16 August 2022
Good Morning Everyone!
Everyone has survived the torrential rain from last night but all the plants were pelted down by the heavy rain and I wonder if that is the same for the crops in the farmer’s fields?
I am reasonably sure that everyone reading my blog this year is aware of the ‘rain’. We had a 4-5 year drought and then the skies opened in the spring and never closed for any extended period of time. The dehumidifier cannot keep up and tonight the skies opened again! It is raining so hard you cannot see and the sky is charcoal-gray.
This is an image shot on the highway and sent to me about 30 minutes before the system hit Winnipeg last evening.
There it is on radar.
What does this have to do with raptors? or wildlife? Well, in Manitoba it has a lot to do with them. It means that the rangers at Hecla Island/Grindstone Provincial Park will not be able to check the shore line where the eagles used to make their nests. It means that the lake will rise even higher. It will be good for some of the shorebirds! For others they might have difficulty finding food.
Thankfully the new baby Hedwig came to eat under the bird feeders at his usual time and beat the storm. I try to not let him see or hear me which means the images are always compromised. He is really growing. Sometime between the 20th and 30th the new fence will be going up. Then the bird and pollinator friendly area will be planted. The fence builder already knows that the fence has to be raised so that the rabbits can come in. Sadly it also lets the feline domestics in the garden, too. (Just like the reintroduction of Goshawks in the UK means that there will always be predators for the Ospreys now). The floor of the sunroom will be tiled on Wednesday, cure until Friday night and finally on Saturday if all is well, I can move back in. I need to figure out how to remove one of the screens as it really stops me from being able to take photos of the garden friends without disturbing them. It also means that the juvenile Crows will see me and stand on the roof screaming and pecking when their cheesy dogs need replenishing. It is interesting – no one can ‘see’ into the sunroom but if the birds get close enough they can – and, of course, their hearing is top notch. Still, I try to be invisible.
I am very fortunate and honoured to be able to take care of them, this little enclave of nature in the middle of a big and growing city. While I cannot turn back the heating of our planet, I can make the lives of the animals that bring me such joy easier. It is the least I can do. They used to burrow and fly in this area – free. As my City grows out instead of building up in the interior, their habitat gets more and more compromised by large housing developments with no trees and the houses so close together. It is easy for humans to become estranged from nature and that is the opposite of what we want.
My goal this summer was to not only take care of the animals and birds but to coddle the old roses that were on this property in 1902. They are climbers and had been neglected when I arrived and well…I am guilty of also neglecting them. This year the area was cleared and supports were put in place. With all of the rain they have flourished. This is just one tiny cluster. They have been blooming since June and there are new buds every day as long as I pick off the old ones — which I need to do on this bunch. I wish I could put the scent on this page for each of you. If it could be bottled you could pull it out and smell the roses of summer at any time. They bring such joy.
I am shocked every time I go to the park because there are new ducklings. It is August – the middle of August! There should not be ducklings!
My camera is ‘smarter’ than I am and reacts badly if I happen to not check all the bells and whistles. I did not set it for ‘Movement’. This little duckling was moving. It was so tiny and still fuzzy. I have really cropped and blown up the image. What will happen to this little one? Will it grow fast enough to migrate in October? Why are so many ducklings hatching during the last week? They are all, by the way, Wood Ducks save for a couple of Mallards. The numbers have shifted this year. The Wood Ducks arrived late and are bountiful. At one time in early June I could not find a single Wood Duck!
These images are not great. Thankfully I am not trying out for wildlife photographer of the year — they would send me out of the room quickly!!!!!!!
If you haven’t guessed by now, I love Wood Ducks!!!!!!! I think they are my favourite duck ever.
There were a few older Mallards. I could see no Mallard ducklings at this particular pond.
I was, however, shocked/annoyed/angry that there was a party at a duck pond with balloons. On the drive out of the park there were more balloons attacked to trees! Signs can be used instead of balloons. They need to be banned from the park and the public needs to be educated as to what the reasons are.
This one had broken lose and had blown over to the edge of the island in the pond where the ducks and geese rest and lay their eggs. Will it pop and will one of them consume it?
I seem to be venting but clearly notices against balloons must go up at the parks just like the feeding signs.
There they were – piles and piles of them. Celebrations should be fun and safe ——–for everyone and everything – including our dear ducks.
Our City banned the use of glue strips as of 1 July 2022. So why are our big box DIY stores still selling them???????!!!!!!!!!!!! (Screaming at the computer!)
This will be a long term stay at the centre – feathers must moult and regrow. The wee one will need to learn everything in order to live in the wild. Wildlife rehab clinics, their vets, their student vets, their volunteers are the angels behind in the scenes in helping give our raptors a second chance at life from the harm that we do to them. Remember that you can help, too. That help comes in as many different forms as each of us is different – clean old towels and sheets, a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid, bleach, items for enrichment, volunteering time, holding a garage sale and giving some or all of the proceeds to the rehabber of your choice – the list is endless.
BirdCast has an active map showing migration in the US. Here is how to access it:
Kaia, the mate of Karl II, who is now migrating towards Africa turned back from the Ukraine yesterday and flew back into Belarus. Kaia has remained in Belarus today in a forested area. Some reported that she is in the Ukraine – this is not correct.
Many articles on how the war in the Ukraine is impacting wildlife, both residents and migrants, will be part of Wednesday morning’s blog on migration challenges.
At the White Stork nests of Bukacek and Betty in The Czech Republic, the adults are enjoying some quiet time together – bonding and working on the two nests. The fledglings seem now to have left the area to join other groups of other fledglings as they begin their mass migration together.
Stephen Basly who posts photos and videos of the Notre Dame fledgling eagles watched Little Bit 17 successfully defend his perch against 16. Isn’t that wonderful news?! The kid has confidence and we know he is tenacious and resourceful. Sounds like a great beginning to independent living for this survivor. If the images come out, SB will be posting them on the Notre Dame Eagles FB page.
In Senegal News, Jean Marie duPart reports that there are 31 young Ospreys in good form and finding large fish counted in Langue de Barbarie Park. Jean-Marie and his team keep us updated on Osprey counts from the beginning of migration period (yesterday) to their departure in the spring.
Young raptors can get trapped in trees. They still cannot land very well and often the twigs and the thicker of the thin branches stick through their wings and they are trapped….waiting to die. If you should see a raptor in precisely the same place, they probably need help. Check with your local wildlife rehab rescue. This Red-tail hawk is very happy that someone stopped to care for it!
The osplet on the nest at the National Arboretum platform in Minnesota has been scared off the nest at least three times this season by human activity. It is time that the institution put a fence around the area during breeding season like Montana Osprey Project does for Iris in Missoula. Sadly the chick is missing this time.
Are you missing Thunder and Akecheta? I sure am! Thunder was calling to Akecheta from the nest last evening as he flew around. He listened and joined her. So nice to see the two of you.
Missy and Pa Berry were working on their nest yesterday also…and remember, Samson is waiting for Gabby to return. We have not even seen the fledglings off and the adults are starting to think about ‘spring’! With the changes in temperature, it will be interesting to see how many nests maintain their traditional egg laying schedule or who, like the Ospreys at Captiva, begin a month early.
CJ7 and Blue 022 are making sure that their sole surviving fledgling, 5H1, is truly ready for migration. Look at the good condition this bird is in! 5H1 is a very important Osprey in the history of the reintroduction programme in the UK. He is the first osprey to hatch in more than 200 years and he has survived! (Let us hope that the goshawk that caught 5H2 off guard does not come around).
5H1 is really telling Blue 022 that it is time for the afternoon tea to be delivered!!!!!!!
The youngest of the three osplets at the Boathouse platform in Maine is Sloop. ‘H’ tracked this bird all day yesterday and the days prior. Sloop is yet to fledge. The other two are 58 and 59 days old. Thanks ‘H’. So it is fledge watch for this third hatch of Dory and Skiff.
There is still one osplet to fledge at the Osoyoos Osprey platform in British Columbia.
Fledgling BC still comes to the nest for fish. So happy for Soo and Olsen. Despite losing one chick who fell off the nest, they managed to raise two in remarkably difficult conditions.
Everything looks OK with Dad for yesterday at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. He is really wanting to do some incubating so there are lots of changing shifts. He even came in the late evening, 2202, but Mum sent him packing.
Everyone is sound asleep in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE29 and 30 are too big to tuck under Lady so they have made a little cuddle puddle.
That is it for early Tuesday in Bird World. Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Osoyoos Ospreys, Audubon Explore, Poole Harbour, Berry College, Explore and the IWS, Arboretum Ospreys, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Capi Mlade Buky, Looduskalender, Bird Cast, and Bald Eagles 101.