Early Wednesday in Bird World

27 July 2022

I am starting to write tomorrow’s blog on the evening of the 26th because there is good news at Osoyoos. It is a lovely evening on the Canadian Prairies. It is nearly 2100 and the garden animals have departed to their sleeping quarters. I would love to know where they go. It is cooler here, we have had lots of rain and the hot weather seems to have passed – for now. The clouds, however, are coming and looking strange and you can hear thunder in the distance.

It was certainly a relief to go onto the Osoyoos Osprey cam and see the time stamps that ‘A-M’ had listed for the fish deliveries by Olsen. Fish at 0510, 0524, o554, 0616, 0943, 1103 and 1633. Apparently all of the fish were a good size but the first one. This is fantastic. It just seems unthinkable that anything could cause these two beautiful osplets not to fledge.

It was also a good evening because Ferris Akel was on the Cornell campus in Ithaca looking for Big Red and her family.

Big Red looks as if she is beginning to moult. L2 has a much whiter than L4 but in these images it is truly hard to tell which juvenile is which. What is important is that all are safe and sound.

One of our readers, ‘J’ has written about the Sydney Sea Eagles SE30 and its attacks on SE29 when the two are alone on the nest. Yes, it is true that is happening and yes, 30 does, at some feedings, become submissive to the older sibling which is larger.

I remember when I began watching the Sea eagles. One of the moderators at the time told me that typically the second egg is the ‘insurance ‘ egg. It is only there if something should happen to the first hatch. Of course, I was horrified. At the time I had not had any experience with some of the other eagle species where the eldest hatch always kills the youngest. In some instances, the age difference impacts this even though there is lots of food on the nest. In other instances, it is simply ‘standard practice’ for the eldest to kill the youngest. This is known as obligate siblicide. I want to be clear. I am not saying this is what is happening at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest in 2022.

At the Sydney Sea Eagle nest there has been plenty of fish so far this year. The chicks hatched relatively close together and, observations over the past five years show that there has always been some initial competition on this nest;; once this resulted in siblicide. In fact, sibling rivalry with SE23 began on day 5 in 2019. The rivalry ended in week 6. In 2018, there was also sibling rivalry with SE21 becoming dominant often pecking 22 who would retreat in submission. That rivalry period lessened after 3 weeks. Sadly, there was a period of 6 days when the male did not bring any food to the nest. The female hunted but the prey was so much less and SE22 was constantly attacked, becoming weaker and finally dying on day 33. In 2019, 2020 and in 2021 both eggs hatched each year and both chicks fledged. So the last time there was siblicide on this nest was 2018 and that was the result of 6 days when the male did not bring food.

For those constantly watching the Sea Eagles nest, just take a deep breath. Hope for continued good prey deliveries and wait. There is a strict no intervention policy at the nest (or there has been in the past) and I have no reason to believe that this has changed. Wishing it to be so will only cause personal angst and frustration. If things get bad, this is what I suggest – take a three day break. Then go in and check on the nest and see how the younger one is doing.

Whenever individuals – and we all have – worried about dominance competition, I like to go back and look at one of the videos from the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest. In particular, one of E19 and E20 who, at the end, were the best of friends. The year prior, many will remember E17 having to go to ‘time out’ at the CROW clinic when it was so aggressive to E18. They were inseparable twins when they fledged.

Here is the announcement for the discussion with Christian Sasse and those wonderful folks from GROWLS. Please note the time in the posting below. This will take place on YouTube.

For those of you that love those UK Osprey nests, take note. I was reminded by my calendar and friends in Wales that the countdown to migration has started…by 4 weeks from today, the females should have or be departing, followed by the fledglings and finally the males. So enjoy them while you can!

Just a few images from the UK nests this morning.

Idris and Telyn by the Dyfi River
Idris, Telyn, and one of the fledglings hanging out by the river with the cows.
Idris at Dyfi
Aran with one of the boys from 2022 at Glaslyn
Aran on the perch, Mrs G and kids on nest
Mrs G and three in nest
Dylan at Llyn Clywedog
Dorcha with Willow and Sarafina at Loch Arkaig

Of course, migration begins in North America also. If you want to keep track of North American migration in the east, there is no better place to go to see the numbers than Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. What is Hawk Mountain? Founded in 1934 by Rosalie Edge, Hawk Mountain became a sanctuary for migrating birds – not a killing club. Edge initially purchased 1400 acres of land which has now been extended to 2600. The thermals over the mountains are perfect for the migrating birds to soar. You can visit the centre and even take part in the great migration count or you can watch the numbers increase from August to mid-December. Here is the link to the chart for the Hawk Mountain fall migration count.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

If you are wondering about the drama playing out at the Whirley Crane in SF Bay home to Rosie and Richmond, here is the latest news. Please not that Brooks has come to the nest at least once but was chased away by the visitor.

The day has started early in Osoyoos with Soo feeding a small fish to the two chicks and herself. Hoping for lots and lots of early fish today as those temperatures are set to soar in the afternoon.

Those two are growing and they are so cute….wish for fish everyone!

There is sad news coming out of Estonia. The camera at the nest of Eedie had gone down. One of Jan and Janika’s chicks had been fostered there. Urmas has just announced that all four of the Black Storklets have been predated. This is a terrible loss. Of the three nests, Eedie, Jan and Janika, and Karl II and Kaia – only 4 storklets survive. The four in the images below will now have to fledge and then survive flying through the Ukrainian War zone and other dangerous places to reach Africa during the fall migration.

At the Karula National Forest nest of Karl II and Kaia, there is good news. Karl II did find the second fish basket that Urmas set up for him. This is wonderful as the feedings had been getting quite lean. Here is Karl arriving with a feeding for the four. Now, Bonus, the foster chick on this nest is the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika.

One of the chicks at the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland is really getting some height to their hovering. Expect a fledge soon! It is so exciting. So much has happened on this nest – illness and presumed death of the Mum and starvation death of a sibling, an intruder – that we shall really celebrate when these two surviving youngsters fledge.

One last check this morning and that is at the Boathouse. The dancing diamonds from the sunrise make it nearly impossible to see what is happening on the nest but…it looks as if one of the chicks of Dory and Skiff is trying self-feeding! Oh, fantastic.

Thank you so very much for joining me this morning. Keep sending your best wishes to Osoyoos for fish deliveries today as those temperatures climb to 41 C or 102.5 F. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and/or FB posts where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, Ferris Akel Tours, Audubon Explore.org, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, CarnyXWild, Eagle Club of Estonia, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Lady Hawk, SF Osprey Cam with Richmond and Rosie, and Bald Eagles 101.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for these updates. Sorry to hear of the loss at some of the stork nests. Thanks to Mr Urmas for the fish baskets 🙏
    Good wishes for all the nests and fledges.
    I haven’t watched much of the sea eagles nest so far and if there is rivalry I won’t. I was so glad for the past years with 2 beautiful fledges and rescue. If things go the other way like in the past it is very upsetting so I’m scared to get attached.
    Right now they are 2 little cutie pie darlings 💕💕
    Looking forward to the discussion about the eagles with Dr Christian Sasse. I wonder if Mr Hancock will be there too.
    Thanks for the utube info for us to watch.
    Have a good day and take care.
    Linda

    1. You are so very welcome, Linda. It was nice to see you on the discussion and to see how they solved the issue in Belgium. It looked like a quick fix to me! Yes, SE29 is being a stinker. It was interesting that it was the other way around at the beginning!

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