30 November 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
It is the last day of November and only another month til we officially enter 2024. It flew by.
It was only -1 C on the Canadian Prairies on Wednesday. The sun was shining. The sky was bright. It was pretty unbelievable. It was the day for my flu shot, and, as a treat, I had a very, very light lunch looking out over the duck pond at the zoo. The Black-capped Chickadees were flitting about while the pond had open water in the deeper areas with very thin ice at the edges. I dream of the day the geese come flying in, honking and pooping everywhere. After I gathered up a few things to add to some pine branches for the front door. Missey was right in there helping put things together!
She was rolling in the paper, and only later I caught her with a tiny bell that had been on one of the little blue birds. Calico slept in the chair by the table. She did not mind Missey getting all the attention and could care less about crafts. We decided to go with a blue and white theme this year with birds and a few things from different cultures for all the festivities in December.
Bird news is pretty scarce right now but there are a number of running jokes about trees and cats!
One for the girls – thanks ‘auntie’.
The latest news from Sydney sent by ‘A’:
“November 29: both adults and juvenile were at the River Roost early in the morning. Light rain and the juvenile was heard whining. Around 9am, one adult flew into the mangroves and towards the west, up- river. Around 2pm the juvenile was seen low on a mangrove branch at the juvenile roost. Neither adult was seen then by our observer. Later in the afternoon, a storm was approaching and cameras were then both down. No feeding has been reported. More rain in the evening.”
Look closely. The juvenile is in the centre of the image – a slight diagonal line between the adults and up a tad. This is fantastic.
‘A’ has the latest at Sydney: “November 30: early morning both adults were at Goat Island. At 8:44, the juvenile flew out from River Roost area, low over the water and in front of Mangrove Island, where she landed. Then she flew back to River Roost. At 12:30, the juvenile was at River Roost, where it was seen yesterday. Again, between 1230 and 1:30, juvenile was making low flights over the water and from branch to branch. 2:10 adult was at River Roost and juvenile as well, given away by its raspy squeeing. At 3:30 the adult flew off, returning with prey around 4pm – greeted with eager squeeing by the juvenile. She ate, with the adult watching close by.”
‘H’ has the up to date information at Orange as of this morning: “At 162308 a Juvenile landed on the corner of the roof next to the LR (lightning rod). A few minutes later, Xavier landed on the MW (microwave). Diamond was in the nest box at the time. Even though the tower camera is slightly closer to the MW than the corner of the roof, the juvenile on the roof still appears to be larger than Xavier (to my eyes). We know that Marri was larger than Xavier. Food for thought.”
“Cilla is going to check photos of Diamond and Xavier standing next to the LR for a size comparison to this juvenile.”
‘A’ writes about Orange: “At Orange, I’m sure you’ve seen the most recent (21 November, so 8 days ago) footage of the falcon juvenile we believe to be Barru (at least I do, for several reasons, though we are still unsure due to Barru’s long toes in one shot): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAeCZRh9k4Q&t=0s Since then, it has been raining for days around Orange (ditto here in Melbourne, where it’s been raining for a couple of days, including pretty much all day today, and the rain is forecast to continue). I do wonder what happened to poor Marri. who was strong and who flew with great control when fledging, so I am genuinely very surprised that she has not survived. I really did think she was the more prepared of the two, but when you watch the pics of this juvenile (both the footage in the above clip and the footage of him on the roof with Xavier, dropping the prey dad had brought), you can see that he is more than a little clumsy, both in relation to flying in and around that tree and in regard to keeping his balance on that rooftop, especially trying to turn around at one stage. To me, the slightly ragged plumage is also more like Barru than Marri, whose constant wingercising had removed pretty much all her down before she fledged. “
At Port Lincoln, Dad was on the nest with Mum waiting for the Fairy. Dad must be really hungry and he is thinking he wants to be in line, too.
Wings are getting bigger.
Waiting for fish. Dad has moved to the shed.
Fish delivery was late. Wonder if it was due to bad weather? 17:18.
A lot of disinformation and speculation is happening on some of the chats. It is one of the reasons that many of the streaming cams do not have a chat feature or others who post videos do not allow comments. I usually do not say anything, but sometimes, we have to ask ourselves many questions and explore the whole situation, and even then, we might be missing a critical piece of evidence. So before I get on my soapbox, to be transparent, I am almost always in favour of intervention to help wildlife. It is important to me because humans have destroyed the world for our feathered friends. We can no longer sit back and ‘let nature take its course’ because we have altered nature to the point it is hard to recognise. We have taken the habitat or our wildlife and continue to do so at an alarming rate. We dump our sewage into their water. We overfish. We poison. We burn. Need I say more?
We do not know why the PLO Dad is not fishing more. Some believe it is because of the fish brought to the nest by the fairies. But is this the case? We know that Dad had at least two seizures last year on camera. Did he have more off-camera and off-season? Does he have neurological issues caused by an accident or disease? We would only know this with an examination and necroscopy. What is happening with El Niño? With the warming of the water? With the commercial fishing in the area? With the tides and the lousy weather? Pollutants? The list of human-caused issues in any specific region, including South Australia, can be endless.
The PLO nest has suffered significant siblicide compared to other nests in other geographical regions. The individuals on the board running Port Lincoln Ospreys/Friends of Sth Australia fought hard and are determined to see if supplying fish will alter those statistics. It looks like we already have our answer in two strong osplets. As viewers, we will never know the ‘gestalt’ – the ‘whole’ situation at Port Lincoln. If you get the chance, encourage others to show respect and applaud the efforts of Fran, Janet, and Bazz to run this research project. It has saved the lives of at least one of the chicks, if not both. And the health of Mum and Dad. Those fish are lifesavers.
The fight for fish at Osprey House.
A gorgeous sub-adult spent some time on the natal tree on the Pritchett Property on Wednesday. Former fledgling coming to check out what is happening?
M15 gives F23 a break!
We are waiting for eggs at KNF-E1, the home of Louis and Anna in Louisiana.
What a gorgeous fall day at Barnegat Light. The geese are there along with a stunning sunset and mind-shattering colour!
At least one adult was on the Achieva Osprey platform in St Petersburg, Florida.
At the Captiva Osprey platform, it looked like someone had given the entire landscape a pink watercolour wash. Will we have occupants this year?
They are not falcons but Bald Eagles of various ages near Newmann’s scrape at Great Spirit Bluff.
We have Common Goldeneye that come to breed in Manitoba during the spring and summer. They are incredibly beautiful – just look at those glowing yellow eyes! I still remember the first time I saw one at the pond in the St Boniface Industrial Park. Research indicates that if left undisturbed by humans, they are more successful during the breeding season. ——– This seems obvious. Did I miss something?
Kelly Sorenson and his team at Ventana Wildlife Foundation rank right up there in terms of dedication. What they have done for wildlife in California is phenomenal. If you would like to learn more about the triumphs and challenges of reintroducing nearly extinct species, listen to the discussion with Kelly. (The link should take you to the podcast).
The latest migration count by Hawk Mountain.
Your inbox has undoubtedly been full of calls for donations or fundraising. It is the time of year when our nature centres and wildlife rehabbers do their final push for much-needed funds. I am just going to use the following promotion as an example. Today I noticed that someone wished to purchase some of the merch from Glaslyn but felt that they couldn’t because they lived elsewhere. My experience is that almost every centre will make an effort to get items shipped anywhere in the world. Glaslyn is no exception. Dyfi ships also…many now have fixed their forms to include out-of-the-way places. The Royal Albatross Centre has sent me possum hats (they are so soft) and books over the years, and it takes about 18 days for parcels from New Zealand to arrive in Canada. So, if there are things that you wish for yourself or to gift to someone else, and you cannot see a way to have the items shipped to your location, find the contact information and ask them!
Take care everyone! Thank you for being with me today. We hope to have you with us soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, fun graphics, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, Sydney Sea Eagles, Penny Albright, Metzger, PLO, Osprey House, Lady Hawk, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, KNF-E1, Bird Guides, Achieva, Explore.org, SOS, and Hawk Mountain.