Late Wednesday and early Thursday in Bird World

16-17 March 2022

Each of us has turned to watching and caring for the birds and other wildlife for as many reasons as there are humans. One of the most commonly cited is ‘The birds bring me joy’. Unlike scientists who try to be arm’s length, most of us have our favourite bird families that we watch. We even have our favourite chicks in the clutch. Certainly I admit to that – Ervie at Port Lincoln was always my guy out of the three. I like the third hatches that survive. They are spunky and creative and, I hope, have facilities for survival in the wild that maybe the eldest who often ate first and the most doesn’t have. It is particularly difficult when we see our bird families struggling. We worry. We cry. My fingernails get shorter.

It is easy to miss what is happening on the Dale River nest. If you look the rewind is only an hour. I wanted to find out what was happening on this nest. Did something happen to a parent? No, both came on the nest around 19:00. So I went to the link in the information under the streaming cam to find out about Wednesday’s feedings.

The Dale Hollow group were able to tell me the chicks had eaten well – all of them once and there was a second feeding in the morning. It was not videotaped so no one was sure if all ate. I also learned something else from Keisha Howell who has been making the videos of the nest and posting them on YouTube. In the early days, DH16 who I have been calling Little Bit, was fed so much for a tiny little chick that it actually balked at feedings. Apparently it still has trouble eating too much food at once. That is good to know. I included the video of the early morning feed in an earlier posting. If you missed that video, here it is:

I would encourage anyone interested in this nest to join the discussion group and ask as many questions as you like. There are very knowledgable people who will be happy to help you. This is how we all learn – by asking questions. And no question is a stupid question! Ever. The link to the group is:

https://discord.gg/B6pVtJfhDt.

There is concern as the Black Storks and Ospreys move from Africa up to Latvia, Estonia, and Finland that the wildlife will get caught in the war in the Ukraine. There is someone called Ann that is diligently creating maps and posting information on Looduskalender from information provided by the satellite tracker on Karl II. I have cut and pasted the most recent information from this discussion group below. If you would like to check this yourself, here is the link to Looduskalender:

These are the fish ponds where Karl II refuelled:

On his fall journey to Africa, Karl II stopped in the Ukraine. There are many nature reserve areas along the shore of the Black Sea around Odessa. You can see from the simple map below the countries that he will fly over to reach a resting spot on the Black Sea. We worry for him, for his mate and for all the others who are making their way home to the Baltic Region.

California loves their Bald Eagle families. I often wondered why some nests were more popular in terms of viewers than others and as one reader, ‘B’ explained to me last week, the eagles are all over the news in California. Californians love their Bald Eagle families – they are celebrities. ‘B’ was referring to Jackie and Shadow at the time. Now it is Thunder and Akecheta’s turn!

https://abc7.com/catlina-eagles-egg-hatching-thunder-and-akecheta-institute-for-wildlife-studies/11654477/?fbclid=IwAR353ylAfPCzqiZ7T37-J6XneWj6ii26s4LzintGIeyT__QCj5RbwtIgK80

I am going to bore you with baby pictures. These are Thunder and Akecheta’s threesome being fed by Dad, Akecheta, this afternoon at 14:43. There are slight movements in each frame. In some you can see their sweet tails and in others you can glimpse their faces. Talk about adorable! I haven’t been able to take my eyes off these three little cuddles since they hatched.

Cheta is taking parenting very seriously this year. He rarely leaves sight of the nestlings.

I believe we have, from left to right: Little Bob, Middle Bob, and Big Bob. Big Bob is longer and ‘lanky’ than Middle Bob who is more round. Being so much younger, Little is just little – but not that little. Gosh, they are cute. The age difference is the same between Little and Big as it is at Dale Hollow. That is interesting.

Oops!

Everyone ate well.

Thunder and Akecheta have been widening the nest cup so that all three can line up to eat. It is far too difficult if it is deep and narrow. Most often the little ones have trouble getting to the front or get trampled in the process. Not here!

The three had a nice fish breakfast Thursday morning. They seemed so sleepy when Thunder got them up for a feed.

There are some really outstanding Bald Eagle parents out there. Cheta has matured since he first had chicks at the age of 4 two years ago. Having lost two seasons he broods, has learned to feed quite well actually, and does security. I am impressed.

Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear are another super couple who also suffered for two seasons and who have just the sweetest little eaglet this year. How many feedings a day? There were eleven. It goes without saying that I wish River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake would feed their eaglets more. The wee nestlings need less food more often.

Jackie and Shadow’s baby is 13 days old today. Eleven feedings. Look at all the fish on the nest. A Gold Star family.

One of those other Gold Star Bald eagle families is Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. Their two this season, E19 and E20 are taking turns going higher and higher in the nest tree as they prepare for fledging. We will miss these two and their antics. They are super healthy and well prepared for living in the wild. Do you remember how excited you were as Christmas approached and hatch at this nest? Now just look at them! They were the first eaglets of the season (on streaming cam) to hatch if I remember correctly.

Both E19 and E20 were enjoying the breeze up on the branches this morning. They look healthy! That is great.

Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson are flapping their wings. It is not going to be long until they branch. Two really beautiful eagles – stunningly gorgeous.

It’s a foggy late morning at the NEFlorida nest in Jacksonville. Look at how big these two are. They are waiting for a fish delivery!

Beautiful Mum Gabby keeps watch over the nest with her two 2022 hatches.

Both Middle and Little (or Little and Mini) ate well at the Captiva nest Thursday morning. Andy brought in a fish at 10:29:30. Both were hungry. I continue to say that this is a good sign. Lena even had some nice fish left for her. At the both were full and wanted to watch the people on the fishing boat below.

It is hot in Florida today and all the news in the state is about Avian Flu. I sure hope these four miss that. We should know today or tomorrow the results on Big from the UGA Vet School.

Both chicks are hungry but luck closely at Middle. He wants all the little innards and Lena doesn’t want him to eat it particularly. He has his mouth open wide.

Both of the chicks are well behaved and Lena feeds Middle some first and then goes to Little. Neither are submissive to the other. The nest is very calm.

Middle is full and has gone to the side to see the boats and to get some air. Look he is so hot. Yes. My phone says it is 27 C. One of the hottest days so far.

There is fish left for Lena. She will enjoy the tail of the Sheepshead. You can see Little under her left wing. His feathers re coming in good now.

So cute. The pair of them together washing the boats. Best buddies.

Middle and Little were having some more fish around 12:30 Thursday. Lena is a great Mom keeping them hydrated and shading her ever growing babies.

B15 a the Berry College is up on the perch this morning. Making more and more progress. What a gorgeous bird!

Right on time. Big Red and Arthur now have their second egg of the 2022 season. It was laid at 11:05 Thursday morning.

The egg is wet and soft and Big Red will let it cool and harden before attempting to lay on it or it would break.

The only thing about Big Red that looks 19 years old are her feet.

How gorgeous. If you have never watched a Red-tail Hawk nest then you should join in with Big Red and Arthur. There is a moderated chat with experts that is open a few hours a day. It is amazing what you can learn and the fabulous Laura Culley, a long time falconer, will be on board.

Here is the link to one of Cornell’s cameras on the nest. As far as I am aware, there are only 2 RTH nests on streaming cam in the world. Egg 3 will be expected on the 19th!

There is great news coming out of the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie, LM12 arrived first in the UK on the 13th. He was joined by his mate Blue NC0 today. How grand. Both made it home for another fantastic Scottish Osprey breeding season!

Rutland Water’s Manton Bay is being worked on by the female, Maya. She arrived back in the UK on 15 March. Normally her and her mate arrive within half an hour of one another. No sign of Blue 33 yet. It is early days in the Osprey migration from Africa.

Port Lincoln Osprey posted this along with their news on their FB of other Osprey nests and platforms. Everyone noticed that Ervie was missing a claw when he was last on the barge eating his puffer. The posting was on 13 March. I found tracking information for Desy and the Phantom but could not find Ervie’s. He is fine and staying around Port Lincoln.

Have a super day everyone. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Google Maps, Looduskalender, West End Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Rutland Water Manton Bay, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Late Thursday in Bird World

There are lots of things that have not gone to plan. Put an expensive tracker on an Osprey named Ervie and you have high hopes that he is going to break world speed records and wind up in Sydney! So where is Ervie today?

He’s hanging out with Dad. I wonder if Dad enjoys the company? Yesterday, Dad brought three fish in for his lad – at 15:44, 16:30, and 18:06. Maybe it isn’t such a bad strategy! Will Ervie ever leave home? I hope not. It is sure fun to watch the changing dynamics on this Osprey barge.

Cody and Steve of the US Forestry Service for Kistachie National Forest thought that the on line counter to name the eaglet was working fine – until it wasn’t! The counting stopped today at noon, not on the 9th of February. As it happens I was watching when all of this was discovered. The % of votes for each of the three names has stayed consistent since the start of voting. With that in mind and 447 people voting in a single day, the eaglet is named Kincaid. Personally I am thrilled. It fits with the names of the parents and the older sibling, Kistachie, who fledged last year.

Annie feeding Kincaid the fresh fish that Louis brought in earlier.

A really quick luck at what this storm system is doing.

Big Red and Arthur’s nest in Ithaca is receiving snow, as expected. If this is all the snow they get it will be amazing.

In Northwest Georgia, Missy is being the Mumbrella over B15. They are getting a torrential amount of rain there.

Poor Missy.

It is wet at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.

I expected to see snow at both the US Steel Eagles and Pittsburgh-Hayes but it has been chucking down the rain there so far.

They are on egg watch at Pittsburgh-Hayes.

This is a little later and the rain drops are still coming down. I wonder if they are going to begin to get a little icy?

It has been a nice day for R1 and R2 and their parents, Rita and Ron, at the WRDC nest in Miami. Both eaglets ate well. R2 is already passed out in a food coma.

As the sun is setting in Fort Myers, E19 and E20 are having a mice meal before bedtime. They have had a nice day, too. Both the WRDC and the SWFlorida eaglets are really getting those dark juvenile feathers. R1 continues to have the most dandelions of all!

There are food comas at NEFlorida and no rain or snow! These two are absolutely precious. Good weather for Samson and Gabby!

It was a really nice day if you were up in Big Bear today with Jackie and Shadow.

The wind is picking up slightly at The Landings, Savannah Great Horned Owl nest. No precipitation that I can see and they should not be expecting any. The storm appears to be tracking North of them.

There are lots of nests. My friends in Oklahoma tell me that the snow has come down and that there are huge storms in Missouri. The birds in Ohio and the areas where the ice is accumulating are in our thoughts. Thank you so much for joining me for a quick check in on a few of the nests. Congratulations to everyone at the Kisatchie National Forest on the naming of their eaglet – Kincaid! Just love it.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages or both where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagles,, KNF Forest Rangers FB, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab Savannah GHOW, Duke Farms, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Pix Camera, Explore.org, Friends of Big Bear, SWFlorida Eagle and D Pritchett, NE Florida and the AEF, and the WRDC.

E20 is doing fine!

To watchers and chatters, he is popularly known as ‘Little Bit’. Officially, he is E20, the second hatch of Harriet and M15 at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers. Second and third hatches are always popular. They are usually the underdog having suffered some bonking/beaking from their older siblings.

E20 and E19 actually got along really well, after week 1, until the terrible storm that pushed through the region the other day. That seemed to set E19 off resulting in aggressive behaviour towards his younger sibling.

I am very happy to report that E20 was not only full yesterday but also today. Have a look!

Oh, he looks so happy! Have you noticed that the two of them are starting to look like old worn carpets with their dark down underneath the feathers coming in and the fluffy down disappearing?

Yes, that crop is much bigger than E20s head. It is a wonder he has not fallen over. Maybe those big wings and feet are saving him!

E20 – closer to the front – will eventually make his way to the rim of the nest and go to sleep by E19.

Friends.

This is really a welcome sight. Just another good thing in Thursday’s Bird World!

Thank you for joining me today. It is a really great feeling to bring you good news. Take care everyone. See you tomorrow.

Thanks to SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

It’s three for Ron and Rita and other news from Bird World

Ron and Rita welcomed R3 early this morning. It appears that R3 hatched around 07:58. Notice also how Rita puts her beak at the tip of R1’s beak when it is wanting to peck R2. Very interesting.

Here is a very short video of R3 hatching.

R3 is officially fully hatched at 10:32:01.

Rita is now showing us anything as R1 and R2 look outside the nest cup.

That nest cup is very small. Fingers crossed for this little one to catch up and the older siblings to be kind. There is lots of food and experienced parents.

Congratulations Rita! (and Ron)

I have yet to see Daisy the Duck return to the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her and her mate came to check it again on New Year’s Day. The Ring-tailed Possum still has its own nest amidst the twigs that have been added to this enormous structure over the years. It was running up and down around the tree last night.

It is hard to see it but if you look at the left side of the ‘V’ branch, it is running down to the bottom of the V and on the nest image, it is running up the other side.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Lads must have a pact. Each one of them gets to spend an entire day on the nest! First it was Bazza, then Falky came the other day, and now it is Ervie’s turn again! Ervie flew in with a piece of fish yesterday and it is believed that he must have caught it himself. However, later, he also received a fish from Dad, the last fish of the day. They have also been diving off the barge – Falky is very good at this and it is wonderful to see them figure out how to fish. We most often do not get this opportunity.

There is Ervie protecting his fish on the nest from any siblings that think they will fly in and grab it.

Falky and Bazza are leaving Ervie alone to enjoy his dinner.

And perhaps by prior arrangement or reservation, Ervie gets to sleep on the nest alone. So when we see that one of them is staying by themselves all day on the nest, we will not worry about them. It looks like they are taking reservations for occupancy! What characters these three boys are.

There are so many things that humans use for one thing that wind up harming anyone that comes near them. Today, let’s look at ‘sticky paper’. Strands of sticky paper used to be common where I live to catch mosquitoes and flies. In France they are still used to catch birds! What horror and today there are used to catch mice and rats. Any bird or animal that gets near this gooey paper will be harmed. This was posted by CROW. The last sentence is not there but they suggest calling your local wildlife rehabber. Do not try to do anything yourself.

The wee ones at Hilton Head are still small and fuzzy but E19 and E20 are growing fast. Today, they are out of the nest cup and sleeping with their head on the sides of the nest. This is a major change for these two. Their pin feathers are also coming in and we can see their little tails starting to grow as their wings get bigger and bigger.

Another possum was just brought on deck for dinner along with the remains of yesterday’s two fish.

Eating and growing make for one very tired E19.

An earlier feeding of fish.

All is well at Harriet and M15’s. The beaking has really slowed down. Let’s hope it stays that way!

We are on egg watch at Big Bear for Jackie and Shadow.

Here is the link to the camera of this favourite Bald Eagle couple. We wish them the best of luck as they struggle to have nestlings up in northern California. It is perhaps the lingering DDT in the area that continually causes the shells of their eggs to be thin or the eggs to be unviable. But, let’s start 2022 off with all your warm wishes. I hope this is their year – they are so dedicated to one another.

Pip watch for those followers of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest this weekend. Hoping that this year is better for Mum Connie and her new partner, Clive. Connie lost both of her chicks to rodenticide secondary poisoning last year. They were Hope and Peace. It was tragic. And, of course, rodenticide, like sticky paper, needs to be banned. Raptors and Cats are the answer to getting rid of rodents.

Here is the link to the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam:

I am trying to find streaming cams for raptors in Japan. In my quest to find a raptor cam in Japan for one of your fellow readers, I have found squirrel cams, monkey cams, cams for traffic and temples, cooking, etc. But I have yet to find a mention of a raptor cam. I will continue my quest but if any of you know of one, please let me know so we can all enjoy. Thank you so much!

The squirrels are adorable!

And the most incredible monkeys and deer but no raptors! This is Awaji Island.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many people, from all of the world, that love the raptors – and all the birds and animals. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CROW FB page, Awaji Island Monkey Center, and Yatsugatake Today.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

We remain in an Extreme Cold Warning on the Canadian Prairies while Australia and New Zealand have been having Maritime Heat Events. Both are equally challenging for our feathered friends. As for the humans, the furnace is fixed, the heat is on and my -35 degree C ski pants arrived today along with the -35 degree C rated boots. There will be no excuse for not heading out to walk the trails and check on those several hundred ducks that continue to live on our Assiniboine River. Today at the feeders, the normal 28 or so European Starlings and several hundred Sparrows were joined by no less than 10 Black-capped Chickadees. There could have been more as they darted in and out with seeds. They are such beautiful little birds. Some of the Starlings, like the one below, seemed to really get into eating the snow!

Others seemed to prefer to poof up their feathers and hang out with one another in the Lilac Bushes. They leave about 16:00 and I am constantly wondering where they roost at night. They return just after dawn waiting patiently – or impatiently – for the Bark Butter and Meal Worms.

For those who might have missed it, Royal Albatross YRK returned to Taiaroa Head on Day 15 to relieve her mate, OGK. It was an emotional homecoming. This morning the NZ Rangers returned the ‘real egg’ that had been in the incubator to YRK and removed the dummy egg. I could watch these two all day long if I had the time. Talk about a loving couple. In case you missed it, here is that reunion:

There are so many Bald Eagles or Ospreys named Harriet that it can be confusing when trying to keep the nests straight as to who belongs to which one. Harriet and Mitch are at the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest.

Those babies are really adorable.

At Hilton Head the menu appears to be almost exclusively fish.

Harriet of M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Nest has herself a handful. Today, each chick was trying to climb completely out of the nest bowl – one going one direction and the other one going the other. It is no wonder that we see both Harriet and M15 bringing in reinforcing branches for the sides of the nest.

E19 is full and has passed out in a food coma. E20 thinks it can still hold some more fish! Indeed, these two eat really well when fish is on the menu.

Everyone was talking about a pip and a possible hatch at the WRDC Miami-
Dade Bald Eagle nest. I have been unable to confirm a hatch. Rita was busy feeding the two and what was special on the menu? an Ibis.

The White Ibis lives in the estuaries and along the shores of the Southeastern United States. They are easily identified by their bright red legs and red bill. With these long tweezer like beaks they dig in the mud for crabs, crayfish, marine worms, frogs, and lizards.

“Ibis” by sabl3t3k is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

These two seemed, when I was watching, to settle down and eat. They have had a diet of only fish up til today when the Ibis was delivered.

I cannot tell if there is anything happening with the egg or not. R2 hatched on 2 January so if R3 had hatched today there would be three days difference and tomorrow it will be greater. Again, two healthy eaglets are perfect. Maybe there will not be a third.

There are a myriad of other Bald Eagle nests that have either one egg or the couple are preparing for breeding. I cannot keep up with all of them!

There are certainly funny things that go on at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when all three of the boys are on deck. Ervie – yes, you read that correctly – decided to pay the barge a visit Thursday afternoon PL time. He flew in around 13:00 and chaos ensued, in a manner of speaking. All of the lads thought Dad was flying in with a fish and they were quite animated. When Dad landed on the bottom deck without a fish, Ervie flew right into Dad’s nest! Ervie tried to steal fish from Bazza a few times, got a piece of fish and then proceeded to drop it. Mum picked it up! Who says an Osprey will not pick up a fish that has been dropped? At the end of it all, I think everyone was just happy to see Ervie!

It is amazing how loud three juvenile Ospreys can be when they see Dad flying in with a fish and each one of them wants it. Incredible. Bazza is on the nest, Ervie is on the corner of the ropes and Falky is on the yellow and black ropes. Mum is down below.

Dad has flown in and is next to Mum below deck and Ervie has landed right in the middle of the sticks.

Somehow Ervie comes up with a piece of fish and is eating it on the nest with Bazza.

There is a lot of condensation but that is Ervie on the left and Bazza on the right. Ervie has a piece of fish.

It truly is good to see Ervie – to see all three of them. They are safe and healthy, just maybe a little hungry. Flying takes a lot of energy and the weather has been hot, windy, and the water is choppy. Tough conditions for juveniles learning to fish.

Thank you so very much for joining me. It is always my pleasure to bring you some news about our beautiful birds. As National Bird Day comes to a close, I am forever grateful for the joy these characters bring us. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, WRDC Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

National Bird Day

Today is 5 January and in North America this marks National Bird Day. As all of you are aware, our feathered friends have many challenges. Climate change, warming oceans, loss of habitat, hydro pole electrocution, window strike, disease, rodenticide secondary poisoning, lead poisoning, illegal pet trade, and many more are threats. This is a day to raise awareness. For me, it is also a day to contemplate the joy the birds bring to my life and all their teachings.

Well, I truly messed up. When I was writing about the National Arboretum Nest, I said The First Lady. This lovely couple is Mr President and Lotus – not The First Lady. Apparently, TFL left and this young lady showed up and Mr President took a liking to her. Wow. I missed that!

This is the new couple at The National Arboretum in Washington, DC Bald Eagle Nest. I checked on the American Eagle Foundation and they still have TFL listed for this nest but, that is not TFL, it is Lotus.

Two things happened in our birding community yesterday. One of them is important to everyone. It concerns photographing birds. One of the members of the Manitoba Birding and Photography group was out taking photos of Snowy Owls in rural Manitoba, about an hour outside of our main city, Winnipeg. He was on a public gravel road and had pulled over to eat his sandwich and drink the tea in his thermos. He was not trespassing. Without warning, two pick up trucks with three men blocked his car. They accused him of being an environmental spy on their hog operation. He showed them his camera and told him he was taking pictures of Snowy Owls. They did not believe him. They told him others had said the same thing. He knew that it would only be members of our group but, he just kept his mouth shut. He felt threatened. He was finally able to get out of the situation but, when he returned he gave some advice to all of us which I am passing on to you. He advised anyone going out birding and taking photographs to make sure their cell phone is charged and that they have cell service. He suggested not stopping in areas of no cell service. Apparently he had neither. I am going to go a little further and suggest that 1) you have a charger for your phone in your car; 2) you make sure you have cell service; 3) if possible have another person with you; 4) make sure you have lots of petrol; 5) know where you are located; and 6) tell someone where you are going!

I also want to add a little something to this. I lived near to where this man might have been photographing owls for a long time. People used to stop and take photographs of the animals. It did not bother me. That said, the world has changed and people are more fearful than the days when we didn’t lock our doors and left the keys in our vehicles. Exercise caution. Someone might really be afraid that you are taking photos of their property for other reasons.

The other thing was a listing of things you can use to feed birds that was being circulated on FB. if you didn’t see it, I am posting it below. This might come in handy if you run out of birdseed and suet. I note that Crows like other items such as hard boiled eggs and hamburger meat. They sometimes will eat fruit.

The two eaglets of Harriet and M15 have been both naughty and nice this morning. Both are well feed and thank goodness they have had a quiet sleep. They keep those adults on their toes!

Port Lincoln posted several photographs of Mum on their FB page. She was having a bit of a spa day. How gorgeous! You can check out Ervie’s progress and any postings about the family by searching for Port Lincoln Osprey on FB. You do not have to be a member of the group to look at the media, the discussions, or to make comments.

This note is also from Port Lincoln: “Ervie had watchers worried a couple of days ago when he took over Bazza’s spot on the nest and didn’t move but today he has really spread his wings and crossed the Peninsula to Proper Bay. This is a favoured fishing location for Mum and Dad so it certainly looks as though they are showing him the ropes.”

Ervie is growing up and maybe, just maybe, he was saying goodbye to all the other day. Mum and Dad did well this year with the three boys. It was simply a great Osprey nest to watch.

If you are a fan of Pale Male, Bruce Yolton has posted some lovely images of him. I want to also note that Pale Male and Octavia were seen in Central Park the other day hunting as well. I believe this Red-tail Hawk is 32 years old. Amazing.

If you cannot open some of the things I post and they have that little sideways ‘V’ on the bottom right, if you click on it you will find the link and you can cut and paste.

I will be checking on all the nests throughout the day. There are intruders hanging around the Achieva Osprey nest. One of them is the one that Tiny Tot Tumbles battled several times. I can see no action on the third egg at Miami-Dade but it is hard to see in that nest. There was supposed to be signs of a pip yesterday morning. It is getting busy, thankfully. And on a personal note, the repairman is returning to put a part on my furnace within the hour – thank goodness for small miracles as our temperatures begin to plummet again to -32 C.

Take care everyone. It is wonderful to have you with me. Be safe, stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page, National Arboretum Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.

OGK is all smiles as YRK lands

As I write this, I know that there are tears flowing in homes around the world and with the NZ DOC rangers. OGK has been incubating his egg (replaced 2 days ago with a dummy for safety) for 15 days straight. Today the rangers gave him 600 ml of liquids to ward off dehydration as he waited for his mate, YRK to return from foraging so the pair could change shifts.

15 days is a long time. YRK was not the only mate to be out foraging for a longer period. There are several others now that have been away for 13 days. The rangers believe it is because there is a marine heatwave around parts of New Zealand and Australia at the moment. These are extreme weather events that used to occur periodically and now happen 4 to 5 times more often. In this instance, it is extreme heat, not cold. This might have meant that the fish were not located where the birds predicted they would be and they had to go further to forage.

YRK flew in at 14:43 New Zealand time to the sheer delight of OGK. The morning calm gave way to strong winds with lots of Albies flying in at mid-afternoon. Maybe some of the others who have been at sea for so long are among them.

Who says that birds do not smile or have emotions? Just look at OGK’s smile. If you know of anyone that feels that way, you should show them this beautiful pair of Royal Albatross getting reacquainted with one another after 15 days!

Here she comes and he is smiling.

Who says all landings have to be perfect!

Oh, that must feel good to OGK. It is called Allopreening. Preening is when a bird cleans their feathers and allopreening is when they do it to another. It looks like a nice head massage to me!

OGK does some allopreening.

It is much better in a video clip! OGK knows that YRK is arriving before we see her. He immediately begins to do sky calls. What a devoted couple!

This morning Bazza woke up and ate the fish tail that was left over from the previous evening’s fish. Later, Falky arrives at the nest and waits like Bazza normally does for a delivery. Falky got lucky! He mantled that fish for a long time fearing that one of his brothers would fly in and take it away.

In the image below Falky is doing a perfect mantle. He has his wings apread out and down along with his tail so that others cannot see if he has a fish or not. It also helps him protect his food.

There is at least one sibling about and I think it is Bazza. Falky has a time trying to walk with that fish on his talons.

Falky eventually moves the fish over on the ropes where he finishes it off. Meanwhile Bazza is on the nest hoping for a delivery. He might have to wait all day. The parents are delivering fewer and fewer fish to the lads believing it is time that they are out fishing for themselves.

Ervie has not been seen on camera. That does not mean that he is not on the barge somewhere; he has not been on the nest begging for food which tells me that Ervie has been doing some fishing and is out finding his own meals. Hopefully he will return to the nest one more time so we can see that handsome bird. If not, surely the locals will follow his tracker and submit some images of Ervie out living the life of a young Osprey.

At the three Bald Eagle nests I have been monitoring, the eaglets are all well fed and they are doing great. Some of you will have noticed that E19 has been much less aggressive to E20. Normally, the beaking/bonking stops during the second week. The eaglets can support their heads and their focus is better. By this time, they have also learned that food is available and stable – everyone gets fed.

Harriet and M15 thought they would get a chance to have a meal with some of those tasty leftovers on the nest but, guess what? E19 and 20 woke up! Those two seem to be sleeping or eating, eating or sleeping.

Look at how big those wings are getting. Those two can scramble up that nest bowl if they want! E19 did take a tumble backwards today allowing E20 to really chow down but, there are no worries here. Everyone is fed and happy, even Mum and Dad.

M15 is really good at feeding the babies.

Both the eaglets at Hilton Head and Miami-Dade are also doing well.

Eggs were being rolled up at The Hamlet today. Gabby was busy aerating the nest bowl and rolling them around.

That nest looks nice and soft.

She is listening.

Oh, the next two weeks cannot pass quick enough! So excited for the hatch on NEFlorida’s Bald Eagle nest. I have quite the soft spot for Samson and his mate.

Jackie visits the nest that holds much hope for her and her mate, Shadow, up at Big Bear, California this morning. It is a beautiful crisp winter’s day in northern California.

All is well in Bird World. It is such a relief to see YRK back on the nest and OGK flying out to sea. The rangers will return the egg and remove the dummy later today, probably. It is always good to have wonderful news. They had hydrated OGK this morning so he is also good if it takes him awhile to find fish with the unusually hot weather.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.

E20 is a pistol

Social media is filled with pictures of Harriet and M15’s two little eaglets. Those eaglets are adorable.

The meaning of the word ‘pistol’ describing someone is a compliment. It means that they are full of surprises. And, so it was today, that E20 showed him or herself to be a ‘pistol’ when it provoked the first round of beaking on the nest at the 07:04 feeding, its first! It happened again at 09:04 and Lady Hawk caught it in a video for us.

Those eaglets are sure cute even when they have fish juice running all over them.

No problem opening wide. The eaglets are eating some nice fresh fish flakes today and loving it.

Look at the size of that bite. I think that is E19 up at Harriet’s beak.

Harriet always makes sure that each of the babies are fed. She is a very experienced and excellent Bald Eagle Mum. She also knows when to put her foot down on the nonsense – she just casually goes over and gets on top of both of them. Sometimes they will miss a meal if she decides they need too. Often M15 will step in and they will tandem feed the youngsters. That is the best!

Wonderful dad, M15 on guard.

Another example of fishing line! This hawk was really lucky. Around a river or lake and you see fishing line – help clean it up! We owe it to them. — In order to help we need to be ready. It helps to have a very sharp pair of scissors, a box, some garbage bags, and gloves in the trunk. Of course, you can add to that. A fishing net is great along with old towels to help the birds not get so stressed.

I am so proud of the three juveniles at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. I just went to check on them and Falky tries fishing. I recorded it for you. He will dive from the right ropes into the water and he will do several flybys before landing pack on the ropes. Oh, they are sure trying.

I want to close with a beautiful video of Xavier and Diamond bonding in the scrape box. Nothing more precious than seeing a pair of raptors confirming their togetherness. It was a hard season for them with the loss of Yurruga and the other two eggs not being viable. We wish them the best for next year.

It seems like today is a day of videos instead of images. I hope that you enjoyed them.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. Enjoy little E19 and 20. We will be at the clown feet stage before we know it.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen and video captures: SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

New Zealand’s falcon, the Karearea

It is almost the end of November and in about 25 days there will be at least one bobble head, if not two, on the Fort Myers, Florida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15. Bald Eagles are strikingly beautiful – the gorgeous pure white head of the adult with that large bright yellow beak, espresso brown body plumage and watery light blue eyes. The hatchlings are just as adorable with their light grey down. They are called ‘bobble heads’ because they do not have the strength

While we are waiting for those eggs to hatch in Florida, there is a new streaming cam focused on a small New Zealand falcon, the Karearea.

Wikimedia Commons

They are adorable. Thanks Sharon Dunne for mentioning this new cam. The chicks are delightful! Here is the link:

Here is a short video of the chicks trying to get settled in the nest cup.

The Kareara are indigenous to New Zealand. At present, they are very vulnerable. They believe that there are between 5-8,000 birds in the whole of New Zealand. Their threats are loss of habitat, cats, mustelids (they are like wolverines), and hedgehogs. Hedgehogs like their eggs.

The falcons have also been found on several islands but, the area with the highest population is the Kaingaroa Forest between Rotorua and Taupo on New Zealand’s central North Island. You can see Taupo on the map above. The Kaingaroa Forest is the largest forest plantation in New Zealand and is the second largest forest in the Southern Hemisphere. It is 190,000 hectares. The first trees were planted in the early 1900s. They are harvested for the construction industry.

“Kaingaroa Forest” by russellstreet is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Wikimedia Commons

The adults are 40 cm and 50 cm in length. Like almost all raptors, the females are larger than the males.

Wikimedia Commons

In fact, the female can weigh almost twice as much as the males who weigh between 240 g and 350 grams. The females are between 410 g and 720 grams. They cannot fly nearly as fast as the Peregrine Falcons but the Karearea do reach speeds of up to 100 kmh. They are also capable of catching prey that is larger than they are. Wow! They do not eat carrion (dead animals). Their diet consists of mammals, lizards, birds, and insects. These small falcons hunt by watching from a high point flying fast, grasping the prey with their talons and then killing it with a bite to the neck.

Wikimedia Commons

Oh, I hope that you enjoy these adorable little falcons. It is a perfect time to watch them. The Port Lincoln lads will be taking the fish deliveries off the nest to eat them soon. Ervie has already tried fishing and last night he slept on the post not in the nest. He is growing up! No word yet on who will be the Royal Cam family and Cilla Kinross is planning to hunt in unexpected places for Yurruga. And one of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Gabby and Samson, have been working on their nest. Oh, they are a stunning pair.

Gabby on the left and Samson on the right. Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest, Jacksonville.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF and Southwest Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the D Pritchett family.

Saturday in Bird World

Are you having Peregrine Falcon withdrawal since the Collins Street kids and Yurruga fledged? Did you know that there are a pair of falcons living in Baltimore, Maryland that do not migrate? Their names are Barb and Boh. Barb will lay her eggs in March (normally) but for now the camera is live every day! The history of the scrape is located on the web cam page.

Urban hawks are very fascinating as are the amount of wildlife that exist in the very large urban parks such as Central Park in NYC. I always recommend this site. There are some good videos on Cedar Waxwings and the Peregrine Falcons as well as the RTH’s. The blog is run by Bruce Yolton who is extremely knowledgable. Check it out if you are interested in how wildlife survives in some major cities like New York.

https://www.urbanhawks.com/

There is also an Osprey streaming cam in Maryland that you should have on your radar. It is the home of Tom and Audrey 2 on the property of The Harrison Family.

This Osprey family, Tom and the original Audrey, were the subject of a book full of wonderful images, Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. The images and text are for year 2015 when Tom and Audrey became adoptive parents – twice! The story is as good as the images showing the arrival of the two chicks to the nest and then, a little later, another chick lands on the nest and wants to be part of the family.

The eggs of Tom and Audrey are determined to be non-viable. The eldest two nestlings are removed from a nest with four chicks. Imagine Audrey’s surprise when she returns to her nest from a break to find not three eggs but two chicks and an egg. It is a very heart-warming story!

One of our readers asked if I would share some information from that big book on Australian birds of prey – and the answer is definitely yes! It is too difficult to find that volume and too expensive to purchase but, oh so wonderful to share! We will work our way through Australian birds of prey!

The latest news on two peregrine falcons that we are watching – Grinnell, the mate of Annie at UC-Berkeley’s Campanile – and Yurruga, the recent fledge at Orange is no news. The last posting from UC Falcons is that the interloper male appeared briefly on the ledge and was greeted by Annie. It was raining in Orange. Diamond and Xavier were about but Yurruga was not seen. He could be in the trees staying quiet out of the weather. Perhaps he will be spotted today.

The boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are doing fine. Bazza decided to be a little aggressive when he received one of the morning fish deliveries from dad. Afraid that Ervie might steal his late breakfast, Bazza decided to mantle and then thrust himself at Ervie just to make sure Ervie understood.

Bazza was very quick to protect its fish and mantle Ervie. The mantling is not the problem it is that beak. They can do a lot of damage to one another if they decide that is what is necessary.

Bazza finally settles and goes back to eating his fish.

Later. All is forgotten. Simply beautiful fledglings. Falky is on the right, Bazza with his great crest is on the left and Ervie is behind with his sat-pak.

Someone said that Falky had a wing or feather injury but I can see nothing to indicate that in these images. Falky is definitely one beautiful elegant bird. He has really come into himself in terms of flying. I also hear rumours that Ervie is trying his hand at fishing. Wonderful!

Just beautiful. Sometimes I just stare at these three boys. What joy they gave to us this year. I wish each had a sat-pak because we get so attached to them and then – poof. Nothing. What happened? Rather than think things are well, I like to know. If something happens, then we need to deal with it. Like Solly’s electrocution. Put the protectors on the poles. It is simple.

As we prepare for Bald Eagle season, I want to stop and say that there are so many many nests. You have your favourites and I have mentioned mine in the last few days. Some of the first eggs that will hatch belong to M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers on the property of the D Pritchett family. Those eggs are set to hatch from the 25-28 of December. They are an experienced family with little trauma – the GHOW being the exception. If you are after an eagle family to watch, SW Florida should be your first go to this season. There are three cameras. You can find the others on YouTube.

Ithaca, New York is the same temperature as the Canadian prairies today, 0. Yes, it warmed up and the sun is out! Ferris Akel’s tour is live at the moment. He is on Wildlife Drive and it is snowing but he did find some beautiful swans.

If you are reading this at the right time you can still join the tour. On Thursday Ferris found Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus. Maybe he will do the same today!

I am also happy to report that so far, knock on wood, Dyson has not found the new feeder for Little Woodpecker! Yippee.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have a marvellous Saturday. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Ferris Akel.