Oh, Gabby, oh…Saturday in Bird World

2 December 2023

Good Morning!

I had a couple of conversations with an individual from the Bay Area in California on Friday. Our weather in Winnipeg is -1, with a low of -7 C. It is warm compared to when I moved to the Canadian Prairies – or that is my memory. Having far too many -30 or -35 C days was not unusual then. To stay warm, we dress for the cold, and our houses usually have double (double glazing) and triple-pane windows (triple glazing) with good insulation. I was asked what is the average temperature in December and I had to go and check. It is -8 for a high and -15 C for a low currently.

Dyson was in the table feeder eating yesterday. Oh, how I love that squirrel. I often miss her. She was really enjoying the solid nut block. And that nice thick fur for winter. Fantastic.

Little Red was back in the lilacs foraging on the ground along with eons of Sparrows. The European Starlings are here and I heard the Pileated Woodpecker but did not see it. What amazes me are the Chickadees that flit back and forth from a spruce tree across the road to the feeders in the coldest of weather. Each girl loves to watch them from the conservatory. Hope also jumps up and down trying to catch the birds on her bird TV programmes. It is so funny. She is a clone of Mamma.

When Calico came into our lives, I dismantled my old office for her. This meant that about three thousand books (yes, academics are book collectors) got put on temporary bookcases. Lately I have been wondering why the glass of the Japanese prints was so dirty and why the frames were always crooked in the morning. Now, I have my answer. Hope likes to walk and leap at them during the late night partying. I will be so glad to have those books back in their right spot.

Hope. Everything starts to happen around 2130 at night!

Missey continues to work on the twinkle tree. It is looking a little bedraggled with the branches pulled this way and that, too.

The girls are great. They have been doing their usual thing – Hope wants to watch the bird videos but sometimes excepts an old BritBox mystery. Calico eats and sleeps waking up around 2130 to wrestle with Hope and run over the house. Missey loves to play with Hope and both have once again, been around the twinkle tree.

I sound like a broken record, but every time I scratch Calico under her chin and she begins to purr or rolls over on her back for more, I melt. Cannot imagine her out in the cold.

Hope is very long. You can just see that little scab that is bothering me at the site of her incision. Talk about being a worried human Mamma!

I caught Missey as she came leaping to the top of a chair to get away form Hope.

The girls do not know it, but we are on the countdown to the little brother’s arrival. Like the eggs at Superbeaks, it is less than a week away. Will his name be Duncan after so many people, including my dad? Or Duncan Lewis, whose empathy saved the chimps? There are many more environmentalists. Or will it wind up being Hugo? All I know is that he must love people and want to snuggle! And not let these three older sisters intimidate him. He should be OK on that front. He was one of 7 kittens, all female, but he was born to a very tiny little kitten named Eva, young like Calico. I wish I could take her, too, but four is the maximum along with the outdoor kitties.

I am happy to say that ‘A’ is back with us. She kept good eyes on the Australian nests for me today while I spoke with folks in California about a podcast interview. I’ll let you know more about that at a later date. It is so nice to have ‘A’ back and to hear that things are going well in Melbourne.

‘A’ brings us really good news from Sydney and the Parramatta River: “December 1: both adults were at River Roost early, on separate branches, grooming then duetting. Juvenile was behind in the mangroves, out of sight but heard. The adults then moved together, duetting, with juvenile still noisy too. Later around 11am, parent delivered a fish at RR, eaten by juvenile. There was some disturbance over the wetlands with helicopter circling for mosquito control. Later in the afternoon around 5pm our juvenile was seen flying around & behind Mangrove Island Wonderful to see her flying so strongly and coping with a few chasers.

As I keep saying, this must be a joy to Lady and Dad as well – the very first time they have had the chance to do this with one of their eaglets. I am incredibly sad, and to be honest a little surprised, that only one of our juveniles appears to have made it, but considering the sad history of this nest, this is truly an achievement to celebrate.”

‘A’ reflects on Port Lincoln – its official report and her thoughts: “Breakfast is currently underway at Port Lincoln (10:30am local time) – the fish fairies arrived early this morning. Fran says mum picks the boat up from a mile away and goes to her ‘fish fairy perch’ and escorts them in. I wonder whether the osplets will be so familiar with the fish fairies that they see them as sources of food and are more likely to approach them than fludge! That would be interesting. But of course they won’t risk that and will cease the fish deliveries after they band the osplets.I remain extremely worried about what happens then. Two fully feathered osplets, not quite ready to fledge, on a nest where the parents bring in perhaps one fish a day, two at most. Imagine the incredible tragedy of losing them at that stage. We have about a week, 10 days at most probably, before we find out. I am apprehensive in the extreme.”

This was a really early delivery. Will we hope that Mum or Dad go out fishing later? Looks as if nothing is left on the nest for a bedtime snack.

Both osplets are working on their self-feeding, two different styles. Giliath stands up and #2 likes to eat duckling style.

Ervie has found a very special place to go fishing…he has progressed from those early puff fish to abalone! Do you wonder if either of the osplets from this season will fish for puffers? And don’t you just miss seeing Ervie on that nest. If I close my eyes, I can still see him flying in with a puffer stuck to his talons – a talon missing – and him munching away. What a wonderful osprey he is!

At Orange, ‘A’ remarks: “The sole surviving juvenile at Orange is doing well this morning. It has been spotted chasing its parents and on the tower roof. Cilla has taken a video – I will send it as soon as it is uploaded to the info section below the live stream. The weather has cleared up in Orange today and it looks like a lovely day. “

The biggest news with the Bald Eagles is what is going on at NorthEast Florida. V3 was a little late to come to the nest. In flew, A1 and him and Gabby got a little friendly. Will this turn out to be a threesome like the Trio on the Minneapolis Flyway? Does Gabby mate with A1 and has his eaglets raised by V3? Is Gabby not fertile yet? Will V3 get the boot? It really is ‘As the Nest Turns’ and I thought things had quieted down this year.

Wow. What an expression. It reminds me of individuals who ride bucking horses in the American and Canadian rodeos. You can tell A1 from V3 if you can get a chance to look at their talons. A1 has quite a number of black lesions just like one of the females after M15 last year.

V3 flies in a few minutes later to his branch and Gabby doesn’t say a word. “Oh, it has been a very quiet morning, dear.”

Bella and the new young male are still together.

Finally some Osprey action at Captiva!

A juvenile at the Osprey House nest enjoying its fish.

Missed the California Condor Rookie Release? Here you go!

News coming from Kahui and Hob Osterlund and the Laysan Albatross. Thanks, Holly!

When I continue to talk about how much politics is mixed up with the health of raptors in the grouse moor estates, here is a good read for those who do not understand why this issue is not going away. Why it is important to get a sound law and why it is important to make sure that unbiased individuals enforce it. Unbelievable.

Last, please do not purchase any bird seed this season in the mesh holders. You can help stop their use by refusing to purchasing and telling the shop owners to stop buying them for sale. You can also tell them why. Our nature centre had these monstrous things last year! At the same time, it is just as dangerous to purchase fruit and veg in these bags. They go to the landfill and it is there that all manner of birds get tangled in them. You must cut them up finely.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning as we wait…to see what will happen at the NEFlorida, for the eggs to hatch at Superbeaks and then elsewhere. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A’, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF Deb Stecyk, HeidiMc Osprey House, Holly Parsons, Ventana Wildlife, Raptor Persecution UK, and Robin Sitka.

Friday in Bird World

1 December 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is going to be another -1 day tomorrow. It is not 00:39 and is only -5C. Wow. We have had some lovely weather albeit damp to the bone. That I do not like. It reminds me of my first December living in the UK. Frozen. Wet.

The girls were not impressed with the electrician working on the thermostat for the floor heating in the conservatory. It meant that they could not be in their favourite room for part of the day. Wish I could have understood the ‘cat’ talk! They all found places to sleep to wait it out.

Precious Hope aka ‘Bushy Tail’. Oh, I thought something had happened to her incision. It looked like dried blood. Geemeff calmed me down by mentioning a ‘scab’. Hope is ravenous and back to herself in terms of eating and playing. She has been batting at my hands this evening wanting more treats. She has now learned to eat fast so that Mamma will not come and eat her food and goodies. What a girl. Oh, do I adore her. Feeling blessed every day having them in my life. It is now 15 days after her surgery.

Mamma on her favourite hard chair – she beat Missey to get to it. Missey found a really secret spot and I could not find her for a photo.

‘The Boyfriend’ came around for some dinner. The deck is getting a good cleaning this weekend, and he will have a permanent feeding station with a nice roof – big enough that he can go in and out and his food will stay dry.

There is not much going on in Bird World. When those eaglets start hatching, things will pick up, but that is a few weeks away. (I am looking forward to Osprey season, which is even further away….grrrrr). Until then, my blog will likely be shorter than normal. I will try to hit on the new events or changes with comments on the Australian nests until we have some eagle hatches. Superbeaks is a week away.

At the NTCT nest of Bella, the new young male and her have bonded and are working on the nest. Smitty has not been seen since 21 September. That is now two months and a week. Bella has moved on.

What will happen at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and V3 is entirely unclear. There were no eggs last year and this was believed to be because of the turmoil surrounding the territorial dispute and which male would take Samson’s place. So far, we have not seen V3 and Gabby bond on camera, but this does not mean they haven’t. I do find it a bit unusual, however.

Don’t begin to think of eaglets at SW Florida til after the 24th/25th of December. We are a ways away. Superbeaks is first with Muhlady and Pepe, then we have Alex and Andria at KNF-E3, and Connie and Clive at Captiva.

As far as I know, no new eggs have been laid at the other Bald Eagle nests. Please feel free to send me any news!

At Port Lincoln, Mum had the Trevally out and fed the chicks and herself early in the morning. Then, as I understand it, Dad came and took the fish and appeared to have lost it. It was a huge, beautiful fish. It would have kept them going for the morning and spread out the feedings. Remember that ringing is less than a week away – December 8. #2 will get its name, and we will hear the measurements. Remember. Measurements are not a firm determinant of gender. Calypso was deemed to be a female. Calypso turns out to be a female!

Gosh, these two are gorgeous. Imagine. We are nearing fledge.

The fish fairy arrived at 16:30. Everyone was hungry! (What impact, if any, does having only one meal a day or two have on feather development etc? Will there be stress lines? There has been no indication of the birds being stressed and their plumage looks good but, we often think of osplets having 5 or 6 meals a day -).

There are still fish left for later. This is fantastic.

Look at those wings.

This video of the juvenile from two days ago. ‘H’ found Cilla’s response, “FalconCam: Regarding the identification of the peregrine fledgling that landed on the tower roof next to the lightning rod on 11/30, Cilla stated:  “I’m not convinced either way. We are hoping it will come to the box where it is easy to measure it.”  She added:  “It is a very frequent occurrence that fledglings don’t make it past the first few weeks while learning to fly.  They are prone to crashes into telegraph wires, windows, buildings, treetops, etc”

A mystery at The Campanile is solved – our two favourite falcons on the UC-Berkeley Campus, Annie and Lou.

There is good news coming from various countries and agencies about the moves to protect wildlife and try and stop human destruction in all its forms.

Flamingos are receiving protection, “On their long-striving strolls through the wide wetlands of the Doñana, the flamingos can hopefully take their bath in peace again. The Spanish and Andalucian governments finally came to terms and signed a joint agreement to abolish destructive agriculture methods, as well as to invest 1.4 billion Euros to support sustainable farming in the region of Doñana.”

The Grouse Moor licensing bill in Scotland has passed its first reading.

Gannets ‘ foraging patterns indicate changes due to climate. What other birds might use adaptive techniques?

Wow. Just had to post this. An osprey light!!!! Goodness. Someone was talented.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H’, Superbeaks, NCTC, Deb Stecyk, NEFL-AEF, SWFlorida Eagle Cam, PLO, Liznm, SK Hideaways, Birdlife International, Raptor Persecution UK, BTO, and Marisa Macfarlane.

Connick will go to the Smithsonian…Wednesday in Bird World

29 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Everything is just fine in Cat World. The girls had to be separated because the electrician came to work on the heating in the conservatory. Calico had been snippy yesterday, and I wondered how she would be after I opened the door. The three had their chicken dinner, and Missey settled in Calico’s chair for a nice after-supper nap. Calico went over and noticed where Missey was, and I held my breath. Then Calico proceeded to go to another chair, which was softer actually. Hope went on her little placemat, and the world smiled. I felt proud of my girls and much relieved.

Everyone says it is making sure there are enough places to nap, enough places to get up high, enough spots to hide, toys, cuddles and food – oh, yes, and litter boxes. Well, the three have lots of choices. Anyone visiting me would notice two things – an enormous amount of books and the house being more or less a kitty daycare. So, hopefully, that will do it.

Geemeff came through for me when Calico had her surgery with the suggestion of an antiseptic cream and using olive oil to keep the area moist enough so that the skin did not get taut while healing. It sure worked. Calico never licked, and she healed up nicely. Today, Geemeff suggested Omega 3 oil for Calico and her arthritis. We are going to go for it and see if it will help. So reluctant to put any of them through a visit to the vet after seeing how traumatised Hope was.

Tonight, the profile of a rabbit eating under the feeders was seen. Thank goodness for a nearly full moon. Oh, it is terrific. Not all of them have been killed by cars or cats.

There is not much time to sit! And we saw the rabbit when we were getting ready for storytime. These girls know everything that happens in the garden. Nothing slips past them! They are enjoying The Meaning of Geese the second time around. Like a good film or book, what you miss the first time is often revealed the second. I would love to be on a bicycle going around Norfolk looking for Pink-footed geese.

A few seconds before, Hope was trying to get in the basket with Calico. She does not realise how big she is! On Saturday, Hope will be 5 months old.

Oh, and one last thing. Remember I purchased some bird seed specific for Blue Jays (Sparrows eat anything)? Junior, the Dad, had been the only one at the table feeder. It seemed that all the others had migrated as many do. Well, I looked out this morning, and there was Junior and the baby of the summer’s clutch! That baby nestled with the two little clay bird figurines on the deck looks the same, just bigger. So happy to see it, along with over 35 Starlings and possibly 100 Sparrows. I did not get a photograph of the two jays…maybe today. But it was priceless to see the two.

‘H’ was busy keeping me up to date today. Thank you! She sent the first item. The big news of the day comes out of Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey. Our friend, Lisa, mentioned earlier in the year that it was planned that Connick would be released in the summer. Then there were issues with a couple of his feathers. It turns out that Connick would not have been able to live in the wild – he will always have feather growth problems. So, Connie and Clive’s 2022 hatch from Captiva will spend the rest of his life as an ambassador at the Smithsonian.

Secondly, ‘H’ solved my riddle of what the acronym MW at Orange stood for – and then SP sent me an entire listing of acronyms used at Orange. I know she will not mind my sharing! Perhaps some of you are as baffled as I am – and do not have time to spend on chat sorting these out. So grateful. Thanks, H and SP!

Acronyms from SP:

“SP = short pole on the slant of the roof by the hatch window

LR = lightning rod

MW = round microwave communications dish

MWB = MW bracket

LHC = left-hand corner of roof top”

Photo of MW with explanations and falcon from ‘H’:

Gris grabbed a screen capture of a juvenile on the LHC (?).

Holly Parsons grabbed a screen capture of a juvenile flying by Xavier sitting on the ledge. We know there is one juvenile still in the territory. It is believed to be Barru. There have not been two juveniles seen ‘together’. Because banding has never been approved for this research project, it is impossible to tell if there is only one or two. That said, it is reassuring to see one flying so well. That is a feat getting to the top of that tower. Perhaps soon they will be in the scrape. Wouldn’t that be grand? Screaming for prey like Izzi?

It is nearing noon and Mum and Giliath and #2 (gosh, it will be exciting to find out its name) are waiting for some fish.

It is nearing 1530 and still no fish. Janet Forster has just posted on chat that the fish are being weighed. It won’t be long Mum!

The weather has not been good for some days with wind and choppy water making it difficult for Dad to fish – and maybe even the fairies.

The fairy arrives! Will promise not to mention it too many more times, but I would like you to contemplate what would have happened to these two beautifully feathered and unique osplets without the supplemental fish.

Chicks pancaked as the fairy approaches.

V3 and Gabby were working away at their nest. They are a gorgeous couple. Let’s hope there are well fed eaglets on this nest for our darling Gabby this year.

M15 is taking very good care of F23. We would expect nothing less.

Tired F23.

So, so tired from laying that second egg. Dear F23. I have been busy with many things the last few days, but I have heard no news of GHOs. I shouldn’t say anything, but did I miss something?

At the WRDC, Rose is getting serious.

Pepe and Muhlady were the first to lay their eggs and today, we are only 8 days away from hatch!

The rangers at the Kisatchie National Forest are getting excited as are all the fans. Waiting for Louis and Anna to provide some eggs for that nest – Alex and Andria thankfully laid theirs early so that we will be able to completely enjoy and learn as we watch the eaglets develop.

Thunder and Akecheta were at there nest today working away!

Wow. Liberty and Guardian were both at the Redding, California Bald Eagle nest on Tuesday.

Jackie and Shadow visited the nest to move some sticks and then went to perch together on the Roost Tree. Jackie appears to have a full crop, while Shadow seems to have some prey blood on his beak. It could be the camera angle and my poor eyes – still hoping they both had a lovely meal before settling down for the night.

For Royal Cam Watchers, if you missed the news, here it is again. Video below.

Tumanako is home and looking for a mate. Will this former Royal Cam chick become a dad this season?

Kakapo might not be able to fly, but they are sure causing issues for those trying to contain them in the nature area in New Zealand! We are always reading about how smart our feathered friends are. This is very interesting – figuring out how to evade the fence!

When thinking about end-of-the-year donations, do not overlook some of those rehabbers who depend on donations and volunteers to save our wildlife, including many of the raptors that we grow to love.

A recent rescue form one of my favourite rehabbers in the US, A Place Called Hope.

If I were that squirrel, I would have been terrified.


This monstrous thing is a pole trap that was baited. There are times that I simply cannot stop fantasising about using them on the people who set them. They cause such harm (mental and physical) and death to our beloved wildlife in them.

One person commented, “The use of the pole trap was prohibited ONE HUNDRED and NINETEEN years ago. There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to possess one and as we clearly cannot trust those who do, it’s time their possession became a crime.”

The problem is complex. These hunting estates are enormous. Even if not on a hunting estate, the natural areas are vast and difficult to monitor. Then there is a judicial system that is often part of the group that frequents the hunting parties on some of the estates. At what point will killing animals stop? In the last series of The Crown, Prince William bags his buck and gets bloodied. Everyone is proud and pleased. It is those hunting traditions traced back hundreds and hundreds of years that need to come tumbling down. Will the Scottish government pass the necessary legislation? Are people sick to their stomachs about reading about another endangered species being killed? (Here I am thinking of the recent Golden Eagle…it is time to stop.)

The whole story.

How are nature and our beloved wildlife and the climate crisis linked together?


I stare at nests around my neighbourhood. Maybe this will help me figure out who made them!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘EJ, Geemeff, H, SP’, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Gris Adriana, PLO, NEFL-AEF, Trish Rawlings, HeidiMc, Superbeaks, US Forestry Service, FORE, FOBBV, Gracie Shepherd, Lady Hawk, Holly Parsons, Kakapo Recovery, APCH, Outdoors.com, Raptor Persecution UK, The Guardian, and Audubon Vermont.

SW Florida gets its second egg…Tuesday in Bird World

28 November 2023

Hello Everyone,

It was a crisp -15 this morning and has warmed to a balmy -10 C. The sky is ‘baby blue’, and the European Starlings have filled the bare branches of the lilacs. A new seed – especially for Jays – has massively attracted the Starlings.

The girls are napping after lunch. They have a pattern. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Then 2130 comes, and it is ‘party’ time.

I am going to put this right up front. Many of you are living in areas where it is getting cold. The mice are coming in. Lots will decide to poison them. Please don’t. There are many reasons, and here is one recent study that might help you convince others not to use poison. I had a darling, sweet three-year-old cat that I had raised on a bottle die from eating a mouse that had consumed poison in one of my neighbour’s houses or sheds. It is a tragic way for any animal to die.

SW Florida’s M15 and his new mate F23 have their second egg right on schedule. Now the two can begin hard incubation and we might be expecting a New Year’s baby!

The Pritchett’s will post the official time.

SK Hideaways caught the joyous occasion on video.

Checking the nest at Pittsburgh-Hays, Mum and the new male.

V3 delivered a food gift to Gabby. Well done you! But, if you were watching, V3 finally ate the squirrel.

Too funny not to include!

Eagle at Redding bringing in sticks….

Meanwhile in Louisiana, eggs are being rolled at the KNF-E3 nest of Alex and Andria.

Nine more days til hatch at Superbeaks. Gosh don’t you wish that cam was fixed just a little different for that side view? I can’t imagine only watching the tops of their heads.

It was a warm day for Connie and Clive at Captiva.

It was a bright day in Iowa with the snow still clinging to the ground and the nest at Decorah North.

It is chucking down rain in Port Lincoln, South Australia.

The rain appears to have stopped or slowed down at Port Lincoln.

Getting stronger on those legs, and look at how much those tail feathers have grown. 959 people watching. Fish fairies can be lucrative in the sense that any funds generated go directly back into the project which is fantastic – new platforms, satellite trackers, and fish!

At Orange, chat mentioned that a juvenile was seen flying at 08:32:51 to the MW (I haven’t got a clue what that refers to).

Diamond watching from the scrape.

Cilla made a video with music of a juvenile chasing Diamond at the tower. Oh, how grand.

Rohan Geddes got some shots of our White-bellied Sea Eagle juvie yesterday. Nice flying.

The two osplets at Osprey House really go after the fish when Dad arrives. It is a wonder he has any talons left.

Raising condors to save the species.

Looking at this lovely Condor baby! A little bit bigger than Hope but doing the same thing – following Mamma and copying her.

Ospreys in Spain in the winter. The Biosphere at Urdaibai.

Golden Eagle believed to have come to harm — another beaten grouse hunting estate. It is time this stopped. Can a bill – the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill – be passed in Scotland and not be watered down so that the culprits continue to get by with this senseless killing? Or will the bill get passed, and then the penalties for continuing to kill the birds be so small that it is laughable, and the gamekeepers will continue to stomp on chicks and shoot these beautiful adult raptors? Despicable. While leaf blowers get my friend ‘R’ really worked up, the stomping of chicks in a ground nest and the unnecessary shooting of raptors or the mass killing of ducks and geese at ponds makes my blood boil.

Just look at that beautiful eagle.

That missing Golden Eagle was discovered to be from a very important estate in Scotland.

Sharon Dunne brings us news from the Royal Albatross Colony.

Looking for some new nature books? Mark Avery just published Stephen Moss’s list for 2023. Have a look. You might find something interesting. Many of the books that I love have been recommended by Avery. This is my first time to see Moss’s list.

These are the 47 books and their reviews of Avery during 2023. The Meaning of Geese continues to be one of my all-time favourite reads of this year, alongside The Comfort of Crows.

Pink-footed geese are part of the flocks that Nick Acheson so desperately wants to see in Norfolk. And just look at this:

How many of you have that ‘bucket list’? Or do you have a Copy of 1000 places to visit before you die? I have only two events on my bucket list – to see the ospreys fly over Cuba near Manzanillo in the mountains during migration and to travel to Norfolk and see the geese before the climate changes so much. They stop spending the winter in the UK. Perhaps next year for both!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care. Look forward to having you with me again soon.

I wish to thank the following for their notes, articles, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H’, Tufts Now, Carol Martucci Smith, SK Hideaways, PIX Cams, NEFL-AEF, FORE, KNF-E3, Superbeaks, Window to Wildlife, Raptor Resource Project, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Osprey House, USFWS, Tim Huntington, Alan Petrie, Geemeff, Sharon Dunne, Rohan Geddes, Carol Shores Rifkin, Mark Avery, and Jake Fiennes.

Eagles are busy…Sunday in Bird World

26 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that you had a chance to get out for some time and enjoy yourself. Breathe in the fresh air and listen to some birds! It was nippy in Winnipeg. No snow but a crisp wind. So, keeping the vow to continue ‘moving’, I headed off to Assiniboine Park to the recently opened Leaf.

But before we get to the Leaf, awhile ago, I mentioned leaf blowers. My friend ‘R’ explained to me – the choir – how much he dislikes them. ‘R’, you are not alone! As the girls and I neared the end of The Comfort of Crows, Renkl’s chapter ‘How to Rake Leaves On a Windy Day’, reminded me of that conversation with R. She says, “Leaf blowers are like giant whining insects that have moved into your skull. They are swarming behind your eyes, drilling down Ito your teeth. Leaf blowers have ruined autumn with their Insistent drone and their noxious fumes, and they are everywhere. You may believe it is futile to resist then, but you can resist them. In almost every situation where something is loud, obnoxious, and seemingly ubiquitous, resistance is an option. Head to the toolshed in your backyard and fiddle with the rusty padlock until it finally yields. Reach into the corner where you keep the shovel and the posthole digger and the pruning shears. From that jumble of wonderful tools requiring no gasoline, pull out a rake…Leave the leaves lie everywhere it is possible to let the leaves lie. You aren’t trying for clean lines; you are trying only to pacify the angry neighbour who complained because some of your leaves blew into their yard. Leave the leaves in the flower beds. Leave them close to the house…When the birds return in springtime, these insects will be a feast for their nestlings. Whatever it might feel like on a damp November day, remind yourself that spring is coming.” She continues, “The leaves you let sit today will colder and rot through the winter, generating their own heat and protecting large trees and small creatures alike. Think of your desultory raking as a way to feed the trees, as an investment in an urban forest. If your neighbour complains again, tell them that you are feeding their trees.”…”Before you go inside, take a leaf into your head. Put it on your desk or next to your bed. Keep it nearby, through whatever troubles the long winter brings. It will help you remember that nothing is truly over. It will help you remember what the wind always teaches us in autumn: that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there”. (241-43)

Moving to another Leaf.

So, today we are going to start off with something different. I am going to take you for a walk around The Leaf. It is at our zoo!

This is the Parks Department description of the four areas inside the glass building with some commentary running through by yours truly.

Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome

Visitors become immersed in the warmth and vibrancy of the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome, where exotic plants and a balmy environment creates an oasis, particularly during the winter months. This rainforest-like paradise is brimming with tropical plants, bold textures and lush green colours. The largest of The Leaf’s planted spaces; it is home to Canada’s tallest indoor waterfall, a peaceful koi pond, and lush plant material from tropical regions of the world.

It was hot! Thank goodness the reception area recommended that everyone remove their heavy winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves! People were happy, enjoying themselves. Looking at wonderful or sitting in quiet contemplation.

There was a time when everyone seemed to have a Prayer Plant in their collection of house plants.

Some of the very best Cacao I have ever tasted comes from the island of Grenada where my son lives. Deep, rich, and earthy chocolate.

The Chinese Hat Plant.

The Koi seem to have a wondrous pond.

Mediterranean Biome

The Mediterranean Biome is home to plants from regions known for their superb fruits, fine wines and abundant crops. Visitors are surrounded by plant life from climatic zones characterized by moist, cool winters and hot, dry summers including Greece and Italy, as well as South Africa, South West Australia, Central Chile and California. This biome hosts a memorable mosaic of colour, texture and fragrance that reaches its peak during the winter months. A welcoming seating area invites visitors to relax and enjoy the sights and smells of these fascinating plants. 

This area turned out to be my favourite because it was cooler than the Tropical area and also because they had the plants identified more clearly. As you enter, there was a long area (see below) of the herbs that grew so well in my garden this past summer – thyme, rosemary, mint.

What a gorgeous hibiscus this was. The one I have in the house – that goes in and out during the seasons – is pink. You can collect the flowers and make a very nice Hibiscus syrup or I have often added them to cakes – tiny chopped up bits of Hibiscus.

There are two other areas. One is a place for special floral displays and the other is the butterfly garden.

No one saw a single butterfly in the Butterly Garden. There are rumours that they flew out of the building by accident in the early fall. Perhaps, the call of migration was powerful.

The flower area was small but pretty. Would love to see it lit up at night!

It was a very nice afternoon.

We continue to wait to hear if little Greyish is available. We are approved for adoption but…the girls have slept most of the day. I caught Hope licking her incision. That is bad but, there is no way that she will wear a cone and unlike her Mamma, Calico, she will not let me get near enough to put antiseptic cream on the incision and olive oil. The trip to the vet caused her to go back weeks in terms of socialisation. It really did scare the wits out of her. Next time, when she needs her booster shots (in 3 weeks), the mobile vet will come to the house. The need for some cream on that tummy might mean that I have to toss the blanket on her and grab…I try not to do that because it is also stressful but, there is no way she is going to get an infection!!!!!!!!!

M15 got to see the first egg for him and F23. Today, he was caught bringing in a huge stick. He is going to make sure these babies do not fall out of that nest!

I know that each and every one of you is thrilled that M15 is going to get a chance to be a Dad again.

Pa Berry and Missey are working hard on their nest. Is it possible they could be next?

Gabby and V3 seem to have lined the entire nest with Spanish Moss. Just look at it. Think comfy. Now…let’s talk eggs.

There is good news coming from ND-LEEF. Lovely to see both Dad and the new female at the nest!

Looking for treats at Eagle Country…

Happy to see some stick moving at the nest of Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear on Saturday. Always good to see one or both at the nest.

Good night, Anna, and your two precious eggs at Kisatchie National Forest E-3.

Good night, Connie, at Captiva.

Good night, Muhlady. Just think. We are 12 days away from hatch!

At the NCTC nest of Bella and Smitty, Smitty has not been seen on the nest for 66 days – since 21 September. Feeling so sad for Bella. This nest has attracted many intruders with physical injuries over the past few years.

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation held its eagle count and the total was 1066 Bald Eagles. Wow.

Just look at the geese in New Jersey near the Barnegat Light Osprey nest! Oh, goodness. I would love to be there to listen to all their honking – or just to see them. I miss all the migrants once they leave Canada for their warmer winter homes.

Kestrels renewing their pair bonds in Germany.

The water at Port Lincoln looks quite calm. Mum and chicks are waiting for fish! Sometimes it seems that the life of a raptor is simply that – a life of waiting. Waiting for eggs to be laid, incubation, waiting for fish deliveries…waiting for it all to begin again.

The Fish Fairy arrives and saves the day with three fish. We get to see Giliath self feeding! They are growing up fast. Remember 8 December (that is Australian calendar/time) will be ringing, weighing, and putting on trackers. #2 will get its name.

Heidi Mc caught the fledgling/juvenile of Diamond and Xavier and its aborted landing in the scrape yesterday for us in video.

Falco, the Eurasian owl who escaped from the Central Park Zoo nine months ago, has made The Guardian in a story questioning whether or not the owl can survive in the Big Apple.

Sadly, Glaslyn has lost one of its oldest female Ospreys. Blue 8C was the daughter of Ochre 11 (98), the last chick from the original male of the translocation project. Blue 8C fledged from Rutland at 53 days on the 8th of July 2014. She was almost ten years old when Jean-Marie Dupart found her injured, and when he returned to the beach area where she was to retrieve her, she had died. Condolences. She knew her route well between the UK and Senegal…so sad to hear of her passing.

One lucky falcon. So many injuries, rescues, and will be free again soon. Magnificent.

The crimes against raptors in the UK are largely linked to the large land estates associated with shooting parties. Will a younger generation turn on this medieval tradition amongst the aristocratic classes?

A fun bird fact from ‘J’ today:

Roger Tory Peterson’s first painting was of a Blue Jay! And it was his favourite bird.
His seventh grade teacher brought a portfolio of The Birds of New York State by bird painter Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Each kid was given a small box of water colors and a color plate to copy. Peterson got the Blue Jay.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Enjoy your Sunday — or whatever day it feels like. When you are retired, the days roll into one another! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the comments, notes, videos, articles, screen captures, and posts that helped me to write my blog this morning: “J”, Margaret Renkl and her book, The Comfort of Crows, The Leaf, Janet Gray, Nancy Babineau, Berry College Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, Philippe Josse, Eagle Country, FOBBV, KNF-E3, Window to Wildlife, Superbeaks, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Conservancy of NJ, Michael Raege, The Guardian, Mary Cheadle and Jean-marie Dupart, Robin Stockfelt, and Raptor Persecution UK.

M15 and F23 – their first egg together!…Saturday in Bird World

25 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

So it is Superbeaks, Captiva, KNF-E3, and SWFlorida. Now that M15 and F23 have their first egg it might be that there will be a flurry of egg laying. Let’s see!

It was one of those coolish days on the Canadian Prairies – I did not venture much beyond the feeders and doing some much needed clean up around the woodbox and deck. The usual suspects showed up at the feeders including Dyson who spent much time munching away at Black Oil Seed.

It was so good to see Dyson.

One of Dyson’s kits came to the table feeder earlier. So cute.

It is always nice to see Junior. He will probably stay for the entire winter.

The girls are doing fine. Hope has started eating. She was always ravenous so to see her not excited about food bothered me. That said, she had to be eating as I saw her at the litter box so, the assumption is she ate when I was not looking, probably when it was dark. Always wondered what living in a dark place might do to her and Calico…at any rate, she had some White Fish just like the osplets and some roast chicken and all is right with the world. Must admit I shed a couple of tears of joy.

Sleepy head Hope.

And, oh. Do I see the reason that Hope was not tearing up the food dish?

The girls have applied to adopt a little brother. He was the only boy in a litter of seven! He was fostered in a home with children, older cats, and a dog. Fingers crossed. He is a cutie, and there could be many applications for him! (It took a while for us to decide, as Greyish will be the 4th and last addition to the brood. There are so many kittens needing homes….). Will keep you posted!

Now for some nests…

Many are spending their Friday night staring at the female, F23, on the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest.

There it is! I was not going to make the mistake of announcing an egg without seeing it!

M15 sees the egg.

I don’t know about you, but I teared up. After losing Harriet and raising 21 and 22 from the time they were a month old alone – a single dad – it is glorious to see that M15 will get to be a dad again with a new mate. Bravo. F23 is one lucky lady.

Many of the tributes to Samson came in after I posted my Friday blog. He was an amazing eagle and it is nice to remember him, even a day late.

We do know that some eagles just leave the nest without explanation. I often think of Ma Berry. She flew away from the nest with Pa and was seen with her distinctive leg at a lake in Alabama. My old falconer friend tells me all the time that the raptors are much more intelligent and communicate in ways that are ‘higher’ than humans. She says we ‘lost that ability’ – like telepathy. Some believe that Samson is still alive. Some stay until their chicks are old enough to be cared for by a single parent before they fly away. Harriet would have stayed if she could but many understand she waited, knowing she was sick, and left when she knew M15 could keep those kids of theirs alive – and he did. We will never know but if Samson is out there, he had his reasons for leaving. Gabby is moving on with V3.

Eagles were at Decorah North.

After 3 days away, Jolene has returned to Boone at the Johnson City Bald Eagle Nest in Eastern Tennessee.

If only humans were more like the Ospreys. It is estimated that North Americans waste as much as 40% of their food. Shame on us!

Mum did not waste a single flake of fish off the bone of the Trevally. She was up this morning finding anything she could on that bone to feed the osplets.

Still waiting for a breakfast delivery…

Gosh, they are cute! They are getting sooooooo big!

The fish fairy arrives with another huge Trevalley and a Red Mullet. Mum decides to go for the Mullet first!

Mark the date. Looks like banding will be 8 December. Both chicks will get a tracker!

Several people have written to me wondering if the Fish Fairy providing fish would prompt Dad not to go out and bring in the fish for the family. From past seasons and the beginning of this season, I will continue to suggest that the osplets on this nest are alive because of the Fish Fairy. Dad had several seizures on camera. We do not know how many off. It is possible that he is not 100%. His fishing attempts have been well below the norm but I cannot possibly tell you for sure why that is the case.

I have seen no new images from the Sydney Sea Eagles of either juvenile.

Xavier and Diamond were in the scrape. Rain has begun in Orange. I dislike rain so much with the juveniles but, at least, Barru (and maybe Marri) have had a chance to strengthen their flying before the downpours. Hoping to hear something of the fledgling but could not find a word today. Perhaps you have seen something?

And then, one of the fledglings made it to the box!

Xavier was in the nest box calling to the juvenile and flew out after it almost made it in…education falcon style! Captured by Holly Parsons.

When will it stop? Seriously. Isn’t it time to stand up for wildlife and end the aristocratic and royal practice of the beaten grouse hunts? Then we might see an end to the Hen Harriers and Eagles disappearing.

South Africa wants to save its Penguins.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, video clips, screen captures, streaming cams, and articles that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, Nancy Babineau, Terri Bayles, NEFL-AEF, Carol Shores Rifkin, Raptor Resource Project, Sara A, PLO, HeidiMc, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Helen Matcham, Holly Parsons, Raptor Persecution UK, and Hakai Magazine.

Friday in Bird World

24 November 2023

Hello Everyone,

There was some excitement in the garden mid-afternoon on Thursday. A small Sharp-shinned Hawk showed up on the post that Sharpie used to use when he hoped to grab a sparrow at the feeders. It is not a great image – taken with my phone. The branches are so bare. There is no place for a songbird to hide from the hawks so they fly away in a group as fast as they can when they know s/he is in the territory. This one has been coming for a few days, but this is the first time I have seen it. This is an Immature Northern.

Calico watching the hawk!

Hope is feeling better. She is looking out the glass door wanting out…how do you really stop them from running, and jumping and just being cats? One of their aunties asked about putting a cone on Hope…thankfully she has not been licking, but, like her mother, she fought that cone to the point that it was safer for her not to have her wearing it. She did lick the places on her legs where they were shaved for the IV. She is a sweet little thing…but ever so terrified. She played with me for quite some time this afternoon, but she is still quite nervous.

Hope wants to give you a ‘High Five’.

Missey has been a very bad influence on Hope. Last year the little twinkle tree had to be taken down because Lewis and Missey were eating the flocking off the branches. This year Missey has been doing that with reminders to stop. Still Hope saw and copied! Human children do this, too. As adults we have to be ever so careful.

Calico and Hope are so happy to be reunited after her absence. These two can never be separated. They share a traumatic bond – a young kitten having a single surviving kitten in a very dark place. The kitten lost for a week and then by a miracle, Hope finding where Calico was.

Wanting out to join the rest of the world!

Hope has been reminding everyone that there is a Green Friday. She is watching to ensure that I do not purchase anything on Friday, telling me we need nothing. The approach of Canada’s Green Friday reminded me of a woman I met in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics. She had owned a cafe, a cooking school, and a catering business in NYC. She was now enjoying her retired life. Over breakfast at a Hutong near the Drum and Bell Tower, I asked her what she was buying as a souvenir of her time. She smiled and said, “I spent the first 50 years of my life buying stuff, and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it!” That single statement had a profound impact on me. Instead, because cooking was her passion, she would go to a 15-course Palace-style meal, Ming Style. How appropriate. An experience. A memory.

Ferris Akel was on the Cornell Campus on Thursday and he spotted Big Red and Arthur. I cannot imagine anything more wonderful than seeing the two of them safe and sound on a November day.

Again, there is a lot of activity. The Port Lincoln osplets are getting such beautiful juvenile plumage and they continue to wait patiently for their breakfast to arrive.

Still waiting for fish. The cam operator gives us some gorgeous images of beautiful Mum.

13:11. I wonder when the fish fairy will arrive. Dad is on the ropes.

The fish fairy arrived at 14:16. It was one of those nicely prepared Trevallys with a secret Red Mullet tucked underneath – Mum’s favourite. Thank you FF and to all those who have caught and/or donated fish to keep these babies alive so they can fledge.

‘A’ reflects on Port Lincoln, “At Port Lincoln, the two osplets are just so gorgeous. I love how well they get on with one another and have come to the conclusion that they are both males – Giliath was just first-born and as greedy as most chicks. Barru is fast catching up to Giliath in terms of size. Both are very laid-back and have been pretty much the whole way through, even in the reptilian and itchy phases. Mum works so hard to feed her babies. She is such a good mum and really does seem to do her best to ensure she looks after both osplets. Don’t we just love a peaceful nest? The fish fairy has been such a boon, and doesn’t seem to have stopped either parent from fishing – she just brings in larger fish (those pre-sliced trevally are GIGANTIC but you’re right – mum’s favourite does seem to be red mullet). Here are time stamps for the day so far (it is nearly 18:15 local time). “

Observation board for Port Lincoln for yesterday:

Annie and Lou at The Campanile have a brisk discussion. We are not expecting eggs for a few more months.

At Orange, gorgeous Diamond was in the scrape.

Early morning with Diamond and Xavier and..

They grew so fast…hoping that Marri is still flying. She was such a strong girl.

There is a rumour that Samson has returned to the NEFlorida Eagle nest…not sure who started this, but it looks like Gabby and V3 to me. (Samson would have been gone a year…).

I was reminded that this is the first anniversary of Samson’s disappearance. Oh, what a lovely mate he was for Gabby. Still missed.

Gabby and V3 this morning.

Jackie and Shadow came to check the nest and move a few sticks on Thursday.

There were two eagles in the nest at SW Florida protecting it from the GHOs Thursday night. M15 and F23 are getting serious. We are on egg watch.

We are a fortnight away from hatch at Superbeaks!!!!!!!!!!

There is action at the Webster Texas Bald Eagle nest, too. Look at that nice fish! Wow.

Why are these birds dying along the Scottish coast?

Missing Hen Harriers?

How many have watched the last season of The Crown? In one of the episodes, King George V is out grouse hunting while his cousins, The Romanovs, are being killed in Russia. For those that are not familiar, it is the beaten grouse hunting that has caused the number of raptors deaths in various localities of the UK to rise significantly. The gamekeepers of the land where the hunts take place kill the hawks – sometimes stomping on their chicks in the nests on the ground – so that they will not eat the grouse. Hopefully there will be a growing call and those in power will listen to stop this practice. More on this later…

Thank you for being with me today. There isn’t a lot of news. Sometimes it is nice to slow down before we have eaglets in nests all over the place! Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, pictures, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, Ferris Akel Tours, PLO, SK Hideaway, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Karen Lang, NEFL-AEF, FOBBV, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, Paul White, The Guardian, and Raptor Persecution UK.

Calypso intrudes at Port Lincoln, Bella battles intruder alone…Monday in Bird World

30 October 2023

Hello Everyone!

It is a beautiful blue sky, a bright sunny day on the Canadian Prairies. -3 C. The snow is beginning to melt, so some ice is building up on the walkways in front of the houses. Not good for walking, but getting outside today and having some fresh air was nice. Every year, I promise to document all of the bird nests within a five or 6-block radius from where I live. Now is the perfect time. I want to ‘learn’ these nests just like I want to continue learning the sounds/songs of the birds using Merlin Sound ID. Most of the ones I found today appear to belong to the sparrows. I could not find the Crow’s nest, but they were landing in a tree where I know they raise their young. I did find a new woodpecker home!

New woodpecker home.

Now I thought that this was a sparrow nest but I am beginning to wonder if it is not a drey made by a squirrel or a Blue-Jay nest. Any nest experts out there? Happy for any advice.

There were hundreds of sparrows at the feeders during the day.

Some puffed their feathers to stay warm.

Nearly 30 European Starlings visited.

All four of the Blue Jays appeared during one time or another during the day.

The girls watched from the comfort of the conservatory – sometimes the birds and squirrels and often one another. Missey is staring down Calico who is on the floor wanting to cause a hiccup but, she didn’t.

Hope loves spending time with Missey.

‘The Boyfriend’ visited the feral feeding station 5 times on Sunday. He had to be very hungry. I feel so sorry for the outdoor cats. He has food, water, and an insulated home with a heating pad if he wants. His fur looks good, and the patches pulled out in the summer during fights have grown back in. Hopefully, his life will be a little easier now that he has had a visit with the vet. Oh, and I want to reassure anyone that neither cat that was ‘fixed’ by the vet belonged to someone. They are well known for being feral, but, just in case, communiques were sent out a fortnight before the vet’s arrival. Geemeff named the white one with black patches and the teardrop on its eye – Dadpa. So fitting. He has not been around!!!!!!!

There is a contest for the Bird of the Century in New Zealand. Please go over and see the list of birds. Read about them and the challenges they have faced or are facing, and cast your vote for 5. Thank you. t is free. There is a donation page, but you can just say ‘no, thanks’ and continue. It is a great way to learn about what is happening with birds in a region of the world that might be unfamiliar to you.

One of the birds is the Kakapo. Attempts to reintroduce the Kakapo to their homeland on the mainland of New Zealand are underway. And those very smart tree climbing non-flying parrots are giving their handlers some headaches!

Ranger Sharyn has confirmed that our beloved OGK is lost. I had listed him on the Memorial Page last year when he did not return to feed Lillibet after 45 days. He went missing on 19 May 2022. When he passed and what the circumstances were will never be known. Lady Hawk has included the following information under a video of the new arrivals looking for mates. One of those will be YRK, who had been OGK’s mate since 2006.

“Ranger Sharyn Broni gave an update on OGK today and it is not the news we have been hoping for. It confirms what our hearts knew but our head kept hoping for that miracle return. OGK was a magnificent albatross and one of the best Royalcam Dad’s and faithful mate to YRK since 2006. He will always be remembered for his devotion to his family, especially returning injured in 2020 just so he could feed Atawhai Pippa. OGK & YRK have fledged 6 chicks and raised one foster chick over their years together including the Royalcam chicks Atawhai & Lilibet, & daughter KBR and sons RLK & LWK. Our hearts are heavy with this loss but our hopes lie with YRK finding love again next season. Here is the message from Sharyn. “Although we do not know for sure it looks like the much-loved OGK has not returned following his disappearance in the winter of 2022 while raising Royalcam chick, Lilibet. He would be 26 years this coming January and was one of the first cohorts of chicks that I saw raised here at Pukekura. https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native… OGK and YRK first nested in front of the Royalcam in 2020 when they raised Atawhai during the pandemic and we all had many hours more of viewing time. https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native… OGK has been with YRK since 2006 as toroa typically mate for life. 2022 was their eighth breeding attempt. They have fledged six of their own chicks and one foster chick (This was a chick of Button’s). They have raised the foster chick after the egg they laid was broken during 2018. The first chick they raised is a breeding female and the natal mother of the 2018 Royalcam chick, Amīria. During 2021 their 2012 chick RLK (male) raised a chick known as SSTrig near the Royalcam chick, Tiaki. YRK would, by late October be preparing to lay an egg. Instead, she is looking for a new mate as is typical of bereaved toroa as the urge to mate is strong. There is no way of knowing what has happened to OGK. We do know that there are certain risks on the ocean such as plastic pollution and long-line fishing. Disease and starvation cannot be discounted either. OGK had sustained an injury in 2020 and we do not know what long-term impact this may have had. In the event you come across any wildlife in NZ call our emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). Although as a group albatross are at high risk from long-line fishing this does not seem to be the case for Northern Royal Albatross. Comparatively few are recorded on long lines compared to Antipodean Albatross, for example. The conservation status of Antipodean Albatross is Nationally Critical due to bycatch and marine pollution. in comparison the Northern Royal Albatross are Nationally Vulnerable. Read more about the Antipodean Albatross here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native… z/albatrosses/antipodean-albatross/”

OGK was my all-time favourite, and he will not be forgotten. Let us all work towards safer seas for these magnificent birds that can live well past 70 years in his honour.

In the world of the Bald Eagles, some are having to really defend their nests. Belly and Smitty are busy trying to hang on to their NCTC nest on a daily basis with injuries seen on some of the eagles.

The problems continued on Sunday for Bella who is defending her nest alone against a male. Myth busted: Females only fight females. Not in this case.

Here is the video of the battle:

The only hatch at Windswept Heights, Tumby Island, South Australia has been predated by a raptor. Little Blythe was approximately 18 days old when she was taken although the precise time is unknown as the camera does not stream continuously. She hatched on the 11th of October. Her parents are Partney and Marrum. Condolences to all.

Port Lincoln has put out a weekly summary in video format.

At Port Lincoln, Dad delivered a whole fish to Mum, Goliath and Little at 0645:18 on Monday. Look at those two happy chicks. Goliath is really oily today – the fluff is gone entirely from her head. In a couple of days Little will look the same!

Oh, my goodness. There was drama at Port Lincoln. Dad delivered the whole fish at 0645 and the Fish Fairy came with 4 fish at 11:49. Then there were intruders wanting ‘free’ fish! This is the report from the ops board: “It starts normally with Mum feeding the 2 chicks. Giliath’s in front. Then there’s are intruder osprey that interrupts! It was Calypso and her mate! Dad to the rescue! Both chicks full. Mum done for now. 2 fish remain.”

Fish left and Mum protecting her babies. Mum will eat some more fish – she appears to be very hungry today but as always, she stuffed her babies to the brim.

‘A’ gives us her report of the day at Port Lincoln: “The day at Port Lincoln began with a large whole live fish delivered by dad at 06:45. Both chicks ate well before mum settled down to brood them. Dad took the fish, bringing it back 15 minutes later and Giliath ate briefly again (Little Bob was in a food coma). At 08:35 mum left to stretch her wings and Little decides to bonk Giliath, who retaliates. The fighting stopped when Little lay down. Mum returns and Little lifts its head, resulting in Giliath bonking him again till he submits. Mum leaves again and the siblings lean on each other, preen a bit and eventually fall asleep in a cuddle puddle. This aggression is all about pecking order (their crops get in the way of their bonking at times!) and it is relatively minor and brief. Not only that, it is being started by Little Bob as much as by his big sister. At 11:49, four medium-sized fish were delivered by the food fairy and an extended feeding took place (49 minutes!!) Both chicks ate themselves into food comas, and then CALYPSO (a previous fledgling from this nest) interrupts and his mate actually lands on the nest (12:08:47)!!! During the afternoon, there were six small feedings and no bonking between that massive feeding and the next fish delivery – Little Bob ate at all but one of those feedings, as did Giliath. At 18:38 dad arrived with a headless medium-sized fish and the dinner feeding began. Little Bob has the front position but soon turns away, still full from all the eating. Giliath downs a few bites and also gives up. The kids have eaten well today.”  

Banders can get it wrong. Unless a DNA test is taken and processed, no one is ever certain of the gender. I recall once being told by Tiger Mozone to ‘not question the banners’. Of course, he said it in jest! Now there is reason at Port Lincoln to wonder if Calypso, always presumed to be a female, might actually be a male – and that, of course, could explain why she has stayed so close to Port Lincoln like Ervie.

Marri and Barru, the Orange eyases, were hungry and very excited when the first prey item arrived at 0711. Marri had a nice tug of war wanting the prey to herself but…that didn’t happen!

More food later..

Marri and Barru scamper all over that scrape box. They are flapping their wings, doing some self-feeding, and running their talons off!

‘A’s report for Orange: “At Orange, our fluff balls are zooming about and their feathers are getting more prominent each day. And those eyes! Here are the time stamps for the day: PREY 07.11.26, 08:10:53, 16:24:51, 16:42:44, 19.08.08 FEED 07.12, 08:11, 16:25, 16:43, 19.08 (M+B) HIGHLIGHT 16:28:50 M & D tug of war; 17:54:27 Barrru running with morsel.”

The sea eagles nest is quiet. ‘A’ sent the report from Sydney but we both wonder what in the world they mean by progress? It takes many many weeks for fledglings to learn how to fly and hunt. They are normally cared for by their parents and this has been the issue at Sydney due to the Currawongs. “October 30: A quiet night, with neither parents nor fledglings seen at the nest – though they may have been nearby. Parents were heard calling in the forest in the early morning. Later, they were seen down on their off-season River Roost, on mangroves along the Parramatta River. Currawongs even swoop them down there. The fledglings have not been seen today – they may be anywhere in the forest or nearby – all part of their progress.”

The Redding Eagle Cam is live and there is an adult on the nest.

An eagle at Pittsburgh-Hayes where there will be a new male this year. This is V, the new male.

Eagles at Superbeaks. All of the eagles are getting serious about their nests. Pepe and Muhlady have been working hard. Will they win the race for the first egg to be laid?

Gabby is at NEFlorida with a HUGE crop!

Two eagles at Duke Farms early Sunday morning. It is not clear if this is Mum with a new male or if this is entirely a new couple at the nest. Waiting for confirmation.

Eagles at Decorah.

Non-breeding European Starlings and M15 at the SW Florida nest checking it out for the new lady, F23.

Ron at the WRDC nest in Miami.

Abby and Blaze have won the territorial dispute over their nest at Eagle Country with the GHO.

Martin and Rosa working on their nest at Dulles-Greenway on Sunday. There were some friendly beak nips…