Friday and Australian Raptors

The FB of the Orange Australian Peregrine Falcons posted an interesting article with the vocalizations of Peregrine Falcons. Want to understand what those falcons are doing or saying?

When Victor Hurley did his Q & A session about the Melbourne Collins Street Falcons, he mentioned a book. That volume, Australian Birds of Prey by Penny Olsen is one of the most informative and beautiful books. Published in 1995 most of the information remains relevant today. The statistics on how many birds exist will change but the information on all of the falcons, size, ID, brooding, etc remain the same. One of the things I love about it are the drawings of the raptors.

Note: Do not be fooled by books of a similar name. Check and make sure it is Penny Olsen 1995.

Images from old print collections. In this instance it is the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the largest raptor in Australia, in a hand coloured drawing from the early 19th century.

The stories of how these early drawings came to be made just wrenches your heart especially when foreigners to Australia would injure the birds and hope to take them back to England. This bird managed with a wound to claw its way through a rope and escape, thankfully. Our ideas of the rights of animals are changing but we still have much much more to do!

The image below is of a Hobby. Olsen comments that young raptors spend much more time lying down than they do standing. The photographer has caught this small falcon resting. What a lovely capture!

The Hobby is also known as ‘The Little Falcon’ or the ‘Little Duck Hawk.’ It is a member of the Falconidae family of diurnal, day time hunting, raptors.

One of the things that I like about the book are the tables that compare the various raptors in Australia to one another and the topics that cover everything from ecology (habitat, dispersion, , mortality), predators, reproduction, health, raptors and humans as well as conservation.

This is an impressive book and if you can get your hands on a copy – there are no reprints – it is, as Victor Hurley says, ‘essential for a library’.

Continuing on with the raptors from Australia, Cilla Kinross posted a video of a bonding session between Xavier and Diamond. Listen for the vocalizations (after you read and listen to the first article today).

There is no current update on Yurruga. He was seen day before yesterday on a roof. It rained hard and steady yesterday and Orange and I imagine our wee fledgling was hunkered down somewhere wanting to stay dry. Not good to try and hone your flying skills in a down pour!

I have not seen any updates or sightings of the 367 Collins Street fledglings. If something comes up I will let you know! It is still bittersweet looking at the four of them and the wee male not making it. But, on the brighter side, we could have lost all of the eyases this year. “Be thankful for what we have and don’t wish for what we don’t” was a common mantra of my grandmother.

The season in Australia is winding down as our lads on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge continue to get stronger and stronger and will become more independent and learn how to fish soon. It is wonderful that we will be able to follow Ervie on his adventures with his sat-pak. Let’s see if PLO has posted anything today!

This is the last posting when Ervie flew over land on 23 November. To the surprise of many, Solly also flew over land and into the interior a bit which will go a long ways to informing the power companies where they need to put those protectors on the hydro poles.

All three are sleeping adult style, standing up with their head tucked under a wing.

As to the situation with Annie and Grinnell and the interloper, the interloper male flew in to the Campanile and was greeted by Annie. UC Falcons have not seen Grinnell and Annie together as yet. Challenges and conflict over territory could happen. Fingers crossed.

As things go quiet in Australia, I will begin to list some of the Bald Eagle and Osprey nests in North America that you can watch. If you have a favourite, let me know and tell me why you like it so I can pass that along to others. Thank you!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Orange, Australian Peregrine Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for all the info and updates on our lovely birds! Also the book and hopefully we can learn a lot from it too?
    Have a great evening and I look forward to tomorrow’s newsletter from you too!

    1. Oh, yes, I do intend to share that book with everyone. It is too good and not widely available to keep it to myself! Take care.

  2. I was watching this bonding session between Diamond and Xavier live and it was fascinating!
    Thank you again for all the latest news.

    1. It definitely is interesting – the bowling and the ker-chumping (is that the sound?). They are wonderful. You are so very welcome. It is rather quiet now but oh, will it pick up in Bird World once those eggs of Harriet’s hatch between 25-28 Dec. Can’t wait Betty!

      1. Yes, ker-chumping – that’s it!
        Thanks for the heads up on expected dates for Harriet’s eggs to hatch.
        Things are indeed quiet on all fronts. I’m hoping Yurruga will make a box appearance soon.
        Have been watching it snow on the Glacier Gardens nest this afternoon. (“Slow t.v.”?) So beautiful!!

      2. You are more than welcome. Poor Harriet. Thousands will be watching for that first egg to hatch! I so hope they are close together. I had not seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I went to look. It is beautiful! Stunning. I could see Kindness there on those branches. I wonder if Yurruga will come to visit. For Izzi, it must have seemed like his permanent home he was in and out so much. But it isn’t the same for Yurruga. Still, I am like you – I want to see Yurruga is OK. The not knowing how they are doing is painful. Take care. Thank you so much for your love of the birds.

      3. You’re right, it’s painful not knowing. I’m beginning to really worry about Yurruga. Reading chat today, even Cilla sounds like she’s becoming concerned. Crossing fingers there’ll be a sighting soon.

      4. It is. I tried to explain to someone one day that when you watch an egg for a month and then worry about every morsel that it gets fed it is like it is yours. Betty, I am certain the person I told this to had no comprehension but, we all worry. I noticed that Cilla said that she would go out and look in the less obvious places but she mentioned the parents not dive bombing her. It does make me wonder along with that very long bonding this morning. Yurruga appeared to be a strong flier and I remember the posting of the person who saw the three of them. That would be in his favour. We hope.

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