Late Wednesday in Bird World

18 May 2022

It is nothing short of rainy and freezing on the Canadian Prairies. The furnace is on. Outside people have a heavy coat on and hat. I am beginning to believe that we really could have snow in a couple of days.

Little Red. 15 February 2022

The garden/shed is no longer. It was built in 1902 on the property next door. In the 1940s it was moved to my property. Since I dream of living up on the Cape in the dunes with the Ospreys and the sand, everything was covered with cedar shakes. A cottage in an urban environment. I think I miss the shed as much as Little Red does already. 😦

The Dutch designed and built Red Squirrel House arrived today – thank you DHL. Now to put it up and see if Little Red will accept the new accommodation. He has been stressed out and upset and he might well just go elsewhere. I just hope not in anyone’s attic!!!!

Prairie people dream of sand and water!

Beach Scene 7277” by Joanna Lee Osborn is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

One of my favourite beaches is Lunan Bay. It is just north of Arbroath, Scotland. Idyllic. Ospreys near by but not here at the beach.

If you want to read something other than factual books about Osprey development, I recommend both of David Gessner’s books. They evoke that beautiful New England coast. The first is Soaring with Fidel written when putting satellite trackers on Ospreys was novel. Gessner follows a bird – at first in an attempt to beat a BBC crew doing a documentary – and then was his own journey all the way to the mountains of Cuba where Ospreys fly in huge groups overhead as they fly to Venezula and Brazil. You will want to travel the same route – Gessner has a way of sucking you in to everything he does delightfully. The second is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I do have a date with an Osprey and I will either be in Cuba on those mountains this September or next! Hidden within the pages of Gessner’s text is all kinds of information on Ospreys, too.

17 at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest has not had any food and unless something comes in late, it will go hungry. 17 had a full crop last night but to grow this wee one needs food and lots of it. The other two are levelling off. Surely something will happen and turn this nest around! I just ache for this hungry little one. If falcons and hawks can manage five nestlings, what happened with the eagles. Why can’t they get enough food for all of them?

Mid-afternoon saw more fish arrive at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Both Big and Middle are sporting nice big crops. Talk about a nest that has turned around. I really wonder what is going on there??? If Dad does have two nests does he alternate weeks – one week one gets little while the other gets a lot and vice versa? [I am not saying he has two nests but it is certainly a theory]. It has been a good week and I will take it. Middle is doing fine. Both are fine.

Middle has big droopy wings now. He was so hot today. Good thing there was fish!

Say hello to RR16, Richmond and Rosie’s wee little one hardly a day old. Cute.

Did DH14 fledge? or is Big just up higher on the nest tree? Three or four fish have been delivered to the nest today! Middle seems to be giving away the hide-and-seek secret hiding spot. Fantastic.

More fish. Middle has an enormous crop after River feeding. I do wonder about Big. She always likes her fish.

There was some concern about the weather plowing through northern Minnesota. I just checked and the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest is alright as is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey nest where Mum is incubating two eggs.

Top is E1, Harriet, on the MN-DNR nest waiting for Mum Nancy to bring some more dinner!

Right by a field! There are two eggs being incubated at the Osprey nest below.

Aren’t they adorable? Can you see their ears? Those black mole-like dots behind the eye and a little down? Those will be covered with feathers soon. When you look at this group and want to place them in order of hatch, look at feather development, not size. Then you will always get it right.

From left to right, L1, L4 (always in front near the beak), L3, and then L2. It could be the camera angle but it might not. L3 looks larger than L2. I guess we will continue to watch and guess – boys or girls. L4 is definitely a little tiercel. And L1 is too much of a big Mama not be another Big Red. The world could use lots of good hawk mothers like BR.

The two chicks of Annie, Grinnell, and Alden are losing that ‘cute’ little newly hatched look. Feathers are coming in. They are getting taller and thinner. Annie spent time today trying to keep the two shaded. It must be hot in San Francisco. Oh, they are adorable. We could be only a week away from ringing them! And names…yes, names. Of course, one has to be Grinnell, right? I mean how could it not be Grinnell?

I would say they are hot!!!!!! I wonder if there is a bit of a breeze coming in from outside? It looks like they have been doing some egg painting.

Cal Falcons posted some information and two images of Alden taken by Moon Rabbit Rising. Check out her Instagram page for more images.

It is happening. Blue 33 and Maya were the first to arrive and lay eggs in the UK. Now we are getting into the next group of Ospreys. I know that there are quite a number together with Mrs G and Aran bringing up the end of hatch.

Right now there is a really nice pip at the nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes!

Everything is fine at the Rutland nest of Maya and Blue 33. The kids eat, sleep, grow, eat some more. Maya is like Big Red. No one goes hungry at her house!

Thanks to ‘B’ who wrote and said Ervie is on the nest. I went and had a good look. Ervie arrived in the wee hours of the morning and slept on the perch flying down to the nest. He flew off and got a puffer. And it appears his talon is starting to grow in.

You can still see Ervie on re-wind on the PLO streaming cam. What a treat. Two days in a row. Thanks so much B from all of us!

You can see the talon just starting to grow.

Every nest seems to be doing fine except for ND-LEEF which has risen to the level of worrisome. If I say this and if everyone sends really positive energy over their way, maybe things will change for the good. As I look at Maya feeding the three Bobs, I sit in wonder. Big Bob survived the fish but I surely thought that Middle Bob was a goner – exposed to rain and the cool weather for 5 or 6 hours til Maya got the fish off and him under her. All three of them are alive and thriving. It is just such a happy positive sight. I wish all of the nests were like this one. We need a miracle for ND-LEEF. Let us all hope for it!

It has been a super long day. I have a few last images for you. I put out a new seed cylinder – they do really well for the garden birds when it is raining. Guess who found it in seconds? Dyson!!!!!!!!

The Baltimore Orioles are still visiting. In the chaos today I did manage to get to the birdseed store to get some White Millet. The place was packed with people purchasing special feeders for Baltimore Orioles. Yes, they are cute. Do you need them? No. A dish of any kind of jelly (not just grape) and orange slices set on something are absolutely fine.

This fellow has been eating oranges and Danish orange marmalade.

Thank you so much for joining me this evening. When I get Little Red’s house fixed, I will show you. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, ND-LEEF, MN-DNR, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

The Joy of the Birds and Squirrels

The National Post recently ran an article about birds making people as happy as money. Personally, I think they make me happier!

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/birds-make-you-as-happy-as-money-study-finds?fbclid=IwAR0ZNxXT4gK7XqoPkB8j75KVj0VZmd-48N4zu-yQFtZbxng-rzEE13ECdwI

When the article made its way to FB, one person commented that birds make her “happier than most people do”. I giggled. Yes, that can certainly be the case! I know from the comments sent to me by each of you – either as a formal comment or a private e-mail – that since the pandemic began, the birds have really been the life line for many of you. I know a dear woman who has been quite ill who kept her focus and her fantastic disposition by watching the White-Bellied Sea Eagles. Many of you might remember, if you followed the FB of the Royal Cam Albatross, that a woman who was in hospice found solace in watching Pippa being raised by OGK and YRK. It removed her from herself and her imminent death. The birds brought her both joy and comfort. She loved that little fluff ball.

I am lucky. Every day I wake up and feel blessed. I taught my last face-to-face university class on 11 December 2019. Two days later, in celebration of my retirement, I went to Quebec City and spent a glorious time exploring the most European of all Canada’s large cities. It was only a few weeks after my return that my son alerted me to ‘something happening’ and I needed to stay home. It was not a hardship. My daughter was the one carrying the burden and my granddaughter. My daughter juggled teaching full time with alternating between virtual classes and face to face ones while trying to raise a family. My granddaughter worked with the homeless addicts in our downtown core in the depths of winter. I had it easy. I fed and watched my garden birds and animals as I had done for years. I began a blog to share that joy with others. At the same time, I hoped, now and again, to raise awareness of the challenges that the birds and other wildlife face on our planet. They have given me so much and hopefully, in a small way, I can give something to them.

There are three grey Squirrels that live in my garden. Some of you know their antics. There is Dyson who is always thinking about food. There is Scraggles whose tail is forever being torn off by one thing or another. Scraggles appeared emaciated on the deck several years ago. He sat right by a huge pile of black oil seed and water and ate til I didn’t think he could eat another seed. Every day he would come and sit in the same place. It took about 3 weeks to a month and he was back to something that resembled a healthy squirrel. There is a third, much larger grey squirrel who is always somewhere in the garden. Dyson and Scraggles seem to ignore it and like to be with one another. I think they are siblings. They live in a hole in the big Maple Tree in front of my house. Thankfully, it was not one cut down by my City because Mr and Mrs Woodpecker live in that tree, too!

Yesterday, I took the very bottom slice of the compressed seed cylinder and stuck it on a very short twig. I knew one of the squirrels would find it.

Scraggles has it! But Dyson is hot on his trail.

Scraggles has the lead. In the image below it is hard to tell who has the seed. Dyson has little fur tufts sticking up from his longer ears along with a longer tail with more silver in it.

It was only minutes later and I spotted Scraggles sitting on a tree branch. The piece of compressed seed no where to be seen. Did he drop it trying to get it up the big Maple Tree? or did Dyson catch up with him and grab it? Dyson was no where in sight.

There is lots of food for all the squirrels. Dyson is a ‘pro’ at sitting on top of the compressed suet cylinders chomping away.

In fact, I have an image of Dyson, two days ago, eating from that very piece of compressed seed that Scraggles grabbed today. I am certain that they will both be working on those two new cylinders when dawn breaks tomorrow.

Indeed, our warm weather has brought them out running freely in the garden and at the park where I go for my daily walks. When I left for my walk, there were tiny flakes of snow. By the time I finished, it was raining and +3. Just last week we were -35. It must really be hard on the animals with the temperatures flopping back and forth. There is more snow scheduled for tomorrow.

My images of the little Red Squirrel at the park are not very good. He was a distance away. A lady with her dog were approaching the squirrel on the snow. It got frightened and moved like a squeaky toy over to a hole in the snow where it disappeared.

There seemed to be squirrels everywhere today – Red ones and Grey ones.

The fur on the Grey Squirrel in the images below is very, very thick. The colours offer perfect camouflage.

I noticed that someone had left some peanuts at various spots in the snow around the flower garden where I spend my time walking. I think he had one of those. It must taste yummy on a damp day.

The Red Squirrels at the park have the most beautiful fur. They are different than Little Red who lives in my garden. These have grey underneath, a stunning coppery red on their back with a black tipped tail and ears.

The planters are all empty waiting for spring to arrive.

It is so quiet. A great place to go for a daily walk.

Scattered about are sculptures by Leonid Molodozhanyn (shortened to Leo Mol). Mol was born in the Ukraine. He studied art at the Leningrad Academy of Arts, the Berlin Kunst Academy, and the Academy of Arts in the Hague. He immigrated to Canada in 1948. He died in 2009 donating all of his bronze sculptures to the park. The intent was to create a place of quiet solitude. The trail winding through the gardens and sculptures is 1.0 km long – a perfect length for a nice brisk walk or a quiet stroll.

It is wonderful to be able to go out in a safe place and breathe in the fresh air and listen to all the chattering of the squirrels. The Cooper’s Hawks will arrive in April building their nest in the Spruce Tree along the walking paths. Eventually the juveniles will be jumping around all under these trees and around the bear sculpture looking for bugs. It is a delightful place. I hope that each of you has a place that is peaceful and serene where you can go and walk or sit or even read a book and sip some tea.

Thank you for joining me today. The news is so often full of the negative and sometimes we just need to stop and be grateful for what we have. Every day I thank the garden animals, the ones at the park, and those I see on the screen for the joy that they bring!

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Friday in Bird World

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

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

Red comes and goes dozens of times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rt LincoPort

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the link to the Allen Bird Cam:

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

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

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

Squirrel Appreciation Day

In 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina. It was to be a day for creating a loving environment for our furry tailed friends by setting out food and water for them. Hargrove encouraged people to allow the squirrels to eat at the bird feeders without chasing them away. This wildlife specialist knew that the existence of squirrels both in urban and urban areas is beneficial to everyone and they should not be seen as rodents that cause disease. Not only do they bring us joy as we watch them but they are busy planting seeds which eventually will grow into trees. Hargrove said that squirrels are “natures gardeners”! They actually know to plant the seeds in the brambles where the young trees can grow undisturbed until they are strong – a fact known in the rewilding communities of the UK.

There are huge challenges for squirrels in an urban setting. At present, our City is removing old trees – trees planted more than 125 years ago that are not only home to many birds but also provide nuts and seeds for the squirrels. This is especially true of the Maple trees in my neighbourhood planted in 1902.

Dyson, Little Red and all the gang hope that everyone will be kind to all the squirrels especially as people continue to take over their habitat removing their food sources. Every Day, according to Dyson, is a day to celebrate how much joy (and bother) he brings to me.

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day from Little Red and Dyson!

Dyson has his full winter coat and he is happy that the cage holding the suet has been removed so he can ‘sleep and eat’ on his favourite seed cylinder!

In this photo, Dyson’s fur is starting to get thick.

Dyson was slim and trim in the summer. Notice how his fur gets thicker as winter cold creeps in.

It’s three for Ron and Rita and other news from Bird World

Ron and Rita welcomed R3 early this morning. It appears that R3 hatched around 07:58. Notice also how Rita puts her beak at the tip of R1’s beak when it is wanting to peck R2. Very interesting.

Here is a very short video of R3 hatching.

R3 is officially fully hatched at 10:32:01.

Rita is now showing us anything as R1 and R2 look outside the nest cup.

That nest cup is very small. Fingers crossed for this little one to catch up and the older siblings to be kind. There is lots of food and experienced parents.

Congratulations Rita! (and Ron)

I have yet to see Daisy the Duck return to the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her and her mate came to check it again on New Year’s Day. The Ring-tailed Possum still has its own nest amidst the twigs that have been added to this enormous structure over the years. It was running up and down around the tree last night.

It is hard to see it but if you look at the left side of the ‘V’ branch, it is running down to the bottom of the V and on the nest image, it is running up the other side.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Lads must have a pact. Each one of them gets to spend an entire day on the nest! First it was Bazza, then Falky came the other day, and now it is Ervie’s turn again! Ervie flew in with a piece of fish yesterday and it is believed that he must have caught it himself. However, later, he also received a fish from Dad, the last fish of the day. They have also been diving off the barge – Falky is very good at this and it is wonderful to see them figure out how to fish. We most often do not get this opportunity.

There is Ervie protecting his fish on the nest from any siblings that think they will fly in and grab it.

Falky and Bazza are leaving Ervie alone to enjoy his dinner.

And perhaps by prior arrangement or reservation, Ervie gets to sleep on the nest alone. So when we see that one of them is staying by themselves all day on the nest, we will not worry about them. It looks like they are taking reservations for occupancy! What characters these three boys are.

There are so many things that humans use for one thing that wind up harming anyone that comes near them. Today, let’s look at ‘sticky paper’. Strands of sticky paper used to be common where I live to catch mosquitoes and flies. In France they are still used to catch birds! What horror and today there are used to catch mice and rats. Any bird or animal that gets near this gooey paper will be harmed. This was posted by CROW. The last sentence is not there but they suggest calling your local wildlife rehabber. Do not try to do anything yourself.

The wee ones at Hilton Head are still small and fuzzy but E19 and E20 are growing fast. Today, they are out of the nest cup and sleeping with their head on the sides of the nest. This is a major change for these two. Their pin feathers are also coming in and we can see their little tails starting to grow as their wings get bigger and bigger.

Another possum was just brought on deck for dinner along with the remains of yesterday’s two fish.

Eating and growing make for one very tired E19.

An earlier feeding of fish.

All is well at Harriet and M15’s. The beaking has really slowed down. Let’s hope it stays that way!

We are on egg watch at Big Bear for Jackie and Shadow.

Here is the link to the camera of this favourite Bald Eagle couple. We wish them the best of luck as they struggle to have nestlings up in northern California. It is perhaps the lingering DDT in the area that continually causes the shells of their eggs to be thin or the eggs to be unviable. But, let’s start 2022 off with all your warm wishes. I hope this is their year – they are so dedicated to one another.

Pip watch for those followers of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest this weekend. Hoping that this year is better for Mum Connie and her new partner, Clive. Connie lost both of her chicks to rodenticide secondary poisoning last year. They were Hope and Peace. It was tragic. And, of course, rodenticide, like sticky paper, needs to be banned. Raptors and Cats are the answer to getting rid of rodents.

Here is the link to the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam:

I am trying to find streaming cams for raptors in Japan. In my quest to find a raptor cam in Japan for one of your fellow readers, I have found squirrel cams, monkey cams, cams for traffic and temples, cooking, etc. But I have yet to find a mention of a raptor cam. I will continue my quest but if any of you know of one, please let me know so we can all enjoy. Thank you so much!

The squirrels are adorable!

And the most incredible monkeys and deer but no raptors! This is Awaji Island.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many people, from all of the world, that love the raptors – and all the birds and animals. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CROW FB page, Awaji Island Monkey Center, and Yatsugatake Today.

Sunday in Bird World

Hi Everyone!

It is another cold day on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starlings were sitting on the tips of the Lilac branches on a bright sunny morning. It is -30. Notice how blue the sky is on a cold, cold day.

The Starlings puff up all their feathers. They seem more interested in sunning themselves than eating today.

Little Red was leaping from the fence to the feeders and back again, collecting nuts as quick as he could. It looks like Dyson & Co have decided to hibernate during this week or two of extreme weather. I do not blame them!

M15 found a possum that had been killed on the road and brought it to the nest in Fort Myers. That is one of the ways that Eagles get killed – removing carrion from the roads and taking it to the nest OR sitting on the road and eating the prey item. Our wildlife rehabbers suggest carrying a shovel in your car and stopping and removing dead animals from the road and placing them way back in the ditch. It will certainly help all the raptors.

In a late Sunday afternoon feeding, E20 got smart for a bit and stood behind E19 when Harriet got up to feed them.

If you are wondering which one is which, it is easy to identify them. Currently, E19 has a bit of PS and food on its back and it is slightly bigger. E19 is in front. E20 is a fluffy clean white ball. A sweetie.

So far their eyes are looking great. No sign of any infection.

The other day when E20 climbed out of the nest cup for a feeding, it was too close to Harriet’s beak making it difficult for her to feed it. By standing behind E19, E20 is at the right place for food and away from E19’s beak. So the first bites go to E20.

The next bite goes to E19. Harriet is such a good mother. There should never been any feelings of food insecurity on this nest.

Adorable.

I was a bit shocked to see an individual on the FB group of the SWFlorida Eaglets write expecting E19 to kill E20. Siblicide in Bald Eagles is very rare. I include below some information from a study. You will see that storms cause more deaths. There has never been a death due to siblicide on this nest in SWFlorida. Everyone can rest easy.

From the researcher in Maine:

“I studied 62 webcam Bald Eagle nests with direct observations of the nest bowl recorded over a period of up to 8 years. The total number of nest seasons was 240. Of that number, there were 91 with just one hatch or none, 105 nestings with 2 hatches, 42 with 3 hatches and 2 with 4 hatches. (These are all direct observations of egg-laying, hatch, eaglet development and fledge.)

Of the 105 nestings with 2 hatches, both eaglets successfully fledged 77 times (73%), 1 eaglet fledged and 1 died 22 times (21%), and both died 6 times (6%). Of the 34 who died, the cause of death was parent neglect (6), killed by intruder (4), storm (4), failed in the first day or two (3), accident (5), illness (1), unknown (7), possible siblicide (1), and known siblicide (3). Based on these figures (including the possible siblicide), the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 2 eaglets is 3.8%.

Of the 42 nestings with 3 hatches, all 3 eaglets fledged 35 times (83%), 2 fledged and 1 died 3 times (7%), 1 fledged and 2 died 2 times (5%), and all three died 2 times (5%). Of the 13 who died, the cause of death was storm (eight), poison (2), accident (1), unknown (1), and siblicide (1). Based on these figures, the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 3 siblings is 2%.

Of the 2 nestings with 4 hatches, all 4 eaglets successfully fledged on one, and 2 on the other. The cause of death of the 2 who died was storm (1), died in the first day or so (1).

The known incidence of siblicide on these 62 random nests of 396 hatched eaglets was 4 eaglets, 3 of whom were from the same nest in Maine, and all were attributed to lack of food and/or parent neglect. That’s 1%. It would be less than 0.3% if I discounted that one nest in Maine.”

That should put everyone’s mind to rest when they are watching the Bald Eagle nests.

And as I close, E20 is eating again and E19 is looking at something else. It was a good feeding!

Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Australian Sea Eagles, did not return to their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park after having been harassed by both the Currawong and the BooBook Owls the previous night.

It has been confirmed that there are boxes for ducks at the Duck Pond but our Daisy seems to prefer nests to them. Let us all hope she changes her mind.

Samson is giving Gabby a break at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam near Jacksonville. He is incubating NE26 and 27. (Legacy was NE24 and the unviable egg was considered NE25). We will be on hatch watch in about 12 days. How wonderful.

It is an interesting morning at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. Ervie is the one who has been on the nest and who is prey calling – very loudly.

Falky has landed on the nearby ropes and is hoping for a chance at the breakfast fish this morning, too. I wonder how much fishing Ervie is actually doing??? He has been sitting on that nest a long time prey crying instead of fishing….

The other Bald Eagle nest that currently has two little eaglets is Hilton Head. The eaglets are doing fine. I will include the link to the camera since they are not on YouTube. They are adorable and I urge you to stop in and have a look. There is no rewind function, however!

The link to the camera is here:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/hilton-head-land-trust-eagles

Someone asked me what nest I am looking forward to the most in 2022. That is a real hard one! In the United States, it would have to be Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks at Cornell University. Here are K1 and K2 from last spring’s nest. K3 will hatch the day after. They are just super parents. Big Red will be laying her eggs in March.

Unlike Bald Eagles who hatch with grey soft natal down, Red-tail Hawks have the most beautiful soft white down and white spikey hair on the top of their heads! They melt my heart instantly.

5 May 2021. K1 and K2.

I love Peregrine Falcons so Annie and Grinnell will be at the top of my list and as for Osprey Nests in the US, you can’t get better than Richmond and Rosie out in California. I try to keep track of several Osprey nests in the UK, the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia, and for this year, the Osprey nests in Finland. Then there is the Black Kite Nest in a Taipei Cemetery. That should keep me out of trouble!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Happiest of Holidays to each of you

We live in what is defined as ‘downtown’ and yet, my garden is full of life. Four households have created a bit of a corridor for all the birds and animals so that they can wander from garden to garden. As a result, we support more than 350 birds daily along with the various squirrels that live on each of our individual lots. There is the occasional racoon that wanders over from the river and once a peacock fleeing from the zoo found its way to the top of my neighbour’s roof. I am grateful every day to have these fabulous creatures in my life and I feel privileged to be able to care for them in some small way. I am also grateful to each one of you for the love and joy you have shared with all of the birds this year, for the nights when we should have been asleep but were up watching a nest with anticipation or worry, or for the times when we all collectively grieved.

There was soft gentle snow dancing around Little Red. He is anxiously awaiting his Christmas Eve bowl of mixed nuts. This tradition began many years ago when my dear neighbours brought over a container of non-salted cashews for him. I don’t imagine Little Red has any idea that those nuts are a small reward for all the joy and laughter he has brought us through the year.

Dyson & Co have been out finding seeds buried under 10 cm (4 inches) of snow. We can always count on Dyson to clean up everything. No worry about seed sitting too long with our squirrel-vacuum.

Sharpie came to visit early. It is always a relief to see him.

Junior was also here early but we have not seen Mr and Mrs Blue Jay for some weeks and we are imagining that they migrated and Junior decided to stay and keep their home safe.

From all of us on the Canadian Prairies we wish you all of the blessings of this holiday season – good health, friendship, family, and the joy of the birds.

We are on pip watch for Harriet and M15. I am hoping for a Christmas hatch! Take care and thank you for joining me.

Mary Ann & the Gang

Thursday Happenings in Bird World

It has been a very difficult time for all of us since the Ravens destroyed Daisy’s nest. Things had gone so smoothly that most of us began to believe that those eggs would hatch. Sadly, it was not to be. I so wished that the male Pacific Black ducks had the instinct to go to the nest and relieve their mates! Daisy was quite distraught, understandably. A friend that is around the Discovery Centre has offered to take a photo for me of Daisy paddling around the canal after the holidays. There are not that many ducks there so she is confident she will recognize her again this year. Before I move on to other bird news, I am reminded that Daisy rushed to the big WBSE nest to lay an egg. She did not prepare the nest and it is possible that she had a nest elsewhere and something destroyed those eggs and, as a last resort, she came to the WBSE nest. There might well not be a safe place for our Daisy and that could account for so few ducks in the water there. If a duck hatches a normal clutch, it is normally 47 days before the pair mate again and this will only happen twice a year. If the eggs are broken, it can be as few as 10 days, a reliable source tells me. I hope that we do not see Daisy again – as much as I would like to see her and know she is safe! The WBSE are often at the nest in January and it would be wonderful if later Daisy was seen with little ones in the canal. We wait.

I needed ‘something lighter’ and that turned out to be the boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It seems that Bazza picked off the first two fish deliveries. At some time Ervie got mad at him and kicked him off the nest. Falky continues to perfect his diving skills hoping to catch that elusive fish one day. They are so lucky that they have parents that continue to provide these big strapping lads with food!

Here is Falky diving off the ropes and coming out of the water in sequence:

No fish but, Falky tried! If you look at the time stamps you will see how quick that dive was. This family is just doing great. That is a wonderful thing! Falky is really trying.

Ervie’s satellite tracker indicates that he has been visiting the local boat ramps. The owner of PLO is wondering if Ervie has discovered places where he can get fed! Here is Ervie’s latest tracking:

Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page posted some great shots of Ervie and Falky. They were taken by Bazz Hockaday. I hope they don’t mind my sharing them with you. You can see how stunningly handsome and – well, these are just great Osprey fledges. A success story this year that gives us a lot of hope. I understand that Falky followed Ervie to the beach. Bazza stayed on the nest and cleaned up on all the fish. I am certain that Bazza will never leave home!

Ervie
Falky
Falky
Ervie

Port Lincoln also posted a picture of the barge from the other side. It really helps us visualize where the nest is.

This is dad delivering a fish dinner to the nest. What an amazing shot! Thank you Port Lincoln!

The hatching and fledging of the three males at this beautiful barge with its Osprey nest made history for this mated pair. For years they have had issues relating to siblicide and they have never fledged three. Everyone was cautiously optimistic and it happened. It is one of those great moments of 2021 that no one will forget!

I urge you to check in on this nest and also the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page. You don’t have to be a member of anything to find out what the lads are doing. And this is such a happy site – we need it, we truly do.

There are lots of mothers incubating eggs. Two of my favourites are Harriet and Gabby.

Harriet and M15 have been taking turns at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest. It has not been easy for the male, M15. He has continual strikes by the Great Horned Owl whose nest is 900 metres away. M15 had an injury the other day. The GHOW also strike Harriet on the nest and will do the same to the hatchlings. Sad.

Samson and Gabby have been taking turns incubating their two eggs in the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. They have had a sub-adult intruder but nothing like the issues with the owls that Harriet and M15 have endured. As nests and trees become more precious – with growing numbers of eagles and owls – these fights for territory could come more often and many times the owls usurp the eagles from the nest. I continually remind everyone that they might be cute – the owls – but they are a formidable Apex predator.

Gabby – you can always tell the ‘shag look’.
Samson with his slick backed head.

Hatch watch for Harriet! Bobble heads coming real soon. I can’t wait.

I want to leave each of you with something that is just full of joy! Perhaps you have discovered this wonderful girl that loves squirrels. If you haven’t, then you are in for a real treat. Please enjoy -.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for all the letters and comments about Daisy. It was a very difficult time for the community of people from all over the world that loved her. I hope that we get a picture soon of her paddling away and that if she should lay more eggs, we don’t see them but they hatch and we get news of Daisy on the canal being a Mum. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams and their FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, and NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. I also want to thank Bazz Hockaday for those amazing images of Ervie and Falky.