All is well in Bird World…Sunday

22 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Skies with clouds ranging from the softest grey down of the newborn osplet to the charcoal-espresso band under its eye graced the skies of southern Manitoba on Saturday. The sun poked itself out to cheer us up on several occasions. It was nippy, and a glance at the neighbourhood had people scurrying to get their plants inside for the winter and last-minute clean-ups on the gardens. Did they not hear? Leave the Leaves!

The songbirds continue to flood the feeders as they migrate through our province. Crossbills today, along with Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos. The Blue Jays might stay all winter along with the House Sparrows. The Crows were flying around, but the greatest number of birds overhead were Ring-billed Gulls late this afternoon.

It is 6 degrees C at 1800. Damp. Cold. Grey. Dreary. I do not know where Hope and Missey are but Calico is cuddled up in a pile of blankets.

The girls have been so tranquil that you do not know they are even about unless one or the other -or all -decide they are ‘starving’. Pleasant isn’t quite the word. Bliss. Is it possible that the pheromone diffuser works this well? There has not been a growl or a hiss or anything uncivilised. Unbelievable. I had so worried about Missey. She was just getting herself sorted after losing her best friend, Lewis, and Calico began being aggressive. It is all over. So happy. Hoping that they might become ‘window buddies’ sometime in the future.

Hope loves cuddling with Mamma. Mamma loves her blank. Apologies for the low quality of the image, but I raced to grab the phone, afraid they would move. Hope has learned how to pose when she sees the camera!!!!!!!!!!!

Sleepy time.

Hope decided she wanted to help write the blog.

The reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle into Scotland was no small feat. One of the primary movers and shakers was John Love, who recently passed away. Here is a guest blog written for Mark Avery by Love in August of 2023 about the project.

What a remarkable man. I met and chat with him many years ago when I was a visiting artist at Hospitalfield near Dundee. Hospitalfield (yes, it is a strange name) was the first art school in the UK. Beautiful Manor House and gardens. It was a joy to be there working on projects related to the environment with other artists from around the world. It was also good to have some free time to meet people who were important to Scotland’s conservation efforts, like John Love.

Roy Dennis has some good podcasts. Check them out if you want to learn about some of the reintroductions in Scotland – including those that John Love worked on.

Guess who woke up hungry at Port Lincoln?

‘A’ reports about the 21st: “At Port Lincoln, there are 10 feedings recorded on the Obs Board, from two fish, starting with a good feeding from yesterday’s leftover fish at 06:34. Dad brought in a fresh fish (medium, headless) at 08:15 and the third (a zebra fish, medium) at 14:17. Giliath ate at all 10 feedings, the younger osplet at eight. I watched a couple of feedings (especially the one from 14:18) and was again impressed at how evenly mum distributed the fish between the two. Both are holding their heads up and eating well. The younger is able to see better and its grabs at the food are more successful. It is also dealing better with the size of the bites, although both osplets generally end up with faces covered in fish. At least they can snack off each other at the end of the feeding!” 

Note-Dad brought in four fish! He is upping his game as the chicks need more food! Here are the feedings.

Heidi caught the breakfast. The chicks were ravenous. A great feeding.

Chicks are hungry!

The feeding times, etc for the first part of Sunday at the PLO barge. We need more fish!!!!!!!!!!! As noted above, Dad brought in 3 more fish. Excellent.

The two osplets at Orange are pondering their big feet and trying to use them to walk around the scrape. Pin feathers are definitely in!

Dr Cilla Kinross, the head researcher on peregrine falcons at Charles Sturt University and principal responsible for the scrape that is currently used by Diamond and Xavier, has a recent paper published on falcon breeding behaviour.

‘A’ sent a link to the interview with Dr Cilla Kinross.

The sea eagles, SE 31 and 32 are flying back and forth from the nest tree to the tree that supports the camera. Adults continue to bring food to the nest for the hungry pair. I am holding my breath.

‘A’ remarks, “At WBSE, both eaglets had a good breakfast, then spent the morning exploring the outermost reaches of the nest tree. At this stage, we cannot see either, so they are either high and/or wide in the nest tree or exploring nearby. We may have to wait until food is delivered to the nest for them to show themselves. Otherwise, we wait for this evening to see who is sleeping in or near the nest. It is a really bad time for the second camera to give up the ghost, as it was extremely useful for seeing those parts of the nest tree we are currently most interested in – its outer reaches.”

What a beauty.

‘A’ puts it right – it is an egg race and who will win. “It is an egg race – the nests and the eagle couples seem ready to go at E-1, E-2 and SWFL. I haven’t watched Superbeaks, but they’re pretty much sorted there as well. I am unsure what the usual egg-laying calendar is like for those particular nests, and I wonder whether the eggs might be laid earlier if temperatures are expected to be high again this summer. I suspect the birds that don’t work that out fairly fast will not raise successful broods in future seasons. Anna and Louis were also working on their nest this morning, with no sign of Anna’s injury. She is landing without difficulty, putting normal weight on the leg and foot, and having no trouble manoeuvring large sticks into position. (Like all eagle females, she is very particular about stick placement). Louis/Anna and Alex/Andria look very healthy, as do their partnerships. These are experienced couples and appear to be progressing smoothly into their breeding season. The same is true at SWFL with M15 and F23. The only concern remains NEFL, where we are waiting with bated breath to see whether V3 will master mating this year. He and Gabby were on the nest today, mid-afternoon, and they are perched together at the lumber yard again tonight. Both look healthy, and their bond appears strong. There is just one more piece of the puzzle to fall into place. Talons crossed.”

M15 is determined to have the highest crib rails in any nest! He is also checking out the nest bowl. It is exciting to see him begin a new life with a new mate. Can’t wait to see these two as parents.

Smitty and Bella were working on the NCTC nest on Saturday. Smitty returns after being away for a day shy of a month. Tears.

Eagle Country is live. Abby and Blazer have returned after Hurricane Ian and they are working on their nest.

Gabby and V3 were up early working on their nest.

In his Saturday Tour at Montenzuma, Wildlife Drive, Sapsucker Woods and the Cornell Campus, Ferris Akel spotted Big Red! So nice to see you, Big Red!

These are the two surviving osplets at Osprey House Environment Centre in Australia. Total juvenile plumage!

The ospreys in Australia are Eastern Ospreys and they do not migrate.

In West Africa, Jean-marie Dupart is counting the UK and European Ospreys that spend their winter in Senegal and The Gambia.

A twenty-six-year-old Red Kite. Sadly the bird was found injured and due to its age, it was euthanised. Gosh, I hope someone doesn’t ‘put me down’ just because I am old and injured!!!!!!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, blogs, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Sassa Bird’, Mark Avery Blog, Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, PLO, Heidi Mc, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Corella, Karen Leng, RNZ, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Se McGregor, Lady Hawk, NCTC, Eagle Country, Ferris Akel, Osprey House EC, Jean-Marie Dupart, and Bird Guides.

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