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

11 September 2023

Good Morning to all of you,

Sunday started off cool, and it warmed up but the day was mostly cloudy. So, to me, it felt cooler looking out than it actually was. Small raindrops have just started falling late in the evening. The Blue Jays are still coming to the garden for water and seeds as are the Sparrows. Migration is in full swing, and only time will tell if the Blue Jay family is staying for the winter or will leave for part or all of it. The six Crows in the Crow family are still here- they will probably remain all winter just like the Chickadees. Canada Geese continue to fly overhead as are the Pelicans – all of them leaving for parts warmer and in the South.

Audubon has a wonderful tool to learn about migration. Migration is remarkable and now that the birds are leaving I am already longing for their return next spring. Nature continues on despite all that is thrown at it.

Today was the day Hope came out of her shell. Geemeff suggested a feather teaser toy. Little Hope loves to play and right away she was in the middle of everything. I got a small stroke on her head! This kitten has the sweetest face. One miracle for the day. Next play time I will try to grab her with Geemeff’s instructions firmly in mind to let her loose so she isn’t frightened – and knows she can get away. Fingers crossed. Calico goes in for her surgery on Tuesday and I hope to have this little one all friendly by then.

Calico is very protective of Hope. While she weants to return to the main part of the house I have left the door open and Calico will not leave without the baby who remains, at this time, hesitant.

Little Mini-me. I continue to marvel at the miracle – the moment is so clear – when I looked out and saw this wee kitten eating at the feeding station. It was beyond my hope that these two would be reunited. No wonder Calico doesn’t want her out of her sight.

Lewis and Missey are much more used to the ‘smell of Calico and the presence of Hope – through glass. They are all fed at the same time and there has been lots of tasty meals to cement the idea that Calico and Hope bring ‘good things’ not bad ones! Constant companions. Constant washing and playing. Lewis and Missey are both now a year old.

Let’s start off with something fun – the season highlights from Loch Arkaig! Louis, Dorcha, Ludo and various visitors delighted us day in and day out throughout the 2023 breeding season in Scotland.

News has just come in from ‘H’ that there are now four eggs at Melbourne! Oh, little M22 has going to have his work cut out getting those big eggs under for incubation! Egg #4 laid at 07:48:52.

‘A’ gives us a prey update: “At about 09:09:48 M22 lands on the ledge with a small bird, calling F22 as he arrives. For a couple of minutes prior to this, we have watched small feathers floating up, from where M22 is obviously preparing the prey at a lower level. He chups and waits. When F22 does not appear, he plucks the bird a little more, then heads with it, still chupping, up to the scrape. He seems to want to feed his eggs! He plucks the bird a little more, and at 09:11:30 flies off with the prey, presumably to leave it in one of their stash spots for mum to retrieve. Dad returns to incubate at 09:13:39. He has a little difficulty settling down on four eggs but he manages. This pair is adorable.”

I went to check and Mum is home. No fear! After last year I worry all the time about this nest.

Liznm caught that fourth egg being laid at Melbourne for us.

Mini has not been seen at the nest since the morning of Saturday 9 September. Mum has appeared a few times (or it is believed to be Mum). I have an inbox full of concerned letters wanting help for Mini but, in truth, we do not know if Mini needs help. Wildlife rehab clinics do not have the resources to search Patchogue for Mini. Indeed, every clinic that I know relies heavily on volunteers. If someone were to find Mini and get her to a clinic – if that clinic knows her story and any in the area should – they would recognise her. But, for now, we only know that Mini is not coming to the nest. Dad has been seen on the antennae by the lake where he fishes and Mum might or might not have come to the nest once or twice. That would be typical osprey behaviour before departing for migration. The fact that Mini has not come to the nest does not mean she is grounded, nor is she dying and starving. The absence of evidence is not evidence.

The only thing that could be done at this point is for a local search party to comb the area for Mini. That is a huge task but it would be worth it just to check and for everyone to know that she is not grounded.

Five fish were delivered to the Sandpoint Osprey Platform today. Coco was deliriously full of fish dinners!

‘H’ sends her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:

Kent Island – The fledgling, Molly, has not been seen for almost six days.  Audrey spent the night of 9/10 on the nest, and she flew off at 0630.  She was not seen on camera for the rest of the day, until she landed on the nest just before 10 pm.  Audrey spent the night of 9/11 at the nest.  Tom was not seen on camera on 9/10.

Barnegat Light – There was frequent and prolonged buffering of the live stream on 9/10.  But, we were able to observe a fish delivery from Duke to Dorsett at 0725, and we saw Dorsett on the nest with a partial fish at 1828.

Thanks, H’!

‘A’ sends her down under report from down under – thanks A:

Sydney Sea Eagles: “It is now nearly 12:30 and Lady and Dad have spent this morning bringing in more and more nesting material .Check out how much fresh greenery there is on that nest. And that’s not counting the two gigantic branches (one at the front, one at the back) that have been brought in and carefully arranged so far this morning. It is phenomenal. They are doing a total spruce-up and a little renovating – it is a DIY fest up there this morning. The eaglets, of course, would prefer some breakfast, but I think the parents are bringing in the extra cot rails for the reason discussed yesterday (two much more mobile chicks now up off their tarsi and motoring around that nest) and all the fresh greenery and talonfuls of dry leaf material are being brought in because of the day of rain they had there over the weekend (or was it Friday). Anyway, they’re freshening up and drying out the nest. They have both been aerating today and yesterday. So I’m pretty sure that’s the reason for this sudden obsession with bringing in nest materials. 

Hopefully, there will be some food soon, though I have reached a level of confidence about this nest that leaves me unconcerned about major problems even if food is late and/or short today. Obviously, we would prefer them to get two good meals a day but they do need to learn that life in the wild is not all home-delivered meals at the drop of a twig. So either way, I am sure all will work out fine and lunch will come soon.”

Xavier and Diamond: The intruder is still causing issues for the couple. Diamond had to leave the scrape to defend the territory. This is not a good thing.

Port Lincoln: Dad was on the nest with Mum. Oh, I hope these two only have two eggs!!!!!!!

Dad2 doing incubation duties. The chat group notes that the eggs were not incubated for 41 minutes which should not be an issue.

But ‘H’ has just sent me a giggle: Is this Dad 1 or is it Dad2? Fran Solly and Bazza are starting to think it is Dad1?!

‘A’ is missing our little prince and he isn’t gone yet! She writes, “

Omigod, talk about heart in my mouth. I checked the albatross cam and not only was Manaaki’s nest empty but the camera was giving us the view of the bay from his nest. For a moment there, I thought he had fledged. Then, I saw a little flash of white far down on the hillside and sure enough, up he came. He had had a practice flight down the hill and had to walk a lolng way back up. The wind has really picked up this afternoon (it is now nearly 4pm) and it is hovering and flapping time. Scary. Every time I watch this, I wonder if it is going to be the last time, as it was that day I watched QT in the storm. Sudden. And possibly permanent. Stay with us just a little longer sweet boy. Another week to get rid of that remaining fluff. Just one more week. 

Manaaki was fed about three hours ago (13:23). We think the parent had come in earlier and that this was the second feeding today. The weather really changed three or four hours ago. The rain started teeming down and the wind really picked up. It sounds like a gale on the tab now. We believe that in all the excitement this has caused, it is possible that Quarry has fledged. UQ has been hovering a lot this afternoon, and although he is still obviously carrying too much down and has not yet perfected his flying technique (paddles are still hanging down and he hasn’t worked out how to hold them up yet), there is a fear among chatters that he will leave today. If he does, there is the danger he will ditch in the bay and become waterlogged. I’m sure they keep a close eye out for chicks that do that – I have heard talk of them being rescued for a second fledge attempt. So we watch, we wait. The wind is encouraging all the chicks, but hopefully, Manaaki’s feedings today will keep him at home a little longer. As I type, both Manaaki and UQ are still at home, Manaaki on his nest and UQ a little downhill from Manaaki (where he has been for most of the day, rather than on his nest higher up the hill – he likes Manaaki).”

At SWFlorida, home to M15 and his new mate, bonding is happening! We have a fish offering.

In the letterbox: A few letters have arrived since the posting of the death of two of the fledglings – Stormy and Simba – from Big Bear Valley in previous years. It is hoped that FOBBV might be able to find out what happened to the two siblings. Readers have expressed concern over the deaths of the eaglets and the many non viable years for our beloved Jackie and Shadow. Every year we struggle with them and, of course, it was such a delight when Spirit fledged. The difficulties that Jackie and Shadow face in terms of eggshell hardness and viability of offspring in the nest might be directly related to the historical DDT that was intensely sprayed on Big Bear Lake. Of course we are aware of the issues in the Channel Islands.

The heartache that we feel for these two Bald Eagles and they are much loved by thousands and thousands, is directly due to human causes.

From a previous blog ‘Why Do Some Eagles Have Wing Bands’: “

It all goes back to DDT and the near extinction of the Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and other birds from the United States. Sea life has been impacted and so have humans. After World War II DDT was used to eradicate for mosquitoes in the US. Various areas received high amounts of this toxin. It wasn’t just the spraying but also the illegal dumping of hundreds of thousands of tonnes that has caused harm. Indeed, the waters off Catalina Island, for one, became a dumping ground for DDT. 

In 2020, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times about the finding of the rusting barrels of toxins leaking near Catalina Island. (The scientists were looking for methane). The author says, “As many as half a million of these barrels could still be underwater right now, according to interviews and a Times review of historical records, manifests and undigitized research. From 1947 to 1982, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful that it poisoned birds and fish — was based in Los Angeles.”

“DDT is so stable it can take generations to break down. It doesn’t really dissolve in water but stores easily in fat. Compounding these problems is what scientists today call “biomagnification”: the toxin accumulating in the tissues of animals in greater and greater concentrations as it moves up the food chain.” The birds at the top of the food chain, often referred to as the canaries in the coal mine are the Ospreys who eat the fish and the Bald Eagles.

This is a fantastic read. I urge you to take the time so that when you hear about the impacts of DDT you will understand the history and the harm.

In 1980, there was a reintroduction programme of Bald Eagles into the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Even until 2001, the eggs were removed and fostered and the chicks banded. Between 1980-86, 33 Bald Eagles were released on Santa Catalina. These birds grew to adulthood even breeding but due to the DDE levels, the eggshell thickness was still compromised. You might recall that Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear have problems with thin eggshells today. Big Bear Lake was heavily sprayed with DDT and it is residual in the soil. The tagging program can be seen with the tags on Thunder and Akacheta. Their chicks, should they hatch and survive, will be banded as part of the continuing study.–t11469.html

From the findings of scientists now, the number of barrels of DDT in the waters of this area rusting and leaking are growing. In April of 2021, more were found.

For those who would like to go back to the 1970s when the alarms were being sounded by various individuals including Rachel Carson, a good read is The Silent Spring. I would hope that most local libraries would have copies. As you can see, the storage and long life of DDT and the fact that it does not break down in water, is a continuing concern for all the wildlife and humans around the Santa Catalina Island which is now controlled by the US Navy.

There continue to be warnings about humans eating the fish from Big Bear Lake:

A long report by the US Department of the Interior on DDT and its impact on fish and wildlife.

A group of concerned individuals is working towards a united presentation to see what can be done about the proposed battery storage facility at SSEN Alyth where Ospreys Harry and Flora have their nest. This is one of the revised plans for the site that shows the battery storage right up to the nest.

This is very discouraging. Flora has left the nest on previous occasions when there were disturbances.

Sue Wallbanks posted this article. It is a good read for anyone who wants to understand how disturbances can cause issues at raptor nests.

The beautiful Black Eaglet had breakfast compliments of Dad. Lady Hawk comments: “The Selati eaglet has another good day of eating compliments of Dad bring in a Rock Hyrax! The eaglet is enjoying the morning sunlight and spreads out its wings as it lies on the nest sunning itself (and keeping cool) 🙂 Mom flies in right after Dad but the eaglet claims the prey and mantles it and will self feed on it for quite some time. Finally Mom takes over and finishes up the feeding and the eaglet gets to swallow the pelt down. i did edit out a lot of the feeding since it went on for so long. Great job! Mom will then fly off leaving a very contented chick.”

These Black Eagles live in the Slate Game Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. Their proper name is the Verreaux Eagle. Only one of two eggs hatched at this nest in 2023. This is the time line, and we expect this eaglet to hatch in less than 3 weeks.

  • First egg laid on 15 May 2023 🥚
  • Second egg laid on 19 May 2023 🥚🥚
  • Egg cracked by parent on 6 June 2023 ✖️
  • Chick hatched 29/30 June 2023 🐣
  • Fledgling flight expected from around end September 2023

Verreaux’s eagle is one of the larger eagles of Africa. It measures 75 to 96 cm (30 to 38 in) long with an average weight of 4.19 kg or 9.2 lb. Its wingspan is 1.81 to 2.3 m (5 ft 11 in to 7 ft 7 in). The Verreaux Eagles like others has reverse bisexual morphism – the female is larger than the male. The adults are the most gorgeous slate grey but some are the deepest ebony. Their cere is a remarkable yellow when they are healthy. There is also white plumage which is a great contrast and causes the birds in flight to stand out. That white is on their back, their rump and the upper-tail coverts as well as part of the scapular. The white can only be seen looking up when the birds are flying, not when they are perched. The legs are covered with deep black feathers. The juveniles appear as in the image above.

Verreaux’s Eagle female” by Rainbirder is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

In the Kistachie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana, Louis and Anna from the E-1 nest are busy making nestorations!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

I am very grateful to the following for their notes, comments, questions, letters, videos, posts, and streaming cams that help me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, Audubon, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Liznm and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PSEG, Sandpoint Ospreys, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, NZ DOC, Real Saunders Photo, LA Times, Tapa Talk, The Guardian, Office of the EHHA, US Dept of the Interior, SSEN Alyth, Livia Armstrong and BESS Battery Storage, NatureScot, Lady Hawk and Selati Eagles, Open Verse, and the KNF Eagle Cam E-1.

Mini and More…Sunday in Bird World

20 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

My goodness. At 2000 the garden just lit up with visitors -two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds came to feed on the Vermillion plants. They are on their migration, coming down from northern Manitoba, feeding in Winnipeg, and continuing southward. Then the Cooper’s Hawk that was on the Conservatory roof a couple of days ago flew in and landed in the lilacs, being ever so quiet -hoping to get a snack before light’s out. The Blue Jays and Sparrows are quiet ten minutes later, as are Dyson and Gang, who were scurrying around when the hawk arrived. I was watching to see if Calico would return for a snack.

Heavily cropped and poor lighting.

11:36:58 Saturday. Minnesota Arboretum chick takes to the skies. Mum is still waiting – late Saturday afternoon – for her baby’s return. Get a fish Dad!

The osplet returned to his waiting Mum at 18:11! Well done. Congratulations!

The youngest osplet at Charlo Montana C15 also fledged on Saturday and it flew when the Highlights were on.C15 has returned to the nest.

‘A’ alerted me to an incident Saturday morning with Mini. Mini had flown to the perch from the brewery side of the road and was chased by one of her siblings, who forced her off the perch and onto the nest—very aggressive behaviour by 3 who spent the night on the north perch chattering. Mini will later get a fish and eat it without incident- 0658.

Mini went on to enjoy her morning fish. She ate every bite.


By 1600 that left leg is causing Mini considerable discomfort.

1711: Dad brings Mini a nice live whole goldfish! Thanks for the notification ‘L’. Hang on, Mini! Dad has a really nice crop…good for you, Dad. You have been so incredible this season feeding a family of six!!!!!!!!!

Look at our girl hold that fish down with that right talon. Way to go, Mini!

At 1735, twenty-four minutes later, our gal is ready to hork that fish tail. Down it goes at 1736.

Holding the fish down tight with the right foot has allowed Mini to eat much faster and she did not lose the fish over the nest. So proud of you, Mini.

Mini finished that up and flew off only to return to the nest a few minutes later. We can see her nice crop. She wants another goldfish – fish calling to Dad!

Good night, Mini!

After Three had left the nest, Dad delivered a big fish to Mini. S he was jumping all over the nest in excitement as he arrived. She ate every bit flying off with the tail. Mini is doing so much better with her feeding now that she is holding the fish down with that right talon.

Clean up crew arrives.

Wow. There were so many fish deliveries on the Sandpoint Osprey nest and my goodness, the Mum fed the osplet rather well in comparison to other days. No one was hungry. At 1533, the 7th fish arrived on the nest. Unbelievable.

Coco has a big wingspan and is flexing those wings getting them strong. There was a good ‘ps’ around 11:11 as well.

Looking good at the Dunrovin nest with fledglings continuing to return and screaming for fish from Swoop and Harriet. What a beautiful day they had in the mountains.

‘H’ has some good reports for us! As always, thank you for keeping such a good eye on these nests.

Fortis Exshaw – “After missing the only fish delivery to the nest from Louise on 8/18, a very hungry Banff wisely decided to forgo an early morning flight.  She was waiting on the nest when Louise delivered a ‘whale’ fish at 1001.  That fish was equal to 2.5 to 3 fish.  Oh my goodness, the temperament of teenage ospreys . . after taking possession of the fish, Banff lunged and flapped at her mom to get her off of ‘Banff’s nest’!  Lol, Louise understands . . this is not her first rodeo with teenagers.  Banff feasted on the huge fish on-and-off for several hours, and never let go of it.  There was at least 1/4 of the fish remaining when Louise delivered another fish at 1509.  A very excited Banff celebrated with a couple of high hovers while holding the fish!  Banff ate some of the new fish, but she was not very hungry.  Then at 1728 an intruder decided to harass Banff.  Banff was buzzed with close fly-bys four times, then Banff quickly flew off the nest to avoid potential harm.  Good girl.  She left a partial fish and a nearly-whole fish on the nest.  Banff did not return to the nest for the rest of the day, and the intruder did not take the fish.  Banff will have breakfast already waiting for her in the morning.  Stay safe Banff, wherever you are.”

[News has come in that Banff was taken off the nest and dropped at the side by the intruding Osprey at 0622 this morning. Thanks PB].

Osoyoos – “Olsen brought two fish to the nest,  The first fish at 0837 was a huge headless fish that lasted nearly two hours.  And the second fish at 1400 was also a good-sized fish.  At 54 days of age, ‘Junior’ was doing some high hovers, and at 1833, s/he was completely out of view of the cam for a few seconds.  Keep an eye out . . Junior just might fledge today!”

Forsythe – After having not been seen for 20 straight days, mom Opal made a surprise appearance on the nest at 0909.  And guess what? . . Oscar brought her a fish!  How cool is that?  Oscar to his gal: “See ya’ next year, honey. Stay safe.”  It was wonderful to see Opal again before she starts on her long journey.

Barnegat Light – “Here’s a photo of the multi-talented fledgling, Dorsett, as “captain of the ship.”  And, after she was not seen on camera for two days, Daisy was on the nest in the morning.  Later in the afternoon, Daisy delivered a fish to Dorsett on the nest.  Nice to see you, Daisy.”

Severna Park – “There has only been one fledgling seen on the nest for the past five days.  We cherish every chance that we get to see her and her dad, Oscar.”

Thank you again, ‘H’. It is that time of year when, as you said, it is always a pleasure to get a glimpse of the youngsters and their parents.

It looks like Diamond was hungry when, after turning down the European Starling, she finally accepted it!

It was not typical behaviour for Louis to be away from the nest and not delivering fish to his youngster/s. Ludo was certainly getting anxious. The weather was terrible and the water choppy. What relief when lewis shows up after a two day absence…

The weather has been terrible in Wales, evens Aran is out there fishing!

Louis has been delivering to Ludo today. I wonder if the water is as choppy at Loch Arkaig as it has been. Fish 2.

We are still waiting – and so is Dad – for the first egg at Port Lincoln. The good news is that Ervie is back in Port Lincoln!

As of 2330 Saturday in Canada, this is the situation at the Sydney Sea Eagles as reported by ‘A’: “

Breakfast was very late this morning – around 11.25 – and the fish took 15 minutes for Lady to feed to SE31. There were no bites for SE32, not even a little one, though to make up for it, he got beaked and lifted off the ground by its back and its neck several times. SE31’s viciousness is increasing. Today, when both were hungry, SE31 was a little stinker, really hurting little SE32 when she lifted him up by the loose skin between his shoulder blades. SE31 had literally mouthfuls of feathers to spit out on several occasions. Little SE32 crept forward and around and did everything possible to get near mum but to no avail. SE31 beaked him wherever he tried to go. Just as Lady left the nest, all food gone, SE32 makes it up to the empty table. Poor little mite looks so sad. We need a large lunch fish fairly quickly, as that was not a large fish and we need SE31 to be too full to eat before SE32 is going to get anything at all. He had a bad day yesterday food-wise and we really need him to eat this afternoon.”

Later news: “So there were three small whole fish brought in between 11:25 and 13:06 and SE32 got one small piece. This situation is worsening, and although SE32 is getting up to the table, he is too scared to raise his head once he gets there. He rushes up to the table to try and find leftovers he can self-feed but there have been no leftovers for him to find over the past 24 hours, so this is not helping him right now. SE31 keeps a close eye on him, so if he found food to self-feed, SE31 would probably be up there joining in without moments! And he makes sure SE32 stays in submission during feedings by simply leaning over him (and sometimes grabbing a beakful of feathers and shaking him violently, even picking him up off the ground, his little feet flailing to gain traction).” Thanks, ‘A’. I h ope the situation changes quickly

Let us all hope that little 32 gets some courage and a lot of fish!

At Taiaroa Head – home of the Royal Albatross Colony, Manaaki gets wonderful feedings two days in a row!

One of my heroes that fights for wildlife and whose early love of Kestrels keeps him going in the face of death threats is Chris Packham. There is a really good article in The Guardian today about this man who is one of the founders of Wild Justice.

Thank you to everyone for being with me today. As the wild fires grow in Canada, please keep all of our feathered friends (and the humans and other wildlife) in your thoughts. Take care! See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, L’, Mn Landscape Arboretum, Charlo Montana, PSEG, Sandpoint, Dunrovin, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Severna Park, Forsythe Ospreys, Cilla Kinross, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, E Lewis and Glaslyn Osprey Group, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk and the NZ DOC, and The Guardian.

Crash landings, itchy wings…Friday in Bird World

21 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is the end of the week. It is almost the end of July. We are less than a month away from some of the females in Europe and the UK preparing for and possibly leaving for their migration. Indeed, migration is on my mind and I have a book recommendation (below) for those that want to learn more of the history of how scientists discovered where our feathered friends go in the winter or spring/summer for breeding. I am also including a study on the impact of Avian Flu and some suggestions on what must be done to curtail it before populations are decimated. There will be continuing news about fledges and, of course, our Little Mini – not so little anymore – who is hoping to take those beautiful wings of hers and hit the skies.

In the meantime, there was a Crow funeral this morning. At first, I did not know what was happening as a dozen or more Crows gathered and flew in circles over the back lane and in front of the house behind me. I thought the GHO had come into the neighbourhood, and I knew the adults would not have that with their fledglings being out of the nest for less than a fortnight. So I investigated, and sadly, one of the fledglings was dead on the side of the street. They had all come to mourn and say goodbye. Usually, I would pick up the carcass and place it on the boulevard, but a wise and knowledgeable Corvid person once told me that the Crows do not like humans to touch their dead. So, I left the lovely one there. How sad.

One of the fledglings on my fence – along with four of its siblings – waiting for its scrambled eggs and cheesy dogs. Sadly taken through a screen of the conservatory so the image is soft and this is as light as I could push it. They are so beautiful. Their beaks are like highly polished ebony and those dark piercing eyes. They know precisely when I am cooking those eggs and arrive and wait so they can get to them before the Blue Jays. I adore them.

That one little Blue Jay is so funny. He likes to take his naps here and he loves to be in the bird bath. He went to sleep eating and kept his lids closed for over fifteen minutes. He was only woken when another sibling flew in to gnab a peanut. Looking over my photographs, there are more than 600 digital images of this one fledgling. Don’t tell my children!

Did you know it is impossible to tell a male blue Jay from a female one unless you see them during courtship or laying eggs? Blue Jays bond for life just like our raptors.

This little one does not mind sharing the table feeder with the Sparrows.

Take the time to observe the birds around you. They are precious. Listen to their songs. Focus on their behaviour and their markings. Soon you will get to know them and they will become ‘family’.

Speaking of family. Mini will never know all the people who have sent positive energy to the nest so that it might survive but, today, this wee fourth hatch has survived and is ready to leave the nest and become a bird.

Three is on the Patchogue fish calling, and Mini just dreams of flying. She has had two good fish from Dad today – perhaps even more I missed. One was at 0920 and the other at 1523. Nice fish, so Mini is not hungry. Gosh, I am going to miss her when she fledges. What a survivor…I hope all she learned on the nest and her fortitude carry her well through life.

Oh, Mini wants to fly. She is getting some height. 1918 Thursday night. Stay home Mini until Friday.

Good night, Mini.

‘L writes that Mini got a fish at 0740 on Friday and that Three had a fish shortly after, too. That is fantastic news!

Mini got the fish and that darn black bin liner. It continues to stick to Mini’s talons. I hope when she fledges she does not take it with her!

There are lots of fledges and some hard to keep up with. All of the three osplets at Alyth have fledged with the last one flying on the 18th of July, 9 days after the first. They are being fed on the nest by the parents although, like all nests, there is a bit of a scramble.

At the Loch of the Lowes, the scramble between the two siblings for fish is intense. It reminds me of Achieva when Big knocked Middle off – these chicks are hungry! Here is the latest posting about conditions on the nest and why they are what they are from The Loch of the Lowes:

What we want to see is all the fledglings return to the nest for a good month to get fed well, fattened up for migration, and get their flying skills in order and those wings strong for that 5000 km journey most will make starting in August – in a month.

Everyone is home at Rutland! These three are keeping the adults busy catching fish…soon Blue 33 will be the sole provider of fish and I can’t think of a better Dad to fatten up these three for their migration.

Another of the Kielder nest 7 chicks has fledged. This time Blue 2B0 Gilsland.

At the Borders nest, Blue 733 Jed flew on the 20th, Thursday. Time 1600. He was airborne for 3 minutes! Well done. Thanks Rosie Shields for that great blog…congratulations, Jed!

Landing back at the nest.

There are still three chicks on the Boulder County nest but not for long.

Pitkin Open Spaces and Trails: One of the osplets is getting a lot of height and is really working its wings today. Fledge is going to be soon – just like Mini, this one wants to go!

Three beauties at Poole Harbour. I want everyone to send positive energy to the nest of CJ7 and Blue 22 that the goshawk does not return to the nest this year and snatch one or more of these beautiful babies.

At Loch Arkaig, there was a bit of an issue with one of Ludo’s flights. Geemeff says, “Ludo LY7 had a bit of a day today – made his second flight with no problems, but got divebombed by his mum Dorcha on his third flight, and missed his landing, tumbling over the edge of the nest and landing in the branches. Fortunately not hurt, took a few minutes in the tree with a few squeaks, then flew off, did a circuit, and landed properly. Relief!” Here it is on video – thanks, Geemeff.

The chick at Cowlitz has really grown and is hopping and flapping. The metal protective grids are not a bother.

Some information on the translocation project for Ireland that involves removing osplets from Norway and transporting them to their new home. Ireland has no breeding pairs of ospreys at this time.

Time for the reports form ‘H’:

Fortis Exshaw: “It was a peaceful day for this osprey family.  There were four fish brought to the nest, including one by stepdad, Mr. O.  A couple of the fish were very large, including a monster fish delivered by Louise at 0604, and there were at least 6 feedings.  No one went hungry.”

Patuxent Nest 1 – The fledglings were both seen partaking of fish at the nest.

Osoyoos – Dad delivered at least 7 fish on 7/20.  The kiddos are 24 and 25 days old, and are doing very well.

Barnegat Light – Thanks to the efforts of Duke and Daisy, there is no shortage of fish at this nest.  Little Dorsett is 51 days old, and is not so little any more.

Patuxent Nest 2 – One of the fledglings was seen on the nest enjoying a meal.

Suzanne Arnold Horning is diligent in finding the Ms after they have fledged their nest on the Cornell Campus – she spots Big Red and Arthur too. SAH has ‘hawk eyes’ – for sure! All of the family are safe and sound today.

I wanted to check in on the nest of Bald Eagles in Juneau. Look at beautiful Hope who is now self-feeding rather well.

‘A’ gives us a report on the Royal Cam Albatross: “

Later on 19 July, after GLY came in for that short breakfast feed, have a look at the late afternoon feeding on the same day. Those chunks of octopus or squid of some variety are MASSIVE. Well done dad! And then we had a feeding from mum L around 08.23 yesterday morning (20 July): (Notice L’s standing feeding position, different from GLY, who tends to get down really low, as he did when Manaaki was still a tiny chick. These little differences are what we rely on when it is impossible to discern leg bands, which is often the case in the half light or the long grass.) It’s a short feed and Manaaki continues to whee away as she leaves (‘Don’t go, mum!’), but then he did have two meals the previous day, including the giant chunks of squid the evening before this feed. He’s certainly not starving, our giant fluff ball. Manaaki was not weighed on Tuesday but we will see how his weight is going next Tuesday. With half the local cephalopod population being swallowed by Manaaki this week, there should be no problems in that department! What a gorgeous albie he really is. No wonder we all call him Prince Manaaki. He is just the most beautiful bird. So healthy and active and with such a curious personality. He loves to explore. We will all miss him a great deal when he does finally fledge. Day 240. It suddenly seems all too close – day 200 is looming.”

Worried about an animal in need that is not in a nest – phone the fire department! A feel-good moment.

Do you know about migration? There are several books on the subject, but Rebecca Heisman’s Flight Paths has been on my reading list. Migration is a topic that is coming up for almost all of our feathered friends. What I liked about the book is that it is full of science and what we have learned about migration through new methods using satellites, satellite tracking as well as boots on the ground, It is a page-turner—primarily black and white text with images in the middle. I didn’t miss seeing the images of birds. The writing is so good it draws you in. I was fascinated with the study of where birds go —so where precisely will the baby Blue Jays in my garden travel for winter? or the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks? What about the birds in the Himalayas that fly through really thin air to those tiny warblers that weigh no more than a ballpoint pin and travel three days over the ocean to get to their winter homes? This is exciting reading – well, to me it is – the history of migration, how humans discovered the amazing journeys our feathered friends take. This book will add much to your knowledge, deep appreciation, and respect for our feathered friends. It was $37 CDN for a hardback copy. Why not ask your local library to order a copy? Surely this is a subject that will interest many!

It isn’t about raptors but, it is about a natural solution to a problem – instead of using herbicides and pesticides. Just like raptors are the solution for rodents!

Canada is working to save the endangered Piping Plover- it is a good news story in amongst the bad – the BC Government allowed shooting and logging in the area of the endangered Spotted Owl – in fact, there is only one of them and there is shooting. Am I angry? You bet’cha. When will nature be a priority and not the economy? Without nature, there is no economy.

Lots to read today but Birdlife International has published a report on Avian Flu and some possible solutions that must be taken if our feathered friends are to survive this global catastrophe. The report states, “Bird Flu has evolved to spread more rapidly and easily in wild bird populations. Previously, this disease spread significantly in farmed bird populations and it was quite rare for wild birds to catch it – when outbreaks did occur, they usually impacted a limited number of species and only lasted a few months. This is no longer the case. With birds under greater threat than ever before, this virulent strain of Bird Flu cannot be categorised as a natural process and left to wreak havoc.”

Lots more nests with fledges to come today. Little Mini is just itching to fly – so keep an eye! But if you feel low, think of Fortis Exshaw and how wonderful this season has been with Mr O. He is our Osprey Super Hero! Thank you for being with me. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their notes, photographs, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, PSEG, Alyth, LOTL, LRWT, Rosie Shields, Boulder County FG, Pitkin County Open Trails and Spaces, Anne Ryc and Poole Harbour, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Cowlitz Pud, Gregarious Joris Toonen and Ospreys, Fortis Exshaw, Patient River Park, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Glacier Gardens, NZ DOC, KRCR News 7, Amazon, 27east, The Narwhal, and Birdlife International.

Fledge is the word of the day and Louis and Dorcha’s chick is a boy…Sunday in Bird World

9 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

All of the Corvid babies are coming to the feeders. This includes the six Blue Jays – easy to recognise from the adults because they have their crest – the adults are now moulting having fledged this large nest. then there are the baby Crows. They do not look so much like babies but the adults feed them on the top of my fence and it is so cute. Then now, this morning, we have the Grackles. Of course, in the mix, are the dozens and dozens of baby House Sparrows, and Dyson’s kids. The images are not great…it is very difficult with the iridescent black and the black eyes and beak to capture the Crows when they are in the south of the conservatory.

Of course, the peanut stock is being depleted regularly with all of these Corvids. The St Boniface. is near the shop to get the birdIndustrial Park . It has two larger ponds and a smaller one. I have not been there this year, and it was high time to check to see what was happening. First, there were no Canada Geese. Not one. Not even a feather from moulting. There were four Ring adult Ring-necked ducks, a pair of Mallards, a few Red-winged Blackbirds, Song and Savannah Sparrows, and a lone Robin pulling worms out of the moist soil. All this rain is helping the birds!

That said- the running around for seed (the shop is quite a distance from where I live) means that my blog today is not nearly as long as normal.

‘H’ sent me great news on Saturday, and if you did not see the posting, you will be thrilled to know that Rita, the former mate of Ron, from the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, is splendid. While we would all want her living in the will with Ron, raising eaglets, it was not meant to be. She had to have part of a wing amputated and she was in guarded condition for some time. Here is the latest news from the Miami Zoo and it is good. Thanks, ‘H’,

Gosh, it’s nice to start off with good news and there is more.

Check out the growth of Dmitri’s storklet! This is from May to July, 2 months. I will put the link to today’s feeding below. Dmitri has been overwhelmed by the international response to his health condition. Enough funds have arrived for him to have the private surgery and not wait a long time in the queue at public hospitals. He has said that the storklet ‘saved his life’… The belief that storks bring individuals good luck if we care for them is shown clearly in this instance. This is a feel-good story, and so happy and grateful for this kind and generous ordinary person. If you wanted to donate, however small, to Dmitri, send me a note, and I will give you the address for the fund. He will need help and funds to feed the storklet and himself after the surgery. Donating was very easy.

The link to this feeding. There does not appear to be a streaming cam live but a camera has been provided to Dmitri so that he can make short clips of the storklet’s progress and post them.

Soledad is still yelling and screaming and the parents are furnishing her with breakfast and keeping track of their only eyas this year. Monty and Hartley you did well! It is sure nice to know that these babies that have fledged are safe.

The third hatch at Outerbanks 24/7 has fledged and like its two older siblings has already returned to the nest! Well done. Put this Osprey nest on your list to watch next season. They are all gone and then they are all on the nest. You can hear them fish calling on the cam!

There is a fledge at Llyn Clywedog. Dylan and Seren’s eldest boy, Blue 8B1, took to the skies, did a fantastic flight around and returned landing on the perch right next to Mum.

Dylan brought his young lad a nice Brown Trout as a reward.

Female chick PF4 has fledged at Loch of the Lowes! Oh, goodness they are all taking to the skies or thinking about it.

At the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, the chicks are hovering.

The Finnish Osprey #4 nest was a concern. ‘A’ was correct to be concerned. The lack of fish and rain has prompted the first hatch to attack both Middle and Little. The female appears reluctant to feed the Little one and despite two large fish being brought to the nest one after another, the Big osplet has now killed the little one.” It was an outright attack according to my friend ‘T’.

Finnish #1 nest. Eine really loves to eat her fish and those chicks have to work hard to get fed. There could be a potential for problems. The Big one eats, then the second, and we hope there is enough for the third!

The Patchogue Osprey nest is doing fine. There is a lot of wing flapping. The two older osplets have fledged and returned to the nest. On Saturday, Three got up to the perch so it is only time til it flies officially. That left Mini on the nest and our deal little one looked so lonely. Little Mini had a couple of good crops on Saturday. Fully confident that this fantastic chick will fledge. Please continue to watch as we celebrate these amazing parents who raised four energetic and healthy osplets.

Mini keeping an eye on that fish that one of the older is eating. Mini is very smart and has proven itself a survivor. The only issue could be a nest accident but I didn’t say that! This is also a good nest to put on your list for viewing next year.

Mini alone -.

‘M’ got this nice screen capture of Mini alone today, too. The flying is going to cause the older ones to be hungry so no doubt the nest is going to be frantic when there are deliveries. Gos, this chick is gorgeous. Notice her nice necklace and those amazing eyes. You can always tell Mini by her head and neck form the others. And look at those thick ankles. Little tears of joy…I know many of us worried so much that we would lose Mini.

After some initial hiccups, Boulder County Fair Grounds Ospreys are doing fantastic.

Everything appears to be alright at Cowlitz PUD. This nest was fortunate – only one egg hatched and there is enough fish for three. If you have forgotten, the theory is that the Bald Eagles – which are plentiful in the area – steal the fish from the Ospreys.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest is very interesting. It is thought that this is the first breeding season for the female. The male is 21 years old. He often stays in the nest and observes the female feeding the chick. Today is the first day I can say that this baby has ‘a fat little bottom’. Things have improved since the beginning of the season on this nest.

Clark PUD is alright. I keep thinking this nest could use some more fish as the osplets are growing rapidly and feathering.

The female at Collins Marsh is just a sweetie. The two chicks of this new couple are doing very well, indeed.

The three chicks at the Lipka Forest Osprey nest in Poland are doing super.

The ringing of osplets (or any raptor or bird) can cause upsets at the nest. After the initial delay of the parents returning to the nest on Saturday, Louis comes in with fish number two. On Sunday, it is confirmed that this big chick is a boy! The naming contest has begun. Geemeff sent the link, please scroll through the comments when you get to this site:

‘H’ continues to be concerned about the FortisExshaw nest. This is her report for the morning: “Their only feeding yesterday was from a large fish brought by Louise at 0934.  Since then, Louise has left the nest numerous times, and the longest she was away was 52 minutes.  She returned a few times with nesting material.  She was never seen with a large crop.  I have seen beaking of Little a few times.  I assume this beaking is probably taking place more often than I am finding it on rewind.  Jasper will have been missing 48 hours on 7/9 at 0930.  I hope Jasper returns.  This is really tough on Little.”

Louise alone wondering what happened to Jasper with three very young chicks to feed and protect – and brood.

Ferris Akel has been checking in on Big Red, Arthur and the Ms and on Saturday he found all of them. Those fledglings are doing great.

Suzanne Arnold Horning found the Ms as well. Gosh these are precious little ones.

A beautiful story coming to us from the Kakapo Recovery about Nora – and, yes, she is still alive. I have attached the article below so you can read about this remarkable female, the matriarch to the now 209 Kakapo in the world.

All of Heidi’s other Osprey nests are doing well so no individual reports on them.

Thank you for being with me today. Send your positive energy to those struggling nests, including Fortis Exshaw. Take care, everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘Geemeff, H, M, T’, Miami Zoo, Dmitri’s stork, SK Hideaways and the SJCH Falcon Cam, Outerbanks 24/7, CarnyXWild, George Green and the Clywedog Osprey Group, Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve, Dyfi Osprey Project, Finnish Osprey Foundation, PSEG, Boulder County Fair Grounds, MN Landscape Arboretum, Clark PUD, Collins Marsh, Lipka Forest, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Ferris Akel Live Stream, Suzanne Arnold Horning, and kakapo Recovery.

Saturday in Bird World

8 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Gosh, it is Friday and right now it is a few minutes before Saturday. The day flew by! Too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. I imagine all of you know that feeling. On Wednesday I was given a large basket of freshly picked strawberries and today – finally – they were made into David Leibowitz’s Parisian Strawberry Jam. There is no pectin although you can grate apples with the berries – they thicken it like pectin. I wanted that lovely slightly runny jam that isn’t too sweet that can go on scones, ice cream, or puddings. Tomorrow will be scone making! Need I say that Lewis and Missey both love scones. Bless their hearts. We are also getting ready for kitty birthdays. Missey will be a year the middle of July and Lewis a year the middle of August…wonder what special meal they will want?

Missey always poses.

Dyson is looking very healthy. She is at the feeders several times a day and often suns herself on the deck.

The babies are doing well. This one stayed long enough for me to focus the camera!

My neighbour informed me that there was an ‘explosion’ of Blue Jays this year – yes, there was! Six babies. There are also a similar number of baby Crows. Two Crow families came to get peanuts, cheesy dogs, and eggs again this evening.

Several years ago I did extensive research on the cost to the environment of the mega-dams that were constructed in the north of my province beginning in 1969. I learned that the lakes, the water, and the land remain toxic from the mercury dredged up by the construction of the Churchill-Nelson project by Manitoba Hydro. Then I began to think about Hope at the Newfoundland Power Osprey nest. Newfoundland Power has also built mega dams. Is it possible that Hope suffers from neurological damage caused by methyl mercury toxicity in the water and fish? Surely we can all agree that the behaviour of this female Osprey is not seen often.

This is a short portion of a book chapter about ceramics that includes mention of my research in Manitoba:

In Manitoba, a Crown-owned public utility produces hydropower for domestic consumption and export. This hydroelectric energy originates with the waters of northern Manitoba.  It is then carried south to markets beyond provincial boundaries via a vast and intricate transmission network.  In the 1960s, the provincial and federal governments built generating stations, powerhouse structures, control dams, and transmission lines on the Churchill and Nelson Rivers and their diversions to produce the electricity we use and sell.  But what was the cost to the people who had lived on the land for generations?  
The damming of the rivers in Treaty 5 Territory caused flooding on an unparalleled scale to the homes, the traditional hunting grounds, and the burial sites of Indigenous people. Extensive documentation details the social ramifications of these actions.  Ramona Neckoway, a member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree nation impacted by the mega-dam states:
Manitoba Hydro’s vast and impressive network, including the labyrinth of transmission lines, affected and continue to impact entire generations of indigenous peoples in Manitoba. My grandparents’ generation, my parents’ generation, my generation, my children’s generation and their children’s generation, have borne witness to and experienced a kind of cultural genocide resulting from Hydro’s generation in Manitoba; these experience to varying degrees and severity are akin, in some ways, to the residential school era that devastated many Aboriginal communities, children, parents and grandparents.  

The impact of these mega-dam projects is not limited to the province of Manitoba.  In November 2019, people from around the world met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a conference organised by the Wa Ni Tan, a group trying to stop the building of mega-dams worldwide.  People came from as far away as Brazil and Panama to mobilise against these hydroelectric projects’ social and environmental damage.  Underlying their concern were the pronounced changes to their communities since the construction of the dams.  These include “significant social disorder, the abuse of drugs and alcohol, racial discrimination and the destruction of ancestral hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering practices. “ The people used to drink the water from the river eat the fish they caught or the game they killed. Today, all of the animals, the fish, and the people have been poisoned by methyl mercury developed in the reservoirs upstream. The result of the mercury poisoning is that many indigenous people living near the mega-dams have had to abandon their fisheries and their traditional diets resulting in an elevated increase of diabetes amongst the population.  

Sadly, despite all of the harm done to the land, the people, nature, and all living creatures, it is also known that these hydro dams are incredibly inefficient.  The effectiveness even of the newest turbines is only around 60%, meaning that 40% of the primary energy is wasted. 

Can Ceramics Ever be a Sustainable Cultural Practice? University of Nantes, 2021.

I intend to research the situation at the Snow Lane nest further. Their nest is far from the Muskrat Falls plant discussed in the article below. I also hope to hear from wildlife specialists in the area I have written to in order to establish if my theory has any weight.

Everyone commented on how tranquil the nest of CJ7 and Blue 022 was at Poole Harbour this season. Well, guess what? They ringed the three osplets on Friday and believe the first two hatches are males and the third is a female. That is a great solution to the beaking that often comes when the female is the first hatch and the wee lad is the third. Well done, CJ7 and 022!

Gosh, I remember when I thought CJ7 might never find a mate and then that you man flew to the perch of her nest two years ago. They made history and continue to do so. So happy for this family.

The two surviving chicks were ringed at Llyn Brenig today as well – two girls. The first hatch is Blue 7B5 weighing 1775 grams, and the second is 7B6 weighing 1730 grams. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Just a quick run through some of the nests:

Alyth: The chicks are loud and getting bigger by the day.

Aran and Elen and their two sons are doing really well at Glaslyn. Elen proved to be a superb mother in her first year raising chicks! Great choice, Aran.

Idris delivered a double-header for the kids at the Dyfi nest that he shares with his mate, Telyn.

The Only Bob of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig is massive and it has these incredible ‘snake eyes’. Reminds me of Iris and Mrs G sometimes. The ringing should take place shortly and my bet is on a female! Or one of those males that simply breaks all records like Only Bob did at Clywedog a couple of years ago.

The ring number is LY7 but no release of gender yet.

Geemeff writes that the cam is down and the chick is being ringed! Here is some of its big wing flapping early on Saturday. Look at those wings!

There is an expected fledge today coming out of Loch of the Lowes. PF4 is really getting some height to that hovering!

The Only Bob at the Cowlitz PUD appears to be doing well.

Equally everything appears fine at Collins Marsh.

Everyone is preening at Oyster Bay. The nest is good.

The trio at the Pitkin County Open Trails Osprey Nest in Colorado are doing well. Mum was busy shading them from the heat on Friday.

The MNSA Jay Koolpix ospreys in Oceanside, NY are doing great, too.

Things appear to be going smoothly at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest. There is a bit more nesting material and a few more sticks and the wee one is able to eat larger pieces of fish that Mum is feeding. Feeling hopeful.

This new Mum is learning and if the winds would cooperate and not take off all their efforts in getting material to the nest, this could become a very comfy place to brood this chick.

A quick check on the two remaining osplets at the Bridges Golf Osprey platform seem to indicate that this nest is doing alright. Fingers crossed for this family.

Is there is a potential problem brewing at nest #4 in Finland? The first hatch is not allowing the third hatch up to get fish. The third hatch is looking very thin. It has been raining but ‘T’ confirms that the third hatch got some fish. Hoping that this is just a one off.

There is also a potential problem unfolding at the FortisExshaw nest near Canmore, Alberta. Jasper has not been seen for nearly 24 hours. ‘H’ reported Big beaking Little and keeping it from eating. This is the last fish that Jasper delivered around 0930 on Friday. ‘H’ reports that

Feeding 0559 to 0608 –  Louise blocked the view again, lol.  I think Little may have been fed a couple of bites, but at 0601, Little tried to ‘exit stage left’, and s/he ran out of real estate in the nest cup. I believe Little had most likely been bonked.  0924 to 0958 – Ah, a different set-up. . Mom in the centre, Middle and Little on one side, Big on the other side.  Louise fed to her right, exclusively feeding Middle and Little.  Big kept peeking around the corner “hey, what about me?”  Eventually, Big figured it out and moved to the right side of Mom.  The two big kids squeezed Little against the cup wall and at 0934 Little backed out, and moved away.  At 0942 Little tried to return to the feeding, but was beaked by Big.  Big quit the feeding at 0951, and Middle quit shortly thereafter.  At that point Little received a long private feeding.  Little ate at least 81 bites.There were no other fish deliveries on 7/7.”

‘H’s other reports. Thank you:

Severna Park – “Chick #1 may be a large gal, and has yet to fledge at 60 days old.  I wonder if the slightly smaller chick #2 (59 days old) will fledge first.

Kent Island – Tom is such a great provider.  He delivered at least 5 big fish for his family, there may have been an early delivery that I missed, but the lighting was such that it was very difficult to view the nest in the morning.  Tom and Audrey’s chick is 26 days old.

Forsythe – Well, thank heavens, Opal must have shown Oscar where she catches those huge fish!  Opal brought in a big one, and Oscar delivered four very large fish.  The kids are 47 and 46 days old.

Barnegat Light – Other than Daisy being dive bombed by the Red-winged Blackbird, life is good on the bay for Duke, Daisy, and their 38 day old youngster.

Boathouse – Dory and Skiff continue to dote over their cherished offspring.  Little Skipper is 28 days old.

Dahlgren – At 51 and 47 days old, Harriet and Jack’s kids are growing up fast.  They were both taking advantage of a breezy day and working those wings.  And, one of them managed to get quite a bit of lift!

Osoyoos – Soo and Olsen’s 11 and 12 day old kids are simply thriving!

Patuxent Nest 1 – ‘Foster’ decided to take a quick spin around the marsh for her second flight from the nest.  She landed on the nearby perch, just as pretty as you please!

Until the magistrates impose proper fines and penalties, the estates will continue to get away with murder.

The Hobby Falcons are busy feeding their chicks! This family is seriously adorable. Highly recommend you check out the streaming cam on YouTube: Dorset Hobby Falcons.

Before I get on my soap box about people shooting Red Listed birds, there is sad news coming out of Kielder Forest this morning. A chick has been predated. This is nest 5A home to Mr and Mrs UV.

UK Raptor Persecution has released the following information about the recent confirmed shooting of at least two red kites (with a third one suspected) near Westerdale in the North York Moors National Park (see here). The North York Moors Park Authority has issued the following statement:

I am absolutely outraged, along with you in the UK and elsewhere, that the legal system is punishing those responsible in a manner that is fitting and proper…meaning high fines, loss of licenses, custodial sentences. Is that what it takes to stop people having fun shooting birds? The real other enemy is that it is the ultra-wealthy who are doing the shooting. They have ‘friends in high places’. Indeed, some of them are the ‘friends in a high place.’

Murphy’s Eaglet was released today. Here are some images and the press release from World Bird Sanctuary.

Plastic. BirdLife International research is showing the extent to which this deplorable material that we cannot seem to get out of our daily lives is destroying the oceans and harming wildlife. The project has identified the most vulnerable sites and maybe there is something we can do to help.

Always gives us a smile – Annie and Lou – who are enjoying their time without the constant challenge of caring for eyases.

Last but never least, Little Mini. Mini had a nice breakfast this morning and it appears that the larger of the two are more interested in being on the perch!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Have a lovely Saturday! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, T’, Google Maps, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Alyth Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch Arkaig and The Woodland Trust, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig and The Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, Collins Marsh, PSEG, Pitkin County Open Trails, MNSA Jay Koolpix Osprey Cam, MN Landscape Arboretum, Bridges Golf Club Ospreys, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Jackie Morris and Friends of Dyfi osprey Project, Dorset Hobby Falcons, Fortis Exshaw, Severna Park, Kent Island Ospreys, Forsythe Ospreys, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Dahlgren Ospreys, Boathouse Ospreys, Osoyoos, Patuxent River Park 1, Kielder Forest, UK Raptor Persecution, World Bird Sanctuary, BirdLife International and SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, and PSEG.

Fledge at Achieva, 2nd hatch at LOTL…Tuesday in Bird World

16 May 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It was another hot day in the Canadian Prairies. The temperature shot up to 29 C before one even realised it was hot outside. It is late evening, and it is still 28 degrees. The birds in the garden have been spending much time getting drinks out of the bird bath, and the bowls are scattered around the deck between the plants. It is vital to put water out in shallow dishes for them when it is hot – even more important than supplying food is water! The garden plants will need water later tonight. There is no rain in sight. This kind of lazy day – a summer day when it is not officially summer – gave me a chance to look at a new arrival in the stack of books I want to read. This one is Two Lights. Walking through Landscapes of Loss and Life by James Roberts. His writing style and references to his great-grandfather, the Scottish naturalist George Seton, pulled me in immediately. He lives in Wales along the border with Herefordshire and writes, “The dawn begins with seabirds, with the first faint wash of rose-tinted light touching their feathers. There are crested auklets perched on lava flows and sea cliffs. They are here in their millions. The sounds they make, as their milk-pale eyes open, creak and grate, as if overnight the salt winds have penetrated their workings. In among them are tufted puffins, red-legged kittiwakes, short-tailed albatrosses. Their purrs and shrieks begin.” Roberts imagines all the birds waking up at dawn around the world – that line of light separating day and night as it moves around the globe. He appears to have a fascinating mind and I can’t wait to get the time to really read this book. He continues, “It’s our fate on this ocean-facing island, if our direction of travel as a culture continues, to face the rising waters, the ever-more frequently boiling rivers. We may continue to poison them, to carve, block, and silt them for a time, yet, believing as we do that they are simply our resources to be harnessed. But they will outlast us, and their waters will run clean, eventually. There will come a time when this stretch of river will flow wilder than it does now.” The Ospreys have been here for 60 million years. They will be here- enough to begin again-, long after us, to reclaim these clear waters and their fish.

So many things to do and so little time to do them.

Lewis and Missey are not particularly cooperating when it comes to photos. When they were younger they would pose. Today, as usual, they are stuck to one another firm as if one was not there, the other would evaporate. They are watching out the window. Mr Crow is standing on the rim of the bird bath. They are as interested in what is happening in the garden as I am. They were the first to see the Northern Flicker when he landed in the lilac bushes today. Their sounds made me look!

The whole gang was here including Mr Blue Jay and Little Red who was frustrated that the birds were getting all the goodies from the table feeder.

Fledge of the Day comes from Achieva! Wow..look at Big go! 08:20:07. (More information on the nest below). Congratulations Achieva!

Smile of the Day. No one could believe that first hatch at Loch of the Lowes (LOTL) could be alive Monday morning and yet it was. Tears.

What a precious little baby.

On Tuesday, Laddie and Blue NC0 welcomed their second hatch of the season. Will there only be two Bobs?

I have been torn as to whether or not comment on the situation at LOTL. As anyone reading my blog knows, I believe in intervention when it will help and not harm them. Could we sit and watch the osplets starve to death not knowing if Laddie was only injured slightly? A number, how many is unknown, called for a fish table, myself included. When Laddie landed on the nest with that huge fish, we were all so glad he was well enough to care for his family. Now, it appears that this might have been an intervention to save the nest. If it was, then a big round of applause for those that helped! Please keep it up until Laddie is healed!

So grateful for all those people to kick in to help our little feathered friends! This feel good story comes to us today from CROW.

Our hearts go out to the Lake Murray Ospreys community. Middle will now be the only Bob at Lake Murray unless the GHO returns in the night and snatches it from the nest. It has been a tough 6 days for Lucy. She has lost her mate and two babies – just like River. I cannot even imagine what that must feel like. Now the fear of losing another one. Oh, these owls. I am always reminded of how the Crows actually escort the owls out of our neighbourhood during the day – not the night. Let us all hope that Lucy will be able to fledge one osplet this year. Send your best wishes.

This was posted by the individual who cares for the platform. We must always be mindful that we do not know what goes on behind the scenes and they must be feeling terrible right now. No sought music will be blaring and mannequins will be everywhere to try and now protect Lucy and C1. Be kind everyone. Their hearts are broken, too.

‘T’ writes that Lake Murray try and keep C2 and Lucy safe from the GHO. They have added: “3 strobe lights and a radio, along with moving the golf car and 2 trucks in the area. One night at a time is all we can do. Just like last year. Prayers for C2 and Lucy!” Send them all the positive energy that you can.

Lucy will defend this baby to her detriment if she sees the danger. We must now hope that all the deterrents that Lake Murray has put in place will work and we will have one nice healthy fledgling for Lucy.

Breakfast at Great Spirit Bluff for the four little falcons.

Things are looking well at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Platform in St Petersburg, Florida despite a terrible drought in the area.

It looks like a couple of fish came to the nest on Monday. The last one was at 1857 as I write this. It is an enormous fish and everyone will get to eat off it including Diane who will wind up with a nice crop as well.

Life continues for Angel and RTH5 and Tom at their nest on the farm in Tennessee. As we know, Tom has really stepped up to his role as Dad and is providing prey and also standing over the baby when the other songbirds are attacking.

Such a big yawn.

Dad being protective while Mum is out hunting.

Looks like Angel brought in a squirrel!

You can see the ear clearly. When the feathers grow, it will be concealed. Have you noticed how dark the baby’s eyes are and how much they look like Angel’s?

Hot on the nest today. Little one panting.

‘A’ sent in the time stamps for Angel and her nest. My goodness how this has turned around to the good! “It was another day of eating for RTH5, who is now gigantic for a chick just 15 days old. Here are the time stamps: 10:33:18 Angel looks to be off on a mission. 11:35:57 Chick does some cro dropping. 11:39:43 Crop drops. 12:02:32 Tom in and 12:47:27 He is off after 2 Jays. Back 12:04:55. 12:07:34 Off gain. 12:49:20 Back up for a PS. 1:40:08 Angel returned to nest. 1:42:32 A little stretch for chick. 1:43:53 Angel of nest. 1;44:17 See her fly on a hot mission through trees. 1:46:32 Tom on duty. 1:50:22 Angel back with a squirrel she may have received from Tom while out nearby, as he had blood on his face and the squirrel was prepared. 1:58:10 Feed1. 2:19:35 Chick has had enough! 2:25:18 Time to do a face clean. 4:53:35 Angel is in strike mode. 4:54:15 She is off. And the chick has a PS. 5:06:20 Angel below and to the nest 5:06:53 with a young meadowlark. 5:09:30 Feed2. 5:48:48 Angel does another preening. 5:53:37 Chick crop drops. 6:39:38 Another preening. 7:29:10 Feed3. 8:19:17 Another preen and face wash. And the squirrel is finished, I think!”

The Ms are growing so fast. Big Red feeds and preens while the eyases grow and sleep. Arthur loads the pantry!

Big Red so loves being a mother.

Waiting and watching for Victor to take his first flight at Moorings Park Ospreys. Not yet. Abby flew a week ago! They are both intent on seeing what is happening in the water today.

And, of course, Sally is always ready to feed her babies.

While we are all ready to see the babies on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta, Dr Sharpe has been busy elsewhere in the Channel Islands banding eaglets.

Banding right now.

At one time there were two eaglets spotted and that is precisely what Dr Sharpe and his team found when they got to the nest – two little boys for Thunder and Akecheta this year! I have to admit that the baby rails on that nest make me nervous just looking at them as I type these words.

If you are not aware, Dr Sharpe is retiring. Amber will be taking over in his place. If you are as grateful to him as I am consider sending him a quick note to tell him what his interventions and everything he did for the Channel Islands Eagles to be restored meant to you. I am sure he will print them and read the letters in time. His e-mail is:

Osprey eggs being laid across Canada now as the Ospreys have returned from their migration. ‘H’ caught another egg at Fortis Exshaw today and now Newfoundland!

Both of the eaglets at Duke Farms have now branched.

Severna Park Ospreys at the Loudon Valley Osprey Centre have three osplets on the nest. Thankful to ‘H’ who is going to keep an eye on this family for me. It is always gratifying for three to survive and fledge but it is always a challenge for the parents to have food and security for five.

‘H’ spotted another egg being laid at Fortis Exshaw near Canmore, Alberta and also a feeding at Patuxent despite the egg cup being so deep all you can see are the feeding motions of the parents. There are osplets everywhere now and it is going to get busy as more begin to hatch.

Well, he is still my pick – Blue 33. There he was at 0434 with a fish for Maya and the babies just as the sun rose. Like the chapter ‘Chasing the Dawn’ in Roberts book, around the world, there are males bringing fish to their mates to start the morning off so that their babies are not hungry.

The camera was not zoomed in close enough to see if either of the other two eggs had a pip. Already these two are loving their fish. Nice big bites they were taking, too at Manton Bay. Such strong little osplets.

Others like Louis at Loch Arkaig will be bringing their mate a fish and letting them have a breakfast break from their all-night incubation. It is wonderful to check on these UK nests early…the songbirds are heralding in the dawn.

Telyn is also waiting for Idris to relieve her at the Dyfi nest in Wales. They must get so stiff!

Ah, Telyn couldn’t wait for that comfort break…gives us a chance to have a good look at those three eggs. She was gone for a minute and back on those eggs!

For all the newcomers, Telyn is the daughter of Maya at Rutland who has two little ones she is feeding and another two eggs she is incubating.

At Glaslyn, Aran slept on the perch while Elen incubated the eggs.

Ah, I often wonder what Murphy thinks about that little eaglet that grew up. Still doing well. What a lucky break for both of these guys.

Thankfully Bruce Yolton continues to track the raptors and birds around Central Park and he brings us news of Falco. He says, “It’s getting much harder to watch Flaco, the feral Eurasian Eagle-Owl that was released from the Central Park Zoo over three months ago. He’s not using the construction site as often, has gotten much quieter, and is less visible with the trees fully leafed out.”

Luckily, I did get to see him for about twenty minutes on Sunday night.

Wildlife Rehabilitation. I have been asked to write a blog on the new use of technology in helping our wildlife and every time I turn around there are old school methods being used. This one is perfect for keeping this Snowy Owl cool – an ice machine. If you have one and you are not using, take it out to your local wildlife rehab clinic. They might be able to put it to use!

A rescue is taking place at a stork nest in Germany today (Starch Lindheim) to remove a nylon stocking or strong brought to the nest. The fire brigade will do this today, not yesterday when it was discovered because there are too many straw bales at the site of the nest. It has worried some who think the adult might fly off with the nylon string attached and pull off a storklet.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. A lot is going on, and this is just a glimpse into some of the nests we have been watching – particularly those that might have concerns. We send all good wishes to Lake Murray! Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog today: ‘A’, Geemeff, ‘H’, Kathryn, ‘L’, ‘T’, LOTL, Geemeff and LOTL, Lake Murray Ospreys, Great Spirit Bluff Falcons, Barbara Snyder and Achieva Ospreys with Jack and Diane, Achieva Credit Union, Heidi McGru and Achieva, Window to Wildlife, Cornell RTH, Moorings Park Ospreys, IWS and, Townsend Duong and CIEL, Lin Lawson and osprey Friends, Duke Farms, Severna Park Ospreys, LRWT, Loch Arkaig, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, World Bird Sanctuary, Bruce Bolton, Medina Raptor Centre, and Starch Lindheim.

Iris lays her first egg, C3 dies, Tom helps, Dorcha crashes…Tuesday in Bird World

9 May 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

As I write this, a gentle rain is falling on the garden. The Chickadees are at the tube and table feeders, the Starlings have been and gone, Mr Crow and Mr Blue Jay were here, and the Hairy Woodpecker. It is just turning 1330 on Monday. Life in the garden is good. The rhythm is so reassuring, knowing that everyone is here and safe. It is also my ‘go-to place’ when events on the nests get just too much. This has been a challenging year for many of our Raptor families. It is almost hard to imagine all that has happened.

Lewis and Missy continue to love the conservatory. Today, for whatever reason, they were not so interested in what was going outside.

The Starlings cooperated and ate together at the table once the squirrels had left. At one point there were five finding food.

Before we check in on all the action at the nests, two educational items in today’s blog: the first about monofilament line (with some images later from ‘B’) and the second about siblicide and the theories of why this happens.

First up, fishing line – any posting about this will be in tribute to DH18 whose life could have been spared had help been called immediately to come to the nest. All moderators of all chats must notify the proper authorities and local rehabbers immediately when a monofilament line or baling twine is seen on a nest. It is imperative, moving forward, no excuses.

It is not just Bald Eagles that get tangled…every kind of waterfowl has been seen dead or dying from this horrible stuff.

It appears that Iris has laid her first egg of the season. As I always say, we know how this will go so we should not fight it. At the same time, I would love her to feel the teamwork that Maya and Blue 33 have, to have Louis there with her with a celebratory fish and to have him help raise those chicks. Sadly, he cannot take care of two nests! So, Iris…lay the eggs, let the Crows get them, and spend your summer leisurely taking care of yourself.

The time was around 19:50-59.

Diane and her two surviving osplets from 2023 – Big and Middle. Aren’t they gorgeous? Everyone was so happy when Jack brought two fish to the nest. Let us hope that despite the drought, he and Diane will get enough fish to the nest for these two to fledge. They have gorgeous plumage, and they should have taken their first flights by June.

A short video clip posted by Heidi McGru on FB showed the Bald Eagle trying to snatch Middle at Achieva. I had wondered if it was after the fish but, no. He did not make it…I want to hope those osplets are too big. We wait. Everyone is now very vigilant on that nest.

Cowlitz PUD put up guards so the eagles cannot steal the osplets off the nest…maybe if this continues Achieva needs to think about that.

At the Moorings Park Osprey platform, the osplets are eating and they are helicoptering. We are right on the verge of fledge – it could come at any moment.

Our cuteness overload is coming from the nest of Big Red and Arthur. M2 hatched sometime around 0300 Monday. M1 is a strong feisty little hawk let, typical for Big Red’s chicks. Arthur has the pantry already full and we are already wondering if he will bring a nice Robin for Big Red for Mother’s Day. She loves Robins and will take them off the nest and eat them herself.

M1 is a very strong hawk let. It is already eating large morsels of prey. Look at that crop. Big Red has filled M1 up and will move to feed M2. Everyone at Big Red’s table gets fed if they want food and have that beak open. We have never lost a hawk let from siblicide or being hungry. Only one K2 had an issue with its beak and did not fledge…Big Red has been having chicks since probably 2005. That is an amazing record. She is 20 years old this spring.

Too Big!

There is a pip on that third egg…see image below the next one.

Early evening feeding…

There has been a significant change in the nest of Angel the Leucistic RTH and Tom in Tennessee. Monday morning, Tom gently preened the chick. He also brought in a lizard which Angel fed exclusively to the chick; she had previously delivered a nestling. Angel is more comfortable with Tom, and Tom is helping now with the nest by providing prey items. Progress.

At 10:17 Angel is feeding the nestling to her nestling.

Tom delivers lizard at 2:05:33.

At 2:05:42, the baby gets some lizard.

Beautiful Angel and her baby, the baby she is determined will live.

Big Red at Cal Falcons ran off with the breakfast prey this morning. It was finally retrieved and everyone ate but this gal is determined (and big).

With hawks and falcons, whose time in the nest is much shorter than eagles or ospreys, you can blink and they have gone from hatching to fledge!

Is Rose missing from the WRDC nest or is she just taking a break? The eaglets have not fledged! She was last seen at 0635 Sunday morning at the nest. If she has not returned by late Tuesday or Wednesday it is time to get really concerned.

Ron is bringing in fish to the two eaglets. Thankful they are older. This trend of single-parent nests this year is almost unnerving but Ron will manage as the eaglets are so much older than when M15 had to start caring for the Es.

There are three eggs for Tom and Audrey at Chesapeake Conservancy.

Idris has been working overtime with the fish coming to the nest for Telyn one after another!

Geemeff caught Dorcha crashing into the Loch Arkaig nest in the middle of the night…she is OK, thankfully.

Looks like Cape Henlopen has attracted some visitors but they are not Ospreys! They are Black Vultures. They feed almost exclusively on carrion but have a poorer sense of smell than the Turkey Vulture with its red head. You will often see Black Vultures following the Turkey Vultures to find prey. They roost in tall trees with unobstructed views…looks like this platform could be their roosting spot! ‘H’ writes that they are there every day. How lovely!

The tragedy with the three Osplets starving on camera when the male was killed and the female driven away (maybe injured) by a new couple was heartbreaking.

Zephyr and Bruce are at the Seaside Osprey nest near the Neawanna River in Seaside, Oregon.

Eggs being rolled at the nest of Jack and Harriet at Dahlgren.

Dad and Lady have been sleeping at the nest tree and they have also been working hard to repair the damage that the Ring-tailed Possums did to the nest. It is so lovely to see them! And to also know that both 27 and 30 are doing well in the wild after having been rescued and rehabilitated.

Thank you ‘B’ for sending me these images. More and more places are setting up containers for broken fishing line and hooks. Here is another example from the East Bay area near San Francisco. There should be educational programmes for children and adults on the dangers to encourage responsibility.

Much easier to see how big Murphy’s baby is…I wonder if Murphy will ever incubate another rock?

Look at those legs…wow. This baby is doing fantastic and thanks to Murphy, World Bird Sanctuary, and all the donors, Murphy’s baby will get to live wild. Please tell me that they are going to band this little one…er, big one.

World Bird Sanctuary has a Red-shouldered Hawk that is incredible in caring for more babies than you can imagine – and they are not hers! Some of the rehabs’ work is decidedly not high tech…here just gold old parenting skills. In others, the birds are enriched with paper flowers for their birthday to shred. I am trying to see if anything is being done with feathers other than having new feathers glued in place. Many wind up in care for at least a year until their new feathers grow in like the one below. We know this is the case with Connick from the Captiva Bald Eagle nest.

Before we move on to Lake Murray – which is, at present, one of two tense events (Rose missing being the other at WRDC), we need a bit of a laugh and it is thanks to Chase and Cholyn’s eaglet!

The weight of the size difference in the Osplets at Lake Murray is certainly worrisome. I have seen this once before and that was at the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria in 2021. That third hatch survived – for many reasons. Blue 464 was bloody clever and determined and Mum, Blue 35, made special attempts to make sure it was fed when the others were asleep. I have not seen that diligence at Lake Murray. Blue 35 actually flew away with prey and waited til the two big siblings were asleep and then feed 35. There was also not the level of aggression as is being shown at Lake Murray. I often wonder ‘why’ the UK Ospreys are so much more civil than the US ones?

I would like all of them to live but I am not hopeful. Just look at the difference in the first screen capture of the wing sizes.

C1 zealously attacked C3 most of Monday and unrelentingly close to 1700.

*distressing image*

C1 holds C3 down so that it cannot move at all…more or less suffocating its sibling. Then, by some miracle, C3 gets up and tries to get to Mum. The time is 19:27. C3 died on the 8th of May. It was 15 days old having hatched on the 23rd of April. Soar high little Peanut.

Another article on siblicide by Robert Simmons in Animal Behaviour.

Kathryn has been helping me with the events on Lake Murray. She has found another article on siblicide. I will, as noted yesterday, continue to post several articles during the next week. We have lots of ospreys incubating eggs with many of those nests not practising delayed incubation. It is possible that there will be many more chicks die this year. We wait to see. In the meantime we can educate ourselves on all the ideas that scientists have.

In Canada, we have had ‘heat domes’ that have taken the lives of many raptors including the chicks at Osoyoos, others jumping out of their nests in the interior of British Columbia to get away from the heat…that was previous years. This is the lead up to what could be another tragic year in Canada. Send all those babies on nests in BC your most positive wishes along with all the other nests we are watching.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care…we should have a hatch for Big Red by the end of the evening or early Wednesday morning. See you soon!

I want to thank Kathryn, who helped me with the siblicide at Lake Murray. It is not easy monitoring a nest where there is anxiety, where there is a ten-day difference between the age of the hatches (laying + hatch). She stayed right in there and provided me with valuable information. I also want to thank ‘H’ for sending me notes also. These are sad events that are very difficult to observe.

Thank you to the following for their notes, tweets, pots, videos, articles, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures that helped to make my blog today: ‘B’, ‘H’, ‘A’, Geemeff, Kathryn, PC Clavier and Bald Eagles Live Nest and Cams, Montana Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, Moorings Park Ospreys, Cornell RTH, Suzanne Arnold Horning and the Cornell Hawk Chatters, Window to Wildlife, Cal Falcons, SK Hideway and Cal Falcons, WRDC, Heidi McGru and Raptors of the World, Joan Brady and Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig, people’s Postcode Lottery, and the Woodland Trust, Cape Henlopen State Park, Seaside Ospreys, Dahlgren Ospreys, Sydney Sea Eagles, East Bay Regional Park Department, World Bird Sanctuary, Jann Gallivan and CIEL, Lake Murray Ospreys, Animal Behaviour, Bird Watching, and @VladRadica.

Cal Falcons getting banded, update on SE30…Friday in Bird World

5 May 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Wednesday was a tough one. Thursday was better, but there are still two worrisome nests – Achieva’s and Angel’s. When it gets too much – and it does for everyone, we need to step back and change what we are doing. There has been no food for the little one at Angel’s for a day, and the little one has only had a few bites. I do not expect it to survive and, as of this morning, I, too, will step back.

It is true – go out and spend some time in nature, go for a walk, say hello to people you don’t know…at the end of all, you feel better. That is precisely what I did – a spin or two around the pond, stopping to chat with everyone along the way. The Wood Ducks are back.

Not in any great numbers, about five males and a couple of those sweet little females. There were a handful of Mallards and several hundred Canada Geese. It was sunny and dry, and everyone was happy to be outside.

There is green grass coming and some vegetation growing quickly so they can feed.

In the garden, Dyson sees me. She knows that I am taking her photo. Isn’t she lovely?

The table feeder is becoming more popular as the birds get used to seeing it in the garden.

While Dyson and the Starlings were eating peanuts, the Crows were assembling in the big tree in front of my house. It was planted in 1902 so 121 years old. I will not start about our City’s tree trimming policies! Normally when the Crows gather they are here to escort the GHO out of their neighbourhood!

Specific events tell me spring is here, and hopefully, there will not be any more snow. The first is the arrival of the Canada Geese, then the Dark-eyed Juncos and Blue Jays. The second is the opening of the local farmer’s market. There are a few ingenious farmers who have built greenhouses, not to grow flowers like the Dutch arrivals in our area in the 1950s but, to grow – strawberries. The farmer’s market opened yesterday, and those berries had not only the aroma of a ripened berry in a field but the most delicious flavour. Well done to those trying to figure out how to grow things locally that might be otherwise flown in from thousands of miles away – and have no taste and be polluting the planet. The third is the arrival of all the annual flowers and herbs to be planted in flower boxes or gardens. Today was a celebration of all of those – the geese at the pond, a trip to the farmer’s market and a box full of herbs and, instead of a hanging basket of flowers, a Tiny Tom Hanging Tomato vine. How will it do? All of this helped to wash away the anger and some of the sadness over the death of DH18.

In celebration of these spring rituals, the kittens and I will enjoy a lovely little Japanese sponge cake with strawberry buttercream filling.

Do you know Aldo Leopold? He was talking about biodiversity and stewardship of land before any of the more recent environmental movements. He died in a fire in Wisconsin helping a neighbour in 1948. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin but loved escaping to his weekend refuge without modernisation. I love his sense of humour. One time during a flood – and you have to understand that his cabin is the family escape from the world of humans, Leopold writes, “There are degrees and kinds of solitude. A n island in a lake has one kind; but lakes have boats, and there is always the chance that one might land to pay you a visit..I know of no solitude so secure as one guarded by a spring flood; nor do the geese, who have seen more kinds and degrees of aloneness than I have. ..So we sit on our hill beside a new-blown pasque and watch the geese go by. I see our road dipping gently into the waters, and I conclude with inner glee that the question of traffic, in or out, is for this day at least, debatable only among carp.” (27)

Leopold observes, “Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with out Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” (xviii) I highly recommend his little book, A Sand County Almanac. Essays on Conservation from Round River. Written like a diary, Leopold says of March, “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.” (19) Leopold takes you through the months, and he loves his spring geese. It is more than just Leopold’s close observation and love of all things wild. He stops to make us think about the value of our land and why some, like trophy hunters, will never be able to understand those of us in the minority who see the word of living things connected and sacred. “…our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. The whole world is so greedy for more bathtubs that it has lost the stability necessary to build them, or even to turn off the tap…Perhaps a shift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, time, and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free”. That was written on the 4th of March 1948 right before his death. It could have been written yesterday. Today, the situation with DH18 continues to weigh heavy on my mind and I would substitute in much of the quotes of Leopold the term wildlife instead of land…we think we own it, it is a commodity that we can abuse…that kind of thinking has to stop.

Our smile for the morning comes from the Cal Falcons and the food tug-o-war caught by SK Hideaways. Then marvel at how well falcons tend to feeding three chicks! Most of the time (Angel and Tom excluded) falcon and hawk nests are incredibly energetic and full of laughs.

Right now we need all these precious joyful moments that we can garner. It has been a ‘depleting week emotionally’ for all of us.

Check your clocks. Banding is taking place at Cal Falcons between 0830-0900 Pacific Time. The cameras will be off during the banding. A video of the event will be uploaded after. There will also be the annual Q & A session with Sean and Lynne (see further down for details) tomorrow.

The Australian Raptor Care and Conservancy has provided an update on SE30! Oh, she is doing well. This is the kind of news we want and need. Thanks, ‘H’.

George Smith gives us an update on the Rutland Ospreys. Quite a good read and happy to see that Maya and Blue 33 are attempting to raise their fourth set of four osplets. Wrap your head around that one. Some nests cannot manage even two! But four sets of four. Super couple! Some of their fledglings are out chasing down nests and mates. Have a read!

Thanks for posting some successful rescues. We all know about Dr Sharpe but there are also other rescues for monofilament line as well as non-human caused issues. CROW was at Captiva last year with the Osplets. CROW intervened when E17 and E18 at SW Florida had conjunctivitis. There are so many more. In the incident below, the eaglet appeared to have half its body ‘stuck’ to the nest. It was removed because it was weak..information below. It was successfully released after this 4 May 2012 intervention. Thanks, Deb.

M15 still gets my vote for ‘Dad of the Year’ for Raptors. E22 knows precisely when there is a food delivery and is on it!

There are a lot of Peregrine Falcons hatching in the world and the first one at Cromer Peregrine Falcons is here.

You can watch this white little fuzzy with its pink beak and toes here.

Today is banding day at Cal Falcons. There is a Q & A scheduled. You can go to YouTube and search for Cal Falcons 2023 Banding Q&A. You can get a notification to watch it live and they always archive the event if you miss it. For me, it looks like it is at 1300 but if you live in California, I bet that time is 1100.

We are all aching for Angel and her baby. Tom has not provided any prey today. He has not been seen. Angel has left the little one for long periods of time – once an hour – to go hunting but came back to the nest empty taloned. Whether or not Tom is still around or if the prey in the area is so limited is unclear. The little one cannot thermoregulate its temperature, and it should be fed much more often than is happening. At the same time, Angel is also hungry. The chick’s last meal was Thursday morning.

It is dusk and Angel has left the baby again to go hunting. I hope she finds some food for them. The possums and other creatures often come out at dusk. Oh, I hope she finds some food. Remember, I told you that this situation is very dire and it is. Unless Tom steps up and begins to deliver prey regularly it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Angel to feed the two of them and provide security and warmth. The area is obviously not prey rich like that of Big Red and Arthur. It is heartbreaking.

Angel did not have any food when she returned. Many believe Angel is at a disadvantage as the prey can see her coming since she is leucistic rather than camouflaged. This creates a huge problem if that is the case. Tom is not helping. Please send your good wishes…I wish some food would drop from the sky. The forecast does not look good. Rain for 5 days in a row at the nest…we could easily lose this baby. Personally, if I owned the land this nest is on, I would put out a prey table now!

If this year has already been too much for you, you might want to step away from this nest. Come back on Monday and see how things are going.

We are really waiting for a pip and a hatch at Big Red and Arthur’s nest on the Cornell campus. The changeovers have been swift. These two work like a well-oiled and cared for machine. There is little time to even get a glimpse of those eggs.

When Big Red lost her mate Ezra, everyone thought she was ‘nuts’ picking such a young mate as Arthur. Well, she wasn’t. He is an uber hunter and wooed her with the number of squirrels he could catch! I know there is a lot of chatter about how young Angel’s mate Tom is but, I just don’t think it is that. There is either hardly any prey to be had in the area, he is not the father of the chick so really has not much interest, or he is just a dud.

Cute little Arthur.