Late Saturday in Bird World

It has not been a great day for Lena on the Captiva Osprey nest. She has had only 2 fish for her and the hungry osplets and no break to go down and get that yucky fish juice off of her. In other words, she is loudly calling Andy as the sun sets desperate for a break and to fill those babies up for bed. If the last feeding was at around 13:30 they will be ravenous by the time the fish lands on the nest in the morning.

While Lena might be rather upset, everything seems really good over at the Dale Hollow Lake Eagle nest. Obey came in to see what he needed to bring to the pantry around 17:00. He then helped River with a tandem feeding of the youngsters while also eating some of the pantry himself. This really is a fabulous nest!

I honestly cannot believe that I had never heard about this nest until today. It is wonderful. Very experienced adults and healthy twins. Still one to hatch. Those little eaglets are tucked under River sound asleep. Happy Eagle dreams!

Ferris Akel found both Big Red and Arthur who were sitting on top of Bradfield enjoying the view. Arthur is on the left with his gorgeous scapula V plumage and Big Red is on the right. She is much darker than Arthur.

Arthur is such a cutie pie. I often just want to cuddle him!

Big Red was doing a lot of preening and simply didn’t seem to want to look at the camera.

So gorgeous. Both are busy bees working on their nest on the Fernow light tower on the campus of Cornell University.

There has been an update about HH3 – the eaglet who fell out of the nest at the Hilton Head Island nest.

There has also been an update on the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB on Ervie’s tracker. It looks like he is extending his travels over to the right of North Shields and the airport.

Ervie always seems to roost at the same spot. I wonder if PLO knows where this is?

Early this morning the cam operator gave everyone a great view of the Calypso Star as she set out for the day. It is a good thing to remember that the Port Lincoln Osprey Project sponsors our camera view of the barge and the barge out of the earnings from the Calypso Star. They take no donations. So, if you visit Port Lincoln, take a tour with them as a way of thanking them.

At the nest of Jackie and Shadow, Mum is being very limited in her movements and allowing us any view of the eggs. She has been aerating the nest cup which improves the softness of the nest cup as well as providing oxygen during hatching and brooding. Is there a chick pipping under there? The answer could be just maybe there is!

The Quarry Track Royal Cam Chick aka QT is really too large for the adults to brood. They must be thrilled that the little one is out of the nest so they can actually rest their legs! I promise you this is one big boy. If not, I will make a donation to the Albatross Centre!

In the image below, YRK has to stand all the time in order to brood the chick. In the image above she is able to lay down! It must be quite nice. I wonder when they will have the contest to name the chick? And when the parents will stop staying with QT only returning to Taiaroa Head to feed their ever growing chick?

If you are in need of more Osprey nests, the male at the Williamsburg Landing has returned to the nest early – on the 23rd of February. He is working feverishly on this nest.

This Gloucester Point, Virginia nest can be viewed here:

This is an overview of a view of the birds that I do not always cover. I really hope that Andy brings in a huge fish for the Captiva nest very early in the morning. Speaking of Captiva, Connie and Clive were working on the Bald Eagle nest at Captiva this evening together. Will there be a second clutch? We should know tomorrow if Jackie and Shadow have a pip! Life is good except when eagles are falling out of nests. Will continue to monitor the Hilton Head situation for everyone.

Thank you for joining me. I hope Ervie visits the barge today! What a treat that would be. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Island Eagles, Ferris Akel Tours, Williamsburg Landing, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Thursday in Bird World

Oh, we started out with more snow this morning! And with it came the return of the European Starlings – a few of them! The phone caught the flakes coming down reasonably well. For now it has stopped and the small feeders with the butter bark, mealworms, and hand chopped peanuts have been filled for the third time. Gosh, they love those mealworms in the winter.

Poor things. This is before we cleared a bit between the piles of snow. You can see one Starling down with thee Sparrows trying to find seed that had dropped from the feeder.

There are at least 60-75 House Sparrows (at a quick count) in the Lilacs. Dyson, our seed sucking Grey Squirrel, has found a litre of Black Oil seed in the square feeder with the dome. He sits and eats and sways like he has his own personal swing. No one bothers Dyson when he is eating but they do hope he gets off balance and dumps a lot of seed below. We won’t tell Dyson that in the evening we put our special food under that feeder for Hedwing, the garden rabbit, who has been showing up at dusk and dawn and sometimes in the middle of the night. It appears he lives under our deck.

So my birds are fed and as happy as they can be til the wind and the snow start again in a few hours.

There is some good news in the world today and there is some very sad news regarding wildlife. Lots of animal rights issues rising to the top of the news. Brief highlights:

The City of Dallas, Texas is protecting two of the cities favourite raptors!

https://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-09-22-bald-eagles-white-rock-lake/?fbclid=IwAR3j0kOCOyuruYEWEsoR0wtkkaeceODJB8zLsnaWWodWzzPi3rilKJ3a31Y

As Dallas protects, people in Britain are calling for criminal charges to be laid to the individuals that killed 2 of the 5 White-tailed Eagles reintroduced to the Isle of Wright. The shooting took place near or over a shooting estate. Chris Packham and other environmentalists have called for the end of killing animals for fun!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/10/two-white-tailed-eagles-found-dead-in-southern-england

Criminal charges have also been laid against one of England’s footballers for dropping and kicking his cat. The fine is set at 250,000 GBP – yes, you read that right. You can find the story on line if you are interested. Now if we could please get all authorities involved and people educated on the rights of animals – and our beloved birds.

The one thing that sent my granddaughter to becoming Vegan six years ago was the culling of male chicks. At the time they were simply tossed alive into a machine not unlike a wood chipper. Today, Germany has ended the practice of culling the male chicks from the females.

Everyone continues to wait to see how the current H5N1 highly pathogenic avian flu will impact European birds. It has been around since 1998 according to virologist Thijs Kuiken. It is rearing its head this year in the UK and has already crossed the Atlantic into Newfoundland, Canada. At least one wildlife rehabber has had almost all the birds in their care killed because of it. Very sad. That was the Whitby Wildlife Centre. They will not be able to resume caring for the wildlife injured for at least 1 year, perhaps 2.

The camera is working on the Port Lincoln Barge and so is the sound. We just can’t see anything but the deck! Ervie was definitely there earlier. I had to turn the sound down. He even sounded like he was getting hoarse and then everything stopped. I hope he got a fish or flew off to find one.

Gabby and Samsons, NE26 and 27 are really changing. They are certainly no longer little fluffy balls. Today they had the rest of the bird on the nest following by some fish. They were really full!

The weather has really improved in Jacksonville.

It is a gorgeous day to incubate eggs over at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.

OGK has returned after three days at sea to relieve his mate, YRK at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Royal Albatross. The image below is actually of YRK feeding the Royal Cam chick that I took late last night. How touching.

To date 26 Royal Albatross eggs have hatched out of 35. The other 9 will not hatch due to embryo deaths.

Dennis Brecht makes frequent and regular visits to the nest of The Love Trio on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. So far this year he has not spotted Valor I working with Starr and Valor II on the nest. This trio was extremely unique and popular. The question is: does Valor I have his own nest or has something happened to him? We wait for an answer. Brecht has contacted the Stewards of the Mississippi for assistance and finding the answer to the mystery.

The Ventana Wildlife Society is releasing a few condors into the wild currently. One of those was Condor 340 who was treated for lead poisoning.

Condor 340 hatched in 2004 in the Oregon Zoo. Its name is Kun-Wac-Sun. It was released into the Pinnacles National Park in 2005.

Wheeee. How beautiful. A wild Condor flying free again in the Pinnacles.

Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis was 4 weeks old yesterday. Oh, this eaglet is getting so big! Finishing up getting its thermal down and you can see the tips of a few juvenile feathers.

I was so happy to see the Captiva Osprey Cam back up and running. Lena is rolling eggs and calling Andy wanting a fish and a break.

You can see the three beautiful eggs. Oh, let us all hope that by laying their eggs a month early this couple will be able to fledge Osprey chicks off Santibel Island.

Hatch watch begins this weekend.

Those are just a few of the many nests to check on. I am really hoping to see Ervie today with a fish! Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Osprey Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, Duke Farms, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and Ventana Wildlife.

Late Monday in Bird World

The ‘Alberta Clipper’ is just starting to impact Winnipeg with some light snow flakes. We are in an extreme blizzard warning area until tomorrow morning when the winds and snow – getting up to 90 kph (or 55 mph) – dissipate. The garden birds were a little strange today. They ate and left. Normally they come and stay all day but a couple of waves of different groups came and went. I suspect they were going to try and find a place to hunker down for the duration. This storm system is also going to impact a huge part of the US including my childhood state of Oklahoma.

It is snowing on the Storks near Freiburg, too.

There is wind and blowing snow in Durbe, Latvia, the home of Milda, the White-tailed Eagle. The sound from the camera’s microphone makes you shiver – the wind is just howling through the forest.

The female Bald Eagle at Duke Farms is also under some snow and it looks like she might get more as this weather system moves through the eastern US.

There is good news in Bird World. Both of the USS Bald Eagles were seen at the nest today. The worry last night over whether or not there was an injury melted away. Nice.

The thermal down is coming in on the eaglet at the KNF in Central Louisiana. The light natal down is giving way to dandelions. Notice how much longer the beak is and how large the cere has become. The cere is the soft fleshy part above the black beak, seen below. The cere varies in shape, size, and colour amongst raptors. The beak will turn that beautiful yellow when this eaglet is approximately 4-5 years old and be pure yellow by the time it is 6 years old. At that time, it will also finish getting its adult plumage including that full beautiful white head.

The meals are more spread apart but the eaglet is eating longer and its crop is getting much fuller. Just look below. The crop is a pouch along the espophagus. It stores food before it gets to the stomach. It also processes prey items that cannot be processed in the stomach. The raptor will regurgitate a compressed pellet of those items that do not go to the stomach.

The Wildlife Biologist has just confirmed that this crop is at least 3-4 inches (10 cm) long! Wow.

Poor Baby. It took some maneuvering with the weight and flopping of that crop for it to get in a position to PS. Obviously the crop weighs more than the chick’s bottom does.

This baby has really grown in the last 4 or 5 days and is changing more and more with every blink it seems.

Despite being full to the brim and hardly able to move, Anna is making certain that the little one is topped up before bedtime.

NE26 and 27 are awash in Spanish Moss. The nest seems to be covered with it and fish. Lots of fish.

There are those sweet little fluffy dumplings in the nest bole.

Sleeping quietly under Mum.

At the WRDC Nest in Miami, R1 and R2 have popping crops, too. The pin or blood feathers can be seen coming in through the thermal down.

R1 is closest to you. R2 without the fluffy hair is in the back and also has a large crop. Both eaglets are doing well and there is plenty of food on the nest.

The 2022 Albatross Count on Midway Atoll is completed. Here is the information as it was posted by Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge today:

YRK flew in and switched places with OGK yesterday at the Royal Albatross Quarry Track Nest in New Zealand.

Lady Hawk caught that sweet reunion.

The camera is still offline in Port Lincoln. Would love to have had a good look at our Ervie.

Tuesday February 1 is Lunar New Year for many of our friends. For all of you celebrating the Spring Festival, we wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous Year of the Tiger.

Thank you for joining me today. So happy to have you with me. Stay safe, stay warm!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Friends of Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge FB Page, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, WRDC Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Stork’s Nest Livestream.

Late Friday in Bird World

There is excitement on Taiaroa Head. The Royal Cam chick for 2022 pipped its egg today and the NZ DOC rangers promptly removed that egg from under YRK replacing it with a dummy. Why you ask? Fly strike is when flies lay their eggs, in the hot summer months, on various things including hatching Albatross chicks. Fly strike can be fatal as the fly eggs hatch into maggots that eat their host. So, for the safety of the very endangered Royal Albatross, the eggs are removed at pip to hatch in an incubator. The chick will be returned to the parents to feed and brood as soon as it is safe to do so. Last time OGK was on the nest. Wonder if he will fly in just time time for the return of the chick? Oh, it is so exciting.

The NZ DOC made a short video of the removal of the egg:

At the end of the day, the Kisatchie National Forest yet-to-be-named eaglet was fed 14 times between 06:52 and 17:41. That is 14 feedings in 10 hours and 45 minutes. Wow.

Anna wanted to feed the little eaglet at 17:08 but the baby had something over its beak. You can see it in the image below. Turns out it is some of Anna’s underbelly feathers. Anna tried to feed the chick but it could eat with that big wad over its beak.

Anna realizes the problem and begins to pull the fluff off the little one.

To the relief of everyone, Anna removed the fluff without a problem and the baby had its penultimate feeding of the day.

This is one of the most hilarious Bald Eagle couples I have ever seen. Louis fills the nest with food, so much it could not possibly be eaten. If he comes around to try and have a snack without having to go fishing, Anna perks up.

This is precisely what happened below. Anna was brooding the eaglet and she sees Louis arriving. She makes this very interesting vocalization and gets up and goes over to move a piece of fish. Louis is watching all of this. The little one says, ‘Sure, Mum, if you want me to, I will eat again!’

Louis decides he will be cool and he plays ‘hide the baby’ while Anna is trying to feed the eaglet (again). In the end, Louis winds up digging in the nest and finding a piece of old fish bone which he takes with his beak and flies off the nest. Meanwhile, the little eaglet is still being fed by Mum! That was the last feeding documented before the camera froze. Maybe you had to be watching. The interaction between these two parents is so funny. Louis did do something very useful today. He brought in some more branches to build up the walls of the nest. There are places with holes in them that will need to be covered.

Dad delivered Ervie’s breakfast fish to the nest at 08:30:59.

Here comes one dedicated Osprey dad with a fish!

Ervie was so happy when he saw Dad flying in with a fish.

Later, the cam operator gave everyone some really nice close ups of Ervie staring at the water looking for fish.

Ervie focused.
Even when he was looking for fish, Ervie was prey calling to Dad.

I made a short video clip. It was wonderful to see Ervie interested in the water and the fish! Enjoy. There is a severe weather warning for Port Lincoln. The warning is for intense rainfall, severe warnings for heavy rain beginning at 16:00. Later in the evening possibilities of thunder and lighting. Stay safe Osprey family!

At the WRDC nest, it has been hot. Tomorrow they are looking for temperatures around 18 with a 40% chance of rain. I am happy to report that R2 ate and both eaglets seemed perky and happy. In the image below, R1 is full and looking out of the nest while R2 is eating.

R1 full and distracted so R2 can get a nice feeding.

Happy sleeping babies.

R1 and R2 in a food coma.

CROW has announced a virtual speaker series. Some of you might be interested. The guest is Ron Magill, ‘Mr Miami Zoo’ who is responsible for this human made nest for Ron and Rita. It sounds like a really interesting topic.

It will get down to 11 degrees C at the nest of Samson and Gabby in Jacksonville, Florida. That is 51.8 F. There is a chance of rain on Saturday.

Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest. 21 January 2022. Gabby rolling the eggs.

The American Eagle Foundation posted the following information today about hatching. Super informative as we wait for Gabby and Samson’s eggs to pip!

Hatching is hard work. Before starting to break out of the egg the chick has three things it must accomplish. It must first switch from being dependent on the oxygen diffusing through the pores in the eggshell into the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell and start to use its own lungs to breathe. The chick takes its first proper breath and fills its lungs the moment it punctures the air cell inside the top of the egg. (Internal Pip) This step is essential because by this stage of development there is not enough oxygen diffusing through the pores in the shell to support the chick’s respiratory requirements. Taking a breath from the air cell provides the oxygen and the energy necessary to break through the eggshell. Before it takes that first breath, the chick has to start shutting off the blood supply to the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell, and withdraw that blood into its body. The blood vessels are programmed to close off at the point where they emerge from the bird’s umbilicus, and just before the chick starts cutting round the shell. Third, the chick has to take what is left of the yolk and draw it into its abdomen. It does this by sucking up the remaining yolk through the stalk that connects the yolk to the chick’s small intestines. This “yolk sac” is a food reserve for the first few hours or days after hatching.

Hopefully we will have a pip tomorrow at NEFlorida. We are also watching the Achieva Osprey nest of Jack and Diane. There have been gifts of food and mating on the nest. Diane normally lays her eggs on the 22 or 23rd of January. Oh, so close! Stay tuned for news. So we are on pip watch, hatch watch, and egg watch! Crazy.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and my video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the WRDC.

Wednesday afternoon and all is well in Bird World

It has turned out to be a really good day for both the garden birds and E20 and R2. The blowing snow and wind yesterday kept the birds away from the feeders in my City but, all of the reports this morning are that the birds are back in full force. That is wonderful. I have an onslaught of European Starlings while others have a yard full of Redpolls. I would love to switch with them just for a couple of hours. Outside of the City the Snowy Owls are rather abundant and when it is warmer than -25 I really hope to get out to see them and take some photos to share.

In my last blog, I hoped that M15 would step in and feed E20. Well, he did! Maybe each of you wished that too. It is amazing what positive energy can do. The two just finished a different feeding about an hour or so ago. E20 waited and then was fed and both have enormous crops.

That is E20 at the top. E19 is in food coma at the bottom. Relief. Eagles do not have to eat every day. Indeed, in the wild, it is often the case that there is feast or famine. However, growing eaglets certainly do better and have no feather stress if feedings/food deliveries are stable. Harriet and M15 have never lost a chick to siblicide and I don’t think they are going to now. It is, however, difficult to watch – the bonking or beaking.

I did peek at the WRDC nest. R2 had been fed twice. I have no idea how many times R1 had eaten but when I checked, R1 was eating and eating and eating. R2 was keeping its head down and out of the way. It tried to squeeze in to get close to Mum but it seems the fish was eaten. Still R2 had a crop, not nearly as big as 20s but a crop nonetheless.

R1 is the eaglet eating. You can see R2s crop as he looks out of the nest to the world beyond.

40 minutes later, R1 is full to its beak but it does not like R2 trying to move in close to Mum. Too bad that R2 didn’t start pecking away at that fish he was on in the image above. Maybe he will become very clever and do that!

B15 is doing great. Both Pa Berry and Missy have been feeding and feeding that cheeky little eaglet. Squirrel and fish were on the menu this morning. The adults have also been cleaning up the nest cup, making it soft and nice for the eaglet.

This eaglet is seriously sweet.

At less than a week old, B15 can make its way around the egg cup quite well. This morning it had its eyes and beak focused on that fish.

The winds have been terrible in the Kisatchie National Forest. One big gust blew Anna right onto the baby! Right now it is 23 degrees C and the nest is in the area of a severe thunderstorm watch until 19:00.

Cheeky (and hot) baby trying to get out from under Dad!

Louis is on the nest. The sound is so good you can hear Anna out in the forest ‘talking’ to something. There is so much food on the nest. No worries if rain comes. Let us just hope the strong winds stay away from this nest at the top of a Loblolly Pine.

And everything is definitely alright with the world when Ervie is on the Port Lincoln Nest screaming his lungs off (???) wanting breakfast!!!!!!

What everyone really wants is for the Erv to see a fish in the water while he is on the nest and dive in and bring it back and eat it. That would just be like the best present everyone could get.

As we get close to the hatching of the Royal Cam chick, the NZ DOC has provided us with a document telling us what to expect. I hope that you can open it. Hatch watch 27 January – yes, that is 6 days away. (You might have to cut and paste).

/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/what-to-expect/?fbclid=IwAR05icSK-au13aCXIrpMFcFaEVM7UhZVOM1BcFDJwybS0UBxbLW3O7AtvWU

It is very windy and there are Albies flying around everywhere. OGK does some stretches and seems perfectly content incubating his egg. I wonder if YRK will blow in today? She might if her foraging has gone well but, it is early days to expect her return.

Having a chat with his egg. Precious.

What a peaceful nest to close this newsletter. If you want to watch the action as we approach hatch in New Zealand, here is the camera link:

There has been a sighting of an Osprey with a yellow leg band at Port Augusta which is 350 km north of Port Lincoln. Both Falky and Star have yellow bands but opposite legs. We wait to confirm which leg it is. All I can say is Wow. That is further than Solly who was on the opposite side of Eyre Peninsula at Streaky Bay and up to Eba Anchorage.

Oh, it is a good day. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Bald Eagles, WRDC, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and the KNF Bald Eagle Cam.

Did Tiaki fledge?

The winds were blowing strong over Taiaroa Head yesterday. Albies filled the skies.

Even the container ship was pulling to one side they were so strong.

Hovering chicks were trying their wings. One, in particular, caught the eye of the camera operator.

Is this Tiaki fledgling? the 9th of September at 18:18? at 229 days old? If it is, the Rangers were really lucky to have gotten her GPS tracker on her yesterday.

We will have to wait for confirmation from Ranger Sharyn on Friday. Wow. I wonder how many other hovering chicks fledged yesterday in those strong winds? See how the Albie catchies the right wind and they are simply off. That is what Albatross and Ospreys do. They catch the winds. This allows them not to expend so much energy flapping. They are like gliders covering great distances with little effort.

Have a great day everyone. I will watch for the announcement and confirm later today. Ranger Sharyn and her team will have to be out checking all of the chicks to see who is still with them. Hopefully, they will go and check on Tiaki first. She did not sleep in or near the nest last night.

Thanks to your GPS we will get to see Tiaki’s location til her first molt. Yippee.

Tiaki practicing her hovering earlier. Stay safe Tiaki – good winds and lots of fish.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip.

Need a relaxing bird nest to watch?

After the trauma of the Cowlitz and Osyoos Osprey Nests, it is time sometimes good to pull back – to breathe – and watch a bird nest where there is absolutely no drama. Right now, these nests can be hard to find. The juvenile Bald Eagles in almost every nest in the United States have fledged. The Osprey chicks in certain areas of the US have already fledged. The Osprey chicks in the United Kingdom are preparing to fledge. In Australia, Lady and Dad have two eggs on their White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest while Mom and Dad at Port Lincoln are thinking about eggs (or were the last time I checked). Xavier and Diamond have yet to kick Izzi out of the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange and nothing as yet is happening with those two cute Peregrine Falcons on the CBD in Melbourne. So I am going to recommend two quite different nests for you to try. The chicks are nothing short of adorable. I have mentioned both of these nests at one time or another but they both need to be mentioned again.

Kindness is nothing short of cute. She just has her nice charcoal thermal down and she is just beginning to take steps. It doesn’t get much better than the Bald Eagle Nest up at the Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska, this time of year. Her dad sometimes gets six big fish up to the nest in a day!

Kindness is 41 days old today. As per the average fledge age in Alaska, she is not even half way there. Look – she still has cute little dandelions on her head! 89 days to fledge in Alaska. So, please check her out.

Kindness is having her evening meal. Look at that crop and dad is still feeding her! (I think it is dad). She is going to be a big healthy girl.

Here is the link to watch Kindness:

The second nest is always calm. It is the Royal Albatross Cam on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. Join the FB group administered by Sharon Dunne otherwise known fondly by so many of you as Lady Hawk, guess the chick’s weight every Monday, meet some nice people, and learn about the challenges these beautiful sea birds have.

This year’s royal cam chick’s name is Taiki. She is the daughter of Lime Green Lime (LGL) and Lime Green Black (LGK). She is old enough to be left alone on her nest while her parents fly out to sea to forage for food for her. And don’t worry. It isn’t like sitting around wondering if Wattsworth will ever show up with a fish or will Jack bring one to Tiny Tot – if something happens the NZ Department of Conservation Rangers will jump into action. Any chick that does not get fed and is under weight gets supplementary feedings of squid. If they get hot, they have their own sprinkler system! NZ knows that wildlife is at risk because of climate change. No one needs to ask for permissions that take days or weeks to come to help a bird.

Taiki is 157 days old. Her name means protector and carer. She weighed 8kg at the last weigh in. That is 17.64 lbs. The weight of the chicks is stabilizing now. Instead of gaining they will level off. Taiki will fledge in mid-September. So you have quite awhile to watch her build play nests, flap her wings, and change from a chick into a beautiful looking fledgling. Her black wings are coming through nicely.

Here is one of the feedings a few weeks ago. More of Taiki’s black wing feathers are visible now.

You can watch the Royal cam chick, her parents flying in to feed her, the rangers doing the weight checks using a laundry baskets, and Taiki visiting with adults and the chick close by. Remember to also check out the Royal Cam FB group.

Here is Taiki just waking up in New Zealand today. She will stretch her legs and wings as she looks out over the beautiful landscape.

Here is the link to the camera:

Thank you for joining me. I hope that you will check in on these two nests once in awhile. They can bring a lot of comfort when other nests get stressful.

Thank you to the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam and to the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC for their streaming cams. That is where I took my screen shots.

Cuteness Overload in Bird World

It is Tuesday in New Zealand but on the Canadian prairies it is Monday and it is snowing! There is snow swirling all around and the birds would like nothing better than to come into the house! Poor things.

Today is the day that the NZ Department of Conservation rangers at Taiaroa Head weigh all of the Royal Albatross chicks. Every Tuesday they do this. If any of the chicks are underweight, the rangers will give them a supplemental feeding. Sometimes the winds are not conducive to returning while at other times these largest of NZ sea birds have to travel far to find food. Sadly, some of them also perish in the process. If there is only one parent feeding it is often hard to keep up with the demands of a growing albatross chick. That is when I sing the praises of the NZ DOC – they will do anything to keep the adults and the chicks in a good healthy state.

The Royal Cam chick is a female and she was hatched 80 days ago. Her nest is at a place called ‘The Flat Top’ on Taiaroa Head, a peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand. It is the only breeding colony near human habitation for these albatross. Because raising a chick causes such stress on their bodies, the albatross breed biennially. Indeed, while it might sound like they have two years to recuperate, it will take almost an entire year to raise their chick. The 2021 Royal Cam chick will fledge and begin her five to six years at sea in September. Her parents will return to Taiaroa Head to feed her until she goes on her own journey. The parents will then go to sea only returning the following November when they will breed again. This means that the parents will not see one another for approximately fourteen to fifteen months returning to a specific spot on the planet to breed. It is a real joy and a relief when both return safely. The chick will remain at sea, never touching land, for five to six years before she returns to Taiaroa Head to begin choosing her own mate.

In the past week, the Royal Cam chick has ‘lucked out’. She had two family visits – her parents arrived yesterday around 15:00 and they had flown in together on Saturday to feed her together. It is hard to comprehend how extraordinary these family reunions are until you sit and stare at the ocean where the two go foraging for food for both themselves and the chick. It is vast.

Two months ago, Lime-Green-Lime (LGL), the female and Lime-Green-Black (LGK) were fitted with small backpack satellite transmitters. These transmitters are intended to study their foraging habits. LGL has travelled 11.737 kilometres going to and from the sea in order to feed her chick. This is the graph of those travels:

What a happy family reunion! The nickname for the little chick has been a Maori word for cloud, Kapua. I think you can see why in the image below! Look at all that gorgeous white feathery down.

LGL and LGK both visit and feed their chick. 12 April 2021

Kapua has learned how to beg for food. In fact, she is often impatient during these family visits for good feedings. Sometimes her parents like to stop and visit with one another! Of course, Kapua wants all the attention on her.

The albatross chick has to clack on the parent’s bill to stimulate the regurgitation of food. Here you can see how the parent also has to lean down and the way the chick and parent hold their bills so the precious squid oil will go into the chick and not on the ground!

While her parents are away, Kapua spends time in her nest. She watches the boats go past, makes little play nests around her but never strays, at this age, far from her natal nest in case her parents return with food.

Isn’t she the epitome of cuteness?

When things get too stressful on the other nests, I always return to the Royal Albatross and my faith in the New Zealand government for keeping Kapua safe and healthy.

Yesterday was a milestone for one of the most beautiful Bald eaglets anywhere, Legacy. She is the daughter of Samson and Gabrielle at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest in Jacksonville, Florida. Legacy has been jumping up and down working her wings and legs to get them strong on the spongy Spanish moss nest. Yesterday, though, Legacy made another milestone. She branched at 3:59. Legacy will continue now to go up on the branches of her natal tree until the point where she will fly from the nest to a branch before she takes her first real flight from the nest which is known as fledging. There she is. Legacy was a little nervous and she made her way down to the nest bowl carefully. Soon, though, she will be jumping up and down to that branch having a lot of fun! She loves the wind beneath her wings.

Legacy is a big strong eaglet. 11 April 2021

Sweet little babies staying warm and dry under Nancy at the MN DNR nest. Looks like they have rain instead of the snow we are experiencing north of them. The little ones are not able to regulate their temperature yet so they need to stay warm and dry!

Little ones staying warm near Nancy, MN DNR Nest. 12 April 2021

Izzi, the peregrine falcon has not left his natal scrape box in Orange, Australia. Yesterday he caught an adult Starling all by himself and was quite loud in announcing it to the world. This image catches his trade mark screeching on entering the scrape box:

The two owlets raised in the Bald Eagle Nest near Newton, Kansas are growing and growing. There are still many who consider them to be ‘cute’! Yesterday their mother, Bonnie, tested them. She left a duck and parts of a rabbit in the nest. She stood on a branch watching to see if they would begin feeding themselves. They didn’t but they will be self-feeding soon!

Bonnie is feeding Tiger and Lily duck and rabbit. 11 April 2021

And it is so sweet. Louis is on the nest at Loch Arkaig early to add a few sticks. He stayed on the perch branch for a long time waiting for Aila to return.

In 2017, Louis was given the nickname ‘Lonesome Louis’ because he paced back and forth on the nest when his mate of ten years did not return. The pair had failed to breed in 2016 and people were hopeful that 2017 would be different. Louis waited for three weeks and then a new female appeared. It was Aila meaning ‘bringer of light’ in Finnish. The pair raised one chick in 2017 and he was called Lachlan meaning from the lakes. Sadly, a Pine Marten raided their nest and ate the eggs in 2018. In 2019, the couple had two chicks fledge – Mallie and Rannoch and in 2020, there was the famous trio – Dottie, Vera, and Captain. Everyone is hoping for a quick return of Aila so that Louis is not ‘lonesome’ again!

Louis looks for Aila. 12 April 2021.

There are two other updates without images. Iris at the Hellsgate Osprey nest has been doing nestorations and feeding herself. Her mate, Louis, who also has another nest with Star at the Baseball park has visited twice – each time mating with Iris. The last time was 18:16 on 11 April when he made a quick visit. Louis brings Iris nothing – and yes, he is a bird but I continue to say how sad this is for the oldest female Osprey in the world. Wouldn’t it be nice if she was treated like the royalty she is? And the other is the state of the Achieva Osprey Nest in Dunedin, Florida. Jack the father has not been seen for awhile and everyone is beginning to wonder if he did not die or get severely injured. The thunderstorms have been very severe. Yesterday, there were two fish in the morning and Tiny Tot did get fed from both. He has not eaten now for more than 26 hours. Diane brought a small fish this morning that partially fed 1 and 2 and she has gone out and caught another smaller fish. Right now the two older osplets are eating. There may not be enough for Tiny. She will have to go out again if she is to eat and feed Tiny. There have been rumours about a hawk in the area. So, once again, we are at a tragic point this season on this nest. Just when Tiny Tot was getting full for a couple of days and getting his stamina and health back, then the storms come. Diane cannot protect her osplets and fish at the same time. She has not eaten either and I hope that whatever threats are around the nest are gone and that Diane catches one of her whooper catfish so that everyone can be full.

UPDATE 2PM CDT: Jack has arrived at the nest with a fish at 2:41:31 EDT. Diane was still feeding 1 and 2 on the fish she brought in – her second of the day. Maybe Tiny Tot will get some food. Glad Jack is OK.

Thank you for joining me today – our wintery weather will be here for three days if the predictions are correct. Not a great time for my walks!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Cams and the NZ DOC, Farmer Derek, the NEFLorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Woodland Trust and People Post Lottery, Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and the MN DNR.

Name the Chick Contest

The New Zealand Department of Conservation have opened up the contest for the naming of the Royal cam chick of 2021. You can enter, too. Here is the poster and the URL for additional information:

This year’s Royal Cam chick is a female. She is the daughter of Lime-Green-Lime (LGL) and Lime-Green-Black (LGK). The parents are named after the coloured ring bands on their legs. Only the Royal Cam chicks get an official Maori name. In fact, in 2019, LGL and LGK were the parents of Karere who was the royal cam chick that year.

This year’s chick hatched on 24 January 2021. The eggs are removed from the nest near hatch and placed in an incubator. A dummy egg is put under the parent at the time. This is to ensure that no fly strike kills the newborn. When the chick is returned, the dummy egg is removed, the nest is sprayed with a substance that will not harm the birds, and the chick is placed under the parent. The rangers at Taiaroa Head do many checks on the health and safety of both the parents and the chick daily.

The royal cam chick just hatched in the incubator. 24 January 2021. @Ranger Julia NZ DOC

She is the sweetest, soft as a cloud gorgeous indigo eyed sea bird!

The Royal Cam chick and her beautiful indigo eyes. 9 April 2021

Here she is getting a feeding from LGK, her dad, today:

The royal cam chick is tapping at her father’s bill to stimulate feeding. 9 April 2021

From the time this beautiful fluff ball was born, she was taught to tap the parent’s bill in order to stimulate them to regurgitate the oily squid food for the little one. When the chick is very small the parents will take turns staying with it and feeding it little bits many times per day. As the chick gets older, the meals are larger but farther a part. After about six weeks, the chick is in the pre-guard stage where the parent leaves it alone for awhile. Then both parents are out foraging for food. This chick is now left alone and the parents only return to feed her.

LGK is leaning down so he can feed his royal cam chick. 9 April 2021

This year’s royal cam chick’s parents, LGL and LGK, are fitted with satellite transmitters that show where they are fishing. The red is for LGL, the mother and the blue is for LGK, the father. The piece of land jutting out about a third of the way up from the bottom is Taiaroa Head. You can see the point where the land and take off. That is their chick!

The NZ DOC rangers on Taiaroa Head weigh the chicks every Tuesday. In the event that a parent has been away for an extended period, the staff will give the chicks a supplemental feeding should it be required.

You can watch the Royal Cam chick here:

Watching the comings and goings at the Royal Albatross nest is the total opposite of watching the Achieva Osprey nest. If the Albatross chicks get too hot, there is a sprinkler system to help cool them off. The rangers often switch out the eggs should one couple lose their chick and another parent not return. Everything is done for the welfare of the these sea birds. There are no worries about whether or not the little one will get enough to eat! It is recognized that human impact on the climate, specifically, and the planet overall (over fishing, not taking care and albatross caught as bycatch) has made these things necessary. There is no debate, no paper work that takes days – the rangers are ready to go should anything be required.

Thank you for joining me today. Look up the guidelines for the name the chick contest and then check out Maori names and their meanings. There are lots of great prizes and it is a lot of fun. As we get near to World Albatross Day in June there will also be contests for children – and cake contests we can all enter!

Thank you to the NZ Department of Conservation and the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam and Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg. That is where I get my screen shots. Thank you also for caring about your wildlife NZ. It warms my heart.

ACHIEVA OSPREY UPDATE: Tiny had 2 feedings today, 8 April before 10:30 am. Another fish came in at 7:08:20. It was medium sized. Tiny kept his head down til he knew the bigger 2 had eaten. He went over to mom but there was no fish left for him or her. Both are very hungry. The mother brought in two of the three fish today.

In the image below you can see that Tiny is up by mom, Diane, but nothing left for either one of them. Hoping for more and bigger fish tomorrow. Sad situation. I would really like to understand the ‘why’. I just looked at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey nest with its three and each one is great. What is happening on this nest? and why?

Tiny has finally been able to get up to mom but there is not a scrap of food left for him or her. 8 April 2021.

What’s happening in Bird World?

Today is a bit of a catch up in Bird World. Lots of things are happening so hopefully you will enjoy some very funny moments, a bit of worry, and a celebration. Eggs are being laid all over North America including the nest at the Surrey Reserve part of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia. That happened on 24 February at 4:02 pm. More intruders everywhere. One of the Bald Eagles at the Hays Pittsburg nest was knocked off the nest by a Great Horned Owl on the 24th. This is the first time ever for such an attack at this nest. Sounds familiar? M15 and Harriet remain on full alert at night because of the GHOW in their Fort Myers, Florida territory.

The new mother and the recently hatched eaglet in the KNF nest in the central area of Louisiana seem to be gathering some momentum about feeding and eating. It is still not perfect with the eagle not understanding that it needs to feed its chick many small bites but, luckily the little one grabbed on to a big bite and ate it. Just ate it this morning as it had done yesterday. It was one of those hold your breath moments when you wished that piece of fish down that little one’s throat. That big piece was probably worth ten or more small ones. Yippee. The poor little thing needs its’ face wiped. I don’t think this mother would win a darts game, at least, not yet.

But notice. They now have the mechanics. Mom is sideways and the little one takes its beak at a ninety-degree angle. They are getting there.

Perfect!

It’s noon on the 26th and the little one ‘looks’ better. The mom has the size of the pieces of fish down (most of the time) but the chick, for some reason, doesn’t seem to get to open its beak wide and grab the fish yet.

Getting better but still not fully there.

It’s actually very frustrating watching. Meanwhile, Dad has come in to check on the pantry. It doesn’t take many bites to keep these tiny little ones going but they do need several pieces of fish many times a day. It’s not like E17 and E18 (below) that now have fewer but heartier meals a day during their rapid growth phase. Fingers crossed! It has to be difficult being a first time mom. Humans, normally, have lots of help but this young eagle is all on her own. Most of the time it works out but this year, at least one first time Eagle mom, didn’t know what to do when her day old chick got out of the egg cup while she was incubating the second egg. And it all turned quickly into a tragedy as she picked the baby up with her beak. What option did she have? None other than to wait and it was during the Polar Vortex and there was snow on the ground. The father who was standing at the end of the nest was no help. Sadly, the second egg proved to be not viable for the Berry College Eagle Nest. We will hope this young mother does better next year. Or maybe she will try for a second clutch this year!

Dad checking on the pantry in the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest

Elsewhere, other Bald Eagle parents are filling their eaglets up to the top – making sure that they go into a food coma and don’t fight with one another.

At the SWFL nest, E18 looked like he is going to try out for the role of Hulk in the next movie. Honestly, I have never seen a crop this full. That looks very uncomfortable but he doesn’t seem to mind. These two are literally growing in their sleep and almost overnight, many of E18’s feathers turned dark.

I’m bigger than you are!

It is hot in Fort Meyers, 28 degrees C and everyone is trying to stay cool. Harriet tries to be a mombrella but E17 and E18 are getting really big.

Too big!

The Little one on the NEFL Bald Eagle nest is really starting to change. Notice those dark feathers coming in. But the sweetest thing is that this little one has finally found a good use for ‘that’ egg.

Now this is a perfect place to sit and rest. N24 sits on THE egg.

‘Little’ N24 looks so tiny sitting on that egg but he is too big to fit under Gabby anymore. He cuddles up close trying to stay in the shade as the temperatures begin to rise in St Augustine. Samson has filled the pantry and both him and Gabby have kept any intruders away from the nest.

Awwww. Poor Gabby still trying to incubate THE egg.

As the sun sets, Samson gets into position to keep watch during the night.

Samson is a great dad.

The old Warrior Eagle with the beak and leg injury is doing really well and will have another round of Chelation Therapy. Then he will go outside in the aviary spaces to build up his muscles. The vets and rehabbers will then be able to better assess his future. What an amazing recovery.

Improving every day. Photo credit: A Place of Hope FB.

More and more eagles are winding up in care because of lead poisoning. It is not just an issue for the US but also for Canada. This week alone five Bald Eagles have been treated in British Columbia for various levels of toxic lead poisoning. Wherever there is fishing and hunting this will be a problem until the type of fishing and hunting equipment is changed. That should mean that every state and province should outlaw the use of lead.

Solly, the Port Lincoln Osprey, looked like she was heading home to Port Lincoln and the barge but now seems to have changed her mind. She roosts in Eba Anchorage at night flying to Perlubie Wednesday to fish and today, at 159 days old, she has gone farther north to Haslam. There are a lot of people wishing Solly would return to the natal nest so they could have a look at her, she doesn’t seem to be interested. Let us all hope that she finds an amazing territory of her own with lots of fish and she prospers, finds a mate, and is that awesome female Osprey mom that we know she can be.

Solly is on the move. Tracking image: Port Lincoln Ospreys.
Solly continues to return to Eba Anchorage to roost at night. Tracking image: Port Lincoln Osprey.

And here is a peek at the hatchling at the Duke Farms nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Remember that there were three eggs. One laid on Jan 17, the second on the 20th, and the third on the 23rd. If you have followed my postings, you will also remember that this poor eagle was encrusted in snow for many more days than some of the other nests. The dad came and pecked away at the snow so that the female could get out one time.

This poor mother eagle sitting on three eggs had to be pecked out by the dad. Photo credit: Duke Farms Eagle Streaming Cam.

Normally Bald Eagle eggs take 35-37 days to hatch. This is day 40. There is some speculation that egg 3 could be the only viable one.

Egg just hatched. 26 February 2021. Duke Farms. Image Credit: Duke Farms Streaming Eagle Cam.

And here is the full reveal below. Great mom. That shell is cleaned up and the little one looks really healthy!

Here I am! 26 February 2021. Duke Farms brand new eaglet. Image credit: Duke Farms Streaming Eagle Cam.

The parents of the Royal Cam chick, LGL (Lime Green Lime) and LGK (Lime Green Black), showed up at the natal nest to feed the little one. The chick which weights over 2.2 kilos is now in the ‘pre guard’ stage. This is when the parents leave the chick alone on the nest for short periods of time. They forage close and return to feed the baby. Gradually their time away will increase and it is anticipated that the two alternating will have a nice rhythm, one arriving and leaving and in a few days the other arrives, feeds, and leaves. This type of coordination doesn’t happen often. So it was a delight to see the three of them on the nest together at Taiaroa Head, NZ.

The Royal Cam family. 26 February 2021. Photo credit: Cornell Lab and NZ DOC.

Thanks for joining me today as we catch up on some of the amazing birds we have been watching together. I look forward to you checking in again!