Late Monday in Bird World

For now NE26 is an ‘only child’. NE27 is steadily working its way through the hard shell that has enclosed it for the past 35 days.

Will 26 be a brute of a big sibling or a sweetheart…we wait.

NE26 is really cute and fluffy. I did notice that the tiny pick at the end of the egg tooth seems to be gone. That beak will grow, just like our finger and toe nails. Any remaining bits of the egg tooth will be gone by the time the eaglet is losing its furry light grey down and switching it for its darker charcoal coloured thermal down.

As the sun sets on Samson and Gabby’s big stick nest, NE26 is having a late meal while NE27 continues breaking that shell. Hopefully by tomorrow morning we will have a new fluffy baby in this nest.

Someone asked me about the large stick nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Lake. Do the eagles have anything to line the nest that is soft besides sticks? That is a great question.

Today, Shadow was incubating the egg. Anyone that has watched this nest knows that the eagles bring in huge twigs. Just compare Jackie and Shadow’s nest with Gabby and Samson’s above. The eagles have to use what is available to them. Gabby and Samson along with Harriet and M15, Ron and Rita, Connie and Clive, and Lena and Andy favour lining their nests with Spanish Moss. That is what is available to them. Looking out over the landscape of northern California there is, of course, nothing like Spanish Moss. Conifer needles are wonderful when they are fresh but anyone who has gotten pricked by one of their dry needles instantly knows why they do not line the nest with them. According to Peterson, the type of nest that Bald Eagles create are platform nests made of sticks and twigs. In terms of the nest placement, it will be at the top of the tree where the branches are stronger and larger as opposed to being on lower branches. The eagles will re-use their nest adding to it every year. Some nests weight are estimated to weight up to a metric tonne or 2200.04 lbs. The vantage point allows the eagles to have a full view of their territory and any incoming predators. Peterson says that they line the nest with feathers and greenery.

As many of you know, Jackie and Shadow have had challenges. I hope their eggs are strong and they fledge a very healthy chick or chicks. I have not seen any announcement (yet) of a second egg but stay tuned for news tomorrow!

All of the other birds are doing fine. E19 and E20 ate a bird and 2 fish. The KNF eaglet has had its multiple feedings of fish. The eaglet at Berry College seems to be fine after scares that its wing was injured after being stepped on yesterday. R1 and R2 have eaten. The parents have slowed down the feedings and some watchers were worried. You will notice that once the eaglets have their thermal down and are getting feathers, the number of feedings decreases but there is more food at a feeding. The eagle parents know what they are doing! I would only be worried if there was a shortage of prey. Speaking of prey. I think Samson at NEFlorida has heard all of the praise for Louis in Louisiana who is known to have 10 fish on the nest at one time. Today, it looks like Samson has 5, at least. Gabby is quite pleased!

An ex-library book came in the post two days ago. It is Mark Avery’s A Message from Martha. The extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and its relevance today. This book tells of Martha, a Passenger Pigeon, who died on 1 September 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo between noon and 13:00. Martha was the last Passenger Pigeon in existence. At one time there were millions of Passenger Pigeons. They lived in a distinct geographical area of the United States and ate a specific food, mast from the Beech and Oak trees.

Avery worked for the RSPB for over 25 years. He is a scientist, a naturalist, and a writer who is concerned about the impact of modern day farming, the landscape, and the extinction of our birds. Avery is a very descriptive writer who helps you visualize hundreds of thousands of birds flying through the sky making it dark or how their process of eating mast is like a contemporary combine-harvester. The most birds I have seen at one time are the evening gatherings of the Canada Geese during migration. It helps to have seen that but to go from millions of birds to only one living one is frightening. We all know that if we do not do something, there will be more Marthas. Avery traces everything that is known about these plentiful birds and what it was that led to their demise. The book is not doom and gloom. We cannot bring back the Passenger Pigeon but we have to be on alert creating new partnerships with nature so that everything can survive in harmony. Avery provokes us to think about what it would be like without birds and what we can do to make sure that what happened to Martha does not happen to others. I highly recommend it! It is available as a Kindle book but also, if you like to hold a book and turn the pages, used through several outlets.

Ervie was on the nest this morning. The camera had been off line and it is impossible to know if he had a fish earlier. Ervie will spend even less time on the barge. Port Lincoln has posted his latest tracking and Ervie is getting his mojo back. Whatever happened on that trip to Sleaford and Tulka is dissipating and Ervie is returning to his old wandering, curious self.

Here is Ian Falkenberg’s (the bander) report on Ervie:

There is other good news coming out of the Australia streaming cams – Daisy the Duck has not laid a clutch of eggs on the WBSE nest. It is 25 January in Australia. Daisy visited on 1 January. Let’s all hold our breath that she is safe somewhere incubating a cup full of eggs!

Trudi Kron posted a video of the Hilton Head Island eaglets of Mitch and Harriet’s. They are both eating well. Watch to see that one of them is thinking about taking some bites out of the fish on its own! I really appreciate this video because you cannot rewind on the camera. Both eaglets were full to bursting!

Thank you so much for joining me for our evening nest check. Take care of yourself! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen capture: NE Florida Bald Eagle and the AEF, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page, and Friends of Big Bear Eagle Cam.

Wednesday Happenings in Bird World

Gosh, it was just a gorgeous ‘fall’ day. No, it isn’t officially fall but the leaves appear to be changing and there is a ‘nip’ in the air. The birds are flying south and others are arriving home from their summer forays. One of those returning to her breeding area and nest is Gabrielle, Gabby for short, the mate of Samson at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. It was right around 14:48.

She looks good. Oh, Samson is going to be so excited!!!!!!!!!

Samson you are such a cutie. As my friend ‘T’ said when she heard the good news, ‘Love is in the air.’ She is absolutely right.

It was a gorgeous day to go and find some pelicans and I was hoping for a cormorant or two. The waters of the Red River near St. Andrews did not disappoint.

Pelicans are the longest native bird in North America measuring in at 2 metres or 6.56 feet. The California Condor is the only bird in North America with a longer wingspan. The pelican’s wings measure 2.7 metres or 9 feet from tip to tip. In other words, these are large birds!

This is a small hydroelectric dam. These American white Pelicans often work together to get the fish ’rounded up’. Here they wait for them to come over the dam. There were six fishing together.

The pelicans dip and scoop for fish. They are able to hold as much as 12 litres of water which goes out the sides of their mouths before they can eat the fish. They spent a lot of time bobbing up and down.

Manitoba is the summer home of the largest number of American White Pelicans. They spend their winters in California or areas around the Gulf of Mexico. In late April to early June, they return to their summer breeding grounds here in Canada.

With the changing climate, it is believed that the American White Pelican will gain areas in Canada while losing them in the US.

Some were fishing while others slept and preened.

There were a few Double-Crested Cormorants with the pelicans today.

I just loved the silhouette of their wings against the water.

Manitoba is also home to a huge number of Double-Crested Cormorants in the summer. Did you know that Cormorants lack the ability to waterproof their feathers? Because of this they can dive deep because they are less buoyant but it also means that they can become water-logged and have a struggle reaching shore.

There were lots of gulls flying above the water. This lonely Ring-Billed Gull caught my eye. In the city they are constants around the garbage dumps. I did not know that they eat the eggs of other birds as well as little goslings, carrion, insets, rodents, etc. They are real scavengers.

Look carefully and you will see the black ring near the tip of its bill. That is what gives this gull its name.

This is the mystery duck. It was all alone. There have been several discussions as to whether it is a female Ruddy Duck, a female Northern Pintail, or a female American Wigeon. Or is it an anomaly? A Black Duck? If you have any idea, I would love to hear from you! I know that it is not a Mallard, not a Wood Duck, and not a member of the Merganser family but it is alluding all of the Manitoba and Canadian bird books. Maybe you are a juvenile. Someone really does need to do a more comprehensive book of Manitoba birds with excellent images.

The sun, fresh air, and climbing up and down gravel banks to the water has sure made me tired. If you have trouble sleeping, I highly recommend it as a remedy. One of my birding friends wrote just now to say that they had seen ‘my Ospreys’ today – so if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I am heading north to check it out. They will be migrating soon!

There is little news in Bird World. Diamond has yet to lay another egg. The two little sea eaglets are eating well and behaving themselves. The majority of the Ospreys in the UK have begun migration. Aran was still at the Glaslyn nest this morning. The Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia seem to be making their way without hiccups now to their winter homes. It is just a nice calm Wednesday save for the arrival of Gabby back at The Hamlet. That caused great cheers.

Take care everyone. Thanks so much for joining me.

Thank you to the NW Florida Bald Eagle cam and the AEF streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Samson delivers for Legacy!

At 5:19:16, Samson flew onto the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville with half a big fish for Legacy!

Legacy immediately flew down from her branch and mantled the fish. No hesitation. Our girl is hungry!

There was a scramble. Samson could not get out of the way fast enough.

He looked down at how pleased his juvenile is to have a nice chunk of fresh fish.

I think the pictures say what I cannot. Legacy is going to sleep well tonight – her tummy and crop will be full. Samson is happy that Legacy is not food begging anymore. If there was a lesson in this I could not tell you what it is but I do know that a lot of humans are going to sleep a whole lot better tonight. Maybe that lesson is for us to ‘trust the birds’.

Relief.

Thanks to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. I grabbed my screen shots from their streaming cam.

Waiting…

What happened to time speeding by and wishing to have more hours in the day? I remember my mother telling me when I was waiting to be old enough to drive a car that when I really got ‘old’, time would fly by. Of course, she was right. Today has been a really slow day of doing nothing but waiting.

I am waiting for Samson to arrive at the Northeast Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville to bring food to Legacy! Where is he? No, seriously, where is Samson? For days he waited at the nest for Legacy and I have not seen him now in 48 hours.

Gabby arrived at the nest tree at 11:18:02. Legacy spent the time food begging. Gabby leaves and returns again at 12:06:31 but no food. Legacy was so excited she flew to the nest mantling in anticipation. Then Gabby left again. It has been very windy with a forecast of thunderstorms but it seems like the wind is calming some.

At 5:54:32 Legacy found an old fishtail in the rim of the nest and ate it.

At 7:16:58 Legacy jumps down from the branch and finds another fish tail. How many fish tails do a meal make?

Oh, Legacy, you are beautiful and if you never learned to scavange for food like Tiny Tot had to in order to survive on the Achieva Osprey Nest, you are learning a valuable lesson today (even if you still have a crop).

As the sun goes down, Legacy remains on her nest tree waiting for a parent to arrive.

The IR camera has come on. Stay put on the nest, Legacy. I hope that you wake up to a big breakfishy.

NOTE: BOOTS ON THE GROUND STATE THAT BOTH PARENTS ARE AT AN AREA OF THEIR TERRITORY KNOWN AS THE LUMBERYARD AT 8:25PM.

One of the moderators of the camera for the nest posted an announcement on the FB page of the NEFL and SWFL Eagles. They said that Legacy still had food in her crop and despite her squealing, she is not starving.

For many we are very used to the parental interaction with E17 and E18 on the SW Florida nest. And I am also used to Samson being very attentive to Legacy. Why wait for eight hours and then when Legacy shows up leave her on the nest alone for 36 hours without prey? I am just a worrisome auntie – it makes no sense to me. So I am waiting.

The vast majority of these beautiful raptors that bring us so much joy starve during their first year. I will use this moment just to gently say to everyone and ask that you tell your friends – if a raptor is hunting – do not disturb them. They are rarely successful and hunting for a meal is time consuming and dangerous. Just think how you feel with Legacy food begging? or watching Tiny Tot shrink before your eyes after not having a morsel for three days? Now imagine that you go ‘shoo’ so they can’t catch a sparrow for dinner to survive. I don’t want to be a nagging Nellie but it is really important to allow them to hunt and eat, too.

Like hundreds of others, I am also waiting for the full hatch of Big Red and Arthur’s first eyass, K1.

Arthur brought in some prey and left it on the nest and the pair had a change over around 18:20:45.

Big Red likes to be on the nest when the eyasses hatch. She took the prey and ate a portion of it returning six minutes later with what was left. She is anticipating needing food on the nest!

There will never be a baby go hungry on Big Red’s nest. She believes in keeping them full to the brim all the time. It keeps peace on the nest but it also makes for healthy strong eyasses with no bone or feather issues. She is an amazing mother.

This was the pip right after noon. It would have grown in size during the day but Big Red and Arthur weren’t going to show us.

Big Red made me realize that bird families are not so different from human families. The eyasses do not pick their parents or where they were born. And those factors are important. Some areas are prey rich – and Big Red and Arthur’s has been plentiful historically. Let us hope that this year is as much a bounty as it was in 2020 when Arthur brought in 2x the normal amount of food.

I don’t think the little one is going to cooperate and hatch while I am awake so this is another thing to be waiting for

The two Osprey who lost their nest and their egg to vandals in north Wales at the Lyn Brenig site are getting a new nest structure on the same site. There is another nest nearby and a dummy egg has been put into it. And the North Wales Police have thanked the public for all of the tips. Apparently they got a tip late last night about a motive that they have not considered when trying to find the culprits. They said they would be using all modern technologies to locate the vandals. So sad. Their lives are hard enough. They are waiting for a place to lay that second egg! Everyone is waiting. I hope they are more patient than I am.

Thank you for joining me and waiting with me. I cannot helicopter a delivery of fish to Legacy’s nest although I sure wish that someone would stock a pond close by like the Bald Eagles have on the Pritchett property in Fort Myers.

Thank you to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF and the Cornell Bird Lab Red-Tail Hawk cam. These cameras provide the streaming video where I take my screen shots.

Legacy is overjoyed…Gabby comes to the nest!

Legacy arrived on her nest tree at 10:41:31 on the 1st of May. She had been missing in action from the streaming cam for three days since she flew off the tree on the 28th of May at 9:53:51. When she returned to her nest tree yesterday, it was unclear if the parents knew she was there. They had been checking for the past three days – Samson even staying for more than eight hours waiting for his beloved little one. On the 29th he brought a fish at 11:09:45 but no Legacy. On the 30th, there was a flyby by Legacy under the nest with Samson arriving 47 seconds later. They just missed one another!

Legacy waited all day on 1 May for her parents to arrive with food. She called them from the nest and the look out branch. At one point her voice appeared to be hoarse. We ached for Legacy as nightfall came and she was still on the lookout branch. To add insult to injury, as they say, an owl came and attached Legacy during the night. Legacy valiantly defended herself and her nest. The owls are becoming increasingly problematic to the eagles and the Ospreys. The damage that they can inflict can be enormous. Sorry, but I do not think owls are cute and cuddly. They have wrought much damage in my neighbourhood with birds not even near their nest.

It was so sad waking up and finding Legacy still there with no parent and no food on 2 May. By this time there were questions: where are the parents? did they leave on their summer migration? could this really be happening? will Legacy starve? Some believed that it was a parental lesson: food is not always readily available. We will never know the answer nor will we know if the parents were feeding Legacy off the nest tree. I wish Legacy could tell us the story of her adventures those three days.

At 11:16:39 Legacy picks up the volume control on her calling and sure enough, a parent comes flying into the nest tree. Gabby arrives at 11:18:02.

Legacy is sooooo excited. She mantles immediately – this is my nest!

Gabby lands on the Lookout Branch but she brings no food. Legacy goes up the branch mantling and food begging.

Then Legacy returns to the nest.

Gabby leaves. Where is Samson?

Gabby returns to the nest at 12:06:31. They are both waiting for Samson to come with a food delivery for Legacy.

It is reassuring to see Gabby has Legacy waiting in the nest tree and not leaving.

As I mentioned yesterday late, one of my eagle experts tells me that the fledglings have to imprint their environment – making mental markers in their brain so that they can return to the nest. It is one of the reasons that they take shorter flights in and out of the nest adding distance til they are fully capable of living on their own. It is entirely possible that Legacy ‘had lost’ her nest and only found it yesterday. Whatever happened there is great relief in bird world. Samson cannot just go to a fish shop and buy a fish for Legacy. It takes time and fishing is easier some days than others – or finding any prey for that matter. Bald Eagles do not just eat fish like Osprey. Legacy will be assured of a meal some time today. Just stay put Legacy!!!!!!! It is windy there and the water will be very choppy as grey skies float in but Samson will work hard for Legacy!

In other Bird World news, all eyes are on the three eggs in the nest of the Red Tail Hawks, Big Red and Arthur, at the Fernow nest on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York.

Arthur is on incubation duty and he is checking those eggs!

There will be lots of late night news. Thank you for joining me. I knew you would be waiting to hear about Legacy. It was a long day yesterday waiting with her but so happy Gabby has her at the nest tree. That is such a huge relief.

Thank you to the NEFLorida Bald Eagle Cam and the Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk cam for their streaming cameras. That is where I get my screen shots.

Fish Deliveries! and Nest Hopping

You need to sit down for this. Seriously, you do. Louis brought Iris, the oldest breeding Osprey in the world, a fish! This is such a big deal that I almost didn’t believe it when I saw him land on Iris’s nest, fish held tight in his talons, on Monday 26th of April. It was 10:04.

Incoming. Could Iris believe her beautiful eyes? 26 April 2021
Iris is happy to accept Louis’s fish. 26 April 2021

Iris will enjoy the fish. Of course, we all know that Iris can catch her own fish – she is a pro. It is the simple act of doing something nice for her. You see, Louis has two nests. This is Iris’s nest. If she had a ‘solid, full time mate’ they would help her restore the nest each year. The nest was in a particular state this year. Last year Iris’s egg got eaten by a Raven and then a squirrel dared to climb up. Iris practically tore her nest apart getting rid of that critter. Iris has been diligent, working hard to get the rails built up and a fine moss cushion on the top. The nest that Louis shares with Starr is at the baseball park. Both nests are in Louis’s territory. He is in charge of protecting the area from intruders, especially Bald Eagles who also hunt for fish. Because Iris’s nest is in Louis’s territory, it also means that she will never have another mate – for the simple reason that it is Louis’s territory. That is the long and short of it. Louis does not help Iris in the way that a normal mate would – he won’t help with the nest, incubate the eggs if any are laid, protect the eggs, relieve Iris, or bring food to her and the chicks. Iris is, in reality, a single parent with all the problems we have seen the females have that are alone. Daisy the Duck had her eggs eaten by the Crows. Milda starved and had to leave, her chicks dying from hypothermia. The list could go on but it takes two active parents to be successful. Louis helps Starr and normally brings her the fish. Apparently Louis brought Iris a fish last year – I missed that. And, for whatever reason, he took it back! This year he didn’t. Maybe he is growing up.

Iris is a beauty. She returns every year from her winter migration in top form. This year she arrived on 7 April. Louis has been over ‘visiting and mating’ since her arrival but so far, no eggs have been laid.

The issue at this nest is very similar to that faced by Milda. The female needs a good mate who will provide her fish while she incubates the eggs and who will bring loads of fish for her and the hatchlings. She cannot leave the eggs or the chicks unattended. Louis has failed to provide food for Iris and the chicks. Because of that, there has been only one chick fledge since they bonded. That was in 2018.

Many would like to see Iris raise a clutch of osplets. She is, after all, the grand dame of Ospreys. Even I fell into that mindset but, I changed my mind. Iris has fledged 30 or 40 chicks into the world -with Stanley, one with Louis and perhaps other partners before Stanley. Iris has paid her dues to the Osprey DNA lineage. I would like to see her live healthy and happy for many more decades. Raising chicks is very hard on the female (and the male if he does his job). Iris needs to sit in the sun and enjoy her summer vacation in Montana.

Nature is very difficult to observe and it is even harder not to be impacted by it. As humans we might not ever understand the level of hunger Milda had or what it is like to see your child or chick starve in front of you. Iris has seen both. Perhaps while her body is telling her to breed, maybe nature will have another idea. We wait.

Iris is beautiful. 26 April 2021

Iris enjoying her fish as the sun sets.

Everything seems to be going well over at the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle Nest in Colorado today. The little one is growing and getting bigger by the day. Here it is getting ready to have lunch. Blink and this baby will be totally covered in thick thermal down with lots of pin feathers!

I want some lunch Mom! 26 April 2021

Just take a close look at the image below. Just imagine that each and every one of the triplets has a crop like the one in the middle. Imagine a food coma so heavy that you simply fall flat on your face with your legs spread. Then look at the picture again. These are the Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eaglets.

Sometimes Mom or Dad still decides to do the feeding over at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle Nest. Wow. Can you tell Li’l from Big? I can’t.

Time for lunch. 26 April 2021

These two will be banded and fitted with satellite transmitters shortly. It is a great study to find out how far the eaglets migrate from the natal nest. We should also find out their gender!

Li’l seems to have caught up with Big. 26 April 2021

Over at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest, the two have been enjoying some gourmet meals – such as duck. Today, it is hard to tell what is on the menu. It doesn’t seem to matter. These two have really grown. More often than not, these kiddos have bulging crops, too. Harry is a great provider and Nancy and him have made a wonderful team.

Nancy is feeding the two little eaglets. OK. Not so little anymore! 26 April 2021

There have been lots of fish deliveries for Kisatchie at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Nest near Kincaid Lake in Central Louisiana. The Alligator Gar has been there for a week or more…Bald Eagles don’t seem to like them!

Kisatchie really does not want that Alligator Gar! 26 April 2021

Anna still likes to feed her ‘baby’ as dad, Louis, looks on. You can see a few dandelions hanging on. Kistachie will be ready to fledge along with Bib and Li’l at Duke Farms – too soon.

Louis and Anna are with Kisatchie on the nest. 26 April 2021

Oh, the winds have been blowing in Kansas today. Tiger and Lily did get a food delivery. Right now Lily Rose is in the natal nest and Tiger is holding on tight up on a big branch near to the right of the camera.

Lily Rose is all alone in the natal nest. 26 April 2021

Can you find Tiger?

OK, where are you Tiger? 26 April 2021

Food has been on the nest at the Savannah Ospreys but it looks like the day they had the powerful rain and the osplets couldn’t eat caused the oldest one to be food insecure. This morning he was extremely aggressive to the youngest one. Here they are standing together. I worry about this nest as the food deliveries are not good.

Lunch time – and time for the little one to get some food! 26 April 2021
Peeking out. 26 April 2021

It is finally dark in St Petersburg, Florida and Jack deserves a break. Honestly, I don’t know what got in to him today. Did he find a stash of fish somewhere? Jack made SIX fish deliveries to that Achieva Osprey nest on Monday, 26 April. Incredible. The last one was at 7:30:48.

Here is that last delivery. Tiny Tot is right there cheering Dad on! Look at those nice legs on Tiny. He is really growing. It looks like he is wearing stilettos.

Tiny Tot didn’t get the last delivery of the day. But that’s OK.

Tiny Tot had one of his infamous beach ball crops. He looks so silly standing in the nest preening. You can only see his crop but not his head. And his legs look hilarious. Tiny Tot is not hungry.

Nearing the end of the fish, Diane and Tiny Tot seem to think they might just want a little taste. They move in on sibling #1. Tiny Tot steps right in front of sibling #2 and doesn’t even bat an eyelash. The kid is getting more confident every day.

At 8:25:14 Tiny gets his first bite and that is the end of the story. That fish is finished around 8:32. Sleep well everyone!

Monday morning at Achieva. The first fish comes in at 7:02:16. Tiny Tot looks for an opening and Mom Diane has the fish. Tiny gets fed for about fifteen minutes and then sibling #1 pulls the fish away from Diane gently. Later, Diane feeds #1 some of the fish and then feeds Tiny Tot at the end – in front of 2. It was a pleasant morning. Again, 2 is not so interested in the morning. Sibling 2 gets more food aggressive after 11am.

27 April 2021. The end of the first fish delivery and Tiny Tot is getting fed by Diane in front of 2.

It wasn’t a fish delivery but it was a delivery. The little marshmallows are growing up. No rivalry. Annie and Grinnell feed until there isn’t a beak open. No one pecks another one – they know that they will be fed. Oh, how I love falcons and hawks. It is so different. So reassuring.

Thank you so much for joining me today. There is certainly a lot going on in Bird World. Sometimes it is just too much to try and fit in a single blog. Some of the nests and these amazing birds deserve more attention than they are getting. Oh, for more hours in the day. Have you noticed how fast time passes since the pandemic started? Blink and another week has passed. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, X-cel Energy, MN DNR, Duke Farms, Farmer Derek, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, and UC Berkeley Falcon Cam.

Late Friday night smiles from Bird World

Just a few glimpses into some of the nests at the end of my Friday.

Over at Pittsburg Hayes Mom is bringing in sticks to work on the nest when the chicks take an interest.

The sun is setting over Durbe, Latvia. Milda is feeding her miracle chick and the sun is shining. Oh, it must feel good not to be soggy after yesterday’s soaker.

Annie has the eyasses cuddled up along with that fourth egg. She is brooding them. Oh, if it is viable we should be ready for pip and hatch.

Tiny Tot finally got a few bites of the catfish delivery that came at 2:50:37. Sibling #2 pretty much monopolized the entire feeding but Tiny did get some bites after 4pm. Not many but was fed this morning some. I wish that the parents would break up the fish in pieces so they could self-feed. Anyone have a meat saw?

And just look at those darlings over at the Savannah Osprey Nest on Skidiway Island. Nice full crops, standing up tall and behaving. And, no, that third egg has not hatched. Let’s continue to hope that it sits there unviable. Two healthy chicks to get to fledge is a big job. If Ospreys are like Red tail Hawks the more food they can eat and the longer they are on the nest the better their chances of survival. It is not a kind world out there – they need all the tools in their tool kit they can muster. Sounds like what I used to say to students when they asked for advice.

Phoenix has finished his incubation duties and we are waiting for the arrival of Redwood Queen back to the nest to have her lunch. There is the egg that everyone’s eyes will be on tomorrow! One more California Condor would be so welcome and it would surely be heartwarming for these two survivors to have a successful hatch. Stay tuned. If you want to keep an eye on this important event, I have posted the link to the camera.

Look high on the branch. The two Great Horned Owls born in the Bald Eagle Nest on a farm near Newton, Kansas are sitting on a branch with their mom, Bonnie. Tiger and Lily were born on March 7 and are branching. First flights could be anytime.

The single surviving eaglet in the Fort Vrain Bald Eagle Nest in Colorado is hoping for a bit of lunch.

It rained earlier today in Minnesota and Nancy is making sure that she keeps her two eaglets dry.

And those two precious eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest are exploring. They have their beautiful charcoal thermal down and you can just see some of the white dandelions of the natal down hidden by the thermal. Harry our first time dad at the age of four and Nancy have done great. Wonder what they are looking at so carefully?

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis will know that I am extremely interested in the social behaviour of the birds in their nests. I am particularly interested in the survival rate of a third hatch on Osprey nests. Today, Tiger Mozone shared with me his favourite video of all time and it gave me such a smile that I want to share it with you. I don’t think Tiger would mind in the least. It is of the 2011 Dennis Puleston Osprey. You need to watch the entire video. It is short, 3:41 minutes. Keep your eye on the little one. Before you start, if you have been watching the Achieva Osprey Nest, think of this small one as Tiny Tot. Thank you, Tiger Mozone. This is fabulous!

May 8 is Bird Day in North America. That is when Cornell Bird Labs ask everyone to do a count in their gardens and at the parks. It is a way of collecting migration data. I will give you more details so you can participate next week. That is it for Friday. Have a fabulous weekend everyone.

Thank you to Tiger Mozone for sending me the link to that fabulous video. I laughed and laughed. We all need that these days.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen shots: MN DNR, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Farmer Derek, X-cel Energy, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidiway Audubon, Ventana Wildlife, Achieva Credit Union Osprey, Explore.org, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, and the Latvia Wildlife Fund.

Late night Tiny Tot updates

I had no intention of writing another blog today but, a behaviour on the Achieva Osprey nest that first happened this morning repeated itself and has prompted me to share it with you.

This morning, Diane, the female on the Achieva Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida took a fish away from the eldest (1). She moved it up to the top rim of the nest towards the left and began to feed Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot (3) got enough fish this morning to give him a small crop.

At 6:53:41, 1 has another fish. In the image below, 1 has the fish in the middle of the nest front. Tiny Tot is at the back of the nest. Diane is at the front right and 2 is in front of her.

At 7:00:23 Diane is checking on the progress of 1’s self feeding and 2 has now taken an interest in what is happening. Look carefully in the image below. Tiny Tot is shifting his body to the left in subtle moves. Compare where he is in the image above with the one below. No one noticed Tiny Tot’s movements.

At 7:02:53 Diane has taken control of the fish just like she did this morning. She moves it up the left side of the nest. 1 is watching and 2 has moved up to the top rim of the nest. Tiny Tot realizes that 2 is near to him and he turns slightly to the left. A subtle shift.

At 7:02:55, Tiny Tot begins to make his move despite 2 being up by the rim of the nest. Tiny maintains a mantling position for protection. Go Tiny! Mom is waiting to feed you!

In four seconds, Tiny has made his way to mom and is being fed. He will get some nice bites. 1 and 2 will move over and want to be fed by mom also. Tiny maintains his position on the opposite side with mom between – a really smart move. Tiny Tot is a keen observer. His will to live is admirable.

At 7:10:38 Tiny Tot steals a bite meant for 2. Tiny’s head is a blur. In the image below you can see that 2 has its beak right by mom’s but her head is towards Tiny who has grabbed the piece of fish. Brilliant move by our little underdog.

Both 1 and 2 continue to be fed and so does Tiny. Here he is at 7:22:15. Also look. Despite the older sibs being right up by her, Diane continues to make sure that Tiny Tot gets some food.

Tiny is still being fed at 7:26:43.

The mother’s behaviour is very different today than previous days when she ignored Tiny Tot’s cries for food. Today, it looked like she purposefully took two fish away from 1 after 1 had been practising self-feeding. When she moved the fish, this allowed Tiny Tot to get on Diane’s right side away from 1 and 2 so that they could not harm it on both occasions. Despite 1 and, specifically 2, being up by her head, Diane fed Tiny Tot along with the bigger siblings.

Whether or not Diane will continue this behaviour tomorrow is something we will have to wait and see. Instead of being very hungry and ignored all day, Tiny Tot is going to bed with some food in his stomach. It is certainly hard to know how much fish he was able to get but, anything is better than not being fed at all!

I continue to hope that breaks like today come and that Tiny Tot will get stronger and grow some. It is worth remembering that food insecurity began on this nest on the 12th of March with 1 being extremely aggressive to Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot was only a week old at the time. Tiny Tot has had many days when he had nothing to eat. The time of inconsistent food at the beginning of a growth period in March have meant that there has been a slowing or a stunting in Tiny Tot’s growth. To what extent this has impacted his overall development is unknown. He is certainly clever and is mentally alert to everything that happens around him – two good traits for survival in the wild.

Thank you for joining me – and also sending warm wishes to Tiny Tot. He needs all the positive energy coming his way that we can muster. I have checked on all the nests and everything appears to be fine. The only exception is a real snowy time in Colorado at the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle Nest. I will bring updates on all of those tomorrow. And last, if you are watching the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, the children of Shepherdstown Elementary School have named the two eaglets. E5 is Talon and E6 is Spirit. Great names and fantastic to involve the children. The future of our planet and the care of our wildlife will be driven by decisions they make.

Here they are: Talon and Spirit. Look at the size of those crops. I wish so much that Tiny Tot would have a crop like that tomorrow. All of us would be delirious with happiness.

Look at those big crops on E5 and E6! NCTC Nest. 19 April 2021

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union and the NCTC Bald Eagle nest for their streaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots.

‘As the Nest Turns’ – late Sunday night edition

You can really get into a cuteness overload watching all the little bobbleheads that are less than a week old. The UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons are a case in point. Soft little balls of white down with pink beaks and feet that are being taught the sounds the parents make when they are there to feed them. The team at UC Berkeley Falcon Cam posted this short video of Annie, Grinnell, and the two chicks at dinner time. Listen to the sounds the adults make to alert the chicks that it is time for lunch.

We should be looking for one or two hatches tomorrow at this falcon nest.

You can just see the two osplets at the Savannah Osprey nest peering over the edge of the nest cup their necks stretched. They are both doing fantastic! All good news. I continue to hope that the third egg is not viable – these two are doing fine and this nest has a reputation for issues relating to siblicide if there is a third hatch.

Can you spot the two osprey babies? 18 April 2021

Louis has been doing his regular visit to Iris’s nest. It is a good think thing that Iris is a great fisher and doesn’t sit around and wait for someone else to bring her a fish. No sign of the third osprey that was on the nest yesterday.

Everyone has an opinion about Iris. Indeed, I fell victim to wanting to see the oldest breeding osprey in the world raise another batch of chicks. But after watching Diane at the Achieva osprey nest and the toll that it is taking on Diane physically, it could well be a blessing that Louis does his hello and thank you. Unless there is a dramatic change, Iris will continue catching big fish and feeding herself, fixing up her nest so that it is the envy of everyone. She will lay her eggs and the Raven will steal them —— and then, after a bit, she will enjoy herself for the summer while others work day and night to feed their growing chicks.

18 April 2021

Iris has really been fixing up her nest. Look at how healthy she is – she is absolutely majestic. And she deserves a break from the rigours of motherhood. After all, she has given no less than thirty or forty offspring and who knows how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the natural world. I would like to think of her watching the setting sun eating her fish instead of being exhausted at the end of the day.

18 April 2021

At the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, we have a group portrait with mom, Bella, and the two little ones. They are 30 and 28 days old now. They look like they are posing just for us! Oh, they are cute.

18 April 2021

E17 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest has fledged. E18 has not taken that first flight from the nest but did join E17 up on the attic today.

Jackie and Shadow can now move on with their lives. They have been incubating an unviable egg ever since their first chick died during hatch. Today the raven came and took the other egg. This couple up at the Big Bear Nest in Northern California can try again next year!

Raven steals the non-viable egg on 18 April 2021. Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest.

In the image below, Ma is feeding FSV44 who started piping on 16 April, the day that its older sibling died during brooding. No one knows what happened to the first hatch at this nest in Platteville, Colorado. Ma and Pa Jr were taking their turns and the eaglet appeared healthy. Glad to see that this little one is fine and is eating well!

The sun is just rising in Latvia and Milda continues to incubate her eggs at the White-tailed eagle nest in Durbe. Rumour has it that her and Mr C – now called Chips – might be bonding more as a couple. Only time will tell. Milda lost her mate Raimis on 27 March after he did not return from hunting prey. He was either too injured or died. Several suitors and intruders have been around the nest, some of them fighting. Milda is incubating three eggs. She spent days on the nest without eating – eight of them! She has left the eggs for around five hours uncovered and it is believed that are no longer viable.

A new day is beginning in Latvia and in Florida it is just past midnight. There has been a storm already with lightning, winds, and rain. The weather service says there is a lull and then it will begin again early in the morning. As evening closed on the Achieva Osprey nest, a fifth fish had come in and Tiny Tot had been fed some. How much is not really clear but not enough for him to get a crop. Tiny Tot did retrieve the fish tail and was self-feeding and then Diane turned around and gave it to 1. 1 did eat from the tail and then Diane came over and fed 1. Tiny Tot moved in and was also stealing some bite from one. It could be a long day tomorrow if it is real stormy and the weather forecast looks dire for a few days. I will keep you posted on all developments.

Tiny has moved in to get what extra bites it can before dark. 18 April 2021

1 got nasty – like she used to do – and had a threatening posture directed towards Tiny. There is no reason for the aggressive stanch. Tiny Tot is not a threat to their survival at this stage. 2 is actually larger than Diane and both eat all day. Tiny Tot needs only a small portion to survive and thrive which is good for this nest.

Tiny moves to get away from sibling 1. 18 April 2021

Thank you for joining me in Bird World. It continues to be cold on the Canadian Prairies. I will do updates on the UK Osprey Nests tomorrow, the hatch at UC Berkeley and, of course, will keep an eye on what is happening to Tiny Tot. Continue to send your warm wishes his way.

I would like to thank the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature, Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrian Bald Eagle Nest, Friends of Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett real estate, NCTC Bald Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Cams and the Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Cams and the Savannah Osprey Nest, and the Achieva Credit Union.

First Hatch UC Berkeley Falcons -‘As the Nest Turns’, early morning Saturday edition

At 9:00:04pm on Friday night, 16 April, a fifth fish landed on the Achieva Osprey nest. Tiny Tot was there and ready for a good feed. Except for a couple of bites that went to 1 and I hope some to Mom, it is 9:27 and Tiny Tot is still eating. I know that there are tears flowing in lots of places around the world. There is a lot of talk about the survival of the fittest but if Tiny Tot can survive this nest, he can probably survive a lot better than most!

9:28:14. 15 April 2021. Tiny Tot still being fed.

It was too dark to see how big the fish is that Diane is feeding Tiny Tot. But he is going to be full when he finishes. The others aren’t interested. Thank goodness! He is still going strong at 9:30!

Tiny Tot finally got a meal! 9pm. 16 April 2021

It just makes you feel good all over. The feeding ended around 9:33. It is not clear if the fish was completely gone or if Diane is saving some for morning. And it was impossible to see if Tiny had a crop or not. But, he did eat!

And Diane brought in a fish at 7:13:46 am Saturday morning. She eats the head herself. Feeds 1 and then feeds a few bites to 2 and Tiny gets fed some. He has a Tiny sized crop seen at 11:02:45 but I would not say he got fed a lot. It was a real bony catfish but Diane ate the majority. Mom has to eat. Hopefully more fish today.

Tiny stayed up and cried for food. 17 April 2021
11:02:45. 17 April 2021. Tiny has a mini crop

The first hatch at the UC Berkeley falcons – Annie and Grinnell – happened this morning. Congratulations!

One nest that I always check on but, often, forget to report about is the NE Florida Bald Eagle cam in Jacksonville. E24 or Legacy hatched on 8 February. Samson and Gabrielle are her parents and her grandparents are Romeo and Juliet. Today someone asked if the offspring ever return to their natal nests. They do! And some go on to raise their own children on those nests, just like Samson is.

My goodness. Legacy has grown into one of the most beautiful Bald Eagles I have ever seen. She is 67 days old. She is like ebony – deep, dark penetrating eyes and black plumage. Legacy is jumping around the nests on a pair of legs that would be the envy of any sumo wrestler. She is a big girl! And flapping her wings. She has been self-feeding for some time and it will not be long, since she is now branching, that she will fledge. Still, I am reminded of the wisdom shared by Laura Culley one day: The longer the juvenile can stay on the nest and the more good food they eat, the better their chances of survival in the wild. So, Legacy, please stay with us longer.

Legacy has been branching. 16 April 2021
Awww. Legacy still has Pinecone! 16 April 2021

Oh, there is one nest that has really been neglected. The Trio over near Fulton, Illinois – Starr, Valor l, and Valor II. Their nest got destroyed in the winds last year so they rebuilt across the Mississippi River. There is no camera. Thanks to Dennis Becht who takes the most amazing photographs of the eagles along the river (Google his name to find his website and all the images), we can get glimpses into what is happening in the nest. The image below was taken by Dennis and shared on the Trio Eagle Nest Lovers FB Group today. There are six in that nest in the sun. Oh, if the three little ones would stick up their heads. You can clearly see them and they are looking great! How wonderful to have an extra parent to help get the fish in the nest.

And here is another that Dennis took on 13 April. You can really see those lovely little eaglets! Thanks Dennis. Oh, they are adorable! I love this nest – everyone working for the family. The three of them built a new nest that looks like the envy of many in a very short time. And there will be no shortage of food with two parents out fishing and one watching over the babies.

The Stewards of the Mississippi River confirmed that on 5 April there were three eaglets. Precise hatch times unknown.

Starr with the three little ones. 13 April 2021.

I had no more finished checking on the Bald Eagle trio and I go to have a look at what is going on in the life of Iris, the oldest breeding Osprey in the world, and guess what? There are three ospreys on Iris’s Hellsgate nest in Missoula, Montana. Seriously!

Three on Iris’s nest. 16 April 2021

Now Louis (far right) has just had his sweet way with Iris (facing us). Then the third bird appears (back left). Is this Starr, Louis’s other mate over at the baseball park? did she catch him in the act? or is this an intruder maybe wanting in on this nest? Wow. Iris, you might have a new suitor!

And what a prize nest it is. The river is just to the right and down a little hill, about 15 metres or 50 feet away. And then of course the best prize of all – Iris!

River where Iris fishes. 16 April 2021

There is wingersizng happening over at the Great Horned Owl Nest near Newton, Kansas. Both of the owls now walk around the rim of the nest with ease.

16 April 2021

The two little Ospreys on the Savannah Osprey nest seem to be doing fine. After the Achieva nest, I keep hoping that the third egg on this nest doesn’t hatch. Let’s just have two healthy ospreys fledge instead.

Lunch time. 16 April 2021. Savannah osprey nest.

Big Red had to be grateful for the waterproofing quality of feathers. It rained all day long on the Red Tail Hawk nest in Ithaca today.

Pitching down rain on Big Red. 16 April 2021

Harry and Nancy’s two eaglets on the MN DNR Bald Eagle nest are doing fantastic. They are the cutest balls of dark grey down. Gosh. It is hard to imagine that everyone was worried that Harry wouldn’t come through feeding and hunting but he did.

Little cuties are really growing. MN DNR Bald Eagle nest. 16 April 2021

Curious but afraid of heights. Just don’t get any closer, little one!

16 April 2021. MN DNR Bald Eagle Nest

It is late Friday night, the 16th of April. Wonder what will happen in Bird World tomorrow? will Aila show up at the Loch Arkaig nest and make Louis happy? will the visitor return to Iris’s nest? Join me in ‘As the Nest Turns’. Take care!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I get my screen shots: MN DNR, Achieva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Red Tail Hawk Cam, Farmer Derek, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Cornell Lab and Skidiway Audubon Savannah Osprey Nest. I would also like to thank Dennis Becht and the Trio Lovers FB group for the images of Starr, Valor I and II.