One need not look at the calendar to know that fall is completely with us on the Canadian Prairies. Leaves are turning on all of the trees, squirrels and Jays are rushing to store food. The air feels and smells different.
Every one of the garden animals has been accounted for but one and sadly the latest Hedwig (rabbit) was hit by a car on the lane in front of my house last evening. I found the darling thing this morning.
Dyson looks particularly good. Taken with my phone when I went to fill up the table feeder – she isn’t afraid. She waited and posed. Little Red was running around. He has officially moved into the wood box in the house built for him in the spring of 2022. Yippeeee. Better late than never. He only has to go a few feet in the winter to get more peanuts!
Dyson wishes all her friends in Japan and Asia a joyous Tsukimi (Moon Viewing Festival), lots of delicious rice dumplings and Moon Cakes.
The Blue Jays are still coming to the feeders. Many do not migrate remaining on the snowy prairies along with the Black-capped Chicadees and sparrows. We wait to see what these four will do.
Lewis wants nothing to do with the new cat tree. He prefers the box, and Missey prefers the blanket that wrapped some furniture at one time or another on the top of the bins and the wicker basket.
Calico looks stronger every day. She is filling out a bit but a sweet gentle soul she is. Did I tell you we dropped all of our other projects for a few weeks to write a book for children about Calico and Hope? It will be a fundraiser for the mobile Vet clinic that works in my City to provide affordable spay and neutering, vaccinations, deworming, etc. for those persons wishing to trap and release or adopt the community cats.
It is also hoped that the book will offer a lesson for not ‘dumping’ pets.
Are you missing Mini? I sure am. You never ever forget these amazing survivors.
Patchogue tops my list for the most incredible osprey nest this past season. The adults raised four – four to fledge – at a time when a substantial number of clutches from Long Island up through the NE were entirely lost due to weather events (especially that storm in June) and overfishing. Thank you, Isac, for reminding us what a spunky fourth-hatch Mini was!
Well, shock of shocks. Mini visited the nest for about a minute at 1258 Monday. Oh, my goodness. How wonderful it is to see you!
Violence. Disregard for life of any kind.
What kind of person would deliberately shoot any raptor never mind, one of the most endangered species on our planet – the California Condor. I had been out playing with Hope and Calico and had not looked at my e-mail (one of the benefits of taking a few days off is you realise it can wait!). Then I did. A note from Geemeff, and below it is my copy from Kelly Sorenson. I am beyond understanding this.
Gabby was at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest Monday morning.
V3 returned to the nest with what could be new wounds at 1745.
The eagles are working on the Pittsburg-Hayes nest. Look at those rails! This is a nest to envy!
There’s at least one juvie at the Dulles-Greenway nest of Martin and Rosa.
Looks like C15 and Dad might have finally left for their migration fro the Charlo Montana Osprey platform.
Ospreys are gone and the Canada Geese are enjoying the Boulder County Fair Grounds nest.
Trudi Kron gives us a good look at the injuries that Anna, the mate of Louis, at the KNF-E1 nest near Alexandria, Louisiana has sustained. It looks like they are healing. Send good wishes for all those floaters wanting a nest to scat!
Lightning fills the sky around the Superbeaks’ nest of Pepe and Muhlady.
Everyone hopes the new male at Port Lincoln will be a great provider and that the long-running heartache at the PLO barge nest will end. That said, this morning, Mum got impatient waiting for a fish and caught on camera is a female incubating eggs catching a fish.
‘A’ brings us up to date: “At Port Lincoln, the fishing is going well. Three yesterday (one caught by mum) and dad has caught at least two so far today. As always, mum is allowing him far less egg time than he would like. Guesses regarding timing of the first hatch are between 15 October and 18 October, so we have at least three weeks to wait there. So all attention is now on Orange and of course on our adorable sea eaglets in Sydney. They are gorgeous.”
There are still juvenile ospreys near their nests in the UK that have not left for migration.
Dad is still bringing fish to Coco at the Sandpoint nest.
Dad delivered at least four fishing starting at 0705 and going until 1500 on Monday at the MN Landscape Arboretum Nest.
Suzanne Arnold Horning spotted Big Red on the Cornell Campus on Monday! Looking good, Mamma.
The eaglets at Sydney Sea Eagle nest in the Olympic Forest are ever more steady on their feet.
The date that is predicted for the first egg to hatch at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier is 1 October. That is less than a week away!
‘A’ reminds us: “The countdown is on at Orange. Only four days until pip watch. There is a very pesky scout bee (or bees) that has been bothering the falcons for the past two days, buzzing constantly into, around and out of the box. I think it is really starting to annoy Diamond. Xavier made a lunge at it yesterday as if to eat it but missed (as he was on the eggs so had limited reach!) and today, it continues to irritate all. Apart from that, all proceeds smoothly at this scrape. The couple had another of their early morning bonding sessions today (05:20) but this time there was a changeover and no-one fell asleep mid-bonding. It’s so sweet the way he arrives so early and sits on the ledge to keep her company. For some reason, she allowed him an hour of early-morning egg time, so he’s happy. He’s had a couple of lengthy stints this morning.”
To prepare for what is coming – and the falcon chicks grow rapidly compared to eagles and ospreys – here is a guide to their weekly development with pictures.
Annie and Lou visiting the scrape at The Campanile of UC-Berkeley on Monday.
Almost all of the Royal Albatross chicks have fledged. We now await the arrival of this year’s adults who will be breeding.
Remember – if you have to just tie your wrists with a ribbon! Don’t start up the mower, the weed whacker, the leaf blower. Use that time to go birding and let the insects living in the leaves have a home.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon!
I want to add that I tested positive for Covid on Sunday. I am feeling a bit rough. Thankfully there is not a lot going on in Bird World. I will continue with the newsletter but the content might be smaller for the next week while I recover.
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Geemeff’, PSEG, Isac and PSEG, Ventana Wildlife Society, Open Verse, NEFL-AEF, NEFL-chat, PixCams, Dulles-Greenway, Charlo Montana, Boulder County, Trudi Kron and Bald Eagles 101 Superbeaks, Bart Molenaar and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt FalconCam, Outside My Window, Killarney Today, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, and Cal Falcons.
Hope, Calico, Missey and Lewis – along with all the garden animals hope that you are well, that the weather is grand, and that you will get outside and enjoy the sound of birds and the smell of autumn which is upon us.
Calico’s incision looks really good. What a sweet cat she is. She sees the antibiotic cream tube and will go and lay down on the striped quilt and let me apply it. She is simply a marvel.
I have had animals all my life. When I was born my father had a three-legged dog that stood guard by my basket. She lived quite a long life – and it is because of her that I recognise that animals can adapt to many situations and live a full life. Trixie certainly did. In all those decades, I have marvelled at how smart these animals are, but I have never had a companion like Calico. She is quiet, affectionate, and sweet, and seems to simply understand that the cream is to help her. She has never – and this is apparently rare for a community cat – ever scratched or fought me. It has been the opposite. What a blessing she and that little bundle of energy, Hope, are.
Tonight, on my walk, I came across a woman who helped look for the kitten. She teared up at the sight of Calico and Hope together in the photos. We all need happy endings. At the same time, I was a wee bit saddened to see that the deck where Calico had her kittens had been enclosed with wire mesh. It was a good place for the community cats to be warm and dry in the winter. No one knew they were there – and while it is none of my business, it is an example of how quickly animals can lose a ‘home’. These cats have served an important role in our little neighbourhood. There are no mice that I am aware of. Numerous people feed birds, including myself. I attribute the lack of mice directly to these cats.
Calico and I have been reading an edited volume Not Too Late. Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility. One of the most moving and inspiring chapters is by Jacquelyn Gill, a Palaeontologist. The chapter is called “The Asteroid and the Fern”. Gill writes about her visit to a cave in Siberia and the Great Dying that took place 251.9 million years ago when “roughly 90 per cent of life on Earth was lost” (126). Gill adds that the “heat wave that triggered the Great Dying took around seven hundred thousand years to unfold”. She compares this to now where in a lifetime we have created disaster which “barely spanned the breadth of a human life” (127). Gill looks at what happens after adding that the stories of extinction in the past are as inspiring as they are sobering (126).
I look at the four animals in my direct care and those that live in the garden and realise that we must live in the present and not fall into depressing despair. We must work cooperatively to find solutions while living ‘in the moment’. If not, we will miss those beautiful lives standing right in front of us. Isn’t that what this is all about? The wonder of the seasons, the animals, the people we love. To ponder in despair what might come and to miss the now would be a heavy loss.
The beauty of the world does not have to be in an exotic location halfway around the world. Most often it is right before our eyes.
Bird World is going to take a wee vacation starting on 17. September. ‘A’ and ‘H’ and I will return on Monday the 25th. We urge you to keep your eye on Manaaki if he has not fledged by Sunday and to also watch for the start of the cams at Sw Florida.
First up – do you live in Maine? If so, please read the following notice carefully.
Geemeff gives us a year of highlights from nest 1 at Loch Arkaig – Louis and Vila’s old nest. Now it is ‘as the osprey soap opera turns’ – we wait to see who pairs up next year. Thanks, Geemeff. It is a beautiful nest that needs to be occupied with fish screaming osplets!
M15 and F1 at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest.
Thunder, the daughter of Chase & Cholyn from Two Harbours, visits the old nesting area she shares with her mate, Akecheta on Thursday.
Oh, we would give anything to see Mini on the Patchogue nest – have her just fly in like Thunder and recognise her. Mini was last on the nest on September 11. Locals noted that Dad was also seen that day but Mum has not been to the nest since Sunday the 10th. No one has seen them in the area since then and it is possible that they are elsewhere on the water or after left the area.
One of the Webster Texas eagles is back working on the nest!
Pepe was working on the Superbeaks Nest – gosh, Osprey season ended and the eagles are now starting work! How exciting is this?
The posting of the loss of Stormy and Simba touched so many. I have received numerous letters. Please don’t stop watching Jackie and Shadow – we won’t probably ever know what happened to those two gorgeous fledglings but, we can, each day, in our way, do something to hopefully make the lives of our wildlife better.
Sadly, a large number – the precise % each year is unknown – do not survive their first year. We must also celebrate those who do and cheer on those who live into their 20s. It has not been easy for them.
Sharon Dunne updates us on the status of fledging at the Royal Albatross colony.
‘A’ was able to confirm: “Quarry is confirmed to have fledged so it is just UQ and Manaaki now. Both the girls have left. UQ is far better at hovering than Manaaki is, so I do hope our boy does not try to leave before he is ready (which he really isn’t yet).” ‘A’ also adds: “At 18:35 at Taiaroa Head, the last of the light is fading and we can just make out Manaaki on his nest and UQ on his new ‘ nest’. (We can’t see whether he has actually constructed a new nest or whether he has simply relocated to the grass area next to Manaaki and a long downhill from him.) He seemed to move there permanently after Quarry left the area several days ago but has always been friendly with Manaaki. The girls (Quarry and Miss NTF) were constantly visiting UQ, displaying to him and generally being precocious and a little aggressive, which disconcerted UQ, who in turn sought refuge around Manaaki. The girls also tried similar approaches with Manaaki, but being not nearly as shy as UQ, he was always prepared to stand up to the girls and clack his bill at them, driving them away from his nest. He took no nonsense from either! Although UQ is the fluffiest and least adventurous of the four, his flying skills (well, at least his hovering) are way ahead of Manaaki’s, and over the past two days, UQ has been hovering so high he has been out of sight of the camera. He has also flown a long way across the downhill grassy area, towards the water, and has sometimes had to walk back up, although on other occasions, he has been able to glide backwards (I finally understand what the chatters meant about backward flying, which these albie chicks do all the time). The chicks try to ride the wind currents by simply stretching out their winds and allowing the wind to lift and carry them. If they get high enough, and are sufficiently balanced, they can tuck up their trailing legs and feet and actually glide quite a distance. It looked on more than one occasion as though UQ was off and gone this afternoon. Manaaki, on the other hand, is still not getting the same lift as UQ yet and is not yet balanced enough to control his movements in the air or to tuck up his legs and feet. Both of the boys still have too much fluff to fledge, in my opinion, and I am hoping UQ will wait another few days to lose his fluff and that Manaaki will wait at least another five days to a week to perfect his skills in the air. But as I said the other day, the wind will usually decide for them. And hopefully, the ones who are not strong or skilled enough will ditch in the bay, allowing their rescue, as we saw today. So it is only after they leave the waters near Taiaroa Head that they begin the exhilarating beauty and deadly risk that is their life as wild birds.”
At Collins Street, ‘A’ writes: “Little dad at Collins Street is a trooper. He did several lengthy incubation spells today, and not just the nearly two hours in the centre of the day but another couple of hours in the middle of the afternoon. He is a very dedicated dad, and as I mentioned, I’m sure he is providing food for F22, though she may be hunting for herself as well. Certainly, she has left the nest several times and then, very shortly afterwards, we have seen feathers floating down from a higher level while M22 looks upwards with that sweet sidelong glance he has, so I’m sure she has had no time to catch her own food in that time. Who knows what she does in that late morning/lunchtime period (90 minutes to two hours), which she used to take as down time last season as well, until that day when the chicks nearly baked (honey, I fried the kids). From memory, I seem to recall her being more diligent following that incident, although of course it was only a week or two after the baking incident that last year’s eyases started to make their own decisions on which end they wanted to inhabit, heading along the gutter at will. She takes her final break of the day at 18:07, with M22 taking over at 18:10 and remaining until F22 returns to the ledge at 18:16. As always, she is screeching (is that her normal mode of communication?) on arrival and dad leaves the nest and dives off the ledge. Fast. Mum settles down for the night shift.”
The Sydney sea Eagles have eaten well. There is some concern about Lady’s foot. ‘A’ observed this closely and adds, “At 10:11:06, and again from 10:11:22 to 10:11:24, have a look at the surface of Lady’s left foot. It appears to be a very raw wound or nasty scrape, not blood from a piece of prey. See what you think. At 10:13:02, as she walks to the back of the nest, it looks as though there may be some inflammation or mark on the back of the left ‘ankle’ area. Lady also has some blood on her head, at the top/back on the left side of the crown. I thought little of it earlier in the morning, but now, noticing the apparent wound on her left foot, I am wondering about the blood on her head. It is possible she scratched her head with the foot when it was bleeding and I suppose it is also possible it is from a prey item, as she has a piece of fluff or a feather stuck to her forehead at the top of her beak, between her eyes. She does not appear hindered by any injury nor does she exhibit any signs of discomfort. So perhaps I am worrying about nothing. There’s another close up at 11:14:18. It doesn’t look quite as bad as in the earlier shots but perhaps that is the light.”
On Thursday, Lady was bringing in new twigs for the railings to try and keep the sea eagles in. One of the cutest things is when these adorable eaglets start pitching in and helping being little Mini Mums.
At Orange, Diamond is impressed when Xavier arrives with a Rosella at 0908!
Eastern Rosellas are brightly coloured birds – blue and yellow along with some green, with a bright red head and white cheeks – that live in New South Wales and Queensland Australia. They live in flocks – usually of about 20 birds – and eat seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, and even leaves.
I saw no fish deliveries while watching or rewinding the Port Lincoln Osprey cam. Hopefully, since it appears to be a calm day, Dad2 will get on and haul in a big fish for Mum.
It is that time of year and the Osprey nests that ‘H’ has been observing are getting really quiet. She notes that the Osoyoos camera is once again down but she will continue to check for us to see if anything is happening. Audrey was not seen at Kent Island on Thursday and is believed to have migrated. “Duke at BL was seen a couple of times yesterday, and he has been documented to stay around as long as eight days after the last juvie left the area.” ‘H’ is also checking to see if the IR light will be turned on at Collins Street. Thank you ‘H’.
Birdlife International brings us a short but gripping story about birdwatching, yacht racing, the Southern Ocean and the decline in wildlife.
Before we go, another great image of Ervie finishing up the innards of his fish dinner. Always lovely to see you Ervie!
And more Ervie!
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, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, B, Geemeff, H’, Kshanti Green and Maine Birds, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, SW Florida Eagle Cam, IWS/Explore, SL Security Pros, Paul Williams and Webster Texas Eagles, Superbeaks, Terri Ashmore and FOBBV, Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group of NZ, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Julie Lovegrove and Friends of Sth Aus, Bazz Hockaday and Friends of Sth Aus, and BirdLife International.
The happenings in Bird World – in terms of our beloved Ospreys – are getting thin. Most have left their nests and are returning to their winter destinations. It has been a privilege to watch these amazing families struggle in some very challenging conditions to survive. The joy that even a single survivor on a nest brought to us – seeing Dorsett catch a fish and hang out by the beach after fears that the entire clutch would be lost. Witnessing the loss of the Lake Murray osplets to a GHO or others die for mysterious reasons like those at Marder’s. And then seeing a survivor like Mini – . It was like being on a roller coaster – the 2023 Osprey breeding season.
Thank you for your really good wishes for Calico. She is healing nicely. We have not resorted to the Victorian Collar – well, I tried it when I saw her licking but she was not having that and in the end the stress and her trying to tear it off might have caused more damage. I learned from Geemeff that Olive Oil will keep skin around the incision from drying out which is the root cause of the licking -when that skin dries it pulls. I also picked up some antibiotic cream. Calico is such a lovely girl – she rolled on her back and let me apply those as if she completely understood that I was trying to help her. I cannot tell you how much I adore this cat.
Hope is a live wire and wants only to play. Missey wants to play with her but Calico is not so happy to share so we are going to wait. Hope is also beginning to lose that ‘fat’ little face of a kitten. She is 74 days old – nearly 11 weeks. She has such big legs! She is cute, quick, and fun and is less and less afraid of people every day.
Hope loves this feathery teaser that her Auntie in Scotland got for her. It brings her out of her hiding spots in an instant!
Hope is a whirlwind. She must just make Calico tired. You might be able to tell that the conservatory has been turned into a cat play room complete with the table being turned into a hiding spot with thick comforters on the floor and heavy quilts and Rajasthani block prints as cover. It is hopefully a happy safe plade for these two as they acquaint themselves to life indoors. I got a giggle this morning. Geemeff sent me a saying, “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” Isn’t that the truth? I am getting ready to go and do ‘maid duty’ after having already done ‘room service’. I would not change anything.
Calico has discovered that from the little house on the cat tree she can control Hope having access to that tummy tum.
This old cattier has been fun for more than a dozen cats since a couple of local men – a carpenter and an upholsterer – made a few of these around 2006. They are heavy duty – 3/4″ plywood construction and the carpeting can easily be replaced in the bits that get the. most use.
Missey and Lewis grew too big to run and play in the lime green tunnel. Hope loves it and the crinkle sound the fabric makes.
‘H’ has a surprise in her three reports this morning…a wonderful surprise.
Osoyoos – What a surprise … After the livestream was down for 14 days, it went live on 9/13 … for 4.5 hours, then the feed went down again. So, what did we learn? The fledgling is still there. She was on and off the nest several times. And, she looks fabulous! She is quite plump and healthy looking. That is just wonderful. We did not see either of her parents.
Kent Island – Audrey made an appearance early in the morning when she landed on a pole at a nearby dock. She stayed perched there for some time, but we are not sure how long, as the camera panned back to the nest. We did not see her the rest of the day, which was somewhat unusual of late. The past several days, Audrey had been seen a few times in Joe’s tree or on the dock. We will monitor, but it is possible that we may have seen Audrey for the last time this season.
Barnegat Light – Duke was seen in a couple of different trees throughout the day. Dorsett was not seen or heard. There were no significant live streaming issues on 9/13, so technical difficulties cannot be blamed for the lack of Dorsett sightings. The last time we saw Dorsett was the morning of 9/11. There was a beautiful sunset over Barnegat Bay … a poignant moment in time … missing Dorsett. “You be safe out there, girl.”
Visitor at Loch Arkaig! Not an Osprey. Beautiful.
More visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest at the midnight hour.
A fledgling having a wonderful fish meal on the Kallavesi Osprey nest in Finland! These sightings are getting rare as the urge to leave the natal nest and breeding grounds grows stronger.
Keo brought Coco three fish today at Sandpoint. T here was no sign of Keke and she might have begun her migration.
Mum was eating a nice fish on the perch at Boulder County Fair Grands Osprey nest. No sign of the fledglings while I was checking.
The Patchogue Nest is empty. Locals have seen ospreys but they have not come to the nest and there is no confirmation that they are Mini or members of her family as there are other nests in the area. I did find this short video clip showing Mini having dinner with her siblings. A nice memory.
The Osprey platform at Seaside is quiet.
Caught Swoop on the nest at Dunrovin.
Now that Pat has been released from being in rehab, is it possible that all three fledglings from the Dulles-Greenway Nest were home?
Is there anyone that isn’t excited about what is going to happen on the Sw Florida or the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest this year?
M15 has his new beautiful lady.
Gabby and V3 are going to try and raise a family together this season. It is exciting – new beginnings for two of our favourite eaglets who lost their mates last year.
The most beautiful sunsets come from the Superbeaks Bald Eagle nest in Central Florida.
Checking in NZ and Australia:
Royal Albatross Colony, Taiaroa Head, NZ: ‘A’ notes: “In New Zealand, there are strong onshore winds currently and the chicks are taking this perfect opportunity to practise their flying. UQ is doing wonderfully well but Manaaki really does have some way to go when it comes to technique. He is currently down the hill, out of sight, having hovered out over the edge and down a bit. He really has little control over his skills yet, unlike UQ who looks very close to departure. And as I said, Quarry has not been seen on the hilltop for several days. We will get another report tomorrow on who has left the colony. There are currently two fledged chicks who have landed on the water in the bay. The rangers are keeping a close eye on these two, as if they become waterlogged they will be unable to take off again and will eventually drown. The rangers will rescue them for a second take-off attempt if this becomes necessary.” She continues, “Manaaki is still there, as is UQ, though it appears Quarry has left. We are not sure whether she was at the chick count yesterday so she may be elsewhere on the headland but we suspect she has fledged. Heart in my mouth every time I turn that tab on. It won’t be long now for Manaaki. He is 236 days old today (average age at fledge 240 days). I presume you are aware that this is the only mainland northern royal albatross breeding colony in the world, so it is a very special privilege to be able to watch them and to know the rangers are doing everything possible to protect this magnificent species. I will be interested to see the contents of the boluses this season, especially Manaaki’s of course. I suspect they will be largely the same, though it could vary based on where the parents have been foraging.”
‘A’ brings another update: “They have rescued the two fledged chicks who landed in the bay. They picked them up from a boat and took them back to their nest areas, from which they can make another attempt at fledging.’
367 Collins Street: ‘A’ knows someone who works near the Falcon’s scrape and she writes: “They can hear the Collins Street falcons all day at work, and the screeching noise is becoming very familiar. Any city dwellers would have been woken early this morning, as F22 was up and calling loudly for food before 05:55, leaving the ledge and presumably heading for the food stash. She has a large feather stuck to her face, on the right side of her beak, which looks so funny. The falcon version of bed head I think. The eggs were left unattended for just over 62 minutes before M22 arrives to incubate. He hardly has time to settle before mum is back, still with the facial feather and still shrieking. Dad does a classic GCW dive off the ledge and mum settles down. It’s 08:40 and M22 is back on the eggs at the moment. He has been for nearly an hour now, and he is breathing through his mouth already in the morning sun. Remember that in a couple of weeks’ time, it will be only 07:40, with daylight saving starting on 1 October (clocks will go forward one hour at 2am on the Sunday morning). It is currently 17 degrees and I can hear F22 arriving back on the ledge. She is noisy. Dad dives off the ledge, probably to get away from the ear-splitting screeching.”
“After leaving M22 to look after the eggs from around 10:30, F22 did not return until nearly 12.20. During that nearly two-hour period, little dad took a very short break of perhaps two or three minutes but that was well after the shade had completely covered the scrape. There were times when he was panting so fast, his little body looked like it was vibrating. If the parents are suffering like this at this time, what will it be like in six weeks, when the temperatures will be up to 8C higher and the shade won’t cover that scrape until well after midday. (Remember daylight savings puts the clocks forward an hour, so what is now 11am will become 12 noon, which is the last thing that scrape needs.) And of course the sun is moving further south, meaning the shade will take longer and longer each day to reach that scrape. It is worrying me a month before the eggs hatch….”
Like ‘A’, so many wish that a sun shade was placed over the end of the ledge where the eggs are like the other side because of the escalating heat in Melbourne at this time of year.
Orange Peregrine Falcons: Cilla Kinross has published the prey deliveries and a comparison to earlier times so that we can see that the drop off in deliveries this time of year is natural.
In New Zealand, the mainland colony of Kakapo is growing. These are historic moments -. Let us hope that the Kakapo will once again thrive – as in both numbers and quality of life – on the main island of New Zealand where they once lived. For those who do not know the history of the Kakapo and their extinction, here is a brief article to acquaint you with that sadness.
I have included this before but, let’s all remember! Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste. Tell your family and friends. All those pumpkins turned into Jack-O-Lanterns are great food sources for wildlife. It can make a difference in their lives – food. Life saving food.
You can do something to help lots of wildlife with your pumpkins, old apples, etc -.
I checked on Karl II’s family – all are still travelling, but there is no transmission yet from Karl II, and there is also no transmission from Tweed Valley’s Poul. Keep them in your most positive thoughts.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care!
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, postings, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sandpoint Ospreys, Boulder County Fair Grounds, D Lambertson and PSEG, Seaside Ospreys, Dunrovin Ranch, Sassa Bird and Bald Eagles I the USA, Ana Boone and SWFL Eagle Ca, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, NZ DOC, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cilla Kinross and Orange Peregrine Falcons, and Kakapo Recovery.
Tuesday was a very ‘difficult’ and, at the same time, rewarding and joyous day. Two beautiful Calico cats are off the streets and out of the cycle of producing feral kittens. Needless to say I did not sleep well Monday night. It is the ‘alarm clock syndrome’. Difficulty sleeping for fear of sleeping through the alarm.
Calico’s surgery went well. The vet phoned to say that Calico was ‘very strong’ and a gentle, sweet ‘kitten’. The staff spent much time with her when she was recovering – her story and that of Hope finding us -touched each and every one of them. It still makes me weep at all the things that had to ‘work’ for this to happen. I am indebted to those individuals that reached out to help me find ways to track Calico, who helped by providing the kitten trap for Hope, and to each and everyone whose experience with community cats helped us to have a successful ending to their story.
The biggest issue at the vet’s was the advice to keep Calico and Hope separated overnight. Of course, if Calico insisted, the stress being separated from Hope would be worse than Hope trying to suckle. The distance between the little office door and the one for the conservatory is approximately 65 feet. Calico made it very clear that she was not staying in that room. Lewis and Missey were contained in another room with the door to the conservatory open. Calico bolted the instance the office door opened. Hope came running! For a few seconds, there was a lovely little conversation between Mamma and baby. Thankfully, the only kitten that Calico will ever have is healthy and safe and with her Mamma tonight.
Calico is still in a bit of a haze, but Hope is so happy! Mamma is home. Just look at that round little belly on Hope. Poor Calico. She is just so wee…she weighs 2.3 kg or 5.03 lbs. Hope may weigh that much. Calico will start to put on weight and become healthy.
It is a secret. Hope spent the entire day playing with Missey!!!!!!!!!! They are super friends but don’t tell Mamma.
What fun it was to sit and watch these two with the new scratch post. They took turns with Hope watching every move that Missey made carefully and then imitating it.
Hope really loves this new scratch post with the feathered ball.
Before lights out, Hope got in some playtime while Calico rested. She forgot about where she was and wound up on my lap with the feather teaser. It was too funny – the startled look on her face when she realised that I had reached over and started petting her. Things are coming together. She is no longer 100% afraid of me scurrying off to hide in a corner. Humans mean food, cuddles, treats, and playtime!!!!!!!
What is happening in Bird World? One word: migration. Cornell Bird Lab and BirdCast are predicting that 348 million birds will be on the move as I am writing this Tuesday evening 12 September.
The National Wildlife Federation gives these ten tips for helping migrating birds – these are things we can initiate that can give instant success.
1. Keep your cat indoors—this is best for your cat as well as the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Even well fed cats kill birds, and bells on cats don’t effectively warn birds of cat strikes. For more information, go to http://www.abcbirds.org/cats.
3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard—even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food.
4. Create backyard habitat—if you have a larger yard, create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract native birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result.
5. Donate old birdwatching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes to local birdwatching groups—they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint—use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, use low energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Contact your energy supplier and ask them about purchasing your energy from renewable sources.
7. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee—increasing the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, will reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee plantations maintain large trees that provide essential habitat for wintering songbirds.
8. Keep feeders and bird baths clean to avoid disease and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
9. Support bird friendly legislation both locally and in the U.S. Congress.
10. Join a bird conservation group—learn more about birds and support important conservation work.
According to ABC, birds need our help now more than ever. In addition to the ongoing threat of loss of habitat that is becoming magnified by global warming, millions of birds are directly killed due to a number of different human-related causes.
Scientists estimate that 300 million to 1 billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings. Up to 50 million die from encounters with communication towers. At least 11 million die from car strikes. Another 1 million may die each day from attacks by cats left outdoors.
Some of these deaths occur year-round but many occur during the peak spring and fall migrations. Some studies suggest that perhaps as many as half of all migrating birds do not make it back to spring and summer grounds, succumbing to various threats on either end of the journey.
14 April 2010, NWF newsletter
There is great news coming out of Cal Falcons. Zephyr (2022) has been sighted more than once! Thanks, ‘B’ for the head’s up!
‘H’ brings us her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – “Audrey was seen a few times throughout the day. In the morning, she was seen in ‘Joe’s tree’, and she was obviously scoping out the water below for fish. Both Audrey and Tom have previously been seen diving from that tree. The video went to ‘highlights’, and when the livestream returned, Audrey was seen on a dock eating her catch. Later, Audrey was seen in the same tree in the afternoon. There are times when the camera is focused on the nest, and an osprey can be heard nearby, but the cam does not pan in that direction. Many bird nest cams online do not have PTZ capabilities or a dedicated camera operator. No matter what nest we are watching online, we are always grateful for what we are able to observe. We only know what we can see, and we learn what we can.”
Barnegat Light – “There were significant livestreaming issues once again on 9/12, especially during the afternoon and evening. In the morning, Duke was seen in his tree at the north tree line for a while. There were a few hours in the morning without livestream glitches, and during that time we did not see or hear Dorsett. Because of that, it is thought that Dorsett may have left the area. We will continue to follow today, and hopefully the livestream will behave. Dorsett is the only chick to have survived the storm in late June. I am sharing a photo from 6/8/23.”
Gabby and V3 were at the nest early on Tuesday. Later Gabby had to deal with the female intruder that has been showing up – she ushered her out of the territory (or so it seems). Wouldn’t it be nice if this nest could just be quiet and boring this year?
These two were chortling back and forth. A chortle is a form of communication between Bald Eagles. It is a series of short rapid chirps which might mean several things. You have to look at the context. In the image below it is a greeting between Gabby and V3. It could, at other times, signal that eagles are going to engage in a dispute.
At the nest of Anna and Louis in the Kistachie National Forest, Louis has brought Anna the first fish gift on camera of the season. This is the couple’s fourth year together. The nest that they use was vacated in 2013. They did not have any chicks for the 2019-20 season. In 2020-21, they fledged Kisatchie in 2021-22, a female, Kincaid. What a great moment it was when Kisatchie hatched – the first eaglet in the forest for 8 years.
M15 and his new mate are working hard on the Fort Myers nest on the Pritchett Property that M15 shared with Harriet for 8 years.
Checking on Australia:
367 Collins Street: It is hard to get those four big falcon eggs tucked. Gosh, this ledge in the CBD of Melbourne is going to be busy in about a month. The nice thing about incubation is it gives Mum time to rest up before caring for the four – and Dad will be able, nearing the time of hatch, to stock up the pantry.
Sydney Sea Eagles: Breakfast was served early – followed by some nice wingersizing. The eaglets are getting stronger and stronger, standing for longer, and walking with much more confidence.
‘A’ was watching adding, “The sea eaglets had a good early breakfast (around 06:07 I think). It was feathered, minus its head, and a really good size. It looked afterwards as though SE31 had the larger crop but both ate enough breakfast. It was a large piece of prey. SE32 was like a toddler teething this morning. He nibbled at mum’s face and beak when she was aerating the nest in front of where he was lying. He nibbled at her wings. He nibbled at her breast. He nibbled at her underfluffies. Then, he turned around and began nibbling SE31. I have no idea what he was doing, but it was too cute. No-one else objected – it was exploratory and perhaps some level of allopreening was involved, but certainly it was not aggressive. The parents continue to be obsessed by the need to bring in more big sticks (kiddie rails, not just sticks) and lots and lots of greenery, as well as dry leaf material to lay on top of the greenery. They are very diligent in their nest work……Oh those eaglets are GORGEOUS. They are starting to get that beautiful russett colouring on their breasts, shoulders and wings. Lunch came in at 14:21, and both eaglets were interested in the food, which looked like another of the large eels (Dad brought it in and Lady quickly came to manage it). SE32 was first at the table, and got the early part of the feeding, but there was plenty of meat on that eel and both eaglets ate well. They were, as is always the case these days, perfectly behaved at the table, patiently waiting when the other was eating, with no beaking or intimidation or acts of submission or fear. It was a lovely thing. These two are doing so well and they are rapidly beginning to look like juvenile sea eagles. Their colouring is just exquisite. The perfection of their camouflage is amazing. They are truly beautiful at this age are they not?”
Port Lincoln: Dad2 brought in at least three fish before 1400. He took turns incubating so that Mum could eat. Ask me how much I am liking this new male.
‘A’ adds: “At Port Lincoln, dad brought three or four fish today and mum had some or all of two of them. She is doing the vast majority of the incubation time. Interestingly, the eggs were left unattended for just 1% of the 24 hours on Tuesday (and incubated for 99%) but on Wednesday were left alone for 19% of the time (incubated 89%). This may relate to the weather, but I found it interesting. “
Orange Peregrine Falcons: Xavier brought in a nice chunk of prepared prey for Diamond at 06:27. At the time I am writing (14:14 Australia time) no other prey items had been delivered that I could confirm.
What a little sweetie Xavier is…I love this gleeful way he rushes over to incubate those eggs in the morning.
Like so many, ‘A’ has been missing Manaaki, the Royal Cam chick since he began to get his juvenile feathers. Now..he is ready to fly she adds, “Here is the evidence that we are about to lose Manaaki to his destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghTGyX8-ADg. I know it is what he is born for and I know it represents a fabulously successful season for everyone at Royal Cam and for parents L and GLY. But oh how I am going to miss this gorgeous creature, with his adventurous mischievous personality and his obsession with gardening and excavating and exploring.
Now he has cast his bolus (or boluses), he is pretty much ready to leave. There is little fluff left now, and the next windy spell should see him on his way. Treasure these last hours. We may never see him again. I am so sad, but happy too.”
One of those lovely happy endings – a successful rescue of an Osprey caught in fishing line posted on The Joy of Ospreys by D Lambertson.
Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We hope to see you again soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, B, H’, BirdCast, NYTimes, Cal Falcons, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NEFL-AEF, Tonya Irwin and KNF E-1, Real Saunders Photography, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Sydney Sea Eagles, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, NZ DOC, and D Lambertson and the Joy of Ospreys.
Sunday started off cool, and it warmed up but the day was mostly cloudy. So, to me, it felt cooler looking out than it actually was. Small raindrops have just started falling late in the evening. The Blue Jays are still coming to the garden for water and seeds as are the Sparrows. Migration is in full swing, and only time will tell if the Blue Jay family is staying for the winter or will leave for part or all of it. The six Crows in the Crow family are still here- they will probably remain all winter just like the Chickadees. Canada Geese continue to fly overhead as are the Pelicans – all of them leaving for parts warmer and in the South.
Audubon has a wonderful tool to learn about migration. Migration is remarkable and now that the birds are leaving I am already longing for their return next spring. Nature continues on despite all that is thrown at it.
Today was the day Hope came out of her shell. Geemeff suggested a feather teaser toy. Little Hope loves to play and right away she was in the middle of everything. I got a small stroke on her head! This kitten has the sweetest face. One miracle for the day. Next play time I will try to grab her with Geemeff’s instructions firmly in mind to let her loose so she isn’t frightened – and knows she can get away. Fingers crossed. Calico goes in for her surgery on Tuesday and I hope to have this little one all friendly by then.
Calico is very protective of Hope. While she weants to return to the main part of the house I have left the door open and Calico will not leave without the baby who remains, at this time, hesitant.
Little Mini-me. I continue to marvel at the miracle – the moment is so clear – when I looked out and saw this wee kitten eating at the feeding station. It was beyond my hope that these two would be reunited. No wonder Calico doesn’t want her out of her sight.
Lewis and Missey are much more used to the ‘smell of Calico and the presence of Hope – through glass. They are all fed at the same time and there has been lots of tasty meals to cement the idea that Calico and Hope bring ‘good things’ not bad ones! Constant companions. Constant washing and playing. Lewis and Missey are both now a year old.
Let’s start off with something fun – the season highlights from Loch Arkaig! Louis, Dorcha, Ludo and various visitors delighted us day in and day out throughout the 2023 breeding season in Scotland.
News has just come in from ‘H’ that there are now four eggs at Melbourne! Oh, little M22 has going to have his work cut out getting those big eggs under for incubation! Egg #4 laid at 07:48:52.
‘A’ gives us a prey update: “At about 09:09:48 M22 lands on the ledge with a small bird, calling F22 as he arrives. For a couple of minutes prior to this, we have watched small feathers floating up, from where M22 is obviously preparing the prey at a lower level. He chups and waits. When F22 does not appear, he plucks the bird a little more, then heads with it, still chupping, up to the scrape. He seems to want to feed his eggs! He plucks the bird a little more, and at 09:11:30 flies off with the prey, presumably to leave it in one of their stash spots for mum to retrieve. Dad returns to incubate at 09:13:39. He has a little difficulty settling down on four eggs but he manages. This pair is adorable.”
I went to check and Mum is home. No fear! After last year I worry all the time about this nest.
Liznm caught that fourth egg being laid at Melbourne for us.
Mini has not been seen at the nest since the morning of Saturday 9 September. Mum has appeared a few times (or it is believed to be Mum). I have an inbox full of concerned letters wanting help for Mini but, in truth, we do not know if Mini needs help. Wildlife rehab clinics do not have the resources to search Patchogue for Mini. Indeed, every clinic that I know relies heavily on volunteers. If someone were to find Mini and get her to a clinic – if that clinic knows her story and any in the area should – they would recognise her. But, for now, we only know that Mini is not coming to the nest. Dad has been seen on the antennae by the lake where he fishes and Mum might or might not have come to the nest once or twice. That would be typical osprey behaviour before departing for migration. The fact that Mini has not come to the nest does not mean she is grounded, nor is she dying and starving. The absence of evidence is not evidence.
The only thing that could be done at this point is for a local search party to comb the area for Mini. That is a huge task but it would be worth it just to check and for everyone to know that she is not grounded.
Five fish were delivered to the Sandpoint Osprey Platform today. Coco was deliriously full of fish dinners!
‘H’ sends her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:
Kent Island – The fledgling, Molly, has not been seen for almost six days. Audrey spent the night of 9/10 on the nest, and she flew off at 0630. She was not seen on camera for the rest of the day, until she landed on the nest just before 10 pm. Audrey spent the night of 9/11 at the nest. Tom was not seen on camera on 9/10.
Barnegat Light – There was frequent and prolonged buffering of the live stream on 9/10. But, we were able to observe a fish delivery from Duke to Dorsett at 0725, and we saw Dorsett on the nest with a partial fish at 1828.
‘A’ sends her down under report from down under – thanks A:
Sydney Sea Eagles: “It is now nearly 12:30 and Lady and Dad have spent this morning bringing in more and more nesting material .Check out how much fresh greenery there is on that nest. And that’s not counting the two gigantic branches (one at the front, one at the back) that have been brought in and carefully arranged so far this morning. It is phenomenal. They are doing a total spruce-up and a little renovating – it is a DIY fest up there this morning. The eaglets, of course, would prefer some breakfast, but I think the parents are bringing in the extra cot rails for the reason discussed yesterday (two much more mobile chicks now up off their tarsi and motoring around that nest) and all the fresh greenery and talonfuls of dry leaf material are being brought in because of the day of rain they had there over the weekend (or was it Friday). Anyway, they’re freshening up and drying out the nest. They have both been aerating today and yesterday. So I’m pretty sure that’s the reason for this sudden obsession with bringing in nest materials.
Hopefully, there will be some food soon, though I have reached a level of confidence about this nest that leaves me unconcerned about major problems even if food is late and/or short today. Obviously, we would prefer them to get two good meals a day but they do need to learn that life in the wild is not all home-delivered meals at the drop of a twig. So either way, I am sure all will work out fine and lunch will come soon.”
Xavier and Diamond: The intruder is still causing issues for the couple. Diamond had to leave the scrape to defend the territory. This is not a good thing.
Port Lincoln: Dad was on the nest with Mum. Oh, I hope these two only have two eggs!!!!!!!
Dad2 doing incubation duties. The chat group notes that the eggs were not incubated for 41 minutes which should not be an issue.
But ‘H’ has just sent me a giggle: Is this Dad 1 or is it Dad2? Fran Solly and Bazza are starting to think it is Dad1?!
‘A’ is missing our little prince and he isn’t gone yet! She writes, “
Omigod, talk about heart in my mouth. I checked the albatross cam and not only was Manaaki’s nest empty but the camera was giving us the view of the bay from his nest. For a moment there, I thought he had fledged. Then, I saw a little flash of white far down on the hillside and sure enough, up he came. He had had a practice flight down the hill and had to walk a lolng way back up. The wind has really picked up this afternoon (it is now nearly 4pm) and it is hovering and flapping time. Scary. Every time I watch this, I wonder if it is going to be the last time, as it was that day I watched QT in the storm. Sudden. And possibly permanent. Stay with us just a little longer sweet boy. Another week to get rid of that remaining fluff. Just one more week.
Manaaki was fed about three hours ago (13:23). We think the parent had come in earlier and that this was the second feeding today. The weather really changed three or four hours ago. The rain started teeming down and the wind really picked up. It sounds like a gale on the tab now. We believe that in all the excitement this has caused, it is possible that Quarry has fledged. UQ has been hovering a lot this afternoon, and although he is still obviously carrying too much down and has not yet perfected his flying technique (paddles are still hanging down and he hasn’t worked out how to hold them up yet), there is a fear among chatters that he will leave today. If he does, there is the danger he will ditch in the bay and become waterlogged. I’m sure they keep a close eye out for chicks that do that – I have heard talk of them being rescued for a second fledge attempt. So we watch, we wait. The wind is encouraging all the chicks, but hopefully, Manaaki’s feedings today will keep him at home a little longer. As I type, both Manaaki and UQ are still at home, Manaaki on his nest and UQ a little downhill from Manaaki (where he has been for most of the day, rather than on his nest higher up the hill – he likes Manaaki).”
At SWFlorida, home to M15 and his new mate, bonding is happening! We have a fish offering.
In the letterbox: A few letters have arrived since the posting of the death of two of the fledglings – Stormy and Simba – from Big Bear Valley in previous years. It is hoped that FOBBV might be able to find out what happened to the two siblings. Readers have expressed concern over the deaths of the eaglets and the many non viable years for our beloved Jackie and Shadow. Every year we struggle with them and, of course, it was such a delight when Spirit fledged. The difficulties that Jackie and Shadow face in terms of eggshell hardness and viability of offspring in the nest might be directly related to the historical DDT that was intensely sprayed on Big Bear Lake. Of course we are aware of the issues in the Channel Islands.
The heartache that we feel for these two Bald Eagles and they are much loved by thousands and thousands, is directly due to human causes.
From a previous blog ‘Why Do Some Eagles Have Wing Bands’: “
It all goes back to DDT and the near extinction of the Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and other birds from the United States. Sea life has been impacted and so have humans. After World War II DDT was used to eradicate for mosquitoes in the US. Various areas received high amounts of this toxin. It wasn’t just the spraying but also the illegal dumping of hundreds of thousands of tonnes that has caused harm. Indeed, the waters off Catalina Island, for one, became a dumping ground for DDT.
In 2020, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times about the finding of the rusting barrels of toxins leaking near Catalina Island. (The scientists were looking for methane). The author says, “As many as half a million of these barrels could still be underwater right now, according to interviews and a Times review of historical records, manifests and undigitized research. From 1947 to 1982, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful that it poisoned birds and fish — was based in Los Angeles.”
“DDT is so stable it can take generations to break down. It doesn’t really dissolve in water but stores easily in fat. Compounding these problems is what scientists today call “biomagnification”: the toxin accumulating in the tissues of animals in greater and greater concentrations as it moves up the food chain.” The birds at the top of the food chain, often referred to as the canaries in the coal mine are the Ospreys who eat the fish and the Bald Eagles.
This is a fantastic read. I urge you to take the time so that when you hear about the impacts of DDT you will understand the history and the harm.
In 1980, there was a reintroduction programme of Bald Eagles into the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Even until 2001, the eggs were removed and fostered and the chicks banded. Between 1980-86, 33 Bald Eagles were released on Santa Catalina. These birds grew to adulthood even breeding but due to the DDE levels, the eggshell thickness was still compromised. You might recall that Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear have problems with thin eggshells today. Big Bear Lake was heavily sprayed with DDT and it is residual in the soil. The tagging program can be seen with the tags on Thunder and Akacheta. Their chicks, should they hatch and survive, will be banded as part of the continuing study.
For those who would like to go back to the 1970s when the alarms were being sounded by various individuals including Rachel Carson, a good read is The Silent Spring. I would hope that most local libraries would have copies. As you can see, the storage and long life of DDT and the fact that it does not break down in water, is a continuing concern for all the wildlife and humans around the Santa Catalina Island which is now controlled by the US Navy.
There continue to be warnings about humans eating the fish from Big Bear Lake:
A group of concerned individuals is working towards a united presentation to see what can be done about the proposed battery storage facility at SSEN Alyth where Ospreys Harry and Flora have their nest. This is one of the revised plans for the site that shows the battery storage right up to the nest.
This is very discouraging. Flora has left the nest on previous occasions when there were disturbances.
Sue Wallbanks posted this article. It is a good read for anyone who wants to understand how disturbances can cause issues at raptor nests.
The beautiful Black Eaglet had breakfast compliments of Dad. Lady Hawk comments: “The Selati eaglet has another good day of eating compliments of Dad bring in a Rock Hyrax! The eaglet is enjoying the morning sunlight and spreads out its wings as it lies on the nest sunning itself (and keeping cool) 🙂 Mom flies in right after Dad but the eaglet claims the prey and mantles it and will self feed on it for quite some time. Finally Mom takes over and finishes up the feeding and the eaglet gets to swallow the pelt down. i did edit out a lot of the feeding since it went on for so long. Great job! Mom will then fly off leaving a very contented chick.”
These Black Eagles live in the Slate Game Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. Their proper name is the Verreaux Eagle. Only one of two eggs hatched at this nest in 2023. This is the time line, and we expect this eaglet to hatch in less than 3 weeks.
First egg laid on 15 May 2023 🥚
Second egg laid on 19 May 2023 🥚🥚
Egg cracked by parent on 6 June 2023 ✖️
Chick hatched 29/30 June 2023 🐣
Fledgling flight expected from around end September 2023
Verreaux’s eagle is one of the larger eagles of Africa. It measures 75 to 96 cm (30 to 38 in) long with an average weight of 4.19 kg or 9.2 lb. Its wingspan is 1.81 to 2.3 m (5 ft 11 in to 7 ft 7 in). The Verreaux Eagles like others has reverse bisexual morphism – the female is larger than the male. The adults are the most gorgeous slate grey but some are the deepest ebony. Their cere is a remarkable yellow when they are healthy. There is also white plumage which is a great contrast and causes the birds in flight to stand out. That white is on their back, their rump and the upper-tail coverts as well as part of the scapular. The white can only be seen looking up when the birds are flying, not when they are perched. The legs are covered with deep black feathers. The juveniles appear as in the image above.
In the Kistachie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana, Louis and Anna from the E-1 nest are busy making nestorations!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!
I am very grateful to the following for their notes, comments, questions, letters, videos, posts, and streaming cams that help me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, Audubon, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Liznm and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PSEG, Sandpoint Ospreys, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, NZ DOC, Real Saunders Photo, LA Times, Tapa Talk, The Guardian, Office of the EHHA, US Dept of the Interior, SSEN Alyth, Livia Armstrong and BESS Battery Storage, NatureScot, Lady Hawk and Selati Eagles, Open Verse, and the KNF Eagle Cam E-1.
Friday was a busy day for me and most of the time I was away from home. However, the moments that I did get to spend with my four four-legged furry friends was brilliant. Hope is now peeking around the corner at me and even came near to my foot when I placed a dish of organic roast chicken down for her! This kitten has so much energy. I cannot wait to get it with Lewis. He is going to enjoy having a playmate.
We are about a metre apart. Hope is curious and getting less afraid by the story!
If Mamma Calico moves her tail, Hope is right on it!
Everyone watches one another. The four of them enjoyed a nice roast chicken dinner – a treat to encourage Missey and Lewis to link ‘treats’ and goodies with their two new siblings.
Each of us hopes that you are well and looking forward to a nice weekend wherever you are. Let’s all try and get outside if the weather is nice! And speaking of outside…every time I go to the park there is litter. There are bins everywhere for litter so why don’t we use them? This post on FB seemed really appropriate.
‘H’ sent me the good news. PLO has its second egg of the season! Oh, I hope this young Dad is an excellent fisher and brings those fish into the nest one after another. Can I ‘hope’ that this couple might fledge all of them just like 2021 with Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie?
There is other good news coming out of Port Lincoln!
‘A’ is musing about the Royal Albatross chicks: “the rangers have confirmed that Miss NTF fledged on 7 September. She had been off exploring (or perhaps finding an ideal place from which to fledge), as the chicks often do for a few days before fledge, but they have confirmed her gone. She was last seen on the morning of 7 September so we think she fledged some time after 11am on Thursday. Godspeed sweet girl. Quarry, who has been out and about for the past couple of days, returned to her nest this morning and seemed to miss Miss NTF. The two girls had been hanging out a lot. UQ on the other hand is less pleased to see Quarry, who needs a restraining order whenever she is in his vicinity. Manaaki is less tolerant of her and clacks his bill at her if she gets too close. Poor little UQ is much more timid. The winds are not super strong today, though Quarry and Manaaki have been doing a lot of wingercising in the wind there is. It could be any time now for either of them. It looks as if Quarry will be next to go, then Manaaki and finally UQ. But we will see. I again emphasise that these are precious hours we are spending with Manaaki now. And once he launches, there is no guarantee we will ever see him again. Will we live that long? Will Manaaki? Will the climate permit a return? They fly into an uncertain future, but don’t we all?” Those worries of the state of the ocean, of long line fishing, of climate haunt all of us as well look at these long-lived seabirds.
Manaaki looking out to an uncertain future.
Lady Hawk caught Gabby and her new mate V3 in the pouring rain and has some super close ups for us.
I was contacted by several individuals today about Mini and was told that there was much anxiety about her condition. My day allowed me no time to go and observe Mini until she was at the nest after dark. At the bottom of everyone’s desires is for Mini to thrive – we care, we worry. We want her to be whole and live a long, prosperous life. The fact that Mini somehow injured her leg causes great anxiety to everyone. We will never know what caused that injury. No one saw what happened. Unless she goes into care, we may not even know what that injury is. There are many, many theories, but that is all they are – theories. Until a vet/a vet technician/or a rehabber has a bird in hand, a diagnosis cannot be made, and sometimes sophisticated tests and scans are needed to determine the problem and the possible treatment. The DEC does not normally give permits for a bird that is flying. There is a reason for this — it is extremely dangerous for the bird. No one wants to endanger Mini’s life further. Her injury is now old. She has been adapting. Life is not perfect but she is living it.
Life in the wild is extremely challenging for all raptors – for all wildlife. Each day is about survival. Some days there is a lot of fish and other days there are none. Whether or not Dad is delivering or Mini is fishing is not known. It could be both. On Thursday Mini had several nice poop shots. I am not clear about what happened on Friday and, of course, she is often not on the nest.
I urge everyone to enjoy the time we have left with Mini at the nest. To treasure her, to wait for her to come in at night to rest her leg – she is very smart to do that. In a couple of year’s time, I would very much like to see a two-year-old osprey land on this nest with a wonky leg. That would be marvellous so…with that in mind, I really hope that Mini is a male and not a female. Send her positive wishes. Treasure all that she taught us, for she did teach us much about endurance and determination.
Mini did seem to put her weight on both legs when she landed on the nest from the perch at 20:26.
Mom has been spotted landing on the nest so she has been here at least until today. That is good news because under normal conditions the males will not leave until the females do. With the climate changing we do not expect these fledgling ospreys to travel all the way to South America and they might well spend the winter in the Carolinas or Florida.
At the Minnesota National Arboretum nest, Dad brought in 7 fish – yes, you read that correctly – 7 fish on Friday!!!!!!! That is one well fed fledgling. One of those beauties was lost overboard. Hopefully some other hungry creature will discover that tasty meal.
‘H’ reports on Molly and Dorsett:
Kent Island – Molly was last seen (so far) on 9/5. Her dad, Tom, was seen almost every day up to 9/7, but we did not see him on 9/8. That does not mean that Molly or Tom have formally begun their migration, they may simply not be on camera. We shall see. Audrey was seen in “Joe’s” tree, and for the second consecutive night, Audrey spent the night at her nest on 9/9. It is surprising to see Audrey this late in the season, but we are thrilled to see her.
Barnegat Light – Dorsett and her dad, Duke, seemed to have a good day. The camera operator managed to catch Duke taking a bath, and the highlight of Dorsett’s day was a live bunker that her dad delivered to her for supper. Dorsett decided to eat the whole fish atop the 24th street pole. Yum!
‘A’ reports on the breakfast for the Sea Eaglets: “a nice large fish was brought in at WBSE early this morning (around 06:40) and both eaglets had a good breakfast. SE31 got the early bites, then SE32 moved up beside his sister and ate without fear or intimidation. The two were perfectly behaved throughout the meal.”
So many love the Collins Street falcons and my inbox was bursting with news of the third egg! Do you think they will go for four?
Xavier just melts my heart. He is the cutest little male falcon and his mate Diamond often gives this poor guy such a rough time. So happy he got some egg time…it must actually feel nice to be able to do duckling style and rest for a bit…just thinking about Mini and how it helps her leg.
‘A’ reports: “Manaaki was fed by one of his parents at about 6pm this evening (9 September) – we don’t know which one because it was not within camera view but our little man gets so excited, wheeing away. I do love that sound. And we will miss it until this time next year. But I cannot wait to see whether YRK (and maybe even OGK) return over the next two or three months. He is the footage of Manaaki’s feeding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj35d68kQ6g&t=2s“.
News has come to me Friday night from ‘B’. We have wondered about the fishing at Cowlitz PUD. This is a new discovery. “The river where they fish has been full of silt and mud from a landslide up north awhile back which we never heard about…” ‘B’ continues by saying that a drive by a couple of weeks ago revealed sandbars in the river that were never there previously. This is so sad but let us hope the eagles and the ospreys have another source of food. Thanks so much ‘B’.
There is often a lot of confusion about feeding birds. Audubon has a short article to help us.
Speaking of feeding birds. Chiang Mai is north of Bangkok in the beautiful mountains. It is one of my most favourite places in the world. There is an historic walled city full of Buddhist temples. Just outside the walls is a small French area with some of the best coffee and lemon tarts to be found anywhere. Check out a feeding table in this northern Thai city!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their comments, alerts, posts, videos, and streaming cams: ‘A, B, H, L’, PLO, NZ DOC, Lady Hawk and NEFL-AEF, PSEG, MN Landscape Arboretum, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Sea Eagle Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Karen Leng and Orange Australia Peregrine Falcons, and Audubon.
I finished reading to the kittens – yes, did you know that reading aloud to your pets is also soothing for them? Calico’s kitten is now learning about ways to save our vanishing birds by listening to A Wing and a Prayer. The Race to Save our Vanishing Birds by Anders and Beverly Gyllenhaal. You can find time to squeeze in a good book by sharing with your pets!
The book is well written and insightful. I am learning so much. Did you know that more than 8,000 species of plants and flowers in the Americas depend on hummingbirds for pollination? Or that productivity in apple orchards goes up 66% if there are insects? The book is about finding ways to keep the birds alive because human life depends on that. In Kauai, there are only a few hundred Puaiohi Thrushes. These birds spread seeds around the island, creating the rainforest. “Without forests, we have no flood control. We have no drinking water.” (219) Baby Cal is learning what we all need to – first, how important our wildlife area to our existence, what problems we have created for them, what a lack of balance means to our existence and theirs, and how some talented individuals are figuring out ways to save some of these fragile creatures. So how will they save the Puaiohi Thrush? By releasing lab-bred mosquitoes. AI is being used in the Sierra Nevada to track and protect the Spotted Owl.
I had just finished a chapter when I noticed a note from ‘H’. Was I surprised? Then another note about Collins Street. Thanks so much, ‘H’
Port Lincoln has their first egg!!!!!!!! I am overjoyed and I am hopeful that we might see a big change in the behaviour of this nest unless, of course, the fish supply is limited. From Ernie’s recent catches that does not appear to be the case.
I am so happy for Mum. Nesting material had been brought in so this new couple had some idea that yesterday was the big day.
Dad was there by her side. I am going to like this guy if he is a good provider and there is no siblicide.
We are expecting an egg at 367 Collins Street and guess what? It arrives. We have lift-off in Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spotting Ospreys: Blue 550 hatched at Llyn Clywedog in 2020 was seen and is believed to have a nest in mid-Wales. Fantastic.
Migration continues in the US. These are the latest numbers from Hawk Mountain.
Checking on some of the Osprey nests – who is home and who is not.
Patchogue: Mini is home and Dad has been seen down by the lake. Someone mentioned that Mom might still be around as several Ospreys were seen flying. Mini continues to adapt as she struggles with that left leg – often late in the day. She certainly does better after having a long rest on the nest! She is flying, she is eating – whether or not it is dad feeding her, Mini catching fish or both – she is eating. She is not lethargic. Mini is doing what this spunky independent determined fourth hatch always does – she gets on with it. She is living her life as a fledgling osprey the best she can with the issues that she has.
Mini landing at 1909.
Beautiful Iris is still home at her nest in Missoula Montana. Iris maintains one of the most splendid Osprey nests I have ever seen. Just like some of the others she is adding a few sticks to continue to lay claim to the nest. Soon, she will fly south – thought to be the oldest osprey in the world – we live in the hope that she will return in late March or early April and maybe, just maybe, have one of those young men waiting for her that she met this summer.
Iris demonstrated her great fishing skills even when there were flood waters. What marvellous fish she brought to the owl pole. The result, if you look carefully, is a fat little bottom. Eat up, Iris! We want you to make it to your winter home in southern Texas (??) safely and in good shape.
Of course, Iris is not ringed and no one knows for sure where she over winters but it is believed it could be the southern part of Texas and not further afield in Central America or Mexico.
Glaslyn: Aran is still home and so is 0H1 as of the time of this writing. OH1 is 98 days old. OH2 has not been seen since 4 September when he was 95 days old. That nest looks rather empty! Waiting to see if OH1 is still home on the 6th of September.
Harry is still delivering to Chirpy as of Tuesday. Chirpy was 103 days old. Both siblings and Mum have left on migration from Alyth.
Here comes Harry!
That amazing Dad is bringing fish to Mum on the nest at Boulder County Fairgrounds. What a loving couple and what better way to help your mate with a safe migration than to help her eat well after raising three strong osplets this season to fledge.
Snap and Crackle are both eating fish at the Dunrovin Osprey nest. T hanks, Swoop!
Fledgling fish calling at Collins Marsh – and still being fed! It was a really windy day in Wisconsin. You can’t tell the trees are blowing but look at the feathers of the juvenile. Fantastic.
‘H’ brings us up to date on Molly and Dorsett:
Kent Island 9/5 – Molly flew to the nest at 0625, fish-called a bit, then she flew away 20 minutes later. That was the last time she was seen at the nest. She was soon spotted on a nearby boat lift. In the evening, the cam focused for a long time on an osprey in the distance on a pole, but it was unclear if it was Molly.
Barnegat Light 9/5 – At 0735 Duke delivered a fish to Dorsett at the nest, and she flew to Duke’s perch to eat her breakfast. Dorsett did return to the nest a couple of times, but sightings of her were scant throughout the day. Dorsett arrived back at the nest early to wait for her much anticipated 7 p.m. dinner fish, but her dinner never arrived. As the sun was setting over the bay, Dorsett resigned herself to going to sleep hungry, and she spent the night perched on one of the camera braces.
Do you live near Cornell University at Ithaca NY? Have children aged 8-18? Check this out! What an amazing opportunity for young people. In the book, Lead! Finding your Voice a Chaotic World by Barry Dore, Tim Mackrill, talks about the opportunities he had as a young person to volunteer and learn about raptors. It changed his life and led him to create opportunities for young people through his charity Osprey Leadership Foundation.
This event at Cornell is another super opportunity to get young people involved who might become our future conservationists.
The seat eaglets were up for an early morning walk about and then back to the duckling resting position waiting for breakfast.
‘A’ comments on part of the day including the self-feeding of 31: “
At 15:38, as Lady is looking around in a very agitated manner at something near the nest tree, at about the same height as the nest, SE32 starts eating the food she has in her talons. He is giving this self-feeding thing a try, having closely watched his sister eating prey that looked the same as this (he was just TOO TOO funny – ducking down with his head under her tail to peer between her legs and watch her doing very well indeed at her first self-feeding).
SE32 pecks at the food a few times but all he can reach is a leg, and no matter how many times he picks it up, he cannot work out how to eat it. So he moves closer. SE31 is paying close attention to this – she has reached out for the food once or twice herself but is not in as good a position now as SE32 is. Lady is very upset by something and paying no attention to the food or the chicks. SE32 has moved further forward. He is up on his feet now, self-feeding on the meaty bit. Lady resuming feeding him, even though she continues to be distracted by something. SE32 remains right up on his feet while he takes the bites.
Shortly before 15:40 Lady resumes feeding SE31. SE32 turns and moves away from SE31 a little but then turns back to face the table and Lady. He just wanted space between himself and his sister. But he gets offered no bites. At 15:41:24 he tries unsuccessfully to steal a big bite, but overbalances and falls forward, correcting himself with his outstretched wings. Lady still feeds SE31. At 15:41:30, he tries to steal another bite. Again, he fails. The next bite, he grabs incredibly fast. No-one else had a chance. He got given the one after that, then his sister gets a bite. The one after that is a big piece and destined for SE32. He grabs it and works hard to swallow it.
Lady is still very distracted. Periodically, she gives SE32 a bite. Both eaglets have good crops now. At 15:42:34, SE32 grabs a really big piece. He swallows it with relative ease, as Lady doesn’t even bother trying to retrieve it from him. There is still an amazing amount of meat on this carcass. The two have eaten well. Both have good crops but both are still keen to keep eating. SE32 is very brave, diving for every bite and winning most of them, especially all of the really big pieces. Lady occasionally gives a bite to SE31, but she is not competing with SE32 and is largely just watching him grab and swallow.
At 15:44, SE32 grabs a large piece of meaty flesh with a longish leg and a foot attached!! He horked the lot with no trouble at all. By 15:44:30 he is back competing for and winning bites. Lady is feeding both eaglets plenty of food but overall, SE32 is getting the better of the feeding at this point. He is winning most of the bites that are competed for and Lady is offering him way more bites than she is SE31, who is sitting back a bit by now.
At 15:46, SE32 swallows the second leg and foot, also with flesh attached, though not as much as was attached to the first leg. Still, he swallows it without difficulty. Within 10 seconds, he is taking the last few bites from Lady and cleaning the table of leftovers. The feeding is over by 15:48. Both chicks have very large crops, and SE32 has already done a couple of small crop drops during the feeding to fit in extra food. That second piece of prey had a really large amount of flesh on it. The head was gone, but the body provided a great deal of food. Both eaglets have had plenty to eat today.
There may be more food – I will check. But they did well for the day – eventually – and both will go to bed with full crops. “
‘A’ reports on the Royal Albatross Chick, Manaaki: “GLY may have been in today to feed Manaaki off camera but we’re not sure. We know GLY has fed Manaaki behind the camera at least once recently. The chicks are a lot more mobile now and are doing a lot of exploring as they prepare to fledge. It is starting to get scary when Manaaki is off camera for six hours or more on occasion – we think he might have fledged and we missed it! He still has about a fortnight to go until he reaches 240 days, but of course at least four chicks have already fledged from the 33 at the colony and Manaaki is one of the oldest (and though he does have a lot of fluff remaining, QT did too). He has not done enough wingercising, in my opinion, and still needs to be doing a lot more practising. We need to see much better hovering, and face-planting is an undignified landing for an albatross. I think he has quite a lot of work to do before he is ready to fledge. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave before he is good and ready, but often, it is the winds that determine the timing. As with Lilibet (QT). “
Beautiful Gabby. What a lovely couple – I miss Samson. But life moves on and we have the most amazing memories of him. Gabby mourned last year and took her time selecting a new mate out of the many contenders. Let us hope that V3 is up to the task. He has big talons to fill.
Lady Hawk caught Gabby bringing in her breakfast.
No one is home. Louis, Dorcha, and Ludo are on their way with only Sparrowhawks visiting the nest. Look at this beautiful capture over the nest as the sun rises. Stunning.
We always need to be reminded, especially with there still being hot days in many parts of the world, of how we can help wildlife. Please read and keep them in mind. Water is essential. Water and some shade.
Let’s see how much you know about Condor numbers! (Answers below)
How many California Condors were alive on 6 September 2023? a) 208; b) 91; c) 214; d) 345; or e) 559?
How many California Condors live in the wild? a) 76; b) 345; c) 214; d) 93; or e) 54?
How many California Condors live wild in Central California? a) 93; b) 65; c) 214; d) 23; or e) 75.
Do you want to know more about the efforts to protect and grow the California Condor community? In 2022, the Ventana Wildlife Society commissioned a documentary to be made to introduce people to the Condors of the Big Sur. They are working on another film in 2023 called Condor Canyon. It isn’t finished but, for now, why not check, out Part 1 of the 2022 film. You can find the other segments on YT by doing a search or checking on the side panel.
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, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: “A, Geemeff, H’, PLO, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, John Williams and Clywedog Osprey Group, Hawk Mountain, PSEG, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Alyth, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Dunrovin Ranch, Collins Marsh, Kent Island, Conserve Wildlife F of NJ, Cornell University Bird Lab Raptor Program, Sydney Sea Eagles, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk and NEFL-AEF, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Ventana Wildlife Society, and Durham Wildlife Trust.
Answers to the three question Condor number quiz: 1. The answer is e. 559 total number of Condors. 2. The answer is b. 345 live in the wild. 3. The answer is a. 93 live in the wild in central California.