Harassing Currawongs, Fish meals, and Early Saturday in Bird World

8 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that you woke up to or will wake up to a beautiful sunny morning. Before I go any further, I missed a feeding at Port Lincoln yesterday – so there was an early feeding and a second right before noon. Apologies all around for any anxious moments that might have caused!

I have mentioned my walks and some of the birds that are out and about in our city. The death of my old computer has me now using two different machines – one for photos and another for writing to you. Sadly, in the process of learning I deleted the latest duck pictures – all the male Wood ducks that suddenly appeared at the local park. I hope to go back today or tomorrow to check and see if they are still residents of that pond or if they have fled with our temperatures dropping.

This little Red Squirrel lives in a forest of Oak trees. Talk about silence. It was so quiet. S/he would just look at me, find an acorn and run off, returning for another in a blink. There is a saying on the Canadian Prairies to watch and see how high the squirrels take the acorns and that will tell us how much snow we will have in the winter. The trees were so thick it was impossible to tell where he took his pantry supplies. Dyson’s children are burying their peanuts in the grass! Silly things.

The other evening a wind came up. The trees began a twirling dance. Crows from every direction flew over the house, and then, all of a sudden, 11 European Starlings appeared in a tree on the opposite side of the lane. They left as quickly as they arrived. Normally they would stay to eat in the garden but, no. They were taking advantage of the strong winds.

The Dark-eyed Juncos have arrived in great numbers all over our city. They only want to eat Millet off the deck carpet or the boards. No feeders for them it seems – at least not here.

Junior and his three fledglings are still here. Their nest is in a tree close to the large tree with the Starlings. When they hear me open the garden door, they appear on the wires coming into the house and wait patiently for their peanuts or a new cob of corn. They do not seem to mind the Juncos.

Mr Crow and his three fledglings from this summer are still here. The babies are now the size of their dad. What a mix there is on that old deck. Still, no one is really bothering anyone else except for the natural fear that small birds have of big ones. Everyone is too busy eating as much as they can.

Have you ever looked at the feathers of a Crow? The layering is stunning.

There are many places on the Internet to find out about Crows but, Audubon has put out 10 Fun Facts about them. I can confirm that they hold grudges. Four years ago, I yelled at Mr Crow after he had eaten all of the Grackles fluffy babies. It was 2 years until he would have anything to do with me again.

https://www.audubon.org/news/10-fun-facts-about-american-crow

The Greater Yellow Legs are still at one of the local ponds looking for food.

The ‘Find of the Week’ was this family of Tundra Swans in the wetlands. You can just see one of the adults. The grey is an adolescent and to the left of the adult, hidden in the marsh, is another juvenile. There are, in fact, both adults and three juveniles in residence. I have been wondering if they are waiting for the youngsters to get stronger for their migration. While they spend their spring and summer in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, they will winter just south of us in North Dakota, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. So, they do not have far to go now.

Making the News:

I have an on again, off again relationship with The Guardian’s Country Diary. I should read it more often as, I too, have come to love the sound of the Corvids – not in the wilds of the country – but, in the middle of a city.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/05/country-diary-the-mountain-silence-is-interrupted-by-ravens

This is why we thank our wildlife rehabbers every day – their dedication to improving the lives of our beloved birds that fledge and find themselves injured out in the wild.

This was one lucky Caribbean Osprey. It didn’t die from being electrocuted but, its feathers were sure burnt to a crisp. Thankfully helpers rushed to get it to the wildlife rehab centre where it is recovering.

Australian Nest News:

The osplets at Port Lincoln did have, as noted above, more feedings than I recorded yesterday. They ate well. At the late feeding, you can see all of their huge crops. This is the feeding after 1500. Little Bob is between the big siblings but he is not having any trouble opening his beak and getting food from Mum. Oh, he is right at the sweet spot. This is when Little Bob reminds me so much of Ervie.

Everyone went to bed with a very full tummy at Port Lincoln!

The eyases at Melbourne are well fed. I will begin to sound like a broken record but, this new couple really has it together. Prey deliveries are announced. Mum can run and retrieve the pigeons then or she can go to the pantry later. What is absolutely evident is the patience both parents have when feeding the four youngsters. No one gets left out. All four appear to be thriving, even the little snow person.

At Orange, it is a slightly different story. The wee one has missed out on several feedings or has received one or two bites, sometimes eight. Notice has been taken that people are now counting the number of bites that it gets which, to me, implies that there is some concern. As many of you will have noticed, including me and ‘A’, Diamond sometimes considers feeding the wee one who is calling loudly for food, beak wide open, only to wind up eating the prey herself. ‘A’ notes that the wee one ate better at the 17:17 feeding with Xavier coming in and wanting to feed the chicks but, Diamond eventually horking down the prey that he has brought into the scrape. Xavier is an excellent hunter, and he is really good at feeding. You might recall when Diamond hurt her leg last year and Xavier took care of Yurruga.

SE30 sure looked like it might fledge yesterday. Thankfully, the youngest eaglet of Lady and Dad was wise to stay on the nest. The Currawongs and Magpies were everywhere. They would have surely chased 30 out of the forest.

In my mind, I am imagining a corridor created for SE30 by 29 and the parents so that it is protected on its first flight. Of course, I am being a bit silly but, it is very possible that the close bond that 29 and 30 have with one another might have 29 there helping 30 fly to the camera, back to the nest, and then to the spots that it has found. SE29 has been very impressive. No wing tears, nothing.

Aren’t they beautiful?

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. I hope that you have some time today to spend peering into your garden, going for a walk, or just sitting on a bench somewhere listening to nature. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams which make up my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and ECWC.

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