Manton Bay Sadness and other news in Osprey and Falcon World

11 May 2022

I want to start this newsletter with something that is pretty wonderful before we get on to the big story of the day coming out of Rutland Water’s Manton Bay Osprey nest.

Forgive me if I am wrong but it looks to me like Alden is feeding the two chicks at Cal Falcons! Why do I think this is Alden? and why is this such a big deal? Well the left foot has a problem or did something happen to Annie? or is this just nothing and I am seeing things? Annie likes to feed the kids so that is why this is a big deal. But Alden has been nervous and seemingly shy of feeding. So what is going on?

Well this looks like an experienced parent.

The time is 06:03 and I am confused. The adult behaves like Annie but I am confused by the left foot.

At any rate, the chicks are fine. Gosh, golly. Do we have a foot injury on Annie??????? or has Alden suddenly turned into a pro at feeding chicks?

Everyone watching the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 (11) and Maya are simply at a loss for words. A large fish came on the nest and flipped from the side over to the top of the nest cup hitting both chicks and the third egg. Just as watchers were stunned so was mum, Maya. Ospreys are used to fish flapping. Indeed, one of the historic reasons that the males eat the heat is to ensure that the fish is dead when they deliver it to the nest. Of course, that is not always the case. It can be a tragedy when day old osplets are on the nest.

One of the chicks has survived. The other was still breathing but was left exposed for a period of time. At 13:17 Blue 33 (11) comes to check on Maya. With what we can only believe as his encouragement, Maya moves the fish out of the egg cup and to the side of the nest where she eats some fish. With the fish out of the egg cup, she gathers both chicks under her to brood. Am I crazy to hope that wee one will survive?

Is the little one stuck under a stick or something? I wonder.

By 14:35 the rain is pouring down on Maya. She has both chicks and the egg under her and is hunkered down. Send your most positive wishes to this Osprey family. Hope for a miracle for that wee babe to come around and for two healthy osplets.

It is 15:30 and the rain has stopped. That is really good news for this Osprey nest. Maya is feeding a chick and eating herself. The other chick is drying off and is still moving but, honestly, it would be a miracle if this one makes it. Still, I hope.

Its little wing was raised up and moving. It is in front of the egg towards us. Maya will cover up both chicks and the egg. Mum is looking a wee better. We must remember that Maya may have had fish flop around in the nest before but she has never had a chick fatally injured by one. She has little time for mourning but did appear stunned and very lethargic when the event happened.

More tragic news has come from the Dahlgren Osprey nest. The third hatch has died. That nest is located at the mouth of the Machodoc and William’s Creek in King George County, Virginia. It is the nest of Jack and Harriet. The creek has had very high water and has flooded in places causing murky fishing for Jack. It is not clear but as of the 8th of May the third hatch was getting little food. It died this morning.

Things are, however, continuing to go well on the Captiva Osprey Nest. Middle Little or Captiva’s Daddy Long legs fledgling has been flying on and off the platform with a very large fish. He is flying like a pro now. So good!

There he goes in the middle to the 8island to enjoy his late breakfast!

After the Ospreys, it is often reassuring to check on the falcons and the hawks.

Everything appears to be fine as the day starts for Annie and Alden and the two eyases at the U-California Berkeley scrape.

All five eyases are alive and either preening or trying to sleep at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape.

The three chicks at St Mary’s Church in Andover, Hampshire, UK had a really good feed today and all are doing well.

The two at the Indiana & Michigan Power scrape are also fine!

These two are really losing their baby down.

There are still only two eyases at the Utica NY scrape. Both are doing well and with sadness on the nests overall, two energetic chicks is great.

Sadly, there has been a unexplained death of the youngest eyas at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape in the UK. Both chicks were eating fine and developing well. There appeared to be no problem. Sometime between 1315-1430 yesterday the youngest on died. I was not expecting that news. The fact that the chick ate well does not indicate Avian Flu. The owners of the scrape commented on its pale egg and feet thinking that there was something the matter with the wee ones health all along. Condolences go out to all the individuals associated with the Cromer scrape who work so hard to reintroduce the Peregrine Falcons into the UK.

All is well at the Dolina Baryczy Peregrine Falcon nest in Poland.

The chicks ate for a very long time and it was recorded. They look healthy. They are losing their down around the eyes and you can see the feathers coming in on the wings and the tail.

All is well at the nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca. the four eyases are growing like bad weeds, getting their feathers, and starting to spend a lot of time preening. Relief. They are sure taking up a lot of space along that ledge of the lightbox!

Thank you so much for joining me as I continue to monitor the situations at the Manton Bay and UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nests. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LRWT Manton Bay, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Networks, I & M DNR, Utica Falcons, Sokoi D Baryczy Zdenka, and Cromer Peregrine Falcons.

Fantastic Thursday – It’s all about Mother Goose!

28 April 2022

It is Thursday but, for some reason, it feels like Saturday. I could not possibly tell you why. Does this ever happen to you? It has also been quite a number of hours waiting. Waiting for the goslings Mum to take the leap and them to follow at Decorah and waiting for L4 at Big Red and Arthur’s nest on the Cornell Campus.

It is nearing 08:30 Saturday morning in Decorah, Iowa. The precipitation that was falling earlier appears to have stopped. One little gosling was thirsty and drank the drops on Mother Goose’s feathers – and so did Mother Goose. How long has she been on the nest without getting off? 48 hours? She must be hungry and very thirsty since she has not been able to leave since the wee ones began hatching. It is quite windy. Will that impact the timing for leaving the nest?

They are certainly squiggly and – well, curious little ones. Adorable.

Mother Goose’s body and system of wings and tail opening and lowering reminds me of one of those big cargo planes where they raise the tail up and lower a ramp. Did they look at a goose for the design?

Watching and listening for her Mate.

It is 10:46 in Decorah. Mother Goose continues to look and listen for the ‘Go’ sign. I wonder how much those wind gusts impact the decision? There are five, BTW, goslings. It appears the sixth egg has not hatched.

There are 1878 people watching and waiting the Decorah Mother Goose nest. Splendid. It is a joyful change. Those fuzzy little yellow goslings with the black legs and webbed feet, black bill, and black dot on their head and back are darlings. They are also precocial. They hatch with down, can walk and swim, and can feed themselves. They will stay to learn from Mum and Dad and for safety.

The first time it didn’t work. Mother Goose jumped down at 12:02 CDT but the goslings did not follow. Mother and Father Goose called and called. It was windy. So, Mum returned, gathered up the kids and got them warm and waited for a bit. Then she tried it again! This time everything went perfectly. She hesitated at the spot where she was jumping so the goslings would see and follow her from there.

This time they seem to be paying more attention to what Mum is doing.

Gosh they are cute.

At first, we held our breath. Only three???

The parents were calling and looking for the other two.

Four of the goslings are with the parents. One is missing in the tall grass. There are volunteers from Raptor Resource Project on the ground helping to find the baby. There is lots of grass for it to eat and water. It is just a matter of time til all are together. It was a beautiful nest to watch.

Thank you to the person who did the video of the goslings getting down. Notice that the Sparrow and the Starling come in to get some of that nice fluffy down for their nests.

There are the four. The parents are hanging around. With them and the boots on the ground, I am really hopeful that the youngest gosling will be reunited with its family shortly. It hatched last night and is 24 hours younger than the other siblings.

One woman said that this is more nerve-wrecking than watching an eaglet fledge. Yes, it truly is! Especially when you think they will get caught in the twigs on the nest trying to get down.

We are waiting for L4. There may have been a pip on the 25th of April at 0655 but this is still only a possibility. The little one is still hammering away. Because so many people watch the eagle and osprey nests, it is worrying when you realize that there will be a week’s difference between L1 and L4. Falcon and hawk nestlings are not like eagle and ospreys. Yes, they appear to be ‘beaking’ but it is because their eyesight has not cleared and every black beak with pink inside – just like Big Red – is a potential food source. The experts have said there should not be any worries as long as there is lots of food. That said, this is the first time Big Red has had 4 eggs. So we wait. Hopefully that hatch will occur today.

Big Red likes to keep her kids full to the brim and Arthur is an excellent hunter. There is a pile of prey on the nest already and apparently there are lots of squirrels and chipmunks, voles, etc in the Finger Lakes area this year.

Progress. I sure hope that L4 doesn’t tire itself out getting out. It happens.

The first osplet has hatched at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest for Jack and Harriet at 22:06:43 on the 27th of April (yesterday). Their nest is located at the mouth of the Machodoc Creek in King George, Virginia. Thankfully many of the toys that Jack brings in have found themselves either blown off the nest or moved to the edges so that they do not harm the wee babies.

Jack brought in a nice fish. Harriet would much rather have a fish than have a toy! It is hard to see but the chick is in that deep egg cup. The first feeding of the wee one happened around 10:00 Thursday the 28th.

If you are looking for more Osprey nests to watch or want to check out a new one, here is a good resource with a description of each nest and a link:

https://www.mangolinkcam.com/webcams/birds/ospreys.html

Ospreys come to Canada near the end of April or early May for breeding. One of our national news casters covered the arrival of the couple at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia named Oscar and Ethel.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dartmouth-ospreys-thriving-in-new-nest-site-1.6431333?fbclid=IwAR0p-oXCG5r8-5eQWKTsJZqimU0h3hgZ3kLnpmCyYUwEVwpH9tDkxWLM6Vk

I am looking forward to the flood waters subsiding and travelling on some of the rural roads to check on the Osprey nests in Manitoba.

At the Osprey nest in Lyn Brenig, Wales, LM6 and LD2 have their second egg of the season. Oh, bless their hearts that they returned. The community worked so hard to get a new platform up where their old nest had been when it was chainsawed down last year. There was no promise that they would return but, now – wow. Two eggs with the promise of a third probably.

This is the link to the Lyn Brenig streaming cam:

We are about a week away from the hatch at The Campanile. Alden has been a terrific mate. Him and Rosie seem to be working – as my mother would have said, ‘like a well oiled clock’. Here they are changing incubation duties.

Life seems to be good in Bird World. I did a quick check on all the nests and even the ones that have eaten duck seem to be alright. What an exciting day with those goslings finally getting off the eagle’s nest and down into the water. They are so adorable. I will now turn my attention to Big Red and L4 while I continue reading that amazing book, The Eagle Man about the life of Charles Broly. It is excellent. What is surprising, so far, is that many of the concerns that the Broly’s had in the early 1950s still seem to be prevalent today. One day I hope to get around to writing a review for all of you. If you see a copy, grab it. I would not have thought a book about eagles and eagle banding would be a page turner but it is.

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

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Lyn Brenig Osprey Cam, and Cal Falcons.

Wow! What an afternoon in Bird World

21 April 2022

I have hardly moved from observing two bird streaming cams so far today. Those are the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam and the Cornell Red-tail Hawk cam of Big Red and Arthur. Each nest had potential issues. Blood was seen on the outside of the egg of L1. Was this just the normal amount of blood coming off the umbilical cord? and then a second egg began to pip! At the Florida nest it is difficult to tell who is the nastiest towards Little Bit. Is it Big? or is it Middle? Last year at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, the largest sibling let the Middle one constrain and peck Tiny Tot Tumbles, the third hatch. It was horrible. Tiny Tot survived and became the dominant one on the nest. I am hoping Little Bit does, too.

A nice sized piece of fish arrived on the UFlorida nest. Little Bit had none of the earlier fish and was hungry. He managed to grab a bite from Mum before he was clobbered by one of the older siblings. Our little scrapper from a few days ago quickly went into submission. He has to be tired and somewhat dehydrated but, like all third hatches, he hung in there and waited and watched.

Big is hovering over Little Bit.

Little Bit looks like he is down and not paying attention.

Watch. There Little Bit goes scurrying behind Big. He needs some of this fish to help rehydrate him and help him get strong again.

Both Big and Middle had eaten earlier and had big crops. It is good they got full quickly at this feeding so Little Bit could have some food.

At 15:17 we get a glimpse of Little Bit’s head behind Mum. He is in a food coma. Mum continues to eat on the fish and give more bites to the bigger siblings once in awhile until well past 15:30. There was lots of fish at this feeding and things should be settling down but both the two bigger siblings still believe that there is not enough coming on the nest for three. We wait and hope for another large fish today before bedtime for these three. That should help ease the anxiety although often there is lots of food on the nest and the older siblings continue to exert their dominance.

The miracle might have happened. At 16:58 a nice fish landed on the nest. The two older siblings have big crops. Little Bit looks so skinny.

His wings are so thin.

The big ones ate some of that fish but there is lots left. Little Bit is going to get a lot of fish (I hope). Sometimes the older ones eat til you think they will be sick just to keep the youngest from getting any food.

You can see Little Bit’s skinny wings up by Mom’s left shoulder being fed. This is their biggest growth period. Little Bit needs lots of food. It looks like he gets fed and then one of the bigger ones moves in for some more. I hope he stays put and lets them eat so when they leave he is there ready for more.

There. Little Bit was fed until 17:13 and moved away full.

Little Bit has gone to sleep. Meanwhile it looks like Middle Bob is back up for more fish. Around 17:15 chaos breaks out. Little Bit raises its head like it wants more fish. Big and Middle get into it and then they go after Little Bit. This is not a happy Osprey nest. Middle continues to be the worst towards Little Bit. He will snatch him by the nape of the neck and shake the baby. That always scares me.

They are full. Middle and Big have eaten and eaten. The power plays are entirely unnecessary. Wish for Little Bit to be strong and smart as well as tenacious. He needs to outwit the big ones.

Well, Little Bit is eating again and the two older siblings are watching! Bravo.

It is nerve wrecking. The two are now resting. Little Bit continues to eat! He eats til he is full and then Mum enjoys some of the nice fish. It is 17:25. We can all rest easy tonight. More fish tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Please, Dad.

Big Red and Arthur have four eggs. The first began with a pip yesterday afternoon. That hatch has caused some worry because of some blood showing. It is normal for there to be a little blood from the umbilical cord. We will have to wait and see. The chick is alive. Is it having trouble with that inner membrane of the egg which is really tough to get through? Around noon another egg began pipping!

You can clearly see the pipping from the second egg, the splotchy one, at the top. L1’s egg is to the far left.

Arthur has brought the first prey item to the nest for the Ls or Big Red if she gets hungry. Big Red will probably remain on the eggs til L1 has hatched fully.

Grab some sleep now Big Red. You are going to be very busy tomorrow.

It is 15:26 and Big Red is extremely restless, rolling and checking on the eggs. Fingers crossed for that wee one to get through that membrane and the rest of that egg!

What do you do while you are waiting for one egg to finish hatching and another to get on with its pipping – on a very windy day? You play with sticks!

At 15:52 we get a glimpse.

Well, I am worn out with the excitement. L1 is working hard to get out of that egg. There is lots of movement. Gosh, I bet everyone watching Big Red and this little one struggle to get out of that egg are having sympathy pains. It won’t be long. Then L2 will be hot on the trail. It would be grand if the four hatched within 24-48 hours.

None of the raptors normally help the little ones hatching. It can actually cause them harm. I have seen some remove a half egg shell that is sticking if the hatchling is free elsewhere. Akecheta did that this year with one of the triplets.

It is now 17:02.

Big Red is not going to lay on the egg. She is going to just wiggle her breast feathers over it. Good progress. It is 17:03 and you can see the little one move. It needs to pop that top off – but it might need to rest a bit. Hatching is very tiring.

The Glaslyn Osprey nest cam is back on line. What a soft nest Mrs G and Aran have made. You can see Mrs G rolling the first egg. We will be looking for a second tomorrow.

Aran looks particularly handsome in the sunshine as he sits on the perch. He has returned from migration in top form!

Towards dusk Aran arrives at the nest with a fish for Mrs G.

He takes over incubation duties while Mrs G eats on the perch. All is well on the Glaslyn nest! Yes.

Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, has her nest on a parking lot near Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. It is cool and blustery there today. Iris arrived a little after 14:00 and did some nest work and then stood and looked around.

I wonder if Iris is looking for Louis? Does she think he might grace her with a visit and a fish? It is hard to say. Louis still considers his primary nest with Starr over at their new nest at the baseball park.

Well, Iris is nothing short of stunning for a bird that is 28 or 29 years old (they are unsure since she is unringed). Simply gorgeous.

The failed nest in Illinois is getting a new artificial nest and the two surviving eaglets will be taken up as soon as it is secured! Amazing work. Thank you to Ellen for posting this on the Big Bear FB page.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful to know that the two eaglets will be back with their parents in a safe nest. We will have, for sure, at least one hatch tonight at the Cornell Red-tail Hawk nest and Little Bit will sleep and grow. What a relief to see him get a good feed. Take care everyone. There should be a fuzzy eyas in the news for tomorrow. Maybe 2. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Cornell Lab RTH, U-Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Montana Osprey Project.

Possible Pips at Cornell for Big Red and Arthur!

19 March 2022

Cornell Bird Labs has posted on Twitter images of Big Red and Arthur’s eggs with red marks indicating possible pips.

Cornell added that this is brand new territory for them with two eggs. Big Red will not give us any hints – of course. But, it is possible that tomorrow those pips might have changed into hatches — or fuzzy little eyases with their pink legs and beak. Oh, I can’t wait.

You can watch all of the action here:

Thank you to the Cornell Lab for their Twitter feed and their streaming cam where I took my screen captures!

Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

This is a view of the storm that hit the other day. Today it is partly sunny but, there is another storm on its way. Winter continues for many of us!

Big Red and Arthur have snow. It seems every year Big Red will get encrusted in snow and ice and we sit and worry. She is used to the cold snowy wet weather living on the Cornell campus all her life (or nearby at Brooktondale where she hatched). Pip watch is the end of the week!

The Kakapo Recovery posted an announcement about their t-shirt fundraiser. That is incredibly wonderful – $27,000 is a wonderful amount for selling t-shirts. Well done. Waiting for ours to arrive!

This group and everyone associated with it does an amazing job trying to keep this critically endangered non-flying parrot alive. From changing transmitters, doing wellness checks, or ensuring birds that need care get off the islands to the Dunedin Vet – it is all fantastic.

And one another announcement that I am posting from FB. A Place Called Hope is one of those wildlife rehabbers like CROW that really goes all out for its patients. This Osprey needs fresh whole fish. Do you live in the area? Can you help? Do you know someone who does and could help? Give them a call!

Yesterday I was asked if I get terrified looking at the three West End eaglets now that one fell off and landed on a ledge below. (Thanks to Dr Sharpe, the baby is back on the nest.) The answer is ‘yes’. Utterly terrified.

I pondered that question for quite awhile before and after answering. We recognize that there are risks every day for our feathered friends. An eaglet could fall off the nest, a parent could be accidentally killed and not return with food for the female and chicks, a predator could come and predate the nestlings, fishing line can arrive at a nest and cut through the little legs and wings. We know these things like we have memorized a list of everything that could happen to the birds. But, until it happens, the absolute fragile life that they live does not register completely. That is what it was like for me with Grinnell. Grinnell was always going to return on the ledge and bring food to Annie. Grinnell was always going to protect The Campanile. Grinnell was always going to make a huge mess plucking a pigeon for the eyases. Grinnell would always be there. Until he didn’t come home. The eaglets were safe on the rock until one of them fell off. Absolutely ‘B’ terrified and helpless.

Here is a very different image of that Osprey nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Gorgeous wide open spot for a nest just the way Ospreys love it.

The osplets are really hot today. Mum is trying to shade them just like yesterday. Huge change beginning for Little Bit’s plumage. The back of his head is now oily black!

Look carefully. He is sleeping to the left of Mum. Look at the back of his head. Then look at the older sibling just left of Mum’s shoulder. They are all actively moving into the reptilian stage.

Feedings have been difficult to observe with Mum keeping her back to us.

Not a Raptor. Ferris Akel loves Roseate Spoonbills. Audubon has a lovely article about the oldest Roseate Spoonbill in the world and she is still raising chicks!

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest are waiting for breakfast and lunch! It is often hard to tell them apart these days. Beautiful juvenile feathering.

Aran and Mrs G have been on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley protecting a piece of fish against a bunch of crows.

The rain has stopped at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Everything is fine on their nest.

Blue NC0 and Laddie have a wonderful day at Loch of the Lowes. This is just the most beautiful place for an Osprey nest. So serene. No motor boats, no people. Three eggs.

Louis and Dorcha seem to have settled on the old nest with camera 1 at Loch Arkaig.

As far as I know, Dylan and Seren Blue 5F have not experienced any other visits from the Goshawk at Llyn Clywedog.

And I have two new Peregrine Falcon nests for you. One is in Buckinghamshire in the UK and the other is part of the streaming cams of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy. Thank you to ‘L’ and her daughter for news of the nest in New England!

The camera on the Buckinghamshire Nest is really good – nice and clear, good definition and a great view. Waiting for eggs.

Here is the link to the Buckinghamshire streaming falcon cam:

The second nest belongs to Boh and Barb and they also have four eggs this year. It seems to be a year for four eggs! Those eggs were laid on March 15, 18, 20 and 23rd of March. We are on pip watch.

Here is the link to the Chesapeake Conservancy falcon cam:

And last but never least, we are on fledge watch for Little (known as Mini on the Captiva Chat). She is 59 days old today. Should be flying soon.

On the right is Middle (Little) and on the left is Little (Mini). You can clearly see the difference in their size. If you watch the streaming cam check out the difference in their legs. Little (Mini) has long legs to help him fish! Middle (Little) has short stocky legs and she is bigger overall.

Both ‘babies’ (hardly babies anymore) had fish this morning at 09:45. There is Middle (or Little on chat) eating its own fish on the left. Middle fledged at 08:13:12 on April the 16th. The long thin legs are like those of Idris at the Dyfi nest and most believe that Middle (Little) is a male. Little (or Mini) is being fed by Lena. She is a nice big female it seems.

Middle (Little) could fly any moment it seems. Here is a link to the Captiva camera:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dyfi, Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Buckinghamshire Council Falcon Cam, Chesapeake Conservancy, DHEC, CarnyxWild, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery, and Explore.org.

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

24 March 2022

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

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

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

Obey takes the time to aerate more of the nest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Red lays egg 4!

While I was busy checking on the prey delivery status at Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, something special was happening at the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus.

Big Red appears to go into labour about 12:15. She will lay her 4th egg at 12:17:40! Four eggs. Four. Arthur. Get a freezer and start stocking prey!!!!

She has really fluffed up her feathers. The tail is going up and down.

Done! Egg will be dried.

The big reveal.

Incredible. As long as the streaming cam has been operating, Big Red has never laid four eggs. This is a whole new world for all of us and guess what? They will all do wonderfully well. Arthur and Big Red will see to that!

Thank you for dropping by for this amazing announcement.

Thank you to Cornell Bird Labs for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Late Monday in Bird World

14 March 2022

Gosh, it has been a busy day and I am trying to play catch up!

The big news of the day is that the internationally famous Red-tail Hawk at Cornell University, Big Red – named after their football team – laid her first egg of the 2022 season. She went into labour about 15:09 and the first reveal of the egg was at 15:11.

The three at the Captiva Osprey nest have eaten well again today. I cannot say for sure but it looks like at least seven fish were brought to Lena to feed Big, Middle, and Little Bob. There were five brought in by 15:30 with two other deliveries at 17:14 and 18:30. The images below are from a feeding that was still ongoing at 18:49 today. The kiddos had already been eating for 20 minutes!

I know i sound like a broken record but I look for their fat little bottoms. Middle Bob, facing to the Gulf, has a fat little bottom. Little is right up at Mum’s beak wanting some more fish!

Middle has passed out in a food coma.

Everyone will go to bed with a crop the size of a golf ball. These chicks are doing well. Big will be 4 weeks old on Wednesday, Middle 4 weeks old on Thursday, and Little will be 4 weeks old on Saturday. All the troubles that plagued this nest with the Crows will be more or less a non-worry after the chicks are 30 days old. They are big enough that the Crows will not bother them. What a wonderful relief. Andy has been working hard to get fish on the nest since the fish drought a few days ago.

As far as I can tell, each of the eaglets at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta have eaten well today. If someone asks you who is brooding, if you said Cheta, without looking, you would be right 8 times out of 10. Oh, this new dad sure loves to brood the little ones even on a hot day when everyone is panting to get cool!

Dale Hollow is an on again, off again nest. I have been disappointed that River and Obey are not tandem feeding the three kids. Big is really a bother to everyone. That said Little ate today and so did Middle. Hopefully the dominance issue will fade away like it has done at Captiva once food security is back in Big’s mind. Also River seems to be a bit distracted. I don’t know if there are predators in the area but she has stopped feeding abruptly on several occasions.

It is good to remember that there are third hatches (or second) this year that have had to wait for their big sibling to finish eating before they got anything. The first one that comes to mind is actually Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald eagle nest of Gabby and Samson. Rocket is a great name for this eaglet that became a pro at the ‘snatch and grab’. Rocket was also well equipped for self-feeding and was doing its own feeding on the extra prey left in the nest at least 9 days before Jasper even considered it could feed itself. The other one this year is also Little Bob at the Captiva nest mentioned in this blog. Things can turn around and sometimes they don’t. It is hard to watch but those third hatches that survive a dominant big sibling often have better survival skills for the wild.

I mentioned that a Bald eaglet will grow from being 3 inches to over a metre tall or 3 feet in 3 months. Have a look at how quickly Kakapo chicks grow from this posting by the Kakapo Recovery. The oldest chick is starting to get its beautiful green plumage!

If you missed it, the first confirmed banded Osprey on a streaming cam in the UK (or first Osprey without all that) is LM12 known as Laddie who arrived on the nest that he shares with his mate Blue NC0 yesterday at noon. Isn’t he handsome?

I am also very happy to announce that Karl II, the male at the Karula National Forest Black Stork Nest in Estonia, is still in Africa. His tracker pinged and he is near Khartoum. I am so relieved. I hope that all of the storks remain for the moment in Africa. Perhaps the war in the Ukraine – well, the Storks and other birds stop in the nature reserves in the south of Ukraine near Odessa. Karl II spent much time there. This is a very dangerous place at the moment for wildlife. I don’t need to say another word. I know that each of you understands the concerns of moving through this region to get to the spring and summer homes.

There is something wonderful about being an ‘only child’. You do not have to share your parents or the food with anyone and there is not a big sibling that is going to beak you!

The to be named eaglet on the nest of Jackie and Shadow is simply beautiful and delicate. If you look you can see a black dot behind the eye. That is the ear forming. Feathers will grow over it. This wonderful little one is growing right before our eyes. If it wasn’t for Fiona the flying squirrel that shares the nest and drives Jackie nuts or the Ravens this could well be one of the most calm nests on the planet.

I had hoped to get to a few more of the nests but it is time to call it quits for the evening. The only nest that is having any difficulty is Dale Hollow and I need to look at it more carefully tomorrow. I would love to see a tandem feeding there – a chance to get Middle and Little Bit full to the brim. And quite a lot of fish on the nest with River feeding til all were full…I don’t believe River would pay any mind to me. She has been mothering eaglets for 21 years. I am certainly no expert compared to that!

Take care everyone. There should be more ospreys arriving tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe even Iris will show up in Montana this week. Now that would be a good chance to jump up and down! Thank you for joining me. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, West End Eagles, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Kakapo Recovery, and Looduskalendar.

Thursday in Bird World

10 March 2022

Dyson, Scraggles, Little Red, and Mr Downy were all out in the garden along with the pile of European Starlings and Sparrows plus a couple of Grackles who have returned early. It is cold, -22 but, no snow just bright, bright sunshine. The most interesting book came in the post yesterday. It is Winter World. The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich. It is not just about birds but it is very interesting and full of science that I didn’t know. Originally published in 2003 in hardback. Lots and lots of sound scientific information on how my garden friends survive the winter including the squirrels, the birds and other animals and birds such as weasels and Kinglet’s. I have wondered what all of the Crows eat and there is even a chapter on that. What I have learned is that trees with edible berries are not only beautiful but so helpful to our wildlife friends – including insects – in keeping alive in the cold.

There is a lot to be thankful for and people who are out working to save the lives of the most endangered of our feathered friends. It was wonderful to see a posting about the hatches of the Kakapo. In all, they are doing remarkably well.

As the sun was setting, there were some remarkably loving and tender moments at the Big Bear nest of Jackie and Shadow.

Just look at the crop on that wee babe. Everyone is home sharing dinner together!

The little one was fed really early. The wind at Big Bear Valley is so strong that it almost blew Shadow off the nest! I wonder how good his fishing will be this morning?

Jackie is keeping the wee babe full. Just look at how big this chick is compared to that egg it was squished in last week.

Everyone is sharing a second breakfast together. Lovely.

It also appears that Jack and Diane are not letting the loss of three eggs dampen their day! They have been bringing strips of bark into that nest and on Wednesday were even mating on the nest. Talk about optimistic! We wish them all the luck in the world on what might be a second clutch.

The three eaglets at the Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagle nest of River and Obey are doing fine this morning. It sure is nice to see the sun shining down on that nest for a change!

The twins are just so much bigger than Little Bit. You can really see that this morning. If it gets caught in the middle of them, it is hard to get out.

I will give River a great virtual big hug. Look at how she is leaning over to feed Little Bit.

Big Red has really been putting the final touches on her nest on the Fernow Light Stand on the Cornell University campus. Her and Arthur have been working diligently between the snowstorms to get it in tiptop shape. Looking good!

At the Captiva Osprey nest there was only one fish delivered yesterday. Big ate almost all of it. Andy has just delivered the first fish of the morning. It is 11:24 and it is small. Already everyone knows that Big will get it all – again. So what is going on? Apparently there have been huge flocks of pelicans flying into the area early in the morning. There is certainly a lot of competition for food. I hope that he will be able to get more fish on the nest today. From the experiences at Achieva Credit Union last year, the other two are still OK. Tiny Tot once went 72 hours without food – about the same size as Little Bob now. But let us all wish for some good fish for them today.

And then there were two! Congratulations Thunder and Akecheta at the West End Eagle nest on Catalina on your second hatch!

This little one probably hatched around 04:00. It will need more rest until it is ready to eat.

I love how Cheta is watching how Thunder feeds the babies. He is going to be really busy supplying fish now that there are two of them – and, of course, security at this nest is paramount.

Just a beautiful Bald Eagle family!

What a lovely way to end the morning – with Akecheta learning how to feed his now two little ones. There is one more egg to go! This family will be very busy if it hatches. If it does we will be looking for that on Saturday.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Kakapo Recovery, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Explore.org, and Achieva Credit Union.

Monday in Bird World

07 March 2022

There was a lovely soft glow from the sun rising over Big Bear Lake when hick at 05:53.

Shadow does a fabulous job feeding his baby. You would think that he would have fed dozens of chicks by the ease that he takes care of this little one. So delicate.

Everyone was anxious to get a glimpse of the egg as Dad fed the 3+ day old chick. That egg is 40 days old today and that is late for a second egg to hatch. It might not happen and, in the long run, one really healthy chick, able to get under Mum and Dad during bad weather is fine with me! There has been some speculation that the chick you see in the images is actually the chick from egg 2, hatched at 37 days making the remaining egg 44 days old. No one will ever know for sure. What matters most is that Jackie and Shadow have one gorgeous healthy baby!

Jackie had a nice break and returned to feed the chick its second breakfast at 07:16.

Turn around little one!

That wee one had its third feeding around 08:27. The bites are getting a little bigger and the feedings are now a little longer. The baby is growing. It will be four days old this afternoon.

Big Bear has posted a short video of Shadow feeding the baby yesterday:

While the weather looks promising in Big Bear Valley, it is soaking wet on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee at the Dale Hollow Nest. River is having to be a huge umbrella trying to keep those very active chicks dry and warm.

It is also wet but, not soaking, in Ithaca at the nest of Big Red and Arthur. Yesterday Big Red and Arthur worked on the nest. Arthur even brought in a prey item for Big Red which she happily accepted at the nest quickly flying off to enjoy it.

We have not seen Ervie at the Port Lincoln barge. His tracker is due an update but for now we have the one for the 4th of March which shows him still staying along the North shore.

The White-tailed Eagles up in Latvia and Estonia are mating and defending their nests. These eagles do not migrate. I am particularly excited about Milda who lost her long time mate, Raimis. She has had several potential suitors. I hope that this year she raises a successful clutch. Her and what appears to be her new mate, Mr S, were mating early this morning at the nest near Durbe, Latvia. Indeed, these two have been mating on or near the nest for at least a week now.

This is the link to the streaming cam of Milda’s nest near Durbe:

It isn’t noon yet on the nest of Ospreys Andy and Lena at Captiva and already the three osplets have had three feedings this morning. Big Bob has been at Little Bob once in awhile but all three have eaten well. Little Bob isn’t going to let Big Bob dampen its day!

The fish that Andy has been bringing in this morning are Mullets, a common fish for the Ospreys in the UK, too.

Look at how big these three are getting! Wow.

Lena is doing the best she can to keep her growing Bobs in the shade away from the hot sun on the Florida coast this morning.

There is so much going on now with the birds and their nests. Eggs are being incubated by Bald Eagles throughout the US. The eagles in Europe that do not migrate are working on nests and mating. The European Ospreys who winter in the Iberian Peninsula and Africa are beginning to migrate home. Who will land first in the UK is the common question on everyone’s mind. Of the streaming cams, my vote is on Maya and Blue 33 at Rutland Manton Bay. Richmond and Rosie continue to try to build their nest amidst the ever growing thievery of twigs by the Corvids. It is a very busy time. Annie and Grinnell are bonding. I am not happy with Big Bob’s recent hostility to Little Bob at Captiva and the same is happening at Duke Farms albeit the chick is younger and fighting to get some fish. Little Bob will be fine. Send positive wishes to Duke Farms!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Latvian Fund for Nature, the Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Duke Hollow Lake Eagles, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Page.