Tropical Mockingbird, Rita’s update and more…in Bird World

2 December 2022

Good morning everyone from the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada. It is 29 degrees C – a real shock from the snow, ice, and blowing winds of Canada! It has rained – it is the wet season – and all of the trees, the grass, and the flowers are bright and beautiful. The forecast is now giving us so many good days. On Saturday it will be an all day birding trip starting at 0530. I am excited. The island is home to many species but I especially hope to see the Cattle Egrets, the Green Herons, and the Tri-Coloured Heron out in the mangroves as well as the gorgeous parrots, shorebirds, and songbirds of this island. And, of course, the Caribbean Ospreys. Fingers crossed.

Grand Anse Beach is pure white sand. It is one of the longest white sand beaches in the world. Looking to the right of this beach is an area of the island above the Lagoon known as Springs. There is always a mist and it rains a lot. The area has some of the nicest gardens. Even though it is such a small island there is another area near the airport that is completely dry!!!!!

My first bird came into view as the light was leaving us…It s a Tropical Mockingbird. Oh, its song was incredible. Tomorrow I am going to sit right under the tree where several seemed to be perching. They must be very used to the human presence along the beach. Indeed, they will eat human food along with spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, seeds, small fruits and berries, mangoes — there are a lot of mangoes on the island in the spring. There are so many falling on the roads that the cars slide around on those that get slimy from being run over. The Mockingbirds also eat lizards as well as other small bird and lizard eggs. They have been seen consuming seed from bird feeders just like Dyson!

Many of you will have seen and heard the Northern Mockingbirds in North America. This is the Caribbean equivalent. The Tropical Mockingbird lives in open or semi-open areas. In this instance they are living in the trees along a major tourist beach area.

They lack colour but if that is a problem their song certainly makes up for it. They have a black beak and legs, a striking bright ebony eye with a black eye stripe. The top of their head is a medium grey fading into a lovely silvery white which continues along the throat, the breast and underparts of the bird. The wings are a symphony of grey and black with white wing tips. The tail is a dark charcoal verging on black with a white tip and underneath area. You can hear their song here:

‘H’ kindly sent me the most recent announcement about Rita, the mate of Ron, the bonded pair of Bald Eagles from the Miami Zoo. Thanks, ‘H’. Here it is:

 Yesterday, “Rita,” the bald eagle had surgery performed to help repair her severely fractured right wing. The surgery was performed by avian veterinary specialist, Dr. Don Harris, assisted by Zoo Miami Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Marisa Bezjian and the Zoo Miami Animal Health Team. The surgery was successful inserting a metal pin to align and support the fractured bone. However, the prognosis for successful healing is extremely poor due to the lack of circulation in the wing as a result of the devastating trauma. At this time, it is unfortunately unlikely that the wing can be saved and even more unlikely that she will ever fly again. Having said that, we are not giving up hope! She is receiving daily drug therapy, laser treatments and acupuncture along with her wound care and dressing changes. She has already beaten tremendous odds by surviving the trendous trauma from which she would have certainly died from had it not been for the intervention of all of the involved parties. We are all praying that she can provide us with a miracle and continue on a positive path.

Wildlife Rescue of Dade County FB, 1 December 2022

American Eagle Foundation LIVE Nest Cams is reporting on Samson’s absence:

Still no news to report. No sightings of Samson. No visitors to the nest. Gabrielle continues to perch at the nest throughout the day and at night keeping watch.

(c) 2022 American Eagle Foundation eagles.org AEF-NEFL

Gabby waits patiently for dear Samson to return. Continue with your positive wishes.

This story is from several years ago but was posted today on the NEFL-SWFL Bald Eagle FB group. It reminds us, like the time with Bella and Smitty this year, that eagles can be gone for some time and return. This eagle was missing for 3 weeks! I live in hope for our beloved Samson.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/missing-bald-eagle-returns-to-dc-nest-after-a-weeks-long-departure-experts-say/2019/02/27/a06bf238-3acb-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html

My holiday is not just a chance to spend time with my son and his wife, or eating amazing Caribbean food, or find new birds but it is also a time for a battery recharge after all that has happened during the last month.

Like all of you, I need some good news and I know you do, too. Well, here it is coming from Lori Covert in Captiva. You will remember that Captiva and Sentinel, the barrier islands off the coast of Florida, were the hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. The ospreys and bald eagles lost their nests. Well, smile when you read this!

I just checked on Zoe at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Dad brought in a very small fish at 0925. Mum probably didn’t even get a chance to see it. Zoe is very quick when she wants her food!!!!!!!!!

Zoey doing her talon dance.

Dad lands and Zoe has it before Mum even gets there. I do hope that Mum and Dad have some fish to eat at other times. This is worrisome sometimes.

Yesterday there were 2 fish brought in by Mum and 2 brought in by Dad. Zoe even tried her wings. Here is her tracker information for 2 December.

Diamond has been spending time at the scrape box at Orange. This morning she seemed very interested in the stones. My friend ‘A’ has observed that the falcons prefer to eat only the white stones. Do any of you know why this is the case?

We know why the birds eat stones. Here is the standard Goggle answer:

Birds eat stones to form gastroliths that grind against food when they contract their gizzards. The grinding action of gastroliths aid in the digestion of fibrous food in birds. When the gastroliths begin to smoothen over time, birds eat new stones to replace the older ones.

But why do they prefer white ones?

Giving Tuesday has just passed – where donors often match what funds are given. Now…there is December and if you are thinking about ‘giving’ for the holidays, stop and think of your local wildlife rehabber — or a rehabber that you respect for all the hard work they have done this year. We watch our beautiful birds and many times they go into care and we are cheering for them to be taken in and made well and released. So remember the wildlife clinics and give. Our Wildlife Haven listed the costs associated with surgery — think dear Rita! The antibiotics after. These items are extremely expensive. So help if you can!

In Australia ABC news did an article on this very topic.

Thank you so very much for being with me this morning. At the time of publishing this blog, I have no new news on any of the missing birds or Rita. Keep sending all your good energy to our missing birds and to Rita as she continues to fight to fly — I would love to see her be the exception to the rule (ie lack of circulation in the wing). Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: Lori Covert Instagram, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, WRDC, NEFL-AEF and the American Eagle Foundation.

Kittens, Ospreys, falcons… and more…

5 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that each and everyone of you has had a wonderful start to this first weekend in November. Here on the Canadian Prairies we are really saying goodbye to autumn as the days get colder and colder. It is now time to put away any light to medium weight jackets and pull out the scarves, toques, boots, gloves and all other paraphernalia such as snow scrapers and shovels. The forecast is for a 70% chance of snow on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!! Then a further possibility next Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, it is going to rain in between which means icy roads. I dislike winter until we are right in the middle of it and life has settled down to something resembling a hibernating bear with a mug of hot chocolate.

Are there days in your calendar where events coincide? The 5th of November is one of those for me. It is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. Fawkes was part of a Catholic group that tried to burn down Parliament in 1605. It is now better known as Bonfire Night when effigies of Fawkes are burned on bonfires along with the traditional eating of the ‘jacket’ potato. There are many fond memories of the smell of the leaves, the smoke and the fires, the potatoes with all their fillings, and just the camaraderie of friends gathering on a fall evening. 5 November is also the birthday of my late mother-in-law Vi (she was a real sweetheart), the birthday of my late friend Joanne (who died in a fire), and very much the birthday of my BFF here in Winnipeg who is celebrating her birthday today in Dublin. Happy Birthday, ‘S’.

There are many good things in life – ‘good’ friends, ‘close and loving family’, sunshine warming our face, a soaking forest walk, watching birds, warm cookies from the oven, warm bread from the oven, a smile from a stranger, our wonderful feathered friends with their large beaks and huge talons, and our pets, if we are able to share our lives. Many can’t. Of course, that is not an all inclusive list and everyone will have their own and I can add each of you to that list also. A community of empathetic, caring, concerned individuals. I am so lucky.

My Dad loved all animals. He hand fed the Cardinals and Blue Jays in our garden, took in and found homes for all the stray dogs and cats that mysteriously wound up in our yard and tended a gorgeous rose garden…I am so very grateful to him for opening up the beauty of the natural world to me before I could walk. That is where I turn – the birds, the trees, the animals – when life is at what seems its bleakest.

Lewis and Missy really helped me ‘adjust’ (I never get over) the death of Middle. They could not have come into my life at a better time.

Forget factory made toys, roll up a piece of aluminum foil! Everyone will want to play with it.

Missy likes the in floor heating.

It is not always the little brother that starts all the dust ups.

Lewis just loves toys —————- and food! I don’t know where he puts it.

In the News:

Want to understand more about climate change and its impact on the seabirds of the UK, here is an excellent article from the British Trust for Ornithology. The implications could be applied to other areas as well. It is a good read and it will help us to better understand the challenges that seabirds have and will continue to have only multiplied.

https://www.bto.org/our-science/case-studies/understanding-impacts-climate-change-seabirds

It seems that we need to be careful with our toques (knit caps) in Canada. An owl might just swoop down and take it right off your head! I wonder if it had a pom-pom? or what colour the toque was? do owls prefer cool or warm colours?

https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2022/11/03/owl-steals-vancouvers-stanley-park/?fbclid=IwAR2S-vCTcbfSzbjIoepLWeaAvHqREQwsQopmxhcl0ZzZzt3cw00OuSNJVfA

This article talks about the prowess of Crows getting carrion off the highway. Want to help them? It wasn’t mentioned but, seriously consider stopping and putting the dead animal off to the side of the road – as far as you are able – to keep the Crows, Eagles, Vultures, etc – birds of prey- from getting killed trying to get food.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/04/country-diary-a-peckish-crow-appears-to-observe-the-green-cross-code

At Port Lincoln, the camera will sometimes find Mum along the opposite shore having a bath but I have never seen one close up. Here is a wonderful opportunity to see an Osprey enjoying a bath close up!

There are so many places to adopt birds. Our local wildlife rehabilitation centre will announce their holiday fundraiser shortly – you can adopt one raptor or the whole lot of them. Many of the nature centres connected with Osprey streaming cams in the UK also have fundraising programmes including adoptions. Many rely on calendar sales for 2023 – lovely images of the raptor families from this year to brighten your day and remind you of their bigger than life personalities. If you are looking for a gift that will have a huge impact and not wind up in a landfill, think about these fundraisers.

I have mentioned the Kakapo Recovery last week and I promise this is the last time…but, they do such a fantastic job monitoring, finding, assessing, and caring for this rare flightless parrot. They have limited adoptions available. Every cent goes to the welfare of the birds! (And I promise I do not get a single cent for mentioning them!)

Here is the announcement from the Kakapo Recovery: In case you missed our announcement last week, adoptions are once again open! If you’re ordering for delivery outside of New Zealand by Christmas you have until Monday the 7th to get these in. Kiwis, you have until the end of the month. Please note that if you log in to PayPal to make the purchase it automatically takes the shipping address from your PayPal account details – if your order is a gift then select ‘pay with card’ in order to be able to enter different shipping details!

https://www.doc.govt.nz/…/get-involved/adopt-a-kakapo/

If you live in the UK, the British Trust for Ornithology has a programme for youth to stimulate learning about birds. They provide binoculars and guidebooks to youth. It is part of their Equipment Donation Scheme. If you live in the UK and have a pair of binoculars to donate, please get in touch with the BTO. You can check out the programme at http://www.bto.org/equipment

If you live elsewhere and are wondering how to help youth get involved with nature and learn to appreciate our feathered friends, why not get in touch with your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or birding groups to see if they would like to start an equipment donation programme for youth. It is a win-win.

Nest News:

Jackie and Shadow, one of the most popular American Bald Eagle couples flew into their nest in Big Bear Valley this morning to find snow. The pair are used to it. Indeed, they could be lucky. Raptors do better in cooler weather! They are working on their nest. You might remember that they fledged Spirit last year – she stole our heart! And theirs. A successful hatch following several years of no chicks. Let us wish them the best of luck again this breeding season.

It is so good to see you, Jackie and Shadow!

Dad came in with a big fish for Mum and Big at Port Lincoln this morning. There wasn’t much time to sit on the nest and get hungry! Look at that time stamp.

I miss Middle. He was like a gentle soul on that nest. But, now, I need to live in the present with the birds, not wishing what could have been. We need to see Big grow and get ready to fledge. Banding and the name giving will take place between the 12th and 14th of November. That is one week away.

It took about 24 minutes for that large fish to be consumed. Wow. I sure hope Mum got enough. She was very careful in the delivery to make sure that she had control of the delivery, not Big. Good for Mum. Once Big starts taking the prey and self- feeding Mum will need fish, too. Wonder if she will just fly out and get them?

Big and Mum saw Dad come in with the fish. He was eating it on the ropes. Everyone had dinner before it was light’s out.

It was a bit of a change this morning at the scrape on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University. It seems that Indigo got a lot of the prey delivery. Goodness. Rubus was a little pouty. Still, they both had plenty. Diamond and Xavier will not let either eyas go hungry.

Rubus decides that if he isn’t going to be fed, he will just eat the prey himself! Remember Rubus has already successfully plucked and eaten a Starling’s head.

Thanks to ‘C’ who sent me this great screen capture of Xavier and Diamond putting on flying demonstrations yesterday. This will be to lure Indigo into joining the fastest raptor on the planet club. There is still fluff and Indigo is about a week behind Collins Street – and the older eyases could fledge there any time! They have their plumage – it is fully developed.

At 131730 Indigo has decided to pull Rubus across the scrape by its toe. Poor thing. You could hear Rubus crying.

A meal came in and all was well. No damage done! It was one of the most pleasant feedings I have seen in a long time at this scrape…equal shares.

When I last checked there were still four eyases living – running, flapping, eating – on the ledge at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Just beautiful beautiful eyases. I wonder when we will have our first fledge? It will be soon!

I had to watch and wait for all four heads.

Sometimes we get a tip of a wing showing and we know someone is still home.

There was some confusion surrounding a falcon that flew off the ledge at 0956. It was Mum, not one of the eyases fledging.

There goes Mum. There are 2 eyases in the scrape, one in the gutter, and another on the ledge. It will not be long but it did not happen at 0956. And it is an easy thing to assume until you begin to count bodies. We are all on pins and needles waiting for the first fledge – and it could happen while I sleep tonight!

All four were still present at 1730. Mum and Dad have done a fantastic job raising four healthy – very healthy eyases – for the first time. Just look at the place – what a mess.

Migration News:

There has been no news from either Kaia or Karl II for some time. They had each arrived in Africa and it is assumed that they are in their winter grounds without satellite service. This happens every year. We lose contact until the spring. As always, extremely grateful to the wonderful folks at Looduskalender that report on the transmissions and create the maps and landscape views. It is terrific.

Waba is now in Sudan. He is still feeding along the Nile River – just in Sudan now and not in Egypt.

Bonus is near Baskaraoren in the Turkish Province of Konya. He seems to have found good feeding spots.

Thank you so very much for being with me. It is always a pleasure to have you here. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: British Trust for Ornithology, The Guardian, Sprotborough Flash, Kakapo Recovery, FOBBV, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender Forum.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

4 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is late Monday evening in Canada, and it is 14 degrees C. as I begin thinking about Tuesday’s blog. The difference in time between Canada and Australia means that I am going to bed when all of the action starts. I am very grateful to those readers who send me time stamps and information about the nests in case I missed it! So thank you.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful fall day. I would love to send a break in the rain to the Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln so they could get those three osplets fed. Part of the big fish was returned to the nest after Dad removed it. ‘A’ reports that Middle appears to be the only one to have had anything to eat; the other two desperately wanted to stay warm and dry. Melbourne will be getting the rain tomorrow and it looks as if it could continue at Port Lincoln for most of the week Xavier and Diamond’s wee eyas will be quite dry in the covered scrape at Orange. Eyes are on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park as it gets towards midnight in Canada. Will 30 fly while I am sleeping?


What does a Possum Merino beanie have to do with birds?

Well, it turns out that the beanie is sold at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand to fund the activities taking place on the headland. When you begin to think of donations or purchases, do keep the Royal Albatross in mind! Of course, like all the centres, they have more items for sale than beanies. That said, this beanie is the softest one I own and it is going to keep my head snug and warm when I am out birding in the winter here in Canada.

Everyone continues to be worried about Lena and Andy, their new platform and camera and, Lori Covert’s property. This is the latest announcement from Window to Wildlife with a satellite image of the nest on the left after Hurricane Ian and on the right, before the hurricane hit.

Wales is planning to increase areas of peatland to help biodiversity and to save species. After sitting in the grass near one of my city’s ponds this morning watching a Greater Yellowlegs, it is reassuring that countries are working hard to bring back conditions so that lovely shorebirds have a chance at survival.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/03/wales-unveils-plans-to-triple-rate-of-peatland-restoration

There is more news about the cost of Avian Flu to birds around the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/03/europe-and-uk-hit-by-unprecedented-number-of-bird-flu-cases-this-summer

There was a really informative programme (short) on the monitoring of the goshawks in Scotland. You can read about it or watch it if you have the BBC Player app.

Nest News:

The osplets were cold when Dad came with a fish at 16:23. Look at Little Bob all curled up. I so feel for the chicks when the weather is wet and miserble. They cannot yet regulate their temperature til they get all of that thermal down covering them from tip to talon.

If you are having trouble finding Little Bob, all of his soft down on the head is gone and he now looks like he dipped it into oil over the afternoon! I am so grateful that these three behave themselves when it is feeding time. This is a big, big help. Often the older ones do not allow the younger to eat at all until they are finished. Not the case here. Fantastic.

‘A’ tells me that Mum looked around for scraps for Little Bob after this feeding. He was still fish calling.

At Port Lincoln Dad came to the nest with a small much-needed fish at 19:14. It will be good for them to have fish in their tummies overnight. Gosh, those osplets lined up nicely but, each anxious for some fish. It looks like Little Bob certainly did get his share and did not get shut out by the big ones.

They all had nice little crops at the end of the feeding. Mum got right back on top of all of them – a great way to stop any dust ups and also it is cold and windy. These three need to stay super dry and warm.

So thankful Mum and the kids had some fish before bed. Mum had been screaming at Dad to get a fish on the nest. This one was not large but the osplets got fed. They would have liked more. It will be a long night and Mum is as hungry as the chicks. In fact, she is probably hungrier. Rain will start at 1100 on the 5th in Orange so hopefully, Dad will bring in a couple of nice big fish before then so that the family is stuffed to the gills as the rain drops fall later in the day.

It is, of course, the opposite problem at Orange right now but, they do not have any rain. Only Bob is enjoying the life of a single chick, nicely spoiled with plenty of food and no one to share it with but, Diamond. You might have noticed that Diamond does eat her share! Two extremely devoted parents sharing the life of their only chick. It is beautiful.

It does not appear that that either of the other two eggs have a pip. How long will Diamond continue to incubate them? Good question. Some will do so for 2-4 weeks. Many of you will remember the Dunrovin Osprey nest this summer where the eggs were incubated almost the entire summer with no hope of hatching. Shadow at Big Bear once incubated eggs for 60 days! They did not hatch. The little one will use the ‘eggies’ to prop on and, sometimes, in the case of the eagle nests anyway, the chicks actually incubate the eggs, too! Spirit did that with ‘eggie’ at Big Bear this year and Legacy at Northeast Florida became so attached to ‘eggie’ that people thought she would need a backpack so she could take the egg when she fledged. Samson, ultimately hid, it. It will be fun to watch to see what this little one does with those two extra egss.

Just look at the size of that little one!

Upside down roly-poly baby!

Here is a cute video with a good look at Xavier and Diamond’s chick.

There are reports coming out of Orange that Xavier and Diamond’s stash has been located. Many believed it was in the trees that you can see if you are watching the ledge cam but, it turns out the stash is on top of the tower. My goodness! Thanks, ‘A’ for that wonderful bit of news.

There is so much food coming to the 367 Collins Street scrape. This Dad keeps that pantry – at the opposite end of the ledge we think – full of nicely prepared pigeons. The four eyases are fed regularly and are growing like bad weeds. I so wish the camera was a little closer so you could see the change in their feathering. At least one of them is beginning to look like ‘bug eyed and thin necked’ as its plumage begins to change. There is nothing stopping this Dad from taking part in the lives of the eyases either. He has perfected feeding them but, because of his smaller size, still has some trouble getting them all under him for brooding.

The feedings at Collins Street generally last a full half hour. The top image is Mum brooding the eyases.

Mum has gone for a break and Dad is doing the feeding. He watched and learned.

Each eyas had a nice hard little crop after the long feeding.

Dad tries to brood them. Here comes Mum after she had a nice tea time and a bit of a rest.

Bye, Dad!

Mum feeding them again. They could hardly have been hungry but no one is going to go without on this nest. This couple have created perfect handovers and feedings. Just imagine how worried we were a fortnight ago? We can put that all aside now!

To my knowledge, SE30 still has not fledged. SE29 takes small flights and, so far, has been returning to the nest. I had been worried that SE29 was getting all of the fish deliveries as rewards for returning to the nest but, SE30 managed to get its talons on a delivery from Lady in the middle of the afternoon yesterday. SE29 flew in as 30 was trying to unzip the fish. No fights. No skirmishes. Totally civil.

It was really nice to see SE29 get that fish!

SE29 has just arrived on the nest. Look at Lady. She watches everything her eaglets do – she is looking at how well or not SE30 is self-feeding.

At one point, Dad flew in and both Lady and Dad were honking at the Currawongs. Yes, they want to keep them away from the nest and their eaglets. Sometimes I wish that the Sea Eagles actually ate the Pied Currawongs. Maybe then they would not bother this nest so much!

The chicks were more interested in the fish than the Curras.

Lady gave 30 plenty of time with the fish. SE29 did not come and take it over but wanted some fish and Lady has decided to feed both of them. I wonder how much longer she will get to enjoy her babies???

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Everyone in Australia is sound asleep. Now the weather app has rain starting at Port Lincoln at 1000. It is going to rain all day at the Sea Eagles nest and it will start raining at 0900 in Melbourne. Horrid days for keeping warm and dry and — for staying in the nest and not flying. Diamond and chick will be fine. They are nicely covered! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts that make up my screen captures: Royal Albatross FB Group NZ, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

An ‘Almost’ Fledge and more nest news in Bird World

6 June 2022

Oh, what a day it has been. Pretty exciting stuff happening on the nests. I was just told by my friend ‘G’ that a hatch is happening at Cape May Osprey nest. If you follow that nest, check it out!

First news first. Ahote returned to the natal nest of the West End Eagles, Thunder and Akecheta at 06:54:08 this morning. Whew! He spent 4 days over on Transmission Hill. It is sure nice to see the Three Amigos back together.

Thunder and Akecheta have not delivered food. One of the eaglets has flown off the main nest. It is not clear which male it was. Kana’kini is on the branch on the ocean side. It is thought to be Ahote but no confirmation.

Ahote is back on the nest. So controlled. Oh, I hope those parents get some food on this nest. He needs a big reward for all that effort.

As many of you are aware, Urmas Sellis undertook the rescue of Jan and Janika’s storklets. He originally placed a fish basket for Janika in the hopes that she would find it and be able to feed herself and the four storklets. He also put a pail of small fishes on the nest. Janika did not find the fish table. Two days later, Urmas returned to take the storklets after cold nights without warmth, etc. Sadly, the fourth one died right before the rescue. The three surviving chicks are in incubators. There is a fundraiser. Here is the information if you feel so inclined to contribute.

Fledges are going to overlap one another once they start. At the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, the average age to fledge is 46.5 days. Today L1 is 46 days, L2 is 43, L3 is 42 and L4 is 39 days old. It is believed that to fly well, the hawklets need to have at least 5 dark bands showing. L1 has her 6th band peeking out. L2 has the 5th band peeking out while L3 has 4 dark bands and L4 has 3.

Big Red brought in some unidentified prey and some wanted to eat while others wanted to run and flap. It was rather chaotic!!!!!

The hawklets are pretty sedentary on the nest – even with all the flapping. After fledging, during the first 3 weeks, their activity level is believed to double. After 6-7 weeks, they will begin to catch small vertebrae. The parents will continue to feed them (more at first) and teach them hunting tricks until they leave the territory.

To my knowledge, Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF has not had prey yet today.

At the UFlorida-Gainesville nest, Middle almost fledged today. He would have if a storm had not quickly rolled in with high winds, rain, and some hail. Have a look at a couple of clips of Middle’s hovering. He is impressive!

At least twice today, Middle got the fish and Big did not! His confidence level is growing and growing.

Even soaking wet, Middle just doesn’t want to give up. Expect a fledge anytime!!!!!!! Nothing is going to stop him.

Middle is full of vinegar. Is this osplet going to fledge soaking wet?

How lovely it is going to be when Middle flies off with confidence. There was a time when it was not clear if we would get to this day. Middle has grown into a fantastic, getting more confident, healthy bird. Am I saying it twice? how nice the feathers are on these two? Mum and Dad can be proud. We lost Little Bit but will have two super fledglings when Middle takes off. I hope he finds his way back to the nest as easily as Big. OGK and YRK have been a bonded pair since 2006 – 16 years.

If you watch the Royal Albatross cam, today marks the 21st day that OGK has been away. Let us hope he returns to QT chick soon. Mum YRK is doing double duty at the nest and the NZ DOC rangers on Taiaroa Head are providing supplementary feedings for several chicks.

D

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Institute for Wildlife Studies and Explore.org, the Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

This is a view of the storm that hit the other day. Today it is partly sunny but, there is another storm on its way. Winter continues for many of us!

Big Red and Arthur have snow. It seems every year Big Red will get encrusted in snow and ice and we sit and worry. She is used to the cold snowy wet weather living on the Cornell campus all her life (or nearby at Brooktondale where she hatched). Pip watch is the end of the week!

The Kakapo Recovery posted an announcement about their t-shirt fundraiser. That is incredibly wonderful – $27,000 is a wonderful amount for selling t-shirts. Well done. Waiting for ours to arrive!

This group and everyone associated with it does an amazing job trying to keep this critically endangered non-flying parrot alive. From changing transmitters, doing wellness checks, or ensuring birds that need care get off the islands to the Dunedin Vet – it is all fantastic.

And one another announcement that I am posting from FB. A Place Called Hope is one of those wildlife rehabbers like CROW that really goes all out for its patients. This Osprey needs fresh whole fish. Do you live in the area? Can you help? Do you know someone who does and could help? Give them a call!

Yesterday I was asked if I get terrified looking at the three West End eaglets now that one fell off and landed on a ledge below. (Thanks to Dr Sharpe, the baby is back on the nest.) The answer is ‘yes’. Utterly terrified.

I pondered that question for quite awhile before and after answering. We recognize that there are risks every day for our feathered friends. An eaglet could fall off the nest, a parent could be accidentally killed and not return with food for the female and chicks, a predator could come and predate the nestlings, fishing line can arrive at a nest and cut through the little legs and wings. We know these things like we have memorized a list of everything that could happen to the birds. But, until it happens, the absolute fragile life that they live does not register completely. That is what it was like for me with Grinnell. Grinnell was always going to return on the ledge and bring food to Annie. Grinnell was always going to protect The Campanile. Grinnell was always going to make a huge mess plucking a pigeon for the eyases. Grinnell would always be there. Until he didn’t come home. The eaglets were safe on the rock until one of them fell off. Absolutely ‘B’ terrified and helpless.

Here is a very different image of that Osprey nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Gorgeous wide open spot for a nest just the way Ospreys love it.

The osplets are really hot today. Mum is trying to shade them just like yesterday. Huge change beginning for Little Bit’s plumage. The back of his head is now oily black!

Look carefully. He is sleeping to the left of Mum. Look at the back of his head. Then look at the older sibling just left of Mum’s shoulder. They are all actively moving into the reptilian stage.

Feedings have been difficult to observe with Mum keeping her back to us.

Not a Raptor. Ferris Akel loves Roseate Spoonbills. Audubon has a lovely article about the oldest Roseate Spoonbill in the world and she is still raising chicks!

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest are waiting for breakfast and lunch! It is often hard to tell them apart these days. Beautiful juvenile feathering.

Aran and Mrs G have been on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley protecting a piece of fish against a bunch of crows.

The rain has stopped at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Everything is fine on their nest.

Blue NC0 and Laddie have a wonderful day at Loch of the Lowes. This is just the most beautiful place for an Osprey nest. So serene. No motor boats, no people. Three eggs.

Louis and Dorcha seem to have settled on the old nest with camera 1 at Loch Arkaig.

As far as I know, Dylan and Seren Blue 5F have not experienced any other visits from the Goshawk at Llyn Clywedog.

And I have two new Peregrine Falcon nests for you. One is in Buckinghamshire in the UK and the other is part of the streaming cams of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy. Thank you to ‘L’ and her daughter for news of the nest in New England!

The camera on the Buckinghamshire Nest is really good – nice and clear, good definition and a great view. Waiting for eggs.

Here is the link to the Buckinghamshire streaming falcon cam:

The second nest belongs to Boh and Barb and they also have four eggs this year. It seems to be a year for four eggs! Those eggs were laid on March 15, 18, 20 and 23rd of March. We are on pip watch.

Here is the link to the Chesapeake Conservancy falcon cam:

And last but never least, we are on fledge watch for Little (known as Mini on the Captiva Chat). She is 59 days old today. Should be flying soon.

On the right is Middle (Little) and on the left is Little (Mini). You can clearly see the difference in their size. If you watch the streaming cam check out the difference in their legs. Little (Mini) has long legs to help him fish! Middle (Little) has short stocky legs and she is bigger overall.

Both ‘babies’ (hardly babies anymore) had fish this morning at 09:45. There is Middle (or Little on chat) eating its own fish on the left. Middle fledged at 08:13:12 on April the 16th. The long thin legs are like those of Idris at the Dyfi nest and most believe that Middle (Little) is a male. Little (or Mini) is being fed by Lena. She is a nice big female it seems.

Middle (Little) could fly any moment it seems. Here is a link to the Captiva camera:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please 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: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dyfi, Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Buckinghamshire Council Falcon Cam, Chesapeake Conservancy, DHEC, CarnyxWild, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery, and Explore.org.

Late Thursday in Bird World

24.2.2022

The Kakapo Recovery are having a t-shirt fundraiser. They posted the following information on their FB today:

There are male and female styles and sizes range from the smallest to 2 or 3 XL. Shipping from New Zealand is reasonable should you wish to help out!

There are lots of chicks and where there are infertile eggs they are being swopped with fertile ones so some of the mothers get a chance to rear a chick. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that number of 201 to climb! It looks like it could be a good year for our non-flying parrots.

The tracking for Ervie indicates that he did visit the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge sometime yesterday. He was most likely checking to see if Dad was there so they could have a visit. No one spotted him on camera so maybe he landed on the wheelhouse.

Early Friday morning, nest time, and the barge is full of pigeons hoping to find leftovers. They certainly do a great clean up job for Mum!

The Mum at Duke Farms gives everyone a peek of the fully hatched chick 1 at 14:28. What a little fluff ball. So tiny!

It has been a really good day at Captiva. It is 17:46 and Lena is waiting on Andy to bring in the dinner fish. The three osplets still have crops from the earlier feed. All is good!

Gabby and Samson continue to demonstrate branching to Jasper and to be named NE27. Today the two eaglets were kept full to more than full. They have grown so fast. Time seems to go by in a blink. Just a few days ago it seemed they were only tiny fluff balls like chick 1 at Duke Farms today.

Oh, I love that beautiful glow over the nest in Jacksonville, Florida as the sun sets on Gabby, Samson, Jasper and NE27.

NE27 is going to clean up every bit of that fish! Sweet eagle dreams.

Lady Hawk did a great video of Samson bringing in this large carp for the eaglets. Listen to them cheeping. So cute. Gosh these two are just darlings.

There is snow and sleet falling on the nest of Bonnie, the GHOW, whose nest is on Farmer Derek’s land. The area extending from there over the Mississippi River and into Ohio are set to get quite a bit of precipitation.

This is what the Mississippi River Flyway Cam is showing. Looks like snow to me! The snow is really blowing around creating what we call ‘white out’ conditions at times. A white out is literally when you cannot see anything in front and beside you but snow. Highways and roads disappear. People do try to drive on it. They often wind up in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. Not recommended. You cannot even see approaching cars.

The female, Nancy, at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bald Eagle Nest near Minneapolis is getting snow as well. This nest fledged two great juveniles last year. Harry, the male, was only four years old and it was his first breeding attempt with Nancy. This year he looks much more like a mature Bald Eagle. Very handsome.

Checking in on the Iowa Bald Eagle nests, there is wet snow coming down on the Denton Home’s nest. No eggs there yet.

There is snow at the Decorah North nest of Mr North and DNF. If you look carefully you can see Mr North high up in the tree. What a beautiful sight.

When the city gets too much for me – as it often does – my mind moves to a cottage at the edge of a forest full of wildlife. This is so beautiful and serene. All you can hear is the snow falling and the wind. There is a creek in the background.

Mrs is keeping the eggs nice and warm and dry.

The other Bald Eagle nest with a streaming cam in Decorah also has snow. No eggs yet and no one on the nest. Right now I can hear lots of geese honking. My goodness they are super loud!

Here is the link to this camera. You might catch the geese flying in also at dusk.

The snow has not reached Pittsburgh but the wind is sure blowing at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest tonight. Mum is trying to keep those eggs warm and dry in that cold. With their 7000 plus feathers, the eagles are well equipped to ride out the cold, the snow, and the bitter winds. Regardless, I just ache for them.

The sound of those honking geese reminded me that Ospreys are moving north out of African towards Europe and the UK. A number were reported entering southwest France today. With all the snow here and in other places it is hard to imagine but the birds will be making their way home. In a month there should be Ospreys on a nest or two in the UK. I am counting on one of my favourites, Blue 33, and his partner, Maya, arriving at Rutland first. We wait to see!

In San Francisco, Richmond has been on and off the Whirley Crane nest in the shipping yards anxiously awaiting the arrival of his mate, Rosie. Those two are going to have a lot of work when she gets here. Just look at that nest. Maybe Richmond should take a page out of Louis’s book up at Loch Arkaig and start work before she arrives. Richmond, that would be a very sweet thing to do!

Dyson and Scraggles have been playing in the seeds and snow so they are both fine. The 50 or so European Starlings that visit the nest for food have been perching in my neighbour’s trees. Today they both got a gift certificate for two car washes. My goodness those birds can poop! Little Red has been busy. We did not see our chickadee today but it might have arrived, with or without its mate, while we were off for our walk. It felt good to get out in the fresh air.

Thank you so much for joining me. All the nests are doing quite well. It is comforting. Take care. See you soon. Saturday is pip watch for Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear. Don’t forget.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB where I took my screen captures: Window on Wildlife and Captiva Ospreys, NEFlorida and the AEF, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Kakapo Recovery Project, Denton Homes, Explore.org, Stewards of the Mississippi, MN DNR, Farmer Derek, Golden Gate Audubon, Pix Cams, and Duke Farms.