Thank goodness for the Fish Fairies…Tuesday in Bird World

7 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

It drizzled again today. There were so many birds at the garden feeders that sometimes it seemed like a solid wall of wings fluttering about. The Starlings ate at the suet cylinders and the table feeder, but I also noticed that they were cleaning out the bowls of kibble for the stray cats my neighbour leaves near her garage. Everyone was hungry! Everyone ‘is’ hungry. The cat’s outdoor feeder has now been positioned so that it is covered, and the dishes stay dry from the rain and snow. Tomorrow will be another shelter for another stray – a huge demand. Every shelter in our city is full and cannot take any more cats, yet there is a constant list of new finds. People struggle to feed themselves and their children to pay rent or mortgage. I have said this before, but it is so worrisome – that which gives us joy and comfort is thrown out to the street, hoping that someone else will take it in or that our ‘best friend’ will find food somewhere and stay alive. It is the beginning of winter. This breaks my heart.

A lovely chat over tea and cardamon buns this afternoon with my granddaughter revealed that the homeless in my city with mental health problems are also struggling. There is no affordable housing. A young man who cannot live alone and whose father died recently was lucky to find a placement, but many do not. She says that they are put on the street and have to try and find a place to sleep in the homeless shelters – people are no different than the cats and dogs, the family pets, that are abandoned. My goodness, what a world we live in. We can delight in discovering that a thirty-something singer now has over a billion dollars in net worth while families struggle to feed themselves on a few hundred dollars a month. Sorry. There is a point to all of this.

Donations to help wildlife are way down. Ordinary families that used to donate to their local wildlife centre – either in the form of cash, volunteering, or wish list items can no longer afford to do so. If they cannot afford to keep their family pet, we know they cannot afford to feed the birds and other animals in their garden. It is a vicious circle, and I have no answer. There is so much waste, and with some ingenuity, a couple of individuals can arrange to collect the food waste and find a suitable place to deposit it for the birds that would happily devour it. Of course, I am thinking about the Crows. (I did find a spot to feed the local ones, but it is a secret to protect their safety because of local health regulations).

Many of you reading my blog will find that the increase in food prices – what? 30% plus – has impacted your way of living. Remember, one thing you can do is to put out water. Water is life. Every animal and every bird needs water to survive. If you are up to it, you can remind your friends and neighbours that the wildlife rehab clinics much need those clean, used towels and sheets. If someone dies and their friends and family do not know what to do with their things and are simply going to ‘get rid of them’, ask if you can check if there is anything that might be useful to the local rehab clinic near you or the animal shelters. You have yet to learn how valuable your actions can be for the shelters and clinics that are now struggling. So, thank you in advance!

My girls are spoiled. Today, Hope spent much time sleeping in Missey’s basket. I think Missey has decided to ‘give it’ to Hope. Hope is a little sleepy head in the image below. Hope and Missey spent much time watching their bird video while Calico tried to find a place to sleep ‘without Hope’. I can promise you that will never happen!

Things are a little out of order because I am so excited about what is happening on the Parramatta River that I have brought it up between the day’s events with the kittens.

I am still so excited about seeing the sea eagles flying around the mangroves near the River Roost of Lady and Dad that I can barely sit still. I can only imagine the joy the adults have in raising their eaglets from egg to fledge to freedom, knowing that they have taught them everything to survive – something that they have not been able to do in past years.

These images were taken by the BOGs and posted on the Sydney Sea Eagle cam, and shared all over FB. They are marvellous and show how strong the fledglings are! It is very reassuring.

‘A’ has some more news this morning: “Tuesday 7: early morning, during the last of this season’s annual Bird surveys, several of us saw both adults and we assume SE32 over on the mangroves across the river. After 10am, we also saw one adult fly across the Nature Reserve Wetlands and then back to the river. Later at around 3:15, the juvenile was seen eating on the ground under the mangroves, after one of the parents brought prey in. Wonderful to see it eating. We have not spotted the second juvenile today. The juvenile osprey from a few bays away is returning to eat near the nest high on a light tower in a playing field. It is interesting to compare the post-fledge behaviour of the 2 species.”

This news, along with the extremely robust eyases at Orange and the Fish Fairies at Port Lincoln, means that the Australia streaming cams have had a good year – not 100% – but an amazing year nonetheless. I would love to have seen the CBD raise their falcons, but that is something to look forward to next year and let us all continue to hope that the Collins Street Mum is well.

It rained on Sunday and it rained a little today. The snow is melting revealing bright green grass. It is a nice surprise – welcome when everything else is grey or brown. The girls have been hanging out in the conservatory enjoying the warmer weather and several chapters from Margaret Renkl’s new book. Tomorrow we pick up another feral winter home for the outdoor kitties.

Hope is a big beautiful girl – almost as big as Mamma. She loves to pose.

Calico’s favourite perch. Missey likes the top and Hope loves the house and bothering Missey’s tail so they all can share and get along – which they are doing, thankfully.

Missey is getting quite ‘woolly’ for the winter. She gets brushed five or six times a day, which is still insufficient for her liking.

The December birdseed order has been delivered from the local farmers. One only handles Black Oil Seed, and the other does a mixture of millet, corn, safflower, and sunflower seeds. It seemed as if the Blue Jays were not so happy with just the Black Oil Seed, so now they have a choice along with the Dark-eyed Juncos, who are still here. If you feed birds, check out local farmers who bypass all the middle handlers and sell directly to those who feed the birds.

Moving on to check our active nests…

At Port Lincoln, Mum cleaned the nest and found some fish.

Meanwhile, Mum is waiting for Dad to get off the ropes and go fishing.

So grateful for the fish fairies. These chicks might not have made it to this age. They are 23 and 21 days old today. Mum waiting with Giliath and #2 for a fish delivery. Mum leaves. Dad remains on the ropes. Thank goodness for those scraps in the nest, too!

At 11:50, the chat says “Fish Fairies on their way”. Relief. Giliath and #2 are so precious. So is Mum.

A large Trevally lands on the nest. Oh, goodness. This will make some nice meals!

Dad will take the fish after the first feeding. He will have a good feed and return it to Mum, who will feed the osplets again and hopefully finish off the tail herself. I hope Dad will get out and bring another fish to the nest before evening.

‘A’s report is always welcome. She tells me that today is the Melbourne Cup and everyone stops everything for the horse race! “The osplets are hungry today, with nothing brought to the nest by either parent, although mum did discover some nestovers very early this morning (about 05:48) and fed a fish tail to the two chicks. We are told by the mods that the fish fairy is on her way as I type, so a large feeding is about to occur. The current joke is that mum and the osplets will be meeting the boat! Certainly, mum is gone for no more than two minutes when fish are delivered. She knows Janet by now and I think she is well aware no harm is meant by the fishmonger. Looking forward to watching this pair eat. I love them both but Little Bob is such a feisty lad, his sister being far more laid-back. Perhaps Giliath is also male. I have thought the size discrepancy made that unlikely, but even when both eat their fill, Giliath is definitely eating at least twice as much as its younger sibling at a lot of the feedings. So it’s hard to tell, but I would still have my money on Giliath being the big sister to younger brother Little Bob. The temperaments seem to be the reverse of what gender would suggest. “

‘A’ and I spend a lot of time discussing the Port Lincoln Osplets and we both wonder – as I have in this post earlier – what would have been the fate of this nest this year without the fish fairies: “Today was a day to wonder what may have happened in the absence of the fish fairy, whose single giant trevally (13:07) was the only fish of the day. There were two monster feedings from the fish, and of course mum ate a lot of fish herself (as always), plus dad took it away for a bit and then brought it back for the second feeding. What interested me the most was how confident Little Bob was – lining up first, getting the prime position, and then reaching for bites in front of his huge sister, who did not object in any way or at any stage. These two are the best of friends, and I would suspect two males were it not for the massive size discrepancy between them. There are times when Giliath does get fed a lot more than her brother because mum for some reason concentrates on her, but mostly Little Bob is eating as much as Giliath, and at all meals, he seems to eat as much as he is able to. (He turns away from feedings, too full to continue, then returns to rejoin the feeding or gets pursued by mum attempting to smother him in fish.) So I have to believe their difference in size represents a gender difference, though we won’t know until banding of course. I do love to watch this pair though. They are so amicable and it is just a wonderful nest to watch as a result. I wonder whether dad feels the pressure has been lifted by the fish fairy or whether fishing conditions were simply bad today. “

At Orange, Marri is beginning to look like a falcon, bigger than Diamond. Both share in the prey and continue to look out to the wide world. The parents will soon turn to doing flying demonstrations with prey in their talons in front of the scrape as fledge approaches.

Diamond appears to be smiling all over. Look at those eyes as she stares at her daughter, Marri.

Barru is a cutie-pie but not match for Marri in a tug-o-war. Thank goodness they get along brilliantly.

The Bald Eagles are either laying eggs, thinking about eggs, or working on nests in preparation for eggs in the US.

Martin and Rosa have made great progress on their brand new nest!

We are expecting at an egg with Missey and Pa Berry at Berry College any time.

Smitty is still missing.

The most recent visit of the male with Bella at the NCTC nest is caught by Deb Stecyk.

Poor Bella. She continues to work on her nest with no news of Smitty.

Gabby and V3 are checking out the nest bowl at NEFlorida.

An owl goes after V3 (for the second time in as many days).

The rails are high and the one camera is set low but Muhlady is in the nest at Superbeaks incubating those two eggs.

More GHOs looking for nests and thinking of those that belong to Bald Eagles! This time at the nest of Abby and Blazer.

Fingers crossed for this pair of Black Storks.

Had to check on the only storklet fledgling of Karl II’s to have a transmitter this year – Kalvi. He is now in southern Turkey. Stay safe, Kalvi!

Wonderful news coming out of Kielder from Joanne Dailey and from Jean-marie Dupart in Senegal:

As we know from the Black Storks flying together (Karl II and Kaia) as well as others, Audubon’s recent report supports the notion of flock migration.

As you might be aware, the names of American birds are about to be changed. Here is a good read on why this huge task of removing names related to individuals is taking place.

Thank you so very much for being with us today. Please take care. We hope to see you with us again soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, images, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog for today: ‘A’, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam and the BOGS, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Gracie Shepherd, Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam, Berry College Eagle Cam, Deb Stecyk, Paul Kolnik, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Superbeaks, Eagle Country, Maria Marika, Looduskalender, Joanne Dailey and Jean-marie Dupart, Audubon, and The Guardian.

Beaky kisses and SE32 eating in the mangroves…Monday in Bird World

6 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that the weekend was good and that the beginning of the week is even better for each and everyone.

It was a damp Sunday in southern Manitoba. It rained. Not enough to melt all the snow but enough to make you worry if you went out if the temperature drops quickly and turns that rain into ice. Still, I wanted to get to the nature centre for some suet and walk around checking on the geese and ducks.

But, before we even start on that…Pepe and Muhlady have their second egg of the Bald Eagle season at Superbeaks!!!!!!!! 32 days til hatch watch. Write that in your calendars. 7 December 2023.

Now back to the nature centre. I spotted 27 Hooded Mergansers. Others have seen more. There were Ring-billed gulls, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, a Rusty Blackbird, two American Coots and 8 Mallards. I did not see a single Canada Goose.

You might remember that earlier in the summer, there were lots of young Hooded Mergansers being cared for by two pairs of adults. I believe that these might be those same waterfowl all grown up!

These are female Hooded Mergansers.

I saw two Males. You can tell them immediately by the white on their hoods and neck.

A małe Downy Woodpecker was really enjoying the suet. Remember when it gets cold suet provides wonderful energy for the birds with all the added fat.

It is the same little Red Squirrel hoping that one of the birds would cause some seeds to drop from the feeders.

Every time I go for a walk in the nature centre, I rub the Buffalo Stone.

In the winter, kids of all ages – seniors, too – will take their sleds to the top of the run and go down the ramp on to the ice of Devonian Lake below. Of course, the lake is frozen solid by then.

Devonian Lake. The only leaves left on the trees are brown. The branches are so bare. The sky is a light dove grey while the lake is a little darker. Everything here in the winter turns into blacks, espressos, deep browns and beaver brown, and a range of greys. I miss the colour of spring! And fall.

At Pork Lincoln, the waters are not as calm as Devonian Lake, but they are calmer than yesterday. Dad will bring in a fish at 08:08 and another one around 13:00 at the time of writing this blog. There could be more and there will also be the fish fairy delivery. There has been no real beaking of any consequence.

Look at the feathers and the down feet. #2 often stars Giliath right in the eyes. It is never the thing to do. One beak by #2. Giliath says not doing that to me. Returns the beak and all is over.

The osplets are getting stronger on their ‘feet’. Just look at Giliath.

Looking out to the world beyond. Those beautiful feathers coming in on the hand and at the tail.

Mum is telling Dad to get on with the fishing. The chicks are going to be hungry.

Mum has flown off the nest. It is nearly 1300. Babies are panting and are hungry. Dad will arrive with a fish shortly. Everyone will get their fill.

‘A’ gives us the remaining report of the day at Port Lincoln: “The fish fairy arrived late this afternoon and delivered five medium-sized fish, mainly red mullet. This was greatly appreciated by mum, Giliath and Little Bob, who ate and ate and ate. For over an hour. Even dad benefitted, because when he caught a fish at 17:39, he was able to eat most of it himself on the ropes. When he brought the remainder to the nest, mum deigned to eat a little before returning to the red mullet. Mum does love her fish, but she tries so hard to fill up those osplets. She feeds fast, and she is always conscious of both chicks, feeding them alternately most of the time (one bite for Little Bob, two or three bites for mum, two bites for Giliath, more bites for mum, three bites for Little Bob, and so on). Oh they are sweet. An osprey nest without undue aggression is a beautiful thing. Rare and wonderful. I have never truly enjoyed an osprey nest until now. “

This is the weekly summary report from Port Lincoln:

They have discovered another nest in South Australia with a wee Osprey babe and an egg.

At Orange, the eyases were looking out of the scrape in the golden glow of morning, waiting for Xavier to bring in the breakfast. Look at how much of the down is now gone. They are developing so fast. Yes, we could have a fledge in a week. That is hard to believe.

These are a series of images from the scrape. Marri and Barru spend a lot of time looking out of the window at the great big world beyond the scrape. The feathers on the bottom of the scrape box not only belong to prey but also have been shed from their back, wings, and head. You can clearly see the falcon head and shape appearing. At times, the pair look like they are on a haute couture runway in Paris with the latest layered satin capes with fine feathering designs. They are simply beautiful although a big bedraggled. In a few days we will not remember what they looked like with their baby down.

There is nothing earth-shattering about these images. They are not fabulous for any reason. I love the state that their plumage is in at the moment. The feathers appear to have a quilted pattern in the first image, with the fine little pieces of down being the ties. The down on their heads is confined to a mini-mohawk. Look at the drape of the cape at the back and imagine a winter wonderland.

‘A’ remarks: “At Orange, little Barru is ADORABLE. Okay, they both are. With their tufts of fluff rapidly disappearing and their feathers coming through, and most importantly those gorgeous eyes. Oh they are so beautiful. Mum and dad are almost reluctant to enter the scrape at this point, as they are immediately mobbed by the eyases, and Xavier needs to count his talons after delivering prey. Mum still feeds the chicks when they let her, but usually, they grab and self-feed, The tugs of prey are risky, as Marri’s near-tumble the other day demonstrated. She really did fall out of the scrape – it was very lucky she got a talon-hold on that tiny ledge beneath the ledge, as it were, and then that she had the strength to flap her own weight back up and into the scrape. It was very dramatic for a few seconds there. But as I said, she learned absolutely nothing from the experience and returned immediately to exactly the same activity in precisely the same spot. Food, food, food!! “

SK Hideaways gives us the video of Diamond not wanting to be in the scrape with the two eyases anymore! Watch those little dandelion feathers go flying…my goodness. This scrape got so small with these two!

News from Sydney. Images of Rohan Geddes in my blog of for Sunday the 5th of November.

And from Jen for the 6th November, 2023 – As promised, news on SE32 from yesterday. SE32 is with Dad and Lady at river roost! Another thanks to ground obs team – Jen, for the awesome video of SE32 flying with parents. More from the team later on what they saw today. How do we know, which one? SE32 has a high pitched squeal, easily heard over the river and evident when parents were feeding (in mangroves).

And even better news from ‘A’: “November 6: Again all was quiet overnight. Ground crew was down by the river early – and reported both adults and what we think is SE32 in mangroves near River Roost. During the morning I actually spotted SE32 hidden away in the mangroves -superb camouflage and heard it calling. After I left, at around 13:20 SE32 was seen eating under the mangroves, with prey delivered by one of the parents, standing guard nearby. So one of the juveniles at least is with the parents and has been delivered prey, which is wonderful news. Later in the afternoon I again saw both adults in the mangroves in a similar spot, Lady eating a fish and then a juvie possibly eating as well, out of sight. We have possibly heard 2 juveniles calling from that area during the day as well. I went for a walk through the forest, though saw no eagles this time, nor currawongs warning of the presence of a juvenile.”

We are so delighted with SE31 and 32 and knowing they are with Lady and Dad, being fed, getting their flying skills even stronger and learning to hunt. But could you stop for a moment? In recent memory, Lady and Dad have not been able to enjoy these moments either. The eaglets were either lost or taken into care. This must be the most glorious year for these sea eagle parents. Smile. Shed tears. How many years have we waited to see these wonderful fledglings living their lives and being fed without the onslaught of the Currawongs…it is beautiful.

Connie has spent an inordinate amount of time in the nest she shares with Clive on Captiva. Will this be the second eagle couple to lay an egg this season?

Moving sticks and beaky kisses with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear!

At NE Florida, Gabby is determined to get her nest just right. Now we need eggs!

On Sunday, Smitty had been gone from the NCTC nest for four days. We wait to see what will happen. The young male intruder was seen at the nest on Sunday.

‘A’ gives us a report from the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand: “At the albatross colony, OGK’s brother has been confirmed as an arrival this season. And as we know, YRK has returned, seemingly aware that OGK will not be coming home. Discussion on this led to someone posting this: What an amazing photo. There is so much we assume about birds and their emotions (or lack of them) and we actually KNOW so very little. So far, there has not been an egg laid at the colony, but as eggs begin to hatch in the second half of January after an average incubation period of about 11 weeks (77 days), that means we should be expecting eggs to start being laid within the next two or three weeks. They will candle all of the eggs to ascertain which are fertile before deciding on this year’s Royal Cam family. It is a very long period of dedication from the parents – nearly three months of incubation, then eight months of feeding their chick before it fledges. That’s the best part of a year! Now that’s parental devotion.”

The GPS tracking systems on the migrating birds are so good that you can locate the precise pole that the bird was killed on. Indeed, some of them will change the image on the transmission to a skull and crossbones when the bird dies. This is where Karl II took his last breath.

This was sent to me this morning by my friend, Sassa Bird. We had been talking about the great loss that Karl II’s death has done to the people who work so hard for this endangered species to grow in Estonia (and Latvia). We remembered Urmas. He has to be more gutted than any of us will ever know. He has worked tirelessly for the Black Stork families in Estonia.

“NFO BIRDMAP: An adult Black Stork, tracked with support of BAltCF project. Breeding in webcam nest of Karula National Park since 2019. Karl II owned the nest after the previous male stork Karl died during the spring migration in Syria. In the spring of 2020, the former female stork Kati did not return from her migration, and a young female, whom observers began to call Kaia, appeared belatedly in May. Kaia laid two eggs, but left the hatching unfinished. After the breedind appeared unsuccessful we got a chance to capture Karl II and install a transmitter on him. So we know that in the previous two autumns, Karl II made a long migration stop on the Black Sea coast between Kherson and the Crimea, and from there flew west around the Black Sea to Africa. During the 2022 migration, this area was a war zone, and Karl II’s data was cut off on September 4 before reaching the occupied area. The next data transfer took place only on September 22, when Karl II reached the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, in the Dniester River delta. Then we saw that Karl II had flown to his usual stop over area on the Black Sea coast at Perekop Bay by evening September 5th, but the next day he flew away from there, 80 km north to the Dnipro river flood plaines, while checking the feeding places of previous years. In 6-19 September, Karl II stopped at the floodplains of the Dnipro river, in a militarily sense rather hot place between Kherson and Kahovka. On September 19th, Karl II went to see if the conditions on the Black Sea coast had calmed down, but turned back to the Dnipro river and from there in morning of September 20th, he flew further to the northwest, looking for suitable feeding places. In two days, without finding a good place to forage, Karl II reached the border of Moldova, in the delta of the Dniester River (by the evening of September 22). We will see if that will be a longer stop over or only for a single night. When he arrived in Africa, the connection with Karl II disappeared, as it does every autumn. But at the beginning of March 2023, Karl II started flying towards Estonia from his wintering place (from the border of the Central African Republic and DRC). Karl II made a migration stop over on April 1 due to rainy weather, but the rain turned to snow on April 4, and according to the forecast, the snow will not melt until a week later. The north is free of snow, but Karl II probably doesn’t know that. Nevertheless, Karl II breeds successfully in season 2023. There grow up three chicks of four eggs. Last is Karl II to leave for autumn migration. He doesn’t know that it will be his last one. Between 1st and 2nd October Karl II lands on electric pylon for night, but got electrocuted. Turkish colleagues searched and found dead body, took away the transmitter.”

If you are in Malta, please read this and help.

North Ronaldsay is in the Orkneys. It has broken its own record with more than 226 species observed on the island.

We have Wild Turkeys in Manitoba. I remember with some disgruntlement when eBird told me that I was incorrect in spotting and hearing a Wild Turkey at Fort Whyte Alive in the spring. Well, turns out I was right and several others saw the turkeys, too. Want to know more about their behaviour? Have a read.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. We hope to have you with us again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: “A, H, Sassa Bird”, PLO, Fran Solly, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, SK Hideaways, Rohan Geddes, Jen, Cathy Cook, Inatra Veidemane, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, AEF, Sassa Bird, Maria Marika, Birdlife Malta, Bird Guides, and Cool Green Science.

Friday in Bird World

6 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an article form Natural Resources on Seren.

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

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

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

Kaia is in Israel!

Last data from Karl II he was in Turkey.

Kalvi is in Bulgaria.

Little Waba is in Romania.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imncubation continues at Collins Street.

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

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

Here is the complete story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eagles at work…Ervie goes fishing…Wednesday in Bird World

4 October 2023

Good Morning to Everyone!

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.

Cheeping can be heard at Orange…Sunday in Bird World

1 October 2023

Good Morning,

Gosh, we watched that big beautiful Harvest Moon as it welcomed us into the month of October. What a view through the roof of the Conservatory!

As I write, it is 25 degrees C, a gorgeous fall day with blue skies and vibrant yellow leaves poking their way through the window frame. The Blue Jays are visiting the table feeder, and Dyson has been scurrying about.

Hope reminded me that Uncle Claudio said to use the ‘Marigolds’ on the upholstery, and the cat hair would come right off. Marigolds are rubber gloves used for washing up. They have little prickles on the underneath that work wonders lifting cat hair. Rub the gloves in circles. Incredible. Thanks, Uncle Claudio!

Hope also likes to help sweep up, but I’m not sure she would care for hoovering. She had such fun with the little broom this afternoon. She will not allow me to stroke her unless she is distracted. Hope will also come up close if Calico is sleeping on my lap. If I pretend to be asleep on the couch, she will come and sleep on my leg. It is slow going, but we will get there! I wish she had been found as a wee kitten, not a 9-week-old, very independent lass.

Things with Covid – the sore throat is gone. The wobblies have passed, and I no longer have a temperature. The Covid test is still showing positive, but things are beginning to look up, and this will pass in a couple of days. You need to take care. There are now reports of Covid cases almost everywhere (did they ever really cease? No). Make sure you are prepared. Did I mention throat lozenges? Aspirin or related products to reduce fever? Nothing tastes good, but you must eat to maintain your strength. So, have things that are easy to make and might make you want to have a bite. Who cares if you eat soup, biscuits (cookies), Ice cream, and frozen dinners for a week? Whatever motivates you. I did find oranges were one of the real treats once my throat quit hurting.

The kittens and I listened to Ferris Akel’s tour today while cleaning. There were some nice waterfowl and wading birds on Saturday.

There were Cormorants.

The first thing I will do when I am negative is to go and see the geese landing on their way south! Can’t wait. Maybe there will be a Cormorant or two with them.

The latest announcement from the SW Florida Eagle nest:

The view Saturday night at Fort Myers.

The weather was not good at The Hamlet. Gabby was alone on the Walleda Branch all night. Where is V3? My heart aches for our girl.

Fish continue to be delivered to Lil’Arb at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Nest – three came in by 1200 on Saturday! The fishing is good, the weather is fine – no reason to take off. This Dad is amazing – what a change from an inexperienced Mum. This fledgling is getting a right good start to his migration.

Cheeping can be heard on the microphone at Orange! Turn your volume up in the ledge cam (not the side like this image), and – well, we are almost there! Xavier and Diamond must be so excited.

Xavier really wanted some egg time and he tried to convince Diamond to leave and let him but, no way. The couple appeared to chat and listen to the eggs. They know their baby/babies are almost here. In fact, Diamond is acting a wee bit suspicious as I finish up the blog this morning. Fingers crossed.

Birdie Cam got these adorable falcons and their egg time competition on video!

‘A’ writes: “”This is the cutest event of the day at Orange, given the hatch probably won’t occur until after midnight so will be tomorrow’s cutest event. At 11:42:45 this morning (Sunday 1 October), Xavier put up a phenomenal three-minute battle for the right to brood the eggs. (He must know that his egg time is fast running out and his precious eggs will soon become open screeching little beaks, though he adores them as well of course.) At any rate, I have NEVER seen him put up such an effort to win the right to brood eggs. And he very nearly won! Well, technically he did win, but then Diamond had a stern word to him and shortly before 11:46, he decided that perhaps he had better get up and retreat. But the effort he made to actually get onto those eggs in the first place truly has to be seen to be believed. I am certain there will be internet video posted of it – I am looking for it now. But it really was fantastic, and illustrates perfectly why we all adore this sweet little falcon so very very much. He is a one-off.”

It is possible that something is happening with the egg on the left after 1500. Or. perhaps we are all just seeing things because we want to!

At Sydney, the Sea Eagles are jumping and flapping all over the nest.

‘A’ notes, “At WBSE Dad brought in a headless medium-sized fish soon after 11:44 and although SE31 tried to steal it from him, he retained control of it and fed the entire thing to SE32. Right at the end, when SE31 pushed right up to Dad’s beak, SE32, who ate lying duckling style throughout the meal, had his eye on a line below SE31 – he was ready to grab for that fish tail the moment it became accessible. He was like lightning, grabbing and turning away with his prize in a single movement, then horking down the tail with any remaining flesh attached. Dad picked up a small leftover piece and fed that to SE32 as well, finished any remaining flakes himself, and left SE32 with a nice crop and SE31, for once, disappointed. The new self-feeding regime has left SE32 with a bit of a dilemma, as he is not large enough or aggressive enough to beat his sister in a battle for the prey, whereas he was fine with sitting and sharing at the table. So until he improves his ability to win the prey, retain it and self-feed effectively from it, he will be losing out on his share of the food. So that fish was a nice bonus for his day.” 

32 waiting!

Gosh, it is a beautiful view at Superbeaks. That saturated colour is gorgeous. I’m looking forward to this year. Thank you to everyone who introduced me to this nest last year!

Sticks are being moved at Big Bear. Jackie and Shadow have been working diligently. What a relief to see these two together, no intruders, bonding and working for their future – oh, please let them have one nice healthy eaglet this year.

Thunder visited the West End nest on Saturday gazing out over the water. She is lovely.

Connie and Clive have been working on their nest at Captiva.

Trudi Kron reports that Nancy and Beau have been working on their new nest, across the road from the one that collapsed last year, killing their surviving eaglet. It is not known if the Minnesota DNR will be able to install a cam so that we can watch their activities for the coming year.

Martin and Rosa weren’t seen on the Dulles-Greenway Nest when I was checking but the camera crew caught the squirrel who is nesting in the lower part of the nest with its little one!

The heat started at Melbourne after 0900 when Mum began to pant heavily to try and regulate her temperature. It is a cooler day, only 19 C – on Sunday in Melbourne. Rain is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday after the heat rises again on Monday to 28 C.

Keeping an eye on Mum and Dad2 at Port Lincoln. Still a ways until we will have pip watch here on the barge.

The latest map of our Black Storks from Karula and their migration. Thanks Maria Marika!

Too many species are facing extinction. What can we do? Lots. We will talk about that when I am feeling better, but each day, you can help the birds and the wildlife where you live, those birds out your back door that bring you joy with their song. Could you put out water? For drinking. For baths. If you can afford it, put out food for them. It took me a while, but I finally found farmers in my province who deliver Black Oil seed right to my door. They even have a fantastic seed mixture. By cutting out all of the people in the middle, the savings I have made means that I can continue supporting the hundreds of birds that come during the day to the garden. More and more farmers are diversifying. Many discovered the farm-to-table movement during Covid 19. They can get more money for their products and offer their customers savings. Could you check it out? It could change your birding life. [If you live in Manitoba and would like to know the contact information for local delivery by farmers providing bird seed, send me an e-mail:].

Ducks are being rescued in Australia.

Thank you for being with me this morning. So excited for what is happening at Orange. Xavier just be sooooooo excited. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter this morning: ‘A’, Ferris Akel, Nancy Babineau and SW Florida Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, MN Landscape Arboretum, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Birdie Cam and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Superbeaks, FOBBV, IWS/Explore, Window to Wildlife, Trudi Kron, Dulles-Greenway, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Maria Marika, The Guardian, and Western Australian SeaBird Rescue.

Jackie and Shadow are back…Friday in Bird World

29 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Hope’s eyes remind me of Missey’s!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cali Condor has it in a video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karl II is in Turkey!

Kaia is also in Turkey!

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

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

Banff flipped overboard…Friday in Bird World

25 August 2023

Good Morning,

Well, if you are following the saga – it will become an odyssey soon – with me and Calico, it is now Calico 13 and Mary Ann 2. Yesterday the food dishes were licked clean in under 45 minutes. Calico does not eat that quickly or much in that amount of time. Today, the first breakfast was the same. But the afternoon feed was hardly touched. The trail cam was set up underneath the deck at 1300. The space is so limited that it appears the motion detection system did not operate properly when I returned with food and to check the footage. Can you hear me growling like a cat? Calico is laughing her head off with a smile like a Cheshire Cat. So the camera is somewhat repositioned, and if that doesn’t work overnight, I will put it outside so that it covers the entrance to the area where Calico comes and goes. I believe that the kitten or kittens are old enough that it/they might follow Mama. I will continue to provide food in the hope that the wee one will associate food with my voice and come trotting out one day – before it is too late to socialise the kitten/s. I continue to praise this kitten that had kittens herself for finding the right place – it is so safe, and secluded. No one would know she was under there if they were not searching like me. Still, I will need to get her in hand – Calico that is – on 4 September for her surgery.

Morning Update: Calico was waiting for me at my garden door with brambles in her fur. While she ate she allowed me to brush her for over an hour and a half removing more than 3/4 of them. What patience with me! She also ate well. We then went together to retrieve the camera – they are meant to work in open spaces not in confined spots so it is now up on a pole!

Our thoughts continue to be with the wildlife (and the people) impacted by the wildfires burning in my country. These were the most recent stats that I could find on The Narwhal.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there are currently 1,035 active fires burning across the country, 368 in B.C. alone. A staggering 15 million hectares (a jump of nearly 2 million hectares since last week) have burned this year so far — and there’s no end in sight to the inferno. The heavy blanket of smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest stretches from San Diego to Great Slave Lake.

I have had several questions and letters about migration. Many of you might not be completely familiar with the reasons that the Ospreys migrate or how far they travel.

This first article is by the RSPB and focuses on the UK Ospreys but there is much good information that applies to all ospreys that migrate.

This second article is full of gorgeous images and maps that will help you understand more not only about migration but about where those birds along the NE coast of the US travel. It is an excellent read.

If you are looking for a comprehensive book on bird migration (it includes many species), I highly recommend The Atlas of Bird Migration. Tracing the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It is by the Smithsonian (there is another by a similar title so I am providing the cover image). This book is everything that you wanted to know and much that you didn’t even know you wanted to know! The cost at my local nature centre was $24.95 CDN.

The tracker for Bonus, the foster storklet of Jan and Jannika, who grew up on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in 2022 has problems with the transmitter not charging. Bonus was somewhere in Belarus. Stay safe, Bonus!

Urmas’s fish basket that has helped to keep the family of Karl II alive this season is still operational. Urmas and his team refill as necessary and on Thursday, Karl II went there to fill up the trio.

Imagine how some of the fortunes of the US and Canadian Osprey nests might have changed had fish been compassionately provided during their time of need – during drought, storms, and fires. I praise Urmas and the Estonia team who try, in whatever way they can, to protect their precious Black Storks. Bonus is an example of that, and we will never forget the dummy female and the robot-feeding male stork. Enlightened is the word I often use for Urmas and Dr. Madis. Bravo! The world could use 100s of people like you who are willing to step up, take a chance, do the right thing. We made a mess of their planet – isn’t it time we fix that?

There is ‘mixed news’ in the most recent Tweed Valley report.

We must check on Fortis – ‘H’ has given us a grand report on what happened to poor Banff on Thursday. “Banff spent the night away from the nest.  The morning started with the female intruder arriving at 0607, and her mate arrived a little later.  We heard Banff’s voice, and for some reason the intruders simultaneously flew off the nest at 0626.  After a few minutes we saw Banff being chased by at least one of them.  The female intruder returned to the nest at 0635.  At 0649 Louise hovered with a fish in her talons, and the female intruder kept her away.  At the same time, the male intruder landed on the nest, and Louise flew to the T-perch.  Louise did not eat the fish.  She flew off the T-perch with the fish at 0653, perhaps to find Banff.  The intruder pair mated on the nest at 0733.  The male left the nest at 0826 and would not be seen for the next 9.5 hours.  Banff flew toward the nest at 0845, but she was intercepted in the air by the female and was then chased.  The female intruder brought a fish to the nest at 0905, left with it after a couple of minutes, and returned without the fish at 0916.  Over the next couple of hours, the female intruder was on and off the nest a few times.  Banff flew toward the nest at 1104, and once again the female intercepted her and chased her away.  After that, the female intruder stood on the ‘lookout post’ for about three minutes, and then she was not seen at the nest for the next 5.5 hours.  At 1336 Louise arrived with a fish.  She waited for Banff to arrive for eight minutes, but then she flew off with the fish.  Banff landed on the nest at 1453, but she hurriedly flew off as she saw an intruder approaching.  We only got a brief glimpse, but it did appear that Banff had a small crop.  Osprey chases were noted a few times throughout the day, and we assumed they may have involved Louise and/or Banff.  Louise landed on the nest with a small partial fish at 1746.  The male intruder landed and Louise immediately chased him off.  Louise waited a few minutes for Banff to arrive, but she ate the fish herself, and flew off at 1804.  Banff arrived at the nest at 1815.  She looked tired.  She called.  But, Mom did not come back.  At 1929 Banff began alerting, and she assumed a defensive posture.  She knew an intruder was approaching.  The intruder buzzed Banff at 1930, and Banff pancaked.   A few seconds later the intruder dive bombed and hit Banff really hard.  Banff was flipped over onto her back, but she seemed to be okay.  She righted herself and flew off.  Go roost near Mom, Banff.  And, Mom will bring you a nice fish for breakfast.”

On Thursday morning, our dear Mini was on the nest and got the first nice fish of the day from Dad. She did well eating it except when it got to the small tail piece which was lodged in the side of the nest. She got it out and finished off that fish. The time is 0751.

Mini got another nice fish later in the day from Dad.

Mini ate well Thursday! Let us all hope that Dad is looking after himself. Mum is still around and the other three siblings might well be. Three is off the opposite perch this evening from Mini.

Sammy McLoughlin copied the article about Mini into the chat for Patchogue. This is what it said and it had a photo of Dad in March – sadly, not of Mini!

Every year, PSEG Long Island celebrates the return of the local osprey population in Patchogue Village by preparing for the breeding season and performing maintenance on the osprey. The monitored Patchogue nest is located on West Main Street, just south of the Blue Point Brewery. This year, watchers of the live cam noticed of the four chicks (which is rare in itself), one of them seems to have injured its leg. The youngest chick, according to New York City viewer Judith Camacho, who noticed the injury and alerted the local paper, suffered some sort of leg injury last week and she believed it was in need of help. After noticing the injury, the “chatters,” as they call themselves, contacted PSEGLI, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,  and wild care rehabbers in the area. The injury can be seen at 7:34 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, during a feeding session. “She has difficulty holding the food and you can see the injury on her left leg. She is such a fighter,” Camacho said. “Survived with three older siblings, which is extremely rare. It will be a pity if she is not helped.” PSEGLI referred to Jim Jones, one of the bird experts  they work with in these situations. After being alerted to the situation, he said he has been watching the nest, on and off, for 24 hours. He confirmed that the chick does have an injury to the left foot, but he said that there are a few things to consider: The fledgling has been perching fairly easily, and the foot can grip, but a bit clumsily; it was able to finish the fish meal without incident. It can also stand on that leg without any apparent leaning. It can fly, and has been leaving the nest to forage, and possibly hunt. The parents are still there and are feeding the “All of these things are good,” he said. “The injury does not—at this time—appear life threatening. We (PSEG, myself, and a wildlife rehabber) are all monitoring the situation. At this time, we are letting things progress naturally. These kinds of injuries are not uncommon, and osprey that I have worked with have recovered. We will keep watching!”

Unfortunately, they did not include images of Mini at various stages of her life or ask locals to keep their eyes out for any ospreys on the ground. That said, Mini is progressing nicely, and there is no way that she could be easily captured currently. Nature is working its magic – and we hope for Mini that she is fit and ready to fly south soon. She is determined – a survivor, and we can only hope she has many more lives – like a cat!

At the Loch Arkaig nest of Louis and Dorcha, Louis is making up for his time away defending. I believe we are now on fish 5 but Ludo is being stalked by the Hoodies – Dyson, Hoover, and Henry – who are getting as much or more of that fish that Ludo.

Fish 5 for Ludo!

That official announcement from Ulster! Ospreys have been seen flying to and from Ireland but there were no reports of a breeding pair – and a successful one at that – until now.

Pam Breci reports that all is well at the osprey platform of Steelscape, Inc.

Our 21 year old Osprey Dad is doing a great job delivering fish to his recent fledgling at the Minnesota Arboretum nest.

‘H’s reports on Osoyoos and Barneghat Light:

Barnegat Light – Duke delivered a whole fluke to Dorsett for lunch. “Wow, thanks a lot, Dad!”  Mom, Daisy, has not been seen since 8/21.

Osoyoos – Life is going well for this family of three.  Soo brought a beautiful large fish to the nest at 1310, and she waited a long time for her fledgling to return for lunch.  Lunch lasted three hours! 

Oh, gosh it is good to hear that Osoyoos is alright. Thanks so much H’ for all three reports this morning. Always appreciated!

Blue 33 was delivering fish to Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay platform. He is helping her prepare for her migration in the hope that they both return, as usual, safely next March.

At Orange, Xavier slept on the ledge while Diamond was in the scrape.

Later, Diamond with a huge crop! Thanks, Xavier. You are keeping Mama healthy – she might not have liked the two Starlings but from the second image she devoured the pigeon. Eggs by the end of the month!

At Port Lincoln, the new couple – old Mum and new Dad – are still trying for eggs. It is definitely not too late in Australia!

Gosh, golly. I know that ‘A’ is watching the Sea Eagles much more carefully but it was sure nice for me to go through a few minutes of rewinds and see 32 up there eating and then both up at the beak and with nice crops.

‘A’ wrote us a story about SE32 and its feedings! “Lady comes in around 09:45 to deal with the fish that is left over from breakfast and again SE32 is straight up to the table and starts eating confidently. SE31 is slow to get up and stretch and she then does not move more than a step or two towards the table. Lady feeds SE32 and eats a fair bit herself while SE31 watches. She then moves towards the table, but heads around the far side of SE32, so that SE32 is between her and Lady. SE31 arranges some sticks on the left rails while SE32 keeps eating. I think you get the gist. Something is going on today. SE31 looks healthy, though the PS she just did was very small for her, but she is not attempting to head up to eat. It is after 09:53 when SE31 leans over SE32 (slowly and carefully) to take a bite from Lady. SE32 can feel his sister leaning across him but does not go into submission. SE31 is having to work to swallow the bite (there are a lot of bones in the pieces being fed by now, although there is still a lot of flesh attached), so SE32 accepts the next large mouthful, despite the very close proximity of his sister! Normally, he would get beaked for doing this but not today. Mum offers him a piecde that’s too big and SE31 thinks Lady is going to give it to her but Lady eats it herself and SE32 takes the next couple of mouthfuls. SE31 retreats slightly and just watches! What is going on? He refuses another bite because it is just too big and he is too full, and SE31 leans forward on SE32’s far side, thinking she will get this piece. But no, again Lady eats it herself and SE31 pulls back a bit, disappointed. SE32 has not dropped his head or appeared intimidated in any way so far today, and not now either. Finally, at 09:54:54 Lady starts feeding SE31, who leans forward eagerly on the far side of SE32 to eat the mouthfuls. She is hungry. SE32 stays where he is, his head up, just too full to eat. Mum offers him the occasional bite, but he is too full and only takes one small piece, so SE31 gets most of the remaining fish. It is good to see her eat. (I never thought I would have to say that!!) The meal is over just after 10am. There is still a little fish and flesh left over. Mum returns shortly after 11:04 to finish it off and again SE32 is first up to the table. Mum starts feeding him and eating some of it herself. Most of the fish is gone shortly before 11:11. Mum has worked really hard to get each morsel of flesh from it. SE32 has the most gigantic crop I have seen on a chick in a very long time. SE31 never leaves her spot on the front rails to eat. The eaglets spend a couple of hours snuggling on the rails, stretching occasionally or playing with a stick. At 13:00, SE31 turns her head to look at. SE32 eyeballs her and raises himself up slightly, leaning towards SE31 in an intimidating manner. She retreats and he settles back down. They are doing so much preening as those feathers come through. They must be really itchy. Look at the difference between the size of those crops!!! SE31 looks hungry. SE32’s is beyond description, it is so large. Dad brings in an extra large, long whole fish at 14:44 (or a very fat eel) and SE32 is straight up to the table. Dad waits for Lady, while SE31 has not even woken up yet. She is still sleeping on the front rails. Dad starts nibbling at the fish himself, looking around for Lady, while SE32 moves closer. This gives SE31 time to wake up, stretch, and move up to the table. This causes SE31 to move further forward, keeping his head down. This is not the confident SE32 from the previous feedings today. Dad feeds SE31 and continues eating himself. SE32 keeps moving forward until he is level with the fish and with dad’s beak, to one side of the table. SE31 is in the usual position in the centre of the nest, leaning forward for bites, so she is not making any contact with SE32, who is submissive but not with his head down – he is watching Dad carefully, and when he is offered a bite at 14:51 he accepts it. SE32 turns his head away as he does so Dad gives a bite to SE31 but then turns to feeding bite after bite after bite to SE32, who eats them all. SE31 crawls closer to the table and waits her turn. Dad offers her a bite at 14:54, then returns to feeding SE32. SE31 is still waiting at 14:57 and starts nibbling on the end of the fish (or very fat eel). She is up at the table but with the food between herself and SE32, with Dad in the normal parental feeding position at the back of the nest. At 14:57:27 SE31 grabs the end of this enormous piece of prey and pulls it towards herself. Good job SE31. Dad takes it back. He is still looking around periodically for Lady. He continues feeding SE32. At 15:00 she is still waiting patiently, playing with sticks, watching while SE32 eats very fast and very confidently. SE31 sits down and continues to wait patiently. Finally, at 15:02, Dad leans her way and she eagerly grabs the bite. He then starts feeding them alternate bites until soon afterwards, SE32 is full and not interested in more, so Dad feeds SE31, who is hungry. Every couple of mouthfuls, he glances at SE32 to see whether he wants a bite, then continues feeding SE31. This is a lengthy feeding – SE32 decided he could fit more food in after all – and both chicks ate a large amount. There was another feeding around , and there is also still so much leftover food that there’s enough for the whole family to eat all day tomorrow as well. This was such an interesting day because of SE32’s apparent confidence. which was diminished somewhat at that mid-afternoon feeding but was regained during it. The combination of plentiful food, SE32 getting lots of feeding from the parents and SE31 for some reason being incredibly patient and effectively taking SE32’s role for the day. She ended up getting plenty to eat with that massive fish/eel but at the time of that feeding, she had eaten very little for the day and had not seemed interested enough to press the issue.”

Thanks so much, ‘A’. We can always use a good news story on 32!

SE32 watches as 32 self-feeds. Gosh, they are just over a month old and growing so fast.

No one will say it is for certain but another beautiful image of our star single-dad M15 with a potential mate from the SW Florida Eagles nest on the Pritchett Property in Fort Myers.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care! Looking forward to having you with us again soon.

My deepest gratitude to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Amazon and Firefly Press, RSPB, Save Coastal Wildlife, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Maria Marika, Liznm, Tweed Valley Ospreys, PSEG, The Woodland Trust, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Ulster Wildlife, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, MN Landscape Arboretum, LRWT, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagles, Gracie Shepher and Raptors of the World.

Mini fledges! Cowlitz fledge? …Sunday in Bird World

23 June 2023

Hello Everyone!

Oh, tears….The big event begins on Saturday when ‘M’ alerts me to Mini’s amazing hover and ends with all of us rejoicing. Mini flew!

On Saturday, Mini did a great hover…a great hover…has been on the nest and has observed her siblings. She is going to do so great!

The tail on the ascent.

Landing after about 5 seconds of good hovering.

And PB wrote, “Mini at Patchogue branched on the perch 7:23am and fledged 8:26am….sooo happy and crying at same time. She did the impossible from being the runt and getting bullied and made it to fledge. So wish she was banded so when she ever returns we know it’s mini!” –Those banding sentiments are with so many of us…We want to know how she does. One way to tell one osprey from another is their head markings and Mini’s are distinctive. Take screen shots of her head from all angles, keep them. It is the only part of her that will not change!

Mini got her fish at 0856. What a fantastic reward – although it is unclear that Dad knows his little girl flew! Congratulations Mini. Stay safe out there. I think we all must have cried. Bittersweet moment.

The news is sad but the eagle that is being honoured was one of the first to be banded during the re-introduction of Bald Eagles into the US after the terrible decimation of our raptors from DDT.

There has been a rare bird sighting – a Switchable Black Kite – in Norfolk.

Speaking of kites and all other raptors in the UK – the Hen Harriers, the eagles…one utility company has said that it will not renew the licenses for grouse hunting on its land. As a colleague and friend pointed out, what is not known is how long those licenses can be used. When is the deadline? I hope that it is soon and that other utilities will follow suit. If the legal system cannot stop the grouse hunters from killing off all the raptors then preventing them from using the land is a brilliant alternative. Of course, the 21st century thing to do would be to stop this medieval tradition in its entirety!

There is sad news coming from OWL in British Columbia about Tyr, the eaglet on the Hancock Wildlife nest. Early concerns showed a possible issue with its leg.

If you are fans of Thunder and Akecheta at the West End Channel Islands nest, the 2023 fledglings often show up at the old nest site along with one or more of the parents.

Anthony is often on the Two Harbours nest along with parents Chase and Cholyn.

Now for some nest news:

MN Landscape Arboretum: Gosh, that little chick is getting its feathers and Mum is attentive. A real change from a month ago!

Boulder County: What a loving family. The five of them just make my heart beat. It is so interesting this year that the Ospreys living on nests in places other than in Florida and in the NE US are doing so very well. It is good to have their population growing and sadly, as hard as it is to say, to have some of the pressure off of the over saturated areas (like Florida and Chesapeake Bay).

These three at Boulder are real beauties. Mum does everything she can for them including being a huge umbrella when it is hot even if they are as big as her!

Charlo Montana: ‘L’ alerted me to the streaming cam being back on at Charlo Montana. The two chicks hatched in mid-June. They are 5 weeks old and doing well. And then the cam went down again! It is extremely hot in Montana. Mum is doing a fantastic job keeping the two cool. Bless her heart.

Loch of the Lowes: The Woodland Trust is more positive than I am that Blue NC0 will return. Laddie has his hands full and the chicks are hungry like those at Forsythe. Blue NC0 has been MIA for a week and this is really more than a spa break. She is a devoted mother and it has been a difficult year with little fish ——–how about stocking that loch like they do at Clywedog in Wales? That would solve this issue! Come on Woodland Trust – not just trees, fish! Here is the most recent report.

At the same time, I would like to call for a few more platform nests to be built for the growing population of ospreys.

Steelscape, Inc.: This Washington in Kalama had fallen off my radar until ‘PB’ wrote to me this evening about a real problem with fish deliveries for the three osplets. It is entirely possible that the third hatchling could be lost. Let us hope not. They have the same problem as Cowlitz it would appear – Eagles taking the fish from the Osprey, the heat, etc. But unlike Cowlitz, which has only one osplet to feed, this nest has three. Thank goodness the fourth egg did not hatch. Oh, goodness. Send it your very best wishes….and look. It is baking hot there, and these babies are feathered. We don’t want to lose another one – so many are starving this year.

Cowlitz: We now know that the wire mesh grids that Cowlitz PUD constructed to protect the osprey nest from Eagle predation have not hindered the ospreys. The only osplet has flapped and jumped and today, that sweet baby fledged (?) or did it branch to the top of the mesh? I think it is on top of the mesh but, if it did not fly – this one soon will!

Seaside: The two osplets, Kawok, the first hatch, and Naika, the second, are beautiful juveniles who are starting to feel their independence. They remind me a bit of Ervie and his brothers once they had fledged. Everyone was civil until then and then it was everyone lad for itself. There is a bit of an aggression showing up just like it is at other nests towards the adults especially if they do not show up with fish! No one is hungry, as far as I can tell, on this nest!

Alyth: The fledglings return to the nest for fish and rest. Flying is hard work. They did not sleep on the nest last night.

Poole Harbour: Oh, it was wet in Pool Harbour on Saturday! Miserable. Windy. The trio were busy preening and trying to dry off Sunday morning.

Glaslyn: OH2 has walked to the perch to with OH1 and Mum, Elen. Will he fly today? He sure is flapping those wings and looks strong and ready.

Dyfi: A bit of a lonely nest at times. One of the fledglings showed up Sunday morning. It looks a bit dreary and damp. Idris and Telyn will be doing a great job feeding their fledglings. Cennen has been flying for a week!

Time for ‘H’s reports:

Fortis Exshaw – Louise had some minor intruder issues, and she flushed an intruder off the tall perch and out of the area twice.  She also delivered five fish to feed her chicks.  The two 35-day-old osplets are thriving.  Mr. O was not seen on camera Saturday.

Forsythe – There were four fish delivered to the nest, including one by Opal.  The fledglings each had two fish.  Even though the food had increased slightly on Saturday, there was still significant aggression, and the siblings were literally at each other’s throats.  After a few days of very little food, the youngest sibling, Ollie, was the primary aggressor.  The battle at 1438 was quite serious.  I’m hoping the fish deliveries continue to increase so that these two juvies can relax.