From all of us on the Canadian Prairies, we wish you good health, joy, some laughter, and much love at this time of the year.
The kittens hope that you have some good tasty treats. Lewis would love some turkey but, sadly, he will only see it coming from a tin! I wonder what he will think of tofu with Tamarind sauce? I will let you know.
Missy hopes that you have a friend to share some time with – she especially is grateful to have Lewis for a little brother to play with and cuddle when it is chilly.
Dyson hopes that you have a lot of nuts and seeds!
The Starlings think a Bark Butter pie would just be the best ending for a special celebration. They would certainly not want it to be a ‘Black Bird’ pie in case anyone mistook them. Did you know that in medieval times they really did put birds in pies? They would fly out of the pies during the vast banquets on the estates and then the men would go and shoot them? It is true! One of the best books on medieval falconry is, Robbin S Oggins’s The Kings and Their Hawks. Falconry in Medieval England. Oh, so many stories.
My Starlings say make it a ‘Vegetarian’ pie!!!!! or a mincemeat one.
Mr Blue Jay reminds us that we need to take care of one another and all the animals. He wishes you a wonderful 2023!
A friend sent me this lovely image and I don’t think ‘S’ would mind if I share it with you. What a beautiful illustration of all the animals and I do love badgers! It is perfect.
So from all of us, good joy and good cheer! We are so glad that you are part of our big family.
M15 is, by far, the most favourite male Bald Eagle according to my readers. Samson was my heart throb but Akecheta comes up a close second and, then, of course, there is Shadow. And, yes, of course. I adore M15. Not only is he a softie when it comes to feeding the eaglets especially one that might get left out a bit but, he also takes great care of Harriet as Lady Hawk shows us in this video:
This version of the Twelve Days of Christmas was posted on the SWFL Eagle cam chat by Marie Chism. It is wonderful and a whole lot of fun.
On the first day of Christmas My true love gave to me A nest in a pine tree
On the second day of Christmas My true love gave to me Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the third day of Christmas My true love gave to me Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the fourth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the fifth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the sixth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the seventh day of Christmas My true love gave to me Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the eighth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Eight stalkers stalking Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the ninth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Nine fish a dancing Eight stalkers stalking Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the tenth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Ten horns a blowing Nine fish a dancing Eight stalkers stalking Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the 11th day of Christmas My true love gave to me Eleven crows a crowing Ten horns a blowing Nine fish a dancing Eight stalkers stalking Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
On the 12th day of Christmas My true love gave to me 12 beak kisses Eleven crows a crowing Ten horns a blowing Nine fish a dancing Eight stalkers stalking Seven starlings singing Six ducks a playing Five nose bling (five nose bling) Four cameras watching Three screamin squee’s Two little eggs And a nest in a pine tree
One of the nice things about the end of the year is that very talented people put in a season summary of their favourite nast. My very first love were the hawks and falcons and my heart still melts when I see Big Red on her nest with Arthur. It is remarkable. She will be 20 years old this spring having hatched in Brooktondale, New York (about 7.5 miles away from Ithaca) in the spring of 2003.
Today it is snowing. There is a ‘bomb cyclone’ that caused all manner of disruption for a 2000 mile stretch. It is terribly cold with a strong wind in Ithaca. There is fear for millions because of the storm and the cold. These are caused by “a collision of cold, dry air from the north and warm, moist air from the sout,” according to The Guardian. Hopefully Big Red, Arthur, and L4 are tucked in safe and warm and that all are safe – humans and wildlife as there are power outages just when warmth is required.
Big Red and Arthur working on their nest in the snow in 2022. Big Red laid her first egg on the 14th of March. 9 days later she laid her 4th egg – unprecedented for Big Red. All of the erases fledged.
L4 is in the middle. It is ‘Cutie Pie’ L4 that remains on the Cornell campus with Big Red and Arthur. L3 is in care. L1 was killed striking a window on the campus shortly after fledgling. L2 has dispersed.
L4 was not the first to fledge but that little one, who clamoured over its siblings not afraid of anything, was the first of the four to catch its own prey. It is still doing that and Mum and Dad do not seem to mind sharing the space with L4. And why should they? It is a large plentiful spot and L4 is a very special little one. No one thought there would be four and no one thought that the 4th would be as vivacious as he was…just look at that crop. L4 as the first up to the beak. He reminds me of Ervie, the 2021 hatch at Port Lincoln. Nothing phased Ervie either and he is still living in his parent’s territory, too. Gosh, I will never forget the dustups up Bazza….those three males at PLO were quite the characters.
It is a beautiful winter wonderland at the Deborah Eagle nest in Iowa today. The eagles have been around during the last week. There is, however, no sign of the Deborah North eagles, yet.
The death of the much loved male at the Centreport Bald Eagle nest on Long Island made the news:
I do not want to link the death of Dad at Centreport with Avian Flu but it has to be something that is considered when they do the necropsy. There are dire warnings coming that stress the deaths to our avian world will be akin to those of DDT before it was banned. They are calling it the second Silent Spring. We must prepare ourselves that we will see Avian Flu raise its head with a vengeance as we move into the new year and spring. ““The last time we experienced such large-scale and rapid losses of wild birds in the UK would be the impacts of DDT on birds of prey in the 1950s and 1960s associated with the Silent Spring narrative, or the widespread declines of farmland birds during the 1970s and 80s as a result of agricultural intensification, ” says the author of the article below that appears in The Guardian today.
And, yes, we must do something about it – and that something could mean the closing of the large factory farms that supply poultry around the world. A return to buying local from small farms where the birds are allowed to run freely and have a decent life before they are killed. Or giving up poultry (and meat) altogether. We must be prepared to pay more to help end this vicious cycle of bird flu if we really care about those feathered friends.
In Australia, everyone is wishing Zoe a happy 14th week birthday today.
Zoe being her best self – screaming for fish!
In Northeast Florida, everyone is wishing the revolving door of potential mates for Gabby would come to an end. V11, according to the AEF, was in the nest moving sticks around this morning shortly after 0803. (The other day it was Gabby and V9).
At 0823, Gabby was in the nest helping V11. This looks promising. Fingers crossed. Gabby needs a mate that will keep the other intruders out of the territory. Come on V11 – show us your stuff. Can you deliver huge fish? can you feed eaglets til their crops burst? can you bring food for Gabby and protect her? You have big talons to feel since Samson is not here. We need to know you are up to this — but, most of all, Gabby needs a strong male partner.
They were together after 1700.
Good night Gabby.
At the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty, Smitty has been at the nest today. No sign of Bella today.
Gosh, I don’t know what I would do if Elain stopped posting her daily summaries of the Orange scrape. I certainly look forward to them and seeing what has happened at the scrape of Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo!
Just giggle when you see Indigo with his prey!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, just about the time you think that you might get a better glimpse at the two eaglets at the Superbeaks nest, the parents, PePe and Muhlady, notice that there is a hole in the side of the nest that a chick could fall from. So what do they do? Stuff it with a pine branch blocking our view. There are two of them, little grey bobbleheads — and there is quite a lot of fish. No one is hungry on this nest.
Oh, just look with its soft feathers on the top of its head all stuck up straight. Adorable.
You can see both heads. Look carefully.
You can see the fish stacked up and look how well they fixed that hole. They must have heard us worrying about the little ones falling out. Well done you two. What great parents you are!
News of Ron and V2 comes to us from Pat Burke. Please note that it is Ron on the right.
V2 and Ron might be dreaming of eggs and eaglets but, Alex and Andria are getting ready any day for them! Now, how many days is it til we will have pip watch for M15 and Harriet….a week? Must check the dates.
Wishing all of you the very best that the season has to offer. Thank you so much for being a part of this great community of bird lovers. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many kind souls working to make the world a whole lot better for our feathered friends. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Darleen Hawkins and the Kistachie National Forest Eagle Cam Fans, Pat Burke and Ron and Rita’s Nest Watchers, Superbeaks, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NCTC Bald Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey, NEFL-AEF, Long Island News, Cornell Bird Lab, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, Marie Chism, Lady Hawk and SWFL and D Pritchett, and ‘S’ for that lovely image.
Good Morning Everyone. I hope that each of you had a lovely Saturday. Thank you so much for joining me today!
From the Mailbox:
‘A’ asks: What is the average time difference or gap for Peregrine Falcons to lay their eggs? Diamond looks like she is ready today. Thank you, ‘A’. That is a very timely question as we sit staring at Diamond’s bottom for her tail feathers to begin to go up and down when she is in labour. In the nest notes that Cilla Kinross, the researcher at the Orange Falcon cam compiled, it says that the average time difference is 56 hours. As I write this, the time in Orange is 13:21 on Saturday. That egg is due anytime.
‘L’ asks: What is the purpose of molting? The feathers of our bird friends get damaged just like our clothes from normal living. They break and get tears. Moulting is the annual replacement of the feathers. In fact, think about it. Feathers are so important to birds – they keep them warm and dry and, of course, are needed for flying. They should be in tip top shape which is why birds spend so much time preening. Some birds begin to moult in the spring. Others wait until nesting has finished. Moulting is really hard on the birds and it is normally done when there is an unusually high level of prey so they can keep their energy up.
‘C’ writes: “I’m glad I helped with that information about galvanized steel that contains zinc. But in stainless steel, the component is chromium. Is it also bad for the health of birds? I searched very quickly, and in a very superficial search, I didn’t find anything that chromium is also bad for.” The information you provided was very useful. As one of our other readers ‘L’ writes there are some uses for zinc that are also helpful such as in ‘Zinc Ointment’ for baby rashes. I do not know a lot about chromium. It is also used in ceramics to make certain shades of green glazes and is highly toxic in its powdered form. It is not toxic after the pottery has been fired to a specific degree, however. — We assume that the things that we use for cooking are all ‘safe’. Sometimes it is only later we discover that there could be connections to specific ailments. However, if I had a beloved bird that lived in a cage – the cage wires would be stainless. We have a metal shop in our city that made all the SS backings for my kitchen and my island top. I am certain there are similar facilities in other cities where they could make the wires. I am still finding this whole zinc toxicity that impacted Victor very curious. I wish I knew more!
In the News:
The UK is still celebrating the arrival of more than 100 Hen Harriers.
The New York Times published the following article about how climate change will impact the birds we love and which are more likely to go extinct first. The cover shows the Kakapo and my readers know that the Kakapo Recovery Group is working hard to make sure that the flightless parrots survive. Today there are 205 of them on a couple of mall islands of New Zealand.
Chase showed up with a nice big fish and waited and waited on the Two Harbours nest for Lancer on Saturday morning around 10:38. Lancer never showed up. What a change it must be for the parents from nearly getting their talons torn off to sitting quietly to see if anyone will arrive. If you have left the territory, Lancer – soar high, be safe and always have a full crop!
Such dedicated eagle parents. Did you know that Chase & Cholyn have been together for 19 years?
Ferris Akel had a terrific tour on Saturday afternoon around Ithaca, New York. I was listening and doing other things until he got to the Cornell Campus where he caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on camera. Oh, it is lovely to continue seeing L2. According to Suzanne Arnold Horning, the latest a juvenile has been seen at the Cornell Campus is 28 August. L2 looks pretty comfortable. I wonder if she will shatter that record?
Arthur was hunting.
L2 could see Big Red in the distance when she was on the pole and was prey crying really, really loud. Since L2 was the second juvenile to catch her own prey in June I am imaging that Big Red’s answer to that is: “Get your own!”
Big Red looks a little ‘rough’. She is moulting. Like other Red-tail Hawks, Big Red undergoes a complete moult once a year. Normally, hawks begin their moult in spring and every feather has been replaced by September or October. Big Red, however, appears to begin her moult after the eyases fledge.
Xavier has been bringing Diamond some extra special treats during Sunday to help Diamond keep her energy up for the egg laying. One was an Eastern Rosella which is a very colourful parrot and the other was a nicely prepared pigeon. Diamond was excited for both!
The arrival of the Rosella meant that cute little Xavier could have some time with ‘eggie’.
Diamond had a very large crop when the pigeon arrived but she certainly wasn’t going to turn her nose up at that special food gift.
It is 13:57 in Orange and Diamond is sitting on the ledge of the scrape box while we wait and watch for an indication that the second egg might be arriving.
Diamond is back on the egg at 1400.
Diamond is very focused and she looks ‘heavy in the rear’. Egg 2 could be coming shortly. Diamond normally lays 3 eggs. For the past two years, only one egg has been viable each year.
Diamond laid egg #2 at 17:27. Yippppppeeee. Why am I so excited? Well, falcon eggs do not always hatch and for the last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only 1 out of 3 eggs hatch so it makes the chances better of having a successful hatch.
Xavier arrives at 17:33 to see the second egg and to bring Diamond her dinner. Notice that Diamond is being very careful. Falcons lay their eggs standing up. She is protecting the egg while the shell hardens in the air. The gap between eggs is 57 hours.
Diamond did not want to eat. She had already had two big meals. She remained in the scrape box. During the night she would sometimes incubate or, alternatively, stand above the eggs protecting them. Remember the Currawong know there are eggs in that scrape and they will eat them if the opportunity arises!
The Melbourne couple seem to be finished with three eggs and each takes turns incubating. Dad was very anxious to demonstrate that he was well seasoned in incubation. The Melbourne crew even made a video of the persuasion.
It is a very short and cute clip. Oh, do you ever wish you could speak falconese?
Friends of Osprey have posted some photographs of Ervie near the Marina where he had dived and caught the lovely fish he is eating. They were taken by Alex Ditton. Oh, goodness. It is always such a joyous occasion when someone shows us that Ervie is doing very well indeed! Check out the Friends of Osprey for more images of Ervie.
Kaia remains in Belarus around the Priypat River. This is what the area looks like where she is resting and fishing.
Bonus, the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika that was fostered with Kaia and Karl II has begun his migration. His tracker tells us that he traveled 109 km and is now in Latvia near the village of Vietalva.
Travel safe dear Bonus, fly high, stay out of the war zones, always have a stream full of frogs and fish — prosper.
There should be more news but it appears that all might have left for their winter homes from the Karula Forest nest of Kaia and Karl II. I will confirm this tomorrow.
Bonus was always a very special Black Storklet. He would not have survived without the intervention of Urmas and Dr Madis and his team. They would have died on the nest. Urmas’s foresight to provide fish baskets meant that everyone had lots of fish. A special thank you to all who donated towards the food for the nest.
The Dahlgren Osprey nest in the US has announced that the male, Jack, has not been seen for a few days so that now Harriet, the female, and the sole surviving fledgling from the nest in King George County are on their journey south.
No one has been seen at the Loch of the Lowes since yesterday. Laddie LM 12, Blue NC0 and both of the fledglings appear to also be heading south.
It was another successful year for Ospreys in Wales and John Williams gives us the run down in his last blow of the season for Llyn Clywedog. The numbers of Ospreys in Wales are growing. There are now 7 ‘known’ pairs who produced 17 chicks this year. John catches up with all the nest news.
John also produced a chart for all the chicks hatched at Llyn Clywedog – noting that there is simply too much grey. Were those chicks ever seen or not? Sometimes they do get missed.
Handsome Aran on the perch at the Glaslyn nest this morning. He remains bringing fish to the nest for the fledglings. Mrs G was still home as well today.
Emyr Evans has provided us with the data of the fledges at the Dyfi nest asking the question: what happened to Pedran? Emyr is great with statistics and this is a good read about migration and young fledglings.
Rosie was still on the perch at the SF Bay Osprey nest this morning! Brooks has not been seen at the nest for some time now – this is not alarming. She is out exploring!
Congratulations to Glacier Gardens. Both Love and Peace have fledged. Here is a video of that moment on 25 August when Peace took to the air. Congratulations for another successful year Liberty and Freedom!
Thank you so very much for joining me this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that you are doing well and I will look forward to having you with us again in Bird World.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their posts, and their videos that form my screen captures: The New York Times, Explore.org and IWS, Ferris Akel Tours, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Friends of Ospreys, Looduskalender, Dahlgren Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Williams and The Clywedog Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.
The morning started off terrible in Bird World. Dylan was believed to be missing at Llyn Clywedog with three hungry chicks on the nest and Seren calling and calling — and another floppy fish covered the oldest Bob at the Dyfi Nest. Things turned out well and I thought it was a good idea to tell everyone immediately!
The weather is very bed at the site of the Llyn Clywedog Nest. The wind is blowing strong and it is raining. Dylan did manage to get a fish on the nest for Seren and the chicks. Fantastic. The babies were so hungry. You can see one of them at the left.
John Williams says the weather and fishing are set to improve tomorrow. Thank goodness. Most of you will recall the horrific storms, the damp and cold last season.
Telyn got up to eat the Flounder and there was Big Bob. There was also Middle Bob!!!!!!
What a relief.
Just look. Big Bob was so strong when it hatched and so is Middle Bob. Middle Bob is still a little wet from hatching. These two are going to be a handful and we have egg 3 to go.
A look at Aran and Mrs G’s first Bob at the Glaslyn Osprey nest. Cutie Pie. This is chick # 50 for Mrs G.
It seems that the Racoon event at the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle nest is not a one off revenge attack. EJ searched and found a 2019 incident at a nest in Washington DC involving a Raccoon and an Eagle.
It doesn’t look like there has been a fish delivery at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest before 1430. These are such gorgeous chicks. That is Middle flapping his wings this afternoon.
Things are still going well at the Loch of the Lowes!
Here is a good look at that eye. Looks perfect to me.
There continue to be six storklets on the nest of Jan and Janika in Lativa. No elimination so far.
At the nest of Bukachek and Betty, there are three storklets and two eggs. So far everyone is doing well.
The eyases at the Manchester NH scrape are going in and out of the scrape to the ledge. If you go to the streaming camera and only see one or two chicks, do not panic!
Oh, Annie, Grinnell, and Alden’s chicks are getting their beautiful feathers too. Look at the eyes beginning to reveal those steel blue-grey feathers. Gorgeous. There is a reminder at the bottom that the banding is at 0800 tomorrow – Friday the 27th. Set your clocks!
Cal Falcons posted a great growth chart of these two chicks on their Twitter and FB feeds. I am certain that they do not mind if I share this with all of you. Everyone is here to learn!
Mum and chicks doing well at the Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine Falcon scrape.
If you do not have it, here is the link to the Spirit Bluff streaming cam:
Life on the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur at Cornell is changing rapidly. Juvenile feathers are coming in. Indeed, with the sticks in the nest you can see how well camouflaged the eyases are compared to a couple of weeks ago.
Self-feeding is happening! Lots of little chippies on the nest for the Ls.
Gorgeous peach feathering coming in along with the belly bands!
Every time I go to the Big Bear nest, I fear that Spirit will have taken the leap. She spends a lot of time on the balcony and is now able to go back and forth from the front porch to the back. For viewers this means that she could be on the nest tree and just out of view of the camera.
Today is the last day for the Captiva Osprey cam and chat to be operational. If you would like to be notified of any videos posted by Windows for Wildlife be sure to go and subscribe – it is the bell under the streaming cam image on the right.
The streaming cam at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta is running again! Fantastic. Many of us were afraid we would miss the trio – Kana’kini, Sky, and Ahota – fledging. Oh, how grand.
We are also able to watch Lancer on the Two Harbours Alternative Nest of Chase & Cholyn.
It feels like we can all go whew but the weather at Loch Arkaig is not good. Poor Dorcha. It is great to have the cameras running at West End and Two Harbours. Remember that the banding for the Cal Falcons is at 8am Pacific Time tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: CarnyXWild, Dyfi Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, FOBBV, Cornell RTH, Mlade Buky, Peregrine Networks, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org
It’s Mother’s Day and every year I send a shout out to all those great bird mothers who don’t know anything about flowers, chocolates, or going for brunch but who, as best they can, as old as some are, keep our skies filled with the sound of hawks, eagles, falcons, Sky Calls, and song. They have brought us great joy, sorrow, and have taught us so very, very much.
Each of you will have your own list. I have discovered that birds are very personal. So pause and thank your favourites!
The first bird mother I always think of is Big Red. She is not a big strong eagle or a fish hawk. No, she is a medium sized hawk that melts our hearts year after year. Big Red, the Matriarch of the Red-tail Hawks is enjoying early morning sunshine and a necklace of eyases – four of them. She surprised everyone with those four eggs. This nineteen year old probably has a lot more tricks up her talon for us.
We know she hatched in 2003 and that she was hatching chicks in 2005 but the camera did not come live until 2012. That is 7 years unaccounted for. Big Red has consistently laid three eggs and the only time since 2012 she did not fledge three was last year because of K2s beak issue. Potentially she has fledged 51 hawks. 51. Incredible.
She is always happy when there are chicks in the nest and she seems energized this year with the four.
Cholyn at the Two Harbours Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands gets the thumbs up this morning. At the age of 24, she is still busy raising eaglets. This year her and Chase had the soon-to-be-banded Only Child, TH1, this year. Cholyn is the mother of Thunder at the West End nest and is the grandmother to another generation of Channel Islands eagles.
Redwood Queen is 23 years and 11 months old and is currently either incubating an egg in Big Sur or brooding a chick! She survived the Dolan Fire and is famously known for her chick, Iniko Orange 1031, who also survived that fire to the surprise of many. She has hatched and fledged 6 condors and fostered and fledged 3. She is currently with 477 Phoenix. It is their second season together. Their egg failed last year. Fingers crossed for this year. Fitting that they both survived massive fires to rise again.
Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the UK, at the age of 21-23 years is currently brooding three eggs with her mate, Aran, at the Glaslyn Nest. They had a rough patch last year so I am really hoping that this year turns out incredibly well for them.
If we count this year, she has laid 57 eggs with 46 hatched and 41 fledged.
There are lots of Ospreys. I can easily put Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest at the top of a list – 20 fledglings in 6 years. Is that correct? But I want to give a hat’s off to a much overlooked female at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. Blue 35 was smart and sneaky and made sure that her third hatch —–1/8 the size of the other two older siblings at hatch – survived. She removed fish and once the older ones were asleep returned to the nest and fed Blue 463. As a result, 463 thrived and became a huge female and quite dominant on the nest. Thank you Blue 35. She was also one of the only Osprey nests to fledge three in 2021.
Peregrine Falcon Mothers. Hats off to the Mum at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape for keeping those five eyases in tip top shape. Not easy when some are extraordinarily larger than the youngest! The tiniest one is in the front. So small you can’t see it! Mum is doing a great job.
All full and sleepy.
There is one other Peregrine Falcon Mum who is now raising two eyases after losing her mate during the egg laying part of this breeding season. That falcon is Annie at the UCal-Berkeley scrape in The Campanile. She is a grandmother – they know that her daughter is on Alcatraz Island and that this is at least her second year if not more to raise chicks.
There are now too and it appears that Lynn Scofield was completely correct. The last egg is unviable. This means that egg 1 and egg 3 hatched with the potential for one chick to be Grinnell’s and the other to be possibly Alden’s. I hope so! Annie survived the death of her long term mate, Grinnell, to hatch the two chicks. Heart warming.
Why not think about your favourite ‘Bird Mums’ today? It is a great way to thank them ———— each and everyone of them ——— for the joy they bring to our lives!
Have a great Sunday everyone. There will be a nest check in later today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or webpages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Ventana Wildlife Society, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Falcon Network Manchester NH, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org.
Big Red and Arthur have their territory on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York. Big Red hatched in Brooktondale, New York in the spring of 2003. She was banded in Brooktondale as a fledgling Red-tail Hawk on 10 October 2003. It is not precisely know how many mates Big Red has had since she was old enough to lay eggs and hatch chicks. She was observed on the Cornell campus with her mate Ezra prior for two years prior to 2012 when the cameras were placed on the light stands on the campus. When they began to number the chicks, they began with C because of those two years. Ezra and Big Red raised eyases until the spring of 2017 when Ezra was killed defending their territory. Big Red had no chicks in 2017 but she did have a mysterious young visitor to the nest in April 2017. It was Arthur! And Arthur did not even have his red tail yet! After considering several potential mates, Big Red – to the dismay of many human animals – choose a youngster. Arthur has proved himself to be an invaluable mate. He is a fantastic hunter and takes part in all aspects of the breeding season including nestorations, incubation, prey deliveries, and teaching the youngsters how to fly and hunt.
Somewhere in my files I have precisely the number of chicks that hatched. It is likely that she has laid and hatched 54 eggs since she could first breed. It was a large number and everyone of them fledged except for one and that was last year. K2 had an issue with her beak and she was taken into care. The situation was thought dire and she was euthanized.
This is the first year that Big Red has laid four eggs. It seems to be a trend amongst hawk and falcon populations this year. Cornell has already alerted everyone that this is unknown territory and they do not know what to expect.
Red-tail hawks are the most wide-spread hawk in North America. They are medium sized and are distinguished by their beautiful red tail when they are a year old. They normally live in wide open spaces and you can see them sitting on top of poles hunting. Indeed, Big Red and Arthur often spend time on the poles along Highway 366 near Cornell. You might commonly hear that Big Red is sitting on the 366 pole. That is what it means. There are fields across the highway still in Big Red and Arthur’s territory where they hunt and where they teach the eyases to hunt.
You can watch the hatching of the chicks and the daily lives of Big Red, Arthur, and the Ls here:
When the chicks hatch they will be covered with white soft feathers with a black beak and the cutest fat little pink legs and feet.
The image below is K1 hatched and K2 pipping.
There are several video clips of highlights from 2021. Here is one of those that will give you an idea of what to expect this year.
It is going to be an exciting season on the Cornell Campus particularly if all four eggs hatch. Boy, Arthur start stacking up the chipmunks and the squirrels!
Thank you so much for joining me. I am eggcited! Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.
It has been a very sad morning in Bird World with the death of what appears to be, now, the oldest chick on the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida. Lori Covert the landowner has contacted CROW, that wonderful wildlife rehabber on Santibel. Permission was given to remove the body of the osplet for testing. CROW arrived and removed Big beginning at 15:21:15-15:21:26. You can see how quick they were to come once they had the OK and how they did not disturb the nest.
Big was 27 days old. He or she would have been 28 days tomorrow.
They do not want to cause any undue stress or frighten the other two on Did Big choke on a pellet? He had been gagging several times this morning. Casting pellets is a natural part of a raptor’s life. What cannot be processed in the crop is compacted into something not unlike a small charcoal pellet. The birds then regurgitate these. Researchers like the pellets because they can study what the birds have been eating. But a pellet or the H5N1 highly pathogenic Avian Flu is on speculation. It appears that Big died after moving up to eat but couldn’t. That was approximately 08:33. I sincerely hope that this is not a case of H5N1 and look forward to the announcement. The other two osplets both ate at 15:40.
Little Bob (Mini on chat) and Middle Bob appear to be fine. They are interested and can eat and that is a great sign!
It used to not unsettle me when an adult or a chick died. Perhaps it is just everything that has happened for so many years catching up with me but I was particularly upset at the loss at Captiva this morning. Thankfully the garden critters were robustly going after the two new seed cylinders that were put out yesterday. Dyson could not decide where to settle. He wanted the oil seeds that had fallen out of a bag on the snow but he also wanted to eat off the cylinder and he was intrigued by the peanuts in the square tray feeder.
Despite his altercation with the cat, Dyson remains pleasantly plump after the harsh winter and the back half of his tail is growing back. Horrah!
The Blue Jay family – OK. One member of the Blue Jay family has returned from their migration today. I could not get the camera quick enough for a photo but I hope to attract it with a cob of corn on the deck. i wonder if it is Junior? Mr? or Mrs? And where do they go?
It was a good day for a walk in the woods. Our temperature is a balmy +2 C. The snow is definitely melting and there is an open water area now at the Fort Whyte Nature Centre. There were three Canada Geese there today!
There were a number of Black-capped chickadees at the feeder and when I arrived the little Downy Woodpecker with the broken beak was just flying away. Too quick for me to catch him but for those of you who asked, it is still alive and eating well out of the cylinder feeder! That is certainly good news.
What I needed was a walk in the woods where it was absolutely quiet. The snow is now wet enough that it did not crunch. All you could hear on occasion was the songs of the birds.
Walking in nature is good therapy.
I am happy to report that all of the eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest have eaten. Little Bit was sure enjoying a fish that had been brought to the nest.
The middle on moved up and got some food, too, after Little Bit. You can see the huge difference in size now between all three chicks. Big just looks enormous!
This was Little Bit sleeping before the feeding over on the rim of the nest. It looks bigger stretched out and was clenching its talons and letting go and clenching them again. Was it catching a fish in its eaglet dreams?
Sweet baby sleeping in the shade. For those of you that do not know, the black dot behind the eye and corner of the beak is the ear. It will get covered with feathers. You might also notice that Little Bit is getting some of its darker thermal down and losing its baby fluff. Looks like a few little feathers poking about perhaps.
I just checked and Little Bit was fed at 16:20. So all is well at Dale Hollow as evening approaches.
Big Red gave Arthur some incubation time today. That is fantastic. She doesn’t allow him much but it is nice to see him so alert taking his turn with their first egg.
Arthur is very handsome.
I don’t think you could find a more gorgeous female Red tail Hawk than Big Red anywhere! She is so stunning with her really dark morph.
Big Red took a dinner break at 17:29 nest time.
Do not worry. This egg is fine. We learned that due to Milda leaving her eggs in almost freezing weather for 5-6 hours. They both hatched. Everything is good. Big Red has been having chicks for 17 years. She is an expert. I certainly am not. LOL. Remember. I wanted to give Rosie and Richmond sticks!
There was a very sweet posting by the SF Ospreys today on their FB page:
I really wanted to dump a lot of sticks for these two down in the parking lot! As many of you know, I look for ways to make the lives of our birds better. Part of that has to do with the elimination of lead in all fishing and hunting equipment. The other has to do with rat and mice poison. Well, look what a Place Called Hope just posted!
At the West End Bald eagle nest, Akecheta brought in a Cormorant to the nest. This came after there was something that looked like an Armadillo. Both were road kill. Thunder decided to feed the three eaglets the fresh fish! The West End nest is doing well.
Shadow and Jackie at the Big Bear Valley Bald Eagle nest are also doing just fine. The little one is growing like a very bad weed.
I checked on Kincaid, too, at the Kistachie National Forest nest in Louisiana. He is wing flapping and showing his preference for some prey and not others but I do not believe that he has branched yet.
That is it for me today. I am still recovering from the loss of Big. Looking forward to the test results. If it was a pellet then we should know that very fast. If it was something else, we will have to wait for test results that can take days.
From all the critters in the garden, thank you for joining us today. Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: A Place called Hope, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, and SF Bay Ospreys.
The snow and rain persisted in the North East longer after bringing bitter cold, rain, tornado warnings, and ice in the SE. Last night those white flakes piled up on Big Red and Arthur’s nest at Cornell University. This afternoon rain is falling in Ithaca.
There is still about 9 weeks before Big Red thinks about laying eggs. Suzanne Arnold Horning caught Big Red preening in the snow this morning. Big Red is always beautiful, no matter the weather.
The sun has come out on the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita. Hopefully this will make R1 nicer. Even Rita tried to stop his nonsense with R2 yesterday.
The behaviour of R1, more aggressive than normal during the day of the storm, was mirrored in E19 who was entirely unpleasant to E20 on Harriet and M15’s nest in Fort Myers. These two have been called the ‘the most sweet’ and ‘the most caring’ of all of Harriet and M15’s eaglets and yet, yesterday brought out the aggression.
The cameras at SWFlorida are having problems this morning. The IR remains on and they are all on different times. The camera should, at this moment, be reading 12:30. Those eaglets are fine. Hopefully today will calm E19 down.
The one nest that I have been concerned with is that at Berry College. Missy did real well during the storm yesterday. It appears that the chick attempting to hatch in the second egg has failed. As one of the chatters said this morning, ‘we are thankful for one feisty chick’. Agreed. Let Missy get some experience with this one! Fingers crossed that this little one, B15, will grow and thrive.
I checked on Missy late last night and was thrilled to see the precipitation had stopped.
What I would like to see is a pile of fish on that nest! Pa Berry, let’s go fishing.
No egg at Duke Farm but the nest continues to be restored by the pair of Bald Eagles that gave us those two magnificent fledges last year.
It is breezy and sunny at Hilton Head Island Trust Eagles Nest, home to Harriet and Mitch and their two eaglets. It certainly isn’t hot there and the forecast indicates that the temperatures will plunge on Thursday. Right now the babies are full of fish and sleeping.
Lori Covert at Captiva Bald Eagles has announced that the two eggs of Connie and Clive are either unfertilized or non-viable. No eaglets for Connie and her new mate this year, sadly.
There was a late fish delivery to Ervie on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. I am not quite certain of the delivery time but Ervie was working on it after 20:00. At one point, Mum came over to see if she could get that fish off Ervie and he promptly booted her off the nest. Ervie!
Ervie did not finish that fish. He seems to have saved some of it for breakfast. He is sleeping on it!
Before signing off – I am late in feeding the garden birds and animals – a quick check on Anna and the little one. Louis has the pantry full – typical Louis -and this baby continues to delight. It is so strong. The Kisatchie National Forest nest is quickly rising like cream to the top in terms of my favourite Bald Eagle nests.
I know that there has been a lot of chatter about Louis being able to feed lots more chicks. Yes, he could. He could supply Berry College easily and keep Anna and babies full. That said, my preference will always be for one very healthy chick at each nest – always. Anna is a young Mum. This is only her second breeding season. Ease her into larger clutches gently! If ever.
This eaglet is the cutest! Seriously.
Thank you so much for joining me this morning. They all seemed to have survived the storms well. Such a relief. Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College, WRDC, SWFlorida, Hilton Head Island Trust, Port Lincoln Ospreys, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab, and Suzanne Arnold Horning for the image of Big Red today.
I had a lovely note form ‘M’ asking about other peregrine falcon cams. Thank you for your letter, ‘M’.
Each one of us feels a little ’empty’ when the eyases fledge. Without trackers, we have no idea what happens to them. We just wish them well and I know that everyone is working hard to make their environment better. The only birds on the nest who have fledged and not left permanently are the PLO Lads – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the birds have migrated to warmer climates. I will, however, be checking on nests in Asia to see if there are any for you to watch.
This is not an exhaustive listing but it is a beginning and I will be adding to it for all of you as the camera streams return. We have streaming cams on the falcons in Winnipeg as part of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery. I will post those at the beginning of the summer. Most of our birds are in southern Texas or Mexico right now.
So here goes – and if you have a favourite falcon or hawk cam, let me know!
One of my favourites are the Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne. They are known as the CBD or 367 Collins Street Falcons. The cam is currently not live. Will come back on line September 2022
Cornell Red-tail Hawks (Big Red and Arthur), Ithaca, New York. The construction work at Bradfield has caused a power outage on the Athletic Fields. Those building works are winding down and this camera should be live shortly. Big Red and Arthur will be very busy once late February and March roll around. There are only two Red-tail hawk streaming cams in the world and this is the best. Big Red is 19 this year. Arthur is 5 or 6 years old. They are a fantastic couple that normally fledge three eyases a year. There are birders on the ground that keep track of the fledglings so you get to see the parents do team training in hunting, etc. Highly Recommended.
Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Yurruga has fledged. Look for egg laying in the fall of 2022. This is the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. They are a well established couple. For the past two years three eggs laid but only one fledgling each year which is fine. It is a nice comparison with the Melbourne falcons who fledge 3 consistently. Orange is more rural and, of course, Melbourne is urban. The camera is left on and the falcons come and go regularly.
The Campanile Falcons on UC-Berkeley. This is the scrape box and cams for the Peregrine Falcon Couple, Annie and Grinnell. Grinnell was injured by a male interloper on 29 October. He was in care, as a result, and has been returned to his territory. The male interloper is still at The Campanile. It is unclear which of the males Annie will choose. Nesting activity late March, 2022. Annie and Grinnell are incredible parents who traditionally fledge three adorable babies.
The following are falcon cams that I have watched ‘on and off’ and that have come highly recommended to me from viewers:
Great Spirit Bluff, Minnesota
Anacapa Island, California. There are current a large number of Pelicans to watch.
I will definitely be posting more including a couple of streaming cams from the UK. All of that action will begin when spring arrives. I also want to post some sites in Asia which I will do over the weekend. There will also be the Northern Hemisphere Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, as well as the returning storks to Latvia and Estonia.
For now, things are really pretty quiet except for the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Diamond and Xavier coming in and out of the scrape box in Orange, and the Bald Eagles laying eggs in the US. There are two nests that you might wish to consider and if you have never watched a Royal Albatross nest then you definitely need to check out the Royal Cam Family in New Zealand who are incubating an egg laid on 9 November. They are very experienced and adorable parents, OGK (Orange Green Black) and YRK (Yellow Red Black). They are already grandparents. I often suggest this site to individuals who have a difficult time watching any nest if there is sibling rivalry. The Albatross lay one egg every two years. Parents rotate all of the duties. Last year the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, had a sat-pak attached to her. We are currently watching her fish off the coast of Chile.
It is a bit wet in NZ this morning. This is YRK’s 6th day on the nest. OGK will be flying in soon and they will switch. Should something happen, the NZ DOC rangers are there to step in and intervene. No one goes hungry, injuries are taken care of, etc. It is a great site and in the process you will bear witness to a country that really protects its wildlife!
There are way too many Bald Eagle streaming cams to list them all. For now, I am only going to recommend one. These are experienced parents Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family. Their eggs are due to hatch soon – December 25-28. Once Gabby lays her egg in NE Florida I will post that information. For now, you can have fun watching Harriet and M15 change places. The only un-fun thing is the GHOW that attacks the eagles regularly.
There is no word on Yurruga. Cilla says she will look for a few more days. Just so you know the building that Yurruga was last seen on is a gabled (triangle) pointed roof, a bit steep. It is a single story building with clay tiles. Yurruga is not there – not alive, not dead. He was there on Thursday – seen twice during a big storm. I would expect to hear this fledgling screaming for food. Falcons are loud! Is it at a distance from the tower? is Yurruga injured? is Yurruga somewhere else? There are no answers I am afraid. If I hear anything you will be the first to know. Now, it is time for me to go and take care of all my feeders. The gang will be here soon!
Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.
I hope that anyone celebrating Thanksgiving today had a wonderful meal with friends and family. All of us have so much to be grateful for – including our beloved birds – every day.
So, let’s start with the not so great news and move into the good, shall we?
Everyone has been waiting for Grinnell to step up to the plate and stay in the scrape box on The Campanile or on the ledge waiting for Annie. So far that has simply not happened. Today, however, it was the ‘new male’ that was there. Grinnell may still lack the confidence to engage with the intruder that injured him. Here is that video:
Port Lincoln has posted that the official autopsy on Solly, the 2020 fledgling of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and the first Osprey in Australia to have a tracker, was, indeed and very sadly and unnecessarily (my words) the victim of electrocution.
Oh, just look at her. What a beauty. Her necklace would have been the envy of everyone. She reminds me, so much, of Iris. Stunning.
Port Lincoln also posted the following information on their FB page. I am delighted to see that they are going to use the information gathered by Solly’s tracking to understand where to put protectors on the hydro poles.
Thank you to all my readers who wrote to the South Australian Minister of the Environment and Water, David Speirs. You may remember that Speirs travelled to Port Lincoln to help band the chicks there and at Thistle Island. Ervie is named after the town in Scotland where Speirs was born. Every letter and every phone call does help. It is a tragedy and one that did not need to happen!
Blackland Prairie Raptor Rescue posted the following image of a hawk caught up in fishing line. Look closely at the outward damage that line caused and imagine the pain and suffering. This was in Lucas, Texas but it could be anywhere people fish and do not care to clean up after themselves. Please spread the word to anyone you know who fishes. And if you want to do something to help, put bags in your car and pickers (those tools people use to pick up litter) along with gloves. Go for a walk along a shore and clean it up. Take the family. The birds will thank you. They really will!
And now for some really good news.
Port Lincoln has a couple of items. The first is a posting about Port Lincoln fledgling from 2019, Calypso. It seems that she has been spotted a few times with a male. Could this be pair bonding?
And lastly out of Port Lincoln, Ervie is doing more flying and getting stronger. He even flew over houses! The trio – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky – are doing great. All are flying and eating and life is good on the barge.
Ferris Akel’s tour meant a lot to lovers of Big Red today. About a week or ten days ago I posed the question on the Cornell Chatter’s FB page: Has anyone seen Big Red since 16 October? No one had. News came on the Cornell Twitter Page that Karel and Bogette had seen Big Red on 21 November at Beebee Lake. There was a lot of worry.
Everyone on Ferris’s tour were overjoyed to see her back sitting on the building where her ‘throne’ is located.
Oh, she is a beauty and is so dear to everyone. Such joy she has brought to people from around the world. Indeed, at one time, she was said to be ‘the most famous’ Red Tail Hawk. I am certain she still is! Ferris also spotted Arthur so everything is right with the world in Ithaca.
Soon the NZ DOC will select the Royal Cam family for the 2021-22 season. I wonder who they will choose?
And remember to mark your calendars. #1031 Iniko will be released back into the territory where she hatched in Big Sur on 4 December. It will be so exciting to seeRedwood Queen and Kingpin’s daughter return to the wild after surviving the Dolan Fire in 2020. This is one of those events that will warm your heart. No one believed Iniko could survive that fire. Her father, Kingpin, is believed to have perished but the wee one lived. Jubilant is the word I am looking for – everyone associated with the rescue and the release will be jubilant for a long, long time.
Take care everyone. I am thankful for each and everyone of you because you love and care for the environment where our beloved birds live and hunt and raise their families. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB Pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Ferris Akel Tours, Blackland Prairie Raptor Rescue, and Cal Falcons.