Good morning Australia!

11 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Summer temperatures have returned to the Canadian Prairies. It is currently 19 degrees C. outside. Dare I say that the conservatory is 26. The tropical flowers brought in from the garden are going to thrive. Meanwhile, the Blue Jay, the Dark-eyed Juncos, the Black-capped Chickadee, and the squirrels are having a marvelous day.

This morning, very early, I caught Little Red taking peanuts into the small, three sided woodshed. For those who do not know him, Little Red is a Red Squirrel, quite tiny. For a number of years, he lived in our old woodshed that was torn down so that we could legally add the conservatory without getting a variance. Permits take a month; variances in our city can take up to 18-24 months! So Little Red lost what was his ‘forever home’. I have felt bad ever since and bought a squirrel house on-line which the grey squirrels took over. So, the light bulb went off this morning. So, two wooden slat boxes, 45 x 60 cm, with cut out handles have been attached to one another and to the interior of the wood box. Wood shavings and a gallon of Maple seeds are lining the bottom. It is surrounded by firewood. Now we wait to see if Little Red will move in. Cross all your fingers and toes. (I think he also has a tree down the back lane but, I would like to know he is safe here). That is Little Red above. Could you leave this little cutie homeless? I don’t think so.

This is Dyson. For a long time, she stayed on the solid seed cylinder eating when I was working on Little Red’s mini-penthouse. I was about 2 metres away. She just watched me. I do wish the squirrels were more afraid of people, but they have lived in the garden for so long. Hopefully they do not trust everyone.

Making News:

Fran Solly of Take2Photography and Friends of Osprey FB page reports that Ervie is doing well. He is still in the Port Lincoln area and has his favourite hunting and perching spots. Isn’t that fantastic? Would love to see our lad!

I know that many of you have been worried about SE30 since she fledged especially since we saw images of her hanging upside down in the nest tree harangued by the Pied Currawongs. This is the latest news that I can find. Thanks ‘L’.

My concern for SE30 is that the parents tend to feed on the nest. You might recall SE26 being in the forest for a week and finally making it back to the nest exhausted and starving. Lady and Dad immediately brought fish. Last year, they went to Goat Island early. Let us hope they stay around and SE30 makes it back to the nest.

Connor from Window to Wildlife has gone to Captiva and has given his report on the condition of the nests, hearing Lena, and the fate of the cameras from Hurricane Ian etc. So happy to know Lena was doing her loud Osprey call! Such wonderful news. Buildings can be replaced. Trees grow back. Our raptor friends do not recover if they were severely injured in the hurricane or worse, killed.

If you have travelled to India or read the news, you are probably aware of the air pollution in India’s large cities and, in particular, Delhi/New Delhi. Two brothers have spent the past two decades striving to save Black Kites from the toxic air. Their story is in a new film, All That Breathes. Check your local theatre or the local streaming channels in your area for it after its release on the 14th of October.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/oct/11/all-that-breathes-review-delhis-birdmen-on-a-mission-to-save-the-black-kite

In the UK, the RSPB is not ruling out direct action in its fight to save nature.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/10/rspb-not-ruling-out-direct-action-to-defend-nature-from-government-policy

Nest News:

SE30 was sighted in the Sydney Olympic Forest and observed for 45 minutes yesterday. SE30 has not returned to the nest and neither parent slept on the natal tree last night.

At Port Lincoln yesterday, the osplets ate very, very well including the fish delivery at 12:48:22. Sadly, there was no more fish and the chicks are going to be especially ravenous when they wake up this morning. Big might well be in a mood.

It is currently raining at Port Lincoln. Mum is trying to keep those osplets dry. It is difficult as they are growing big and strong. Dad is particularly adept at fishing in the rain so I am hoping he doesn’t disappoint this morning.

Nothing has arrived at Port Lincoln so far. It is only 07:37 so there is plenty of time. But, oh, I hope several large fish come in at once!

Diamond is waiting for Xavier to bring in the early prey for Rubus and Indigo.

Yesterday it was reported that Rubus had 90 bites of prey. The little one did eat better.

To fully understand if one chick is fed well, you must consider the composition of the prey item – was it meat or fish or feathers? (There is nothing wrong with feathers as they clean the crop but not just an all feather feeding). The analogy might be white bread vs. protein. Indigo requires more food. S/he is older. What is the ratio of bites between Indigo and Rubus? are the prey items equal? We would have to dissect them and weight them! So it is not easy. Better guide might be to observe if both chicks have crops at the end of the feeding. It is just a thought. That would mean for their age and size they are ‘full to the brim’. Rufus appears to be getting stronger every day and what we want is for both of the eyases to thrive. Indeed, we want that for all our bird families.

It was a bit of a wait for Xavier to deliver the prey this morning. It arrived at the Orange scrape box at 07:46:39. I could not tell what it was. Indigo was ravenous and pushing her head up with her legs to eat. Of course, Rufus is equally as hungry but no matter what it does, it just can’t get that beak equal with Indigo’s so it has to wait and hope there is lots of prey and that Diamond is very patient.

At 07:50:10, Indigo has a crop and is still getting prey. Rufus is desperately trying to do anything to get some food including biting Indigo’s beak. She has not had a single bite as of that time stamp. Rufus gets its first bite at 07:51:03 but, Indigo continues to be fed and has a hard crop.

Once Indigo is full, Rubus is getting some nice bites at the end of the feeding. It has become the custom of the nest for Indigo to be fed first and then Rubus. She will be full. They are nice big pieces of prey.

Yesterday ‘A’ and I were discussing the scrape box at the other end of the ledge at 367 Collins Street. The eyases will be able to run down the gutter getting to the other end safely where they will have shade and be protected from the rain. I made a quick call to the local experts and they said this could occur at 21-25 days (the stability in running). That would be a big help if the Mum is going to be absent at the height of the noon sun. Dad tries to shade but the chicks are getting so big.

I found a blog post on the stages of growth for the falcon eyases. It has nice images and I thought some of you might be interested.

https://falcoperegrinus-froona.blogspot.com/2008/04/eyases-from-day-to-day.html

What will Melbourne have in store for us today? I hope nothing eventful. Boring would be good.

Mum left the 367 Collins Street scrape at 06:33:09 returning at 06:35:26 with a very boney piece of pigeon. I assume a fresh one will come in shortly.

Dad was right there with a fresh pigeon at 06:37:34. He landed, the parents chatted, and he took it up to Mum to feed the kids. Did I tell you how much I adore this male?

It is cloudy and rain is now falling in Melbourne.

One last check on our migrating Black Stork family form Estonia, Karl II, Kaia, Waba, and Bonus. Kaia is the first of the family to reach Africa. Her last transmission was near the Karakoram Mtns. It is an area where there is little cell or satellite service. We hope to hear form her again when she is out of the Sahara. Waba is in Bulgaria. Karl II is in Turkey near the Syrian border. Bonus is in Romania. All of this is good news.

This will be my only post for today. I will continue to monitor the Port Lincoln nest for a feeding and also 367 Collins Street to see what happens around 1100 with Mum. I hope she stays home! And lets Dad get the pigeons. Tomorrow morning will have a full report. Until then, thank you for being with me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts that form my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! The photos of the little squirrels are so good. What you did for the little red squirrel is awesome too!
    All the updates on the nests are mostly good to hear. At least all are getting fed by the parents. Prayers for Port Lincoln little Bob doesn’t get beat up 🙏
    Thank u you oh for the photos and links Mary Ann. We look forward to the new newsletter tomorrow.
    Take care!
    Linda

    1. The little red squirrel has been around the new house but I have not seen him go inside. We wait and hope! You are so welcome to all the photos and links, Linda. It is my pleasure.

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