrid. The elevation is 1400 metres. The Booted Eagles are the largest group of raptors living in the park. They estimate that there are approximately twenty-five pairs. The nest you are looking at has been active every year since 2002.

The female is on the left. You can see she is much darker. The male is on the right.

Just like Annie and Grinnell and Big Red and Arthur, the female is much larger than the male. This is called reverse sexual dimorphism. There are many reasons for this disparity. They are: 1) females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves in order to produce eggs; 2) the size difference allows the two to hunt different prey and reduce the competition for food. Raptors that hunt birds are generally smaller and faster leaving the females to specialize in larger prey; 3) historically females have selected smaller mates; and 4) to protect the female during mating from being injured by large males.

In Booted Eagles, the male is smaller with darker feathers on its back, yellow ochre on the crown of its head, darker tear shape feathers on its chest which is light. The female tends to the nest and the chicks and the male is primarily responsible for hunting, delivering prey, and territorial protection. You can easily differentiate them in the image above.

There are normally two eggs that are incubated for 37-40 days. The chicks remain on the nest for around 48 days when they began branching and flying. By August, the male is the primary carer. The female has left the territory for a rest. The male will provide prey for the young to self-feed on the nest and will remain with them until mid-September teaching them to hunt and fly.

I received a letter from one of my readers asking about Kisatchie. Kisatchie is the eagle from the Kisatchie National Forest Nest in Central Louisiana. His parents are Anna and Louis (great names). You might recall that Kisatchie is the first eaglet to hatch on this nest since 2013. He brought so much joy and then he fledged and now the camera is down. This is the current information from the Forest Services personnel:

“If you have visited the eagle cam in the past 72 hours, you will have noticed the nest is empty and more recently, the eagle cam is down. This is because our Kisatchie eagle flew the nest on Saturday, May 22, around 3:30 p.m. As luck would have it, Kisatchie chose to take its first flight from a branch ABOVE the camera, so we were unable to capture Kisatchie soaring over the Kisatchie National Forest. Bummer. The eagles will now migrate north for the summer and will return late fall/early winter. Our wildlife biologists will use the summer months to make any repairs on the eagle cam, checking wiring, camera housing, and things like that. We want to be ready for the next round! Thank you for joining us on this journey of watching our first captured-on-camera eaglet hatching. Through ice storms and thunderstorms, it was an exciting 88 days (from hatching to fledging) and a great learning experience for us all.”

Everyone is wondering if anyone has seen Kisatchie or heard. I have written a letter to the Forestry Services and if I hear anything, I will let you know. Here is an image of Kisatchie on 17 May during his branching phase looking out over Lake Kincaid:

There is absolutely no news coming out of the Glaslyn Osprey Nest. As soon as there is any news about Aran and Mrs G and the Bob 2 and 3, I will let you know.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the KNF Service, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Cal Falcons, and SEO Birdlife.

From all the little ones…

There are so many bird babies around the world today thankful for their great moms that I thought we would stop in and check on some of them – and take a look back in some cases. I apologize if I didn’t include your favourite.

Thanks Mom Bonnie and Dad Clyde for finding us a beautiful nest tree and then stealing it from those Bald Eagles.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. Tree on the farm near Newton, Kansas that once belonged to the Bald Eagles but captured by Bonnie and Clyde to raise their owlets, Tiger and Lily Rose.

We did well. Look at us! Lily Rose and I fly all over the farm but we love to come back to the nest for you and dad to bring us some food.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. 8 May 2021

You kept us really warm and full with all those mice when it was snowy and cold.

Farmer Derek. February 2021

Thanks Mom. Look at how big we are – #1 Daughter and #2 Son.

MN DNR. Parents are Nancy and Harry. Oldest sibling is a girl, youngest is a male. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom Gabby. I inherited your and Dad Samson’s stunning beauty and also your loud squeal – not sure Dad Samson likes it when I chase him! You and Dad have taken such good care of me.

NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF. February 2021

Thank you for keeping me on the nest and teaching me all those lessons after I got lost!

NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. Legacy with a huge crop. 9 May 202

Mom, it’s Mother’s Day and I really thought I would be a great mom like you are. But there are people looking at the beak line and my eye ratio and the length of my hallux and they are saying I am a boy!

NEFlorida and the AEF Bald Eagle Cam. 9 May 2021

Thanks Dad Jack for coming to help Mom Harriet feed us this morning! And thanks Dad for not bringing in anymore toys so Mom can find us to feed us.

Dalgren Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021. Jack and Harriet are the parents.

Look, Mom Anna. We did it! I grew up – your first baby ever. Thank you for keeping me safe when that other juvenile came to steal my fish the other day.

KNF Streaming Cam. First time parents are Louis and Anna. This is Kisatchie named after the national park where the ancient nest tree is located.

Boy, Dad Louis sure kept that nest full of fish. Good thing we can’t smell very well, right Mom Anna? Do you remember?

KNF Eagle Cam. 8 March 2021

Thanks Mom, Annie. You are always fair when you feed us. Look how big we are growing. And just look at our pretty pantaloons!!!!!!!!!

UC Berkeley Falcon Cam. Annie and Grinnell are the parents on this beautiful nest in the Campanile in San Francisco.

Look how much we have grown! Thanks for taking such good care of us and feeding us all that pigeon.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hatched just in time! Can I have some fish please?

Rutland Water Ospreys. Maya is the mom and Blue 33 (11) is the dad. This is ‘Little Bob’.

Aren’t I gorgeous? Just like my mom Lime Green Lime. My mom travels thousands of kilometres to find food for me. Then she flies back to Taiaroa Head to give me my squid shake. I don’t have a name yet. People are voting and I will know soon. Stay tuned.

Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC. Royal Albatross Cam Chick of the Year, Daughter of LGL and LGK. 7 May 2021
Cornell Lab and NZ DOC. One day I am going to fly like my mom, LGL. April 2021

Yeah, the sun is out and the wind is warm and our mom, Big Red is drying out just like we are. Isn’t she the best? She takes good care of us even if it is snowing or raining and flooding everything. Big Red is the best mom ever.

Cornell Bird Lab. Big Red is the 18 year old mom and Arthur is the 5 year old dad of this years Ks. 9 May 2021

Mom Big Red. You endure any kind of weather to keep your little ones safe!

Cornell Bird Lab. April 2021.

Thanks Mom for yelling at dad to bring in more fish so we both can eat. We are growing really big. And I promise to try not and be so bad to my little brother, Mom.

Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon. The Savannah Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom for staying with me when I get scared. It is lonely in this nest sometimes. You were so great at keeping me warm when it got really cold here in Colorado. But, today, what do you think of the new hair style?

Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain Eagle Cam. This Bald Eagle Cam is located in Colorado. This little one has done well and is just getting its dark thermal down. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom Eve for keeping us warm and being fair with the feeding. We both get fed and we both grow the same! You and dad Eerik keep the nest stocked with food so we never are hungry.

Eagle Club of Estonia. Eve and Eerik are the parents of the two little White-tail Eaglets. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom for not giving up on us when you were buried in snow for a month. We are going to get our satellite trackers soon and you can follow us wherever we go after we fledge! And also Mom, thanks for not letting Big get all the food!

Duke Farms Eagle Cam, Hillsborough, New Jersey. These two are really growing fast and evening out in their size.

Thank you Mama Lucy. It’s just me so far and that is OK. You are a great Mom.

Lake Murray Osprey Cam. Parents are Lucy and Ricky and this is nest number 8 for this pair since 2013. The nest platform is brand new in 2020. What a beautiful place to raise ospreys.

Lucy and Ricky have a beautiful place and a new platform in 2020 to raise their little ones. The couple arrived in the area in 2013. Since then their nests have been destroyed by storms. Hope this wonderful new Osprey platform survives.

Lake Murray NH Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021

Mama Harriet, we had to go away and get our eye infection taken care of by CROW. Mom, I am sorry I had to have time out because I was so bad to my little brother, E18. I promise we will be the best of friends in the future.

Mama Harriet, I kept my promise. E18 and I are the best of mates now that we are growing up.

You did good, Mom. We only fight over food drops now – just like we did when we were at CROW. Sorry!

Tiny Tot: “Thanks Mom Diane for bringing in all that extra fish. It was literally life and death for me. I promise to grow into a great mom. You will be proud of me.”

Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021. #2 sibling on left, Tiny Tot on Right

Thank you for joining me today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Bird Moms and to each of you that has inspired, raised/reared someone or something else. It takes a village!

Thank you to all the streaming cams listed under the images. That is where I captured those screen shots.

A Beautiful Friday in Bird World

The sun was out and the sky was blue on the Canadian Prairies today. We went to check on the American White Pelicans at Lockport Historical Park. There were hundreds and hundreds of them in the water below the dam. Did you know that Manitoba is home to one-third of the world’s White Pelicans during the summer migration?

The birds cooperate with one another to get food. They swim side by side in large groups forcing the fish to swim into the more shallow waters where they can catch them.

Photos taken with my phone from a distance. Not fantastic. Plan another outing next week!

You might recall that the two eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest were banded. The results of the gender testing reveal that the oldest, E1 is a female and the youngest, E2 is a male. Their father, Harry, is a sub-adult male, just four years old and their mother, Nancy, is a very young adult female. So this is a very young family on this year – probably first time parents. They have done an amazing job!

One of the things that we found out about Legacy for the three days that she was missing in action was that she went to another Bald Eagle nest in the area. She might have thought it was hers at the beginning or maybe she was simply really hungry – one of the neighbours of Legacy’s nest tree reported this. It mirrors what happened to Kistachie today. Louis had flown in with his morning fish. Gabby was watching over Kisatchie as he was self-feeding. A juvenile saw Louis with the fish and followed him to the nest.

Anna senses the other bird in the area and moves to get between the juvenile who lands on a branch and Kisatchie on the nest. Anna was not going to let that other eaglet hurt her baby!

Look how Anna moves over to protect Kisatchie.

Anna secured the situation and is on the offensive determined to get rid of the intruder who is mantled on the branch!

Anna physically attacks the juvenile intruder. Feathers were flying.

And that bird left!

Legacy might have gotten a similar reception on the other BE nest. If so, this could account for her reluctance to leave her own nest, at the moment.

With everything else going on, it is sometimes easy to miss those birds that have given me the greatest pain and joy this year so far – and that will always be Legacy and Tiny Tot. Today Tiny Tot is nine hatch weeks old today. Happy hatch day, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot!

Tiny had a lot of fish today and at 3pm had quite the substantial crop. You are looking good! He has flapped his wings and his tail is growing. There has been no jumping yet or hovering which I am glad for because that means a fledge is imminent.

Eyes remain on the Rutland Mantou Nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11).

At 17:00 Maya was not giving anything away about a hatch.

Blue 33 (11) took a turn at incubating the three eggs.

And now Maya is sleeping. She knows how busy she is going to be once that first egg hatches. Smart girl, grab some winks.

Iris needed to eat and it was raining. She probably needed a rest and relaxation break, too. So she left her precious egg uncovered and unguarded. It was still there when she returned.

My resolution for 2021 was to not buy anything new. My biggest problem is books but, with the exception of three, all of the books I have purchased have been used. In the mail today was Life of Ospreys written in 2008 by Roy Dennis. One of the new books is his recent publication on the sixty years he has spent helping to reintroduce Ospreys to the UK. This is a man who loves these beautiful birds and has devoted his life to learning about them and protecting them. It is a joy to read.

Tomorrow is Bird Count Day. You do not need to spend any money to participate. In fact, you don’t have to leave your own garden and you can count all day or for only ten minutes. All you have to do is sign up to eBird and tick off the tally. As the counts come in, Cornell Bird Lab will have a map showing where the birds are. This is a great way to study the impact of migration. Right now there are many male birds already resident where I live waiting for their female partners to return to their summer breeding grounds. Let us hope they make it back safely. To sign up go to this site and follow the directions. Grab a cuppa and join in!

https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-8-may-2021

Thanks for joining me today. Spring is coming. The leaves are starting to unfurl, the peony shoots are coming up, and the garden centres are busy.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: LRWT Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the MN DNR.

K3 has hatched and other news in Bird World

All of the Ks at the Red-tail Hawk nest on the Fernow Light Tower on the campus of Cornell University have hatched. Big Red and Arthur welcomed K3 sometime in the wee hours of the morning. K3 has its big sibs for bookends today. Arthur is prepared. There is lots of prey of all kinds around the nest. I promise you those furry creatures will grow in dimension to line the nest bowl and fill the pantry at the same time!

K1 is wanting to make sure that the other two siblings know it is the oldest. Big Red has her own way of dealing with this. If the eyasses don’t line up nice and eat quietly, she will sit on them! Normally she feeds the biggest and loudest first but in a week you will begin to see K3 figure out how to get up to the front of the line. So nice to see some sun coming out in Ithaca, NY.

Kistachie, the sole occupant of the Bald Eagle nest in the Kistachie National Forest in Central Louisiana branched this morning. The official time was 6:08:12. Anna and Louis are his parents and he was rewarded with a nice fish from Kincaid Lake.

Boy those talons sure can grip! He is going straight up! Wow
Kisatchie can really climb that straight branch! 6 May 2021
Kisatachie has a nice fish breakfast
Kincaid Lake where Louis fishes

Legacy really enjoyed the squirrel that Samson brought in around 5:30 last evening, 5 May.

Legacy is staying really close to the nest tree but it doesn’t mean she is out of danger. At 6:44:29 this morning Legacy was knocked off her branch by a hawk! Yes, she recovered and it is one of the issues of being at the top of the food chain. Crows, Blue Jays, Hawks – all want the big birds out and away. Go!

Thank goodness Legacy was alright. She got back up on her look out branch. Let’s see if Samson brings her dinner around 5:30 again. I think that they are training her to come to the nest tree for food and also because she has no sibling, Gabby is being a surrogate sibling – as is Samson – trying to train Legacy to survive in that big world out there.

Legacy is simply stunning. She is such a beautiful juvenile Bald Eagle.

The news from the UK Osprey nests is all about the weather. The rain is still pitching it down in Wales and Telyn, Mrs G, and all the other females are simply soaked to the bone. At the Loch Garten nest there is snow!

This is the scene just the day before. The male is AX6. The female is unringed. Oh, these poor birds. What a freak snow storm they are having today!

It is a little dreary in Estonia for the White-tail Eagles, Eve and Eerik and their two little ones. Still, look closely. Eerik has the nest full of fish for these two who are moving into a fast growth phase. Oh, they are doing so well!

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is soooooo beautiful. This afternoon he has busied himself watching the traffic below the nest tower.

Yesterday afternoon, Tiny took the opportunity of an empty nest to really flap his wings and get those wing muscles strong. Look at that tail. Those feathers are really coming in nicely. So happy for this little one to get to live and be a fish eagle!

Tiny has not been hungry for a couple of weeks now and the energy from that food is really showing in its feather growth and the body fattening up. I no longer log every bite that Tiny Tot takes but suffice it to say that he had at least two fish yesterday in total. Not bad! Diane brought in a catfish late – in fact she brought in two fish in the evening. Both Tiny and #2 were full and Diane also go to enjoy some fish.

Thank you for being with me today. That is a quick check in with some of our favourites in Bird World. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. I get my screen shots from those. They are: Achieva Credit Union, NE Florida Bald Eagle nest and the AEF, KNF, Friends of Loch Garten, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Cornell Bird Lab RTH.

Saturday Nest Hopping

Tiny Tot is growing. He is the third hatch of Jack and Diane at the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida. It is on the coast, just north of Tampa. He is clever and he is starving. You can’t tell how small he is from the picture below. Tiny Tot is on the left.

17 April 2021. Tiny Tot is on the far left, then 2, and 1

So far, three fish have come on the Achieva Osprey Nest today. Tiny Tot got nothing. He was fed at 9:00pm last night for about half an hour. The skin is simply sagging off its bones.

For the past two years this nest has had only one chick on it to feed. Perhaps the parents are simply overwhelmed? Tiny Tot is used to being hungry. The food insecurity started on 12 March when he was a week old. He has never known any different – for Tiny Tot it is either famine or a feast. He is clever and he has survived this long because of it. He is the only one that has been self-feeding because he had to and then it is pieces of old flesh from bones. In doing the research on the ones who survive like this, they do well. Often living much longer than their siblings that were pampered. Some of those have not even made it to migration dates. I wouldn’t count his abilities to survive in the wild out – that is what I am saying. I hope before the thunderstorms come into Dunedin again that he gets fed. It is all we can do – hope.

In the image below, Tiny Tot has bulled the bone out of the rim of the nest and is trying to find some food. It is 4:12pm.

It is nearly 5pm and Tiny Tot is still working on that bone. Diane has left the nest. I hope she brings in a massive catfish, wide at the girth, so that Tiny can finally have some food. Or will she ignore him?

There is, however, something to cheer about. Over in San Francisco, the second hatch of Annie and Grinnell came around 12:12. Now they are four. Only two more eggs to hatch! These eyasses will not have a problem with sibling rivalry or food! This is an amazing nest to watch. I actually admire the hawks and the falcons. They can feed a family of four or five and not blink an eye – and all of the chicks thrive.

12:12 pm 17 April 2021

Annie often eats the yolk left in the egg and sometimes the egg shells to help her replenish the calcium that she loses laying the eggs. In fact, you can leave egg shells out for the birds in your garden to help them have strong shelled eggs – they need calcium, too. You need to wash the eggs and clean them good and place them in a 250 degree F oven for about 30-45 minutes to kill any bacteria. You don’t want to transfer anything to the birds. Alternatively I have boiled the shells for half an hour at a hardy boil.

Legacy is really branching today. She has gone quite a bit higher in her natal tree, the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest, near Jacksonville, Florida. Fledge watch is coming! She is such a strong girl. There is really something to be said for having only one egg hatch on a nest. The parents don’t get worn out and that chick gets lots of food. Legacy has learned from watching Samson and Gabby. She was self-feeding and mantling. She did not need a sibling to drive her to do those things that come to her naturally.

One of the others to benefit from being an only child is Kisatchie. He was born in the Bald Eagle nest in the Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana- the first eaglet since 2013 to be born in this beautiful tree. His parents are both new to raising a family. Louis and Anna have done a fantastic job. Can you see the turtle shell? There are actually two of them on the nest. I wonder if they have been feeding Kisatchie turtle? The shells seem to move. I wonder if they were brought to the nest and are alive????

Over at the Duke Farm Bald Eagle nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey, Li’l and Big are losing the last bits of their soft white down just like Legacy and Kisatchie.

Oh, and another great nest is Pittsburg Hayes. It has been seven years since this nest had three eaglets; the last time being in 2014. Look at the trio now. H13 hatched on 23 March at 4:21 am, H14 hatched on 23 March at 21:57, and H25 hatched on 27 March at 5:33. And they are all doing fabulous!

Fish Buffet. 17 April 2021

You can see the wing feathers starting to come in.

Everyone has a food coma. 17 April 2021.

Proud mama and her big healthy babies.

17 April 2021

Family Portrait!

17 April 2021

The eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest are doing great, too. They do like to scare the living daylights out of you. The youngest one likes to walk right along the rim of the nest. Harry, you might want to bring in some more twigs and big up that wall!

17 April 2021

Be careful little one!

17 April 2021

Food coma.

17 April 2021

So far, both of the Osplets on the on Skidaway Island Osprey Nest near Savannah, Georgia are doing fine.

Lunch time.

17 April 2021

Peeking out.

17 April 2021

NC0 laid her third egg on the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest this morning. Congratulations Laddie and Blue NC0!

17 April 2021. Now it is three.

What an amazing view – and a beautiful calm day for egg 3. Laddie you are going to be very busy!

17 April 2021

Also bringing hope is the arrival of an Osprey at Balgavies Loch. The resident male for the past two years, KR3, just returned. This is going to cause a disturbance on the nest as a new male, Blue YD, has already taken up with the female. The Balgavies nest was Blue YD’s natal nest and there are many hoping that he can retain control. But, this also means, that there is still hope for Aila to arrive at Loch Arkaig. Louis is still waiting.

Thank you for joining me for a hop, skip, and a jump around Bird World. I live in hope that Tiny Tot will get fed today. If he does, I will do a very short posting. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, NE Florida and AEF Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Pittsburg Hayes Bald Eagle Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab Savannah Ospreys.

Time to go awwwwwwwww

If you have been following the saga on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, you will know that three days ago #3, aka Tiny Tot, Lionheart, Braveheart, Tumbles, or Tater Tot, was believed to be almost dead. He had not had any food for three days, the temperatures for those days in St Petersburg had been quite hot, and Tiny Tot almost appeared to be shrinking. He had also chose to isolate himself from the rest of the family. Well, just set your speed to fast forward. Three days of good meals and full crops does wonders.

There he is standing in the back of the nest looking out to the traffic. Look at that fat little bottom and those legs. They are getting thicker too! He is also getting some juvenile plumage. My goodness what those good meals of fish have done for this little one. The regular deliveries have also stopped the food competition that has been going on in this nest. Right now everything is peaceful and we can sit back and enjoy this lovely family hoping that Tiny’s luck will continue.

And grown up plumage means that Tiny is going to be spending a lot more time preening than he has had to do! It’s a good problem for this little Osprey.

In the image below, there he is. He has sat down where he was standing above and is now busy preening every part of his body. They say feather growth is really itchy! I honestly cannot imagine how any human knows that for sure – maybe he is just busy conditioning all those new feathers.

The link to the Achieva Osprey cam is here:

And say awwww to little Kisatchie at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam in Central Louisiana. An only eaglet, Kisatchie – nicknamed Kit and Kissie – is getting his dark juvenile plumage. Today, his mother, Anna brought in a small morsel of food to the nest and Kisatchie did an amazing mantling. Then he let Anna have the prey to feed him! Kisatchie is being taught good lessons for when he is on his own.

There is Anna arriving. Look how big her wings are as she carefully descends to the nest between the two trees. Incredible.

No sooner had Anna landed on the nest than Kisatchie went into mantling posture. Mantling claims ownership – ‘This is mine!’ The wings lowered around the prey and the head down really protect what is hidden underneath. Kisatchie is growing up. The little one is the first eaglet to hatch in this Loblolly Pine nest since 2013. That momentous occasion occurred at 11pm on 23 February. Kisatchie is 43 days old today – a day over six weeks. Did you know that the eaglets start branching and take their first flight when they are ten to twelve weeks old? You are growing up too fast, Kisatchie. I remember you as a bobble head and Anna trying to learn to feed you. Your dad Louis had eighteen fish stacked up one day on the nest! You are Anna and Louis’s first little one and they wanted to make sure you were never hungry.

The link to the KNF Bald Eagle nest is here:

Last year, I did not think another Royal Albatross chick could ever be as cute and funny as Atawhai but then along came this fluffy little one. The Royal Cam chick whose parents are LGL (Lime Green Lime, female) and LGK (Lime Green Black, , male) is 73 days old today. The nickname that has been given to her – until she gets her formal Maori name- is another Maori name, Kapua meaning ‘cloud’. And she is fluffy, just like a cloud.

This is one of my favourite images of this little albatross. She always looks like she is smiling and her beautiful indigo eye is staring right at you..

It’s OK. You can go awwwww now. In the image below she is getting a feeding of squid from her dad, LGK. When he flies in, LGK usually lands and then spends some time with his chick. He sits by her and they chat before he feeds her. LGK is wearing a satellite tracker. It shows that he is having good luck fishing near to Taiaroa Head. Because of that closeness, LGK flies in to feed Kapua at least every other day.

And while Kapua won’t be starting to hover or fledging until September, she is already strengthening her wings by stretching and flapping.

Kapua’s nest is on Taiaroa Head near Dunedin, New Zealand. There are a number of rangers employed to make sure that these wonderful sea birds are safe and in good health. Every Tuesday the chicks are weighed. Their weight is compared to a chart and if any chick is underweight it will get a supplemental feeding of squid from the rangers. Sometimes the parents are very late in returning from sea. Sadly, some of them do not return. But, if anything should happen to endanger the life or health of these beautiful cotton balls, the NZ Department of Conservation steps in to help them. I so admire their dedication and their understanding and mitigation of the perils these sea birds face.

Kapua is a big girl. Yes, they know she is a girl. She has been DNA tested and she will also get banded. Here she is being put into a laundry basket for weighing.

Today, Kapua is 73 days old and weights 6 kilograms or 13.2 pounds. She definitely did not need a supplemental feeding!

The link to the Royal Albatross Chick’s cam is here:

And now to say cute three times with the trio at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest. The screen shot of the three in the image below was taken today. They are all lined up in birth order. Beginning on the far right, the biggest one with a crop is H13 born at 4:21 am on 23 March. Eighteen hours later came H14 at 21:57 on 23 March. The smallest one on the far left, such a little cutie, is H15 born on 27 March at 5:33 am.

The Bald Eagle couple have been together since 2013. The nest is 8 km or 5 miles outside the city of Pittsburg. This is the first time that the couple have had three chicks successfully hatch since 2014. The arrival of all three has caused a lot of excitement in the area and for watchers on the streaming cam.

Just for comparison, the image below was taken six days ago. Look how much those cute little bobbleheads have grown. My goodness. They have more than doubled their size.

I don’t like the bonking or the food competition but there is something so sweet about a tiny little bundle of soft downy feathers.

Here is the link to the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle cam:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care. Stay safe. Enjoy the birds.

Tuesday morning update on Achieva Osprey nest. Only delivery was a small fish at 10:43 – my daughter caught it. It was so small I didn’t even see that fish. Tiny Tot did not get fed. Hoping that this nest will not go back and that at least 2 large fish arrive – or 1 huge one that will feed everyone.

Thank you to the streaming cams listed above. That is where I grab my screen shots.

The race to save the African vulture

In the latest edition of BirdLife Magazine out of Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab, there is a compelling article on the race in Africa to save the African Vulture. It was very moving to read it so soon after discovering the women of the Hargila Army in Assam and their literal saving of the General Adjutant, a stork that also consumes carrion and helps keep disease at bay. The article stresses that vultures are the most endangered raptors in the world. While you might not be familiar with the African Vulture or the General Adjutant, you probably are aware of the California condor. Vultures exist in almost every country. They are crucial part of the food chain and play an important role in the environment. This is why conservation biologists around the world are screaming out for change to save them!

In Africa alone, seven of the ten vulture species are endangered. Many of the issues that threaten the vultures also impact other species. However, in India and parts of Africa, the vulture population dropped by as much as 99%. The author of the article noted that this is ‘apocalyptic’. We are familiar with causes such as habitat loss, electrocution from hydro poles, collisions with buildings and vehicles, the lead used in fishing and hunting equipment, scarcity of food, as well as egg collecting. There are several other threats to the vultures in Africa. One of them is rock climbing and disturbing the nests. Another is the trade in vulture body parts which are used for good luck charms in Africa. The head is believed to bring good luck in business while other parts are used as talismans. The birds are directly poisoned. The last is the impact of the veterinary use of NSAIDs. What is NSAID poisoning? Have you ever heard of it? I certainly knew about its use because I cannot drink milk or eat meat unless it is organic but, I was not aware of its impact on bird populations such as vultures. It is wonderful to learn something new each day! Although I prefer if it is something happier.

The image below shows the many animals and birds that compete for the small amount of food available in Africa.

“Environment of the Hyena Jackal Vulture Group” by Ryan Somma is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

NSAIDs are cheap pharmaceuticals given to cattle to relieve them of their pain and to increase their milk production. They are anti-sterodial. It has long been recognized that the industrial dairies in the US keep the cattle in small pens, standing all day on concrete that causes excruciating pain. These cows are also given treatments to increase their milk production. The life of the cow that never gets to explore and eat grass is traumatic and their longevity is significantly reduced.

The efforts in Africa to eliminate the use of veterinary grade NSAIDs as well as captive-breeding programmes are showing promise. Fencing and satellite tracking is gaining ground. Biologists say that it is time to think ‘bigger’. At the same time, the growth in traditional beliefs is spreading in Africa, alongside the use of more modern pesticides. The author states, however, ‘That for all the bad news, conservationists have taken heart from the fact that the decline in African vultures has been slower than the extraordinary rapid collapse that occurred in Asia’.

“African safari, Aug 2014 – 042” by Ed Yourdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Elsewhere in Bird World, life is good on this Sunday the 4th of April. Rising early to watch and hopefully see Tiny Tot (aka Lionheart, Braveheart, Tumbles, 3) have breakfast, the chatters on the Achieva Osprey site probably had their mouths open. A headless fish arrived at 7:22:22. There was some confusion on the nest as Jack stayed with the fish and Diane left for a break. Tiny had already positioned himself and Dad began to feed him. Jack is not the best at feeding the chicks – he is known for touching beaks with no fish – but this morning Tiny got bites. Neither 1 nor 2 seemed interested. They were very busy preening. Eventually 1 joined and Dad fed 1 a bite then Tiny a bite. Mom returns and Dad leaves at 8:01:17. Diane continues feeding Tiny. Tiny awoke with a crop from yesterday but he ate this morning til he could not eat anymore. At 8:12:07 he stopped. There was not a kerfuffle with the older siblings.

Tiny being fed at 7:59 am while older siblings preen. 4 April 2021

Look carefully at Tiny above (far left chick). His little tail is growing and his plumage is changing. A few more days of good feedings and he might be out of the ‘woods’ in terms of his survival.

Diane with her three growing osplets. 4 April 2021

In the image above, Tiny is in the back. You can see his crop. He is standing confidentially next to 2. What a joyous moment on this nest.

The two bald eaglets of Nancy and Harry at the Minnesota DNR nest are growing. Everything is fine on that nest. Harry has learned to feed them and he is a good provider. Nancy is a fantastic mom. Look at those cute little bobbleheads enjoying the warm sun with their mother.

Kisatchie is growing and growing. First time parents Anna and Louis have done really well. The nest is coated with pine to keep away the insects. Kisatchie is healthy and well fed. His plumage is changing every day as he rids himself of his natal down.

I am afraid to say little owlets anymore. Look at Tiger (left) and Lily (right). They are keeping both Bonnie and Clyde busy hunting, day and night it seems. They look like they are wearing beautiful mohair coats with hoods. In my neighbourhood, yesterday, we were reminded about how formidable a raptor these Great Horned Owls are when one of the ones living nearby tried to take off with one of the neighbour’s cats that had gotten out in the back lane. Remember. Great Horned Owls can carry three times their own weight!

And last but never least, my all time favourite bird mother, Big Red sitting on her three eggs in the Red Tail Hawk nest on the Cornell University Campus. Isn’t it lovely? She actually gets to enjoy some sunshine today!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Keep your eyes on what is happening in the Tampa area. There is rumour that 480 million gallons of radioactive water is threatening to push down a retaining wall. If so, this will be catastrophic not only for the people of the area but for the wildlife – including many Ospreys and Bald Eagles that we so dearly treasure.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: the Kisatchie National Forest and the USFWS, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca, Farmer Derek, and the Achieva Credit Union in St. Petersburg.

Credit for feature image: “In search of the Maltese Falcon #13 – White Backed Vulture, Malta Falconry Centre” by foxypar4 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Eating and growing

The two little ones on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources nest are quite a lively pair. First time, four year old Harry has learned to feed and Nancy has relaxed. Harry is good on the nest and food is there. The little ones are rather spunky to say the least!

Bonnie went out hunting and brought a small live garter snake back to the nest. Lily got there first and ate the entire snake – live – all by herself – as Tiger and Bonnie looked on in amazement.

Look closely at how thick Tiger’s legs are. Look down at its talons. These two owlets are really growing! Both of them are flapping their wings and wandering around the nest. Tiger is very sturdy on those sturdy limbs! Both of them are endless pits in terms of wanting food.

Li’l and Big at the Duke Farm nest are growing and growing. There have been tandem feedings and attempts at self-feeding! Doing good. Li’l can hold its own against its big sib.

It really does help to be the only eaglet in the nest with a parental territory that is full of prey. Kisatchie is always being fed and cared for by its mom, Anna. Louis continues to be an expert fisherman and Kisatchie always has a full crop. I don’t believe this eaglet would understand what hunger actually was. And you know what? That is just fine. His feathers will go strong. Eaglets that have had periods – several of hunger – have thinner spots in their feathers.

In constrast, the Redding triplets are always hungry it seems. Two of them are trying to climb out of the nest cup so that they can have some of that juicy fish. It keeps mom and dad very busy!

I will leave you with an image of my heroine, Big Red, the Red Tail Hawk incubating three eggs on a light stand on the Cornell Campus. Big Red always gets my vote for ‘Mom of the Year’. She is quite amazing! Year after year she gets soaked, gets encrusted in snow and ice, and still she raises the strongest happiest eyasses. She is much loved.

This was a short update on how some of the nests are doing. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe everyone!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I got my screen images: Cornell Bird Lab, the Kisatchie National Forest, , the Pittsburgh Hays Eagle Cam, Friends of Redding Eagles, Farmer Derek, MN DNR Eagle Cam, and Duke Farms.

UPDATE ON THE ACHIEVA OSPREY NEST IN ST PETERSBURG. Tiny Tot was fed this morning at 9:27 after the other two. He had a small crop. It was the first time he ate in 3 full days. Tiny Tot later later had some seizures. It is unclear what damage the lack of food did to his internal organs. A huge catfish came in at 4:22. The two bigger ones ate for a couple of hours. Tiny attempted to get food and was pecked by 2. The dad, Jack, came and took the extra fish away. It is quite sad to see anything suffer so much, begging for food – literally starving to death. It is nothing short of a slow horrible death. The question is why? Is there a lack of fish? Does the father have two families? Other Osprey nests raise three healthy osplets to fledge – even small ones. A good example is Loch Arkaig in 2020.