Monday in Bird World

It is -10 C on the Canadian Prairies on a day that can only be described as white. There is no colour in the sky and while I had anticipated including images of a different landscape due to melting, well, that hasn’t happened. The snow appears to be melting from the inside of the snow banks and tunnels slowly – which is a good thing! Today and for several days this week, we will continue having yet more of the white fluffy flakes. It has – weather wise – been a winter we will not forget for a long time.

I have been reading Mark Avery’s blog. Avery spent his life working with the RSPB in the UK and is an outspoken defender of ‘nature’. He was their Conservation Director for 13 of the 25 years he worked for them. I will include the link to his blog at the end. The current topic is ‘Alternatives to grouse shooting’.

Avery also includes a short list of books he has read and their reviews at the bottom. One of those was The Consolation of Nature. Spring in the Time of the Coronavirus. Three nature writers – Michael McCarthy, Jeremy Mynott, and Peter Marren – keep a ‘nature’ diary running parallel with happenings with the pandemic for the period of spring 2020. They begin with the astronomical beginning of spring on the 21 March running through 31 May when summer begins. (Meteorological beginning of spring is 1 March). My interest in this book is the emphasis on the healing aspects of nature and how, during the beginning of this horrific virus, people turned to nature for solace. All of us watch bird cams. Did you know that in the UK from the period 23 March to 31 May 2019, there were 20,407 page views of bird cams. During the early period of the pandemic this increased to 433,632 views! It was a similar situation at Loch Arkaig where 400,000 people watched Louis and Aila raise their three osplets. Indeed, it was an amazing year for nature as we isolated ourselves. Few if any planes, few if any cars. When we stopped, nature thrived. “Fish returned to the canals of Venice, no longer churned up by tourist boats. In parts of northern India, the Himalayas became visible for the first time in thirty years as air pollution fell. Baby sea turtles made it safely to the water on Brazilian beaches empty of sunbathers, joggers, and dogs. Wild boar and deer came back into car-free European cities.” As the authors demonstrate, some of those events were significant including “a colossal fall in the carbon dioxide emissions” driving climate change. While the coronavirus spring brought many human losses and great stress, nature gave each of us hope and comfort.

It is a remarkable little book. I highly recommend it but, even more so, I recommend that you begin keeping your own diary of how much joy our beloved birds bring to your life – or it could be the animals or the plants in your garden or a green area you visit. In years to come, it will be a treasure, I promise.

https://markavery.info/blog/

Many of us have never looked back after first watching our bird families on the streaming cams. By watching the daily lives of these families struggling to survive sometimes, we have learned much and it is hoped become more empathetic and prone to fight for a better environment for all of us.

Our first family up this morning are the Captiva Osprey family of Andy and Lena and the three Bobs. Lena was up at day break calling Andy to bring in a fish. She is incredibly loud and Andy could have heard her if he had been in Fort Myers!

I picked the image below not for its compositional beauty but because this morning for the first time, we can clearly see the difference in development between Big Bob and Little Bob. Look at the top of their heads. Little Bob, on the left, still has his soft light grey down. Big Bob has lost his. Soon his head will look like it has been dipped in a pot of black oil with a few copper flecks at the bottom. Big Bob is entering the ‘Reptilian Phase’.

While Lena wanted that fish before 07:00, it was, in fact, delivered at 08:14:39. It was a live Sheepshead.

Lena had a bit of a time with that fish – getting it opened and not flipping about on the kids. Big and Middle Bobs are right up there when she begins feeding. You will see that Middle Bob also has a greasy black Reptilian head like Big Bob. Little Bob is just waking up. Get up there Little Bob!

Little Bob is definitely our ‘Captiva Ervie’. It didn’t take him long to get the sleep out of his eyes and get up under Lena’s beak. Look at him stare at the fish. At least for today, we can easily tell Little from the other two if the trio are in a clump.

Lena was really hungry. She fed the kids for more than an hour and then finished off the fish and ate the tail at 09:49. All of the chicks were passed out in a food coma.

Andy returned hoping there would be some fish left just as Lena swallowed the fish tail! The chicks woke up and were thinking about a second feed. Too late! Big Bob did root around in the nest for scraps eating them as he found them. Wow. That is fantastic.

Lena is currently busy keeping the osplets cool by shading them. She is also hoping that Andy will ring another fish in!

Cornell Bird Lab put together a 15 minute video of Big Red and Arthur frantically working on their nest on the Cornell Campus this morning. It is much better than any still captures I could show you!

Squeezing some of the somber in with the joy, HH3, one of the Hilton Head Island Trust eaglets has died. HH4 is fighting for its life and hanging on by a thread. The test results to determine the cause are not ready yet. The adults are being monitored closely and the Birds of Prey Centre has brought in the Clemson University Vet School to help with the determinations as to cause.

There was a lovely kerfuffle at the NEFlorida Nest of Samson and Gabby this morning. It was fantastic, actually. Jasper (NE26) was eating all of the food. This has been the typical pattern for these two. This morning it was the same- NE27 is on the left with its head down and Jasper is at the beak getting all the food.

NE27 moves closer and does the old snatch and grab and horks all of the remaining prey! He was hungry and was tired of waiting. Way to go 27!

Jasper has been doing a lot of standing and wingersizing. She is definitely getting much more stable on those legs.

Gabby and Samson sure make beautiful babies. I just love the pantaloons on Jasper.

The more I watch the Dale Hollow nest the more I am loving this family. Obey comes in to check on River and feeds her. That reminds me of Blue 33 feeding Maya at the Rutland Osprey nest. Then River and Obey feed the chicks in tandem. The life experience of these two eagles, well into their 20s in age, really shows when dealing with the health and welfare of their chicks. Just wonderful. The third egg is 36 days old today and it is almost hatched!

Another tandem feeding this morning.

Continual aeration of the nest cup to keep it soft and bring oxygen in.

River feeding the twins.

Oh, just look at them. They are so cute, fluffy, and a little chubby. Perfect!

There are currently more than 3,044 persons watching and waiting for a pip at the nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear Lake, California. The eggs were laid on January 22 and 25. That makes them 34 and 37 days old. The average time for pip is between 34 and 40 days so we are still right in the sweet spot for hatching. Good luck Jackie and Shadow! Your fans are cheering.

It is difficult to avoid the news. My heart goes out to any person caught in a conflict zone. It is difficult to avoid the war zones in Africa where our birds migrate to for the winter and now, as they begin to return to their homes in Latvia and Estonia, many have historically spent time eating and resting in the Ukraine. This is the map of Karl II’s family migration this past summer. Many of the other birds that migrate to Africa follow a similar route. Wildlife suffers irreparable harm, like ordinary citizens, in times of war.

Here is a detailed study of wildlife in conflict zones and the need for conservation. It is a good first read to understand the challenges that nature and wildlife undergo when there is war. I hope that you are able to open it.

https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/am-pdf/10.1002/fee.1433

I will close as we wait for a pip at Big Bear and the final hatching at Dale Hollow with a closeup of Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Dad spent considerable time on the ropes yesterday. I cannot help but imagine that he was hoping to catch up with Ervie and see how he is doing. You can certainly tell where Ervie gets his good looks from!

It has warmed up to a balmy -8 C. Serious spring weather and I am off to get more bird seed and go for a much needed walk. Please take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Bald Eagles 101 FB, and the Latvian Fund for Nature Forum.

Late Sunday in Bird World

Oh, what a day in Bird World it has been! The weather at the nest of Pa Berry and Missy clocked in at 3 degrees F. That is -16 C. As a comparison, it was only -5 in Winnipeg today. Poor Missy. The snow and sleet were coming down, she has a hungry baby – and she is hungry herself – and there is a chick trying to hatch! My heart went out to her. There were a few tiny breaks in the weather for Missy. She jumped up and ate ferociously and then quickly fed her baby. The bad weather is due to continue til at least Monday afternoon. I was almost afraid to check on her but, then I did.

Pa Berry had brought in another fish. He looks pretty dry compared to Missy, ironically. Missy worked hard to get some food into her little one before she had to brood and try to keep that baby warm and dry.

Missy took lemons and made lemonade with it. She ate and so did her baby. It was fast. She could not afford for the wee one to get soaking wet, cold, and die. I was impressed. Whatever will happen at this nest with all the horrible cold and wet weather will not be this Mum’s fault. She was trying as best she could.

There were tornado warnings and 60 mph winds down in Miami-Dade County at the nest of Ron and Rita. That nest held. I caught some of it on a video clip. Rita works really hard trying to get the two babies under her so they will not get wet and chilled.

R1 has been brutally aggressive today to R2. Indeed, Rita had R2 begging for food and twice she did not feed until R1 came up to the front. At the end of the day, R2 was fed three times today. I cannot confirm the amounts or if there was a big crop like R1s. You might have noticed. But R2 did eat.

Harriet was soaked but she took great care of E19 and E20 during the storm. The heavy rain actually hit Fort Myers well before it started in Miami hard.

None of these issues – extreme weather and/or sibling rivalry -are happening down at the Kisatchie National Forest nest of Anna and Louis. Louis is bring ever more fish onto the nest and that little one is just a sweet little roly-poly.

I can count the remains of one Coot and six fish.

You will think I am nuts continually talking about this kiddos cute tail but it is cute. I have never seen such a cute tail on such a young eaglet. It looks like a soft little ball, so sweet.

Both eagles were on the nest at Duke Farms working on the egg cup. There are expectations that an egg will be laid soon. This couple is in line for some of that storm as well.

Mum is on the nest and the snow has started. Last year she spent almost her entire incubation period encased in snow and ice. I ached for her.

The winds are picking up at the Hilton Head Island Trust, the home of Harriet and Mitch and their two eaglets. The gusts are blowing at 31 mph but there is no indication of rain or snow hitting the nest.

Here is the tracking of that storm as it moves NE as of 9:23 pm on CNN. It is out of Florida. Mt Berry Bald Eagles are in the purple area of Georgia near Atlanta. Pittsburg-Hays, Duke Farms, and even Big Red and Arthur are in the area of winter weather advisories. Continue to send your warm thoughts to everyone here and in all the extreme weather systems moving about the planet including those with the tsunami earlier today.

Snow has been falling in Pittsburg.

Snow continues to be heavy in the Ithaca and Finger Lakes area of upstate NY. This is Big Red and Arthur’s nest.

Meanwhile, in the UK, everyone is getting excited. It is only two months until the expected arrival of the Ospreys. The BBC did a short programme on CJ7 and her nest at Poole Harbour in June of 2021. CJ7 found love this past summer and it is hoped that her mate will return and there will be chicks on this nest for the first time in 200 years! Wow. I am showing it again as the anticipation is bubbling over. It is short and it will also get you excited for the arrival of some of the North American returnees as well.

In New Zealand, OGK, the Royal Cam Dad, returned to incubate his egg and let his mate, YRK, go and feed. That egg is due to hatch on the 27th of January give or take a day or two. Lady Hawk caught the return and the cuddles of this sweet couple.

We hold our breath and wait for the storms in the US to pass and wish all of the nests the best in handling the weather.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or video clips: WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, Berry College, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Duke Farms, Hilton Head Island Trust, Pix Cams, Cornell Bird Lab, and CNN.

Saturday in Bird World

Good Afternoon Everyone. It looks pretty quiet out in Bird World this morning.

The two eaglets of Rita and Ron’s, R1 and R2, continue to sleep and eat without any observable ill effects from the rat dinner that they had yesterday. Fingers crossed. They are such beautiful and healthy little ones, curious about the world beyond the nest. Hopefully we can all go ‘whew’ after this fright is over – let’s celebrate on Monday.

They are very mobile, scooting around on the nest, balancing themselves with their wings.

This is Ron feeding the little ones. He isn’t as good as Rita but he tries.

There is an active pip watch at the Bald Eagle nest of Pa Berry and Missy in Georgia. B15 is doing well. Right now it also looks like Mt Berry could be in line for some of that winter weather making its way across parts of the United States. I really hope they get little or nothing. It isn’t nice to have a hatch when the snow and ice are coming down.

Pa Berry was on the nest with Missy on alert this morning.

B15 seems to have a good appetite.

Chatters are working on names for the little eaglet at the Kistachie National Forest (KNF) Bald Eagle Nest. The deadline for submissions is 30 January. Late this morning Louis flew in with a Coot to add to the 4 or 5 fish already on the nest.

The area is experiencing high winds today and are under a high wind advisory. It is also very cool in the forest at 8 degrees C.

This little one is the cutest little roly-poly I have seen in a long time. Anna has the feeding down and the baby is happy to have those nice bites of fish!

It is hard to imagine that E19 and E20 were this small a few weeks ago! Now they are at the big clown feet stage and their feathering is coming in nicely. I wonder if Harriet left this fish to see if anyone would try and nibble?

While other parts of the US are being hit with tsunami warnings, record levels of snow and ice, Florida is having a heat warning and should be getting some rain from that system.

Here is a lovely little video of E19 and E20 having their fish breakfast!

Finally, the pip watch for Gabby and Samson will be coming at the end of the week! I am so excited.

There have been intruders and both Gabby and Samson have been watching and listening carefully this afternoon.

How gorgeous!

An alert.

Time for some territorial defense.

All is well. Whew.

This nest is an active site for intruders. Gabby and Samson have to always be vigilant.

The two little eaglets are getting their feathers at the Hilton Head Island Trust Bald Eagle nest in South Carolina. There is no roll back. All I can say is that they appear to be eating well, growing at the right pace, and Mitch seems to have food on the nest for Harriet to feed the wee ones.

If you are in the line of the storms, tsunamis, and heat warning areas of the US or elsewhere, please take care. I will continue to monitor the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita with the hope that the rat did not get sluggy because of rodenticide poisoning. Ervie is on the barge and I will also check in with him and everyone else at the PLO later today. Thank you so much for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Bald Eagles, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, WRDC, and Hilton Head Island Trust.

Monday in Bird World. 10 Jan 2022

I was so very excited last evening that I could barely sleep. It really is marvellous to be able to look into the lives of wild birds without harming them – watching them from egg to fledge. What an honour it was to see Falky catch a fish off the Port Lincoln barge yesterday. As far as I am aware, it is the first time a fledgling has been seen on camera catching a fish at the nest. Here is that incredible moment again:

Several hours later, with the camera focused on Falky’s perch, the sunlight playing on the water seemed to agree that Falky was a star.

Falky had another fish at 20:26:33 that he brought onto the ropes and ate. From the background noises, it would appear that this was a delivery to the nest.

Bazza has not been seen on camera since the 9th. At that time he had a nice crop indicating that he is either catching his own fish or is being fed off camera. He could be anywhere on the barge nest and we cannot him or he may have decided he wanted to move on to find his own territory ahead of Falky and Ervie. Right now Ervie is enjoying having fish deliveries. The lads are still sleeping. It is Tuesday, January 11 in Southern Australia. Wonder what will happen today on the Port Lincoln barge?

I continue to check on the three or four Bald Eagle nests I monitor for pipping. So far, I have heard nothing but, it is entirely possible that I missed something! Which reminds me. Thank you to ‘A-M’ for sending me a comment about Falky catching the fish. I am incredibly grateful. Luckily I had been watching and seen the catch but, if I had not known…well, thank you for the alert, ‘A-M’. It was an incredible moment. Still smiling.

The Kakapo Recover Project in New Zealand reported that the non-flying parrots had started breeding on Christmas Eve. This information was posted on their website yesterday.

R1 and R2 continue to do well on the Wildlife Recovery Nest of Dade County in Florida. Ron is keeping the pantry full of fish today and both of them have been feeding the eaglets.

The two eaglets of Mitch and Harriet on the nest at the Hilton Head Island Trust in South Carolina are really growing and doing fantastic.

Just look at the full crops on those kids!

The second egg for Lena and Andy 2 at the Captiva Osprey Nest on Sanibel Island is due tomorrow.

If you ever want to recommend a Bald Eagle cam to anyone, especially a first time streaming cam viewer, you cannot do any better than Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Nest. Experienced parents – and that makes a huge difference! Cool headed. Both help one another. Everyone gets fed at Harriet’s table.

E19 and E20 are really beginning to change their feathers and are moving into the next phase of their growth period. Both are having lunch and both have nice crops. One has stopped eating and is resting on his ‘cropillow’.

Hopefully there will be some pip or hatch news from some of the Bald Eagle nests for this evening and I will continue to monitor the lads at Port Lincoln during the day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for your alerts and also thank you for your research into raptor cameras in Japan, ‘A’. I will include that information in my next report. Much appreciated.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB Pages where I took my screen shots and my video clip: The Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Kakapo Recovery, Berry College Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Hilton Head Island Trust Eagle Cam, WRDC Bald Eagle Cam, and the Captiva Island Osprey Cam.

Sunday in Bird World

Oh, wow. It is a bright sunny Sunday on the Canadian Prairies. There is no snow falling and the temperature dropped from that very nice -14 C at midnight to -24 C this morning. It is supposed to further drop to -29 C. When I went out to fill all of the feeders, Dyson was on top of the large suet cylinder chewing away. He took no mind of me as I worked around him until I got the camera out. Then he scurried away! The now regular 28 European Starlings were the first to arrive. They were followed by the several hundred Sparrows. The chickadee seems to find a way to manage in the midst of all of them but I have not seen Junior or Mr and Mrs Blue Jay for a couple of weeks. Little Red will wake up sometime around 14:00 and join the garden gang. When it is cold like it is today the feeders are all filled twice. Thank goodness for bulk buying!!!

Louis just gave up his incubation duties at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. He gave us a quick glimpse of the egg. Doesn’t look like a pip yet.

Louis had his talon caught in some of the Spanish Moss and it completely covered the egg. I wonder if this is egg #2? One of them was broken by Anna when she was landing one day in December. If it is #2, then pip watch could be delayed until Tuesday.

Annie arrives at 12:00:33 and there is a nice view of the egg after the moss is cleared away. Anna is looking at the egg closely. The adults will be able to hear the eaglet inside if all is well as we near pip.

The news coming out of Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel Island is that there is no pip yet for Connie and Clive. Last night Lena 2 laid the first egg for the Captiva Osprey Nest.

Pa Berry is incubating the egg at the Berry College Eagle Nest. There is no pip there and they are expecting rain today. The weather has been terrible for this pair. There was snow last night and high winds and hail the other day. I honestly did not think the tree would survive that storm never mind Missey who was hanging on and keeping those eggs safe.

E19 and E20 are fast asleep at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest in Fort Myers. Their only job is to grow – so they eat and sleep. Adorable.

It got a little too hot under Mum but the shade is really nice! The Mumbrella.

Bald Eaglet spells ‘cute’. These two are really growing. Notice the egg tooth is almost completely gone.

R1 and R2 are ready for some lunch at the WRDC nest. It will be around 26 degrees C for these Miami-Dade eaglets today. I hope there is a nice breeze.

Here is a view of the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest in South Carolina. What a magnificent nest.

The two eaglets of Harriet and Mitch are in a food coma. They are doing very well. I love their fat little bottoms and tails. They scoot around pushing and moving with their wings.

Awwww. I have been watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge closely. You will recall that both Ervie and Falky had early morning fish. Then Bazza, who had a crop, decided to push Falky off the ropes. I was quite afraid for Falky but, on his third try, with a cool head, he was able to free himself from the water. It was brilliant.

Ervie decided that he was not giving up the nest. Indeed, control of the nest is all important by the dominant bird. That is how it came to be that Erive had four fish deliveries yesterday. The deliveries were at 07:08, 15:29:44, 18:05, 18:30, and at 18:40 Ervie seems to find another fish on the nest! His crop should have popped! There is clearly a reason that there is competition for the nest!!!!!!!

At 17:40, Ervie still had a crop from the 15:29 fish.

Ervie spots one of the adults coming in with a fish. It is Dad.

That was a nice fish for Ervie.

Ervie was still eating the 18;05 fish when Mum landed on the nest with a small fish. Falky flies over from the ropes to retrieve that little fish.

So there is Ervie in the back eating his fish and mantling. Mum is in the middle with the fish under her left talon. Falky has gotten turned around and is facing us.

Mum decides she wants out of there quick. Falky is still facing the wrong way. Ervie has his fish under his talons and is mantling.

Ervie decides he doesn’t like Falky on the nest and boots him off. Ervie takes both of the fish.

Now Ervie has two fish to eat! It seems like Ervie has been eating all day. There is no sharing like they did as youngsters. These are three males that will be future rivals if they are not fully already.

Ervie was selected for the sat-pak because he was believed to be the best bet for survival. I continue to say that made a perfect choice. It may feel entirely unfair but it takes confidence, creativity, and cleverness to survive it seems.

Ervie sleeping on the nest in the middle of the night.

Ervie is on the nest and Falky is on the ropes waiting for that first fish delivery. Wonder who will get it?

Other Bird News: Rafa Benjumea has reported that the recent count of Ospreys in the Sanctuaire des Balbuzards in Senegal is 161. That is excellent news. How many Bald Eagle nests and couples do you think are in the small state of New Jersey? The 2021 count shows 247 Bald Eagle Nests. Out of those, 222 were active. 296 eaglets hatched and there were 27 new Bald Eagle couples. That is quite the count! There are growing numbers of Bald Eagles being admitted to Rehab Clinics with high lead levels. A few make it while a lot perish. It is a simple fix: stop using lead in hunting and fishing equipment! If there is one thing that you can do this year to help the birds is to get on your computer and write to the politicians in your area asking them to ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment. While you are at it, you might want to ask them to ban the manufacture and sale of any type of rodenticide. We remain on pip watch for Captiva, KNF, and Berry College – and we are getting close to a pip watch for NEFlorida with Samson and Gabby.

Thank you so much for joining me today. So happy there are so many people who get joy from the birds! It is heart warming. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Hilton Head Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, WRDC Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagle Cam, and the KNF Eagle Cam.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

We remain in an Extreme Cold Warning on the Canadian Prairies while Australia and New Zealand have been having Maritime Heat Events. Both are equally challenging for our feathered friends. As for the humans, the furnace is fixed, the heat is on and my -35 degree C ski pants arrived today along with the -35 degree C rated boots. There will be no excuse for not heading out to walk the trails and check on those several hundred ducks that continue to live on our Assiniboine River. Today at the feeders, the normal 28 or so European Starlings and several hundred Sparrows were joined by no less than 10 Black-capped Chickadees. There could have been more as they darted in and out with seeds. They are such beautiful little birds. Some of the Starlings, like the one below, seemed to really get into eating the snow!

Others seemed to prefer to poof up their feathers and hang out with one another in the Lilac Bushes. They leave about 16:00 and I am constantly wondering where they roost at night. They return just after dawn waiting patiently – or impatiently – for the Bark Butter and Meal Worms.

For those who might have missed it, Royal Albatross YRK returned to Taiaroa Head on Day 15 to relieve her mate, OGK. It was an emotional homecoming. This morning the NZ Rangers returned the ‘real egg’ that had been in the incubator to YRK and removed the dummy egg. I could watch these two all day long if I had the time. Talk about a loving couple. In case you missed it, here is that reunion:

There are so many Bald Eagles or Ospreys named Harriet that it can be confusing when trying to keep the nests straight as to who belongs to which one. Harriet and Mitch are at the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest.

Those babies are really adorable.

At Hilton Head the menu appears to be almost exclusively fish.

Harriet of M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Nest has herself a handful. Today, each chick was trying to climb completely out of the nest bowl – one going one direction and the other one going the other. It is no wonder that we see both Harriet and M15 bringing in reinforcing branches for the sides of the nest.

E19 is full and has passed out in a food coma. E20 thinks it can still hold some more fish! Indeed, these two eat really well when fish is on the menu.

Everyone was talking about a pip and a possible hatch at the WRDC Miami-
Dade Bald Eagle nest. I have been unable to confirm a hatch. Rita was busy feeding the two and what was special on the menu? an Ibis.

The White Ibis lives in the estuaries and along the shores of the Southeastern United States. They are easily identified by their bright red legs and red bill. With these long tweezer like beaks they dig in the mud for crabs, crayfish, marine worms, frogs, and lizards.

“Ibis” by sabl3t3k is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

These two seemed, when I was watching, to settle down and eat. They have had a diet of only fish up til today when the Ibis was delivered.

I cannot tell if there is anything happening with the egg or not. R2 hatched on 2 January so if R3 had hatched today there would be three days difference and tomorrow it will be greater. Again, two healthy eaglets are perfect. Maybe there will not be a third.

There are a myriad of other Bald Eagle nests that have either one egg or the couple are preparing for breeding. I cannot keep up with all of them!

There are certainly funny things that go on at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when all three of the boys are on deck. Ervie – yes, you read that correctly – decided to pay the barge a visit Thursday afternoon PL time. He flew in around 13:00 and chaos ensued, in a manner of speaking. All of the lads thought Dad was flying in with a fish and they were quite animated. When Dad landed on the bottom deck without a fish, Ervie flew right into Dad’s nest! Ervie tried to steal fish from Bazza a few times, got a piece of fish and then proceeded to drop it. Mum picked it up! Who says an Osprey will not pick up a fish that has been dropped? At the end of it all, I think everyone was just happy to see Ervie!

It is amazing how loud three juvenile Ospreys can be when they see Dad flying in with a fish and each one of them wants it. Incredible. Bazza is on the nest, Ervie is on the corner of the ropes and Falky is on the yellow and black ropes. Mum is down below.

Dad has flown in and is next to Mum below deck and Ervie has landed right in the middle of the sticks.

Somehow Ervie comes up with a piece of fish and is eating it on the nest with Bazza.

There is a lot of condensation but that is Ervie on the left and Bazza on the right. Ervie has a piece of fish.

It truly is good to see Ervie – to see all three of them. They are safe and healthy, just maybe a little hungry. Flying takes a lot of energy and the weather has been hot, windy, and the water is choppy. Tough conditions for juveniles learning to fish.

Thank you so very much for joining me. It is always my pleasure to bring you some news about our beautiful birds. As National Bird Day comes to a close, I am forever grateful for the joy these characters bring us. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, WRDC Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

OGK is all smiles as YRK lands

As I write this, I know that there are tears flowing in homes around the world and with the NZ DOC rangers. OGK has been incubating his egg (replaced 2 days ago with a dummy for safety) for 15 days straight. Today the rangers gave him 600 ml of liquids to ward off dehydration as he waited for his mate, YRK to return from foraging so the pair could change shifts.

15 days is a long time. YRK was not the only mate to be out foraging for a longer period. There are several others now that have been away for 13 days. The rangers believe it is because there is a marine heatwave around parts of New Zealand and Australia at the moment. These are extreme weather events that used to occur periodically and now happen 4 to 5 times more often. In this instance, it is extreme heat, not cold. This might have meant that the fish were not located where the birds predicted they would be and they had to go further to forage.

YRK flew in at 14:43 New Zealand time to the sheer delight of OGK. The morning calm gave way to strong winds with lots of Albies flying in at mid-afternoon. Maybe some of the others who have been at sea for so long are among them.

Who says that birds do not smile or have emotions? Just look at OGK’s smile. If you know of anyone that feels that way, you should show them this beautiful pair of Royal Albatross getting reacquainted with one another after 15 days!

Here she comes and he is smiling.

Who says all landings have to be perfect!

Oh, that must feel good to OGK. It is called Allopreening. Preening is when a bird cleans their feathers and allopreening is when they do it to another. It looks like a nice head massage to me!

OGK does some allopreening.

It is much better in a video clip! OGK knows that YRK is arriving before we see her. He immediately begins to do sky calls. What a devoted couple!

This morning Bazza woke up and ate the fish tail that was left over from the previous evening’s fish. Later, Falky arrives at the nest and waits like Bazza normally does for a delivery. Falky got lucky! He mantled that fish for a long time fearing that one of his brothers would fly in and take it away.

In the image below Falky is doing a perfect mantle. He has his wings apread out and down along with his tail so that others cannot see if he has a fish or not. It also helps him protect his food.

There is at least one sibling about and I think it is Bazza. Falky has a time trying to walk with that fish on his talons.

Falky eventually moves the fish over on the ropes where he finishes it off. Meanwhile Bazza is on the nest hoping for a delivery. He might have to wait all day. The parents are delivering fewer and fewer fish to the lads believing it is time that they are out fishing for themselves.

Ervie has not been seen on camera. That does not mean that he is not on the barge somewhere; he has not been on the nest begging for food which tells me that Ervie has been doing some fishing and is out finding his own meals. Hopefully he will return to the nest one more time so we can see that handsome bird. If not, surely the locals will follow his tracker and submit some images of Ervie out living the life of a young Osprey.

At the three Bald Eagle nests I have been monitoring, the eaglets are all well fed and they are doing great. Some of you will have noticed that E19 has been much less aggressive to E20. Normally, the beaking/bonking stops during the second week. The eaglets can support their heads and their focus is better. By this time, they have also learned that food is available and stable – everyone gets fed.

Harriet and M15 thought they would get a chance to have a meal with some of those tasty leftovers on the nest but, guess what? E19 and 20 woke up! Those two seem to be sleeping or eating, eating or sleeping.

Look at how big those wings are getting. Those two can scramble up that nest bowl if they want! E19 did take a tumble backwards today allowing E20 to really chow down but, there are no worries here. Everyone is fed and happy, even Mum and Dad.

M15 is really good at feeding the babies.

Both the eaglets at Hilton Head and Miami-Dade are also doing well.

Eggs were being rolled up at The Hamlet today. Gabby was busy aerating the nest bowl and rolling them around.

That nest looks nice and soft.

She is listening.

Oh, the next two weeks cannot pass quick enough! So excited for the hatch on NEFlorida’s Bald Eagle nest. I have quite the soft spot for Samson and his mate.

Jackie visits the nest that holds much hope for her and her mate, Shadow, up at Big Bear, California this morning. It is a beautiful crisp winter’s day in northern California.

All is well in Bird World. It is such a relief to see YRK back on the nest and OGK flying out to sea. The rangers will return the egg and remove the dummy later today, probably. It is always good to have wonderful news. They had hydrated OGK this morning so he is also good if it takes him awhile to find fish with the unusually hot weather.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.

Sunday in Bird World

Hi Everyone!

It is another cold day on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starlings were sitting on the tips of the Lilac branches on a bright sunny morning. It is -30. Notice how blue the sky is on a cold, cold day.

The Starlings puff up all their feathers. They seem more interested in sunning themselves than eating today.

Little Red was leaping from the fence to the feeders and back again, collecting nuts as quick as he could. It looks like Dyson & Co have decided to hibernate during this week or two of extreme weather. I do not blame them!

M15 found a possum that had been killed on the road and brought it to the nest in Fort Myers. That is one of the ways that Eagles get killed – removing carrion from the roads and taking it to the nest OR sitting on the road and eating the prey item. Our wildlife rehabbers suggest carrying a shovel in your car and stopping and removing dead animals from the road and placing them way back in the ditch. It will certainly help all the raptors.

In a late Sunday afternoon feeding, E20 got smart for a bit and stood behind E19 when Harriet got up to feed them.

If you are wondering which one is which, it is easy to identify them. Currently, E19 has a bit of PS and food on its back and it is slightly bigger. E19 is in front. E20 is a fluffy clean white ball. A sweetie.

So far their eyes are looking great. No sign of any infection.

The other day when E20 climbed out of the nest cup for a feeding, it was too close to Harriet’s beak making it difficult for her to feed it. By standing behind E19, E20 is at the right place for food and away from E19’s beak. So the first bites go to E20.

The next bite goes to E19. Harriet is such a good mother. There should never been any feelings of food insecurity on this nest.

Adorable.

I was a bit shocked to see an individual on the FB group of the SWFlorida Eaglets write expecting E19 to kill E20. Siblicide in Bald Eagles is very rare. I include below some information from a study. You will see that storms cause more deaths. There has never been a death due to siblicide on this nest in SWFlorida. Everyone can rest easy.

From the researcher in Maine:

“I studied 62 webcam Bald Eagle nests with direct observations of the nest bowl recorded over a period of up to 8 years. The total number of nest seasons was 240. Of that number, there were 91 with just one hatch or none, 105 nestings with 2 hatches, 42 with 3 hatches and 2 with 4 hatches. (These are all direct observations of egg-laying, hatch, eaglet development and fledge.)

Of the 105 nestings with 2 hatches, both eaglets successfully fledged 77 times (73%), 1 eaglet fledged and 1 died 22 times (21%), and both died 6 times (6%). Of the 34 who died, the cause of death was parent neglect (6), killed by intruder (4), storm (4), failed in the first day or two (3), accident (5), illness (1), unknown (7), possible siblicide (1), and known siblicide (3). Based on these figures (including the possible siblicide), the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 2 eaglets is 3.8%.

Of the 42 nestings with 3 hatches, all 3 eaglets fledged 35 times (83%), 2 fledged and 1 died 3 times (7%), 1 fledged and 2 died 2 times (5%), and all three died 2 times (5%). Of the 13 who died, the cause of death was storm (eight), poison (2), accident (1), unknown (1), and siblicide (1). Based on these figures, the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 3 siblings is 2%.

Of the 2 nestings with 4 hatches, all 4 eaglets successfully fledged on one, and 2 on the other. The cause of death of the 2 who died was storm (1), died in the first day or so (1).

The known incidence of siblicide on these 62 random nests of 396 hatched eaglets was 4 eaglets, 3 of whom were from the same nest in Maine, and all were attributed to lack of food and/or parent neglect. That’s 1%. It would be less than 0.3% if I discounted that one nest in Maine.”

That should put everyone’s mind to rest when they are watching the Bald Eagle nests.

And as I close, E20 is eating again and E19 is looking at something else. It was a good feeding!

Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Australian Sea Eagles, did not return to their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park after having been harassed by both the Currawong and the BooBook Owls the previous night.

It has been confirmed that there are boxes for ducks at the Duck Pond but our Daisy seems to prefer nests to them. Let us all hope she changes her mind.

Samson is giving Gabby a break at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam near Jacksonville. He is incubating NE26 and 27. (Legacy was NE24 and the unviable egg was considered NE25). We will be on hatch watch in about 12 days. How wonderful.

It is an interesting morning at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. Ervie is the one who has been on the nest and who is prey calling – very loudly.

Falky has landed on the nearby ropes and is hoping for a chance at the breakfast fish this morning, too. I wonder how much fishing Ervie is actually doing??? He has been sitting on that nest a long time prey crying instead of fishing….

The other Bald Eagle nest that currently has two little eaglets is Hilton Head. The eaglets are doing fine. I will include the link to the camera since they are not on YouTube. They are adorable and I urge you to stop in and have a look. There is no rewind function, however!

The link to the camera is here:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/hilton-head-land-trust-eagles

Someone asked me what nest I am looking forward to the most in 2022. That is a real hard one! In the United States, it would have to be Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks at Cornell University. Here are K1 and K2 from last spring’s nest. K3 will hatch the day after. They are just super parents. Big Red will be laying her eggs in March.

Unlike Bald Eagles who hatch with grey soft natal down, Red-tail Hawks have the most beautiful soft white down and white spikey hair on the top of their heads! They melt my heart instantly.

5 May 2021. K1 and K2.

I love Peregrine Falcons so Annie and Grinnell will be at the top of my list and as for Osprey Nests in the US, you can’t get better than Richmond and Rosie out in California. I try to keep track of several Osprey nests in the UK, the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia, and for this year, the Osprey nests in Finland. Then there is the Black Kite Nest in a Taipei Cemetery. That should keep me out of trouble!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.