It seriously does not get better than this: I take a break to check on our federal election results and turn around to check on the chicks at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest and they are being fed —— again!
The whale of a fish that Dad brought in this morning still has some left even after the last feeding. I have genuinely lost count of the feedings but we are up to at least five and I think maybe six. The last one began with Dad bringing the remaining fish to mom at 12:14. The kids ate and it is now 12:36 nest time. They will be fed at least three or four more times before they tuck it in for the night. Fantastic. Like the little songbirds in their nests whose parents fly in and out continually, this trio of osplets are thriving with more frequent feedings at this stage in their development.
It was time for a nap. One of the chatters was worried about Little Bob being out from under Mom. You can also see the heads of Big and Middle Bob sticking out. Little Bob was too warm or he would have been under. And if he got chilled, he would push to get under mom. If she was worried she would have scooped him up. She did look and check on him several times.
There is still some fish remaining that you can see at the bottom right. The chicks were full when mom finished feeding and got them settled again.
Less than an hour later, Dad is back on the nest. Just look at mom’s eyes. You can also see one of the wee babes with its head out.
Mom feeds the babies again! I don’t even know if they were hungry.
Everyone is fed and tucked. Dad is over on the ropes and I bet mum is wanting to catch a little sleep. It looks like the whale of a fish was finished.
During my walk today, I noticed a lovely pine tree. It had three Black capped chickadees on the branches. Then I stopped at another yard and saw no less than 15 bird feeders and various bird baths and watering containers. At the corner was the house with the pollinator garden. Long before it became a stylish phrase ‘I have a pollinator garden’, my neighbour was doing just that. People reported him to the city authorities because, well, his boulevard and yard looked a mess. Today, the flowers are growing in the pots hanging between the trees and the rest are native plants helping the environment. I don’t think anyone looks at that garden with disdain any longer. I mention this because I got a note this evening from a reader asking me what are all the things they can do to help the birds. Gosh, I didn’t know where to start there is so much to be done. So let’s start with the basic principle that everything is connected. Here are a few ideas and we will add to them on a regular basis.
- Shrinking your lawn is one of the first one that comes to mind. In their book, Planting in a Post-Wild World, the authors suggest that we think of turf or lawn as an area rug, not the whole floor. Use the grass areas to draw attention to something. Most eco-gardeners suggest having no more than 50% turf. It is suggested that you set your mowers to 3 inches or 7.5 cm. You will not kill your grass by cutting it too short and you will also not kill the turtles or little bunnies that hunker down. Do not mow at sunset as many species come out at that time of day.
- Do not treat your turf with anything. No matter how green the companies claim their products to be, if they kill something they will also kill other things. You can also save a lot of money.
- If you are doing some fall planting, use native plants and pollinators. These will be good for the insects and small birds.
- Plant a native tree.
- Do not rake your lawn. Leave it. Just leave it alone. If you must, rake the leaves into areas and spread them being as gentle as possible.
- Locally we are recommending leaving out hummingbird feeders. The little ones are still staying in some of our more northern areas. They are migrating through and really can use the energy.
- The small songbirds migrating have really been eating my suet cylinders. That fat and those specialized seeds and insects give them fuel also.
I will stop there. There is so much we can do from supporting bird friendly coffee and building bubblers (small fountain areas) and little ponds, window decorations to stop bird strike, etc. A friend of mine wrote to me today and they had been in an area where there were no birds. They said that it was ‘eerie.’ Can you imagine a world without birds?
Thank you so much for checking in with me. It is going so well for the family at Port Lincoln. What a joy! Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.