Late Tuesday in Bird World

15 March 2022

It has been a very sad morning in Bird World with the death of what appears to be, now, the oldest chick on the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida. Lori Covert the landowner has contacted CROW, that wonderful wildlife rehabber on Santibel. Permission was given to remove the body of the osplet for testing. CROW arrived and removed Big beginning at 15:21:15-15:21:26. You can see how quick they were to come once they had the OK and how they did not disturb the nest.

Big was 27 days old. He or she would have been 28 days tomorrow.

They do not want to cause any undue stress or frighten the other two on Did Big choke on a pellet? He had been gagging several times this morning. Casting pellets is a natural part of a raptor’s life. What cannot be processed in the crop is compacted into something not unlike a small charcoal pellet. The birds then regurgitate these. Researchers like the pellets because they can study what the birds have been eating. But a pellet or the H5N1 highly pathogenic Avian Flu is on speculation. It appears that Big died after moving up to eat but couldn’t. That was approximately 08:33. I sincerely hope that this is not a case of H5N1 and look forward to the announcement. The other two osplets both ate at 15:40.

Little Bob (Mini on chat) and Middle Bob appear to be fine. They are interested and can eat and that is a great sign!

It used to not unsettle me when an adult or a chick died. Perhaps it is just everything that has happened for so many years catching up with me but I was particularly upset at the loss at Captiva this morning. Thankfully the garden critters were robustly going after the two new seed cylinders that were put out yesterday. Dyson could not decide where to settle. He wanted the oil seeds that had fallen out of a bag on the snow but he also wanted to eat off the cylinder and he was intrigued by the peanuts in the square tray feeder.

Despite his altercation with the cat, Dyson remains pleasantly plump after the harsh winter and the back half of his tail is growing back. Horrah!

The Blue Jay family – OK. One member of the Blue Jay family has returned from their migration today. I could not get the camera quick enough for a photo but I hope to attract it with a cob of corn on the deck. i wonder if it is Junior? Mr? or Mrs? And where do they go?

It was a good day for a walk in the woods. Our temperature is a balmy +2 C. The snow is definitely melting and there is an open water area now at the Fort Whyte Nature Centre. There were three Canada Geese there today!

There were a number of Black-capped chickadees at the feeder and when I arrived the little Downy Woodpecker with the broken beak was just flying away. Too quick for me to catch him but for those of you who asked, it is still alive and eating well out of the cylinder feeder! That is certainly good news.

What I needed was a walk in the woods where it was absolutely quiet. The snow is now wet enough that it did not crunch. All you could hear on occasion was the songs of the birds.

Walking in nature is good therapy.

I am happy to report that all of the eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest have eaten. Little Bit was sure enjoying a fish that had been brought to the nest.

The middle on moved up and got some food, too, after Little Bit. You can see the huge difference in size now between all three chicks. Big just looks enormous!

This was Little Bit sleeping before the feeding over on the rim of the nest. It looks bigger stretched out and was clenching its talons and letting go and clenching them again. Was it catching a fish in its eaglet dreams?

Sweet baby sleeping in the shade. For those of you that do not know, the black dot behind the eye and corner of the beak is the ear. It will get covered with feathers. You might also notice that Little Bit is getting some of its darker thermal down and losing its baby fluff. Looks like a few little feathers poking about perhaps.

I just checked and Little Bit was fed at 16:20. So all is well at Dale Hollow as evening approaches.

Big Red gave Arthur some incubation time today. That is fantastic. She doesn’t allow him much but it is nice to see him so alert taking his turn with their first egg.

Arthur is very handsome.

I don’t think you could find a more gorgeous female Red tail Hawk than Big Red anywhere! She is so stunning with her really dark morph.

Big Red took a dinner break at 17:29 nest time.

Do not worry. This egg is fine. We learned that due to Milda leaving her eggs in almost freezing weather for 5-6 hours. They both hatched. Everything is good. Big Red has been having chicks for 17 years. She is an expert. I certainly am not. LOL. Remember. I wanted to give Rosie and Richmond sticks!

There was a very sweet posting by the SF Ospreys today on their FB page:

I really wanted to dump a lot of sticks for these two down in the parking lot! As many of you know, I look for ways to make the lives of our birds better. Part of that has to do with the elimination of lead in all fishing and hunting equipment. The other has to do with rat and mice poison. Well, look what a Place Called Hope just posted!

At the West End Bald eagle nest, Akecheta brought in a Cormorant to the nest. This came after there was something that looked like an Armadillo. Both were road kill. Thunder decided to feed the three eaglets the fresh fish! The West End nest is doing well.

Shadow and Jackie at the Big Bear Valley Bald Eagle nest are also doing just fine. The little one is growing like a very bad weed.

I checked on Kincaid, too, at the Kistachie National Forest nest in Louisiana. He is wing flapping and showing his preference for some prey and not others but I do not believe that he has branched yet.

That is it for me today. I am still recovering from the loss of Big. Looking forward to the test results. If it was a pellet then we should know that very fast. If it was something else, we will have to wait for test results that can take days.

From all the critters in the garden, thank you for joining us today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: A Place called Hope, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, and SF Bay Ospreys.

Sunday in Bird World

What a Saturday afternoon and night. It was such a huge relief to find Anna on the Bald Eagle nest in the Kistachie National Forest and that there had been either a misidentification or that Anna and Louis switched places at dawn. Whatever happened- Anna is alright. Both birds were stressed on Saturday. It is unclear what was the cause or was it a multitude of things together – humans, gun shots, other intruding birds or animals.

I just love the image below. Everyone is so happy and relaxed this morning.

If you are watching the KNF nest, listen for the ‘laughing’ frogs. They are actually called Southern Leopold frogs but because of the sound they make, they are nicknamed laughing frogs. I hope to goodness that is the only sound that the nest has to hear besides eagles today!

The eaglet is enjoying some of the duck that was delivered earlier.

Eaglet is in food coma. Hopefully by this time next week, this baby will have a name!

The Wildlife Biologist says this afternoon that Anna and Louis would not have made their nest in a place if they were bothered by humans being around. Yesterday was, however, different from any other time that I have watched this nest – last year and this.

I know that many of you are stork lovers. Did you know that there is a live streaming cam with storks at Dreisamtal, about 10 kilometres east of Freiburg, Germany? A pair of storks make their nest on the roof of the Church of St. Gallus. Normally the couple arrive in February but this year, they returned on New Year’s Eve 2021.

The couple come and go for foraging. They sleep on the nest at night. Here is the link to this camera to calm all of your longing-for-storks-to-return!

What gorgeous plumage these Storks have. Incredibly beautiful!

Ervie had a full crop and was being blessed by diamonds all around. Oh, our glorious boy! He has quite the crop in that image. While there are few fish deliveries captured on the streaming cam, it is now believed that Ervie is catching almost all of his fish himself.

Dad does still continue to deliver a fish on occasion when Ervie is crying on the nest. Ervie loves being an ‘only child’.

The other day a word showed up in respect to Ervie – extreme philopatry. Yes, it is possible that Ervie is tied as tight as he can, more than others, to this very nest and that he will not wander too far afield like Falky has done. Indeed, one day we might see Ervie as the adult male on the barge with his own family.

Look a Ervie’s crop! Our young man is doing well. It is a relief to imagine that Ervie is an excellent fisher now.

At the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida, everyone is waiting for the first egg to be laid this breeding season.

Of course, we are also waiting for Big Red and Arthur to begin working on their nest. It is, actually, awhile still. Last year Big Red laid her eggs on 26 and 29 March and 1 April! So we have about 7 weeks and a few days til our beloved Red-tail Hawk is incubating.

About the time Big Red is laying eggs, Iris will be returning from her winter migration. It is a snowy cold day in Missoula. I hope Iris is enjoying the warmth of her winter home.

At this very same time – as Big Red lays her eggs and we are on watch for Iris to land on her nest, Milda will be laying eggs on the White-tailed eagle nest in Durbe.

When I looked at my calendar and saw those three events – Big Red, Iris, and Milda – there was a big exclamation mark. Of course, all of the Ospreys and Storks will be returning from their winter homes to breed in the UK and Europe! It is going to get really, really busy.

For now, I will turn my attention back to the Bald Eagles. I don’t think NE26 is being an angel but it appears that s/he is not a ruthless brute either to NE27 – that is all good. Samson continues to have the pantry full and the fuzz balls nothing short of adorable.

In the image below, NE 26, the tallest, was trying to peck at 27. 27 did a pretty good job of standing up to its big sib. Bravo!

NE27 still has quite a dominant egg tooth. Sweet little babe with the golden glow of the morning sun shining on it.

A banana leaf was brought on to the WRDC nest. R1 thinks it makes quite a comfortable bed! So cute. It kinda’ fits with having a Papadam Chair for a nest.

R1 and R2 with their charcoal thermal down are growing and growing. Both are eating well and Ron has just brought a nice big fish on to the nest. It will not be long til these two eaglets are walking with ease around the nest. Just look at how big R1 is – looks like Hulk.

The eaglet at Berry College is wanting to have an afternoon snack and is looking intently at what the adult is plucking on the nest. This little one is a real little sweetie. Look at that lovely soft down head. You can see the thermal down coming in on the body of the eaglet. In a couple of days that soft light grey down will be nothing but dandelions!

And, last for today, if you are a Thunder and Akecheta fan, Thunder laid her first egg at the Channel Islands Bald Eagle Nest at 16:54 on 29 January! This is Cheta’s third breeding season and he no longer minds incubating the eggs. Last year the Ravens (or Crows?) got the eggs so this year, hopefully, neither adult will leave them alone!

Here is the link to the Channel Islands streaming cam:

Whew. All is well at the nests. Thankfully. It is supposed to warm up and start snowing on the Canadian Prairies in a short time. It is a good day for a walk out in the fresh air!

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone and just breathe a sigh of relief. Anna is fine.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida and the AEF, WRDC, Explore.org, Latvian Fund for Nature, Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Achieva Credit Union, and Storks Nest Live Stream.

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.

Tuesday in Bird World

Grinnell and Annie are working hard to prepare the three boys for fledging and starting their lives outside of the scrape box. Today is 25 May and fledging should fall into 27-29 May – two days away! It is possible the youngest will be the 31st but you never know.

Grinnell has had the three lined up getting lessons and is working hard on teaching them aspects of self-feeding.

Not so sure they are listening to the instructions on plucking the pigeon!

Ever wonder what it might be like feeding your chicks when they are almost as big as you and there are three of them? Have a look.

Here is a very short clip of Kaknu taking the lunch and running away with it today:

This year has been plagued by a lack of chipmunks. Instead, the Ks seem to have been living on Starling. Something unexpected happened this morning – Arthur brought in a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk! Big Red had to have been delighted.

Sometimes Big Red takes a break and flies over to another of the light stands. She can keep a close eye on the Ks from here. On occasion Arthur will do a prey drop for her there and many times you will see the two of them sitting side by side looking out onto their territory.

Big Red was delighted with that chipmunk for breakfast! It looks like there is a partial chipmunk sitting on the nest. Maybe we will see more.

It is not going to be long until these Ks are running and jumping on the ledge, flapping their wings, and getting stronger to fly. Their first flight is usually from this ledge across the street to one of the trees where the parents are waiting for them.

Just look at Big Red’s eyes and face. Oh, she loves being a mother.

“Oh, don’t you want just one more bite?”

Big Red did look tired this morning. Here she is taking some ZZZZs along with the Ks. In three and a half weeks time, the Ks will fledge. It is hard to believe. They will remain with Big Red and Arthur who will teach them to hunt and give them all kinds of exercises to help them later. Big Red and Arthur will also gradually expand the area the Ks are hunting in to include the entire campus. Sometimes they even go on family hunting trips for squirrels – working cooperatively to get the prey out of the tree.

I would like to introduce you to another species of raptor. It is the Booted Eagle, the Hieraaetus Pennatus. This pair of Booted Eagles lives in a pine forest within the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park near Madrid. The elevation is 1400 metres. The Booted Eagles are the largest group of raptors living in the park. They estimate that there are approximately twenty-five pairs. The nest you are looking at has been active every year since 2002.

The female is on the left. You can see she is much darker. The male is on the right.

Just like Annie and Grinnell and Big Red and Arthur, the female is much larger than the male. This is called reverse sexual dimorphism. There are many reasons for this disparity. They are: 1) females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves in order to produce eggs; 2) the size difference allows the two to hunt different prey and reduce the competition for food. Raptors that hunt birds are generally smaller and faster leaving the females to specialize in larger prey; 3) historically females have selected smaller mates; and 4) to protect the female during mating from being injured by large males.

In Booted Eagles, the male is smaller with darker feathers on its back, yellow ochre on the crown of its head, darker tear shape feathers on its chest which is light. The female tends to the nest and the chicks and the male is primarily responsible for hunting, delivering prey, and territorial protection. You can easily differentiate them in the image above.

There are normally two eggs that are incubated for 37-40 days. The chicks remain on the nest for around 48 days when they began branching and flying. By August, the male is the primary carer. The female has left the territory for a rest. The male will provide prey for the young to self-feed on the nest and will remain with them until mid-September teaching them to hunt and fly.

I received a letter from one of my readers asking about Kisatchie. Kisatchie is the eagle from the Kisatchie National Forest Nest in Central Louisiana. His parents are Anna and Louis (great names). You might recall that Kisatchie is the first eaglet to hatch on this nest since 2013. He brought so much joy and then he fledged and now the camera is down. This is the current information from the Forest Services personnel:

“If you have visited the eagle cam in the past 72 hours, you will have noticed the nest is empty and more recently, the eagle cam is down. This is because our Kisatchie eagle flew the nest on Saturday, May 22, around 3:30 p.m. As luck would have it, Kisatchie chose to take its first flight from a branch ABOVE the camera, so we were unable to capture Kisatchie soaring over the Kisatchie National Forest. Bummer. The eagles will now migrate north for the summer and will return late fall/early winter. Our wildlife biologists will use the summer months to make any repairs on the eagle cam, checking wiring, camera housing, and things like that. We want to be ready for the next round! Thank you for joining us on this journey of watching our first captured-on-camera eaglet hatching. Through ice storms and thunderstorms, it was an exciting 88 days (from hatching to fledging) and a great learning experience for us all.”

Everyone is wondering if anyone has seen Kisatchie or heard. I have written a letter to the Forestry Services and if I hear anything, I will let you know. Here is an image of Kisatchie on 17 May during his branching phase looking out over Lake Kincaid:

There is absolutely no news coming out of the Glaslyn Osprey Nest. As soon as there is any news about Aran and Mrs G and the Bob 2 and 3, I will let you know.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the KNF Service, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Cal Falcons, and SEO Birdlife.

Waiting

Everyone seems to be waiting for something today. Those that follow the nest of Big Red and Arthur, the Red Tail Hawks in Ithaca, NY, are waiting for the second egg to arrive. Meanwhile, Big Red has been restless all day – on and off the nest. It has been like a revolving door, slightly surprising knowing her inclination to not share too much incubation time with Arthur. The skies just opened and Arthur is on deck keeping that precious egg dry and warm! The rain is pouring over the lens of the camera making Arthur look like a smudge. He is anything but a smudge today. Between 7am and noon, he was on the nest incubating five times – 5! I stopped counting after that.

Isn’t he gorgeous? Five years old and a great provider and dad.

Early this morning, around 8:30 the winds were whipping and Big Red got tossed. Last year this happened and an eyas went flying with her. Let’s hope that she is OK.

It takes some time for new parents – birds and humans – to understand how to take care of their little ones. When the two very young parents had their eaglet hatch on the Kisatchie National Forest nest, I thought for certain that eaglet was going to die. It couldn’t seem to stop bobbling, Mom tried desperately to feed it, and Dad kept stacking up the fish. At one time there were 18! If I remember correctly it was on the third day that the little one and mom figured out the proper angles so the little one could grab the fish. Now, that is all history. Kistachie is a huge, very spoiled only child of two very devoted parents, Anna and Louis. Kisatchie will never go hungry. It is always ‘please take another bite!’ from Anna. Kistachie has had mega food comas. They figured it out and all are thriving down in Central Louisiana on the shores of Kincaid Lake.

At the MN DNR nest, Nancy is waiting for the four year old dad, Harry, to figure out precisely what he is supposed to do. People watching the nest are waiting and worrying. Harry is amazing at security. He needs to learn that he has to bring fish to the nest and he will, after watching Nancy, figure out how to feed that little bobble head. Meanwhile, Nancy has, at times, lost a bit of patience,. And, on top of all of this, the second egg is pipping so, Nancy is waiting for another mouth to feed.

Only one osprey has arrived at a monitored nest today in the United Kingdom. That was White YA at Kielder 1A nest in the Kielder Forest. Everyone is watching the ones with trackers and waiting for more arrivals as April approaches.

It’s 4pm in St Petersburg, Florida and Diane is waiting for Jack to bring in a whopper of a fish for those three growing osplets. The trio had a fish at 8:50:13 and it looked like all ate and were ‘nice’ to one another. Let us hope that the next fish is really big and stability on this nest continues.

Another nest waiting for food deliveries is the Great Horned Owls who stole the Bald Eagle Nest on a farm near Newton, Kansas. It seems that snake has been on the menu today but the owlets are getting supersized quickly and Bonnie is hoping Clyde will come through with something larger! She waits.

I want to thank Elena for writing to me today thanking me for my post about ‘The Sadness and Hope in Latvia’. Spilve struggled to feed her beautiful almost ready to fledge Golden Eaglet after her mate went missing and was presumed to have died. To protect her eaglet she had to remain close to the nest but that meant little food. It broke the hearts of so many when beautiful Klints starved. Each of us struggles to understand.

And I want to thank you for joining me today. There is not a lot to report. We seem to be in a holding pattern today and maybe that is a good thing. I will post any updates on hatches, new eggs, and arrivals late today.

Thank you to the MN DNR, Achieva Credit Union, KNF, Kielder Forest, Farmer Derek, and the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cameras where I took my scaps.