19 November 2023
Saturday was a fantastic day on the Canadian Prairies. 6 degrees C. Snow melting. Blue sky. Bright sunshine. Happy people. I dropped off the pet food donations, picked up some Salmon Oil for Calico (and, of course, all the girls will get it along with the Cod Liver Oil and Lysine), and headed straight to the nature centre for a walk. My neighbour stopped me as I was leaving, wondering if we would get punished in January for all this nice weather…it made me think that we cannot wait to go outside on a nice day; it is a nice day. Go for it!
The girls and I are almost finished reading Margaret Renkl’s book, The Comfort of Crows. Every chapter reminds us to ‘live’. Renkl is just turning 60, and she understands that she has lived most of her life and ponders the shortness of time she has left. Renkl reminds us to slow down – to stop with the meaningless tasks we set before ourselves. To live a meaningful life not one full of just business.
Here is a quote from one of the chapters the girls and I read today: “During the funeral, when my friend spoke about her parents’ long marriage….In her eulogy, my friend reminded us of how much her father had loved to sail: “He always said that he felt at peace when sailing, where it was serene and quiet”, she said. “I now appreciate that he enjoyed those days on the boat because the family was together without being in a hurry.” Instantly, I thought about those Post-it notes stuck all over my house. How had I allowed myself to become so busy? How long had it been since I’d spent a day in the sun, eating sandwiches from a cooler and watching water ripple across the surface of a lake? Why do I so often behave as though there will be unlimited days to sit quietly with my own beloveds, listening to birdsong and wind in the pines? (129).
That is why I continued on to the nature centre today. To see the squirrels running around, to watch the one hanging on the bird feeder trying to pry out a peanut, to stop and listen to the chickadees. There is so much beauty that surrounds us. You just have to stop and listen. You can do this by simply standing outside your door or walking to the nearest green space. Sometimes, opening a window and letting the fresh air in brings contentment. Today, when I closed my eyes in the forest and took a deep breath, the smell of the damp leaves, some beginning to decompose, was so very lovely. For you see, it is impossible to smell those leaves beneath the snow!!!!!!
I am sure you do not think this looks like winter! One of the things about living on the prairies is the huge sky – the landscape is horizontal. Many modernist Canadian artists focused entirely on the tiny strip of land and the huge sky that is the hallmark of where we live.
There were three Canada Geese. The lake has only a thin sheet of ice in a couple of places. The smaller ponds are melting and there is plenty of food for geese and ducks available. There was the usual banditry of Black-capped chickadees so named as a group because they look like they have black bandanas or are wearing a mask, a single White-breasted Nuthatch, and numerous squirrels, both Red and Grey.
The chart below shows that we are above normal temperatures for this time of year.
Today I hope to get to another park where I am told the ducks are still paddling!
Thank you for your good wishes for Calico. She seems much improved and has been running around the house – something she has not done in a week!
The girls had their lunch and then it was time to ready for a nap. Calico and Missey were in the conservatory and Hope was in Missey’s basket in the sitting room. They love to curl up and stay warm – even with the temperatures outside, the oven has been on and the central heating hasn’t (the thermostat is right by the oven – bad design). Their heated beds arrive on Monday! Just in time for any dip in temperatures.
It is so peaceful. The Feliway continues to work, and there are no hissing or stalking behaviours that I have seen. Calico and Missey can sleep within a few feet of one another, and Calico is no longer concerned when Hope is playing with Missey. Smiling.
There are several videos of Diamond and Xavier feeding a fledgling on top of the tower. As at Sydney, it is not confirmed if both fledglings are being seen or if there is only one. Send positive wishes for both Marri and Barru as well as 31 and 32 – we hope that we are seeing both at each area.
The latest one, from SK Hideaways, is second..
‘A’s report for Orange: “The parents had a lengthy bonding session, which I believe was at about 16:11:05. (These two have had bonding sessions lasting up to four hours, though I think Xavier fell asleep during some of the longer ones!) But they are taking advantage of some adult time. Meanwhile, at least one of the juveniles has been spotted sitting on the roof of the water tower, where we saw at least one yesterday. I am unsure whether both juveniles have been positively ID’d or not. At least one of the fledglings is strong enough to fly to the top of the tower. Now, some landing control practice and we will see at least one of them in the scrape again. Talons crossed for them both.”
At Port Lincoln, Mum, Giliath, and #2 wait to see who will be first in with the fish. They are hoping for Dad!
It is 10:38 and Mum is telling Dad that it is about that time he leaves the barge and goes out to fish…
It looks like Dad has not gone out fishing yet…it is nearing 0930. Mum and osplets are waiting patiently.
It is 12:30 and so far no fish from Dad. PLO says the fish fairy will be there in half an hour.
A 1.424 kg Trevally was delivered to the nest. It was taken to the ropes. PLO says that two fish were delivered. Mum is eating one on the ropes. Could you look at the size of it? It would feed everyone. I hope she doesn’t lose it overboard. Watchers think something smaller was under the larger fish the chicks nibbled on. It is a bit confusing. There is nothing on the observation board yet to clarify.
OK. Mum took the supplementary fish to the ropes and right after Dad landed on the nest with his own fish.\.
Hopefully Dad will have enough to eat and Mum will not lose the big one and feed herself and the kids for the rest of the day – with maybe some for Dad, too.
Note: Dad’s fish is nice, but that single fish would not be enough to feed 4 for the day. Again, I am thankful to the Fish Fairies.
Confusing. Is Dad feeding part of his fish to the osplets?
Dad is finished with the osplets and is on one of the perches. Mum is still prepping that huge fish. It has to be tough working through that head. She has been at this for more than an hour.
OK. Some clarification. It was a Trevally and a large cleaned squid. Dad fed some of the squid to one of the chicks (#2, I think) while Mum arrives on the nest with the huge lunch. Both will join her.
Mum is going to be exhausted when she finishes feeding this fish.
The chicks are getting quite full. Mum continues to feed them and herself. She has been working on this fish for two and a half hours.
Thank you to the crew of the Calypso Star and the young lad who donated the squid to the osplets. Kindness. Sometimes when the news gets too much, it is these small gestures that make us realise that there is goodness out there.
Today (Monday in Australia), the osplets are 34 and 32 days old. Unless they are females, they will normally peak in growth at 35 days Western Ospreys. Must check and see if this is the case with the Eastern.
The observation board for Port Lincoln. It is unfortunate that Dad lost the fish down on the barge.
The cam ops are not sure who is at the nest with Gabby. I just want Gabby to be able to raise a clutch in peace this season since she lost her fabulous mate, Samson.
I am going with V3 in the nest. Gabby was flirting and V3 was interested.
I think I missed this video of Jackie and Shadow!
Ferris Akel found Big Red on the Cornell Campus on his tour on Saturday. Oh, goodness, isn’t she beautiful. Look at that deep auburn Red plumage. She will be 21 years old in March. My goodness it is so good to see you Big Red.
There are two adults on the Achieva Credit Union nest. Jack and Diane?
Been missing Monty and Hartley? A pair of love birds. Don’t you wish you could talk falconsese?
18 Days until Hatch at Superbeaks!
This is the most recent report on sightings of Lady, Dad, and at least one juvie in Sydney:
‘A’ set this report for the 17th at Sydney and I missed it so I am including it here today: “November 17: an early report of a juvenile in the usual spot in the mangroves, then seen flying to River Roost, near both parents. In the afternoon there was a large drone flying over the wetlands –a new method of mosquito spraying, rather than by helicopter. Parents were away during the day – maybe even at Goat Island, closer to the City. Both returned to River Roost before 5pm, and then to the juvenile’s usual area. Shortly after, both parents were at River Roost, with a vocal greeting. Juvenile was seen at the water edge around 6pm, then went deeper into the mangroves. At 6:45pm, an adult was seen flying from the wetlands with a fish, taken to Mangrove Island. It is unclear if a juvenile ate today. Picture shows juvenile flying yesterday.” — Any report, regardless of the day, is good news when it is about the sea eaglets flying about and being fed!
This is the most recent report from ‘A’ for Sydney: “November 19: At 7.50am, 2 adults and a juvie were near each other. Juvie moved a couple of times like yesterday, before settling on another branch nearby, in the heraldic pose at one point. Heard a couple of duets, and sounded like juvie joined in. At 10am, the parents were in much the same spot, both facing more west. The juvie must have been there somewhere. At 11am, one parent flew to River Roost. Later in the afternoon, both parents were on River Roost, near the juvenile, in the usual spot, and then one circling over Ermington Bay. Numerous people using River Walk stopped to ask about the eagles, but the juvenile is still so hard to spot. I don’t believe a feeding was observed.”
M15 and F23 were at the nest on Saturday. I do not see them there currently but they might return later in the night.
Lady Hawk posted this video.
This was earlier.
There has been some concern about the new female ‘F’ at ND-LEEF. ‘H’ reports that she was on the nest with Dad this morning. Fantastic news! ‘H reminds us: “‘F’ was last seen at the nest on 11/12. This morning ‘F’ was back in the nest with Dad, starting about 073341, Dad in first. They left around 0800.”
I love books and I get so excited when I hear that youngsters are learning about our feathered friends and the challenges that they face. Thank you to one of our readers, ‘R’ who introduced Chile Bird to her second graders! We must start with the youngsters so that their respect and empathy for wildlife will grow. Hakai Magazine always has a good list of children’s books this time of year – for all of the holidays celebrated by the various people around the world – and the gifts that they give BUT also because we should all be reading! This offering is called Ten Coastal Kid’s Books. Their summaries are excellent and very useful in helping to make choices for purchase.
There is another set of books that are meant specifically to inspire empathy and understanding in the young readers.
I recently included an article on how intelligent vultures are. BirdLife International explores the efforts to stop the poisoning of these captivating creatures in Kenya.
I read an article that you mind find interesting – it isn’t directly about raptors or wildlife but it certainly is about the quality of life of our neighbours. As many of you know, wealthier countries export their trash – whether it is plastic waste or donated clothes – to poorer countries, often in Africa. This creates untold harm to the people living there at many levels. I recall my granddaughter – who did her practicum for Social Work in Senegal – telling me never to donate clothes. They are sold cheaply and exported and then sold in the markets where they cause the local textile industry to die. We have all seen the piles of plastic garbage. Now the EU is passing legislation to ban the exporting of plastic. Thank goodness someone is tacking responsibility for their own mess. Now which other countries will follow suit?
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care – keep sending your good wishes to our three Australian families on streaming cams. Their challenges are certainly not over, and we want all those fledglings to be safe and well fed. We hope to have you with us again soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, tours, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, R, SP’, SK Hideaways, PLO, NEFL-AEF, Ferris Akel Tours, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, Anna Laios, Lady Hawk, Hakai Magazine, BirdLife International, and The Guardian.