Eggciting things happening everywhere!

Wow. What a day! I could not keep up with the notifications coming in of eggs being laid, beaks pipping eggs, and owlets grabbing and eating entire mice. And then there was Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest simply losing it and attacking its much larger old siblings today. It felt like someone put my head on a turntable and set it at high speed.

Richmond and Rosie have an egg. It is their first egg of the year and after a six minute labour, Rosie laid it at 19:12 on 25 March. Richmond was right by her side. This is the delightful couple that have their nest on the Whirley Crane in San Francisco Bay. Richmond is notorious for bringing toys to the nest. They are a great couple and there is never a dull moment! They often fledge three a year so be prepared. It is a wonderful nest to watch. Links to nests will be posted at the end today.

Surprise Richmond! Here is number 1. 25 March 2021.
Osprey eggs range in colour from a cream to this beautiful mottled red. And don’t worry. These shells are tough.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Eagle nest (MNDNR) has a new couple, Nancy and Harry. The male is only four years old and has not yet fully acquired all of his adult plumage. Their first egg was laid on 17 February and the second was on 20 February. The pair have had a lot of bad weather to deal with so it is especially exciting that at 6:27 there was a pip and at 6:29:52 a beak poked itself out of the shell. Hatch is under way!

Pat Burke took this image and put that nice star there so we could all see the pip on the FB Page.

The Love Trio over near Fulton, Illinois on the Mississippi River seem to have had a hatch today. The nest is the home of Starr (female) and the two Valors, I and II. Yes, it is a ‘love’ trio. No one knows precisely the time. Their nest with the camera was blown down last year and they built a new one in a place where a camera cannot be attached. So news comes from eyes on the ground. Today they noticed the movements of an eagle feeding a little one. And we don’t know how many eggs were laid. But for now, congratulations to the Trio!

The Ospreys are really beginning to arrive in the UK. Tomorrow is the last day of World Osprey Week and there are still many more to come. There were three arrivals today and one last evening, on the 24th. Others with trackers are on the move out of Africa. Check my earlier posting today for details.

I am not even scratching the surface of all that is happening today. If I did, I would bore you to death with long lists of hatch or eggs laid times. I don’t want to do that but I do want to close with a few images of nests that might have been lost in the cracks during Osprey Week.

The first is actually an Osprey nest – too funny. Jack and Harriet are the Ospreys at Machodoc Creek, King Georg, Virginia. Jack is one of the ones that loves to bring toys and other items to the nest. Poor Harriet laid her first egg two days ago and her second today at 20:57:04. Sadly, the first egg might be lost under all of Jack’s presents. Jack has brought in lettuce, someone’s mail, several toys, and fall decorations to add to his earlier treasures this week. What was a nest is starting to look very much like things that have been brought in during high tide!

Jack is in a real decorating mode. There is an egg under there somewhere!

And the next image is Legacy, N24. Legacy overcame eye irritant issues and the Avian Pox and look at how gorgeous she is today. There are only a couple of pieces of baby down left on the top of her head. It has been raining at her Jacksonville nest with parents, Samson and Gabrielle, for the last week. Tornadoes were in the area and the nest was soaked. Gabby stayed on the nest with Legacy when the weather was really bad. Legacy is now self-feeding exclusively. What a beautiful eagle she is.

Legacy has grown into a beautiful eaglet. 25 March 2021

This is Legacy with her mother Gabby on 21 March. They are both stunning.

Legacy and Gabby, 21 March 2021.

This is one of the most touching images I have ever seen of any birds. Yesterday, a sub-adult eagle, an intruder, landed on the branches of Harriet and M15’s nest tree on the D Pritchett property in Fort Myers. Immediately, E18 (the youngest by a few hours) mantled over its slightly older sibling, E17 to protect it. If you are scratching your head trying to remember these beautiful eaglets, think back to the two little ones who had Conjunctivitis and had to removed from the nest. CROW took them off the nest with a cherry picker for treatment. While in care, E17 was so aggressive to E18 that 17 had to be put in time out during feedings. My how the tables have turned and here we have 18 taking good protective care of 17. Amazing.

E18 mantles to protect its older sibling, E18 when an intruder lands on nest tree. 24 March 2021.

Here are links to the streaming cams:

SFBay Osprey:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/golden-gate-osprey-1

The MN DNR:

The Dahlgren Osprey Nest:

NEFL Eagle Cam:

SWFL Eagle Cam:

Look out for pictures of the new hatch on the MN DNR nest tomorrow. In the meantime, thank you for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to all the streaming cams: SF Bay Ospreys and Audubon, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, NEFL and AEF Eagle Cam, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, and the MN DNR. These are where I obtained my scaps.

Catching up with Legacy

I have been spending so much time checking on the arrival of Ospreys both here and in the United Kingdom, that some of my favourite eaglets and chicks on nests have grown – seemingly overnight – to be ‘super size’. I am feeling a little guilty for neglecting them for the past few days as they have brought such joy to my life and, I hope, yours.

Legacy hatched on 8 February. Do you remember when she was just a ball of fluff? In the image below she is a wee one with soft grey down and only a few pinfeathers starting to come through. She is getting ready for a ‘ps’. It is remarkable how all of the nestlings know to send their bathroom out and off of the nest. Her little head is touching the bottom of the nest bowl and she is balancing herself on the tips of her wings in order to elevate her little bottom. No one taught her, not one of her parents showed her how to do this. Oh, if it had been so easy potty training humans!

Today it was grey and rainy with a bit of wind. There has been heavy rain and tornado watches in the area for several days now. The birds are a bit wet. Here is Legacy getting ready to do a ‘ps’ today. She is 42 days old. And she kept testing the edge of the nest with her feet when she backed up. I feared she was going to fall off!

Legacy is now mantling food when the parents bring it to the nest and she is self-feeding. In the image below you can see the parents looking on while Legacy mantles the food – she spreads her wings far to each side and lowers her body of the food in a stance that doesn’t allow others to get to the prey. This is a good lesson for Legacy. She will need this to survive in the wild.

Legacy is learning to hold the prey down with her feet and talons so that it is secure and she can tear off bites with her sharp beak.

Legacy overcame Avian Pox and now she spends a lot of time doing wing exercises and hopping about the nest. Eggie and Pinecone were her good buddies. Her dad, Samson, buried Eggie in the nest last week when Legacy was self-feeding. Then he covered it with some Spanish Moss probably hoping that Legacy would not dig it out. Pinecone is still around! Legacy learned some valuable lessons with ‘Eggie’. She learned how to brood, how to aerate the nest, and roll the egg as well as incubating it. She is going to be a great mom.

Legacy poses with her beautiful mother, Gabrielle. The little one has the most incredible deep black with a hint of brown-red in her plumage. And that little bit of a tail in the first image is now growing nicely. She will need to have a long tail to help her fledge. Isn’t she stunning? Gabby and Samson make beautiful babies!

And here Legacy is kissy-kissy with mom.

It has been such a pleasure to watch this little one grow up. Legacy overcame some early eye irritation issues, then the Avian Pox, and has grown into this beautiful girl. OK. I will always believe Legacy is going to be a big girl like Gabby. Can’t say why, just one of those feelings. I hope we find out one day.

Samson and Gabrielle have done an amazing job teaching her and getting her ready for the day she will leave the nest and be on her own. Fledging is 10-14 weeks. It is hard to believe that we are halfway there!

I will leave you with an image of another nest. It is pip watch at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bald Eagle nest. This is the nest with the young 4 year old father. Hoping for the best!

And the bouquet today goes to Clyde, the Great Horned Owl and mate of Bonnie. It has been cold and raining in Kansas and still in the last hour – just one hour – has brought in four prey items for Bonnie, Tiger, and Lily. The rabbit and the garter snake are in the pantry but Bonnie is trying to keep the wee ones dry – and it is not easy – so they are having mice and vole for snacks. It looks like it is a prey rich area for the couple and their owlets.

Bonnie and Clyde are wet but the little ones are dry. Clyde brought in four prey items. He is giving Bonnie a mouse in this delivery.

The beef goes once again to Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest. Tiny Tot got some tiny bites of food in the last of three deliveries. The two eldest have shut him out of eating. Diane the mom has fished herself today when food did not come in. It is a stressful nest to watch.

Thank you so much for joining me today as we caught up with Legacy. And thank you to the NEFL Eagle Cam and the AEF for their streaming cam where I grabbed these images.

N24 has a name – Legacy!

Several environmental and wildlife researchers believe that if you give a specific bird a name, people are more invested in its welfare. They will, therefore, transfer the caring from the named bird to wanting to create a more sustainable environment for them and, thus, all wildlife.

I am not totally convinced that a ‘name’ makes a difference (but if it does, I am all for it!). Those who watched White-Bellied Sea Eaglet 26 (WBSE 26) hatch, grow, and overcome her physical challenges to fly would not have cared any more for her if she had a name. It has been six months since she died and all it takes is for one of ‘our bird group’ to simply say ’26’ and we ‘see’ her. Maybe it is when she was with Maggie the Magpie honking at the Pied Currawongs. Or perhaps it is the little bobble head with WBSE 25. Maybe it is the last image of her with the sun gently caressing the side of her face. I will argue that it would not have mattered more if 26 had a name and not a number. The donations and the strong feels of wanting to help in some way came regardless.

Many successful birds are known by a number or band colour or a name or – all three. Followers of Wisdom, the oldest banded Laysan Albatross in the world, know she wears a red band with the number Z333. They also know her by her name. It is equally true that we might not know the other Laysans whose nests are near to Wisdom’s on the Midland Atoll and that is because Wisdom or Red-Z333 is special. She is the oldest living banded bird in the world and at the age of seventy, she just hatched another moli.

If you have any thoughts one way or the other, I would love to hear from you.

“Wisdom incubating her egg, December 2018. Photo credit: Madalyn Riley/USFWS Volunteer” by USFWS Pacific is marked with CC PDM 1.0

One of the ‘Name the Bald Eaglet’ contests has just ended. At the time of its birth, the eaglet born to Samson and Gabby in 2021 on the Northeast Florida nest was given a number – N24. Today, N24 received a name —- Legacy.

The public were invited to submit potential names. Out of those the list was narrowed down to six. Then members of the American Eagle Foundation voted for their favourite name on the list. 266 people voted for Legacy over the other five names. It is a good symbolic choice for this nest. Legacy is the grandchild of Romeo and Juliet. That mated pair were first seen on this very nest on 3 September 2009. The couple raised nineteen eaglets to fledge – they were 100% successful. During the 2018-19 season, Juliet was injured by an intruder and left the nest area. Romeo was ultimately unable to do the work for two even though he tried very hard to succeed. This included incubating the remaining egg, hunting for food to feed the one that hatched and himself, and the protection of the nest. When Romeo was away hunting, on Christmas Day 2018, a female intruder snatched the just hatched eaglet from the nest and ate it. Romeo consequently left the nest area. Neither Romeo or Juliet have been seen since and it is presumed, by many, that both are dead.

Legacy sitting next to its dad, Samson. 7 March 2021. @NEFL and AEF Eagle Cam

Samson is the son of Romeo and Juliet. He was born on this same nest on 23 December 2013. Samson returned to his natal nest on 26 August 2019, taking over the territory his father, Romeo, once ruled. Samson was ‘courted’ by many females but he chose his current mate, Gabrielle or Gabby for short. Their first breeding season was 2019-20. The pair fledged N22 and N23 – Jules and Romy – named after the grandparents. This year only one of two eggs was viable. The eaglet was given the number N24. N24 carries on the legacy of Romeo and Juliet. It is a sentimental choice but a very good one out of the other possible six choices.

The other news is that Legacy has overcome Avian Pox. The lesions are almost completely dried up. Pin feathers are coming in all over the little one’s body and it spends much of its time preening. Those feathers must be awfully itchy!

Another sweet little eaglet is waiting for a name. This one resides in the KNF – Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana. The public submissions of names is now closed. A committee will narrow down those to a list of three. I understand that a number of individuals have suggested names associated with Caroline Dormon, the woman who led the reforestation of the area after all of the trees had been cut down for timber early in the twentieth century. Voting for the final name will take place from 11-16 March with the announcement of ‘the name’ on St. Patrick’s Day.

This little eaglet has grown like a bad weed. Once the chick was no longer bobbling its head and learned to grab food hard with its beak and once mom figured out how to hold her beak (sideways), there was nothing stopping this little one from growing. That growth is helped by a dad who simply cannot stop catching fish and delivering them to the nest. Someone counted twelve today! Twelve fish. Not just for the baby – mom likes to eat, too! There must be a fabulous source of food nearby for this lucky family.