Wednesday Morning in Bird World

23 March 2022

Many of you have been watching the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida along with me. It is the home of Lena and Andy and their chicks. The oldest sibling, Big Bob, passed away on the 15th of March around 08:39. This was a shock to everyone as all of the osplets appeared to be in good health. Big Bob’s body was take to the University of Georgia at Athens where a necroscopy was undertaken because CROW did not have the sophisticated equipment to conduct the tests. It was originally anticipated that the cause of Big’s death would be know at the end of that week. it has been announced that the tests are now being run by a national laboratory with even more sensitive testing equipment than the UGA Vet School.*

Andy, Lena, and the two remaining chicks are doing very well. Little’s plumage is almost catching up to Middle’s and they are relatively equal in size. Gorgeous Ospreys.

Andy is arriving with a morning Mullet appetizer at 08:14:57.

Look at those beautiful ‘babies’. Middle is on the left and Little is on the right.

Andy is off to get a bigger fish so he can eat the head and have some breakfast, too. He brought in the tiny teaser Mullet in tact. Look at the back plumage. Soon we will have difficulty telling the two chicks apart.

At the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, Arthur flies in to relieve Big Red at 06:40. He already has her breakfast waiting for her and she is off!

Arthur got to incubate their eggs for about forty-minutes before Big Red returned to take over.

Big Bob and Middle Bob had a really good feed yesterday morning at the Dale Hollow Nest. That Coot that filled both of them up to the brim and more was a blessing since it appears that nothing came on the nest but a small unidentified object (rat? small squirrel skin?) later. That said, the camera was diverted to the lake in the early evening. It appears – but I cannot confirm 100% – that River was digging in the nest at the time. It also appears that she found Little Bit’s body and fed it to Big. Again, I cannot confirm that for certain. It was only by going back and slowly moving the feed that we were able to catch the momentary checks on the nest.

Both were very hungry this morning and Big let it be known that whatever was coming in, he ate first. The parent arrived empty taloned.

A little later the parent returned and fed the unidentified object to the right of it above to Big. Middle did not venture up to even sniff the prey knowing that Big is very hungry and not in a good mood.

I will monitor the Dale Hollow nest again before I finish and bring any updates below. I find myself returning to the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Thunder looks on with pride last evening as Akecheta feeds the three eaglets. We are all so proud of how far Akecheta has come – a doting, loving, protective Dad at age six. I also like to point out that the smallest chick on the West End nest is 4 days younger than the oldest. The youngest chick at Dale Hollow was only 3 days younger than the oldest.

This is an amazing image!

The eaglet on the Big Bear Valley nest was left alone this morning as Jackie and Shadow appeared to be on high alert.

While everyone is anxiously awaiting and mapping the return of the UK Ospreys on charts, graphs, and maps, thousands are awaiting the arrival of the oldest female Osprey in the world, Iris, from her winter migration. Her spring and summer home is the Clark-Fork River area of Missoula Montana and her nest is on a platform a parking area of the Riverside Clinic. Workers have been busy putting up fencing so no one will get too close to the nest and frighten Iris away.

At the SWFlorida nest of Harriet and M15, E20 officially fledged yesterday, the 22nd of March.

E20 had fludged after E19 fledged on the 21st. Congratulations to the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest for two successful fledges and a fantastic year. Thank you to the D Pritchett family for caring so much for their eagles and for allowing us to enjoy watching their daily lives.

At the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian, the parents are celebrating the successful hatch of chick # 2 at 08:47 this morning, the 23rd of March. Chick #1 hatched on the 20th.

In the wee hours of the Morning at the WRDC nest in the Miami Zoo, R1 was accidentally pushed off the nest. I have no further news on the status of R1 at this time. Will update later if there is news.

R1 was spotted at the base of the tree. It then flew – yes, flew! – to an adjoining tree! R1 is fine. Not to be left behind, R2 the only eaglet on the nest at 12:30 is appearing to want to join its sibling. Wow. This is all good news!

The surviving oldest eaglet on the Duke Farms nest is continuing to do very well.

Lots of people are busy watching the Sauces Bald Eagle cam hoping for that pip! Jak and Audacity are getting anxious, too!

It was announced that there will be a live chat with Dr. Sharpe today on bald eagles on the islands, restoration, nesting, at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific on the Live Chat Channel https://youtu.be/4nSIhl1fOFk

I want to end this here so that you have an opportunity to know about Dr Sharpe’s talk.

It is 11:37 nest time at Dale Hollow. No prey brought in yet. Middle flapping its wings.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. I will have a late report today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Redding Bald Eagles, Explore.org and the Institute of Wildlife Studies, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Duke Farms, Friends of Big Bear Valley, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, WRDC, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey project, and Dale Hollow Eagles.

Friday Morning in Bird World

04 March 2022

I am certain that Jackie and Shadow would have liked the weather up in the San Bernardino Mountains to be warm and sunny – not a heavy snowfall overnight and snow showers for later today. Still, Shadow had a fish on the nest in anticipation of feeding a chick or Jackie and all is well.

What a beautiful image of a happy Mum, Jackie, and chick 1. The chick was fed at 08:05 for the first time from the fish on the nest.

This image should bring tears to thousands.

Shadow has been wanting some time with the baby but last I looked Jackie was still not accommodating him. Hopefully he will go out and stock from fish on the nest – a little, not enough to attract a mass of Ravens.

Jackie knows that she must keep the baby warm in the cold and wet weather. She will have it out eating only a very, very short time. Once hatched, the chicks can survive on the egg yolk they have absorbed for 24 hours.

What a beautiful couple. I wonder how many sticks Shadow is going to bring in to the nest in his nervous happiness?

Beautiful. The love this family has for their little one and the joy of nearly 9 thousands people watching brings light to a world so weary.

It has all paid off, Shadow.

While Jackie and Shadow adjust to being parents for the first time in three years, Arthur and Big Red are preparing for their sixth breeding season together. They have both been working on the nest this morning now that the snow has melted.

Arthur just loves to work on the nest cup. I sure hope Big Red lets him have some more incubation and brooding duties this year. She is overly careful when it comes to those eyases!

Big Red sits on the lights fluffed up looking out on her territory. Oddly, this is also one of her favourite places for mating. Is she giving Arthur a hint today???

The three osplets at Captiva had a striped fish early this morning, the Sheepshead. What a strange name for a fish! It is noon there now and Lena would love another delivery. In the blink of an eye I saw Andy fly out to the water, I wonder if he was lucky?

That is Big Bob peeking out from under Lena first thing in the morning.

Big Bob certainly had a nice crop after that feeding but Little Bob could have done with some more fish, for sure! Yesterday Big Bob was pecking at Little. Hopefully that will end soon.

Lena moves around the nest like a clock making sure the chicks are shaded. Andy, your family needs a fish!!!!!! Stock up today. Tomorrow is Saturday and all the boats will be out on the water.

At the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15, E19 has branched! It won’t be long til E20 is up on the Veranda with its sibling. Oh, how big they have grown. I remember the anticipation around Christmas at their hatch! That was not so long ago. E19 and E20 grew up in a blink.

The two chicks at Duke Farms seem to be doing well. Do you remember when E19 and 20 looked like this?

The baby is so tiny. Glad to see Mum feeding it and the other behaving.

Other Bald Eagle nests are continuing with their egg laying. There are now 2 eggs at the US Steel nest, and 1 at both Fort St Vrain and Fraser Point. No doubt there will be more news coming today. The folks at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest have reached out to the Audubon Society to help them with the predicament of the eggs at the nest in St Petersburg. Are there three eggs? have they fallen so deep because of squirrels working on the nest cup? have the three eggs been eaten by Ravens or other animals?

I have been hoping to see several dual feedings at the Dale Hollow Lake nest on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky of River and Obey. I have either missed them in re-wind or they haven’t happened. It was reassuring this morning to see that the wee babe was being fed after the twins were full.

Today is the day that the Cal Falcon team will be discussing the recent absence of Annie (she has returned) at 12 noon Pacific Time. If you are interested in peregrine falcons and the nest at The Campanile in particular, tune in if you can. You can find that session here:

Sean has indicated that he will be archiving the discussion immediately after it closes at the same link if you can’t make it. Thanks, Sean!

Thank you for joining me today. The joy at the Big Bear Valley nest of Shadow and Jackie has brought such a bright light to thousands. Please continue to send your warm wishes to them. This is just the beginning of their journey as a family – and there is one more egg to hatch! Fingers crossed. That said, if there is only one —— one is gold.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett.

Early Monday in Bird World

22 February 2022

The three osplets at the Captiva nest of Andy and Lena continue to do well. Their first meal of the morning came at 06:52:18 when Andy brought in a nice sized catfish. Although the two older siblings are bigger and eating more at each feeding, Little Bob seems to be doing fine. Here is a collage of images from this mornings fish and feedings.

That catfish got whipped around the nest bowl. The osplets are going to need to learn to duck when a fish comes in! This one had its head one and Lena struggled with it before feeding them as all of the Mums do with the catfish.

Everyone had some breakfast. Little Bob got himself turned around the right way!

It is 08:59 and the trio are eating again. Andy has returned the fish to the nest.

Lena is also struggling with the skin of the catfish. It is not yet suitable for the chicks. And Little Bob is really hungry this feeding!

Everyone had some fish and they will be nice and full and ready for a nap.

Lena ate everything including the lovely fish tail and skin. Nothing is wasted on an Osprey nest.

You should not worry if you tune in to watch Lena and Andy and their family and there are no fish on the nest. First, Andy is an excellent angler and secondly, if they leave fish on the nest it attracts predators. Those predators have killed their babies in the past. This family is now working very hard for that not to happen this year. Andy may also have a stash where he puts fish as well. But, do not worry if there is not a pile like you might see on a Bald Eagle nest – there are reasons for that not to be the case here at Captiva.

NE26 and NE27 are still waiting for a breakfast delivery. It is after 09:00 and Gabby and Samson have them in training for self-feeding. Here are some images of the two of them from this morning. The first one is synchronized preening. Those pin feathers coming in are very itchy.

Oh, you just have to feel sorry for them.

These two are now completely covered with dark thermal down except for a few remaining dandelions on the tops of their heads.

The last remains of the natal down. It is hard to believe but in a week they will be covered with feathers coming in.

Sleepyhead.

There were two feedings at the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita in Miami. R1 and R2 are covered with juvenile feathers. They are steady on their feet and their wings are as wide as the nest now. They self-feed and the adults also come in and fill them up. The feeds so far have been at 06:49 and 08:44.

I don’t know if it is just the camera angle but this nest looks very precarious at the front side.

E19 and E20 at the nest of Harriet and M15 are spreading their wings and sitting on the rim of the nest as well as working on their self-feeding. They are the oldest of this group of eaglets followed by the pair at the WRDC nest.

Visitors to the nest area can see the eaglets above the sides of the nest peering out to the world.

Sleeping duckling style.

The first breakfast for Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald eagle nest of Anna and Louis was at 06:49.

At 08:21:20 Louis arrives with a small fish. Kincaid immediately grabs it and wants to self-feed but is having some difficulty. He is going to need some help unzipping this fish. Kincaid is getting the same lessons that NE26 and NE27 are having – let him try and then Mum or Dad will come along and feed. The chick will observe how they open up the fish and hold it with their talons.

Anna arrives and begins to feed Kincaid.

While Anna is feeding herself and Louis (Anna loves to eat), Louis arrives with another fish and begins to eat it on the nest.

Louis is known for his excellent angler skills. Last week he brought 20 fish to the nest in a single day. I wonder if he is going to try for 10 or more today?

Big Red and Arthur have been flying in and out of their nest on the Fernow Light Stand at Cornell University this morning. They are making quick work of the 2022 nest. Greenery is even beginning to appear.

Here is Big Red landing at 09:34:26. She is in really good shape to be a 19 year old hawk!

Big Red is watching for Arthur.

She flies off and Arthur flies in with more twigs. Now Arthur is peering out looking at Big Red.

They are going back and forth delivering materials. I wonder if this will go on all day?

Big Red and Arthur are adorable. Arthur is lining the nest cup with soft foliage.

This feverish pace is making me wonder if they might have eggs on this nest the middle of March. It is looking good. Stay tuned!

Port Lincoln has posted an update for Ervie. He was hanging around one of the local coffee shops yesterday. They are really hoping that people will take lots of images of Ervie and submit them to them so they can put them on their FB page.

Dad visited the PLO barge yesterday at least twice. Sadly, he never connected with Ervie. There is always today! It looks to me like Ervie is not moving out of the main area around the barge.

Thank you so much for joining me today. There is no snow for us but we are once again in an extreme cold warning area with -30 C temperatures and bright sun. Take care! See you soon. I hope that each of you have a wonderful day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Window on Wildlife and Captiva Osprey Nest, NEFlorida and the AEF, WRDC, KNF, Cornell Bird Lab, and SWFlorida and D Pritchett Family.

Ervie and the fish

Before I begin, I want to thank ‘A-M’ for alerting me that Ervie had caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. I was not watching at the time and in my excitement to tell you, I forgot to thank her. My sincerest apologies. I always appreciate all of the news you send me, especially when I can only be in one place at a time! Thank you ‘A-M’.

Yes, Ervie caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. It was magnificent and happened at 13:37:14. Ervie had to be so excited.

Ervie was so proud of his fish and rightly so. Indeed, he was so happy that he wasn’t paying full attention. And the fish was still alive. Yes…if you are thinking fluttering fish on nest, you have it. Ervie was a bit shocked when the fish started moving away and fell into a hole at the top right of the nest!

There is Ervie looking down that hole in amazement. It ate his fish!

Everyone had faith that Ervie, the chick who could dig out old fish tails from the nest, would be able to retrieve his fish ——- and he did!

Well done, Ervie. Today you gained some confidence and you learned a lesson – pin your fish down hard while you eat it!

The very curious thing is that Ervie, who was obviously hungry, did not gobble up his fish. He also walked around the nest like something distasteful was stuck to his foot. One of the knowledgable chatters suggested that it was a ‘toadfish’ and that maybe he didn’t like the taste of it.

So what is a toadfish? The Common Toadfish grows to approximately 15 cm or 6 inches in length. The fish is actually covered with some prickles which could account for why Ervie didn’t like it stuck to the pads on his feet. They are found along the coasts in shallow water and sometimes bury themselves in sand with only their eyes showing. The fish is toxic to humans who, if they consume the fish can die of respiratory failure. It carries the same neurotoxins in its tissue as the Blue-ringed Octopus or the Pufferfish. Those toxins are Tetrodotoxin.

I asked a biologist if this could harm the transfer of information from Ervie’s nerves to his muscles and they were unclear as to the impact. Perhaps the toxins do not harm the sea hawks like they do humans. Still, as my grandmother would say, it is a good thing Ervie did not like the taste of the fish and didn’t finish it just in case. Over time, Ervie will discover the fish that are good to eat and those that aren’t.

“Tetractenos hamiltoni Common toadfish has a deadly secret #marineexplorer #underwatersydney” by Marine Explorer 

Dad watched his son closely. At 17:52, he brought Ervie a nice fish to eat. Thanks, Dad!

Dad has a nice crop. It looks like he made sure that the fish was dead by eating its head before delivering to our sweet boy.

Ervie has spent the night in Dad’s shed hanging on to Dad’s favourite blue rope sleeping.

Other Bird World News: The Ravens came to attack the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Shadow was not home. Jackie defended the nest of two eggs valiantly. This will not be thee last time they come. They know there are eggs in there and Jackie and Shadow are going to have to be vigilant! It is believed that E20 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 has officially started self-feeding. Jean-Marie Dupart has counted 220 Ospreys at the Langue de Barbarie Park in Senegal. This is a record! Ferris Akel will be hosting his birding tour of the area around Ithaca today starting around 1pm Eastern time. Go to YouTube and Search for Ferris Akel Tour Live. For those fans of E19 and E20, they are some of the feature wildlife that are in CROW’s 2022 calendar. The calendars are now 50% off. Here is the link to order: https://bit.ly/2022CROWCalendar There is no news on Bella at the NCTC nest. She has not returned to the nest since the last time she was seen injured on 1 February. The search party was not able to find her. The new female and Smitty have been exchanging fish on the nest. We are on egg watch for the Redding Eagles. Lots and lots happening. The poor weather seems to have moved out of the nest areas!

This is Pittsburgh-Hayes a few minutes ago. We are on egg watch there, too.

The sun is shining down and the snow is melting in Ithaca for Big Red and Arthur.

Not-so-little Kincaid has a big crop this morning at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. The thermal down is coming in nicely and just look at those big feet! Oh, you are growing way too fast Kincaid.

It is a cloudy day on the Canadian Prairies. No snow warnings and it is now a balmy -15 C. Someone asked me how we stay warm. For the most part, the houses in Canada are well insulated with double or triple pane windows. Central Air is pretty standard. We pay very high heating bills (very high) in the winter even if our homes are insulated well and have great windows if the extreme cold weather lingers for several weeks. Smart persons really bundle up before going out in -35 degree weather. Coats, boots, ski pants all rated to -35 or -45 help tremendously along with gloves and toques (knit hats). I prefer the dry snow over the wet – that makes you cold to the bone!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Pix Cameras, Cornell Bird Labs, and the KNF Bald Eagle nest.

Bald Eagle Season is approaching

As Bald Eagle season quickly approaches, I am reminded that everyone has a few favourite eagle nests. Some like to cheer Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear while others like Harriet and M15 at the Southwest Florida nest or Samson and Gabby at the Northeast Florida nest. Others love Mr and Mrs North at the Decorah Eagles, the Pittsburg-Hayes or the new couple, Anna and Louis, who had the first eagle fledge from a nest in Kisatchie National Forest since 2013, last year. I could list so many because there are so many streaming cams on Bald Eagle nests in the United States. It is their National Bird and there is a lot of patriotism surrounding some of the nests! Some individuals do not like to watch birds eating birds and mammals but, did you know that the diet of the Alaskan Bald Eagles is almost exclusively salmon? the same will apply to many of the Bald Eagles out in British Columbia. Bald Eagles eat what is in front of them; they are opportunists. So the diet will vary regionally. Sadly, they also eat carrion, dead animals, many of which are on the highways and the eagles get hurt or killed flying down to get the food or the remains left from hunters full of lead shot.

I caught up with a few of the Bald Eagle couples recently. Anna and Louis have returned to the nest they used in the Kisatchie National Forest. Cody and Steve have really worked on the camera situation and there is now sound, too. You have a broken screen showing the landscape and then another view looking directly down into the nest. Cody and Steve are part of the forestry staff. They also ‘man’ the chat. I am terribly grateful for their active involvement in the nest. They have worked hard to make it a fabulous viewing and learning experience for all of us. It was a real joy to watch the first time parents figure out how to parent a growing eaglet last year!

Samson and Gabby have been working on their nest for quite some time. It is comforting to wake up in the mornings and see them roosting on the branch together.

I use that word ‘comforting’ because at any moment something could happen to one or both of the adults. That is certainly the history of Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliet, who raised their young in this nest. So for both of them to show up every morning and every evening is simply – well, it takes a lot of weight off the mind. Of course, the same applies to all birds on all nests.

Here is a very short slide show that someone posted showing various stages of Legacy’s development last year. Legacy was such a sweetheart. Samson and Gabby did not hold back on the teaching. They had to be parents and siblings, too, so that Legacy would learn how to live in the world beyond the nest.

You may also remember all of the worries over Legacy’s survival when she got Avian Pox. It was a mild case and she not only survived but, also thrived. Legacy became a gorgeous strong fledgling.

Harriet and M15 are getting ready for another season. Harriet has been bringing in monstrous size sticks (someone referred to them as logs) to the nest in Fort Myers. I am so excited.

E17 and E18 were riots last year. I originally thought 17 was going to kill 18. You might recall they were sent to CROW for their eye infection and 17 had ‘time out’. I think the two of them in care for those five days melted everyone’s hearts. Harriet and M15 are old hands at raising chicks and when the pair got into too much bonking, both parents stepped in and fed one or the other. By the time the pair fledged, they were inseparable, best buddies.

Lady Hawk catches one of their first ‘rock’em sock’ems’.

Here they are as fledglings battling over a prey drop. There was not a dry eye in the house when these two finally flew away to find their own territory.

Harriet and M15 have been at the nest since September working on it for another year. What a beautiful couple!

If you have been watching the territorial battles going on at the Captiva Nest on Santibel Island in Florida, word has come that the former male adult, Joe, has reclaimed his nest. I cannot confirm this as none of the eagles have leg bands. That is what someone posted on the Bald Eagle 101 FB page.

I will have lots more Bald Eagle news in the days to come. There are also other birds beginning to get their nests ready for breeding season. Jack and Diane have been at the Captiva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida and the Royal Albatross are arriving at Taiaroa Head, NZ. There are now 80 adults there. One of the founders of the colony was Grandma and this is a lovely video on the importance of her to the present and future of the colony.

https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/grandma-1990/credits?fbclid=IwAR2AwcNqLyVQ_lqyb2wxAYmfoU0Ohzg3aXVHWLF3AvrHpl2D4TFZJkhxfgA

A quick check on the Australian falcon nests show that all are doing fine. The Collins Street Four run up and down the gutter. As a result their legs are getting really strong. Diamond continues to get Yurruga to stretch for food so that she will strengthen her neck. At the 12:23:40 fish drop on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, Little Bob didn’t think he wanted any food at first. Then he changed his mind and went barreling in between Middle and Big so he could get to Mum’s beak. Neither of them blinked. This nest is so civil! Ringing will take place sometime during the first week of November and one or all three will be fitted with a GPS satellite tracker. (I was told all three awhile ago).

For those who want to see the Season of the Osprey, this is a reminder that it is showing in the US tomorrow. Please check your local stations for the correct time in your region.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Have a great day wherever you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, SWFlorida and the Pritchett family, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.