Ervie, Jackie and Shadow at nest, Milda lays an egg…Friday in Bird World

10 March 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

The end of the week is here! It is rarely of little consequence to me unless something is happening. There are some wonderful things about retirement!

Two new to me ‘previously owned’ books arrived in the post this morning. I have been waiting some time, and what a joy to receive them. One is by Roy Dennis. It is The Loch. A Year in the Life of a Scottish Loch. It was an accompaniment to a television series in the 1990s. The images are beautiful and would have you booking a ticket to Scotland immediately. The other is a study of Peregrine Falcons in New York City by Saul Frank. It is titled City Peregrines. A Ten-Year Saga New York City Falcons. Will keep you posted!

Meanwhile, the kittens have taken over the house. They love nothing more than going in and out of a box and all the wrappings, large paper bags are fair game for an entire afternoon of jumping in and out, and anything that is light enough to be transported can and will be picked up and moved by Lewis.

Lewis decided to take over the large dog bed today with all of the blankets!

Missy fell asleep in the small basket while she was playing.

They bring joy! And they love watching the animals in the garden.

There is news of Ervie and he is still in Port Lincoln!

Lou did a marvellous job yesterday. There was a huge storm in San Francisco and Lou incubated for almost six hours was Annie was missing.

Wondering about Jackie and Shadow? They showed up together on cam 2 on Thursday. In fact, they were on the snag tree and in the nest and Shadow stayed around for some time! There is also a sub-adult hanging about.

Looking at the image above and the chart below, how old do you think this eagle is?

Jackie and Shadow were also in the nest doing some cleaning. The time was 13:38 on Thursday. Getting anxious to see if we will have a replacement clutch.

M15 was extremely busy flushing those female intruders from the territory on Wednesday, which might account for the few prey deliveries to the Es. Lady Hawk posted all the action! We might begin to imagine that M15 wishes he was less popular.

On Thursday morning, a prey drop came at 12:47. E22 got it and ate it but not before 21 had some and then 22. It went back and forth. Both ate.

I love these little chats that C F Marshburn creates for the eagles.

Wonder why there has not been a lot of prey deliveries? D Morningstar posted a very informative video of M15 and one of the female intruders. He cannot risk getting injured. Better the eaglets be a bit hungry than to have their only provider, Dad, disabled or killed.

You can hear 22 in the background calling for fish! I don’t think we will ever forget him!

Ron and Rose are approaching pip watch and now they are having to defend both their nest and those precious eggs!

I cannot think of an Osprey nest I have enjoyed more than Moorings Park. One of the reasons is Harry. Not only is he such a great provider, but he loves being in the nest with Sally and the two kids, and he is getting more involved in feeding the little ones every day.

Unlike eagles, ospreys will remove the fish from the nest to not attract insects and intruders wanting food.

The osplets eyes are open wide, as is their beak. That open beak will get the fish! The eyes of the osprey are large. Poole tells us that they can resolve the details of an object at 3-5 times the distance a human can (11).

The pair hatched on the 3rd of March. They are a week old today. These two have already tripled their body weight since hatch. This weight will double in the nest four days. Their fastest growth is between 15-30 days.

In North America, Western Ospreys, according to Cornell Bird Lab, remain in the nest for 50-55 days before their first flight (the fledge). They will return to the nest to be fed by their parents while they develop their flying skills. While the fledglings may accompany and observe the adult fishing, they are not taught to hunt/catch prey like Bald Eagles do with their fledglings. Ospreys have developed a clear instinct for knowing how to fish after 60 million years of existence.

Notice the white at the tip of the osprey looking at you in the image below. This is what remains of the egg tooth that this little one used to break up that egg shell. Also notice the black line that extends under the eye towards the nape. This helps them to ward off glare so they can see fish in the water when there is bright sun. Yes, football players picked up on this trick from the Ospreys!

These two are beginning to develop. See the cream stripe down the centre top of the back. Notice the little ‘prickles’ on either side. This pair will keep their light woolly down (feathers) for 10-12 days, and then dark charcoal thick down will replace it. This is called the ‘reptilian period’. Their heads will look like black oil has been poured on them. Some copper-red feathers will appear at the back of the head and nape. It is often during this period that osplets get ‘cranky’ and they may begin beaking one another.

There was some concern that Indigo had left the territory of his parents, Diamond and Xavier. That is not the case. He was MIA for about 24 hours, then showed up and spent an entire in the scrape. Wonder what he was up to that tired him out so much? In the Wizard of Oz we are reminded, ‘There is no place like home!’

In Latvia, Milda, the White-tailed Eagle, has laid her first egg of the 2023 season. Sending positive wishes to her and Voids. Milda deserves it. She lost her long-time mate, Ramis, two years ago. She has yet to raise chicks to fledge since then successfully. 2022 was particularly difficult. After almost starving, Milda, who had been incubating here eggs for 8 days with no food for herself, left to eat. The fear was the eggs would not hatch. But, they did. The wee things eventually froze/starved to death. So, yes, please, lots of positive wishes for this much loved WTE.

Milda will likely lay two eggs three days apart. They will be incubated for approximately 35 days.

Voldis and Milda were working on their nest and mating late in February. Arlene Beech shares some of this with us in her video.

Watching raptors incubate eggs is boring. We are almost to the stage where Ron and Rose will stop incubating and feed little eaglets! The same applies to the Venice Golf and Country Club, where osprey eggs await their pip date. There are lots of others. Meanwhile, the Kistatchie Forest eaglets are branching, and soon SW Florida will be branching also. So enjoy a few days of incubation with Annie and Lou and watching Sally and Harry feed their little ones and the two eaglets at Duke Farms. Soon you will be scrambling to find time to check in on everyone. Oh, and then Jackie and shadow could surprise us with more eggs!

It is pip watch for Martin and Rosa at Dullas-Greenaway on the 11th! – yes, tomorrow.

Watching Karl II’s Black Stork family for migration movement. Waba headed north to Eritrea, then turned around and returned to Sudan. Gosh, this little one surprises us all the time. No transmissions from Bonus, Kaia, or Karl II yet.

There has also been no transmission from Zoe from the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. We wait in hope that she will turn up somewhere and someone will see and photograph her.

I wonder how many raptors actually land on ships and travel around. We certainly saw this with Glen, the Osprey, who was on two ships. Now a Burrowing Owl has gone on a cruise.

Gosh, I hope that Zoe didn’t get on a cruise ship!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am heading off for a wee bit of a break and to catch sight of some waterfowl, I hope. It is not clear if there will be a blog on Saturday morning. It could be an abbreviated one. I will, for sure, be back on Sunday. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that helped make up my blog this morning: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Osprey, Cal Falcons, FOBBV,, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagles, Carol F Marshburn and SWFlorida Eagles, D Morningstar and SW Florida Eagles, Patti Lawless Sirbola and Ron and Roses Eagle nest Watchers, Dulles-Greenaway Eagle Nest, Moorings Park Osprey Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Amanda lake and the Latvian Fund for Nature, Arlene Beech and the Latvian Fund for Nature, Looduskalender Forum, and ABC7 Southwest Florida.

Annie lays 3rd egg, KNF-E3 has ‘branches’, Valentine hit by an owl…Thursday in Bird World

9 March 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in the Canadian Prairies. The wind was brisk, but bundled up like one was heading to outer space, it is possible to walk through the woods and by the lake without getting too much wind burn. There were few birds and squirrels out, oddly. Perhaps it was all the schoolchildren. Four buses of laughing and sledging young ones. Brilliant. We must start getting them to love nature when they are little!

In the distance but almost in the centre of the middleground, you can see the Bald Eagle nest.

The trees that make up the forest are mostly Aspens and Birch.

The Chickadees were the only birds at the feeders with a single Red Squirrel hoping they would spill some seed!

The Bison were closer today.

Lots of owl action lately. Valentine got hit Tuesday night at the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andrai. As cute, fluffy, and ‘intelligent’ these ‘wise’ owls are, they are at the top of the Apex Predators, and they can do a lot of damage with their silent approach and razor-sharp talons.

Construction work near Central Park is causing some urban hawks to abandon their former nesting sites. Flaco, the escaped Eurasian Owl, has discovered that these building sites are good places to catch rats. Oh, Flaco, we sure hope that rat you ate had not consumed rodenticide! For the latest action, please go to Bruce Yolton’s

Most everyone was focused on the scrape of Annie and Lou on Wednesday. According to Cal Falcon’s chart, Annie was due to lay the egg around 1600, but by 1230, ‘H’ had sent me a note saying Annie looked like she was uncomfortable. She was! That third egg could be seen at 13:47:15. Most surprised was Lou, who is tiny and wondered what to do to get three under for incubation! Lou was adorable in his effort.

The reveal.

Annie was quick to get up for a break and give Lou a chance to see the three eggs.

Cal Falcons posted a video of the third egg being laid.

Peregrine Falcons are arriving at their scrapes all around the world. In Montreal, Eve and Miro, are thinking about spring on their scrape on the 23rd floor of one of the buildings of the University of Montreal. That scrape faces the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. A great place for hunting.

Shadow visited the nest near Big Bear Lake he shares with Jackie at 10:23 on Wednesday, the 8th.

Shadow spent more than two hours at the nest just looking out to the beyond.

Now we wait to see if the couple will have a replacement clutch or they will come back in the fall and begin working on nesting for 2024.

Little osplets do not like to wait to be fed! When this happens they will often start cavorting and this usually ends up in some beaking. “Feed us!” Thank goodness Sally arrives. Poor Harry needs some instructions in feeding and a little more confidence.

Harry loves being on the nest with Sally and the kids. They are doing great. Beautiful Thursday morning in Naples, Florida.

These two at Moorings Park eat very well. Harry is an excellent provider. That there is a stocked freshwater pond also helps! No problems, even though they might like you to think there are! Harry is always good with fish deliveries and is trying to do a little feeding. Sally will let him do more when they are older.

E22 might want some of the fish at the Moorings. Today there was one delivery to the nest and it seems 21 got the most of it.

22 loves being on the rails, but 21 almost pushed him off accidentally on Tuesday. Thankfully 22 was alert!

As the sun set, the intruder female settled alongside M15 on the branch. Has this female fought with R23-3 and driven her from the territory? R23-3 has not been seen since Sunday and Marti Lord reports three new females hanging around.

M15 ate well! Look at his nice crop.

The female.

Marti Lord shares some incredible images of the new female with us.

M15 is a good catch. We all want him to find – or have her find him – a strong, fierce, protective, funny, ‘kissable’ mate like Harriet was for eight years. Isn’t it amazing how protective we have become of this amazing Dad?

The two eaglets at Duke Farm are doing fine. There has been some concern about beaking, but this is an experienced nest with lots of food. Enjoy!

Rosie has delivered the first stick of the 2023 season to the Whirley Crane. Poor thing. They must rebuild that nest again this year! I always think of Richmond and Rosie and then recall those lovely platforms all fixed with twigs and railings, waiting for some of the Welsh Ospreys. Still, R & R surprise me with what they can whip up in a short time.

Congratulations to Valentine who has flown to a branch and to Nugget who is up on a branch, also! Nugget is 70 days old today! Well done, you two.

At 0648 both eaglets were on the nest looking for leftover prey.

Alex and Andria are preparing for their eaglets to fledge. In Ithaca, New York, Arthur and Big Red are preparing the nest for their first eggs, which could arrive within a few days. The earliest Big Red has laid an egg was the 13th of March.

Arthur was in and out, and Big Red flew to the nest for a private inspection!

For something a little different. A Great Egret bathing…

Happy Hatch Day to two little Kakapo!

Oh, those gorgeous White-bellied sea eagles. As humans take over more of their territory, where do they go to make their nests? To the tall telecom towers in Malaysia! The telecom companies have been working with Birdlife International in Malaysia to find a solution for wildlife and communications companies. This should interest everyone as storks, eagles, and ospreys also use towers in other countries.

Quite honestly, I do not know what is wrong with humans. There is not a morning that I do not read about a raptor being poisoned in the UK or a Bald Eagle being shot in the US. The fines in the US are high, so impose them – $100,000 – and the individual gets a criminal record. So why are people still killing the raptors? Respect for all living beings must be instilled in children the minute they are born, and as adults, we must be role models so they can see how this plays out in real life – respect, compassion, and empathy.

Last, a shout out to ‘B’. I had listed and discussed the Channel Islands nests and some changes there. At the time I did not know what had happened to FP. Thanks ‘B’ for updating me.

Andor and Cruz have established a new nest area. Dr Sharpe might be able to get a camera there for 2024. So, the best thing to do this year is to check the website for the Institute for Wildlife Studies for updates on West End and Fraser Point.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘H’, ‘B’ Tonya and KNF-E3, Cal Falcons, Falcoun UdeM en direct, FOBBV, Moorings Park Ospreys, Heidi Mc and Moorings Park, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Terry Caman Bald Eagle Live Nest Cams and News, Marti Lord and SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Duke Farms, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, KNF-E3, Cornell RTH, Native Bird Boxes, Kakapo Recovery,, the Courier Herald, and the IWS.

New camera at Superbeaks, Daddy Door Dash does great…Monday in Bird World

27 February 2022

Oh, good morning, everyone! Lewis hopes that you had an extraordinary wonderful weekend full of treats! He has been enjoying some strawberry-filled Japanese crepes lately – just little bites – and he loves them! I must go into a room and lock the door to keep him away! He does not understand, ‘Sweets are not good for a cat’s teeth!’

Sunday was a rather fantastic day in the garden! Mr Woodpecker was in ‘Abigale’s tree’. Mr Crow came here. Oh, it is so nice to see you! And then, there was the rabbit. I don’t want the rabbits here, but, it was such a delight to see one alive. The feline pets that frequent the feeders kill the rabbits for fun. It isn’t their fault. Their owners let them outside when it is clearly against city by-laws.

So what is Abigale’s tree? We started ‘re-foresting’ our city lot by planting trees for family members and cats when they died. Now the garden is getting full. It is a nice escape for the birds in the City, cool in the summer and lots of food in the winter. Abigale was the big ‘Blue’ Abyssinian cat. She was huge, adorable, and ever so gentle.

Mr Crow reminds me of E22, who is always ‘sqeeing’ for food even if he has a fish tail in his mouth!

There is wonderment when seeing wildlife in a big city. It makes me so happy and tells me that, hopefully, when we are gone, they will take over and have the run of the place again.

The best news around is that Superbeaks initalized a brand new camera today and what a view!

You can see the eaglets branching on the tree and eating and the image is so clear. Congratulations Superbeaks…and thank you. We love Muhlady, PePe, Pearl, and Tiko! It is not clear about fledging. It appears that one of the eaglets has fledged and another has branched but, both might have fledged. It could not be determined watching with the old camera.

The new camera has great colour and also a nice zoom.

Both of the eaglets were at the nest today.

M15 delivered one earlier prey item on the SW Florida nest on Sunday before dropping a nice fish off at 13:09:30. (The female took the possum tail from an early delivery). E21 got that breakfast and the 13:09 prey item, too. 22 has been calling to Dad, who has been on the tree branch ever since. M15 is ignoring 22. I don’t believe 22 got any of the earlier breakfast, and he is hungry. This is the problem with Dad needing to play the double role of Mum and Dad. He is making drops, and the eaglets are dealing with food as they would if they were in the real world. In other words, the eaglets mostly have to fend for themselves in terms of eating. It is good. These are great lessons. Sometimes it would be nice to see Dad feeding the babies, but it could also draw the female to the nest. On Saturday, M15 delivered 5 fish and 2 prey items to the nest!

E21 is being cautious. It knows that 22 is hungry and could grab that fish. I hope 21 leaves something because 22 mantled the early fish and then lost it to 21 and hasn’t eaten. It looks like there is a lot left. Hurry up 21 so 22 can have some before ‘she’ comes.

I need to continue reminding myself that E22 got a super duper feeding from Dad Saturday afternoon! Yes, M15 does still feed them. E22 did eat a lot on Saturday. Must not panic if he doesn’t get fish today. That is the mantra.

The fact of the matter is that E21 is not as good at self-feeding as 22 who had to figure all of this out to survive. E22 is now ‘under’ 21’s tail and will steal that fish! The time is 13:30.

Thank you, big sibling! There is enough for 22 to have a meal. E22 eating at 133953.

At 135223, E22 eats the fish tail.

There was another delivery at 14:19:06. Both eaglets ate off this fish. It went back and forth, and each wound up with a good-sized crop. Then Daddy Door Dash M15 flew in with another fish at 16:36:59.

Notice that 21 has a piece of leftover fish from 22 and is reaching over to Dad’s beak to be fed! Too funny. E22 is absolutely stuffed.

E22 with his big crop. I wonder if he will also want some of the last fish of the day?

No. That was the quickest feed. E21 got it all, and 22 didn’t care; he was too full to care. That is a brilliant way to end the day! It was another excellent day at the SW Florida nest of M15 and the Es. Harriet would be proud.

Too funny. By 1652, 22 is digging around an old fish head for flakes of prey.

The Es had a great day in terms of food.

A very good radio interview. You might have to cut and paste the title into the news organization.

M15, you are magnificent. Sweet Eagle Dreams.

The Es had breakfast around 10:28:45. 21 was more or less fed by Dad, while 22 snatched and grabbed some nice pieces of the prey. Thank you, M15!

It is a much nicer day at the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow. Still, snow on the nest, but the storm that raged for several days has passed. Sadly, the two eggs in the nest are now well beyond the viable dates. Egg 1 was laid on the 11th of January, making it 46 days old and egg 2 was laid on the 14th, 43 days old. There is time for a second clutch.

Yes, it is Connick! Blink, and they do grow up. Those ebony-coloured feathers are now making this little one look immensely grown up. Connick is on the rails. In the second image, you can see that thermal down that will help Connick regulate its temperature and keep him dry.

Louis has flown into the KNF-E1 nest in the Kisatchie National Forest. I want you to look at the size of E1-03. Sure looks like they have a female this year at this nest after two previous male fledges.

Not much longer til branching!

Do you need to see baby eaglets? Well, get ready! The first egg at Duke Farms was pipped at 21:31:13 Saturday night, the 26th!

The eaglet at Duke Farms is making progress Monday morning. Dad has been on the nest checking how things are going.

Just a few hours before the pip at Duke Farms in New Jersey, Denton Homes in Iowa had their third egg!

SK Hideaways shows us that Lou is growing up. Annie gets a whole prey item all to herself. Brilliant!

Making News:

Going for a walk on flooded lanes and being the only one there with a Golden Plover. Rather idyllic, right?

CROW has had an intake with Red Tide poisoning in Florida.

Yesterday I posted an image of the Stellar’s Eagle that flies back and forth from Canada to Maine. This eagle is far from home. Here is an image from Hokkaido, Japan where the eagle should be!

Remember this if you should spot a new hatch GHO on the ground. Call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre and wait. And then suggest the laundry basket for the nest if they don’t know this trick of CROW.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my blog today: Superbeaks, SW Florida Eagles and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagles and D Pritchett, Tonya Irwin and Raptors of the World, FOBBV, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E1, Duke Farms, Sherri van Syckel and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, The Guardian, CROW, and Jonathan Wadsworth Photography and Birds of Prey.

Intruders, Broken Eggs, and D4 survives the death spiral. It is Saturday in Bird World

18 February 2022

Hello Everyone!

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?

Making News:

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!

If you would like to be part of our Bird World family and receive the newsletter in your inbox, please sign up. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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, MN-DNR, IWS and, Window to Wildlife, Berry College Eagles, NEFL-AEF, From the Parrots, and The Guardian.

Death spiral at Centreport, food fest at SWFlorida…Friday in Bird World

17 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I am writing this late Thursday evening. Tomorrow is one of those days with a thousand little things to do and it is going to start early. It is currently -18 C on the Canadian Prairies and nearing 40 degrees C in Melbourne. I so hope our Australian friends do not go from rains and flooding to fires this year. Keep them all in your thoughts.

February is a month that is full of winter activities in Canada. In Winnipeg, from the 17th – 26th, it is the Festival du Voyaguer. Celebrated in the French area of our City, St Boniface, it is a time to come together doing winter activities, music, arts and culture, games, in celebration of the voyageur, Métis, and Indigenous histories or our province. There is amazing French and Indigenous food, snow shoeing, maple sugar candy…sledding. It is the largest French cultural event in this region of Canada. Lots of fun! I am definitely looking forward to a sleigh ride on either Saturday or Sunday.

First up, I have received word from ‘H’ that the new male D4 whose eggs Mum is likely to lay any time at CentrePort is injured or dead and has not returned to the nest. Would the D% male destroy the eggs of D4? Ospreys sure do and it is quite possible. We wait to see. The new male being called D5 is at the nest. Here is that death spiral – slo-mo and at the end the real time. Took seconds.

Today I made some video clips for us because you really need to just watch how well 22 did (with some intimidation from 21). It was a very special day on this nest.

I had received word that one of the persons that I go to for eagle advice had sound knowledge that there are three female eagles around the SWFlorida nest. After reading and looking and being terribly confused, it appears that there is some clarity as to what happened yesterday even though many will not agree. One of the issues was the camera moving and well, confusion over which female was which. The very hungry female was booted out of the nest and did not return today. The other female who has been on the branch did return last night and stood guard while M15 slept. At least that is my take on all of this based on reports from the ground. — At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. No one was injured. M15 was back to his amazing self on Thursday delivering many meals and everyone had nice crops including Dad – it made me joyful to see his crop so full. He had been neglecting himself to feed the babies it seemed.

And then there is more confusing spreading this morning by another post…I prefer to focus on M15 and the eaglets…but I will put this here as I know almost everyone is interested.

The deliveries could well be good today at SWFlorida. M15 brought in a nice fish at 12:34. It was a whole one and he had some bites…it is not until 3 and a half minutes into the feeding that 22 figures out how to get some of that fish. He did well. Have a look! (22 is very nervous and 21 earlier raised its neck and moved towards 22 – all it took to get the little one to move out of the way of dad’s beak).

M15 brought in the innards of some animal at 13:36. At the time of his arrival, he had a nice crop so Dad had a good meal somewhere.

And so did the Es, both of them. E22 wanted to eat, tried to shy, and then went for it. You will see both 21 and 22 working nice pieces. Excellent.

It did turn out to be a good day and E22 mustered up some courage again and had some food. It doesn’t take much and now 21 has taken to wing flapping, too…but..E22 is getting its mojo back with every bite. He sticks with Dad and winds up with a nice crop! Yes, you can pull out the tissues now. I sure did.

Ah..looking out over the rails with a crop..lovely.

E22 had a nice crop after that feeding…and then at 17:17:16, M15 brought in a whole Armoured Catfish. 22 was right there…and 22 was fed until 17:37 when he couldn’t eat anymore and went over to the rim. E21 wasn’t bothered…full and wanting to sleep. They had lots and lots of food today!

Great job getting the fish flakes out of that!

M15 with his massive crop ready for night duty. He continues to look tired but…he ate well today and he has too…he is hunting for 3! So proud of you dad..with everything going on you did great today. Keep up the good work. Your babies are getting their juvenile feathers..

Sadly, Angus and Mabel continue to have an intruder, the same female intruder? at their nest. Mabel is desperately trying to hang on to Angus and her nest. Heidi Mc caught Angus chasing the intruder off the nest and then, she got her leg caught in nest material. There is a video of this curious interaction below.

Angus appears upset. Is he is trying to help her. The female was unharmed. She flew away and returned to the nest. Mabel has not been seen since morning. Will this female be Angus’s new mate? Did Mabel leave the territory?

This is a video of the skirmishes on the first day. If you are not aware of what is happening.

This is the video of the female hanging off the edge of the nest today. We wait to see…if Mabel doesn’t return and this female is consistently on the nest…well,…what do we think?

Even at 1700 Thursday evening, Angus was still having problems with intruders.

Amidst all the chaos on Wednesday, two nests have eggs that had troubles last year. Bella and Smitty at the NCTC nest and Nancy and her new beau at MN-DNR have their first egg of the 2023 season. In 2022, an injury that kept Bella from the nest for 21 days and an intruding female meant that the loved couple did not have any eggs to hatch. Nancy lost her young mate, Harry, and a shortage of food caused siblicide with only E-1 surviving. It pushed E-2 off the nest! Hoping for much better results this year although things seem pretty tumultuous all over Bird World at the moment.

Paul K caught the arrival of Bella and Smitty’s egg:

The gorgeous Nancy at the MN-DNR nest incubating her first egg of the 2023 season. New mate is Beau.

Nancy and Beau’s first egg is making the news.

Liberty and Guardian seem to be having intruders again today. They have been in and out of the nest and on and off the egg – although they would also be practising delayed incubation. The egg was left for the longest from 09:57-12:54 (so far) on Thursday. A Magpie has been eating scraps off the nest. Oh, for some stability! These two are fantastic parents.

Want to see one of the most precious eagle eggs. It is number 5 for this season and it belongs to Audacity and Jak at Sauces Canyon, Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands. The other four broke easily because of the thin shell due to DDT contamination in the food of the eaglets..the soil, the water, everything at the end being so much more concentrated than at the other end of the islands. Oh, let us all hope for this one egg to make it for this tenacious couple.

Gorgeous Jackie on those two precious eggs Thursday night. Pip watch started yesterday. We have seen eggs survive 5 hours at a stretch in frigid temperatures. The nests also hold the heat. But whether or not these two eggs of Jackie and Shadow are viable is, of course, not known until it is too late for them to be hatching. The couple have been seen mating and it is possible they think there is something wrong — but we wait. Miracles happen. If not this clutch, there is time for another.

At the PA Farm Country Bald Eagle, we now have four eggs. This beautiful couple – Lisa and Oliver – had four eggs hatch last year…sadly that little cutie pie fourth hatch died of hypothermia when it could not get under Mum on a very frigid night.

Nests really have been neglected by me with all the troubles at the SWFlorida nest..hope for stability! Thursday was an especially good day for everyone – M15, 21 and 22.

Connick is growing like a bad weed but, on Thursday, he decided that in addition to fish, he would try eating a plastic washer that came to the nest. This should show up in a pellet.

Diamond is home and Elain has it on video for us. Sorry folks – lots of videos today. Sometimes it is good to see – especially if it is 22 doing the old snatch and grab!

Some news of interest to our Albatross fans…

Other news from our Albatross, Wisdom is a grandmother (image below with her distinctive band). Wisdom is the oldest Laysan Albatross in the world at 70+ years. She is still raising chicks.

Every species of bird gives us new and interesting opportunities to learn. I know that many head over to the Albatross and the Royal Cam family when they need to sit and feel warm and fuzzy. There is absolutely nothing so moving as seeing those albatross parents look down at their chick – the love just radiates out everywhere. I would also recommend to you having a change of pace and instead of just watching the Bald Eagles and Ospreys with all their drama (OK…Annie at Cal Falcons has had a revolving door of tragedy lately), try the hawks. There was something so magical about Big Red and Arthur having four eggs last year and raising four eyases to fledge…and little L4 clamouring over its big sibs to get right under Mum’s beak for food. There wasn’t any fear in that one…and she still resides on the territory of her parents hunting successfully and looking so much like her mother that you would think they were twins. While some things are the same, certain behaviours are different. Watch and compare with some of the other species…see what you learn!

Everyone was devastated when Sue and Otto died of Avian Flu earlier this year. They were the long-term Red-tail Hawk residents at Syracuse University. Their son, Jesse, has taken over Dad’s territory with his new mate Sarah. We wish them a long and healthy life!

There is a new Red-tail Hawk couple on steaming cam and this time the female is unusual. She is leucistic, the partial or total loss of pigmentation. Angel is 7 years old and her new mate, unnamed male, replacing her previous mate, Mohawk, is 3 years old. Their nest is in an undisclosed location for their safety in Tennessee. Right now they are nest building. There are very few Red-tail Hawk streaming cams in the world. The most well know is Big Red at the Cornell Campus and her mate, Arthur. This is another wonderful opportunity to see these amazing hawks raise their eyases…so different than eagles and ospreys. I find them comforting compared to the drama at some of the other raptor nests.

Here is the link to Angel’s cam:

And, of course, absolutely, there is Big Red and her family on the Cornell Campus. Their streaming cam is up and running just in time!

And last…one nest where the eagles still stay on alert, where the female calls the male and he comes flying in, where both are healthy with Chrome-Yellow Beaks and talons…it is, of course, Gabby and V3. She calls, he comes. Adorable. They have been at the nest tree a lot today. I continue to ask: Do they know something that we do not?

Look at the colour of the talons…and check out the feet.

Gabby is stunning…I have wished that we could get her with M15.

V3 still has some old injuries on his talons healing (at the back). Always check out the colour of those beaks and talons. Gabby is incredibly healthy…just bright chrome-yellow.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please check out the hawks and send all your positive wishes to all of the nests. Anything can happen and when it does it can cause so much turmoil and even death. The raptors need all the love we can send them. And take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Oh, and I almost forgot. Two things. The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway. Please join in. Here is the information:

The final vote and names to be voted on will be announced tomorrow at Cal Falcons.

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, announcements that make up my blog today: ‘H’, ‘A’, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Stephanie L Hope and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Window to Wildlife, Heidi Mc and Window to Wildlife, Paul K and NCTC Bald Eagle Cam, MN-DNR, Duluth News Tribune, FORE, IWS and, FOBBV, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, Friends of Midway Atoll, Red-tailed Hawk Tales, Sherri Van Syckel and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cam News, Cornell Lab, and Cal Falcons.

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Owl Strike at SWFlorida, Earthquakes, Fireworks, DDT…2023 is getting off to a terrible start for Bird World

14 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is apparently Valentine’s Day – so give some love to someone, to the raptors, to your birds, or to your local wildlife rehabilitation centre. I began to wonder what a windfall it would be if everyone who was going to buy flowers or chocolates would, instead, donate those funds to clinics and shelters instead. Imagine. Millions and millions of people around the world giving their local or favourite rehab centre a $30-50 bill instead. It could make all the difference in the world. If you already have that chocolate or flowers, then think about this the next time there is a holiday and you reach for the roses.

If the 2022 breeding season for raptors on streaming cams was a difficult one then, 2023 has started out feeling like we are witnessing a nightmare. So it is not surprising that many of you are writing to tell me that you are thinking of taking a mental break. It is a good thing to do. Sometimes you just need to step away for a day or two, get outside and go for a walk, breathe in the fresh air and listen for your local birds and their songs. It really is up lifting. And believe me, I have to take these breaks, too, and build up my mental reserves for when those third hatch little male ospreys are getting beaten up by their big sister. Personally I have gotten to the point that I would love to see one healthy chick on every nest. No more than one. Just one. One is enough.

Ironically, one of the nests that is bringing me a lot of pleasure lately is the nest of Gabby and V3. They are a magnificent couple and let us all hope they have a long and productive future together. It is nice to see life settle even if V3 needs to deliver a lot of prey and drop it from the sky on the nest so his talons don’t get hooked! They have been working on the nest and I noticed a spring of evergreen which perked my attention this morning. Maybe it just smells like fish and the flies are about. Surely Gabby isn’t thinking about eggs?

Reminds me so many times of seeing Gabby and Samson stand like this. They are a power couple. V3 came, went, returned and set the rest of them packing. He will be good for Gabby.

The situation at SWFlorida is in a state of flux. It was terrifying right after Harriet and we all feared that E22 would be dead from siblicide. Then the fish starting coming on the nest and life was good. Then there were the intruders – the individual with the flash and the female eagle. To what extent they and others have placed this nest back in the state where E22 is constantly afraid to eat but, needs to, is unknown. Monday morning M15 brought in a ‘Jumping live mini fish’ and E21 got all of it.

Then there was a nice sized fish but, as is becoming common again, E21 scared off 22 until there was not much left. 22 got one good bite of that big fish. Now..remember, if M15 can get another big fish on that nest before 21 gets hungry, 22 has a chance and so does Dad. I also need to say that M15 moved the fish so he could feed 22 but 21 came over the back side. Not good.

The only bite that 22 got. Look at 21’s beak.

The third fish came in at 14:39. Well, M15 is the best dad when he is left alone. He flew in with a big fish – was it one of those silvery Ladyfish – and he is feeding it slow. Obviously M15 knows that 22 needs to eat. Feeling optimistic. That fish came in at 14:39 and please note that M15 has eaten the head. Way to go Dad. You need your strength to take good care of the babies. Is the VF upstairs wanting that fish?

Some wonder if there is enough food. The pond is stocked or that is what I was told. And it was restocked about 9 days ago – or so I was told. M is a good fisher but he has distracters – human and eagle and that female and others might be trying to take his fish or do…

Clearly, 21 is shutting out 22. Will he get any of this enormous fish? Let’s hope so.

22 you need to move around the rim of the nest…and get some fish!

It would appear that M15 is going to wait for 22 to move around. He has not fed 21 anymore and is sitting on the fish. I am so impressed with this super Dad.

Dad left. 22 trying to self feed.

Hunger and surviving. It looks like 22 is holding the fish down and pulling up getting some bites. I hope he eats that entire last of the fish! If M15 flew down now (he is on the branch but the VF is on another one it seems), 21 is asleep finally and he could possibly feed 22 the rest of that fish, too.

A video of the beginning of the self-feeding. Before this, 22 picked up scraps from all over the nest. He is a survivor BUT he needs to eat and let us hope he gets enough. It is a lot of work to get the skin off those fish and 22 spends much time trying before he gets to the ‘open’ end. There he figures out to stick his beak in and pull out the flesh (second video).

E22 finished. I do not think there is a crop there. Hard to tell but he did have something to eat. Every bite is important. 22 has decided to sleep on the fish! Too funny.

M15 flew back down but 21 was there and got the fish feeding. What can I say? 22 needs a good feed. We wait. M15 did eat as we saw from the fish brought in and this is good…now 22 we need you to step up tomorrow and get some fish – and Dad….stand right between those two if you have to – between them as in physical separation.

Good Night M15. Thank you for the fish today!!!!!!!! Sweet Eagle Dreams Everyone.

M15 you look super tired. We worry about you. Make sure you eat…

And sleep. It looks like you are so tired and you have left the female at the end of the branch. And she was by the pond today? Someone took photographs and is she part of a pair with the other eagle down getting drinks at the pond? Again, like Gabby’s nest we will have to wait and let this play out with the hope that M15 can get some fish for him and the babies tomorrow in peace.

Oops. GHO knocks intruder off and M15 gets into nest with 21 and 22.

Bandicam shows it also. The intruder came back to the nest branch and M15 chased her off.

Human negligence – and our long standing desire to control nature for our own ends – has caused Jak and Audacity to lose all four of their eggs this season. It is not a new story but it ties in with the human interference in SWFlorida and the damage it can cause – 2 separate incidents now on Saturday night with two people with flashlights. Police out to both incidents. It was the latter one that drove M15 off for 3 hours, not the person with the camera (according to the FB announcement). Our interference in the natural world by using toxic chemicals to kill insects causes irreparable harm. The Sauces couple have had some success. Have a look at their history on Santa Cruz Island and remember, this is in the northern area, which has more contamination from DDT (DDE) than other areas of the islands.

Then there are the fireworks that caused Diamond such distress that it was simply difficult to watch. They sounded like they were right under the tower. If you missed it, here is that video again. It is worth a second look just to remember what fireworks do to wildlife…unlike pets, they cannot come and be safe beside us in our homes when these unnecessary events happen. It is time to outlaw the use of fireworks as a means of celebrating along with the colouring and release of birds or balloons! I do love parties but not if there are things happening that don’t need to that will potentially damage our feathered friends.

There is a call to action to help stop what happened to the falcon family. Please send an e-mail, help Diamond and her family. You can cut and paste a letter but make sure you change who it is addressed to!

Cilla Kinross has commented that the authorities cannot tell the car it is too blurred and are thinking this is a misdemeanour. We hope that, instead, they will take this seriously. Endangering wildlife. Any act – flashlights, flash cameras, anything – we know this – endangers their lives. So Holly is suggesting that we continue to write letters. Maybe there is an animal cruelty organisation in Orange that might like to take this on.

I received the following response from MP for Orange, Mr Philip Donato:

To date, only Xavier and Indigo have returned to the scrape. Diamond has not.

‘J’ alerted to me of something that could, indeed, be causing Jackie and Shadow to get up and off those eggs – the seismic disturbances at Big Bear Lake. One was the largest magnitude felt so far this year. Humans could feel that one but it appears the eagles were disturbed by the other 23 that happened yesterday. Thanks, ‘J’ for bringing this to my attention!

Jackie are on and off the eggs again today. This is three days in a row. We keep the faith and hope that all is well. As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, Milda had a terrible couple of years but, her eggs were left for 5 hours and no harm (it was bitterly cold). The two eaglets hatched only to die later of starvation. The story is accurate but I said Milda was Estonian – she is a Latvian WTE.

There was, of course, earthquake activity on Saturday and I am trying to see what is happening today in the area.

There have been larger quakes in the past. I hope this calms down and the eaglets hatch and life is good for Jackie and Shadow.

It is, of course, only speculation that the earthquakes might have caused the eagles to be up and down and on and off the eggs. The timing of the low level quakes – which the eagles would have felt – suggests that with the start of the behaviour on Saturday. We can only wait and see what is happening. Is it possible that Jackie and Shadow can no longer hear the eaglet/s? We might never know. And even my questions are just speculation. Please read them as such. One or more eggs could hatch on time. The only silver lining for this couple who have been so super diligent – which is why their behaviour now is worrisome – is that they can have a second clutch. There is plenty of time. They were mating today. It is only a note to this but, have you noticed that raptors confirm their pair bond when something has happened…the death of a fledgling in the field, etc? But we must wait and see. Personally I would love nothing more than a Valentine’s pip. We need some good news.

Shootings. Really? I live in a place where gun crime is almost non-existent compared to what it is south of our border with the US. Here is one person who is going to pay the price for shooting a Bald Eagle in the US. Let us hope the word gets out. He thought it was a hawk. Sorry, hawks are protected, too.

There are Bald Eagle nests that are doing very well this year. The single eaglets at the Captiva nest of Connie and Clive, sweet little Connick survived the first few days without much fish, to thrive.

B16 is the apple of Pa Berry and Missy’s life – adorable cuddle bun that one is.

Her name is Trey at the KNF-E1 nest of Louis and Anna and she – they will not take DNA but this is a huge eaglet and could well be a female compared to the two earlier males, Kistachie and Kincaid. Three healthy beautiful eagles. Valentine and Nugget are getting on with their lives at the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria. These two have benefited from fish tests! What can we say about Superbeaks? Huge eaglets Pearl and Tico will fledge but the fact that the nest railings are falling due to wing flapping scares me.

So there is some good news amongst the not so good…and I have not touched on all the nests. It seems to be balancing out.

This is a reminder: Tomorrow is the official day to suggest names for the Cal Falcons ‘New Guy’. Go to the Cal Falcons FB or Twitter page and put in your name and why…be convincing. Must be associated with Cal-B. There have been several responses to the use of the word ‘comfortable’ as in Annie looks ‘comfortable’ with the New Guy. Some say ‘much more than comfortable.’

The challenges that our raptors have now and will have in the coming decade and then the next one are going to be huge. It is up to everyone collectively and governments and companies to stop with the status quo, get some good minds working, and take a stand and don’t back down. Create a better world for all living things. All living things.

Coming Up this week: Why you do not want to buy birds at pet stores. The new hawk streaming cams. Where do birds go to die. I was going to write about one of these today but, events over took that. It will be towards the end of the week. Stay turned.

Take care everyone. My whole family, the garden critters and Missy and Lewis thank you for the love that you have for our feathered friends. Happy Valentine’s Day! Please keep our three nests in your most positive thoughts and send them well wishes – M15, 21 and 22 at SWFlorida, Jackie and Shadow and whatever is going on at BBV, and Zoe. See you soon!

If you would like to join our family of lovers of all things with feathers but mostly those big Apex predators, please sign up for our daily newsletter. You can unsubscribe any time.

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures that make up this blog today: ‘J’, NEFL-AEF, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Lady Hawk and SWFL and D Pritchett, Bandicam and SWFlo and D Pritchett, IWS, Heidi Mc and Falcon Cam, Holly Parsons and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons FB, Volcano Discovery, Los Angeles Times, FOBBV,, Window to Wildlife, Berry College Eagles, Superbeaks, and Cal Falcons.

Eggs, Coots, and more…it is Thursday in Bird World

12 January 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the week has been good to you. I think of everyone in the paths of the storms that I am reading about and I hope that all of you are safe.

I am repeating the story of Jackie laying her first egg. 3884 people were watching the nest at the time. It went up to over 4000. Incredible. Jackie and Shadow are much loved. It just made me giddy and all of us wish this couple the very best of luck this year. Let us hope for good weather, no predators and nothing untoward.

From the Bookshelf:

I continue to sing the praises of Slow Birding. It is my pick of all the books I have read so far as being one of the most informative and easy to understand. If you like picture books, it is not for you!!!!! Last night I tackled the chapter on American Coots. They visit us and last summer I had the privilege of seeing several at the ponds around our city on a daily basis. I want to share with you what I learned – it is fascinating.

Coots are not ducks. They are rails but they spend their time in the water – like a duck. Their bodies are a deep espresso brown black, the head a darker shade than the body. Their bill is white with a shield that ranges in colour from a deep red-brown to brick red. You can see this below. They have red eyes. Stunning. Their secondary feathers have a white trim and there is a tiny white line going down the middle of the tail to its tip. Their feet have toes and those toes have evolved over time to have phalanges that help them to swim.

American Coot (Fulica americana)” by Jacob McGinnis is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

In the image below notice the red on the head of the chick.

Mud Hen or American Coot (Fulica americana) feeding her baby” by Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Some interesting facts about Coot behaviour:

  • Baby Coots have red heads. When predators are about they will stick their heads deep into leaves or into the nest so the predator cannot see them. As they age they can dive and camouflage their head by being under water. There is, on average, a five day spread between the first hatch and the last.
  • Adult Coots can tell the parasitic eggs (eggs laid by another Coot in their nest) from their own eggs due to patterns on the shell.
  • Adult Coot parents divide up the brood – older chicks with fading red heads and younger ones with red feathers. Chicks who kept their red feathers were the favourites of the adults to be fed. Unlike ducklings who can forage themselves, baby Coots are fed by the parents.

Making News:

Did you know that the Kakapo Recovery group check out the Rimu fruit, essential for Kakapo survival, to determine when breeding will begin? I didn’t.

More raptors are arriving in wildlife rehabilitation centres now that they are having to scavenge for food. Often this means that they are eating the innards left from hunters in the fields and woods – those are loaded with lead and it sends them right into care if they don’t die first. Sadly, this Golden Eagle got help but it was too late. This is entirely preventable. Write your representatives and urge them to ban all levels of lead in fishing and hunting equipment! Now. Thank you.

I would give just about anything to see a pile of ducks quacking away in my local park’s pond. They will return in the late spring. For now I have to rely on stories of others. I hate no idea, however, that Wigeons whistled, did you?

Nest News:

How many of you worried and fretted that Connie had not fed the little eaglet? I sure did! Connie has now fed the eaglet – about 24.5 hours after it hatched! Yippeee. Oh, I bet that first bite of fish tasted good! Little one holding its head up nicely. There is no sign that the second egg is pipping but it could be. Perhaps the egg that hatched was actually the second one laid. We wait. The raptors will teach us patience whether we like it or not!

Connie fed the little one again at 13:39 and at 14:20. I am making an assumption that the feedings will be nearly hourly from this point onwards for a few days during daylight hours. Clive has brought in Mullet and Trout. Good job, Dad.

Thursday>. No obvious pip in the second egg at Captiva.

Oh, that little one at the KNF E1 nest of Anna and Louis is just a cute little butterball. Will that second egg hatch? I cannot see a pip there either. Oh, those little wings. Adorable. Just adorable. No signs of a pip in the other egg.

I do not see a pip on the second egg at KNF-E1 Thursday morning either but it could be there.

One big difference that you might notice is that Andria feeds her eaglets more often than Anna. That is a really good thing for those two eaglets especially the second hatch as it remains much smaller than the first. Both are being civilised and both are well fed and cared for – no worries here.

Jack and Diane were bringing in bark to the nest in St Petersburg Florida. I am sure hoping that they leave it as a liner to cover up that hole. Last year their eggs rolled in there and with the help of Crows, the couple had no osplets. The year prior they fledged three. Diane’s leg appears to be improving daily.

Both PePe and Muhlady have brought in fish to the nest. These eaglets, Pearl and Tico, are so lucky. What a great source for fish their nest has.

Pearl is really getting her juvenile feathers.

Just look at this beautiful eaglet.

Gabby and V3 were both at the nest this morning. V3’s talons have really taken a beating but they appear healing or healed. Then off to secure the territory while Gabby stays home! What a guy.

Gabby lets out a big cry at 09:46.

Both V3 and Gabby are at the nest tonight on their respective perches watching for intruders and probably hoping to get some rest.

We have all noticed the large number of intruders at Gabby’s nest – and, of course, no Samson is what started all of this. The Centre for Conservation Biology has noticed that Bald Eagles spend more time guarding than they did 20 years ago due to the growing number of eagles in the area. Here is an article that arrived in my inbox today. It really sheds some light on what could be happening in The Hamlet.

They continue to work on the nest at Big Bear. With body temperatures of 105 degrees, Jackie and Shadow can melt the snow on the nest very quickly. Keep an eye out for any fluff being brought to the nest bowl. That will signal egg laying.

Well, goodness. I said watch for the eagles to bring in soft nesting material and look what happened late Wednesday afternoon!

That nest bole has been occupied for longer than an hour. I am not ready for this! But it just might be that Jackie is!!!!!!!!!!! She certainly wouldn’t listen to me.

Oh, tears. Jackie just laid her first egg. Beautiful. Between 1557 and 1600. Jackie made it look easy.

There is a fully history of the Big Bear nest under the streaming cam. It is very possible that Jackie is the 2012 hatch of Ricky and Lucy. In 2019, Shadow arrives at the nest and refuses to leave. Eventually, Jackie’s mate Mr BB leaves the area. Jackie and Shadow fledged Cookie and samba in 2019. Tragedy strikes for the pair in 2020 and 2021. Last year Jackie laid eggs on 22 January and 25th. One of those hatched. It was Spirit who stole our hearts and who fledged on 31 May.

Jackie was still keeping that precious egg safe at 1800.

E21 and 22 are really enjoying the fish that was brought in on Wednesday. they are cuties. Both M15 and Harriet fed the little ones fish and both were nicely behaved. Yes.

Indigo loves bringing beetles into the scrape that he has caught. Today there were four that Elain caught in her video! Indigo is so proud of his catch.

Ron and Rose are still working on the nest in Miami-Dade. Today, Ron brought Rose a fish in the nest. How sweet.

I am waiting for the pip watch at Berry College for Pa Berry and Missey. Last year they raised a strong eaglet B15 that stayed in the area and entertained people well into the fall with his flying skills. They are not on YouTube. You must Google Berry College Eagle Cam.

The eagles are working on the nest at Duke Farms.

And the new couple at the Captiva Osprey nest, MO and FO, are working on eating a catfish (or is it a shark?) and mating at the same time. Good luck with that.

Thank you so very much for being with us today. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my blog: Openverse, Kakapo Recover, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, The Guardian, Window to Wildlife, NF-E1 and E3, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, Centre for Conservation Biology, FOBBV, SWFL Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, WRDC, Berry College Bald Eagles, and Duke Farms Bald Eagles.

Jackie Lays first egg of the 2023 nesting season

11 January 2022

Hello Everyone,

I was going to save the news for tomorrow but, I couldn’t. Earlier in the day the eagles had been working on the nest. I commented that when they brought in soft nesting material for the egg bole we could then be watching for an egg. Well guess what?

Jackie brought in the nesting material. Laid down in the nest bole for over an hour and laid her first egg! Wow. It is the first time I have caught her live. What a lovely moment. Congratulations Jackie and Shadow.

Time 1600.

Thanks to FOBBV for the streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Second hatch for Alex and Andria…it is Thursday in Bird World

29 December 2022

With the warm weather, the garden has been a busy place. The European Starlings do not like the butter bark suet cylinders when they are frozen. They sure don’t know Canadian winter weather! Today, with the warm weather they softened up and the Starlings, the Crows, the Blue Jays, and the squirrels were out in full force filling up in case it gets really cold again soon. The weather says it is going to be a mild -8 or -9 as a high with -10 to -21 as lows for the next five or six days. Splendid.

I did manage to get some images of the garden animals to share while Lewis was on the table watching. Now, Lewis read the manual: when your mother makes that certain sound, turn and look cute! Missy is still reading the chapter in the Maine Coon manual about ‘affectionate and loving’. She certainly doesn’t like to pose for me today!

Lewis wants you to know that his nose is not dirty. His big sister likes to scratch the sides of his nose and the lines are from her nails. Ouch.

Mr Blue Jay was all puffed up today and so happy to have peanuts in the shell.

Little Red found a stash of peanuts in the snow and was enjoying them. Look how healthy he is and that beautiful red chestnut colour on his tail lined with the black. He is coming and going from the insulated boxes that we fitted in with the wood in the big wood storage unit. I think it is possible he has moved in. That would be brilliant. I have felt exceptionally guilty since his penthouse in the garden shed was torn down to make way for the conservatory this summer. But..he looks good. Beautiful ear tuffs. He is here every day foraging as well.

Elain’s wonderful video summaries of the adventures of Indigo! Be sure to have the sound loud so you can hear Indigo’s prey calling.

The AEF seems to feel that it is V3 that has been in and around the nest today and for the last 3 or 4 days and nights. He flew in with a big fish (after bringing in other prey items including a squirrel one day). Of course, how frustrating is it when you make the effort and despite calls, Gabby doesn’t show up? I hope he doesn’t give up on our girl (whichever V you are).

It is a big fish and it still has its head!

The male calls and calls. Eventually he gives up and eats the fish.

Gabby on the left. The male V on the right.

They flew in together – landing on the nest seconds apart – Wednesday evening at 1744. They did some restorations and went off to their own branches. Looking more like a couple – Gabby and V3 (who has an injury according to the AEF but it will heal).

There is any question down in Miami. Rose seems to have used all her feminine powers and won Ron over. She will be a good mate for him. I am assuming she is young with a few of the feathers in her head needing to turn white. Please yell at me if this is wrong!

It does seem to me that they need to get a little more nesting material in this nest if there will be eggs this breeding season. Maybe there won’t be – perhaps next year. We wait to see.

It is absolutely silly. Ron has a duck in his talon for breakfast. If you watch, he flies in from the bottom left corner to the back and around to land on the nest with Rose chasing him.

They need a good rain on the camera at Superbeaks! That would help with the view. The eaglets are now large enough that we could easily see them during feeding times when they are stretching their necks.

They are sure cute and there is still some soft dandelion fluff on their heads.

Pepe has just flown in and is getting a good look at the two eaglets. They have just finished a nice fish dinner.

Jackie and Shadow were working on their nest right before 1100 Wednesday morning.

Here is a video of their efforts even as the winds are increasing and a storm is approaching.

Alex continues to bring in the fish to the E3 nest. You can see them and many are buried underneath the nesting material. It looks like it is causing a lot of flies. Poor little E3-1.

The second egg at the E3 nest has hatched! Let us hope that the first hatch is a little darling to this one! 02:07:03.

The morning feeding at the Kisatchie E3 Bald Eagle nest on Lake Kincaid. Strong eaglets.

There was a posting that there was a pip at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest but that cannot be right. If you go to the Captiva Eagle cam, they have a clock counting the days from the egg is laid. Egg 1 is only 25 days old as I write this blog meaning that there is at least 10 days remaining if not more. Bald Eagle eggs take 35-40 days to hatch with many coming in on the 37-38th day.

Let’s all give a shout out to all these great Bald Eagle Mums. Here is Liberty – of Liberty and Guardian at the Redding Eagle nest in California – flying high. She is 24 years old. How many other female eagles can you think of that are in their late 20s? Harriet at SWFlorida for one. Cholyn at Two Harbours for another. Any more?

Meanwhile, the ospreys continue to visit the new platform nest on Lori Covert’s property on Captiva, one of the barrier islands just off the coast of southwest Florida.

If you are wondering, the Port Lincoln camera on the barge is offline. I do not know if it has been turned off intentionally, if there is maintenance, or if it is a technical or weather issue.

More and more eagles are being taken into rehabilitation for lead poisoning. It is simply outrageous that this is still an issue – one that can be easily solved by the simple outlawing of the manufacturing and sale of lead for any hunting and fishing equipment. There are alternatives.

Most of us are familiar with the Bald Eagle nest of Mr President and Lotus at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The staff have discovered another nest. Is it another couple? or have Mr President and Lotus built a second nest? We wait to see.

It looks like L4 has a squirrel this morning at Cornell. Did Arthur deliver it? or did L4 catch it? My money is on L4 catching it since this was the first fledgling at Cornell to catch prey after fledging.

It is a shout out to the NZ DOC who take excellent care of the Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head in New Zealand. It has been scorching hot in the south of Australia and in NZ and the rangers have set up misters for the nesting birds. Wow. How many of us wold like to see this type of ‘intervention’ on those scorcher days at the Osprey nests in the PNW and western Canada???

If you have been wondering about Annie and the ‘new guy’, he has been bringing prey into the scrape area. Is it for Annie? It is anyone’s guess but if he wants to win our Annie’s heart, he best be able to be a good provider!

Thank you so much for being with us this morning, Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their videos, their posts, their tweets, and their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Elain and the Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Superbeaks, FOBBV, KNF-E3, Window to Wildlife, Redding Eagles, Ventura Wildlife Society, @CornellHawks, Sharon Dunne and the Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons.

Pepe brings in an evening snack, more visitors to Gabby’s nest…it is Sunday in Bird World

18 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone from a very snowy Manitoba! It has been a long time since we have seen so much snow dumped on the Canadian Prairies at one time. It is beautiful and a good way to slow down.

The Starlings showed up at their usual time for some of the suet.

The House Sparrows were here – mostly on the ground eating seed that Dyson & Company had dumped on the ground. You see the squirrels have found a way to empty one of the feeders entirely by shining on it!

Dyson is in her favourite spot. I always know where to find her. The other three – her babies from the summer – are doing well. She has taken good care of them.

It is a different story in the house. Lewis and Missey want to help with everything including the new images of Aran that have arrived from Glaslyn or the squirrel cards from DaniConnorWild.

Are they so innocent?

One or the other loves to get in this little basket. When they first arrived, both of them could fit in it. No longer! I am now calling them cats instead of kittens!

Lewis pretending he is an angel. I will not take my eyes off him or these candles while they are on. It is way too easy for a cat to burn their fur or start a fire. In fact, after sitting nervously for a few minutes, I have decided to only use candles if they are covered by a glass globe.

With the help of ‘J’, the memorial listing of the birds that we have lost is getting filled in much better. I have now returned to it with her help – while at the same time preparing a summary of Port Lincoln’s season for Claudio and the incredible International Osprey Data Bank he has created for me to track the Ospreys on the streaming cams. By the end of the first week in January, there will be a separate page with the Memorial Wall for 2021-22. If you have any additions (or corrections), please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Let us all hope that 2023’s listing is much shorter.

I don’t always get to sit and watch Ferris Akel’s Saturday Tour but, it is often playing in the background. Whenever he is talking about an interesting bird – instead of just searching for them – I jump up. Today, there was a Belted Kingfisher. Isn’t it lovely? I have never seen one and they look like such unique characters with that long pointed beak and that ‘bed head’. Love the colour palette of the plumage, too. Lovely birds.

Several Bald Eagles were out in the fields near Montezuma. Ferris has a way of spotting them and I have no idea how he does it.

One of the most exciting moments for me was a Northern Harrier hunting in the fields and catching some prey!

It is hard to see but they have a face like an owl with plumage that captures the sounds. They fly low to the surface of the land to catch their prey unlike other hawks that might hover or sit on poles and wait.

I cannot imagine, for a single moment, not wanting to allow them to have a bird or a vole for their dinner. Beautiful creatures.

There were also Tundra and Trumpeter Swans. You could see areas with some open water while others were covered with ice or were slushy.

A Horned Lark had found some food and was eating it on the side of the highway. Silly one!

There were Snow Geese and Canada Geese, too.

They had been feeding on the fields of corn that had been harvested and then all of a sudden, they flew away. Ferris was happy. Last year at this very site someone shot a Snow Goose while he was broadcasting.

Ferris spotted Arthur and a juvenile Red-tail Hawk on the grounds of Cornell University. I would like to think that the juvie that was hunting is L4 who has decided to stay in its parents territory. Certainly Arthur and Big Red are not running it off!

Arthur is all poofed up. It is 0 degrees C and they are due for some more snow. Notice the very deep brown/black eyes of the adult Red-tail. Arthur does not have the majestic apron of Big Red on his chest so it is easy to tell them apart. Such a little cutie, Arthur is. Big Red was seen recently by Karel Sedlacek so I am not worried that Ferris did not see her. It is hard to imagine but in three months time we will be watching for Big Red to lay her eggs. She will be 20 years old this spring! Wow.

This is the juvenile that I believe to be L4. If you look carefully you can see the light celadon of the juvie’s eyes.

Ferris Akel is a wealth of knowledge who gives his time and shares the birds around the area of Ithaca with us almost every Saturday of the year. He has been doing this for more than ten years now. He is humble but, I learn something every time I stop to listen to his programme. You can subscribe to his channel on YouTube and there is a chat moderated by a fellow Canadian, Dolphin. I often lurk – but, everyone is grand and they will welcome you to chat if you say ‘hi’.

As night began to fall, Pepe flew into the Superbeaks nest with a huge prey for Muhlady and the eaglets. I am trying to figure out what it is – a Black duck with red? Anyone know what this might be? Is it a Red-legged Black Duck?

Muhlady certainly seemed pleased and what a nice time to bring the prey. A snack for everyone before bed and some breakfast in the morning. Lovely. This is my first time watching this nest – in fact, it is a new nest on streaming cams. One never knows what to expect but this eagle family seems to have a good source of prey and they are very smart – having their eaglets before it gets too hot! Can’t wait til we can see those wee ones a little more. You certainly can hear them if you tune in.

I had a giggle today. Lady Hawk called Gabby’s nest ‘As the Nest Turns’, too. And it certainly is a revolving door. Today there was a 4 year old and a juvenile less than 2 years which led me to want to think it was Legacy!

Legacy, I don’t know if this is you but, if it is, you are still as gorgeous as ever. It is those piercing eyes…I have looked several times at images of Legacy and it sure could be her. I sure wish someone would band these eaglets! And here is my reasoning. For the past several days, we have been receiving images of Siren 5F who is the mate of Dylan at Llyn Clywedog. She is perched in her regular roost in The Gambia where she winters. Easily recognisable. No guesses. That is how banding can help – amongst other things.

That 4 year old eagle sure has Samson’s legs!

A short video of V4 flying into the nest with V5. Someone mentioned Gabby abandoning this nest. The Bald Eagles are attached to the nest. I cannot see a reason for her to leave it unless she were ‘run out’ of the territory by a bonded couple intent on taking over the territory and the nest.

One of the resident Ospreys at the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey is Bailey. She was the companion of Smedley who sadly died last year. Yes, Ospreys do well in care!!!!!

Wow. Look at this image from the scrape at Charles Sturt University in Orange today. The expression on Diamond and Indigo’s faces are amazing.

At the same time, Indigo can be just a darling.

Elain’s highlights of the day at the Orange scrape. Always welcome, Elain. You do a wonderful compilation! Thank you.

Ron is quite the catch. I sure hope some deserving female flies into his nest! He is doing a super job of working on it. Someone today wished that Ron and Gabby could get together. That would be one super couple.

Jackie and Shadow working on their nest. They were caught mating on the other camera today!

As we wait for eggs to be laid or hatch, for Gabby to get a new mate or not, there is not a lot going on in Bird World and for that, I am truly grateful.

Good news has come to us from the rehabilitation centre that has cared for WBSE27 and who is now training WBSE30. We know that 27 is flying free. We have seen her tracking. They did a marvellous job teaching her to fly and to hunt and they are now doing the same for 30. Let us hope that she, too, will be equipped with a tracker so that we can follow her movements.

The top image is 27 leaping off a perch while she was being trained before she was released. The bottom image is 30 being trained now. Warm wishes for her life to be as successful as her older sister’s.

30 is on the perch on the right.

I have not been able to find a recent update on WBSE 29. Lady and Dad have, however, visited the nest tree the other evening. So nice to see them!

And a quick check on Zoe at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. I caught Dad delivering either a small fish or a piece of a fish to Zoe at 1402. She spots him coming. My goodness, Zoe, you are loud! They could hear you across the lagoon.

So, with the lull, let us turn back to our Red List of Vulnerable Birds published in the UK.

No. 20 The Red List: The Smew

Smew” by hmclin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The author, Ben Watt, calls this darling black and white diving duck, the ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ of the divers. Watt uses such terms as ‘vivid white crest, jet black shades, white tux, …moving elegantly’. What a grand description. Quite fitting.

The top image is of a male Smew. The bottom is of the female adult. Just look at that magnificent rusty head on the female. Quite striking and gorgeous.

Smew – male” by Len Blumin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Zoo Smew” by hmclin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

There are fossils of Smew going back 1.5 million years ago and yet this gorgeous little waterfowl is at risk of going extinct in our life time. Watt is on a crusade to save this bird that inhabited the wetlands near to his home. In 1956, there were 144 recorded wintering at the Brent Reservoir (Welsh Harp). It was a record! Today, there are 10. I did not keystroke that wrong – ten. So what is the problem? Climate change caused by humans. Milder winters, the increase of water sports and the pollution of waters. Watt says, ‘These days, the two inflowing rivers at the Welsh Harp are badly oxygen-depleted, and high in urban run-off, contaminated with silt, phosphates and micro plastics. Feeding grounds are suffering and the numbers of regular species are on the decline.’

We could of course say this for most of our waterfowl. Indeed, ‘A’ and I have been wondering about the silt flowing into the water at Port Lincoln due to flooding slightly north. Luckily, for the Smew, they can stay year round in various bodies of water near Amsterdam where they number close to 200 at a single count.

Last today, ‘J’ has been helping me with the memorial wall asks that we keep Victoria Cockatoo in our thoughts and prayers. Victoria is a 50 year old Cockatoo that had a very hard life before she was taken in by a kind owner, April. As a result of the treatment she received earlier in life, Victoria is battling significant health problems and is in hospice.  Yesterday she was eating April’s breakfast so there is some hope on improvement. Here is that link:

Please also keep Alden, Samson, and Rita in your positive thoughts as well.

From somewhere in Australia, a tree full of Rainbow Lorikeets that used to come and wish our lovely little Black Pacific Duck Daisy nesting on the big WBSE tree ‘good morning’.

Thank you so much for being with me today. It is lovely to have you here with us. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: OpenVerse, Port Lincoln Osprey, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, FOBBV, Raptor Recovery Australia and Judy Harrington and Sea Eagle Cam, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Superbeaks, and Ferris Akel’s Live Tours.