Sunday news in Bird World

The sun is bright but not too hot, the Hibiscus continues to bloom, and Tiny Little is on the Foulshaw Moss nest eating a large fish. That is a great beginning to the day.

This is actually ‘the tea time’ fish for our favourite little fledgling on the Foulshaw Moss nest. It is about 16:00 in Cumbria.

Tiny Little is so smart. She doesn’t waste her time and energy fighting with the mouth and eyes of the fish, she rips a part of the belly open and begins to eat the side and the bottom of the fish. She is ever mindful that there are also two hungry siblings lurking about.

Tiny Little ate off that fish for more than an hour. She got a lot of really nice fish Great work, Tiny Little!

After what appears to be an hour and a half, big sibling 464 arrives. I missed the hand off. Was Tiny Little finished or did 464 come in and take the fish? We will never know. 464 has been fighting with the front of that fish for over an hour now. Sibling 462 is waiting their turn! Tiny Little has flown off.

In the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park, Lady has been busy feeding 27 and 28. Oh, they are so cute! I love this stage. Lady is so gentle feeding them with her big beak. They look like two little snow people with arms.

The Only Bob or Bobette in the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin has had a couple of feedings this morning and perhaps more by now; it is now 13:33 on that nest. The fish that are being brought to the nest by both parents are quite small. I wonder if all the fish are that small? or are the bigger fish lurking around in deeper water?

The chick is being watched for feather development. It is hoped that the ‘blood’ feathers will grow fully and, at the time of fledging, the chick will have a full set of juvenile plumage.

In the image below, you might want to look at what some people call the quills on the left wing. As the feathers grow, those quills break open and eventually fall off. This is what we are watching.

Yesterday I reported that Bonifac, one of the male storklings cared for by the people of Mlade Buky had been electrocuted just like its mother. The other male, Servac had not been to the nest but was seen flying with other storks. Pantrac has been to the nest to be fed. There were no storks on the nest so far today. This is not unusual! The storks are beginning to gather for their migration to Africa. Yesterday might well have been the last day for them in Mlade Buky.

Before the age of Immarsat M and GPS, the only way to study the migration of the storks was if they were ringed. In 1933, a short entry in Nature Magazine (30 September, p 509) says that ‘Storks nesting east of the River Elbe have been found to use the Asia Minor route when migrating, and those nesting west of the Elbe are stated to take the route through Spain.’ Today those similar routes are simply called the Easter and the Western. The western is through Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar while the eastern has the birds flying through Egypt following the Nile. With Satellite tracking, the birds are now known to winter in Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Nigeria and the Niger River Basin.

The observations of the success of the migration and the concerns in 1933 are similar to those in 2021. It is a two month journey for the Danish storks – anything can happen between the time the storks leave and arrive. Even with laws protecting migrating birds, these lovely creatures have been known to have been shot down in France, Malta, and in parts of Egypt. There are many other things that impact this hazardous journey – changing climates, lack of food and water can all contribute to the loss of the birds.

Because we are talking about European laws, it is essential that the countries that make up the European Union – and many who do not- work together to ensure that the killing of migrating birds in European states is halted. There also need to be uniform protections in the territories where the birds migrate. As the world changes, following the SARS Covid-19 pandemic, countries in African that have been devastated by wars, famine, droughts, and epidemics need to understand that ‘birding’ can be an economic success story. People will begin to travel. Bird Tourism can bring vital monies into these struggling economies.

There is, however, another very troubling trend. As the climates change some of the storks are not migrating. Traditionally, they travelled to Africa where food supplies were plentiful during the winter when they were not in Europe. One troubling occurrence is that many of the European storks who take the western route are now stopping and living in garbage dumps in Spain and Portugal during the winter. There are groups that are not happy with the storks being there year round. One of them is called ‘Stop Storks’. A discussion of the issues is in an article, “European Storks become Couch Potatoes and Junk Food Junkies” in Environment.

https://www.dw.com/en/european-storks-become-couch-potatoes-and-junk-food-junkies/a-19172154

Speaking of storks, one of the nests that I have, embarrassingly not mentioned for some time, is that of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia. The camera was broken during a severe storm on 25 June and was not operational again until 15 July. Oh, those wee babies sure have grown. Their parents are Karl II and Kaia.

The trio was ringed on 9 July. You can see the bands. Those bands contain Kotkaklibi transmitters. To my knowledge this is the first instance this type of satellite tracker has been used on the Black Storks. The band numbers are as follows 716U for the oldest chick, 716P for the middle, and 716T for the youngest. Names are pending.

In the image below you can see both the banding ring and the transmitters on the legs a little better. Hopefully reports will come back on a regular basis so that we can follow these three as they undertake their first migration.

Here is the link to the streaming cam of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please go and see those lovely Black Storks. We are now at 1 August and they will not be with us for much longer. I hope everyone is well. Take care. Enjoy.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, the Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, the Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, and the the Eagle Club of Estonia.

Please Note. I have very strong opinions and will always advocate hard for ways in which to protect birds. My son sent me an article with some videos on a troubling conspiracy theory in the United States. It is the ‘Birds are Not Real’ group. They believe that birds are equipped with transmitters and are actually drones that are for surveillance. Those beliefs would cause the killing of innocents. If you know of someone who believes this, please have a gentle conversation with them. If you want to check out their beliefs and what is happening, please Google: Birds are Not Real.

1 Comment

  1. Great news Mary Ann! Thank you! Good work Tiny Little! At the sea eagles nest
    are 2 cute little darlings ! So happy for the remaining storks in all the nests.
    Good luck to them all that migrate too!
    I don’t know the group who believe birds are drones. Someone must have seen a bird shaped drone because I don’t believe it is right to harm our precious birds and I pray this doesn’t continue. 🙏
    Thank you Mary Ann and we look forward to our next newsletter! Linda

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s