Late Wednesday in Bird World

11 May 2022

It is really sad when a ‘bird Mum’ seems to consistently favour one healthy chick over another especially when the eldest has already killed the third hatch. Today, at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, this preference for the dominant one over a healthy chick crying for food was so evident despite Middle making every effort to get around to the beak to eat even after being intimidated. Yes, Middle held back for his own survival. But it is ever so sad. He is a big healthy osplet! A fish came in at 18:24. Big did the dominance stance and Middle pulled back. By the time Middle got around on the rim to Mum’s beak, she had already given Big part of the tail. Big ate the entire fish! At 18:37 Mum find a few little scraps on a bone and gives it to Middle. At 18:38 Middle takes the bone to self feed trying to find any meat no matter how dry to eat. Middle has not had much food today but he has had some. Yesterday he ate well so we are still good.

Middle will be a survivor if he does not fall off or get shoved from the nest – he reminds me so much of Tiny Tot Tumbles at Achieva last year. She dug around in the nest eating very old, very dry leather hard pieces of fish. They kept her alive. She was self-feeding proficiently before the two older siblings. TTT became the dominant bird on the nest and if any of those three chicks were to survive their first year, my money would be on her. In fact, this winter Tiny Tot Tumbles was photographed at least once on the Achieva nest so she is still alive. That is wonderful and it will be the same for Middle. I just wish these osplets were banded.

It is worth noting that Big already had a ‘big’ crop before the last feeding of the day ever took place! There she is in the middle of the nest standing proudly with all the commotion going on around her. Middle is trying to get to the fish.

Sadly, all Big has to do is raise her head and walk towards Middle and he cowers. This behaviour was noted to have changed over the weekend by ‘R’. Prior to Friday, Middle had been getting up to the fish faster and, therefore, getting more food. The assumption is that food was scarce over the weekend when there was a big storm and the camera kept cutting in and out. It is also believed that Big took this out on Middle.

Middle is watching Big and trying to move up to get some food. If Mum would just turn herself 45 degrees both chicks could eat. It is very frustrating.

Mum found a few bites for Middle. Just think. Big ate an entire fish and Middle got a few bites.

Middle is continuing to chew on the fish bone to try and find some food.

Is there enough food coming on the nest for Mum and the two chicks? There was yesterday and with Big having a crop before she ate this entire last fish today, I would say yes. Certainly 50% of the fish could have gone to Big with 25% each to Mum and Middle and everyone would have been fine. It is not a case of everyone starving. It is sad.

This female is not the only one that has favoured one chick over another. I am certain that you can think of several instances if you have been watching streaming bird cams for awhile. One thing I have noticed – at least in Bald Eagles – is that the Dad will often step in and feed the ‘left out’ sibling. I know it sounds crazy but some of those males that are now Dads would have had big sisters who demanded and took everything. Do the males remember?

The two eyases at the CalFalcons scrape do not have the problems Middle has at UFlorida. Alden caught a pigeon today and I am absolutely certain Annie was delighted. Everyone can fill up and there will be leftovers in the pantry.

Precious.

Look at those two. Talk about a different atmosphere in a nest! I will take a falcon any day.

Bursting little crops. These two will cuddle up under Annie and sleep well.

Cal Falcons put this feeding into a short video clip.

So happy to see the promotion of the Peregrine Falcons and their chicks on The Campanile. Anything that will bring awareness to the raptors so that we can help make their lives a little better is welcome – and one way is to educate people.

It is so far, so good at the Manton Bay nest. Both chicks have eaten and it appears that the third chick is hatching. It will be a relief for Mum to be only brooding instead of brooding and incubating. I really hope that chick is doing just fine in the morning – the one that was exposed. It looks good so fingers crossed.

Ferris Akel has a pair of Red-tail Hawks near to where he lives and today he has discovered that Betty and Barney have three chicks!

Two Habours 1 is doing just fine. She looks out on that gorgeous cobalt coloured water that surrounds her nest in the Channel Islands.

The winds are really gusting at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta not far from Chase and Cholyn’s nest at Two Harbours. Let us all hope that the eaglets do not want to stand up and get near that ledge. Hunker down.

There are big storms about and it is very, very gusty at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and E1 Harriet, too.

Harriet has brought in a really nice fish. You can see it in the image above. She is trying to stand in the violent wind gusts and feed Harriet. Sweet. These two are doing well under the circumstances.

We have another storm coming that is predicted to drop 40 mm of rain in a short period of time tomorrow. I wonder if this same system will hit the MN-DNR nest?

Those same winds are blowing at the Osprey platform at the Arboretum on the grounds of the University of Minnesota. The couple have one egg so far. Last year they fledged one chick.

Here is the link to their streaming cam:

The prey that is brought to the urban nests versus those in rural areas can be very different. In New York City, the Red-tail Hawks seem to live on pigeons and rats. Today a rat was delivered to the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco. It makes me nervous. I am very much against the use of rodenticide and when the rodents are slow and easy catches they are often poisoned. The hawks thus die of secondary poisoning. It is tragic and unnecessary!

Fingers Crossed!

All White-bellied Sea Eagle fans should be checking in on the nest around the beginning to mid-June. Lady and Dad have been making nestorations and mating.

Of course, we will also be gearing up for the CBD Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne (late August or September for the cam to return), Xavier and Diamond at their scrape in Orange, and of course, the Ospreys at Port Lincoln. It is mid-May now. Time is passing.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Hopefully we will wake up to three healthy chicks at the Manton Bay platform tomorrow and several more fish for UFlorida-Gainesville! Tomorrow is pip watch for Richmond and Rosie. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, Cal Falcons, Presidio RTH, Ferris Akel, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey Cam, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, and LRWT Manton Bay.