Karl II has perished in Turkey…Tuesday in Bird World

31 October 2023

Hello Everyone,

We had snow squalls. Friends report that the ducks – Mallards and Wood Ducks – were still at the park along with geese and Wilson’s Snipes, Crossbeaks, and Pine Siskins. At the garden feeders, there were double the amount of birds feeding while ‘The Boyfriend’ came and ate roast chicken. He has taken up residence in the heated insulated house under the deck and can hear me when I go out with food. Smart guy!

Hope has taken over Missey’s basket. Missey does not seem to mind at all. Little sleepy head. Hope is an absolute gem. I wonder if her ‘black’ will change. Calico’s is black mixed with white making her look like she is charcoal or ‘salt and pepper’.

When Bird World gets ‘sad’ and when I get so angry that humans with all our so-called progress kill birds every day through negligence, these cats calm the mind. They have given me much more than I will ever do for them. Today, was one of those days when their purring and insistence on story time helped me get through.

Calico has a fascination with the herbs drying in the basket. Caught her just before she jumped down. Oh, what a gift she gave to me – her trust and Hope.

Missey and Hope watching ‘The Boyfriend’ eating his chicken dinner.

Hope is truly gorgeous. She knows how to pose!

The saddest news. The most amazing Black Stork Dad, the male at the Karula National Forest in Estonia, has perished – most likely from landing on an electric pole. It appears that he was part of a flock flying through that also included Kaia. His transmitter indicated that he died on the 2nd of October.

He had flown 3318 km on his journey south to his winter home after raising the storklets almost single-handedly this past season. He made use of Urmas’s fish baskets in dire times to make sure that his babies lived and, for the first time, he also had to purge one of the storklets on the nest due to insufficient food. Kaia left the nest and fed herself knowing she did not have enough for herself and the storklets. Karl II was an amazing father. He will be missed..

You were incredible feeding those babies so they would live…summer 2023.

Gutted. The death of the amazing stork has hit hard. After worrying for several years

In great respect to Urmas and his colleagues and all those who worked so hard to keep Karl II and his family alive during difficult times in Estonia, my blog will be short today. I worried so much about him when he was in Ukraine foraging and he lived only to die unnecessarily on a power pole that should have had protections.

Remember the decoys and the fish baskets placed in the drying streams for the past few years. The rescue of Jan and Jannika’s storklets after Jan disappeared and the experiment by Dr Madis to raise them at the Vet School. Bonus could not have had a better role model than Karl II. If Karl II were human, he would have won awards for community service and for being an exemplary role model. For us now, stop and think about him for a moment. What a great loss.

I have a love-hate relationship with owls. Unlike my neighbours, I do not think the GHO that terrorises our neighbourhood is cute. The Crows come in mass to usher it out and away and are condemned for doing so. “Isn’t the owl cute?” The Corvids are only trying to protect their young – the Crows and the Blue Jays. I have been known to yell at Mr Crow when he took a Grackle hatchling out of the nest and ate it on the top of the roof looking rather smug as I told him he could have had roast chicken! Honestly. But here we are with the too frequent visits by the GHOs that live on the Pritchett property and have a nest not that far from M15 and F23.

M15 and F23 don’t seem to be bothered. They are preparing for their first family together.

Today, Goliath is 16 days old and #2 is 14 days old.

The morning behaviour of #2 on the 31st at Port Lincoln is puzzling. Lovely fish brought in at 0636. Very difficult to see if #2 got any fish as Mum was blocking the way but it appeared that #2 did not eat and was under the wing of Galiath. Is something amiss with the second hatch? or is it just sleepy?

The fish fairy arrives.

‘A’s report on Port Lincoln: “At Port Lincoln, it’s 18:54. Little Bob just did a healthy PS and both osplets look well-fed and happy. Little does a couple of crop drops. After the fish fairy’s four medium fish were fed to the osplets and eaten by mum over the course of the afternoon, with the chicks sleeping and growing in between snacks, a whole medium-sized fish was brought in by dad at 16:13. Both chicks ate well at the subsequent feeding, with giant crops on each of them. There appeared to be no bonking at any of the feedings today. The last feeding is listed on the Obs Board as small, but it certainly wasn’t. Both ate a lot. Giliath’s crop was enormous and Little Bob’s was large as well. It was interesting to watch the pair. Sometimes, mum would feed three or four consecutive bites to one, then eat some herself, then feed three or four bites to the other. As each chick ate, the sibling watched and waited its turn. There was not even competition for bites let alone aggression. Giliath is getting more to eat than Little Bob but then Giliath is bigger and so needs more food presumably. Little Bob is certainly not going without. Any bonking that does occur (and most days, there is none) is just as likely to be started by Little Bob, though if he persists, it is generally finished by Giliath (or just abandoned by both). And I still have not seen any aggression whatsoever at a feeding or in relation to food. The worst Giliath has done is use her little brother to lean on while she eats some more. She is not doing this to stop him eating. She is just making use of the available furniture to hold up her enormous crop. And if he wants to do so badly enough, he will eventually squirm out from beneath her wing. All ate well at Port Lincoln today. It will be light there for at least another hour or so, but I don’t think anyone could eat any more tonight! “

It was really windy in the Sydney Olympic Forest early on Tuesday. Lady and Dad came to the nest right around 0530 with breakfast for either one or both of the eaglets. So far no one has showed up. This concerns me.

No one slept at the nest.

They arrive around dawn.

The adults stay for forty-five minutes before flying off after eating the prey.

Xavier arrives with prey and Marri gets it. Barru would surely like some. More prey deliveries and feedings after. Xavier continues to be an excellent provider. His two eyases are changing every day and Marri is bigger than her Dad now. Just look at her mohawk and those tail feathers. She is a big girl. What a wonderful year it has been with these two this year at Orange.

‘A’ reports “

Here are the time stamps for Orange so far today (it is 7pm local time). PREY 07.26.47, 08.48.11, 11.17.07 (giant pigeon), 14.01.39; 18:53:41. FEEDINGS: 07.27(M&B), 08.06(X), 08.48, 11.19(X+D), 14.03, 18:54 (M takes from X and self-feeds); 18:54 D returns but watches M try to unzip the starling; B watches. 1856:13 D tries to retrieve starling from M and can’t, so starts to eat herself. B joins in and all three self-feed! 19:56:45 D grabs the starling and begins plucking it. 19:57 Diamond starts feeding B; 18:57:40 D turns to feed M. HIGHLIGHTS: 7.26.58 B bites X, 9.13.41 B nips D, 9.55.55 D eats leg, 13.04.40 Cilla in the tower, 13.10.42 Cilla opens cam chicks react, 13.12.30 D close up, 14:01:17 Ledge Cam X aborts landing; 14.45.13 D sideswiped by another ps; 14:52:06 & 14:52:35 D doing two ‘rouses’ in fairly close succession; 16:33:05 M ‘attacks’ D; 18:37:51 M balances on one leg to scratch her head. Diamond had a HUGE crop all afternoon, as is usual for Madame.  After that gigantic pigeon, the chicks slept a lot this afternoon, with occasional stretches and a lunchtime snack, followed by the early evening starling. All ate very well today. Xavier is just wonderful. “

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

Thank you to the following for their letters, posts, videos, articles, graphics, and streaming cams that helped me write my blog this morning: ‘A’, Eagle Club of Estonia, Maria Marika, Looduskalender, Lady Hawk, SK Hideaways, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam.


  1. Sassa Bird says:

    So, so sad about Karl II! There are no words to describe how special he was. The way he cared for his nest, partner and his young…it’s just heartbreaking! Today there’s a small ray of sunshine peeking through the sadness – Smitty came back AGAIN! I truly admire him…he keeps bouncing back and holds on to his partner Bella as hard as he can (in this post https://www.facebook.com/groups/1690426617860075/permalink/3638723499697034/?mibextid=oMANbw, the experienced watcher P. Kolnik says that actually Smitty was probably the one with the bloody head appearing in the nest some days ago). Their love story is one for the books. They keep finding their way back to each other. But with the relentless intruders in this area, I’m really worried for how long they’ll be able to endure this. Will their nesting be delayed or won’t be possible at all?! Lots of questions running through my head…Thank you for keeping us updated on everything, Mary Ann! It must be so hard to be the bearer of bad news. I know how much you loved Karl II. Hugs!♥️

    1. I find the efforts at the NCTC quite concerning along with the persistent GHO at SWFlorida. It feels like a tumultuous year and yet, let us hope that it isn’t!

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