Sky fledges at West End and other brief news in Bird World

22 June 2022

Oh, it is simply a gloriously beautiful day – blue skies and bright sun. No rain forecast! A first for several days.

Sky did some amazing hovering yesterday at the West End Eagle Nest.

All that practice paid off. At 06:09 Sky flew off the nest just like he had been flying for years. He was 104 days old.

Congratulations Sky, West End Eagles, Thunder and Akecheta and to Dr Sharpe and the staff at the Institute for Wildlife Studies. It has been an awesome year. We look forward to more visits for all three – Kana’kini, Ahote, and Sky for awhile.

Keeping a close eye on the ND-LEEF nest, home to Little Bit, that partially collapsed yesterday at 15:43:30. last night, Mum landed on the ND-LEEF at 21:16:53 wanting to finish up that Raccoon. ND16 had been nest to Little Bit 17 up at the front of the nest. 16 moved to eat. Little Bit went over for a short time – but he had a large crop and wasn’t that hungry. Looks like Mum and 16 cleaned it up. An adult was up in the branches of the tree looking for ND15 I think. They will want it back on the nest to feed, if they can get it there. The collapsing of the nest would have been quite frightening.

Looks like Little Bit is going to stay close to those two branches if there is any more movement of that nest. Good job Little Bit. You can see his crop in the image below.

ND15 has been caught on camera flying very strong. That is excellent news since the forced fledge yesterday. This morning Mum arrived early on the nest with prey. ND15 is hungry and came crash landing into ND16 and Little Bit 17 at 08:23:30. It was a bit crowded but so far the other part of the nest supported by 3 branches is holding. Fingers crossed it stays intact until all have fledged and spent time returning to the nest for food.

All of the excitement is now over – it will probably happen again and again as prey is delivered. In the image below, this is ND16 cuddled up with ND17. I would like to think that 16 is taking comfort from 17 and they are both being very still so that nest does not break any further.

I have missed checking on Iris. Here she is – so beautiful – on her nest on the 21st of June, Summer Solstice. The little sparrows in the nest below hers have hatched. I wonder if Iris even noticed them??

I am so glad that ‘H’ introduced me to the Mispillion Osprey Nest. It is always fun to see a different family and this mum with her passion for all things a certain shade of yellow is just fascinating. Mum has been aerating the nest after lights out tonight.

The daylight cam switched over at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn at 04:15. I wonder if they are still eating that huge fish that Idris brought in earlier?

Blue NC0 and the kids are waiting for their breakfast at the Loch of the Lowes where the sun was up even earlier. Laddie is not on his perch so he is out chasing off intruders and protecting his family or getting the breakfish.

Dorcha is also waiting for Louis to bring in a fish at the Loch Arkaig nest.

It wasn’t a rooster or the bleating sheep but cows mooing at the crack of dawn in the Glaslyn Valley.

As far as I can tell, these Osprey nests are doing good.

There is, however, sadness at Nest 5A in the Kielder Forest, the home of Mr and Mrs UV. Both of the chicks have perished. One by accident getting caught in the nest and the other has appeared unwell. That makes my list of losses now up to 62.

They were both doing alright on the 20th, two days ago.

I love the Utica Falcon blog. Today there are some wonderful images of Astrid making some in-air food exchanges yesterday with Percy!

That is just a brief look at the news this morning. I hope that everyone is doing well. There will be a long check on the nests later this evening. Take care. Thank you so much for being with me this morning.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or blogs used for my screen captures: Kieldner Forest, Utica Peregrine Falcons, ND-LEEF, Mispillion Osprey Cam and DDNR, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and the Woodland Trust, Byrwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

The Eaglets at The Hamlet

One of my most favourite Bald Eagle nests is the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby. As it happens I was concerned that I would write too much about this nest – so what do I do? I over compensatted by not mentioning them very much! I hope to make up for that!

The NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest is located in Jacksonville, Florida. This is the third breeding season for Samson and Gabby. In 2020, they fledged Romy and Jules, in 2021 it was Legacy, and we are now waiting for the names for NE26 and NE27. NE26 hatched at 04:06 Sunday 23 January and about 46 hours later at 02:24 the 25th of January, NE27 hatched. They are cute little fluff buttons. While it is far too early to start saying one is a male and the other is a female, NE 26 sure looks like a big sister to a little brother.

Here is a picture from the 8th feeding yesterday. Just look at those crops. NE26 is so much taller than 27 that it works out perfectly to have the shorter 27 in front. Both chicks are fed well, the pantry is stocked, and there is little to no rivalry. Two nice little eaglets.

Here are some images from today. The cam operator was nice enough to give us some closeups of the feather development of the two. NE26 is 10 days old today and NE27 is 8 days old.

They have sure grown fast. Not that long ago these were the two smallest fuzziest babies. Now that light grey down is very slowly giving away to the darker natal down. They still have their cute little tails but the wings and legs are much longer and they are beginning to get bottom heavy.

Too warm in Jacksonville to be under an adult!

Little one is doing some panting to keep cool.

Now look at the follicles on that leg that is taut.

See that little dimple behind the far end of the beak? That is the ear. It will get fully covered over by feathers eventually.

This feeding was only a couple of hours ago. Sweet little babies waiting their turn.

Both have had lots of food. The neck of 26 is getting longer and the size difference seems pronounced. That is why I said little boy and big sis. Of course, I am probably all washed up and we will never know anyway. Just want them both to be healthy and have a good fledge.

Gabby is a formidable mother. I would not want to mix it up with her! No way.

I also want to bring you news about two Ospreys. You might recall that I mentioned that the highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Flu has struck UK birds. The Queen’s swans were culled as were others and then 500 birds at the Whitby Wildlife Rescue. It was feared that one of those was the only resident Osprey. The Centre stated today that the Osprey was one of the birds not euthanized. What a relief for so many. This has been a terrible time for this wildlife centre whose heart and soul were wrenched out. On top of the APHA killing the birds during a 24 hour period they have worked so hard to save, the people have had to endure hate mail and lies. What a tragedy.

A sighting. On the 4th of August 2021, Blue 437 fledged from Nest 5A at Kielder Forest. It was 75 days old. There were no sightings until today when it was spotted in top form fishing in Senegal. The Blue tag with numbers was crystal clear in the photo (sorry I am not allowed to share it). There was no question like there was with the JJ2 or JJ7 last week. Blue 437 is Mrs Gs’ (Glaslyn Nest with Aran) first great grand chick. After the toll that the trees in Kielder Forest took this winter, this is nothing short of a wonderful miracle! I can only imagine the joy that is spreading through the team. We all know that feeling too well when our beloved birds fledge and then we never know what happens to them. Blue 437 has great DNA. Looking forward to seeing him return in a year to try and find his own mate and nest. Blue 437 was part of 16 juveniles that fledged from the Kieldner nests in 2021.

On that most happy of notes, I will stop. Do check in on the NEFlorida nest of Gabby and Samson. What a great team they are!

Take care everyone. See you soon. Thanks so much for joining me.

Thanks so much to NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.