14 March 2022
I hope that each of you had an excellent start to your week.
The temperature was around +2 C in Toronto, with light snow this morning. It was a marvellous day for a walk and a trek to try and locate some ducks. There was no need for anything exotic – any duck would do when I set out. One of the advantages of being in a large City is your transportation options. I love the Toronto subway system (any subway system for that matter) and often dream of living where there is no need to own a car! Toronto has an extensive subway system that took me right to High Park on West Bloor Street rather swiftly.
There are 400 acres of parkland, a small zoo and Grenadier Pond, several restaurants, and playgrounds. The terrain is mostly rugged as opposed to manicured and everywhere you can hear birds singing and see squirrels scampering about.
Every where you looked there were magnificent old trees. Stunning.
The view from the top trail down to the path along Grenadier Pond.
It was a jaunt – from High Park Station at the top to the bottom and back up again along a path by the pond. The dials on my iPhone for ‘activity’ were undoubtedly spinning. The terrain is undulating and incredibly beautiful. The cherry blossoms in the spring rival many other destinations.
One difference is in the species of squirrels. Toronto has these rather amazing Black Squirrels! (They also have the Red Squirrels, the Eastern Greys, and rare white squirrels in Bellwood’s Park).
The Black Squirrels are Eastern Grey Squirrels. They are black because of a genetic anomaly that will not allow their fur to turn grey! Toronto is full of them! If you come to Toronto, the largest population of Black Squirrels seems to be in Queen’s Park.
Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Red-wing Blackbirds, Starlings, and House Sparrows were in the park. Trying to get them to stay still long enough for a photo was another matter! The quest was, however, to find ducks! If you find yourself in High Park, the place to see the ducks is Grenadier Pond. It was quite iced over today, so there was not the normal variety paddling, but there was some!
There were American Black Ducks, Mallards, and two insistent Canada Geese. They wanted food – NOW!
Posted in clear sight was this sign. Every place where humans are allowed to fish should have signs like this.
It was a wonderful time despite the wintery weather. I highly recommend it if you visit Toronto and are looking for a beautiful park to relax. You can also rent bikes, enjoy a meal, see some animals in a small zoo, and check out the waterfowl.
Monday morning M15 landed on the SWFlorida eagle nest with a rabbit for the Es. It was a flurry of pulling and tearing and it appears that each eaglet got some food. The time was 10:05.
Our ‘Dad of the Year’ has had to contend with more intruders including a juvenile/immature and a rather aggressive female with injured talons (could be the one that has been at the pond and at the top of the tree). She jumped into the nest wanting the fish M15 was feeding E22 but, today, he got rid of her! Well done, Dad. There was another owl strike and even a car accident at the nest. What a guy!
[The eaglets shared a rabbit, 21 got a rat, and 22 is being fed this fish on Monday].
It is E22 that is getting fed.
The female wasn’t happy but she went up to the branch.
Oh, the Es are so wet.
M15 paid a late visit to the nest. At first, he found pieces of fish and ate without offering anything to the eaglets. E22 was, of course, squeeing. The Es got some bites, and the nest is cleaned up. I wonder if Dad had much to eat today.
Abby and Victor are doing great. They are eating well and giving each other grief! Lots of grief. Sally just lets them go at it.
Abby climbed out of the egg cup—well fed osplet with that fat little bottom.
Their little tails are starting to develop as they move from the light grey down nestlings to looking like dinosaurs with their oily heads.
Sweet little babies when they are asleep.
Please take a look at the osplets below. The soft grey down on their heads is giving way to the black of that dark charcoal thermal down. Abby is on the right and Victor is on the left.
Harry brought a nice fish to the nest and didn’t count on the osplets fish begging. He turned around and fed Abby several bites while Victor called for bites, too. Sally took over and fed both of her hungry osplets.
At the WRDC nest of Ron and Rose, Rose has stayed on the nest all day as her very first eaglet is hatching. Proud Papa-to-be, Ron, brought Rose a fish for breakfast and then another one. He is teaching her – stay in the nest; your first baby is coming. What an exciting time and a privilege to witness this first-time eagle mom as her little one pecks away at that shell.
At 17:26, Rose is off the eggs and eating some fish. You can see the eaglet spreading the shell apart. Hatch is coming along quite nicely. No longer a single hole with a beak but now a crack around the egg that is getting wider and wider. So happy for Ron, who lost his mate Rose and was won over by this very young female who did not give up courting him! Many wondered if there would be eaglets at this nest so late. Send them all your good wishes, everyone. That little one will be fully hatched before most of those in Florida turn in for the evening.
HeidiMc has a video for us…much more interesting to see that beak moving that shell!
23:10. That shell is all crushed around the eaglet but it sure looks like it is mostly out!
Looks like it was completely out of the crushed shell around 07:44 Tuesday 14 March at WRDC. (The shell crushed just like the shells in Louisiana where the humidity is also high. Wee one had to work a little harder).
Oh, sweetness. Now to see how our first time Mum’s instincts kick in.
Ron is really happy!!!!!!
Take your calendars and mark them for 11 April. Pip/hatch watch for Annie and Lou at Cal Falcons scrape on The Campanile.
Now that Annie has finished laying eggs, Cal Falcon is looking for memes.
Oh, have a giggle!!!!!!!! 3x speed – wiggling and giggling to get those eggs under!
Fledglings are still returning to the Superbeaks’ nest. Sometimes they are fed by an adult, and at other times, they find fish left on the nest to eat. Everything seems to be going well with both eaglets flying in and out of the nest.
On Monday, Arthur delivered a nice squirrel treat to Big Red as she worked on their nest on the grounds of the Cornell campus. Big Red is my hero, and this year this Red-tailed Hawk turns 20. Eggs can be expected anytime.
The osprey platform of Maya and Blue, 33 at Rutland Water, has been busy today! Geemeff sent news of a peregrine falcon bringing prey to the nest, visits by Egyptian Geese, and finally, a Cormorant. Maya could arrive as early as tomorrow, and she will clear them off!
When Shasta died, Sequoia left the San Jose City Hall scrape. A new couple is bonding now. Everyone will have to keep an eye out for Sequoia, Annie and Grinnell’s son, and where he lands next.
The three surviving GHO owlets at the nest in Corona, California, are really filling up that basket! Look at those eyes looking up at Mum.
Owlvira pauses on the branch above the nest. This is where she will want the owlets to go when they branch. Voting for the names of the eaglets (including little Peanut) ends on Monday evening. So, today, the winning four names should be announced. I thought it was really nice that in respect of Peanut, they kept the fourth name in the listings.
At the nest of GHOs Bonnie and Clyde in Kansas, Bonnie has been nibbling on prey while giving her only owlet some air on Monday. Gosh you forget that those little ones were once soft and white!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, posts, videos, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘H’, ‘Geemeff’, Google Maps, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Moorings Park Ospreys, WRDC, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, Cal Falcons, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, Superbeaks, Cornell RTH, LRWT, Sharon Pollock and Raptors of the World, Corona California Owl Cam, and Farmer Derek.