Late Tuesday in Bird World

24 May 2022

Oh, it was around 23 degrees C and just a gorgeous sunny day for a walk around one of our nature centres. Earlier, when we had snow, there was a Canada Goose on one of the artificial nests. She was not there but evidence of the downy lining remained. I wonder if the eggs hatched? No sign of the adults. In other areas, geese were incubating eggs – some on the ground and some in the artificial nests. I wonder if these are second clutches? or first? There was no one to ask. The American Goldfinches, Yellow Warblers, Red-winged Blackbirds, Yellow Rumped Warblers were everywhere along with lots and lots of Purple Martins. The whole forest was a symphony of bird vocalizations!

Mr Goose was being for security guard for his mate in the basket nest.
Mother Goose incubating her eggs.
Mother Goose out on the island incubating her eggs.
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

It has been such a sad day for some of the nests and if it is happening on the streaming cams, I wonder how often these occurrences happen in the wild. A raccoon scaled the pole to the XCel Energy Bald Eagle Nest in Colorado and took one of the juveniles. This is the latest report on that incident:

‘A’ was watching the Fort Murray Osprey nest when an owl flew on to the nest. It killed and ate one of the osplets right there! There is the owl landing on the nest at Lake Murray.

These are incredibly sad incidents and in both cases, it appears that there was not an adult at the site.

Raccoons are known to eat all manner of things including rabbits but I have personally never heard of them pulling an eaglet off a nest and eating it. Are we seeing the beginning of a huge problem with the depletion of available prey?

The two larger siblings on the ND-LEEF nest really like to be fed by Mum. Little Bit 17 is very happy to have a fish that has been unzipped to eat. A fish came on the nest around 17:00. Mum fed the two big siblings. Little Bit is very good at watching and reading its environment. The older siblings have been cranky due to the heat. He got a few pieces of fish at the beginning and then moved way around the side and was getting fed when Mum moved. In one instance, an older sibling grabbed a piece of fish and Mum grabbed it back and Little Bit got it. Very interesting. Little Bit had a nice crop at the end – that is perfect.

Little Bit is making its way cautiously along the rim of the nest. Watching. He will snatch and grab some bites of fish.

Can you find Little Bit 17?

So everything seems pretty good at the ND-LEEF nest! Wonderful.

Laddie, LM12’s eye, is much better. He has been delivering fish to the Loch of the Lowes nest where him and Blue NC0 have three nestlings. It is not clear to me but it has been mentioned that in at least one feeding the third chick did not get fed. Just a warning about this nest. That is what happened last year and the wee one perished. Mind you, Blue NC0 is a relatively new mother. She is fantastic at fishing so fingers crossed.

That eye of Laddie’s looks as good as new.

At the Dyfi Nest in Wales, Idris is not only know for his great fishing skills but he loves to incubate and take care of the chicks. Today, when the first was hatching, Idris was insisting on incubating! He has a lot of tactics to try and get Telyn up off those eggs.

And Telyn has her tricks to try and get him up!!!!! These two are way too funny.

Mum has been on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest this afternoon. I could not find a big fish on rewind but both chicks appeared to have eaten recently. No worries about them.

Rosie and Richmond’s two osplets are 8 days old now. Most of the time they behave themselves but there has been some bopping between them that seems to have started yesterday, on day 7. I am not concerned. Richmond is a good provider and this behaviour will stop. Notice that they are losing the fluffy baby down and will be moving into the Reptilian phase soon, too soon.

They look so adorable when they are being nice!

The two little eyases at Cal Falcons scrape of Annie and Alden are loving flapping their wings.

They are also getting curious about what is outside that open door!

The Manchester NH eyases are also flapping their wings. Sometimes there is downy fluff flying everywhere adding to the feather fed they already sleep on.

Here is a lovely video of the three Peregrine Falcon chicks at the Great Spirit Bluff scrape having dinner. So cute.

Nancy and E1, Harriet, have eaten today. Thank goodness the intruders that have been around allowed Nancy time to go out and get some prey. It is hard being a single parent to a growing eaglet with sometimes dangerous intruders.

Beautiful Lena from the Captiva Osprey Platform. It was a good year despite the mysterious death of the eldest osplet, Big. Middle Little and Little Mini fledged and are doing well. Mum desires a good rest and a day at the spa!

Big Red and Arthur’s four eyases at the Red-tail Hawk nest are really getting their juvenile feathers. Several are wing flapping and all are eating very well!

Unlike Blue NC0 at Loch of the Lowes, Big Red will stretch to get to a hungry chick!

Rita and Ron are still providing fish for R2 on the nest in the Miami Zoo. How wonderful. You can pop in there early or re-wind and see them.

R2 will eventually arrive and another big fish will come to the nest at 1330.

Thank you so much for joining me for a spin around some of the nests. still more to check on! I hope everyone has had a lovely day. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Lake Murray Ospreys, ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Explore.Org, MN-DNR, Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, Cal Falcons, Bald Eagles 101, Dyfi Osprey Project, Peregrine Networks, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

Late Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

It is the end of what seemed like Saturday but it was only Friday. The snow did come to Manitoba but not to the City but the temperatures fell here. The Baltimore Orioles are all over our City to the delight of everyone who can lure one of those orange and black beauties into their garden. One man built a big segregated feeder with alternating jelly, orange halves, and watermelon. My friend Wicky lives on the NE coast of the US and she says her Orioles will not eat the oranges. They want the Quince buds on her tree! What I found interesting today about the garden was the lack of European Starlings and the return of the Grackles and the Dark-eyed Juncos. It was rather odd. I wonder if it was the snow in some of the rural areas that pushed them back into the urban sphere???

We relish the triumphs of the birds who we thought might not make it. Middle at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest is just one of those birds. After Little Bit was killed by Big, she set her sights on Middle. Things went smoothly then when fish deliveries were at a minimum the dominance returned. Mum and Dad are dropping off pieces of fish and small fish for the two on the nest. I happened to check on the pair this evening and there was Middle with his prize tiny fish! He was so happy and making such a racket (that bird really is loud – loud like Middle Little at Captiva) it is a wonder that Big did not try to take it away.

Middle has the little fish. It reminds me of a very small sun fish. He is mantling and protecting himself and his prize.

At one point Big looked like they were interested in what Middle had but then they went back to flapping their wings. Middle protected the fish for a few minutes before trying to figure out how to unzip it. The key would just have been to hork it – but Middle will learn that later!

Big is still watching but he is not making any attempt to interrupt Middle.

Middle turns his back to Big to finish the tiny morsel.

Sound asleep. It is very difficult to tell the two apart now. You have to look closely because Middle’s plumage is getting darker.

Sweet Osprey Dreams.

Big on the left and Middle on the right.

The first chick has hatched at the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. These are the parents of Tiny Little who fledged last year as one of the smallest third hatches I have ever seen.

Both Lady and Dad spent the night on the nest tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest waking up to sing their lovely duet. Will we have eggs within 2 weeks? Probably!

Staying with the Australian raptors for a moment, Diamond and Xavier have been bonding in the scrape on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange.

It has been wonderful to see Ervie on the Port Lincoln barge. I checked a few minutes ago and he was not there but it does not mean he won’t be with one of his delicious puffers at some point during the day.

The Anacapa Peregrine chicks are no worse for ware after getting their bling from Dr Sharpe this morning. One girl and one boy. Dr Sharpe banded them on the edge of the cliff.

I mentioned that the five Manchester NH chicks were banded this morning. A picture posted on FB with the news shows them on a table in a room with an audience being banded. Quite the opposite experience from the chicks at Anacapa.

Picture credit goes to Linda Furlizz.

The pair at the University of California at Berkeley scrape gave their Dad, Alden, a tough time the other day. Someone said it was like Alden being a substitute teacher! I smiled. Today they gave Annie a bit of a time.

The trio at the Manton Bay nest have so much fish to eat they cannot help but grow. Dad brought in the breakfast fish and Maya immediately fed the chicks. Dad returned to take some leftovers for his breakfast but Maya convinced him to leave it and then she fed the chicks a second breakfast immediately. There was still some fish on the nest for later.

The wee babe at Loch of the Lowes looks up to its beautiful Mum Blue NC0. There was a pip in the second egg. Looking for a hatch when I wake up in the morning.

Richmond and Rosie’s two little ones are adorable. Rosie is so good at trying to get a flake of fish in a bobbing mouth!!!!!!!

That was so cute and it is a wonderful way to end this very short late report of happenings in Bird World. There should be a couple of fledges coming up and some more hatches at the Osprey nests. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Cal Falcons, Explore.org, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and University of Florida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Richmond, the stick, and the chick

19 May 2022

Richmond and Rosie have their nest on top of the Whirley Crane in San Francisco Bay at the Richmond Shipping Yards. Richmond is well known for bringing ‘things’ to the nest but, today, yesterday he decided to bring in a big stick. At the time only one osplet had hatched and we were waiting for the second. The first egg was not viable.

This stick delivery does end well but sit back and hold on to your worry beads! I suspect Rosie had a lot to say about this delivery away from the ears of their first hatch!

The second chick has hatched. Rosie was busy trying to get it to roll over and to eat some fish a few minutes ago.

Rosie kept cheeping. The youngest got itself righted. Rosie is determined that wee one is going to have some food! A determined Mum succeeds. Well done, Rosie.

Here is the link to Rosie and Richmond’s camera:

I thought you would enjoy the antics of Richmond. So glad that it worked out alright at the end! Thank you for joining me. Take care. Have a great Friday morning wherever you are.

Thank you to SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

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.

A Hatch and a Crop!

17 May 2022

I had no intention of writing another update on today’s birds. However, sometimes something wonderful happens.

The weather cooled off at Notre-Dame and a really nice fish came on the nest. Early today, little 17 had only a bite of fish and not much yesterday. This sweet little third hatch was conserving what energy it had and we were all hoping that food would come. The wee one had a small ps – not good. It was really showing how dehydrated 17 was getting.

17 did what we have seen many who are dominated by older siblings do – he was hungry and he needed to eat. How could he get around the pecking siblings? He went around on the rim of the nest. How many times have we seen desperate eaglets or osplets do this?

17 is on the rim watching until that one big sibling moves away from the fish.

Once he gets up to eat the sibling on the far left will move its head threatening to peck. 17 keeps its head away and moves in to grab a bite of fish and throws its wings out in a mantle.

It had to be such an anxious feeding. A human being would be sick under that kind of pressure.

17 keeps snatch and grabbing until all that is left is an inch or so of fish and the tail.

17 mantles, then grabs and turns his head away. What determination. Go 17!

That fish is getting shorter and by the time 17 finishes eating – he is going to have a great big crop for his size.

Mum leaves the tail piece. 17 eats on it holding it down at times while the Big siblings ignore it all. Eventually one of them will try and self-feed, too but, 17 knows to hold it down and they don’t.

The ND-LEEF camera does not have good definition. But look straight down. See the fluffy grey on either side of 17’s head. That is how big his crop is! He can hardly walk he is so full. This is wonderful. He hasn’t ever had such a good meal that I can remember. We were also at the point to start worrying a bit – so that is all avoided. Yipee.

The second egg of Richmond and Rosie had a crack in it a few hours ago. About an hour ago that crack went completely around the egg and you could see the little osplet inside the shell! Oh, how grand. A hatch for the SF Ospreys. How wonderful. It is a good way to end the day. A full tummy for 17 and a hatch – finally – for Richmond and Rosie.

There it is! Oh, sweet wiggly one.

Back to brooding. Was sort of hoping that they would move that other part of the hatchling’s shell out of the nest.

But goodness, welcome wee one!

I simply cannot think of a better way to end the day than with a big smile. All is well in Bird World.

Thank you for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to ND-LEED and SFOspreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Monday in Bird World

17 May 2022

Balloons.

Balloon release – 1” by Jerry Downs is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.
Copy text

Thank you to everyone who wrote to me about the balloons. I am not ‘Debbie Downer’ but there are sure lots of ways of having fun other than sending balloons up into the sky as in the image below!

My comment about starting in elementary school reminded a reader, ‘B’, of an incident. Out in the wilderness a balloon was found. There was a note attached to it asking whoever found it to please call the teacher at the elementary school that had released the balloons. The finder did, indeed, contact the school but did inform the teacher about the dangers of balloons to all wildlife. I am certain she had no idea. This got me to thinking. We really need to spread the word somehow.

I know that many of my readers are teachers or individuals who have friends or family who are teachers or group leaders for Cubs, Guides, etc. We do need to start with the children but let us educate them to the dangers. So how do the teachers do this? and how can we create a web of understanding so that people do not feel criticized but who realize the dangers and want to help? Why not have balloons and the environment as a topic for a staff meeting? or a conference? I am certain that a wildlife rehabber would happily come in and educate teachers and students on the dangers of balloons. They might even bring one of their ambassadors. It would be a great topic that could generate lots of interest! If you know of someone who provides children’s parties, talk to them as well. There are many types of decorations that are much more planet and wildlife friendly and who doesn’t want to be on the sustainable and environmentally-friendly side? Most don’t knowingly want to harm birds or other wildlife; they just simply do not know the bigger picture and how a simple act of releasing balloons for a celebration can have a lasting impact on birds causing their death or disability. Spread the word!

I have several other concerns that focus on simple solutions to a huge problem for wildlife. Lead. The Institute for Wildlife Studies – Dr Sharpe and gang that manage the Channel Islands Bald Eagles amongst other projects including Condors have put out an information pamphlet about the alternatives to the use of lead. I am attaching it. They do presentations at various sporting events. Please read it. If you know someone who hunts or fishes and uses lead, please gently inform them of the alternatives. Thanks!

SF Bay Ospreys have posted an image of a crack in egg 2 for Richmond and Rosie. They believe that egg 1 is non-viable and stated that even egg 2 is late. It would be grand if 2 and 3 would hatch close to one another.

Duke and Daisy survived the storm that went through New Jersey last night. It is still windy today, though.

This is the view from the platform to where Duke does his fishing. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. When you live inland on the prairies, you long for water! and sandy beaches! and mountains!

Middle Little O was on the Captiva Osprey platform with his long, long legs (he could challenge Idris in a couple of years) wanting some fish. Andy brought him a Lizard Fish this morning and later he brought him a Pinfish. Middle Little O is so loud — and always fish crying! So funny. [I could almost swear Middle Little O is a female].

I think the only time that Middle Little and Little Mini were hungry was when Big was alive. Andy and Lena are taking super care of their two surviving juveniles – their first since 2019. So happy for them. Andy is certainly devoted and doing his job getting fish to both the fledglings.

The five walking cotton balls at the Manchester NH scrape continue to do well. Enough food for all – eating,, sleeping, and growing. The fifth hatch is so cute! There he is by the exit to the exterior platform.

There are still serious issues for 17 on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. Prey comes in and at 14:26:19, he was able to snatch and grab a single bite. 17 has been conserving its energy by sleeping and was gnawing on some bones at various times. This is pretty sad. 17 is 6 weeks old today. Half way to fledge. The chick needs nourishment and the older siblings have always been aggressive and dominant.

17 did have a small PS. Oh, I wish for some food for this little one. It is hard having two great big siblings and being so small.

It is 15:13 nest time at the UFlorida-Osprey platform on the practice field. Middle has quite the crop. I don’t need to go back and check on a feeding. At some point while I was rustling up an electrician at the last minute, Mum came in with enough fish to fill Middle to the brim. That makes me so happy.

The storm left Big Red and the gang a little soggy yesterday. They are all doing fine. The oldest and the youngest have been flapping their wings today. It is like L4 says to the elder sib, “Anything you can do, I can do!” They are so cute. Watch at the end as they see a parent doing a fly by. Precious.

I haven’t seen any prey deliveries on the Dale Hollow nest. Both eaglets are still there. One found something buried in the nest and the other is watching closely as the sib tries to eat it. Hopefully some fish will come in later.

The chick at Cromer Peregrine scrape has been ringed. The measurements are inconclusive so DNA samples were taken to determine gender. The chick is either a large male or a small female!

Just look at the crops on the eyases at the San Jose City Hall Falcon Scrape. Wow. It’s so funny how you can tell if the crop is totally full – the skin looks really shiny where the feathers separate. Gosh they are cute.

Annie has a snooze and later feeds the two eyases. Cute, cute. Gosh. What is it? 8 or 10 days til they are ringed? Unbelievable. I remember when I was waiting to get my driver’s license and my mother assured me that time passed much faster when I got older. She was right. Weren’t we just waiting for a hatch yesterday?

These chicks always look like they are smiling and why not? They have Annie and Alden for parents.

The ND-LEEF nest is still the problem. I sure hope some giant fish arrive so that 17 gets some decent bites of fish. All of the falcon and hawk nests are fine. We are waiting for Osprey eggs to hatch in the UK.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Cromer Peregrine Falcons, DHEC, Cornell RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Peregrine Networks, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Barnegat Light Ospreys, and SF Bay Ospreys.

Monday Morning in Bird World

16 May 2022

The sun is trying desperately to brighten the sky. The leaf buds are half way open and there is a tinge of green on all the trees in the neighbourhood. So nice after the long grey white brown winter which seemed to go on forever. The flood waters in my province are finally receding but the cost to the wildlife is unknown. I do hope to see some goslings but how many nests were destroyed by the rising waters will always only be a guess.

I want to thank everyone who sends me news items that demonstrate that we have a long way to go in our fight to make our planet safe for our dearly loved feathered friends (and others). News has come to me this morning from ‘S’ about the toll that wind turbines are taking on the eagles – both Bald and Golden. What an avoidable tragedy!

The ESI Energy Company, Inc. has pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Act in its killing of at least 150 Bald and Golden Eagles.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wind-energy-company-pleads-guilty-to-killing-eagles-180979898/

The story was carried by all the major US news agencies. Thank you ‘S’ for bringing this to my attention.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2022/04/06/150-eagles-killed-wind-turbines/9492311002/

The simple solution is to paint one blade black. “An eagle eye has two focal points (called “fovea” [singular] or “foveae” [plural]) one of which looks forward and the other to the side at about a 45 degree angle. These two foveae allow eagles to see straight ahead and to the side simultaneously.” A study by Jesper Kyed Larsen, Environmental Expert at Vattenfall (Netherlands Energy Company) says, “Painting one blade of a wind turbine rotor black resulted in 70 percent fewer collision bird victims. That has to do with the way birds perceive the moving rotor of a wind turbine.”

https://group.vattenfall.com/press-and-media/newsroom/2022/black-turbine-blades-reduce-bird-collisions#:~:text=That%20study%20showed%20that%20painting,Larsen%2C%20Environmental%20Expert%20at%20Vattenfall

So why is this easy solution not being undertaken? Why is this taking so long?

Some US States have outlawed balloons because of the damage that they do to the waterfowl. ‘L’ writes about a story that broke in Florida after 90 balloons were popped and tossed into the water? How many waterfowl will wind up in the care of the local wildlife rehabilitation clinics? This is precisely what happened on a yacht in Biscayne Bay. Will fines and public shaming help to stop the problem of the balloons? And do we really need to have balloons to have fun? or to mark the site of a celebration?

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/2nd-arrest-after-viral-video-shows-popped-17171599.php

The two osplets on the nest at the practice field at the University of Florida in Gainesville are waiting for their breakfast.

As I write this, it is now past 11:00 and the two chicks are still waiting for a fish to appear.

As all of you know, ‘R’ and I have been trying to solve the mystery of the lack of fish coming to this – a fact that saw the third hatch become a victim of siblicide. Every possibility had been examined with no conclusions other than multiple factors might be causing issues including the amount of algae in one close lake and the encroachment of dormitories and parking lots taking up part of Alice Lake. This morning ‘R’ caught the camera panning around the campus. There had been a question about whether or not Dad had another nest.

So who is on this nest? Is this a second nest of Dad’s?

The mystery continues.

Still tracking what is happening at the nest of Richmond and Rosie on the old Whirley Crane in San Francisco.

Everyone was expecting the first egg to pip or even hatch by the 15th of May.

Rosie was rolling eggs and the camera is zooming in to see if there is a pip.

That looks like old fishing nets on the nest. Makes me nervous just like fishing line and baling twine.

Is anything happening? It is very hard to tell.

Everything is fine at the platform of Blue 33 (11) and Maya at Rutland today.

Iris. Iris has, perhaps, had a suitor landing on the nest. One day she called for a fish and he did not bring her one. The next day she fought him off. Yesterday she did let him land but she isn’t friendly. Oddly, Louis doesn’t seem to be around. If only this new male would bring Iris a fish!

There is a chunk of fish on the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and E1, Harriet. We can assume that all is well so far there today.

Beautiful close ups of DC9 at the National Arboretum nest of Mr President and Lotus.

The two eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest are restless this morning. We are within the early part of a fledge window at this nest.

So many of us are really going to miss the triplets at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta. What a joy Kana’kini and her two brothers have given us this year. But hates off to Akecheta. He sure stepped into the role of Dad in a big, big way!

The wee eyases at the Cal Falcons nest cuddled up with one another. They are waiting for their breakfast.

Cal Falcons reports that the eyases have reached a milestone in their development:

Oh, those five eyases at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape are growing. Unbelievable!

The falcons on top of the tower in Oudenaarde in Belgium have an amazing view! In the image below you can see that while the chicks are seemingly alone, there is an adult close by. This would be the same with all the other falcon scrapes that we watch.

Big Red was up early – just as the sun was beginning to shine over Cornell’s campus at Ithaca – feeding the Ls. Notice how the eyases’ gorgeous contour and wing feathers are starting to grow.

Gosh, I continue to enjoy watching the Goshawk, Alla with her chicks. Here is a short video clip of a feeding this morning.

Bukachek and Betty have been taking turns incubating their eggs in the Mlade Buky nest in The Czech Republic. Some of the interference with the nest has stopped. Looking for pip watch in about a week.

That’s a wrap for this morning. The truck has arrived to start taking apart a very old garage/shed that has been the ‘penthouse’ for Little Red. By mid-June, if all goes well, there should be a greenhouse/conservatory taking its place. Can’t wait. The birds are not happy with the workmen being here – indeed, the birds are not happy if I am outside other than to fill their feeders!

Thank you for joining me today. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams an/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell RTH, Cal Falcons, MN-DNR, LRWT, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, DHEC, NADC-AEF, Mlade Buky White Stork Nest, Peregrine Networks, Montana Osprey Project, Explore.org, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

Late Sunday in Bird World

15 May 2022

It has turned out to be a brilliant day on the Canadian prairies after the morning’s dreariness. At 18:33 the sky is clear blue, not a cloud anywhere. This, of course, could bode very well for the lunar eclipse tonight which I should be able to see – providing the sky stays the same – around 22:30-23:15. Will see if I can grab some shots of it for all of us!

It was a pretty good day in Bird World taken as a whole. The smallest eaglet in the Notre-Dame nest could really use some food. My goodness he is a tiny little tiercel compared to those two sprawling big siblings. I always get nervous when I check on that nest.

A fish was brought in to the UFlorida-Gainesville nest around 17:55. Middle managed to get a few good bites at the beginning by the old snatch and grab and screaming. Then Mum proceeded to feed almost the entire fish to Big. Middle is hungry but not starving. Holding my breath for tomorrow or another fish tonight.

The other super star of the male Ospreys in Wales is Idris. He has his nest with Telyn near the River Dyfi. Idris is ‘Daddy Longlegs’ and he is known for bringing whoppers onto the nest just like Blue 33.

I can’t wait for the chicks to start hatching on this nest! Last year these two fledged two brilliant osplets – a male, Dysynni and a female, Ystwyth. They have just been ringed and we will be looking for their return next year.

Blue 33 did as Blue always does – he brings in the fish, sometimes too much, and Maya has him remove them. The three chicks continue to thrive. No worries here.

The weather turned and it began to rain and blow in the late evening. Blue was on the nest with Maya and the kids. He is extremely protective and one of those ace providers! He also likes to feed his chicks.

The Dale Hollow eaglets are 77 days old. The average age for fledging is 84 days. So we still have some time, hopefully, with them.

The nest is falling apart in some places and River and Obey will have some work to do for next season. These two are gorgeous.

Just look at what was the rim of this nest. It is almost entirely gone!

E1 at the MN-DNR nest is pancaked down on the nest right now. Is there an intruder somewhere? or is this food coma?

Nancy was in to feed E1 at 19:00. These two are doing alright. Nancy is taking good care of E1, Harriet.

I have not checked on the Goshawk nest at Riga, Lativa for a few days. It is another one of those times when you blink and the chicks are getting bigger. There are four. I have checked and all seem to eat fine.

It rained heavily on the nest yesterday. Mum comes in with food and here is a video of that feeding of these Goshawk chicks. Goshawks are beautiful birds. I just don’t like them around Osprey nests!

One of the best books on the Goshawk continues to be T.H.Whites, The Goshawk. It has been reprinted in a small paperback for a very reasonable price.

There is no news that I am aware of coming from Richmond and Rosie’s Osprey nest in San Francisco about a pip.

When Big Red and Arthur laid their fourth egg many became quite concerned that the last hatch would simply not survive with three bigger siblings. It is always good to remember that this is a hawk nest – like the Goshawk above – and all of the chicks will be fed. In fact, when L4 hatched he was just a cracker. Nothing stood in the way of L4 and Mum’s beak. He learned quickly from a few days old just to heave himself over or through the big siblings. Of course, they are not beaking him or intimidating him onto the other side of the ledge. That is why watching Big Red’s nest is the best. The absolute best.

I made a video clip today of L4 doing his stunt to get in front. It is about 3 minutes long. At 1:54 L4 decides to pull a chippie. I thought he might be going to self-feed. At 2:22 he makes for the front. I am calling it the L4 scramble. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

European Starling. 15 May 2022

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures today: DHEC, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Latvian Fund for Nature, MN-DNR, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Dyfi Ospreys, ND-LEEF, and the LRWT.

Sunday Morning in Bird World

15 May 2022

Good afternoon everyone. It is a coolish, perhaps, rainy day on the Canadian Prairies. So far it feels like a really good day to read rather than planting all the annuals. There are rumours that are temperatures will drop this coming week and that would kill all the delicate flowers and vegetables! So far no Baltimore Orioles today but a whole host of White Crown Sparrows, Pine Siskins, European Starlings, and House Finches. It is also a good day to check on some of our favourites and some that have been overlooked for awhile.

Alden always surprises me. I adore him for his quirkiness and his devotion to Annie and the chicks. Alden was up hunting and delivered ‘something’ that resembled a gull early this morning. Annie ran out and retrieved it for the kids at 04:44. The kids were wide awake and ready for breakfast. Both of those chicks are growing and doing very, very well. What could have been a disasterous season has turned into a truly joyful blessing.

Here ‘it’ comes!

If you have been watching the Weissenburg Peregrine Falcon nest and you cannot see the eyases, do not despair. They are losing their white down and their feathers are coming in. They are also very mobile and all are out on the ledge when prey is delivered as the scrape is very cramped. You can just catch a glimpse of them at the far right.

Only chick at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape is doing great. Indeed, look at the colour of its legs and feet in the second inmage. That bright yellow is a sure indication of a chick that is in good health.

This is a short video clip of a feed at the Cromer scrape on the 13th.

There are four eyases at the scrape in the Salisbury Cathedral. The parents are doing a great job keeping each one of them fed. Every one has a huge crop.

There is a continuing fear by many watching the falcon and hawk nests that have 3-5 chicks that one will suffer like they do on eagle, boobie, osprey, heron, etc nests. This is not normally the case. The falcon and hawk parents feed the eyases til each is full and the % of siblicide is so low on these nests that we do not even have to think about it!

The three in a scrape over looking the city of Warsaw, Poland are doing well, too.

All five eyases at the Manchester, NH scrape appear to be doing just fine. I cannot even imagine the work that these parents are going to have to do in terms of getting prey as these chicks grow and grow and grow.

It is amazing how many Peregrine Falcon scrapes have streaming cams! There is always a new one and the scrape in Warsaw is new to me!

It is raining lightly on Theo’s Osprey nest in Latvia. It appears that he has not attracted a mate to the nest. Is it because all the female Ospreys know that this Osprey nest is close to the Goshawks and that those hawks will kill the chicks? That is sad. This is the only Osprey nest in Latvia.

If only we could get Theo together with Iris! A male sort of suitor has been coming to Iris’s nest. She did not fight him off until yesterday. Iris wanted to see his intentions and when he approached the nest several times without a fish, she wasn’t having it. Good for you, Iris!

The Patuxent River in Maryland has been home to Ospreys for more than thirty years. They chicks are ringed and one female has been returning for 20 years! So don’t forget about these Osprey if you are searching around for a nest to watch. I will also add that it was here, last year, that many of us were able to rally one of the staff to return to the part on a Friday evening to retrieve a chick that had fallen off and was in the water. A good intervention!

Here is the link to the streaming cam for nest 2.

Mum is bringing in catfish to the Osprey nest at the UFlorida-Gainesville. Middle has been working hard to get the food off of them unlike Big who really does like to be fed by Mum. Both chicks appear to have moved beyond the food competition phase. Middle is a lovely bird – a survivor.

Big gives up working on the catfish – getting the meat off of a catfish head is very, very hard work. Middle does not mind.

I have been thinking a lot about this nest and I am grateful to ‘R’ for helping me to understand what might be impacting the fishing for this family. ‘R’ was able to establish that Lake Alice which ‘was’ a very large lake supporting the Ospreys has been partially taken over by dormitories and parking lots! Bivens Arm Lake in the second image is covered with green algae/plants making it impossible for Dad or Mum to see fish and catch them. This is quite tragic. Thank you ‘R’ for finding this out for all of us. Much appreciated.

There is also concern that Dad might be trying to keep two nests as one is clearly seen on a light pole leading up to the campus not far from the nest on the practice field. Both could explain the prey deliveries to the nest for Big and Middle.

The triplets at Manton Bay are doing well. Blue 33 continues to bring in lots and lots of fish including those pesky perch that have several lives.

Blue 33 is getting his breakfast order from Maya.

Rosie and Richmond are not giving any hints as to a pip happening at the San Francisco Osprey nest on the Richmond Shipping Yards.

The eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest are really getting the last of that juvenile plumage in. It will not be long til they begin to hover and fledge.

Big is on the right and just look at Middle’s crop!!!!!!!

Only Eaglet at Duke Farms is really going up high on the branches and is quick to get to the nest when food is brought in. (You may recall that there were originally two eaglets at the nest. The much smaller one did not survive).

That is a quick check in on some of our nests. So far, so good! It is always lovely to start the day knowing that everyone is as good as they can be! Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Duke Farms, DHEC, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, LRWT, Google Maps, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Patuxent River Park, Montana Ospreys, LDF, Peregrine Networks, Warszawa Peregrines, Salisbury Cathedral Peregrines, Cromer Peregrines, Weissenburg Peregrines, and Cal Falcons.

Late Saturday in Bird World

14 May 2022

I get the most fantastic mail and have the most wonderful readers – you. Today, ‘EJ’ wrote to tell me about a nest that I might enjoy. I think you will love the heart warming story of this Kestrel family in North Yorkshire. Robert E Fuller has a number of web cams set up about his property. One of those is a Kestrel nest. This year the male and female had six chicks. Sadly, as EJ explains, the female got in a tussle with an owl. She returned to the nest only once after that. As you probably know, males are not so good at feeding chicks – that is normally the role of the female. What would happen to the six chicks? Robert Fuller took the three smallest to raise by hand. He left the three larger chicks in the nest. And guess what happened? Dad learned, after a little trial and error, how to feed his chicks!

This is a fantastic video. Look at the size of the chicks an see how the one horks own the snake. Incredible. I did not think they could do that at this age. Always learning something wonderful from the nests.

Dad is going to have to hunt during the day and stay with the chicks or nearby when the owls are out at night. They are still small and need protection. Send all your positive energy towards this great family. Oh, and the three small chicks are doing well. Google Robert Fuller on YouTube if you do not already subscribe.

Thank you, EJ. This is a really, really positive story – one that we need!

The UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys. ‘R’ sent me the dates for the three chicks today. Thank you so much! The eggs were laid on 27 Feb, 1 March, and 8 March. If I recall correctly that is the same difference between Solly and Tapps at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021. That did not end well – both chicks died of starvation and siblicide actions. Sad. According to the news article below, Big hatched on 5 April at 16:45 with Middle hatching the following morning, 6 April, at 10:00. The article was published on 8 April and they were still waiting for Little Bit to hatch.

This now makes Big 39 days old and Middle would then be 8 days old. In reality, Big is only 17 hrs and 45 minutes older than Middle. Look at them – Big is a ‘big’ female and Middle has to be a male but – we will look at them again nearer fledge. Fledging for Western Ospreys normally occurs from 7-8 weeks or 49-56 days. We will have a way to go – but it will fly by quickly!

There is a great article on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest that I just located. It has 13 images. Have a look. It is fascinating reading and many images you would not have seen!

https://www.gainesville.com/story/news/local/2022/04/08/live-webcam-captures-newborn-osprey-in-nest-at-uf/9503896002/

Around 16:20 Mum brought a fish to the nest. In the image below, Big is behind Middle. She raises her head and walks towards him. Mum will begin feeding Big.

Middle gets its head down in a protective pose.

Mum begins feeding Big.

By the time four minutes is up, Middle is on the opposite side of Mum screaming for fish.

Mum feeds Middle. I was shocked but – she has been better with feeding Middle the past couple of days. Middle is like Middle Little at the Captiva Osprey Nest ——- he is ‘very’ loud.

When the feeding was over Middle had a really nice crop!

‘R’ sent me a lot of maps and information on the places where Mum and Dad fish. I hope to get that organized for all of you for tomorrow or Monday.

This is Alden. He spent some time with the eyases this afternoon. You might recall that Alden brought in a moth and tried to feed the chicks yesterday. Today he just went in with them. They see a parent and think ‘food’. Alden did some ‘fake feeding’ but I think he is going to get the idea just like the Father Kestrel.

Cal Falcons made a 2 minute video of Alden visiting the chicks. It is funny. Alden, I love you!

There is no pip yet – that I am aware while I am writing this – at the Osprey nest of Richmond and Rosie in San Francisco Bay.

Watching birds incubate nests is like waiting for the paint to dry.

Nancy and E1 Harriet were just enjoying a nice meal as the sun begins to lower itself at the MN-DNR nest.

All of the nestlings were anxiously awaiting fish at the multitude of feedings they had today at the Manton Bay platform of Blue 33 and Maya. Gosh they are soooooo cute. The baby is at the far end.

Chase and Cholyn have made sure that Two Harbours 1 (TH1) was full to the brim today. Wow. That almost looks painful.

There is news from Denton Homes today. You will recall that the three nestling Bald Eagles died very quickly from Avian Flu. Dad later died of Avian Flu also. Surprisingly Mum who consumed the infected chicks survived. Today, Mum was seen with a new potential male mate. I did not catch it – but, life goes on. Well done, Mum.

Five full sleepy falcons at the Manchester, NH Peregrine Falcon scrape. Gosh, these parents must be awfully busy — and so much for being able to see the chicks if they are at the other end of the box. Looks like the wee ones have been decorating the mirrors! All five are well fed. No worries.

Falcons can be very loud but, I don’t think quite so loud as ospreys. The four in the nest in the Polish forest had a great feed yesterday. Have a look at what it is like to feed four bigger falcons. Wow.

My apologies to everyone at Utica Peregrine Falcons. I think that I posted the wrong image for Astrid and Ares’s scrape with their two chicks.

The site of the camera links also as a great blog about all the daily activities with the chicks and their parents. Here is the link to the several cameras that cover this nest in Utica, New York:

That is a very quick check a few of the nests we have been watching. It has been a busy day – cloudy, grey skies, rain, then cloudy. It was bird count day and it has been busy in the garden. I am shocked at how many oranges and jars of grape jelly Baltimore Orioles can eat! Of course, they are so cute.

He seems not to have been able to decide how best to get at that orange slice.

It was all a lot of fun.

Thank you for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, LRWT Manton Bay, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Friends of Utica Falcons, Dolina Baryczy Falcons, Cal Falcons, Denton Homes Eagles, Robert Fuller, Peregrine Networks, and Explore.org.