Early Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

Oh, the torrential rain has finally stopped and the temperature is dropping. The Baltimore Orioles – who are arriving in droves and have arrived for the past week – are still with us eating jellies of all sorts and oranges by the dozen. What I have learned is that they will eat any kind of jelly including a lovely Danish Orange as well as the cranberry sauce jelly in a tin. They will also eat out of any type of dish! From tiny little sauce ones to cereal bowls. It doesn’t matter as long as it has jelly in it!!!!!!!!!! A neighbour told me they would eat applesauce as well. They certainly are beautiful birds but gosh they aggravate me. The males will bully the females from getting any jelly. I tried spacing the little bowls but, no. They are like all the Bigs – they see a whiff of a movement and they dart to make sure the smaller not so bright coloured female stays in the Lilac bushes! Can you hear me growling?

The Orioles will also eat anywhere. You do not need a fancy feeder for them although they sure make an impressive line including ones with a roof. I bought a small hanging one to test. The placement of the nails to hold the oranges is such that the birds have to duck under the large navel oranges to get to the jelly. I would not purchase one of these again despite Mr O’s approval. He finished off one orange half and then moved to the other side to finish off this half and finally most of the jelly.

Oh, look who finally got some jelly!

I was hesitant to check on the ND-LEEF nest this morning. 17 would have been without food for approximately 60 hours. The fishing had been bad because of the high muddy waters but also the Mum just seemed less inclined to feed the small eaglet. Seeing nests like this makes us all anxious and sad. To survive the third hatch – especially if they are small on a nest with two much larger siblings – really have to become super clever. They need enough energy to be tenacious when food does come on the nest ——– and sometimes they have to feed themselves when Mum won’t do it! This morning a miracle happened on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. No, the mother didn’t go out of her way to feed the small one. That said a fish was left on the nest. The two older siblings did not bother but little 17, without food for at least 60 hours, self-fed the entire fish. Yes, he ate the entire fish and passed out in a food coma. This is the moment when the heartbreak turns into a glorious celebration!!!!!!!!

Little 17 moved around hoping that Mum might feed him but she did not.

A fish was left in the middle of the nest. One of the big siblings did peck at it but nothing more. Take a good look at the size of that fish.

19 minutes later. Little 17 pulled the fish to the other side of the nest and started eating. The siblings did not bother him. He ate and ate and ate some more. Fast.

That is all that is left of the fish – that little bit. Little 17 is sleeping on a huge beach ball crop. Smile. He has lived another day. While we would like for him to have food at every meal it does not appear that it is going to happen on this nest with this Mum. Will she change her ways if he grows big? We will see. But for now let us wish for large chunks of fish to be left on the nest with the other two having eaten. Little 17 can easily feed himself. He is a pro! This is what is going to keep him alive. So wish for fish – extra fish!

Why do I saw fish? Unless it is a catfish where the eaglet has to fight with that bony head, it is easier for this wee one to eat the fish than fight with fur, etc on a squirrel and, I would rather because of Avian Flu that the birds eat anything but birds!

Happy Eagle Dreams Little 17. You have the attributes of a survivor.

As we also know, the female at the UFloria-Gainesville nest favours the largest, Big. There is a fish on the nest. Big has intimidated Middle for a second but Middle is doing snatch and grab and Mum even fed him a couple of pieces. The level of intimidation and harm is so much less now that Middle is bigger. Hopefully Middle will persist and get a good portion of that fish!

Yesterday Dr Sharpe and team banded the two chicks at the Anacapa Peregrine nest on the cliffs in the Channel Islands. Dr Sharpe is so kind to move the backpack so everyone can see. Notice how gentle the person is holding the chick and how relaxed the chick seems to be. The other one appears frozen – . There is a boy and a girl in the scrape. Tremendous!

The five eyases at the Manchester NH Peregrine Falcon scrape are being banded today!

No one wants to show their bling and I have not seen any posting on the genders, etc. yet.

A nice lunch has arrived for the five after their ordeal!

Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 had their first hatch yesterday. There is now a pip in the second egg. How exciting. I hope that they all hatch one after another! Here is a short video clip of Blue NC0 feeding the first Bob.

Robert Fuller posted an update on the Kestrel chicks. For those that do not know, Mother Kestrel was in an altercation. She had six chicks in the nest. She returned once and then has not been seen. Robert Fuller removed 3 of the smallest chicks to feed leaving Father Kestrel the 3 largest. Father Kestrel learned to feed his babies. The plan was to return the 3 small ones to the nest box when they were strong enough and hope all would go well. It has! Father Kestrel has proven he is up to the task of caring for all 6 of his babies – and Fuller’s intervention meant that those 3 little ones get a second chance at life.

Here is the announcement on Robert Fuller’s FB page today:

Three perfect little osplets in a row! Blue 33 has been on and off the nest bringing food and enjoying a chance to feed the chicks. Maya takes every opportunity she can to get fish into them and look how they are changing. Can you identify the hatch order from the back of their heads, from the plumage development? Look close.

If you said – from left to right – 3, 1, and 2 you are correct. The oldest, in the middle, is losing the soft grey down and getting that oily head of the Reptilian period. So is osplet 2 but not as much. 3 still has its soft down.

The only eaglet on the nest at Dale Hollow is Middle or DH15.

At the National Arboretum nest of Mr President, Lotus, and DC9 hints are being given about ‘branching’.

Middle Little O has been on and off the Captiva Osprey nest this morning hoping that Dad Andy will deliver a fish to the platform! Oh, how nice it would be if Little Mini O flew up so we could see her.

There is no word yet when Dr Sharpe will be going to ring Two Harbours 1. It should be soon.

If you checked on the West End amigos and saw only 2, you are experiencing Highlights on one of the cameras. They are all still on the cliff nest!

Go to this streaming cam:

So many nests, not ever enough time! Today though it was enough to see Little Bob at the ND-LEEF fed itself to the point of crop explosion. Feeling joyful and relieved.

Thank you for joining me today. It is Victoria Long Weekend aka May Long Weekend in Canada and there are probably Bank Holidays in the UK and elsewhere. Have fun, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, ND-LEEF, DHEC, Captiva Ospreys, NADC-AEF, LRWT, Peregrine Network, Robert Fuller, Scottish Wildlife Trust, University of Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Anacapa Peregrines and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Late Saturday in Bird World

14 May 2022

I get the most fantastic mail and have the most wonderful readers – you. Today, ‘EJ’ wrote to tell me about a nest that I might enjoy. I think you will love the heart warming story of this Kestrel family in North Yorkshire. Robert E Fuller has a number of web cams set up about his property. One of those is a Kestrel nest. This year the male and female had six chicks. Sadly, as EJ explains, the female got in a tussle with an owl. She returned to the nest only once after that. As you probably know, males are not so good at feeding chicks – that is normally the role of the female. What would happen to the six chicks? Robert Fuller took the three smallest to raise by hand. He left the three larger chicks in the nest. And guess what happened? Dad learned, after a little trial and error, how to feed his chicks!

This is a fantastic video. Look at the size of the chicks an see how the one horks own the snake. Incredible. I did not think they could do that at this age. Always learning something wonderful from the nests.

Dad is going to have to hunt during the day and stay with the chicks or nearby when the owls are out at night. They are still small and need protection. Send all your positive energy towards this great family. Oh, and the three small chicks are doing well. Google Robert Fuller on YouTube if you do not already subscribe.

Thank you, EJ. This is a really, really positive story – one that we need!

The UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys. ‘R’ sent me the dates for the three chicks today. Thank you so much! The eggs were laid on 27 Feb, 1 March, and 8 March. If I recall correctly that is the same difference between Solly and Tapps at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021. That did not end well – both chicks died of starvation and siblicide actions. Sad. According to the news article below, Big hatched on 5 April at 16:45 with Middle hatching the following morning, 6 April, at 10:00. The article was published on 8 April and they were still waiting for Little Bit to hatch.

This now makes Big 39 days old and Middle would then be 8 days old. In reality, Big is only 17 hrs and 45 minutes older than Middle. Look at them – Big is a ‘big’ female and Middle has to be a male but – we will look at them again nearer fledge. Fledging for Western Ospreys normally occurs from 7-8 weeks or 49-56 days. We will have a way to go – but it will fly by quickly!

There is a great article on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest that I just located. It has 13 images. Have a look. It is fascinating reading and many images you would not have seen!

https://www.gainesville.com/story/news/local/2022/04/08/live-webcam-captures-newborn-osprey-in-nest-at-uf/9503896002/

Around 16:20 Mum brought a fish to the nest. In the image below, Big is behind Middle. She raises her head and walks towards him. Mum will begin feeding Big.

Middle gets its head down in a protective pose.

Mum begins feeding Big.

By the time four minutes is up, Middle is on the opposite side of Mum screaming for fish.

Mum feeds Middle. I was shocked but – she has been better with feeding Middle the past couple of days. Middle is like Middle Little at the Captiva Osprey Nest ——- he is ‘very’ loud.

When the feeding was over Middle had a really nice crop!

‘R’ sent me a lot of maps and information on the places where Mum and Dad fish. I hope to get that organized for all of you for tomorrow or Monday.

This is Alden. He spent some time with the eyases this afternoon. You might recall that Alden brought in a moth and tried to feed the chicks yesterday. Today he just went in with them. They see a parent and think ‘food’. Alden did some ‘fake feeding’ but I think he is going to get the idea just like the Father Kestrel.

Cal Falcons made a 2 minute video of Alden visiting the chicks. It is funny. Alden, I love you!

There is no pip yet – that I am aware while I am writing this – at the Osprey nest of Richmond and Rosie in San Francisco Bay.

Watching birds incubate nests is like waiting for the paint to dry.

Nancy and E1 Harriet were just enjoying a nice meal as the sun begins to lower itself at the MN-DNR nest.

All of the nestlings were anxiously awaiting fish at the multitude of feedings they had today at the Manton Bay platform of Blue 33 and Maya. Gosh they are soooooo cute. The baby is at the far end.

Chase and Cholyn have made sure that Two Harbours 1 (TH1) was full to the brim today. Wow. That almost looks painful.

There is news from Denton Homes today. You will recall that the three nestling Bald Eagles died very quickly from Avian Flu. Dad later died of Avian Flu also. Surprisingly Mum who consumed the infected chicks survived. Today, Mum was seen with a new potential male mate. I did not catch it – but, life goes on. Well done, Mum.

Five full sleepy falcons at the Manchester, NH Peregrine Falcon scrape. Gosh, these parents must be awfully busy — and so much for being able to see the chicks if they are at the other end of the box. Looks like the wee ones have been decorating the mirrors! All five are well fed. No worries.

Falcons can be very loud but, I don’t think quite so loud as ospreys. The four in the nest in the Polish forest had a great feed yesterday. Have a look at what it is like to feed four bigger falcons. Wow.

My apologies to everyone at Utica Peregrine Falcons. I think that I posted the wrong image for Astrid and Ares’s scrape with their two chicks.

The site of the camera links also as a great blog about all the daily activities with the chicks and their parents. Here is the link to the several cameras that cover this nest in Utica, New York:

That is a very quick check a few of the nests we have been watching. It has been a busy day – cloudy, grey skies, rain, then cloudy. It was bird count day and it has been busy in the garden. I am shocked at how many oranges and jars of grape jelly Baltimore Orioles can eat! Of course, they are so cute.

He seems not to have been able to decide how best to get at that orange slice.

It was all a lot of fun.

Thank you for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, LRWT Manton Bay, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Friends of Utica Falcons, Dolina Baryczy Falcons, Cal Falcons, Denton Homes Eagles, Robert Fuller, Peregrine Networks, and Explore.org.