Friday in Bird World

15 April 2022

It has been a cracker of an afternoon in Bird World. The ‘New Guy’ – to finally have an official name at noon on the 18th – is ready to step in and incubate when Annie calls. I like this fella’. No, he will never replace Grinnell – he is his own endearing self. Through his kindness and generous spirit of heart, ‘New Guy’ saved this clutch and won the heart of Annie and so many of us. Precious.

The more I watch the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, the more that Mum endears herself to me, too – just like the ‘New Guy’. At lunch time, she had a huge chunk of Mullet (please correct me if I am wrong) to feed the trio. That is nothing extraordinary but how she checked on Little Bit offering it bites when Big Sib had calmed down, how she moved the fish to feed again when Dad came wanting leftovers, well…none of the chicks were left out. They all had a nice feed. Little Bit is spunky, too. Big tries to intimidate both Middle and Little Bit but, thankfully, is not all that aggressive. They wait and head back up, sometimes walking right in front of Big to get to the beak. I am impressed.

Each raptor mother has their own personality and way of feeding. Some feed fast and only to beaks open at the front. This Mum is slow and methodical, not stopping til all are full unless the fish runs out. Oh, I wish I knew more about this couple!

Little Bit managed to get some nice big bites amongst lots of smaller ones.

The bigger siblings can eat more at one feeding than Little Bit but this morning it appeared that Little Bit did a bit of a crop drop and wanted more fish. Excellent.

When the Dad arrived the Mum went to protect the hunk of fish and the chicks moved up and she fed them more.

Then Mum moved the fish and continued feeding -topping everyone up. She is very, very smart. She topped herself up, too. It is hot on top of that light stand – fill the kids up!

Little Bit wants more fish and Mum made sure he got some more.

Mum ate some of the nice fish once the babies were full and sleeping.

Then she began to call for Dad.

Food comas.

The third hatch at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey got some fish at the beginning of the 13:07 feed. All three are fine.

Blue NC0 and Laddie now have two eggs in their nest at Loch of the Lowes. Congratulations!

B15 is believed to be a female. She certainly is a big fledgling. B15 has stayed around the Berry College nest of her parents, Pa Berry and Missy, learning to fly and coming for food. Missy loves to feed her baby! This is such a huge help to the success of this gorgeous juvenile. It was a great year for Berry College.

There is another fledgling happy to visit home. Oh, is Kincaid ever loud! He will be just as happy if Anna wants to feed him, too, like B15. Last year Kistachie shot out of the nest never to be seen again. That is not especially a good thing. This year Kincaid is hanging around to the delight of everyone.

There is Kincaid on the branch of the nest in the Kisatchie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana. The sound on their camera is simply incredible.

Want to have a listen? Here is the link to the camera. The laughing frogs will put a smile on your face.

Martin and Rosa’s eaglet at the Dulles-Greenway Eagle cam lost all that baby down and is getting its juvenile feathering. The change seemed to come in a blink of an eye. The eaglet hatched on 13 March making it (counting hatch day) 33 days old today.

Just look at those ‘Daddy Longlegs’ on Little at the Captiva Osprey nest! Good gracious. He will rival Idris!!!!!! Little got the 11 am fish. Lena is calling Andy to get some more fish on the nest. She is so loud, you could hear her in Fort Myers.

There was a wonderful article about the Bald Eagle Mum at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest that defended her three eaglets against a determined intruder. Have a read and look at the picture. That was an amazing event on this nest. I would never want to make an Eagle mother upset – absolutely never.

https://triblive.com/local/dont-mess-with-momma-hays-bald-eagle-defends-against-intruder/?fbclid=IwAR3mMoCGGnzMsuESvp53P4ndAqCpyeHk6dCO_nlt8xKR4Wy-wc3KM8pDMK4

It is always nice to see Iris. What a joy it was when she returned to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana this year — the oldest Osprey in the world believed to be 28/29 this year.

So loved.

Port Lincoln posted a great remark on the chat for the PLO barge:

​”Who said Ospreys don’t fly around at night. Mum returned to the barge at 23.02 tonight and Ervie was fishing off the end of the main wharf at 20.47.”

It is always wonderful to hear about Ervie!

Aran and Mrs G have been in the nest. Later in the evening, the pair fly out to a favourite tree of Aran’s admiring their territory. This is what ospreys do on a Friday night in Wales.

Idris is on his perch while Telyn works on nestorations. She is a great one for moving large twigs. Wow.

A nice fish came to the Dale Hollow nest at 13:45. Both of the eaglets had a great feed.

Big is full and now it is Little Middle’s turn.

Then Big wanted some more of that nice fish.

Both eaglets were happy and had nice crops. A whole fish doesn’t go a long way anymore. If you count hatch day, the DH eaglets are 47 days old today.

Can you tell who is who?

The way to tell Little Middle is that he has a more prominent white ruffle on the end of his tail! (The angle of the camera makes Little Middle who is closest to the bottom appear slightly larger than he is but…that good fish is really causing this eaglet to grow).

It has been a great Friday in Bird World! The sun is still shining on the Canadian prairies, the wind is calm, and the snow has stopped. Nice.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida ospreys, VGGCO, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Berry College, KNF, Dulles-Greenaway, Port Lincoln Ospreys FB, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Montana Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi, and DHEC.

Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

09-10 April 2022

Just when you think spring might be coming with the arrival of the Dark-eyed Juncos and thousands of Canada Geese, a huge storm warranting a special weather advisory will impact us and the American States bordering us. It is to arrive late Tuesday and stay with us til Friday when it slowly moves east. We are being warned that the snow fall could be from 30-80 cm (1 foot to 2.62 feet). Did I say how sick I am of winter?

The best news has happened in the Osprey world – Aran, the mate of Mrs G at Glaslyn – arrived home at 16:10!!!!!!!!! We have all promised not to tell him that she has been hanging around with Z2 Aeron over at Pont Cresor. Don’t think Aran would like. There they are on the nest and the sheep bleat in the background. It is an idyllic place – pastoral. Like a 17th century painting when the cows are being moved from one field to the other.

Aran on the rim and Mrs G in the nest.

Aran looks really good. So very nice to see you home.

Aran arrived! 10 April 2022

Mrs G is the oldest UK Osprey. Her plumage is very dark. You will be able to quickly identify who is on the nest. This is a very desirable site and there are often many floaters coming around.

Last year Aran was injured. Some believe his wing was damaged in a skirmish with Aeron Z2. We will never know for sure. The weather was wet and cold. A big storm was passing through when the three chicks hatched. The community set up a fish table for Aran and Mrs G hoping it would help but it was too late for the babies. Aran and Mrs G did well. Aran healed and got stronger and fledged in September. We all hope that this year is different for this amazing couple and their kind, generous, and loving supporters in the Glaslyn Valley that kept them alive last year. — Yes, fish tables do work!!!!!!!!!!

Footage has been released of the first White-tail eaglet hatching in the UK.

Thank you to everyone who has sent in some questions. Yes, my research interests are in Osprey nests with three hatches and, in particular, the third hatch. Sadly, most of the nests in the US do not ring their birds so I rely on places that do so that I can track those birds in the future if they fledge and are sighted. I am still interested in the behaviour on the nest with three chicks (Apex raptors). Have I have been watching the Venice Golf and Country Club nest? and the one at the University of Florida? The answer is yes. I have only mentioned VGCC once. The camera is often not very clear. The osplets at Venice hatched on the 10, 12, and 15th of March. There continues to be bad beaking of the third hatch from the oldest despite the fact that they are getting older and there is often enough fish on the nest. There wasn’t much left for three this morning. The youngest who is 25 days old got a few bites. It is anticipated but, of course, not always 100% certain, that the nest will quiet down between 28-35 days if enough food is brought in.

The University of Florida Osprey nest at Gainesville has a pretty good streaming cam that is sponsored by the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department. The nest is on an 80 ft light stand on the softball stadium. There are three osplets on that nest. Eggs were laid on 26 Feb, 1 and 4 March with hatches on 5, 6, and 8 April.

They are adorable! You can still see the egg tooth and if you look carefully there is a nice big fish on the other side of Mum. As in all nests of three osplets, there is worry about the third especially if there is a lot of age difference. We must wait and see. The little one has been fed but still has trouble focusing and face plants. I am looking forward to seeing how the week develops.

I am hopeful.

The streaming cam feed is not on YouTube. You can access it here:

https://wec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/ospreycam/

​The Captiva Osprey nest of Andy and Lena, as many of you know, began with three chicks on the nest. The eldest, Big, was continually stressing its desire to be the dominant one on the nest. Big died suddenly on 15 March. Chicks 2 and 3 have done very well.

Andy and Lena are excellent Osprey parents. Today, there were 7 feedings – yes, seven!!!!! The chicks are getting ready to fledge and Andy and Lena continue to provide them with lots of fish. I want to thank one of the chatters who is also a fan of Ervie, ‘JL’ for listing the type of fish and the time stamps for today. They were #1 @ 07:50:02 (leatherjacket); #2 @ 08:55:21 (needlefish); #3 @ 10:19:50 (mullet ?); #4 @ 11:58:51 (fantail mullet); #5 @ 2:17:45 (striped mullet); #6 @ 4:53:40 ballyhoo; and #7 5.29.38 striped mullet. But wait!!!!!!!!!! Feeding #8 came in at 18:30.

There are a couple of other nests with chicks that I wish were fed this well!

These are healthy Osplets. Their parents have taken such good care of them. I hope that when they have their own nests that they will copy the great care they had as chicks.

The sun was setting on the West End Bald eagle nest where the triplets of Thunder and Akecheta were eating and settling in from a busy day. Another fine nest with three hatches and great parenting.

Pittsburgh-Hayes are old hands at raising three eaglets. Those that hatched this year are doing great! It will not be long til they are branching and causing all manner of mischief.

Let’s run through a few of the other nests and see how they are doing.

Thunder’s sibling at the Two Harbours Bald Eagle nest of Chase and Cholyn is doing very well indeed. This is going to be one well cared for eaglet.

The poor parents at US Steel Irwin Plant eagle nest are trying to feed two moving heads!

Mr President and Lotus’s only Bob has moved beyond the white little fuzzy ball stage. Look closely the thermal down is slowly coming.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were waiting for the two eggs to hatch at the Redding nest of LIberty and Guardian and look at them this morning! They hatched the 20th and 23rd of March making eaglet #1 3 weeks old today and eaglet #2 19 days old. Wow.

What a fabulous day. Little Middle had a really good breakfast this morning, too. He has grown over night!

Standing up looking out at the world with a super crop. Nice.

Someone asked: How is Ervie? We have all been worried about Ervie and his injury. Port Lincoln posted his sat-pak tracking and a statement about his injury on the 8th. I will share it with you here. He was on the barge and we were all glad to see him this week.

Today will be a lovely day on the prairies. I love waking up to the Dark-eyed Juncos hoping around the deck eating the tiny little Millet seeds. Lots to do to get ready for Tuesday. The nests look pretty good this morning. So happy for the people of Glaslyn who were worried Aran might not return – he is home! Annie and the New Guy have a nice rhythm and things are going well on that nest as are Big Red and Arthur.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, DHEC, Pix Cams, Explore.org, Brywrd Gwyllt Glaslyn, UFL Osprey Cam, VGCC Ospreys, Redding Eagles, NADC-AEF, and Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife.

Encounters with a GHOW

As many of you know, there are problems for the Bald Eagles with the Great Horned Owls wanting to take over their nests. We saw Bonnie and Clyde be successful in stealing a young eagle couple’s nest in Newton, Kansas located on the grounds of Farmer Derek. Those two have visited the nest as recently as 2 days ago. Great Horned Owls have taken over the Savannah Osprey Nest and laid eggs so no more Ospreys there, sadly.

Those are two instances on streaming cam where the owls have been successful. It has to be more common in the wild. I imagine that you could also provide me with several more examples. We know that a GHOW has been systematically attacking M15 and Harriet on their nest in Fort Myers, Florida. Just a few minutes ago a GHOW flew and knocked the female adult eagle off the US Steel Eagle nest at the Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, PA.

The camera operator for the USS Bald Eagle nests is panning around the area. It is not a search and they said that the panning does not imply a search is needed. They are simply looking to see where the GHOW might be. These are the time stamps for the events this evening according to the camera moderator: “18:52:20 GHO swipes USS female(?) off her roost, 18:55:42 USS male(?) reacts to nearby swipe, 18:58:07 USS male relocates, chatter from both follows through 19:01”. The eagles cannot be heard on the streaming cam. Previously you could hear them so they are probably roosting at a distance and are safe and sound.

This is a daylight view of the nest. It is a gorgeous area.

Here is a link to the USS Bald Eagle cam:

The situation in PA at the USS Bald Eagle nest is unclear. It is my understanding that neither eagle has been seen on the streaming cam this morning. Everyone is hoping that they will show up so that worries can be put aside.

I was reminded, by someone using a three letter code for the Great Horned owls, to provide you with a listing of the proper four letter Alpha codes for all birds. Great Horned Owls are GHOW. The listing provided by the Carolina Bird Club also discusses the origin of the codes. Have a look:

https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/bandcodes.html

Liberty (f) and Guardian (m) were on the nest doing renovations and checking out the nest cup at Redding today. This couple raised triplets last year: Honor, Glory, and Rebel. We should be looking for eggs to be laid mid-February. Wouldn’t Valentine’s Day be nice?

Here is a history of the nest from last year’s breeding season by Judy B on the Hancock Wildlife Forum:

“A new camera was installed at the Turtle Bay nest for the 2021 nesting season (big thanks to Terri/Eaglewoman and the Friends of the Redding Eagles!) – and happily the eagles chose to use that nest! They laid three eggs in mid-February, and the three eaglets hatched March 21, 22 and 24. They were named Honor, Glory and Rebel by a poll of viewers. All three fledged successfully, if a bit non-traditionally. It was very hot in late May/early June as the eaglets turned 10 weeks old, frequently going above 100F/38C. Oldest eaglet Honor (who had never branched) had a very intentional fledge on June 3rd (74 days old). The following day, youngest eaglet Rebel left the nest as well, possibly slipping while trying to branch (the angle of the cam made it hard to be sure); Rebel was 72 days old. Happily local observers found both of them on the ground with an adult perched above; they landed near the river, and were able to have a drink of water. Middle eaglet Glory apparently liked having the nest all to his/her self, staying there another two weeks before fledging on June 18 (88 days old). All three fledglings were seen together perched beside the river on June 22, and all were seen through July 5. Both adults and two fledglings were seen in the area July 18, and one fledgling was around a few days later (it might be Honor who left first, but not sure). A happy year in spite of the challenges of the very hot weather.”

Why did I bring up the Redding nest? Because on 7 November 2021 a GHOW comes to the Redding nest! The video below uses slo-motion, graphics, and a narrative to highlight the encounter between Liberty and Guardian and the GHOW. The video is very insightful into the behaviour of Bald Eagles in alert and attack mode – if they are experienced:

Here is the link to the Redding Eagles streaming cam:

As breeding season continues, we might see more GHOW invasions. While GHOWs look soft and cuddly and through children’s stories we learn they are ‘wise’ – often portrayed as teachers – they are formidable adversaries. Liberty and Guardian are older and more experienced than the young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas that gave up their nest easily to the owls. Better to be safe than injured or dead.

Harriet and M15 have been the constant targets of GHOW attacks. Just go to YouTube and search for GHOW attacks M15 and you will find pages of videos going back years to the more recent occurrences. Here is one good example just 8 days ago:

On different occasions, M15 has been hit and has fallen down into the nest with Harriet and either eggs or nestlings. If you are a regular watcher of this great eagle couple, you will have seen M15 with injuries on his head because of the stealth attacks during the night.

In other Bird World News:

The first egg was laid at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey Nest (VGCCO) yesterday at 08:45. I know that some of you really enjoy this watching this nest in California.

Here is the link to this nest:

Still waiting at Achieva:

Two Osprey cams in New York say it is way too early to be thinking about eggs! Are either of these on your list to watch? Oyster Bay and PSEG?

After the fright the other day, everything appears to be relaxed and back to normal at the KNF nest. I am hoping we get the list of three possible names for this adorable eaglet today!

The eaglets on the WRDC are nice and full. Their thermal down has come in nicely. R1 still has some dandelions on its head. Soon we will begin to see thee contour and flight feathers on R1 and R2.

There are still cute fuzzy nestlings at NE Florida! They are doing great, too.

And just look at the change in Harriet and M15’s ‘babies’! Wow. I love seeing the plumage develop from that light soft down still on NE26 and 27 to the juvenile plumage that is really coming on E19 and E20.

No checks on Ervie. PLO is offline. Warm thoughts going out to the USS Bald Eagles. I am sure this is not the first time they have had to deal with this owl or another. Still, there is always cause for concern. That was a particularly ‘hard hit’ yesterday. Waiting for the final 3 names so voting can take place for the name of the little eaglet at KNF.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: USS Steel Bald Eagles and Pix Cams, Redding California Eagles, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, Achieva Credit Union, VGGCO, Oyster Bay Ospreys, PSEG Ospreys, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagles, Savannah Great Horn Owl Cam, and the WRDC.