Late Wednesday in Bird World

8 June 2022

We are continuing to have the most beautiful days with bright sun and blue skies and no rain. The ground is actually spongy the water table is so high and there remains clear evidence of how high the river continues to be when I drive through the park. For the past week I have attempted to find and count goslings and ducklings. In the beginning it was very frustrating as all I could find were six goslings with two other Canada Goose couples incubating eggs. Then a couple of days ago I decided to go ‘somewhere else’ to see what was happening! There sure won’t be Guinness World Records broken this year for the number of goslings and ducklings in our City. It is quite sad! At the same time, when I hear someone interviewed about the issue of Canada Geese down by our Legislative Building and their solution is to tear up the nests and break up the eggs, I go wild! What they have now is a loud speaker projecting the sounds of hawks that are keeping the geese away from the water and the grass. Why not hire workers to clean the sidewalks? One day we will wake up and there will be no songbirds singing or geese honking or little ones scurrying to catch up with the attitude that it is simply alright to destroy their nests. It isn’t alright. They are protected by our 1994 wildlife protections for migrant birds.

At any rate, I found spawning fish, an Osprey flying overhead, a single American Pelican, and lots of geese along with a couple of duck couples at one site.

A female Mallard with her 9 ducklings. She never took her eye off me. The male left the edge of the pond first and then she went in with the 9 ducklings. I was approximately 37 metres or 120 feet away.

One Canada Goose family with four little ones.

At another park, I found a couple of Mallard and Goose families along with a lot of male wood ducks and only one female in sight.

These little ducklings were having so much fun racing ahead of their Mum.

At the other end of the pond, a single gosling constitutes the ‘family’ for these two geese this year. Back on the island scattered about are abandoned eggs that would have been destroyed by the flood waters at the pond.

The Wood Ducks were not at this park the last time I visited. It was very disappointing as the pond is normally full of them. There were some this time, thankfully.

The little female Wood Ducks are adorable.

Mixed in with the geese and ducks was this one particular shape that did deep dives into the water. The light was not good but what you are looking at is a very wet Common Goldeneye below.

What is interesting to me is that Common Goldeneyes will seek out tree cavities or stumps – even chimneys. The females have also been known to lay their eggs in another duck’s nest (if they do not have a suitable one). This is known as ‘brood parasitism’. Thankfully ducklings are precocial – they can take care of themselves once they hatch! There could be as many as 30 in a single clutch! Since ducks return to the site where they hatched, it is common for them to be related to one another.

This is the first time I have seen this species at this pond. It is a female. It is possible the floods have caused a variety of species to come to the city where it is dry than stay in the rural areas where the fields are totally flooded.

At another park this afternoon, there was one group of goslings totalling 11 with both parents and another younger group totalling 9 with no parent visible. It felt odd to see them alone and not a single goose with them!

It was, however, great to see those fuzzy little bodies on the water paddling or eating grass.

Let’s take a spin around the nests and see what has been going on.

At the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest, ND17 Little Bit 17 does an amazing steal at 13:08. Little Bit just seems to be coming into his own – much more confident. Today at 13:08:53 he made a major steal from one of the big siblings. I believe it was 15.

In the beginning Little Bit went up between the two sib siblings looking to snatch and grab. That didn’t work so well.

He crept closer to the beak but the big sibling only started flapping its wings.

Little Bit went back by the porch when 15 started flapping. Meanwhile 16 is looking to see what is going on.

Little Bit wasted no time getting up on the other side of the big sibling.

The kid is lighting fast – he grabbed that prey item and off he went to the porch. Both big siblings look on in dismay. Dismay because Little Bit actually pulled the prey item out of the beak of 15 and ran with it!

Little Bit ate all of it! Great steal. This kid is really getting so confident. When he wants something he has been able to get it – at least for the past couple of days. Just imagine if he had food everyday. This eagle would be a very formidable opponent – long ago. He is getting there now.

As evening arrives, it is pitching down rain on Little Bit 17.

All three Bobs are growing and doing well at the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Even Little Bob is growing – still smaller but right up there.

Aran has a huge Perch for Mrs G and the trio at the Glaslyn nest.

Come on Little Bob get up and get some fish before bedtime.

The winds are blowing a gale up at the Llyn Clywedog nest. They even sent Seren flying over the edge of the nest earlier. Here Dylan (on the right) is helping Seren feed the three Bobs so that everyone eats. There has been some nonsense on this nest in the past couple of days.

Idris just keeps catching whoppers for Telyn to feed their three Bobs at the Dyfi nest. Just look at that fish! And they still have big crops from an earlier feed.

Idris takes the fish he just brought and Telyn gets a piece from the nest and they do a tandem feeding. Everyone gets fed – once again before bed – including the littlest Bobbi who goes over to Dad!!!!!!! Do you find that the males seem to empathize with the small little males having to fight sometimes for food? like they might have had to do once?

The three Bobs are still lining up like a perfect choir for Maya to feed them at the Rutland Water Osprey nest she shares with Blue 33.

Besides L1 and Clem fledging, Jack at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape fledged yesterday.

Speaking of Clem fledging. They are keeping an eye on her and Maria, the local Wildlife Rehabber, will return her to the scrape if she can. A big shout out to all the wildlife rehabbers that help these wee ones.

Middle has dropped his crop at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. For several days, many of us have watched intently believing that now was the moment he would fledge. Middle is still with us! He will fly off easily, just like L2 as if he had been flying all his life.

That is just a quick stop at a few nests this afternoon. Everyone of the Ospreys nests in the UK appears to be doing fine. Lots of eaglets wanting to fledge in the US. Different events happening all over the place! Looking for more fledges at Cornell this week and surely Middle at UF-G will let the wind carry him upward and forward. I am working on an article on a couple of amazing Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres for the beginning of next week. If you have a favourite send me a note and tell me how they pulled your heart strings!

Thanks so much for joining me this afternoon. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, Dyfi Osprey Project, Llyn Clywedog and CarnyXWild, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Loch of the Lowes and Woodland Trust, Cromer Peregrines, LRWT, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

4 Comments

  1. Faye and Max Bartlett says:

    G’day Mary Ann
    Did you know that the Sydney White Breasted sea eagles have their first egg for the season, laid yesterday 8th June Sydney time. this is two weeks earlier than last year.
    Just a huge thank you for your daily comments, they are the first thing we read each morning.

    Cheers
    Faye and Max Bartlett
    Melbourne, Australia.

    1. Dear Faye and Max, Thank you so much for writing in and for being super supporters of the WBSE! I knew about the egg and included it in a post but I am forever grateful to those who send me news items because it is so easy to miss them. Normally Lady waits until all of the Red-tail hawks fledge to lay those eggs but she laid her egg on the same day as L2’s fledge – the first chick. I knew the egg was early but not by how much so I am very grateful to you for sharing that knowledge. I will pass that along to everyone else. The two weeks is interesting. In Florida, a couple of Ospreys laid their eggs a month early. It was very fortunate because the Crows that normally predate their eggs were not around! I wonder if Lady and Dad are trying to outsmart the Currawong or if they ‘know’ it is going to be hotter later on? I guess we will find out. They are such beautiful birds. WBSE 25 and 26 are all over my fridge! — And I am so glad to hear that you enjoy the newsletter. Thank you so much for telling me. It is my pleasure. As I always say, the birds bring us so much joy – best to share them!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! Glad all is well with the nests. So glad you seen all the ducks and ducklings. Have a great evening and I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon again.
    Linda

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