It is 13:14 in Sydney Australia’s Olympic Park Forest. Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, has 8 eggs she is incubating in the White-Bellied Sea Eagles nest. So far today she has had a visit by three Ring-tail possums in the night and two Ravens. The possums did not bother Daisy’s eggs and the Ravens sitting and cawing in the upper branches of the tree did not cause any issues for Daisy. She seemed to ignore them completey – she kept her cool. They might well come back today and the sea eagles might show up but for now, our little duck is resting. She took 5 hours off -divided into two time periods – to go and forage. She has taken the opportunity to sleep while incubating.
Daisy seems to be developing a strategy to thwart both the Ravens and the sea eagles. She stays on the nest leaving right at sunset and then leaving again 2 or 3 hours before sunrise. That way she can eat while the others are sleeping and be on her eggs to protect them if the Ravens visit. Last year she played tag with Dad. So far they have not encountered one another. Dad did come one evening but Daisy was foraging.
Daisy is such a beautiful duck. I love how the down looks like it has little twinkle stars in it.
At 13:46 a visitor came to the nest – a quiet visitor. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird fly from the right to the left across the nest and land. My heart sank. I thought the Ravens had gone into stealth mode. But, no. It was a Pied Currwaong. You might recall that it is the Currawongs that chase the Sea Eagle fledglings out of the forest. Or you might recall that a group of them pecked at the head of WBSE 27 causing it to have to go into care (it was also hungry and dehydrated). They can be mean. Daisy kept her head down but keeping her eye on every movement the bird made.
In the top image, the Currawong is flying between the two branches on the left.
The Currawong has landed on the branch directly in front of Daisy. Daisy is watching with one eye and keeping still.
You can see it better in this image. It continues to fly around the tree. I can see its shadow. Perhaps it is more curious. It is unclear to me if the Currawongs are a threat to Daisy. I must check.
The first half of the day has not been totally uneventful. Ravens did land on the tree but did not go to the nest and Daisy ignored them. Now the Currawong. She seems nonplused so I am going to presume she is not taking the bird as a threat. Whew. Anxious for a moment there. In fact, I am certain that all of us are anxious and would like to grab Daisy and give her a safe nest box. Sometimes watching but not being able to do anything is extremely frustrating. I suspect you feel the same. I wonder how many of you are eating more cookies or candies watching Daisy to help with the stress???? I certainly am! The holiday baking is not going to last long at this rate.
Other Bird World News. The State of Illinois has passed a Bird Safe Buildings Act to eliminate the death of millions of migrating birds. Dallas has been turning off the lights to help during migration but Illinois is taking this to the actual construction of the building. This is a good thing!
I have found a new Bald Eagle Streaming Cam for you. There is a huge interest in birds where I grew up – Oklahoma. There are so many hawks and eagles. Bartlesville has set up a streaming cam for their Bald Eagle couple. I do not know anything about this nest but it has been recommended to me. Here is the link:
If you like images of beautiful birds, here are some amazing captures in super 8k resolution. Thanks ‘S’ for sending me this link. Some of these are simply stunning.
Speaking of beautiful bird images. Every year we travel to Toronto where the Royal Ontario Museum puts the winners of the international bird and wildlife photography contests – from youngsters to seniors, amateur to professional – on display. The results of one of the many photographic contests have been posted on the Internet. There were 22,000 entries for Bird Photographer of the Year. The prize went to an amazing image – you will have to go to the link to see it – I do not want to spoil the surprise. There are categories for young and old. You will not be disappointed and if you love them, there is a book with the 300 winning entries in all categories. Here is the link to this year’s winners:
I will be monitoring Daisy throughout the rest of the day. Other than the Noisy Miners and horrific sounding Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, I hope to hear absolutely nothing more than the hum of the streaming cam. My next report on Daisy will be tomorrow (Monday the 13th) around 13:00. All of the other nests are doing just fine. I am hoping to see an egg on the nest of Gabby and Samson tomorrow or the next day. Fingers crossed. And mark your calendars because in less than two weeks – 12 days to be exact – we could have a hatch on Harriet and M15s nest in Fort Myers. Honestly, I can’t wait – it is called ‘Bobble head Withdrawal.’ The couple spent some time bonding today before they get busy with little ones. And YRK has flown in to relieve OGK after 8 days of incubating duties at the Royal Albatross Colony on Taiaroa Head, NZ.
Thank you so much for joining me and caring so much for Daisy. I believe that thousands of people sending love and positive wishes to Daisy and her precious eggs is nothing short of wonderful. If only she knew. Wow. I am blown away just thinking about it.
Take care everyone. Stay safe.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to ‘S’ for sending me the link to those amazing bird images.