Sea Eaglet harassed by Currawongs…Tuesday in Bird World

24 October 2023

Good Morning!

Oh, the weather turned on Monday. No sun, just grey skies. In the morning, I could still run outside and put the birdseed out in my slip-on sandals. Then the winds came, the sky turned the deepest dark charcoal in places, and the European Starlings arrived. There were 37 of them! They are heading south, leaving Manitoba, where our temperatures are set to plummet to 0 with snow on Thursday and -5 on Friday, leading up to -10 C in a week. The furnace is on, and it is now time to find those gloves I did not have at the nature centre yesterday! The leaves quickly blew off the trees in the strong wind. They look bare against the sky like some of the drawings that Van Gogh did. Tonight I put out the food for the ‘outdoor’ cats and I was chilled to the bone. So much for winter being far away.

I am so glad that Calico and Hope are inside the house and not outside ‘homeless’.

Look who was preparing to jump into Missey’s basket while she was napping in the conservatory.

At Orange, the eyases, Marri and Barru, are changing rapidly. Notice the pinfeathers that will become their gorgeous tails – their rudders. They have their wing feathers coming in splendidly, and their faces are getting darker!

See the quills. They are called ‘blood feathers’. All of the raptors have them. The eyases will preen, and that preening will help rid the chicks of their white fluff, revealing their juvenile feathers underneath. It will also help break off the shafts from which their feathers are growing.

You can see that all of that baby pink is gone and that gorgeous slate blue-grey coming under their eyes. These chicks look healthy. Their feather development looks spot on.

Soon the white fluff will disappear and these two little ones will look like the great falcons they will become – the fastest birds on the planet (or any animal/bird for that matter)..

‘A’ adds: “At Orange, the cuddle puddle is currently on the near-side wall of the scrape, in front of the Cilla Stones. They both got up off their tarsi and tried walking today, a skill young Barru is mastering more quickly than his older sister Marri. So cute. Here are the time stamps for the day. PREY 08:33:36, 10.37.11, 17:13:37, 18:08:20 FEED 08:33 (X & D), 10.37, 17:14, 18:09 XAVIER GUARD 16:16:01. HIGHLIGHTS: 13:24 chicks up close; 13:44:27 Marri walking; 14:05:46 Barru face plants; 15:24:41 Barru sleep kicks Marri; 15:45:33 Marri standing next to D; 16:28:27 Barru walks.”

At Port Lincoln, the two eyases have eaten well with both having nice crops from several feedings and a half a fish sitting on the nest. The wind is picking up.

The pair wanted fish at 0738. Mum made four feedings out of the single breakfast fish. She knows how to keep them satisfied but yet safe on fish if she thinks the deliveries could be short.

Both of them know to open those mouths made so Mum knows they want fish. The remaining egg is a Dudley – thank goodness. Two is plenty.

You can see that both chicks have nice crops. If you look close, you can also see that their down is beginning to disappear, and sadly, we are going to be in the reptile phase shortly. I dislike it immensely as it is often the time when one or another becomes more aggressive.

Concerns over Giliath being out of the nest bowl. They cannot regulate their temperature yet.

Heidi made two videos of Giliath exploring and another longer one of the last feeding of the day! Thanks, H. There are so few videos of the Port Lincoln Nest – much appreciated!

Mum is good to feed the little one equally.

At 0659 Lady flew into the WBSE nest with a fish. There were no fledglings and Lady ate the fish. She was still there at 0740 (eating slow) hoping that one of her babies, 31 or 32, would fly in for a meal. It did not happen. She waited some more. As she sat on the branch looking out into the forest Dad flew by. Was he looking for the fledglings too? Have the Currawong now driven them from the forest? or did they fly out of their own accord? We wait for that answer to be revealed. I was so hopeful since they were returning to the nest. My heart has now sunk down to my toes and I feel nauseous. By 0840, no one is at the nest tree.

Sadly, my concerns for the sea eaglets has played out yet another year. It is heart breaking.

‘A’ sent the official news at WBSE: “The sea eagles report for the day (23 October) is as follows, confirming that both eaglets have now left the immediate area. October 24: 32 again slept on PB close to nest, 31 nearby. Very early both flew off out of camera range. When Dad brought in a leatherjacket early at 6:44, neither eaglet responded and Dad ate it himself. Lady brought in a gull at 7:43 and again ate it herself. The Annual Bird survey team spotted one eaglet in a tree in the buffer zone – safe but away from the nest. During the later morning, Lady was seen high near the nest, but the eaglets still out of camera range. We went looking for 32 and saw it on the ground – being swooped by currawongs and ravens, even pulling its tail. It then flew strongly over a fence and then over another fence into the forest. Away from the nest, safe and uninjured. We could not see 31 and did not go near the nest, fearing disturbing it. Late in the day we received 2 reports that an eaglet had been seen flying across the Armory not far from the Discovery Centre. As Rohan could still see the first we had found, we now know that both fledglings have left the nest area. So when Dad brought in a bird around 6:30pm, neither eaglet was home and he ate it himself. We shall be watching around the whole area carefully for any sign of our fledglings. Stay safe and strong.”

Jackie and Shadow show that team work can help move some big sticks about at their nest in Big Bear Valley.

Here comes Jackie to help Shadow! Look at those magnificent pine cones.

Redding Eagle Lovers. Liberty and Guardian are back! News about when the camera will be up and some images and discussion with Gary.

M15 and F23 are busy as well!!!!!!

F23 laid in her new nest for the first time – the event captured by Lady Hawk. So will this couple be the first with eggs in the nest? Could be.

Gabby and V3 have been working on their nest. Someone suggested Gabby might start giving him a right kick like Harriet did to M15! We shall see.

Nest checks were going on at Dulles-Greenway.

Thank goodness there are two cameras at Superbeaks. Pepe and Muhlady are getting those rails and that moss so high you can hardly see them when they are in the nest!

Anna appears to be sleeping in the KNF-E-1 nest Monday night.

I missed getting a screen capture of them, but Hope and Chandler were both at Port Tobacco on Monday.

The new male at Pittsburgh-Hayes has been working on the nest.

No one should be travelling to Malta. Letters should be going out demanding the Maltese government stop the loopholes in the laws that allow poachers to kill migrating birds. These poor babies struggle to survive and then when they almost reach Africa they get shot. It is despicable.

More about the illegal loopholes that allow the poaching of migratory birds in Malta.

A webinar on how to stop the loopholes:

Last. It is not a story about birds going extinct or Avian Flu but about a cat that was lost and found 11 years later…and love. To put a smile on your face.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please keep WBSE 31 and 32 in your thoughts and send them positive energy. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H’, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Heidi Mc, Sydney Sea Eagles, Judy Harrington, FOBBV, Gary and FORE, Lady Hawk, NEFL-AEF, SK Hideaways, Dulles-Greenway, Superbeaks, KNF E-1, Port Tobacco Eagle Cam, Pix Cams, Birdlife Malta, M Conservation News, and The Guardian.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for these updates and great pictures! So good to see the kittens doing good. I know with the cold weather coming in all the birds and squirrels will stay hungry and eat more. They always do here too.
    Good to see little falcons doing so good and growing and changing feathers but the white little ones are really adorable too. So glad all the eagles are doing well getting their nests ready ! Prayers for the sea eaglets. Poor babies. This seems to happen every season. I sure hope they make it back safely to the nest tomorrow. 🙏🙏❤️❤️. So glad Port Lincoln’s little ones are doing well 💕💕. I wish the illegal hunting would stop. It’s heartless 😢
    Thanks Mary Ann and have a good evening. See you here soon!

    1. I am so behind in answering your lovely comments, Linda. Please accept my apologies. Keep sending good wishes to the sea eagles. Dad was in the tree looking this afternoon and it reminded me of when 26 was struggling in a bush to get back to the nest only to be sent out for the last time by the Curras. Oh, we have such love for them and it breaks my heart to see the little eaglets harassed to their death -. Hopefully they find their way into care if they cannot be fed down by the river by Lady and Dad.

  2. Mary Cheadle says:

    A worrying extract from one of the links you shared Mary Ann about the slaughter of migratory birds in Malta.

    “In a 2017 study, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter estimated that legal hunting in Europe accounts for at least 53 million bird deaths per year, bringing the total number of birds harvested in the Euro-Mediterranean to between 64 million and 89 million birds per year.

    Malta presents a microcosm of the greater issue of bird poaching in the EU and the Mediterranean.”

    Although we tar the Malteese with the “bird killer” brush I must admit to being naive about what’s going on in other Mediterranean countries, a lot of it using the “it’s tradition” excuse. I applaud everyone trying to enforce the legislation which bans these archaic practices.
    On a lighter note, the cat story was lovely. Many a time I dreamt that my cat Scampi would appear at the door after having gone walk about several years before. Sadly my dream never became reality.

    1. Mary, there are known problems in Lebanon, Poland, and France. It is something that I hope to look deeper into – and North America does not escape the issue either. Although I get furious about the driven grouse hunts, etc., I don’t believe the illegal poaching takes place in the UK like it does in those mentioned countries but I want to learn more. If you find out anything at all, please put my nose in that direction. But, yes, there are many other places. Birdlife Malta has been very vocal, while others keep much of the illegal poaching a little quieter. — I am glad you have enjoyed the story about Biff. Eleven years. That is amazing. I am so sorry that your Scampi did not return. Not knowing what happens to them always worries me when I hear those stories.

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