Thank you to ‘C’ for alerting me. Victor was with Lillibet on the nest. She flew up the branch. Victor has been much perkier this morning and he decided to fly up to the branch. Sadly, he has fallen. The time was 11:09:08. Thank you ‘C’ for your diligence.
Victor is alive! His wings helped him! He is in the top left corner in the image below.
Thank goodness for small miracles.
This is the link to the Fraser Point Eagle Cam and the chat where you can stay informed about how things are going. Dr Sharpe will be out there tomorrow. Hang in there Victor.
It has been a very, very challenging breeding season. The weather has not cooperated causing diminished prey deliveries and deaths either by starvation or siblicide/starvation. Eaglets have fallen from their cliff nests – thankfully rescued by their guardian angel, Dr Sharpe. Adults have been killed or driven from the nest by intruders with many others dying of Avian Flu. Some have died of indeterminate causes while others were injured and taken into care. Some eggs never hatched having become breakfast for the Crows. We have favourite nestlings and then, things go sideways. We become afraid to watch their lives – it really does hurt that much when they are attacked by their older siblings or ignored by their parents.
Not all chicks who are attacked by their siblings survive. We know this. Sometimes we think that they will not last another day. Then, something happens. Yesterday when its mother would not feed it, ND17 ate an entire fish that was left on the nest and ignored by the older siblings —by itself. Today, its mother fed it a few bites. Later 17 found a piece of fish hidden in the nest and horked it. There he is on the far left. Note 17’s size in relation to the two older siblings who not only have their juvenile plumage but also have tails that are growing and growing.
At 17:01, something extraordinary happens. This is ‘why’ you keep watching, ‘why’ you keep hoping because in a single moment the nest that had gone sideways can right itself. It is the most exhilarating feeling — by far a greater sense of happiness than watching a nest where everything is perfect.
Mum arrives with a fish. At 17:01 and for the next sixteen minutes, Little 17’s life takes a turn. 17 is on the right side of Mum with big sibling on the left. The other is at the other side of the nest not paying much attention. What was it that suddenly changed 17 from a submissive little eaglet to an extremely brave one? Was it eating the entire fish itself yesterday? was it the finding and horking of the fish piece? was it Mum feeding it a few bites this morning? or was it hunger and a new found confidence that drove 17 to become the ‘king’ of the snatch and grab today? We will never know but this third hatch showed us just the kind of ‘stuff’ it is made of – this is going to be a formidable eaglet if he survives. Fingers crossed.
Still images do not do the actions of this this brave little eaglet justice. Watch carefully – about half way through 17 actually grabs the fish out of the older siblings beak! Yes, I am serious.
I wonder – having seen her youngest stand up and fight for its place at the table – will Mum feed her youngest chick? Will she position the fish so that the little one can eat and not have to contend with the peckings from the older siblings? We have to wait and see. One thing is for sure – 17 has a burning desire to survive. He is not afraid to root in the nest and find pieces of dry fish if eating them means he will stay alive. He is a survivor.
In the image below you can see the enormous crop that 17 has! Fantastic.
In other news, Dr Sharpe gave Chase and Cholyn’s only eaglet a thorough examination. The eaglet was measured, weighed, and banded. She is 11D, a sister to Thunder and an auntie to Thunder and Akecheta’s triplets.
The camera came on for just a second. Look at that nice red bling! And her silver federal band.
The two osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest experienced something very different today– pelting rain and hail. I was just glad it wasn’t a tornado!
After the storm passed, Mum returned to the nest. There was some fish and, despite Big standing tall and trying to unhinge Middle, Middle stayed put and kept eating.
Middle is on the left and Big with her longer tail and long, long legs is on the right.
In the image below, Big tries to scare Middle away from the food. It doesn’t really work so well anymore.
It is a beautiful evening at the Dale Hollow nest. Looking at that big stick that Warrior pulled across the nest it is almost like River said “when you leave, shut the door and put the key under the mat!” The older sibling, DH14, fludged on the 19th of May. I hope that Warrior had a smooth flight! (or is he still sitting in the top of the nest tree?)
Lady and Dad have been spending more and more time at their nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Today they were rearranging twigs and building up the crib rails while. They were also busy placing fresh leaves down on the nest bowl. We are getting close!
This is the link to their camera:
Those were just a few of the numerous highlights at the nests today. New hatches are being fed and with the exception of several intruders, all of the other nests seem to be doing well. It was such a relief to see ND17 well fed two days in a row. I hope that Warrior’s first flight – if he did fledge – was a perfect take off and landing. Hopefully there will be some footage of the banding of 11D today at the Two Harbours nest. Cal Falcons should be banding Annie, Grinnell’s and Alden’s chicks soon. I did watch Alden feed the chicks again. He is getting quite good this!
Thank you so much for joining me. Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, ND-LEEF, DHEC, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.
It has been a great day in Bird World. When everything seemed so bleak with the ‘Only Baby’ at the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands holding on after a fall ten feet below the nest, the sun rose. When daylight came Dr Sharpe and two volunteers hiked for an hour to reach the nesting site. The trio rescued the eaglet, built up the walls of the nest, and placed the wee one back. Everyone held their breath hoping that the parents, twenty-four year old Chase and Cholyn, would appear immediately. They waited almost three hours to return. Everyone was on pins and needles. What if they did not return was the question on everyone’s mind. One did a fly by, and then they both arrived – Cholyn with some nesting material and Chase with the first fish of the afternoon. Baby was home! It was less than 24 hours but, it felt like an eternity. Would the eaglet be able to hold on? That strong brave little one stayed put until help came!
Dr Sharpe and the rescue were interviewed by ABC news:
“Oh, please, just one more bite,” Cholyn insists. Meanwhile, TH1’s crop is about to pop. Can you see it? The parents were overjoyed to have their chick back on the nest.
Cholyn and Big Red believe that no one should leave the table hungry. Tonight, squirrel was on the menu at the Red-tail Hawk nest in Ithaca, New York.
There are still three for Big Red and Arthur. As you can see, Arthur has really been packing the pantry and I am happy to say that most of it is squirrel and chippy.
There has been little mention of egg 4. It pipped and the chick was alive last night. It is difficult to tell because the other three Ls lay on it. If it is to hatch we should see that wee one in the morning. Personally, three eyases is great!!!!!! The three Ls appear quite healthy.
Liberty and Guardian’s eaglets for the 2022 season now have names. They are Sentry and Star. Well done everyone who took part in the voting for these two at their Redding, California aerie. Just look at them. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Spirit and Jackie shared a meal together today. It is hard to grasp but just look at the size of Spirit. They said that she would be the size of a Canada Goose now!
It is often hard to go back to a nest when the older siblings have been responsible for the death of the younger. It took me a long time to ‘get over’ being upset with Solly at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when she caused the youngest, Tapps, to die at the age of 18 days due to starvation. It was only after she fledged that I warmed up to her again and I was honestly very sad when she died on an electrical pole in South Australia eating a fish. The two surviving ospreys at the University of Florida’s Gainesville Osprey nest are really doing well. The food competition appears to have dissipated. It is quite sad that the third hatch has to be sacrificed, or so it seems, for the good of the whole in terms of brood reduction.
The two eyases at the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco are also eating well and growing without much of a problem. Once in awhile the eldest tries to be dominant but things seem to be alright.
It was sunny with wind gusts at the Two Harbours nest. Chase and Cholyn had to hover and approach the nest twice to land. It was dreary and windy just around the corner at the West End Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Of the three trips up the cliffs in less than two weeks, Dr Sharpe rescued the youngest male from the West End nest who had fallen and then returned a few days later to measure and band the three. It is easy to spot the big sister in the group now with her two little brothers.
On Thursday the 28th, the Ventana Wildlife Society is holding a Zoom-chat. It is free and it begins at 4pm Pacific Time. When you register you can submit questions to the staff. Because Condors eat carrion, I submitted questions related to the current Avian Flu in relation to those beautiful California Condors.
Here is the link for registration, if you are interested:
In Latvia, the first egg at the Lesser Spotted Eagle nest has been laid. The nest is in a beautiful Spruce forest in Zemgale. The map below was posted on the English Forum, Looduskalender, and shows the area of the nest in green.
The nest is 17 metres off the floor of the forest and from its size, is believed to be at least five years years old. The couple are Anna and Andris. Lesser Spotted Eagles normally lay two eggs. If there is enough food available, both chicks will grow and fledge. If there is not, then siblicide will occur on the nest. It is good to understand this before you begin watching a Lesser Spotted Eagles nest (or a Greater or a Golden Eagle).
Andris is being shown the egg by Anna. Notice how small he is compared to the female in front.
Here is a short video of that first egg.
Here is the link to the streaming cam:
Do you love Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world? She is not only the Queen of the Ospreys but she is also one beautiful bird. Just look what good shape she is in after doing her winter migration. I am very impressed. I wonder what 28 or 29 Osprey years translates into human years??? or is there such a thing? I hope I look that good at the equivalent age!!!!!
Here is Iris this evening on her nest at Hellgate Canyon, Missoula, Montana.
Earlier, at 18:20 her mate, Louis, brings her the second fish of this season! For those who do not know Iris, Louis and Iris have this rather jaded bond. Louis also has a nest with Starr at the baseball park. This is the first year that I remember Louis bringing fish to Iris in several years. And now he has brought two! Wow.
Iris knows Louis is approaching and she does some quiet little fish calls.
Wow. That is a nice big fish. Notice the head is missing. Traditionally, males eat the head before delivering the fish to the nest.
Iris accepts Louis’s gift and flies over to the pole to eat it for her dinner. I wonder if we should be expecting eggs soon???
A marvellous book arrived in the post today. It is called Eagle Man and is about Charles Broley and his dedication to the Bald Eagle. Broley lived in Florida and in Canada. Broley was a banker; when he retired he devoted himself to bird watching. Broley became a world authority on the Bald Eagle. His observations taught us about courtship rituals, nesting, feeding, and even the migratory patterns of the eagles. I landed a copy in very good condition. It was obviously treasured by its owner, D. Gordon, who wrote on the flap that he received it in May of 1956. It is signed by Charles Broley. Inside the binding is the obituary of Broley who died on 7 May 1959 in Delta, Ontario. I am so looking forward to reading this book that inspired many to respect the Bald Eagles as many, like Dr Sharpe today, fought to bring their numbers up after most were wiped out by DDT.
Thank you for joining me. There are so many nests to cover and some will find themselves here tomorrow. Take care! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or webpages where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar Forum, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Montana Osprey Project, Explore.org, Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Latvian Fund for Nature, Presidio Trust, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.
The only eaglet of Chase and Cholyn attached itself to Cholyn’s feet/talons this afternoon when she flew off the nest on the cliff at Two Harbours. The chick fell off and is on a ledge down about 10 feet from the nest. That happened around 14:35 nest time.
The eaglet has eaten and is fine but probably frightened. It needs to hang on and stay on that ledge til Dr Sharpe can get there tomorrow!
This is the latest update from Dr Sharpe:
“I’m trying to find someone to help me in the morning (my crew has left the island already). It is too late to try to go out today.”
This is the link to the Two Harbours camera:
Thank you to Explore.org for their streaming cam and to all the staff and Dr Sharpe and the chat mods who have had to keep all of us calm this afternoon. Send your most positive wishes to this wee one. I am so grateful that cliff ledge caught it!
Dr Sharpe and a banding helper ascended, once again, to the top of the cliff where Thunder and Akecheta have their nest. The trio were banded today.
The banding took place at 13:10. You can still catch it on rewind. There are two bands. A metal federal band and an orange band. If the orange band is on the right leg it is a male. If the orange band is on the left leg it is a female. We will have to wait for the eaglets to show us their bling to know!
Can you see Akecheta on the top of the cliff at the back left? He is keeping guard.
Akecheta is making good and sure the humans are gone before he returns all the while keeping watch on the eaglets and the fishing boat going by.
There is one female and two males. The female is at the centre back with the males on either side.
Today, as we celebrate the survival of these three eagles, there is a back story to how Bald Eagles were restored to the Channel Islands.
This 13 minute video discusses DDT, DDE, and how – through lots of hard work – Bald Eagles like Thunder and Akecheta now breed on the Channel Islands. It is an awesome story.
Here is a map of the current eagle nests on the Channel Islands. I bet you watch many of the ones that have streaming cams!
Thank you to Explore.org for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.