Super Good News in Bird World

4 August 2022

It is a very early good morning to everyone- just past midnight. I am posting this newsletter early so that everyone will get to read the great news that is coming in – in case you do not already know. In the case of Victor and Little Bit, continued thanks to the wildlife rehabilitation staff that intervened and gave them a second chance on life.

My goodness, it is such a wonderful feeling as if you are floating on a cotton candy cloud when there is great news in Bird World. If you get emotional, I suggest you get the tissues out before reading further.

I want to thank ‘B’ and ‘L’ for alerting me to the special news about Victor in my inbox.

The Ojai Raptor Centre posted this announcement about Victor. When all of us were worrying he might not get well or he might not be able to feed himself ——– well, he is self-feeding and doing a grand job of it, too. He is in an outside enclosure not inside the clinic. Oh,, Victor, you have worked so hard to get well and all the staff at ORC have just being doing the best for you. Tears of joy, tears of joy.

Video of Victor self-feeding:

Video of Victor’s outdoor enclosure:

The other good news is, of course, Little Bit ND17. Images were taken and studied by several who go to the park on a daily basis to watch and photograph the Notre-Dame eagle family – Mum, Dad, ND15, ND16, and ND17 Little Bit. They have longed to get a good clear picture of 17 but wanted to be sure it was him. Here is the announcement in the Notre-Dame FB postings for today:

I was so skeptical when Little Bit was returned to the park without the ability to hunt his own prey. I am joyful to have been proven wrong! Notice the top right image. See how the hair kind of goes around in a partial donut shape. It reminds me of my late father-in-law who was bald but that circular band. It appears that some of the top is flat like strands of longer feathers covering up the places where feathers are missing. At the onset, I did not think he had a crop but, yes, that top right image appears to show that he has recently eaten. What a wonderful relief to see him looking and doing well. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to ensure Little Bit got a second chance on life and those birders on the ground who tried desperately to get images to reassure all of us. Thank you.

The Sea Eaglets are doing just fine, too. The crops of both of them are simply about to pop!!!!!!!

An hour later, Lady is urging them to have ‘just one more bite’! They are growing and will have a rapid growth spurt. Full crops will be the order of the day. Look at how the wings are forming and each has a cute little tail.

The two osplets on the Osoyoos Nest are looking good this evening. The forecast was correct and it has cooled down some – of course, it is still hot, just not as blistery. The chat for the streaming cams appears to be down. Not sure why unless it is all the spam.

Soo had a big crop at 10:46.

Another delivery.

Looks like one of the chicks got the last delivery and is self-feeding.

One crop fuller than the other chick who is fish crying.

I cannot give you a fish count but it appears that both chicks ate today and so did Soo. Fantastic.

Ervie is out flying about and finding nice fish for dinner. He must miss hanging out with Dad on the barge and going to the nest to eat his fish. I wonder if he will try to return to the barge after this breeding season?

It is good to know he is safe – GPS trackers certainly help with that.

In the case of each of these nests or particular fledglings, it is so good to know that they are either improving in care or are doing splendidly on their own. There has been no word on L3 or L4. We wait.

I want to mention a book called Beauty and the Beak. How Science, Technology, and a 3D-printed Beak rescued a Bald Eagle. It is by a pair of talented women – writer Deborah Rose and wildlife rehabilitator, Jane Veltkamp. I first heard of the efforts to save this particular Bald Eagle when I was looking for information about the McEuen Park eagles in Idaho. The intended audience would be children ages 8-12 (I think) but I also enjoyed the gorgeous photos and learning about how science and new technology saved Beauty’s life. It is another fantastic book about positive interventions. If you teach science or know someone who does, I would highly recommend this book. (Cost in Canada is $11.46 for the glossy paperback).

It is a beautiful story of compassion and the commitment of Jane Veltkamp to help Beauty the Bald Eagle.

My regular newsletter that normally appears around noon CDT during the month of August will appear in the early evening on 4 August.

Thank you so much for joining me with all these good news stories. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their postings and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Notre Dame Eagles, Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Update on Little Bit ND17, Victor and other brief news in Bird World

9 July 2022

Humane Wildlife Indiana provided an update on Little Bit 17 this morning. Two things they note: Little Bit has stress lines in his feathers. I have mentioned this before. It is common in birds that have gone without food for the amount of time Little Bit did and also perhaps, the lack of nice fish and having to eat fur. Of course, then there is the stress from the siblings. Little Bit has each of you knows did not have an easy life on that nest. That is why we are all cheering him on and surprised that he lived. It is unfortunate that the clinic has to put up with people interrupting the important work they are doing to try and see him. I note that US Steel did not give the name of the rehab clinic that picked up USS5. Perhaps that is a protocol that all should adopt.

Yesterday I posted an image of WBSE 27 who spent more than 6 months in care – for a second time. Most rehabbers will say it takes a long time to train an eagle to fly and to hunt prey. It is very important that the last part of the training is undertaken. If the bird cannot hunt, he cannot feed himself. Other eaglets have also been released in prey rich areas away from the natal nest when their siblings are free flying with the parents.

Oh, Little Bit. Do you know how much you are loved? Wishing you lots of quail and fish, a long and productive stay in rehab, and…if you can’t fly, a wonderful place where you can be an ambassador bird.

Little Bit 17 has extensive stress lines. You can see them easily. Was it from lack of food? lack of nutrition in the food? psychological stress? or all of the above and more?

I found a a short article and video on stress bars that go into a little more detail. For those of you that own parrots, you might have looked for these when you were either purchasing or adopting your bird.

A short video showing you stress bars and what causes them.

Little bit 17 has also made the news.

https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/news/2022/07/08/eaglet-falls-nest-st-patricks-county-park-wildlife-rehab-st-joseph-county-indiana-south-bend/7829560001/?fbclid=IwAR1e7LcSdiSd5Y7-0PY-i68vjfaT6UxIttZnBVhixmKTmjGRoTGqESLkYE4

The nest at ND-LEEF is disintegrating despite the fact that the adults continue to use it to deliver fish. This is a clear demonstration of how important the natal nest is for the fledglings. Most parents prefer to feed the fledglings on the nest. It is absolutely clear that Little Bit 17 could never have made it to the nest.

It is a very cute first hatch and Audrey is an old hand at taking care of osplets. So sweet. Here is Tom and Audrey’s first hatch of their second clutch enjoying a nice fish lunch around 1230. Holding that head up nice and strong.

It is not clear what is ‘wrong’ with Victor on the Fraser Point Bald Eagle nest. He has definitely injured himself. He is not just tired.

There is chatter about a missing talon on the left foot. It is very hard to see in this image because of the angle but that looks like a possibility. However, I am reminded that Ervie had a missing talon and he was still flying, standing, and catching puffers.

There is a small fish under Victor. He cannot stand to self-feed. He is really, really struggling and it would appear that he is not able to stand – at the moment – for any period of time. Mama Cruz we need you to feed Victor his lunch!

Continue to send positive wishes to Victor.

Oh, oh. Mama Cruz is in but she is feeding Lillibet. It is a tiny fish. Will there be any left for Victor?

Last year at Osoyoos it was hot and the chicks died. This year there has been so much rain in the area and flooding that it might have impacted the fish. Hoping for some nice big meals on the nest for the two chicks and Mum today.

Dory and Skiff’s trio are doing great at the Boathouse on Hog Island. The kids are growing like weeds and I am completely impressed with this first time Mum. Just like I am with CJ7 at Poole Harbour. Fantastic to see Little Bob getting bigger.

Here is CJ7 and Blue 022 with their two very healthy and very big offspring. Wow. I am so happy for CJ7 and Blue 022 – it was one of those romances that everyone wanted to blossom – and for all the people involved in the translocation programme. A big shout out to Roy Dennis.

This is a very brief look at some of the nests we are watching. Continue to send warm wishes to Osoyoos and Fraser Point. Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages: Humane Indiana Wildlife, Chesapeake Conservancy, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Osoyoos Ospreys, Explore.org and Audubon, and Poole Harbour Ospreys.

Good News on Little Bit ND17 and brief news in Bird World

Sunday 3 July 2022

Camaro with hay bale” by La Chachalaca Fotografía is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Do you live in an area where farmer’s are baling hay or straw? and using baling twine? It was baling twine mixed in with some other nesting materials that caught on the male Ospreys talon at Osoyoos and pulled the chick off to fall to its death. Dr Erick Greene at the Montana Osprey Project finds literally tonnes of baling twine in the Osprey nests he studies. He also finds dead chicks and others nearly dead and tangled. If you live in a farming area help our Ospreys by spreading the word. Here is an information pamphlet that Dr Greene prepared – it is quick and to the point.

It is surprising that the nest at ND-LEEF is still holding. It looks like bits and pieces of it are falling away each day. Mum and Dad are still bringing fish to the nest for ND15 and 16.

15 was on the nest when the adult arrives with a nice fish. Soon 16 arrives.

I believe 15 kept the fish!

There is an update today on ND17 – and it is a good one. There is that sweet baby. It appears that individuals have been showing up at the clinic wanting to see 17. Please do not go there. The clinic staff has addressed this issue in their posting. ND17 is doing great and it is the clinic’s business to help him so that he can be returned to the wild. Everyone who works at a rehabilitation clinic is overworked and underpaid – it is a very sad situation in many instances where they do not get celebrity birds and good donations. Send them a thank you letter! Tell them you don’t expect a reply. Make a donation! Give to your local rehabber — I keep saying clean old towels but gosh, they are much needed. Give the towel a second life, too.

Isn’t he adorable?

Problems with nests and falling out of nests happens everywhere. It has been awhile since I checked on the two White-tail Eaglets in their nest in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland. Last time I remained somewhat cautious about the second chick surviving. Their names are Uno and Duo. (The third chick was a victim of siblicide). Uno fell off the nest and spent 4 days on the forest floor. He must have glided – as he flew back up to the nest. There are now some concerns that Duo has not been fed since 1 July and Uno is taking all the prey. They are big eaglets – just beautiful. Both will hopefully survive.

Sleeping and waiting for food.

Last year, Karl II and Kaia had three storklets. One of those Pikne who stayed with Karl II for a long time having him bring her food before fledging. She hatched on the 28th of May and fledged 4 August. She has a perfect flight to Ethiopia where she arrives on October 24, 2021. Pikne stayed in Africa and set off for her return flight to Estonia. She was in Israel on 1 June 2022 and everyone was so happy to see her transmitter working. Sadly, on 6 June, she on a power line and was killed in the middle of nowhere in Turkey. Such promise. A day does not go by without adding another one to ‘the list’.

Pikne is the storklet getting ready to stand up at the front.

As ‘S’ reminded me last year, countries can make laws that power companies must make their poles safe for wildlife but the companies must follow through in a timely manner. Last fall we lost Solly in South Australia and the individuals that make up Port Lincoln Osprey were on a mission to get the government to fix the power poles. Must check with them to see how they are doing. It is, sadly, a worldwide issue for our beautiful raptors and storks. In Pikne’s case, it is thought that she was tired and landed to rest as there was no place to feed near that pole — so it is not just poles near feeding areas but all poles that should have a protective cover.

This is the nest of Karl and Kaia this morning. Bonus made no reaction to Karl II which means that he has accepted him as his father, the male on the nest and is home with the three siblings. This is such good news for the success of the intervention by Urmas and Dr Madis V. Actually it is fantastic news.

What can you do to help so that our beautiful birds are not electrocuted? Here is a story of a Bald Eagle and an individual who got their power company to retrofit the power lines – 12 of them – in their neighbourhood. Remember! Each of us can make a difference by seeking solutions for the birds that live where we do.

Most everyone is following the story of Malala, the Red-tail hawklet meant for dinner but adopted by the Gabriola Island Bald Eagle family. This article covers this adventure from the beginning to the present. It is a really good read.

Every once in awhile I feel compelled to give a shout out to the New Zealand government and specifically their Department of Conservation (NZ DOC). I wonder how many of my readers follow the exploits of the Royal Cam chick on Taiaroa Head? There she is – QT (Quarry Track) chick doing her morning stretches. What a beauty.

This year has seen at least 10 supplementary feedings for QT and a few of the other chicks on the peninsula. Her parents are YRK and OGK. Just like Janika could not provide enough food for her storklets alone, neither can YRK. There is little talk on the Royal Cam FB group but the much beloved OGK was last seen on the 19th of May. Some believe he came in on June 10 but that is not confirmed and many believe it was not him but, rather, YRK. OGK doesn’t choose to not return to feed his chicks. He is one of the most devoted Royal Albatross I have ever seen. He is either injured or dead. Two years ago OGK suffered a leg injury and returned limping after 40 days. If the 19 of May date is correct – he is missing for 46 days now. Send all good wishes his way, please.

US Steel Eagle 4 (USS4) is in care from tumbling out of the tree with severe feather injuries but USS5 is doing great – learning how to fly and returning to the nest for prey from the parents. Congratulations 5 – you are doing very well, indeed.

‘H’ reports that Dory has really mastered the art of feeding her three osplets on the Boathouse Osprey nest – making sure that each and everyone has bites. Dory purposefully gave Little Bob several nice mouth fulls this morning. Fantastic. Thank you ‘H’.

Dad was in early with fish for Mum and the two osplets on the Osoyoos Osprey Platform. It was 0554. Fingers crossed!

That is a brief look at some of the news today. Everyone seems to be doing well.

It is not a good image – taken with my phone at a distance. But this is the tiny rabbit that comes to the garden now grown – 4x his size. Grass and birdseed!

In celebration of ND17s progress, I am sending each of you a virtual piece of that Yokohama Orange cake…Sorry to all food designers. Fall plate and spring flowers! But delicious cake…it was worth all the effort.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB postings where I took my screen captures: Humane Wildlife Indiana, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Bieliki Online Bory Tucholskie, NZ DOC, ND-LEEF, Explore and Audubon, Pix Cams, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, and GROWLS.

Little Bit ND 17 – we wait to see what happens next

27 June 2022

There is always a lot of disinformation when an event occurs and I am guilty for spreading some today. My sincerest apologies! Little Bit ND17 fell off the Bald Eagle nest in St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend Indiana at 15:45:12. Whether it was an accident or precipitated by Little Bit wanting to move after 16 (who returned to the nest today) pecked its neck is not known – and never will be.

Little Bit was found near the base of the tree. Park staff state that 17 is standing and appears alert. Earlier reports of him eating the fish appear to be false. Lindsay Grossman said she looked for that fish because she was going to give it to him but could not find it. A wild life rehabber in Elkhart, Indiana who works with raptors has been notified. The DNR staff were not present, just park staff. Park staff said that they would check Little Bit 17 in about an hour giving him some space.

It is about a 35 minute drive from the rehabbers in Elkhart to St. Patrick’s Park.

According to a chatter the FB page for the nest states, “Rehabber and DNR have been contacted but cannot say at this time what if anything that will happen going forward. “

The wildlife rehabber in Elkhart has COVID. There is another Raptor specialist in Valpo but they are off today. Valpo is a little further away but the park staff say that should become an option tomorrow.

Send all good wishes to Little Bit 17. He is a fighter – always has been! Do you remember when? It is April 24. There is Little Bit 17 right up in front.

At 10:03 this morning.

So what is Little Bit’s challenge if he is on the ground? Lindsay Grossman says, “Yes, coyote is the biggest concern at this time. He does have some weapons at his disposal to fight back with though….” I have seen eaglets this age attacked – roughly 12 weeks – and they did not use their talons to fight. They were surprised and became dinner. Little Bit 17 is also quite small. No one wants him to become dinner.

I am a great believer in intervention when it is warranted and when it can be done with a reasonable hope for success. That would seem to be the state we are in with Little Bit 17. It is unclear whether or not he can fly – he could be bruised and sore, he could have a small fracture in a shoulder—— we do not know and won’t until he is in the care of a wildlife rehabilitation facility. My hope is that either Little Bit is taken into care before dark or that people are there with him (at a safe distance for all) so that he is protected over night. Little Bit is certainly loved.

I do wish someone would bring Little Bit a fish. He has not eaten today. Will the parents? We will find out.

In one incident with a grounded forced fledged Osprey, the bird was discovered by someone that knew a little bit about raptors. The Osprey was placed on his arm and encouraged to fly off. After awhile and much up and down motion of the arm, the bird took off. It is possible that if picked up Little Bit 17 would, indeed, fly. Still, there is the issue of the nest that is not capable of having 3 eaglets on it and sometimes 3 eaglets and a parent. It is a very tricky situation.

Someone asked if Little Bit can catch his own meal? Fledgling eagles learn how to fly. The parents provide them with food on the nest or at an off nest location until their flying is strong. It is then that they teach them how to hunt. The parents provide for them. A good example is the Southwest Florida nest where M16 and Harriet provide prey on the nest and gradually, when the fledglings flying is better, the fledglings begin to get their own prey often in the pond adjacent to the nest. This is usually close to when they leave to find their own territory.

These parents are good at keeping their fledglings fed and enticing them with food to return to the nest. That is how we got in this pickle. It is entirely possible that the parents will get prey and entice Little Bit to fly to another spot. He needs to get off the ground. We wait.

Pictures posted of Little Bit 17 in the brush by Lindsay Grossman on Notre Dame Eagles FB page. Thank you, Lindsay! So nice to see you Little Bit. You are quite beautiful or should we say handsome?

He is a lovely bird.

The one good thing for Little Bit is that the people at St Patrick’s County Park love their eagles and they will do everything that they possibly can to keep Little Bit 17 safe and sound!

Our little sweetheart. Stay safe Little 17!

Thank you for bearing with me today. This nest has been a focus for a long, long time – almost from the moment Little Bit hatched. He is so loved and so many people are wishing hard for his success. Certainly of all the eaglets I have watched he certainly deserves a life. Take care everyone. I hope to have updates tomorrow morning.

Thanks again to ‘H’ for alerting me to the fall the second it happened, to Lindsay Grossman for allowing us to post the images of 17 and to the ND-LEED streaming and chat.