The Electrocution of Eagles- presentation and discussion with Christian Sasse

27 July 2022

YouTube drives me nuts. I also go crazy quickly when the time for a presentation has several different times. If you intend to participate in the discussion on The Electrocution of Eagles (or ask questions through the chat), then please go to YouTube. Find the title below for the talk and subscribe. Then YouTube will tell you when the event will occur in your time zone.

So..Eagles dying from Electrocution – What can be done? should go into the YouTube Search. When you see the image of Junior, you will know you are at the right event. Then subscribe. For me in DCT, the event is at 3pm or 1500.

It should be good. Christian will archive it later if you miss but I wanted to make sure that you figure out how to get there in your time zone. Take care everyone.

Saturday Morning in Bird World

23 July 2022

Oh, good morning everyone. I hope that your Saturday is starting off nicely. It is a day that my mother would call ‘sultry’ – high humidity and it feels like it could rain. The sky is a light grey with whisps of blue. Already the small songbirds are in the bird bath – enjoying the deck while the Crows are away! The three juveniles seem to have claimed two houses – ours and the one next – as ‘their’ territory. I continue to be fascinated by the fact that they are large in size but are just ‘babies’ learning to not stand on the hot metal and what is food and what isn’t. Of course, our dear Little Bit 17 is – I so hope – learning the same way. The juvenile Blue Jays are also here collecting peanuts under the watchful eye of Junior and Mrs Junior. They are now mantling their peanuts and beginning to learn ‘competition’ in an interesting way directed by Junior. That is, of course, another thing that happens after fledging. We saw it clearly at Port Lincoln Osprey barge last year. The three lads were as good as gold in the nest. Everyone marvelled and wondered why? Well, it was three males. But, oh, once they fledged- after a couple of weeks passed – and the competition for prey items intensified. I learned what the Australian term ‘dust up’ meant – a nicer term for a big brawl. Do you remember? This is Ervie and Bazza having one of their battles.

The little Merlin taken into out wildlife rehab centre and who had a successful surgery has made the news. It is a big thing -our wildlife centre doesn’t always make the news with its patients. Hopefully people will spread the word about ‘not’ shooting the raptors (or other birds and waterfowl).

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/merlin-pellet-surgrical-removal-1.6529811?fbclid=IwAR136exwIos-dkNBrk_TnmX3cDMlC7hnRnfNgy0Y5Swt0PZg8XKboL_utKM

It is thankfully pretty quiet in Bird World today. Big Red and Arthur watch over L2 and L4 from the light stands – a rare moment caught on the streaming cam as it surveyed the area around the nest.

Big Red is on the left and Arthur is on the right

The first of the historic osplets to hatch at Poole Harbour has fledged. 5H1 took to the skies this morning. It happened at 11:54. 5H1 flew for 15 minutes before landing perfectly next to Dad, Blue 022, on the nest rim.

The oldest chick, 5H1, is on the perch to the right. You can barely make out a feather of her tail.

She lands! H51 has been on and off the nest ever since having a good old time being a bird! Oh, do you ever wish you could fly?

The story of Junior’s tragic death is hitting other newspapers. https://www.cheknews.ca/gabriola-island-eagle-that-shared-nest-with-hawk-found-electrocuted-1064590/

The story of the nest and the untimely killing of Junior needs to be kept alive. The e-mails to BC Hydro need to flood their inbox in order for this human caused tragedy to be fixed so that it does not happen again. It is the only way that change will happen.

Christian Sasse will be giving a special YouTube talk – in his capacity as an electric engineer -on avian electrocutions. He does not mention the time. If you go to YouTube and search for Christian Sasse you can subscribe to his channel. In theory, you should get a notification of the talk. This does not always work but Christian archives the discussions also and that is much appreciated. We should all educate ourselves on these dangers so that you speak and write to authorities with knowledge and facts.

The news of the rescue of the osplet from the Delaware River in Pennsylvania has been all over the social media platforms. It is one of those great stories. The PA Game Commission got a call of a juvenile osprey in trouble. It had fallen into the water. They immediately act to save its life! The ranger found it sitting on a wall and returned the chick to its nest That is a story that each of us would welcome every day — action! Thank you!

There have been several twiddler deliveries to the Osoyoos nest this morning (it is now 0900 there). Twiddlers at 05:53, 06:11, and 07:44. Two fish of reasonable size landed at 07:40 and 08:09. That is a good start to the day. The high will be 33 C. Hot.

I am always amazed at how quickly the little black beaks of the White-bellied sea eagles grow. The two chicks are doing fine. Dad continues to have lots of fish on the nest and both are eating well! You can certainly tell by the fish juice that has rained down on their little heads!

Lady checks on them just as the IR camera comes on.

Plenty of fish – big fish -continue to come on the Jannakkala Osprey nest in Finland. No sign of the intruder wanna-bee Mum that was around the nest a couple of days ago. Dad must be grateful – he doesn’t have to supply fish for her anymore, just his kids. I have not heard if the Mum’s body was found. I will check for us.

I did not find any more information but I could be looking in the wrong place. I will continue to search out any news. What I did find was a very informative paragraph about the banding and nests of the birds in Finland. I was particularly drawn to the fact that platforms were placed in good environments for the Ospreys. Indeed, the available fish for this nest is remarkable.

You will recall that the Balgravies Osprey nest – a natural one – collapsed with a chick. That chick was saved and placed onto an artificial platform. This is the latest ‘great’ news:

Things are quiet and that is a great way to start the weekend. Victor is working hard and standing on his own. Don’t forget to send him all your positive wishes. If you are able, a $5 donation helps – small amounts grow into big ones. That is the Ojai Raptor Centre. They also have some amazing tote bags and t-shirts which sadly do not ship to Canada! (I am going to write and ask them about this). Lots of people are watching the Notre Dame nest for any sign of Little Bit 17. Send him all your love — we want so much for this worthy eaglet to survive. The only nest needing our love is Osoyoos – we need this heat spell to break for Olsen, Soo and the kids.

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

Thank you to the following for their FB posts, Twitter feeds, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Poole Harbour Ospreys, GROWLS, PA Game Commission, Osoyoos Ospreys, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, James Silvie, and the Finnish Osprey Foundation.

Monday in Bird World

There is news coming this morning from everywhere so this blog might feel a little disjointed.

In Canada, Prince Edward Island veterinary surgeons at the Atlantic Veterinary College will be the first to try and replace a broken spinal column in a Bald Eagle!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-bald-eagle-surgery-1.6263782

A Eurasian Hobby has been seen for the first time in Australia. The tiny raptor is similar to the Australian Hobby. The bird has been named Hubert and is the care of a veterinary due to a wing injury. Raptor specialists believe that the arrival of this bird is associated with climate change.

Jean-Marie Dupart has provided his Osprey count along the coast in Senegal and the word he used was ‘incredible.’ 950 Ospreys have been counted for the month of November along the coast and marsh.

Chris MacCormack at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head announced that 29 eggs have been candled and all are fertile. Seven more to go!

Most of you will be aware of the flooding – and the continual flooding – in British Columbia, Canada. It is also flooding and tearing up highways and rail lines in parts of Eastern Canada. Mother Nature is not happy. Yesterday I listened to a conversation with Dr Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock, Hancock Wildlife, about the flooding and its impact on the wildlife. I tried to embed that link and the system that Christian is using will not allow me to do that – or even post it! So I will give you some of the highlights – they are very enlightening and sobering.

Sumas Lake was the largest wildlife area in Northwest North American prior to the nineteenth century. Millions of birds stopped at Sumas Lake coming and going from the Arctic. One of the attractions was the intense number of mosquitoes which were food for the wildlife but were highly annoying to the people of the area. The Indigenous Population lived on stilt houses because they recognized that the area flooded from time to time.

Wikimedia Commons

The area flooded the Fraser Valley before 1894. There was another huge flood that came down the Fraser River in 1948.

Wikimedia Commons

Sumas Lake was drained and pump stations installed so that people could build on the flood plain. In 1990 and now in 2021, the main highway connecting Canada, the Trans-Canada or number 1 highway, has flooded. Dave Hancock was unequivocal: The Sumas Lake wants to be Sumas Lake! The flooding this year was compounded by the waters from the US flowing into the Fraser River. The Nooksak River.

Today 35-50,000 Bald Eagles winter in the Fraser Valley. They are in dire straits. They have lost their supply of food, the salmon, because of the flooding. The large land mammals could walk out (perhaps) but the smaller mammals and rodents which many falcons and hawks live on were drown in the flood waters. Dave Hancock is proposing that the carcasses of the dead cattle that are normally sent to Alberta to be burnt in the Tar Sands be kept in British Columbia. He is suggesting that half a dozen feeding stations be set up with these carcasses for the Bald Eagles. Hancock reminds everyone that the eagles are clever and will find the feeding stations. He also said that once the flood waters are pumped out the eagles will also find the carcasses of the salmon.

I like Dave Hancock. This man loves wildlife and the Bald Eagles and he doesn’t hold back any punches. He says the balance of nature has been lost in the area. The heat that the region experienced in the summer was just another indication of the impact of climate change. He says as it continues to warm the bird and fish eggs will not be viable. They are really susceptible to the slightest change in temperature. He reminded everyone that heat stress killed many raptors during the summer of 2021 as did the raging wildfires in the same area as the flooding. Several raptors were saved. Hancock Wildlife Foundation put trackers on them. He said once they were out of rehab they flew straight north to Alaska. Hancock wonders if they will return to British Columbia. It was a very sobering conversation and one that continually emphasized how human degradation of the environment is causing a huge shift to the extreme weather conditions impacting the birds and animals. Christian Sasse asked Dave Hancock if he had a solution and Hancock said, ‘It is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.’ He continued, ‘There are far too many people in the world. Human animals need to stop breeding.’

This is the link to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. (He is Canada’s equivalent of Roy Dennis!). You can find the tracking information and the live streaming cams that the Foundation supports.

There has been an update by Cilla re Yurruga:

Nov 29: “No sign of Yurruga today. I looked for him at the roost trees this afternoon after seeing a raptor (possibly Diamond) there earlier (too far for photo). I’ve looked every day, but he’s not been seen since last Thursday when spotted on a roof. It’s of concern, but he might simply be well hidden.”

Speaking of Peregrine Falcons, their range is expanding and they are returning to upper New York State. Some of you, if you have gone on Ferris Akel’s tour, will have seen the Peregrine Falcons roosting on the Bradfield Building near to where Arthur and Big Red normally roost. Here is a great article about this change.

I am not seeing any other updates on raptors we have been monitoring this Monday morning.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my images: Jean-Marie Dupart FB posting, NZ DOC Royal Albatross Centre FB, and Wikimedia Commons.

Streaming cams in Canada?

Like all of you I have been watching birds in the Southern Hemisphere. Yesterday, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos were exploring the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest down in the Sydney Olympic Park.

The sea eagles are still enjoying being in the ‘off season’ but spring is arriving in the North and there are lots of happenings ——-everywhere. Too many to try and keep up with! This morning a reader from Brazil who turned me on to Latvian White-Tailed Eagles asked if anything was happening in Canada. I felt a little embarrassed. So here is the condensed version to help you locate several of the streaming cams in Canada. There are many more!

One of the best wildlife sites is Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia. They support five streaming cams and there are already eggs on the nests. The link to their streaming cam sites is:

Dave Hancock is known for his passionate devotion to the Bald Eagles.

Their site also has a link to several satellite trackers so that you can follow the migration patterns of the banded eagles. Here it is:

And if you are looking for books on Indigenous culture including the Haida, various species of birds, fishing, Indigenous healing, or arts and culture you might want to check out Hancock Publishing. They have a large selection of books that you might not find at your local shop or the one line stores. I was certainly surprised when I first located that link and found a book on the behaviour of the Golden Eagle that I had searched for elsewhere.

https://www.hancockhouse.com/

And if you don’t know about Dr Christian Sasse, you need to Google his name. He is a passionate photographer who chases eagles around Vancouver. The images he captures are quite incredible. Here is one of his short videos:

You can also join us in Manitoba for the Peregrine Recovery Project. The clock is ticking away. We are, at this very moment, expecting the falcons to arrive here in twenty-two days! I will be keeping you informed here and will be anxiously awaiting fledge when I along with many others join in keeping tabs on these young falcons. The link to that page and the various cameras is here:

http://www.species-at-risk.mb.ca/pefa/

The feeder cam at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta attracts songbirds just like the Cornell Bird Cam at Sapsucker. They also have a live chat feature. Have a peek:

Besides the falcons in Manitoba we also have the polar bear cams up in Churchill, Manitoba but…just to show you the massive number of streaming cams run by one organization, here is a link below that will direct you to any kind of bird or mammal you want to watch:

https://explore.org/livecams

I apologize for this being short. Today I have to put my artist hat on. Happy International Women’s Day and take care.

Hatching

It is nearly -40 now and will be in the -50s with the wind chill in parts of Canada for a few more days but, when I looked at the map the deep blue desperately cold area dips way, way south. It includes the Bald Eagle nests on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois, the Bald Eagle Nest in New Jersey, and it will touch on the nest of my favourite Red Tail Hawk family in Ithaca, New York. Thankfully, Big Red has not laid any eggs yet. Six more weeks to go! There is barely a spot that is not going to be well below normal. Perhaps the eagle nests in Florida have escaped this. Oh, I feel so sorry for all of the birds and the animals and despite the fact that I know they are extremely smart, I still worry about them. And, also, of course all the people including the many homeless in all of our communities.

In the past couple of days we have talked and seen those eggs cracking and new little fluff balls appearing. Instead of talking about it again, I am going to post a short little video by Dr. Christian Sasse. He lives in British Columbia. You might know of his magnificent photographs of the Bald Eagles around Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Oh, you can tell just looking at them that he loves those raptors. He made a very short video of the last moments of hatching. It is something that most of us will not ever be close enough to see. I do hope you enjoy it!

You already know that the first little eaglet has burst out of its shell at the Northeast Florida nest of Samson and Gabrielle. That other egg was really split but by 5pm 8 February (Monday), the eaglet had not hatched. You can see the crack in the egg and the grey fluff of the little one in the aerie. Gabrielle is working on the nest. You will see them venting and airing the nest. The adults may bring in greenery to help minimize insect issues. Nothing like having some rotting fish in a nest open to the sun and it is 30 degrees C. Can you imagine what that smells like? Whew.

NE Florida Eagle Cam, 5:02:24 pm 8 February 2021

Gabby’s little one, whose fluffy head you can see next to the egg of its sib, is very strong. It is standing up and eating great big bites of fish.

Oh, fish is good! NEFL Eagle cam, 9 February 2021.

Awwwwwww. Cuteness! I am so happy for Gabby and Samson. This is their second try this season. They, too, were the victim of a raven grab when Gabby needed to leave the nest and Samson wasn’t around. He is being super diligent this time!

The second egg is not showing any big changes to me. It is possible that it is not viable. There is a huge problem coming for the eagles. After 1970 when they were all but wiped out, there are now so many that there are not enough trees for them to nest in. That is the biggest reason we are seeing intruders in nests. I wonder if they will adapt to sharing like the Trio?

Gabby and Samson’s cutie pie. NEFL Eagle Cam, 9 February 2021.

Are you familiar with the word ‘carion’. No, I am not talking about a video game or a wood wind quartet, carion as in ‘road kill’. I joked with you yesterday but, in fact, I guess it isn’t a joke. People who love raptors talk about dead animals. And that brings me to the picture below. That is M15, the father of E17 (the little terror) and E18 (the sweet cutie) of the Southwest Florida Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family.

I recall, not that long ago, having a discussion with someone about prey. They told me in no uncertain terms that eagles only eat fish. Now, let’s think about that. Didn’t we just see a bunny on the SWFL nest? and a possum up at Gabby and Samson’s place? The White-Bellied Sea Eagles even brought in a fox cub so that they could have a family feast with 25 and 26! That fox cub was carion, road kill. Oh, and Dad even brought in a turtle last year. The sea eaglets had no idea what to do with it but Lady did. Must have been very tasty. She did not offer Dad a single bite. The live streaming cams are certainly changing what we know about all of the birds. Things that everyone believed are being tested. Remember Solly from yesterday’s posting? Remember she flew inland and was 200 kilometres away from her nest. She is breaking records and we are learning something every day. Just like we do on the eagle nests.

Today, M15 has found ‘something’. The image is too grainy and he was way too far away for the cam operator to focus. But he fought with ‘it’ for awhile. At one time I really thought it was another large dark bird. It is definitely too big to get up to the nest whole. Maybe tomorrow M15 or Harriet will be able to rip off a piece of it so that we can see what they have found. One year Harriet brought an Anhinga into the nest. They are large birds with long sharp beaks that stab fish underwater. They are sometimes called the devil bird. I don’t think that is what M15 has but, who knows?

M15 around 5pm in West Pasture with carion. 8 February 2021. Thanks to SWFL Eagle cam and D. Pritchett.

Harriet caught a fish in the morning. Between her and the eaglets, it didn’t last long. Not a flake left! It was a really not day and that fish gave the little ones much needed hydration.

Harriet went fishing in pond and brought home a nice one.

But look where E18 got himself. At first I just held my breath thinking he would get his leg caught and would not be able to get out. Or he was going to fall out of that nest. But this was a great move. 18 has the perfect location to be fed without any bother from 17. There is even a pokey stick between them.

I would just as soon they didn’t try to get up on the rim of the nest though. It is pretty nerve wrecking watching.

When Harriet finished, they both passed out in food comas. Keep them full and happy.

A great close up. Looks like their eyes are all healed without any relapses. Fantastic! And the egg tooth seems to be gone now.

Is it possible for a raptor’s talons to be cute?

Ah, and they are so sweet when they are sleeping. Best buddies. Makes my heart melt.

What a great way to close the blog today with this cuddle puddle!

Cuddle Puddle

Stay inside if you are in the area of the Polar Vortex. Call for help if you need it. Which reminds me. Keep your phone charged! I will check in on the nests in the area of the cold later today and give you a short update.

Thank you for dropping by. It is so wonderful to know there are so many people who love birds.

And thank you to the NEFL Eagle Cam and the SWFL Eagle Cam and D. Pritchett family for the streaming cameras where I took my scaps.