Flapping fish, pip dates and…more in Bird World for Tuesday

6 September 2022

The families are back at work and the children will be in school. There will be no more loud yelps when a grasshopper has been found and checked off the list of treasures in the ‘Nature Scavenger Hunt’ at the nature centre or toddlers trying to pull the tails of the ducks. It will be quiet.

it was 26 degrees C on a sunny Sunday afternoon as I set about trying to find that dear wee duckling at Ft Whyte. Originally there were two. I did not see the second one today either when I went around the final bend but I did find the tiny one sleeping in the sunshine. Now that the water level is falling all manner of little islands are appearing in the ponds. They are nice places for ducks to sun themselves in the middle of the day.

The wee darling even had its eyes closed. You can see the downy fluff on its back. I am so worried that the feathers are not developing correctly – a little bit like Yurruga last year at the Orange scrape of Diamond and Xavier. Will they fill in, I wonder.

Have you had experience with ducklings? Can you offer advice. The little one has grown since I was there a couple of days ago.

Sibley tells us that the wing feathers of the Mallard require 60 days to fully grow so that the duck can adequately fly. This little one is about 3 weeks old or 21 days – the closest I can guess from my visits and seeing it – at the nature centre. We need 40 more days. This duckling will make it. That would be the 15th of October! Help me cheer it on.

This beauty looks so gorgeous in the sun between the springs of plants. I love how the tail feathers are fanned out and look like lace with a beautiful satin blue ribbon trimmed with black and white. Mallards are lovely. The more I see them, the more special they become.

All of the ducks seem to have been eating rather well and filling out. They will need all of that energy for their long flights.

The plants are beginning to change adding some oranges, reds, and browns to the green leaves. The ducks can melt into the landscape if you do not look closely. These three were characters. Just look at their crops, especially the one facing us nearly straight on. Well fed I would say!

Sometimes it is nice to be able to look down and see the gorgeous orange legs paddling – it means that the water is no longer murky. This duck seemed to be smiling at me.

This one was tucked up nice and tight on one of the islands. It took some time to see her.

One of the silliest things that happened today was between two Canada geese. They were both on the boardwalk. On stayed put while I tried, as quietly as I could, to pass. The other decided to walk in front of me going around the corner out of sight of its partner. They then started ‘talking’ to one another. This went on for nearly 6 minutes without either moving to go to the other…I left to go and check on the wee duckling that I had spotted ahead of me. I wonder if those geese are still honking?

This morning I woke to the alarm calls of the three Crows in the garden and sure enough, there was the cat – and the rabbit. They are protecting little Hedwig by calling me out to chase the cat away. I do wish that people would be responsible for their pets.

In the Inbox:

‘J’ wrote to tell me the story of the two Sea Eagles and the fish tail. I had not seen it. ‘J’ said, very appropriately, “It seemed more educational for them both than anything.” I missed this specific occasion and I am terribly grateful that ‘J’ gave me the time stamp because I was able to catch a few minutes of SE29 and SE30 doing some friendly exchanges with that tail – they even got a few nibbles of fish, too!

‘R’ writes: Why do the Magpies continually dive bomb the sea eagles? Anyone who has been watching the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest will have seen the most recent attacks by the Magpies on the Sea Eagle nest. There will be others such as Boo Book Owl, too. The Magpies have their own nests. It is believed that there are about 50 breeding pairs of Magpies in the forest. The Sea Eagles are the top predator in the forest. The Magpies have no hope when it comes to a challenge with them but they dive bomb them hoping if they are such a nuisance the eagles might leave the forest. Of course they will not! That said, the smallest owl has inflicted injury to Lady in the past. They are silent when they attack and have hit Lady and hurt her eye. You might also have seen the Great Horned Owls attacking the SWFlorida eagle nest of M15 and Harriet. The GHOWs are formidable enemies to the eagles but Boo Book is so much smaller. Still he can do harm and any of them might want a tasty eaglet for dinner. The sea Eagles must be careful with the owls. The Magpies are a nuisance to the adults but can and do drive the youngsters from the forest when they fledge, like the Pied Currawong do. You will often see larger predators being constantly attacked by smaller birds. The Mockingbirds continually follow Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus.

‘A’ asks: “Why don’t the Osprey parents just kick their fledglings off the nest or stop feeding them?” That is a great question and I am certain that there are a lot of people wondering the same thing. I am going to use the term that is often employed ‘good parents’, if you will excuse me for that. The goal of the breeding season is to raise healthy chicks and to either increase the population of the species or, as one researcher noted, hope to have a replacement for each parent when they die. Not feeding the chicks or kicking them off the nest is counter to all of that. The adults might begin to limit the feedings encouraging independence but the chicks will depart for their own territories or for migration when they are strong enough. When that day comes, nothing will hold them back! Until then, ‘good parents’ continue to feed their chicks as best they can while also building up their own strength. Louis and Idris are great examples. Everyone has left but Sarafina and Padarn. They will continue to feed their girls until such time as they leave. Both are excellent dads. Aran and Mrs G are doing the same. None of the fledglings have left. Fish is continually supplied. Mrs G would normally leave before the fledglings. Let’s keep an eye out and see what happens.

Padarn is one of the most beautiful fledglings I have seen!

Making News:

You may recall that Loch Garten’s Osprey chick 1C1 died after being unwell for several days. It was believed that she had an infection and it was confirmed today through the necroscopy that it was a case of salmonella. It is unclear how the little osprey got salmonella.

Do you know the term ‘war wilding’? Ukraine re-flooded the Irpin River so that the Russian army could not get to Kyiv. What is fascinating to me is that this has created a wonderful wetland for the birds that could last for years creating new opportunities out of war.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/05/warwilding-a-new-word-to-describe-the-startling-effects-of-using-nature-as-a-weapon-ukraine-korea-aoe

The author cites cases where warWilding has been used to create biodiversity hotspots and bring new hope for wildlife such as in Mozambique but, he also tells us how this can be turned against wildlife – when water is drained to cause harm to people and, as a result, to the birds and animals. It is a good read. Check it out when you have time. There is a link to another very good paper within the article on the same topic, if you are interested.

There is a new book, Peregrines in the City by Andrew Kelly and Dean Jones. Do you recognize the scrape? More to follow after I have had a chance to read this book on such an interesting topic!

Nest News:

It appears that there might be only one Osprey nest in the entire UK that has both adults and all the fledglings still at home. That is the nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales.

The sun is just starting to show. You can hear the songbirds, the cows mooing, and the sheep bleating. One chick is already fish calling!

It might have been the one that was calling from the perch as the sun was setting on Monday!

It has been a wonderful year for Aran and Mrs G, one that certainly made up for the loss of their three nestlings last year and Aran’s injury. Everyone is really healthy and getting strong.

At the Charles Sturt scrape box on the campus at Orange, we will be on pip watch for the first of Xavier and Diamond’s eggs on the 29th of September with hatch watch from 1-3 October. Mark your calendars!

Handsome Xavier got some eggie time!!!!!!!!!

If pip watch is the 29th for the Orange Peregrine falcons, then we have to be checking on the Melbourne falcons earlier. I am going to mark my calendar for the 23rd for pip watch at 367 Collins Street!

At Port Lincoln, if all goes to plan, we are less than 2 weeks away from the first hatch!!!!!!!!!! In the meantime, Dad had everyone a little anxious when he brought a live whole fish on to the nest for Mum’s breakfast. Let us all hope that the eggs are OK.

At the Sea Eagles nest, it looks like an eel was brought in – or was it a fish? – at 1330.

In Florida, Samson has delivered at least one stick to start rebuilding the nest in NEFlorida and Harriet and M15 have returned to the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers.

Blue 022 fooled everyone. Believed to have left for his migration after his family, he shows up at another platform in Poole Harbour. Is he scouting for another nest after the goshawk attack? or just resting?

Migration:

No tracking news for Karl II. It could be that his tracking signal is being jammed as he is in the location of Cherson (Kherzon), Ukraine. Bonus is still in Belarus near the River Pryjpat. Kaia flew a short distance but remains near the Desna River in Ukraine. Waba is between two rivers, the Buzhok and Slutsch. Please keep this beautiful Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia in your warmest thoughts.

From the Book Stack:

Bill McGuire’s, Hothouse Earth. An Inhabitant’s Guide, minces no words when it comes to the destruction of our planet and the inability of anyone to stop the warming. McGuire is Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College, London. He accepts neither climate deniers or climate doomists and insists that we must be prepared for what is currently happening and for what will come in the future. We have not been able to halt the 1.5 degree C rise in temperature that was thought to be the tipping point. “How Bad can things get?” is a complex and intertwined question surrounding the relationship of the climate, the natural world, and human society and economics. McGuire says, “…what we can be certain of is that climate breakdown will be all-pervasive. Insidiously worming its way into every corner of lives and livelihoods, no one, anywhere – not even the tech billionaires in their guarded redoubts – will be immune” (143). He warns against all of the geoengineering methodologies and climate hakes being proposed including volcanic cooling and the refreezing of the poles. Instead, McGuire is very pragmatic. If we want to limit the worst effects of climate chaos til the end of the century, then there are some things that humans must do immediately: 1) methane emissions is a top priority; 2) the scraping of subsidies for the oil and gas industry; 3) the ceasing of new exploration licenses for gas and oil must stop forthwith; 4) banks must be made not to invest in gas and oil ventures; 5) damaged and desecrated land must be restored by reforestation and rewilding; 6) progressive phasing out of beef and dairy farming; 7) the restoring of peatlands and wetlands – places that store more carbon; 8) cutting back on flying and shipping consumer goods around the planet; 9) massive investment in home insulation and green domestic energy. I note that he questions the cost and value of electric vehicles (replacing world’s 1 billion fossil fuel vehicles, the lithium farming, etc) and focuses instead on green public transportation, journey based car pools, and car shares and more cycling and walking. ————Of course, it is not just humans that are impacting by the escalating heating of the planet but our beloved wildlife – and our dearest feathered friends, many who are struggling now. McGuire says his intention is to frighten people into the reality of what we are facing.

Tomorrow a look at Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behavior.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to hear from so many of you. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, postings, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Dyfi Ospreys, Loch Garten RSPB Abernathy, The Guardian, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, SWFlorida Eagle Club, and the Birds of Poole Harbour.

Early Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

Oh, the torrential rain has finally stopped and the temperature is dropping. The Baltimore Orioles – who are arriving in droves and have arrived for the past week – are still with us eating jellies of all sorts and oranges by the dozen. What I have learned is that they will eat any kind of jelly including a lovely Danish Orange as well as the cranberry sauce jelly in a tin. They will also eat out of any type of dish! From tiny little sauce ones to cereal bowls. It doesn’t matter as long as it has jelly in it!!!!!!!!!! A neighbour told me they would eat applesauce as well. They certainly are beautiful birds but gosh they aggravate me. The males will bully the females from getting any jelly. I tried spacing the little bowls but, no. They are like all the Bigs – they see a whiff of a movement and they dart to make sure the smaller not so bright coloured female stays in the Lilac bushes! Can you hear me growling?

The Orioles will also eat anywhere. You do not need a fancy feeder for them although they sure make an impressive line including ones with a roof. I bought a small hanging one to test. The placement of the nails to hold the oranges is such that the birds have to duck under the large navel oranges to get to the jelly. I would not purchase one of these again despite Mr O’s approval. He finished off one orange half and then moved to the other side to finish off this half and finally most of the jelly.

Oh, look who finally got some jelly!

I was hesitant to check on the ND-LEEF nest this morning. 17 would have been without food for approximately 60 hours. The fishing had been bad because of the high muddy waters but also the Mum just seemed less inclined to feed the small eaglet. Seeing nests like this makes us all anxious and sad. To survive the third hatch – especially if they are small on a nest with two much larger siblings – really have to become super clever. They need enough energy to be tenacious when food does come on the nest ——– and sometimes they have to feed themselves when Mum won’t do it! This morning a miracle happened on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. No, the mother didn’t go out of her way to feed the small one. That said a fish was left on the nest. The two older siblings did not bother but little 17, without food for at least 60 hours, self-fed the entire fish. Yes, he ate the entire fish and passed out in a food coma. This is the moment when the heartbreak turns into a glorious celebration!!!!!!!!

Little 17 moved around hoping that Mum might feed him but she did not.

A fish was left in the middle of the nest. One of the big siblings did peck at it but nothing more. Take a good look at the size of that fish.

19 minutes later. Little 17 pulled the fish to the other side of the nest and started eating. The siblings did not bother him. He ate and ate and ate some more. Fast.

That is all that is left of the fish – that little bit. Little 17 is sleeping on a huge beach ball crop. Smile. He has lived another day. While we would like for him to have food at every meal it does not appear that it is going to happen on this nest with this Mum. Will she change her ways if he grows big? We will see. But for now let us wish for large chunks of fish to be left on the nest with the other two having eaten. Little 17 can easily feed himself. He is a pro! This is what is going to keep him alive. So wish for fish – extra fish!

Why do I saw fish? Unless it is a catfish where the eaglet has to fight with that bony head, it is easier for this wee one to eat the fish than fight with fur, etc on a squirrel and, I would rather because of Avian Flu that the birds eat anything but birds!

Happy Eagle Dreams Little 17. You have the attributes of a survivor.

As we also know, the female at the UFloria-Gainesville nest favours the largest, Big. There is a fish on the nest. Big has intimidated Middle for a second but Middle is doing snatch and grab and Mum even fed him a couple of pieces. The level of intimidation and harm is so much less now that Middle is bigger. Hopefully Middle will persist and get a good portion of that fish!

Yesterday Dr Sharpe and team banded the two chicks at the Anacapa Peregrine nest on the cliffs in the Channel Islands. Dr Sharpe is so kind to move the backpack so everyone can see. Notice how gentle the person is holding the chick and how relaxed the chick seems to be. The other one appears frozen – . There is a boy and a girl in the scrape. Tremendous!

The five eyases at the Manchester NH Peregrine Falcon scrape are being banded today!

No one wants to show their bling and I have not seen any posting on the genders, etc. yet.

A nice lunch has arrived for the five after their ordeal!

Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 had their first hatch yesterday. There is now a pip in the second egg. How exciting. I hope that they all hatch one after another! Here is a short video clip of Blue NC0 feeding the first Bob.

Robert Fuller posted an update on the Kestrel chicks. For those that do not know, Mother Kestrel was in an altercation. She had six chicks in the nest. She returned once and then has not been seen. Robert Fuller removed 3 of the smallest chicks to feed leaving Father Kestrel the 3 largest. Father Kestrel learned to feed his babies. The plan was to return the 3 small ones to the nest box when they were strong enough and hope all would go well. It has! Father Kestrel has proven he is up to the task of caring for all 6 of his babies – and Fuller’s intervention meant that those 3 little ones get a second chance at life.

Here is the announcement on Robert Fuller’s FB page today:

Three perfect little osplets in a row! Blue 33 has been on and off the nest bringing food and enjoying a chance to feed the chicks. Maya takes every opportunity she can to get fish into them and look how they are changing. Can you identify the hatch order from the back of their heads, from the plumage development? Look close.

If you said – from left to right – 3, 1, and 2 you are correct. The oldest, in the middle, is losing the soft grey down and getting that oily head of the Reptilian period. So is osplet 2 but not as much. 3 still has its soft down.

The only eaglet on the nest at Dale Hollow is Middle or DH15.

At the National Arboretum nest of Mr President, Lotus, and DC9 hints are being given about ‘branching’.

Middle Little O has been on and off the Captiva Osprey nest this morning hoping that Dad Andy will deliver a fish to the platform! Oh, how nice it would be if Little Mini O flew up so we could see her.

There is no word yet when Dr Sharpe will be going to ring Two Harbours 1. It should be soon.

If you checked on the West End amigos and saw only 2, you are experiencing Highlights on one of the cameras. They are all still on the cliff nest!

Go to this streaming cam:

So many nests, not ever enough time! Today though it was enough to see Little Bob at the ND-LEEF fed itself to the point of crop explosion. Feeling joyful and relieved.

Thank you for joining me today. It is Victoria Long Weekend aka May Long Weekend in Canada and there are probably Bank Holidays in the UK and elsewhere. Have fun, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, ND-LEEF, DHEC, Captiva Ospreys, NADC-AEF, LRWT, Peregrine Network, Robert Fuller, Scottish Wildlife Trust, University of Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Anacapa Peregrines and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Tuesday Morning with the Ospreys

10 May 2022

It is a gorgeous morning with the promise of 20 degrees C. There is a blue sky and that tinge of green on the trees. By afternoon many of those leaf buds will be leaves. It is also a good day to go and check on those cute little wood ducks!

I lucked out this morning at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Nest. There was a fish delivery around 10:00. The nest was civil! So, I am going to make a assumption and see how far I can go back. There had to be at least one big fish, if not two, for Big to be nice and let Middle eat first.

Yes, there is a fish that is being fed to the two that comes prior to 06:35. I cannot tell you what happened when this fish arrived. Mum is feeding Middle nicely when I re-wind.

At 07:23:06, the pair are snuggled together in the centre of the big nest. It is hard to tell them apart. The hint is the plumage. Big remains darker than Middle. There is a little more juvenile plumage coming in. Big is bigger but when they are moving around on the nest, it is really difficult to determine who is who. Both are walking well now.

At 09:09, Big is self-feeding on a piece of fish left on the nest.

This is interesting. This is at least a second fish (perhaps there was an earlier one also to the first). Big has no interest in harassing Middle who is obviously hungry and up at Mum’s beak.

Big does come up for food and Middle begins to do his quick grab. There is no attempt to harm Middle, however.

It helps to have Big get caught up in eating a small piece of fish. Indeed, both of the chicks appear to have a piece of fish tail that they are trying to eat.

Mum was still feeding Middle at 10:25.

Now, I would like to rewind to what happened when I wasn’t able to access the camera so that we can appreciate what is happening this morning. I am very grateful for a very detailed report on the nest from ‘R’ who also knows the area well and was able to clarify where Dad goes fishing.

This is a broader map of the UFlorida-Gainesville campus showing several lakes. ‘R’ tells me there is no boating on most of them and limited boating on the larger lake. When I am looking at the reasons for there to be issues of food competition, the first thing I wonder about is the source for the fish. As some of you may realize, in Montana the Ospreys up near Missoula whose nests are on the Clark Fork River are having difficulties – or will – if the high temperatures and lack of snow pack and rain continue. The trout die. Here, this does not seem to be an issue. I did have to giggle. We know nothing about alligators in lakes in Canada that I am aware of – but apparently the lakes in Gainesville have gators and they do eat the odd dog when the walker gets it too close to the shore. Goodness, that would be a shock! As ‘R’ pointed out, the gators should not be a problem to the Osprey.

The nest is located on the Soccer Practice Field. That is the red indicator below. You can see that Dad has a large lake close by and further to the right another. Unless something is killing off the fish in those lakes, access is not an issue. Perhaps temperature is? It is 69 degrees F this morning in Gainesville. A respectable temperature for fishing. Does the temperature impact fish delivery if it gets up in the high 80s? Good question to find the answer.

‘R’ reports that Dad brought in little food on Friday. That evening, that big storm with the high winds that swept through the area and the nests – they were blowing on Captiva – took out the camera. There was on and off camera access Saturday but nothing steady with the camera until Sunday. It is unclear about food deliveries during this time but typically it is difficult for an Osprey to fish if it is a very bad storm. There is also an issue of barometric pressure. Easier to fish when the pressure is falling as opposed to rising. I am going to have to set up a graph and see if this is impacting Dad. ‘R’ was sadly able to report that a few years ago in another storm both of the chicks were knocked out of the nest. How tragic.

The report for Sunday and Monday were not good. As ‘R’ notes, this was probably due to a lack of fish deliveries. Bit was extremely aggressive attacking Middle constantly. Middle tried to position itself to get away from Big but this did not help. At this point Mum is favouring feeding Big over Middle.

The pattern continued to Monday morning – Big being clearly aggressive and Mum favouring Big in the feeding. It was estimated by ‘R’ that Big got ten bites to Middle’s one. Also noted was the fact that Middle went into submission easily whereas last week, Middle was showing some ability to deal with Big’s dominance.  

The factors that are leading to food competition continue to be a lack of fish delivery by Dad, weather, and at least one instance of an intruder that was seen landing on a light near the nest.

I am extremely happy that something has happened this morning to turn this aggressive behaviour around this morning. If it is possible I want to go back and build up a graph checking on the barometric pressure in Gainesville and compare it to the days we know there were good fish deliveries and little. Is this the culprit? or is it intruders? the temperature?

I want to take you to an Osprey nest where – for the past five or six years – there has been not a single problem. That is the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 (11) and Maya. Three eggs this season. Two have now hatched. I will expect the next one to hatch tomorrow. The eldest hatched last evening and the second is still wet! You can barely see it in front of Big Bob. — A note. All of the Ospreys are Bobs in the UK. The Bob refers to the bobbing head. so it will be Big Bob, Middle Bob, etc.

That is that big fish I was talking about yesterday. The Manton Bay nest is right in the water at Rutland. There is nothing cuter than a day old Osprey chick. Nothing. OK. Maybe a Red-tail Hawk or a Peregrine Falcon.

Big Bob is already eating well.

Maya is a bit like Big Red, the Red-tail Hawk matriarch at Cornell. She wants her babies full to the brim and more. No need for a hungry wiggly baby while one is trying to dry off and get used to having hatched and the other is thinking about hatching.

Brooding and incubating. It will be much easier for Maya when the third hatches. Again, I am not expecting any issues at this nest over food competition. Blue 33 (11) always has the fish on the nest at dawn. If he doesn’t then we should start worrying about him! This is a terrific nest.

Here is the link to the streaming cam at Rutland Manton Bay:

I have not checked any other nests this morning but I will do later today. The sun is bright and it is getting warmer and it is time to do a hike around a lake to check on some ducks and geese.

Have a wonderful day everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon!

Thank you to the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam and the LRWT for their Manton Bay cam where I took my screen shots. A special thanks to ‘R’ who educated me in potential fishing sources for Dad at Gainesville and for bringing me up to speed with great detail over the weekend and Monday happenings at Gainesville.

Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

6-7 May 2022

The Cal Falcons hatch day was a complete success. One eyas arrived on Thursday and the second hatched during the festivities. You could tell at the beginning of the Cal Falcons Q & A today that both Sean and Lynn were overjoyed. Here are some images from today and at the bottom of them I will put the link to the archived session from today if you missed it.

One of the most remarkable moments for me today was when Annie and Alden were ritually bonding in the scrape with chick 1 chiming in. Adorable.

Feeding and eating take some practice.

Alden checks on the newly hatched chick while Annie goes to get some food and has a break.

They know to hold that pink beak up high and to open wide from the minute they hatch.

Sean and Lynn believe – based on the coloration of the eggs – that the oldest chick was egg 1 and that chick 2 was actually the third egg. They noted that the third egg was darker than the other two. Historically, Annie has never had all of the eggs hatch. If the egg that remains is to hatch it will be by tomorrow afternoon. It is not clear if the second chick is Grinnell’s or Alden’s. They hope to test the feathers to determine paternity and they are looking for someone within the University of California system who would be interested in helping.

Newly hatched falcons can live on the nutrients from the yolk of the egg for approximately 24 hours. This means that they do not need to be fed until then. However, they can eat as soon as 4 hours after hatching according to Sean.

Saturday morning 0611.

It is hard to imagine but these wee babes will have adult size legs when they are 24-26 days old. That is when they will be banded. Falcons fledge from 38-42 days old. This is very quick and is one way that they are very different from the eagles and the ospreys. Their time in the scrape is short. They will spend approximately a month with the parents after fledging learning to fly better and to hunt.

Names? After the banding name suggestions will be taken with a final vote. One of the leading names is Grinnell. I totally agree.

Here is the link to the Q & A session from today.

The banding at the MN-DNR nest is completed. There were no surprises. E1 is a very big robust female weighing in around 9 lbs. Incredible. Sadly, those big females appear to be the ones that cause siblicide more than the males if food appears to be getting short on the nest. Solly at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest in 2021 and E1 this year on the MN-DNR nest. (Confirmed females by testing and/or measurements). Nancy circled around the nest and returned fairly quickly to E1. E1 will be a formidable female just like her Mum.

Iris laid her second egg of the 2022 at 15:14:36 Friday afternoon at her Hellgate Canyon nest. Iris appeared to go into labour a few minutes earlier with the feathers on her back rising and falling.

Maya at the Rutland Water Manton Bay nest in the UK is not giving away any hints – not a single one. Here are the eggs at 20:12. She is very restless during the wee hours of Saturday morning. Do we have a pip on any of those eggs?

Saturday and no obvious pip that I can see on Maya’s eggs, yet.

A beautiful image of Chase and Cholyn’s only hatch for 2022. Just gorgeous. One month old.

Quite a change from the beautiful blue waters of the Channel Islands and the bright sun to the dreary rain of the Dulles-Greenway nest of Martin and Rosa and DG1. They were soggy yesterday, too.

Gosh, Middle Little at the Captiva Osprey nest has such strong long legs. He watches and waits for Andy to come in with a fish for him. Stunning fledgling. Just stunning.

Lori Covert, the owner of the property with the Captiva Osprey and Bald Eagle nests on them went out in her kayak and posted an image of the tree where Little MiniO likes to perch.

It is wonderful to have the two around getting stronger with their flying, figuring out the world, and perfecting their fishing skills.

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow Lake will make you very nervous as they stand on the rim of the nest and flap their beautiful big wings. They are 69 days old! The date of fledging depends on many factors but 11-13 weeks is good. These two are approaching that early window.

Are you a fan of the eaglet at Duke Farms? Look at the air under those wings Saturday morning early! It will not be long.

Family photo of Arthur brooding, Big Red on the railing and those gorgeous Ls at the Cornell Campus RTH nest. Big Red, like all other raptor females, is very cautious and keeps the chicks close to her after hatch. Now Arthur is getting some great ‘Daddy’ time as the Ls get older. Cute. I don’t know who is cuter – Arthur or the chicks

The engineers who took care of the White Stork Bukacka and his storklings last year have put together a short video clip about the life of Bukacka and his mate, Betynky. It is sweet.

The livestream at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest is offline Saturday morning. I will be checking in with them, more of the European nests and, of course, with the CalFalcons later today. In the meantime, enjoy your Saturday. Ferris Akel will be having his tour around noon Ithaca time. Google Ferris Akel Tour on YouTube if you are interested.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me as we wait…pip watch is going to happen at several nests this week including Rosie and Richmond. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, MN-DNR, Montana Osprey Project, LRWT, Explore.Org, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, Captiva Osprey Nest and Lori Covert, DHEC, Duke Farms, and Cornell Bird Lab and RTH.

Late Thursday in Bird World

5 May 2022

Tonight, the Audubon Society believes that 380 million birds will be on the move from the south where they wintered to the north to their breeding grounds. Manitoba is set for a huge number of birds flying in especially to the very north near Churchill and to the wetlands in the middle of the province. I draw your attention to the Wapusk area because I want you to see Churchill. Churchill is now as the ‘accessible Arctic’. Here beginning in June you can see many species including Ross’s Gull, the Northern Hawk Owl, Smith’s Longspur, Spruce Grouse. the Three-Toed Woodpecker, and Harris’s Sparrow. Of course, the list is endless for the ducks and geese that make Hudson’s Bay and the area around Churchill their summer home. Raptors include the Northern Harrier, Gyrafalcons, Merlins, Bald Eagles, and Golden Eagles. Lots of other wildlife abound in the area including Polar Bears.

North of Riding Mountain National Park, also in Green to the south and west of Wapusk is Winnipegosis. This is the place to see Osprey. Directly east and north of Gimli near Hecla Island is a large concentration of Bald Eagles. Canada Geese have arrived and the Trumpeter Swans are arriving now along with the American Pelicans and Red-winged Blackbirds. The shores of the two very large lakes, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, are home to a huge variety of shorebirds that are beginning to arrive.

It felt like I watched Annie and the wee hatchling all day under a microscope. Alden got to see the chick and brood it and incubate the other two eggs. There is a dent in one of the two remaining eggs.

Alden checked earlier to see if Annie wanted a break and she wasn’t ready yet.

The baby was wanting food so Annie gave Alden a shift. I noticed how extremely careful he was with his lame leg not to stop on the chick. Well, done, Alden.

Annie arrives with a bird for the little one’s first meal. I could not possibly tell you what species this is. It is not familiar to me in Manitoba.

First hatch had a nice meal.

Annie catching some sleep. She is going to need all she can as the next eyas appears to be working on its shell. So happy for Annie. Things feel like they are going to turn out just fine.

Afterwards I went to check on the osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. I had been watching earlier in the day but not early enough to catch a morning feed. It was apparent that the chicks and Mum had eaten as all three had crops heading into the evening.

It is good to see the Mum on the nest and the osplets – and her – nicely fed. Middle is the one closest to Mum.

Middle is growing. A few days of good meals makes all the difference in the world.

Big Red has a nest full!!!!!!! She must be in her glory. Oh, I hope the weather holds.

L4, the smallest one, hatched a week after the first, likes to be at the front of the line. Gosh, sounds like another Ervie!

At 19:32, two Crows arrived at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. This is the nest of Jack and Diane. Last year Jack and Diane fledged three – this is the home of Tiny Tot -. Those chicks hatched the beginning of March. Jack and Diane had a previous clutch of eggs that went down a hole in the nest. Diane laid three more eggs but the dates were unknown because the cam was offline. I know that the Achieva nest is a favourite of many but, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. It is really late to have osprey chicks in Florida due to the extreme heat.

It is doubtful that any of the eggs made it. Crows watch and wait just like they did with Daisy Duck’s clutch. Eggs left alone even for a few minutes will be eaten if there are Covids around.

Bird flu continues to be in the news as 37 million factory farm birds are killed.

https://kdvr.com/news/bird-flu-not-just-affecting-colorado-bald-eagles-other-wild-birds-dying/?fbclid=IwAR21A8vcIZW0WgdOK4c4rYk9prFMvvUbxDm3u6BqNHLQkV4cEq-YYHkkG6k

We are one week away from pip watch for Richmond and Rosie at the SF Osprey nest on the Whirley Crane in SF Bay.

One of my favourite Osprey nests in the UK belongs to Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi in Wales. Idris is know as Daddy Long legs but he is also one of the best fishers amongst all the UK osprey. Look at this one he hauled in today!

Beautiful Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest she shares with her mate Blue 33 (11). We are on pip watch for this couple!

Another fantastic Osprey Mum, Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes nest in Scotland that she shares with Laddie. We will be watching for her eggs to hatch after Maya’s. What a beautiful setting for a nest!

The oldest Osprey in the UK is Mrs G. She is believed to be 22 years old. She is incubating the three eggs of her and Aran’s. They will be hatching late as Aran was late returning from migration. Today Aran was busy keeping intruders away from the nest.

Of the nests I have checked, all seem to be doing just fine.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, LRWT, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, and Achieva Osprey.

Early Friday in Bird World

22 April 2022

The beginning of what sounds like deplorable weather has arrived in parts of Manitoba for the third weekend in a row. The American White Pelicans have returned, the Golden Crowned Kinglets are here, the Garter snakes are waking from their winter hibernation, and the weather is supposed to be problematic. We currently have rain which is supposed to turn to snow and ice on Sunday. Apparently the amount of rain is an issue with creeks and rivers full and the ground saturated. They are saying 50mm or 1.9 inches. We wait. We are prepared for just about anything. There are birds eating away in the garden and going into the wood boxes to get dry. The Juncos, the Sparrows, the Grackles, and the Blue Jay have visited so far. It has been a lonnnnnngggggg winter on the Canadian Prairies for all of us.

There is so much happening and a problem nest to check on. It is fantastic but I need 3 or 4 of me to keep up!

Breaking News: Little (or MiniO) the female nesting took flight this morning at 06:46:54. She has yet to return to the nest.

Very nice. It is thought that Little (Mini) has done some flybys and that she has been heard. She is fine. She will get back up to the nest or the parents will deliver some fish to her off camera. For me – I want her to return to the nest box so we can see her flying again!

Big Red and Arthur would be thrilled if their nest was in Southern Manitoba (if the weather were nice) because all of our Garter Snakes are coming out of hibernation (mentioned above). L1 hatched at 21:46 last evening and the first meal that Big Red her fuzzy little chick this morning was snake!

Oh, such a cute little eyas. Look carefully. Red-hawk nestlings have pink legs, black talons, black beaks with a yellow cere and are white. When the Peregrine Falcons hatch they will have pink legs, feet, and beak.

But what a gorgeous image. Big Red looking so lovingly into L1’s eyes. “Hi, Mama”.

Oh, this little one is so strong and healthy. What a cutie pie. Poor Big Red, the years have certainly taken a toll on her feet. They are really showing their age.

There is a second egg that is pipping. It is the one in the very front with the dark splotch. Soon there will be two!

Red-tail Hawk FACT: Digestion: A hawk’s digestive system is much different from ours. In addition to the Crop, their “stomach” is actually divided into two parts. The proventriculus (glandular stomach) is the next stop after the crop. The proventriculous is where food is mixed with digestive enzymes before it passes to the gizzard or ventriculus – a strong muscle pouch that contracts to crush and mix the food (RTH Chat moderator).

How old do Red-tail Hawks live? “The oldest known wild Red-tailed Hawk was at least 30 years, 8 months old when it was found in Michigan in 2011, the same state where it had been banded in 1981.” – (Hibbie, RTH chat from AAB site). The US Govt says the oldest banded hawk was 29 years and 8 months. Sadly, many of the bands were taken from birds that had been shot. They could have lived longer if the shooting of raptors was halted!

Cornell made a short video of the first snake feeding:

Some more snake was fed around 11:00.

How often is prey delivered to a RTH nest? Generally, prey is delivered to nestlings ten to 15 times a day, starting just before sunrise and ending just after sunset.  How often food is delivered, as well as how big the prey is, varies among individual hawks and is affected by the number of young, as well as prey availability. In one study in Canada, researchers estimated that an average of between 14.4 oz, (nearly a pound) and 1.6 pounds)of food per day were brought to broods of 1 and 3 nestlings, respectively. That’s 410 grams a day and 730 grams a day. (Cornell RTH moderator, Deron). This does not include the parents’ food!
Summarization of 11 studies showed that RTH diet was made up of 68% mammal, 17.5%other birds, 7% reptiles and amphibians (mostly snakes), and 3.2% invertebrates. 

Last bit of information. Researchers have learned so much by watching streaming cams which often changes the information found in older texts that used observation of nests only. Do raptors assist their chicks in hatch? Until yesterday, I have noticed Akecheta helping this year at the West End nest. It surely happens more often! And, yes, Big Red assisted L1 by rolling the egg gently so that super hard shell (no lingering DDT issues here) to help break it up.

The Cornell RTH chat which is open M-W-F from 12-2 and T-Th from 10-12 Ithaca NY time. It is a great way to learn about the hawks. Go to the link below and click on chat (scroll down as it will be under the image of E3):

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/red-tailed-hawks/

The oldest of the siblings at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest woke up on the wrong side of the bed again this morning. He pecked at both Middle and Little. The breakfast fish came in around 9ish. Little Bit got a few bites. This nest needs another fish soon.

In the first image you can see the size difference of the three osplets easily. Big is at least 4x the size of Little Bit now with all the food it has been getting. At least 4x, possibly 5x.

Big goes after Middle. Little is staying out of the way.

Big will eat for a good 20 minutes before Little Bit gets the courage to go up and get a few bites – and yes, it was only a few. The fish was gone at 09:30.

As Mum was cleaning her beak, Little and Middle were up hoping that there was some more fish. You can hear them fish crying. Meanwhile Big is full past the brim and sleeping.

For those watching this nest, please be cautious. Middle attacked Little bit ferociously when the Mum moved. There was nape pulling and at a point I thought he was plucking. Little Bit might not make it if it continues to be kept from food and –well, it is the attacks.

Mum left the nest and returned around 12:17. Little Bit is looking up at her wanting food.

This once lovely nest has turned. Bonk and get bonked. What Big does to Middle, Middle then does to Little Bit. How sad! Send positive wishes to this nest. We need lots of fish brought in to turn this behaviour around and even then, it might not work but we hope.

It is 13:27 nest time and Little Bit is constantly prey calling. Oh, I wish this nest would turn around for the good. I wondered this morning if this stage of plumage development makes the nestlings more anxious and cranky. They are constantly preening those itchy feathers. That along with being hot and dehydrated and little fish…???????

Aran and Mrs G are celebrating the arrival of their second egg today. Yipppeeee. Let us all hope the weather and the intruders cooperate so these two have healthy hatches and they all fledge this year.

Everyone is busy laying eggs. Idris and Telyn now have three eggs in their Dyfi Nest as of 17:07.

Buckachek and Betynka at the Mlade Buky White Stork nest have their second egg as well.

I went to check on the two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest. Because you can only go so far back on rewind it is difficult to state with some precision what the two have had to eat but they have had some fish that was brought in and there could be more. The amount that each got is unknown. They are both doing well and it is beautiful and green in the forest around the nest.

This has been a very long blog! There are so many nests with so much happening. Will try and do a nest hop later this evening for everyone who is missing out on hearing about their favourite nests. Yes, we do have our favourites. We will also be looking for another hatch for Big Red and Arthur.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that the weather is grand where you are. Get out and go for a walk and take me along. If you are waiting for the UCal Falcon Q & A, that is currently about 45 minutes away. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Dyfi Osprey Project, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, DHEC, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH Cam, Capri Mlade Buky, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

Pip watch for Big Red and Arthur continues

20 April 2022

Big Red and Arthur have their territory on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York. Big Red hatched in Brooktondale, New York in the spring of 2003. She was banded in Brooktondale as a fledgling Red-tail Hawk on 10 October 2003. It is not precisely know how many mates Big Red has had since she was old enough to lay eggs and hatch chicks. She was observed on the Cornell campus with her mate Ezra prior for two years prior to 2012 when the cameras were placed on the light stands on the campus. When they began to number the chicks, they began with C because of those two years. Ezra and Big Red raised eyases until the spring of 2017 when Ezra was killed defending their territory. Big Red had no chicks in 2017 but she did have a mysterious young visitor to the nest in April 2017. It was Arthur! And Arthur did not even have his red tail yet! After considering several potential mates, Big Red – to the dismay of many human animals – choose a youngster. Arthur has proved himself to be an invaluable mate. He is a fantastic hunter and takes part in all aspects of the breeding season including nestorations, incubation, prey deliveries, and teaching the youngsters how to fly and hunt.

Somewhere in my files I have precisely the number of chicks that hatched. It is likely that she has laid and hatched 54 eggs since she could first breed. It was a large number and everyone of them fledged except for one and that was last year. K2 had an issue with her beak and she was taken into care. The situation was thought dire and she was euthanized.

This is the first year that Big Red has laid four eggs. It seems to be a trend amongst hawk and falcon populations this year. Cornell has already alerted everyone that this is unknown territory and they do not know what to expect.

Red-tail hawks are the most wide-spread hawk in North America. They are medium sized and are distinguished by their beautiful red tail when they are a year old. They normally live in wide open spaces and you can see them sitting on top of poles hunting. Indeed, Big Red and Arthur often spend time on the poles along Highway 366 near Cornell. You might commonly hear that Big Red is sitting on the 366 pole. That is what it means. There are fields across the highway still in Big Red and Arthur’s territory where they hunt and where they teach the eyases to hunt.

You can watch the hatching of the chicks and the daily lives of Big Red, Arthur, and the Ls here:

When the chicks hatch they will be covered with white soft feathers with a black beak and the cutest fat little pink legs and feet.

The image below is K1 hatched and K2 pipping.

There are several video clips of highlights from 2021. Here is one of those that will give you an idea of what to expect this year.

It is going to be an exciting season on the Cornell Campus particularly if all four eggs hatch. Boy, Arthur start stacking up the chipmunks and the squirrels!

Thank you so much for joining me. I am eggcited! Take care everyone. See you soon.

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

Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

This is a view of the storm that hit the other day. Today it is partly sunny but, there is another storm on its way. Winter continues for many of us!

Big Red and Arthur have snow. It seems every year Big Red will get encrusted in snow and ice and we sit and worry. She is used to the cold snowy wet weather living on the Cornell campus all her life (or nearby at Brooktondale where she hatched). Pip watch is the end of the week!

The Kakapo Recovery posted an announcement about their t-shirt fundraiser. That is incredibly wonderful – $27,000 is a wonderful amount for selling t-shirts. Well done. Waiting for ours to arrive!

This group and everyone associated with it does an amazing job trying to keep this critically endangered non-flying parrot alive. From changing transmitters, doing wellness checks, or ensuring birds that need care get off the islands to the Dunedin Vet – it is all fantastic.

And one another announcement that I am posting from FB. A Place Called Hope is one of those wildlife rehabbers like CROW that really goes all out for its patients. This Osprey needs fresh whole fish. Do you live in the area? Can you help? Do you know someone who does and could help? Give them a call!

Yesterday I was asked if I get terrified looking at the three West End eaglets now that one fell off and landed on a ledge below. (Thanks to Dr Sharpe, the baby is back on the nest.) The answer is ‘yes’. Utterly terrified.

I pondered that question for quite awhile before and after answering. We recognize that there are risks every day for our feathered friends. An eaglet could fall off the nest, a parent could be accidentally killed and not return with food for the female and chicks, a predator could come and predate the nestlings, fishing line can arrive at a nest and cut through the little legs and wings. We know these things like we have memorized a list of everything that could happen to the birds. But, until it happens, the absolute fragile life that they live does not register completely. That is what it was like for me with Grinnell. Grinnell was always going to return on the ledge and bring food to Annie. Grinnell was always going to protect The Campanile. Grinnell was always going to make a huge mess plucking a pigeon for the eyases. Grinnell would always be there. Until he didn’t come home. The eaglets were safe on the rock until one of them fell off. Absolutely ‘B’ terrified and helpless.

Here is a very different image of that Osprey nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Gorgeous wide open spot for a nest just the way Ospreys love it.

The osplets are really hot today. Mum is trying to shade them just like yesterday. Huge change beginning for Little Bit’s plumage. The back of his head is now oily black!

Look carefully. He is sleeping to the left of Mum. Look at the back of his head. Then look at the older sibling just left of Mum’s shoulder. They are all actively moving into the reptilian stage.

Feedings have been difficult to observe with Mum keeping her back to us.

Not a Raptor. Ferris Akel loves Roseate Spoonbills. Audubon has a lovely article about the oldest Roseate Spoonbill in the world and she is still raising chicks!

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest are waiting for breakfast and lunch! It is often hard to tell them apart these days. Beautiful juvenile feathering.

Aran and Mrs G have been on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley protecting a piece of fish against a bunch of crows.

The rain has stopped at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Everything is fine on their nest.

Blue NC0 and Laddie have a wonderful day at Loch of the Lowes. This is just the most beautiful place for an Osprey nest. So serene. No motor boats, no people. Three eggs.

Louis and Dorcha seem to have settled on the old nest with camera 1 at Loch Arkaig.

As far as I know, Dylan and Seren Blue 5F have not experienced any other visits from the Goshawk at Llyn Clywedog.

And I have two new Peregrine Falcon nests for you. One is in Buckinghamshire in the UK and the other is part of the streaming cams of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy. Thank you to ‘L’ and her daughter for news of the nest in New England!

The camera on the Buckinghamshire Nest is really good – nice and clear, good definition and a great view. Waiting for eggs.

Here is the link to the Buckinghamshire streaming falcon cam:

The second nest belongs to Boh and Barb and they also have four eggs this year. It seems to be a year for four eggs! Those eggs were laid on March 15, 18, 20 and 23rd of March. We are on pip watch.

Here is the link to the Chesapeake Conservancy falcon cam:

And last but never least, we are on fledge watch for Little (known as Mini on the Captiva Chat). She is 59 days old today. Should be flying soon.

On the right is Middle (Little) and on the left is Little (Mini). You can clearly see the difference in their size. If you watch the streaming cam check out the difference in their legs. Little (Mini) has long legs to help him fish! Middle (Little) has short stocky legs and she is bigger overall.

Both ‘babies’ (hardly babies anymore) had fish this morning at 09:45. There is Middle (or Little on chat) eating its own fish on the left. Middle fledged at 08:13:12 on April the 16th. The long thin legs are like those of Idris at the Dyfi nest and most believe that Middle (Little) is a male. Little (or Mini) is being fed by Lena. She is a nice big female it seems.

Middle (Little) could fly any moment it seems. Here is a link to the Captiva camera:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please 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: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dyfi, Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Buckinghamshire Council Falcon Cam, Chesapeake Conservancy, DHEC, CarnyxWild, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery, and Explore.org.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

06 April 2022

Everyone watching the Black Stork Karl II breathed a sigh of relief when he crossed the border into Belarus on his way home to Estonia for the spring and summer breeding season. It is a long way from the Sudan and Karl II is almost at the nest. He is spending his time today in the forest in Belarus near this site – image posted by Looduskalender. Thanks Anne7!

River brought in a fish head to the Dale Hollow nest at 16:25:48. She leans over to give Little Middle some bites and Big decides she is eating first! Little Middle moves to the rim and waits. At 16:48:54 Big moves over. The parent flies off. Little Middle moves up and feeds itself. Go Little Middle! It even looks like Big is watching and taking some self-feeding lessons from Little Middle.

Little Middle watches and waits. Once Big moves over he goes up but the adult flies away.

If there is any fish flesh left on that head, Little Middle is going to find it!

You might have been frightened if you had seen Little Middle with that fish bone choking but he finally got rid of it. Great work Little Middle.

Little Middle is a survivor.

The chicks are wet and both of them are hungry. They had a good feed this morning. Maybe a parent will come in before dark with some more fish, maybe not. Little Middle is determined to get every last piece off that fish head!

Richmond and Rosie finished their nest on the Whirley Crane just in time. There is no rewind on the camera but Rosie just rolled their first egg. She laid it on the 5th of April.

That dirty little Ragmuffin’ of OGK and YRK at the Taiaroa Head Royal Albatross Colony in New Zealand is a girl.

This is why I really like Blue 33 (11). He is right there with Maya after she lays her third egg of the 2022 season! These two are the darlings of Manton Bay at Rutland.

Over at the West End Bald Eagles, Thunder flew in with a fish at 15:33. Didn’t take the triplets long to line up and get ready for their afternoon snack. The oldest eaglet will be 30 days old tomorrow.

Just down the way at Two Harbours, the only chick that hatched earlier today for Chase and Cholyn had some fish juice and saliva. Cutie Pie.

The cold wind is howling through Iowa. Mother Goose is paying no mind to a Bald Eagle that has come around for a visit while she incubates her 6 or 7 eggs at Decorah, Iowa.

At the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest, Mr North and Mrs DNF have two fluffy 10 and 11 day old eaglets to keep fed. They are both looking good! Mr North is taking a turn feeding them. Oh, so cute when they are still fuzzy wuzzies.

My goodness. Those wee ones and then Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida nest of Samson and Gabby who are branching and thinking about flying. All we have to do is blink and they leave the nestling stage and get ready for the adventures that their lives will be. Jasper and Rocket have certainly been entertaining. You might recall that like Little Middle, Rocket taught itself to self-feed long before Jasper.

This year has been a wonderful season for Jackie and Shadow. Spirit is 33 days old. Hatched on the 3rd of March do you remember how you watched and hoped beyond hope that Jackie and Shadow would have a successful hatch this year? I know many of you shed tears of joy when this beautiful bird hatched.

In Redding, Liberty and Guardian are on the nest with the two eaglets alerting. Something has caught their attention.

At the Pittsburgh Hayes nest each eaglet is fed. No one is left out. They are doing fabulous. A fresh fish has just arrived on the nest.

At the USS Steel Bald Eagle nest, the first chick hatched on 4 April and they are on pip watch for egg #2.

If you ever go to the National Arboretum Nest and do not see an eagle on the nest, be assured that they are close by.

It is a wonder that the wee one ever gets some sleep. It feels like Mr President and Lotus are always feeding the baby.

Just the other day this little white bundle of fluff was more like a round teddy bear. Look at how much those wings have grown and its neck!

All of the nests and scrapes are doing well. Many continue to mourn the loss of little MO, the 4th eaglet at the PA Farm nest. It appears that little MO was not under Mum and when the rain and cold came last night, he died of hypothermia. Of course, without a necroscopy this will not be known for sure. We hope that the other three on the nest continue to thrive and are grateful for the joy that little MO brought to our lives. It is always difficult to losing a wee one.

It is a cold nasty day on the Canadian Prairies. Soaking wet with snowy rain continuing to fall.

Thank you for joining me today. It is always wonderful to have you with us. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Golden Gate Audubon and SF Ospreys, Looduskalender, Pix Cams, Explore.org, Redding Eagles, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, NADC-AEF, Redding Eagles, Friends of Big Bear Valley, LRWT Manton Bay, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Friends of Big Bear Valley, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.

Wednesday Morning in Bird World

23 March 2022

Many of you have been watching the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida along with me. It is the home of Lena and Andy and their chicks. The oldest sibling, Big Bob, passed away on the 15th of March around 08:39. This was a shock to everyone as all of the osplets appeared to be in good health. Big Bob’s body was take to the University of Georgia at Athens where a necroscopy was undertaken because CROW did not have the sophisticated equipment to conduct the tests. It was originally anticipated that the cause of Big’s death would be know at the end of that week. it has been announced that the tests are now being run by a national laboratory with even more sensitive testing equipment than the UGA Vet School.*

Andy, Lena, and the two remaining chicks are doing very well. Little’s plumage is almost catching up to Middle’s and they are relatively equal in size. Gorgeous Ospreys.

Andy is arriving with a morning Mullet appetizer at 08:14:57.

Look at those beautiful ‘babies’. Middle is on the left and Little is on the right.

Andy is off to get a bigger fish so he can eat the head and have some breakfast, too. He brought in the tiny teaser Mullet in tact. Look at the back plumage. Soon we will have difficulty telling the two chicks apart.

At the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, Arthur flies in to relieve Big Red at 06:40. He already has her breakfast waiting for her and she is off!

Arthur got to incubate their eggs for about forty-minutes before Big Red returned to take over.

Big Bob and Middle Bob had a really good feed yesterday morning at the Dale Hollow Nest. That Coot that filled both of them up to the brim and more was a blessing since it appears that nothing came on the nest but a small unidentified object (rat? small squirrel skin?) later. That said, the camera was diverted to the lake in the early evening. It appears – but I cannot confirm 100% – that River was digging in the nest at the time. It also appears that she found Little Bit’s body and fed it to Big. Again, I cannot confirm that for certain. It was only by going back and slowly moving the feed that we were able to catch the momentary checks on the nest.

Both were very hungry this morning and Big let it be known that whatever was coming in, he ate first. The parent arrived empty taloned.

A little later the parent returned and fed the unidentified object to the right of it above to Big. Middle did not venture up to even sniff the prey knowing that Big is very hungry and not in a good mood.

I will monitor the Dale Hollow nest again before I finish and bring any updates below. I find myself returning to the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Thunder looks on with pride last evening as Akecheta feeds the three eaglets. We are all so proud of how far Akecheta has come – a doting, loving, protective Dad at age six. I also like to point out that the smallest chick on the West End nest is 4 days younger than the oldest. The youngest chick at Dale Hollow was only 3 days younger than the oldest.

This is an amazing image!

The eaglet on the Big Bear Valley nest was left alone this morning as Jackie and Shadow appeared to be on high alert.

While everyone is anxiously awaiting and mapping the return of the UK Ospreys on charts, graphs, and maps, thousands are awaiting the arrival of the oldest female Osprey in the world, Iris, from her winter migration. Her spring and summer home is the Clark-Fork River area of Missoula Montana and her nest is on a platform a parking area of the Riverside Clinic. Workers have been busy putting up fencing so no one will get too close to the nest and frighten Iris away.

At the SWFlorida nest of Harriet and M15, E20 officially fledged yesterday, the 22nd of March.

E20 had fludged after E19 fledged on the 21st. Congratulations to the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest for two successful fledges and a fantastic year. Thank you to the D Pritchett family for caring so much for their eagles and for allowing us to enjoy watching their daily lives.

At the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian, the parents are celebrating the successful hatch of chick # 2 at 08:47 this morning, the 23rd of March. Chick #1 hatched on the 20th.

In the wee hours of the Morning at the WRDC nest in the Miami Zoo, R1 was accidentally pushed off the nest. I have no further news on the status of R1 at this time. Will update later if there is news.

R1 was spotted at the base of the tree. It then flew – yes, flew! – to an adjoining tree! R1 is fine. Not to be left behind, R2 the only eaglet on the nest at 12:30 is appearing to want to join its sibling. Wow. This is all good news!

The surviving oldest eaglet on the Duke Farms nest is continuing to do very well.

Lots of people are busy watching the Sauces Bald Eagle cam hoping for that pip! Jak and Audacity are getting anxious, too!

It was announced that there will be a live chat with Dr. Sharpe today on bald eagles on the islands, restoration, nesting, at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific on the Live Chat Channel https://youtu.be/4nSIhl1fOFk

I want to end this here so that you have an opportunity to know about Dr Sharpe’s talk.

It is 11:37 nest time at Dale Hollow. No prey brought in yet. Middle flapping its wings.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. I will have a late report today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Redding Bald Eagles, Explore.org and the Institute of Wildlife Studies, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Duke Farms, Friends of Big Bear Valley, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, WRDC, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey project, and Dale Hollow Eagles.