13 September 2022
Good Morning Everyone! It is 11 degrees C (51.8 F) and will only rise to 17 C (62.6) – a great day for a long walk! As the temperatures begin to fall and the summer clothes make way for sweaters, it is a reminder to enjoy every moment outside that we can – here on the prairies of Canada. Winnipeg has been known to actually be colder than Mars in the winter so every precious minute outside is a gift.
Oh, it was a nice day yesterday. The best treat was I found the little duck. It is the tiniest wild duck I have ever seen in my life. There is still a lot of down and its wings seem ‘small’.
12 September. The head is larger and it appears that some more feathers on the back have grown in. The little one was so busy scooping up what looks like confetti made out of leaves. It is called Duck Weed and is not the best thing to have growing on the ponds but – the ducks love it!!!!!!! In fact, ducks will eat whatever food is in front of them including pondweed, sea weed, reeds and flowers as well as berries and seeds and we have seen them eat frogs, too.
The Canada Goose couple that had lost one another the other day and were honking up a storm had taken possession of the only island in the pond. It seems that the water level is rising due to the staff at the centre draining one area to move the water to another. The geese were sharing with some Mallards but they were not moving and giving up their lease!
Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?
In past years there seem not to have been as many juvenile American Coots. They are everywhere at the nature centre – hiding in the reeds, riding on pieces of branches, or just standing quietly around a corner this year and I have seen others at ponds around the city.
You can see how thick that duckweed is on the pond. Someone of it should be cleaned with a filter – and maybe that is what the staff are doing.
Over the years the Mallards have just gotten more beautiful to me. They are common and often over-looked because of it. So many sweet little females around the edge of the pond.
Most looked nice and full from their foraging. It was bottoms up everywhere!
Oh, look at those beautiful primary and secondary feathers. Let us all hope that our wee one will have as many by the end of October.
In the Mailbox:
No questions just outpourings of love for Izzi who was the subject of yesterday’s archival photo. Oh, what a character he was and each of us that watched Xavier and Diamond’s scrape and Izzi so intently has so many stories of his antics.
A Bald Eagle death in Canada attributed to Avian Flu. This is very sad. It was believed that the H5N1 was slowing down. Now it might be spread again by migratory birds.
The EU is being heavily criticized for not protecting marine life from overfishing. Why is this in a bird blog? Well, the birds that eat fish need them so the setting up a moratorium for fishing for human consumption might help.
One of my favourite books, Goshawk Summer, has won the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. James Aldred spent the early part of the pandemic in the New Forest. His assignment was to document the life of a Goshawk family. Written like a daily diary, Alden captures the solitude of the forest and the magical experiences of the chicks. “The wood holds its breath, the only sound the begging of the chicks and the gentle breeze through trees. The forest hasn’t been this peaceful for a thousand years.” Despite Aldred being a wildlife photographer there is not a single image of the Goshawks in the book but, they are not necessary. Through his words their presence is evoked as clearly as a newly cleaned window.
Two lucky Bald Eagles were helped in Maine when they were relieved from being entangled with one another. They were mid-air and crashed into the water. Both could have died with out the help of the kind couple.
I wasn’t quite sure where to put this wonderful news. Many of you will have already heard that Iris – thought, perhaps, to have migrated from her spring and summer home in Montana – was eating an enormous fish she had caught on the Owl Pole today in Missoula. The oldest Osprey in the world looks magnificent.
Here is a 4 minute video of this magical event.
12 September is a very special day. It is the day that Gabby normally returns to her nest near Jacksonville, Florida that she shares with her partner, Samson. Out of 4 years, 3 of the returns have been on the 12th of September. How incredible. Samson has been waiting and looking and bringing in some sticks. Gabby did not disappoint! She arrived today!!!!!!!!!!!!! The couple got busy working together getting ready for the wee eagles this year. Oh, it is so wonderful to see you home, Gabby.
Good night Samson and Gabby. All is well with the world. See you tomorrow.
Lady Hawk caught the reunion on video!
Padarn appears to still be with Idris at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales.
Blue 497 is still on the nest at Glaslyn and Aran delivered a really nice fish for tea time.
Did you know that both Padarn and Blue 497 hatched on the same day? It was 26 May. 497 is the oldest and Padarn is the middle chick. Both, as we can see, are still at home.
Idris brought a flat fish later and is looking around for Padarn. Is she gone?
Everything seems to be fine on the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.
The eaglets had an early breakfast. Looks like one of the Silver Gull chicks from the old barge down the Parramatta River.
Even with a great big nest SE29 and 30 prefer to snuggle together. Lady keeps watch.
A lovely family portrait.
At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been rooting around in the nest and rolling those three precious eggs. It is the 14th of September in South Australia. Is it really possible that in 4 more days we could have a hatch? At times it felt like it has taken forever and on other days it seems like we just had the last egg laid. Does it feel that way to you?
At the 367 Collins Street scrape, Mum got up to stretch her legs. Gosh these birds must get stiff sitting on those eggs for so long —- yes, I am projecting human needs on them! If they had a little buzzer to remind them to stand up and get the circulation moving it might help. Oh, she made me ache as I watched her raise off those eggs. She was hardly gone…someone played a trick on this female. They told her that she had to do all the incubating herself. Hopefully she will give Dad some more time.
Oh, just when you say the birds eat off camera, someone brings a nice juicy pigeon and there you go – eaten on the nest! It is like having a sick child and taking it to the doctor and your little one is immediately well on arrival!
Just imagine 428 million birds making their migration flights tonight.
Remember it is time for lights out. If you want to check your own area of migration, go to this link and put in your postal code or the name of your city – sadly lower mainland US only.
Karl II’s family migration – Waba is still around the area of Manachyn and has flown a short distance south where he has discovered a little lake.
Bonus is still in the wetlands along the Prypjat River south of Makarichi.
Kaia is still around the Desna River. So all three appear to be doing well. What a glorious relief. No news from Karl II.
From the Archive:
Do you know my name? I was the only eaglet on an enormous nest. My parents names are Liberty and Freedom. When I branched and started jumping and flapping my wings, your got very worried.
I hope that your day is as lovely as ours on the Canadian Prairies. Thank you so very much for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their blogs, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Wreckhouse Weekly News, The Guardian, Bangor Daily News, Montana Ospreys and Cornell Bird Lab, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, BirdCast, Looduskalender, and Glacier Gardens.
The eaglet was Kindness who hatched in Glacier Gardens, a large botanical garden within the Tongass National Park, Juneau, Alaska. The year was 2021.
Hi Mary Ann, Every time you give us a quiz I always know who/where but I can’t remember the name. Oh well
So thrilled Gabby is back. She and Samson are one of my favorite eagle couples.
Enjoyed the video of the eagle disentanglement. Good of those people to help them out.
Oh, NC, thank you for writing in. Those little archives are just for fun and I am so glad you know who the nest belongs to and and where it is! I am also glad you enjoyed that video. I could not imagine two eagles being so caught up that they could not get apart from one another and could drown – so good that people helped. I am also glad to hear that you enjoy Gabby and Samson – they are one of my absolute favourites too and it is so nice Gabby is back, healthy and Samson is so happy. We have something to look forward to soon.
You have awakened in me a love of ducks. TY so much for that! Yesterday, as I drove along a suburban Melbourne street with a wide, grassy, treed central median strip, I saw two or three adult ducks and four or five youngsters (one of the adults was a different variety to all the others) foraging in the grass. Simply adorable!
There are many galahs, sulphur-crested cockatoos and rosellas in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs, 10-15 minutes’ drive from the CBD. Huge flocks gather in the trees outside a local supermarket at dusk, making the most almighty noise. A baby butcherbird has recently joined the magpie family at my mum’s bird feeder. And some nights, if I am REALLY lucky, I may see a tawny frogmouth or even an owl. There are just so many lovely birds, even in the middle of cities.
Oh, Alison, how wonderful it is that you are loving the ducks. The most ordinary are so beautiful and how wonderful to have all of those colourful birds where you live! I would love to sit by your mother’s feeder and watch them. Thank you so much for writing and letting me know. Feeding the ducks was a huge past time during my childhood always spent with my father who did, one Easter, bring home a little duckling for me. It grew big and strong. I think the love for them festered inside me for years. Now I cannot wait to get to the ponds to see them! Your ducks must stay all year round. What a lovely treat!!!!!!