Late Wednesday in Bird World

11 May 2022

It is really sad when a ‘bird Mum’ seems to consistently favour one healthy chick over another especially when the eldest has already killed the third hatch. Today, at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, this preference for the dominant one over a healthy chick crying for food was so evident despite Middle making every effort to get around to the beak to eat even after being intimidated. Yes, Middle held back for his own survival. But it is ever so sad. He is a big healthy osplet! A fish came in at 18:24. Big did the dominance stance and Middle pulled back. By the time Middle got around on the rim to Mum’s beak, she had already given Big part of the tail. Big ate the entire fish! At 18:37 Mum find a few little scraps on a bone and gives it to Middle. At 18:38 Middle takes the bone to self feed trying to find any meat no matter how dry to eat. Middle has not had much food today but he has had some. Yesterday he ate well so we are still good.

Middle will be a survivor if he does not fall off or get shoved from the nest – he reminds me so much of Tiny Tot Tumbles at Achieva last year. She dug around in the nest eating very old, very dry leather hard pieces of fish. They kept her alive. She was self-feeding proficiently before the two older siblings. TTT became the dominant bird on the nest and if any of those three chicks were to survive their first year, my money would be on her. In fact, this winter Tiny Tot Tumbles was photographed at least once on the Achieva nest so she is still alive. That is wonderful and it will be the same for Middle. I just wish these osplets were banded.

It is worth noting that Big already had a ‘big’ crop before the last feeding of the day ever took place! There she is in the middle of the nest standing proudly with all the commotion going on around her. Middle is trying to get to the fish.

Sadly, all Big has to do is raise her head and walk towards Middle and he cowers. This behaviour was noted to have changed over the weekend by ‘R’. Prior to Friday, Middle had been getting up to the fish faster and, therefore, getting more food. The assumption is that food was scarce over the weekend when there was a big storm and the camera kept cutting in and out. It is also believed that Big took this out on Middle.

Middle is watching Big and trying to move up to get some food. If Mum would just turn herself 45 degrees both chicks could eat. It is very frustrating.

Mum found a few bites for Middle. Just think. Big ate an entire fish and Middle got a few bites.

Middle is continuing to chew on the fish bone to try and find some food.

Is there enough food coming on the nest for Mum and the two chicks? There was yesterday and with Big having a crop before she ate this entire last fish today, I would say yes. Certainly 50% of the fish could have gone to Big with 25% each to Mum and Middle and everyone would have been fine. It is not a case of everyone starving. It is sad.

This female is not the only one that has favoured one chick over another. I am certain that you can think of several instances if you have been watching streaming bird cams for awhile. One thing I have noticed – at least in Bald Eagles – is that the Dad will often step in and feed the ‘left out’ sibling. I know it sounds crazy but some of those males that are now Dads would have had big sisters who demanded and took everything. Do the males remember?

The two eyases at the CalFalcons scrape do not have the problems Middle has at UFlorida. Alden caught a pigeon today and I am absolutely certain Annie was delighted. Everyone can fill up and there will be leftovers in the pantry.

Precious.

Look at those two. Talk about a different atmosphere in a nest! I will take a falcon any day.

Bursting little crops. These two will cuddle up under Annie and sleep well.

Cal Falcons put this feeding into a short video clip.

So happy to see the promotion of the Peregrine Falcons and their chicks on The Campanile. Anything that will bring awareness to the raptors so that we can help make their lives a little better is welcome – and one way is to educate people.

It is so far, so good at the Manton Bay nest. Both chicks have eaten and it appears that the third chick is hatching. It will be a relief for Mum to be only brooding instead of brooding and incubating. I really hope that chick is doing just fine in the morning – the one that was exposed. It looks good so fingers crossed.

Ferris Akel has a pair of Red-tail Hawks near to where he lives and today he has discovered that Betty and Barney have three chicks!

Two Habours 1 is doing just fine. She looks out on that gorgeous cobalt coloured water that surrounds her nest in the Channel Islands.

The winds are really gusting at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta not far from Chase and Cholyn’s nest at Two Harbours. Let us all hope that the eaglets do not want to stand up and get near that ledge. Hunker down.

There are big storms about and it is very, very gusty at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and E1 Harriet, too.

Harriet has brought in a really nice fish. You can see it in the image above. She is trying to stand in the violent wind gusts and feed Harriet. Sweet. These two are doing well under the circumstances.

We have another storm coming that is predicted to drop 40 mm of rain in a short period of time tomorrow. I wonder if this same system will hit the MN-DNR nest?

Those same winds are blowing at the Osprey platform at the Arboretum on the grounds of the University of Minnesota. The couple have one egg so far. Last year they fledged one chick.

Here is the link to their streaming cam:

The prey that is brought to the urban nests versus those in rural areas can be very different. In New York City, the Red-tail Hawks seem to live on pigeons and rats. Today a rat was delivered to the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco. It makes me nervous. I am very much against the use of rodenticide and when the rodents are slow and easy catches they are often poisoned. The hawks thus die of secondary poisoning. It is tragic and unnecessary!

Fingers Crossed!

All White-bellied Sea Eagle fans should be checking in on the nest around the beginning to mid-June. Lady and Dad have been making nestorations and mating.

Of course, we will also be gearing up for the CBD Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne (late August or September for the cam to return), Xavier and Diamond at their scrape in Orange, and of course, the Ospreys at Port Lincoln. It is mid-May now. Time is passing.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Hopefully we will wake up to three healthy chicks at the Manton Bay platform tomorrow and several more fish for UFlorida-Gainesville! Tomorrow is pip watch for Richmond and Rosie. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, Cal Falcons, Presidio RTH, Ferris Akel, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey Cam, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, and LRWT Manton Bay.

Late Monday and early Tuesday in Bird World

Let’s have some fun first thing!

Ah, you can really enjoy a birder’s sense of humour and their love of music with this video of some Red-winged Blackbirds taken by Ferris Akel:

There is super news coming out of Cal Falcons. Annie and Grinnell’s 2020 fledgling Sequoia has a mate! This is just wonderful news. Here is the announcement.

So how far is San Jose from the scrape box in San Francisco? How far did Sequoia travel in her dispersal?

The wonders of banding birds can give us this kind of information.

This is really good news. Did I say that twice? or three times? The population of Peregrine Falcons in the Bay area is returning.

The Dale Hollow Eagle nest looks like it needs more straw! Reminds me of the wet and muddy nest of the storks at Mlade Buky in The Czech Republic. Obey has delivered lots of fish and he stepped in and helped River with the trio.

The little one at Duke Farms got a really good feeding and both of the chicks had a nice crop. Hoping that this wee chick gets much stronger and does well. This nest fledged two last year.

There is plenty of time for more feedings at Big Bear (it is 15:00) but, already, Jackie and Shadow have fed the little chick 9 times. Ten is about normal for this age – 4 days old. They eat such a little amount. Jackie can continue to increase the size of the fish flakes and the length of the feedings. Next week, we should be seeing fewer but longer feedings as the chick grows.

Shadow came in before bedtime and seems to have brought one of his famous sticks and placed it very near the little one to the left. Shadow is certainly thinking about crib rails!

Some images from Tuesday morning at Big Bear. The wee chick has already been fed at 05;35 06;35, and 07:29 – all by Jackie. Shadow has been in and out. A Red-tail hawk has been buzzing around the nest keeping everyone alert.

Jackie and Shadow and their ‘miracle’ baby are making all the papers and televisions stations it seems.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-03-07/big-bear-bald-eagles-jackie-shadow-welcome-new-eaglet?fbclid=IwAR3pnk8Hdd9S6PpBVDv4LLM1nnP3IRkIYKZdANjWxAt_Ndme1_pM-ZCuot4

I know that the storks are beginning their migration northward to their spring and summer breeding grounds just like the Ospreys are doing. You can see the route that the birds migrated to Africa in the late summer of 2021 below. It goes through Belarus and the birds stop over at various places in the Ukraine including spending much time on the Black Sea. Somehow I thought if I willed them to take a more westerly route they would but, of course, that is simply being nonsensical. Karl II is on his way home and this is what he will be facing.

The map below shows Karl II’s routing in royal blue that he took in the early fall of 2021 get to The Sudan.

The top map shows the different nature reserves that the storks rest and feed at clearer than the second image which shows Karl II and Pikne’s routes for migration south in 2021.

Karl II spent much time on the Black Sea resting and eating. This is currently a war zone.

The last update was on 4 March. It is believed that Karl II is in a desert area north of Sudan and is out of GPS range.

Karl II is a Black Stork whose nest is in the Karula National Park in Estonia. He is equipped with a satellite tracking GPS and is ringed. His number is 715R. His mate is unringed Kati. Last year they fledged three storklets. The oldest was the male Udu, the middle was the female Pikne, and the baby boy was Tuul. Both Udu and Pikne migrated successfully. Sadly, Tuul was lost.

If you want to follow this fabulous and much loved Black Stork, please go to the Looduskalendar Forum that is following his migration home. There are also good discussions and images of the terrain where the birds are staying. Here is the link:

There were heavy rains at the nest of Gabby and Samson near Jacksonville. Gabby did the best she could to keep Jasper and NE27 from getting too wet.

Gabby flew off later and Jasper and NE27 are preening. Looks like the weather is improving. Poor wet babies.

These two are growing and walking and self-feeding, well E27 is doing a great job. Jasper is still in kindergarten stage. Gorgeous eaglets. Samson and Gabby make beautiful babies.

Both Harriet and M15’s eaglets have branched. E19 is 10 weeks and 1 day old and E20 is 10 weeks old today putting them right at the beginning of the fledge range. Will they fledge today? Probably not. Hopefully they will wait for another week or more developing their branching skills.

Do you follow the West End eagles on Catalina Island? There is a pip in the first of the three eggs!

Here is the link to the cam:

Things are really beginning to pick up! In the UK the first official sighting of an Osprey returning from winter migration was today. The fish eagle was flying over the Loch of Clunie in the south of Scotland in Perth & Kinross. They are coming home!

Little and Middle Bob have learned to steer clear of Big Bob. This morning they let him eat, then they started eating and he got a second wind. Probably 90% of the fish went into Big. I would hope that Andy will get another fish on deck so that the two others can eat if Big finally passes out in food coma. In the image below, Big is getting his second wind and Little and Middle have moved away and not challenged for food.

At 11:25 Big passed out and the other two rushed up to get more fish! Oh, thank goodness! It is hot and these two need food. Big has dominated the nest since the weekend making life miserable for the other two.

Lena is working hard to find some meat on the skin of the fish that is left. Little Bob is hungry and still does not have a crop.

That is the quick summary of the early morning nest review. I hope that you have a wonderful day. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, Captiva Osprey Nest and Window on Wildlife, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, Friends of Big Bear, the Looduskalender Forum, Google Maps, and Ferris Akel Tours.

Friday Night fun with Ferris and the Ks

I did not expect Ferris Akel to be over on the Cornell Campus tonight finding Big Red and Arthur and showing us what the Ks were doing but, he was there and I am terribly grateful. I want to share some of the images from this evening so you have an idea what our favourite Red Tail Hawk family was doing today 2 July 2021.

The event began a little earlier with Arthur dropping off a chipmunk on the nest at 17:47:08.

Here comes Arthur with that tasty little snack.

Arthur is looking around to see if any of the Ks saw him with the chippie and will follow him to the nest tower.

Time to get out of the way because here comes K1! And she is obviously hungry.

This gives you a really good view to K1’s gorgeous tail. Doesn’t it look like white scallops on each feather? I can count nine dark stripes. No wonder she is such a good flier.

At some point K3 comes over to the nest tower and finishes up the chippie that K1 had left. And then they are both off on their adventures.

One of the things I love to watch are the hawklets playing soccer with the pinecones. It is really good training for gripping their talons and holding on to prey. K1 found something that she was gripping and tossing – turns out it was a piece of asphalt. Yuck!

K1 had such a fun time playing. She is certainly good at entertaining herself.

When she finished playing, she flew and landed in one of her favourite trees.

Ferris had been able to locate everyone except K3. Ferris decided to check behind the Rice Building and then he heard Robins alarming. There sitting quietly in the pine was K3.

K3 remains in the pine trees provoking the Robins and K1 flies to the nest tower. Here is she is below. Maybe K1 will stay there as it is actually getting quite late.

Big Red, on the right, and Arthur, on the left, are clearly ready to call it a day. Good Night everyone!

Thank you for joining me. It is always wonderful to watch what Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks are doing. It is magic how fast they learn and grow!

Thank you to Ferris Akel for his love of the birds, his knowledge, and generously sharing his time with us. If you would like to follow the Ks or go on other Ferris Akel tours, everything is free. Just go to YouTube, do a search for Ferris Akel Tours and subscribe. Hit the bell for announcements. You will get an alert to when Ferris is livestreaming. Ferris will be on the Cornell Campus tomorrow. His tour normally starts at noon on Saturday, Eastern Time.

I have had several letters asking me about why certain nests get help from the wildlife rehabbers and others do not. I hope to have a complete answer formulated for my Sunday blog. It is a very complicated question that deserves a very considered answer.