7 September 2023
Good Morning Everyone!
Whew! What a day. ‘The yet-to-be-named kitten’ was let out of the kennel in the Conservatory, allowing her to run around with Mamma Calico. It brought tears to my eyes seeing Calico lick her kitten for the first time in 10-11 days. Of course, the kitten loved being with its Mamma and wanted to suckle immediately! Then, it wanted to play with Mamma’s tail. What a sheer delight to see the wee one following Calico around copying everything she did. It is like a Mini Calico – at first glance, it is hard to tell which is which. They are six months apart in age, but Calico took such good care of her single surviving kitten that it is plump and robust and Calico is still trying to put on some fat. Thanks also to the neighbours who have their feral feeding stations this one was in good health when I trapped her.
Calico loves the cat tree, and she quickly found Lewis’s favourite spot – the little house. The kitten could not stand it and kept jumping up and around, trying to get in with Mamma. I have, at times, wondered how happy Calico is to see her baby. Still, I made her a promise, and I am still tearful that I was able to follow through. To see the two of them on a chair together, cuddling and washing, brings so much joy. I still have to pinch myself to realise that everything worked out. The lesson for all of us is never to give up! To not lose ‘hope’.
Calico washing her kitten for the first time in 10 or 11 days.
Mamma is very protective. Lewis and Missey will be staying in the main part of the house while Calico and baby are in the Conservatory for the next week. Then we will try them in a few rooms. Thank you ‘Geemeff’ for all the tips. We appreciate them!
Promises should never be made. A friend in Berlin and I were talking about this. It caused such anxiety that promise. T he night when Calico wanted to come into the house and leave the dark deck where these two had been living, I promised her I would find her kitten if it was alive. No one had seen the kitten. Everyone believed that a white kitten that had been found in the area was Calico’s wasn’t. It was simply too young. So what did happen to Calico’s kitten? Flyers, walking the streets, putting food under the deck where the kitten was born, stopping people on the street, and postings to FB groups netted nothing. From now on, there will be no more promises. It will simply be that I will do my best to make something happen – but, no promises.
I almost was going to name the kitten ‘Promise’ but ‘J’ pointed out that the word has a negative connotation because of the anxiety it caused me. After many fantastic suggestions, the name finally just came when Calico and her kitten were having ‘story time’. Her name is Hope. Hope is something that each of us needs in our lives.
Hope loves to play with toys. The tiny little crochet ones with the catnip inside which cling to their ever so sharp nails appear to the favourite for the moment.
Meanwhile, Missey and Lewis are, as always, together. They seem to nap more since they are a year old. Missey has slowed down more, but Lewis still loves having someone to play with and run through the house. Perhaps Hope will join the midnight romp.
Trips to the park to check on the ducks and geese have been neglected lately. It was time for me to get moving before they are all gone. The afternoon was beautiful. The leaves are turning quickly. You can see the yellow kissing the tops of what was once emerald-clad trees.
The small garden at the park is still beautiful. There were lots of bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers and this Mallard leading the way.
Many of the gardens have been planted for bees and butterflies with a nod to plants that are more drought tolerant.
On the island where most of the ducks and geese were having their afternoon nap, the trees have really turned yellow.
This goose was not being very nice to the two female Wood Ducks.
Others were napping on the warm walkway.
There is something marvellous about being outside. It was a lovely walk and it felt so good to sit with the warm sun on my face enjoying the geese and the few ducks that were meandering around. The kittens were all having their ‘nap’ time while I was away. They didn’t even notice I was gone! Fresh air not ‘sardine’ air was most welcome.
Taking this lovely walk and spending much time with the four kittens did not allow me to spend the hours required to give you a good run down of the nests. Today’s report is, thus, a little thin.
Patchogue: Observing their crop is one way to know if a raptor has been eating. Some also look at the amount and force of the ‘poop shot’ or ‘ps’. The proper term is guano. “To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it’s more important than we may think. In fact, droppings were once a very important commodity in the United States. Buying and selling bird poop is not as featherbrained as it may seem either. This stinky substance, referred to as bird guano, was sailed around the world during the 19th century to be sold as the principal agricultural fertiliser in the United States. (Natural History Museum)
Mini has been eating. One of the chatters has been keeping track of Mini’s ‘ps’. Here is the times from ElizaG: “10:13pm, 11:17pm 1:10am, 3:13am.” Mini flew off to the lake and returned to the nest at 19:19 (thanks, L for the alert). She is resting that leg, thank goodness.
She put the weight on her right leg, not her left. It seems to be the typical pattern where the leg is giving her trouble at the end of the day.
Good Night Mini. SOD.
Wonderful news comes from John Williams at Llyn Clywedog. He had spotted an Osprey and thought it was Dylan (of Dylan and Seren at the Llyn Clywedog Nest) but it wasn’t. It was another unringed male and it turned out that this male had a nest with a female Blue Z5. Now she is rather special because she is the daughter of one of my favourite ospreys, Tegid Z1. Monty’s boy. Blue Z5 hatched in 2020. She is the granddaughter of Monty. Turns out the couple raised one female chick to fledge, ringed as Blue 7B9. She weighed 1670 grams. What a fantastic surprise and another osprey family for the forms. John tells us about it in his blog.
A family portrait of Dylan and Seren and the two fledglings this year. The one was sadly killed by the goshawk when there was a fish delivery and the hawk attacked the nest directly while Seren was feeding.
Mum is still home at the Boulder County Fair Grounds Osprey Nest in Colorado. So is Dad!
The fledgling at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (the only one of three to survive) is being well fed.
Keo delivered at least three fish for Coco at the Sandpoint Nest on Wednesday. Mum Keke is still home and there was relief when she did not fight her osplet for the food. Keke should be out fishing! And preparing for migration.
The Cowlitz PUD cam was buffering so bad, but there is at least one osprey still home at that nest. The protective grids worked well! Spread the news.
For all the nests that are emptying out, good winds, safe travels and full crops. See you next year Idris and Telyn!
‘H’ brings her reports for us – looks like Molly might have started her migration!
Kent Island, 9/6 – “We had not seen Audrey since 8/29. Today At 0645, Audrey landed on the nest with a large common carp. Audrey must have had to dive deep for that one, because she was soaked to the bone! Audrey nibbled on the fish, but she was waiting for Molly. When Molly didn’t arrive, Audrey ate more fervently. Soon, some crows started to harass Audrey, so Tom flew in to the rescue. Tom stayed on the nest for about 25 minutes helping to ward off the unwelcome visitors, and he was later seen eating his own breakfast on the back of an Adirondack chair. Audrey would eat some, then wait some, and by 0830 Audrey was still holding a large portion of the fish. She was waiting for her girl to appear. By 0910 Audrey had completely consumed the fish, but she still stood on the nest, seemingly waiting for Molly. Molly never arrived to claim the fish her mom had brought for her. Audrey flew away at 0953. We have not seen Molly since she flew away from the boat lift at 0745 on 9/5.”
Barnegat Light, 9/6 – “Dorsett was a bit more of a homebody, staying at the nest or on Duke’s perch much of the day. Duke delivered three fish to Dorsett. She took the first fish (a whole black sea bass) to eat on top of a flag pole across the cove. But, when she returned an hour later, she did not have as large a crop as one would expect, so she may have let part of the fish fall to the ground. Dorsett chose to eat her next two fish at the nest.”
The Sea Eaglets had an early breakfast for a change! As I am writing no other food has come to the nest but ‘A’ spots another one of those great eels that Lady has been bringing to the nest. “After a nice breakfast of leftover eel, the eaglets went the rest of the day until Lady brought in another of her giant eels soon after 15:36. Immediately, SE32 is up to her beak and pecking at the eel. Lady immediately starts feeding him. SE31 waits next to SE32 but further from Lady’s beak for her turn to eat. There is no attempt to push in or intimidate SE32, who is eating fast and with great confidence. This eel means that there is now plenty of food here for everybody. These are nice big eels that Lady has been catching. She returns with them intact, panting a little but not particularly wet, and she is not gone long. Once again, it was as though she made a decision that food was required now and she went to get it, returning within 10 minutes or so with this eel. Perhaps this mid-afternoon feeding schedule is not so much teaching the eaglets about food availability in grown-up life as a wild sea eagle as it is Lady deciding she cannot wait any longer for Dad to bring home the bacon, as it were. She has definitely been doing extra hunting over the past few days, and it makes me wonder whether Dad’s advanced age is starting to tell, so that now the two eaglets’ appetites have increased dramatically, he is finding it difficult to hunt for four alone. Just a thought. It is an explanation that would fit the facts equally well.”
At Taiaroa Head, ‘A’ remarks: Manaaki is tucked and fast asleep on his nest. But our gorgeous little man is almost ready to leave us. Look at his hovers during flight practice this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBFx_GGakhM&t=5s. Look how strong his wings are getting, though he is still working on his balance. He is almost on his way, just as soon as he sorts out those face-plants! We need to enjoy every moment, because once he leaves, it will be at least four or five years (and up to eight years) before we might be lucky enough to see him again. If he comes home at all, Manaaki will return to that same headland. He will land, after all that time and up to a million miles, within 40 or 50 metres of the nest where he was born. He has been imprinting its location over recent days. I am not sure if he has cast his pre-fledge bolus but I know the rangers are picking them up all around the colony and Manaaki is one of the oldest couple of chicks there. I think he is within a week of leaving, but they can surprise us and fledge early if the winds are right, so the time is nigh. QT was 220 days when she fledged, remember, while Manaaki is 230 days old. On this headland, the two females (NTF and Quarry) are definitely ahead of the two males (UQ and Manaaki) in their flight skills.”
Are you watching multiple eagle nests and wanting to keep up with what is happening? Elfruler has a calendar that spans decades with a space for this year.
We will be looking to see if there are further eggs at 367 Collins Street and Port Lincoln Osprey Barge today.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Missey, Lewis, Calico and Hope remind you to please put out water and to also turn off your lights at night for the migrating songbirds. 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, L, PB’, PSEG, John Williams, George Green and the Clywedog Osprey Group, Boulder County, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, Sandpoint, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NZ DOC, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Sydney Sea Eagles.