18 February 2022
Have you been doing the Great Big Bird Count?
The kittens thought they would join in on the fun and immediately spotted a male Downy at the branch suet feeder! This piece of wood with its drilled holes filled with soft suet is the absolutely best thing for attracting woodpeckers and with a saw, a hook to put over a branch, and a piece of wood – and the food – you are ready to go. I did not make this one but…I could if I had the right drill bit (for door hardware? and a chisel?). Many places that sell bird food have them and they definitely work. The woodpecker can also rest its tail along the wood.
This is not one of Dyson’s babies from last summer. Those three have the most amazing and beautiful tails. No, this is Scraggles who has come out to enjoy some peanuts and sunflower seeds. Nice to see you Scraggles.
These solid suet cylinders are great for the European Starlings and the House Sparrows. They are no-melt which does cause problems when it is just too cold here, because they like the mixture to be a little soft. These cylinders and others which are compressed seed are perfect if you are going to be away and still want to feed the birds.
The Starlings seem to have a rotation in terms of feeding…they first wait in the back trees. Then they move to the lilacs and then down to the feeder. When they finish eating they start the pattern all over again – this cooperation allows everyone to have some food. All 28 were here yesterday.
Often the two species share the suet without any problems.
The kittens’ auntie gave them a new toy to enrich their lives. Missy pounced on it first… the best thing is that the ball doesn’t get lost. Can you see how ‘wooly’ Missy is?
Missy and Lewis sleep on a wool blanket with their little blankets on top. These small blanks were given to them when they left the shelter. They love those little blankets. If you can crochet or knit and have leftover yarn, why not see if your local rescue would like some little blankets for when the kittens get adopted. It is such a sweet gesture –at the same time, they really are security blankets. It must be traumatic going from living under a deck with a feral cat as a Mum, then to the shelter, then to foster care, then back to the shelter, then being placed so you can get picked for adoption at sponsoring pet stores…and then to your new home. As a result, the kittens not only cling to one another but they want those blankets.
Both happy and growing and it is a joy to have them.
Friday. M15 in the tree alone looking out over his domain.
Little angels, sleeping…There are so few dandelions left that sometimes it is difficult to tell who is who if you only take a quick glance.
21 is hungry and is going to see if there is anything left in that Armoured Catfish head.
Many saw ‘it’ and wondered if their eyes were deceiving them. Yes, 21 did feed 22!!!!!! A few bites. How sweet. Here it is caught on video.
Our super dad, M15, brought in a huge bunny for the babies at 11:43.
What a dad. E21 ate some bites first and then at 11:47, M15 turns the rabbit and himself so that 22 can eat.
After a few bites, M15 then changes his position and both of the eaglets sit nicely next to one another while dad is plucking off fur bits.
Everyone will eat.
It was a great feeding – and 22 got a huge share of that rabbit. Our little one returned several times to self-feed. He is watching dad and learning to hold the prey down with his talons and pull. Getting there, 22!
One of the visitors was in the other tree around 1330. Thanks, Sassa Bird and Ava Vantero.
At 16:04, M15 flew into the nest with a fish. He proceeds to feed it to the Es as well as the leftover rabbit. The pictures tell the whole story.
E22 gets a really nice crop!
Just when you think the day is going to be quiet, the female visitor with that black rather necrotic talon is on the branch and then she swoops down into the nest at 18:20. M15 puts his head down so she will not hit and injure him. The last thing he wants to do is to get injured so that there is no one to care for the eaglets.
The eaglets are afraid. She kicks 22. Thankfully, no one is injured.
M15 flys down and gets rid of the female from the nest. He is on alert but still feeds the remaining scraps to 21. E22 is asleep using an old Armoured catfish shell as a pillow!
M15 you are the best dad. You are trying so hard…let’s hope you get a break and some peace soon.
Centreport’s D4 did not die in the death spiral attack but, he has been rejected by Mum. He returned to the nest and she has essentially kicked him out.
If you were watching Liberty and Guardian, you will know that they are also displaying some very unusual behaviour at the Redding California nest just like Jackie and Shadow have been at Big Bear. Very Unprecedented. Here is Gary to help us understand what has been happening.
News has come that the first egg of Liberty and Guardian has fallen apart.
But never mind. Liberty laid egg #2 Friday night. Congratulations!
Pip watch is now on for Jackie and Shadow as of the 15th…are the eggs viable? It’s a toss up. I sure hope so! But there is also time for a second clutch if something has happened.
Sadly the 5th egg of Jak and Audacity at Sauces Canyon has also broken. Let us all send positive wishes that Audacity will get a holiday from egg laying – it drains so much calcium out of her body. These two want so much to have eaglets…wouldn’t it be nice if a viable egg with an extremely hard shell could get on their nest!
There is some serious nest work going on at the Pittsburg-Hays Bald Eagle nest and for the right reason. The first egg of the 2023 season for the Pittsburgh-Hayes couple was laid at 17:23 on Friday, February 17. Congratulations!
At another nest in Pennsylvania, the US Steel Nest at the Mon Valley Works -Irvin – the eagles are waiting for eggs.
That same frantic nest work is going on at the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest in Iowa today. Mr North and Mrs DNF could have eggs soon, too.
At the Decorah nest of HM and HD near the trout hatchery, the female has been spending a lot of time in that nest today! Wonder how many nests will have eggs on Monday?
In Minnesota, Nancy is enjoying a nice fish at the end of the day. You can clearly see the first egg for her and her new mate, Beau.
It appears that the Fraser Point Eagles – Andor and Cruz – are also making a new nest in a different location this year on Santa Cruz, Island. It is thought that Thunder and Akecheta are doing the same at the West End.
The light is not so good today at the Captiva Eagle nest today. Connick is doing great and it is these nests that turn around that make us watch. Connick wasn’t being fed properly. Remember? It is actually so easy to forget once Connie got to feeding this precious only eaglet..full to the top! The juvenile feathers are starting to come in along the wing tip for Connick. You can see them in the image below.
B16 continues to be a darling but is not that little round butterball it was a couple of weeks ago…B16 is 28 days old today. 4 weeks. Hard to imagine.
Gabby has been in the nest bowl. Her and V3 have been around the tree an awful lot lately and working on that nest. What’s up Gabby?
What is going on with humans? ‘S’ sent this to me…shooting parrots with air guns and stuffing them into garbage bags over a two hour period. I wonder how they would feel if this happened to them?
The banning of lead shot in the EU is being received with great enthusiasm! And well it should be. Now which region will be next to take this step to end the unnecessary deaths of our carrion eaters?
There is simply so much going on that it is difficult to keep up with the nests…I am still focused on SWFlorida hoping that the days will continue to have good prey items for Dad and the kids. We will not have long to wait to see if Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are viable. And it looks like Centreport Mum might accept D5 since he was the victor of the death spiral. But, we wait.
Thank you so very much for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!
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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘S’, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Centrepoint Bald Eagles, Gary and FORE, FORE, FOBBV, Pix Cams, Raptor Research Project and Explore.org, MN-DNR, IWS and Explore.org, Window to Wildlife, Berry College Eagles, NEFL-AEF, From the Parrots, and The Guardian.