The sad and the glad…Sunday in Bird World

8 October 2023

Hello Everyone,

Good Morning. Thank you so much for the continued outpouring for Lewis. It is so appreciated. He had a reasonable Saturday. The inflammation medication that helps with his pain also causes him to be ravenous. Sadly he just ate so quickly at breakfast that he lost his meal but, after a few hours, I warmed up some of that very condensed chicken broth form the chicken bones and mushed it up with tin food and he had a really good meal and kept it down. So happy! Of course, the girls all had their share of warm broth, too!!!!!!!!

It was chilly at 6 C on Saturday and damp with some drizzle. The three Amur Maples from our City’s tree-planting programme will be lovely! They are so healthy. Today is planting day.

So far, the squirrels have not touched the pumpkin. There were a few Dark-eyed Juncos on the deck today, and they inspected it. Too funny. Dyson was out with her gang, Little Red was around, and the Blue Jays – all four of them – made an appearance. There are still Wood Ducks at the park and I plan to go and see them tomorrow. Soon, they will leave. I think I will cut bigger holes in that pumpkin to help them get started.

We are going to start with some fantastic news coming in from Geemeff. LY7, Ludo, the 2023 fledgling from Loch Arkaig, has been photographed in France!!!!!!!! Oh, what wonderful news. As Geemeff points out, these are now the fledglings from Loch Arkaig – Louis’s kids (with Lila and Dorcha) – that have been spotted after leaving the nest: “Doddie JJ6 twice! Somerset (2020) and Shetland (2022), Willow LW5 (France 2022), Rannoch JJ2 (Senegal 2022), and now Ludo LY7 (France 2023). Jump up and down. Tear up. Great news. That feisty kid is doing great.

My Saturday newsletter alerted us to concerns at the Collins Street scrape in Melbourne. The news continues to be sad – sad that the four eggs that were laid might not hatch, but as I wrote to ‘H’ when she sent me the news – I am glad there were not four little fluff balls waiting on the ledge for food and Mum being injured or unable to care for them.

The four eggs have been left since 0559 except for two brief periods shown below in screen captures when the male returns to incubate three – one of the eggs is off to the side (or so it appears).

There were at least two times that the eggs were incubated for a short time.

This is the latest news coming from the FB Admin.

The Melbourne Falcons are the most popular in terms of streaming cam numbers of all the Falcon cams internationally. Everyone has a very heavy heart today. The male has been incubating on and off. From experience with eagles, the eggs can, in cool temperatures, be left for more than five hours and still hatch. Such was the case with Milda the White-tail Eagle. It would be desperately hard for the Dad to provide all the duties – incubation, territorial defence, food, and feeding and protecting the hatchlings. The chicks cannot regulate their temperature, and food is required. We have seen falcon males take on full-time duties, such as Newmann at Great Spirit Bluff, this season, but those eyases were much older (at fledge).

It now appears that the female might have returned to the ledge and is incubating the eggs. It is not 100% certain. We are going to have to wait and see how this plays out.

This is Dad M22 rolling the eggs with his talons. Little Dad – what a guy – working hard to try and keep things going while Mum is healing.

‘H’ gives a very detailed communique on the happenings at the nest over the past few days. This is followed by the latest dispatch from Victor Hurley.

“Melbourne / Collins Street Falcons, October 8 –   F22 returned to incubate the eggs during the overnight of 10/8.  At 0619 she flew out, and then from 0648 to 0702 she hung out at the north end of the ledge (the opposite end from the nest).  F22 has obvious injuries to her head with several patches of missing feathers, but there is no evidence of blood-stained trauma.  Her right eye does appear slightly puffy and she sometimes attempts to hold it closed.  Her disposition was a little ‘off’, and she seemed to be in a slight daze.  Dr. Victor Hurley has stated: ”I wouldn’t be surprised if her injuries included some concussion.”

The eggs were left unattended for over 4.5 hours.  Finally, at 1039 M22 landed at the south ledge and immediately began to incubate the eggs.  He only stayed for 38 minutes, however.  He later returned at 1212, and this time he stayed on the eggs until 1324.

At 1341 F22 landed on the north ledge.  She seemed a little more alert, and she was doing a bit of squawking and rapidly looking around.  She left at 1358, without going to the eggs at all.  At 1359 M22 landed and began to incubate three eggs.  The fourth egg had been inadvertently cast aside at his last departure, but he did not make an effort to gather it at this time.  There were a few times when M22 rose to roll the three eggs.  This time M22 did a long incubation stint of 4.5 hours, and at some point, he did gather the fourth egg to join the other three. Curiously, while M22 was incubating the eggs, F22 landed on the north ledge at 1430, and there was some light chatter between them.  She did not approach the nest, and she flew off after 11 minutes.  

At 1827 F22 returned to the north ledge, and that’s when M22 ended his incubation stint and flew off from the south end.  F22 departed the north ledge at 1942, and once again, she had avoided the south ledge and the nest.  F22 has not been at the nest with the eggs since 0616.  At 2009 F22 landed on the north ledge and went straight to the perch.  The time is now 2200 and F22 remains on the north perch.  The four eggs at the opposite end of the ledge are looking so very cold and lonely.  The current temperature in Melbourne is 9C/48F, and predicted to be 6C/43F overnight.

The eggs have been left unattended for extended periods over the past few days.  Has F22 come to believe that her eggs are not viable causing her to abandon them?  We won’t ever know what happened to our beloved female, F22, but we are very glad that she is alive, and we wish her continued healing.  We need to remind ourselves every single day just how challenging and difficult the lives of all of our feathered friends are.  We must not take a single moment with them for granted.”


This is the latest dispatch from Victor Hurley on the situation on the ledge. Thanks so much ‘H’ for keeping tabs on the correspondence coming out of Melbourne!

Thankfully everything is absolutely perfect at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier at Orange.

The older chick is a little larger now (female probably) and she often gets the first of the food. ‘A’ notes a cute event yesterday, ” Xavier managed somehow to avoid Diamond’s watchful eye and sneak in to do a feeding today, which lasted for 13 minutes and included the younger chick in a big way (he was constantly checking to see if she was about to storm into the box, not at all happy with his ‘interference’). See from about 15:28 – after a bonding session with Diamond, Xavier returns to the box to brood the chicks but as he settles down, the chicks tell him they are hungry (especially the younger one), so Xavier retrieves some stashed prey from the front corner of the scrape and proceeds to feed the pair. His back is to the camera, obscuring the majority of the feeding, but based on what we can see (and hear), the younger chick is getting fed much more at this feeding than it normally does at a Diamond feeding. “

Dad taking one of his incubation times so Mum can have a break at Port Lincoln.

The observation board at Port Lincoln for the 7th of October.

Gorgeous Sea Eagles. Hoping that they’re going to get some more prey! Check out the interest in walking up the branch.

They are nothing short of gorgeous.

And now for some really good news! We can all use it after the worry for Melbourne and, of course, the shooting of the Condor in California recently.

A new ambassador Osprey.

The two surviving ospreys at Osprey House in Australia are doing very well. Gosh, I wish they had a streaming cam to bridge the gap between the end of the season in the US and the hatch at Port Lincoln! Miss those little grey fuzzy balls of energy! Soon….soon. The beaking will begin.

There is good news coming out of the E-1 nest at the Kisatchie National Forest. Anna is on the nest! No question. It is her.

Everything appears to be alright at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest of Gabby and V3.

Gabby and V3 are quite loud…Gabby was biting V3’s bottom today! Affection Eagle Style.

What do you know about Bird Island? First, (don’t peek) do you know where Bird Island is located? Secondly, what are the major bird species that still populate Bird Island? And what are their challenges?

The more educated we are about the challenges that all our birds face the better equipped we are to advocate for their protection!

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, photographs, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, The Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Leigh Stillard, Victor Hurley, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, The Peregrine Fund, Key News, Osprey House Environmental Centre, Tonya Irwin and KNF E-1, NEFL-AEF, Lady Haw, Google Maps, British Antarctic Survey, and the Albatross Task Force.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann and Happy Sunday to you and everyone!
    Praying for little Lewis and hoping his next appointment goes well 🙏
    That is very nice to know about all the birds and squirrels being there and I like the pumpkin idea. Hope you get to see the ducks today and get pics of them. Glad all the eagles are doing well. Praying for the poor Mom at Melbourne🙏 Hope you’ll
    Have a great Thanksgiving weekend. ❤️🦃 🍁🇨🇦

    1. Dear Linda, Thank you for your prayers for Lewis. He can sure use them. He has taken a turn for the worst today. We wait and we hope for him. I will let you know how this pumpkin works. I think I did not cut the holes large enough. If you have a Halloween one leave it out and see who eats it! It looks like Melbourne is over. Let us hope that Mum heals and returns next year. Maybe they will fix a shade for them! Take care.

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