Comings and Goings in Bird World

Over the course of the year I get a lot of questions. Some of them I can answer, some I find the answers for, and others seem to elude everyone. I want to provide you with two really good sites for information. The first is the “everything you would ever want to know about Bald Eagle” blog. Your answer to any question will be found right there. It is also a great way to get introduced to other Bald Eagle nests. Many of you will recognize the name Ranger Sharyn. She is the NZ DOC Ranger on Taiaroa Head and she has a site where she answers questions and discusses issues. She also gives up to the minute information on the Royal Albatross Colony.

The Bald Eagle breeding season is underway in the United States. Last year, the very first egg was laid during the first week of November! Wow. The days pass like water flowing between your fingers sometimes. There is one person that has all of the information you need on one single site. I really applaud the work done including a listing and the ability to click on a link for absolutely every single Bald Eagle streaming cam. Yes, you read that right. There are also data sheets showing dates for eggs laid, hatchings, and fledgings. There is information on how to measure an eagle, etc. It is mind-boggling all the information devoted to Bald Eagles in one place. That blog is written by elfruler and the latest offering is entitled, Ready to Roll? Here is the link. Please sign up to get the latest information if you are a Baldie fan!

I know that many of you love the Royal Albatross and are anxiously awaiting news of returnees including OGK’s YRK. I also know that most of you are following the Royal Albatross group’s FB page. But what about following Ranger Sharyn Broni on DISQUS? Here is the link to the latest and other information.

The Port Lincoln nestlings (can we still call them that when they have juvenile feathering?) had their first meal at 08:35:57 on 25 October. They are so civilized. I just adore this nest.

Little Bob is on the left and he will stop eating at 08:57:56 and move to the rim of the nest. It is quite odd for him to leave first. It was a nice sized fish and he looks like he might want to go back to sleep! I do hope that Mum gets to eat some, too.

You can see Little Bob’s ‘beard’.

Mind you, there is nothing ‘little’ about Little Bob or the other two siblings. They are really taking up nest real estate now!

This was the trio 17 days ago on 8 October. That gorgeous copper red feathering on the back of the heads is prominent and they are getting feathers on the tips of their wings and tails.

This is the trio on 26 September, one month and 3 days ago. Little Bob is there in front, up by Mum’s beak. So tiny you can’t see it.

I was so worried about Little Bob but the pattern that was set early continues until today. Little Bob is up eating and Middle and Big Bob are together waiting their turn or taking turns getting bites. The two older Bobs are right in the middle of the reptile phase.

This is 21 September. Oh, look at Little Bob. He still has all his soft light grey down and his egg tooth. The big sibling behind him is getting its pin feathers and transitioning into the reptile phase. It is hard to imagine looking at them then – and now!

The fast growth of all of the birds is simply incredible.

I have been following the advances of Karl II and his children, Pikne and Udu. It is time to bring everyone up to date on the Black Storm family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The last time I posted about them Udu was in Poland, Pikne was in Moldova, and Karl II was in the Ukraine.

In the map below you will see that Pikne and Karl II are following the Eastern land route while Udu finds himself on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The green line is Udu and he is currently at the village of Vainia on the island of Crete. The red line is Pikne. She is now in Egypt near Hurghada. She is being described as ‘flying like a rocket’. Indeed, there have been storms and strong winds and there was a worry that Udu would try to cross the sea but he did not. Smart stork. He hunkered down on Crete. We are very anxious for news of the father, Karl II. He was flying along the Jordan River and returned to Israel. There has been no transmission for almost five days now. The last was 21 October. Perhaps there is a problem with the ability of the area to transmit data or the GPS tracker is not operating because of cloud cover. (As someone said, Karl II could be in the Sudan now. I hope it is one of these reasons.) Karl II is an incredible dad. He stayed with Pikne til she was ready to leave the nest – my hat is off to him. These beautiful storks have almost reached their wintering grounds safe and sound. Please send them the very best wishes for a safe arrival with lots of food!

There have been a number of sightings and photos taken of WBSE 27 around the Discovery Centre. There was a sighting of a juvenile being chased by Currawong and the poster thought that it might be WBSE 28. I sure hope so because that means it is mobile and not on the forest floor where the foxes are.

All of the other nests are doing really well. There is not much to report in the way of Bald Eagles save for the Captiva nest on Santibel Island in Florida. Connie seems to be attracting at least two potential mates who are battling it out for dominance. As far as I know, other than sub-adult and some juvenile intruders, all of the other nests are secure. I wonder if the Bald Eagles will attempt to make a nest in Farmer Derek’s tree this year or have the Great Horned Owl family secured it? Time will tell.

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I want to thank the public forum for the Eagle Club of Estonia for posting the map of the locations of Karl II and his family.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these great photos of the PLO’s and their size differences. They sure take up more room in the nest now! They are really 3 pretty ospets❤️❤️❤️.
    It is so nice of you to share the maps showing where the stork family is. I hope Karl’s GPS starts working again soon.
    I saw a Katrin listed on the maps. Is that the Mother stork? Prayers they all have safe travels for the winter.
    Looking forward to your next newsletter
    Have a good day ! Linda

    1. Good Morning Linda. You are very welcome! The nestlings grow so fast we forget. I am just so pleased at the turn around in this nest. I hope that Achieva and all the other nests have hatches as close together as the PLO. That could be the end of the third chick issue. Kaia is Karl II’s mate. She has been gone for sometime. Here is the information about Katrin from Bird Map:
      A juvenile Black Stork hatched in Latvia (wearing a ring with the Latvian code 0XUC, ringed by Maris Strazds in northwestern Latvia on July 4 as one of four chicks), which migrated 200 km north to the settlement of Kiili after leaving the nest and stayed there to stop at a household. Although the host caught the fish and put them in the garden pond, it was not enough food for the young Black Stork. Thus, he was captured by the people of the Estonian Wildlife Society and the Environmental Board delivered caught stork to Tartu, to the animal clinic of the University of Life Sciences under the care of Dr vet Madis Leivits. The young bird was clearly underweight on arrival, 2.5 kg. At the animal clinic, he had to be fed for 11 days until his weight reached normal. He weighed 2.96 kg before being released. Based on the outlook, pictures and measurements, she is probably a female. Maris Strazds asked to be named the stork as Katrin.
      We released Katrin in southwestern Estonia near Häädemeeste on September 15. Katrin immediately took off, flew south and disappeared beyond sight. On the first day, however, not far away, because the compass needed calibration so as not to repeat the former mistake of choosing a direction. However, Katrin has flown south and arrived in Poland on September 19 and Ukraine September 21.

      Katrin is doing so well but there is much concern over Karl II. We lost Julge near Paris – the only surviving fledgling from Jan and Janika. Probably shot. It is very dangerous for them to go around the areas of Malta especially where millions – yes millions – of migrating birds are shot. Tragic.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Ok thanks Mary Ann! So glad all of them are doing fine and hoping Karl 2 will soon have a working GPS again soon. I know a lady named Katrin. My daughter is Katrina too.
        I hope all the nest have the 3 very close together hatch too! I hope Achieva nest has their hatches close together especially after Tiny Tumbles rough time to survive last season!
        Your maps are superb too! Thanks for the photos and maps!
        Hope we hear some more good news soon from all of them !

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