The Daisy Chronicles, day 2

We are going to start off with a check on what is happening in San Francisco – before moving on to Daisy.

An absolutely adorable 4 min 16 sec radio discussion on The Love Story in the Sky at The Campanile.

Did you know that Peregrine Falcons were virtually wiped out in California? In the late 1970 there were only two nesting pairs? This was the result of DDT. There is lots of literature but reading Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, is a very good start.

DDT might have been banned after the revelations of Rachel Carson and others but it remains in the soil in various places. One of those is Big Bear California where DDT was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to kill the mosquitoes. It is still a contributing factor in thin egg shells which may be part of the problem with Jackie and Shadow, the Bald Eagles that have their nest at Big Bear.

Daisy the Duck did not spend the night on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest.

She arrived before sunrise to check on the nest. No one else was there. Daisy will be very cautious. She does not want to draw attention to the egg cup where her first egg was laid.

She goes over to where her egg is and checks. It is still there. Safe.

We can see where Daisy’s egg is because we know it is there but it is nicely covered with leaves and nest material so the predators cannot find it.

Daisy leaves right as the sun is rising and the forest is waking up.

Daisy carefully waits on a branch when she returns an hour and a half later. Can you see her?

She is checking and rolling her egg.

Daisy is very still. When she is in labour, her tail will move up and down.

There are now two eggs! Look you can see them both. Daisy is holding herself up so as not to break the second egg. When the eggs are laid they are soft. The air will dry off the surface and make them hard.

Daisy has settled on the eggs nicely. She is having a rest. Daisy will not do hard incubation until all of the eggs are laid. That is so they will hatch at the same time.

This last image of Daisy was taken a few minutes ago. It is nearly 08:30 in Sydney, Australia.

So far Daisy has been lucky. Lady and Dad did visit the nest tree a week ago and then on the day that WBSE 27 was released from care, they were not at the River Roost. They will often go to Goat Island if there are no eaglets to look after. Still, we know that they do come to check the nest.

Someone asked me why Daisy does not stay on the eggs now all the time. If she did they would not all hatch on the same day. Secondly, she is a very smart little duck. Her presence on the nest makes all of the other forest animals and birds curious. Last January they had never seen a duck on the big sea eagle nest — and neither had anyone else! I think Daisy will try and protect her eggs really well this year from the Ravens. She is almost a year older and she is ‘wiser’ now. Her breeding and the laying of eggs normally coincides with plenty of food and water. Her mate, who came to inspect the nest last year, only takes part in the mating ritual. The rest is up to Daisy. That is why she is so vulnerable. Only 20% of Pacific Black Ducks live to be 2 years old. Indeed, the average life span is only about two years. Oh, I so hope that she is successful this year! There are so many people hoping for Daisy!

You can join in and become a real Daisy fan. She needs all the love and positive energy we can all send her. Soon the name of the streaming cam will be changed from Sea-Eagle to Duck Cam! Here is the link to the streaming cam. Daisy arrives about 13:15 CDT or around 05:15 Australian Time. I am not expecting her to stay all day but she might surprise me.

Once Daisy lays all of her eggs (there could be 11), she will begin her hard incubation. Incubation will last for 29 days after the laying of the last egg. This is the difficult time. Daisy still has to eat and have some relaxing time. Last year she even went out during the night. It is then that the eggs are vulnerable. As long as she is incubating them, the Ravens seem not to bother. Our fears of the sea eagles proved to be nothing. They could behave differently this year but they were not a threat last save for the fact that scattering the down nesting material allowed the eggs to be seen. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sydney Sea Eagle @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Happenings in Bird World

Holly Parsons, the administrator for the Orange Peregrine Falcon FB group, has posted the following from Cilla Kinross regarding Yurruga:

I took some images of beautiful Diamond throughout the day.

We would expect the parents to visibly be supplying prey to Yurruga. Many of you will have seen the adults at 367 Collins Street bringing in prey. You might recall how the Dad tried so hard to feed the little male when he was too sick and could not eat or swallow anything. Just pause and remember the healthy chicks at that nest and the noise they made even prior to fledging when food was around. Then remember Yurruga and how he behaved when prey came to the scrape. The falcons are loud in their food begging just like the four lads at Port Lincoln. The little ones simply cannot go without eating and while they are learning to fly they are also being taught how to hunt. It is unclear how instinctive hunting is. For example, the adult Ospreys do not teach their fledglings how to fish. They simply are hardwired to do it. Peregrine Falcon parents spend much time passing prey around, dropping it for the wee one to catch, etc. Certainly Yurruga had at least a days training because he was seen flying around with the parents prior to the big storm. There would be several prey drops during a day. No one has anything confirmed after last Thursday in Australia, 9 days ago now. I know that each of us wants this outcome to be different and I would like nothing better than for someone a mile away to phone Cilla and tell her that Yurruga is on their roof or in their garden. The long sessions in the scrape together may be Xavier and Diamond bonding in grief. There is also the additional issue of the absence of the eggs. Diamond has spent an inordinate amount of time scraping where the eggs were. My heart really goes out to her.

Sad news is also coming out of California. The California Condor chick #1075 died at the Los Angeles Zoo on 12 November. He had sustained injuries from adult male condor #247 during a territorial dispute. I know that many of you watched that streaming cam. Their lives are so very very fragile and to have a death of a promising chick due to fights is extremely difficult to process. There seems to be a lot of territorial disputes. You might remember that California Condor #1031 Iniko who survived the Dolan Fire was actually injured when an adult male came to the nest tree. —— Which reminds me! Iniko will be released back into the community of condors where he hatched on Saturday along with two others. This is great news coming on the heels of grief.

We really need some good news in Bird World. Iniko’s release is, of course, one of those. I really hope it is OK to cut and paste this amazing story from that Valerie Webber posted on the Loch Garten and Other Ospreys FB page. It is a marvellous tale of German Osprey Black 1FO seen in Portugal in Dec 2005/Jan 2006 and again in September 2021. So the question that is being asked is where has this bird been? It is more than 16 years old and this is truly remarkable – 3 sightings only in all those years. He really is a very handsome bird.

More good news come in the form of a Pacific Black Duck named Daisy who has now laid her first egg in the Sydney White-bellied Sea Eagle nest. An earlier blog today gave more images and some details. So nice to have her back! I am so excited about Daisy’s return that I can’t sleep! You can catch her on the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam. She laid her first egg today. She must have rushed to get to the nest OR she had made a nest elsewhere and predators came. We might not know. She will begin lining the nest with the down from her breast. That down will not only make it soft for her and the eggs but also will help cover the eggs when she has to go forage. She will also mix the down with leaves on the nest and cover the nest with those leaves. I hope there are lots of them!

Every one of the lads on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest has had a fish today. Port Lincoln also says that the three have been seen at the shore going for a bit of a swim or a bath. Fantastic.

The three are over on the perches and ropes near Mum. What a beautiful image. I wish that Dad was there, too. The fledglings are gradually spending more time on the perches and ropes and flying around. They are growing up and shortly might be off on their own. I need to check and find out when Solly permanently left the barge. That might give us some clue.

I know that many of you are familiar with the Welsh Ospreys, Aran and Mrs G at the Glaslyn Nest. You might also know that one of Monty and Glesni’s sons, Aeron Z2, and his mate Blue 14 have their nest close by at Pont Croesor. Glaslyn has announced that the new hide is finished and visitors will be able to observe the nest of Z2 and Blue 14. That is great news.

That is it for me. I am sufficiently exhausted from the excitement of Daisy that I might be able to sleep. This is my Friday newsletter. I will bring updates later tomorrow (Friday the 3rd) evening.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Loch Garten and Other Ospreys FB, Orange Peregrine Falcon FB, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sydney Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross.

Daisy is back!

Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. This past January Daisy laid her second clutch of eggs in the old Ironbark Tree used by the White-Bellied Sea Eagles for their nest. She has now returned to lay her first clutch for the 2021-22 season. She laid her first egg today!

Last year we held our breath watching Daisy pick the nest with her mate, lay her eggs, be frightened off by Dad and Lady only to find out their were curious – not harmful. WBSE do not like duck down! It sticks to their bills and must feel ‘fuzzy’. The Rainbow Lorikeets came to visit Daisy every morning. The culprits were the Ravens.

The female Black Pacific Duck normally lays their nest on the ground. Daisy might believe or know for certain that is unsafe. So she tried this high tree deep in the forest. I wrote blog after blog about this brave little Duck that outwitted the big sea eagles. Sadly, the WBSE scattered the down lining the nest cup that had come from Daisy’s chest. She was able to replace it once but then it rained. When she got up off the nest to get food for herself (her mate does not help her at all), the Ravens saw the eggs and ate them. They were within a couple of days of hatching. It appears that Daisy wants to take her chances again using the nest of Dad and Lady. My goodness. Welcome back, Daisy!

Can you see her?

There it is!

You will notice that Daisy has not lined the egg cup with the down from her breast. She will. It seems she was in a hurry to get into this big nest and lay that egg. I wonder if she laid eggs elsewhere and was frightened away? Isn’t she beautiful?

This is so exciting. Daisy renewed my love for ducks last year. The camera operator at the Sea Eagle nest is very good at getting close ups of the beautiful nest cup she will make. The image below is from day 13 of incubation. Daisy was half way to hatch. She is listening for the sea eagles. You can see the mess that Lady made with the duck down – that precious lining and covering, scattered.

Daisy’s beautiful lined nest in early 2021

Daisy was always very cautious when she returned to the nest. She would listen and look around for a long time. She did not want anyone to see where her clutch of precious eggs was.

Satisfied that no one is around, Daisy sits on her eggs.
A friendly Rainbow Lorikeet curious about the little duck in the big sea eagle nest.

This morning I wrote that there wasn’t much happening in the Australian nests and wow – Daisy, you just changed all of that. So everyone even if you think you do not like ducks you will want to watch The Chronicles of Daisy – the little duck that thwarted the great big sea eagles! Here is the link to the camera. Oh, I am so excited I can hardly sit still. Seriously, this is better than ice cream or your favourite mystery thriller.

Just a note. Daisy will not do hard incubation until all of the eggs are laid. There will be between 7-12 normally. The ducklings will all hatch at once and jump off the nest when they are 24 hours old. They will then follow Daisy quickly to the Parramatta River where she lives and where they will immediately forage for food.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @ Bird Life Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen shots.

Falcon and Red-Tail Hawk Cams

I had a lovely note form ‘M’ asking about other peregrine falcon cams. Thank you for your letter, ‘M’.

Each one of us feels a little ’empty’ when the eyases fledge. Without trackers, we have no idea what happens to them. We just wish them well and I know that everyone is working hard to make their environment better. The only birds on the nest who have fledged and not left permanently are the PLO Lads – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the birds have migrated to warmer climates. I will, however, be checking on nests in Asia to see if there are any for you to watch.

This is not an exhaustive listing but it is a beginning and I will be adding to it for all of you as the camera streams return. We have streaming cams on the falcons in Winnipeg as part of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery. I will post those at the beginning of the summer. Most of our birds are in southern Texas or Mexico right now.

So here goes – and if you have a favourite falcon or hawk cam, let me know!

One of my favourites are the Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne. They are known as the CBD or 367 Collins Street Falcons. The cam is currently not live. Will come back on line September 2022

Cornell Red-tail Hawks (Big Red and Arthur), Ithaca, New York. The construction work at Bradfield has caused a power outage on the Athletic Fields. Those building works are winding down and this camera should be live shortly. Big Red and Arthur will be very busy once late February and March roll around. There are only two Red-tail hawk streaming cams in the world and this is the best. Big Red is 19 this year. Arthur is 5 or 6 years old. They are a fantastic couple that normally fledge three eyases a year. There are birders on the ground that keep track of the fledglings so you get to see the parents do team training in hunting, etc. Highly Recommended.

Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Yurruga has fledged. Look for egg laying in the fall of 2022. This is the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. They are a well established couple. For the past two years three eggs laid but only one fledgling each year which is fine. It is a nice comparison with the Melbourne falcons who fledge 3 consistently. Orange is more rural and, of course, Melbourne is urban. The camera is left on and the falcons come and go regularly.

The Campanile Falcons on UC-Berkeley. This is the scrape box and cams for the Peregrine Falcon Couple, Annie and Grinnell. Grinnell was injured by a male interloper on 29 October. He was in care, as a result, and has been returned to his territory. The male interloper is still at The Campanile. It is unclear which of the males Annie will choose. Nesting activity late March, 2022. Annie and Grinnell are incredible parents who traditionally fledge three adorable babies.

The following are falcon cams that I have watched ‘on and off’ and that have come highly recommended to me from viewers:

Illkirch, France:

Great Spirit Bluff, Minnesota

Anacapa Island, California. There are current a large number of Pelicans to watch.

I will definitely be posting more including a couple of streaming cams from the UK. All of that action will begin when spring arrives. I also want to post some sites in Asia which I will do over the weekend. There will also be the Northern Hemisphere Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, as well as the returning storks to Latvia and Estonia.

For now, things are really pretty quiet except for the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Diamond and Xavier coming in and out of the scrape box in Orange, and the Bald Eagles laying eggs in the US. There are two nests that you might wish to consider and if you have never watched a Royal Albatross nest then you definitely need to check out the Royal Cam Family in New Zealand who are incubating an egg laid on 9 November. They are very experienced and adorable parents, OGK (Orange Green Black) and YRK (Yellow Red Black). They are already grandparents. I often suggest this site to individuals who have a difficult time watching any nest if there is sibling rivalry. The Albatross lay one egg every two years. Parents rotate all of the duties. Last year the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, had a sat-pak attached to her. We are currently watching her fish off the coast of Chile.

It is a bit wet in NZ this morning. This is YRK’s 6th day on the nest. OGK will be flying in soon and they will switch. Should something happen, the NZ DOC rangers are there to step in and intervene. No one goes hungry, injuries are taken care of, etc. It is a great site and in the process you will bear witness to a country that really protects its wildlife!

There are way too many Bald Eagle streaming cams to list them all. For now, I am only going to recommend one. These are experienced parents Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family. Their eggs are due to hatch soon – December 25-28. Once Gabby lays her egg in NE Florida I will post that information. For now, you can have fun watching Harriet and M15 change places. The only un-fun thing is the GHOW that attacks the eagles regularly.

There is no word on Yurruga. Cilla says she will look for a few more days. Just so you know the building that Yurruga was last seen on is a gabled (triangle) pointed roof, a bit steep. It is a single story building with clay tiles. Yurruga is not there – not alive, not dead. He was there on Thursday – seen twice during a big storm. I would expect to hear this fledgling screaming for food. Falcons are loud! Is it at a distance from the tower? is Yurruga injured? is Yurruga somewhere else? There are no answers I am afraid. If I hear anything you will be the first to know. Now, it is time for me to go and take care of all my feeders. The gang will be here soon!

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Oh, for the love of Ervie

It is no secret that my long-term research project on third hatch Ospreys that survive can cause a whole lot of heart ache. The opposite side of that is the sheer joy in watching these ‘thirds’ come into their own. Some suffer much more than others. In 2021, one of the worst was Tiny Tot Tumbles on the Achieva Osprey nest in Florida.

There is Tiny Tot Tumbles beside sibling 1. I often called her ‘Big Nasty Sister’. She is the reason that many people do not like to watch the Osprey nests. That said, sibling 1 stopped a lot of the beating on Tiny Tot because sibling 2 started. That nestling would purposefully eat and eat and eat so that Tiny Tot had no food.

Beaten and starved. It was hard for anyone to imagine Tiny Tot Tumbles surviving. There she is all submissive, literally starving, while the others eat.

What a beautiful bird Tiny Tot Tumbles became.

Elegant. Tiny Tot Tumbles is one of the most striking juvenile ospreys I have ever seen. Before she left the nest, her plumage was super espresso with only the thinest of white scallop revealing she was not an adult. She was smart. She remained on the nest honing her flying skills, getting stronger, learning how to fight off intruders. It is a shame she is not banded but she has a very distinctive pattern on her crown.

At Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria, no one expected Tiny Little Bob to survive more than a couple of days. The weather was miserable and the two older siblings were 4x her size.

The size difference increased. That is how she got the name ‘Tiny Little Bob’ because she was just so small.

I love this image. Tiny Little Bob really wants some of the flounder that Mum, Blue 35 has. She has watched and waited til the older siblings are full. Then she will make her move. She exhibits all of the hallmarks of a third hatch survivor – patience, fortitude, and ‘focused watching’. They can read the nest.

I wish I had this video recorder earlier so that I could have captures Tiny Tot Tumbles ousting the intruders from the nest! Or more of Tiny Little Bob. I did get it in time to show you Blue 463 in the nest. It is the third week in August. All three of the Foulshaw Moss chicks have fledged. White YW is an incredible provider and he will stay until Tiny Little Bob migrates before he leaves. She will be the last one to leave. Smart girl. She really fattened up for that migratory trip. I only hope that she survived. Few British Ospreys have been spotted in The Gambia and Senegal. There are lots without bands along the coast of West Africa but not the ringed British. Where are they?

Tiny Little Bob is banded as Blue 463. She is the bird on the back of the nest on the right. She is food calling. I want you simply to notice how big she is. Tiny Little Bob became the dominant bird on the Foulshaw Moss nest for 2021. She could fight for the fish with the best of them. Most of the time she used her patience and ‘snake eye’ to get the siblings off their lunch!

At Port Lincoln, Bazza aka Big Bob, tried several times to dominate but, Ervie aka Little Bob wasn’t having it. If you have been following me most of the time you will know that when the three males were banded, Little Bob got the sat-pak because he was the biggest of the three. Unlike Tiny Tot Tumbles who missed 12 full days of meals in the first five weeks of her life, Tiny Little Bob made sure he was right up front by Mum’s beak. I don’t think he ever missed a meal and he would certainly stay til he was full. On the morning of the banding, Little Bob had landed the breakfast fish. That probably helped a lot with that weight in!

There is Little Bob in front with his beak wide open. Just look at those little wings. Oh, my goodness is there anything cuter than a recently hatched osplet?

The thing about the third hatch survivors is that they have lived out of sheer willpower and cleverness. I can almost hear Ervie say, ‘I am not taking anything from you, Bazza!’ They become kinda’ street wise. They watch, assess, and attack. Does anyone remember Tiny Little Bob staring down both of her big siblings? They were not going to get anything by her. You might also remember that Tiny Tot Tumbles took on any intruder protecting the nest. She was fierce. That is how they survive — and I believe that they are actually better able to cope out in the world of Ospreys far away from the nest than their siblings.

Ervie sure showed us what he is made of today.

Bazza had the fish and had been eating. Ervie really likes the back portion and the tail. So he is watching Bazza. I could have made this into a video but what I want you to do is focus on the ‘look’ on Ervie’s face and his actions.

Ervie is the bird on the right. Bazza is in the middle with the fish tail. Falky is on the left and is not interested.

Look at Ervie’s eyes and his open beak as he lands on the nest. He is telling Bazza he wants that fish tail now. Ervie means business.

Ervie is twisting his body. He is not looking at Bazza’s face. He is looking at the fish tail.

Ervie moves up and over pushing Bazza’s head. Ervie raises his wings.

Ervie is totally in front of Bazza. Notice that Bazza is not looking at the fish.

Ervie turns his head around. You can draw a line from his eye and beak to the fish. Ervie is completely focused.

He goes for it.

Ervie dives down to get the fish tail.

He has it. He turns his body and raises his wings. Bazza is being pushed out of the way so Ervie can turn.

He’s got it. Wow. Just look at the impressive wings of Ervie.

Ervie moves over to the other edge of the nest where he finishes the fish tail. The entire take over bid took 19 seconds.

Bazza does not seemed phased and Falky probably wishes he were somewhere else!

These three have just been a joy to watch. I wish each of them had been given a sat-pak so that we could watch their lives unfold. I hope that the hydro poles in South Australia have their protective covers placed on them just as quickly as it can happen. The loss of Solly was a tragedy in terms of understanding the dispersal and long term survival of these Eastern Osprey.

I hope that I have not bored you too much with these third hatches. Each is really a miracle and for me, remembering them helps honour the pain and suffering that they went through to live.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.,

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or my video clips: Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Royal Cam Family for 2021-22

Just go OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. It is OGK and YRK, Princess Pippa Atawhai’s parents. Oh, how lucky we are! Here is the announcement posted by Sharon Dunne:

Oh, my gosh. I am speechless. This is such wonderful news. Is there an Albatross Jig that we can do to celebrate?

You can watch the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22 right here:

Wow. Just wow. OGK has to be one of the greatest dads to land on Taiaroa Head. This is going to be such fun.

Wednesday in Bird World

Let’s start off with what is on everyone’s mind: Has there been a confirmed sighting of Yurruga? Yesterday, Dr Cilla Kinross was inspired by a very quick prey drop at the scrape. Diamond flew into the trees. Cilla was in the trees looking half an hour later – she only saw Diamond. Diamond returned to the scrape with quite a large crop also. Some believed they had heard Yurruga calling but, Cilla is unable to confirm that. So the answer is – we simply do not know. Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday when he was on a building during a storm. We can only wait.

My goodness that little one was such a cutie.

October 20. Yurruga and Diamond

Diamond was really beautiful this morning as the soft glow of the sun worked its way through the fog.

Both parents, Xavier and Diamond, have been inside the scrape – scraping. They also had some bonding moments this morning at sunrise.

My heart aches for them.

The second question of the day is what is going on with Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon of the Campanile, mate to Annie, that was injured by a male intruder that is trying to cosy up with Annie? Here is the latest news.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers on Taiaroa Head are shutting down the streaming cam so that they can move it to the site of the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22. There are lots of guesses as to who the couple might be. The announcement is due tomorrow.

One of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Samson and Gabby, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville have been putting the finishing touches on their nest. They are perfecting the Spanish moss lining the nest cup. Now all we need are some eggs!

Gabby doing some final inspections this morning.

The three lads at the Port Lincoln all had fish yesterday. Falky had more than Ervie or Bazza. Falky has become a master at slipping the fish out of Dad or Mum’s talons. A magician.

There is a lovely shot of the PLO Mum. She has done an extraordinary job raising these three boys to fledge this year (with Dad’s good help). Yesterday she even spent some time feeding Bazza. He is definitely a Mum’s boy!

Bazza can be a bit naughty. I know that the banders were certain that there were three males. Someone looking at Bazza’s legs and that beautiful necklace in the image below might mistake him for a lovely female.

Bazza and Falky sleep with their heads tucked under their wings – adult style – standing on the nest. Ervie is sleeping over on the perch or the ropes. They are all doing well. I continue to pinch myself. This Osprey nest really turned itself around this year to fledge all three hatchlings.

There are many articles coming out in international newspapers and academic journals on the effect of warming oceans on the seabirds including the beloved Osprey. I picked one of those for you as some are frustrating. They allow me to embed the article but then want you to subscribe to read it! That is a major irritant to me – like Subarus are to Ferris Akel!

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-albatross-60906

It is a grey damp day, 3 degrees C. The snow is melting. There are lots of birds at the feeders. A large European Starling is sharing the peanut and bark butter feeder with some cute little House Sparrows.

The tiny suet balls called Bark Butter by our supplier are a really big hit since winter has set in. Junior has been around to get the corn while Dyson was busy elsewhere. Nice to see all of them.

One of my former students posted this today on FB. It is a perfect little giggle for all of us!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Eagle and the AEF for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Was it Yurruga?

My goodness. It is just past 09:00 on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge and already there have been three fish delivered – one of those was really quite a bit one!

Ervie got the first fish that arrived at 06:16.

There was another delivery at 07:22 and Falky takes that fish. Falky is still eating when Mum flies in with a bit of a whopper. At the time of this delivery, Ervie is on the perch and Bazza is on the nest rail. Falky quits eating the old fish (not much left) and starts eating the big fish.

In the image below you can see Falky with that prize fish. That is a nice one.

Falky is still eating at 8:56! Bazza has given up and has gone down near the mancave to put in a personal request to the parents for breakfast. Ervie has found some leftover fish around the rim of the nest – remember he is really good at that. But I am also thinking that Ervie knows Falky is going to get full and stop eating that fish! He wants to be on hand when that happens.

The only time I have seen a sibling eat and eat so that a sibling could not get food – eating beyond the norm of comprehension – was sibling #2 at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida last year. #2 would eat and eat so that Tiny Tot Tumbles did not get anything or there was only a little left.

Ervie is smart. The third hatch survivor. Falky did finally get full and Ervie is now eating that Mullet. Bazza is still on the deck below by Dad’s cave.

It has been snowing in Northern Europe. In Durbe County, Latvia, snow is covering the nest of Milda. Still, her and Mr L have come home to the nest to check on it today. Liz caught it in a video:

There are some concerns about a thin red line on the right ankle of Mr L which you can see directly below the arrow to start the video. Here is another view. Milda needs for this to heal so that Mr L can provide for her this year and their chicks will thrive. Observers say that Mr L appears to be moving fine. Thank goodness.

Oh, it looks so dreadfully cold for the White-tailed Eagles. I hope there is plenty of prey for them that is not sleeping. There should be no worries about any egg laying until spring. It is normally timed so that when the chicks hatch the little animals are coming out of hibernation.

If you research the floods that are happening in Canada’s province of British Columbia or some of the flooding in the eastern provinces recently, there are many causes. In British Columbia the logging of old growth forests has proven to be tragic. In their discussions, Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock talked about the impact to the wildlife of these events. They also mentioned that some of the birds caught in the horrific heat during the summer of 2021 that survived and had trackers put on them —- those birds flew straight to Alaska. As the climate warms, the birds, including my beloved Osprey, will be looking for cooler temperatures where fish and their eggs are not dying from the heat nor are the larvae that the fish eat dying. Look north to Alaska and parts of Canada. These areas need protection.

An article has just appeared that discusses the Tongass National Park in Alaska and the changes in some laws that are coming in to place to make certain that the old growth forests are not logged. If you are interested, here is that article.

Last there is some confusing information coming out of Orange, Australia, about Yurruga. I had received an e-mail this morning from Cilla Kinross where she expressed her concern at not seeing Yurruga since Thursday, her worry and also her love for the wee one. This morning Xavier delivered prey to Diamond in the scrape and she flew out of the box quickly and into the trees. I have personally never seen Diamond eat prey in the scrape unless she was feeding a chick. While we all remember Izzi coming to the scrape, normally the prey deliveries and feeding would take place away from the scrape for the fledglings.

In the chat room, Cilla Kinross said of the delivery and departure, “The prey transfer looked hopeful; I couldn’t hear the calls. I need to get a new speaker.” Individuals have said that at 8:32:55-56 they believed they could hear Yurruga prey calling.

Here is the sequence of images related to that prey drop to Diamond. You can see the time stamp in the corner to understand why Cilla could be thinking that this is very quick and hopeful.

Diamond gets the prey.

In the image above that white spot between the trees right above the ‘s’ in the word ‘trees’ that I typed, is Diamond. Cilla has indicated that she knows the tree Diamond landed in and she is going to check in at work and then go and search that area.

I will bring you any news as I hear it. If you want, you can watch the camera and at least see the chat, if you go to this link. To access the ledge cam – for a better overall view – go to the link below this cam once you get on Youtube.

At 10: 33:55 you can make out a person walking among the trees. It could be Cilla or a helper. Chatters and mods are hoping that they walk further back as that is where they saw Diamond go. We hold our breath. It has been a sheer roller coaster.

In the image below you can see them – that bright white spot. You can see how tiny she is compared to the trees. If Diamond is like the hawk that visits our garden, they can be almost invisible sitting ever so still so as not to be seen.

The person is still looking at 10:49. She is in the whitish coat to the right of the green tree in the centre. Again, look at the height. If Yurruga is in a hole in the tree or somewhere on those trees with leaves it could be difficult to see him. I wonder if Diamond is still there?

We wait for word. That is all we can do. Wait, hope, send warm wishes and prayers. My friend, ‘T in Strasbourg’ reminds me that miracles do happen. Yes, they do. I hope this is one of them.

Thank you for joining me. It is a been a day full of up and down emotions. That is the only thing for certain about this Tuesday – or Wednesday – depending where you live. Take care everyone. If I hear anything at all, I will let you know. Pardon any serious grammatical or spelling mistakes. I am writing this quickly so you will know what is happening on the ground in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, the Latvian Fund for Nature, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Condor 1030 Iniko – the miracle – set to be released

With the uncertainty and sadness surrounding little Yurruga and our deepest condolences to Cilla Kinross and the team at Orange, it is heart warming to know that miracles do happen in Bird World.

On 4 December at 09:30 PT, you can witness one of those. Condor 1031, Iniko, will be released into the wild!

As the Dolan fire decimated the beautiful Redwood Forest where Iniko’s nest tree was, everyone believed that the wee babe of Redwood Queen and Kingpin had perished. The streaming cam did not survive the fire and there was no way to find out until it was safe enough to enter the forest. I think that you can well imagine the astonishment on the faces of those that first saw the little condor alive on the small remote camera inserted into the tree.

Here is that video from the Ventana Wildlife Society.

This video shows that rescue!

Here is a link to Iniko’s bio and all of the videos since this amazing California Condor hatched!

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor1031.html

On Saturday, you can watch live when Iniko is released back into the wild of its Big Sur Condor Community. You need to sign up and the Ventana Wildlife Society will send you the link for the Zoom event. It is free! And, yes, we could all use some good news today.

If you want to watch the event life, go to this link and sign up:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

Today is also ‘Giving Tuesday’. No doubt you have had lots of e-mails from everyone who depends on donations to survive including those wonderful wildlife rehabbers who give our birds a second chance at life. Many have patrons that will match the total received. It is a good time to double the impact of your gift, if you are able.

Thank you for joining me. If you cannot make the release of Condor 1030 Iniko, the Ventana Wildlife Society will definitely be posting this event. It represents that miracle. I would like to think that maybe there might be a miracle for little Yurruga today.

Little Yurruga

As many of you are aware, Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday. Cilla Kinross saw him on the top of a building in the pitching down rain and later, university workers also saw Yurruga on the same building. Cilla sent me a short note this morning because I had written to her earlier about Yurruga’s 2nd right tail feather still being contained by the quill. The local vet did not think this was a problem but, like Cilla Kinross, was concerned about a lack of feather development on the little falcon. What impact this might have had will never be known. Cilla has looked and looked in all the places Yurruga might be and others but she is concerned and has posted a note that has been placed on the FB Page for the Orange Peregrine Falcons. I was very touched because she referred to Yurruga as a ‘poor little lamb.’ Every day is a test for our birds. Even the strongest have challenges. It is difficult enough for fledglings but compounded with unkind weather for numerous days, well. Yurruga should be flying around screaming at his parents for food and the conclusion is that he is no longer with us.

The parents, Xavier and Diamond, had an extremely long – fifteen minute or more – bonding session in the scrape yesterday morning at 05:15. This is simply not something that would normally happen with a fledgling needing prey and training. Considering the work of Marc Bekoff (Emotional Lives of Animals), Jane Goodall, the observations of Hob Osterlund with the Laysan Albatross, the bonding behaviour of Xavier and Diamond should be considered alongside grief. While we have only a limited view of the falcon’s behaviour, it might be assumed that the couple have now grieved for their wee one and are, with the weight of that loss, reconfirming their love and commitment to one another. We cannot do a brain scan on Diamond’s hippocampus (area of brain in human animals for emotion) to see if it lights up, Barbara J King in her book, How Animals Grieve, would tell you that the investment in the mating, the making of the egg, the care and incubation, the care and feeding after and training, she says that ‘grief comes from love loss.’ There have been roadside funerals of Crows, Ospreys who have mourned the loss of their chicks by predators. Other bird species and drowned themselves after the death of their mate. And, of course, all of you reading my blog, will know about Arnold and Amelia, the two Canada geese. Arnold and Amelia lived at the pond on the grounds of the clinic (fortunate for them!).* Arnold had one of its digits severed by a snapping turtle and required surgery. Amelia went to look for Arnold and watched through the glass, finally sharing a meal and a pen til Arnold was released.

So, today, we grieve with Xavier and Diamond over the loss of little Yurruga.

It was a beautiful morning when little Yurruga flew for the first time.
Diamond and Yurruga bathed in the golden glow of the sun the morning Yurruga flew.
Xavier feeding his baby.
Xavier brings prey for Yurruga.
Diamond and her baby.
Xavier feeding Yurruga. Xavier loved getting a chance early on to feed his little one.

What an adorable little eyas. Fly high little one. Fly high.

I am so sorry to bring this terrible news to you. We join Xavier and Diamond, Cilla Kinross and the team at Orange in their mourning.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for the streaming cam where we get to share the joys and the sorrows – and where I took my screen shots of this lovely Peregrine Falcon family.

  • I say this because many do not consider the mate when one is taken into care. Arnold and Amelia were extremely lucky.