Late Thursday in Bird World

For those of us who only have the Internet and not any television or cable stations, it might be a bit difficult to watch the documentary on the Ospreys, Season of the Osprey on Nature PBS. For those of you with cable television, this is a reminder to check your local station for when Season of the Osprey is showing. For the rest of us, I will be checking for the release of the DVD and, also, to see if the documentary will be streaming on the Internet. Will keep you posted! Do check your local stations. You do not want to miss this if you love ospreys!

I am including the URL for the company that is distributing this special. Why? Because, if you scroll down, you will see that there are a host of podcasts that you might be interested in.

https://www.seasonoftheosprey.com/?fbclid=IwAR1Dvhmb2FiSaIBg0VV-ha87ZiCWeq29iYuF2dRKy5sa2bAZNfi6N8RrHIQ

Oh, what amazing birds. I am already getting excited about our local nests and the birds have only been away for two months! This year I will be checking on several nests and submitting information on arrivals, hatches, juveniles, fledges, and departures. It is an honour to add the Ospreys that consider Manitoba their summer home and breeding territory to the lists of nests from around the world.

Speaking of migration and raptors around the world, Jean-Marie Dupart reports that there were 50 birds this morning on the shores at Casamance, South Senegal. He has counted 432 arrivals so far this season and said he has 10 more locations to check. That is fantastic.

Many of you will be members of one or another of the many groups pressing for businesses and residents to stop using rodenticide. You might also be lobbying various levels of government to ban these designer poisons. It is well known that it is not only cheaper financially but also much more effective to use raptors. Raptors will clean up the critters – just don’t poison the mice and rats because, ultimately, they will also poison cats and birds that eat them. It is a horrific way for a raptor to die.

Today, in the Fall 2021 issue of Bay Nature magazine, the leading article is a vineyard that is employing Red-tail Hawks to keep the rodents out of the fields. They are turning away from using rodenticide. Oh, this could seriously be a start of a movement. Here is that article:

Xavier and Diamond’s only eyas is one week old today. Only Bob can see the world! And Xavier has had some time to spend with his wee one. Here he is brooding Only Bob. How precious.

I have not reported on the White-Bellied Sea Eaglets in their nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest for several days, if not a week. It is really interesting watching the two of them interact together. One will do something and the other will try to outdo the first. Here they are flapping their now very large wings.

I really hope that they do not knock one another off the nest. The more they flapped those wings the more energetic they got and the more air they stirred up. It was like the centre of the nest became a trampoline.

WBSE 27 and 28 will have a wing span of 1.8-2.2 metres or 6 to 7 feet. If I remember correctly, the nest in the old Ironbark Tree is 1.8 metres or 6 feet across to give you some idea of the wing size of the pair today.

WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July 2021 and WBSE 28 hatched on 31 July. This makes the little sea eaglets 78 days old (27) and 76 days old (28). The average fledge period for the nest is 75-85 days. We are now in that window. Ideally, the eaglets will do some branching, will make their first flight, and return safely to the nest where they will strengthen their flying and be furnished prey by the parents. In reality, the Pied Currawongs often chase the newly fledged chicks out of the forest. It is hoped that the parents are providing food off nest or the eaglets find a beach area full of carrion (what most juvenile sea eagles survive on til they hone their fishing skills).

This nest has produced two very healthy Sea Eaglets this season. Just look at them spreading their wings, one looking over the rim of the nest. That first flight could happen at any second. It has been a fantastic nest to watch this year and I do hope that these two strong eagles will survive and have very long lives. Lady and Dad have done an amazing job.

The Osplets at the Port Lincoln Barge nest are not ready to fledge – thank goodness! But they are growing like wild weeds in my garden. The juvenile feathers are now growing in thick and fast. They have had several fish deliveries today. I reported on two and there was a third at 11:28:54 and there will be more during the day.

Mum trying to get the fish off of Dad’s talons.

Little Bob is lined up waiting for some more fish. He is on the right. You can see the more circular mark on the top of his head and the white painted effect under his eye. It coats the lower lid a little like white eyeliner might do. From this angle you can also see some of the white on the cere. Little Bob has a rather large crop. It seems to be sagging from the weight.

Now when I write ‘Little’ Bob it seems a bit silly because he is definitely not little! It will be nice when they get their bands, satellite packs, and names in a few weeks. I wonder what they will name these three?

While we can only see two of the osplets, both of them have big crops. Little Bob is looking out from the nest on the right and another is preening, showing off its big ping pong crop, in the middle.

Look at how those lovely dark grey/black juvenile feathers tipped with white are. They are growing fast. Soon they will cover all of that dark grey wooly down. Much of the fish they are eating is helping them produce these beautiful feathers, feathers essential for their success as raptors. They cannot fledge without them.

Everything is looking good. I cannot wait for their measurements to be taken. Little Bob looks like he could be the biggest or close to it. Little Bob certainly does not take anything off Big Bob.

Thank you so very much for joining me. Take care everyone. Have a terrific Friday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

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