Babies, Branching, and Bittersweet

It is all too quick. One minute they are little chicks bonking and bopping like the three Ks of Big Red and Arthur and then they are branching and fledging. It is all bittersweet.

Arthur has already begun to line prey up around the egg cup at the Fernow Light Tower nest in Ithaca, New York. Look at the crop on K1. I never get tired of watching these little eyasses grow. Arthur and Big Red are such devoted parents.

6 March 2021

Adorable. Simply adorable.

Oh, look at those little cutie pies. The Ks. 6 May 2021

Annie and Grinnell’s eyasses are a little older than the Ks. Their pin feathers are really growing in and they now spend their time preening, sleeping, or eating!

Look, you can see their little tail feathers starting to grow! People say the feather growth makes the eyasses itchy. How would a human know what it feels like to grow feathers? Birds are the only living thing on the planet that has them.

They are starting to get to the clown foot stage, too. Oh, they love that pigeon Grinnell is feeding them.

It is raining in Estonia and Eve is very careful not to get the little ones wet. Until they have their contour feathers they are not protected. Thermal down will help them against the cold but for now, they have to rely on mom to keep them both warm and dry.

I included the image below for two reasons. The first is the distinctive white tail feathers of the White-tailed eagles. Aren’t they gorgeous? And the second reason is to have a look at the feathers. Each of Eve’s feathers has a central shaft with tiny barbules that lock together like Velcro. They lay flat and make the bird waterproof. Feathers grow out of skin follicles.

White-tail eagles are the largest apex raptors in Europe. They also have the largest average wing span of any eagle in the world. Their wings span averages 2.4 metres or 8 feet. Did you know that they are on the coat of arms of Germany? They are Germany’s national bird just like the Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States.

Today, both Kisatchie at the Kistachie National Forest Bald Eagle nest and one of the pair of the Bald Eaglets at Duke Farms branched. Kisatchie had no one to cheer him on but the eaglet that branched below got a high five from its sibling for a job well done. It won’t be long til the sib is jumping up on that branch, too!

We are still on hatch watch with Maya and Blue 33 (11) at Rutland Mantou Bay. Tomorrow the first egg laid will be 38 days old (May 7).

And, of course, the bittersweet. In a month or so, E17 and E18 along with Legacy will leave us to make their own way out into the world. And sooner than I want, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot will fledge.

Legacy is waiting for Samson to bring her the evening meal. It is nearly 7:30 and he normally visits the nest around 5:30 with a food drop.

Legacy is not starving. Remember, Gabby and Samson are trying to teach her about what life will be like outside of the nest. Food is not always plentiful and eagles do not eat every day in the wild. Legacy had a squirrel yesterday and a big hunk of fish the day before. It is nearly 8:30 p, in the image below and it seems Legacy might have to wait and hope for breakfast.

Meanwhile, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is having some nice fish. Diane seems to really enjoy feeding Tiny. Often they are on the nest together as #2 sibling flies around and lands on the perch pole. There has been no sighting of #1 sibling. She fledged, returned to the nest once and is MIA. Normally, the raptors depend on their parents for food from 4-6 weeks after fledged (an average overall – some stay longer). They eat at the nest and strengthen their flying muscles. Sometimes the parents feed them ‘off nest’. It is not clear what is happening with #1 sibling and because she is not banded, we will never know.

I am clearly going to miss Legacy and Tiny Tot when the fledge. Unless there is some very distinctive marker – like the dots in Iris’s left eye or the tear in the wing of WBSE 24, unringed birds are simply not that recognizable, one from the other.

And the last news of the day, Iris, the oldest living Osprey in the world laid her first egg of the 2021 season at her Hellgate Nest in Missoula, Montana today at 18:04:31. I would like to hope that if nature intends it, Iris would get to be a mother again. Her last successful hatch with Louis was in 2018. As you know, I wish this day had not come but it has and now we wait to see how the season will twist and turn.

There is a new director for the Cornell Bird Laboratory, Dr Ian Owens. In an interview that came out in the latest edition of Living Bird, Dr Owens remembers the bird that changed his life. He was fifteen and the bird was an Eurasian Marsh-Harrier. Dr Owens will take charge in July.

Like Dr Owens, there are many of you reading this that will recall the first time that a bird influenced your life. Mine was over four and a half years ago when I met Sharpie’s female mate. I haven’t seen her for awhile but Sharpie stopped by today. I rejoice in seeing him – whether it is for a few minutes or an hour. They certainly changed my life and I will be forever grateful. It is just like the joy that all of the birds give us each day.

So take care everyone and remember – March 8 is Bird Count Day. I will remind you tomorrow with the link so you can submit your count. It helps everyone understand the perils of migration. Thank you for joining me!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I get my screen shots: NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, UC Falcon Cam, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, and LRWT Rutland.

K3 has hatched and other news in Bird World

All of the Ks at the Red-tail Hawk nest on the Fernow Light Tower on the campus of Cornell University have hatched. Big Red and Arthur welcomed K3 sometime in the wee hours of the morning. K3 has its big sibs for bookends today. Arthur is prepared. There is lots of prey of all kinds around the nest. I promise you those furry creatures will grow in dimension to line the nest bowl and fill the pantry at the same time!

K1 is wanting to make sure that the other two siblings know it is the oldest. Big Red has her own way of dealing with this. If the eyasses don’t line up nice and eat quietly, she will sit on them! Normally she feeds the biggest and loudest first but in a week you will begin to see K3 figure out how to get up to the front of the line. So nice to see some sun coming out in Ithaca, NY.

Kistachie, the sole occupant of the Bald Eagle nest in the Kistachie National Forest in Central Louisiana branched this morning. The official time was 6:08:12. Anna and Louis are his parents and he was rewarded with a nice fish from Kincaid Lake.

Boy those talons sure can grip! He is going straight up! Wow
Kisatchie can really climb that straight branch! 6 May 2021
Kisatachie has a nice fish breakfast
Kincaid Lake where Louis fishes

Legacy really enjoyed the squirrel that Samson brought in around 5:30 last evening, 5 May.

Legacy is staying really close to the nest tree but it doesn’t mean she is out of danger. At 6:44:29 this morning Legacy was knocked off her branch by a hawk! Yes, she recovered and it is one of the issues of being at the top of the food chain. Crows, Blue Jays, Hawks – all want the big birds out and away. Go!

Thank goodness Legacy was alright. She got back up on her look out branch. Let’s see if Samson brings her dinner around 5:30 again. I think that they are training her to come to the nest tree for food and also because she has no sibling, Gabby is being a surrogate sibling – as is Samson – trying to train Legacy to survive in that big world out there.

Legacy is simply stunning. She is such a beautiful juvenile Bald Eagle.

The news from the UK Osprey nests is all about the weather. The rain is still pitching it down in Wales and Telyn, Mrs G, and all the other females are simply soaked to the bone. At the Loch Garten nest there is snow!

This is the scene just the day before. The male is AX6. The female is unringed. Oh, these poor birds. What a freak snow storm they are having today!

It is a little dreary in Estonia for the White-tail Eagles, Eve and Eerik and their two little ones. Still, look closely. Eerik has the nest full of fish for these two who are moving into a fast growth phase. Oh, they are doing so well!

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is soooooo beautiful. This afternoon he has busied himself watching the traffic below the nest tower.

Yesterday afternoon, Tiny took the opportunity of an empty nest to really flap his wings and get those wing muscles strong. Look at that tail. Those feathers are really coming in nicely. So happy for this little one to get to live and be a fish eagle!

Tiny has not been hungry for a couple of weeks now and the energy from that food is really showing in its feather growth and the body fattening up. I no longer log every bite that Tiny Tot takes but suffice it to say that he had at least two fish yesterday in total. Not bad! Diane brought in a catfish late – in fact she brought in two fish in the evening. Both Tiny and #2 were full and Diane also go to enjoy some fish.

Thank you for being with me today. That is a quick check in with some of our favourites in Bird World. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. I get my screen shots from those. They are: Achieva Credit Union, NE Florida Bald Eagle nest and the AEF, KNF, Friends of Loch Garten, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Cornell Bird Lab RTH.

Oh, baby…it’s Tuesday in Bird World

Little K2 made its appearance in the world sometime before 6am but no one is precisely sure when. It was raining in Ithaca and there was no way that Big Red was going to let those two babies of hers get wet!

Pause for a second and look at the crop on K1 in the image below. Remember. Big Red will not let one of her babies go hungry. I am so glad she has Arthur. He is five years old and a dynamo when it comes to hunting. She made a wise choice in that young man when Ezra was killed. Arthur is an energetic and passionate provider in a land of plenty (so far).

If you want to watch Big Red and Arthur raise the Ks and if you also want to join the regular chat once it is started, here is the place to go. There are two cameras. – And lucky for us, we have cameras on Big Red. Hers is one of only two Red Tail Hawk streaming cams in the world that I know. It is an extremely active nest where the eyasses change quickly.

Samson brought Legacy a huge piece of fish yesterday. It was so big that both he and Gabby got to eat some. This morning Legacy is on the nest hoping for another prey drop while Gabby surveys the windy skies. It is 31 degrees C in Jacksonville and the water could be choppy.

How much do the stormy hot days play into the ability of the Bald Eagles to catch fish? is it worse on the weekend with boats and more people in the water? Were all members of the family hungry? Some of these questions can be answered but, not all of them. We will never know if Legacy was lost from her nest for three days but we might imagine she could have been. Were the parents feeding her off the nest? We don’t know. Was she getting her own food? We don’t know. What we do know is that she needs much more time on the nest to learn to self-feed and she needs to imprint her environment so she can find her way easily to the nest if she does a fly about or gets chased by little birds. The crows have been about the nest. Legacy is only 12 weeks old and has much to learn to survive in the wild!

I do not even know what to say. Everyone knows that I get antsy if an Osprey nest has three eggs on it but can you imagine trying to feed five? Well, the bonded pair at the Osprey nest in East Hampton, New York has FIVE eggs on it as of this morning!

If you want to watch the activity on this nest and the little tub boats that go up and down the water way, here you go:

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot the Raptor is doing amazing. The peace on the nest now that #1 sibling has fledged is palpable. #2 loves to fly around the nest and Tiny is happy to watch. This morning everyone ate and got bombarded by the local Blue Jay.

Tiny is doing so well. For me, this is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone believed he would not survive. But thrive is what this wonderful fish eagle is doing. It is simply joyful. He is laying flat on the nest watching the Blue Jay pester sibling #2.

Little birds can be just annoying to the bigger raptors but they can also be very dangerous. Often they cause the eagles and Ospreys to fludge – leave the nest early without intent. They may chase them away from the nest and the territory of their parents before the juveniles are able to imprint how to get back to their nest. Everyone is wondering what happened to #1 after she fledged and that could be your answer. The Blue Jays have been pests now for a couple of weeks. They might have a nest nearby. Normally the natal nest will be the centre of the ospreys life after fledge for at least a month or six weeks. The father will continue to bring food to the nest as the young ones increase their flying and landing skills. It is also possible that some of the fledglings are fed ‘off’ nest.

If you are interested in a well written, easy to understand book on Ospreys, I highly recommend Ospreys: The Revival of a Global Raptor by Alan F. Poole. Poole is an expert on Ospreys and this is a particularly engaging book for everyone.

I thought I would check in on Big Red and the two Ks before I closed – and there she is feeding them again! Raptors grow quickly. They condense a lot of change in a short time frame. These two will probably triple their body weight in the first eight days! Laura Culley once told me that human babies would need to gain 15 lbs a day to grow as fast as the hawks. Wow. The two little ones in the image below will always have crops – never fear. There will be no anxious moments. This nest is a pleasure to observe!

Everything is going as expected in Bird World this morning except for an Osprey nest in Wales where it has snowed. I will report on that later today or tomorrow. I am also watching the plight of the Osprey couple at Lyn Brenig in Northern Wales whose platform was destroyed by vandals. Wales Water is hoping the pair will relocate and lay their second egg – which is due today – on another close nest structure they erected for them. Thank you so much for joining me!

Thank you to Cornell Bird Lab and the RTH cam, Achieva Credit Union, and Marders Osprey Cam. I grab my screen shots from their streaming footage.

Samson delivers for Legacy!

At 5:19:16, Samson flew onto the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville with half a big fish for Legacy!

Legacy immediately flew down from her branch and mantled the fish. No hesitation. Our girl is hungry!

There was a scramble. Samson could not get out of the way fast enough.

He looked down at how pleased his juvenile is to have a nice chunk of fresh fish.

I think the pictures say what I cannot. Legacy is going to sleep well tonight – her tummy and crop will be full. Samson is happy that Legacy is not food begging anymore. If there was a lesson in this I could not tell you what it is but I do know that a lot of humans are going to sleep a whole lot better tonight. Maybe that lesson is for us to ‘trust the birds’.

Relief.

Thanks to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. I grabbed my screen shots from their streaming cam.

Bob Bob Bobble heads arriving faster than I can count

Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie whose nest is on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco! That first hatch of the three eggs came on 2 May.

Everyone knows have been pulling my hair out to understand what in the world is going on at the nest of Gabby and Samson – no food for Legacy for three full days. But, hats off to Richmond, the minute that pip happened, he went out and hauled in a fish for Rosie! Richmond and Rosie are a great team. They can handle three – no question!

Welcome little one. Your parents have that fish under control and you are assured of lots of food and maybe some fun toys and blankets in that nest, too.

And, oh my. I reported the first hatch at Dahlgren Osprey Nest in King George Country, Virginia. It should have been the second hatch! Sometimes it is really hard to wade through and see what is in the nest. Jack brings in so much stuff. Harriet is going to have to start throwing it overboard!

There are two little taupe bobble heads with stripes down their back right under Harriet’s beak.

Every year Big Red gets my vote for ‘Bird Mother of the Year’. She is incredible. She is the epitome of care and devotion. I sure would like to ask her if she would consider fostering a juvenile Bald Eagle from Florida right now! Big Red’s kids never go hungry. Never. She’s old school, like Richmond. Load that pantry – tomorrow could be a hot stormy day. Don’t wait. Arthur is more than happy to oblige.

Oh, you can barely see that little bobble head, K1.

And last but not least, the ‘Name the Royal Cam Chick of 2021 Contest’ is Open. You can take part. There are lots of prizes but the opportunity to name this beautiful albatross is award enough! Give it a go.


This year’s competition theme is ‘kaitiaki’ which is the Māori concept of guardianship over the land, sea and sky. This theme has been chosen to inspire names that celebrate this vital role. Five names have made the short list out of 700 submitted. The five short listed are:

Tiaki means to preserve, protect, and care for the land, sea, and sky.

Mahara means to think about and remember.

Ururaki means the winds of the sky. It is also the name of a star cluster.

Ataraku means morning star, a time for new beginnings and opportunities

Kaihauta means navigator

Vote here: www.doc.govt.nz/namethechick❗ Polls close at 5 pm on the 6th of May.

Thank you for joining me today. I will be in a decidedly better mood once our dear Legacy has some food in that crop of hers. It is 32 degrees in Jacksonville today and the only way to get hydration is through prey. There is no intervention allowed. Just send warm wishes like we did for Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot that whatever is going on with the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest is rectified soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. Those cameras provide the feed where I get my screen shots: Bay Ospreys by Golden Gate Audubon, Dahlgren Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Feed me!

All of the babies, old and new, were wanting food this morning. Just a quick hop through Bird World on a Monday morning to check on how our friends are doing this Monday.

The first egg at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in Machodoc and William’s Creek in King George, Virginia hatched on 2 May, Sunday. Jack brought in a fish when Harriet was getting the little one ready for a feeding today and about pulled the baby out of the nest cup! Squint. The little one is right below Harriet’s beak.

3 May 2021. Harriet is feeding the little one. Jack just brought in a fish – not a toy!

Big Red fed K1 this morning. Arthur had a part of a rabbit in the pantry and there was also the remaining Starling that Big Red had for dinner last night.

Big Red is always so gentle with her babies picking off tiny pieces of meat to try and fit in their little beaks.

Eve and Eerik’s little ones are growing and they are always ready for a good feed! They are now old enough to understand what all of this is about. Cute little bobble heads.

Annie and Grinnell’s trio are already grabbing prey and wanting to start self feeding. My goodness the marshmallows have really turned that pigeon into falcon over the past week.

If Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot was not being harassed by Blue Jays this morning, he was eating! Looks like two fish deliveries before 11am for the Achieva Osprey Nest. Both of its siblings have fledged but Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot still has some feather development to go before fledge. I would also like for him to stay around a bit. What joy it has been to see this lovely osprey survive and begin to thrive.

The two little osplets at The Landings, Skidaway Island Osprey Nest had a nice fresh fish this morning. The oldest has been fed and now it is time for the youngest! Both of them are doing well.

The Royal Cam Chick lucked out. On 1 May, she had a double feeding from her parents LGL and LGK. How grand. Notice how she takes her bill and clacks on the side of the parent’s bill. It stimulates the parent to be able to feed the chick. LGL arrived first followed quickly by LGK.

LGL comes in to feed her precious chick. 1 May 2021

The parent regurgitates the squid and channels inside their bills allow for the little one to catch the rich liquid shake.

LGL leans over so that the Princess can get every drop of the rich squid liquid. 1 May 2021

The Royal Cam princess almost had a family reunion. The parents arrived and left within minutes of one another!

The Princess is always happy to see her dad, LGK. 1 May 2021.

Oh, the green leaves of the Minnesota forest look so good. It is still cold on the Canadian prairies where the leaves are only ‘thinking’ about bursting out. It is 6 degrees C this morning with a grey dreary sky.

The two eaglets of Harry and Nancy are growing and starting to self-feed. Do you remember when we wondered if Harry would ever catch on to what his duties were as dad to these two? Seems he was a fast learner!

E17 and E18, the juvenile Bald Eagles of Harriet and M15 at the SW Florida Bald Eagle Nest on the Pritchett Farm in Fort Myers seem to never be in need of food. Food drops are frequent with one getting all the prey and sometimes they even share!

They have had some unusual items on the buffet table including a heron chick the other day.

That is a wonderful crop on E18 who managed to keep the entire fish delivery to himself. You might still remember when E17 was bonking the daylights out of its younger sibling. That, of course, stopped and if eagles can be buddies then these two are best mates.

Kisatachie is busy cleaning up the leftovers brought in on Sunday. My goodness this eaglet is growing up quickly. Do you remember when Kisatchie and his mom, Anna, couldn’t quite figure out how to feed and eat? or when Louis had 18 fish stacked up in the pantry? I am sure there were a few other nests that would have loved some of the fish he brought on to this nest! Kisatchie will be fledging soon.

Someone mentioned to me how Legacy and Kistachie seem so lonely. Bald Eagles by their nature are loners. They spend hours and hours sitting and waiting for prey. I have learned that this is just their way of life and not to put on human feelings on the eagles.

And while all the others are chowing down, Legacy is waiting for a parent to return and bring some prey. I am so glad that she is staying on her nest. The camera mods said Legacy still had some food in her crop yesterday so she is not starving despite her squealing. Still, it would be very reassuring to us ‘aunties and uncles’ to see a parent bring in some food. Gabby and Samson were seen together at The Lumberyard last night around 8:30 so both of the parents are safe and sound. I am human and I worry – but there are lessons from Legacy’s parents that she will need to help her survive in the real world of eagles when food will not be scarce. I am breathing knowing that they raised a beautiful juvenile to fledge and that Samson and Gabby will carry her through to full independence.

Legacy is not the only eaglet waiting for a food drop or a feeding. The trio at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest ate so much on 2 May that they still have crops this morning. It is pitching down rain in Pittsburg and they are all cuddled together. Sometimes one or another will go over and pick at some of the bones left on the nest just like Legacy was finding old fish tails yesterday embedded in the nest.

Ah, wow. I had no more than finished loading the image above and a parent flew onto the nest with prey for the trio. Yippeeee. Maybe I should go back and check on Legacy!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I am so glad that you are enjoying what is going on in Bird World. There is so much happening. Today was a skip around the nests but more attention will be paid to Big Red and her brood once all are hatched and to the Manitoba Peregrine Falcons who have been breeding on The Golden Boy on top of our Legislative Building downtown.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, MN DNR, SW Florida and D Pritchett, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon.

Waiting…

What happened to time speeding by and wishing to have more hours in the day? I remember my mother telling me when I was waiting to be old enough to drive a car that when I really got ‘old’, time would fly by. Of course, she was right. Today has been a really slow day of doing nothing but waiting.

I am waiting for Samson to arrive at the Northeast Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville to bring food to Legacy! Where is he? No, seriously, where is Samson? For days he waited at the nest for Legacy and I have not seen him now in 48 hours.

Gabby arrived at the nest tree at 11:18:02. Legacy spent the time food begging. Gabby leaves and returns again at 12:06:31 but no food. Legacy was so excited she flew to the nest mantling in anticipation. Then Gabby left again. It has been very windy with a forecast of thunderstorms but it seems like the wind is calming some.

At 5:54:32 Legacy found an old fishtail in the rim of the nest and ate it.

At 7:16:58 Legacy jumps down from the branch and finds another fish tail. How many fish tails do a meal make?

Oh, Legacy, you are beautiful and if you never learned to scavange for food like Tiny Tot had to in order to survive on the Achieva Osprey Nest, you are learning a valuable lesson today (even if you still have a crop).

As the sun goes down, Legacy remains on her nest tree waiting for a parent to arrive.

The IR camera has come on. Stay put on the nest, Legacy. I hope that you wake up to a big breakfishy.

NOTE: BOOTS ON THE GROUND STATE THAT BOTH PARENTS ARE AT AN AREA OF THEIR TERRITORY KNOWN AS THE LUMBERYARD AT 8:25PM.

One of the moderators of the camera for the nest posted an announcement on the FB page of the NEFL and SWFL Eagles. They said that Legacy still had food in her crop and despite her squealing, she is not starving.

For many we are very used to the parental interaction with E17 and E18 on the SW Florida nest. And I am also used to Samson being very attentive to Legacy. Why wait for eight hours and then when Legacy shows up leave her on the nest alone for 36 hours without prey? I am just a worrisome auntie – it makes no sense to me. So I am waiting.

The vast majority of these beautiful raptors that bring us so much joy starve during their first year. I will use this moment just to gently say to everyone and ask that you tell your friends – if a raptor is hunting – do not disturb them. They are rarely successful and hunting for a meal is time consuming and dangerous. Just think how you feel with Legacy food begging? or watching Tiny Tot shrink before your eyes after not having a morsel for three days? Now imagine that you go ‘shoo’ so they can’t catch a sparrow for dinner to survive. I don’t want to be a nagging Nellie but it is really important to allow them to hunt and eat, too.

Like hundreds of others, I am also waiting for the full hatch of Big Red and Arthur’s first eyass, K1.

Arthur brought in some prey and left it on the nest and the pair had a change over around 18:20:45.

Big Red likes to be on the nest when the eyasses hatch. She took the prey and ate a portion of it returning six minutes later with what was left. She is anticipating needing food on the nest!

There will never be a baby go hungry on Big Red’s nest. She believes in keeping them full to the brim all the time. It keeps peace on the nest but it also makes for healthy strong eyasses with no bone or feather issues. She is an amazing mother.

This was the pip right after noon. It would have grown in size during the day but Big Red and Arthur weren’t going to show us.

Big Red made me realize that bird families are not so different from human families. The eyasses do not pick their parents or where they were born. And those factors are important. Some areas are prey rich – and Big Red and Arthur’s has been plentiful historically. Let us hope that this year is as much a bounty as it was in 2020 when Arthur brought in 2x the normal amount of food.

I don’t think the little one is going to cooperate and hatch while I am awake so this is another thing to be waiting for

The two Osprey who lost their nest and their egg to vandals in north Wales at the Lyn Brenig site are getting a new nest structure on the same site. There is another nest nearby and a dummy egg has been put into it. And the North Wales Police have thanked the public for all of the tips. Apparently they got a tip late last night about a motive that they have not considered when trying to find the culprits. They said they would be using all modern technologies to locate the vandals. So sad. Their lives are hard enough. They are waiting for a place to lay that second egg! Everyone is waiting. I hope they are more patient than I am.

Thank you for joining me and waiting with me. I cannot helicopter a delivery of fish to Legacy’s nest although I sure wish that someone would stock a pond close by like the Bald Eagles have on the Pritchett property in Fort Myers.

Thank you to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF and the Cornell Bird Lab Red-Tail Hawk cam. These cameras provide the streaming video where I take my screen shots.

Saturday happenings in Bird World

Since Legacy fledged on 26 April, returned, and then left the nest at 9:53:51 on the 28th, I have worried – like so many others – about where she was and if she was alright. Was she injured? did she get chased from the territory by smaller birds? Samson and Gabby came to the nest tree with fish and called – they spent hours scanning the top of the trees for a sight of their Legacy. We just wanted to get one more glimpse of the most beautiful Bald Eagle who had survived Avian Pox and who had grown up just to be a magnificent eagle. Stunning. We wanted to know that she was alright – that nothing had happened to her! She was given the name ‘Legacy’ because she would carry on the lineage from Romeo and Juliet, her grandparents, who had hatched Samson in that very same nest in Jacksonville. How could she just be gone? poof!

Yesterday, I was certain that Legacy did a flyby at 9:35:15. In the 47 seconds it took for Samson to get to the nest tree, Legacy was gone. Has their timing just been bad?

One of my eagle experts tells me that the fledglings have to ‘imprint’ the way back to the natal nest.

This morning Legacy returned to her natal tree at 10:41:31. It is the first time in three days that one or both of her parents were not sitting on the Lookout Branch trying to locate her! Legacy spent the day calling. During this time individuals noticed that she had done a couple of crop drops and she also did a ‘ps’. There is some yellow – the ps should be white – indicating slight dehydration according to my eagle expert.

I thought her call sounded hoarse but I am a worrisome auntie of this beautiful bird. She waited on the nest all day long and is, as I write, looking out over the trees from the Lookout Branch. I hope she spends the night in her nest resting and that Samson and Gabrielle return in the morning with a nice big fish for Legacy’s breakfast.

And, of course, we are all now worrying where the parents are! If anyone told you Bird World was serene and peaceful, they were joking!

Sibling #2 at the Achieva Osprey nest fledged – and I should have been jumping up and down with joy but, I was consumed with Legacy. That fledge took place at 6:57:10. It was a really nice take off but 2 almost taloned Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot with a rather undignified return landing at 7:04:43.

Barbara Snyder put together an 8 minute video of the take off, the wait, and the landing. Here it is:

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot the Raptor has eaten and grown and eaten and grown today. I will never forget this bird for the hilarious poses with its full crop. Today there were a few more of those to enjoy. Everyone can rest easy. Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is full. Here is one of those funny crop shots.

The two little ones at the Estonia White-tailed Eagle nest of Eve and Eerik are growing and they love their feedings. Both of them really perk up when Eve gets up and announces it is meal time. So far there is nothing to worry about on this nest! Whew.

The two osplets on The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest were alright this morning. I am so used to the nests having food in the pantry that I get a little nervous checking on this nest. That lack of fish has caused the older sibling to have some food security issues. Things were peaceful when I checked in several times this morning and right after lunch. They were, however, hoping for a fish delivery when the image below was taken. You can see that the smaller one, at the back, does not have a crop.

Well, there are no food insecurities of any kind in San Francisco. The three eyasses of Annie and Grinnell have the ‘food thing’ all figured out. They are even grabbing at the prey when it is delivered breaking off chunks and eating them! These three are incredible. Self-feeding 101.

I so wanted to get a good image of Tiger and Lily Rose, the two owlets of Bonnie and Clyde, who took over the Bald Eagle nest on a farm near Newton, Kansas. They have thrived under the great care of their parents. Both have been introduced to eating mice, then snake, graduating to rabbit, and birds. There is a rumour floating around that they had a tug-o-war with a snake yesterday. I am so sorry I missed that – it would have been hilarious.

Images taken from a streaming cam are deceiving. Sometimes the angle makes a part of the owl’s body look larger than it actually is – or smaller. I remember viewers of the White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam horrified that the right foot of WBSE 26 was swollen to three or four times its normal size. It was, simply, the angle of the camera. Because Tiger and Lily Rose are in this huge nest – 2 metres wide – they appear small. Their round feathers that will allow them to fly in silence look so soft. Someone told me today that they really just wanted to pick one of them up and cuddle it. What do you think? wise idea?

Bonnie and Clyde will feed Tiger and Lily Rose in the nest and off. They will continue this even though Tiger and Lily are catching their own food and until such time as the two little ones leave the territory.

The trio at the Pittsburg Hayes Bald Eagle nest were having their afternoon siesta when a cute little red squirrel decided he would climb the nest tree and take a peek to see what was inside that big nest. Oh, my. Good thing he got away quick – he would have been a nice snack!

Harry spent a long time with the two eaglets that hatched on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bald Eagle cam five weeks ago. This evening he came roaring in and, of course, the eaglets thought food delivery.

But there was nothing between those talons. So Harry went to check in the pantry and couldn’t find anything either.

It’s 8:20 pm. It is wonderful that the daylight lasts so much longer now than it did in the winter. Harry might just have time to grab a fish or maybe that is what Nancy is doing right now – hunting.

Things on the nest calmed down. If you look at the eaglet on the far left you will notice that it has a crop. These kiddos can wait til morning if nothing arrives now. They are fine. The parents are a super team and this is not a nest that I worry about. They had a nice big feed of fish earlier. You can see that big crop on the little one sitting by Nancy (below).

Big Red is still incubating three eggs. When you want something to happen, time just seems to drag. Simply cannot wait for the hatch of these little ones. You talk about amazing avian parents – Big Red and Arthur are it! Hands down.

Arthur has spoiled me. I am used to seeing an egg cup lined with prey just ready for Big Red to grab it and feed the the eyasses. I cannot even imagine an empty pantry.

In closing, I want to brag a little. The Newfoundland Power Company set up a number of Osprey nests. One is called the Snow Lane Nest and I will leave the link so you can check on that nest. The resident male Osprey, Beaumont, just returned to Canada on 30 April.

The camera was launched on 29 May 2019 but the story began three years earlier when Newfoundland Power was contacted by Rob Bierregaard of Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Drexel had an interest in tagging some of the osprey hatchlings from Newfoundland so their migratory journey to and from South America could be plotted. The Newfoundland Osprey are believed to winter at the border of Columbia and Venezula. One of those Ospreys was Shanawdithit. That name was bestowed on the Osprey as a memorial to the last known living member of the Beothuk people. The Beothuk are the original inhabitants of Newfoundland. Shanawdithit is a female and she was tagged. Shanawdithit had an unnamed partner so the power company held a competition for the name. A grade 5 student, Aurora Hickey, picked the name Beaumont. That name is a tribute to the Newfoundland regiment that was almost completely wiped out on 1 July 1916, in France during Word War I, the Beaumont-Hamel. Sadly, Shanawdithit did not return in 2018 but it was too late for Beaumont to find another mate. In 2019, Beaumont bonded with Hope. They raised one chick in 2019 and two in 2020. Beaumont is waiting to welcome Hope back to Newfoundland now.

And that is a wrap. It has been a day of waiting. So instead of worrying about Legacy, we will all begin to worry about Samson and why there is no fish on the nest for his beautiful fledgling. I promise – we will worry til he flies up and surprises Legacy. I hope their timing is good tomorrow!

Thank you so much for joining me. Stay safe. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thank you to the following you supplied the streaming cams where I took my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle and the AEF, Achieva Credit Union, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, UC Falcon Cam, Farmer Derek, Hays Pittsburg Bald Eagle Cam, MN DNR, Cornell Bird Lab, and Newfoundland Power Company.

A sighting of Legacy?

I have been following Legacy since she hatched on the 8th February. She grew strong and beautiful on the Bald Eagle nest of her parents, Samson and Gabrielle, in Jacksonville, Florida. In fact, the second egg did not hatch and Legacy (N24) had her parents complete attention. Despite being an only child she quickly learned skills to help her on her journey to adulthood. Those pinecones that come into the nest, sometimes with needles, are not only good to keep insects away but they also help the raptors learn to grip with their talons. I have watched Red Tail-Hawks play with pinecones like they were soccer balls. Legacy mantled and fought for the fish deliveries, built up strength in her wings, and she fledged. What a beautiful flight that was on the 26th of April. Here is a video clip:

The last confirmed sighting of Legacy at the nest was at 9:53:51 on 28 April. She had been chatting with Gabby and she flew off. Like before, everyone expected her to return to the nest. Many who watch Legacy also watch Harriet and M15s Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers and know that E17 and E18 return to the nest for food while flying about the neighborhood to build up flight muscles and landing skills. So everyone has been worried when she did not return to the nest.

Today, rumours of a fly by at 9:35:15 seen only on camera 2 circulated. Here is the sequence of that flight below and to the side of the nest tree.

The image below is the area with the juvenile Bald Eagle blown up so the juvenile can be seen better.

Please note the time: 9:35:15. As it happens, the parents fly to the nest tree landing at 9:36:02. They are precisely 47 seconds – not even a minute – behind the juvenile doing the fly by.

Here is the parent landing on the look out branch at 9:36:02.

Here is Samson settled down looking around.

No one can be 100% certain that it was Legacy that did a fly by without DNA evidence or a good enough photograph to compare to one of her on the nest. That said, I believe that Samson has just missed Legacy! Why she does not come to the natal nest, I don’t know. Maybe they are just missing one another. Maybe she is being fed off the nest. We do not know but I believe that she is still in the territory of her parents and as of this morning is flying strong.

The only other news is that, sadly, the egg of Redwood Queen and Phoenix appears to have failed or not been fertile. According to the Ventana Wildlife Society, 50-60% of all California Condor eggs fail to hatch. Hopefully the pair will have more success next year!

Everything is going well on the Achieva Osprey Nest. I will check in there first thing tomorrow morning. Biggie Tot spent the day eating and #2 has really been exercising their wings. My daughter thinks that fledge will happen tomorrow. Stay tuned!

I will leave you with an image from Sturt University in Orange, Australia. The scrape box on the water tower belongs to Peregrine Falcon bonded pair, Xavier and Diamond. They had one hatch in 2020, Izzi. Izzi’s first fledge was a fludge. He went to sleep on the rim of the scrape box and fell out. He was returned to the scrape box. The second fledge he flew into a window and went into care for five days and was returned to the scrape box. The third fledge was a success. Now everyone thought that Izzi would, like all other peregrine fledglings, leave the parental territory by January at the latest. Tomorrow is 1 May and Izzi still brings his prey to the box that I think he believes is his own. I will keep you posted on developments. Izzi is the cutest thing. No one would mind watching him live his live from here.

Everything feels right in Bird World on a late Friday night on the Canadian prairies. Thanks so much for joining me. Let us all hope that the juvenile in those images is Legacy and that she is just being fiercely independent and being fed off screen. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. That is where I get my screen shots: Charles Stuart University Falcon Cam Project, NEFlorida and the AEF, Ventana Wildlife Society and Explore.org

Friday Happenings in Bird World

Congratulations to Eve and Eerik on the hatch of White-tailed Eaglet #2 at the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. It looks like this little one joined its older sib around 10:47 am on 30 April (but I stand to be corrected). At that time, there is the most gentle look into the nest cup. The eggshell is clearly visible inside the cup.

This last image (below) was taken at 16:44 during a feeding. You will notice that the eggshell has been moved over to the edge of the nest now. What a beautiful image – the gentleness of these large eagles with their enormous beaks feeding their little ones. Two little bobble heads. How sweet.

You can watch this nest here:

Just as Eve and Eerik are welcoming their little ones, Samson and Gabby continue to call out and search the skies for Legacy. The last ‘for sure’ sighting of Legacy was at 9:53:51 on the 28th. Gabby was on the nest calling loudly for Legacy this morning at dawn, the 30th, along with Samson.

There is an individual, Gretchen Butler (apologies if this is spelled incorrectly), who monitors this nest and has done so for many years. It is my understanding that there are now ‘boots on the ground’ looking for Legacy. We all hope she is found and there is nothing seriously the matter. Hearts go out to Gabby and Samson today. They must be really missing their beautiful Legacy.

At 2:04 EDT, Gabby is still there on the branch scanning the horizon hoping that her Legacy will appear. It is heart wrenching.

30 April 2021. Gabby stares off over the tree tops hoping to see her beautiful Legacy.

There were two fish deliveries at the Achieva Osprey nest this morning. The first one came at 7:48.

The second fish arrived at 10:18. Look who has a crop left from the first fish and who is right up at the dinner table ready for more – it’s ‘Biggie’ Tot. And I am not surprised. S/he is growing leaps and bounds – just look at the size of those wings now. ‘Biggie’ Tot is catching up!

It is calm on the nest and my mind and heart are finally at ease. This little one is going to make it and fledge! And because s/he learned to be a scavenger to live, I am certain s/he has more than a best chance to survive out in the wild.

Some do not even recognize #3 or Biggie Tot but there s/he is standing looking out from the nest with sibling #2 who has the most copper at the back of their head just now.

Big Red and Arthur are not giving any secrets away. The weather has switched and it is windy in Ithaca, New York and this beautiful couple are dried out from the soggy weather on Thursday.

The eggs were laid on 26 and 29 March and 1 April. Big Red averages 38-41 days between the date the egg was laid and hatch. If she were to stay consistent, the first egg would hatch in 3-6 days. However, if we took 35 days which appears to be a general average for all hawks, then today would be the day. Oh, Big Red I wish you would give us some hints! You were talking to those Ks the other day!!!

At eighteen, Big Red is in incredible shape. She is simply an amazing mother and raising hawks is so different to watching the eagles especially when the clutch fledges. Big Red will make sure they learn to hunt while they are building up flight muscles.

Arthur is five years old. He is an amazing mate for Big Red. You will be shocked when you see the amount of prey he brings to her and the eyasses. What a hunter!

You can join the fun and watch this nest here:

The solar camera has just come on the California Condor nest at Big Sur. Eyes remain on that egg of Redwood Queen and Phoenix.

It is 1 degree C in Estonia on the White-tail Eagle nest but it is 31 degrees C on the Skidaway Island Osprey nest and the two little ones are hot. They are under Mom hoping to stay cool! Can you see them?

For those of you that watched the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest last year along with the 400,000 others, sadness now surrounds that empty nest. Last year Louis and Aila raised three osplets to fledge. Their daily lives brought hope and joy to everyone. This year Louis fixed up the nest and waited for Aila’s arrival from Africa. She has yet to return. No one knows if she is injured and being cared for in a rehab clinic or if she perished during her migration. Poems and tributes are starting to come in and this one by Sue Wallbanks appeared on The Friends of Loch Arkaig FB today. I hope that Sue does not mind my sharing it with you.

Thank you to everyone for joining me today in Bird World. Congratulations to the people of Estonia on the hatch of the second White-tailed Eaglet. I will continue to monitor and post any news of Legacy and we will watch for hatch at both Big Red and Arthur’s nest and Redwood Queen and Phoenix’s nest.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society and explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab RTH Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF, and the Eagle Club of Estonia. Thank you also to the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB group and Sue Wallbank for the tribute to Alia.