Thursday Morning in Bird World

15 September 2022

It was the perfect day to go out to the industrial area looking for ducks – and shorebirds. And then it wasn’t. Things to remember: empty the memory card in the camera after downloading all of the images to your computer or to an external hard drive and – take an extra battery, one that is fully charged! As a result of not following such advice, it became a great morning to just relax and watch the shorebirds!!!!!!!!

I am becoming quite attached to these Greater Yellow Legs (or are they Lesser?). Their movements are quick and they bob their heads up and down like falcons and hawks getting their prey into focus. So cute.

The geese have certainly been making a ruckus everywhere for a couple of days. Because there are so many of them, it is like they are taking over all the ponds and vacant fields.

Once the geese had left the area, the two Greater Yellow Legs rushed to the other end of the pond where there was a nice muddy shore. Don’t let anyone ever tell you ducks and shorebirds are ‘slow’ – they are decidedly not!

Once home, it was a real treat to see Junior. Last time we saw the Dad of the three Blue Jay fledglings, he was moulting and had lost his beautiful crest. Junior is not longer bald on the top of his head. The bright blue is coming in and it is easy to imagine what he will look like once that crest grows longer! Like the Greater Yellow Legs staying away from the geese, Junior seems not to like coming around when the Crows are about. Those three fledglings have really grown and they can be quite intimidating. Junior has also decided that he likes the Black oil seed and the White Millet that is on the ground. If you look you can see two brown legs. they are four legs to a little feeder with a roof but, this morning our dear friend Dyson & Co decided to make the feeder go sideways and everything dumped all over the place. It will not take them long to clean it up.

Look at Junior’s tail. He has kept enough to fly and has moulted the others which will grow in and replace any damaged feathers.

Have you ever heard of the term ‘fright moult’? A fright moult is when a bird’s tail feathers all fall out at once. This normally happens when a predator grabs the bird’s tail feathers. In order to save its life, the bird being attacked moults all of its tail feathers at once!

Another interesting and strange fact about Blue Jays. Their feathers are actually brown but appear to us as being the blue colour we identify with the birds because of light interference from the feather structure. If the feather is crushed, the blue colour disappears (https://www.thoughtco.com/blue-jay-birds-4692850.

I am so grateful being back in the sunroom where I can watch the birds go about their daily lives without causing them any stress. Hopefully our dear Dyson will slow down and let me get a picture of her soon. She is sooooo beautiful. Her fur is all back to normal and is bright and shiny. Did I tell you that Little Red is around, too? He loves the new fence because he can now run from his new home in the neighbour’s tree along the top of their fence to the new one here and then with a single jump he can land in the square hanging feeder and dump every seed everywhere!

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ has been watching the Sea Eagles carefully and believes that SE30 is a female. “SE30 has always been a feisty eaglet, except for a short period about three weeks ago where she seemed fearful of SE29 at feedings. Since then, she often seems to have been getting most of the food and nearly always grabs any fish tails, mantling if necessary to keep them! Size and temperament point to female. What do you think?”

Alison, I totally agree with you. SE30, at 8 weeks plus a few days, is showing every sign of being a dynamic female. She takes charge of the food and is really growing and no longer ‘takes grief’ from 29. It is unfortunate that the eaglets are not tested and ringed!

Making News:

Holly Parsons posted one of those great intervention stories of an Albatross who had had hook caught in its beak. Always happy to have a success story – and that hook just makes me ache. Poor baby.

Here is the announcement:

Thank you, Holly, for also making everyone in Australia aware of the petition for banning the release of helium balloons. This should be a world-wide effort but, it should be to ban all balloons other than those required for weather research. This is, however, a start!!!!!!!!!!

It is an ad for a camera but, for us, what is interesting are the beautiful images of the Peregrine Falcons!

Nest News:

The California Condor chick in Tom’s Canyon is 4 months old today!!!!!!!!!! Fantastic.

Ron and Rita continue to work on their artificial Bald Eagle nest in the Miami Zoo designed by Ron McGill. Gosh, the eagles seem to be busy making nestorations everywhere. Is it going to be an early season? We haven’t even said goodbye to the last UK ospreys yet!!!!!

The cameras will be coming on soon at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers. Harriet and M15 have been diligently working to get their nest into shape after E19 and 20! In the meantime, here is a video of M15 and Harriet working on the nest yesterday.

Shadow is at the Big Bear Valley nest starting to bring in those whoopers of sticks that only Shadow seems to find.

In Australia, the ‘little’ (not really sure that term is applicable anymore) Sea Eaglets 29 and 30 are continuing to practice their self-feeding. They are standing so much more and at least one of them is standing on the very rim of the nest. This always makes me nervous! Both Dad and Lady are also stepping in and feeding both of them. All is well in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

Diamond and Xavier continue to take turns incubating the eggs. There are a couple of weeks to go til we have hatch watch at Orange. Sadly, Diamond is also having to deal with an intruder female at Orange this year. Neither Diamond or Xavier are ‘young’ falcons but rather, slightly older.

I adore little Xavier and here he is bringing Diamond a yummy lunch.

Thank you, ‘H’ for letting me know about Victor Hurley’s posting on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB Page. Hurley is the key researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Project that includes the Melbourne falcons. He has now stepped in to comment on what is happening at Melbourne. Please read carefully to the end…

The new female arriving to incubate the eggs after a meal.

Victor Hurley has also included another fact sheet on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB and has changed some of the data based on this new knowledge. (It is formatted so I cannot just post it here so you can read it, you must go there). A great article!

At Port Lincoln, the eggs are 38, 35, and 33 days old. On the 19th, egg 1 will be 41 days. Time is going to pass quickly. Hatch watch should begin on Monday.

Migration:

Things are just going quiet with the Ospreys in the UK. The last two lingering nests seem to be empty. No one appears to be home at the Glaslyn nest – Aran and Blue 497 both seem to have started their journey south. Padarn was last seen on the 12th of September at 19:20 with Idris last seen on the Dyfi Osprey nest 24 hours later on the 13th of September at 19:41. Safe travels, full crops. See you in the spring!

‘H’reports that there are still family members at the Boat House Osprey platform in Bremen, Maine. Sloop, the third hatch and reluctant fledge, is eating well having had at least 3 deliveries yesterday! She has sent a photo of Sloop excited for a delivery! She has not seen Schooner or Skipjack on the nest for 5-6 days but other osprey calls have been heard so it is unclear who remains as of today.

I am finding this very interesting. This nest is one of the most northern of all the US nests. It is migration season and we continue to have ospreys on the nest. Let’s watch and see when they depart.

Karl II and family:

All of the family members transmissions show them in the same areas that they were previously. There is no transmission for Karl II. He is believed to be at his favourite nature reserve in the Kherson Oblast region of Ukraine. I found several active reports on the current activity in the region yesterday.

Stay safe Karl II!

If you are following the new Osprey family at Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire (my old haunt), Tim Mackrill has posted news!

From the Archives:

Do you remember: who are the storklets? what is their story?

Thank you so very much for joining me this morning. Please take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, tweets, etc that make up my screen captures: Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, Orange,Australia, Peregrine Falcons, Sony A1, WRDC, Condor Cam, SWFL Eagles, FOBBV, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Victory Hurly and the 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Tim Mackrill, ‘H’ and Audubon and Explore.org, Ukinform.net, and Dr Madis and the EMC plus the Eagle Club of Estonia.


The Black Storks of Estonia are rare and treasured. When Jan did not return and was deemed injured or dead, Janika had to try and feed her storklets. She could not manage even with the fish basket she found that Urmas, the Ornithologist for Estonia, provided. It was decided that the three surviving storklets would be taken into care at the Vet School in a stunning attempt to keep them alive by feeding with a decoy male and having a decoy female. In the image, Bonus is the largest of the three. The stotklets thrived. Two were placed with Eedie and Bonus was placed to be fostered with Karl II and Kaia. A goshawk attacked Eedie’s nest killing all the storklets. Bonus is now on migration and in Ukraine where he appears safe. Bonus is the only one of Jan and Janika’s six storklets of 2022 to survive.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for all these wonderful updates and photos and stories and information! The ducks and geese and the yard animals are always a joy to see and read about! Thanks for them. So glad your sunroom is finished. It sounds so nice to have one to watch the birds and animals!
    I hope the female intruder will leave and not bother Diamond and Xavier. She is on eggs and don’t need this! 🙏❤️❤️
    The sea eaglets are so big now and I really think that SE30 could be a female too! So sad about the Albatross with the hook in her beak. I’m thankful it has been removed and she has a cute chick now. ❤️💕🙏. I’m looking forward to Port Lincoln and the falcons hatches.
    Also the eagles that are already fixing up their nests…Mr President and Lotus at the arboretum, Harriett and M15, Samson and Gabby, and Liberty and Freedom at Hanover Pa. And many more.! I do remember the story of the little storks that were rescued and had a
    Decoy stork mom. It was so cute to see them when you posted them for us !
    Good luck to the UK and Welch and Scottish ospreys on their migrations ❤️
    And also good luck to KarlII and his family as well. 🙏❤️
    Thanks Mary Ann and have a great afternoon!
    Linda

    1. Oh, thank you, Linda. I am so glad you enjoyed the newsletter ——-and yes, it is an absolutely delight to be able to see the garden animals clearly now – again. You have a lovely Friday – thank you so much for all your comments. It seems to be busy everywhere but the UK.

  2. B says:

    All of a sudden it seems busy again! Northern hemisphere eagles getting an early start on nestorations — Ron and Rita, Gabby and Samson, Harriet and M15, and even Shadow (hope Jackie is not far behind) — and eagerly awaiting hatches soon at Port Lincoln and Orange and Melbourne. So nice to see Thunder and Andor and Chase and Cholyn (?) in recent days. And Victor looks so good in the latest update from ORC — positively regal.

    1. You said that wonderfully, ‘B’ – Victor looks regal! He sure does. I am quietly hoping they will release him somewhere near the islands – I think the wording is they can’t release him ‘on’ the islands but maybe near. Would love to see him there in the future! — And yes, it seems slightly early but, perhaps not, for the Eagles! They are going to keep us on our toes.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s