Early Friday in Bird World

22 April 2022

The beginning of what sounds like deplorable weather has arrived in parts of Manitoba for the third weekend in a row. The American White Pelicans have returned, the Golden Crowned Kinglets are here, the Garter snakes are waking from their winter hibernation, and the weather is supposed to be problematic. We currently have rain which is supposed to turn to snow and ice on Sunday. Apparently the amount of rain is an issue with creeks and rivers full and the ground saturated. They are saying 50mm or 1.9 inches. We wait. We are prepared for just about anything. There are birds eating away in the garden and going into the wood boxes to get dry. The Juncos, the Sparrows, the Grackles, and the Blue Jay have visited so far. It has been a lonnnnnngggggg winter on the Canadian Prairies for all of us.

There is so much happening and a problem nest to check on. It is fantastic but I need 3 or 4 of me to keep up!

Breaking News: Little (or MiniO) the female nesting took flight this morning at 06:46:54. She has yet to return to the nest.

Very nice. It is thought that Little (Mini) has done some flybys and that she has been heard. She is fine. She will get back up to the nest or the parents will deliver some fish to her off camera. For me – I want her to return to the nest box so we can see her flying again!

Big Red and Arthur would be thrilled if their nest was in Southern Manitoba (if the weather were nice) because all of our Garter Snakes are coming out of hibernation (mentioned above). L1 hatched at 21:46 last evening and the first meal that Big Red her fuzzy little chick this morning was snake!

Oh, such a cute little eyas. Look carefully. Red-hawk nestlings have pink legs, black talons, black beaks with a yellow cere and are white. When the Peregrine Falcons hatch they will have pink legs, feet, and beak.

But what a gorgeous image. Big Red looking so lovingly into L1’s eyes. “Hi, Mama”.

Oh, this little one is so strong and healthy. What a cutie pie. Poor Big Red, the years have certainly taken a toll on her feet. They are really showing their age.

There is a second egg that is pipping. It is the one in the very front with the dark splotch. Soon there will be two!

Red-tail Hawk FACT: Digestion: A hawk’s digestive system is much different from ours. In addition to the Crop, their “stomach” is actually divided into two parts. The proventriculus (glandular stomach) is the next stop after the crop. The proventriculous is where food is mixed with digestive enzymes before it passes to the gizzard or ventriculus – a strong muscle pouch that contracts to crush and mix the food (RTH Chat moderator).

How old do Red-tail Hawks live? “The oldest known wild Red-tailed Hawk was at least 30 years, 8 months old when it was found in Michigan in 2011, the same state where it had been banded in 1981.” – (Hibbie, RTH chat from AAB site). The US Govt says the oldest banded hawk was 29 years and 8 months. Sadly, many of the bands were taken from birds that had been shot. They could have lived longer if the shooting of raptors was halted!

Cornell made a short video of the first snake feeding:

Some more snake was fed around 11:00.

How often is prey delivered to a RTH nest? Generally, prey is delivered to nestlings ten to 15 times a day, starting just before sunrise and ending just after sunset.  How often food is delivered, as well as how big the prey is, varies among individual hawks and is affected by the number of young, as well as prey availability. In one study in Canada, researchers estimated that an average of between 14.4 oz, (nearly a pound) and 1.6 pounds)of food per day were brought to broods of 1 and 3 nestlings, respectively. That’s 410 grams a day and 730 grams a day. (Cornell RTH moderator, Deron). This does not include the parents’ food!
Summarization of 11 studies showed that RTH diet was made up of 68% mammal, 17.5%other birds, 7% reptiles and amphibians (mostly snakes), and 3.2% invertebrates. 

Last bit of information. Researchers have learned so much by watching streaming cams which often changes the information found in older texts that used observation of nests only. Do raptors assist their chicks in hatch? Until yesterday, I have noticed Akecheta helping this year at the West End nest. It surely happens more often! And, yes, Big Red assisted L1 by rolling the egg gently so that super hard shell (no lingering DDT issues here) to help break it up.

The Cornell RTH chat which is open M-W-F from 12-2 and T-Th from 10-12 Ithaca NY time. It is a great way to learn about the hawks. Go to the link below and click on chat (scroll down as it will be under the image of E3):

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/red-tailed-hawks/

The oldest of the siblings at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest woke up on the wrong side of the bed again this morning. He pecked at both Middle and Little. The breakfast fish came in around 9ish. Little Bit got a few bites. This nest needs another fish soon.

In the first image you can see the size difference of the three osplets easily. Big is at least 4x the size of Little Bit now with all the food it has been getting. At least 4x, possibly 5x.

Big goes after Middle. Little is staying out of the way.

Big will eat for a good 20 minutes before Little Bit gets the courage to go up and get a few bites – and yes, it was only a few. The fish was gone at 09:30.

As Mum was cleaning her beak, Little and Middle were up hoping that there was some more fish. You can hear them fish crying. Meanwhile Big is full past the brim and sleeping.

For those watching this nest, please be cautious. Middle attacked Little bit ferociously when the Mum moved. There was nape pulling and at a point I thought he was plucking. Little Bit might not make it if it continues to be kept from food and –well, it is the attacks.

Mum left the nest and returned around 12:17. Little Bit is looking up at her wanting food.

This once lovely nest has turned. Bonk and get bonked. What Big does to Middle, Middle then does to Little Bit. How sad! Send positive wishes to this nest. We need lots of fish brought in to turn this behaviour around and even then, it might not work but we hope.

It is 13:27 nest time and Little Bit is constantly prey calling. Oh, I wish this nest would turn around for the good. I wondered this morning if this stage of plumage development makes the nestlings more anxious and cranky. They are constantly preening those itchy feathers. That along with being hot and dehydrated and little fish…???????

Aran and Mrs G are celebrating the arrival of their second egg today. Yipppeeee. Let us all hope the weather and the intruders cooperate so these two have healthy hatches and they all fledge this year.

Everyone is busy laying eggs. Idris and Telyn now have three eggs in their Dyfi Nest as of 17:07.

Buckachek and Betynka at the Mlade Buky White Stork nest have their second egg as well.

I went to check on the two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest. Because you can only go so far back on rewind it is difficult to state with some precision what the two have had to eat but they have had some fish that was brought in and there could be more. The amount that each got is unknown. They are both doing well and it is beautiful and green in the forest around the nest.

This has been a very long blog! There are so many nests with so much happening. Will try and do a nest hop later this evening for everyone who is missing out on hearing about their favourite nests. Yes, we do have our favourites. We will also be looking for another hatch for Big Red and Arthur.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that the weather is grand where you are. Get out and go for a walk and take me along. If you are waiting for the UCal Falcon Q & A, that is currently about 45 minutes away. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Dyfi Osprey Project, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, DHEC, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH Cam, Capri Mlade Buky, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

Late Thursday and early Friday in Bird World

14-15 April 2022

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the end of the storm system that is staying over Manitoba. Hopefully it will be on its way eastward late on Friday. There is so much snow. It has been a privilege to feed so many visiting Dark-eyed Juncos over the past two days as well as the regular garden birds, squirrels, and rabbit. My live is so enriched by their presence that it is hard to imagine not having them visit daily.

Things are really busy in Bird World. The UK and European raptors are busy laying eggs, eagles are preparing to fledge or just hatching, US Ospreys are arriving and laying eggs and some nests are just coming back on line.

I know that many of you love the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles. That nest is now back on line with eggs being laid when? the end of April? or beginning of May? For whatever reason, that camera will not allow me to post it here so do go to YouTube and search for Glacier Gardens! Isn’t it gorgeous. There are so many Bald Eagles in Alaska – they love the salmon and the cooler temperatures. Indeed, the 67 or 68 Bald Eagles taken into care during the heat of last summer in British Columbia flew north to Alaska, not south. This will be a growing trend as the raptors adapt to climate change.

Oh, goodness. Little Bit at the UFlorida Gainesville Osprey nest is doing so well. What a little cutie pie. He is still tiny compared to Big but Mom is doing really well.

Look at him stretch those neck muscles to reach his fish. Yes, that is him at the back. Big has already eaten, is full, and is walking away to the left front. Excellent!

The Patuxent River Park has started the streaming cams to their osprey nests. This is cam 2. Now isn’t she gorgeous?

This is the nest where the foster chick went overboard last season and where a staff member took her canoe out and retrieved the chick and got it back on the nest – after hours! So many were grateful for that act of kindness.

Thank you ‘L’ for alerting me to this camera being back on line.

Here is the link to cam 2:

And this is the link to cam 1:

I decided to go and check on Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby at Jacksonville. And look where I first found them! It will not be long for their first flights.

The AEF did a short visit of Rocket joining Jasper.

Besties.

At the SWFlorida Eagle nest of Harriet and M15, E20 is turning into a great prey stealer. Lady Hawk made a video of M15 with prey by the pond when E20 snatched it and took it to the nest to eat. Bravo!

I am going to bed with a smile on my face. Look at that crop of Little Middle at the Dale Hollow nest!

Spirit continues to grow and be well loved and cared for by Jackie and Shadow at the Big Bear nest. Gorgeous.

For all of those waiting, the chat will open for Big Red and Arthur’s streaming cam on Monday. Normally the chats vary the times between M-W-F and T-Th-S. Great moderators with years of experience are there to educate you about the hawks, their history, and what to expect. I hear Laura Culley, the falconer, will be with us again this year. Fantastic.

Here is the link to access the camera:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/red-tailed-hawks/

You will see the page below. Click on the red chat symbol! It is easy. Just don’t go to YouTube expecting a chat!!!!!!!!

As some of you may know, the female at the Duke Farms nest left on the 11th when the eaglet was banded. She has yet to return to the nest. While we all want her to be safe and return soon, it is reassuring that the eaglet is of the age that it can be left alone and would naturally have been at times. The male is bringing in food and feeding and caring for his eaglet and this is all good.

UPDATE: Biologists have spotted the female this morning and she is fine.

Harry, Nancy and the two eaglets at the MN-DNR nest seem to be just fine – for now. North Dakota got really dumped on with the snow. The storm is moving east. I hope it stays away from this nest in Minnesota!

The Black Storks at the Sigulda County nest in Latvia are busy. They are doing a lot of restoration work on their nest for this breeding season.

Here is the link to the camera of Grafs (m) and Grafiene (f):

Here is Grafiene feeding the storklets in July 2021. The parents go fishing and regurgitate the small fish onto the nest for the babies.

The nest seems to get so small as the storklets grow.

It was a hot summer with food becoming scarce. Many individuals helped the storks and the storklets by setting up a pond with a decoy to try and lure the fledglings to they could get food. I was very grateful for the efforts made at some of the Black Stork nests last year including the delivery of fish to keep Jan and Janika’s storklets alive. Droughts, rising summer temperatures, the erosion of wetland habitat all impact our beautiful feathered friends.

The Poole Harbour Osprey couple made the BBC news.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-61109786

Have you voted for the name for Annie’s ‘New Guy’? You have until noon PST 17 April. New name announced on Monday the 18th!!!!!!!! Yahooooooo.

I know that some of you love Dyson. I don’t normally post other wildlife but I found this streaming cam with a grey squirrel box, a mother and 3 wee ones. You might enjoy watching it!

We still have light snow falling and the Juncos are still in the garden in full force. The great thing about this morning – the sun is out!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell RTH, DHEC, UFlorida Ospreys, Looduskalender, Latvian Fund for Nature, Duke Farms, Friends of Big Bear Valley, MN-DNR Eagles, NEFlorida and the AEFR, Patuxent River Park, and Glacier Gardens.

It Couldn’t get any Better in Bird World or at Dale Hollow

20 March 2022

What a busy day it was in Bird World and what a gorgeous day it was on the Canadian Prairies. The snow is melting and causing all manner of problems but the Canada Geese are flying in, the Grackles have arrived in mass, and the first White-throated Sparrow appeared at the feeders along with the usual woodpeckers, European Starlings, House Sparrows and, of course, Dyson! We had another visitor too that seems to be coming every morning around 08:00, an unusual time for a rabbit. I wonder if Hedwig’s burrow is full of water????

Hedwig is an Eastern Cottontail. They are the most prevalent of the five rabbit species in Canada. The four others are the Artic Hare, the Mountain Hare, White-tailed Jackrabbit, and the Snowshoe Hare.

Hedwig being an Easteern Cottontail is the smallest of the five. His mother left him underneath our Peony Bush. He was about a month old. He found safety with all of the birds feeding and discovered that if he hung out under the feeders, he never had to worry about food. We have tried to give him carrots and he refuses them. He often eats the bark off of our Lilac Bushes where he can easily hide. We don’t care. It doesn’t seem to damage them. Isn’t he a cutie? He has some special marks on him that we know it is the original Hedwig. Let us hope he has another good year.

There is a pip/hatch watch going on at the Pittsburg-Hayes Bald Eagle nest. This couple fledged three last year! The pip happened at 09:39 this morning.

There was a good look at the size of the pip at 19:21.

Liberty and Guardian have a pip over at the Redding California Bald Eagle Nest. That happened around 07:04. There is a race between them and Pittsburgh-Hayes to see who hatches first! They also fledged three!

This morning on the SWFlorida Nest on the Pritchett Family Farm, E19 the eldest, fledged before noon. It was caught on camera by a couple filming the event. E20 was flapping, too, and the streaming cam operator did not know who would go first. Talk about sibling competition between these two. E20 did not have a very solid branch like E19 did who used it like a trampoline jumping up and down and flapping. As a result, E20 fludged and then flew away. Both flew like the great birds they are on 20th of March. How lovely. Congratulations to M15 and Harriet and the Pritchett family for another successful year. The fledglings will hang around with mom and dad. They will perfect their flying while being provided food. This is what it is all about.

Here is E19s fledge:

The cameras are down and I do not know if anyone caught E20’s flight. What a day for them to go down.

Well, this is a great way to feed chicks if you have three! Akecheta is feeding the Middle chick while Mum Thunder feeds Little Bit and Big. I wish you could see the smile on my face. Look at the size between the two Thunder is feeding. Little Bit is four days younger than Big. There are no squabbles.

Thunder and Akecheta are – to me – a real powerhouse couple. They may have had two unsuccessful years until Akecheta matured but just look at them now.

Andy came in at 17:28 with the last fish of the day for Lena, Middle and Little. It has been some time since Big died suddenly. The nest is doing really well. There is no word on the cause of Big’s death. I do not wish to speculate but had it been a physical cause like choking on a pellet, the vets would have found that immediately when they did the necroscopy. Toxin tests take longer. In the Balkans, the tests for Avian Flu only took a few days and – all the birds on this nest are fine. I wonder if any raptors die of heat stroke or heart attack? Do you know?

This was the 4th feeding for the osplets and it was a whole Sheepshead. Middle and Little ate and ate. In the image below, just look at how beautiful they are standing with Lena, a very proud Mama. That beautiful setting son casts a lovely glow on this Osprey family at Captiva, Florida.

The eaglets of Abby and Blazer (Eagle Country) hatched on the 11th and 14th of March. Just look at them now. Wow. Gorgeous babies. Nice crops. Both appear to be self-feeding.

If River and Obey do not stop bringing fish to the nest and feeding Big and Middle, I am not ever going to be able to take a walk! All kidding aside. It has been one big fish fest at the Dale Hollow Nest today which is the miracle that we were all hoping to see happen. This should be the last of many feedings at this nest today.

This fish arrival is at 18:19:36. Here comes River!

River has not started her feeding. Just look at the crop on Big. This eaglet is going to be an enormous female. And I really do mean enormous. The size of its legs are huge. I wish we could get a good comparison between Big and Mum.

Middle is still very shy of Big. I do not blame him. Big eats the first bites but River just then decides to put her beak in the middle of the two and sees who wants the fish. It also appears that River has slowed down in the speed of her feeding.

Once Big is full, Middle begins accepting bites. Remember – the key is survival. Middle has eaten and eaten today and it is not going to do a thing to wake up Big’s wrath.

Middle eats and eats. By 18:35 his crop is so big you might think it is going to explode. River continues to push fish at him.

At 18:35:38 Middle is so full he walks away from the table! He simply cannot hold another bite. It looks like he might not be able to hold up that crop.

Middle has to try and lay down. It must be awfully uncomfortable with that massive crop.

But wait! Middle stands up.

And with a crop as big as half a baseball, Middle turns around to head back to the table to the shock of Big.

As he turns, Big reaches over to pull off the piece of straw across Middle’s crop. Middle is a little shy and doesn’t seem to know if this is a friendly or hostile gesture. I don’t blame him. The gesture is friendly.

Both kiddos eat a couple of more bites and collapse. They are certainly going to have sweet eagle dreams! And so am I!

I have focused on the Dale Hollow Lake nest with more information than the other nests because it had been so full of strife. My mailbox has been full of questions and you might be wondering about some of these.

Where is DH16? When a nestling dies, Eagles either consume the dead chick, bury it in the nest, or carry it off. River buried DH16 in the nest last night, the 19th of March.

Why such a change in this nest? There are many possible reasons and my answers are based on a large body of academic literature. 1) Threats and intruders to the territory of River and Obey have diminished and they are able to focus on hunting and feeding. 2) Fishing and hunting have greatly improved for the eagles. There could be many causes for this including the most obvious weather. 3) The reduction of the brood was accomplished. 4) Middle was able to garner enough energy to show that it was determined to live and River took notice of this and is now feeding it. 5) Some or all of the above. One reader ‘B’ suggested that maybe River and Obey had read by blog about needing to have a spare in case Big died! That is a good point with Avian Flu tearing through the region.

Whatever has happened, we have had a wonderful 36 hours and let us all hope that this continues. Things are going very well. Big has calmed right down. The fact that so many fish were brought in today and another found buried on the nest kept Big full and happy and allowed Middle to gain confidence and to eat its fill. Middle will literally grow over night. I am sure many of you have been shedding tears of joy. I sure have.

Will close with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Valley. Five feedings for the little eaglet today! The baby is eating longer and more fish and the feedings are slowly decreasing because of that. The naming contest closes on March 25 and several names will be drawn out of those suggested by donors. The 3rd grade class at the local school will vote. Hopefully this cutie will have a name next week!

Life in Bird World has been very good today. Very, very good.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Dale Hollow Eagles, Pix Cams, Redding Eagles, Eagle Country, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife.

Late Friday and Early Saturday in Bird World

11-12 March 2022

It was sure easy to fall asleep Friday night after the tide turned, so to speak, at the Captiva Osprey nest. There were five fish deliveries on Friday. Mind you, one of them was about the size of a sardine and lasted 3 minutes but the last one coming in at 15:21:01 filled up the entire family. It did not just go to Big.

The weather might not be so great tomorrow but today was a good day. Little Bob (they call him Mini on the chat and call Middle Bob Little) crop dropped and then went back up to the table to get some more food. Good for him. He has really suffered the last few days. Little Bob winds up with a nice crop, too. Huge actually.

At one point, they were all lined up being nice like the good ole’ days.

On Saturday morning, Andy brought in a whopper of a fish, headless, at 07:31. Lena fed the chicks slow and that fish wasn’t finished for a long time. Little Bob (Mini for chat followers) was intimidated but once he got over there – after the other two were full – there was food left for him and Lena.

It is interesting how Little Bob sometimes keeps his distance from the fish. He used to get right up to Mum.

Lena is looking good today. She was very thin and sunken yesterday morning. One really has to hand it to her. She often has to deal with long droughts but the chicks are still alive and seemingly doing good.

It was family meal time at the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow. Just look at how big that nestling is! That egg looks wee in comparison now.

Some bites for Mum and then one for the little one.

Have a giggle! This is too funny to miss!!!!!!!!!

Early Saturday and the wee one has been fed at Big Bear – twice! There should be no bad weather at any of the nests in California.

It looks like the two eaglets at the West End Bald Eagle Nest on Catalina Island are going to have catfish for dinner.

The Wildlife Institute also uses ‘the name the eaglet’ as a good opportunity for fund raising. Here is that information for the West End babes:

It is a really fine Saturday morning in California. I could take images of proud parents Thunder and Akecheta all day long. They are two of the most photogenic eagles I have seen.

Did you know that Cheta began courting Thunder when he was three years old?

Gosh they are a beautiful couple with one of the most stunning landscapes for a nest I have ever seen. Just look at them. They remind me so much of Jackie and Shadow and certainly their success parallels that of Jackie and Shadow and both have beautiful territories that were devastated by DDT.

Thunder and Cheta will be a lot busier later. The third egg has a pip. It was officially seen at 08:19:59.

The three at the Dale Hollow Lake did good yesterday. Little is getting fed! Sometimes it seems that it doesn’t so watching this and seeing it happen live was good.

Here is a short video of River bringing in a fish and feeding all three chicks!

Dale Hollow has gotten hit by the snow storm that is plowing through a huge swath of the US for the weekend. Not worried about Mum and Dad but Little Bit. Fingers crossed there is fish under that snow and Little Bit gets a good meal.

As predicted, this same snow storm is hitting the nest of Big Red and Arthur in Ithaca, New York.

The surviving eaglet at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle nest is doing very well. It was flapping its wings around the nest bowl all afternoon.

This is Duke Farms Eagle nest this morning. Mum and chick are covered in snow.

B15 is all tucked in and trying to keep warm at the Berry College nest of Pa Berry and Missy. B15 is well equipped now to thermoregulate but gosh, it might be nice to cuddle with Mum.

They don’t have snow but they are getting the torrential rains at the southern end of this system at the NEFlorida Bald eagle nest of Samson and Gabby and their two eaglets, Jasper and Rocket. It is really going to take some Florida sunshine to dry out this soaking nest. They have rain and more rain!

Others are working on nests like Rosie and Richmond and Jack and Harriet at the Dahlgren Osprey nest. It is wet there, too, but now snow today. There is a long way to go but they are making headway. It is another thing on the Whirley crane where the Ravens dismantled Rosie and Richmond’s nest and now they are taking every stick they bring in! Crazy.

Here is a video of Richmond and Rosie working on their nest – furiously working!

That is a look at what has been happening at only a handful of the nests out there to watch.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Eagles and the AEF, Duke Farms, Berry College, Dahlgren Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, the DHEC River and Obey.

Tuesday Afternoon in Bird World

08 March 2022

I was very concerned about Middle and Little Bob at the Captiva Osprey nest after Big Bob’s bopping. Big has certainly caused a fright in Little Bob that really causes him to hang back now instead of getting up there in front, no matter what, like our sweet Ervie.

Well, a Sheepshead came on the nest and after Big got his fill there looks to still be enough to give a good feed to both Little and Middle with some for mum Lena.

Middle is certainly getting its fill but what about Little?

Shadow and Jackie are such an amazing couple. I love how they chit chat to one another. Shadow has been bringing in lots of fresh fish to the pantry for all three of them to eat.

Jackie and Shadow are such proud parents. They are not only making certain that the little one is fed often and there is plenty in the pantry but also that any would be predators do not get even close to their nest. Very protective of this only little eaglet – their miracle.

Jackie has taken care of the feedings today giving the wee chick a chance to try and eat bigger bites.

Open wide! That little chick nailed that big bite. Four days old almost. Doing great.

Simply adorable. Just look at Jackie’s eyes. Such a very proud and happy mama.

Sooner than we think, this yet to be named eaglet at Big Bear will be branching just like OC9 at the Osceola Bald Eagle nest of Starlight and Skyler in Florida.

At the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita in Miami, the parents have been giving branching demonstrations to R1 and R2.

“Now look. It is really easy! Just do like I am doing. Soon you will be flying!”

Thankfully the nest of River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lakes is drying out. My goodness they must have been inundated with rain. The three little ones, the twins and the baby, are doing fine. From the time they were a couple of days old, River has had them working their legs scooting around the nest. They are all doing really, really well.

If you look carefully, the baby, at the back, has a crop from an earlier feeding.

Still it is going to crowd up to the front with the twins and it is going to get some of that fresh new fish, too.

River is a really laid back Mum. She reminds me of my grandmother. I wonder how many chicks she has raised? She is at least 23 years old so chicks for the past 21 years?? Very experienced! Nothing seems to rattle her.

The snow is melting at the MN DNR nest of Harry and Nancy. Look closely. You can see the tinge of spring green beginning to appear. What a beautiful day. You could hear flocks of geese flying overhead.

I still worry about the youngest one at Duke Farms. It is just so much smaller than the eldest. It has had trouble getting up to the table and, yet, just about the time I am ready to wring my hands, a good feeding comes along.

It is also a really gorgeous day at the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Guardian and Liberty in California. Golden Rays falling down on this nest. They have lost one egg to breakage but, hey. Two healthy eaglets will be just fine.

While eggs are being incubated at Redding and chicks fed elsewhere, Big Red and Arthur continue to work on their nest on the Cornell Campus. This morning Arthur brought in some nice bark to line the nest cup. He worked hard at placing it precisely where he thought Big Red would want it. Of course, when he flew off she rearranged the whole thing! Arthur tries hard. We could be within five days of eggs! That would match the earliest Big Red has laid her first egg. I am realistically thinking another week to ten days.

Talk about working together quickly to save an Osprey. Desy got caught on a TV antenna and the Port Lincoln Osprey group were called into action!

Desy is improving and he now has his own special fresh fish tank in front of Bazza’s house. Apparently Desy, like most Ospreys, prefers eating live fish! This news is good. Ian Falkenberg hopes to put a satellite tracker on Desy once he is ready to be released in the Lough Bay area. It will be a first for Port Lincoln (the tracker on an adult bird) and should provide much needed information on their dispersal.

Sadly, Meg, the Osprey from Thistle Island has been found dead. She has been sent for an autopsy. There were no outward injuries and she appeared quite healthy. My condolences go out to everyone with Port Lincoln Ospreys who work so hard to increase the numbers and care for these amazing birds.

I went back to check on the Captiva chicks. Andy, thank you. Another fish has come on the nest. Big is full. Little, Middle, and Lena are going to enjoy most of this fish. What a relief!

Middle Bob passes out.

Little would like some more but he has eaten well. Lena really needs some fish and she is going to finish this one off. Meanwhile, look at the image above. That is Middle Bob’s fat little bottom sticking up in the centre of the image. Cute. You can also see that Big Bob is really getting those copper-red feathers at the back of his head near the neck.

Wait! There’s another fish delivery and look who is up front!

There is some major crop action going on. And it is a bit confusing with the extra fish on the nest – the one in front of Little Bob above. Lena moves the fish she is working on to the middle of the nest and begins feeding the chicks and eating herself leaving the new fish in the back corner.

Little Bob is at the far end. You can see his head in front of Middle Bob. Big Bob, despite its enormous crop, seems to be thinking of a third or fourth helping.

Lena is feeding Middle Bob and Little is trying to snatch some bites.

At 15:24 Little Bob is getting fed and will have a nice crop just like its sibs. That is wonderful. It has been really hot and Little has often suffered when Big eats most of the fish. I suspect that Little will crop drop shortly.

Andy seems to have good fishing today. Nice to see Little Bob full.

I cannot think of a nicer ending to a blog than having Little full to the brim late this afternoon.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Send all of your positive wishes to the little ones struggling and all those birds migrating to their spring and summer breeding grounds. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Osceola Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Lakes Bald Eagles, Redding Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Labs and RTH, WRDC Bald Eagles, the MN DNR, Duke Farms, Explore.org, and Friends of Big Bear.

Late Monday in Bird World

Any worries about the bopping that Big Bob seems to want to inflict on Little Bob as of late should be cast aside. Little Bob is a survivor and he won’t let anything Big does keep him from his favourite fish! At the feeding around 15:00, all three Bobs had enormous crops. Little Bob was the last one to leave the table.

Each of the trio looked like they would just about pop.

Everyone is hot at the Captiva Osprey nest. The chicks are panting to help thermoregulate.

Lena decided to go for a dip in herr own private area of the Gulf of Mexico to cool down. Lena has a pretty enormous crop, too. She went for her dip right after feeding the chicks. One thing Lena seems to really dislike is fish oil on her feathers. She has returned and is trying her best to keep the babies shaded, too.

It’s Monday and the fishing is good.

Meanwhile in Big Bear Valley, Jackie has fed the wee babe again at 13:01. I sat and giggled at the size of the pieces she was offering the eaglet.

Would you like some fish tail, darling?

Or, perhaps this is a better size????

It was quite humorous. I had a feeling, at one point, that Jackie was trying to demonstrate horking to the nearly four day old chick. Horking meaning to eat very quickly a large piece that would otherwise be eaten in smaller bites.

Jackie then settled into feeding the wee one smaller bites til it had a nice crop and was ready for another nap and some more growth.

Adorable.

NE 27 continues to do the snatch and grab rather well. He stole an entire fish from Samson today. 27 was already full, almost to the brim. Perhaps Jasper will get some time to practice his self-feeding if and when 27 gives up on the fish. Meanwhile, this is a short clip (don’t blink) of NE27 walking and doing some wing exercises.

B15 at the Berry College nest of Pa Berry and Missy is the sweetest little eaglet. It still has that adorable face it had when it was wee and a great big curiosity about the world around it. Pa Berry has been bringing in all manner of prey items. A squirrel landed on the nest for breakfast.

It scares the wits out of me when the eaglets look over the rim of the nest like B15 is doing below!

I missed him! Did you? This is the most recent tracking report on Ervie.

Awwww. Would have given anything to see Ervie. Bet I was watching Big Bear at the time.

There was a report of 130 Mallards and 1 American Black Duck at an open piece of water in one of the two big rivers that flows through our City. This one was the Red River. And, yes, they were there. Hard to see as I was scandalously far away and didn’t have my 2x adaptor.

Just before I took off to find the ducks and that small open piece of water, Little Red had been waiting, warming himself in the sunshine, while another Red squirrel had their eyes on his penthouse. Little Red wanted some of the peanuts I put out before Dyson got them but he decided to protect his territory instead.

Dyson, on the other hand, was being a right little trouble maker today. I put out a new square hanging feeder full of a mixture of Butter Bark, peanuts, and Black Oil seed. So what does Dyson do? He creeps through the Lilac bushes and takes a flying leap at it! About 2 litres of seed fell on the ground. What a mess!!!! Dysonnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!

Dyson saw me watching. Whether or not he was concerned is another story as he sat and stuffed his cheeks for more than ten minutes. Then when I moved to another window, he decided that sitting inside the lilacs and eating his prize seeds was best. He was still going in and out for quite a long time.

As it warms up the squirrels seem to be coming out more. There are rabbit tracks all around the garden so we know that Hedwig is around and the Little Woodpeckers – both Mr and Mrs Downy – have been around most days at the suet feeder. Sharpie even flew through at least once yesterday causing everyone to flee hither and yon. Thankfully the European Starlings have dropped considerably in numbers at the feeders. There are now only about 7 or 8. It gives the other birds a chance to flit in and out including the Black Capped chickadee who visits daily.

I hope that this quick and short newsletter finds you well. Again, most of the bird nests are doing fine. There seem to still be intruders about at some nests and the wee one at Duke Farms still has trouble getting to the table. I am going to hold my breath and check on it and Dale Hollow in a couple of days.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Big Bear, Berry College Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Late Sunday in Bird World

02.27.2022

The Captiva trio are in food coma after their second big feed for the day. It is 16:56 nest time. Little Bob got his tiny but chubby bottom up to that table just like our dear Ervie. This little one loves to eat that fish! Little and Middle Bobs fell asleep at the table. Big Bob had left earlier and passed out on the other side of the nest.

That fish delivery came at 16:00:35. This time Andy ate the head so he had some nourishment, too.

One of my friends, ‘B’ suggested that it is the recreational vehicles at the weekend causing fishing difficulty for Andy. ‘B’ commented that it was the same issue at the Redding nest last season. Tomorrow is Monday. I hope Andy’s fishing returns to 3 or 4 fish. The adults need to eat as well too. It is like the oxygen instructions in a plane. The responsible party needs to put theirs on first and then take care of the others. Same for eating with Ospreys.

We will not worry about these three until tomorrow. Thanks Andy and Lena!

Window to Wildlife, the group affiliated with the cam and the chat, posted a short video of Little Bob hatching today.

I am just so impressed with the tenderness of some of the males. At the Dale Hollow nest today, Obey was clearing out some of the pantry items to see what he needs to bring in. All the while he was feeding River who was brooding the twins and keeping their pipping egg 3 nice and warm.

At the same time, River and Obey do another tandem feeding for the twins this afternoon.

I am so glad that I found this nest! They are an incredible family that is working so well together. Experience can do that!

The Port Lincoln Osprey nest is really lonely this morning in Australia. The pigeons are still doing clean up. I wish I could import them to clean up around my bird feeders! They look very thorough.

This is the latest tracking for Ervie posted yesterday on the Port Lincoln Osprey Project’s FB page. While he really did explore Port Boston to the right of the airport, Ervie continues to return to the area of the green pin to roost at night. The barge is the point right above the ‘t’ in Port at the bottom of the tracking image.

The juveniles, Jasper and NE27 on the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest are doing well. Here is a great image of NE27 standing tall this afternoon. Remember that this beautiful Bald Eagle will get a name based on the votes that the American Eagle Foundation receives of the five finalists. Jasper got her name because she was born when the named storm, Jasper, hit the area.

Message me through comments if you would like the information on voting.

The juveniles at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers are several weeks older than those at NEFlorida. Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 are really good at self feeding and they stand on the edge of nest rim and look about. Next stage is branching!

Big Red and Arthur have been working on their nest on the light stand. It looks so forlorn today with some snow and ice remaining.

I have not heard about a pip at the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. When the pipping begins, the parent will hear the cheeping of the chick and can feel it moving about. You should notice the one on incubation duties looking down and listening.

I always hate to close with bad news. This are the two most recent postings for the Hilton Head eaglets. You will note that HH3 and HH4 are in critical condition. There is also information about the spread of avian flu and the deaths of other eagles. Anyone feeding birds needs to be vigilant in cleaning the feeders. If you were to find dead birds at the feeders and it is not the result of a cat or raptor, you might want to contact your local wildlife rehabber for advice. Do not handle the dead birds with your bare hands. You might want to do a major clean up as the lab results can take several days. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Our thoughts go out to all of the bird families that have been impacted by this lethal disease. It is sobering to consider that an entire generation of eaglets (and other birds) could be wiped out.

I note that rodenticide poisoning also causes nestlings to literally fall out of the nest. One of my favourite wildlife rehabbers, A Place Called Hope, has admitted a Barred Owlet who fell out of the nest and is suffering from this poison. This is entirely avoidable. Everyone reading my blog knows rodenticide. Work hard to educate people so these beautiful raptors do not have to suffer.

Are you a falcon lover? The Peregrine Falcons are getting busy in Utica, New York. I am looking to find their streaming cam link and will post it tomorrow for everyone.

Thank you so much for joining me today as I did a hop, skip, and a jump checking on some of our nests. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Bald Eagles 101 FB, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on the World, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Labs RTH camera, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

First, in my blog Birds and Drones Don’t Mix, the number of Tern Nests evacuated because of the drone crash on Huntington Beach in June 2021, was 3000 not 300 as I reported. Incredible. Can you imagine a whole generation of birds completely wiped out? That is what happened.

This morning Kincaid was waiting for his breakfast when I left to go for my walk. Louis brought seven fish on to the nest while I was away. Kincaid has a full crop. He is such a cutie. The sound is so good at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest that you can clearly hear the eagles chattering. Today, little Kincaid, all interested in what they were doing joined in with his own vocals. It was nothing short of adorable.

My goodness Kincaid is full to the brim! I wonder if that full of a crop is uncomfortable?

Are we heading into a food coma?

Louis is on the nest and Kincaid wonders, even with that huge crop, if he might get a few bites of fish!

Oh, gosh. How do you spell cute? Is it NE 26 and 27?

Samson did a great job of feeding his babies this morning. 26 and 27 both ate really well, had crops and were wonderfully behaved!

The storm has really wiped out the wifi at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. No news on Ervie. I am sure they are OK but I wonder how much Ervie has had to eat. With choppy weather, Dad excels at fishing but I doubt Ervie is good enough at fishing to be successful in stormy weather.

Big Red and Arthur both came to the Fernow Light Stand Nest today at 06:57 to check on it. Arthur stayed longer actually rubbing the nest cup to check on it. We are about six weeks away from egg laying – unless Big Red is early!

Falconer Laura Culley will be joining in on the morning chat discussions. It is a great time to learn everything about Red-tail Hawks that you thought you would never want to know.

This is the 25th anniversary of Cornell’s Backyard Bird Count. It takes place this year from 18-22 February. It is free and I urge all of you to join in. This is citizen science at its best – helping to establish which birds are where and how many before the spring migration. Please do take part. Please go to https://www.birdcount.org/participate/ to sign up. You can participate for as few as 15 minutes a day. You can use the Merlin Bird App on your phone or use your desktop or laptop computer. It is fun and it really helps understand bird population growth and decline.

Thanks everyone for joining me today. My regular blog will be coming later in the afternoon for the next week. Take care. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF, and Cornell Bird Labs Red-tail Hawks.

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.

Late late Sunday in Bird World

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rita was making sure that everyone was eating.

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

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

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

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

All is quiet now and then something startles Missy.

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

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

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

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

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