A Victor update and more news in Bird World, early Saturday

27 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Friday turned out to be one of the best birding days I have had in my City because of the birds and the three people that I met — and, of course, an Osprey story. No, I didn’t add lots to my life list but, I will add a few when I can get some help doing the IDs. It was hot in the afternoon for the walk at the nature centre. The little Mallard mother that had 11 ducklings still has the 9 she had the other day. She has moved them to a different pond where the water and plants appear to be a little healthier.

In some areas the algae is just stifling the life out of the pond. The geese were all resting in the shade and only the song birds were exerting themselves. In particular, 5 or 6 Black-Capped Chickadees were around the ‘winter’ feeding area. I had the most glorious chat with a woman about the fate of insects and she mentioned a book, The Insect Crisis.

This lovely woman spent a few minutes explaining the concept behind the book – the collapse of the insect population and the shocking collapse of everything from birds to crops. I suspect that almost everyone who reads my blog is aware of the domino-effect that is or will take place as the insects die. The rest of the population has surely heard about what is happening even if they don’t understand it — or worse, choose to ignore it. Why then do people still hire companies to come and ‘kill’ the weeds on their lawn so that it is pristine all the while what they believe the company is using a green chemical is actually toxic! or the spraying of roses and other flowers? the use of pesticides used in farming? It is time to put a stop to these practices and embrace companion planting or the use of certain birds and animals that will weed but not kill the crops or flowers.

All the while we were talking, the lovely lady, perhaps in her 90s, was pulling out sunflower seeds for the Chickadees.

An hour before dusk I went to another site where a Bald Eagle had been spotted. OK. I am not the luckiest birder on the planet – far from it. All I could find were some Mallards resting….

and then, I didn’t hear it but something caused me to look up. There was an osprey flying overhead. My heart stopped for a second. An Osprey – sorry Bald Eagle people but this was fantastic. I have been trying to find the Osprey living in this area of my City and have always failed…and there it was.

It has been a good year to be surprised by Ospreys flying overhead. I only know where one nest is but that is fine…seeing them flying at dusk is very special.

The sun was nearly setting but, just on the chance that the Egrets were landing near the pond on the other side of the City, I took off…

As the sun set, 7 Great Egrets descended on the pond and their night time tree.

They continued to arrive as the sun set lower and lower in the sky. It was just a calm, beautiful summer evening spent looking at a ‘sedge’ of Egrets – a most unusual sight for a Canadian Prairie city.

I am not a wildlife photographer. Let’s be clear about that. There are people who are and two of them spent time with me taking photos of the Egrets, talking about where the birds might be spending their days and the anticipation of the arrival of ‘THE’ Green Heron this year (he was really lost last year when he landed south of our city in a small little river). Quite the celebrity that heron was! Of course, everyone is looking and comparing the ‘kit’ each of us had….I take photos because I love the garden animals and the birds – to show you! So they are taken with love not great technical expertise although there are many times I wish I had that level of talent.

In the Mailbox:

The Ojai Raptor Centre updated Victor’s progress in an e-mail posting today: Just look at this magnificent eaglet. This is a very special day. His zinc levels are normal!!!!!!!!

Here is the announcement from ORC:

Bald Eagle patient 22-635, who was rescued from Santa Cruz Island with zinc toxicosis on July 11, continues to make progress. The most recent test for zinc showed the patient within normal levels. This means the eaglet no longer needs to go through chelation therapy to remove the toxic metal from the bloodstream. The eaglet’s ataxia (lack of balance) seems to have resolved as well!

‘L’ sent me a lovely screen capture she had in her archives of Ma Berry. The year is 2018. Do you know who she is?

Berry College is located in Mount Berry, Georgia. Ma Berry was the mate of Pa Berry until 2020 when she was last seen the 17th of November. Ma Berry had a injury to her left talon – she was easily recognized. She had no difficulties fishing or catching prey with her injured foot. She was dearly loved despite there being a heavy loss to the chicks on the nest. In 2017-18, two eggs hatched with one chick fledging and the other sadly died from falling off the nest. The following year, 2018-19 both eggs hatched again but the chicks died within a week. The following year one egg cracked and the second was not viable. Ma Berry has a huge fan club and as one article at the time said, “There’s been a scandal brewing behind the Cage Center at Berry College.” A new female and Ma Berry had a bit of a stand off. For awhile many worried that Ma Berry had been injured or killed but on the 21st of January 2021, Ma Berry was seen at a lake (again easily recognizable by her injured and twisted foot). She is enjoying her retirement. The new female named Missy had two eggs in 2021. One was not viable and the other baby died – both of starvation and hypothermia. Missy just didn’t know what to do as a Mum. However, this year Missy and Pa Berry fledged B15 – a fine strong eagle. Pa Berry must have been very pleased.

https://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/news/local/new-female-at-berry-eagle-nest-has-observers-buzzing/article_30c90372-3e2e-11eb-85f9-c717a7baead0.html

Three questions came in from ‘G’: What would have happened to the female at the 367 Collins Street Falcon nest? Did she find a new mate? Second question: What is a scrape? The third question: Why do falcons use gravel for nests and not twigs like eagles? OK. Let’s start at the beginning. I have included some images of the male at 367 Collins Street and his mate from previous years below with their four eyases from 2021. You will often hear that Raptors mate for life. From reading the information about Ma Berry above, you will then know that this is not always the case. Some females get usurped from the nest as do some males. Some are injured and die. Some leave and are discovered elsewhere. Some Ospreys have had two mates. A good example is Seren, Blue 5F in the UK. From 2015-2020, she was Aran’s ‘other woman’ at Glaslyn while Mrs G was his primary mate. In 2020 she decided not producing chicks and have a faithful mate was reason enough to pack her bags and leave. She did. She flew to Llyn Clywedog and became the mate of Dylan! So the saying mate for life is not always the case but it is more the standard than anything else. It is presumed, however, that the female at 367 Collins street has died and a new female has taken her place. If this is her first year as a Mum, let us wish both a very good year.

Scrape is the name of the ‘nest’ that Peregrine falcons use to lay their eggs and raise their eyases. Eyas is the proper term for the chick.

Peregrine Falcons traditionally made their nests on cliffs. There the sand and gravel would be gathered and a small indentation made for the eggs so they would not slide out of the nest cup. It is believed that by using this kind of nest insects and diseases that often form in twig nests – especially if it is cold and wet – would, thus, not impact the falcon chicks. That said, there are some stick nests being used by falcons in Poland that have been very successful.

An early morning question from ‘T’: Why aren’t the falcons in Australia sitting on their egg and eggs all the time? Great question! You can see them leaving the eggs in the images below today. Some raptors practice delayed incubation. They will keep the eggs warm for a few hours a day but will not begin 24/7 incubation known as ‘hard incubation’ until all of the eggs are laid. This ensures that there is not such a discrepancy in their dates of hatch. This lessens the chance of siblicide. In addition, many times the eyases hatch within 24 hours of one another like those at Collins Street the last few years.

In the News:

Hen Harriers remain in the UK news. As their populations begin to recover at 100 birds the illegal killing of the raptors remains a huge problem for the reintroduction programme.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/26/more-than-100-hen-harriers-fledge-in-england-for-first-time-in-a-century

In Australia, there is dismay as to the protection of the forest industry and the lack of concerns from some of the wildlife going extinct. In 2022, people are starting to get upset and angry. Will the government respond?

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/25/swift-parrot-recovery-plan-changes-downplay-logging-threat-experts-say

Nest News:

Holly Parsons has posted the links to the four Falcon cameras at Orange along with a link to FAQs. Thanks, Holly! Here it is:

Diamond has been the female at the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape at orange since 2015. Xavier has been her mate since 2016. This means that they are at least 9 years old for Diamond and 8 years old for Xavier. Peregrine Falcons have been known to live for nearly 20 years in the wild.

Diamond is looking out the window of the scrape at Orange. Galahs, a pink and grey parrot, are flying by the tower. Do they not know they would be a remarkable mid-morning snack for Diamond? If Xavier sees them, she will have one!

Later Pied Currawong were observed doing flybys while checking out the scrape box. They eat eggs! Diamond and Xavier are going to have to be vigilant.

There is no hard incubation yet at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Does this mean that Mum and Dad Peregrine Falcon are thinking of a 4th?

For those of you who have watched the Melbourne nest in previous years and, perhaps, did not notice or know. This is a new female this year with Dad. My first thought was is it possible that Mum died from trichomonosis like the 4th eyas last year? We might never know – unless Victoria Hurley does, the researcher at this nest.

Dad has the biggest eyes. Oh, such a cutie with one of his prepared pigeons for the kiddos.

It would be very difficult to forget these four. They were incredible. The year before Mum and Dad had 3 girls…they towered over little Dad.

Mum and Dad with the four eyases for the 2021 season. Mum was amazing. She often appeared to be gruff but if you are having to chase after four eyases with independent minds, she seemed to have to be to keep them from falling off the edge of that ledge. Thankfully birds are afraid of heights (or so I am told). Soar high, Mum. You took such great care of your little ones.

The new female shows Dad the third egg early on a misty Melbourne morning. It arrived at 22:18 on the 26th of August.

Oh, I adore the little male falcon at Collins Street. Sometimes he looks like a toy in his cute little pajamas.

A few more images today of Dad and the new Mum taking turns incubating the eggs. You will get to know Dad rather quickly with the thick yellow around his eyes and if he is next to New Mum, he will be quite a bit smaller

Neither Diamond or the Melbourne Mum will begin ‘hard’ incubation until all of their eggs are laid. This is one of the reasons that there is less competition between all the eyases as they are close in size and birth date. Some Ospreys and eagles begin hard incubation immediately and this means that the third catch could be several days difference in size and development than the first.

Just look at SE 29 and 30. 29 is standing so tall with its big crop while 30 is enjoying a private feeding from Lady. Look very carefully at 30 since we can see the top of the head, the chest, the wings and back and – of course those pink legs standing so tall. Weeks 5 and 6 show the biggest change from the fluffy chicks with their down to the stage of an eaglet. There is now down left on the head (maybe a dandelion or two on 30). Dark feathers are starting to show everywhere – they are the most gorgeous espresso brown. The chicks are spending a lot of time preening now as feather growth is said to be itchy (how does a human know that?). They are now able to stand like 29 is doing without the aid of the wing tips. They will begin flapping and might make some attempts at self feeding.

Notice that beautiful light rust that is appearing on both of the eaglets. If you have never seen a juvenile Sea Eagle you are going to be so surprised at how stunning their plumage is. Notice also how those beaks continue to grow long and strong.

Dad was nudging Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest to get up and give him a turn. It was 23:42!

Andor visited the Two Frasers Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. It looks like he now has some time to regain his strength after helping Mama Cruz raise Lilibet and Victor. He certainly must have had a nice lunch!

The streaming cam at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest is now offline until the 17th of November. Mark it on your calendars. I wonder if Nancy will have a new mate for the next breeding season????

Both eaglets at the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle nest have now fledged. Congratulations to Liberty and Freedom for another successful year. Believe it or not, the Bald Eagle season will be getting underway in Florida in the next 4 weeks or thereabouts. Goodness.

Kielder Forerst posted that one of the 2022 fledglings, Frankham, is now in Spain enjoying himself on the llobregat River in Catalonia. His ring number is Blue 439 and he was the first to leave Kielder this season. Frankham was from nest 1A where Mrs YA raised the chicks after Mr YA did not return after they had hatched. Congratulations Kielder Forest!

Did you know that there are 10 Estonian Black Storks with trackers on them this year? Kaia and Karl II along with Waba and Bonus from the Karula Nest are amongst the ten. It is going to get busy once they start moving. Kaia remains near Liaskavicy in Belarus in the wetlands of the Priyjpat River.

A new book, Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behavior by Jonathan Elphick has arrived on the desk. Review to come.

Have a lovely Saturday everyone. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon….and remember, if you have a question, send it in. There could be 50 or 100 people wondering about the same thing!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, and videos that form my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Berry College and ‘L’, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, The Guardian, Orange, Australia FB, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey, Explore.org and the IWS, and Looduskalender.

Bird World News – Early Tuesday

16 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Everyone has survived the torrential rain from last night but all the plants were pelted down by the heavy rain and I wonder if that is the same for the crops in the farmer’s fields?

I am reasonably sure that everyone reading my blog this year is aware of the ‘rain’. We had a 4-5 year drought and then the skies opened in the spring and never closed for any extended period of time. The dehumidifier cannot keep up and tonight the skies opened again! It is raining so hard you cannot see and the sky is charcoal-gray.

This is an image shot on the highway and sent to me about 30 minutes before the system hit Winnipeg last evening.

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There it is on radar.

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What does this have to do with raptors? or wildlife? Well, in Manitoba it has a lot to do with them. It means that the rangers at Hecla Island/Grindstone Provincial Park will not be able to check the shore line where the eagles used to make their nests. It means that the lake will rise even higher. It will be good for some of the shorebirds! For others they might have difficulty finding food.

Thankfully the new baby Hedwig came to eat under the bird feeders at his usual time and beat the storm. I try to not let him see or hear me which means the images are always compromised. He is really growing. Sometime between the 20th and 30th the new fence will be going up. Then the bird and pollinator friendly area will be planted. The fence builder already knows that the fence has to be raised so that the rabbits can come in. Sadly it also lets the feline domestics in the garden, too. (Just like the reintroduction of Goshawks in the UK means that there will always be predators for the Ospreys now). The floor of the sunroom will be tiled on Wednesday, cure until Friday night and finally on Saturday if all is well, I can move back in. I need to figure out how to remove one of the screens as it really stops me from being able to take photos of the garden friends without disturbing them. It also means that the juvenile Crows will see me and stand on the roof screaming and pecking when their cheesy dogs need replenishing. It is interesting – no one can ‘see’ into the sunroom but if the birds get close enough they can – and, of course, their hearing is top notch. Still, I try to be invisible.

I am very fortunate and honoured to be able to take care of them, this little enclave of nature in the middle of a big and growing city. While I cannot turn back the heating of our planet, I can make the lives of the animals that bring me such joy easier. It is the least I can do. They used to burrow and fly in this area – free. As my City grows out instead of building up in the interior, their habitat gets more and more compromised by large housing developments with no trees and the houses so close together. It is easy for humans to become estranged from nature and that is the opposite of what we want.

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Little Hedwig III

My goal this summer was to not only take care of the animals and birds but to coddle the old roses that were on this property in 1902. They are climbers and had been neglected when I arrived and well…I am guilty of also neglecting them. This year the area was cleared and supports were put in place. With all of the rain they have flourished. This is just one tiny cluster. They have been blooming since June and there are new buds every day as long as I pick off the old ones — which I need to do on this bunch. I wish I could put the scent on this page for each of you. If it could be bottled you could pull it out and smell the roses of summer at any time. They bring such joy.

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I am shocked every time I go to the park because there are new ducklings. It is August – the middle of August! There should not be ducklings!

My camera is ‘smarter’ than I am and reacts badly if I happen to not check all the bells and whistles. I did not set it for ‘Movement’. This little duckling was moving. It was so tiny and still fuzzy. I have really cropped and blown up the image. What will happen to this little one? Will it grow fast enough to migrate in October? Why are so many ducklings hatching during the last week? They are all, by the way, Wood Ducks save for a couple of Mallards. The numbers have shifted this year. The Wood Ducks arrived late and are bountiful. At one time in early June I could not find a single Wood Duck!

These images are not great. Thankfully I am not trying out for wildlife photographer of the year — they would send me out of the room quickly!!!!!!!

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If you haven’t guessed by now, I love Wood Ducks!!!!!!! I think they are my favourite duck ever.

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There were a few older Mallards. I could see no Mallard ducklings at this particular pond.

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I was, however, shocked/annoyed/angry that there was a party at a duck pond with balloons. On the drive out of the park there were more balloons attacked to trees! Signs can be used instead of balloons. They need to be banned from the park and the public needs to be educated as to what the reasons are.

This one had broken lose and had blown over to the edge of the island in the pond where the ducks and geese rest and lay their eggs. Will it pop and will one of them consume it?

I seem to be venting but clearly notices against balloons must go up at the parks just like the feeding signs.

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There they were – piles and piles of them. Celebrations should be fun and safe ——–for everyone and everything – including our dear ducks.

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Our City banned the use of glue strips as of 1 July 2022. So why are our big box DIY stores still selling them???????!!!!!!!!!!!! (Screaming at the computer!)

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This will be a long term stay at the centre – feathers must moult and regrow. The wee one will need to learn everything in order to live in the wild. Wildlife rehab clinics, their vets, their student vets, their volunteers are the angels behind in the scenes in helping give our raptors a second chance at life from the harm that we do to them. Remember that you can help, too. That help comes in as many different forms as each of us is different – clean old towels and sheets, a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid, bleach, items for enrichment, volunteering time, holding a garage sale and giving some or all of the proceeds to the rehabber of your choice – the list is endless.

BirdCast has an active map showing migration in the US. Here is how to access it:

https://birdcast.info/migration-tools/live-migration-maps/embed/#?secret=jEQFPNj636

Kaia, the mate of Karl II, who is now migrating towards Africa turned back from the Ukraine yesterday and flew back into Belarus. Kaia has remained in Belarus today in a forested area. Some reported that she is in the Ukraine – this is not correct.

Many articles on how the war in the Ukraine is impacting wildlife, both residents and migrants, will be part of Wednesday morning’s blog on migration challenges.

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At the White Stork nests of Bukacek and Betty in The Czech Republic, the adults are enjoying some quiet time together – bonding and working on the two nests. The fledglings seem now to have left the area to join other groups of other fledglings as they begin their mass migration together.

Stephen Basly who posts photos and videos of the Notre Dame fledgling eagles watched Little Bit 17 successfully defend his perch against 16. Isn’t that wonderful news?! The kid has confidence and we know he is tenacious and resourceful. Sounds like a great beginning to independent living for this survivor. If the images come out, SB will be posting them on the Notre Dame Eagles FB page.

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In Senegal News, Jean Marie duPart reports that there are 31 young Ospreys in good form and finding large fish counted in Langue de Barbarie Park. Jean-Marie and his team keep us updated on Osprey counts from the beginning of migration period (yesterday) to their departure in the spring.

Young raptors can get trapped in trees. They still cannot land very well and often the twigs and the thicker of the thin branches stick through their wings and they are trapped….waiting to die. If you should see a raptor in precisely the same place, they probably need help. Check with your local wildlife rehab rescue. This Red-tail hawk is very happy that someone stopped to care for it!

https://fox8.com/news/see-red-tailed-hawk-trapped-in-dead-medina-tree/?fbclid=IwAR0QXV7cLEeMR0cBXpCbfGe3bTs0Sf1KXy-YUKc8w6EFNp-nBM-uTX4AoNk

The osplet on the nest at the National Arboretum platform in Minnesota has been scared off the nest at least three times this season by human activity. It is time that the institution put a fence around the area during breeding season like Montana Osprey Project does for Iris in Missoula. Sadly the chick is missing this time.

Are you missing Thunder and Akecheta? I sure am! Thunder was calling to Akecheta from the nest last evening as he flew around. He listened and joined her. So nice to see the two of you.

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Missy and Pa Berry were working on their nest yesterday also…and remember, Samson is waiting for Gabby to return. We have not even seen the fledglings off and the adults are starting to think about ‘spring’! With the changes in temperature, it will be interesting to see how many nests maintain their traditional egg laying schedule or who, like the Ospreys at Captiva, begin a month early.

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CJ7 and Blue 022 are making sure that their sole surviving fledgling, 5H1, is truly ready for migration. Look at the good condition this bird is in! 5H1 is a very important Osprey in the history of the reintroduction programme in the UK. He is the first osprey to hatch in more than 200 years and he has survived! (Let us hope that the goshawk that caught 5H2 off guard does not come around).

5H1 is really telling Blue 022 that it is time for the afternoon tea to be delivered!!!!!!!

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The youngest of the three osplets at the Boathouse platform in Maine is Sloop. ‘H’ tracked this bird all day yesterday and the days prior. Sloop is yet to fledge. The other two are 58 and 59 days old. Thanks ‘H’. So it is fledge watch for this third hatch of Dory and Skiff.

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There is still one osplet to fledge at the Osoyoos Osprey platform in British Columbia.

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Fledgling BC still comes to the nest for fish. So happy for Soo and Olsen. Despite losing one chick who fell off the nest, they managed to raise two in remarkably difficult conditions.

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Everything looks OK with Dad for yesterday at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. He is really wanting to do some incubating so there are lots of changing shifts. He even came in the late evening, 2202, but Mum sent him packing.

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Everyone is sound asleep in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE29 and 30 are too big to tuck under Lady so they have made a little cuddle puddle.

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That is it for early Tuesday in Bird World. Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Osoyoos Ospreys, Audubon Explore, Poole Harbour, Berry College, Explore and the IWS, Arboretum Ospreys, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Capi Mlade Buky, Looduskalender, Bird Cast, and Bald Eagles 101.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

25 May 2022

There is so much news that it is difficult to know where to start sometimes. But today it is going to be in Port Lincoln, Australia on the Osprey barge. Mum and Dad were sitting next to one another on the ropes. Mum then went to the nest and was looking around. She was not happy. One of the long time watchers of the barge of this Osprey family, ‘M’ suggested on the chat that Ervie had been trying to land to eat a puffer, like he has done now for nearly 5 months. The camera did not pull back so that we could have a clear view. Something was definitely making Mum quite upset and ‘A’ writes this morning and confirms that at 0952 Ervie was trying to land.

This is, indeed a sad day for all of us that loved Ervie and wished beyond anything that the parents might let him come to the barge. Maybe he will go to the old barge with his puffers – the alternative for Mum and Dad. (Is it still there?)

Mum was still preening at 11:10 on the nest.

The feeding of five little storks! They have grown so much in a week!

While those White Storks have been growing, Betty and Bukachek at the Mlade Buky nest in The Czech Republic are welcoming their newly hatched storklets. Congratulations!

At the black stork nest of Jan and Jannika in Estonia, frogs and fish were brought in to feed all of the storklets. If you have never seen storklets fed, this is a great way to start watching. The parents regurgitate the fish for the little ones.

There is a very confusing situation at the Latvian Black stork nest of Grafs and Grafiene. The ‘real’ Grafiene returned late and now there are three on the nest with mating and fighting.

The second eaglet on the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle nest in Colorado, US is sleeping quietly. The eaglet is 6 weeks old and I am so hoping that there is a parent near by. Last night a raccoon climbed and pulled an eaglet off the nest to feed it and possibly its babies. I hope this eaglet stays safe!

Before night, Little Bit 17 was flapping its wings on the ND-LEEF nest. They are getting bigger and he is getting stronger with every bite of fish that he eats.

A fish arrived on the ND-LEEF nest at 0820. Little Bit 17 began moving up to eat and was at Mum’s beat at 08:21:37 where he got fed. Yes! That is a very good way to start a Wednesday morning.

It got a bit wet on the nest this morning and Mum is there with the eaglets.

Lady and Dad are busy working on the nest first thing in the morning. Dad has been bringing fish to the nest every day for Lady. Lovely.

‘S’ was kind enough to forward a statement from the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the issue relating to Laddie, LM12’s eye. They said, “

Our breeding pair, LM12 and NC0 have made an incredible effort to provide for their growing offspring since the first chick hatched on 19 May.

If you’ve been watching the webcam you might well have noticed that resident male LM12 has an injury on his right eye – this may have been caused by an abrasion sustained when his protective, translucent, third eyelid, also known as a nictitating membrane, was open.

Fortunately this injury seems to minor and it doesn’t seem to have affected his ability to fish. LM12 brought two perch to his hungry family at 20:05 and 21:20 this evening.”

Laddie’s eye appears to be perfect. He has brought in a big fish for Blue NC0 to feed the babies!

The two osplets of Dylan and Seren at Llyn Clywedog are almost the same size. They are terribly cute. It is pitching down rain there today and the third Bob has hatched. Congratulations Dylan and Seren.

Both eggs have hatched at the nest of White YW and Blue 35 at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Idris and Telyn on the hatch of their first chick of the 2022 season at 1628 on the 25th of May! It is Tiffin Cake all around in Wales today I am told.

Both of the osprey chicks on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest were fed by Mum this morning. They were both full with Mum betting a chance to eat the tail at 1105. Later images show them with a nice crop each.

Look at the size of Middle’s beautiful wings!

The only surviving osplet on the Dahlgren Nest in Virginia US used to be the size of the Bobs at the Loch of the Lowes and Llyn Clywedog. Just look at how big that chick is today!

It was heart warming to learn that the Friends of Big Bear had so many letters of support to stop the development in Big Bear Valley. Jackie and Shadow are much loved. In terms of social media stars, they have the highest number of visitors to their streaming cam than any other Bald Eagle nest. This is fantastic news.

The day that Spirit flies off the nest is coming. It could even be today. She has been on the branch flapping her big beautiful wings and standing on one leg this morning.

Was Spirit getting some advice for the future?

DC9 has been sitting on the rim of the nest looking out at the world from the National Arboretum nest in Washington DC. Mr President is doing a great job taking care of his only eaglet this year. Mum Lotus has not been seen for several days now.

The triplets at Pittsburgh-Hayes are starting to get out on the branches!

The oldest US Steel Eaglet is 50 days old today while the youngest is 47 days.

Liberty and Guardian have been making regular prey deliveries to Star and Sentry throughout the day. Some viewers have worried. There is a chat associated with the nest and the moderator will list the times of prey deliveries and visits from parents. The two eaglets are so large they take up the entire nest!

The eyases at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape continue to loose more of their fluffy down revealing their beautiful feathers.

The San Jose City Hall falcons are so cute. They are starting to lose their fluff revealing some nice feathers, too. Such cuties sitting there like little Buddhas. They are 20 days old today.

Here is a short video of Pedro meeting those chicks. Look at how much they have grown.

Talk about losing baby down! The two Red-tail Hawks at the Presidio Trust nest in San Francisco sure look a lot different this morning. I have not checked on them for awhile and they are big hawks!!!!!

It is a crazy time in Bird World. So many nests and everything happening from mating to fledging – with lots of intruders! Let us hope that all of our feathered friends have uneventful days. One of our readers asked about the Berry College eaglet. B15 fledged – if my memory holds true – on the 28th of April. She was still visiting the nest to everyone’s delight at 110 days old. Good solid eaglet. Pa and Missy continued to provide food for her.

Gorgeous picture that someone sent me of Pa Berry and Missy. (Do not know who to credit). They are a beautiful couple and did a fantastic job this year with B15.

This has been a long blog today. Please pardon any crazy typos or wording – I tried to cover too many nests! I will do a short check in on some of the nests with recent hatches later today. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Eagles, Presidio Trust, San Jose City Hall, Peregrine Networks, Redding Eagles, Pix Cams, NADC-AEF, FOBBV, Dahlgren Ospreys, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Dyfi Ospreys, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, CarynXWild, Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, ND-LEEF, XCel Energy, Mlade Buky Storks, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Friday in Bird World

15 April 2022

It has been a cracker of an afternoon in Bird World. The ‘New Guy’ – to finally have an official name at noon on the 18th – is ready to step in and incubate when Annie calls. I like this fella’. No, he will never replace Grinnell – he is his own endearing self. Through his kindness and generous spirit of heart, ‘New Guy’ saved this clutch and won the heart of Annie and so many of us. Precious.

The more I watch the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, the more that Mum endears herself to me, too – just like the ‘New Guy’. At lunch time, she had a huge chunk of Mullet (please correct me if I am wrong) to feed the trio. That is nothing extraordinary but how she checked on Little Bit offering it bites when Big Sib had calmed down, how she moved the fish to feed again when Dad came wanting leftovers, well…none of the chicks were left out. They all had a nice feed. Little Bit is spunky, too. Big tries to intimidate both Middle and Little Bit but, thankfully, is not all that aggressive. They wait and head back up, sometimes walking right in front of Big to get to the beak. I am impressed.

Each raptor mother has their own personality and way of feeding. Some feed fast and only to beaks open at the front. This Mum is slow and methodical, not stopping til all are full unless the fish runs out. Oh, I wish I knew more about this couple!

Little Bit managed to get some nice big bites amongst lots of smaller ones.

The bigger siblings can eat more at one feeding than Little Bit but this morning it appeared that Little Bit did a bit of a crop drop and wanted more fish. Excellent.

When the Dad arrived the Mum went to protect the hunk of fish and the chicks moved up and she fed them more.

Then Mum moved the fish and continued feeding -topping everyone up. She is very, very smart. She topped herself up, too. It is hot on top of that light stand – fill the kids up!

Little Bit wants more fish and Mum made sure he got some more.

Mum ate some of the nice fish once the babies were full and sleeping.

Then she began to call for Dad.

Food comas.

The third hatch at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey got some fish at the beginning of the 13:07 feed. All three are fine.

Blue NC0 and Laddie now have two eggs in their nest at Loch of the Lowes. Congratulations!

B15 is believed to be a female. She certainly is a big fledgling. B15 has stayed around the Berry College nest of her parents, Pa Berry and Missy, learning to fly and coming for food. Missy loves to feed her baby! This is such a huge help to the success of this gorgeous juvenile. It was a great year for Berry College.

There is another fledgling happy to visit home. Oh, is Kincaid ever loud! He will be just as happy if Anna wants to feed him, too, like B15. Last year Kistachie shot out of the nest never to be seen again. That is not especially a good thing. This year Kincaid is hanging around to the delight of everyone.

There is Kincaid on the branch of the nest in the Kisatchie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana. The sound on their camera is simply incredible.

Want to have a listen? Here is the link to the camera. The laughing frogs will put a smile on your face.

Martin and Rosa’s eaglet at the Dulles-Greenway Eagle cam lost all that baby down and is getting its juvenile feathering. The change seemed to come in a blink of an eye. The eaglet hatched on 13 March making it (counting hatch day) 33 days old today.

Just look at those ‘Daddy Longlegs’ on Little at the Captiva Osprey nest! Good gracious. He will rival Idris!!!!!! Little got the 11 am fish. Lena is calling Andy to get some more fish on the nest. She is so loud, you could hear her in Fort Myers.

There was a wonderful article about the Bald Eagle Mum at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest that defended her three eaglets against a determined intruder. Have a read and look at the picture. That was an amazing event on this nest. I would never want to make an Eagle mother upset – absolutely never.

https://triblive.com/local/dont-mess-with-momma-hays-bald-eagle-defends-against-intruder/?fbclid=IwAR3mMoCGGnzMsuESvp53P4ndAqCpyeHk6dCO_nlt8xKR4Wy-wc3KM8pDMK4

It is always nice to see Iris. What a joy it was when she returned to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana this year — the oldest Osprey in the world believed to be 28/29 this year.

So loved.

Port Lincoln posted a great remark on the chat for the PLO barge:

​”Who said Ospreys don’t fly around at night. Mum returned to the barge at 23.02 tonight and Ervie was fishing off the end of the main wharf at 20.47.”

It is always wonderful to hear about Ervie!

Aran and Mrs G have been in the nest. Later in the evening, the pair fly out to a favourite tree of Aran’s admiring their territory. This is what ospreys do on a Friday night in Wales.

Idris is on his perch while Telyn works on nestorations. She is a great one for moving large twigs. Wow.

A nice fish came to the Dale Hollow nest at 13:45. Both of the eaglets had a great feed.

Big is full and now it is Little Middle’s turn.

Then Big wanted some more of that nice fish.

Both eaglets were happy and had nice crops. A whole fish doesn’t go a long way anymore. If you count hatch day, the DH eaglets are 47 days old today.

Can you tell who is who?

The way to tell Little Middle is that he has a more prominent white ruffle on the end of his tail! (The angle of the camera makes Little Middle who is closest to the bottom appear slightly larger than he is but…that good fish is really causing this eaglet to grow).

It has been a great Friday in Bird World! The sun is still shining on the Canadian prairies, the wind is calm, and the snow has stopped. Nice.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida ospreys, VGGCO, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Berry College, KNF, Dulles-Greenaway, Port Lincoln Ospreys FB, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Montana Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi, and DHEC.

Saturday in Bird World

19 March 2022

This will be a very short report on a few of the nests we have been watching. Each of those nests is doing fine. Indeed, they are doing really well.

Thunder and Akecheta are such an amazing team this year at the West End Bald Eagle nest. It has been a real treat to watch Akecheta mature into the genuinely passionate father of three chicks that he is. There isn’t anything that he will not do and he loves to shade, brood, and feed! This Bald Eagle nest of three chicks is doing very well. there are no issues.

Some of you may well be familiar with the Trio Love Nest on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. In 2017, the female, Hope, was probably killed by an interloper. There were two beautiful chicks in the nest and the two fathers, Valor I and Valor II raised them. It is a beautiful story that will lead both of them to find Starr or Starr find them and ‘the Trio’ to raise chicks together. It is not clear what is happening at the Trio Nest this year. It was believed Valor I had left and then he returned. This morning the Stewards of the Mississippi River said they believed that some sub-adult Bald Eagles had cleaned up the nest. We wait to see but this might be the end of The Love Trio. So sad. They were such a great team raising big healthy chicks to fledge.

This is an old video. Hope is believed to have been killed and the two males, Valor I and II, take over the care of the eaglets. They will raise them to fledge. It is really a good news story. I wish we had one today for all of them.

It has been 5 years since Big Red’s long time partner, Ezra, was killed. There were no eggs laid in 2017. In April of that year, a young Red-tail Fledgling made a visit to the nest that Big Red shared with Ezra. The young ‘whippersnapper’ as many on the Cornell chat call him wooed Big Red over all the other males that courted her. This is Arthur before he even had his Red tail!

This is Arthur today incubating the eggs for the 2022 breeding season. This is his 5th year together with Big Red. He is a cutie pie and Big Red is giving him more duties. Yippeee.

Gorgeous Big Red. Her and Arthur sure make great babies. She is 19 this year. Her life as a Mum has been tracked since 2012. No one knows if she had other mates before Ezra or how many chicks she fledged but, since 2012 she has only not fledged one. That was K2 who had a beak or jaw issue last year. That is an amazing testament to the amazing parenting that happens on this nest and the prey rich territory where she resides.

By 12 noon, Andy had made 3 fish deliveries at the Captiva Osprey Nest. They were a Sand Perch at 08:23; a Pinfish at 09:59, and a large Striped Mullet at 11:52. Everyone ate well and Lena has been shading her two surviving chicks from the hot Florida sun when she is not feeding them. I have seen no report from Captiva about the results of the necroscopy on Big Bob who died suddenly on the nest. Captiva and Window on Wildlife anticipated that they would have those results by the end of this past week.

Its 16:39 and the two at Captiva are eating again! Both have huge crops. Little Bob is pausing but there is so much fish left that surely he will return to the table for his usual second helping. All is good on this nest! That is such a relief. Hungry, healthy chicks!

For the followers of Ma Berry, the former mate of Pa at the Berry College Bald Eagle nest, a photo of Ma at Lake Allatoona was posted today by one of the members of the Berry College FB group. She looks good. The photo was September 26, 2021.

Pa’s and his new mate, Missy, have one chick this year, B15. A real sweet little eaglet. Well B15 has branched on 17 March! This is the announcement on the Berry College Eagles FB group.

B15 is a really healthy eaglet that loves using the nest like a trampoline.

Jackie and Shadow continue to do a great job at Big Bear just as anyone might expect. There have already been 7 feedings on this nest and it is barely 14:00. Feedings were at: 6:42; 8:01; 9:37; 10:29; 11:12; 12:16; 13:20. There appear to be several fish on the nest waiting. The Little One is growing like a beautiful read.

Everyone is good with the exception of Dale Hollow and whatever is happening at the Trio nest. The chick at Dulles Greenaway is happy, shaded, and fed. Rosie and Richmond, the Ospreys at the Whirley Crane in the Richmond Shipyards in SF Bay, are busy trying to rebuild their nest. That is going to be a huge job. There is no recent news of Annie and Grinnell.

I will do a separate report about the day’s happenings at the Dale Hollow Lake nest probably late this evening. I can tell you that Middle got 2 or 3 bites of fish this morning, the very first since the meal late on the 17th. (I think I said the 18th in an earlier report). The oldest has launched ferocious attacks on the Middle one like he did with Little Bit. The Middle One has tried to fed but can’t on a big fish on the nest. Middle has even tried eating dirty straw. It sat at the feet of the mother begging with a huge fish and River allowed Big to continue its terror. I will put a warning on that posting. Suffice it to say that I do not believe that any miracles are going to happen on this nest. There will be one chick at the end. A huge ferocious female. I hope to post at least one academic article that argues that siblicide is simply selfishness and that evolutionary success depends on many factors but definitely not siblicide.

Thank you for joining me today. It is gorgeous and sunny and all the snow is in full melt. Geese continue to come, several Blue Jays are back and I saw my first White-throated Sparrow of the year. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Cornell Chatters Group FB Page (image of young Arthur); Berry College Eagles FB Group; Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife; Cornell Bird Lab and RTH; Friends of Big Bear Valley; West End Bald Eagles and the Institute of Wildlife Studies.

Late Wednesday and early Thursday in Bird World

16-17 March 2022

Each of us has turned to watching and caring for the birds and other wildlife for as many reasons as there are humans. One of the most commonly cited is ‘The birds bring me joy’. Unlike scientists who try to be arm’s length, most of us have our favourite bird families that we watch. We even have our favourite chicks in the clutch. Certainly I admit to that – Ervie at Port Lincoln was always my guy out of the three. I like the third hatches that survive. They are spunky and creative and, I hope, have facilities for survival in the wild that maybe the eldest who often ate first and the most doesn’t have. It is particularly difficult when we see our bird families struggling. We worry. We cry. My fingernails get shorter.

It is easy to miss what is happening on the Dale River nest. If you look the rewind is only an hour. I wanted to find out what was happening on this nest. Did something happen to a parent? No, both came on the nest around 19:00. So I went to the link in the information under the streaming cam to find out about Wednesday’s feedings.

The Dale Hollow group were able to tell me the chicks had eaten well – all of them once and there was a second feeding in the morning. It was not videotaped so no one was sure if all ate. I also learned something else from Keisha Howell who has been making the videos of the nest and posting them on YouTube. In the early days, DH16 who I have been calling Little Bit, was fed so much for a tiny little chick that it actually balked at feedings. Apparently it still has trouble eating too much food at once. That is good to know. I included the video of the early morning feed in an earlier posting. If you missed that video, here it is:

I would encourage anyone interested in this nest to join the discussion group and ask as many questions as you like. There are very knowledgable people who will be happy to help you. This is how we all learn – by asking questions. And no question is a stupid question! Ever. The link to the group is:

https://discord.gg/B6pVtJfhDt.

There is concern as the Black Storks and Ospreys move from Africa up to Latvia, Estonia, and Finland that the wildlife will get caught in the war in the Ukraine. There is someone called Ann that is diligently creating maps and posting information on Looduskalender from information provided by the satellite tracker on Karl II. I have cut and pasted the most recent information from this discussion group below. If you would like to check this yourself, here is the link to Looduskalender:

These are the fish ponds where Karl II refuelled:

On his fall journey to Africa, Karl II stopped in the Ukraine. There are many nature reserve areas along the shore of the Black Sea around Odessa. You can see from the simple map below the countries that he will fly over to reach a resting spot on the Black Sea. We worry for him, for his mate and for all the others who are making their way home to the Baltic Region.

California loves their Bald Eagle families. I often wondered why some nests were more popular in terms of viewers than others and as one reader, ‘B’ explained to me last week, the eagles are all over the news in California. Californians love their Bald Eagle families – they are celebrities. ‘B’ was referring to Jackie and Shadow at the time. Now it is Thunder and Akecheta’s turn!

https://abc7.com/catlina-eagles-egg-hatching-thunder-and-akecheta-institute-for-wildlife-studies/11654477/?fbclid=IwAR353ylAfPCzqiZ7T37-J6XneWj6ii26s4LzintGIeyT__QCj5RbwtIgK80

I am going to bore you with baby pictures. These are Thunder and Akecheta’s threesome being fed by Dad, Akecheta, this afternoon at 14:43. There are slight movements in each frame. In some you can see their sweet tails and in others you can glimpse their faces. Talk about adorable! I haven’t been able to take my eyes off these three little cuddles since they hatched.

Cheta is taking parenting very seriously this year. He rarely leaves sight of the nestlings.

I believe we have, from left to right: Little Bob, Middle Bob, and Big Bob. Big Bob is longer and ‘lanky’ than Middle Bob who is more round. Being so much younger, Little is just little – but not that little. Gosh, they are cute. The age difference is the same between Little and Big as it is at Dale Hollow. That is interesting.

Oops!

Everyone ate well.

Thunder and Akecheta have been widening the nest cup so that all three can line up to eat. It is far too difficult if it is deep and narrow. Most often the little ones have trouble getting to the front or get trampled in the process. Not here!

The three had a nice fish breakfast Thursday morning. They seemed so sleepy when Thunder got them up for a feed.

There are some really outstanding Bald Eagle parents out there. Cheta has matured since he first had chicks at the age of 4 two years ago. Having lost two seasons he broods, has learned to feed quite well actually, and does security. I am impressed.

Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear are another super couple who also suffered for two seasons and who have just the sweetest little eaglet this year. How many feedings a day? There were eleven. It goes without saying that I wish River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake would feed their eaglets more. The wee nestlings need less food more often.

Jackie and Shadow’s baby is 13 days old today. Eleven feedings. Look at all the fish on the nest. A Gold Star family.

One of those other Gold Star Bald eagle families is Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. Their two this season, E19 and E20 are taking turns going higher and higher in the nest tree as they prepare for fledging. We will miss these two and their antics. They are super healthy and well prepared for living in the wild. Do you remember how excited you were as Christmas approached and hatch at this nest? Now just look at them! They were the first eaglets of the season (on streaming cam) to hatch if I remember correctly.

Both E19 and E20 were enjoying the breeze up on the branches this morning. They look healthy! That is great.

Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson are flapping their wings. It is not going to be long until they branch. Two really beautiful eagles – stunningly gorgeous.

It’s a foggy late morning at the NEFlorida nest in Jacksonville. Look at how big these two are. They are waiting for a fish delivery!

Beautiful Mum Gabby keeps watch over the nest with her two 2022 hatches.

Both Middle and Little (or Little and Mini) ate well at the Captiva nest Thursday morning. Andy brought in a fish at 10:29:30. Both were hungry. I continue to say that this is a good sign. Lena even had some nice fish left for her. At the both were full and wanted to watch the people on the fishing boat below.

It is hot in Florida today and all the news in the state is about Avian Flu. I sure hope these four miss that. We should know today or tomorrow the results on Big from the UGA Vet School.

Both chicks are hungry but luck closely at Middle. He wants all the little innards and Lena doesn’t want him to eat it particularly. He has his mouth open wide.

Both of the chicks are well behaved and Lena feeds Middle some first and then goes to Little. Neither are submissive to the other. The nest is very calm.

Middle is full and has gone to the side to see the boats and to get some air. Look he is so hot. Yes. My phone says it is 27 C. One of the hottest days so far.

There is fish left for Lena. She will enjoy the tail of the Sheepshead. You can see Little under her left wing. His feathers re coming in good now.

So cute. The pair of them together washing the boats. Best buddies.

Middle and Little were having some more fish around 12:30 Thursday. Lena is a great Mom keeping them hydrated and shading her ever growing babies.

B15 a the Berry College is up on the perch this morning. Making more and more progress. What a gorgeous bird!

Right on time. Big Red and Arthur now have their second egg of the 2022 season. It was laid at 11:05 Thursday morning.

The egg is wet and soft and Big Red will let it cool and harden before attempting to lay on it or it would break.

The only thing about Big Red that looks 19 years old are her feet.

How gorgeous. If you have never watched a Red-tail Hawk nest then you should join in with Big Red and Arthur. There is a moderated chat with experts that is open a few hours a day. It is amazing what you can learn and the fabulous Laura Culley, a long time falconer, will be on board.

Here is the link to one of Cornell’s cameras on the nest. As far as I am aware, there are only 2 RTH nests on streaming cam in the world. Egg 3 will be expected on the 19th!

There is great news coming out of the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie, LM12 arrived first in the UK on the 13th. He was joined by his mate Blue NC0 today. How grand. Both made it home for another fantastic Scottish Osprey breeding season!

Rutland Water’s Manton Bay is being worked on by the female, Maya. She arrived back in the UK on 15 March. Normally her and her mate arrive within half an hour of one another. No sign of Blue 33 yet. It is early days in the Osprey migration from Africa.

Port Lincoln Osprey posted this along with their news on their FB of other Osprey nests and platforms. Everyone noticed that Ervie was missing a claw when he was last on the barge eating his puffer. The posting was on 13 March. I found tracking information for Desy and the Phantom but could not find Ervie’s. He is fine and staying around Port Lincoln.

Have a super day everyone. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Google Maps, Looduskalender, West End Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Rutland Water Manton Bay, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Wednesday in Bird World

16 March 2022

Wow! What the morning. The two surviving chicks at the Captiva Osprey nest chirping for fish and Grinnell – finally – bringing Annie a gift of prey!!! You know the only way it could get better is if the Ravens would leave both Jackie & Shadow and Thunder & Cheta alone and if Little Bit at Dale Hollow grew ‘a mile’ overnight.

Peregrine Falcons. If you are new to this species, the female – in this case Annie – expects the male to delivery her prey and prove that he can take care of her and the chicks before she is ever going to lay any of his eggs!!!!! Well, Grinnell finally did that this morning. He had better sweeten the pot with several more nice fat pigeons! I have a feeling that Grinnell was in Annie’s ‘dog house’ for some reason.

CalFalcons did a video of the first prey offering. All of this is part of the mating and breeding rituals of the falcons. Notice how Grinnell is bowed in submission to his mate, Annie.

There will be several more Peregrine Falcon streaming cams coming on line. One of those is The Wakefield Peregrine Falcons in the UK. Here is the link to the camera.

If you are familiar with Ospreys and Eagles you might find it odd that Falcons prefer shallow areas with gravel called a ‘scrape box’ to lay their eggs. The female will ‘scrape’ in the box making a slight indentation for the eggs. These scrape boxes – now on high buildings and skyscrapers – mimic the traditional cliffs where the falcons bred. They have adopted to the urban landscape and are doing well in most instances. There are many challenges for them including traffic, cars, rodenticide secondary poisoning, and windows that rural falcons do not have.

Oh, the two remaining osplets on the Captiva nest look really good today. Here they are with big crops and it is 16:08 nest time. Andy and Lena are decidedly having to adjust the fish deliveries now that Big is no longer with us. Andy came in with another Ladyfish this morning before I went for my walk and Lena had most of a Ladyfish left from an earlier feeding. Even so, both chicks and Lena were full and happy.

I am anything but an expert on H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain of Avian Flu. I have, however, observed younger eaglets die from the virus on the nest and those chicks were not hungry. So the fact that these two are joyfully eating gives me real hope.

Lena went for her spa and returned to feed Middle and Little. Have a look at Little’s crop. I know it is big in the image above but look now. He is going to pass out in a food coma momentarily!

Popping crops is what it looks like.

Yeap. He is out for the count.

That Little Bit at Dale Hollow is really tiny. The difference in size between it and the eldest is quite unbelievable. Little Bit is still alive and has energy to scoot all around the nest. I am having trouble catching River or Obey feeding the three today but the last capture I took of them, Little Bit looks good.

Big has become a ‘couch potato’ of sorts preferring to sleep on the new hay brought to the nest. Wonder what Little Bit sees in the distance?

Will Little Bit be the smallest male eaglet from the region? Have a look at this really short video of it flapping its tiny little wings. What a sweetheart.

Thunder and Akecheta have been taking turns brooding their three chicks at the West End Bald Eagle nest on Catalina Island. I have not seen any new prey on the nest today – just the remains of the Cormorant. It is still early there! 13:52. Plenty of time for several fish to be brought in to the nest. Thunder is brooding so maybe Akecheta is out hunting.

Akecheta is getting better and better at feeding the three and also knows that it is good to saliva feed them as well so they get more hydration. It is really hot on that nest on Catalina Island.

The wing tags were put on as part of a research project so the birds that were introduced to this region could easily be identified. Akecheta still has his; Thunder has lost hers. They are meant to fall off eventually. That project to reintroduce eagles into the area began in the 1980s.

Akecheta shading his chicks from the hot California sun.

Thunder getting a chance to brood her chicks.

The little eaglet at the Big Bear Valley Bald Eagle Nest of Jackie and Shadow has been fed 5 times already. The last feeding was at 13:05 and one fish has been delivered to that nest by Shadow. There are various other items of prey there as well.

I wonder if that little one is hot?

How cute. They all look different. This one is simply a little sweetheart taking care of its ‘eggie’ once in awhile.

It is a beautiful day at Big Bear Lake. Jackie is as gorgeous as ever.

Sad news from the Kakapo Recovery coming today. Lung infections are the major killer of these non-flying parrots. The area they live in is also very damp.

The ‘baby’ at Berry College, B15, is no longer a baby. This morning he completely ate a fish by himself. Missy brought in a squirrel later and fed him and now, late afternoon, she has returned and is feeding B15 some more squirrel. This eaglet is doing great. So nice to see.

Two really beautiful eaglets at the WRDC nest. It is good to remember back when R2 had a really difficult time and we were worried that it would not survive. Look at both of them today. Rita and Ron sure have two gorgeous kids!

The weather is so much better here. The temperatures are around +2 C. The snow is melting and today the light was ‘bright’. I went for my walk determined to triple the distance that I normally try to do. When I finished I had done more than I wanted and, by the time I got to my car, really felt it. There was something wonderful about being out in the woods in the silence broken now and again by the honking of returning Canada Geese.

The resident pair of Bald Eagles was across the lake. I did manage to get their silhouettes against that bright sky.

I wish I could do calligraphy like the beautiful lines of the old bull rushes.

Nature is a much better artist than I would ever be!

The board walk looked particularly lonely today waiting for the ice to thaw.

The nature centre has set up a ‘Winter Bird Feeding Station’ as part of a bequest. What a wonderful idea. There were several benches to sit on, different kinds of feeders, and an illustrative board showing the birds, their names, and a little information about them. It was a nice place to stop and rest but the Black-capped Chickadees did not like me there. They would not come and eat so I quickly departed. Maybe having benches for observers is not a good idea – just food for the birds.

There are other feeders nearer to the building where you enter. Today I only saw the chickadee and the nuthatch. But I want you to notice the cords hanging in front of the windows. I tried to describe them one day. The cords are on wooden slats that are attached to the outside of the windows. They do not bother the view from the inside but they definitely prevent window strike.

I went to check on Captiva and everything is just fine. Middle seems to be finding its way to being the biggest on the nest. He is a beautiful bird. The nest ‘feels’ peaceful. Perhaps Little and Middle are little boys.

You cannot see Little (or Mini)’s head; he is to the right of Lena. You can see its fat bottom and those lovely velvet-like pantaloons. Middle is sound asleep. Lena was calling Andy for another fish delivery before bed. Life on the Captiva nest looks good.

Wish for a lot of fish at the Dale Hollow Lake nest of River and Obey – add to that a tandem feeding by Mum and Dad so that each chick goes to bed full. That would really help Little Bit. The others have their thermal down but it does not have all of its and it really needs cuddling or brooding on the cold evenings.

Thank you for joining me this afternoon. 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: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, West End Bald Eagles and Institute for Wildlife Studies, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Kakapo Recovery, WRDC, and Berry College.

Late Friday and Early Saturday in Bird World

11-12 March 2022

It was sure easy to fall asleep Friday night after the tide turned, so to speak, at the Captiva Osprey nest. There were five fish deliveries on Friday. Mind you, one of them was about the size of a sardine and lasted 3 minutes but the last one coming in at 15:21:01 filled up the entire family. It did not just go to Big.

The weather might not be so great tomorrow but today was a good day. Little Bob (they call him Mini on the chat and call Middle Bob Little) crop dropped and then went back up to the table to get some more food. Good for him. He has really suffered the last few days. Little Bob winds up with a nice crop, too. Huge actually.

At one point, they were all lined up being nice like the good ole’ days.

On Saturday morning, Andy brought in a whopper of a fish, headless, at 07:31. Lena fed the chicks slow and that fish wasn’t finished for a long time. Little Bob (Mini for chat followers) was intimidated but once he got over there – after the other two were full – there was food left for him and Lena.

It is interesting how Little Bob sometimes keeps his distance from the fish. He used to get right up to Mum.

Lena is looking good today. She was very thin and sunken yesterday morning. One really has to hand it to her. She often has to deal with long droughts but the chicks are still alive and seemingly doing good.

It was family meal time at the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow. Just look at how big that nestling is! That egg looks wee in comparison now.

Some bites for Mum and then one for the little one.

Have a giggle! This is too funny to miss!!!!!!!!!

Early Saturday and the wee one has been fed at Big Bear – twice! There should be no bad weather at any of the nests in California.

It looks like the two eaglets at the West End Bald Eagle Nest on Catalina Island are going to have catfish for dinner.

The Wildlife Institute also uses ‘the name the eaglet’ as a good opportunity for fund raising. Here is that information for the West End babes:

It is a really fine Saturday morning in California. I could take images of proud parents Thunder and Akecheta all day long. They are two of the most photogenic eagles I have seen.

Did you know that Cheta began courting Thunder when he was three years old?

Gosh they are a beautiful couple with one of the most stunning landscapes for a nest I have ever seen. Just look at them. They remind me so much of Jackie and Shadow and certainly their success parallels that of Jackie and Shadow and both have beautiful territories that were devastated by DDT.

Thunder and Cheta will be a lot busier later. The third egg has a pip. It was officially seen at 08:19:59.

The three at the Dale Hollow Lake did good yesterday. Little is getting fed! Sometimes it seems that it doesn’t so watching this and seeing it happen live was good.

Here is a short video of River bringing in a fish and feeding all three chicks!

Dale Hollow has gotten hit by the snow storm that is plowing through a huge swath of the US for the weekend. Not worried about Mum and Dad but Little Bit. Fingers crossed there is fish under that snow and Little Bit gets a good meal.

As predicted, this same snow storm is hitting the nest of Big Red and Arthur in Ithaca, New York.

The surviving eaglet at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle nest is doing very well. It was flapping its wings around the nest bowl all afternoon.

This is Duke Farms Eagle nest this morning. Mum and chick are covered in snow.

B15 is all tucked in and trying to keep warm at the Berry College nest of Pa Berry and Missy. B15 is well equipped now to thermoregulate but gosh, it might be nice to cuddle with Mum.

They don’t have snow but they are getting the torrential rains at the southern end of this system at the NEFlorida Bald eagle nest of Samson and Gabby and their two eaglets, Jasper and Rocket. It is really going to take some Florida sunshine to dry out this soaking nest. They have rain and more rain!

Others are working on nests like Rosie and Richmond and Jack and Harriet at the Dahlgren Osprey nest. It is wet there, too, but now snow today. There is a long way to go but they are making headway. It is another thing on the Whirley crane where the Ravens dismantled Rosie and Richmond’s nest and now they are taking every stick they bring in! Crazy.

Here is a video of Richmond and Rosie working on their nest – furiously working!

That is a look at what has been happening at only a handful of the nests out there to watch.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Eagles and the AEF, Duke Farms, Berry College, Dahlgren Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, the DHEC River and Obey.

Late Monday in Bird World

Any worries about the bopping that Big Bob seems to want to inflict on Little Bob as of late should be cast aside. Little Bob is a survivor and he won’t let anything Big does keep him from his favourite fish! At the feeding around 15:00, all three Bobs had enormous crops. Little Bob was the last one to leave the table.

Each of the trio looked like they would just about pop.

Everyone is hot at the Captiva Osprey nest. The chicks are panting to help thermoregulate.

Lena decided to go for a dip in herr own private area of the Gulf of Mexico to cool down. Lena has a pretty enormous crop, too. She went for her dip right after feeding the chicks. One thing Lena seems to really dislike is fish oil on her feathers. She has returned and is trying her best to keep the babies shaded, too.

It’s Monday and the fishing is good.

Meanwhile in Big Bear Valley, Jackie has fed the wee babe again at 13:01. I sat and giggled at the size of the pieces she was offering the eaglet.

Would you like some fish tail, darling?

Or, perhaps this is a better size????

It was quite humorous. I had a feeling, at one point, that Jackie was trying to demonstrate horking to the nearly four day old chick. Horking meaning to eat very quickly a large piece that would otherwise be eaten in smaller bites.

Jackie then settled into feeding the wee one smaller bites til it had a nice crop and was ready for another nap and some more growth.

Adorable.

NE 27 continues to do the snatch and grab rather well. He stole an entire fish from Samson today. 27 was already full, almost to the brim. Perhaps Jasper will get some time to practice his self-feeding if and when 27 gives up on the fish. Meanwhile, this is a short clip (don’t blink) of NE27 walking and doing some wing exercises.

B15 at the Berry College nest of Pa Berry and Missy is the sweetest little eaglet. It still has that adorable face it had when it was wee and a great big curiosity about the world around it. Pa Berry has been bringing in all manner of prey items. A squirrel landed on the nest for breakfast.

It scares the wits out of me when the eaglets look over the rim of the nest like B15 is doing below!

I missed him! Did you? This is the most recent tracking report on Ervie.

Awwww. Would have given anything to see Ervie. Bet I was watching Big Bear at the time.

There was a report of 130 Mallards and 1 American Black Duck at an open piece of water in one of the two big rivers that flows through our City. This one was the Red River. And, yes, they were there. Hard to see as I was scandalously far away and didn’t have my 2x adaptor.

Just before I took off to find the ducks and that small open piece of water, Little Red had been waiting, warming himself in the sunshine, while another Red squirrel had their eyes on his penthouse. Little Red wanted some of the peanuts I put out before Dyson got them but he decided to protect his territory instead.

Dyson, on the other hand, was being a right little trouble maker today. I put out a new square hanging feeder full of a mixture of Butter Bark, peanuts, and Black Oil seed. So what does Dyson do? He creeps through the Lilac bushes and takes a flying leap at it! About 2 litres of seed fell on the ground. What a mess!!!! Dysonnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!

Dyson saw me watching. Whether or not he was concerned is another story as he sat and stuffed his cheeks for more than ten minutes. Then when I moved to another window, he decided that sitting inside the lilacs and eating his prize seeds was best. He was still going in and out for quite a long time.

As it warms up the squirrels seem to be coming out more. There are rabbit tracks all around the garden so we know that Hedwig is around and the Little Woodpeckers – both Mr and Mrs Downy – have been around most days at the suet feeder. Sharpie even flew through at least once yesterday causing everyone to flee hither and yon. Thankfully the European Starlings have dropped considerably in numbers at the feeders. There are now only about 7 or 8. It gives the other birds a chance to flit in and out including the Black Capped chickadee who visits daily.

I hope that this quick and short newsletter finds you well. Again, most of the bird nests are doing fine. There seem to still be intruders about at some nests and the wee one at Duke Farms still has trouble getting to the table. I am going to hold my breath and check on it and Dale Hollow in a couple of days.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Big Bear, Berry College Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Late Saturday in Bird World

For all of us missing ‘our’ Ervie, it was a real treat to be watching the Captiva Osprey cam when the little one inside that third egg pushed its way out into the world. Lena was feeding the older two and was completely caught by surprise! But, she moved into high gear and got over and covered that little one up fast. So fast in fact that we barely got a glimpse! Dad Andy kept coming in wanting a peek just like the rest of us.

I really hope that this nest has a success. Andy had brought in a Needlefish and Lena was feeding the wee babes. It would have lasted the nest til tomorrow but, because of the predators, Andy removed it. In doing so, it is believed that he dropped it. The wind was blowing hard. I have checked periodically and have not seen a fish brought back to the nest. No, nothing. The new hatch will not need anything til tomorrow but the older ones are going to wake up ravenous. I hope Andy is right there with a nice fish the minute they squirm.

This is the closest I could get to capturing an image of the new baby.

Lena is tucked in tight calling Andy occasionally to get a fish to the nest!

Sleep well.

The pigeons have taken over the Osprey barge at Port Lincoln. It is like someone put up a sign that said Ospreys gone! I was thinking how much Xavier would want one of those birds!!!!!!

The American Eagle Foundation (AEF) that sponsors the camera on the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby will be holding the name contest for NE26 and NE27. They posted on FB an image of the two cutie pies saying contest information will be posted on Monday. I will get it out to all of you so you can take part if you wish. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to name an Eagle?!

Gosh, Gabby and Samson’s kids are cute.

All you have to do is blink. B15 at the Berry College Eagle nest of Pa Berry and Missy went from looking like NE26 and 27 a week ago to getting tonnes of juvenile feathers. Oh, my goodness.

I could hardly believe it was the same little sweet eaglet that was half that size.

Notice the rails on the nest that Pa and Missy have built up on the old rails. No little eaglet would fall out of those. What a fantastic nest.

I have to admit she is gorgeous – Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, the GHOWs that book over the Bald Eagle nest on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas. Bonnie is incubating one egg so far.

Farmer Derek has installed a really great overhead cam, too. All I can think of is that there are going to be so many hatches around the middle of March we will not be able to keep track of them. At the same time the UK and European Ospreys and Storks will be returning home to breed. It is going to get crazy.

That is just a peek at what is happening out in Bird World. Wish for a fish for Captiva! Thank you so much for joining me. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Window on Wildlife and the Captiva Ospreys, Farmer Derek, and Berry College Bald Eagle cam.