Saturday in Bird World

14 May 2022

Today is Big Bird Day when all the world is counting. The lists of the birds coming into the garden is growing and growing. For the first time, there have even been some Baltimore Orioles and the numbers of Harris Sparrows continues to grow. The rain forecast for this afternoon has been cancelled by the weather station and it is hoped that those traveling long distances to get to the north of our province have a good rest and feed before starting up that journey again. I made a decision to put out at separate stations many different kinds of food: sliced oranges, grape jelly, peanuts, Butter Bark, Black Oil Seed, White Millet, Solid Seed Suet, and Meal Worms. Gosh those European Starlings love the Butter Bark and the Meal Works while the Harris and Chipping Sparrows are taking to the Millet. It should be a big count by the end of the day.

Southwest Florida. The big eagle nest of Harriet and M15. Everyone thought that E20 had left for the long goodbye but look who is back on the nest branch this morning?

The streaming cam for the nest of Anna and Louis will probably be turned off on 20 May. It was a fabulous season down there with Kincaid that beautiful female. What a treat that she hung around the nest tree for so long. Indeed, she was there this morning proving to be a delight for everyone. It was so nice that Cody got the cam up and running after the latest storm.

Kincaid arrives at 11:19:20.

All of these fledglings will be leaving their parents territory – if they haven’t already – to find their own place in the world.

Speaking of fledglings, the Three Amigos at the West End nest are thinking about flying. Kana’kini hovered this morning. Here it is:

The security system seems not to be bothering the ospreys at the new Llyn Brenig Osprey nest in Wales. LM6 laid her first egg on the 25th of April. Dad LJ2 has been bringing in some fantastic fish. Wishing this couple all success this season.

It is sometimes very difficult to tell which osplet is which at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest. While this is a good thing, it is often hard to focus on who is eating and who isn’t. This morning was very interesting. I am hoping that the dominance attacks on Middle by Big are behind us.

A fish was delivered – it looked like it had been hacked up by a chain saw – by Dad at 08:32. The kids were squawking to be fed but Dad didn’t, as usual, by into that. He left the fish. While both of the chicks pecked about, it was Middle that really got into the self-feeding. Of course, he has had to do this for several weeks now to get any food at times. He is doing well. Mum comes in a little over an hour later and feeds the two. Both were fed.

There are male Ospreys that really like to feed their chicks. This Dad doesn’t seem to enjoy this part of the parenting. I am glad to see a big hunk of fish on the nest.

Middle has found the open spot and he should be able to get some good fish. Notice the ‘design’ of the feathers on the top of its head. That is a way of distinguishing the two. Big’s plumage is darker with a much longer tail, also.

Middle has done a good job on that fish. Another difference is the size of the wings. You can clearly see this below. All bets say Big sibling is another one of those robust aggressive females and our Middle is a male.

Mum comes to the nest. She is feeding Middle. Big is behind her just like yesterday. Interesting.

I wonder if Middle ever wishes that Big would just flap those wings and fly off? She will, Middle! The plumage is gorgeous. There is still a long way to go for that tail to be long enough for flight.

When Big Red laid four Red-tail Hawk eggs at the nest she shares with Arthur on the Cornell campus, everyone went into shock. Almost immediately thoughts of doom and gloom went through the community – fearing that the wee one, L4, would have the same fate as the youngest eaglets and osplets. Not so with hawks and falcons normally. Little L4 has been the first in line making its way through the gang if necessary to get on the front row. Today, L4 is skipping and flapping its wings! Big Red is going to be tired and Arthur has had to bring in more food than ever to feed his family but life is good and everyone is well.

Get the worry beads out! When these four start running and flapping from one end of the ledge to the other your heart will sink several times. But all will be well if you don’t see them as there are blind spots on the cameras. It looks like chippy is for lunch!

The California Condor chick that was hatching yesterday has hatched. You can get a wee glimpse of the newest member of the Condor family at Tom’s Canyon under Mum. The female is 846 and the male is 462. 462 hatched in 2008 and 846 hatched in 2016.

Here is a short video of the hatching:

Alden is trying so hard to be the best Dad and mate he can be. Alden will figure it out. Precious. He caught a moth and brought it in to feed to the chicks. I adore Alden! You know he will get this and he will want to take part in every aspect of the nestlings lives.

He is really hunting and getting the pantry full an those wee white balls are growing! The oldest is 9 days old today! And the youngest is 8 days old.

There are so many nests but I know that some of you will want to go and check on E20 or Kincaid if you didn’t know they were around the nest trees. Have a lovely Saturday. Please take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Llyn Brenig, Cal Falcons, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, KNF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and the Cornell Bird Lab (RTH and Condors).

Wednesday in Bird World

2.23.22

We have a terrible problem in our neighbourhood. But, before I begin, let me say that for most of my life, I have had a cat or two or more. My Dad had a ‘warm’ spot for animals. Today he would be known for feeding feral cats and caring for them. More often than not, we adopted the strays, fed them, and found homes for the kittens. He taught me that they deserve love and respect as he went about rescuing puppies abandoned and starving cats. In other words, I grew up loving animals and am particularly fond of cats. I have not had a cat since last July when my dear Honey died of kidney failure. I do adore them.

Honey was a Sorrel Abyssinian. We rescued her from an apartment where she had been locked in for a month with no one home. She was amazing. She was a lap cat and loved to be into everything that was happening.

Our City has a by-law that cats must be kept inside. It was instigated so that the large feral cat population in the City would decline. The problem is that certain people do not adhere to the by-laws and, of course, no one does anything about it if they don’t. So that is the very back story to today.

The bird feeders were full and one of the small squirrels -either Dyson or Scraggles- was eating away in the square feeder when I left to go and get the produce for the week. Everything ‘seemed’ fine. When I returned an hour later, there were few birds at the feeders. I decided to refill the one for the Starlings. They do love the Meal Worms and Butter Bark for some reason. When I did, I noticed fresh blood under the Black Sunflower feeder and frozen blood in the centre of the square feeder where the squirrel had been. Something injured one of the squirrels while I was away. It was not Sharpie – he only takes a Sparrow once in awhile and there were no feathers flying about. The cats are the likely culprit. You will often find me chasing them away from the feeders. I could not see blood anywhere else. Did the cat actually carry the squirrel away? or did the squirrel escape? We wait to find out. I have looked everywhere for clues and nothing.

None of the squirrels are in the garden not even Little Red and there remain few birds. Events like this are traumatic for them. They can smell the blood and might not know what happened but they would not that something was harmed. Sadly, the wildlife rehabbers will not take squirrels for fear of rabies. So we just hope that whichever squirrel was harmed, it heals properly. It is normally Scraggles that gets in the way of the cats. He is called ‘Scraggles’ because of his shaggy tail and torn bits of fur when he came to the garden more than half dead a couple of years ago. He sat and ate black oil seed for days hardly moving and in a few weeks he was looking good. Fingers crossed for whoever is injured. Please send your warm wishes!

Why am I telling you this when I know you keep your cats inside? Because cats are the major predator to birds at feeders, bunnies, and squirrels. While people believe they need to be outside, most vets will tell you that cats are safer inside watching the wildlife from the window. They will not get injured, hit by a car, lost, or become prey to something larger. Spread the word to those that do let their cats roam.

Bird behaviour is very interesting. You might have read my blogs mentioning Jennifer Ackerman. She is the author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way. I picked The Bird Way up again last night to read through a section and was reminded how good Ackerman’s writing is on the topic. So if you are looking for insightful books on our feathered friends and why they do what they do, when they do it – these are excellent choices.

The pattern of feeding at the Captiva Osprey nest is holding. Three good feeds in the morning with the last of the three around lunch time and the first right after dawn. The final feeding – the fourth – is around 16:00. Andy arrived with the fish at 15:56 and by the time Lena got it and the chicks were situated they were right at 16:00. You could almost set your watch by this nest.

One of the things that keeps chicks from having food competition is stability. This nest is regular and stable. Fantastic. There are no surprises. No long period without food save from the last one to the morning feed.

Turn around Little Bob!

Andy is being very vigilant.

The feeding lasted for forty minutes! Lena filled up those chicks so full but, remember, this will be their last meal for the day if the pattern these two adult Ospreys have been following holds. One of the chatters commented that, “Minibob’s got a crop so full that it’s not just getting fatter it’s getting longer as well!” (BJ). That is always good to see.

You can see a bird flying behind the palm tree. There are predators around the nest. It did not go unnoticed by Andy and Lena. Andy is being careful. No one will harm his family if he can help it.

The trio are slowly falling into a sleep coma. There was no fish left for Andy and even Lena didn’t get a lot. The osplets are demanding more and more each feeding as they grow. They will all be entering their second week by the end of this week and that is a big growth period for nestlings.

Andy is off to get his fish. Lena might be wishing he would bring in another one so she could have some more fish, too. Meanwhile she is trying to get the full and sleepy puddle of chicks settled.

Big Bob is not being very cooperative! Get to sleep Big Bob.

Finally! It is a cuddle puddle.

Spring is in the air for all of the California Condors at San Simeon and The Pinnacles. Ventana Wildlife Society just posted this beautiful image with an announcement of a Zoom session. You might want to check it out. I have attended several of these. They are free and very informative.

There is a pip at the home of the Duke Farms Bald Eagles!

Here is the link to their camera. I saw the announcement on FB but the view from the cameras is not good enough for me to get an image capture.

One of our readers, ‘S’ from Latvia reports that the swans are returning. They have been flying over her house and foraging in the nearby fields. Isn’t that wonderful. Next week I will include a discussion on all the nests in Latvia and Estonia – White-tailed Eagles and Storks – that you can watch. Eggs will be laid on some of the nests, such as Milda’s around the beginning of spring. It gives me hope – hope that warm days are coming.

All of the nests are doing well. NE26 and 27 ate so much today they could hardly walk! I have not seen Ervie but his tracker shows he is exploring the area around the bay where the barge is located. Hopefully we might get a glimpse of him, soon.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Window on Wildlife and Captiva Osprey Nest and Duke Farms.

Late late Sunday in Bird World

Is there a better way to spend a snowy Sunday than to watch little eaglets being fed in their nests?

Gabby and Samson’s NE26 hatched at 03:04 on the 23rd of January. It was caught in an image that Pascale Ragon posted on FB. What an adorable little eaglet! It is also very strong, holding its head up high and not bobbing along so much!

The image of this sweetie below shows clearly the very sharp egg-tooth that was used to break out of that shell. It looks like 26 has already caught on to the latest in eye liner styles!

This ‘new born’ is also eating large flakes of fish. I could not believe it. Oh, what a sweet little tongue.

Gabby and 26 have this all worked out. Mom tilts her big beak 90 degrees and baby brings its beak straight up the middle. Bingo! I cannot tell you how impressed I was with what was going on at this nest today — but mind you, Samson and Gabby are always at the top of my list for Baldie parents.

Look at this sweet one looking up to Mum. That is simply adorable.

Hi there.

I feel like a new grandparent showing off pictures — I could seriously have cut and pasted so many you would be bored to tears. It is hard to take your eyes off a 12 hour eaglet!

The eaglet at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest had 10 feedings today, again. They began at 06:47 and ended at 17:40. I compares the times from one day to another. So, on Friday, the first feeding was at 06:52 and the last one at 17:41. There was a similar pattern for Saturday. Does Anna have an app that tings at the same time each day? Or are the feedings linked to dusk and dawn? Bald Eagles are diurnal. They hunt and eat during the daylight hours. The little eaglets are trained and treated as such from the time they hatch.

You can see that this eaglet -who is 11 days old today- is beginning to change. The light grey fluffy down is giving way to the darker thermal down. This will mean that once that thermal down is all in, Anna will not have to brood the eaglet so much.

Today, Anna let the eaglet have quite a bit of warm, not hot, sunshine. Both her and Louis were close but they let the little one have some air!

In the image below, the ‘baby face’ is also disappearing. The beak is growing longer and the egg tooth is almost totally gone. If you look at the wings you can see little black lines. Can you believe feathers are coming??

I have had the Big Sur condors on my mind and was very thankful when Ventana Wildlife Society posted this message on their FB page today. What a relief! Little Iniko 1031 was only released back into the wild six weeks ago, on 4 December 2021, after being caught in the Dolan Fire and having a long rehabilitation.

The Kakapo Recovery are also very happy. This is the ‘white board score board’ for the eggs. It looks like it could be a really super year if they all hatch and the chicks survive.

Each time I went to check on Ervie, the nest was either empty or there were pigeons doing clean up.

Then, all of a sudden, at 13:00:51 Ervie comes flying in. He was sure putting on the breaks. Just look at those magnificent wings. Oh, Ervie, you are so special.

Ervie must have a motion detector for when Dad is coming to the nest with a fish! It was 13:01:09. Ervie arrived 15 seconds before Dad!

That timing is not a coincidence. So where did Ervie see Dad with the fish? Was Ervie on the old barge while Dad was fishing?

It was a really nice fish and Ervie will enjoy every morsel!

Ervie spends several minutes mantling and alarming before he digs into his lunch.

Ah, thank you Port Lincoln! Ervie is a beautiful bird.

Two hours later and Ervie is screaming for more fish!!!!!!!!! I bet they could hear him across the bay!!!!!! No wonder Mum and Dad don’t stay on the barge when Ervie is about.

R1 and R2 were well fed today. This is the coldest day Miami has experienced this season. It is currently 16 C – which on the Canadian Prairies would be considered a nice summer day! But, if you live in Miami, everyone would be cold.

Rita was making sure that everyone was eating.

Both eaglets had nice crops before Rita informed them it was bedtime!

Rita tucked both eaglets in as best she could to keep them warm from the wind and what would be to her, the cold temperatures.

There has been a bit of concern by the watchers of the Berry College Bald Eagle Cam. Missy stepped on the left wing of the eaglet. Something startled Missy about 20:12 and she got up abruptly. Is it hurt? I do not know. We will have to wait and see how it is doing tomorrow.

The eaglet was moving its wings fine at the time of the image below.

All is quiet now and then something startles Missy.

She gets up, looks to her right and stumbles around the baby.

Send warm wishes to this little one that everything is alright. They are so fragile at this stage and B15 is doing so well. Something startled Missy about an hour later, too. Everyone is tucked in now and we wait to see how the baby is doing tomorrow.

I will leave you with a nice shot of Ervie with his crop. What a handsome osprey you are, Ervie.

Thank you so very much for joining me today. With the exception of the worry at Berry College, Bird World is looking good. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: The Kakapo Recovery, Ventana Wildlife Society, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Cam.

Tuesday in Bird World

Daisy arrived at her eggs in the Sydney Olympic Forest at 04:47:25. She is a little earlier than yesterday. There will be a full report on Daisy later today. She is alert and perhaps slightly nervous with what happened yesterday with the Ravens.

Ventana Wildlife Society have posted the release video of Iniko. Here it is:

The Port Lincoln Lads continue to fly around the cove and their parents continue to provide them with lots of fish to keep them in fit shape. Deliveries after noon include: 12:32 for Ervie, 14:45 for Bazza (a huge fish), 16:29 for Falky, and Ervie picks up the 16:34 delivery.

Ervie is on the left and Falky is on the right eating their fish. Look at how good those feathers are. These three are just doing fantastic!

I have to admit that I really miss the little Ospreys. Jack and Diane have been working on their nest at Achieva and the Osprey couple at Captiva were trying to mate yesterday.

My friend ‘S’ has sent me a great video showing Osprey fishing. It gives you some good insight into how physically fit these birds have to be to fish. Think about it. The male fishes all day long when there are eggs and chicks on the nest. Incredible.

Ken Phung is from Taiwan.

In Bald Eagle world, everyone is waiting for Anna at the KNF Bald Eagle Nest in Central Louisiana and Connie at the Captiva nest in Florida to lay their second egg today. Indeed, all of the Bald Eagle nests are busy – one way or the other. Gabby escorted the sub-adult female off her nest yesterday.

This is a short report. Daisy seems to have taken over my life – and I am happy but the other nests sure don’t get much attention. In our garden are 27 European Starlings and several hundred sparrows. It is cold today, -16 C. Feeders are full and everyone is depleting them!

Take care everyone. Full report on Daisy later today but for now the eggs were safe over night. Rain and storms predicted again which might help our little Duck. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project. A big shout out to ‘S’ for the Osprey video. That is fantastic.

Late news in Bird World

Around the beginning of May, people in Manitoba get ‘itchy’ to get out in the garden. The garden centre catalogues have been sitting since December, the days are getting warmer, and that urge to get out and plant starts taking over our thoughts. Today was a quick trip to a garden centre just outside of the city near the river. On the way there I was delighted by the hawks soaring. One Red Tailed Hawk (RTH) was being chased by a couple of crows while a Broad-winged Hawk was flying above the banks of the river. I did not stop and take photographs. By the time I would have pulled over they would have been gone. But, thank heavens, for a book that I got at Christmas. The RTH I recognized immediately but not the second raptor. That book is Hawks from Every Angle. How to Identify raptors in flight by Jerry Liguori. I wish the images were bigger but, other than that, it has been a great help in identification.

Speaking of identification, the two eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest were banded on 4 May. I tried to catch a good image of their legs but those two are not giving one thing away!

Here is a close up of their young father, Harry. No, he isn’t dirty! He hasn’t completely ‘matured’ (someone might have to adjust that) as he is not believed to be five years old yet! Well, Harry, you are a great dad. You stepped up to the plate and incubated your babies, learned how to feed them, and brought in prey. It took you a bit to catch on – but, you did!

The cameras at the MN DNR Bald Eagle nest were turned off during the process of banding. They also did a health check and took blood samples. Soon we will know the genders of the two eaglets! Here is a video from 2015 at the same nest showing the process:

Many were very sad when California Condor’s Redwood Queen and Phoenix’s egg was deemed non-viable. Those two will try again next year. But congratulations go out to California Condors Condor 589 and Phoebe (569) known as the Pinnacle Power Couple. Their baby hatched on 12 April and is #1078. #1078 will need to survive for six months in the nest being fed by 589 and 569. #1078 will be learning to fly in mid-October. The couple have been together for five years and this is the third chick – hence the designation ‘power couple’. Most California Condors only breed every two years.

#1078 one week old. Phoebe is feeding the baby. Taken from video feed Pinnacles National Park Cam. 19 April 2021

Over in Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana, the oldest Osprey in the world, Iris, landed a whopper!

Just look at the size of that fish and the perfect form Iris has. I am impressed.

Iris got to enjoy some of that magnificent catch and then Louis must have heard about that great catch and thought she might share. In the end, he did steal part of that fish and took it to the pole to eat. Darn that Louis. Iris doesn’t fish for him! He is supposed to be taking care of her.

Gabby has been with Legacy all day at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville, Florida. It seems that Samson and Gabby are keeping a close eye on Legacy so she doesn’t get lost again! Well, was she lost? She sure might have been. She has stayed at the nest. It is another hot and very windy day but, if Samson continues his regular food drop, Legacy will have some dinner around 5:30 nest time.

Legacy is sure watching for Samson to appear with her dinner! It is nearing 5pm nest time. Good training for Legacy once she gets the confidence to fly about more.

Arthur has made several prey drops trying to encourage Big Red to let him incubate the Ks but Big Red is steadfast. It is raining and she still doesn’t trust Arthur enough to let him take over when the rain is pitching down! K1 and K2 got a quick feed. Meanwhile, K3 is hatching. The progress is unclear – cannot see the egg!

It’s dinner time at the Achieva Osprey nest and Diane brought in a catfish for #2 and Tiny Tot. It has not been that long since Tiny polished off an entire fish so he is not rushing to get in line. In addition, Tiny might have figured out that the best meat on the catfish comes a little later. Mom has to fight with the head to get it all open. Diane doesn’t like a flake of fish to be wasted! No doubt. She is a good fisher, like Iris, and takes great care of her kids.

Oh, Tiny Tot is so smart. See. He waited. If you look carefully there is really good fish left – nice big chunks of flaky catfish! Sometimes it is good to not rush. Diane is happy to feed that back half of that fish to Tiny and have some bites herself. So Tiny had at least one entire fish to itself and half of another big catfish. He’s set for the night!

There were alarms in the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. Eerik stayed on the White-tailed Eagle nest tree with Eve in order to protect the family. If he wasn’t on the nest, he was on a close branch in case there was an intruder.

Oh, everyone is eating!!!!!!

It is Happy Hatch Day for Izzi, the Peregrine falcon eyass of Xavier and Diamond. Their scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Izzi has not left home. Will Izzi ever leave home? Many are probably asking the same question. For me, it is a joy to see him grow into a healthy capable falcon!

@ Charles Sturt University Orange Australia. 5 May 2021

And it wouldn’t be fair to check on Izzi and not on the trio at the UC Berkeley Campus. Oh, my how they have changed from the marshmallows last week with the pink beaks and legs. So imagine these three growing up and looking like Izzi in a few months. They will, I promise. They are already charging Annie and Grinnell and trying to self feed. Oh, they are adorable!

It is Day 36 for Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s first egg. Eggs have been rolled and Maya has been enjoying the nice weather. That one egg looks terribly suspicious but no word of a pip or a hatch yet!

Thanks everyone for joining me. I hope where ever you are that your Wednesday has been a good one. Take care. See you soon in Bird World.

Remember: 8 May is Bird Count Day. Get all the information on how you can participate here:

https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-8-may-2021

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Eagle Club of Estonia, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab RTH Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, MN DNR, Ventana Wildlife, and Pinnacle Wildlife.

A sighting of Legacy?

I have been following Legacy since she hatched on the 8th February. She grew strong and beautiful on the Bald Eagle nest of her parents, Samson and Gabrielle, in Jacksonville, Florida. In fact, the second egg did not hatch and Legacy (N24) had her parents complete attention. Despite being an only child she quickly learned skills to help her on her journey to adulthood. Those pinecones that come into the nest, sometimes with needles, are not only good to keep insects away but they also help the raptors learn to grip with their talons. I have watched Red Tail-Hawks play with pinecones like they were soccer balls. Legacy mantled and fought for the fish deliveries, built up strength in her wings, and she fledged. What a beautiful flight that was on the 26th of April. Here is a video clip:

The last confirmed sighting of Legacy at the nest was at 9:53:51 on 28 April. She had been chatting with Gabby and she flew off. Like before, everyone expected her to return to the nest. Many who watch Legacy also watch Harriet and M15s Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers and know that E17 and E18 return to the nest for food while flying about the neighborhood to build up flight muscles and landing skills. So everyone has been worried when she did not return to the nest.

Today, rumours of a fly by at 9:35:15 seen only on camera 2 circulated. Here is the sequence of that flight below and to the side of the nest tree.

The image below is the area with the juvenile Bald Eagle blown up so the juvenile can be seen better.

Please note the time: 9:35:15. As it happens, the parents fly to the nest tree landing at 9:36:02. They are precisely 47 seconds – not even a minute – behind the juvenile doing the fly by.

Here is the parent landing on the look out branch at 9:36:02.

Here is Samson settled down looking around.

No one can be 100% certain that it was Legacy that did a fly by without DNA evidence or a good enough photograph to compare to one of her on the nest. That said, I believe that Samson has just missed Legacy! Why she does not come to the natal nest, I don’t know. Maybe they are just missing one another. Maybe she is being fed off the nest. We do not know but I believe that she is still in the territory of her parents and as of this morning is flying strong.

The only other news is that, sadly, the egg of Redwood Queen and Phoenix appears to have failed or not been fertile. According to the Ventana Wildlife Society, 50-60% of all California Condor eggs fail to hatch. Hopefully the pair will have more success next year!

Everything is going well on the Achieva Osprey Nest. I will check in there first thing tomorrow morning. Biggie Tot spent the day eating and #2 has really been exercising their wings. My daughter thinks that fledge will happen tomorrow. Stay tuned!

I will leave you with an image from Sturt University in Orange, Australia. The scrape box on the water tower belongs to Peregrine Falcon bonded pair, Xavier and Diamond. They had one hatch in 2020, Izzi. Izzi’s first fledge was a fludge. He went to sleep on the rim of the scrape box and fell out. He was returned to the scrape box. The second fledge he flew into a window and went into care for five days and was returned to the scrape box. The third fledge was a success. Now everyone thought that Izzi would, like all other peregrine fledglings, leave the parental territory by January at the latest. Tomorrow is 1 May and Izzi still brings his prey to the box that I think he believes is his own. I will keep you posted on developments. Izzi is the cutest thing. No one would mind watching him live his live from here.

Everything feels right in Bird World on a late Friday night on the Canadian prairies. Thanks so much for joining me. Let us all hope that the juvenile in those images is Legacy and that she is just being fiercely independent and being fed off screen. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. That is where I get my screen shots: Charles Stuart University Falcon Cam Project, NEFlorida and the AEF, Ventana Wildlife Society and Explore.org

Tuesday in Bird World (updated)

Redwood Queen is keeping an eye on that egg. If this is a successful hatch – and there is no reason to think it won’t be – it will be the first chick for Redwood Queen and her second mate, Phoenix. The egg is believed to be laid between 26 February and 3 March. What a wonderful event for this giant Redwood scorched with Iniko, Redwood Queen and Kingpin’s chick from 2020, inside. Both of the parents of this fortunate chick have survived major fires in the area. We know that Redwood Queen survived the Dolan Fire last year and Phoenix survived the Basin Complex Fire in 2008, the year he hatched. Redwood Queen is much older, having hatched in the Los Angeles Zoo, in 1998. She might have survived other fires. Let us all hope that the entire population of Condors – a little over 500 – is safe from any wildfires this year.

The Ventana Wildlife Society issues the following statement on 26 April:

“Redwood Queen and Phoenix are still incubating and we are hoping their egg will start hatching any day now. The hatch date of 4/24 was our best “guesstimate”, we could be off by as many as 2-4 days. We first observed the egg on March 3rd and estimated the egg was laid on 2/26. This was based on radio telemetry data and movements of the pair from the week prior. If Redwood Queen actually laid closer to March 2nd, which is possible, then the egg wouldn’t start hatching until April 28. So we have a 3-4 day hatch window.”

Speaking of eggs, an intruder eagle came to the nest of Milda and broke her remaining egg and made a mess of her nest. It is one of those blessings in disguise. It is believed that the egg in the nest was the first one that Milda had laid on the 12th of March and that it was non-viable. I am not an expert and cannot tell. The intruder eagle ate most of the insides of the egg. Now Milda can forage for food for herself and build up her strength. She is not a mate of Mr Chips (Cips) yet – they did not mate. I hope that she finds a really extraordinary mate and that she will have a successful clutch next year.

Grinnell has his hands full today. It looks like the little fluff balls of his and Annie’s are growing so fast that they will not fit under him anymore. Look how they look at their dad. Grinnell, you are so cute!

Isn’t Grinnell handsome? 27 April 2021

And talk about cute – have a look at this adorable little Moli waiting for its parents to come and feed it. This is a special Laysan Albatross chick. It is the 39th chick of the oldest banded bird in the world – Wisdom. Wisdom is 71 years old and her band number is Z333 (Red and White). Her mate is Akeakamai. Her baby has a temporary band so it is easy to recognize and that number is 33 in honour of its mother.

A bit of relief over at the Savannah Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island. The dad has brought in a fish and both are getting fed. Maybe this will ease the food competition and let these two get on to growing and enjoying one another’s company.

Yesterday it was a feast on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Today it is hot, 29 degrees C, and there has been only one delivery. That came at 7:02:16. Tiny Tot got enough of that fish that he had a nice little crop. Still, he is at the quick growth stage and he needs more food more frequently. It is 4:30 on the nest. Fingers crossed for a couple of late night deliveries.

Tiny is grabbing the shade from Diane around 10am in the image below and Diane is calling. Chicks thought it might have been a delivery for a bit.

You can still see Tiny Tot’s little bit of a crop.

At 13:38:31 on 27 April 2021, a mysterious stranger with a metal band on its right leg landed on Iris’s nest at Hellgate. Well, now. This could get interesting.

I am going to say ‘he’ in the hope that ‘he’ might be a fantastic mate for Iris and claim this part of Louis’s plot.

Everything is just fine on the Red Tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell University Campus of Big Red and Arthur. There are three eggs being incubated and we are heading into hatch watch.

Thanks for joining me today for a peak at the nests. All of the Osprey Nests are doing grand in the UK except for the Loch Arkaig Nest. Hope that Aila will return from her migration to raise a family with Louis is quickly dissipating. Louis has been bringing fish to another female on platform 1 and they have been mating. It is an arduous migration. Many hope that if Aila did not arrive in Scotland that she settled somewhere else – she was loved by so many. And there is news that there are now three eggs on the Osprey nest in Urdaibai, Northern Spain. Take care. I hope it is nice where you are. The weather is grand on the Canadian Prairies and it is time to go and take care of the birds in my garden. The water bowls need filling. Everyone is enjoying a good bath today.

Thanks to the following streaming cams: Ventana Wildlife Society, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the Latvian Wildlife Fund. Thanks also to the Midway Atoll FB Page where the image of Wisdom’s Moli was posted.

Open Wide!

The grey skies and the cold to the bone weather on the Canadian prairies just added to the sadness at the Latvian White-tailed eagle nest. Parallel with the events of the two chicks dying from hypothermia came a wonderful letter from the LDF answering many questions I had about Milda and the nest. I will write up that information in a couple of days.

Milda was starving. She is a devoted mother but she had no food for her or her chicks and Mr C appears to be an on again, off again mate. It is unclear if there were intruders in the area. Mr C is on the branch watching the nest while Milda eats a nice big piece of fish – this fish arrived 24 hours after the nest ran out of food when Mr C removed the few remains of the Crow Milda had been feeding to the chicks. Sadly, she is now incubating the unviable egg.

The fourth egg at the UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcon nest in the Campanile must have been removed. The three little marshmallows are getting some pin feathers. It is hard to believe! They are consuming vast amounts of pigeon and transforming it into the fastest raptor on the planet. Here Annie is saying, ‘Open Wide!’

Annie and Grinnell are such devoted parents. Look at those little ones all tucked under mom right after their feeding.

Sometimes ‘open wide’ does not necessarily relate to food and a feeding. In the case of N24, our beautiful Legacy, it meant open your wings and fly. Legacy fledged this morning at 9:01! All of the aunties and uncles and grannies will be crying tears of joy and sadness. Legacy is a magnificent fledgling Bald Eagle now. She overcame Avian Pox and is the pride of Samson and Gabby and her grandparents, Romeo and Juliet. Look at the gorgeous profile of that head! And that deep, deep espresso plumage. Stunning.

There she goes at 9:01:54.

Lady Hawk put a video together from the three separate cameras. You can watch this historic event in this eagle’s life here:

In the case of Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, we can talk about opening wings and mouths. Tiny Tot loves to open his wings like a Lamborghini. Wonder if the car designers looked at the birds for inspiration? Certainly those that built the bullet train in Japan did – they used four different birds to help them get the fastest train on the planet (at the time).

Tiny Tot had a crop all morning. There were three fish deliveries before 11am! Jack has really been working to keep this pantry full. There were deliveries at 6:50:30, 9:35:05, and this is the third delivery at 10:59:18:

Tiny is really growing with all the food he has been eating. Sometimes you have to look really close to figure out which chick he is now. His ‘whiskers’ are settling down and he is getting the white plumage on his chest. There he is in the middle. You can see his nice crop.

Tiny had a good feed last night and had lots of fish from 2 out of the 3 deliveries before 11 am on 26 April. The trio are waiting for delivery 4!

Tiny Tot ate lots from fish 1, none from fish 2, and plenty from fish 3. In the image below he is being fed from fish 1. Sibling 1 had some bites and sibling 2 had a couple but, as is typical first thing in the morning, the older sibs are not as interested in eating then as they are later in the day. Tiny will eat anytime! Open wide, Tiny Tot!

Here is Tiny running to get up to the fish!

Tiny does not get anything from the second delivery but he does in the third and has a very nice crop.

Tiny is really full when the fourth fish arrives but he goes up and gets some nice pieces anyway – not a lot but remember, he is full.

Tiny Tot opens his wings wide!

Tiny Tot has eaten well today and no doubt, since it is only 3:30, there will be more fish to come. Jack, you are amazing. Diane has had some fish and everyone is doing great!

And speaking of opening wide, all eyes are on the California Condor nest in Big Sur where the egg of Redwood Queen and Phoenix is between pip and hatch.

The burnt tree in the centre is where the nest is located. The Dolan Fire ravaged this area from August to the end of December in 2020. Iniko survived the fire – he was the 2020 chick of Redwood Queen and Kingpin. Iniko is at the Los Angeles Zoo and is set to be released with a group of captive bred birds later this year.

Sadly, Redwood Queen’s mate, Kingpin, did not survive the fire. She bonded with Phoenix and this is their egg in the same nest that Iniko hatched.

Redwood Queen has just returned from having a short break. There is a stream close to the nest and she might have gone for a cool drink. It is fine to leave the egg for a short amount of time.

Thank you to each of you for joining me today. I know that we all wish that the situation at the Lavian White-tailed Eagle nest were different. I will be writing a history of the nest and looking into the weather in the area. Normally the birds time their hatches to when the animals will be coming out of winter hibernation so there is lots of food. I am curious if the cold weather has caused issues with getting prey for Milda and Mr C.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams – that is where I get my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society, Explore.org, Latvian Wildlife Fund, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF.

Four eaglets…really? and some Sunday nest hops

There is a conservation zone in Wisconsin on the Fox River near Kaukauna. There are four healthy eaglets in a Bald Eagle Nest in that zone – four! Just look, they appear to be getting their thermal down. My goodness those parents are busy! Amazing. I always get nervous when there are three. How do you coordinate feeding four?

There are four! 24 April 2021

Down in Fort Myers, Florida E17 and E18, Harriet and M15’s eaglets of 2021, are enjoying playing in the pond this morning. They had baths and had great fun splashing one another. That pond is near their nest and the Pritchett family stocks it with fish for the eagles.

Wow, This is fun. Their first taste of water. 25 April 2021

The egg on the Big Sur California Condor Nest of Phoenix and Redwood Queen is pipping. The Ventana officials say that it takes 2 to 3 days from pip for hatch, if all goes well. Keep watching! The little condor started using its egg tooth yesterday to work its way out.

Pip started 24 April 2021

The downpour during yesterday’s storms over Savannah and the Southeast US have given way to a cloudy dry day. The two little eaglets on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island were kept warm and dry by Mom. Here they are enjoying their lunch today.

Lunch and the two osplets are healthy and hungry. 25 April 2021

There was an intruder or intruders at the White-Tailed Eagle Nest near Durbe, Latvia today. The winds are blowing and it is 1 degree C. Mr Cips has brought in food for the little ones but, for the most part, he has been protecting the nest while Milda has been incubating. It is so cold the little ones can’t be left out in the weather long or they will get hypothermia.

Mr C is protecting nest from the intruders.

There is still no sign of Aila at the Loch Arkaig nest. Local spotters have seen Louis with another female at platform 1 mating. Louis has also been bringing fish into that nest. A slim version of Aila – that had everyone wondering and comparing photos – appeared at the Loch Arkaig nest with the camera (below). Louis did not bring her any fish. He attempted and failed at mating twice. I wonder if this beautiful nest is going to be empty this year?

Beautiful nest feels so sad when it is empty. 25 April 2021

The following nest news is wonderful. When Ospreys are ringed and fledge making their first migration to southern Spain or Africa (more likely) it is an arduous journey. The survival rate varies but no more than 50% make it. Normally the juveniles will stay there for 2 or 3 years before returning to the UK.

For the birds that are ringed people wait patiently – sometimes forever – for news of a sighting. At Loch Garten near Abernathy, Cairngorms National Park, Blue AX6 was spotted with an unringed female. Blue AX6 was ringed on 1 July 2016 at Glen Affric. He was the only survivor of the nest of three at that time. This is the first reported sighting of Blue AX6 since he fledged. Just splendid.

Loch Garten is one of the important nests in the history of Osprey introduction. The nest was opened to public viewing in 1959. The belief, at the time and promoted extensively by George Waterston, was that an educated public would help protect the Ospreys. 14,000 people visited the site that first year during the seven months it was open. The most famous and formidable Osprey on that nest was EJ. She fledged 25 osplets off the Loch Garten nest in fifteen seasons. She was 21 years old in 2019 when she did not return from migration. Grass grew on the nest with the hope that a new pair might locate here. Fingers crossed for 2021 -.

This is EJ in 2018. Gosh, she is beautiful. Those dark eye markings are amazing they way they dip and go down her shoulder to her back.

@ RSPB

The image below was taken yesterday. It is AX6 and the unringed female. Oh, there will be so many cheers if they stay and raise a family! Thanks to Mary Kerr who posted this on the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB page.

Loch Garten might have a new couple. 25 April 2021

And everything is pretty much as usual at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. The nest and the chicks survived the winds from yesterday. Typically, Tiny Tot grabbed the first fish delivery of the day at 7:53:53. He protected himself and got some good bites.

My fish! Tiny gets the first delivery of the day. 25 April 2021

Six minutes later, 8:03:21 one of the older siblings (I think 2) got its talon in the tail and took the fish away from Tiny. That was a good lesson. 2 hasn’t bothered earlier but Tiny will need to learn to dig his talons in that fish and stand on it like 2 does.

Tiny Tot lost its fish to 2. 25 April 2021

Mom will take the fish from the older sib and Tiny will be watching. Tiny grabs a bite meant for 2 and at 9:13:27 mom feeds Tiny.

Tiny Tot enjoying some of the fish. 25 April 2021

He has a little crop.

Diane went fishin. She brought in a catfish with its head on at 12:01:22. You can always tell if Diane catches the fish because Jack always eats the head before he delivers dinner.

Diane caught a catfish for the kids. 25 April 2021

Tiny Tot will be fed from 12:28:34-12:54:49. Tiny will also command the carcass which he is still eating at 2:02.

Two other interesting things happened on the Achieva Osprey nest this morning. Chick #1 is now hovering. 6:50:44 They need to practice their take off and landings – it is amazing watching the Ospreys and the Royal Albatross hover.

1 is hovering. She has been flapping and Tiny Tot has his head down for protection. Too bad helmets aren’t issued on these nests! 25 April 2021

That chick had a grand time! This chick is also the one who stands at the rim of the nest and extends her wings to catch the air. It is lighter in weight (or appears to be) than 2 and more interested in flying than eating. Just a beautiful strong Osprey. Lovely.

The second thing was an intruder or two – Blue Jays. I caught one of them flying by the nest at 8:01:53.

Blue Jay is flying out of the frame on the left. Been tormenting the nest all morning. 25 April 2021

I will close with two more images of the Achieva Osprey Nest. The first one is Tiny Tot with food coma (totally oblivious to anything 1 and 2 are looking at) and the second shows you how healthy he is beginning to look.

Wow. Flying. Let’s do that soon!!!!!!! 25 April 2021
Tiny is in the middle. He is getting really healthy and confident. 25 April 2021

Thank you so much for joining me today. There could be a hatch at the Big Sur condor nest tomorrow. I will keep you informed. Stay safe, stay warm. Smile.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Latvian Fund for Nature, Ventana Wildlife Society, Explore.org, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Loch Garten, Wooldland Trust, People Postcode Lottery, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, 1000 Islands Conservation area FB, Loch Arkaig FB, and the RSPB.

And then there was a pip – and other news

Congratulations to Redwood Queen #190 and Phoenix #477 on the pip of their egg. It came at 2:44 pm PDT on 24 April 2021.

Redwood Queen is one of the captive bred California Condors. She hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo on 10 May 1998. Redwood Queen is a survivor. As many of you know, my interest is in the social behaviour of avians. In particular, the long term survivability of birds – large birds like raptors, condors, and vultures – who have been treated marginally by their group. Redwood Queen was just such a bird. She was forced by her flock to eat last and then only if there was anything left on the carcass. However, the most dominant male Condor, Kingpin #167, chose Redwood Queen as his mate and her status within the group went from the bottom to the top! The pair raised five biological chicks together. One of those was #1031 Iniko, a female, who survived the Dolan Fire of 2020 in this very tree where Redwood Queen’s new chick will hatch. Sadly, Kingpin #167 has not been seen since the fire. Phoenix survived the Basin Complex fire of 2008 as a young hatchling; he hatched on 22 April that same year This will be the first chick for this new bonded pair.

Condors are very susceptible to lead poisoning. They eat the carrion or dead animals as well as the innards of the deer and other animals that hunters leave behind in the woods and forests. The Ventana Wildlife Society along with many wildlife rehabilitation and FB groups are working to get lead banned from hunting and fishing equipment. Here is a safe alternative promoted by the Ventana Wildlife Society:

There are thunderstorms brewing in the US Southeast today – many areas are expected to have heavy rain and baseball size hail and there could be tornadoes.

One Osprey nest that got hit hard was Skidiway Island. Mum has got those little osplets tucked in nice and dry.

That rain continued and ten hours later you can see all of the water and the nest still soaking at The Landings.

Weather was on the agenda in Durbe, Latvia, too, with snow falling on Milda and the White-tail Eagle Nest.

The balance to keep the babies fed but dry and not suffer from hypothermia must be a real challenge for these amazing bird mums.

Heavy winds whipped the Achieva Credit Unions artificial Osprey nest around in the afternoon. Someone thought Tiny Tot might have gotten sea sick! The winds did stop but the local weather shows they could get a thunderstorm later tonight or tomorrow.

Tiny Tot managed to snag that fish away from #2 this morning and have a good feed but #2 remembered that incident later in the day when he bonked Tiny aggressively. Tiny lost out on the afternoon fish but he will be fine. Tomorrow is another day!

From the looks of it I am going to have to stop calling him Tiny Tot though. Look at that young lad standing nice and tall. Amazing what a little food can do! (Tiny is the one at the back. Look at those nice pantaloons he is getting).

Tiger and Lily have had a good day on that Bald Eagle Nest their parents, Bonnie and Clyde, commandeered. Look at them standing on that branch having a chat! They are now flying from the branches to the nest. Oh, my, they are growing fast.

We haven’t checked on Solly for a week or so. Will she surprise us and be somewhere besides Streaky Bay? Let’s check! Ah, our girl loves this area. The fishing must be fantastic. Solly is 217 days old on 25 April. Amazing. I am so grateful that she has a satellite tracker. Just wish we would get some news of DEW.

This is nothing more than a quick check in. I wanted everyone to know about the pip at the Big Sur Condor Nest. It is really exciting. Take care of yourselves.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams; this is where I get my screen shots: Farmer Derek, Latvian Fund for Nature, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidiway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, Ventana Wildlife and Explore.org. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and their FB page for the graph on Solly’s travels.