Annie lays her first egg and happiness at Dale Hollow…

26 March 2022

Just as I am starting to check all of the nests, there is an intervention happening on the WRDC Bald Eagle nest in the Miami Zoo. R2 got entangled in fishing line. The camera is down and let us all hope that there are no injuries to this amazing eaglet.

The big news of the morning came as a subject line a couple of minutes ago from ‘B’. “Annie has an egg!” Wow. Thank you ‘B’. (I was very busy watching Dale Hollow).

We have all been wondering how the soap opera with Annie and Grinnell was working out. This says it all. It looks like the egg arrived about 08:30:17 nest time in San Francisco. So happy…..wonder if Annie is going to join the ‘4 egg club’ for this year?

Annie is having a nest rest. She should sleep as much as she can. Once the eggs are all laid she will get a reprieve of 33-35 days and then there will be no rest! So, so happy!!!!!!!!!!! This really is turning out to be a joyous morning.

Cal Falcons just posted a video of this wonderful event.

It started out as a promising morning at the Dale Hollow nest. River and Obey had a big fish left on the nest overnight. Because of this, there was no waiting for breakfast and Big did not get herself into a ‘mood’. River was on the nest and at 09:04 she went over to the fish and lifted it up. Big went up to eat first. Little Middle stayed behind watching. Little Middle moved up to the feeding spot at 09:09:54. In other words, Little Middle let Big eat for about three minutes while listening and watching. It all worked out. River fed both chicks together up at the table. There was no intimidation by Big. Oh, joy!!!!!!!

Smart Little Middle. Test the temperature of Big before moving up. That said, Little Middle duly recognized Big as the dominant allowing her to eat first. Perfect.

Little Middle moves up and River stretches to give some great bites to her youngest.

Little Middle’s crop was flat at the start of the feeding. Now look! And also have a look at the size of Little Middle’s feet——– this kiddo is growing. Yippeeeeeeee.

What a wonderful start to the day at Dale Hollow.

River and Obey have found a stash of corn stalks and they are using them to create new railings around the nest. Smart. Big and Little Middle are going to need them. Several times I thought Little Middle was going to fall out of that nest.

By 10:00 the parents are away perhaps retrieving more rails. Meanwhile, the two eaglets are resting and the sucker Obey brought in is hidden.

At 10:50:30 River removes the Sucker from the centre of the nest to the rim where she can feed the eaglets. Little Middle watches and listens but does not go up to River and the fish allowing Big to be there first.

At 10:54:57 Big drops a bite, River holds it up and Little Middle does the snatch and grab!

Big was not happy and attacks Little Middle. Little Middle immediately goes into submission and moves away from the feeding to the rim of the nest.

I could hardly believe my eyes. River stopped and turned so that she could feed Little Middle at 11:01:20. This is quite the change!!!! Wow.

The wind almost blew her off the nest. It is so windy that River is going to have to go back to being parallel with the rim of the nest.

This gives the feeding advantage to Big.

By 11:08 Little Middle has moved up to get some fish.

By 11:17:18 Little Middle has a nice crop that has built up. The feeding finishes at 11:18. There is little to no fish left! This has been a good morning for Little Middle. Some intimidation but nothing that would have harmed him. Just reminders to remain cautious.

The Canada Goose at the unused Bald Eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa laid her second egg last night. She is using the twigs from the former eagle nest to cover them.

The sun rising over the Decorah Eagle nest home to a Canada Goose now!

It is a Cormorant food fest at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. In the image below they are enjoying the one that Thunder brought in yesterday. Dad Akecheta’s performance at feeding is excellent. Look at all three of them lined up. No problems. Nothing. Serene and solace. There is a new Cormorant behind the big stick that appears to have been brought in today. By the time the season is over will there be any Cormorants left in the Channel Islands?!

At the Two Harbour’s Bald Eagle nest of Chase and Cholyn, Thunder’s parents, Cholyn is incubating. Pip watch should be soon.

The parents at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest are feeding their three now!

Everything seems to be going well at the National Arboretum nest of Mr President and Lotus. The eaglet hatched at 14:55 on the 25th and is the first hatch at this nest in four years. Well done!

Wonder where that gold fish came from????

All cuddled up next to what could be a younger sibling.

The two eaglets at the Redding nest of Guardian and Liberty have been enjoying a lot of Coot for their first feedings. The oldest hatched on 20 March with the youngest three days later on 23 March.

Liberty is 23 years old and Guardian is 8 years old. Another nest where the female is much older. Liberty has fledged four sets of triplets – in 2009,. 2010, 2015, and last year, in 2021. It is a nice eaglet nest to watch and here is the link:

If you missed it, Mrs G arrived back at Glaslyn today. She is waiting for Aran and in the meantime, she is enjoying a fresh fish that she caught herself!

It has just been a pretty good day all around the nests. I am off to check on the arrival of geese and ducks here on the Canadian Prairie.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Dale Hollow Lake Eagle Cam, Cal Falcons, Redding Bald Eagles, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, National Arboretum Bald Eagles and the AEF, Pix Cams, and Explore.org

It Couldn’t get any Better in Bird World or at Dale Hollow

20 March 2022

What a busy day it was in Bird World and what a gorgeous day it was on the Canadian Prairies. The snow is melting and causing all manner of problems but the Canada Geese are flying in, the Grackles have arrived in mass, and the first White-throated Sparrow appeared at the feeders along with the usual woodpeckers, European Starlings, House Sparrows and, of course, Dyson! We had another visitor too that seems to be coming every morning around 08:00, an unusual time for a rabbit. I wonder if Hedwig’s burrow is full of water????

Hedwig is an Eastern Cottontail. They are the most prevalent of the five rabbit species in Canada. The four others are the Artic Hare, the Mountain Hare, White-tailed Jackrabbit, and the Snowshoe Hare.

Hedwig being an Easteern Cottontail is the smallest of the five. His mother left him underneath our Peony Bush. He was about a month old. He found safety with all of the birds feeding and discovered that if he hung out under the feeders, he never had to worry about food. We have tried to give him carrots and he refuses them. He often eats the bark off of our Lilac Bushes where he can easily hide. We don’t care. It doesn’t seem to damage them. Isn’t he a cutie? He has some special marks on him that we know it is the original Hedwig. Let us hope he has another good year.

There is a pip/hatch watch going on at the Pittsburg-Hayes Bald Eagle nest. This couple fledged three last year! The pip happened at 09:39 this morning.

There was a good look at the size of the pip at 19:21.

Liberty and Guardian have a pip over at the Redding California Bald Eagle Nest. That happened around 07:04. There is a race between them and Pittsburgh-Hayes to see who hatches first! They also fledged three!

This morning on the SWFlorida Nest on the Pritchett Family Farm, E19 the eldest, fledged before noon. It was caught on camera by a couple filming the event. E20 was flapping, too, and the streaming cam operator did not know who would go first. Talk about sibling competition between these two. E20 did not have a very solid branch like E19 did who used it like a trampoline jumping up and down and flapping. As a result, E20 fludged and then flew away. Both flew like the great birds they are on 20th of March. How lovely. Congratulations to M15 and Harriet and the Pritchett family for another successful year. The fledglings will hang around with mom and dad. They will perfect their flying while being provided food. This is what it is all about.

Here is E19s fledge:

The cameras are down and I do not know if anyone caught E20’s flight. What a day for them to go down.

Well, this is a great way to feed chicks if you have three! Akecheta is feeding the Middle chick while Mum Thunder feeds Little Bit and Big. I wish you could see the smile on my face. Look at the size between the two Thunder is feeding. Little Bit is four days younger than Big. There are no squabbles.

Thunder and Akecheta are – to me – a real powerhouse couple. They may have had two unsuccessful years until Akecheta matured but just look at them now.

Andy came in at 17:28 with the last fish of the day for Lena, Middle and Little. It has been some time since Big died suddenly. The nest is doing really well. There is no word on the cause of Big’s death. I do not wish to speculate but had it been a physical cause like choking on a pellet, the vets would have found that immediately when they did the necroscopy. Toxin tests take longer. In the Balkans, the tests for Avian Flu only took a few days and – all the birds on this nest are fine. I wonder if any raptors die of heat stroke or heart attack? Do you know?

This was the 4th feeding for the osplets and it was a whole Sheepshead. Middle and Little ate and ate. In the image below, just look at how beautiful they are standing with Lena, a very proud Mama. That beautiful setting son casts a lovely glow on this Osprey family at Captiva, Florida.

The eaglets of Abby and Blazer (Eagle Country) hatched on the 11th and 14th of March. Just look at them now. Wow. Gorgeous babies. Nice crops. Both appear to be self-feeding.

If River and Obey do not stop bringing fish to the nest and feeding Big and Middle, I am not ever going to be able to take a walk! All kidding aside. It has been one big fish fest at the Dale Hollow Nest today which is the miracle that we were all hoping to see happen. This should be the last of many feedings at this nest today.

This fish arrival is at 18:19:36. Here comes River!

River has not started her feeding. Just look at the crop on Big. This eaglet is going to be an enormous female. And I really do mean enormous. The size of its legs are huge. I wish we could get a good comparison between Big and Mum.

Middle is still very shy of Big. I do not blame him. Big eats the first bites but River just then decides to put her beak in the middle of the two and sees who wants the fish. It also appears that River has slowed down in the speed of her feeding.

Once Big is full, Middle begins accepting bites. Remember – the key is survival. Middle has eaten and eaten today and it is not going to do a thing to wake up Big’s wrath.

Middle eats and eats. By 18:35 his crop is so big you might think it is going to explode. River continues to push fish at him.

At 18:35:38 Middle is so full he walks away from the table! He simply cannot hold another bite. It looks like he might not be able to hold up that crop.

Middle has to try and lay down. It must be awfully uncomfortable with that massive crop.

But wait! Middle stands up.

And with a crop as big as half a baseball, Middle turns around to head back to the table to the shock of Big.

As he turns, Big reaches over to pull off the piece of straw across Middle’s crop. Middle is a little shy and doesn’t seem to know if this is a friendly or hostile gesture. I don’t blame him. The gesture is friendly.

Both kiddos eat a couple of more bites and collapse. They are certainly going to have sweet eagle dreams! And so am I!

I have focused on the Dale Hollow Lake nest with more information than the other nests because it had been so full of strife. My mailbox has been full of questions and you might be wondering about some of these.

Where is DH16? When a nestling dies, Eagles either consume the dead chick, bury it in the nest, or carry it off. River buried DH16 in the nest last night, the 19th of March.

Why such a change in this nest? There are many possible reasons and my answers are based on a large body of academic literature. 1) Threats and intruders to the territory of River and Obey have diminished and they are able to focus on hunting and feeding. 2) Fishing and hunting have greatly improved for the eagles. There could be many causes for this including the most obvious weather. 3) The reduction of the brood was accomplished. 4) Middle was able to garner enough energy to show that it was determined to live and River took notice of this and is now feeding it. 5) Some or all of the above. One reader ‘B’ suggested that maybe River and Obey had read by blog about needing to have a spare in case Big died! That is a good point with Avian Flu tearing through the region.

Whatever has happened, we have had a wonderful 36 hours and let us all hope that this continues. Things are going very well. Big has calmed right down. The fact that so many fish were brought in today and another found buried on the nest kept Big full and happy and allowed Middle to gain confidence and to eat its fill. Middle will literally grow over night. I am sure many of you have been shedding tears of joy. I sure have.

Will close with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Valley. Five feedings for the little eaglet today! The baby is eating longer and more fish and the feedings are slowly decreasing because of that. The naming contest closes on March 25 and several names will be drawn out of those suggested by donors. The 3rd grade class at the local school will vote. Hopefully this cutie will have a name next week!

Life in Bird World has been very good today. Very, very good.

Thank you so much for joining me. Please take care. See you soon!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Dale Hollow Eagles, Pix Cams, Redding Eagles, Eagle Country, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

My goodness. What a blizzard! I returned to Winnipeg 24 years ago and gosh, golly. I have not seen this much snow in all those years. Oh, we need it! Surely there will be no droughts this summer. My hair thanks me for getting out, too. The main roads were clear enough but it took 3 times the usual amount of time to get from one spot to another. Whew. Done for another two months! What really cheered me up was walking to the car and looking over and there was Mr Woodpecker on the new suet having a good old feed. The Starlings had not arrived and he had the place to himself along with Mr and Mrs Chickadee and Dyson and Little Red. The House Sparrows never bother the other little birds but I do believe some are intimidated by the Starlings. At any rate, he was enjoying the new suet. I keep saying ‘new’. I bought several slabs of suet and the birds would not touch it. Not for anything. So I went back to the brand sold by the nature centre and there he was this morning. I had just put it up yesterday. Yippeeee.

When I checked on Ervie earlier, there was an Osprey down on the barge floor in Dad’s nest/cave. I wondered if it was Ervie because it looked like the bird had a sat-pak. And guess what? It was Ervie down in Dad’s nest this morning! Here he is now down there with Dad still!

Ervie looks like he has a nice crop. I don’t know if it is the angle of the camera that is making that chest area look puffy or if he had a big fish for breakfast.

Dad does not seem to mind sharing his special place with Ervie.

Gosh, they look nice down there. The wind is really whipping around and I bet this is why both of them are down below.

If you are a fan of Thunder and Akecheta at the Channel Islands West End Bald Eagle nest, Thunder just laid her second egg.

I sure hope that Cheta can stay on that nest. He has already left egg 1 alone! Can you hear me screaming. I thought he would have learned. Admittedly, him and Thunder got their messages crossed last year. As the mod at the KNF nest says -“maybe the third time will be the charm”. I hope so.

Gary has posted another great educational video about the Redding Eagles and egg watch. He talks about 23 year old Liberty and her egg data since 2009. It is really good and will get you ready for what is to come!

Thinking of eggs arriving I decided to check the White-Bellied Sea Eagles nest and our dear Daisy is not on there and has not laid any eggs. Isn’t it wonderful?

I am not seeing any weather happening at the Berry College Bald Eagle cam yet. Baby is a little chilly and is wanting under Mum Missy and she is determined to aerate that nest! I was hoping that she was going to dig a deep cup for the eaglet to be in under her if their weather turns nasty. It looks from the recent tracking that the storm said to deliver 30 cm of snow or a foot could be heading north of them and east so will hit Duke Farms, Big Red, etc.

Anna continues to provide less feedings but much more food. Little eaglet was full to the brim and had trouble again with its big crop. It must be really tough to move around with a crop bigger than your head!

This baby is simply sweet. You can see how quickly its thermal down is coming in. That little head is still covered. The size of the cere I am finding interesting. This could well be a very large eagle… a nice big female!

If you are interested in other Bald Eagle streaming cams in Louisiana, Metro Aviation has one in Shreveport. The couple are visiting the nest frequently but have not yet laid eggs. There had been a nest but it was damaged and there is no historical data on these eagles. However, it is really nice to have such staggered egg laying so that we can enjoy the behaviour and the development of all the eaglets. Here is the link to their cam:

That is it for me today. The driving in the blizzard conditions was quite silly but, for one reasons or another, my stylist and I have not been able to connect since late October. I can even feel my neck now!!!!!! I hope everyone is well. Stay warm and stay safe. Thank you so very much for joining me and the birds. Keep all of the birds and animals in your warm thoughts so that this big snow storm does not harm them.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, KNF Bald Eagles, Berry College Bald Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Encounters with a GHOW

As many of you know, there are problems for the Bald Eagles with the Great Horned Owls wanting to take over their nests. We saw Bonnie and Clyde be successful in stealing a young eagle couple’s nest in Newton, Kansas located on the grounds of Farmer Derek. Those two have visited the nest as recently as 2 days ago. Great Horned Owls have taken over the Savannah Osprey Nest and laid eggs so no more Ospreys there, sadly.

Those are two instances on streaming cam where the owls have been successful. It has to be more common in the wild. I imagine that you could also provide me with several more examples. We know that a GHOW has been systematically attacking M15 and Harriet on their nest in Fort Myers, Florida. Just a few minutes ago a GHOW flew and knocked the female adult eagle off the US Steel Eagle nest at the Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, PA.

The camera operator for the USS Bald Eagle nests is panning around the area. It is not a search and they said that the panning does not imply a search is needed. They are simply looking to see where the GHOW might be. These are the time stamps for the events this evening according to the camera moderator: “18:52:20 GHO swipes USS female(?) off her roost, 18:55:42 USS male(?) reacts to nearby swipe, 18:58:07 USS male relocates, chatter from both follows through 19:01”. The eagles cannot be heard on the streaming cam. Previously you could hear them so they are probably roosting at a distance and are safe and sound.

This is a daylight view of the nest. It is a gorgeous area.

Here is a link to the USS Bald Eagle cam:

The situation in PA at the USS Bald Eagle nest is unclear. It is my understanding that neither eagle has been seen on the streaming cam this morning. Everyone is hoping that they will show up so that worries can be put aside.

I was reminded, by someone using a three letter code for the Great Horned owls, to provide you with a listing of the proper four letter Alpha codes for all birds. Great Horned Owls are GHOW. The listing provided by the Carolina Bird Club also discusses the origin of the codes. Have a look:

https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/bandcodes.html

Liberty (f) and Guardian (m) were on the nest doing renovations and checking out the nest cup at Redding today. This couple raised triplets last year: Honor, Glory, and Rebel. We should be looking for eggs to be laid mid-February. Wouldn’t Valentine’s Day be nice?

Here is a history of the nest from last year’s breeding season by Judy B on the Hancock Wildlife Forum:

“A new camera was installed at the Turtle Bay nest for the 2021 nesting season (big thanks to Terri/Eaglewoman and the Friends of the Redding Eagles!) – and happily the eagles chose to use that nest! They laid three eggs in mid-February, and the three eaglets hatched March 21, 22 and 24. They were named Honor, Glory and Rebel by a poll of viewers. All three fledged successfully, if a bit non-traditionally. It was very hot in late May/early June as the eaglets turned 10 weeks old, frequently going above 100F/38C. Oldest eaglet Honor (who had never branched) had a very intentional fledge on June 3rd (74 days old). The following day, youngest eaglet Rebel left the nest as well, possibly slipping while trying to branch (the angle of the cam made it hard to be sure); Rebel was 72 days old. Happily local observers found both of them on the ground with an adult perched above; they landed near the river, and were able to have a drink of water. Middle eaglet Glory apparently liked having the nest all to his/her self, staying there another two weeks before fledging on June 18 (88 days old). All three fledglings were seen together perched beside the river on June 22, and all were seen through July 5. Both adults and two fledglings were seen in the area July 18, and one fledgling was around a few days later (it might be Honor who left first, but not sure). A happy year in spite of the challenges of the very hot weather.”

Why did I bring up the Redding nest? Because on 7 November 2021 a GHOW comes to the Redding nest! The video below uses slo-motion, graphics, and a narrative to highlight the encounter between Liberty and Guardian and the GHOW. The video is very insightful into the behaviour of Bald Eagles in alert and attack mode – if they are experienced:

Here is the link to the Redding Eagles streaming cam:

As breeding season continues, we might see more GHOW invasions. While GHOWs look soft and cuddly and through children’s stories we learn they are ‘wise’ – often portrayed as teachers – they are formidable adversaries. Liberty and Guardian are older and more experienced than the young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas that gave up their nest easily to the owls. Better to be safe than injured or dead.

Harriet and M15 have been the constant targets of GHOW attacks. Just go to YouTube and search for GHOW attacks M15 and you will find pages of videos going back years to the more recent occurrences. Here is one good example just 8 days ago:

On different occasions, M15 has been hit and has fallen down into the nest with Harriet and either eggs or nestlings. If you are a regular watcher of this great eagle couple, you will have seen M15 with injuries on his head because of the stealth attacks during the night.

In other Bird World News:

The first egg was laid at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey Nest (VGCCO) yesterday at 08:45. I know that some of you really enjoy this watching this nest in California.

Here is the link to this nest:

Still waiting at Achieva:

Two Osprey cams in New York say it is way too early to be thinking about eggs! Are either of these on your list to watch? Oyster Bay and PSEG?

After the fright the other day, everything appears to be relaxed and back to normal at the KNF nest. I am hoping we get the list of three possible names for this adorable eaglet today!

The eaglets on the WRDC are nice and full. Their thermal down has come in nicely. R1 still has some dandelions on its head. Soon we will begin to see thee contour and flight feathers on R1 and R2.

There are still cute fuzzy nestlings at NE Florida! They are doing great, too.

And just look at the change in Harriet and M15’s ‘babies’! Wow. I love seeing the plumage develop from that light soft down still on NE26 and 27 to the juvenile plumage that is really coming on E19 and E20.

No checks on Ervie. PLO is offline. Warm thoughts going out to the USS Bald Eagles. I am sure this is not the first time they have had to deal with this owl or another. Still, there is always cause for concern. That was a particularly ‘hard hit’ yesterday. Waiting for the final 3 names so voting can take place for the name of the little eaglet at KNF.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: USS Steel Bald Eagles and Pix Cams, Redding California Eagles, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Achieva Credit Union, VGGCO, Oyster Bay Ospreys, PSEG Ospreys, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagles, Savannah Great Horn Owl Cam, and the WRDC.