Sunday lunch at Captiva Ospreys

02.27.2022

Before I begin the morning report on Captiva, sad news. HH4, the sibling to HH3 that fell off the Hilton Head Island nest yesterday, also fell off the nest. The eaglet was noticed to behave oddly before falling over the edge. He has been rescued. If he survived last night, he will go into care this morning. The father brought a fish but the mother has not been seen for a couple of days. This is not the first Bald Eagle nest that has had juveniles falling off the nest or eagles just not being seen. Pembroke Pines have now lost 2 out of 3 eaglets. Our thoughts go out to all of the bird nests at this challenging time. It clearly sounds like the pathogenic Avian flu, H5N1. This is so very, very sad. However, we have to prepare ourselves that so many of the birds may die due to this disease. Our positive wishes go out to everyone working so hard to save these beautiful babies.

Here is the update from the Hilton Head Island Trust.

I am so glad that I did not have the opportunity to check the Captiva Osprey nest until just now when a fish was being delivered. Andy brought it in at 11:59:50. Little Bob worked his way to get to the front. This is the first fish that the chicks and Lena have had in approximately 22 hours. Lena did go for a swim to cool off and the chicks have been outside of the nest bowl this morning. It is so hot on that nest with the air temperature at 24 degrees C and a wind of 11 kph. Oh, I hope Andy manages to bring in some more fish so that everyone is full and hydrated today. They are eating nicely even though each is so very, very hungry including Lena.

Bobs peeking out from under Lena at dawn.

Out of the nest cup and in the shade of Mum. Everyone is hot.

Lena goes for a much deserved dip to cool off.

Andy delivers the first fish of the day to the family at 11:59:50. He did not eat the head.

Lena will fight that bony head to get some food to feed the wee ones quickly.

You can well imagine that being literally empty of food and hot and perhaps even a bit dehydrated that the Bobs were really scrambling for food. Lena is still feeding them at 12:20 and there are no crops to be seen yet. She is pulling really hard to get meat off the fish. Meanwhile, Andy has returned doing security duty and also hoping that there will be some fish left for him, too.

It is so good that this is a very large fish. There is lots for everyone. One of the Bobs (Middle?) seemed that it might have been suffering from the heat. It looked slightly dazed. They should be rehydrated from the moisture of the fish.

The osplets are getting crops. Little Bob has eaten well. He pulled an Ervie and he got right up there at the beginning. Such a relief! I will always worry about those little ones, the third hatch. They cannot hold so much but need to be fed much more often than this. Wonder why the fishing is so bad on the weekend at Captiva?

Lovely crops!

At 12:33 the chicks are still being fed.

One chick is in a food coma and the other two simply want to make sure they get all the fish that they can. I don’t blame them. This nest was steady as you go until yesterday with four big feedings like this one a day – at dawn and nearing 17:00. Now they do not know when there will be another fish delivery.

Little Bob has dropped its crop and is now up in line wanting more fish.

Despite Dad standing and hoping there is some fish for him – and he needs to eat too to have the strength to fish, Lena continues to feed the chicks because she doesn’t know when food will come again either.

Little Bob has a big crop again. This is good. Lena is making sure they are well fed. I hope she is also eating!

You can see the size of the crops growing and growing. Little Bob is so full he fell backwards.

There might be some left for Dad. Maybe.

Just about the time Lena thinks she is finished and Andy figures he might get a couple of bites, Little Bob decides he wants some more fish. This has been the remarkable trait of this mother. She feeds and feeds til every chick is full. That could be the one single reason that the beaking has not been more profound the last couple of days.

At 12:47 Lena offered to feed Andy. It was one of the most moving scenes I have seen on an Osprey nest. She knows that he is also very hungry. He did not ‘just decide’ not to bring fish to the nest. Something has caused the fishing to be ‘off’ this weekend.

It is 12:50 and Lena is still feeding the chicks. She has taken some big bites for herself, too, as the end of the fish draws near. Andy has flown off to hopefully get another fish.

Lena ate the fish tail at 13:01.

If you watched the Achieva Osprey nest last season, you will realize that the chicks at Captiva are so full that they can, if need be, survive until tomorrow without any more fish. I hope that they don’t but they would survive.

Oh, my. Lena went over to clean up the fish skin and Big and Little went over too thinking more fish! Send positive wishes to this nest. They really need another one or two feedings today to keep the stress levels down.

There are pips at Duke Farms and at Dale Hollow but no pip for Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear yet. Let us hope those eggs are viable for those two!

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

Thank you to the Captiva Osprey Cam and Window on Wildlife and the Hilton Head Island Trust for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures.

Saturday in Bird World

26.02.2022

Good afternoon Everyone! The sun is shining bright on the Manitoba prairies this morning. Even 2 metres of snow looks beautiful! It is a balmy -8 C and it feels like summer. It is too hot for winter coats today. Now if all of this snow will melt slowly…ever so slowly so we do not have floods. The soil needs the moisture!

If you missed it yesterday, there is real cause for celebration at the American Osprey nests. Rosie has returned form her migration to be reunited with Richmond on the Whirley Crane in San Francisco Bay yesterday. Richmond had been hanging around the nest for three weeks. Some of us were beginning to worry a little and then…Rosie showed up right at dawn 06:43 on 25 February! If you are new to watching Osprey nests in the US, this is a rock solid nest. I am a huge fan of the UK nests and this is my number 1 for stability and the occasional humorous moment in the US. Richmond is great at fishing at night amongst other antics.

As you can see this is the couple’s sixth season on the Whirley Crane. Last year they fledged three fine Juveniles! Here is that great reunion video again.

Here is the link to their camera for those who do not have it. It is not on YouTube. The camera is, as I write this, currently off line.

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/golden-gate-osprey-1

Ervie did not come to the nest yesterday as far as I could tell from having eyes glued on the screen and doing a lot of rewinds. The barge was visited by a number of the pigeon clean up crew and a lovely Cormorant. There was also another bird that landing on the moorings but I cannot accurately identify it. In the image below, the Cormorant is on the perch and the other bird is on the perch.

Port Lincoln has not updated Ervie’s sat-pak tracking yet. So, it remains a mystery where he captures his delicacies – those puffers!

There is sad news coming out of the Hilton Head Island Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and Mitch. I report on this nest occasionally. Two eaglets hatched and the last time I checked on them they had their juvenile feathers and were self-feeding. Yesterday one of them was found on the ground below the nest. It has been taken to Corvian Avian Conservation, a wildlife rehab clinic. It is unclear the state of the eaglet at the time it was rescued. This morning food has been brought to the nest. The remaining eagle did mantle the prey and is seen eating but not enthusiastically. The nest is being monitored. There is some concern that the bird prey brought might have avian flu, the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that is spreading. I assume the remaining eaglet might also be removed from the nest for testing if authorities are concerned. Will monitor and post.

I will do a post just on Avian flu early nest week. There are other nests where the eaglets have fallen over the edge of the nest and they are being tested. Do not discount it. This is very, very serious. There are virologists looking at these deaths to try and understand the spread and the remedies. It could impact much of the nests other than the Ospreys who seem to be less prone because they eat fish almost entirely.

We all worry when these things happen and it is easy in small nests where there is prey competition, parental neglect, and a lot of wingersizing. I want you to watch, when you have time, this lovely video of a rescue of two eaglets in Sweden so you will understand that wildlife rehabbers can do amazing things. This is a heart warming story of individuals who really wanted a success.

The number of people watching the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear, California continues to grow. It was 2131 not long ago. Today is pip watch and you can join in, too.

While we were focused on the Captiva Osplets, Ervie, or Jackie and Shadow, something wonderful was happening over at the nest of River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake. Twins hatched at 11:16 and 11:51 yesterday. There is a pip in the third egg. Wow.

If you are wondering where Dale Valley Lake is, it is in Kentucky. It is one of the oldest human made lakes in the region, created out of the Obey River, in 1943. Now you know how these two eagles who have used this nest for six years came by their names. The lake has 27,700-acres of water and is well stocked with fish for the Baldies.

Just when I praise the nest for being located right above the lake, I see Dad has brought in a rabbit for the eaglets lunch! Too funny.

Here is a link to the streaming cam so you can join this nest with the two grey little bobbles and another on the way:

I suggest you put this nest on your watch list. I am really hoping that the parents will not bring in any birds to this nest due to H5N1’s potential spread.

Kincaid is doing really well at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest near Alexandria, Louisiana. Louis brought in another big fish and Kincaid is really enjoying this late morning feed. Like many nests located near a stocked body of water, Louis mostly brings in fish but he also brings in Coots and other waterfowl. If you are new to watching Bald Eagles and want to add a nest to your long list, I highly recommend the KNF nest. It is on YouTube. Cody and Steve have made sure the image is great and the sound is awesome. Next year they will have the two nests on Kincaid Lake on camera. Great moderators on chat. Cody and Steve are often on there to answer your questions along with Tonya.

Normally I start with the Captiva Osprey Nest but, today, I will almost close with it. Lena was hollering at Andy to get a fish on the nest at dawn. I could not see a delivery. Please correct me if I am wrong. By 09:34:03 Big Bob was getting agitated and did some beaking.

Little Bob was smart. He moved far to the right out of harm’s way. You can barely see him. He has his neck stuck down in the twigs. Smart.

Their last feeding was in the afternoon yesterday and the trio were very hungry by the time Andy landed that fish on the nest at 10:30:42.

It was a large fish and Lena moved around the nest making sure that each of the babies was full.

They are all lined up nicely to eat. Big Bob’s slight aggression ended as soon as food arrived. Please note that if you are reading the chat, the moderator calls this ‘playtime’. They are all a week old and some aggression is typical at this age but more so now that the early regular and very stable feeding routine has been thwarted.

I hope that Little Bob gets up in the front despite the fact that he has one of the longest necks I have seen on an osplet!

Lena will continue to fed until the fish is gone if that is what it takes to fill her and the babies to the brim.

Nice crop!

It is now 12:43 nest time in Florida and Lena is yelling at Andy for fish.

It is 13:32. Lena is calling Andy again and you can hear him in the distance along with the cheeping Bobs.

There are so many recreational vehicles on the water today. I wonder if this is hampering Andy’s fishing. It is also quite warm in Florida today. Lena is doing a good job of shading the babies who cannot yet regulate their own temperature.

Til later…

We all need a giggle and today’s laugh is brought to you by a Raven in Poole Harbour, England at the nest of Osprey CJ7 (Rutland fledge 2015). The Raven is leaving two lovely chocolates that it will bury in the nest. How romantic a gesture this could be. I hope that this is for the arrival of CJ7 and the male, Blue 022, that we hope will also return and have their first successful breeding season together. If you want to see the whole video posted the Poole Harbour Osprey Project, please head over to their FB page. You do not need to be a member.

Here is the link to this streaming cam. Last year it was too late for this potential couple who delighted observers with their mating antics all over the town. If we get a hatch and a fledge, it will be the first time in over 180 years since their extinction! That is something to cheer about.

And on that happy note, I will say goodbye. Keep your eyes out for Ervie and a pip at Big Bear and a successful hatch for Dale Hollow. Things are really gearing up. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Poole Harbour Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Dale Hollow and Golden Gate Audubon and SF Bay Ospreys.