It was a crisp -15 this morning and has warmed to a balmy -10 C. The sky is ‘baby blue’, and the European Starlings have filled the bare branches of the lilacs. A new seed – especially for Jays – has massively attracted the Starlings.
The girls are napping after lunch. They have a pattern. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Then 2130 comes, and it is ‘party’ time.
I am going to put this right up front. Many of you are living in areas where it is getting cold. The mice are coming in. Lots will decide to poison them. Please don’t. There are many reasons, and here is one recent study that might help you convince others not to use poison. I had a darling, sweet three-year-old cat that I had raised on a bottle die from eating a mouse that had consumed poison in one of my neighbour’s houses or sheds. It is a tragic way for any animal to die.
SW Florida’s M15 and his new mate F23 have their second egg right on schedule. Now the two can begin hard incubation and we might be expecting a New Year’s baby!
The Pritchett’s will post the official time.
SK Hideaways caught the joyous occasion on video.
Checking the nest at Pittsburgh-Hays, Mum and the new male.
V3 delivered a food gift to Gabby. Well done you! But, if you were watching, V3 finally ate the squirrel.
Too funny not to include!
Eagle at Redding bringing in sticks….
Meanwhile in Louisiana, eggs are being rolled at the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria.
Nine more days til hatch at Superbeaks. Gosh don’t you wish that cam was fixed just a little different for that side view? I can’t imagine only watching the tops of their heads.
It was a warm day for Connie and Clive at Captiva.
It was a bright day in Iowa with the snow still clinging to the ground and the nest at Decorah North.
It is chucking down rain in Port Lincoln, South Australia.
The rain appears to have stopped or slowed down at Port Lincoln.
Getting stronger on those legs, and look at how much those tail feathers have grown. 959 people watching. Fish fairies can be lucrative in the sense that any funds generated go directly back into the project which is fantastic – new platforms, satellite trackers, and fish!
At Orange, chat mentioned that a juvenile was seen flying at 08:32:51 to the MW (I haven’t got a clue what that refers to).
Diamond watching from the scrape.
Cilla made a video with music of a juvenile chasing Diamond at the tower. Oh, how grand.
Rohan Geddes got some shots of our White-bellied Sea Eagle juvie yesterday. Nice flying.
The two osplets at Osprey House really go after the fish when Dad arrives. It is a wonder he has any talons left.
Raising condors to save the species.
Looking at this lovely Condor baby! A little bit bigger than Hope but doing the same thing – following Mamma and copying her.
Ospreys in Spain in the winter. The Biosphere at Urdaibai.
Golden Eagle believed to have come to harm — another beaten grouse hunting estate. It is time this stopped. Can a bill – the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill – be passed in Scotland and not be watered down so that the culprits continue to get by with this senseless killing? Or will the bill get passed, and then the penalties for continuing to kill the birds be so small that it is laughable, and the gamekeepers will continue to stomp on chicks and shoot these beautiful adult raptors? Despicable. While leaf blowers get my friend ‘R’ really worked up, the stomping of chicks in a ground nest and the unnecessary shooting of raptors or the mass killing of ducks and geese at ponds makes my blood boil.
Sharon Dunne brings us news from the Royal Albatross Colony.
Looking for some new nature books? Mark Avery just published Stephen Moss’s list for 2023. Have a look. You might find something interesting. Many of the books that I love have been recommended by Avery. This is my first time to see Moss’s list.
How many of you have that ‘bucket list’? Or do you have a Copy of 1000 places to visit before you die? I have only two events on my bucket list – to see the ospreys fly over Cuba near Manzanillo in the mountains during migration and to travel to Norfolk and see the geese before the climate changes so much. They stop spending the winter in the UK. Perhaps next year for both!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care. Look forward to having you with me again soon.
I wish to thank the following for their notes, articles, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H’, Tufts Now, Carol Martucci Smith, SK Hideaways, PIX Cams, NEFL-AEF, FORE, KNF-E3, Superbeaks, Window to Wildlife, Raptor Resource Project, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Osprey House, USFWS, Tim Huntington, Alan Petrie, Geemeff, Sharon Dunne, Rohan Geddes, Carol Shores Rifkin, Mark Avery, and Jake Fiennes.
Missey and I sit at the table (under the twinkling tree) in the Conservatory, watching the birds flit about at the feeder. There are Sparrows and European Starlings, and it looked like a few Crossbills and Junior, the Blue Jay. One of Dyson’s kits was here earlier. The big cotton ball flakes of snow have now stopped. The lilac bushes and shrubs look like they have been flocked like the old twinkle tree. Missey tried climbing into the branches. Last year, she and Lewis fit in there nicely – not this year!
Missey is very woolly and highly determined to lie down inside the container with the tree. It is ‘not’ going to happen.
Hope. Darling Hope.
Mamma goes to the vet tomorrow. Fingers crossed that there is nothing wrong. Calico just has not been herself…anyone who has a pet knows that each one is an individual, and you can usually sense when something is amiss. I did not with Lewis…I knew he wasn’t himself but did not know what was wrong. Continue to feel bad for that sweet little fellow. Miss him terribly. He was an energetic breath of amazing air racing through the house like his namesake, Lewis Hamilton.
Thanks to one of our readers, ‘EJ’, who wrote to me about their cat and the solution for its arthritis. Calico will get a heated cat bed, but to be fair to the other two, they will get heated beds, too. Indeed, that heating pad will make Calico’s legs feel much better. Thank you, EJ!
Oh, and Little Red is here, too. I can see him perched on the back fence, eating some snow. Fantastic. I always feel better when all the garden animals are accounted for…they made it through another day. With the City cutting down all the diseased Maple trees, the squirrels now have to cross the street using the pavement. They used to be able to go up one tree on one side and down a tree on the other. No longer. Soon, the Crows will lose their nesting tree, and the Woodpeckers will not have any old trees for their nests or to find insects. I do understand about diseases spreading from the trees. I wish there was a solution besides slow-growing replacements. Any ideas?
The best news of the day comes from Cathy Cook and Pam Allan, who filmed one of the sea eaglets on a branch near the Parramatta River! Tears. Just wonderful, joyous tears. What an incredible sight.
Jackie and Shadow were up early Thursday morning working on their nest. They usually lay their eggs in January and sometimes later. What will happen this year? They are the couple I am cheering for, along with Jak and Audacity. Yes, there is Gabby and V3 – those who did not get to raise eaglets last year. M15 and his new mate…all those with new mates. Send warm, warm wishes to them, but for those who were impacted by DDT and who tried so hard to raise a family like Sauces and Big Bear, my heart goes out to them.
SK Hideaways caught Jackie and Shadow working on Wednesday, too.
M15 stayed in the nest all night again trying to deter the GHOs.
Not sure where M15 is but the GHOs were back at the nest Thursday night.
V3 and Gabby were at the NE Florida nest. My goodness, they are pulling on those sticks! Then it started to rain.
V3 soaking wet protecting the nest he shares with Gabby.
Abby and Blaze were also moving sticks about at Eagle Country. Who is going to be nest after Superbeaks and then Captiva?
At the WRDC nest, a squirrel has its eye on the real estate. Ron doesn’t think that is going to happen!
Eagles working at Duke Farms.
Muhlady and Pepe are wet but they are keeping the two precious eggs set to hatch in three weeks warm and dry in Central Florida.
Some nesting at Decorah.
Cameras at KNF down until Monday so that they might recharge their batteries.
There is a contest on the chat at PLO to guess the gender of Giliath and #2. I am the odd one out of most…to me their behaviour is like the year we had Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie. A little bit of grief at the beginning and then settling down. Clearly the fish fairy has helped keep the ospreys alive – Mum and Dad, too – but I will stick with them both being male and accept lots of egg on my face when it is revealed they are both female! (Or will that change later when they see the osprey with a known female bird like Calypso???). Only DNA is 100%.
Banding will take place either the 5th, 6th, or 7th of December. #2 will get a name and one or both will hopefully get a satellite tracker.
The PLO kids are itchy with those feathers and they are anxiously awaiting breakfast.
10:14. No fish yet. Their legs are getting strong! There was some chatter about the colour of the leg bands. They are not red and blue for gender – the colour will depend on what the bander has in their box and could be different from any previously used. Remember, Falky had a yellow one, Bazza a bright red one, and Ernie’s was a very dark, almost black-green. The colour can peel off, sadly.
Nearing 2pm and no fish deliveries form Dad. The chat says that the fish fairy is on their way. Thank goodness! The chicks are amazingly civil despite hunger. I wonder if Dad has enough fish to give him the energy to go out and look for fish for the family sometimes. It is hard to know precisely what is happening. Is it weather? lack of fish? a combination of both? These are beautiful babies….incredible. They so remind me of the year of Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie. Gentle little souls.
The fish fairy arrived with 5 supplementary fish. Mum took the Red Mullet first! Everyone ate. Dad came and took a fish. He is hungry, too. Fishing for ospreys is a physical feat often requiring 13 or 14 dives (on average according to experts who have closely observed the raptors fishing) to get a single fish. The males require much energy. I am glad to see that Dad got a fish! He requires this to keep up his strength if he is to find food for the family.
Osplet nibbling on fish.
By 15:15 all the fish appear to be gone.
Ah, ‘A’ adds her thoughts on the gender of the osplets: “It’s hard to tell isn’t it? I’ve been saying for ages that from size, it looks like Giliath is a female and Little Bob is a male, but the temperaments are the exact opposite – Little Bob is the pushy one who starts nearly all of the (very limited) bonking that occurs on this nest and Giliath is SO laid back. Therefore, I would not be at all surprised to find that they are both male – Giliath is just older and can fit more food in. I don’t think they take any DNA when they band them, so we’ll still be guessing.”
Here are the times from the observation board. Note that Dad brought in no fish at all yesterday. Again, so thankful for the fish fairy. I think we all can imagine what this nest would be like without the food security of the fairies.
At Orange, feedings are taking place on the roof. This is awesome. That is some feat flying ‘up’ to the ridge! Impressed.
‘A’ sent us the time stamps from Orange: “RECAP 6:46:46 ledge-kangaroos; 8:27:24, 13:02:48 bond; 8:49-9.17 juvie calls; 8.55.21 ledge-adult flyup w/juvie; 16:27:43 D w/pigeon, quickly leaves with the prey. 17:27:06 D returns with a HUGE crop. TOWER: 12:29:31 juvie on roof, 13:18:01 roof walk to adult, 14:58:13, 15:57:23, 16:30:34 prey; 17:08:15 prey and feed. Query if prey at 15:24:49; 18:00:03 ridge walk.”
How exciting is THAT news? If at least one of the juvies at Orange has the strength to now fly up to the roof of the water tower (it’s Marri on the roof btw), then all they now have to perfect is landing on that small ledge. We may see a juvie back in the scrape within a week. Indigo made it back to the scrape relatively quickly (only about four days, from memory), and Marri sure is a big strong girl who may very well get up there soon.
Ever get a tingle in your arm from something so wonderful you can barely believe it? Spix Macaws breeding! They are known as the Blue Macaw and they are critically endangered.
“In 1995, conservationists and scientists embarked on a desperate attempt to save the world’s rarest bird, a blue-gray parrot called the Spix’s macaw. The bird had scarcely been spotted since scientists first described it in the early 19th century, and it had taken on an aura of mystery, making it irresistible to parrot lovers—and to poachers. “For well over a century we just had this very, very weak information that there was this kind of mythical, rather beautiful blue bird,” says Nigel Collar, a conservationist at BirdLife International. By the mid-1990s only a single individual remained alive in the wild, close to this dusty, small town in northeastern Brazil.”
My son tells me that many fishers are switching to tungsten fishing equipment instead of lead. Yahoo! Everyone switching over helps our wildlife.
Two calls for help in Winnipeg but – both could also apply to your local community! So please ask around. (Remember – clean sheets, old clean towels, bleach, laundry detergent, working tools…..all of these things the wildlife centres appreciate!). Keep this in mind if you are doing spring cleaning (or winter) or clearing someone’s home.
Check your cupboards. Did you buy food that your pet doesn’t like? This is your chance to help someone who cannot afford to get food for their beloved companion. Please help if you can.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their comments, notes, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, EJ’, Cathy Cook, Pam Allan, FOBBV, SK Hideaways, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, NEFL-AEF, Eagle Country, Duke Farms, Superbeaks, Tulsiducati, Darleen Hawkins, PLO, Penelope Clarke, Openverse, BirdGuides, Science, Cornell Chronicles, and Feed the Furbabies Canada.
Right now it is 16:20 Tuesday afternoon in the NEFlorida Eagle Cam and V3 is in the nest on full alert! I have heard such speculation about him ‘not being up to the job’ (maybe he isn’t), but Gabby and him sure make a good tea and he risks his life to protect their territory like any bonded mate would. Welcome home. Tears flowing.
V3 and Gabby were at the nest tree and on high alert Wednesday morning.
Now for other news. Tuesday was the glorious day that was promised. The wind was a little nippy, but to be outside in the fresh air, to turn the heating off, and to clear the deck by pushing and not lifting the shovel is a blessing.
I went to the zoo. The purpose was to see the Snowy Owls and the Stellar’s Eagle. I will not tell you what I said quietly in my head after I paid the entrance fee. All I will say is I wonder how families can afford to go to the zoo! But never mind…the Snowy Owls were ‘somewhere’ not to be seen. The road to the Stellar’s Eagle enclosure was blocked for tree trimming. I won’t give it 5 stars for a great day, but I sure did get that long walk in.
The birds in the Toucan Building were lovely. The Roseate Spoonbills were high on the ledges preening. The Toucan had posed for a group of school children and was ready for a break…some of the ducks were bothering one another.
Eurasian Reindeer – the kind that are found in Lapland.
There were several Emu. Australian Birds. They are the second largest bird after the Ostrich. They cannot fly. They have two sets of eyelids – one for blinking and the other for keeping dust and other particles out of their eyes.
A beautiful Reeve Pheasant.
This is an Inukshuk. “The word “inukshuk” means “in the likeness of a human.” For generations, Inuit have been creating these impressive stone markers on the vast Arctic landscape. Inukshuks serve several functions, including guiding travellers, warning of danger, assisting hunters and marking places of reverence.”
At home, Hope and Missey have been playing on the large cat tree.
I am a little worried about Calico. She is on the waiting list to get in to see the vet. She is just not herself.
At Port Lincoln, Mum was doing the toe dance in anticipation of the arrival of Dad with a fish and he did not disappoint. There was a nice headless fish brought in around 08:40.
Giliath is 29 days old and #2 is 27. They are doing so well.
Everyone ate. Notice how quick that fish disappears!!!!!!! We have two hungry youngsters in a big growth spurt.
Huge crops. Thanks so much, Dad!
Fish fairy arrives at 13:15.
Mum removes the fish from the nest to eat the head on the ropes, ensuring that Mum gets some fish. She ate for more than half an hour.
The ops report at Port Lincoln:
Diamond showed up at the scrape at Orange. No word on either Marri or Barru yet but I will keep checking.
Later Diamond and Xavier were bonding in the scrape. Hope should give them a ‘High Five’ for the great job they did raising Marri and Barru.
Cilla Kinross stated that she saw Marri flying about on her way into work and that the fledgling was doing well. She did not have time to grab her camera.
‘H’ sent a note that Cilla had more recent news on the Orange Australia FB page:
Here is Cilla’s video:
M15 defending the nest against the GHO Monday night – if you missed it.
M15 has had to defend the nest again on Tuesday night. Please send all your positive energy. This is a very tense situation and bald eagles and GHOs fighting for territory can result in a tragic end. Stay safe M15!
M15 stayed in the nest last night.
A lot of disinformation is coming out about the SWFlorida and NEFlorida Bald Eagle nests. We wait for things to settle down at both. V3 is still defending the territory near The Hamlet nest against other eagles, and M15 has his hands full with the GHOs.
Looks a little stormy at Captiva. Connie is keeping that precious egg nice and dry.
The second egg was laid Tuesday evening early. Clive was nearby.
I love Martin and Rosa at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest. They can raise more eaglets easier than you can blink your eyes. If you do not have them on your watch list, I highly recommend you put them there.
Looks like someone is interested in the Captiva Osprey cam!
A lesson raptor ID.
The New York Times has a great story on how intelligent Vultures are! Thank you to my good friend, ‘N’, for spotting this and sending the link to me so I could share it with you.
Want to know more about hummingbirds? I love seeing them in the garden but the speed with which they move is so incredible making it nearly impossible for an amateur like me to catch their likeness with my camera. Those beautiful little bullet shapes with the most amazing wings and iridescent colours to rival any eye shadow pallet this season – read on.
Love Albatross? Looking for an excellent children’s book? Chile Bird. The true story of a Royal Albatross is a wonderful choice, beautifully illustrated – touches the hardships that our Royal Albatross face in their daily lives and the heroic efforts of people to save them. I ordered my copy from the Royal Albatross Visitor’s Centre on Taiaroa Head. (Apologies for the glare).
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, N’, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Gracie Shepherd, Androcat, Window to Wildlife, Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam, Phil Hayne, The New York Times, Hawk Mountain, Bird Guides, The Guardian, and Diane Miller.
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.
In North America, it is almost Halloween. Children still go door to door and hear screaming ‘Halloween Apples’ or ‘Trick or Treat’. I always feel sorry for them when it is cold and you can hardly see their costumes. We are all set – packaged goods only – lots of combinations of dried fruit. Presumably, they will eat their candies first and sigh when they see the fruit, but I won’t feel guilty about their teeth. I had a friend once who handed out toothbrushes.
Decades ago, it became clear that ‘incidents’ happen and children should not eat treats from people they don’t know unless they are fully sealed, etc. I often wonder why the community centres, schools, and families do not just have a local party for the children. When we lived in England, Halloween was not a ‘thing’. I understand it is now. We had Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November – jacket potatoes on the barbecue or bonfire. Sometimes called Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night. Effigies were burned. It always depended on whose side you were on, I was told (please correct me). Fawkes was part of a plot to burn down the Houses of Parliament; he was a Catholic in 1605. So, the effigy is sometimes considered the Pope, and some burn a figure of Fawkes in support of the monarchy. The holiday became official in 1859. It was all new to us and great fun – friends from the cup de sac at the foot of the gorse joined to celebrate. Gosh, I miss them!
The girls will be safely stowed away in the conservatory while treats are handed out. I still do not trust them not to run out the door – although I have to say that Calico has not even ventured near the door to do that. She will look out at the birds and, on occasion, at the cats visiting the feeding station, but she is mostly uninterested. The three girls still love story time. It is a ritual that prescribes I sit on the floor with a pile of blankets beside me. The little portable heater needs to be on. I must have a bag of treats. Calico will sit on my lap or the blanket. Missey is on the couch, and Hope is under one of the chairs. Treats were distributed, and then, today, we reached the end of H is for Hawk. If I do not do precisely as I have done since Calico first came into my life, she appears to get stressed. Ritual. I love it, too. We all know what to expect, and I get time to read some very good books.
Hope has decided to move into Missey’s basket. Missey doesn’t seem bothered. If I look for Hope and cannot find her, she will be in the basket! Just look at that bushy tail. Hope is a really sweet kitten. Missey loves playing with Hope (not so much Calico).
Calico has taken over the couch. We are so glad so many of your enjoyed seeing Hope and Calico with ‘Lewis’s’ pillow. It was a wonderful surprise – so thoughtful. Thanks, Auntie.
Other images from Saturday – cats lounging, the snow, Missey watching the birds.
Calico seems to have decided that she still needs to provide milk for Hope. She was bursting this afternoon…Hope is very well fed!
Now, one thing. Pumpkins and peanut butter. The squirrels are too well-fed to bother. I saw some little birds pecking, but the deer is like the pumpkins in Canada. I have discovered that pumpkins are dangerous to hedgehogs, so don’t put them out if you live where there are hedgehogs. We don’t wish to kill them. I loved the ones who came to the orchard at the end of our garden to eat the fruit that had fallen on the ground.
Before we check on Australia, M15 is getting really serious about his new mate and the potential for a family with her. He brought in two fish gifts on Saturday. She, of course, might know that she won the Bald Eagle lottery when they met and bonded. F23 could not have a better mate and provider for her and their babies.
At Port Lincoln, Goliath and Little are really into the Reptilian Phase. The Reptilian Phase generally begins around Day 12. Between the plumage of the newly hatched, that light down with the dark eye line and the slightest hint (or more) of the dark stripe on their back and their juvenile feathers. In the Reptilian Phase, the chicks look like they have been dipped in a pot of old motor oil. They are dark, scaly, slick, bald, ebony black heads with little copper-red feathers coming in at the back of the nape. Those coppery-red feathers will begin to appear elsewhere as well. The chicks become itchy as their blood feathers begin to grow. The feathers grow out of ‘blood quills’ if you did not know. If these are broken, they can die if the blood does not coagulate. It is the same with eaglets, and some of you will recall the season 2021 at Captiva when Joe and Connie’s two eaglets died of rodenticide poisoning. One directly from the poison and the eldest from its blood feather breaking, and because the blood did not coagulate (due to the rodenticide to kill mice/rats), it bled to death on the nest). From my observations over the years, this is the time when the chicks also begin bonking.
They are right in terms of development. Goliath is 12 days old, and Little is ten days old. The size difference can reflect the two days between hatch and gender, with the female being much larger than the male. You will notice that Goliath is darker with less down – it is the age difference. Little is just entering the new itchy phase. They will appear thin and ‘lean’. As this phase and the juvenile feather phase take over, their flight feathers, both the primaries and secondaries on the wing and the tail feathers, will come in. The largest and longest of the feathers take much longer to come in. Once all their feathers are in, they are ready to fly! No worries. We are a long way from fledge!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I write, Dad has brought in a whole fish at 0747 which lasted for two feedings an hour apart.
It is hard to tell how much fish Little received at the feeding. He got tangled with Goliath. Dad returned to fetch the fish at 0809. He will return it, but – he will have some breakfast, too. The fact that the parents can now eat will give them strength. It was physically hard on Mum during the last season with Zoe when she demanded so much fish that neither her siblings nor Mum had some at times. This year is going to be so very different. Hoping for the best for all of them. This family deserves a ‘break’.
All of the positive comments on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB feed must be heart-warming to those who fought hard for this intervention to happen.
The fish fairy arrives with four really nice size fish. Mum and Goliath and Little feast as does Dad.
PLO posts: “Dad the first one back and takes 1 fish. Mum feeds the 2 babies. Both babies full. Dad back for a 2nd fish and leaves the fish tail.”
‘A’ gives us her report: “There were several good feedings for both osplets at Port Lincoln today. Dad brought in a big whole breakfast fish at 07:47. and the ensuing feeding continued until 08:12. At 12:45, the fish fairy delivered four medium-sized whole fish. This fed everyone – dad was first to the nest after the delivery and grabbed one for himself. Mum then arrived to feed the kids. Neither parent is at all perturbed, it seems, by the aunty door dash and seem to be getting very used to it. It’s a race between them to get to the nest after the fairy leaves, given they know what they will find there. The feeding from those gift fish lasted for 37 minutes and, like the morning feeding, left both osplets with very very full crops. Another half fish was brought in by dad for dinner, at 18:42. So everyone went to bed with full tummies. And again today, there was no bonking and no signs of aggression between the osplets.”
‘A and H’ mention that there is really sad news coming out from Turnby Island, the Osprey nest of Partney and Marrum.
Calypso, the 2019 Port Lincoln Hatch, has been exploring the area. Everyone is hoping she will find a mate and raise chicks so Mum and Dad can be grandparents. Port Lincoln will build a platform for her if she does not settle on one of those available.
Port Lincoln has found another osprey nest with chicks that they did not know about! Check out that nest. Off the ground and away from predators.
At the nest tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest (the old Ironwood Tree), SE 32 decided to stay home. S/he had many meals and time with Lady and Dad – which brought joy and tears to all of us. SE31 was also seen. No one has seen 31 fed on camera but the eaglet is flying strong — send every positive wish you have for the eaglets as they persevere against the Currawong who would like to drive them from the forest!
Currawongs harassing 31.
As soon as the adults flew off the nest (they had stayed with 32 overnight), the Currawongs came and pestered 32 til it flew off. Later, the parents are looking over the forest for their eaglets.
All is well at Orange. It looked like something other than a Starling arrived for breakfast at 0728. The two are really getting their primary and secondary wing feathers in as well as the tail feathers. The faces are changing and every day they get stronger and stronger on their legs. Diamond makes them stretch their necks to get their prey – strengthening those muscles that will become so valuable to them in the future.
‘A’ gives us the prey report from Orange: “At Orange, mum arrived home for the evening about ten minutes ago. The two eyases are asleep in their usual cuddle puddle, on the near side wall of the scrape (so largely invisible from the Box Cam). They are gorgeous. Here are the day’s time stamps: PREY 06.12.06 M takes, 07.27.50, 08.19.23, 10.42.06, 13:35:02, 17:10:05 FEEDING 06.13+, 07.22 M+B self feed, 07.28, 07.43( leftover starling), 09.08, 10.43, 13:37, 17:10 (M self-feed). HIGHLIGHTS: 06.07+ zoomies, 07.25.50+ B+M plucking, 12:58:10 Barru ‘broods’ Dudley. 12: 58:57 Marri’s turn, LEDGE CAMERA 10.09.20 M puts wing over B, 13:36.35 + Barru nipps at Xavier’s tail feathers.”
Did they? or didn’t they? Gabby invites V3 to mate.
The first confirmed case of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza reaches the Antarctic. So, it’s not just melting sea ice but now H5N1 that is a massive threat to all species including the Penguins.
Everyone thought he retired – of course, Dr Peter Sharpe can never retire. He has Bald Eagle blood flowing through his veins and today he was fitting a camera so that Thunder and Akecheta’s breeding season can be viewed at their new nest. Of course, they could choose the old nest – thankfully there is a camera there. Thanks, Dr Sharpe!
Territorial disputes continue at the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty.
Always grateful to the kindness extended to our wildlife in trouble – normally created by us like fishing line! Completely tanged and the kind soul took the time – and great patience – to free this osprey.
In the UK, Babet, the storm that hit and caused extensive flooding and damage, also caused some birds to wind up in very unusual places.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care of yourselves. We hope to see you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H’, Lady Hawk, PLO, Rohan Geddes, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Denise W Starr, SK Hideaway, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, British Antarctic Survey, The Telegraph, Down to Earth, Dave Gallivan, Deb Stecyk, Rachel Stevenson-Thomas, and Bird Guides.
Sunday continued as a grey day with some drizzle. It did warm up a bit but we are now definitely into layers and toques (knitted hats). No gloves or mitts required – yet.
The fall colours are sensational.
There are still Mallards paddling in the ponds and there were approximately a hundred geese at mid-afternoon on the big lake. More will fly in at dusk.
At home, something wonderful happened on Sunday. All the girls were in the conservatory. Hope climbed up the big cat tree to play with Missey’s bushy tail while Mamma Calico was below on the floor. No problems. Everyone got along! Hope and Missey played for almost an hour. I was in tears. Missey has missed having someone to play with. I know the Feliway doesn’t work for all cats, but it has brought peace of mind to our house.
Hope is growing. Sometimes I have to look twice to see if it is her or Calico.
Hope also decides that she wants to share the same chair with Mamma.
About 1730, the garden came to life. The Blue Jays had been pecking at the seed on the big tray feeder. Then, the Dark-eyed Juncos arrived along with the little woodpecker. Dyson showed up with her three kits, and then Little Red had to come and push its weight around. He is a bully to all the grey squirrels. I think this is the opposite of what happens in the UK, but Little Red is decidedly ‘the boss’ and lets everyone know it. I find it unsettling when there is always plenty of food for everyone, and territory is not an issue.
The Dark-eyed Juncos are one of my favourite migrating visitors to the garden.
A female Hairy Woodpecker enjoying the new suet.
Dear Dyson. The Matriarch of the Clan still going strong. Dyson and her three kits appear to be in very good health. Their coats are lovely and their fur is getting nice and thick for winter. No one is missing a tail either!
Storm Babet hit the UK, leaving many without power, streets flooded, and damage to one or more of the Osprey nests and cameras. There are continuing worries in many areas. We wait for people to be able to get out and check – and they need to be careful – as the water is still high in many places, such as Alyth.
Stay safe everyone!
It looks lovely near the Loch Arkaig nest where there is another surprise visitor.
Lady is taking care of both of her fledglings on the nest. So far, so good. I am almost in shock – in a good way – that these two, SE31 and 32, are flying about and returning to the nest. This is priceless after years of the Currawong chasing them out of the forest the minute they fledge. So hopeful.
Fledge day for 32, if you missed it.
Both safely on the nest.
This was the summary from the WBSE. Thanks, ‘A’: October 23: a quiet night, with 32 sleeping on PB and 31 nearby – neither on the nest. However it was good to see them both find their way “home” in the early morning when swooped by currawongs. Dad brought a fish at 7:10 – as usual 32 quick, but Lady flew in and claimed it. She ate some then fed the eaglets, with 32 eating more. When Lady left 31 came back and self-fed a little. During the day, both were nearby, and swooped by currawongs at times. When I checked in the forest during the day, I could hear them clearly yelling at currawongs, though out of sight. In the late afternoon at 17:42, Lady brought in a gull, which she took off the nest to PB to de-feather. She fed 32, and then both, with them picking at scraps when she flew off. Shortly after Dad brought in part of a fish, which was claimed by 31. Both then preparing for the night, but not on the nest.”
Port Lincoln. Dad brought in a nice fish and both chicks got a reasonable feed at breakfast.
Dad came in with a nice big stick later but Mum was not impressed and despite the winds told him to go fishing!
He returned a few hours later. Fish!
‘A’ reports on the last fish delivery: “The day was very windy and no more fish were brought in for the day until 19:43. Again, the younger chick had the front position and mum gave it lots of bites. It did very well indeed at that feeding. It did become increasingly unsteady on its feet at one stage, even toppling over sideways, I think because it is totally unused to moving with such a gigantic crop. It has never had one before that I’ve seen. But both chicks ate well and will go to sleep with full tummies. That’s what we like to see. Leftovers on the nest for an early breakfast would make things ideal but this dad does like to help himself to them (though he does often eat, then bring back the last of the fish for mum and the kids). In this case, mum finished off most of the leftovers herself. There is a tiny bit of fish still on the nest. The family snuggled down for the night at 20:00.”
Breakfast came early at Orange.
More prey later. Xavier is an incredible provider. Indeed, look at the summary provided by Orange: “Here is the day’s summary from Orange: PREY 06.02.38, 08:04:14, 09.10.54, 14:56:04, 19:03:58 FEEDING 06.03(X), 08:04, 09.15, 14:57, 19:04 XAVIER BROOD 13:07:24. PREY today: small grebe, eastern rosella, red wattlebird, starling, and pigeon for supper.”
Osprey counting in The Gambia with Jean-marie Dupart.
Thunder and Akecheta were at the old West End nest on Sunday. Oh, how nice it was to see them up close. Akecheta brought in prey and was eating it when Thunder arrived. There was not much left for her. (Akecheta still has his wing tag #61. Thunder lost hers).
Chase and Cholyn were home at Two Harbours as well!!!!!!!!
Gabby and V3 were very busy at the nest on Sunday.
At SW Florida, M15 is delivering food gifts to F23.
Nancy and Beau are creating a new nest. Sadly, there might not be a camera but after the unhappy season earlier in 2023, we all wish them well.
Rosa and Martin were working hard at Dulles-Greenway. Wonder how they will take to this new nest after their old one collapsed right at fledging.
There was at least one adult and one sub-adult at the Decorah Eagle nest in Iowa. Those fall colours are gorgeous.
Not much longer til the Redding Eagle Cam is back on line.
I know that we are all glad that Anna is greatly improved. She was back at the nest on Sunday with Louis, preparing for the upcoming breeding season in Louisiana.
The only Black Stork from the Karula National Forest in Estonia that is sending location transmissions is Kalvi who remains in Bulgaria.
On 12 October Waba was at the Taga Sea of Galilee in Israel. On 30 September Karl II was at Gold Lake, Turkey. On October 5, Kaia was at the fish ponds at Neve Eitan Israel. No transmissions for the three of them since those dates. Bonus’s tracker ran out of battery when he was in Ukraine.
Birds flying in areas of conflict hoping to find food makes me nervous.
More sad news as more birds and wildlife go extinct.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. We hope to have you back with us again soon in Bird World.
Thank you to the following for their posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, Livia Armstrong, Geemeff, Gracie Shepherd, Sandra Davies, Sydney Eagle Cam, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Jean-marie Dupart, IWS/Explore, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Sassa Bird, Dulles-Greenway, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, FORE, Tonya Irwin, Looduskalender, The Guardian, Live Owl Camera, and CTV News.
I hope this finds you well and enjoying the weekend.
The girls have been having a whale of a time running through the house and watching everything in the garden. Missey alerted me to something ‘strange’ happening at the back – and there was Little Red.
Note: You can also see those ‘dots’ placed on the conservatory windows’ exterior. They really did prevent bird strike!
Look at his mouth. He is untying the twine around some vines and a metal screen and taking it to the woodbox where he is readying his winter abode.
Everyone came for a visit and a good meal today. Dyson was on the table feeder and the little covered feeder shovelling up seed. It is always good to see her and she is in very good shape as winter approaches.
One of Dyson’s kits.
Hope decided she wanted to relax on the wicker hamper that Missey likes to use to look out to the garden from the sitting room. She is a bit of a cheeky one. And she gets by with things because she is a cute little kitten!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope would rather play than anything and her favourite thing is to run flat out from one end of the house to the other leaping over all the furniture. It makes Mamma tired!
Hope is the cutest thing. Sometimes when I look at her I wonder if her name should have been ‘Miracle’ – it still feels like a miracle that these two were united.
I cannot imagine her being outside. Just this morning, the saddest (and most outrageous/nauseating) posting on the ‘Lost Cat’ page – some people had murdered a missing cat and had filmed the act and then thrown its body into the neighbour’s garden. For that reason and all the cars that will not slow down, darling Hope – along with her Mamma, Calico, and Missey, will never go outside! They are destined to be voyeurs.
Mamma. It has been different having the three girls. Before Calico’s arrival, Missey was the relaxed Alpha cat. She is still relaxed. It is just her very sweet nature. She does not appear to give a toss about hierarchy within the house, and throughout Saturday, it has become apparent that Calico will probably be the dominant female. I put this down to her being able to survive outside in the community. I recall one day when she was eating at the feral feeding station, and Boots – aka ‘the boyfriend’ came up. Calico gently put her paw out, and he did not try to interrupt her. Boots waited. Calico was the boss.
They will soon figure out that there are enough sofas, enough litter boxes, enough food – and more love than they can imagine – and all this is nothing more than foolishness.
In the meantime, we will continue our stories. Tomorrow, we begin another Cara Black novel, Three Days in Paris. (We are reading them backwards – ssssssh. Don’t tell. They have no idea!). When I begin reading, Calico and Hope come to the sofa. Missey is now joining in sometimes from her wicker basket. It is wonderful!
The following post asks people not to throw food out of the window when they are driving down a road or a highway. Even a city street. I would like to take this a little further. Please put a small shovel in the trunk of your car. If you see a dead animal on the road – and it is safe for you to do so – pull over. Get out the shovel from the trunk and take the dead animal way off the side of the road or put it on the boulevard. Crows eat carrion and get killed on City streets. Help them. They are hungry and they help clean up – as do many other species.
If you don’t have a shovel, a pick stick or a piece of cardboard works wonders, too. Sadly, a car going too fast hit one of our local rabbits. I put it on the boulevard, and our local Crow family had a ‘safe’ feast.
As it happened a grey squirrel was killed on one of the busiest streets in my neighbourhood. I saw a Crow there trying to get it. We went back, stopped traffic and moved it to the boulevard. We didn’t need another death and people drive way too fast!
More challenges for our raptors. Flares.
Not an Osprey but a beautiful buzzard checking out Loch Arkaig.
Mum is rolling the eggs at Port Lincoln and everyone is waiting for that first pip as Sunday morning arrives.
At 0910 Mum is calling Dad who was seen on the old barge with a large crop but no fish for Mum. Is that an eggshell behind her? No! She flies off. I hope he has a nice piece of fish for her.
Well, it is after noon and Mum is waiting for a fish.
1341. The fish arrives on the nest for Mum. ‘A’ saw it: “At Port Lincoln, dad has just flown in with a nice fish for mum. She has been fish calling but very reluctant to leave the nest because she is being pestered by a gull who fancies one of those eggs for lunch. She has flown off with her fish, leaving dad to guard the precious clutch. He carefully settles down. He’s been a perfect dad. These eggs have virtually never been left unattended for more than the time it takes for one parent to carefully get up and the other to settle down. They have been the most diligent pair of any species I have ever seen with regard to brooding. a clutch of eggs. They have been exemplary. So let’s see how they go with the next and harder stage. I am confident this is a different dad to last year. There are photos that are sufficiently forensic to show differences between this year’s dad and last’s. We all know there were questions about the health of last year’s dad, so let’s hope this dad is a better and more reliable fisher. Think back to Ervie’s year. At that stage, the old dad was fishing enough for a family of five. As his illness progressed, he became less reliable with provisioning the family, culminating in last year’s tragedy. And now we have a new dad, who does seem to be bringing in two or three fish most days. As you say, we will have to say if he can step this up once the eggs hatch. The time is nigh! We will soon find out.”
Is there a possible pip at 19:44?
Can you see it peeking up? Lost in that big nest? That is Partner and Marrum’s only hatch (so far) at Turnby Island, South Australia. (Hatched on 12 October).
As we prepare for the arrival of these little osplets, WBSE 31 and 32 are preparing for their first flight. 31 has officially branched. 32 scoots up the branch but, when I am writing this, has not flown from the nest to the branch. LOL. Maybe 32 never will!
‘A’ remarks, “How incredibly beautiful are the sea eaglets, with their gorgeous caramel-coloured pantaloons? The camouflage is absolutely superb, presumably designed to help keep them safe in the months it will take them to learn how to hunt for themselves. SE31 is a very proficient self-feeder. SE32 is still very happy to be fed by a parent when available. I am very confident that we picked the genders on that nest accurately. Look at the shape/size of their heads, in particular. See how narrow and small SE32’s head is compared to his older sibling? Doesn’t it remind you exactly of Dad? SE31 has the head and legs of a female, as well as the body mass. SE32 has been eating as much as or more than SE31 over the past month, so the difference in size is definitely gender-based IMO. I hope she’s as brave as SE29 last season, and that she comes home to the nest each night as SE29 did.”
Pat Burke got the most amazing screen captures of the two of them on the parent branch.
The two eyases of Diamond and Xavier will have names today! And they are nothing short of adorable. Need your spirit boosted – go and watch them!
Xavier is working overtime to get prey to Diamond and the babies. Lots of feedings and these two are so adorable. It is nearing midnight in Canada and I do not see any mention of names yet.
The streaming cams are up and running at both Decorah Bald Eagle nests. When the cameras were repaired a pile of fish were left on the nest. Looks like it attracted a sub-adult eagle. Nice.
Cholyn paid a visit to the nest at Two Harbours on Saturday.
Cholyn’s daughter, Thunder (mate to Akecheta), visited Tor at the West End nest on Saturday.
Louis and Anna are having problems with owls – already – at the KNF-E1 nest in Louisiana.
Gabby and V3 are quite the couple. They fly in together, work on the nest, and have some amazing ‘discussions’. I love their chortling.
Martin and Rosa have been checking on their new nest.
M15’s new mate, F23, is quite the stunner! These two have been busy working on their nest and it is a new beginning for our devoted dad who raised two eaglets to fledge after his former mate, Harriet, went missing in early February 2023. Wishing all the success for these two love birds.
The Royal Albatross are returning to Taiaroa Head and hoping their mate, whom they would not have seen for 9 or 10 months, will return safely to the nesting area. I hope that YRK (she has returned) will find her long-time mate OGK. They were the parents of Pippa Atawhai in 2020 and Lillibet in 2022 – both Royal Cam chicks.
It is not raptors but another rewilding Scotland – wildcats. As Geemeff notes, ‘They will be able to reclaim their ancestral lands.’
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff’, Birds in Helping Hands, RMRP, Geemeff, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Pat Burke, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, IWS/Explore, Tonya Irwin, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, Earlybird, and The Guardian.
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.”
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.