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.

Ron and Rita, correction and follow up

Apologies to Ron and Rita and everyone for any confusion. In my excitement for R3s hatch, I said the Bald Eagle couple were at Hilton Head. Absolutely not. They are at the Wildlife Rescue Cam in Dade County, Florida!

I also wanted to show you some pictures of later this morning where R1 and R2 are moving outside of the nest cup. This is great. They are actually looking at the world around them. Ron and Rita are experienced Bald Eagle parents and we are all wishing them and R3 the best of luck. They would have fledged two chicks last year if their nest had not collapsed in a storm so send them all your best wishes.

Notice that R2 is being fed outside the nest cup while R1 has gone to sleep by the edge. R3 is resting from that tiring hatch!

Rita looks down at her new baby.

R1 is looking out at the world beyond the nest.

This is so fantastic. I love this artificial nest created for these parents and wow, Rita and Ron will have lots of places to feed the chicks.

Take care all. Sorry for the confusion over the nest identity!

Thanks to the WRDC Bald Eagle cam where I took my screen captures.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

We remain in an Extreme Cold Warning on the Canadian Prairies while Australia and New Zealand have been having Maritime Heat Events. Both are equally challenging for our feathered friends. As for the humans, the furnace is fixed, the heat is on and my -35 degree C ski pants arrived today along with the -35 degree C rated boots. There will be no excuse for not heading out to walk the trails and check on those several hundred ducks that continue to live on our Assiniboine River. Today at the feeders, the normal 28 or so European Starlings and several hundred Sparrows were joined by no less than 10 Black-capped Chickadees. There could have been more as they darted in and out with seeds. They are such beautiful little birds. Some of the Starlings, like the one below, seemed to really get into eating the snow!

Others seemed to prefer to poof up their feathers and hang out with one another in the Lilac Bushes. They leave about 16:00 and I am constantly wondering where they roost at night. They return just after dawn waiting patiently – or impatiently – for the Bark Butter and Meal Worms.

For those who might have missed it, Royal Albatross YRK returned to Taiaroa Head on Day 15 to relieve her mate, OGK. It was an emotional homecoming. This morning the NZ Rangers returned the ‘real egg’ that had been in the incubator to YRK and removed the dummy egg. I could watch these two all day long if I had the time. Talk about a loving couple. In case you missed it, here is that reunion:

There are so many Bald Eagles or Ospreys named Harriet that it can be confusing when trying to keep the nests straight as to who belongs to which one. Harriet and Mitch are at the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest.

Those babies are really adorable.

At Hilton Head the menu appears to be almost exclusively fish.

Harriet of M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Nest has herself a handful. Today, each chick was trying to climb completely out of the nest bowl – one going one direction and the other one going the other. It is no wonder that we see both Harriet and M15 bringing in reinforcing branches for the sides of the nest.

E19 is full and has passed out in a food coma. E20 thinks it can still hold some more fish! Indeed, these two eat really well when fish is on the menu.

Everyone was talking about a pip and a possible hatch at the WRDC Miami-
Dade Bald Eagle nest. I have been unable to confirm a hatch. Rita was busy feeding the two and what was special on the menu? an Ibis.

The White Ibis lives in the estuaries and along the shores of the Southeastern United States. They are easily identified by their bright red legs and red bill. With these long tweezer like beaks they dig in the mud for crabs, crayfish, marine worms, frogs, and lizards.

“Ibis” by sabl3t3k is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

These two seemed, when I was watching, to settle down and eat. They have had a diet of only fish up til today when the Ibis was delivered.

I cannot tell if there is anything happening with the egg or not. R2 hatched on 2 January so if R3 had hatched today there would be three days difference and tomorrow it will be greater. Again, two healthy eaglets are perfect. Maybe there will not be a third.

There are a myriad of other Bald Eagle nests that have either one egg or the couple are preparing for breeding. I cannot keep up with all of them!

There are certainly funny things that go on at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when all three of the boys are on deck. Ervie – yes, you read that correctly – decided to pay the barge a visit Thursday afternoon PL time. He flew in around 13:00 and chaos ensued, in a manner of speaking. All of the lads thought Dad was flying in with a fish and they were quite animated. When Dad landed on the bottom deck without a fish, Ervie flew right into Dad’s nest! Ervie tried to steal fish from Bazza a few times, got a piece of fish and then proceeded to drop it. Mum picked it up! Who says an Osprey will not pick up a fish that has been dropped? At the end of it all, I think everyone was just happy to see Ervie!

It is amazing how loud three juvenile Ospreys can be when they see Dad flying in with a fish and each one of them wants it. Incredible. Bazza is on the nest, Ervie is on the corner of the ropes and Falky is on the yellow and black ropes. Mum is down below.

Dad has flown in and is next to Mum below deck and Ervie has landed right in the middle of the sticks.

Somehow Ervie comes up with a piece of fish and is eating it on the nest with Bazza.

There is a lot of condensation but that is Ervie on the left and Bazza on the right. Ervie has a piece of fish.

It truly is good to see Ervie – to see all three of them. They are safe and healthy, just maybe a little hungry. Flying takes a lot of energy and the weather has been hot, windy, and the water is choppy. Tough conditions for juveniles learning to fish.

Thank you so very much for joining me. It is always my pleasure to bring you some news about our beautiful birds. As National Bird Day comes to a close, I am forever grateful for the joy these characters bring us. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, WRDC Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

Tuesday in Bird World

It is a blustery snowy day on the Canadian Prairies. We woke up to more snow and the birds wondering where to find food underneath it. It is fine for the birds that eat out of the feeders but those that feed on the ground will have a tough time of it. I feel for them on days like today. Our temperatures are ranging from -22 C to -14 C. So not warm! And the snow will continue throughout the day and night. It is definitely winter in Canada. We have had 4 or 5 years of drought and hopefully the moisture and rain in the spring will change that!!!

Everyone is trying to see if there is a pip or a crack in the third egg at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade county. The two nestlings are doing quite well. R1 does a little of the bonking but R2 is eating very well. Both have had full crops. Personally, I am hoping that R3 does not hatch. These two are doing well and the third hatch – well, we all know that often it is a real challenge for them even with experienced parents.

R1 and R2 are simply ‘can’t take my eyes off them cute’. Adorable. Cuddly. Soft.

A little one peeking out from under Mum after their nice meal. They have been enjoying a variety of fish including Tilapia. Dad seems to always have several varieties on hand for feeding.

Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 are continuing to do well, also. They are starting to get their pin feathers now that they are 8 and 7 days old. We can look forward to them being ‘itchy’ by the weekend, I would think. They grow so fast.

You can see the pinfeathers easier in the image below. They are just tiny black flecks right now but they are growing in.

Adorable.

Gabby has about a week more of incubation before her and Samson will be busy feeding the bobbleheads! Fingers crossed for both eggs to hatch up at The Hamlet near Jacksonville. I cannot wait. This is one of my favourite nests. Last year the couple fledged Legacy. As an only child on the nest, Gabby and Samson did everything they could to replace the lessons Legacy would learn from having siblings. At one point, when Legacy was so so tiny, they tested her to see if she would walk over to the fish out of the nest bowl. She did and she kept getting stronger and stronger. What a beautiful juvenile she was when we last saw her in the summer.

Mr President and The First Lady have been to visit their nest at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Since 2015, the pair have made this nest their home and during that time they have fledged 7 eaglets. Don’t expect eggs for a bit.

Here is the link to their camera.

This morning their nest had another visitor – a Red-tailed Hawk hoping to catch some breakfast.

Jack and Diane have been working on their Osprey nest on the grounds of the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida for awhile now. Jack brought Diane her first breakfast fish the other day and this morning she was waiting for another. Looking for eggs to be laid in a few weeks.

Last year Jack and Diane were one of a few couples, world-wide, that fledged three chicks. For a long time it was touch and go with Tiny Tot Tumbles but Diane started bringing in extra fish including her huge catfish and things turned around for that little one. She must have a secret place to go fishing because she always leaves and comes back with a large fish to feed everyone.

So far this nest has not had the problems with predators taking the eggs like Lena and Andy at Captiva. However, I am a little uneasy at times as the fish deliveries are inconsistent. I even thought that Jack was providing for another nest last year. So, fair warning – this nest can cause one to be anxious at times.

Here is the link to this Osprey camera:

Another good Osprey Nest to watch is up at Oyster Bay, NY, where there were three fledges last year, also. Here is that link and I will bring it and Achieva back up again – along with others – when eggs are about to hatch.

Sometimes it is nice when not much is happening in Bird World. We can sit back and relax and enjoy all of them without the drama. I have not seen nor have I had word that Daisy the Duck has returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest since she visited on 1 January with her mate. I surely hope that she finds another spot and tries it. Anything is better than the Sea Eagles nest! We want her to succeed. My contact has not sent me an image of her down in the water so let us all image her paddling in the duck pond!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay warm, stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, the WRDC, The National Arboretum Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Achieva Credit Union.