Late Saturday News in Bird World

16 July 2022

The ‘sunroom’ – the reason for Little Red’s eviction from the ancient shed – is not finished but, I am enjoying sitting here until I am tossed out so the workers can finish the floor and the dry wall on the one wall. It is almost like having eagle vision – I have a clear view of the garden and the critters. For Dyson, this means that I now know for certain that he sees himself as the ‘dominant osprey in the nest’. Poor Hedwig the Elder had no peace trying to have its breakfast and I have discovered that Junior also gets chased by Dyson. I have seen this behaviour before but was not aware of the extent of Dyson’s reign of terror. Of course, he is far too cute and the shenanigans he gets up to so he can enjoy just one more peanut or another cup of bird seed are precious.

Dyson first made a mess eating the peanuts and leaving the shells,. Then he decided to stash them instead of sharing with Junior. There he goes running. (Sorry for the not so clearly focused image…his coat is beautiful and that fluffy tail has all grown back — which clearly leads me to believe now that Dyson is a ‘she’ not a ‘he’. )

The birds gifted me sunflowers in the Vermillionaire boxes for the hummingbirds.

I was not quick enough to even get a bad picture of Junior but, it was Junior. Last week when we had everything going on with Victor, I came home and found a dead Blue Jay in the front garden. There had been a big fight between a Blue Jay and Mr Crow with Mr Crow winning – and well, I thought it was Junior. For days I worried about the three juveniles but, alas, it was not Junior. I was able to confirm by a distinctive mark that only Junior has that I saw this morning. Relief.

The other thing the garden critters battle, sadly, are cats. We have a bylaw that states people are not to let their cats out of their house. Is it enforced, no. But it called enough attention to the problem of rising feral cat numbers that most people abide by the law. But some don’t.

The bylaw has helped. The sheer number of feral cats has had significant declines. It is just getting humans to obey the laws – it is not the cat’s fault. I do not know who owns this particular cat but a gentle tap and it is gone. It is impossible to keep them out and well, the cat doesn’t know it isn’t supposed to be outside. There are advantages to cats staying inside – they won’t get hit by a car, they won’t get bitten by bees and have to go to the vet, they will not get injured in fights with other cats, they will not get their fur matted with plant material, they will not get caught in traps…


It really is a simple fix and could save tens of thousands or more birds each year if we would only trim our trees and shrubs before or after breeding season…not during. And keep the cats inside! The Guardian just featured an article on this very topic today. That said, I was planning to write about this regardless. Now that I have an eagle’s 270 degree view around my garden and neighbourhood, I just noticed yesterday that the man across the lane cut down the top third of his tree. In that part of his tree were two nests: the Blue Jays and a Red-squirrel. We were alerted to the issues when a squirrel sat on the power line screaming its head off for the entire day on Thursday. Did it have babies in a nest?

If you or someone you know is cutting down or trimming a tree, if your City is cutting them down, take the time to tell them if there is an unseen nest. Two years ago we had to lobby our power company over a Cooper’s Hawk nest – they backed down and we got a commitment to fall only trimming. Everyone can do their part!

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jul/15/think-of-nesting-birds-before-pruning-your-hedge

Akecheta and Thunder continue to have trouble with juveniles coming to the West End nest in the Channel Islands. Akecheta had to escort another one out of the territory today.

There has been a fledge at the Loch of the Lowes. It happened at 10:06 this morning. So both of the osplets of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 have fledged. Congratulations Laddie, Blue NC0 and everyone at LOTL. Well done.

There are some concerns about Louis’s mate, Dorcha, at the Loch Arkaig nest. She has blood on her lower abdomen. It looks rather nasty. I had originally thought it might have come from a fish but not so sure. Did she get injured trying to move one of her big sticks?

Fish continue to come on to the Osoyoos nest. The last one was a little larger but it took only 3 or 4 minutes to finish it. One osplet got it all but the tail which Mum ate. Please send wishes for more fish on this nest…we need so much more. It is a bad situation with the heat. Mum needs much more food to survive and we have chicks getting juvenile feathers now…I am really worried about this nest. The parents have to eat as well as the two chicks…hoping the heat wave will end!

Oh, I would love to send a big fish like the one that Dad just brought to the Mispillion Harbour nest over to Osoyoos! It is a nice lunch for everyone in Delaware today.

The three osplets are getting their juvenile feathers, too, at the Boathouse Osprey nest on Hog Island, Maine. They have been pancaked many times this morning..more problems with intruders it would appear.

Every once in awhile I want to remind you of special blogs or websites. One of those is Bruce Yolton – a bird lover and photographer – who covers the urban hawks in New York City. Today, he has some wonderful images of the Peregrine Falcons and Red-tail Hawks. Have a peek! urbanhawks.com

Image copyright. Bruce Yolton.

There were ospreys on the Henlopen State Park nest in Delaware today. Not sure who they are. Is this the same intruder that injured the Mum causing the three osplets to die?

Dear Victor. I love how Ojai Raptor Centre is helping Victor through the physical therapy. Everyone cross their fingers and toes and hope that they find out what is the cause of Victor’s problem. Poor Baby. You got this Victor!

It isn’t just Bald Eagles that raise other species, this showed up in my inbox today…an owl and a duckling.. So grateful that the duckling is precocial and can pretty much take care of itself if it finds water and plants to eat! Thanks Mama Owl.

https://www.sonyaz.net/foto-galeri/owl-mistakes-duck-egg-for-her-own-and-raises-it/521/?fbclid=IwAR2cJDFz7Tlp5UwB099kFhajw_DYxckz-hClWyLQTQyw2u1Ty3MQcDj510A

Keep Southern Royal Albatross male, OGK, father to Miss Pippa Atawhai and Quarry Track chick, in your thoughts. He was last positively seen on the 19th of May. It is unusual for a parent, especially one so devoted as OGK,, to be away for this long period of time. As is the practice of the NZ DOC, he will not be declared deceased until he does not return for the next breeding cycle in October 2023. Let us all hope he finds his way back to QT chick!

I have not seen any updates on Victor or Little Bit 17 this weekend. Perhaps on Monday. We know that Little Bit is working on his flying and Victor is getting therapy. Lots of fledging in the UK – too much to keep track of at times and intruders, many juveniles hatched from the nest in previous years such as KS7 and KS8 visiting Llyn Clywedog. KS7 fledged in 2018 and KS8 in 2021. Looking good! Continue to send your warm thoughts to all our birds.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone…see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB posts, blogs, etc, that form my screen captures: Explore.org and IWS, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR, Audubon Explore, Bruce Yolton, Ojai Raptor Centre, Cornell and the NZ DOC, and the Dodo.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these updates. I’m sad to see that wound on Dorche’s
    Abdomen. I hope it’s not serious but looks that way 🙏❤️🙏 prayers continuing for Victor and ND17.
    Thanks for all the pics and links and info on all the nests and hope to see you again here soon!
    Have a good Saturday evening
    Linda

    1. The blood is dry today and she seems to be OK. I worry about infection and since the loch is freshwater it won’t help heal. Nature will just have to do it. I do hope we get some good news about Victor and Little Bit. There has been too many that have died. It is getting difficult to deal with.

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