World Albatross Day and other news in Bird World

18 June 2022

Everyone reading my blog loves birds —-that is what we have in common. We love great big raptors and tiny little hummingbirds. Some favour Ospreys because they eat fish over Eagles but, in the end, I do not think any of us would harm our feathered friends deliberately. Indeed, many of you care for birds, volunteer or work at wildlife rehabilitation centres, make donations, feed the birds in your garden, etc. Whatever you can to make their lives better. So, when you read the following article, you are going to get mad. I found myself remembering the two men who took the juvenile osprey chicks off the light stand (somewhere – it has gone out of my mind) and killed them rather than waiting til they fledged to change the bulbs. After you read this, take a deep breath. Then, if you live in the US, write to your local officials. I do often wonder if the people doing these terrible deeds – how would they feel if they were treated this way? Birds and animals are sentient beings.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/06/us-bird-flu-outbreak-millions-of-birds-culled-in-most-inhumane-way-available

Every June we have a problem in our City with tree cutters! While the City of Winnipeg is priding itself on planting 1 million trees, it has probably hired cutters to cut down some very old Maple trees that are not diseased or damaged. Do they check for nests? No. Last year, it was a battle with our public utility Manitoba Hydro and a Cooper’s Hawk nest. After lobbying by hundreds of us, Manitoba Hydro backed off and agreed not to trim the trees around their lines until nesting season was over.

Tree cutting should be limited to times when birds are not nesting. Simple. Write – scream – get your friends – if you see trimming going on and you know that there is a nest there!

There is still some anxiety at the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie LM12 did not deliver a fish to Blue NC0 until 10am. Big was unkind to Middle. What in the world is going on at this nest? 12 days ago Laddie brought in 9 fish. Oh, I wonder if he is not injured in some way and we cannot see it.

In contrast, Louis – despite the gale force wind and rain – has brought in at least 4 if not 5 large fish for Dorcha and the chicks today.

It really seems that there is something amiss at Loch of the Lowes. Again, is Laddie in some way injured that we cannot obviously tell?

Little QT chick is flapping her wings in the strong winds blowing over her nest at Taiaroa Head. Soon all of the fluffy baby down will be off those wings and our beautiful little fluff ball will look more and more like her parents, OGK and YRK.

The 19th of June is World Albatross Day. Of course, it is today in New Zealand and all other countries in different time zones. Many of you – and I – watch the Royal Cam Albatross Family on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand – YRK, OGK, and little QT. Did you know that OGK and YRK have been together since 2006? They are so lovely. OGK has melted my heart since the time he used to come and sit next to Pippa Atawhai.

I am forever grateful for the NZ DOC for intervening in the care of the chicks with their supplemental feedings, provisions against fly strike, and aid to them if injured. QT has had many supplemental feedings this season. While the cause is unknown, it could be warming waters and also large trawlers emptying the sea of the fish.

The Albatross Task Force posted 3 ways that 99% of the Albatross deaths could be mitigated. Here they are:

So how can you help? You can begin by purchasing fish that is not harvested using gill nets. Here is some information for those in the UK from the Task Force:

It is summer and there are parties and weddings. If you are going to use confetti – read this posting that showed up on my FB feed and think about using leaves for confetti. How brilliant and how sustainable.

Lindsay fledged early this morning at the Cal Falcons scrape on the grounds of the University of California at Berkeley. Here is younger brother, Grinnell Jr, looking out of the stonework wondering what it is like out there.

The hawklet being cared for by the Eagle family on Gabriola Island branched this morning. It is a beautiful scene when the Big Bald Eagle female feeds her ‘little baby’.

The hawklet has been given the name Malala meaning survivor. You might recall Malala Yousafzai, the young Afghan girl, who was almost killed by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school. Happily she graduated from Oxford after surviving. We all hope that the hawklet will live a long and prosperous life!

GROWLS is accepting donations for a new and much better camera. Christian Sasse said they they were sold an interior product -I sure hope they raise the funds. I wonder if this would ever happen again? It is rare – or it is thought that it is rare – eaglets adopting a bird as their own that has been brought in as a prey item.

Ferris Akel’s tour today ended up at the Cornell campus. He caught all of the family. Well done, Ferris. L4 has not fledged and people should not worry. There are eagles who have not fledged even though their siblings have for weeks. There is nothing wrong with L4. He is going to fly in his own time.

One of the Ls on Bruckner Hall. She will later fly to the top of the Rice building calling for prey.

Another L on the brick wall between the Soccer and Track fields.

The third fledgling on another building. I have always relied on the belly band to differentiate between them but it is impossible now unless I see them together. Gosh they are such gorgeous Red-tail Hawk chicks.

L4 was on the railing of the natal nest light stand.

The intruder couple at the Cape Henlopen Osprey platform in Lewes, Delaware were on and off the structure during the day.

Little Bit 17 had a good day. He is at the top of my list for checking followed by Loch of the Lowes. He had lots of raccoon and an entire fish to himself (minus a few bites going to 16), scrapes off the nest, and a little bit of Bluegill that Mum delivered at 15:57. So far four fish deliveries- 2 Blue gills, 1 salmon, and 1 small mouth bass (list by Jim one of the chatters – thank you). Those eagle-eye chatters also observed two PSs – fantastic.

At 19:39:48 Little Bit was eating the leftover bones with some meat on them by the rim of the nest. He was watching and when the older sibling finished, 17 made his move to get some of that. You can see the remains of the Raccoon being moved about on the nest.

Mum is in and all three were up at the table being fed. Oh, what a lovely image. I just wish she had a pantry full of fish and filled each of them up to the crown of their head.

Isn’t this just a beautiful image? Mom feeding her three eaglets – and knowing that each of them will fledge. One or two very soon.

Mum was still feeding them the remainder of that Raccoon when I last checked. Little Bit was loving it. He has eaten well today. Everyone is just elated.

Last thing today. Each one of us was horrified when the Bald Eagle cam and took Electra’s osprey chicks right off the nest. One of our readers ‘B’ lives very close to Lake Sacajawea in Cowlitz County, Washington. I asked her what might have changed to cause the eagles to go after the osprey nest. She gave the following information, “The rivers here are running high and probably muddy so fishing might be difficult. This has been one of the coldest, wettest springs on record in the northwest. Another day of rain today, temperature only 58° F.” Certainly Bald Eagles are opportunistic feeders – fish, road kill, etc. but the weather might have played a big part in this catastrophic event.

Poor Electra continues to come to the nest. She is still broody and probably in shock. Send her special wishes. This is so difficult seeing her there on that nest with three chicks doing well this year.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is a very windy evening but the sun is out. I managed to get a long walk in today (for me) and it is now time to go and check on all those weeds that grew over night. I will also be marvelling at all of the sunflowers that are growing in the garden thanks to the birds. I am leaving them and hoping that they grow high and then the birds can eat them in the fall. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cowlitz PUD, Ferris Akel Tours, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust. Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and the Woodland Trust, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Albatross Task Force, Keeper of the Cheerios Blog, Cal falcons, GROWLS, Cape Henlopen State Park, and ND-LEEF.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Konrol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these latest update, pics, and links. I’m so happy for little ND17! 🙏❤️Today was a good day for them all. Little L4 can stay as long as she needs to for me. Such a cutie and will go when she’s ready I believe. 💕
    We have some sunflowers around our trumpet tree this season. The trumpet came back nd has been in full bloom.
    I was so glad that it survived the winter.
    I think the birds for the sunflowers here too. We didn’t plant them there.
    Prayers for all the nests that need it and
    Hope for better weather and better days for the little ones everywhere.
    Have a great Saturday evening and I look forward to your newsletter soon!
    Linda

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