Monday Morning in Bird World

27 April 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that all of you are well and that the sun is shining bright where you are.

Middle or LittleO at the Captiva Osprey nest roosted on the rim of the nest box. He spotted Andy and started fish crying. You could have heard him all the way to Fort Myers! At 07:30:05 Andy delivered his middle child and oldest surviving of the 2022 season a really nice catfish for his efforts!

Here comes Andy! Good one, Dad. Middle (LittleO) is really hungry.

Andy gets his talon nipped again.

Catfish are really bony and a challenge to eat. I wonder if Lena will come and help?

No. Middle (LittleO) had to work on that bony fish all by himself. He flew off of the nest at 09:02.

The clean up gang came up to the nest to see what was left of that nice fish.

To my knowledge, there has been no sighting of Little (or MiniO) since she fledged.

There was an early morning fish delivery at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Civility continues. The time was 08:13.

Both siblings have nice crops and there will be fish left for Mum.

Chase has two big fish on the Two Harbours nest for Cholyn and TH1 this morning. After all the activity with the eaglet falling out of the nest and being rescued yesterday, it is hoped that nothing eventful happens until banding day!

Big Red is not giving much away but that 4th egg still has a lively pip happening. Cornell says that part of the shell is crashing so that is a good sign.

These three have been having a banquet of critters.

Arthur – isn’t he a darling? – got a chance not only to deliver prey to the pantry but also to brood his chicks! Fantastic.

The goslings are hatching at the old Bald Eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa. Mother Goose is really protecting them. So cute! It looks like four so far. Two more to go. There will be six in total if all hatch.

Here is a video of the hatching:

Here is the link to the camera for Mother Goose! Don’t be fooled by the Bald Eagle – this is Decorah’s old unused nest leased to Mother and Father Goose. When will the goslings jump? When they are all hatched, are dry, and have developed their protective fuzz. Probably tomorrow morning.

DN15 and DN16 are having a lovely morning with their Mum, Mrs DNF (Decorah North Female) looking over them. Because of the recent Avian Flu deaths in the Midwest, I will continue to check in to make sure everything is alright on this nest. They are looking good this morning.

All three of Thunder and Akecheta’s eaglets are up on the nest this morning! It looks grey and dreary there.

Rosa and Martin’s Only Eaglet at the Dulles-Greenaway Nest has certainly grown. It is waiting and hoping that someone is going to bring breakfast!

I am very concerned about the MN-DNR and have written to find out the status of the two eaglets. I hope that they are both just very very sound sleepers and this is not another two eaglets taken by H5N1.

At 06:03 both were tucked up under Nancy.

At 08:09 a parent was on the nest checking on them.

One ate at 08:00.

I will report later if anything is confirmed at this nest. This would be such a loss.

I hate to leave on a what could be a sad note. The number of cases of Avian Flu in the Midwest are growing. If you would like to see the spread of this deadly virus, here is a link to the USDA data:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/hpai-2022/2022-hpai-wild-birds

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: MN-DNR, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Explore.Org, Institute of Wildlife Studies, Dulles-Greenaway Bald Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Nest, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

A piece of lead the size of a grain of rice is enough to kill an eagle!

We really do have to spread this information to those that do not read bird blogs or belong to groups advocating for the banning of all lead in hunting and fishing equipment. Since the fall when hunting season began, wildlife rehabbers have, on their FB pages, testified to the huge toll lead takes on Bald Eagles. It isn’t just eagles – other raptors show up with lead poisoning, too.

I am going to attach the article that my friend sent to me about the use of copper bullets instead of lead. It is a really good read and after trying to take out the good bits and deciding they were all good, I hope that you can read it. I have been able to enlarge it as wide as I can.

The article makes it very clear that they are not against hunting. They simply want the hunters to reflect on their practices and change to ammunition that does not harm or kill wildlife. The return of the Bald Eagle after them being almost completely wiped DDT is being ‘stunned’ by the deaths caused by lead. There is an alternative: copper. There is another and that is stainless steel. A supplier in my City has the stainless steel and copper bullets priced at $1.50 a box more than lead. I do wish they would just stop buying the lead.

Today, Badger Run Wildlife Rehab posted the following information. I am copying and pasting it here to add to that included in the newspaper article. We can never get enough information and clarification!

HOW are Bald Eagles exposed to the lead, which leads to their poisoning?

Lead “toxicosis” occurs when a bird ingests lead. It’s a neurotoxin & at low levels leads to lethargy often where the bird does not have the energy to find food & simply dies of starvation. The more lead present in the system the more pronounced the symptoms can become including confusion, respiratory distress, convulsions, organ failure, etc. And it also depends on the individual bird. We have had a hawk test very low for lead in the blood (only about 6 ug/dL), but have severe symptoms which resolved following treatment.

There are 2 major ways lead gets into the environment where birds eat it. First, you have the waterfowl (especially swans, ducks, geese) that eat “grit” to help digest their food. Sometimes that grit contains leftover lead shot from 20+ years ago when lead ammo was legal for hunting waterfowl. Other times, it comes from lost lead fishing tackle/sinkers. These birds not only suffer lead poisoning, but predators that eat them also ingest the lead in their system. That 2nd group of birds that commonly suffer lead poisoning includes the birds of prey that eat animals that are tainted with lead. So other than eating tainted waterfowl (eagles, especially) these birds eat mammals that have been tainted with lead. Any gut pile left behind above ground by a hunter using lead ammo has left a yummy lead poisoned meal for any bird of prey finding it. Likewise, anyone shooting small mammals like gophers & prairie dogs with lead who leaves these carcasses above group also is leaving poisonous food for birds of prey.

Can mammalian predators also get lead poisoning by eating left over lead ammo? Yes, but mammals usually have much less acidic stomachs which makes them better as digesting lead particles before they pass through their guts. Birds also have “grinding stomachs” that further help to deliver lead to their bloodstreams.

A piece of lead the size of a grain of rice is enough to kill an eagle!”

You can find more information at http://huntingwithnonlead.org/index.html

Birds like Loons and Swans also suffer a very high incidence of lead poisoning because they ingest the lead sinkers that break off of fishing tackle. Geese and ducks have been protected with lead ammunition being banned they would skin the lead pellets off the water and eat them!

There are many hunters who are supporting the ‘Ban the lead Movement’ and spreading good information educating the general population. You can help, too!

All of the eagles and all those fluffy little chicks thank you for helping them! As well as the waterfowl who ingest all those lead sinkers!!!!!!!! Remember it is an easy fix.

Thank you for joining us this morning. All is well with Ervie. Him and Dad are spending the night on the barge at Port Lincoln and the camera appears stable! Take care. Oh, and before I forget, Dyson and all the garden gang want to wish each of you a very happy Valentine’s Day.

“flower” by kissmuch 

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagles, and Pix Cams.

Want to get up close and personal with some Bald Eagles?

I am just home from a wonderful day outside. Did not see a single bird! Yes, seriously. I did spot a lot of nests and it was just nice to be outside in the fresh air on a beautiful sunny day.

The image below is the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana.

What caught my eye was an invitation by the Wildlife Biologists Steve Shively and Cody Austell of the US Forestry Service at the Kistachie National Forest for people to come and get up close to the Bald Eagles, Anna and Louis. OK. Not that close. They have a great eagle viewing area set up with spotting scopes and they will be giving private tours.

If you live near Central Louisiana and are free at 10 am on either February 10, 17, or 19 at 10 am, give them a shout to sign up. The e-mail is visitKNFeagle@gmail.com

I am also super excited. Cody and Steve will be setting up another camera stream with the same super sound they have for Anna and Louis for the other Bald Eagle family in the forest. Last year there were three nests. Sadly, both adults in area 2, were found dead. They had been shot. At any rate, there will be two different streams watching both nests next season. Fantastic. I wonder if the male on the nest is as great a fisher as Louis? There were 10 new fish on the nest today. The duck and the Coot have been eaten and I am not sure where the turtle is.

Just a couple of quick comments about happenings in Bird World. The camera is now back on in Port Lincoln on the Osprey barge. Ervie had been there earlier so he is fine. A huge storm ripped through the area and did tonnes of damage. Just waiting to see how everything is with the hearts that beat and run Port Lincoln Osprey Project. There is not an egg yet on the Achieva Osprey Nest even though Diane has been on the nest for long periods.

The winds and rain seem to have subsided at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Samson and Gabby. I have not been home long enough to see how NE26 and 27 are behaving but there are at least five fish in the pantry so food is not an issue!

They look like they are getting along. Fingers crossed!

OGK is busy being a great dad down in New Zealand at Taiaroa Head. This little Royal Cam chick is going to gain lots of grams! Sooooooo very sweet.

Lots of beautiful water birds were out on the Mississippi Flyway this morning.

If you like Roseate Spoonbills as much as I do, you need to check out this streaming cam in St Augustine Florida. Spoonbills forage in shallow water. This is an adult in the nest. The juveniles are a pale pink while the adults have that bring cherry red/pink on the wings. Their head is bare and is a yellow-green colour. Their name comes from the flattened beak that looks like a spoon!

B15 at Berry College seems to be doing just fine, too. The worry over an injury to the wing is gone. It is a really sweet little eaglet.

So if you are anywhere near to Central Louisiana and want a personal tour to see the Bald Eagles nesting in the Kisatchie National Forest, please do get in touch with Steve or Cody. I would love to go on one of their tours. They are so knowledgable and – need help identifying prey on a nest – they are great at answering those questions. I have learned all about turtles this year! Send all your positive and warm wishes to all the nests (and people) who are going to get really low temperatures in areas that do not normally have them!

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

Thank you to the KNF FB Page, Berry College, NE Florida and the AEF, Explore.org, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and KNF Bald Eagle Cam for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

What keeps us busy while NE26 hatches?

Samson has come to the nest to check on the progress of the hatch and to see if Gabby wants anything. Samson is more than anxious for NE26 to hatch – just like the rest of us.

Samson comes in to check on Gabby. Do you need anything, sweetie?

26 is using his egg tooth to chisel away at that shell. At 08:20 this was just a tiny hole.

Looks like a nice hole!

You can see that egg tooth chipping away.

Hello, NE26

Samson is back again, just checking on progress.

Samson decides to redo the rim of the nest and add and move sticks while he is waiting.

Waiting is hard!

Gabby has rolled the eggs. Look carefully you can see some cracks underneath the branch on the egg.

Samson is as anxious as the rest of us. He keeps jumping down on the nest to see how 26 is doing.

What a great portrait of our NEFlorida couple.

Look at the progress! Wow. This little one is getting that egg open quickly. I am really impressed with the progress. It won’t be long til 26 can give a karate kick and be free!

Come on NE26! We want to see you.

Progress!

Thank goodness for Ferris Akel. I was getting a little bit like Samson wondering how things were going with the hatch and the notice popped up that Ferris was on his tour. So between Ferris and the garden birds it is helping to pass the time while we wait for N26 to hatch! There is heat shimmer on the images and some were at a great distance.

It has been a great day to see raptors on Ferris’s Tour especially in the Montezuma area. There was an American Kestrel, a Rough-legged Hawk, and a Red-tail Hawk mixed in with Starlings and Horned Larks.

Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk

This is one gorgeous hawk!

Rough-legged Hawk

There were a pair of them hunting. The light one above and a darker plumaged one.

Rough-legged Hawk

This is such a beautiful dark Red-tail Hawk. Look at that amazing patterning on the scapula, the ‘V’ formed on the back when the wings are folded.

Red-tail Hawk, Adult

Horned Larks do not really have horns. They normally show two little feathered tufts on their heads. Horned Larks are the only true species of lark in North America. There is one other lark, the Sky Lark, that was introduced to Vancouver Island.

The Horned Lark is larger than a sparrow. The pattern is striking. Notice the yellow under the beak and then the dark brown/black line across separating the head from the breast.

Horned Larks
European Starlings

All of a sudden there was open water and there were Mallards, Black Ducks, and a female Red-breasted Merganser plus an array of Canada Geese.

Ferris took us to see some amazing water falls on the way to Ithaca. They are Taughannock Falls at Ulysses, New York. Incredibly beautiful. They are 8 miles away from Ithaca and if you are ever in the region, this would be a great place to visit.

Having promised myself to take images of a wasp nest hanging over the street in the tree canopy, it seemed like a good time between the falls and Ithaca to do that.

This nest is so fragile looking. It was in tact, like a tight round ball, until our snow storm the other day.

I will go out during different lighting conditions to document the change in the nest as winter progresses.

This little Black-capped Chickadee kept itself busy getting seeds and moving around the many European Starlings.

It seems like they would use more energy retrieving the seed and cracking it than the energy contained inside. But what do I know? I am just a silly human.

One brave sparrow sat with a sea of European Starlings today.

This fellow decided it was easier to knock the seed cylinder down and eat on the ground! The Chickadee thanked him.

Ferris is trying to find Big Red and Arthur. NE26 continues to work itself out of that shell. All of the other birds are doing well even with the cold temperatures in areas such as Louisiana.

Dad delivered a fish for Ervie. It was a bit of an appetizer. Ervie has been away from the nest. Maybe he is out fishing!

Ervie knew that day was coming before we could see him. Ervie flew into the nest and started prey crying.

Ervie is great to flap his wings and call for food at the same time. He can also stand on its tippy-toes.

There is Dad. Mum watches from the perch.

It is a flurry of wings and feet. Thanks, Dad!

Everything seems to be fine in Bird World. So far Ferris has found lots of Crows but not Big Red and Arthur. What in the world is going on? The Crows are flying, in the trees, just moving about.

They are also on the roof of Barton Hall at Cornell University. Is the beginning of hundreds of Crows gathering together? Researchers believe that they gather at dusk to share food sources and to find breeding partners in the spring.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care. Just think tomorrow there will be a new eaglet in the world. Yes!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ferris Akel Tour, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida and the AEF.

Daisy the Duck returns to WBSE Nest

Around 05:40 on the 15th of January, Daisy the Pacific Black Duck flew alone to the big Ironbark Nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. It has been precisely two weeks since her previous visit. The nest is no stranger to Daisy who has laid two clutches of eggs here only to have them taken and eaten by Ravens.

There is her head behind the branch. She has just landed.

Daisy will spend a total of 9 minutes on the nest listening and looking.

She checks out all directions.

She listens again. I adore Daisy and I want her to be safe and have her ducklings in a nest where there is some possibility of success. This nest is doomed.

It is unfortunate that neither the Ravens nor the White-bellied Sea Eagles were present. That might have stopped Daisy from considering this site for her next clutch.

It is good to see you are alive and well, Daisy, but please find another spot for your precious eggs!

Under normal circumstances the WBSE would be checking on the nest frequently during this time of the year. Their attendance has been mired by the Pied Currawong and I have hoped that someone insightful might put up an artificial nest for the WBSE down by the Parramatta River Roost similar to the one built for Ron and Rita by the WRDC in Miami.

We wait.

Thank you for joining me on this quick posting about our favourite duck, Daisy!

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

Saturday in Bird World

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you will know that I am tracking the Port Lincoln Osprey lads in terms of ‘who is on the nest’. Ervie and Falky have been alternating. Ervie spent the afternoon and evening and slept on the nest. He is on there right now.

Ervie is fish calling to Dad.

Bazza has been shut out and yesterday he attacked Ervie when Ervie was on the nest. If you missed it, here is that dust up.

We are on hatch watch this weekend for three Bald Eagle nests. That is Captiva, Kistachie National Forest, and Berry College. The eggs for both Captiva and KNF were laid on 4 Dec and 7 December. One of the KNF eggs was broken. Eggs at Berry College were laid on 5 Dec and 8 December. You might remember that it was the female at Berry College, Missey, that survived that horrific hail and wind storm. I hope those eggs are alright. This is a new female for Pa Berry – their second season together. If you were a fan of Ma Berry, she was seen having a spa day at the end of January 2021. Yes, birds do get divorces.

This is the Kisatchie National Forest nest of Anna and Louis. Anna is incubating now.

Here is the link to the KNF Bald Eagle Nest.

This is the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest.

Here is the link to the Berry College streaming cam:

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

This is the link to the Captiva Nest. This is Connie and Clive. I hope that they have a very successful year. This is probably the most narrow Bald Eagle Nest in the world!

R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest are doing just fine. Rita did some clearing of the nest yesterday and some new grasses were brought in. The nest looked amazing but after several hours, little eaglets wandering around and food can cause it to look messy again. Rita used the grass to go to the edges and sticks are still being brought in to this new human made nest for the sides.

Little eaglets full to the brim. The weather is good. It is 24 degrees. They do not need Rita to brood them in that temperature.

Ferris Akel is streaming live as I type. I love to lurk because he finds some amazing birds on his Saturday tours of the Finger Lakes area of Upper New York State. So far today there have been lots of hawks – Northern Harriers and Red Tails. The Harriers are really difficult to photograph.

The Ducks below are American Black Ducks, females. They might look like Mallards but their bill is tinged more green than the orange of the Mallard and their feathers are darker. They are virtually the same size and shape of a Mallard.

This is a female Hooded Meganser looking for food – going in and out of the water flapping her wings.

There you can get a good look. This looks to me like a first year female. Mergansers like to live in forested swamps but today they are in the wetlands. They nest in tree cavities and will also use nest boxes, unlike our favourite little duck, Daisy! They winter in the estuaries and creeks in the eastern United States and along the Mississippi Flyway.

Ferris found a Red-tail hawk hoping to find some lunch. Many of the Red-tail Hawks around the area of Ithaca do not migrate but remain in the region because the winters are not too harsh and there is plenty of prey. Indeed, the one thing that does determine over winter areas is the availability of food.

There continue to be lots of Canada Geese in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

Today, there were also some swans.

Swans feed by submerging their heads into the vegetation below the surface of the water.

These are young Tundra Swans with an adult. The Tundra Swans are smaller than the Trumpeter.

Aren’t they beautiful? We have so many waterfowl in Canada but it was not until Daisy the Duck in Australia that I really began to appreciate the ones around me.

There were also Mallards and Redheads mixed in with the Tundra Swans who are searching for vegetation to eat.

Just look at all of the Redheads!

The GHOWs are becoming a real problem for the health of the Bald Eagles. There was another owl strike at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest of Harriet and M15. Lady Hawk has it on video. Additionally, there are GHOWs attempting to take over the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest of Harry and Nancy, the Savannah Osprey Nest, and, as we know, a GHOW named Bonnie and Clyde took over the nest of a young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas last year and raised two owlets to fledge.

I am beginning to not like GHOWs at all!

The temperatures on the Canadian Prairies warmed up and we got more snow! It can stop now. The birds have already been fed and it looks like a great day to stay in and read and watch for those pips.

Over the past month I have become very fond of DanniConnorWild. She is a young wildlife photographer who has taken up residence in Northern Sweden. She is living her dream. That is fantastic! She is very keen on squirrels. Indeed, the squirrels in this video are eating spruce cones. I have never seen this. She is earning a living through her videos and photographs so there are ads but, just don’t mind those. I am posting her video from the end of the year that includes squirrels, Reindeer, and beautiful Northern Lights in case you want to have a look.

Thank you for joining me today. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ferris Akel Tours, Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Bald Eagle Cam, Berry College Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Cam.