Early Sunday in Bird World

1 May 2022

Eggs are starting to hatch in some of the European stork nests as well as the falcon nests in North America and the UK. It is a really exciting time for bird lovers of all species. Even the White-bellied Sea Eagles (WBSE) are starting to work on their nest in Sydney, Australia. I cannot believe how fast time flies – like a falcon!

This morning, 1 May, at the nest of Wilma and Wilfried in Lindheim, Germany, the 5 White Stork eggs began to hatch shortly after dawn. Two hatched right away and a third is pipping. Hopefully, the other two will come quickly also. The previous male at this nest, Wilheim, lived to be 30 years old, disappearing in 2020.

Lindheim is a short distance north and slightly west of Frankfurt.

The countryside is gorgeous.

Here is a link to this streaming cam:

Bukachek and Betty have five White Stork eggs at their nest in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic, too. Soon there will be storks hatching everywhere! If you travel to Spain and Portugal you will also see storks everywhere- nests on top of all the buildings! I am told that this is true in parts of Poland – . Storks are symbols of joy and the promise of a bright future. No wonder they are looked after so well and welcomed.

Here is the streaming cam for Bukachek and Betty:

At the Black Stork nest of Karl II and Kaia in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Kaia shows Karl II their fourth egg this morning. Karl II is the banded stork with the transmitter. Kaia is so tiny. This is their second season together. Last year there were three hatches and each fledged.

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

The White-tail eaglets in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland had a big feed resulting in huge crops and sound sleep.

This is the link to this camera:

At the Weissenburg Peregrine Falcon nest, three of the four eggs have hatched. The first hatch was on 12 April quickly followed by the second on the 13th and the third on the 14th. The fourth egg was deemed to be non-viable. The chicks will be ringed when they are older.

Oh, a little cuddle puddle.

This is the link to the streaming cam for the falcons:

That is a quick look at some of the nests in Europe that you may or may not be familiar.

Oh, goodness, you want to see little eyases in the US? There are three – one newly hatched – at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape! So cute…There is one more egg to hatch but it might not. There is no pip. And sometimes only one out of three or four falcon eggs hatch. The smallest wee babe hatched during the early morning hours and is already dry while the others know to hold those pink beaks high and keep them open for food

Here is the link to the falcon streaming cam in Manchester, NH:

There are also two eyases at the falcon scrape in Utica. These two hatched on the 27th of April. You can see how quickly they have grown compared to the wee ones at Manchester. Cute.

Here is the link to the streaming cam at Utica, NY:

It is early morning in Captiva and Middle (Little) is waiting in his tree perch for Andy to bring a fish to the nest. Squint. It is the tree in front of the palm and Middle Little is at 3 o’clock. Just a tiny white dot.

Big Red and Arthur have already had a change in brooding. Gosh, Big Red must get ‘stiff’ hunched over those four wiggly eyases all night.

Just look at Arthur! Lots of people doubted if he would be able to cover all those chicks. Arthur, you look like a pro!

Breakfast for the Ls as the sun rises.

It is raining in many parts of the US and the three eaglets at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest are positively soaked this morning.

Mum is trying to keep the two at the US Steel Irwin Plant nest dry – but the poor babies aren’t babies anymore!

It looks like it is a little wet at the Dale Hollow Bald Eagle nest where Big and Middle are waiting for breakfast to arrive.

It is raining at the site of the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest of Nancy and ‘missing’ Harry. There is only one eaglet on the nest. Yesterday, E1 shoved E2 off the nest. Its injuries were such that it had to be euthanized.

The male, Harry, disappeared Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, Nancy caught a huge fish and brought it to the nest. Both of the eaglets were full as was Mum. She has, as far as I know, not been able to hunt since then. This means that E1 and Nancy have not eaten since Wednesday. There is an intruder that is stopping Nancy from leaving her eaglet. — This could turn into a very sad situation quickly for all.

Nancy tried to feed her only eaglet from the old bones in the nest yesterday.

She has found something this morning. Wet and continuing sadness, possibly.

The two surviving osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest are getting their beautiful juvenile feathers. Both are eating and the tension at the nest does not appear to have returned.

If you missed the Ventana Wildlife Society’s Zoom chat a few days ago, they have archived that discussion about the California Condors. They are in the process of rebuilding the ‘pen’ at Big Sur after the Dolan fire two years ago. Redwood Queen has an egg that could hatch any moment and much more news.

This is the latest tracking received on our sweetie pie, Ervie. He made a visit to Boston Island on the 29th! Wow. Ervie still hangs around the hotel and his favourite tree in Port Lincoln most of the time. I wonder how that talon of his is growing and healing? Ervie, if you could pay a visit to the barge we might be able to check! It sure would be nice to see you.

And last for this morning but absolutely never the least – the Peregrine Falcon scrape at The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley. It is the home of Annie and Alden (and 2 eggs of Grinnell’s). Cal Falcons likes data and they are predicting, from past experience, when Annie’s eggs will hatch.

Now I cannot be there but if you live in the San Francisco area, why not join Sean and Lynne and all the other CalFalcon lovers on 6 May? It looks like fun!

The ground in southern Manitoba is soaked and the water in the rivers continues to climb. Deer are trying to find dry ground, many walking along the railway lines that are slightly higher, in search of a spot and some food. Some communities are completely flooded. So far we have managed to keep the bird seed relatively dry in the garden despite the rain. The migrating birds continue to arrive and this includes the Ospreys that were spotted yesterday.

Our mayor, Brian Bowman, posted some images from inside the floodway yesterday. Some individuals are having trouble with seepage and flooding – I am fine. Thank you for all of your concern but so far, so good! This is a view of our downtown area facing St Boniface, the wonderful French area of our City. That large building is the Human Rights Museum.

@Brian Bowman Mayor’s Office

If I missed your favourite nests, I will try and include them in the next report. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, MN-DNR, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Pix Cams, Mayor Brian Bowman FB, DHEC, Cal Falcons, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Bielik Online Bory Tucholskie, Storchennest Lindheim, Ziva Kamera Mlade Buky, Utica Falcons, Peregrine Networks, Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB, and Eagle Club of Estonia.

Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

22-23 April 2022

Friday was drawing to a close. Big Red had been restless all of Thursday and it was a wonderful relief when L1 hatched and was deemed ‘perfect’ after a worry over some blood coming from the egg earlier. Tonight (Friday late) Big Red is trying as best she can to get some sleep while L2 is hatching. The cracking is such that we now have gone beyond a mere pip.

If all four of the eggs hatch, Big Red s going to need to grab those naps as much as she can.

Big Red is not giving away any hints Saturday morning. But you can see the more than pip in the back right egg and a pip in the back left egg. L1 is doing fine. Being an Only Child – even for a short time – has its advantages.

Arthur brought in another starling in the morning. There are now 2 Starlings (one partially eaten), 1 grey bird, and a partially eaten snake in the nest.

Dawn is just breaking in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland. You can hear the songbirds singing as the sun rises through the pine trees. This just reminds me of a fairy tale forest. White-tail Eagles are so beautiful with their lighter heads and darker bodies – all seemingly touched with a bit of silver.

Mum left to take a wee break. Both of the eaglets are still alive and appear to be doing well.

Mum returns to brood the chicks in the soft morning light.

Do you know the Anacapa Peregrine Falcon Nest? This couple have been together since 2013 raising chicks on the cliff face on the remote Anacapa Island in California. They are known as Mr and Mrs A.

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands where we have a couple of familiar Bald Eagle Nests, Two Harbours (Chase & Cholyn) and West End (Akecheta and Thunder).

Two chicks have hatched this year. Just look like white fluffy little teddy bears with big pink beaks and pink toes and feet. So cute. They are 3 days old. It is hoped that the third egg is non-viable. It is typical for not all of the falcon eggs to hatch. These chicks are big and strong and that chick would be behind.

Here is a feeding from yesterday.

This is a feeding from today.

This is the link to the streaming cam for all you falcon lovers!

https://explore.org/livecams/falcons/peregrine-falcon-anacapa

I want to check on the status of the Black Stork nest that was the home of Grafs and Grafiene last year. The very late arrival of the female last year caused issues at the nest. The male returned earlier in April this year. Many on the Forum are wondering if it was Grafs or another male. The male worked away bring twigs and moss to prepare such a nice nest. Now it is the 22nd of April and there is no female yet. The male sings and looks around. Fingers crossed for a quick arrival of a female to this gorgeous nest in Sigulda County. Come on Grafiene!!!!!

Here is the link to the nest:

Karl II is working very hard on the nest he shares with Kaia. He is very handsome!

Karl II and Kaia have had a male intruder land on the nest. Kaia helped magnificently in defending the nest. Unlike other species, the males and females will defend the nest against opposite genders. There are apparently a lot of single male floaters due to a lack of female storks. They are causing problems with established nests. We are waiting for an egg at this nest!

Here are the couple defending their nest.

Mum and Dad returned to Glacier Gardens yesterday! Looking forward to another great year up in Alaska. Kindness was the sweetest little eaglet. It was a great name and touched the heart of so many. It is so nice to see Mum and Dad.

There are now three eggs at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Dyland and Seren Blue 5F. Dylan is a great fisher but he also loves to incubate and he wasn’t wanting to give up that spot Saturday afternoon!

Mrs G and Aran have two eggs now.

Cheers are happening in Poole Harbour because CJ7 and Blue022 have their first egg. There will be more. The first hatch will be historic – the first Osprey in Poole Harbour in over 200 years!!!!!!!!! Incredible. The community worked hard to relocate Ospreys to the area and it looks like they will have success this year.

This is such wonderful news for this couple that began bonding last breeding season.

The very first osprey of the 2022 season has hatched in the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve in Maremma in Tuscany, Italy yesterday.

The situation at the Florida-Gainesville Osprey nest is not improving. I captured a couple of images of Little Bit taking a few bites of a fish on the nest before Middle went after him. You have to look carefully. Its tiny head is in the very centre of the nest under the tail of that fish.

The minute the older sibling notices Little Bit move it attacks despite it having a full crop.

The two large siblings prevented Little Bit from getting any food even though they were clearly full.

Feeding and any movement by Little Bit triggers their aggressive behaviour. The ability of both Big and Middle to dominate the food coming into the nest is directly seen in the growth progression of the three nestlings. I often smile when I see people in chat rooms saying not to call the dominant birds bullies but in his 1979 article “Sibling Aggression among Nestling Ospreys in Florida Bay” in The Auk (vol. 96, no 2, 415-17) Alan Poole says just that in discussing the difference in size of the nestlings “however, 3 days after the first sibling bullying was seen, nestling A was 165 heavier than B…” (416). The older two are simply that – bullies. What I did find interesting about Poole’s study was that he did not find the same level of aggression in the Ospreys in the Chesapeake Bay area. Some of you will have observed, as I have, sibling competition and aggression at several Florida Osprey nests such as Achieva Credit Union (2021), Captiva (2022), Pink Pearl (2022), and Gainesville currently. You might well know of others in the last couple of years.

Little Bit mustered the courage to get to the beak but there was no fish left.

In the image below you can see the size difference between Big, Middle, and Little Bit. The older ones will continue to have the advantage unless this chick gets fed – it had a few bites yesterday and some fish later on the 21st. Tiny Tot lasted for 72 hours before getting some fish at Achieva in 2021. Indeed, that chick had – in a month – the equivalent of 12 full days without food. She went on to become dominant. It remains unclear to me if Little Bit will survive the weekend, sadly.

Little or MiniO fledged yesterday morning early (the 22nd) and has not returned to the nest. It is unclear to me whether she is in a tree or is grounded. Middle (or Little) is in the nest with Lena fish calling to Andy.

I never like to close with sad news but I have just heard that two of the eaglets at the Denton Homes nest have died. It is suspected that it is Avian Flu. We will see if the third survives but it is doubtful. The Dad is there and is very confused. The surviving chick is in the nest with the two deceased ones. — It was thought that Avian Flu was mostly staying on the East coast. This is a move into the heartland being triggered by migrating birds? There will be concern for other nests in the region. Please send them your warmest and most positive energy.

We have had rain since the wee hours of the morning on Friday. It has filled several of the low areas of the garden with water. The worry is that they are reporting a drop in temperature that would freeze the ground surface causing the rain not to soak in (the ground is already saturated) and create wide scale flooding. We worry about the animals. All of the squirrels, Hedwig, Mr and Mrs Woodpecker along with a myriad of Juncos, Sparrows, Grackles and Starlings have been trying to eat. It is difficult to convince Hedwig that we have special food for him on a plate that is relatively dry!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. I hope to have some happy news on Big Red and Arthur’s L2 later this evening. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Brywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Biehki Online Bory Tucholskie, Estonian Eagle Club, Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve, CarnyxWild, Explore.Org, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

White-tailed Eagles in Poland

3 April 2022

One of my favourite White-tailed eagle females is Milda. I have mentioned her before in my blog. Her nest is in Durbe County in Estonia. It has been a rough year for Milda since her long-term mate was missing and presumed dead in late March of 2021. Milda heroically tried to incubate the eggs without food for 8 straight days to the point of starvation. Several males offered hope and then didn’t. As if with a miracle the two chicks hatched and we all celebrated only for them to perish because of one of the males taking the food off the nest and then not covering them. But, that was last year, and there was hope for this one but again, disappointment when the eggs laid were broken by an interloper.

The females on the nests need a good strong partner who is working with them cooperatively!

The White-tail Eagle is so rare in Eastern Europe. Latvia, Estonia, and Poland are doing what they can to encourage breeding sites.

The White tail eagles are Haliaeetus Albicilla. They are the largest raptors in Europe and are located from Greenland to Asia. The Eagle Directory describes the plumage like this, “White-Tailed Eagles are almost entirely brown. They have a yellow-gray head, neck, breast, and lesser wing coverts, and the belly, thighs, and rump are dark brown. The flight feathers are close to black and their wedge-shaped tail, as their name would indicate, is white. The tibia are feathered, though the tarsi are not, and the legs and feet are yellow. The eyes, beak, and cere are yellow.”

As you can seen from the images of the White-tailed Eagles below, the plumage can vary and of course, we have to take into account the lighting and settings on these streaming cams. These eagles grow to be from 74-92 cm long with a wingspan of 193-244 cm. The females are larger than the males as in most raptor species and weight between 3.7 and 6.9 kg. The males come in at 3.1 to 5.4 kilos. Their life expectancy can be up to 36 years. They eat mainly fish but also hunt mammals such as rabbits and birds. I have seen them also be opportunistic and bring some carrion to the nest. Indeed, it was a crane brought to the White-tailed eagle nest last year that killed two wee chicks because that crane brought with it the highly pathogenic Avian Flu, H5N1. While the birds are listed as not being under threat in some areas, they are very rare in Eastern Europe and the UK is trying to reintroduce them. While they may lay 1-3 eggs, it is most typically 2 eggs that will be incubated by both parents (as you see below) and hatch within 34-46 days. Fledging typically takes place between 77-90 days after which the fledglings are depending on the parents for 4-6 weeks while they learn to fly and hunt.

In older White-tailed eagles, the head and neck can be almost white.

The adults in the images are in a nest in the Woziwoda Forest District. It is a special project of the Eagle Conservation Committee, the Woziwoda Forest District and Polish Radio promotion both old forests and the White-tailed Eagles. The nest is highly protected. There can be no activity within a radius of 200 m. Setting up the camera were problematic and the workers who installed it had to do this cautiously when the eagles were away.

The nest you are looking at is on a 140 year old pine tree at a height of 25 metres. This nest has been occupied for four years. It is known that there was one fledge in 2021.

For transparency, I do not know any of the history of this nest so I do not know whether to give you caution or not. I am attempting to find out. The setting is simply beautiful and if some of you have been watching this nest in the past, please let me know. The chat is in Polish and I understand eggs are being incubated but it is not clear how many or when they were laid by the information provided.

Here is the link:

Just an update on 2 other nests: The adults at Dale Hollow have brought in a teaser 2 bite fish and a small sucker early in the morning. Big ate both of them. No other food has been provided to the eaglets up to 18:30 this evening. I sure wish they would bring a whopper on the nest tonight for both. That said, Little Middle ate well yesterday and is OK. Sadly, Little Middle continues to pull that monofilament line. Thank you to ‘CA’ from Belgium who sent me this 15 second video clip. I could not see him dragging the nesting material, my mistake.

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxv7V8o6oR9Gyt8aIgJyQ8dTxjUZI3Copk

Annie and the new male continue to bond in the scrape box. I have caught him incubating a few times today. I sure hope he is a good guy to our Annie! I don’t think any male will ever fill Grinnell’s shoes – he was a huge character in every aspect of a raptor’s life but any bird who will care for Annie, Grinnell’s eggs and now on of his own is gold in my books!

Karl II has spent his 4th night in the Ukraine not far from Kyiv. Anne7 posted this image of where he was hunting for food this afternoon. I am so grateful for the Looduskalender Forum and their English pages and to the tirelessness of Anne7 to inform all of us of Karl’s whereabouts. I wish him to replenish his energy and get to Estonia! Fast.

You may find yourselves spending too much time looking at the Dale Hollow nest hoping for a miracle. I had to begin to pull back today. It is mentally exhausting. We cannot make the adults bring in more food and legions of you have contacted enough people to get help. ‘L’ has had a promising conversation with Al Cerere who asked the important questions. If help can come, he is the guy to make it happen. We simply have to wait and hope. My heart breaks for both of these eaglets but, of course, most especially Little Middle.

Our weather is set to soar to a high of 8 degrees Celsius. We will all be outside in our summer clothes! Well, not quite but it will feel like that. It was a damp day, cold to the bones British type weather today. Birds are arriving and I really hope to get out to see some of them in the morning tomorrow. My post will likely arrive late in the afternoon.

Thank you so much for joining me this evening. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons and Bieluki On line Bory Tucholskie.

Friday in Bird World

The Lost Words is a book by Robert MacFarlane, Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Its focus is on the words that the editors of the Oxford Children’s Dictionary removed. Its 128 pages, 27.9 x 37.6 cm in size, are gorgeously illustrated with the watercolours of Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator, who lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The missing words that concerned MacFarlane are the following: acorn, Adder, Bluebell, Bramble, Conker, dandelion, fern, heather, heron, Ivy, Kingfisher, Lark, Magpie, Newt, Otter, Raven, Starling, Weasel, Willow, and Wren. At a time when our focus as adults should be to strive to install the wonder of the natural world and our responsibility to it in the children, why, then, would anyone choose to remove words that are directly connected with our environment.

I mentioned this book awhile ago. I have returned to it many times always admiring the illustrations, such as the images of the Ravens on the forest floor amongst the fallen conkers. Conkers are the fruit of the Horse Chestnut Tree, Aesculus hippocastanum. Horse Chestnut trees can grow quite large. Ironically, the conkers are poisonous to horses and I believe, all other animals. The type of poison is called esculin.

That illustration conjured up a beautiful memory of the time my family spent in England. Up on the gorse was a Conker Tree. We had never seen conkers – it was something wonderful and new. The children played a game with them. First you had to drill a hole and run a cord through the conker and secure it with a nice big knot at the bottom. The children would then ‘conk’ their conkers trying to see whose would break first! It was free entertainment and kept them busy for hours.

“Conkers on a string” by MrsEds is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Creative Commons had this historical picture of two young lads trying to break the others’ conker.

“Its conker time” by theirhistory 

The rolling hills with their public paths were marvellous places for the children and the adults to take walks and breathe in the air. We were fortunate to have a ‘gorse’ within 50 or 60 feet from where we lived. It was full of butterflies and birds and the most delicious blackberries. It was a time when children played outside with their mates. No one set in front of the telly or spent hours looking at screens. Bikes were ridden and trees were climbed. In the three years we lived in Lincolnshire, it snowed once. There was about 4 cm on the ground – just enough. Still, everything stopped. Children stayed home from school and anything and everything that could be used as a sled was used to slide down the hills of the gorse. I wonder what all those children would think about the snow in my garden today?

The nice thing about snow is that it can cause people to slow down. To enjoy a cup of hot tea and a book. To stop running around worrying about things that are not always that important, to pause long enough to take in the moments.

It seems like it is rather quiet in Bird World but, is it really? Eaglets are growing bigger by the day all the while their plumage is changing. Thankfully, none are ready to fledge. E19 and E20 spend time flapping their wings as does the Osceola eaglet. Other eagles are incubating eggs. It is not time for Osprey season unless they are in Florida. Diane is incubating 3 eggs at Achieva in St Petersburg while Lena, laying hers a month early at Captiva, will be on hatch watch this weekend. Annie and Grinnell are only dreaming of eyases. Today Grinnell had to tell a 2 year old juvenile female to get off the ledge of The Campanile. Cal Falcons posted a video of that encounter.

Ervie continues to fish call off the barge at Port Lincoln. We can hear him but we cannot see him.

Kincaid is 29 days old today. He is starting to walk. It is so cute to see those first ‘baby steps’. Louis brought in what looks like an egret (or a part of an egret). When it looked like Louis might want to eat some of it, Anna promptly arrived at the nest. To Anna, prey brought to the nest belongs to her and Kincaid, not Louis who brought it! Anna is pretty strict in that regard. Not all female Bald Eagles behave that way. Anna proceeded to try and remove one long leg while Kincaid, with an already large crop, waited patiently.

Kincaid is mimicking what Anna is doing as he grabs the other leg and pulls on it. So cute. Kincaid also keeps himself busy moving around nesting material. These little eaglets learn from watching the adults.

Kincaid is already making attempts at self-feeding.

Kincaid is, of course, not the only one trying out eating by itself. I posted an image of R2 at the WRDC nest a week ago eating a fish. The eaglets of Harriet and M15 are also attempting eating on their own. E20 has become a bit of a pro. It seems like all of the eaglets grew up faster than they have ever done previously. Does it seem that way to you?

At the White-tailed Eagle nest of Milda and her new mate near Durbe, Latvia, the snow has melted. Milda will be laying her eggs about the same time as Big Red in Ithaca, New York – the third week of March – if all goes to plan.

There is more snow forecast for Big Red’s territory. The temperature in Ithaca is 1 C.

What I like about the image below is that you can see the nest cup area that Big Red and Arthur have been working on. In Milda’s nest sprigs of pine with their cones line the area of the egg cup. It is so fascinating watching the couples prepare for the upcoming breeding season. It is so intriguing. I would love to ‘speak hawk’ and sit by Big Red and Arthur when they discuss what needs to be done!

At least five eagles poisoned, one dead, four in serious condition in Manchester Maryland. Was this lead poisoning? or was this something else more sinister to impact all of the birds at the same time? There is an investigation underway.

Here is a short informative video of why eagles eat carrion in the winter.

https://fb.watch/b6jnYJByKa/

There is good news coming out of Australia about WBSE 27. You might remember that twice, after fledging, 27 was taken into care. 27 was not taught by the parents to take care of itself. Once 27 fledged, it was taunted and chased by the Pied Currawong. Both times 27 was extremely dehydrated. The last time the Currawong had gathered and had pecked 27s head. When 27 was taken into care the last time, I hoped that rehabilitation would include flight training as well as training for getting prey. This takes longer than a two week stay in a clinic. Some wildlife rehabbers keep birds for 2 years to make certain they are capable of caring for themselves with confidence. It looks like 27 is getting that great training. The news is excellent!

Isn’t she lovely? And – yes – 27 is a she!

I wish that all of the sea eagles that fledge from the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park would not be harangued by the Pied Currawong. They chase them out of the forest. They never learn to fly or to catch prey. How many of them survive, if any, unless they wind up in care?

The camera is now working again at Port Lincoln. Ervie was on the nest and, at various times, in the shed with Dad. Sometimes he was in the shed alone. I cannot tell you if he had a fish but there was definitely a lot of fish calling.

Checking in on Jack and Diane at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest and Jack is busy delivering fish and helping incubate the eggs.

If you are into garden animals and song birds, with a few surprises, you might want to check out Wildlife Kate. She has several wildlife cams and is featured on Springwatch in the UK. Have a look. You might find something really interesting like Yew Pond, or the Kestrel Box, or the Woodland Pond.

This is Woodland Pond. The cameras are live with no rewind. Enjoy.

https://www.wildlifekate.co.uk/

I haven’t posted anything about the eaglet at Berry College for a few days. Thermal down is coming in nicely. Pa Berry did a great job feeding the little one this morning. B15 is still walking around on its tarsus (not yet with its feet) and doing a lot of preening. B15 is doing great. Missy and Pa Berry are doing a great job raising this baby.

B15 is a sweet little eaglet. You can see how its plumage is beginning to change.

I will leave you with a gorgeous image of Jackie incubating her eggs at Big Bear Bald Eagle nest in California. Fingers crossed for a great season for her and Shadow!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Achieva Credit Union, Wildlife Kate, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, Latvian Fund for Nature, and Sea Eagle Cam FB Page.

Was it Yurruga?

My goodness. It is just past 09:00 on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge and already there have been three fish delivered – one of those was really quite a bit one!

Ervie got the first fish that arrived at 06:16.

There was another delivery at 07:22 and Falky takes that fish. Falky is still eating when Mum flies in with a bit of a whopper. At the time of this delivery, Ervie is on the perch and Bazza is on the nest rail. Falky quits eating the old fish (not much left) and starts eating the big fish.

In the image below you can see Falky with that prize fish. That is a nice one.

Falky is still eating at 8:56! Bazza has given up and has gone down near the mancave to put in a personal request to the parents for breakfast. Ervie has found some leftover fish around the rim of the nest – remember he is really good at that. But I am also thinking that Ervie knows Falky is going to get full and stop eating that fish! He wants to be on hand when that happens.

The only time I have seen a sibling eat and eat so that a sibling could not get food – eating beyond the norm of comprehension – was sibling #2 at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida last year. #2 would eat and eat so that Tiny Tot Tumbles did not get anything or there was only a little left.

Ervie is smart. The third hatch survivor. Falky did finally get full and Ervie is now eating that Mullet. Bazza is still on the deck below by Dad’s cave.

It has been snowing in Northern Europe. In Durbe County, Latvia, snow is covering the nest of Milda. Still, her and Mr L have come home to the nest to check on it today. Liz caught it in a video:

There are some concerns about a thin red line on the right ankle of Mr L which you can see directly below the arrow to start the video. Here is another view. Milda needs for this to heal so that Mr L can provide for her this year and their chicks will thrive. Observers say that Mr L appears to be moving fine. Thank goodness.

Oh, it looks so dreadfully cold for the White-tailed Eagles. I hope there is plenty of prey for them that is not sleeping. There should be no worries about any egg laying until spring. It is normally timed so that when the chicks hatch the little animals are coming out of hibernation.

If you research the floods that are happening in Canada’s province of British Columbia or some of the flooding in the eastern provinces recently, there are many causes. In British Columbia the logging of old growth forests has proven to be tragic. In their discussions, Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock talked about the impact to the wildlife of these events. They also mentioned that some of the birds caught in the horrific heat during the summer of 2021 that survived and had trackers put on them —- those birds flew straight to Alaska. As the climate warms, the birds, including my beloved Osprey, will be looking for cooler temperatures where fish and their eggs are not dying from the heat nor are the larvae that the fish eat dying. Look north to Alaska and parts of Canada. These areas need protection.

An article has just appeared that discusses the Tongass National Park in Alaska and the changes in some laws that are coming in to place to make certain that the old growth forests are not logged. If you are interested, here is that article.

Last there is some confusing information coming out of Orange, Australia, about Yurruga. I had received an e-mail this morning from Cilla Kinross where she expressed her concern at not seeing Yurruga since Thursday, her worry and also her love for the wee one. This morning Xavier delivered prey to Diamond in the scrape and she flew out of the box quickly and into the trees. I have personally never seen Diamond eat prey in the scrape unless she was feeding a chick. While we all remember Izzi coming to the scrape, normally the prey deliveries and feeding would take place away from the scrape for the fledglings.

In the chat room, Cilla Kinross said of the delivery and departure, “The prey transfer looked hopeful; I couldn’t hear the calls. I need to get a new speaker.” Individuals have said that at 8:32:55-56 they believed they could hear Yurruga prey calling.

Here is the sequence of images related to that prey drop to Diamond. You can see the time stamp in the corner to understand why Cilla could be thinking that this is very quick and hopeful.

Diamond gets the prey.

In the image above that white spot between the trees right above the ‘s’ in the word ‘trees’ that I typed, is Diamond. Cilla has indicated that she knows the tree Diamond landed in and she is going to check in at work and then go and search that area.

I will bring you any news as I hear it. If you want, you can watch the camera and at least see the chat, if you go to this link. To access the ledge cam – for a better overall view – go to the link below this cam once you get on Youtube.

At 10: 33:55 you can make out a person walking among the trees. It could be Cilla or a helper. Chatters and mods are hoping that they walk further back as that is where they saw Diamond go. We hold our breath. It has been a sheer roller coaster.

In the image below you can see them – that bright white spot. You can see how tiny she is compared to the trees. If Diamond is like the hawk that visits our garden, they can be almost invisible sitting ever so still so as not to be seen.

The person is still looking at 10:49. She is in the whitish coat to the right of the green tree in the centre. Again, look at the height. If Yurruga is in a hole in the tree or somewhere on those trees with leaves it could be difficult to see him. I wonder if Diamond is still there?

We wait for word. That is all we can do. Wait, hope, send warm wishes and prayers. My friend, ‘T in Strasbourg’ reminds me that miracles do happen. Yes, they do. I hope this is one of them.

Thank you for joining me. It is a been a day full of up and down emotions. That is the only thing for certain about this Tuesday – or Wednesday – depending where you live. Take care everyone. If I hear anything at all, I will let you know. Pardon any serious grammatical or spelling mistakes. I am writing this quickly so you will know what is happening on the ground in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, the Latvian Fund for Nature, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Late night Thursday edition of ‘As the Nest Turns’

The White-tail Eagle nest in the Matsula National Park in Estonia – one of the oldest known breeding territories in the country, has been fledging eaglets since the nineteenth century, if not before. Archives go back to 1870 with modern records from 1996-2020 indicating that no less than 29 eaglets fledged from the nest that Eve and Eerik currently call their own. So what has happened this year?

For two days now, Eve and Eerik have been mourning the loss of their two babies, EE1 and EE2. Long before the little ones stopped breathing, the couple knew. A parent was always there with them witnessing their last breath. It is a scene that many of us have observed at other nests this year. I remember too clearly the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest in Florida – on Santibel Island – when Hope and Peace both died of secondary rodenticide poisoning. Joe, the father was devastated, and I have often wondered if it wasn’t the death of his two eaglets that made him vulnerable and, eventually, evicted from the nest by Martin. Several years ago, stories of the injuries to Juliet at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest and then the death of his eaglet, made Romeo abandon the Bald Eagle Nest in Jacksonville where his son, Samson, has now fledged his third-eaglet, Legacy (the two previous were Romy and Jules last year). Birds have memories and emotions, they mourn the dead, and understand. Laura Culley would challenge anyone who begged to differ, “And why wouldn’t they?” she was ask.

Eve and Eerik completely covered the babies, each spending time at the nest. Imagine that you have two seemingly healthy children and within a day they are both dead and you don’t know what happened. I use the term ‘seemingly healthy’, as the two eaglets were somewhat lethargic for several days before they died. It was extremely hot – one of those blasts of extreme heat that my friend ‘T’ from Strasbourg warned me about. I thought it was the heat that caused them to be less hungry and alert.

The experts in Estonia have mentioned that a sizeable number of large birds have been found dead along the coastline. Below is a Google Map showing that coast line and the area of Matsula.

Google Map showing the area of Matsalu and its proximity to the coast line of Estonia.

The eagles eat carrion (dead animals). Is it possible that a disease was transmitted to the nest? Was it Avian Flu? or was the cause rodenticide? It will be good to have the speculation stopped and have factual evidence – then the wildlife authorities can begin to figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again (if they can). The bodies of the babies will be removed on the 14th of May for an autopsy if the eagles allow them to take them. Meanwhile, Eerik is at the nest looking down at his baby, EE1, now covered by straw.

Wildlife employees in Estonia have just released this statement: “If we manage to collect the dead chicks (hope the parents let us do that), the tests will be done in Estonian University of Life Sciences or sent abroad if needed. We’ve talked with Dr. Madis Leivits about it. We’ll post the findings on the forum, if we get new information. The camera will stay online and I really hope that next year we can follow this nest again.” Thank you ‘T’ for sending this to me!

It is hard to transition from what is happening in Estonia to the rest of Bird World. I hope that the issues at this beautiful nest in Estonia are resolved and that Eve and Eerik return to raise another family next year.

When the anxiety and tensions on one nest get too high and I need a break, I head to a nest that appears stable – at that moment. As we all know, everything can change in an instant. One of those ‘safe’ nests is the Manton Bay Osprey nest at Rutland, home of Maya and Blue 33 (11). Just look at those Two Bobs! Blue 33 (11) has been busy bringing in fish today. It was a whopper at 11:47. Maya is busy filling the two up before the rains come. Look at how strong their necks are! Oh, I love this Osprey nest and those baby blues of the little ones. They will turn an amber or yellow-orange shortly and when they are adults, their eyes will be a piercing bright yellow like their dad and mum. Oh, those little dinosaurs are adorable.

Birds are often better at telling what the weather will be than our local forecaster. Maya fed the babies as much as they could hold before the skies opened in the late afternoon. Look at how she is hunkered down so the Bobs are warm and dry. Their down is of no protection to them.

By 18:22 it is dry enough that Maya can safely stop her brooding and feed those spunky osplets! There is not any nonsense. Maya and Blue 33 (11) are amazing parents who keep those kiddos full. The Bobs know that there is plenty of fish – no food insecurities here. How refreshing. I could watch these two little ones all day. You can see how they stand erect for Maya and how their crops are just beginning to get full.

There is no shortage of pigeons for the three male eyases of Annie and Grinnell. The parents had a banquet for them after the banding yesterday. If you look carefully you can see the red band on the right leg of the chick at bottom left. Each eyas has two bands – an aluminum one and a coloured one.

One of the questions that someone asked yesterday during the Q & A was about the ‘ps’ all over the walls. The answer was this: if something happened to Annie and Grinnell a pair of falcons checking out this box would know that the territory was a good one, full of prey, because of all the ps. Isn’t that interesting? One of the other questions was about parasites. Peregrine falcons evolved to lay their eggs and raise their eyases in a scrape box. This helps avoid mites and parasites that happen on stick nests.

Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are also full of spunk and vinegar! K3 got its head caught under the wing of one of the sibs and it stood up like a big prize fighter giving that sib the what for. Look at that crop! That little one is really telling that other one. It is not the first time this little one has been ready to take one of the older ones on. This nest is going to get really interesting.

Samson brought Legacy a nice fish. Legacy started squealing and mantling before he was even in sight – that was 4:50:28 if you are watching the streaming cam. There she is mantling and Samson is just arriving.

I love Samson’s skinny legs! It looks like he is wearing tights. He is getting out of there quick – saving those talons for sure!

Legacy will not stop mantling the fish til Samson is not a threat.

Legacy is really learning how to keep her fish for herself. Great lessons by Samson and Gabby.

Legacy made quick work of that fish!

Oh, Legacy, you are gorgeous. We are so lucky you returned to the nest and have stayed around longer so we can enjoy seeing you learn and grow more confident.

I have done a quick run through of the other nests and everything seems to be going smoothly. There will be hatch watch for some of the Osprey nests in the UK this weekend. Iris has two eggs in the nest but she appears to not be taking their presence seriously. She left at 13:55 and at 20:25 she had not returned. I am glad to see that Iris is taking care of herself. No doubt she is enjoying the nice day and has caught herself several good fish.

Tiny Tot, who is no longer tiny, has been eating a lot of fish today. #2 sibling got the first fish of the morning. Tiny Tot showed the remarkable patience she has gained. She waited knowing full well that Diane would let #2 work on the fish for so long and then she would take it and they would enjoy the rest of it together. That has repeated itself throughout the day.

And can you see them with all the things in the nest? The two at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest are doing well. The first hatch has really taken off in terms of size. I bet everyone is sitting around saying that ‘it’ is going to be a ‘big girl’. Time will tell. It is too late for the third egg to hatch and it will be absorbed into the nest. No worries. Harriet keeps the two chicks warm and well fed. Jack is an excellent provider. Two nice healthy chicks is great!

Tomorrow I want to check on some of the Red-tail hawk nests in New York City – yes, right in the heart of the city. In fact, it was one of these nests that keened my interest on urban hawks – the one on the ledge of New York City University. There should also be some news on the retrieval attempt of EE1 and EE2 for their post-mortems. Right now, Eerik is on the left hand branch of the nest tree in Estonia. He has moved the bodies of the babies and him and Eve have eaten off the prey in the nest. They need to consume it so that intruders do not come. So fingers crossed!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, the Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, UC Falcon Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, and the Montana Osprey Project.