Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

16-17 April 2022

The garden rabbit, Hedwig, came for a visit this morning. He stayed under the peony bush for about an hour. Six years ago, a mother rabbit left her one month old baby, under that peony bush when it was blooming. The wee bunny lived on the seeds dropped down from the feeders preferring them to the grass or twigs. Whether or not this is the original Hedwig is, of course, questionable but, they all wind up being called Hedwig!

Hedwig often stays back underneath the square hanging feeder where the birds are generous in what they throw overboard. By coming and staying at the Peony Bush it allowed us to enjoy seeing him a lot better. Thank you, Hedwig! It is always nice to see you.

The youngest of the West End eaglets is back up with its siblings and Thunder and Akecheta thanks to Dr Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies who had gone up to repair the camera and wound up with a rescue to do as well.

The sun rained gold down on the three of them as it set on the Channel Islands.

Jasper had a tremendous fledge. No hesitation, just flew yesterday morning. She returned hungry and tired! Flying uses a lot of energy.

The AEF did a nice video capture of that first flight.

Jasper and Rocket seemed to be happy with one another’s company. It will not be long until Rocket fledges – indeed, he could be flying as I write this!

The Dyfi Osprey Project posted some excellent information on incubation and egg development for Ospreys this morning that I want to share with you. Did you know that each of the eggs is a little smaller and lighter than the first so they do not have to develop so long?

The little crackerjack at the University of Florida Osprey nest reminds me of Ervie so much. He isn’t intimidated at all by the big siblings and is right up there eating at the front most of the time.

Stop for a second and look at the heads of the two eldest and even Little Bit. They are starting to enter the Reptilian Phase.

That light coat of down is now giving way (10-12 days) to the darker wool down. They will have dark heads that look almost like they have been dipped in a vat of black oil soon. You will also notice the distinctive coppery colour to the back of the neck also. There will be a period of substantial growth between 15-30 days. In his book, A Life of Ospreys, Roy Dennis notes that blood feathers are often seen coming in at 21 days. Sadly, there is no information on when these wee ones hatched so we more or less have to go by their change in plumage.

The chicks are well behaved. There is another large chunk of fish this morning just like yesterday. All will be fed til they are full. This is a fantastic Mum! She feeds them slow and deliberate. She is quickly getting on the list of amazing Osprey Mums.

The wee chicks of Mr North and Mrs DNF have grown leaps and bounds. My goodness. Forget to check a nest for a couple of days and there is a complete change in development. It is a reminder to us of how fast these birds have to grow between hatching and fledgling!

The two eaglets of Liberty and Guardian still have some of that soft baby down, like the eaglets at Decorah North, on the top of their heads and are doing fantastic. It is so nice to go through the nests and find that all of the eaglets and their parents are OK especially with Avian Flu making its way around North America this spring.

Little Middle has decided to sleep on the remaining fish in the nest. Oh, goodness. Look at the size of that leg! Little Middle is doing very well. No worries.

If any of you were worried about the beaking going on at the MN-DNR nest about a week or so ago (time does fly by quickly), there really is no cause to alarm. Both of the eaglets are doing well. The nest survived the wind and the storm nicely and both were happy eating away this morning.

Cholyn and Chase’s wee babe at the Two Harbours nest in the Channel Islands is growing and doing well – as expected with these very experienced parents. I love the crib rails around the top of that nest. Wish we could get some made for the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta.

I know that many of you are Tom and Audrey fans from the Chesaepeake Conservancy Osprey nest. Did you know that there is a great book showing Tom and Audrey and their nest along with the fostering of chicks there? It is a remarkable story with oodles of images in a nice hardback binding.

Here is the link to Tom and Audrey’s streaming cam:

The Glaslyn nests are settled. Mrs G looks quite content today perched on the nest she shares with Aran.

Pip watch begins later this week for the first of Big Red’s four eggs!

Here is the information about the chat that opens on Monday the 18th for the Cornell Red-tail Hawk cam. All are welcome. The moderators are excellent and they keep the focus on the birds. They also post some very interesting historical and current information about the nest. Everyone is welcome.

This was really a hop and a jump around some of the nests late Saturday and early this morning. Everyone seems to be doing very well, indeed. Such a joy. Tomorrow we will learn the name of Annie’s New Guy. There should be some more eggs on those UK Osprey nests and I am personally looking forward to getting closer to pip watch for Big Red.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. Be kind to one another. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFL-Gainesville Ospreys, DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Chesapeake Conservancy, MN-DNR, Redding Eagles, Explore.org, NEFlorida-AEF, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

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.