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.

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.

Falcon and Red-Tail Hawk Cams

I had a lovely note form ‘M’ asking about other peregrine falcon cams. Thank you for your letter, ‘M’.

Each one of us feels a little ’empty’ when the eyases fledge. Without trackers, we have no idea what happens to them. We just wish them well and I know that everyone is working hard to make their environment better. The only birds on the nest who have fledged and not left permanently are the PLO Lads – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the birds have migrated to warmer climates. I will, however, be checking on nests in Asia to see if there are any for you to watch.

This is not an exhaustive listing but it is a beginning and I will be adding to it for all of you as the camera streams return. We have streaming cams on the falcons in Winnipeg as part of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery. I will post those at the beginning of the summer. Most of our birds are in southern Texas or Mexico right now.

So here goes – and if you have a favourite falcon or hawk cam, let me know!

One of my favourites are the Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne. They are known as the CBD or 367 Collins Street Falcons. The cam is currently not live. Will come back on line September 2022

Cornell Red-tail Hawks (Big Red and Arthur), Ithaca, New York. The construction work at Bradfield has caused a power outage on the Athletic Fields. Those building works are winding down and this camera should be live shortly. Big Red and Arthur will be very busy once late February and March roll around. There are only two Red-tail hawk streaming cams in the world and this is the best. Big Red is 19 this year. Arthur is 5 or 6 years old. They are a fantastic couple that normally fledge three eyases a year. There are birders on the ground that keep track of the fledglings so you get to see the parents do team training in hunting, etc. Highly Recommended.

Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Yurruga has fledged. Look for egg laying in the fall of 2022. This is the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. They are a well established couple. For the past two years three eggs laid but only one fledgling each year which is fine. It is a nice comparison with the Melbourne falcons who fledge 3 consistently. Orange is more rural and, of course, Melbourne is urban. The camera is left on and the falcons come and go regularly.

The Campanile Falcons on UC-Berkeley. This is the scrape box and cams for the Peregrine Falcon Couple, Annie and Grinnell. Grinnell was injured by a male interloper on 29 October. He was in care, as a result, and has been returned to his territory. The male interloper is still at The Campanile. It is unclear which of the males Annie will choose. Nesting activity late March, 2022. Annie and Grinnell are incredible parents who traditionally fledge three adorable babies.

The following are falcon cams that I have watched ‘on and off’ and that have come highly recommended to me from viewers:

Illkirch, France:

Great Spirit Bluff, Minnesota

Anacapa Island, California. There are current a large number of Pelicans to watch.

I will definitely be posting more including a couple of streaming cams from the UK. All of that action will begin when spring arrives. I also want to post some sites in Asia which I will do over the weekend. There will also be the Northern Hemisphere Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, as well as the returning storks to Latvia and Estonia.

For now, things are really pretty quiet except for the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Diamond and Xavier coming in and out of the scrape box in Orange, and the Bald Eagles laying eggs in the US. There are two nests that you might wish to consider and if you have never watched a Royal Albatross nest then you definitely need to check out the Royal Cam Family in New Zealand who are incubating an egg laid on 9 November. They are very experienced and adorable parents, OGK (Orange Green Black) and YRK (Yellow Red Black). They are already grandparents. I often suggest this site to individuals who have a difficult time watching any nest if there is sibling rivalry. The Albatross lay one egg every two years. Parents rotate all of the duties. Last year the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, had a sat-pak attached to her. We are currently watching her fish off the coast of Chile.

It is a bit wet in NZ this morning. This is YRK’s 6th day on the nest. OGK will be flying in soon and they will switch. Should something happen, the NZ DOC rangers are there to step in and intervene. No one goes hungry, injuries are taken care of, etc. It is a great site and in the process you will bear witness to a country that really protects its wildlife!

There are way too many Bald Eagle streaming cams to list them all. For now, I am only going to recommend one. These are experienced parents Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family. Their eggs are due to hatch soon – December 25-28. Once Gabby lays her egg in NE Florida I will post that information. For now, you can have fun watching Harriet and M15 change places. The only un-fun thing is the GHOW that attacks the eagles regularly.

There is no word on Yurruga. Cilla says she will look for a few more days. Just so you know the building that Yurruga was last seen on is a gabled (triangle) pointed roof, a bit steep. It is a single story building with clay tiles. Yurruga is not there – not alive, not dead. He was there on Thursday – seen twice during a big storm. I would expect to hear this fledgling screaming for food. Falcons are loud! Is it at a distance from the tower? is Yurruga injured? is Yurruga somewhere else? There are no answers I am afraid. If I hear anything you will be the first to know. Now, it is time for me to go and take care of all my feeders. The gang will be here soon!

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

Updates from Bird World…or, oh, gosh…WBSE released 6 days ago!

Holly Parsons posted an update from Dr Cilla Kinross on the FB page for the Orange Peregrine Falcons. Thank you Holly!

(Nov 23):”I had a look at the eggs. One was clearly unfertilised. The other was, I think fertilised, but there was no chick inside. It exploded (big POP) all over me and it was just yellow liquid. No chick remains. I’ll do updates later. I’ll also try to get some confirmation from the museum where there are candling experts (I am not).”

One great report that was featured by Sunnie Day on FB is this. Just look at those numbers. Now how do we take care of these amazing birds – our Osprey?

Osprey Report for 2021, USA

The entire report on the Ospreys for the 2021 season can be read here:

https://www.ctaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Osprey-Nation-Report-for-the-2021-Season.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3gLbtstZokgb5Ii6EVTE6gj5_ifSVGCQQGaUiFUUmj61p3SMgUJy-WkUQ

If you want to protect our Ospreys, The Observer focuses on them this week. They say:

“A growing cause of death for ospreys is entanglement:  If adults incorporate monofilament or other discarded non-natural twine into their nests, these can end up wrapped around chicks’ feet, injuring or trapping them.  And, as food specialists, with one main food source, a grave threat to our osprey populations is contamination of their aquatic ecosystems; our Sarasota waterways.  As top predators, they’re exposed to the highest concentrations of toxins (such as mercury) in our environment. 

To protect these beautiful birds, who are key members of our ecosystem, we can keep toxins out of our waterways, and plastic litter, including twine and fishing-line, out of our environment.”

White Bellied Sea Eagles. 28 on the left and 27 on the right.
Is this WBSE 28 and not 27?

And great news coming out of Sydney, Australia. Someone let the cat out of the bag. The juvenile WBSE that was grounded by the Pied Currawongs was released six days ago on 18 November. I am using the term ‘juvenile WBSE’. There is no proof that it is either 27 or 28. It is a juvenile WBSE.

Just like we compared the Peregrine Falcons on the ledge yesterday, I want you to look carefully at the two images above. Someone that I trust very much indicated to me that the juvenile taken into care was not WBSE 27 but, rather, it was WBSE 28.

Dr Christian Sasse is one of my favourite people. He is so dedicated to the wildlife of British Columbia and in particular the Bald Eagles. Have a look at this beauty!

https://fb.watch/9t2vM9rY8t/

It is 14:47 and Harriet and M15 appear to still have one egg in the nest at Fort Myers, Florida on the Pritchett Farm.

Falky scored the 06:37 breakfast fish. At that point, Ervie took off flying behind Dad. Maybe Ervie is gonna go and see if he can get a fish himself.

The Eastern Osprey in Australia do not migrate. Unlike the Northern fish eagles that do shift to warmer climates during the winter and catch their first fish when they migrate, the Eastern Osprey will fish before they leave the parent’s territory.

There goes Ervie off the perch. I sure hope he learns to fish. He can get his own breakfast and eat it somewhere away from the brothers!!!

I have seen no further news coming out of UC-Berkeley on Grinnell and Annie.

It is not late in the day but it feels like it. It will be totally dark in less than an hour and a half. So I am off to clear up things outside.

Thank you for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures or for their FB Pages: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre and their FB Page, Sunnie Day and Holly Parsons.

Who is in the scrape?

At 13:13:01 on 22 November an adult peregrine falcon landed on the Southwest ledge of The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley.

Annie visited the ledge early this morning just as the pink of dawn covered the horizon.

Oh, Annie, you are so beautiful. Look at your gorgeous patterned chest with that soft almost cotton-like collar.

The bird appears anxious. Is it Grinnell returning to his scrape but worrying about the interloper? Is it the interloper? or is it Annie and I am just reading the situation incorrectly?

Grinnell has two bands – the one on the left leg is either a dark blue or black with white letters and numbers. Then there is the standard metal band on the right with Grinnell’s federal number. I just can’t see bands on this birds legs!

That said, this is a comparison between Grinnell and the interloper male posted on the twitter feed of the CalFalconCam on 5 November 2021. Grinnell is on the left and the interloper is on the right. The angle makes the interloper on the right appear much larger than Grinnell but the UC Falcon team confirmed that both of the males are a similar size.

There is a hint. Look at the beautiful striped breast of Annie and how far it goes up her chest. We know that Grinnell doesn’t have a lot of stripes. The interloper does but it does not go up high enough for the bird on the ledge. (See images below).

Using the images of the three birds, it appears that the bird on the ledge after lunch should be Annie. But, why is she so nervous?

Sean Peterson of UC Falcons solved the mystery and confirmed that this is Annie for me. He says that “She might be a bit nervous about all the activity over the last week or so.” Thanks, Sean!

She is looking around everywhere and doing a little chumping. Oh, how I wish Grinnell would have landed on that ledge at that very moment. Maybe he doesn’t know the interloper has not been seen since Grinnell came back to his territory on Wednesday.

Annie jumps down from the ledge.

With a hop and a little flight she lands in the scrape box.

Gosh, Annie, you are beautiful.

Oh, I wish that Grinnell would fly in and join her in the scrape! Come on Grinnell!!!!!

We wait and hope.

Cal Falcons has a fundraiser going to thank Lindsay Wildlife Experience. T-shirts for $20 US plus postage. If you are interested, go to the falcons web page and click on the hoodies. The fundraiser will pop up immediately. In order to keep down costs, the shirts will be printed once the fundraiser is over. Estimated delivery time to Canada is 27 December.

In other Bird World news, both Diamond and Xavier have visited the scrape box in Orange today. The issue of the missing eggs does not seem to be an issue. At Port Lincoln, Bazza scored the breakfast fish at 07:37. Dad arrived with another at 08:28 and Ervie got that one. Once Bazza was full with his fish, Falky took over. I just checked and Bazza was eating again. Gosh.

For the fans of Jack and Diane at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, Jack delivered his first fish to Diane today. Don’t expect eggs for awhile.

The couple have been renovating their nest on the parking lot of the Achieva Credit Union. They have a massive egg cup! Here is the link to that camera:

I also want to remind you of the African desert cam at the bolt hole. A meteor shower was caught on camera and there were three Cheetahs that visited today. The beautiful birds arrive around sunrise.

The link to this camera is here:

It is pretty quiet these days. The Eagles are working on their nests and eggs are being laid but it will be a bit before we see some bobbles.

Take care everyone. Be safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the Namibia Cam.

Diamond, Xavier, and the eggs

Whew! It was a terrifically busy day yesterday in Bird World and it was all good. To recap Yurruga did a beautiful fledge at 6:03:54 Monday 22 November (camera time). Bazzy officially flew a little over three hours later at 09:25:45. If that was not enough, Cornell’s Red Tail Hawk couple, Big Red and Arthur, were spotted on a branch together at BeeBee Lake. It was all together amazing. Bazza did cause a search party to go out but, in the end, he returned safely to the nest at 10:24:48. Ervie had left quite a large piece of fish and Bazza was very happy to finish it off.

Cilla Kinross posted this news about Yurruga.

Dr Kinross also posted this video of the event.

Everyone has been concerned about Diamond and her eggs. It seemed the closer Yurruga came to fledging, the more broodier Diamond became. We know that one egg was unviable. There is indication that the other egg had a chick that tried to break out of the shell but was just not strong enough as evidenced by the egg-tooth make a hole in the shell and seeing the beak.

Diamond used up a lot of her good health making those three eggs. She would have depleted her calcium and lost about 20-30% of her weight. Now that Yurruga has fledged it is time for Diamond to get herself back into tip top form.

Around 11:47, Dr Kinross removed the two eggs from the scrape box. She is going to check to see if the National Museum would like them for their collection. Diamond was not happy hearing voices inside the tower.

It seemed each time Cilla tried to get one of the eggs, Diamond would come calling loudly. Cilla tried to shooo her away. In the end both eggs were retrieved. Diamond returned to her scrape now devoid of eggs and began ‘scraping’ the area.

It is difficult not to feel sorry for Diamond. Her chick has fledged and she is still feeling the urge to mother.

Even Xavier has returned today to the scrape box to look for the eggs.

It is very sad trying to understand what Xavier and Diamond are feeling. I am busy reading Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff’s Ten Truths and Bekoff’s The Emotional Lives of Animals. Can the actions of Diamond and Xavier be anything but a sense of confusion – where did the eggs go, they were here? and sadness. They were ‘potential chicks’.

Decades ago there was a guinea hen that arrived at the little acreage in Southern Manitoba. Having not see her in the attic of the barn for some time she was found incubating at least two dozen eggs. She had made a nest cup in the grass. There was no mate; the eggs were infertile. She would have risked her health or life as she was broody. They had to be broken. This past spring we witnessed Milda, the White-tailed Eagle in Durbe County, Latvia try and incubate eggs after her mate, Ramsis, had not returned. For eight days she remained much to the detriment of her health. It is with delight that Milde is back with a new mate Mr L working on her nest.

This is the latest report on Annie and Grinnell. It is from the Instagram Feed for Cal Falcons:

Oh, I so hope that Grinnell will come to the scrape. He might not feel 100% secure in taking on the interloper. Only time will reveal what will happen with this love triangle. I am reminded when I say that of the very happy Bald Eagle Nest on the Mississippi River with Star and the two males, Valor I and II. For several years that nest has benefited from having three parents. I wonder?????

And with that thought I am off. It is a horrible grey white day on the prairies. It is -8 C.

Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor the news on both of these peregrine falcon nests. Take care everyone. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and the Instagram account for Annie and Grinnell.