13 September 2023
Tuesday was a very ‘difficult’ and, at the same time, rewarding and joyous day. Two beautiful Calico cats are off the streets and out of the cycle of producing feral kittens. Needless to say I did not sleep well Monday night. It is the ‘alarm clock syndrome’. Difficulty sleeping for fear of sleeping through the alarm.
Calico’s surgery went well. The vet phoned to say that Calico was ‘very strong’ and a gentle, sweet ‘kitten’. The staff spent much time with her when she was recovering – her story and that of Hope finding us -touched each and every one of them. It still makes me weep at all the things that had to ‘work’ for this to happen. I am indebted to those individuals that reached out to help me find ways to track Calico, who helped by providing the kitten trap for Hope, and to each and everyone whose experience with community cats helped us to have a successful ending to their story.
The biggest issue at the vet’s was the advice to keep Calico and Hope separated overnight. Of course, if Calico insisted, the stress being separated from Hope would be worse than Hope trying to suckle. The distance between the little office door and the one for the conservatory is approximately 65 feet. Calico made it very clear that she was not staying in that room. Lewis and Missey were contained in another room with the door to the conservatory open. Calico bolted the instance the office door opened. Hope came running! For a few seconds, there was a lovely little conversation between Mamma and baby. Thankfully, the only kitten that Calico will ever have is healthy and safe and with her Mamma tonight.
Calico is still in a bit of a haze, but Hope is so happy! Mamma is home. Just look at that round little belly on Hope. Poor Calico. She is just so wee…she weighs 2.3 kg or 5.03 lbs. Hope may weigh that much. Calico will start to put on weight and become healthy.
It is a secret. Hope spent the entire day playing with Missey!!!!!!!!!! They are super friends but don’t tell Mamma.
What fun it was to sit and watch these two with the new scratch post. They took turns with Hope watching every move that Missey made carefully and then imitating it.
Hope really loves this new scratch post with the feathered ball.
Before lights out, Hope got in some playtime while Calico rested. She forgot about where she was and wound up on my lap with the feather teaser. It was too funny – the startled look on her face when she realised that I had reached over and started petting her. Things are coming together. She is no longer 100% afraid of me scurrying off to hide in a corner. Humans mean food, cuddles, treats, and playtime!!!!!!!
What is happening in Bird World? One word: migration. Cornell Bird Lab and BirdCast are predicting that 348 million birds will be on the move as I am writing this Tuesday evening 12 September.
What needs to be done to protect migrating birds?
The National Wildlife Federation gives these ten tips for helping migrating birds – these are things we can initiate that can give instant success.
1. Keep your cat indoors—this is best for your cat as well as the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Even well fed cats kill birds, and bells on cats don’t effectively warn birds of cat strikes. For more information, go to http://www.abcbirds.org/cats.
2. Prevent birds from hitting your windows by using a variety of treatments to the glass on your home—check out ABC’s tips at http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/glass.html
3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard—even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food.
4. Create backyard habitat—if you have a larger yard, create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract native birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result.
5. Donate old birdwatching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes to local birdwatching groups—they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint—use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, use low energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Contact your energy supplier and ask them about purchasing your energy from renewable sources.
7. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee—increasing the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, will reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee plantations maintain large trees that provide essential habitat for wintering songbirds.
8. Keep feeders and bird baths clean to avoid disease and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
9. Support bird friendly legislation both locally and in the U.S. Congress.
10. Join a bird conservation group—learn more about birds and support important conservation work.
According to ABC, birds need our help now more than ever. In addition to the ongoing threat of loss of habitat that is becoming magnified by global warming, millions of birds are directly killed due to a number of different human-related causes.
Scientists estimate that 300 million to 1 billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings. Up to 50 million die from encounters with communication towers. At least 11 million die from car strikes. Another 1 million may die each day from attacks by cats left outdoors.
Some of these deaths occur year-round but many occur during the peak spring and fall migrations. Some studies suggest that perhaps as many as half of all migrating birds do not make it back to spring and summer grounds, succumbing to various threats on either end of the journey.14 April 2010, NWF newsletter
There is great news coming out of Cal Falcons. Zephyr (2022) has been sighted more than once! Thanks, ‘B’ for the head’s up!
‘H’ brings us her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – “Audrey was seen a few times throughout the day. In the morning, she was seen in ‘Joe’s tree’, and she was obviously scoping out the water below for fish. Both Audrey and Tom have previously been seen diving from that tree. The video went to ‘highlights’, and when the livestream returned, Audrey was seen on a dock eating her catch. Later, Audrey was seen in the same tree in the afternoon. There are times when the camera is focused on the nest, and an osprey can be heard nearby, but the cam does not pan in that direction. Many bird nest cams online do not have PTZ capabilities or a dedicated camera operator. No matter what nest we are watching online, we are always grateful for what we are able to observe. We only know what we can see, and we learn what we can.”
Barnegat Light – “There were significant livestreaming issues once again on 9/12, especially during the afternoon and evening. In the morning, Duke was seen in his tree at the north tree line for a while. There were a few hours in the morning without livestream glitches, and during that time we did not see or hear Dorsett. Because of that, it is thought that Dorsett may have left the area. We will continue to follow today, and hopefully the livestream will behave. Dorsett is the only chick to have survived the storm in late June. I am sharing a photo from 6/8/23.”
Gabby and V3 were at the nest early on Tuesday. Later Gabby had to deal with the female intruder that has been showing up – she ushered her out of the territory (or so it seems). Wouldn’t it be nice if this nest could just be quiet and boring this year?
These two were chortling back and forth. A chortle is a form of communication between Bald Eagles. It is a series of short rapid chirps which might mean several things. You have to look at the context. In the image below it is a greeting between Gabby and V3. It could, at other times, signal that eagles are going to engage in a dispute.
At the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kistachie National Forest, Louis has brought Anna the first fish gift on camera of the season. This is the couple’s fourth year together. The nest that they use was vacated in 2013. They did not have any chicks for the 2019-20 season. In 2020-21, they fledged Kisatchie in 2021-22, a female, Kincaid. What a great moment it was when Kisatchie hatched – the first eaglet in the forest for 8 years.
M15 and his new mate are working hard on the Fort Myers nest on the Pritchett Property that M15 shared with Harriet for 8 years.
Checking on Australia:
367 Collins Street: It is hard to get those four big falcon eggs tucked. Gosh, this ledge in the CBD of Melbourne is going to be busy in about a month. The nice thing about incubation is it gives Mum time to rest up before caring for the four – and Dad will be able, nearing the time of hatch, to stock up the pantry.
Sydney Sea Eagles: Breakfast was served early – followed by some nice wingersizing. The eaglets are getting stronger and stronger, standing for longer, and walking with much more confidence.
‘A’ was watching adding, “The sea eaglets had a good early breakfast (around 06:07 I think). It was feathered, minus its head, and a really good size. It looked afterwards as though SE31 had the larger crop but both ate enough breakfast. It was a large piece of prey. SE32 was like a toddler teething this morning. He nibbled at mum’s face and beak when she was aerating the nest in front of where he was lying. He nibbled at her wings. He nibbled at her breast. He nibbled at her underfluffies. Then, he turned around and began nibbling SE31. I have no idea what he was doing, but it was too cute. No-one else objected – it was exploratory and perhaps some level of allopreening was involved, but certainly it was not aggressive. The parents continue to be obsessed by the need to bring in more big sticks (kiddie rails, not just sticks) and lots and lots of greenery, as well as dry leaf material to lay on top of the greenery. They are very diligent in their nest work……Oh those eaglets are GORGEOUS. They are starting to get that beautiful russett colouring on their breasts, shoulders and wings. Lunch came in at 14:21, and both eaglets were interested in the food, which looked like another of the large eels (Dad brought it in and Lady quickly came to manage it). SE32 was first at the table, and got the early part of the feeding, but there was plenty of meat on that eel and both eaglets ate well. They were, as is always the case these days, perfectly behaved at the table, patiently waiting when the other was eating, with no beaking or intimidation or acts of submission or fear. It was a lovely thing. These two are doing so well and they are rapidly beginning to look like juvenile sea eagles. Their colouring is just exquisite. The perfection of their camouflage is amazing. They are truly beautiful at this age are they not?”
Port Lincoln: Dad2 brought in at least three fish before 1400. He took turns incubating so that Mum could eat. Ask me how much I am liking this new male.
‘A’ adds: “At Port Lincoln, dad brought three or four fish today and mum had some or all of two of them. She is doing the vast majority of the incubation time. Interestingly, the eggs were left unattended for just 1% of the 24 hours on Tuesday (and incubated for 99%) but on Wednesday were left alone for 19% of the time (incubated 89%). This may relate to the weather, but I found it interesting. “
Orange Peregrine Falcons: Xavier brought in a nice chunk of prepared prey for Diamond at 06:27. At the time I am writing (14:14 Australia time) no other prey items had been delivered that I could confirm.
What a little sweetie Xavier is…I love this gleeful way he rushes over to incubate those eggs in the morning.
Like so many, ‘A’ has been missing Manaaki, the Royal Cam chick since he began to get his juvenile feathers. Now..he is ready to fly she adds, “Here is the evidence that we are about to lose Manaaki to his destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghTGyX8-ADg. I know it is what he is born for and I know it represents a fabulously successful season for everyone at Royal Cam and for parents L and GLY. But oh how I am going to miss this gorgeous creature, with his adventurous mischievous personality and his obsession with gardening and excavating and exploring.
Now he has cast his bolus (or boluses), he is pretty much ready to leave. There is little fluff left now, and the next windy spell should see him on his way. Treasure these last hours. We may never see him again. I am so sad, but happy too.”
One of those lovely happy endings – a successful rescue of an Osprey caught in fishing line posted on The Joy of Ospreys by D Lambertson.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We hope to see you again soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, B, H’, BirdCast, NYTimes, Cal Falcons, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NEFL-AEF, Tonya Irwin and KNF E-1, Real Saunders Photography, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, NZ DOC, and D Lambertson and the Joy of Ospreys.