Samson delivered a fish and immediately NE26 was over eating. It was a large fish and every thought that went through my head ended with the big sibling getting all that food. Then suddenly Samson alerted and jumped off the nest. While the adult was gone Little Bit aka NE27 went over to the fish and started feeding itself! This little one is just progressing so well and making sure that it gets some food. Then suddenly, Samson returns to the nest and Little Bit is in the ‘sweet spot’. Samson feeds Little Bit almost that whole fish. NE26 was looking off from the nest not interested. No bopping, nothing. Are we back to normal on NEFlorida? It looks like it!
Samson feeds 26. 27 looks on.
27 goes into submission. He is still cautious. 26 could do some real damage. Best to protect that head and neck. There is plenty of fish for everyone.
Samson abruptly leaves the nest. 26 moves over to the other side of the bowl while Little Bit goes over to the fish and starts pulling off bits, eating them.
This little one is learning. He is even holding the fish steady with his talons.
NE27 you are very handsome and smart! We are all very proud of you.
When Samson returns, 27 is right up by the fish and 26 is looking out of the nest.
Samson feeds Little Bit the fish. NE26 doesn’t even move from where it was.
Now who has the biggest crop?!
Little Bit’s confidence is growing day by day. 27 will also grow and grow in size with all the good fish it has been getting. Relief.
Oh, what a perfect morning on the NEFlorida nest. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like things are truly turning around. Send good wishes!
Thank you so much for joining me as we check in on Little Bit. Take care all.
Thank you to the NEFlorida and AEF for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.
It seems like it was almost yesterday when the female Bald Eagle at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey was encased in snow.
And then, there were two! The first eaglet hatched on 26 of February while the second one made its way out of that hard shell on 3 March. They were nicknamed ‘Li’l’ and ‘Big’ by the chatters on the Duke Farm streaming cam. And many worried that ‘Li’l’ was not getting enough to eat.
Here they are precisely two weeks later. Look who is in front!
And here they are today with juvenile plumage. Very beautiful and healthy eaglets! When they are banded, one or both of them will be fitted with a satellite transmitter. Rumours say it is EagleTrax brand.
Duke Farms is not new to banding or tracking and I really applaud them for this. On 1 May 2019 they banded the younger male E/88 and fitted him out with a satellite tracker. They wanted to know where the juveniles went after they fledged. This is a question many have been begging to find out about the eyasses of Big Red and Arthur, the Red-Tail Hawks whose nest is on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Where do they go? do they survive? The eaglet was named ‘Duke’. Duke went on line on 17 September 2019. He made several trips to Pennsylvania, several back into New Jersey and settled in Maryland on the Susquehanna River in the Upper Chesapeake Valley. He returned to New Jersey in early November 2020. On 24 November 2020 he was photographed eating a deer carcass with an immature female in a field. On 19 January 2021 he was actually at the Millstone River in New Jersey, close to his natal nest.
If you want to see images of ‘Duke’ please go to this site:
Achieva Osprey Update: There has been a lot of fish delivered to this Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida today. I have actually lost count. At least 5 or 6 and Jack just came in with a big hunk of fish and left because Diane still had fish she was feeding, The issue is: Tiny had only a few bites all day. It is an extremely sad situation. Tiny had a few bites today while the others ate and ate. There was a delivery at 4:53:28 and this one hot on the heels at 6:56:30. Tiny has managed to get between the mother’s legs and is getting some bites – some were nice size. It is 7:30. But Diane moves away and takes the fish and the two big ones are now resting on the nest and eating! Tiny gets some food around 8pm but Diane is feeding one of the big ones at the same time.
The light is going away. Tiny has managed to grab some bites. This was a really big fish. There should have been lots for him. You can see the tail to the left of Diane’s feet.
Diane has moved the fish again and is feeding Tiny and one of the big ones. The big one leaves and Diane is getting some food too. Tiny gets some bites. It is unclear how much of the fish is left or how much Tiny will get. The fish was moved again and Tiny started eating again around 8:19. It looks in the poor light that he might have a crop. Oh, my. How grand.
Thank you for joining me today. I hope the weather is nice where you are. The snow is still coming down on the Canadian prairies.
Thank you to the streaming cams at Duke Farms and the Achieva Credit Union in Dunedin, Florida.
Oh, it is another cold one on the Canadian Prairies. -28 with an extreme cold warning. The birds are fed and there were two Blue Jays stuffing themselves under the feeders. It is always nice to see them.
Lots of things happening in the world of our birds! Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the switches on the individual nests or the antics of the Es.
The image below is the best image I have of Wisdom. Remember. Wisdom is the oldest banded Albatross in the World and is at least 69 years old. Here she is in 2011 with her Moli on Midway Atoll. Wisdom is a Laysan Albatross. Look at how close the nests are together! Midway is a small atoll measuring 6.2 square kilometres or 2.4 square miles. In other words, it is very crowded with the half million pairs of Laysan Albatross calling it their nesting territory and home.
There is ten years between the image of Wisdom and her chick in 2011 above and the one below. The one below was taken yesterday right after she arrived back on 6 February to relieve her mate. While Wisdom was out to sea her beautiful little chick of 2021 hatched. Is it just the cutest?
Oh, look at the little sweetie peeking out.
Wisdom looking down and preening her baby.
I want to include some historical images for you of the Midway Atoll and the Laysan Albatross. All of these photos were taken by government staff on the atoll and are courtesy of the USWFS. Some of you will remember Midway for its strategic positioning during WWII. Today it is the home of the albatross!
In the image below, the adults have white plumage with brown wings and the most amazing eye makeup of any bird on the planet! The fluffy brown feathers and grey bills and faces are the baby Moli grown into juveniles. If you look carefully at the back left you will see that the juvenile is losing its fluffy brown down. Soon it will resemble the adult.
There are actually funny contests on Hawaii for the Moli with the craziest moulting pattern! Some seriously look like bikinis.
Well, Harriet and M15 seem to have the SouthWest Florida Eagle nest at Fort Myers under control. Sometimes the little ones, the second born, figure it out but, in this instance, it seems that little E18 is getting some help from mom and dad. Where there are issues related to who is dominant or food resources, the largest can really cause distress to the smaller one. Some of you might remember that Hope pulled all the hair off the top of Peace’s head in one of their bopping sessions. It was really too horrid to watch. Sometimes the competition results in the death of the smaller, weaker, and more submissive one. This is not going to be the case on this nest! Twice now M15 has stepped up when E17 was full and asleep and started feeding sweet little 18. I am a sucker for the underdog! M15 stuffed that little eaglet with big morsels of rabbit and then Harriet moved over and fed it some fish. Needless to say both the eaglets are sleeping on cropzillas tonight.
[Images of Harriet and M15’s nest courtesy of D Pritchett Eagle Cam.]
E18 really enjoys its private dining with dad!
Stay asleep E17!!!!!!
Harriet walks over to feed E18 some fish but I think this little one really enjoys his rabbit. Look at the way E18 and M15 are looking at one another. So sweet.
I am going to sleep a little better tonight knowing that little E18 went to bed with a full tummy and that his daddy, M15 is keeping an eye out for him.
This was a few hours ago. It is amazing how these little ones begin to understand how to survive. Some of them get pretty inventive in getting food and staying out of the eye of the bigger sibling. Little E18 is doing well and the parents have its back. I noticed Harriet giving M17 a tap on the beak yesterday as if it was a warning for a time out! That eaglet can’t help but get in trouble wherever it is. E18 was even bopping back at Harriet. I wonder if she has a secret time out spot? Yesterday I was hoping that M15 would build a little pen around 18 for a few minutes.
Remember the Trio of Eagles and their nest at Fulton, Illinois? the two males Valor I and II and the female, Starr? I like to imagine in my mind that it is easier to take care of a nest of two youngsters but I want to give M15 a big round of applause this morning. He is right there with Harriet looking after the kids. And he certainly is close to E18.
I want to be very careful and try not to put human emotions onto our birds. But I do wonder if M15 was hassled by a big sister when he was in the nest.
Down in New Zealand, another Albatross mom returned from the sea. Lime-Green-Lime (LGL) slipped yesterday to relieve Lime-Green-Black (LGK). I know it is hard to get your head around all those limes! The winds have been blowing and the fishing must be good. She was only away for three days.
Ah, the proud mamma looking down at her two week old baby.
This kiddo sure learned how to get his bill in place so that he could get that squid shake. Yum. This two week old already weighs 1.2kg (2.65 pounds)!! Oh, my. And I will absolutely say, for certain, that this has to be a little boy! The average weight of a Royal Albatross chick at fledge (usually mid September) is 8-8.5 kilograms. The largest has been 14.3 kilograms. This little one isn’t going to be little for long if these parents keep feeding him lots and lots of high protein oily food! Such gentle and loving birds.
I have said it before but I find the Albatross so relaxing. Yes, there is lots of drama but some how it just isn’t as visually stressful as the Bald Eagles. It is a bit like watching Daisy the Duck. You can sit for hours with the birds simply rotating on their nest. There is no bopping or pulling the siblings hair out. And, of course, there aren’t any siblings! The parents focus for two years is on this one single chick.
Ranger Sharyn gently removes the chick for his weight check. Look how big he is! Now, no more daily checks. He is doing fine. He will only be weighed Tuesday mornings.
Ranger Sharyn is so gentle with this growing chick. Ranger Sharyn! Did you remember to bring the bigger bag for this big boy?
And last but never least, our beautiful Bald Eagle mom at Duke Farms in New Jersey. Yesterday the snow on her big nest was almost gone. Look what is happening now!!!!!!!! Oh, my. She is one dedicated mother that will persevere through thick or thin. It was nice she had a break to shake all that snow off. Let’s hope that this bad weather that they are having on the eastern coast of the United States lets up soon. It is the same system, I think, that is sending strong winds to the eagles at Fort Myers along with some rain.
Just looking at that nest in NJ makes me want to run and get a bigger and thicker pair of socks. This poor mom. Nothing but snow. I do wonder if we will see more of this in the coming years with the climate changing. Or if eagles like these will have to relocate further south. We will keep an eye on them.
Stay safe. Thanks for joining me today to check in with our favourite birds. See you tomorrow!