19 February 2022
Good Morning Everyone,
Gosh, it was a gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies…it was so nice that I spent the entire day in the conservatory with the kittens watching and counting birds and watching the cams. Gabby had me fooled into thinking she was going to lay an egg today!
Cornell has posted the results so far for the Great Bird Count: “Halftime for the 4-day Great Backyard Bird Count—and the results so far are impressive. More than 200,000 bird enthusiasts have reported 6,426 species on 125,101 checklists and 103,207 sightings saved in Merlin. Bird reports are coming in from 182 countries so far.” That is very impressive.
It is difficult not to take pictures of Missy all day. She loves to pose! Lewis can’t slow down. He would rather terrorise the toys or his tail.
As spring is only a little over a month away, the bright-white dots on the Starlings’s sides, flank, and belly are getting lighter and some are disappearing. These suet cylinders are just the best thing for us in the winter. No mess. No waste. Everyone likes them but the woodpeckers and Black-capped Chickadees.
Things continue to be unsettled in various parts of Bird World this morning and yet, the eagles and ospreys just go on with their lives. They can teach us a lot of good lessons if we listen! Sometimes it is just difficult to watch a day longer. Take a break. It will be good for you. Much of the time the birds bring us great joy. Their lives touch ours and we often feel like we know the bird families better than our neighbours or friends. And then something happens and it feels like it has happened to ‘our family’ — and it has. Our connection to these beautiful raptors is not insignificant. Think about it. Sometimes things do not go the way we want them to. But when it goes well, there is nothing more adrenalin pumping and happy…hysterical joy. So take a moment if you are stressed…and then come back and share the joy.
First up, we have some more sad news – another female Bald Eagle is MIA. Our dear Little Bit ND-17’s mother has been missing since the morning of 15 February. A female intruder has been landing on the nest. We wait to see if Mum returns.
Is it OK to say that things are really getting nasty out there with so many eagles – males and females – wanting nests and mates?
Dad tussling with female intruder who flew onto nest. At other times it appears he might tolerate her a little.
ND-17 was one of the great success stories of last year – at a time when most of us were frantic that he would die of starvation. Today, Paul Kolnik posted a memory of the day that Little Bit fell off this nest…we waited, we pleaded, we wrote letters…and then, really just in time to save him, the Humane Indiana Wildlife came to his rescue. He ate, he learned to fly and his wings got strong and he learned to hunt prey and then — he came home to the park to live in the wild. It was wonderful to have the BOGs sending in photos of his great progress and to watch him near the river.
This is another lesson for all of us. If you can pick up a raptor, something is wrong. Get help immediately. This precious little one that ate squirrel pellets to survive deserved nothing less – and he lived! Always grateful to the wildlife clinic that gave him a chance at life. Always.
Mum and Dad worked so hard to rebuild their nest in St Joseph’s Park in South Bend, Indiana after it completely collapsed last year causing – ultimately – ND 17 (Little Bit) to eventually go into care. It is hard to see these adults come come back and rebuild and work for their future – just like Harriet and M15 – and have things thrown apart by possible intruders.
Intruders are everywhere. Even Annie at Cal Falcons had to engage with a Red-tailed Hawk!
Everyone waited and watched as Mabel and Angus readied their Osprey nest and we just knew that we were going to have eggs for Valentine’s. Again everything turns on a dime. Mabel is gone. Did she tire of battling the female intruder? or was she so injured she had to leave? or was it worse? It is absolutely not clear what happened to Mabel. And it is definitely not certain that there will be any eggs on this brand new nest platform this year unless Angus leaves and a bonded pair come to the nest right ready for their eggs to be laid.
There was an intruder attack on the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty. Bella laid her first egg on the 15th and her second on Saturday at 18:55–the attack was only 47 minutes earlier. Please keep this couple and all the raptor families under attack in your most positive thoughts.
Connick is really growing up and this is a great video of him winging it. You can see those new juvenile feathers coming in with their quills, Connick’s big strong legs and her amazing tail.
Gosh, the meals might be very different with the TBD male at the Cal Falcons scrape. He brought a Greater Yellowlegs, a shore bird, to his gal on the 17th. He’s learning!!!!!!!
Thank you to ‘B’ who sent a really nice article about Mr P and Lotus at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The couple have moved their nest and are, this year, among several very popular Bald Eagles who have decided for new housing. At the West End we have Thunder and Akecheta and at Fraser Point, Andor and Cruz, too.
There is great news coming out of New York City. Flaco will be allowed to live free and not pursued or returned to the Zoo. He is living the good life and has proven that he can take care of himself.
Now – for all the raptors that live around Central Park – if the City and residents plus all those businesses – would not allow rodenticide, Flaco and his pals could clean up the place without their lives being in danger.
I wanted you to see where Flaco was…the arrow for the video only works if you go to the person’s twitter feed unfortunately.
It opens with our friend Indigo screaming into the scrape…Elain’s highlights from the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Indigo is a darling and he looks so much like Izzi…so happy all members of the family have returned to the scrape and are safe and sound.
Not a day can go by without checking in with M15 and the eaglets, E21 and 22. On Saturday morning at 0735, M15 comes in with a fish..many thought that it was a small fish. In fact, M15 took advantage and gave the eaglets some teaching moments. He left the head for one and a portion of flesh and the tail for the other. They worked on those for a bit. 21, of course, ate first and 22 had to resort to his amazing snatch and grabs. 22 also got the tail – smart – out of the pile and dismissed with it nicely. 22 is doing well…he really is. Still a bit timid but on Saturday he ate well as he had done on Friday with that rabbit and innards.
While 21 battles with that Armoured catfish head, 22 got the juicy and meaty tail!
At 1400, M15 comes in with another fish. This time 21 appears to get it all with 22 searching the nest for scraps which he finds! 21 was still eating at 15:11. It was a nice fish. Too bad 22 didn’t turn around…but, hey. They have eaten well in the past few days. There are no worries.
This amazing Dad did not disappoint. He flew into the nest an Armoured Catfish around 15:52ish. 22 got the lot of it and, of course, the event was not without some anxiety as the female with the black talon flew onto the rim of the nest. She did not bother the eaglets. Instead she watched M15 feed 22. Then she flew off.
M15 gave her a piece of his mind and she will fly away…he did his job. He fed the eaglets!
At 1600 the female is watching Dad.
Seconds later she flies away leaving 22 and the eaglets. 22 would like more but, he will in fact, wind up with a crop. 21 was full from the earlier feeding. you can see s/he still has a crop in the image below. Timing is perfect for 22.
At 16:38 M15 is back with a nice chunk of ‘fish’? and 22 gets right over there at Dad’s beak. 21 does not care. He is asleep on the rails. 22 gets some super nice bites of fish…well done 22. You don’t have to snatch and grab. It was a much more civilised meal for you. It lasted 10 minutes.
One of the females landed on the nest tree with prey. She flew off with the prey. Was she thinking of feeding the Es? or just needed a plucking post? The Es continue to wait for breakfast on Sunday morning…
There is something ‘up’ at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and V3. Gabby was on the nest again today…They are a beautiful couple and the area is so much more secure and stable since V3 took control.
V3 and Gabby have been scanning the horizon for intruders and at 1800, Gabby is back in the nest.
Nancy and Beau have their second egg – arriving right on time – at the MN-DNR nest. Congratulations!
Liberty and Guardian seem to be back to their old selves after their first egg collapsed.
Congratulations to Valentine who – for the first time in their life – mantled and claimed their own fix from Dad Alex at the KNF-E3 nest. Thanks Rhonda for the video! Oh, this is just brilliant. A beautiful execution by Valentine.
Missy and Pa have a little while to go until B16 is mantling a fish and taking it but…in all honesty, it won’t be long. B16 is 29 days old today. This is one big eaglet just like KNF-E1 03 (Trey).
At the National Arboretum, Mr P is decidedly hanging out at the old nest after it seems Lotus insisted on having a new one deep into the forest.
There are Peregrine Falcons almost everywhere and Tom and Azina at the Charing Cross Hospital scrape box are getting to know what it is that Azina prefers for her gift meal.
Every morning when we wake up, we need to thank the wildlife rehabilitation centres, their staff, and the army of volunteers they have who save our birds when they get themselves in trouble.
The dumping of shot game birds in the UK has now found its way to Wales. Go to Raptor Persecution UK for the whole nauseating story…
Question I keep getting asked: Do I think Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are viable? I would hate to speculate. Eggs have been left for long periods of time and miraculously hatched. It depends on the circumstances and we don’t know what all of those are. I continue to remind myself that the first egg might not hatch but the second could. If that is the case then I will not give up until the 25th which is 6 days away. That would be the last day for egg 2 to be viable. If they do not hatch, I hope the Ravens take them so Jackie can lay new eggs in the nest without the issue of having the other two there as well.
It is possible that the UK Ospreys are beginning to pack their bags in Africa and start their journey to their spring and summer breeding grounds…I am so excited.
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being with me today. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, videos, announcements, and streaming cams that make up my blog today: ‘B’, ‘H’, ND-LEEF, Paul Kolnik and Bald Eagles 101, Cal Falcons, D Steyck and the NCTC Eagles, Window to Wildlife, The Washington Post, MSN, Stella Hamilton, Elain and the Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Paul Kolnik and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, MN-DNR, FORE, Rhonda A and KNF E-3, Berry College, Mr P and Lotus Twitter, FaB Peregrines, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest News and Cams, Raptor Persecution UK.
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