6 September 2023
Good Morning and what a grand morning it is!
I finished reading to the kittens – yes, did you know that reading aloud to your pets is also soothing for them? Calico’s kitten is now learning about ways to save our vanishing birds by listening to A Wing and a Prayer. The Race to Save our Vanishing Birds by Anders and Beverly Gyllenhaal. You can find time to squeeze in a good book by sharing with your pets!
The book is well written and insightful. I am learning so much. Did you know that more than 8,000 species of plants and flowers in the Americas depend on hummingbirds for pollination? Or that productivity in apple orchards goes up 66% if there are insects? The book is about finding ways to keep the birds alive because human life depends on that. In Kauai, there are only a few hundred Puaiohi Thrushes. These birds spread seeds around the island, creating the rainforest. “Without forests, we have no flood control. We have no drinking water.” (219) Baby Cal is learning what we all need to – first, how important our wildlife area to our existence, what problems we have created for them, what a lack of balance means to our existence and theirs, and how some talented individuals are figuring out ways to save some of these fragile creatures. So how will they save the Puaiohi Thrush? By releasing lab-bred mosquitoes. AI is being used in the Sierra Nevada to track and protect the Spotted Owl.
I had just finished a chapter when I noticed a note from ‘H’. Was I surprised? Then another note about Collins Street. Thanks so much, ‘H’
Port Lincoln has their first egg!!!!!!!! I am overjoyed and I am hopeful that we might see a big change in the behaviour of this nest unless, of course, the fish supply is limited. From Ernie’s recent catches that does not appear to be the case.
I am so happy for Mum. Nesting material had been brought in so this new couple had some idea that yesterday was the big day.
Dad was there by her side. I am going to like this guy if he is a good provider and there is no siblicide.
We are expecting an egg at 367 Collins Street and guess what? It arrives. We have lift-off in Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spotting Ospreys: Blue 550 hatched at Llyn Clywedog in 2020 was seen and is believed to have a nest in mid-Wales. Fantastic.
Migration continues in the US. These are the latest numbers from Hawk Mountain.
Checking on some of the Osprey nests – who is home and who is not.
Patchogue: Mini is home and Dad has been seen down by the lake. Someone mentioned that Mom might still be around as several Ospreys were seen flying. Mini continues to adapt as she struggles with that left leg – often late in the day. She certainly does better after having a long rest on the nest! She is flying, she is eating – whether or not it is dad feeding her, Mini catching fish or both – she is eating. She is not lethargic. Mini is doing what this spunky independent determined fourth hatch always does – she gets on with it. She is living her life as a fledgling osprey the best she can with the issues that she has.
Mini landing at 1909.
Beautiful Iris is still home at her nest in Missoula Montana. Iris maintains one of the most splendid Osprey nests I have ever seen. Just like some of the others she is adding a few sticks to continue to lay claim to the nest. Soon, she will fly south – thought to be the oldest osprey in the world – we live in the hope that she will return in late March or early April and maybe, just maybe, have one of those young men waiting for her that she met this summer.
Iris demonstrated her great fishing skills even when there were flood waters. What marvellous fish she brought to the owl pole. The result, if you look carefully, is a fat little bottom. Eat up, Iris! We want you to make it to your winter home in southern Texas (??) safely and in good shape.
Of course, Iris is not ringed and no one knows for sure where she over winters but it is believed it could be the southern part of Texas and not further afield in Central America or Mexico.
Glaslyn: Aran is still home and so is 0H1 as of the time of this writing. OH1 is 98 days old. OH2 has not been seen since 4 September when he was 95 days old. That nest looks rather empty! Waiting to see if OH1 is still home on the 6th of September.
Harry is still delivering to Chirpy as of Tuesday. Chirpy was 103 days old. Both siblings and Mum have left on migration from Alyth.
Here comes Harry!
That amazing Dad is bringing fish to Mum on the nest at Boulder County Fairgrounds. What a loving couple and what better way to help your mate with a safe migration than to help her eat well after raising three strong osplets this season to fledge.
Snap and Crackle are both eating fish at the Dunrovin Osprey nest. T hanks, Swoop!
Fledgling fish calling at Collins Marsh – and still being fed! It was a really windy day in Wisconsin. You can’t tell the trees are blowing but look at the feathers of the juvenile. Fantastic.
‘H’ brings us up to date on Molly and Dorsett:
Kent Island 9/5 – Molly flew to the nest at 0625, fish-called a bit, then she flew away 20 minutes later. That was the last time she was seen at the nest. She was soon spotted on a nearby boat lift. In the evening, the cam focused for a long time on an osprey in the distance on a pole, but it was unclear if it was Molly.
Barnegat Light 9/5 – At 0735 Duke delivered a fish to Dorsett at the nest, and she flew to Duke’s perch to eat her breakfast. Dorsett did return to the nest a couple of times, but sightings of her were scant throughout the day. Dorsett arrived back at the nest early to wait for her much anticipated 7 p.m. dinner fish, but her dinner never arrived. As the sun was setting over the bay, Dorsett resigned herself to going to sleep hungry, and she spent the night perched on one of the camera braces.
Do you live near Cornell University at Ithaca NY? Have children aged 8-18? Check this out! What an amazing opportunity for young people. In the book, Lead! Finding your Voice a Chaotic World by Barry Dore, Tim Mackrill, talks about the opportunities he had as a young person to volunteer and learn about raptors. It changed his life and led him to create opportunities for young people through his charity Osprey Leadership Foundation.
This event at Cornell is another super opportunity to get young people involved who might become our future conservationists.
The seat eaglets were up for an early morning walk about and then back to the duckling resting position waiting for breakfast.
‘A’ comments on part of the day including the self-feeding of 31: “
At 15:38, as Lady is looking around in a very agitated manner at something near the nest tree, at about the same height as the nest, SE32 starts eating the food she has in her talons. He is giving this self-feeding thing a try, having closely watched his sister eating prey that looked the same as this (he was just TOO TOO funny – ducking down with his head under her tail to peer between her legs and watch her doing very well indeed at her first self-feeding).
SE32 pecks at the food a few times but all he can reach is a leg, and no matter how many times he picks it up, he cannot work out how to eat it. So he moves closer. SE31 is paying close attention to this – she has reached out for the food once or twice herself but is not in as good a position now as SE32 is. Lady is very upset by something and paying no attention to the food or the chicks. SE32 has moved further forward. He is up on his feet now, self-feeding on the meaty bit. Lady resuming feeding him, even though she continues to be distracted by something. SE32 remains right up on his feet while he takes the bites.
Shortly before 15:40 Lady resumes feeding SE31. SE32 turns and moves away from SE31 a little but then turns back to face the table and Lady. He just wanted space between himself and his sister. But he gets offered no bites. At 15:41:24 he tries unsuccessfully to steal a big bite, but overbalances and falls forward, correcting himself with his outstretched wings. Lady still feeds SE31. At 15:41:30, he tries to steal another bite. Again, he fails. The next bite, he grabs incredibly fast. No-one else had a chance. He got given the one after that, then his sister gets a bite. The one after that is a big piece and destined for SE32. He grabs it and works hard to swallow it.
Lady is still very distracted. Periodically, she gives SE32 a bite. Both eaglets have good crops now. At 15:42:34, SE32 grabs a really big piece. He swallows it with relative ease, as Lady doesn’t even bother trying to retrieve it from him. There is still an amazing amount of meat on this carcass. The two have eaten well. Both have good crops but both are still keen to keep eating. SE32 is very brave, diving for every bite and winning most of them, especially all of the really big pieces. Lady occasionally gives a bite to SE31, but she is not competing with SE32 and is largely just watching him grab and swallow.
At 15:44, SE32 grabs a large piece of meaty flesh with a longish leg and a foot attached!! He horked the lot with no trouble at all. By 15:44:30 he is back competing for and winning bites. Lady is feeding both eaglets plenty of food but overall, SE32 is getting the better of the feeding at this point. He is winning most of the bites that are competed for and Lady is offering him way more bites than she is SE31, who is sitting back a bit by now.
At 15:46, SE32 swallows the second leg and foot, also with flesh attached, though not as much as was attached to the first leg. Still, he swallows it without difficulty. Within 10 seconds, he is taking the last few bites from Lady and cleaning the table of leftovers. The feeding is over by 15:48. Both chicks have very large crops, and SE32 has already done a couple of small crop drops during the feeding to fit in extra food. That second piece of prey had a really large amount of flesh on it. The head was gone, but the body provided a great deal of food. Both eaglets have had plenty to eat today.
There may be more food – I will check. But they did well for the day – eventually – and both will go to bed with full crops. “
‘A’ reports on the Royal Albatross Chick, Manaaki: “GLY may have been in today to feed Manaaki off camera but we’re not sure. We know GLY has fed Manaaki behind the camera at least once recently. The chicks are a lot more mobile now and are doing a lot of exploring as they prepare to fledge. It is starting to get scary when Manaaki is off camera for six hours or more on occasion – we think he might have fledged and we missed it! He still has about a fortnight to go until he reaches 240 days, but of course at least four chicks have already fledged from the 33 at the colony and Manaaki is one of the oldest (and though he does have a lot of fluff remaining, QT did too). He has not done enough wingercising, in my opinion, and still needs to be doing a lot more practising. We need to see much better hovering, and face-planting is an undignified landing for an albatross. I think he has quite a lot of work to do before he is ready to fledge. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave before he is good and ready, but often, it is the winds that determine the timing. As with Lilibet (QT). “
Beautiful Gabby. What a lovely couple – I miss Samson. But life moves on and we have the most amazing memories of him. Gabby mourned last year and took her time selecting a new mate out of the many contenders. Let us hope that V3 is up to the task. He has big talons to fill.
Lady Hawk caught Gabby bringing in her breakfast.
No one is home. Louis, Dorcha, and Ludo are on their way with only Sparrowhawks visiting the nest. Look at this beautiful capture over the nest as the sun rises. Stunning.
We always need to be reminded, especially with there still being hot days in many parts of the world, of how we can help wildlife. Please read and keep them in mind. Water is essential. Water and some shade.
Let’s see how much you know about Condor numbers! (Answers below)
- How many California Condors were alive on 6 September 2023? a) 208; b) 91; c) 214; d) 345; or e) 559?
- How many California Condors live in the wild? a) 76; b) 345; c) 214; d) 93; or e) 54?
- How many California Condors live wild in Central California? a) 93; b) 65; c) 214; d) 23; or e) 75.
Do you want to know more about the efforts to protect and grow the California Condor community? In 2022, the Ventana Wildlife Society commissioned a documentary to be made to introduce people to the Condors of the Big Sur. They are working on another film in 2023 called Condor Canyon. It isn’t finished but, for now, why not check, out Part 1 of the 2022 film. You can find the other segments on YT by doing a search or checking on the side panel.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: “A, Geemeff, H’, PLO, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, John Williams and Clywedog Osprey Group, Hawk Mountain, PSEG, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Alyth, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Dunrovin Ranch, Collins Marsh, Kent Island, Conserve Wildlife F of NJ, Cornell University Bird Lab Raptor Program, Sydney Sea Eagles, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk and NEFL-AEF, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Ventana Wildlife Society, and Durham Wildlife Trust.
Answers to the three question Condor number quiz: 1. The answer is e. 559 total number of Condors. 2. The answer is b. 345 live in the wild. 3. The answer is a. 93 live in the wild in central California.