Late Friday in Bird World…or is it Breakfast in Australia?

14 October 2022

A good late afternoon to everyone. It is 1640 on the Canadian prairies. The temperature has warmed up to a balmy 5 degrees C. The sky is very overcast. The Juncos are feeding on the White Millet and there is a large group of American Tree Sparrows that have joined the regulars in the garden. Having been for Bark Butter and Meal Works the Starlings have yet to show up again. I have a feeling they are feeding elsewhere and roosting in the big trees at the back in the evening. I hope they see their special set up. They generally like to eat out in the open tearing through the goodies rather quickly.

Let’s check and see what is happening at the homes of the Melbourne Four, Indigo and Rubus, and the three osplets at Port Lincoln. Of the three I am most anxious for Little Bob at Port Lincoln.

At Port Lincoln everyone is curled up tight. Just have a look at how big Big is! There was no middle of the night snack for Little Bob and Mum last night.

We should, of course, be astounded by the growth of ospreys. They normally “triple their body weight in the first eight days they are out of the egg, and then double it again in the nest four days. During the period of fastest growth, between the ages of fifteen to thirty days, chicks are gaining an average of forty grams or .09 of a lb a day which is translated to 2-3% of their final weight. By thirty days of age, Osprey chicks have achieved 70-80% of their total body mass and growth slows.” (Alan Poole, Ospreys, 101).

This is what I hope will happen to Big. She will plateau. Not requiring so much food for that accelerated growth that has caused her to become nothing short of huge, her beaking and need to keep the others at bay should slow as well.

The first arrived at 06:25. Thankfully, it was a nice big one. Little Bit winds up in the middle of Big on the right and Middle on the left. At 06:52, Little Bit gets a good 3 or 4 bits. Then the two older siblings find yet more room in their full crops. At around 06:53 Mum really reaches her neck over and feeds Little Bit.

It is hard to imagine that Big could hold another bite, but she continues to get some bites until 06:58 when she backs off. Little Bit will move around the left side of Middle to get closer to Mum and the fish tail. Middle has eaten well but is still getting bites. Mum works hard to get the rest of the meat out of the tail for Little.

During the feeding, Little Bob was very aware of Middle and kept back. That was very smart. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next feeding.

It was the most congenial breakfast I have seen in more than a week. Fantastic. We should all be smiling. Little Bit did not get tons of food, not like Big and Middle but he ate without being pecked and was not too scared, just careful. Also, clever moving around Middle to get closer to Mum.

Mum needs some food. That is a fact.

The sun is coming up over the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne. The Melbourne Four will be waking up and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first prey item of the day.

Mum left the eyases and it looks like she went hunting. She flew in with a ‘just killed’ pigeon with all its feathers!

Mum left with that prize pigeon at 07:38. The eyases have not been fed and neither adult has arrived back. As I write it is now 08:40. This is the strangest behaviour at a Peregrine Falcon scrape with four little ones I have ever seen in my entire life. It does not take an hour to pluck a pigeon!

At 0847 an adult arrives on the ledge with a plucked pigeon. I cannot tell if it is Dad or Mum but, the behaviour is like Dad. Ahhh…and it is Dad. He has arrived to feed the little ones who are ravenous.

Dad did a fantastic job feeding the four and they are still eating as I finish writing. What on earth is going on with this female? Most females will go without eating to feed their chicks. Clearly the Mum at Port Lincoln is like that. This female catches prey and leaves. Why didn’t she pluck it on the ledge? The old Mum and Dad often did that. Why did Dad come in with a plucked pigeon looking around and not seeing Mum. Was it the pigeon she caught? Too many questions.

Diamond is awake in Orange as the camera gets ready to change over from IR light.

Indigo and Rubus are awake. Rubus is when breakfast is arriving.

Xavier arrived with a Starling at 0642. Oh, I thought he was going to get to fed Rubus and Indigo. Maybe Xavier did, too! He started plucking that Starling…and then Diamond arrived and took it over.

Diamond had her back to the camera during the feeding.

Both Rubus and Indigo appear to have had plenty to eat. Diamond has now moved ‘eggie’ back into the nest cup. I wonder if she will move it out when she goes to brood the two.

Migration News:

There is good news coming from the satellite transmissions of Karl II and his family. Everyone has sent out their locations.

Karl II has left Turkey and is now in Lebanon in the mountain area near Hos ech Chadoura Ridge.

Waba is still in Bulgaria near Rakowski. He is feeding at the River Marizu and in the canals between the fields.

Kaia is still in Chad. She is feeding in a seasonal river near Baouda.

Bonus is still in Romania.

Everyone has eaten but it sure is a strange morning at 367 Collins Street. Just about the time Port Lincoln is due to calm down the scrape in Melbourne continues to confound. Rubus and Indigo had a good feed and Little Bob did not get a full crop, but he had a good meal on top of his full crop last night. Life is good.

Thank you for being with me. I hope that you have a lovely start to your weekend. Take care all. 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 University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks ever so much for these updates Mary Ann! So happy to see that all got fed at Port Lincoln without getting bit!
    Glad the dad came
    In and fed at Melbourne. What a great Dad. I don’t understand the Mom either. I think it might have been the same bird but it might not have because it is strange who plucked the feathers so quick.
    Happy to see the two little ones at Diamond and Xaviers are getting fed good too!
    Hopefully all
    Will be good again tomorrow and everyone will get fed a good meal or 2 or 3….. thanks have a good evening Mary Ann! Also thanks for the update on all your
    Birds in the garden too!

    1. Hi Linda, Oh, I sure hope the next fish comes to Port Lincoln. Big went on a tear after breakfast and well..I wish she would get over the beaking! Everyone else seems to be fine. It has not been a bad day so far. Do you have Dark eyed Juncos? Seems they come and visit the southern US for winter. There are a growing number coming to the garden now.

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