Thanksgiving Thursday in Bird World

Our wildlife rehabilitation clinic has seen a 21% increase in patients in the last week. If you live in Manitoba and have the finances, send them a donation, however small or large. They receive no government funding. Everything is done on a donation basis – as is the case with most wildlife rehabilitation clinics. They have a long list of items they need on their website and all monetary donations are tax deductible.

I know that many of my readers live elsewhere but if this is happening here then perhaps it is happening all over.

There was a very sobering article on that cute little Korora (Tiny Blue Penguin) that is doing well in NZ. Its sibling died because the parents have to go so far to feed. For those that love those New Zealand birds such as the Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head and wildlife that depend on the oceans to survive, what they are seeing is warming waters which mean the fish move or even die (like the trout did in Montana when the Clark Fork River got too water). It is time we demand that governments get serious and take radical steps to try and stop the situation from getting worse.

I want to remind everyone of Ferris Akel’s tours. You can go to YouTube, search for Ferris Akel, and hit the subscribe button to the live stream. He has lots of archived video tours as well. They normally take place on Saturdays at noon, Ithaca NY time. Ferris is out at Sapsucker Woods today for Thanksgiving and he has just found a beautiful juvenile Red-tail hawk that is hunting.

Notice the ‘eyebrow’ that helps to keep the glare away from its eyes when hunting. Oh, isn’t this a beautiful raptor?

Ferris just caught a Belted Kingfisher close to the RTH. There have been other birds this morning included Canada Geese and maybe another Kingfisher.

In the summer and fall, Ferris finds lots of shore birds and in the winter there will be owls! You can leave Ferris on like a radio if you are busy or you can watch as little or as much as you like. There is also a chat function with great people who can answer questions.

I am so thankful for Ferris Akel and his tours and his generosity in allowing us to share his images. I have learned so much from him over the years just wish I had a better ear to know which birds are out there by their beautiful voices.

Little Yurruga, the Peregrine Falcon fledgling at Orange, has been seen on top of a building so it is flying alright. Xavier and Diamond have been seen taking food in and out so she/he ? is being provided for. Isn’t this wonderful?!!!!!!

Below is the image that Dr Cilla Kinross took the day Yurruga fledged. She placed it in a tree. What a lovely little falcon you are, Yurruga.

This appeared on the FB Page of the Orange Peregrine Falcons today.

Have you ever wondered about the colour morphing of birds? The Audubon Society has a nice ‘Ask Ken’ article on that very topic! Thanks BM for letting me know!

The NZ DOC rangers at Taiaroa Head are deciding which Royal Albatross couple will be the Royal Cam family this year. There are 36 eggs and they believe that is all for this year. The favourite couple, WYL and BOK, who have made us so happy with their cuddles have not laid an egg – maybe next year! Will keep you posted!

It is a quiet day in Bird World and that is something to be very thankful for – no drama, nothing horrible happening.

Take care everyone. Have a marvellous day. To those having Thanksgiving, enjoy. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures or their FB pages: Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Ferris Akel Tours, Orange Peregrine Falcons FB page and the Cornell RTH FB Page.

Adventures in Ospreyland and other bird tales 16 July 2021

Imagine that you have one child. Everyone is happy – it is easy to provide for the one. Then imagine one day you blink and think you are seeing double. But you aren’t. There are two children. Now imagine that you are away from home and return to find three. Osprey families have the same difficulties in providing for multiple children just like humans. The adults at the Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Osprey nest number 2 now have that challenge! The pair had only one chick of their own and are now fostering two chicks about the same age as theirs.

Cathy Cohen of the Jug Bay Natural Area posted the following image on the park’s FB page today of the mom and the three chicks. The first foster chick was placed on the nest on 30 June. Nest 2 was chosen because the foster chicks are about the same age as the one hatched on the nest. There they are. It is incredible. They look like a perfect match. How wonderful to give those two lucky ones another chance. Intervention can be a good thing.

The foster Mom was said to have welcomed the chick who had fallen from a barn silo with open wings yesterday! Here she is looking over the babies while they are sleeping (or supposed to be sleeping).

And here they are this morning. It is getting warm and the new babies are getting shade.

Most of the time if I say the name ‘Iris’ everyone knows who I am talking about. If you don’t, here is a mini-bio. Iris is an Osprey. She is 26-28 years old. This makes her the oldest Osprey in the world. Iris has her nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. The platform was put up for her and her mate, Stanley, to save them from getting electrocuted on the hydro lines. When Stanley did not return from migration, Iris bonded with Louis. They have only had one chick survive. That was a female, Le Le, in 2018. The reason for this is that Louis has another mate and another nest at the ballpark. For years, people have watched Iris perfect the renovations on her nest, catch magnificent fish, mate with Louis, lay her eggs and then either have the ravens steal and eat the eggs or have the chicks die because the female cannot protect them and fish at the same time. Individuals are very vocal in their support of Iris. They want her to have another mate and to be able to raise chicks. I have always thought maybe she could retire with dignity and just take care of herself during her summers in Montana. At the same time you know just seeing her work on the nest and the fish she brings in that she would be an amazing parent. The issue is one of territory. Iris’s nest is in Louis’s territory – according to Louis. Louis has protected Iris on a couple of occasions this summer from intruders. Iris has also managed on her own to thwart them. She is strongly independent.

When someone posted an image of Iris sitting on a branch with another Osprey on Twitter 15 July 2021, people got excited.

The notion that Ospreys mate for life is not consistently true. When Blue 5F, Seren, got tired of laying a nest full of eggs only to be abandoned by Aran because he also had a nest with Mrs G at Glaslyn, she left Aran’s territory and found another mate, Dylan, at Clywedog. According to Google Maps, Seren moved a distance of 67.4 miles. Seren and Dylan are the proud parents, this season, of fledgling Blue 396 otherwise known as Only Bob.

It will be very curious to see how things develop over the end of the summer.

We all worry about Tiny Little. It is easy to forget looking at Blue 463 that at one time his older siblings kept him from eating and were quite aggressive. Because of that Tiny Little is hesitant to engage with the older siblings and, in particular, Blue 462. So there are worries that he will not get enough to eat. Today White YW brought in a fish and within about 15 minutes he brought in another fish. Blue 35 took that one and fed Tiny Little while the other two were eating fish pieces. What a beautiful image of Mum and her three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss nest having a nice meal of fish.

People have been asking if Tiny Little has been flapping. OH, yes, he flaps those wings all the time.

If you want to join in the fun watching Tiny Little prepare to fledge, this is the link to the Cumbrian Wildlife Osprey Cam:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

Erick Green with the Montana Osprey Project posted some images of chicks who were entangled with baling twine. They saved three chicks a week ago but sadly one had died. Another chick had twine cutting into his right leg to the bone. Dr Green reported today that the chick is doing fabulous today. In his posting I learned something interesting. He says, “One thing that seems to work in their favor is that ospreys (and all birds) have very high body temperatures – about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. These high body temperatures help birds fight off many bacterial infections.”

Only Bob, Blue 396, has gotten really good at flying and zooms in when Dad Dylan does a food drop. Poor Seren might have to discuss Dylan bringing in an extra fish for her. Only Bob can finish them off pretty good! Look at how big this fledgling is. Wow. Dylan delivered the fish around 13:09.

At the Dyfi Nest, Idris and Telyn are waiting for Ystwyth to fledge! So is her brother Dysynni. He is sitting there urging her to come on and join in the fun while the parents are up on the camera perches watching. Ystwyth was getting some really good height to her hovering and she will go soon if not today. She is 53 days old.

Here is Ystwyth hovering. Isn’t she great?

Other nest news:

There is sad news coming out of Taiaroa Head, NZ. One of 33 Northern Albatross chicks died yesterday. The chick was not gaining weight and the NZ DOC rangers gave it a supplementary feeding. When the chick died following this it was discovered during the necroscopy that it had a piece of charcoal stuck in its trachea. As Sharon Dunne notes, charcoal floats on the surface of the ocean and it can easily be taken in by the parents when they are out fishing for food for their chick. I never imagined charcoal! Everyone is distraught. The rangers do such an excellent job taking care of these parents and chicks. Condolences go out to all of them including the albatross parents.

Our little Golden Eagle, Zenit, has had a prey delivery – a bird – and is beginning to stand really tall and strong on its legs – adult style. All good news! The Golden Eagles eat the bones – absolutely every part of their prey so Zenit will have something later. Still, having lots of meat is what this young eaglet needs right now. Excellent news.

Ferris Akel has posted a nicely edited version of his tour on Wildlife Drive on the 14th. The editing is well done and there are discreet bird names in case you do not recognize what you are looking at. There are some really nice shots of a Black Tern. Here is that short clip.

My friend, ‘T’ tells me that there is a stork with an injured food that is getting a prosthesis. Will try and find out all the news on this incredible intervention.

And speaking of storks, there are still three White Storklings on the Mlade Buky nest in Czechoslovakia:

That’s a short morning round up of happenings late Thursday night and early Friday morning at some nests. Remember that Ferris Akel does his tours on Saturday. He begins at noon NY time and ends up at the Cornell Campus. It is a great opportunity to see the Red tail fledglings in action. They have now moved from flying near to the nest to other buildings farther away. Big Red and Arthur do this with prey drops gradually to expand their territory. It will not be too long til they are down by the barns at Cornell. Always fun. You can search Ferris Akel Livestream on YT. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots or add their videos: Ferris Akel Live Tour, Patuxent River Park Ospreys, Montana Osprey Project FB Page, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyX Wild and Llyn Clydewog Osprey Cam, Capi Hnizdo- Mlade Buky, and Asociatia Wild Bucinova.

Tuesday in Bird World

Grinnell and Annie are working hard to prepare the three boys for fledging and starting their lives outside of the scrape box. Today is 25 May and fledging should fall into 27-29 May – two days away! It is possible the youngest will be the 31st but you never know.

Grinnell has had the three lined up getting lessons and is working hard on teaching them aspects of self-feeding.

Not so sure they are listening to the instructions on plucking the pigeon!

Ever wonder what it might be like feeding your chicks when they are almost as big as you and there are three of them? Have a look.

Here is a very short clip of Kaknu taking the lunch and running away with it today:

This year has been plagued by a lack of chipmunks. Instead, the Ks seem to have been living on Starling. Something unexpected happened this morning – Arthur brought in a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk! Big Red had to have been delighted.

Sometimes Big Red takes a break and flies over to another of the light stands. She can keep a close eye on the Ks from here. On occasion Arthur will do a prey drop for her there and many times you will see the two of them sitting side by side looking out onto their territory.

Big Red was delighted with that chipmunk for breakfast! It looks like there is a partial chipmunk sitting on the nest. Maybe we will see more.

It is not going to be long until these Ks are running and jumping on the ledge, flapping their wings, and getting stronger to fly. Their first flight is usually from this ledge across the street to one of the trees where the parents are waiting for them.

Just look at Big Red’s eyes and face. Oh, she loves being a mother.

“Oh, don’t you want just one more bite?”

Big Red did look tired this morning. Here she is taking some ZZZZs along with the Ks. In three and a half weeks time, the Ks will fledge. It is hard to believe. They will remain with Big Red and Arthur who will teach them to hunt and give them all kinds of exercises to help them later. Big Red and Arthur will also gradually expand the area the Ks are hunting in to include the entire campus. Sometimes they even go on family hunting trips for squirrels – working cooperatively to get the prey out of the tree.

I would like to introduce you to another species of raptor. It is the Booted Eagle, the Hieraaetus Pennatus. This pair of Booted Eagles lives in a pine forest within the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park near Madrid. The elevation is 1400 metres. The Booted Eagles are the largest group of raptors living in the park. They estimate that there are approximately twenty-five pairs. The nest you are looking at has been active every year since 2002.

The female is on the left. You can see she is much darker. The male is on the right.

Just like Annie and Grinnell and Big Red and Arthur, the female is much larger than the male. This is called reverse sexual dimorphism. There are many reasons for this disparity. They are: 1) females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves in order to produce eggs; 2) the size difference allows the two to hunt different prey and reduce the competition for food. Raptors that hunt birds are generally smaller and faster leaving the females to specialize in larger prey; 3) historically females have selected smaller mates; and 4) to protect the female during mating from being injured by large males.

In Booted Eagles, the male is smaller with darker feathers on its back, yellow ochre on the crown of its head, darker tear shape feathers on its chest which is light. The female tends to the nest and the chicks and the male is primarily responsible for hunting, delivering prey, and territorial protection. You can easily differentiate them in the image above.

There are normally two eggs that are incubated for 37-40 days. The chicks remain on the nest for around 48 days when they began branching and flying. By August, the male is the primary carer. The female has left the territory for a rest. The male will provide prey for the young to self-feed on the nest and will remain with them until mid-September teaching them to hunt and fly.

I received a letter from one of my readers asking about Kisatchie. Kisatchie is the eagle from the Kisatchie National Forest Nest in Central Louisiana. His parents are Anna and Louis (great names). You might recall that Kisatchie is the first eaglet to hatch on this nest since 2013. He brought so much joy and then he fledged and now the camera is down. This is the current information from the Forest Services personnel:

“If you have visited the eagle cam in the past 72 hours, you will have noticed the nest is empty and more recently, the eagle cam is down. This is because our Kisatchie eagle flew the nest on Saturday, May 22, around 3:30 p.m. As luck would have it, Kisatchie chose to take its first flight from a branch ABOVE the camera, so we were unable to capture Kisatchie soaring over the Kisatchie National Forest. Bummer. The eagles will now migrate north for the summer and will return late fall/early winter. Our wildlife biologists will use the summer months to make any repairs on the eagle cam, checking wiring, camera housing, and things like that. We want to be ready for the next round! Thank you for joining us on this journey of watching our first captured-on-camera eaglet hatching. Through ice storms and thunderstorms, it was an exciting 88 days (from hatching to fledging) and a great learning experience for us all.”

Everyone is wondering if anyone has seen Kisatchie or heard. I have written a letter to the Forestry Services and if I hear anything, I will let you know. Here is an image of Kisatchie on 17 May during his branching phase looking out over Lake Kincaid:

There is absolutely no news coming out of the Glaslyn Osprey Nest. As soon as there is any news about Aran and Mrs G and the Bob 2 and 3, I will let you know.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the KNF Service, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Cal Falcons, and SEO Birdlife.

Monday episode of ‘As the Nest Turns’

Yesterday, the two eaglets in the Duke Farm Bald Eagle nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey, fludged. Big had followed Li’l up the branch and Li’l could not figure out how to get around Big to go back down. THe started flapping and the end result was both of the juveniles falling off the branch and flying off to the farmland. Today, the parents wisely put a fish on the nest and left it to lure the two back to the nest. Gosh. And it worked! Li’l flew in first and on to the nest for food and was followed by Big. Sighs of relief all around.

Parent in at 10:21 leaving a piece of fish for the two:

Little flies in about half an hour later, landing on a branch first and then flying down to the nest.

Li’l really enjoyed the fish! Big flies in on a branch a little later. Hopefully these two will now stay around the nest like Legacy who will be 100 days old on Tuesday!

For those worried that K3 is not getting enough to eat on the nest of Big Red and Arthur, the honour of having the first ‘slice’ go off the tower and land down below on the cars goes to K3. That was one powerful shot!!!!!! Didn’t I tell you he is a pistol? A puddle of full sleeping babies. Lots more starlings and few chipmunks this year. I wonder how that impacts the amount of prey that needs to be brought to the nest?

Big Red has them all line up nicely. Everyone eats at Big Red’s table! Everyone. There is no need to worry. I do think they would love a few tasty chipmunks if you happen to have extra in your garden!

Yesterday afternoon NC0, Nessie, at the Loch of the Lowes nest was listening to her chick chirping in the egg. This will be her first little one. It has to be very exciting. I do hope that Laddie, who is lucky to have such a beautiful mate, keeps up his end of the bargain and brings in lots of fish for her and the little ones. Pip was official at 6:15 pm on the 16th of May. Hatch watch is on for Loch of the Lowes!

Look at the top egg. You can see the egg tooth hammering away! Lots of work for this little one to do yet.

Oh, it looks like it is going to be a race between Telyn and Mrs G on the Glaslyn Nest. Just a few minutes ago a large crack was seen on camera.

Right now everyone in the United Kingdom is welcoming the second year Juvies back after their first migration. Those are the ones born in 2019 and, as you know, they are looking for their own territory and mates. Some have caused some mischief and some disruption!

Today, however, the Kielder Nests are celebrating something very special. A male, Blue 39 (11) born in Nest 1 in 2011, was last seen in 2014 at the Derwent Reservoir near Consett. There has been no news of Blue 39 until yesterday when he was photographed catching a fish near Hawick in the borders. This is just incredible news – survival always is. The photographer notified Roy Dennis at Rutland immediately – that is the thing to do if you see a banded Osprey in the UK.

There are some incredible images of this strong male on the Kielder Website here:

https://kielderospreys.wpcomstaging.com/2021/05/17/such-welcome-news/?fbclid=IwAR0LJ6zQO0Y1Xj8yMuQWaky-RimtIkVVqA-VXomoqP_WUeMgTN8EjlIinyE

Idris and Telyn have had one of Telyn’s sons with Monty, the very last one, KA3 hatched in 2019, return to their nest. But that is not all. Telyn is incubating three egg; the first was laid on 11 April so hatch watch is on. On 15 May she flew off the nest for a comfort break. Idris was on the camera pole and – a crow flew in. What could have been the saddest end of the season can be seen in this short video:

Everything is fine and Idris sent KA3 packing – it isn’t his nest anymore but as a male he returned to his natal nest area to find a mate and set up his own nest. Good luck KA3! There are some females out there looking! Go find a good one.

The two little ospreys at The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (Savannah Ospreys) are doing great. They have the most beautiful plumage that I have ever seen! Dad brought in at least four fish, maybe five, yesterday for them. They went to bed with full crops and food coma! Scarlett and Rhett are doing a great job with these two.

Look at how the two blend in so well with the nest! 16 May 2021

The centre of my Bird World heart, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot gets stronger and more confident every day. It is simply amazing – a true tale of cleverness, persistence, and survival. Well done Tiny! I still believe you are a male – the third, the tiercel. You are going to join the leagues of the other small 3s who came back super strong – like Tegin Z1 of the White Egg and another of Monty’s boys, KA3, Hesgyn. If you know of a three that overcame tremendous obstacles, please let me know.

Tiny is a real beauty.

For those wondering about Tiger and Lily in the nest on a farm near Newton, Kansas, it has been really damp there today. One of the owlets was on a branch above the nest around 4am but I am not certain which one it was.Look carefully and you can see it standing where Clyde would come to drop the mice off to Bonnie.

The only child of the Bald Eagles at the Fort Vrain Bald Eagle nest in Colorado is doing splendid. Covered completely in thermal down, you can now see the contour feathers coming in! Someone asked me if the only children – Bald Eagles or Ospreys – get lonely. I have no idea but they spend their lives until they have a breeding mate alone – they even migrate to different regions. My immediate answer is I don’t think they are lonely. They are normally very well fed and cared for! The parents do have to play surrogate siblings so they learn to protect their prey. So, it is a little more work for the parents training them but less food to have to bring into the nest.

Thank you for nest hoping with me today. I will be watching the nests in the UK for hatches! Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, X-cel Energy, Farmer Derek, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Bywrd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Woodland Trust Loch of the Lowes.

Wednesday up and downs in Bird World

Wednesday started off with the sudden death of EE2 at the White-tail Eagle Nest in Estonia. The little one was up, bright and cheery at 4:04 and then gone. There has been a lot of speculation. A heat wave went through the area with temperatures doing from 1 to 26 degrees C in a day. Those dramatic changes can put stress on wildlife. Eve and Eerik had plenty of food and the eaglets were, as far as I could tell, growing and filling up the egg cup. Yes, there could have been a toxin and for sure, everyone has been watching EE1 closely. It could also have been a tragic accident of some sort. We won’t know because the body of the little one will not be taken – so I am going to stop speculating myself and hope that EE1 thrives and fledges. EE1 was fed five times between 13:22 and 19:14 and appears healthy.

The three eyases of Annie And Grinnell were banded today. The chick on the left has been banded. The one whose wings are back and looks totally frightened is just getting ready to be banded. It looks a little frightened.

The eyases receive two bands. One is metal and has a 9 digit aluminum band. There is a second coloured band with four digits that is unique to Peregrine Falcons in the SF Bay region. No gloves are used in the banding process so that the banders can handle the birds safely. Banding helps with studies in survival and movement. It does not hurt the birds.

The three are all males.

The banding was an on line event with two people from the centre answering questions as they discussed the process. You can see the whole procedure here and listen to the questions being answered:

Can you tell which of the two ospreys on the nest is Tiny Tot?

Oh, my, that bird has grown! Someone looking over my shoulder said, ‘The one with the beard!’ Well, if those feathers were smoothed down, it sure would be hard to pick Tiny out because Tiny isn’t Tiny anymore. Tiny Tot needs to grow some more feathers for flight. Look at sibling #2 at the back. See the length of the wing tip feathers? And the next layer? It would be really good if Tiny got all that feather growth before setting out on its own. Hopefully Tiny will hang around the nest, as #2 has done, to get some more flight training and to let the parents, Jack and Diane, feed it.

Sibling #2 is on the perch post eating a fish and Tiny Tot has just acquired the 3:47 pm fish delivery. No doubt s/he is going to be really full! Look at the size of that fish!

Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are doing fine. K3 really is a corker. Poor thing. I watched it yesterday when it got behind siblings 1 and 2 and wasn’t getting any bites. Oh, that little one – not scared at all – pecked at that big sib. I was rolling with laughter. It was like a comedy routine. Early this morning, for the first feeding, K3 was up front. It takes a few days to figure out the strategy but those little ones have spunk and drive. No one needs to worry about getting fed on Big Red’s nest!

This nest has a lot of different food items for the Ks. Believe it or not, at this age, they are already imprinting those birds and mammals so that when they are older, they will know that it is OK to eat them. The eyases have to pack a lot of knowledge into a few short months.

Big Red goes off for a break. It is a nice warm day. Arthur delivers a grey squirrel and then returns with a Starling! Everything is fine on the nest of the Ks.

I did a quick check on the little osplets on the Savannah nest. They had nice crops – both of them – around 13:30 – left over from the earlier feeding.

The second sibling is getting a nice feed from mom. That is nice to see. There remains some rivalry that can be unpleasant at times.

The image below was taken yesterday, 11 May. It is Iris and for those of you who do not know, Iris got her name from the specks in her right eye. You can see them clearly below. So, even without any band, everyone knows that this is Iris!

Iris did not incubate the eggs in the nest last night nor did she spend the night on the perch. In fact, she left her nest in good time to go and get herself a good fish dinner and did not return until this morning.

Iris had a nice fish breakfast before heading over to the nest nearby.

Iris returned to the nest at 6:42. She had been away at least twelve hours. Iris is taking care of herself.

As the graduate student at the UC Falcon Cam said today when asked if Annie and Grinnell would remember the banding every year. He said, “Birds have memories.” There is no doubt in my mind that Iris is chained to her hormones during the breeding season. She migrates to Montana and begins working on her nest. She lays eggs regardless or not of mating. She has some urge to incubate them BUT no doubt, over the past four or five years she remembers what has happened. Perhaps she remembers and isn’t caring so much this year? I cannot answer that. Perhaps she knows that both of those eggs are not fertile. ——- I just want to continue to enjoy seeing her. She is an amazing Osprey.

Legacy at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam in Jacksonville was waiting for a food drop this morning.

Isn’t ‘he’ gorgeous? He, you ask. The reasoning is in part because of the ‘flat’ head but more important the mandible – the yellow portion of the beak/mouth does not extend to 90% of the back of the eye. I hope that makes sense. Instead, the bright yellow area below stops almost level with the front of the eye. Take your finger to see – and then notice how much longer it would be if it extended to the back of the eye. Are you a boy, Legacy? Of course, there is never 100% certainty unless a DNA test is taken or you see Legacy lay an egg but, it is a good indicator.

Samson came in with a fish delivery at 2:11:32 and he got out of Legacy’s way fast!

Wow. By 2:31 – twenty minutes later – there is hardly anything left of that fish! Good work, Legacy. You are a pro at self-feeding.

I want to close with a look at a power couple in the Osprey world: Maya and Blue 33 (11). Blue 33 (11) has brought a fish to Maya so she can feed the two Bobs.

There was mention about Blue 33 (11) and this nest at Mantou Bay at Rutland. Tiger Mozone said something very ensightful: “Blue 33 (11) not only wanted the nest but Maya, too.” Right on. As Tiger pointed out, Maya had first been paired with 32 (05) who was shot. Then she was with 5R (04) but he didn’t return in 2014. In 2014, Maya paired with 28 (10) who Tiger calls Wonky Wing – Blue 33 (11) made short shift of him evicting him from the nest. Maya and Blue 33 (11) did not breed that year but they started in 2015 and have since had twenty-one chicks!!!!!!!! Blue 33 (11) knew a good female as well as a good nest.

Look at those healthy Bobs. I cannot think of a better way to end the day than seeing these two strong future ospreys.

Thank you for joining me today. It is nice to have you here with me.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: LRWT, NEFlorida Eagle cam and the AEF, Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, UC Falcons, and the Eagle Club of Estonia.

Tuesday edition, ‘As the Nest Turns’

Sometimes I just sit and stare at the birds. They are incredibly beautiful. The nestlings, fledglings, or soon-to-be fledglings seem to change over night.

Take Tiny Tot, for example. Three weeks ago many wondered if s/he would even live to fledge. Today, I kept pinching myself making squealing sounds like Legacy because Tiny Tot really has grown into a magnificent Osprey.

Tiny Tot has a broad brown-black band running from in front of the eye, through the eye connecting with another band and going down to the shoulder.

10 May 2021
10May 2021

Just stop for a moment and look at that piercing amber coloured eye and that perfect strongly hooked black beak.

10 May 2021

Tiny Tot’s crest is variegated with more brown than white. If the wind would blow more that crest would stand up.

10 May 2021

The plumage helps to camouflage the nestlings before the permanently leave the nest.

The image below stopped me in my tracks – Tiny Tot standing next to Diane looking out to the traffic. I noticed today, for the first time, that Tiny hesitated when food arrived preferring at that second to continue to look at the moving objects below the nest. S/he has been working its wings more and more and sadly, our dear little one that no one believed would make it, will fledge. Maybe Tiny Tot you can hang around the nest for a month getting those flight muscles strong and letting Mom Diane feed you! That would be simply grand.

Wonder if Diane was giving Tiny any advice?

10 May 2021

Both Eve and Eerik were on the nest today. Look at Even looking down at that little one. Eve’s beak is sooooo big and the eaglets so tiny and yet, Eve can take the tiniest piece of prey and place it directly so the little one can grab it with its beak.

10 May 2021

Oh, that one is full! It is that gentle look, staring at the little one – from a big wooly White-tail Eagle mom.

10 May 2021

It is going to be a nice day for Big Red and Arthur and the Ks in Ithaca, NY. There is only a slight chance of rain in the middle of the night for an hour and maybe that will disappear. Full sun tomorrow and it will be around 12 degrees C.

At least two of the Ks were awake early in the morning when Big Red got up, stretched, and took a break. You can still see the white dot, the egg tooth that helped them pound their way out of their shell, at hatch, on the end of their beak. Soon that egg tooth will disappear as the beak and the toes are two areas that really develop during the eyasses first two weeks of life.

Cute little Ks. 11 May 2021

Arthur comes in early to give Big Red her breakfast, to watch the Ks, and to check on their pantry. The chipmunk is still there for last evening.

Arthur’s early morning check in. 11 May 2021

Looks like K1 is getting a little warm from the brooding and restless, too.

11 May 2021

Big Red is ready for another break. Look at how her apron of beautiful red feathers covers those little Ks while she broods them.

11 May 2021

Being every so gentle, Big Red backs up so that she does not injure a K or two. Notice how the nest bowl is indented. This allows Big Red to straddle the chicks so that they can move about under her.

Big Red’s beautiful striped feather apron. 11 May 2021
Ever so careful getting off the nest cup. 11 May 2021

Bye Mom! What a difference 24 hours makes. Big Red can leave the Ks in the sunshine for a few minutes without fear of them getting wet or too cold.

At last some sun for the Ks. 11 May 2021

For all of those who were disappointed that Louis moved to a different nest with his new female, today there is exciting news at Loch Arkaig. A blue banded female, 152 (left side) and an unringed male are on the nest. The female is calling loudly for a fish! Wonder if they will stay? They sure would have prime real estate!

New occupants for Loch Arkaig? 11 May 2021

And while I cannot show you, I understand from folks in the area that Louis and his new mate now have at least one egg on their nest! Great news for this wonderful Osprey dad.

The two little Bobs at the Manton Bay Osprey Nest at Rutland, have fantastic parents – May and Blue 33 (11). Generally, the males fledge and return to raise their own families near to their natal nest. That is true for Blue 33 (11) who hatched at nest B at Manton Bay. He is the son of a mega-super star Osprey 03 (97) who was translocated from Scotland to Rutland to restore the Osprey population there. 03 (97) you might recall was known as Mr Rutland. Mr Rutland had three mates and hatched and fledged 32. He failed to return from his migration in 2016 when he was 18 years old. In the image below are two of his grandchildren. They definitely have amazing Osprey DNA!

Since 2015, Maya and Blue 33 (11) have raised 21 chicks to fledge with – if this third egg hatches – eleven osplets in just three seasons. Blue 33 (11) might be working to get that megastar status, too, or better his dad.

Fish dinner. 11 May 2021

Look how strong those Bobs are holding their heads up straight. My goodness the little one is hardly a day old!

The Two Bobs being fed some fish. 11 May 2021

At the beginning of the season, it was not clear whether Laddie would be able to attract and keep NC0 at his nest at Loch of the Lowes. Laddie wasn’t even sure that he wanted to share his fish with her! Well, fast forward and we will be on hatch watch starting Sunday 16 May for this pair of Scottish Ospreys.

NC0 incubating her three eggs. 11 May 2021

There has been a lot of kerfuffle over at the Glaslyn Nest the past few days. Mrs G has been trying to incubate her three eggs in the midst of intrusions by another female. Mrs G is the oldest breeding female in Wales. She has been fledging ospreys – 41 of them -since 2004! Talk about a mega-star on the Osprey breeding chart! Of those 41, her and Aran haver raised 15 fledglings to date. Mrs G is just returning to the nest after eating her fish and Aran is getting off. You can see their three eggs. I have hatch watch down for them starting this upcoming weekend, too. Oh, it is going to get busy!

Thank you for joining me today. It is a gorgeous spring day on the Canadian prairies. The leaves are just wanting to burst forth. It is still too early to put in the annual plantings as it will drop down to 1 degree C during the night this week. Fingers crossed for next week on that front. Tomorrow the two eaglets at Duke Farms will get their satellite trackers. Fantastic. Wish Tiny Tot had one. Take care all!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I capture my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, the Cornell Bird Lab, LRWT, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery,

From all the little ones…

There are so many bird babies around the world today thankful for their great moms that I thought we would stop in and check on some of them – and take a look back in some cases. I apologize if I didn’t include your favourite.

Thanks Mom Bonnie and Dad Clyde for finding us a beautiful nest tree and then stealing it from those Bald Eagles.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. Tree on the farm near Newton, Kansas that once belonged to the Bald Eagles but captured by Bonnie and Clyde to raise their owlets, Tiger and Lily Rose.

We did well. Look at us! Lily Rose and I fly all over the farm but we love to come back to the nest for you and dad to bring us some food.

Farmer Derek Streaming Cam. 8 May 2021

You kept us really warm and full with all those mice when it was snowy and cold.

Farmer Derek. February 2021

Thanks Mom. Look at how big we are – #1 Daughter and #2 Son.

MN DNR. Parents are Nancy and Harry. Oldest sibling is a girl, youngest is a male. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom Gabby. I inherited your and Dad Samson’s stunning beauty and also your loud squeal – not sure Dad Samson likes it when I chase him! You and Dad have taken such good care of me.

NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF. February 2021

Thank you for keeping me on the nest and teaching me all those lessons after I got lost!

NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. Legacy with a huge crop. 9 May 202

Mom, it’s Mother’s Day and I really thought I would be a great mom like you are. But there are people looking at the beak line and my eye ratio and the length of my hallux and they are saying I am a boy!

NEFlorida and the AEF Bald Eagle Cam. 9 May 2021

Thanks Dad Jack for coming to help Mom Harriet feed us this morning! And thanks Dad for not bringing in anymore toys so Mom can find us to feed us.

Dalgren Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021. Jack and Harriet are the parents.

Look, Mom Anna. We did it! I grew up – your first baby ever. Thank you for keeping me safe when that other juvenile came to steal my fish the other day.

KNF Streaming Cam. First time parents are Louis and Anna. This is Kisatchie named after the national park where the ancient nest tree is located.

Boy, Dad Louis sure kept that nest full of fish. Good thing we can’t smell very well, right Mom Anna? Do you remember?

KNF Eagle Cam. 8 March 2021

Thanks Mom, Annie. You are always fair when you feed us. Look how big we are growing. And just look at our pretty pantaloons!!!!!!!!!

UC Berkeley Falcon Cam. Annie and Grinnell are the parents on this beautiful nest in the Campanile in San Francisco.

Look how much we have grown! Thanks for taking such good care of us and feeding us all that pigeon.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hatched just in time! Can I have some fish please?

Rutland Water Ospreys. Maya is the mom and Blue 33 (11) is the dad. This is ‘Little Bob’.

Aren’t I gorgeous? Just like my mom Lime Green Lime. My mom travels thousands of kilometres to find food for me. Then she flies back to Taiaroa Head to give me my squid shake. I don’t have a name yet. People are voting and I will know soon. Stay tuned.

Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC. Royal Albatross Cam Chick of the Year, Daughter of LGL and LGK. 7 May 2021
Cornell Lab and NZ DOC. One day I am going to fly like my mom, LGL. April 2021

Yeah, the sun is out and the wind is warm and our mom, Big Red is drying out just like we are. Isn’t she the best? She takes good care of us even if it is snowing or raining and flooding everything. Big Red is the best mom ever.

Cornell Bird Lab. Big Red is the 18 year old mom and Arthur is the 5 year old dad of this years Ks. 9 May 2021

Mom Big Red. You endure any kind of weather to keep your little ones safe!

Cornell Bird Lab. April 2021.

Thanks Mom for yelling at dad to bring in more fish so we both can eat. We are growing really big. And I promise to try not and be so bad to my little brother, Mom.

Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon. The Savannah Osprey Nest. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom for staying with me when I get scared. It is lonely in this nest sometimes. You were so great at keeping me warm when it got really cold here in Colorado. But, today, what do you think of the new hair style?

Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain Eagle Cam. This Bald Eagle Cam is located in Colorado. This little one has done well and is just getting its dark thermal down. 9 May 2021

Thank you Mom Eve for keeping us warm and being fair with the feeding. We both get fed and we both grow the same! You and dad Eerik keep the nest stocked with food so we never are hungry.

Eagle Club of Estonia. Eve and Eerik are the parents of the two little White-tail Eaglets. 9 May 2021

Thanks Mom for not giving up on us when you were buried in snow for a month. We are going to get our satellite trackers soon and you can follow us wherever we go after we fledge! And also Mom, thanks for not letting Big get all the food!

Duke Farms Eagle Cam, Hillsborough, New Jersey. These two are really growing fast and evening out in their size.

Thank you Mama Lucy. It’s just me so far and that is OK. You are a great Mom.

Lake Murray Osprey Cam. Parents are Lucy and Ricky and this is nest number 8 for this pair since 2013. The nest platform is brand new in 2020. What a beautiful place to raise ospreys.

Lucy and Ricky have a beautiful place and a new platform in 2020 to raise their little ones. The couple arrived in the area in 2013. Since then their nests have been destroyed by storms. Hope this wonderful new Osprey platform survives.

Lake Murray NH Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021

Mama Harriet, we had to go away and get our eye infection taken care of by CROW. Mom, I am sorry I had to have time out because I was so bad to my little brother, E18. I promise we will be the best of friends in the future.

Mama Harriet, I kept my promise. E18 and I are the best of mates now that we are growing up.

You did good, Mom. We only fight over food drops now – just like we did when we were at CROW. Sorry!

Tiny Tot: “Thanks Mom Diane for bringing in all that extra fish. It was literally life and death for me. I promise to grow into a great mom. You will be proud of me.”

Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam. 9 May 2021. #2 sibling on left, Tiny Tot on Right

Thank you for joining me today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Bird Moms and to each of you that has inspired, raised/reared someone or something else. It takes a village!

Thank you to all the streaming cams listed under the images. That is where I captured those screen shots.

Wednesday Nest Runs

Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie. Their second hatch for 2021 arrived on the nest on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco on 3 May.

In the image below, Rosie and Richmond’s first hatch of 2021 is right beside the egg that is pipping. You can see the end of the beak and the egg tooth breaking up that shell.

Rosie is really excited to show Richmond the second hatch!

Here we are dad! Can we have some fish, please?

Legacy stayed around her natal nest today. As I sat and watched her, I was reminded of an incident with one of our cats, Melvin. At the time, cats were allowed outside and Melvin loved to roll around in the grass and dirt in the garden. He was content not to leave the yard and never wandered away. One day he didn’t come when we called him. We searched high and lo at all hours of the day and night. Then about four days later, in the middle of the night, we heard him yowling at the door. Melvin ran into the house and went under the bed. For the next 15 years of his life he rarely left that one room. We will never know what happened to him while he was away, but it scared the wits out of him. There were marks on his paws where the fur was gone and holes. We wondered if he had gotten caught in a trap or barbed wire.

Looking at Legacy I have a feeling that she was lost. Of course, I could be all washed up! This evening Samson brought in a fish for Legacy at 4:52:41. It was 32 degrees in Jacksonville and it was windy.

Legacy started mantling when she saw her father coming in with that fish. She was also squealing very loud.

Legacy held on tight to the fish. Samson had eaten the head so it was easy for Legacy to self-feed. She did it like a pro!

Legacy ate every last bite of that fish. When she got to the tail she wasn’t quite certain what to do with it. She tried to pull it off like skin. If the parents were watching they would have been very proud. Good work Legacy!

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot on the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida is the most beautiful bird. Tiny is a survivor. As the sun is setting Tiny had not had any of the last fish. He spent some of the time when he was alone on the nest chewing what fish was left on that bone in the middle of the nest.

At 7:59:46, there was a fish delivery and Tiny mantled it. ‘Mine!’

Tiny had not moved. He was still working hard on that fish as the sun set even more. Good night, Tiny!

Diane, #2 and Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot are ready and waiting for breakfast on 5 May. If you are wondering, #1 sibling has not returned to the nest. It is unclear if she is being fed elsewhere or what her status is.

You might recall my concern over The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest. The aggression from the oldest sibling was amping up as the food deliveries were irregular. That aggression continues. However, this morning the youngest got a nice big feed and it was a delight to see. They are still in their reptilian phase.

The oldest is getting fed and the youngest is cowering (on the left) afraid to go over to mom.

But like Tiny Tot, the youngest is waiting and watching for an opportunity. It moves around the long way once the biggest is full. If allowed, these little ones that are bonked/abused become quite clever. We have seen what an amazing bird Tiny Tot is. It is interesting, speaking of Tiny Tot, that the Achieva Osprey nest became peaceful the instant the oldest sibling fledged despite the fact that the eldest did not directly attach Tiny Tot after the third week in March. It became the duty of #2. Sorry – the behaviour of the birds is very interesting. I bet you never thought their lives could be so complicated?

There is number 2 – the darkest plumaged of the osplets – getting a nice big feed from mom. How wonderful!

Oh, goodness. Over at Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk nest, K3 is coming!

It is a very soggy morning at the Fernow Light tower nest and here are K1 and K2 waiting for their little sib! It won’t be long and the entire K clan will be with us! There will be bonking bobble heads for a couple of days til their eyes focus and they realize that it is mom’s beak they need to connect with not their siblings!

I have checked on many more nests this morning but this blog would go on for a kilometre. Suffice it to say that Kistachie at the KNF Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana is doing a pretty good job self-feeding. He is not branching yet and Anna helps when he has trouble eating. Blue 152, a female, has landed again on the Loch Arkaig nest. Maybe a new male will appear! This morning Li’l and Big at the Duke Farms Nest were doing great. Mom was feeding both of them and that silly squirrel continues to bug the Pittsburg Hays trio. The last notice for today is 8 May is Bird Count Day. This is the day that people around the world stop and count the birds that they see. It is a major migration study and is how we know if populations are declining, growing, or if there are environmental issues impacting them. You, too, can take part. In fact, I urge you too. I will give you that information tonight.

Take care and thanks for joining me today. K3 is coming!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell BirdLab and Skidaway Audubon, Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, NE Florida Eagle Cam and AEF, and Achieva Credit Union. I get my screen shots from these cameras.

“Biggie’ Tot and more in ‘As the Nest Turns’

One of the individuals watching the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida said that the worry over Tiny Tot caused them to age ten years. There are so many people that probably feel the same way. We ached when Tiny Tot did not have food for one, two, and even three days and cried with joy when its crop was full. We had visions of helicopters dropping fish from the sky or setting up a food table. There were times when I went to sleep and thought that I would wake up and Tiny Tot would be dead. How could this little one survive on so little in that exhausting Florida heat?

Tiny Tot is a survivor. He is clever, determined, and willing to eat scraps and chew on catfish bones if it means he lives another day. Tiny Tot watches and listens. So often he was the first to grab the fish on arrival, mantling -only to have the parent take it to feed the two older siblings and, if there was anything left, he was fed. If I heard the phrase ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ one more time I was going to blow up. What appeared to be happening was the survival of the not so clever bully bird. And then something happened.

Precisely when did mum decide that her third chick was going to survive despite everything it had been through? Diane observes those three chicks of hers. She monitors the time they spend self-feeding and when she sees they have had about 1/3 to a 1/2 of the fish – depending on who is in the nest – she takes the fish and shares it with the other one. What was it that turned this nest around? We might never know. For the past 3 or 4 nights I have slept well with the knowledge that Tiny was alright.

The problem is ‘the’ name now. #3 has been called 3, Tumbles, Braveheart, Lionheart, etc. I gave it the moniker, Tiny Tot. Tiny isn’t actually ‘tiny’ anymore. If he continues to eat and grow like he is doing then by Monday he could be twice as big as he is now. So, moving forward, no more Tiny Tot for me. #3 is now Biggie Tot the Raptor.

Indeed, every time I checked on the nest today, Biggie Tot was eating exactly like he is in the image below. Every time! How is that possible? As long as nothing bizarre happens – and in Bird World anything can change in a blink – Diane and Jack will be celebrating the fledging of not two but three ospreys this year. Well done you two. Jack, you surprised me and came through with 5 or 6 fish sometimes.

Good night Biggie Tot! Sleep well on your full tummy.

29 April 2021

I kept a close watch on the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Samson and Gabrielle and their fledgling, Legacy today. I briefly stopped in to see a couple of others but my energy and focus was on Legacy.

The last official sighting of Legacy was at 9:53:51 EDT on 28 April.

Legacy and Gabby. They spent the morning together before Legacy flew off. 28 April 2021

What a beauty!

Some think that there could have been a possible flyby at 8:41:16 on the morning of 29 April. It was caught on the tree cam.

Is it Legacy? 29 April 2021

On Thursday, the 29th of April, Samson brought a fish to the nest to try and entice Legacy to come to the nest tree. That didn’t work and Samson wound up eating it. Earlier yesterday, Gabby was with Samson at 11:37:35.

Today, Samson spent the majority of the day – more than eight hours – on the branch looking and listening for Legacy.

29 April 2021

I am not an expert on Bald Eagles but I have trusted acquaintances who are and they shared their knowledge with me today as I searched for some answers. I will share with you everything that I learned as I try to make sense out of what is happening.

First, Bald Eagles do not directly teach the young to hunt prey. I am used to falcons and hawks literally taking their clutch after they have fledged and having ‘hunting parties’ with them. It was not unusual to have Big Red and Arthur showing their juveniles how to catch a squirrel by taking them out and doing just that! A fledgling eagle might make its way to the river and observe their parents catching fish just as WBSE 23 did with Lady and Dad according to one of my trusted sources. The parents and other eagles taught by example.

Secondly, what is typical for a fledgling Bald Eagle is what is happening on the nest of Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers. There E17 and E18 are becoming stronger fliers – going for a flight and then returning to the nest. The parents bring food to the nest for each of them. It is more normal for the fledgling Bald Eagles to stay at the nest for 4-6 weeks doing precisely what E17 and E18 are doing. My trusted sources, who have more than 35 years experience with Bald Eagles together, say it is definitely not typical for a Bald Eagle to fledge one day, take a couple of flights the next, and then leave – poof. I will never sugarcoat anything and neither do the individuals who advised me today. Bald Eagle fledglings are not capable of taking care of themselves in such circumstances. They are still not strong fliers and they do not have the hunting skills required. ‘It normally does not end well’ is what one of them said and that stuck in my head.

So what might have happened? To return to the example of the Sea Eagles, WBSE 26 was chased out of the parent’s territory in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park by several Pied Currawong. Perhaps Legacy got too far away to return at night. That is a possibility. Legacy might be ‘downed’ and is unable to get up and fly to the nest. That could be a huge problem depending on what other wildlife is in the area. The other possibility, as one of the experts noted, is that Legacy is a single child and it is easier for the parent to feed them off nest. So Gabby could be feeding Legacy while Samson is trying to coax her back to the nest. The other possibilities for this situation are more dire. Many fly into power lines while others get their wings caught up in branches. Fighting to get free they rip their wings. She could have tried to get carrion off the highway and gotten hit by a car. Those are just some of the many possibilities. There could be people out looking for Legacy during the daylight hours – something that we might not ever know. Still, I hope like I did for Tiny now Biggie Tot that everything turns around for the best and we see Legacy or have a positive sighting of her soon and that she is well.

It was a miserable rainy day for Big Red and Arthur at the Cornell Fernow light tower. Everyone is getting excited for a possible hatch watch. It would appear that the oldest egg is 34 days and Big Red’s statistics indicate hatches between 38 and 41 days, longer than normal for other RTHs. So I am not going to start getting excited until next week. Knowing Big Red she will surprise all of us!

A rather soggy Big Red. 29 April 2021

Lunch ‘looks’ reasonably peaceful at ‘The Landings’ Skidaway Island Osprey nest. I use the term ‘looks’ because we all know that looks can be deceiving. The eldest still asserts its dominance but, so far, the younger one is alright. Dad just brought in a fish and already both of the little ones have crops. Their plumage is really changing. It looks like the one to the top has a mask on today.

Lunch is on. 29 April 2021
Playing nice. 29 April 2021

Isn’t this just a cute little cuddle puddle? It is hard to believe that before the next academic term begins at Berkeley, these three will be flying at stealth speeds and catching prey in mid-air.

Such sweeties. Cuddled together in the shade to avoid the hot sunlight. 29 April 2021

It is clearly easier to get dirty when eating if you are white. The falcon parents have a particular call they make when they arrive with the food and it is time to eat. The little ones stand in a group and grab or the parent hangs the food above their beak. They want the chicks to stretch their necks so that they become strong. When there are no more chirping eyasses and no more wide open mouths, feeding is over. No bonking. Just nice full crops and food comas.

Feed me, feed me! 29 April 2021

The nest cup in the White-tailed Eagle nest in Estonia is very deep. It really protects the little one from the cold winds. The temperature at the nest continues to be about 1 degree C. This picture was taken after 5pm in the evening. Look at that wonderful sunshine and blue sky – what a change from the frosty morning they had. You can just see the little bobble head reaching up to get its evening meal. There is another egg in this nest and if it is viable, it should be hatching tomorrow.

Eve feeding her first hatch. 29 April 2021

Louis continues to be attentive to Iris at the Hellgate Osprey Nest – visiting and mating more often since the banded intruder showed up in Louis’s territory. So far there are no eggs in Iris’s nest!

One of several reasons cited for the female raptors being 33-50% larger than the males (dimorphism) can be seen below. The male osprey flies in and lands on the female. If the weight distribution were the opposite, the female could be crushed.

Louis landing on Iris for a mating attempt. 29 April 2021
29 April 2021. Louis and Iris mating (or not?)

I want to leave you with a bit of a smile or maybe a horrible nightmare. I simply cannot imagine Osprey chicks wandering around in all of the stuff that Jack brings to this nest. The stuffed shark and a brown teddy bear are still there along with some hats and sweaters and other toys. Harriet has to be so patient! I just want to go out there and tidy it up for her before the babies hatch at this nest near King George, Virginia. Don’t you?

The hoarde of objects that Jack brings to Harriet as gifts at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest. 29 April 2021

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care of yourselves, stay safe. I will continue to monitor the Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville for any news of Legacy along with the Big Sur California Condor nest for hatch. Thank you to those who have taken the time to send me a note or ask a question. I am glad you are enjoying my blog. It is so nice to hear from other bird lovers!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams – that is where I grab my screen shots: Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Achieva Credit Union, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Eagle Club Estonia, and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.

You can always count on Arthur

Big Red, the grand dame of the Red Tail Hawks, whose nest is on the Fernow Light Stand on the Cornell Campus at Ithaca, New York lost her long time mate, Ezra, in March 2017. She had many suitors who were put through the rigours to find out if they were good providers and devoted so that their chicks would grow and thrive. Big Red chose Arthur. All of the humans thought that Big Red had ‘lost her mind’ in selecting such a young male to be her companion.

Big Red hatched somewhere near Brooktondale, New York, in 2003. She received her leg band on 7 October 2003 in Brooktondale. I have yet to find out the name of the bander. In 2017, Big Red was fourteen years old. Arthur, who had been born in an adjacent territory and who was known by some as ‘Wink’, was born in 2016. When he arrived checking on the Fernow Nest, he was only a year old and did not have his red tail feathers. He caught Big Red’s attention and by the fall they had totally bonded and were fixing up the nest for the coming breeding season in 2018. Big Red could not have chosen a better mate!

In the image below, Arthur has delivered prey to the nest so that Big Red can go and eat and he can take over the incubation duties of their three eggs. This was last evening.

13 April 2021

While Ezra was known as the squirrelinator, Arthur is known for capturing more chipmunks. Hence, he is often called the chippyinator. However, Arthur is like a jet plane when it comes to hunting. Rumour has it that he has flown onto someone’s porch to get a squirrel! So maybe Arthur is both squirrelinator and chippyinator!

In the image below, Arthur is delivering a Robin to Big Red as she incubates the eggs in one of Ithaca’s snowstorms. It was the day she laid her third egg of the 2021 season.

1 April 2021

The images below are from last year. The Js have hatched. How can you tell? Look at all the prey around the nest. Arthur will bring in so much that Big Red can line the nest bowl with fur! I am serious. No one on this nest is going hungry.

6 May 2020

Arthur has found a nest of goslings and thought Big Red might like one for dinner.

6 May 2020

Unlike other raptors, hawks will only eat road kill if there is a food shortage. On occasion, Arthur has brought in live prey to the nest. Some believe this is a teaching lesson for the nestlings.

Of course, people that watch hawk nests have a strange habit of trying to identify prey or making up names such as ‘Dunkin’ Chipmunks’ or ‘Chocolate Chippie Cookies with a Squirrel Glaze’. All kidding aside, researchers watch what prey is brought into the nest and the amounts. A typical Red-Tail hawk diet consists of 68% mammal, 17.5% other birds, 7% reptiles/amphibians/snakes and 3.2% invertebrates. Those amounts come from research by Johnsgard in 1990 but those observing the Cornell nest say that they still apply, for the most part. In 2020 with the pandemic, there was a proliferation of chipmunks. It is believed that the lack of cars killing chipmunks on the road helped with this along with just not having people around.

In April of 2018, Ferris Akel caught Arthur eating a skunk:

The same researchers have tested prey for its caloric/protein/fat/cholestrol components. Did you know that 3.6 ounces of raw pigeon has 294 calories compared to the same amount of squirrel which has only 120 calories?

From the prey delivery reports, it was established that nearly .7 more prey was delivered in 2020 compared to 2016, 2018 and 2019. That is an enormous difference. None of it was wasted, everything was eaten. The factor that changed – the pandemic. Arthur was able to freely hunt all over the campus. There were hardly any people or cars to contend with. The more food the healthier the chicks are. Even feather growth can indicate when a bird was hungry. Also, the longer the eyasses stay on the nest the better their survival rates in the wild.

Big Red laid three eggs for the 2021 season. The first was on 26 March followed by 29 March and 1 April. Red-tail hawks generally incubate their eggs for 28-35 days. Big Red’s incubation periods have ranged from 38 to 41 days. Still, by the 28th of April all eyes will be on that nest! The Ks are coming. Yippeee.

Why do I mention all of this? There is no doubt that Arthur is a devoted mate. When it is time to fix up the nest, work on the nest bowl, incubate the eggs, provide prey for Big Red and then for her and the eyasses, Arthur is right there! You know the other ones that I wish were like Arthur if you read my blog. I will leave it at that. Can you hear me growling at them?

You can watch the life streaming of this nest here:

In other news, the three chicks on the Achieva Osprey nest are waiting for food. Yesterday Diane, the female, delivered many fish and Tiny Tot finally got a good feed very late in the day. As I write this it is 3pm and no food has come to the nest. The mother is not calling for food and the male touched down for only a few minutes around noon. There is something wrong at this nest today. It is extremely hot there, over 30 near the nest. Hopefully if it is the heat food will come in. Tiny was well fed but he needs to eat less more often still. The fish also provides the hydration. I wish the wildlife laws allowed for the care in these situations.

Louis is still waiting for Aila to arrive at the Loch Arkaig nest and Iris continues to bring in twigs and branches for her nest at Hellsgate. One of the members of the FB group had a really good take on Iris. Instead of bemoaning the fact that she will not be able to raise chicks if Louis repeats his behaviour, we should be happy that she can enjoy her summer vacation without the burden of care for little ones and the toll it takes on one’s body. What a positive way of looking at this. Maybe I should be thanking you Louis for just being Louis. Iris has fledged at least 30-40 chicks or more – she does deserve a break to stay healthy.

You can watch Iris at the Hellsgate Osprey Nest cam:

And you can watch Louis wait for the arrival of Aila here:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I wish the news was better on the Achieva Nest. We can hope that it is only the heat. Still the little one needs to eat more often. Take care and keep watching the nests!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Woodland Trust and People Play Lottery, Cornell Bird Lab – Hellsgate Osprey and Red-Tail Hawk, Ferris Akel, and Achieva Credit Union.