Thursday in Bird World

12 May 2022

What a great day it has been- OK. I haven’t gotten to checking all the nests. There are way too many and I did get caught wondering what in the world is going on at the Hellgate Canyon Osprey nest of Iris. Then I had to check and see how the three chicks at the Manton Bay nest are doing. Was the one slapped by the fish still OK? The promised rain has not materialized as yet but the sunny sky is gradually turning grey again. It was a beautiful day to be outside. The grass is green and the leaves are beginning to pop out of the bud state. I can, of course, take the laptop outside but, you see, the garden birds start telling me that I am interrupting and in their space. You can hear them vocalizing a half block away. So trying to keep the neighbour’s friendly, I went for a walk and had a very sad chat with someone I have know for years from the Ukraine. She is passionate and optimistic. A lovely woman.

In the image below, Iris greets a male visitor.

They are actually a cute couple.

Iris is the oldest osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate Canyon by the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana. Iris had a wonderful mate named Stanley. Then Stanley died. Then Louis showed up. Now Iris is a cracker. She can out fish any of the male birds, she is beautiful, and she has an attitude. How she accepted Louis is beyond me. They had one chick survive and then Louis bonded with Star and they have their nest at the baseball park. Louis mates with Iris every year, she lays the eggs, and they get eaten by the Crows because she gets hungry. Louis has shocked everyone this year by bringing some fish to Iris. Did we have hope he would change his ways? Seriously, it takes a Blue 33 (11) or a Monty to handle two nests with two females and at least four or six chicks. Sorry, Louis, but I just don’t think you are up to it. Still, Louis has never let Iris have another mate because it is a ‘territory’ thing. So Iris does what Iris does, the eggs get eaten and she is free to have a leisurely summer. It is the same this year. But,…something seems to be happening. There is a male around. Iris let him land on the nest. Iris asked him to bring her fish. Strikingly Louis did not come and try to chase the male visitor away. In fact, I wonder if Louis would win that fight if it happened. The Montana Osprey Project video taped it. I had some stills but the video is better! BTW. The male’s name is not ‘Elvis’. If he were to stay around, Dr Erick Greene would give him a name.

Everything is just fantastic at the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 and Maya. Blue has brought in two huge fish since the perch yesterday that was thrashing about. One of those monster fish today was another perch. The three nestlings have eaten well. Maya feeds them, on average, every 2 hours from the first light of the day til sometimes after dark. They are growing strong and there is no evidence now after about 36 or so hours that the wee one thumped by the fish has any lasting issues. At least not visible to the eye. All three are right up there, eyes open and beaks wide when it is dinner time.

Adorable. Everyone eats. All get full to the brim and they will sleep well. Enjoy the nestling cuteness. They change and grow so fast. I love their little wings and the soft down, the stripe through their eyes and down their back. Cute pies.

Every evening Blue 33 comes to check on the pantry to see what is needed for the morning and to say goodnight to Maya. Sometimes during the incubation period, he will sleep on the nest with her but not normally once the chicks hatch.

Every day I do check on Big Red and Arthur and it is astonishing how well those four little Red-tail Hawks are doing. They are now regularly all over the nest. Soon they will be jumping and flapping all over that metal grid ledge. They have done so well.

There is great raptor DNA running through the nests! Just look at the trio that Akecheta and Thunder parented. All I am going to do is say ‘Wow’.

Star (left) and Sentry (right) have dried off from all the rain that was pounding the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian yesterday. Gosh, we blinked. Do you remember waiting for them to hatch? and now look!

Sticking with California for a minute or ten, the trio of Osplets on the Venice Golf and Country Club platform have all done well despite early worries about the third hatch.

The Captiva Osprey nest had a 66% success rate this year. That is really good. Middle Little is still letting Andy deliver fish on the platform on the grounds of Lori Covert’s property. Middle Little is such a handsome bird.

So what about Little MiniO? Lori has been out kayaking and at the same time, keeping an eye on the birds. She has spotted the family together many times, the youngsters with parents Andy and Lena flying around the property and over to the island. The Windows for Wildlife chat has posted a link to an image that Lori took. Lori believes this is Little MiniO on her favourite tree. Stunning bird!

I don’t know if anyone reading this is interested in having their own Osprey and Bald eagle nests but Lori’s property at Captiva was for sale. It might have sold, I don’t know. But how grand. Sit and have dinner and watch the Ospreys!

Middle has a bit of a crop. I did not rewind to the beginning of the feeding but the positioning was good at 16:20, one chick on one side and one on the other, with Mum feeding Big a couple of bites to Middle’s one. I will take it! Middle is looking good. It is 26 degrees C, winds have dropped to 13 kph, and the barometric pressure is falling.

Nap time!

Mum has been spending more time on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge as of late. It is wonderful to see her. It is hard to imagine but her and Dad will begin working on getting the nest back in order after their triplets Bazza, Falky, and Ervie had all those dust ups on it last season!

A nest known for siblicide fledged three. Was it just because they were all male? Let’s wait and see what this year brings. Mum needs to enjoy that fish. Soon she will be busy feeding a nest of little ones. For those of you following Ervie he is still hanging around Port Lincoln. Calypso appears to be with a male and we hope that she has her own nest this year. Mum and Dad can be grandparents!

I sometimes mention fundraising that groups are doing. The Port Lincoln Osprey Project takes care of the costs of the streaming cam, the barge, etc that many enjoy. They also raise awareness about the needs of the Ospreys in South Australia and lobby to get the hydro poles change, etc. They are now wanting to build more platforms for the growing population of Eastern Ospreys in South Australia. If you feel so inclined, you can join as a member or make a donation or do both or neither! [Please note: I post the information to support the groups. I do not make a penny on any memberships or donations.]

Here is the information that was posted on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page today:

I want to close with something pretty special. It is a mid-air prey transfer between Alden and Annie. Quite amazing! These two are a great couple.

Thank you so much for joining me today. The one chick is still alive at Dahlgren Osprey Platform, all three are crackers at Manton Bay, the three at Venice are doing great, Middle had a crop – it couldn’t get much better than that. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Lori Covert, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, VGCCO, Friends of Redding Eagles, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cal Falcons, LRWT Manton Bay, and Montana Osprey Project.

Saturday in Bird World

7 May 2022

It is a gorgeous spring or summer day – feels like summer – at 19 degrees C. The Black-capped Chickadee is serenading everyone in the garden after having a bath and the White-throated Sparrows have arrived in large numbers. All are digging and scratching around the wet leaves for insects. That is one of the best reasons not to rake your lawn in the fall and not until the end of May. Not lazy. Helping the birds!

All of the images were taken through a window screen. The birds seem to like to be in a dark area of the garden where there is a lot of dead leaves and a puddle of water from the snow melting.

There are so many White-throated Sparrows in the garden today. They are all enjoying the dark wet areas, having a drink in the remaining puddles, and stomping on the ground for insects. You might think that this is a White-crowned Sparrow like the one below but look at the lovely yellow over each eye.

This is a White-crowned Sparrow. Do you know it? This little guy arrived in the garden just today. The White-crowned Sparrow is a very distinctive bird. Its black and white striped head is the first thing you will notice. Then its grey breast with its brownish and grey patterned wings and back. This little one was digging around through all of the vegetation. Notice the beak. It can be either an orange-yellow or a reddish-brown depending on the subspecies of the bird. This bird, like the one above, is passing through heading to the boreal forests north of me.

The Black-capped Chickadee, who is a regular in our garden throughout the year, really wanted time in the puddle for a quick bath!

It was nice to see Mr and Mrs Purple Finch in the square feeder today. Just lovely.

There are a few European Starlings that still come for the hard suet.

It is so nice when the migrating birds are coming through the garden heading to their summer homes. The songs and their presence are very re-assuring.

If you need a smile, Annie feeding the two chicks in the scrape on The Campanile at UC-Berkeley should do it!

As of 1300 Pacific time, there were still only two chicks hatched for Annie, Alden, and Grinnell.

oh, they are just so perfect with their little pink beaks and feet. Annie and Alden work together like mates that have been together for a long time. Alden keeps the pantry full. You will see Annie go down to the larder on a lower level and come up with something for the wee ones.

Cal Falcons just posted a video of Alden keeping an eye on the chicks while Annie is away. He is a little nervous. Many believe that this is his first time ‘dad’ stuff. He will be a great mate for Annie and dad for the eyases.

It is a pretty nice day when nothing much is going on in Bird World. It is like this sort of lull – some eggs to pip soon, a few eaglets to fledge, but steady. That is a good thing.

It was so nice to drop in and see Kincaid on her branch at the Kistachie National Forest Bald eagle nest in Louisiana. She is going to survive and do really well. Right now all she wants is to see her dad, Louis, flying in with a fish for her.

I wish I could put Kincaid side by side with the MN-DNR female. My goodness. They said she weighed 9 lbs. Eaglets normally grow at the rate of a lb a week. The MN-DNR eaglet is six and a half weeks old. She is 50% more heavy and larger than normal! Formidable is the word. She is at the high end of the large female eaglets. Those legs are strong and she has her wings folded in part way. Awesome.

Cholyn’s only baby, TH1 of 2022, has quite the crop this afternoon. Wonder if she is a big female, too? Cholyn needs to eat that remaining fish!!

Star and Sentry are really looking good at the Redding nest of Liberty and Guardian. Look at their plumage development in comparison to Two Harbours 1 above.

The triplets at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest were soaked this morning but by afternoon late they were dried out and sound asleep.

There is an afternoon storm with rain, high winds, and what sounds like thunder at the National Arboretum nest of Mr President, Lotus, and DC9.

It is reassuring at a time when the Avian Flu is killing so many Apex raptors to stop into the nests and see that the birds and their parents are doing alright. Here are some images from the nest of Samson and Gabby at NEFlorida. Both Jasper and Rocket have fledged and, like Kincaid, they are hanging around the nest to get those wings strong and their hunting skills perfected before heading out on their own.

I was surprised to see how many fish bones are in the nest!

The same strong winds that are blowing in DC are blowing on the West End Nest of Thunder and Cholyn and the three eaglets – . Thunder came in with a big fish that was still alive. All have eaten well today.

There has been a lot of Bird Flu in the upper Midwest. It is good to check in on the nest of Mr North and Mrs DNF at Decorah. The two eaglets appear to be fine. Relief.

There is a short video clip of these two attempting self-feeding yesterday.

I showed this image in another posting but it is such a rare occasion that she allows her mate to brood or feed the chicks. So it is worth posting a second time in case you missed it.

So many nests to check and so much going on. It was a real relief to find everyone doing so well on these nests. The weather has been miserable in different places and I hope that it all warms up for tomorrow so that all of our bird mothers have a lovely day.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Pix Cams, Explore.org, Friends of Redding Eagles, NEFlorida Eagles-AEF, MN-DNR, NADC-AEF, and Friends of Redding Eagles.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

26 April 2022

It has been a great day in Bird World. When everything seemed so bleak with the ‘Only Baby’ at the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands holding on after a fall ten feet below the nest, the sun rose. When daylight came Dr Sharpe and two volunteers hiked for an hour to reach the nesting site. The trio rescued the eaglet, built up the walls of the nest, and placed the wee one back. Everyone held their breath hoping that the parents, twenty-four year old Chase and Cholyn, would appear immediately. They waited almost three hours to return. Everyone was on pins and needles. What if they did not return was the question on everyone’s mind. One did a fly by, and then they both arrived – Cholyn with some nesting material and Chase with the first fish of the afternoon. Baby was home! It was less than 24 hours but, it felt like an eternity. Would the eaglet be able to hold on? That strong brave little one stayed put until help came!

Dr Sharpe and the rescue were interviewed by ABC news:

https://abc7.com/eagle-eaglet-catalina-island-baby/11794228/

“Oh, please, just one more bite,” Cholyn insists. Meanwhile, TH1’s crop is about to pop. Can you see it? The parents were overjoyed to have their chick back on the nest.

Cholyn and Big Red believe that no one should leave the table hungry. Tonight, squirrel was on the menu at the Red-tail Hawk nest in Ithaca, New York.

There are still three for Big Red and Arthur. As you can see, Arthur has really been packing the pantry and I am happy to say that most of it is squirrel and chippy.

There has been little mention of egg 4. It pipped and the chick was alive last night. It is difficult to tell because the other three Ls lay on it. If it is to hatch we should see that wee one in the morning. Personally, three eyases is great!!!!!! The three Ls appear quite healthy.

Liberty and Guardian’s eaglets for the 2022 season now have names. They are Sentry and Star. Well done everyone who took part in the voting for these two at their Redding, California aerie. Just look at them. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Spirit and Jackie shared a meal together today. It is hard to grasp but just look at the size of Spirit. They said that she would be the size of a Canada Goose now!

It is often hard to go back to a nest when the older siblings have been responsible for the death of the younger. It took me a long time to ‘get over’ being upset with Solly at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when she caused the youngest, Tapps, to die at the age of 18 days due to starvation. It was only after she fledged that I warmed up to her again and I was honestly very sad when she died on an electrical pole in South Australia eating a fish. The two surviving ospreys at the University of Florida’s Gainesville Osprey nest are really doing well. The food competition appears to have dissipated. It is quite sad that the third hatch has to be sacrificed, or so it seems, for the good of the whole in terms of brood reduction.

The two eyases at the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco are also eating well and growing without much of a problem. Once in awhile the eldest tries to be dominant but things seem to be alright.

It was sunny with wind gusts at the Two Harbours nest. Chase and Cholyn had to hover and approach the nest twice to land. It was dreary and windy just around the corner at the West End Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Of the three trips up the cliffs in less than two weeks, Dr Sharpe rescued the youngest male from the West End nest who had fallen and then returned a few days later to measure and band the three. It is easy to spot the big sister in the group now with her two little brothers.

On Thursday the 28th, the Ventana Wildlife Society is holding a Zoom-chat. It is free and it begins at 4pm Pacific Time. When you register you can submit questions to the staff. Because Condors eat carrion, I submitted questions related to the current Avian Flu in relation to those beautiful California Condors.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

Here is the link for registration, if you are interested:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

In Latvia, the first egg at the Lesser Spotted Eagle nest has been laid. The nest is in a beautiful Spruce forest in Zemgale. The map below was posted on the English Forum, Looduskalender, and shows the area of the nest in green.

The nest is 17 metres off the floor of the forest and from its size, is believed to be at least five years years old. The couple are Anna and Andris. Lesser Spotted Eagles normally lay two eggs. If there is enough food available, both chicks will grow and fledge. If there is not, then siblicide will occur on the nest. It is good to understand this before you begin watching a Lesser Spotted Eagles nest (or a Greater or a Golden Eagle).

Andris is being shown the egg by Anna. Notice how small he is compared to the female in front.

Here is a short video of that first egg.

Here is the link to the streaming cam:

Do you love Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world? She is not only the Queen of the Ospreys but she is also one beautiful bird. Just look what good shape she is in after doing her winter migration. I am very impressed. I wonder what 28 or 29 Osprey years translates into human years??? or is there such a thing? I hope I look that good at the equivalent age!!!!!

Here is Iris this evening on her nest at Hellgate Canyon, Missoula, Montana.

Earlier, at 18:20 her mate, Louis, brings her the second fish of this season! For those who do not know Iris, Louis and Iris have this rather jaded bond. Louis also has a nest with Starr at the baseball park. This is the first year that I remember Louis bringing fish to Iris in several years. And now he has brought two! Wow.

Iris knows Louis is approaching and she does some quiet little fish calls.

Wow. That is a nice big fish. Notice the head is missing. Traditionally, males eat the head before delivering the fish to the nest.

Iris accepts Louis’s gift and flies over to the pole to eat it for her dinner. I wonder if we should be expecting eggs soon???

A marvellous book arrived in the post today. It is called Eagle Man and is about Charles Broley and his dedication to the Bald Eagle. Broley lived in Florida and in Canada. Broley was a banker; when he retired he devoted himself to bird watching. Broley became a world authority on the Bald Eagle. His observations taught us about courtship rituals, nesting, feeding, and even the migratory patterns of the eagles. I landed a copy in very good condition. It was obviously treasured by its owner, D. Gordon, who wrote on the flap that he received it in May of 1956. It is signed by Charles Broley. Inside the binding is the obituary of Broley who died on 7 May 1959 in Delta, Ontario. I am so looking forward to reading this book that inspired many to respect the Bald Eagles as many, like Dr Sharpe today, fought to bring their numbers up after most were wiped out by DDT.

Thank you for joining me. There are so many nests to cover and some will find themselves here tomorrow. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or webpages where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar Forum, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Montana Osprey Project, Explore.org, Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Latvian Fund for Nature, Presidio Trust, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.