Late Tuesday in Bird World

31 May 2022

I wish I could tell you that ND 17 our very own Little Bit was stuffing its face with fish right now but, that is not what is happening. So far as I can tell only a small fish has come on the nest today. Hoping for more fish later!

They are not raptors but I adore the Black Storks (and White ones) and I like to mention them now and again. The Black Storks are extremely rare in Estonia and Latvia making their nests mostly in the southern areas of the countries. These countries are the northernmost areas for Black Storks to breed. They are, thus, very special. Jan and Janika started out with six storklets in their nest in Estonia – five have survived. All five are doing well. The fifth one is small but it is right up there with the others eating well so I am hopeful — if food is plentiful that all will fledge. That nest is going to get awfully small when they start jumping around and flapping those wings. Janika brought in a large meal for all five!

The weather around the MN-DNR is gusty and wet like it is here. They are getting this same system that has moved north and east from Colorado. Nancy is on the nest feeding E1, Harriet. There appears to be a sub-adult on the perch. Nancy appears to be ignoring it at the moment.

Nancy leaves after feeding E1. The visiting sub-adult remains on the perch.

Later, Nancy is gone and so is the visitor.

It was hard to see Spirit take her first flight this morning. Spirit loves her food and I am pretty certain that Jackie and Shadow will lure her with prey. We will see if it is to the nest or off nest – time will tell. Spirit is 88 days 12 hours and 35 minutes old when she flies off the nest.

Remember when? What a beautiful couple with their miracle baby, Spirit.

Deb S caught Spirit’s fledge in a really short video clip. Oh, what a fabulous first flight. Soar high Spirit, stay safe, wishing you lots of fish and a long, long life.

The first sighting of Spirit caught after her fledge:

The three eyases at the Spartan Stadium scrape at the University of Michigan are losing their baby feathers just like the ones at Cal Falcons scrape.

The five eyases at the Manchester New Hampshire are watching as Mum is flying in with lunch!

Are you a fan of Tom and Audrey at the Chesapeake Conservancy Osprey Nest? If so, there is reason to celebrate. Audrey laid her fist egg of her second clutch today!

The Ls are getting bigger and restless. L1 ventured out to the fledge ledge today and anyone watching probably needed a double handful of worry beads. The chicks will run up and down the grate, stand and look out at the field and the trees from the fledge ledge days before actually flying. Big Red has been going and sitting there showing them where to take off so this is a good thing. L1 has been trying to climb the light box – a bad idea. J2 did fledge from there in 2020 but it is much easier to take off from the grate! at the ends! or in the middle between the bars in front. Fledge watch opens for L1 on Friday!

Gosh, I know it is nice to have the freshest fish but goodness it is scary when a live flappy one comes on the nest. That just happened to Telyn when Idris brought in a Flounder. You can hear her little cheeps when she is looking at the fish breathing.

Louis and Dorcha at their Loch Arkaig nest.

The newest addition to the Louis and Dorcha family! What a sweet little bundle.

Every chick got fed – again – at the Loch of the Lowes. Little Bob is doing good, holding its own there in the middle of its two big siblings who, if you look at the back of their heads, are changing plumage.

Aran has been getting the fish to Mrs G who is busy feeding the little ones.

It is hard to see the babies at Glacier Gardens but you sure can see the cars driving by!!!!!!! Would love to get in the head space of the Bald Eagles when they pick the site for a new nest.

They are beautiful and they are the Pittsburgh-Hayes trio! All have branched and they are flapping those wings just like the Three Amigos at the West End. Fledge is approaching!

Need to keep an eye on the US Steel Eaglets too. They have just received a prey drop and one of the adults is out on the branch giving some hints.

Fledge watch is officially on for Liberty and Guardian’s Star and Sentry at the Redding California Bald Eagle nest. Fledge should be from 29 May – 15 June. I love the wide window. That is about the same for the Pennsylvania eaglets at Pittsburg-Hayes and US Steel, too. They are all beautiful birds and we can knock on wood – none had the Avian Flu. What a relief.

The chicks at Cal Falcons are almost out of the scrape following the shade. They are hot and panting in the California heat. Look at the bottom and please go and vote so they have two great names!!!!!!

And last, but never least – the two Osplets on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest. At one time I thought we might wind up with only one chick on this nest. Big Bob was quite the terror. Middle persisted and we now have two beautiful birds getting ready to fledge. I counted six plus dark bands on Big Bob today but it is Middle Bob that looked like he would take off if a gust came!

Gosh these are beautiful raptors! Just stunning.

That is it for today. I just checked. It is nearing evening at the Notre-Dame nest. I wish beyond anything that two big fish come on that nest tonight. If not, Little Bit is still OK. Tomorrow evening if no fish have come in – or other prey – I will start to fret.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB pages: The Eagle Club of Estonia, ND-LEEF, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Pix Cams, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Postcode Lottery, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Friends of Redding Eagles, MN-DNR, Glacier Gardens, Explore.org, Peregrine Networks, and Spartan Stadium Peregrine Cam.

Early Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

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

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

Oh, look who finally got some jelly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go to this streaming cam:

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

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

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

Continuing Broodmate Aggression at the UFL-Gainesville Osprey nest

2 May 2022

I have not spent the time I should have observing the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest since the third hatch starved to death because of siblicide. The nest appeared to have ‘calmed’ down after that. I am, thus, very grateful to ‘R’ who took the time to write to me telling me about the change to aggression.

While my research focuses on that third hatch, it appears from the instances of aggression that we have seen this season – that ‘something’ is happening out there in the nests. Before we chat about these sorrowful avian behaviours, I want to go back to the book I am reading, The Eagle Man. It is about Charles Broley, a Canadian, who spent his time between here and Florida observing Bald Eagles and banding thousands. Broley’s observations are from direct observation or information provided to him by others. He did not have the benefit of the streaming cams and data collections that we have today. Still, some of his observations continue to hold true such as the ‘Northern’ Bald Eagles are larger than the ‘Southern’. In another instance, he notes that the ‘Southern’ eagles are more aggressive than their ‘northern’ counterparts. In terms of nest aggression, Broley said: “The more demanding of the babies gets the greatest amount, however, for the weaker, smaller one is always neglected for the more aggressive one. As a consequence on that is a little smaller, a trifle weak, perhaps, tends to grow weaker through lack of food, abuse from the older bird, and general neglect, while the stronger one, because it gets all the food, increases in size and strength rapidly (52).

In their article, “Why do some siblings attack each other? Comparative analysis of aggression in avian broods” by Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer, Tamas Szekely, and Hugh Drummond (Evolution, 2007), the authors list eight traits that they are testing to determine if any, some, or none drive aggression on nests. Those traits are:

  • feeding method (monopolization of food). Direct feeding when food passes directly from the adult beak to the chick’s beak. This allows the dominant bird to violently exclude any competition. The authors believe that when food is placed on the nest floor in indirect feeding it is more difficult to monopolize. The feeding method theory predicts that “a greater use of aggression in species in which direct feeding predominates throughout the nestling period).
  • effective weaponry (pointed or sharp beaks)
  • limited escape possibilities (nest site typography)
  • differences in age and size of broodmates (hatching asynchrony)
  • large food parcel size
  • small brood size. As brood size increases the authors observe that it is more difficult to intimidate and attack.
  • aggressive potential (maturity and body size)
  • slow food transfer

The researchers studied and compared several species including the Accipitridae (eagles, hawks, and buzzards) along with Boobies, Anhingas, Ibises and Spoonbills, Egrets and Herons, Pelicans and Kingfishers. I was, of course, disappointed that they did not include Ospreys. Following lengthy observational study, the authors concluded that indirect feeding, small broods, and long nesting periods are significantly correlated with broodmate aggressive competition. They also agreed that more studies needed to be conducted because exchanging or removing even one factor might alter the results of the research. I did find it interesting that out of 58 Eagle nests studied compared to 52 falcon nests, the eagles were 81% more inclined to nest aggression. They thought that factors such as larger clutches, a shorter nesting period, and one other factor — that the broodmate aggression being eliminated through evolution- could be at the heart of why falcon nests have little siblicide. It is rare to find siblicide in falcons and hawks while, as we have seen recently, it is much more common in eagles and ospreys.

Within this season, we have seen siblicide, the deliberate killing of a sibling, at several nests. These include the third hatch, DH16, at the Dale Hollow nest on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky; the third hatch at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest; the second hatch at the MN-DNR nest who was physically abused (with holes in its head) in the nest and, ultimately, successfully shoved off the nest on the third attempt; and the biological chick killed by the foster chick at the Pink Shell Osprey nest in Florida. In addition, it is difficult to know what the outcome would have been at the Captiva Osprey nest if the oldest sibling had lived. Big did prevent the female and the two younger siblings from eating for a period of 72 hours before it literally dropped dead. Would the death of the youngest sibling at the Duke Farms Eagle nest be classified as siblicide?

The situation at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest has not stabilized. The information I received this afternoon from observations on the nest indicate that the eldest sibling is relentless in stopping the middle sibling from eating. Observations of the behaviour include – the mother feeding the dominant sibling, the dominant sibling abusing the younger even if its crop is full to overflowing, the younger one having to expend energy and become aggressive to even get a few bites of fish. I do not know the number of deliveries in a day or the size of the fish. The camera re-wind is such that it is not conducive to discovering this information. Tomorrow I plan to write to Gainesville and see if I can get the data which someone must be keeping – and also to find out precisely how old these osplets are. While there is no truly ‘safe period’ against broodmate aggression, it is normally expected to stabilize around the age of one month. That said, the dominant aggressive osplet in the Port Lincoln nest did throw its sibling over the nest to its death when the chick was 65 days old. This is why we cannot predict what will happen.

In the top image, the eldest chick, Big, has learned to get between the mother’s legs preventing Middle from getting food and from the advantage of having the adult in between the two birds. Thank you ‘R’ for drawing this to my attention.

Middle had to expend a lot of energy flapping its wings and trying to mantle to get a few bites. The ratio was more than 10 bites to 1 with Big having the advantage. I do not know when the Middle sibling last had a good meal with a crop.

We must remember that the more food Big gets the bigger and stronger that bird gets to the detriment of the younger. It is hot on top of that light stand in Florida and the fish is the only hydration the chicks get.

Middle is once again rushing at the Mum to try and get some food.

Another small fish comes on the nest later. In the image below, Big has been eating and has a huge hard crop. Middle has no crop. Big has been eating but Middle moved slightly and caught Big’s attention who went on the attack.

Big goes back to eating.

Eventually Middle gets a few bites of fish once Big passes out in a food coma. In essence, Big ate almost two entire fish with the Mum and the Middle sibling getting very little.

One thing that is missing in this discussion is the fact that the Mum also needs to eat. It was 25 degrees C today or 77 F on the ground and later in the day (9pm). It is very hot on top of that light stand. I cannot predict what will happen on this nest or on Middle’s survival. Normally I would say not to worry but Big has tried to push Middle off the edge – when I see this behaviour my antennae really begin to alert. It is going to depend on many factors some of which we just do not know – will there be an increase in size and number of fish being delivered? is there a genetic disposition towards aggressive behaviour at this nest?

I am sorry to bring you this sad news. I had so hoped that the aggressive behaviour would have ended with both chicks thriving. I will be keeping a closer watch on this nest and I am very grateful for the letter alerting me to the change. If you know of other nests where siblicide has occurred since 1 July 2021 to the present, please do let me know. It would be much appreciated.

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

Thank you to the UFlorida-Gainesville for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

23-24 April 2022

Everyone who watches streaming bird cams gets anxious at one time or another. The lives of our feathered friends are so fragile. There are so many factors that can trigger a significant change in their lives. Today I watched as Dad at the Denton Homes nest stood in bewilderment as his third chick was dying on the nest. He had just delivered a fish. I remember that same look of helplessness on the faces of the two White-tail eaglets in Estonia last year when their two chicks died of Avian Flu (confirmed by the Vet College there after retrieval of the bodies and the nest contents). They tried feeding them and they would not eat. I understand that the two adults left that nest and have not returned to it. Did they also die of Avian flu? or does their behaviour align itself with other raptors who have lost their chicks due to rodenticide, monofilament, etc. and choose not to use the nest again?

One of my readers, ‘B’ sent me an article from The New York Times on Avian Flu. Thank you! I am very grateful to ‘B’ for sending this to me. I have been so preoccupied that I have not had a chance to read the news as closely as I should.

This is a very good article on the Avian Flu. Please read it carefully. Dr Schuler, like the Cornell Bird Lab when I wrote them, is not suggesting people take down their bird feeders. She says, “So it doesn’t seem like that (bird feeders and songbirds) is a major source of potential transmissions”. Please read carefully.

Grieving is well documented in Corvids. In his book, The Emotional Lives of Animals, Marc Bekoff cites the case of a Magpie, a member of the Corvid group, being killed and lying on the side of the road. He addressed a mourning ritual whereby four Magpies stood over the deceased and gave it a gentle peck while two flew to get grass. Once they had covered the body the four stood vigil for a period of time and then flew away. The covering ritual has been observed by so many of us when an eaglet dies. We saw this with Connie and Joe at Captiva, at the White-tail eagle nest in Estonia, and in a variety of other nests.

The parents at the Denton Homes nest appear to be in a state of shock and mourning. Saturday morning when the three chicks died, the Dad was bewildered. Later, Mum came and incubated the trio before their bodies were moved to the rim of the nest. Tonight, one of the adults is standing vigil over their bodies. It is both moving and sad.

The wee chicks look like they are sleeping.

The Mum has come to the nest. It is a wet dreary day to keep her babies warm. She must feel confused and helpless. Yesterday there were three vibrant nestlings and they were dad when Dad brought in prey.

Late in the day the parent stood vigil over the nestlings and the nest.

Avian Flu is killing many wild birds throughout the United States and Canada. Nestlings are particularly vulnerable since they are tiny and the flu kills them quickly (the only blessing). It is hoped that the parents do not suffer and survive it.

Another, ‘W’ sent me an article on the impact of the wind turbines on birds. It comes from the Audubon Magazine. Thank you ‘WW’.

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/spring-2022/off-east-coast-massive-network-wind-turbines

I have checked on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. That miracle fish did arrive at 18:32:45. Little Bit did what he could do to try and get even one bite. The fish was finished at 19:11:16. It has now been more than 72 hours since Little Bit had more than 5 bites of food. He was brutally attacked by Big and I do mean brutally.

In the image below the fish has just come to the nest. Big has already attacked Little Bit for walking up and trying to get a bite. Big frantically waves his wings going back and forth from Little Bit to Middle. Middle is trying to stay away and is scurrying around the nest to get some fish from the other side.

Big is pulling the skin and has plucked a part of Little Bit. He is shaking it frantically back and forth, up and down.

The abuse has been extreme with some plucking, pulling and twisting of the loose skin on the wee one’s body. I do not need to say anymore. This is the last fish on this nest today. Little Bit is already starving. By morning the two older will be famished. I am desperately sad and feeling helpless about what is happening on this nest. It began so beautifully. I am at the point where I wish for Little Bit’s suffering to end. That would be kind.

Little Bit was alive when a fish came on the nest around 10:15 Sunday morning. He tried to get some fish. It is now raining. I believe he died at 11:39. This poor little one. All Little Bit wanted was some fish, not a lot – just a little. He had walked up to the mother fish crying when the other two finished eating but no fish. He walked as far as he could and laid his little head down. No more pain, no more suffering. Brave Little Bit.

UPDATE: LITTLE BIT MOVED ITS HEAD BUT IT IS WEAK.

It is best never to cheer or wish for three birds on nests. It is inevitably difficult and many perish starving to death while at the same time enduring beaking just because they are there.

Moving to a happier nest. It is late Saturday at the nest of Big Red and Arthur, L2 is just about here!

You can see that the shell is now just on half of L2. Big Red is doing her rolling trick to try and ease the shell off without harming her baby.

How cute! Two little fluffy ‘snowbirds’ in the morning. L3 is pecking away!

Big Red likes to do everything. This is the 5th season for her and Arthur and she has not taken a real break during hatching!!!!! Arthur has been busy filling up the pantry adding chippies and squirrels.

Little sleepy head. So cute.

At the Captiva nest, Little or MiniO has still not returned. Jack has brought in a big fish and Middle or Little is enjoying it. There is much discussion on the chat because Andy has not brought in another fish and Lena has not eaten. When the chicks fledge the male is responsible – for millions of years of imprinting and doing – for the chicks to be fed. He is providing for the fledged chick on the nest. Lena has finished her job of raising and feeding the chicks. She will begin to go fishing for herself. There is no word about Little or MiniO. We do not know if Andy is providing fish to her elsewhere.

It has been a morning – full of sadness and, at the same time, blessed relief for Little Bit. Sadness about the H5N1 racing through some of the waterfowl and raptors and happiness at the successful hatch of L2 and the pip of L3. I will be checking on the rest of the nests late today. Surely there will be lots of good news! I understand that Spirit is now the size of a Canada Goose! Keep that imagine in your mind as you watch a short pick me up video. My friend ‘R’ sent me a short clip of Canada Geese, waterfalls and spring to cheer me up this morning. As I look out on the snow, I am so grateful. Thank you ‘R’. I want to share it with you! [Note: It is the waterfalls, not the movie and not the ad.]. Time to feed the garden animals!

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/nature-south-carolina-falls/

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Denton Homes Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wldlife, and UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey.

Early Friday in Bird World

22 April 2022

The beginning of what sounds like deplorable weather has arrived in parts of Manitoba for the third weekend in a row. The American White Pelicans have returned, the Golden Crowned Kinglets are here, the Garter snakes are waking from their winter hibernation, and the weather is supposed to be problematic. We currently have rain which is supposed to turn to snow and ice on Sunday. Apparently the amount of rain is an issue with creeks and rivers full and the ground saturated. They are saying 50mm or 1.9 inches. We wait. We are prepared for just about anything. There are birds eating away in the garden and going into the wood boxes to get dry. The Juncos, the Sparrows, the Grackles, and the Blue Jay have visited so far. It has been a lonnnnnngggggg winter on the Canadian Prairies for all of us.

There is so much happening and a problem nest to check on. It is fantastic but I need 3 or 4 of me to keep up!

Breaking News: Little (or MiniO) the female nesting took flight this morning at 06:46:54. She has yet to return to the nest.

Very nice. It is thought that Little (Mini) has done some flybys and that she has been heard. She is fine. She will get back up to the nest or the parents will deliver some fish to her off camera. For me – I want her to return to the nest box so we can see her flying again!

Big Red and Arthur would be thrilled if their nest was in Southern Manitoba (if the weather were nice) because all of our Garter Snakes are coming out of hibernation (mentioned above). L1 hatched at 21:46 last evening and the first meal that Big Red her fuzzy little chick this morning was snake!

Oh, such a cute little eyas. Look carefully. Red-hawk nestlings have pink legs, black talons, black beaks with a yellow cere and are white. When the Peregrine Falcons hatch they will have pink legs, feet, and beak.

But what a gorgeous image. Big Red looking so lovingly into L1’s eyes. “Hi, Mama”.

Oh, this little one is so strong and healthy. What a cutie pie. Poor Big Red, the years have certainly taken a toll on her feet. They are really showing their age.

There is a second egg that is pipping. It is the one in the very front with the dark splotch. Soon there will be two!

Red-tail Hawk FACT: Digestion: A hawk’s digestive system is much different from ours. In addition to the Crop, their “stomach” is actually divided into two parts. The proventriculus (glandular stomach) is the next stop after the crop. The proventriculous is where food is mixed with digestive enzymes before it passes to the gizzard or ventriculus – a strong muscle pouch that contracts to crush and mix the food (RTH Chat moderator).

How old do Red-tail Hawks live? “The oldest known wild Red-tailed Hawk was at least 30 years, 8 months old when it was found in Michigan in 2011, the same state where it had been banded in 1981.” – (Hibbie, RTH chat from AAB site). The US Govt says the oldest banded hawk was 29 years and 8 months. Sadly, many of the bands were taken from birds that had been shot. They could have lived longer if the shooting of raptors was halted!

Cornell made a short video of the first snake feeding:

Some more snake was fed around 11:00.

How often is prey delivered to a RTH nest? Generally, prey is delivered to nestlings ten to 15 times a day, starting just before sunrise and ending just after sunset.  How often food is delivered, as well as how big the prey is, varies among individual hawks and is affected by the number of young, as well as prey availability. In one study in Canada, researchers estimated that an average of between 14.4 oz, (nearly a pound) and 1.6 pounds)of food per day were brought to broods of 1 and 3 nestlings, respectively. That’s 410 grams a day and 730 grams a day. (Cornell RTH moderator, Deron). This does not include the parents’ food!
Summarization of 11 studies showed that RTH diet was made up of 68% mammal, 17.5%other birds, 7% reptiles and amphibians (mostly snakes), and 3.2% invertebrates. 

Last bit of information. Researchers have learned so much by watching streaming cams which often changes the information found in older texts that used observation of nests only. Do raptors assist their chicks in hatch? Until yesterday, I have noticed Akecheta helping this year at the West End nest. It surely happens more often! And, yes, Big Red assisted L1 by rolling the egg gently so that super hard shell (no lingering DDT issues here) to help break it up.

The Cornell RTH chat which is open M-W-F from 12-2 and T-Th from 10-12 Ithaca NY time. It is a great way to learn about the hawks. Go to the link below and click on chat (scroll down as it will be under the image of E3):

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/red-tailed-hawks/

The oldest of the siblings at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest woke up on the wrong side of the bed again this morning. He pecked at both Middle and Little. The breakfast fish came in around 9ish. Little Bit got a few bites. This nest needs another fish soon.

In the first image you can see the size difference of the three osplets easily. Big is at least 4x the size of Little Bit now with all the food it has been getting. At least 4x, possibly 5x.

Big goes after Middle. Little is staying out of the way.

Big will eat for a good 20 minutes before Little Bit gets the courage to go up and get a few bites – and yes, it was only a few. The fish was gone at 09:30.

As Mum was cleaning her beak, Little and Middle were up hoping that there was some more fish. You can hear them fish crying. Meanwhile Big is full past the brim and sleeping.

For those watching this nest, please be cautious. Middle attacked Little bit ferociously when the Mum moved. There was nape pulling and at a point I thought he was plucking. Little Bit might not make it if it continues to be kept from food and –well, it is the attacks.

Mum left the nest and returned around 12:17. Little Bit is looking up at her wanting food.

This once lovely nest has turned. Bonk and get bonked. What Big does to Middle, Middle then does to Little Bit. How sad! Send positive wishes to this nest. We need lots of fish brought in to turn this behaviour around and even then, it might not work but we hope.

It is 13:27 nest time and Little Bit is constantly prey calling. Oh, I wish this nest would turn around for the good. I wondered this morning if this stage of plumage development makes the nestlings more anxious and cranky. They are constantly preening those itchy feathers. That along with being hot and dehydrated and little fish…???????

Aran and Mrs G are celebrating the arrival of their second egg today. Yipppeeee. Let us all hope the weather and the intruders cooperate so these two have healthy hatches and they all fledge this year.

Everyone is busy laying eggs. Idris and Telyn now have three eggs in their Dyfi Nest as of 17:07.

Buckachek and Betynka at the Mlade Buky White Stork nest have their second egg as well.

I went to check on the two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest. Because you can only go so far back on rewind it is difficult to state with some precision what the two have had to eat but they have had some fish that was brought in and there could be more. The amount that each got is unknown. They are both doing well and it is beautiful and green in the forest around the nest.

This has been a very long blog! There are so many nests with so much happening. Will try and do a nest hop later this evening for everyone who is missing out on hearing about their favourite nests. Yes, we do have our favourites. We will also be looking for another hatch for Big Red and Arthur.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that the weather is grand where you are. Get out and go for a walk and take me along. If you are waiting for the UCal Falcon Q & A, that is currently about 45 minutes away. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Dyfi Osprey Project, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, DHEC, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH Cam, Capri Mlade Buky, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

Wow! What an afternoon in Bird World

21 April 2022

I have hardly moved from observing two bird streaming cams so far today. Those are the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam and the Cornell Red-tail Hawk cam of Big Red and Arthur. Each nest had potential issues. Blood was seen on the outside of the egg of L1. Was this just the normal amount of blood coming off the umbilical cord? and then a second egg began to pip! At the Florida nest it is difficult to tell who is the nastiest towards Little Bit. Is it Big? or is it Middle? Last year at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, the largest sibling let the Middle one constrain and peck Tiny Tot Tumbles, the third hatch. It was horrible. Tiny Tot survived and became the dominant one on the nest. I am hoping Little Bit does, too.

A nice sized piece of fish arrived on the UFlorida nest. Little Bit had none of the earlier fish and was hungry. He managed to grab a bite from Mum before he was clobbered by one of the older siblings. Our little scrapper from a few days ago quickly went into submission. He has to be tired and somewhat dehydrated but, like all third hatches, he hung in there and waited and watched.

Big is hovering over Little Bit.

Little Bit looks like he is down and not paying attention.

Watch. There Little Bit goes scurrying behind Big. He needs some of this fish to help rehydrate him and help him get strong again.

Both Big and Middle had eaten earlier and had big crops. It is good they got full quickly at this feeding so Little Bit could have some food.

At 15:17 we get a glimpse of Little Bit’s head behind Mum. He is in a food coma. Mum continues to eat on the fish and give more bites to the bigger siblings once in awhile until well past 15:30. There was lots of fish at this feeding and things should be settling down but both the two bigger siblings still believe that there is not enough coming on the nest for three. We wait and hope for another large fish today before bedtime for these three. That should help ease the anxiety although often there is lots of food on the nest and the older siblings continue to exert their dominance.

The miracle might have happened. At 16:58 a nice fish landed on the nest. The two older siblings have big crops. Little Bit looks so skinny.

His wings are so thin.

The big ones ate some of that fish but there is lots left. Little Bit is going to get a lot of fish (I hope). Sometimes the older ones eat til you think they will be sick just to keep the youngest from getting any food.

You can see Little Bit’s skinny wings up by Mom’s left shoulder being fed. This is their biggest growth period. Little Bit needs lots of food. It looks like he gets fed and then one of the bigger ones moves in for some more. I hope he stays put and lets them eat so when they leave he is there ready for more.

There. Little Bit was fed until 17:13 and moved away full.

Little Bit has gone to sleep. Meanwhile it looks like Middle Bob is back up for more fish. Around 17:15 chaos breaks out. Little Bit raises its head like it wants more fish. Big and Middle get into it and then they go after Little Bit. This is not a happy Osprey nest. Middle continues to be the worst towards Little Bit. He will snatch him by the nape of the neck and shake the baby. That always scares me.

They are full. Middle and Big have eaten and eaten. The power plays are entirely unnecessary. Wish for Little Bit to be strong and smart as well as tenacious. He needs to outwit the big ones.

Well, Little Bit is eating again and the two older siblings are watching! Bravo.

It is nerve wrecking. The two are now resting. Little Bit continues to eat! He eats til he is full and then Mum enjoys some of the nice fish. It is 17:25. We can all rest easy tonight. More fish tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Please, Dad.

Big Red and Arthur have four eggs. The first began with a pip yesterday afternoon. That hatch has caused some worry because of some blood showing. It is normal for there to be a little blood from the umbilical cord. We will have to wait and see. The chick is alive. Is it having trouble with that inner membrane of the egg which is really tough to get through? Around noon another egg began pipping!

You can clearly see the pipping from the second egg, the splotchy one, at the top. L1’s egg is to the far left.

Arthur has brought the first prey item to the nest for the Ls or Big Red if she gets hungry. Big Red will probably remain on the eggs til L1 has hatched fully.

Grab some sleep now Big Red. You are going to be very busy tomorrow.

It is 15:26 and Big Red is extremely restless, rolling and checking on the eggs. Fingers crossed for that wee one to get through that membrane and the rest of that egg!

What do you do while you are waiting for one egg to finish hatching and another to get on with its pipping – on a very windy day? You play with sticks!

At 15:52 we get a glimpse.

Well, I am worn out with the excitement. L1 is working hard to get out of that egg. There is lots of movement. Gosh, I bet everyone watching Big Red and this little one struggle to get out of that egg are having sympathy pains. It won’t be long. Then L2 will be hot on the trail. It would be grand if the four hatched within 24-48 hours.

None of the raptors normally help the little ones hatching. It can actually cause them harm. I have seen some remove a half egg shell that is sticking if the hatchling is free elsewhere. Akecheta did that this year with one of the triplets.

It is now 17:02.

Big Red is not going to lay on the egg. She is going to just wiggle her breast feathers over it. Good progress. It is 17:03 and you can see the little one move. It needs to pop that top off – but it might need to rest a bit. Hatching is very tiring.

The Glaslyn Osprey nest cam is back on line. What a soft nest Mrs G and Aran have made. You can see Mrs G rolling the first egg. We will be looking for a second tomorrow.

Aran looks particularly handsome in the sunshine as he sits on the perch. He has returned from migration in top form!

Towards dusk Aran arrives at the nest with a fish for Mrs G.

He takes over incubation duties while Mrs G eats on the perch. All is well on the Glaslyn nest! Yes.

Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, has her nest on a parking lot near Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. It is cool and blustery there today. Iris arrived a little after 14:00 and did some nest work and then stood and looked around.

I wonder if Iris is looking for Louis? Does she think he might grace her with a visit and a fish? It is hard to say. Louis still considers his primary nest with Starr over at their new nest at the baseball park.

Well, Iris is nothing short of stunning for a bird that is 28 or 29 years old (they are unsure since she is unringed). Simply gorgeous.

The failed nest in Illinois is getting a new artificial nest and the two surviving eaglets will be taken up as soon as it is secured! Amazing work. Thank you to Ellen for posting this on the Big Bear FB page.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful to know that the two eaglets will be back with their parents in a safe nest. We will have, for sure, at least one hatch tonight at the Cornell Red-tail Hawk nest and Little Bit will sleep and grow. What a relief to see him get a good feed. Take care everyone. There should be a fuzzy eyas in the news for tomorrow. Maybe 2. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Cornell Lab RTH, U-Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Montana Osprey Project.

Thursday morning in Bird World

21 April 2022

The snow that was forecast did not materialize in southern Manitoba and Winnipeg. That is wonderful! We needed a break from the last storm to melt the snow and to be outside. The birds needed a break in the weather, too. Sadly, there is another special weather advisory for the southern part of Manitoba starting tomorrow morning through Sunday. Perhaps we will only get the wintery rain. Oh, the poor Wood Ducks. They have just arrived.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The Q & A session on Cal Falcons is at noon in Berkeley! When you go to the YouTube site and set the alarm reminder, it will confirm your local time – hence the confusion. Thanks ‘B’ and ‘S’.

You can tell by Big Red’s demeanour that ‘something’ is happening. She does a little wiggle and then you catch her with this focused look as if she can see the eyas advancing in its pecking. Of course, she can hear it cheeping and, apparently, so can the other three. Some believe that this encourages them to hatch faster so they can join their sibling. That would be grand.

Arthur revealed the progress of the hatch when there was a shift change.

Hatching!

The White-tailed eagle nest of Tula and Borek in the Tuchola Forest had three eggs. The eaglets hatched on 8, 12, and 14th of April. There are only two surviving eaglets today. Siblicide is not as widespread in White-tail Eagle populations as it is in Golden Eagles. That said, when the third eaglet hatched the eldest at this nest began immediately to beak it. There was 6 days difference in their age and size. I believe the two surviving are hatches 1 and 2. I will refer to them as Big Bob and Middle Bob to try and keep things straight.

Today, Middle was clever and crawled up leaning half in and half way out of the nest cup so it could get some food. This is a very determined youngster. The eldest had eaten and so the youngest was not tormented. I hope that these two survive just like the two oldest hatches at the Dale Hollow Nest.

The nest is 25 metres above ground on a 140-year-old pine tree. The White-tailed eagles have been using the nest for four years. At another place in the forest, eagles had been nesting since the late 1990s on a 160-year-old pine near to one of the fish lakes. So for 25 years eagles, at some location in Tuchola Forest, WTE have been breeding. There is a year round protection area around the nests extending 200 metres in any direction.

The nest is located in this large, 46 sq kilometres, nature reserve in northern Poland. The two main types of trees are the Pine and the Oak Bartek. It is the oldest oak tree in Poland believed to be 686 years in age.

Polek i Bartek w jednym lesie stali” by Polek is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The park is full of rabbits, deer, and 80 species of birds. There are also nearby rivers for fish. It is anticipated that there should be plenty of food for the adults and both of the chicks.

There are about 1200-1500 pairs of White-tailed Eagles in Poland. Their conservation status is ‘very scarce breeding bird’. Most of the eagles live in the northern areas of Poland.

Here is a link to this White-tailed Eagle nest in Poland:

Both eaglets were being fed well Thursday morning:

Idris and Telyn were watching the train go past the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Two eggs. We will be watching for the third tomorrow.

Little (or Mini) is still on the nest with Lena and has not fledged yet. Middle (Little) took off this morning about 10:05 for a flight and is perched on some greenery near the nest. He is probably going to watch for when Dad delivers a fish. This morning Lena has also had to chase away an intruder, another Osprey.

It looks like the MN-DNR nest is getting a bit of sun this morning. It will help dry out the nest of Harry and Nancy but will they get some of that snow and rain that is coming?

What is enfluffeling?

Jackie and Shadow’s 2022 eaglet, Spirit, sure loves it when the wind blows hard through the nest. She is working those wings today!

For all us worrying aunties and uncles, the cam operator did Zoom out and there are three eaglets on the West End nest. Relief. When the camera is in the normal position, you might only see two.

This is the view of the Glacier Gardens Nest this morning. Oh, it is beautiful. Liberty and Freedom should be returning soon.

It is a bright sunny day for Chase, Cholyn, and the little one at the Two Harbours nest.

The Redding Eagles are asking for you to vote for your favourite name for Liberty and Guardians 2022 hatches. Here is the announcement:

Friends of the Redding Eagles​ NAMING: Step 2: Vote for your favorite pair of names, just ONCE please. Click here to vote- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FA…

Jasper and Rocket from Samson and Gabby’s NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest have both fledged. They have also returned to the nest. Yahoo. Today they were perched on a branch of the nest tree looking out. I wonder if they might do some tandem flying?

Mum flew in with a hunk of fish at 09:22 at the UFlorida Osprey nest. Look where where that one osplet is positioned for the feed! I believe this to be either Big or Middle. It is not Little Bit.

That chick got a lots of nice big fish bites while the other two were fighting at the back of Mum. It is difficult to tell who is who and the dark shadow is not helping. I first thought it was Little Bit on the rim of the nest but I believe that Little Bit is getting hammered by Big while it is Middle eating. But that is not a 100% certain ID.

The chicks are really, really hungry. Clever of that one to get up there to be fed. It walked away and fell into food coma. Smiling. Ah, is he playing possum? He looked up to see the other two eating. Wonder if he will return for some more fish?

That osplet would certainly like some more fish.

Sadly it looks like Little Bit is lodged between Big and Middle. This is not good especially with less fish coming on the nest and the hot weather dehydrating the little guys.

Little Bit cannot seem to get around the bigger sibling. He will be getting tired and dehydrated.

At 10:00 the Big sibling was laying on top of Little Bit.

I do not believe Little Bit did get any fish. The feeding was over and Mum went to brood the chicks.

I will monitor the UFlorida nest on and off today. What looked good a few days ago has now turned. Let us all hope that another big chunk of fish gets on that nest quickly so Little Bit can have some food.

This is the latest on the hatch for Big Red and Arthur. The image was shot in a change over from Arthur to Big Red. I am really hoping that is blood from a prey item.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. I will be back with what I hope is good news on Little Bit later today along with hatch news from Cornell. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Explore.org, Tuchoskie Forest Eagle Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, Redding Eagles, MN-DNR, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cal Falcons, Glacier Gardens, and Dyfi Osprey Project.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

20 April 2022

If you have been checking on the three osplets in the University of Florida-Gainesville nest today, you might have become quite distressed. The first fish did not arrive until 11:11:41 and Big made it known – after Little Bit – made a couple of beaks – that it would eat first. The beaking continued by Big and then Mum got them all lined up and fed peacefully by moving the fish.

There has been no more fish deliveries. It is 24 or 75.2 degrees with winds of 21 kph or 13 miles per hour. It is, of course, hotter up on that high nest with the light reflecting off the shiny metal of the lights.

Big is hot and cranky and very hungry as are the other two siblings and Mum. Hopefully this is not going to set a pattern for the future. If fish deliveries can get more normalized it would be very helpful.

Mum has left the nest. Has she gone fishing?

At 17:40:11, Mum landed on the nest with a fish with a head on it. I am going to presume that in the time she was away from the nest she caught this fish. My reasoning? This dad always brings in headless fish to the nest. I had hopes that the feeding would go smoothly but because it is slow going starting with the head, bedlam broke out with Big taking its frustration out on everyone. So sad that this is happening.

At 18:06 almost an hour after the fish landed on the nest, Little Bit moved up and is being fed. Relief.

There is enough fish left to fill Little Bit up! Mom is pulling the flesh off the skin for Little Middle. She has eaten some along the way and she will eat the skin and the tail for sure. It would be really nice if Dad brought in a second fish. Wonder where he is?

I can tell Little Bit is being fed by the way his body is moving. He sort of spreads his wings out sometimes too. Mum is also feeding Middle at the same time. They will all go to bed with some fish in their tummy.

Give Mum a great big round of applause. She was still feeding Middle and Little Bit at 18:18! I am impressed. Middle got full and moved and Mum was still finding flakes for Little Bit at 18:27. Bravo.

Further chaos evolved when Mum decided she wanted to brood all three of them! Good night little ones. Happy Fish Dreams.

In other Bird World news.

At 14:25 you could see the little beak of L1 chipping away at the egg wanting to hatch!

The Smithsonian Magazine has put out an article about the impact of Avian Flu on the Bald Eagles (US). In Manitoba, we have two confirmed cases of Avian Flu – a Bald Eagle that just migrated and a Snow Goose.

I would not want to get in the way of any of the Eagle parents. They caught the female at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest protecting her three eaglets from an intruder.

Not only are the hawks and falcons laying four eggs but there is an Osprey nest in the Kielder Forest that now has four osprey eggs. Oh, geez. Can you tell already I don’t want that 4th egg to hatch?? It is at Kielder Nest 1A.

@ Forestry England

The Kielder Web site says, “It is the fifth time in total that there have been four eggs on their nest. 2016 was the first occasion and the pair raised them to fledging, but sadly the eldest was never seen after that. On the more recent occasions a chick has died young or hatches failed. Weather is a key factor, but disruption by intruders can also cause problems.”

No eggs yet at Poole Harbour but Blue 022 did bring CJ7 a nice fish today! Fantastic.

A reminder about the Cal Falcons Q & A. I just had one large laugh when I saw a comment by ‘B’ about the time. ‘B’s’ question is: Can I assume that this is noon Pacific time and not 2pm? Here is the posting! And that is a great question. Did the system automatically set the time for CDT not Berkeley time? I plan to ask and will get back to everyone as soon as hear. The nice thing is that Sean always posts the whole discussion after. The sad thing is that you miss submitting questions. This should be a very informative chat after all that has happened.

It has just been a lovely day and I am going to try and navigate the snowy sidewalks and go for a bit of a walk. There are apparently Wood Ducks back in the City and Canada Geese have been making nests on beaver dams because of the snow. It is rather crazy out there. The snow last night did not materialize. Thank goodness.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or web pages where I took my screen captures: Kielder Forest, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and Poole Harbour Ospreys.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

20 April 2022

The number of intruders or interlopers – or floaters – causing tense interactions at or near nests is becoming increasingly more alarming. We have seen Grinnell at Cal Falcons chase a female intruder from The Campanile only to be killed. Both Alden and Annie have, since, had to defend their territory with one male interloper coming right into the scrape while eggs were being incubated!

When did we realize that the life of our feathered friends is not just fluttering around and singing at sunrise and dusk? It is becoming quite worrisome.

Rosie was incubating eggs at the SF Bay Osprey nest at the Richmond Shipping yard when an intruder arrived. Richmond does not seem to be around and well, just have a look. The adults that have eggs and chicks that depend on them need to be hunting for food not defending nests in situations that might injure or harm them fatally.

It is happening everywhere and events such as these are causing a lot of anxiety. This morning an intruder with a fish tried to land on the Llyn Clywedog nest with a fish after Seren had laid her third egg. Dylan chased it off! Is it my imagination or is it worse this year than last?

There is a real lack of suitable nesting sites. Ospreys have adapted well to various human made objects such as the Whirley Crane in SF or the light stand at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I just learned the other day that there is an Osprey nest on top of one of the light stands at the University of Manitoba. I had no idea. Ospreys will use human made platforms – what they require is that the sky be wide open so they have a 360 view of any predators arriving. Otherwise Ospreys like the tops of dead trees. Bald Eagles like trees but trees – good old sturdy trees – are in decline. Ron and Rita took to the Papadam nest that Ron Magill constructed and, as I have mentioned a couple of times, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia is construction eagle nests with sun shades! In San Francisco there is a real desire to have some of that prime real estate that The Campanile provides. Good trees and good territories with a growing number of birds looking for them tends to cause much distress.

It is a joy to see these two eaglets after the very rough start at the Dale Hollow nest. Both hatched on the 28th of February. If we count hatch day, they are 51 days old now. More growing, more wingersizing, and more jumping to do before fledging. Thankfully we will be enjoying them for awhile longer.

An adult brought in a small fish. Little Middle stayed back watching. Little Middle has not forgotten that he needs to be cautious. They have had days of many fish and then not much. Hunger could bring out the cranky side of Big. This is typical of eagle nests where the parents tend to show the older eaglets that sometimes it is feast or famine in the wild.

Little Middle moves up to eat before the fish is all gone, thankfully.

Cornell Bird Lab has posted a possible pip watch for Big Red and Arthur. They say they are in uncharted territory with four eggs. We will all be learning something. We will all be anxious to check on the status of this Red-tail Hawk nest first thing!

Wednesday morning. Cornell called a definite pip. Bit breezy there at times today.

You can see the pip in the third egg from the left as Arthur rolls the eggs this morning.

Big Red and Arthur are going to be really, really busy by the weekend.

B15 is 97 days old today. Pa Berry and Missy continue to come to the nest and to bring fish. Sometimes B15 self-feeds and sometimes she wants Mum to feed her. She tried both approaches Tuesday afternoon. It is such a joy that she is staying around the nest – getting strong, figuring out how to live on her own one day.

Well, the first fish of the morning did not arrive until 11:11:14 and it caused tension on the UFlorida Osprey nest at Gainesville.

Each of the chicks was hot and hungry and had been anticipating a nice piece of fish much earlier. As a result the eldest was cranky and Little Bit didn’t help itself by pecking at Big!

As you might well imagine a hot hungry bigger sibling wasn’t too happy and Big turned around and pecked Little Bit until he went into submission. Little Bit needs to not be so cheeky.

What was interesting to me was that, after a couple of minutes, the Mum got tired of the nonsense of the fighting and moved the fish and all three got in line and ate. Well done Mum!

Little Bit went and did a ps at 11:34 and went back to join the line. He has a bit of a crop forming and there is still fish left. Behave Little Bit!

There is a new study that is out in The Guardian this morning warning that protected areas aren’t always protecting the wildlife they should.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/20/protected-areas-dont-always-benefit-wildlife-global-study-finds-aoe

A quick check of what is happening in some of the nests.

Idris and Telyn have their second egg at the Dyfi Nest in Wales as of yesterday, the 19th.

Dylan and Seren 5F have three eggs at their nest at Llyn Clywedog as of today.

The Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 also have three eggs as of yesterday.

Everyone had a chance to eat fish at the Captiva Nest. Mum Lena is feeding Middle (Little) while Little (Mini) has his own fish on the left.

The two osplets are watching a Crow fly over head. Aren’t they just so beautiful? Look at those amber eyes and that plumage. Gorgeous. Did I say I love Ospreys?

The three eaglets on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta are still on the nest. Oh, these kids make me nervous.

Just look at the size of the eaglet standing by Thunder being fed. My goodness. Check out the size of those legs. Wow.

It is certainly a gorgeous morning with that deep cobalt blue water and golden glow filtering on the Two Harbours nest of Chase and Cholyn and their little one.

Voting closes today for the two eaglets of Liberty and Guardian. Be sure to fill in the form and get it in by 5pm Pacific time today! The link to submit a name is below the image.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepb87S7zrcMZI6PXzhLCeFD6t21xj5sjw7mEV9n2aT_34CWg/viewform

At the Northeast Florida nest of Samson and Gabby, both of their eaglets have now fledged. Congratulations Rocket!

There will be an on line Q & A about the Cal Falcons on 22 April – that is Friday at 2pm Berkeley time. You can set a reminder!

Betyanka and Bukachek have their first egg at the White Stork nest in Mlade Buky The Czech Republic.

Thank you so much for joining me. There are so many nests with things happening that it is hard to keep up. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Capi Mlade Buky White Storks, Cornell Bird Labs, DHEC, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Redding Eagles, CarnyxWild, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and Berry College Eagles.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

Right now it is hard to believe that snow will be arriving again in about 4 or 5 hours. All of the garden animals are out and about running around on the hydro lines and poles and checking to see if there are any corn kernels hidden in the wood in the little sheds. Dyson knows it is there! He will find it for sure.

Sharpie seems to have some competition in the garden now with a Cooper’s Hawk (note the curved tail). This hawk is much larger than Sharpie. I wonder if it is a female. Certainly didn’t need to worry about birds at feeders!!!!!!!! They took off but a few went down under the deck and Cooper knows they are there.

Besides the garden chaos with Cooper, there has been a mini-kerfuffel going on in my City today. To feed the songbirds or not? to put out feeders or not? in times of Avian Flu. I decided to ask the Cornell Bird Lab and also sent a question to Dr Thijs Kuken at the University of Erasmus in Rotterdam who is a virologist and studies Avian Flu. I have not heard from him. But the Cornell Bird Lab did send the following information:

“Hello,

Thank you for reaching out to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

We are paying attention to the situation. Avian influenza viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Wild aquatic birds can be infected with avian influenza viruses in their intestines and respiratory tract, but usually do not get sick.

There are no suggestions to take bird feeders down unless you have backyard poultry or work with poultry or other domestic birds. Of course, this may change as birds begin their migrations north.

Below are some resources that should help.

Fact Sheet from the Cornell Vet School: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/system/files/public/cwhl-fact-sheets-ai.pdf

I hope this helps.

Thank you.”

Sarah Wagner, PhD
Public Information Specialist
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

It is recommended that you clean your feeders with a very mild mixture of dish soap and either white vinegar or bleach (very, very mild). You should allow everything to fully dry before using them. There are also recommendations that you clean your feeders every 48 hours. But do note, if you have feeders near poultry – as in a back yard poultry area), those feeders should be removed!

Checking on the UK Ospreys, Mrs G and Aran have their first egg. It arrived at 19:37! Aran saw the egg and went to get Mrs G some more bedding. Sweet.

Telyn and Idris welcomed their second egg at the Dyfi Osprey nest at 18:01.

Sweet. A nice fish for Telyn. Oh, Idris. You are a darling.

A small piece of fish with the tail arrived at the Dale Hollow Eagle nest late in the day. Big and Little Middle were decidedly hungry! It was nice to see the adult feed them both.

I know that the parents slow down the delivery of fish as the eaglets get older providing them with plenty one day and nothing another so they learn about living on their own. However, it sure was nice to see a piece of fish show up for these two!

Martin and Rosa’s eaglet at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest is doing great. They have had some bad weather and it is still really windy there.

Akecheta has been busy protecting his three eagles at the West End nest on the Channel Islands. It looks like he was concerned about some gulls that were overhead this afternoon.

I did not see it but ‘B’ sent me a video clip of an intruder getting right in the scrape box at Cal Falcons. I am glad I did not see that event live. Thank you, ‘B’.

Sadly, the successful breeding and relocation programmes often cause a lot of floaters looking for nests that can be quite disruptive to established pairs with eggs or chicks. Or, sadly, cause fatalities.

Little Bit has a nice crop. You can see it in the ‘cuddle puddle’ on the nest. That fuzzy light grey marble looking thing is its crop! The nest has done well today. Mum has tried to keep those osplets cool.

Jasper at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest took its first flight and has since made several others. Rocket is ‘thinking’ about flying. Jasper, however, seemed to have everything happen the day he flew for the first time. He roosted during a storm on the nest tree and, as the AEF realized, he was also hit by an owl! Needless to say he was tired and starving when he got back in the nest. Here is the footage of the owl attack.

This has been a very short newsletter. I hope that everyone is doing well. Take care and I will see you again soon – with more eggs being laid tomorrow in the UK! Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: DHEC, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, Pix Cams, and Dyfi Osprey Project.