Victor update and a little news from Bird World

11 August 2022

It was really quite a treat to get an update on Victor. It appears that he is improving but, not out of the woods yet.

My day to Hecla Island did not turn out quite like expected. I had left hoping that the water levels near Black Wolf trail were dry and that the parks staff had cleared the trails. This has not happened.

For those of you watching streaming cams, you are used to seeing the nests in trees. According to provincial parks staff at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Parks, some do have nests in trees. Most, however, have their nests along the shore on the Black Wolf trail. Those nests were ruined by the extreme rain and flooding in our province. Because it is still too wet, the parks staff cannot even start to think about clearing. I might have said – one told me he is very worried about what he will find. A single Bald Eagle has been seen by some.

Not to be disappointed, the challenge came to see what birds I could find. Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows were constants.

On the road from the Black Wolf trail there was a turkey vulture in a tree. It flew off the minute the camera was ready! Of course.

There were two American White Pelicans.

Some Canada Geese.

There were a lot of Double-breasted Cormorants including some immatures. What a delight to see some youngsters.

There were four Trumpeter Swans – in two separate locations. I caught the white out of the corner of my eye. First thought was pelicans but when I went down a rather lonely and quite muddy road, it turned out they were swans. I could see no cygnets anywhere. Perhaps they were hiding.

There were ducks taking advantage of the still flooded fields and ditches just like the swans.

Things change. So tomorrow I will head back and give those eagles one more try but the real event came after I had returned to my hotel. My legs needed stretching and the ice cream stand across a small street had been beckoning to me ever since I arrived. It was a lovely late afternoon and I took that cone down to the marina to see the gulls. Then I stopped. About 6 metres in the air above the marina right in front of me was ‘the’ Osprey. He was hovering. I know that it was not several minutes but it felt like it. Tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It doesn’t matter how many Ospreys you see, they are always special. This is the closest I have been to one in the wild. What a moment. He did not see any fish and moved on but, nothing can surpass that time standing there watching an Osprey look for its fish dinner – not even a Bald Eagle.

I had hoped to write an extensive blog on migration for tomorrow. This will not happen until Monday now so you have time to send me what you think are big challenges to the birds as they make their fall travels. Every bird that I saw today will begin leaving Manitoba in about a week -some earlier and some later waiting until October.

Thank you so much for joining this evening. It is lovely to hear about Victor. Take care. See you soon!


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh Mary Ann I’m so sorry you didn’t get to find the eagles. But you did see a lot of other birds and most important a big surprise seeing the Osprey! Thanks for the pictures of all of them!
    It is such good news about Victor’s recovery making progress!❤️🙏🦅
    Praying for the next check he will
    Be zinc free!
    Have a great evening and you be safe on your trip back.

    1. I had a great time. I was sad because it appears that the 2022 season for the breeding birds in the central and some southern areas of our province was lost along with the wider bird flu epidemic. This will really cut down on the numbers…Zinc. Every time I look I see something galvanized!!!!!! Drives me nuts! I hope you are still enjoying cake!

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        I didn’t get my birthday cake till tomorrow or Sunday from the family but we got treated a small piece at the restaurant yesterday and today. ❤️ Thanks Mary Ann!

      2. You enjoy your cake! when you get it. Eat some bites for me, too. Have fun with your family on Sunday.

      3. Linda Kontol says:

        Mary Ann my hubby needs a new bracket for our attic stairs and we can’t find it here so we looked online and it says zinc and one said heavy zinc! It made me think of Victor. I haven’t seen that listed before on anything as if it’s a warning. Scary

      4. Hi Linda. Zinc seems to be everywhere. I presume you wouldn’t be touching that zinc bracket but – if such a tiny amount could kill a juvenile eagle – standing 3 feet tall what would it do if a human rubbed their hand on it all the time? (You wouldn’t with the bracket but I sure want to find out about this stuff. Thanks for letting me know that. It has to be a health warning.

  2. B says:

    I had to look at my calendar, but it was a month ago today, on July 11, that Dr. Sharpe of IWS and Allie of TNC rescued Victor from the ground on Santa Cruz Island, and he was brought to Ojai Raptor Center. It’s nice to see Victor making good progress — zinc down 43%, and he is standing and self-feeding. Keep at it Victor! It has only been possible thanks to the rescue and the wonderful care he is receiving.

    1. Victor is doing so very well…you are absolutely correct. The rescue and care saved his life. It is wonderful to see. I keep seeing things that are galvanized being used in gardens and around birds…even all the light poles in my city are at least half galvanized!!!!!And they are suggesting that people buy galvanized metal containers for their vegetables. I will never be able to look at anything galvanized without thinking that our dear Victor almost died because of a tiny amount.

  3. Ann-Marie says:

    It’s a beautiful day in Osoyoos. Elder chick #2 or BC (big chick) as I call him fledged today August 13 at 08:21 and returned to nest at 09:18. I’m am over the moon for the chick and parents. The chat is still down but chatters on the Facebook page are delighted with our successful first fledge.
    I did shed a few happy tears of how well we done this season. It’s wonderful news from Osoyoos nest.

    1. Hi Ann-Marie. I did not see your note until now. I just posted the blog !!!!!!!! Yippeee. I did see BC fly but not know if this was a second or third flight so thank you. I will update that this evening or tomorrow morning. Oh, it is a miracle they survived. Thank you so much for writing to let me know. Always so appreciated.

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