Daisy the Duck returns to WBSE Nest

Around 05:40 on the 15th of January, Daisy the Pacific Black Duck flew alone to the big Ironbark Nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. It has been precisely two weeks since her previous visit. The nest is no stranger to Daisy who has laid two clutches of eggs here only to have them taken and eaten by Ravens.

There is her head behind the branch. She has just landed.

Daisy will spend a total of 9 minutes on the nest listening and looking.

She checks out all directions.

She listens again. I adore Daisy and I want her to be safe and have her ducklings in a nest where there is some possibility of success. This nest is doomed.

It is unfortunate that neither the Ravens nor the White-bellied Sea Eagles were present. That might have stopped Daisy from considering this site for her next clutch.

It is good to see you are alive and well, Daisy, but please find another spot for your precious eggs!

Under normal circumstances the WBSE would be checking on the nest frequently during this time of the year. Their attendance has been mired by the Pied Currawong and I have hoped that someone insightful might put up an artificial nest for the WBSE down by the Parramatta River Roost similar to the one built for Ron and Rita by the WRDC in Miami.

We wait.

Thank you for joining me on this quick posting about our favourite duck, Daisy!

Thank you to the Sea Eagle@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Oh, Falky!

Anyone watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge has felt that all three of the lads have been out fishing elsewhere. To date, as far as I know, none of the brothers – Bazza, Falky, or Ervie – have caught their own fish on camera.

Bazza has not been seen on camera today. Ervie picked up the 06:28 fish and the 10:41 fish. Falky flew over and tried to take that one from Ervie but he failed.

Falky takes off from the ropes when Dad delivers the fish to Ervie on the nest.

You can see Falky on the upper left above the nest.

Dad had better get out of the way. Falky is hungry!

Ervie secures the fish by moving it over to the rim of the nest in his beak.

At 11:30:00 Falky is watching the water closely. Have a look at what happens!

Oh, Falky was hungry and he was really enjoying that fish he caught.

I have never seen a juvenile fledgling catch their fish, not this young. This is a rare glimpse into their lives as they adjust to becoming independent. Each of them might have caught a fish off camera but this was quite incredible today.

I am hoping that Falky and Ervie will set up a fishing competition! At this very moment, Falky is on the perch looking for another fish.

That was just marvellous. Earlier in the morning a dolphin jumped close to the barge.

Another fish was delivered at 14:15:46. Here comes Dad with it to the nest. Falky sees it. Ervie wants it.

Here comes Falky!

Too late. Ervie gets it!

It has simply been a super morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia. There is more news in Bird World but it can all wait til tomorrow. This is to be relished. It is rare to see a juvenile catch a fish. Enjoy it – and it alone.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and my video clips.

Sunday in Bird World

Oh, wow. It is a bright sunny Sunday on the Canadian Prairies. There is no snow falling and the temperature dropped from that very nice -14 C at midnight to -24 C this morning. It is supposed to further drop to -29 C. When I went out to fill all of the feeders, Dyson was on top of the large suet cylinder chewing away. He took no mind of me as I worked around him until I got the camera out. Then he scurried away! The now regular 28 European Starlings were the first to arrive. They were followed by the several hundred Sparrows. The chickadee seems to find a way to manage in the midst of all of them but I have not seen Junior or Mr and Mrs Blue Jay for a couple of weeks. Little Red will wake up sometime around 14:00 and join the garden gang. When it is cold like it is today the feeders are all filled twice. Thank goodness for bulk buying!!!

Louis just gave up his incubation duties at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. He gave us a quick glimpse of the egg. Doesn’t look like a pip yet.

Louis had his talon caught in some of the Spanish Moss and it completely covered the egg. I wonder if this is egg #2? One of them was broken by Anna when she was landing one day in December. If it is #2, then pip watch could be delayed until Tuesday.

Annie arrives at 12:00:33 and there is a nice view of the egg after the moss is cleared away. Anna is looking at the egg closely. The adults will be able to hear the eaglet inside if all is well as we near pip.

The news coming out of Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel Island is that there is no pip yet for Connie and Clive. Last night Lena 2 laid the first egg for the Captiva Osprey Nest.

Pa Berry is incubating the egg at the Berry College Eagle Nest. There is no pip there and they are expecting rain today. The weather has been terrible for this pair. There was snow last night and high winds and hail the other day. I honestly did not think the tree would survive that storm never mind Missey who was hanging on and keeping those eggs safe.

E19 and E20 are fast asleep at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest in Fort Myers. Their only job is to grow – so they eat and sleep. Adorable.

It got a little too hot under Mum but the shade is really nice! The Mumbrella.

Bald Eaglet spells ‘cute’. These two are really growing. Notice the egg tooth is almost completely gone.

R1 and R2 are ready for some lunch at the WRDC nest. It will be around 26 degrees C for these Miami-Dade eaglets today. I hope there is a nice breeze.

Here is a view of the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest in South Carolina. What a magnificent nest.

The two eaglets of Harriet and Mitch are in a food coma. They are doing very well. I love their fat little bottoms and tails. They scoot around pushing and moving with their wings.

Awwww. I have been watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge closely. You will recall that both Ervie and Falky had early morning fish. Then Bazza, who had a crop, decided to push Falky off the ropes. I was quite afraid for Falky but, on his third try, with a cool head, he was able to free himself from the water. It was brilliant.

Ervie decided that he was not giving up the nest. Indeed, control of the nest is all important by the dominant bird. That is how it came to be that Erive had four fish deliveries yesterday. The deliveries were at 07:08, 15:29:44, 18:05, 18:30, and at 18:40 Ervie seems to find another fish on the nest! His crop should have popped! There is clearly a reason that there is competition for the nest!!!!!!!

At 17:40, Ervie still had a crop from the 15:29 fish.

Ervie spots one of the adults coming in with a fish. It is Dad.

That was a nice fish for Ervie.

Ervie was still eating the 18;05 fish when Mum landed on the nest with a small fish. Falky flies over from the ropes to retrieve that little fish.

So there is Ervie in the back eating his fish and mantling. Mum is in the middle with the fish under her left talon. Falky has gotten turned around and is facing us.

Mum decides she wants out of there quick. Falky is still facing the wrong way. Ervie has his fish under his talons and is mantling.

Ervie decides he doesn’t like Falky on the nest and boots him off. Ervie takes both of the fish.

Now Ervie has two fish to eat! It seems like Ervie has been eating all day. There is no sharing like they did as youngsters. These are three males that will be future rivals if they are not fully already.

Ervie was selected for the sat-pak because he was believed to be the best bet for survival. I continue to say that made a perfect choice. It may feel entirely unfair but it takes confidence, creativity, and cleverness to survive it seems.

Ervie sleeping on the nest in the middle of the night.

Ervie is on the nest and Falky is on the ropes waiting for that first fish delivery. Wonder who will get it?

Other Bird News: Rafa Benjumea has reported that the recent count of Ospreys in the Sanctuaire des Balbuzards in Senegal is 161. That is excellent news. How many Bald Eagle nests and couples do you think are in the small state of New Jersey? The 2021 count shows 247 Bald Eagle Nests. Out of those, 222 were active. 296 eaglets hatched and there were 27 new Bald Eagle couples. That is quite the count! There are growing numbers of Bald Eagles being admitted to Rehab Clinics with high lead levels. A few make it while a lot perish. It is a simple fix: stop using lead in hunting and fishing equipment! If there is one thing that you can do this year to help the birds is to get on your computer and write to the politicians in your area asking them to ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment. While you are at it, you might want to ask them to ban the manufacture and sale of any type of rodenticide. We remain on pip watch for Captiva, KNF, and Berry College – and we are getting close to a pip watch for NEFlorida with Samson and Gabby.

Thank you so much for joining me today. So happy there are so many people who get joy from the birds! It is heart warming. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Hilton Head Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, WRDC Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagle Cam, and the KNF Eagle Cam.

Saturday in Bird World

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you will know that I am tracking the Port Lincoln Osprey lads in terms of ‘who is on the nest’. Ervie and Falky have been alternating. Ervie spent the afternoon and evening and slept on the nest. He is on there right now.

Ervie is fish calling to Dad.

Bazza has been shut out and yesterday he attacked Ervie when Ervie was on the nest. If you missed it, here is that dust up.

We are on hatch watch this weekend for three Bald Eagle nests. That is Captiva, Kistachie National Forest, and Berry College. The eggs for both Captiva and KNF were laid on 4 Dec and 7 December. One of the KNF eggs was broken. Eggs at Berry College were laid on 5 Dec and 8 December. You might remember that it was the female at Berry College, Missey, that survived that horrific hail and wind storm. I hope those eggs are alright. This is a new female for Pa Berry – their second season together. If you were a fan of Ma Berry, she was seen having a spa day at the end of January 2021. Yes, birds do get divorces.

This is the Kisatchie National Forest nest of Anna and Louis. Anna is incubating now.

Here is the link to the KNF Bald Eagle Nest.

This is the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest.

Here is the link to the Berry College streaming cam:

https://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/

This is the link to the Captiva Nest. This is Connie and Clive. I hope that they have a very successful year. This is probably the most narrow Bald Eagle Nest in the world!

R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest are doing just fine. Rita did some clearing of the nest yesterday and some new grasses were brought in. The nest looked amazing but after several hours, little eaglets wandering around and food can cause it to look messy again. Rita used the grass to go to the edges and sticks are still being brought in to this new human made nest for the sides.

Little eaglets full to the brim. The weather is good. It is 24 degrees. They do not need Rita to brood them in that temperature.

Ferris Akel is streaming live as I type. I love to lurk because he finds some amazing birds on his Saturday tours of the Finger Lakes area of Upper New York State. So far today there have been lots of hawks – Northern Harriers and Red Tails. The Harriers are really difficult to photograph.

The Ducks below are American Black Ducks, females. They might look like Mallards but their bill is tinged more green than the orange of the Mallard and their feathers are darker. They are virtually the same size and shape of a Mallard.

This is a female Hooded Meganser looking for food – going in and out of the water flapping her wings.

There you can get a good look. This looks to me like a first year female. Mergansers like to live in forested swamps but today they are in the wetlands. They nest in tree cavities and will also use nest boxes, unlike our favourite little duck, Daisy! They winter in the estuaries and creeks in the eastern United States and along the Mississippi Flyway.

Ferris found a Red-tail hawk hoping to find some lunch. Many of the Red-tail Hawks around the area of Ithaca do not migrate but remain in the region because the winters are not too harsh and there is plenty of prey. Indeed, the one thing that does determine over winter areas is the availability of food.

There continue to be lots of Canada Geese in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

Today, there were also some swans.

Swans feed by submerging their heads into the vegetation below the surface of the water.

These are young Tundra Swans with an adult. The Tundra Swans are smaller than the Trumpeter.

Aren’t they beautiful? We have so many waterfowl in Canada but it was not until Daisy the Duck in Australia that I really began to appreciate the ones around me.

There were also Mallards and Redheads mixed in with the Tundra Swans who are searching for vegetation to eat.

Just look at all of the Redheads!

The GHOWs are becoming a real problem for the health of the Bald Eagles. There was another owl strike at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Harriet and M15. Lady Hawk has it on video. Additionally, there are GHOWs attempting to take over the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest of Harry and Nancy, the Savannah Osprey Nest, and, as we know, a GHOW named Bonnie and Clyde took over the nest of a young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas last year and raised two owlets to fledge.

I am beginning to not like GHOWs at all!

The temperatures on the Canadian Prairies warmed up and we got more snow! It can stop now. The birds have already been fed and it looks like a great day to stay in and read and watch for those pips.

Over the past month I have become very fond of DanniConnorWild. She is a young wildlife photographer who has taken up residence in Northern Sweden. She is living her dream. That is fantastic! She is very keen on squirrels. Indeed, the squirrels in this video are eating spruce cones. I have never seen this. She is earning a living through her videos and photographs so there are ads but, just don’t mind those. I am posting her video from the end of the year that includes squirrels, Reindeer, and beautiful Northern Lights in case you want to have a look.

Thank you for joining me today. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ferris Akel Tours, Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Bald Eagle Cam, Berry College Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Cam.

Late Friday in Bird World

First, let’s head down to Port Lincoln in Australia. Falky’s reservation for the nest on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge included yesterday afternoon, evening, a bed for the night and the breakfast fish which arrived around 06:15. Ervie tried to steal it from Falky but failed so he got on the perch and was a little pouty! Poor Bazza doesn’t have a chance with these two.

Honestly, these birds are more entertaining than most things on the telly including the streaming movies!

Just look at Ervie all puffed up. He won’t even look at Falky. Too funny. We know that Ervie doesn’t remember the agreement, right? Spend the night on the nest and you get a free breakfish.

Ervie is very good at stealing fish. Falky gets a little nervous he is going to lose out so he moves over to the corner and eats his fish on the ropes. Ervie takes the nest.

Ervie is still on the nest. Falky is gone and Mum is on the ropes. All of the boys must be fishing themselves, too. It is, however, much easier to have Daddy Door dash!

I wonder who has the next reservation? Ervie looks like he thinks it is him.

Dr Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University in Orange just installed a cam that shows a view of the water tower where Xavier and Diamond hang out and where their scrape box is located. There have been a few storms and one yesterday. Cilla posted an image of lightning around the tower stating she was thrilled it has a lightning rod. Wow!

The storm is over and Diamond spent the night in the scrape box. Here she is in the morning. All is well.

There has been some chatter about the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita. Terry Carmen posted the announcement by the WRDC. Here it is.

While we mourn the little one, there is nothing at fault. The nest cup was narrow and deep – a great way to protect young eaglets from GHOW attacks. The other two, R1 and R2 are doing very well.

I had a question sent to me. Yes, Rita removed the chick from the bottom of the nest cup and placed it at 06:00 on the nest rim. Yes, she did feed R1 a bite and took a bite herself. The remainder of R3s body will become part of the nest if it is not moved or consumed completely. This practice is quite normal within the eagle species. I simply chose not to show what happened in graphic detail.

Both Ron and Rita have been undertaking some nestorations. Meanwhile, R1 and R2 are in food coma, sound asleep. They are doing great.

Now say awwwwww. Isn’t he handsome? Sharon Pollock posted this screen capture. I would say that Grinnell has fully recovered. He has a nice crop and his beak has grown back. But what really interests me is that yellow orange cere and legs. This is one healthy peregrine falcon! We love healthy. Glad to see you back in great shape, Grinnell.

I have not seen Daisy the Duck return to the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her visit a week ago with her mate. This is a good think! She is adorable and has brought a new interest in ducks to my life. I wish her and Mr Daisy well and I just hope that after I post this, they do not show up!

Thank you for joining me. Everything else is clicking along at all of the nests. Get ready for pips and hatches over the weekend! Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, WRDC Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons FB, and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News FB.

Ervie, ‘the main man’

I cannot possibly tell you what joy – sheer joy – the Port Lincoln Osprey nest has brought to me this year. There is a huge lesson in that statement. The biggest one is: Do not let something that happened on a bird nest in a previous breeding season deter you from returning to that nest. There are so many different factors that impact a season from the time the eggs are laid to the chicks fledging.

These factors can be as simple as the weather – and we all know that weather is not simple. Chicks can die on a nest from cold damp or extreme heat. They can also thrive, of course. A parent might be injured or die. This year Aran, the male at the Glaslyn Nest in Wales, was injured in a territorial battle and could not provide fish for his family. At the same time, the Glaslyn Valley was hit by a bitter wet storm that lasted days on end. The three chicks of Aran and Mrs G perished. Aran and Mrs G survived through the generous donations of fish on a feeding table. Some eggs are thin and break easily due to lingering DDT in the area even after it has been banned for 50 years. Food supplies can shift. Predators. The list is long including the gender of the siblings on the nest and the number of days between hatches.

I disliked Solly so much last year after Tapps died of starvation that – well, it was hard for me to return to the Port Lincoln nest. The history of the nest told me that the likelihood for another siblicide event was acute. Many of you felt the same. My need to witness and try to understand the survival of third hatches, ultimately, compelled me to return to the PLO barge.

What then are the adjectives to describe the 2021-22 Osprey breeding season at the Port Lincoln barge? Beautiful. Serene. Delightful. Joyous. Come on, you can help me! It certainly was enlightening and instructive. It will also be unforgettable for all the right reasons.

It is possible to do a full scale analysis of weather, wind, fish deliveries, etc. Port Lincoln keeps all of the information on a myriad of events on the nest and everything could be fed into a computer. A really quick glance of fish deliveries tells me that this year is pretty comparable to last year. Certainly Mum and Dad didn’t change their behaviour. Is it possible then that it comes down to the time between hatches and the gender of the nestlings? Does it have anything to do with how the third hatch presents itself to the oldest? I don’t yet know the answer to those questions but, I am hoping to have more insights after another decade for collecting data. For now, I just want to celebrate the achievement of this nest. Three fledges! A first for them. Well done.

Let’s go back in time – almost four months ago. This video clip is a feeding from 16 September.

This feeding is 6 November, not quite two months later.

This year, on the Port Lincoln Barge, Ervie is the ‘main man’. Hatched 51 hours after Bazza, the oldest, Ervie did not have the challenges that many third hatches have. He was not that smaller than Bazza after several days of eating. We still worried because Bazza was picking on Ervie. Ervie, however, didn’t take it. He refused to be submissive or lose his place at Mum’s beak. Indeed, he insisted that he was the first fed!!!!!! Talk about an attitude. I openly admit to adoring this bird for his spunk, his confidence, and determination. Yes, I really do believe that there are some birds that are more confident than others – just like humans.

When it came time to measure, band, and put a satellite pack on the back of one of the three, everyone believed that it would go to a male bird so that the data could be compared to that provided by Solly’s tracking. Did they think there were three males on the nest? I wonder. Someone must have decided then that if all three were male, the biggest would get the tracker. That morning Ervie weighed the most. Ervie, who came from third to be the dominant bird on the nest, got the sat-pak. It really was an inspired choice.

A few days ago we worried because Ervie spent the night and the next day on the nest with his head held down. Granted it was very windy and having noticed the others doing this, that behaviour was not worrisome. But Ervie – all night and day on the nest??!! I have now joked about there being a kind of rota chart for nest time.

For a couple of days after Ervie spent all that time on the nest we didn’t really see him much. He flew in around 13:00 yesterday and, typically, with his arrival, chaos ensued. Ervie enjoyed the last fish of the day before spending the night sleeping on the nest.

When Ervie woke up in the morning, Dad delivered the breakfast fish – and because Ervie was on the nest, he got it. It was 07:02. Falky would have liked it but he stayed on the ropes.

Ervie also got the 09:36:52 fish delivery from Dad. This time Falky was again on the ropes but this time, Falky flew to the nest to try and get the fish. He failed. This means that Ervie had the last three fish deliveries!

At 11:00 both Ervie and Falky are on the nest. Falky finds a fish tail left from Ervie. He grabs it and flies over to the ropes to have a snack.

At 11:12:56 Falky flies over to the nest to join Ervie. Falky probably wants to see if Ervie left any more tasty tidbits.

The arrival of Falky on the nest does not sit right with Ervie and there is a dust up.

Ervie decides he has had enough and leaves. After all, he has had 3 of the last 3 fish deliveries.

Falky gets the 12:45 fish delivery from Dad.

Falky is on the left and he has relieved Dad of the fish. Dad is on the right. You can see that the fledglings are as large as their parents.

Two hours later, Falky remains on the nest. I wonder if this is his reservation day??? We wait to see.

Will Falky occupy the nest and get the next three or four deliveries? Will he spend the night on the nest? We have to wait and see.

I hope that each of you really learned a lot from this Osprey nest and that all of you will tell a friend to watch with you next year.

The Fosters do a great job with The Port Lincoln Osprey Project. They have successfully advocated for satellite trackers for the birds and we have learned much from Solly’s travels. Now we have the opportunity to learn from Ervie. The Fosters also advocate for safety measures for the birds including covers for the hydro poles. Hopefully they will post how that is going on their FB page. I am very grateful to them for this streaming cam and for their FB page. That is where I took today’s screen captures and video clips.

Thanks for joining me! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Late Monday in Bird World

It has been a wonderful day in Bird World. It is a good time to reflect on how much joy the birds bring into our lives, how much they teach us as we observe them and, as always, what else we can do to enrich their lives like they have ours. I cannot even begin to imagine what my life would have been like. First was the feeding of the songbirds in our garden and then there was the arrival of Sharpie’s mate. All of that was followed by watching Red-tailed Hawks in New York City and in Ithaca on the streaming cams. Years later the pandemic hits. Two years ago we had barely returned from a trip to Quebec City to celebrate my retirement and the first discussions of a deadly virus were swirling about. It was not long until we learned about the cases in PRC and, of course, all of that is now history. The first hawks that I watched in New York City are no longer with us (secondary rodenticide poisoning) but Big Red is still going strong up in Ithaca. She gave so many a reason to get up in the morning and, at the same time, reasons for us staying up all night as well – worrying. The birds taught – and continue to teach – me many things including empathy and patience.

Today, the Hilton Head Eagles, Harriet and Mitch, had their second hatch. The nest was discovered in October and the Hilton Head Trust held a contest for names for the couple while also setting up a streaming cam. Harriet is named after Harriet Tubman, nurse and spy for the Union army, and Mitch is for Civil War General, Ormsby Mitchel. Tubman actually led 700 slaves to their freedom, 100 of them to Mitchelville, a community established by the General for formerly enslaved persons. Thus, the names have a connection to one another and also to the community where the nest is located.

They are just adorable – littl eaglets with their soft grey natal down and spiky hair. Look how strong they are in the image below. It is so reassuring when they hatch and are strong and ready to go! Have a look:

I have been watching M15 and Harriet and the hatch of E19 most of the day. If you missed it, I updated my earlier blog identifying M15 as the adult on the nest when E19 hatched. That hatch was at 12:43:04. Harriet saw her baby for the first time at 14:46. The couple have each had turns feeding their first hatch of the 2021-22 season.

Look how wide E19 is opening its mouth. Harriet is pleased.

M15 stands guard over his nest with mate Harriet, E19, and yet-to-hatch eaglet, E20.

All of these eaglets will spend 75-85 days in the nest, depending on where they hatched. Here are the three standard divisions of the eaglet’s development. The first stage, 35-40 days, is called ‘structural growth.’ This is when the eaglets rapidly gain weight. They seem to be eating all the time. They are building bones and muscles as well as their tissue, toes, claws, etc. The second stage is related to the eaglet’s future ability to fly. The eaglets are born with natal down. Next is thermal down, then their juvenile feathers come in, and over the course from fledge to the time they are five years old, they will go through stages of feather development resulting, finally, in an adult with a beautiful white head, gorgeous brown body and yellow legs and feet. The thermal down will begin coming in around day 10. Juvenile flight feathers begin growing between 24-27 days. You will notice the eaglets doing wingercizes which help them develop the muscles in their wings. Right now these eaglets do not have much control over their heads and beaks. They will, as their neurological coordination increases, begin to stand on their feet instead of scooting around on their tarsi. They will learn to tear food, holding the prey down with their feet and pulling with their beak. Instead of being clumsy unfocused bobble-heads, they will turn into beautifully focused chocolate feathered raptors.

Within the last hour, another GHOW strike has happened at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest. These attacks are occurring much more frequently. Several nests including one Osprey one at Hog Island employed lights and clothed dolls to thwart the GHOW attacks. Thank you for that information, ‘L’. Maybe it is time to consider lights for Harriet and M15.

The Kakapo Recovery posted the cartoon of their infamous bachelors about two weeks ago.

Well, the staff no longer have to wait for breeding season to begin on Whenua Hou Island. The Kakapo kicked it up into high gear starting on 24 December. Oh, let there be many baby Kakapo!

Over at Port Lincoln everyone is eating well. Bazza found a fish before day break on the floor of the barge, then Bazza received another fish. Did I say I think Bazza will never leave home? Ervie has been over on the ropes eating a fish that it appears he caught and when he couldn’t eat another bite, Falky took over. Wow. Sibling sharing. How nice!

Ervie is at the top and Falky is eating the rest of the fish Ervie caught on the ropes near the bottom of the image.

Diamond slept on the Cilla Rocks last night. It is comforting to see her sitting on the ledge of the scrape at first light.

As I approach the end of the day, the sun is waking up on the deserts of Africa. The little birds are flitting about the bore hole in Namibia getting drinks. What a beautiful view. So peaceful. So warm compared to the cold snowy weather of Manitoba!

Good Night everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this evening. Stay well, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Eagle Cam, SWFlorida and D Pritchett Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Nambia Cam, and Kakapo Recovery FB Page.

A Christmas Miracle for ‘Christmas’ the Fawn

It is always heart warming to find that individual effort can really move people to action to help wildlife. We have been fortunate to see this happen many times this year and it gives us hope.

Some of you might remember Carrot the Deer. Everyone knew her and then she showed up with an arrow in her head last year. The community of Kenora, Ontario were devastated. Carrot got help! Well, meet ‘Christmas with the broken leg’ – and the woman who saved Carrot goes into action and will not take ‘no’ for an answer until she gets help for another deer in Kenora, Ontario!

I wonder why Harriet is such a popular name for Bald Eagle females???? Does anyone know? News is out that the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Mum, Harriet, has a confirmed pip today. Congratulations Mitch and Harriet. That is one substantial pip.

Oh, can you tell I am really missing these Bobble heads? The Pritchett Family has confirmed that there is no pip or Harriet and M15 yet. Perhaps tomorrow – 26 December, Boxing Day!

I can’t think of a better way to end this newsletter than with this beautiful tribute to adorable Yurruga. It’s lovely. Please have a look.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me this evening. See you soon!

Winter Solstice in Bird World

As all of you know, Daisy the Duck has occupied my mind for some 20 days now without much of a break. She has just arrived home to the nest – it is the Summer Solstice 22 December in Australia – and I am going to take some time to check in on the other nests that are normally watched.

It has been a horrible day for Gabby who is incubating two eggs on the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest called The Hamlet. It is just outside Jacksonville.

Bald Eagles generally have 35 days of incubation. Gabby and Samson were really wise. They did not start hard incubation until the second egg was laid meaning that the two eaglets will be born close together with no older sibling advantage. They will just bop each other taking turns! This means that the hatch date is 19 January. Mark your calendars.

For me, this is great timing. Harriet and M15s eaglets are set to hatch in 3-4 days. We won’t be watching two bobble head nests at once. Oh, those high winds are really hitting Fort Myers. You can see Harriet’s feathers blowing.

It is a beautiful day over in Decorah, Iowa with the Decorah Bald Eagles. No eggs – it is winter! But the Eagles are around. The nest is at a trout hatchery – lucky raptors. Smiling. Everyone should have a source of fish for their Ospreys and their Raptors. Takes about 350-400 a season. Not bad for giving life to these beautiful birds and their family.

The Bald Eagles in Iowa generally lay their eggs in mid-February.

The Decorah Eagles are not to be confused with the Decorah North Eagles!!!!! It is home to Mr and Mrs North.

The camera is live at Duke Farms in New Jersey. No eggs yet. In fact, it should be about a month until we see eggs on this nest. I hope this Mum has better weather this year! She was encased in ice and snow most of incubation in early 2021.

Diamond is starting the day in the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange. Both her and Xavier have been examining the new gravel that Cilla Kinross provided awhile ago. They have also had bad weather with torrential rains but it looks like they will have a nice day today. Fingers crossed.

Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest in Big Bear, California are doing nestorations. It looks like they are going to have a white Christmas.

Last year Bonnie and Clyde, the Great Horned Owls, took over a young Bald Eagles couple’s nest on Farmer Derek’s property. They raised two owlets. The nest is currently unoccupied but one of the Bald Eagles did a fly by at 07:19 this morning. Will there be a battle over this nest?

The eagle is right at the horizon line with the blue sky. You should be able to see it.

Anna has taken over incubation duties of the two eggs on the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. This is her and Louis’s second breeding attempt. They fledged Kisatchie last season.

Clive is on incubation duty at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. Another storm is really starting to churn in that area. It will effect the eagles as well as the ospreys – and, of course, it is the same storm that is hitting Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers.

It is a beautiful winter’s day – perfect for the Winter Solstice – at Glacier Gardens. I wonder what Kindness is doing? She was such a special juvie.

Alaska is a perfect place for Bald Eagles, too. When Dave Hancock put the satellite trackers on the 7 or 8 fledglings in British Columbia that survived that horrific heat wave, all of them flew north to Alaska.

Lena is waiting for Andy to bring her some fish at the Captiva Osprey Nest. This couple was really hit hard – along with Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest – from the storms the other day. It is good to see that all had no problems. There is another storm brewing today.

Ervie got the morning fish and Bazza is not happy. Apparently, Ervie woke up in the middle of the night and kicked Bazza off the nest. I can understand why he is grumpy.

Ervie is doing a great mantling job. Third hatch turned out to be the ‘King Pin’. Wonder if Bazza remembers how he tried to treat Ervie? Do raptors have a memory like elephants?

Daisy is fine. Wishing for a quiet day for her.

This is a wee bit of a catch up with some of our other favourite nests. Cal Falcons raised $3500 through the sale of t-shirts to support Lindsay Wildlife for treating Grinnell. That is fantastic! There is no news of who Annie will pair with for the 2022 breeding season. Watching birds is all about patience. Sometimes I don’t have any!!!!!!

Thank you so much for stopping in to check on the nests. The birds will weather the current storms in Florida. They are used to them but, still, we worry. Wishing all of you a very happy Winter solstice. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle and the AEF, SWFlorida and the Pritchett Family, Captiva Osprey, Captiva Bald Eagle, KNF Bald Eagles, Glacier Gardens, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Farmer Derek, Friends of Big Bear Eagles, Duke Farms, the Raptor Research Project at Explore.org, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19 late-20

It is after lunch in Sydney, Australia and Daisy is fast asleep incubating her eggs. The morning has been quiet.

Daisy has 8 eggs in her clutch that she has been hard incubating. Daisy laid egg 1 on 3 December nest time. The 8th egg was laid on 10 December. She began hard incubation on 10 December if not December 9. Today is 22 December – the summer solstice – for Daisy. Daisy has been incubating her eggs for 13 days. Hatch will be 3-6 of January in Australia should the eggs survive.

Daisy really had a quiet afternoon. I could see nothing happening. The cam operator checked several times to see if the WBSE were at the River Roost but they were not.

As I remind everyone, there is no reason to believe they would do anything to Daisy from their behaviour last year which was curiosity about the down and Dad going into territorial protection wanting to catch who was using his nest. He was mesmerized by the eggs and at one time everyone thought he might incubate them. It was like he went into some kind of a ‘trance’ — seeing eggs in that place immediately reminded him of Lady’s eggs. It was quite interesting behaviour. He finally broke one but he did not like the taste. I am hoping that he remembers that if he scares Daisy off the eggs again this year.

Throughout the afternoon, Daisy kept gathering up leaves that she could see. She would stretch her long neck and pick them out from under the twigs. You could hardly see her on the nest when the shadows crossed over where the egg cup is located.

Every once in awhile she would see a piece of a leaf and pull it towards her using her bill as a kind of shovel.

Daisy began to cover the eggs around 18:03.

Daisy flies off the nest at 18:03:18 for her evening meal content that her eggs are covered enough to keep predator’s eyes away from them.

It is almost precisely two hours before sunset. Daisy is taking a chance that the Ravens will not come this time of the evening! On the other hand, the Sea Eagles might and that would be a good thing if she were not on the nest. Remember Lady was chased by the Currawong and was so busy watching them so they would not hit her head that she landed on the nest, honked a few times and flew off – she didn’t even look at the nest bowl and see the down. Oh, Daisy is lucky.

Daisy returned at 20:25:39.

It was – what appears to be – a relatively quiet day and evening for Daisy.

I was surprised, however, when Daisy prepared to leave the nest at 02:56:25. I say surprised because of the visit by the Bushtail Possum in the wee hours of the morning before.

I was even more surprised when Daisy walked straight forward, instead of taking the right turn she normally takes, to fly off. It then occurred to me that Daisy might begin to check places to leave the nest for the ducklings to follow. Could this be why?

She flew off the parent branch. Maybe it is a cleaner drop? If you look at the side she normally flies from there is a large piece of the nest with all its bits and pieces of twigs and branches extending out that the little ones might get caught in.

Sunrise is at 05:41.

Daisy returns from her foraging at 07:05:08.

The solstice is upon us. It is ‘winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere and ‘summer’ for Daisy in the Southern. It is the longest ‘dark’ day for us or the longest ‘light’ day for Daisy. In Canada, we look for the light that each day stays with us a little longer. The word Solstice comes from the Latin meaning the time when the ‘sun stood still’. Today, the sun is at its most southern position from Earth. It seems to stop and stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn only to then reverse its direction. It is a turning point in the seasons. It is a symbol of the Earth’s rebirth.

Wishing the rebirth of the sun to fill your lives, your home, your garden, and your heart with warmth and happiness…. Happy Winter Solstice to each of you. And to Daisy, our most favourite adorable duck, Happy Summer Solstice. We wish you an uneventful, boring day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day with a brief posting later today on the day’s events. Take care. See you soon!

Note: Congratulations to Samson and Gabby on their second egg which was laid yesterday at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.