30 December 2022
Good Morning Everyone!
Can you believe it? It is New Year’s Eve in Australia and Asia while in North and South America and in Europe it is the 30th. 2023 is almost here and for many, it feels like we were just welcoming the birds back to Canada in the very late spring and early summer. What will the New Year have in store for all of us and our feathered friends?
It has warmed up on the Canadian Prairies but it isn’t that nice. We are having sleet which makes driving or walking rather hazardous. Still, I got out and the birds and the house fur balls have food for another month. The birds don’t like it especially since I decided to break up a large cylinder of suet and scatter it around. The sleet has managed to make certain that the pieces are difficult to unlodge. Still, I cannot complain and won’t…although Canadians really are known for complaining about the cold and then when the heat arrives, equally complaining about it! But, right about now, I wouldn’t mind sitting outside listening to the birds or heading for a coconut ice cream and watching the Magnificent Frigatebirds dive for fish in Grenada.
Mr Blue Jay taking flight with a peanut – taken with iPhone.
A video with really good images of Blue Jays and 10 Fun Facts about one of my favourite garden birds.
We have all been waiting for an update on WBSE30 with nothing appearing and many fearing the worst. Well, our sleuth ‘H’ found an update with a video on FB showing WBSE 30 flying in its aviary. Fantastic news. Thanks, ‘H’. The key is to go to the Raptor Recovery Australia FB page it seems.
I cannot think of a better way to end the year than to know that that both 29 and 30 will have a chance at a full life in the wild like WBSE27. This news and knowing that it is the same team that gave 27 such a commanding start to her life in the wild is so reassuring.
What everyone down in the Sydney Olympic Park needs to consider – based on 27, 29, and 30 – is that the minute the sea eagles can be picked up after fledge and taken into care, the better. I know. It sounds ridiculous but, the Pied Currawongs and Magpies will not allow them to thrive. If they are found at all, they are emaciated and sometimes injured. They have had no time to perfect their flying skills or to be taught how to hunt by their parents. Indeed, when did you last hear of Lady and Dad training a fledgling to fish down by the Parramatta River? have they ever? No, the nuisances drive them out of the forest to their death OR they are picked up and taken into rehabilitation. So instead of pondering it, just do it! Pick them up the minute they are seen on the sidewalk or in someone’s yard and give them to the rehabbers for 27 and 30 to train.
Now how is 29 with that break?
Climate change and the extreme weather conditions that are striking some areas of the Earth are the subject of an article in The Guardian. It is really a good read and we must, we absolutely must, realise that climate not only impacts humans but everything on the planet – especially our feathered friends. How long will we ignore it? and what can we do to help? If everyone in the world woke up on the 1st of January resolving to not buy a single new thing in 2023 unless it was essential (and I really do mean absolutely essential), turned down their heating 3 or 4 degrees, did not waste any food thus cutting down their purchases by 30-40%, resolved to feed the birds (purchase of birdseed can come from food not purchased that would be wasted), cut down on car travel and thus reliance on fossil fuels ——–would it make a difference? Surely during the pandemic we saw the most noxious skies in places like New Delhi and Beijing clear as well as animals coming to life. We need curious, determined, and ‘efficient’ people to help us get motivated to really get on with what needs to be done. And we need ‘paid’ influencers – I don’t need to tell you who is on my list not to ever be persuaded by but their names end with a ‘K – banned from the air waves. I really do not want my kind and empathetic granddaughter to ever think that being beautiful requires altering every aspect of her body! Enough of a rant. I am going to read Bill McGuire’s Hothouse Earth. An Inhabitant’s Guide again this week.
And now that we have completely lost our train of thought, a good look at a woman who ties the knots of weather disasters together to give us the whole view.
So in the world of hungry raptors and other feeders of carrion, who will win? The Red Kite, the Crow, or the Magpie? There is a pheasant lunch waiting for one of them!
You might remember that I wrote about Beauty and the Beak, a book chronicling the Bald Eagle who lost her beak and could not feed herself. Deborah Rose and Jane Veltkamp worked to give her a new life with a 3D printed bank. And now, there is an update from ‘J’ on Beauty who is part of the Birds of Prey Northwest in Idaho:
“Beauty is doing very well. Her upper beak has slowly regenerated some growth, which pushed the specially-fitted prosthetic beak off. The GREAT news in this is that the beak growth now allows Beauty to feed herself. We cut strips of salmon (one of her favorites) and lay them out, and she is able to scoop them up to eat on her own. We are in a wait and see pattern before determining any kind of new prosthetic beak, which is dependent upon any continued regrowth. Beauty continues to live in her own large aviary where she moves about, spreads her wings during short flights, perches on large tree limbs, and looks out over forested mountains and a lake. She remains a stunning, very special bald eagle, and a reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.”
Port Lincoln has published a video on the life of Zoe, the only surviving Osprey chick at the barge near the marina in Port Lincoln. It was really bittersweet watching it – there was Little Bob and Middle. So, I suggest having a tissue handy.
This morning Zoe was screaming for Mum to bring her a fish. ‘R’ and I could not help laughing. Poor Mum and Dad. I wonder if Zoe is going to sit on that nest for the next couple of months screaming for fish! Go get a Puffer, Zoe! Let Ervie show you how. Give Mum a break.
If I was hoping that E3 – 01 would be nice to E3 -02, it was just wishful thinking. The oldest sibling at the E3 nest on Kincaid Lake in Louisiana took great exception to its younger sibling being in front when the food was being dispensed! The little one wasn’t even 12 hours old.
It’s blurry but he is dispensing the beaking at the back of the little one’s head. Hopefully this dominance issue will be settled quickly. My problem is I know how it can end and we have seen too much siblicide during 2022. I would just as soon start out 2023 on a positive note).
There is lots of food and everyone will be well fed. Still, the beaking can continue regardless. ‘A’ wrote that she hopes that the first hatch is a male and the second a female – that would certainly level out the field!
Andria will brood the eaglets because the natal down they are born with does not allow them to regulate their own temperature. By about the 9th or 10th day, the two eaglets will have a grey thermal down. Andria will not have to brood the eaglets after this period but, she will. That is her instinct to keep them warm and dry. She can be off for longer periods. By 21 days, the eaglets will be entirely covered with a grey thermal down that looks like an old carpet! We will start to see the juvenile feathers emerge from the wing tips, the back, and the tail. The growth of the thermal down should be fully complete by 30 days when the juvenile feathers will begin to grow on the breast of the birds and their head. Believe it or not, in 6 or 7 winks – yes, if you blink too much near Valentine’s Day you will be shocked. These two will be covered entirely with juvenile feathers. Unbelievable growth. Right now they will be fed often, usually every hour, a little food. As they begin to eat more and hold food in their crop, they will be fed less. I do not know about Andria but Anna at the E-1 nest had so much fish on the nest that she just stuffed her last two eaglets!!!!!!! I think this might happen here at the E3 nest, too.
A later feeding by Alex and both eaglets got bites. E3-01 has a ‘huge’ crop for such a little gaffer and so does its smaller sibling. Now this was Dad, Alex, feeding. Well done, Alex.
It sure looked like the eagles had been visiting the MN-DNR nest the last few days. Last year Harry and Nancy hatched two eaglets before Harry was injured/killed at this nest. Later you will remember that food was scarce- Nancy had to hunt, protect, and keep away intruders, impossible – and E1 pushed E2 off the side of the nest not long before fledge. E2’s injuries were such that it was euthanised. So is Nancy with a new mate? or is this a new couple? I am not completely sure. We do know that Nancy did have a new mate in the early fall. I await confirmation from the MN-DNR or Pat Burke who knows Nancy well and will be able to ID her.
Caught Thunder out on Tor Thursday morning. Oh, what a beautiful view! I would not mind being in warm Southern California right now sitting there on top of that rock looking out at the water. I wonder how many would like to join me?
Staying with the Channel Islands eagles, Andor and Cruz were both at the Fraser Point nest today.
Ron has been bringing gifts to Rose including part of a squirrel. Both have been working on the nest but whether or not there will be eggs is unknown. Maybe next year?? Bald Eagle season in Florida can go into May so it isn’t too late for both Rose and Gabby.
There is definitely a defined egg cup at the NEFlorida nest of Gabby and the new mate, V3, today. Does this mean anything? We will have to wait and see.
New grasses have been added for softness and Gabby has tried out the bowl.
Gabby and V3 were working on the nest again late Thursday evening. Well they are a beautiful couple and if my math is correct, this is the 5th night that V3 has spent with Gabby at the nest. I would say the deal is being sealed…and no other intruders appear to be about either. Fingers crossed for a long productive union. They really do make a handsome couple.
The snow had disappeared (but it will return today) at the Big Bear Valley nest of Shadow and Jackie. Both of them were at the nest moving sticks before the new snow started falling. Here they are around 0715.
Eagles have been at the nest in Decorah, Iowa near the trout hatchery working on the nest cup today, too. I couldn’t help myself. The close ups of the eagle were incredible. What a wonderful place to have a nest and so different from that of Jackie and Shadow high up in the mountains east of Los Angeles.
You should begin to look at the different materials that the eagles use for their nests. The Decorah eagles love corn stalks!
It was really a treat to move over to the Decorah North nest and find not only a juvenile but also Mr North and Mrs DNF! At last. Everyone has been worried about them and here they are just fine.
There was a visitor to Decorah with a backpack. You can see the sat pak if you squint hard). I hope that I did not confuse any of my identifications up with this eagle. I will write Raptor Resource and check!
Here is the announcement. The visit was on the 28th.
Oh, it is frustrating trying to see those two eaglets at the Superbeaks nest in Central Florida. A ‘ps’ has really clouded the camera and until they get a good rain, the view will stay this way. The little ones are really growing. Here you can see the beak of one being fed.
In this video from a couple of days ago, Lady Deeagle shows us the pair exercising their little wings and cheeping away. ‘H’ tells me that if you click on the YouTube symbol at the bottom left it will take you to the YouTube channel where you can read the description.
And a feeding where you can see them:
We have a few more days before the eggs at SWFlorida and KNF E1 or Captiva hatch. Gosh, there is Pa Berry and Missy, too. Too many Bald Eagles nest to keep track of…soon, it will be time to check on those Florida Ospreys.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their videos and announcements, and their letters: ‘H’, ‘A’, ‘J’ and ‘R’, Lesley the Bird Nerd, Superbeaks, Lady Deeagle and Superbeaks, Raptor Resource Project FB, Raptor Resource Project and Explore.org, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, IWS and Explore.org, MN-DNR, Port Lincoln Ospreys, KNF-E3, The Guardian, and Raptor Resource Australia.