Glacier Gardens, Ervie on the nest, and other news in Bird World

19 May 2022

It has been a rather dreary damp day. The garden has been full of Orioles, Chipping Sparrows, European Starlings, and Harris Sparrows. They sure bring a lot of joy. At the same time, they let you know that your place is to fill the feeders and then get inside and do not disturb them. They can be rather loud about that. Little Red was about a metre from his new home. I do not know if he found it. Will continue to watch on and off. Fingers crossed!

Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle streaming cam is now live at the new nest of Liberty and Freedom! It is also a brand new camera.

Here is the link to the Glacier Gardens camera:

Big and Middle (known as Warrior by some) were both on the Dale Hollow nest this morning. Then Big left and Middle has been flapping his wings. Our time with them could be limited. So nice to see these two beautiful juveniles.

Yesterday it seemed that Big was up on a high branch. Middle kept looking up. If there is a fledge the camera might not catch it if they are up on those high branches.

Look how big Warrior is. After Big killed Little Bit, we did not know if Middle would make it. We can now rejoice that all is well and we can hope that he or she has an amazing and long life.

I have not seen a prey delivery today at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy. The weather is not great and it is unclear if there are any intruders about. Nancy has been up on the branch watching over the territory.

Nesting material is being delivered to the Barnegat Light Osprey nest in New Jersey today by both Duke and Daisy.

Lady and Dad both spent the night on the old Ironbark nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest where they raise their little White-Bellied Sea Eagles. Sea Eagles are the second largest raptor in Australia with the Wedge-tail Eagle being the largest. Lady and Dad normally have two eggs and fledge both chicks. That said there are birds in the forest that chase them far away so they cannot map the route to and from the nest in their GPS systems. This means the fledglings do not learn from the parents how to fish or have the opportunity to be fed on the nest and get their flying stronger. Last year WBSE 27 went into care twice and was finally trained to hunt and get their flying strong before release the last time. 28 is believed to have returned to the nest recently – to everyone’s surprise – but it was very gaunt. There can be some food competition.

If you have never heard the ‘Dawn Duet’ by the White-Bellied Sea Eagles you are in for a real treat. I taped it last year on 22 June – have a listen. The couple do this every morning at dawn to wake the forest. The chicks also join in!

Many have commented that it looks like the Manton Bay trio of Blue 33 and Maya grow right before our eyes. They are certainly moving from the soft fluffy new born nestling phase and will soon enter the dark wooly period. As the plumage changes the osplets do tend to get a little edgy. Those feathers must be really itchy and irritating. No worries – it is just ‘feather stress’ (that is what I call it). There will be no problems with siblicide on this nest!!!!!! Blue 33 has spent a lot of time on the nest with Maya and he has been feeding the chicks every once in awhile.

They are considered to be a Power Couple in the Osprey World. They are certainly very strong together.

Maya was first seen at Rutland in the summer of 2009. She is the only Rutland osprey to have a name. The letters for Maya come from Manton Bay (first and last two letters to form Maya). The Greek word ‘Maia’ means ‘coming of spring’. Maya successfully bred with 5R (04) from 2010 to 2013. They raised 11 chicks! At least five of those have returned to Rutland – if not more. I have not checked the last two year’s stats. Sadly, Maya’s mate did not return in 2014. She waited and then finally paired with 28 (10). She laid three eggs. But Blue 33 (11) wasn’t having it. He wanted both the nest and Maya as his mate and he persisted – finally kicking the other males eggs out of the nest!!!!! Blue 33 and Maya have been together ever since. They are utterly devoted to one another and with the exception of this year, have often arrived from their winter migration within minutes of one another. They first raised successful chicks in 2015.

So why are they considered a power couple within the Osprey world? In addition to the 3 chicks in 2015, there were 17 chicks from 2016-2020 including two years of clutches of 4 chicks raised to fledge!!!!!!!!!!! Two years of four chicks. Think about that. 2019 and 2020. In 2021, they fledged 2 making a grand total of 22 chicks fledged with three now in the nest. In total, Maya has fledged 33 chicks. Incredible. I love this nest. This year will make that 36 chicks.

Here is a video of Blue feeding the chicks. I should mention that Blue is quite different to other male ospreys; he likes to be involved in every process, spends a lot of time on the nest, sometimes feeds Maya and brings in a heck of a lot of fish!

I am a great fan of the California condors and have followed the trials, tribulations, and the victories of both Redwood Queen 190 and Iniko 1031. Everyone was waiting for Iniko to be reunited with her mother after they were separated because of the Dolan Fire. Indeed, if you do not know the story of Iniko – it is beautiful and it should give us hope that things do work out. Iniko was in the Redwood nest that her father, Kingpin and Redwood Queen shared, when the Dolan fire ripped through Big Sur in 2020. The fire raged around the nest tree. Iniko survived but was knocked out of the tree by Ninja 729. Redwood Queen came to the rescue! Iniko was taken into care at the Los Angeles Zoo supported by the Ventana Wildlife Society. Redwood Queen has a new mate, Phoenix, and they had an egg this year that was believed to be non-viable. Iniko was released on 4 December and this is the first time Mum and daughter have been seen together. Both females dive into the pack and get close to the carcass!

@Ventana Wildlife Society

The only surviving chick on the Dahlgren Osprey nest of Jack and Harriet has a nice crop at 1800 today. The heavy storms and rain caused the waters to rise and be murky. Not good if you are an osprey trying to catch a fish. The water is now clearing and let us hope everything stays on track with this one Bob.

It was nice to see Louis cuddled up with Dorcha at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest in Scotland. The weather has been terrible – that along with a mess of intruders have really not made it a good start to the year for these two.

I can hear rain falling on Theo’s nest in Latvia and see that some work continues to be made on the nest but no Theo and no mate. Beautiful birds singing in the distance.

Black Storks are very, very rare in Latvia and Estonia. Because of this conservation status, they are much loved by the people – and many of us. Karl II and Kaia have four eggs on their Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The first egg was laid on 24 April with the last on 1 May. We should be looking for a pip in what? Incubation is normally 32-38 days (varies by author). So we are at 25 days with the oldest egg.

Here is the link to Karl and Kaia’s streaming cam:

The Black Stork nest of Jan and Janika is also in Estonia in Jogeva County. There are five eggs. The couple are, according to the chat moderator, on day 34, 31, 31 and 30 (counted from laying). Here is the link to their streaming cam:

There was one Black Stork nest that was monitored in Latvia. It was the nest of Grafs and Grafiene. I have not been able to confirm any activity for this couple this season.

There was a scary moment on the nest of Big Red and Arthur when Big Red brought in greenery at 11:47 and L3 looked as if she would fall backwards off the nest.

There is tug-o-war with some prey and the inklings of self-feeding with bits of prey left on the nest. Too cute. L4 looks on and wants to join in the fun.

I checked on Ervie a few minutes ago and he was not on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Then ‘B’ checked after me and Ervie flew onto the nest and is now sitting in Dad’s cave!!!!!!! Oh, we are truly blessed. Thank you ‘B’. Now anyone can go to the Port Lincoln streaming cam and see our beautiful boy!

Seeing Ervie brings tears of joy! So happy for this third hatch. He is much loved and adored by so many. Thank you ‘B’ for taking the time to send me a note! It is much appreciated. Ervie might well bring a puffer back. He seems to find them around the barge.

Thank you for joining me today. It was a whirlwind around the nests. Too many. Too much going on. It is hard to keep up with them. Take care all. If you want to see Ervie, here is the link to his camera:

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB pages: Ventana Wildlife Society, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Glacier Gardens, Cornell RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Latvian Fund for Nature, Friends of Loch Arkaig and People’s Post Code Lottery, Barnegat Light Ospreys, Sea Eagles @BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, MN-DNR, Dahlgren Ospreys, DHEC, and LRWT.

Mother’s Day in Bird World

8 May 2022

It’s Mother’s Day and every year I send a shout out to all those great bird mothers who don’t know anything about flowers, chocolates, or going for brunch but who, as best they can, as old as some are, keep our skies filled with the sound of hawks, eagles, falcons, Sky Calls, and song. They have brought us great joy, sorrow, and have taught us so very, very much.

Each of you will have your own list. I have discovered that birds are very personal. So pause and thank your favourites!

The first bird mother I always think of is Big Red. She is not a big strong eagle or a fish hawk. No, she is a medium sized hawk that melts our hearts year after year. Big Red, the Matriarch of the Red-tail Hawks is enjoying early morning sunshine and a necklace of eyases – four of them. She surprised everyone with those four eggs. This nineteen year old probably has a lot more tricks up her talon for us.

We know she hatched in 2003 and that she was hatching chicks in 2005 but the camera did not come live until 2012. That is 7 years unaccounted for. Big Red has consistently laid three eggs and the only time since 2012 she did not fledge three was last year because of K2s beak issue. Potentially she has fledged 51 hawks. 51. Incredible.

She is always happy when there are chicks in the nest and she seems energized this year with the four.

Cholyn at the Two Harbours Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands gets the thumbs up this morning. At the age of 24, she is still busy raising eaglets. This year her and Chase had the soon-to-be-banded Only Child, TH1, this year. Cholyn is the mother of Thunder at the West End nest and is the grandmother to another generation of Channel Islands eagles.

Redwood Queen is 23 years and 11 months old and is currently either incubating an egg in Big Sur or brooding a chick! She survived the Dolan Fire and is famously known for her chick, Iniko Orange 1031, who also survived that fire to the surprise of many. She has hatched and fledged 6 condors and fostered and fledged 3. She is currently with 477 Phoenix. It is their second season together. Their egg failed last year. Fingers crossed for this year. Fitting that they both survived massive fires to rise again.

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the UK, at the age of 21-23 years is currently brooding three eggs with her mate, Aran, at the Glaslyn Nest. They had a rough patch last year so I am really hoping that this year turns out incredibly well for them.

If we count this year, she has laid 57 eggs with 46 hatched and 41 fledged.

There are lots of Ospreys. I can easily put Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest at the top of a list – 20 fledglings in 6 years. Is that correct? But I want to give a hat’s off to a much overlooked female at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. Blue 35 was smart and sneaky and made sure that her third hatch —–1/8 the size of the other two older siblings at hatch – survived. She removed fish and once the older ones were asleep returned to the nest and fed Blue 463. As a result, 463 thrived and became a huge female and quite dominant on the nest. Thank you Blue 35. She was also one of the only Osprey nests to fledge three in 2021.

Peregrine Falcon Mothers. Hats off to the Mum at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape for keeping those five eyases in tip top shape. Not easy when some are extraordinarily larger than the youngest! The tiniest one is in the front. So small you can’t see it! Mum is doing a great job.

All full and sleepy.

There is one other Peregrine Falcon Mum who is now raising two eyases after losing her mate during the egg laying part of this breeding season. That falcon is Annie at the UCal-Berkeley scrape in The Campanile. She is a grandmother – they know that her daughter is on Alcatraz Island and that this is at least her second year if not more to raise chicks.

There are now too and it appears that Lynn Scofield was completely correct. The last egg is unviable. This means that egg 1 and egg 3 hatched with the potential for one chick to be Grinnell’s and the other to be possibly Alden’s. I hope so! Annie survived the death of her long term mate, Grinnell, to hatch the two chicks. Heart warming.

Why not think about your favourite ‘Bird Mums’ today? It is a great way to thank them ———— each and everyone of them ——— for the joy they bring to our lives!

Have a great Sunday everyone. There will be a nest check in later today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or webpages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Ventana Wildlife Society, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Falcon Network Manchester NH, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

26 April 2022

It has been a great day in Bird World. When everything seemed so bleak with the ‘Only Baby’ at the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands holding on after a fall ten feet below the nest, the sun rose. When daylight came Dr Sharpe and two volunteers hiked for an hour to reach the nesting site. The trio rescued the eaglet, built up the walls of the nest, and placed the wee one back. Everyone held their breath hoping that the parents, twenty-four year old Chase and Cholyn, would appear immediately. They waited almost three hours to return. Everyone was on pins and needles. What if they did not return was the question on everyone’s mind. One did a fly by, and then they both arrived – Cholyn with some nesting material and Chase with the first fish of the afternoon. Baby was home! It was less than 24 hours but, it felt like an eternity. Would the eaglet be able to hold on? That strong brave little one stayed put until help came!

Dr Sharpe and the rescue were interviewed by ABC news:

https://abc7.com/eagle-eaglet-catalina-island-baby/11794228/

“Oh, please, just one more bite,” Cholyn insists. Meanwhile, TH1’s crop is about to pop. Can you see it? The parents were overjoyed to have their chick back on the nest.

Cholyn and Big Red believe that no one should leave the table hungry. Tonight, squirrel was on the menu at the Red-tail Hawk nest in Ithaca, New York.

There are still three for Big Red and Arthur. As you can see, Arthur has really been packing the pantry and I am happy to say that most of it is squirrel and chippy.

There has been little mention of egg 4. It pipped and the chick was alive last night. It is difficult to tell because the other three Ls lay on it. If it is to hatch we should see that wee one in the morning. Personally, three eyases is great!!!!!! The three Ls appear quite healthy.

Liberty and Guardian’s eaglets for the 2022 season now have names. They are Sentry and Star. Well done everyone who took part in the voting for these two at their Redding, California aerie. Just look at them. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Spirit and Jackie shared a meal together today. It is hard to grasp but just look at the size of Spirit. They said that she would be the size of a Canada Goose now!

It is often hard to go back to a nest when the older siblings have been responsible for the death of the younger. It took me a long time to ‘get over’ being upset with Solly at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when she caused the youngest, Tapps, to die at the age of 18 days due to starvation. It was only after she fledged that I warmed up to her again and I was honestly very sad when she died on an electrical pole in South Australia eating a fish. The two surviving ospreys at the University of Florida’s Gainesville Osprey nest are really doing well. The food competition appears to have dissipated. It is quite sad that the third hatch has to be sacrificed, or so it seems, for the good of the whole in terms of brood reduction.

The two eyases at the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco are also eating well and growing without much of a problem. Once in awhile the eldest tries to be dominant but things seem to be alright.

It was sunny with wind gusts at the Two Harbours nest. Chase and Cholyn had to hover and approach the nest twice to land. It was dreary and windy just around the corner at the West End Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Of the three trips up the cliffs in less than two weeks, Dr Sharpe rescued the youngest male from the West End nest who had fallen and then returned a few days later to measure and band the three. It is easy to spot the big sister in the group now with her two little brothers.

On Thursday the 28th, the Ventana Wildlife Society is holding a Zoom-chat. It is free and it begins at 4pm Pacific Time. When you register you can submit questions to the staff. Because Condors eat carrion, I submitted questions related to the current Avian Flu in relation to those beautiful California Condors.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

Here is the link for registration, if you are interested:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

In Latvia, the first egg at the Lesser Spotted Eagle nest has been laid. The nest is in a beautiful Spruce forest in Zemgale. The map below was posted on the English Forum, Looduskalender, and shows the area of the nest in green.

The nest is 17 metres off the floor of the forest and from its size, is believed to be at least five years years old. The couple are Anna and Andris. Lesser Spotted Eagles normally lay two eggs. If there is enough food available, both chicks will grow and fledge. If there is not, then siblicide will occur on the nest. It is good to understand this before you begin watching a Lesser Spotted Eagles nest (or a Greater or a Golden Eagle).

Andris is being shown the egg by Anna. Notice how small he is compared to the female in front.

Here is a short video of that first egg.

Here is the link to the streaming cam:

Do you love Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world? She is not only the Queen of the Ospreys but she is also one beautiful bird. Just look what good shape she is in after doing her winter migration. I am very impressed. I wonder what 28 or 29 Osprey years translates into human years??? or is there such a thing? I hope I look that good at the equivalent age!!!!!

Here is Iris this evening on her nest at Hellgate Canyon, Missoula, Montana.

Earlier, at 18:20 her mate, Louis, brings her the second fish of this season! For those who do not know Iris, Louis and Iris have this rather jaded bond. Louis also has a nest with Starr at the baseball park. This is the first year that I remember Louis bringing fish to Iris in several years. And now he has brought two! Wow.

Iris knows Louis is approaching and she does some quiet little fish calls.

Wow. That is a nice big fish. Notice the head is missing. Traditionally, males eat the head before delivering the fish to the nest.

Iris accepts Louis’s gift and flies over to the pole to eat it for her dinner. I wonder if we should be expecting eggs soon???

A marvellous book arrived in the post today. It is called Eagle Man and is about Charles Broley and his dedication to the Bald Eagle. Broley lived in Florida and in Canada. Broley was a banker; when he retired he devoted himself to bird watching. Broley became a world authority on the Bald Eagle. His observations taught us about courtship rituals, nesting, feeding, and even the migratory patterns of the eagles. I landed a copy in very good condition. It was obviously treasured by its owner, D. Gordon, who wrote on the flap that he received it in May of 1956. It is signed by Charles Broley. Inside the binding is the obituary of Broley who died on 7 May 1959 in Delta, Ontario. I am so looking forward to reading this book that inspired many to respect the Bald Eagles as many, like Dr Sharpe today, fought to bring their numbers up after most were wiped out by DDT.

Thank you for joining me. There are so many nests to cover and some will find themselves here tomorrow. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or webpages where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar Forum, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Montana Osprey Project, Explore.org, Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Latvian Fund for Nature, Presidio Trust, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Wednesday in Bird World

2.23.22

We have a terrible problem in our neighbourhood. But, before I begin, let me say that for most of my life, I have had a cat or two or more. My Dad had a ‘warm’ spot for animals. Today he would be known for feeding feral cats and caring for them. More often than not, we adopted the strays, fed them, and found homes for the kittens. He taught me that they deserve love and respect as he went about rescuing puppies abandoned and starving cats. In other words, I grew up loving animals and am particularly fond of cats. I have not had a cat since last July when my dear Honey died of kidney failure. I do adore them.

Honey was a Sorrel Abyssinian. We rescued her from an apartment where she had been locked in for a month with no one home. She was amazing. She was a lap cat and loved to be into everything that was happening.

Our City has a by-law that cats must be kept inside. It was instigated so that the large feral cat population in the City would decline. The problem is that certain people do not adhere to the by-laws and, of course, no one does anything about it if they don’t. So that is the very back story to today.

The bird feeders were full and one of the small squirrels -either Dyson or Scraggles- was eating away in the square feeder when I left to go and get the produce for the week. Everything ‘seemed’ fine. When I returned an hour later, there were few birds at the feeders. I decided to refill the one for the Starlings. They do love the Meal Worms and Butter Bark for some reason. When I did, I noticed fresh blood under the Black Sunflower feeder and frozen blood in the centre of the square feeder where the squirrel had been. Something injured one of the squirrels while I was away. It was not Sharpie – he only takes a Sparrow once in awhile and there were no feathers flying about. The cats are the likely culprit. You will often find me chasing them away from the feeders. I could not see blood anywhere else. Did the cat actually carry the squirrel away? or did the squirrel escape? We wait to find out. I have looked everywhere for clues and nothing.

None of the squirrels are in the garden not even Little Red and there remain few birds. Events like this are traumatic for them. They can smell the blood and might not know what happened but they would not that something was harmed. Sadly, the wildlife rehabbers will not take squirrels for fear of rabies. So we just hope that whichever squirrel was harmed, it heals properly. It is normally Scraggles that gets in the way of the cats. He is called ‘Scraggles’ because of his shaggy tail and torn bits of fur when he came to the garden more than half dead a couple of years ago. He sat and ate black oil seed for days hardly moving and in a few weeks he was looking good. Fingers crossed for whoever is injured. Please send your warm wishes!

Why am I telling you this when I know you keep your cats inside? Because cats are the major predator to birds at feeders, bunnies, and squirrels. While people believe they need to be outside, most vets will tell you that cats are safer inside watching the wildlife from the window. They will not get injured, hit by a car, lost, or become prey to something larger. Spread the word to those that do let their cats roam.

Bird behaviour is very interesting. You might have read my blogs mentioning Jennifer Ackerman. She is the author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way. I picked The Bird Way up again last night to read through a section and was reminded how good Ackerman’s writing is on the topic. So if you are looking for insightful books on our feathered friends and why they do what they do, when they do it – these are excellent choices.

The pattern of feeding at the Captiva Osprey nest is holding. Three good feeds in the morning with the last of the three around lunch time and the first right after dawn. The final feeding – the fourth – is around 16:00. Andy arrived with the fish at 15:56 and by the time Lena got it and the chicks were situated they were right at 16:00. You could almost set your watch by this nest.

One of the things that keeps chicks from having food competition is stability. This nest is regular and stable. Fantastic. There are no surprises. No long period without food save from the last one to the morning feed.

Turn around Little Bob!

Andy is being very vigilant.

The feeding lasted for forty minutes! Lena filled up those chicks so full but, remember, this will be their last meal for the day if the pattern these two adult Ospreys have been following holds. One of the chatters commented that, “Minibob’s got a crop so full that it’s not just getting fatter it’s getting longer as well!” (BJ). That is always good to see.

You can see a bird flying behind the palm tree. There are predators around the nest. It did not go unnoticed by Andy and Lena. Andy is being careful. No one will harm his family if he can help it.

The trio are slowly falling into a sleep coma. There was no fish left for Andy and even Lena didn’t get a lot. The osplets are demanding more and more each feeding as they grow. They will all be entering their second week by the end of this week and that is a big growth period for nestlings.

Andy is off to get his fish. Lena might be wishing he would bring in another one so she could have some more fish, too. Meanwhile she is trying to get the full and sleepy puddle of chicks settled.

Big Bob is not being very cooperative! Get to sleep Big Bob.

Finally! It is a cuddle puddle.

Spring is in the air for all of the California Condors at San Simeon and The Pinnacles. Ventana Wildlife Society just posted this beautiful image with an announcement of a Zoom session. You might want to check it out. I have attended several of these. They are free and very informative.

There is a pip at the home of the Duke Farms Bald Eagles!

Here is the link to their camera. I saw the announcement on FB but the view from the cameras is not good enough for me to get an image capture.

One of our readers, ‘S’ from Latvia reports that the swans are returning. They have been flying over her house and foraging in the nearby fields. Isn’t that wonderful. Next week I will include a discussion on all the nests in Latvia and Estonia – White-tailed Eagles and Storks – that you can watch. Eggs will be laid on some of the nests, such as Milda’s around the beginning of spring. It gives me hope – hope that warm days are coming.

All of the nests are doing well. NE26 and 27 ate so much today they could hardly walk! I have not seen Ervie but his tracker shows he is exploring the area around the bay where the barge is located. Hopefully we might get a glimpse of him, soon.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Window on Wildlife and Captiva Osprey Nest and Duke Farms.

Thursday in Bird World

Oh, we started out with more snow this morning! And with it came the return of the European Starlings – a few of them! The phone caught the flakes coming down reasonably well. For now it has stopped and the small feeders with the butter bark, mealworms, and hand chopped peanuts have been filled for the third time. Gosh, they love those mealworms in the winter.

Poor things. This is before we cleared a bit between the piles of snow. You can see one Starling down with thee Sparrows trying to find seed that had dropped from the feeder.

There are at least 60-75 House Sparrows (at a quick count) in the Lilacs. Dyson, our seed sucking Grey Squirrel, has found a litre of Black Oil seed in the square feeder with the dome. He sits and eats and sways like he has his own personal swing. No one bothers Dyson when he is eating but they do hope he gets off balance and dumps a lot of seed below. We won’t tell Dyson that in the evening we put our special food under that feeder for Hedwing, the garden rabbit, who has been showing up at dusk and dawn and sometimes in the middle of the night. It appears he lives under our deck.

So my birds are fed and as happy as they can be til the wind and the snow start again in a few hours.

There is some good news in the world today and there is some very sad news regarding wildlife. Lots of animal rights issues rising to the top of the news. Brief highlights:

The City of Dallas, Texas is protecting two of the cities favourite raptors!

https://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-09-22-bald-eagles-white-rock-lake/?fbclid=IwAR3j0kOCOyuruYEWEsoR0wtkkaeceODJB8zLsnaWWodWzzPi3rilKJ3a31Y

As Dallas protects, people in Britain are calling for criminal charges to be laid to the individuals that killed 2 of the 5 White-tailed Eagles reintroduced to the Isle of Wright. The shooting took place near or over a shooting estate. Chris Packham and other environmentalists have called for the end of killing animals for fun!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/10/two-white-tailed-eagles-found-dead-in-southern-england

Criminal charges have also been laid against one of England’s footballers for dropping and kicking his cat. The fine is set at 250,000 GBP – yes, you read that right. You can find the story on line if you are interested. Now if we could please get all authorities involved and people educated on the rights of animals – and our beloved birds.

The one thing that sent my granddaughter to becoming Vegan six years ago was the culling of male chicks. At the time they were simply tossed alive into a machine not unlike a wood chipper. Today, Germany has ended the practice of culling the male chicks from the females.

Everyone continues to wait to see how the current H5N1 highly pathogenic avian flu will impact European birds. It has been around since 1998 according to virologist Thijs Kuiken. It is rearing its head this year in the UK and has already crossed the Atlantic into Newfoundland, Canada. At least one wildlife rehabber has had almost all the birds in their care killed because of it. Very sad. That was the Whitby Wildlife Centre. They will not be able to resume caring for the wildlife injured for at least 1 year, perhaps 2.

The camera is working on the Port Lincoln Barge and so is the sound. We just can’t see anything but the deck! Ervie was definitely there earlier. I had to turn the sound down. He even sounded like he was getting hoarse and then everything stopped. I hope he got a fish or flew off to find one.

Gabby and Samsons, NE26 and 27 are really changing. They are certainly no longer little fluffy balls. Today they had the rest of the bird on the nest following by some fish. They were really full!

The weather has really improved in Jacksonville.

It is a gorgeous day to incubate eggs over at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.

OGK has returned after three days at sea to relieve his mate, YRK at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Royal Albatross. The image below is actually of YRK feeding the Royal Cam chick that I took late last night. How touching.

To date 26 Royal Albatross eggs have hatched out of 35. The other 9 will not hatch due to embryo deaths.

Dennis Brecht makes frequent and regular visits to the nest of The Love Trio on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. So far this year he has not spotted Valor I working with Starr and Valor II on the nest. This trio was extremely unique and popular. The question is: does Valor I have his own nest or has something happened to him? We wait for an answer. Brecht has contacted the Stewards of the Mississippi for assistance and finding the answer to the mystery.

The Ventana Wildlife Society is releasing a few condors into the wild currently. One of those was Condor 340 who was treated for lead poisoning.

Condor 340 hatched in 2004 in the Oregon Zoo. Its name is Kun-Wac-Sun. It was released into the Pinnacles National Park in 2005.

Wheeee. How beautiful. A wild Condor flying free again in the Pinnacles.

Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis was 4 weeks old yesterday. Oh, this eaglet is getting so big! Finishing up getting its thermal down and you can see the tips of a few juvenile feathers.

I was so happy to see the Captiva Osprey Cam back up and running. Lena is rolling eggs and calling Andy wanting a fish and a break.

You can see the three beautiful eggs. Oh, let us all hope that by laying their eggs a month early this couple will be able to fledge Osprey chicks off Santibel Island.

Hatch watch begins this weekend.

Those are just a few of the many nests to check on. I am really hoping to see Ervie today with a fish! Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Osprey Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, Duke Farms, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and Ventana Wildlife.

Late late Sunday in Bird World

Is there a better way to spend a snowy Sunday than to watch little eaglets being fed in their nests?

Gabby and Samson’s NE26 hatched at 03:04 on the 23rd of January. It was caught in an image that Pascale Ragon posted on FB. What an adorable little eaglet! It is also very strong, holding its head up high and not bobbing along so much!

The image of this sweetie below shows clearly the very sharp egg-tooth that was used to break out of that shell. It looks like 26 has already caught on to the latest in eye liner styles!

This ‘new born’ is also eating large flakes of fish. I could not believe it. Oh, what a sweet little tongue.

Gabby and 26 have this all worked out. Mom tilts her big beak 90 degrees and baby brings its beak straight up the middle. Bingo! I cannot tell you how impressed I was with what was going on at this nest today — but mind you, Samson and Gabby are always at the top of my list for Baldie parents.

Look at this sweet one looking up to Mum. That is simply adorable.

Hi there.

I feel like a new grandparent showing off pictures — I could seriously have cut and pasted so many you would be bored to tears. It is hard to take your eyes off a 12 hour eaglet!

The eaglet at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest had 10 feedings today, again. They began at 06:47 and ended at 17:40. I compares the times from one day to another. So, on Friday, the first feeding was at 06:52 and the last one at 17:41. There was a similar pattern for Saturday. Does Anna have an app that tings at the same time each day? Or are the feedings linked to dusk and dawn? Bald Eagles are diurnal. They hunt and eat during the daylight hours. The little eaglets are trained and treated as such from the time they hatch.

You can see that this eaglet -who is 11 days old today- is beginning to change. The light grey fluffy down is giving way to the darker thermal down. This will mean that once that thermal down is all in, Anna will not have to brood the eaglet so much.

Today, Anna let the eaglet have quite a bit of warm, not hot, sunshine. Both her and Louis were close but they let the little one have some air!

In the image below, the ‘baby face’ is also disappearing. The beak is growing longer and the egg tooth is almost totally gone. If you look at the wings you can see little black lines. Can you believe feathers are coming??

I have had the Big Sur condors on my mind and was very thankful when Ventana Wildlife Society posted this message on their FB page today. What a relief! Little Iniko 1031 was only released back into the wild six weeks ago, on 4 December 2021, after being caught in the Dolan Fire and having a long rehabilitation.

The Kakapo Recovery are also very happy. This is the ‘white board score board’ for the eggs. It looks like it could be a really super year if they all hatch and the chicks survive.

Each time I went to check on Ervie, the nest was either empty or there were pigeons doing clean up.

Then, all of a sudden, at 13:00:51 Ervie comes flying in. He was sure putting on the breaks. Just look at those magnificent wings. Oh, Ervie, you are so special.

Ervie must have a motion detector for when Dad is coming to the nest with a fish! It was 13:01:09. Ervie arrived 15 seconds before Dad!

That timing is not a coincidence. So where did Ervie see Dad with the fish? Was Ervie on the old barge while Dad was fishing?

It was a really nice fish and Ervie will enjoy every morsel!

Ervie spends several minutes mantling and alarming before he digs into his lunch.

Ah, thank you Port Lincoln! Ervie is a beautiful bird.

Two hours later and Ervie is screaming for more fish!!!!!!!!! I bet they could hear him across the bay!!!!!! No wonder Mum and Dad don’t stay on the barge when Ervie is about.

R1 and R2 were well fed today. This is the coldest day Miami has experienced this season. It is currently 16 C – which on the Canadian Prairies would be considered a nice summer day! But, if you live in Miami, everyone would be cold.

Rita was making sure that everyone was eating.

Both eaglets had nice crops before Rita informed them it was bedtime!

Rita tucked both eaglets in as best she could to keep them warm from the wind and what would be to her, the cold temperatures.

There has been a bit of concern by the watchers of the Berry College Bald Eagle Cam. Missy stepped on the left wing of the eaglet. Something startled Missy about 20:12 and she got up abruptly. Is it hurt? I do not know. We will have to wait and see how it is doing tomorrow.

The eaglet was moving its wings fine at the time of the image below.

All is quiet now and then something startles Missy.

She gets up, looks to her right and stumbles around the baby.

Send warm wishes to this little one that everything is alright. They are so fragile at this stage and B15 is doing so well. Something startled Missy about an hour later, too. Everyone is tucked in now and we wait to see how the baby is doing tomorrow.

I will leave you with a nice shot of Ervie with his crop. What a handsome osprey you are, Ervie.

Thank you so very much for joining me today. With the exception of the worry at Berry College, Bird World is looking good. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: The Kakapo Recovery, Ventana Wildlife Society, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Cam.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19 late-20

It is after lunch in Sydney, Australia and Daisy is fast asleep incubating her eggs. The morning has been quiet.

Daisy has 8 eggs in her clutch that she has been hard incubating. Daisy laid egg 1 on 3 December nest time. The 8th egg was laid on 10 December. She began hard incubation on 10 December if not December 9. Today is 22 December – the summer solstice – for Daisy. Daisy has been incubating her eggs for 13 days. Hatch will be 3-6 of January in Australia should the eggs survive.

Daisy really had a quiet afternoon. I could see nothing happening. The cam operator checked several times to see if the WBSE were at the River Roost but they were not.

As I remind everyone, there is no reason to believe they would do anything to Daisy from their behaviour last year which was curiosity about the down and Dad going into territorial protection wanting to catch who was using his nest. He was mesmerized by the eggs and at one time everyone thought he might incubate them. It was like he went into some kind of a ‘trance’ — seeing eggs in that place immediately reminded him of Lady’s eggs. It was quite interesting behaviour. He finally broke one but he did not like the taste. I am hoping that he remembers that if he scares Daisy off the eggs again this year.

Throughout the afternoon, Daisy kept gathering up leaves that she could see. She would stretch her long neck and pick them out from under the twigs. You could hardly see her on the nest when the shadows crossed over where the egg cup is located.

Every once in awhile she would see a piece of a leaf and pull it towards her using her bill as a kind of shovel.

Daisy began to cover the eggs around 18:03.

Daisy flies off the nest at 18:03:18 for her evening meal content that her eggs are covered enough to keep predator’s eyes away from them.

It is almost precisely two hours before sunset. Daisy is taking a chance that the Ravens will not come this time of the evening! On the other hand, the Sea Eagles might and that would be a good thing if she were not on the nest. Remember Lady was chased by the Currawong and was so busy watching them so they would not hit her head that she landed on the nest, honked a few times and flew off – she didn’t even look at the nest bowl and see the down. Oh, Daisy is lucky.

Daisy returned at 20:25:39.

It was – what appears to be – a relatively quiet day and evening for Daisy.

I was surprised, however, when Daisy prepared to leave the nest at 02:56:25. I say surprised because of the visit by the Bushtail Possum in the wee hours of the morning before.

I was even more surprised when Daisy walked straight forward, instead of taking the right turn she normally takes, to fly off. It then occurred to me that Daisy might begin to check places to leave the nest for the ducklings to follow. Could this be why?

She flew off the parent branch. Maybe it is a cleaner drop? If you look at the side she normally flies from there is a large piece of the nest with all its bits and pieces of twigs and branches extending out that the little ones might get caught in.

Sunrise is at 05:41.

Daisy returns from her foraging at 07:05:08.

The solstice is upon us. It is ‘winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere and ‘summer’ for Daisy in the Southern. It is the longest ‘dark’ day for us or the longest ‘light’ day for Daisy. In Canada, we look for the light that each day stays with us a little longer. The word Solstice comes from the Latin meaning the time when the ‘sun stood still’. Today, the sun is at its most southern position from Earth. It seems to stop and stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn only to then reverse its direction. It is a turning point in the seasons. It is a symbol of the Earth’s rebirth.

Wishing the rebirth of the sun to fill your lives, your home, your garden, and your heart with warmth and happiness…. Happy Winter Solstice to each of you. And to Daisy, our most favourite adorable duck, Happy Summer Solstice. We wish you an uneventful, boring day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day with a brief posting later today on the day’s events. Take care. See you soon!

Note: Congratulations to Samson and Gabby on their second egg which was laid yesterday at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Condor 1030 Iniko – the miracle – set to be released

With the uncertainty and sadness surrounding little Yurruga and our deepest condolences to Cilla Kinross and the team at Orange, it is heart warming to know that miracles do happen in Bird World.

On 4 December at 09:30 PT, you can witness one of those. Condor 1031, Iniko, will be released into the wild!

As the Dolan fire decimated the beautiful Redwood Forest where Iniko’s nest tree was, everyone believed that the wee babe of Redwood Queen and Kingpin had perished. The streaming cam did not survive the fire and there was no way to find out until it was safe enough to enter the forest. I think that you can well imagine the astonishment on the faces of those that first saw the little condor alive on the small remote camera inserted into the tree.

Here is that video from the Ventana Wildlife Society.

This video shows that rescue!

Here is a link to Iniko’s bio and all of the videos since this amazing California Condor hatched!

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor1031.html

On Saturday, you can watch live when Iniko is released back into the wild of its Big Sur Condor Community. You need to sign up and the Ventana Wildlife Society will send you the link for the Zoom event. It is free! And, yes, we could all use some good news today.

If you want to watch the event life, go to this link and sign up:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

Today is also ‘Giving Tuesday’. No doubt you have had lots of e-mails from everyone who depends on donations to survive including those wonderful wildlife rehabbers who give our birds a second chance at life. Many have patrons that will match the total received. It is a good time to double the impact of your gift, if you are able.

Thank you for joining me. If you cannot make the release of Condor 1030 Iniko, the Ventana Wildlife Society will definitely be posting this event. It represents that miracle. I would like to think that maybe there might be a miracle for little Yurruga today.

Monday in Bird World

One of the most wonderful things about the time I spent teaching university classes is the students you meet. Often you get to see them grow up from being first years to graduating and, at other times, you are lucky enough to follow them through adulthood. I often think I was so blessed as I continue to stay in contact with so many watching their extraordinary lives unfold. One of those students is an artist living in northern Manitoba who treated me to a late Halloween treat – images of the Northern lights or the Aurora Borealis from where she lives in Northern Manitoba. These colourful dancing lights are energized particles from the sun slamming into our atmosphere. They say that this happens at 72 million kmh (or 45 million mph). My mind cannot even comprehend how fast that is. When this happens, Earth’s magnetic field redirects those same particles toward the North Pole. That redirection is what causes the Aurora Borealis. I would like to share them with all of you.

Aren’t these incredible? When my children were little, living on the acreage in southern Manitoba, you could look out over the flat landscape of the prairies and see them so clearly.

Oh, what a wonderful treat. Thank you!

The moderators on the chat at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier have confirmed that Diamond was also limping and had a droopy wing the day that she was away from Yarruga for ten hours. She appears to be getting better. Yesterday little Yarruga was so hungry. Yarruga is definitely as loud as big brother, Izzi. If we ever worried, right after hatch, that Yarruga might have trouble feeding, we do not have to anymore. Here is a clip of Yarruga trying to take the prey and self-feed! Yarruga is 3 weeks old. S/he is going to be a formidable falcon.

Xavier is doing all of the hunting. This morning Diamond fed Yarruga early.

The sun is casting a golden glow on the trio of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It has been confirmed that they will definitely be ringed, named, and at least one of them will receive a sat-pak on either 8 or 9 November. When I hear the precise time I will let you know. Last year PLO posted a video of everything later. I do hope they will do that again this year.

I am also told that the two chicks at Thistle Island are a bit younger than the PLO trio. I am so selfishly hoping that Little Bob gets a tracker.

There is going to be a live-streamed Condor release tomorrow. The Zoom event will start at 9:30 am Pacific time (that is 11:30 CDT) with the release pen opening at 10 am PT or 12 noon CDT. Every year young condors are released into the wild on the Central Coast of California. This year they will release six which includes #1031 Iniko, the daughter of Kingpin and Redwood Queen, who survived the Dolan fire. Iniko will be released on 4 December but three other birds will be released tomorrow. If you would like to watch this event – and any release into the wild of a condor is fantastic – then you need to sign up. Here is the link to do that:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

If you would like to watch the live-streaming condor cams, here is the link to the Ventana Wildlife Society where you can locate the camera you want:

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor_cam.html

I am so very grateful for these Zoom events. It is one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. I hope that every group continues using them so that those of us far away can join in.

A report on the Ospreys in Finland has been published. It is in Finnish but you can cut and paste and use Google Translate. There are a few images of the nests, etc. They are lovely. Here is that link as I know that some of you watch the Finnish Osprey nests faithfully.

http://128.214.237.21/sites/default/files/files/linnut_vk2020_086-093_saakset_artikkelit_10293.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2HZ8k187x2tvZvT0UfesEMjKgQyZQ2WpxcJDJpycQsmlAFuzeckF6IoXg

There have been images of a pair of Ospreys on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg, Florida. At this point, I cannot confirm they are Jack and Diane. They certainly could be but as one loyal watcher has said, “They do not behave like Jack and Diane.” There is time yet. Last year eggs hatched the first week of March which means they were laid the end of January/early February. If they are not Jack and Diane, Jack will surely run them out of town!

The only confirmation on WBSE 27 is the following from yesterday:

We all hope that WBSE 27 will be kept until it is completely healed and flying well so that it can be released with some hope that it will be able to survive. What a beautiful bird. Those Pied Currawongs are quite dangerous. It is not always safe to be the juvenile of the Apex Raptor on the block! Get well soon WBSE 27.

There have been no new transmissions from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne. It is assumed that Karl II has reached his wintering grounds in the Sudan since his last GPS showed that he had arrived there safely. Pikne was along the waters of the Red Sea. There are real worries for little Udu. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea which would have been exhausting. He will need food and water. His last location was an oasis but they use hot sulphur water for the crops and this is not good for Udu. It is hoped that he made it to the Nile River. Send positive energy to him and also to WBSE 27.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Everyone is fine. You cannot see the Collins Street Four unless they are running down the gutter but they are doing well. More down is being shedded off those wings every hour. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Eagle Club of Estonia Forum, and for the FB Page of the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for the image and announcement about WBSE 27.

Iniko to be released!

The California Condor, Iniko (1031), is the daughter of 190 Redwood Queen and 167 Kingpin. She hatched on 25 April 2020 in the large Redwood Tree in the Big Sur area of California. Iniko was caught as a nestling in the tree during the Dolan Fire that ravaged the area from late August through December of 2020.

Iniko means ‘Born in Troubled Times’. The individuals who named this amazing baby could not have predicted how horrific 2020 was to be.

The streaming cam to the nest was lost and it was feared that Iniko had perished in the fire. To everyone’s surprise, she was alive! 190 Redwood Queen also survived the fire but, sadly, 167 Kingpin is presumed to have died.

This video by Lady Hawk shows the rescue of Iniko after she had been knocked out of the tree by an intruding condor. Her leg was injured and she will be taken into care at the Los Angeles Zoo.

This is what Iniko looks like on 7 October 2021.

Here is a video clip showing Iniko interacting with Eva, her pen mate.

Now for the really great news. Tomorrow, Iniko will be transferred from the Los Angeles Zoo to San Simeon. On her arrival, she will receive her official wing tag. The tag will be orange with the number 31 on it painted in black. This is because Iniko’s number is 1031. As a result, she has come to be known as the Halloween Queen. On Wednesday, 13 October – that is just two days away – Iniko will be placed in the pre-release pen at San Simeon along with nine other condors. You can watch her and the others on the streaming cam at San Simeon. Here is the link:

On the 4th of December, Iniko will be released back into the wild into the Big Sur Flock where she hatched. The Ventana Wildlife Society live stream the event. I will provide the details as the release date approaches.

Here is a wonderful short video on Baby Iniko’s life:

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the headlines of doom and gloom in the news. Sadly, ‘bad’ reports often garner more viewers than positive ones. The return of Iniko to her Condor Flock is one of those feel good stories that should stay with you. There are people, around the world, working hard every day to help wildlife. I cannot even imagine what it was like for those that rescued this extremely rare bird from the burnt forest floor. They must have been overcome with joy. Tune in to watch when she is released!

Thank you for joining me. This is simply a joyous moment. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Los Angeles Zoo for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

Featured Image: Iniko in Redwood Tree taken by S. Herrera for the Ventana Wildlife Society.