Early Saturday in Bird World

15 October 2022

It is 0500 on the Canadian prairies and the sky is solid clouds with a temperature of 5 degrees C. I am surprised at how toasty warm it is in the conservatory and how quiet it is. No cars, no people, no geese honking, or songbirds. Quiet.

The situation at Port Lincoln has had me up and down most of the night. I had so hoped that Little Bob would get some more food during the day but Big has made sure that Little and Middle are so frightened of eating that Little wouldn’t hardly raise its beak. It is a worry. If Big is going to calm down, it should begin to happen. What I witnessed on Saturday was a huge sibling demanding all the fish including any that would go to Mum. I am up early today because one of the things that relieves stress is to go for a walk in the forest and that is where I will be headed. As much as I would like to remove Big from the entire situation at Port Lincoln, I can’t. You can’t. Sometimes it is simply hard to watch abuse.

A sweet story about Blue Herons by an 11-year-old, how weather changes might impact Chiffchaffs, and a couple of videos to start the day:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/15/young-country-diary-grandmas-favourite-walk-was-to-see-the-herons

Besides the little warblers in the article below, how many other birds will be impacted by weather?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/12/weatherwatch-chiffchaff-garden-winter-breeding-population

Before we go and get the round up of the days events in Australia, Lady Hawk made a very short video of Samson and Gabby for all of us who are missing them!

And for those who cannot wait until the next season of Royal Albatross begins, Sharon Dunne aka Lady Hawk, made a much longer video of the albatross arriving at Taiaroa Head. I wonder who the Royal Cam family will be?


Oh, I had so hoped that Big Bob at Port Lincoln was ‘cooling her jets’ and settling down. The breakfast meal on Saturday went well. Big filled up. Middle got quite a bit, and Little got a couple of bites and then was able to get fed some fish before the tail area. Everyone settled down. As the anticipation of another fish arrival grew, Big ‘decided’ to remind Middle and Little Bobs with some savage beaking and pulling at the neck and some tossing that – she – and only she – was to eat first.

As the morning wore on with no additional fish delivery, Big got increasingly angry. The chatters who were watching the live stream were urging Little Bob to just not make a sound. Big is in a frenzy. Will Big be one of the exceptions to the rule of calming down? Middle and Little would gladly be fostered about right now. No matter what size the next fish is, it is Big’s. And no one will have any peace until there are several fish deliveries in a row that are huge…deliveries that have a late one and then an early one the next morning. Gracious.

Neither sibling is spared. The meal was over. Both Middle and Little were minding their own business and Bob decided to go after them.

At 11:50 Little Bob insists on cuddling with Big Bob – right under her neck. Interesting. Big Bob gave Little ‘the look’ but, didn’t beak.

It is windy and choppy. No fish delivery yet. It is after 1330. It could be quite nasty with Big on edge. I sure hope it is a monster of a fish.

There will be two more fish deliveries at Port Lincoln. The mid-afternoon delivery saw Bob terrorizing both Middle and Little again. Does anyone remember the days when Big only went on a rampage between meals and everyone got to eat? It has been a long time since that happened. Now, both Middle and Little are fearful of eating. Little Bob did not get anything to eat. Middle did a do around and pulled some pieces of fish from behind Mum.

On the PLO nest there was a late fish delivery at 20:13:24 but Little did not get anything to eat. Middle got to enjoy some fish. It is very clear that Big Bob has scared Little from eating. Let us hope, beyond hope, that he gets some food Sunday morning. Of course, the other miracle would be that Big would slow down in the aggression. Will this happen?

At 367 Collins Street, Mum returned after Dad had fed the chicks. The prey that he brought in was identified as a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. You can just see a few of the yellow feathers remaining. Apparently these are very dangerous birds for the falcons to catch as they can break the tarsus.

So we can be clear. The prey breakfast that Dad brought was not the pigeon that Mum caught and brought to the ledge. From the look of her enormous crop when she returned, she must have been ravenous and finished off that entire bird.

Mum cleaned up pieces of prey in the scrape, stayed with the chicks for a bit, and then left. Dad returned when the chicks were panting to try and shield them from the sun. Again, this is the strangest Peregrine Falcon scrape I have ever seen.

The eyases have grown so much that little Dad has a hard time just shading one of them. We are still about a week away before they can run down the gutter to the other end when it is in shade.

Top 2 images of Mum shading the chicks when she returns. Why didn’t she stay? It is so hot for them.

Little Dad comes and does his best. Look at how big they are. Oh, the shade cannot come quick enough and my calculations are that is 2 hours away.

I have included this ‘behind the scenes’ view of what I believe is the oldest or next oldest of the chicks. Just look at the feathers coming in, that huge tail, and yes, that fat little bottom and legs. It will not be long til this one is running up and down the gutter.

The Melbourne Four are eating well. The last delivery arrives around 1725. Dad comes in with a nicely prepared piece of prey. None of the four will be going hungry!

After Dad feeds them, Mum returns to brood the eyases.

Diamond fed Rubus and Indigo again around 10:17. Oh, she must enjoy facing away from the camera so we cannot possibly count the bites each of them gets! Of course, now that Rubus can see better and is more stable, there is no cause to worry. Rubus gets fed! And so does Indigo. She had an enormous crop when Diamond left the scrape with leftovers at 10:32.

We have to assume that with how well the feedings have been going that Rubus was full as well as both chicks will go into food coma.

Rubus had a really good feed at noon. At 1209 Diamond was insisting that he eat this huge piece of prey but, he tried and tried and couldn’t. Eventually Diamond ate it giving Rubus lots more bites after. The feedings are going so well now.

At the last feeding of the day, Indigo had an enormous crop and Rubus had a wee one. When you are watching a feeding at Orange, turn the sound up. Rubus is sooooooo loud!

Migration:

Here is a link to the interactive Bird Map showing ospreys, Black Storks, and other raptors on their way to their winter homes:

https://birdmap.5dvision.ee/index.php?lang=en

I will bring news of Karl II and his family – Kaia, Waba, and Bonus as soon as new transmissions are received.

Bird Cast shows us the changing nature of migration through North America.

As the sky begins to lighten, I can smell the coffee. Once upon a time I had a cat named Duncan. She knew that when the morning and evening coffees came, she would be able to go outside. She would sit at the edge of the counter waiting for her harness to go on and we would sit, enjoying the beautiful outdoors. What a great friend she was! I am not sure what the birds would make of having a cat outside but, as the sky turns a light grey, the Dark-eyed Juncos are arriving in droves. There are, perhaps, 40 of them this morning searching for any Millet left from yesterday. It looks like that is my reminder to feed them before I enjoy that coffee. The songbirds have arrived and broken the silence…and it is wonderful. A single Blue Jay has arrived as well. Time to get moving!

Let us all send the warmest wishes that we can to the Port Lincoln barge. May there be so many fish that Big gets sick of seeing fish and allows Middle and Little to eat, unharmed.

Thank you for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their stories, posts, videos, and streaming cams that form my screen captures: The Guardian, Lady Hawk, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for all then updates. Prayers for little Bob at a port Lincoln. This is so sad. I wish Dad could stay at the nest and see what is going on and maybe by him standing on the ledge Big Bob would see him and not harm the others in fear of Dad. Maybe? I’m just guessing but sometimes nothing works when you have this much aggression. Hope she/he gets better with its siblings the older it gets. 🙏❤️
    Glad the other nests are getting plenty of food for the little ones and that the stork family is doing fine and in good areas.
    Glad all your birds are coming in and enjoying their treats. It sounds like you have a great room addition and enjoy watching them. This is awesome!
    Have a good Saturday and best and positive vibes going up for port Lincoln
    Linda

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