Cute little Sea Eagles, an angel of a step-Mum, and more in Bird World

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Good Morning Everyone. It is not raining! The sky is a beautiful blue, there is a breeze, and it will be a high of 27 today. That is the same temperature as at my son’s house in the Caribbean! Mr Blue Jay has come to visit the new bird bath and after having some big drinks jumps down to get a peanut. Too quick for me. Oh, there he is planting them in the gutter! Silly bird. I love those images of trees where the Blue Jays have pushed their stash into the grooves of the bark. I am surprised that Dyson is not around! Images are shot through a screen with my phone so not great, apologies. The glass in the sunroom also causes some very strange reflections.

White-bellied Sea Eagles live along the coastal waters of Australia, New Guinea and parts of Asia extending all the way to India. If you have ever been in Singapore you can see them at the harbour. You will find them along inland rivers as well. They are sometimes called the White-bellied or White-breasted Fish Hawk because, in many places, their diet consists of mostly fish. Unlike the Osprey who lives exclusively on fish (unless there is nothing else), the White-bellied Sea Eagles do eat birds and mammals.

Lady and Dad live in a typical stick nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Like other White-bellied Sea Eagles, Lady laid a clutch of two eggs. It is extremely rare to see a clutch of three like we do in Bald Eagle populations.

WBSE29 hatched on the 19th of July with WBSE30 hatching on the 20th. Incubation by Lady was deliberately delayed so that the hatches would be close together. During the first week of their life, the hatchlings will be covered with soft fluffy down. Their beaks are black; the little white spot on the end is the egg tooth. By day 7 the chicks will be sitting nicely, no more bobbing of the heads, etc. You may see some sibling rivalry.

The newly hatched chicks, once they are dried off, look like little snow people with arms. Darling.

Tumbling around. In a few days they will be ever steady on those cute pink legs.

The Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland is still causing some confusion over what is precisely happening on the nest but, I believe the mystery is now solved. The Mum has been very ill and on the nest yesterday, very tired and looking ill. (Mum of chicks has red Darvic ring – the Dad has a yellow ring). I have not seen her since. Maybe you have?

A female intruder and other visitors have been around. This is the female intruder eating some fish on the nest with the chicks. She does not have a Darvic ring. She is the one that pecked at the chicks and took their fish the other day, I think. Darvic rings are very helpful….we need all the birds to have them.

There is a fish delivery at 12:29. The chicks were calling as the adult came into view with their lunch. This is the female intruder bringing a fish to the two osplets. There is no Darvic ring on her leg.

The largest of the chicks mantles and gets the fish.

The female looks around.

The largest chick will enjoy some good fish. There has been fish all over the nest lots of it so neither are starving. This is a good thing. They prefer, of course, the fresh fish! I would, too. Sometimes the new female takes the fish and then brings it back.

The female flies off the nest and leaves the chick to eat.

It would appear that the one chick that got the fish is finishing the tail at 13:06. The other one did not eat but there is plenty of fish coming to the nest so no worries.

One would have to understand that the female has died or is dying. Is the father accepting the female for maybe next year? It appears that the two osplets will not perish but will thrive. They have another female helping. This reminds me of Alden moving in to help Annie. It is brilliant!———-I am glad that the confusion is turning into something good for this nest. I wonder then how many times will potential mates step in to help a single osprey family member? and help raise their chicks? Is this behaviour more common than we think?

‘H’ was able to get a great capture of the Exshaw nest at Canmore, Alberta. The camera has, for days, had condensation, so that we could not see the three chicks properly. Well, look at them this morning! They are doing fabulous. Thanks, ‘H’.

In the UK, the Belgravies Osprey nest has collapsed. I have no images but the juvenile is on the ground. No word if it survived the nest failure. So sad. So many issues with nests this year. It is a good opportunity to consider checking every single platform and nest that can be checked and refurbished/re-supported after breeding season this year.

Lindsay has been taking some lessons from her younger brother Grinnell Jr! BTW. I feel so blessed to be able to see these two darling fledglings as much as we have. Oh, we will miss them when they depart the area.

Fish deliveries were early on the Osoyoos nest. It is cooler but will be going up to a high of 35 C. A scorcher. You can see that both of the chicks have a nice crop in the image below including the younger one. I hope Mum got some nice bites too. So want this nest to succeed this year after the tragic ending to the 2021 season. Mum is fantastic. She will make sure that the pair of them are shaded as best she can from the heat of the sun this afternoon.

All around the UK and Europe, temperatures are climbing into numbers never before seen. I did not check all the temperatures in Scotland but their weather looks nicer – sitting at 23 degrees C. It looks like a gorgeous evening at the Loch of the Lowes. Both chicks have fledged and if you squint you can see Ospreys on the dead tree to the left. This is one of the favourite places for Laddie. One fledgling on the nest hoping for a fish delivery.

Loch Arkaig has its own microclimate. The two osplets of Dorcha and Louis are not panting…it looks like a good evening for them, also.

Louis arrives with a nice fish for everyone. How lovely. These chicks are also starting to work their wings.

Wales is cool also — at 22 C. Everyone is on the nest in the Glaslyn Valley – Mrs G and the kids – awaiting Aran with the evening delivery. I believe there is one more osplet left to fledge on the Glaslyn nest (Blue 499?).

I apologize for forgetting to report on the Ospreys nest in Estonia. I forget – lost in what is happening on the Black Stork nests. The three osplets of Ivo and Liris were ringed by Urmas. That took place two weeks ago. It is wonderful that this nest has osplets that are now fledging – no Goshaw issues!

Urmas is one of my great heroes. As ‘the’ ornithologist for Estonia, he is always thinking of clever ways to help their wildlife survive. The rescue and fostering of the Black Storks and the creation of the fish baskets when fish supplies are low is commendable. He gets it. I wish that others around the world would take note of the fish supplies. He has even climbed up to the nests and placed fish on them (Grafs and Grafiene 2021). Here he is banding these fantastic osplets. Look at the one stand up and become fierce as Urmas approaches.

Ivo flies with a fish encouraging the osplets to continue their hovering but to think about flying! It seems that the chicks are flying…I will try and get the details.

It appears that for today the two nests of concern – Osoyoos and Janakkalan – are alright. Osoyoos had a larger fish early on and it is the fish deliveries that are important in the heat. We all know that is where the ospreys get their hydration. We hope for more during the day. I am delighted to have been so confused by the Finnish nest – and to see a female stepping in showing that she will not harm but help raise the chicks to become the potential female for nest year is nothing short of heartwarming. All of the other nests appear to be doing well except for Belgravies which has collapsed. No word yet of the fate of the occupant juvenile.

I want to close with a very cute video of Diamond and Xavier in the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. These two are real characters when it comes to prey delivery. They are delightful. Diamond does not always accept the prey. Xavier doesn’t always leave it. Sometimes it is a Starling and Diamond does not like Starlings. Too crazy. Too fun!

Thank you so much for joining me. It is nice to bring some good news. I will not be posting an evening report today. I am hoping to make the rounds of our own birds to see how they are doing. It has been a scorcher for them, too. Take care everyone. Stay cool. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their FB posts, their videos, or their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney, Finnish Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllyt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Wildlife Trust, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Fortis Exshaw, and Osoyoos Ospreys.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann!
    I wish them all good luck and putting all in my prayers. 🙏❤️
    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