Monday Afternoon in Bird World

29 March 2022

The snow up at Big Bear Valley that had accumulated on Jackie and Shadow’s Bald Eagle nest has now melted. I think they sent it to the Canadian Prairies! The snow is really coming down as I write this – and it had almost melted.

I love the top picture with the baby who will soon be named looking at that fabulous Mum, Jackie.

Jackie and Shadow have seen lots of weather that quickly changes at Big Bear but this is the first time for a couple of years that there has been a baby to protect. So sweet. Nothing was going to move Jackie or Shadow when the winds and the snow came. Lucky little one.

The snow began to quickly melt around noon.

Have you ever noticed that there are piles of fish on the nest the minute a wee one hatches? Thee National Arboretum nest of Mr President and Lotus had seven large fish on it today! Seven. For one chick – and family. Would love to send some of that fish down to Middle Little at Dale Hollow.

Proud parents Mr President and Lotus. That little bobble looks so tiny in that nest!

The single eaglet of Martin and Rosa at the Dulles-Greenaway nest is doing just fine. It is so cute!!!! Eating well and no problems at this nest!

The little one ate and ate…and then ate some more! Tummy is full and the sun is setting. What a sweetie.

Pittsburgh-Hayes now has triplets. They have raised lots of triplets on this nest including last year. Oh, they are so cute lined up to eat!

The Canada Goose on the Decorah unused Bald Eagle nest laid four eggs. she gathered down from her breast to create the nest cup when she finished and she is now incubating.

As time gets close for hatch and jump, I will remind you so that you can watch.

Parents are busy at the PA Farm Bald Eagle Nest. It is tandem feeding for the four! And so far, so good!

The rain, winds, and storm have stopped in the Channel Islands. It is now hot! You can see the eaglets of Thunder and Aketcheta panting to get cool. Dad is trying is best to provide shade!

It is 17:48 on the Dale Hollow nest. There was a fish tail left from the morning feeding and River fed that to Big at 13:54:55. I hope that there is enough fish coming in tonight so that Little Middle has some. He had a crop this morning and can, of course, survive til tomorrow but his growth and health will do better with more feedings, not less.

My last report is about Karl II who is now in The Ukraine. Anne7 is terrific at keeping images and maps going of Karl II’s travels for the Looduskalender Form in English. I am so grateful to her.

If he will fly fast and due north he can get home to Estonia. Please do not go to the east!!!!!!!!!!

This was a very quick check on a few of the nests. Thank you so much for joining me. I see some of you are in bad weather areas. Please take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their pages where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar Forum, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, NADC-AEF, Friends of Big Bear, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Pix Cams, Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagles, PA Game Commission, and Explore.org

Big continues her attack at Dale Hollow and other stories in Bird World on Sunday

27 March 2022

Jack brings in yet more toys for the kids as Harriet lays the third and, hopefully, final egg today at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest on the King George V River.

Not to be out done by the Cornell Red tail hawks with their four eggs, the female at the Syracuse Red tail Hawk nest has now laid four eggs! Goodness. While we might want to think that this is a prey rich summer, I had a conversation about Avian Flu with someone who is involved in that research. They said that Avian Flu H5N1, the highly pathogenic strain, is spreading like wild fire. Could the extra egg be part of a natural reaction to this? The general consensus is that 1 out of 3 fledglings survive. Are the hawks laying 4 eggs with the hope now that 1 in 4 survives this year with the spread of the flu? It reminded me of a quote on the Looduskalender Forum byIrene Ripperberg: “Clearly animals know more than we think and think more than we know.”

I had hoped that the afternoon would be a good one for Middle Little. While Little Middle did eat, those feedings did not come without enduring the wrath of Big. At 12:06:54 a parents flies in with a piece of fish. Big immediately goes after Little Middle who will get nothing of that prey drop. At 14:19:13 there is a large fish and a small piece left from earlier on the nest. Little Middle moves and Big goes on the attack. LM watches as Big is fed. By 14:26:47, Little Middle is at the rim of the nest moving cautiously. Little Middle gets a bite at 14:29:00 and a few more bites. Big gets up and Little Middle goes into submission. Big ate the rest of the fish and the tail. Little Middle did have a crop, part of which was left from the morning. Obey flew in with another fish at 15:28:58. Middle was where he landed. He gave Little Middle some bites which LM snatched and grabbed til Obey flew off at 15:32:39. At 17:52:47 River moves the large fish Obey brought in earlier and begins to feed Big. Little Middle moves over by Dad who has arrived at 17:54:24 hoping he has some more food. He doesn’t. Little Middle moves over to the rim and cautiously up to River who gives him some bites.

Big appears to be sleeping. At 18:15:27 – only three minutes later- Big goes into an attack. Oh, how I wish that Big would have just slept. There is hardly any food left – it ate an entire fish!

She tries to get Little Middle’s head to inflict the most damage which despite a large crop she does. Little Middle appears to be quite frightened. Big moves up to eat again. Middle Little must move – Big goes on the attack again at 18:16:11 in spite of having a big crop. Big positions herself so that she can grab Little Middle’s head and she twists it.

I had hoped that the beaking was going to slow down. It certainly does not appear to have anything to do with whether Big is full of not. One of our readers ‘BG’ observed that Big has a much more difficult time attacking Little Middle if she has a big crop which she does in the image below. It is hard for her to go over the top of the back anymore. That said, she was surely determined today and shifted to the side so that she could grab Middle’s head and neck which she shook.

While Little Middle is getting bigger and Big is often so full she can’t do anything, Little Middle must be cautious. And we have to hope that much more food comes on this nest. As it happens what is being brought in is enough for Big but barely enough for Little to have lots which it needs now. Both eaglets are 27 days old today – 28 if you count hatch day.

In the image below, Big is trying to go down to the head on the side at a slightly different angle than the image above. She has strong legs and, in fact, could, if she got wild enough, push Little Middle out of the nest. Despite being full, she simply could not sand that River would feed Middle Little a few bites of scrap fish.

Big is huge compared to Little middle. Look at her legs!

River feeds Big as he pushes Little Middle from the back. Little Middle raises its head and Bit goes at it again at 18:16:25.

Little Middle tries to get away by moving up close to River. River feeds Big. Nothing for Little Middle.

I am putting the image below in as a comparison of the size of the two. There remain many ways that Big can harm Little Middle but let us look at the positive. Despite not getting lots of food and cheeping wanting more, Little Middle did eat and did have a crop. He also had a really good PS this afternoon.

I am continually checking on Karl II and his movements curious as to if he can ‘smell’ or ‘sense’ war and not go to his normal watering hole in the Ukraine.

One of the British that travel to The Gambia to monitor Ospreys, Chris Wood, notes that many of the Ospreys arrive and go right to the same tree that they have done in many years previous. Will this also be the case for Karl II that he will, nonetheless, go to his normal spots despite the war?

Karl II is through Bulgaria, almost. Will he continue through Poland up to Latvia? We wait for the transmissions.

The people of Mlady Buky, The Czech Republic, are awaiting the arrival of their two White Storks. This community is the one who saved the father and the three storklets (originally four but Dad selected) by providing food for them last year.

Are you fond of Goshawks? The Goshawk nest at Riga, Latvia has its first egg today.

For any of the Latvian nests, I urge you to subscribe to The Latvian Fund for Nature’s streaming cams. There is no charge. You can do a search on YouTube and then select the nests you wish to watch. You will get a notice if something happens! There you will also find all of the videos of Milda the White-tailed Eagle at Durbe, her trials and joys.

There is a lovely little video of the adults at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest doing a tandem feeding. Oh, I just love this when the parents work together to make sure their chicks survive – if at all possible.

I love Red tail hawks and A Place Called Hope posted this today. I wanted to share it with you. If I were a raptor and needed rehab, I would really like to find myself at APCH.

The second egg for Mr President and Lotus at the National Arboretum Nest in DC is 35 days old. I so hope that this one hatches and the chick survives to fledge. It would be wonderful for this new pair. This is 18:13 this evening. Lotus is being very careful when she rolls that egg!

The following was posted a few hours ago. It looks like there is an internal pip happening. Please send your warmest wishes to Mr President and Lotus for a successful hatch for DC9.

R2 was returned to the nest by Ron Magill at the Miami Zoo. The remaining monofilament was removed successfully from its foot. These images were posted on Ron Magill’s FB page:

How wonderful! So happy for R2. He is sleeping on the rim of the nest tonight.

Everything is fine on the Captiva Osprey Nest of Andy and Lena in Florida. The beautiful juvenile plumage is coming in on both Middle and Little. They are growing so fast! Still no news on what killed Big.

Today, Grinnell protected the egg at the Peregrine Falcon scrape in The Campanile while Annie chased off the intruder. Here is a short video clip of that action.

Cal Falcons just posted another. The couple have been busy with intruders.

And before I close, a quick look at the West End Bald eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta where the trio of eaglets continues to thrive and grow without a second of discord. Remarkable parenting at this nest!

Look at how big they are. This just brings tears to my eyes. Two parents working together got this fantastic result for Thunder and Akecheta.

It looks like Ervie went out to the water. I hope he caught a nice fish! His tracker continues to work and he remains around Port Lincoln. Joy. Now if we only had news of Falky and Bazza.

Life is good at the nests!

Thank you so much for joining me. My blog may not be out til late on Monday. Hopefully the news will be good at Dale Hollow. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB or Forum: Looduskalender, Latvian Fund for Nature, Mlady Buky Stork cam, Captiva Osprey Cam, Ron Magill, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Cal Falcons, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Pix Cams, Port Lincoln Ospreys, A Place Called Hope, and WRDC Bald Eagles.

Thank you, Obey!

21 March 2022

Note: I have not included any graphic images of the early afternoon events. If you have watched this nest you will understand the ways in which Big has attacked Middle – leaning over it, pecking and pulling at its head. The day began and ended well.

It has not been a good afternoon for the Middle chick at the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. DH15. It ate well at the 06:43:46 feeding and again at 08:34.30. While it is true that Bald Eagles do not have to eat every day, Middle is a chick on the nest and should be getting regular feedings in order to develop properly and have good feathering. Stress causes what is known as ‘stress lines in feathers’. What Bald Eagles want are healthy strong chicks with excellent feathering.

Big was set off when River only brought in a fish head at 12:54:06. Middle did not get any of the fish head but was attacked on two separate occasions with Big maintaining an intimidating posture. Indeed, even after Big ate it went after Middle. That was 13:12:30.

River came in and fed scrapes and an old fish tail to Big at 14:25:11.

HD15 Middle has been prey crying.

At 16:51 a small headless fish is brought to the nest by Obey. River arrives shortly after at 16:53:07. Big attacks Middle at 16:53:59 Middle does not get any fish.

At 17:21:06 Middle sits up. Big looks at him. At 17:21:07 Big attacks Middle for just getting up. It is very clear that Big now perceives that there is only enough fish for it. Middle has had enough fish. She is however continuing to intimidate Middle so that he will not eat. Will more fish arrive today? A huge fish to calm Big? We wait.

At 18:27 the chicks appear to hear ‘something’. They become alert. Big still has quite a crop. Middle has no crop. At 18:30 Obey arrives on the nest with a large headless fish —— just like Bald Eagle dads do. They eat the head and bring the body to the Mum and the chicks.

Big begins to eat. Middle is keeping its head down. He is hungry but also very scared.

Middle is trying out strategies. It wants to go between River’s legs like it did in the morning where it can eat and be protected.

Middle winds up, however, going on the left side of River where she feeds him. He is protected from Big!

Middle gets fed well.

Big gets some more bites.

Middle moves and River steps on its back.

This scares Middle. He does not appear hurt but he moves away.

Slowly he returns to eat.

Big is full and Middle continues to be fed by River.

Big is too full and lays down to sleep. 18:58.

Middle gets the last bites. That big fish was completely consumed.

It is really good for Middle when fish, large enough for both, come on the nest. Remember the size of the eaglets. More larger fish will be needed on this nest, not fewer. Middle is learning some devices to protect itself and eat – eating between River’s legs and going to the opposite side where Big is. Let us all send warm wishes and positive thoughts to this nest so that the fish – big ones – continue on this nest. It looks like they need four large fish a day to keep the nest stable. We still have to take this nest a meal at a time and enjoy the good times. At some point Middle will, hopefully, be large enough that Big leaves it alone.

Thank you for joining me. It was a good beginning of the day at Dale Hollow and a good ending. Take care Everyone.

Thank you to the Dale Hollow streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

SE19 fledges, noon feed at Dale Hollow, and other news in Bird World

20 March 2022

I haven’t yet checked every nest because I have been constantly monitoring the Dale Hollow situation with Middle and Big. It has been a day of great achievements on that nest and other exciting news from nests all over.

There was a fledge and could be another at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest of M15 and Harriet.

This was the official announcement:

E19 had been up on the branch with the parents. It was early morning and foggy. M15 flew off and was seen flying around the nest tree enticing E19 to flap and hop on the branch. At one point the cam operator didn’t know if E19 would go first or E20 flapping from the nest to another branch. Here are some images.

Several hours later, E19 took the plunge and became a fledgling! Here is the video clip taken by the folks in that white vehicle at the centre of the screen.

Congratulations to M15 and Harriet, the Pritchett Family, and especially to E19! I wonder if E20 will go today? or tomorrow?

At the Cornell Campus, Big Red laid her third and most likely last egg of the 2022 season at 09:27. At this point, Big Red and Arthur will begin hard incubation. Congratulations to Big Red and Arthur!

If you were looking for Bald Eagles eggs in the Decorah Bald Eagle nest in Iowa, forget it. A Canada Goose has taken over the nest. Believe me when I tell you that you are really going to enjoy watching this nest. The female will lay between 4 and 7 eggs which will be incubated for 25-30 days. The male will serve as security guard. When the goslings are 24 hours old, the parents will fly to the ground calling the goslings to leap. Within a few minutes all of the little ones will be down on the ground following their parents. It is a nice change from the Bald Eagles!

It appeared that B15 at the Berry College Bald Eagles had officially branched. Everyone is waiting for the official word on that – did B15 fly up high enough?

It has been a good morning on the Captiva Osprey Nest. Middle is standing more on its legs and Little is working with the nesting material. Both have eaten and both appear to be in excellent health! They are getting along find and we simply cannot ask for anything better than that.

That is Middl (or chat Little) in the back standing up as the sun rises and spreads a golden pink glow on the nest.

Little (or Mini) in front with the lighter plumage (he is younger and this is how you can tell him now easily) moving sticks with its beak.

Both chicks lined up at the table having a nice fish for breakfast. No animosity or rivalry here.

The joy continues at the Dale Hollow Nest. At 11:58:39, it appears that River flies to the nest with some new nesting material. Big thinks it is fish and moves up to the table. Middle is at the far rim of the nest. Obey then flies in with a small fish at 12:01:01. River feeds part of the fresh fish to Big and then stops feeding her. River then pulls another small fish out of the straw! That was at 12:16:56. She feeds Big. At 12:17:13 River abruptly stops feeding Big and walks over to Middle who has moved up a bit and offers it fish! This is HUGE. We are really passing milestones on this nest quickly today. Then River moves the old fish in the straw to the table. She has 1.5 small fish left. She feeds Bit again at 12:17:34. Middle very cautiously moves around the nest to the right. At 12:19:40 he is in position for snatch and grab which he does splendidly. Big does nothing. At 12:19:59, Middle is at the table being fed. It appears that River fed him the last half of the fish. This is just incredible. The fish need to continue to show up or be pulled out of the nest if in hiding to keep up the good momentum but…for now, let us celebrate another big win today at the Dale Hollow nest for Middle DH15. Here are some images:

Obey has brought in the fresh fish. River had been feeding Big a few of the scrapes left from the morning. Middle just wants to stay out of Big’s way.

River moves to get the fresh fish and bring it up to the table. Big does not move away. Little still in position at the rim. Little is watching and listening. This is what the siblings who have abused do. They know their environment and they watch and wait. They have to – their life depends on it. Good skills for living in the wild.

River actually stops feeding Big and reaches out to Middle who has moved up. Middle does a great snatch and grab. Big does nothing.

Middle moves around from where it was along the edge of the nest always aware of Big. He will move up to the food table and eats properly.

In this image you can easily see how much bigger Big is than Middle. Middle remains at the table until he is very, very full.

Middle might be hoping that River is going to offer the fish tail but she doesn’t. They are both full. Big is passed out at the edge by the rim.

Another good feeding. Tears and more tears rolling down my cheeks. We will take it one feeding at a time. So far since Saturday evening everything has been good on this nest. I remain cautiously optimistic.

At present we have another nest with three chicks. Akecheta and Thunder are going to have to really bring in the prey and maybe do some tandem feedings as these three get bigger. The baby is four days younger. This has to be kept in mind as we move forward.

There is a pip for Liberty and Guardian at their Redding California nest. Last year these two fledged three. The pip is right on time. Congratulations Liberty and Guardian.

The hole is right under the feather hanging down the lowest on the egg closest to the screen. Once we see the external pip, hatch will happen between 12 and 24 hours! Yippee. A new bobble head.

Here is the link to the streaming cam of Liberty and Guardian. It is a good nest to follow now that the older eaglets are becoming fledglings.

I am so behind catching up with Grinnell and Andy. You can hear noises on the camera once in awhile but I have not seen much action on the camera when I checked. Today, however, Annie first arrives in the scape around 08:11 with bloody talons. That tells me – hopefully – that Grinnell has provided her with some prey breakfast.

Annie shuffles the gravel and is scraping.

Oh, thank goodness.

Annie returns to the nest at 09:38:05. Here she is teasing us at 10:04:05. Annie sure isn’t giving away any news this year. She has held us in a state of worry that she was going to abandon Grinnell for another nest. So happy to see her here in the scrape at The Campanile. I mean it has to be “Grinnell and Annie” – .

Right now even with Annie teasing us, everything in Bird World feels good. As we all know things can change quickly but for now all of the nests appear to be fine. I am told by ‘S’ in Latvia that even the young mate of Milda, Voldis, is doing better. ‘S’ wonders what kind of year it will be at the Durbe Nest of Milda in Latvia with this young man. We will just have to wait. We all need to remember that young mates can be fantastic – Arthur at Cornell, Harry up at the MN DNR nest, and Cheta who did not do well his first two years but who is trying to make up for it now.

Thank you for joining me this afternoon. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Cal Falcons, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, West End Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and Explore.org

Tears of Joy. Dale Hollow 15 is fed!

Saturday 19 March 2022

I had prepared myself for having to write a tribute for the Middle Hatch, DH15, later tonight. Since the eldest sibling, DH14 killed the youngest, Little Bit or Tater Tot, DH16, Big has taken its wrath out on the Middle Chick on the nest. This morning DH15 had a few bites of fish – seriously only a couple – and was mauled many times by Big who refused to let it eat or even get near the food pantry. At the same time, River ignored Middle’s cries for food even when he was trying to pick blood off her talons. Middle even resorted to trying to eat the hay with fish juice on it to no avail. There was plenty of fish on the nest – plenty.

Middle wants to survive.

Bald Eagles need to fledge one healthy chick. If that is the case, then why do they lay more than one egg? One old timer called these ‘insurance’ eggs or a better concept for humans is the ‘heir and the spare’. If something happens to the eldest, then there is the ‘spare’. If the spare and the youngest sibling happen to survive, it is like a gold star of success for the Bald Eagle family. I am certain, at some time, you have been very impressed by a raptor family that was able to raise three fledglings.

So let us think about this ‘insurance’ chick by looking at the Captiva Osprey Nest. Imagine this scenario. It didn’t happen but it could have. Big Bob refuses to let either Middle or Little (or Little and Mini Bob) eat. In fact, Big did eat all the fish leaving Lena, Middle, and Little without for a period of nearly 72 hours. Middle and Little survived. But, for now, imagine that the two siblings perished. Then Big Bob dies mysteriously. Which he did. The Osprey nest has then been a failure. It would, thus, not have been advantageous to Andy and Lena for Big to have killed its siblings. It would have been the third nest failure in a row. Thankfully, this did not happen!

With Avian Flu running rampant along the East coast of the US, Florida, and spreading, it is not an advantage to River and Obey if Big DH14 kills DH15. They eat carrion and have even brought a Crow to the nest for food. That Corvid could easily have been carrying H5N1. So it made no sense to me today when River refused to acknowledge Middle’s cries for food. There was 2/3 of a huge fish on the nest! Big was so full he could barely walk.

Tonight, Big was fed til it passed out. And then something wonderful happened! At 17:57:52 Middle, DH15, was fed. It ate all of the remaining fish and the feeding stopped at 18:12:38. That was a really nice feeding – one that could mean the difference between life or death for Middle. Then, miracle of all miracles, Middle Bob has a crop!!!!!! The tears poured down my cheeks. I felt delirious with joy.

Here are some images from this feeding.

Big has eaten and eaten and has an enormous crop. There is fish left over. Big is going to go into a sort of food coma. Little is in total submission. It has really been pecked and tossed about by its neck today. Middle has to be terrified. He knows what happened to Little.

Little quietly goes up to the food table hoping that River will not leave and might feed it. Middle is careful not to wake Big.

And look at this! Did I say this nest needed a miracle? or did I say I was losing faith in a miracle happening? This is a miracle. I am so happy to be wrong!

Big raises his head and sees Middle eating but he is too full to do anything.

Meanwhile, Middle cannot believe how good that fish tastes. He was very dehydrated pecking at River’s beak last night trying to get some saliva feeding.

River gets into a different position but continues to feed Middle.

Big is still watching.

Little got some nice pieces of fish.

River offered Middle a big hunk of fish skin. He is trying to hork it down in the image below.

River roots around and finds a little more fish and feeds it to Middle.

Just look at that crop! I have never seen Middle have a crop this size. Amazing. Thank you, Mum.

Have we turned a corner in this saga?

The feeding and Middle moving to the rim of the nest did not, however, escape Big, DH14. He did attack him over a period of five minutes before River rounded them up so she could brood them for the night.

Middle needs to eat and get strong and have a ps. But the other issue that remains is that there is no place on this nest to avoid Big. Tonight, Big and Middle are 22 days old. Middle will grow if given food and he should be reaching the point to where Big is not a threat. Middle is underdeveloped because of a lack of food, though.

But this was a good day! And maybe, just maybe, this good day will lead to another then another and then another.

Send all of your positive wishes to Middle for lots of fish tomorrow and a day out of sight of Big.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to bring good news to you about this nest. For today, Middle has eaten well and is alive. One day at a time. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the DHEC for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Saturday in Bird World

19 March 2022

This will be a very short report on a few of the nests we have been watching. Each of those nests is doing fine. Indeed, they are doing really well.

Thunder and Akecheta are such an amazing team this year at the West End Bald Eagle nest. It has been a real treat to watch Akecheta mature into the genuinely passionate father of three chicks that he is. There isn’t anything that he will not do and he loves to shade, brood, and feed! This Bald Eagle nest of three chicks is doing very well. there are no issues.

Some of you may well be familiar with the Trio Love Nest on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. In 2017, the female, Hope, was probably killed by an interloper. There were two beautiful chicks in the nest and the two fathers, Valor I and Valor II raised them. It is a beautiful story that will lead both of them to find Starr or Starr find them and ‘the Trio’ to raise chicks together. It is not clear what is happening at the Trio Nest this year. It was believed Valor I had left and then he returned. This morning the Stewards of the Mississippi River said they believed that some sub-adult Bald Eagles had cleaned up the nest. We wait to see but this might be the end of The Love Trio. So sad. They were such a great team raising big healthy chicks to fledge.

This is an old video. Hope is believed to have been killed and the two males, Valor I and II, take over the care of the eaglets. They will raise them to fledge. It is really a good news story. I wish we had one today for all of them.

It has been 5 years since Big Red’s long time partner, Ezra, was killed. There were no eggs laid in 2017. In April of that year, a young Red-tail Fledgling made a visit to the nest that Big Red shared with Ezra. The young ‘whippersnapper’ as many on the Cornell chat call him wooed Big Red over all the other males that courted her. This is Arthur before he even had his Red tail!

This is Arthur today incubating the eggs for the 2022 breeding season. This is his 5th year together with Big Red. He is a cutie pie and Big Red is giving him more duties. Yippeee.

Gorgeous Big Red. Her and Arthur sure make great babies. She is 19 this year. Her life as a Mum has been tracked since 2012. No one knows if she had other mates before Ezra or how many chicks she fledged but, since 2012 she has only not fledged one. That was K2 who had a beak or jaw issue last year. That is an amazing testament to the amazing parenting that happens on this nest and the prey rich territory where she resides.

By 12 noon, Andy had made 3 fish deliveries at the Captiva Osprey Nest. They were a Sand Perch at 08:23; a Pinfish at 09:59, and a large Striped Mullet at 11:52. Everyone ate well and Lena has been shading her two surviving chicks from the hot Florida sun when she is not feeding them. I have seen no report from Captiva about the results of the necroscopy on Big Bob who died suddenly on the nest. Captiva and Window on Wildlife anticipated that they would have those results by the end of this past week.

Its 16:39 and the two at Captiva are eating again! Both have huge crops. Little Bob is pausing but there is so much fish left that surely he will return to the table for his usual second helping. All is good on this nest! That is such a relief. Hungry, healthy chicks!

For the followers of Ma Berry, the former mate of Pa at the Berry College Bald Eagle nest, a photo of Ma at Lake Allatoona was posted today by one of the members of the Berry College FB group. She looks good. The photo was September 26, 2021.

Pa’s and his new mate, Missy, have one chick this year, B15. A real sweet little eaglet. Well B15 has branched on 17 March! This is the announcement on the Berry College Eagles FB group.

B15 is a really healthy eaglet that loves using the nest like a trampoline.

Jackie and Shadow continue to do a great job at Big Bear just as anyone might expect. There have already been 7 feedings on this nest and it is barely 14:00. Feedings were at: 6:42; 8:01; 9:37; 10:29; 11:12; 12:16; 13:20. There appear to be several fish on the nest waiting. The Little One is growing like a beautiful read.

Everyone is good with the exception of Dale Hollow and whatever is happening at the Trio nest. The chick at Dulles Greenaway is happy, shaded, and fed. Rosie and Richmond, the Ospreys at the Whirley Crane in the Richmond Shipyards in SF Bay, are busy trying to rebuild their nest. That is going to be a huge job. There is no recent news of Annie and Grinnell.

I will do a separate report about the day’s happenings at the Dale Hollow Lake nest probably late this evening. I can tell you that Middle got 2 or 3 bites of fish this morning, the very first since the meal late on the 17th. (I think I said the 18th in an earlier report). The oldest has launched ferocious attacks on the Middle one like he did with Little Bit. The Middle One has tried to fed but can’t on a big fish on the nest. Middle has even tried eating dirty straw. It sat at the feet of the mother begging with a huge fish and River allowed Big to continue its terror. I will put a warning on that posting. Suffice it to say that I do not believe that any miracles are going to happen on this nest. There will be one chick at the end. A huge ferocious female. I hope to post at least one academic article that argues that siblicide is simply selfishness and that evolutionary success depends on many factors but definitely not siblicide.

Thank you for joining me today. It is gorgeous and sunny and all the snow is in full melt. Geese continue to come, several Blue Jays are back and I saw my first White-throated Sparrow of the year. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Cornell Chatters Group FB Page (image of young Arthur); Berry College Eagles FB Group; Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife; Cornell Bird Lab and RTH; Friends of Big Bear Valley; West End Bald Eagles and the Institute of Wildlife Studies.

Thursday Afternoon in Bird World

For more than a week now I haver been wondering what is going on at the Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagle nest. There was torrential rain and then snow. At the beginning of the season, I saw tandem feedings and was so hopeful that this was another great nest. Sadly, that just simply does not appear to be the case. While other raptor mothers are covering their chicks from the hot sun, nothing is happening at Dale Hollow. Little Bit does not have all its thermal down. Little Bit is also crying out for food. I want to be wrong because you always hear ‘The Eagles Know Best’ but with the case of River and Obey, I am not sure. Did the rain stir up the lake and it is so murky that they cannot get fish? did the snow send the critters underground? At any rate, I am very worried about Little Bit surviving. I do not wish to cause undue alarm but what happened here?

A small fish was brought in to the Dale Harbour nest around 14:30. You can see for yourself what is happening. I suspect that the Big sibling might well eat all of it – and yes, that is what happened.

Are River and Obey eating off camera?

If the fish brought on to the nest is only one of these a day or two, then it is possible that the other two siblings will not get any food. It is so sad. They might well be beyond getting up to the table.

Little Bit is at the bottom of the screen. Both of them know not to get near the food until Big is finished. Little Bit is really suffering today. It has had nothing to eat for approximately 30+ hours and is crying and crying. At any other nest, this wee babe would be getting 8 or 10 small meals a day.

Middle is walking away towards Little Bit.

Neither Little Bit or Middle had any food to eat. Neither made any effort to go up to the table. They are dehyrated and lethargic. The fish is all gone. Big has an enormous crop. Sadly, unless another fish comes on the nest and Little Bit gets fed full, I do not believe this poor little nestling will survive. The middle chick might have a better chance. Are both Little Bit and Middle too dehydrated, too hungry, too tired – and too intimidated by Big – to ever get up to the table again? We wait.

It is a hard reality. The eagles only need one chick to survive. Watching this nest is extremely difficult when we look at the others. I continue to wonder what is going on.

This is the last image I have today of the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest. It pretty much says it all. Big is over by River at the opposite side and Middle and Little Bit are together sadly alone, beyond hungry.

In comparison, Thunder and Akecheta were feeding the three chicks on their nest before daylight and several times after.

We can also compare what is happening at Big Bear Valley with Shadow and Jackie. It is 11:55 and the wee only Bob has been fed four times. There have also been multiple poop shots.

The two eagles of Abby and Blaze at Eagle Country hatched on the 11th and 14th of February. Gosh, they have grown and are lookin’ good.

What a beautiful sight at the Duke Farms Bald Eagles. You might recall that the second hatch was so tiny and died. The surviving eaglet is doing very, very well. The nest is full of fish and Mum is there not only shading but keeping the chick warm.

Mark your calendars. Pip watch begins on the 19th for Liberty and Guardian at the Redding California Bald Eagle nest. Last year the couple fledged three lovely juveniles.

Here is the link to the streaming cam at Redding.

There were sure some beautiful images coming out of Iowa at the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest of Mr North and DNF today. Eggs were laid on 16 and 19 of February and we are about a week from pip watch!

The top image is of Mr North.

This is DNF. You can compare her with Mr North above so you can recognize who is on the nest.

A close up of DNF below.

The nest is on top of a White Oak Tree near a small forest area with a stream on private farmland north of Decorah, Iowa. The nest is 17 metres or 56 feet above the ground.

I love how the different regions provide such a variety of nesting materials. In Florida and Louisiana there is Spanish Moss and in Iowa it is corn husks and wheat stalks.

This is DNF on the nest below. She has grey eye shadow.

Here is the link to the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest.

The nest of Martin and Rosa at Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagle nest in Virginia is also covered with corn husks. Wow. The couple laid two eggs. The first on Feb 1 and the second on Feb 4. The first little eaglet hatched on the 13th and is now 4 days old. If the other egg is going to hatch, we should be seeing a pip soon.

Andy brought in some nice fish for the family so far today. In fact, Andy has made three fish deliveries so far today. A Sand Perch at 08:32:40; a Sheepshead at 10:20:31, and this Ladyfish at 14:41:53.

Little (Mini on chat) has a big crop now. Compare with the image above.

These two are doing really, really well. I am quite optimistic for the two of them. There is no news yet on the cause of Big’s death.

If you missed it, there are now two eggs at Cornell’s Red-tail Hawk. One more to go!

There is the beautiful Big Red with her dark morph incubating those two eggs. She will leave the nest periodically to eat. Normally, Arthur will have her meal ready for her off camera.

There are the two precious eggs. The second was laid today.

Here is a close up with markings that was posted on the Cornell Twitter account so you can tell the difference between the eggs.

Big Red is giving Arthur, her mate, more incubation duties! Fantastic. He is a great mate.

Arthur is also very handsome! It will be interesting to see which of the populations of chipmunks or squirrels are the most plentiful on the nest this year.

That is it for my Thursday afternoon report. All of the nests are doing quite well except for Dale Hollow which, sadly, is a tragedy in the making. Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to having you with me again. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife, Dulles Greenaway Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Explore.org, Redding California Eagles, Eagle Country, Friends of Big Bear Lake, and Duke Farms.

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.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

It turned out to be just a grand day for a walk at our park. In fact, while it was -11 C my winter walking clothes rated for the extreme winter temperatures to -30 C proved to be way too hot! It was hard to get the attention of the Red Squirrels because they were thinking ‘spring’ as they chased one another up and down the paths and up a tree, over a branch to another tree.

The photo below should go in the bin. When the little Red squirrel heard me, it stuck its head out of its nest. Before I could even get the camera focused, it was down on the ground. Sadly, the bars of the fence around The English Garden were very much in the way. But, there he is. Cute. Wanting some seed!

S/he scurried down the tree in anticipation of some seeds.

Quite the cutie and much more comfortable with humans than the squirrels in my garden.

Gosh, they are quick. Several big leaps like this and this wee Red almost landed at the fence.

Properly rewarded with some peanuts and Black Oil Seed.

This gorgeous Black-capped Chickadee landed right above me. I could hear the call but could not see the little songbird. So I turned quickly, turned the camera lens all the way to 600 mm and just hoped that I had an image.

When I finished my laps of the garden,, I returned to where I began. The little red squirrel was still eating its seed. No other squirrel cut in and took any. How wonderful.

There is always the question of feeding the animals at the park. Signage went up at the duck ponds not to feed the waterfowl. This was to stop people from feeding them bread so that they did not eat the plants growing in the water. But in the dead of winter? Habitats are lost, the seeds that might normally be available might not be. It is difficult. I have chosen to feed the wildlife. Make sure if you do that you always place the food in a safe place for them.

Annie’s return was cause for a major celebration. Cal Falcons posted a video of that moment! There is a close up at around 15:00 minutes.

This one shows Annie in the scrape reclaiming her ‘nest’.

Everything just feels right at The Campanile with Annie home.

The ospreys at Captiva, Florida had three good feedings today. The last one was at 18:14.

Lena arrives with a piece of fish. There was some concern as she had been away from the nest for 20 minutes leaving the chicks uncovered. Now that there are Crows about, this is a wee bit dangerous.

You can see how Big Bob is gradually changing and getting so dark. His head is like black oil and if you look carefully there are some coppery feathers coming in. Big Bob still has his crop from the earlier feeding at 15:51.

Little Bob is in the middle. The older siblings are rapidly changing in appearance.

Oh, look at those fat little bottoms. These chicks are doing well.

Bedtime! And look who is peeking out!!!!!!! Little Bob with a nice crop. Fantastic.

There is some concern at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest. Squirrels had been making holes in the nest. Diane had laid three eggs set to hatch in about 10-14 days. She has been seen spending less and less time on the nest. It is thought that the eggs have rolled down the holes created by the squirrel. There is only one camera and we cannot see down into the nest. There are certainly not any eggs visible but maybe the egg cup is just really deep. Still the behaviour indicates that something has happened. We wait and watch.

Today at the WWII Whirley crane in the Richmond Shipyards, Richmond and Rosie was taking in the view of their territory together! Looking forward to a great year from these two!

Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

The feedings at Dale Hollow are going well. The twins wanted to exert their seniority at the table today but, in the end, a female Bald Eagle with at least 17 or 18 years experience raising eaglets can handle anything. River is an excellent Mum and Obey also likes to tandem feed the kids. I have no worries about this nest.

It is a gorgeous day at the nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear Lake, California. We remain on pip watch.

Shadow is on incubation duties and you can hear the Ravens in the background. Jackie and Shadow have to be extremely careful not to be tricked or lured by the Ravens who desperately would like those eggs.

According to the mods, the eggs are 35 and 38 days old. Again, due to the high elevation, pips will come later than other nests at lower elevations.

Thank you so much for joining me on a quick check of some of the nests we are watching. 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, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Ospreys, Cal Falcons, and Achieva Credit Union.

Late Monday in Bird World

1.28.2022

It has been a bit of a very sad day in Bird World with the announcement that Grinnell’s Annie has been missing for a week plus the death of HH4 at the Hilton Head Island Trust Bald Eagle nest. I really hope that Annie is off healing and will return and reclaim her place. We must send out positive wishes.

In the middle of all that grey there was some sunshine and there is more to come.

Dale Hollow 16 (DH16) hatched at 13:21 today. (DH14 hatched at 11:16 on the 25th and DH15 hatched at 11:51 on the 25th).

River pulled the last bit of the shell off so that the wee one could join the twins. She quickly disposed of the shell making room in the nest bowl for all three of the nestlings.

Oh, 16 you are ever so tiny!

Of course, 16 is wobbly but holding its head up much better. after a couple of hours Looks like a strong little hatchling.

River and Obey are incredible parents. These three will be well fed and all the tandem feedings should keep any rivalry down to a minimum.

Babies are fed for the last time today.

Good night, River. Enjoy your dinner, Obey.

It was a much better day for the Captiva nestlings. I know of three good feeds. Maybe there was a fourth? All of the fish were Sheepsheads. Someone mentioned that this species of fish frequent the oyster beds by the mangrove roots. Andy might not have to go far to get his fish! The last fish brought in was at 17:33. Just in time to fill up the nestlings so they can sleep well tonight. They are growing so fast it must be difficult for Lena to get them organized to brood.

This time Andy had eaten the head so that he was sure to get some dinner. He did not get any of the noon fish – Lena and the kids were stuffed and there was not a flake left.

There is Little Bob right in front. I say it way too often but he really does remind me of Ervie. First one up at the table and most often the last one to leave.

Little Bob keeps his place after Andy flies off. I noticed that his head is slowly changing. It is not as soft and fluffy looking as yesterday. Oh, by Wednesday, Little Bob is going to look like someone poured the oil can over him, too!

At one point, Middle Bob was passed out in a very short food coma and Big Bob wanted to move back from the table. Big Bob got tangled up with Little Bob. It was a momentary mess of osplets. Little Bob managed to get undone. He immediately moved back up to Lena so he could have some more fish. Did I say this kid loves to eat?

Big Bob is in a food coma, Middle Bob is back up at the table, and Little Bob is ready to pass out next to Big Bob after eating so much. I hope there is something left for Lena! Gosh, these three can really put away the fish.

Little Bob actually looks like he ate so much he is going to be sick.

If you are a fan of Irvin and Claire at the US Steel Bald Eagle nest, Claire laid her first egg yesterday, 27 February, at 18:29. The view of that first egg is here:

There are still more than 3000 people watching the nest of Shadow and Jackie at Big Bear Lake. Shadow has been at the nest three times (plus when he brings in food for Jackie) wanting to incubate the two eggs and Jackie is not giving in an inch! Does she hear or feel a pip?

Beautiful Jackie.

Many of you are fans of the Royal Albatross Family of OGK, YRK, and QT chick with their nest at Taiaroa Head. The parents have been flying in and out, sometimes in less than ten hours, to feed the chick. At the same time, they get to spend time with one another. Those are really tender moments.

Quarry Track chick is growing fast. This little man doesn’t fit in the sock anymore! Today when the NZ DOC rangers came to weigh QT, they had to use the basket for the first time!

Look at that little QT sitting up so straight like it has its own nest next to Mum or Dad. Precious.

Here we go.

Last week QT weighed 2.4 kg or 5.29 lbs. They have not posted the weight for today as I finish my blog. I will post that weight tomorrow.

Ouch! This chick is too big to brood! The parent looks a little uncomfortable. I want to say that this is OGK just from the way he was standing over QT but it could well be YRK. She was on the nest yesterday. They change so frequently I cannot keep up and I cannot see the coloured leg band.

This little Royal Albatross chick is adorable. Look carefully at the light filtering through that soft down. We are on our way to puff ball stage. So sweet.

While the albatross are enjoying the warmth of summer in New Zealand, the storks on top of the church in Dreisamtal, 10 km from Freiburg, are working on their nest in the winter cold. Oh, they are so gorgeous and a reminder to all of us that spring and the beautiful light and warmth it brings is less than a month away.

There is a pip rapidly moving to hatch in the second egg at Duke Farms. You can really see that egg tooth working away. Tonight, sometime, there will be a new eaglet!

I wish I could close with an image of Ervie on the barge with Dad. Maybe another day! This is the most recent tracking of Ervie. He remains along the North Shore and it looks like he has found a good fishing spot. I wonder if he is still catching Puffers?

Wouldn’t it be grand to be sitting in a boat – at a distance so as not to disturb – watching Ervie with binoculars go about his fishing? I can’t think of anything nicer today.

Thank you so very much for joining me this evening. 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: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Labs and the NZ DOC, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Stork Nest Streaming Cam, and Duke Farms.