Wednesday in Bird World

One of the saddest things is seeing a parent bird look for their fledglings to feed them. That is precisely what WBSE Lady was doing yesterday. She flew around the salt marshes, around the river, and in the area where WBSE 27 (and maybe 28) were looking for them. She had a fish in her talon. With no luck she flew into the forest and left the fish on the natal nest in the old Ironbark Tree. Lady spent the night on that tree.

You can see the fish in the image below.

There is Lady sleeping in the tree on the parent branch. Is she sleeping there hoping that at dawn one of the fledglings will arrive for breakfast like they did before they flew off the nest?

Last year, Lady and Dad would come to the tree with fish trying to lure 25 and 26 back. Once 25 was chased out of the forest by the Currawong there was never another sighting of it. 26 did return to the nest after thrashing about the forest. She was exhausted, and, well, starving. She slept! I do not think that 26 planned to leave the nest the day she did. She flew over to the camera branch. A Magpie helped 26 keep the Currawong away but then, finally, they chased her out of the forest. There was a big storm that night with very strong winds and in the morning 26 was located on a 22nd floor condo balcony about a kilometre away from the nest. 26 was taken into care. There was great hope that she could be ‘repaired’ and become an ambassador bird but that was not to be.

Hopefully 27 will have a much better fate than 26. I hope that they will be able to give it fluids and antibiotics to heal the talons that have been injured. Maybe they will be able to release 27 near to the parent nest but not before it can fly strong. Send your positive wishes its way!

The chicks at the PLO Osprey nest had lots of feedings yesterday – six! They were at 6:39, 7:45, 13:42 (Mum brought it in), 15:01, 19:10, and 20:30. Wow.

I love the image below because of the crest on the chick on the right. Just gorgeous.

Here comes dad! Tiny Little is on the far left looking towards dad.

I do not think the chicks were expecting another meal but here comes the fish at 20:30.

Needless to say, these osplets are really well fed. All that fish is turning into feathers and the bulking up! Within the next 7-10 days they will be banded, measured, and fitted with satellite navigation systems. I understand there are three devices and since there are no other osprey chicks on the other nest (the eggs taken by the crows), then all three should have its very own little backpack.

Yesterday in Melbourne Mum had a terrible time trying to convince the four eyases that it was for their own good that they stayed in the shade of the scrape box. It will be 27 degrees today and no doubt she will be trying to corral them again into the shade. She tried hard to spread her wings to cover them from the glaring rays of the sun but with four it is really difficult.

They are very obedient. One cam running and you can see it pushing under Mum’s wing on the right to get to the shade.

It wasn’t long before the shade covered the entire scrape box area and Mum was not needed. I have often wondered if this is the reason she chose to lay her eggs at that end. Last year it was so hot – trying to keep cool herself as well as the trio was difficult. They were all panting trying to regulate their heat.

In the scrape box in Orange, little Yarruga cast a pellet at 5:55:30. Oh, this chick will be hungry and ready for more food. Wonder if the Starling’s leg was in that cast?? So what does this mean? A pellet is the indigestible material from the crop or proventriculus. Birds of prey or raptors regurgitate this material. Then they will begin to collect more as they eat. The casting of the pellet also cleans out the crop (the proventriculus or granular stomach).

It looks like the chicks are choking when they cast the pellet. It must scare them til they get used to this happening.

Yarruga feels so much better! Now if breakfast would only arrive!!!

It is early morning in Australia and Thursday is just starting for our bird families. I cannot think of anything more grand than having WBSE 28 land on the nest and let Lady feed it! That is really wishful thinking on my part. WBSE 27 will be eating well and by now should be really well hydrated. Warm wishes for a full recovery and return to the wild!

I have been alerted that the satellite tracking for Karl II’s family has not been updated since the 24th. I will be checking on that. It seems highly unlikely that all three of the birds have perished. I simply cannot imagine it. Udu was on Crete, Pikne was in Egypt, and Karl II had not transmitted since the 21st. Pikne’s battery % was quite low. If the GPS works on satellite transmission and it is overcast then the battery cannot function. As well, the birds can get in areas where transmitter signals cannot be picked up. I am so hoping that this is all one big malfunction! I will keep you posted.

It is pitching rain today on the Canadian prairies where I live and it is really, really welcome. The birds are still coming and going from the feeders despite the heavy drops. I noticed when I was picking up all the birdseed, peanuts, and corn cobs that the pet store version of a birdseed story had something interesting. It was a lovely metal holder filled with natural alpaca wool. The idea is that there are no toxins and the birds would pull out small skeins to help with their nest building in the spring. What a lovely idea as a gift for a birder friend! Bags of seed and suet blocks/cylinders would be welcome, too. Gosh. I cannot believe people are starting to get ready for the holidays. Ahhhh…by then Little Bob will have fledged and we will be watching him or her with the satellite tracking.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Sea Eagle @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

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