Zoe flies more, rare Albatross incubate their egg…and more news in Bird World

24 November 2022

Good morning to everyone and the best of Thanksgiving to those celebrating in the US today.

It has been wonderfully warm on the Canadian Prairies. I do not know if it is atypical for this time of year but, it certainly feels like it. The birds in the garden had some of their feeders rearranged and thanks to a lovely friend I swopped out some old feeders for some she gave me yesterday. One of the visitors today was a beautiful Starling. It’s an immature non-breeder. Note all of the white spots on his breast and it has yet to get its oily black head. The males and the female Starlings look alike. Did you know that? One difference is that the beaks of the males are a deep blue while those of the female are a pink colour. This then looks like an immature non-breeding male.

Look closely and you can see their rose coloured legs. It is also a pair of non-breeding adults. They are really loving this soft suet.

The Starlings will not perch on the metal. I do not know why. They want to lean down from the branches to get to the suet. You can see this behaviour in the image above also. So the feeder below was moved so they could more easily reach it! Who says I am a softie?

Junior was grateful for a bowl of corn today.

One of many varieties of the Sparrow family that visit the garden. They are particularly enjoying the Butter Bark Balls on these damp days.

The kittens have had great fun watching the birds and the squirrels. They continue to find places in the house to get into mischief. And they do not always come when they are called setting in a panic that they have miraculously gotten outside in the cold. Of course, they are somewhere laughing (do cats laugh?) while I panic!

Missy has discovered a Rodney Mott sculpture that is just perfect for hiding in. Lewis is in the overturned basket not even showing a whisker.

At the Australian nests, Zoe took off for her first flight of the day at 0901. It was an absolutely perfect take off and her landing at 0907 was spot on, too. She is a very strong osplet. I do hope she gets some nice fish. It has been 24 hours since she last had some food.

While the camera was down for a couple of yours, Dad brought in fish. We are only seeing the tail of the fish but I hope that Dad had some nice fish – the entire head – and that it was big enough for Mum and Zoe to also have a good feed. This family would really enjoy a day with several deliveries but, I am grateful to know that there was a delivery mid-afternoon.

Zoe had a nice crop.

At the scrape in Orange, things were decidedly low key. Xavier and Diamond in and out of the scrape box and Diamond enjoying sleeping in the box all by herself at night. They have busy days chasing after Indigo and Rubus. Little Rubus is, apparently, doing more flying and getting much better.

This was the news from Orange: “Rubus and Indigo both seen within the last hour. Rubus is exploring the campus, going from building roofs to trees etc. He fledged on 20th November. Indigo is way ahead getting flight training from parents, visiting the box etc. He fledged on 11th November at 41 days.”

If you haven’t checked out the FalconCam site in a few days, I urge you to do so. Someone is really adding historical data and you can go back to 2007 to see earlier chicks and read about the big events at the scrape. Here is that link if you lost it.

https://science-health.csu.edu.au/falconcam/home

Oh, it is stormy up near Jacksonville. Samson and Gabby have been on the nest today working despite the wind and the bad weather that looks like it is moving in.

I put this image in not so you could peer at the fluffy bottom of a big Bald Eagle but, rather, for you to see the colour of the legs and feet of Gabby. Then look at their beaks. This is a bright chrome-yellow. This is a very healthy bird.

Harriet and M15 are sleeping at the nest and so far no eggs, just like at NEFL.

At the E-3 nest in the Kistachie National Forest, they have their second egg today. Congratulations Andria and Alex.

There is also news coming out of the Midway Atoll about a very rare pair of Albatross.

As we give thanks for all the birds that bring our lives joy, remember that we are the cause of much of their suffering. Please spread the word to anyone you know – or where you work – that there are solutions other than using rodenticide to get rid of mice and rats. Also teach them about secondary poisoning. It could be their dog or cat but, it is often one of our beautiful raptors.

At small islands in New Zealand, Dr Digby and his team care for the rare non-flying parrot, the Kakapo. In 2016, they hand-raised more than a dozen of these precious little birds. Today they continue to do that work when it is required. The work that Digby and his team do to restore the health of these birds and to keep them safe and try and increase their numbers is remarkable. So thankful.

No 13. The Red List. The Marsh Tit

At first I thought these were out Black capped Chickadees. The Marsh Tit is small, it is mainly shades of a soft grey-brown or taupe with a shiny black cast, a black bib, and a pale ivory underbelly. The bill, eye, and legs are black. They are not plain by any means, look closely at the plumage patterns. Simply lovely.

The woodlands of the United Kingdom – and elsewhere – are changing and that it causing a huge decline in the number of this very small song bird, the Marsh Tit. The woods are more fragmented now, separated by grazing pastures, a growing number of introduced deer. Marsh Tits, according to Mike Toms, “favour woodlands with a complex understory and require surprisingly large patches of suitable habitat in order to breed successfully.” And they’re like their woodlands to be “wet”. Climate change has meant that they are now laying their eggs at least ten days earlier than they were 50 years ago. This change has had a decided impact on available or peak food supplies for the chicks which is also contributing to a decline in population numbers. The Marsh Tit is also known to visit older gardens, copses, and parks, and has sometimes been seen on feeders.

Marsh Tit” by Vine House Farm is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

They feed mostly on insects, seeds and berries, and often cache food over winter if they find a good supply. They nest in existing tree holes, rather than excavating their own, and produce seven to nine eggs.

Their song sounds like a sneeze “pitchoot”.

Here is their range.

Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that each of you had a wonderful day no matter where you are — or will have a great day if you are just waking up reading this. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, KNF, Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery and Dr Digby Twitter, Openverse, and RSPB.

Indigo flies out and in…plus more news in Bird World for Thursday Nov 17

17 November 2022

Oh, good morning to all of you. Thank you so very much for being with me today. I am so very, very happy to be with you! Thank you for all of the wonderful stories that you have sent. I will be working my way through them slowly. Much appreciated. We woke up to more snow. Everything is beautiful and white!

The kidlets, Missy and Lewis, had their first vet visit. I am a glowing proud parent. They were soooooo well behaved. They are not litter mates and the adoption person told us that they might not get along with one another. I have not had more than one kitten since I was a child and did not know what to expect.

I remember one stray that someone left at our gate. when I was a child. Oh, I loved that cat. To me the drab brown tabby was the most beautiful cat in the world. My grandmother was very diplomatic and said, ‘He sure is sweet’. I begged to keep this one particular cat. My dad agreed since it was a ‘boy’. Well, he apparently didn’t check very good…a few weeks later we had a pack of kittens. That tabby lived for more than 10 years. She was incredibly sweet. It is very different, having kittens outside with their mother and kittens in the house – in a conservatory, with very large plant pots and tall vines with flowers, or trees…yes, trees.

But, back to the topic at hand. Lewis and Missy are the best of mates. They do everything together including eating out of the same dish at the same time, drinking out of the same dish at the same time, having to have their paws touch when they are sleeping or sleeping in the same tent. Always together. So off they went in the same pet carrier, not separate, together. Not a single peep. At the vet they were so content. Proud Mum here!

I got a tip from the technician at the vet. One of the biggest culprits for cats will be their teeth. I hope if you have cats and dogs are brushing their teeth or giving them things to facilitate good gum health and clean teeth. If you have tried brushing their teeth and it didn’t work, get a nice flavoured tooth paste. Lewis and Missy like the chicken. Take clean nylon stockings or panty hose. Cut a square. Wrap it around your finger, put a dab of the toothpaste on it and away you go. Be sure to do the back ones and those sharp canines in the front. You can get them used to what you are going to do by rubbing on the outside of their cheek for a couple of days. Small toothbrushes or those prickly things you put on your finger did not – at least not for these two. Panty hose do! And I swore I would never wear the darn things again after I retired. So glad there is some use for them!

Missy is the ‘alpha’ You might recall she had Lewis well aware that she is the boss immediately. The vet saw it too! Indeed, the vet smiled and said, “Always the female!” Anyone watching a raptor on a streaming cam knows this. I said nothing. The odd thing is Lewis is so solid and looks ‘so tough’ and Missey appears to be ‘so fragile’. So funny. Missy is half Maine Coon – but both, at the end of the day, are literally ‘alley cats’. Found new borns taken to the shelter from different parts of my city. We are so lucky to have in our lives.

Missey likes to get inside plant pots – with or without soil. This is the tiny artificial tree that has been put up. The soft felted birds have had to be removed. LOL.

Looking so innocent! “We didn’t do it!”

Today’s action was still at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. Those parents are really making sure that both Rubus and Indigo are well fed. What a fantastic couple they are. The moderator put some history in the chat today and for those of you that do not know – we now have at least three male peregrine falcons that we know of that have started out as step-fathers.

The last sighting of Diamond’s mate, Bull, was on 30 September 2016. Their erases hatched on the 4th and 5th of October. The first sighting of Xavier in the scrape box at Orange was on the 7th of October. He brought prey to Diamond and the babies on the 8th of October. The rest is history as it is with Alden at UC-Berkeley and M2022 at 367 Collins Street.

Aren’t they adorable? Every day Rubus looses more and more dandelions.

Everyone has been wanting to know when Indigo would fly again. He certainly has been eating well and enjoying being back home. Today, right before 14:38 Indigo got a little frantic, running around the scrape just like he did the day before he fledged. At 143802, Indigo flew out of the scrape box. He returned 35 seconds later! I caught it on video for you.

​RECAP of feedings at Orange: 05:29:41 X/quail; 05 32 39 X/St.Quail Indigo Grabs; 06:05 38 X/juv star; 8 39 04 D/prey 8 47 58 D takes leftover quail; 15 41 31 D/pigeon; 18 32 52 X/red-browed Finch; 19 06 55 D/Live Star

‘H’ sent this link to me. It is a split screen video that Cilla Kinross made of a feeding. Disregard the word ‘kestrels’. It is definitely Rubus and Indigo. Thanks, ‘H’. Delightful.

Indigo and Rubus both in the scrape as the IR lights are turning off.

The wind was really blowing and there were lots of white caps at Port Lincoln. It made everyone wonder whether or not there would be any fish today but – alas, it turned out good.

At Port Lincoln, Zoe can surely scream for the fish! I have jokingly said that I hope she lives a long and healthy life with many osplets screaming their heads off to her…their poor Dad. Just imagine.

There have been at least 2 fish deliveries today. Mum was on the ropes eating a fish around 1400. Zoe took absolutely no notice. She was not hungry. Isn’t that grand? No one on this nest hungry. The fish are ever so unstable. But – we will take it. Today is a good day. Mum ate her bit and flew to the nest at 141408 and fed her large daughter.

Zoe doesn’t even seem to know or care if Mum is over on the ropes eating a fish. Normally she would be screaming her head off. Not today. It is a good fish day.

When the feeding was over, Zoe had an enormous crop.

All of the family together. Mum has a very nice crop from the earlier feedings.

Lots of food at Port Lincoln. These are the late time stamps from Gtr Kitarr:  19:16 headless fish by Dad, Mum off w the fish, back at 19:29 to feed Zoe. 20:24 Zoe wing flapping & 20:24:14 standing on one leg. 21:10 headless fish by Dad, Mum feeds Zoe in the dark.

Making News:

The investigation of the theft of four precious Albatross eggs continues.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/130488815/was-a-boat-used-to-steal-four-rare-albatross-eggs-in-daring-heist

How many of us love Iris? The oldest Osprey in the world whose nest is on the lot of Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula, Montana. A request has come in from lovers of Iris. Here it is:

Here is a very short report on the current status of Sea Eaglets 29 and 30. I also want to mention that my contact tells me that the sea eaglets are at different clinics. The specific names are not being mentioned as is the case with other popular birds to keep the phone lines open for injured wildlife.

The Red List 8. The Yellow Wagtail

Yellow wagtail” by hedera.baltica is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

There are many birds that I do not know. This bird is one of the first to be spotted when it returns from its winter migration in Africa to the fields in the UK. In Africa, they feed on the insects that the elephants kick up from under their feet so if you ever get to go to Africa on a safari and see a herd of elephants look for these dramatic sulphur yellow birds with their grey heads. In the UK, they follow the farm tractors kicking up the soil to reveal their next meal. They need a good supply of insects and spiders to survive. Besides fields, manure heaps and wet lands are good places for them to forage.

Yellow Wagtails raise two clutches a year if there is suitable nesting spaces and food. Their nests are low on the ground adjacent to wet lands, salt marshes, hay meadows, and some fields of vegetable crops.

Yellow wagtail” by hedera.baltica is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Changes to agriculture and crops grown put the Yellow Wagtail under threat. The RSPB has made some recommendations to farmers in the UK which would help stabilise and grow the numbers of these beautiful birds. This includes returning to having some manure heaps for them to forage through. They are beautiful songbirds. Let us hope that those who can do something to encourage their population growth will keep this in mind when they are planning their crops and how they do their farming in the upcoming years before it is too late.

We are waiting for both Zoe and Rubus to fledge. Rubus is not quite ready but is getting more and more interested as Zoe spends time in the scrape and now, that she has flown in and out again. Zoe is doing a lot of wingers. I am a bit old fashioned. The longer they stay on the nest or at the scrape and the stronger they are when they fledge, the more chance they will have of success. Weak tired birds do not do well in the field.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Send your best wishes to our beautiful sea eaglets as they recover. Take care of yourselves, too. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams which make up my screen captures: OpenVerse, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles FB, Montana Ospreys at Hellgate, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Royal Albatross FB.

Prey fights between siblings and more…it’s Wednesday in Bird World

16 November 2022

Oh, good morning to everyone! I hope that you are all well. If you have not been watching the scrape of Diamond and Xavier you are really missing something. First, there is the adorable Indigo and Rubus. They are ‘not sweet’ when it comes to prey items as the following two videos will demonstrate! But, they will be ‘out there’ defending their own prey and these little dust ups help them prepare for that. In the first video Rubus really does a good job at snatching that small prey item. He doesn’t prevail in the end but watch closely what he does. Quite the character.

Rest assured that at the end of the day, both eyases had quite enough to eat and at times were even sharing prey items.

So this is the first prey delivery, a small piece.

The second is a much more substantial bird, a Galah (pink and grey). There was more than enough for both eyases.

The fish deliveries continue to be rather scarce at Port Lincoln. It is difficult to determine if there has been an actual drop in the prey delivered or a slow down due to the imminent fledgling of Zoe and not three rapidly growing osplets. There are too many factors – the weight of the fish delivery, the portions that each family member ate, etc. It appears that at the current delivery rate, Mum, Dad, and Zoe are each getting the equivalent to one small fish per day. Is this enough?

Hoping for another fish but nothing has arrived. Mum appears to be reluctant to get too far away from the nest. Did the intrusion of the humans to band and put the sat pak on Zoe cause her stress? Is she afraid to leave Zoe? Quite possibly. Perhaps she will go fishing tomorrow but, for now it seems that she is relying on Dad.

The ospreys are not moving about much, not exerting much energy. Today, however, Zoe is doing a lot of wingersizing. Her wings are gorgeous. Just look at how big they are! It will be those big wings that will pull Zoe up out of the water when she catches her fish.

This shows what those strong wings will be doing. Just imagine. Zoe will have to catch her own fish until such time as she has a mate and has eggs in the nest.

AND THEN…a whopper of a fish arrived. Mum ate her fill and then took the fish to Zoe. Everyone will go to bed with a full crop at Port Lincoln. Relief.

Mum did not part with the fish when Dad arrived more than an hour later to see if there was any left. This whopper should take care of the hunger that she was experiencing – and Zoe. (I do hope that Dad had a fish, too).

Making News:

Even in Manitoba we are experiencing some birds that are late to migrate or who have decided to check it out and see what it is like in the winter for food. Some of those are Cardinals. This is an osprey in Idaho though! They need water and fish as we all know. Why so late?

Project Eagle will be the new home of the American Eagle Foundation The facility is located in Kodak, Tennessee and is set on 57 acres. Challenger the Eagle will be in residence there.

https://www.wate.com/news/positively-tennessee/project-eagle-in-the-home-stretch-of-building-new-facility/?fbclid=IwAR2P8t-e9ZiNLkwKCky0dQZJZokdILCmXE1HOdfooe2hb1hYt2wlr4QuYzs

In the Mailbox:

‘M’ introduced me to an Australian photographer, Georgina Steeler. All of this relates again to how we perceive our wonderful feathered friends and other wildlife. We have been having this discussion about anthropomorphising birds. We need people to care, to help all of us, to add to the numbers so that we build a huge network. At the same time, we need to recognise and educate ourselves about the emotions that wildlife have so we can try and have an intelligent conversation with the non-believers.

I urge you to Goggle Georgina Steytler and go and see her website, read her blog, look at her photographs, and ponder all the ways that you can make a difference. Oh, I like this woman and the way she thinks!

Here is one of the quotes on her site today from one of my heroines, Jane Goodall who knows that wildlife have and show emotion, pain, anger, fear, grief, and joy.

‘D’ sent me the link to this story to share with all of you. After reading about Wolke, this is another story of how much our feathered friends enrich our lives as told through budgies:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/first-person/article-feathered-friends-are-the-best-friends-of-all/

When I wrote about the Red Listed Bird, The European Starling, I had no idea Starlings were so intelligent and could mimic anything including Mozart’s concerto. Birds and their intelligence fascinate me more and more. ‘F and M’ sent me a note telling me about an incident at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. They wrote, “A week or so ago Tooronga Zoo in Sydney Australia had a breakout from the lion’s enclosure causing an alarm and the instruction “EVACUATE NOW” to sound. The lyrebird is now mimicking this alarm and instruction. It is causing quite a problem at the zoo. !!” Enjoy!

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/victoria/a-lyrebird-mimicking-the-evacuate-now-alarm-at-taronga-zoo/video/47d9e5b56f9139880f0dfc5b302eaaed

No 7 The Red List: The Dotterel

The top image is of the male Dotterel. Notice that beautiful white eye line and belly with the grey brown and espresso feathers mingled with white on the head, wings and back.

Northern NZ dotterel.” by Bernard Spragg is marked with CC0 1.0.

This is the female. In this instance the female Dotterel has the brighter plumage than the male. The female has the same grey-brown plumage on the back of the head, wings, and back but look at that magnificent chestnut apron! With the espresso necklace and line between the eyes forming a brown and the espresso line running from the beak under the eye. What a beauty.

Banded dotterel” by Andrej Chudy is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The Dotterel is a medium sized member of the Plover family measuring approximately 20-22 cm in length. The birds are unusual in that it is the female that has the brighter plumage rather than the male. They live on insects and worms. Their eggs take 28-32 days to incubate and during this entire time the female does not leave the nest to feed. She is fed by her mate.

Dotterel face a number of threats from predators that have been introduced into their environment particularly during the nesting and breeding season. These include dogs, hedgehogs, cats, rats, stoats as well as other larger birds, and humans.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Do stop in and watch Indigo and Rubus. You will not be disappointed! Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their postings and streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Openverse, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, American Eagle Foundation, Montana Ospreys at Hellgate, Georgina Steytler. I would also like to thank those that sent in news items today: ‘M, D, F and M’. Much appreciated! It is always lovely to get mail to share with everyone.

Sunday Morning in Bird World

6 November 2022

Good Morning All!

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is lovely to have you here. I want to say, right off the top, how inspiring each of you are to me. Osprey season, for me, begins in Australia and it has been a particularly devastating start after the great breeding year of 2021 that produced Bazza, Falky, and Ervie. Fortunately, I did not share that sadness alone and I thank you again for being such an empathetic and caring community.

As migratory season winds up in Manitoba, the wetlands and estuaries that were teeming with ducks, geese, swans are silent. There are no skeins of geese flying over my conservatory and already, I am missing their loud honks. Soon our time will ‘fall back’ and it will be dark by 1615. It appears, however, that the Blue Jays and Crows are staying on. Today, one of the Crows was able to tap hard enough on the bird bath to get some water. I must now find the water heater for them. It is very important to have water when you are giving seeds. Here, during the winter, the birds and squirrels will eat the snow but, they do not get the quantity needed so a heated source is very helpful.

It is 5 degrees. There are European Starlings in the trees in the back. Last year they came and ate and filled up before moving South. This year I wonder if they are intimidated by the Blue Jays. The weather report is for snow to arrive in three hours. It has been falling north of the City for hours.

Lewis and Missy are never apart. You would think they were litter mates. I just looked down and each was eating out of their hard food dish with Lewis straddling the water bowl so they could be parallel with one another. I have not seen kittens behave like this. It is literally like they are joined at the hip.

In the Mailbox:

‘C’ sent me a very long discussion with lots of good links from the Looduskalender English Forum about siblicide or cainism. I have skimmed some of the contents and have several parts thoroughly. The information provides good definitions and also alerts you to species that practice ‘obligatory’ siblicide. It is extremely stressful to watch a nest with two healthy chicks that have hatched knowing that the eldest will kill the youngest. If this troubles you, then please avoid those species or wait to start watching.

It is, perhaps, too early to read about this particular type of avian behaviour having lost Middle but, put the link aside and educate yourself.

Making News:

This late summer, we were blessed with a Great White Egret in our City – indeed, eight or nine of them on a single tree at dusk. Here is a lovely story coming from the UK about walking in the marshes and discovering this amazing bird.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/nov/02/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-explore-the-avalon-marshes-somerset

It is unclear if was fireworks that frightened F22 at the 367 Collins Street scrape last week but, something loud that sounded like fireworks echoing between the tall buildings of the CBD in Melbourne, scared this first time Mum off her perch.

Today, The Guardian is carrying an article demonstrating how fireworks causes geese to become stressed.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/03/bonfire-night-fireworks-cause-major-distress-to-wild-geese-study-finds

Many are choosing to use drones to light up the sky but, has anyone looked into the direct damage hundreds and hundreds of drones might have on birds? If you see anything, please let me know.

Sharon Dunne has posted some information about the new season at Taiaroa Head. It is getting off to a great start!

Pentobarbital Poisoning. There is at least one Bald Eagle in the US struggling for its life because it found a euthanized prey. It laid unresponsive but not dead and was taken to a rehabber who is posting information and working hard. How did this eagle get in contact with the euthanized animal?

https://www.knowledgefun.com/pdf/secondary_pentobarbital_poisoning_of_wildlife.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3xBTkh1FlmePDXANfrSQAljI8f08LCDAwxsq-_qj83gPgjq0px38JXzVA

Here is an article about Bald Eagles surviving eating euthanized cats. Are the vets not responsible for properly disposing of the animals?

https://archive.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/bald-eagles-recover-from-eating-euthanized-cats-ns5ah7v-150542725.html/?fbclid=IwAR1vtNBYxADyL7PhOOTOGELhRLvPIISvcthjOSQnpbqmCqA2myfsk9137PY

Australian Nest News:

So far, it has been a relative quiet day in Bird World. Every nest had prey deliveries in Australia and the last time I checked there were still four eyases on the Collins Street ledge.

At the Orange scrape of Xavier and Diamond, it appears that Cilla Kinross has changed her mind and believes Indigo to be a male. Is this size? legs? lack of aggression? I have not seen her statement and only noticed this latest information when one of the chat moderators included it today.

An unplucked Starling was dropped off inside the scrape box. Indigo began plucking it. It appears that Indigo’s very active plucking frightened little Rubus for a few seconds. Rubus ran and stood on the Cilla stones and then, watching and well, Rubus is always hungry, s/he begins to think about helping.

Rubus decides s/he will go and help.

The chicks made a good effort. Indigo was very good at plucking and little Rubus helped her by holding down a part of the Starling with the talons. But they did eventually give up despite their early morning hunger.

Rubus was really working on that Starling’s head.

Rubus twisted and turned and pulled getting some bites.

Looks like Diamond came and saved the day! Both chicks reasonably aggressive but, squealing Rubus slightly more so.

When I finished watching 367 Collins Street today, there were still four eyases on the ledge.

Oh, this one wants to fly so much!

They have been watching the adults fly. It is to lure them off that ledge. ‘Hey, look, you are a bird. Flap those wings and fly’ – Mum and Dad are telling them. ‘You can do it!’

It is 12:21 and all of the Melbourne Four are accounted for – there is one that is blending in well with the scrape box and one in the gutter looking like a piece of prey!

Sometimes Mum – who is now slim and trim – can look like one of the eyases. To tell the difference between an adult and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon, look at the bars on the chest. If they are vertical, the bird is a juvenile. If they are horizontal, they are an adult.

All present and accounted for at 1417. Just look at how much the youngest one has changed. You can easily see which one or ones are hungry. See the sunken crop of the one on the ledge and the full crop of the one in the gutter. Falcons do not need to eat every day and…of course, all of us want them to have banquets but, a day will not harm them. These four have learned how to pluck and are preparing for what they are meant to do – fly! So proud of these first time parents. They overcame so much to be able to fledge these four healthy eyases – and that fledging will be soon. I hope they all wait and fly off together.

Here is a very short video of a pigeon delivery to the Melbourne Four. They are sooooo loud. Once you know that sound you will never mistake it for anything else! Poor parent. Besieged.

Mum and Big have been eating. All of the nests have had food – at least one prey drop or more.

Big is big.

Big had a monster sized crop.

Big is very aware of her surroundings and around 1322 pancaked in the nest. A few minutes later she was looking around as if there was ‘something’ or ‘someone’ about.

Mum got a chance to eat some fish on her own — in the middle of the night while Big slept. Thank goodness. Big will eat everything unless the fish is huge. We are now within 5-7 days of banding.

Brief Eagle News:

If you are a Decorah North fan, Mr North and DNF were working on their nest this morning! There is hardly a Bald Eagle nest in the US that is not now going through nestorations.

Muhlady laid her second egg. Pepe was there at the Superbeaks nest in Central Florida giving support. Muhlady was the first Bald Eagle to lay an egg this breeding season. She will have the clutch finished before most even consider an egg!

Migration News:

Waba is still in the Sudan feeding at the Nile River while Bonus remains in Turkey. There will most likely not be any transmissions from Kaia or Karl II as they were already at their wintering grounds. This is typical. In past years there has been no transmission from Karl II until he began his return journey to Estonia. This is the first year that Kaia has a transmitter.

Thank you for joining us today. I hope that your weekend has been good. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures today: Raptor Education, Royal Albatross Cam and Sharon Dunne, The Guardian, Looduskalender Forum, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Decorah North, and Superbeaks.

Kittens, Ospreys, falcons… and more…

5 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that each and everyone of you has had a wonderful start to this first weekend in November. Here on the Canadian Prairies we are really saying goodbye to autumn as the days get colder and colder. It is now time to put away any light to medium weight jackets and pull out the scarves, toques, boots, gloves and all other paraphernalia such as snow scrapers and shovels. The forecast is for a 70% chance of snow on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!! Then a further possibility next Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, it is going to rain in between which means icy roads. I dislike winter until we are right in the middle of it and life has settled down to something resembling a hibernating bear with a mug of hot chocolate.

Are there days in your calendar where events coincide? The 5th of November is one of those for me. It is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. Fawkes was part of a Catholic group that tried to burn down Parliament in 1605. It is now better known as Bonfire Night when effigies of Fawkes are burned on bonfires along with the traditional eating of the ‘jacket’ potato. There are many fond memories of the smell of the leaves, the smoke and the fires, the potatoes with all their fillings, and just the camaraderie of friends gathering on a fall evening. 5 November is also the birthday of my late mother-in-law Vi (she was a real sweetheart), the birthday of my late friend Joanne (who died in a fire), and very much the birthday of my BFF here in Winnipeg who is celebrating her birthday today in Dublin. Happy Birthday, ‘S’.

There are many good things in life – ‘good’ friends, ‘close and loving family’, sunshine warming our face, a soaking forest walk, watching birds, warm cookies from the oven, warm bread from the oven, a smile from a stranger, our wonderful feathered friends with their large beaks and huge talons, and our pets, if we are able to share our lives. Many can’t. Of course, that is not an all inclusive list and everyone will have their own and I can add each of you to that list also. A community of empathetic, caring, concerned individuals. I am so lucky.

My Dad loved all animals. He hand fed the Cardinals and Blue Jays in our garden, took in and found homes for all the stray dogs and cats that mysteriously wound up in our yard and tended a gorgeous rose garden…I am so very grateful to him for opening up the beauty of the natural world to me before I could walk. That is where I turn – the birds, the trees, the animals – when life is at what seems its bleakest.

Lewis and Missy really helped me ‘adjust’ (I never get over) the death of Middle. They could not have come into my life at a better time.

Forget factory made toys, roll up a piece of aluminum foil! Everyone will want to play with it.

Missy likes the in floor heating.

It is not always the little brother that starts all the dust ups.

Lewis just loves toys —————- and food! I don’t know where he puts it.

In the News:

Want to understand more about climate change and its impact on the seabirds of the UK, here is an excellent article from the British Trust for Ornithology. The implications could be applied to other areas as well. It is a good read and it will help us to better understand the challenges that seabirds have and will continue to have only multiplied.

https://www.bto.org/our-science/case-studies/understanding-impacts-climate-change-seabirds

It seems that we need to be careful with our toques (knit caps) in Canada. An owl might just swoop down and take it right off your head! I wonder if it had a pom-pom? or what colour the toque was? do owls prefer cool or warm colours?

https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2022/11/03/owl-steals-vancouvers-stanley-park/?fbclid=IwAR2S-vCTcbfSzbjIoepLWeaAvHqREQwsQopmxhcl0ZzZzt3cw00OuSNJVfA

This article talks about the prowess of Crows getting carrion off the highway. Want to help them? It wasn’t mentioned but, seriously consider stopping and putting the dead animal off to the side of the road – as far as you are able – to keep the Crows, Eagles, Vultures, etc – birds of prey- from getting killed trying to get food.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/04/country-diary-a-peckish-crow-appears-to-observe-the-green-cross-code

At Port Lincoln, the camera will sometimes find Mum along the opposite shore having a bath but I have never seen one close up. Here is a wonderful opportunity to see an Osprey enjoying a bath close up!

There are so many places to adopt birds. Our local wildlife rehabilitation centre will announce their holiday fundraiser shortly – you can adopt one raptor or the whole lot of them. Many of the nature centres connected with Osprey streaming cams in the UK also have fundraising programmes including adoptions. Many rely on calendar sales for 2023 – lovely images of the raptor families from this year to brighten your day and remind you of their bigger than life personalities. If you are looking for a gift that will have a huge impact and not wind up in a landfill, think about these fundraisers.

I have mentioned the Kakapo Recovery last week and I promise this is the last time…but, they do such a fantastic job monitoring, finding, assessing, and caring for this rare flightless parrot. They have limited adoptions available. Every cent goes to the welfare of the birds! (And I promise I do not get a single cent for mentioning them!)

Here is the announcement from the Kakapo Recovery: In case you missed our announcement last week, adoptions are once again open! If you’re ordering for delivery outside of New Zealand by Christmas you have until Monday the 7th to get these in. Kiwis, you have until the end of the month. Please note that if you log in to PayPal to make the purchase it automatically takes the shipping address from your PayPal account details – if your order is a gift then select ‘pay with card’ in order to be able to enter different shipping details!

https://www.doc.govt.nz/…/get-involved/adopt-a-kakapo/

If you live in the UK, the British Trust for Ornithology has a programme for youth to stimulate learning about birds. They provide binoculars and guidebooks to youth. It is part of their Equipment Donation Scheme. If you live in the UK and have a pair of binoculars to donate, please get in touch with the BTO. You can check out the programme at http://www.bto.org/equipment

If you live elsewhere and are wondering how to help youth get involved with nature and learn to appreciate our feathered friends, why not get in touch with your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or birding groups to see if they would like to start an equipment donation programme for youth. It is a win-win.

Nest News:

Jackie and Shadow, one of the most popular American Bald Eagle couples flew into their nest in Big Bear Valley this morning to find snow. The pair are used to it. Indeed, they could be lucky. Raptors do better in cooler weather! They are working on their nest. You might remember that they fledged Spirit last year – she stole our heart! And theirs. A successful hatch following several years of no chicks. Let us wish them the best of luck again this breeding season.

It is so good to see you, Jackie and Shadow!

Dad came in with a big fish for Mum and Big at Port Lincoln this morning. There wasn’t much time to sit on the nest and get hungry! Look at that time stamp.

I miss Middle. He was like a gentle soul on that nest. But, now, I need to live in the present with the birds, not wishing what could have been. We need to see Big grow and get ready to fledge. Banding and the name giving will take place between the 12th and 14th of November. That is one week away.

It took about 24 minutes for that large fish to be consumed. Wow. I sure hope Mum got enough. She was very careful in the delivery to make sure that she had control of the delivery, not Big. Good for Mum. Once Big starts taking the prey and self- feeding Mum will need fish, too. Wonder if she will just fly out and get them?

Big and Mum saw Dad come in with the fish. He was eating it on the ropes. Everyone had dinner before it was light’s out.

It was a bit of a change this morning at the scrape on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University. It seems that Indigo got a lot of the prey delivery. Goodness. Rubus was a little pouty. Still, they both had plenty. Diamond and Xavier will not let either eyas go hungry.

Rubus decides that if he isn’t going to be fed, he will just eat the prey himself! Remember Rubus has already successfully plucked and eaten a Starling’s head.

Thanks to ‘C’ who sent me this great screen capture of Xavier and Diamond putting on flying demonstrations yesterday. This will be to lure Indigo into joining the fastest raptor on the planet club. There is still fluff and Indigo is about a week behind Collins Street – and the older eyases could fledge there any time! They have their plumage – it is fully developed.

At 131730 Indigo has decided to pull Rubus across the scrape by its toe. Poor thing. You could hear Rubus crying.

A meal came in and all was well. No damage done! It was one of the most pleasant feedings I have seen in a long time at this scrape…equal shares.

When I last checked there were still four eyases living – running, flapping, eating – on the ledge at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Just beautiful beautiful eyases. I wonder when we will have our first fledge? It will be soon!

I had to watch and wait for all four heads.

Sometimes we get a tip of a wing showing and we know someone is still home.

There was some confusion surrounding a falcon that flew off the ledge at 0956. It was Mum, not one of the eyases fledging.

There goes Mum. There are 2 eyases in the scrape, one in the gutter, and another on the ledge. It will not be long but it did not happen at 0956. And it is an easy thing to assume until you begin to count bodies. We are all on pins and needles waiting for the first fledge – and it could happen while I sleep tonight!

All four were still present at 1730. Mum and Dad have done a fantastic job raising four healthy – very healthy eyases – for the first time. Just look at the place – what a mess.

Migration News:

There has been no news from either Kaia or Karl II for some time. They had each arrived in Africa and it is assumed that they are in their winter grounds without satellite service. This happens every year. We lose contact until the spring. As always, extremely grateful to the wonderful folks at Looduskalender that report on the transmissions and create the maps and landscape views. It is terrific.

Waba is now in Sudan. He is still feeding along the Nile River – just in Sudan now and not in Egypt.

Bonus is near Baskaraoren in the Turkish Province of Konya. He seems to have found good feeding spots.

Thank you so very much for being with me. It is always a pleasure to have you here. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: British Trust for Ornithology, The Guardian, Sprotborough Flash, Kakapo Recovery, FOBBV, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender Forum.

Bursting crops and branching…tales from Bird World

4 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Gosh, I cannot believe it is November. Today marks the beginning of the cooler weather for the Canadian Prairies. It is -5 and the Crows and the Blue Jays have been telling me all morning that we need to bring out the heated bird bath! The problem with the heated baths is that you must, in my climate, put small boards across the surface so they can drink and not bathe. It is too cold. Well, actually it is easy to put the boards across the top, it is the Crows that whack them out of alignment causing the entire exercise to be futile.

I can see no more double digit days ahead – maybe not until May! The Snowy Owls continue to arrive in the province while the number of Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Dark-eyed Juncos is dropping dramatically. I do not blame them! I need to go out and have a last check at three local ponds and do the duck and geese count but, I have been having so much fun watching Missey and Lewis play that I just have not done it.

In the garden, the Blue Jays are here and so are the Crows. The Black Capped Chickadee stays all winter as does the Downy Woodpeckers. There are about 40 or 50 Old World House Sparrows that remain also. The numbers feeding drops substantially but, there is always a huge push for food from those migrating and that happened on Tuesday.

I am so glad that you have enjoyed the photos of the kittens. To all who realized what a wonderful distraction they are for the sadness at Port Lincoln, it is true. Lewis and Missey have really helped ease that tragedy. There is nothing more wonderful than your own animal or bird friend at home. The energy of Lewis and Missey is unmatched in my mind as my last cat, a lovely Red Aby rescue, was 14 and much slowed down when she passed away in July 2021. It took awhile to get ready for other fur ball companions. There is not a place that these two haven’t explored. I will include more pictures tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! But for now, ‘H’ cheered me up with this compilation of the two Lewises. So cute.

Australian Nests:

This image of Big at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge pretty much sums up this nest for this season. Look at Big’s crop. I would also like to see that size on Mum!

Big is massive.

Dad brought an enormous fish to the barge early yesterday morning. He had a good fill, so good that Mum was screaming at him to get that fish over to her and Big.

She is not too happy thinking Dad is going to eat that entire fish! He wouldn’t but…what we have to still consider is that during the stormy cold weather – our dear Middle got little to eat. At the same time, Mum had only the head of a fish more than Middle and some bites she could ‘steal’ while feeding Big. She was absolutely famished and still is hungry. You know I always say how much these adults lose in terms of body mass raising their chicks, it can be tremendous. I am hopeful that Mum will step back and, while feeding Big, take some care for herself.

The fish was estimated to actually weigh more than Dad. He had some trouble dragging it on to the ropes. It was just the kind of fish this family needed to start the day. Good work, Dad!

Mum and Big ate for an hour and a half.

There was some fish left for Mum, too, at the end which she ate by herself. Big was full – can you believe it? And moved away from the beak.

Last evening Mum went down and spent some time with Dad in the shed. Remember these two are grieving the loss of two chicks. Mum has fed Dad and now she has slipped down so they can spend some time together. I actually do not recall Mum being down in the shed very often. This has been a difficult season after the triumph of last year with the three males.

The attention at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne is not how much prey is brought to the nest but when the eldest eyas or two will fly. They are sure getting ready! Here are a mixture of images from today.

Dad missed the ledge – thanks, ‘H’.

Most of you will be familiar with the term ‘branching’ when it comes to eaglets. The flight from the nest to the branch. Well, there are no branches for either the Collins Street or Orange flacons but, ‘H’ caught the eldest having flow up to the other ledge at Collins Street – branching Melbourne style!

Rubus seems to have taken over the entire Orange scrape. From that tiny wee eyas that had to really jump to try and get any prey in its early days to now when it intimidates Xavier and seems to be eating everything, Rubus is a force to be reckoned with. Indigo, meanwhile, is becoming the most beautiful falcon, just like her mother Diamond.

Indigo reminds me of Izzi in this picture!

Rubus has been self feeding and plucking. He made quick work of a Starling head the other day. I wonder what he will do with this piece of prey?

I still say he but that does not mean Rubus is a ‘he’. Indeed, Rubus is eating so much and growing so big that we might be looking at another female. I don’t think Cilla has declared yet – if you know and I missed that, let me know please.

In Taiaroa Head, the first egg of the Royal Albatross breeding season has been laid and everyone of the NZ DOC rangers is looking forward to an exciting season! If you want to watch a mostly ‘unstressful’ nest, the Albatross is your seabird of choice. Why? The NZ DOC rangers take such good care of their birds. Eggs are removed right before hatch so that fly strike will not happen, eggs are shifted around between parents if a foster family is needed, and — there is normally no starvation as the chicks are weighed and topped up if their parents cannot supply enough food or if one or both are lost.

I will not say that the nests do not have their sadness. They do. We waited and waited for the return of OGK this year – he was last seen in mid-May-. He was young! Albatross can live to be quite old. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from Midway Atoll, will be 71 or 72 this year.

The NZ DOC has posted a video of what to expect:

On the Bookshelf:

I am not certain that this isn’t a book that all ages would enjoy. It was intended for children – to introduce them and convince them that birds are stunningly extraordinary. The topics cover every aspect of a birds’ life from their ancestry, to their behaviours, how we can help protect them and how to make your garden more bird friendly. The images are gorgeous and, the message is clear – protect the birds they are amazing! It is by David Lindo. Published in the UK, price varies but roughly $22 CDN for the hard cover. Highly recommended as a fantastic holiday or birthday gift.

The Name Game:

I want to thank everyone who took the time and sent in some of the names of their favourite streaming cam birds. It was quite fun.

Finally this morning, the ‘Name Game’. Thank you to absolutely everyone who sent in names. There were many duplicates and quite a few that I did not know. The letters in brackets are meant to help you figure out the nest but some, like (BS) stand for Black Stork. The Welsh names are either the Glaslyn or Dyfi nest. There were 3 names that tied for being submitted the most – 27 times each: Ervie, Izzi, and Xavier!

A: Annie and Alden (UC-B), Aila (LA), Andor (FP), Akecheta (WE); Andy (Captiva), Arthur (Cornell), Aran (Glaslyn), Aeron (Pont Cresor), Axel, Abby (EC), Alex and Andria (KNF), Audrey (CC)

B: Bazza (PLO), Big Red (Cornell), Blaze (EC), Bonus (BS), Blue33 (Rutland), Betty and Bukachek (Mlady Buky), Bella (NCTC), Brooks (SF), Baron Blue and Baroness Barefoot (WTE), Boone (JC), Bailey (HI), Barb (BPF), Bonnie (GHOW), Boris (Finnish nest)

C: Chase and Cholyn (2H); Captain JJ7 (LA), Carson and Cade (UC-B, 2020), Connie and Clive (Captiva), Ceulan, Clarach, Cerist, CJ7 (PH), Cookie (BBV), Charlie and Charlotte (Charlo Montana), Claire (USS), Clyde (GHOW)

D: Diamond (Orange); Dorcha (LA), Doddie (LA), DEW (PLO 2020); Daisy Duck (WBSE 2021), Dylan (LC), Dinas, Delyth, Della (MH), Dory (Boathouse), Diane (Achieva), Decorah North Mom and Dad, DM2, Duke and Daisy (Barnegat L)

E: Ervie! (PLO), Einion, Eitha, Eerie (BS), E9 and all the Es (SWFL)

F: Falky (PLO), Fauci (UC-B 2021), Freedom (RE, GG, Hanover), Franklin (Dollywood)

G: Grinnell and Grinnell Jr (UC-B), Gabriella/Gabby (NEFL), Glesni, Gwynant, Guardian (RE), Glory (NADC), Grislis, Glory (Dunrovin)

H: Harriet (all the Harriets but especially SWFL), Helyg, Hesgyn, Hope (GG), Harry (MN-DNR), Honor (NADC), Helju (GE), Hal (Dunrovin), Honor (Dunrovin)

I: Izzi (Orange), Indigo (Orange), Idris (Dyfi), Iris (Hellgate), Iniko (CC), Independence (Dollywood), Irvin (USS)

J: Jackie (BBV), Jasper (NEFL), Joe (Captiva), Juliet (NEFL), Jan and Jannika (BS), Jack (Achieva), Jack (Dahlgren), Junior (GI), Jolene (JC)

K: Kaknu (UC-B), Kana’kini (WE), Kindness (GG), Kaia and Karl II (BS), Kincaid (KNF), Kisatchie (KNF), Klints, Kalju (GE), Kingpin (CC)

L: Louis (LA), Lady (WBSE), Lotus (NADC), Lena (Captiva); Little Bit ND17 (ND), Legacy (NE FL), Lindsay (UC-B); Lancer (2H), Lillibet (FP), Lawrencium/Larry (UC-B), Love (GG), Liberty, Louis (KNF), LGK and LGL (RA, Taiki’s parents), Louis (HG), Lily (GHOW), Lady (LOTL), Laddie LM12 (LOTL), all of Big Red and Arthur’s Ls

M: M15 (SWFL), Mama Cruz (FP), Mr. President (NADC), Monty (Dyfi), Merin, Menai, Mrs G (Glaslyn), Martin (Captiva), Mitch (HH), Maya (Rutland), Mahala (GI), Missy (BC), Molate (SF), Malin (CM), Ma Berry (BC), Mom Decorah, Milda (WTE)

N: Nancy (MN-DNR), Nora (Dyfi)

O: OGK (RA)

P: Pedran, Padarn, Peace (GG), Pa Berry (BC), Pikne (BS), Pa Decorah, Phoebe (HI)

Q: QT

R: Rosie and Richmond (SF), Rocket (NEFL), Rick, Rubus (Orange), Rocket (NEFL), Ron and Rita (WRDC), Romeo (NEFL), Rachel (HI), Redwood Queen (CC)

S: Shadow (BBV), Samson (NEFL), Solly (PLO), Simba (BBV), SE26 for the brave eaglet she was (WBSE), Spirit (BBV), Seren (LC), Star and Sentry (RE), Skiff (HI), Sloop (HI), Schooner (HI), Slapjack (HI), Sarafina (Loch Arkaig), Star (WE), Smitty (NCTC), Spilvie, Superman (WE), Swoop (Dunrovin), Salli (Finland)

T: Thunder (WE), Takoda (NADC); dear Taps (PLO), Taiki (RA), Telyn (Dyfi), Tuul (BS), Titi (FN), The First Lady (NADC), Tom (CC), Tiny Tot Tumbles (Achieva), Tiger (GHOW)

U: UV (KF), Udu (Black Stork)

V: Victor (FP), Vera (Loch Arkaig), Voldis (WTE)

W: Wek Wek (UC-B), Willow (Loch Arkaig), Warren (MH), Waba, Wilfred and Wilma

X: Xavier

Y: Yurruga (Orange), Ystwyth, YRK (RA)

Z: Z1 aka Tegid (AO4, Wales, one of Monty’s boys), Z2 aka Aeron (PC, one of Monty’s boys)

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their videos, streaming cams, and posts that make up my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the NZ DOC.

Early Thursday in Bird World

3 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you for your very kind messages. I am phenomenally lucky to have such empathetic people in my life. The collective mourning of Middle is a way of healing our hearts and our minds. For many it will be some time when we can look at Big and not think of Little or Middle. The circumstances this year were very challenging to this Osprey family and it was not only the osplets that suffered from lack of fish but also, Mum and Dad. It was worrying watching Mum not have fish to eat. The water has calmed today and an enormous fish arrived early. Big and Mum ate for more than an hour and a half. The seas are calm and the weather is better.

You will, of course, notice that I say ‘she’ and I have always referred to Big as a female. Some wonder if it makes a difference on a nest if the first hatch is a big female. So, let me try to explain. If the entire clutch is female – and there were several Osprey nests in the UK this year with just females – Manton Bay at Rutland and Dyfi in Wales – there are no problems. If the clutch is all male such as that at Port Lincoln last year, the lads are angels. Put a big female at the head of a mixed clutch on a nest with problematic fish deliveries and well, you have trouble. The key phrase is ‘problematic fish deliveries.’ It can be as simple as only one fish arriving on a particular day mid-afternoon and immediately, the eldest female, who requires 50% more food (all females require more food to feather than the males) is alert that there might not be enough fish available to feed the entire family. In some instances, there are no problems with mixed clutches because the fish land on the nest, the feeding is extremely democratic, and well, life is good. If there is a problem, the first place to look is gender/birth order and a period of few fish being delivered. Because so few nests band and take DNA tests, it is impossible to say with 100% accuracy that the culprit is a large female first hatch but, overall, it appears that is the case.

It is very true. New kittens are a distraction. These two came on a day when I needed that, a wee break from the ospreys. (I highly recommend taking mental health time from the nests – it is very beneficial). These two are rescues. They were found as newborns along with their siblings and Mum. They went into foster care before they could be adopted. They are not related but, knock on wood, they are getting along splendidly.

This is Lewis. Named after Lewis Hamilton the race car driver because he zips around everywhere too fast.

This is Missey. She is a week older than Lewis, a really tiny fluffy girl. All that fur makes her look bigger than she is and she fooled Lewis right away, establishing her right to dominance. Lewis did not care! He just wants his food and his toys and some loving attention! Lewis enjoys seeing all the birds and squirrels in the garden and Missey could care less. She likes her cat tree and she has taken over the hidey-hole in it.

In the Mailbox:

Many wrote to ask if they were seeing things. ” Were there really fish left after Middle’s body was retrieved?”

The answer is ‘yes’. There is a standard practice by banders to leave fish on the nest after they remove the chicks from the nest and return them. Additionally, there were fish placed on the Port Lincoln barge nest just around 0906. You could see two hands. It is apparent that Port Lincoln applied for and was given permission to supplement the fish for the nest. Sadly, those fish came late. Hopefully permission can be given to PLO for eventualities, a blanket permission if this situation presents itself in the future.

The Australian Nest and Scrapes:

367 Collins Street. The Melbourne Four. Look at that eyas below. There are only a couple of dandelions on the head and wing, reminders of its fluffy youth. What a beautiful falcon. It is the 4th of November in Melbourne. If the scrape at Charles Sturt University in Orange goes on fledge watch around the 12th, this means that we are entering fledge watch at the Melbourne scrape for the eldest tomorrow. I must check that!

‘H’ reports that there were at least two prey drops on camera and one off yesterday. The eyases have also been chewing on all the leftovers in the scrape.

And if you are wondering, no one cleans up the area. The wind and the rain between the end of this season and the beginning of next seem to do a good job. Falcons also like to know that wherever they raise their eyases is a good prey area so if they see a scrape like this one, well, they will know in an instant. That said, you will notice, that when the eyases are quite tiny the Mum will keep the scrape pristine for a bit. It helps to detract predators if there are any.

Wow. Look at those wings!

Seriously adorable.

Mum deserves to be proud. Look at her four ‘babies’. They are nearly ready to fly off the ledge and start learning how to hunt their own prey. Soon – if they have not already started – Mum and Dad will do flying lessons, some with and some without prey, to lure the eyases into fledging. There is still some time to go. They need their fluff gone!

Do you remember when we worried so much about this particular scrape? I have almost forgotten Mum leaving these wee ones in the middle of the day in the Melbourne heat before they could stomp down to the other end. They survived. Mum and Dad did well – first time parents.

Rubus and Indigo are precious. Fledge watch will start for Indigo on the 12th of November. I simply hope that Rubus doesn’t do what he always does and copy her immediately. He will not be ready.

The only prey so far at Orange is the early delivery of that large prey item. It is now 1439. As the chicks get older, the number of feedings drops considerably because the eyases can eat more and more at one sitting. I bet they would love a parent to fly in with a nice fat pigeon right about now.

One of the most tender moments on any nest is when one of the adults feeds the other. In this case, this morning Mum fed Dad at Port Lincoln. He brought in a huge fish and Mum and Big had been eating for an hour and a half. What a wonderful way to thank your mate. And it was more than one bite!

We need to pause and imagine just how hungry Mum was. I need to remind myself of this. How many times did we see her feed almost every bite of fish to the osplets? or just to Big without having more than a handful of bites herself. She must stay healthy and the same goes for Dad. I often say it is like flying in the plane, ‘Put the oxygen mask over the adult before the child.’ Mum did not always do that and there were plenty of times that Dad came to the nest and there was no leftover fish.

Both of these parents are mourning the loss of their chick. They don’t have the liberty to take a mental health day like I did, they must be there and carry on, making sure Big fledges.

The arrival of the big fish on the nest this morning.

It was a lot of fish and would keep Big until tomorrow if another does not come on the nest today.

Port Lincoln has expressed some concern that other chicks were lost on unmonitored nests during this period of bad weather where the males were unable to bring in enough fish.

Let us all hope collectively that permissions to assist with fish come in a timely manner or a blanket permission.

Migration News:

Bonus has found a good place to rest and feed now that he has left Greece. He is currently in Konya Province in Turkey just north of Lake Seydisehir.

Waba is feeding along the Nile River in Egypt.

Making News Elsewhere:

I am finishing reading Bowland Beth, the story of an extraordinary Hen Harrier who died way too young. A second book, The Hen Harrier’s Year by Ian Carter and Dan Powell (newly released) arrived today. I am very interested in the topic of the Hen Harrier because they are becoming more rare than they already are because of persecution by grouse hunting community and the games keepers. In the Foreword to the book, Roger Riddington states, ‘In recent years the Hen Harrier has become the de facto flagship species for the birding community in its stance against raptor persecution.’ While the Hen Harriers are, in particular, being shot with their populations on the knife edge, it is also other raptors that we should be concerned with as well – such as the White-tailed Eagle.

A recent report talks about the ghastly people who are these games keepers and how sadistic they are. It is good that the Scottish government has taken a stance and the prison terms will be such that they might deter the practice. The real way is to outlaw hunts. Fox, Red Grouse, you name it…outlaw them.

Convicted Millden Estate gamekeeper Rhys Davies had ‘formed a close bond’ with another animal-fighting sadist – Raptor Persecution UK

Something to feast your eyes on – patterns created by our feathered friends in flight.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/oct/29/xavier-bou-ornithographies-birds-patterns-flight-in-pictures

What if there are no birds to create the images the artist depicted above? What if the climate is heating faster and faster and warming the seas quicker? There are many sobering questions for humans who have caused the destruction of our planet and the myriad of challenges for our beloved birds (and all wildlife). The warnings of our planet heating faster than anticipated are beginning to make headlines in certain papers.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/02/europes-climate-warming-at-twice-rate-of-global-average-says-report

There is also news coming in regarding SE29 from the Sea Eagle Cam. There is no news on SE30.

November 2 : news from the vet caring for SE29 : today SE29 has moved into a slightly larger room that can be monitored with CCTV -doing as well as can be expected , everything is stable at this point.

Harriet and M15 on the branches after working hard on rebuilding their nest destroyed by Hurricane Ian. If they don’t put a smile on your face, I honestly do not know what will!

The first Bald Eagle egg of the year has been laid in Florida. That honour goes to the nest of Superbeaks, Muhlady and Pepe. The first egg of the Royal Albatross season has been laid at Taiaroa Head. Those parents are GK (Green Black) and BKW (Blue Black White).

Remember to send some of the names you came up with for the Alphabet Game by midnight tonight! E-mail is: maryasteggles@outlook.com

Thank you so much for being with me this morning and being the caring community that you are. Please take care as we all collectively heal. See you tomorrow!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos and/or their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, The Guardian, and those great people at the Looduskalender Forum.

Middle is peckish, a look at stunning L4, and other tales in Bird World

30 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The weather on the Canadian Prairies continues to be balmy. It is 10 degrees C as I write to you and it is just past 2030 Saturday evening. The one thing I enjoy so much about living in Canada is that we will never let a good weather day at the end of October pass us by. Visitors at the wetlands today were in their shirt sleeves — short ones! Everyone had come to try and spot the Tundra Swans. There were 13 of them on the water yesterday including the family that I had seen in September.

It promised to be a good day as the sound of Canada geese honking filled the sky. On the way to Oak Hammock, I passed more than one field of corn being harvested. This is a huge bonus for the geese and ducks landing here now on their way south. Lots of food and the weather is supposed to be warm and dry for several more days. The geese will have those fields cleaned up in short order.

I have mentioned Oak Hammock Marsh before but, for those that are new, here is a short description. It is a huge area of wetlands northwest of Winnipeg measuring 36 sq kilometres or 13.89 square miles. The area is owned jointly by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba. The landscape changes from season to season and month to month. There are many educational programmes, tours, canoes, and an interpretative centre. It is one of two large nature centres near the city where I live. The other is Fort Whyte Alive. The main difference between the two is the fact that Ducks Unlimited – while restoring wetlands to protect and grow the number of waterfowl – are also proud promoters of duck hunting. That is difficult for me. At the same time, I am grateful that there are expanses of land for waterfowl instead of housing divisions or paved parking lots.

The main building has a little shop, a display of miniature ducks that have won the annual contests, lots of computers set to eBird, and walls of displays – historical finds on the land when they were building, a class room, and cases full of beautifully carved ducks. I forgot my phone or I would have images of these for you – the lens on my camera simply cannot focus that close.

We had so much water in the spring. It rained and rained and rained every day. Torrential rains. This area of the flat prairie flooded in many parts. It made for soggy earth where bull rushes grew. They grew so tall. The Red-winged Blackbirds were eating the seeds the last time I was here. Today, there was no a single one. They are on their way south!

This female Downy Woodpecker was looking for bugs and insects and flitted around the path going in and out of the shrubs. She seemed to care less if I was there with her so focused was she on finding food.

Such a gorgeous Greater Yellowlegs.

There were two American Coots towards the end of one of the trails in ‘Coot Pond’. It was also there that I found the Snowy Owl I had gone to see – one seen flying over the marsh this morning. Sadly, it was dead.

Overhead two raptors were enjoying soaring in the thermals. There are Northern Harriers that I have seen at the wetlands but, there was always only one. These two look as if they were having fun and their silhouette looks like the immature Bald Eagles in both of my books with raptor silhouettes. I just wonder if one of these might be responsible for the demise of the Snowy Owl.

I saw six Great Yellowlegs today. They were all very busy poking around at the edge of the pond looking for food.

The Tundra Swans alluded me today. That is perfectly fine. It was a joy to see them in September!

On my way home I stopped at a park that I frequent occasionally checking for Wood Ducks. I was not disappointed today. A cute little girl, about three or four years old, was feeding the ducks cracked corn – a perfect food for them! This had brought the 20 or so ducks up to a single area. Many looked as if they had already eaten lots of corn and were back in the water swimming. And the light was so strange – the water looked metallic. Everything had a reflection and this cute little female Wood Duck seems to be looking at hers. I wonder if she knows how gorgeous she is.

This Mallard couple sat so still and their plumage was so vibrant and perfect that they appeared to be decoys. And then they moved!

The golden glow of the sun as it was getting lower in the sky caught this precious female Mallard. She looks like she has been eating very well and it is time for the last of the sun’s rays to warm her.

The forecast is for it to be 18 degrees C on Wednesday. I am going to check e-Bird and see if there are any hotspots with shorebirds and ducks still in southern Manitoba!

I know that many of you have pets, perhaps more than one. One of the wonderful things about them is how happy they are to see you when you get home. Well, when I pulled up and parked the car, I could hear a sound. I didn’t recognize it at first but, then, I saw her. There was Dyson running down the branch of the tree to greet me. She said all of her hellos and beat me – she was already waiting on the deck for peanuts – by the time I sat my camera down. Now how did she know that there was an enormous sack of fresh nuts just purchased for her???

And does she know how happy I am to see her?

___________________________________________________________________

Making News:

Suzanne Arnold Horning was out and about today and she has photos of Big Red, Arthur, and L4 on the campus today. Oh, L4 looks so grown up. Remember that little one clamoring over its siblings to be right up and front at feeding time? and L4 being the first one to catch their own prey? Beautiful juvenile. I am so glad that L4 is staying in the territory. Wish this juvie had a band!

Look at those beautiful Juvenile eyes. Looks like L4 is over around the field by Highway 366.

Beautiful Big Red. Our fabulous Mama who will be 20 years old in the spring of 2023. Incredible.

This is another image of Big Red today from Ferris Akel’s tour. Isn’t she a stunner? And she has her dinner!

L4 will get her ‘red tail’ when she turns one. It is really a mark of honour for so few survive. Gradually, L4’s eyes will get darker and darker and one day she will look like her gorgeous Mum.

The Illegal trade in Song birds coming out of Indonesia. Oh, however so disgustingly sad. There are moves around the world to stop the illegal trade in birds and many places are banning the sale of parrots and other exotics to try and stop this practice. What is happening where you live?

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/oct/28/caged-indonesias-songbird-trade-in-pictures

We all know about Taiaroa Head where the NZ DOC take such good care of the Royal Albatross colony. Nearby is Dunedin’s Eco Sanctuary. Check out this birdwatching trip in New Zealand.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2022/oct/31/a-birdwatching-trip-back-in-time-what-pre-mammal-new-zealand-wouldve-been-like

There was a big fire across from the nest of Harriet and M15!

Nest News:

The weather is truly miserable at Port Lincoln. It was pitching down rain and there was concern that Dad would not be able to bring any fish to the nest but, Dad is extremely dependable. If there are fish – even small ones – he will bring them to Mum, Big, and Middle. It was between small and small medium size. Middle got the first good bites and that is a good thing because at 085754 Middle got up to walk away and then turned as if he might want another bite. At 085757, Big takes exception and gives Middle a brief reminder that she is eating – and eat she did – all the rest of it! It is certainly true that things appear to be civil but, when Middle eats his fair share before Big or Big thinks Middle is going to eat all the fish, she doesn’t put up with it. There was a ‘look’ from Big at Middle at 091225 that said it all.

Oh, the family was soaked.

Breakfast arrived at 08:49. Middle will get the greatest share of the fish for the first six minutes of the feeding. Indeed, Middle will have a small crop. Middle is on the left and Big is on the right. You can see that the fish is not huge but it is not tiny either. Dad is extremely reliable.

All is forgiven as the pair try to get some warmth as the rain continues.

The rain stopped by the winds are blowing at 31 mph. It could be very difficult for Dad or Mum to bring any fish to the nest in these winds. Send this nest your best wishes, as always.

Middle is hungry. Big has gotten the lion’s share of the fish for yesterday and that was not much, just the two deliveries due to the stormy weather. So Middle was peckish and pecked – yes, he pecked Big – twice. Here are some images of the last encounter. BTW Big does retaliate but, it is not as viscious as previous times.

What precipitated the event was the sighting of a parent and the hope of some fish. The two followed and did a wee bit of fish calling. Middle puffed up real big before pecking Big —-oh, please let there be lots of fish on Monday in Australia!

At 367 Collins Street, the falcons did survive the fireworks but, at the same time, it was so apparent that Mum was frightened out of her wits. She returned to her perch above the scrape before dusk. Very grateful all is well.

It is impossible to know when the Melbourne Four are being fed unless you see them being fed at the end of the ledge above or hear them squeeeeeeing which they are doing now at 1400! I am not worried about them. These parents have done a smashing job feeding these four and learning how to care for them. ‘A’ tells me it is blistering hot in Melbourne today and the eyases know to stay in the shade. So they are eating and they are sleeping in the shade and isn’t that wonderful — all is well.

Oh, goodness they are loud! Rewind to 1404 to hear them. It is a wonderful sound. You can just picture them jumping a bit with their beaks wide open snatching that precious prey.

At 1411 one of the eyases is heard running down the gutter. Then they mantle once they get to the scrape box. They have a piece of prey and they are going to self-feed. How exciting! This wee one keeps looking back to see if anyone is coming to try and take its treasure.

All finished and the fluffy eyas is running down the gutter back to the feeding wanting more!

The Melbourne Four had their usual four feedings yesterday despite the fact that we cannot always see them. Great parenting! Glad things are now quiet.

‘A’ reports that she saw that dreadful synthetic spider web decorating a property in Melbourne for the first time yesterday. This needs to be banned before it becomes ‘the thing’ to do. It is dreadful for all the small birds and other animals including pets that can get tangled up in it.

No more had Alison said this and there is an article in The Guardian urging Australians not to adopt the spiderwebs as they continue to follow the Americans trend of Halloween.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/30/is-australias-growing-love-of-halloween-endangering-our-wildlife

All is well at the scrape in Orange of Diamond and Xavier. We are so lucky that there are several cameras covering all the angles including the outside of the water tower at Orange. It gives the viewer real insight as to what is happening everywhere.

There were two feedings in the morning. At 0648 Diamond arrives with a pigeon and feeds Rubus and Indigo. Then at 1027, Xavier arrives with an Eastern Rosella Xavier will begin the feeding and Diamond will take over. She loves her Rosella, too. Just look at Indigo and Rubus. Look at their size. Gone are the days when Rubus was so tiny he could not get to the beak for food. Now it is watch out or Rubus will get it all. I do wonder if Rubus – who is four days younger and that is a huge amount of time in a falcon’s early life – is not a female.

Rubus is really getting all of the first part of the feeding. What an aggressive youngster. Reminds me of Izzi.

Rubus also gets full and goes over to the Cilla Stones making it easy for Indigo to finally get some breakfast.

But then…Rubus decides he would like some more prey. Poor Indigo. Just look at that adorable face. How could anyone ever get mad at that?

Rubus is still like a fluffy cotton ball with sparkling decoration around the edges.

Just close your eyes for a second and remember little Rubus trying to jump up and get prey and now look. Snatching it right out of the parent’s beak!

Diamond slept on the edge of the scrape box for part of the night departing sometime after 0100 to go up to the top of the tower.

The nest with prey delivery problems is Port Lincoln and that is because of the weather. The forecast is for rain and wind on Monday and Tuesday.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care everyone…and remember to work on your Bird Names Alphabet. I cannot wait to see all of the names you come up with! See you soon.

Thank you to The Guardian, Suzanne Arnold Horning for her photographs of Big Red’s family including the phenomenal beauty, L4, Ferris Akel’s Tours, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Godwits, owls, fireworks, and Aussie raptors…early Saturday in Bird World

29 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It was so nice to hear from so many of you. I am glad you enjoyed seeing some of the feathered friends at my local zoo. I have not been there for years and it was simply a delight to see how zoo management has changed. One of the big features is our Polar Bear Conservation Project. Children love them. The place was packed – that made me happy but, I wish more people would sit and watch the birds and not be so attracted to what they are told is exotic – aka, ‘the tiger’.

Making News:

Alaska to Tasmania in one 13,000 km epic journey?! It seems a Godwit has set a new record!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/godwit-migration-alaska-tasmania-record-1.6632658?fbclid=IwAR2Sq0cOfXqg3aJDFCdwk02a4ZkWRKpMZ9_tHLeMxImoeezDPpPXmrKjc5s

A wee owl being attacked by seagulls 100 miles out to see in Scotland was saved! This is a make you feel good read.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-63425826?fbclid=IwAR0vCiStXvVZWRNQl8sHjNA4faCQIeJ2Uob9VjW7gXlChlEWS95wSej_ZZU

Please don’t put all your leaves into bags. If you must, rake them and put them in a pile, Lovely Greens made this great poster to remind us that it is better for the birds if you just leave the leaves! Look at all the wonderous creates that will thank you.

The Kakapo Recovery Group – those great people that monitor, care for, assess, and generally make sure that as many of these critically endangered non-flying parrots live – have opened up adoptions for the next year. I can say as someone who waited too long – if you are intending to make a donation to the Kakapo by adopting one of the birds, do it now! Don’t wait. My Kakapo lives in one of my huge plants, often hiding, just like the real ones.

If you are looking to help out other wildlife groups or nature centres, many are busy making money selling their annual calendars now. Check out the individual websites.

Checking on the Australian Nests:

The takings at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest would not win any awards today. It is now 2100 on the Canadian Prairies on Friday night and it is 12:17 in Port Lincoln. There have been two deliveries: 061847 and 093829. Both were small! And I do mean small. The first appeared to be a chunk of fish and the second was simply a teaser. Let us hope something bigger comes on the nest soon. Still, it has been pleasant and that is fantastic.

Another fish, a little larger, came in at 131223. Big got the lion’s share of this fish. Middle is hungry and was doing a bit of snatch and grab but at 1315, Middle pulled away as if he was afraid Big would attack. Big continued to eat and at 1324, Big took the tail and ate it. This nest needs 2 big fish to come on it. Middle will be fine but both Middle and Mum need to eat, too.

Middle pulls away. He has had some bites but Big had domineered the feeding.

Middle watches Big eat the fish tail.

I don’t know if anything could get cuter than the antics of Rubus and Indigo. Particularly when prey is delivered. The pair of them seem to go after Xavier much more than Diamond – jumping, and pulling, and trying to take the prey out of Dad’s beak. I wonder if Xavier and Diamond have noticed that it is double the work taking care of these two than it was when they had only Yurruga last year or Izzi in 2020? Mind you those two were a little like energetic Rubus!

This scrape is the real winner in terms of prey deliveries. They had six deliveries yesterday of which 5 were Starlings. Today, there have been three deliveries already – a Starling at 060733, a parrot at 063831, and a Noisy Friar at 091333.

Here is a video of the earlier feeding:

It is getting much more difficult to tell when the Melbourne Four have been fed. They had a whole pigeon early and if you rewind you will not see any feedings. Still it is 1300 and, based on past performance, we know that the adults would have been in with prey. The sun is shining and so far there is no rain falling.

There is some serious concern over the Mum at 367 Collins Street. She was abruptly woken last evening and flew off the perch at 213426 and has not returned. It sounded to me like it was people partying in the CBD. Were there fireworks set off? Was it the Spring Carnival Fireworks? If that is truly the case, this is a very good reason not to have fireworks! It definitely disturbs the wildlife! I hope that Mum is perched somewhere safe. If you live in Melbourne and know what was happening around this time in the CBD, please send me a comment. Thank you!

‘H’ caught it all on video. Thank you ‘H’ for alerting me to this happening and creating this video for us. It is much appreciated. There are falcon sounds coming from the ledge above a few minutes later.

Continuing with the loud noises that happen when there are big gatherings, dozens of people were treated for cardiac arrest in Halloween celebrations last night. Perhaps it is time for civic leaders to recognize the harm to all by loud surprising noises bouncing off of tall buildings in urban spaces.

All of the Bald Eagles in the US are building their nests or renovating their old nests. Sometimes hearing that Xavier brought in another Starling can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. So ‘A’ and I have come up with something that we hope is fun and helps oil everyone’s brain! ‘A’ began making a list of the names of streaming cam birds that correspond to the alphabet. Then she sent it to me. Oh, it was fun trying to remember all the names and clear up the few missing bits. So, we both thought you might enjoy it, too. So, get a sheet of digital or real paper, get out your pen or your keyboard and put down all the letters of the alphabet. Then start adding the names of the birds next to them. Let’s give ourselves until Midnight Wednesday 2 November -CDT. I will give you a count down so you remember. I will post the results as soon as I can collate all of them. You can send them to me via e-mail: maryasteggles@outlook.com

To get you started. Can you think of a female Peregrine Falcon living at The Campanile whose name starts with an A. It is ____________________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy!

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being here with me. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or their streaming cams where my screen captures came from: ‘H’ for her alert and video of 367 Collins, ‘A’ for her fun game idea, Lovely Gardens, CBC Canada, BBC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Kakapo Recovery, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.