Friday in Bird World

24 November 2023

Hello Everyone,

There was some excitement in the garden mid-afternoon on Thursday. A small Sharp-shinned Hawk showed up on the post that Sharpie used to use when he hoped to grab a sparrow at the feeders. It is not a great image – taken with my phone. The branches are so bare. There is no place for a songbird to hide from the hawks so they fly away in a group as fast as they can when they know s/he is in the territory. This one has been coming for a few days, but this is the first time I have seen it. This is an Immature Northern.

Calico watching the hawk!

Hope is feeling better. She is looking out the glass door wanting out…how do you really stop them from running, and jumping and just being cats? One of their aunties asked about putting a cone on Hope…thankfully she has not been licking, but, like her mother, she fought that cone to the point that it was safer for her not to have her wearing it. She did lick the places on her legs where they were shaved for the IV. She is a sweet little thing…but ever so terrified. She played with me for quite some time this afternoon, but she is still quite nervous.

Hope wants to give you a ‘High Five’.

Missey has been a very bad influence on Hope. Last year the little twinkle tree had to be taken down because Lewis and Missey were eating the flocking off the branches. This year Missey has been doing that with reminders to stop. Still Hope saw and copied! Human children do this, too. As adults we have to be ever so careful.

Calico and Hope are so happy to be reunited after her absence. These two can never be separated. They share a traumatic bond – a young kitten having a single surviving kitten in a very dark place. The kitten lost for a week and then by a miracle, Hope finding where Calico was.

Wanting out to join the rest of the world!

Hope has been reminding everyone that there is a Green Friday. She is watching to ensure that I do not purchase anything on Friday, telling me we need nothing. The approach of Canada’s Green Friday reminded me of a woman I met in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics. She had owned a cafe, a cooking school, and a catering business in NYC. She was now enjoying her retired life. Over breakfast at a Hutong near the Drum and Bell Tower, I asked her what she was buying as a souvenir of her time. She smiled and said, “I spent the first 50 years of my life buying stuff, and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it!” That single statement had a profound impact on me. Instead, because cooking was her passion, she would go to a 15-course Palace-style meal, Ming Style. How appropriate. An experience. A memory.

Ferris Akel was on the Cornell Campus on Thursday and he spotted Big Red and Arthur. I cannot imagine anything more wonderful than seeing the two of them safe and sound on a November day.

Again, there is a lot of activity. The Port Lincoln osplets are getting such beautiful juvenile plumage and they continue to wait patiently for their breakfast to arrive.

Still waiting for fish. The cam operator gives us some gorgeous images of beautiful Mum.

13:11. I wonder when the fish fairy will arrive. Dad is on the ropes.

The fish fairy arrived at 14:16. It was one of those nicely prepared Trevallys with a secret Red Mullet tucked underneath – Mum’s favourite. Thank you FF and to all those who have caught and/or donated fish to keep these babies alive so they can fledge.

‘A’ reflects on Port Lincoln, “At Port Lincoln, the two osplets are just so gorgeous. I love how well they get on with one another and have come to the conclusion that they are both males – Giliath was just first-born and as greedy as most chicks. Barru is fast catching up to Giliath in terms of size. Both are very laid-back and have been pretty much the whole way through, even in the reptilian and itchy phases. Mum works so hard to feed her babies. She is such a good mum and really does seem to do her best to ensure she looks after both osplets. Don’t we just love a peaceful nest? The fish fairy has been such a boon, and doesn’t seem to have stopped either parent from fishing – she just brings in larger fish (those pre-sliced trevally are GIGANTIC but you’re right – mum’s favourite does seem to be red mullet). Here are time stamps for the day so far (it is nearly 18:15 local time). “

Observation board for Port Lincoln for yesterday:

Annie and Lou at The Campanile have a brisk discussion. We are not expecting eggs for a few more months.

At Orange, gorgeous Diamond was in the scrape.

Early morning with Diamond and Xavier and..

They grew so fast…hoping that Marri is still flying. She was such a strong girl.

There is a rumour that Samson has returned to the NEFlorida Eagle nest…not sure who started this, but it looks like Gabby and V3 to me. (Samson would have been gone a year…).

I was reminded that this is the first anniversary of Samson’s disappearance. Oh, what a lovely mate he was for Gabby. Still missed.

Gabby and V3 this morning.

Jackie and Shadow came to check the nest and move a few sticks on Thursday.

There were two eagles in the nest at SW Florida protecting it from the GHOs Thursday night. M15 and F23 are getting serious. We are on egg watch.

We are a fortnight away from hatch at Superbeaks!!!!!!!!!!

There is action at the Webster Texas Bald Eagle nest, too. Look at that nice fish! Wow.

Why are these birds dying along the Scottish coast?

Missing Hen Harriers?

How many have watched the last season of The Crown? In one of the episodes, King George V is out grouse hunting while his cousins, The Romanovs, are being killed in Russia. For those that are not familiar, it is the beaten grouse hunting that has caused the number of raptors deaths in various localities of the UK to rise significantly. The gamekeepers of the land where the hunts take place kill the hawks – sometimes stomping on their chicks in the nests on the ground – so that they will not eat the grouse. Hopefully there will be a growing call and those in power will listen to stop this practice. More on this later…

Thank you for being with me today. There isn’t a lot of news. Sometimes it is nice to slow down before we have eaglets in nests all over the place! Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, pictures, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, Ferris Akel Tours, PLO, SK Hideaway, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Karen Lang, NEFL-AEF, FOBBV, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, Paul White, The Guardian, and Raptor Persecution UK.

KNF-E3 has its second egg, Waba is in Sudan…Tuesday in Bird World

21 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

November is always a very challenging month for me. Do you have those months when good and bad events are all clumped together? My mother was born on the 26th of November, and my beloved grandmother died on the 26th. My mother died just shy of the 26th – on the 24th. I had flown down for a big birthday bash. It had been less than two months since I had seen her, but I was in for a shock. She knew things were not going well, so instead of having all her still-living friends meet us for a big birthday bash at her favourite restaurant, she asked me to cancel and get her a burger and fries from Sonic.
We spent the afternoon of the 20th writing her holiday cards, putting on the stamps, and getting them in the post. She always said she wanted to live to be a 100 – she died two days shy of 90 years. Reflecting back. Congestive Heart Failure was a blessing. No pain. Just a slow slipping away. She was an interesting woman. It took me til recently to fully appreciate her. I would love to sit down and have a long conversation with her. She was not like the mother of any of my friends. IT would be much later that I would hear the term ‘Tiger Mum’. My mother was that – and I am eternally grateful, although I don’t think I appreciated it then. I went off on a tangent. Apologies. Our parents profoundly impact us, and we all recognise that there are days or months we think of them more than others. Today (I am writing this at 18:24 on the 20th), twelve years ago, she and I were writing cards to all her friends. We never said anything but we both knew they would be the last ones she ever sent. We made sure they were gorgeous and sparkly.

Well, here we are so far! Superbeaks. Captiva. Kistachie National Forest E-3. So now, who is going to be next?

Oh, there is such good news. Karl II’s offspring, Waba, made it through the kibbutz in Israel and is in the Sudan!

Alex and Andria, the Bald Eagles at the Kisatchie National Forest E-3 nest, have their first egg. So – Superbeaks, Captiva, and Kistachie E-3!

The camera was down so we did not know when Andria laid the first egg. Tonya Irwin had a poll on the chat and I missed it altogether. Remember I said do not place bets on things like I do – I am usually wrong. Well, here we are in the pitching rain and it looks like Andria has laid the second egg at 18:51:24 or close to it. The eggs are four days apart just like last season according to Irwin.

The other good news is that Nancy and Beau were on the MN-DNR Eagle Cam by the old nest tree. You might recall that Nancy was the mate of Harry who is presumed dead. She bonded with Beau. They had a single surviving eaglet that was killed when the nest collapsed last year due to heavy snow.

Mum and the Osplets are waiting for Dad or the fish fairy! The chicks were digging in the nest early. Did they find a leftover?

They are still waiting but gosh, golly. These osplets are so cute and standing so well on that uneven stick nest!


Still waiting.

The osplets are so well-behaved. Still waiting.

Dad arrives with a headless fish at 13:24. Good for you, Dad.

Wow. Then the fish fairy shows up with a monster size fish and it has been slit so that the osplets can practice their self-feeding. Great insights, Fish Fairy! Mum is munching away – letting the kids nibble.

Mum is getting a good feed. This is wonderful.

Heidi Mc got the feeding on video – check it out. Much better than stills!

‘A’ sends us the observation board from Port Lincoln:

If you have wanted to donate money for the Fish Fairy at Port Lincoln and have had difficulties, there is now a PayPal button to make this easier.

There is also news of Ervie although there were no photographs. So reassuring that he is flying around fishing and continuing to come into Port Lincoln! Go Ervie!!!!!

At Orange, Diamond slept on the ledge of the scrape. Xavier came in later. Maybe for a rest after a prey delivery? Talons look bloody.

There was some lovely bonding in the scrape with Diamond and Xavier.

‘A’ gives us some sad news: “The important news comes from Orange, where big sister Marri has not been sighted for nearly a week now. I kept saying that there was no definite ID of the juvenile that has frequently been seen on the roof of the water tower, often with a parent nearby. I believed that juvenile to be Barru. So it seems I was right about that, though I am not happy about it. I was hoping that we were seeing both juveniles, sometimes one, sometimes the other. But no. Apparently Cilla has not seen Marri since the day after she fledged, which is horrible news. I cannot countenance the theory that she has ‘already left the area’ because she has not learnt to hunt, and hunting for a peregrine is not a matter of finding some road kill! So I have been super worried about Marri for a week. It surprises me though, given how strong she was and how well she was flying. We can only hope she is smarter than we think and has somehow been able to get food for herself. Still, it is more likely that she has come to a sticky end – we never found Rubus’s body either, so that’s no indicator. Now we have to pin our hopes on Barru. Perhaps female chicks are never going to come out of this scrape. “

At the Parramatta River, there was a sighting of an eaglet.

Rohan Geddes just posted these images from the other day. I have still not seen any indication that both juveniles have been seen simultaneously. So the question is: Like Orange, is there only one?

The latest news from Kielder of Blue 432 in Senegal:

Sunday night was apparently ‘owless’ at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest…isn’t that wonderful? I do hope I got the gossip right. Here M15 has brought his lady a lovely meal.

M15 and F23 have arrived at the nest tree and are both in the nest. Will they thwart the GHOs?

The GHO attacked with talons out!

Why do GHOs attack Eagles?

Some of you will remember Bonnie and Clyde that took over the Bald Eagle nest on Farmer Derek’s property. Here is a video of them this month with a juvie at that same nest.

V3 and Gabby have been at the nest tree. V3 was caught on one of the cameras chasing off an intruder. Wouldn’t we all love it if all the eagles – young and old – would leave Gabby and V3 alone? I do not recall this happening when Samson was king of his natal nest. Does anyone?

They always seem tense – either alerting or watching for intruders. Does it cause difficulties for breeding? Stress?

Rose and Ron have a nice nest coming at the WRDC. Just look. A little Greenery, too.

Bella at the NCTC Bald Eagle Nest. Where is Smitty? Was he here? Bella was doing chortles.

Bella had to defend her nest alone on Monday.

An eagle at Decorah Hatchery.

Did Louis and Anna hope to be Alex and Andria laying the first egg? Sorry you two!

It was windy at the NTSU nest of Boone and Jolene in Johnson City, Tennessee. I am certain they love the wind more than humans would rocking around in a nest high above the ground. LOL.

Gosh, isn’t that setting sun on Big Bear Lake simply gorgeous? Jackie and Shadow came to the nest to enjoy it and check on needed improvements.

Want to see Condors released into the wild? Here is the information to catch all the action and find out what is happening with the Big Sur and Pinnacle colonies. You will have to go to the website of the Ventana Wildlife Society to sign-up for the Zoom chats. They happen every month.

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

I want to thank the following for their notes, videos, streaming cams, posts, and articles that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, Maria Marika, Joanna Dailey, Tonya Irwin, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Trudi Iron, MN-DNR, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Holly Parsons, Sharon Pollock, HeidiMc, Kathryn Palmer, Lady Hawk, Androcat, Woodsy Wisdom, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, NCTC Eagle Cam, Deb Stecyk, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, NTSU Eagle Cam, FOBBV, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Fish Fairies…Monday in Bird World

13 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, oh….Sunday was so warm. It went up to +6 C. The sky was blue. There was a little bit of wind, and it was a perfect day for a long walk at the nature centre. There were 2 Bald Eagles, a Northern Shrike, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, many Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos, about 26 Hooded Mergansers, a single Cormorant, a host of gulls, a pair of ducks and squirrels running everywhere. Everyone was happy and smiling and greeting their fellow birders. Such a wonderful reprieve!

Here are a few images to share with you. The sun was about 3/4 of the way towards setting, and the light was so bright. I worked on some of the images, but still, they continue to look as if they were in silhouette. Apologies.

One of the nicest parts of my walk was sitting on a bench, closing my eyes, and listening to the sound of the geese honking as they flew in. Oh, how I miss that sound when they are all gone. The silence is simply too much.

A lone Cormorant.

Part of the Hooded-Merganser families that have been at the centre since the babies hatched in the early summer.

Nearer to the feeders, the squirrels were busy trying to pull the peanuts and other seeds out from the wire mesh.

S/he got one!

Hairy or Downy? I think it is a female Downy. Remember if you purchase these type of suet feeders to get the ones with the wooden triangle at the bottom. It helps the woodpecker to keep their tail straight and they can feed much more efficiently. They are a little pricer but I promise you they enjoy them that much more.

A Junco hoping to get some seed that one of the birds or squirrels knocks out of the feeders.

It was simply stunning. The light made everything so beautiful. The benches, the empty nests, the lake…even the ice!

The hide is where one of the feeding stations is located. It is perfect for watching the squirrels and little songbirds without scaring them. The wire mesh is to protect the newly planted trees from the deer, while the plastic sleeve around the trunk is to keep the rabbits from destroying the trees.

Before I went for my walk, the girls helped me clean the house. They are too funny. Hope has now managed to take over two of Missey’s favourite spots – the top of the wicker basket looking out to the garden and, of course, the sacred basket with Missey’s baby blanket.

Missey is waiting to see how long it will take Hope to find this other basket in the conservatory! Of course, the good thing is – Hope cannot be in three places at once so there will be a place for Missey (there are many others but Missey is particularly fond of wicker and baskets).

Calico has been getting many brushes during the day and I am rubbing her legs and back. Poor thing. I remember how thin she was when Hope (and any siblings) were newly born. Calico ate and ate…she would rush to finish to get back to her kittens. I worry that her young body paid for that…

They certainly keep me sane.

I missed the photo op, but little Hope was very curious today when ‘the boyfriend’ was eating. His missing fur on the tail and back are coming back in, and he sleeps regularly in the shelter. Geemeff suggested that he might be a good candidate for the male cat in the house…we will see. He was looking in the garden door today!!!!!!!!!!!! You might recall that Calico did that as well when she began to fully trust me.

I want to imagine that all of you are checking on three different nests – you are watching while holding your breath for Marri and Barru to fledge, worried to death about M15 and F23 and the GHOs, and watching those darling babies at PLO and praying for fish deliveries. Certainly that is where my focus has been while also waiting for news of the sea eaglets.

First, thank you to ‘M’, who wrote to remind me that M15 and Harriet had another nest on the Pritchett Property. I had forgotten. This is marvellous news. The GHOs concern me. We have witnessed them taking over eagles’ nests on the streaming cams. The first one that comes to mind is the young eagle couple on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas.

The GHOs hit F23 three times Saturday evening. M15 came to protect her, and they were on the branch together in the morning. M15 delivered a nice fish in the nest for his new lady, and fingers and talons crossed, things go smoothly.

Lady Hawk put the attacks together in a single short video.

At Port Lincoln, Dad came through with a morning fish for Mum and the kids—those precious babies. Yesterday, one of them fed the other a morsel. It melted my heart. My bet is on these two being males. Gentle little males that will go wild once they fledge fighting for fish! Just like Ervie did with his siblings but, until then, perfect little gentlemen.

One large supplementary fish came on the nest, and my goodness, I am not good at identifying fish, but it sure looks like a shark.

Mom’s eyes look like they will pop out.

The look on Giliath’s face tells it all!!!!!!!!!!

#2 likes the shade of Mamma…this fish will last a long time. Maybe #2 will begin pecking at the tail, too. How wonderful. Thank you, Fish Fairies.

They cleaned up the fish. Giliath might have been in a perfect position, but #2 got lots of fish. Both left the feeding with bulging crops – and happily, Mum could also get a good meal. Let us hope Dad brings another nice fish to the nest for his family later in the day. Otherwise, it will be a long time until the fish arrive tomorrow. Dad came and took the fishtail at 13:53, but Mum seemed to have quite a few scraps in the nest, and the chicks were already thinking it might be good to eat them.

You can see #2’s crop in the image below. Giliath’s head is behind Mum’s right wing.

Food comas.

Ah, and I bet you have noticed…we don’t have reptiles anymore. Look at the beautiful feathers and that deep thermal down that will help our ospreys regulate their temperature. Look at the size of the wings and those cute tails. Growing up!

‘A’ comments on those feedings at PLO: “Every year, there comes a moment when I genuinely wonder whether a crop has ever literally burst. Surely a crop the size of Giliath’s or Little Bob’s must be extremely uncomfortable. I wonder whether they need to leave the food there for a period of time for primary digestion before crop dropping it into their stomachs and whether it is uncomfortable or painful to swallow too much too soon. They don’t seem to do it all that often, though we do see smaller hatches doing it if they’ve waited a long time and suddenly get some fish or occasionally when they are trying to fit more in during a particularly lengthy feeding to which they return several times. (Little Bob has done it once or twice when mum has been particularly insistent during one of her hour-plus feedings. Some of these fairy fish are gigantic, thank goodness.) But this evening (it is 18:20 in Port Lincoln) everyone is full. Mum has eaten heaps. Dad has taken the fish away, eaten, and brought back leftovers. He’s a good dad. He tries. Sometimes, it’s very gusty and the waves are extremely choppy. I imagine it could be very difficult fishing there at those times, which occur most days – some days are just particularly bad. “

Several other news items from Port Lincoln. It was Calypso’s mate (he is the 2019 hatch at Port Lincoln) that was found hanging upside down on a pole. The female flew off but has not been seen. People are watching out for her. Calypso was at the nest looking and calling for her.

Did Ervie go to help search for his brother’s mate? –Sadly, Fran Solly has now posted that Calypso’s mate has been found dead. This is so sad. So many Osprey’s lost, so few because they are so endangered in South Australia. Now for Calypso to find another female. Condolences to all.

Love the Port Lincoln Ospreys? Friends of Osprey Sth Australia have calendars and I understand that it is full of Fran Solly’s amazing photographs – even Ervie!

The money from all of the fundraising projects goes directly to put up the platforms, the trackers, etc. Here is a copy of the August 2023 newsletter telling you what was accomplished up to that date.

I am over the moon that Fran, Bazz, and Janet fought to intervene at the nest this year with supplementary feedings, just like in NZ with the Royal Albatross Chicks. I look forward to their research findings and want to help in any way I can so that they know their compassion for this family is appreciated…that is why I am posting the information about the calendar.

Partney and Marrum lost their only osplet to predation by a raptor (presumed) on Tumby Island. The Crows then took over the nest and the nest is now reclaimed by a pair of ospreys. It is not confirmed if it is Partner and Marrum.

More problems with Crows could have been the cause of the death of the osplet on the Sunshine Coast. So sad.

We have all been biting our fingernails watching Marri and Barru. Barru had a close call slipping out of the scrape, but thankfully, he recovered! It is 2130 on the Canadian Prairies Sunday evening, and neither has fledged, but they sure could while I am sleeping. These two are ready. Their interest is in the outside world. Diamond and Xavier are doing a good job keeping them focused on their flying – doing aerial displays and carrying prey. Everything the adults do is a lesson imprinted on the minds of Marri and Barru to take with them into their futures.


Still there…it is past midnight in Canada…

The Osprey Cam on Captiva will go live today!

The cameras at the West End are now live, too, and you can see both the old and new nests of Thunder and Akecheta! Amazing, Dr Sharpe. Thank you.

The cameras are back at Lock Arkaig and there are more visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest!

Was it Smitty?

‘H’ reports that “‘F’ eagle is back at Notre Dame Eagles, per post by Phillipe Josse 11/12, both she and Dad were in the nest briefly on 11/12.” Wonderful news for Little Bit ND17’s Dad!

Deb Stecyk gives us an update of some of the Bald Eagle nests in Canada and the impact of the wildfires this past summer.

Good news coming out of the Kakapo Recovery on one of the Kakapo that had to go for treatment to Dunedin.

‘A’ sent this to me and I missed it so did not include it with the Sunday newsletter. Hopefully there will be some sightings of the eaglets.”Finally, the report for 11 November from WBSE: November 11: Prey delivery last evening at 6:30 to Mangrove Island, not sure if juvenile was about. This morning at 7:45, an adult, I think Dad, was on mangroves where seen yesterday. Hard to see if a juvenile is there in the shadows. Lots of river traffic, with scullers going close and loud microphones yelling training orders. Rivercats passing, dozens of watercraft – Dad ignores them it seems. At 8:01, I heard a juvenile squawk and a currawong – close to an adult. Lots of rubbish under the mangroves, and I heard another threat. Hearing a Koel – is it yelling at the juvenile as well? Pied Oystercatcher flying past. Striated Heron. Great Egret with breeding plumage. Mangrove Gerygone behind me. Later, around midday, the ground team reported adults on Mangrove Island and circling over the area, but no juvenile or feeding was seen.”

And then the report for yesterday from WBSE, thanks ‘A’: “November 13: Early in the morning, I saw one of the adults down in the mangroves, then the other as well. One soared so high overhead, I could no longer see it. The adults were hard to spot on the river, not always in their familiar roosts, and seemed to be moving further into the mangroves. Later, at last, we saw one of the juveniles on a branch in the mangroves – so hard to spot in the shadows, with its brown colouring (see the picture). It stayed still there for over 2 hours while we were watching, with not a sound. One of the adults was moving in and out, but we saw no prey delivered. Again the mullet are jumping. We saw the male Osprey over the Nature Reserve wetlands, flushing out about a dozen lapwings. No more news during the afternoon. As there is an “empty nest” now, or mostly, we rely on ground observers to report any action on the river.”

Oh, I wished I lived closer to Vancouver! If you do, then here is a real opportunity.

HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is claiming so many of the sea and shore birds.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. We hope to have you with us again really soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, comments, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, M’, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, PLO, Friends of Ospreys Sth Australia, Anita Corran, Eric Kotz, Wildlife at Osprey House, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Window to Wildlife, Jan Gallivan, Geemeff, Deb Stecyk, Kakapo Recovery, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and Bird Guides.

Beaky kisses and SE32 eating in the mangroves…Monday in Bird World

6 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that the weekend was good and that the beginning of the week is even better for each and everyone.

It was a damp Sunday in southern Manitoba. It rained. Not enough to melt all the snow but enough to make you worry if you went out if the temperature drops quickly and turns that rain into ice. Still, I wanted to get to the nature centre for some suet and walk around checking on the geese and ducks.

But, before we even start on that…Pepe and Muhlady have their second egg of the Bald Eagle season at Superbeaks!!!!!!!! 32 days til hatch watch. Write that in your calendars. 7 December 2023.

Now back to the nature centre. I spotted 27 Hooded Mergansers. Others have seen more. There were Ring-billed gulls, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, a Rusty Blackbird, two American Coots and 8 Mallards. I did not see a single Canada Goose.

You might remember that earlier in the summer, there were lots of young Hooded Mergansers being cared for by two pairs of adults. I believe that these might be those same waterfowl all grown up!

These are female Hooded Mergansers.

I saw two Males. You can tell them immediately by the white on their hoods and neck.

A małe Downy Woodpecker was really enjoying the suet. Remember when it gets cold suet provides wonderful energy for the birds with all the added fat.

It is the same little Red Squirrel hoping that one of the birds would cause some seeds to drop from the feeders.

Every time I go for a walk in the nature centre, I rub the Buffalo Stone.

In the winter, kids of all ages – seniors, too – will take their sleds to the top of the run and go down the ramp on to the ice of Devonian Lake below. Of course, the lake is frozen solid by then.

Devonian Lake. The only leaves left on the trees are brown. The branches are so bare. The sky is a light dove grey while the lake is a little darker. Everything here in the winter turns into blacks, espressos, deep browns and beaver brown, and a range of greys. I miss the colour of spring! And fall.

At Pork Lincoln, the waters are not as calm as Devonian Lake, but they are calmer than yesterday. Dad will bring in a fish at 08:08 and another one around 13:00 at the time of writing this blog. There could be more and there will also be the fish fairy delivery. There has been no real beaking of any consequence.

Look at the feathers and the down feet. #2 often stars Giliath right in the eyes. It is never the thing to do. One beak by #2. Giliath says not doing that to me. Returns the beak and all is over.

The osplets are getting stronger on their ‘feet’. Just look at Giliath.

Looking out to the world beyond. Those beautiful feathers coming in on the hand and at the tail.

Mum is telling Dad to get on with the fishing. The chicks are going to be hungry.

Mum has flown off the nest. It is nearly 1300. Babies are panting and are hungry. Dad will arrive with a fish shortly. Everyone will get their fill.

‘A’ gives us the remaining report of the day at Port Lincoln: “The fish fairy arrived late this afternoon and delivered five medium-sized fish, mainly red mullet. This was greatly appreciated by mum, Giliath and Little Bob, who ate and ate and ate. For over an hour. Even dad benefitted, because when he caught a fish at 17:39, he was able to eat most of it himself on the ropes. When he brought the remainder to the nest, mum deigned to eat a little before returning to the red mullet. Mum does love her fish, but she tries so hard to fill up those osplets. She feeds fast, and she is always conscious of both chicks, feeding them alternately most of the time (one bite for Little Bob, two or three bites for mum, two bites for Giliath, more bites for mum, three bites for Little Bob, and so on). Oh they are sweet. An osprey nest without undue aggression is a beautiful thing. Rare and wonderful. I have never truly enjoyed an osprey nest until now. “

This is the weekly summary report from Port Lincoln:

They have discovered another nest in South Australia with a wee Osprey babe and an egg.

At Orange, the eyases were looking out of the scrape in the golden glow of morning, waiting for Xavier to bring in the breakfast. Look at how much of the down is now gone. They are developing so fast. Yes, we could have a fledge in a week. That is hard to believe.

These are a series of images from the scrape. Marri and Barru spend a lot of time looking out of the window at the great big world beyond the scrape. The feathers on the bottom of the scrape box not only belong to prey but also have been shed from their back, wings, and head. You can clearly see the falcon head and shape appearing. At times, the pair look like they are on a haute couture runway in Paris with the latest layered satin capes with fine feathering designs. They are simply beautiful although a big bedraggled. In a few days we will not remember what they looked like with their baby down.

There is nothing earth-shattering about these images. They are not fabulous for any reason. I love the state that their plumage is in at the moment. The feathers appear to have a quilted pattern in the first image, with the fine little pieces of down being the ties. The down on their heads is confined to a mini-mohawk. Look at the drape of the cape at the back and imagine a winter wonderland.

‘A’ remarks: “At Orange, little Barru is ADORABLE. Okay, they both are. With their tufts of fluff rapidly disappearing and their feathers coming through, and most importantly those gorgeous eyes. Oh they are so beautiful. Mum and dad are almost reluctant to enter the scrape at this point, as they are immediately mobbed by the eyases, and Xavier needs to count his talons after delivering prey. Mum still feeds the chicks when they let her, but usually, they grab and self-feed, The tugs of prey are risky, as Marri’s near-tumble the other day demonstrated. She really did fall out of the scrape – it was very lucky she got a talon-hold on that tiny ledge beneath the ledge, as it were, and then that she had the strength to flap her own weight back up and into the scrape. It was very dramatic for a few seconds there. But as I said, she learned absolutely nothing from the experience and returned immediately to exactly the same activity in precisely the same spot. Food, food, food!! “

SK Hideaways gives us the video of Diamond not wanting to be in the scrape with the two eyases anymore! Watch those little dandelion feathers go flying…my goodness. This scrape got so small with these two!

News from Sydney. Images of Rohan Geddes in my blog of for Sunday the 5th of November.

And from Jen for the 6th November, 2023 – As promised, news on SE32 from yesterday. SE32 is with Dad and Lady at river roost! Another thanks to ground obs team – Jen, for the awesome video of SE32 flying with parents. More from the team later on what they saw today. How do we know, which one? SE32 has a high pitched squeal, easily heard over the river and evident when parents were feeding (in mangroves).

And even better news from ‘A’: “November 6: Again all was quiet overnight. Ground crew was down by the river early – and reported both adults and what we think is SE32 in mangroves near River Roost. During the morning I actually spotted SE32 hidden away in the mangroves -superb camouflage and heard it calling. After I left, at around 13:20 SE32 was seen eating under the mangroves, with prey delivered by one of the parents, standing guard nearby. So one of the juveniles at least is with the parents and has been delivered prey, which is wonderful news. Later in the afternoon I again saw both adults in the mangroves in a similar spot, Lady eating a fish and then a juvie possibly eating as well, out of sight. We have possibly heard 2 juveniles calling from that area during the day as well. I went for a walk through the forest, though saw no eagles this time, nor currawongs warning of the presence of a juvenile.”

We are so delighted with SE31 and 32 and knowing they are with Lady and Dad, being fed, getting their flying skills even stronger and learning to hunt. But could you stop for a moment? In recent memory, Lady and Dad have not been able to enjoy these moments either. The eaglets were either lost or taken into care. This must be the most glorious year for these sea eagle parents. Smile. Shed tears. How many years have we waited to see these wonderful fledglings living their lives and being fed without the onslaught of the Currawongs…it is beautiful.

Connie has spent an inordinate amount of time in the nest she shares with Clive on Captiva. Will this be the second eagle couple to lay an egg this season?

Moving sticks and beaky kisses with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear!

At NE Florida, Gabby is determined to get her nest just right. Now we need eggs!

On Sunday, Smitty had been gone from the NCTC nest for four days. We wait to see what will happen. The young male intruder was seen at the nest on Sunday.

‘A’ gives us a report from the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand: “At the albatross colony, OGK’s brother has been confirmed as an arrival this season. And as we know, YRK has returned, seemingly aware that OGK will not be coming home. Discussion on this led to someone posting this: What an amazing photo. There is so much we assume about birds and their emotions (or lack of them) and we actually KNOW so very little. So far, there has not been an egg laid at the colony, but as eggs begin to hatch in the second half of January after an average incubation period of about 11 weeks (77 days), that means we should be expecting eggs to start being laid within the next two or three weeks. They will candle all of the eggs to ascertain which are fertile before deciding on this year’s Royal Cam family. It is a very long period of dedication from the parents – nearly three months of incubation, then eight months of feeding their chick before it fledges. That’s the best part of a year! Now that’s parental devotion.”

The GPS tracking systems on the migrating birds are so good that you can locate the precise pole that the bird was killed on. Indeed, some of them will change the image on the transmission to a skull and crossbones when the bird dies. This is where Karl II took his last breath.

This was sent to me this morning by my friend, Sassa Bird. We had been talking about the great loss that Karl II’s death has done to the people who work so hard for this endangered species to grow in Estonia (and Latvia). We remembered Urmas. He has to be more gutted than any of us will ever know. He has worked tirelessly for the Black Stork families in Estonia.

“NFO BIRDMAP: An adult Black Stork, tracked with support of BAltCF project. Breeding in webcam nest of Karula National Park since 2019. Karl II owned the nest after the previous male stork Karl died during the spring migration in Syria. In the spring of 2020, the former female stork Kati did not return from her migration, and a young female, whom observers began to call Kaia, appeared belatedly in May. Kaia laid two eggs, but left the hatching unfinished. After the breedind appeared unsuccessful we got a chance to capture Karl II and install a transmitter on him. So we know that in the previous two autumns, Karl II made a long migration stop on the Black Sea coast between Kherson and the Crimea, and from there flew west around the Black Sea to Africa. During the 2022 migration, this area was a war zone, and Karl II’s data was cut off on September 4 before reaching the occupied area. The next data transfer took place only on September 22, when Karl II reached the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, in the Dniester River delta. Then we saw that Karl II had flown to his usual stop over area on the Black Sea coast at Perekop Bay by evening September 5th, but the next day he flew away from there, 80 km north to the Dnipro river flood plaines, while checking the feeding places of previous years. In 6-19 September, Karl II stopped at the floodplains of the Dnipro river, in a militarily sense rather hot place between Kherson and Kahovka. On September 19th, Karl II went to see if the conditions on the Black Sea coast had calmed down, but turned back to the Dnipro river and from there in morning of September 20th, he flew further to the northwest, looking for suitable feeding places. In two days, without finding a good place to forage, Karl II reached the border of Moldova, in the delta of the Dniester River (by the evening of September 22). We will see if that will be a longer stop over or only for a single night. When he arrived in Africa, the connection with Karl II disappeared, as it does every autumn. But at the beginning of March 2023, Karl II started flying towards Estonia from his wintering place (from the border of the Central African Republic and DRC). Karl II made a migration stop over on April 1 due to rainy weather, but the rain turned to snow on April 4, and according to the forecast, the snow will not melt until a week later. The north is free of snow, but Karl II probably doesn’t know that. Nevertheless, Karl II breeds successfully in season 2023. There grow up three chicks of four eggs. Last is Karl II to leave for autumn migration. He doesn’t know that it will be his last one. Between 1st and 2nd October Karl II lands on electric pylon for night, but got electrocuted. Turkish colleagues searched and found dead body, took away the transmitter.”

If you are in Malta, please read this and help.

North Ronaldsay is in the Orkneys. It has broken its own record with more than 226 species observed on the island.

We have Wild Turkeys in Manitoba. I remember with some disgruntlement when eBird told me that I was incorrect in spotting and hearing a Wild Turkey at Fort Whyte Alive in the spring. Well, turns out I was right and several others saw the turkeys, too. Want to know more about their behaviour? Have a read.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. We hope to have you with us again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: “A, H, Sassa Bird”, PLO, Fran Solly, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, SK Hideaways, Rohan Geddes, Jen, Cathy Cook, Inatra Veidemane, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, AEF, Sassa Bird, Maria Marika, Birdlife Malta, Bird Guides, and Cool Green Science.

Calypso intrudes at Port Lincoln, Bella battles intruder alone…Monday in Bird World

30 October 2023

Hello Everyone!

It is a beautiful blue sky, a bright sunny day on the Canadian Prairies. -3 C. The snow is beginning to melt, so some ice is building up on the walkways in front of the houses. Not good for walking, but getting outside today and having some fresh air was nice. Every year, I promise to document all of the bird nests within a five or 6-block radius from where I live. Now is the perfect time. I want to ‘learn’ these nests just like I want to continue learning the sounds/songs of the birds using Merlin Sound ID. Most of the ones I found today appear to belong to the sparrows. I could not find the Crow’s nest, but they were landing in a tree where I know they raise their young. I did find a new woodpecker home!

New woodpecker home.

Now I thought that this was a sparrow nest but I am beginning to wonder if it is not a drey made by a squirrel or a Blue-Jay nest. Any nest experts out there? Happy for any advice.

There were hundreds of sparrows at the feeders during the day.

Some puffed their feathers to stay warm.

Nearly 30 European Starlings visited.

All four of the Blue Jays appeared during one time or another during the day.

The girls watched from the comfort of the conservatory – sometimes the birds and squirrels and often one another. Missey is staring down Calico who is on the floor wanting to cause a hiccup but, she didn’t.

Hope loves spending time with Missey.

‘The Boyfriend’ visited the feral feeding station 5 times on Sunday. He had to be very hungry. I feel so sorry for the outdoor cats. He has food, water, and an insulated home with a heating pad if he wants. His fur looks good, and the patches pulled out in the summer during fights have grown back in. Hopefully, his life will be a little easier now that he has had a visit with the vet. Oh, and I want to reassure anyone that neither cat that was ‘fixed’ by the vet belonged to someone. They are well known for being feral, but, just in case, communiques were sent out a fortnight before the vet’s arrival. Geemeff named the white one with black patches and the teardrop on its eye – Dadpa. So fitting. He has not been around!!!!!!!

There is a contest for the Bird of the Century in New Zealand. Please go over and see the list of birds. Read about them and the challenges they have faced or are facing, and cast your vote for 5. Thank you. t is free. There is a donation page, but you can just say ‘no, thanks’ and continue. It is a great way to learn about what is happening with birds in a region of the world that might be unfamiliar to you.

One of the birds is the Kakapo. Attempts to reintroduce the Kakapo to their homeland on the mainland of New Zealand are underway. And those very smart tree climbing non-flying parrots are giving their handlers some headaches!

Ranger Sharyn has confirmed that our beloved OGK is lost. I had listed him on the Memorial Page last year when he did not return to feed Lillibet after 45 days. He went missing on 19 May 2022. When he passed and what the circumstances were will never be known. Lady Hawk has included the following information under a video of the new arrivals looking for mates. One of those will be YRK, who had been OGK’s mate since 2006.

“Ranger Sharyn Broni gave an update on OGK today and it is not the news we have been hoping for. It confirms what our hearts knew but our head kept hoping for that miracle return. OGK was a magnificent albatross and one of the best Royalcam Dad’s and faithful mate to YRK since 2006. He will always be remembered for his devotion to his family, especially returning injured in 2020 just so he could feed Atawhai Pippa. OGK & YRK have fledged 6 chicks and raised one foster chick over their years together including the Royalcam chicks Atawhai & Lilibet, & daughter KBR and sons RLK & LWK. Our hearts are heavy with this loss but our hopes lie with YRK finding love again next season. Here is the message from Sharyn. “Although we do not know for sure it looks like the much-loved OGK has not returned following his disappearance in the winter of 2022 while raising Royalcam chick, Lilibet. He would be 26 years this coming January and was one of the first cohorts of chicks that I saw raised here at Pukekura.… OGK and YRK first nested in front of the Royalcam in 2020 when they raised Atawhai during the pandemic and we all had many hours more of viewing time.… OGK has been with YRK since 2006 as toroa typically mate for life. 2022 was their eighth breeding attempt. They have fledged six of their own chicks and one foster chick (This was a chick of Button’s). They have raised the foster chick after the egg they laid was broken during 2018. The first chick they raised is a breeding female and the natal mother of the 2018 Royalcam chick, Amīria. During 2021 their 2012 chick RLK (male) raised a chick known as SSTrig near the Royalcam chick, Tiaki. YRK would, by late October be preparing to lay an egg. Instead, she is looking for a new mate as is typical of bereaved toroa as the urge to mate is strong. There is no way of knowing what has happened to OGK. We do know that there are certain risks on the ocean such as plastic pollution and long-line fishing. Disease and starvation cannot be discounted either. OGK had sustained an injury in 2020 and we do not know what long-term impact this may have had. In the event you come across any wildlife in NZ call our emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). Although as a group albatross are at high risk from long-line fishing this does not seem to be the case for Northern Royal Albatross. Comparatively few are recorded on long lines compared to Antipodean Albatross, for example. The conservation status of Antipodean Albatross is Nationally Critical due to bycatch and marine pollution. in comparison the Northern Royal Albatross are Nationally Vulnerable. Read more about the Antipodean Albatross here:… z/albatrosses/antipodean-albatross/”

OGK was my all-time favourite, and he will not be forgotten. Let us all work towards safer seas for these magnificent birds that can live well past 70 years in his honour.

In the world of the Bald Eagles, some are having to really defend their nests. Belly and Smitty are busy trying to hang on to their NCTC nest on a daily basis with injuries seen on some of the eagles.

The problems continued on Sunday for Bella who is defending her nest alone against a male. Myth busted: Females only fight females. Not in this case.

Here is the video of the battle:

The only hatch at Windswept Heights, Tumby Island, South Australia has been predated by a raptor. Little Blythe was approximately 18 days old when she was taken although the precise time is unknown as the camera does not stream continuously. She hatched on the 11th of October. Her parents are Partney and Marrum. Condolences to all.

Port Lincoln has put out a weekly summary in video format.

At Port Lincoln, Dad delivered a whole fish to Mum, Goliath and Little at 0645:18 on Monday. Look at those two happy chicks. Goliath is really oily today – the fluff is gone entirely from her head. In a couple of days Little will look the same!

Oh, my goodness. There was drama at Port Lincoln. Dad delivered the whole fish at 0645 and the Fish Fairy came with 4 fish at 11:49. Then there were intruders wanting ‘free’ fish! This is the report from the ops board: “It starts normally with Mum feeding the 2 chicks. Giliath’s in front. Then there’s are intruder osprey that interrupts! It was Calypso and her mate! Dad to the rescue! Both chicks full. Mum done for now. 2 fish remain.”

Fish left and Mum protecting her babies. Mum will eat some more fish – she appears to be very hungry today but as always, she stuffed her babies to the brim.

‘A’ gives us her report of the day at Port Lincoln: “The day at Port Lincoln began with a large whole live fish delivered by dad at 06:45. Both chicks ate well before mum settled down to brood them. Dad took the fish, bringing it back 15 minutes later and Giliath ate briefly again (Little Bob was in a food coma). At 08:35 mum left to stretch her wings and Little decides to bonk Giliath, who retaliates. The fighting stopped when Little lay down. Mum returns and Little lifts its head, resulting in Giliath bonking him again till he submits. Mum leaves again and the siblings lean on each other, preen a bit and eventually fall asleep in a cuddle puddle. This aggression is all about pecking order (their crops get in the way of their bonking at times!) and it is relatively minor and brief. Not only that, it is being started by Little Bob as much as by his big sister. At 11:49, four medium-sized fish were delivered by the food fairy and an extended feeding took place (49 minutes!!) Both chicks ate themselves into food comas, and then CALYPSO (a previous fledgling from this nest) interrupts and his mate actually lands on the nest (12:08:47)!!! During the afternoon, there were six small feedings and no bonking between that massive feeding and the next fish delivery – Little Bob ate at all but one of those feedings, as did Giliath. At 18:38 dad arrived with a headless medium-sized fish and the dinner feeding began. Little Bob has the front position but soon turns away, still full from all the eating. Giliath downs a few bites and also gives up. The kids have eaten well today.”  

Banders can get it wrong. Unless a DNA test is taken and processed, no one is ever certain of the gender. I recall once being told by Tiger Mozone to ‘not question the banners’. Of course, he said it in jest! Now there is reason at Port Lincoln to wonder if Calypso, always presumed to be a female, might actually be a male – and that, of course, could explain why she has stayed so close to Port Lincoln like Ervie.

Marri and Barru, the Orange eyases, were hungry and very excited when the first prey item arrived at 0711. Marri had a nice tug of war wanting the prey to herself but…that didn’t happen!

More food later..

Marri and Barru scamper all over that scrape box. They are flapping their wings, doing some self-feeding, and running their talons off!

‘A’s report for Orange: “At Orange, our fluff balls are zooming about and their feathers are getting more prominent each day. And those eyes! Here are the time stamps for the day: PREY 07.11.26, 08:10:53, 16:24:51, 16:42:44, 19.08.08 FEED 07.12, 08:11, 16:25, 16:43, 19.08 (M+B) HIGHLIGHT 16:28:50 M & D tug of war; 17:54:27 Barrru running with morsel.”

The sea eagles nest is quiet. ‘A’ sent the report from Sydney but we both wonder what in the world they mean by progress? It takes many many weeks for fledglings to learn how to fly and hunt. They are normally cared for by their parents and this has been the issue at Sydney due to the Currawongs. “October 30: A quiet night, with neither parents nor fledglings seen at the nest – though they may have been nearby. Parents were heard calling in the forest in the early morning. Later, they were seen down on their off-season River Roost, on mangroves along the Parramatta River. Currawongs even swoop them down there. The fledglings have not been seen today – they may be anywhere in the forest or nearby – all part of their progress.”

The Redding Eagle Cam is live and there is an adult on the nest.

An eagle at Pittsburgh-Hayes where there will be a new male this year. This is V, the new male.

Eagles at Superbeaks. All of the eagles are getting serious about their nests. Pepe and Muhlady have been working hard. Will they win the race for the first egg to be laid?

Gabby is at NEFlorida with a HUGE crop!

Two eagles at Duke Farms early Sunday morning. It is not clear if this is Mum with a new male or if this is entirely a new couple at the nest. Waiting for confirmation.

Eagles at Decorah.

Non-breeding European Starlings and M15 at the SW Florida nest checking it out for the new lady, F23.

Ron at the WRDC nest in Miami.

Abby and Blaze have won the territorial dispute over their nest at Eagle Country with the GHO.

Martin and Rosa working on their nest at Dulles-Greenway on Sunday. There were some friendly beak nips…

That buzzard continues to visit the Loch Arkaig nest and is, as Geemeff notes, awfully talkative. Is it calling Louis to bring in dinner?

Saving vultures in Tanzania.

I received a note asking about the hunting in Scotland (both fox and beaten grouse) and why I am so against it. The girls and I are reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and in the chapter we were reading today, she recounts T H White’s first fox hunt and what he said after. ” Riding out with the Old Surrey and Barstow Hunt, White recorded the first time he saw a kill with distanced fascination. The fox was dug out of a drain where it had taken refuge and thrown to the hounds. They tore it to pieces while a circle of human onlookers ‘screeched them on’. The humans, White thought, were disgusting, their cries ‘tense, self-conscious, and hysterically animal’. But the hounds were not’. The savagery of the hours,’ he wrote, ‘was deep-rooted and terrible, but rang true, so that it was not horrible like that of the human.’ I think that says it all. The gameskeepers at the grouse hunting estates are (some of them) as viscous in killing the raptors that take some of the grouse for meals. One recent incident of the stomping on a nest of little goshawk hatchlings was particularly gruesome in my mind’s eye.hese are sports of the wealthy and the influential and I hope that they stop due to the fact that people care about wildlife and the compassionate voices, I hope, will prevail.

Mark Avery’s, Inglorious. Conflict in the Uplands, gives particular insight to field sports – grouse hunting – and their links to the class system in the UK. Of course, it is also political as many of the men (they are almost exclusively men) are wealthy donors or politicians or even sit in the courts. It will be difficult to abolish the practices but not impossible. Ever so hopeful.

As you know, I am a big fan of Merlin Bird ID. Here is a list of some other apps that might be helpful.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Forest & Bird, Kakapo Recovery, Lady Hawk, Deb Stecyk PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, FORE, PIX Cams, Superbeaks, NEFL_AEF, Duke Farms, Raptor Resource Project, SWFL Eagle Cam, WRDC, Eagle Country, Dulles-Greenway, Geemeff, Birdlife International, and the Guardian.

The menace that is Malta, Collins Street female injured?…Saturday in Bird World

7 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Thank you so much for your comments and letters. I appreciate hearing about your pets and your experiences with feline teeth – thank you for sharing and caring. I am pleased to report that the pain medication has helped Lewis, and he is eating well again. At this very moment, Lewis and Missey are glued to the living room window. A Hairy Woodpecker is going after one of the corner cedar shakes!

Hope and Calico are oblivious to everything going on with Lewis. They are just happy – loving watching the birds, playing and having stories. We are certainly going through novels!

It is interesting to watch Calico get settled for ‘a story’. She now expects this and curls up on my lap. The little one watches carefully from the edge of the chair as she is doing below. It is certainly one way to plough through books that have been sitting waiting to be read! It is wonderful.

Calico is putting on weight. Talk about a gentle soul. You can see that the dining room table in the conservatory is still their ‘safe dark’ spot…with its duvets piled on the floor for warmth and layers and layers to cover the top and the sides. It is getting cooler at night now that we are into October and the girls get the heat turned on once the sun goes down.

We punched the holes in a small pumpkin and filled them with peanut butter. It sits on the log Little Red uses to jump to the table feeder. Let’s see if this pumpkin treat works! Clearly will not win any awards for beauty but we will wait to see if it is something that the squirrels will enjoy.

In Canada, this is Thanksgiving weekend. The celebration is on Monday and coincides with what was traditionally the end of harvest and giving thanks for the land’s bounty. (Quite different than the American Thanksgiving).

I am so grateful to the garden animals that they will get special treats on Monday.

We are going to Australia right away. It is hot and the wind is really blowing. ‘A’ has already pointed out an interesting problem. M15’s mate at SW Florida has been named F23. We have F22, a falcon, at Collins Street. We are both hoping that there will not be another F23 this year anywhere or it will get confusing.

‘A’ has been watching the Sea Eagles and reports, “SE32 won the fish Dad brought in late this morning (6 October) at WBSE. He held onto it, mantled it, protected it from SE31 and self-fed most of it, before allowing SE31 to take the final piece. The head and tail had been removed from what was originally a medium-large fish, so with the fish unzipped, SE32 was able to get in some wonderful practice, and by the end, he was doing really well. He did get the majority of the fish, finishing with a very nice crop. He was obviously hungry, as he was simply fearless in claiming and hanging onto that food. At one point, there was some serious fighting over the fish (lunging with beaks was involved, along with much flapping), but SE32 fought his sister with great determination while hanging on tightly to his fish. He was NOT letting go. I was so proud of him. After watching that self-feeding, and the consequent boost to SE32’s confidence, I am way less concerned now than I was yesterday. Even though the food supply at this nest has not been as good as I would have liked over recent days, at least SE32 is not now missing out on his share of what there is. Both are doing a lot of wingercising and are looking strong and steady on their feet, with excellent balance. SE32 is doing more hopping than his sister, bounding across the nest like a small wallaby. 

There has been little or no sound or sign of crows or currawongs this season, though I don’t remember seeing them much or at all in previous seasons either until fledge day arrived. I remain hopeful that these two, with their strong relationship, will return to the nest after fledging, if only to be together. I do wish Dad and Lady would spend more time over the next week or two imprinting this nest in the eaglets’ minds as a smorgasbord of delicacies to which they will definitely return once they take the plunge. I think back to last year – in particular, the way SE29, after fledging, came back to sleep at the nest with SE30 each night and what may have happened had SE29 not gone into care the day before SE30 fledged. These two have a very similar relationship to the one between SE29 and SE30 last year, so there is a chance their bond will again help them survive after fledging this year.”

Please keep the female at Collins Street, F22 in your warm thoughts. ‘H’ just sent me the latest posting by Victor Hurley that explains why we have seen M22 incubating the eggs so much!

What a delight it is to watch Diamond and Xavier with the two eyases. The closeness in time of the hatch has made all the difference. These two are developing well – each getting their portion of food. You can see a slight difference in size but this is not hampering the second hatch at all. Xavier is working hard to get prey to the scrape and is doing a fantastic job despite some high winds that have been in the area. The temperature remains around 18-20 C.

Diamond got upset. A Currawong flew past the scrape!!!!!!!!!!! She is not going to let that bird get near her precious babies.

If you missed Dr Victor Hurley’s talk on Peregrine Falcons in Victoria Australia, here is that link.

Gabby and V3 continue to make restorations at The Hamlet. V3 has certainly won the heats and minds of everyone for his staunch protection of the territory around the nest. We are all hoping for little eaglets this year!

Anna’s injury is really improved. You might recall she even had problems landing. Well, that wasn’t the case on Friday when the landed on the nest with a nice fish and began chortling. How wonderful! Nice to see this improvement.

Osprey Season is over in North America, the UK, and Europe. Jeff Kear has posted a very informative article by the Scottish Wildlife Trust about their feathers that you might still find useful as we prepare for hatch at Port Lincoln.

Please keep your positive thoughts going for the migrating ospreys. Things in West Africa are changing and the once pristine habitat is being altered – either by climate or by habitat loss due to human expansion.

This is tragic. As you will remember from yesterday’s blog, there are Ospreys who navigate a route from their spring/summer breeding area in the UK to the precise concrete pillar. Our dear Seren 5F is being impacted. So what happens to those birds when the water and fish dry up or are irreparably flooded?

Countries do listen especially if tourists decide not to travel. Let those that allow poaching – Malta and Cyprus – know how you feel by travelling elsewhere – to places that value nature and wildlife.

Malta has long been a place that is renowned for its illegal songbird poaching.

The fact that Malta lies on the flyway that links Europe with Africa and the winter home of these migrating birds is particularly problematic.

Owls. I have a love-hate relationship with them – and get bloody upset when they start knocking M15 off the perch or fly in and take our precious osprey babies. Did you know that there are 234 different species of owls living around the world, from the ice-cold Arctic to the tropics and the deserts? Their keen eyesight and hearing and specialist feathers help them hunt at night – they are the silent killers.

Thank you so much for being with me today! We will be planting trees later today. It is Re-Leaf day and there are three Azur Maples arriving to add some more colour to the garden. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, pictures, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Liznm, Victor Hurley, NEFL-AEF, Tonya Irwin, Jeff Kear, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Chris Wood, Geemeff, Conservation Science and Practice, Responsible Travel, Google Maps, Cambridge Core, and Cornell Bird Lab.

It’s Melbourne 4 – Port Lincoln 2…Monday in Bird World

11 September 2023

Good Morning to all of you,

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.

Thanks, H’!

‘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?!