Dad delivers two fish to his Ervie

I have to admit that I have been feeling rather sad for Ervie. He was so excited – and proud -to bring his catch to the nest. Then for it to turn out to be a toadfish, something that he cannot eat (or did not eat – he did eat the puffer fish!), had to be a real disappointment.

That fish remains on the nest and every once in awhile Ervie takes a look at it. You can see the fish to the right of Ervie. It also sticks to Ervie’s feet when he jumps around the nest trying to get a delivery from dad. I wonder why he doesn’t just shove it into the side of the nest?

Yesterday Dad brought in two fish meals for Ervie. Those times were 12:55:43 and 17:56:51.

Here is Dad delivering the first lunch for his lad.

Ervie is really lucky that Dad continues to feed him! Ervie reminds me of Izzi, the cutest peregrine falcon, at the scrape in Orange. Izzi did eventually leave the area but not until it was nearly time for his mother, Diamond, to lay her eggs for 2021. Some thought Izzi would have to stay and help take care for his siblings! It has happened in the UK.

It appears as long as there is a chick crying in the nest, no matter how big and old, Dad will continue to provide some food.

Ervie is really mantling his precious fish. He gives Dad a bit of a nudge to get him off the nest!

Dad is amazing. Ervie is really going to enjoy that fish.

Ervie slept in the nest last evening. I wish the camera could give us a view of the nest and Dad’s shed area. Is Dad not there? Is that why Ervie is sleeping on the nest? I have more questions than I will ever get answers.

In other Bird World News: Thunder has now laid her third egg at the West End Bald Eagle on Catalina nest with Akecheta. Bald Eagles Connie and Clive, realizing that their egg was not fertile, each helped bury it in the nest at Captiva. Today they are bringing in new soft materials covering the egg and the nest area. Does this mean they are going to attempt a second season?

There is a storm raging at the NEFlorida nest of Gabby and Samson. Gabby and the nest are almost at the point of being so deluged that she might not be able to keep the chicks dry. The other issue is that the temperature at the nest is 9 degrees C (49 F) and there is a wind advisory. Gusts up to 40 mph will ravage the area until Monday afternoon. The rain should stop by early evening. My heart goes out to Gabby.

Pa Berry has the nest stocked and while it is a little breezy, all seems well at the nest with Missy and little B15 at Mt Berry, Georgia.

Kincaid is growing and doing well. Louis doesn’t have quite the pile of fish he had on the nest. Thinking about those 10 fish and Coots reminds me. There was a question the other day and I am certain we have all thought about this. How well can Bald Eagles smell? That nest of Anna and Louis’s in the Kisatchie National Forest had to just reek.

Eagles have high temporal resolution – keen eyesight – and they rely more on their vision than smell. Turkey Vultures and others who rely on Carrion as a food source do have a developed sense of smell that helps them find their food. Eagles have functional olfactory glands meaning that they can smell but the numbers of those glands is relatively small in comparison to mammals. I will post a link to an article on Olfaction in Raptors at the end of this blog if you want to access it.

Kincaid is sitting up nice and straight. He is not yet walking around the nest but he sure manages to move relatively quickly, regardless. Anna keeps him full to the brim, normally!

There is an interesting story coming out of Alexandria, West Virginia Audubon Society about an Osprey that caught a crow. Have a read:

https://www.audubonva.org/news/osprey-killing-a-crow-in-alexandria-va?fbclid=IwAR143JSPR4PsbBCq5J-umVH_aML7MF-JpL_EAUcGTnFVbevRsK8zucOx8RU

Here is the article published by Oxford University’s Zoological Journal on Olfactory Glands in Raptors:

https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/article/189/3/713/5601241

It is -18 with a bright sky on the Canadian Prairies. I am hoping to go out and check on some birds this afternoon for awhile. February is always the month for ‘cabin fever’ and this year is no exception! I do have some images of our dear Dyson yesterday in the garden. He is sure enjoying that hard suet cylinder!

He managed to share it with the European Starlings yesterday. Sometimes I see him chasing them about the Lilac Bushes hoping that he will get them to move so he can have some seed.

For some reason Dyson likes to eat this hard seed cylinder or sit in the open square feeder and eat just Black Oil Seed. I cannot get him interested in anything else.

Dyson becomes a bit like an acrobat hanging on to that small branch of the tree and the wires of the suet holder.

He sure does bring me a lot of joy!

Little Red was out yesterday, too. When the temperatures dropped from -32 to -15, the squirrels became much more active. It was nice to see them all! Reassuring.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are all well. Stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagles, KNF Bald Eagles, and NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.

Ervie and the fish

Before I begin, I want to thank ‘A-M’ for alerting me that Ervie had caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. I was not watching at the time and in my excitement to tell you, I forgot to thank her. My sincerest apologies. I always appreciate all of the news you send me, especially when I can only be in one place at a time! Thank you ‘A-M’.

Yes, Ervie caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. It was magnificent and happened at 13:37:14. Ervie had to be so excited.

Ervie was so proud of his fish and rightly so. Indeed, he was so happy that he wasn’t paying full attention. And the fish was still alive. Yes…if you are thinking fluttering fish on nest, you have it. Ervie was a bit shocked when the fish started moving away and fell into a hole at the top right of the nest!

There is Ervie looking down that hole in amazement. It ate his fish!

Everyone had faith that Ervie, the chick who could dig out old fish tails from the nest, would be able to retrieve his fish ——- and he did!

Well done, Ervie. Today you gained some confidence and you learned a lesson – pin your fish down hard while you eat it!

The very curious thing is that Ervie, who was obviously hungry, did not gobble up his fish. He also walked around the nest like something distasteful was stuck to his foot. One of the knowledgable chatters suggested that it was a ‘toadfish’ and that maybe he didn’t like the taste of it.

So what is a toadfish? The Common Toadfish grows to approximately 15 cm or 6 inches in length. The fish is actually covered with some prickles which could account for why Ervie didn’t like it stuck to the pads on his feet. They are found along the coasts in shallow water and sometimes bury themselves in sand with only their eyes showing. The fish is toxic to humans who, if they consume the fish can die of respiratory failure. It carries the same neurotoxins in its tissue as the Blue-ringed Octopus or the Pufferfish. Those toxins are Tetrodotoxin.

I asked a biologist if this could harm the transfer of information from Ervie’s nerves to his muscles and they were unclear as to the impact. Perhaps the toxins do not harm the sea hawks like they do humans. Still, as my grandmother would say, it is a good thing Ervie did not like the taste of the fish and didn’t finish it just in case. Over time, Ervie will discover the fish that are good to eat and those that aren’t.

“Tetractenos hamiltoni Common toadfish has a deadly secret #marineexplorer #underwatersydney” by Marine Explorer 

Dad watched his son closely. At 17:52, he brought Ervie a nice fish to eat. Thanks, Dad!

Dad has a nice crop. It looks like he made sure that the fish was dead by eating its head before delivering to our sweet boy.

Ervie has spent the night in Dad’s shed hanging on to Dad’s favourite blue rope sleeping.

Other Bird World News: The Ravens came to attack the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Shadow was not home. Jackie defended the nest of two eggs valiantly. This will not be thee last time they come. They know there are eggs in there and Jackie and Shadow are going to have to be vigilant! It is believed that E20 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 has officially started self-feeding. Jean-Marie Dupart has counted 220 Ospreys at the Langue de Barbarie Park in Senegal. This is a record! Ferris Akel will be hosting his birding tour of the area around Ithaca today starting around 1pm Eastern time. Go to YouTube and Search for Ferris Akel Tour Live. For those fans of E19 and E20, they are some of the feature wildlife that are in CROW’s 2022 calendar. The calendars are now 50% off. Here is the link to order: https://bit.ly/2022CROWCalendar There is no news on Bella at the NCTC nest. She has not returned to the nest since the last time she was seen injured on 1 February. The search party was not able to find her. The new female and Smitty have been exchanging fish on the nest. We are on egg watch for the Redding Eagles. Lots and lots happening. The poor weather seems to have moved out of the nest areas!

This is Pittsburgh-Hayes a few minutes ago. We are on egg watch there, too.

The sun is shining down and the snow is melting in Ithaca for Big Red and Arthur.

Not-so-little Kincaid has a big crop this morning at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. The thermal down is coming in nicely and just look at those big feet! Oh, you are growing way too fast Kincaid.

It is a cloudy day on the Canadian Prairies. No snow warnings and it is now a balmy -15 C. Someone asked me how we stay warm. For the most part, the houses in Canada are well insulated with double or triple pane windows. Central Air is pretty standard. We pay very high heating bills (very high) in the winter even if our homes are insulated well and have great windows if the extreme cold weather lingers for several weeks. Smart persons really bundle up before going out in -35 degree weather. Coats, boots, ski pants all rated to -35 or -45 help tremendously along with gloves and toques (knit hats). I prefer the dry snow over the wet – that makes you cold to the bone!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Pix Cameras, Cornell Bird Labs, and the KNF Bald Eagle nest.

Bay Area Birds

I will only say it is ‘freezing’ once. First it was the snow and now we are -31 C. for all day Wednesday. The sky was blue and the sun was shining Wednesday morning signalling the extreme cold. Staring at the birds outside just makes me marvel at how they can survive a Winnipeg winter. It has now warmed up to -26 Thursday morning but we remain under an extreme cold warning.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/how-birds-survive-winter-1.4465936

The Black-capped Chickadees take so much time getting a single black oil sunflower seed, then finding a place to crack it. They do not seem to prefer – at all – the ones already shelled and broken. Yesterday they were flitting around in the blizzard coming into the vines and under the eave to get away from the wind.

I caught this little fellow cracking the seed on that tiny branch the other day.

I have a large tub of spreadable bark butter. The Woodpecker family will be delighted. I wonder if these chickadees might like it as well??? I have to say that while I am so happy to have the Starlings around, they can be intimidating. A friend has suggested that I get a feeder with a suction cup that goes on the window. They said the small birds like the chickadees will come to it while the big birds will stay away. I worry that a bird will injure themselves flying into the window. I wonder. Have you had any experience with these types of feeders? If so, I would love to hear from you.

There was a super surprise in the post today. The t-shirts from the fund raiser for Lindsay Wildlife arrived. Lindsay Wildlife treated Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon at The Campanile at UC-Berkeley, when he was injured on 29 October. These were part of a fundraiser by Cal Falcons to thank them.

The last posting on the falcon’s FB page. So happy Grinnell was able to be released so quickly and took his place back with Annie.

I can’t help it. Whenever I am checking on Annie and Grinnell, I think of Richmond and Rosie. Is it because one of Annie and Grinnell’s daughters has a nest on Alcatraz? I don’t know.

If you are looking for a stable Osprey nest, you need look no farther than that of Richmond and Rosie at the Point Potreto Whirley Crane in San Francisco. Richmond and Rosie are nothing short of incredible. They are entertaining and steady as you go parents. Richmond is known for bringing in quirky items to the nest – stuffed toys, aprons, and hats.

Rosie is in front and has the streaked breast.

Richmond has been at the Whirly crane for three days in a row. Oh, yes, the nest is on a Whirly Crane that belongs specifically to the Ospreys! Does Richmond think Rosie might come home early? You see, Richmond never leaves the area. He spends his time around the island of Alcatraz and fishing in the Bay. Rosie migrates and she typically returns around Valentine’s Day. Oh, they are always so excited to see one another!

The couple have been raising chicks on this nest since 2017. This will be their sixth breeding year. In the past 5 seasons, they have fledged a total of 13 chicks.

Here is the actual crane:

This is detailed historical data on all aspects from egg laying, banding, to fledge. Last year, Rosie and Richmond again fledged triplets like they did in 2020. Rosie, Sage, and Poppy were their names in 2021.

This is Richmond two days ago on the crane. He often visits during the winter just to check on the nest and protect his territory. There are currently 50 Osprey nests in the San Francisco Bay area.

Here is a link to one of the streaming cams for Rosie and Richmond:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/golden-gate-osprey-1

Here is a link to historical and current videos of Rosie and Richmond:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gn6yIRa_cBKExVmHdg3jQ

The weather in the US is amping up. Here is the latest NOAA national map. If you are in this area which covers a huge population of the US, you take care!

There is a line of rain that includes Louisiana at an angle going NE that includes NYC and Duke Farms Bald Eagles in Hillsborough, NJ. Ice is in Southern Ohio and moving eastward and will impact the PA birds. Heavy snow for upstate NY. It is currently raining at the KNF nest in Louisiana and rain, or is it freezing rain?, at Berry College.

Anna and Louis were both wet. the little eaglet is dry. You can see that they are alerting. The cold has hit the nest. It is 3 degrees C or 18 F and it is set to fall to 0. Stay warm Anna, Louis, and the baby!

Missy is keeping B15 dry. It is 13 degrees C but the weather report is saying thunderstorms for the Berry College Bald Eagle nest. Stay safe everyone.

You can barely tell but snow is starting to fall on Big Red and Arthur’s nest in Ithaca, New York. It is currently 2 degrees C at the nest. It will get down to -6 C before this storm is over. This area of upstate NY is set to get pounded with snow. Keep Big Red and Arthur in your thoughts.

All of the nests in PA are set to be hit with ice and/or snow. There could be significant tree loss if the ice continues to build up like it is doing in southern Ohio at the moment.

Thank you for joining me. My thoughts go out to everyone and all the nests in this storm area. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Golden Gate Audubon, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, KNF, Berry College, and NOAA.

Late Monday in Bird World

The ‘Alberta Clipper’ is just starting to impact Winnipeg with some light snow flakes. We are in an extreme blizzard warning area until tomorrow morning when the winds and snow – getting up to 90 kph (or 55 mph) – dissipate. The garden birds were a little strange today. They ate and left. Normally they come and stay all day but a couple of waves of different groups came and went. I suspect they were going to try and find a place to hunker down for the duration. This storm system is also going to impact a huge part of the US including my childhood state of Oklahoma.

It is snowing on the Storks near Freiburg, too.

There is wind and blowing snow in Durbe, Latvia, the home of Milda, the White-tailed Eagle. The sound from the camera’s microphone makes you shiver – the wind is just howling through the forest.

The female Bald Eagle at Duke Farms is also under some snow and it looks like she might get more as this weather system moves through the eastern US.

There is good news in Bird World. Both of the USS Bald Eagles were seen at the nest today. The worry last night over whether or not there was an injury melted away. Nice.

The thermal down is coming in on the eaglet at the KNF in Central Louisiana. The light natal down is giving way to dandelions. Notice how much longer the beak is and how large the cere has become. The cere is the soft fleshy part above the black beak, seen below. The cere varies in shape, size, and colour amongst raptors. The beak will turn that beautiful yellow when this eaglet is approximately 4-5 years old and be pure yellow by the time it is 6 years old. At that time, it will also finish getting its adult plumage including that full beautiful white head.

The meals are more spread apart but the eaglet is eating longer and its crop is getting much fuller. Just look below. The crop is a pouch along the espophagus. It stores food before it gets to the stomach. It also processes prey items that cannot be processed in the stomach. The raptor will regurgitate a compressed pellet of those items that do not go to the stomach.

The Wildlife Biologist has just confirmed that this crop is at least 3-4 inches (10 cm) long! Wow.

Poor Baby. It took some maneuvering with the weight and flopping of that crop for it to get in a position to PS. Obviously the crop weighs more than the chick’s bottom does.

This baby has really grown in the last 4 or 5 days and is changing more and more with every blink it seems.

Despite being full to the brim and hardly able to move, Anna is making certain that the little one is topped up before bedtime.

NE26 and 27 are awash in Spanish Moss. The nest seems to be covered with it and fish. Lots of fish.

There are those sweet little fluffy dumplings in the nest bole.

Sleeping quietly under Mum.

At the WRDC Nest in Miami, R1 and R2 have popping crops, too. The pin or blood feathers can be seen coming in through the thermal down.

R1 is closest to you. R2 without the fluffy hair is in the back and also has a large crop. Both eaglets are doing well and there is plenty of food on the nest.

The 2022 Albatross Count on Midway Atoll is completed. Here is the information as it was posted by Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge today:

YRK flew in and switched places with OGK yesterday at the Royal Albatross Quarry Track Nest in New Zealand.

Lady Hawk caught that sweet reunion.

The camera is still offline in Port Lincoln. Would love to have had a good look at our Ervie.

Tuesday February 1 is Lunar New Year for many of our friends. For all of you celebrating the Spring Festival, we wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous Year of the Tiger.

Thank you for joining me today. So happy to have you with me. Stay safe, stay warm!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Friends of Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge FB Page, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, WRDC Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Stork’s Nest Livestream.