Tuesday in Bird World

The snow that began last night is continuing to come down in the garden. It is gusty and blowing and the birds are having a difficult time finding a place to get out of the wind. I would love for someone to contradict me but, I do not recall this much snow in 15 years. Thankfully, there is no reason to get out, not even for birdseed. We have at least another two weeks on hand! There are times that I think the garden visitors eat better than their caregivers! It is the running family joke.

You might have felt that I am a little ‘shy’ of that WRDC nest of Ron and Rita’s. This is a new Bald Eagle couple to me. It is really difficult to see if R2 is getting much food. Clearly R1 is a bit of a brute. R3 would not have had a chance. The adults often stand in front of the camera so the view is restricted or, else, I can only see R1 bonking the little one. There is lots of food. Ron is a good provider.

I want to imagine that I am terribly wrong and that the adults are feeding R1 until it passes out in a food coma and then are making sure that R2 is full to the brim. If you have seen this please let me know! I would be delighted.

Some good news. There is no sign of Daisy the Duck on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Continue to send your positive energy to our little duck so she finds a safe place to hatch some eggs!

The bad news – unless you are a GHOW fan – is that Mrs Hootie laid her first egg on the Savannah Osprey nest of Scarlett and Rhett. Where will this longstanding Osprey couple lay their eggs?

The snow is melting in Ithaca, the home of Big Red and Arthur.

The Clark Fork River is open in places near Missoula, Montana. It is hard to imagine but in 9 weeks Big Red should be laying eggs and in 10 weeks we will be looking for Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, to return to her nest at Hell Gate Canyon.

There is some snow in Latvia and like here in Canada, I expect that they will see more. Milda’s nest is waiting for her albeit there have been intruders.

The eaglet at the KNF nest was stretching its little wings this morning. It is 6 days old and is energetic, curious, healthy, and happy. What more could you want?!

Anna and Louis are quickly becoming one of my most favoured Bald Eagle couples!

Pa Berry fed B15 til it passed out in a food coma. I had missed seeing him brooding or feeding so this really put a smile on my face. B15 is a little character. Full of life! So happy.

Pa Berry was really aerating the nest this morning!

R15 is so cute. I wonder if R15 will get attached to ‘eggie’ like Legacy did last year?

The two eaglets of Harriet and Mitch are doing fine at the Hilton Head Island Bald Eagle nest. Have a close look. That second layer of dark grey down is covering them and there are feathers peeking through. Soon they will look like E19 and E20.

E20 looks on as E19 is eating at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest. It will wait til E19 is finished and then will go and have food.

Ferris Akel posted a very short video of the Canada Geese and the Snow Geese from last Sunday’s tour. I had not seen so many since our migration in September-October here in Winnipeg.

Ervie is on the nest and will, no doubt, be ramping up the volume screaming for a fish once the dawn breaks at Port Lincoln. Oh, Ervie. Are you going to be another Izzi? We do adore you and we wouldn’t mind! On the other hand, you did get the sat-pak! Will the conclusion be that at least one male Eastern Osprey likes to stay at the natal nest? Oh, Ervie, you do put a smile on our faces.

Thank you for joining me today. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: WRDC, KNF, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Island Trust, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Berry College, Cornell Bird Cam and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Cam and RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Savannah Ospreys, Latvian Fund for Nature, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

The weather continues to claim the lives of our beloved Ospreys

The heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest on the 28th of June continues to claim the lives of Ospreys. It is impossible to know the full extent of the impact because the vast majority of nests are not monitored. We now know for sure that two chicks at Clark PUD in Washington, 1 chick at Cowlitz PUD, 3 chicks at Osyoos, Exshaw lost 1 of 3 chicks, and all three at the Red Deer Nest in Alberta are unwell as I write and are not expected to survive. They are not eating. The little ones survived the heat to be hit with a torrential storm. Sadly I am not holding out much hope. The only raptor rescue in the interior of British Columbia has saved 26 raptors from perishing in a 24 hour period.

In a recent article, “The record-setting day when global heating surpassed COVID-19 as the existential crisis” in The Narwhal, Arno Kopecky came to the conclusion that the record breaking heat was not ready to take a downward curve because there are serious repercussions. The biggest one of those is wildfires. The town of Lytton hit a Canadian record for 47.5 degrees C. Then we watched that town burn to the ground.

There will be more wildfires – fires that rage and kill humans and animals and burn the trees that help cool the planet. Creeks and wells will continue to dry up. No water, no fish.

Kopecky mourns the lack of seriousness and understanding and says that it took this “extreme heat wave to galvanize public concern over climate change”. He believes that it is NOW – not in three months – but NOW when the heat is still killing that we, the people, must talk to our leaders and friends “about what a heat wave like this means, and what we’re willing to do about it.”

It is understood that the heating of the oceans will cause more hurricanes and storms. Right now sitting off the coast of Cuba is Elsa. That storm has its heart set on battering the west coast of Florida where there are many sea birds including our beloved, Tiny Tot.

This is the latest map showing the path that they believe Elsa will take. What happens around Cuba could change this trajectory.

For those of us worrying about Tiny Tot, the good news comes out of Wales at the beginning of June. How many of you watch the UK Osprey Nests? If you don’t, you should!

Wales was hit by a Force 11 wind storm that brought heavy rain. The wind was blowing at 75-78 mph. Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the United States, was on the nest with her and Aran’s 2021 brood. Chicks were hatching as this storm raged. The chicks died but not because of the storm. Mrs G was soaked but she stayed on that nest! In an earlier storm that hit Wales, Monty, one of the most beloved Osprey males in Welsh history, went fishing during Storm Hector for his family.

So what I am saying is that many birds and nests will weather such a storm just fine. We are fortunate that there are no chicks on the Achieva Nest. Chicks have perished in such storms as evidenced by several weather systems that hit Martha’s Vineyard and region years ago. Imagine if this were the 10th of March?! The nest tower that the Achieva Credit Union built should have been designed to withstand a hurricane. Tiny Tot and Jack will hunker down. They may eat a lot more before the storm arrives to sustain themselves.

And now for some brief news from other nests. Electra has been on and off the nest at Cowlitz PUD. This morning around 6:30 ish, her and Wattsworth were both on the nest.

Mom and Dad both slept on the ropes last night at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest in Australia. This is giving hope that the 2021 season is about to begin for these rare birds in Australia.

I was also very happy to see the official report on the ringing of the three ospreys on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. There is some information to be corrected. The first hatch is a female and she is now Blue 462. Middle Bob is the one that they could not determine the sex. That bird is Blue 463. Tiny Little Bob – oh, bless you – is a male and is Blue 464. He weighed 1.6. I always believed that Tiny Little was a tiny little boy and that Big Bad Bob was a female. Thankfully it turned out that way! Someone had written, incorrectly and I picked up on it, that because Tiny Little was growing so fast it had been decided he was a female. Oh, dear.

Tiny Little is definitely growing! He still prefers not to lean on Big Bad Sister – and she is a big girl. There they are looking at something coming – White YW with a fish perhaps.

The two Rutland chicks, 095 and 096, of Maya and Blue 33 continue to practice their flying skills. They are doing great.

Flying certainly makes the little ones tired. It takes a lot of energy especially when they are learning. Both have had some good power naps.

Blue 33 makes sure that they are all fed. 095 and 096 take turns eating. Neither is out witting the other with the fish and the self-feeding. That is truly refreshing. Maya and Blue 33 rank up there as one of the power couples of UK Ospreys in terms of rearing chicks. There is never a shortage of food and Maya keeps good organization on the nest.

It is raining around the UK Osprey Nests right now. Earlier the two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes Nest were enjoying a lovely dinner right in the middle of the drops. It is a bit too soggy to think about fledging right now but that day is coming. We will all need our worry beads!

Did you follow Louis and Aila on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest? If you did, I know that you are amongst tens of thousands sad because Aila did not return from her migration this year. Louis finally took another mate. They now have chicks on another nest, off camera. One devoted Osprey fan visited the area of the nest and was able to take photographs. I am sorry I cannot share them with you but what I can say is that Louis and Mrs Louis (that is what someone is calling her) have at least two healthy chicks on that nest! They are soooooo cute. There could be three. Mrs Louis would not move from her perch on the railing of the nest for the visitor to see further into the nest. I am so happy for this very devoted Osprey Dad.

Thank you for joining me and thank you to all that send me a note or make a comment. Let us all wish that Elsa gets slowed down before she gets to Florida. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, LRWT and Rutland Water Manton Bay Ospreys, and Port Lincoln Osprey.

Here a fish, there a fish, everywhere a fish!

One of the things that I have learned but which I continually have to remind myself is this: birds are individuals. They may have instincts that have developed over 50 million years but, at the same time, they definitely have their own character. One of the first times I noticed this was with the Royal Albatross Family in 2020. The Royal Cam chick was Atawhai (Pippa was her nick name). Her parents are OGK (orange-green-black) and YRK (yellow-red-black). OGK hatched in 1998 and he was 22 years old last year when Atawhai hatched. YRK hatched in 1994 and was 26 years old when Atawhai hatched. They have been a bonded pair since 2006 and 2020 was their seventh breeding attempt. They have four children and one foster chick as of 2020. So they are not ‘new’ parents. OGK would fly in to feed Atawhai. He loved to sit next to his baby girl and have the most animated conversations. OGK was never in a hurry to leave. Atawhai adored him and would go running when he would land. Sometimes he would even spend the night with Atawhai. In contrast, YRK liked to feed her daughter and leave! Then there are the adults that I call over providers. A case this year was Louis, the partner of Anna, at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest. They were first time parents of Kisatchie. At first I didn’t think that Anna would ever figure out how to feed her wee chick. The parents try to look straight at their chick and keep their beak straight and vertical but in fact, because of the way the raptors see, the mother needs to angle her beak. Anna figured it out – thankfully. Louis was the envy of all the people fishing on Lake Kincaid. One day there were eighteen fish piled up on that Bald Eagle Nest – 18! He had enough food for all the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US. Unbelievable. And then there are those nests where you just sit down and weep. I said I was not going to watch the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest but one day I peeked. How bad could this dad be? I know that I often called Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest a dead beat dad and for several weeks he was but I didn’t think it could get worse than Jack. Oh, but yes it can! Wattsworth. I only have to say his name and those that watch the nest know precisely what he does and doesn’t do. Wattsworth gets caught not bringing in fish but if Electra catches one he is right on the nest expecting her to give it to him! Meanwhile the two barely living chicks – those poor little things – have barely enough food to live. They certainly don’t get enough food to thrive. And Electra is worn out and ever so hungry, too.

Can a nest be an indication of the success the couple will have with their nestlings? I know it sounds like one of those really stupid questions. The day that Louis landed on the rim of the nest at Loch Arkaig, the nest he shares with his mate Aila, he began to do nestorations. He repaired the walls of the nest, brought in new seaweed from the loch to dry and got everything ready for Aila’s arrival. As the days passed and Aila didn’t show up, Louis continued to work on the nest in case she was really late. Have a look at this nest. There has been snow, lots of rain, and some pretty windy storms but the nest is more or less the way Louis left it when Aila did not return this year.

From the moment Iris arrived at her Hellgate Missoula Montana nest she began to repair it. Iris had a lot to do. Last year she went on a rampage when a squirrel climbed up and tried to get in the nest cup. This was after the raven had eaten her egg. There wasn’t much left of the walls. So in 2021 it was almost like starting from scratch. One of the people who belong to the FB page of the Montana Ospreys commented on how Iris was still doing her best even though Iris knows that the outcome in 2021 will not be any different than previous years. The key is that she is doing her best, regardless.

Even CJ7 and 022, who are currently bonding on the Poole Harbour Nest but will not have chicks this year, are working on their nest!

Just yesterday one of the two chicks on the Cowlitz Nest almost fell out of the nest. There is no wall on the far side! You can see it plainly in the photo below.

Is this because there are no sticks to bring to continue building? or there are so many intruders there is no time to secure the nest? or is it indifference? or is Jack just lazy? or does he have another family or two? If anyone knows the answer, write to me – I would sure like to know!

How can you tell if a raptor has food in their system? We all know by looking to see if they have a crop but is there any other way? I happened to catch Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest tonight doing his ‘ps’. That white streak ends between the C and the H in the Achieva logo below. The PS left Tiny Tot’s body like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. The point of all of this is that Electra had such a tiny ps yesterday that you knew her system was almost entirely void of food. The same for those babies. They fight now – they each want to live. It is sad because that clobbering one another uses up their precious energy.

Tiny Tot doing a PS. 15 June 2021

The Cowlitz kids had feedings from two fish today and Electra was eating too. We can hope that all of that small fish will go to Electra and the babies and not into the talons of Wattsworth who was waiting to claim it! Wattsworth certainly gets the Dead Beat Dad award for the past two weeks!

Speaking of Dead Beat Osprey Dads. I have to give Jack a gold star. He has really turned around. Every day he brings at least one fish to Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. One day – was it Sunday? – he even brought in four – FOUR – fish for Tiny. Jack has not forgotten his little one protecting the nest!

Here comes Jack with that fish for Tiny at 7:05:17.

White YW and Blue 35 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest have also been working on the nest. White YW is getting much better at bringing in fish to the nest for Blue 35 and the three chicks, too. My concern is really only Tiny Little Tot. Oh, he is starting to get clever like Tiny Tot did when he was starving and being picked on by the bigger siblings. One of the FB friends of the nest said it well today, “Little One saw the fish coming in and made sure he was in pole position!” Her observations were absolutely spot on. Tiny Tot got right in front of mama so that she could see him clearly and Tiny Little Tot didn’t move. Not only did he not move but he also took bites meant for one of the bigger siblings. Oh, I just adore this little sweetie. He could go on that list of third hatches that survive and thrive!

That was just brilliant! And the older ones didn’t even seem to mind. What a relief. Tiny Little Tot had a really good feed.

Speaking of crops, have a look at the crop of Little Bob on Loch of the Lowes. Looks like everything has straightened itself out on that nest as well. Both Bobs are really thriving.

Today’s winner of provider of the day goes to Idris, however. Sorry Laddie! Just look at that whale that he hauled in for Telyn and the Bobs. He didn’t even eat the head!

Oh, thanks so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure. I will be checking in on Big Red and Arthur and the Ks first thing tomorrow. Fledge watch is truly on for that Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Nest, Achieva Credit Union, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig.

Monday Catchups in Bird World

I want to start with this old battle scared Bald Eagle now known as ‘The Warrior’. Perseverance would be a great name, too! This amazing eagle will not give up.

Last fall, in late September or early October, he was seriously injured. His leg was broken and his beak was badly compromised but, he was flying and no one treated him because he was not ‘down’. His leg healed (kinda) and you can see the state of his beak. On 10 February, CT Environmental Conservation Officer Michael Curran, found the Bald Eagle in a ditch unable to move. Lucky for this old fella’, he was taken to A Place Called Hope in Killingworth, CT, USA. He should have been dead. The staff cleaned him up, fed him, and the next day he was still alive and showing all signs of wanting to live. His lead levels were found to be 48.9 – highly toxic. And so a long series of Chelation Therapy began. In this process, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)—is injected into the bloodstream (usually through an IV) to remove heavy metals such as lead from the bird’s body.

On 17 February, his lead levels had dropped from 49.8 to 12.5. And on 2 March, they were down to 10.1.

Believe in miracles? I have said it many times but the survival of these beautiful raptors depends entirely on someone willing to take a chance and spend the money! One session of Chelation Therapy costs almost $600 US. The easiest way to fix this is to simply ban the use of lead in hunting and fishing equipment. It is that easy. Every day I read about more and more birds dying from lead toxicity.

On 4 March, the old eagle was doing so well that he was able to go outside in the exterior aviary for the first time since he arrived at the clinic.

And here he is today 15 March 2021 flying around the aviary.

The clinic says that he has difficulty breathing because of the beak injury, especially if he exerts himself. He can fly and has no problems making his target for landing. He can be wobbly when standing. This old fellow who has probably been hungry a lot of his life is very much enjoying the food! I don’t blame him – nice cut up meat in a dish with no rodenticides or lead. Couldn’t be better than that.

If you are anxiously awaiting the Loch Arkaig streaming cam to start, wait no longer, it is now running. We are all awaiting the arrival of Louis and Aila. In 2020, Louis arrived on 5 April with Aila returning on 6 April. In 2019, they both arrived on 4 April.

And the nest that I am waiting for – because Red Tail Hawks and Peregrine Falcons are my true loves – is in Ithaca, New York. The nest is on a light stand on the Cornell University Campus and it belongs to Big Red who is eighteen this year and her mate Arthur who will be five. Arthur has been working non-stop early in the morning to get the nest just right for his mate. I am thinking we will see eggs in that nest in about a week! Yahoo. I promise to make you a fan of RTH’s before they fledge in late July or early August.

And speaking of Red Tail Hawks, it looks like Pale Male – who is thirty-one years old – is actively preparing for this season with his current mate, Octavia. Their nest is at 927 Fifth Avenue on Central Park – the penthouse on the park! D. Bruce Yolton did a short video of Pale Male:

Bruce keeps an active list of all the happenings at the fourteen Red Tail Hawk nests in New York City. (A few are not listed). You can check it out by Googling ‘Urban Hawks’.

If you have not seen the amazing story of Pale Male, all his mates, and the furor that came to involve actress Mary Tyler Moore – the battle to save the nest- then you must watch this film. You simply have to!

https://www.thelegendofpalemale.net/

Here are the Monday beef and bouquets in Bird World: The male Osprey, Jack, at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida gets my ‘beef’ for today. It is hot, nearly 30 degrees C and your three kids and your mate are hungry and dehydrating. It is 15:27 – get yourself in gear and bring them a fish and don’t eat the head this time! The Dead Beat Dad Award for this week goes to you, Jack.

The bouquet goes to Louis in the Kistachie National Forest Eagle Nest. This first time Bald eagle dad simply can’t stop fishing. One day there were eighteen on the nest! Stacked! The eaglet and Anna thought they were going to have to sleep on them. Wonder if we could get some of those fish couriered over to St Pete’s for those cute little Osplets? So Louis, first time father, congratulations – you win the bouquet for the week.

Anna is feeding the soon to be named little one on the nest inside the Kisatchie Forest. This little eaglet is so full – almost all day – that it spends much of its time in a food coma. The other day its crop was so big it had a hard time moving. No one is going hungry on this nest! Anna picked a good reliable mate.

One of many meals during the day keep this little one hydrated in the hot bayou of Louisiana. @KNF Bald Eagle cam

The stack of eighteen fish from the weekend is finally dwindling.

Full tummy. Little eaglet in KNF Bald Eagle nest in food coma. @KNF Bald Eagle Nest

Thank you for joining me in Bird World. Take care, stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Kisatchie National Forest, Achieva Credit Union (St Petersburg, 4th Street), Loch Arkaig Ospreys, and Cornell Labs. Thank you to A Place Called Hope for their dedication to raptors, their belief in the Old Warrior, and for the photos from their FB Page.

KNF Eaglet needs a name!

The submission for the final selection of a name for the eaglet in the nest in the Kisatchie Forest is over. 200 names were submitted from people in the US, Australia, and Canada. The final three names for the public to choose from are: Liberty, Kisatchie, and Stormy. You must use the KNF Forestry Office Survey Monkey tool. Submissions cast any other way will not be counted. This is the URL for that Survey Monkey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HKMJRPR

The parents have been given the names Anna and Louis. And, of course, if you reverse that you get the great state that little eaglet resides in.

11 March 2021. Louis is checking out the pantry while Anna broods the eaglet. @KNF Eagle Cam

Before I leave, I just want you to check out the fish on that nest. I do not believe I have ever seen more fish on a Bald Eagle nest that this one. This first time father is really keen to keep his family well fed! No food security issues here. Incredible.

11 March 2021. KNF eaglet with its mother, Anna. @KNF Bald Eagle Cam

Take care everyone. Thanks for participating. Vote!