Sunday in Bird World

3 April 2022

It was cold, damp, and dreary counting Canada Geese this morning. I did not take my camera – it is bulky and heavy – but I will return and take some images for everyone early this week. There are Canada Geese everywhere there is a large puddle!!!!!!

There is lots going on in Bird World – too much to keep straight. I want to start with dear Annie at the UC-Berkley Campanile. When Grinnell was killed we thought all was lost. Turns out Annie has her own ‘saviour’. It is thought that Annie laid an egg on Thursday but not in the scrape box. Cal Falcons felt that she thought she could only take care of 2 by herself. On time, she laid egg 4 and that is the big news. By my reckoning, this egg belongs to the new man since it takes approximately 2.5 days for Annie to make an egg. Oh, I hope this turns out well. It would be wonderful to see the last two chicks of Grinnell be healthy and fledge.

He’s a little raggle-taggled compared to Grinnell. I wonder how old you are Annie’s new man??

He is certainly trying to show Annie he has good intentions and is a good hunter.

Last evening Annie accepted ‘dinner in the scrape’ from the new lad. She stashed it for later and returned to incubate but how sweet was that?! Everyone remains hopeful.

Many of you are falcon fans. I have discovered a new scrape on top of the stadium at Michigan State University. It is brand new as of January 2022 so nothing is known, as far as I know, about the falcon couple. Here is that link – and there are 3 eggs!

Here is the link!

Michigan is working to reintroduce falcons into the state and there is another scrape that is funded by the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

How long do Red-tail Hawks live in the wild? I believe that Pale Male will be 33 this year. Him and Octavia have not had any clutches for the past two years. It will be three this year. Robert Yolton writes a wonderful blog on the wildlife around New York City’s Central Park. He found Pale Male eating a brown rat yesterday and took some video. His feathers appear to be fading a bit but what a legend Pale Male is.

Have you seen the free movie about Pale Male and how the community, including Mary Tyler Moore, lobbied and picketed for him and his mate to keep their nest on one of the nicest pieces of real estate in NYC? If not, watch it or save it for when you need something uplighting. The voices of people can really make a difference to the lives of these fantastic raptors. We just need the right person to hear us!

https://www.thelegendofpalemale.net/

Pa Berry and Missy at the Berry College Bald Eagle nest have been trying to coax 78-day-old B15 into the nest for some food. Missy has been watching her first fledgling closely making sure that he is learning to fly and land but not venturing far from the nest. Late this morning B15 returned to the nest and Dad flew in with a fish immediately for his boy.

Meanwhile Kincaid is branching higher and higher at the Kistachie National Forest nest near Alexandria, Louisiana. No one will ever know for sure if Kincaid is a male or a female; the eaglet will not be banded. But from the size comparison with Mum and Dad at this stage – right before fledge – most think Kincaid is a female. She is definitely a sweet eagle. Anna and Louis did a fine job this season. Hats off to everyone at KNF who worked so hard to get the two camera system in place, for taking the time to mod the chat and answer questions most of the day.

Closely watching the progress of Karl II, the patriarch of the Karula National Forest Black Stork nest in Estonia, as he flies over a war zone to get to his nest. Isn’t he gorgeous? This image was taken in 2017. He is still as handsome!

Who doesn’t know CROW? and who doesn’t wish we could wiggle our noses and get them to land at the Dale Hollow nest to check on that monofilament line? Made famous for their rescue of E17 and E18 of the SWFlorida Bald eagle nest when they had non-human caused conjunctivitis, CROW this morning cleaned out an Osprey nest full of human garbage. It is a threat to the wildlife – just like all those toys at Dahlgren are, sadly.

Oh, the Osprey chicks of Andy and Lena have been so neglected by me. They are just gorgeous and getting way too big too fast. So happy for Andy and Lena. After two horrible years, it looks like they will fledge two this year.

There was a statement on a FB group about the number of eggs in a Bald Eagle clutch. They said it was ‘rare’ for three and rare for three to survive. (They did not mention the rarity of siblicide twice at the same nest). I dug around and found a very interesting study on the change of clutch size in Bald Eagles in the Chesapeake Bay area of the US. It is really interesting ready. The author, writing in 2017, begins with the age of egg collection and continues to 2011 demonstrating that the size of the clutches has increased significantly since the beginning of the 20th century. It is not onerous reading. Very insightful.

Dave Hancock of Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia did a study and found that the average for that province’s Bald Eagles in terms of clutch size is 2.

https://hancockwildlife.org/hancock-wildlife-reference/bald-eagle-biology/eggs-incubation-hatching/

There are a number of 3 chick clutches currently being watched by us as well as one with 4, the PA Farm Bald Eagle nest. Pittsburgh-Hayes consistently has three and Redding would once again had three this year had their one egg not gotten broken. One of the most visited Bald Eagle sites is the West End where there are three eaglets this year. I wonder if this varies by region? Will look to see if I can find any solid information for us.

Deb Steyck made a video yesterday of the four at PA Farm being fed.

Meanwhile, Mr President seems to be really loving being a Dad again after 4 years and Lotus is figuring out everything as a first time Mum rather quickly. This is one spoiled little nestling that will grow fast and strong if Mr President’s prey deliveries are any indication of what is to come.

In contrast, nothing arrived on the Dale Hollow Bald Eagles nest until a two-bite teaser appeared at 11:24:55. We all know who ate that! These eaglets hatched on the 28th of February. Jackie and Shadow’s only chick hatched on 3 March. The Big Bear eaglet had been fed 8 times by 16:00 yesterday. The Dale Hollow nest continues to baffle me.

The eaglets are hungry.

At 12:31:34 a small fish was brought to the nest. Almost before the parent landed, Big went and began beaking Little Middle. Big’s beak is large and it can still encase Little Middle with its body hurting him. Big is a big bird.

To survive, Middle Little gets that head down and stays put.

I do not believe there will be enough for Little Middle to have any fish. I hope to be wrong. I also hope that the parent would change the direction they are feeding so Little Middle could move. It appears from the image above that the fishing line could be around some of the right talons??? But that is anything but 100%.

It is 12:44 and Little Middle has made no attempt to move to get any fish.

The fish is all gone at 12:45:24. Little Middle is still maintaining submissive posture. While it had been hoped that the attacks would stop, they continue because of the erratic fish deliveries. Like children, eaglets on the nest need some stability or they go into survival mode. Remember, Big wants to survive so it protects what it sees as a low supply of food. Middle Little protects itself for another time by being submissive and putting its head down. No sense in fighting a sibling that is twice your size.

A nest that is much calmer is that of Big Red and Arthur, the Red tail Hawks at Cornell who continue to incubate their four eggs which will hatch later this month.

Big Red is 19 years old this year and is the most well known RTH in the world. She is an incredible mother.
Cute Little Arthur has learned how to puff up his feathers to keep those four eggs warm and dry!

And the last check of the day, the two eagles that hatched on March 20 and 23 are doing remarkably well at the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian. They have sure grown out of the cute fluff ball stage now.

Liberty looks down at his two chicks while Guardian is aerating the nest.

It has been a busy day at the nests, many I did not get to check. Hopefully later. Thank you to everyone who has commented or sent me an e-mail. The inbox is full. I plan to have responded to everyone by tomorrow (Monday) at noon. Thank you so much for your patience and for your caring for Little Middle and all the birds. Your kind gestures bright light in a world that feels somewhat dark right now. Each of the nests seems to be doing exceptionally well. Dahlgren needs its garbage cleared, Richmond and Rosie have a good nest structure, West End babies fed well, and I have to check in with Chase and Cholyn to see if Thunder has a sibling. We continue to wait for the arrival of Ospreys Dylan, Aran, and Idris in the UK and for Iris in Montana.

Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB pages where I took my screen captures: Eagle Club of Estonia, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Cal
Falcons, MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, Lansing Board of Water and Light Peregrine Falcons, Berry College, KNF, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, CROW, Cornell Red Tail Hawks, and NADC-AEF.

Anna

Louis was feeding the little eaglet at the KNF nest site this morning. I really slept in – after worrying about the disturbances around the nest – and Anna being unseen on the nest since 14:06. I immediately thought Anna was not there and my heart sunk.

As it happens, Anna was distressed. But, she was on the nest brooding the baby last night. The moderator could not get to see Anna’s right eye – it is the only well to tell her and Louis apart – and believed it to be Louis still on the nest. And so did the rest of us! The behaviour was very odd. The mother could not relax and kept looking around. The only conclusion that I have is that she was stressed by the people around the nest and in a boat on the water and, of course, by the nearby gun shots.

I am thrilled that Anna is OK – over the moon. I don’t want to see eagles distressed like this couple yesterday. Maybe it is time to ban people from areas around nests during breeding season.

Thank you so much for joining me for this quick report on Anna. I will be back later this afternoon with a review of the nests. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the KNF for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

Monday in Bird World, late edition

It feels like the lull after the storm which is possibly a good thing for everyone who was in the path of the snow and ice in the US yesterday, including our beloved birds and animals. That said, there are still parts of the US and Canada that continue to be having weather from that system.

The rain stopped in Ithaca, home of Big Red and Arthur, and it started snowing again.

It has stopped snowing at the nest of the Pittsburgh-Hayes couple.

In the wake of the storm, the female at Duke Farms laid her first egg about an hour and a half ago. No snow! Congratulations Duke Farms.

Over in Dale Hollow there is snow and the Bald Eagle couple also have their first egg of the 2022 season. Gos, I live in Canada but it looks cold there to me – and a little odd. Snow on the nest and green grass. Oh, Canadians living on the Prairies love to see the green grass come up in the spring.

Here is the announcement:

Did you ever watch the Bald Canyon Eagles? If so, you might be interested to know that the US Navy, the entity that owns and operates San Clemente Island, gave Dr Sharpe permission to install a new camera.

Here is the link to this nest with its new camera. There is no sound as per the US Navy regulations.

B15 is doing really well at the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest in Mt Berry, Georgia. The nest seems to have dried out and Missy’s feathers are all nice and fluffy. This little one is moving about nicely and appears to be quite strong – doing well for one less than a week old! B15 had a nice little crop after its late afternoon feed.

The aggression by R1 towards R2 at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade County continues. R2 had one meal by 16:16. Of course, this little one can still survive but it is very intimidated by R1 and will not raise itself to eat while R1 is eating.

E19 was being particularly aggressive today, too. In fact, horrible isn’t even the right word to describe the behaviour towards E20. This is despite some nice fish deliveries at the SWFlorida Nest. How does bad weather impact avian behaviour? These two eaglets were, just a few days ago, cited as being the most civil that Harriet and M15 ever had on the nest. The ‘trigger’ had to be the weather. I cannot account for anything else.

In the end, both eaglets were fed but it is to E20’s credit that it held out and finally had to do the old ‘snatch and grab’.

E20 kept its head down til E19 was full.

E19 was about to pop its crop and was still hammering its younger sibling. And then…E20 cleverly waited a second and got up to Mum. Harriet fed E20 til it was full.

I do not believe there is any reason to be concerned. There has never been a siblicide on this nest and I don’t believe it will happen this year either. These two will be fine. M15 and Harriet are known to tandem feed if required. They are very experienced parents ——- and they care!

Awww. So sweet. Finally being able to enjoy some dinner.

And then E19 full to the top of its head decides that E20 has had too many bites – well before there is any crop – and starts bonking it again. Sad.

To the credit of E20, it was so hungry that it began stealing bites. Bravo!

Sometimes you simply want to find an Eagle nest where there is absolutely no conflict. That nest for me is the KNF Bald Eagle Nest in Louisiana.

At the nest of Anna and Louis, the baby is so full from the last feeding that it is not yet interested in the 10 fish that are on the nest behind it. Yes, 10. Just look at it sit up tall and straight. This baby is 5 days old and curious.

Aww. Baby decided it had better get around to the other side near the pantry if it wanted a late snack.

Anna was very hungry but a couple of little cheeps and she was feeding the little one. It is nice and full and so is Mum.

If you want a peaceful, serene Bald Eagle nest to watch with a 5 day old eaglet, I highly recommend the KNF nest with its chat mods, Tonya from NO and the two rangers, Cody and Steve.

Here is the link to the KNF nest:

Ervie had a late delivery of a fish last night. He was sleeping on part of it this morning. Ervie is flying on and off the nest and everything seems perfectly fine at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge.

The sun is setting on Gabby at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest where we are approaching pip watch on the 21st.

The sun has already set on my garden and the birds have all left. We are expecting more snow tonight! I will check on the Kakapo Recovery tonight and report in the morning. There is a rumour going around that Nora, who laid her first egg in 1981, mated for 83 minutes with one of the males last night. She is really hoping for eggs this year. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: WRDC, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, KNF, Duke Farms, Berry College, Cornell Bird Lab, Pittsburg-Hays and Pix Cams, Bald Canyon, NEFlorida and the AEF, and Bald Eagles Live FB Page.