Harriet and M15 have 2 eggs!

Harriet and M15 are the resident Bald Eagles on the D Pritchett Farm in Fort Myers, Florida. The couple are blessed with a gorgeous nest tree, a pond to fish and bathe if they wish – or play -and a family dedicated to their well-being. Last year, we worried over the eye infection of E17 and E18 who went into care at CROW. The little ones returned well and happy. No one will ever forget them being fed with their little towel donuts or E17 getting ‘time out’ for being too aggressive.

Harriet and M15 are very experienced parents. They shared the feeding duties often to make sure that each of those eaglets was fed. In the end, E17 and E18 were the best of pals. Many dreamed that they would fly off together finding a territory where they could remain close. That is, of course, some whimsical thinking but, it would have been lovely.

Of course, w would all like to know how their destiny played out and it is sad that the two are not banded. I am so very curious about the dispersal area from this nest!

Harriet and M15 with the two wee eaglets. 28 January 2021
E17 and E18 at CROW for care for eye infection.
The two became best buddies.
Look at these two gorgeous fledglings!

Around 17:10 Harriet was on the nest. Her tail was going up and down in the characteristic movements of laying an egg.

It has been confirmed that the second egg came at 17:10. It was seen on the 360 degree camera. The average number of days from laying to hatch is 35. That could mean that the first egg could hatch on 25 December followed by the second on 28 December. I actually hope they are closer than that! But, hey, healthy eaglets are what we want.

There are still no eggs at Northeast Florida with Samson and Gabby, no eggs for Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear, and no eggs yet at Captiva. There are other nests that already have two and that includes Hilton Head in SC.

Congratulations to M15 and Harriet, to the D Pritchett Family and all those who love this wonderful Bald Eagle family. You can join the fun by watching one of three streaming cams. Here is the link to one of those:

Thank you so much for joining me on this update. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett family for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to the SW Florida FB page where I obtained the images of E17 and E18 in care at CROW.

Bald Eagle Season is approaching

As Bald Eagle season quickly approaches, I am reminded that everyone has a few favourite eagle nests. Some like to cheer Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear while others like Harriet and M15 at the Southwest Florida nest or Samson and Gabby at the Northeast Florida nest. Others love Mr and Mrs North at the Decorah Eagles, the Pittsburg-Hayes or the new couple, Anna and Louis, who had the first eagle fledge from a nest in Kisatchie National Forest since 2013, last year. I could list so many because there are so many streaming cams on Bald Eagle nests in the United States. It is their National Bird and there is a lot of patriotism surrounding some of the nests! Some individuals do not like to watch birds eating birds and mammals but, did you know that the diet of the Alaskan Bald Eagles is almost exclusively salmon? the same will apply to many of the Bald Eagles out in British Columbia. Bald Eagles eat what is in front of them; they are opportunists. So the diet will vary regionally. Sadly, they also eat carrion, dead animals, many of which are on the highways and the eagles get hurt or killed flying down to get the food or the remains left from hunters full of lead shot.

I caught up with a few of the Bald Eagle couples recently. Anna and Louis have returned to the nest they used in the Kisatchie National Forest. Cody and Steve have really worked on the camera situation and there is now sound, too. You have a broken screen showing the landscape and then another view looking directly down into the nest. Cody and Steve are part of the forestry staff. They also ‘man’ the chat. I am terribly grateful for their active involvement in the nest. They have worked hard to make it a fabulous viewing and learning experience for all of us. It was a real joy to watch the first time parents figure out how to parent a growing eaglet last year!

Samson and Gabby have been working on their nest for quite some time. It is comforting to wake up in the mornings and see them roosting on the branch together.

I use that word ‘comforting’ because at any moment something could happen to one or both of the adults. That is certainly the history of Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliet, who raised their young in this nest. So for both of them to show up every morning and every evening is simply – well, it takes a lot of weight off the mind. Of course, the same applies to all birds on all nests.

Here is a very short slide show that someone posted showing various stages of Legacy’s development last year. Legacy was such a sweetheart. Samson and Gabby did not hold back on the teaching. They had to be parents and siblings, too, so that Legacy would learn how to live in the world beyond the nest.

You may also remember all of the worries over Legacy’s survival when she got Avian Pox. It was a mild case and she not only survived but, also thrived. Legacy became a gorgeous strong fledgling.

Harriet and M15 are getting ready for another season. Harriet has been bringing in monstrous size sticks (someone referred to them as logs) to the nest in Fort Myers. I am so excited.

E17 and E18 were riots last year. I originally thought 17 was going to kill 18. You might recall they were sent to CROW for their eye infection and 17 had ‘time out’. I think the two of them in care for those five days melted everyone’s hearts. Harriet and M15 are old hands at raising chicks and when the pair got into too much bonking, both parents stepped in and fed one or the other. By the time the pair fledged, they were inseparable, best buddies.

Lady Hawk catches one of their first ‘rock’em sock’ems’.

Here they are as fledglings battling over a prey drop. There was not a dry eye in the house when these two finally flew away to find their own territory.

Harriet and M15 have been at the nest since September working on it for another year. What a beautiful couple!

If you have been watching the territorial battles going on at the Captiva Nest on Santibel Island in Florida, word has come that the former male adult, Joe, has reclaimed his nest. I cannot confirm this as none of the eagles have leg bands. That is what someone posted on the Bald Eagle 101 FB page.

I will have lots more Bald Eagle news in the days to come. There are also other birds beginning to get their nests ready for breeding season. Jack and Diane have been at the Captiva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida and the Royal Albatross are arriving at Taiaroa Head, NZ. There are now 80 adults there. One of the founders of the colony was Grandma and this is a lovely video on the importance of her to the present and future of the colony.

https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/grandma-1990/credits?fbclid=IwAR2AwcNqLyVQ_lqyb2wxAYmfoU0Ohzg3aXVHWLF3AvrHpl2D4TFZJkhxfgA

A quick check on the Australian falcon nests show that all are doing fine. The Collins Street Four run up and down the gutter. As a result their legs are getting really strong. Diamond continues to get Yurruga to stretch for food so that she will strengthen her neck. At the 12:23:40 fish drop on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, Little Bob didn’t think he wanted any food at first. Then he changed his mind and went barreling in between Middle and Big so he could get to Mum’s beak. Neither of them blinked. This nest is so civil! Ringing will take place sometime during the first week of November and one or all three will be fitted with a GPS satellite tracker. (I was told all three awhile ago).

For those who want to see the Season of the Osprey, this is a reminder that it is showing in the US tomorrow. Please check your local stations for the correct time in your region.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Have a great day wherever you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, SWFlorida and the Pritchett family, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

White-Bellied Sea Eagles have an Empty Nest

It was not the way the morning should have started. When we think of fledging, most of the time we recall juveniles reaching a certain age and flying out from the nest on their own. Sometimes it does not go to plan. Many are actually forced out by intruders. We will never know, for example, what larger bird of prey forced Malin (the Osplet at Collins Marsh) to fledge causing its death. Other times the birds fludge like Izzi last year when he went to sleep on the ledge and fell out of the scrape box. Izzi was lucky. He had a guardian angel to get him back to safety. Malin did not.

Today, WBSE 27 and 28 got up and 28 seems to have snagged the morning breakfast delivery. I don’t know what it is with eating and early morning air but young raptors seem to become energized. That is precisely what happened to 28, the youngest. It started flapping its wings and jumping around the nest. Meanwhile, 27 was minding its own business on one of the parent branches. 28 decided to fly up to where 27 was. It was at that moment that I remembered Big and Little at Duke Farms last season. Both were on the branch and one of the birds wanted on the other side and they both fludged. Theirs was a happy ending but that wasn’t know for a few days. Both made their way back to the nest to be fed by the parents for some time. That is the way it is supposed to happen. Well, it is unclear about WBSE 28. He fell off the nest.

Here is a sequence of still images showing the build up to the fludge. In the first one, 27 is on the branch and 28 is still eating.

28 begins to flap and jump.

Look at those beautiful wings.

27 flies up to the branch.

At 07:22:02 WBSE 28 almost took both of the birds off the nest. He fell to the left. You can see his wings. WBSE 28 composes itself on the branch.

Meanwhile the cam operator searches the ground for WBSE 28.

Almost immediately the Pied Currawong begin their relentless attack on WBSE 27.

There were three Pied Currawong taking turns at WBSE 27. You see it is in their best interests to keep these sea eaglets out of the forest despite the fact that I have never seen a WBSE eat a Pied Currawong. They certainly might want to start doing that. This is not the first time these birds have rushed a sea eaglet to fledgling and flying out of the forest never to return. They did the same thing last year.

27 does well honking and spreading its wings in a defensive manner. It had to be frightened.

At one point 27 flew at the Currawong.

WBSE 27 off the nest at 8:33:56.

One of the Sydney Sea Eagle chatters caught WBSE 27’s fledge and made a video clip of it. 27 flew to the branch by the camera tree. You can see it in the clip. It was a beautiful first flight. You can also see 27 flying out of the forest to the left.

There are many types of fledges and the anxiousness of WBSE 27 being harassed by the Pied Currawongs – well, you can decide if he flew off the nest because he was frightened or not.

Many believe that when the nestlings fledge, it is a successful season and life goes on. I always wonder what happens to these fledglings. It pulls at my heart and mind to have the Currawong run them out of the forest.

When raptors fledge, many take short flights from the nest returning for up to a month to be fed by their parents until they are just strong enough to fly off on their own. One of the best examples of success in this way were E17 and E18, the two Bald Eaglets of Harriet and M15’s at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers this year. There on the Pritchett Property the little eaglets were watched – they played in the pond, flew out and returned. They did this for about a month and then, one morning they were gone. By doing short flights from the nest at their leisure, the eagle fledglings imprinted the map back to the nest in their mind. That is not what has happened at the Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Will the eaglets return to the nest to be fed by Lady and Dad? Will Lady and Dad find them and feed them elsewhere? Is 28 tangled up in a tree in the forest? Will anyone rescue it? Where are the foxes? These are my questions. I hope that there is someone – many someones – actively looking for 28. If I hear anything, I will let you know.

The sea eaglets were right within the fledge range. I expected them to fledge any moment. It is unfortunate that 28 fell out of the tree. I do hope it recovered. No reason to think it would not. We will probably never know what happens to WBSE 27 and 28. Sadly, there is no programme for monitoring and tracking. I wish there were like with the Ospreys at Port Lincoln. It would be very interesting to see if they make it away from the nest and find a beach with carrion and other juveniles and survive and thrive.

UPDATE: Ranger Judy Harrington says that no one will be looking for 28 in the forest. It was heard on camera and they believe the Currawong will let them know where it is.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Take care all.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

From all the little ones…

There are so many bird babies around the world today thankful for their great moms that I thought we would stop in and check on some of them – and take a look back in some cases. I apologize if I didn’t include your favourite.

Thanks Mom Bonnie and Dad Clyde for finding us a beautiful nest tree and then stealing it from those Bald Eagles.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. Tree on the farm near Newton, Kansas that once belonged to the Bald Eagles but captured by Bonnie and Clyde to raise their owlets, Tiger and Lily Rose.

We did well. Look at us! Lily Rose and I fly all over the farm but we love to come back to the nest for you and dad to bring us some food.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. 8 May 2021

You kept us really warm and full with all those mice when it was snowy and cold.

Farmer Derek. February 2021

Thanks Mom. Look at how big we are – #1 Daughter and #2 Son.

MN DNR. Parents are Nancy and Harry. Oldest sibling is a girl, youngest is a male. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom Gabby. I inherited your and Dad Samson’s stunning beauty and also your loud squeal – not sure Dad Samson likes it when I chase him! You and Dad have taken such good care of me.

NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF. February 2021

Thank you for keeping me on the nest and teaching me all those lessons after I got lost!

NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. Legacy with a huge crop. 9 May 202

Mom, it’s Mother’s Day and I really thought I would be a great mom like you are. But there are people looking at the beak line and my eye ratio and the length of my hallux and they are saying I am a boy!

NEFlorida and the AEF Bald Eagle Cam. 9 May 2021

Thanks Dad Jack for coming to help Mom Harriet feed us this morning! And thanks Dad for not bringing in anymore toys so Mom can find us to feed us.

Dalgren Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021. Jack and Harriet are the parents.

Look, Mom Anna. We did it! I grew up – your first baby ever. Thank you for keeping me safe when that other juvenile came to steal my fish the other day.

KNF Streaming Cam. First time parents are Louis and Anna. This is Kisatchie named after the national park where the ancient nest tree is located.

Boy, Dad Louis sure kept that nest full of fish. Good thing we can’t smell very well, right Mom Anna? Do you remember?

KNF Eagle Cam. 8 March 2021

Thanks Mom, Annie. You are always fair when you feed us. Look how big we are growing. And just look at our pretty pantaloons!!!!!!!!!

UC Berkeley Falcon Cam. Annie and Grinnell are the parents on this beautiful nest in the Campanile in San Francisco.

Look how much we have grown! Thanks for taking such good care of us and feeding us all that pigeon.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hatched just in time! Can I have some fish please?

Rutland Water Ospreys. Maya is the mom and Blue 33 (11) is the dad. This is ‘Little Bob’.

Aren’t I gorgeous? Just like my mom Lime Green Lime. My mom travels thousands of kilometres to find food for me. Then she flies back to Taiaroa Head to give me my squid shake. I don’t have a name yet. People are voting and I will know soon. Stay tuned.

Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC. Royal Albatross Cam Chick of the Year, Daughter of LGL and LGK. 7 May 2021
Cornell Lab and NZ DOC. One day I am going to fly like my mom, LGL. April 2021

Yeah, the sun is out and the wind is warm and our mom, Big Red is drying out just like we are. Isn’t she the best? She takes good care of us even if it is snowing or raining and flooding everything. Big Red is the best mom ever.

Cornell Bird Lab. Big Red is the 18 year old mom and Arthur is the 5 year old dad of this years Ks. 9 May 2021

Mom Big Red. You endure any kind of weather to keep your little ones safe!

Cornell Bird Lab. April 2021.

Thanks Mom for yelling at dad to bring in more fish so we both can eat. We are growing really big. And I promise to try not and be so bad to my little brother, Mom.

Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon. The Savannah Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom for staying with me when I get scared. It is lonely in this nest sometimes. You were so great at keeping me warm when it got really cold here in Colorado. But, today, what do you think of the new hair style?

Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain Eagle Cam. This Bald Eagle Cam is located in Colorado. This little one has done well and is just getting its dark thermal down. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom Eve for keeping us warm and being fair with the feeding. We both get fed and we both grow the same! You and dad Eerik keep the nest stocked with food so we never are hungry.

Eagle Club of Estonia. Eve and Eerik are the parents of the two little White-tail Eaglets. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom for not giving up on us when you were buried in snow for a month. We are going to get our satellite trackers soon and you can follow us wherever we go after we fledge! And also Mom, thanks for not letting Big get all the food!

Duke Farms Eagle Cam, Hillsborough, New Jersey. These two are really growing fast and evening out in their size.

Thank you Mama Lucy. It’s just me so far and that is OK. You are a great Mom.

Lake Murray Osprey Cam. Parents are Lucy and Ricky and this is nest number 8 for this pair since 2013. The nest platform is brand new in 2020. What a beautiful place to raise ospreys.

Lucy and Ricky have a beautiful place and a new platform in 2020 to raise their little ones. The couple arrived in the area in 2013. Since then their nests have been destroyed by storms. Hope this wonderful new Osprey platform survives.

Lake Murray NH Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021

Mama Harriet, we had to go away and get our eye infection taken care of by CROW. Mom, I am sorry I had to have time out because I was so bad to my little brother, E18. I promise we will be the best of friends in the future.

Mama Harriet, I kept my promise. E18 and I are the best of mates now that we are growing up.

You did good, Mom. We only fight over food drops now – just like we did when we were at CROW. Sorry!

Tiny Tot: “Thanks Mom Diane for bringing in all that extra fish. It was literally life and death for me. I promise to grow into a great mom. You will be proud of me.”

Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021. #2 sibling on left, Tiny Tot on Right

Thank you for joining me today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Bird Moms and to each of you that has inspired, raised/reared someone or something else. It takes a village!

Thank you to all the streaming cams listed under the images. That is where I captured those screen shots.

This Eagle is a Warrior

In the Bald Eagle world, it has been a stressful day for many. Snow and plunging temperatures in areas that normally are warmer with flowers blooming have caused a lack of prey. Others sitting on nests are facing snow and more snow and some are having freezing winds blow those nests about. So it is nice to have one when something wonderful happens and it warms your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. And that spark of ‘hope’ comes from A Place for Hope.

Many of you will recognize this Bald Eagle from an earlier posting but for those who don’t know I will briefly explain why this is such a miracle. This eagle was seen last October with a very injured beak. The eagle was in flight and could not be captured so nothing could be done for him at the time. The eagle made the local news because of its injured beak. So when he was found near dead and hardly able to move in a ditch last week, the person who found him knew that it was the eagle with the injury in October. He was taken to A Place for Hope. They determined that he had an extreme case of lead toxicity. They fed him and gave him fluids and after 24 hours this eagle still wanted to live. He was started on Chelation Therapy. In Chelation Therapy, EDTA is given to the eagle through an IV. The wildlife rehabbers said if he had the will to live they would work with him. Well, look at that picture today! Amazing, isn’t it? The lead levels were so very, very high that the wildlife rehabbers honestly did not think he would survive. He is responding and everyone is joyful. And guess what? By taking the x-rays they found that this warrior had also survived a broken leg which probably happened at the same time as the beak injury. This is one tough eagle. Incredible.

Another end of the day happy story. One of the Bald Eagle nests that is not suffering high stress levels due to diminishing prey because of the frigid cold is the SWFL Eagle nest in Fort Myers, home to Harriet and M15 and E17 and E18. Today there were six prey items brought to the nest ranging from a squirrel to a huge rabbit and a pile of fish. It was fabulous to see E18 being fed a huge portion of squirrel after 17 had eaten and fallen asleep. This evening E18 was fed rabbit. It was fed so much rabbit that when he walked the cropped swung and he fell over. It was humorous and heart warming. I never worry about 18 when he goes to bed full and today was a very good day.

In the image below, E17 is asleep with its head on a twig. E18 is behind the bunny and Harriet the mother is getting ready to leave. The darkened spot that makes E18 look like he is nine months pregnant is his crop and it is bursting. Gosh, it was good to see him fed. It was good to see lots of food in the nest, too.

And tomorrow, E17 and E18, the twins, will be 21 days old. Happy three week birthday!

Harriet departing after feeding the Es some rabbit.

And another nest with a big pile of fish on it is NEFL. E24 would not stop wiggling. Look at the size of that fish it is eating now. It is just such a cute fur ball. And E24 loves its fish. Because it is so little Gabby feeds her a multitude of times a day and if she wants some fish, E24 is quick to let mom know. Little cheep, cheeps OR like she did the other day, she crawls right out of the nest bowl. Very strong and healthy! That is the third really good story of the day.

E24 loves its fish.

Unfortunately, it has been noticed that this little eaglet has some eye issues. Its right eye is irritated and its left eye is a little squinty. Because E17 and E18 had to go into the clinic for nearly a week for eye treatments, E24 is being monitored very closely. The update is that the eyes have improved over night and there are no plans for an intervention. This is one feisty little eaglet! You can hear it chirping very loudly when it wants some of that fish! Adorable. And last but not least, Bonnie is still incubating one or more eggs on that Bald Eagle Nest near Kansas City. That owl is not budging. Her mate is protecting her on a branch but he does not incubate the eggs. Yesterday she took only one break. And Bonnie is not giving up any secrets. One egg has been seen but the cup holding the eggs is deeping and there is a guessing game going on as to how many there really are in that nest. This morning her mate brought her a mouse for breakfast.

Below the male lands on the rim of the large Bald Eagle nest around 6:28 am.

He quickly transfers the prey to his mate incubating the eggs and leaves. It was literally a blink and the mouse that you can partially see was gone.

Looking at the temperature in the upper right hand corner indicates that it was actually warmer at dawn than it is currently.

Gosh, it is cold there and they have had some snow. The weather than they are having in Missouri and Kansas, across that whole belt of the United States, is almost unheard of. A friend of mine living in Arkansas says it has never been as cold as it is where she lives and she has been there for more than two decades. And the amount of snow and ice is more than she remembers. Thank goodness for the insulating warmth of those beautiful feathers. Stay warm little owl!

Thank you so much for joining me today. There are so many positive things happening despite the frigid weather that just seems to have hunkered down over Canada and the United States. Last night there was more snow in Victoria British Columbia than here on the Canadian Prairies and, of course, everyone out there is watching the Delta 2 Eagle Nest on Vancouver Island. Will being you news of that later. But for now, stay warm and stay safe wherever you are.

Thank you to Farmer Derek for the streaming camera on his property in Kansas City; to a Place for Hope for the fine work they are doing on that amazing eagle and for providing images on their FB page; to SWFL Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett family thank you and to the AEF and the NEFL cam, thank you for your streaming camera. My screen shots have come from those live feeds.