Late Wednesday in Bird World

18 May 2022

It is nothing short of rainy and freezing on the Canadian Prairies. The furnace is on. Outside people have a heavy coat on and hat. I am beginning to believe that we really could have snow in a couple of days.

Little Red. 15 February 2022

The garden/shed is no longer. It was built in 1902 on the property next door. In the 1940s it was moved to my property. Since I dream of living up on the Cape in the dunes with the Ospreys and the sand, everything was covered with cedar shakes. A cottage in an urban environment. I think I miss the shed as much as Little Red does already. 😦

The Dutch designed and built Red Squirrel House arrived today – thank you DHL. Now to put it up and see if Little Red will accept the new accommodation. He has been stressed out and upset and he might well just go elsewhere. I just hope not in anyone’s attic!!!!

Prairie people dream of sand and water!

Beach Scene 7277” by Joanna Lee Osborn is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

One of my favourite beaches is Lunan Bay. It is just north of Arbroath, Scotland. Idyllic. Ospreys near by but not here at the beach.

If you want to read something other than factual books about Osprey development, I recommend both of David Gessner’s books. They evoke that beautiful New England coast. The first is Soaring with Fidel written when putting satellite trackers on Ospreys was novel. Gessner follows a bird – at first in an attempt to beat a BBC crew doing a documentary – and then was his own journey all the way to the mountains of Cuba where Ospreys fly in huge groups overhead as they fly to Venezula and Brazil. You will want to travel the same route – Gessner has a way of sucking you in to everything he does delightfully. The second is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I do have a date with an Osprey and I will either be in Cuba on those mountains this September or next! Hidden within the pages of Gessner’s text is all kinds of information on Ospreys, too.

17 at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest has not had any food and unless something comes in late, it will go hungry. 17 had a full crop last night but to grow this wee one needs food and lots of it. The other two are levelling off. Surely something will happen and turn this nest around! I just ache for this hungry little one. If falcons and hawks can manage five nestlings, what happened with the eagles. Why can’t they get enough food for all of them?

Mid-afternoon saw more fish arrive at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Both Big and Middle are sporting nice big crops. Talk about a nest that has turned around. I really wonder what is going on there??? If Dad does have two nests does he alternate weeks – one week one gets little while the other gets a lot and vice versa? [I am not saying he has two nests but it is certainly a theory]. It has been a good week and I will take it. Middle is doing fine. Both are fine.

Middle has big droopy wings now. He was so hot today. Good thing there was fish!

Say hello to RR16, Richmond and Rosie’s wee little one hardly a day old. Cute.

Did DH14 fledge? or is Big just up higher on the nest tree? Three or four fish have been delivered to the nest today! Middle seems to be giving away the hide-and-seek secret hiding spot. Fantastic.

More fish. Middle has an enormous crop after River feeding. I do wonder about Big. She always likes her fish.

There was some concern about the weather plowing through northern Minnesota. I just checked and the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest is alright as is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey nest where Mum is incubating two eggs.

Top is E1, Harriet, on the MN-DNR nest waiting for Mum Nancy to bring some more dinner!

Right by a field! There are two eggs being incubated at the Osprey nest below.

Aren’t they adorable? Can you see their ears? Those black mole-like dots behind the eye and a little down? Those will be covered with feathers soon. When you look at this group and want to place them in order of hatch, look at feather development, not size. Then you will always get it right.

From left to right, L1, L4 (always in front near the beak), L3, and then L2. It could be the camera angle but it might not. L3 looks larger than L2. I guess we will continue to watch and guess – boys or girls. L4 is definitely a little tiercel. And L1 is too much of a big Mama not be another Big Red. The world could use lots of good hawk mothers like BR.

The two chicks of Annie, Grinnell, and Alden are losing that ‘cute’ little newly hatched look. Feathers are coming in. They are getting taller and thinner. Annie spent time today trying to keep the two shaded. It must be hot in San Francisco. Oh, they are adorable. We could be only a week away from ringing them! And names…yes, names. Of course, one has to be Grinnell, right? I mean how could it not be Grinnell?

I would say they are hot!!!!!! I wonder if there is a bit of a breeze coming in from outside? It looks like they have been doing some egg painting.

Cal Falcons posted some information and two images of Alden taken by Moon Rabbit Rising. Check out her Instagram page for more images.

It is happening. Blue 33 and Maya were the first to arrive and lay eggs in the UK. Now we are getting into the next group of Ospreys. I know that there are quite a number together with Mrs G and Aran bringing up the end of hatch.

Right now there is a really nice pip at the nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes!

Everything is fine at the Rutland nest of Maya and Blue 33. The kids eat, sleep, grow, eat some more. Maya is like Big Red. No one goes hungry at her house!

Thanks to ‘B’ who wrote and said Ervie is on the nest. I went and had a good look. Ervie arrived in the wee hours of the morning and slept on the perch flying down to the nest. He flew off and got a puffer. And it appears his talon is starting to grow in.

You can still see Ervie on re-wind on the PLO streaming cam. What a treat. Two days in a row. Thanks so much B from all of us!

You can see the talon just starting to grow.

Every nest seems to be doing fine except for ND-LEEF which has risen to the level of worrisome. If I say this and if everyone sends really positive energy over their way, maybe things will change for the good. As I look at Maya feeding the three Bobs, I sit in wonder. Big Bob survived the fish but I surely thought that Middle Bob was a goner – exposed to rain and the cool weather for 5 or 6 hours til Maya got the fish off and him under her. All three of them are alive and thriving. It is just such a happy positive sight. I wish all of the nests were like this one. We need a miracle for ND-LEEF. Let us all hope for it!

It has been a super long day. I have a few last images for you. I put out a new seed cylinder – they do really well for the garden birds when it is raining. Guess who found it in seconds? Dyson!!!!!!!!

The Baltimore Orioles are still visiting. In the chaos today I did manage to get to the birdseed store to get some White Millet. The place was packed with people purchasing special feeders for Baltimore Orioles. Yes, they are cute. Do you need them? No. A dish of any kind of jelly (not just grape) and orange slices set on something are absolutely fine.

This fellow has been eating oranges and Danish orange marmalade.

Thank you so much for joining me this evening. When I get Little Red’s house fixed, I will show you. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, ND-LEEF, MN-DNR, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

A Hatch and a Crop!

17 May 2022

I had no intention of writing another update on today’s birds. However, sometimes something wonderful happens.

The weather cooled off at Notre-Dame and a really nice fish came on the nest. Early today, little 17 had only a bite of fish and not much yesterday. This sweet little third hatch was conserving what energy it had and we were all hoping that food would come. The wee one had a small ps – not good. It was really showing how dehydrated 17 was getting.

17 did what we have seen many who are dominated by older siblings do – he was hungry and he needed to eat. How could he get around the pecking siblings? He went around on the rim of the nest. How many times have we seen desperate eaglets or osplets do this?

17 is on the rim watching until that one big sibling moves away from the fish.

Once he gets up to eat the sibling on the far left will move its head threatening to peck. 17 keeps its head away and moves in to grab a bite of fish and throws its wings out in a mantle.

It had to be such an anxious feeding. A human being would be sick under that kind of pressure.

17 keeps snatch and grabbing until all that is left is an inch or so of fish and the tail.

17 mantles, then grabs and turns his head away. What determination. Go 17!

That fish is getting shorter and by the time 17 finishes eating – he is going to have a great big crop for his size.

Mum leaves the tail piece. 17 eats on it holding it down at times while the Big siblings ignore it all. Eventually one of them will try and self-feed, too but, 17 knows to hold it down and they don’t.

The ND-LEEF camera does not have good definition. But look straight down. See the fluffy grey on either side of 17’s head. That is how big his crop is! He can hardly walk he is so full. This is wonderful. He hasn’t ever had such a good meal that I can remember. We were also at the point to start worrying a bit – so that is all avoided. Yipee.

The second egg of Richmond and Rosie had a crack in it a few hours ago. About an hour ago that crack went completely around the egg and you could see the little osplet inside the shell! Oh, how grand. A hatch for the SF Ospreys. How wonderful. It is a good way to end the day. A full tummy for 17 and a hatch – finally – for Richmond and Rosie.

There it is! Oh, sweet wiggly one.

Back to brooding. Was sort of hoping that they would move that other part of the hatchling’s shell out of the nest.

But goodness, welcome wee one!

I simply cannot think of a better way to end the day than with a big smile. All is well in Bird World.

Thank you for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to ND-LEED and SFOspreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Friday Morning in Bird World

13 May 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that your Friday is a very good one.

Have you seen this old film titled Osprey?

In the Q & A discussion at Cal Falcons, one big difference between Grinnell and Alden that has been noticed is that Alden hunts at night. He also seems to be hunting in exotic places bringing in various prey items. Last evening the kids and Annie had a bed time snack at 22:00.

Alden on the left and Annie, who has just taken prey item, on the right. Look at those two smiling eyases! How grand. Both ate extremely well, the little one falling into a food coma first.

All are wide awake first thing in the morning and ready for fish at the Manton Bay Osprey nest at Rutland. Blue 33 (11) has been flying in with more and more fish during the day. The three are doing very well with the flapping perch incident well behind them! A great way to start a Friday.

At 11:50 Blue 33 took a turn feeding his chicks as Maya looked on.

More food around 14:00. Maya is pretty much feeding the chicks every two hours. The trio will grow fast!

The streaming cam to the nest of the Lesser Spotted Eagles, Anna and Andris in the Spruce Tree in a forest area at Lemgate, Latvia is back on line. The couple are incubating one egg which is set to hatch in June.

Both eaglets are still on the nest at Dale Hollow. They are 75 days old today if you count hatch day (28 Feb). Gorgeous birds who are now filling in almost the entire nest. They are definitely within fledge range which is normally 10-12 weeks for Bald Eagles.

The eaglet at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle nest is four days older than the pair at Dale Hollow.

Middle Little was on the platform at the Captiva Osprey nest this morning early calling for dad, Andy, to bring in a fish. All four of the family can be seen flying around the area and since Middle Little and Little MiniO are the only fledglings, Lori has been able to take images from her kayak and is certain it is them screaming for the parents to bring fish. Lori is returning to Canada today. If you have enjoyed watching the Ospreys and all her help finding them to reassure us all are alright, why not go to the chat today and just give her a little thank you. It has been a great year at the Captiva Osprey platform – a first in a long time to have osplets fledge! Thanks, Lori.

At 07:25:29, Dad delivered a fish to the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Middle started cheeping right away and managed to get into position quickly, on the opposite side of Mum, to get some nice fish. That is a great way to start the day at this nest. It is 22 degrees C, winds were at 6 kmh at the time of the delivery with the pressure rising. The weather forecast is for a thunderstorm later today.

Nice to see that fish this morning before the weather turns bad.

Big did not seem threatening but Middle still got around the back of Mum and over to the opposite side calling loudly for food. Good for you, Middle.

Mum did give Big the first couple of bites before Middle got up front but then she fed both. I hope Middle is getting his confidence back!

Oh, this camera can be annoying. That is Middle with its wings spread. Growing. Getting to the point that Big really cannot do too much damage other than throwing Middle off the nest — which I hope is not going to happen. The thunderstorm is forecast to begin around 16:00 nest time.

Nancy and E1 – Harriet – were rearranging straw on the nest this morning. There continues to be a sub-adult around the nest. Both Nancy and E1 continue to do as well as expected as a nest with a single parent. Look at Harriet help her Mum!

Cholyn fed TH1 at 05:33 from the fish that was left overnight.

Just look at that beautiful golden glow over the nest shining on the face of our beautiful Mum. It won’t be long til Dr Sharpe climbs up the cliff to band the eaglet. I will see if I can find out when that is going to be for everyone. If you know already, let me know!

They have fledged but both Jasper and Rocket are still hanging around the nest tree getting food from Samson and Gabby. Gabby normally migrates north when it gets hot while Samson stays in the Jacksonville area. Last year he kept feeding Legacy for some time. It is so nice to see the birds on the nest. Look close. One of the eaglets is on a branch almost at the left bottom corner.

The two eaglets on the Decorah North nest of Mr North and Mrs DNF are well and doing just fine. Bad weather has been going through the area with a Derecho or Inland Hurricane with winds of 100 mph going through South Dakota and area yesterday. Fingers crossed for all that were in its wake.

Big Red and her gang of four eyases are doing just fine this morning, too. The chicks are relaxing after having breakfast and Big Red has been on the nest doing some allopreening.

Big Red is so beautiful.

This has been a great way to start a Friday morning. All of the nests appear to be doing well. In Canada we traditionally plant the annual flowers on the May long weekend which is connected with Queen Victoria’s birthday. That is next weekend. Everyone will be at the greenhouses stocking up on flowers and vegetables and mixed in there will be me today. Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Latvian Fund for Nature, LRWT, Cal Falcons, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, Explore.org, NEFlorida-AEF, and Cornell Bird Lab RTH.

Friday Morning in Bird World with a detailed update on Dale Hollow eagles

25 March 2022

No one knew til it stuck its little head up that there are four eaglets on the PA Farm Nest!

I do not normally watch this nest but a friend alerted me. The issue is the ads that appear that drive you nuts and there is no re-wind. It is run by the PA Game Commission. Here is the link:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/pa-farm-country-bald-eagle-live-cam

We will wait to see how they do. The oldest is already bonking but these are early days and hopefully, it will settle. Last year a nest in the 1000 Lakes Conservancy area of Wisconsin had four fledge so it is possible! Fingers crossed.

There is a sand storm moving over Southern Spain and it is cold in the Alicante Region. This might count for a slow down in the return of some of the Ospreys migrating north from Africa.

Yesterday was a very good day for Little Middle at the Dale Hollow nest. No, the intimidation did not stop but it was not as frenzied, at all, like it was on the 23rd of March. Little Middle is growing and it is harder for Big. From past experience, I think Little Middle has 5-7 more days and this might be over. Always fingers crossed and positive wishes. He is clever but sometimes he forgets!

At the Dale Hollow nest, Little Middle has no crop. It is nearing 11:30 nest time. At 08:32:07 River comes on the nest. Big wants to eat the piece of fish from last night. She attacks Little Middle at 09:28:27. Little Middle immediately went into submission. He got no food.

You can see how much larger Big is than Middle Little still. There is the piece of fish left from last night.

River feeds Big only. Little Middle in submission.

Middle had a magnificent PS at 08:32:07. Good one. Middle is not starving. He is hungry but he ate a lot yesterday. Let us all hope the fish come on the nest – a bucket of suckers please!!!!

No one eats Suckers where I live except for a family that we met from Labrador living where I was teaching in Quebec. They canned the Suckers.

You can see Big’s crop. You can also see Little Middle has none. It is nearing noon. It looks damp and cold at the nest.

At 11:30:01 River arrives on the nest with a very large fish with its head still on. Little Middle is right up at the landing pad.

River offers the first bite to Little Middle. He is scared and he refuses to eat before Big. In fact, in the image below, Little Middle is pulling back from the offer of food in fright.

River then offers the bite to Big.

At 11:31:02 Little Middle moves up near to Mum and the fish. River continues to feed Big.

From then until 12:02 River feeds both of the eaglets with Big getting the majority of the fish. Little Middle will have a nice crop. Little Middle does not need to eat nearly the amount of food to fill its crop as Big but…it would be nice if he were stuffed to his eyeballs so if the day goes sideways, he had a good feed.

At 12:02:28, almost 2/3 of the fish appears to have been consumed. Little Middle makes a slight gesture to say it would like some more and Big goes on the attack.

Big continues to eat. It is hard to tell but be assured, the attacks on Little Middle are not over. It needs to eat and eat to grow. Fingers crossed for more big deliveries today.

At 12:11:30 Little Middle is up and is doing the snatch and grab. Go Little Middle, Go!

The other adult will arrive on the nest at 12:14. It even looks like the two parents had a chat about the eaglets. At 12:16:40, no feeding is going on but you can see the big crop of Little Middle.

River seems to drag the fish head around and then returns to feed the eaglets at 12:18:27. By 12:19 Little Middle, well over his fear of Big for the moment, does the snatch and grab!

Big passes out and River will continue to give small bites to Little Middle before stopping the feeding at around 12:27. There is some fish left but not enough for both probably. We need another fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of my favourite Bald Eagle nests with another young male is the MN DNR nest. Harry was 4 years old last year and proved himself to be a good provider. He is doing the same this year for Nancy and their two nestlings – loading up the nest with prey items.

Here is the link to Harry and Nancy’s streaming cam:

That Minnesota nest is going to do just fine. It is a prey rich area with a stream running through. Perfect for Eagles to get a variety of fresh prey.

The young man that has melted my heart this year (besides Arthur as always) is Akecheta at the West End Bald Eagle Nest in the Channel Islands. He stepped up to the plate, protected the eggs, and now has turned into the best ‘Mum’ you could ask for! Thunder might be enjoying a bit of a break doing security duty and prey capture. I haven’t actually counted the time that Akecheta is on the nest brooding or feeding but 9 out of 10 times he will be there doing one or the other when I check – which is often.

It is really foggy out on Catalina island this morning. Babies are all sleeping in a cuddle puddle.

The first breakfast just as the sun kisses the horizon.

Another feeding! The oldest is large and has a huge beak. There is no discord on this nest. Some have wondered if nests of 3 eaglets that have a younger male as a Dad – like here or at Redding – do better than those where the parents are both on the side of elderly in eagle terms. I have not researched this but clearly Big Red selected the vastly younger Arthur because he demonstrated how good a hunter he was and a devoted partner. Arthur is 6 and Big Red is 19. It is something to consider as we watch the Dale Hollow nest where both parents are 24 years old.

Liberty and Guardian are getting used to feeding their two Bobble heads. The baby is gradually learning what it is supposed to do. What a couple of cuties at the Redding nest.

There is a hatch happening at the Iowa Bald eagle nest of Mr North and DNF at Decorah North.

Many of us have been worried about Grinnell and Annie. I even wondered if falcons go through a mid-life crisis since Grinnell was flirting with one of the 5 juvenile females the other day, again. So is this Grinnell and Annie this morning? Did he bring Annie a prey gift? Will there be eggs in the scrape? We wait!

I began wondering about these SF males. Richmond has been feeding himself instead of Rosie at the SFOspreys nest on the World War II Whirley Crane in the Richmond Shipping Yards. Hopefully, Richmond and Grinnell will get their acts together!!!!!!!!

Our melt as stopped. It is -11 C. Ice crusts the remaining snow and water and most here are being careful not to go out walking if they don’t have to. I am enjoying a nice warm wood fire!

There is so much happening in Bird World. It is so difficult now to keep up with all of the nests. I did a quick run through of the Captiva Ospreys and Florida Bald eagles and all is good. I note not much osprey movement into the UK monitored nests yet. Loch of the Lowes and Rutland Water Manton Bay are the two I watch constantly and both couples are home. Fingers crossed for all the Welsh nests. Maybe tomorrow. We are also waiting for Iris! Despite the beaking and intimidation, I am thrilled that Little Middle went back up to eat and had a huge crop at noon. We take it a half day or a day at a time. Today, we rejoice – for now.

I hope you are all well. Thank you for being with me today. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: MN DNR, Dale Hollow EC, PA Game Commission, Redding Eagles, and Explore.org

It’s Sweet Eaglet Dreams at Dale Hollow and…other news in Bird World

24 March 2022

The image below pretty much says how the day has gone for Little Middle (notice my new nickname for DH15) at the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. I do not have the time stamp but it was mid-afternoon. River had fed the kiddos all of the food on the nest. You can almost hear the two siblings comparing their crops – Little Middle insisting that his is ultimately larger because he is so much smaller than Big!

It has not been a day without its troubles, without Middle Little striking the submission pose to protect its head when Big would get up to eat. But, so far, it has been nothing like yesterday at all.

At 16:56 Obey? arrives with a fish. Big and Middle Little are too full to even think about having any bites of that fish.

Obey takes the time to aerate more of the nest.

Obey? begins calling and flies off. River? returns with a small Sucker.

At 17:11:46 s/he tries to feed Big.

Nope. Too full. Little Middle turns to face parent for a feeding but, ultimately, he is too full. Big does not even acknowledge that Little Middle is moving by the fish. Talk about a 360 degree turn.

Parent begins to bury the fish in the nest. By 17:24:25 Little Middle is ‘thinking’ about fish and drops its crop a bit. But Little Middle is just thinking and not eating. At 17:43:52 Little Middle moves over by the fish and does a couple of pecks at it.

It is now 18:09. The nest is calm.

There are two fish (Suckers) on the nest and whatever else River has hidden. Neither of the two eaglets are interested in eating. So, how to have a happy nest? how to stop intimidation? Keep the fish coming in for several days in a row. Are we beginning to turn the corner at the Dale Hollow nest? Gosh, I sure hope so!

River is looking at them and she knows bedtime is coming. Will she try to feed the pair again?

Yes. At 18:36:51, River unzips the large Sucker at the top right of the nest.

At 18:37:07 River offers the first bite to Little Middle. Is this a mistake?

Little Middle wants to move around to the other side of River. Good move. River feeds Big.

Smart. If Big gets mad, Little Middle is protected by being on the other side of Mum.

At 18:48:25 Little Middle takes a chance and moves up between Mum and Big. What is he thinking???!!!!!!

Goodness. Little Middle gets some bites and also reaches down and eats some of the flakes of fish off the nest. Talk about brave! Whoooooaaaa.

Wow. That worked out. Little Middle is totally stuffed and walks away from the feeding area at 18:53.

You could set an alarm by Obey’s regular 19:00 visit to check on the nest. He must be happy with what he sees – two full healthy eaglets.

The feeding is over. There is one fish hidden and half of the large sucker remaining for tomorrow morning. Sweet eaglet dreams everyone. It has been a good day at Dale Hollow.

Other Nests: There is a pip in the first egg at Decorah North for Mr North and Mrs DNF. That pip started at 12:46. Just after I was thinking that the Cal Falcon scrape of Annie and Grinnell was secure, Annie flies off to hunt or something and Grinnell entertains one of the five juvenile females that are trying to entice him. Grinnell, behave yourself! BTW. This is not normal behaviour and ‘B’ suggested today that Grinnell has not been the same since his injury 29 October. I agree. This scrape is certainly better than the old soap operas that used to be on the telly that my Grandmother watched!!!!!! There is also a pip in the second egg at the MN DNR nest of Harry and Nancy.

Parents at Pittsburgh Hayes are doing great with their two wee ones. Dad hauled in a massive fish after the following video was posted.

Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida nest of Samson and Gabby are still home, still self-feeding, and still adorable.

The two little ones of Liberty and Guardian on the Redding Bald Eagle nest need a bath! It is not clear if it was a coot or a duck but they are now being fed one of the organs. They have not injured one another – it is just the feeding!

Thunder brought in a really nice fish to the West End Bald eagle nest. The trio lined up nice and straight and very polite for their feeding.

At the Captiva Osprey Nest Lena is using her peripheral vision and is really hoping that Middle doesn’t hit her with a PS.

Lena has moved over because she knows that Andy is incoming with dinner. The kids are excited to see a fish on the nest.

Martin has at least 5, perhaps more, super large fish on his nest with Rosa at Dulles-Greenaway. Wish he could courier a couple of those over to Dale Harbour.

And if you want to imagine a spread in hatch days, these are the dates for Big Red’s eggs: March 14, 17, 20, and 23. Yes, the difference from egg 1 to 4 is 9 days.

Arthur would really like Big Red to move so he could have a turn incubating those precious eggs.

It has been a good day! Thank you so much for being here with me. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute of Wildlife, MN DNR, Pix Cams, Dulles-Greenaway Eagles, Redding Eagle Cam, Captiva Ospreys, and NE Florida Bald Eagles.

Dale Hollow – still some beaking amidst the good

21 March 2020

It was a grey morning when Big and Middle wake up. Both immediately begin preening. Big is getting its blood feathers along the wing.

At 06:43:46 River flies in with what looks like to be a medium sized fish. Both babies are sleepy heads.

River offers Middle the first bite at 06:45:13. He moves to take it. Despite Big not seeming to be interested, this is a mistake.

Big is the dominant bird on the nest. Middle needs to be careful not to wake up Big’s bad side. Big gets angry and lashes out. Poor Middle is terrified and immediately moves to try and get away. Big could fatally injure the wee one.

Big will eat and Middle will keep a very submissive and self-protective pose until 06:47 when it moves to the rim of the nest closer to Mum River. River offers bites to Big who doesn’t seem to be interested. Middle notices and moves close to Mum’s beak eating quickly at 06:48:50.

River drops a piece of fish she is trying to give Big. Middle looks at it but is extremely aware that Big is moving. This clearly frightens Middle.

Big is moving so it can do a poop shot. Look at that PS. Gracious.

Big then moves up to River to eat.

Middle might look calm but it isn’t. It is frightened by the actions of Big, a reminder of what happened to it less than 48 hours ago when Big took its wrath out on Middle til late in the day on the 19th. Many of us thought Middle would not survive.

Middle is getting smart but it needs to continue to be extremely cautious. Middle moves between River’s legs to snatch some bites where it is protected from Big. The time was 06:54:43.

By 06:57:54 River has reached the fish tail. Little would like some. Big will eat most of the tail at 06:58:44 but then it drops a large piece. River gives Middle some of the tail at 06:59:13.

River moves to get another piece of fish that is on the nest at 06:59:35. Middle continues to eat. It is interesting that Big is less interested in food. Does it need to cast a pellet?

Obey arrives on the nest at 08:15:58. The eaglets have finished eating and River is shading them when he arrives. You can see that there is another piece of fish on the nest and behind River there is another. Fish magically appear from inside all that straw!

Obey does a quick check, an alert call, and he is off. By this time Big is hungry so River gets to the fish tail and begins to feed Big at 08:20. You can see the other piece of fish, a large portion, to the left of River. Middle stays in submission in the middle of the nest while Big eats.

At 08:26:22 Middle moves around to position itself for food. Middle is watching Big careful to not make Big angry.

Middle gets its first bite at 08:26:40. Middle has really perfected its move up to the beak and the snatch and grab. Both will eat until 08:34:30 when Middle is the only one left eating. The feeding is finished around 08:36:42. Middle had dropped its crop earlier and is now getting another one. Yeah!

At 10:20:17, Middle is crying for fish. Big is over at the rim and River, hearing Middle, moves up to the piece of fish near the feeding area.

River reaches down to feed Middle and Big immediately moves!

Another mistake! Middle cannot eat before Big. It is 10:20:33 and Big attacks Middle. Remember that Big is so much larger that it can still kill the smaller Middle relatively easy. Not good to wake up Big’s bad side.

Big moves up to eat for a few minutes. Middle stays in submission.

Then Big moves to the rim of the nest. Will Middle get any food?

Yes!

Middle moves very carefully over to the right of the nest.

Middle eats for awhile and then River offers a bite to Big at the rim.

At 10:24:54 something wonderful happens. Middle does a poop shot. This is so good. The plumbing is working fine.

Afterwards, Middle moves up and continues to eat. Big is quiet. Thank goodness.

By 10:26:48 Middle appears to be full and moves over to look at what is going on in the woods.

Big and Middle eventually wind up beside one another at the rim. Everything is amicable. Both are hot. Why is River not up here shading her chicks?

The two of them move around the nest trying to get cool. It is now 11:05 and the nest is quiet. No more feedings.

This nest is hardly settled. Middle is learning tricks to survive but has to remain very careful at the beginning of each feeding. Let Big go first and hope that lots of fish land on the nest. We have to take this nest at almost a feeding at a time for now. Send positive wishes!

Also a correction to an earlier post: Abby and Blazer’s two eaglets hatched on the 11th and 14th of February not March. Thanks ‘S’. LOL. They would not be ready for branching if it was March!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to Dale Hollow Eagle streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Tears of Joy. Dale Hollow 15 is fed!

Saturday 19 March 2022

I had prepared myself for having to write a tribute for the Middle Hatch, DH15, later tonight. Since the eldest sibling, DH14 killed the youngest, Little Bit or Tater Tot, DH16, Big has taken its wrath out on the Middle Chick on the nest. This morning DH15 had a few bites of fish – seriously only a couple – and was mauled many times by Big who refused to let it eat or even get near the food pantry. At the same time, River ignored Middle’s cries for food even when he was trying to pick blood off her talons. Middle even resorted to trying to eat the hay with fish juice on it to no avail. There was plenty of fish on the nest – plenty.

Middle wants to survive.

Bald Eagles need to fledge one healthy chick. If that is the case, then why do they lay more than one egg? One old timer called these ‘insurance’ eggs or a better concept for humans is the ‘heir and the spare’. If something happens to the eldest, then there is the ‘spare’. If the spare and the youngest sibling happen to survive, it is like a gold star of success for the Bald Eagle family. I am certain, at some time, you have been very impressed by a raptor family that was able to raise three fledglings.

So let us think about this ‘insurance’ chick by looking at the Captiva Osprey Nest. Imagine this scenario. It didn’t happen but it could have. Big Bob refuses to let either Middle or Little (or Little and Mini Bob) eat. In fact, Big did eat all the fish leaving Lena, Middle, and Little without for a period of nearly 72 hours. Middle and Little survived. But, for now, imagine that the two siblings perished. Then Big Bob dies mysteriously. Which he did. The Osprey nest has then been a failure. It would, thus, not have been advantageous to Andy and Lena for Big to have killed its siblings. It would have been the third nest failure in a row. Thankfully, this did not happen!

With Avian Flu running rampant along the East coast of the US, Florida, and spreading, it is not an advantage to River and Obey if Big DH14 kills DH15. They eat carrion and have even brought a Crow to the nest for food. That Corvid could easily have been carrying H5N1. So it made no sense to me today when River refused to acknowledge Middle’s cries for food. There was 2/3 of a huge fish on the nest! Big was so full he could barely walk.

Tonight, Big was fed til it passed out. And then something wonderful happened! At 17:57:52 Middle, DH15, was fed. It ate all of the remaining fish and the feeding stopped at 18:12:38. That was a really nice feeding – one that could mean the difference between life or death for Middle. Then, miracle of all miracles, Middle Bob has a crop!!!!!! The tears poured down my cheeks. I felt delirious with joy.

Here are some images from this feeding.

Big has eaten and eaten and has an enormous crop. There is fish left over. Big is going to go into a sort of food coma. Little is in total submission. It has really been pecked and tossed about by its neck today. Middle has to be terrified. He knows what happened to Little.

Little quietly goes up to the food table hoping that River will not leave and might feed it. Middle is careful not to wake Big.

And look at this! Did I say this nest needed a miracle? or did I say I was losing faith in a miracle happening? This is a miracle. I am so happy to be wrong!

Big raises his head and sees Middle eating but he is too full to do anything.

Meanwhile, Middle cannot believe how good that fish tastes. He was very dehydrated pecking at River’s beak last night trying to get some saliva feeding.

River gets into a different position but continues to feed Middle.

Big is still watching.

Little got some nice pieces of fish.

River offered Middle a big hunk of fish skin. He is trying to hork it down in the image below.

River roots around and finds a little more fish and feeds it to Middle.

Just look at that crop! I have never seen Middle have a crop this size. Amazing. Thank you, Mum.

Have we turned a corner in this saga?

The feeding and Middle moving to the rim of the nest did not, however, escape Big, DH14. He did attack him over a period of five minutes before River rounded them up so she could brood them for the night.

Middle needs to eat and get strong and have a ps. But the other issue that remains is that there is no place on this nest to avoid Big. Tonight, Big and Middle are 22 days old. Middle will grow if given food and he should be reaching the point to where Big is not a threat. Middle is underdeveloped because of a lack of food, though.

But this was a good day! And maybe, just maybe, this good day will lead to another then another and then another.

Send all of your positive wishes to Middle for lots of fish tomorrow and a day out of sight of Big.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to bring good news to you about this nest. For today, Middle has eaten well and is alive. One day at a time. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the DHEC for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Little Bit played possum at Dale Hollow – how will tomorrow turn out?

Thursday, 17 March 2022

I always hope to give accurate information on the nests. I believed Little Bit to have died earlier. Instead this ingenious starving little eaglet played the best possum I have ever seen! So I want to correct that and add in subsequent information.

Today, Little Bit at Dale Hollow endured more than an hour and a half of pecking from her big sibling preventing her from eating along with the middle sibling. The two have not had food since early Wednesday morning. I thought Little Bit was dead. Instead, he was playing possum and doing a grand job of it. I am shocked at what this chick endured and persevered – at the same time, I have to warn you that just because the little one survived until the next fish arrival, the terror reigning down on this nest is not over and the accurate word remains, ‘siblicide’. The deliberate killing of a brother or sister.

Before I proceed, it is believed that the oldest sibling is a female and that the youngest one is a male. Some of these images are horrific – they are even worse in video which is why I chose stills. Little Bit is still alive at 19:25 when he joins its siblings under River.

At 18:16:01, a parent arrives on the nest with a fish.

That delivery aroused the interest of Middle and Little Bit. Big immediately went to thwart them from wanting any fish.

Big rushes over walking on top of Little Bit to get to the Middle sibling.

Middle sibling has its neck down for protection and in complete submission. Big is standing on Little Bit now. It looks like River is going to reach over to feed Big.

Big settled in eating knowing that the siblings would not dare bother him eating.

Big ate his fill and there was still some meat and that lovely fish tail left. Before River flew off, Big went over to stop the two siblings from getting up to Mum to eat.

With her chick fed, River flew off the nest at 18:27. This is so odd to me. A parent seems to show up with a fish and then they leave.

Big has a ‘big’ crop. Indeed, Big is so full that she has trouble moving about the nest. This does not stop her attacks on her two siblings, however.

For a moment, Big went off to go into a food coma.

That food coma did not last long. Middle dared to raise its head and Big went back over to the two siblings. Big is a big clumsy because its crop is so full.

Big begins beaking Middle.

When Big is finished with Middle, he decides to go after Little Bit. It is a ferocious attack involved multiple pecking at the spinal cord on the back, tossing the nest and thrashing the chick about, and kicking.

I honestly do not know how Little Bit is still alive. If there is to be a miracle and this little boy survives this nest, he is going to be one tough eagle.

At 18:42, Big is not content and shakes Little Bit’s head and kicks him with her feet.

The skin of these birds must be really tough.

Big looks over and is pretty satisfied that he has ‘taken care of’ the two. Remember, to Big, this is about survival and Big is determined to be the last one standing.

No. Big is not finished. Big will not leave Little Bit alone.

At 19:03, Obey appears on the left rim of the nest.

Little raises its head and leans it on Big.

Obey goes over to where the fish tail is located.

Obey stirs up the nesting material as Big looks on. Big is leaning on Little Bit. Middle is moving up with the grass on its back thinking Dad might feed it.

At 19:09 Big goes to sleep.

The River flies up to the rim of the nest at 19:11. Middle scoots up to the Mum. He is under the grass. Little Bit raises his head and so does Big. River roots around. In my head I went Yippee…thinking of the fish tail.

River begins to feed Middle the fish tail at 19:15. Little Bit sees this. Will he get up to eat, too?

At 19:18 Little Bit is on the move. Will he make it in time to get any fish at all?

Little Bit did make it up to Mum and Middle. River turned her back. I cannot tell you how much, if any, fish Little Bit got to eat but Middle did have a tiny crop. You can see it in the image below.

Little Bit will join Middle and Big under Mum.

This entire afternoon reminds me of Tiny Tot Tumbles on the Achieva Osprey nest who was believed dead several times and wound up being the dominant bird on the nest. I do believe in strange miracles. But I also do not want Little Bit to suffer. We wait now until tomorrow.

Wednesday in Bird World

16 March 2022

Wow! What the morning. The two surviving chicks at the Captiva Osprey nest chirping for fish and Grinnell – finally – bringing Annie a gift of prey!!! You know the only way it could get better is if the Ravens would leave both Jackie & Shadow and Thunder & Cheta alone and if Little Bit at Dale Hollow grew ‘a mile’ overnight.

Peregrine Falcons. If you are new to this species, the female – in this case Annie – expects the male to delivery her prey and prove that he can take care of her and the chicks before she is ever going to lay any of his eggs!!!!! Well, Grinnell finally did that this morning. He had better sweeten the pot with several more nice fat pigeons! I have a feeling that Grinnell was in Annie’s ‘dog house’ for some reason.

CalFalcons did a video of the first prey offering. All of this is part of the mating and breeding rituals of the falcons. Notice how Grinnell is bowed in submission to his mate, Annie.

There will be several more Peregrine Falcon streaming cams coming on line. One of those is The Wakefield Peregrine Falcons in the UK. Here is the link to the camera.

If you are familiar with Ospreys and Eagles you might find it odd that Falcons prefer shallow areas with gravel called a ‘scrape box’ to lay their eggs. The female will ‘scrape’ in the box making a slight indentation for the eggs. These scrape boxes – now on high buildings and skyscrapers – mimic the traditional cliffs where the falcons bred. They have adopted to the urban landscape and are doing well in most instances. There are many challenges for them including traffic, cars, rodenticide secondary poisoning, and windows that rural falcons do not have.

Oh, the two remaining osplets on the Captiva nest look really good today. Here they are with big crops and it is 16:08 nest time. Andy and Lena are decidedly having to adjust the fish deliveries now that Big is no longer with us. Andy came in with another Ladyfish this morning before I went for my walk and Lena had most of a Ladyfish left from an earlier feeding. Even so, both chicks and Lena were full and happy.

I am anything but an expert on H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain of Avian Flu. I have, however, observed younger eaglets die from the virus on the nest and those chicks were not hungry. So the fact that these two are joyfully eating gives me real hope.

Lena went for her spa and returned to feed Middle and Little. Have a look at Little’s crop. I know it is big in the image above but look now. He is going to pass out in a food coma momentarily!

Popping crops is what it looks like.

Yeap. He is out for the count.

That Little Bit at Dale Hollow is really tiny. The difference in size between it and the eldest is quite unbelievable. Little Bit is still alive and has energy to scoot all around the nest. I am having trouble catching River or Obey feeding the three today but the last capture I took of them, Little Bit looks good.

Big has become a ‘couch potato’ of sorts preferring to sleep on the new hay brought to the nest. Wonder what Little Bit sees in the distance?

Will Little Bit be the smallest male eaglet from the region? Have a look at this really short video of it flapping its tiny little wings. What a sweetheart.

Thunder and Akecheta have been taking turns brooding their three chicks at the West End Bald Eagle nest on Catalina Island. I have not seen any new prey on the nest today – just the remains of the Cormorant. It is still early there! 13:52. Plenty of time for several fish to be brought in to the nest. Thunder is brooding so maybe Akecheta is out hunting.

Akecheta is getting better and better at feeding the three and also knows that it is good to saliva feed them as well so they get more hydration. It is really hot on that nest on Catalina Island.

The wing tags were put on as part of a research project so the birds that were introduced to this region could easily be identified. Akecheta still has his; Thunder has lost hers. They are meant to fall off eventually. That project to reintroduce eagles into the area began in the 1980s.

Akecheta shading his chicks from the hot California sun.

Thunder getting a chance to brood her chicks.

The little eaglet at the Big Bear Valley Bald Eagle Nest of Jackie and Shadow has been fed 5 times already. The last feeding was at 13:05 and one fish has been delivered to that nest by Shadow. There are various other items of prey there as well.

I wonder if that little one is hot?

How cute. They all look different. This one is simply a little sweetheart taking care of its ‘eggie’ once in awhile.

It is a beautiful day at Big Bear Lake. Jackie is as gorgeous as ever.

Sad news from the Kakapo Recovery coming today. Lung infections are the major killer of these non-flying parrots. The area they live in is also very damp.

The ‘baby’ at Berry College, B15, is no longer a baby. This morning he completely ate a fish by himself. Missy brought in a squirrel later and fed him and now, late afternoon, she has returned and is feeding B15 some more squirrel. This eaglet is doing great. So nice to see.

Two really beautiful eaglets at the WRDC nest. It is good to remember back when R2 had a really difficult time and we were worried that it would not survive. Look at both of them today. Rita and Ron sure have two gorgeous kids!

The weather is so much better here. The temperatures are around +2 C. The snow is melting and today the light was ‘bright’. I went for my walk determined to triple the distance that I normally try to do. When I finished I had done more than I wanted and, by the time I got to my car, really felt it. There was something wonderful about being out in the woods in the silence broken now and again by the honking of returning Canada Geese.

The resident pair of Bald Eagles was across the lake. I did manage to get their silhouettes against that bright sky.

I wish I could do calligraphy like the beautiful lines of the old bull rushes.

Nature is a much better artist than I would ever be!

The board walk looked particularly lonely today waiting for the ice to thaw.

The nature centre has set up a ‘Winter Bird Feeding Station’ as part of a bequest. What a wonderful idea. There were several benches to sit on, different kinds of feeders, and an illustrative board showing the birds, their names, and a little information about them. It was a nice place to stop and rest but the Black-capped Chickadees did not like me there. They would not come and eat so I quickly departed. Maybe having benches for observers is not a good idea – just food for the birds.

There are other feeders nearer to the building where you enter. Today I only saw the chickadee and the nuthatch. But I want you to notice the cords hanging in front of the windows. I tried to describe them one day. The cords are on wooden slats that are attached to the outside of the windows. They do not bother the view from the inside but they definitely prevent window strike.

I went to check on Captiva and everything is just fine. Middle seems to be finding its way to being the biggest on the nest. He is a beautiful bird. The nest ‘feels’ peaceful. Perhaps Little and Middle are little boys.

You cannot see Little (or Mini)’s head; he is to the right of Lena. You can see its fat bottom and those lovely velvet-like pantaloons. Middle is sound asleep. Lena was calling Andy for another fish delivery before bed. Life on the Captiva nest looks good.

Wish for a lot of fish at the Dale Hollow Lake nest of River and Obey – add to that a tandem feeding by Mum and Dad so that each chick goes to bed full. That would really help Little Bit. The others have their thermal down but it does not have all of its and it really needs cuddling or brooding on the cold evenings.

Thank you for joining me this afternoon. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, West End Bald Eagles and Institute for Wildlife Studies, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Kakapo Recovery, WRDC, and Berry College.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

15 March 2022

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.