Beautiful Big Red…Sunday in Bird World

19 November 2023

Hi Everyone,

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.

Handsome couple.

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.

Bird Flu in the Antarctic…Sunday in Bird World

29 October 2023

Hello Everyone!

In North America, it is almost Halloween. Children still go door to door and hear screaming ‘Halloween Apples’ or ‘Trick or Treat’. I always feel sorry for them when it is cold and you can hardly see their costumes. We are all set – packaged goods only – lots of combinations of dried fruit. Presumably, they will eat their candies first and sigh when they see the fruit, but I won’t feel guilty about their teeth. I had a friend once who handed out toothbrushes.

Decades ago, it became clear that ‘incidents’ happen and children should not eat treats from people they don’t know unless they are fully sealed, etc. I often wonder why the community centres, schools, and families do not just have a local party for the children. When we lived in England, Halloween was not a ‘thing’. I understand it is now. We had Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November – jacket potatoes on the barbecue or bonfire. Sometimes called Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night. Effigies were burned. It always depended on whose side you were on, I was told (please correct me). Fawkes was part of a plot to burn down the Houses of Parliament; he was a Catholic in 1605. So, the effigy is sometimes considered the Pope, and some burn a figure of Fawkes in support of the monarchy. The holiday became official in 1859. It was all new to us and great fun – friends from the cup de sac at the foot of the gorse joined to celebrate. Gosh, I miss them!

The girls will be safely stowed away in the conservatory while treats are handed out. I still do not trust them not to run out the door – although I have to say that Calico has not even ventured near the door to do that. She will look out at the birds and, on occasion, at the cats visiting the feeding station, but she is mostly uninterested. The three girls still love story time. It is a ritual that prescribes I sit on the floor with a pile of blankets beside me. The little portable heater needs to be on. I must have a bag of treats. Calico will sit on my lap or the blanket. Missey is on the couch, and Hope is under one of the chairs. Treats were distributed, and then, today, we reached the end of H is for Hawk. If I do not do precisely as I have done since Calico first came into my life, she appears to get stressed. Ritual. I love it, too. We all know what to expect, and I get time to read some very good books.

Hope has decided to move into Missey’s basket. Missey doesn’t seem bothered. If I look for Hope and cannot find her, she will be in the basket! Just look at that bushy tail. Hope is a really sweet kitten. Missey loves playing with Hope (not so much Calico).

Calico has taken over the couch. We are so glad so many of your enjoyed seeing Hope and Calico with ‘Lewis’s’ pillow. It was a wonderful surprise – so thoughtful. Thanks, Auntie.

Other images from Saturday – cats lounging, the snow, Missey watching the birds.

Calico seems to have decided that she still needs to provide milk for Hope. She was bursting this afternoon…Hope is very well fed!

Now, one thing. Pumpkins and peanut butter. The squirrels are too well-fed to bother. I saw some little birds pecking, but the deer is like the pumpkins in Canada. I have discovered that pumpkins are dangerous to hedgehogs, so don’t put them out if you live where there are hedgehogs. We don’t wish to kill them. I loved the ones who came to the orchard at the end of our garden to eat the fruit that had fallen on the ground.

Before we check on Australia, M15 is getting really serious about his new mate and the potential for a family with her. He brought in two fish gifts on Saturday. She, of course, might know that she won the Bald Eagle lottery when they met and bonded. F23 could not have a better mate and provider for her and their babies.

At Port Lincoln, Goliath and Little are really into the Reptilian Phase. The Reptilian Phase generally begins around Day 12. Between the plumage of the newly hatched, that light down with the dark eye line and the slightest hint (or more) of the dark stripe on their back and their juvenile feathers. In the Reptilian Phase, the chicks look like they have been dipped in a pot of old motor oil. They are dark, scaly, slick, bald, ebony black heads with little copper-red feathers coming in at the back of the nape. Those coppery-red feathers will begin to appear elsewhere as well. The chicks become itchy as their blood feathers begin to grow. The feathers grow out of ‘blood quills’ if you did not know. If these are broken, they can die if the blood does not coagulate. It is the same with eaglets, and some of you will recall the season 2021 at Captiva when Joe and Connie’s two eaglets died of rodenticide poisoning. One directly from the poison and the eldest from its blood feather breaking, and because the blood did not coagulate (due to the rodenticide to kill mice/rats), it bled to death on the nest). From my observations over the years, this is the time when the chicks also begin bonking.

They are right in terms of development. Goliath is 12 days old, and Little is ten days old. The size difference can reflect the two days between hatch and gender, with the female being much larger than the male. You will notice that Goliath is darker with less down – it is the age difference. Little is just entering the new itchy phase. They will appear thin and ‘lean’. As this phase and the juvenile feather phase take over, their flight feathers, both the primaries and secondaries on the wing and the tail feathers, will come in. The largest and longest of the feathers take much longer to come in. Once all their feathers are in, they are ready to fly! No worries. We are a long way from fledge!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I write, Dad has brought in a whole fish at 0747 which lasted for two feedings an hour apart.

It is hard to tell how much fish Little received at the feeding. He got tangled with Goliath. Dad returned to fetch the fish at 0809. He will return it, but – he will have some breakfast, too. The fact that the parents can now eat will give them strength. It was physically hard on Mum during the last season with Zoe when she demanded so much fish that neither her siblings nor Mum had some at times. This year is going to be so very different. Hoping for the best for all of them. This family deserves a ‘break’.

All of the positive comments on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB feed must be heart-warming to those who fought hard for this intervention to happen.

The fish fairy arrives with four really nice size fish. Mum and Goliath and Little feast as does Dad.

PLO posts: “Dad the first one back and takes 1 fish. Mum feeds the 2 babies. Both babies full. Dad back for a 2nd fish and leaves the fish tail.”

‘A’ gives us her report: “There were several good feedings for both osplets at Port Lincoln today. Dad brought in a big whole breakfast fish at 07:47. and the ensuing feeding continued until 08:12. At 12:45, the fish fairy delivered four medium-sized whole fish. This fed everyone – dad was first to the nest after the delivery and grabbed one for himself. Mum then arrived to feed the kids. Neither parent is at all perturbed, it seems, by the aunty door dash and seem to be getting very used to it. It’s a race between them to get to the nest after the fairy leaves, given they know what they will find there. The feeding from those gift fish lasted for 37 minutes and, like the morning feeding, left both osplets with very very full crops. Another half fish was brought in by dad for dinner, at 18:42. So everyone went to bed with full tummies. And again today, there was no bonking and no signs of aggression between the osplets.”

‘A and H’ mention that there is really sad news coming out from Turnby Island, the Osprey nest of Partney and Marrum.

Calypso, the 2019 Port Lincoln Hatch, has been exploring the area. Everyone is hoping she will find a mate and raise chicks so Mum and Dad can be grandparents. Port Lincoln will build a platform for her if she does not settle on one of those available.

Port Lincoln has found another osprey nest with chicks that they did not know about! Check out that nest. Off the ground and away from predators.

At the nest tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest (the old Ironwood Tree), SE 32 decided to stay home. S/he had many meals and time with Lady and Dad – which brought joy and tears to all of us. SE31 was also seen. No one has seen 31 fed on camera but the eaglet is flying strong — send every positive wish you have for the eaglets as they persevere against the Currawong who would like to drive them from the forest!

Earlier News.

Currawongs harassing 31.

As soon as the adults flew off the nest (they had stayed with 32 overnight), the Currawongs came and pestered 32 til it flew off. Later, the parents are looking over the forest for their eaglets.

All is well at Orange. It looked like something other than a Starling arrived for breakfast at 0728. The two are really getting their primary and secondary wing feathers in as well as the tail feathers. The faces are changing and every day they get stronger and stronger on their legs. Diamond makes them stretch their necks to get their prey – strengthening those muscles that will become so valuable to them in the future.

‘A’ gives us the prey report from Orange: “At Orange, mum arrived home for the evening about ten minutes ago. The two eyases are asleep in their usual cuddle puddle, on the near side wall of the scrape (so largely invisible from the Box Cam). They are gorgeous. Here are the day’s time stamps: PREY 06.12.06 M takes, 07.27.50, 08.19.23, 10.42.06, 13:35:02, 17:10:05 FEEDING 06.13+, 07.22 M+B self feed, 07.28, 07.43( leftover starling), 09.08, 10.43, 13:37, 17:10 (M self-feed). HIGHLIGHTS: 06.07+ zoomies, 07.25.50+ B+M plucking, 12:58:10 Barru ‘broods’ Dudley. 12: 58:57 Marri’s turn, LEDGE CAMERA 10.09.20 M puts wing over B, 13:36.35 + Barru nipps at Xavier’s tail feathers.”

Did they? or didn’t they? Gabby invites V3 to mate.

The first confirmed case of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza reaches the Antarctic. So, it’s not just melting sea ice but now H5N1 that is a massive threat to all species including the Penguins.

Everyone thought he retired – of course, Dr Peter Sharpe can never retire. He has Bald Eagle blood flowing through his veins and today he was fitting a camera so that Thunder and Akecheta’s breeding season can be viewed at their new nest. Of course, they could choose the old nest – thankfully there is a camera there. Thanks, Dr Sharpe!

Territorial disputes continue at the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty.

Always grateful to the kindness extended to our wildlife in trouble – normally created by us like fishing line! Completely tanged and the kind soul took the time – and great patience – to free this osprey.

In the UK, Babet, the storm that hit and caused extensive flooding and damage, also caused some birds to wind up in very unusual places.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care of yourselves. We hope to see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H’, Lady Hawk, PLO, Rohan Geddes, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Denise W Starr, SK Hideaway, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, British Antarctic Survey, The Telegraph, Down to Earth, Dave Gallivan, Deb Stecyk, Rachel Stevenson-Thomas, and Bird Guides.

The sad and the glad…Sunday in Bird World

8 October 2023

Hello Everyone,

Good Morning. Thank you so much for the continued outpouring for Lewis. It is so appreciated. He had a reasonable Saturday. The inflammation medication that helps with his pain also causes him to be ravenous. Sadly he just ate so quickly at breakfast that he lost his meal but, after a few hours, I warmed up some of that very condensed chicken broth form the chicken bones and mushed it up with tin food and he had a really good meal and kept it down. So happy! Of course, the girls all had their share of warm broth, too!!!!!!!!

It was chilly at 6 C on Saturday and damp with some drizzle. The three Amur Maples from our City’s tree-planting programme will be lovely! They are so healthy. Today is planting day.

So far, the squirrels have not touched the pumpkin. There were a few Dark-eyed Juncos on the deck today, and they inspected it. Too funny. Dyson was out with her gang, Little Red was around, and the Blue Jays – all four of them – made an appearance. There are still Wood Ducks at the park and I plan to go and see them tomorrow. Soon, they will leave. I think I will cut bigger holes in that pumpkin to help them get started.

We are going to start with some fantastic news coming in from Geemeff. LY7, Ludo, the 2023 fledgling from Loch Arkaig, has been photographed in France!!!!!!!! Oh, what wonderful news. As Geemeff points out, these are now the fledglings from Loch Arkaig – Louis’s kids (with Lila and Dorcha) – that have been spotted after leaving the nest: “Doddie JJ6 twice! Somerset (2020) and Shetland (2022), Willow LW5 (France 2022), Rannoch JJ2 (Senegal 2022), and now Ludo LY7 (France 2023). Jump up and down. Tear up. Great news. That feisty kid is doing great.

My Saturday newsletter alerted us to concerns at the Collins Street scrape in Melbourne. The news continues to be sad – sad that the four eggs that were laid might not hatch, but as I wrote to ‘H’ when she sent me the news – I am glad there were not four little fluff balls waiting on the ledge for food and Mum being injured or unable to care for them.

The four eggs have been left since 0559 except for two brief periods shown below in screen captures when the male returns to incubate three – one of the eggs is off to the side (or so it appears).

There were at least two times that the eggs were incubated for a short time.

This is the latest news coming from the FB Admin.

The Melbourne Falcons are the most popular in terms of streaming cam numbers of all the Falcon cams internationally. Everyone has a very heavy heart today. The male has been incubating on and off. From experience with eagles, the eggs can, in cool temperatures, be left for more than five hours and still hatch. Such was the case with Milda the White-tail Eagle. It would be desperately hard for the Dad to provide all the duties – incubation, territorial defence, food, and feeding and protecting the hatchlings. The chicks cannot regulate their temperature, and food is required. We have seen falcon males take on full-time duties, such as Newmann at Great Spirit Bluff, this season, but those eyases were much older (at fledge).

It now appears that the female might have returned to the ledge and is incubating the eggs. It is not 100% certain. We are going to have to wait and see how this plays out.

This is Dad M22 rolling the eggs with his talons. Little Dad – what a guy – working hard to try and keep things going while Mum is healing.

‘H’ gives a very detailed communique on the happenings at the nest over the past few days. This is followed by the latest dispatch from Victor Hurley.

“Melbourne / Collins Street Falcons, October 8 –   F22 returned to incubate the eggs during the overnight of 10/8.  At 0619 she flew out, and then from 0648 to 0702 she hung out at the north end of the ledge (the opposite end from the nest).  F22 has obvious injuries to her head with several patches of missing feathers, but there is no evidence of blood-stained trauma.  Her right eye does appear slightly puffy and she sometimes attempts to hold it closed.  Her disposition was a little ‘off’, and she seemed to be in a slight daze.  Dr. Victor Hurley has stated: ”I wouldn’t be surprised if her injuries included some concussion.”

The eggs were left unattended for over 4.5 hours.  Finally, at 1039 M22 landed at the south ledge and immediately began to incubate the eggs.  He only stayed for 38 minutes, however.  He later returned at 1212, and this time he stayed on the eggs until 1324.

At 1341 F22 landed on the north ledge.  She seemed a little more alert, and she was doing a bit of squawking and rapidly looking around.  She left at 1358, without going to the eggs at all.  At 1359 M22 landed and began to incubate three eggs.  The fourth egg had been inadvertently cast aside at his last departure, but he did not make an effort to gather it at this time.  There were a few times when M22 rose to roll the three eggs.  This time M22 did a long incubation stint of 4.5 hours, and at some point, he did gather the fourth egg to join the other three. Curiously, while M22 was incubating the eggs, F22 landed on the north ledge at 1430, and there was some light chatter between them.  She did not approach the nest, and she flew off after 11 minutes.  

At 1827 F22 returned to the north ledge, and that’s when M22 ended his incubation stint and flew off from the south end.  F22 departed the north ledge at 1942, and once again, she had avoided the south ledge and the nest.  F22 has not been at the nest with the eggs since 0616.  At 2009 F22 landed on the north ledge and went straight to the perch.  The time is now 2200 and F22 remains on the north perch.  The four eggs at the opposite end of the ledge are looking so very cold and lonely.  The current temperature in Melbourne is 9C/48F, and predicted to be 6C/43F overnight.

The eggs have been left unattended for extended periods over the past few days.  Has F22 come to believe that her eggs are not viable causing her to abandon them?  We won’t ever know what happened to our beloved female, F22, but we are very glad that she is alive, and we wish her continued healing.  We need to remind ourselves every single day just how challenging and difficult the lives of all of our feathered friends are.  We must not take a single moment with them for granted.”


This is the latest dispatch from Victor Hurley on the situation on the ledge. Thanks so much ‘H’ for keeping tabs on the correspondence coming out of Melbourne!

Thankfully everything is absolutely perfect at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier at Orange.

The older chick is a little larger now (female probably) and she often gets the first of the food. ‘A’ notes a cute event yesterday, ” Xavier managed somehow to avoid Diamond’s watchful eye and sneak in to do a feeding today, which lasted for 13 minutes and included the younger chick in a big way (he was constantly checking to see if she was about to storm into the box, not at all happy with his ‘interference’). See from about 15:28 – after a bonding session with Diamond, Xavier returns to the box to brood the chicks but as he settles down, the chicks tell him they are hungry (especially the younger one), so Xavier retrieves some stashed prey from the front corner of the scrape and proceeds to feed the pair. His back is to the camera, obscuring the majority of the feeding, but based on what we can see (and hear), the younger chick is getting fed much more at this feeding than it normally does at a Diamond feeding. “

Dad taking one of his incubation times so Mum can have a break at Port Lincoln.

The observation board at Port Lincoln for the 7th of October.

Gorgeous Sea Eagles. Hoping that they’re going to get some more prey! Check out the interest in walking up the branch.

They are nothing short of gorgeous.

And now for some really good news! We can all use it after the worry for Melbourne and, of course, the shooting of the Condor in California recently.

A new ambassador Osprey.

The two surviving ospreys at Osprey House in Australia are doing very well. Gosh, I wish they had a streaming cam to bridge the gap between the end of the season in the US and the hatch at Port Lincoln! Miss those little grey fuzzy balls of energy! Soon….soon. The beaking will begin.

There is good news coming out of the E-1 nest at the Kisatchie National Forest. Anna is on the nest! No question. It is her.

Everything appears to be alright at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest of Gabby and V3.

Gabby and V3 are quite loud…Gabby was biting V3’s bottom today! Affection Eagle Style.

What do you know about Bird Island? First, (don’t peek) do you know where Bird Island is located? Secondly, what are the major bird species that still populate Bird Island? And what are their challenges?

The more educated we are about the challenges that all our birds face the better equipped we are to advocate for their protection!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, photographs, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, The Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Leigh Stillard, Victor Hurley, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, The Peregrine Fund, Key News, Osprey House Environmental Centre, Tonya Irwin and KNF E-1, NEFL-AEF, Lady Haw, Google Maps, British Antarctic Survey, and the Albatross Task Force.

No words…Emperor Penguins going extinct

1 September 2023

I cannot even say how embarrassed I am to be a human. Are we really ready to make the hard decisions to help save our planet? And the habitat of our beloved feathered friends.