Breakfast in Australia…raptor style

17 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

As promised, here is a wrap up of the breakfast feedings in Australia. It is all good!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum started doing her talon dance and calling to Dad at 07:46. He was over on the perch attempting to have the head of the fish he had just caught for his breakfast. She could see him. At 07:468, Dad gave in to Mum’s cries and flew the fish over to the nest.

Today Big is 30 days old. Peace descended this morning as both Big and Middle had their breakfast. No beaking. No intimidation. Just two siblings happy to be fed their breakfast by Mum.

Mum had some bites in between feeding the osplets and, at the beginning, Big got more bites per bites given than Middle. In the end, both ate well.

Notice the juvenile feathers coming in on the osplets. They are moving out of the reptile phase. Fantastic.

At 367 Collins Street, Dade flew on to the ledge and gave Mum a well-prepared pigeon. Mum fed the Melbourne Four who tore through that pigeon in record time. It arrived at 0646 and Mum flew off with a few leftovers at 0701. 15 minutes. Wow. Those eyases are getting quite large and strong. Gosh, they are gorgeous.

At the scrape box of Indigo and Rubus on the campus of Charles Sturt University at Orange, Xavier flew in with a Starling at 06:24:49. I have expected Indigo to run into the corner in fear after the Starling head yesterday. Diamond took it immediately feeding the two and flying out with the leftovers at 063727.

Indigo hit the bull’s eye on the camera with a rather large ps. That is why the image is cloudy.

All of the chicks in Australia did very well. They were all fed early. What a wonderful way to begin the day.

I have had several requests in the mail for a book list of readings for Ospreys and ‘H’ has suggested that I remind everyone about another book on Ospreys. That is coming up tomorrow! More in-depth news will also be coming tomorrow but, for now, smile. Port Lincoln is, as predicted, settled – at least for the moment and I am hopeful that it will stay that way.

Thank you for being with me. 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 Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for the updates! All ate good breakfast and the port Lincoln nest is peaceful. I would guess the passing of the sibling may have frightened Big a little when it was removed from the nest if I understood right.
    Hopefully with middle being almost the same size all will go well.
    Have a great evening and we look forward to tomorrow’s newsletter !

    1. You are very welcome. Beaking seems to occur between day 8 and days 28-30 and coincides with the Reptilian Phase. As Alison notes above, we were so hoping that Little would be able to hold out. Once those juvenile feathers come on, the older siblings seem to settle even if there is not a lot of fish on the nest and the beak during the 8-28 or 30 days even if there is lots of fish. The people that work with the raptors at Audubon tell me the raptors are completely unphased by humans. They simply put up with us and go on about their lives when we are not around. So i don’t think Big was scared into being ‘nice’. If that were the case, we should figure out a way to scare the beakers earlier!

  2. Alison says:

    I know it is great news that the bonking has at least paused on the PLO nest. But it makes me cry all over again for Little Bob. He came SO CLOSE to making it. Perhaps if he had managed to survive just another couple of days, he would have benefited from Big Bob turning 30 days old. I just wish there had been some way to help him through such a short period so he could have his chance at life too. His fight made him a great candidate for forging a successful life as a wild osprey. I agree that Big Bob is yet to prove it can survive anything. It has, however, learned to be a bully, which may also be a great survival skill. This may be the reason that first and third hatches seem to have similar rates of survival to the age of two years.

    1. I miss Little Bob terribly and I still cry. Like you I was just hoping beyond hope that he could hold out until those juvenile feathers appeared and that reptilian phase had passed. I have gone over and over the footage, the pictures, the times. At the point that he did not actively seek food, I really do wonder if Big had injured him and that this contributed to his quick demise. (Even thought to be dead osplets often last 72 hours). Sadly, it is impossible to gauge. My only comfort is that he is not suffering anymore. We watch them, they become part of our lives, we love them and we cannot be indifferent. And that is what makes it so hard. I am also sad that South Australia does not have an active wildlife clinic in the area near to Port Lincoln. The Audubon Centre in Florida has had great success with ospreys. Smedley lived to be 28 years old. — The fact that the lives of our wildlife is so wrapped up in politics is quite saddening. I wish I knew the secret to Dr Sharpe being able to get permission to rescue chicks clinging to a cliff or the Pritchetts being able to get CROW to retrieve E17 and 18 for conjunctivitis and keep them til they were well and return them. Intervention is not widely used across the US. Many places will actually fight intervention. The key is the law and it needs to be changed since the harm done to wildlife is now mostly human induced. We need to find ways to help places like Port Lincoln be able to intervene in the future if help is needed and the resources are at hand. The question is what is the proper way to go about that. Public opinion has changed and political leaders should recognize this and fight for the raptors. Sorry, I got on my soap box.

  3. Alison says:

    Mary Ann, I just wanted to compliment you on the screen captures in this edition. The shot of mum flying off the Collins Street ledge and the first one of dad in flight at PLO are breathtaking – look at those gorgeous wings! And the light on the Collins Street ledge at sunrise is ethereally beautiful. Bathed in gold. Just gorgeous images. Thank you.

    1. Oh, thank you, Alison. Those falcons are really stunning birds and the sunrise on the scrape is phenomenal. We can only see a bit of that at Orange so Collins Street is so special. This family is full of characters!

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