And the name is…Connick

26 January 2022

The name that Lori Covert chose for Connie and Clive’s 2023 hatch – Captiva Eaglet 9 – is Connick. What a unique name! Well done, Lori, for recognising Connor and Nick’s efforts at Window to Wildlife! They have done an amazing job this year getting everything back together after Hurricane Ian.

Welcome Connick!

Some captures of Clive, Connie, and Connick from today:

Name the Captiva Eaglet!

20 January 2022

‘F and M’ just alerted me to the naming contest for the Captiva Eaglet. I know that you will want to participate so put your thinking caps on and come up with a terrific name for this eaglet at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest of Clive and Connie.

This is the announcement by Lori Covert the property owner.

To vote, you go to FB: https://www.facebook.com/LoriPellerCovert OR Instagram (search for Lori Covert).. Find this baby a great name. A gender neutral name that will travel with him or her for 40 years or more. Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/LoriPellerCovert

Thanks Everyone! Have some fun. Pick a great, great name.

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

29 December 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside a Harpy Eagle’s nest, Captiva Ospreys, pips and more…Wednesday in Bird World

28 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you so much for your good wishes for the holidays. I always do appreciate your notes and the beautiful images of your pets, garden animals, and arrivals in your gardens. It is so very kind of you to think of me. It means the world to me.

We have news from Captiva, V3 returning to Gabby’s nest, little eaglet heads popping up at Superbeaks, and more today including a call for help with moving and temporary accommodation for a person who cares for emotionally abused Cockatoos. Please do not buy a Cockatoo. Tell anyone who is considering it not to as well. They live a long life and well, they can be like badly-behaved toddlers. They require care, attention, training, and the ability of the owner to commit to a lifetime of vet bills (even trimming beaks is very costly), food, enrichment toys, and proper enclosures. Many who have owned parrots for a long time are calling for a ban on the sale of birds. I heartily agree. So many wind up caring for those disposed of by others simply because they did not understand the demands made on them by birds. I would also suggest that many of the ‘cute’ videos on YouTube have driven these sales. As ‘J’ says, it might be cute to hear a parrot swear 10 times but for an entire life time, ‘no’. Parrots that swear are also less likely to be adopted if their owner dies or can no longer keep them. Please pass this along. OK. That is my rant for the day!

It is a warm day here on the Prairies considering what it has been like. -5. That means that I am off for a walk at the nature centre for sure. I wonder if there will be any birds? Will let you know tomorrow! It will be so nice to be outside for an extended period of time in the fresh air. It is one of the most dire things of living where it is cold – being stuck inside. I plan to try the Merlin Sound ID to test it at the winter feeder. Will let you know how it works.


Geemeff sent the link to the final episode in the radio series for Flight of the Osprey this morning. Oh, thank you, Geemeff. Looking forward to the film!

BBC Earth takes us into the jungle, up a tree and into a Harpy Eagle’s nest!

Come back to this one – but try your luck at guessing some of the environment’s top stories from The Guardian (the emphasis is on the UK wildlife and environment but give it a go anyway!).

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/27/take-a-wild-guess-the-environment-quiz-of-2022?CMP=share_btn_link


Things are really going to start to perk up in the US. There is a pip for Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest! Congratulations. Their first egg was laid on 3 December. We will be watching for M15 and Harriet around the 3rd of January but, tonight there could be a pip at Kistachie National Forest at E3. With the humidity, that strong first hatch took 29 hours, 49 minutes and 07 seconds to hatch. Then, of course there is Missy and Pa Berry…and before we blink, the Florida Osprey season will start.

Thankfully Clive and Connie took a break from incubation so the camera could pick up that pip.

In addition, the Captiva Osprey Cam is now up and streaming. It is unclear who will claim the platform nest for this upcoming year. There is a new female FO and the male MO. There have been three ospreys flying around this platform. Lena is apparently fine. It is my understanding that with Andy not returning, she left the area. It is completely unclear what happened to Andy but he could have been lost during Hurricane Ian. We know Lena was seen after the hurricane so she survived but, of course, her platform nest did not. Might she return? I wonder. Andy will, sadly, be added to the Memorial Wall for the year.

Gorgeous Gabby on the morning of 27 December wondering what her fate will be for this year, possibly. The visitor that has been coming and going flew in with a squirrel today (the 27th). He is confirmed by the AEF to be V3.

V3 flew in with a squirrel to the nest. It looked like he intended to share it with Gabby.

Here is he. Gabby is obviously giving them a second look or three!!!!!! I hope this fellow measures up. He is rather handsome. At the end of the day, I don’t care who she chooses as long as they can try to match up to Samson.

The latest announcement from the AEF:

At the WRDC, Rose has brought in what looks like a gull for lunch. She is beautiful. Let us wish her and Ron a long life together and many successful fledges!

Despite the PS that hit the camera along with the pine branch obscuring our view, we can see the two eaglets at Superbeaks today! They appear to be thriving. What a wonderful sight!

These eaglets are semi-altricial. This means that when they hatch they have a very thin layer of down. They cannot regulate their own temperature. Their eyes are open or partly open but they cannot focus. That is why they are bobble heads. They are entirely dependent on their parents for food, for warmth, and for teaching them how to be eagles. The two eaglets at Superbeaks are getting their second coat of natal down which begins growing in about a week after hatching.

Alex and Andria seem to be doing very well. Alex is really keeping a lot of food and a variety of items on the nest – I cannot identify all the fish species but there are several different ones and the remains of that Coot.

That little eaglet seems to grow right before our eyes! Let us hope that it is a cracker of a big sibling to the one that should be trying to hatch tomorrow. There is lots of food and Andria and Alex are doing an incredible job.

The Bald Eagle nests at Kincaid Lake benefit from a stocked lake right out their doorstep. And the males continue to fish even if there is a pile of fish on the nest. It is wonderful to watch but, oh, can you imagine the smell after awhile??????

The eagles were at the nest at Decorah, Iowa today. One was even having their lunch on one of the main branches to the nest. What a beautiful winter setting on a farm. Like a postcard.

Oh, a correction. It was a Musk Lorikeet that Indigo had for lunch on Boxing Day! It remains unclear if Indigo caught the bird or if it was a prey transfer from the parents. He sure wasn’t going to share it and he found a way to eat the entire bird….nothing left for Mum to snatch.

I have been concerned about Big Red, Arthur, and L4 since the temperature plummeted in the Ithaca region during the big weather bomb. This morning @CornellHawks posted images of L4 hunting. Much relieved. Now for Arthur and Big Red! Maybe tomorrow.

This is a great little clip from Montana about the dangers of lead poisoning. Please pass it along to those you know who hunt or fish (if you feel you can). They need to know that the raptors can be killed by secondary poisoning and toxins and that there are alternatives to lead. Thank you.

Migration News for Karl II’s family. There has been no transmission from Bonus since he crossed the Eastern Desert in Egypt nor from Kaia since she arrived in Chad nor from Karl II since he flew southwest from the Nile. We believe Karl II and Kaia are well in their winter homes and hope that Bonus is, too. We will look forward to transmissions in the spring.

First up, little Udu from 2021 has sent a transmission!!!!!! He has left Italy and is now in Turkey!

Yes, Udu is always late and sometimes does things backwards but, he is alive and for this we are thankful. This is the pond near to where Udu is foraging.

Waba is also alive and well and remains in the Sudan foraging at the Nile River. I suspect he might well just spend the winter here. Why not?

Dan Scott – the Chloe Sanctuary -has put out a call for assistance. This year the 501k charity that looks after traumatised and sick cockatoos lost their home due to flooding and their benefactor to dementia. He is looking for help packing the flock of 11 up for their move as well as temporary accommodation until they can get settled in their new home in Nevada. He is not asking for funds but, if anyone knows anyone that could assist, he would be grateful (directed to persons in California, Arizona, or Nevada).

Chloe Sanctuary call for help:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZKfq8jLV3s

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, announcements, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: The Guardian, BBC Earth, Window to Wildlife, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Superbeaks, KNF-E#, Raptor Resource Centre and Explore.org, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, @CornellHawks, Looduskalender, ‘J’ and Dan Scott.

Ron has a mate or two?…and more news from Bird World

20 December 2022

Good Morning to All,

Today is hair cut day in our house and the hairdresser is coming to us! I knew a wonderful woman who started this service when I lived in the UK. It would have been perfect during the pandemic and we wish this young person well. I am thrilled not to have to dig my car out of the snow! Nonetheless, the sun is trying to poke out of the clouds and blue skies are coming. It is now -21 degrees C and either a good day to stay in as planned or a day for a heavy coat and boots!

Nest News:

It seems that we are still waiting to see things settle down for Gabby. However, Ron is looking younger and feistier than ever with his new gal. It was a big surprise when I got a note from ‘H’ in the mail. It seems that Ron in the Miami Zoo was busy courting while we wondered if he was out fishing. Busy working on the nest. We all thought he was pining away for Rita! Well, it appears not. There is a new woman and as ‘H’ suggests, it looks like he has been cultivating the relationship for awhile now.

Here is a short video clip of the female bringing in a stick to the nest. Ron didn’t mind. It was as if he was expecting her. I suspect he has been courting her for some time before asking her home!!!!!! He wants it to go well.

Well, my goodness. You are a sly one, Ron! She is a beauty. We are all so happy for you knowing that we knew Rita could not return. It looks like you knew that as well. Congratulations! I hope she loves your Papadam nest built by Ron Magill and friends! For a long, long time. Some are suggesting her name is Rose. I do not yet know if that is official but, there is talk about banding future eaglets from the nest so we can learn of their dispersal. That would be wonderful.

Well, just when we thought it was settled for Ron there is a new female in the nest this morning! Goodness.

Things still do not seem to have settled at the nest of Gabby. Oh, how we all wish to wake up and see a handsome lad on that nest who can not only win Gabby’s heart but keep all of the other intruders at bay.

Lady Hawk caught the interaction between V4 and V6.

The AEF got it, too:

As night falls, it appears that V6 is back on the nest with Gabby.

There were some chortles happening when the IR camera came on and V6 flew to another branch (or off the tree altogether).

To be continued….Gabby and the Revolving Nest!

Iowa has received its share of snow. The landscape is lovely and the Eagles at Deborah are working on their nest today despite the weather.

This is the nest over at Decorah North today.

Liberty and Guardian were checking on their nest today, too. It was early morning in California! Everyone it seems is starting to think of breeding season! So nice to see you Liberty and Guardian.

Port Lincoln did a 23 minute close-up video of Zoe. She is really beautiful and I hope her and her pink bracelet thrive. Her flights are not going far from the barge. Perhaps in the new year.

I have to give Pepe and Muhlady a big hand. What a great parents they are. Pepe keeps huge fish coming on to the nest and Muhlady continues to care for the eaglets. It seems that even Pepe has turned out to be excellent at feeding those chicks. You can hear them and we are beginning to get better glimpses of their little heads. I am always reluctant to recommend a new nest but, I am going out on a limb and suggesting you might want to watch this one! I will put the camera link below.

Well, that is what it does to me every time I try to copy their link. Go to YouTube and search for Superbeaks Eagle Nest. You will find them!

Pepe has just brought in another one of his sharks and he seems to be quite hungry. The little ones are asking for fish, too and he is happy to oblige.

Connie and Clive have beautiful weather to incubate their two eggs on Captiva Island, part of the Barrier Islands hit so badly by Hurricane Ian.

I didn’t see Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear today but you can hear the snow dripping as it melts slowly up in the mountains east of Los Angeles.

Here is the link to their new cam if you do not have it.

One of my favourite nests is E-1 in the Kistachie National Forest of Anna and Louis. Two years ago this young couple hatched and fledged the first eaglet off this nest since 2013. Louis is a tremendous fisher – Master Class all around. He piles the nest up. They had a fledge in 2020 and another in 2021. Let’s see what happens this year. We can be sure that Louis will bring in a lot of fish (our there is something seriously wrong) and Anna will be equally hungry – she loves her fish, too. There is a chat and a great team of moderators including Tonya Irwin and the rangers, Cody and Steve.

From the Mailbox:

‘G’ sent me a link to a nest in South Africa that has new babies, just hatched. The nest was built for Bush Babies but the feathered friends took it over.

So what is a Green Wood Hoopoe? I didn’t know and this is what eBird says, “An elongated, metallic-green-black bird with red feet and a long, decurved, red-orange bill. Juveniles have dark bills but are often in the company of adults. It flies heavily, with the long floppy, white-tipped tail dangling behind. Pairs and groups of up to 14 birds are highly social, occupying savanna, woodland, riverine forest, and gardens, where they nest and roost in natural cavities. Clambers in trees, probing bark and crevices for insects and small vertebrates. They communicate using a strong cackling chatter that sounds maniacal. The almost identical Grant’s and Violet woodhoopoes (with which it sometimes hybridizes) differ from Green Woodhoopoe only by having a coppery-purple (not glossy greenish) metallic sheen.

This nest will be fun to watch. Great timing too.

Migration News:

Checking on Karl II and his family. There has been no news from Karl II and Kaia since they arrived in Africa. Kaia was in Chad and it is assumed that Karl lost contact and is safe in his winter grounds. All contact was lost with Bonus when he flew over the Eastern Desert. The only one of the Black Storks from Karl II’s family still transmitting is Little Waba who continues foraging around the Nile River. The joke is he went down one side and is going back up the other. The fear is he will land in Khartoum.

Still, he is safe, he is eating, and he is moving. That is what counts right now!

The area is near the eastern shore of the huge Merowe Reservoir.

Let us hope that the entire family of Karl II has a good winter and returns safely to their nests in Estonia in the spring.

‘J’ wrote to ask me how the book was going. Well, Slow Birding is highly recommended! I was not distracted to go to one or another projects and I am about a third to a half finished with it. The writing is excellent and covers birds such as the Blue Jay, Cooper’s Hawk, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Flickers, White-throated Sparrows, and American Coots amongst many others. I had no idea that there is not a State in the US that does not have a Blue Jay for its ‘bird’. How could this be? The author, of course, asks the same question. Just watching Junior and the three nestlings grow to fledge this year with the little ones tapping on the window when the peanuts were gone was incredible. They brought laughs and big smiles every day. Their noise does not bother me. Indeed, like the Crows, they are most loud when the cats come around wanting to harm the other birds. The author obviously loves her garden birds and did, when she was teaching, have her students undertake slow birding. There are activities within the book but, I promise you will never look at a House Sparrow the same way you did before reading this volume. I do highly recommend it and if you have a birding friend that needs a gift, it would be a welcome one to their library. There are no beautiful coloured photographs which is fine. I prefer a good read. There are some lovely black and white drawings and it is the text that is so remarkable!

For those who have marvelled at Alden and Xavier helping out with the eyases or the new M2022 at Melbourne, many scientists did DNA tests on quite a large number of nests of the different birds in the book. Many males were found to be caring for the chicks of another! This includes European Starlings. The book is full of similar findings that are quite intriguing. There is something to learn on every page.

It is a lovely sympathetic book bringing out things about the most common of birds that are relatively unknown. I think you will appreciate these garden birds much more after reading it. Sadly, it focuses on the US and I know my friend, ‘J’ who has never seen a Blue Jay in Germany would love to! Maybe someone will do a backyard study of European birds. I would enjoy learning about them, too. Perhaps it is you. But please do not think, for a second, this book would only be useful or of interest to Americans. There is plenty of science and cultural traditions weaving their way through the pages and mention of other countries that I think anyone would find it a great read – and useful to return to as a reference. There are few volumes I can say that about.

Speaking of books, here is an announcement that might be of interest to some of you:

Thank you to everyone for being with us today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, their notes, streaming cams, etc that make up my screen captures: ‘G’ and ‘J’ for their notes and suggestions, Pacific Rim Conservation, Looduskalender Forum, Live Nest Cam and the Green Wood Hoopoe, KNF-A1, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Redding Eagles, Deborah North and Deborah, Explore.org and Raptor Research, Lady Hawk, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, and J Strassman, Slow Birding.

Connie and Clive have 2 eggs!

11 December 2022

None of us will forget the tragedy that struck the Barrier Islands off the coast of Florida with Hurricane Ian. Both Andy and Lena’s Osprey brand new Osprey platform was destroyed along with the new cameras. Connie and Clive had their nest tree torn apart along with all the new camera equipment.

Well, the Bald Eagle cam is up and working and guess what? Connie and Clive are incubating two eggs!

Here is the link to their camera:

At the NEFlorida nest of Gabby, V3 is working hard to impress her. Gabby appears to be cautious in making a decision as to who will be her mate since Samson has now been missing for more than a fortnight. Samson’s talons will be hard to fill and I am glad that Gabby is being careful.

Gabby was chortling with V3.

We wait. I would still like to see Samson fly in well enough to take on any intruders and keep his Gabby. It is difficult for everyone when there is such a huge unknown – what happened?

This is just a quick hello from the kittens to let you know about Captiva! The service is a bit sporadic. I do not see the Osprey nest cam up yet on Captiva. Take care everyone. See you soon. Thanks to Window to Wildlife for getting everything back working and to NEFL-AEF for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Missed likes to pose and she doesn’t like Lewis interrupting her photo sessions. The second image shows her hearing him coming!

Lewis does not look like he could ever get into mischief, right? LOL

Tropical Mockingbird, Rita’s update and more…in Bird World

2 December 2022

Good morning everyone from the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada. It is 29 degrees C – a real shock from the snow, ice, and blowing winds of Canada! It has rained – it is the wet season – and all of the trees, the grass, and the flowers are bright and beautiful. The forecast is now giving us so many good days. On Saturday it will be an all day birding trip starting at 0530. I am excited. The island is home to many species but I especially hope to see the Cattle Egrets, the Green Herons, and the Tri-Coloured Heron out in the mangroves as well as the gorgeous parrots, shorebirds, and songbirds of this island. And, of course, the Caribbean Ospreys. Fingers crossed.

Grand Anse Beach is pure white sand. It is one of the longest white sand beaches in the world. Looking to the right of this beach is an area of the island above the Lagoon known as Springs. There is always a mist and it rains a lot. The area has some of the nicest gardens. Even though it is such a small island there is another area near the airport that is completely dry!!!!!

My first bird came into view as the light was leaving us…It s a Tropical Mockingbird. Oh, its song was incredible. Tomorrow I am going to sit right under the tree where several seemed to be perching. They must be very used to the human presence along the beach. Indeed, they will eat human food along with spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, seeds, small fruits and berries, mangoes — there are a lot of mangoes on the island in the spring. There are so many falling on the roads that the cars slide around on those that get slimy from being run over. The Mockingbirds also eat lizards as well as other small bird and lizard eggs. They have been seen consuming seed from bird feeders just like Dyson!

Many of you will have seen and heard the Northern Mockingbirds in North America. This is the Caribbean equivalent. The Tropical Mockingbird lives in open or semi-open areas. In this instance they are living in the trees along a major tourist beach area.

They lack colour but if that is a problem their song certainly makes up for it. They have a black beak and legs, a striking bright ebony eye with a black eye stripe. The top of their head is a medium grey fading into a lovely silvery white which continues along the throat, the breast and underparts of the bird. The wings are a symphony of grey and black with white wing tips. The tail is a dark charcoal verging on black with a white tip and underneath area. You can hear their song here:

‘H’ kindly sent me the most recent announcement about Rita, the mate of Ron, the bonded pair of Bald Eagles from the Miami Zoo. Thanks, ‘H’. Here it is:

 Yesterday, “Rita,” the bald eagle had surgery performed to help repair her severely fractured right wing. The surgery was performed by avian veterinary specialist, Dr. Don Harris, assisted by Zoo Miami Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Marisa Bezjian and the Zoo Miami Animal Health Team. The surgery was successful inserting a metal pin to align and support the fractured bone. However, the prognosis for successful healing is extremely poor due to the lack of circulation in the wing as a result of the devastating trauma. At this time, it is unfortunately unlikely that the wing can be saved and even more unlikely that she will ever fly again. Having said that, we are not giving up hope! She is receiving daily drug therapy, laser treatments and acupuncture along with her wound care and dressing changes. She has already beaten tremendous odds by surviving the trendous trauma from which she would have certainly died from had it not been for the intervention of all of the involved parties. We are all praying that she can provide us with a miracle and continue on a positive path.

Wildlife Rescue of Dade County FB, 1 December 2022

American Eagle Foundation LIVE Nest Cams is reporting on Samson’s absence:

Still no news to report. No sightings of Samson. No visitors to the nest. Gabrielle continues to perch at the nest throughout the day and at night keeping watch.

(c) 2022 American Eagle Foundation eagles.org AEF-NEFL

Gabby waits patiently for dear Samson to return. Continue with your positive wishes.

This story is from several years ago but was posted today on the NEFL-SWFL Bald Eagle FB group. It reminds us, like the time with Bella and Smitty this year, that eagles can be gone for some time and return. This eagle was missing for 3 weeks! I live in hope for our beloved Samson.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/missing-bald-eagle-returns-to-dc-nest-after-a-weeks-long-departure-experts-say/2019/02/27/a06bf238-3acb-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html

My holiday is not just a chance to spend time with my son and his wife, or eating amazing Caribbean food, or find new birds but it is also a time for a battery recharge after all that has happened during the last month.

Like all of you, I need some good news and I know you do, too. Well, here it is coming from Lori Covert in Captiva. You will remember that Captiva and Sentinel, the barrier islands off the coast of Florida, were the hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. The ospreys and bald eagles lost their nests. Well, smile when you read this!

I just checked on Zoe at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Dad brought in a very small fish at 0925. Mum probably didn’t even get a chance to see it. Zoe is very quick when she wants her food!!!!!!!!!

Zoey doing her talon dance.

Dad lands and Zoe has it before Mum even gets there. I do hope that Mum and Dad have some fish to eat at other times. This is worrisome sometimes.

Yesterday there were 2 fish brought in by Mum and 2 brought in by Dad. Zoe even tried her wings. Here is her tracker information for 2 December.

Diamond has been spending time at the scrape box at Orange. This morning she seemed very interested in the stones. My friend ‘A’ has observed that the falcons prefer to eat only the white stones. Do any of you know why this is the case?

We know why the birds eat stones. Here is the standard Goggle answer:

Birds eat stones to form gastroliths that grind against food when they contract their gizzards. The grinding action of gastroliths aid in the digestion of fibrous food in birds. When the gastroliths begin to smoothen over time, birds eat new stones to replace the older ones.

But why do they prefer white ones?

Giving Tuesday has just passed – where donors often match what funds are given. Now…there is December and if you are thinking about ‘giving’ for the holidays, stop and think of your local wildlife rehabber — or a rehabber that you respect for all the hard work they have done this year. We watch our beautiful birds and many times they go into care and we are cheering for them to be taken in and made well and released. So remember the wildlife clinics and give. Our Wildlife Haven listed the costs associated with surgery — think dear Rita! The antibiotics after. These items are extremely expensive. So help if you can!

In Australia ABC news did an article on this very topic.

Thank you so very much for being with me this morning. At the time of publishing this blog, I have no new news on any of the missing birds or Rita. Keep sending all your good energy to our missing birds and to Rita as she continues to fight to fly — I would love to see her be the exception to the rule (ie lack of circulation in the wing). Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: Lori Covert Instagram, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, WRDC, NEFL-AEF and the American Eagle Foundation.

Anything you can do, I can do it, too! and an update on SE29 and other tales in Bird World

28 October 2022

It has simply been an extraordinary day on the Canadian Prairies. Here it is 2113 and the temperature is +10 C. Earlier it was 13 C. There were individuals walking around with their summer flip flops! Fall is such a harbinger of the cold, cold winter that well, it is nice to have a break. I am starting the news for tomorrow because it is happening right now in Australia. Tomorrow I hope to get out early and find some Snowy Owls in the fields north of where I live. Perhaps a Northern Harrier or two and might there be a duck?

Snowy Owls arrive in Manitoba when the temperature begins to drop. You can see Snowy Owls on the utility poles, hay bales, and in the fields of Southern Manitoba. They rarely venture to the center or the north of our province. They blend in perfectly – their beautiful white plumage with its dark flecking – with the snow covering the land. Their eyes are a bright yellow as are their legs. They feed on grouse, lemmings, rabbits, and weasels in the winter. Any that remain here in the summer live off of voles and mice in the fields. We always think of owls as hunting from dusk to dawn but, the Snowy Owls hunt during the daytime. They range in size from 50-70 cm with reverse sex size dimorphism (the female is noticeably larger than the male).

This beautiful image is “Snowy owl (female)” by Marie Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Making News:

Update on the status of SE29. Oh, my goodness, a broken leg above the talon. Sweet baby. So glad 29 is in good care!

Missing Annie and Alden? They were bonding in the scrape box yesterday!! ‘H’ caught it!

Progress is being made on the Notre-Dame Bald Eagle’s nest that collapsed. This is the natal nest of Little Bit ND17. Parents working very hard to get it ready for the upcoming breeding season.

Australian Nest News:

Friday on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge has simply been ‘interesting’. The day arrived with a small fish and deep breaths as I wondered whether Big would attack Middle. Or would Middle decide to give Big a peck again? ‘H’ calls what Middle got last night as ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ – it certainly was! But, today both have been civil. That said, something else is happening.

If one of the chicks does something, the other immediately does the same thing. Now seriously bear with me. This meant that both of them stuck their little bottoms in the air and did a PS in the window of 1030 and 1031. I kid did you not.

Big was sleeping and Middle was looking out over the water with a really nice crop.

Middle begins flapping his wings.

Then Big stands up and flaps her wings.

Middle raises up its fat little bottom with its head bent down low and gets ready. At the same time Big begins to lower her head and raise her bottom.

Middle goes first. Just look at that incredible ps. This chick has been eating well…if we did not know it we could ascertain that from the volume and the velocity of this incredible perfectly white ps. (There are some sticks there as well, check above or below so that you can tell what is ps. Middle has strong legs and a fat bottom and is growing like an incredibly bad weed.

Nine seconds separate the ps of each osplet.

Then Big decides to do some wing flapping.

Then Middle! The one good thing about their method is that it allows room for both to flap on the nest. I sure wonder what Mum thinks when she watches these two.

Then they both quiet down.

Dad arrives with another fish. It is 1232.

Gosh, I couldn’t see the size of that fish but Mum was still feeding the osplets at 1300. Big appears to have gotten the largest share. In the image above you can already see the crop that is large and — it will continue to grow!

At 1301 Middle had to stop eating and have another ps. Then he went back to the table probably hoping to get some more good bites which he did get. Now will he get that important fish tail?

Then – all of a sudden – the two osplets look up and there is Dad landing with another fish. Can you believe this?

Dad lands with a very small fish. A good practice fish for self-feeding. Mum ignores him and continues to feed Middle. She also gives some bites to Big who seems to always be able to find room for more.

At 1315 Dad takes his unwanted little fish and I presume goes over on the ropes to have his own lunch.

Dad returns empty taloned. He is looking closely at the fish that Mum is still feeding Middle and Big. Mum has been feeding the two and herself for over an hour. That was a BIG fish!

Incredible. At 1350 Mum is just finishing up that fish. Happy to see her eating well today, too.

Middle and Big had another meal at 1945. Wow. Dad is having some excellent fishing days.

Rubus and Indigo are adorable. Indigo ran off the Cilla Stones this afternoon to join Rubus in the corner. Oh, these eyases are so cute! That cuteness comes in part from their behaviour – their facial expressions, their interaction with one another and with Xavier and Diamond and their environment inside the scrape.

Rubus has been playing with the feathers. Is he looking for food scraps?

Indigo is over on the Cilla Stones watching her little brother as he intently stares at a feather.

Wow. That was a bit of a leap. Has Indigo been secretly going to gymnastics classes? I wonder how many points she would get for that landing?

Indigo is so curious as to what Rubus is doing and finding in those stones in his corner of the scrape.

Ah, two little sweeties! ‘A’ tells me that Cilla is certain that Indigo is a female as she is already as large as Xavier and still growing but, will not declare gender of Rubus for a bit. Four days younger and he is growing and growing. I have always called Rubus a ‘he’ and said ‘little brother’ but, in fact, Rubus could be a little sister for Indigo.

‘A’ notes that Indigo is losing all of her cotton fluff and will be looking much more like a falcon as Rubus continues to copy everything she does and remains a ball of cotton. From the time stamps that ‘A’ sent me, these two had a few good meals yesterday. Looks like there were five – that is appearing to be the daily average for the scrape at Orange.

The Melbourne Four seem to have relocated – for part of the afternoon – to the other end of the ledge.

The eyases are running up and down and then resting. All is well. No need to panic! ‘H’ caught them doing their famous gutter stomp heading to the other end for prey!

The weather report from ‘A’ for the eastern coast of Australia is rain and more rain. Storms put out power and pumps were working over time. This could inpact hunting for the Melbourne adults. We wait to see.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. See you soon! (Please be advised if the weather is grand, I could well be out birding until late Friday. There might not be a late evening newsletter going out after this one. If that is the case, I will see you Saturday morning!).

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘H’ for her video clips of Cal Falcons and the Melbourne Four, ‘A’ for her over view of the nests, the Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

Wednesday in Bird World

12 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that all of you had a good start to the week. It is cooler on the Canadian Prairies today with really cloudy skies and reports of possible showers starting at noon. The animals have really been busy in the garden gathering nuts and eating. I wonder if we will have another cold snap? The European Starlings have come to the tree in the back lane but, for some reason they have not come to the garden. Is it because I have no Butter Bark or Meal Worms out for them? I plan to go and get some later today. We will see if that is what they are looking for.

Of the four nests in Australia, the real concern is at Port Lincoln and I will be monitoring that nest closely.

The gold star for the week goes to the male at Melbourne who really kept the nest together when Mum was away for over 3 hours and the hot sun was beating down on the youngsters.

To tell the difference between Dad (below) and Mum, look at the breast area. Dad has hardly any lateral barring – with a full crop, his chest area looks like fluffy Victorian handmade lace. Isn’t he adorable? I have come to love this tiercel so much. He has really saved the lives of these four eyases, now known affectionately in my house as The Melbourne Four.

Making News:

The causeway to Captiva and Sanibel Islands is now restored and vehicles are going in to restore communication systems, power, etc. This is incredible news. Who would have imagined this would be completed in October! (Not sure what was done or if private vehicles can travel but the causeway is functioning). Connie and Clive have been seen and photographed and Lena has been heard. Everyone is just waiting to get the cameras back up and running.

There are lots of boots on the ground checking for SE30. She was found on the ground being harassed by Currawongs and Magpies yesterday. She flew and seemed to be fine and was seen near the River Roost with a parent. That should put a smile on all our faces!

The text and images come from the Eagle Cam FB page.

I have seen no further reports on SE29 who was found in a residential area and taken by WIRES to a vet where it was receiving fluids and pain killers.

Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk) has completed her tribute video to Lillibet, the Royal Cam Albatross chick, daughter of OGK and YRK, for 2022. As always, get the tissues out. OGK was last seen the middle of May on camera. It has saddened everyone to think that this fabulous mate and father has perished. We will wait to see if he returns for breeding season in October 2023. He was injured in 2020 and was away from the nest for 40 days. What a joy it was when he returned. Miss Pippa Atawhai was so happy. They had a very close bond.

Sadly, the Albatross continue to be killed at an alarming rate by the long-line fishing trawlers. As anyone knows reading my blog, there are quite a number of easy fixes to stop these endangered seabirds from being slaughtered. They include setting the lines at night – how easy is that?

Nest News:

The Melbourne Four continue to be well fed. At least three persons noted that there were 9 separate feedings yesterday. They were a mixture of stashed prey (as at breakfast) followed by fresh kills when there was not enough meat on the pantry item. Raptors eat everything unlike us humans who are said to waste 40% of all food we purchase. All of those pigeons are turning into beautiful falcons! Mum had her lunch time break (from 11:19:45-13:01:37). Thanks ‘H’.

Nine feedings. If they can keep the intruders away from their penthouse scrape and maintain their territory in the non-breeding season, we will have years of watching this incredible couple raise their families. The male has really stepped up and has actively engaged with the eyases and from his protective mode the other day has a strong bond with the little ones.

Port Lincoln Ospreys keeps a running timestamp of happenings on the barge. Its listing yesterday pretty much sums up what is happening. The nest has gone off the rails. Little Bob had a few bites of prey yesterday. It is so hungry that it is trying to take food off Middle’s beak. Big Bob is unrelenting in her (it has to be a female) rampage. The osplets are 25, 24, and 21 days today. In general, nests like this ‘settle’ at 28 days just like they start on day ‘8’. We have a week to go. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. The oldest sibling on this nest has pushed its younger off the nest at 65 days and killed it. It is going to be a long week.

Mum was up having a snack and she tried to reach down and give Little Bob a bite of fish while Big was asleep. The time is 01:27:54. Little Bob is awake but Big Bob moves. Oh, if Little Bob would just slide up and open its beak, he would get a good feeding.

Middle Bob did eat some fish along with Mum. Sadly, Little Bob never woke up. Both Middle and Little will be hungry but Little really needs to have a good feed.

You can see Middle Bob’s crop. I just wanted to shake Little and get it awake so it could it. That feeding would have made all the difference. Mum has fish leftover for morning but will there be enough for Little to eat or only Big?

At the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond in Orange, Australia there were six feedings starting at 07:46:35 and ending at 18:48:40. Rubus is getting some bigger bites. Both of the eyases, Indigo and Rubus, are adorable.

Little Rubus had a nice big crop before bed!

From the Bookshelf:

Do you love Hen Harriers as much as I do? Those beautiful owl-faced low flying raptors that can be seen over the heather? There is a new book out by Ian Carter that looks very promising, The Hen Harrier’s Year. Here is the review:

https://raptorpersecutionuk.org/2022/10/12/book-review-the-hen-harriers-year-by-ian-carter-dan-powell/

So many factors play into a successful nest – lots of prey, healthy parents, no intruders…the list can be fairly long including Avian Flu. Despite all that has happened at Melbourne, that Peregrine Falcon nest is doing really well right now. That lovely tiercel is delivering fresh prey to Mum, the chicks are growing, and Dad has been able to help shield them from the sun during Mum’s noon day absences. Rubus is doing better at Orange. That wee one had a nice crop before bed last night. SE29 is in care and SE30 is being closely monitored. Thank you to all the boots on the ground near the Discovery Centre. The problem nest is Port Lincoln and this will not dissipate soon. We can only hope that Little gets one decent meal today.

Thank you for being with me. Take care everyone. I will be sending out breakfast news at the nests in the early evening. See you then!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their video tributes, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk), Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Sea Eagles FB, Raptor Persecution UK, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Breakfast with our Birds in Australia

10 October 2022

I still cannot get over the happenings at the four Australian nests yesterday. Just when you begin to relax, things begin to happen – some good and some worrisome. SE 30 did not return to the nest last night. At least one adult is sleeping on the nest tree. From experiences with the sea eagles in the past, it is not clear if fledglings are fed elsewhere or if the parents want the eaglets to return to the nest for prey. What is clear is that the Currawongs are, while quite small, dangerous as a group to the eaglets. They force them to do things they might not do if they were older and more experienced. SE29 is in care. I hope SE30 is being seen by boots on the ground or is found. Port Lincoln Osplets ate well despite the nest being somewhat unstable with Big still needing to have firm control. Diamond was doing better with Rufus early on and all the anxiety over the eyases overheating at Melbourne is passed.

Australian Nests:

So what is in store for us today at the four Australian nests? Right now, it is 12:43 pm in Canada and it is the wee hours of the morning in Australia. Everyone is still sleeping.

Mum flew off of the 367 Collins Street nest at 06:12:30 returning at 06:16 to feed the four eyases. Looks like a nice pigeon breakfast.

As the rose gold of the morning filtered over the scrape, Mum was just finishing up the feeding at 06:33:30 when she was clearing up the scraps from the pigeon. Every eyas was well fed and ready for a nap.

An adult is at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest looking out for SE29 and SE30 to come to the nest for breakfast. Oh, how I had hoped that SE30 would be on that nest. It looks as if the inevitable – the Currawongs chasing the fledglings out of the forest – has come to pass. A few of us went to that place where you wish you could just rid the forest of the Pied Currawong.

It is 06:40 in Orange and Diamond is waiting anxiously for Xavier to bring in breakfast. You can tell as she raises and lowers herself that the wee ones are getting restless. Xavier is normally here right at dawn!

Just a note about the feeding of Rufus. It appears that there are several individuals counting ‘bites’. The only bites that count are the ones that have prey and are eaten. Diamond is a master of placing food in Rufus’s beak and then removing it. So just be careful…

Diamond went to the ledge at 06:57 giving us a good look at those cute eyases, Rufus and Indigo. Rufus is ravenous and has this incredible thing of moving its nest way back with its beak wide open. This morning he is thinking that Indigo might feed him. So, now we know that those eyes are not fully working yet.

Diamond does some amazing stretches. It must make birds ‘stiff’ too after brooding all night.

‘Indigo, can you feed me?’

Diamond returns empty taloned.

Xavier arrived at 08:03 with a nice fat pigeon which Diamond quickly took and fed Rubus and Indigo.

At Port Lincoln, everyone appears to be awake and they are waiting for the first fish of the day to arrive from Dad.

That fish did come in at 07:24 and everyone had an amazing breakfast with big crops.

Other Nest News:

Lady Hawk posted a video of Samson and Gabby bonding in the Jacksonville Bald Eagle Nest. I thought you might be interested. Parents to Romey and Jules (2019), Legacy (2020) and Jasper and Rocket (2021).

Lady Hawk has also posted an update on the nest building of Harriet and M15. They are making great progress after Hurricane Ian completely destroyed their nest.

Lori Covert, owner of the Captiva property with the nests of ospreys, Andy and Lena, and eagles, Clive and Connie, has helped Connor of Window to Wildlife secure transportation to Captiva Island to retrieve the cameras from the Osprey platform destroyed by the Hurricane Ian. I am certain he will be taking video footage and posting information for us when he can. He anticipates that the bridge connecting the mainland of Florida to the barrier islands will not be repaired til late November or December. This might make it difficult to replace the nest and camera but, there are always boats!

In Manitoba, where I live, a Red-tail Hawk has been killed on an unprotected hydro pole. Letters and images will be sent to Manitoba Hydro and to the leader of our opposition to make Manitoba Hydro accountable.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. They all had a good breakfast on the three nests and we wish for SE30 to be safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Manitoba Birding Wildife and Photography FB, and Lady Hawk.