A joyful start to Monday in Bird World

Oh, my goodness. Just when you think the events in Bird World could not get any better but, they do!

Pippa Atawhai’s father, OGK, returned to Taiaroa Head yesterday to kick off what is the beginning of the 2021-22 breeding season. Orange-Green-Black stole everyone’s heart when he would come and spend long periods of time sitting by his daughter last year, Miss Pippa Atawhai, Royal Cam chick of the year. At one time he was missing and feared lost but he returned with a sore leg which after much worrying by those who loved him, healed! The challenges that these birds face out on the ocean are monumental and well, to have them returned nice and healthy is nothing short of a miracle.

OGK hatched in 1998 making him 23 years old. His mate, YRK, Yellow-Red-Black is four years older, hatching in 1994, so she is 27. They have been a couple since 2006. Remember SSTrig chick? the one that was a bit nasty to Taiki? SSTrig is OGK and YRK’s granddaughter. Her father, RLK, is their son and he was a first time dad this year.

The males normally arrive first on Tairoa Head picking out the nesting site before the females return. It is so special that OGK is the first back! What an amazing dad he was to Miss Pippa Atawhai.

Lady Hawk caught his arrival on video:

And there is more cause for celebration this morning. There were more feedings on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge yesterday despite the powerful winds. Dad delivered despite the obstacles with the winds. There were feedings at 7:00:03, 8:09:50, 11:20:11, 14:14, 16:49, and believe it or not a nice fish arrives for another feeding at 19:19. I am more than gobsmacked, I am stunned. This is quite incredible.

Here are some images surrounding those feeding times. In the image below, Little Bob is the one on the far right, furthest away from Mom’s beak. If you look really carefully, you can see a black dot on the back of Little’s head. While that is true, it is often difficult to get the right angle to see it.

Everyone ate very well yesterday. No doubt we are going to see some amazing growth on these three this week. Just the amount of space they are taking up on the nest is increasing at a phenomenal rate if you compare it to last week.

This image is from a week ago: Look at how small the chicks were.

That is Big Bob left, Middle Bob in the Middle, and Little Bob on the right.

The sun is pouring down on the Canadian Prairies and it is another beautiful fall day. The temperature is 22 C. Tomorrow it will be a scorcher of 28 – for this time of year. The four grey squirrels are acting like it is spring again. My rose bushes would like to add more buds and well, it is all a bit confusing.

While they might be a bit confused and think it is breeding season, all of the squirrels is stocking up on the nuts. Little Red is quite comfortable sitting on the large suet cylinder now that ‘something’ has broken the cover. He must think he has really hit the jackpot. ‘The Monk’ is the smallest grey squirrel who is always putting his hands together in thanks and prayer.

Have a very happy Monday everyone. Thanks for joining us today. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Below is a bit of a comparison for you. On the left are the chicks on the 27th of September and on the right it is October 4. You can move the line back and forth.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! Seems all is well there at the PLO nest. They sure have grown! Thanks for these photos and updates! The little squirrel is so cute! Thanks for his photos!
    Take care and have a great afternoon!

    1. Yes, it is such a relief. I plan to write the owner of everything. I just wonder if this is a new male. I got so mad at him last year that I didn’t look close enough! But yes, it is a joyous nest.

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