2 September 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
It is the ‘long weekend’ in Canada. It is the last weekend before the schools reopen, and the children return from their summer holidays. Despite being almost three weeks until the official beginning of fall, it is the marker for the end of summer. The weather stations tell us it will now be 35 degrees DC today. Even so, it will not be long until everyone thinks about tidying their lawn and garden for winter. This year, please constrain yourselves. Leave the Leaves!
The insects need the leaves, and the following article that ‘R’ sent tells what we should be doing to increase the number of insects in our environment. Want fewer bugs biting you? Then you need more insects!
Many years ago, my tutor, Dr Klaus Klostermaier, and I had a long conversation. I had been to Germany, where he grew up, and returned amazed at the lack of insects. No screens on the windows. Meanwhile, on the Canadian Prairies we were being eaten up by mosquitoes. Dr Klostermaier (one of the most brilliant individuals I have ever met with a surprising biography) told me how said my statement was. Industry in Germany had killed off the insects. Yes, of course, I had been to the area around Duisburg and Dusseldorf…and that area worked hard to clean up its rivers since that time and stop some of the pollution from industry. That conversation always stuck with me.
The author says in summing up the following article, “In other words, the problem isn’t that we have too many bugs in cities and suburbs; the problem is that we don’t have nearly enough. We’ve been so successful at vanquishing the little critters that the entire insect world is in big trouble — and so are we if we don’t help them to recover.” Thanks, ‘R’.
Please talk to your friends, your family, your neighbours. That pristine chemically kept perfect law should not exist! Don’t bag the leaves. Please leave them til May. It will help the entire food chain and our songbirds will thank you in the spring!
Cornell Bird Lab explains how the Royal Albatross chicks are getting ready to take their maiden voyage which will last 5-6 years before they set foot on land again. I wish we could guarantee them a sea full of fish and no bycatch.
The RSPB explains what can be done to prevent bycatch. It is a good read and if you adore Manaaki and all the other little Royal Albatross chicks then you should read this and educate yourself. You might boycott fish!
Getting over to the nests, I can hardly contain myself. V3 flew in to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest yesterday and Gabby is home Friday evening. They even gave one another beaky kisses. Relief. Elation. I cannot wait to see these two raise some eaglets in this nest after the sadness of last year when Samson went missing.
The pair went right to work assessing the needs of the nest signalling their determination to have a family together this year. Get the tissues out! Joyful tears.
Mini flew to the nest much to the delight of everyone. What a relief it was to see her flying and landing with both legs extended. She is strong. Mini has shown us since the day she hatched that she adjusts, thinks, solves problems well. No, we do not like seeing her look at her leg as if she is in pain – is she? is she not? I do not know. She has won all of her hearts because she was so tiny and persevered on a nest when it seemed impossible that she would. We must remember that going forward.
The DEC is hanging up on anyone that phones them. They are the ones that issue permits under the Migratory Bird Act. It is clear no permits are going to be given. Locally, Mini’s situation is know and one of the locals on the chat checks for her. Boots on the ground is essential. That said, she is flying strong and eating. Dad is still feeding her but maybe someone will also see her fishing. She is dearly loved.
I also want to add something here, in case you are wondering. I strongly believe in intervention if the bird or animal can be helped. The Mini is not grounded. She is flying. She is not 100%. But this is what worries me. While we do not know her injury, she is injured in a way, unlike WBSE26. When WBSE flew to the balcony of the condo and was ‘rescued’, it was determined that 26 would not have a quality of life and was euthanised. It broke the hearts of thousands of people. I do not want that to happen to Mini. For however long or short her life is, I hope she lives it free. She has proven she can adapt to anything thrown at her – at least from what we see on cam – and I think she can then adjust to almost anything, including picking up and eating fish off a beach.
Mini flies in both feet extended from her legs.
While she still favours that left leg, she landed fine.
Gosh, she is gorgeous. Her eyes are bright.
Off she goes eleven minutes later.
In Australia, the main cam for Sydney Sea Eagles came back to life and the joy that came with that could not be measured. It seemed that the little sea eaglets had grown twice as big in a single day. It wasn’t true, of course, but there they were, SE32 with a huge crop! They are both thriving and it will be interesting to see which is the largest as they develop between now and fledge.
Gracie Shepherd caught one of the sea eaglets peeking over the nest when the camera was down. T hey are so big.
‘A’ has been watching the sea eaglets closely and she is a tad concerned stating, “Breakfast never arrived at WBSE this morning. Smart little SE32 has taken to spending much of his waiting time sleeping on the table, right there in prime position for any food that arrives on the nest. The eaglets were not at all pleased when Dad arrived shortly after 12:11 with a large spray of gum leaves! As I type, it is nearly 12.40 and they are now waiting for lunch! I have been worried this morning because while SE32 got up this morning and did a small, thinnish PS, when SE31 got up a few minutes later, she appeared to make three definite attempts over about two minutes to have a PS and produced nothing. On each occasion, she wiggled her little tail as if she had just done her PS but nothing had emerged. I have not watched their every minute this morning, but I have been over the footage relatively closely, and I have not seen her do a PS (one of them did stand up a while ago – it may or may not have been for a PS – but I am keeping a close eye on things in that regard right at the moment, especially since your vision of the eel feeding just as the storm began. I am starting to get concerned that SE32’s newfound confidence is resulting in SE31 not getting enough food. SE32 has had a larger crop than his sister for the best part of a week now. Is this causing a problem? Or did SE31 have a problem to begin with that allowed SE32 to become dominant..So it is possible that there is some reason she is not pushing for food…I could be worrying about nothing, but until I see a healthy PS from SE31, I will continue to be concerned. I don’t like to see a chick trying and failing to manage a PS, especially first thing in the morning.”
Food finally did arrive and A has the report: “The food took until around 15:30 to arrive. We saw Dad on a branch in the nest tree spot something and fly off with a purposeful look, and I thought he had finally decided it was time to feed the kids (I’m sure these occasions are deliberate lessons for the eaglets – sometimes, food doesn’t arrive like clockwork). Sure enough, it wasn’t long before he was back with a fish, panting slightly.
He waited a couple of minutes for Lady to appear, but when she didn’t, he rather reluctantly set about doing the feeding duties himself. First to the table was SE31, who ate for the first two minutes before SE32 approached the table beside her. He was soon given a bite (around 15:37:30) but then Dad resumed feeling SE31. So not being in the favourable position (side by side but with SE31 between him and Dad), SE32 moved himself several inches forward. Dad then proceeded to feed SE32 while SE31 watched patiently and waited for her next bite.
Soon, Dad started feeding them even-handedly, a bite for one, a bite or two for the other. Both ate well, with the feeding lasting for well over half an hour. If anything, SE31 may have done slightly better than SE32 but it was a close-run thing. The prey itself was hard to identify but appeared to be red meat rather than fish, though I could not see feet. (You know how bad I am at prey IDs but I am trying to learn).
The main news, though, is that they have both been well fed. It was a VERY late brunch, however. “
Xavier and Diamond are taking turns with the incubation and Diamond is, sometimes unhappily, accepting the Starling meal – prepared or not.
They are adorable. Xavier never wants to give up his ‘egg’ time. We all wonder how he fits those three big eggs under him. Will there be one hatch? Two? possibly three? Personally, I do not want the third one to hatch. For the past years, in my humble opinion, Diamond has struggled at times if the chicks vary too much in size. One healthy fledgling with all its feathers fully developed is a priority for this writer.
“Oh, please, Diamond, just a few more minutes.”
‘A’ loves them, too – like we all do, adding, “At Orange, Diamond had pigeon for breakfast and rejected a starling just before noon. There has been a half-hour sleepy early morning bonding session and several changeovers, giving Xavier some egg time (not enough in his opinion, but of course it’s not his decision (although the other day, when he protested “just another five minutes dear”, Diamond stood on the ledge for 47 minutes – a very rare occurrence indeed). We thought Xavier was going to try and feed the eggs again! (It’s not the first time.) I just adore the way he talks to them every time he settles down to brood. Just how incredibly adorable are these tiny falcon dads?” I totally agree – Peregrine Falcon dads are the best!
They are an adorable couple at Port Lincoln.
Ervie was photographed at Delamere where he used to fish with Dad. So wonderful to see you!
Calypso, Ervie’s full sister, might have found herself a platform. Will Mum become a grandmother this year? or next?
‘A’ reports that the Royal Albatross had a busy day. “All four of our headland albie chicks were fed today. The boys (UQ and Manaaki) had their mums come in, while the girls (NTF chick and Quarry chick) were fed by their dads. At one stage, there were three parents coming and going around noon. It was chaos. At this moment, Manaaki is on his nest practising his cute sky calls. He has a full tummy after mum’s visit and he is a happy albie today. The wind has been very light the past couple of days and it seems all the parents have chosen today to come in and feed their offspring.”
Lady Hawk has it all in a 49-minute video! Oh, I love the wheeing when the chicks smell and see their parent arriving to feed them.
Flipping through a few of the other nests:
Dad is still delivering to at least one juvenile at the Alyth Osprey platform. Just look at that crop. I think this is three.
It is entirely possible that Maya and Blue 33 are still at Rutland and Blue 022 is still at Poole Harbour. I did not catch the Poole Harbour male on the streaming cam but others have or he was sighted locally.
These are the dates for Poole Harbour as posted under their streaming cam:
5H3 fledged – 19th July ———–5H4 fledged – 21st July ——–5H5 fledged – 22nd July CJ7 migrated —— 27th August 5H4 migrated —– 27th August 5H5 migrated —– 27th August 5H3 migrated – 29th August
OH1 had a fish on the nest and it or OH2 was eating a fish on a nearby tree branch on Friday at Glaslyn.
Idris is taking catching fish at Dyfi, too. Lots of activity there on Friday, including the clean-up crew finding all those wonderful morsels of fish left behind.
Seiont you are truly handsome.
I did not see anyone at Llyn Brenig – others might have.
Viewers counted 7 fish being delivered to Coco at Sandpoint today and that was only until late afternoon!
The nest at Steelscape has really taken a beating. his season! The fledglings flying to the nest look good.
At least one fledgling still at Collins Marsh and fish are still being delivered.
The fledglings are now doing what ospreys do – fight over fish deliveries. This was Snap and Crackle at Dunrovin Ranch today.
Have you seen the new nest for Ron and Rose at the WRDC in Miami?
I did not catch Iris at the Owl Pole on 1 September but Lucille Powell and Marlene Harris both did on the 31st. The Queen of North American Ospreys has not left Missoula yet. Each sighting is a blessing.
Heading to ‘H’s reports on three Osprey nests:
Fortis Exshaw – The intruders were back at the nest several times on 9/1. We had not seen the male for a day and a half, and we thought he may have started his migration, but he is still around. We still call them the ‘intruders’, but they did successfully complete a nest takeover, against a single mom and her kid. To the osprey pair, other ospreys are the intruders. They alerted and defended the nest when they felt threatened. At 1442 the female flew up from the nest toward an approaching osprey and chased it away. The other osprey was carrying a fish, but we could only see the legs and a bit of the wings at a distance. It was impossible to say if it was Banff or Louise, and there may be other ospreys in the area. It would be cool to think it was Banff, and that she had caught her own fish. But, Banff is already used to eating at locations other than the nest, and she probably has a favorite spot to dine. It would be unlikely that Banff would try to bring a fish to the nest, especially while both of the ‘angry birds’ were standing on the nest. Later there was an incomplete mating between the pair. And, at one point the male landed on the empty nest with a fish, chirped a while, then flew off with his fish. We won’t know until next year, but these two adult ospreys may be the new residents. Many of us hope that Louise will arrive back in the area early next spring, find a new mate, and win the nest back. Well, one can only hope.”
Kent Island – Molly finally got her wish. Her dad brought a lovely whole fish to her at the nest.
Barnegat Light – Dorsett is looking lovely in the evening sunlight as she finishes her dinner fish.
Thank you, ‘H’ – things are winding down!
For all the stork lovers, this is excellent news.
Our smile for the day comes from Brusse TTirzah and those fantastic eagles, Jackie and Shadow:
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourself – stay safe this long holiday weekend. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, articles, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, R’, The Washington Post, Cornell Bird Lab, RSPB, PSEG, Sydney Sea Eagles, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Alyth Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, llyn Brenig, Sandpoint Ospreys, Steelscape Inc, Collins Marsh, Dunmrovin Ranch, Lolita Ozolina and Bald Eagles in USA, Lucille Powell and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate, Marlene Harris and Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, Fortis Exshaw, Wildlife Conserve Foundation of NJ, Kent Island, Birdguides.com, and Brusse TTirzah and FOBBV.