Late Sunday and early Monday in Bird World

11 July 2020

Dr Sharpe has posted that he will arrive at the Fraser Point nest between 12-2 nest time. We wait.

It is always a hard day when a chick dies on a nest but to lose a beautiful little Osprey to starvation/siblicide is very difficult. I am speaking of the third hatch at the Janakkdan nest in Finland. There is various speculation about what is going on at the nest. Is the female injured in some way? Another chick is lethargic on that nest and it is feared that all three will be lost and then, also, perhaps the breeding female if the injury is acute. Some are asking if this is H5N1, the highly pathogenic Avian Flu. That could only be determined by testing and so far it is believed that Ospreys would be more immune because they eat fish almost exclusively. Whatever is happening it is very sad and it causes one to feel helpless.

There was also Victor with his injury wanting to jump and fly with Lillibet to only go tumbling to the ground, well…gosh. It can take the wind out of your sails. It will be a long wait for Dr Sharpe to get to the nest. He will have to get to the boat, get to the island and then get to the nest. Will this require a very difficult climb? I do not know the terrain he will be going through but, I trust Dr Sharpe. If anything at all can be done to give Victor a second chance, Dr Sharpe is the person who will pull this off. But, for now we wait and it is going to be agony until we know that he is on the ground and has Victor. Then we wait again. You can be assured that Dr Sharpe will give Victor an exceptional meal and maybe some fluids – Victor cannot help but be dehydrated.

There is sadness across the Manitoba Peregrine community this morning. The resident male, Hart, was found dead. He was 10 years old. The Manitoba Peregrine Recovery Project works diligently to return the numbers of these beautiful falcons in our community.

Here is the link to the blog with information about Hart and the falcons that live in my community. the text narration gives you an idea of the struggles that happen with all our feathered friends. Condolences go out to everyone associated with the MB Falcon Recovery Project.

Heartbroken

Most of the birds that I write about are big birds of prey. I love them. At the same time, the Albatross pull at my heart strings, ducks make me laugh out loud, and well, I have really come to adore storks. Today Hob Osterlund posted a really touching image of a Laysan Albatross male and his chick.

Continuing with the mantra of Margaret Mead, “Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” – Hob Osterlund works tirelessly for the Laysan Albatross. Osterlund had a dream and because of it she moved to the island of Kauai. She was overcome with the love of the Laysan Albatross on her arrival. Osterlund is the author of Holi Moli: Albatross and other Ancestors, is the Founder of the Kauai’ Albatross Network, has worked to relocate albatross from Midway Atoll to Kauai’, is an artist, and many more things to thousands of people. She did the illustrations for A Perfect Day for an Albatross by Caren Loebel-Fried.

Moli is the word for Laysan Albatross. They are revered spirits on the island of Kauai’. For the people of Hawaii, their ancestors can take the form of birds or animals. This is ‘aumakua’. Laysan Albatross are among the aumakua.  

Do you know who Wisdom is? Wisdom is the oldest known banded bird in the world. She still raises a chick and she is now at least 71 or 72 years old. She laid an egg and raised a chick in 2021. (Albatross often take a year off between laying eggs so that their body can be in good shape).

Wisdom’s breeding grounds are the Midway Atoll. Wisdom and her mate, Akeakami, return every year to the same nest site. This behaviour is known as nest fidelity. Millions of birds have nest fidelity at the Midway Atoll and there is a race on to figure out what to do with rising sea levels. Wisdom has hatched 40 eggs and outlived many mates. Albatross normally return and find mates at 5 or 6 years and return later to make a nest. Her 2011 chick – banded N333 – that survived the tsunami on the island, has returned and Wisdom now has a grandchick. How special. That year 110,000 chicks were killed by the raging waters of the tsunami covering over the shore. Wisdom’s chick survived because her nest was located inside a protected dune area.

Invasive species such as rats and mice that were killing the birds were dealt with in 2020. It is a problem around the world on small islands where birds nest – particularly albatross. Teams of scientists and volunteers work tirelessly to try and rid the islands of rats and mice that humans have brought on to the land. Climate change is another extremely serious issue with rising seas. Some translocation work has been done between the Midway Atoll and the island of Kauai.

Wisdom and her wee little moli.

This is Wisdom’s 40th chick Kukini hatched in 2016. Kukini means ‘Messenger’.

Here is a lovely article on this magnificent Laysan Albatross – Z333.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/worlds-oldest-bird-just-turned-70-why-so-special

To clear my head, I went to sit with the ducks. I came away delighted. There are ducklings of every age!

Before I begin, there are goose eggs bobbing about all over the water. The spring floods that hit our region made the water level in the park pond rise and rise covering all of the nests of the Canada geese, the Mallards, and the Wood Ducks. It was a very, very sad time. The birds laid more eggs and it rained and rained and rained again. What I am seeing is that at this particular pond, the majority of survivors or second clutches are ducklings.

This Mallard mother seemed to be in charge of about eleven little ducklings.

It is incredible how well behaved the ducklings are. There they go – right behind Mama Mallard. They have really grown since I first saw these four about 8 days ago.

Mama Mallard is incredibly beautiful.

It was equally sad not seeing one gosling today. The reflections from the trees on the water was very painterly and this Canada Goose really stood out with all that chartreuse.

Because the male Wood Ducks get all the attention, I tend to take more photographs of the females. They are incredibly gorgeous but so overshadowed by the bright colouring of their mates.

Wee Mallard keeping an eye on me but not giving up his spot!

Mother Duck has all the little ones – and they are tiny – hiding in this type of clover grass on the edge of the pond. You can just see their wee heads.

This one looks like he has had a great feed. There are so many insects darting over the water and to see these little ones just quick as a flash grabbing and eating them – it is amazing.

This wood duckling is getting her ‘pin’ feathers. You can see them pushing out of the shaft or the quill.

This is Mama Wood Duck. You can tell the female by her white tear drop eye patch.

To my delight there were Wood Ducks everywhere around the island – on it, around the shores but, always on the north side. At the start of the season there were no Wood Ducks at this park and I was truly heart broken.

Are you a fan of Mrs G and Aran at the Glaslyn?

Raptor Persecution UK wrote a blog about the history of Mrs G today. She is the oldest breeding Osprey in Wales. She has raised 41 chicks to fledge. At least 5 are breeding in the UK and she has 3 grandchicks. I will post a link to that blog if you are interested. There is also a fascinating family tree included.

I am extremely grateful for ‘S’ who has supplied me with links to various cameras, wonderful historical and current videos, and all information to keep me learning about the Finnish nests. One of the fun things I learned is that the Finnish word for Ospreys ‘saaksi’ , when translated by Google, means ‘mosquito’. We have so many mosquitoes in Manitoba – I wish they were Ospreys. I will be including some of these for you if you are also not as familiar with the Ospreys of Finland. What beautiful countryside to have a nest! Yesterday I needed some laughs – like everyone and there was that chick on nest #3. What a character. ‘S’ describes him as a teenager without brothers and sisters to fight with so he has to fight with Mum. I am not sure you saw this video the other day when I posted it but this will give you some insights into this little character! Thank you ‘S’ for your kindness.

This little video shows the chicks in nest 4 having received their rings and some fish being left on the nest. The female returns and stares at the two nice fish wondering where in the world they came from! Enjoy.

I will bring a round up of the nests this evening. For right now, however, all eyes are on Fraser Point and Janakkdan nest. Please send all your positive wishes for Dr Sharpe, his team and Victor and for the Osprey family in Finland for the Mum to recover and the surviving two chicks to get healthy.

Thank you for joining me this morning in my attempt to move your attention elsewhere. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or blogs or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Hob Osterlund, USFWS, The Peregrine Chick, and the Finnish Osprey Foundation.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for all the updates today. Prayers for Dr Sharpe and his helpers to make it safely to rescue Victor. I pray he didn’t get hurt worse while stuck in the bushes. He was really doing better until the leg/foot caused him to fall off the nest the way I understood it.
    I pray all will go well for him and he will be able to fly from wherever he gets put.
    ❤️🙏🦅
    So sad to hear of the ospreys In Finland loosing the third hatch and one is lathergic with a mother maybe hurt. I will
    Have to read about it and see if it is one that I watch sometime. Prayers 🙏🙏🙏
    Thank you for all the pics of the ducks and all the rest too.
    Will be looking forward to hearing the latest on Victor’s rescue.
    Have a good afternoon Mary Ann:)
    Linda

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s