Poor Jackie…Monday in Bird World

16 January 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend and that it has been a nice beginning to the week! It remains warm in Winnipeg. So warm that the snow on the glass roof of the conservatory melted on Sunday and the snow in the parking pad is sludgy. It is a good day for a walk. Whether I will head to the nature centre or finally take that drive an hour out of the city to see the chickadees – well, I have not decided. I love going to the same place, 20 minutes from where I live, and see how the visitors change from day to day. Will keep you posted!

On Sunday there were many visitors to the garden feeders – 38 European Starlings and about 60 House Sparrows. One Black-capped chickadee and Dyson and gang. About 30 Crows flew over head after chasing the GHO out of the neighbourhood. It is a regular occurrence during the winter. The GHO has a nest on the golf course a few blocks away. What is puzzling me is: where are the Blue Jays?

A Request: Just check this out.

I was so impressed by the perches (some osprey nests on the streaming cams do not provide these for their birds and that is sad). And the hide. Can you help with any images? See the information below.

Checking on our nests:

Oh, the weather just continued to get worse at Big Bear. Poor Jackie. She is one devoted mother. She has been incubating the eggs since the second was laid yesterday before 17:11 with a break but I have seen no food. No doubt Shadow has not been able to hunt and I do not know if this couple had a stash prepared.

We are all aching for this warrior Mum but, Jackie has lived in Big Bear Valley for now 11 years and she is used to the weather. Eagles have 7000 feathers to keep them warm and dry. My only concern is her need for breaks and food. Help, Shadow!

Shadow came in and relieved Jackie. She returned at 1408 and Shadow didn’t want to get off the eggs. Oh, sweetie. They have this!

Shadow is doing a great job.

Jackie arrives!

The weather is just horrific up on the nest at Big Bear. I don’t blame Shadow for not wanting to get off the eggs. Poor Guy. He is either going to have to go and hunt or perch on those madly swaying branches.

The snow is getting deeper by 1600.

Here is the exchange in video by Gracie Shepherd. The exchange begins at 12:43.

Shadow’s reluctance to give up incubation is caught on video:

We are sitting in our houses warm and dry. Just looking at Jackie makes me want to bundle her and Shadow up and bring them inside along with their eggs. They are, however, quite fine. Probably a lot better than if it were 45 degrees C!

1656 are watching Jackie and wishing her well (and warmth) as the winds and ice pellets fly on to the nest at 20:00 Sunday evening.

So how do birds stay warm in the winter? Here is some information from the British Trust for Ornithology. Most of the songbirds in my garden and others in winter need to eat the equivalent of their body weight in food to stay warm. They lose, according to this article, approximately 5% of their body weight during the night staying warm to stay alive. So, if you can, find some energy rich suet and peanuts and put them out for the birds! They will thank you. The world will thank you.

When Dad got up at 14:40 on Sunday to check her eggs, it looks like there could be a pip in one of them. Of course, it could just be nesting material, too, but if it isn’t a pip, we are getting close. Missy relieved them shortly after.

All of the other nests are fine with their eaglets eating well and growing. I have not spotted any problems and the eaglets at SWFlorida and KNF E3 continue to be little darlings with little if any beaking. Indeed, I have seen none so far on Sunday and it is about time they would grow out of this phase unless something happens in the food supply chain.

Anna feeding KNF E1-03. This is a sweetie pie.

Louis always keeps a lot of fish. Anna and the wee one will never need to worry about being hungry. Louis is awesome. These Louisiana eagles sure love their Coot. Maybe it is a nice change from fish??? The little one loves it as much as Anna!

The KNF gang looked at the unhatched egg and established that it is the first egg that was laid – the pointy one. It is now 46 days old and no hope of hatching so KNF E1-03 is from the second egg.

I am biased. Andria is a fantastic Mum. She is always checking to see if one or the other of the eaglets wants some more bites. These kids love their Coot just like E1-03. They are adorable and their plumage is changing. Just look at the natal down dandelions that are disappearing to reveal the deep charcoal thermal down. And you can really see the pin feathers when they move about. Growing before our eyes. Love this couple – Alex and Andria.

Alex and Andria enjoying a meal on the nest together after 01 and 02 are filled up! Just look at the crop on 02. One of those puffy pillows it appears.

01 is already in a food coma. Andria is checking to make sure that 02 is completely full. “Have som4e more little darling.”

Seriously, they look like old carpets or towels to me. Those dandelions are breaking off and look – KNF -E3 O1 is getting its mohawk!!!!!!!!!!! (look at the image above)

Big crop on KNF-E3-01.

Are you sure you have had enough, little baby?

The two eaglets are sleeping in food coma but ‘A’ reports something disturbing: “Then, at 16:02:10, as mum was getting another bite of food ready, the larger one suddenly and without any warning or provocation pecked the younger one on the top of the head, then grabbed it by the back of the neck and twisted. Then it grabbed it again and this time actually lifted it up by its neck (the little one was still in submissive pose with wings spread). It dropped the smaller eaglet again, then picked it up a third time and shook it. The entire attack lasted less than six seconds.” The eaglets will stagger over and go to sleep as if nothing happened.

I missed this attack. What in the world would cause KNF E3-01 to do this?  ‘A’ reports that the confidence of the little one is not phased as it went back up to eat some more, even with an enormous crop, and had to undue itself from the cuddle puddle it was in with the larger sibling. Good! How old are the eaglets? Osplets will start battering one another once the blood feathers come in from 8-12 days old. Must check!

E21 and E22 are adorable. Please watch this beautiful eagle family if you haven’t been because you are afraid of some beaking. The eaglets are adorable. They are growing fast and you cannot beat the parenting of M15 and Harriet. They have this whole process nailed down to the finest details and if M15 thinks E22 has not had enough – he gets in and gives the little gaffer some more food. These eaglets are so secure. They wait patiently for Harriet to feed them. No fighting. Nothing. I mentioned the other day that I felt that they were males. They could be two females, too but not an older female and a younger male. They are just getting along too well! The best nest I have watched for years was PLO’s 2021-22 Osplets – the three boys – Bazza, Falky, and Ervie. Oh, sure, they dusted up all over the place once they had fledged but that is normal survival in the wild. They have to work on it at home!

Keep an eye on the area around their mouth for it to turn yellow. This will happen at about a month of age.

A cuddle puddle.

E21 is full to the brim and Harriet is filling up 22.

Food coma.

CJ7 almost got walloped by a huge headless fish today. There is so much food on this nest – fish everywhere you look. Clive is an excellent provider. Ah, just a nervous auntie but I wish Connie would fill that little eaglet up with a lot of food a little more often. It is only tiny and needs those 45-60 minute feeds all day long.

I am really grateful to the readers who sent me a note and asked me why I was not mentioning Superbeaks. What a fabulous Bald Eagle nest this has turned out to be. Exceptional. Pearl is 38 days old and Tico is 37.

Wondering where the second eaglet is? They are on the opposite side of the nest looking away from the camera. This is why we can usually only see one!

It looks like the eagles in the Channel Islands are starting to get interested in their nests and thinking about much needed renovations for the 2023 season. Guess who was caught on camera today? Chase and Cholyn at the Two Harbours nest! Parents of Lancer (2022).

Akecheta was at Tor at the West End nest but I did not see Thunder nor did I see any eagles at the nest site.

If you are wondering about deliveries to Zoe, Mum brought in 2 fish for her girl yesterday, the 15th. In fact, it has been Mum that has been making the deliveries to the Port Lincoln barge. Wonder what will happen today?

Gabby and V3 have been at the nest tree. One is often perched on a branch seen by the other cam. There has been no active working on the nest for several days. Perhaps we will have to wait for another one of those fertile fortnights for Gabby or maybe all three have passed and we will wait for next year. Either way it is alright. It will give Gabby time to really get over the loss of Samson and also to see if V3 is going to last.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, their streaming cams that form my screen captures: ‘A’ for her report on KNF E3, Ospreys Only, FOBBV, BTO, Berry College, KNF-E1, KNF-E3, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Window to Wildlife, Superbeaks, IWS and Explore.org, PLO, and NEFL-AEF.

Corn Cob Show Down

It has been an interesting morning in the garden. First, it is wet and cold – again. 8 degrees with a cloudy sky.

Because of the recent rain, all of the old seed and shells were cleared off the deck and put into the bin. Birds can get sick from eating wet mouldy seed. Wet seed encourages bacteria to grow and the diseases can be fatal. I would like to think that birds know better than to eat that wet, sometimes smelly, seed but they do not always, especially if they are ravenous. Over the years we have experimented with many different ways to keep the bird seed dry. Putting a roof or a dome over the feeder works best. Other people recommend mesh feeders so that there is air circulation. I have found that these work best in conjunction with some type of a roof or dome.

The garden birds do not like it when things are cleaned up. Today was no exception! Some of the bowls were left to be cleaned while others were filled. The House Sparrows arrived wanting baths – yes, they take baths when it is 8 degrees C! Others were dismayed to find their bowl empty. We warm the water for them in a heated bird bath during the winter but it is only enough for then to drink with wooden slats placed across so they will not bathe. Thank goodness they do not weigh enough to move those boards about! It is really important to remember as the cold days of fall and winter set in that birds need water to drink. If you put out seed in the winter, they also need water. Yes, they eat the snow but they often need more. See if you can figure out a way to provide it for them.

This is one of the sweetest little House Sparrows. It along with the one above wanting a bath were just darlings.

Grey Squirrel (Bushy) joined everyone on the blocks eating his favourite seeds with big nuts and fruit.

The Slate-Coloured Juncos are still here and they like that fruit and nut seed just as much as the Millet. Sadly, with the wet on the deck and their favourite red carpet, the Millet turns to mush and might make them ill. So it is fruit and nuts today! Hopefully the weather report is right and the sun will be out tomorrow and we will be back to non-seasonal temperatures for a few days so everything can dry.

The plumage of the Slate-Coloured Junco is quite extraordinary when you begin to look closely to the variations of rusty brown over the slate grey.

Mr and Mrs Blue Jay came for the corn cob but were joined later by another Jay. The reaction to that bird seemed to signal that it was an intruder.

Blue Jays are often overlooked. Many dislike them as much as they do House Sparrows. As for me, I adore them both but – because Mr and Mrs Blue Jay have been coming for several years and each summer they bring their surviving fledglings to show us, I am especially attached to them. They eat their corn and love it if they can get a peanut ahead of one of the squirrels.

I found a woman who loves Blue Jays, too. She made a great little video explaining their courtship behaviour. Have a look!

I love the drawing on the top left and the saying: Birds Make Me Happy. As all of us know, that is absolutely true. They bring such joy.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope all of you are well and happy. See you soon.