Spirit Fledges, Hatch at Loch Arkaig, and other news in Bird World

31 May 2022

It has rained again so hard in our area that many farmers will simply not be able to plant anything this year. The flood that was here is still present in several locations and has now also flooded other areas. This is the wettest it has been in the history of our province! Several months ago I was longing for the sound of rain. It can stop now, please!

Right now there is a break. It is gusty but the animals have been coming to the garden. Mr Crow has been here for breakfast, Dyson has come to help eat the food put out for Hedwig (Dyson seems to want to eat everyone’s food but his own!) and Hedwig is here somewhere. There is lots of grass. We have been doing ‘No Mow May’ to help the insects get established so Hedwig can hide in the grass in certain areas! The rain has really made everything grow. I also noticed that the baby Chipping Sparrows have come for their White Millet. They want to eat in the sort of house feeder on the top deck on the red carpet. Go figure. Perhaps they don’t like to be lower with the adults???

After seeing ND-17 with a huge crop and knowing he ate well yesterday evening, I slept well. I checked and no food deliveries yet at the nest so I am hoping that lots of food will come in the afternoon and evening.

Little Bit sitting like a Buddha on the left. Conserving energy. Waiting for food. The winds are blowing 15-25 mph so not sure what the condition of the water at the river is like.

Congratulations go out to Jackie and Shadow and to Spirit for that beautiful fledge early this morning! No worries. Jackie and Shadow will keep close tabs on their fledgling teaching her everything she needs to know to survive in a world she has just entered.

There she goes! It was 05:40 ish.

More congratulations go out to Louis and Dorcha for their first hatch of the 2022 breeding season at Loch Arkaig! Louis sees his baby for the first time and immediately gets to brood! What a great dad he is! So happy. Two more eggs to go!!!!!!!!

He was called ‘Lonesome Louis’ til Aila came along and what beautiful families they raised. Now this is his second year with Dorcha. Speaking of Aila, everyone who watched her raise her chicks with Louis loved her. A tribute has been put together (get the tissues) for the three years she was at Loch Arkaig.

If you didn’t catch it in my blog yesterday, the only eaglet at the National Arboretum nest, the last chick or Mr President and Lotus has been given the name Takoda which means “Friend to All”. Wonder when DC9 will fledge?

Takoda is a beautiful eaglet. It is sad that his mother, Lotus, is not here to see her chick leave the nest. Mr President has really taken over all the jobs and has made sure this eaglet is thriving despite not having two parents.

Gorgeous Bobs at the Dfyi Osprey nest of Idris and Telyn – so much fish on the nest that sometimes they don’t wake up to eat! Seriously.

CJ7 is higher in the nest today and she is busy moving nesting material around her in the front. We might just have a hatch coming at Poole Harbour! It will be Cj7’s first – she waited a long time for a mate, just like Louis at Loch Arkaig.

Blue 022 has arrived at the nest but CJ7 isn’t getting up yet. Both will be first time parents. Blue 022 is just three years old! He arrived too late as a 2 year old first returnee at the Poole Harbour nest to have a clutch last year. So thrilled the two joined together again this year. A historical first when that egg hatches!

Dylan has been bringing trout to Seren and the three Bobs at the Llyn Clywedog nest. Everything seems to be going fine there.

I watched Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes and Little Bob definitely got fed lots of bites. So everything is going alright at that nest. Thank goodness. She is going around to every beak with fish checking. Big Bob is full and little got food before mom horked the tail. Little Bob would have liked a few more bites but he waits til the Big ones eat, often.

The one to watch. Kana’kini at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta will be one of the juvenile bald eagles to fledge this week amongst many.

Hatches and fledges. Names. There will be more of all three all week! I am off to try and beat the next bout of rain and get my walk in at the nature centre. Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this morning!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, Friends of Loch Arkaig, Woodland Trust and the People’s Post Code Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Dfyi Osprey Project, Explore.org, FOBBV, CarnyX Wild, NADC-AEF, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Saturday in Bird World

26.02.2022

Good afternoon Everyone! The sun is shining bright on the Manitoba prairies this morning. Even 2 metres of snow looks beautiful! It is a balmy -8 C and it feels like summer. It is too hot for winter coats today. Now if all of this snow will melt slowly…ever so slowly so we do not have floods. The soil needs the moisture!

If you missed it yesterday, there is real cause for celebration at the American Osprey nests. Rosie has returned form her migration to be reunited with Richmond on the Whirley Crane in San Francisco Bay yesterday. Richmond had been hanging around the nest for three weeks. Some of us were beginning to worry a little and then…Rosie showed up right at dawn 06:43 on 25 February! If you are new to watching Osprey nests in the US, this is a rock solid nest. I am a huge fan of the UK nests and this is my number 1 for stability and the occasional humorous moment in the US. Richmond is great at fishing at night amongst other antics.

As you can see this is the couple’s sixth season on the Whirley Crane. Last year they fledged three fine Juveniles! Here is that great reunion video again.

Here is the link to their camera for those who do not have it. It is not on YouTube. The camera is, as I write this, currently off line.

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/golden-gate-osprey-1

Ervie did not come to the nest yesterday as far as I could tell from having eyes glued on the screen and doing a lot of rewinds. The barge was visited by a number of the pigeon clean up crew and a lovely Cormorant. There was also another bird that landing on the moorings but I cannot accurately identify it. In the image below, the Cormorant is on the perch and the other bird is on the perch.

Port Lincoln has not updated Ervie’s sat-pak tracking yet. So, it remains a mystery where he captures his delicacies – those puffers!

There is sad news coming out of the Hilton Head Island Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and Mitch. I report on this nest occasionally. Two eaglets hatched and the last time I checked on them they had their juvenile feathers and were self-feeding. Yesterday one of them was found on the ground below the nest. It has been taken to Corvian Avian Conservation, a wildlife rehab clinic. It is unclear the state of the eaglet at the time it was rescued. This morning food has been brought to the nest. The remaining eagle did mantle the prey and is seen eating but not enthusiastically. The nest is being monitored. There is some concern that the bird prey brought might have avian flu, the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that is spreading. I assume the remaining eaglet might also be removed from the nest for testing if authorities are concerned. Will monitor and post.

I will do a post just on Avian flu early nest week. There are other nests where the eaglets have fallen over the edge of the nest and they are being tested. Do not discount it. This is very, very serious. There are virologists looking at these deaths to try and understand the spread and the remedies. It could impact much of the nests other than the Ospreys who seem to be less prone because they eat fish almost entirely.

We all worry when these things happen and it is easy in small nests where there is prey competition, parental neglect, and a lot of wingersizing. I want you to watch, when you have time, this lovely video of a rescue of two eaglets in Sweden so you will understand that wildlife rehabbers can do amazing things. This is a heart warming story of individuals who really wanted a success.

The number of people watching the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear, California continues to grow. It was 2131 not long ago. Today is pip watch and you can join in, too.

While we were focused on the Captiva Osplets, Ervie, or Jackie and Shadow, something wonderful was happening over at the nest of River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake. Twins hatched at 11:16 and 11:51 yesterday. There is a pip in the third egg. Wow.

If you are wondering where Dale Valley Lake is, it is in Kentucky. It is one of the oldest human made lakes in the region, created out of the Obey River, in 1943. Now you know how these two eagles who have used this nest for six years came by their names. The lake has 27,700-acres of water and is well stocked with fish for the Baldies.

Just when I praise the nest for being located right above the lake, I see Dad has brought in a rabbit for the eaglets lunch! Too funny.

Here is a link to the streaming cam so you can join this nest with the two grey little bobbles and another on the way:

I suggest you put this nest on your watch list. I am really hoping that the parents will not bring in any birds to this nest due to H5N1’s potential spread.

Kincaid is doing really well at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest near Alexandria, Louisiana. Louis brought in another big fish and Kincaid is really enjoying this late morning feed. Like many nests located near a stocked body of water, Louis mostly brings in fish but he also brings in Coots and other waterfowl. If you are new to watching Bald Eagles and want to add a nest to your long list, I highly recommend the KNF nest. It is on YouTube. Cody and Steve have made sure the image is great and the sound is awesome. Next year they will have the two nests on Kincaid Lake on camera. Great moderators on chat. Cody and Steve are often on there to answer your questions along with Tonya.

Normally I start with the Captiva Osprey Nest but, today, I will almost close with it. Lena was hollering at Andy to get a fish on the nest at dawn. I could not see a delivery. Please correct me if I am wrong. By 09:34:03 Big Bob was getting agitated and did some beaking.

Little Bob was smart. He moved far to the right out of harm’s way. You can barely see him. He has his neck stuck down in the twigs. Smart.

Their last feeding was in the afternoon yesterday and the trio were very hungry by the time Andy landed that fish on the nest at 10:30:42.

It was a large fish and Lena moved around the nest making sure that each of the babies was full.

They are all lined up nicely to eat. Big Bob’s slight aggression ended as soon as food arrived. Please note that if you are reading the chat, the moderator calls this ‘playtime’. They are all a week old and some aggression is typical at this age but more so now that the early regular and very stable feeding routine has been thwarted.

I hope that Little Bob gets up in the front despite the fact that he has one of the longest necks I have seen on an osplet!

Lena will continue to fed until the fish is gone if that is what it takes to fill her and the babies to the brim.

Nice crop!

It is now 12:43 nest time in Florida and Lena is yelling at Andy for fish.

It is 13:32. Lena is calling Andy again and you can hear him in the distance along with the cheeping Bobs.

There are so many recreational vehicles on the water today. I wonder if this is hampering Andy’s fishing. It is also quite warm in Florida today. Lena is doing a good job of shading the babies who cannot yet regulate their own temperature.

Til later…

We all need a giggle and today’s laugh is brought to you by a Raven in Poole Harbour, England at the nest of Osprey CJ7 (Rutland fledge 2015). The Raven is leaving two lovely chocolates that it will bury in the nest. How romantic a gesture this could be. I hope that this is for the arrival of CJ7 and the male, Blue 022, that we hope will also return and have their first successful breeding season together. If you want to see the whole video posted the Poole Harbour Osprey Project, please head over to their FB page. You do not need to be a member.

Here is the link to this streaming cam. Last year it was too late for this potential couple who delighted observers with their mating antics all over the town. If we get a hatch and a fledge, it will be the first time in over 180 years since their extinction! That is something to cheer about.

And on that happy note, I will say goodbye. Keep your eyes out for Ervie and a pip at Big Bear and a successful hatch for Dale Hollow. Things are really gearing up. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Poole Harbour Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Dale Hollow and Golden Gate Audubon and SF Bay Ospreys.

Sunday in Bird World

If you are looking for the NCTC streaming cam for the nest of Smitty and Bella and have not found it, here is the link. It is not on YouTube.

https://www.outdoorchannel.com/live/eaglecam/326707/326904

Everyone is hopeful that if the young female returns there will not be a horrific fight between her and Bella. I gather she was not near the nest today as Smitty and Bella got down to all those important preparations for eggs! They did not waste a second.

More love stories with the eagles! A very handsome 4 year old, A-14, named Andor is making a nest with Cruz at Fraser’s Point on the Channel Islands. Oh, goodness, another young dad. It was fantastic to see the young male at the MN-DNR last year. He was quite incredible once it all got figured out. Here is the link to the Fraser’s Point streaming cam. If you like the sound of frogs and crickets, turn it on at night!

The barge at Port Lincoln sure looks empty. It was full of pigeons yesterday cleaning. There is an Osprey sleeping on the perch and it must be Dad. I wonder if he is missing Ervie, too? They got to be good buddies. Wasn’t that fabulous?

Port Lincoln has uploaded the latest tracking on all three Osprey. Our Ervie is really getting around! The green pin indicates the last place he was. His pattern still seems to return to the barge. I do wonder if he will stop in again. He is also going along the coast for the most part which is what he should be doing. It is unusual for the Ospreys to inland but Solly did that last year, remember? Notice, there is a spot in the bay where he appears to have stopped to fish.

So glad that Ervie’s tracking is working and we can follow our favourite Osprey juvenile as he becomes more independent!

Andy brought in a really nice fish for Lena and the three babies this morning. Someone said it was a nice trout.

Lena, we want to see the babies not your tail!!!!!!

Andy looks awfully handsome with his crest fluffed up.

Can you say awwwww?

Each chick ate well.

At the 11:27 feeding, you can get a good look at all three of the babies. Andy brought in a whopper of a fish!

The new parents are getting used to being really busy. Andy has to provide food and security and Lena has to feed and keep them warm plus try to take care of herself. They are doing well. That is Little Bob on the right.

Parents are alerting. Now Little Bob is in the middle.

Everyone had fish. We have to remember that Big Bob will eat more than the newly hatched Little Bob. Don’t worry if it looks like he is getting all the food. They all ate well and Lena is a fabulous Mum.

Look at those little crops.

Here is the link so you can watch this fantastic Osprey family:

The soon to be named eaglets at the NEFlorida nest of Samson and Gabby have pin feathers! They continue to work on self feeding – particularly NE27. In fact, Samson dropped a fish in the nest to see what would happen. NE26 looked at it, NE27 had a go at eating. Then Samson jumped back in the nest and fed both of them. We are over the hump of worry and can look forward to lots of activity in this nest once they start working those wings.

You can see the pin feathers coming in on the wing of the chick on the right.

Adorable. They are both very interested in what is happening off the nest and the comings and goings of Gabby and Samson.

The chat moderator at the Kistachie National Forest (KNF) nest of Anna, Louis, and Kincaid got in touch with Lady Hawk and told her about the 20 fish deliveries . Tonya said she twisted her arm to make the video when she gave Lady Hawk all the time stamps for the 20 deliveries. I know that it is difficult to believe but I have been saying all along that Louis is the best pantry filler I have ever seen! Once I giggled that maybe he was in competition with Samson but he has blown all of the males out of the water with this last barrel of fish. Twenty fish in one day – during daylight hours only. Here is the proof. Have a look:

It is time to check on Iowa. It is now reported that the number of Bald Eagles in Iowa has risen. The Des Moines Registrar states: “Stephanie Shepherd, part of the Iowa DNR’s wildlife research staff, estimates the average number of bald eagles in any given winter to be about 3,500. But that number has increased to nearly 6,000 this year, the National Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey says.” Wow. Where did they come from? are they moving further north because of the weather? It is curious. Certainly other birds are moving farther north.

As of yesterday, 19 February at 16:15, there were two eggs in the nest at Decorah North home to Mr North and DNF (Decorah North Female).

Wow. Look at that beautiful straw and corn husk nest. Gorgeous. You don’t see that in Louisiana or Florida!

There are no eggs on the Decorah Bald Eagle nest (not to be confused with Decorah North). How lucky can you be with a trout fishery right across the road!

It is the 7th or 8th year for the Bald Eagles at the Denton Homes nest. They are named the Majestics. No eggs yet but this nest is currently on egg watch. Becky has been jumping around the nest for the last few days.

We are all holding our breath for Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. Their first egg was laid on 22 Jan and the second on 25 Jan. Believe it or not we will be on pip watch for Jackie and Shadow on the 26th. Everyone is wishing this much loved Bald Eagle couple success this year.

Doesn’t Jackie look gorgeous as the sun rises over Big Bear Lake?

Here is the link to their streaming camera. Do check in and send all your positive energy to these two fabulous eagles. Maybe this year will be a golden one for them! Thousands and thousands will be crying with joy if it is. Like Captiva, the nest has been plagued by predators and thin egg shells from the DDT that is still in the region after 50 years. We keep our fingers crossed.

Smitty has been bringing in some grasses to the NCTC nest that he will hopefully share with his mate, Bella. I have not seen her this morning nor have I seen the new female (NF). Fingers crossed that there is no horrid confrontation between the two females and one gets injured – again. It had to be difficult for Bella when she was hurt on 1 February and had to leave her nest. Positive thoughts.

All of the nests seem to be doing well today. It is hard not to just watch those little osplets at Captiva and ignore everyone else. They are so cute and we all know that they will grow fast. It is a consolation to have them when we are all missing Ervie so much. Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear, Explore.org, Denton Homes, NEFlorida and the AEF, and Port Lincoln Osprey Cam and FB page.

While we were watching Samson and Gabby…..

Jackie laid her first egg of the season at Big Bear, California. No fan fare. Ate some prey. Just in the nest, laid the egg. Wow.

Jackie you made that look easy!!!!!!!

Mark your calendars. Pip watch will begin 27 February.

Last year the couple laid two clutches. Neither were successful. These are two real sweet hearts who have a loyal fan base. Let’s send them all of the positive energy we can for fledges this year!

At 15:19:56, Jackie was eating a prey delivery from Shadow.

It looked like an easy labour.

The egg appears from underneath all the feathers at 15:44. It could, however been laid a little earlier.

Talk about fans. There are 2365 people watching Jackie right now. We all hope that this will be a great year for this wonderful California Bald Eagle couple. Congratulations Shadow and Jackie!

Thank you for stopping by. So excited. There are hatches going on at Royal Cam Albatross and NEFlorida and now an egg for this couple. This is a great Saturday! Take care everyone.

Thank you to the Friends of Big Bear for the streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

It’s three for Ron and Rita and other news from Bird World

Ron and Rita welcomed R3 early this morning. It appears that R3 hatched around 07:58. Notice also how Rita puts her beak at the tip of R1’s beak when it is wanting to peck R2. Very interesting.

Here is a very short video of R3 hatching.

R3 is officially fully hatched at 10:32:01.

Rita is now showing us anything as R1 and R2 look outside the nest cup.

That nest cup is very small. Fingers crossed for this little one to catch up and the older siblings to be kind. There is lots of food and experienced parents.

Congratulations Rita! (and Ron)

I have yet to see Daisy the Duck return to the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her and her mate came to check it again on New Year’s Day. The Ring-tailed Possum still has its own nest amidst the twigs that have been added to this enormous structure over the years. It was running up and down around the tree last night.

It is hard to see it but if you look at the left side of the ‘V’ branch, it is running down to the bottom of the V and on the nest image, it is running up the other side.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Lads must have a pact. Each one of them gets to spend an entire day on the nest! First it was Bazza, then Falky came the other day, and now it is Ervie’s turn again! Ervie flew in with a piece of fish yesterday and it is believed that he must have caught it himself. However, later, he also received a fish from Dad, the last fish of the day. They have also been diving off the barge – Falky is very good at this and it is wonderful to see them figure out how to fish. We most often do not get this opportunity.

There is Ervie protecting his fish on the nest from any siblings that think they will fly in and grab it.

Falky and Bazza are leaving Ervie alone to enjoy his dinner.

And perhaps by prior arrangement or reservation, Ervie gets to sleep on the nest alone. So when we see that one of them is staying by themselves all day on the nest, we will not worry about them. It looks like they are taking reservations for occupancy! What characters these three boys are.

There are so many things that humans use for one thing that wind up harming anyone that comes near them. Today, let’s look at ‘sticky paper’. Strands of sticky paper used to be common where I live to catch mosquitoes and flies. In France they are still used to catch birds! What horror and today there are used to catch mice and rats. Any bird or animal that gets near this gooey paper will be harmed. This was posted by CROW. The last sentence is not there but they suggest calling your local wildlife rehabber. Do not try to do anything yourself.

The wee ones at Hilton Head are still small and fuzzy but E19 and E20 are growing fast. Today, they are out of the nest cup and sleeping with their head on the sides of the nest. This is a major change for these two. Their pin feathers are also coming in and we can see their little tails starting to grow as their wings get bigger and bigger.

Another possum was just brought on deck for dinner along with the remains of yesterday’s two fish.

Eating and growing make for one very tired E19.

An earlier feeding of fish.

All is well at Harriet and M15’s. The beaking has really slowed down. Let’s hope it stays that way!

We are on egg watch at Big Bear for Jackie and Shadow.

Here is the link to the camera of this favourite Bald Eagle couple. We wish them the best of luck as they struggle to have nestlings up in northern California. It is perhaps the lingering DDT in the area that continually causes the shells of their eggs to be thin or the eggs to be unviable. But, let’s start 2022 off with all your warm wishes. I hope this is their year – they are so dedicated to one another.

Pip watch for those followers of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest this weekend. Hoping that this year is better for Mum Connie and her new partner, Clive. Connie lost both of her chicks to rodenticide secondary poisoning last year. They were Hope and Peace. It was tragic. And, of course, rodenticide, like sticky paper, needs to be banned. Raptors and Cats are the answer to getting rid of rodents.

Here is the link to the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam:

I am trying to find streaming cams for raptors in Japan. In my quest to find a raptor cam in Japan for one of your fellow readers, I have found squirrel cams, monkey cams, cams for traffic and temples, cooking, etc. But I have yet to find a mention of a raptor cam. I will continue my quest but if any of you know of one, please let me know so we can all enjoy. Thank you so much!

The squirrels are adorable!

And the most incredible monkeys and deer but no raptors! This is Awaji Island.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many people, from all of the world, that love the raptors – and all the birds and animals. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CROW FB page, Awaji Island Monkey Center, and Yatsugatake Today.

Gold stars to Gambia Ocean Conservation Namibia

In the Gambia, there is a group of people who go to the beach several times during the day and cut the fishing line off the wildlife. It doesn’t just impact the birds – both land and sea – but also the beautiful animals that live in the sea and along the shore.

Below is a map showing you the location of the country, The Gambia. You will note that it is just south of Senegal. The Ospreys from the United Kingdom migrate to this area of Senegal and The Gambia for the winter.

It was not that long ago that Avian Flu killed over 350 sea birds in Senegal. It was tragic and many wondered how this would impact their favourite Ospreys from Wales and Scotland.

It seems that it is not only the Avian Flu that is the menace but also fishing equipment – nets, lines, hooks. It is wonderful that there are people who dedicate their life to going down to the beach and helping the sea birds and animals.

Updates on Everyone:

SWFL Eagle Cam at Fort Myers: Harriet and M15, E17 and E18. E17 continues to be a little brat. Sometimes I just want to put a small paper bag on that eaglet for a few minutes. Little E18 managed to get some food by walking over to his mother after E17 was so full it passed out. Even then E18 did the snatch and grab. I am hoping that M15 will be on the nest this evening.

For now, the eaglets are hot!

These two still have crops but one of their parents is on watch while the other one is out fishing so they have a nice big meal at sunset to keep them full and quiet overnight.

NEFL Eagle Cam at St. Augustine: Samson and Gabrielle, E24 and unhatched/unviable egg

Oh, they are hot everywhere in Florida. Even the little one doesn’t need to be under its mother today. Sadly, Gabby still incubates that egg that is no longer viable. I don’t know how long it takes before the mothers give up on these eggs. But that little tiny E24 is sure a fluffy butterball. So cute.

Samson brought in a nice big fish for Gabby and E24 just a few minutes ago.

Samson has brought in some more fish. As the sun begins to get ready to set the little one, E24 is underneath Gabby keeping warm.

And speaking of Samson. The nest that we are looking at belongs to Gabby and Samson. Samson was born on this nest 8 years ago to Romeo and Juliet. Juliet was injured by an intruder and both her and Romeo disappeared. Their son now has their nest. Someone posted a picture of Samson on the nest with his mother, Juliet, today. He looked formidable back then. So happy he is on his parent’s nest!

Big Bear Eagle Cam, Big Bear California: Jackie, Shadow, and 2 eggs of second clutch

Shadow brought in a nice big fish for Jackie during the snow storm but hurrah – the snow and ice pellets have stopped. There is blue sky in the distance. He has now changed positions with her and he is incubating the eggs.

The Trio Love Nest, Fulton, Illinois: Starr, Valor I and II and we are awaiting eggs

The camera has been down and the weather has been extremely frigid in this area of the United States. It appears that the eagles are hunkered down somewhere else and not on the nest.

Duke Farms Eagle Nest, Hillsborough, NJ: Two adult eagles, three eggs

The snow has stopped and some of it on the nest is melting. We have three eggs under these tenacious beautiful birds.

Royal Albatross Cam, Taiaroa Head, NZ: Lime-Green-Lime and Lime-Green-Black and chick

Everything is fine down in New Zealand except — these parents simply cannot stay away from their chick. I just get used to one being on the nest and then, surprise, the other one returns from sea in twenty-four hours! The norm is about six or seven days during feeding periods. And if you think all birds are the same, they are not. I expected similar behaviour to the Royal Cam parents last year. OGK, the dad, was the light of little Pippa’s eyes (her Maori name is Atawhai). They would literally run to one another once she could walk. He would give her long feedings and sit next to her. The mother, on the other hand, would feed Pippa very quickly and leave. The two this year are, of course, very fond of one another preening and sky calling but they are both so devoted to this little one.

Port Lincoln Osprey: Solly

As you know, we can track Solly by her satellite transmitter. She was up at Streaky Bay yesterday (photos posted). Let us see if we can check in on her today.

Well, she has moved. Yesterday, Solly had been at Streaky Bay which is at the bottom of this map. Solly has continued to move north. She spent the night at Kiffin Island and is now at Eba Anchorage. No pictures yet but she is testing out all of the territory. Gosh, it is nice to have a tracker on these seabirds. In fact, for those of you that might just be joining us, Solly is breaking records for the Ospreys. She is now more than 220 kilometers away from her natal nest at Port Lincoln. She is 146 days old.

Let’s see where Eba Anchorage is.

She travelled about 18 kilometres (11.1 miles) heading north. And Solly continues to break records. I wonder if she will go all the way to Perth?

On the map below she is in the upper left quadrant past Streaky Bay.

Everyone that we are able to see on our ‘bird’ checklist is fine despite the either frigid cold and snow or the heat in Florida. And the tracking information is going to become invaluable. We are already learning so much from Solly. Now with the two trackers on the Royal Cam Albatross, LGL and LGK, we will get some idea where they are fishing so close to Taiaroa Head.

Thank you for joining us at the end of the week. Take care. Stay safe. We look forward to you joining us tomorrow.

Thank you to the Eagle cams at NEFL, SWFL including D Pritchett Real Estate, Cornell Ornithology Lab and the NZ DOC, Duke Farms, The Trio Love Nest Cam, and Big Bear Eagle Cam. Their streaming footage provides me with my screen captures.

The Great Bird Count – and you can join in the fun

Friday, 12 February kicks off four days of bird counting. It does not matter where in the world you live. My readers come from every continent and I know that you will want to take part. So, what’s up and how can you join in the fun.

It’s free. Anyone can participate. You can count the birds in your garden, at the park, at the beach, or on a walk. And because of the frigid weather, you don’t even have to go outside. In fact, maybe you shouldn’t. You can look out of your window. You will need a pad of paper and something to write with. And you will need to log in to submit your observations. What if you don’t know what bird it is – well, the organizors have you covered. You have free access to Cornell’s Birds of the World to help you. And for anyone who submits sightings longer than 15 minutes or through the Merlin app on their phone, they will be entered to win a pair of Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 24 binoculars. Fantastic. So here is how to do.

I want you to go to: https://www.birdcount.org/participate/

I cannot get the link to embed in this posting, so please cut and paste.

Once you get to link, you will see the text and the images at the right (in the picture above). Please select the device that you will use to submit your count. You do this by clicking on one of three links in green. (If you are a group, like a school classroom, you click on Group Counting).

You will need to sign up for an account. It is free and once you have joined, spend some time at the Cornell site. There are free courses, bird identification postings, and you can find the links to all of the streaming cameras that Cornell Ornithology Lab helps to sponsor. Once you are signed up or signed in, you will need to determine what kind of a device you will be using to upload your counts. I will be using my laptop computer. During the day I will note the time I started watching my garden and what birds I saw during that period. In our garden it is particularly busy around 12 noon when we fill the feeders. I will start my bird count then. For four days I will count the birds that come to the garden. Don’t worry if you think you haven’t seen enough birds to bother. Every bird counts! And I really mean that.

Several years ago I noticed the Sharp-Shinned hawk and I went in and listed in on e-Bird. I had an e-mail that afternoon telling me that I could not have a Sharp-shinned hawk in my garden in Canada in January. But I did and I had a picture of it. Do not underestimate the importance of this count.

There will be another one in May. You can join in then or maybe you will want to count the birds more often and submit them to e-Bird. Taking a walk becomes fun. Just take a small notebook and pencil or your phone. Keep a list and submit it when you get home.

If you can’t count birds every day of the four days – no problem! Just submit when you can. You will be able to see the live count around the world. To see the live tracking go to birdcount.org

Have some fun. Get your friends to join in and compare the birds that you saw.

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One of the things that I am most interested in is bird behaviour. When Daisy the Duck had her nest in the centre of the old Ironbark Tree, where the White Bellied Sea Eagles raise their eaglets, will remember the reaction of the various birds to Daisy being in the nest. In the case of the Bald Eagles, I have noticed the behaviour of the adult male, M15, at the SWFL Eagle nest in Fort Myers since the twins returned from being at the clinic. M15 has gotten at least one gold star and last night, after sunset, he got another.

In the clinic it was noticed that E17 was extremely aggressive to E18. In fact, the behaviour got so bad that the clinic staff literally separated them at meal time. E17 got time out.

So it was with great interest that I watched a feeding on the nest just as dusk was falling tonight, 11 February. The events at this feeding are quite telling. Let me show you.

  1. At the onset, E17 is asleep. E 18 is sitting up and is awake. There is an old catfish by E18 (left) and fish to the right of the sleeping sib.

Harriet begins to feed E18 the old catfish. M15 has arrived on the nest to the right. E17 remains asleep.

Harriet is still feeding E18. E17 raises its head, opens its eyes and notices that its sibling is being fed. M15 is eating fish.

In the image below, E17 has sat up and bonked E18 who lies in the submission pose. Harriet has moved the old catfish around to feed E17.

Harriet continues to feed E17 but E18 is raising its head. M15 is now raising his head from eating. He is noticing what is happening. Eagles have amazing vision. His line of sight lets him know that E18 is not being fed any longer.

M15 leans over E17 to feed E18. Harriet does the same thing. E18 has not turned around to eat because he is afraid of E17 bonking him.

M15 actually feeds Harriet so she can feed E18. M15 hovers directly over E17 so it cannot cause any trouble.

Harriet continues to feed E18. E17 has gone to sleep. M15 is leaving the nest. Whew! I hope you can keep all of that straight.

Harriet and the eaglets are trying to sleep despite the mosquitoes which seem to be quite bad at both this eagle nest and the one near St. Augustive, NEFL.

It turned out that E18 has a very nice late dinner. He had some of the old catfish while E17 was sleeping and then when M15 stepped in, he had some of the new fish after E17 was asleep again.

And a quick check in this morning. I did not know that there are still eagles in Minnesota that did not migrate. They are apparently having great difficulty in this cold finding prey.

Down in Florida, it is a different story. E17 and 18 are already panting it is so hot.

And all is well in NEFL at St Augustine. Lots of fresh fish on deck and the little one just waiting for a nice bite.

And remember that beautiful picturesque Big Bear? Look what is happening to Jackie and Shadow today? The winds are horrific! And snow is coming down like hard pellets. Not the soft dancing flakes we have.

Poor Jackie. She has her head hunkered down. She is now into hard incubation as she did lay that second egg late last night! I hope Shadow can find you some nice prey in this horrific weather!

It looks like the only nice weather for our eagles is down in Florida right now.

That is our morning check in. Please remember to take part in the Great Bird Count if you can – and, of course, if you want to.

Will be back this evening with an update on the Eagles and how they are holding out in this weather. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the streaming cams at SWFL and D. Pritchett Real Estate, at NEFL, and at Big Bear. I get my screen shots form these cams.

And for the life of me I cannot get rid of this block. I had tried to post a link to you about the bird count – so ignore it!