Late Saturday in Bird World

05 March 2022

There is snow falling on Big Bear Valley. While Shadow and Jackie have over 7000 feathers in various layers to keep them warm and dry, our little chick doesn’t. It has only its soft natal down. Jackie and Shadow will both have a brood patch. It is an area between the breast bones. When egg laying is imminent, the feathers begin to fall off leaving an area of skin. That skin will keep the chick warm as the body temperature of an eagle is 105 degrees F. Eagles do well in cold snowy weather, possibly better than in the heat of summer – except for the wee ones.

The chick has already been fed at 07:45 by Shadow and by Jackie at 09:57. This feeding appears to be the third and began roughly at 12:50.

beautiful image of the parent looking down on the wee babe.

I often have trouble figuring out who is on the nest unless they are standing beside one another. Jackie is so much bigger but Shadow is inclined to have to move the sticks around. Is this Shadow on the nest?

Having moved the stick to the edge of the nest bowl – to keep the chick from running out? It is actually a good idea. Last year, the chick ran out from under Missy at the Berry College Eagle nest and perished in the cold. Smart to put that there!

You will see that the snow is falling and gets worse towards the end of this this short feeding.

The little one is alert and the adult is working hard to make sure that every bite counts. It doesn’t always with the newly hatched.

This baby is adorable balancing itself with the tip of its wings. I cannot see any indication that anything is happening with the second egg. In some ways it would be better to have only one in this weather. As they get bigger it is always easier to fit one six-week old chick under the adult than two. They have to be kept warm and dry.

The snow is really starting to come down. The chick must be chilled. Look at its tiny pink feet. It has managed to get some nourishment and there appears to be a tiny little crop.

Here is a look at Shadow delivering that large fish with its head entirely in tact. Looks like Shadow and Samson both like to wear skinny black jeans.

Safely tucked under its parent it will dry quickly from the little snow flakes that stuck to its down and will be toasty warm.

This is the forecast for the Jackie and Shadow’s nest:

There is a huge piece of fish that you can see in the image below. Lots of food for this week one and some for the adults, too.

The preliminary test results have been released on the Hilton Head Island eaglets that fell out of their nest. Their deaths were caused by the highly pathogenic Avian Flu that is spreading, sadly, to other parts of the east coast and Florida. It is believed that a duck brought to the nest was the carrier. The parents may not get ill as they are larger than the wee babes. This is very sad news.

Far away in Australia, OGK flew in last evening to find that his Quarry Track chick had been left alone by the Mum, YRK, the previous night. It is the beginning of what is known as the post-guard stage. The chick is left alone and both parents are out foraging to be able to meet all of its food requirements as well as theirs. No doubt QT chick slept much better with Dad guarding it the following evening.

Here is an extremely short video clip of the trio at the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. The adults are River and Obey. It is cute – shows how those little ones can really move around the nest when they want to!

Dale Hollow also posted a 5-minute video of on of the feedings. These three are so cute. It is so nice to watch them move about the nest and, just think, in about a week and a bit, this will be happening at Big Bear!

At the end of Ferris Akel’s tours, he always goes through the Cornell Campus looking for Big Red and Arthur. He has found Arthur hunting along the 366 highway.

Ferris looked and looked for Big Red and he found both her and Arthur on top of their favourite building, Bradfield. Big Red is doing a lot of preening. This is getting so eggciting. There is already a lottery on the Cornell Red Tail Hawk FB group for when the first egg will be laid.

Andy has brought a late Saturday fish onto the nest at Captiva. It was 16:47.

Lena is feeding her three chicks, each more ravenous than they have been as they are in super growth stage. Little Bob has pushed himself right up there so he will get some. No worries about anyone being hungry tonight.

It is the end of a good day. All of the nests that I regularly keep track of are doing well. Port Lincoln is, of course, a lonely site of a nest. It would be good to see Ervie. But, enjoy the birds. We cannot take anything for granted. In a blink something can happen. So enjoy the moment.

It is -4 and grey on the Canadian Prairies. Sharpie has been in and around the garden looking for lunch several times today. I am always glad to see him. Little Woodpecker – both Mr and Mrs – have been eating suet and there are lots of European Starlings and House Sparrows. I have not seen the three Grey Squirrels today but Little Red has been in and out.

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: Captiva Osprey Cam and Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Ferris Akel Tours, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, and Cornell Bird Labs and NZ DOC.

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.

Ervie and Liberty!

The Port Lincoln Osprey cam is working!!!!!!!! There sitting close together having one of their silent conversations were Ervie and Dad. I noticed something different about Ervie. He has a nice crop and he displays the appearance of an Osprey who has been in the water fishing. Oh, Ervie, it is so nice to see you! It is so very nice to see you.

Liberty has laid the first egg of the season. It happened just a short while ago on 9 February at 15:19. She had a 5 minute labour. Congratulations Liberty and Guardian!

Here is a video of that exciting event!

Quick news report from the other nests:

The new female at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest with Smitty has some flight feathers missing. The missing feather/s were noticed today when she flew in to get a fish from Smitty. It answered a puzzle. One of the searchers for Bella found the feathers but noticed from images that they did not come from Bella. Mystery solved!

Lady and Dad have visited their nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest for two straight days. Oh, ask me if I am glad that Daisy isn’t trying to incubate eggs in that nest! This year the Sea Eagles stayed away longer than normal. It could be because they were harassed so much by the Currawongs on their last visit.

It is not breeding season. We will not be looking for eggs until June – two of them traditionally known as the heir and the spare.

Lady and Dad are alerting. Lady in front and Dad in the rear. They are letting the forest know they are home from Goat Island!

Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, the Royal Cam chick nicknamed Quarry Track or QT til it gets its official name, is growing and growing and growing. Parents OGK and YRK have literally been coming and going almost every 24 hours. The little one is working its wings and getting strong.

Ranger Sharyn keeps an updated log of the weights of all the chicks including the Royal Cam ones. The NZ DOC does DNA testing to see if the chick is male or female but sometimes, around 80 days, this can be done by comparing the weight of males and females. Here is the chart for QT so far:

Mum, YRK, is on the nest today.

Adorable.

When the Osprey nests stress me out too much, this is where I come for comfort. NZ DOC takes excellent care of its wildlife. Never a worry if there is not enough food for chicks or parents –supplemental squid feedings are always on hand. Here is your link to this at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand (on the South Island near Dunedin).

Thank you for joining me. I know that we all love Ervie and are so happy to see that he is fine – and there are many Redding and WBSE fans here, too. Stay safe all of you. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC and Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Tuesday in Bird World

There is definitely snow and more snow and it is either still coming down or blowing like it is! Goodness.

Both Mr and Mrs Chickadee were flitting around on the vines under the eaves trying to find a place to get out of the wind. The Starlings are waiting for the Butter Bark feeder to be filled and dozens of House Sparrows are eating snow. It is a ghastly day for them. And for people. I think my appointment for a hair cut is once again cursed. Wish me luck though. I am going to try and make it!!!!!!!!

In all the flurry of the storm news, I missed the quick change over at the Royal Albatross Quarry Track Nest. No sooner had YRK returned to relief OGK and he was back – in a day! Oh, the foraging must have been really good. That is fantastic.

There is the Royal Cam dad, OGK, first thing in the morning looking so content.

Someone is sleeping on the nest on the deck of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Is it Ervie? Sleeping in the nest seems ‘odd’ for the adults. What do you think? Is that a sat-pak on the back of that Osprey?

The winter storm warning for the US appears that it will be hitting Oklahoma around 21:00 tonight and moving eastward. I wonder what some of the nests will look like tomorrow?

The eaglet-without-a-name-but-soon-to-have-one is really getting its thermal down! Changing every day. There is another duck delivery and a bird with white feathers was slipped in some time when I wasn’t watching. Wind and some slight rain at the nest currently.

It is a bright sunny day at Big Red and Arthur’s nest. The snow and ice has not reached there yet.

It is still nice and sunny and clear in Hillsboro, New Jersey where our Mum at Duke Farms is incubating two eggs.

It still looks alright at Berry College. B15 is also getting its thermal down and it is such a cute little baby. Pa Berry and Missy must be proud.

R1 and R2 are doing great. You can see what full coverage of that thick thermal down looks like when you look at them and then look up at the little eaglet at Berry where the thermal down is just coming in.

R2 is the one at the front holding on to the fish that it will continue to nibble on. These two can be real comedians.

NE26 and 27 are doing grand as well, the youngest of the eaglets now. If you want soft, cute, and cuddly that is the place to watch – NEFlorida with Gabby and Samson!

This has been a quick check on some nests. So far all looks great. The system that is moving through the US is going to impact lots of birds and wildlife as it pushes its way through. Hopefully nests with chicks on them or eggs will be spared the worst of it.

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe. Stay warm.

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

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.

Wednesday afternoon and all is well in Bird World

It has turned out to be a really good day for both the garden birds and E20 and R2. The blowing snow and wind yesterday kept the birds away from the feeders in my City but, all of the reports this morning are that the birds are back in full force. That is wonderful. I have an onslaught of European Starlings while others have a yard full of Redpolls. I would love to switch with them just for a couple of hours. Outside of the City the Snowy Owls are rather abundant and when it is warmer than -25 I really hope to get out to see them and take some photos to share.

In my last blog, I hoped that M15 would step in and feed E20. Well, he did! Maybe each of you wished that too. It is amazing what positive energy can do. The two just finished a different feeding about an hour or so ago. E20 waited and then was fed and both have enormous crops.

That is E20 at the top. E19 is in food coma at the bottom. Relief. Eagles do not have to eat every day. Indeed, in the wild, it is often the case that there is feast or famine. However, growing eaglets certainly do better and have no feather stress if feedings/food deliveries are stable. Harriet and M15 have never lost a chick to siblicide and I don’t think they are going to now. It is, however, difficult to watch – the bonking or beaking.

I did peek at the WRDC nest. R2 had been fed twice. I have no idea how many times R1 had eaten but when I checked, R1 was eating and eating and eating. R2 was keeping its head down and out of the way. It tried to squeeze in to get close to Mum but it seems the fish was eaten. Still R2 had a crop, not nearly as big as 20s but a crop nonetheless.

R1 is the eaglet eating. You can see R2s crop as he looks out of the nest to the world beyond.

40 minutes later, R1 is full to its beak but it does not like R2 trying to move in close to Mum. Too bad that R2 didn’t start pecking away at that fish he was on in the image above. Maybe he will become very clever and do that!

B15 is doing great. Both Pa Berry and Missy have been feeding and feeding that cheeky little eaglet. Squirrel and fish were on the menu this morning. The adults have also been cleaning up the nest cup, making it soft and nice for the eaglet.

This eaglet is seriously sweet.

At less than a week old, B15 can make its way around the egg cup quite well. This morning it had its eyes and beak focused on that fish.

The winds have been terrible in the Kisatchie National Forest. One big gust blew Anna right onto the baby! Right now it is 23 degrees C and the nest is in the area of a severe thunderstorm watch until 19:00.

Cheeky (and hot) baby trying to get out from under Dad!

Louis is on the nest. The sound is so good you can hear Anna out in the forest ‘talking’ to something. There is so much food on the nest. No worries if rain comes. Let us just hope the strong winds stay away from this nest at the top of a Loblolly Pine.

And everything is definitely alright with the world when Ervie is on the Port Lincoln Nest screaming his lungs off (???) wanting breakfast!!!!!!

What everyone really wants is for the Erv to see a fish in the water while he is on the nest and dive in and bring it back and eat it. That would just be like the best present everyone could get.

As we get close to the hatching of the Royal Cam chick, the NZ DOC has provided us with a document telling us what to expect. I hope that you can open it. Hatch watch 27 January – yes, that is 6 days away. (You might have to cut and paste).

/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/what-to-expect/?fbclid=IwAR05icSK-au13aCXIrpMFcFaEVM7UhZVOM1BcFDJwybS0UBxbLW3O7AtvWU

It is very windy and there are Albies flying around everywhere. OGK does some stretches and seems perfectly content incubating his egg. I wonder if YRK will blow in today? She might if her foraging has gone well but, it is early days to expect her return.

Having a chat with his egg. Precious.

What a peaceful nest to close this newsletter. If you want to watch the action as we approach hatch in New Zealand, here is the camera link:

There has been a sighting of an Osprey with a yellow leg band at Port Augusta which is 350 km north of Port Lincoln. Both Falky and Star have yellow bands but opposite legs. We wait to confirm which leg it is. All I can say is Wow. That is further than Solly who was on the opposite side of Eyre Peninsula at Streaky Bay and up to Eba Anchorage.

Oh, it is a good day. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Bald Eagles, WRDC, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and the KNF Bald Eagle Cam.

Late Monday and early Tuesday in Bird World

Oh, goodness. Bazza spent the night on the nest in the same spot as Ervie did. Bazza has been there all day waiting for a fish delivery. No one thinks this is unusual – it is Bazza! But, when Ervie did the same thing, we worried. It was out of character for him.

It is windy and the water is choppy today, too. Falky and Ervie are no where in sight. It is Mum and Bazza on the barge. Maybe Ervie and Falky are out trying their luck fishing with Dad.

Ervie will eat that fish tail that he left last night when he wakes up.

Bazza is certainly a handsome Osprey.

Sometimes Bazza hunkers down duckling style on the nest when it is windy or he is tired of standing up. You can just see Mum on the ropes at the right near the bottom of the image.

No fish deliveries so far despite Bazza’s fish calling.

In the video clip below, Xavier calls Diamond up to their scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University at Orange today. Their bonding ritual with its bowing and eh-chupping is fascinating. It took place a few minutes ago. What a beautiful couple they are!

Right now OGK, the male Royal Cam Albatross parent, is incubating his egg for a straight 13 days, 14 tomorrow. His mate YRK has not returned. There are two possibilities: she has had to travel so far to find enough food to eat to sustain her on incubation duties or she has been caught and killed by the long lines on the fishing trawlers. As we are aware, the oceans are warming. At the same time there are countries who have huge trawlers scooping up the fish 24/7. Each are causing havoc for our sea birds and it will get worse. Let us all hope that YRK is alright. The NZ DOC rangers have already removed the fertile egg from under OGK and put it in the incubator. OGK is incubating a dummy egg in case he has to leave to save his life before YRK returns, if she does. The rangers are also prepared to give OGK supplementary feedings. In terms of their birds, NZ is enlightened. They recognize what climate change and humans have done to destroy the environment for the animals and the birds and they are doing something positive for them. I hope that YRK shows up while I am writing this. It would be the best thing!

I have been trying to find live bird cams in Japan for one of my readers, ‘A’. I found this one that has three different cameras for three different wildlife or bird boxes. The boxes are located at the base of Mount Lizuna which is northwest of Tokyo. One is for Mandarin Ducks, another is for Ural Owls, and another is a wild bird feeding station. Please enjoy and if you know of other streaming cams in Japan, please let me know so I can spread the news!

It is the beginning of a new year for all of us and what could be a better time than now to reflect on the beauty, the inspiration, and the sheer joy that our feathered friends brought to us over the past year. They taught us so much. How many times would we be able to see a Peregrine falcon couple bonding? or a Bald Eagle tenderly feeding its chick? or a third hatch be clever and courageous? We are so blessed. I am starting to make a short list of resolutions for this year and they include writing to everyone I know to try and end the harm that longline fishing is doing. I also want to work towards a ban on the manufacture of rodenticide, which causes secondary poisoning to birds, and lead in hunting and fishing equipment. All of those require persistent e-mail mails. Protective covers for power poles need to be put in place and there needs to be awareness of the dangers of monofilament line and a clean up of the shores of lakes and rivers. That is a start! I am certain that you can think of many more ways to make the lives of our birds better. Maybe you have made some resolutions, too. I would love to hear about them!

Thank you so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure to have you with me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

Monday in Bird World

On the Canadian Prairies, it is 8 November and it is 11 degrees C. There are some birds still around the southern part of our province including a large number of Great Horned Owls (GHOW) and Barred Owls (BADO). Several hours from where I live there are some hawks and Bald Eagles still making their way south. In celebration of such a gorgeous day with the promise of snow and plummeting temperatures on Wednesday, we decided to make one last check at Oak Hammock Marsh.

It was simply grand. You could see for miles.

The walk was great. It was sooooo quiet, a wonderful change from the noise of the city. If you were intent on counting tonnes of birds and seeing lots of species, then it was a bust! There were about 60 Canada Geese scattered about and a couple of Mallards, a male and a female.

They were all feeding on the tender marsh grasses below the surface.

Even the geese were quiet, no honking, nothing. Just working hard on those plants.

The two Mallards were quite interesting. They were sort of breaking down the grasses as they moved through forcing them under the water with their paddles and then eating them.

Beautiful little female Mallard.

The ducks were not bothered by the geese – everyone seemed intent on eating and enjoying the warm sunshine. The farmers in the area have finished harvesting their crops and the fields are bare. In several hours only six or seven Canada Geese flew into the wetlands.

It might have been quiet in rural Manitoba but there was a lot of things happening elsewhere. First up, for all of you that watch the Royal Albatross, OGK’s mate since 2006 has been YRK. OGK was first in on the peninsula excited to see her and build a nest but…she didn’t arrive. Time passed and she didn’t arrive. Today, 9 November YRK landed on Taiaroa Head. If people could have rung bells they would have. Instead many of us sat and shed tears. The fear is always there. OGK and YRK were the parents of very popular Royal Cam chick, Atawhai (aka Pippa) in 2020. This year will be their 8th breeding attempt.

In other Royal Albatross news, the new couple – Red and BOK (Blue-Orange-Black) have really been entertaining us. They are so sweet. Well, today, Red got some new bling. As one of a mated pair, he is now WYL (Whit-Yellow- Lime).

The image below shows the Ranger giving Red his new bling and identity. BOK is walking off the nest. She will return once everything is over.

Could this new couple with their first attempt at breeding turn out to be the Royal Family of the year? We wait.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Mum decided it was time to go to the spa. She flew off the barge and went over and had a lovely bath in the warm Australian waters of the cove yesterday. It is well deserved. Her and her mate have raised three healthy boys this year.

Isn’t Mum just beautiful?

It is hard to keep up with the 367 Melbourne Peregrine Falcons. I ‘believe’ that there are two (probably female) still on the ledge.

Yes, still there. There is a lot of noise and it could well be the parents trying to lure these two off with prey.

There are theories about gender and fledging times in falcons and hawks. Because the females are substantially larger, it takes longer for their bodies to feather. Therefore, they generally fledge after the males. I do not know how accurate it is but I hear this often.

In Orange, Diamond’s foot is doing much better. At 8:11 Xavier, the male Peregrine Falcon of the scrape on the water tower of Charles Stuart University, delivers a Starling to Yurruga. Xavier does not wait. He drops the breakfast prey and gets out. I don’t blame him. It could definitely save his talons.

Notice how big Yurruga is compared to Xavier. Think Yurruga is a female like her mum, Diamond?

Yurruga is a very good plucker!

Cilla Kinross just posted a video clip of Yurruga. It is really short. Have a peek. I do not think those eggs are going to last much longer.

Everything is as it is expected at Port Lincoln. Dad flew in with a really nice fish but instead of letting the chicks do a grab, Mum got over quickly, mantled the breakfast, and proceeded to take control of the feeding.

It should, by now, not surprise anyone to the identity of the chick right up at Mum’s beak. Now the chick can be identified quite quickly – it’s Ervie! aka Little Bob.

The rule of thumb is that the males return to make their own nests near their natal nest. I hope there are three or four more barges available.

One last nest. NEFlorida with Samson and Gabby. They are both very busy working on that nest. They have been bringing in a lot of big twigs. Here is Gabby moving some of those around.

Cute little Samson looks like he is standing very still in his tight black jeans waiting for orders. What a sweetie.

Samson is a very good listener and Gabby is giving precise instructions. Looks like they are already thinking they need high rails this year.

Thank you so much for joining me today as we check in on some of ‘my’ favourites. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.