Sunday was another glorious day on the Canadian Prairies. So many people were at the park. There were even barbecues and picnics happening. One thing I really noticed was that everyone had a smile and said ”hello”.
There were 28 Mallards and 2 Canada Geese enjoying all the pond plants in the pond. Some were munching on seeds that visitors were tossing. I did not see anyone giving bread to the waterfowl, only approved seeds. How grand. And not a single duck was rescued that had Angel Wing. Glorious.
The kittens had a lovely day, too, and Calico was playing with Hope just as she used to. Oh, it was marvellous to see! It felt like a huge weight was lifted when she romped with the other two! Yes, Missey, too.
Calico loves catnip! Oh, she was so happy. She rubbed the catnip all over her face and then rolled in it.
Calico’s face just glows now that she feels better. Her eyes sparkle. Thank goodness for antibiotics.
Hope melts my heart. She is now scheduled for her surgery on the 22nd of November. That is this coming Wednesday. Thank you, Fixing Feral Felines!
This is Hope, but if you blink, you might think it is Calico.
Missey was watching the Blue Jays on Cat TV. Her fur has gotten so thick even though she is a house cat. She is the most gentle soul even though she looks like she could tackle anything that came near her.
Life is good in Cat World.
I have received news from Michael St John in Barbados that he spotted Blue KWO Sunday morning soaring in the thermals with a companion. Could this be the start of a love affair in the Caribbean for our ‘lost’ British Osprey? You will recall that Blue KWO left the UK in August 2022 and is spotted in Barbados by Michael. So happy that this osprey is safe! Barbados will take very good care of her.
At Port Lincoln, Mum found the tail of that big Trevally and fed it to the youngsters very early. It is there on the right and then in the next image it is gone. She is feeding the babes. What a great Mum she is.
Look at those feathers…the heads, the cute little tails. Giliath and #2 looking out to the world they will conquer before the end of the year. They are getting stronger on their feet.
Look at that sweet little bottom. It looks like a miniature Turkey!!!!!! Oh, gosh.
They are cute. They are also hard to see in that nest – they blend in so well.
It is 13:56 nest time and no fish yet. Thank goodness for that little morning snack.
The fish fairy came! Dad caught a fish. The observation board is at the bottom under the images.
There is news from Sydney about the sea eaglets!
It is V3 for Gabby. They spent the night at the nest tree and then worked on the nest, adding some seasonal greenery on Sunday. Lots of chortling is happening.
Chortling is not an alert call. They are making a sound that shows happiness, pleasure, and satisfaction. Like I said – they are a loving pair!
Attempted mating at the NE Florida nest.
Things are not improving at SW Florida where the GHOs have knocked F23 off the branch twice already on Sunday evening. This is not a good situation and believe me, the Bald Eagles do not always win in these battles. GHOs are formidable enemies to have and they are at the top of the food chain. Their silent flight and strong legs and talons – and some might say their persistence – often plays out in their favour.
The NCTC nest of Bella (and Smitty?) is unsettled, also. Is this Smitty? or is it someone else?
Turkey vultures are visiting the NCTC nest, too!
Boone has been adding sticks to the Johnson City Bald Eagle nest on Sunday.
At the WRDC nest of Ron and Rose, Ron spent the night on a nest branch and started some early morning cleaning.
An adult at the Duke Farms nest on Sunday.
Martin and Rosa were at the Dulles-Greenway nest on Sunday.
Definitely not an Osprey but wouldn’t it be grand for herons to nest here?!
Birds are adapting to climate change by breeding earlier in certain locations. Why not the Cuckoo?
This graphic touched my heart. We have had many issues with people photographing wildlife – shaking trees to try and make the owls wake up and fly away – in Winnipeg. It is out of hand and very selfish – for a photograph! When photographing wildlife, please be respectful and remind others to do the same. Not just owls…
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. Looking forward to having you with us again soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, graphics, photographs, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, MSJ’, PLO, Kathryn Palmer, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Deb Stecyk, Johnson City Eagle Cam, WRDC, Duke Farms, Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam, Heidi Mc, Bro, and Black Swamp Bird Conservatory.
Oh, oh….Sunday was so warm. It went up to +6 C. The sky was blue. There was a little bit of wind, and it was a perfect day for a long walk at the nature centre. There were 2 Bald Eagles, a Northern Shrike, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, many Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos, about 26 Hooded Mergansers, a single Cormorant, a host of gulls, a pair of ducks and squirrels running everywhere. Everyone was happy and smiling and greeting their fellow birders. Such a wonderful reprieve!
Here are a few images to share with you. The sun was about 3/4 of the way towards setting, and the light was so bright. I worked on some of the images, but still, they continue to look as if they were in silhouette. Apologies.
One of the nicest parts of my walk was sitting on a bench, closing my eyes, and listening to the sound of the geese honking as they flew in. Oh, how I miss that sound when they are all gone. The silence is simply too much.
A lone Cormorant.
Part of the Hooded-Merganser families that have been at the centre since the babies hatched in the early summer.
Nearer to the feeders, the squirrels were busy trying to pull the peanuts and other seeds out from the wire mesh.
S/he got one!
Hairy or Downy? I think it is a female Downy. Remember if you purchase these type of suet feeders to get the ones with the wooden triangle at the bottom. It helps the woodpecker to keep their tail straight and they can feed much more efficiently. They are a little pricer but I promise you they enjoy them that much more.
A Junco hoping to get some seed that one of the birds or squirrels knocks out of the feeders.
It was simply stunning. The light made everything so beautiful. The benches, the empty nests, the lake…even the ice!
The hide is where one of the feeding stations is located. It is perfect for watching the squirrels and little songbirds without scaring them. The wire mesh is to protect the newly planted trees from the deer, while the plastic sleeve around the trunk is to keep the rabbits from destroying the trees.
Before I went for my walk, the girls helped me clean the house. They are too funny. Hope has now managed to take over two of Missey’s favourite spots – the top of the wicker basket looking out to the garden and, of course, the sacred basket with Missey’s baby blanket.
Missey is waiting to see how long it will take Hope to find this other basket in the conservatory! Of course, the good thing is – Hope cannot be in three places at once so there will be a place for Missey (there are many others but Missey is particularly fond of wicker and baskets).
Calico has been getting many brushes during the day and I am rubbing her legs and back. Poor thing. I remember how thin she was when Hope (and any siblings) were newly born. Calico ate and ate…she would rush to finish to get back to her kittens. I worry that her young body paid for that…
They certainly keep me sane.
I missed the photo op, but little Hope was very curious today when ‘the boyfriend’ was eating. His missing fur on the tail and back are coming back in, and he sleeps regularly in the shelter. Geemeff suggested that he might be a good candidate for the male cat in the house…we will see. He was looking in the garden door today!!!!!!!!!!!! You might recall that Calico did that as well when she began to fully trust me.
I want to imagine that all of you are checking on three different nests – you are watching while holding your breath for Marri and Barru to fledge, worried to death about M15 and F23 and the GHOs, and watching those darling babies at PLO and praying for fish deliveries. Certainly that is where my focus has been while also waiting for news of the sea eaglets.
First, thank you to ‘M’, who wrote to remind me that M15 and Harriet had another nest on the Pritchett Property. I had forgotten. This is marvellous news. The GHOs concern me. We have witnessed them taking over eagles’ nests on the streaming cams. The first one that comes to mind is the young eagle couple on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas.
The GHOs hit F23 three times Saturday evening. M15 came to protect her, and they were on the branch together in the morning. M15 delivered a nice fish in the nest for his new lady, and fingers and talons crossed, things go smoothly.
Lady Hawk put the attacks together in a single short video.
At Port Lincoln, Dad came through with a morning fish for Mum and the kids—those precious babies. Yesterday, one of them fed the other a morsel. It melted my heart. My bet is on these two being males. Gentle little males that will go wild once they fledge fighting for fish! Just like Ervie did with his siblings but, until then, perfect little gentlemen.
One large supplementary fish came on the nest, and my goodness, I am not good at identifying fish, but it sure looks like a shark.
Mom’s eyes look like they will pop out.
The look on Giliath’s face tells it all!!!!!!!!!!
#2 likes the shade of Mamma…this fish will last a long time. Maybe #2 will begin pecking at the tail, too. How wonderful. Thank you, Fish Fairies.
They cleaned up the fish. Giliath might have been in a perfect position, but #2 got lots of fish. Both left the feeding with bulging crops – and happily, Mum could also get a good meal. Let us hope Dad brings another nice fish to the nest for his family later in the day. Otherwise, it will be a long time until the fish arrive tomorrow. Dad came and took the fishtail at 13:53, but Mum seemed to have quite a few scraps in the nest, and the chicks were already thinking it might be good to eat them.
You can see #2’s crop in the image below. Giliath’s head is behind Mum’s right wing.
Ah, and I bet you have noticed…we don’t have reptiles anymore. Look at the beautiful feathers and that deep thermal down that will help our ospreys regulate their temperature. Look at the size of the wings and those cute tails. Growing up!
‘A’ comments on those feedings at PLO: “Every year, there comes a moment when I genuinely wonder whether a crop has ever literally burst. Surely a crop the size of Giliath’s or Little Bob’s must be extremely uncomfortable. I wonder whether they need to leave the food there for a period of time for primary digestion before crop dropping it into their stomachs and whether it is uncomfortable or painful to swallow too much too soon. They don’t seem to do it all that often, though we do see smaller hatches doing it if they’ve waited a long time and suddenly get some fish or occasionally when they are trying to fit more in during a particularly lengthy feeding to which they return several times. (Little Bob has done it once or twice when mum has been particularly insistent during one of her hour-plus feedings. Some of these fairy fish are gigantic, thank goodness.) But this evening (it is 18:20 in Port Lincoln) everyone is full. Mum has eaten heaps. Dad has taken the fish away, eaten, and brought back leftovers. He’s a good dad. He tries. Sometimes, it’s very gusty and the waves are extremely choppy. I imagine it could be very difficult fishing there at those times, which occur most days – some days are just particularly bad. “
Several other news items from Port Lincoln. It was Calypso’s mate (he is the 2019 hatch at Port Lincoln) that was found hanging upside down on a pole. The female flew off but has not been seen. People are watching out for her. Calypso was at the nest looking and calling for her.
Did Ervie go to help search for his brother’s mate? –Sadly, Fran Solly has now posted that Calypso’s mate has been found dead. This is so sad. So many Osprey’s lost, so few because they are so endangered in South Australia. Now for Calypso to find another female. Condolences to all.
Love the Port Lincoln Ospreys? Friends of Osprey Sth Australia have calendars and I understand that it is full of Fran Solly’s amazing photographs – even Ervie!
The money from all of the fundraising projects goes directly to put up the platforms, the trackers, etc. Here is a copy of the August 2023 newsletter telling you what was accomplished up to that date.
I am over the moon that Fran, Bazz, and Janet fought to intervene at the nest this year with supplementary feedings, just like in NZ with the Royal Albatross Chicks. I look forward to their research findings and want to help in any way I can so that they know their compassion for this family is appreciated…that is why I am posting the information about the calendar.
Partney and Marrum lost their only osplet to predation by a raptor (presumed) on Tumby Island. The Crows then took over the nest and the nest is now reclaimed by a pair of ospreys. It is not confirmed if it is Partner and Marrum.
More problems with Crows could have been the cause of the death of the osplet on the Sunshine Coast. So sad.
We have all been biting our fingernails watching Marri and Barru. Barru had a close call slipping out of the scrape, but thankfully, he recovered! It is 2130 on the Canadian Prairies Sunday evening, and neither has fledged, but they sure could while I am sleeping. These two are ready. Their interest is in the outside world. Diamond and Xavier are doing a good job keeping them focused on their flying – doing aerial displays and carrying prey. Everything the adults do is a lesson imprinted on the minds of Marri and Barru to take with them into their futures.
Still there…it is past midnight in Canada…
The Osprey Cam on Captiva will go live today!
The cameras at the West End are now live, too, and you can see both the old and new nests of Thunder and Akecheta! Amazing, Dr Sharpe. Thank you.
The cameras are back at Lock Arkaig and there are more visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest!
Was it Smitty?
‘H’ reports that “‘F’ eagle is back at Notre Dame Eagles, per post by Phillipe Josse 11/12, both she and Dad were in the nest briefly on 11/12.” Wonderful news for Little Bit ND17’s Dad!
Deb Stecyk gives us an update of some of the Bald Eagle nests in Canada and the impact of the wildfires this past summer.
Good news coming out of the Kakapo Recovery on one of the Kakapo that had to go for treatment to Dunedin.
‘A’ sent this to me and I missed it so did not include it with the Sunday newsletter. Hopefully there will be some sightings of the eaglets.”Finally, the report for 11 November from WBSE: November 11: Prey delivery last evening at 6:30 to Mangrove Island, not sure if juvenile was about. This morning at 7:45, an adult, I think Dad, was on mangroves where seen yesterday. Hard to see if a juvenile is there in the shadows. Lots of river traffic, with scullers going close and loud microphones yelling training orders. Rivercats passing, dozens of watercraft – Dad ignores them it seems. At 8:01, I heard a juvenile squawk and a currawong – close to an adult. Lots of rubbish under the mangroves, and I heard another threat. Hearing a Koel – is it yelling at the juvenile as well? Pied Oystercatcher flying past. Striated Heron. Great Egret with breeding plumage. Mangrove Gerygone behind me. Later, around midday, the ground team reported adults on Mangrove Island and circling over the area, but no juvenile or feeding was seen.”
And then the report for yesterday from WBSE, thanks ‘A’: “November 13: Early in the morning, I saw one of the adults down in the mangroves, then the other as well. One soared so high overhead, I could no longer see it. The adults were hard to spot on the river, not always in their familiar roosts, and seemed to be moving further into the mangroves. Later, at last, we saw one of the juveniles on a branch in the mangroves – so hard to spot in the shadows, with its brown colouring (see the picture). It stayed still there for over 2 hours while we were watching, with not a sound. One of the adults was moving in and out, but we saw no prey delivered. Again the mullet are jumping. We saw the male Osprey over the Nature Reserve wetlands, flushing out about a dozen lapwings. No more news during the afternoon. As there is an “empty nest” now, or mostly, we rely on ground observers to report any action on the river.”
Oh, I wished I lived closer to Vancouver! If you do, then here is a real opportunity.
HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is claiming so many of the sea and shore birds.
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. We hope to have you with us again really soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, comments, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, M’, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, PLO, Friends of Ospreys Sth Australia, Anita Corran, Eric Kotz, Wildlife at Osprey House, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Window to Wildlife, Jan Gallivan, Geemeff, Deb Stecyk, Kakapo Recovery, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and Bird Guides.
Did you blink, and it is the end of the week? I sure did! Last year, I planned a trip to see my son in Grenada, WI. Was it really a year ago? It feels like yesterday we were out in the mangroves looking for osprey, having ice cream, and watching the Magnificent Frigates. It was warm and there was a beautiful blue sky and the local food was extraordinary. Oh, how tempting when we are at the beginning of winter and it feels like three days have been forever.
Wet heavy snow. Two little Juncos by the small covered feeder. I have to get out and clear out the birdbath and put in the deicer. Birds need water in winter. To keep them from bathing when it is too cold, I put tiny strips of wood across so they can drink safely.
The girls had some catnip. It was a wee little treat from one of their aunties. Calico decided to jump in head first to exclude Hope and Missey. Hope looked in shock as her mother rolled around the floor with toys. Then Missey came and wanted in on the action, and Hope joined in. It was all way too funny. Calico was covered in catnip!!!!!!!
It was amazing to see Calico so active!!!!! She is seriously just a year old but motherhood in the wild was hard on her.
Hope is getting to be very long – even without stretching. She still has her ‘bushy tail’ (you should see when she puffs it up!) and look at those penetrating celadon eyes. I have never had a cat with eyes like those — and believe me, since having cats before I could walk, there have been a lot of feline companions.
Missey and Hope get in on the action with the catnip and the toys. Everyone is rolling around and playing.
They had a very good day. There was a lot of action in the garden with the sparrows, the Starlings, and the Dark-eyed Junco. Little Red was here as was Dyson and one of her kits. I could hear the woodpecker and I know that the Chickadee was flitting back and forth getting seed out of the little covered feeder.
They make a bit of a mess kicking the seed out but this helps the others find it in the snow. It took them less than an hour to finish off a three gallon pail of food.
It is, of course, personal taste but I think European Starlings in their non-breeding winter plumage are some of the most beautiful birds in the world. Just look at the subtle colour changes below…that rust is gorgeous as it lines those deep ebony feathers. Look close to the cheek and there is a touch of green and their piercing black eyes and the white dots. Stunning.
I love Sparrows and Starlings and the Blue Jays – all the birds that come to visit my garden. Not a single one is more important than the other and yet, at least several times a week I read about people wanting to know how to feed the ‘pretty songbirds’ and keep the Sparrows away. Or how the Blue Jays are bullies. Or how the Starlings ‘hog’ the feeders. In my experience, they have all shared just as they are doing in the images above.
The Bird Lab at Cornell states that the population of House Sparrows in North America has declined by 84% since 1966. They were first introduced to control inchworms in Philadelphia and now you would be hard pressed to find one! Now how sad is that?
Let us embrace these beautiful birds instead of wishing them away from the feeders. The area around my house is filled with song; for the most part, it comes from the hundreds of House Sparrows that feed in the garden daily. Just like I cannot imagine my life with the ‘girls’, I cannot imagine it without the wondrous song of these birds.
Let’s check on the three raptor families we are watching in Australia.
Sydney Sea Eagles – New pictures from Cathy Cook showing a juvenile being harassed by the Currawong. Great seeing them. That juvie will get out from the mangroves and be near the parents to get food! This pair from 2023 are doing great manoeuvring in an environment with those little birds that would like them to leave. Yeah, Sea Eaglets!
Giliath is 24 days old and #2 is 22 days old. Waiting for Dad to bring a fish…and he is going to deliver in less than ten minutes! Yeah, Dad! A small headless fish.
Oh, look at the nice crops. That sure puts a smile on your face.
Goodness. Giliath is going to topple over. So pleased that Dad got a nice fish in there early for the family. So pleased.
#2 did not get as much fish BUT everyone had some fish and that is good.
It is after 1600. The wind has come in and the fish fairies have not yet made their delivery. Dad has only managed the one small fish. Thinking we need a tank for some fish!
The fish fairy arrived at 1705. Those two babies were so civil despite being so hungry. Mum fed them and fed them and hopefully ate herself…Thank you Fish Fairies. This beautiful family continues to owe you their lives. Tears. (A reminder. If you intend to make a donation to Port Lincoln to support this intervention, this is the information: “If you would like to help save our endangered Osprey please visit https://friendsofosprey.com.au/support (for $20, $50, $100 and membership)”. The cost of osprey platforms can be $20,000 Australian and this group are putting them around the area. We will be wanting one for Ervie!!!! But, for now, support the intervention, if you are able. Thank you.
Marri and Barru are getting closer and closer to fledging. There is hardly a baby feather left on their bodies. They are big beautiful falcons. Xavier and Diamond have done exceptionally well this year and let us all continue to send good wishes that good weather will hold for fledge day and for many days after so these two beat the odds.
The eyases are 40 and 39 days old. Fledge at Orange is between 38 and 45 days….folks we are there. Hold your breath. Get out the worry beads. Send positive wishes for these two. We want two healthy fledglings soaring high like Izzi!!!!!!
The scrape at Orange is looking small with Marri and Barru flapping and jumping around! Oh, what a relief. Two beautiful nearly fledglings with all their tail feathers and in fine form. ‘Rain, rain, stay away – come again in a month!’
And please, no fludging…with a sibling pushing one out of the nest prematurely.
At the eagle nests,
Gabby and V3 on the branches early morning.
Two eggs at Superbeaks and hard incubation began the minute the second one was laid. We are 28 days away from hatch.
Some great images coming from the Redding nest of Liberty and Guardian on Thursday.
More about the nest changes this year.
New Cam views! Dr Sharpe will give us great views of Thunder and Akecheta. Now which nest will they choose? old? new?
Bailey has been at the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey for six years. She is living proof that ospreys do well in good care. If you are inclined and have the financial resources…do you live in the area and have extra fish? Phone and chat with Audubon to see if they could use them.
The two surviving osplets at Osprey House in Australia are beautiful juveniles with names! Atlantis and Kailani!!!!!!
An Osprey rescued.
Osprey counts in West Africa with Jean-Marie Dupart.
It is a wow moment. Flock migration.
This would be a great talk! I wish I could go.
More visitors to Loch Arkaig…gosh, I wonder where Louis and Dorcha are right now and where is Ludo?
Goodness. It is going to take me some time to learn the new names of the raptors and the ducks. Please bear with me…as I transition. Thanks ‘H’ for the beautiful captures.
A Male Northern Pintail at Barnegat Light and….oh, my. Formerly a Cooper’s Hawk but now…”Tawny Head Stripey Tail Yellow Leg”. Staring at my Sibley Life List.
Wondering how Falco, the Eurasian Owl, let free in Central Park is doing? Bruce Yolton gives us the latest with some excellent images.
Some think it is alright to rake and bag the leaves and leave them at the side of their garden. Maybe not. I found another reason not to bag those leaves!!!!!!!!
Cats not birds….Looking to make a cat shelter. Here is another idea using an old compost bin.
The wildlife rehab centres will be filling up with Bald Eagles and other carrion eaters in the months ahead as hunters leave the innards of the animals they have killed in the fields. The Medina Raptor Centre has been providing much information to educate us on why it is important to end lead in hunting and fishing equipment. Here is another example. Please encourage anyone you know that hunts or fishes to stop using lead. Educate them so they understand why we are concerned.
Before I close today, you will recall that I have a couple of helpers. One of those is ‘A’. We will be missing her lively reports from Australia for a bit. Her elderly mother is unwell. Please send out your warm wishes to ‘A’ and her family at this challenging time. Thank you!
Thank you also for being with me today. I love your comments and letters. Take care of yourself. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, images, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: “H’, The Guardian, BTO, Cornell Bird Lab, Cathy Cook. PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, SK Hideaway, Heidi Mc, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, FORE, Raptor Resource Project, IWS/Explore, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Osprey House, Chris Goddard, Jean-Marie Dupart, Mark Avery, Ruth Tingay, Geemeff, Bruce Yolton, and The Medina Raptor Centre.
Saturday was a day that fluctuated between blue skies and grey. It was also the day I learned all there is to know about making insulated homes for the feral cats that come to my feeder. Our winters are cold and can be wet with heavy snow. I often long for the dry snow that used to blow across the country roads, creating ‘whiteouts’ on the highway. Most often, I was told when I first arrived on the Canadian Prairies, people would go off the road and into the ditch but on the other side. Whiteouts are precisely that – solid white – opaque milk glass. You quickly get disoriented when you are driving, and the snow is blowing across the highway.
The insulated boxes mean ‘The Boyfriend’ and another friend (wonder who that will be?) will have warm and dry places to stay if they choose – under the deck. That horrid old carpet that needs to be replaced will remain til spring. It will keep the snow from falling between the decking onto the ground below. Hopefully, they will have a nicer winter.
Calico can watch them from inside, snug and warm. Gosh, I love how that cat finally came to trust me. The three girls are such wonderful gifts. They are creatures of ritual and the story reading one is very precious. It reminds me of the time when my children were small and cuddled in for their bedtime stories. Now they nestle on the scrap quilt my grandmother made beside me – Calico and Hope – with Missey either on the table or the cat tree. I am so lucky. If petting a cat removes stress, my life should be completely stress free!
Today I did put a little post in FB seeking out a very young male kitten, a little brother for them. I am looking for a little boy younger than Hope, perhaps 6-8 weeks. Fingers crossed.
Calico trying to catch a ‘cat nap’. Hope does sleep but rather than eat or sleep, she would much rather play!
In keeping to my promise to try and get out to the park for a walk at least 5 days out of 7, I headed off to check on the Wood Ducks, the Mallards, and the Canada Geese that were at Kildonan Park a week ago. There is an area by the ‘Witches Hut’ where people come to feed them seed.
There were no ducks in sight, but there were twenty-five Canada Geese.
Squirrels who are getting their thick winter coats were chasing one another all around the park, up and down the trees, and across the snow. Isn’t this one adorable with his paw across his chest? I bet he thought I might have a peanut. Sadly, I did not – which reminds me that I must get some peanuts for the feeders. They must be rationed because of Little Red, who will take them all and not share. Dyson and Gang, along with the Blue Jays generally eat the nuts this time of year.
‘H’ knows how much I love ducks and geese, and she checks on the Barnegat Light streaming cam regularly. Today, she sent me such a treat – a short video clip of the Brandt Geese. You should check out that streaming cam! Oh, I would love to be sitting in those dunes listening to them.
Wikipedia gives us the following information: “The brant is a small goose with a short, stubby bill. It measures 55–66 cm (22–26 in) long, 106–121 cm (42–48 in) across the wings and weighs 0.88–2.2 kg (1.9–4.9 lb). The under-tail is pure white, and the tail black and very short (the shortest of any goose).The species is divided into three subspecies:
Dark-bellied brant gooseB. b. bernicla (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pale-bellied brant gooseB. b. hrota (Müller, 1776) (also known as light-bellied brent goose in Europe, and Atlantic brant in North America)
Black brant gooseB. b. nigricans (Lawrence, 1846) (sometimes also known as the Pacific brant in North America)”.
Audubon describes their migration. It is possible that ‘L’ spotted one in Mobile Bay today!
“Long-distance migrant, travelling in flocks. Birds from central Canadian Arctic move down east side of Hudson Bay, then may make nonstop flight overland from southern James Bay to central Atlantic Coast of USA. In Alaska, large numbers gather at Izembek Lagoon and then depart almost simultaneously for long overwater flight to wintering areas on Pacific Coast. Migrating flocks may fly very high. Wintering birds may linger later in spring than most geese, as coastal breeding areas in high Arctic remain unsuitable for nesting until summer.”
In her book, The Comfort of Crows, Margaret Renkl says, “The world will always be beautiful to those who look for beauty.”
In the garden, it was damp and grey today. The snow is melting and everything looks ugly. I’m not too fond of this time of year. When you leave your garden to be messy to help the birds and insects, there are some weeks when everything looks so dishevelled, so rotten, in such a mess. I must remind myself that all of this is for the greater good and hope that a large dump of snow will come and cover it with a winter blanket until spring!
The European Starlings flew in and out, and a Blue Jay has been searching through the Black oil Seed to see if the Sparrows left him anything. It is time to go and get some food just for the Blue Jay, but, of course, that will not work as the others will want to share in the goodies, too.
This is Junior, the Dad. He was at the feeder with the youngest of the fledglings the other day. Several appear to have moved on. Often Junior will stay for most of the winter.
It has been especially difficult to get a good image of the Starlings when they come in during the day. They are fond of the solid suet and have consumed many large cylinders this past week in their attempt to keep warm.
Now if I misspell names, tell me! Bazz not Bazza, Giliath. I put an ‘a’ in there. It is Barru and Marri. Apologies all around. My fingers sometimes go faster than my brain!!!!!!!
At the beginning of the season at Orange, my wish was for one healthy eyas. Instead, we have two. Double happiness for Diamond and Xavier this year. And that second hatch is quite the character. Barru and Marri have their ongoing tug-o-wars for prey and then, in a wink, sit there and pull off pieces, sharing their lunch. What great siblings!
It has been a glorious year at Orange.
Just look at how much soft white down is coming off the backs and wings of these two. Imagine if you will that it might well be all gone, flying about the scrape along with the feathers from the prey being plucked. Marri and Barru are turning into ‘falcons’.
‘A’ reports: “There was much wingercising, eating and screeching, along with zoomies around the scrape. THOSE EYES! Oh how gorgeous are those sidelong glances? So very cute. And we’re only a week from fledge watch!! Surely not. Already? Here are today’s time stamps: PREY 07.02 04, 08.16.37, 09.50.37, 17:10:18, 19.09.00, 19.18.35 FEED 07.02(M,D,B), 09.52(M,D,B), 11:57(X scrap from floor), 17:10 (M&B), 19.09(M&B), 19.19 (M,D). HIGHLIGHTS: 17:18 Barru takes the prey! 18:05:46 Marri shows off her giant wings but 18:07:18 Barru wins the winger competition. 18:08:23 they discuss it with beakies. 19:18:38 tug-o-war between Barru and Marri. Barru wins the tug-o-war at 19:18:49. We will miss this pair. What huge personalities they both are. As always, Diamond and Xavier do raise one male chick each year who is a very memorable eyas indeed. Izzi. Yurruga. Rubus. And this year, Barru. I do think this is their first female chick in many many years – Marri is definitely female IMO, as she is as big as her mum (bigger with all that fluff) and towers over poor little Xavier.”
The water at Port Lincoln is choppy. Will Dad get a fish in? How will the boat ride be for Fran and Bazz as they head out to get fish for the nest on the barge?
Giliath and #2 are getting almost too big to fit under Mum comfortably. You will be able to notice the pin feathers coming in if you look carefully.
The kids are preening. Feathers are itchy!
It is 1244 and no fish has arrived at Port Lincoln yet – not from Dad or the fish fairy. Thinking they need a tank!
It is mid-afternoon. Dad appears on the ropes. Mum and kids in the nest waiting for fish. I hope the fish fairies are not having difficulty finding the catch of the day.
‘A’ reports: “At Port Lincoln, dad brought in only one small fish for the entire day (at 10:07:20), which fed both osplets a small snack. So it was indeed fortunate that the fish fairy delivered an extra large whole trevally (709 grams) at 14:51. This fed both kids to their gills (the feeding lasted 69 minutes), and there was another feeding from the same fish at 16:27 which was listed on the Obs Board as small but apparently lasted for 29 minutes. Either way, both osplets had full crops at bedtime.”
It is raining in the Sydney Olympic Forest home to the Sea Eagles and the two fledglings SE31 and 32.
Several years ago, a dear ‘late’ friend, Phyllis Robbins, introduced me to Cathy Cook. Cathy lives near the Discovery Centre, and you might remember that she has helped spot the sea eagle fledglings when they are grounded. She has helped on more than one occasion to get help for them, even riding with them in the van to the rehab clinic. I so admire her dedication to these beautiful raptors. Today, Cathy has some news for us that will make you smile.
Then there is more great news!!!!!!!!!!!! Just tape that smile on your face. Look at this sea eaglet.
‘A’ sends the report from Sydney: “November 5: Rain and wind this morning. No action on the nest during the day, but great observations from our ground team again. One juvenile, we think SE32, was seen with the parents across the river in the mangroves, possibly eating as well. Both appear to be still in the area. The watching and listening continues.”
Gracie Shepherd caught Irv and Claire at the US Steel Bald Eagle nest in Pennsylvania. Bravo! I keep missing them. So glad they are both home safe and planning for a new season.
Gabby and V3 continue to work on their nest near Jacksonville. Have these two ever mated? ‘A’ has been sceptical for some time. Now, I am starting to wonder. Why would V3 be camera-shy?
And at Duke Farms…
There are beautiful eagles in the trees with their fall leaves at Decorah.
It was a stunning morning at Big Bear, but I did not see Jackie and/or Shadow at the nest (yet). Don’t you love the way the sun rising creates those beautiful diamonds?
Pepe and Muhlady are taking such good care of that precious egg. Look for another soon!
The situation at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest of M15 and F23 – or is it the nest of the GHOs – is worrisome. Whose nest is it? M15 and F23 have not been sleeping at the nest. Do they know that the owls are staking it out as their own?
Some news from around the world:
A growing colony of terns! Oh, I do love terns. My friend ‘S’ has some terns living in her garden on the Hawaiian islands, and they are so pretty. We also have terns in Manitoba during the spring and summer breeding seasons.
The Black Stork migration continues. Maria Marika reports that many are flying over Egypt. They are almost to their winter homes. I hope Kaia is with them and she is safe. It would be grand if Karl II was by her side – hard to imagine we lost him.
The Royal Albatross continue to return to Taiaroa Peninsula to find their mates and start the process of nest building and egg laying!
Do you know this nest cam with squirrels and songbirds in Nagano?
Please share. Once, when we were trying to protect some Cooper’s Hawk nests in my city, I was told repeatedly, that the hawks had been carrying away the local dogs! The gentleman who told me this was busy trying to locate all the nests in the area so he could destroy them. It took great effort and one of the local wildlife officers to deter his actions.
Thank you so much for being with us today in Bird World. Please stay safe. I hope to see you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, photographs, videos, graphics, articles, and streaming cams that helped me write my blog today: ‘A, B, H, L’, Wikipedia, Audubon, Openverse, Margaret Renkl, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Cathy Cook, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Gracie Shepherd, Rohan Geddes, NEFL-AEF, Duke Farms, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, FOBBV, Superbeaks, Androcat, Bird Guides, The Petrel Station and Seabird Tours and Research, Holly Parsons, Maria Marika, Lady Hawk, Nagano Songbird Cam, and The Medina Raptor Centre.
To those in Canada celebrating Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving to you! And to everyone else reading this, I am thankful to all of you – what a beautiful community of empathetic, intelligent, bird-loving people you are! I feel truly blessed to be in your company. Thank you for all your good wishes for today.
Sunday was coolish – an incredibly gorgeous fall day full of yellows, reds, and oranges. The nature centre was full of people enjoying the fall foliage and the Canada Geese that were landing on the lakes and fields. There were a few Mallards about and some House Sparrows and a feisty squirrel at one of the feeders.
All of the garden animals were out. A few Dark-eyed Juncos visit the deck. I did remember, after a comment from ‘J’ to get out there and carve that pumpkin up a bit to see if the squirrels would get interested. Will keep you posted. Mr Crow was on the hydro line and I wonder if he saw the pumpkin and thought it might be tasty.
Little Red has been digging around in the old planting boxes. I haven’t seen him going in and out of the wood box and this worried me a bit so it was great to see him today.
Remember the chubby little baby Blue Jay, just fledged, that slept with the two clay bird ornaments? Well, look now! Beautiful.
The ‘girls’ are doing well. I am sad to report that Lewis took a turn for the worse. He has been unable to keep any food down – and believe me, I have tried everything. Broth, Baby food, tinned food with broth, pulverised chicken. We wait and hope that this situation will change. It is hard to deal with any suffering.
Hope is growing fast and continues to want to play more than she wants to eat.
Calico and I have almost finished our WWII spy novel by Cara Black. Wonder what she will want to read next? I am imagining putting my comfy chair by the wood stove in the dead of winter with Calico on my lap reading away.
These cats have taught me so much about the need for a safe space that is ‘their own’ and how stabilising a routine is – even for cats!
Lewis always feels better after he throws up. Sleeping on one of his favourite chairs. Poor little guy. The Gaviscon bottle is being emptied as my stomach churns repeatedly for him.
Missey was caught in Lewis’s carrier. Oh, if something happens to dear Lewis, Missey will be lost. They have been glued at the hip since they were both adopted as rescues on 2 November 2022. This evening she has been very motherly – washing and washing Lewis – over and over – and comforting him.
It is all about Peregrine Falcons – we have had falcons on our minds since the news at Melbourne. The clutch at Melbourne is believed lost for this year. We hope the female will recover from any injuries she has sustained. Our new dad, M22 – remember he was not the father of the chicks last year but came in and helped like Xavier did with Diamond years ago, is refusing to give up on those eggs. He flew in and incubated them on Monday.
There was a video posted by the Bondi Vet, Chris, in Sydney, Australia. Do you know this character? A Peregrine Falcon couple at the Westfield Mall came into his care. Oh, this is good – ten minutes long. Enjoy.
Meanwhile, Diamond and Xavier and the two little ones – who will have names on the 15th of October – are doing fantastic. Gosh, golly, they are so cute. I fear those pink beaks and toes and that fluffy white are giving way, and little feathers are popping in underneath. The first hatch is visibly larger than the second now…a female? Probably.
In this video by Elain, Xavier feeds the babies and Diamond, too! Very special moments of our incredible family.
‘A’ writes, “Dear little Xavier had a brief period brooding the chicks late this afternoon (about 15 or 20 minutes), during which he made valiant but futile efforts to cover the chicks by sitting up and leaning over them. He was obviously concerned about being unable to fit the egg underneath him too, and tried several times (eventually successfully) to cover it. So sweet but not a chance of brooding the two chicks. He really is tiny. Check him out when he delivers prey to Diamond. She is gigantic, especially with all her broody underfluffies, whereas Xavier is very sleek, which accentuates how much smaller he is.”
At The Campanile, Lou is sunbathing. Nice to see these two are safe and sound. I worry about them because of the poisoning of pigeons, too. Stay safe you two!
‘N’ sent me a note asking what books I recommend on Peregrine Falcons. Here is my list – not in order of preference.
Richard Sals and Steve Watson. Everything you ever wanted to know about falcons and more. A monumental book – great reference.
J. A. Baker. The Peregrine.
Christie Gove-Berg. (especially for children)
Madeline Dunphy. The Peregrine’s Journey. Similar to Belle’s Journey that documents the migration of an Osprey.
Alan Tennant. On the Wing.
There are, of course, many, many books that mention falcons.
On Sunday, Thunder and Akecheta sunned themselves at the West End Bald Eagle nest. What a gorgeous couple. Wonder if they might reconsider their nest location this year. Nudge, nudge.
Gracie Shepherd caught more of Thunder and Akecheta.
Everyone is hopeful that there will be a clutch of eggs in that nice soft nest Gabby and V3 are working on.
The adults are on the nest in Webster, Texas on Sunday.
Connie and Clive have been working on their nest at Captiva on Monday.
Gosh, 1800. Start checking on Jackie and Shadow. These two love to come to the nest in the early evening. They are certainly doing a close inspection!
In Central Park, Bruce Yolton gives us the latest on Flaco and his adventures living in the ‘wild’ of the Big Apple. (Lots of videos in the blog below)
Monday was the first time I heard Pied Currawongs in the forest while watching the Sea Eaglets SE31 and 32. Someone will tell me that I am a bit daffy, but there doesn’t seem to be an over abundance of prey being delivered to the nest.
At Port Lincoln, Dad brought three fish to the nest on Sunday. Both are doing incubation duty. Egg 1 was laid on the 6th of September. Depending on how you count, that would be 24 days in September plus 10 in October, making that egg 34 days old. Hang on, we will be on pip watch shortly!
Checking on the progress of Karl II and his family from both BirdMap and Looduskalendar Forum. The Birdmap check on all of the storks – not just Karl II’s family – is from the 6th. Please note the concern for Karl II who has not sent data from the 30th of September.
Kaia is making good progress towards her winter home in Chad.
Kaia continues and she I snow in the Eastern Desert.
Kalvi is still in Bulgaria.
Turkey is where Waba is currently foraging.
The second Condor chick in 2023 has fledged! Fantastic.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care – and please continue to send your best warm wishes to all the nests and to our dear Lewis.
Thank you to the following for their notes, questions, articles, posts, videos, photos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, J, N’, Bondi Vet, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Holly Parsons, Elain, SK Hideaways, IWS/Explore, Gracie Shepherd, Carol Shores Rifkin, Webster TX Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, Bruce Yolton, Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Looduskalendar Forum, and Ventana Wildlife Society.
It rained off and on during Tuesday until later in the afternoon when the sky broke open, and a little blue appeared. It warmed up and became a nice day.
I had to get some fresh air. Having been inside the house or in the garden for more than ten days, I started getting a little housebound, frayed at my edges. So, off to the park for a walk around the pond. No one was around except some ducks and geese! It was lovely! No one to pass this wretched Covid to, but oh, how lovely to be with the birds for a few minutes. I am beginning to feel better, but this Covid is tricky. You get up and get around, and it comes back for you, so be careful and do not overdo it if you get the virus.
Fall is in full swing. Migration is more than halfway over. The Snow Geese have appeared in the South while the Canada Geese fly over them, heading to warmer climates. Various types of sparrows and wrens remain in the garden along with the regulars. It was so nice to be still able to see ducks, though. Gosh, I love ducks. There was not one with Angel Wing, and I did not see any with broken legs or wings today. That was joyful.
The water is pretty much clear with the aerators working full time.
A male Wood Duck in transition. Getting those feathers.
Two little female Wood Ducks paddling away. Lovely.
And isn’t this wonderful. Bazz Hockaday posted a video of Ervie fishing on the Friends of Sth Aus Osprey FB page. Here are a couple of screen grabs from that video of our dear Ervie.
The latest stats from Hawk Mountain in PA as to their migration count. Some, more than others, have made their way through. Will the huge osprey deaths in the NE have an impact on Osprey migration numbers?
The Woodland Trust published its season highlights – fantastic. Oh, that Tawny Owl!
Is there a problem with trees in Nebraska? Have a read.
Xavier is the cutest! How fortunate are we to watch this family deal with their two new hatchlings? There is a rumour that the other egg might be hatching. If that is the case let there be Starlings – thousands of Starlings and parrots descending into the area for Xavier’s hunting!
Teamwork is happening at SW Florida! I love these videos because they are not from the streaming cam – you get to see more of what is going on as M15 and his new mate work to get their nest in order.
V3 was at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest but was there another male visitor on Tuesday?
Gabby was with V3 on Monday night and you can tell when she sees him that he is the one for this gal. Let’s go home – the rest of you!
Beautiful Day at Superbeaks!
Eagles at the Duke Farms nest early on Tuesday.
The male at Pittsburgh-Hayes has been missing since 7 September. It is not looking good.
Didn’t see anyone at the US Steel nest on Tuesday.
Waiting to see if Jackie and Shadow show up at Big Bear on Tuesday. Aren’t those diamonds pouring down on that nest just gorgeous?
And they did – after 1800 again!
Eagles arriving early morning at the Kistachie NKF E-1 nest.
The falcons in the CBD Melbourne are certainly enjoying the cooler weather this week. There is plenty of time to enjoy Xavier and Diamond’s chicks before these hatch!
So when will the chicks in Melbourne hatch? ‘H’ has been doing some sleuthing. She writes, “There is differing information among sources online, but the majority of sources state 33-35 days is typical for the first hatch… Victor Hurley stated in one of his FFS from last season that the incubation period is approximately 32 days, and can be as long as 40 days. The four eggs at Collins Street this year were laid on: 9/3 (21:15), 9/6 (07:25), 9/8 16:44), 9/11 07:48). So, 33 days from the date of the penultimate egg is 10/11.
If the 11th is correct then we are within a week of pip watch for Melbourne.
Family portrait at the Sydney Olympic Forest. I have tried not to get attached to these two but how can you not? They are wonderful and Lady and Dad are the best.
At Port Lincoln, Dad brought a whole fish and a partial one on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, the eggs are 28, 25, and 22 days old. Ways to go for hatch.
In New Zealand, the Kakapo are getting annual health checks and battery changeovers. It will not be long til the Kakapo Recovery begins its annual fundraiser. Want to adopt a Kakapo? Check out their FB page!
Cornell catches up with Christian Cooper in a Q & A.
Work is being done to transform one of the Caribbean islands into a nature haven. How many times have I wished to live in a country that devoted its resources to wildlife and nature instead of factories and selling? Ever heard of Redonda?
In the UK, there is a delay in the decision to outlaw lead ammunition. Why oh why? We know the result of using lead in hunting and fishing – look at those beautiful raptors flooding the wildlife clinics this fall with toxic lead poisoning. Time to change!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for the photographs, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog today: ‘Geemeff, H, SP’, Bazz Hockaday, Hawk Mountain, The Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, SK Hideaways, MLizPhotos, Wskrsnwings, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, Duke Farms, Pix Cams, FOBBV, KNF-E1, Collins Street by Mirvac, Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Living Bird Magazine, Raptor Persecution UK, and Kakapo Recovery.