Sunday Morning in Bird World

6 November 2022

Good Morning All!

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is lovely to have you here. I want to say, right off the top, how inspiring each of you are to me. Osprey season, for me, begins in Australia and it has been a particularly devastating start after the great breeding year of 2021 that produced Bazza, Falky, and Ervie. Fortunately, I did not share that sadness alone and I thank you again for being such an empathetic and caring community.

As migratory season winds up in Manitoba, the wetlands and estuaries that were teeming with ducks, geese, swans are silent. There are no skeins of geese flying over my conservatory and already, I am missing their loud honks. Soon our time will ‘fall back’ and it will be dark by 1615. It appears, however, that the Blue Jays and Crows are staying on. Today, one of the Crows was able to tap hard enough on the bird bath to get some water. I must now find the water heater for them. It is very important to have water when you are giving seeds. Here, during the winter, the birds and squirrels will eat the snow but, they do not get the quantity needed so a heated source is very helpful.

It is 5 degrees. There are European Starlings in the trees in the back. Last year they came and ate and filled up before moving South. This year I wonder if they are intimidated by the Blue Jays. The weather report is for snow to arrive in three hours. It has been falling north of the City for hours.

Lewis and Missy are never apart. You would think they were litter mates. I just looked down and each was eating out of their hard food dish with Lewis straddling the water bowl so they could be parallel with one another. I have not seen kittens behave like this. It is literally like they are joined at the hip.

In the Mailbox:

‘C’ sent me a very long discussion with lots of good links from the Looduskalender English Forum about siblicide or cainism. I have skimmed some of the contents and have several parts thoroughly. The information provides good definitions and also alerts you to species that practice ‘obligatory’ siblicide. It is extremely stressful to watch a nest with two healthy chicks that have hatched knowing that the eldest will kill the youngest. If this troubles you, then please avoid those species or wait to start watching.

It is, perhaps, too early to read about this particular type of avian behaviour having lost Middle but, put the link aside and educate yourself.

Making News:

This late summer, we were blessed with a Great White Egret in our City – indeed, eight or nine of them on a single tree at dusk. Here is a lovely story coming from the UK about walking in the marshes and discovering this amazing bird.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/nov/02/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-explore-the-avalon-marshes-somerset

It is unclear if was fireworks that frightened F22 at the 367 Collins Street scrape last week but, something loud that sounded like fireworks echoing between the tall buildings of the CBD in Melbourne, scared this first time Mum off her perch.

Today, The Guardian is carrying an article demonstrating how fireworks causes geese to become stressed.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/03/bonfire-night-fireworks-cause-major-distress-to-wild-geese-study-finds

Many are choosing to use drones to light up the sky but, has anyone looked into the direct damage hundreds and hundreds of drones might have on birds? If you see anything, please let me know.

Sharon Dunne has posted some information about the new season at Taiaroa Head. It is getting off to a great start!

Pentobarbital Poisoning. There is at least one Bald Eagle in the US struggling for its life because it found a euthanized prey. It laid unresponsive but not dead and was taken to a rehabber who is posting information and working hard. How did this eagle get in contact with the euthanized animal?

https://www.knowledgefun.com/pdf/secondary_pentobarbital_poisoning_of_wildlife.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3xBTkh1FlmePDXANfrSQAljI8f08LCDAwxsq-_qj83gPgjq0px38JXzVA

Here is an article about Bald Eagles surviving eating euthanized cats. Are the vets not responsible for properly disposing of the animals?

https://archive.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/bald-eagles-recover-from-eating-euthanized-cats-ns5ah7v-150542725.html/?fbclid=IwAR1vtNBYxADyL7PhOOTOGELhRLvPIISvcthjOSQnpbqmCqA2myfsk9137PY

Australian Nest News:

So far, it has been a relative quiet day in Bird World. Every nest had prey deliveries in Australia and the last time I checked there were still four eyases on the Collins Street ledge.

At the Orange scrape of Xavier and Diamond, it appears that Cilla Kinross has changed her mind and believes Indigo to be a male. Is this size? legs? lack of aggression? I have not seen her statement and only noticed this latest information when one of the chat moderators included it today.

An unplucked Starling was dropped off inside the scrape box. Indigo began plucking it. It appears that Indigo’s very active plucking frightened little Rubus for a few seconds. Rubus ran and stood on the Cilla stones and then, watching and well, Rubus is always hungry, s/he begins to think about helping.

Rubus decides s/he will go and help.

The chicks made a good effort. Indigo was very good at plucking and little Rubus helped her by holding down a part of the Starling with the talons. But they did eventually give up despite their early morning hunger.

Rubus was really working on that Starling’s head.

Rubus twisted and turned and pulled getting some bites.

Looks like Diamond came and saved the day! Both chicks reasonably aggressive but, squealing Rubus slightly more so.

When I finished watching 367 Collins Street today, there were still four eyases on the ledge.

Oh, this one wants to fly so much!

They have been watching the adults fly. It is to lure them off that ledge. ‘Hey, look, you are a bird. Flap those wings and fly’ – Mum and Dad are telling them. ‘You can do it!’

It is 12:21 and all of the Melbourne Four are accounted for – there is one that is blending in well with the scrape box and one in the gutter looking like a piece of prey!

Sometimes Mum – who is now slim and trim – can look like one of the eyases. To tell the difference between an adult and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon, look at the bars on the chest. If they are vertical, the bird is a juvenile. If they are horizontal, they are an adult.

All present and accounted for at 1417. Just look at how much the youngest one has changed. You can easily see which one or ones are hungry. See the sunken crop of the one on the ledge and the full crop of the one in the gutter. Falcons do not need to eat every day and…of course, all of us want them to have banquets but, a day will not harm them. These four have learned how to pluck and are preparing for what they are meant to do – fly! So proud of these first time parents. They overcame so much to be able to fledge these four healthy eyases – and that fledging will be soon. I hope they all wait and fly off together.

Here is a very short video of a pigeon delivery to the Melbourne Four. They are sooooo loud. Once you know that sound you will never mistake it for anything else! Poor parent. Besieged.

Mum and Big have been eating. All of the nests have had food – at least one prey drop or more.

Big is big.

Big had a monster sized crop.

Big is very aware of her surroundings and around 1322 pancaked in the nest. A few minutes later she was looking around as if there was ‘something’ or ‘someone’ about.

Mum got a chance to eat some fish on her own — in the middle of the night while Big slept. Thank goodness. Big will eat everything unless the fish is huge. We are now within 5-7 days of banding.

Brief Eagle News:

If you are a Decorah North fan, Mr North and DNF were working on their nest this morning! There is hardly a Bald Eagle nest in the US that is not now going through nestorations.

Muhlady laid her second egg. Pepe was there at the Superbeaks nest in Central Florida giving support. Muhlady was the first Bald Eagle to lay an egg this breeding season. She will have the clutch finished before most even consider an egg!

Migration News:

Waba is still in the Sudan feeding at the Nile River while Bonus remains in Turkey. There will most likely not be any transmissions from Kaia or Karl II as they were already at their wintering grounds. This is typical. In past years there has been no transmission from Karl II until he began his return journey to Estonia. This is the first year that Kaia has a transmitter.

Thank you for joining us today. I hope that your weekend has been good. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: Raptor Education, Royal Albatross Cam and Sharon Dunne, The Guardian, Looduskalender Forum, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Decorah North, and Superbeaks.

Not our Spirit! and other late Saturday news

23 July 2022

A Correction. Ah, I got caught ‘off guard’. The Spirit at the Avon Lake School was not ‘our’ Spirit! Thank you, ‘B’. I hope that our Spirit is flying free and chasing Jackie and Shadow around Big Bear while the other Spirit, in Ohio, stays out of trouble!!!!! Sorry for the confusion…

Good news coming out of Osoyoos. Olsen has been working around the clock to bring fish to Soo and the two chicks on the Osoyoos Osprey platform. Even in the heat, he really broke through and found lots of fish — some twiddlers and some nice sized ones. There were no less than seven deliveries (according to the list on chat by ‘H’) with the first at 0502 and the last at 18:42. There could be another before night falls.

A short time ago I wrote about the male Osprey in Montana being shot. (I will not get started on how crazy this makes me!) The news is that the female has been able to carry on delivering fish to the nest where there is at least one chick. Send good wishes to her and to the female at Kielder 1A nest as well. Normally, the females leave the nest before the fledglings and the male. I wonder what we will learn from these two nests in that regard? Will the female feed the chicks til they depart the territory and start their migration to the southern parts of Texas, Mexico, or Central America? or will she wait til they have left and spend 2 weeks getting into condition so that she will have a successful flight to her winter home? We wait to find the answer.

Ferris Akel caught the four Red-tail Hawks on the grounds of Cornell University during his tour today. He had some incredible images of L2 and L4. Here is a number of them. It will also not be long until they depart to find their way in the world so, every minute is precious. They were both hunting. Such wonderful images – love the close ups. Thank you, Ferris!

L2 you are a beauty.

L4 decided that being in one of the pines after a squirrel was the most fun. Good luck!

Many of you watch the Southern Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head in New Zealand. We have all marvelled at the care and attention the albatross chicks get especially if their parents cannot supply them with enough food. It has been an anxious year with a number of chicks requiring supplementary feeding including the Royal Cam Chick, QT. Her mother YRK has been doing the best job she can with the male, OGK, missing for over two months now.

YRK visits Taiaroa Head on 24 July and gives Quarry Track (QT) chick a feeding.

Additional chicks like the one in the posting below are missing both parents and have to be fed by the rangers. Without the supplementary feedings, the chicks would have perished —including QT. This is the first time that I have seen a request for donations to purchase fish for the chicks come from the Rangers.

Disappearing Gun Chick

‘H’ sent a really cute photo of the two fledglings at Mispillion Harbour Osprey platform. Remember this Mum loves yellow! She has kept this yellow mat on the nest. Once it flew off and Mum retrieved it and put it back. Then it got hidden under other nest material. Today, one of the fledglings pulled it up to the top when it got stuck on its talon. Thankfully, it came off. Mum will be so happy! Thank you ‘H’ for this great capture with the two fledglings on the nest at the same time!

Ah, this is just a quick check in to correct the issue of ‘Spirit’. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Osoyoos Ospreys, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR, The Albatross Centre, Ferris Akel Tours, and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate.

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.

An ‘Almost’ Fledge and more nest news in Bird World

6 June 2022

Oh, what a day it has been. Pretty exciting stuff happening on the nests. I was just told by my friend ‘G’ that a hatch is happening at Cape May Osprey nest. If you follow that nest, check it out!

First news first. Ahote returned to the natal nest of the West End Eagles, Thunder and Akecheta at 06:54:08 this morning. Whew! He spent 4 days over on Transmission Hill. It is sure nice to see the Three Amigos back together.

Thunder and Akecheta have not delivered food. One of the eaglets has flown off the main nest. It is not clear which male it was. Kana’kini is on the branch on the ocean side. It is thought to be Ahote but no confirmation.

Ahote is back on the nest. So controlled. Oh, I hope those parents get some food on this nest. He needs a big reward for all that effort.

As many of you are aware, Urmas Sellis undertook the rescue of Jan and Janika’s storklets. He originally placed a fish basket for Janika in the hopes that she would find it and be able to feed herself and the four storklets. He also put a pail of small fishes on the nest. Janika did not find the fish table. Two days later, Urmas returned to take the storklets after cold nights without warmth, etc. Sadly, the fourth one died right before the rescue. The three surviving chicks are in incubators. There is a fundraiser. Here is the information if you feel so inclined to contribute.

Fledges are going to overlap one another once they start. At the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, the average age to fledge is 46.5 days. Today L1 is 46 days, L2 is 43, L3 is 42 and L4 is 39 days old. It is believed that to fly well, the hawklets need to have at least 5 dark bands showing. L1 has her 6th band peeking out. L2 has the 5th band peeking out while L3 has 4 dark bands and L4 has 3.

Big Red brought in some unidentified prey and some wanted to eat while others wanted to run and flap. It was rather chaotic!!!!!

The hawklets are pretty sedentary on the nest – even with all the flapping. After fledging, during the first 3 weeks, their activity level is believed to double. After 6-7 weeks, they will begin to catch small vertebrae. The parents will continue to feed them (more at first) and teach them hunting tricks until they leave the territory.

To my knowledge, Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF has not had prey yet today.

At the UFlorida-Gainesville nest, Middle almost fledged today. He would have if a storm had not quickly rolled in with high winds, rain, and some hail. Have a look at a couple of clips of Middle’s hovering. He is impressive!

At least twice today, Middle got the fish and Big did not! His confidence level is growing and growing.

Even soaking wet, Middle just doesn’t want to give up. Expect a fledge anytime!!!!!!! Nothing is going to stop him.

Middle is full of vinegar. Is this osplet going to fledge soaking wet?

How lovely it is going to be when Middle flies off with confidence. There was a time when it was not clear if we would get to this day. Middle has grown into a fantastic, getting more confident, healthy bird. Am I saying it twice? how nice the feathers are on these two? Mum and Dad can be proud. We lost Little Bit but will have two super fledglings when Middle takes off. I hope he finds his way back to the nest as easily as Big. OGK and YRK have been a bonded pair since 2006 – 16 years.

If you watch the Royal Albatross cam, today marks the 21st day that OGK has been away. Let us hope he returns to QT chick soon. Mum YRK is doing double duty at the nest and the NZ DOC rangers on Taiaroa Head are providing supplementary feedings for several chicks.

D

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Institute for Wildlife Studies and Explore.org, the Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Late Monday in Bird World

1.28.2022

It has been a bit of a very sad day in Bird World with the announcement that Grinnell’s Annie has been missing for a week plus the death of HH4 at the Hilton Head Island Trust Bald Eagle nest. I really hope that Annie is off healing and will return and reclaim her place. We must send out positive wishes.

In the middle of all that grey there was some sunshine and there is more to come.

Dale Hollow 16 (DH16) hatched at 13:21 today. (DH14 hatched at 11:16 on the 25th and DH15 hatched at 11:51 on the 25th).

River pulled the last bit of the shell off so that the wee one could join the twins. She quickly disposed of the shell making room in the nest bowl for all three of the nestlings.

Oh, 16 you are ever so tiny!

Of course, 16 is wobbly but holding its head up much better. after a couple of hours Looks like a strong little hatchling.

River and Obey are incredible parents. These three will be well fed and all the tandem feedings should keep any rivalry down to a minimum.

Babies are fed for the last time today.

Good night, River. Enjoy your dinner, Obey.

It was a much better day for the Captiva nestlings. I know of three good feeds. Maybe there was a fourth? All of the fish were Sheepsheads. Someone mentioned that this species of fish frequent the oyster beds by the mangrove roots. Andy might not have to go far to get his fish! The last fish brought in was at 17:33. Just in time to fill up the nestlings so they can sleep well tonight. They are growing so fast it must be difficult for Lena to get them organized to brood.

This time Andy had eaten the head so that he was sure to get some dinner. He did not get any of the noon fish – Lena and the kids were stuffed and there was not a flake left.

There is Little Bob right in front. I say it way too often but he really does remind me of Ervie. First one up at the table and most often the last one to leave.

Little Bob keeps his place after Andy flies off. I noticed that his head is slowly changing. It is not as soft and fluffy looking as yesterday. Oh, by Wednesday, Little Bob is going to look like someone poured the oil can over him, too!

At one point, Middle Bob was passed out in a very short food coma and Big Bob wanted to move back from the table. Big Bob got tangled up with Little Bob. It was a momentary mess of osplets. Little Bob managed to get undone. He immediately moved back up to Lena so he could have some more fish. Did I say this kid loves to eat?

Big Bob is in a food coma, Middle Bob is back up at the table, and Little Bob is ready to pass out next to Big Bob after eating so much. I hope there is something left for Lena! Gosh, these three can really put away the fish.

Little Bob actually looks like he ate so much he is going to be sick.

If you are a fan of Irvin and Claire at the US Steel Bald Eagle nest, Claire laid her first egg yesterday, 27 February, at 18:29. The view of that first egg is here:

There are still more than 3000 people watching the nest of Shadow and Jackie at Big Bear Lake. Shadow has been at the nest three times (plus when he brings in food for Jackie) wanting to incubate the two eggs and Jackie is not giving in an inch! Does she hear or feel a pip?

Beautiful Jackie.

Many of you are fans of the Royal Albatross Family of OGK, YRK, and QT chick with their nest at Taiaroa Head. The parents have been flying in and out, sometimes in less than ten hours, to feed the chick. At the same time, they get to spend time with one another. Those are really tender moments.

Quarry Track chick is growing fast. This little man doesn’t fit in the sock anymore! Today when the NZ DOC rangers came to weigh QT, they had to use the basket for the first time!

Look at that little QT sitting up so straight like it has its own nest next to Mum or Dad. Precious.

Here we go.

Last week QT weighed 2.4 kg or 5.29 lbs. They have not posted the weight for today as I finish my blog. I will post that weight tomorrow.

Ouch! This chick is too big to brood! The parent looks a little uncomfortable. I want to say that this is OGK just from the way he was standing over QT but it could well be YRK. She was on the nest yesterday. They change so frequently I cannot keep up and I cannot see the coloured leg band.

This little Royal Albatross chick is adorable. Look carefully at the light filtering through that soft down. We are on our way to puff ball stage. So sweet.

While the albatross are enjoying the warmth of summer in New Zealand, the storks on top of the church in Dreisamtal, 10 km from Freiburg, are working on their nest in the winter cold. Oh, they are so gorgeous and a reminder to all of us that spring and the beautiful light and warmth it brings is less than a month away.

There is a pip rapidly moving to hatch in the second egg at Duke Farms. You can really see that egg tooth working away. Tonight, sometime, there will be a new eaglet!

I wish I could close with an image of Ervie on the barge with Dad. Maybe another day! This is the most recent tracking of Ervie. He remains along the North Shore and it looks like he has found a good fishing spot. I wonder if he is still catching Puffers?

Wouldn’t it be grand to be sitting in a boat – at a distance so as not to disturb – watching Ervie with binoculars go about his fishing? I can’t think of anything nicer today.

Thank you so very much for joining me this evening. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Labs and the NZ DOC, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Stork Nest Streaming Cam, and Duke Farms.

Thursday in Bird World

Oh, we started out with more snow this morning! And with it came the return of the European Starlings – a few of them! The phone caught the flakes coming down reasonably well. For now it has stopped and the small feeders with the butter bark, mealworms, and hand chopped peanuts have been filled for the third time. Gosh, they love those mealworms in the winter.

Poor things. This is before we cleared a bit between the piles of snow. You can see one Starling down with thee Sparrows trying to find seed that had dropped from the feeder.

There are at least 60-75 House Sparrows (at a quick count) in the Lilacs. Dyson, our seed sucking Grey Squirrel, has found a litre of Black Oil seed in the square feeder with the dome. He sits and eats and sways like he has his own personal swing. No one bothers Dyson when he is eating but they do hope he gets off balance and dumps a lot of seed below. We won’t tell Dyson that in the evening we put our special food under that feeder for Hedwing, the garden rabbit, who has been showing up at dusk and dawn and sometimes in the middle of the night. It appears he lives under our deck.

So my birds are fed and as happy as they can be til the wind and the snow start again in a few hours.

There is some good news in the world today and there is some very sad news regarding wildlife. Lots of animal rights issues rising to the top of the news. Brief highlights:

The City of Dallas, Texas is protecting two of the cities favourite raptors!

https://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-09-22-bald-eagles-white-rock-lake/?fbclid=IwAR3j0kOCOyuruYEWEsoR0wtkkaeceODJB8zLsnaWWodWzzPi3rilKJ3a31Y

As Dallas protects, people in Britain are calling for criminal charges to be laid to the individuals that killed 2 of the 5 White-tailed Eagles reintroduced to the Isle of Wright. The shooting took place near or over a shooting estate. Chris Packham and other environmentalists have called for the end of killing animals for fun!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/10/two-white-tailed-eagles-found-dead-in-southern-england

Criminal charges have also been laid against one of England’s footballers for dropping and kicking his cat. The fine is set at 250,000 GBP – yes, you read that right. You can find the story on line if you are interested. Now if we could please get all authorities involved and people educated on the rights of animals – and our beloved birds.

The one thing that sent my granddaughter to becoming Vegan six years ago was the culling of male chicks. At the time they were simply tossed alive into a machine not unlike a wood chipper. Today, Germany has ended the practice of culling the male chicks from the females.

Everyone continues to wait to see how the current H5N1 highly pathogenic avian flu will impact European birds. It has been around since 1998 according to virologist Thijs Kuiken. It is rearing its head this year in the UK and has already crossed the Atlantic into Newfoundland, Canada. At least one wildlife rehabber has had almost all the birds in their care killed because of it. Very sad. That was the Whitby Wildlife Centre. They will not be able to resume caring for the wildlife injured for at least 1 year, perhaps 2.

The camera is working on the Port Lincoln Barge and so is the sound. We just can’t see anything but the deck! Ervie was definitely there earlier. I had to turn the sound down. He even sounded like he was getting hoarse and then everything stopped. I hope he got a fish or flew off to find one.

Gabby and Samsons, NE26 and 27 are really changing. They are certainly no longer little fluffy balls. Today they had the rest of the bird on the nest following by some fish. They were really full!

The weather has really improved in Jacksonville.

It is a gorgeous day to incubate eggs over at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.

OGK has returned after three days at sea to relieve his mate, YRK at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Royal Albatross. The image below is actually of YRK feeding the Royal Cam chick that I took late last night. How touching.

To date 26 Royal Albatross eggs have hatched out of 35. The other 9 will not hatch due to embryo deaths.

Dennis Brecht makes frequent and regular visits to the nest of The Love Trio on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. So far this year he has not spotted Valor I working with Starr and Valor II on the nest. This trio was extremely unique and popular. The question is: does Valor I have his own nest or has something happened to him? We wait for an answer. Brecht has contacted the Stewards of the Mississippi for assistance and finding the answer to the mystery.

The Ventana Wildlife Society is releasing a few condors into the wild currently. One of those was Condor 340 who was treated for lead poisoning.

Condor 340 hatched in 2004 in the Oregon Zoo. Its name is Kun-Wac-Sun. It was released into the Pinnacles National Park in 2005.

Wheeee. How beautiful. A wild Condor flying free again in the Pinnacles.

Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis was 4 weeks old yesterday. Oh, this eaglet is getting so big! Finishing up getting its thermal down and you can see the tips of a few juvenile feathers.

I was so happy to see the Captiva Osprey Cam back up and running. Lena is rolling eggs and calling Andy wanting a fish and a break.

You can see the three beautiful eggs. Oh, let us all hope that by laying their eggs a month early this couple will be able to fledge Osprey chicks off Santibel Island.

Hatch watch begins this weekend.

Those are just a few of the many nests to check on. I am really hoping to see Ervie today with a fish! Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Osprey Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, Duke Farms, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and Ventana Wildlife.

Late Monday in Bird World

The ‘Alberta Clipper’ is just starting to impact Winnipeg with some light snow flakes. We are in an extreme blizzard warning area until tomorrow morning when the winds and snow – getting up to 90 kph (or 55 mph) – dissipate. The garden birds were a little strange today. They ate and left. Normally they come and stay all day but a couple of waves of different groups came and went. I suspect they were going to try and find a place to hunker down for the duration. This storm system is also going to impact a huge part of the US including my childhood state of Oklahoma.

It is snowing on the Storks near Freiburg, too.

There is wind and blowing snow in Durbe, Latvia, the home of Milda, the White-tailed Eagle. The sound from the camera’s microphone makes you shiver – the wind is just howling through the forest.

The female Bald Eagle at Duke Farms is also under some snow and it looks like she might get more as this weather system moves through the eastern US.

There is good news in Bird World. Both of the USS Bald Eagles were seen at the nest today. The worry last night over whether or not there was an injury melted away. Nice.

The thermal down is coming in on the eaglet at the KNF in Central Louisiana. The light natal down is giving way to dandelions. Notice how much longer the beak is and how large the cere has become. The cere is the soft fleshy part above the black beak, seen below. The cere varies in shape, size, and colour amongst raptors. The beak will turn that beautiful yellow when this eaglet is approximately 4-5 years old and be pure yellow by the time it is 6 years old. At that time, it will also finish getting its adult plumage including that full beautiful white head.

The meals are more spread apart but the eaglet is eating longer and its crop is getting much fuller. Just look below. The crop is a pouch along the espophagus. It stores food before it gets to the stomach. It also processes prey items that cannot be processed in the stomach. The raptor will regurgitate a compressed pellet of those items that do not go to the stomach.

The Wildlife Biologist has just confirmed that this crop is at least 3-4 inches (10 cm) long! Wow.

Poor Baby. It took some maneuvering with the weight and flopping of that crop for it to get in a position to PS. Obviously the crop weighs more than the chick’s bottom does.

This baby has really grown in the last 4 or 5 days and is changing more and more with every blink it seems.

Despite being full to the brim and hardly able to move, Anna is making certain that the little one is topped up before bedtime.

NE26 and 27 are awash in Spanish Moss. The nest seems to be covered with it and fish. Lots of fish.

There are those sweet little fluffy dumplings in the nest bole.

Sleeping quietly under Mum.

At the WRDC Nest in Miami, R1 and R2 have popping crops, too. The pin or blood feathers can be seen coming in through the thermal down.

R1 is closest to you. R2 without the fluffy hair is in the back and also has a large crop. Both eaglets are doing well and there is plenty of food on the nest.

The 2022 Albatross Count on Midway Atoll is completed. Here is the information as it was posted by Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge today:

YRK flew in and switched places with OGK yesterday at the Royal Albatross Quarry Track Nest in New Zealand.

Lady Hawk caught that sweet reunion.

The camera is still offline in Port Lincoln. Would love to have had a good look at our Ervie.

Tuesday February 1 is Lunar New Year for many of our friends. For all of you celebrating the Spring Festival, we wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous Year of the Tiger.

Thank you for joining me today. So happy to have you with me. Stay safe, stay warm!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Friends of Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge FB Page, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, WRDC Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Stork’s Nest Livestream.

Want to get up close and personal with some Bald Eagles?

I am just home from a wonderful day outside. Did not see a single bird! Yes, seriously. I did spot a lot of nests and it was just nice to be outside in the fresh air on a beautiful sunny day.

The image below is the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana.

What caught my eye was an invitation by the Wildlife Biologists Steve Shively and Cody Austell of the US Forestry Service at the Kistachie National Forest for people to come and get up close to the Bald Eagles, Anna and Louis. OK. Not that close. They have a great eagle viewing area set up with spotting scopes and they will be giving private tours.

If you live near Central Louisiana and are free at 10 am on either February 10, 17, or 19 at 10 am, give them a shout to sign up. The e-mail is visitKNFeagle@gmail.com

I am also super excited. Cody and Steve will be setting up another camera stream with the same super sound they have for Anna and Louis for the other Bald Eagle family in the forest. Last year there were three nests. Sadly, both adults in area 2, were found dead. They had been shot. At any rate, there will be two different streams watching both nests next season. Fantastic. I wonder if the male on the nest is as great a fisher as Louis? There were 10 new fish on the nest today. The duck and the Coot have been eaten and I am not sure where the turtle is.

Just a couple of quick comments about happenings in Bird World. The camera is now back on in Port Lincoln on the Osprey barge. Ervie had been there earlier so he is fine. A huge storm ripped through the area and did tonnes of damage. Just waiting to see how everything is with the hearts that beat and run Port Lincoln Osprey Project. There is not an egg yet on the Achieva Osprey Nest even though Diane has been on the nest for long periods.

The winds and rain seem to have subsided at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Samson and Gabby. I have not been home long enough to see how NE26 and 27 are behaving but there are at least five fish in the pantry so food is not an issue!

They look like they are getting along. Fingers crossed!

OGK is busy being a great dad down in New Zealand at Taiaroa Head. This little Royal Cam chick is going to gain lots of grams! Sooooooo very sweet.

Lots of beautiful water birds were out on the Mississippi Flyway this morning.

If you like Roseate Spoonbills as much as I do, you need to check out this streaming cam in St Augustine Florida. Spoonbills forage in shallow water. This is an adult in the nest. The juveniles are a pale pink while the adults have that bring cherry red/pink on the wings. Their head is bare and is a yellow-green colour. Their name comes from the flattened beak that looks like a spoon!

B15 at Berry College seems to be doing just fine, too. The worry over an injury to the wing is gone. It is a really sweet little eaglet.

So if you are anywhere near to Central Louisiana and want a personal tour to see the Bald Eagles nesting in the Kisatchie National Forest, please do get in touch with Steve or Cody. I would love to go on one of their tours. They are so knowledgable and – need help identifying prey on a nest – they are great at answering those questions. I have learned all about turtles this year! Send all your positive and warm wishes to all the nests (and people) who are going to get really low temperatures in areas that do not normally have them!

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

Thank you to the KNF FB Page, Berry College, NE Florida and the AEF, Explore.org, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and KNF Bald Eagle Cam for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

OGK sees his chick for the first time!

OGK returns to Taiaroa Head, the home of the Royal Albatross colony, at the end of the Otago Peninsula in New Zealand on the 28th of January 2022.

“Taiaroa Head Lighthouse, NZ” by Don Shearman

OGK (Orange-Green-Black) has been away from the Quarry Track nest for five (5) full days and a lot has happened while he has been foraging out on the seas. His chick, the Royal Cam chick for 2022, hatched at 19:40 on the 26th of January. On the nest when the chick was returned from the incubator was OGK’s mate of fifteen (15) years, YRK (Yellow-Red-Black).

Before anyone could even sense that OGK was near, YRK started looking around and then she broke into a sky call at 12:32:19.

At 12:33:07, OGK appears. He has landed up above and walked down to the Quarry Track where the nest is located.

OGK breaks into a sky call as he gets nearer to the nest and YRK. Sky calls are a way of greeting.

The formality of the greeting was followed by gentle allopreening between the couple.

Preening is when a bird grooms its own feathers. Allopreening is when it grooms the feathers of another bird. In the case of this Royal cam couple, the allopreening is a form of bonding, of renewing their ties, of a rite of courtship.

The Royal Albatross spend so much time away. The opportunities when they switch duties when there is a small chick on the nest are rare moments. When the chick is older, they will both be out foraging. They may or may not arrive back at the nest at the same times. In the past we have been lucky to see them and to watch them spend time together.

YRK stops and spends some time sitting on the grass by OGK and their chick before leaving for foraging. She departs at 12:45.

OGK is perfectly content brooding his new chick!

The NZ Department of Conservation put together a short information page about Albatross behaviours. They might have included some you have been wondering about. Check it out!

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/royal-albatross-behaviour-on-and-off-royal-cam/

Here is a short video clip by Liz of YRK feeding the chick. It is absolutely fascinating and a delight to see how this wee bill and Mum’s go together to get nourishment. The chick is checked two times a day and weighted to ensure that it is getting enough ‘squid shake’. If not, the rangers will step in and supplement the feeding. There are no worries here. The chick is steadily gaining weight!

The Royal Albatross are so gentle and so loving. The streaming cam for the Royal Cam couple of the year is certainly a place to turn to if you are feeling stressed out by the happenings on other nests. It is very calming for the soul. You will also gain an acute appreciation of the New Zealand Government and its Department of Conservation. All of the birds are cared for. They get medical attention, spraying when it is too hot, and supplementary feedings whether they are a chick or an adult. It is certainly a place that gives back to these beautiful sea creatures for all the joy they bring us.

Here is a link to the live streaming cam. It won’t be long until there will be a contest for the name of the chick. That is always exciting.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is just wonderful news that OGK is home safe! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Just a quick note: My Friday blog might be late. The garden birds will finish off all their seed and suet tomorrow so I will be off to replenish their stock. I am hoping that the weather is conducive to checking out some more of our local birds. Maybe even see that Bald Eagle! Wish me luck.

Friday in Bird World

There is mooooorrrrrrreeeeee snow falling on Winnipeg! There seems to be no place to shovel it anymore. Can you hear me growling? It has made Little Red anxious and he has been chasing the 32 European Starlings out of the Lilacs yelling, ‘Don’t you know it is Squirrel Appreciation Day?!’ To appease him, I promised I would put a photo of him on the cover of today’s blog! LOL.

The top image shows Red returning from the large seed cylinder his mouth full of seed to cache in his penthouse.

Red comes and goes dozens of times.

No one needs to train Little Red to jump. Away he goes from the plucking post of Sharpie to the wood shed then to the seed cylinder.

Meanwhile, there isn’t any snow down in Louisiana but it is set to be 21 degrees F (very cold) for that area. Louis is filling up the nest with giant Crappie and the little eaglet has been fed at 06:52, 07:46, 08:23, 09:16, 10:10, 11:03, 11:28, 12:13, and 13:45. Here are a few of those feedings:

In addition to the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kisatchie Forest, there are two other known nests with one chick in them each. The others are Berry College and Osceola.

B15 is doing great on the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest. Missy and Pa Berry are doing are good job keeping this little feisty eaglet fed and warm.

The Bald Eagles at the Osceola Nest are Starlight and Skyler. This couple took over the nest in the fall of 2021. The eaglet hatched on 21 December so it is a few days older than Harriet and M15s at the SWFlorida Nest in Fort Myers.

The Osceola Nest is beautiful. It is in a popular park near Lake Toho.

You can see the eaglet sticking its head up looking out at the world beyond.

Here is the link to the Osceola camera in Florida if you don’t have it on your list.

It might be cool for Anna and Louis and even B15 but it is scorching hot for R1 and R2 in the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita in Miami. The chatters said that R2 had eaten twice in the morning so that is a good thing!

E19 and E20 are in really good shape this afternoon. They may be hot but both have a large crop that they are using as pillows. All is right in the world of Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest.

There is pip watch at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson. So far, the eggs are being rolled and there hasn’t been any announcement of a pip.

There are now 2 eggs at Duke Farms Bald Eagle Nest. The second was laid at 15:52 on 20th of February.

rt LincoPort

It is a rainy day for Ervie down in Port Lincoln. The cam operator zoomed in to a show a soaking wet juvenile!

Royal Albatross fans are starting to get super excited at the impending hatch. Yesterday Ranger Colin checked YRK and OGKs egg and could hear the chick inside. It won’t be long! The NZ DOC put out a very short video of that visit:

Do you like Hornbills and other exotic birds? If so, I have a streaming cam for you to check out in Pretoria, South Africa. They have a bot that identifies the birds on the screen so you will know what has come to the feeders. There are many species you might never have seen!

For me, it was simply wonderful to see a world alive with green.

Sometimes you get other animals that are hungry raiding the feeder such as this Genet.

Different birds and animals come at different times of the day. As the sun is setting, bird feeders are set out.

Here is the link to the Allen Bird Cam:

The cold blast of weather and the continuing amount of snow fall seems to caused havoc for some of the ducks that were spending the winter in Manitoba. They are winding up on the lawns of peoples houses, no water and no food. If you are in Winnipeg and you have or see ducks in the City disoriented, please call Wildlife Haven. (204) 878-3740. Thank you!

Thank you for joining me today. Fingers crossed for a pip up at NEFlorida! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: KNF, Berry College, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, NEFlorida and the AEF, Allen Bird Cam, Eagle Cam at Osceola, Duke Farms, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the WRDC.