Early Friday in Bird World

7 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Two Juncos, 1 Grey Squirrel – one of Dyson’s little ones – and a single Blue Jay are up and feeding this morning. It is -2 degrees C. It is now time to seriously begin finding the puffer coat, the Alpaca boot socks and scarf! The Anorak is no longer enough for a walk at the nature centre! Burrrrrrr.

This is also the beginning of the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. The second Monday in October marks the end of the harvest and it is the fields with the grain left from the Combine Harvesters and Reapers that feed all the Canada and Cackling geese, Sandhill Cranes, and all the other birds landing in them during migration.

Making News:

Lori Covert, the owner of the property where the Captiva Osprey platform and Bald Eagle nest are put out an announcement for everyone today.

Harriet and M15’s rebuilding efforts continue to make the news in Fort Myers. The eagles are busy and they are inspiring everyone to move forward! I love how all of the raptors live in the moment. It is truly special to see them surviving the hurricane, checking the nest, deciding what to do, and then gathering up the materials to rebuild.

The correlation between factory farming and bird flu is being discussed more openly.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/06/bird-flu-an-urgent-warning-to-move-away-from-factory-farming

The article above comes from the most recent publication by Thijs Kuiken in Science.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf0956

We need to really examine our relationship with these industrial farming methods and what this means.

Nest News:

Oh, it is difficult to feed a much smaller eyas that cannot yet focus than it is an older one. That said, the wee one at Orange did get some nice bites around 18:34 at Orange. Soon its eyes will focus better and then, s/he should be able to position themselves better for Xavier and Diamond’s beaks.

There is a video of this feeding overlaid with a super interview with Dr Cilla Kinross, leader of the research project at Charles Sturt University at Orange. It is 10 minutes long and if you don’t have the time to sit and watch. Cilla Kinross has a great sense of humour – the water tower being dubbed the ‘Concrete Hilton’.

Cilla does mention how late the little one hatched and that it will be fed after the first one. Most of us are used to the falcons and hawks hatching close together and all of them making a circle of beaks reaching up for food with no prey competition. The issue is the height of the smaller one. Kinross says that Diamond and Xavier will feed the ‘strongest’ chick in this instance first. She also discusses the ability of Xavier to hunt in the horrific weather that Orange is having. She also discusses why it is important to study the falcons (and animals). Really, it is a good interview. Have a listen!

One single note. At the nest of Big Red and Arthur, L4 was tiny. That little one scrambled to the front of the line to get food with no fear of the others. In the end, L4 was the first fledgling to catch prey and, it is L4 that continues to reside on the territory of its parents on Cornell University. L4 turned out to be, perhaps, the strongest of the four eyases.

The weather in the Sydney Olympic Forest is dreary. The rain will continue until Sunday, and it is not such a great time for SE30 to decide to fly. SE29 and the adults continue to encourage SE30 higher on the branches. Not a lot of large prey is coming on the nest. SE30 got a small fish. There was no quibbling…is SE29 eating off nest? That is my question of the morning.

‘A’ wrote and mentioned that the Currawongs have become a problem around the nest of late. That is another good reason for SE30 to just sit and wait for the nice weather to come before venturing out into the forest with its first flight.

Oh, if Cilla Kinross wishes the falcons would eat more Noisy Miners, I wish the sea eagles would go after those Currawong! Have a banquet!!

SE29 is sleeping on the branch. Every once in a while, it moves, and you can see it – again above 30 as if the sibling is looking after and protecting the other sibling. What a pair these two have been this year. So fantastic to watch.

The parents at the Melbourne scrape are doing fabulous. I simply cannot say enough about how these two have come together as first-time parents (OK. parent and stepparent but I will call them parents) and are doing one fantastic job. The weather is not good in Melbourne either. You can always hear the faint call of the male telling the female of a fresh prey drop. (They also have a stash somewhere, like Xavier and Diamond, for the days when hunting is not good. Mum rushes off, has a break and a meal. Sometimes Dad feeds the four, sometimes Mum. Dad is pretty good at getting those bites in those beaks – and now, it seems the wee one is seeing better and holding that wobbly head upright. They are called Bobs – not in reference to the male name Bob or Robert but, because their heads ‘bob’.

Yesterday there were three feedings at Melbourne before noon. Several before light’s out.

Mum has been notified of a prey delivery and off she goes.

Every chick will be fed.

Look at that wonderful rainbow!

The four eyases are too big for Dad to brood! And even Mum is now having some difficulty.

When the 16:42 fish arrives on the nest on the Port Lincoln barge, all three osplets still have crops from earlier feedings. Little Bob managed well with getting himself up in the line in a position where he could get bites including stealing a few from Big Bob like he has done the past couple of days. At bedtime, all three were full – and that is wonderful. Today it will be partly cloudy in Port Lincoln, no rain predicted with temperatures ranging from 14 to 8 degrees C. The windspeed will be 16kph.

Little Bob has the same problem as the wee one at Orange. His neck is not long enough so eating position is key right now.

A nice fish arrives – big enough to feed everyone including Mum.

Mum tries her best to cover her fast growing family.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Lori Covert and Window to Wildlife, WINK News Fort Myers, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

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