Middle takes the Fish Tail…and more news in Bird World

26 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you had a really lovely afternoon.

It was not a particularly beautiful mid-afternoon on the Canadian Prairie. The forecast is for the temperatures to climb tomorrow and last for 3 or 4 days. Good days to go out and see the local wildlife. Still, today was not a disappointment. While waiting for three Canada Geese to cross a road, in front of them, down about 5 metres were three fauns crossing over, too. What a beautiful sight and, how nice it was that everyone slowed down to let them move at their own pace! At the local pond, there were about 200 Canada Geese on the soccer pitch with only a few in the water along with a lone male Wood Duck and a pair of Mallards.

Nearer to home, more than 35 Crows gathered in a nearby tree. It was only 1500, too early to be having a communal roost. Was there any Owl in the neighborhood that was bothering them?

This is a small corner of the tree. There were so many that flew in. Normally this time of year the Great Horned Owl comes by and all the Crows gather to usher it out of their territory.

The first of the Australian raptor families to have breakfast this morning appears to be the scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University. Xavier came in with a nice bit of prey at 0726. The eyases were sound asleep until his arrival. Indigo ate first with Rubus joining in. Indigo then moved to the corner and Rubus continued eating. Where does he put it all? Then Diamond arrives. Xavier moves and eats some prey on the ledge. Diamond searches for leftovers. Meanwhile, Indigo is on the Cilla Stones wondering what in the world is going on?

It is a wet morning in Port Lincoln. Middle and Big are waiting for their breakfast fish to arrive.

A nice fish arrived and if you were watching that feeding, you might have been wishing that Big would get a few more bites! Now isn’t that a switch? Middle dominated the feeding from the onset to the ending. At one time, Middle turned away – possibly thinking Big would get grumpy if she didn’t get any fish! Then after Big got a couple of bites, Middle leaned back in and ate some more! Goodness. There was no beaking although I noticed Middle eyeing Big and wondering and one time Middle raised its neck up and looked directly at Big as if to dare her but…nothing happened. Big is docile. Meanwhile, Middle still does a lot of snatch and grab even if the feeding is directed at him. Still a little nervous. That is a good thing. It will bode him well for his future.

I love how Middle opens his beak wide letting Mum know he is ready!

Middle just keeps getting bites of fish and more fish and all the while he is sitting right next to Big. Cautious but never as fearful anymore.

Big gets the lion’s share of that fish. Big doesn’t seem to care.

Want to know what really showed how much this nest has changed? Big got the tail and was playing with it. Everyone thought it would keep Big busy for a bit but, no. Mum had other ideas. She took the tail, gave a bite of the fish flesh to Middle and then Middle took and horked the tail — right in front of Big. Oh, hos this nest has changed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is Big playing with the fish tail. Look. Middle is actually leaning down wanting to take it.

Mum took it from Big. She is pulling out the last of the fish flakes from it.

Middle has just gotten this fish tail and is beginning to hork it down. Ironically, Big didn’t even attempt to do that. Quite interesting.

Oh, how this nest is turned around. My money is on Middle. A true survivor. Maybe both Big and Middle will each get a sat-pak since Turnby Island will have no chicks. I think it would be very interesting to compare these two after they leave the nest.

At 0822 a freshly caught pigeon is brought to the 367 Collins Street scrape. What a chore Dad has trying to pluck with those four ravenous eyases waiting in line for food. I sure wouldn’t want that job. Does anyone remember how in 2020 little Dad was almost pushed off the ledge trying to feed those three big girls?!

Some eyases would rather run up and down and flap their wings than eat!

Oh, gosh. It sure was a good start to the day at all of the Australian nests. I am especially delighted because Middle is really coming into his own. What a joy to see that osplet hork down that fish tail today. Just little tears of happiness. The trauma is over on that nest. Please join us now and watch these two grow and fledge!

Thank you so much for being with me to check on the breakfast meals in Australia. Take care. See you soon!

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


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the updates on these Australian nests. So glad for Middle to get plenty to eat and no aggression from Big. ❤️❤️
    The little eyases Indigo and Rubus are so adorable ! Sometime they are funny and fun to watch all the time !💕💕
    The four eyases at Melbourne are funny running up and down the ledge. I hope they never go over the edge. 🙏💕💕💕💕🙏
    Thanks for all of the pictures Mary Ann!
    Thank you for the beautiful wood ducks and mallard ducks and Canadian geese photos ! It is always a pleasure to see them and your garden birds too!
    Have a great evening and take care!

    1. Alison says:

      Dear Linda,
      When the eyases graduate to running along that ledge and flapping their wings, it really is ‘hearts in mouths’ time. They will test every nerve you have. So far, I have not seen one fall off the ledge, but there is a first time for everything. My biggest fear is of it happening by accident, during a tussle for food or just as one barges its way past another without considering the consequences. But the scrape they are now in provides greater protection from falling into the street. And hopefully, the eyases will have much better balance and coordination before they start trying to negotiate the ledge. I find this amazing but apparently birds (young ones at least) have some fear of heights that protects them from going too near the edge too soon. I would love to know whether that is true.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Dear Alison that makes me feel so much better to know. Thank you for your reply to this. They are the cutest little falcons and I enjoy watching them.
        Have a great day Alison and thanks again!

    2. Hi Linda, Yes, they are all definitely adorable. I am so glad you enjoyed the ducks and the geese today. Please do read Alison’s comment to you. I have yet to see one fall off that ledge either but, the worry would be by accident. Tugging and pulling at prey.

  2. Alison says:

    Mary Ann, that wood duck is amazingly beautiful. Just gorgeous. The delicate patterns and colours. The designer of that duck should be deified. Oh, that’s already the case. So it should be!
    I shed tears too at the news that the PLO nest has calmed down and Middle Bob is now coming into its own. But my tears were for Little Bob, who didn’t live to see this day. I still believe that Big Bob fatally injured Little the day before Little died, and had that not happened, perhaps Little would have survived to benefit from the changes on the nest. Like you, I have looked back at pics of Little Bob, crop full and as round as his little bottom, beak open eagerly. Such a sweet osplet. I miss him so much.

    1. Dear Alison, I thought all day how different it would have been if all this fish had come when Little Bob needed it to come on the nest. I, too, continue to shed tears thinking about him. And, yes, I agree with you whole heartedly. I do believe Big injured him. You have reminded me that I need to check Friends of Ospreys FB and see if there is any news. — He was an adorable little osplet. It is just a tragedy. The Ospreys are such gentle birds compared to many and yet this practice of siblicide on certain nests is just mind-boggling and disturbing.

  3. Janet says:

    Although I’m happy to hear that Big calmed down, I am sitting here with my mouth open going “what??”. Poor Little, you lived such a short life, but you were loved little darling.
    Had a big smile seeing the Collins St. 6th photo: Those bloomers! Adorable.
    And I agree, that wood duck is stunning. What a gorgeous bird.
    Did you see Lady Hawks video of Harriet and M15 bickering and Harriet stepping on his face? Typical old married couple, hahaha. Made me laugh so loud.

    1. Oh, I will have to find that video…yes, those two do bicker but they work so well together. I adore Harriet and M15 – and Jackie and Shadow and, Samson and Gabby!!! Well, PLO was good til Middle pecked Big last evening. No reason to. Just decided. I don’t think Middle will do that again. Thanks for writing in, Janet…and yes. so many of us wish that the fish had been there when Little Bob needed it. He is much missed and loved.

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