12 November 2023
Good Morning Everyone!
Damp, coldish, grey day on the Canadian Prairies. The temperature has warmed up and will be a balmy +7 C on Tuesday, they tell us. It felt like the chill went down to the bone today, however.
The Starlings were particularly beautiful today. Look at their chest. It looks like a lovely handmade sweater with white stitching. The emerald green feathers with that lovely straw-coloured tip looks like an upside down candle in places (notice it is yellow and then a touch of white at the very end)…and then on the wings it tapers into a teal blue. The yellow beaks during breeding season have now turned to black while the head and nape sport silver and gold plumage over black. I would think the designers in Paris should take inspiration from this bird’s plumage in their new couture designs.
In an effort to keep up with the walking – despite the snow, ice, and a brisk little wind – I headed off to the English gardens. There were White-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays calling in the pines, and Black-capped Chickadees flitting about. It wasn’t the most pleasant of days, but I did take an image of one of the sculptures in the Leo Mol Sculpture Park that I wanted to share with you.
The information provided by our City on the sculptor is as follows: “Leo Mol (Leonid Molodoshanin) was born in 1915 in Polonne, Ukraine. He studied in the Leningrad Academy of Arts, Kunst Academy in Berlin, Germany, and the Academy of Arts in The Hague, Netherlands. In 1948, he made his home in Canada. He passed away in 2009, after receiving multiple honorary degrees and being inducted into the Order of Canada.Mol created his sculptures using the Lost Wax method. In this process, clay is modeled on a rebar and wood structure then covered in liquid rubber to form a mold. Plaster is layered over the mold, creating a cast. The cast and mold are separated from the model and melted beeswax is pressed into the rubber mold. A cement mixture is then poured inside the wax layer. After the cement hardens the molds are removed, leaving a wax model with a solid cement core.”
The plaque below commemorates the 50th anniversary of the repeal of the Act in May 1947. Mol created it in 1997. It features images related to the Chinese who worked to open up the Canadian West while working for CP Rail.
Parks Canada states, “In the early 1880’s contractor Andrew Onderdonk brought thousands of labourers from China to help build the Pacific Railway through the mountains of British Columbia. About three-quarters of the men who worked on the section between the Pacific and Craigellachie were Chinese. Although considered excellent workers, they received only a dollar a day, half the pay of a white worker. Hundreds of Chinese died from accidents or illness, for the work was dangerous and living conditions poor. Those who remained in Canada when the railway was completed securely established the basis of British Columbia’s Chinese community.”
The Asian Heritage Society provides more information on the history of the Chinese workers and the discrimination that they faced.
The kittens are so smart. They curl up in their own little spots and sleep the cold afternoon away. It does so seem that they have their ‘spot’. Hope has completely taken over Missey’s basket. Calico prefers to sleep on the hard seat of a Danish chair, and Missey prefers to the highest spot on a wicker. If I am looking for them and the house is quiet – that is where they will be.
My beautiful, sleepy heads.
Then there was bird video time.
Hope has already figured out that she is too cute for words. She has me totally wrapped around her paw. She is 4 months and 9 days old.
Saturday night Missey and Hope ran from one end of the house to the other and back again…what incredible energy they have!
The big news is – Connie has laid the first egg of the 2023 season in the nest she shares with partner, Clive, at Captiva. Congratulations!
Well, that was a surprise. The time was around 13:43ish. Wasn’t expecting this! Wonder who will be next? Many are hoping it will be M15 and F23 to stop any thoughts by the GHOs.
You asked about Valor II. This is the latest news that I have seen. His eye looks worse to me. Send your best wishes out to Valor II and the team trying to get him so that he can go into care.
Skipping now to the two main nests we are watching – Orange and Port Lincoln…
Diamond and Xavier have been busy bringing in prey to the scrape as well as trying to feed the babies and Diamond slept on the ledge night before last. She knows that her two beautiful babies will fly soon. Why bring the prey to the nest? To get them to remember to fly to the scrape for food! It is a no brainer…let us see if they do. Izzi certainly did!
In Richard Sale’s book, Falcons, there is not much information about fledging but he does say, “Even when they have begun to fly the young Peregrines stay close to the nest site at first, often roosting with siblings (and occasionally with adults if roosting spots are few), but eventually choosing their own roosts. The fledglings are also fed close to the nest site by the adults, though the latter begin to teach the rudiments of prey capture by making food transfers I mid-air, the youngsters catching dropped prey or taking it from the adult’s talons. Prey dropping seems to occur too frequently to be a chance event… (170-71).
On Sunday, the adults spent much more time in the scrape with their chicks than they have done in recent memory.
Here is the day in video.
These are two of the most patient – sweet – osplets I have ever seen. They deserve a gold medal for waiting for the fish to arrive without tearing into one another.
No fish yet.
Heidi Mc got that feeding on video.
There is news of Sydney Sea Eagles. Thanks, ‘A’. “November 12: Both parents and a juvenile were sighted 9.45 this morning in the same area roughly opposite the weir. Ground crew assumed food was brought in to the ground, with lots of squeeing. The juvenile flew down to the ground where the parent went, then all was quiet. Observer was unable to see where they landed or what the prey was. Later during the day, there were no more sightings reported. The picture shows an adult in the mangroves across the river, which is quite wide there. The shadows under the mangroves make it very hard to see a juvenile or confirm which it is. Then around 5:30pm, a parent and juvenile were seen there again, before the young one flew back into the mangroves.” ‘A’ continues, “Doesn’t that just make your heart sing? Oh it must be a wonderful experience for Lady, who dotes on her eaglets. This must be thrilling for them. Every day that passes is another day of flying experience and the chance to learn how to fish for those monster eels mum always seems able to find (Dad rarely brings one in, but Lady must have a secret eel pond somewhere in those mangroves). And every day, they get more adept and confident at dealing with those bloody currawongs. It will be the hottest summer in 100,000 years, they are saying, and a deadly bushfire season. We can only hope the areas along the coastal rivers are spared. South Australia will see temperatures of up to 50C (no, not a typo) up in those central areas, which are largely just miles of desert in all directions, with the occasional stream or river, though they are drying up.”
Superbeaks. Today we are 25 days from hatch watch.
Gabby and V3 seemed to miss one another on Saturday. V3 came with a turtle…was it a gift and Gabby missed it?
Anna visits the E1 nest in the Kistachie National Forest.
Alex and Andria were together on the E-3 nest.
An eagle around the Decorah North nest on Saturday.
An adult in the trees near the Dulles-Greenway nest on Saturday.
Jackie and Shadow were at their nest on Saturday, too. Everyone who writes to me wants this couple and Jak and Audacity to have chicks this year. So send out all the positive energy. Both of the areas are plagued by the residue of the DDT that was sprayed in the 1940s.
Beautiful eagle at Centreport!
As you are aware, the GHOs have been exchanging food gifts in the same nest as M15 and F23. The GHO has come in and knocked F23 off the branch Saturday evening. It appears that F23 might be favouring her right leg. Let us hope not. This situation could get quite tense. There have been many territorial and nest disputes between Eagles and GHOs over the years.
Is there an alternative eagle nest on the Pritchett Property? Does anyone know?
M15 on the branch above the nest protecting his lady.
They have now discovered what we know – that the GHOs have been coming to the nest they have been preparing for their eaglets. Send positive wishes. Please.
F23 in the nest. Hoping she is alright.
Were you aware that there are this many species of Crow?
I wonder if Murphy will start incubating a rock this year or if one year as a parent was enough? Parenting is stressful. We wait.
It is not about our feathered friends but the quality of the water ways and the amount of fish or lack thereof will certainly impact their lives.
‘R’ sent me a wonderful podcast on raking leaves. I will post the link. I always learn something and if you have a big lawn with a heavy cover of leaves, you do not want to leave them on the lawn. Rake them to the side. If you have large Oak or Magnolia leaves that do not decompose, move them to the side. Leaves are wonderful for covering up flower beds for the winter. They decompose over the winter and will provide you with lovely mulch. When to rake and not…
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, photographs, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H, R’, Parks Canada, Asian Heritage Society, Window to Wildlife, Dennis Becht, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SK Hideaways, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Heidi Mc, Superbeaks, NEFL-AEF, KNF E1, KNF E3, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam, FOBBV, Mike J Dakar, World Bird Sanctuary, SW Florida Eagle Cam, and The Guardian.