Happy St Patrick’s Day to all our Irish friends. Growing up, I was always told that the paternal part of my father’s family was from Scotland. No way. They were from Donegal and Cork!
There is so much happening in Bird World that I am having difficulty keeping up this morning. Eagle eggs pipping, hatching, eaglets branching (yeah, 21), and ospreys arriving in the UK as they all got on the Eurostar together! Even so, the kittens would feel entirely left out if I didn’t include some pictures. They enjoyed and were spoiled by the young ladies looking after them while I was away. It also seemed that they were as delighted to see me! Lewis decided to help put things in the fridge – yes, he did get in there – and also helped block the cashmere sweaters. That is a tip if you come to Canada during the winter – a cashmere turtle neck will be your best friend! Or other real wool clothing. Makes all the difference.
Lewis is the smallest, but he can take over the entire dog bed! Missy is too nice to him.
I have not watched the SW Florida nest much today – just on and off. I know the prey deliveries vary by day. Both eaglets continue to do fine as they approach their 11th week, and 21 branched on the spike. They had both been working on breakfast Dad had brought in, and 21 jumped up and down. Is this a real official branch up to the tree? Well, maybe not. If so, that won’t be long!
This is a compilation video from the 5th of March – so 12 days ago. It is lovely, and I thought it would inspire the rest of our Friday—beautiful images from one of the on-ground photographers in the area. It gives us an entirely different sense of what is happening. M15 is magnificent. Thank you to The Real Saunders Photography!
For awhile it was in doubt but R5 made it into the world when Dad, Ron, was on the nest. I cannot wait to see Rose’s face when she returns and finds two babies in the nest needing her attention instead of that pesky R4. Oh, R5 you are going to have to be strong little one.
Ron got up from brooding so that R5 could break free.
Well, R4. You are a spunky little character. Poor R5.
It seems that R5 is pretty strong, too. It was up hoping to get some fish after its feathers had dried off! My goodness. Ron and Rose make healthy robust eaglets!
Ron has been doing a fantastic job feeding R4, and he will undoubtedly be of great help with R5. Rose continues to give big pieces and, well, as ‘A’ notes, she loves her fish. Fingers crossed for this new Mum as she navigates two growing babies demanding food!
I do hope, as ‘A’ mentioned this morning, that Rose will stay on the nest more and let Ron out so that he can fish and hunt and protect the territory.
There are now two eaglets at the Dulles-Greenaway nest! Congratulations Martin and Rosa!
The beaking is still going strong on the Moorings Osprey nest. Harry continues to bring the food in, and I hold my breath every time I see the oldest one go after the youngest.
Will be happy when this period of their lives evaporates! There had been little beaking at meal times, but, it appears this has begun, and Abby is being very dominant. So far Sally has fed them both – so, go for it Sally. Give those 8 or 9 feedings with one an hour long. Fledge two!
So far, there have been five feedings on the 16th of March: 12:26; 02:34 (yes 2 in the night), 0803; 10:43, and an hour-long marathon at 13:14. I caught another feeding at 15:51 and another at 19:19, and I am presuming that there were others that I missed. The osplets, Abby and Victor, are getting plenty of food.
Oh, these two are changing so much. Nothing appears soft and cuddly anymore. The dark eye line has given away to almost spooky white goggles, and bald heads with black and copper coming through. Abby and Victor hatched on the 3rd of March. Today they are two weeks old!
Sally is a very relaxed and observant Mum. A piece of nesting material, a strip of bark, had covered Abby’s head. Sally casually went over and lifted it off with her beak and put it to the side. Well done, Sally!
Blue 33 was on the nest at Manton Bay working hard after eating his fish. Oh, he wants Maya to arrive! What a cute couple they are. Tradition has it that they will sleep together in the nest duckling style! It is beginning to rain and it is 1832. Blue is there hoping his gal will arrive.
Well, Geemeff writes this morning that there is a soap opera brewing at the Manton Bay nest. Remember the female that arrived first? Blue 25? Well, she is making a play for Blue 33 and he is falling for it (for the moment!). Geemeff warns us that Blue 33 has landed on Blue 25’s back a couple of times and there could have even been a successful mating at 13:21. Oh, and gosh, there is sky dancing heard off camera!!!!!!!!!! Maya will eat Blue 25 for breakfast if she catches her at that nest.
Oh, Blue! Did you happen to check that band number? Blue 25, go home!
Laddie and Blue NC0 have both arrived at LOTL on the same day! It looks like Blue NC0 arrived first.
Getting acquainted again.
The female has arrived at the Cromer Peregrine scrape!
My eyes have been on Jackie and Shadow on Thursday. They were at the nest early, working and they returned after 1900 to do some more nesting. Will there be a replacement clutch? Gosh, it is beginning to seem a little more of a possibility. We wait….birdwatching requires a lot of patience and a lot of waiting, no matter what species and what circumstance.
Look at that crop! Someone had a good breakfast!
During the evening restorations, Jackie even tested out the nest bowl. Are these two teasing us? I hope for a miracle – a replacement clutch and a single healthy hatch, just like Spirit last year!
At the Berry College Eagle Nest, B16 is 55 days old today. He is a little more than two weeks younger than the Es. As the apple of Pa and Missy Berry’s eye, B16 is – well, can I say it? A nice-sized young lady! Beautiful eaglet and doing so very well. LOL. The gender is just my guess based on the size of B16.
As the sun sets over Captiva, Connick is growing and flapping his wings. Just like 21, he is getting some air under there but, he still loves to be fed by Mum, Connie, or Dad, Clive.
Take a look at those great tail feathers. Such a gorgeous eaglet.
Today, Mum and D3 defended their nest at Centreport, New York. Six eagles! Six. Could you talk about intruders?
At the new National Arboretum nest of Mr President and Lotus, BOGS have seen evidence that Lotus is feeding an eaglet!
Gosh, so many eaglets at so many stages of development. Ringo, at the Webster, Texas Bald Eagle nest, is getting some air under his wings.
Do you know the Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki?
For many decades there have been actions in our most western province, British Columbia, to protect the old growth forests. Today, I found a site on the Internet that has discussions/presentations with Suzuki and one of those is ‘The War of the Woods’. I thought you might enjoy it and some of the other topics listed. Last year, David Hancock reported that the British Columbia government approved the cutting down of 141 Bald Eagle nests in the area where the Site-C hydro dam is to be built. British Columbia is home to North America’s largest population of Bald Eagles. Any logging harms wildlife! And also helps to create the atmospheric rivers that have so devastated the region in the past couple of years. Christian Sasse and David Hancock had an on line discussion about these issues. I will check and see if I can find that for the weekend.
I will have to get my running shoes on today even to attempt to keep up with a few of these nests! Thank you so much for being with me today. Let us all send wishes for a tailwind for Maya, so she arrives safely home and boots 25 off to her nest! Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, videos, posts, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘A’, ‘Geemeff’, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, The Real Saunders Photography and SW Florida Eagle Cam FB, WRDC, Dulles-Greenway, Moorings Park Ospreys, LRWT, Geemeff and LRWT, Friends of LOTL and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cromer Peregrine Falcons, FOBBV, Berry College, Window to Wildlife, Centreport Bald Eagles, AEF-NADC, Paul White and Webster Texas Bald Eagle Cam, and the CBC.
Saturday was a huge surprise with the revolving door deliveries at the SWFlorida nest. Just when we worried because of the female’s presence, M15 brought in lots of prey. And once, ‘she’ fed E21 and only once did she get in the nest.
The day started well for the eaglets, E21 and 22. M15 has delivered two fish to the nest. The first was an Armoured Catfish, but the second appeared to be a normal catfish. E21 had a crop, and E22 is working hard on that second fish!
The second fish arrives at 1100. I thought that Dad might feed the eaglets, but he keeps the female away from the nest by doing food drops.
After 21 eats their portion, 22 takes the fish. The time is 1142.
22 kept working on that piece of fish until it was all gone. He is our little survivor!
Meanwhile, while 22 was working on that fish, Dad brought in more mysterious animal organs. E21 grabbed them and ate quickly. 22 didn’t even seem to notice! Time is 12:04.
We must celebrate these two eaglets. They are doing so well under the circumstances and Dad is just doing the absolute best he can for them.
At 13:10:49, M15 brings another nice fish to the nest for the eaglets. This time he is followed by R23-3 (Black Talon). Dad leaves her. Interestingly, while this female was hungry and ate most of that fish, she did feed 21 and didn’t seem to be mean about it. This is disheartening as the morning and yesterday had gone well without her.
By 1317, 22 decides he might get up there and get a few bites. I do not think 22 got any, but he had eaten much of the earlier fish. Still, you can see him moving his beak up. The lunch was finished at 13:19:40, and the female flew up to a branch above the nest.
Lady Hawk caught it in a video showing that the female was not all nice but, she did feed E21 some bites. Perhaps M15 was watching?
The prey items keep on coming. M15 brings in another fish to the eaglets at 15:38:09. 22 is right up there snatching and grabbing. He is very hungry and intends to get this fish!
Our Snatch and Grab King is not giving up on any of this fish even if Dad moves it around to also feed 21.
22 is getting so much fish. He will sleep well tonight and be good if nothing else comes to the nest today. Bravo, M15!
Dad also has a nice crop so he is also eating well today. Simply relief. I don’t know if there are medals for eagles figuring out complicated life circumstances, but M15 would surely be at the top of the list this year to receive one.
At 0800 on Sunday, M15 drops a live fish on the nest. E22 mantles and grabs it first but submits to 21 who eats it all!
It is not clear what happened next on the SW Florida nest Sunday morning.
At 09:15:57, the female with the injured talon, no longer black as the scab had come off, was on the nest with the eaglets. At 09:15:15, M15 had flown down into the nest. Did he want her to leave? Did he have fish? I could see he did not leave a meal, and the female remained in the nest. I suspect she thought there was some fish, and 21 had cleaned everything up. 21 finished eating that live fish at 0857.
Dad at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest has been contending with a rather aggressive female since Mum disappeared earlier this month. It now seems that Dad and her are a couple. She’s a big girl!!!!!!!
People are fascinated by Bald Eagles buried in snow. This is Nancy at the MN-DNR nest.
This is what it was like at the eagle nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear where the winter storm continues to rage.
Jackie and Shadow made The Los Angeles Times. Oh, they are so loved both in California and around the world. Again, if our love could help them, they would have a nest full of eaglets!
The weather is much different in Jacksonville, and V3 managed to get a fish on the nest, eat a few bites, and then Gabby came and claimed it. No talons were injured this time, and well done, V3. What a guy you are keeping security watch while Gabby eats. V3, you are fantastic.
No eggs at The Hamlet but HD and HM (Hatchery Dad and Mum) at Decorah welcomed their first egg on Saturday. Congratulations Iowa! Talk about a handsome eagle couple!
For those of you following the love triangle saga at Centreport, New York, ‘H’ tells me that Mum has been mating with D4 and that Mum also mounted D-5. Yes, you read that right. Will we have a lover’s triangle on Long Island?
‘H’ confirms also that Angus and Florence mated ten times on Saturday! Angust brought four fish gifts. One is the Talipia in the image below. Now..when will we have eggs on that nest?
B16 is 35 days old today. Wow. Those eaglets (B16, Connick, Ringo, the ones at KNF) are getting so big and grown up.
Ringo, the lone surviving eaglet, is strengthening her legs and wings! Doing well in Webster, Texas.
More and more postings are showing raptors in rehab because of rodenticide poisoning. When will these designer poisons be banned? Let the raptors do their job and have food without the fear of death!
Did Jack come too close to the eggs with his fish delivery for Diane? Heidi Mc caught it on video!
Sweet Pea is in the post-guard phase for those who follow the Royal Cam Albatross. I do not recall a little Albie wandering from the nest so early, but there he goes (yes, I believe it is a ‘him’ this time). What a brave and independent baby this year!
And last, but absolutely never least, Big Red and Arthur have been on the Fernow Light stand building a nest! Aren’t they beautiful? Arthur will deliver and you can count on Big Red doing the supervising! (She also delivers sticks).
Big Red and Arthur’s 2023 hatch L4 – who no one believed would survive – is still living on the parental territory without any issues from Mum and Dad.
Here is the link to Big Red and Arthur’s camera on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York. This is one of less than a handful of streaming cams focusing on the lives of Red-tail Hawks. Big Red is 20 this year.
Thank you so much for being with me this Sunday morning. Take care, everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, their videos, tweets, posts, and streaming cams that make up my blog this morning: ‘H’, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Stephen Basly and the Notre Dame Eagles, The Sacramento Bee, FOBBV, The Los Angeles Times, NEFL-AEF, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Window to Wildlife, Berry College Eagles, Paul White and the Webster Texas Eagles, Boston.com, Heidi Mc and Achieva Credit Union, NZ DOC, Cornell Bird Lab, and @Cornell Hawks.
There is lots of news in Bird World. My focus continues to be on the nest of Bald Eagles M15, E21 and E22 in Fort Myers, Florida, at the moment. There is drama going on at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest in South Bend, Indiana and the Osprey nest on Captiva. Keeping an eye on those as well.
‘M’ sent me an excellent article from The Guardian on the ten birds that most changed the world. Please have a read! We can all learn something…I did. And it was nice to see that the Sparrow made it to the list along with some of your favourites, such as the Eagle.
Big Red seems unhappy with the building works across Tower Road from the Fernow Light Stand. She is moving sticks to another light tower that may not have a streaming cam. This would be a source of great sadness and anxiety among the thousands of people who look forward to this twenty-year-old RTH laying eggs and raising her eyases.
An image of the Fernow Light Tower nest. You can see some of the building equipment at the Rice Building.
CROW continues to monitor the situation. M15 is doing a fantastic job protecting and feeding the eaglets. I hope that he can keep it up; it is so much better if they are raised by him and fledge their nest. I don’t like how the female eagle looks at the two eaglets in the first image below. Her presence is now concerning and could be very dangerous to the eaglets. I once thought this was not the case, but her actions yesterday changed my mind.
If you missed my report on Sunday, the female Bald Eagle, VF3, with the necrotic talon, kicked M15 off the nest and attacked E22 three times when it tried to get food. Here is a video containing those terrifying 11 minutes and 52 seconds.
The female was on the nest tree earlier with prey. Some believed she might feed the eaglets. She did not; she flew off with it after plucked the fur off the item. The situation is growing dangerous as this female is now emboldened to treat M15 with contempt. It is essential for the Es that Dad not get injured so that he can continue to provide food for them. If you are wondering why he does not fight her, this is the reason. She is also much larger than he is, and despite her injured talon, she is strong. I do not think she will go away quickly, if at all.
M15 flew in with another Armoured Catfish at 15:42:21. While he is vocalising to the female who is identified as FV3, Dad just carries on. Perhaps we are the ones worrying and he isn’t! Both eaglets ate, with 22 getting some nice bites.
M15 appears nervous when he is in the nest feeding the eaglets.
At 1700, M15 flew in with a nice morsel, a leftover from his good evening meal. E22 claimed it and ate it! Well done, E22.
M15 did eat well. He had an enormous crop.
The Es are waiting for breakfast on Monday. 21 is on the right, with 22 on the left. Please take a look at the difference.
The Es had a nice big fish for breakfast. M15 brought it to the nest at 10:50:18. 21 eats first, then 22, and then 22 gets a touch insisting that 22 move away. 22 goes into submission. There is nothing to fear. 22 turns around and does the snatch-and-grab that will help him survive in the wild.
Is it another Armoured Catfish?
22 is doing clean-up duty.
Should birdwatchers be afraid? are we vermin?
Some good news regarding Sequoia and Sasha at San Jose City Hall.
Speaking of egg laying, Gabby fooled me with all that nesting behaviour.
They are a gorgeous couple together. Gabby is just smitten by V3.
V3 keeping guard.
Annie has been hanging around the scrape.
Here are the names for final voting for the new male. We should know soon!
Jackie and Shadow are still incubating eggs, and the Ravens remain around the nest tree, making a nuisance out of themselves. The eggs are probably not viable – I have thought that since the first day – that Saturday – they stayed away when the earthquakes were in the Valley. I ‘want’ to be fooled by their behaviour. Last year Spirit hatched on day 40.
The male has been incubating the eggs at Metro Aviation Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. The female flew in today and taloned one of them. They are not viable and this might allow the pair to move forward.
Do you watch the Golden Eagles in Romania? Lucina and Caliman were in the nest in the forest today! I love these Golden Eagles, but this nest is not for the faint-hearted. The oldest eaglet in a Golden Eagle nest will almost, without exception, kill its younger sibling. This is called obligate siblicide.
The causes of obligate siblicide in specific eagle species are discussed in this academic paper. Some of the conclusions are below. This will help explain some behaviour that you have seen on nests previously. The observations also apply to Golden Eagles.
These observations suggest that the availability of food does not affect the chances of survival of the second chick in those species in which it never, or very rarely survives. The critical factor appears to be the interval between hatching, which is clearly variable. If, at the hatch of the second chick, the first is already skilful at taking pieces of flesh offeredby the parent, then the younger sibling exerts little influence on the behaviour of the adult. At feeding times, it is offered fewer pieces of food and these, moreover, are proffered only briefly and in an inadequate fashion. The second chick soon dies of starvation. Attacks on it by its sibling are, by comparison unimportant.
If, on the other hand, the interval between hatching is short, then the second chick can develop normally so long as it is protected from its sibling’s attacks by the brooding female parent. As soon as brooding is interrupted, the younger chick is subjected to the attack of the older. It is intimidated, no longer participates in feeding and flees to the edge of the eyrie. This process of the acceptance of intimidation, observed in the Lesser Spotted Eagle, quickly leads to the elimination of one chick, even when two of equal size are experimentally placed together, and explains why two chicks cannot normally be reared.
Bernd-Ulrich Meyburg, Sibling aggression and mortality among nesting eagles
These particular species of eagles are one reason that so many people turn to the gentle Albatross for respite.
Of course, if you are ‘into Eagles’ like most of us are (as well as the Albatross, the parrots, the budgies, the terns….), single chick eagle nests from the start normally bring a lot of joy. Just like little B16 at the Berry College Eagle nest in Georgia.
Zoe. What can we say? According to the Friends of Osprey FB group, Fran Solly and Buzz Hockaday have been up to where Zoe last sent a transmission. That place was Point Drummond near Mount Hope. On all occasions, they did not see her. If she is out of cell coverage range, it ‘feels’ unusual as she was so quick to fly about previously. Let us hope it is a faulty transmitter and that nothing has happened to Zoe.
Point Drummond. This was the site of the last transmission from Zoe. Is it at all possible she flew out over the sea?
Lori Covert has already named the new female at Captiva with Angus. The name is Florence. According to ‘H’, Angus has provided fish, has tried mating unsuccessfully with the new gal, and then has kicked her off the nest. The relationship is a bit topsy-turvy. We wait to see how this works out.
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. We hope to see you with us again in Bird World.
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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, and streaming cams which make up my blog today: ‘M’, ‘H’, The Guardian, Cornell RTH Cam, @CornellHawks, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, @Geemeff, Karen Enright and Orange Australia Peregrine Falcons FB, NEFL-AEF, Cal Falcons, Berkeley News, FOBBV, Tonya Irwin and Raptors of the Word, Golden Eagle Nest Bucovina, Research Gate, Cornell Lab and NZ DOC, Berry College Eagles, Friends of Osprey FB, Google Maps, and Kakapo Recovery.
Gosh, it was a gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies…it was so nice that I spent the entire day in the conservatory with the kittens watching and counting birds and watching the cams. Gabby had me fooled into thinking she was going to lay an egg today!
Cornell has posted the results so far for the Great Bird Count: “Halftime for the 4-day Great Backyard Bird Count—and the results so far are impressive. More than 200,000 bird enthusiasts have reported 6,426 species on 125,101 checklists and 103,207 sightings saved in Merlin. Bird reports are coming in from 182 countries so far.” That is very impressive.
It is difficult not to take pictures of Missy all day. She loves to pose! Lewis can’t slow down. He would rather terrorise the toys or his tail.
As spring is only a little over a month away, the bright-white dots on the Starlings’s sides, flank, and belly are getting lighter and some are disappearing. These suet cylinders are just the best thing for us in the winter. No mess. No waste. Everyone likes them but the woodpeckers and Black-capped Chickadees.
Things continue to be unsettled in various parts of Bird World this morning and yet, the eagles and ospreys just go on with their lives. They can teach us a lot of good lessons if we listen! Sometimes it is just difficult to watch a day longer. Take a break. It will be good for you. Much of the time the birds bring us great joy. Their lives touch ours and we often feel like we know the bird families better than our neighbours or friends. And then something happens and it feels like it has happened to ‘our family’ — and it has. Our connection to these beautiful raptors is not insignificant. Think about it. Sometimes things do not go the way we want them to. But when it goes well, there is nothing more adrenalin pumping and happy…hysterical joy. So take a moment if you are stressed…and then come back and share the joy.
First up, we have some more sad news – another female Bald Eagle is MIA. Our dear Little Bit ND-17’s mother has been missing since the morning of 15 February. A female intruder has been landing on the nest. We wait to see if Mum returns.
Is it OK to say that things are really getting nasty out there with so many eagles – males and females – wanting nests and mates?
Dad tussling with female intruder who flew onto nest. At other times it appears he might tolerate her a little.
ND-17 was one of the great success stories of last year – at a time when most of us were frantic that he would die of starvation. Today, Paul Kolnik posted a memory of the day that Little Bit fell off this nest…we waited, we pleaded, we wrote letters…and then, really just in time to save him, the Humane Indiana Wildlife came to his rescue. He ate, he learned to fly and his wings got strong and he learned to hunt prey and then — he came home to the park to live in the wild. It was wonderful to have the BOGs sending in photos of his great progress and to watch him near the river.
This is another lesson for all of us. If you can pick up a raptor, something is wrong. Get help immediately. This precious little one that ate squirrel pellets to survive deserved nothing less – and he lived! Always grateful to the wildlife clinic that gave him a chance at life. Always.
Mum and Dad worked so hard to rebuild their nest in St Joseph’s Park in South Bend, Indiana after it completely collapsed last year causing – ultimately – ND 17 (Little Bit) to eventually go into care. It is hard to see these adults come come back and rebuild and work for their future – just like Harriet and M15 – and have things thrown apart by possible intruders.
Intruders are everywhere. Even Annie at Cal Falcons had to engage with a Red-tailed Hawk!
Everyone waited and watched as Mabel and Angus readied their Osprey nest and we just knew that we were going to have eggs for Valentine’s. Again everything turns on a dime. Mabel is gone. Did she tire of battling the female intruder? or was she so injured she had to leave? or was it worse? It is absolutely not clear what happened to Mabel. And it is definitely not certain that there will be any eggs on this brand new nest platform this year unless Angus leaves and a bonded pair come to the nest right ready for their eggs to be laid.
There was an intruder attack on the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty. Bella laid her first egg on the 15th and her second on Saturday at 18:55–the attack was only 47 minutes earlier. Please keep this couple and all the raptor families under attack in your most positive thoughts.
Connick is really growing up and this is a great video of him winging it. You can see those new juvenile feathers coming in with their quills, Connick’s big strong legs and her amazing tail.
Gosh, the meals might be very different with the TBD male at the Cal Falcons scrape. He brought a Greater Yellowlegs, a shore bird, to his gal on the 17th. He’s learning!!!!!!!
Thank you to ‘B’ who sent a really nice article about Mr P and Lotus at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The couple have moved their nest and are, this year, among several very popular Bald Eagles who have decided for new housing. At the West End we have Thunder and Akecheta and at Fraser Point, Andor and Cruz, too.
There is great news coming out of New York City. Flaco will be allowed to live free and not pursued or returned to the Zoo. He is living the good life and has proven that he can take care of himself.
Now – for all the raptors that live around Central Park – if the City and residents plus all those businesses – would not allow rodenticide, Flaco and his pals could clean up the place without their lives being in danger.
I wanted you to see where Flaco was…the arrow for the video only works if you go to the person’s twitter feed unfortunately.
It opens with our friend Indigo screaming into the scrape…Elain’s highlights from the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Indigo is a darling and he looks so much like Izzi…so happy all members of the family have returned to the scrape and are safe and sound.
Not a day can go by without checking in with M15 and the eaglets, E21 and 22. On Saturday morning at 0735, M15 comes in with a fish..many thought that it was a small fish. In fact, M15 took advantage and gave the eaglets some teaching moments. He left the head for one and a portion of flesh and the tail for the other. They worked on those for a bit. 21, of course, ate first and 22 had to resort to his amazing snatch and grabs. 22 also got the tail – smart – out of the pile and dismissed with it nicely. 22 is doing well…he really is. Still a bit timid but on Saturday he ate well as he had done on Friday with that rabbit and innards.
While 21 battles with that Armoured catfish head, 22 got the juicy and meaty tail!
At 1400, M15 comes in with another fish. This time 21 appears to get it all with 22 searching the nest for scraps which he finds! 21 was still eating at 15:11. It was a nice fish. Too bad 22 didn’t turn around…but, hey. They have eaten well in the past few days. There are no worries.
This amazing Dad did not disappoint. He flew into the nest an Armoured Catfish around 15:52ish. 22 got the lot of it and, of course, the event was not without some anxiety as the female with the black talon flew onto the rim of the nest. She did not bother the eaglets. Instead she watched M15 feed 22. Then she flew off.
M15 gave her a piece of his mind and she will fly away…he did his job. He fed the eaglets!
At 1600 the female is watching Dad.
Seconds later she flies away leaving 22 and the eaglets. 22 would like more but, he will in fact, wind up with a crop. 21 was full from the earlier feeding. you can see s/he still has a crop in the image below. Timing is perfect for 22.
At 16:38 M15 is back with a nice chunk of ‘fish’? and 22 gets right over there at Dad’s beak. 21 does not care. He is asleep on the rails. 22 gets some super nice bites of fish…well done 22. You don’t have to snatch and grab. It was a much more civilised meal for you. It lasted 10 minutes.
One of the females landed on the nest tree with prey. She flew off with the prey. Was she thinking of feeding the Es? or just needed a plucking post? The Es continue to wait for breakfast on Sunday morning…
There is something ‘up’ at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and V3. Gabby was on the nest again today…They are a beautiful couple and the area is so much more secure and stable since V3 took control.
V3 and Gabby have been scanning the horizon for intruders and at 1800, Gabby is back in the nest.
Nancy and Beau have their second egg – arriving right on time – at the MN-DNR nest. Congratulations!
Liberty and Guardian seem to be back to their old selves after their first egg collapsed.
Congratulations to Valentine who – for the first time in their life – mantled and claimed their own fix from Dad Alex at the KNF-E3 nest. Thanks Rhonda for the video! Oh, this is just brilliant. A beautiful execution by Valentine.
Missy and Pa have a little while to go until B16 is mantling a fish and taking it but…in all honesty, it won’t be long. B16 is 29 days old today. This is one big eaglet just like KNF-E1 03 (Trey).
At the National Arboretum, Mr P is decidedly hanging out at the old nest after it seems Lotus insisted on having a new one deep into the forest.
There are Peregrine Falcons almost everywhere and Tom and Azina at the Charing Cross Hospital scrape box are getting to know what it is that Azina prefers for her gift meal.
Every morning when we wake up, we need to thank the wildlife rehabilitation centres, their staff, and the army of volunteers they have who save our birds when they get themselves in trouble.
The dumping of shot game birds in the UK has now found its way to Wales. Go to Raptor Persecution UK for the whole nauseating story…
Question I keep getting asked: Do I think Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are viable? I would hate to speculate. Eggs have been left for long periods of time and miraculously hatched. It depends on the circumstances and we don’t know what all of those are. I continue to remind myself that the first egg might not hatch but the second could. If that is the case then I will not give up until the 25th which is 6 days away. That would be the last day for egg 2 to be viable. If they do not hatch, I hope the Ravens take them so Jackie can lay new eggs in the nest without the issue of having the other two there as well.
It is possible that the UK Ospreys are beginning to pack their bags in Africa and start their journey to their spring and summer breeding grounds…I am so excited.
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being with me today. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, videos, announcements, and streaming cams that make up my blog today: ‘B’, ‘H’, ND-LEEF, Paul Kolnik and Bald Eagles 101, Cal Falcons, D Steyck and the NCTC Eagles, Window to Wildlife, The Washington Post, MSN, Stella Hamilton, Elain and the Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Paul Kolnik and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, MN-DNR, FORE, Rhonda A and KNF E-3, Berry College, Mr P and Lotus Twitter, FaB Peregrines, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest News and Cams, Raptor Persecution UK.
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It has been precisely a week since the iconic Southwest Florida Bald Eagle, Harriet, went missing. Search parties are still looking for the Queen, hoping to find her and trying everything possible including vocalisations. Another team is set to head out on Saturday searching through some thick brush areas. So far there has been no sight of her and there have been no birds taken to wildlife rehab centres that are Harriet. The resolve to not give up is strong in many around the Fort Myers nest site who have watched Harriet raise her eaglets with Ozzie and then M15 who was, apparently, the ‘Frequent Visitor’ mentioned in many reports. We wish everyone well as they give their all and their love to trying to find dear Harriet.
Meanwhile, M15 continues to take fantastic care of the eaglets. Someone said if there is a silver lining to all of this it has been the amazing care that M15 has given to the nest. There were no less than 8 feedings on Wednesday. E22 had such a huge crop that it simply could hardly walk!
This was how E22 looked at 13:08. Do eaglets get indigestion?
M15 returned for the 7th feeding at 15:44:55 with a really nice fish.
E21 got up first to eat having dropped its crop from the very early feedings. E22 was simply not interested in food. Can you imagine? E22 not interested in food? Our Snatch and Grab King! There would have been no place to put even a flake of prey having eaten at least one if not two fish earlier! M15 fed then half the fish to 21 and left the other half on the nest. Wise move, Dad.
At 16:44 E22 watches Dad aerate the nest. Notice how big that crop still is. Not much difference from 13:08. E22 is full up to the dandelions on top of its head!
M15 returned at 17:24. E22 still had no interest in eating and 21 went to bed (as did 22) with a nice crop.
Both of the eaglets were fed well and are being taken care of diligently – and protected – by their Dad. M15 even did some aerating of the nest and tried to cover 21 with nest material which caused me to laugh. Prior to Harriet’s disappearance, M15 loved to cover up the babies with the nest materials. All is well on this nest. In the on line discussion this evening hosted by Christian Sasse, it was noted that the people for the most part have left the area and those leaving food are no longer a problem. This is great news. M15 can get on with it and we already know that he is up to the job!
Good night, Dad.
It is Thursday morning and M22 has already brought a fish in for breakfast. E21 has a great crop and 22 got fed some fish, too.
Postscript: I missed this entirely. M15 brought in two white rats on the 7th of February, Tuesday. E21 ate all of them. Lady Hawk caught it in a video.
Where in the world do you get white rats/mice with pink eyes? (You know what I am thinking already, don’t say it..that word that begins with an R).
Other Nest and some Other News Thrown In – in no particular order!
A new couple have moved into Sue and Otto’s territory at the Graveyard at Syracuse University. Here is that announcement.
Congratulations to Diane and Jack whose first egg of the 2023 season came after an amazing labour display at 06:51 on the 8th of February in St Petersburg, Florida.
It’s two eggs for Ron and Rose at the WRDC Eagle nest in Miami! Oh, things are starting to get busy with all these eggs. It will be difficult to keep up with them. Congratulations to this new couple! Ron will be an amazing mate for young Rose and we all hope that Rita is recovering well in rehab.
Pat Burke called it at 18:09:57.
HeidiMc got it on video:
The cold winds are whistling around the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and her new mate. Both were at the nest. Nancy spent a lot of time on the nest today – in the nest bowl. I wonder if there is an egg in there? I cannot see one. Tonight, standing guard.
Do you live in New York City? near Central Park? have you seen an unusual owl? Geemeff sent me news that there is an owl on the loose. It is not just any owl that has lived in the wild all its life. No, vandalism caused Flaco, at the Central Park Zoo, to leave his cage Thursday night – the same day that Harriet went missing. Flaco has never had to feed itself and the weather in the area is worrying many. Here is the story:
We are focused on M15 – a male Apex Raptor taking care of his eaglets after his mate disappears. Around the world, similar stories are playing out – a mate is killed or disappears. It is or would be extremely rare for one of our feathered friends just to up and decide they ‘had had enough’ and left a nest of babies. In this case, a male Swan in Boston MA has charge of his five goslings after their mother died on the nest right after they hatched. He is reported to be doing a superb job, too, even allowing them to ride on his back!
There has been a break and the nest has plenty of food back on it. Ringo really enjoyed a good feed and had a huge crop at the end of it, just like E22 did at SWFlorida today.
The ‘baby’ isn’t such a baby any more at Barry College. Missy still stays on the nest but doesn’t have to brood B16 tonight.
All of the eaglets on the nests are growing and growing and moving through each of the development stages just like they should be doing. The first of the Bald Eagles on streaming cams to hatch this year was Pearl and Tico at Superbeaks. Just look at these beauties. Pearl is 62 days old and Tico is now 61 days old. The average age of fledge in Florida is 77 days. After fledging, it I normal for the eaglets to return to the nest to be fed by the parents who will be teaching them to hunt prey as they strengthen their wings and enhance their flying skills. This period lasts for normally a month or five weeks (sometimes more). I am always very distressed when I see a fledgling shoot out of the nest and never return.
If you do not have your calendars marked, then please do. We are now six days away from the 15th of February which is pip watch for Jackie and Shadow. So far everything is going like clockwork. This adorable couple have kept the Crows at bay and protected those two precious eggs they have been incubating. I wonder if we are in for two ‘spirited’ eaglets this year?
Connick, the only eaglet of Clive and Connie at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest has a huge crop today, too…what is it with today? Every eaglet has been stuffed til they can hardly walk! I know what you are going to say…these ‘babies’ are now sporting their thermal down, the feedings are not so close together, and yes, they can hold a lot more food at a single feeding! And you would be absolutely correct.
At the KNF-E1 nest of Anna and Louis, they filled E-03 up to the brim too – right before the heavy rains came to the area.
Remember. E-03 will be named. You can vote beginning at noon on Friday the 10th (tomorrow) until Saturday at noon. Three names are selected by forestry staff and voted for on the chat. Head to KNF-E1 nest on YouTube. Wonder what the names will be this week?
Valentine and Nugget were soggy over at the E3 nest on Lake Kincaid. Andria makes an effort to keep her ‘big babies’ dry! After the rain settles, Alex is on the nest and it looks like Valentine was doing some self feeding.
Is this Alex or Andria? I am not sure.
Ever wondered what an eagle nest might smell like with the rain and all the fish bits and bobs? Oh, goodness. Just the thought.
Andria trying to keep those babies dry. Sweet Mum.
Alex and Valentine literally looking for a midnight snack.
It was pitching down the rain in Orange, Australia, too. Diamond before and after drying off. I have never seen Diamond so wet!!!!!!!
At The Campanile, Annie was in the scrape box – after what looks like a meal and then scraping and eating some stones. Oh, so nice to see you, Annie. When might we expect some eggs???
We knew we couldn’t call him ‘The New Guy’ forever. Cal Falcons seem to think Annie has decided that this one – albeit a slow learner about the prey gifts – is the one she will share her scrape box with. So there is going to be an opportunity coming up quickly to suggest names and vote. Cal Falcons tweeted the details on Twitter.
I received a note from ‘H’ and it appears that Zoe has missed two check ins. Send positive wishes for a transmission this evening!
Thank you so much for being with me today. It is always so nice to have you hear and to get your notes and comments. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, photos, videos, announcements and streaming cams that help make up my blog: H, Geemeff, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Red-tailed Hawk Tales, Achieva Credit Union, WRDC, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, MN-DNR, Inside Hook, The New York Times, LEXNAU and Matthew Wraifman, Paul White and the Webster, TX Eagle Watchers, Berry College Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, FOBBV, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E1 and KNF-E3, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Cal Falcons.
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Before I begin, I just wanted to bring you some news to put many of your minds to rest: “The photo of Harriet purporting to show fishing line and sinker has been shown to be a mucus stream from a cast pellet. The lady who took the photo said it was ejected, and she watched Harriet for several hours before she disappeared, and there was nothing hanging from her mouth.” I found this on a stream in FB and it makes perfect sense now. So, now fishing line or lead sinker. Good. It is also known that “When she left the camera view (heading ENE) she had been vocalizing at intruders in the area.”
Now to the big news of the day and M15 continues to be my Man of the Hour.
I have to admit that I did not watch many of the other nests on Monday like I would normally. On Sunday, M15 began to figure out how to keep 21 at bay so he could feed 22. Yesterday, he came in with two super fish and yes, 21 might have been a stinker but, it did not prevent 22 from eating. 22 did not get as big a crop at the first feeding – understandably since 21 would have been flat out empty over night. This afternoon at 1646 E22 starting eating…and when all was done, even with M15 distracted by an intruder, 22 had a nice crop. Good job, Dad. As ‘B’ says, you should be ‘Eagle of the Year’.
The fish appears to be a Ladyfish. They are long slender fish found in the Gulf of Mexico. They are abundant around reefs and mangroves. (Please let me know if you think this is the wrong ID – not easy to tell seeing only half of a fish but trying!) Some people call them Skipjacks.
Thanks ‘J’ for this screen capture.
Two happy well fed and much loved eaglets, E21 and E22.
M15 had no more than fed the eaglets and had some bites himself than he was up on the branch keeping vigil over the territory, protecting his kids.
Screaming out to those that dared to enter his territory.
We may never know what happened to Harriet. ‘H’ and I started making a list of all the things that can happen to raptors, most of them human caused. It was quite long and it would be wrong to speculate.
I remember many years ago someone asking me if I knew Harriet. Who didn’t know Harriet? She was an extraordinary Bald Eagle, perhaps 30 years old now, the Matriarch of the American Bald Eagle Family in Florida if not everywhere. People around the world watched her raise her children with much love and affection. We felt like we knew her and joked when she would kick M15 telling him ‘the eggs are ready’. We live in the hope that some miracle may bring her home all the while watching the wonderful care that M15 is giving their eaglets.
Posters are up and everyone is looking.
The problem with humans is that we want to help. We feel helpless in a situation like this. Everyone loved Harriet and they want to help M15 have food and to be able to feed the eaglets. Some people are leaving food believing it is the right thing to do despite being told it is illegal and dangerous to the eagles. The other day we saw a vulture eating something on the ground near the nest tree. M15 had to take precious time and energy and chase it off the territory. What if there had been a fight and M15 got injured? These acts are being investigated. Chat comments about ‘fish fairies’ do not help the situation at all. That also implies illegal acts but, it puts ideas in people’s minds. None of this is good.
M15 is doing great without us. Yes, it took him a couple of days but, imagine that he is grieving for his mate while also caring for their children. The crowds of people around the nest tree can keep him from hunting, take away his attention and energy for the things he needs to do. He is fishing successfully and by 1030 nest time, he had already been out and about, to the nest with some roadkill which 21 ate. No worries 22 is fine and when M15 gets his fish on the nest he will be fed.
‘H’ sent me a note about Zoe and we can all relax. She is back on the Australian coast apparently near some good salmon fishing. As she gets closer and closer to the tip of the Eyre Peninsula, I wonder if she is going to go and tell Mum and Dad about her adventures all the while wanting to sleep in her own bed and be fed by them for a few days resting up for Zoe’s next adventure!
Zoe’s epic journey of more than a 1000 km is making the news in Australia!
There is also a recent posting for our Ervie. Look at where he is going! Isn’t it fantastic?
It was very nice to see that Gabby is back with V3 in the nest before roosting on the tree for the night. Stability. Gabby was giving V3 little eagle kisses, too.
The other nests are doing fantastic with the exception of Jak and Audacity at Sauces Canyon in the Channel Islands. The thinness of the eggs is caused by residual DDT (as DDE) in the area. They have lost their second egg to breakage. So sad for them.
Rachel Carson called attention to the decline in raptor populations due to DDT in her book, Silent Spring. This pesticide, introduced after WWII, was recalled but not before long lasting damage was done. There are areas of high concentrations of DDT or DDE that continue to harm the Bald Eagle population. One symptom of this is egg thinning.
This is a recent article on DDT and declining bird populations by the EPA.
When I last checked there are still no eggs at either the Achieva Osprey nest or Captiva. That could change in an instant!
Indeed, Diane is staying at the nest tonight. Might we wake up to an egg Wednesday morning?
Angus is getting excited and has brought in a huge amount of nesting material this morning. Does this mean an egg is near?
Connick has a mohawk, a cute little tail, is covered with wooly thermal down and gets feed well. It is nice to be the only baby on the nest.
Superbeaks. Pearl and Tico are fully feathered in their juvenile livery. They are such gorgeous eaglets.
Ringo at the Webster Texas Bald Eagle nest is growing and getting up right to the fish! Big bites today! Like Connick, Ringo has that wooly thermal down and a dandelion mohawk.
Cutie Pie B16 at Berry College has been exercising its little wings. Oh, this little one is such a sweetheart. No wonder Pa and Missy just cannot help but be on the nest watching this chick.
Sometimes Anna continues to incubate Dudley on the KNF-E1 nest, sometimes the ‘to be named this coming Friday E1-03’ eaglet does the honours. This eaglet is huge…do we think we are looking at a female?
There are still a few fish on the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria. It does look like Valentine and Nugget have made quick work out of them…oh, and yes, the parents, too! Getting harder to tell the two eaglets apart. You have to look closely at the development of the juvenile feathers on the back and wings. It is Nugget that is hoping to get fed by the parent. Notice its back compared to Valentine.
Could not help but stop in to see Jackie and Shadow. It is early Tuesday in Big Bear Valley and we are 8 days away from pip watch. You can hear the crows in the background once in awhile. Oh, I wish they would go away! Jackie and Shadow have been vigilant and Jackie is vocalising at them this morning around 06:22.
Yesterday, Shadow had an intruder after his fish! Oh, sometimes there is hardly any peace for some of the nests.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, posters, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my blog: SWFlorida and D Pritchett, WGCU, Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, ABC Eyre Peninsula, NEFL-AEF, Sassa Bird and Bald Eagles in the US, EPA, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Superbeaks, Paul White and the Webster TX Eagle Watchers, Berry College Eagles, KNF E-1 and KNF-E3, FOBBV, and Cali Condor and FOBBV.
As most of you know, I write my blog the afternoon and evening prior to the morning I publish it. I have had countless letters and notes today and a couple of comments wondering why isn’t anyone searching for Harriet. I do not know who began spreading the idea that there was no one looking for Harriet. Harriet is one of the most famous Bald Eagles in the world. She is beloved by the Pritchett family and thousands and thousands of watchers. She is known throughout Fort Myers. All of the news media – papers, radio, and TV news have covered the story of Harriet missing. People have been out searching. Here is one story that is carried about those searches.
Saturday was one of the most heart-wrenching days I have spent monitoring a single nest while trying to keep up with some of the others. We are all sad. You are, I am, the Pritchett’s are. My thoughts have gone to M15 who is actively grieving for his mate and yet, has the responsibility for their last two eaglets. He brought in a fish big enough for all three to eat well this morning but, as we all know, 22 ate it all. 21 got little as I document below. It pulls at our heart. M15 will look after these children as best he can. He has other responsibilities too – while not knowing what has happened to Harriet. It is a very different situation to Gabby who had no eaglets on the nest. We do not know what will happen if 21 continues to keep 22 from eating. There are many scenarios at play with lots of people behind the scenes trying to figure out what is the best thing to do. All I know is that the Pritchett family cares deeply for its eagles. They have a stocked pond for them. They got help for 17 and 18’s eyes immediately. Those eagles are part of their extended family. If anyone can pull a Rabbit out of a Hat, the Pritchett’s can working together with CROW and the USFWS. The best place for the eaglets is on the nest with their dad, M15. I hope that there is a sudden change in 21 because 22 needs food and it is scared of its stronger and larger sibling. At the same time, M15 will, as eagles do, feed the beak that is at the table. I live in the hope that something good will happen.
I spent my Saturday on and off the SWFlorida Eagle Cam. All of the other nests appear to be fine. It is agonising to watch 22 being so hungry, digging through the nest for scraps when 21 has been fed well and has kept its little sibling from being fed by M15. 22 was able to get enough off the bones and fish by itself to get a small crop. I want 22 is a survivor like Tiny Tot Tumbles and Blue 464. Certainly 22 is as afraid of eating as TTT was…we just have to hope. The good news and celebration is down in Miami with Rose and Ron. And well, the fact that everyone else is doing well including Zoe who has a perch above a creek makes everyone happy. The first part of my blog is a long overview of SWFlorida today. Then I move into the other nests and all the great news happening elsewhere.
The temperatures are climbing on the Canadian Prairies with the Polar Vortex moving away. There is little wind. The squirrels were out in the garden enjoying a good feed.
You can see some of the snow falling. Dyson is on top heading for a solid seed cylinder while one of her babies is enjoying Black Oil Seed and some Butter Bark Bites.
M15 flew in with a large fish with its head on at 12:15:04 on Saturday. E21 was first up and did not hold back keeping its younger sibling in submission. As it ate and ate, E22 sort of shifted, keeping its head down, hoping there might be some fish left. E21 as I write has been feeding for a long time. M15 constantly looking around, keeping what is going on in the surrounding environment in his head. 21 is getting some huge bites. If you were watching – and thousands are – you will see that 22 finally moved up and got a bite – before 21 reached out to peck it. M15 left the nest and the rest of the fish.
E21 has been eating for at least 30 minutes and has a huge crop. M15 does a good job feeding his eaglet amidst all the other worries he has.
M15 waited for 22 to come over. 21 is stuffed and appears to be ready to go into food coma. 22 is looking.
The famous two bites of fish for 22.
At 13:03, just as 22 was set to eat, 21 goes on the attack.
M15 flies off. He is very preoccupied with the intruders into his territory. Don’t blame him! It is difficult to care for the eaglets, secure food, and secure the air space around the nest.
n the midst of his own personal grieving, M15 is taking care of his eaglets and his territory. He is an extraordinary dad and he will do the best he can BUT he cannot pull 22 up to the table to eat. There might be some tactics he could use but he has a lot on his plate and has no mate to help him.
The story continues with E22 finding fur and an old fish tail in the nest and self-feeding. Now get over to the new fish, 22. You got this!
E21 is aroused and is practically sleeping on the fresh fish..
22 creeps over with the fish tail towards the fresh fish and 21 strikes. This reminds me of Tiny Tot Tumbles. TTT ate the old food on the nest and survived until a time when the parent fed her secretly after dark when the other two slept. Fingers crossed that 22 can get a piece of that fish…there are two sections, the body and tail and the head. Plenty for both eaglets. A22 is desperately trying to self-feed. He just doesn’t have the technique down…hold it down with your talons and pull hard, 22!
E21 went back and 22 continued to work on the fish tail. He has gotten some fish off it – even a few bites helps. Every bite helps.
Then 21 took the fish tail. That was a moment when I felt someone had just hit me in the gut. How could he deny 22 that small morsel of fish? He took it and then just left it.
22 finally got over to the fresh fish and began picking at the head – not the open part – without success.
Then M15 flew to the nest at 14:18:39. I wonder if he saw 22 at the fish wanting food? But leave it to 21 – who is still bursting – to go up and begin pecking 22. Sad. Will 22 get some food?
It is possible we need another fish on this nest…22 is still not getting any and 21 is bursting at the crop. Sometimes if another fish comes on in rapid succession and if the parent won’t give up, the second submissive eaglet gets to eat. You have seen this at other nests. M15 doesn’t have the time to get out and get another fish. We are fortunate he was able to catch that big one this morning.
M15 flew off the nest at 14:49. 21 is in food coma (thank goodness). 22 moves over to self-feed. He found some scraps and is working on a piece. This is good. If M15 flew down now would 21 wake up? or would 22 get fed? We don’t know the answer to that but 22 is getting some flakes of fish. As I said earlier, even small amounts of fish help and we know that 22 ate some of the old fur and dried up rabbit. Bald Eagles eat anything and everything. As an adult, they will eat fur and bones and hard pieces of food to survive if they need to. IF 22 survives, he has been learning some good lessons on this nest for his future. I do hope he does but, it is not a given based on what is happening.
22 pecks and finds some bites until 21 wakes up and comes to investigate at 14:57 when it beaks little sib. 21’s crop is huge.
At 15:39 E22 broke into an area of the fish with flakes…can he get enough to fill up?
At 15:46, E22 could be heard singing, “I Did It My Way” as the little sibling had found enough scraps on the nest and the fish – he is really not that good at self-feeding but 22 worked at it – and he had a small crop. A round of applause. This is the face of a survivor.
It is 18:08, M15 is guarding the territory. He has brought in one large fish and did 3 feedings. Or was it 4? 21 got all of the them but a couple of bites while 22 ate scraps on the nest.
We must prepare ourselves. It is possible that only one eaglet will survive with Harriet’s absence. It is difficult raising eaglets – this size – alone – and I also believe we must accept that Harriet is not returning. If 21 were willing to let 22 get a good feed, I might feel different. But 21 is not willing to share. We wait. We Hope. There is absolutely nothing else we can do as we have no idea what discussions are taking place in the quiet corners of the Pritchett Farm, CROW offices, and USFWS. We know the situation is being monitored and we know that there is a search for Harriet.
PG&E backs down from cutting down old pine with a nest to a pair of Bald Eagles. Thank goodness the eagles returned to the nest when they did or the outcome would have been different!
Oh, I wish I lived in Iowa! Do you know anyone who might be interested?
If this doesn’t turn someone’s stomach. What was practised in the UK’s historical past has met up with a society that no longer finds this acceptable. When will the enforcers step up and do what is right? Raptor Persecution UK reports on this tragedy:
The rotting carcasses of shot pheasants, ducks and geese have been found today, dumped on the Otley Wetlands Nature Reserve in West Yorkshire.
Morgan Caygill (@atypicalbirder) posted the following on Twitter this afternoon:
From the grisly photograph it’s clear that at least some of these birds have been ‘breasted’ (i.e. the breast meat has been removed, presumably for consumption).
It’s not clear whether the birds were all shot on the nature reserve or whether they had been shot elsewhere and just dumped on the reserve. It seems unlikely that bird shooting would be permitted on this award-winning reserve as it’s previously been celebrated as a ‘safe haven for wildlife’ (here).
Even if shooting is permitted here, however, the dumping of shot bird corpses would not be permitted. It’s an especially stupid and reckless thing to do given the ongoing concerns about the spread of avian flu.
Regular blog readers will know that the dumping of shot gamebirds is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening up and down the country for years, prior to this latest outbreak of avian flu: e.g. in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North York Moors National Park (here) and even more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), and again in West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here), Lincolnshire (here), Somerset (here), Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park (here), Suffolk (here), Leicestershire again (here), Somerset again (here), Liverpool (here), even more in North Wales (here) even more in Wales, again (here), in Wiltshire (here) in Angus (here), in Somerset again (here) and once again in North Yorkshire (here).
‘Shoot managers must ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place for the sale or consumption of the anticipated bag in advance of all shoot days‘.
The Code of Good Shooting Practice is, however, in effect, just advice. It has no legal standing and is unenforceable. It’s handy for the shooting industry to point to it as ‘evidence’ that the industry is capable of self-regulation but it’s not really worth the paper it’s written on if shoot managers can breach it without consequence, as they so often do.
Last year, almost a year to the day, after yet another episode of dumped shot game birds, there was an exchange in the House of Lords where game bird shooter and DEFRA Minister Lord Benyon denied that there was evidence of shot gamebirds being dumped (I know!) and Lord Newby, having seen the evidence provided by this blog, stated he would pursue Benyon to find out what plans the Government had for dealing with it (see here). Unfortunately nothing ever came of that but in December 2022 Green Peer Natalie Bennett said she’d chase it up with Benyon.
Raptor Persecution UK Blog, 4 February 2023
At our nests:
Well, everyone was waiting and most people thought it wouldn’t happen but Rose laid her first egg at the WRDC nest with her new mate, Ron. Congratulations to everyone at WRDC and thanks to ‘H’ who warned me that Rose might be in labour. While I will question the wisdom of raising eaglets so late in the season with the heat, the saying ‘Eagles know best’ is appropriate here. Time: 18:22:10.
Ron has not seen his egg as I finish writing this (2300 Saturday evening). He will, no doubt, be elated in the morning!
HeidiM caught the action on video for us. Thanks ‘H’. Does anyone think Rose looks like she is in shock? Remember this will be the first egg she has ever laid…and her very first chick. Ron is experienced…so happy for him. The pair were so cute working on the nest – all that effort is now paying off.
Pardon me for being me…but I hope that they have one healthy little eaglet to care for this first year – not two or three, just one super healthy chick.
Baiba caught Ron’s reaction! Thanks, ‘H’ for telling me about this video.
Little B16 celebrates its two week old hatch! What a little sweet butterball of a baby.
Pa Berry feeds his baby some squirrel. Two weeks. Notice those black spots…thermal down is coming and our soft little butterball of a baby is going to change.
Connick had a good day. That eaglet is a little butterball like B16. Some people would say he looks like a Buddha sitting there. Notice that gorgeous wooly charcoal thermal down and the way the dandelions form almost a hooded cape over the little fellow. I keep saying….there is something nice about one eaglet on a nest!
Rhona A did an amazing little video clip of Alex bringing in the 15 fish yesterday – I missed the last one. 15. No worries about anyone going hungry on this nest. Lots of fish for self-feeding. Would love to send one or two of these over to SWFlorida or to Zoe.
Valentine and Nugget (yes, that is the official name for 02) are great. There is so much fish on that nest no one knows where to start eating and feeding. Did I saw I wish we could dump about 5 of them on the nest at SWFlorida? That would stop all the food insecurity for 21!
Next Friday, voting will begin for Anna and Louis’s third hatch in their three years together. Be sure to stop in and vote! Give this little one a super name.
Oh, if you are wondering what 03 is doing – well, it is incubating Dudley. 03 often sits on Dudley and we might need a backpack for 03 to fledge with Dudley if the affection continues. If you watch this nest, keep an even on 03’s behaviour. Sometimes Dudley is between his legs when he is being fed. So cute.
And there are no worries about Indigo. Indigo is still in Diamond and Xavier’s territory and was in the scrape screaming in Elain’s highlights for 4 February.
For all you Redding Eagle fans, there is some action at the nest caught by SK Hideaways.
Zoe is apparently fine. She is alive and this is the latest announcement by Fran Solly of Friends of Osprey. Thanks, ‘H’ for the tip that the tracking had come in!
Fran Solly says that Zoe has a perch over the water. Smart girl our Zoe.
The latest news shows images of where Zoe has been fishing. You know, she is a smart girl! Here is the announcement and one of the images. Sure makes you feel better. I wonder if these creeks aren’t full due to the flooding???? Anyone know?
What I would really like right now is an update on Ervie. Let me go and check to see if there is one and, yes, one from a couple of days ago. Ervie is still hanging around Port Lincoln!
Everything is fine at Superbeaks. The eaglets are self-feeding and being fed by Mum and Dad.
Jackie and Shadow are good except for the Ravens/Crows that you can hear at various times when you are watching the streaming cam. We are now 10 days away from pip watch for Jackie and Shadow. I am so glad these eagles have spaced out their eggs and hatch days a bit! Then we can enjoy the little ones at each nest a little longer. What a switch from the heat in Miami to the cool mountains of California with snow.
Do you watch the Bluff City, Tennessee Bald Eagle Nest? Frances laid her first egg of the season with her new mate on the 2nd of February. If there is a second egg, it should arrive today. Her new mate brings her a huge fish to celebrate —– gosh, Ron, did you hear that? Will you bring Rose a big fish, too?
Here is the link to this Eastern Tennessee University eagle cam:
It has been a long and tiring day for everyone. Last year was an exceptionally difficult one and this year has started off no different with the loss of Samson and Alden right at the end of 2022. I cannot imagine Harriet returning to the nest. ‘Something’ has happened to her and we might never know what that was. She was a devoted mother. She was much loved and no doubt we will mourn her later but, for now, it is that helpless feeling. Send positive wishes to the SWFlorida Eagle nest – M15 and 21 and 22 and the Pritchett Family. It is a difficult time for all of them.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, their announcements, tweets, posts, videos, and streaming cams: ‘H’, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, Raptor Persecution UK, WRDC, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, Baiba and the WRDC, Berry College Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SK Hideaways and the Redding Eagles, Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, Port Lincoln Osprey, Superbeaks, FOBBV, and ETSM and BTES.
It is late Thursday and snow is falling gently in the garden. Everyone on the Canadian Prairies is preparing themselves for the Polar Vortex that is set to arrive sometime Friday evening. It will keep us in very frigid temperatures for about a fortnight. So tonight it is -7 but it will be dipping down to -24 C tomorrow with strong winds, then into the -30s. I will be fine but this has to be a shock to the birds outside. There were more than 40 Starlings today at the feeders along with about 60 or more Sparrows. The squirrels were out as well eating as much as they could. It has to be so difficult for them.
The kittens are, of course, fine. Lewis likes to snuggle in with all the textiles in a drawer and Missy is drawn to sleeping in large plant pots. At times these are the strangest kittens I have ever had the privilege to share my life with. They are adorable characters!
In the Mailbox:
A request has come in to remind everyone that if they have Dark-Eyed Juncos visiting their gardens to please put seed, particularly Millet, on the ground for them. They are ground feeders! Thank you.
There is news coming of Ervie from Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey. I haven’t seen a tracking for Ervie for awhile so this was such a treat. There is apparently a big festival with helicopter rides where he normally fishes so he went some where else to get his meals but, Fran notes that he also hung around to watch some of the people at the festivities. Relief.
Some people are just discovering how beneficial birdwatching is to human health!
Great news coming out of University of California at Berkeley. Drones are banned from the campus area where Annie raises her family. Thank you so much!
Denial, watering-down terms to make horrific acts like stomping five Goshawk chicks to death palatable. When will it stop? When will people come to their senses that the persecution of raptors is not OK.
Kakapo that went into care have responded positively and will soon be returning home. Great news.
The tiny eaglet that was found with some puncture wounds at the base of its nest tree has responded well to the treatment given by CROW. The sad news is that the nest where it was to be returned has been taken over by GHOs. (Did those owls attack other nestlings? the parents? Did I say I am not a fan of GHOs after Harriet and M15’s ongoing issues). Poor baby will be raised by loving hands. And will probably never be able to be released. So little. Just look at the egg tooth. This eaglet is going to take considerable resources. If you can, think of sending a small donation for its care – you can specify that it goes to this baby’s care. Someone will be feeding it non-stop during the day just like its parents would. Sweetness.
At the nests:
If you missed it, CE9 has been named Connick after Connor and Nick at Window to Wildlife. They did all the work getting the cams and platforms back up for the eagles enabling all of us to be able to watch the Captiva Eagles, Connie and Clive, and the Ospreys, Mabel and Angus. Great choice!
The feeding that started in the image above resulted in a huge crop for Connick.
The snow that was falling last evening at the MN-DNR (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) Bald Eagle nest has melted. When the camera was running this morning I could hear ducks and geese. Then the camera rotated and showed us a great place for the eagles to get their prey – absolutely close to the nest!
Both Nancy and her mate were at the nest doing some work.
The snow was also gone at the Berry College nest of Pa and Missy. That little B16 is such a cutie and it is working those wings to balance itself trying to get out of the nest cup already! This little one is strong and is going to be a handful. The other egg is not viable. There is rabbit, squirrel, and fish on the menu thanks to Pa’s great hunting.
The snow is also gone from Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ. Mum is rolling the two eggs.
Jack and Diane continue to visit the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg. No eggs yet. Soon.
All of those nests are great. I just about had a heart attack today when I saw Pearl at the Superbeaks nest back up to ‘ps’ and she just about slipped off the edge. It was a hold your breath moment. The railings are gone around that left branch – or so it seems. I cannot see. Pearl immediately got her grip and moved forward.
It is hard to imagine but little B16 will be this size in 35 days!
The wings are being exercised.
Pearl is gorgeous.
Alex delivered a fish and Andria went to help defend him and the nest against an intruder! There are so many intruders I am surprised that the males ever make it to the nests with prey for their families.
Things settled down. E01 and E02 are growing and growing like bad weeds. Remember to go on chat tomorrow at noon CT and put in a name suggestion for 01. It might make it to the finals.
Right now it is easy to tell the two eaglets apart. 01 has many more dark juvenile feathers.
02 has a nice crop that was revealed after that stretch. Looks like a real butterball sitting there.
The little one at the KNF E1 nest benefits from being an only eaglet. No one to share that fish with but Mum!!!!!! And Anna does love her fish dinners.
Anna loves to make sure that 03 has its crop full to the brim. Just one last bite, sweetie.
Gabby and V3 were in and out of the nest on Thursday. These screen captures were taken around noon.
SK Hideaways caught the new guy bringing Annie a gift! Oh, thank you, new guy!!!!!! It’s a Starling and Annie doesn’t flinch…she doesn’t mind Starlngs. Only a brief tug-o-war. Remember…Diamond hates them. So hopeful for about three eggs in Annie’s scrape and three very active eyases. That will keep the ‘new guy’ busy.
Remember to go on chat at the KNF E3 nest tomorrow, Friday until noon on Saturday to propose a name for 01. The rangers will take the entries down to 3 and have a public vote. I missed the Ventana Wildlife chat today about the condors because I could not sign on to their Zoom. The link will be posted sometime on Friday to the archived event and I will include it in Saturday’s blog. Those are always informative sessions. We wait for Osprey eggs.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, announcements, posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, The Guardian, Cal Falcons, Raptor Persecution UK, Kakapo Recover and the Wildlife Hospital – Dunedin, CROW, Window to Wildlife, MN-DNR, Berry College, Duke Farms, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, NEFL-AEF, and SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons.
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Wikipedia gives this description, “The rufous hornero is a medium-sized ovenbird in the family Furnariidae. It occurs in eastern South America, and is the national bird of Argentina. Also known as the red ovenbird, it is common in savannas, second-growth scrub, pastures and agricultural land and is synanthropic.”
It not only lives in the countryside. It can be found in urban areas too. It is a rusty red above with buff plumage underneath, a white throat and a tiny little eyebrow. Note the dark rust coloured tail feathers. This bird builds its nest out of mud on trees as well as buildings and any other human structure it can find that is suitable.
It was a pretty quiet Sunday in Bird World – thankfully. We can still use some of these days to recuperate and prepare for all the eagle eggs and hatches that will be coming soon enough.
I was delighted to see Thunder and Akecheta on the West End nest. Checking often with little results or seeing the pair in the distance on those two big outcrops but…today came up gold!
It was a beautiful sunrise on the Northeast Florida nest of Gabby.
It wasn’t even 0700 and there was a suitor waiting to see if he had any chance with our Gabby.
Gabby flew off at one point seemingly tired of the youngsters appearing. She even kicked some off the nest! Some worry that Gabby will leave – this is her nest. She just needs a good mate.
Well, Gabby did return and she is telling this one on the branch to ‘get going’! It is pretty clear she is NOT happy! The looks get more and more stern.
He is not leaving!!!!!!! Notice that they are sitting pretty close together. When Gabby and Samson became a bonded pair, Samson was 4 years old. They had Romey and Jules the following year. Will Gabby pick a younger male? Remember. We have no idea how old Gabby is. Nothing is known about her. She could be nearly as old as Harriet for all we know! This ale is being called V4. Apparently, V5 was a female. Gabby booted her. She hasn’t booted this one, yet. Now if he would bring her a good sized fish.
He is not too young. Looks like a 4 year old like Harry at the MN-DNR nest. There have been other 3 and 4 year old Bald Eagles breed successfully, too.
The Stand Off with some vocals about a minute in:
Oh, dear. It seems Carole’s singing ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ scared V4 off. Or did he chase an intruder? Will he come back? Will Gabby stay the night? We wait.
Yes! Gabby is roosting and can be seen on cam 1. V4 can be seen on cam 2.
It was the 1.5 year old juvenile that has caused me wonderment. How many times did we look into your eyes, Legacy. I am pretty certain it is you! No one else. You gorgeous girl.
It was this side that gave it away that this visitor is not a suitor but Legacy.