Bursting crops and branching…tales from Bird World

4 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Gosh, I cannot believe it is November. Today marks the beginning of the cooler weather for the Canadian Prairies. It is -5 and the Crows and the Blue Jays have been telling me all morning that we need to bring out the heated bird bath! The problem with the heated baths is that you must, in my climate, put small boards across the surface so they can drink and not bathe. It is too cold. Well, actually it is easy to put the boards across the top, it is the Crows that whack them out of alignment causing the entire exercise to be futile.

I can see no more double digit days ahead – maybe not until May! The Snowy Owls continue to arrive in the province while the number of Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Dark-eyed Juncos is dropping dramatically. I do not blame them! I need to go out and have a last check at three local ponds and do the duck and geese count but, I have been having so much fun watching Missey and Lewis play that I just have not done it.

In the garden, the Blue Jays are here and so are the Crows. The Black Capped Chickadee stays all winter as does the Downy Woodpeckers. There are about 40 or 50 Old World House Sparrows that remain also. The numbers feeding drops substantially but, there is always a huge push for food from those migrating and that happened on Tuesday.

I am so glad that you have enjoyed the photos of the kittens. To all who realized what a wonderful distraction they are for the sadness at Port Lincoln, it is true. Lewis and Missey have really helped ease that tragedy. There is nothing more wonderful than your own animal or bird friend at home. The energy of Lewis and Missey is unmatched in my mind as my last cat, a lovely Red Aby rescue, was 14 and much slowed down when she passed away in July 2021. It took awhile to get ready for other fur ball companions. There is not a place that these two haven’t explored. I will include more pictures tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! But for now, ‘H’ cheered me up with this compilation of the two Lewises. So cute.

Australian Nests:

This image of Big at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge pretty much sums up this nest for this season. Look at Big’s crop. I would also like to see that size on Mum!

Big is massive.

Dad brought an enormous fish to the barge early yesterday morning. He had a good fill, so good that Mum was screaming at him to get that fish over to her and Big.

She is not too happy thinking Dad is going to eat that entire fish! He wouldn’t but…what we have to still consider is that during the stormy cold weather – our dear Middle got little to eat. At the same time, Mum had only the head of a fish more than Middle and some bites she could ‘steal’ while feeding Big. She was absolutely famished and still is hungry. You know I always say how much these adults lose in terms of body mass raising their chicks, it can be tremendous. I am hopeful that Mum will step back and, while feeding Big, take some care for herself.

The fish was estimated to actually weigh more than Dad. He had some trouble dragging it on to the ropes. It was just the kind of fish this family needed to start the day. Good work, Dad!

Mum and Big ate for an hour and a half.

There was some fish left for Mum, too, at the end which she ate by herself. Big was full – can you believe it? And moved away from the beak.

Last evening Mum went down and spent some time with Dad in the shed. Remember these two are grieving the loss of two chicks. Mum has fed Dad and now she has slipped down so they can spend some time together. I actually do not recall Mum being down in the shed very often. This has been a difficult season after the triumph of last year with the three males.

The attention at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne is not how much prey is brought to the nest but when the eldest eyas or two will fly. They are sure getting ready! Here are a mixture of images from today.

Dad missed the ledge – thanks, ‘H’.

Most of you will be familiar with the term ‘branching’ when it comes to eaglets. The flight from the nest to the branch. Well, there are no branches for either the Collins Street or Orange flacons but, ‘H’ caught the eldest having flow up to the other ledge at Collins Street – branching Melbourne style!

Rubus seems to have taken over the entire Orange scrape. From that tiny wee eyas that had to really jump to try and get any prey in its early days to now when it intimidates Xavier and seems to be eating everything, Rubus is a force to be reckoned with. Indigo, meanwhile, is becoming the most beautiful falcon, just like her mother Diamond.

Indigo reminds me of Izzi in this picture!

Rubus has been self feeding and plucking. He made quick work of a Starling head the other day. I wonder what he will do with this piece of prey?

I still say he but that does not mean Rubus is a ‘he’. Indeed, Rubus is eating so much and growing so big that we might be looking at another female. I don’t think Cilla has declared yet – if you know and I missed that, let me know please.

In Taiaroa Head, the first egg of the Royal Albatross breeding season has been laid and everyone of the NZ DOC rangers is looking forward to an exciting season! If you want to watch a mostly ‘unstressful’ nest, the Albatross is your seabird of choice. Why? The NZ DOC rangers take such good care of their birds. Eggs are removed right before hatch so that fly strike will not happen, eggs are shifted around between parents if a foster family is needed, and — there is normally no starvation as the chicks are weighed and topped up if their parents cannot supply enough food or if one or both are lost.

I will not say that the nests do not have their sadness. They do. We waited and waited for the return of OGK this year – he was last seen in mid-May-. He was young! Albatross can live to be quite old. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from Midway Atoll, will be 71 or 72 this year.

The NZ DOC has posted a video of what to expect:

On the Bookshelf:

I am not certain that this isn’t a book that all ages would enjoy. It was intended for children – to introduce them and convince them that birds are stunningly extraordinary. The topics cover every aspect of a birds’ life from their ancestry, to their behaviours, how we can help protect them and how to make your garden more bird friendly. The images are gorgeous and, the message is clear – protect the birds they are amazing! It is by David Lindo. Published in the UK, price varies but roughly $22 CDN for the hard cover. Highly recommended as a fantastic holiday or birthday gift.

The Name Game:

I want to thank everyone who took the time and sent in some of the names of their favourite streaming cam birds. It was quite fun.

Finally this morning, the ‘Name Game’. Thank you to absolutely everyone who sent in names. There were many duplicates and quite a few that I did not know. The letters in brackets are meant to help you figure out the nest but some, like (BS) stand for Black Stork. The Welsh names are either the Glaslyn or Dyfi nest. There were 3 names that tied for being submitted the most – 27 times each: Ervie, Izzi, and Xavier!

A: Annie and Alden (UC-B), Aila (LA), Andor (FP), Akecheta (WE); Andy (Captiva), Arthur (Cornell), Aran (Glaslyn), Aeron (Pont Cresor), Axel, Abby (EC), Alex and Andria (KNF), Audrey (CC)

B: Bazza (PLO), Big Red (Cornell), Blaze (EC), Bonus (BS), Blue33 (Rutland), Betty and Bukachek (Mlady Buky), Bella (NCTC), Brooks (SF), Baron Blue and Baroness Barefoot (WTE), Boone (JC), Bailey (HI), Barb (BPF), Bonnie (GHOW), Boris (Finnish nest)

C: Chase and Cholyn (2H); Captain JJ7 (LA), Carson and Cade (UC-B, 2020), Connie and Clive (Captiva), Ceulan, Clarach, Cerist, CJ7 (PH), Cookie (BBV), Charlie and Charlotte (Charlo Montana), Claire (USS), Clyde (GHOW)

D: Diamond (Orange); Dorcha (LA), Doddie (LA), DEW (PLO 2020); Daisy Duck (WBSE 2021), Dylan (LC), Dinas, Delyth, Della (MH), Dory (Boathouse), Diane (Achieva), Decorah North Mom and Dad, DM2, Duke and Daisy (Barnegat L)

E: Ervie! (PLO), Einion, Eitha, Eerie (BS), E9 and all the Es (SWFL)

F: Falky (PLO), Fauci (UC-B 2021), Freedom (RE, GG, Hanover), Franklin (Dollywood)

G: Grinnell and Grinnell Jr (UC-B), Gabriella/Gabby (NEFL), Glesni, Gwynant, Guardian (RE), Glory (NADC), Grislis, Glory (Dunrovin)

H: Harriet (all the Harriets but especially SWFL), Helyg, Hesgyn, Hope (GG), Harry (MN-DNR), Honor (NADC), Helju (GE), Hal (Dunrovin), Honor (Dunrovin)

I: Izzi (Orange), Indigo (Orange), Idris (Dyfi), Iris (Hellgate), Iniko (CC), Independence (Dollywood), Irvin (USS)

J: Jackie (BBV), Jasper (NEFL), Joe (Captiva), Juliet (NEFL), Jan and Jannika (BS), Jack (Achieva), Jack (Dahlgren), Junior (GI), Jolene (JC)

K: Kaknu (UC-B), Kana’kini (WE), Kindness (GG), Kaia and Karl II (BS), Kincaid (KNF), Kisatchie (KNF), Klints, Kalju (GE), Kingpin (CC)

L: Louis (LA), Lady (WBSE), Lotus (NADC), Lena (Captiva); Little Bit ND17 (ND), Legacy (NE FL), Lindsay (UC-B); Lancer (2H), Lillibet (FP), Lawrencium/Larry (UC-B), Love (GG), Liberty, Louis (KNF), LGK and LGL (RA, Taiki’s parents), Louis (HG), Lily (GHOW), Lady (LOTL), Laddie LM12 (LOTL), all of Big Red and Arthur’s Ls

M: M15 (SWFL), Mama Cruz (FP), Mr. President (NADC), Monty (Dyfi), Merin, Menai, Mrs G (Glaslyn), Martin (Captiva), Mitch (HH), Maya (Rutland), Mahala (GI), Missy (BC), Molate (SF), Malin (CM), Ma Berry (BC), Mom Decorah, Milda (WTE)

N: Nancy (MN-DNR), Nora (Dyfi)

O: OGK (RA)

P: Pedran, Padarn, Peace (GG), Pa Berry (BC), Pikne (BS), Pa Decorah, Phoebe (HI)

Q: QT

R: Rosie and Richmond (SF), Rocket (NEFL), Rick, Rubus (Orange), Rocket (NEFL), Ron and Rita (WRDC), Romeo (NEFL), Rachel (HI), Redwood Queen (CC)

S: Shadow (BBV), Samson (NEFL), Solly (PLO), Simba (BBV), SE26 for the brave eaglet she was (WBSE), Spirit (BBV), Seren (LC), Star and Sentry (RE), Skiff (HI), Sloop (HI), Schooner (HI), Slapjack (HI), Sarafina (Loch Arkaig), Star (WE), Smitty (NCTC), Spilvie, Superman (WE), Swoop (Dunrovin), Salli (Finland)

T: Thunder (WE), Takoda (NADC); dear Taps (PLO), Taiki (RA), Telyn (Dyfi), Tuul (BS), Titi (FN), The First Lady (NADC), Tom (CC), Tiny Tot Tumbles (Achieva), Tiger (GHOW)

U: UV (KF), Udu (Black Stork)

V: Victor (FP), Vera (Loch Arkaig), Voldis (WTE)

W: Wek Wek (UC-B), Willow (Loch Arkaig), Warren (MH), Waba, Wilfred and Wilma

X: Xavier

Y: Yurruga (Orange), Ystwyth, YRK (RA)

Z: Z1 aka Tegid (AO4, Wales, one of Monty’s boys), Z2 aka Aeron (PC, one of Monty’s boys)

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

Thank you to the following for their videos, streaming cams, and posts that make up my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the NZ DOC.

7 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for the updates !
    Thanks for sharing the names. I don’t know how I could have forgotten so many that are actually some of my favs.
    Thanks for the photos and the info on the Childrens book too. The Albatross update and info link. Thanks Mary Ann.
    See you again soon and have a Good Friday!
    Linda

    1. Oh, you are so welcome. It was fun looking at all the names…kind of a trip through memory lane. It was interesting the ones that everyone listed! And of course, the ones we know that didn’t get remembered. You have a great weekend, Linda! Thanks for participating.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Thanks Mary Ann! You Have a great weekend too!
        Hope to see you here soon!
        Linda

  2. Alison says:

    Loved remembering all those birds, but you forgot one that I remember including on my list, which was Ahote, the eaglet from West End that Dr Sharpe rescued from the cliff. That episode was so special that we certainly cannot leave Ahote out!
    Speaking of Dr Sharpe, you are right about the changes needed in intervention policy at Port Lincoln. I understand that Australia has the world’s worst record when it comes to species extinction, so yes, I would hope our politicians might like our country to lose that awful distinction.
    And I do wish they would band the eyases at Collins St so we would have some idea of whether all that fabulous strength and conditioning work they get to do pre-fledge does actually improve their chances of survival as juveniles. I suspect it does, but it would be nice to know. There are currently two on the windowsill this morning. And yes, that certainly is the Collins St equivalent of branching!
    I didn’t leave a comment about L4 last week, but I should. She was my favourite of the Cornell red-tailed hawk chicks this year and what a beauty she has turned out to be. So glad the survival skills she demonstrated in the nest are standing her in good stead thus far in her wild life. Be safe, sweetie. You deserve that red tail.

    1. Dear Alison, First, yes, Ahote. It was on your list. I know because I checked to make sure all of Thunder and Akecheta’s eaglets were on there. Now why did it disappear? I will go in and add it and thank you for telling me. That is odd. I think that we will also remember a few more! Many e-mailed and said that they loved remembering all those birds and it sure helped with the loss of Middle! Thank you so much for sending me that first challenge, A.

  3. Janet says:

    Thank you for the wonderful name game list! How many Harriets are there? I know of SWFL, MN DNR and Dahlgren.

    1. I am so very glad that you enjoyed it. Now you have gotten me thinking. That is a good question. I must go through my list and maybe we can get everyone to help us! Oh, Hilton Head is another one. That is Harriet and Mitch. Harriet and M15 are the most mentioned at SWFL. And yes, Harriet and Jack at Dahlgren. There are some more….I must oil my brain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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