First Feeding at Orange

Diamond brought part of a pigeon into the scrape box at 13:37 to see if the eyas was ready for its first feeding. It was not. The little fluff ball continued to sleep, all tired out. The egg was full of nutrients and the chick does not need a feeding til tomorrow morning. Still, Diamond will continually check and when the chick sits and opens its beak by instinct to be fed, she will know it is ready for food.

Diamond first went to the corner in the image below where she considered leaving the pigeon. Then she went to the other corner.

Eventually she decided to fly out with it.

She returned in ten seconds and immediately went over to brood the chick and incubate the two remaining eggs. The eggs were laid on 31 August at 10:40, 2 September at 20:55, and the last on 4 September 6:28. Diamond started incubation with second egg and then hard incubated with the third.

Last year Diamond and Xavier also had three eggs. One did not hatch. The second hatchling was not strong and died and Izzi, that beautiful character, was their only fledge. Xavier is an amazing hunter and this family can certainly provide for three.

Half an hour later, Diamond decides to try and feed the eyas again. She gathers the prey from the left corner pantry. I have taped a portion of that first feeding for you. This chick is very strong. It is approximately 7 hours old. It fell over and lifted itself back up. I was amazed at how long it held its head relatively still and its beak open. This first hatch definitely had some nice bites of the prey.

Just look at that little one. So happy for Xavier and Diamond.

Over in Port Lincoln, Dad brought a fish in at 10:05:13. All three osplets lined up to eat. I noticed several times that Mum fed them in sitting order. It was quite interesting. Food security remains in the positive. It is simply grand. Little Bob is now 22 days old. The other two are 24 days old.

In the image below, the chick at the back has a nice crop from the earlier feed. You can see it clearly.

It is definitely getting difficult to tell who is who unless you can get a glimpse of their beak. Little Bob has on the left side of the cere a kind of white netting pattern.

Dad brought in another fish at 14:17.

Now looking carefully, see the little osprey’s head in the middle of the image below. That is Little Bob. I want to point him out to you because you can clearly see that whitish netting on his cere. It sometimes looks like someone took a white paint brush and went over the cere and under the eye of this third hatch. You will also notice that Little Bob is being himself – getting to the front of the table where Mum is feeding and never taking his eyes off that fish until he is full.

Little Bob is in a very good position to get a lot of fish.

You might also notice that spot in the feathers between Little Bob’s eyes. That pattern might not stay there but for now, it is also helpful in finding him in the group.

In the image below you can see those two indicators clearly.

Little Bob has quit eating. There you can see him on the far right. Just look at that crop. Talking about ready to pop. I think that Mum fed Little Bob most of the fish in the beginning. He should really sleep well. Dad should be in with another fish in a couple of hours! Oh, these three are so well fed and behaving so nicely.

So far, the feedings at Port Lincoln have been at 07:49, 10:05:13, 11:26, and 14:17. That is four and it is only the middle of the afternoon. Well done, Dad.

It is time to call it a night. So happy for Xavier and Diamond that their first hatch is so strong. It ate so well and so did our little Ospreys at Port Lincoln. As I sign off the day continues to look good in Australia. Oh, and I almost forgot. The Superb Fairy Wren was voted Australia’s Bird of 2021. That is an image of a male Superb Fairy Wren below. That plumage is amazing. During breeding season, the electric blue plumage becomes iridescent. They are common across Southeast Australia and are known to sing to the chicks when they are in the egg – the chicks recognize the parents by their voice when they hatch.

“superb fairy wren male” by Ralph Green is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Over 400,000 votes were cast this year. The Guardian said, “The superb fairywren has been voted bird of the year for 2021, narrowly defeating the tawny frogmouth in a nail-biting finish.” Here is the story:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/08/superb-fairywren-crowned-2021-australian-bird-of-the-year-winner-in-hotly-contested-vote#:~:text=The%20superb%20fairywren%20has%20been,during%20the%2010%2Dday%20competition.

Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

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