Her name is QT…and more news in Bird World early Monday morning

5 September 2022

Sunday afternoon really was a beautiful day. The temperature on the Canadian Prairies was in the low 20s with a light breeze and a bright blue sky. It was the perfect day to wind down summer. For many, Monday is a holiday and then everyone is back at school. The Ospreys are flying south from the Cape in the US and the geese are landing in the newly cut farm fields in Manitoba.

These geese just landed on one of the ponds at Oak Hammock Marsh.

Today I walked the perimeter helping to pull invasive weeds that are threatening the marsh and was more than miffed when my watch told me that I had walked precisely .7km. Looking at the map now, it was 18.7 km. The muscles in my legs know even if the watch doesn’t!

Hiding in some of the reeds in the middle of the afternoon were some Northern Pintail ducks. Aren’t they lovely? Please do not mistake them for a Mallard – look at the beautiful colour of that bill, a soft blue grey. This is a little female with her mottled plumage of tan and light brown. They are also dabbling ducks with their little bottoms stuck high in the air while they search for pondweeds.

It is so quiet and peaceful in the country.

The minute I parked my car at home, I could hear them – the Crows. But it was much more than Mr Crow and his family. There at the corner house where a lovely lady also feeds birds were more than 50 crows – in the trees, on the fence, on her roof, on the grass, on her garage roof. What in the world was up with them? Well, it was ‘THE cat’. Yesterday, this same cat tried to get little Hedwig and the three garden crows saw this. There they were – yelling and flapping at it in this lady’s garden. No doubt it was there to try and get a song bird. Don’t get me wrong. I love cats. From the time I could crawl until last July (2022), I always had cats. In my City cats are to be kept inside. It has substantially cut down on the feral cat population and it is safer for our pets. But one neighbour insists on letting their well fed cats out every evening at 5pm. Need I say more?

It was quite unbelievable. Then the cat ran out of the yard —–the Crows dispersed and everything was back to normal. Goodness.

In the Mailbox:

After posting about the Cape May Hawk Count, ‘H’ writes to ask me if I know about some other migration counting sites. I did not! So here from ‘H’ – thank you so much – is https://www.hawkcount.org/ You can find your local nests or others you are interested in. Counts are streaming across the bottom, too! What a glorious find. So, please check this useful tool. It is at the top of my list – and it is so easy to use.

Making News:

The staff of the DOC NZ at Taiaroa Head have decided that the newly fledged Royal Cam chick shall keep her code name as her name – QT.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018857429/dunedin-albatross-chick-takes-to-the-skies

Keeping with QT, Mum YRK returned to Taiaroa Head to feed her daughter on Monday (Australia time) and found the nest empty. She didn’t not stay very long and did not look about for the chick. She bowed her head a couple of times and flew off into the distance. YRK did a fantastic job taking care of her chick without OGK. My heart sank for her. Her and OGK often met at the nest of their chick and loved spending time together. So sad.

A clip from the Discovery Channel’s The Savage Edge – the Peregrine Falcon, a Living Missle.

Nest News:

Port Lincoln Osprey and all those in South Australia who have worked tirelessly for our beautiful fish hawks are celebrating. The first egg has been laid at the new platform on Turnby Island. Here is the announcement:

On Sunday, both Louis and Idris are still feeding chicks. Idris has been lucky and hasn’t gotten caught up with his daughter but Louis landed on Sarafina delivering her tea time fish and their wings got all tangled. It looked terrible but…all was well in the end. I think both of these dads will be looking for these girls to take off soon!

Xavier got to spend some quality time incubating the eggs today. Diamond seemed anxious to have a break when he arrived at 13:31. I love how Xavier always talks to the eggs when he rolls them and gets settled in!

Dad arrives at the Melbourne scrap in the CBD for a turn incubating the eggs in that bright sunshine.

Cody has the new canopy cam installed at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. It is a lovely clear view and there were eagles and chortles seen and heard this morning! I really like how Cody has the date and time at the top, white on black on the main screen.

Anna and Louis have now made three trips to the nest tree. I have a short video of one leaving and chortles from this morning.

Here is the link to the E1 camera for Anna and Louis:

Short video clip of one of the eagles at the E1 nest leaving this morning.

Here is the link to the E3 camera, the nest across the lake of the other eagle couple. It has a real crackling on the sound whereas the E1 cam is perfect.

Jak and Audacity were at the Sauces nest on the Channel Islands yesterday.

Lady and Dad are trying to encourage some self-feeding at the Sydney Olympic Forest nest. The eagles have dark brown feathers almost over their entire body. They will be hopping and flapping their wings more. We should see them figuring out how to hold the prey down with their talons while tearing bits off. You will see mantling – the spreading of the wings over the prey item to claim it. They will also stand on their feet for longer periods of time. It is hard to believe but we are about 4-5 weeks away from fledging. You will begin to bet anxious if one eaglet seems to get more food than the other. It normally works out!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Dad got some incubation time from 2339-23:54 and then Mum sent him to his cave. Dad acted like he would have incubated all night. What a sweetie!

You may recall that a raccoon climbed up the tree and took one of the two eaglets at Fort St Vrain in Colorado last breeding season. A raccoon guard has now been installed at the bottom of the tree.

It is now Monday and both Idris and Louis are still fishing for their ever ravenous daughters, Padarn and Sarafina. Top image is Padarn fish calling at Idris and the bottom is Sarafina with her fish from Louis. These girls should be leaving at any time but I wonder if anyone told them!??? LOL.

I cannot believe how dark Sarafina is – just like her Mum, Dorcha!

Migration News:

Tracking the latest news on the migration of Karl II’s family of Black Storks. Waba is in Ukraine.

Bonus remains in Belarus along the Prypjat Wetlands where he has stayed for several days now.

Kaia is in Ukraine near the River Desna which is close to Vovchok.

There is some concern for Kaia’s transmitter while she is in the war zone.

There has been no transmission from Karl II on Sunday.

But today on Monday the tracker indicates that Karl II flew over 600 km in a day and is now headed to Cherson in Ukraine which appears to be his second favourite stop enroute to Africa.

Karl II is such a strong flier and took such good care of his family. Now we need him to have some luck.

As our beautiful storks make their way to Africa, send them your best wishes for a safe trip and lots of food.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is another gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies. The sparrows and wrens are all over the millet seed in the garden and the Crow family has already had their “sandwiches”. Take care today wherever you are. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, videos, and articles which make up my screen captures: DOC NZ, Discovery Channel, Friends of Osprey, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam at Orange, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, KNF, Explore.org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birldlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Fort St Vrain Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Looduskalender.

8 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for all these updates. Love the photos of the ducks and crows going wild! Glad the cat got gone. We found feathers in our back yard yesterday and We are not sure if one of the cats or a Hawk came through. It was very sad to find them. It looked like a Jay or a mockingbird. They were grey color but then mixed in was some Polk dots and now I’m thinking it was one of our Hairy or Downey woodpeckers, it’s very sad whoever it was. 😢
    Thank you for the updated locations on the storks ! Love the maps! Wishing them good luck with their travels. ❤️ The little sea eaglets are getting so much bigger and looking very pretty with their new feathers. ❤️❤️ Looking forward to port Lincoln hatches and also all the falcons too! ❤️
    Sarafina is a beautiful osprey! Padarn is very beautiful too! I wish them a lot of luck when they leave and hope they know how to fish! Their Dads are so good to them❤️❤️ The raccoon guard is such a great idea ! Thanks for the video of Jack and Audacity! I pray for them a good season! I always enjoyed watching them. 🙏🙏❤️❤️🦅🦅
    So glad the new cam is at Kistachie. And look forward to following them too❤️❤️
    Have a great evening and looking forward to the next newsletter and updates.
    Linda

    1. You are so very welcome. It seems like not much is happening at the nests but there are returns and still some migrations. I am so sorry to hear about the death in your garden. Here it is generally always the cat…I caught it in the centre of the lilacs last night. I wish the Crows would chase it off…the hawk will often leave the head with the feathers if you didn’t see it, probably the cat. Or an owl?

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Mary Ann it happened in the daytime. It wasn’t there in the early morning but late morning/early afternoon we found it near our porch is why I also think the cat.
        No head, just feathers. No owls here that we know of.

  2. Alison says:

    Mary Ann, I am worried the new mum at Collins Street is inexperienced and this may affect the success of the breeding season. Today, at least 10 days into hard incubation, she left the eggs for nearly two and a half hours. Dad did not arrive to take over. It is a relatively warm but very wet and overcast day in Melbourne, so there was no warming sunshine to maintain egg temperature. How dangerous could such a long gap in incubation be to the developing chicks inside?

    1. Dear Alison, Yes, the first time Mums do not always know what to do! And often it takes some time for the partners to work together like Dad did with the former Mum – she might have been a tyrant but she ran a tight ship. We learned several things about eggs at the White-tailed Eagle nest of Milda. She was off her eggs in the winter cold for more than 6 hours and then again for several hours trying to find food. No one believed the eggs would hatch. They did with two thriving little eaglets who sadly, went on to die because Milda did not have a reliable mate. I have seen some say an hour and a half but the WTE taught us differently. If the surface of the eggs is damaged due to rain then there could be a problem with the pores and the oxygen. It sounds cruel but it might be good if only 1 or 2 of the eggs hatched – it is difficult enough for a seasoned Mum to take care of 4. We will wait and see what happens…we wish them well but sometimes first time Mums..well, it just doesn’t work out the first year but does the second.

      1. Alison says:

        Thank you so much for your reply. It has been concerning me so much. She has laid at the other end of the ledge from last year, meaning there is little or no shelter from sun and rain, which could cause problems later on (we are entering our third consecutive La Nina in eastern Australia, meaning it will be yet another wet summer). I agree that it may be preferable for not all eggs to hatch. I just hope dad is more helpful once the eggs hatch than he appears to be at this stage in terms of food provision.

      2. Hi Alison, You are welcome. That was the ‘old’ female who laid at the other end. This is a new one and it could very well be her first clutch – hence, the newness of it all. There also seemed to be another male around. I hope it settles down! —We had a very, very wet spring this year and it caused all manner of issues with the waterfowl and their eggs including Eagles that lay on nests on the ground at Hecla Island. But we had fewer fires and the water supplies were replenished. So there are some blessings.

    2. Thank you for your letter. Your question is much appreciated and is a great one for the blog!

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