Thursday Happenings in Bird World

It has been a very difficult time for all of us since the Ravens destroyed Daisy’s nest. Things had gone so smoothly that most of us began to believe that those eggs would hatch. Sadly, it was not to be. I so wished that the male Pacific Black ducks had the instinct to go to the nest and relieve their mates! Daisy was quite distraught, understandably. A friend that is around the Discovery Centre has offered to take a photo for me of Daisy paddling around the canal after the holidays. There are not that many ducks there so she is confident she will recognize her again this year. Before I move on to other bird news, I am reminded that Daisy rushed to the big WBSE nest to lay an egg. She did not prepare the nest and it is possible that she had a nest elsewhere and something destroyed those eggs and, as a last resort, she came to the WBSE nest. There might well not be a safe place for our Daisy and that could account for so few ducks in the water there. If a duck hatches a normal clutch, it is normally 47 days before the pair mate again and this will only happen twice a year. If the eggs are broken, it can be as few as 10 days, a reliable source tells me. I hope that we do not see Daisy again – as much as I would like to see her and know she is safe! The WBSE are often at the nest in January and it would be wonderful if later Daisy was seen with little ones in the canal. We wait.

I needed ‘something lighter’ and that turned out to be the boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It seems that Bazza picked off the first two fish deliveries. At some time Ervie got mad at him and kicked him off the nest. Falky continues to perfect his diving skills hoping to catch that elusive fish one day. They are so lucky that they have parents that continue to provide these big strapping lads with food!

Here is Falky diving off the ropes and coming out of the water in sequence:

No fish but, Falky tried! If you look at the time stamps you will see how quick that dive was. This family is just doing great. That is a wonderful thing! Falky is really trying.

Ervie’s satellite tracker indicates that he has been visiting the local boat ramps. The owner of PLO is wondering if Ervie has discovered places where he can get fed! Here is Ervie’s latest tracking:

Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page posted some great shots of Ervie and Falky. They were taken by Bazz Hockaday. I hope they don’t mind my sharing them with you. You can see how stunningly handsome and – well, these are just great Osprey fledges. A success story this year that gives us a lot of hope. I understand that Falky followed Ervie to the beach. Bazza stayed on the nest and cleaned up on all the fish. I am certain that Bazza will never leave home!

Ervie
Falky
Falky
Ervie

Port Lincoln also posted a picture of the barge from the other side. It really helps us visualize where the nest is.

This is dad delivering a fish dinner to the nest. What an amazing shot! Thank you Port Lincoln!

The hatching and fledging of the three males at this beautiful barge with its Osprey nest made history for this mated pair. For years they have had issues relating to siblicide and they have never fledged three. Everyone was cautiously optimistic and it happened. It is one of those great moments of 2021 that no one will forget!

I urge you to check in on this nest and also the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page. You don’t have to be a member of anything to find out what the lads are doing. And this is such a happy site – we need it, we truly do.

There are lots of mothers incubating eggs. Two of my favourites are Harriet and Gabby.

Harriet and M15 have been taking turns at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest. It has not been easy for the male, M15. He has continual strikes by the Great Horned Owl whose nest is 900 metres away. M15 had an injury the other day. The GHOW also strike Harriet on the nest and will do the same to the hatchlings. Sad.

Samson and Gabby have been taking turns incubating their two eggs in the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. They have had a sub-adult intruder but nothing like the issues with the owls that Harriet and M15 have endured. As nests and trees become more precious – with growing numbers of eagles and owls – these fights for territory could come more often and many times the owls usurp the eagles from the nest. I continually remind everyone that they might be cute – the owls – but they are a formidable Apex predator.

Gabby – you can always tell the ‘shag look’.
Samson with his slick backed head.

Hatch watch for Harriet! Bobble heads coming real soon. I can’t wait.

I want to leave each of you with something that is just full of joy! Perhaps you have discovered this wonderful girl that loves squirrels. If you haven’t, then you are in for a real treat. Please enjoy -.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for all the letters and comments about Daisy. It was a very difficult time for the community of people from all over the world that loved her. I hope that we get a picture soon of her paddling away and that if she should lay more eggs, we don’t see them but they hatch and we get news of Daisy on the canal being a Mum. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams and their FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, and NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF. I also want to thank Bazz Hockaday for those amazing images of Ervie and Falky.

6 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! This is such a good newsletter. Believe me I feel the same way and only wish I could do something to help Daisy. The Father above does look after them and I hope her and her mate decide to nest elsewhere in a safe place. I will miss her so much but it’s safer for her I hope. I wish we could get them a nest box too! What has helped me today was seeing that her mate came with her to see the nest. Maybe he will help Daisy search for another safer area for their next clutch. Only my ideas and trying to cope with the stress.
    Thanks for the photos and info on the PLO’s. They are such beautiful ospreys!
    So glad they are still there and learning. I wonder if the covers were ever installed on the poles
    Thanks also for the squirrel link to follow! It is really fun to watch! They are such beautiful squirrels!
    Have a good evening Mary Ann and take care! I’ll be looking forward to the next updates!
    Linda

    1. Dear Linda, I am so glad that there was something that helped with the stress of the last few days. It was very reassuring that he came with Daisy. Some will think I am ‘nutty’ but I believe that she was able to communicate her fear and her confusion to him. I am haunted by the amount of time she alerted and stayed still – 13 minutes simply frozen. The Ravens had to be up in the tree being silent and then making some strange sounds. I hope that the pair of them – like you – find a better spot. He came with her in December 2020. I wonder if they had already lost a clutch then? And she wanted to try the big nest. So many questions and no answers. ——— Linda, the joy at watching those three boys grow into themselves fishing and flying has a smile on my face. They are survivors. Well, I am not certain about Bazza but certainly Ervie and Falky are. To have three fledge without problems on that nest was something we all needed. — Oh, check out her other squirrel videos when you get a chance! We are in the process of getting a squirrel house built for Little Red. Long story. I will share it when the old shed is demolished in May and Red is given his brand new house with all modern conveniences including a tube that only he will fit in. Take care. Thank you for all your prayers for Daisy. My grandmother always told me that “Everything works out the way it is supposed to.” We might not know the why of it or like it. Sometimes I don’t listen to her when I should.

  2. Both sadness and happiness in this post, Mary Ann — thank you for that! I just read Linda’s and your comments here and it sounds like we’ve all been having similar thoughts regarding the male duck coming to the nest with Daisy.

    The squirrel video was wonderful! Thanks for sharing that link. Will look forward to your next post.

    1. You are very observant. Why do we see male Bald Eagles helping fix the nests? incubate the eggs? feed the babies? and Mr Daisy doesn’t do any of that. It would be so much better for Daisy if he would step up and relieve her so she can forage. The eggs would be protected. Why doesn’t come and nest on the branches at night? during the day? Perhaps he will understand. I believe Daisy flew off and showed him the broken egg with the embryo. I also think she was terrified and he came with her – to protect and console? Would he help her next time? So many questions.

      1. I agree, Mary Ann. I wonder if he’s younger than Daisy and his instincts haven’t fully kicked in yet…? Or maybe this is a fatal flaw in this particular species. Hopefully time will tell.

      2. Sadly it is a fatal flaw in the duck population. It would, however, be a nice adaptation. I wonder if Daisy showing him what happened and expressing her fear to return to the nest alone might be enough to shock this fellow into action.

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