The Royal Albatross ‘Cam Princess’ for 2021, Taiki, was banded on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand on 22 July. Taiki is Maori and means ‘protector of the land and sea’. She now has a permanent metal band with a unique number to her and a white plastic band with the number 60 on it on the other leg. The white designates the chicks that were born this year. All 34 of them will get a white band. When they return to land, after being at sea from 4-6 years, they will receive the adult colour bands. For example, Taiki’s mother is Lime-Green-Lime (LGL). Can you imagine being at sea and only returning to walk on the ground after being away for all that time?
Here is an image of Ranger Sharyn putting on the bands.
And here is the video that the Cornell Labs did of the entire banding session.
It is unclear how many fish came up to the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest today. ‘S’ noted one medium fish. I did check in on the nest and caught the chick standing. That is very good. It is getting its juvenile feathers and it is beginning to get strength in its legs to walk and stand up. Excellent.
One of the most beautiful times of day at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Old Ironbark Tree in Sydney is early morning. The forest is waking up. You can hear all the birds singing including the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, the Noisy Miners, and the Currawongs. We are just getting a trade off on incubation duty (I believe) when I checked the nest. We should be on hatch alert in a couple of days!
It is so calm and peaceful in the forest. No one is allowed inside this restricted area other than the Rangers and specific staff of the Discovery Centre.
Here is another hand off around 13:30 this afternoon.
The adult plumage is this beautiful slate blue grey with a white head and underbelly. The juveniles are the most gorgeous rusty-espresso.
I want to give you the link to the Sea Eagle camera so that you can start watching. It is very exciting. The little ones are fuzzy white when they hatch. So cute.
It is 4:59 and Tiny Little has already flown off the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.
Just looking at that nest reminds me how grateful everyone was when Tiny Tot stayed around the Achieva Osprey nest for so long. In fact, for four months we got to enjoy seeing that wee one grow up. We saw her change from the beaten, pecked, and starved little one to a ferocious independent fledgling. What a gift we were given! We never know how long we are given with these ‘special survivors’ so we have to savour every minute. Tiny Little will, no doubt, return to the nest when there is a fish drop unless the parents begin to feed the fledglings off nest.
Ah, and before I stopped writing it seemed like a good time just to check on that Foulshaw Moss Nest again and guess what? Tiny Little is there with another sibling waiting for the breakfish drop!
And they both got their wish!
Some good news was posted today. Seventy eggs of the Black Foot Albatross from Midway Island were transported to Guadalope Island, Mexico. I mentioned this in an earlier blog last week. It has now been confirmed that all 70 of the eggs hatched and all 70 of the chicks have fledged. You can’t get any better than 100%.
One of my friends and readers lives on the Hawaiian Islands. She mentioned the colony of Albatross Hawaii they have. That reminded me to introduce you to a very special person who founded the Kauai Albatross Network.
Her name is Hob Osterlun. In this short clip, she is doing a one person play on her life as a nurse for nurses and doctors and she talks about how the albatross changed her life.
That short video, Kapuna Life, mentions Hob’s book, Holi Moli. I recall the first time I read it. I devoured the pages reading from late in the evening to the wee hours of the morning.
So many of you reading my blog have been moved by ‘the birds’. Whether it was during the pandemic or before, a two legged creature with feathers – that fly or not (we can’t forget about the Kakapo) – touched you in a way that is probably hard to describe. For Hob Osterlund, having that Laysan Albatross touch her foot was extremely powerful.
Here is a beautiful video about Hawaii and the Albatross. It is an hour long. Watch pieces of it or the whole thing when you have time. These are such beautiful birds. Hob never gets tired of talking about them!
It is a scorcher in southern Manitoba and Winnipeg today. Yesterday my daughter and her sons got to see an Osprey dive for its fish at Lake Winnipeg. She saw the nest using binoculars with its two chicks, too. We have a number of Osprey platforms placed by Manitoba Hydro around Victoria Beach, Grand Beach, Grand Marais and on the way to our Iceland city, Gimli. How lucky they were!
Thank you for joining me. Stay safe everyone! Stay cool. Remember to leave water out for the birds.
Thank you to the following whose streaming cams I use to get my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Collins Marsh Reservoir Osprey Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Sydney Sea Eagles, Australian Bird Life, and the Discovery Centre.