8 April 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
There are many holy days that some of you will be celebrating. As I write, this is Good Friday. Both Ramadan and Passover are with us, and Easter is on Sunday, with Eid al-Fitr on 20-21 of April in Canada. Whatever holiday is yours – even if none of them is – I hope you have had time with loved ones or outside listening to birds. Whatever it is that makes you peaceful and happy.
I promised some images of Missy and Lewis. They love water! The new shower is very exciting. They want to walk all over the wet floor and lick the water from the walls. They are simply fascinated!
Missy is growing. This is a bed for a very large dog. The two are usually inseparable, and to be able to sleep together, they required this 4′ x 4′ bed. Missy’s legs are thick and stocky, and her fur is about 7.5 cm long or 4 inches. She takes up a lot of room in that bed!
‘A’ commented that I had not been my usual jovial self. Oh, she knows my every mood! I haven’t been so happy. Is it the storms and the worry over whether or not any good tress will be left for the Eagles? Is this the beginning of a long series of events that will ultimately destroy their habitat? I worry about the raptors and the impact of humans over the past fifty years of their lives.
At the same time, I try to find the same joy that the Bald Eagle parents at Decorah did. Their first chick hatched and dead in the nest, and a solid second hatch burst into the world. Mum standing there with prey ready to feed it. Life goes on just like spring follows autumn and winter.
Life outside my conservatory window is teeming. Mr Woodpecker has been here around his usual time with the regular troop of sparrows and squirrels. Later, Mr Blue Jay and Mr and Mrs Woodpecker will arrive for their evening meal, and then the Chickadees will come. It is reassuring. Even Little Red is paying more visits, having discovered the suet. Everyone, including the sparrows, needs the fat and head there before going to the Black Oil Seed.
Then this image of Spirit and Jackie popped up on the screen. Oh, what a fantastic eaglet! Watching Jackie, Shadow, and Spirit last year was a blessing. If we get another chance this year, fantastic. If not, I am so glad they are visiting the nest so we can see they are alright. Maybe with HPAI, it is a blessing. We never know. My grandmother used to tell me there is a reason for everything; you might never know why things went one way instead of another.
A link to an exciting moment was sent to me by ‘MB’. Last year a Tawny Owl fostered chicks, but this year, one of her own eggs hatched. Luna is away and we get to see that little owlet come into our world and then Mum arrives. So exciting.
But my mood is also curtailed because of the growing impact of HPAI, now confirmed to be the cause of three condor deaths in Arizona.
Here is a copy of the 2022 UK Report on HPAI – what to expect and what can be done. This terrible disease continues to impact the raptors and it is good to know a little bit about it and what we can continue to expect.
Then there are the two struggling nests: Dale Hollow and Achieva and the realisation that the egg Jak and Audacity have been incubating could not be viable. So sad for these two. I continue to wish they could somehow be foster parents. Put DH19 in there and see what happens! Of course, that is sheer lunacy getting an eaglet from Tennessee to California. No one would do it, but I do like to fantasise sometime.
In Canada, the Geese and Raptors are returning to their spring and summer breeding grounds. Sometimes, they pick unusual spots to lay those eggs.
In the UK bird enthusiasts are celebrating the return of the Bittern, thought to be on the edge of extinction.
It is so hard to imagine the difficulty that single raptor parents have in finding food and defending their nest. River has had to deal with fishing tournaments and bad weather amongst having at least 25 other bald eagle nests in the area. Today, Friday, has so far been a bad day for the nest with a piece of road kill coming in and DH17 being the only one fed with 18 and 19 pecking. Oh, how I wish she could get a big catfish on that nest. Or two of them but I fear the holiday weekend will hamper any fishing she might do. My heart breaks for her. How long have her and Obey been mates? She is grieving hard and now she is left with three eaglets, not one or two but, three, to care for in very difficult circumstances. I understand that a few from Dale Hollow will go out and search again for Obey.
River will feed 17 first. She needs one of the three to survive, and 17 is big and strong at the beak. She is not allowed the luxury of being able to bring in enough food, perhaps, to keep all three alive. We wait and hope for a miracle. 17 ate again tonight and has a crop. 18 and 19 had nothing that I could see.
It is unlikely that the searchers will find Obey. ‘A’ and I chatted about where birds go to die and what happens after Harriet disappeared. Birds die for many reasons – old age, injury, and disease. Injury would include all manner of collisions with human structures and also with attacks by other birds. I was told once that raptors if they know they are dying, will see secluded places like forests, dense bushes, and tree hollows – just like my cat Duncan wanted to hide when she had rodenticide poisoning. They want to be alone and quiet. Many hoped Harriet would be found injured and taken care of, but her body was not found, and neither has Obey’s. There are reasons for this. Birds are light in weight. Their bodies decompose very quickly if scavengers do not get to them first. We know that carrion eaters quickly find dead animals and consume them – that is their job. Other animals also eat birds and raptors. Even the feathers are eaten by rodents and insects or used for nesting material. I had no idea til I looked at this question carefully that feathers contain calcium that is good for the food chain. That is why we hardly ever see a dead bird unless it collides with our window or vehicle at a specific moment.
I can see that the third hatch at Achieva has not been fed. Chatters say Diane is ignoring it. This is typical behaviour for Diane, who did the same thing in 2021. The difference was Tiny Tot Tumbles, who went without food for 12 days (not straight, but hours added up) and survived to become the dominant osplet on the nest. This little one is not as strong and feisty. Eventually, Diane had to give in, and she fed Tumbles after dark lots of catfish while the others slept. That got Tumbles strong and kept her alive. Sadly, I believe we are in for heartbreak today at this nest. Despite terrible beaking, the third tries to get to Mum, but nothing…nothing.
So if I knew I would be an osplet and could pick a US Mum, it would decidedly be Sally at Moorings Park who feeds til everyone is full and even gets up and feeds the osplets in the middle of the night to help stop the beaking. Sally is a marvel!
Here is Victor stretching. How beautiful. Two osplets, Abby and Victor, will fledge from this nest if nothing untoward happens between then and now. At one time we worried for Victor but, the great parenting meant all the difference to this little one. Look at his cute talons! Can talons be cute?
Blue NC0 is incubating two eggs at Loch of the Lowes. She does well with two osplets. Hoping no more eggs! We lost the third hatch at this nest last year to siblicide. As far as I know, it was the only instance of this behaviour in the UK.
Maya and Blue 33 also have two eggs at Rutland’s Monton Bay Osprey platform.
One of our readers is visiting Rutland today. Oh, how I hope they get to see the ospreys!
Idris and Telyn continue to work on their nest at Dyfi in Wales.
With the death of DH1 and the arrival of strong DH2 everyone waited to see if Deborah Hatchery Mum (DHM) would feed her baby and – of course – she did! What an excellent feeding.
A little fluffy treasure. What a loving image.
Chase and Cholyn’s only surviving egg has hatched! Congratulations Two Harbours!
Fishing line at the nest of the Es in Fort Myers. Will wait to see how this plays out.
Tonight, E21 and E22 are sleeping together in Dad’s spot at the nest tree. What a beautiful sight.
There was concern that the two siblings would be attacked by the GHOs and that is precisely what happened. Here is the report.
‘H’ reports that there were three hits. Despite this, both Es were seen flying around the pasture Saturday morning. All is well.
Everything is A-OK at Duke Farms, too. Gorgeous juvenile feathers and huge feet on those eaglets sleeping next to Mum.
Everything is also fine at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest of Martin and Rosa. This would be a good eagle family to be a part of!
One good place to find solace is watching birds incubate eggs. (It can also be terribly boring). They are so dedicated. Big Red and Arthur are no exception and this will be one nest you will want to watch when the pips begin!
The only anxiety I have ever had is the weather, and Big Red can be encased in ice and it is okay. She is incredibly devoted. Three eyases…four eyases. No one goes hungry. She has had only one eyas not fledge and that was K2 who had a beak/jaw issue. She was taken into care but did not make it. That was in 2021. Last year, Big Red and Arthur raised four. L4 is still living and hunting in their territory. (L1 died when it hit a glass breezeway at Cornell and L3 is in care to be released. L2 left the territory and as noted, L4 is still there).
Catching up with Karl II and Kaia. Karl II has crossed over in Ukraine. His battery is only operating at 16%. They are working their way home to Estonia. Safe travels as you enter Ukraine.
Kaia also has a low battery. She has just crossed into Moldova. Waba continues to be in Sudan. No transmissions from Bonus and I am fearing he is lost to us.
Heidi Mc has worked hard on the Mispillion Harbour FB Group, videos, and the history of the nest. The goal was to increase awareness of the ospreys living along the coast of Delaware. Unfortunately, the recent storms have knocked out the camera. Heidi is hoping that the staff will be able to repair it before the Ospreys nest. So, keep checking!
We are still waiting for Iris to return to Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. Star returned to the Baseball Park the other day, and Louis arrived today. Come on, Iris! We hope you made it through winter. In the UK, Aran and Louis continue waiting for their mates, Mrs G and Dorcha. Mrs G typically arrives before 1 April, but Dorcha often doesn’t arrive until 11 April. Mrs G is the oldest UK Osprey and may no longer be with us.
Louis is working on the nest but Aran has been seen sky dancing so there could be a potential female mate in the area for him. That would be lovely. He is a fantastic mate!
The latest on Murphy and the foster eaglet.
11 April is pip watch for Annie and Lou. Please mark your calendars for the Campanile Peregrine Falcons.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, tweets, posts, and streaming cams that helped make up my blog today: ‘MB’, ‘H’, CBC London, Heather Calk and FOBBV, Robert Fuller, Ventana Wildlife Society, fws.gov, BTO, The Guardian, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Moorings Park, LOTL, LRWT, Dyfi, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, CIEL, Marti Lord and SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Carol S Rifkin and NEFL and SWFL Eaglecam Watchers Club, Duke Farms, Dulles-Greenaway, Cornell RTH, Looduskalender Forum, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Terry Carman Live Nest Cams and News.