Handsome Ervie, you have come a long way!

Dad brought in two fish to celebrate Ervie’s 4 month birthday on the 16th of January. They were delivered at 18:57 and 20:41. Port Lincoln also gave us some wonderful close up time with the Erv.

From the moment Ervie hatched at 00:51:50 on 16 September 2021, he watched the behaviour of the adults and, in particular, Mum. In the images below, Ervie mimics what Mum did when Dad was bringing in a fish.

I think this is a great image for a fridge magnet.

Ervie sees Dad coming and starts prey calling.

Ervie begins to back up prey calling louder. Have you noticed how the recipient on the nest moves around calling trying to figure out where the adult delivering the fish will land.

Dad lands.

Ervie grabs that precious food.

It isn’t long until Dad comes in with another fish and Ervie repeats his actions.

That was a nice fish and Ervie went to sleep on his birthday with a full tummy.

It was not clear how the third hatch at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge would fare. Sibling #1 Bazza hatched at 22:03 on 13 September and sibling #2 Falky hatched at 02:30 on the 14th. I was particularly worried even though the hatch time difference was only 53 or 54 hours, not 4 or 6 days.

Ervie’s first feeding. He was roughly 5 hours old.

Ervie is a week old. There he is on the left of the trio. You can see that he has a little crop. When Mum finishes he will have a nice one. By the time Ervie was a week old, a lot of the thunder had been taken out of Bazza and he was not attacking Ervie so much. Ervie was also becoming very clever.

The following day Ervie and Mum took advantage of Bazza and Falky sleeping and Mum filled Ervie to the brim! The parents really were amazing at bringing in food and helping Ervie that first week or so.

Ervie learned how to stretch his long neck to get the food from Mum’s beak. He is 9 days old and he is losing his soft down. You can easily distinguish who is who because of the plumage. Bazza and Falky are getting the copper red feathering on the back of their heads and neck. There are a few sprinkles of copper red on the back of Ervie just coming in.

Ervie is 25 days old in this image. Look at that crop. Ervie always loved his fish – he still does! – and he had figured out how to survive around Bazza. Most of you will remember Ervie demanding to be right up at Mum’s beak. We were no longer worried about Ervie! Indeed, Ervie will become the dominant bird on the nest. Well done little third hatch!

Other Bird World News: The second egg at Berry College appears to be coming along for a hatch. B15 is crying for food but it is raining so hard that Missy cannot risk feeding it and having it chill. Last night the nest got some icy snow and the temperature remains unseasonably low at -16 C or 3 degrees F. To put that in some perspective it is only -5 C in Winnipeg at the same time. I have concerns for this nest. The weather does not appear that it will improve for several days. I feel really sorry for this family. I hope there is a break so that B15 can have some fish.

Both R1 and R2 have eaten well at the WRDC nest in Miami-Dade County. No signs of any effects of rodenticide! That is wonderful. However, they are under a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch until 15:00. In fact, the nest is right in the centre of the storm area. The nest is really beginning to rock and roll. Hang on little ones!

If you want to check in on the eaglets periodically to see how they are doing, here is the link to the streaming cam:

Everything is fine at the KNF nest. Louis continues to fill the pantry and the little eaglet and Mum continue to eat well.

Send all your positive wishes and energy to the Berry College Nest and the WRDC. They are going to have a tough time of it for awhile. We are on egg watch at Duke Farms.

Thank you for joining me today. It is always my pleasure to write about Ervie! Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, KNF, and Berry College Bald Eagle Cam.

Thursday in Bird World

I genuinely hope that the Bird World community does not have a fright like it did this morning when Gabby had not returned to relieve Samson of incubation duties for nearly 24 hours. Samson seemed nonplused by it all and maybe he knew where Gabby was. She has been known to disappear for a bit in the past but it seems unusual rip before pip. At any rate, all is well at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest outside of Jacksonville, Florida.

A video has been posted of an intruder chase at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest around the time that Gabby returned to the nest at 11:53. It would, thus, appear, as I thought, that her absence was based on a territorial issue rather than one of her ‘disappearing’.

B15 hatched this morning at 07:57 at Berry College. Everyone thought Missy might not ‘know to feed it’. She was up eating and looked over several times to see if its head was up and beak open. She knows what to do! Like the KNF eaglet, this little one is pooped from hatching.

B15 is a real little cutie! It looks very strong.

I sure wish Missey had gotten rid of those egg shells when B15 hatched. You will note that one has slipped over the end of the second egg. Hopefully this will not cause B16 trouble when hatching!

B15 looks so tiny compared to Harriet and Mitch’s eaglets at the Hilton Head Island Trust Bald Eagle Nest. Their feathers are starting to come in. Poor things. They are always preening and we think that they must be itchy.

I think this is a new take on ‘Sleeping with the Fishes’. Ron has been keeping the nest full of fish for Rita and the babies. He can often be seen feeding the little ones himself. They are doing nicely and this human-made nest seems to be working out well. Perhaps this design will be needed in areas that lose trees in big storms or fires.

The two of them are adorable. They scoot around all over the nest.

Bingo! Anna and the baby finally got feeding worked out. The little eaglet is going to have a nice crop. Louis is already beginning to fill the nest up with big fish.

I love seeing Louis and Anna on the nest. Look at that nice Pike that Louis brought in for lunch! And there is the little one with its crop holding its head up pretty good. It was so full it just fell over into food coma.

Louis has brought in more fish! No shortage of things for the family to eat. Louis is one of the most enthusiastic fisher-dads I have ever seen.

Anna and the yet to be named baby eaglet have figured all of this out! Just look there is a little tail!

This eaglet is seriously cute. The Rangers are looking for a name. Anyone can send in a suggestion. It should be gender neutral. Send name in an e-mail to: nameknfeagle@gmail.com Send it by 30 January.

You can see the tail and the strong wings below. Oh, adorable. This eaglet is going to be like Kisatchie – there were days you would think s/he was going to pop they had been fed so much. Anna is the kind of Mum that wants you to ‘take just one more bite, pleaseeeee’.

Just doing a quick check on the Port Lincoln Lads. Ervie was, of course, on the nest last night and Mum brought him a fish before bedtime. There are fewer and fewer fish deliveries indicating that the parents want all the boys to be out fishing themselves.

At 07:33:57, someone did, however, deliver Ervie a nice big chunk of fish!

Ervie has the fish.

That fish is under his talents but he is still mantling and flapping and prey calling. Just eat and enjoy it, Ervie.

An hour later Ervie is still eating his fish. His ‘gas tank’ is full!

I have been thinking about Ervie a lot. I have to tell a story to make my point. Years ago we had a black and white cat called Melvin. It was a time when cats could be outside where I live. Melvin loved nothing more than to roll in the dirt! He was always dusty. One day, when he was 2 years old, he disappeared. We looked and called but, nothing. Four days later Melvin was at the door crying to get in. We noticed some strange marks on his paws. It looked like thin wire had worn the fur off and there were a couple of holes. Had he gotten caught in a barbed wire fence? The result of his misadventure was real trauma. Melvin hid in the bedroom and walk-in closet. He rarely came out into the other areas of the house. When we had our cat sitter, Heather, she would take a flashlight to check he was OK under the bed and put his food there. Over the decade she helped us, she never actually saw Melvin, not once, just his eyes. Melvin lived 15 years in hiding, more or less. He would come out with us but no one else. While we will never know what happened to him, that event changed his life. This brings me to Ervie. If you remember, Ervie was the one going everywhere and being independent. It was Bazza on the nest. Then Ervie was away flying south of Port Lincoln. He has not left the nest since except to chase Falky. His behaviour has changed dramatically. Did he try to catch a fish and couldn’t get out of the water easily? We will never know what he experienced. I hope to goodness I am wrong about something traumatic happening to Ervie. He is clearly the dominant bird but why isn’t he out exploring?

The Audubon Society has announced today that the Migratory Bird Act has been brought back and will be strengthened in the US. Here is that information.

And, last but never least, the Kakapo Recovery. Today’s report on the breeding attempts and eggs. This is great news coming out of New Zealand.

It’s an exciting time full of ups and downs. We are on pip watch for Captiva and NEFlorida and with two recent hatches at Berry and KNF – well, it is difficult to keep track of all of them! I am really pleased at Anna and the eaglet getting the feedings worked out. It is all good down in Louisiana. I look forward to tomorrow. Think about a name for this cute eaglet and send it off!

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Berry College, Kakapo Recovery, Port Lincoln Ospreys, WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, and Hilton Head Island Trust.

KNF has a hatch

There are 57 European Starlings in my garden this morning. They are very skittery. Normally there are only 28. It is -12 and they are swooping down to get the chopped peanuts and sunflower seeds on the edge of the deck. They have already emptied the feeders. It is 10:49! They did that in less than two hours. Crazy.

The Starlings and Sparrows try – as hard as they can – to get those whole peanuts out but, they can’t. The peanuts go over in a box for little red and the little feeder gets full of meal worms, butter bark, and chopped peanuts. Often the Starlings will share a branch with the Sparrows so that all can eat.

The Black-capped Chickadee was all puffed up. It is fascinating how they take one tiny seed, fly to crack it and then return for another. We have one chickadee that always comes to the garden. On occasion, it will bring a couple of friends.

A few of us could not sleep last night and got up to wait for Anna and Louis’s little one to finish hatching. Cody and Steve had put a microphone inside the nest and you could hear the baby cheeping. It was soooo cute. Anna called Louis to show him their baby around 12:32. Everyone melted. It is incredible to be able to see this type of tenderness between Bald Eagles.

Louis wants to get closer and have a good look at the little fluff ball.

The rangers at the KNF nest believe that the little one was fully hatched at 00:17:00 on 12 January.

The lads at KNF spent a great effort getting that audio situated just right so, yes, please turn it up!

Here is the video of that hatch.

This is the wee one this morning. So soft! So fragile.

Anna will keep that baby nice and warm.

This is a very healthy and very tired eaglet. It worked really hard to get through that membrane and crushed egg. The fluids inside the egg provide the food for the eaglet so that it does not have to eat right away. Mother Nature is great – she compensated by giving it food because hatch is so tiring. Despite Louis’s enthusiasm for bringing in fish, this little one might not be interested in eating until late this evening.

Other Bird News:

There is no pip at Captiva Bald Eagle Nest yet. We might be waiting for two more days. Today is Day 38 and Connie’s eggs normally hatch around Day 40. Pa Berry and Missey are not giving anything away so it is unclear if there is a pip at Berry College. Ervie continues to chase Falky off the Port Lincoln Barge in Australia. Ervie was in the nest and Mum, Dad, and Falky were on the ropes. No sign of Bazza since Sunday. That statement does not imply anything sinister. He could be off camera or he might have decided it was time to leave on his journey to find a territory for himself — before his two brothers. That could be a very smart idea. I am pretty certain that Ervie will want the best spot!

R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest are really doing well and becoming more and more curious. They peak out to the rest of the world. These two of Ron and Rita’s seem to love to scramble out of that nest cup! If you don’t see parents right on the nest do not worry. They will definitely be close by!

They are just darlings. It looks like fish has been on the menu this morning.

Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 are changing so quickly from the fuzzy little balls like the KNF eaglet to getting feathers. You can see the flight feathers coming in on the wing in the picture below. Look at those feet and the little tiny tails. They grow too fast!!!!!

The Hilton Head pair are also interested in what is going on outside their world. That low nest wall really makes me nervous. They are getting ‘long and lanky’ like E19 and E20 and soon we will be able to see their pinfeathers coming in clearly. Like the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, Harriet and Mitch will be somewhere close by to their babies. No worries!

Oh, it is so nice that that little one of Anna and Louis arrived safe. What a relief when they finally make it into the world.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is so nice to have you with me today. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Hilton Head Island Trust, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest.

Saturday in Bird World

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you will know that I am tracking the Port Lincoln Osprey lads in terms of ‘who is on the nest’. Ervie and Falky have been alternating. Ervie spent the afternoon and evening and slept on the nest. He is on there right now.

Ervie is fish calling to Dad.

Bazza has been shut out and yesterday he attacked Ervie when Ervie was on the nest. If you missed it, here is that dust up.

We are on hatch watch this weekend for three Bald Eagle nests. That is Captiva, Kistachie National Forest, and Berry College. The eggs for both Captiva and KNF were laid on 4 Dec and 7 December. One of the KNF eggs was broken. Eggs at Berry College were laid on 5 Dec and 8 December. You might remember that it was the female at Berry College, Missey, that survived that horrific hail and wind storm. I hope those eggs are alright. This is a new female for Pa Berry – their second season together. If you were a fan of Ma Berry, she was seen having a spa day at the end of January 2021. Yes, birds do get divorces.

This is the Kisatchie National Forest nest of Anna and Louis. Anna is incubating now.

Here is the link to the KNF Bald Eagle Nest.

This is the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest.

Here is the link to the Berry College streaming cam:

https://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/

This is the link to the Captiva Nest. This is Connie and Clive. I hope that they have a very successful year. This is probably the most narrow Bald Eagle Nest in the world!

R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest are doing just fine. Rita did some clearing of the nest yesterday and some new grasses were brought in. The nest looked amazing but after several hours, little eaglets wandering around and food can cause it to look messy again. Rita used the grass to go to the edges and sticks are still being brought in to this new human made nest for the sides.

Little eaglets full to the brim. The weather is good. It is 24 degrees. They do not need Rita to brood them in that temperature.

Ferris Akel is streaming live as I type. I love to lurk because he finds some amazing birds on his Saturday tours of the Finger Lakes area of Upper New York State. So far today there have been lots of hawks – Northern Harriers and Red Tails. The Harriers are really difficult to photograph.

The Ducks below are American Black Ducks, females. They might look like Mallards but their bill is tinged more green than the orange of the Mallard and their feathers are darker. They are virtually the same size and shape of a Mallard.

This is a female Hooded Meganser looking for food – going in and out of the water flapping her wings.

There you can get a good look. This looks to me like a first year female. Mergansers like to live in forested swamps but today they are in the wetlands. They nest in tree cavities and will also use nest boxes, unlike our favourite little duck, Daisy! They winter in the estuaries and creeks in the eastern United States and along the Mississippi Flyway.

Ferris found a Red-tail hawk hoping to find some lunch. Many of the Red-tail Hawks around the area of Ithaca do not migrate but remain in the region because the winters are not too harsh and there is plenty of prey. Indeed, the one thing that does determine over winter areas is the availability of food.

There continue to be lots of Canada Geese in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

Today, there were also some swans.

Swans feed by submerging their heads into the vegetation below the surface of the water.

These are young Tundra Swans with an adult. The Tundra Swans are smaller than the Trumpeter.

Aren’t they beautiful? We have so many waterfowl in Canada but it was not until Daisy the Duck in Australia that I really began to appreciate the ones around me.

There were also Mallards and Redheads mixed in with the Tundra Swans who are searching for vegetation to eat.

Just look at all of the Redheads!

The GHOWs are becoming a real problem for the health of the Bald Eagles. There was another owl strike at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Harriet and M15. Lady Hawk has it on video. Additionally, there are GHOWs attempting to take over the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest of Harry and Nancy, the Savannah Osprey Nest, and, as we know, a GHOW named Bonnie and Clyde took over the nest of a young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas last year and raised two owlets to fledge.

I am beginning to not like GHOWs at all!

The temperatures on the Canadian Prairies warmed up and we got more snow! It can stop now. The birds have already been fed and it looks like a great day to stay in and read and watch for those pips.

Over the past month I have become very fond of DanniConnorWild. She is a young wildlife photographer who has taken up residence in Northern Sweden. She is living her dream. That is fantastic! She is very keen on squirrels. Indeed, the squirrels in this video are eating spruce cones. I have never seen this. She is earning a living through her videos and photographs so there are ads but, just don’t mind those. I am posting her video from the end of the year that includes squirrels, Reindeer, and beautiful Northern Lights in case you want to have a look.

Thank you for joining me today. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ferris Akel Tours, Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Bald Eagle Cam, Berry College Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Cam.