Wednesday in Bird World

21 September 2022

Good Morning!

It is early (for me). The garden birds are very quiet. It is starting out to be a beautiful day as I work on getting to know this computer but, rain is to start today and be with us again on Friday and Saturday. It is always good to get the trees that have grown so much over the summer with all the torrential downpours a good soaking before frost.

One of the things that was lost were the images that I took yesterday at one of the ponds. So I want all of you to use your imagination. I could not believe my eyes. There before me were seven young ducklings just like the singular one at the nature centre. No feathers just fuzz on their bodies. They were all cuddled up together keeping warm. Today it is 10 degrees C. We are at the time of migration. All of the nature centres are opening up for special events as the birds from the north make their way to the wetlands and the big ponds enroute to their winter homes far south of us. Will the arrival of winter be late? What will happen to these wee ones? I have never seen small ducklings like this at this time of year. The spring floods and destruction of eggs has certainly caused issues. There are ducks that overwinter on our Assiniboine River near to where my daughter lives but…what about these little gaffers?

Making News:

Victor at his release. 19 September 2022.

For all of those wondering, the site where Victor was released is at the coast right across from the Channel Islands. Great choice! Let us all hope to see Victor near Fraser’s Point in a couple of years! Wouldn’t that be grand. It appears it was the best site for release like the Channel Islands but the closest point to his nest without breaking any regulations. Isn’t Dr Sharpe the best?

It seems that once we get a good population of birds established we then want to take their habitat away. This is what is happening in Albania wit the pelicans!

Nest News:

So far, there are still only two osplets at Port Lincoln. The third egg is 37 days old and there is still time for it. Some chatters are wondering if there is any movement inside. We will have to keep our eyes opened! The other two and Mum seem to be doing splendidly.

The streaming camers (3) at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 will be going live during the first week of October.

Xavier brought an Eastern Rosella, well prepared, for Diamond who was excited and got off the nest. Xavier is a lovely! Hatch not expected til the first week in October but we are getting there…2 weeks?

Beautiful Diamond.

Xavier gets some ‘eggie time’. Yes! Can you tell how much I love this cute little falcon who is no longer in his prime but gosh, he is a fantastic mate and he loves his chicks. I sure hope this season turns out well for these two.

So many of you are marveling at the plumage colours of the little sea eaglets. They are gorgeous. A friend laughed at me for loving the feathering of the Red-tail Hawks. “Just wait til you see the Sea Eagles!” Oh, she was so right. It is hard to see the colours when the sun is at a certain angle but have a good look at them.

Our eagles are approaching their 10th week. They are still growing some feathers under their wings. Their wing flapping and jumping around is going to continue to get every more vigorous. Just breathe. They can scare the wit’s out of you when they start jumping on and off the rim of the nest and the branches . In week 11 you will see them gain some real height in their hovering. They will begin to sleep more and more with their head tucked into their wings rather than duckling style although fledglings also prefer duckling style on occasion. It must be much more comfortable! Self-feeding is getting better.

We do not want to talk about fledging but, after 70 days it is possible. And we are at that point. So spend your time watching these two and the hatches at Port Lincoln. SE29 and 30 will be gone in a blink and the osplets will be growing and changing so fast it will be hard to recognize these sweet fuzzy babies in a week!

Victor Hurley is going to post a pre-recorded session where he answers your questions about what is going on at Melbourne on Thursday, Australia time. That will be in a few hours. If you have questions, you can submit them on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB page. Dr Hurley asks that you read the PDF that he posted on the top of the FB site before submitting questions.

We are all very curious to see what will be happening. The second male does some quick on and off mating which – well, we are now nearing hatch which should be 5 days away. Mum’s hormones will not be in breeding but incubation and caring for young. It appears that the old male continues to provide food for Mum. Oh, I hope that this clutch makes it but we are going to just have to wait and see.

Migration News:

Checking on the Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There has been no transmission for Karl II since the 4th of September. Bonus and Kaia were still in their respective areas with their last report coming in on the 20th of September. Hopefully this evening there will be some new news.

Birdmap is showing tremendous progress for the Ospreys and, one, in particular, flew across Europe to Spain instead of going directly South. Brilliant! The Ospreys are already heading into central Africa! You can go to BirdMap and get the animated version of their journeys.

Did you know:

How long do Bald Eagles live?

Thank you so much for being with me today. We are looking forward to the third hatch in Port Lincoln but, for now, in the night, Mum is getting some much needed rest! Take care of yourself and I will look forward to seeing you again real soon.

If you are sending me e-mails (which I love), please use this new address: Thanks so much!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, and BirdMap.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Hello Mary Ann and thanks for this nice newsletter. I can only imagine seeing 7 little fuzzy and cute ducklings. I hope they will be ok 🙏❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    The sea eaglets are gorgeous and both of them Favor the two from last season with their feathers. ❤️❤️
    Looking forward to Diamond and Xavier hatches and Port Lincoln’s third hatch soon 💕💕💕
    I’m looking does to the new season with Harriett and M15 in Florida too! Hope all goes well at Melbourne🙏 Prayers for them. I hope Victor is happy and flying high finding plenty of food❤️🦅 Thank you Dr Sharpe and Ojai for all their help !
    Have a great day and hope your enjoying your new computer too! We look forward to hearing from you again soon!

    Hope all the

    1. Oh, thank you, Linda. Dad just brought Mum her breakfast in Melbourne and those two are doing well. She is doing good keeping that other male away from the eggs. The season is definitely passing by too quickly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, those little ducklings. I could put a puddle pool in my conservatory for them!

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Mary Ann I wish you could too! were the ducklings parents nearby? I hope they are so they can take care of them. Thanks and hope to see you here again soon!

      2. Hi Linda, The Mum seemed to be close at hand but, as you know, they are capable to taking care of themselves. They are not wee tiny but about 15 cm or 6 inches in length. Small enough. It will drop down to 4 degrees C here tonight. Not sure what that is in F but some places are worrying for frost.

      3. Linda Kontol says:

        Oh that’s really chilly! I looked it up and it says 39.2 F. for 4 C degrees. Hope they will keep warm by sticking together.
        Thanks Mary Ann and have a good evening!

      4. Yes, it is. I was just so shocked, Linda, to see such a bunch of them. I hope to find the single one this week. I tried 2 days ago and didn’t see it.

      5. Linda Kontol says:

        Oh Mary Ann I do hope you see the little duckling this week. Let us know and I hope you can get a picture of it too:)
        Thanks and have a good day!

  2. Alison says:

    No, no, no! Please don’t say that. The sea eaglets cannot be about to fledge. Not yet. We have only just managed to get over the early fledge of QT, the gorgeous little albatross. I cannot cope with losing my sea eaglets quite yet. And of course I am worried about whether they will be able to ignore those pesky crows and currawongs and remind them just who really are the bosses of the Sydney Olympic Forest.

    1. Just a warning!!!!!!!!! I know. QT just flew. It was incredible. I do not think we have to worry. These two are not ready to go, not by a long shot. They need to be able to feed themselves and to branch and hover and well, they are not there but 70 days is the beginning of the worry. I really dislike the Currawongs. I wish Dad would feed them to the eaglets for lunch sometimes. They must taste terrible or you would think they would.

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