Monday morning in Bird World

22 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! The sun is out and it promises to be another hot day, 28 C. No rain forecast until tomorrow — and they might well change that. I am delighted to report that Dyson was seen in the garden this morning. One of the juvenile Blue Jays was screeching so loud – at Dyson – who was helping herself to ‘his peanuts’. The three juvenile Crows were in the garden on Saturday and again this morning. The little female was cooling her feet off in the bird bath.

I have also been out checking on the ducklings. Some are really growing!

Last week, there were 11 with this female. I am now counting 9.

This little sweetheart watched me quietly walk towards and around her. She never moved. How delightful.

If you are a duck and it is hot and humid, what do you do? Try to find some shade and/or a breeze. Duck Siesta time.

Then I found these two ducklings. They do not have their tails and are still sporting their downy fluff. Oh, I am going to worry about them and, hopefully, I can find them today or tomorrow when I am out checking again.

Update. There was some concern about the situation with AX6, Axel, at the Loch Garten nest. Yesterday, I posted that AX6 had not been seen on the nest and was feared to be ousted by the intruder, KL5, injured, or worse since 15 August at 0635.  Good news arrived from ‘DV’ who wrote to tell me “AX6, Axel, was seen on the Loch Garten nest this morning (Sunday), according to watchers.” Oh, fantastic. I checked on the Loch Garten FB page and they confirmed the time as 0835. Axel remained on the nest for 5 minutes. There is YouTube video confirmation. Thank you so much DV! Now has he been feeding the sole surviving chick from the nest 1C2 off camera? That is the question. He looks good!

The nest was empty later.

From the mailbox. There are several nests that many of you might have been wondering about. First up, Titi and Boris at the Janakkalan Nest in Finland. I have heard nothing since the camera shut down quickly and abruptly. I do not know why a decision was made to go offline at that time.

The streaming cams operate for many reasons but research and education/entertainment seem to be the main categories. The owners of the streaming cams often do not take into account the impact that watching a family of raptors has on viewers. Each of us has our favourite nests. Some may be the same for all of us but there are always nest surprises. We have our favourite nestling and we cheer them on and yell at the screen, fret when the weather is bad often staying up with them. We worry when there is not enough food. We clap and jump when they fledge and then we worry about where they are and if they are alright Sometimes (and it was a lot this year), we cry when one or another or all die.

For me the streaming cams have always been a way for us to connect with nature. They became particularly important during the pandemic as shown by Loch Arkaig having over 400,000 viewers watch Louis and Aila raise JJ5, JJ6, and JJ7 in 2020. Many have written to tell me that they are in hospital dying and it is the birds that are keeping their spirits up. One of my readers who became a good friend had cancer. Anyone on the Sydney Sea Eagle chat will remember Phyllis. The sea eagles and the chatters kept Phyllis going much, much longer than the doctors could ever imagine. The birds enrich our lives. I have had people say why not go outdoors and watch the birds, why on screen. I always tell them that it is like going to a sporting event or a Formula 1 race – you actually get a better view on the telly. Of course we go outside and see the birds if we are able! But where could you see up close an Osprey, an Eagle, a Peregrine Falcon raising their chicks? I surely couldn’t! They have brought us joy and touched our hearts so when that camera is suddenly turned off without an explanation or warning, we wonder why. It is shocking.

And so it was with Titi and Boris. They had lost their mother and their sibling. Dad continued to bring food and the goshawk was around. We worried about Titi who waited so long to fledge and then boom…nothing. We never got the opportunity to see if Titi would return to the nest. Some of you have written to ask the Finnish Osprey Foundation why did they turned the camera off so early. You have not received an answer. I have written to one of my Finnish contacts and readers to see if they know anything. I will certainly post any news here for everyone if I should hear.

My inbox has been full of letters about Malalam the little Red-tail Hawk adopted by the Bald Eagle family on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. When her nest mate turned sibling, Junior, was electrocuted on a pole owned by BC Hydro, GROWLS posted all manner of information so that a campaign could be directed towards BC Hydro. Many groups joined in. I carried their request to you. Malala is not ringed. The Red-tail Hawks and hawks in general are beginning their migration. Will we ever know what happened to Malala? is anyone watching the nest to see if she returns? She could be heard on the cam on the 30th of July. That same day, GROWLS FB said that the season was closed and the camera was immediately turned off. No information has been posted since. It felt abrupt especially after so many wrote to BC Hydro on their behalf after the call to do so on July 22, ‘Justice for Junior’.

I am fortunate to have a friend and former student in the area. They have confirmed for me that there are a number of red-tail hawks and without any method for identification no one will know unless they happen to see Malala at the nest or eating fish. If I do hear anything – or if you do – please let us know.

Many of you fell in love with this family and the story. That is the missing link in the streaming cams that I am trying to emphasize. If we are to try to make any positive impact in the lives of wildlife, then it would be good if the administrators of the streaming cams would agree to post any updates and warn individuals when and why cameras are being turned off. Annual maintenance is one of the biggest reasons and well established cameras with high traffic always warn their viewers. I am thinking of SWFlorida Bald eagles. In this instance so many of you wrote to BC Hydro and it would be reassuring if we heard that the pole that killed Junior had been made safe for any future fledglings. I would love to see a FB post about that and if GROWLS had their new camera. I think you would, too.


Just when we should be expecting the nests to be so empty, there continue to be surprises. Lancer visited the old Two Harbours nest and the cam operators were simply fantastic, getting great captures.

The Channel Islands just look like a perfect place for Bald Eagles to live. What a magnificent view of the water.

A video was put together of Lancer’s visit to the original Two Harbours nest. No one is sure why Chase & Cholyn decided to move their nest. Here you go:

Thunder visited the West End nest with a fish today, too. She must be lonely without any one of the three fledglings not rushing her to grab that fish out of those talons!

I decided that perhaps there might be some luck checking on the other nests. There was no one to be seen at the Fraser Point nest of Andor and Mama Cruz. I have had quite a number of letters asking about Trey and what happened to her after Mama Cruz winged her. I have heard nothing and there seems to be no mention on any of the normal sites associated with the Institute for Wildlife Studies. This time it would seem that no news is good news – she has gone on her way. If I should see or hear anything otherwise, I will definitely let you know. I will also add that this is not the first time that Trey -who hatched and fledged from the Fraser Point nest – has returned home. She fledged on 6 June 2019. Her first return to the nest tree was 15 July 2021. She returned again on 25 July 2021 and then again this year on the 16 August 2022.

There was no one about the other nests in California that I could see. I then went over to Florida to the nest of Samson and Gabby at Jacksonville and got a pleasant surprise – it was a Red-shouldered Hawk having a rest.

Migration has begun, of course, and there will be many raptors (and other birds) stopping to rest along the way. What a beautiful, beautiful hawk this one is! And what a delight to get to admire the gorgeous plumage for a bit.

Karl II is still feeding the four Black Stork fledglings at the nest in the Karula National Forest. Bonus was there so all four are still around and have not left.

Meanwhile Kaia remains in Belarus near the fields and marshes near Lake Veluta.

If you are a fan of the Kielder Forest Ospreys, here is a full up-to-date report on each nest! It was joyful reading that Mum had managed to fledge her two chicks after losing her mate, YA. They flew on 9 and 13th of August. She remained another 11 days fattening up for her big trip.

Dorcha has not been seen at the Loch Arkaig nest for several days. I am presuming that she has begun her migration, too. Louis is keeping Willow and Sarafina satisfied with fish — as he always does. What a fantastic mate he is. Louis delivered a fish to both this morning.

At the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria, Blue 35 and fledgling Blue 480 have not been seen for a number of days and, like Dorcha, are believed to be in the midst of their migration. White YW is supplying fledglings Blue 481 and 497 with fish at the nest.

Dylan is delivering nice trout to the Llyn Clywedog nest…and the fledglings are not always holding on tight enough and oops…off it goes. As long as the fledglings are around, Dylan, like all the males, will continue to bring fish to them. Then they will feed and go on their way to their winter home. Seren Blue 5F was still seen fishing on the 21 August.

Mrs G is still at the Glaslyn Valley nest she shares with her mate, Aran.

It is a little soggy at the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn. The information below the camera states that Telyn was last seen on the 20th. As it happens, however, Telyn was seen on camera at 16:08 today and there were great views of the second hatch, Padarn.

Here is a lovely video of Telyn bringing a Mullet to the nest with Padarn and Paith doing some loud fish calling!

It is raining with some wind at the Mlade Buky White Stork nest in The Czech Republic. I have seen only one stork on the second nest that Bukacek built. Awaiting confirmation that Betyhka has started migration along with the four fledglings.

In the UK Raptor Persecution news, the Moy Estate in the Scottish Highlands has lost its license (in an appeal) for the poisoning of a Red Kite on its estate.

There will be more and more prosecutions of estates where grouse hunting takes place and when the wildlife estate managers kill the raptors that the UK is working so hard to reintroduce. Indeed, there is a growing movement to end the practice of grouse hunting.

Dad brought Lady and SE 29 and 30 a nice big chunk of fish yesterday. All ate and then, surprisingly, Lady decided to brood the chicks. This nest appears to be doing very, very well this season.

Waiting for eggs at the scrape of Xavier and Diamond. The rejected Starling in the corner appears to be ‘past its sell-by-date’. If the amount of mating that these two have been doing is any indication of the number of eggs, this scrape should be full from top to bottom and side to side. I am hopeful that we might have the first egg in a few days!

367 Collins Street in the CBD (Central Business District) of Melbourne has not gone live so no eggs there yet either.

It is pouring down rain in Port Lincoln this morning. Mum is really tucked in so those precious eggs do not get wet.

It’s a wrap! Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that the start to the week is a wonderful one for each of you. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, and videos that form my screen captures: Loch Garten RSPB, GROWLS, Explore.org and IWS, NEFlorida-AEF, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, Kielder Ospreys, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, CarnyxWild, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Ospreys, Mlade Buky, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, UK Raptor Persecution, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Featured Image: Thunder at the West End Bald Eagle nest, 21 August 2022.

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