Middle is peckish, a look at stunning L4, and other tales in Bird World

30 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The weather on the Canadian Prairies continues to be balmy. It is 10 degrees C as I write to you and it is just past 2030 Saturday evening. The one thing I enjoy so much about living in Canada is that we will never let a good weather day at the end of October pass us by. Visitors at the wetlands today were in their shirt sleeves — short ones! Everyone had come to try and spot the Tundra Swans. There were 13 of them on the water yesterday including the family that I had seen in September.

It promised to be a good day as the sound of Canada geese honking filled the sky. On the way to Oak Hammock, I passed more than one field of corn being harvested. This is a huge bonus for the geese and ducks landing here now on their way south. Lots of food and the weather is supposed to be warm and dry for several more days. The geese will have those fields cleaned up in short order.

I have mentioned Oak Hammock Marsh before but, for those that are new, here is a short description. It is a huge area of wetlands northwest of Winnipeg measuring 36 sq kilometres or 13.89 square miles. The area is owned jointly by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba. The landscape changes from season to season and month to month. There are many educational programmes, tours, canoes, and an interpretative centre. It is one of two large nature centres near the city where I live. The other is Fort Whyte Alive. The main difference between the two is the fact that Ducks Unlimited – while restoring wetlands to protect and grow the number of waterfowl – are also proud promoters of duck hunting. That is difficult for me. At the same time, I am grateful that there are expanses of land for waterfowl instead of housing divisions or paved parking lots.

The main building has a little shop, a display of miniature ducks that have won the annual contests, lots of computers set to eBird, and walls of displays – historical finds on the land when they were building, a class room, and cases full of beautifully carved ducks. I forgot my phone or I would have images of these for you – the lens on my camera simply cannot focus that close.

We had so much water in the spring. It rained and rained and rained every day. Torrential rains. This area of the flat prairie flooded in many parts. It made for soggy earth where bull rushes grew. They grew so tall. The Red-winged Blackbirds were eating the seeds the last time I was here. Today, there was no a single one. They are on their way south!

This female Downy Woodpecker was looking for bugs and insects and flitted around the path going in and out of the shrubs. She seemed to care less if I was there with her so focused was she on finding food.

Such a gorgeous Greater Yellowlegs.

There were two American Coots towards the end of one of the trails in ‘Coot Pond’. It was also there that I found the Snowy Owl I had gone to see – one seen flying over the marsh this morning. Sadly, it was dead.

Overhead two raptors were enjoying soaring in the thermals. There are Northern Harriers that I have seen at the wetlands but, there was always only one. These two look as if they were having fun and their silhouette looks like the immature Bald Eagles in both of my books with raptor silhouettes. I just wonder if one of these might be responsible for the demise of the Snowy Owl.

I saw six Great Yellowlegs today. They were all very busy poking around at the edge of the pond looking for food.

The Tundra Swans alluded me today. That is perfectly fine. It was a joy to see them in September!

On my way home I stopped at a park that I frequent occasionally checking for Wood Ducks. I was not disappointed today. A cute little girl, about three or four years old, was feeding the ducks cracked corn – a perfect food for them! This had brought the 20 or so ducks up to a single area. Many looked as if they had already eaten lots of corn and were back in the water swimming. And the light was so strange – the water looked metallic. Everything had a reflection and this cute little female Wood Duck seems to be looking at hers. I wonder if she knows how gorgeous she is.

This Mallard couple sat so still and their plumage was so vibrant and perfect that they appeared to be decoys. And then they moved!

The golden glow of the sun as it was getting lower in the sky caught this precious female Mallard. She looks like she has been eating very well and it is time for the last of the sun’s rays to warm her.

The forecast is for it to be 18 degrees C on Wednesday. I am going to check e-Bird and see if there are any hotspots with shorebirds and ducks still in southern Manitoba!

I know that many of you have pets, perhaps more than one. One of the wonderful things about them is how happy they are to see you when you get home. Well, when I pulled up and parked the car, I could hear a sound. I didn’t recognize it at first but, then, I saw her. There was Dyson running down the branch of the tree to greet me. She said all of her hellos and beat me – she was already waiting on the deck for peanuts – by the time I sat my camera down. Now how did she know that there was an enormous sack of fresh nuts just purchased for her???

And does she know how happy I am to see her?

___________________________________________________________________

Making News:

Suzanne Arnold Horning was out and about today and she has photos of Big Red, Arthur, and L4 on the campus today. Oh, L4 looks so grown up. Remember that little one clamoring over its siblings to be right up and front at feeding time? and L4 being the first one to catch their own prey? Beautiful juvenile. I am so glad that L4 is staying in the territory. Wish this juvie had a band!

Look at those beautiful Juvenile eyes. Looks like L4 is over around the field by Highway 366.

Beautiful Big Red. Our fabulous Mama who will be 20 years old in the spring of 2023. Incredible.

This is another image of Big Red today from Ferris Akel’s tour. Isn’t she a stunner? And she has her dinner!

L4 will get her ‘red tail’ when she turns one. It is really a mark of honour for so few survive. Gradually, L4’s eyes will get darker and darker and one day she will look like her gorgeous Mum.

The Illegal trade in Song birds coming out of Indonesia. Oh, however so disgustingly sad. There are moves around the world to stop the illegal trade in birds and many places are banning the sale of parrots and other exotics to try and stop this practice. What is happening where you live?

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/oct/28/caged-indonesias-songbird-trade-in-pictures

We all know about Taiaroa Head where the NZ DOC take such good care of the Royal Albatross colony. Nearby is Dunedin’s Eco Sanctuary. Check out this birdwatching trip in New Zealand.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2022/oct/31/a-birdwatching-trip-back-in-time-what-pre-mammal-new-zealand-wouldve-been-like

There was a big fire across from the nest of Harriet and M15!

Nest News:

The weather is truly miserable at Port Lincoln. It was pitching down rain and there was concern that Dad would not be able to bring any fish to the nest but, Dad is extremely dependable. If there are fish – even small ones – he will bring them to Mum, Big, and Middle. It was between small and small medium size. Middle got the first good bites and that is a good thing because at 085754 Middle got up to walk away and then turned as if he might want another bite. At 085757, Big takes exception and gives Middle a brief reminder that she is eating – and eat she did – all the rest of it! It is certainly true that things appear to be civil but, when Middle eats his fair share before Big or Big thinks Middle is going to eat all the fish, she doesn’t put up with it. There was a ‘look’ from Big at Middle at 091225 that said it all.

Oh, the family was soaked.

Breakfast arrived at 08:49. Middle will get the greatest share of the fish for the first six minutes of the feeding. Indeed, Middle will have a small crop. Middle is on the left and Big is on the right. You can see that the fish is not huge but it is not tiny either. Dad is extremely reliable.

All is forgiven as the pair try to get some warmth as the rain continues.

The rain stopped by the winds are blowing at 31 mph. It could be very difficult for Dad or Mum to bring any fish to the nest in these winds. Send this nest your best wishes, as always.

Middle is hungry. Big has gotten the lion’s share of the fish for yesterday and that was not much, just the two deliveries due to the stormy weather. So Middle was peckish and pecked – yes, he pecked Big – twice. Here are some images of the last encounter. BTW Big does retaliate but, it is not as viscious as previous times.

What precipitated the event was the sighting of a parent and the hope of some fish. The two followed and did a wee bit of fish calling. Middle puffed up real big before pecking Big —-oh, please let there be lots of fish on Monday in Australia!

At 367 Collins Street, the falcons did survive the fireworks but, at the same time, it was so apparent that Mum was frightened out of her wits. She returned to her perch above the scrape before dusk. Very grateful all is well.

It is impossible to know when the Melbourne Four are being fed unless you see them being fed at the end of the ledge above or hear them squeeeeeeing which they are doing now at 1400! I am not worried about them. These parents have done a smashing job feeding these four and learning how to care for them. ‘A’ tells me it is blistering hot in Melbourne today and the eyases know to stay in the shade. So they are eating and they are sleeping in the shade and isn’t that wonderful — all is well.

Oh, goodness they are loud! Rewind to 1404 to hear them. It is a wonderful sound. You can just picture them jumping a bit with their beaks wide open snatching that precious prey.

At 1411 one of the eyases is heard running down the gutter. Then they mantle once they get to the scrape box. They have a piece of prey and they are going to self-feed. How exciting! This wee one keeps looking back to see if anyone is coming to try and take its treasure.

All finished and the fluffy eyas is running down the gutter back to the feeding wanting more!

The Melbourne Four had their usual four feedings yesterday despite the fact that we cannot always see them. Great parenting! Glad things are now quiet.

‘A’ reports that she saw that dreadful synthetic spider web decorating a property in Melbourne for the first time yesterday. This needs to be banned before it becomes ‘the thing’ to do. It is dreadful for all the small birds and other animals including pets that can get tangled up in it.

No more had Alison said this and there is an article in The Guardian urging Australians not to adopt the spiderwebs as they continue to follow the Americans trend of Halloween.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/30/is-australias-growing-love-of-halloween-endangering-our-wildlife

All is well at the scrape in Orange of Diamond and Xavier. We are so lucky that there are several cameras covering all the angles including the outside of the water tower at Orange. It gives the viewer real insight as to what is happening everywhere.

There were two feedings in the morning. At 0648 Diamond arrives with a pigeon and feeds Rubus and Indigo. Then at 1027, Xavier arrives with an Eastern Rosella Xavier will begin the feeding and Diamond will take over. She loves her Rosella, too. Just look at Indigo and Rubus. Look at their size. Gone are the days when Rubus was so tiny he could not get to the beak for food. Now it is watch out or Rubus will get it all. I do wonder if Rubus – who is four days younger and that is a huge amount of time in a falcon’s early life – is not a female.

Rubus is really getting all of the first part of the feeding. What an aggressive youngster. Reminds me of Izzi.

Rubus also gets full and goes over to the Cilla Stones making it easy for Indigo to finally get some breakfast.

But then…Rubus decides he would like some more prey. Poor Indigo. Just look at that adorable face. How could anyone ever get mad at that?

Rubus is still like a fluffy cotton ball with sparkling decoration around the edges.

Just close your eyes for a second and remember little Rubus trying to jump up and get prey and now look. Snatching it right out of the parent’s beak!

Diamond slept on the edge of the scrape box for part of the night departing sometime after 0100 to go up to the top of the tower.

The nest with prey delivery problems is Port Lincoln and that is because of the weather. The forecast is for rain and wind on Monday and Tuesday.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care everyone…and remember to work on your Bird Names Alphabet. I cannot wait to see all of the names you come up with! See you soon.

Thank you to The Guardian, Suzanne Arnold Horning for her photographs of Big Red’s family including the phenomenal beauty, L4, Ferris Akel’s Tours, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Godwits, owls, fireworks, and Aussie raptors…early Saturday in Bird World

29 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It was so nice to hear from so many of you. I am glad you enjoyed seeing some of the feathered friends at my local zoo. I have not been there for years and it was simply a delight to see how zoo management has changed. One of the big features is our Polar Bear Conservation Project. Children love them. The place was packed – that made me happy but, I wish more people would sit and watch the birds and not be so attracted to what they are told is exotic – aka, ‘the tiger’.

Making News:

Alaska to Tasmania in one 13,000 km epic journey?! It seems a Godwit has set a new record!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/godwit-migration-alaska-tasmania-record-1.6632658?fbclid=IwAR2Sq0cOfXqg3aJDFCdwk02a4ZkWRKpMZ9_tHLeMxImoeezDPpPXmrKjc5s

A wee owl being attacked by seagulls 100 miles out to see in Scotland was saved! This is a make you feel good read.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-63425826?fbclid=IwAR0vCiStXvVZWRNQl8sHjNA4faCQIeJ2Uob9VjW7gXlChlEWS95wSej_ZZU

Please don’t put all your leaves into bags. If you must, rake them and put them in a pile, Lovely Greens made this great poster to remind us that it is better for the birds if you just leave the leaves! Look at all the wonderous creates that will thank you.

The Kakapo Recovery Group – those great people that monitor, care for, assess, and generally make sure that as many of these critically endangered non-flying parrots live – have opened up adoptions for the next year. I can say as someone who waited too long – if you are intending to make a donation to the Kakapo by adopting one of the birds, do it now! Don’t wait. My Kakapo lives in one of my huge plants, often hiding, just like the real ones.

If you are looking to help out other wildlife groups or nature centres, many are busy making money selling their annual calendars now. Check out the individual websites.

Checking on the Australian Nests:

The takings at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest would not win any awards today. It is now 2100 on the Canadian Prairies on Friday night and it is 12:17 in Port Lincoln. There have been two deliveries: 061847 and 093829. Both were small! And I do mean small. The first appeared to be a chunk of fish and the second was simply a teaser. Let us hope something bigger comes on the nest soon. Still, it has been pleasant and that is fantastic.

Another fish, a little larger, came in at 131223. Big got the lion’s share of this fish. Middle is hungry and was doing a bit of snatch and grab but at 1315, Middle pulled away as if he was afraid Big would attack. Big continued to eat and at 1324, Big took the tail and ate it. This nest needs 2 big fish to come on it. Middle will be fine but both Middle and Mum need to eat, too.

Middle pulls away. He has had some bites but Big had domineered the feeding.

Middle watches Big eat the fish tail.

I don’t know if anything could get cuter than the antics of Rubus and Indigo. Particularly when prey is delivered. The pair of them seem to go after Xavier much more than Diamond – jumping, and pulling, and trying to take the prey out of Dad’s beak. I wonder if Xavier and Diamond have noticed that it is double the work taking care of these two than it was when they had only Yurruga last year or Izzi in 2020? Mind you those two were a little like energetic Rubus!

This scrape is the real winner in terms of prey deliveries. They had six deliveries yesterday of which 5 were Starlings. Today, there have been three deliveries already – a Starling at 060733, a parrot at 063831, and a Noisy Friar at 091333.

Here is a video of the earlier feeding:

It is getting much more difficult to tell when the Melbourne Four have been fed. They had a whole pigeon early and if you rewind you will not see any feedings. Still it is 1300 and, based on past performance, we know that the adults would have been in with prey. The sun is shining and so far there is no rain falling.

There is some serious concern over the Mum at 367 Collins Street. She was abruptly woken last evening and flew off the perch at 213426 and has not returned. It sounded to me like it was people partying in the CBD. Were there fireworks set off? Was it the Spring Carnival Fireworks? If that is truly the case, this is a very good reason not to have fireworks! It definitely disturbs the wildlife! I hope that Mum is perched somewhere safe. If you live in Melbourne and know what was happening around this time in the CBD, please send me a comment. Thank you!

‘H’ caught it all on video. Thank you ‘H’ for alerting me to this happening and creating this video for us. It is much appreciated. There are falcon sounds coming from the ledge above a few minutes later.

Continuing with the loud noises that happen when there are big gatherings, dozens of people were treated for cardiac arrest in Halloween celebrations last night. Perhaps it is time for civic leaders to recognize the harm to all by loud surprising noises bouncing off of tall buildings in urban spaces.

All of the Bald Eagles in the US are building their nests or renovating their old nests. Sometimes hearing that Xavier brought in another Starling can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. So ‘A’ and I have come up with something that we hope is fun and helps oil everyone’s brain! ‘A’ began making a list of the names of streaming cam birds that correspond to the alphabet. Then she sent it to me. Oh, it was fun trying to remember all the names and clear up the few missing bits. So, we both thought you might enjoy it, too. So, get a sheet of digital or real paper, get out your pen or your keyboard and put down all the letters of the alphabet. Then start adding the names of the birds next to them. Let’s give ourselves until Midnight Wednesday 2 November -CDT. I will give you a count down so you remember. I will post the results as soon as I can collate all of them. You can send them to me via e-mail: maryasteggles@outlook.com

To get you started. Can you think of a female Peregrine Falcon living at The Campanile whose name starts with an A. It is ____________________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy!

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being here with me. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or their streaming cams where my screen captures came from: ‘H’ for her alert and video of 367 Collins, ‘A’ for her fun game idea, Lovely Gardens, CBC Canada, BBC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Kakapo Recovery, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

New Zealand’s falcon, the Karearea

It is almost the end of November and in about 25 days there will be at least one bobble head, if not two, on the Fort Myers, Florida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15. Bald Eagles are strikingly beautiful – the gorgeous pure white head of the adult with that large bright yellow beak, espresso brown body plumage and watery light blue eyes. The hatchlings are just as adorable with their light grey down. They are called ‘bobble heads’ because they do not have the strength

While we are waiting for those eggs to hatch in Florida, there is a new streaming cam focused on a small New Zealand falcon, the Karearea.

Wikimedia Commons

They are adorable. Thanks Sharon Dunne for mentioning this new cam. The chicks are delightful! Here is the link:

Here is a short video of the chicks trying to get settled in the nest cup.

The Kareara are indigenous to New Zealand. At present, they are very vulnerable. They believe that there are between 5-8,000 birds in the whole of New Zealand. Their threats are loss of habitat, cats, mustelids (they are like wolverines), and hedgehogs. Hedgehogs like their eggs.

The falcons have also been found on several islands but, the area with the highest population is the Kaingaroa Forest between Rotorua and Taupo on New Zealand’s central North Island. You can see Taupo on the map above. The Kaingaroa Forest is the largest forest plantation in New Zealand and is the second largest forest in the Southern Hemisphere. It is 190,000 hectares. The first trees were planted in the early 1900s. They are harvested for the construction industry.

“Kaingaroa Forest” by russellstreet is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Wikimedia Commons

The adults are 40 cm and 50 cm in length. Like almost all raptors, the females are larger than the males.

Wikimedia Commons

In fact, the female can weigh almost twice as much as the males who weigh between 240 g and 350 grams. The females are between 410 g and 720 grams. They cannot fly nearly as fast as the Peregrine Falcons but the Karearea do reach speeds of up to 100 kmh. They are also capable of catching prey that is larger than they are. Wow! They do not eat carrion (dead animals). Their diet consists of mammals, lizards, birds, and insects. These small falcons hunt by watching from a high point flying fast, grasping the prey with their talons and then killing it with a bite to the neck.

Wikimedia Commons

Oh, I hope that you enjoy these adorable little falcons. It is a perfect time to watch them. The Port Lincoln lads will be taking the fish deliveries off the nest to eat them soon. Ervie has already tried fishing and last night he slept on the post not in the nest. He is growing up! No word yet on who will be the Royal Cam family and Cilla Kinross is planning to hunt in unexpected places for Yurruga. And one of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Gabby and Samson, have been working on their nest. Oh, they are a stunning pair.

Gabby on the left and Samson on the right. Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest, Jacksonville.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF and Southwest Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the D Pritchett family.

Good News in Bird World

There is a lot to celebrate in Bird World this evening. Everyone on the Taiaroa Peninsula and perhaps the whole of New Zealand are celebrating the arrival of the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Princess, Tiaki, at the feeding grounds just 70 km off the coast of Chile – safely! This really is amazing. As was pointed out on the Royal Albatross FB page, this young bird fledged on 25 September and arrived in the waters off the coast of Chile, 8500 km away, in 35 days. Incredible. Congratulations!

For those watching the return of the Royal Albatross to Taiaroa Head for the upcoming breeding season, OGK has flown off the peninsula to feed. He continues to wait for his mate, YRK. I have asked and been told that OGK is not the only male still waiting for its mate. That gives me some hope that this adorable couple will still be reunited. They were the parents of last year’s Royal cam princess, Pippa Atawhai.

There has been no new tracking data for Karl II but, on the 28th of October, he had reached Umm Harazat in the Sudan close to where he winters. Udu was at the Farafa Oasis in Egypt on the same day and Pikne was along the Red Sea. I expect that Udu and Pikne could be further into Africa by the time the next transmission comes in.

The Farafa Oasis is an area known as the White Desert.

Udu made a splendid flight across the Mediterranean Sea. The White Desert is home to a number of wells and there is farming in the area. It is most know for its white rock figures.

Pikne’s position:

Karl II’s position:

Moving away from the migrating birds back to Australia, little Yurruga took some big steps today. What a sweet little falcon! Here is a short clip I made of this momentous event.

Yesterday, Dad fed the 367 Collins Street Four in an area that could be viewed easily. There are, of course, concerns that the falcons will fledge from the end where there is no camera view. The owners of the cameras have stated that they will not change the direction of the camera again as it is too disturbing for the birds. That is quite understandable at this stage. No one wants to frighten these lovely eyases and have them fly and fall to their doom. And there is no telling which end of the ledge they will fledge. We just simply wait. They are so strong and healthy. Mum and Dad have been heroic in their efforts to sustain them. So please keep feeding the pigeons in Melbourne – our falcons need them!

There has been no word from the vet team about the condition of WBSE 27 since it was attacked by the Pied Currawong and found on pavement near to the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB page had originally posted WBSE 27 on the pavement unconscious. This disturbed some people so it was replaced with the image below. I have said that no news is good news but this has been several days since the incident. Send all the positive energy to this beautiful bird that you can!

There is good news at the Kakapo Recovery. The team has discovered that the eggs that are laid but do not hatch are not always infertile. Since the beginning of trying to help the Kakapo to recover numbers, it was always believed that the eggs were simply infertile and that is why there was no chick to hatch. The chicks are dying at an early stage. If they can figure out what is the cause, they might be able to assist these lovely non-flying parrots to have more successful hatches. Here is the posting on the Kakapo Recovery FB page. It talks about their efforts with the University of Sheffield to understand the issue and be able to have more live births of this critically endangered bird. Bravo!

The ospreys on the PLO barge are doing great. Little Bob is 45 days old today. Fledging is coming soon. Oh, how I am going to miss this wonderful trio. They have delighted hundreds and hundreds of people this season. Pure joy!

Look at Little Bob showing off! Besides loving to eat Little Bob really does like to give those wing muscles a go. I don’t think Big Bob is very amused.

In the image below, from left to right: Middle Bob (2), Little Bob (3), and Big Bob (1). If I were to have to base a guess on their gender due to the legs, I am afraid that I would have to change my prediction.

Middle Bob’s legs are definitely shorter and stockier than either Little Bob or Big Bob. Big Bob’s legs look like those of a male. That leaves us with Little Bob that I continue to believe is a female. Oh, I cannot wait for those measurements. They are not 100% certain but, perhaps, they will also do DNA testing on the three when they ring them!

Little Bob gives its two older siblings a big hug.

There is Little Bob looking off to the left after the morning breakfast. Three gorgeous nestlings. Ringing, naming, and measuring will take place the week of 8 November. I will keep you posted to the more exact date when I find out.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that you are all well. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots, video clips, and maps: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Birdmap, Kakapo Recovery FP Page, Wikimedia Commons, and Wildlife Computers.

Bald Eagle Season is approaching

As Bald Eagle season quickly approaches, I am reminded that everyone has a few favourite eagle nests. Some like to cheer Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear while others like Harriet and M15 at the Southwest Florida nest or Samson and Gabby at the Northeast Florida nest. Others love Mr and Mrs North at the Decorah Eagles, the Pittsburg-Hayes or the new couple, Anna and Louis, who had the first eagle fledge from a nest in Kisatchie National Forest since 2013, last year. I could list so many because there are so many streaming cams on Bald Eagle nests in the United States. It is their National Bird and there is a lot of patriotism surrounding some of the nests! Some individuals do not like to watch birds eating birds and mammals but, did you know that the diet of the Alaskan Bald Eagles is almost exclusively salmon? the same will apply to many of the Bald Eagles out in British Columbia. Bald Eagles eat what is in front of them; they are opportunists. So the diet will vary regionally. Sadly, they also eat carrion, dead animals, many of which are on the highways and the eagles get hurt or killed flying down to get the food or the remains left from hunters full of lead shot.

I caught up with a few of the Bald Eagle couples recently. Anna and Louis have returned to the nest they used in the Kisatchie National Forest. Cody and Steve have really worked on the camera situation and there is now sound, too. You have a broken screen showing the landscape and then another view looking directly down into the nest. Cody and Steve are part of the forestry staff. They also ‘man’ the chat. I am terribly grateful for their active involvement in the nest. They have worked hard to make it a fabulous viewing and learning experience for all of us. It was a real joy to watch the first time parents figure out how to parent a growing eaglet last year!

Samson and Gabby have been working on their nest for quite some time. It is comforting to wake up in the mornings and see them roosting on the branch together.

I use that word ‘comforting’ because at any moment something could happen to one or both of the adults. That is certainly the history of Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliet, who raised their young in this nest. So for both of them to show up every morning and every evening is simply – well, it takes a lot of weight off the mind. Of course, the same applies to all birds on all nests.

Here is a very short slide show that someone posted showing various stages of Legacy’s development last year. Legacy was such a sweetheart. Samson and Gabby did not hold back on the teaching. They had to be parents and siblings, too, so that Legacy would learn how to live in the world beyond the nest.

You may also remember all of the worries over Legacy’s survival when she got Avian Pox. It was a mild case and she not only survived but, also thrived. Legacy became a gorgeous strong fledgling.

Harriet and M15 are getting ready for another season. Harriet has been bringing in monstrous size sticks (someone referred to them as logs) to the nest in Fort Myers. I am so excited.

E17 and E18 were riots last year. I originally thought 17 was going to kill 18. You might recall they were sent to CROW for their eye infection and 17 had ‘time out’. I think the two of them in care for those five days melted everyone’s hearts. Harriet and M15 are old hands at raising chicks and when the pair got into too much bonking, both parents stepped in and fed one or the other. By the time the pair fledged, they were inseparable, best buddies.

Lady Hawk catches one of their first ‘rock’em sock’ems’.

Here they are as fledglings battling over a prey drop. There was not a dry eye in the house when these two finally flew away to find their own territory.

Harriet and M15 have been at the nest since September working on it for another year. What a beautiful couple!

If you have been watching the territorial battles going on at the Captiva Nest on Santibel Island in Florida, word has come that the former male adult, Joe, has reclaimed his nest. I cannot confirm this as none of the eagles have leg bands. That is what someone posted on the Bald Eagle 101 FB page.

I will have lots more Bald Eagle news in the days to come. There are also other birds beginning to get their nests ready for breeding season. Jack and Diane have been at the Captiva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida and the Royal Albatross are arriving at Taiaroa Head, NZ. There are now 80 adults there. One of the founders of the colony was Grandma and this is a lovely video on the importance of her to the present and future of the colony.

https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/grandma-1990/credits?fbclid=IwAR2AwcNqLyVQ_lqyb2wxAYmfoU0Ohzg3aXVHWLF3AvrHpl2D4TFZJkhxfgA

A quick check on the Australian falcon nests show that all are doing fine. The Collins Street Four run up and down the gutter. As a result their legs are getting really strong. Diamond continues to get Yurruga to stretch for food so that she will strengthen her neck. At the 12:23:40 fish drop on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, Little Bob didn’t think he wanted any food at first. Then he changed his mind and went barreling in between Middle and Big so he could get to Mum’s beak. Neither of them blinked. This nest is so civil! Ringing will take place sometime during the first week of November and one or all three will be fitted with a GPS satellite tracker. (I was told all three awhile ago).

For those who want to see the Season of the Osprey, this is a reminder that it is showing in the US tomorrow. Please check your local stations for the correct time in your region.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Have a great day wherever you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, SWFlorida and the Pritchett family, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Time to Catch up with the Royal Albatross

The 2021-22 breeding season is beginning. One of the first to arrive on Taiaroa Head was OGK (Orange-Green-Black), the mate of YRK (Yellow-Red-Black) and the father of Miss Pippa Atawhai, Royal Cam chick of 2021.

OGK arrived on the headland a few days ago waiting for his mate. The males generally arrive first and select the nesting site. Then the females arrive. Last year, YRK arrived in the middle of the month.

OGK has been making sky calls.

Look carefully. To the far right are two Royal Albatross. One of them was OGK doing his sky call. Is the other YRK? Has she arrived? The couple were first spotted doing sky calls together on 10 October at 16:22:54. Oh, I do hope so!

Wish we could see through grass! According to Ranger Sharyn Broni, there are now 30 toroa back on the peninsula. After the chicks have fledged, the new birds arrive on the headland. (The younger first time to return home since fledge birds arrive in late November and December). The adults have been at sea for 12-13 months. They will build their nests and mate. Often the male will pick a spot for his nest close to the one where he hatched and fledged. Those that breed successfully will remain until their chick fledges next September going out to sea to forage for food for themselves and the little one, returning to the headland and going out again. Because of the stress on their bodies, the Royal Albatross raise a chick every other year – not every year.

Here is a short video of OGK doing some of his amazing sky calls several days ago when he first arrived at Taiaroa Head waiting for YRK.

This year’s Royal cam chick, Tiaki, was fitted with a satellite GPS locator just like her parents. She has really been making good progress and is getting near the Chatham Islands.

Here is the link to follow Tiaki’s progress as she makes her way to the waters off the coast of Chile:

The satellite pack on Tiaki’s mother, LGL (Lime-Green-Lime) stopped working long ago. It was faulty. The one on her father, LGK (Lime-Green-Black) was functioning properly until recently. No data has been uploaded for 8 days. Ranger Sharyn Broni says this could because his feathers have moulted and the tracker is lost or a failure for it to charge properly. It could also have been a malfunction. The last option is that something has happened to LGK. It may be some time before there is any confirmation.

Mel, the manager of the retail store at Taiaroa Head, is adding more products for holiday shopping to their on line store. Check out the soft Albatross plushies and the books or the other unique gifts. You might find something for just the right person – and it will not only make them happy but will help support everything that is done for the welfare of the birds at Taiaroa. If you have questions for Mel, he normally answers quite quickly. His e-mail is: mel@albatross.org.nz

Here is the link:

https://shopalbatross.org.nz/

Here is the link to the streaming cam on Taiaroa Head:

There is lots happening in Bird World! Things will start to get complicated soon.

OTHER BIRD WORLD NEWS: Sad news today. The environmentalist and BBC presenter, Chris Packham, was the victim of an arson attack on his home in The New Forest. The perpetrators burnt his gate and set a car alight in front of CCTV cameras. This is the article on this tragic event in The Guardian. Thankfully, no one was injured but they could have been.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/10/chris-packham-vows-to-continue-activism-after-arson-attack-on-home

The Big Bird Count that took place on the 9th of October had wonderful results. 29,282 participants took part around the world. There were 6885 species and 66,020 checklists submitted. Fantastic! If you want to check out more data surrounding the results and checklists, please go to:

https://ebird.org/octoberbigday

Still waiting for news of a second hatch for Xavier and Diamond at the scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt Orange University. Xavier is there with Diamond and is doing is creaky door call to welcome the day. Will check in with them throughout the day.

It is a soggy but welcome rainy day on the Canadian Prairies. Tomorrow Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving – quite different in spirit than that of the Americans south of us. For Canadians, its origin was a time to be thankful for the bounty of the fall harvest. It is a time for families to join together, if they can, and share a meal and is quite low-key compared to the American version. There are so many things and people to be thankful for. The list is long!

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam Project and Cilla Kinross.

Godwits…and more

I have heard the name but have never seen the bird – or, at least, I do not think I have. With my lousy shorebird IDs, I might have even confused this beautiful long-legged shorebird with a Greater Yellowlegs. Of course, everyone would have laughed.

Godwits are ‘very’ long legged shorebirds but their legs are not yellow! Their beak is ‘very, very’ long and is bi-coloured – light rose and espresso -and ever so slightly upturned at the end. They are called waders because they live in the mudflats and the estuaries. See how their legs go deep into the mud, too. They feed by sticking that very long beak into the mud, rooting around for worms and small shellfish.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by naturalengland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The breeding adults have a chest that ranges from a deep terracotta for the males to a brighter orange for the females. The wing and back feathers are more brown and white overall with a touch of the breast colour, sometimes. They have gorgeous dark eyes.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The juveniles have a cream coloured breast with overall brown and white feathering.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What is so miraculous about these shorebirds is their migration. They breed in Alaska and fly in September to New Zealand! They make only one stop, normally. And they do the trip in record time. It is an 11,265 kilometre journey or 7000 miles. They accomplish this in eight days! Yes, you read that correctly, eight days.

“Bar-tailed Godwits” by naturalengland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Neils Warnock, the Executive Director of Alaska Audubon in 2017, remarked,These godwits are epic migrants. We had a bird, E-7, that we had tagged, and she left New Zealand in the spring. She flies non-stop seven days, ten thousand kilometres, to the Yellow Sea. All of the Bar-tailed Godwits of Alaska, they stop at the Yellow Sea.”

The Yellow Sea is located between mainland People’s Republic of China and the Korean Peninsula.

Historically the mudflats of the Yellow-Sea have been rich with food for the Bar-tail Godwits so they can fatten up and make the rest of the journey to their winter homes in New Zealand without having to stop. Today, the mudflats of the Yellow Sea are under threat – they are disappearing with coastal development. This could prove to be a major challenge for these beautiful shorebirds. There have been many studies and the researchers have seen a drop in the number of shorebirds by 30% in the last few years because the mudflat areas have been reduced by 65%.

https://www.science.org/news/2017/04/migrating-shorebirds-danger-due-disappearing-mudflats

The reports of the shrinkage of the mudflats has been coming in since 2013 with alarms sounding.

Today the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre in New Zealand reported that Bar-tailed Godwit 4BYWW made his flight in 8 days and 12 hours arriving home at 03:00 on 26 September. He flew 12,200 km. His average speed was 59kph. 4BYWW may have set a new distance record for the Bar-tail Godwits. We will know when the others return home. Isn’t that amazing?

What I found most interesting was her route. She does not appear to have gone via the Yellow Sea. Is this because of the decline of the mud flats? Have the birds adapted their migratory route? I definitely want to look at this more closely.

This was the satellite tracking image posted by the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre FB page:

The Centre was tracking another four adults and 3 juveniles on their journeys home. One of those, 4BWWB, has been reported as flying non-stop for 163 hours and over 10,000 km. Seriously, my head can’t comprehend what that must be like. I am also truly amazed at what these sat-paks can tell us about the birds and their amazing resilience. Just incredible.

Tiaki officially fledged on the 25th of September. The Royal Albatross cam chick of 2021 is foraging off the coast of New Zealand at the present time. She will eventually make her way to the waters off of South America near Chile. We wait for her return in four to six years to Taiaroa Head where we will hear that beautiful Sky call, again.

While millions and millions of birds are moving from their summer breeding grounds to their winter homes, others are waiting for eggs to hatch. Holly Parsons posted a table of Diamond’s incubation history.

Xavier and Diamond’s first egg was laid in the scrape box on top of the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia on 31 August this year. Cilla Kinross, the main researcher, is expecting a hatch from 6-9 October with the most promising day being the 7th. Can’t wait!

Diamond was catching some sleep this morning. If all of the eggs hatch, her and Xavier are going to be very busy!

If the hatch is expected around the 7th of October at Orange, then what about those Melbourne Peregrine Falcons? The first egg was laid on the 21st of August – yes, that is right. Ten days before the Orange falcons. So, I am going to be looking for a hatch at Melbourne starting in two days!!!!!! This means that all of the Melbourne eggs, if viable, will hatch before those in Orange. It will be nice to get to enjoy them without trying to watch both at the same time!

For those of you wondering about those beautiful White-bellied Sea Eagles, 27 and 28, here they are. Talk about gorgeous.

Things will really be starting to ramp up shortly. Bald Eagle breeding season in the United States begins in a few days. Looking forward to checking on some nests to see if the birds have returned – such as Anna and Louis who had the first hatch on a nest in the Kisatchie Forest last year since 2013. His name was Kistachie – very appropriate.

Then there is always the trio at Port Lincoln. They had two feedings this morning and a third at 11:31:27 when Dad brought in a very small fish. All of the chicks were well behaved – quite civil to one another. And, of course, Little Bob is right there in front! Look carefully you can see him.

Life is good. Everything seems to be going really well for all the nests.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed learning about the Godwits as much as I did. Incredible birds. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or for postings on their FB pages that I have shared with you: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Feature image credit: “Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Time with Tiaki

It is 6 September in Australia and the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, is 225 days old. She is the daughter of LGL (Lime Green Lime) and LGK (Lime Green Black). They have been together as a couple since 2017. Their very first chick was also a Royal cam chick. Karere hatched in 2019 and successfully fledged. They laid their egg this season on 4 November 2020 and Tiaki hatched on 24 January. It looks like they will also have a successful fledge this year! Congratulations LGL and LGK!

It is early morning. Tiaki is not at her nest. She is looking out at what is happening around her. It is going to be a gorgeous day with lots of wind.

Tiaki has been really exercising her wings and has hovered quite high on several occasions.

Lady Hawk caught Tiaki’s first hovering – 3 weeks ago – in a short video.

Here she is today spreading those magnificent wings. There are only little pieces of the baby down left.

Her ultimate destination – the sea.

If the average age at fledge is 232 days then it is possible that in a week, Tiaki will begin her big adventure. She will remain on the open seas only returning to Taiaro Head in 5-6 years. It will be wonderful to welcome back and to watch her do all those amazing courtship dances with the other juveniles. For those of you that adore this lovely little albatross, stay tuned to the screen. This gal really wants to fly.

It is 15:32 and Tiaki is away from her nest. It is so windy. I wonder if a parent will arrive to feed her?

Dad, LGK – Lime Green Black- had been at sea for quite some time. He has now returned on 3 and 5 September to feed his squealing daughter. I love this video that Lady Hawk posted of LGK’s visit and the feeding. Note the sky calls! And also keep on the lookout for the neighbouring chick, SSTrig. This little corner is quite the soap opera!

I just went to check on Tiaki again and look – someone is flying in. Is it LGK or LGL, the mom?

It’s Dad.

Here comes Tiaki calling to Dad so he won’t leave without giving her that wonderful squid shake. She is moving as fast as she can.

Tiaki acts like she has eaten in weeks. She is so excited and you could hear her whee, whee for quite a distance.

Tiaki gets a nice short feeding – and she always wants more and more. Dad tries to oblige her.

Tiaki doesn’t want Dad to go. Since 3 September, LGK has been in three times to feed his daughter. That is a good record.

I wonder if he knows that his time with her is growing shorter and shorter. Perhaps he will fish close to the nest and maybe fly in when mom is there, too. Wouldn’t it be grand to have a family reunion one more time? Absolutely.

Dad has stopped for a rest a little ways from Tiaki. Tiaki is in the middle of the photo and LGK is the head to the right of Tiaki. It is almost impossible to just sit with Tiaki now. She gets excited and wants more and more food. Sometimes LGK returns to do a second feeding after he has rested but, since he was just here yesterday maybe he has fed Tiaki all the squid he has.

Perhaps he will wait awhile and see if the strong winds bring Mom in?

Several times, LGK, Dad, flapped his wings at the edge of the cliff as if to show Taiki that it was a good place to fledge.

A few times I thought he had left but Tiaki would still be doing some clacking. Then dad’s wing would appear. It was hard to know precisely when he took off there were so many birds flying around.

Oh, my. Look what is happening. Is this the other parent flying in? I was not able to confirm the leg band but the camera followed the bird and we could see a chick being fed. I sure thought it was Tiaki. Hopefully someone else will be able to confirm all of this. If it was LGL then her and LGK missed one another by minutes.

The parents will not know when Tiaki fledges – unless of course they are there. I wonder if this has ever happened? They will return a few times to feed their chick and then when they cannot find her, they will take off. The couple will spend the next 14 months on the open sea building up their energy and feeding themselves. They will both meet here on Taiaroa Head in November of 2022 to begin another season in the hope of having a third chick that survives to fledge.

It is near the end of the season on Taiaroa Head. To date there have been no fledges but they will begin soon. You can still join the action, here’s the link:

I know that so many of you love the Albatross. Did you know that 15 of the 22 species of Albatross are facing extinction? It is because of the long haul fishing trawlers. Albatrosses feed on the surface of the ocean. You can see them flying about the fishing vessels who put out fish head and guts as the process the fish on board. This attracts the Osprey who get caught by the cables and are dragged under the boat and drown. The Albatross also get caught on the baited hooks of the boats. It is horrible and it doesn’t have to happen. Please check out the information on the Albatross Task Forde to fead all of the information and the solutions. There are things you can do to help!

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/policy-insight/marine-and-coastal/saving-seabirds-globally/the-albatross-task-force/#:~:text=The%20Albatross%20Task%20Force%20%E2%80%93%20an,the%20deadliest%20fisheries%20for%20albatrosses.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay well, see you soon.

Thank you also to the Cornell Bird Lab and the New Zealand Department of Conservation for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

The Northern Royal Albatross

We are quickly approaching World Albatross Day. That will take place on the 19th of June in New Zealand – it will be the 18th of June in North America.

Just thinking about the albatrosses had me checking on the Royal Cam Princess of 2021, Taiki. She is so sweet. She has been amusing herself and passing the time pulling up the grass around her nest. She seems to like to keep it very tidy.

When Taiki woke up it was a rather rainy and drizzly day.

Rain does not bother the albatross. Except when they are on land breeding, incubating, or feeding their chicks, they are over the ocean. They can go for years without setting foot on land.

Taiki might have been wondering if she was going to have any visitors today and she did. Both of her parents came in to give her really nice feedings.

Lime-Green-Lime, aka Mom came in with a really nice feeding for a very hungry gal today right around lunch time. LGL has been coming in to feed the little princess almost every day. She visited yesterday also. How lucky can a little chick be?

And then another visitor came. It is Lime Green Black, Taiki’s dad. I think – but I could be wrong – that it has been 4 or 5 days since he was in to feed his little chick. Taiki was really excited to see him. Normally LGK spends some time with his chick but today he didn’t. He fed his little one and took off. He missed his mate, LGL, by about ten minutes. While it would have been grand to have seen them together, those skies look like more rain might be coming. LGK knows when he needs to leave! I am told it all depends on the winds!

Taiki seemed pretty happy and settled onto her nest after those two big feedings. I don’t think Northern Albatross chicks have food comas like Ospreys do but I bet she is feeling like taking it easy for awhile. You can see how soft her white down is – she reminds me of cotton candy floss.

Taiki and her parents are Northern Royal Albatross. They are very large seabirds weighing between 6 and 9 kg. From the image of Lime Green Lime you can see that the adult body is white with dark upper wings. They have pink legs and bill. The males are larger than the females. They are considered ‘endangered’.

You can just see Taiki’s black wing feathers coming in under the soft baby down. All of that down will have to be off before Taiki can fledge which normally takes place in September.

The Northern Royal Albatross mates for life. They only breed in New Zealand on the Chatham Islands as well as a tiny colony on Taiaroa Head. That is where Taiki’s nest is. When she is ready to find a mate, she will return to Taiaroa Head. That could be anywhere from four to six years after she fledges. During that time she will never be on land. Sometimes when these juveniles return they have very wonky legs because they are not used to walking.

The Northern Royal albatross feeds in the Southern Ocean, off the Patagonian Shelf near Argentina, and over the continental shelf and divide near Chile when they are not breeding or feeding chicks. Lime Green Lime did have a tracker and it showed that she stayed near Taiaroa Head venturing north.

Sharon Dunne posted the map showing the satellite GPS positioning of both Lime Green Lime (LGL) and Lime Greek Black (LGK) when they were out foraging for Taiki on 17 February 2021 on the Royal Albatross FB Page. The blue is LGK and the red is LGL.

Taiaroa Head is at the bottom. You can see where the lines converge. LGL or Mom no longer has her tracker but LGK does. The parents have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres to catch the squid lunch their little one loves so much!

It is really nice to have such regular feedings for these albatross chicks. The NZ Department of Conservation weighs the chicks and provides supplementary feedings for those that require it. Sometimes parents are late coming in to feed their little ones. Sometimes a parent might not return. It is really hard on one parent to provide enough food. I have always felt that the NZ Government is enlightened in its concern and care for the wildlife.

Thank you so very much for joining me today. Stay safe, stay well!

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Cam and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to the Royal Albatross FB page where I found the tracking map of Taiki’s parents.

Oh, it’s cold out there

It was so cold today, -14. It meant that my friend, Sharpie pretended he was a Peregrine Falcon and not a Sharp-shinned Hawk and tore between the houses and into the garden like a Stealth bomber. He first flew into snow on top of the back wood box and out, down between the houses and back again. I blinked and if I had done it again, I would have missed him. He certainly wasn’t after the European Starlings. They had been sitting on the tips of the Lilac bushes and then decided to eat the frozen grapes on the vines, instead of the bird seed, and were tottering all over the place when Sharpie arrived. Silly things! It’s like eating Ice Wine candies. Maybe Sharpies, like Peregrines, don’t particularly like the Starlings. I wonder if they are tough? Must be something. He totally ignored them.

Sharpie comes to visit and is puffed up it is so cold.

Sharpie doesn’t cooperate, too fast for me and the camera. This is a photo from a couple of weeks ago just so you can see what the little guy looks like. Oh, he is tiny. I think the plan is to get a camera and have it constantly running using solar power. That way I don’t frighten him peeking out the windows. I haven’t seen Sharpie’s mate for a little over a year. And, if you are wondering, yes, it is unusual for these hawks not to migrate with the other birds. We first noticed them in January 2018. There is a Polar Vortex heading our way for Saturday and the temperatures will plummet very quickly. I hope Sharpie is tucked up nice and warm somewhere.

UPDATES: The Threesome are working on their nest on the Mississippi River near Fulton. Valor I, II, and Starr moved a few big sticks around this morning. There is a blizzard and extreme cold temperatures headed for their area and the trio were not seen at the nest after 9:30 am.

Birds are incredibly smart as all of you know. And I am certain if they could figure out how to handle the computers and the green screens, the CBC would be wise to hire them as the weather forecaster. Seriously, it is so rare that the get the forecast right here. If you listen you might hear it is sunny but if you look out the window, you can see the rain coming down. Does this happen anywhere else?

The Threesome Nest on the Mississippi River, 4 February 2020. Image @2021 Stewards UMRR

E17 and E18 were improved at 4pm on Thursday. These little muffins. My goodness, they have grown, changed colour, and are getting better. They can’t go back to Harriet and M15 until they are completely clear of the ‘pink eye’. But the news today is optimistic.

And look, they are feeding themselves out of the little dishes. Wonder if they prefer fish or these nice tender, cut just right morsels of quail and rat?? E18 is on the left. He is a little whiter than E17 on the right E17 is still having to go to the time out corner. As she continues to feel better, she is taking it out on her little brother at meal time. And doesn’t E18 just look so sweet? I had so hoped they would have grown out of this phase. It makes me ache when one is bopping the other. Seriously, there is enough food to go around. You two are lucky. Your patron, Pritchett Real Estate, has a stocked pond full of fish just for you.

E18 (left) and E17 (right) enjoying their 4pm snack. Image courtesy of CROW.

And now on Friday morning, CROW has been able to return the pair to their nest. It is 24 degrees so warm. The little ones can pant to regulate their temperature and they are cheeping. But so far, neither Harriet or M15 have come to the nest. It has been several hours and I have to admit that I am getting a little anxious. And, of course, E17 already needs another time out!

It is a bit windy. The camera operator has moved it looking for the parents who appear to be at a distance hunting.

The image below is not great but it will give you an idea of the area around the nest. Dick Pritchett owns the land that the nest tree is located on and does have a fully stocked pond for the eagles. It looks they are flying around in the thermals.

CROW has permission for immediate rescue if the parents do not return to the nest. I am anxiously watching and will bring an update as soon as I have one.

It is Friday. For those of you out there working or working from home, it must feel really good to see a weekend coming. And since it is Friday, it is time for some cuteness overload. And where better for that than the Royal Albatross Centre in New Zealand.

Lime-Green-Black (LGK) is so proud of his eleven day old chick. It is so sweet how gentle he is. His eyes tell us just how proud he is of this little furry bundle. And how happy he is to be there in the warm sunshine rubbing his bill.

LGK teaching his chick to tap bills to stimulate feeding. Image courtesy of Cornell Bird Cams and NZ DOC.

Oh, and what a beautiful smile!

Hello! Image courtesy of Cornell Bird Cams and NZ DOC.

It sure didn’t take long for this little fella’ to figure out precisely how to fit that tiny bill inside dad’s great big one so that he could have some squid shake. Nature is truly amazing.

Great Feeding! Image courtesy of Cornell Bird Cams and NZ DOC.

With the little one safely tucked in between his big paddle feet, LGK does some of his morning wingersizes. I wonder if birds get ‘stiff’ from sitting in one place for too long, like humans so?

LGK stretching in the morning. Image courtesy of Cornell Bird Cams and NZ DOC.

And since it is the weekend, I have a recommendation for you. Now, I don’t always suggest movies to people because each of us has our own likes and dislikes. The little girl down the street left me a note today in my mailbox. “There is a movie that you have to see and it will make me cry”. And then one of the FB members of the Crow, Raven, and Corvid group recommended the same flick. So, I decided to put everything aside and watch it. It is on Netflix and the movie is Penguin Bloom. The woman on the FB group said:

Penguin Bloom, is the story of a woman who has had a catastrophic injury and endures depression related to her inability to lead a “normal” life with her husband and three rambunctious young boys. One of the boys finds an injured magpie, brings it home to care for it, and well, saying more would give away much of the story. It’s a charming movie, well done, probably not an Oscar contender, but the magpie’s (named Penguin) interaction with the family makes it worth a watch”.

The New York Times had a good review of Penguin Bloom. I hope that you can open this and read it.

You will need a box of tissue if you watch the movie.

I was very interested in this movie for two reasons. One is because WBSE 26, with its wonky leg, overcame so many obstacles to fly. So many people told me how inspirational she was to them. Several with physical challenges and who were not working as hard as they should said that if 26 could do it so could they! Secondly because, just the other day, one of Daisy Duck’s very good friends from Poland sent me a note to tell me that she had found and nursed an injured Raven back to health. It was in terrible shape with the feathers on top of its head all pulled out and, of course, it was starving. She took the Raven into her home and cared for it for five months til it was ready to be re-wilded. Little tears came down my cheeks. People can be incredibly kind and loving. My heart melted when I read her letter. I hope to bring you more about her story shortly.

Birds are magical if you let them into your heart.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to join me. Stay safe. See you tomorrow!