Late Tuesday and Early Wednesday in Bird World

Late Tuesday afternoon I was watching the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis. It was such a calming and funny experience. Ten fish were on the nest. Ten. Not tinny weeny fish but substantial fish or portions of. When Louis is brooding the baby, he will get up and start to eat some of the fish. Two things happen. First, the eaglet seems to recognize that Dad is not such a great feeder and ignores him eating.

Then, secondly, Anna sees or hears Louis in the pantry and immediately comes to the nest with a request for him to leave the food.

At this point, she begins eating the fish – and the little one gets itself over to where she is so s/he can have some of that fish, too. How smart. Six days old and already recognizes the best feeder of the parents.

This little one is so strong. It held itself up high and steady for long periods of time. Incredible.

Anna helps to strengthen the chick’s neck by making it stretch to get the food.

It was hilarious and just what I needed at the end of the day. This little eaglet will go on to have more feedings before it gets dark. Anna wants the baby to sleep well so it can grow – and be quiet. This baby is quite loud when it is hungry – which is rare.

One of the individuals on the KNF chat stated that the KNF nest was their top nest to watch and that they had stopped viewing another nest because of the violence of the older eaglet to the younger. I know at least two Bald Eagle nests that the person could have been referring to – and even I had wondered if I wouldn’t take a break from both of them for at least a week to let things settle.

It is very difficult watching streaming cams. Very difficult. The birds bring us much joy and enrich our lives. They teach us so much. We want them to play fair and survive. We grieve when one dies and we yell at the screen when the eaglets hurt one another especially when there is food to spare. So along with the joy comes a lot of anxiety and grieving.

One of the nests has to be SWFlorida’s. I held my breath and checked on E19 and E20 as the sun was beginning to set in Fort Myers. Both of them had crops. Yes, E19s is bigger but the fact that E20 will go to sleep full means a lot. In order to have a crop of any kind, E20 had to do the old snatch and grab. And then Mum ran out of food.

This morning, Wednesday, I also checked in on the SWFlorida nest. A nice sized sturgeon had been delivered. Big enough to feed both eaglets well but, E19 was determined that it was going to eat most of it. It was only after 19 was full that 20 was able to begin doing the snatch and grab, again.

E19 continues to be miserable.

In the past I have praised Harriet and M15 – especially M15 – for stepping in to help so that both eaglets get fed to the brim. That doesn’t seem to be happening yet. I am disappointed.

One of the ‘oddest’ issues is that by the time E20 gets its turn, the amount of prey on the nest has significantly diminished or, in one instance, was all gone but a tail.

I did not check the WRDC nest. I will but, not until the end of the week. I want to give the sibling rivalry some time to settle. There are plenty of nests and lots of activity to keep me out of trouble.

As it happens Berry College was one nest that I was shy about watching or recommending. Today, Berry College posted the cutest video of B15 on FB and its reaction to a big stick on the nest. They sped up the frame rate so everything is happening fast – like slapstick comedy. I hope you enjoy this. It does show you that B15 is a real character and secondly, that it is a good thing that other egg didn’t hatch!

This morning it was 8 degrees F or -13 C. Very cold at Berry College. B15 was quivering its wings while Pa Berry fed it a breakfast of squirrel and hidden fish!

Pa Berry does a good job feeding his baby.

B15 is doing very well. Less than a week ago it fit into the size of that egg!

The Bald Eagle couple at Big Bear, Jackie and Shadow, have a loyal fan base. Last year they lost both of their clutches. Everyone is hoping that this year this popular couple will be successful. They have certainly been doing nest renovations making way for eggs!

Jackie and Shadow have a beautiful view of Big Bear Lake. Sadly, as I often mention, the area still contains the residual effects of the DDT that was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to rid it of mosquitoes more than 50 years ago. This could be, in part, the cause of the thin egg shells.

It is egg watch for Jackie and Shadow.

As I mentioned earlier, Louis and Anna have the sweetest little eaglet. Louis is a fantastic provider. There are reports of cold icy weather heading towards Louisiana. I hope that it veers away from this nest!

Samson and Gabby also have a gorgeous place for a nest.

What a beautiful egg cup.

Samson rolls the eggs giving Gabby a chance for some food and a break.

Gabby is on deck this morning (Wednesday) and tomorrow, Thursday the 20th is the beginning of pip watch for Samson and Gabby at the American Eagle Foundation! Yes. I am so excited along with all of their loyal fans.

Ervie only got a couple of small fish yesterday. He was on and off the nest so that chatters are now giving him the nickname of ‘Boomerang’. He spent the night on the perch after being spooked by a boat that got too close to the barge at 21:08:23. This is at least the third incident this breeding season. Just the other day two youngsters on paddle boards appeared right by the barge. It really does unsettle the birds.

I am delighted that Daisy the Duck is still not laying eggs on the WBSE nest. Each day that she isn’t there is a day to celebrate albeit we do miss seeing her.

I know that each of us wish that this was ‘our’ Daisy after her eggs hatched on that big nest. Talk about adorable. These ducklings follow their Mum perfectly til they get to the stream!

I hope that put a smile on your face. And, Daisy, I hope that in about a month this might be you! We all do.

It is -25 C on the Canadian Prairies and we had more snow last night. Everything is beautiful and white and typically, on very cold days, the sky is blue and the sun is bright. The Blue Jay family has been absent now for over a month. I hope they decided to leave town for warmer climates. Ah, but where to go? It was colder in Georgia yesterday than it was in Winnipeg! Dyson was out doing what he does best —-eating! I caught him on the large suet cylinder yesterday afternoon. What Dyson doesn’t know is that I removed the cage from around the big suet so that he could eat all he wanted. Don’t tell him or he will think I am an old ‘softie’. Notice how thick Dyson’s fur has gotten since the fall.

The European Starlings were everywhere. The numbers typically range between 27 or 28 up to 56 to 58 at a time. They do tend to intimidate the smaller birds from coming to the feeders until they are full. This has meant watching and keeping food topped up until around 16:00 when everyone leaves.

In the middle of the all the chaos caused by the Starlings is the Chickadee who visits several times a day. Slipping in and out when there are not so many other birds around.

Little Red is around but he has only let me photograph his tail at one of the feeders – cheeky little thing. The other two Grey Squirrels come and go as well along with Sharpie who sweeps through a couple of times a day checking to see if he can grab a snack. They seem to be braving the bitter winter weather and the snow with more grace than I seem to have. It certainly feels like spring is a long way away.

Dyson knows precisely where I fill the feeders. When he finishes there will be nothing left but the shells from the Black-Oil Seeds.

Thank you so much for joining me today. From me and all the garden friends, take care, see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Friends of Big Bear.

Monday in Bird World, late edition

It feels like the lull after the storm which is possibly a good thing for everyone who was in the path of the snow and ice in the US yesterday, including our beloved birds and animals. That said, there are still parts of the US and Canada that continue to be having weather from that system.

The rain stopped in Ithaca, home of Big Red and Arthur, and it started snowing again.

It has stopped snowing at the nest of the Pittsburgh-Hayes couple.

In the wake of the storm, the female at Duke Farms laid her first egg about an hour and a half ago. No snow! Congratulations Duke Farms.

Over in Dale Hollow there is snow and the Bald Eagle couple also have their first egg of the 2022 season. Gos, I live in Canada but it looks cold there to me – and a little odd. Snow on the nest and green grass. Oh, Canadians living on the Prairies love to see the green grass come up in the spring.

Here is the announcement:

Did you ever watch the Bald Canyon Eagles? If so, you might be interested to know that the US Navy, the entity that owns and operates San Clemente Island, gave Dr Sharpe permission to install a new camera.

Here is the link to this nest with its new camera. There is no sound as per the US Navy regulations.

B15 is doing really well at the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest in Mt Berry, Georgia. The nest seems to have dried out and Missy’s feathers are all nice and fluffy. This little one is moving about nicely and appears to be quite strong – doing well for one less than a week old! B15 had a nice little crop after its late afternoon feed.

The aggression by R1 towards R2 at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade County continues. R2 had one meal by 16:16. Of course, this little one can still survive but it is very intimidated by R1 and will not raise itself to eat while R1 is eating.

E19 was being particularly aggressive today, too. In fact, horrible isn’t even the right word to describe the behaviour towards E20. This is despite some nice fish deliveries at the SWFlorida Nest. How does bad weather impact avian behaviour? These two eaglets were, just a few days ago, cited as being the most civil that Harriet and M15 ever had on the nest. The ‘trigger’ had to be the weather. I cannot account for anything else.

In the end, both eaglets were fed but it is to E20’s credit that it held out and finally had to do the old ‘snatch and grab’.

E20 kept its head down til E19 was full.

E19 was about to pop its crop and was still hammering its younger sibling. And then…E20 cleverly waited a second and got up to Mum. Harriet fed E20 til it was full.

I do not believe there is any reason to be concerned. There has never been a siblicide on this nest and I don’t believe it will happen this year either. These two will be fine. M15 and Harriet are known to tandem feed if required. They are very experienced parents ——- and they care!

Awww. So sweet. Finally being able to enjoy some dinner.

And then E19 full to the top of its head decides that E20 has had too many bites – well before there is any crop – and starts bonking it again. Sad.

To the credit of E20, it was so hungry that it began stealing bites. Bravo!

Sometimes you simply want to find an Eagle nest where there is absolutely no conflict. That nest for me is the KNF Bald Eagle Nest in Louisiana.

At the nest of Anna and Louis, the baby is so full from the last feeding that it is not yet interested in the 10 fish that are on the nest behind it. Yes, 10. Just look at it sit up tall and straight. This baby is 5 days old and curious.

Aww. Baby decided it had better get around to the other side near the pantry if it wanted a late snack.

Anna was very hungry but a couple of little cheeps and she was feeding the little one. It is nice and full and so is Mum.

If you want a peaceful, serene Bald Eagle nest to watch with a 5 day old eaglet, I highly recommend the KNF nest with its chat mods, Tonya from NO and the two rangers, Cody and Steve.

Here is the link to the KNF nest:

Ervie had a late delivery of a fish last night. He was sleeping on part of it this morning. Ervie is flying on and off the nest and everything seems perfectly fine at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge.

The sun is setting on Gabby at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest where we are approaching pip watch on the 21st.

The sun has already set on my garden and the birds have all left. We are expecting more snow tonight! I will check on the Kakapo Recovery tonight and report in the morning. There is a rumour going around that Nora, who laid her first egg in 1981, mated for 83 minutes with one of the males last night. She is really hoping for eggs this year. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: WRDC, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, KNF, Duke Farms, Berry College, Cornell Bird Lab, Pittsburg-Hays and Pix Cams, Bald Canyon, NEFlorida and the AEF, and Bald Eagles Live FB Page.

Where was Gabby?

My goodness! Everyone got a real scare this morning.

Gabrielle, Gabby, and Samson are getting ready for their two eggs in The Hamlet Bald Eagle nest, near Jacksonville, Florida, to pip. In the 2020-21 season they raised Legacy and in the 2019-20 season they raised Jules and Romey, named after Samson’s parents who had this nest first, Romeo and Juliet.

Gabby flew off the nest for a break yesterday at 12:30pm and was not been seen for nearly 24 hours. Samson has been on the nest incubating the eggs waiting for Gabby to return.

The trees surrounding the nest were examined and wildlife rehabbers within a 2 miles radius were called to see if a mature female Bald Eagle is in care. Nothing.

I began to dread that this was a repeat of Romeo and Juliet’s history on this nest. Juliet was injured (or killed). Romeo tried to take care of the nest to have a female intruder remove and kill the hatched eaglet. He subsequently left the nest. Samson, their son, hatched on 23 December 2013 took over the nest in 2019.

Well, we will never know where Gabby was but, she has returned to the nest!!!!!!! I kept looking at the eagle on the nest and saying to myself, ‘This sure looks like Gabby’. The American Eagle Foundation just announced her return. My heart skipped three beats.

There have been intruders. Samson is alarming.

Gabby is on the right and Samson is on alert. Neither parent is on the eggs. Protecting their territory is more important than the eggs.

Gabby back on the two eggs.

Gabby is very nervous. The wind is blowing and she is being ever vigilant. The other rule amongst eagles is that if it is a male intruder, the male chases it. If it is a female intruder, the female goes after the interloper. I hope whatever is concerning Samson and Gabby leaves!!!!!!!!

This is the link to their camera.

Please send out your warm positive thoughts to Gabby and Samson as they enter the pip stage. We do not want a repeat of Samson’s parent’s tragedy to happen to this wonderful Bald Eagle couple!

Just some quick news. Berry College has its first hatch.

Anna and the little one at the KNF Bald Eagle nest are still figuring out feeding and eating. It is a repeat of Kisatchie last year! Made me incredibly nervous. They figured it out so fingers crossed again.

I will return with more Bird World News in the early evening. Waking up to see Gabby had been missing so long took the air out of my sails.

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

Thank you to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

KNF Hatch Progressing Well

The hatching at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest is progressing nicely. These are the latest images of the egg at 12:58 CDT.

As you are probably aware, the adults do not help the chick hatch. It is too dangerous for the fragile baby. There are also thoughts that the chick must survive the hatch to be able to survive in the wild.

The chick has a nice hole but it needs to get through that membrane.

It is unclear if this is egg 1 or egg 2. Anna had a bad landing and broke one of the eggs. Egg 1 would be 38 days old today and egg 2 would be 35 days old. It is a bit of a toss up. There were some marks on egg 1 and many watchers believe the egg that survived is egg 1. At the end of the day, it only matters for the data which egg it is. I simply want a healthy chick to get out of that egg. You can hear the sweet little thing cheeping sometimes. Anna must be excited.

Louis has returned to the nest. Is he wanting Anna to give him a turn? or is he there protecting the nest? Eagles that hatch with the membranes like this usually take a little longer than the clear break of the egg. Everything will be fine though! It just could be a little while.

Oh, thank you. You can see the chick’s beak with the egg tooth breaking that hole big. All around the shell is crushed.

Hi there…just a little longer. What an adorable little chirp. The eaglet has now broken through that membrane and can breathe air! It is doing so well.

That little one is really chirping. You can actually see it push outwards from inside the shell. Adorable. Anna watches her little one try to break into the world. This will be the second successful hatch for this young couple.

Anna is being so careful.

There are still no signs of a pip at Berry College. Both adults were on the nest when I checked in. Eggs were being rolled.

As far as I know, there are no pips at NEFlorida with Gabby and Samson yet.

If we are lucky, they will all pip and hatch on different days. It would be very difficult to watch all the eagle nests! Possible. But much better one at a time! With Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 moving into the stage of getting feather growth, it is really exciting to have some new bobble heads coming our way.

I wonder what is going on at Captiva? Clive got off of the eggs and there is no real close up. Pip? Unknown.

So what is up with the PLO Lads? Sometimes when I check, it is only Ervie on the camera. Are there other family members on the barge? It is hard to say. Some could be sitting up on the wheel house. Mum and Dad could be over on the old barge so they have some peace and quiet!

Late in the evening, around 20:44, Ervie took off from the perch. At this time it appears that no one else is on the barge. He flies around the barge. He is seen on camera several times.

Gone.

Flying back.

Ervie does this interesting touch take off on the nest.

I wanted to make sure it was Ervie. You can see his sat-pak between the wings clearly in the image below.

Ervie returns at 20:45:23 to the nest with a very small fish it appears. Now this is the question. We can see no other members of the family on camera. But it is also impossible to tell if Ervie is wet. The camera is blurry for some reason. If he were wet, then he would have caught the fish. I actually suspect one of the adults delivered Ervie the small fish off camera. That is always something to remember- just because we cannot see what is happening does not mean it isn’t happening. Adult Osprey deliver fish at various locations for their fledglings.

In the middle of the night there are at least two other family members on the barge with Ervie on the nest — ‘his’ nest.

Morning has come and everyone appears to be off the barge leaving Ervie on the nest.

Ron has been doing a great job feeding R1 and R2 on the WRDC Bald Eagle nest. Those little ones are doing really, really well. Always a variety of food!

It has warmed up on the Canadian Prairies. It is now a balmy -14 C. Seriously after -32 it almost feels like spring. Most of the birds in the garden are the European Starlings. I think they are gorgeous birds.

Today is also bread making day and it is time to take those loaves out of the oven and find some nice butter.

Thank you for joining me. It is so exciting. There will be a fluff ball down at the KNF nest soon! Take care everyone. Please stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Berry College Eagle Nest, NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam.

Tuesday in Bird World

It is a blustery snowy day on the Canadian Prairies. We woke up to more snow and the birds wondering where to find food underneath it. It is fine for the birds that eat out of the feeders but those that feed on the ground will have a tough time of it. I feel for them on days like today. Our temperatures are ranging from -22 C to -14 C. So not warm! And the snow will continue throughout the day and night. It is definitely winter in Canada. We have had 4 or 5 years of drought and hopefully the moisture and rain in the spring will change that!!!

Everyone is trying to see if there is a pip or a crack in the third egg at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade county. The two nestlings are doing quite well. R1 does a little of the bonking but R2 is eating very well. Both have had full crops. Personally, I am hoping that R3 does not hatch. These two are doing well and the third hatch – well, we all know that often it is a real challenge for them even with experienced parents.

R1 and R2 are simply ‘can’t take my eyes off them cute’. Adorable. Cuddly. Soft.

A little one peeking out from under Mum after their nice meal. They have been enjoying a variety of fish including Tilapia. Dad seems to always have several varieties on hand for feeding.

Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 are continuing to do well, also. They are starting to get their pin feathers now that they are 8 and 7 days old. We can look forward to them being ‘itchy’ by the weekend, I would think. They grow so fast.

You can see the pinfeathers easier in the image below. They are just tiny black flecks right now but they are growing in.

Adorable.

Gabby has about a week more of incubation before her and Samson will be busy feeding the bobbleheads! Fingers crossed for both eggs to hatch up at The Hamlet near Jacksonville. I cannot wait. This is one of my favourite nests. Last year the couple fledged Legacy. As an only child on the nest, Gabby and Samson did everything they could to replace the lessons Legacy would learn from having siblings. At one point, when Legacy was so so tiny, they tested her to see if she would walk over to the fish out of the nest bowl. She did and she kept getting stronger and stronger. What a beautiful juvenile she was when we last saw her in the summer.

Mr President and The First Lady have been to visit their nest at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Since 2015, the pair have made this nest their home and during that time they have fledged 7 eaglets. Don’t expect eggs for a bit.

Here is the link to their camera.

This morning their nest had another visitor – a Red-tailed Hawk hoping to catch some breakfast.

Jack and Diane have been working on their Osprey nest on the grounds of the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida for awhile now. Jack brought Diane her first breakfast fish the other day and this morning she was waiting for another. Looking for eggs to be laid in a few weeks.

Last year Jack and Diane were one of a few couples, world-wide, that fledged three chicks. For a long time it was touch and go with Tiny Tot Tumbles but Diane started bringing in extra fish including her huge catfish and things turned around for that little one. She must have a secret place to go fishing because she always leaves and comes back with a large fish to feed everyone.

So far this nest has not had the problems with predators taking the eggs like Lena and Andy at Captiva. However, I am a little uneasy at times as the fish deliveries are inconsistent. I even thought that Jack was providing for another nest last year. So, fair warning – this nest can cause one to be anxious at times.

Here is the link to this Osprey camera:

Another good Osprey Nest to watch is up at Oyster Bay, NY, where there were three fledges last year, also. Here is that link and I will bring it and Achieva back up again – along with others – when eggs are about to hatch.

Sometimes it is nice when not much is happening in Bird World. We can sit back and relax and enjoy all of them without the drama. I have not seen nor have I had word that Daisy the Duck has returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest since she visited on 1 January with her mate. I surely hope that she finds another spot and tries it. Anything is better than the Sea Eagles nest! We want her to succeed. My contact has not sent me an image of her down in the water so let us all image her paddling in the duck pond!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay warm, stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, the WRDC, The National Arboretum Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Achieva Credit Union.

Sunday in Bird World

Hi Everyone!

It is another cold day on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starlings were sitting on the tips of the Lilac branches on a bright sunny morning. It is -30. Notice how blue the sky is on a cold, cold day.

The Starlings puff up all their feathers. They seem more interested in sunning themselves than eating today.

Little Red was leaping from the fence to the feeders and back again, collecting nuts as quick as he could. It looks like Dyson & Co have decided to hibernate during this week or two of extreme weather. I do not blame them!

M15 found a possum that had been killed on the road and brought it to the nest in Fort Myers. That is one of the ways that Eagles get killed – removing carrion from the roads and taking it to the nest OR sitting on the road and eating the prey item. Our wildlife rehabbers suggest carrying a shovel in your car and stopping and removing dead animals from the road and placing them way back in the ditch. It will certainly help all the raptors.

In a late Sunday afternoon feeding, E20 got smart for a bit and stood behind E19 when Harriet got up to feed them.

If you are wondering which one is which, it is easy to identify them. Currently, E19 has a bit of PS and food on its back and it is slightly bigger. E19 is in front. E20 is a fluffy clean white ball. A sweetie.

So far their eyes are looking great. No sign of any infection.

The other day when E20 climbed out of the nest cup for a feeding, it was too close to Harriet’s beak making it difficult for her to feed it. By standing behind E19, E20 is at the right place for food and away from E19’s beak. So the first bites go to E20.

The next bite goes to E19. Harriet is such a good mother. There should never been any feelings of food insecurity on this nest.

Adorable.

I was a bit shocked to see an individual on the FB group of the SWFlorida Eaglets write expecting E19 to kill E20. Siblicide in Bald Eagles is very rare. I include below some information from a study. You will see that storms cause more deaths. There has never been a death due to siblicide on this nest in SWFlorida. Everyone can rest easy.

From the researcher in Maine:

“I studied 62 webcam Bald Eagle nests with direct observations of the nest bowl recorded over a period of up to 8 years. The total number of nest seasons was 240. Of that number, there were 91 with just one hatch or none, 105 nestings with 2 hatches, 42 with 3 hatches and 2 with 4 hatches. (These are all direct observations of egg-laying, hatch, eaglet development and fledge.)

Of the 105 nestings with 2 hatches, both eaglets successfully fledged 77 times (73%), 1 eaglet fledged and 1 died 22 times (21%), and both died 6 times (6%). Of the 34 who died, the cause of death was parent neglect (6), killed by intruder (4), storm (4), failed in the first day or two (3), accident (5), illness (1), unknown (7), possible siblicide (1), and known siblicide (3). Based on these figures (including the possible siblicide), the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 2 eaglets is 3.8%.

Of the 42 nestings with 3 hatches, all 3 eaglets fledged 35 times (83%), 2 fledged and 1 died 3 times (7%), 1 fledged and 2 died 2 times (5%), and all three died 2 times (5%). Of the 13 who died, the cause of death was storm (eight), poison (2), accident (1), unknown (1), and siblicide (1). Based on these figures, the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 3 siblings is 2%.

Of the 2 nestings with 4 hatches, all 4 eaglets successfully fledged on one, and 2 on the other. The cause of death of the 2 who died was storm (1), died in the first day or so (1).

The known incidence of siblicide on these 62 random nests of 396 hatched eaglets was 4 eaglets, 3 of whom were from the same nest in Maine, and all were attributed to lack of food and/or parent neglect. That’s 1%. It would be less than 0.3% if I discounted that one nest in Maine.”

That should put everyone’s mind to rest when they are watching the Bald Eagle nests.

And as I close, E20 is eating again and E19 is looking at something else. It was a good feeding!

Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Australian Sea Eagles, did not return to their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park after having been harassed by both the Currawong and the BooBook Owls the previous night.

It has been confirmed that there are boxes for ducks at the Duck Pond but our Daisy seems to prefer nests to them. Let us all hope she changes her mind.

Samson is giving Gabby a break at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam near Jacksonville. He is incubating NE26 and 27. (Legacy was NE24 and the unviable egg was considered NE25). We will be on hatch watch in about 12 days. How wonderful.

It is an interesting morning at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. Ervie is the one who has been on the nest and who is prey calling – very loudly.

Falky has landed on the nearby ropes and is hoping for a chance at the breakfast fish this morning, too. I wonder how much fishing Ervie is actually doing??? He has been sitting on that nest a long time prey crying instead of fishing….

The other Bald Eagle nest that currently has two little eaglets is Hilton Head. The eaglets are doing fine. I will include the link to the camera since they are not on YouTube. They are adorable and I urge you to stop in and have a look. There is no rewind function, however!

The link to the camera is here:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/hilton-head-land-trust-eagles

Someone asked me what nest I am looking forward to the most in 2022. That is a real hard one! In the United States, it would have to be Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks at Cornell University. Here are K1 and K2 from last spring’s nest. K3 will hatch the day after. They are just super parents. Big Red will be laying her eggs in March.

Unlike Bald Eagles who hatch with grey soft natal down, Red-tail Hawks have the most beautiful soft white down and white spikey hair on the top of their heads! They melt my heart instantly.

5 May 2021. K1 and K2.

I love Peregrine Falcons so Annie and Grinnell will be at the top of my list and as for Osprey Nests in the US, you can’t get better than Richmond and Rosie out in California. I try to keep track of several Osprey nests in the UK, the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia, and for this year, the Osprey nests in Finland. Then there is the Black Kite Nest in a Taipei Cemetery. That should keep me out of trouble!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

New Year’s Eve in Bird World

The Audubon Society has posted a list of five rules when photographing Bald Eagles. I think that they apply to every bird. Be respectful. Prey is often scarce and if you see a raptor hunting food don’t disturb it, please. Their life could depend on it!

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter-2017/five-rules-photographing-bald-eagle-nests?fbclid=IwAR0rgIDuOUG1oXKaHil_H4B_mFz6TF6JzcL-1fuIpMJG8Hgw4Smxbh_02BE

The other day I called E19 and E20 little stinkers. What a pair! One of them was even beaking an adult this morning! E20 holds its own – it just makes everyone a little anxious. They are strong and healthy. The images are a little fuzzy as I tried to crop them so you could see the little ones better.

Here they are going at it first thing while Mum tries to get over to feed them breakfast. Both had huge crops and at the second feeding weren’t interested in eating just dusting it up.

This cheeky eaglet facing Mum was beaking at her feathers!

Even with all the action, they are both adorable with their spiky tops.

Harriet has just finished feeding the pair some nice fresh fish.

Harriet is so experienced. It is often one bite for you and then a bite for your sibling.

Here is a video showing Dad, M15 giving E19 and E20 the last meal of the day yesterday!

It was a gorgeous morning at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson.

Gabby is having a break looking over their territory in the morning mist.

Samson always enjoys getting some time with the eggs. Oh, so handsome.

Anna and Louis seem to have perfected transitioning incubation duties while protecting that one precious egg of theirs.

It is a beautiful nest full of pinecones for this little eaglet to use to learn how to grip with its talons.

It is already New Year’s Day in Australia and the Port Lincoln Lads were up early trying to get the first fish from Dad. It was 06:23 and Falky was on the nest!

Dad didn’t even eat the head!

Well done, Falky.

Diamond does not seem to have spent the night in the scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University but she did arrive early. There was a lot of eee-chupping. It sounded like she was calling Xavier to come and join her. Xavier might have been off hunting for breakfast. It was a beautiful morning.

You are so beautiful, Diamond.

Everyone in Bird World seems to be doing just fine today. Big Red and Arthur have been spotted hunting together over by the power plant. It is comforting that all are doing well. We hope that all of the 2021 fledges fly safe, stay healthy, and have lots of prey items.

Thank you so much for joining me. Wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2022. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF.

Snow for Birds on the Canadian Prairies – and no eaglets in Fort Myers, yet

We are in the middle of a snowstorm here on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starling are using those really long and sharp beaks of theirs to try and forage food under the feeders. The sparrows are flitting around from branch to branch as the wind blows the snow in tiny little tornado-like gusts. For a long time we have wondered what to do for the birds when the weather is like this. A carport for birds and feeders????

The camera does not catch the snow blowing – and I don’t have a slow enough shutter speed on my phone. You can see the snow on the domes of the feeders and the little pine tree is almost completely covered.

All those white dots are snow blowing around. So hard to capture it so that you can really see the amounts. The depth is about 34 cm or over a foot. I do so feel for the birds – and other animals living in the wild – on days like this.

The eaglets, E19 and E20, in the eggs under Harriet are still working their way out. You can see what appears to be a large crack in one of them below. Or is this a piece of grass stuck to the egg?

The view of the eggs changes each time Harriet rolls them. Last evening a large piece of the moss stuck to one of the eggs making it appar that there was a crack going all the way around.

It is currently 24 degrees C in Fort Myers. It will rise to 27 degrees mid afternoon for Harriet and M15 today.

Poor Harriet. She is already panting to regulate her temperature.

Harriet is certainly restless this morning. I don’t blame her. Those pips came about 14 hours ago. She has been so careful moving around the eggs.

The camera has been down at Port Lincoln for a couple of days. I can see what I believe are the three lads. If they are in their usual spots it is Bazza on the nest, Ervie on the perch, and Falky on the ropes in his favourite diving spot. It is 03:00 on the barge.

The temperatures in Jacksonville, Florida are currently 18 degrees C rising to 23 during the middle of the afternoon for Gabby and Samson.

I found a new bird feeder cam that I really like for the variety of birds that arrive to eat. This feeder will not allow me to embed the link for you so go to youTube and search for LIVE Feeder Cam Gettysburg PA. They aren’t raptors but they sure are fun to watch when waiting for eagles to hatch!

The Starlings can be bullies but I still love them!

And for those looking for a new board game, look no further than ‘Wingspan’. Don’t be fooled – there are two parts. First is the book, Celebrating Birds and then there is the actual board and playing disks. I wish they were sold together. The book and game were developed with the Cornell Lab, Natalie Hargrave, and a couple of creative women, Natalie Rojas and Ana Maria Martinez. The images are beautiful – each is a watercolour. It is a great way to learn about the birds of the world but, you need to do your homework and check prices. I found that they can vary by as much as 40% for the actual board game and pieces. The book is quite reasonable and there are various extensions including the birds of Oceania.

I hope all of you are well. Thank you so much for joining me this morning as we anxiously await for the arrival of E19 and 20. Take care and stay safe. I hope to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Live Bird Feeder Cam Gettysburg PA.

Christmas Day in Bird World

It is a gorgeous Christmas morning over Big Bear Lake in San Bernadino County, California. This is the home of Bald Eagle couple, Jackie and Shadow. What a beautiful view as the sun rises to wake up the forest and the animals that live around the lake.

A little later the camera operator gives us a treat by panning around the area where Jackie and Shadow live.

Jackie and Shadow have been delivering some nice (some large) twigs to the nest. This wonderful couple live in the hope of hatching eaglets and we send them positive energy as we hope with them.

Harriet and M15 might be wishing for a little bit of the cooler northern Californian weather in Fort Myers. The couple began ‘listening’ to their eggs last evening. It is pip watch!

About four days before hatching, the eaglets will grow their egg tooth. Imagine it as a sharp spike facing outward towards the shell on the tip of the beak. The little ones will chip away at the shell. They will take their first breath and continue picking away until they have broken through and hatched. This whole process can take up to four days.

Last year Harriet and M15, fledged E17 and E18 – the twins that won all of our hearts from their first bobblehead days, to going into care for conjunctivitis, to their return. Beautiful fledglings. Best friends.

I am so glad that Samson and Gabby did not lay their eggs at the same time as Harriet and M15. This way we will get to enjoy having two nests of bobble heads independent of one another! Last year, Gabby and Samson had one hatch, Legacy. S/he turned out to be a beautiful and formidable juvenile.

Gabby is on incubation duties.

Anna and Louis are also incubating two eggs and have a wait similar to that of Samson and Gabby. Their nest is in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. This is the couple’s second breeding attempt. Last year they fledged Kisatchie, the first eaglet hatched and fledged on this nest in central Louisiana since 2013. Wow. Cody and Steve have installed sound at the nest this year.

It was fun watching Anna and Louis last year figure out what to do as new parents. Louis is a fabulous provider. When he is not loading the nest down with fish, he is aiming to give Anna the softest Spanish Moss he can find for the egg cup! Just look at it.

Clive and Connie are incubating two eggs over at Captiva. They have had some terrible weather there lately and this image is from yesterday. The camera appears to be down this morning.

Clive is a new mate for Connie. Last year, Connie and Joe hatched two eaglets, Peace and Hope, who died on the nest from rodenticide poisoning.

One of the ospreys over wintering at Urdaibai in the Basque Country of Spain waking up to Christmas morning.

While many of the Ospreys are opting to stay on the Iberian Peninsula instead of making the long journey down to The Gambia or Senegal, there are still celebrations as the December count along the Senegal coast was 1100 birds this year. Jean-Marie Dupart did an amazing job going out and counting all of the beautiful fish eagles. Thank you!

German Osprey along the coast of Senegal.

Closer to home, Jack and Diane have been working on their nest. Some really nice strips of bark have been brought in. Last year, the pair fledged three for the first time: Sibling 1, Sibling 2, and the miracle bird who survived against all the odds and became dominant, Tiny Tot Tumbles.

Cilla Kinross is celebrating the third camera at Charles Sturt Falcon Project. There is a ledge and box camera and now one that shows the falcons flying around the outside of the water tower. Congratulations, Cilla.

Here is the link if you wish to check out the new tower cam:

Big Red and Arthur have been spotted out hunting so all is well with the Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus. Hope to have images I can post for you shortly.

The countdown is on for all the hawk and osprey fans…three months til Big Red is incubating eggs and three months til the first arrivals of the Western Ospreys back in the UK. Oh, and the beautiful storks of Latvia and Estonia. May they all stay safe until then.

Wishing all of the birds who bring us such joy, extra prey items, good weather, and safe flying.

Thank you for joining me today. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope that you have a peaceful, joyful day, with something a little special. For those birds not with us today, we thank them for the happiness they gave to us – and as one of my readers ‘B’ so eloquently said, ‘and all they taught us.’ So true. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, KNF Eagle Cam, Captiva Eagle Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the Achieva Osprey Cam.

Note: Port Lincoln Osprey Cam is down or we would all get a look at those lads!

Thursday Happenings in Bird World

It has been a very difficult time for all of us since the Ravens destroyed Daisy’s nest. Things had gone so smoothly that most of us began to believe that those eggs would hatch. Sadly, it was not to be. I so wished that the male Pacific Black ducks had the instinct to go to the nest and relieve their mates! Daisy was quite distraught, understandably. A friend that is around the Discovery Centre has offered to take a photo for me of Daisy paddling around the canal after the holidays. There are not that many ducks there so she is confident she will recognize her again this year. Before I move on to other bird news, I am reminded that Daisy rushed to the big WBSE nest to lay an egg. She did not prepare the nest and it is possible that she had a nest elsewhere and something destroyed those eggs and, as a last resort, she came to the WBSE nest. There might well not be a safe place for our Daisy and that could account for so few ducks in the water there. If a duck hatches a normal clutch, it is normally 47 days before the pair mate again and this will only happen twice a year. If the eggs are broken, it can be as few as 10 days, a reliable source tells me. I hope that we do not see Daisy again – as much as I would like to see her and know she is safe! The WBSE are often at the nest in January and it would be wonderful if later Daisy was seen with little ones in the canal. We wait.

I needed ‘something lighter’ and that turned out to be the boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It seems that Bazza picked off the first two fish deliveries. At some time Ervie got mad at him and kicked him off the nest. Falky continues to perfect his diving skills hoping to catch that elusive fish one day. They are so lucky that they have parents that continue to provide these big strapping lads with food!

Here is Falky diving off the ropes and coming out of the water in sequence:

No fish but, Falky tried! If you look at the time stamps you will see how quick that dive was. This family is just doing great. That is a wonderful thing! Falky is really trying.

Ervie’s satellite tracker indicates that he has been visiting the local boat ramps. The owner of PLO is wondering if Ervie has discovered places where he can get fed! Here is Ervie’s latest tracking:

Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page posted some great shots of Ervie and Falky. They were taken by Bazz Hockaday. I hope they don’t mind my sharing them with you. You can see how stunningly handsome and – well, these are just great Osprey fledges. A success story this year that gives us a lot of hope. I understand that Falky followed Ervie to the beach. Bazza stayed on the nest and cleaned up on all the fish. I am certain that Bazza will never leave home!

Ervie
Falky
Falky
Ervie

Port Lincoln also posted a picture of the barge from the other side. It really helps us visualize where the nest is.

This is dad delivering a fish dinner to the nest. What an amazing shot! Thank you Port Lincoln!

The hatching and fledging of the three males at this beautiful barge with its Osprey nest made history for this mated pair. For years they have had issues relating to siblicide and they have never fledged three. Everyone was cautiously optimistic and it happened. It is one of those great moments of 2021 that no one will forget!

I urge you to check in on this nest and also the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page. You don’t have to be a member of anything to find out what the lads are doing. And this is such a happy site – we need it, we truly do.

There are lots of mothers incubating eggs. Two of my favourites are Harriet and Gabby.

Harriet and M15 have been taking turns at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest. It has not been easy for the male, M15. He has continual strikes by the Great Horned Owl whose nest is 900 metres away. M15 had an injury the other day. The GHOW also strike Harriet on the nest and will do the same to the hatchlings. Sad.

Samson and Gabby have been taking turns incubating their two eggs in the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. They have had a sub-adult intruder but nothing like the issues with the owls that Harriet and M15 have endured. As nests and trees become more precious – with growing numbers of eagles and owls – these fights for territory could come more often and many times the owls usurp the eagles from the nest. I continually remind everyone that they might be cute – the owls – but they are a formidable Apex predator.

Gabby – you can always tell the ‘shag look’.
Samson with his slick backed head.

Hatch watch for Harriet! Bobble heads coming real soon. I can’t wait.

I want to leave each of you with something that is just full of joy! Perhaps you have discovered this wonderful girl that loves squirrels. If you haven’t, then you are in for a real treat. Please enjoy -.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for all the letters and comments about Daisy. It was a very difficult time for the community of people from all over the world that loved her. I hope that we get a picture soon of her paddling away and that if she should lay more eggs, we don’t see them but they hatch and we get news of Daisy on the canal being a Mum. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams and their FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, and NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. I also want to thank Bazz Hockaday for those amazing images of Ervie and Falky.