Big’s 5-minute frenzied attack on Middle at Dale Hollow

In my review of the day’s happenings, I note that each time a feeding took place or on one occasion when a parent simply moved a fish, and another when Middle did absolutely nothing, Big began physically attacking the younger sibling. Big’s crop was completely full on several of these occasions. Middle has learned to be careful and to move around watching. Middle even stood on a piece of fish and pulled off some pieces today. That was wonderful!

What is worrying is that despite food today and both with full crops, Big continues its rampage. In fact, the last attack today was the most frenzied and the longest (5 minutes) since Big killed Little Bit and turned on Middle.

Both had crops by 17:30. Big had eaten first then Middle.

WARNING: There are images showing Big beaking Middle.

At 17:56:05 Obey delivers a fish to the nest. Both chicks are so full that despite River’s calling, they don’t even think about eating.

Obey leaves the fish by Middle along the edge of the nest. It is a fair size Sucker with its head.

River goes to move the fish over for a feeding at 18:22:15. Big begins her attack on Middle. This is meant to completely intimidate the younger sibling from eating and is referred to as ‘sublethal’ fighting.

It is a good time to stop and look at the size difference between the two siblings in the image below. Big is an enormous eaglet. According to Mock, Drummond, and Stinson in their article, “Avian Siblicide” published in American Scientist, “…the size difference between siblings was important in determining the outcome of bouts of sibling aggression. When the size difference was large early in the nesting period, the first-hatched chick almost invariably pecked, bit, and thrashed the second-hatched chick into submission (189).” In the Dale Hollow nest, Big turned on both but focused her attention on killing Little Bit. She then turned on the second sibling, Middle. It is believed as the size difference decreases, so will the frequency of aggression. Big requires lots and lots of food. They are both 25 days old today and are entering a period of super growth. Will Big’s growth slow? and Middle’s increase? We can hope.

Look at the difference in size between her wing and Middle’s – even the tail and head are more than twice the size. Middle would be killed if he tried to fight her – and for what? He finished eating about half an hour before this fish lands on the nest. He had a nice crop. Best to hunker down, hide his head and hope that she gets tired of attacking him and goes to eat.

It is clear that Big actually enjoyed the frantic beaking. It lasted from 18:22:15-18:27:42. That is almost five minutes. This is an increase in not only time but the amount of beaking in the frenzy.

Big tried to reach over Middle so that he could get to his head.

Then he physically moved so he could. Big was determined to not only frighten but, it appears, to injure his sibling despite the fact that his crop was full and he had eaten in the last hour.

That is the longest attack since the ones the day Big killed Little Bit. Middle is terrified and does not hardly move during the entire time that River fed Big. Middle really needs a huge growth spurt to help it counter these attacks. It is well know that once it reaches a larger size, Big will no longer be able to fatally injure it.

Once River finishes, Middle raises its head cautiously. You can see that there is a large portion of fish remaining. Obviously enough for a calm feeding for two! So why is Big amping up the frenzied attacks on Middle today? This is the worst one yet.

Sweet little Middle looks over at its sibling. Does it wonder if it is safe to move?

River flew off and Big fell asleep. Middle is looking around from the centre of the nest by Big.

River flew in. She did not feed either chick. She is brooding them.

It has been quite an unnerving day on the Dale Hollow nest. The eaglets were not fed til late and this clearly agitated Big whose attacks on Middle during the day increased in their time and frenzy. Let us hope that tomorrow is a better day for our little Middle.

Thank you for joining me. I am sorry that this is not a joyful jumping up and down report. This nest is still very unstable and anything can happen, sadly. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the Dale Hollow Eagle Cam where I took my screen captures.

It Couldn’t get any Better in Bird World or at Dale Hollow

20 March 2022

What a busy day it was in Bird World and what a gorgeous day it was on the Canadian Prairies. The snow is melting and causing all manner of problems but the Canada Geese are flying in, the Grackles have arrived in mass, and the first White-throated Sparrow appeared at the feeders along with the usual woodpeckers, European Starlings, House Sparrows and, of course, Dyson! We had another visitor too that seems to be coming every morning around 08:00, an unusual time for a rabbit. I wonder if Hedwig’s burrow is full of water????

Hedwig is an Eastern Cottontail. They are the most prevalent of the five rabbit species in Canada. The four others are the Artic Hare, the Mountain Hare, White-tailed Jackrabbit, and the Snowshoe Hare.

Hedwig being an Easteern Cottontail is the smallest of the five. His mother left him underneath our Peony Bush. He was about a month old. He found safety with all of the birds feeding and discovered that if he hung out under the feeders, he never had to worry about food. We have tried to give him carrots and he refuses them. He often eats the bark off of our Lilac Bushes where he can easily hide. We don’t care. It doesn’t seem to damage them. Isn’t he a cutie? He has some special marks on him that we know it is the original Hedwig. Let us hope he has another good year.

There is a pip/hatch watch going on at the Pittsburg-Hayes Bald Eagle nest. This couple fledged three last year! The pip happened at 09:39 this morning.

There was a good look at the size of the pip at 19:21.

Liberty and Guardian have a pip over at the Redding California Bald Eagle Nest. That happened around 07:04. There is a race between them and Pittsburgh-Hayes to see who hatches first! They also fledged three!

This morning on the SWFlorida Nest on the Pritchett Family Farm, E19 the eldest, fledged before noon. It was caught on camera by a couple filming the event. E20 was flapping, too, and the streaming cam operator did not know who would go first. Talk about sibling competition between these two. E20 did not have a very solid branch like E19 did who used it like a trampoline jumping up and down and flapping. As a result, E20 fludged and then flew away. Both flew like the great birds they are on 20th of March. How lovely. Congratulations to M15 and Harriet and the Pritchett family for another successful year. The fledglings will hang around with mom and dad. They will perfect their flying while being provided food. This is what it is all about.

Here is E19s fledge:

The cameras are down and I do not know if anyone caught E20’s flight. What a day for them to go down.

Well, this is a great way to feed chicks if you have three! Akecheta is feeding the Middle chick while Mum Thunder feeds Little Bit and Big. I wish you could see the smile on my face. Look at the size between the two Thunder is feeding. Little Bit is four days younger than Big. There are no squabbles.

Thunder and Akecheta are – to me – a real powerhouse couple. They may have had two unsuccessful years until Akecheta matured but just look at them now.

Andy came in at 17:28 with the last fish of the day for Lena, Middle and Little. It has been some time since Big died suddenly. The nest is doing really well. There is no word on the cause of Big’s death. I do not wish to speculate but had it been a physical cause like choking on a pellet, the vets would have found that immediately when they did the necroscopy. Toxin tests take longer. In the Balkans, the tests for Avian Flu only took a few days and – all the birds on this nest are fine. I wonder if any raptors die of heat stroke or heart attack? Do you know?

This was the 4th feeding for the osplets and it was a whole Sheepshead. Middle and Little ate and ate. In the image below, just look at how beautiful they are standing with Lena, a very proud Mama. That beautiful setting son casts a lovely glow on this Osprey family at Captiva, Florida.

The eaglets of Abby and Blazer (Eagle Country) hatched on the 11th and 14th of March. Just look at them now. Wow. Gorgeous babies. Nice crops. Both appear to be self-feeding.

If River and Obey do not stop bringing fish to the nest and feeding Big and Middle, I am not ever going to be able to take a walk! All kidding aside. It has been one big fish fest at the Dale Hollow Nest today which is the miracle that we were all hoping to see happen. This should be the last of many feedings at this nest today.

This fish arrival is at 18:19:36. Here comes River!

River has not started her feeding. Just look at the crop on Big. This eaglet is going to be an enormous female. And I really do mean enormous. The size of its legs are huge. I wish we could get a good comparison between Big and Mum.

Middle is still very shy of Big. I do not blame him. Big eats the first bites but River just then decides to put her beak in the middle of the two and sees who wants the fish. It also appears that River has slowed down in the speed of her feeding.

Once Big is full, Middle begins accepting bites. Remember – the key is survival. Middle has eaten and eaten today and it is not going to do a thing to wake up Big’s wrath.

Middle eats and eats. By 18:35 his crop is so big you might think it is going to explode. River continues to push fish at him.

At 18:35:38 Middle is so full he walks away from the table! He simply cannot hold another bite. It looks like he might not be able to hold up that crop.

Middle has to try and lay down. It must be awfully uncomfortable with that massive crop.

But wait! Middle stands up.

And with a crop as big as half a baseball, Middle turns around to head back to the table to the shock of Big.

As he turns, Big reaches over to pull off the piece of straw across Middle’s crop. Middle is a little shy and doesn’t seem to know if this is a friendly or hostile gesture. I don’t blame him. The gesture is friendly.

Both kiddos eat a couple of more bites and collapse. They are certainly going to have sweet eagle dreams! And so am I!

I have focused on the Dale Hollow Lake nest with more information than the other nests because it had been so full of strife. My mailbox has been full of questions and you might be wondering about some of these.

Where is DH16? When a nestling dies, Eagles either consume the dead chick, bury it in the nest, or carry it off. River buried DH16 in the nest last night, the 19th of March.

Why such a change in this nest? There are many possible reasons and my answers are based on a large body of academic literature. 1) Threats and intruders to the territory of River and Obey have diminished and they are able to focus on hunting and feeding. 2) Fishing and hunting have greatly improved for the eagles. There could be many causes for this including the most obvious weather. 3) The reduction of the brood was accomplished. 4) Middle was able to garner enough energy to show that it was determined to live and River took notice of this and is now feeding it. 5) Some or all of the above. One reader ‘B’ suggested that maybe River and Obey had read by blog about needing to have a spare in case Big died! That is a good point with Avian Flu tearing through the region.

Whatever has happened, we have had a wonderful 36 hours and let us all hope that this continues. Things are going very well. Big has calmed right down. The fact that so many fish were brought in today and another found buried on the nest kept Big full and happy and allowed Middle to gain confidence and to eat its fill. Middle will literally grow over night. I am sure many of you have been shedding tears of joy. I sure have.

Will close with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear Valley. Five feedings for the little eaglet today! The baby is eating longer and more fish and the feedings are slowly decreasing because of that. The naming contest closes on March 25 and several names will be drawn out of those suggested by donors. The 3rd grade class at the local school will vote. Hopefully this cutie will have a name next week!

Life in Bird World has been very good today. Very, very good.

Thank you so much for joining me. Please take care. See you soon!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, West End Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Dale Hollow Eagles, Pix Cams, Redding Eagles, Eagle Country, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife.

Big changes at Dale Hollow – for the good!

In my earlier blog today, I reported on two feedings at Dale Hollow where River reaches out, both times, to encourage Middle DH15 to eat. You can read about it here with other Bird World news:

https://wordpress.com/post/maryannsteggles.com/42349

Middle is getting more confidence and it is hungry. Middle still needs to have more feedings as its crop is not nearly as big as Big’s.

But, at 13:19:27 a miracle happened. River had recently landed on the nest. Big and Middle were over by the rail. Middle on the side closest to Mum. Middle began cheeping for food. Without any direction from River, Middle began walking over to the prey area where River feeds. River fed Middle the remaining fish and some scraps from the morning!!!!!!! I simply could not stop the tears from flowing. We are not out of the woods at this nest by a long shot but, we will take all these golden moments and celebrate.

These images need little narration.

We see Middle moving cautiously up to Mum, River.Our brave little one wants some fish.

At the beginning it is snatch and grab. Later the feeding calms down. Middle takes some big bites of that good fish.

River seems happy to take the fish and feed it to Middle, too.

Middle continues to eat. Big never goes up to the table and there is really no confrontation between them over the food.

At 1:33:02, the fish is finished.

Continue sending your warm wishes to this nest and also wish for fish! The more fish, the more feedings, the more stable this nest will become!

Thank you to the Dale Hollow Eagle streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Tears of Joy. Dale Hollow 15 is fed!

Saturday 19 March 2022

I had prepared myself for having to write a tribute for the Middle Hatch, DH15, later tonight. Since the eldest sibling, DH14 killed the youngest, Little Bit or Tater Tot, DH16, Big has taken its wrath out on the Middle Chick on the nest. This morning DH15 had a few bites of fish – seriously only a couple – and was mauled many times by Big who refused to let it eat or even get near the food pantry. At the same time, River ignored Middle’s cries for food even when he was trying to pick blood off her talons. Middle even resorted to trying to eat the hay with fish juice on it to no avail. There was plenty of fish on the nest – plenty.

Middle wants to survive.

Bald Eagles need to fledge one healthy chick. If that is the case, then why do they lay more than one egg? One old timer called these ‘insurance’ eggs or a better concept for humans is the ‘heir and the spare’. If something happens to the eldest, then there is the ‘spare’. If the spare and the youngest sibling happen to survive, it is like a gold star of success for the Bald Eagle family. I am certain, at some time, you have been very impressed by a raptor family that was able to raise three fledglings.

So let us think about this ‘insurance’ chick by looking at the Captiva Osprey Nest. Imagine this scenario. It didn’t happen but it could have. Big Bob refuses to let either Middle or Little (or Little and Mini Bob) eat. In fact, Big did eat all the fish leaving Lena, Middle, and Little without for a period of nearly 72 hours. Middle and Little survived. But, for now, imagine that the two siblings perished. Then Big Bob dies mysteriously. Which he did. The Osprey nest has then been a failure. It would, thus, not have been advantageous to Andy and Lena for Big to have killed its siblings. It would have been the third nest failure in a row. Thankfully, this did not happen!

With Avian Flu running rampant along the East coast of the US, Florida, and spreading, it is not an advantage to River and Obey if Big DH14 kills DH15. They eat carrion and have even brought a Crow to the nest for food. That Corvid could easily have been carrying H5N1. So it made no sense to me today when River refused to acknowledge Middle’s cries for food. There was 2/3 of a huge fish on the nest! Big was so full he could barely walk.

Tonight, Big was fed til it passed out. And then something wonderful happened! At 17:57:52 Middle, DH15, was fed. It ate all of the remaining fish and the feeding stopped at 18:12:38. That was a really nice feeding – one that could mean the difference between life or death for Middle. Then, miracle of all miracles, Middle Bob has a crop!!!!!! The tears poured down my cheeks. I felt delirious with joy.

Here are some images from this feeding.

Big has eaten and eaten and has an enormous crop. There is fish left over. Big is going to go into a sort of food coma. Little is in total submission. It has really been pecked and tossed about by its neck today. Middle has to be terrified. He knows what happened to Little.

Little quietly goes up to the food table hoping that River will not leave and might feed it. Middle is careful not to wake Big.

And look at this! Did I say this nest needed a miracle? or did I say I was losing faith in a miracle happening? This is a miracle. I am so happy to be wrong!

Big raises his head and sees Middle eating but he is too full to do anything.

Meanwhile, Middle cannot believe how good that fish tastes. He was very dehydrated pecking at River’s beak last night trying to get some saliva feeding.

River gets into a different position but continues to feed Middle.

Big is still watching.

Little got some nice pieces of fish.

River offered Middle a big hunk of fish skin. He is trying to hork it down in the image below.

River roots around and finds a little more fish and feeds it to Middle.

Just look at that crop! I have never seen Middle have a crop this size. Amazing. Thank you, Mum.

Have we turned a corner in this saga?

The feeding and Middle moving to the rim of the nest did not, however, escape Big, DH14. He did attack him over a period of five minutes before River rounded them up so she could brood them for the night.

Middle needs to eat and get strong and have a ps. But the other issue that remains is that there is no place on this nest to avoid Big. Tonight, Big and Middle are 22 days old. Middle will grow if given food and he should be reaching the point to where Big is not a threat. Middle is underdeveloped because of a lack of food, though.

But this was a good day! And maybe, just maybe, this good day will lead to another then another and then another.

Send all of your positive wishes to Middle for lots of fish tomorrow and a day out of sight of Big.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to bring good news to you about this nest. For today, Middle has eaten well and is alive. One day at a time. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the DHEC for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Tuesday Afternoon in Bird World

08 March 2022

I was very concerned about Middle and Little Bob at the Captiva Osprey nest after Big Bob’s bopping. Big has certainly caused a fright in Little Bob that really causes him to hang back now instead of getting up there in front, no matter what, like our sweet Ervie.

Well, a Sheepshead came on the nest and after Big got his fill there looks to still be enough to give a good feed to both Little and Middle with some for mum Lena.

Middle is certainly getting its fill but what about Little?

Shadow and Jackie are such an amazing couple. I love how they chit chat to one another. Shadow has been bringing in lots of fresh fish to the pantry for all three of them to eat.

Jackie and Shadow are such proud parents. They are not only making certain that the little one is fed often and there is plenty in the pantry but also that any would be predators do not get even close to their nest. Very protective of this only little eaglet – their miracle.

Jackie has taken care of the feedings today giving the wee chick a chance to try and eat bigger bites.

Open wide! That little chick nailed that big bite. Four days old almost. Doing great.

Simply adorable. Just look at Jackie’s eyes. Such a very proud and happy mama.

Sooner than we think, this yet to be named eaglet at Big Bear will be branching just like OC9 at the Osceola Bald Eagle nest of Starlight and Skyler in Florida.

At the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita in Miami, the parents have been giving branching demonstrations to R1 and R2.

“Now look. It is really easy! Just do like I am doing. Soon you will be flying!”

Thankfully the nest of River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lakes is drying out. My goodness they must have been inundated with rain. The three little ones, the twins and the baby, are doing fine. From the time they were a couple of days old, River has had them working their legs scooting around the nest. They are all doing really, really well.

If you look carefully, the baby, at the back, has a crop from an earlier feeding.

Still it is going to crowd up to the front with the twins and it is going to get some of that fresh new fish, too.

River is a really laid back Mum. She reminds me of my grandmother. I wonder how many chicks she has raised? She is at least 23 years old so chicks for the past 21 years?? Very experienced! Nothing seems to rattle her.

The snow is melting at the MN DNR nest of Harry and Nancy. Look closely. You can see the tinge of spring green beginning to appear. What a beautiful day. You could hear flocks of geese flying overhead.

I still worry about the youngest one at Duke Farms. It is just so much smaller than the eldest. It has had trouble getting up to the table and, yet, just about the time I am ready to wring my hands, a good feeding comes along.

It is also a really gorgeous day at the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Guardian and Liberty in California. Golden Rays falling down on this nest. They have lost one egg to breakage but, hey. Two healthy eaglets will be just fine.

While eggs are being incubated at Redding and chicks fed elsewhere, Big Red and Arthur continue to work on their nest on the Cornell Campus. This morning Arthur brought in some nice bark to line the nest cup. He worked hard at placing it precisely where he thought Big Red would want it. Of course, when he flew off she rearranged the whole thing! Arthur tries hard. We could be within five days of eggs! That would match the earliest Big Red has laid her first egg. I am realistically thinking another week to ten days.

Talk about working together quickly to save an Osprey. Desy got caught on a TV antenna and the Port Lincoln Osprey group were called into action!

Desy is improving and he now has his own special fresh fish tank in front of Bazza’s house. Apparently Desy, like most Ospreys, prefers eating live fish! This news is good. Ian Falkenberg hopes to put a satellite tracker on Desy once he is ready to be released in the Lough Bay area. It will be a first for Port Lincoln (the tracker on an adult bird) and should provide much needed information on their dispersal.

Sadly, Meg, the Osprey from Thistle Island has been found dead. She has been sent for an autopsy. There were no outward injuries and she appeared quite healthy. My condolences go out to everyone with Port Lincoln Ospreys who work so hard to increase the numbers and care for these amazing birds.

I went back to check on the Captiva chicks. Andy, thank you. Another fish has come on the nest. Big is full. Little, Middle, and Lena are going to enjoy most of this fish. What a relief!

Middle Bob passes out.

Little would like some more but he has eaten well. Lena really needs some fish and she is going to finish this one off. Meanwhile, look at the image above. That is Middle Bob’s fat little bottom sticking up in the centre of the image. Cute. You can also see that Big Bob is really getting those copper-red feathers at the back of his head near the neck.

Wait! There’s another fish delivery and look who is up front!

There is some major crop action going on. And it is a bit confusing with the extra fish on the nest – the one in front of Little Bob above. Lena moves the fish she is working on to the middle of the nest and begins feeding the chicks and eating herself leaving the new fish in the back corner.

Little Bob is at the far end. You can see his head in front of Middle Bob. Big Bob, despite its enormous crop, seems to be thinking of a third or fourth helping.

Lena is feeding Middle Bob and Little is trying to snatch some bites.

At 15:24 Little Bob is getting fed and will have a nice crop just like its sibs. That is wonderful. It has been really hot and Little has often suffered when Big eats most of the fish. I suspect that Little will crop drop shortly.

Andy seems to have good fishing today. Nice to see Little Bob full.

I cannot think of a nicer ending to a blog than having Little full to the brim late this afternoon.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Send all of your positive wishes to the little ones struggling and all those birds migrating to their spring and summer breeding grounds. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Osceola Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Lakes Bald Eagles, Redding Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Labs and RTH, WRDC Bald Eagles, the MN DNR, Duke Farms, Explore.org, and Friends of Big Bear.

Bird World News 16.2.22

It is -17 C on the Canadian Prairies, almost noon on 16 February. The temperatures will drop overnight so that it is -32 C tomorrow. No snow. Yeah! But the wind was blowing this morning and swirling around Mrs Woodpecker when she was eating the suet.

Yes that white strip is actually how the blowing snow looked to the camera. Isn’t she lovely? None of the other birds had arrived and she had this compressed seed cylinder all to herself. They seem to prefer it over the more traditional suet- at least at our breakfast bar!

It is the middle of the night in Port Lincoln Australia and Ervie and Dad are on the barge. Ervie on the nest and Dad up on the perch.

Yesterday afternoon I needed a break from the worrying over NE27 and so I went and checked on Xavier and Diamond. Diamond had a large crop and was in the scrape. Oh, she is gorgeous.

Did you know that the Latin word peregrinus means ‘foreign, wandering’? Apparently they noted that the bird was constantly on the move!

Sharpie came to visit the other day and I was reminded, looking at him, that he is just so much smaller in size that the Peregrine Falcons which are medium to large size hawks.

I love how the raptors can close one eye with their nictitating membrane, that third eyelid unique to them.

It was comforting to see Diamond in the scrape. Breeding will not take place til the late summer but if you are longing for Peregrine Falcons, it is time to turn your attention to Annie and Grinnell at the UC-Berkeley Campus. Egg laying should be taking place in a couple of weeks.

Both of the chicks have hatched at the Eagle Country nest of Abigail and Blazer. The oldest was given the name Thunder and the youngest is Fern. Fern gets some bites amidst a bit of bonking from Thunder.

There is a pip on at least one of Andy and Lena’s eggs at the Captiva Osprey Cam. I thought it was on two eggs, some think only one.

Here is the link to the cam:

I grew up in Oklahoma. Sadly, one of the oldest living eagles, Taurus, who was an ambassador for the Sequoyah State Park in my home state died. Taurus was 43 years old!

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article258434148.html

At the 07:10 feeding on the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby, NE27 did the old snatch and grab. It got right under the parent and up so it could grab ignoring a couple of earlier pecks by 26.

NE27 needs to keep its head and neck away from NE26. It seems to know that. It is also figuring out how to circumvent NE26 and get up front quicker. Clever little eaglet.

Later NE27 stared down 26 with the older sibling not reacting. Well done, Little Bit.

That cheeping by Little Bit is because it is hungry. Some eaglets do it more than others.

We are in the third week. We should be seeing this competitive behaviour by 26 easing up in the next week. NE27 is going to be fine and much better suited to deal with the outside world where there will be huge competition with other raptors.

If you missed it, Liberty and Guardian now have three eggs as of yesterday! I missed that one for sure. Last year this couple fledged three juvenile eagles. The Redding California Bald Eagle nest is one to watch!

Here is the link to the Redding Cam:

The sun is shining bright and it is getting a little colder. I am off for my walk and to check on the chickadee at the park. There is a small bag of seeds for it in my pocket today.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Captiva Osprey Cam, and NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF.

Samson feeds Little Bit and more Bird World News on Tuesday

NE27 known affectionately as Little Bit by all his fans, got itself right up to Samson when he flew down to feed the kids.

Samson is already feeding NE26. Little Bit is frightened but is scooting its way up and over the twigs on the nest to get within reach of Samson’s beak but hopefully, not catch too much ire from big sibling who wants all of the food to themselves.

Someone asked why NE27 is always cheeping. It is food calling. It is hungry and it is letting Samson and Gabby know even though its beak is not right up against theirs.

Samson is gesturing to 27 to turn around.

There. Little Bit gets a good bite.

Despite its big crop and fish on the nest, NE26 does not want 27 to eat!

Samon bypasses NE26, moves his head way over, and gives Little Bit a bite.

Little Bit gets quite a few bites from Dad.

This feeding is ongoing as I wrote this blog. It is 15:50:54 and Samson is giving NE27 lots of attention and bites.

Samson will continue to feed Little Bit and 26 will try to stop it. By this time 26 is more than full.

Little Bit and Samson are working around 26.

Little Bit got some nice pieces of fish.

There is that precious little one with a nice crop thanks to Samson!

Both parents are on the nest as I finish writing this. Gabby is doing some aerating and Samson is looking around.

Samson is definitely alert to what is happening around the nest in his territory.

We can all sleep well tonight. Little Bit is full. Nest behaviour is very interesting. Samson responded to NE27s little cheeps for food and worked to help get it to eat. This is precisely what he did 48 hours ago. Do the males remember what it was like having a big sibling? I notice that M15 is quick to come in and help. Curious.

Port Lincoln moved the camera zoom in close and here are a few close ups of Ervie. Isn’t he handsome?!

Ervie. Happy Birthday. You are 5 months old today!!!!!!!!

These images were taken around 07:11-12, 16 February. Ervie is, of course, fish crying! He is also still a little wet from heavy rain a little earlier.

Just look at R1 and R2. Their juvenile feathers are really covering that dark thermal down underneath and they are standing so tall! And walking – not on the elbow but on their feet. Growing Up. I am showing you this because Little Bit will be fine. R2 still suffers but has learned much about snatch and grab, end runs, and feeding itself that are invaluable lessons for survival. Little Bit is learning them, too.

These characters are 10 weeks old.

B15, the eaglet on the Berry College nest of Pa Berry and Missy, is such a curious little one. Today it spent time watching Missy aerating the nest. You can often catch it moving nest materials about, too. This only eaglet is adorable.

Louis and Anna are on the nest with Kincaid. Those feathers are really coming in nicely. Sometimes you can hardly see Kincaid on the nest.

Andy and Lena are keeping alert. No indication of a pip on any of the eggs yet at the Captiva Osprey Cam.

Oh, let us hope these two are lucky this year!

In other news, Iceland has announced that it will end commerical whaling by 2024. That is very good news, indeed.

It has started to snow once again. I went out for a short walk and there is about 24 cm of snow on the sidewalks. I did not get very far! Tomorrow.

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

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