Late Sunday in Bird World

10 April 2022

I have had several letters asking about the three little ospreys in Gainsville, Florida, what is happening at the Venice Nest, and do I watch the Pink Shell Osprey Nest in Florida. The last one is easy. No, I don’t watch the Pink Shell Nest. I am aware of what has happened and what is happening at that nest. Tragic.

OK. Let’s move on to the University of Florida Osprey Nest on the light stand in the ballpark at Gainesville. In fact, there is a ball game going on today. The Dad has also been spending a lot of time on the nest while the female would like him to go fishing. So far there are still three little Ospreys with us. Of course, anything can happen.

If you are watching this nest, please note that the youngest one will eat much less fish than the eldest. We just want the eldest to leave it alone, let it have its few bites, and grow big and strong.

Here are some images from today. They are not in chronological order but the time stamps are on most of them at the top right corner.

That certainly is a lovely nest with a deep nest bowl.

They sure are cute. Let’s hope Big Bob is nice.

Turn around Little Bob!

The third chick at the Venice Golf and Country Club has had a private feeding today and a fish has just come in. There continues to be bonking from the eldest but, chick three is not starving nor is it being beaked to death. Lots of fish need to come on the nest and hopefully things will all calm down in a week. I am cautiously hopeful.

The third hatch was having a private feeding. Fantastic. Oldest sibling did try to stop this feedng but, instead goes into a food coma. The time is 19:29. Little Bob wanted more fish when the feeding was over but…it did get fish and that is important.

Harriet is so beautiful in the soft glow of the sun as it sets on the nest on the King George River. Harriet has been re-arranging some of the toys Jack has brought in.

Jack has arrived to see if Harriet would like a break before night sets in.

The second egg has pipped at the Denmark White-tail eagle nest! Excellent news.

Cal Falcons posted a video of the ‘New Guy’ bringing Annie a daytime prey gift. Annie was very happen to accept it and New Guy promptly went to incubate! What a guy!

Lotus and Mr President make really cute eaglets!

Meanwhile at the Northeast Florida eagle nest of Gabby and Samson, Jasper and Rocket are still with us! The camera is either foggy or has suffered from a PS being washed off by the rain.

Jasper hatched on 23 January followed by Rocket on the 25th. Jasper is 77 days old today if you count hatch date with Rocket being 75 days old. Beautiful babies.

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Rhett and Scarlett are wanting their nest back in Savannah. Or is it Rhett? Can’t tell but it seems Little Grey just sat and watched. Not sure what the GHOW adults will think but hopefully it will all work out with Little Grey moving to another tree.

The Majestics at the Denton Homes Bald Eagle Nest have their first hatch.

There has been a bit of angst between the oldest eaglet and the youngest on the MN-DNR nest. They had some bad weather and being only 8 hours from where I live, they could get the heavy snow that is coming. I hope Harry keeps that nest full of fish for Nancy and the kids.

Little Bob getting a nice feeding today.

The storks in Europe are beginning to work on their nests. Here is Florentine delivering materials to his nest in the oak forest near Lodz, Poland today. What a beautiful bird.

Iris, the Queen of American Ospreys, believed to be the oldest osprey in the world looks down at her nest before the light snow begins in Missoula, Montana. She might wish she had stayed in her winter home for a few more weeks! This has been a long hard winter.

That is a very quick round up for some of the nests. There is so much happening with the return of the Ospreys in the UK. In fact, there are only a handful of UK ospreys that have not returned. They include Aeron Z2’s mate, Blue 04: Louis at Loch Arkaig and his mate from last year; Tegid Z1’s mate at Welsh nest ON4, and a couple at Kielder Forest.

My blog will be late on Monday – probably late afternoon or early evening. Thank you for joining me today. It is lovely to have you here with the birds. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFL Ospreys, VGCCO, Dahlgren Ospreys, NADC-AEF, NEFlorida and the AEF, Denton Homes, MN-DNR, and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.

Late Wednesday and Early Thursday in Bird World

1.23-24.2022

I have to admit that I can’t stay away from the Captiva Osprey nest for long. After dinner, I decided to stop in and see what I had missed. It was two things! There was a fifth feeding. The last two ran together and the fish were lovely Mangrove Snappers. The other one happens around 12:33 nest time. Little Bob is in the back. Big and Middle Bob are not that interested in food. Lena begins to cut through the two older chicks and she feeds Little Bob full to the brim. The other two paid absolutely no mind.

All the thoughts that keep going through my head keep asking: Is this a clutch of three males like Port Lincoln?

You can see that Little Bob’s crop has filled up in the image below.

That was an excellent feeding for Little Bob. The fifth feeding so close to the fourth insured that Mum also had some fish before she went to bed. Marvellous family working so well together!

After all my praise for Andy having a fish right at the dawn, today Lena called and no answer. Andy flew in with a fish at 09:07:36. Lena checked a couple of times, each returning to brood the kids. In the image below she knows that Andy is coming with a fish.

It is now 11:30 nest time. Lori, the owner of the property, has posted on chat that Andy is below the nest in the mangrove eating the head of a huge fish. Looks like the kids will have a big lunch! Despite the late breakfast, the trio were well behaved. Just like Port Lincoln.

Here is that big fish being delivered at 11:37:08. No doubt Lena is going to fill herself and the nestlings up to the brim! Nice one, Andy.

It took a few seconds for Little Bob to wake up and get himself around to the side where Lena is feeding. Ah. Now they are all lined up. It looks like it will be another great day at Captiva!

Oh, Little Bob got himself right up to the front so he can get lots of fish! Just like Ervie. Gosh, I miss Ervie. That Port Lincoln Osprey nest is so lonely.

Big Red and Arthur continued work on their nest today – almost at a frantic pace.

You can really see the nest cup much clearer at night.

Big Red and Arthur are on the edge of a system that could bring up to 30 cm or 12 inches of snow to the Northeastern parts of the US. It looks like it could just miss them. Fingers crossed.

It looks like Big Red and Arthur might have escaped the storm.

The Dahlgren Osprey nest of Jack and Harriet now has its streaming cam live. You might recall that Jack brings in a lot of toys to the nest. Sometimes there is so much stuff that the eggs get lost in the jumble. This year there is a brand new platform for the Ospreys to fill up! You can see it in the image below in the link to the streaming cam.

It is 08:52 in Big Bear Lake, California. The sun is filtering through the snow covered nest of Jackie and Shadow. That nest is 44 metres or 145 feet up at the top of a Jeffrey pine tree. You can see the eggs as they are being gently rolled. It will be hatch watch for Jackie and Shadow this weekend. Thousands are holding their breath for this couple in their quest to raise eaglets.

Egg 1 was laid on 22 January with egg 2 laid on the 25th.

Here is the link to Jackie and Shadow’s camera if you do not have it on your list.

There has been a fight between two White-tail eagles on the nest of Milda near Durbe in Latvia. It was posted as a short video on YouTube. It was a younger eagle, perhaps 4 or 5 years old, fighting with Mr S. Thankfully Milda was not involved.

It is snowing on Bonnie at the Great Horned Owl nest in Newton, Kansas. The one egg of Bonnie and Clyde was laid on the 16th of February this year. Last year, the couple fledged two fantastic owlets, Lily and Tiger. They have taken over the nest of a young Bald Eagle couple.

The human made nest at the WRDC is looking a little bare to the wire this morning. R1 and R2 – Rita and Ron’s kids – are looking good. It is lovely to see them doing so well. I know that many of you worried, like I did, about R2 in the early days. He is a big strong creative eaglet. His early attempts at self-feeding really helped.

Kincaid had a Red-eared Sunfish for breakfast this morning at 10:15:18. Like R1 and R2 his juvenile feathers are really coming in now although not as advanced as the Miami duo. He is doing a good job at self-feeding but loves when Anna stays and does the honours.

They are all doing so well. Put a smile on your face! It is so nice that the egg laying is staggered from region to region so that we have the time to enjoy these wee ones growing up into beautiful juveniles!

For the first time in I can’t remember when, all three Grey Squirrels – No Name (the great big one), Dyson, and Scraggles were all in the same area at the same time. I had eyes on all three. Then Little Red ran along the telephone lines. So everyone was around the garden. Dyson was eating on the solid seed suet and in the snow and Scraggles was eating seeds on the snow. I took lots of photographs – none of them great quality but, I wanted to find out if any of them had been injured by the cat yesterday. (Of course, that was only an assumption based on the two locations of blood). No Name is fine. Tail in tact, no scars. Both Dyson and Scraggles have tail issues. There are no marks anywhere on Dyson other than his beautiful tail seemingly thin to the skin in one area. I know it is Dyson because of the tufts and his sweet little face. You can see what would be a nice solid busy tail. It doesn’t quite look like it does when Dyson is moulting.

Little Scraggles seems to look the same as it did the other day. So I think that it was Dyson caught by the cat.

Dyson is fine! He is vacuuming up every seed he can find! It is such a relief.

And we are now heading out to fill up all the feeders so there will be more for him. It remains terribly cold here. It is now only -23 C but temperatures are dropping throughout the day to -31.

Take care everyone. Thank you for your warm wishes for the injured squirrel. Tails will grow back!!!!!!! No real damage done, thank goodness. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Window on Wildlife and Captiva Ospreys, KNF Bald Eagles, WRDC Miami Eagles, Dahlgren Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, Friends of Big Bear, Farmer Derek, and CNN Weather Tracker.

Checking in on Bird World – Friday 4 June

This is the first year that Sarasota Bay has a camera on their Osprey nest. This year there are three chicks and this morning at 7:41, Mom put on a stunning fishing demonstration for everyone watching. Here is a short video clip of that moment. She has been watching a fish for several minutes and was drawn to catch it!

Over in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia, the three baby storks and their Dad are really doing well. The community continues to provide food for them and will until such time as the little ones can get their own. How generous and caring these people are. It has been two weeks since the female was electrocuted on the hydro lines. It is heartwarming that everyone has pitched in so that this nest can be a success and not a tragedy.

Look at how well they can stand. Their wings are growing. This is just grand. And now the three can move around the nest much better than they could a week ago. They love to watch what is going on below them! My Asian friends tell me that everyone will be blessed with a long life because of their good deeds for this stork family. I sure hope so! It is for their efforts that these three little birds are now standing.

Look at those precious ones standing and their wing feathers growing in so nicely. They are looking like healthy little storks. This was ten days ago:

What a difference!

The little albino Osplet in the Urdaibai Biosphere Nest is still with us! It has really been raining and thankfully, the skies stopped pouring down and Landa got a break to feed the trio.

Aww, little Zuri is right up there wanting some fish. Thank you Roy!

The sun is setting. The golden glow that it casts on the marshlands makes them so green and so alive. Landa is keeping all three of her little ones warm and dry. I wonder if they will have one more fish dinner?

The rain has left Landa and her wee ones in Spain but it is pitching it down in King George County in West Virginia. Harriet and the two Bobs were soaked when I checked on them today. Just look at how big those kids are now. Harriet seems to have controlled Jack’s urge to bring too many objects to the nest! or maybe the people of the area have stopped putting out toys specifically for Jack to take to the nest! That would help a lot.

Thinking about toys and aprons being brought to an Osprey nest reminded me of Richmond and Rosie. Richmond is the ‘king’ of cute things coming in to the nest. There are people who watch so that the chicks don’t get hurt and carefully go up and remove them. One of the most fun things was a blanket last year; many remember an orange monkey, too, and an apron.

There are two camera views. One is a rather wide view of Richmond and Rosie’s nest on the Whirley Crane – yes a real crane – at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco.

The other one shows more of the actual comings and goings on the nest. The last time we checked on this family – I am embarrassed it has been so long – was when the third chick hatched. Rosie is a pro at handling a nest with three ospreys and Richmond is quite the fisher. These babies and their mom will never be hungry. Richmond does not migrate. He stays in San Francisco all year round but Rosie heads south in the winter returning in late February. This year she arrived earlier than she ever has – on 18 February – just a few days off of Valentine’s. Richmond is always delighted to see her. He is usually at the nest within minutes of her arrival! Oh, the love birds. How sweet.

Richmond and Rosie’s trio are getting their peachy juvenile plumage!

I always watch the scrape box of Diane and Xavier on the grounds of Charles Sturt Campus in Orange, NSW, Australia. As you may know, Peregrine Falcons do not build nests like Ospreys and Eagles. They lay their eggs on gravel or sandy cliffs. This is a method that has evolved so that there are no parasites to harm their eyases. Izzi is Xavier and Diamond’s 2020 hatch. Izzi has his own very distinct personality. And he is a handful.

The scrape box is on top of the old water tower (170 steps up). The behaviour of the Peregrine Falcons is part of Dr Cilla Kinross’s research on raptors.

Izzi is posing a lot of interesting questions into falcon behaviour. He should have vacated the scrape box months ago as the new breeding season is about to start. BUT – yes one of those big pauses….Izzi fludged and was returned to the scrape box. Then on his second fledge he flew into a window and was taken into care and returned to the scrape box. The third time was a winner – a perfect fly out from the box. But Izzi, being Izzi, the only child of X and D, may think that the scrape box is his! It is now the beginning of June and everyone was sure he would be evicted no later than February. I wonder what is doing to happen???

Here is Izzi having a serious chat with Diamond, his mother, who is on the ledge. Izzi is known for being very loud. They can probably hear him all the way to Sydney!

I am going to close with a video by Lady Hawk on the Bucovina Golden Eagles in Bulgaria. The mother hunted and brought a fawn into the nest the other day. You might recall that normally the males do the hunting but the male is afraid of the camera! So the mother has had to go and hunt. Here you can see that she keeps feeding her chick til it looks like it will pop. Just look at that crop!

It is now 35 degrees C on the Canadian prairies. The heat warning remains in effect for this atypical weather. In fact we are now 7 degrees hotter than islands in the Caribbean! It is time to replenish all the bird bowls and baths. Have a fabulous weekend everyone. Thanks for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Ospreys, Mlady Buky, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Sarasota Bay Ospreys, and Golden Gate Audubon.

Being a bird is not that easy!

At 5:58:36 Tiny Tot was busy eating a fish. Then all of a sudden, Diane and Tiny begin to look around. Someone is arriving, someone they know! Two seconds later and one of the older siblings – I cannot tell if it is 1 or 2 – lands on the nest and begins sniffing around Tiny Tot’s dinner. It was really apparent that the older sibling was extremely hungry. Tiny Tot did not mind sharing its fish – at least, this time, it didn’t.

More than half of first year fledges die. The challenges they face are immense. Most die of starvation. Maybe the older sibling will stay around the nest and have a long sibling chat with Tiny Tot telling them of the dangers and the scary things they might face. Are there gators around St Petersburg? would an Osprey think they were a log and land on their back? What about all the other birds trying to catch fish. Someone trained in watching Ospreys fish said that it takes approximately 15 tries before an experienced bird gets their catch. That could be exhausting and frustrating for first year birds who probably take many more tries.

The older sibling arrives ravenous and heads right to Tiny’s fish.

Whichever sibling you are, it is nice to see you. Tiny Tot does not mind sharing. He knows that Diane will allow you to eat the fish and then she will take it and feed everyone – and that is precisely what she did when the 7:56:11 fish arrived on the nest. The older sibling was so hungry that it really put up a fight with Diane for immediate control of that fish. She gave in and then twenty minutes later took the fish and fed both of the chicks. The older sibling will sleep with a full tummy tonight – perhaps the first time in a week.

Here comes Diane with that nice fish.

The older sibling begins trying to pull the fish off Diane’s talon.

He’s got it. Notice that Tiny Tot is not making a fuss or mantling.

Diane lets the oldest sibling feed on the fish for about 20 minutes and then she takes over and feeds both of the osplets.

The older sibling was on the nest when Jack brought the first fish in at 7:15 Wednesday morning. There was a scramble and Jack wanted to get out quick. The older sibling grabbed the fish. Let’s see how happy Tiny is if this happens all day!!!!!!!!

I cannot even imagine what it is like to be a first time bird parent. Wonder what it is like trying to feed a moving bobble head? Their heads bobble back and forth and the beak of the parent is large and well, it takes time to figure out precisely how to coordinate feeding.

Telling their partner that they need a convenience break or to get out and get some more fish on the nest is sometimes difficult. Watching some of the more ‘power’ couples, they seem to know what the other needs before they scream out for it. Aran always has fish on the nest for Mrs G. She needs to eat just like the Qs.

Today, NC0 needed a break. She flew off the nest. Laddie flew in to watch over the little one. Laddie needs to get with the fish deliveries, however. He has to provide food for both NC0 and the little one.

At an earlier feeding, NC0 did a good job feeding the little one and it also held its head as straight as it could. Tomorrow they will be even better. Now, we just need fish, Laddie!

Her is a bit of a giggle that was recorded when Nessie was first feeding the little one. Have a bit of a giggle. It is about 30 seconds long.

And now we have the second one arriving! Sure wish the rain would stop on this nest. It is hard to keep the babies dry and feed them when it is pitching down rain. So much to think about with little ones.

Osprey dads love to bring colourful items to the nest and Jack at the Dahlgren Nest is no exception. There was a big smile on my face today because Harriet has really cleaned up dad’s hoard of toys and plastic objects so that the two osplets can walk around. That must not have been easy! She usually buries the plushies in the rim of the nest but I wonder if she hasn’t just tossed them off?

Just imagine the challenges for an Osprey mom with four chicks? That is what this pair of Ospreys overcome every day in the Botrona Natural Reserve in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy.

The first chick hatched on 1 April 2021. You can easily tell by their size which is the oldest and the youngest in the clutch.

They are all doing splendid. The nest is in a prey rich area and the parents have worked hard to make sure that each is fed. All four are thriving.

I would like to introduce you to another Osprey Nest, this time in Estonia. The nest of Marko and Miina is in the south of Estonia in Vorumaa. Miina is stunningly beautiful. In the image below you can see her dark wide necklace.

Miina is incubating three eggs. The first was laid on 17 April, the second on 20 April, and the third on 23 April. Hatch watch will officially begin on 25 May! This is the tenth year for this nest and everyone is very excited.

Why do I mention this particular nest in Poland and not another? The female is incubating four eggs!

You can follow Marko and Miina raising their family here:

I have been meaning to post information on a nest in the Bartlinecka Forest and I have waited to find out more information. Instead of waiting any longer, I would like also to introduce you to an Osprey nest on a 35 metre high artificial platform built by the Polish Committee for the Protection of Eagles. This has been a very successful nest in the past. Just look at that beautiful forest. The camera was just installed in 2019. Oh, the female has a beautiful necklace, too.

Congratulations to Aran and Mrs G on their second hatch!

The last bit of this morning’s news is that in the early morning, at dusk, Iris laid her third egg. Iris cannot help it. That is Mother Nature. So far Iris has mostly ignored incubating the eggs. If she has any free will from her hormones maybe that is it – or maybe she knows those eggs aren’t viable. Who knows? I love getting a glimpse of her when she comes to the nest! Each day is precious.

It is a partly cloudy day on the Canadian prairies and we are being promised rain. I hope that it really does rain for the nest week like it shows on my phone. Everything is so dry. Even so, there were some Brown Thrashers thumping about in my garden this morning. They are always a welcome sight along with the Purple Finches. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care and have a wonderful Wednesday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Rybolowy Online Puszca Barlinecka, Scottish Wildlife and Loch of the Lowes, Eagle Club of Estonia, Botrona Natural Reserve in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Achieva Credit Union.

Late night Thursday edition of ‘As the Nest Turns’

The White-tail Eagle nest in the Matsula National Park in Estonia – one of the oldest known breeding territories in the country, has been fledging eaglets since the nineteenth century, if not before. Archives go back to 1870 with modern records from 1996-2020 indicating that no less than 29 eaglets fledged from the nest that Eve and Eerik currently call their own. So what has happened this year?

For two days now, Eve and Eerik have been mourning the loss of their two babies, EE1 and EE2. Long before the little ones stopped breathing, the couple knew. A parent was always there with them witnessing their last breath. It is a scene that many of us have observed at other nests this year. I remember too clearly the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest in Florida – on Santibel Island – when Hope and Peace both died of secondary rodenticide poisoning. Joe, the father was devastated, and I have often wondered if it wasn’t the death of his two eaglets that made him vulnerable and, eventually, evicted from the nest by Martin. Several years ago, stories of the injuries to Juliet at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest and then the death of his eaglet, made Romeo abandon the Bald Eagle Nest in Jacksonville where his son, Samson, has now fledged his third-eaglet, Legacy (the two previous were Romy and Jules last year). Birds have memories and emotions, they mourn the dead, and understand. Laura Culley would challenge anyone who begged to differ, “And why wouldn’t they?” she was ask.

Eve and Eerik completely covered the babies, each spending time at the nest. Imagine that you have two seemingly healthy children and within a day they are both dead and you don’t know what happened. I use the term ‘seemingly healthy’, as the two eaglets were somewhat lethargic for several days before they died. It was extremely hot – one of those blasts of extreme heat that my friend ‘T’ from Strasbourg warned me about. I thought it was the heat that caused them to be less hungry and alert.

The experts in Estonia have mentioned that a sizeable number of large birds have been found dead along the coastline. Below is a Google Map showing that coast line and the area of Matsula.

Google Map showing the area of Matsalu and its proximity to the coast line of Estonia.

The eagles eat carrion (dead animals). Is it possible that a disease was transmitted to the nest? Was it Avian Flu? or was the cause rodenticide? It will be good to have the speculation stopped and have factual evidence – then the wildlife authorities can begin to figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again (if they can). The bodies of the babies will be removed on the 14th of May for an autopsy if the eagles allow them to take them. Meanwhile, Eerik is at the nest looking down at his baby, EE1, now covered by straw.

Wildlife employees in Estonia have just released this statement: “If we manage to collect the dead chicks (hope the parents let us do that), the tests will be done in Estonian University of Life Sciences or sent abroad if needed. We’ve talked with Dr. Madis Leivits about it. We’ll post the findings on the forum, if we get new information. The camera will stay online and I really hope that next year we can follow this nest again.” Thank you ‘T’ for sending this to me!

It is hard to transition from what is happening in Estonia to the rest of Bird World. I hope that the issues at this beautiful nest in Estonia are resolved and that Eve and Eerik return to raise another family next year.

When the anxiety and tensions on one nest get too high and I need a break, I head to a nest that appears stable – at that moment. As we all know, everything can change in an instant. One of those ‘safe’ nests is the Manton Bay Osprey nest at Rutland, home of Maya and Blue 33 (11). Just look at those Two Bobs! Blue 33 (11) has been busy bringing in fish today. It was a whopper at 11:47. Maya is busy filling the two up before the rains come. Look at how strong their necks are! Oh, I love this Osprey nest and those baby blues of the little ones. They will turn an amber or yellow-orange shortly and when they are adults, their eyes will be a piercing bright yellow like their dad and mum. Oh, those little dinosaurs are adorable.

Birds are often better at telling what the weather will be than our local forecaster. Maya fed the babies as much as they could hold before the skies opened in the late afternoon. Look at how she is hunkered down so the Bobs are warm and dry. Their down is of no protection to them.

By 18:22 it is dry enough that Maya can safely stop her brooding and feed those spunky osplets! There is not any nonsense. Maya and Blue 33 (11) are amazing parents who keep those kiddos full. The Bobs know that there is plenty of fish – no food insecurities here. How refreshing. I could watch these two little ones all day. You can see how they stand erect for Maya and how their crops are just beginning to get full.

There is no shortage of pigeons for the three male eyases of Annie and Grinnell. The parents had a banquet for them after the banding yesterday. If you look carefully you can see the red band on the right leg of the chick at bottom left. Each eyas has two bands – an aluminum one and a coloured one.

One of the questions that someone asked yesterday during the Q & A was about the ‘ps’ all over the walls. The answer was this: if something happened to Annie and Grinnell a pair of falcons checking out this box would know that the territory was a good one, full of prey, because of all the ps. Isn’t that interesting? One of the other questions was about parasites. Peregrine falcons evolved to lay their eggs and raise their eyases in a scrape box. This helps avoid mites and parasites that happen on stick nests.

Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are also full of spunk and vinegar! K3 got its head caught under the wing of one of the sibs and it stood up like a big prize fighter giving that sib the what for. Look at that crop! That little one is really telling that other one. It is not the first time this little one has been ready to take one of the older ones on. This nest is going to get really interesting.

Samson brought Legacy a nice fish. Legacy started squealing and mantling before he was even in sight – that was 4:50:28 if you are watching the streaming cam. There she is mantling and Samson is just arriving.

I love Samson’s skinny legs! It looks like he is wearing tights. He is getting out of there quick – saving those talons for sure!

Legacy will not stop mantling the fish til Samson is not a threat.

Legacy is really learning how to keep her fish for herself. Great lessons by Samson and Gabby.

Legacy made quick work of that fish!

Oh, Legacy, you are gorgeous. We are so lucky you returned to the nest and have stayed around longer so we can enjoy seeing you learn and grow more confident.

I have done a quick run through of the other nests and everything seems to be going smoothly. There will be hatch watch for some of the Osprey nests in the UK this weekend. Iris has two eggs in the nest but she appears to not be taking their presence seriously. She left at 13:55 and at 20:25 she had not returned. I am glad to see that Iris is taking care of herself. No doubt she is enjoying the nice day and has caught herself several good fish.

Tiny Tot, who is no longer tiny, has been eating a lot of fish today. #2 sibling got the first fish of the morning. Tiny Tot showed the remarkable patience she has gained. She waited knowing full well that Diane would let #2 work on the fish for so long and then she would take it and they would enjoy the rest of it together. That has repeated itself throughout the day.

And can you see them with all the things in the nest? The two at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest are doing well. The first hatch has really taken off in terms of size. I bet everyone is sitting around saying that ‘it’ is going to be a ‘big girl’. Time will tell. It is too late for the third egg to hatch and it will be absorbed into the nest. No worries. Harriet keeps the two chicks warm and well fed. Jack is an excellent provider. Two nice healthy chicks is great!

Tomorrow I want to check on some of the Red-tail hawk nests in New York City – yes, right in the heart of the city. In fact, it was one of these nests that keened my interest on urban hawks – the one on the ledge of New York City University. There should also be some news on the retrieval attempt of EE1 and EE2 for their post-mortems. Right now, Eerik is on the left hand branch of the nest tree in Estonia. He has moved the bodies of the babies and him and Eve have eaten off the prey in the nest. They need to consume it so that intruders do not come. So fingers crossed!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, the Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, UC Falcon Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, and the Montana Osprey Project.

Tuesday Nest Hopping

I watched Legacy this morning. She seemed occupied by what was happening beyond the nest.

Then she moved to another branch and looked out.

She turned back to look at us. Then, Legacy lowered her head, did a ‘ps’, and flew off. It was 11:51:00 on 11 May.

It was a fabulous push off – and whoosh. Legacy left the nest.

There she is leaving the branch and flying out beyond the nest tree – in the two images below. What a gorgeous silhouette.

Notice the wing positions as she goes up and then thrusts forward.

Are Samson and Gabby training her to find prey elsewhere? Will she return?

And here is our answer. At 2:42 Samson coaxes Legacy back to the nest. He flies in and drops a small piece of fish on the nest. Sometimes Samson looks like a cartoon character – I promise you that is really Legacy’s dad standing on the nest! He has the most amazing legs!!!!!!! Almost like skinny jeans.

Here comes Legacy – she messes up her landing and has to fly around and come back on the other side. Meanwhile, Samson waits.

Samson sees Legacy coming and he is out of there. She mantled it and took only a few minutes to eat that small piece of fish.

Legacy was up on her branch looking out over the territory of her parents Samson and Gabby and hoping for another chunk of fish! So glad to see you Legacy.

Across the state of Florida, from Jacksonville and Legacy’s nest to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St. Petersburg, Diane appears to be giving more advice to Tiny Tot. Is it one of those mother-daughter chats about survival and raising her own chicks?

Oh, I hope that Tiny Tot hangs around the nest for 3 or 4 weeks building up her skills! The research indicates that the more food and the longer on the nest the stronger the possibility is of survival.

Blue 152 (female) and unringed male were still at Loch Arkaig at 16:09. Fingers crossed for a new couple. They are surveying what could be their territory. Looks like Louis might not give them any trouble. He is busy with his new mate since Aila did not return from migration on the other nest. Rumour has it Louis and her have at least one egg on that nest.

This is not the best screen capture, apologies. The female has a very beautiful necklace (she is on the right with the blue band). And look at the difference in eye colour from that of Tiny Tot. Osprey eyes are darker, an amber or orange-yellow, as a juvenile lightening up to a bright yellow as an adult. The female appears to have a bit of a crop – she was crying for a fish this morning – while the male’s seems to be fairly flat. Remember the crop is a pouch under the throat which is part of the bird’s (all raptors but owls) digestive system. I like to think of it as a holding tank. They might find prey one day and get ‘full to the brim’ – both the stomach and the crop bulging – to not have any food for a couple of days. The raptor can ‘crop drop’ – releasing food into the stomach.

The female spent some time rearranging the nest and the pair mated just after 4pm. Now bring your lady a fish!

Boy does he look grumpy. I hope it is just the angle of the camera.

Blue 33 (11) gets his status as super star of the Osprey world for his great devotion to Maya and his chicks. Here he is delivering a nice big one for the evening meal for the ‘Bobs’.

Of course raising 11 chicks in three years (2019, 2020, and this year if the third egg hatches) gives both him and Maya super Osprey status.

Blue 33 (11) is a very devoted dad and often spends time sitting nest to Maya in the nest while she incubates or broods.

Big Red took a break and the Ks all cuddled up together to keep warm. When she returned she had a fresh chippie for lunch. Watching the Ks learn to eat in the midst of a little bonking is fascinating. Big Red is so patient!

You can catch this entire feeding on a video. See if you can tell which K is which.

This morning the Ks were a little disorganized. Look at them five hours later standing still all lined up to eat. K3 knows that being in the front is important. This is more like it. They have dried out more and so has the nest. Almost looks like they have had a bath.

Grinnell was doing a great job feeding the three this afternoon. Those juvenile feathers are really starting to come in. Love the ‘peach’ at the end of the tail.

It is hard to imagine but they will look like Izzi in about a month.

Izzi is such a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon. Here he is at just a little over seven months old – 5 May 2021. Of course, we all want him to stay in his parent’s scrape box but, do they? In a nutshell, Izzi had three fledges – yes, three! One fludge, one that sent him into a window and rehab, and then a fantastic one. Each time he was returned to the scrape box so this parents, Xavier and Diamond, would accept him. But now, maybe he thinks the penthouse apartment on top of the water tower is his!

Look at those eyes. Izzi loves to see his reflection in the camera casing.

Jack brought in a nice fish for Harriet to feed the two osplets on the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in King George County, Virginia. It is nice to see Jack staying on the nest while Harriet feeds the babies. There is one egg lost in the nest that didn’t get incubated and another in the nest cup but from my calculations it is too late for it to hatch. That is probably a very good thing. Look at how big those two are!

I didn’t know if we would ever see Tiger or Lily Rose back on the nest tree in Kansas. And there, at 5:09 am is one of them sitting on a branch hoping for a food delivery. I think it is Lily Rose but I cannot be 100% certain. Bonnie and Clyde will continue to help them until they such time as they are able to catch their own prey – and that won’t be long.

Thank you so very much for dropping in to check on ‘the birds’ today with me. I hope that your day was good and that you are safe and well wherever you are. Tomorrow the Duke Farm eaglets will get banded.

Thank you to the following for their steaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab, Farmer Derek, Achieva Osprey, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Charles Sturt University at Orange, Australia and the Falcon Project, Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys.

From all the little ones…

There are so many bird babies around the world today thankful for their great moms that I thought we would stop in and check on some of them – and take a look back in some cases. I apologize if I didn’t include your favourite.

Thanks Mom Bonnie and Dad Clyde for finding us a beautiful nest tree and then stealing it from those Bald Eagles.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. Tree on the farm near Newton, Kansas that once belonged to the Bald Eagles but captured by Bonnie and Clyde to raise their owlets, Tiger and Lily Rose.

We did well. Look at us! Lily Rose and I fly all over the farm but we love to come back to the nest for you and dad to bring us some food.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. 8 May 2021

You kept us really warm and full with all those mice when it was snowy and cold.

Farmer Derek. February 2021

Thanks Mom. Look at how big we are – #1 Daughter and #2 Son.

MN DNR. Parents are Nancy and Harry. Oldest sibling is a girl, youngest is a male. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom Gabby. I inherited your and Dad Samson’s stunning beauty and also your loud squeal – not sure Dad Samson likes it when I chase him! You and Dad have taken such good care of me.

NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF. February 2021

Thank you for keeping me on the nest and teaching me all those lessons after I got lost!

NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. Legacy with a huge crop. 9 May 202

Mom, it’s Mother’s Day and I really thought I would be a great mom like you are. But there are people looking at the beak line and my eye ratio and the length of my hallux and they are saying I am a boy!

NEFlorida and the AEF Bald Eagle Cam. 9 May 2021

Thanks Dad Jack for coming to help Mom Harriet feed us this morning! And thanks Dad for not bringing in anymore toys so Mom can find us to feed us.

Dalgren Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021. Jack and Harriet are the parents.

Look, Mom Anna. We did it! I grew up – your first baby ever. Thank you for keeping me safe when that other juvenile came to steal my fish the other day.

KNF Streaming Cam. First time parents are Louis and Anna. This is Kisatchie named after the national park where the ancient nest tree is located.

Boy, Dad Louis sure kept that nest full of fish. Good thing we can’t smell very well, right Mom Anna? Do you remember?

KNF Eagle Cam. 8 March 2021

Thanks Mom, Annie. You are always fair when you feed us. Look how big we are growing. And just look at our pretty pantaloons!!!!!!!!!

UC Berkeley Falcon Cam. Annie and Grinnell are the parents on this beautiful nest in the Campanile in San Francisco.

Look how much we have grown! Thanks for taking such good care of us and feeding us all that pigeon.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hatched just in time! Can I have some fish please?

Rutland Water Ospreys. Maya is the mom and Blue 33 (11) is the dad. This is ‘Little Bob’.

Aren’t I gorgeous? Just like my mom Lime Green Lime. My mom travels thousands of kilometres to find food for me. Then she flies back to Taiaroa Head to give me my squid shake. I don’t have a name yet. People are voting and I will know soon. Stay tuned.

Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC. Royal Albatross Cam Chick of the Year, Daughter of LGL and LGK. 7 May 2021
Cornell Lab and NZ DOC. One day I am going to fly like my mom, LGL. April 2021

Yeah, the sun is out and the wind is warm and our mom, Big Red is drying out just like we are. Isn’t she the best? She takes good care of us even if it is snowing or raining and flooding everything. Big Red is the best mom ever.

Cornell Bird Lab. Big Red is the 18 year old mom and Arthur is the 5 year old dad of this years Ks. 9 May 2021

Mom Big Red. You endure any kind of weather to keep your little ones safe!

Cornell Bird Lab. April 2021.

Thanks Mom for yelling at dad to bring in more fish so we both can eat. We are growing really big. And I promise to try not and be so bad to my little brother, Mom.

Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon. The Savannah Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom for staying with me when I get scared. It is lonely in this nest sometimes. You were so great at keeping me warm when it got really cold here in Colorado. But, today, what do you think of the new hair style?

Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain Eagle Cam. This Bald Eagle Cam is located in Colorado. This little one has done well and is just getting its dark thermal down. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom Eve for keeping us warm and being fair with the feeding. We both get fed and we both grow the same! You and dad Eerik keep the nest stocked with food so we never are hungry.

Eagle Club of Estonia. Eve and Eerik are the parents of the two little White-tail Eaglets. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom for not giving up on us when you were buried in snow for a month. We are going to get our satellite trackers soon and you can follow us wherever we go after we fledge! And also Mom, thanks for not letting Big get all the food!

Duke Farms Eagle Cam, Hillsborough, New Jersey. These two are really growing fast and evening out in their size.

Thank you Mama Lucy. It’s just me so far and that is OK. You are a great Mom.

Lake Murray Osprey Cam. Parents are Lucy and Ricky and this is nest number 8 for this pair since 2013. The nest platform is brand new in 2020. What a beautiful place to raise ospreys.

Lucy and Ricky have a beautiful place and a new platform in 2020 to raise their little ones. The couple arrived in the area in 2013. Since then their nests have been destroyed by storms. Hope this wonderful new Osprey platform survives.

Lake Murray NH Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021

Mama Harriet, we had to go away and get our eye infection taken care of by CROW. Mom, I am sorry I had to have time out because I was so bad to my little brother, E18. I promise we will be the best of friends in the future.

Mama Harriet, I kept my promise. E18 and I are the best of mates now that we are growing up.

You did good, Mom. We only fight over food drops now – just like we did when we were at CROW. Sorry!

Tiny Tot: “Thanks Mom Diane for bringing in all that extra fish. It was literally life and death for me. I promise to grow into a great mom. You will be proud of me.”

Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021. #2 sibling on left, Tiny Tot on Right

Thank you for joining me today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Bird Moms and to each of you that has inspired, raised/reared someone or something else. It takes a village!

Thank you to all the streaming cams listed under the images. That is where I captured those screen shots.

Feed me!

All of the babies, old and new, were wanting food this morning. Just a quick hop through Bird World on a Monday morning to check on how our friends are doing this Monday.

The first egg at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in Machodoc and William’s Creek in King George, Virginia hatched on 2 May, Sunday. Jack brought in a fish when Harriet was getting the little one ready for a feeding today and about pulled the baby out of the nest cup! Squint. The little one is right below Harriet’s beak.

3 May 2021. Harriet is feeding the little one. Jack just brought in a fish – not a toy!

Big Red fed K1 this morning. Arthur had a part of a rabbit in the pantry and there was also the remaining Starling that Big Red had for dinner last night.

Big Red is always so gentle with her babies picking off tiny pieces of meat to try and fit in their little beaks.

Eve and Eerik’s little ones are growing and they are always ready for a good feed! They are now old enough to understand what all of this is about. Cute little bobble heads.

Annie and Grinnell’s trio are already grabbing prey and wanting to start self feeding. My goodness the marshmallows have really turned that pigeon into falcon over the past week.

If Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot was not being harassed by Blue Jays this morning, he was eating! Looks like two fish deliveries before 11am for the Achieva Osprey Nest. Both of its siblings have fledged but Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot still has some feather development to go before fledge. I would also like for him to stay around a bit. What joy it has been to see this lovely osprey survive and begin to thrive.

The two little osplets at The Landings, Skidaway Island Osprey Nest had a nice fresh fish this morning. The oldest has been fed and now it is time for the youngest! Both of them are doing well.

The Royal Cam Chick lucked out. On 1 May, she had a double feeding from her parents LGL and LGK. How grand. Notice how she takes her bill and clacks on the side of the parent’s bill. It stimulates the parent to be able to feed the chick. LGL arrived first followed quickly by LGK.

LGL comes in to feed her precious chick. 1 May 2021

The parent regurgitates the squid and channels inside their bills allow for the little one to catch the rich liquid shake.

LGL leans over so that the Princess can get every drop of the rich squid liquid. 1 May 2021

The Royal Cam princess almost had a family reunion. The parents arrived and left within minutes of one another!

The Princess is always happy to see her dad, LGK. 1 May 2021.

Oh, the green leaves of the Minnesota forest look so good. It is still cold on the Canadian prairies where the leaves are only ‘thinking’ about bursting out. It is 6 degrees C this morning with a grey dreary sky.

The two eaglets of Harry and Nancy are growing and starting to self-feed. Do you remember when we wondered if Harry would ever catch on to what his duties were as dad to these two? Seems he was a fast learner!

E17 and E18, the juvenile Bald Eagles of Harriet and M15 at the SW Florida Bald Eagle Nest on the Pritchett Farm in Fort Myers seem to never be in need of food. Food drops are frequent with one getting all the prey and sometimes they even share!

They have had some unusual items on the buffet table including a heron chick the other day.

That is a wonderful crop on E18 who managed to keep the entire fish delivery to himself. You might still remember when E17 was bonking the daylights out of its younger sibling. That, of course, stopped and if eagles can be buddies then these two are best mates.

Kisatachie is busy cleaning up the leftovers brought in on Sunday. My goodness this eaglet is growing up quickly. Do you remember when Kisatchie and his mom, Anna, couldn’t quite figure out how to feed and eat? or when Louis had 18 fish stacked up in the pantry? I am sure there were a few other nests that would have loved some of the fish he brought on to this nest! Kisatchie will be fledging soon.

Someone mentioned to me how Legacy and Kistachie seem so lonely. Bald Eagles by their nature are loners. They spend hours and hours sitting and waiting for prey. I have learned that this is just their way of life and not to put on human feelings on the eagles.

And while all the others are chowing down, Legacy is waiting for a parent to return and bring some prey. I am so glad that she is staying on her nest. The camera mods said Legacy still had some food in her crop yesterday so she is not starving despite her squealing. Still, it would be very reassuring to us ‘aunties and uncles’ to see a parent bring in some food. Gabby and Samson were seen together at The Lumberyard last night around 8:30 so both of the parents are safe and sound. I am human and I worry – but there are lessons from Legacy’s parents that she will need to help her survive in the real world of eagles when food will not be scarce. I am breathing knowing that they raised a beautiful juvenile to fledge and that Samson and Gabby will carry her through to full independence.

Legacy is not the only eaglet waiting for a food drop or a feeding. The trio at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest ate so much on 2 May that they still have crops this morning. It is pitching down rain in Pittsburg and they are all cuddled together. Sometimes one or another will go over and pick at some of the bones left on the nest just like Legacy was finding old fish tails yesterday embedded in the nest.

Ah, wow. I had no more than finished loading the image above and a parent flew onto the nest with prey for the trio. Yippeeee. Maybe I should go back and check on Legacy!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I am so glad that you are enjoying what is going on in Bird World. There is so much happening. Today was a skip around the nests but more attention will be paid to Big Red and her brood once all are hatched and to the Manitoba Peregrine Falcons who have been breeding on The Golden Boy on top of our Legislative Building downtown.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, MN DNR, SW Florida and D Pritchett, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon.

“Biggie’ Tot and more in ‘As the Nest Turns’

One of the individuals watching the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida said that the worry over Tiny Tot caused them to age ten years. There are so many people that probably feel the same way. We ached when Tiny Tot did not have food for one, two, and even three days and cried with joy when its crop was full. We had visions of helicopters dropping fish from the sky or setting up a food table. There were times when I went to sleep and thought that I would wake up and Tiny Tot would be dead. How could this little one survive on so little in that exhausting Florida heat?

Tiny Tot is a survivor. He is clever, determined, and willing to eat scraps and chew on catfish bones if it means he lives another day. Tiny Tot watches and listens. So often he was the first to grab the fish on arrival, mantling -only to have the parent take it to feed the two older siblings and, if there was anything left, he was fed. If I heard the phrase ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ one more time I was going to blow up. What appeared to be happening was the survival of the not so clever bully bird. And then something happened.

Precisely when did mum decide that her third chick was going to survive despite everything it had been through? Diane observes those three chicks of hers. She monitors the time they spend self-feeding and when she sees they have had about 1/3 to a 1/2 of the fish – depending on who is in the nest – she takes the fish and shares it with the other one. What was it that turned this nest around? We might never know. For the past 3 or 4 nights I have slept well with the knowledge that Tiny was alright.

The problem is ‘the’ name now. #3 has been called 3, Tumbles, Braveheart, Lionheart, etc. I gave it the moniker, Tiny Tot. Tiny isn’t actually ‘tiny’ anymore. If he continues to eat and grow like he is doing then by Monday he could be twice as big as he is now. So, moving forward, no more Tiny Tot for me. #3 is now Biggie Tot the Raptor.

Indeed, every time I checked on the nest today, Biggie Tot was eating exactly like he is in the image below. Every time! How is that possible? As long as nothing bizarre happens – and in Bird World anything can change in a blink – Diane and Jack will be celebrating the fledging of not two but three ospreys this year. Well done you two. Jack, you surprised me and came through with 5 or 6 fish sometimes.

Good night Biggie Tot! Sleep well on your full tummy.

29 April 2021

I kept a close watch on the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Samson and Gabrielle and their fledgling, Legacy today. I briefly stopped in to see a couple of others but my energy and focus was on Legacy.

The last official sighting of Legacy was at 9:53:51 EDT on 28 April.

Legacy and Gabby. They spent the morning together before Legacy flew off. 28 April 2021

What a beauty!

Some think that there could have been a possible flyby at 8:41:16 on the morning of 29 April. It was caught on the tree cam.

Is it Legacy? 29 April 2021

On Thursday, the 29th of April, Samson brought a fish to the nest to try and entice Legacy to come to the nest tree. That didn’t work and Samson wound up eating it. Earlier yesterday, Gabby was with Samson at 11:37:35.

Today, Samson spent the majority of the day – more than eight hours – on the branch looking and listening for Legacy.

29 April 2021

I am not an expert on Bald Eagles but I have trusted acquaintances who are and they shared their knowledge with me today as I searched for some answers. I will share with you everything that I learned as I try to make sense out of what is happening.

First, Bald Eagles do not directly teach the young to hunt prey. I am used to falcons and hawks literally taking their clutch after they have fledged and having ‘hunting parties’ with them. It was not unusual to have Big Red and Arthur showing their juveniles how to catch a squirrel by taking them out and doing just that! A fledgling eagle might make its way to the river and observe their parents catching fish just as WBSE 23 did with Lady and Dad according to one of my trusted sources. The parents and other eagles taught by example.

Secondly, what is typical for a fledgling Bald Eagle is what is happening on the nest of Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers. There E17 and E18 are becoming stronger fliers – going for a flight and then returning to the nest. The parents bring food to the nest for each of them. It is more normal for the fledgling Bald Eagles to stay at the nest for 4-6 weeks doing precisely what E17 and E18 are doing. My trusted sources, who have more than 35 years experience with Bald Eagles together, say it is definitely not typical for a Bald Eagle to fledge one day, take a couple of flights the next, and then leave – poof. I will never sugarcoat anything and neither do the individuals who advised me today. Bald Eagle fledglings are not capable of taking care of themselves in such circumstances. They are still not strong fliers and they do not have the hunting skills required. ‘It normally does not end well’ is what one of them said and that stuck in my head.

So what might have happened? To return to the example of the Sea Eagles, WBSE 26 was chased out of the parent’s territory in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park by several Pied Currawong. Perhaps Legacy got too far away to return at night. That is a possibility. Legacy might be ‘downed’ and is unable to get up and fly to the nest. That could be a huge problem depending on what other wildlife is in the area. The other possibility, as one of the experts noted, is that Legacy is a single child and it is easier for the parent to feed them off nest. So Gabby could be feeding Legacy while Samson is trying to coax her back to the nest. The other possibilities for this situation are more dire. Many fly into power lines while others get their wings caught up in branches. Fighting to get free they rip their wings. She could have tried to get carrion off the highway and gotten hit by a car. Those are just some of the many possibilities. There could be people out looking for Legacy during the daylight hours – something that we might not ever know. Still, I hope like I did for Tiny now Biggie Tot that everything turns around for the best and we see Legacy or have a positive sighting of her soon and that she is well.

It was a miserable rainy day for Big Red and Arthur at the Cornell Fernow light tower. Everyone is getting excited for a possible hatch watch. It would appear that the oldest egg is 34 days and Big Red’s statistics indicate hatches between 38 and 41 days, longer than normal for other RTHs. So I am not going to start getting excited until next week. Knowing Big Red she will surprise all of us!

A rather soggy Big Red. 29 April 2021

Lunch ‘looks’ reasonably peaceful at ‘The Landings’ Skidaway Island Osprey nest. I use the term ‘looks’ because we all know that looks can be deceiving. The eldest still asserts its dominance but, so far, the younger one is alright. Dad just brought in a fish and already both of the little ones have crops. Their plumage is really changing. It looks like the one to the top has a mask on today.

Lunch is on. 29 April 2021
Playing nice. 29 April 2021

Isn’t this just a cute little cuddle puddle? It is hard to believe that before the next academic term begins at Berkeley, these three will be flying at stealth speeds and catching prey in mid-air.

Such sweeties. Cuddled together in the shade to avoid the hot sunlight. 29 April 2021

It is clearly easier to get dirty when eating if you are white. The falcon parents have a particular call they make when they arrive with the food and it is time to eat. The little ones stand in a group and grab or the parent hangs the food above their beak. They want the chicks to stretch their necks so that they become strong. When there are no more chirping eyasses and no more wide open mouths, feeding is over. No bonking. Just nice full crops and food comas.

Feed me, feed me! 29 April 2021

The nest cup in the White-tailed Eagle nest in Estonia is very deep. It really protects the little one from the cold winds. The temperature at the nest continues to be about 1 degree C. This picture was taken after 5pm in the evening. Look at that wonderful sunshine and blue sky – what a change from the frosty morning they had. You can just see the little bobble head reaching up to get its evening meal. There is another egg in this nest and if it is viable, it should be hatching tomorrow.

Eve feeding her first hatch. 29 April 2021

Louis continues to be attentive to Iris at the Hellgate Osprey Nest – visiting and mating more often since the banded intruder showed up in Louis’s territory. So far there are no eggs in Iris’s nest!

One of several reasons cited for the female raptors being 33-50% larger than the males (dimorphism) can be seen below. The male osprey flies in and lands on the female. If the weight distribution were the opposite, the female could be crushed.

Louis landing on Iris for a mating attempt. 29 April 2021
29 April 2021. Louis and Iris mating (or not?)

I want to leave you with a bit of a smile or maybe a horrible nightmare. I simply cannot imagine Osprey chicks wandering around in all of the stuff that Jack brings to this nest. The stuffed shark and a brown teddy bear are still there along with some hats and sweaters and other toys. Harriet has to be so patient! I just want to go out there and tidy it up for her before the babies hatch at this nest near King George, Virginia. Don’t you?

The hoarde of objects that Jack brings to Harriet as gifts at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest. 29 April 2021

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care of yourselves, stay safe. I will continue to monitor the Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville for any news of Legacy along with the Big Sur California Condor nest for hatch. Thank you to those who have taken the time to send me a note or ask a question. I am glad you are enjoying my blog. It is so nice to hear from other bird lovers!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams – that is where I grab my screen shots: Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Achieva Credit Union, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Eagle Club Estonia, and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.

It’s 3 for Big Red and 4 for Dahlgren

The Guardian ran a story, ‘All my eaglets: pandemic audience spellbound by saga of nesting bald eagles’ in its Wildlife section this morning. While the story focused on the growing number of people watching bird streaming cams during the pandemic, it chose to use the example of two nests. The sadness of Jackie and Shadow at the Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest in the San Bernadino Valley and the joy of Liberty and Guardian and their three chicks at the Redding Bald Eagle nest. Richard Luscombe really caught the moment – the joy celebration, the sadness and loss. Jackie (9 year old female) and Shadow (7 year old male) are two of the most popular Bald Eagles on streaming cams and yet, their story encapsulates great sadness. For two years they have tried to raise a chick. This year in their second clutch there was a hatch. Heartbreak came when that chick died trying to break out of the shell. Jackie and Shadow continue to care for the second egg which watchers know will never hatch. Last year they sat on two eggs for sixty days before giving up. In contrast, Guardian (7 year old male) and Liberty (22 year old female) are raising triplets and Liberty has, in her lifetime, successfully fledged 22 and outlived two mates. Like human families and stories, every bird nest is different.

Over the past year, I have received (or seen) letters, comments, and testimonies about the birds. It is clear that the ‘bird’ families streaming into our living rooms have become ‘intimate’ friends whose daily lives we share – their joys and their challenges. One woman wrote to tell me that she knows ‘her bird family’ better than her own human family! She is not alone. From the infertile eggs to the cheeping of the hatching chick, people have watched the birds and their loneliness and pain have been diminished. Many of you have written to me to tell me how the birds have saved your lives, including several with stage 4 cancer and partners who have died from COVID. Caring for the birds has lessened the impact of the isolation and has given us something to focus on besides ourselves. ‘A distraction from our lives’ a woman from The Netherlands said.

When the pandemic ends, I hope that all of you will continue to watch the lives of your favourite bird families unfold. And I would encourage you to talk to your children and your grandchildren or the neighbour’s children so they will become interested in wildlife. They need all of us to help them have better lives.

Jackie and Shadow continue to incubate an egg that will never hatch. Many wonder if there is not DDT still present in the soil or something causing this lovely and entering couple so many issues trying to have a little one. Clearly the thinness of the eggs that have broken could indicate that. 1 April 2021.
The triplets at the Redding nest being fed. There is plenty of food and all are lined up nicely.

I received a very touching letter from a woman from New Mexico who commented on the tragic events unfolding at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg. She was reminded of a news story where a family went into a cafe for a meal -the parents, a young girl, and boy. The parents fed the young girl and themselves. The boy watched the others eat while he was offered nothing. The boy appeared to be bruised as if he had been physically harmed to the wait staff. The waitress wrote on her hand ‘Do you need help?’ to the child who, eventually, shook their head yes. The waitress phoned the authorities and the children were taken into care immediately. The boy had been abused and food had been withheld for a long time. The woman from New Mexico said, ‘Humans do it, too’. As sad and angry as I am at the Ospreys in St Petersburg, for them it is a matter of having at least one healthy fledgling. The biology books stress the survival of the fittest! Someone who has filmed birds said to me and I have reiterated it many times, ‘If they cannot survive on the nest being fed, they cannot survive in the wild – it is brutal out there’. This morning a huge fish came in but the middle Osprey made sure Tiny Tot did not get anything to eat. Tiny was too weak to fight. I had hoped that his suffering would be taken away in the night.

UPDATE: Tiny Tot was fed at 9:27 this morning. His crop was about a third full. The saga continues.

After my tirade on birds laying too many eggs to care for if they all hatched – and hence, having the situation of the St Petersburg nest – Jack and Harriet of the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in Machodoc Creek in King George County, Virginia laid a fourth egg! You might not immediately recognize the osprey nest that I am talking about but if I said to you that Jack is the one that brings in the most toys to the nest, often covering it while Harriet has to keep busy finding space for them, I think you might know the nest that I am talking about. There was a toy shark or dolphin the other day. As it happens, the first egg is either lost in the nest or broke – there are three eggs being incubated despite four being laid. Last year the couple successfully fledged three and all of us join in hoping that happens this year! Unless there is a problem in the river, this couple has their nest in a prime location for fish!

And to add to the jokes that go along with April Fool’s Day, Big Red and Arthur not only woke up to snow this morning but also to their third egg.

Big Red is eighteen years old. She was ringed at Brooktondale New York, about eight miles from Ithaca. She has known this weather all her life and can deal with it. Her and her mate, Arthur, do not migrate but stay in Ithaca all year long. They have a prey rich territory and both work like a well oiled machine. Unless there is some strange surprise, I expect we will see three eyases fledging in June.

All is well over at the Great Horned Owl Nest on the farm in Kansas. Both Tiger, the eldest, and Lily, the youngest, are growing. To the delight of viewers, Bonnie brought in a very large rabbit to the nest in the Cottonwood Tree. Everyone wondered how she managed. Great Horned Owls can actually carry prey three times their weight – an advantage over Bald Eagles who can carry only 66% of their weight. Besides rabbit, the owlets have had a diverse menu. One food item that might not have been expected in such quantities has been snake. Farmer Derek probably had no idea he had so many snakes on his property! Using March 7 as a date for hatching, we should be watching for Tiger to fledge around 42-56 days which would be 18 April to 24 April. Tiger’s extremely soft feathers – they look like mohair to me – mean that he will be a formidable predator being able to fly without being heard. With his short rounded wings he will also be able to make tight corners and quick turns around the trees in the woods.

And down in Orange Australia at the Charles Sturt University, Peregrine Falcon couple, Xavier and Diamond, are in the scrape box having a conversation and bonding. The conversation might be about their cute little Izzi who fledged three times from this box. The first time Izzi was napping on the ledge and fell out. He was returned by the researcher, Cilla Kinross. The second time he did fledge but then flew into a window and was taken into care and returned to the scrape box. The third time he fledged properly. While most of the falcons would have left the scrape box to find their own territory by January, Izzi appears determined to live out the rest of his life chasing Xavier and Diamond and sleeping with Diamond in the scrape box. It is an unfolding soap opera that is delightful.

Izzi is adorable.

I will leave you with that adorable face. Peregrine falcons are the cutest. Thank you for joining me today. Take care. Stay safe. Enjoy the birds.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my scaps: Charles Sturt University Peregrine Falcon Cam, Farmer Derek, Friends of Big Bear Bald Eagles, Friends of Redding Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab, and the Dahlgren Osprey Cam.