Urban Birds

There is a superb little video of Dad delivering Mum a pigeon carcass to feed the Melbourne Four. You will notice that the chicks really come to attention when they hear the ee-chupping that signals that a food delivery and meal are eminent.

I wonder how many prey items have been delivered to this nest so far? Awww…cute little dad just melts my heart. He is such a sweetie.

The Port Lincoln Ospreys had 7 feedings yesterday, 7 different fish deliveries. They were getting off to a good start today with a delivery very early in the morning and several quickly following. This nest just amazes me this year. Everyone is doing so well. Just look at those beautiful juvenile feathers growing in and the tails! Those magical tails with their white fringe.

I have been interested in birds since I was a child – enjoying the ones in my family’s garden and feeding them as well as the regular trips to the duck pond. It was not until I was an adult and had an encounter with a female Sharp-shinned hawk that my life catapulted into a different direction. Today I have two very focused ‘bird interests’ – Osprey nests with three hatches and urban raptors.

Today I turned back to thinking about the need for large parks within cities so that there would be a diversity of wildlife. One person who covers the Central Park area of New York City has a great blog with incredible photographs and short videos. His name is Bruce Yolton and he covers all of the birds and sometimes other species that live in the urban parks of New York City. This is the address of his blog, take a look. He has recently written about a beautiful Belted Kingfisher and Great Horned Owl.

https://www.urbanhawks.com/

Indeed, the very first streaming cam I ever watched was a pair of Red-tailed Hawks raising eyases in a nest on the ledge of New York City University’s library. I learned so much about the challenges that urban wildlife faces watching their daily lives unfold, learning the history of the nest, and chatting with many of the other people watching. Then one year, the female died of rodenticide poisoning. The male tried to incubate the eggs but, as we all know, it generally takes two full time adult birds to raise a nest. It was quite sad. Eventually, I discovered Big Red up at Cornell.

Bruce is an expert on the notorious Pale Male whose nest is on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park. You might have seen the full length documentary The Legend of Pale Male and the fight for this raptor to maintain his nest at this prestigious address. Pale Male is, I believe, coming on 32 years of age. He arrived in Central Park in 1991, thirty years ago. Bruce just uploaded a video of Pale Male hunting in Tupelo Meadow for a Brown Rat.

One of the greatest causes of death to urban raptors is rodenticide. Every time I hear or see a bird of prey eating a rat or mouse I worry that they will die from secondary poisoning. As you well know, raptors kill more rodents than any poisons. So why aren’t the designer poisons banned?

It was, however, Bruce’s video of Chimney Swifts, hundreds of them, flying into the chimneys of New York City that intrigued me. I think it will you, too.

All of the birds are doing well. Really well actually. It is reassuring in a world full of anxieties.

Thank you for joining me. I will put the link to the movie about Pale Male in case you haven’t seen it. If that is the case, grab your favourite snacks and enjoy watching the lobbying for a bird to keep its nest. It is quite remarkable. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

You can find the Legend of Pale Male here. It is free and well done.

thelegendofpalemale.net

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