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.

Beautiful Big Red…Sunday in Bird World

19 November 2023

Hi Everyone,

Saturday was a fantastic day on the Canadian Prairies. 6 degrees C. Snow melting. Blue sky. Bright sunshine. Happy people. I dropped off the pet food donations, picked up some Salmon Oil for Calico (and, of course, all the girls will get it along with the Cod Liver Oil and Lysine), and headed straight to the nature centre for a walk. My neighbour stopped me as I was leaving, wondering if we would get punished in January for all this nice weather…it made me think that we cannot wait to go outside on a nice day; it is a nice day. Go for it!

The girls and I are almost finished reading Margaret Renkl’s book, The Comfort of Crows. Every chapter reminds us to ‘live’. Renkl is just turning 60, and she understands that she has lived most of her life and ponders the shortness of time she has left. Renkl reminds us to slow down – to stop with the meaningless tasks we set before ourselves. To live a meaningful life not one full of just business.

Here is a quote from one of the chapters the girls and I read today: “During the funeral, when my friend spoke about her parents’ long marriage….In her eulogy, my friend reminded us of how much her father had loved to sail:  “He always said that he felt at peace when sailing, where it was serene and quiet”, she said.  “I now appreciate that he enjoyed those days on the boat because the family was together without being in a hurry.”  Instantly, I thought about those Post-it notes stuck all over my house.  How had I allowed myself to become so busy? How long had it been since I’d spent a day in the sun, eating sandwiches from a cooler and watching water ripple across the surface of a lake? Why do I so often behave as though there will be unlimited days to sit quietly with my own beloveds, listening to birdsong and wind in the pines? (129).

That is why I continued on to the nature centre today. To see the squirrels running around, to watch the one hanging on the bird feeder trying to pry out a peanut, to stop and listen to the chickadees. There is so much beauty that surrounds us. You just have to stop and listen. You can do this by simply standing outside your door or walking to the nearest green space. Sometimes, opening a window and letting the fresh air in brings contentment. Today, when I closed my eyes in the forest and took a deep breath, the smell of the damp leaves, some beginning to decompose, was so very lovely. For you see, it is impossible to smell those leaves beneath the snow!!!!!!

I am sure you do not think this looks like winter! One of the things about living on the prairies is the huge sky – the landscape is horizontal. Many modernist Canadian artists focused entirely on the tiny strip of land and the huge sky that is the hallmark of where we live.

There were three Canada Geese. The lake has only a thin sheet of ice in a couple of places. The smaller ponds are melting and there is plenty of food for geese and ducks available. There was the usual banditry of Black-capped chickadees so named as a group because they look like they have black bandanas or are wearing a mask, a single White-breasted Nuthatch, and numerous squirrels, both Red and Grey.

The chart below shows that we are above normal temperatures for this time of year.

Today I hope to get to another park where I am told the ducks are still paddling!

Thank you for your good wishes for Calico. She seems much improved and has been running around the house – something she has not done in a week!

The girls had their lunch and then it was time to ready for a nap. Calico and Missey were in the conservatory and Hope was in Missey’s basket in the sitting room. They love to curl up and stay warm – even with the temperatures outside, the oven has been on and the central heating hasn’t (the thermostat is right by the oven – bad design). Their heated beds arrive on Monday! Just in time for any dip in temperatures.

It is so peaceful. The Feliway continues to work, and there are no hissing or stalking behaviours that I have seen. Calico and Missey can sleep within a few feet of one another, and Calico is no longer concerned when Hope is playing with Missey. Smiling.

There are several videos of Diamond and Xavier feeding a fledgling on top of the tower. As at Sydney, it is not confirmed if both fledglings are being seen or if there is only one. Send positive wishes for both Marri and Barru as well as 31 and 32 – we hope that we are seeing both at each area.

The latest one, from SK Hideaways, is second..

‘A’s report for Orange: “The parents had a lengthy bonding session, which I believe was at about 16:11:05. (These two have had bonding sessions lasting up to four hours, though I think Xavier fell asleep during some of the longer ones!) But they are taking advantage of some adult time. Meanwhile, at least one of the juveniles has been spotted sitting on the roof of the water tower, where we saw at least one yesterday. I am unsure whether both juveniles have been positively ID’d or not. At least one of the fledglings is strong enough to fly to the top of the tower. Now, some landing control practice and we will see at least one of them in the scrape again. Talons crossed for them both.” 

At Port Lincoln, Mum, Giliath, and #2 wait to see who will be first in with the fish. They are hoping for Dad!

It is 10:38 and Mum is telling Dad that it is about that time he leaves the barge and goes out to fish…

It looks like Dad has not gone out fishing yet…it is nearing 0930. Mum and osplets are waiting patiently.

It is 12:30 and so far no fish from Dad. PLO says the fish fairy will be there in half an hour.

A 1.424 kg Trevally was delivered to the nest. It was taken to the ropes. PLO says that two fish were delivered. Mum is eating one on the ropes. Could you look at the size of it? It would feed everyone. I hope she doesn’t lose it overboard. Watchers think something smaller was under the larger fish the chicks nibbled on. It is a bit confusing. There is nothing on the observation board yet to clarify.

OK. Mum took the supplementary fish to the ropes and right after Dad landed on the nest with his own fish.\.

Hopefully Dad will have enough to eat and Mum will not lose the big one and feed herself and the kids for the rest of the day – with maybe some for Dad, too.

Note: Dad’s fish is nice, but that single fish would not be enough to feed 4 for the day. Again, I am thankful to the Fish Fairies.

Confusing. Is Dad feeding part of his fish to the osplets?

Dad is finished with the osplets and is on one of the perches. Mum is still prepping that huge fish. It has to be tough working through that head. She has been at this for more than an hour.

OK. Some clarification. It was a Trevally and a large cleaned squid. Dad fed some of the squid to one of the chicks (#2, I think) while Mum arrives on the nest with the huge lunch. Both will join her.

Mum is going to be exhausted when she finishes feeding this fish.

The chicks are getting quite full. Mum continues to feed them and herself. She has been working on this fish for two and a half hours.

Thank you to the crew of the Calypso Star and the young lad who donated the squid to the osplets. Kindness. Sometimes when the news gets too much, it is these small gestures that make us realise that there is goodness out there.

Today (Monday in Australia), the osplets are 34 and 32 days old. Unless they are females, they will normally peak in growth at 35 days Western Ospreys. Must check and see if this is the case with the Eastern.

The observation board for Port Lincoln. It is unfortunate that Dad lost the fish down on the barge.

The cam ops are not sure who is at the nest with Gabby. I just want Gabby to be able to raise a clutch in peace this season since she lost her fabulous mate, Samson.

I am going with V3 in the nest. Gabby was flirting and V3 was interested.

Handsome couple.

I think I missed this video of Jackie and Shadow!

Ferris Akel found Big Red on the Cornell Campus on his tour on Saturday. Oh, goodness, isn’t she beautiful. Look at that deep auburn Red plumage. She will be 21 years old in March. My goodness it is so good to see you Big Red.

There are two adults on the Achieva Credit Union nest. Jack and Diane?

Been missing Monty and Hartley? A pair of love birds. Don’t you wish you could talk falconsese?

18 Days until Hatch at Superbeaks!

This is the most recent report on sightings of Lady, Dad, and at least one juvie in Sydney:

‘A’ set this report for the 17th at Sydney and I missed it so I am including it here today: “November 17: an early report of a juvenile in the usual spot in the mangroves, then seen flying to River Roost, near both parents. In the afternoon there was a large drone flying over the wetlands –a new method of mosquito spraying, rather than by helicopter. Parents were away during the day – maybe even at Goat Island, closer to the City. Both returned to River Roost before 5pm, and then to the juvenile’s usual area. Shortly after, both parents were at River Roost, with a vocal greeting. Juvenile was seen at the water edge around 6pm, then went deeper into the mangroves. At 6:45pm, an adult was seen flying from the wetlands with a fish, taken to Mangrove Island. It is unclear if a juvenile ate today. Picture shows juvenile flying yesterday.” — Any report, regardless of the day, is good news when it is about the sea eaglets flying about and being fed!

This is the most recent report from ‘A’ for Sydney: “November 19: At 7.50am, 2 adults and a juvie were near each other. Juvie moved a couple of times like yesterday, before settling on another branch nearby, in the heraldic pose at one point. Heard a couple of duets, and sounded like juvie joined in. At 10am, the parents were in much the same spot, both facing more west. The juvie must have been there somewhere. At 11am, one parent flew to River Roost. Later in the afternoon, both parents were on River Roost, near the juvenile, in the usual spot, and then one circling over Ermington Bay. Numerous people using River Walk stopped to ask about the eagles, but the juvenile is still so hard to spot. I don’t believe a feeding was observed.” 

M15 and F23 were at the nest on Saturday. I do not see them there currently but they might return later in the night.

Lady Hawk posted this video.

This was earlier.

There has been some concern about the new female ‘F’ at ND-LEEF. ‘H’ reports that she was on the nest with Dad this morning. Fantastic news! ‘H reminds us: “‘F’ was last seen at the nest on 11/12.  This morning ‘F’ was back in the nest with Dad, starting about 073341, Dad in first.  They left around 0800.”

I love books and I get so excited when I hear that youngsters are learning about our feathered friends and the challenges that they face. Thank you to one of our readers, ‘R’ who introduced Chile Bird to her second graders! We must start with the youngsters so that their respect and empathy for wildlife will grow. Hakai Magazine always has a good list of children’s books this time of year – for all of the holidays celebrated by the various people around the world – and the gifts that they give BUT also because we should all be reading! This offering is called Ten Coastal Kid’s Books. Their summaries are excellent and very useful in helping to make choices for purchase.

There is another set of books that are meant specifically to inspire empathy and understanding in the young readers.

I recently included an article on how intelligent vultures are. BirdLife International explores the efforts to stop the poisoning of these captivating creatures in Kenya.

I read an article that you mind find interesting – it isn’t directly about raptors or wildlife but it certainly is about the quality of life of our neighbours. As many of you know, wealthier countries export their trash – whether it is plastic waste or donated clothes – to poorer countries, often in Africa. This creates untold harm to the people living there at many levels. I recall my granddaughter – who did her practicum for Social Work in Senegal – telling me never to donate clothes. They are sold cheaply and exported and then sold in the markets where they cause the local textile industry to die. We have all seen the piles of plastic garbage. Now the EU is passing legislation to ban the exporting of plastic. Thank goodness someone is tacking responsibility for their own mess. Now which other countries will follow suit?

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care – keep sending your good wishes to our three Australian families on streaming cams. Their challenges are certainly not over, and we want all those fledglings to be safe and well fed. We hope to have you with us again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, tours, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, R, SP’, SK Hideaways, PLO, NEFL-AEF, Ferris Akel Tours, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, Anna Laios, Lady Hawk, Hakai Magazine, BirdLife International, and The Guardian.

Sea Eaglet photographed near River, V3 protects nest…Friday in Bird World

17 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Missey and I sit at the table (under the twinkling tree) in the Conservatory, watching the birds flit about at the feeder. There are Sparrows and European Starlings, and it looked like a few Crossbills and Junior, the Blue Jay. One of Dyson’s kits was here earlier. The big cotton ball flakes of snow have now stopped. The lilac bushes and shrubs look like they have been flocked like the old twinkle tree. Missey tried climbing into the branches. Last year, she and Lewis fit in there nicely – not this year!

Missey is very woolly and highly determined to lie down inside the container with the tree. It is ‘not’ going to happen.

Hope. Darling Hope.

Mamma goes to the vet tomorrow. Fingers crossed that there is nothing wrong. Calico just has not been herself…anyone who has a pet knows that each one is an individual, and you can usually sense when something is amiss. I did not with Lewis…I knew he wasn’t himself but did not know what was wrong. Continue to feel bad for that sweet little fellow. Miss him terribly. He was an energetic breath of amazing air racing through the house like his namesake, Lewis Hamilton.

Thanks to one of our readers, ‘EJ’, who wrote to me about their cat and the solution for its arthritis. Calico will get a heated cat bed, but to be fair to the other two, they will get heated beds, too. Indeed, that heating pad will make Calico’s legs feel much better. Thank you, EJ!

Oh, and Little Red is here, too. I can see him perched on the back fence, eating some snow. Fantastic. I always feel better when all the garden animals are accounted for…they made it through another day. With the City cutting down all the diseased Maple trees, the squirrels now have to cross the street using the pavement. They used to be able to go up one tree on one side and down a tree on the other. No longer. Soon, the Crows will lose their nesting tree, and the Woodpeckers will not have any old trees for their nests or to find insects. I do understand about diseases spreading from the trees. I wish there was a solution besides slow-growing replacements. Any ideas?

The best news of the day comes from Cathy Cook and Pam Allan, who filmed one of the sea eaglets on a branch near the Parramatta River! Tears. Just wonderful, joyous tears. What an incredible sight.

And another…

Jackie and Shadow were up early Thursday morning working on their nest. They usually lay their eggs in January and sometimes later. What will happen this year? They are the couple I am cheering for, along with Jak and Audacity. Yes, there is Gabby and V3 – those who did not get to raise eaglets last year. M15 and his new mate…all those with new mates. Send warm, warm wishes to them, but for those who were impacted by DDT and who tried so hard to raise a family like Sauces and Big Bear, my heart goes out to them.

SK Hideaways caught Jackie and Shadow working on Wednesday, too.

M15 stayed in the nest all night again trying to deter the GHOs.

Not sure where M15 is but the GHOs were back at the nest Thursday night.

V3 and Gabby were at the NE Florida nest. My goodness, they are pulling on those sticks! Then it started to rain.

V3 soaking wet protecting the nest he shares with Gabby.

Abby and Blaze were also moving sticks about at Eagle Country. Who is going to be nest after Superbeaks and then Captiva?

At the WRDC nest, a squirrel has its eye on the real estate. Ron doesn’t think that is going to happen!

Eagles working at Duke Farms.

Muhlady and Pepe are wet but they are keeping the two precious eggs set to hatch in three weeks warm and dry in Central Florida.

Some nesting at Decorah.

Cameras at KNF down until Monday so that they might recharge their batteries.

There is a contest on the chat at PLO to guess the gender of Giliath and #2. I am the odd one out of most…to me their behaviour is like the year we had Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie. A little bit of grief at the beginning and then settling down. Clearly the fish fairy has helped keep the ospreys alive – Mum and Dad, too – but I will stick with them both being male and accept lots of egg on my face when it is revealed they are both female! (Or will that change later when they see the osprey with a known female bird like Calypso???). Only DNA is 100%.

Banding will take place either the 5th, 6th, or 7th of December. #2 will get a name and one or both will hopefully get a satellite tracker.

The PLO kids are itchy with those feathers and they are anxiously awaiting breakfast.

10:14. No fish yet. Their legs are getting strong! There was some chatter about the colour of the leg bands. They are not red and blue for gender – the colour will depend on what the bander has in their box and could be different from any previously used. Remember, Falky had a yellow one, Bazza a bright red one, and Ernie’s was a very dark, almost black-green. The colour can peel off, sadly.

Nearing 2pm and no fish deliveries form Dad. The chat says that the fish fairy is on their way. Thank goodness! The chicks are amazingly civil despite hunger. I wonder if Dad has enough fish to give him the energy to go out and look for fish for the family sometimes. It is hard to know precisely what is happening. Is it weather? lack of fish? a combination of both? These are beautiful babies….incredible. They so remind me of the year of Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie. Gentle little souls.

The fish fairy arrived with 5 supplementary fish. Mum took the Red Mullet first! Everyone ate. Dad came and took a fish. He is hungry, too. Fishing for ospreys is a physical feat often requiring 13 or 14 dives (on average according to experts who have closely observed the raptors fishing) to get a single fish. The males require much energy. I am glad to see that Dad got a fish! He requires this to keep up his strength if he is to find food for the family.

Osplet nibbling on fish.

By 15:15 all the fish appear to be gone.

Ah, ‘A’ adds her thoughts on the gender of the osplets: “It’s hard to tell isn’t it? I’ve been saying for ages that from size, it looks like Giliath is a female and Little Bob is a male, but the temperaments are the exact opposite – Little Bob is the pushy one who starts nearly all of the (very limited) bonking that occurs on this nest and Giliath is SO laid back. Therefore, I would not be at all surprised to find that they are both male – Giliath is just older and can fit more food in. I don’t think they take any DNA when they band them, so we’ll still be guessing.”

Here are the times from the observation board. Note that Dad brought in no fish at all yesterday. Again, so thankful for the fish fairy. I think we all can imagine what this nest would be like without the food security of the fairies.

At Orange, feedings are taking place on the roof. This is awesome. That is some feat flying ‘up’ to the ridge! Impressed.

‘A’ sent us the time stamps from Orange: “RECAP 6:46:46 ledge-kangaroos; 8:27:24, 13:02:48 bond; 8:49-9.17 juvie calls; 8.55.21 ledge-adult flyup w/juvie; 16:27:43 D w/pigeon, quickly leaves with the prey. 17:27:06 D returns with a HUGE crop. TOWER: 12:29:31 juvie on roof, 13:18:01 roof walk to adult, 14:58:13, 15:57:23, 16:30:34 prey; 17:08:15 prey and feed. Query if prey at 15:24:49; 18:00:03 ridge walk.” 

How exciting is THAT news? If at least one of the juvies at Orange has the strength to now fly up to the roof of the water tower (it’s Marri on the roof btw), then all they now have to perfect is landing on that small ledge. We may see a juvie back in the scrape within a week. Indigo made it back to the scrape relatively quickly (only about four days, from memory), and Marri sure is a big strong girl who may very well get up there soon. 

Ever get a tingle in your arm from something so wonderful you can barely believe it? Spix Macaws breeding! They are known as the Blue Macaw and they are critically endangered.

“In 1995, conservationists and scientists embarked on a desperate attempt to save the world’s rarest bird, a blue-gray parrot called the Spix’s macaw. The bird had scarcely been spotted since scientists first described it in the early 19th century, and it had taken on an aura of mystery, making it irresistible to parrot lovers—and to poachers. “For well over a century we just had this very, very weak information that there was this kind of mythical, rather beautiful blue bird,” says Nigel Collar, a conservationist at BirdLife International. By the mid-1990s only a single individual remained alive in the wild, close to this dusty, small town in northeastern Brazil.”

Spix’s Macaw” by Tim Green aka atoach is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Deer Hunters in New York are opting for non-lead ammunition.

My son tells me that many fishers are switching to tungsten fishing equipment instead of lead. Yahoo! Everyone switching over helps our wildlife.

Two calls for help in Winnipeg but – both could also apply to your local community! So please ask around. (Remember – clean sheets, old clean towels, bleach, laundry detergent, working tools…..all of these things the wildlife centres appreciate!). Keep this in mind if you are doing spring cleaning (or winter) or clearing someone’s home.

Check your cupboards. Did you buy food that your pet doesn’t like? This is your chance to help someone who cannot afford to get food for their beloved companion. Please help if you can.

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

Thank you to the following for their comments, notes, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, EJ’, Cathy Cook, Pam Allan, FOBBV, SK Hideaways, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, NEFL-AEF, Eagle Country, Duke Farms, Superbeaks, Tulsiducati, Darleen Hawkins, PLO, Penelope Clarke, Openverse, BirdGuides, Science, Cornell Chronicles, and Feed the Furbabies Canada.

All is well in Bird World…Sunday

22 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Skies with clouds ranging from the softest grey down of the newborn osplet to the charcoal-espresso band under its eye graced the skies of southern Manitoba on Saturday. The sun poked itself out to cheer us up on several occasions. It was nippy, and a glance at the neighbourhood had people scurrying to get their plants inside for the winter and last-minute clean-ups on the gardens. Did they not hear? Leave the Leaves!

The songbirds continue to flood the feeders as they migrate through our province. Crossbills today, along with Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos. The Blue Jays might stay all winter along with the House Sparrows. The Crows were flying around, but the greatest number of birds overhead were Ring-billed Gulls late this afternoon.

It is 6 degrees C at 1800. Damp. Cold. Grey. Dreary. I do not know where Hope and Missey are but Calico is cuddled up in a pile of blankets.

The girls have been so tranquil that you do not know they are even about unless one or the other -or all -decide they are ‘starving’. Pleasant isn’t quite the word. Bliss. Is it possible that the pheromone diffuser works this well? There has not been a growl or a hiss or anything uncivilised. Unbelievable. I had so worried about Missey. She was just getting herself sorted after losing her best friend, Lewis, and Calico began being aggressive. It is all over. So happy. Hoping that they might become ‘window buddies’ sometime in the future.

Hope loves cuddling with Mamma. Mamma loves her blank. Apologies for the low quality of the image, but I raced to grab the phone, afraid they would move. Hope has learned how to pose when she sees the camera!!!!!!!!!!!

Sleepy time.

Hope decided she wanted to help write the blog.

The reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle into Scotland was no small feat. One of the primary movers and shakers was John Love, who recently passed away. Here is a guest blog written for Mark Avery by Love in August of 2023 about the project.

What a remarkable man. I met and chat with him many years ago when I was a visiting artist at Hospitalfield near Dundee. Hospitalfield (yes, it is a strange name) was the first art school in the UK. Beautiful Manor House and gardens. It was a joy to be there working on projects related to the environment with other artists from around the world. It was also good to have some free time to meet people who were important to Scotland’s conservation efforts, like John Love.

Roy Dennis has some good podcasts. Check them out if you want to learn about some of the reintroductions in Scotland – including those that John Love worked on.

Guess who woke up hungry at Port Lincoln?

‘A’ reports about the 21st: “At Port Lincoln, there are 10 feedings recorded on the Obs Board, from two fish, starting with a good feeding from yesterday’s leftover fish at 06:34. Dad brought in a fresh fish (medium, headless) at 08:15 and the third (a zebra fish, medium) at 14:17. Giliath ate at all 10 feedings, the younger osplet at eight. I watched a couple of feedings (especially the one from 14:18) and was again impressed at how evenly mum distributed the fish between the two. Both are holding their heads up and eating well. The younger is able to see better and its grabs at the food are more successful. It is also dealing better with the size of the bites, although both osplets generally end up with faces covered in fish. At least they can snack off each other at the end of the feeding!” 

Note-Dad brought in four fish! He is upping his game as the chicks need more food! Here are the feedings.

Heidi caught the breakfast. The chicks were ravenous. A great feeding.

Chicks are hungry!

The feeding times, etc for the first part of Sunday at the PLO barge. We need more fish!!!!!!!!!!! As noted above, Dad brought in 3 more fish. Excellent.

The two osplets at Orange are pondering their big feet and trying to use them to walk around the scrape. Pin feathers are definitely in!

Dr Cilla Kinross, the head researcher on peregrine falcons at Charles Sturt University and principal responsible for the scrape that is currently used by Diamond and Xavier, has a recent paper published on falcon breeding behaviour.

‘A’ sent a link to the interview with Dr Cilla Kinross.

The sea eagles, SE 31 and 32 are flying back and forth from the nest tree to the tree that supports the camera. Adults continue to bring food to the nest for the hungry pair. I am holding my breath.

‘A’ remarks, “At WBSE, both eaglets had a good breakfast, then spent the morning exploring the outermost reaches of the nest tree. At this stage, we cannot see either, so they are either high and/or wide in the nest tree or exploring nearby. We may have to wait until food is delivered to the nest for them to show themselves. Otherwise, we wait for this evening to see who is sleeping in or near the nest. It is a really bad time for the second camera to give up the ghost, as it was extremely useful for seeing those parts of the nest tree we are currently most interested in – its outer reaches.”

What a beauty.

‘A’ puts it right – it is an egg race and who will win. “It is an egg race – the nests and the eagle couples seem ready to go at E-1, E-2 and SWFL. I haven’t watched Superbeaks, but they’re pretty much sorted there as well. I am unsure what the usual egg-laying calendar is like for those particular nests, and I wonder whether the eggs might be laid earlier if temperatures are expected to be high again this summer. I suspect the birds that don’t work that out fairly fast will not raise successful broods in future seasons. Anna and Louis were also working on their nest this morning, with no sign of Anna’s injury. She is landing without difficulty, putting normal weight on the leg and foot, and having no trouble manoeuvring large sticks into position. (Like all eagle females, she is very particular about stick placement). Louis/Anna and Alex/Andria look very healthy, as do their partnerships. These are experienced couples and appear to be progressing smoothly into their breeding season. The same is true at SWFL with M15 and F23. The only concern remains NEFL, where we are waiting with bated breath to see whether V3 will master mating this year. He and Gabby were on the nest today, mid-afternoon, and they are perched together at the lumber yard again tonight. Both look healthy, and their bond appears strong. There is just one more piece of the puzzle to fall into place. Talons crossed.”

M15 is determined to have the highest crib rails in any nest! He is also checking out the nest bowl. It is exciting to see him begin a new life with a new mate. Can’t wait to see these two as parents.

Smitty and Bella were working on the NCTC nest on Saturday. Smitty returns after being away for a day shy of a month. Tears.

Eagle Country is live. Abby and Blazer have returned after Hurricane Ian and they are working on their nest.

Gabby and V3 were up early working on their nest.

In his Saturday Tour at Montenzuma, Wildlife Drive, Sapsucker Woods and the Cornell Campus, Ferris Akel spotted Big Red! So nice to see you, Big Red!

These are the two surviving osplets at Osprey House Environment Centre in Australia. Total juvenile plumage!

The ospreys in Australia are Eastern Ospreys and they do not migrate.

In West Africa, Jean-marie Dupart is counting the UK and European Ospreys that spend their winter in Senegal and The Gambia.

A twenty-six-year-old Red Kite. Sadly the bird was found injured and due to its age, it was euthanised. Gosh, I hope someone doesn’t ‘put me down’ just because I am old and injured!!!!!!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, blogs, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Sassa Bird’, Mark Avery Blog, Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, PLO, Heidi Mc, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Corella, Karen Leng, RNZ, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Se McGregor, Lady Hawk, NCTC, Eagle Country, Ferris Akel, Osprey House EC, Jean-Marie Dupart, and Bird Guides.

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.

Friday in Bird World

6 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Thank you so much for all your good wishes for Lewis. We are taking it all one day at a time. After many consultations with vets (5 this morning), Lewis is on anti-inflammatory pain relief and will be tested for feline FIV on Wednesday. This is a holiday weekend and this is the earliest booking we could get. All decisions will be made based on the results of that test. Feline FIV is like human AIDS. Many feral cats have FIV. Our Humane Society used to test for this at intake but the explosion of pets during Covid – and their subsequent dumping – meant they could not keep up and the lab cost of each test also soared. ‘Feline immunodeficiency virus, or cat FIV, is a retrovirus infection first discovered in cats in the U.S. The virus is often referred to as cat HIV or cat AIDS because it has a similar effect on felines. FIV-positive cats may have the virus in their system for years before showing signs of illness.’ One of the signs is the gums and teeth so we are waiting for testing with Lewis.

One reader’s grandmother advised her never to do anything but to wait…wait until you have all the answers. That is what I am doing. I have found all manner of mobile vet clinics that do specialised care. What a blessing as Lewis was simply overwhelmed with anxiety when he was at the clinic. He is such a sweet boy. To my knowledge, he is only a danger to Hope. Missey is FIV negative and has been vaccinated and so is Calico. Hope cannot have her vaccinations until she is spayed in three weeks. So they are separated and Calico remains separate, too. Lewis and Missey have always been together and she brings him a lot of comfort.

The vet advised that he only have soft food but, I decided, in the end, to put out his favourite hard food, some soft food from a tin, and a lovely bowl of roasted organic chicken for his supper. He ate a little from all the bowls. Poor fella. The girls had some as well. One day at a time. He also had some breakfast. Sadly there is no cure for this disease and sometimes you never see the cat’s activation of the disease til they are much older. Your warm wishes for him are much appreciated.

Lewis and Missey looking out the little window together this evening.

Lewis votes for ‘Wallander’ as one of the best TV shows on BritBox.

The winner of Australia’s Bird of the year for 2023 is –

Looking at the birds. Today brought a single story that just made me so joyful. Tearful.

There are many amazing Ospreys. This is about one amazing female Osprey. She flies more than 4500 km from her nest in Wales to Africa, landing on the same concrete post yearly. Those living in The Gambia wait to see her arrive. What a comfort to know that Llyn Clywedog’s Blue 5F Seren arrived at her winter home safely again this year. It does just bring tears to your eyes. Ten years. A decade.

Migration is the single most perilous event in the lives of the ospreys. Many never make it their first year to a winter abode where they will live, maturing for the next two years. This amazing female – the fantastic mate of Dylan – has been doing this repeatedly. What an amazing bird she is. Let us all hope that her winter home continues to exist amidst much habitat loss for the birds in the region. Send positive wishes that she avoids Avian Flu and returns in April to her nest to raise more amazing chicks. She lost one this year to the goshawk – taken while feeding them. Such a tragedy.

Here is an article form Natural Resources on Seren.

Some information on Osprey migration to remind you of the reasons and perils these magnificent birds (and all other migrating birds) undertake.

The migration map for all species for 5 October in North America.

Checking on the migration status of Karl II and his Black Stork family for 5 October.

Kaia is in Israel!

Last data from Karl II he was in Turkey.

Kalvi is in Bulgaria.

Little Waba is in Romania.

Bonus’s tracker quit transmitting some time ago. His status is unknown.

Please go and vote for names for the two falcons at Orange. This year the choice is from local mammals that live in the area.

Gabby and V3 are thinking about eggs. Moss came in to line the nest bowl today. Looking good in The Hamlet!

The Pritchetts have ended the wait and all the anxiety surround ‘a name’ for M15’s new female. Like him, she has a gender designation and the year she came to the nest. F23.

One of the pair flies away. You can see that in the images 2/3. Going to get more moss!

At Orange, ‘H’ caught Xavier delivering breakfast to his lovely family. These two chicks are doing so well. They are being fed equally, and there are no problems with their size, etc. It is wonderful to see!

At Port Lincoln, Dad has been delivering fish. Here is the daily observations from yesterday.

Imncubation continues at Collins Street.

The Sea Eagles are beautiful. They are growing up too fast, and we should be looking for branching shortly. Too soon they will fledge. Just look at those beauties.

The NZ DOC ranges had their best year ever. 33 chicks Royal Albatross chicks fledged off Taiaroa. Congratulations!

Here is the complete story:

The heating planet and seas will have a direct impact on the ability of our beloved Royal Albatross (and all other sea birds and those that rely on fish from the sea, rivers, and lakes) to survive. What are some scientists saying?

‘As Carbon Brief has pointed out, it makes three main points. The first is that some important clean energy tech – solar energy, electric cars and battery production – is now being rolled out at a record pace, in line with what is needed to reach global net zero emissions by 2050. Under the IEA’s pathway to zero, solar and EVs could provide one-third of the global emissions cuts needed by 2030. This tells us that rapid change is possible. In the case of solar, it suggests that it can leapfrog fossil fuels as a primary energy source in the developing world, if influential countries tailor their support in that direction.’

This could be one of the solutions for our birds – solar power is growing in many industries, including fishing boats. Now, if we could get them to limit their catch, set their lines at night – or even have a 5-year moratorium on any fishing – might the seas recover?

Feeding cats is a problem and I must be much more diligent to ensure that my family of felines only eats sustainable products. I will keep you informed as I work my way through this process of Dolphin Friendly, no bycatch brands. If you have been studying this, please let me know what you have discovered!

From ‘H’ this morning – a wonderful thought to share with all of you.

We know that leaving our gardens for the winter is the best thing we can do for the insects, the animals, and the birds. One of the elders in our province tells us, ‘We don’t cut into Mother Earth with metal blades; we cover her with a blanket and tuck her in for the long sleep.’ Wise words.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘B, H, K’, Birdlife Australia, Jane Dell and UK Osprey Info, Natural Resources Wales, Birdfact, RSPB, SAVE, Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, Sunnie Day, Looduskalender Forum, Donatella Preston, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, Heidi M, PLO, NZ DOC, The Guardian, Holly Parsons, and Sydney Sea Eagle Cam.

Jackie and Shadow are back…Friday in Bird World

29 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you for all your wonderful ‘get well’ notes.

Thursday was worse. I thought things would be better, but the day started much worse. I am doing what the doctor orders – drinking lots of water or tea and sleeping as much as possible. Thankfully, there is not much happening in Bird World. In Winnipeg, the Snow Geese are arriving! The Canada Geese are leaving. The Robins continue to fly through. Migration is going both ways.

The hardest thing about being sick is seeing Calico watching me from the glass door, wanting more stories! Oh, that kitten – she still is a kitten (hard to believe with what she has been through), and she loves to curl up on my lap and listen to a good book. You can tell which ones she likes. It must be the author’s words – she prefers one to another. We have now finished five books in the last month. Today marks a month and three days that Calico has lived in the house. On 2 October, Hope will have been with us for a month. She listens to the stories but prefers to play. It is lovely. Cannot imagine life without the four of them, 16 legs and how many bags of litter a month? And I’m not too fond of cat food. It is just too funny. Hope loves sardines. One good thing about having Covid is I cannot smell them.

It rained, and the wind was blowing leaves everywhere. The Blue Jays were in the garden along with Dyson and Little Red. Hope and Calico spend time atop their ‘tent’ enclosure. Hope enjoys looking at what is happening outside. Missey and Calico have a truce, and there is no more animosity at the glass door. Even Lewis has calmed down. As soon as I am up to it, they will all be inside the main part of the house together.

‘L’ asked me how I taught Hope to do the High 5s. I didn’t. She taught me!

Hope’s eyes remind me of Missey’s!

Hope is so healthy. Look at those fat little legs. Calico still lets her nurse. You might be able to tell, but dear Calico is putting on a little weight. She no longer looks starving and sunken in with her bones being the most significant thing you first see.

Lewis is a big boy. He doesn’t know it, but he will get a new toy – a reward – if he can be gentle when Calico enters the living area with Hope in a few days.

No more growling or hissing at the door between Calico, Missey, or Lewis. It is lovely.

Calico is a gentle soul. I cannot imagine anyone dumping this wonderful kitten in the cold of winter.

Hope, Calico, Missey and Lewis have decided that instead of making pumpkin pie with our little pumpkin, we will put peanut butter in holes and leave it out for the squirrels. Want to join us? You could do this with your children or you could do it after you have your Halloween pumpkin. Just load up a bunch of holes with peanut butter!

I have been so sick or busy that I missed it. Voting time for The Guardian’s favourite Australian Bird. The Peregrine Falcon is in 8th place so far. Check it out; pick your favourite. You can vote every day! You do not have to be Australia, but there are funds to help with conservation, so please go and vote.

This will just warm your hearts. SE31 and 32 join in the morning duet with Mum and Dad. Oh, I used to love to sit and watch SE26. 26 loved to sing the duet. It was so beautiful.

Watching these two and this beautiful family is so bitter sweet. I wish there was so solution to the Currawongs.

They are becoming very interested in what is happening outside the nest.

It doesn’t get much sicker than this. The migrating birds are not protected in places like Malta because of politics. So, vote with your wallet. Refuse to travel to countries where there are laws to protect migrating birds and those laws are flippantly disobeyed by the hunters. Malta. Lebanon. There are others but those are on the top of my list today.

I wept for my friends in Latvia. They work so hard to try and build the small numbers of birds in their country to something significant, and then to have that beautiful fledgling of this year blown out of the sky for no reason other than someone could aim a gun and pull a trigger for fun. It makes my blood boil.

The end of the season at the Royal Albatross Colony as only 4 are left to take off to the skies and the open sea. Cornell did a short you tube video on what you can expect for September-October.

The Snow Geese might be flying over Minnesota to get to Canada and further north but Dad is still at the Landscape Arboretum in Minnesota bringing fish to Lil’ Arb.

Look who was home today! Jackie and Shadow. What a delight to see these two working on their nest together. It is such a relief to see mated pairs return together to their nests uninjured.

Cali Condor has it in a video.

At the Pritchett Farm, M15 and the new female continue to bond and work on their nest. The season looks promising. Please send out positive energy so that these two can start their lives together in peace.

Things continue to ‘feel’ unsettled at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. There have been visitors to the Northeast Bald Eagle nest. Unconfirmed. V3 did not visit the nest on Thursday. Gabby was briefly there. Unknown was on the nest later.

Gabby is not happy. Has your heart dropped down to your ankles yet? Will this be a repeat of 2022?

We all love the underdogs that survive, and Flaco is one of those. This Eurasian Owl escaped from its cage at the Central Park Zoo and is now enjoying a life of freedom. Bruce Yolton follows him for us daily as he finds food and survives in the wilds of New York City! Bruce has recently posted some good (and short) videos about Flake’s activities. I hope you are enjoying them.

New York City has hired specialists to help deal with its rat problem, especially since the pandemic. The worry has been the use of rodenticides. We must all remember that Raptors are the solution – the answer to problems with rats and mice. Falco loves this great big rat (it looks like that to me because of the tail).

Well, we are nearly there. It can take as long as 72 hours from a the sighting of the first pip (little chip in the egg) to the eyas being fully hatched. All eyes are on Orange!

At Port Lincoln, Mum gets off the eggs, very excited. Dad2 is flying in with the second fish of the morning – a headless offering which will give Mum a nice round crop. We get a good look at the eggs!

I am holding my breath. This nest has broken our hearts more than once. Will there be a change with the new lad? Will he be a sufficient provider for all the chicks to survive? We wait.

For those new to watching Ospreys develop, the Manitoba Osprey Project put together an informative and concise sheet on what to expect. It will help you as you watch these adorable little dinosaurs. You can click on any of the tabs for the Montana file below to find out other information.

Remember. The Port Lincoln Ospreys are Eastern Ospreys. The Montana Ospreys are Western. Eastern Ospreys do not migrate. Western Ospreys do (for the most part – exceptions are in the warmer climates of the southern US). Western Ospreys vary in their dates for fledging, but many studies indicate a date of 52.8 days after hatch (51-54 days). The average fledge date in Australia is 69 days (Kangaroo Island studies).

Mum looks pretty comfortable at 367 Collins Street. It is nearing noon on Thursday, and she does not seem heat-stressed. This is good. We should be able to enjoy the Orange hatchlings for a bit before focusing on the white fluff balls hatching on this ledge high over the CBD in Melbourne.

Last, let us check on the status of migration for Karl II and his family. This year’s fledgling, Kalvi, is in Bulgaria on the 28th.

Waba (2022 fledgling) is in Romania fishing at the Danube River.

Karl II is in Turkey!

Kaia is also in Turkey!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please keep your eyes on the scrape of Diamond and Xavier at Orange! Pip watch is soon. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their notes, articles, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘Geemeff’, The Guardian, SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Malta, Cornell Bird Lab, MN Landscape Arboretum, Cali Condor and FOBBV, FOBBV, Saunders Real Life Photography, NEFL-AEF, Bruce Yolton, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, University of Montana, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and the Looduskalender Forum.

Mini visits nest…Who would shoot a condor…Tuesday in Bird World

25 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

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.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Flying California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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.

‘H’ just located Victor Hurley’s hour presentation on Peregrine Falcons in Victoria Australia. You can start and stop the presentation!

One of the translocated birds from Norway to Ireland has made it to Morocco on their migration!

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.

PLO has their first egg…Wednesday in Bird World

6 September 2023

Good Morning and what a grand morning it is!

I finished reading to the kittens – yes, did you know that reading aloud to your pets is also soothing for them? Calico’s kitten is now learning about ways to save our vanishing birds by listening to A Wing and a Prayer. The Race to Save our Vanishing Birds by Anders and Beverly Gyllenhaal. You can find time to squeeze in a good book by sharing with your pets!

The book is well written and insightful. I am learning so much. Did you know that more than 8,000 species of plants and flowers in the Americas depend on hummingbirds for pollination? Or that productivity in apple orchards goes up 66% if there are insects? The book is about finding ways to keep the birds alive because human life depends on that. In Kauai, there are only a few hundred Puaiohi Thrushes. These birds spread seeds around the island, creating the rainforest. “Without forests, we have no flood control. We have no drinking water.” (219) Baby Cal is learning what we all need to – first, how important our wildlife area to our existence, what problems we have created for them, what a lack of balance means to our existence and theirs, and how some talented individuals are figuring out ways to save some of these fragile creatures. So how will they save the Puaiohi Thrush? By releasing lab-bred mosquitoes. AI is being used in the Sierra Nevada to track and protect the Spotted Owl.

I had just finished a chapter when I noticed a note from ‘H’. Was I surprised? Then another note about Collins Street. Thanks so much, ‘H’

Port Lincoln has their first egg!!!!!!!! I am overjoyed and I am hopeful that we might see a big change in the behaviour of this nest unless, of course, the fish supply is limited. From Ernie’s recent catches that does not appear to be the case.

I am so happy for Mum. Nesting material had been brought in so this new couple had some idea that yesterday was the big day.

Dad was there by her side. I am going to like this guy if he is a good provider and there is no siblicide.

We are expecting an egg at 367 Collins Street and guess what? It arrives. We have lift-off in Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spotting Ospreys: Blue 550 hatched at Llyn Clywedog in 2020 was seen and is believed to have a nest in mid-Wales. Fantastic.

Migration continues in the US. These are the latest numbers from Hawk Mountain.

Checking on some of the Osprey nests – who is home and who is not.

Patchogue: Mini is home and Dad has been seen down by the lake. Someone mentioned that Mom might still be around as several Ospreys were seen flying. Mini continues to adapt as she struggles with that left leg – often late in the day. She certainly does better after having a long rest on the nest! She is flying, she is eating – whether or not it is dad feeding her, Mini catching fish or both – she is eating. She is not lethargic. Mini is doing what this spunky independent determined fourth hatch always does – she gets on with it. She is living her life as a fledgling osprey the best she can with the issues that she has.

Mini landing at 1909.

Beautiful Iris is still home at her nest in Missoula Montana. Iris maintains one of the most splendid Osprey nests I have ever seen. Just like some of the others she is adding a few sticks to continue to lay claim to the nest. Soon, she will fly south – thought to be the oldest osprey in the world – we live in the hope that she will return in late March or early April and maybe, just maybe, have one of those young men waiting for her that she met this summer.

Iris demonstrated her great fishing skills even when there were flood waters. What marvellous fish she brought to the owl pole. The result, if you look carefully, is a fat little bottom. Eat up, Iris! We want you to make it to your winter home in southern Texas (??) safely and in good shape.

Of course, Iris is not ringed and no one knows for sure where she over winters but it is believed it could be the southern part of Texas and not further afield in Central America or Mexico.

Glaslyn: Aran is still home and so is 0H1 as of the time of this writing. OH1 is 98 days old. OH2 has not been seen since 4 September when he was 95 days old. That nest looks rather empty! Waiting to see if OH1 is still home on the 6th of September.

Harry is still delivering to Chirpy as of Tuesday. Chirpy was 103 days old. Both siblings and Mum have left on migration from Alyth.

Here comes Harry!

That amazing Dad is bringing fish to Mum on the nest at Boulder County Fairgrounds. What a loving couple and what better way to help your mate with a safe migration than to help her eat well after raising three strong osplets this season to fledge.

Snap and Crackle are both eating fish at the Dunrovin Osprey nest. T hanks, Swoop!

Fledgling fish calling at Collins Marsh – and still being fed! It was a really windy day in Wisconsin. You can’t tell the trees are blowing but look at the feathers of the juvenile. Fantastic.

‘H’ brings us up to date on Molly and Dorsett:

Kent Island 9/5 – Molly flew to the nest at 0625, fish-called a bit, then she flew away 20 minutes later.  That was the last time she was seen at the nest.  She was soon spotted on a nearby boat lift.  In the evening, the cam focused for a long time on an osprey in the distance on a pole, but it was unclear if it was Molly.

Barnegat Light 9/5 – At 0735 Duke delivered a fish to Dorsett at the nest, and she flew to Duke’s perch to eat her breakfast.  Dorsett did return to the nest a couple of times, but sightings of her were scant throughout the day.  Dorsett arrived back at the nest early to wait for her much anticipated 7 p.m. dinner fish, but her dinner never arrived.  As the sun was setting over the bay, Dorsett resigned herself to going to sleep hungry, and she spent the night perched on one of the camera braces.

Do you live near Cornell University at Ithaca NY? Have children aged 8-18? Check this out! What an amazing opportunity for young people. In the book, Lead! Finding your Voice a Chaotic World by Barry Dore, Tim Mackrill, talks about the opportunities he had as a young person to volunteer and learn about raptors. It changed his life and led him to create opportunities for young people through his charity Osprey Leadership Foundation.

This event at Cornell is another super opportunity to get young people involved who might become our future conservationists.

The seat eaglets were up for an early morning walk about and then back to the duckling resting position waiting for breakfast.

‘A’ comments on part of the day including the self-feeding of 31: “

At 15:38, as Lady is looking around in a very agitated manner at something near the nest tree, at about the same height as the nest, SE32 starts eating the food she has in her talons. He is giving this self-feeding thing a try, having closely watched his sister eating prey that looked the same as this (he was just TOO TOO funny – ducking down with his head under her tail to peer between her legs and watch her doing very well indeed at her first self-feeding). 

SE32 pecks at the food a few times but all he can reach is a leg, and no matter how many times he picks it up, he cannot work out how to eat it. So he moves closer. SE31 is paying close attention to this – she has reached out for the food once or twice herself but is not in as good a position now as SE32 is. Lady is very upset by something and paying no attention to the food or the chicks. SE32 has moved further forward. He is up on his feet now, self-feeding on the meaty bit. Lady resuming feeding him, even though she continues to be distracted by something. SE32 remains right up on his feet while he takes the bites. 

Shortly before 15:40 Lady resumes feeding SE31. SE32 turns and moves away from SE31 a little but then turns back to face the table and Lady. He just wanted space between himself and his sister. But he gets offered no bites. At 15:41:24 he tries unsuccessfully to steal a big bite, but overbalances and falls forward, correcting himself with his outstretched wings. Lady still feeds SE31. At 15:41:30, he tries to steal another bite. Again, he fails. The next bite, he grabs incredibly fast. No-one else had a chance. He got given the one after that, then his sister gets a bite. The one after that is a big piece and destined for SE32. He grabs it and works hard to swallow it. 

Lady is still very distracted. Periodically, she gives SE32 a bite. Both eaglets have good crops now. At 15:42:34, SE32 grabs a really big piece. He swallows it with relative ease, as Lady doesn’t even bother trying to retrieve it from him. There is still an amazing amount of meat on this carcass. The two have eaten well. Both have good crops but both are still keen to keep eating. SE32 is very brave, diving for every bite and winning most of them, especially all of the really big pieces. Lady occasionally gives a bite to SE31, but she is not competing with SE32 and is largely just watching him grab and swallow. 

At 15:44, SE32 grabs a large piece of meaty flesh with a longish leg and a foot attached!! He horked the lot with no trouble at all. By 15:44:30 he is back competing for and winning bites. Lady is feeding both eaglets plenty of food but overall, SE32 is getting the better of the feeding at this point. He is winning most of the bites that are competed for and Lady is offering him way more bites than she is SE31, who is sitting back a bit by now. 

At 15:46, SE32 swallows the second leg and foot, also with flesh attached, though not as much as was attached to the first leg. Still, he swallows it without difficulty. Within 10 seconds, he is taking the last few bites from Lady and cleaning the table of leftovers. The feeding is over by 15:48. Both chicks have very large crops, and SE32 has already done a couple of small crop drops during the feeding to fit in extra food. That second piece of prey had a really large amount of flesh on it. The head was gone, but the body provided a great deal of food. Both eaglets have had plenty to eat today. 

There may be more food – I will check. But they did well for the day – eventually – and both will go to bed with full crops. “