Early Monday in Bird World

9 May 2022

As citizens of Manitoba, we are really learning about what it means to live on the floor of what was once Lake Agassiz —- in other words, a flood plain. Two more Colorado Lows are set to dump more water on a province that is flooded south of Winnipeg and north of Winnipeg. One big lake save for those communities who spent funds on creating their own dams. The loss is enormous but looking at it from a wildlife perspective, one has to wonder where all the deer, the nests, and the animals have gone. I have seen one image of deer walking along a railroad track that runs from Winnipeg to the US border trying to find dry land and food. That border is now closed as are many highways and even some bridges in my City. Years ago one of our Premiers decided to build what was teasingly called ‘Duff’s Ditch’. Well, everyone should be grateful to Duff Roblin for having that kind of insight. The City is mostly dry and safe.

There are few birds in the garden as the raindrops begin to fall on a grey day.

I am as nervous as Blue 33 (11) is as he comes in and off the nest at Manton Bay checking on Maya and the eggs. There are three. At one point you could only see two, has there been a hatch? So, we wait for confirmation one way or the other! I cannot see any egg shells so I suspect that pesky egg is hiding!

It is certainly time to begin checking on the Black Stork nests in Estonia and Latvia. There is something curious that I noticed which I suspect my friends in Estonia have known all along. Jan and Jaanika laid their eggs a whole month earlier this year than last. In 2020, the eggs were laid on 12 May, 14 May, 16 May, and the 18th of May. Hatch from 14-17 June. This year the eggs were laid on 15, 17, 19, 21 April, 23 and the sixth and final egg on 25 April! This is excellent – the timing. Last year the couple was so very late that Janika started her migration before the chicks had fledged. It was a very difficult time and the food for the chicks was supplemented by fish being brought to the nest by the wildlife specialist, J Kuze.

The Black Stork in Estonia is so rare that every effort is made to help them that is possible.

I am not a stork expert. It would seem, however, that the parents cannot support six storklings very easily and they will probably select the three strongest. But, we wait to see.

Here is the link to Jan and Jaanika’s streaming cam in Jogeva County, Estonia:

I also checked on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in the Karula National Forest in the south of Estonia. The eggs for this year were laid on almost the identical dates as last year. Those days were 24, 26, 29 April and 1 May. Hatch began in 2021 on 28 May.

This is the link to Karl II and Kaia’s nest in the forest.

Sadly, it appears that Grafs and Grafiene did not return to their nest this year in the Sigulda Region of Latvia. Did they not survive migration? or did they decide to locate their nest elsewhere? I do know the answer to this but I will try to find out.

There is only one osprey nest in Latvia. This year only the male returned, Theo. He tried to attract many females to his beautiful nest. It is hoped that a young female, tagged UV and an Estonian female, will stay with them. Mating was attempted this morning but UV was not receptive. Sadly, this nest is a bit haunted. None of the former chicks have survived due to goshawk predation.

Here is the link to the Kurzeme camera of Theo:

In comparison, the Osprey nest of Ivo an Iiris in Tarta County, Estonia has done well. All of the couple’s chicks fledged last year!

Pip watch will begin on the 21st of May. That is only 12 days from now. Here is a link to Ivo and Iiris’s streaming camera:

Gosh, Big Red is gorgeous. It is so hard to believe she is 19 years old. She is in such good shape this year. What a beautiful golden glow on her and the four eyases as a new morning wakes up on the Cornell Campus.

This is a great nest to watch! There is plenty of time to watch these eyases develop, fledge, and then learn to be a ‘hawk’. Arthur will teach them flying and hunting with Big Red joining in. There is nothing better than seeing the parents teach the chicks how to hunt a squirrel in a tree!!!!!!

The two eyases at the Red-tail Hawk at the Presidio Trust Building in San Francisco are doing fine. These two are really growing. Look at the size of that wing. Wow.

Peregrine Falcon chicks are doing well this morning, too. The chicks at the scrape in the tower of Chichester Cathedral just had their afternoon tea.

All five eyases were fed and happy this morning at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape.

Sleeping babies at Utica, New York scrape. Will the other eggs hatch? We will see.

Henry and Poppy do a great job taking care of their two chicks at the Cromer scrape. If you are interested in their day to day activities, there is a great blog with this nest that has images and comments of everything that happens on the nest. I will post it after the image of the chicks!

https://www.cromerperegrineproject.co.uk/post/cromer-peregrine-activity-log-08-05-2022

If you are wondering about the third egg at the U-Cal Berkeley scrape of Annie and Alden, don’t. It is non-viable. If it were going to hatch it would have happened on Saturday. What will they do with it? Incubate it, roll it around, or break it – or maybe Sean or Lynne will collect it for the museum when they clean the scrape.

Two healthy chicks are good. They are incredibly adorable.

All three eaglets are accounted for on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta.

TH1 at the nest of Chase and Cholyn is getting its blood feathers. There are a few lingering dandelions on the top of the head. It will not be long until this wee one looks like its cousins at the West End.

I checked on two nests in the East – PIttsburgh Hayes with its triplets and the National Arboretum nest. They are all awake and looking good this morning.

The three are beginning to fill up the nest!

Breakfast time for DC9. Looking good. There was a little concern earlier for DC9 because a bird had been brought on the nest as a prey item. Everything seems to be alright.

I want to leave you with a smile. A Canada Goose has chosen a planter on the deck of a Calgary, Alberta couple to lay its eggs three years in a row!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/a-calgary-couple-s-unusual-houseguests-return-every-spring-to-lay-eggs-in-their-planter-1.6445267?fbclid=IwAR0ofbF90vvx29SCgnb-y60yl1bmVOCUlRz_3iiz5Cs_CasPpui7bPNEof0

Lots happening today. Some exciting. Some sad. The youngest golden eaglet has been killed at the Estonian nest. It had been beaked by its eldest sibling earlier and prey became scarce and the oldest killed the youngest today. That was the Golden Eagle nest in the Soomaa National Park in Southwestern Estonia. As I mention often, the rate of siblicide is much higher in nests other than falcons and hawks.

Thank you for joining me on this rainy grey day in Manitoba. Take care everyone. See you soon – hopefully with a news of the first Osprey hatch in the UK!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LRWT, Eagle Club of Estonia, Latvian Fund for Nature, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Presidio Trust, Chichester Cathedral, Peregrine Networks, Utica Falcons, Cromer Peregrines, Explore.org, Pix Cams, and the NADC-AEF.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

4 May 2022

Gosh, it was sure nice to end the day on Tuesday seeing the Mum and the two osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest with huge crops.

Food coma for the kids and some fish leftover for Mum! Nice. I really hope that today turns out as good as yesterday for these two.

It really is unclear again what is going on this morning. A headless piece of fish was brought to the nest by the male around 09:00. He did not feed the youngsters. Middle was right up there hungry chewing on the edge of the fish. Once again he is looking around. Is it another day of intruders causing havoc with fish deliveries and feedings? Is Mum off chasing the interloper away?

The chicks ate well and went to bed full. Ideally they are fed more often and early morning would be ideal to keep them hydrated. This is also a nice size fish so everyone gets some.

We wait to see how this sorts itself.

Intruders or interlopers are causing mischief at the nest of Richmond and Rosie, still. Indeed, there were five! They have not let Rosie or Richmond alone this breeding season and soon there will be three osplets to feed.

Miss a day or two and there are more falcons hatching! There are four at the Salisbury Cathedral in the UK. Oh, so well-behaved and cute.

There are now five eyases at the Peregrine Falcon scrape in Manchester, NH. The three oldest all hatched on the 28th of April with the wee ones on 1 May and 2 May. Often all the eggs will not hatch, – but, they did this year.

They will all be fine.

It is 11:16 nest time and there have already been three feedings!

Here is a link to this camera at Manchester.

Nancy has been on and off her perch this morning at the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest. I have not seen a feeding. There appears to be a little food left on the nest for her and E1.

Lady Hawk did a tribute for Harry and E2 at the MN-DNR nest. He has now been away nearly a full 8 days. Another interloper/intruder is assumed. And another siblicide.

Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, has an egg. Right now she is just as happy as she can be! Sometimes go off in this fantasy that maybe Louis will actually help her this year and not just feed Star and her chicks at the baseball park.

I wonder what the status of the Clark Fork River is this year? You might recall that last year it was almost dry in places with lots of beautiful trout dying because of the hot water. I would love to give them some of our water if it would help! If only it were that easy.

The two Red-tail Hawks at the Presidio in San Francisco are fine this morning. They are a little itchy and both of them are waiting for breakfast.

Everyone is soaked at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest in Virginia. Our tiny eaglet of Martin and Rosa grew and is now self-feeding. Blink.

Prey delivery for the eaglet came at 09:07.

The Pittsburgh-Hayes triplets are drying out after being soggy yesterday like the Dulles-Greenway eaglet.

Spirit is getting almost as big as Mama Jackie! What a gorgeous nest they have at Big Bear Valley.

Do you remember sitting and holding your breath wishing that the egg would hatch successfully after Jackie and Shadow not having any chicks for two years? Now look at her. Spirit did hatch and it was 3 March. She is 62 days old today! Wow. Not ready to fledge but getting there. In California, the average age for fledging is 12 weeks. This also depends on the amount of prey, the sex of the eaglet, and the timing of the hatching.

There is an excellent report on the different times of hatching and fledging for Bald Eagles by latitude. Go to avianreport.com/baby-bald-eagles

One of the eaglets is self-feeding at the West End and doing a pretty good job of it. Looks like Kana’kini to me as she is larger than Sky or Ahota.

River brought a fish in and fed the two eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest. Big is really beginning to flap its wings while sitting on the railing. 66 Days old.

Most of us can’t be in San Francisco on 6 May for hatch day for Annie, Alden, and Grinnell. No worries. Sean and Lynn of CalFalcons will be holding another one of their great Q & As. Here is the information:

We are actually one day away from the first anticipated hatch day at Rutland Water’s Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 (11) and Maya. The window on the three eggs hatching is: Egg 1: 5th to 12th May; Egg 2: 8th to 15th May; and Egg 3: 11th to 18th May.

For those of you that do not know this couple, they are considered super Osprey parents! They consistently fledge all of their chicks. They have been together since 2015 and in six years they fledged 20 chicks – that doesn’t count this year!

It has been drizzly in Ithaca at the Red-tail hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur. Big Red has the four wee ones comfortably under here so they will not get wet. They cannot regulate their temperature yet and this is so important! Warm and Dry.

Fingers crossed for the osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest today. Let us hope that Mum returns to feed the babes soon. (Gosh, I wish these dads would also feed the chicks…it would be so helpful).

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures today: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Pix Cams, Montana Osprey Project, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, Cal Falcons, Rutland Water LRWT, DHEC, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Peregrine Networks Live, Salisbury Cathedral Falcons, Presidio Trust, and Dulles-Greenway.

Late Monday in Bird World

4 April 2022

Today’s news continues to just get better!!!!!!! If you missed it, the American Eagle Foundation who surely have had their own troubles to deal with concerning the recent fire at Pigeon Forge have sent the following message: “We will reach out to the Army Corps of engineers to see if we gain access to the site.  We have some experience in situations such as these and have successfully navigated retrieval, rehabilitation and replacement before.  I will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.  Thank you for your dedication and support to our native wildlife!” Ervie shows up at the Port Lincoln barge – he always brings sunshine – and hangs around for a long time. He was off around 06:29 but I believe you can still rewind the camera to ‘see’ him. His missing talon is growing in slowly. Many are asking for Cal Falcons to give the ‘new guy’ to Annie a proper name. If you have any suggestions, go over to the Cal Falcons FB page and give them a soft nudge to consider it. (They aren’t asking for names but a lot of people are suggesting they give Annie’s new guy a name). The ‘new guy’ has defended the nest, done lots of incubation, and brought in prey for Annie today. He feels like a keeper. And I am not even over the shock of Grinnell’s death. Things move quickly in Bird World sometimes.

‘B’ sent me the link to a YouTube interview with Mary Melac. She gives us good insight to what happened to Grinnell and what is happening currently on the nest. Thank you ‘B’! Mary is the individual that had to retrieve Grinnell’s body.

The news that had me jumping up and down is that the Black Stork patriarch, Karl II, from the nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia has crossed the border and is now safe in Belarus on his way home having spent far too much time in the Ukraine.

Yesterday I posted a link to the White tail Eagle nest in Poland. Thanks to one of our sleuth readers, ‘CA’ found out this information: There are two eggs. They were laid on March 3 – start of incubation: https://youtu.be/QmvQWVDEOso
March 30 – 2 eggs are visible: https://youtu.be/7wXH98H6CCM

Thank you CA! This is such a gorgeous nest area.

At the Dale Hollow nest of River and Obey, Middle Little self-fed after Big ate and ate and then Little Middl got a chance for a feeding at 12:40 ish.

At 14:27 Little Middle continues to have a nice crop. In an earlier blog I posted two videos of Little Middle self-feeding. In the second one, he figured out to hold down the fish and pull up with his head. He managed to do very well. If you missed those videos, I am reposting them. In terms of survival skills, he might not be big and he might not intimidate Big but he can certainly figure out how to eat – even finding flakes of fish and old pieces on the nest. What a little guy!

Little Middle is full and happy right now.

The four eaglets at the PA Farm nest continue to do well. Keeping those parents busy! The little one just needs to keep its head up – the others are so big. I believe it is 9 days younger than the eldest.

There are so many more nests and so much news but for now, I want to relish the joy that maybe, just maybe Little Middle will be helped. Birds bring us so much joy. It is up to us to protect them from harm when it is something humans have caused. I am so grateful to all of you for your help and concern for the wildlife. See you soon.

A Big special thank you to all those people working so hard today to get help to remove the monofilament line at Dale Hollow. I want to particularly thank Ron Magill at the Miami Zoo for getting the ball rolling fast this morning! A huge shout out will go out to Ron and all the others including the AEF staff —— great people who are eagle experts.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or pages where I took my screen captures: PA Game Commission for PA Farms Eagles, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Cal Falcons, Looduskalender, and Bielinki On line Bory Tucholskie.

Annie and her new man…love at The Campanile?

2 April 2022

So many of us love/d Grinnell. I do not know anyone who is not still shocked by his death.

How do you write about a Peregrine Falcon that brought so many so much love, joy, and laughter? Grinnell was a very sweet lad. I have found it difficult to write about him because for many years it was always ‘Grinnell and Annie’ ‘Annie and Grinnell’. In my mind, I was not able to separate the two. They were a constant which, over the past few years, has been very reassuring. And then they weren’t.

Grinnell was last seen at The Campanile at 10:37 on the 31st of March. He was later found dead in the downtown area of San Francisco. It is believed he was chasing a female intruder and went low and got hit by a car.

Grinnell hatched along with another male in a nest near Martinez, California. He was banded in 2013. This makes him 9 years old this year.

Annie and Grinnell were bonded mates for six years. Indeed, it was probably only Grinnell’s injuries on the 29th of October that caused them to be separated for the longest time in their relationship. They appeared at The Campanile in December 2016 making their first nest on a sandbag!!!!!!! Cal Falcons decided that it was better if they fixed them a proper nest in 2017 which evolved into the scrape box that you see on camera in 2018.

Annie and Grinnell raised two to fledge in 2017- Fiat and Lux. Fiat flew out of Mum and Dad’s territory to set up his own while, sadly, Luxe hit a window and died. In 2018, they fledged 3 – Berkelium, Lawrencium, and Californium. All successfully left. Lawrencium, the female has a nest on Alcatraz and has made Grinnell and Annie grandparents. In 2019, there were two fledges – Carson and Cade. In 2020, there were three – Poppy, Sequoia, and Redwood. Poppy was spotted recently in San Jose, California and Sequoia is known to be in Santa Clara, California. Unless a miracle happens, 2021 will be the couple’s final breeding season. It was hugely successful with three males fledging – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek. In total, they fledged 13 juvenile peregrine falcons in 5 seasons. It is not clear how many grandchildren the couple have.

We ached for Annie and the two eggs in the scrape.

It has been a bit like a roller coaster with the plot thickening every day since Grinnell’s death. A male appeared, began courting Annie, and briefly incubating the eggs almost as soon as Cal Falcons announced the death of Grinnell. The news of this tragic drama has spread. It even made it to the Toronto news.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/04/02/berkeley-peregrine-falcon-finds-partner-after-mates-death/

The new male likes to sit on the ledge above the nest box watching over Annie and the eggs. Has she accepted prey from him? I am not certain.

This afternoon, Annie initiated the bonding and the male immediately came to join her at 16:30.

He has a limp. Cal Falcons confirms that this should not impact his hunting. And, in fact, he tried to give Annie some nicely prepared prey last night but she was either full, according to Cal Falcons, or not ready to commit. Has anything changed today?

After the bonding ritual, the young male situates himself on the eggs to incubate them.

He is rather cute and I am quickly warming up to him.

These are gentle gestures of loving kindness — the world could use so much more kindness like this – right now.

There are so many news stories out about Annie and the new male. Here is one with comments by Lynn from Cal Falcons:

I will always treasure the years that I was privileged to watch Annie and Grinnell raise their chicks. No one will replace Grinnell in the hearts of thousands but, for now, I am grateful to this young male who has been hanging around for about a month, that he is stepping up and will help raise the last two chicks ever of Grinnell’s. That makes him a winner in my books.

Thank you for joining me tonight. If you are looking for a blog on Sunday, it will be coming late in the afternoon. I am counting Canada Geese tomorrow at several locations! Continue to send your warm wishes to all of the birds especially those migrating over war zones and those entangled with monofilament line. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to Cal Falcons for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Birds and Drones Do Not Mix

If I say the word ‘drone’, I am certain that you can conjure up a likeness in your mind. You probably know more about these remote controlled flying machines that can be equipped with everything from cameras to laser guided missiles than I do. The subject of this blog is the impact of drones on birds!

This morning I received a note from a reader (Thank you, ‘B’) telling me of an incident with Annie and a drone that was flown illegally over the UC-Berkeley campus. ‘B’ thought it was a good idea that everyone becomes aware of the dangers to Annie and Grinnell – and all our other wildlife – from these flying objects.

The individual flying the drone at UC Berkeley sent the machine very close to The Campanile where Annie has her scrape box. Annie went into defensive posture chasing after the machine. She could have been fatally injured by such an encounter. She could also be frightened away from her scrape abandoning breeding season which has just started or eggs, if laid.

UC-Berkeley is trying hard to locate the individual responsible. There are news reports and everyone is trying to spread the word. I hope that that individual cares and will stop their behaviour.

There are Bald Eagles trained and being trained to deal with drones.

Annie and Grinnell are not the size of a Bald Eagle. They could easily be injured or killed.

But Annie and Grinnell, Peregrine Falcons, are not the only birds having problems with illegal drones. In June, 2021, 3000 Terns and their nests of eggs were wiped out because of a drone. The Terns abandoned their nests on Huntington Beach, California after a drone crashed.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-07/thousands-of-eggs-abandoned-after-drone-crash-at-orange-county-nature-reserve

Here is the information on Annie and the Drone.

If you have a drone or if you know someone who does, perhaps it is time for a chat about responsibility. Wildlife can be seriously injured, killed, or frightened. There is a place for drones but it is not anywhere around the nests of birds!

Thank you for joining me and thank you ‘B’ for letting me know about this drone violation and its impact on Annie. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Bay Area Birds

I will only say it is ‘freezing’ once. First it was the snow and now we are -31 C. for all day Wednesday. The sky was blue and the sun was shining Wednesday morning signalling the extreme cold. Staring at the birds outside just makes me marvel at how they can survive a Winnipeg winter. It has now warmed up to -26 Thursday morning but we remain under an extreme cold warning.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/how-birds-survive-winter-1.4465936

The Black-capped Chickadees take so much time getting a single black oil sunflower seed, then finding a place to crack it. They do not seem to prefer – at all – the ones already shelled and broken. Yesterday they were flitting around in the blizzard coming into the vines and under the eave to get away from the wind.

I caught this little fellow cracking the seed on that tiny branch the other day.

I have a large tub of spreadable bark butter. The Woodpecker family will be delighted. I wonder if these chickadees might like it as well??? I have to say that while I am so happy to have the Starlings around, they can be intimidating. A friend has suggested that I get a feeder with a suction cup that goes on the window. They said the small birds like the chickadees will come to it while the big birds will stay away. I worry that a bird will injure themselves flying into the window. I wonder. Have you had any experience with these types of feeders? If so, I would love to hear from you.

There was a super surprise in the post today. The t-shirts from the fund raiser for Lindsay Wildlife arrived. Lindsay Wildlife treated Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon at The Campanile at UC-Berkeley, when he was injured on 29 October. These were part of a fundraiser by Cal Falcons to thank them.

The last posting on the falcon’s FB page. So happy Grinnell was able to be released so quickly and took his place back with Annie.

I can’t help it. Whenever I am checking on Annie and Grinnell, I think of Richmond and Rosie. Is it because one of Annie and Grinnell’s daughters has a nest on Alcatraz? I don’t know.

If you are looking for a stable Osprey nest, you need look no farther than that of Richmond and Rosie at the Point Potreto Whirley Crane in San Francisco. Richmond and Rosie are nothing short of incredible. They are entertaining and steady as you go parents. Richmond is known for bringing in quirky items to the nest – stuffed toys, aprons, and hats.

Rosie is in front and has the streaked breast.

Richmond has been at the Whirly crane for three days in a row. Oh, yes, the nest is on a Whirly Crane that belongs specifically to the Ospreys! Does Richmond think Rosie might come home early? You see, Richmond never leaves the area. He spends his time around the island of Alcatraz and fishing in the Bay. Rosie migrates and she typically returns around Valentine’s Day. Oh, they are always so excited to see one another!

The couple have been raising chicks on this nest since 2017. This will be their sixth breeding year. In the past 5 seasons, they have fledged a total of 13 chicks.

Here is the actual crane:

This is detailed historical data on all aspects from egg laying, banding, to fledge. Last year, Rosie and Richmond again fledged triplets like they did in 2020. Rosie, Sage, and Poppy were their names in 2021.

This is Richmond two days ago on the crane. He often visits during the winter just to check on the nest and protect his territory. There are currently 50 Osprey nests in the San Francisco Bay area.

Here is a link to one of the streaming cams for Rosie and Richmond:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/golden-gate-osprey-1

Here is a link to historical and current videos of Rosie and Richmond:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gn6yIRa_cBKExVmHdg3jQ

The weather in the US is amping up. Here is the latest NOAA national map. If you are in this area which covers a huge population of the US, you take care!

There is a line of rain that includes Louisiana at an angle going NE that includes NYC and Duke Farms Bald Eagles in Hillsborough, NJ. Ice is in Southern Ohio and moving eastward and will impact the PA birds. Heavy snow for upstate NY. It is currently raining at the KNF nest in Louisiana and rain, or is it freezing rain?, at Berry College.

Anna and Louis were both wet. the little eaglet is dry. You can see that they are alerting. The cold has hit the nest. It is 3 degrees C or 18 F and it is set to fall to 0. Stay warm Anna, Louis, and the baby!

Missy is keeping B15 dry. It is 13 degrees C but the weather report is saying thunderstorms for the Berry College Bald Eagle nest. Stay safe everyone.

You can barely tell but snow is starting to fall on Big Red and Arthur’s nest in Ithaca, New York. It is currently 2 degrees C at the nest. It will get down to -6 C before this storm is over. This area of upstate NY is set to get pounded with snow. Keep Big Red and Arthur in your thoughts.

All of the nests in PA are set to be hit with ice and/or snow. There could be significant tree loss if the ice continues to build up like it is doing in southern Ohio at the moment.

Thank you for joining me. My thoughts go out to everyone and all the nests in this storm area. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Golden Gate Audubon, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, KNF, Berry College, and NOAA.

Wednesday in Bird World

Oh, gosh, golly. Just when you think the day is going to be quiet, Missy at the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest in Mt Berry, Georgia, has a pip. The announcement of the pip was posted on FB this morning.

I just took this image a few minutes ago. The chick is making good progress! That is not a video. That arrow just shows up when you try to take a screen shot on their camera.

Speaking of cameras, Berry College has three – an approach one, one above the nest, and one closer to the nest. If you want to see thee action on hatch, I think the camera closer to the nest is the best. Their cameras are not on YouTube.

https://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/nest2

What spells Bald Eagle Fluff Ball better than cute? Be prepared to melt. Anna and Louis’s 15-hour-old chick is adorable.

Oh, the fluff balls grow too quick and get pin feathers in a blink. Soak them in when they are like this. So precious.

Bald Eagle parents work on instinct. There isn’t a manual on eagle parenting tucked under the nest. This is only Anna’s second chick. Last year I almost had a sore throat yelling at Anna to get closer to Kisatchie to feed him and for Kisatchie to turn around, face Mum (or Dad, Louis feeds his babies), and open that beak wide. Anna and this little one are struggling too. The little one is ready to eat and opens its beak wide and tries the grass in the nest! It has its back to Anna who is trying to feed it. She gets closer and the little one takes its first bite. This will only improve as Anna remembers and the little one figures out its part in the feeding-eating process.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinics work on donations and the sweat, tears, and love of volunteers. Our local clinic, Wildlife Haven, put out a call for donations to help a Snowy Owl in December. Today they were joyful in sending out a short video on its release. So happy to have been a small part of this success story!

There is currently no pip at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. Waiting for Friday!

There is also no Daisy the Duck on the Sea Eagles nest in Sydney and that is a good thing!

Down at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Ervie is on the nest crying for a fish delivery. Twice now he has flown off the nest as if he saw an adult with a fish. He returned quickly the first time. Let’s see if he comes back with a fish the second time. No, empty taloned!

In Durbe, Milda and Mr L have returned to the nest to move around some sticks. There is still lots of snow in Latvia, just like Manitoba! I am really looking forward to Milda laying eggs and having a successful fledge of chick or chicks this spring. That would be so wonderful. Losing her long term mate, Raimis, last spring just sparked more and more sadness.

Just like Milda and Mr L, Annie and Grinnell are hanging out on The Campanile. Their scrape box is ready and waiting for those precious eggs in a couple of months. Cal Falcons posted this on their Twitter site today. So happy it will be Annie and Grinnell. The interloper has not been seen for a month! Yeah!!!!!!!

Annie is still there several hours later. Can you see her by the camera, perched on the pipe?

For other baby eaglets, it looks like it is fish dinners in Miami-Dade County and over in Fort Myers. R2 and R3 really seem to enjoy the fresh fish that Dad brings in. There have been several other varieties of prey items including a parrot and a coot. Did you know that Bald Eagles fish in both fresh and salt water?

E19 and E20 are also having fish. It is so hard to tell them apart. There is a white line under the cere of one of them but E20 does not seem to be that much different in size from its older sibling, E20. It is difficult to tell who is who sometimes. I ‘think’ it is E19 at the bottom of the screen and E20 in the middle.

Oh, tomorrow, the chick at Berry College will have fully hatched, the little one at the KNF nest will be stronger with its eyes more focused, and then there should be a pip coming at Captiva. Goodness.

There has been more snow on and off all day on the Canadian Prairies. There were 57 European Starlings in the Lilac Bushes and back trees this morning. They are still here. The feeders were filled twice. It is now 16:08 and it will not be long til every bird goes off to roost. It is normally dark here by 16:45. It is now 16:25 and all the birds are gone. It is absolutely still in the garden as new snow falls.

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

A big thank you to the following for their streaming cams, Twitter, or FB pages where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagles, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida and D Pritchett Bald Eagle Nest, Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cam News, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

New Year’s Day in Bird World, late edition

New Year’s Day started off wonderfully with the uniting of Annie and Grinnell. Cal Falcons posted a note that the interloper that had injured Grinnell and sent him into rehabilitation on 29 October has not been seen in the past two weeks. It appears that our little Grinnell watched, got stronger, and got rid of him! That is a good thing. Grinnell is far too experienced a mate and knows how to take good care of the eyases – that is invaluable to Annie. I only wish Daisy had a mate half so invested in the eggs and nestlings!

10,600 people have watched Annie and Grinnell ring in the New Year together! Look closely at the image. Notice just how much bigger Annie is than Grinnell. That is reverse sex-size dimorphism – in raptors, the female is normally 30% larger than the male.

These little falcons like to live on the highest buildings so they can have a great view if anyone larger than them should want to arrive at their scrape box. Thousands of years ago they lived on the highest cliffs (some still do in certain geographical regions) but, like other birds they have adapted as humans take over their space. They have adapted to our skyscrapers like this perfect building on the University of California at Berkeley, The Campanile.

Oh, what a beautiful sight first thing in the morning. So happy. This is just such a relief.

The White-Bellied Sea Eagles were up on the branch together to sing the morning duet. They had a rough night of it. They were chased and harassed by the Pied Currawong first. The Curra are the birds that injured WBSE 27 – gathering in a group to fly and hit its head. The Curra are also the birds that chase the eagle fledglings out of the forest before they have learned from Lady and Dad how to fish and survive. I really do not like them and their numbers have grown in the forest over the past few years. They are more than a nuisance. They can be deadly.

As soon as the Curra were in bed, it was not long until BooBook Owl and its mate started their silent attacks. They spent five full hours harassing the WBSE. They are also dangerous. One injured Lady’s eye last year and she could have been blinded.

Here is a video of the attacks with the eagles falling off the branch.

To my knowledge, the WBSE do not eat the hatchlings of either the Curra or the Owls. These little birds just want the big Apex raptors out of the forest and they will do everything they can to accomplish this.

The pair sang The Duet and promptly left the forest. I wonder if there is another nest location for them? The old nest of Dad’s collapsed but there could be other suitable sites.

I made this video clip a few months ago in mid-September. I love the beauty of Lady and Dad singing their song to wake up the forest. Scroll your mouse or tracker over the left hand corner and then click on the arrow to play.

I have never liked this nest because of the Currawongs and now Boo and his family are older and bolder. It is not good for the eaglets who hatch or for Daisy. My eyes in that area tell me that the Ravens have also been coming to the nest to check for eggs every couple of days. So sad. If Daisy does return, I have no hope for her eggs hatching. I just do not want her to get injured if a large number of Ravens would come at the same time.

This morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge Bazza was on the nest when the fish arrived at 08:09. Falky flew over from his perch hoping to get it but Bazza was the clear winner and kicked Falky off the nest! You will remember that yesterday Bazza flew in and took the fish right when Dad brought it in. Bazza is going to be called Bold Bazza for sure. He is getting street smart for sure – all good survival skills.

Here comes Dad with the fish. Bazza can see him and he is prey calling louder and louder.

Bazza is starting to mantle the fish (on the left side of the nest). Mantling is when a raptor spreads their wings over the food item so that others cannot get to it. It is almost like hiding it. Falky is on the right edge of the nest. Ervie is up on the perch and Mum is on the ropes.

What interested me was not Bazza getting the fish or Falky trying to take it but, Ervie’s behaviour. Ervie did not move off the perch. He did not care. He was not hungry. This tells me that Ervie had already been out fishing for his morning breakfast. He will continue to get more and more independent.

E19 was being a bit of a stinker today. His attacks on E20 were frequent and sometimes brutal.

So what do Harriet and M15 do when this happens? Well, often, they will ‘sit’ on the chicks but, at other times, they will do a tandem feeding. That is precisely what happened today. M15 stepped in to help Harriet with the cantankerous two.

Just lovely. Both eating at once. They will learn, over time, that everyone gets fed. No one goes hungry in Harriet and M15’s house.

Ferris Akel held his tour today. Viewers were treated to the sightings of five Snowy Owls at the Finger Lakes Airport.

Snowy Owls are moving south from their home in the Arctic to find food. They mostly eat rabbits, grouse, mice, weasels and small waterfowl and marine birds. Open fields, golf courses, or small airports like this one are perfect for them to find food.

Not far away were what seemed like a thousand Sandhill Cranes. Some were feeding in the fields, some were in the marsh, and some were flying from the fields to the marsh. There seemed to be Sandhill Cranes everywhere!

The adults have grey bodies with a distinctive crimson red cap. Their long legs and necks immediately tell us that these are ‘wading’ birds. They stand 90-122 cm tall or 36-48 inches. They have long pointed beaks for finding food in the muddy waters of wetlands. They also have a ‘bustle’ or tufted tail. You can see those tufts on the cranes in the image below.

The Sandhill Cranes migrate during the winter leaving their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic and Northern Canada in large groups. They will gather in the thousands in staging areas.

With their long beaks they probe in the waters feeding on plant tubers, roots, seeds, and small invertebrates. In the image below you can see how their long legs and neck really assist them in finding food.

Oh, these cranes are so gorgeous. Sandhill cranes have been the subject of Japanese art for centuries. They are a traditional symbol of immortality because it is believed that the cranes live for a thousand years.

The panel below is called Cranes in a Winter Landscape. This is clearly a good wish for longevity.

The screen below is part of a series of two six-panelled screens done in the 1700s. Typically the backgrounds would have been painted gold. Both the old twisted pine and the crane signal immortality or wishes for a long life. These would have typically folded and divided rooms.

Thank you so much for joining me. Stay warm, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, UC-Berkeley Falcon Cam, and Ferris Akel.

Everyone’s favourite Duck and Falcon are back!

The last time we saw Daisy the Pacific Black Duck was when she returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest on the 23rd of December. She brought Mr Daisy with her to show him that her eggs were missing or destroyed. Daisy pushed all her down into the egg cup after walking all around the nest quacking. She arrived at 20:22:52 and left at 20:34:56. My heart broke for Daisy that day. After dealing with the possum in the early morning and the rain, Daisy was forced to leave for her morning break late. It just happened that three Ravens decided to venture out early that day. Daisy returned to her fertilized eggs missing or broken. She was frightened and confused.

This was the second time that Daisy had attempted hatching ducklings on this nest. The previous time had been in January of 2021.

Now, on 1 January 2022, Daisy and her mate have returned. When the eggs are broken, the intermission between then and the ducks mating again can be as little as ten days. It has been 9 days.

If Daisy decides to use the WBSE nest again, and it appears that she will, January will be complicated because Lady and Dad, the Sea Eagles, will be spending more time at the River Roost and more time checking on their nest.

The Sea Eagles will not be a direct problem. They might pull all the down off the eggs and might break one but they had no interest in destroying the eggs before. No, the predators are the Ravens.

If only Mr Daisy would step up and help!

Daisy arrives.

Mr Daisy arrives.

Our beautiful Daisy.

I had so hoped that she might try her luck down on the ground.

And so, we all realize the worst but hope for the best for this precious little duck that just wants to be a Mum.

There will be a lot of sleepless nites and tears. Get the tissues ready! Here are 2 video clips of Daisy and Mr Daisy arriving and inspecting the nest.

Another big surprise and a most welcome one is the return of Grinnell to The Campanile today. Here is the video clip of that moment:

Wow. Two huge surprises. I have to say that I am more than delighted to see Grinnell up on the ledge of the area that him and Annie use to raise their chicks at The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley. This is just fantastic. On the other hand, I do wish that Daisy had a safe place to lay her eggs so that she could experience the hatching and the leading of her little ones to the water. I cannot think of anything that would make all of us happier.

Thank you so much for joining me. I am thrilled to bring you this news. Take care. See you soon! Wonder what else is in store for us?

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park and UC-Cal Falcons. I also want to thank ‘P’ for alerting me to Daisy’s return. I would have missed it otherwise.

The Daisy Chronicles, day 2

We are going to start off with a check on what is happening in San Francisco – before moving on to Daisy.

An absolutely adorable 4 min 16 sec radio discussion on The Love Story in the Sky at The Campanile.

Did you know that Peregrine Falcons were virtually wiped out in California? In the late 1970 there were only two nesting pairs? This was the result of DDT. There is lots of literature but reading Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, is a very good start.

DDT might have been banned after the revelations of Rachel Carson and others but it remains in the soil in various places. One of those is Big Bear California where DDT was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to kill the mosquitoes. It is still a contributing factor in thin egg shells which may be part of the problem with Jackie and Shadow, the Bald Eagles that have their nest at Big Bear.

Daisy the Duck did not spend the night on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest.

She arrived before sunrise to check on the nest. No one else was there. Daisy will be very cautious. She does not want to draw attention to the egg cup where her first egg was laid.

She goes over to where her egg is and checks. It is still there. Safe.

We can see where Daisy’s egg is because we know it is there but it is nicely covered with leaves and nest material so the predators cannot find it.

Daisy leaves right as the sun is rising and the forest is waking up.

Daisy carefully waits on a branch when she returns an hour and a half later. Can you see her?

She is checking and rolling her egg.

Daisy is very still. When she is in labour, her tail will move up and down.

There are now two eggs! Look you can see them both. Daisy is holding herself up so as not to break the second egg. When the eggs are laid they are soft. The air will dry off the surface and make them hard.

Daisy has settled on the eggs nicely. She is having a rest. Daisy will not do hard incubation until all of the eggs are laid. That is so they will hatch at the same time.

This last image of Daisy was taken a few minutes ago. It is nearly 08:30 in Sydney, Australia.

So far Daisy has been lucky. Lady and Dad did visit the nest tree a week ago and then on the day that WBSE 27 was released from care, they were not at the River Roost. They will often go to Goat Island if there are no eaglets to look after. Still, we know that they do come to check the nest.

Someone asked me why Daisy does not stay on the eggs now all the time. If she did they would not all hatch on the same day. Secondly, she is a very smart little duck. Her presence on the nest makes all of the other forest animals and birds curious. Last January they had never seen a duck on the big sea eagle nest — and neither had anyone else! I think Daisy will try and protect her eggs really well this year from the Ravens. She is almost a year older and she is ‘wiser’ now. Her breeding and the laying of eggs normally coincides with plenty of food and water. Her mate, who came to inspect the nest last year, only takes part in the mating ritual. The rest is up to Daisy. That is why she is so vulnerable. Only 20% of Pacific Black Ducks live to be 2 years old. Indeed, the average life span is only about two years. Oh, I so hope that she is successful this year! There are so many people hoping for Daisy!

You can join in and become a real Daisy fan. She needs all the love and positive energy we can all send her. Soon the name of the streaming cam will be changed from Sea-Eagle to Duck Cam! Here is the link to the streaming cam. Daisy arrives about 13:15 CDT or around 05:15 Australian Time. I am not expecting her to stay all day but she might surprise me.

Once Daisy lays all of her eggs (there could be 11), she will begin her hard incubation. Incubation will last for 29 days after the laying of the last egg. This is the difficult time. Daisy still has to eat and have some relaxing time. Last year she even went out during the night. It is then that the eggs are vulnerable. As long as she is incubating them, the Ravens seem not to bother. Our fears of the sea eagles proved to be nothing. They could behave differently this year but they were not a threat last save for the fact that scattering the down nesting material allowed the eggs to be seen. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sydney Sea Eagle @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.