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!
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.
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.
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.
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.