Monday in Bird World

17 May 2022

Balloons.

Balloon release – 1” by Jerry Downs is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.
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Thank you to everyone who wrote to me about the balloons. I am not ‘Debbie Downer’ but there are sure lots of ways of having fun other than sending balloons up into the sky as in the image below!

My comment about starting in elementary school reminded a reader, ‘B’, of an incident. Out in the wilderness a balloon was found. There was a note attached to it asking whoever found it to please call the teacher at the elementary school that had released the balloons. The finder did, indeed, contact the school but did inform the teacher about the dangers of balloons to all wildlife. I am certain she had no idea. This got me to thinking. We really need to spread the word somehow.

I know that many of my readers are teachers or individuals who have friends or family who are teachers or group leaders for Cubs, Guides, etc. We do need to start with the children but let us educate them to the dangers. So how do the teachers do this? and how can we create a web of understanding so that people do not feel criticized but who realize the dangers and want to help? Why not have balloons and the environment as a topic for a staff meeting? or a conference? I am certain that a wildlife rehabber would happily come in and educate teachers and students on the dangers of balloons. They might even bring one of their ambassadors. It would be a great topic that could generate lots of interest! If you know of someone who provides children’s parties, talk to them as well. There are many types of decorations that are much more planet and wildlife friendly and who doesn’t want to be on the sustainable and environmentally-friendly side? Most don’t knowingly want to harm birds or other wildlife; they just simply do not know the bigger picture and how a simple act of releasing balloons for a celebration can have a lasting impact on birds causing their death or disability. Spread the word!

I have several other concerns that focus on simple solutions to a huge problem for wildlife. Lead. The Institute for Wildlife Studies – Dr Sharpe and gang that manage the Channel Islands Bald Eagles amongst other projects including Condors have put out an information pamphlet about the alternatives to the use of lead. I am attaching it. They do presentations at various sporting events. Please read it. If you know someone who hunts or fishes and uses lead, please gently inform them of the alternatives. Thanks!

SF Bay Ospreys have posted an image of a crack in egg 2 for Richmond and Rosie. They believe that egg 1 is non-viable and stated that even egg 2 is late. It would be grand if 2 and 3 would hatch close to one another.

Duke and Daisy survived the storm that went through New Jersey last night. It is still windy today, though.

This is the view from the platform to where Duke does his fishing. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. When you live inland on the prairies, you long for water! and sandy beaches! and mountains!

Middle Little O was on the Captiva Osprey platform with his long, long legs (he could challenge Idris in a couple of years) wanting some fish. Andy brought him a Lizard Fish this morning and later he brought him a Pinfish. Middle Little O is so loud — and always fish crying! So funny. [I could almost swear Middle Little O is a female].

I think the only time that Middle Little and Little Mini were hungry was when Big was alive. Andy and Lena are taking super care of their two surviving juveniles – their first since 2019. So happy for them. Andy is certainly devoted and doing his job getting fish to both the fledglings.

The five walking cotton balls at the Manchester NH scrape continue to do well. Enough food for all – eating,, sleeping, and growing. The fifth hatch is so cute! There he is by the exit to the exterior platform.

There are still serious issues for 17 on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. Prey comes in and at 14:26:19, he was able to snatch and grab a single bite. 17 has been conserving its energy by sleeping and was gnawing on some bones at various times. This is pretty sad. 17 is 6 weeks old today. Half way to fledge. The chick needs nourishment and the older siblings have always been aggressive and dominant.

17 did have a small PS. Oh, I wish for some food for this little one. It is hard having two great big siblings and being so small.

It is 15:13 nest time at the UFlorida-Osprey platform on the practice field. Middle has quite the crop. I don’t need to go back and check on a feeding. At some point while I was rustling up an electrician at the last minute, Mum came in with enough fish to fill Middle to the brim. That makes me so happy.

The storm left Big Red and the gang a little soggy yesterday. They are all doing fine. The oldest and the youngest have been flapping their wings today. It is like L4 says to the elder sib, “Anything you can do, I can do!” They are so cute. Watch at the end as they see a parent doing a fly by. Precious.

I haven’t seen any prey deliveries on the Dale Hollow nest. Both eaglets are still there. One found something buried in the nest and the other is watching closely as the sib tries to eat it. Hopefully some fish will come in later.

The chick at Cromer Peregrine scrape has been ringed. The measurements are inconclusive so DNA samples were taken to determine gender. The chick is either a large male or a small female!

Just look at the crops on the eyases at the San Jose City Hall Falcon Scrape. Wow. It’s so funny how you can tell if the crop is totally full – the skin looks really shiny where the feathers separate. Gosh they are cute.

Annie has a snooze and later feeds the two eyases. Cute, cute. Gosh. What is it? 8 or 10 days til they are ringed? Unbelievable. I remember when I was waiting to get my driver’s license and my mother assured me that time passed much faster when I got older. She was right. Weren’t we just waiting for a hatch yesterday?

These chicks always look like they are smiling and why not? They have Annie and Alden for parents.

The ND-LEEF nest is still the problem. I sure hope some giant fish arrive so that 17 gets some decent bites of fish. All of the falcon and hawk nests are fine. We are waiting for Osprey eggs to hatch in the UK.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Cromer Peregrine Falcons, DHEC, Cornell RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Peregrine Networks, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Barnegat Light Ospreys, and SF Bay Ospreys.