We want fish! and more news in Bird World

24 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Our thoughts go out to all that are being lashed about by tropical storm systems and hurricanes.

It is a quiet drizzly grey Saturday morning in the garden. Little Red has been eating at the solid suet cylinder and the Blue Jays are pecking away at the cob of corn left for them. The sparrows have not really been around much. I hope to have some photos of Little Red cleaned up for tomorrow. But, so far, the gang is all here – Junior and the 3 fledgling Blue Jays and the 3 fledgling Crows plus Little Red, Dyson, and Scraggles. Dyson’s two from the summer come and go as well. There has been no sightings of Little Hedwig and the neighbours and I are beginning to fear the worst about those cats. Fingers crossed we see a bunny shortly.

The temperatures are dropping at night. All of the Grape tomatoes have been picked and will turn green in the lovely Birch basket. All of the plants to come inside are here but one which means a trip to the garden centre today for soil. Even so, we have not had a hard frost in the garden and this is absolutely remarkable considering it is now the 24th of September.

In the Mailbox:

The other day I was asked if non-parental male peregrine falcons could harm the eyases in the scrape. I told a story of an Osprey that had kicked the eggs out of the nest when he suspected they belonged to another male. Today, a cartoon that Chloe Baker did of Odin and EJ showed up on FB.

It was Loch Garten, 2013, and here is the video of that egg being kicked out of the nest. Odin waited til EJ went for a break! (not HD) I wish some of these great old videos could be cleaned up. They are fantastic. Of course, Odin was not the only male. Some of us waited to see if Aran would go after Mrs G’s eggs this season but, he didn’t. Presumably they were his and not the Pont Cresor Aeron Z2.

This also happened at Dunrovin a couple of years ago – much clearer image.

And here is another a couple of years ago. There are many examples. We do not know what will happen if the young male totally ousts the old male at Melbourne. Indeed, we do not even know if that will happen this year. My fingers are crossed that he goes and sits and waits til this breeding season is over! But, we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst. It is much better when the males get rid of the eggs.

Making News:

Some additional images were released of Victor taking his flight to freedom. He sure must have been so excited to be back in the wild. Victor is a magnificent eagle! Thanks to Paul K for cleaning these up!

Nest News:

It is all about life lessons at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. The parents are deliberately branching, demonstrating how to ward off the Currawong, and then how to eat a fish. It is really a privilege to be able to watch the daily lives of these amazing raptors.

Xavier looking at the eggs. Hatch watch is 1-3 October! Xavier is one of the most devoted male Peregrine Falcons that I know. This is an incredible nest to watch and there are several cameras and a chat.

Xavier has been doing some of that enfluffing in the scrape.

I wonder how many of you are counting the number of fish flakes that Little Bob is getting at Port Lincoln. Big Bob is bigger and will need more and Mum is smartly feeding it several nice helpings before moving on to Middle and Little Bob. Dad, for his part, brought in a whomping size fish that will last the day.

Oh, Little Bob you are going to have to push and figure out how to get to the front with Big Bob in the front line!

Little Bob got himself in the right position for the next feeding at 10:50. Big Bob has a super crop and Middle is laying down. Little is going to get some really nice bites.

The camera operator gave us some fabulous close ups of the three after the 1415 feeding so we could see that each had a nice crop. Little Bob is holding its own. You can really see the egg tooth of each of the osplets – that hard piece of white beak used like a pick axe to get out of the shell. Enjoy this soft fluffy down. We will not realize it but time passes quickly and soon they will be in their reptilian phase.

Incubation continues at the 367 Collins Street scrape box. It is now the 25th in Melbourne and we are on hatch watch for the 27th.

For everyone who cannot wait for the Bald Eagle nests to be full of little eaglets, the first on streaming cam mating of the year occurred at the Northwest Florida nest of Samson and Gabby!

Migration News:

Do you know about EuroBirdPortal.org? It tracks all of the European Ospreys movements during the migration period.

I will be checking on Karl II and his family for tomorrow.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Little Bob is doing well. He isn’t our Ervie – no one could ever be Ervie but, I hope he holds his own against Big Bob and thrives. Mum and Dad are doing a great job. I fear that when Dad is late with fish it is either the wind or the gulls. Let’s blow those gulls away! Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that form my screen captures: Chloe Baker, Loch Garden RSPB, Dunrovin, Castnet, Bald Eagles 101 and the Ojai Raptor Centre, The Wonderful World FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, EuroBirdPortal, and NWFL-AEF.

8 Comments

  1. InstructorRita says:

    Thank you for all the effort you put in, to bring us these fabulous recaps—it truly is an art. I often wish for the cam-ops to get all of the birds’, and their heads’ in the frame; they would make such sweet screenshots 😏❤️
    Please keep up your good work. 👈👏👍

    1. Oh, you are so very welcome, Rita. It is my pleasure. Aren’t they adorable? Sometimes the cam ops do wonderful jobs and at other times they are panning around when something important is happening. I guess we need 3 cameras! Always one pulled out and at least one for close ups.

      1. InstructorRita says:

        Maybe so! We all have a volunteer to thank, for keeping watch ♥️

      2. Yes, we do..those volunteer camera ops and mods are incredible people.

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! Great pics and updates as always! Thanks for the update on your garden birds and bunny. I hope you see little Heswig soon 🙏💕Good luck to little Bob at Port Lincoln. He could still become another similar to Ervie if he gets hungry enough. 💕🙏 Bless his heart. The pics of him/her is amazing! I pray Dad can bring in enough fish and the gulls don’t interfere!🙏❤️
    It would be fun if Ervie could fly over and drop some every now and then too! Lol.
    Prayers, fingers crossed, best wishes to all three and that they get along well together. 💕💕💕🙏 it was so sad about the owl. Amazing videos of the eggs being kicked out of the nest by the male ospreys! I do remember some of this happening.
    Have a great evening
    Hope to see you soon and take care!
    Linda

    1. You are so very, very welcome, Linda. Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, it would be hysterical if Ervie brought some fish to Mum. I would love to see that happen on camera. Peregrine falcon fledglings have been known to help out like that.

  3. Alison says:

    The examples you give of males kicking eggs out of the nest are all of ospreys. I wonder whether falcon fathers are more laid back. I sure hope so! You say it is better that they kick the eggs out. Does that imply that otherwise they will harm the chicks? I am just wondering whether the paternal instinct might kick in once the eggs become eyases – I am thinking of the bald eagle dad and little Malala, the red-tailed hawk who came as dinner and stayed for a month (or more)! Also, how does the male know that they are not his eggs? Sorry for all the questions, but I do find it fascinating. And I am of course hoping for the very best at Collins Street.

    1. Good Morning Alison. I personally do not have any examples of Peregrine Falcons kicking the eggs out of the nest if they belong to another male. Rather, there are examples of the males tending the eggs – such as Xavier at Orange or Alden at UC-Berkeley – who did just that to garner favour with the female and have a chance of taking that territory. I also have examples of other members of falcon families helping from the UK. — I am really wondering how different they are from Ospreys- this is a huge learning situation for everyone. Even Dr Hurley says he has no idea what will happen at Melbourne other than if the second tiercel takes over it would be ‘really bad’ news for the old male. —- Your question about how the male knows that they are not his eggs has to do with his arrival time at the nest and mating and the time the eggs are laid. Everyone held their breath when Aran arrived at Glaslyn this season because Mrs G had been spending time with Aeron at the Pont Cresor nest. They had mated while passing the time waiting for their own mates to show up. Would Mrs G lay eggs that belonged to Aeron? Her Aran shows up a couple of weeks later. If her eggs were laid the day he arrived or the next, well…they would have been Aeron’s and not Aran’s. It leads one to believe that Osprey males can count or have some ability to calculate that we are unaware of — it is fascinating behaviour and always leads me to believe that the birds are so much more intelligent than we are!

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