Wednesday afternoon and all is well in Bird World

It has turned out to be a really good day for both the garden birds and E20 and R2. The blowing snow and wind yesterday kept the birds away from the feeders in my City but, all of the reports this morning are that the birds are back in full force. That is wonderful. I have an onslaught of European Starlings while others have a yard full of Redpolls. I would love to switch with them just for a couple of hours. Outside of the City the Snowy Owls are rather abundant and when it is warmer than -25 I really hope to get out to see them and take some photos to share.

In my last blog, I hoped that M15 would step in and feed E20. Well, he did! Maybe each of you wished that too. It is amazing what positive energy can do. The two just finished a different feeding about an hour or so ago. E20 waited and then was fed and both have enormous crops.

That is E20 at the top. E19 is in food coma at the bottom. Relief. Eagles do not have to eat every day. Indeed, in the wild, it is often the case that there is feast or famine. However, growing eaglets certainly do better and have no feather stress if feedings/food deliveries are stable. Harriet and M15 have never lost a chick to siblicide and I don’t think they are going to now. It is, however, difficult to watch – the bonking or beaking.

I did peek at the WRDC nest. R2 had been fed twice. I have no idea how many times R1 had eaten but when I checked, R1 was eating and eating and eating. R2 was keeping its head down and out of the way. It tried to squeeze in to get close to Mum but it seems the fish was eaten. Still R2 had a crop, not nearly as big as 20s but a crop nonetheless.

R1 is the eaglet eating. You can see R2s crop as he looks out of the nest to the world beyond.

40 minutes later, R1 is full to its beak but it does not like R2 trying to move in close to Mum. Too bad that R2 didn’t start pecking away at that fish he was on in the image above. Maybe he will become very clever and do that!

B15 is doing great. Both Pa Berry and Missy have been feeding and feeding that cheeky little eaglet. Squirrel and fish were on the menu this morning. The adults have also been cleaning up the nest cup, making it soft and nice for the eaglet.

This eaglet is seriously sweet.

At less than a week old, B15 can make its way around the egg cup quite well. This morning it had its eyes and beak focused on that fish.

The winds have been terrible in the Kisatchie National Forest. One big gust blew Anna right onto the baby! Right now it is 23 degrees C and the nest is in the area of a severe thunderstorm watch until 19:00.

Cheeky (and hot) baby trying to get out from under Dad!

Louis is on the nest. The sound is so good you can hear Anna out in the forest ‘talking’ to something. There is so much food on the nest. No worries if rain comes. Let us just hope the strong winds stay away from this nest at the top of a Loblolly Pine.

And everything is definitely alright with the world when Ervie is on the Port Lincoln Nest screaming his lungs off (???) wanting breakfast!!!!!!

What everyone really wants is for the Erv to see a fish in the water while he is on the nest and dive in and bring it back and eat it. That would just be like the best present everyone could get.

As we get close to the hatching of the Royal Cam chick, the NZ DOC has provided us with a document telling us what to expect. I hope that you can open it. Hatch watch 27 January – yes, that is 6 days away. (You might have to cut and paste).

/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/what-to-expect/?fbclid=IwAR05icSK-au13aCXIrpMFcFaEVM7UhZVOM1BcFDJwybS0UBxbLW3O7AtvWU

It is very windy and there are Albies flying around everywhere. OGK does some stretches and seems perfectly content incubating his egg. I wonder if YRK will blow in today? She might if her foraging has gone well but, it is early days to expect her return.

Having a chat with his egg. Precious.

What a peaceful nest to close this newsletter. If you want to watch the action as we approach hatch in New Zealand, here is the camera link:

There has been a sighting of an Osprey with a yellow leg band at Port Augusta which is 350 km north of Port Lincoln. Both Falky and Star have yellow bands but opposite legs. We wait to confirm which leg it is. All I can say is Wow. That is further than Solly who was on the opposite side of Eyre Peninsula at Streaky Bay and up to Eba Anchorage.

Oh, it is a good day. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Bald Eagles, WRDC, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and the KNF Bald Eagle Cam.

Late Tuesday and Early Wednesday in Bird World

Late Tuesday afternoon I was watching the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis. It was such a calming and funny experience. Ten fish were on the nest. Ten. Not tinny weeny fish but substantial fish or portions of. When Louis is brooding the baby, he will get up and start to eat some of the fish. Two things happen. First, the eaglet seems to recognize that Dad is not such a great feeder and ignores him eating.

Then, secondly, Anna sees or hears Louis in the pantry and immediately comes to the nest with a request for him to leave the food.

At this point, she begins eating the fish – and the little one gets itself over to where she is so s/he can have some of that fish, too. How smart. Six days old and already recognizes the best feeder of the parents.

This little one is so strong. It held itself up high and steady for long periods of time. Incredible.

Anna helps to strengthen the chick’s neck by making it stretch to get the food.

It was hilarious and just what I needed at the end of the day. This little eaglet will go on to have more feedings before it gets dark. Anna wants the baby to sleep well so it can grow – and be quiet. This baby is quite loud when it is hungry – which is rare.

One of the individuals on the KNF chat stated that the KNF nest was their top nest to watch and that they had stopped viewing another nest because of the violence of the older eaglet to the younger. I know at least two Bald Eagle nests that the person could have been referring to – and even I had wondered if I wouldn’t take a break from both of them for at least a week to let things settle.

It is very difficult watching streaming cams. Very difficult. The birds bring us much joy and enrich our lives. They teach us so much. We want them to play fair and survive. We grieve when one dies and we yell at the screen when the eaglets hurt one another especially when there is food to spare. So along with the joy comes a lot of anxiety and grieving.

One of the nests has to be SWFlorida’s. I held my breath and checked on E19 and E20 as the sun was beginning to set in Fort Myers. Both of them had crops. Yes, E19s is bigger but the fact that E20 will go to sleep full means a lot. In order to have a crop of any kind, E20 had to do the old snatch and grab. And then Mum ran out of food.

This morning, Wednesday, I also checked in on the SWFlorida nest. A nice sized sturgeon had been delivered. Big enough to feed both eaglets well but, E19 was determined that it was going to eat most of it. It was only after 19 was full that 20 was able to begin doing the snatch and grab, again.

E19 continues to be miserable.

In the past I have praised Harriet and M15 – especially M15 – for stepping in to help so that both eaglets get fed to the brim. That doesn’t seem to be happening yet. I am disappointed.

One of the ‘oddest’ issues is that by the time E20 gets its turn, the amount of prey on the nest has significantly diminished or, in one instance, was all gone but a tail.

I did not check the WRDC nest. I will but, not until the end of the week. I want to give the sibling rivalry some time to settle. There are plenty of nests and lots of activity to keep me out of trouble.

As it happens Berry College was one nest that I was shy about watching or recommending. Today, Berry College posted the cutest video of B15 on FB and its reaction to a big stick on the nest. They sped up the frame rate so everything is happening fast – like slapstick comedy. I hope you enjoy this. It does show you that B15 is a real character and secondly, that it is a good thing that other egg didn’t hatch!

This morning it was 8 degrees F or -13 C. Very cold at Berry College. B15 was quivering its wings while Pa Berry fed it a breakfast of squirrel and hidden fish!

Pa Berry does a good job feeding his baby.

B15 is doing very well. Less than a week ago it fit into the size of that egg!

The Bald Eagle couple at Big Bear, Jackie and Shadow, have a loyal fan base. Last year they lost both of their clutches. Everyone is hoping that this year this popular couple will be successful. They have certainly been doing nest renovations making way for eggs!

Jackie and Shadow have a beautiful view of Big Bear Lake. Sadly, as I often mention, the area still contains the residual effects of the DDT that was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to rid it of mosquitoes more than 50 years ago. This could be, in part, the cause of the thin egg shells.

It is egg watch for Jackie and Shadow.

As I mentioned earlier, Louis and Anna have the sweetest little eaglet. Louis is a fantastic provider. There are reports of cold icy weather heading towards Louisiana. I hope that it veers away from this nest!

Samson and Gabby also have a gorgeous place for a nest.

What a beautiful egg cup.

Samson rolls the eggs giving Gabby a chance for some food and a break.

Gabby is on deck this morning (Wednesday) and tomorrow, Thursday the 20th is the beginning of pip watch for Samson and Gabby at the American Eagle Foundation! Yes. I am so excited along with all of their loyal fans.

Ervie only got a couple of small fish yesterday. He was on and off the nest so that chatters are now giving him the nickname of ‘Boomerang’. He spent the night on the perch after being spooked by a boat that got too close to the barge at 21:08:23. This is at least the third incident this breeding season. Just the other day two youngsters on paddle boards appeared right by the barge. It really does unsettle the birds.

I am delighted that Daisy the Duck is still not laying eggs on the WBSE nest. Each day that she isn’t there is a day to celebrate albeit we do miss seeing her.

I know that each of us wish that this was ‘our’ Daisy after her eggs hatched on that big nest. Talk about adorable. These ducklings follow their Mum perfectly til they get to the stream!

I hope that put a smile on your face. And, Daisy, I hope that in about a month this might be you! We all do.

It is -25 C on the Canadian Prairies and we had more snow last night. Everything is beautiful and white and typically, on very cold days, the sky is blue and the sun is bright. The Blue Jay family has been absent now for over a month. I hope they decided to leave town for warmer climates. Ah, but where to go? It was colder in Georgia yesterday than it was in Winnipeg! Dyson was out doing what he does best —-eating! I caught him on the large suet cylinder yesterday afternoon. What Dyson doesn’t know is that I removed the cage from around the big suet so that he could eat all he wanted. Don’t tell him or he will think I am an old ‘softie’. Notice how thick Dyson’s fur has gotten since the fall.

The European Starlings were everywhere. The numbers typically range between 27 or 28 up to 56 to 58 at a time. They do tend to intimidate the smaller birds from coming to the feeders until they are full. This has meant watching and keeping food topped up until around 16:00 when everyone leaves.

In the middle of the all the chaos caused by the Starlings is the Chickadee who visits several times a day. Slipping in and out when there are not so many other birds around.

Little Red is around but he has only let me photograph his tail at one of the feeders – cheeky little thing. The other two Grey Squirrels come and go as well along with Sharpie who sweeps through a couple of times a day checking to see if he can grab a snack. They seem to be braving the bitter winter weather and the snow with more grace than I seem to have. It certainly feels like spring is a long way away.

Dyson knows precisely where I fill the feeders. When he finishes there will be nothing left but the shells from the Black-Oil Seeds.

Thank you so much for joining me today. From me and all the garden friends, take care, see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Friends of Big Bear.

Monday in Bird World, late edition

It feels like the lull after the storm which is possibly a good thing for everyone who was in the path of the snow and ice in the US yesterday, including our beloved birds and animals. That said, there are still parts of the US and Canada that continue to be having weather from that system.

The rain stopped in Ithaca, home of Big Red and Arthur, and it started snowing again.

It has stopped snowing at the nest of the Pittsburgh-Hayes couple.

In the wake of the storm, the female at Duke Farms laid her first egg about an hour and a half ago. No snow! Congratulations Duke Farms.

Over in Dale Hollow there is snow and the Bald Eagle couple also have their first egg of the 2022 season. Gos, I live in Canada but it looks cold there to me – and a little odd. Snow on the nest and green grass. Oh, Canadians living on the Prairies love to see the green grass come up in the spring.

Here is the announcement:

Did you ever watch the Bald Canyon Eagles? If so, you might be interested to know that the US Navy, the entity that owns and operates San Clemente Island, gave Dr Sharpe permission to install a new camera.

Here is the link to this nest with its new camera. There is no sound as per the US Navy regulations.

B15 is doing really well at the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest in Mt Berry, Georgia. The nest seems to have dried out and Missy’s feathers are all nice and fluffy. This little one is moving about nicely and appears to be quite strong – doing well for one less than a week old! B15 had a nice little crop after its late afternoon feed.

The aggression by R1 towards R2 at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade County continues. R2 had one meal by 16:16. Of course, this little one can still survive but it is very intimidated by R1 and will not raise itself to eat while R1 is eating.

E19 was being particularly aggressive today, too. In fact, horrible isn’t even the right word to describe the behaviour towards E20. This is despite some nice fish deliveries at the SWFlorida Nest. How does bad weather impact avian behaviour? These two eaglets were, just a few days ago, cited as being the most civil that Harriet and M15 ever had on the nest. The ‘trigger’ had to be the weather. I cannot account for anything else.

In the end, both eaglets were fed but it is to E20’s credit that it held out and finally had to do the old ‘snatch and grab’.

E20 kept its head down til E19 was full.

E19 was about to pop its crop and was still hammering its younger sibling. And then…E20 cleverly waited a second and got up to Mum. Harriet fed E20 til it was full.

I do not believe there is any reason to be concerned. There has never been a siblicide on this nest and I don’t believe it will happen this year either. These two will be fine. M15 and Harriet are known to tandem feed if required. They are very experienced parents ——- and they care!

Awww. So sweet. Finally being able to enjoy some dinner.

And then E19 full to the top of its head decides that E20 has had too many bites – well before there is any crop – and starts bonking it again. Sad.

To the credit of E20, it was so hungry that it began stealing bites. Bravo!

Sometimes you simply want to find an Eagle nest where there is absolutely no conflict. That nest for me is the KNF Bald Eagle Nest in Louisiana.

At the nest of Anna and Louis, the baby is so full from the last feeding that it is not yet interested in the 10 fish that are on the nest behind it. Yes, 10. Just look at it sit up tall and straight. This baby is 5 days old and curious.

Aww. Baby decided it had better get around to the other side near the pantry if it wanted a late snack.

Anna was very hungry but a couple of little cheeps and she was feeding the little one. It is nice and full and so is Mum.

If you want a peaceful, serene Bald Eagle nest to watch with a 5 day old eaglet, I highly recommend the KNF nest with its chat mods, Tonya from NO and the two rangers, Cody and Steve.

Here is the link to the KNF nest:

Ervie had a late delivery of a fish last night. He was sleeping on part of it this morning. Ervie is flying on and off the nest and everything seems perfectly fine at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge.

The sun is setting on Gabby at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest where we are approaching pip watch on the 21st.

The sun has already set on my garden and the birds have all left. We are expecting more snow tonight! I will check on the Kakapo Recovery tonight and report in the morning. There is a rumour going around that Nora, who laid her first egg in 1981, mated for 83 minutes with one of the males last night. She is really hoping for eggs this year. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: WRDC, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, KNF, Duke Farms, Berry College, Cornell Bird Lab, Pittsburg-Hays and Pix Cams, Bald Canyon, NEFlorida and the AEF, and Bald Eagles Live FB Page.