Is PLO’s Little Bob too frightened to eat? and other news in Bird World

12 October 2022

The beaking by Big Bob began a couple of weeks ago. At the time, that behaviour took place away from the feeding line. For the past two days, Big Bob has been on a tear. It was caused by the insecurity and instability of a single fish delivery one day that did not arrive on the nest until 1500. It has been exacerbated by either late fish deliveries or fish coming on the nest only in the morning. The last feeding there was 20 hours separating the last feeding with the first. It makes the eldest become aware that there might not be enough food for everyone. The result is rampant beaking during feedings resulting in Little Bob being shut out, for the most part, and being afraid to eat. Little Bob is 21 days old today. There is no doubt about it – Big Bob is huge and Little Bob is small. Of course, Middle Bob has had the wrath of Big but it did eat at the last feeding when Little was too afraid and Middle Bob did get fish during the night when Mum got up to eat.

So what will play out on the nest today? There is plenty of fish. It is the notion, if you like, that there isn’t that fuels Big Bob’s ravage attacks. In most instances, nests calm down by the 28th day. Can Little Bob survive that long?

Heavy rains are supposed to be headed for Port Lincoln. Mum has been feeding the leftover fish on and off overnight. She even tried to feed Little Bob but, he did not eat. Middle Bob did. At the first feeding of the morning, Big Bob is up at the eating table.

At 06:54:53 Mum moved to another fish and Little Bob got a bite. Then he got a peck. We need Big and Middle to go into a food coma.

At 07:10, Little Bob gets to eat. It is the end of the fish but Mum is pulling out every morsel she can find for her wee babe. I hope she feeds him the tail and the skin. Tears. What is needed is another big fish to land on this nest now.

Mum is getting gold stars this morning. She is pulling out every piece of fish flesh she can get out of that tail for Little Bob. She is still finding food for him at 07:17. I know that I am not the only one cheering Mum on — all of the chatters watching the streaming cam are joyful.

Hopefully, Little Bob will get his confidence back and be that feisty little one we saw a week ago. It takes time. But here he is, side-by-side with a big sibling eating away. Fantastic. It is just the best.

But wait, Mum keeps going. At 07:20 she begins to tear the skin into small pieces and feed them to Little Bob. This Mum is amazing!

Mum is not finished. She has gotten every bit of this fish and she begins to break up the tail for Little Bob and feed him it at 07:25:41. Did I say I can’t stop the tears from flowing? I haven’t seen a Mum work so hard to feed one of her chicks in years. Not since Achieva in 2020. Incredible.

Xavier brought in a duckling – which Diamond loves – at 06:39:04. It seems that both Indigo and Rubus love duckling, too.

It is pitching down rain in Melbourne. Mum is doing the best she can to keep those big eyases dry. Dad came in to look after the babies so Mum had a break and then she returned to feed the Melbourne 4.

Life is good. Everyone has eaten! It is a good start to the morning.

Thank you so much for being with me. It has turned cold in Winnipeg and the temperature has dropped to 4 degrees C with rain. It feels like it could snow! I shouldn’t say that. Take care everyone. If you can rewind and watch that wonderful feeding for Little Bob. It starts at 07:10. Let us also all hope that he gets another good meal today. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys. 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these updates! So glad little Bob got a good feeding and hope they will get some more big fish today. That way all can get enough food and hopefully Mom too!
    Have a good day and try to stay warm Mary Ann ! We look forward to the next newsletter soon.

    1. It was simply wonderful Linda seeing that Mum work so hard to feed him. She knew he was hungry, but he was so afraid earlier. Let’s hope he gets his confidence back!

Leave a Reply