What a Mum…and other news Early Thursday in Bird World

20 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

I am starting tomorrow’s blog at 2130 Wednesday evening. I have appointments early tomorrow morning and I wanted to give you an idea of how the day progressed at the three nests we are watching in Australia. When it is Thursday in Canada, it is Friday in Australia. The day names and dates can be confusing!

I have started with Port Lincoln. The two falcon scrapes are stable although anything could happen at any moment to change that. The worry remains with the barge nest. It is Thursday in Port Lincoln. Big should have calmed herself by now but, she hasn’t. The nest is very volatile. Warning that the images below are graphic. They show an intense attack on Middle. The feeding after 1500 is very interesting. Notice that Big does keep Middle from eating but, Big is full and leaves. Mum moves the fish and feeds Middle. Don’t ever think she doesn’t know what is going on!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, the water was calm and such a beautiful blue compared to the choppy waves of day’s past. At 063037 a whole fish arrived. It was so early that everyone hoped that this early start meant it would be a day full of lots of fish. So far, that has not been the case. As I write this, it is after 1300 and Big is attacking Middle. I was actually fearful that Big would push Middle off the nest.

I really had to hold my breath. It was clear that Big could have pushed Middle right out of the nest.

Middle stayed in the tight ball of submission and then, a few minutes later, wanted to move away from being by Big. Big started attacking Middle again.

Mum used a stick as a diversion. Would this get Big to turn away from attacking Middle?

Well, it did for a minute.

Mum flew off. Middle slowly slithered to the other side of the nest. Even if Mum brings in a fish right now, it is doubtful that Middle will get any. Big is in key form to block her younger sibling in any way that she can. The attack was ruthless. It was meant to instill fear and to let Middle know that Big is the boss. The food is for Big. Middle might get some, maybe, but only if Big is full to the tip of its beak.

I don’t think we will see any attempt by Middle to snatch and grab ————– I want to be wrong.

Another fish came in at 1504. It was a zebra fish. Big ate and ate and ate and starts on Middle at 1551. But Mum still has some fish left. And look! She physically moves the fish over to Middle so that it can have some food. I am so impressed.

Middle is hungry and hoping that a fish will arrive. Look at the crop on Big.

The last fish of the day arrives at 1838. It was almost impossible to see how the feeding went. The camera was zoomed out and then to close but Middle ate.

Big has a crop but did Middle eat??? Yes, he moved carefully around big to get to Mum’s beak.

Middle keeps its head down and waits for big to move out of the way.

Now Middle has its head up and is facing Mum. You can see its crop. Middle will not go to bed hungry.

The only problem at the 367 Collins Street scrape is the heat and that is slowly becoming not a problem as the eyases – at least three of them – can easily run dwn the gutter to the other end of the ledge to get in the shade.

The parent is afraid that the fourth hatch is wandering too close to the ledge. Notice the attempt to pull back by the scruff of the neck. It is interesting that both parents use that method to get the chicks to stop doing what worries them – or to get them out of trouble -.

Mum leaves and the 4th hatch gets down into the gutter into the shade. I couldn’t help myself. What a cutie pie this one is. Love the nice big crop. All of the Melbourne Four are being well fed. Food is not a problem. My concern until now was the absences of Mum, the heat, and lack of shade. The four have solved that themselves by growing big and strong. They can get in the shade and simply wait for Daddy Door-Dash.

A little Buddha.

It is now very difficult to gauge the feedings at Collins Street because of the heat from the sun on the scrape. The eyases are down at the other end, in the other scrape where there is no camera, and we can hear the calling and feeding but we cannot see it now.

Rubus and Indigo have had a Starling breakfast, a feeding started by Xavier and finished by Diamond. Four and a half hours later, at 11:01:10, Darling feeds her two babies a Crimson Rosella. Oh, they loved it.

Oh, just look at how fluffy Indigo is and Rubus is getting fluffy, too. That white down will fly off their wings, their bodies, their heads revealing beautiful juvenile feathers. Underneath those feathers will be an insulating layer of grey.

More feedings arrive. The last one is a Starling at 1829 and neither Rubus or Indigo are hungry. They have crops from the earlier feedings! There are some gorgeous pictures of Diamond with Rubus before the arrival of that prey item.

Indigo would rather play on Cilla’s rocks and be in the corner wandering around that eat any more food. These two are absolutely adorable.

Peregrine Falcon scrapes are peaceful and fun to watch. The eyases are always cute in every stage of their development. in the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape, the way it is set up there is no fear for too much sun and rain on the chicks. They are protected. This close proximity to their lives allows us to begin to see the individual characteristics of each of the eyases. What a joy this can be.

Thank you for being with me for this brief look at the state of the Australian raptor nests. Take care everyone. See you soon!

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

2 Comments

  1. Fernando says:

    I hope big relaxes, middle is stronger than poor little so I’m sure she’ll fletch and fly, but big makes it difficult, sometimes I feel angry at her, but in the end she’s another osprey and I get over it , impressive mother, it is very adorable.

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for these updates and photos! Big is mean to middle. I’m so glad middle is big enough to hopefully survive these horrible attacks and don’t get its neck injured 🙏❤️ Big is one aggressive Osprey.
    All the others seem so good at the falcon nests. ❤️ They are such adorables!
    Hope to see you here again soon Mary Ann!
    Linda

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