29 August 2023
It is 28 degrees C on the afternoon of the 28th of August on the Canadian Prairies. On Saturday, it is expected to be 34 degrees C. That is hotter – by several degrees Celsius than where my son lives in the Caribbean.
Our summer weather began to change 5-6 years ago. I joked and said it was time to put in a swimming pool – “If it is the shot next year, I am getting a pool!”. Before 2017, people would have laughed at the thought of a pool. Our summers never got hotter than 20 degrees C, and they were short, with the first frost normally in August, sometimes early August. The last snow might have been 15 May. Well, it is all different. I didn’t put in the pool, but I might build a pond for the birds and small mammals late next spring. Remember – water is essential to their lives. Leave out containers of water. Ensure they are topped up at night – many critters are nocturnal.
The weather has caused so many problems this year for the Ospreys. The storms and flooding led to starvation at many nests. The overfishing of Menhaden was another, but the weather has just thrown everyone for the proverbial loop. It has led to the infamous wildfires and played with the birds’ arrival and departure dates. In Manitoba, we have had the type of weather that I grew up with in Oklahoma as a young child. Large hail, winds ripping trees out, and tornadoes. The displacement of wildlife from the affected wildfire areas will have a lasting impact for decades until those old, big, beautiful – trees can regrow.
Missey, Lewis, and Calico continue to do well. The biggest shock has been Lewis. I know to open the office door – enough for cats to put their noses through. Whenever Lewis gets close to Calico’s nose, he leaps backwards. It is hilarious. Missey is more reserved, preferring to sit on the top of the wood stove playing with pussy willows and acting like she is not interested in her new sister. We have moved Calico’s appointment date to this Friday, 1 September. That way, she can be integrated into the family a little earlier. Today, she has been playing with me and with toys by herself. Perhaps she can recapture some of her lost kitten hood.
Our giggle of the day comes from Osprey House in Australia posted by Linda McIlroy. Wouldn’t we love to see crops on all the osplets like this one?!
A blast from the past!
A recorded Webinar from Cornell Bird Lab on the race to save our vanishing birds.
As many of you are aware, there is a category 3 or 4 hurricane heading towards the western shores of Florida that is expected to cross the entire state. Weather systems such as hurricanes can cause such harm to raptors and other wildlife. We have celebrated in the past when we discover they survived Hurricane Ian, for example. Lost nests but not lost birds! Here is some information if you are wondering how hurricanes can impact our beloved feathered friends.
Fledglings getting fed well at the Dunrovin Ranch Osprey nest of Harriet and Swoop. Indeed, fledglings continue to be well fed around the world as the adults – mostly but not exclusively the males – fatten them up for migration.
Idris continues to fill the fledglings to the brim at the Dyfi nest in Wales.
At Glaslyn, Aran is bringing in the fish. His new mate, Elen, has left. She took the place of Mrs G, the oldest osprey in the UK, this year. Mrs G was 21-24 years old (unringed so not known for sure how old she was) and did not return from migration. Elen proved she was a very worthy successor taking amazing care of the two fledglings this year.
Dad has not delivered fish to the Patchogue nest for either Sunday or Monday. It is 1730 nest time there. Everyone is missing seeing Mini. Maybe she will come and rest her leg. She is, no doubt, being fed off nest like many of the other families are doing.
Mini flew in at 1800. Oh, what a strong flyer she is and she did not look like she was starving even thought she was really doing a lot of fish calling!
You can see her coming in near the top left.
‘H’ gives us her report on Fortis Exshaw: “The action started early. At 0614, we heard Banff calling as she approached the nest. Two minutes after Banff landed, she was buzzed three times by the male intruder. The intruder flew to the tall pole, and then landed on Banff twice. Then the intruder stood on the nest, and proceeded to jump on Banff three times, then flew away. But the intruder wasn’t done, he soon returned and hit Banff on the fly, and Banff was knocked overboard. For the next several hours the intruders were on and off the nest, the horizontal nest perch, and the lookout post. The male even brought in some nesting material. At 1306 Banff was calling, then she flew under the left side of the nest toward the pond, turned toward the road, and then flew back east, and all the while she was being chased. At 1654 Banff landed on the nest and was immediately dive bombed then jumped on by one of the intruders. Banff managed to fly away. Banff was involved in another chase at 1858, and she briefly landed on the nest for a few seconds, but was not hit. At 1918, Banff flew over the nest being chased. At 1948 Banff flew toward the nest being chased and she immediately diverted rather than land on the nest. She seemed to clip her right wing on the nest as she passed by. At 2054 Banff was again being chased. She touched down on the nest and was immediately hit by an intruder, then she was dive bombed, and Banff flew off the nest. Are you noticing a pattern here? Banff is definitely eating, and is most likely still being provided fish by Louise. If Banff has managed to catch some fish, it may be supplemented by Louise. We do not see Louse on camera. Louse knows that the entire area around the nest has become hostile. It seems that young Banff has yet to fully come to that realization. I wish Banff would stay completely away from the nest area, hang out near Mom, and perhaps practice fishing.”
‘H’ catches up with some other nests:
Forsythe – The last remaining fledgling, Ollie, has not been seen since early on 8/27. On 8/28 Oscar landed on the nest briefly at 11:11. He made a quick survey of the nest, and then he flew away. That was our only osprey sighting of the day.
Osoyoos – There were at least four fish brought to the nest by Soo and Olsen. They and their fledgling are doing well.
Barnegat Light – Duke continues to provide fish for his hungry fledgling, Dorsett. Daisy was last seen on the nest the night of 8/27.
Kent Island – Audrey was at the nest on 8/28. She helped Tom with nest defense, and she brought a fish for Molly.”
Thank you so much ‘H’ – we appreciate your continuing reports on these nests knowing that FortisExshaw is a very difficult nest to observe.
There should be no more concerns about SE32 at the Sea Eagles nest. 32 appears to have caught up in size to 31 and the meals are very civil. Both eaglets stuffed at the morning feed. It is a wonder they could even move.
‘A’ remarks: “The civility continues at WBSE. The breakfast fish (another nice large one, minus Dad’s breakfast) around 07:45. SE32 was slow to get up to the table, but started his breakfast first. SE31 was busy organising her morning PS. When she eventually dealt with that, she was keen to practise her walking. Her balance is improving and she got up to the table, then flopped down. She soon got a bite, though Lady was concentrating on feeding SE32, giving SE31 a bite here and there. SE31 is happy to sit beside her little brother and watch. Once again, no bonking or intimidation. Just two happy eaglets in the morning sun, knowing there’s plenty of fish for both.”
“Oh my. Just look at the size of the thighs on those sea eaglets! And those extra-round little bottoms. Just darling!! And those tails are really coming along now – especially SE31’s. It looks like lace. Dad and Lady are doing one of their raucous duets around 13:33:30 (usually reserved for around 6am). “
“SE31 is getting much steadier on her feet. She seems to enjoy practising her walking. She sits up looking very pleased with herself afterwards. Both these two have really large crops. Lady coaxed each of them to eat until they could eat no more. Somehow that big fish has been devoured. Have a look at their relative sizes now. It is as though SE32 has caught up to SE31 in size. I presume he is still the smaller of the two but not by much. I am now wondering whether the genders I had assumed all along are in fact correct. Maybe we have two males here, one of which was younger and went through a state when it was more nervous than the other. Unfortunately, as they do not band these eaglets, we won’t know unless they end up in care (which I suppose is highly likely, based on previous seasons). But certainly, SE32 has grown quite dramatically over the past three or four days, since he began eating his fill several times a day. Just lovely to see how healthy and happy they look, with their gorgeous feathers sprouting on their shoulders and wingtips and their little tails growing. “
‘A’ also checked on Xavier and Diamond for us. “At Orange, Xavier has just come bouncing into the nest box with a starling, which surprisingly, Diamond takes and flies off with. This buys Xavier some precious egg time, and as always, he chats to his eggs as he settles down to brood. Oh he is the sweetest little falcon. These little males are adorable, aren’t they? Like Alden and then Lou at Cal Falcons, both similarly small but gorgeous. Diamond and Xavier had another of their lengthy half-asleep bonding sessions this morning, from 04:54:52 to 05:39:08. These two are SO cute. “
‘A’ also adds: “We are worried about an intruder at Orange. There has been an unknown falcon upsetting Diamond and Xavier at exactly the worst possible time. Of course they would not desert their nest box and their eggs. This is their territory and they will defend it. But of course the very last thing this scrape needs is the loss of a parent. Diamond is a very large, powerful female, but we would not want her risking her safety. And Xavier is essential to the provisioning of this scrape, so he too cannot be injured. There are suggestions that this might be a previous fledgling – Indigo or even Izzi! These two have tended to have male eyases and it is the males who return to the natal nest area, is it not? So far, the intruder is not causing major problems, but s/he is hanging around. If it is a female, of course, the problem could become more serious. “
There are no eggs at Port Lincoln, but I quite like the new male. He is good to bring Mum fish, and they are trying. Let’s all send them a wink, nod, and some good positive energy. We might be surprised! I cannot think of anything nicer than this Mum having a nest full of osplets but also full of fish – and everyone living to fledge!
It is to be noted, as ‘A’ reminded me this evening that none of the other Osprey nests in South Australia have eggs either – so either they are all late (at least historically) or we won’t see any osplets this year! I prefer to think that they know something we don’t and the eggs are just late.
There are no eggs at 367 Collins Street yet. This is the latest update.
The death of a single Kakapo rattles the world. There are now only 247 of these gorgeous green non-flying parrots alive in the world.
It is that time of year when window collisions are happening more frequently. Here is a good little article to help you or someone you know understand how to deal with a bird that has hit a window.
We are experiencing Hummingbirds on their migration from the north to the south. If you are also, please provide sugar water for them. Do not purchase this at the shop with the dye…make your own. The recipe is simple: 4 cups of water to 1 cup of white sugar. Heat to dissolve the sugar only. Cool before putting in your hummingbird feeder. These little ones need all the energy they can get, and right now, some of the flowers no longer have nectar. They are dried up due to the summer heat!
Thank you so much for being with me today. For everyone in the area of Hurricane Idalia, please take care. We hope to see everyone with us soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, PB’, Linda McIlroy and Raptors of the World, Susan Butler and FOBBV, Cornell Bird Lab, ATV, Dunrovin Ranch, Fortis Exshaw, Kent Island, Osoyoos, Forsythe, Wildlife Conserve Foundation of NJ, Ian Dragnet and Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, PSEG, Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Nazz Derbz and Peregrine Falcons Melbourne, Kakapo Recovery, and Maureen Eiger.