Can you help DH18? Sadness at Captiva…Saturday in Bird World

22 April 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is Earth Day, and the theme for this year is ‘Invest in our Planet’. Imagine if everyone invested what they could, how much better the planet would be for our feathered friends. As a start, I would like to thank all the wildlife rehabbers who have the challenging task of helping our feathered friends return to the wild after they have had a mishap or severe injury. They are our heroes, and every day, they invest in helping these beautiful creatures live the life they are supposed to. Secondly, I want to thank everyone for all you do to make this planet a better place for our feathered friends. Whether it is donating to your local clinic, educating students or new friends, to spreading the word about the dangers and how we can remediate them, you make a difference. Thank you!

The snow did not materialise but the wind sure did. Blowing up to 35 kph. We watched the Crows have some difficulty navigating their landings. Lucky for Missy two of them landed right on top of the conservatory. She was in awe! I did not get a photo but just imagine her excitement after watching the skies for days and having birds far away to have them just a metre from her. Goodness.

We will start with the sad news of the day so that we can move onward. Florence flew off of the Captiva Osprey nest at 1300 with a fish. She did not return after eating. Angus was incubating while she was away, but he flew off at 1455 when she had not returned. Angus returned in 1845 but did not go to incubate the eggs. It is 72 degrees F on Captiva, and as Renie, the moderator for the chat, has stated, “This is not good for the eggs.” At the time of my writing, 23:15, the eggs on the Captiva Osprey nest appear abandoned. With revised hatch dates, we were one week away from pip watch. Thanks, ‘H’, for continuing to moderate this situation for us.

‘H’ reports the following:

“Tentative ID, mods prefer to wait for daylight to be sure, but Osprey believed to be Angus returned to the nest at 03.07.18, and is incubating.  Looks like Angus to me.  

4/21, They were not having significant intruder issues at the time.  Flo was eating her fish on her palm branch (as seen on the PTZ cam), and when she was done at 13.27, Flo simply flew away from the tree.  She has not been seen since.  Jen, the PTZ cam op searched for her everywhere.”

Angus returned at 1845, but won’t sit on eggs, he seems to be looking for Flo. This is so very sad, and we might never know what has happened to Florence. The only consolation is that the eggs had not hatched. It would be virtually impossible for Angus to care for newly hatched osplets alone.

I am having trouble keeping up with my forms. As many of you know, Claudio Eduardo designed a particular programme to help me instantly determine the % of deaths in Ospreys from siblicide or other causes, along with eggs laid, hatching and fledging %. It means putting in the data, and right now, many of those UK nests are starting to get their first or second eggs. I get one form finished and discover another has laid an egg. It is so exciting.

Today Kielder Nest 7 got its second egg for KX7 and KM18. The nest everyone was anticipating was Poole Harbour. CJ7 laid her first egg of the 2023 season with mate Blue 022 at 19:12:47 Friday night. Earlier Louis and Dorcha had their first egg for 2023 at Loch Arkaig.

Richmond and Rosie, the Ospreys whose nest is on the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipping Yards in SF Bay, have their first egg. Time was 17:39 and Richmond was there with his lovely lady.

‘H’ reports that Duke and Daisy have their first egg at Barneyghat Light this morning at 05:15 in New Jersey with Seaside getting their second egg on the 21st.

Aran and that gorgeous unringed female continue to get to know one another. She has been at the nest mirroring Aran’s behaviour for a week now. Oh, I hope she stays and they have eggs this year. Aran is a great catch and the nest is fantastic albeit always visited by Monty’s kids!

Both were on the perch together in the wind.

It sure looks a lot warmer in Wales than it did in Missoula, Montana when Louis came to check on Iris.

We have another single parent household. This time it is the Peregrine Falcon scrape in Rome. The female is missing sadly. Alex is trying to feed the chicks. Send him your most positive wishes. They are adorable.

The eaglets in the US have either fledged are are small. B16 from the Berry College nest continues to return to get food from Pa and Missy. She is a beautiful big girl!

Smitty and Bella’s little one is now sporting a white fluffy mohawk and clown feet. Wasn’t this one about the size of Decorah eaglet a week ago? Not really but it sure feels like it! They grow in the blink of an eye. What a crop!

‘H’ sent in some great news. The sole hatch of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest, Connick, is being transferred to the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey at Maitland, Florida where he will remain until all of his feathers grow in properly. He will receive flight and prey hunting training there along with enrichment. It will be a long haul but it is wonderful that the centre was willing to take him! Thank you Audubon!

Murphy continues to watch over the eaglet. He has never brooded the chick but is a keen protector and motivates the eaglet to eat.

The staff at Wild Bird Sanctuary are excited because it means that the eaglet will imprint on Murphy and not humans and will be free to be released when it can fly and hunt.

Everyone is waiting for the hatch at the Decorah Goose nest! Tomorrow is the day but we all know things could be early or a little late.

Down the road the Decorah Eagles at the Hatchery have so much nesting material for the little one that you can barely see the top of its head when they are feeding it!

Sweet little baby of Chase and Cholyn at Two Harbours is getting ready to be warmed by the sun.

Oh, that little one of Annie and Lou’s is quite the character. It is always hungry and just waiting for anyone to arrive with prey! Just look at that fade when an adult comes in with some prey. That little one is right up there in the front ready to be fed!

Cal Falcons will be banding these three on the 5th of May! Put it on your calendars and guess what…there will be the name the chick contest, too!

‘A’ comments, “Did you see how big the pieces that the youngest at Cal Falcons is swallowing without turning a hair (feather)? Of course it was essential for it to do so if it was going to eat early on, so it learned that one very quickly. It helps of course that Lou has become SO proficient at preparing prey. These chicks look like their meat has been trimmed by a professional butcher and bought at a gourmet supermarket! Lou is just fantastic.”

River continues to work on getting the tangled materials on the nest and the monofilament line off of DH18. There have been at least 2 fish today and both of the eaglets ate well – and, late in the day, River arrives with a huge bass and everyone has a big feast. Her fishing is great and the eaglets and her are eating well. Let us all be hopeful that she gets 18 untangled. She is completely aware of the situation and working on it. As an older eagle – in this nest – she has probably seen more than her share of fishing line and hooks. I remember last season she saw a hook and got it off the nest. She knows what they can do. So…let’s wish she gets this latest issue solved for 18.

Terry Carman wants to spread the word about DH18 and here is a list of contacts to help. Maybe if we have an Army we can get some help for this eaglet this year. Thank you, Terry for getting all these contacts together! This is a good way to try and get help on Earth Day for that little eaglet.

‘H’ reports that “R4 ate for approx. 14 minutes at 8 feedings (a couple of those feedings s/he sat out completely).  I only count the short periods of time when R4 gets into a groove where it is eating normally, and eagerly swallowing bites.  I do not count the periods of time when R4 is shaking its head and spitting out the bits.  R4’s best crop of the day was the one I already showed you from 07:35.  R4 had several good ps yesterday.  The one last night at 0021 was a little small.  (most of the time the ps are stated in the chat, that’s how I know to go look, unless I just happened to be watching).  R4 acted normally . . lots of standing, walking, wingers.  Hopefully R4 will eat more today, like s/he did on 4/19.”

Much of the time our wildlife winds up in wildlife rehabilitation clinics because of humans. There are many ways to get rid of mice and rats that do not involve rodenticide. In fact, a former student living in northern Manitoba, has voles now. Guess who showed up to clear them up? A kestrel! Hopefully no one has put out rodenticide in that northern city of ours. This owl was not so lucky. Educate people. Talk to your local pest control about alternatives.

I am pleased to tell you that the Cowlitz PUD – a utility company in Washington State – has been proactive in trying to help Electra and her mate. Last year the Ospreys lost their three healthy osplets to Bald Eagles, who removed them from the nest over two days. The company has not placed protective guards for the ospreys. This is just wonderful news. Electra has now laid two eggs.

It is a busy time for wildlife rehab clinics around the world right now as chicks of all species are coming in – lost parents, blown out of nests – you name it. This little osprey was in the water about to be washed out to sea.

Not only is it Earth Day tomorrow, but it is also our local wildlife rehabbers ‘Baby Shower’ – a fundraiser in anticipation of all the nestlings and fledglings that will be in rehab sooner than we can imagine with the wind and the snowflakes still around on the Canadian Prairies. It is a good time for everyone nearby to drop in and say hello and take them things they will need or send them an online donation. Does your local wildlife rehab centre have baby shower days? I will also be keeping an eye on Mother Goose. Seriously who doesn’t love a ‘Mother Goose’?

Our condolences go out to Lori Covert and all the folks at Window to Wildlife and Angus. We will never know what happened to Florence. She would not have abandoned her eggs. It has been such a sad year for Captiva especially after the miraculous rebuilding there after Hurricane Ian. Keep sending all the nests your most positive wishes!

Thank you for being with me today. I am so fortunate to be in such wonderful company as all of you. Every day I wake up with a smile knowing that so many caring people are out there in the world making a difference. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, announcements, videos, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog this morning: ‘A’, ‘H’, Window to Wildlife, Kielder, C Marguilis and SF Osprey Cam with Rosie and Richmond, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Montana Osprey Project, Gris Adriana and orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, Berry College Eagle Cam, NCTC, Wild Bird Sanctuary, Raptor Resource Project and, IWS and, Cal Falcons, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Keisha Howell and DHEC, WRDC, Nine Sirous and Cornell Haw Cam Chatters, Cowlitz PUD, Barbara Walker and Osprey Friends and Terry Carman Bald Eagles Live Nest and Cams.

Hatch for Ron and Rose, more intruders for M15…Tuesday in Bird World

14 March 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that each of you had an excellent start to your week.

The temperature was around +2 C in Toronto, with light snow this morning. It was a marvellous day for a walk and a trek to try and locate some ducks. There was no need for anything exotic – any duck would do when I set out. One of the advantages of being in a large City is your transportation options. I love the Toronto subway system (any subway system for that matter) and often dream of living where there is no need to own a car! Toronto has an extensive subway system that took me right to High Park on West Bloor Street rather swiftly.

There are 400 acres of parkland, a small zoo and Grenadier Pond, several restaurants, and playgrounds. The terrain is mostly rugged as opposed to manicured and everywhere you can hear birds singing and see squirrels scampering about.

Every where you looked there were magnificent old trees. Stunning.

The view from the top trail down to the path along Grenadier Pond.

It was a jaunt – from High Park Station at the top to the bottom and back up again along a path by the pond. The dials on my iPhone for ‘activity’ were undoubtedly spinning. The terrain is undulating and incredibly beautiful. The cherry blossoms in the spring rival many other destinations.

One difference is in the species of squirrels. Toronto has these rather amazing Black Squirrels! (They also have the Red Squirrels, the Eastern Greys, and rare white squirrels in Bellwood’s Park).

The Black Squirrels are Eastern Grey Squirrels. They are black because of a genetic anomaly that will not allow their fur to turn grey!  Toronto is full of them! If you come to Toronto, the largest population of Black Squirrels seems to be in Queen’s Park.

Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Red-wing Blackbirds, Starlings, and House Sparrows were in the park. Trying to get them to stay still long enough for a photo was another matter! The quest was, however, to find ducks! If you find yourself in High Park, the place to see the ducks is Grenadier Pond. It was quite iced over today, so there was not the normal variety paddling, but there was some!

There were American Black Ducks, Mallards, and two insistent Canada Geese. They wanted food – NOW!

Posted in clear sight was this sign. Every place where humans are allowed to fish should have signs like this.

It was a wonderful time despite the wintery weather. I highly recommend it if you visit Toronto and are looking for a beautiful park to relax. You can also rent bikes, enjoy a meal, see some animals in a small zoo, and check out the waterfowl.

Monday morning M15 landed on the SWFlorida eagle nest with a rabbit for the Es. It was a flurry of pulling and tearing and it appears that each eaglet got some food. The time was 10:05.

Our ‘Dad of the Year’ has had to contend with more intruders including a juvenile/immature and a rather aggressive female with injured talons (could be the one that has been at the pond and at the top of the tree). She jumped into the nest wanting the fish M15 was feeding E22 but, today, he got rid of her! Well done, Dad. There was another owl strike and even a car accident at the nest. What a guy!

[The eaglets shared a rabbit, 21 got a rat, and 22 is being fed this fish on Monday].

It is E22 that is getting fed.

The female wasn’t happy but she went up to the branch.

Oh, the Es are so wet.

M15 paid a late visit to the nest. At first, he found pieces of fish and ate without offering anything to the eaglets. E22 was, of course, squeeing. The Es got some bites, and the nest is cleaned up. I wonder if Dad had much to eat today.

Abby and Victor are doing great. They are eating well and giving each other grief! Lots of grief. Sally just lets them go at it.

Abby climbed out of the egg cup—well fed osplet with that fat little bottom.

Their little tails are starting to develop as they move from the light grey down nestlings to looking like dinosaurs with their oily heads.

Sweet little babies when they are asleep.

Please take a look at the osplets below. The soft grey down on their heads is giving way to the black of that dark charcoal thermal down. Abby is on the right and Victor is on the left.

Harry brought a nice fish to the nest and didn’t count on the osplets fish begging. He turned around and fed Abby several bites while Victor called for bites, too. Sally took over and fed both of her hungry osplets.

At the WRDC nest of Ron and Rose, Rose has stayed on the nest all day as her very first eaglet is hatching. Proud Papa-to-be, Ron, brought Rose a fish for breakfast and then another one. He is teaching her – stay in the nest; your first baby is coming. What an exciting time and a privilege to witness this first-time eagle mom as her little one pecks away at that shell.

At 17:26, Rose is off the eggs and eating some fish. You can see the eaglet spreading the shell apart. Hatch is coming along quite nicely. No longer a single hole with a beak but now a crack around the egg that is getting wider and wider. So happy for Ron, who lost his mate Rose and was won over by this very young female who did not give up courting him! Many wondered if there would be eaglets at this nest so late. Send them all your good wishes, everyone. That little one will be fully hatched before most of those in Florida turn in for the evening.

HeidiMc has a video for us…much more interesting to see that beak moving that shell!

23:10. That shell is all crushed around the eaglet but it sure looks like it is mostly out!

Looks like it was completely out of the crushed shell around 07:44 Tuesday 14 March at WRDC. (The shell crushed just like the shells in Louisiana where the humidity is also high. Wee one had to work a little harder).

Oh, sweetness. Now to see how our first time Mum’s instincts kick in.

Ron is really happy!!!!!!

Take your calendars and mark them for 11 April. Pip/hatch watch for Annie and Lou at Cal Falcons scrape on The Campanile.

Now that Annie has finished laying eggs, Cal Falcon is looking for memes.

Oh, have a giggle!!!!!!!! 3x speed – wiggling and giggling to get those eggs under!

Fledglings are still returning to the Superbeaks’ nest. Sometimes they are fed by an adult, and at other times, they find fish left on the nest to eat. Everything seems to be going well with both eaglets flying in and out of the nest.

On Monday, Arthur delivered a nice squirrel treat to Big Red as she worked on their nest on the grounds of the Cornell campus. Big Red is my hero, and this year this Red-tailed Hawk turns 20. Eggs can be expected anytime.

The osprey platform of Maya and Blue, 33 at Rutland Water, has been busy today! Geemeff sent news of a peregrine falcon bringing prey to the nest, visits by Egyptian Geese, and finally, a Cormorant. Maya could arrive as early as tomorrow, and she will clear them off!

When Shasta died, Sequoia left the San Jose City Hall scrape. A new couple is bonding now. Everyone will have to keep an eye out for Sequoia, Annie and Grinnell’s son, and where he lands next.

The three surviving GHO owlets at the nest in Corona, California, are really filling up that basket! Look at those eyes looking up at Mum.

Owlvira pauses on the branch above the nest. This is where she will want the owlets to go when they branch. Voting for the names of the eaglets (including little Peanut) ends on Monday evening. So, today, the winning four names should be announced. I thought it was really nice that in respect of Peanut, they kept the fourth name in the listings.

At the nest of GHOs Bonnie and Clyde in Kansas, Bonnie has been nibbling on prey while giving her only owlet some air on Monday. Gosh you forget that those little ones were once soft and white!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, posts, videos, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: ‘H’, ‘Geemeff’, Google Maps, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Moorings Park Ospreys, WRDC, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, Cal Falcons, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, Superbeaks, Cornell RTH, LRWT, Sharon Pollock and Raptors of the World, Corona California Owl Cam, and Farmer Derek.

Human with flash frightens M15…Saturday in Bird World

11 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone..

Gosh, it is almost summer here on the Canadian Prairies. 0 C. We are supposed to get up to +2 today. Everything is melting and soon that white snow will be ugly and brown and melting. If the wind is not too bad today, I really want to get out and check out some birds. The numbers in the garden have been dwindling as the temperatures have risen over the past couple of days. I miss those Starlings! And only about half the number of Sparrows are about…of course, Dyson and her gang are here!

The kittens think I have been neglecting them too! So here are some recent photos. Missy is now – hold on – over 8 lbs and she is just 6 months old. It is the Maine Coon that is driving her growth and weight. Lewis is about a kilo or 2.2 lbs lighter.

What a great distraction they are when things go sideways in Bird World.

Having ignored most of the other nests completely, it was time to go and check on them and see how the naming of Anna and Louis’s eaglet is going. If you have not voted, please go and do so – if it is not too late by the time you read this. The voting ends at noon on Saturday and according to the forestry officer, Cody, this will be the last eaglet at KNF to be named. From now on, they will be numbers. So join in the fun! Go to the KNF-E1 streaming cam and click on the name of your choice. (Many of those that volunteer with some aspects of this nest would like to have a name that is associated with the area – a clear name like Evangeline. Not included. The only name that is linked to the nest is West and that has to do with the West Harbour Boat launch according to Tonya, the chat moderator).

Louis brought in a pile of fish after that Egret yesterday. According to chat monitor, Tonya, those fish were: Not sure, Gizzard Shad (GS), Bass, GS, Redear Sunfish (RES), GS, RES, GS, GS, RES, Black Crappie, RES, and GS. That was a total of thirteen fish! I do have to hand it to Louis for hauling in the most fish on any nest I have ever seen – ever!

KNF-E1 O3 looks like she swallowed a beach ball. Now why did I saw she? Well, a lot of people are looking at this eaglet and the size of its feet in comparison to Kisatchie and Kincaid and noticing the tremendous size difference. So just look above…I am in total agreement! Finally a female for Anna.

There are so many fish it is hard to decide what to eat and what to feed but one thing is for sure, no one is going hungry on Louis’s watch.

In the image below, just look at the size of 03 compared to Mum.

At the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria, Valentine rushed up to claim a fish. Rhonda A caught it on video. Great mantling job. As many of you are aware, Nugget seems to have incurred an injury to its leg and talon. According to Tonya, the moderator on the KNF chat on Friday, that leg and talon are improving. Great news.

Now back to M15. How do the eyes of a frightened eagle look? one under stress? Gracie Shepherd caught the intruder at the SWFlorida Eagle nest. Sadly, this needs to stop. Will someone have to protect the property? and the natal nest? This is one reason that many nests do not give out their locations.

Do you remember the two white mice that came on the nest? ‘A’ and I wondered where these came from. They are not field mice. I thought of lab mice but you can also buy them at pet stores. Apparently some kind soul bought them and released them for M15 to catch and feed to the kids. All was done with a sense of wanting to help but, sometimes we need to trust. M15 is doing simply a fantastic job.

The police have been alerted. To be clear, this is extremely dangerous behaviour and could have meant the lives of the eaglets. People need to stay home and this person needs to be fined or go to jail. Anyone who wishes this family well will not be around this nest!

Baiba caught that great big catfish that M15 delivered on the 9th on video. Have a look:

Connick is eating, sleeping, and growing at the Captiva nest.

Connie looking down at her chick.

Good Night, Captiva!

Just down the road at the Captiva Osprey nest, Angus and Mabel spent time at the nest today, as usual. No eggs yet but just look at how inviting that egg cup looks!

For some time, Diane had some moss from the nest tangled around her legs. That appears to be gone but it did cause some worry with the Achieva Osprey platform watchers today. Things seem to be fine now.

Thank you ‘H’ for the news and photo. Diane laid her second egg at around 03:16:27 on the 11th, today.

Rose and Ron are doing a very good job incubating their eggs. If there is to be a third egg, it should arrive tomorrow. Personally, I hope not. Two is good, one healthy eaglet is great.

At the Webster, Texas Bald Eagle nest, Ringo is eating, sleeping, and growing just like Connick and E1-03 and Valentine and Nugget.

At the Superbeaks nest of PePe and Muhlady, Pearl and Tico, Pearl has branched. She managed this great achievement a couple of days ago when I was completely concentrating on SWFlorida. Congratulations Pearl. It has also been announced that Superbeaks will be back next year for another season. Fantastic!

A cute look at ‘the New Guy’ at Cal Falcons with a delivery for Annie? Where should I go he ponders. Remember. On Valentine’s Day, Cal Falcons will open a naming contest for the ‘new guy’. Names must be associated with UC-Berkeley.

Before I go, I need to tell you about a new owl streaming cam to watch that ‘A’ just alerted me to. It is GHOs Owlvira and Hoots at the Corona, California nest. That nest is 40′ high and it is 24″ round x 19″ deep (60 cm x 46 cm deep). It is constructed of wicker and is lined with coco core. There is one more egg to hatch. The first little one has just hatched on Friday evening around 19:48.

This is the link to that streaming cam:

Making News:

A rare Northern European wading bird is in Herefordshire, UK.

Two more of the 55 Kakapo chicks that hatched in 2022 are receiving names on their first hatch day. Congratulations!

I want to thank you so much for being with me today. This is a hop and a skip over the nests. So much happening now at all the nests. Eggs being laid and incubation. Thank goodness for incubation! It gives us a chance to slow down. It is 4 days until pip watch at Big Bear Valley for Jackie and Shadow. It is 4 days until we begin to watch for Rosie to return to Richmond at the Osprey nest on the Whirley Gig in SF Bay. We are about 35 days from the first egg at the Cornell RTH nest of Big Red and Arthur….lots to look forward to. For now, keep M15 and the two eaglets in your thoughts. We never expected Harriet to disappear and not return. The fate of a nest can turn on a dime. Right now it is just magnificent – except for humans. What an amazing father M15 is to these two Es. Now take care of yourself. We will see you soon!

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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures and blog today: ‘H’, ‘A’, ‘J’, KNF E-1 and KNF E-3, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, Baibai and SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, Window to Wildlife, Achieva Credit Union, WRDC, Paul White and the Webster Eagle Watchers, Superbeaks, SK Hideaway and cal Falcons, Live Owl Cam, BBC, and Kakapo Recovery.

M15 still going strong…eggs dropping in nests…it is Wednesday in Bird world

8 February 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, the sky is grey with heavy clouds after having beautiful sun yesterday. The temperature is an absolutely balmy -1 C. The Conservatory is warm, the kittens are playing and, surprisingly, there are few birds at the feeders today, so far. It is the second day that I have been totally relaxed about the SWFlorida Eagle nest. Harriet has now been missing for 6 days with no sign of her. People have been searching all over the greater Fort Myers area and, of course, the Pritchett family and friends have searched and searched their property. She is, after all, a member of their family along with M15 and the eaglets. M15 continues to do an extraordinary job of caring for his family. I am finding it hard to concentrate on anything else, actually – including a new Dorie Greenspan cookbook that has arrived full of wonderful images of baked goods!

On Tuesday, M15 had an early feed of what appeared to be roadkill or a turtle. Then he flew to the nest at 12:13:02 with a fish in his talons. It looked like a Ladyfish again. He must have a great source of these and all the Florida fishing sites say they are plentiful.

Of course, 21 ate first. 22 kept its head down watching and waiting and in the end needed a bit of coaxing by M15 to eat. M15 moved the fish, and moved up to 22 even moving his beak right over. After a short time, 22 began to relax. I do think that 22 has won the ‘snatch and grab award’ over Rocket at the NEFlorida nest last year. 22 got some nice big bites and by the time the food was gone, around 12:42, he had a good crop! M15 was back up on his branch watching over the territory and protecting his and Harriet’s eaglets right after. I do hope Dad is eating, too.

21 watches but does nothing. Food security back on the nest.

What a beautiful picture. It could only be better if Harriet was there. Everyone is missing her.

It is 15:04:21 and M15 just flew off the nest to go hunting for food for him and the eaglets. You can see his shadow on the ground as he leaves the nest tree.

M15 returned looking rather wet at 15:31:14.

He flew down to the nest with the eaglets at 16:17:47. E21 was ready to eat but, M15 thought he was going to have some food, too. 22 eased his way around, a little late to the table, and got a few bites including snatching the very last large piece. He didn’t get enough for me to do a dance but, I am not worried. 22 had enough earlier if something else comes in, great. Maybe not. Both him and 21 can wait til tomorrow. I saw no beaking and no animosity on the nest between the eaglets. What I did see was M15 offering some bites to 22 after he had moved over nearer the table. Good job, Dad.

Well, there was another feeding and I can tell you that E22 ate for more than 8 minutes. At the beginning, M15 fed 21. But 21 was already full. The bites were small with long pauses. M15 kept taking a bit, holding it to the left for 22 to see it. Finally, 22 turned around. Did the snatch and grab and then got comfortable. At the end of the feeding, 17:40:51, 22 was practically pushing Dad off the nest rail wanting the last of the goodies from the head. M15 was hungry, too, and ate. Thankfully. The feeding lasted from 17:27:53 to 17:40:51. Both eaglets went to bed with big crops. Sweet.

It was a magnificent feeding. I will probably say it a hundred times: M15 has made a concerted effort to include 22 in this feeding and in several others over the past few days. 22 has gone to bed full and content. Life is good.

In the video, notice how 22 is facing towards the rim of the nest with one eye on Dad and then, gradually, he will begin to turn counter clockwise ending up right in front of dad and beside 21. He is still aware of 21, still aware of the earlier beaking days ago now. Once he turns his head quickly thinking 21 will strike. It doesn’t. 22 is quickly back at Dad’s beak – literally under Dad’s chin.

Leave it up to 22 to do the clean up after Dad has flown up to the branch.

Proud Dad!

He has lost his mate of 8 years – 8 years Harriet has been his world and the Es that they have raised together. He is grieving but, he has set that aside to take great care of their children. He has a job to do and he is doing it. I know that we would like nothing better than for Harriet to fly in to that nest.

This is a good, short interview with the Director of the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey near Fort Myers on WINK news.

Liberty at the Redding Eagle nest in California that she shares with her mate, Guardian, is on the nest. She is quite hot and panting. It looks like we could have a first egg soon.

Liberty fooled us!

Oh, I have missed check in on Indigo. Xavier had a well prepared prey item for his son this morning but instead of Indigo screaming in fast, Xavier had to wave it around for a bit. No worries. Indigo is always hungry!

Checking on the Osprey nests, there is no egg at the Achieva nest of Diane and Jack as of 1800 Tuesday.

Diane is tired and almost falling over standing up to sleep at Achieva. Will this be the night?

Yes! Around 0650 today (Wednesday), Diane laid her first egg at the Achieva nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Now for Captiva!

Angus has just brought a fish to the nest and Mabel is waiting to leave with it to eat because there are intruders about including a Brown Pelican flying over.

Trying to get confirmation that the second egg at the Venice Golf and Country Club was laid on Tuesday. Ospreys not giving away a thing!

Ron is taking good care of Rita. There was some worry about a stick that he brought in – hoping all is well with that egg! (It looks fine at the end of the video by HMc). I noticed he brought something in for Rose for lunch and ‘H’ has confirmed it was a pigeon. Ron also did some incubation duties. Well done you two.

Rose is really vocal when she sees Ron coming with food! “Ron, couldn’t you have plucked it?”

Some images from the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow. We are one week away from pip watch. Talk about exciting!

A three ‘note’? conversation from Jackie to Shadow – eek, eek, eeeeew. OK. I am tone deaf. Wish I could understand ‘eagle’.

A cute video of Nugget interaction with Alex at the KNF-E3 nest of Alex, Andria, Nugget, and Valentine. You might recall that there were 15 fish brought in by Alex a few days ago! And don’t forget, the names will go up for voting for Anna and Louis’s little one on Friday.

Last, a peek at Zoe. Thanks ‘H’ for giving me the head’s up about a new posting with comments by Ian Falkenberg, included below. Zoe has flown farther than any other fledgling osprey – more than a 1000 km! She is fishing around Mount Hope and I hope catching whoppers. What an extraordinary osprey she is. As several of you have commented, if I can paraphrase, ‘To think that we thought she would never be able to fly she was eating so much fish!’ She proved us all wrong.

Martin and Rosa at Dulles-Greenaway have their second egg. President and Lotus have moved to the second nest and it is believed they have an egg…eggs dropping into nests everywhere!!!!!!!!

Making News:

How many times have you seen the ads promising weed free lawns? or have seen individuals spraying their lawns? or companies? Those pesticides are killing our song birds! Please tell your neighbours and friends, family members that there are alternatives – one of which is just leaving everything alone!

A shout out to someone who stopped to help a hawk and maybe, give it a second or third chance at life! You be that person one day. You will remember the moment you help an animal all your life.

To Watch, Listen, and Participate:

Christian Sasse is hosting a live Facebook discussion about Harriet. The UTC stands for Universal Time. This came through my FB feed but I cannot find it anywhere in terms of a link to send you. I will keep trying.

This is another poster with a different time. 7pm Mountain Standard Time. LOL. The World Time Buddy says this then is 8pm in Winnipeg, 9pm in Toronto, 10pm in Halifax. Check your American time zones to these.

Please have any questions you might have on a piece of paper. You should be able to keyboard them into the rolling chat.

To Watch:

This is a 13 minute and 47 second documentary on the restoration of the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands. Did you know that in 1980 there were no Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands? The footage shows the extraordinary extent to which the staff of the Institute for Wildlife Studies went to in order to reestablish the eagle population after its decimation by DDT. You can even see Dr Sharpe hanging from a helicopter switching a dummy egg in a nest with a nestling! Enjoy.

Thank you so much for being with me. As you can see I am still watching – with great admiration – the effort that the single dad, M15 is giving to his eaglets. Those eaglets are being fed. He is sensitive to when 21 has a big crop and holds back, gives 21 tiny bites because it isn’t as hungry as 22 and waits, almost baiting 22. It is brilliant. I am so impressed with M15. Sorry…it was only 6 days ago we wondered if 22 would even be alive by Sunday! 22 is getting some confidence. Yes, 22 is still afraid but certainly calm has settled over this nest in SW Florida. Like ‘A’, I would like to see these two be great buddies again. It has been traumatic and now life is become more normalised.

Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

If you would like to receive my blog in your inbox, please subscribe below. Normally there is only one mailing per day unless there are extraordinary circumstances. You can unsubscribe at any time. We would love to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, announcements and streaming cams that make up my screen captures and blog: ‘H’ and ‘A’, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, FORE, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Achieva Credit Union, Window to Wildlife, Venice Golf and Country Club Ospreys, WRDC, HeidiMc and the WRDC, FOBBV, Friends of Osprey, Rhonda A and the KNF-E3 nest, The Guardian, Bobby Horvath, and the Institute of Wildlife Studies.

Rose lays her first egg of the season. photos of where Zoe is fishing, will E22 survive?…Sunday in Bird World

5 February 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

As most of you know, I write my blog the afternoon and evening prior to the morning I publish it. I have had countless letters and notes today and a couple of comments wondering why isn’t anyone searching for Harriet. I do not know who began spreading the idea that there was no one looking for Harriet. Harriet is one of the most famous Bald Eagles in the world. She is beloved by the Pritchett family and thousands and thousands of watchers. She is known throughout Fort Myers. All of the news media – papers, radio, and TV news have covered the story of Harriet missing. People have been out searching. Here is one story that is carried about those searches.

Saturday was one of the most heart-wrenching days I have spent monitoring a single nest while trying to keep up with some of the others. We are all sad. You are, I am, the Pritchett’s are. My thoughts have gone to M15 who is actively grieving for his mate and yet, has the responsibility for their last two eaglets. He brought in a fish big enough for all three to eat well this morning but, as we all know, 22 ate it all. 21 got little as I document below. It pulls at our heart. M15 will look after these children as best he can. He has other responsibilities too – while not knowing what has happened to Harriet. It is a very different situation to Gabby who had no eaglets on the nest. We do not know what will happen if 21 continues to keep 22 from eating. There are many scenarios at play with lots of people behind the scenes trying to figure out what is the best thing to do. All I know is that the Pritchett family cares deeply for its eagles. They have a stocked pond for them. They got help for 17 and 18’s eyes immediately. Those eagles are part of their extended family. If anyone can pull a Rabbit out of a Hat, the Pritchett’s can working together with CROW and the USFWS. The best place for the eaglets is on the nest with their dad, M15. I hope that there is a sudden change in 21 because 22 needs food and it is scared of its stronger and larger sibling. At the same time, M15 will, as eagles do, feed the beak that is at the table. I live in the hope that something good will happen.

I spent my Saturday on and off the SWFlorida Eagle Cam. All of the other nests appear to be fine. It is agonising to watch 22 being so hungry, digging through the nest for scraps when 21 has been fed well and has kept its little sibling from being fed by M15. 22 was able to get enough off the bones and fish by itself to get a small crop. I want 22 is a survivor like Tiny Tot Tumbles and Blue 464. Certainly 22 is as afraid of eating as TTT was…we just have to hope. The good news and celebration is down in Miami with Rose and Ron. And well, the fact that everyone else is doing well including Zoe who has a perch above a creek makes everyone happy. The first part of my blog is a long overview of SWFlorida today. Then I move into the other nests and all the great news happening elsewhere.

The temperatures are climbing on the Canadian Prairies with the Polar Vortex moving away. There is little wind. The squirrels were out in the garden enjoying a good feed.

You can see some of the snow falling. Dyson is on top heading for a solid seed cylinder while one of her babies is enjoying Black Oil Seed and some Butter Bark Bites.

M15 flew in with a large fish with its head on at 12:15:04 on Saturday. E21 was first up and did not hold back keeping its younger sibling in submission. As it ate and ate, E22 sort of shifted, keeping its head down, hoping there might be some fish left. E21 as I write has been feeding for a long time. M15 constantly looking around, keeping what is going on in the surrounding environment in his head. 21 is getting some huge bites. If you were watching – and thousands are – you will see that 22 finally moved up and got a bite – before 21 reached out to peck it. M15 left the nest and the rest of the fish.

E21 has been eating for at least 30 minutes and has a huge crop. M15 does a good job feeding his eaglet amidst all the other worries he has.

M15 waited for 22 to come over. 21 is stuffed and appears to be ready to go into food coma. 22 is looking.

The famous two bites of fish for 22.

At 13:03, just as 22 was set to eat, 21 goes on the attack.

M15 flies off. He is very preoccupied with the intruders into his territory. Don’t blame him! It is difficult to care for the eaglets, secure food, and secure the air space around the nest.

n the midst of his own personal grieving, M15 is taking care of his eaglets and his territory. He is an extraordinary dad and he will do the best he can BUT he cannot pull 22 up to the table to eat. There might be some tactics he could use but he has a lot on his plate and has no mate to help him.

The story continues with E22 finding fur and an old fish tail in the nest and self-feeding. Now get over to the new fish, 22. You got this!

E21 is aroused and is practically sleeping on the fresh fish..

22 creeps over with the fish tail towards the fresh fish and 21 strikes. This reminds me of Tiny Tot Tumbles. TTT ate the old food on the nest and survived until a time when the parent fed her secretly after dark when the other two slept. Fingers crossed that 22 can get a piece of that fish…there are two sections, the body and tail and the head. Plenty for both eaglets. A22 is desperately trying to self-feed. He just doesn’t have the technique down…hold it down with your talons and pull hard, 22!

E21 went back and 22 continued to work on the fish tail. He has gotten some fish off it – even a few bites helps. Every bite helps.

Then 21 took the fish tail. That was a moment when I felt someone had just hit me in the gut. How could he deny 22 that small morsel of fish? He took it and then just left it.

22 finally got over to the fresh fish and began picking at the head – not the open part – without success.

Then M15 flew to the nest at 14:18:39. I wonder if he saw 22 at the fish wanting food? But leave it to 21 – who is still bursting – to go up and begin pecking 22. Sad. Will 22 get some food?

It is possible we need another fish on this nest…22 is still not getting any and 21 is bursting at the crop. Sometimes if another fish comes on in rapid succession and if the parent won’t give up, the second submissive eaglet gets to eat. You have seen this at other nests. M15 doesn’t have the time to get out and get another fish. We are fortunate he was able to catch that big one this morning.

M15 flew off the nest at 14:49. 21 is in food coma (thank goodness). 22 moves over to self-feed. He found some scraps and is working on a piece. This is good. If M15 flew down now would 21 wake up? or would 22 get fed? We don’t know the answer to that but 22 is getting some flakes of fish. As I said earlier, even small amounts of fish help and we know that 22 ate some of the old fur and dried up rabbit. Bald Eagles eat anything and everything. As an adult, they will eat fur and bones and hard pieces of food to survive if they need to. IF 22 survives, he has been learning some good lessons on this nest for his future. I do hope he does but, it is not a given based on what is happening.

22 pecks and finds some bites until 21 wakes up and comes to investigate at 14:57 when it beaks little sib. 21’s crop is huge.

At 15:39 E22 broke into an area of the fish with flakes…can he get enough to fill up?

At 15:46, E22 could be heard singing, “I Did It My Way” as the little sibling had found enough scraps on the nest and the fish – he is really not that good at self-feeding but 22 worked at it – and he had a small crop. A round of applause. This is the face of a survivor.

It is 18:08, M15 is guarding the territory. He has brought in one large fish and did 3 feedings. Or was it 4? 21 got all of the them but a couple of bites while 22 ate scraps on the nest.

We must prepare ourselves. It is possible that only one eaglet will survive with Harriet’s absence. It is difficult raising eaglets – this size – alone – and I also believe we must accept that Harriet is not returning. If 21 were willing to let 22 get a good feed, I might feel different. But 21 is not willing to share. We wait. We Hope. There is absolutely nothing else we can do as we have no idea what discussions are taking place in the quiet corners of the Pritchett Farm, CROW offices, and USFWS. We know the situation is being monitored and we know that there is a search for Harriet.

Making News:

PG&E backs down from cutting down old pine with a nest to a pair of Bald Eagles. Thank goodness the eagles returned to the nest when they did or the outcome would have been different!

Oh, I wish I lived in Iowa! Do you know anyone who might be interested?

If this doesn’t turn someone’s stomach. What was practised in the UK’s historical past has met up with a society that no longer finds this acceptable. When will the enforcers step up and do what is right? Raptor Persecution UK reports on this tragedy:

The rotting carcasses of shot pheasants, ducks and geese have been found today, dumped on the Otley Wetlands Nature Reserve in West Yorkshire.

Morgan Caygill (@atypicalbirder) posted the following on Twitter this afternoon:

From the grisly photograph it’s clear that at least some of these birds have been ‘breasted’ (i.e. the breast meat has been removed, presumably for consumption).

It’s not clear whether the birds were all shot on the nature reserve or whether they had been shot elsewhere and just dumped on the reserve. It seems unlikely that bird shooting would be permitted on this award-winning reserve as it’s previously been celebrated as a ‘safe haven for wildlife’ (here).

Even if shooting is permitted here, however, the dumping of shot bird corpses would not be permitted. It’s an especially stupid and reckless thing to do given the ongoing concerns about the spread of avian flu.

Regular blog readers will know that the dumping of shot gamebirds is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening up and down the country for years, prior to this latest outbreak of avian flu: e.g. in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North York Moors National Park (here) and even more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), and again in West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here), Lincolnshire (here), Somerset (here), Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park (here), Suffolk (here), Leicestershire again (here), Somerset again (here), Liverpool (here), even more in North Wales (here) even more in Wales, again (here), in Wiltshire (here) in Angus (here), in Somerset again (here) and once again in North Yorkshire (here).

The dumping of shot game birds is a breach of the Code of Good Shooting Practice which states:

Shoot managers must ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place for the sale or consumption of the anticipated bag in advance of all shoot days‘.

The Code of Good Shooting Practice is, however, in effect, just advice. It has no legal standing and is unenforceable. It’s handy for the shooting industry to point to it as ‘evidence’ that the industry is capable of self-regulation but it’s not really worth the paper it’s written on if shoot managers can breach it without consequence, as they so often do.

Last year, almost a year to the day, after yet another episode of dumped shot game birds, there was an exchange in the House of Lords where game bird shooter and DEFRA Minister Lord Benyon denied that there was evidence of shot gamebirds being dumped (I know!) and Lord Newby, having seen the evidence provided by this blog, stated he would pursue Benyon to find out what plans the Government had for dealing with it (see here). Unfortunately nothing ever came of that but in December 2022 Green Peer Natalie Bennett said she’d chase it up with Benyon.

Raptor Persecution UK Blog, 4 February 2023

At our nests:

Well, everyone was waiting and most people thought it wouldn’t happen but Rose laid her first egg at the WRDC nest with her new mate, Ron. Congratulations to everyone at WRDC and thanks to ‘H’ who warned me that Rose might be in labour. While I will question the wisdom of raising eaglets so late in the season with the heat, the saying ‘Eagles know best’ is appropriate here. Time: 18:22:10.

Ron has not seen his egg as I finish writing this (2300 Saturday evening). He will, no doubt, be elated in the morning!

HeidiM caught the action on video for us. Thanks ‘H’. Does anyone think Rose looks like she is in shock? Remember this will be the first egg she has ever laid…and her very first chick. Ron is experienced…so happy for him. The pair were so cute working on the nest – all that effort is now paying off.

Pardon me for being me…but I hope that they have one healthy little eaglet to care for this first year – not two or three, just one super healthy chick.

Baiba caught Ron’s reaction! Thanks, ‘H’ for telling me about this video.

Little B16 celebrates its two week old hatch! What a little sweet butterball of a baby.

Pa Berry feeds his baby some squirrel. Two weeks. Notice those black spots…thermal down is coming and our soft little butterball of a baby is going to change.

Connick had a good day. That eaglet is a little butterball like B16. Some people would say he looks like a Buddha sitting there. Notice that gorgeous wooly charcoal thermal down and the way the dandelions form almost a hooded cape over the little fellow. I keep saying….there is something nice about one eaglet on a nest!

Rhona A did an amazing little video clip of Alex bringing in the 15 fish yesterday – I missed the last one. 15. No worries about anyone going hungry on this nest. Lots of fish for self-feeding. Would love to send one or two of these over to SWFlorida or to Zoe.

Valentine and Nugget (yes, that is the official name for 02) are great. There is so much fish on that nest no one knows where to start eating and feeding. Did I saw I wish we could dump about 5 of them on the nest at SWFlorida? That would stop all the food insecurity for 21!

Next Friday, voting will begin for Anna and Louis’s third hatch in their three years together. Be sure to stop in and vote! Give this little one a super name.

Oh, if you are wondering what 03 is doing – well, it is incubating Dudley. 03 often sits on Dudley and we might need a backpack for 03 to fledge with Dudley if the affection continues. If you watch this nest, keep an even on 03’s behaviour. Sometimes Dudley is between his legs when he is being fed. So cute.

And there are no worries about Indigo. Indigo is still in Diamond and Xavier’s territory and was in the scrape screaming in Elain’s highlights for 4 February.

For all you Redding Eagle fans, there is some action at the nest caught by SK Hideaways.

Zoe is apparently fine. She is alive and this is the latest announcement by Fran Solly of Friends of Osprey. Thanks, ‘H’ for the tip that the tracking had come in!

Fran Solly says that Zoe has a perch over the water. Smart girl our Zoe.

The latest news shows images of where Zoe has been fishing. You know, she is a smart girl! Here is the announcement and one of the images. Sure makes you feel better. I wonder if these creeks aren’t full due to the flooding???? Anyone know?

What I would really like right now is an update on Ervie. Let me go and check to see if there is one and, yes, one from a couple of days ago. Ervie is still hanging around Port Lincoln!

Everything is fine at Superbeaks. The eaglets are self-feeding and being fed by Mum and Dad.

Jackie and Shadow are good except for the Ravens/Crows that you can hear at various times when you are watching the streaming cam. We are now 10 days away from pip watch for Jackie and Shadow. I am so glad these eagles have spaced out their eggs and hatch days a bit! Then we can enjoy the little ones at each nest a little longer. What a switch from the heat in Miami to the cool mountains of California with snow.

Do you watch the Bluff City, Tennessee Bald Eagle Nest? Frances laid her first egg of the season with her new mate on the 2nd of February. If there is a second egg, it should arrive today. Her new mate brings her a huge fish to celebrate —– gosh, Ron, did you hear that? Will you bring Rose a big fish, too?

Here is the link to this Eastern Tennessee University eagle cam:

It has been a long and tiring day for everyone. Last year was an exceptionally difficult one and this year has started off no different with the loss of Samson and Alden right at the end of 2022. I cannot imagine Harriet returning to the nest. ‘Something’ has happened to her and we might never know what that was. She was a devoted mother. She was much loved and no doubt we will mourn her later but, for now, it is that helpless feeling. Send positive wishes to the SWFlorida Eagle nest – M15 and 21 and 22 and the Pritchett Family. It is a difficult time for all of them.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, their announcements, tweets, posts, videos, and streaming cams: ‘H’, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Terry Carman and Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, Raptor Persecution UK, WRDC, Heidi Mc and the WRDC, Baiba and the WRDC, Berry College Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SK Hideaways and the Redding Eagles, Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, Port Lincoln Osprey, Superbeaks, FOBBV, and ETSM and BTES.

The Flight of the Osprey and more…in Bird World

21 December 2022

Oh, good morning to you. It is Winter/Summer Solstice depending on where you live. The shortest day/longest night OR if you are in Australia, the longest day and the longest night.

It is cold on the Canadian Prairies. The temperatures plummeted. Yesterday we had beautiful blue skies and sun but it is overcast today and still cold. It is -24 this morning as I write this.

Oh, I do love getting your letters and comments. I learn something new every day. In the mail, ‘V’ asks, “Are you aware that Blue Jays are rare in the PNW? I live in the Seattle area and we have scrub jays and stellar jays but, I haven’t seen a blue jay since I left the midwest.” I had no idea! So, as you are reading this, think about dropping me a line to let me know if you have Blue Jays where you live. I would be very interested to know!

It would be really nice to walk along with the dogs and see all the raptors, to be followed by a Red Kite. How grand!

Maybe what New York City needs is a lot more raptors. Raptors are proven to get rid of more vermin than any of the modern day rodenticides that if consumed by rats can cause huge secondary poisoning in pets and raptors. Just think of those lovely Red-tail Hawks living around Central Park seeing a slow moving rat because it ate rodenticide! I hope that the individual who has this position considers an alternative and if you live in New York City and love the birds and raptors, who take your pets for a walk, maybe you should write this new rat ridder a letter and let him know your views about using raptors.

K4 at his roost in Guinea

Thank you to geemeff, we have the final link on YouTube for the discussions with the Flight of the Osprey tem. Topics how important tagging is in conservation, finding out the challenges for the ospreys in their winter homes, and this wonderful bird, 4K from Belvoir Castle. Please take the time to listen. You will really enjoy the effort, the villagers, and then the spotting of 4K. You will learn much but, this entire programme sets out to help the conservation of the ospreys at their winter homes, their spring and summer breeding grounds and their migratory routes. It is so heart warming that the visit of Sasha Dench and others to the villages where the UK Osprey winter will help them appreciate the birds and the need to help them if they get caught in the fishing nets. Maybe someone – a kind resourceful individual will figure out a way to remove the garbage from Africa – the plastic bottles and the nets that are no longer useful so that they do not wind up in the rivers, the mangroves and the oceans. It can be done if there is a will to do it.

The Flight of the Osprey is about migration and conservation. Today, Hawk Mountain released its end of the year report for the migration over the mountains in Pennsylvania. Here is that count:

Elain can capture a day in the life of the Peregrine Falcons at Orange, Australia in a few minutes. Thank you! Your editing is so welcome and wonderful. It seems that Indigo is very loud and still at home. Diamond has been sneaking in and taking Indigo’s stashed prey out of the corner and eating it. There is a lesson there: eat everything you can when you can – you don’t know who will steal it and when your next meal will arrive!

At Port Lincoln, Zoe is developing her diving skills. Do not be surprised if she comes up with a fish one day!

Someone spread the word around Ron’s nest that he is now an eligible bachelor according to Sassa Bird and the females are coming from hither and yon to try and win his affections. The WRDC nest is turning out to be like Gabby’s. Who knew so many eagles wanted to be streaming cam stars?

She seems to like him! But does he like her?

At the NE Florida nest of Gabby, we await our ‘Queen of the Nest to return’ and guess who is on a branch waiting for her too? V9. It is nearing 1700 when Gabby returns to the nest. Fingers crossed.

Gracie Shepherd caught V9 and Gabby last night getting closer on the branch.

In Louisiana, it has been pitching rain. Louis came to the nest to protect Anna. What a darling.

Except for Zoe, it is all about the eagles right now. There are so many nests. At this time of year as many worry if Gabby will have a mate, if Ron will settle with one of the females, or if you are worrying about Avian Flu, let us stop. I have posted this thirteen minute video before but, it is good to do it again so that we can be reminded that human intervention can save the lives of our birds and it can also help them in being able to return to the wild. We can make a positive difference!

Look at those faces. Oh, I can’t wait to see little eaglets and osplets again!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their questions, posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘Geemeff’ and ‘V’, KNF A-1, Gracie Shepherd and the NEFL-AEF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Hawk Mountain, Conservation without Borders, The Guardian, and Stockholms Vildfågel Rehab.

Ron has a mate or two?…and more news from Bird World

20 December 2022

Good Morning to All,

Today is hair cut day in our house and the hairdresser is coming to us! I knew a wonderful woman who started this service when I lived in the UK. It would have been perfect during the pandemic and we wish this young person well. I am thrilled not to have to dig my car out of the snow! Nonetheless, the sun is trying to poke out of the clouds and blue skies are coming. It is now -21 degrees C and either a good day to stay in as planned or a day for a heavy coat and boots!

Nest News:

It seems that we are still waiting to see things settle down for Gabby. However, Ron is looking younger and feistier than ever with his new gal. It was a big surprise when I got a note from ‘H’ in the mail. It seems that Ron in the Miami Zoo was busy courting while we wondered if he was out fishing. Busy working on the nest. We all thought he was pining away for Rita! Well, it appears not. There is a new woman and as ‘H’ suggests, it looks like he has been cultivating the relationship for awhile now.

Here is a short video clip of the female bringing in a stick to the nest. Ron didn’t mind. It was as if he was expecting her. I suspect he has been courting her for some time before asking her home!!!!!! He wants it to go well.

Well, my goodness. You are a sly one, Ron! She is a beauty. We are all so happy for you knowing that we knew Rita could not return. It looks like you knew that as well. Congratulations! I hope she loves your Papadam nest built by Ron Magill and friends! For a long, long time. Some are suggesting her name is Rose. I do not yet know if that is official but, there is talk about banding future eaglets from the nest so we can learn of their dispersal. That would be wonderful.

Well, just when we thought it was settled for Ron there is a new female in the nest this morning! Goodness.

Things still do not seem to have settled at the nest of Gabby. Oh, how we all wish to wake up and see a handsome lad on that nest who can not only win Gabby’s heart but keep all of the other intruders at bay.

Lady Hawk caught the interaction between V4 and V6.

The AEF got it, too:

As night falls, it appears that V6 is back on the nest with Gabby.

There were some chortles happening when the IR camera came on and V6 flew to another branch (or off the tree altogether).

To be continued….Gabby and the Revolving Nest!

Iowa has received its share of snow. The landscape is lovely and the Eagles at Deborah are working on their nest today despite the weather.

This is the nest over at Decorah North today.

Liberty and Guardian were checking on their nest today, too. It was early morning in California! Everyone it seems is starting to think of breeding season! So nice to see you Liberty and Guardian.

Port Lincoln did a 23 minute close-up video of Zoe. She is really beautiful and I hope her and her pink bracelet thrive. Her flights are not going far from the barge. Perhaps in the new year.

I have to give Pepe and Muhlady a big hand. What a great parents they are. Pepe keeps huge fish coming on to the nest and Muhlady continues to care for the eaglets. It seems that even Pepe has turned out to be excellent at feeding those chicks. You can hear them and we are beginning to get better glimpses of their little heads. I am always reluctant to recommend a new nest but, I am going out on a limb and suggesting you might want to watch this one! I will put the camera link below.

Well, that is what it does to me every time I try to copy their link. Go to YouTube and search for Superbeaks Eagle Nest. You will find them!

Pepe has just brought in another one of his sharks and he seems to be quite hungry. The little ones are asking for fish, too and he is happy to oblige.

Connie and Clive have beautiful weather to incubate their two eggs on Captiva Island, part of the Barrier Islands hit so badly by Hurricane Ian.

I didn’t see Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear today but you can hear the snow dripping as it melts slowly up in the mountains east of Los Angeles.

Here is the link to their new cam if you do not have it.

One of my favourite nests is E-1 in the Kistachie National Forest of Anna and Louis. Two years ago this young couple hatched and fledged the first eaglet off this nest since 2013. Louis is a tremendous fisher – Master Class all around. He piles the nest up. They had a fledge in 2020 and another in 2021. Let’s see what happens this year. We can be sure that Louis will bring in a lot of fish (our there is something seriously wrong) and Anna will be equally hungry – she loves her fish, too. There is a chat and a great team of moderators including Tonya Irwin and the rangers, Cody and Steve.

From the Mailbox:

‘G’ sent me a link to a nest in South Africa that has new babies, just hatched. The nest was built for Bush Babies but the feathered friends took it over.

So what is a Green Wood Hoopoe? I didn’t know and this is what eBird says, “An elongated, metallic-green-black bird with red feet and a long, decurved, red-orange bill. Juveniles have dark bills but are often in the company of adults. It flies heavily, with the long floppy, white-tipped tail dangling behind. Pairs and groups of up to 14 birds are highly social, occupying savanna, woodland, riverine forest, and gardens, where they nest and roost in natural cavities. Clambers in trees, probing bark and crevices for insects and small vertebrates. They communicate using a strong cackling chatter that sounds maniacal. The almost identical Grant’s and Violet woodhoopoes (with which it sometimes hybridizes) differ from Green Woodhoopoe only by having a coppery-purple (not glossy greenish) metallic sheen.

This nest will be fun to watch. Great timing too.

Migration News:

Checking on Karl II and his family. There has been no news from Karl II and Kaia since they arrived in Africa. Kaia was in Chad and it is assumed that Karl lost contact and is safe in his winter grounds. All contact was lost with Bonus when he flew over the Eastern Desert. The only one of the Black Storks from Karl II’s family still transmitting is Little Waba who continues foraging around the Nile River. The joke is he went down one side and is going back up the other. The fear is he will land in Khartoum.

Still, he is safe, he is eating, and he is moving. That is what counts right now!

The area is near the eastern shore of the huge Merowe Reservoir.

Let us hope that the entire family of Karl II has a good winter and returns safely to their nests in Estonia in the spring.

‘J’ wrote to ask me how the book was going. Well, Slow Birding is highly recommended! I was not distracted to go to one or another projects and I am about a third to a half finished with it. The writing is excellent and covers birds such as the Blue Jay, Cooper’s Hawk, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Flickers, White-throated Sparrows, and American Coots amongst many others. I had no idea that there is not a State in the US that does not have a Blue Jay for its ‘bird’. How could this be? The author, of course, asks the same question. Just watching Junior and the three nestlings grow to fledge this year with the little ones tapping on the window when the peanuts were gone was incredible. They brought laughs and big smiles every day. Their noise does not bother me. Indeed, like the Crows, they are most loud when the cats come around wanting to harm the other birds. The author obviously loves her garden birds and did, when she was teaching, have her students undertake slow birding. There are activities within the book but, I promise you will never look at a House Sparrow the same way you did before reading this volume. I do highly recommend it and if you have a birding friend that needs a gift, it would be a welcome one to their library. There are no beautiful coloured photographs which is fine. I prefer a good read. There are some lovely black and white drawings and it is the text that is so remarkable!

For those who have marvelled at Alden and Xavier helping out with the eyases or the new M2022 at Melbourne, many scientists did DNA tests on quite a large number of nests of the different birds in the book. Many males were found to be caring for the chicks of another! This includes European Starlings. The book is full of similar findings that are quite intriguing. There is something to learn on every page.

It is a lovely sympathetic book bringing out things about the most common of birds that are relatively unknown. I think you will appreciate these garden birds much more after reading it. Sadly, it focuses on the US and I know my friend, ‘J’ who has never seen a Blue Jay in Germany would love to! Maybe someone will do a backyard study of European birds. I would enjoy learning about them, too. Perhaps it is you. But please do not think, for a second, this book would only be useful or of interest to Americans. There is plenty of science and cultural traditions weaving their way through the pages and mention of other countries that I think anyone would find it a great read – and useful to return to as a reference. There are few volumes I can say that about.

Speaking of books, here is an announcement that might be of interest to some of you:

Thank you to everyone for being with us today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, their notes, streaming cams, etc that make up my screen captures: ‘G’ and ‘J’ for their notes and suggestions, Pacific Rim Conservation, Looduskalender Forum, Live Nest Cam and the Green Wood Hoopoe, KNF-A1, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Redding Eagles, Deborah North and Deborah, and Raptor Research, Lady Hawk, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, and J Strassman, Slow Birding.

Pepe brings in an evening snack, more visitors to Gabby’s nest…it is Sunday in Bird World

18 December 2022

Good Morning Everyone from a very snowy Manitoba! It has been a long time since we have seen so much snow dumped on the Canadian Prairies at one time. It is beautiful and a good way to slow down.

The Starlings showed up at their usual time for some of the suet.

The House Sparrows were here – mostly on the ground eating seed that Dyson & Company had dumped on the ground. You see the squirrels have found a way to empty one of the feeders entirely by shining on it!

Dyson is in her favourite spot. I always know where to find her. The other three – her babies from the summer – are doing well. She has taken good care of them.

It is a different story in the house. Lewis and Missey want to help with everything including the new images of Aran that have arrived from Glaslyn or the squirrel cards from DaniConnorWild.

Are they so innocent?

One or the other loves to get in this little basket. When they first arrived, both of them could fit in it. No longer! I am now calling them cats instead of kittens!

Lewis pretending he is an angel. I will not take my eyes off him or these candles while they are on. It is way too easy for a cat to burn their fur or start a fire. In fact, after sitting nervously for a few minutes, I have decided to only use candles if they are covered by a glass globe.

With the help of ‘J’, the memorial listing of the birds that we have lost is getting filled in much better. I have now returned to it with her help – while at the same time preparing a summary of Port Lincoln’s season for Claudio and the incredible International Osprey Data Bank he has created for me to track the Ospreys on the streaming cams. By the end of the first week in January, there will be a separate page with the Memorial Wall for 2021-22. If you have any additions (or corrections), please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Let us all hope that 2023’s listing is much shorter.

I don’t always get to sit and watch Ferris Akel’s Saturday Tour but, it is often playing in the background. Whenever he is talking about an interesting bird – instead of just searching for them – I jump up. Today, there was a Belted Kingfisher. Isn’t it lovely? I have never seen one and they look like such unique characters with that long pointed beak and that ‘bed head’. Love the colour palette of the plumage, too. Lovely birds.

Several Bald Eagles were out in the fields near Montezuma. Ferris has a way of spotting them and I have no idea how he does it.

One of the most exciting moments for me was a Northern Harrier hunting in the fields and catching some prey!

It is hard to see but they have a face like an owl with plumage that captures the sounds. They fly low to the surface of the land to catch their prey unlike other hawks that might hover or sit on poles and wait.

I cannot imagine, for a single moment, not wanting to allow them to have a bird or a vole for their dinner. Beautiful creatures.

There were also Tundra and Trumpeter Swans. You could see areas with some open water while others were covered with ice or were slushy.

A Horned Lark had found some food and was eating it on the side of the highway. Silly one!

There were Snow Geese and Canada Geese, too.

They had been feeding on the fields of corn that had been harvested and then all of a sudden, they flew away. Ferris was happy. Last year at this very site someone shot a Snow Goose while he was broadcasting.

Ferris spotted Arthur and a juvenile Red-tail Hawk on the grounds of Cornell University. I would like to think that the juvie that was hunting is L4 who has decided to stay in its parents territory. Certainly Arthur and Big Red are not running it off!

Arthur is all poofed up. It is 0 degrees C and they are due for some more snow. Notice the very deep brown/black eyes of the adult Red-tail. Arthur does not have the majestic apron of Big Red on his chest so it is easy to tell them apart. Such a little cutie, Arthur is. Big Red was seen recently by Karel Sedlacek so I am not worried that Ferris did not see her. It is hard to imagine but in three months time we will be watching for Big Red to lay her eggs. She will be 20 years old this spring! Wow.

This is the juvenile that I believe to be L4. If you look carefully you can see the light celadon of the juvie’s eyes.

Ferris Akel is a wealth of knowledge who gives his time and shares the birds around the area of Ithaca with us almost every Saturday of the year. He has been doing this for more than ten years now. He is humble but, I learn something every time I stop to listen to his programme. You can subscribe to his channel on YouTube and there is a chat moderated by a fellow Canadian, Dolphin. I often lurk – but, everyone is grand and they will welcome you to chat if you say ‘hi’.

As night began to fall, Pepe flew into the Superbeaks nest with a huge prey for Muhlady and the eaglets. I am trying to figure out what it is – a Black duck with red? Anyone know what this might be? Is it a Red-legged Black Duck?

Muhlady certainly seemed pleased and what a nice time to bring the prey. A snack for everyone before bed and some breakfast in the morning. Lovely. This is my first time watching this nest – in fact, it is a new nest on streaming cams. One never knows what to expect but this eagle family seems to have a good source of prey and they are very smart – having their eaglets before it gets too hot! Can’t wait til we can see those wee ones a little more. You certainly can hear them if you tune in.

I had a giggle today. Lady Hawk called Gabby’s nest ‘As the Nest Turns’, too. And it certainly is a revolving door. Today there was a 4 year old and a juvenile less than 2 years which led me to want to think it was Legacy!

Legacy, I don’t know if this is you but, if it is, you are still as gorgeous as ever. It is those piercing eyes…I have looked several times at images of Legacy and it sure could be her. I sure wish someone would band these eaglets! And here is my reasoning. For the past several days, we have been receiving images of Siren 5F who is the mate of Dylan at Llyn Clywedog. She is perched in her regular roost in The Gambia where she winters. Easily recognisable. No guesses. That is how banding can help – amongst other things.

That 4 year old eagle sure has Samson’s legs!

A short video of V4 flying into the nest with V5. Someone mentioned Gabby abandoning this nest. The Bald Eagles are attached to the nest. I cannot see a reason for her to leave it unless she were ‘run out’ of the territory by a bonded couple intent on taking over the territory and the nest.

One of the resident Ospreys at the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey is Bailey. She was the companion of Smedley who sadly died last year. Yes, Ospreys do well in care!!!!!

Wow. Look at this image from the scrape at Charles Sturt University in Orange today. The expression on Diamond and Indigo’s faces are amazing.

At the same time, Indigo can be just a darling.

Elain’s highlights of the day at the Orange scrape. Always welcome, Elain. You do a wonderful compilation! Thank you.

Ron is quite the catch. I sure hope some deserving female flies into his nest! He is doing a super job of working on it. Someone today wished that Ron and Gabby could get together. That would be one super couple.

Jackie and Shadow working on their nest. They were caught mating on the other camera today!

As we wait for eggs to be laid or hatch, for Gabby to get a new mate or not, there is not a lot going on in Bird World and for that, I am truly grateful.

Good news has come to us from the rehabilitation centre that has cared for WBSE27 and who is now training WBSE30. We know that 27 is flying free. We have seen her tracking. They did a marvellous job teaching her to fly and to hunt and they are now doing the same for 30. Let us hope that she, too, will be equipped with a tracker so that we can follow her movements.

The top image is 27 leaping off a perch while she was being trained before she was released. The bottom image is 30 being trained now. Warm wishes for her life to be as successful as her older sister’s.

30 is on the perch on the right.

I have not been able to find a recent update on WBSE 29. Lady and Dad have, however, visited the nest tree the other evening. So nice to see them!

And a quick check on Zoe at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. I caught Dad delivering either a small fish or a piece of a fish to Zoe at 1402. She spots him coming. My goodness, Zoe, you are loud! They could hear you across the lagoon.

So, with the lull, let us turn back to our Red List of Vulnerable Birds published in the UK.

No. 20 The Red List: The Smew

Smew” by hmclin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The author, Ben Watt, calls this darling black and white diving duck, the ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ of the divers. Watt uses such terms as ‘vivid white crest, jet black shades, white tux, …moving elegantly’. What a grand description. Quite fitting.

The top image is of a male Smew. The bottom is of the female adult. Just look at that magnificent rusty head on the female. Quite striking and gorgeous.

Smew – male” by Len Blumin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Zoo Smew” by hmclin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

There are fossils of Smew going back 1.5 million years ago and yet this gorgeous little waterfowl is at risk of going extinct in our life time. Watt is on a crusade to save this bird that inhabited the wetlands near to his home. In 1956, there were 144 recorded wintering at the Brent Reservoir (Welsh Harp). It was a record! Today, there are 10. I did not keystroke that wrong – ten. So what is the problem? Climate change caused by humans. Milder winters, the increase of water sports and the pollution of waters. Watt says, ‘These days, the two inflowing rivers at the Welsh Harp are badly oxygen-depleted, and high in urban run-off, contaminated with silt, phosphates and micro plastics. Feeding grounds are suffering and the numbers of regular species are on the decline.’

We could of course say this for most of our waterfowl. Indeed, ‘A’ and I have been wondering about the silt flowing into the water at Port Lincoln due to flooding slightly north. Luckily, for the Smew, they can stay year round in various bodies of water near Amsterdam where they number close to 200 at a single count.

Last today, ‘J’ has been helping me with the memorial wall asks that we keep Victoria Cockatoo in our thoughts and prayers. Victoria is a 50 year old Cockatoo that had a very hard life before she was taken in by a kind owner, April. As a result of the treatment she received earlier in life, Victoria is battling significant health problems and is in hospice.  Yesterday she was eating April’s breakfast so there is some hope on improvement. Here is that link:

Please also keep Alden, Samson, and Rita in your positive thoughts as well.

From somewhere in Australia, a tree full of Rainbow Lorikeets that used to come and wish our lovely little Black Pacific Duck Daisy nesting on the big WBSE tree ‘good morning’.

Thank you so much for being with me today. It is lovely to have you here with us. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: OpenVerse, Port Lincoln Osprey, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, FOBBV, Raptor Recovery Australia and Judy Harrington and Sea Eagle Cam, WRDC, NEFL-AEF, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Superbeaks, and Ferris Akel’s Live Tours.

Darling Rubus is dead…and other news in Bird World

Hello Everyone,

What a very sad morning it is.

It was 2100 Monday evening on the Canadian Prairies when I started this blog and the world looked so much better with the idea that our little lad could be flying around with his older brother, Indigo Now that hope has shattered. This morning I know that all of you are feeling the same hole in your life. What a lively character Rubus was — and what immense joy he gave us stretching his little neck to get food and running all over the scrape box screaming and staring into the camera. Oh, little one, you shall be missed.

I am so very glad to have the kittens and the garden animals this morning. The kittens are being as cute as they can be. Both of them spend lots of time looking out to the garden watching the squirrels, the birds, and Hedwig – the rabbit, who came to visit us today.

Our thoughts go out to Diamond and Xavier and to Indigo who must carry on now and to Cilla Kinross and everyone at Orange and to all those around the world who dared love this little bundle of fluff that was Rubus.

Our dear darling little lad. This morning we are all weeping for you.

The speculation as to which fledgling is which has ended at Orange. The body of dear little Rubus was found and it appears he died some time ago. Here is the announcement from Cilla Kinross:

“NEWS 29th November 2022 Bad news about Rubus. His body was found today by one of our medical staff (who also watch the livestream). Cause of death is unknown. I thought at first broken neck because of the angle, but it seemed intact. I have asked the vet for an autopsy, but she said that it is too far gone, so it looks like he died a few days after last seen on 23rd November. That’s a pity as I would like to have known whether it was caused by trichomoniasis (canker) as has been suggested by some watchers. We’ve never had a case here, but the parasite could be present in the local pigeon population and transferred in the prey.”

It is hard to take it all in. Liz M has put together a compilation of Rubus’s life for us.

I will be doing a tribute to Rubus in the coming days and will then add him to our ‘Wall of Remembrance’. So sad today as I know you all are.

I have hoped so much that there would be some good news at the nest of Gabby and Samson, of Annie and Alden, and of Ron and Rita. The only sure thing is that Zoe loves fish and will eat any and all that land on her nest.

Cal Falcons has ‘finally’ issued a statement about what is happening at The Campanile. Thankfully that news is not bad. We just have to wait.

As the sun set over The Hamlet, Gabby looked out over the trees. She has been hunting and has a huge crop. The male intruder appears not to be about but, Gabby has to be wondering where her mate is. What has happened to him?

I am so glad that Gabby has eaten well.

I was reminded, this evening, that Bella was injured. She had extensive injuries and was away from the NCTC nest that she shares with Smitty for three weeks before returning and booting an interested female off. Samson could return. That is my mantra. In fact, I received a note from ‘T’ and the blood on the side of Samson’s face was not an injury but, was from a Coot that he had eaten earlier. Thanks, ‘T’.

In Miami…

Rita, the Bald Eagle mate of Ron, at the Miami Zoo, was a celebrity before she was critically injured with a double compound fracture to her right wing on Sunday. She has been stabilized and operated on and what a lucky eagle she is – had she not been found so quickly and taken to care by the police who found her, she would have died. Maggots had already started growing. So sad.

A round of applause to everyone who helped this injured eagle. The next 48 hours will be crucial – send Rita all your best wishes. The surgery will not happen for another 2 or 3 days and then months and months of rehab before she could released, if she is released. Ron has been on the nest looking for her and just doesn’t understand what has gone on because she was picked up miles away from the nest.

Here is TV coverage of Rita and her injury with more details.

In California, Jackie was caught on camera — yes, the camera is back up and running after the storm thanks to everyone for that. It is so good to see you, Jackie.

In Florida, the GHOWs are striking at Harriet and M15 again.

Port Lincoln Ospreys:

I wonder if Zoe dreams about fish dinners?

Once Zoe spotted Dad away, she flew over by Mum and waited for him to return with ‘her’ breakfast.

Dad did not disappoint. He brought a nice little fish for Zoe.

And our Zoe made quick work of that little fish and was ready for more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No. 17. The Red List. The Scaup

There are two Scaup. Dominic Couzens in his text for Red Sixty Seven, suggests that the one in the United Kingdom be called the Greater Scaup because there is a Lesser Scaup across the pond in America. The one in the United Kingdom actually resides in both the United Kingdom, Europe and the ‘New World’. That is why, Couzens argues it should be the ‘greater’.

The Scaup breed in the taiga and the Arctic Tundra in the spring. They return to the United Kingdom in the autumn where they will spend the winter. They are medium sized diving ducks – not dabblers. They dive deep searching for aquatic invertebrates and plants. They normally feed during the day but have been seen foraging at night if the water has been disturbed during the day by boats and human activity. Did you know that to catch the invertebrates, the Scaup stick their bill into the mud, snap it closed, and swim forward scooping it up. They have been known to dive to 7 metres!

Greater Scaup LMO 1” by THE Holy Hand Grenade! is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Look carefully at the Greater Scaup above with its magnificent green head, glowing yellow eye, white bill with the tell-tale black ‘V’ at the base. This marks them out from their American counterpart whose head is an iridescent purple, the black ‘V’ at the base of the bill is missing, and the head is less round. The Greater Scaup has a black neck and breast, white underparts, a dabbled grey and white wing and back, with black tail feathers.

The female is a beauty. Her head is black with that striking yellow eye. She has a white crescent between her bill and her eye. The breast is a lovely chestnut, the back and wings a mottled chestnut and white with a black tail.

Greater Scaup (Female)” by Rick Leche is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Scaup make their nests on the ground where the eggs can easily be predated by foxes, dogs, The female lines her nest with the down from her breast. The nests are generally near the edge of the water in areas that are known not to flood. Generally between 8 and 13 eggs are laid.

Their main threat is human development, although they are preyed upon by owls, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and humans.  But there are other threats as well including water pollution and climate change. Alarmingly they are also caught up as bycatch when trawlers are out looking for fish.

It has been a difficult last few days in Bird World. As a friend reminded me, “it would not hurt so much if we didn’t care so deeply.” Continue to care. The Birds need all of us and more. Continue to feel. Do not get numb to the challenges they face that cut their lives much more shorter than they should be. Send out your best wishes to Samson for a safe return to Gabby, to Rita so she will stabilize for her surgery, to Alden so he will return to Annie.

I am sorry this letter comes with nothing but sadness save for Zoe who is thriving which is a good thing. Raise a glass of something – juice, water, your favourite adult drink – to our little lad. Soar high little Rubus. Soar high. You were much loved.

Thank you for being with me this morning. Please take care. I hope to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’ for the news bites about Rita, Envirobites, Port Lincoln Osprey, Openverse, Lady Hawk and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Channel 10 News Miami, WFLA News, FOBBV, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam Project and Cilla Kinross, and Liz M for her tribute to Rubus.

Alden missing, Samson missing, Rita injured…Monday in Bird World

28 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I am earlier than I thought I would be today because there is more breaking news. We will start off with the kittens because they, so far, are a good thing to wake up to – no injuries, just boundless energy and cuddles.

Missy and Lewis hope that everyone has had a good day so far. They have discovered something! The in-floor heating comes up through the tiles, through the basket, and into their blanket. Talk about cosy.

These two will not be separated. Missy is the leader, the alpha cat and Lewis follows along dutifully. Same basket. Same food dish. Same water dish. Same tent for sleeping. Together. In all my years with cats – and that is a lot!-I have never seen or enjoyed anything so much.

We are still waiting word on Samson at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. As I noted it is not unusual for eagles to take a couple of days off before the incubation period starts or even during. However, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest, if memory holds, it is always Gabby who is away and Samson dealing with incubating eggs or eaglets. Oh, let us all hope he is just a bit out of sorts and gets home soon.

For those of you that do not know him, Samson is the eaglet of Romeo and Juliet. The NEFlorida nest that Samson now shares with Gabby was Samson’s natal nest. Samson hatched on 23 December 2013. That means that he is 9 years old. Simon left the area on the 22nd of April 2014 and returned in 2018. Him and Gabby have had 3 seasons of eaglets. In 2019, they fledged Jules and Romey, named after Samson’s parents. In 2020, it was the ever cute Legacy and in 2021, Jasper and Rocket fledged. Samson is an absolutely devoted mate to Gabby and a super dad to his kids.

Samson with Legacy. 2020

Samson remains missing this morning.

The intruder has literally jumped into the nest at NEFL. Gabby was there and was keeping him at a distance.

At the WRDC Bald Eagle nest in the Miami Zoo, the home of Ron and Rita, I have received word from ‘H’ that Rita has been found injured. An announcement just released states that the injury is not as bad as they thought at first. Rita has a broken wing. She is in surgery. Updates will be issued as more is known.

One would think it would be enough with Samson missing and feared that he will not return, Rita’s broken wing and the fact that she could likely miss the 2022 season but, Alden has not been seen for 5 days (not since 23 November) and a male intruder has been at Cal Falcons. Annie has not chased him away. Does this mean we have lost Alden in a territorial dispute, too?

Darling Alden who gave us the loaf, moth chasing, and who saved the 2021 season after Grinnell was killed. Are you really gone?

Cal Falcons has not, it seems, issued any official word other than releasing the videos and the statement of Alden missing for 5 days.

The observation board at Port Lincoln has Mum delivering 2 fish and Dad none but Dad did deliver a fish tail – literally the tail – to Zoe at 18:26. I am not sure she was impressed.

The anticipation of another fish got Zoe quite excited.

It was nice to see Dad with a crop and when the fish tail landed, Zoe has still had a crop from the earlier fish provided by Mum. Zoe is not suffering from a lack of food!

I checked for updates on SE30 and SE29 and could not find any. The last was a couple of weeks ago. I will let you know if there is any news at all.

Need a new Osprey cam to watch? Cottesloe has long wanted one and now it is a reality. Cottesloe is in Western Australia. It will be fantastic to have another cam to go along with Port Lincoln next year.

In New Zealand, the Royal Cam couple for the year has been decided and the camera at Taiaroa Head has been moved. Thanks Ranger Sharyn!

I will be monitoring the situations to see if there is any change with Alden, Samson, or Rita, I will let you know. Please send out your warmest and most positive wishes to Samson and Gabby, Annie and to Alden, and Rita and Ron.

Thank you for joining me this morning. I wish that the news I was bringing was much better. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘H’ for alerting me to the situation at Orange and Dade County and for their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Cottesloe Streaming Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and NZ DOC.