22 February 2022
Good Morning Everyone,
I hope today’s newsletter finds all of you well – and warm. It is -30 C on the Canadian Prairies. Consequently, it is a good day to catch up on my reading and drink nice hot tea all day! As I write late Tuesday evening, the wind will be fierce, just like it is for Jackie and Shadow. It seems that winter has come with a vengeance. Payback for some of those lovely days in January, I suppose.
There continues to be a lot going on at the nests. It is often difficult to hold back and not include every one of them. As far as I am aware, everything is fine at the nests. Things are settling down at the Captiva Osprey platform. All of the eaglets are eating well. The Es did have crops, but their pickings today were slimmer than normal. Perhaps a lesson in what it is like for real eagles in the wild from Dad. The lingering question: Is there a pip at Big Bear? Certainly, many of us have thought so, but no official word has come. So we wait. Waiting can be rather painful. Then there is the question of Annie’s new man’s name. We will know soon. The Ospreys should be thinking about packing up and heading north shortly from their winter homes in Africa. Oh, goodness. Then our heads will be spinning!
In the Nests:
There are eggs on three Osprey nests with streaming cams in Florida currently. Everyone has been waiting to see what will happen at Captiva. It has certainly been a tumultuous year beginning with Hurricane Ian practically destroying everything standing on the island. The brand-new platform and camera were lost within weeks of them being finished. The original couple, Lena and Andy, are no longer in the nest. Andy disappeared during Hurricane Ian, and Lena left after seeing her nest destroyed and no Andy. Then came Mabel and Angus, the new couple. Mabel is now gone, and there is Florence, ‘Flo’ for short. These two are finally sealing a deal that will make them both bonded mates. Angus brought Flo 8 fish on Tuesday! He wants to have her as his mate. Did he have time to eat anything himself? Thanks ‘HMc’ for putting together this excellent compilation and confirming that on the morning of Wednesday, 22 February, Angus and Flo successfully mated twice. There could be eggs at Captiva. Just think. All it took was a basket of fish!
PA Farm County Bald Eagle Nest has done it again – a clutch of four eggs. While it is rare for eagles to lay clutches of 1 or 3 eggs, having a clutch of four is extremely rare. So why is this happening at this nest twice in a row? The factors determining the number of eggs laid depend on the age and health of the mother, the amount of food available in the area, and the population of other birds needing that food in the territory.
Tuesday morning saw E22 mantling a piece of leftover prey on the nest and horking that old food scrap. E22 is getting so good at cleaning the nest and finding food. It was 07:43:55.
M15 is looking better. He flew in with a piece of a rather large fish at 09:47:01. E22 was right there, and then 21 exerted its dominance. But never mind. 22 is figuring out ways to avoid 21. In this case, Dad is in the middle with one eaglet on each side. Brilliant. 22 is up to its old snatch-and-grab. And what does 22 snatch? A nice big piece of fish at the end to eat by himself while 21 merely looks on. Dad flies off at 10:17:37. That was a half-hour feeding!
The eaglets are six weeks old. We have worried about 22 for most of its life because of 21’s aggression. 22 is a survivor, giving each of us hope that he will do well in a world where the competition among eagles and other species is rampant. He steals fish and parts of fish and is unafraid to eat old prey pieces. So, when you get sad about another nest, remember how much SW Florida has changed and for good! Celebrate 22’s victories.
21 shows off its wings.
22 says he can do that, too!
There was a nice breakfast at 0952. At the end of it, at 10:19:22, E22 is self-feeding on a large chunk that he took right out from under Dad and 21’s nose. Will he pay for this later?
22 working away at that big piece of fish he snagged.
At 10:40, 22 is finished tearing at that fish. He goes over to the rim.
21 is going to eat off that piece of fish on and off until it finishes all of it around 12:58. Down goes the tail!
21 did the clean up.
M15 came in with the head on a well-eaten Armoured Catfish carcass for the eaglets at 14:59:42. E22 was up first, then 21 pushed it out of the way. 22 tried to snatch and grab, but 21 winded up with most of this fish. At 15:17:46, E22 is up and wants some fish, but it is gone. Dad leaves the nest.
22 on the left spent a bit of time ‘watching, waiting, and being careful’ when he was not in a good position to snatch-and-grab.
Two smaller pieces of ‘something’ came in at 16:24:48 and again at 18:36. E21 got the lion’s share, meaning 99%. For some reason, 22 was shy, and 21 did peck at it to stay away. We need a couple of big fish in the nest. Tomorrow – by the time you are reading this – 22 should be hungry enough to risk going for it. Fingers crossed.
18:45 and E22 is getting some bites.
Both Es had crops at one time during the day or another. M15 had a couple of dips in the pond. He sure needed it! Good night, Super Dad.
Breakfast arrived on Wednesday the 22nd at 08:24:42. E22 got it right this morning, and he slipped right up to the left side of Dad. It appears that both ate and had something to nibble on after. M15 you get my vote for ‘Super Dad’ of the Year.
There is an interview that sheds some light on which female has been on the branch with M15 the last couple of nights and they say it isn’t the one with the black talon!
Here is also some information for everyone:
I have just, by accident, found this book about Harriet and M15. This 483-page story chronicles the unexplained death of Sassy Pants and a second clutch from which two eaglets fledged. It looks interesting, and a copy has been ordered. I will keep you posted! (Note: Harriet and M15 have never lost an eaglet to siblicide that I am aware)
Just as M15, Anna, Louis, Alex, and Andria are doing, Connie and Clive also leave chunks of prey on the nest for the eaglets to perfect their self-feeding skills. The nest at Captiva is so dark. Peer hard. Connick has a big crop!
Elain’s highlights from a very thundery and rainy day at the Orange scrape of Diamond, Xavier, and Indigo.
The falcons in Manchester, New Hampshire feel spring arriving!
Jackie and Shadow continue incubation and the rolling of the eggs. If it is egg 2, will it pip on day 40? They can go to day 43. Did you also know that this beautiful nest is 7100 ft in elevation, making it one of the highest Bald Eagle nests in the US? It certainly explains the weather, which can go like calm and clear in the image below to blowing ice pellets in the afternoon!
Egg 1 is 42 days old today, and egg 2 is only 39 days. For Jackie and Shadow, I just want to hope that a pip is in that second egg! They deserve it but, it could take a second clutch.
No official pip confirmation yet on the FOBBV recap but…image was taken around 0742 Tuesday nest time (really blown-up image).
Is Jackie listening and rolling?
The weather turned quite windy with the sound of ice pellets (?) flying about. Jackie is tucked in tight over her precious eggs. Jackie’s beautiful white feathers are blowing about on the crown of her head. Jackie and Shadow roll the eggs and shimmy over them to get the brood patch in the right spot to transfer the warmth from the adult body to the egg.
There is an extreme weather warning for the area of the nest. Tuesday night the winds were fierce at the nest.
The wind whipped and blew and even flipped Jackie off the eggs as snow came down during the night. She has rolled the eggs and kept them warm and dry. It is day 39 today for egg 2 and day 42 for egg 1.
Pearl and Tico are learning to fly. They are also returning to the nest for food. There is now an image-within-an-image so that you can follow them as they fly on and off the natal nest in Central Florida.
It seems that Big Red is still making up her mind where to have her nest this year. Time is coming soon for eggs!
Arthur and Big Red are still working on the Fernow Light stand this morning. I hope our darling RTH has changed her mind and will raise her eyases here in 2023.
The pace of killing of raptors in the UK has not decreased. Indeed, it is now making the popular news. Recently, the sentencing of the gamekeeper, Paul Davis, in Dorset who pleaded guilty to multiple crimes, many articulated in earlier blogs this year, was laughable and will do nothing to stop these heinous crimes against raptors.
That is a short summary of the nests that I have been watching a little closer than others.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams where my screen captures originated today: ‘H’, Window to Wildlife, HMc and Window to Wildlife, PA Farm Country Bald Eagles, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, News-Press, SWFlorida Eagle Cam FB, Amazon, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Manchester NH Falcon Fans, FOBBV, Superbeaks, @Cornell Hawks, The Mirror.