Pips and Popping Crops…Early Thursday in Bird World

29 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The news coming out of Sanibel/Captiva is not good. (see below) Our thoughts remain with all of those who were so heavily impacted by Hurricane Ian.

In Manitoba we continue to take in the full beauty of autumn with a temperature of 12 degrees C. And it seems that today, I will have hydro in the conservatory. Just in the nick of time as nighttime temperatures continue to drop near the freezing point. All of the Crows and Blue Jays continue to come to the garden and it will be a few weeks til we know whether they will winter here or leave.

In the Mailbox:

Lots of people are asking: Is there any news about Captiva Ospreys?

As you probably know Sanibel/Captiva took the direct hit of Hurricane Ian when it hit landfall at 155 mph. There is no communication between Captiva and some of the images coming out of Channel 8 news in Florida touch on the devastation. The individual who owns the property that the Captiva Bald Eagles and Ospreys have their nest is Lori Covert, a Canadian from Nova Scotia. Lori has reported that Captiva is under 12 feet of water and there is no communcations. It will be some time before things are restored because sections of the causeway are completely wiped out. Access would be by boat or helicopter.

The video clip is Sanibel.

Making News:

Catastropic damage to the number of birds and raptors due to the climate crisis.


Nest News:

There is nothing like a trio of ‘full to the brim’ osplets to set your mood to ‘excellent’. That big fish that Dad brought into Port Lincoln certainly started the osplets off on a good day, too. The cam operator obliged by giving us some fantastic close ups of the three. Look carefully at their plumage.

You can easily tell the three osplets apart. Big Bob has lost almost all of its down on the head and back. The back of its head is black on top with a copper bottom. Middle Bob is losing its down on the head and Little Bob is not yet started like the other two.

Soon Big Bob will look like its dinosaur relative. Poor thing. I feel sorry for it with all those itchy feathers.

Look closely. See the coppery colour plumage coming in below the black on Big Bob. You can also see the pin feathers coming on the wings and back.

Little Bob is still soft and sweet. He is beginning to remind me a bit of Ervie.

Those beautiful baby blues of the osplets will change to an amber and then yellow when they are adults. One exception that is know is Monty, the infamous Welsh Osprey, whose eyes remained amber.

In this image you get a clear look at Big Bob in the front and Middle Bob with its huge crop in the back. Little is in-between. Middle is one to keep an eye on – not sure it will not turn out to be the dominant bird. We wait to see.

They all had a good feed. There was another feeding and this time Little Bob got caught behind the two big ones. He tried to get up so that Mum would see his beak but to no avail. Little Bob will not starve. He has had lots of fish this morning and no doubt, he will have more!

The next feeding came at 1550 and Little Bob was right up front. He ate and ate and quickly went into a food coma. And then..there was another feed around 1830. It seems that Mum is keeping them absolutely packed with food until their crops could pop. Then she sits on them! That is a good way to stop any fighting nonsense.

The rumour has it that there are three pips at the Melbourne scrape box.

The Sea Eagles are still in the nest, hopping and flapping. They are big and beautiful and so very healthy. It seems like they just hatched yesterday and now in week 10 they are all grown up. They can fly. They just don’t know it yet.

We are now in Pip Watch for Diamond and Xavier. The time from pip to hatch varies from 24 hours to 72. Dr Cilla Kinross, the lead researcher at Orange for the falcons and their angel like Dr Sharpe is to the Channel Island Eagles, cleaned the camera yesterday at 1518. Diamond had a look of surprise in her eyes. She must be used to Cilla coming and going over the years because that look in the falcon’s eyes was all that happened.

All eyes are on Melbourne for a hatch today and for pips coming at Orange.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Channel 8 news, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.


  1. dorcha22 says:

    Thanks as always Mary Ann for your great update. Love & hugs to all who have been affected by the hurricane. Lovely to see the chicks at Port Lincoln doing so well, long may it continue 🥰

    1. Oh, you are most welcome, Dorcha22. It is always a relief at Port Lincoln when all are fed and the beaking stops. Hopefully three big fledglings that are healthy this year too!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these updates.
    Very sad at the hurricanes Devestation 😢. We wait and pray for our birds to have found a safe place and survived this. 🙏❤️
    Good wishes going to Melbourne and Diamond/Xavier pips and hatching ❤️🙏
    The sea eaglets are so beautiful and ready to fly!❤️❤️
    Hope for Port Lincoln to continue with plenty of fish for the 3 Bobs ❤️💕💕💕
    Have a good day Mary Ann and keep us updated with any news you may receive from our nests. Thanks so much !

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