Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

This is a view of the storm that hit the other day. Today it is partly sunny but, there is another storm on its way. Winter continues for many of us!

Big Red and Arthur have snow. It seems every year Big Red will get encrusted in snow and ice and we sit and worry. She is used to the cold snowy wet weather living on the Cornell campus all her life (or nearby at Brooktondale where she hatched). Pip watch is the end of the week!

The Kakapo Recovery posted an announcement about their t-shirt fundraiser. That is incredibly wonderful – $27,000 is a wonderful amount for selling t-shirts. Well done. Waiting for ours to arrive!

This group and everyone associated with it does an amazing job trying to keep this critically endangered non-flying parrot alive. From changing transmitters, doing wellness checks, or ensuring birds that need care get off the islands to the Dunedin Vet – it is all fantastic.

And one another announcement that I am posting from FB. A Place Called Hope is one of those wildlife rehabbers like CROW that really goes all out for its patients. This Osprey needs fresh whole fish. Do you live in the area? Can you help? Do you know someone who does and could help? Give them a call!

Yesterday I was asked if I get terrified looking at the three West End eaglets now that one fell off and landed on a ledge below. (Thanks to Dr Sharpe, the baby is back on the nest.) The answer is ‘yes’. Utterly terrified.

I pondered that question for quite awhile before and after answering. We recognize that there are risks every day for our feathered friends. An eaglet could fall off the nest, a parent could be accidentally killed and not return with food for the female and chicks, a predator could come and predate the nestlings, fishing line can arrive at a nest and cut through the little legs and wings. We know these things like we have memorized a list of everything that could happen to the birds. But, until it happens, the absolute fragile life that they live does not register completely. That is what it was like for me with Grinnell. Grinnell was always going to return on the ledge and bring food to Annie. Grinnell was always going to protect The Campanile. Grinnell was always going to make a huge mess plucking a pigeon for the eyases. Grinnell would always be there. Until he didn’t come home. The eaglets were safe on the rock until one of them fell off. Absolutely ‘B’ terrified and helpless.

Here is a very different image of that Osprey nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Gorgeous wide open spot for a nest just the way Ospreys love it.

The osplets are really hot today. Mum is trying to shade them just like yesterday. Huge change beginning for Little Bit’s plumage. The back of his head is now oily black!

Look carefully. He is sleeping to the left of Mum. Look at the back of his head. Then look at the older sibling just left of Mum’s shoulder. They are all actively moving into the reptilian stage.

Feedings have been difficult to observe with Mum keeping her back to us.

Not a Raptor. Ferris Akel loves Roseate Spoonbills. Audubon has a lovely article about the oldest Roseate Spoonbill in the world and she is still raising chicks!

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest are waiting for breakfast and lunch! It is often hard to tell them apart these days. Beautiful juvenile feathering.

Aran and Mrs G have been on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley protecting a piece of fish against a bunch of crows.

The rain has stopped at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Everything is fine on their nest.

Blue NC0 and Laddie have a wonderful day at Loch of the Lowes. This is just the most beautiful place for an Osprey nest. So serene. No motor boats, no people. Three eggs.

Louis and Dorcha seem to have settled on the old nest with camera 1 at Loch Arkaig.

As far as I know, Dylan and Seren Blue 5F have not experienced any other visits from the Goshawk at Llyn Clywedog.

And I have two new Peregrine Falcon nests for you. One is in Buckinghamshire in the UK and the other is part of the streaming cams of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy. Thank you to ‘L’ and her daughter for news of the nest in New England!

The camera on the Buckinghamshire Nest is really good – nice and clear, good definition and a great view. Waiting for eggs.

Here is the link to the Buckinghamshire streaming falcon cam:

The second nest belongs to Boh and Barb and they also have four eggs this year. It seems to be a year for four eggs! Those eggs were laid on March 15, 18, 20 and 23rd of March. We are on pip watch.

Here is the link to the Chesapeake Conservancy falcon cam:

And last but never least, we are on fledge watch for Little (known as Mini on the Captiva Chat). She is 59 days old today. Should be flying soon.

On the right is Middle (Little) and on the left is Little (Mini). You can clearly see the difference in their size. If you watch the streaming cam check out the difference in their legs. Little (Mini) has long legs to help him fish! Middle (Little) has short stocky legs and she is bigger overall.

Both ‘babies’ (hardly babies anymore) had fish this morning at 09:45. There is Middle (or Little on chat) eating its own fish on the left. Middle fledged at 08:13:12 on April the 16th. The long thin legs are like those of Idris at the Dyfi nest and most believe that Middle (Little) is a male. Little (or Mini) is being fed by Lena. She is a nice big female it seems.

Middle (Little) could fly any moment it seems. Here is a link to the Captiva camera:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dyfi, Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Buckinghamshire Council Falcon Cam, Chesapeake Conservancy, DHEC, CarnyxWild, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery, and Explore.org.

Saturday in Bird World

Are you having Peregrine Falcon withdrawal since the Collins Street kids and Yurruga fledged? Did you know that there are a pair of falcons living in Baltimore, Maryland that do not migrate? Their names are Barb and Boh. Barb will lay her eggs in March (normally) but for now the camera is live every day! The history of the scrape is located on the web cam page.

Urban hawks are very fascinating as are the amount of wildlife that exist in the very large urban parks such as Central Park in NYC. I always recommend this site. There are some good videos on Cedar Waxwings and the Peregrine Falcons as well as the RTH’s. The blog is run by Bruce Yolton who is extremely knowledgable. Check it out if you are interested in how wildlife survives in some major cities like New York.

https://www.urbanhawks.com/

There is also an Osprey streaming cam in Maryland that you should have on your radar. It is the home of Tom and Audrey 2 on the property of The Harrison Family.

This Osprey family, Tom and the original Audrey, were the subject of a book full of wonderful images, Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. The images and text are for year 2015 when Tom and Audrey became adoptive parents – twice! The story is as good as the images showing the arrival of the two chicks to the nest and then, a little later, another chick lands on the nest and wants to be part of the family.

The eggs of Tom and Audrey are determined to be non-viable. The eldest two nestlings are removed from a nest with four chicks. Imagine Audrey’s surprise when she returns to her nest from a break to find not three eggs but two chicks and an egg. It is a very heart-warming story!

One of our readers asked if I would share some information from that big book on Australian birds of prey – and the answer is definitely yes! It is too difficult to find that volume and too expensive to purchase but, oh so wonderful to share! We will work our way through Australian birds of prey!

The latest news on two peregrine falcons that we are watching – Grinnell, the mate of Annie at UC-Berkeley’s Campanile – and Yurruga, the recent fledge at Orange is no news. The last posting from UC Falcons is that the interloper male appeared briefly on the ledge and was greeted by Annie. It was raining in Orange. Diamond and Xavier were about but Yurruga was not seen. He could be in the trees staying quiet out of the weather. Perhaps he will be spotted today.

The boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are doing fine. Bazza decided to be a little aggressive when he received one of the morning fish deliveries from dad. Afraid that Ervie might steal his late breakfast, Bazza decided to mantle and then thrust himself at Ervie just to make sure Ervie understood.

Bazza was very quick to protect its fish and mantle Ervie. The mantling is not the problem it is that beak. They can do a lot of damage to one another if they decide that is what is necessary.

Bazza finally settles and goes back to eating his fish.

Later. All is forgotten. Simply beautiful fledglings. Falky is on the right, Bazza with his great crest is on the left and Ervie is behind with his sat-pak.

Someone said that Falky had a wing or feather injury but I can see nothing to indicate that in these images. Falky is definitely one beautiful elegant bird. He has really come into himself in terms of flying. I also hear rumours that Ervie is trying his hand at fishing. Wonderful!

Just beautiful. Sometimes I just stare at these three boys. What joy they gave to us this year. I wish each had a sat-pak because we get so attached to them and then – poof. Nothing. What happened? Rather than think things are well, I like to know. If something happens, then we need to deal with it. Like Solly’s electrocution. Put the protectors on the poles. It is simple.

As we prepare for Bald Eagle season, I want to stop and say that there are so many many nests. You have your favourites and I have mentioned mine in the last few days. Some of the first eggs that will hatch belong to M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers on the property of the D Pritchett family. Those eggs are set to hatch from the 25-28 of December. They are an experienced family with little trauma – the GHOW being the exception. If you are after an eagle family to watch, SW Florida should be your first go to this season. There are three cameras. You can find the others on YouTube.

Ithaca, New York is the same temperature as the Canadian prairies today, 0. Yes, it warmed up and the sun is out! Ferris Akel’s tour is live at the moment. He is on Wildlife Drive and it is snowing but he did find some beautiful swans.

If you are reading this at the right time you can still join the tour. On Thursday Ferris found Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus. Maybe he will do the same today!

I am also happy to report that so far, knock on wood, Dyson has not found the new feeder for Little Woodpecker! Yippee.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have a marvellous Saturday. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Ferris Akel.