Oh, it was a lovely fall day on the Canadian Prairies. The windows were flung open to let out all the stale air. Watching Hope listen to the sounds of the birds in the garden was incredible. She watches every leaf that flies over the conservatory’s roof – she wants to play. What a happy little kitten she is. Today is day 14 – it has been two weeks since Calico’s spaying. Had I felt better, Hope and Calico would have begun the second round of integration into the household on Tuesday. I don’t want anything to go sideways, no hiccups, since I am not on top of my game with this Covid. Calico, Missey, and Lewis had learned to live together. Calico is protective of Hope, which can potentially cause a problem. But soon….I continue to think of the osplets on the nests. There is enough space, enough food, and enough attention for all of them. Enough toys and treats! There will be an uncomfortable few days, and the pecking order will be established and life will settle into a routine.
Hope. She is nothing short of a Mini-Calico with her black tear in the left eye, a single spot of white on her black, and her lovely disposition. I will bore you and I am sorry but I cannot look at the two of them without feeling a little overwhelmed – in a good way – that Hope found us and Mamma and baby were reunited.
As the sun was setting on Big Bear Lake, Jackie pays a visit! So very nice to see you.
Mini did not come to the Patchogue nest on Tuesday that I am aware. Many wonder why she has not migrated. Migration depends on a food source and it is obvious that Mini still has plenty of fish in the area to eat. There are rumours that the bay is full of Snapper and other fish. Why would she leave for something uncertain? Eat up! Get fat! Then go.
This might be of interest to you. Many North American Ospreys from the NE US fly over Cuba beginning in mid-September. This article points out that there are also large numbers in October.
There has been ongoing worry about Karl II, the patriarch of the Karula National Forest Black Stork Nest Ian Estonia. His tracker stopped transmitting in Ukraine. This happened last year in an area where the cell service was disrupted because of the war. Now, Karl II has sent data!!!!!!! He is alive. Oh, thank goodness.
The time has flown by. We are approximately three days from the hatch at Orange!!!!!!!! We will enjoy these little fluff balls before things start to crack at Melbourne.
While Diamond and Xavier wait for their three eggs to hatch, Annie and Lou are doing some serious beak bonding in The Campanile in California.
The might Mum, F22, at Collins Street.
SE31 and 32 – gorgeous. The plumage. They are working those wings, self-feeding, and getting ready for their fledge in October.
Dad taking his turn incubating while Mum returns from her break anxious to get back to her three eggs.
Ervie went over to Boston Island. He certainly seems to be exploring lately. Wonder what he had in his picnic?
Anna, who was injured, and Andria are at their nests at the Kisatchie National Forest Monday night.
An Osprey landed on the perch at Achieva where it seemed to be drying its wings in the wind.
At least five fish were delivered to the fledgling at the MN Landscape Arboretum Nest on Tuesday. Dad and Lil’ Arb are still around. The weather is good, the fish seem plentiful, and why not? Just like Mini – eat the fish where you are before flying off to points unknown!
It appears that Coco has left the Sandpoint nest and she and Dad, Keo, are on their way south.
Beautiful morning at Superbeaks. If you haven’t, add this Eagle nest in Central Florida to your watch list.
Exciting news of the Black-browed Albatross being spotted in the UK. This is an extremely rare event.
Thank you for joining me today for a little snippet of the happenings in Bird World. We continue to monitor those few nests that still have juvenile Ospreys being fed by parents and, of course, are getting ever so excited about the lead-up to hatch at Orange. For me, though, the big event will be the sight of a tiny osprey in the nest at Port Lincoln. Those little ones with soft grey down and black eye lines melt the heart. Is it OK to hope we might have a better year with this new Dad? Only time will tell.
Take care everyone. Stay safe! See you soon.
Thank you so much to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my newsletter today: FOBBV, Journal of Raptor Research, Looduskalender, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam at Orange, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Tonya Irwin and KNF Eagle Cam Fans, Achieva Credit Union MN Landscape Arboretum, Sandpoint, Superbeaks, and Yorkshire Wildlife.
One need not look at the calendar to know that fall is completely with us on the Canadian Prairies. Leaves are turning on all of the trees, squirrels and Jays are rushing to store food. The air feels and smells different.
Every one of the garden animals has been accounted for but one and sadly the latest Hedwig (rabbit) was hit by a car on the lane in front of my house last evening. I found the darling thing this morning.
Dyson looks particularly good. Taken with my phone when I went to fill up the table feeder – she isn’t afraid. She waited and posed. Little Red was running around. He has officially moved into the wood box in the house built for him in the spring of 2022. Yippeeee. Better late than never. He only has to go a few feet in the winter to get more peanuts!
Dyson wishes all her friends in Japan and Asia a joyous Tsukimi (Moon Viewing Festival), lots of delicious rice dumplings and Moon Cakes.
The Blue Jays are still coming to the feeders. Many do not migrate remaining on the snowy prairies along with the Black-capped Chicadees and sparrows. We wait to see what these four will do.
Lewis wants nothing to do with the new cat tree. He prefers the box, and Missey prefers the blanket that wrapped some furniture at one time or another on the top of the bins and the wicker basket.
Calico looks stronger every day. She is filling out a bit but a sweet gentle soul she is. Did I tell you we dropped all of our other projects for a few weeks to write a book for children about Calico and Hope? It will be a fundraiser for the mobile Vet clinic that works in my City to provide affordable spay and neutering, vaccinations, deworming, etc. for those persons wishing to trap and release or adopt the community cats.
It is also hoped that the book will offer a lesson for not ‘dumping’ pets.
Are you missing Mini? I sure am. You never ever forget these amazing survivors.
Patchogue tops my list for the most incredible osprey nest this past season. The adults raised four – four to fledge – at a time when a substantial number of clutches from Long Island up through the NE were entirely lost due to weather events (especially that storm in June) and overfishing. Thank you, Isac, for reminding us what a spunky fourth-hatch Mini was!
Well, shock of shocks. Mini visited the nest for about a minute at 1258 Monday. Oh, my goodness. How wonderful it is to see you!
Violence. Disregard for life of any kind.
What kind of person would deliberately shoot any raptor never mind, one of the most endangered species on our planet – the California Condor. I had been out playing with Hope and Calico and had not looked at my e-mail (one of the benefits of taking a few days off is you realise it can wait!). Then I did. A note from Geemeff, and below it is my copy from Kelly Sorenson. I am beyond understanding this.
Gabby was at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest Monday morning.
V3 returned to the nest with what could be new wounds at 1745.
The eagles are working on the Pittsburg-Hayes nest. Look at those rails! This is a nest to envy!
There’s at least one juvie at the Dulles-Greenway nest of Martin and Rosa.
Looks like C15 and Dad might have finally left for their migration fro the Charlo Montana Osprey platform.
Ospreys are gone and the Canada Geese are enjoying the Boulder County Fair Grounds nest.
Trudi Kron gives us a good look at the injuries that Anna, the mate of Louis, at the KNF-E1 nest near Alexandria, Louisiana has sustained. It looks like they are healing. Send good wishes for all those floaters wanting a nest to scat!
Lightning fills the sky around the Superbeaks’ nest of Pepe and Muhlady.
Everyone hopes the new male at Port Lincoln will be a great provider and that the long-running heartache at the PLO barge nest will end. That said, this morning, Mum got impatient waiting for a fish and caught on camera is a female incubating eggs catching a fish.
‘A’ brings us up to date: “At Port Lincoln, the fishing is going well. Three yesterday (one caught by mum) and dad has caught at least two so far today. As always, mum is allowing him far less egg time than he would like. Guesses regarding timing of the first hatch are between 15 October and 18 October, so we have at least three weeks to wait there. So all attention is now on Orange and of course on our adorable sea eaglets in Sydney. They are gorgeous.”
There are still juvenile ospreys near their nests in the UK that have not left for migration.
Dad is still bringing fish to Coco at the Sandpoint nest.
Dad delivered at least four fishing starting at 0705 and going until 1500 on Monday at the MN Landscape Arboretum Nest.
Suzanne Arnold Horning spotted Big Red on the Cornell Campus on Monday! Looking good, Mamma.
The eaglets at Sydney Sea Eagle nest in the Olympic Forest are ever more steady on their feet.
The date that is predicted for the first egg to hatch at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier is 1 October. That is less than a week away!
‘A’ reminds us: “The countdown is on at Orange. Only four days until pip watch. There is a very pesky scout bee (or bees) that has been bothering the falcons for the past two days, buzzing constantly into, around and out of the box. I think it is really starting to annoy Diamond. Xavier made a lunge at it yesterday as if to eat it but missed (as he was on the eggs so had limited reach!) and today, it continues to irritate all. Apart from that, all proceeds smoothly at this scrape. The couple had another of their early morning bonding sessions today (05:20) but this time there was a changeover and no-one fell asleep mid-bonding. It’s so sweet the way he arrives so early and sits on the ledge to keep her company. For some reason, she allowed him an hour of early-morning egg time, so he’s happy. He’s had a couple of lengthy stints this morning.”
To prepare for what is coming – and the falcon chicks grow rapidly compared to eagles and ospreys – here is a guide to their weekly development with pictures.
Annie and Lou visiting the scrape at The Campanile of UC-Berkeley on Monday.
Almost all of the Royal Albatross chicks have fledged. We now await the arrival of this year’s adults who will be breeding.
Remember – if you have to just tie your wrists with a ribbon! Don’t start up the mower, the weed whacker, the leaf blower. Use that time to go birding and let the insects living in the leaves have a home.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon!
I want to add that I tested positive for Covid on Sunday. I am feeling a bit rough. Thankfully there is not a lot going on in Bird World. I will continue with the newsletter but the content might be smaller for the next week while I recover.
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Geemeff’, PSEG, Isac and PSEG, Ventana Wildlife Society, Open Verse, NEFL-AEF, NEFL-chat, PixCams, Dulles-Greenway, Charlo Montana, Boulder County, Trudi Kron and Bald Eagles 101 Superbeaks, Bart Molenaar and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt FalconCam, Outside My Window, Killarney Today, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, and Cal Falcons.
I did not go anywhere exotic. I rarely left my home and garden, and it was a joyful week – full of time with Hope trying to socialise this bundle of joy, calming and reassuring Lewis, petting and reading to Calico and Missey, and writing two articles. There was also time to do what was intended – begin writing up the report on the 2023 Osprey breeding season data forms, focusing on the deaths and why they occurred. I needed the cats to balance off the sadness. Sometimes, you can see the birds waiting for their mate to return, and they don’t. Or the babies starving on the nests because society has yet to understand our need to care for them. If we are to survive, the birds, the animals, and the insects need to as well. As I mentioned before the break, the cats have taught me to live in the moment, enjoy, be thankful, and not dwell on the past or the future so that it wrecks ‘the now’. Still, there is an obligation to do what can be done to make the lives of those around me – the neighbourhood community cats, the garden animals, or the birds – as good as possible. Having travelled the world many times, missing what is right at one’s doorstep is easy. For me – now – ‘there is no place like Home’. I am as joyful watching the Blue Jays flit into the little covered feeder for peanuts as I would be walking along the waterfront in Kuching or Penang.
There was also another cat tree to put together. Poor Missey has been looking out a small window with bins full of birdseed stacked one on the other and a wicker basket with a blanket at the top. But this cat tree is nothing like the solid one I have had for two decades. It was obnoxious to assemble with the holes and screws not always lining up easily. Tip: If you have the funds and know someone handy with wood, get them to build you a solid one out of good plywood. You can take it to a local upholster to get it covered. At the end of the day, Missey prefers the wicker basket on the bins. Of course. My house looks like I have opened a cat daycare centre at times. Too funny, but it is driving me a little nuts, so there will be some consolidation this week!
Before checking what happened while I was away, Geemeff sent me a link to the BBC1 programme on Birds of Prey. Ospreys are about halfway through the 57 minutes, and the couple is Brodie and Asha from Loch Garten. But don’t just skip ahead because you will miss the most beautiful landscapes, and the images of the raptors are extraordinary. Enjoy.
Saturday: Mini shows up at the nest and spends about an hour. She looks good. She is putting more weight on that leg. It was windy due to Hurricane Lee’s outer bands. She hung onto the nest tight. This image of Mini is going on a mug. I want to see this magnificent bird every morning and wish her well. Thanks, ‘H’ for the alert.
Ervie travelled and might have met his sister, Calypso.
Ron and Rose began making changes to their refurbished and refortified nest in Miami-Dade County.
PG&E put up a new pole and nest for ospreys in the SF Bay Area. We need more of this!
Many Ospreys are still in Canada and have not started their migration. Lucky is well known in the Newfoundland Virginia Lake area.
Sea Eaglets enjoyed another ‘eel meal’.
Mini visited the nest again Sunday evening at 2018 (17 September). It was already dark. Her leg looked to be bothering her. I wonder if the water has been rough and fishing hard? Mini will be 4 months old, 123 days.
My Mini mug arrived. She and I will have morning coffee together. The screen capture images work well for digital printing on items. The company I used said it was not a high enough resolution, but I told them to print it anyway. The image turned out lovely.
This will be the last sighting of our dear girl. She has come to the nest to say goodbye. Soar high for decades, dear one. May your crop always be full, may your leg heal, and may you thrive. You gave us such joy and showed us what determination can do.
Thunder and Akecheta were together at the West End.
Gabby arrived at the NE-Florida Nest early. She looks out on her territory and its uncertain future. V3 was last seen on the 16th of September. He has been missing for two days now.
Tuesday: Black Storks flying over the Straits of Gibraltar.
Hope is growing and changing. She is no longer ’round’.
Calico loves her cuddles and still wants a story whenever I am with them. It is such a great way to get them used to your voice.
Cuddle time with Mamma and Baby Hope.
How did Avian Flu or HPAI impact the breeding season? News from the BTO gives us insight.
Has HPAI impacted breeding raptors?
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been in the news because of its all too obvious impacts on our breeding seabird colonies and wintering goose populations. However, the disease has affected a wide range of bird species, including birds of prey. Because raptors tend to be more dispersed and often inhabit remote locations, there has been concern that the impact of HPAI on these species could have been underestimated.
BTO Scotland staff Mark Wilson, Anthony Wetherhill and Chris Wernham were commissioned by NatureScot to examine Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (SRMS) data for any evidence of an impact. The team compared SRMS data from the 2022 breeding season with equivalent data from previous years, assessing whether there had been significant changes in reported numbers or breeding success of raptor pairs, and whether any of the changes detected were likely to be caused by the HPAI outbreak.
The analyses provided strong evidence for declines in breeding success consistent with impacts of HPAI on the productivity of Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle in 2022. These impacts were evident in most of the Scottish regions where these eagles breed but, for both species, they appear to have been greater in areas where pairs had access to coastal and marine habitats, indicating a possible link to predation and scavenging of infected seabirds and waterfowl.
Other factors that could explain the differences observed between 2022 and other years, particularly in breeding success, include variation in weather, prey availability and survey effort. Of these, the weather recorded in 2022 may have contributed to the observed differences but seems unlikely to entirely account for all of them.
At Patchogue, a local enthusiast and lover of Mini, Isac, said on Tuesday when he went checking, “just saw an osprey crossing from the creek to the lake and have a fish in her talons. I think this our lil 4”.
Do you live in Alabama?
M15 and F1 are getting serious. Androcat brings us the action.
It is a beautiful poem to the Welsh Ospreys…completely written by AI.
Black Storks on the move. No data from Bonus and no new data from Karl II.
One of Atlantic Canada’s favourite male Ospreys, Lucky, is still providing fish to his chicks.
The fledgling from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest was still home.
CORRECTION TO INFORMATION I WAS GIVEN: The male at the Arboretum nest is not 21 years old. Here is the correct information: “This male is G/B MS….a five year old that was hatched in 2018 on a nest in Carver Park.”
RUTLAND WATER, home to many ospreys but my fav male Blue 33 and Maya fledged their 250th Osprey chick in 2023. Congratulations. The event is being celebrated widely and there is even a BBC Radio Programme on the 22nd of September.
Mini has not returned to the nest since Sunday the 17th. That was three days ago. A local believes they saw Mini fishing.
SE 31 and 32 are getting more steady on their feet.
It’s scandalously hot on F22 at the 367 Collins Street nest. Question: Last year, we witnessed the effects of the hot sun and heat on the eyases. So why was the scrape not taken down in that area or, instead, why wasn’t a shade put on it like at the other end?
Thursday: Mark Avery gives us a brief update on Bird Flu in the UK.
“In 2023, up until 17 September, 46 species have tested positive. The last month has seen just one addition – 4 Pheasants in Moray. Here’s the list: Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose,Mallard, Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Curlew, Ringed Plover, unspecified heron (!), Grey Heron, dove/pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Red Grouse, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Reed Warbler and Carrion Crow.”
What is happening at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby? V3 has not been seen in some days and I fear that the tragedy of Samson has beset a potential mate for Gabby. Will there be a clear partner before breeding season in 2023? or will all be lost due to territorial disputes?
Friday: New studies on migration with relation to Black-tailed Godwits and Red Knots reveals much about how young birds travel to their winter homes.
There has been chaos at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier due to the persistent presence of a young female falcon. Diamond has engaged with the female, and as of today, Friday, the nest is calm and back to normal. We need Diamond safe. She is not a youngster and she is incubating eggs.
Here is the video of that moment! This must be very unsettling for Diamond and Xavier.
Lotus and Mr President have been photographed together at the Washington Arboretum Bald Eagle nest.
Ervie is exploring more territory.
The Pritchetts are getting ready for a new season with M15 and his young and beautiful new mate. I hope that they have many successful years – even a decade – together raising little eaglets that spend time at the pond.
Saturday: Ervie is flying inland.
Gabby has been working on the nest with the new visitor. There has been no sightings of V3 and the AEF says they have not seen any fights on camera. There now could be two suitors. ‘As the Nest Turns’ has begun. Poor Gabby. The AEF is labelling them A1, A2, etc. Gabby prefers the smaller A1 and not A2. Hoping that V3 was just run out of the territory but, what a way to start the year.
Now Anna has been injured. She returned to the KNF E-1 nest – limping with a head injury. None of this is good…. but let us hope it is all minor with Anna.
Jackie and Shadow have been seen together in the tree on cam 2. I still love the diamonds that appear on the nest when the sun is just rising at Big Bear.
SE31 and 32 have changed significantly over the past week. Just look at that plumage. My friend, the late Toni Castelli-Rosen, loved the plumage of the White-Bellied Sea Eaglets. The two are much more steady on their feet and they are flapping their wings. Beautiful eaglets.
Dad has been working on the ND-LEEF nest. The new female has also been present. (Home of ND17, that wonderful third hatch survivor that went into care at Humane Wildlife Indiana – finally!).
Eagles at Duke Farms.
Calico has come out of her operation in fine form. She has been playing like a kitten for the past 3 days, and Hope loves it. They both seem to have springs on the pads of their feet. What joy it is to see Mamma and Hope play together. After, they can often be found sleeping side by side on the top of their makeshift tent where they can look out at the garden animals.
The bells will be ringing in New Zealand as the first two Royal Albatross have returned for the 2023-24 breeding season!
This short article explains this much-anticipated event.
‘A’ is very excited and provides more details and a video explanation of the ringing. ” Meanwhile, the official ringing of the bells in nearby Dunedin to welcome the returning toroa will occur this Monday, 25 September, at 13:00 local time (in the US on Sunday 24 September at 3pm Hawaii time/6pm PST/9pm EST). Here is a brief explanation of this beautiful tradition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uanfnBN6OPI&t=36s. How adorable is the little girl?”
Sunday: Lady and Dad reinforce the side rails as SE31 and 32 become more active in the nest!
Ervie got home safely!
Speaking of getting home safely, V3 has returned to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby. He is a little worse for wear in places. Will Gabby show up? Will V3 take the prize? We wait.
Pepe and Muhlady are working on their nest in Central Florida as are many other eagle couples throughout North America.
Akecheta was visiting the West End nest.
This is disgraceful! You can look no further than the driven grouse estates. This is precisely what Hamza was referring to when discussing the persecution of the Hen Harriers in Scotland!
Thank you so much for being with me this morning as I ate back into Bird World. I hope each of you had a good week and are enjoying the crisp autumn air. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter over the past week: ‘A, H, Geemeff, L’, Geemeff and BBC1, PSEG, Sharyn Broni, Conservation Without Borders, The Sunday Times, PLO, WRDC Pam Kruse and SF Osprey Cam with Rosie and Richmond, Ian Winter and Ospreys of Newfoundland and Labrado, Sydney Sea Eagles, IWS/Explore.com, NEFL-AEF, Birdlife, BTO, Karen Lang and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcon, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Alabama Coastal Briefest. Androcat and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, SK Hideaways, Looduskalendar, Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch, Mark Avery, Inatra Veidemane and Bald Eagles in the USA, Hakai Magazine, MI McGreer, Karen Long, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Katie Phillips Conners, Tonya Irwin and KNF-E1, FOBBV, ND-LEEF, Duke Farms, The Royal Albatross Centre, Superbeaks, Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, and Raptor Persecution UK.
This is our last blog until we return on Monday 25 September. We hope that you have a great week while we are away!
Today it was cold and rainy. Not a great day for the annual open house at Wildlife Haven, our wildlife rescue hospital, in Ile des Chenes, Manitoba. Normally the grounds outside would be filled with people listening to speakers and visiting with the raptor ambassadors. Today, most huddled inside.
It was good to see so many parents with children aged 5 and up asking questions and being ever so curious about the animals.
One of the highlights of the tour was seeing the new home for Majestic. Majestic is a Bald Eagle that came to Wildlife Haven from Rainy River, Ontario ten years ago. She arrived as a juvenile and is believed to be between 10 and 12 years old. She was starving, dehydrated, and was suffering from an old fracture in her left wing at intake. She cannot live in the wild as she does not have control over her flight feathers but – now – she can fly about landing on various perches within her new enclosure safely.
Meet Una, a Great Horned Owl. Una had problems in the nest, according to the presenter. She was born with a missing right eye and a beak that was not aligned – he is small for the species. As a nestling, Una was neglected by her parents. Today, she is living the good life as an ambassador.
It felt ‘very odd’ holding the tail of an Osprey that was once very much alive.
Or a Red-tail Hawk.
There were tours throughout the surgical wing, the food preparation area, the big flight chambers, and special areas for clients such as otters and fox cubs.
Every wildlife rehab centre relies on donations and volunteers. It is amazing what they do with so little. You can normally find a ‘wish list’ at your local centre of items that are urgently needed and, of course, I will continually remind you about clean used towels and sheets, bleach, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, stainless steel bowls, small hand tools that work, pet food, vegetables from your garden, and items of enrichment such as toys. Clean kennels are particularly helpful in transporting animals or isolating them while they await intake or treatment. So before you bin it, think again. There is some wildlife rehab centre near you that might find those things useful – and they would be very grateful. Thank you!
Meanwhile – the kittens. I am guilty of taking way too many images of Hope. She is growing so fast and every day I can see subtle changes in her appearance.
Calico is getting very restless to get out of the conservatory and back into the house’s main part. The vet says ten days. Meanwhile, Hope is nothing short of energy in a small packet. She wants to play and runs from chair to table to tent and couch and then scurries under the covered area over the dining table and out again. Mamma is tired and, I think, growing weary of this big kid of hers. LOL.
Hope gets excited when anyone enters the conservatory – she wants to play with her favourite feather-dangling toy. She was introduced to healthy cat treats full of flax, cranberries, chicken, and other goodies. Her treats look healthy, like homemade human granola bars with extra protein. I made a line, and sure enough, she followed it to my lap. She is still very nervous, and I try not to breathe or move when this happens. She remains reluctant for me to hold her, so we are going every so slowly.
Lewis wants everyone to know that he is cuddly, adorable and a goof.
Lewis and Missey found a way to look out the window in the old office where Calico first stayed. Little birds were flitting about the apple tree. I am so glad that their closeness has not been jeopardised by the arrival of the two new siblings.
Looks like one of the things that we will be doing next week is building some insulated cat shelters. Winter will arrive on the Canadian Prairies before we know it. The Dark-eyed Juncos showed up in the garden today looking for Millet and Robins are passing through. There are still some hummingbirds being photographed along with Pine Siskins. Geese are everywhere, filling up on grass and grain left on the farmers’ fields before going south.
There is still concern over Hurricane Lee. There are reports that one beloved male Osprey adult, Swoop, is still near the nest at Hog Island in Maine. As I write this, the defined eye of the hurricane appears to have broken up, but this could still bring high winds and heavy rains to NE USA and Atlantic Canada.
Keep all of the wildlife in your thoughts as this system moves. We still have many fledglings and adult Ospreys in Atlantic Canada that have not left for migration.
Annie and Lou are bonding! How sweet. These are rare occurrences this time of year, but what is so good about this behaviour is that we can confirm that both are healthy and doing well.
In South Australia, Ervie is back fishing at Delamere, where he used to join Dad when he was just a youngster. Ervie is now two years old. Happy Birthday, Ervie!
It is always good to see Osprey platforms being replaced or installed for new couples. There are not enough old dead trees in situ for them near good fishing spots. This is a good solution and far superior to them building nests on power poles where they could be electrocuted.
Remember the two Royal Albatross chicks that failed in their first flight? Here is the story of their rescue. Thanks, Holly!
‘H’ brings us up to date on Barnegat Light and Date County:
Barnegat Light – “Duke is enjoying a few days of well-earned rest and relaxation since Dorsett left the area on 9/11. Duke can often be seen in one of his trees at the north tree line, and Thursday he was wading at the shoreline with some gulls. Friday Duke enjoyed a nice breakfish on his perch. Later in the afternoon, he was seen on his perch shaking his tail and drying out his wings. We love ya’, Duke.”
Dade County – “The juvie, R5, was back at the nest again on 9/15, and this time he was looking for food scraps. Ah, he is so mature looking! R5 has been at the nest 5 out of the last 6 days. There is still some time before nesting season begins for Ron and Rose, but as much as we love R5, some of us are hoping that he will be bitten by the wanderlust bug soon, lol. R5 is six months old on 9/16. Happy Birthday, R5 !!”
Flaco, the Eurasian Owl that escaped the Central Park Zoo is doing well despite initial worries some months ago! You can check out more of Flake’s adventures by going to Bruce Yolton’s website urban hawks.com
‘A’ reports: “At Collins Street, F22 had a large crop today when she left the nest at 10:36, and little M22 arrived by 10:41 to take over the incubating until the shadow covered the scrape. He was panting a lot, and both parents this morning were using the technique of standing over the eggs with wings outstretched to shade them, rather than settling down on the clutch. Little dad looks so cute when he does it! He works so hard at enfluffling the eggs. It’s hard work for him to cover them all. He’s going to have major problems when it’s four eyases aged, say, a week to 10 days, without thermal down and exposed to the rain and the direct sunlight.—Yes, I’m going to say it again. WHY OH WHY could they not have strategically placed two small squares of wood to shelter from above and to extend the shelter of the building on the far side!??? What will happen on the first wet day?”
‘A’ continues: “I am genuinely concerned that there is the real possibility of a tragedy at Collins Street this season. Last year was the third consecutive La Nina year. That is not a normal Australian summer. We are about to get back to our usual summers, which include days reaching as high as 43C and I shudder to imagine what that scrape will look like by the time the chicks are, say, 10 days old. There is going to be a period of up to a month when the chicks are very vulnerable to that heat and are unable to escape it along that gutter. Not only that, but dehydration is going to be a potential problem even if they are getting enough food.”
SE31 and 32 were very hot on Friday, too. They were panting to help cool their bodies.
‘A’ reports about breakfast: “Breakfast was something that had been feathered (it looked young, but its feathers may just have been wet – it lacked a head so identifying it was not easy), which Lady brought in at 06:40:35. SE31 was in the right place at the right time, so was already in perfect position for food when it arrived, and shortly after 06:41 tried to help herself to the prey. Lady waited a while for some reason, and SE32 joined SE31 waiting for food. Because he came up on his big sister’s inside, SE32 was in primary position when mum did begin feeding, so was fed first rather than his sister. But Lady is relatively even-handed and is feeding both. The blood appears to be nearly gone from her head. so it must have come from her talons,. perhaps while scratching herself, and there is no apparent sign of what yesterday looked like a wound on her left foot. This is really lovely juicy nutritious red meat, and a decent-sized piece of prey as well. Both eaglets are eagerly grabbing bites, some of them very large. Their manners are impeccable. Neither is being at all aggressive and each is happy to watch the other eat. When they lose a competition for a bite, they just wait for the next one. It is lovely to watch. Lady is doing her best to feed both, and it seems they will end up having roughly equal amounts of this meal.”
‘J’ brings news that there is a new camera at the Centrepoint Bald Eagle Nest.
Gabby and V3 have been very alert at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest on Friday.
The cameras will return to SWFlorida on the 30th of September.
At the Royal Albatross colony, ‘A’ reports: “Manaaki is hovering so high, he is out of camera shot. Twice, I have thought he has fledged, but he has landed far down the hill and walked back up. He may well go today, but he shouldn’t. He is still not in control of his flying and he still has too much fluff. Another three days is my guess, as he is still not tucking his feet and legs up confidently and is unable to surf the thermals with any real control. Still, he is getting great height on his hovers and staying airborne for increasing lengths of time. He is very serious about his practising, and cast another bolus at 01:40 this morning. So he is preparing to leave and it could be at any moment now. Literally.”
‘A’ returns later with what is ‘sad’ news: “Manaaki has not returned to his nest. UQ is waiting for him, in his new spot near Manaaki’s nest. The general consensus on the chat is that Manaaki has fledged, although we need to wait until the rangers do their walkaround and head count tomorrow to know whether he is elsewhere on the headland. Unless of course he returns to his nest during the night. It is agreed that he was last seen on camera at 16:39:45 and has not been seen since. Other sightings thought to be of Manaaki were in fact of UQ chick (whose hovering skills are way better than Manaaki’s). I am still sceptical because he really did not seem to be sufficiently balanced in the air and still looked very uncertain. Not to mention the fluff he still had. If he has fledged and landed on the water in the bay, he will be spotted and if necessary rescued. If he has fledged successfully, he has done so at 238 days of age. We wish him godspeed and all the luck in the world out there. We pray we (and he) will live long enough to see him return to his birthplace (some return as early as age three, others not until they are five or even older). One or probably both of his parents will visit the nest over the next few days to make sure their baby has fledged and is not hanging around nearby, needing to be fed. It is so bittersweet watching them wait. If their chick does not return to the nest to be fed, then all their devotion and hard work has paid off. They have done their job for the season, successfully raising a chick to fledge. But somehow, there is a pang as they wait. Sometimes, they come back more than once, just to be sure.
So now, a year after we watched QT fledge, we are waiting for her parents to return for the new season. Mum YRK and dad OGK. Of course, our hope that OKG will return is very slim indeed, but it does remain a possibility. They ring the bells at the colony when the first returnees arrive home, and then the bells ring out all over the area. They love the toroa.”
There is good news. While I do not know the number of butterflies in Canada this year, we have noticed a considerable number in the garden and the local parks. Others have mentioned this as well. In the UK, the record of butterflies has grown this summer – excellent news. This does not mean that there has been an increase in the number of insects – so vital to the lives of our songbirds.
Indeed, a group of residents at one of the condominiums in Winnipeg has noticed that the songbirds have disappeared from their property after the management had the grass treated by a firm claiming to be ‘Eco’. If it kills weeds, it will kill insects that the birds eat and often kills the birds. If you know of any well-researched articles on the issue of lawn treatments and songbirds, please send them to me. I hope to help some of my former students prepare a united front and argue against this practice in the future.
While the Ospreys are away, want to watch a different table feeder in Scotland? Check out the one at RSPB Loch Garten. Here is the link. You might see some of those adorable red squirrels.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We look forward to seeing you on the 25th of September when we return from a brief break.
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, H, J’, Geemeff’, Wildlife Haven, NOAA Hurricane Centre, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, PLO, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, WRDC, Bruce Yolton, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sydney sea Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, The Guardian, and Hakai Magazine.
The happenings in Bird World – in terms of our beloved Ospreys – are getting thin. Most have left their nests and are returning to their winter destinations. It has been a privilege to watch these amazing families struggle in some very challenging conditions to survive. The joy that even a single survivor on a nest brought to us – seeing Dorsett catch a fish and hang out by the beach after fears that the entire clutch would be lost. Witnessing the loss of the Lake Murray osplets to a GHO or others die for mysterious reasons like those at Marder’s. And then seeing a survivor like Mini – . It was like being on a roller coaster – the 2023 Osprey breeding season.
Thank you for your really good wishes for Calico. She is healing nicely. We have not resorted to the Victorian Collar – well, I tried it when I saw her licking but she was not having that and in the end the stress and her trying to tear it off might have caused more damage. I learned from Geemeff that Olive Oil will keep skin around the incision from drying out which is the root cause of the licking -when that skin dries it pulls. I also picked up some antibiotic cream. Calico is such a lovely girl – she rolled on her back and let me apply those as if she completely understood that I was trying to help her. I cannot tell you how much I adore this cat.
Hope is a live wire and wants only to play. Missey wants to play with her but Calico is not so happy to share so we are going to wait. Hope is also beginning to lose that ‘fat’ little face of a kitten. She is 74 days old – nearly 11 weeks. She has such big legs! She is cute, quick, and fun and is less and less afraid of people every day.
Hope loves this feathery teaser that her Auntie in Scotland got for her. It brings her out of her hiding spots in an instant!
Hope is a whirlwind. She must just make Calico tired. You might be able to tell that the conservatory has been turned into a cat play room complete with the table being turned into a hiding spot with thick comforters on the floor and heavy quilts and Rajasthani block prints as cover. It is hopefully a happy safe plade for these two as they acquaint themselves to life indoors. I got a giggle this morning. Geemeff sent me a saying, “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” Isn’t that the truth? I am getting ready to go and do ‘maid duty’ after having already done ‘room service’. I would not change anything.
Calico has discovered that from the little house on the cat tree she can control Hope having access to that tummy tum.
This old cattier has been fun for more than a dozen cats since a couple of local men – a carpenter and an upholsterer – made a few of these around 2006. They are heavy duty – 3/4″ plywood construction and the carpeting can easily be replaced in the bits that get the. most use.
Missey and Lewis grew too big to run and play in the lime green tunnel. Hope loves it and the crinkle sound the fabric makes.
‘H’ has a surprise in her three reports this morning…a wonderful surprise.
Osoyoos – What a surprise … After the livestream was down for 14 days, it went live on 9/13 … for 4.5 hours, then the feed went down again. So, what did we learn? The fledgling is still there. She was on and off the nest several times. And, she looks fabulous! She is quite plump and healthy looking. That is just wonderful. We did not see either of her parents.
Kent Island – Audrey made an appearance early in the morning when she landed on a pole at a nearby dock. She stayed perched there for some time, but we are not sure how long, as the camera panned back to the nest. We did not see her the rest of the day, which was somewhat unusual of late. The past several days, Audrey had been seen a few times in Joe’s tree or on the dock. We will monitor, but it is possible that we may have seen Audrey for the last time this season.
Barnegat Light – Duke was seen in a couple of different trees throughout the day. Dorsett was not seen or heard. There were no significant live streaming issues on 9/13, so technical difficulties cannot be blamed for the lack of Dorsett sightings. The last time we saw Dorsett was the morning of 9/11. There was a beautiful sunset over Barnegat Bay … a poignant moment in time … missing Dorsett. “You be safe out there, girl.”
Visitor at Loch Arkaig! Not an Osprey. Beautiful.
More visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest at the midnight hour.
A fledgling having a wonderful fish meal on the Kallavesi Osprey nest in Finland! These sightings are getting rare as the urge to leave the natal nest and breeding grounds grows stronger.
Keo brought Coco three fish today at Sandpoint. T here was no sign of Keke and she might have begun her migration.
Mum was eating a nice fish on the perch at Boulder County Fair Grands Osprey nest. No sign of the fledglings while I was checking.
The Patchogue Nest is empty. Locals have seen ospreys but they have not come to the nest and there is no confirmation that they are Mini or members of her family as there are other nests in the area. I did find this short video clip showing Mini having dinner with her siblings. A nice memory.
The Osprey platform at Seaside is quiet.
Caught Swoop on the nest at Dunrovin.
Now that Pat has been released from being in rehab, is it possible that all three fledglings from the Dulles-Greenway Nest were home?
Is there anyone that isn’t excited about what is going to happen on the Sw Florida or the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest this year?
M15 has his new beautiful lady.
Gabby and V3 are going to try and raise a family together this season. It is exciting – new beginnings for two of our favourite eaglets who lost their mates last year.
The most beautiful sunsets come from the Superbeaks Bald Eagle nest in Central Florida.
Checking in NZ and Australia:
Royal Albatross Colony, Taiaroa Head, NZ: ‘A’ notes: “In New Zealand, there are strong onshore winds currently and the chicks are taking this perfect opportunity to practise their flying. UQ is doing wonderfully well but Manaaki really does have some way to go when it comes to technique. He is currently down the hill, out of sight, having hovered out over the edge and down a bit. He really has little control over his skills yet, unlike UQ who looks very close to departure. And as I said, Quarry has not been seen on the hilltop for several days. We will get another report tomorrow on who has left the colony. There are currently two fledged chicks who have landed on the water in the bay. The rangers are keeping a close eye on these two, as if they become waterlogged they will be unable to take off again and will eventually drown. The rangers will rescue them for a second take-off attempt if this becomes necessary.” She continues, “Manaaki is still there, as is UQ, though it appears Quarry has left. We are not sure whether she was at the chick count yesterday so she may be elsewhere on the headland but we suspect she has fledged. Heart in my mouth every time I turn that tab on. It won’t be long now for Manaaki. He is 236 days old today (average age at fledge 240 days). I presume you are aware that this is the only mainland northern royal albatross breeding colony in the world, so it is a very special privilege to be able to watch them and to know the rangers are doing everything possible to protect this magnificent species. I will be interested to see the contents of the boluses this season, especially Manaaki’s of course. I suspect they will be largely the same, though it could vary based on where the parents have been foraging.”
‘A’ brings another update: “They have rescued the two fledged chicks who landed in the bay. They picked them up from a boat and took them back to their nest areas, from which they can make another attempt at fledging.’
367 Collins Street: ‘A’ knows someone who works near the Falcon’s scrape and she writes: “They can hear the Collins Street falcons all day at work, and the screeching noise is becoming very familiar. Any city dwellers would have been woken early this morning, as F22 was up and calling loudly for food before 05:55, leaving the ledge and presumably heading for the food stash. She has a large feather stuck to her face, on the right side of her beak, which looks so funny. The falcon version of bed head I think. The eggs were left unattended for just over 62 minutes before M22 arrives to incubate. He hardly has time to settle before mum is back, still with the facial feather and still shrieking. Dad does a classic GCW dive off the ledge and mum settles down. It’s 08:40 and M22 is back on the eggs at the moment. He has been for nearly an hour now, and he is breathing through his mouth already in the morning sun. Remember that in a couple of weeks’ time, it will be only 07:40, with daylight saving starting on 1 October (clocks will go forward one hour at 2am on the Sunday morning). It is currently 17 degrees and I can hear F22 arriving back on the ledge. She is noisy. Dad dives off the ledge, probably to get away from the ear-splitting screeching.”
“After leaving M22 to look after the eggs from around 10:30, F22 did not return until nearly 12.20. During that nearly two-hour period, little dad took a very short break of perhaps two or three minutes but that was well after the shade had completely covered the scrape. There were times when he was panting so fast, his little body looked like it was vibrating. If the parents are suffering like this at this time, what will it be like in six weeks, when the temperatures will be up to 8C higher and the shade won’t cover that scrape until well after midday. (Remember daylight savings puts the clocks forward an hour, so what is now 11am will become 12 noon, which is the last thing that scrape needs.) And of course the sun is moving further south, meaning the shade will take longer and longer each day to reach that scrape. It is worrying me a month before the eggs hatch….”
Like ‘A’, so many wish that a sun shade was placed over the end of the ledge where the eggs are like the other side because of the escalating heat in Melbourne at this time of year.
Orange Peregrine Falcons: Cilla Kinross has published the prey deliveries and a comparison to earlier times so that we can see that the drop off in deliveries this time of year is natural.
In New Zealand, the mainland colony of Kakapo is growing. These are historic moments -. Let us hope that the Kakapo will once again thrive – as in both numbers and quality of life – on the main island of New Zealand where they once lived. For those who do not know the history of the Kakapo and their extinction, here is a brief article to acquaint you with that sadness.
I have included this before but, let’s all remember! Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste. Tell your family and friends. All those pumpkins turned into Jack-O-Lanterns are great food sources for wildlife. It can make a difference in their lives – food. Life saving food.
You can do something to help lots of wildlife with your pumpkins, old apples, etc -.
I checked on Karl II’s family – all are still travelling, but there is no transmission yet from Karl II, and there is also no transmission from Tweed Valley’s Poul. Keep them in your most positive thoughts.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care!
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, postings, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sandpoint Ospreys, Boulder County Fair Grounds, D Lambertson and PSEG, Seaside Ospreys, Dunrovin Ranch, Sassa Bird and Bald Eagles I the USA, Ana Boone and SWFL Eagle Ca, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, NZ DOC, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cilla Kinross and Orange Peregrine Falcons, and Kakapo Recovery.
Tuesday was a very ‘difficult’ and, at the same time, rewarding and joyous day. Two beautiful Calico cats are off the streets and out of the cycle of producing feral kittens. Needless to say I did not sleep well Monday night. It is the ‘alarm clock syndrome’. Difficulty sleeping for fear of sleeping through the alarm.
Calico’s surgery went well. The vet phoned to say that Calico was ‘very strong’ and a gentle, sweet ‘kitten’. The staff spent much time with her when she was recovering – her story and that of Hope finding us -touched each and every one of them. It still makes me weep at all the things that had to ‘work’ for this to happen. I am indebted to those individuals that reached out to help me find ways to track Calico, who helped by providing the kitten trap for Hope, and to each and everyone whose experience with community cats helped us to have a successful ending to their story.
The biggest issue at the vet’s was the advice to keep Calico and Hope separated overnight. Of course, if Calico insisted, the stress being separated from Hope would be worse than Hope trying to suckle. The distance between the little office door and the one for the conservatory is approximately 65 feet. Calico made it very clear that she was not staying in that room. Lewis and Missey were contained in another room with the door to the conservatory open. Calico bolted the instance the office door opened. Hope came running! For a few seconds, there was a lovely little conversation between Mamma and baby. Thankfully, the only kitten that Calico will ever have is healthy and safe and with her Mamma tonight.
Calico is still in a bit of a haze, but Hope is so happy! Mamma is home. Just look at that round little belly on Hope. Poor Calico. She is just so wee…she weighs 2.3 kg or 5.03 lbs. Hope may weigh that much. Calico will start to put on weight and become healthy.
It is a secret. Hope spent the entire day playing with Missey!!!!!!!!!! They are super friends but don’t tell Mamma.
What fun it was to sit and watch these two with the new scratch post. They took turns with Hope watching every move that Missey made carefully and then imitating it.
Hope really loves this new scratch post with the feathered ball.
Before lights out, Hope got in some playtime while Calico rested. She forgot about where she was and wound up on my lap with the feather teaser. It was too funny – the startled look on her face when she realised that I had reached over and started petting her. Things are coming together. She is no longer 100% afraid of me scurrying off to hide in a corner. Humans mean food, cuddles, treats, and playtime!!!!!!!
What is happening in Bird World? One word: migration. Cornell Bird Lab and BirdCast are predicting that 348 million birds will be on the move as I am writing this Tuesday evening 12 September.
The National Wildlife Federation gives these ten tips for helping migrating birds – these are things we can initiate that can give instant success.
1. Keep your cat indoors—this is best for your cat as well as the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Even well fed cats kill birds, and bells on cats don’t effectively warn birds of cat strikes. For more information, go to http://www.abcbirds.org/cats.
3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard—even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food.
4. Create backyard habitat—if you have a larger yard, create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract native birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result.
5. Donate old birdwatching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes to local birdwatching groups—they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint—use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, use low energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Contact your energy supplier and ask them about purchasing your energy from renewable sources.
7. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee—increasing the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, will reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee plantations maintain large trees that provide essential habitat for wintering songbirds.
8. Keep feeders and bird baths clean to avoid disease and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
9. Support bird friendly legislation both locally and in the U.S. Congress.
10. Join a bird conservation group—learn more about birds and support important conservation work.
According to ABC, birds need our help now more than ever. In addition to the ongoing threat of loss of habitat that is becoming magnified by global warming, millions of birds are directly killed due to a number of different human-related causes.
Scientists estimate that 300 million to 1 billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings. Up to 50 million die from encounters with communication towers. At least 11 million die from car strikes. Another 1 million may die each day from attacks by cats left outdoors.
Some of these deaths occur year-round but many occur during the peak spring and fall migrations. Some studies suggest that perhaps as many as half of all migrating birds do not make it back to spring and summer grounds, succumbing to various threats on either end of the journey.
14 April 2010, NWF newsletter
There is great news coming out of Cal Falcons. Zephyr (2022) has been sighted more than once! Thanks, ‘B’ for the head’s up!
‘H’ brings us her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – “Audrey was seen a few times throughout the day. In the morning, she was seen in ‘Joe’s tree’, and she was obviously scoping out the water below for fish. Both Audrey and Tom have previously been seen diving from that tree. The video went to ‘highlights’, and when the livestream returned, Audrey was seen on a dock eating her catch. Later, Audrey was seen in the same tree in the afternoon. There are times when the camera is focused on the nest, and an osprey can be heard nearby, but the cam does not pan in that direction. Many bird nest cams online do not have PTZ capabilities or a dedicated camera operator. No matter what nest we are watching online, we are always grateful for what we are able to observe. We only know what we can see, and we learn what we can.”
Barnegat Light – “There were significant livestreaming issues once again on 9/12, especially during the afternoon and evening. In the morning, Duke was seen in his tree at the north tree line for a while. There were a few hours in the morning without livestream glitches, and during that time we did not see or hear Dorsett. Because of that, it is thought that Dorsett may have left the area. We will continue to follow today, and hopefully the livestream will behave. Dorsett is the only chick to have survived the storm in late June. I am sharing a photo from 6/8/23.”
Gabby and V3 were at the nest early on Tuesday. Later Gabby had to deal with the female intruder that has been showing up – she ushered her out of the territory (or so it seems). Wouldn’t it be nice if this nest could just be quiet and boring this year?
These two were chortling back and forth. A chortle is a form of communication between Bald Eagles. It is a series of short rapid chirps which might mean several things. You have to look at the context. In the image below it is a greeting between Gabby and V3. It could, at other times, signal that eagles are going to engage in a dispute.
At the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kistachie National Forest, Louis has brought Anna the first fish gift on camera of the season. This is the couple’s fourth year together. The nest that they use was vacated in 2013. They did not have any chicks for the 2019-20 season. In 2020-21, they fledged Kisatchie in 2021-22, a female, Kincaid. What a great moment it was when Kisatchie hatched – the first eaglet in the forest for 8 years.
M15 and his new mate are working hard on the Fort Myers nest on the Pritchett Property that M15 shared with Harriet for 8 years.
Checking on Australia:
367 Collins Street: It is hard to get those four big falcon eggs tucked. Gosh, this ledge in the CBD of Melbourne is going to be busy in about a month. The nice thing about incubation is it gives Mum time to rest up before caring for the four – and Dad will be able, nearing the time of hatch, to stock up the pantry.
Sydney Sea Eagles: Breakfast was served early – followed by some nice wingersizing. The eaglets are getting stronger and stronger, standing for longer, and walking with much more confidence.
‘A’ was watching adding, “The sea eaglets had a good early breakfast (around 06:07 I think). It was feathered, minus its head, and a really good size. It looked afterwards as though SE31 had the larger crop but both ate enough breakfast. It was a large piece of prey. SE32 was like a toddler teething this morning. He nibbled at mum’s face and beak when she was aerating the nest in front of where he was lying. He nibbled at her wings. He nibbled at her breast. He nibbled at her underfluffies. Then, he turned around and began nibbling SE31. I have no idea what he was doing, but it was too cute. No-one else objected – it was exploratory and perhaps some level of allopreening was involved, but certainly it was not aggressive. The parents continue to be obsessed by the need to bring in more big sticks (kiddie rails, not just sticks) and lots and lots of greenery, as well as dry leaf material to lay on top of the greenery. They are very diligent in their nest work……Oh those eaglets are GORGEOUS. They are starting to get that beautiful russett colouring on their breasts, shoulders and wings. Lunch came in at 14:21, and both eaglets were interested in the food, which looked like another of the large eels (Dad brought it in and Lady quickly came to manage it). SE32 was first at the table, and got the early part of the feeding, but there was plenty of meat on that eel and both eaglets ate well. They were, as is always the case these days, perfectly behaved at the table, patiently waiting when the other was eating, with no beaking or intimidation or acts of submission or fear. It was a lovely thing. These two are doing so well and they are rapidly beginning to look like juvenile sea eagles. Their colouring is just exquisite. The perfection of their camouflage is amazing. They are truly beautiful at this age are they not?”
Port Lincoln: Dad2 brought in at least three fish before 1400. He took turns incubating so that Mum could eat. Ask me how much I am liking this new male.
‘A’ adds: “At Port Lincoln, dad brought three or four fish today and mum had some or all of two of them. She is doing the vast majority of the incubation time. Interestingly, the eggs were left unattended for just 1% of the 24 hours on Tuesday (and incubated for 99%) but on Wednesday were left alone for 19% of the time (incubated 89%). This may relate to the weather, but I found it interesting. “
Orange Peregrine Falcons: Xavier brought in a nice chunk of prepared prey for Diamond at 06:27. At the time I am writing (14:14 Australia time) no other prey items had been delivered that I could confirm.
What a little sweetie Xavier is…I love this gleeful way he rushes over to incubate those eggs in the morning.
Like so many, ‘A’ has been missing Manaaki, the Royal Cam chick since he began to get his juvenile feathers. Now..he is ready to fly she adds, “Here is the evidence that we are about to lose Manaaki to his destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghTGyX8-ADg. I know it is what he is born for and I know it represents a fabulously successful season for everyone at Royal Cam and for parents L and GLY. But oh how I am going to miss this gorgeous creature, with his adventurous mischievous personality and his obsession with gardening and excavating and exploring.
Now he has cast his bolus (or boluses), he is pretty much ready to leave. There is little fluff left now, and the next windy spell should see him on his way. Treasure these last hours. We may never see him again. I am so sad, but happy too.”
One of those lovely happy endings – a successful rescue of an Osprey caught in fishing line posted on The Joy of Ospreys by D Lambertson.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We hope to see you again soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, B, H’, BirdCast, NYTimes, Cal Falcons, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NEFL-AEF, Tonya Irwin and KNF E-1, Real Saunders Photography, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, NZ DOC, and D Lambertson and the Joy of Ospreys.
First up. My e-mail and FB Messenger ‘lit up’. The messages were mostly ‘Mini is Alive’…’We knew Mini was a survivor’..’Mini wanted to show us that she is alive and doing well’. Gosh, she is a survivor and it is fitting that our dear fourth hatch came to the nest to show everyone who loves her that she is well and living her life and eating fish!
After being MIA for two days, Mini flew to the nest in Patchogue and spent a couple of hours showing us how good she had done since we last saw her. She stood well on her left leg, she played with her cardboard, and before she flew off, she did what all raptors do – a ‘ps’. This was a grand one – at 1929. She has been eating well. Mini is living the life of an osprey off the nest. Is this our last sighting? or will she come again? Whichever it is, treasure those images. She is well! She is beautiful! And she is eating.
Saying goodbye to ‘cardboard’?
That is a great ‘ps’ – one of the best I have seen. This girl has eaten fish!
Mini went from perch to perch but, at the time I am writing, has not settled on the nest to rest her leg.
Thank you for all your good wishes for Calico. We so appreciate them! She is, indeed, a very special presence and I am so happy she is part of my life.
Calico has her surgery today. She will be home around 1830 or 1900. Everyone is hoping that the lump that appeared on her side, which turned out to be mastitis, is gone (seems like it) and if that is the case, the surgery will be simpler with a much smaller incision. Tattooed, microchipped – hopefully never to be lost outside again – ever. While Calico is away having her luxury spa day (the vet gives them heated blankets), Hope will go through an intensive get-to-know-me routine that will ‘hopefully’ include more petting. She is soooooo fast and alert. The slightest movement in the wrong direction, and she bolts. A good nickname might be ‘Usain’ after Usain Bolt, the Jamaican 8-time Olympic Gold Medalist! She might challenge him for some of those 100 m times!!!!!!!!!! Hope has no idea how determined I am that she will not be ‘wild’. In fact, ‘wild’ is not an option. Do you hear that Hope?
Hope and Calico are so much alike. The tiny little black tears on their left eye, the liners of dark fur on their left sides, kohl-like eyeliner around their eyes. Hope does have a couple of differences. She is white in the front, her legs, chest, and throat. She has a tiny, white, almost graph-like line right between her eyes. She has a single white dot of fur on her back, and her head is a slightly different shape. Calico is ‘fine boned’ as my grandmother would say. Hope isn’t.
Hope often waits for Mamma to finish eating before she begins even though there are always two dishes.
The laundry has been going over time and the conservatory is going to have to be ‘aired’. It smells like sardines. Did I ever tell you that I dislike fish so much? Hope loves sardines. T hey got her into the little kitten trap and they are good for her. (There is little chance that she is a he – from all appearances – but when I get close enough to fully confirm will let you know).
Lewis continues to be slightly insecure and in his own Lewis way gets himself in trouble. Calico protects the space that Hope is in and she is not going to let anyone harm her kitten. While Calico is away, Lewis and Missey will get time in Hope’s company to ease the transition. They are all lovely kittens and each has their own story of being found under a deck with 5 siblings and a feral mother (Lewis) or Missey being found alone under a truck. They have much in common!
But look at Missey. Missey decided that she was going to try and open the door to the Conservatory! She seriously almost made it. I am going to have to lock that door. Cats are super intelligent.
Hope and Calico will be glad when the integration process is complete. Calico looks sad to me – wanting out but not wanting anyone to harm her baby she chooses to stay in the conservatory with Hope – their ‘safe’ place together.
Two days ago Hope was afraid to look through the glass of the Conservatory into the kitchen. Now she copies her Mamma only she gets closer! Soon, little sweetie. Not sure what it is about her but Hope just melts my heart like the first time I got to stroke her Mamma.
Photographs of our favourite Port Lincoln fledgling, Ervie, fishing. Remember when he lost a talon? When we thought he would have to survive on Puffers? Just look – great technique. Ervie, we adore you! This is why I support banding and satellite trackers. It is the joy when they survive. Like Mini, Ervie was a survivor.
It is bachelor days for Richmond – of Richmond and Rosie – at the Richmond Shipping Yards in California. Rosie appears to have departed for warmer climates on the 4th of September. Richmond prefers to spend the winters in the Bay Area.
‘H’ brings us up to date on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – “Audrey had spent the night at the nest on 9/11 and she flew off the nest at 0625. It was thought to be Audrey preening on a pole at a nearby dock at 0905. There were no more sightings of ospreys until 1820, when an osprey landed in a tree. Some thought it was an adult osprey, but others thought they saw juvenile plumage. It was difficult to say. Unlike the previous four nights, Audrey did not spend the night at the nest on 9/12. Molly was last seen on 9/5, and Tom last seen on 9/9.”
Barnegat Light – “As with the previous couple of days, the camera feed omitted several hours of time throughout the day due to buffering issues. The technical issues are making it very difficult to chronicle Dorsett’s last few days before she leaves her natal area to begin her first long journey. Dorsett was seen on the 24th Street pole with a fish tail at 0614. At 0750 it was thought to be Dorsett on a boat mast. That was the last time we were able to observe her on 9/11. Dorsett is 104 days old, and she fledged six weeks ago.”
Pa Berry is home and starting to work on that nest at Berry College in Georgia.
KNF-E3: Alex and Andria working away.
Superbeaks: Pepe and Muhlady remind me so much of Jackie and Shadow. Big sticks come to the nest and the two have a lovely disagreement over placement!
Someone is supposed to be on holidays! It is incredible how these peregrine falcon families can draw you in…and don’t you love those Dads that try to feed their eggies?!
It looks like there are three eggs at Port Lincoln. Hiding in the midst of some moss, Mum laid another egg. The last. Hard incubation will begin now in earnest. Oh, please pinch me and tell me that this really is Dad2. No offence Dad1 but we worried about your health and we only want the chicks to thrive!
The Sea Eaglets are particularly beautiful…notice the ‘in style’ brick brown-rust colour and peach that is beginning to colour their plumage. Lady slept on the nest and at 0524 she found a piece of leftover fish (?). After the two got up for their morning stretch – hopefully more prey will arrive shortly.
‘A’ brings us up to date: “The day began at WBSE with an early (pre-6am) breakfast from the leftovers of the eel brought in late yesterday afternoon. SE32 had the better of the first breakfast, so when the next food was brought in around lunchtime, SE31 claimed the small-medium headless fish and ate most of it by herself. SE32 watched those last few mouthfuls carefully, and made a grab for the last bit of flesh and the tail. He had to grab four times to pull it out from under SE31 and the eaglets then had a tug-of-fish. SE32 eventually won the battle and horked down that tail piece in short order, flesh attached. Brave and determined.
The next food item was another fish, and this one was fed to the eaglets and shared out fairly evenly between the two. It wasn’t long before another food item came in, this one feathered. SE32 got the majority of this rather large prey item and by the time he was finished, his crop was enormous. So when another chunk of prey (it looked like a part of the previous piece) arrived shortly afterwards, SE32 could not even be bothered getting out of the nest and allowed SE31 to sit and be fed
Both eaglets went to bed with full crops, and the parents both ate well too. It was a good day at WBSE. “
At the Royal Albatross colony, Manaaki gives us a beautiful skycall while a beautiful Albie comes to visit.
‘A’ adds: “In New Zealand, nine of the 33 chicks are confirmed to have fledged. More may have left this afternoon and are yet to be confirmed. Manaaki is still on his nest. He was weighed around 11:30 this morning and weighed 9.2 kgs. He is readying for departure and has probably cast his pre-fledge bolus. UQ is still there, as we think is Quarry.”
At the WRDC nest in Miami, recent fledgling R5 returned for a quick visit around 0659 Monday. Wonder what he thought of the reinforced nest and its paint?
Quess what? There are eagles back on Farmer Derek’s land in Kansas!!!!!!!! You might recall that there was a young Bald Eagle pair on Farmer Derek’s property. Their nest got taken over by a pair of GHOs who raised a couple of clothes of cute little owls. This might be interesting.
Migration makes me nervous especially when it involves crossing through countries or resting. We anxiously await news of Karl II, the Super Dad from the Karula National Forest Black Stork Nest in Estonia.
I feel sick. At the same time I am hoping that this is only the same issue with cell coverage in some areas of Ukraine where Karl II likes to rest. Last year we held our breath also. I forget how many days it was.
Another reason to get rid of leaf blowers (besides the noise and the pollution) and allow the leaves to stay overwinter (until after May):
I am so happy to receive my Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys 2024 calendar! Thank you to Mary Cheadle for all the fundraising she does for the Woodland Trust so the streaming cam continues to operate at Loch Arkaig!
If you live in Winnipeg or Southern Manitoba, why not take in Wildlife Haven’s Annual Open House? Tickets are $10 for adults. You get to tour the facilities and meet the ambassadors and learn why they would love to have you grow some vegetables in your garden for their patients or what else is needed in terms of care such as clean old towels, sheets, hand tools, bleach, pet food. — So many of you live elsewhere – we are an international family – but, please check out your local wildlife rehabilitation centre and find out when they have their open house. It is always a day for learning and admiring the work these dedicated individuals undertake.
I will being you highlights of the tour on Sunday!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes to Calico and to all who wrote to tell me Mini was on the nest! Thanks also to the following for their comments, notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today” ‘A, H’, PSEG, Julie Lovegrove and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus, Bay Ospreys by Golden Gate Audubon, Wildlife Conservation F of NJ, Kent Island, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Superbeaks, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PLO, Sea Eagles, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, WRDC, Trudi Kron and KNF-E3, Trudi Kron and Farmer Derek, Looduskalender, and Wildlife Haven.
Sunday started off cool, and it warmed up but the day was mostly cloudy. So, to me, it felt cooler looking out than it actually was. Small raindrops have just started falling late in the evening. The Blue Jays are still coming to the garden for water and seeds as are the Sparrows. Migration is in full swing, and only time will tell if the Blue Jay family is staying for the winter or will leave for part or all of it. The six Crows in the Crow family are still here- they will probably remain all winter just like the Chickadees. Canada Geese continue to fly overhead as are the Pelicans – all of them leaving for parts warmer and in the South.
Audubon has a wonderful tool to learn about migration. Migration is remarkable and now that the birds are leaving I am already longing for their return next spring. Nature continues on despite all that is thrown at it.
Today was the day Hope came out of her shell. Geemeff suggested a feather teaser toy. Little Hope loves to play and right away she was in the middle of everything. I got a small stroke on her head! This kitten has the sweetest face. One miracle for the day. Next play time I will try to grab her with Geemeff’s instructions firmly in mind to let her loose so she isn’t frightened – and knows she can get away. Fingers crossed. Calico goes in for her surgery on Tuesday and I hope to have this little one all friendly by then.
Calico is very protective of Hope. While she weants to return to the main part of the house I have left the door open and Calico will not leave without the baby who remains, at this time, hesitant.
Little Mini-me. I continue to marvel at the miracle – the moment is so clear – when I looked out and saw this wee kitten eating at the feeding station. It was beyond my hope that these two would be reunited. No wonder Calico doesn’t want her out of her sight.
Lewis and Missey are much more used to the ‘smell of Calico and the presence of Hope – through glass. They are all fed at the same time and there has been lots of tasty meals to cement the idea that Calico and Hope bring ‘good things’ not bad ones! Constant companions. Constant washing and playing. Lewis and Missey are both now a year old.
Let’s start off with something fun – the season highlights from Loch Arkaig! Louis, Dorcha, Ludo and various visitors delighted us day in and day out throughout the 2023 breeding season in Scotland.
News has just come in from ‘H’ that there are now four eggs at Melbourne! Oh, little M22 has going to have his work cut out getting those big eggs under for incubation! Egg #4 laid at 07:48:52.
‘A’ gives us a prey update: “At about 09:09:48 M22 lands on the ledge with a small bird, calling F22 as he arrives. For a couple of minutes prior to this, we have watched small feathers floating up, from where M22 is obviously preparing the prey at a lower level. He chups and waits. When F22 does not appear, he plucks the bird a little more, then heads with it, still chupping, up to the scrape. He seems to want to feed his eggs! He plucks the bird a little more, and at 09:11:30 flies off with the prey, presumably to leave it in one of their stash spots for mum to retrieve. Dad returns to incubate at 09:13:39. He has a little difficulty settling down on four eggs but he manages. This pair is adorable.”
I went to check and Mum is home. No fear! After last year I worry all the time about this nest.
Liznm caught that fourth egg being laid at Melbourne for us.
Mini has not been seen at the nest since the morning of Saturday 9 September. Mum has appeared a few times (or it is believed to be Mum). I have an inbox full of concerned letters wanting help for Mini but, in truth, we do not know if Mini needs help. Wildlife rehab clinics do not have the resources to search Patchogue for Mini. Indeed, every clinic that I know relies heavily on volunteers. If someone were to find Mini and get her to a clinic – if that clinic knows her story and any in the area should – they would recognise her. But, for now, we only know that Mini is not coming to the nest. Dad has been seen on the antennae by the lake where he fishes and Mum might or might not have come to the nest once or twice. That would be typical osprey behaviour before departing for migration. The fact that Mini has not come to the nest does not mean she is grounded, nor is she dying and starving. The absence of evidence is not evidence.
The only thing that could be done at this point is for a local search party to comb the area for Mini. That is a huge task but it would be worth it just to check and for everyone to know that she is not grounded.
Five fish were delivered to the Sandpoint Osprey Platform today. Coco was deliriously full of fish dinners!
‘H’ sends her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – The fledgling, Molly, has not been seen for almost six days. Audrey spent the night of 9/10 on the nest, and she flew off at 0630. She was not seen on camera for the rest of the day, until she landed on the nest just before 10 pm. Audrey spent the night of 9/11 at the nest. Tom was not seen on camera on 9/10.
Barnegat Light – There was frequent and prolonged buffering of the live stream on 9/10. But, we were able to observe a fish delivery from Duke to Dorsett at 0725, and we saw Dorsett on the nest with a partial fish at 1828.
‘A’ sends her down under report from down under – thanks A:
Sydney Sea Eagles: “It is now nearly 12:30 and Lady and Dad have spent this morning bringing in more and more nesting material .Check out how much fresh greenery there is on that nest. And that’s not counting the two gigantic branches (one at the front, one at the back) that have been brought in and carefully arranged so far this morning. It is phenomenal. They are doing a total spruce-up and a little renovating – it is a DIY fest up there this morning. The eaglets, of course, would prefer some breakfast, but I think the parents are bringing in the extra cot rails for the reason discussed yesterday (two much more mobile chicks now up off their tarsi and motoring around that nest) and all the fresh greenery and talonfuls of dry leaf material are being brought in because of the day of rain they had there over the weekend (or was it Friday). Anyway, they’re freshening up and drying out the nest. They have both been aerating today and yesterday. So I’m pretty sure that’s the reason for this sudden obsession with bringing in nest materials.
Hopefully, there will be some food soon, though I have reached a level of confidence about this nest that leaves me unconcerned about major problems even if food is late and/or short today. Obviously, we would prefer them to get two good meals a day but they do need to learn that life in the wild is not all home-delivered meals at the drop of a twig. So either way, I am sure all will work out fine and lunch will come soon.”
Xavier and Diamond: The intruder is still causing issues for the couple. Diamond had to leave the scrape to defend the territory. This is not a good thing.
Port Lincoln: Dad was on the nest with Mum. Oh, I hope these two only have two eggs!!!!!!!
Dad2 doing incubation duties. The chat group notes that the eggs were not incubated for 41 minutes which should not be an issue.
But ‘H’ has just sent me a giggle: Is this Dad 1 or is it Dad2? Fran Solly and Bazza are starting to think it is Dad1?!
‘A’ is missing our little prince and he isn’t gone yet! She writes, “
Omigod, talk about heart in my mouth. I checked the albatross cam and not only was Manaaki’s nest empty but the camera was giving us the view of the bay from his nest. For a moment there, I thought he had fledged. Then, I saw a little flash of white far down on the hillside and sure enough, up he came. He had had a practice flight down the hill and had to walk a lolng way back up. The wind has really picked up this afternoon (it is now nearly 4pm) and it is hovering and flapping time. Scary. Every time I watch this, I wonder if it is going to be the last time, as it was that day I watched QT in the storm. Sudden. And possibly permanent. Stay with us just a little longer sweet boy. Another week to get rid of that remaining fluff. Just one more week.
Manaaki was fed about three hours ago (13:23). We think the parent had come in earlier and that this was the second feeding today. The weather really changed three or four hours ago. The rain started teeming down and the wind really picked up. It sounds like a gale on the tab now. We believe that in all the excitement this has caused, it is possible that Quarry has fledged. UQ has been hovering a lot this afternoon, and although he is still obviously carrying too much down and has not yet perfected his flying technique (paddles are still hanging down and he hasn’t worked out how to hold them up yet), there is a fear among chatters that he will leave today. If he does, there is the danger he will ditch in the bay and become waterlogged. I’m sure they keep a close eye out for chicks that do that – I have heard talk of them being rescued for a second fledge attempt. So we watch, we wait. The wind is encouraging all the chicks, but hopefully, Manaaki’s feedings today will keep him at home a little longer. As I type, both Manaaki and UQ are still at home, Manaaki on his nest and UQ a little downhill from Manaaki (where he has been for most of the day, rather than on his nest higher up the hill – he likes Manaaki).”
At SWFlorida, home to M15 and his new mate, bonding is happening! We have a fish offering.
In the letterbox: A few letters have arrived since the posting of the death of two of the fledglings – Stormy and Simba – from Big Bear Valley in previous years. It is hoped that FOBBV might be able to find out what happened to the two siblings. Readers have expressed concern over the deaths of the eaglets and the many non viable years for our beloved Jackie and Shadow. Every year we struggle with them and, of course, it was such a delight when Spirit fledged. The difficulties that Jackie and Shadow face in terms of eggshell hardness and viability of offspring in the nest might be directly related to the historical DDT that was intensely sprayed on Big Bear Lake. Of course we are aware of the issues in the Channel Islands.
The heartache that we feel for these two Bald Eagles and they are much loved by thousands and thousands, is directly due to human causes.
From a previous blog ‘Why Do Some Eagles Have Wing Bands’: “
It all goes back to DDT and the near extinction of the Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and other birds from the United States. Sea life has been impacted and so have humans. After World War II DDT was used to eradicate for mosquitoes in the US. Various areas received high amounts of this toxin. It wasn’t just the spraying but also the illegal dumping of hundreds of thousands of tonnes that has caused harm. Indeed, the waters off Catalina Island, for one, became a dumping ground for DDT.
In 2020, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times about the finding of the rusting barrels of toxins leaking near Catalina Island. (The scientists were looking for methane). The author says, “As many as half a million of these barrels could still be underwater right now, according to interviews and a Times review of historical records, manifests and undigitized research. From 1947 to 1982, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful that it poisoned birds and fish — was based in Los Angeles.”
“DDT is so stable it can take generations to break down. It doesn’t really dissolve in water but stores easily in fat. Compounding these problems is what scientists today call “biomagnification”: the toxin accumulating in the tissues of animals in greater and greater concentrations as it moves up the food chain.” The birds at the top of the food chain, often referred to as the canaries in the coal mine are the Ospreys who eat the fish and the Bald Eagles.
This is a fantastic read. I urge you to take the time so that when you hear about the impacts of DDT you will understand the history and the harm.
In 1980, there was a reintroduction programme of Bald Eagles into the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Even until 2001, the eggs were removed and fostered and the chicks banded. Between 1980-86, 33 Bald Eagles were released on Santa Catalina. These birds grew to adulthood even breeding but due to the DDE levels, the eggshell thickness was still compromised. You might recall that Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear have problems with thin eggshells today. Big Bear Lake was heavily sprayed with DDT and it is residual in the soil. The tagging program can be seen with the tags on Thunder and Akacheta. Their chicks, should they hatch and survive, will be banded as part of the continuing study.
For those who would like to go back to the 1970s when the alarms were being sounded by various individuals including Rachel Carson, a good read is The Silent Spring. I would hope that most local libraries would have copies. As you can see, the storage and long life of DDT and the fact that it does not break down in water, is a continuing concern for all the wildlife and humans around the Santa Catalina Island which is now controlled by the US Navy.
There continue to be warnings about humans eating the fish from Big Bear Lake:
A group of concerned individuals is working towards a united presentation to see what can be done about the proposed battery storage facility at SSEN Alyth where Ospreys Harry and Flora have their nest. This is one of the revised plans for the site that shows the battery storage right up to the nest.
This is very discouraging. Flora has left the nest on previous occasions when there were disturbances.
Sue Wallbanks posted this article. It is a good read for anyone who wants to understand how disturbances can cause issues at raptor nests.
The beautiful Black Eaglet had breakfast compliments of Dad. Lady Hawk comments: “The Selati eaglet has another good day of eating compliments of Dad bring in a Rock Hyrax! The eaglet is enjoying the morning sunlight and spreads out its wings as it lies on the nest sunning itself (and keeping cool) 🙂 Mom flies in right after Dad but the eaglet claims the prey and mantles it and will self feed on it for quite some time. Finally Mom takes over and finishes up the feeding and the eaglet gets to swallow the pelt down. i did edit out a lot of the feeding since it went on for so long. Great job! Mom will then fly off leaving a very contented chick.”
These Black Eagles live in the Slate Game Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. Their proper name is the Verreaux Eagle. Only one of two eggs hatched at this nest in 2023. This is the time line, and we expect this eaglet to hatch in less than 3 weeks.
First egg laid on 15 May 2023 🥚
Second egg laid on 19 May 2023 🥚🥚
Egg cracked by parent on 6 June 2023 ✖️
Chick hatched 29/30 June 2023 🐣
Fledgling flight expected from around end September 2023
Verreaux’s eagle is one of the larger eagles of Africa. It measures 75 to 96 cm (30 to 38 in) long with an average weight of 4.19 kg or 9.2 lb. Its wingspan is 1.81 to 2.3 m (5 ft 11 in to 7 ft 7 in). The Verreaux Eagles like others has reverse bisexual morphism – the female is larger than the male. The adults are the most gorgeous slate grey but some are the deepest ebony. Their cere is a remarkable yellow when they are healthy. There is also white plumage which is a great contrast and causes the birds in flight to stand out. That white is on their back, their rump and the upper-tail coverts as well as part of the scapular. The white can only be seen looking up when the birds are flying, not when they are perched. The legs are covered with deep black feathers. The juveniles appear as in the image above.
In the Kistachie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana, Louis and Anna from the E-1 nest are busy making nestorations!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!
I am very grateful to the following for their notes, comments, questions, letters, videos, posts, and streaming cams that help me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, Audubon, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Liznm and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PSEG, Sandpoint Ospreys, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, NZ DOC, Real Saunders Photo, LA Times, Tapa Talk, The Guardian, Office of the EHHA, US Dept of the Interior, SSEN Alyth, Livia Armstrong and BESS Battery Storage, NatureScot, Lady Hawk and Selati Eagles, Open Verse, and the KNF Eagle Cam E-1.
Saturday was the most gorgeous fall day. It was about 16 degrees C with a beautiful blue sky and some soft puffy white clouds as I travelled north from the City. You could see the geese overhead flying in their standard ‘V’ formation swirling around the fields that have been recently harvested – wheat and flax, mainly. There is something so magical about the rhythm of their lives. They come in late March or April and being heading to their winter homes in September-October. At one of the local nature centres, they fly in by the thousands at dusk (on a good day). Their black silhouettes filling the horizon as the sun begins to slowly set in the West.
One of the best places to see the geese in the afternoon is at Oak Hammock Marsh.
A lone American White Pelican and a Trumpeter Swan with all the geese landing at a small pond by the road.
On the way home there was a beautiful Red-tail Hawk hunting in one of the fields. What a magnificent raptor. No photo…just watched it for a bit and left quietly — we must always remind ourselves that their lives are overtly challenging and any opportunity for a meal should be respected and we should ‘disappear’.
Oak Hammock Marsh is run by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba and is an extensive wetland. Being there reminded me that ‘R’ had sent me an article several weeks ago and our discussion about how we need cooperation to protect the birds. What he sent me was about the Excise Tax in NJ – how that comes from the sale of hunting equipment, firearms, permits, etc. goes to help with the conservation of the birds, such as our beloved Ospreys, in the state of New Jersey. We talked about how this could be a blueprint for the future if we want our birds to thrive – and as much as I hate killing of anything, it makes sense. Ducks Unlimited is working across Canada with various groups including some in the province of Alberta to purchase huge tracts of land to protect and restore for wildlife. It is something to think about. In NJ it is called the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Does your state or province promote such a scheme? If not, it might be worth a good conversation!
All of the kittens behaved themselves. Missey and Lewis continue to be in the main house and Calico and Hope in the conservatory annex. Hope has been enjoying her new rich foods a little too much or it is that plus the stress of coming inside…but the poor little darling is now on kaolin probiotic granules for running poop shots. Hoping she is over this very quickly…she was fine when she arrived! A few images from today…Hope insists on doing everything that Mamma does. She resisted her own little dish of organic chicken and sauce to try and eat with Calico, was on the cat tree and it seems that Calico is an excellent pillow.
Giggles all around today – the cats are eating well and their rooms are disinfected and cleaned twice a day – everything. Gosh, the laundry in making those tents…Calico is off for her surgery on Tuesday and Hope will be, by then, surely she will, friendly!
Thank you Jeff Kear – I had not heard about Alyth putting in battery storage units right under the nose of Harry’s Osprey Nest! Does the need to constrict the use of fossil fuels mean that we should not consider the environmental impact and the location? Was any study done? It is not clear when it comes to the ospreys or other wildlife.
‘A’ reports on what is happening ‘down under’ – that is where most of the action is currently!
Sydney Sea Eagles: “Dad brought in a very nice fish at 08:33:22 this morning and Lady was quickly shimmying down the perch branch to take control of it. Lady and Dad have a little chat and seem excited by the fish but the eaglets (especially SE32) are more interested in what’s going on in the tree around them this morning. SE31 is first to the table, while SE32 is looking up and around at everything in his expanding world. The view is somehow different from up on his feet perhaps! At 08:39 he finally moves up to the table and his sister courteously moves aside so her brother can have some breakfast! This is so civil, it’s ridiculous. Someone remind these kids they are apex predators! Just before 08:40 Dad flies in with a stick (the parents have been busy building another level of cot railing over the past five or six days, as the two get up onto their feet and start moving around the nest a lot more – now SE32 has joined his sister up off his tarsi). Dad is very engaged in his stick placement and spends considerable time perfecting the front of the nest. So cute. Lady continues feeding SE32, though SE31 is momentarily fascinated by Dad’s manoeuvrings.”
Royal Albatross: “In New Zealand, Manaaki is on his nest and there is very little wind today, so I am not anticipating a fledge this morning. The wind may pick up during the afternoon. We will see.”
This video is from the NZ DOC. It shows our young prime hovering nicely! This was three days ago.
Melbourne Peregrine Falcons: “At Collins Street, F22 takes a break shortly after 9am (that time stamp is SO hard to read) and little M22 is soon in to take over incubation. He settles down in his customary jerky manner and then finds he has a spare egg he has failed to cover. So he has to start his enfluffling all over again. Such a sweetie. I love these falcon dads.”
Port Lincoln: “No third egg at Port Lincoln and I certainly hope there won’t be, given the gap between the first two eggs is 74 hours. A third egg could therefore be as far away as Tuesday. I do hope there isn’t another one. I’m not looking forward to the huge gap between the first two. A third hatch would be so nerve-wracking. We really don’t need that sort of stress.”
There are still only 2 eggs at Port Lincoln.
I certainly agree with ‘A’. A third hatch at Port Lincoln does not need that kind of stress! But then again, we have a new Dad and a new season and anything is possible.
Let us go and check on Diamond and Xavier – Xavier flew in with a nice prey for Diamond’s breakfast, and he then worked hard rolling the three big eggs and trying to fit them under him. He was successful, but gosh, it is a good thing there are not four of them.
‘A’ writes about the intruder that has been bothering Xavier and Diamond: “That intruder is still worrying at Orange, although Diamond and Xavier have things sorted. This morning, the intruder was spotted. Diamond called Xavier to come and mind the eggs. He arrived and took over incubation. Diamond dealt with the intruder (visible from tower cam) and returned to the nest box. All is well. I am SO glad they have this routine. Diamond is twice Xavier’s size and makes short work of an intruder. Any injury to Xavier at this point would be a disaster for the clutch. They know this. We are grateful. But I do wish this intruder would move on. I do keep wondering whether it is Izzi, as the males do tend to move no more than 50 km from their natal nest, from what I have read, whereas the female fledglings spread much further away. It is so funny that Indigo, too, proved impossible to persuade it was time to leave home, so that Diamond and Xavier had to physically bar him entry to the scrape! At least they got rid of him before the eggs were laid, which was only just the case the year Izzi was there. He was persistent in the extreme. I think it was early August before they gently told him “grow up and find your own territory, son!” and moved him on.”
So do we think that this might be Izzi? That would be interesting. (Note that raptors normally engage other raptors of the same gender).
‘H’ sent me a quote today from one of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys. It is so appropriate and she believes it is form the Return of the Osprey but neither of us had the time to dig through the book to find the right page:
“To love the Osprey is to be constantly open to loss.”
Mini was not seen at the Patchogue nest after she flew off in the early morning. It is now 2100 nest time, and she has not flown in. Mini, you taught us to persevere, not give up hope, be smart, and figure things out. Safe travels – good winds, a full crop, a good life.
‘H’ brings us up to date on the last two nests she has observed for me. She officially monitored ten nests, but it was always more than that. Over the course of osprey season, the number of eggs grew to over 350 that were monitored. I am very grateful for her help and keen eye and instincts – thank you, ‘H’. You came to Ospreys, naturally.
Kent Island – It seems that Molly may have already started on her journey. September 9th was the fourth full day without a sighting of our precious Molly. Both Tom and Audrey were seen in ‘Joe’s tree’ during the day. At 1800 Audrey came to the nest for a