All is well in Bird World…Sunday

22 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Skies with clouds ranging from the softest grey down of the newborn osplet to the charcoal-espresso band under its eye graced the skies of southern Manitoba on Saturday. The sun poked itself out to cheer us up on several occasions. It was nippy, and a glance at the neighbourhood had people scurrying to get their plants inside for the winter and last-minute clean-ups on the gardens. Did they not hear? Leave the Leaves!

The songbirds continue to flood the feeders as they migrate through our province. Crossbills today, along with Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos. The Blue Jays might stay all winter along with the House Sparrows. The Crows were flying around, but the greatest number of birds overhead were Ring-billed Gulls late this afternoon.

It is 6 degrees C at 1800. Damp. Cold. Grey. Dreary. I do not know where Hope and Missey are but Calico is cuddled up in a pile of blankets.

The girls have been so tranquil that you do not know they are even about unless one or the other -or all -decide they are ‘starving’. Pleasant isn’t quite the word. Bliss. Is it possible that the pheromone diffuser works this well? There has not been a growl or a hiss or anything uncivilised. Unbelievable. I had so worried about Missey. She was just getting herself sorted after losing her best friend, Lewis, and Calico began being aggressive. It is all over. So happy. Hoping that they might become ‘window buddies’ sometime in the future.

Hope loves cuddling with Mamma. Mamma loves her blank. Apologies for the low quality of the image, but I raced to grab the phone, afraid they would move. Hope has learned how to pose when she sees the camera!!!!!!!!!!!

Sleepy time.

Hope decided she wanted to help write the blog.

The reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle into Scotland was no small feat. One of the primary movers and shakers was John Love, who recently passed away. Here is a guest blog written for Mark Avery by Love in August of 2023 about the project.

What a remarkable man. I met and chat with him many years ago when I was a visiting artist at Hospitalfield near Dundee. Hospitalfield (yes, it is a strange name) was the first art school in the UK. Beautiful Manor House and gardens. It was a joy to be there working on projects related to the environment with other artists from around the world. It was also good to have some free time to meet people who were important to Scotland’s conservation efforts, like John Love.

Roy Dennis has some good podcasts. Check them out if you want to learn about some of the reintroductions in Scotland – including those that John Love worked on.

Guess who woke up hungry at Port Lincoln?

‘A’ reports about the 21st: “At Port Lincoln, there are 10 feedings recorded on the Obs Board, from two fish, starting with a good feeding from yesterday’s leftover fish at 06:34. Dad brought in a fresh fish (medium, headless) at 08:15 and the third (a zebra fish, medium) at 14:17. Giliath ate at all 10 feedings, the younger osplet at eight. I watched a couple of feedings (especially the one from 14:18) and was again impressed at how evenly mum distributed the fish between the two. Both are holding their heads up and eating well. The younger is able to see better and its grabs at the food are more successful. It is also dealing better with the size of the bites, although both osplets generally end up with faces covered in fish. At least they can snack off each other at the end of the feeding!” 

Note-Dad brought in four fish! He is upping his game as the chicks need more food! Here are the feedings.

Heidi caught the breakfast. The chicks were ravenous. A great feeding.

Chicks are hungry!

The feeding times, etc for the first part of Sunday at the PLO barge. We need more fish!!!!!!!!!!! As noted above, Dad brought in 3 more fish. Excellent.

The two osplets at Orange are pondering their big feet and trying to use them to walk around the scrape. Pin feathers are definitely in!

Dr Cilla Kinross, the head researcher on peregrine falcons at Charles Sturt University and principal responsible for the scrape that is currently used by Diamond and Xavier, has a recent paper published on falcon breeding behaviour.

‘A’ sent a link to the interview with Dr Cilla Kinross.

The sea eagles, SE 31 and 32 are flying back and forth from the nest tree to the tree that supports the camera. Adults continue to bring food to the nest for the hungry pair. I am holding my breath.

‘A’ remarks, “At WBSE, both eaglets had a good breakfast, then spent the morning exploring the outermost reaches of the nest tree. At this stage, we cannot see either, so they are either high and/or wide in the nest tree or exploring nearby. We may have to wait until food is delivered to the nest for them to show themselves. Otherwise, we wait for this evening to see who is sleeping in or near the nest. It is a really bad time for the second camera to give up the ghost, as it was extremely useful for seeing those parts of the nest tree we are currently most interested in – its outer reaches.”

What a beauty.

‘A’ puts it right – it is an egg race and who will win. “It is an egg race – the nests and the eagle couples seem ready to go at E-1, E-2 and SWFL. I haven’t watched Superbeaks, but they’re pretty much sorted there as well. I am unsure what the usual egg-laying calendar is like for those particular nests, and I wonder whether the eggs might be laid earlier if temperatures are expected to be high again this summer. I suspect the birds that don’t work that out fairly fast will not raise successful broods in future seasons. Anna and Louis were also working on their nest this morning, with no sign of Anna’s injury. She is landing without difficulty, putting normal weight on the leg and foot, and having no trouble manoeuvring large sticks into position. (Like all eagle females, she is very particular about stick placement). Louis/Anna and Alex/Andria look very healthy, as do their partnerships. These are experienced couples and appear to be progressing smoothly into their breeding season. The same is true at SWFL with M15 and F23. The only concern remains NEFL, where we are waiting with bated breath to see whether V3 will master mating this year. He and Gabby were on the nest today, mid-afternoon, and they are perched together at the lumber yard again tonight. Both look healthy, and their bond appears strong. There is just one more piece of the puzzle to fall into place. Talons crossed.”

M15 is determined to have the highest crib rails in any nest! He is also checking out the nest bowl. It is exciting to see him begin a new life with a new mate. Can’t wait to see these two as parents.

Smitty and Bella were working on the NCTC nest on Saturday. Smitty returns after being away for a day shy of a month. Tears.

Eagle Country is live. Abby and Blazer have returned after Hurricane Ian and they are working on their nest.

Gabby and V3 were up early working on their nest.

In his Saturday Tour at Montenzuma, Wildlife Drive, Sapsucker Woods and the Cornell Campus, Ferris Akel spotted Big Red! So nice to see you, Big Red!

These are the two surviving osplets at Osprey House Environment Centre in Australia. Total juvenile plumage!

The ospreys in Australia are Eastern Ospreys and they do not migrate.

In West Africa, Jean-marie Dupart is counting the UK and European Ospreys that spend their winter in Senegal and The Gambia.

A twenty-six-year-old Red Kite. Sadly the bird was found injured and due to its age, it was euthanised. Gosh, I hope someone doesn’t ‘put me down’ just because I am old and injured!!!!!!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourselves. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, blogs, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Sassa Bird’, Mark Avery Blog, Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, PLO, Heidi Mc, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Corella, Karen Leng, RNZ, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Se McGregor, Lady Hawk, NCTC, Eagle Country, Ferris Akel, Osprey House EC, Jean-Marie Dupart, and Bird Guides.

Monday in Bird World

2 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Gosh, it is fantastic to bring some good news!

Sunday was a beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. The garden temperature went to 24 C and was 21 C at 1730! The little songbirds were having a joyous time flittering about in the birdbaths. Calico and Hope watched from the Conservatory window.

Calico went out into the main house with Missey again today. Everything went well. These two get along and are not a threat to one another. Calico is quick and she got into the kitchen and Lewis darted at her. It was not as horrific as I imagined but, I am still not quite ready to handle a big confrontation. Hopefully the lingering dizziness from the Covid will be gone by tomorrow and we can give Lewis a go at being a gentleman.

Meanwhile, Calico is still in full Mamma mode so she is also a little rough at the edges. She immediately goes into protective mode if either Missey or Lewis appear to be getting near to Hope.

Calico is producing much milk for Hope, and our little lass got caught in the act! Hope is three months old today. She has been with us now for an entire month and I finally figured out how to ‘catch’ her without causing undue trauma. She went into a tiny padded ‘tent’ tonight. It is perfect. She needs her worming medicine so tomorrow we are going to accomplish that. At the same time I will give her some different tasty treats – that gooey chicken that comes in a tube – to get her to think only of yummy snacks and me. The way to Hope’s heart is directly related to treats and playing.

Hope is almost as big as Mamma but, I can tell when I pick up Calico and hold her close (she still loves being held and having our cheeks rub one another) that she is gaining weight. That makes me so happy.

There is good news coming out of Bird World. As I write this Sunday evening (20:13), there is an indication that the second chick at Orange is hatching! ‘A’ writes: “We can hear chirping from the second egg at Orange and several keen-eyed observers believe they can see a pip. Certainly, there is peeping on the box camera that is not coming from the chick that has been born. So chatters and mods alike are fairly confident that eyas number two is on its way. This was a very quick hatch – Indigo was the fastest ever at this scrape until this one, which I believe may have been faster (I’m not certain on that, but it was certainly a relatively quick hatch). The chick looks very large – some are saying it hatched because it could no longer fit in that egg! It was more a case of bursting out than breaking out. 

Diamond tried to feed the sweet little thing at three hours of age, at which point it was still exhausted and barely able to lift its head in response to mum’s gentle urgings. (It did manage to lift it though – it’s a strong little person – but of course was not interested in eating yet.) Mum is just a little overexcited I think.”

A very contented Xavier perched on the ledge while his second chick hatches. Oh, the fact that these two could be so close together is a blessing.

The first feeding of Diamond and Xavier’s baby.

And another…

The other good news coming on Sunday is the return of V3 to the streaming cam at the NEFL Bald Eagle nest of Gabby. ‘A’ caught up with some of the intrigue coming from the chat, “There is good news from NEFL, where V3 and Gabby were both seen at the nest tree during the day after Gabby had spent the night (it rained heavily pretty much all night and she was absolutely saturated) perched on Wallenda (in the nest tree). Our BOTG confirm that Gabby and V3 are perched and tucked for the night at the lumber yard tonight. This is such happy news. I think we are all rooting for Gabby and V3.”

Oh, let us hope that V3 and Gabby are left alone to raise a family this year.

Things are also going exceptionally well at Fort Myers. What a delight it is to see M15 with a new mate and a new beginning. He was everyone’s hero last year raising E21 and 22 from the beginning of February when Harriet disappeared. There was concern that M15 might lose his territory that he shared with Harriet without a mate – remember all those females? So it is heartwarming to see him working on a nest with his new mate.

Lady Hawk put together a compilation of images for us of the season beginning.

Mum and Dad waiting at Port Lincoln and Melbourne.

SE31 and 32 continue to grow their beautiful juvenile plumage. They are much more sturdy on their legs and we should be looking for branching shortly.

There are a couple of other things that I want to share with you. Geemeff sent me links to two videos. One is a short news blast about Tarzan, the logging horse, working with its handler at Lock Arkaig to rid the Caledonian forests of the invasive American Spruce trees. I love this quieter and more gentle to-the-land approach to solving the problem of non-native species.

The second is the third and final part of a series on wildlife in Scotland – the challenges and the solutions being undertaken. There are Ospreys!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that while we are in the middle of nest building or incubation you enjoy these.

A memorial service was held for Su and Otto, the long term resident Red-tail Hawks at Syracuse University on Sunday.

Lastly, two prominent male Bald Eagles are missing. Smitty, the mate of Bella, at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, has not been seen since the 21st of September. The Dad at Pittsburgh-Hayes has been missing since 7 September and I will sadly be adding him to our Memorial Wall in a few days. Please send positive thoughts to both families.

Pip watch at Orange now for the second egg.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter this morning: ‘A, Geemeff’, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Geemeff, Sydney Sea Eagles, 367 Collins St by Mirvac, PLO, and Red-tail Hawk Tales.

Mini visits nest…Who would shoot a condor…Tuesday in Bird World

25 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

One need not look at the calendar to know that fall is completely with us on the Canadian Prairies. Leaves are turning on all of the trees, squirrels and Jays are rushing to store food. The air feels and smells different.

Every one of the garden animals has been accounted for but one and sadly the latest Hedwig (rabbit) was hit by a car on the lane in front of my house last evening. I found the darling thing this morning.

Dyson looks particularly good. Taken with my phone when I went to fill up the table feeder – she isn’t afraid. She waited and posed. Little Red was running around. He has officially moved into the wood box in the house built for him in the spring of 2022. Yippeeee. Better late than never. He only has to go a few feet in the winter to get more peanuts!

Dyson wishes all her friends in Japan and Asia a joyous Tsukimi (Moon Viewing Festival), lots of delicious rice dumplings and Moon Cakes.

The Blue Jays are still coming to the feeders. Many do not migrate remaining on the snowy prairies along with the Black-capped Chicadees and sparrows. We wait to see what these four will do.

Lewis wants nothing to do with the new cat tree. He prefers the box, and Missey prefers the blanket that wrapped some furniture at one time or another on the top of the bins and the wicker basket.

Calico looks stronger every day. She is filling out a bit but a sweet gentle soul she is. Did I tell you we dropped all of our other projects for a few weeks to write a book for children about Calico and Hope? It will be a fundraiser for the mobile Vet clinic that works in my City to provide affordable spay and neutering, vaccinations, deworming, etc. for those persons wishing to trap and release or adopt the community cats.

It is also hoped that the book will offer a lesson for not ‘dumping’ pets.

Are you missing Mini? I sure am. You never ever forget these amazing survivors.

Patchogue tops my list for the most incredible osprey nest this past season. The adults raised four – four to fledge – at a time when a substantial number of clutches from Long Island up through the NE were entirely lost due to weather events (especially that storm in June) and overfishing. Thank you, Isac, for reminding us what a spunky fourth-hatch Mini was!

Well, shock of shocks. Mini visited the nest for about a minute at 1258 Monday. Oh, my goodness. How wonderful it is to see you!

Violence. Disregard for life of any kind.

What kind of person would deliberately shoot any raptor never mind, one of the most endangered species on our planet – the California Condor. I had been out playing with Hope and Calico and had not looked at my e-mail (one of the benefits of taking a few days off is you realise it can wait!). Then I did. A note from Geemeff, and below it is my copy from Kelly Sorenson. I am beyond understanding this.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Flying California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Gabby was at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest Monday morning.

V3 returned to the nest with what could be new wounds at 1745.

The eagles are working on the Pittsburg-Hayes nest. Look at those rails! This is a nest to envy!

There’s at least one juvie at the Dulles-Greenway nest of Martin and Rosa.

Looks like C15 and Dad might have finally left for their migration fro the Charlo Montana Osprey platform.

Ospreys are gone and the Canada Geese are enjoying the Boulder County Fair Grounds nest.

Trudi Kron gives us a good look at the injuries that Anna, the mate of Louis, at the KNF-E1 nest near Alexandria, Louisiana has sustained. It looks like they are healing. Send good wishes for all those floaters wanting a nest to scat!

Lightning fills the sky around the Superbeaks’ nest of Pepe and Muhlady.

Everyone hopes the new male at Port Lincoln will be a great provider and that the long-running heartache at the PLO barge nest will end. That said, this morning, Mum got impatient waiting for a fish and caught on camera is a female incubating eggs catching a fish.

‘A’ brings us up to date: “At Port Lincoln, the fishing is going well. Three yesterday (one caught by mum) and dad has caught at least two so far today. As always, mum is allowing him far less egg time than he would like. Guesses regarding timing of the first hatch are between 15 October and 18 October, so we have at least three weeks to wait there. So all attention is now on Orange and of course on our adorable sea eaglets in Sydney. They are gorgeous.” 

There are still juvenile ospreys near their nests in the UK that have not left for migration.

Dad is still bringing fish to Coco at the Sandpoint nest.

Dad delivered at least four fishing starting at 0705 and going until 1500 on Monday at the MN Landscape Arboretum Nest.

Suzanne Arnold Horning spotted Big Red on the Cornell Campus on Monday! Looking good, Mamma.

The eaglets at Sydney Sea Eagle nest in the Olympic Forest are ever more steady on their feet.

The date that is predicted for the first egg to hatch at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier is 1 October. That is less than a week away!

‘A’ reminds us: “The countdown is on at Orange. Only four days until pip watch. There is a very pesky scout bee (or bees) that has been bothering the falcons for the past two days, buzzing constantly into, around and out of the box. I think it is really starting to annoy Diamond. Xavier made a lunge at it yesterday as if to eat it but missed (as he was on the eggs so had limited reach!) and today, it continues to irritate all. Apart from that, all proceeds smoothly at this scrape. The couple had another of their early morning bonding sessions today (05:20) but this time there was a changeover and no-one fell asleep mid-bonding. It’s so sweet the way he arrives so early and sits on the ledge to keep her company. For some reason, she allowed him an hour of early-morning egg time, so he’s happy. He’s had a couple of lengthy stints this morning.”

To prepare for what is coming – and the falcon chicks grow rapidly compared to eagles and ospreys – here is a guide to their weekly development with pictures.

‘H’ just located Victor Hurley’s hour presentation on Peregrine Falcons in Victoria Australia. You can start and stop the presentation!

One of the translocated birds from Norway to Ireland has made it to Morocco on their migration!

Annie and Lou visiting the scrape at The Campanile of UC-Berkeley on Monday.

Almost all of the Royal Albatross chicks have fledged. We now await the arrival of this year’s adults who will be breeding.

Remember – if you have to just tie your wrists with a ribbon! Don’t start up the mower, the weed whacker, the leaf blower. Use that time to go birding and let the insects living in the leaves have a home.

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

I want to add that I tested positive for Covid on Sunday. I am feeling a bit rough. Thankfully there is not a lot going on in Bird World. I will continue with the newsletter but the content might be smaller for the next week while I recover.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Geemeff’, PSEG, Isac and PSEG, Ventana Wildlife Society, Open Verse, NEFL-AEF, NEFL-chat, PixCams, Dulles-Greenway, Charlo Montana, Boulder County, Trudi Kron and Bald Eagles 101 Superbeaks, Bart Molenaar and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt FalconCam, Outside My Window, Killarney Today, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, and Cal Falcons.

Has Manaaki fledged? Saturday in Bird World

16 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

This is our last blog until we return on Monday 25 September. We hope that you have a great week while we are away!

Today it was cold and rainy. Not a great day for the annual open house at Wildlife Haven, our wildlife rescue hospital, in Ile des Chenes, Manitoba. Normally the grounds outside would be filled with people listening to speakers and visiting with the raptor ambassadors. Today, most huddled inside.

It was good to see so many parents with children aged 5 and up asking questions and being ever so curious about the animals.

One of the highlights of the tour was seeing the new home for Majestic. Majestic is a Bald Eagle that came to Wildlife Haven from Rainy River, Ontario ten years ago. She arrived as a juvenile and is believed to be between 10 and 12 years old. She was starving, dehydrated, and was suffering from an old fracture in her left wing at intake. She cannot live in the wild as she does not have control over her flight feathers but – now – she can fly about landing on various perches within her new enclosure safely.

Meet Una, a Great Horned Owl. Una had problems in the nest, according to the presenter. She was born with a missing right eye and a beak that was not aligned – he is small for the species. As a nestling, Una was neglected by her parents. Today, she is living the good life as an ambassador.

It felt ‘very odd’ holding the tail of an Osprey that was once very much alive.

Or a Red-tail Hawk.

There were tours throughout the surgical wing, the food preparation area, the big flight chambers, and special areas for clients such as otters and fox cubs.

Every wildlife rehab centre relies on donations and volunteers. It is amazing what they do with so little. You can normally find a ‘wish list’ at your local centre of items that are urgently needed and, of course, I will continually remind you about clean used towels and sheets, bleach, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, stainless steel bowls, small hand tools that work, pet food, vegetables from your garden, and items of enrichment such as toys. Clean kennels are particularly helpful in transporting animals or isolating them while they await intake or treatment. So before you bin it, think again. There is some wildlife rehab centre near you that might find those things useful – and they would be very grateful. Thank you!

Meanwhile – the kittens. I am guilty of taking way too many images of Hope. She is growing so fast and every day I can see subtle changes in her appearance.

Calico is getting very restless to get out of the conservatory and back into the house’s main part. The vet says ten days. Meanwhile, Hope is nothing short of energy in a small packet. She wants to play and runs from chair to table to tent and couch and then scurries under the covered area over the dining table and out again. Mamma is tired and, I think, growing weary of this big kid of hers. LOL.

Hope gets excited when anyone enters the conservatory – she wants to play with her favourite feather-dangling toy. She was introduced to healthy cat treats full of flax, cranberries, chicken, and other goodies. Her treats look healthy, like homemade human granola bars with extra protein. I made a line, and sure enough, she followed it to my lap. She is still very nervous, and I try not to breathe or move when this happens. She remains reluctant for me to hold her, so we are going every so slowly.

Lewis wants everyone to know that he is cuddly, adorable and a goof.

Lewis and Missey found a way to look out the window in the old office where Calico first stayed. Little birds were flitting about the apple tree. I am so glad that their closeness has not been jeopardised by the arrival of the two new siblings.

Looks like one of the things that we will be doing next week is building some insulated cat shelters. Winter will arrive on the Canadian Prairies before we know it. The Dark-eyed Juncos showed up in the garden today looking for Millet and Robins are passing through. There are still some hummingbirds being photographed along with Pine Siskins. Geese are everywhere, filling up on grass and grain left on the farmers’ fields before going south.

There is still concern over Hurricane Lee. There are reports that one beloved male Osprey adult, Swoop, is still near the nest at Hog Island in Maine. As I write this, the defined eye of the hurricane appears to have broken up, but this could still bring high winds and heavy rains to NE USA and Atlantic Canada.

Keep all of the wildlife in your thoughts as this system moves. We still have many fledglings and adult Ospreys in Atlantic Canada that have not left for migration.

Annie and Lou are bonding! How sweet. These are rare occurrences this time of year, but what is so good about this behaviour is that we can confirm that both are healthy and doing well.

In South Australia, Ervie is back fishing at Delamere, where he used to join Dad when he was just a youngster. Ervie is now two years old. Happy Birthday, Ervie!

It is always good to see Osprey platforms being replaced or installed for new couples. There are not enough old dead trees in situ for them near good fishing spots. This is a good solution and far superior to them building nests on power poles where they could be electrocuted.

Remember the two Royal Albatross chicks that failed in their first flight? Here is the story of their rescue. Thanks, Holly!

‘H’ brings us up to date on Barnegat Light and Date County:

Barnegat Light – “Duke is enjoying a few days of well-earned rest and relaxation since Dorsett left the area on 9/11.  Duke can often be seen in one of his trees at the north tree line, and Thursday he was wading at the shoreline with some gulls.  Friday Duke enjoyed a nice breakfish on his perch.  Later in the afternoon, he was seen on his perch shaking his tail and drying out his wings.  We love ya’, Duke.”

Dade County – “The juvie, R5, was back at the nest again on 9/15, and this time he was looking for food scraps.  Ah, he is so mature looking!  R5 has been at the nest 5 out of the last 6 days.  There is still some time before nesting season begins for Ron and Rose, but as much as we love R5, some of us are hoping that he will be bitten by the wanderlust bug soon, lol.  R5 is six months old on 9/16.  Happy Birthday, R5 !!”

Flaco, the Eurasian Owl that escaped the Central Park Zoo is doing well despite initial worries some months ago! You can check out more of Flake’s adventures by going to Bruce Yolton’s website urban

‘A’ reports: “At Collins Street, F22 had a large crop today when she left the nest at 10:36, and little M22 arrived by 10:41 to take over the incubating until the shadow covered the scrape. He was panting a lot, and both parents this morning were using the technique of standing over the eggs with wings outstretched to shade them, rather than settling down on the clutch. Little dad looks so cute when he does it! He works so hard at enfluffling the eggs. It’s hard work for him to cover them all. He’s going to have major problems when it’s four eyases aged, say, a week to 10 days, without thermal down and exposed to the rain and the direct sunlight.—Yes, I’m going to say it again. WHY OH WHY could they not have strategically placed two small squares of wood to shelter from above and to extend the shelter of the building on the far side!??? What will happen on the first wet day?”

‘A’ continues: “I am genuinely concerned that there is the real possibility of a tragedy at Collins Street this season. Last year was the third consecutive La Nina year. That is not a normal Australian summer. We are about to get back to our usual summers, which include days reaching as high as 43C and I shudder to imagine what that scrape will look like by the time the chicks are, say, 10 days old. There is going to be a period of up to a month when the chicks are very vulnerable to that heat and are unable to escape it along that gutter. Not only that, but dehydration is going to be a potential problem even if they are getting enough food.”

SE31 and 32 were very hot on Friday, too. They were panting to help cool their bodies.

‘A’ reports about breakfast: “Breakfast was something that had been feathered (it looked young, but its feathers may just have been wet – it lacked a head so identifying it was not easy), which Lady brought in at 06:40:35. SE31 was in the right place at the right time, so was already in perfect position for food when it arrived, and shortly after 06:41 tried to help herself to the prey. Lady waited a while for some reason, and SE32 joined SE31 waiting for food. Because he came up on his big sister’s inside, SE32 was in primary position when mum did begin feeding, so was fed first rather than his sister. But Lady is relatively even-handed and is feeding both. The blood appears to be nearly gone from her head. so it must have come from her talons,. perhaps while scratching herself, and there is no apparent sign of what yesterday looked like a wound on her left foot. This is really lovely juicy nutritious red meat, and a decent-sized piece of prey as well. Both eaglets are eagerly grabbing bites, some of them very large. Their manners are impeccable. Neither is being at all aggressive and each is happy to watch the other eat. When they lose a competition for a bite, they just wait for the next one. It is lovely to watch. Lady is doing her best to feed both, and it seems they will end up having roughly equal amounts of this meal.”

‘J’ brings news that there is a new camera at the Centrepoint Bald Eagle Nest.

Gabby and V3 have been very alert at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest on Friday.

The cameras will return to SWFlorida on the 30th of September.

At the Royal Albatross colony, ‘A’ reports: “Manaaki is hovering so high, he is out of camera shot. Twice, I have thought he has fledged, but he has landed far down the hill and walked back up. He may well go today, but he shouldn’t. He is still not in control of his flying and he still has too much fluff. Another three days is my guess, as he is still not tucking his feet and legs up confidently and is unable to surf the thermals with any real control. Still, he is getting great height on his hovers and staying airborne for increasing lengths of time. He is very serious about his practising, and cast another bolus at 01:40 this morning. So he is preparing to leave and it could be at any moment now. Literally.”

‘A’ returns later with what is ‘sad’ news: “Manaaki has not returned to his nest. UQ is waiting for him, in his new spot near Manaaki’s nest. The general consensus on the chat is that Manaaki has fledged, although we need to wait until the rangers do their walkaround and head count tomorrow to know whether he is elsewhere on the headland. Unless of course he returns to his nest during the night. It is agreed that he was last seen on camera at 16:39:45 and has not been seen since. Other sightings thought to be of Manaaki were in fact of UQ chick (whose hovering skills are way better than Manaaki’s). I am still sceptical because he really did not seem to be sufficiently balanced in the air and still looked very uncertain. Not to mention the fluff he still had. If he has fledged and landed on the water in the bay, he will be spotted and if necessary rescued.  If he has fledged successfully, he has done so at 238 days of age. We wish him godspeed and all the luck in the world out there. We pray we (and he) will live long enough to see him return to his birthplace (some return as early as age three, others not until they are five or even older). One or probably both of his parents will visit the nest over the next few days to make sure their baby has fledged and is not hanging around nearby, needing to be fed. It is so bittersweet watching them wait. If their chick does not return to the nest to be fed, then all their devotion and hard work has paid off. They have done their job for the season, successfully raising a chick to fledge. But somehow, there is a pang as they wait. Sometimes, they come back more than once, just to be sure.  

So now, a year after we watched QT fledge, we are waiting for her parents to return for the new season. Mum YRK and dad OGK. Of course, our hope that OKG will return is very slim indeed, but it does remain a possibility. They ring the bells at the colony when the first returnees arrive home, and then the bells ring out all over the area. They love the toroa.” 

There is good news. While I do not know the number of butterflies in Canada this year, we have noticed a considerable number in the garden and the local parks. Others have mentioned this as well. In the UK, the record of butterflies has grown this summer – excellent news. This does not mean that there has been an increase in the number of insects – so vital to the lives of our songbirds.

Indeed, a group of residents at one of the condominiums in Winnipeg has noticed that the songbirds have disappeared from their property after the management had the grass treated by a firm claiming to be ‘Eco’. If it kills weeds, it will kill insects that the birds eat and often kills the birds. If you know of any well-researched articles on the issue of lawn treatments and songbirds, please send them to me. I hope to help some of my former students prepare a united front and argue against this practice in the future.

Do you know the Island of Mull on the west coast of Scotland? It is notorious for its wildlife, and the White-tail Eagles are no exception. There are also dolphins and whales to be seen.

While the Ospreys are away, want to watch a different table feeder in Scotland? Check out the one at RSPB Loch Garten. Here is the link. You might see some of those adorable red squirrels.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We look forward to seeing you on the 25th of September when we return from a brief break.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, H, J’, Geemeff’, Wildlife Haven, NOAA Hurricane Centre, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, PLO, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, WRDC, Bruce Yolton, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sydney sea Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, The Guardian, and Hakai Magazine.

Bon Voyage Mini…Sunday in Bird World

10 September 2023

Hello Everyone!

Saturday was the most gorgeous fall day. It was about 16 degrees C with a beautiful blue sky and some soft puffy white clouds as I travelled north from the City. You could see the geese overhead flying in their standard ‘V’ formation swirling around the fields that have been recently harvested – wheat and flax, mainly. There is something so magical about the rhythm of their lives. They come in late March or April and being heading to their winter homes in September-October. At one of the local nature centres, they fly in by the thousands at dusk (on a good day). Their black silhouettes filling the horizon as the sun begins to slowly set in the West.

One of the best places to see the geese in the afternoon is at Oak Hammock Marsh.

A lone American White Pelican and a Trumpeter Swan with all the geese landing at a small pond by the road.

On the way home there was a beautiful Red-tail Hawk hunting in one of the fields. What a magnificent raptor. No photo…just watched it for a bit and left quietly — we must always remind ourselves that their lives are overtly challenging and any opportunity for a meal should be respected and we should ‘disappear’.

Oak Hammock Marsh is run by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba and is an extensive wetland. Being there reminded me that ‘R’ had sent me an article several weeks ago and our discussion about how we need cooperation to protect the birds. What he sent me was about the Excise Tax in NJ – how that comes from the sale of hunting equipment, firearms, permits, etc. goes to help with the conservation of the birds, such as our beloved Ospreys, in the state of New Jersey. We talked about how this could be a blueprint for the future if we want our birds to thrive – and as much as I hate killing of anything, it makes sense. Ducks Unlimited is working across Canada with various groups including some in the province of Alberta to purchase huge tracts of land to protect and restore for wildlife. It is something to think about. In NJ it is called the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Does your state or province promote such a scheme? If not, it might be worth a good conversation!

All of the kittens behaved themselves. Missey and Lewis continue to be in the main house and Calico and Hope in the conservatory annex. Hope has been enjoying her new rich foods a little too much or it is that plus the stress of coming inside…but the poor little darling is now on kaolin probiotic granules for running poop shots. Hoping she is over this very quickly…she was fine when she arrived! A few images from today…Hope insists on doing everything that Mamma does. She resisted her own little dish of organic chicken and sauce to try and eat with Calico, was on the cat tree and it seems that Calico is an excellent pillow.

Giggles all around today – the cats are eating well and their rooms are disinfected and cleaned twice a day – everything. Gosh, the laundry in making those tents…Calico is off for her surgery on Tuesday and Hope will be, by then, surely she will, friendly!

Thank you Jeff Kear – I had not heard about Alyth putting in battery storage units right under the nose of Harry’s Osprey Nest! Does the need to constrict the use of fossil fuels mean that we should not consider the environmental impact and the location? Was any study done? It is not clear when it comes to the ospreys or other wildlife.

‘A’ reports on what is happening ‘down under’ – that is where most of the action is currently!

Sydney Sea Eagles: “Dad brought in a very nice fish at 08:33:22 this morning and Lady was quickly shimmying down the perch branch to take control of it. Lady and Dad have a little chat and seem excited by the fish but the eaglets (especially SE32) are more interested in what’s going on in the tree around them this morning. SE31 is first to the table, while SE32 is looking up and around at everything in his expanding world. The view is somehow different from up on his feet perhaps! At 08:39 he finally moves up to the table and his sister courteously moves aside so her brother can have some breakfast! This is so civil, it’s ridiculous. Someone remind these kids they are apex predators! Just before 08:40 Dad flies in with a stick (the parents have been busy building another level of cot railing over the past five or six days, as the two get up onto their feet and start moving around the nest a lot more – now SE32 has joined his sister up off his tarsi). Dad is very engaged in his stick placement and spends considerable time perfecting the front of the nest. So cute. Lady continues feeding SE32, though SE31 is momentarily fascinated by Dad’s manoeuvrings.” 

Royal Albatross: “In New Zealand, Manaaki is on his nest and there is very little wind today, so I am not anticipating a fledge this morning. The wind may pick up during the afternoon. We will see.” 

This video is from the NZ DOC. It shows our young prime hovering nicely! This was three days ago.

Melbourne Peregrine Falcons: “At Collins Street, F22 takes a break shortly after 9am (that time stamp is SO hard to read) and little M22 is soon in to take over incubation. He settles down in his customary jerky manner and then finds he has a spare egg he has failed to cover. So he has to start his enfluffling all over again. Such a sweetie. I love these falcon dads.” 

Port Lincoln: “No third egg at Port Lincoln and I certainly hope there won’t be, given the gap between the first two eggs is 74 hours. A third egg could therefore be as far away as Tuesday. I do hope there isn’t another one. I’m not looking forward to the huge gap between the first two. A third hatch would be so nerve-wracking. We really don’t need that sort of stress.”

There are still only 2 eggs at Port Lincoln.

I certainly agree with ‘A’. A third hatch at Port Lincoln does not need that kind of stress! But then again, we have a new Dad and a new season and anything is possible.

Thanks, ‘A’.

Let us go and check on Diamond and Xavier – Xavier flew in with a nice prey for Diamond’s breakfast, and he then worked hard rolling the three big eggs and trying to fit them under him. He was successful, but gosh, it is a good thing there are not four of them.

‘A’ writes about the intruder that has been bothering Xavier and Diamond: “That intruder is still worrying at Orange, although Diamond and Xavier have things sorted. This morning, the intruder was spotted. Diamond called Xavier to come and mind the eggs. He arrived and took over incubation. Diamond dealt with the intruder (visible from tower cam) and returned to the nest box. All is well. I am SO glad they have this routine. Diamond is twice Xavier’s size and makes short work of an intruder. Any injury to Xavier at this point would be a disaster for the clutch. They know this. We are grateful. But I do wish this intruder would move on. I do keep wondering whether it is Izzi, as the males do tend to move no more than 50 km from their natal nest, from what I have read, whereas the female fledglings spread much further away. It is so funny that Indigo, too, proved impossible to persuade it was time to leave home, so that Diamond and Xavier had to physically bar him entry to the scrape! At least they got rid of him before the eggs were laid, which was only just the case the year Izzi was there. He was persistent in the extreme. I think it was early August before they gently told him “grow up and find your own territory, son!” and moved him on.”

So do we think that this might be Izzi? That would be interesting. (Note that raptors normally engage other raptors of the same gender).

‘H’ sent me a quote today from one of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys. It is so appropriate and she believes it is form the Return of the Osprey but neither of us had the time to dig through the book to find the right page:

  “To love the Osprey is to be constantly open to loss.” 

Mini was not seen at the Patchogue nest after she flew off in the early morning. It is now 2100 nest time, and she has not flown in. Mini, you taught us to persevere, not give up hope, be smart, and figure things out. Safe travels – good winds, a full crop, a good life.

‘H’ brings us up to date on the last two nests she has observed for me. She officially monitored ten nests, but it was always more than that. Over the course of osprey season, the number of eggs grew to over 350 that were monitored. I am very grateful for her help and keen eye and instincts – thank you, ‘H’. You came to Ospreys, naturally.

Kent Island – It seems that Molly may have already started on her journey.  September 9th was the fourth full day without a sighting of our precious Molly.  Both Tom and Audrey were seen in ‘Joe’s tree’ during the day.  At 1800 Audrey came to the nest for a while to dry off after her bath.  And, Audrey flew to the nest at 2300 to spend her third straight night on the nest.

Barnegat Light – There were intermittent periods of live stream buffering throughout the day.  We did not observe Duke delivering a fish to Dorsett at the nest, but Dorsett was seen a few times at the nest and on Duke’s perch.

Louise and Banff are no longer at the Fortis Exshaw Nest. As the sun sets Saturday evening near Canmore, Alberta, not far away from Lake Louise, they have had snow on the 6th! By vehicle, it is 5 hours through the mountains, according to Google. The girls will happen to be sunning themselves in the south.

The two surviving chicks at Osprey House in Brisbane, Australia are doing well.

There is extremely sad news coming out of Big Bear Valley today – confirming losses from several years ago.

I am attaching the article.

How has the earthquake in Morocco impacted Ospreys migrating from Europe and the UK? Certainly transmissions might be garbled but what about the environment where they are fishing, living, or flying through?

A lovely Red-tail Hawk – juvenile – visited the WRDC nest of Rose and Ron yesterday. ‘H’ was the first to alert me and Pat Burke has posted an image.

That’s a wrap for Sunday, September 10. Thank you for being with us. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for the notes, comments, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H, Jeff Kear’, Alyth, Sydney Sea Eagles, NZ DOC, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, PSEG, Snow Seekers, Osprey House, Tonya Irwin and Raptors of the World, Pat Burke and Eagle Nest Watchers, Bloom Biological, and The Guardian.

Does Mini have an injury…Tuesday in Bird World

8 August 2023

Hi Everyone,

I hope the beginning of the week has been kind to each of you! It is nearing 1700 on Monday as I begin to write after spending some time checking on the birds – both on the screen and in the garden. Things are winding down. Spotters in the UK are starting to see migrating ospreys flying south. Here it was sunny and is now overcast. The Blue Jays and a single Crow have offered joy in the garden today. It will not be long before the migrating birds appear, including the hummingbirds and the Baltimore Orioles looking for their grape jelly and oranges, before continuing their southern journeys. I plan to get to the nature centre on Wednesday for a long walk and check on the ducklings and goslings. They should be all grown up! Little Red was there, too, and Dyson and the gang will, hopefully, be around later this evening.

There is severe weather headed for the east coast of the US that is predicted to produce 75-80 mph winds, hail, and tornadoes. Thinking of all our nests including, potentially, our Mini – and all of you. Stay safe.

Mini was on the nest at least twice today. In the image below, at 16:32, she has a crop. She got the 0601 fish delivery! Not huge, but a fish, and she will have another during the day for sure – as is noted in that 16:32 crop.

It is hard to see Mini’s nest empty…one day soon she will not show up, she will be on her way south. While we will never know for certain what will happen to this young lady, she has been a survivor. There is some concern Monday evening that Mini might have an injury to her left leg. Let us all just breathe. We have seen ‘slight’ injuries on nests take several days to heal. Mini will rest and Dad will bring fish if she is, indeed, having an issue.

Oh, goodness. Mini is still favouring that left leg this morning. She cannot put much weight on it. She has a fish and let us all hope that our little one heals..she has plenty of time before she might think about migrating in September. Just rest, Mini!

Can she hold down the fish hard well enough to eat…let’s keep an eye.

We fretted over the debris in Mini’s nest and thankfully, none of the twine or the bin bags endangered the health of the adults or the osplets. In Montana, they continue to find osprey chicks when they are being banded in nests where they are tangled – dangerously so. Thankful for the intervention.

Oh, what a cute little one. So grateful he is recovering.

A hope, skip, and jump around the nests. There is not a lot of action – that is a good thing.

MN Landscape: Chick is self-feeding, but when Mum has a fish she is eating, this baby is loud with the fish begging!

Boulder County: That nest just seems to get smaller and smaller when all three of the fledglings are home!

Seaside: Naika and Kawok continue to fly in and off the nest. Naika had a beautiful big fish that could not be finished. Kawok got to finish the best part – the tail half!

Clark PUD: One osplet has fledged. Both on the nest and being fed. All looks good.

Loch of the Lowes: Please note that Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and the male, Blue PF5 for several days now.

Janakkala, Finland: Ospreys watching for Dad who delivers fish – and then the great tug o war begins.

Muonio, Finland. Video of the ringing of the chicks has been released.

Port Lincoln Osprey: The date of Zoe’s egg tells it all. Soon we will be staring at incubation in Southern Australia.

Mum and Dad on the nest of the barge at Port Lincoln. They are both anticipating the arrival of the first egg.

It is time for ‘H’s report:

Fortis Exshaw: “It was not the best of days for the youngest chick, JJ.  In the early morning, both Banff and JJ took turns trying to eat the large fish tail left over from the very tough fish the previous day.  The tail also had a large piece of attached skin dangling from it.  JJ finally managed to eat the skin and tail at 0816.  As it turned out, that was all that JJ had to eat on 8/7.  Two large fish were delivered to the nest, the first one by O’Hara at 0844, and Louise delivered one at 1352.  The older sibling, Banff, ate both of those fish. JJ did have a couple of good meals the previous day, however, and we’re hoping the fishing improves for Louise and O’Hara today.  The air was visibly smoky or foggy for most of the day, and a nearby viewer confirmed it was smoke from a distant fire.  Perhaps the smoke had made fishing more difficult for the adults.  There were no major intruder issues that we could see.”

Osoyoos –  It was another good day for the family. There were six fish delivered to the nest.  The body of chick #2 had been slipping off the edge of the nest for a few hours, and at 1205 when Soo shook the nest as she flew, the body finally fell to the ground.  A member of the Facebook group who lives in Osoyoos was going to try to retrieve #2’s body.

Kent Island – A severe storm system went through the area in the evening, with heavy rains and wind gusts that were predicted to be up to 70 mph.  The live video stream went off, and the cam is showing highlights.  During the day, young Molly had been ‘helicoptering’ so high that she was out of cam view a couple of times.  I hope she wasn’t too excited with all the wind and continued practicing her hovers.  We hope that Molly and her parents, Audrey and Tom, stayed safe during the storm.  We anxiously await the return of the live stream, and for any news from the Com family.  

Barnegat Light – A couple of ‘firsts’ for this osprey family on 8/7:  On 6/28 Dorsett was banded, and afterward the bander installed a new perch for Duke near the Bay.  On 8/4, the fledgling Dorsett, was on the perch for the first time, and then on 8/7 Daisy tried the perch for the first time!  The other ‘first’ was that Dorsett flew in and landed on the railing with a big gob of soft nesting material in her talon.  A surprised Daisy said, “Well how lovely, thank you very much, Dear!”

Severna Park was another nest impacted by the strong storm system on 8/7. Here is a photo of the two fledglings after the worst of the storm was over.

Patuxent Nest-1 was also inundated by the storm on 8/7.  In this photo the two fledglings are waiting for their ‘breakfish’ delivery on 8/8.

Audubon Boathouse – It is not very often that Skiff and Dory are seen together at the Boathouse nest, but they were on 8/6.  Little Skipper was predated by an owl 15 days ago.  The view from the Boathouse nest cam is one of the most picturesque of any osprey streaming cam, and perhaps soon I will be able to find solace in its beauty.  But, it’s just not happening yet.

Black Stork Karula Forest: This is the nest of Karl II and Kaia. Karl II has the sole responsibility for feeding the three storklets since 23 July at 16:19 when Kaia was last seen on the nest. She is not dead. She is foraging in an area with a brook about 6km from the nest site. Storklet 7194 fledged on 7 August.

Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk Nest:

Ferris Akel has some really good footage of the Ms and family!

A good article on L2’s release with video.

The 2023 season highlights – life with the Ms.

San Jose City Hall: SK Hideaways caught more bonding between Monty and Hartley. Wonder where Soledad is and how she is doing?

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange: Xavier and Diamond continue bonding and mating as the 2023 breeding season is getting ready to begin in Australia. ‘A’ remarks, “At Orange, bonding activities are increasing, including mating up to several times an hour and much prey being brought to the scrape. Diamond will occasionally accept a starling but only if she is particularly hungry, which is rare – she is not often seen without a noticeable crop. Xavier brought her an eastern rosella she was happy about the other day and a pigeon was on today’s menu, but he usually dances around with his starlings before leaving again, taking his starling with him. He is so svelte and handsome with his snowy bib and his orange feet.”

Sydney Sea Eagles: Both eaglets are being fed very well. There is a variety of food including fish and today an eel! Their big crops have made lovely cushions to sleep on. What a relief.

Roy Cam Albatross: ‘A’ reports “The big news is that Manaaki weighed only 8 kg at today’s weighing (he is 200 days old today, only 40 days from the average fledge age, and today was one of 20 chicks at the colony, 10 males and 10 females, to be fitted with a data logger). The 8 kg he weighed today is down from his peak weight of 11 kg, and a supplementary feeding is scheduled for him tomorrow or Thursday. Imagine, we never thought we would see our big boy needing supplementary feeding, but that is what happens when a parent fails to return, and sadly, it has been way too long since we last saw L (20 July). GLY has done his best but he is unable to sustain a male chick on his own. At this point, GLY has not been in since 30 July, which is a very long time for GLY, who usually has half that time between visits. Before this absence, L was gone for 15 days in April and again in May, but this is significantly longer than those absences. So we are all worried about both parents at this stage and Manaaki has obviously been hungry for several days, begging other chicks’ parents for food. It would be a tragedy to lose either one of this couple, who had already successfully fledged two chicks before Manaaki so were a well-established pair.”

Lady Hawk gives us a video of the GPS tracking device and the weighing.

Going back to Port Lincoln, there is news of Ervie and Zoe from the Port Lincoln FB page today:

Please send all your most positive energy to our Mini if she has an injury to her leg so that she rests and recovers fully.

Thanks, everyone for being with me today. Please take care. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, images, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, CNN Weather, NOAA, PSEG, Wild Skies Raptor Centre, MN Landscape Arboretum, Boulder County, Seaside, Clark PUD, LOTL, FOF, PLO, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Audubon Boathouse, Patuxent River Park, Severna, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, Ferris Akel Tours, Cornell Bird Lab, SK Hideaways and San Jose City Hall, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam and Port Lincoln Ospreys FB.

JJ finally got some fish…Sunday in Bird World

6 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that you have had a really lovely weekend so far. Here the potatoes in the fibre bags are dying off at the top, signalling they are ready to be dug. Some tomato plants think they are finished producing, while others have substantial green heritage tomatoes waiting to turn red. The pepper plants produced one pepper each, while the cucumber plant gave me two delicious English cokes. This year’s garden winners were the Basil, which grew like a small bush, the thyme, and rosemary. The grape tomatoes were also abundant. There is a ‘feel’ in the garden, like the summer is ending, something that doesn’t happen until September. Everything is still emerald green…it just feels a little ‘off’. It has been a very strange year.

When I first left my urban existence to live on a small acreage in rural Canada, some things did not make sense. Surrounded by big corporate farmers, they had cut down the hedgerows that kept the topsoil from blowing away when the winds were high and the soil dry. This caused them to have to use more fertiliser. The end result of all of that was my pond’s poisoning and my orchard’s death. That was decades ago. It all came back like a tidal wave today when I saw this article on farming and the benefits of hedgerows and fens to bring back wildlife.

There are many simple things that we can do, too including working to create what I call mini-corridors for the birds in our neighbourhoods as well as the other small mammals. Think using native plants in your garden along with bird feeders and sources of water. Create a pathway with your friends and neighbours for the birds and animals to move from yard to yard – thriving. The idea that birds and wildlife can find food readily available in urban centres should become a reality – we destroyed their habitat. Let’s help do something for them.

There really is not a lot of news in Bird World as fledglings and their mums fatten up in the UK and Europe for their migration. The same thing is happening in parts of North America but there are still chicks on the nest to fledge like those in Newfoundland/Labrador. We all watched in agony as the osplets of Hope and Beau died on the nest but, what we didn’t see – because the nests are not on streaming cams – are the numerous other nests in the region that thrived producing at least two but, often, three osplets this year.

The big worry of the day came from Fortis Exshaw where intruders – at least one female intruder – caused havoc. I will let ‘H’ tell us all about it but, there are intruders everywhere. In Canada, we can imagine that those in the regions hit hardest by the wildfires lost their nest and/or, their mate, and their chicks. Others are floating around. Some are heading south from further places in the north hoping to get an easy fish. Around the Canmore, Alberta area where the Fortis Exshaw nest is there are numerous Bald Eagles, these intruders or floaters, 2 year olds looking for a mate and a nest, and gulls to name a few of those that would love to peck off a free fish from an osprey. They don’t know there are two hungry babies on the nest needing that fish!

But it is not only Canada that is experiencing intruder issues. We have seen this in the US and it is also happening at some of the nests in the UK. Some, like Dyfi, are having visitors – two year olds scouting for nests and mates before migrating.

Just look at that beautiful bird. The genetics running through her is exceptional. Indeed, one of my friends says the measure of the success of the nest and the good DNA – along with a lot of luck – is in the two-year-old returnees. The problem is seeing them!

Another view of this gorgeous two year old.

Here is the information on the Dad, Merin. Interesting bird.

Llyn Clywedog has its share of visitors as has most of the other nests. Hopefully they will land, look, and take off without causing any mischief.

But the news of the day was being made at FortisExshaw and here is ‘H’s report: “What a range of emotions for the viewers of the Exshaw nest on 8/5.  The youngest osplet, JJ, had not eaten in nearly two days, so we were hoping for a fish-filled day.  But, intruders were the theme for most of the day.  Louise and O’Hara were busy fending off intruders, and even when there seemed to be nothing happening, we knew that they were unable to bring fish to the nest.  On at least two separate occasions a female intruder spent some time on the nest.  (The video quality  was still pixelated most of the day, so it made it very challenging to figure out the identities of all the birds.)  The female intruder was actively preventing Louise from landing on the nest.  Then, an amazing move by Louise at 1339 . . the female intruder and O’Hara were both on the nest, when Louise flew in with a fish and landed right where the female intruder was standing, intentionally delivering the fish to the intruder.  The intruder quickly grabbed the fish and flew away, never to be seen again for the rest of the day.  Brilliant idea, Louise . . feed the intruder!  After that, several hours went by without a sighting of any adult ospreys.  We were worried for JJ.  Banff had eaten two fish the previous day.  At 1729 Louise landed with a huge headless fish, and of course Banff grabbed it.  Banff ate for 90 minutes before she finally walked away from a large leftover piece.  Finally after 52 hours, JJ had some fish to eat.  At 1936 Louise brought a very large whole fish to the nest, and Banff ate for a few minutes, but she was still too full.  At 2021 there was a bit of a kerfuffle between the sibs, and Banff stole the remnants of fish #1 that JJ had been working on.  JJ started eating fish #2 at 2046, and ate a pretty good amount of it.  Louise landed with fish #3 at 2054, and Banff ate some of it.  JJ quit eating from fish #2 and went to eat from fish #3.  But, Louise wasn’t done yet . . at 2140 she brought in a large live fish.  Louise started to feed Banff, so JJ returned to eating fish #3, but then he changed his mind and ate some more of fish #2.  There was so much fish that JJ had a veritable fish buffet, lol.  At 2150 Banff stopped eating, so Louise was able to eat from fish #4.  At 2153 JJ quit eating from fish #2, walked over to Mom, and Louise fed JJ.  Then, quite a memorable moment . . at 2154 JJ ate the tail of fish #4.  In my mind, JJ scarfing down that fish tail was symbolic of this family having overcome so many challenges.  Happy tears!  In case you were wondering, only fish #1 and #4 were eaten in their entirety.  Pieces of fish #2 and #3 remain somewhere on the nest.  Louise assumed her position on the T-perch for the night at 2200.  Good night to our beloved feathered friends.  SOD.”

Let’s keep going with ‘H’s reports –

Osoyoos – It was another very good day for the Osoyoos ospreys.  Olsen brought in nine fish for his family.  Olsen’s fishing success is especially remarkable in view of the continuing heat wave and smokey air quality. 

Severna Park – The juvies are still occasionally seen at the nest, and Oscar continues to provide meals for his fledglings.

Forsythe – Ollie spent most of the day at the nest, and Oscar brought her one fish.  To my knowledge, Owen was not seen. 

At the Patchogue nest, Mini had some nice fish. I counted at least three nice ones but there could have been more. She has a perch where she can see Dad coming in or she is on the nest waiting. The older ones do not seem to be coming in for fish – they would be fed ‘off camera’. In normal circumstances, the youngsters may try to fish (but not all do) and most are not proficient in fishing until they are on their own during migration.

Mini flies off at 0741 after eating her breakfast fish which had arrived at 0701.

She was full. You can see that lovely fish tail left on the nest. Dad will find it when he delivers Mini her next fish and he will finish it off.

Mini at 0844.

Enjoying a huge fish at 1503.

Collins Marsh: Both chicks have now fledged! Congratulations to everyone on a super successful season.

Clark PUD: Mum and the two osplets were hot and hungry when a big fish came to the nest. Mum wasted no time taking charge of that fish and all three ate. Well done, Mum!

MN Landscape Arboretum: Numerous small fish hitting the nest which is fantastic….sometimes the chick is not even hungry became they can arrive in such rapid succession.

Sandpoint: Two fish arrived – a small one and a medium one -. Like many nests, this one could use more fish!

Cowlitz PUD: The fledgling had at least two very nice sized fish on Saturday. Fantastic.

Boulder County: Cam 1 is back on line! And you can now return and watch the three fledglings eating beautiful fish with Mum and Dad close at hand.

Dyfi: Even with an intruder, all is well with the fledglings. Nice fish and the weather is improving.

Glaslyn: OH1 and OH2 are waiting for some fish! They are definitely not starving. Aran is a fantastic provider.

Poole Harbour: One chick has a crop and two are eating fish. What a fantastic nest this one is. CJ7 got herself a good mate by waiting.

Loch of the Lowes: The only ones around are Laddie LM12 and the first hatch, the female. I feel sad when I look at this nest plagued by intruders all season. Blue NC0 gallantly defended the nest and her babies so many times. she has not been seen since 15 July, and the second hatch, the male, has not been seen for some time. Is Laddie proving for him off camera?

Llyn Brenig: The crop in the top image and the fish in the second say it all. This nest is doing well.

Loch Garten: Asha and Brodie’s two fledglings waiting for fish, too. Brodie often brings in a late one so that Asha can enjoy some fish with whichever chick hasn’t had fish. They, too, have had their issues with intruders but the nest has been successful.

Loch Arkaig: Geemeff reports that there were so many fish brought to the nest by Louis on Saturday that Ludo could not eat them all. He was full to the gills! The nest even had intruders but hopefully Louis got some fine fish, too.

Finland #1: Fledgling waiting for fish. This is what we are seeing on most nests.

Finland #4. Apila really looks miserable – it is damp and its crop is really empty. This baby has yet to fledge according to the obs board for the camera.

Ilomantsin: All of the chicks have now fledged and all have returned to the nest and have, at one time or another, had a nice fish meal.

Sydney Sea Eagles: ‘A’ reports that SE32 got plenty of fish. “But today, like yesterday, the little one got plenty of food. Dad brought in two fish and mum brought in one, as they were a little smaller than those being caught last week. But there was plenty to go around and although SE32 had to wait its turn, it did end up getting three or four very good feedings for the day. The best position for it is behind SE31, so that it can reach over SE31 for food. Otherwise, if SE31 is behind SE32, it finds the back of SE32’s head just irresistible! …SE32 is becoming a trifle more confident, though it varies from feed to feed.”

SK Hideaways gives us a video of 32 getting lots of that fish!

Cornell Red-tail Hawks: Ferris Akel had his traditional Saturday tour and he found Big Red, Arthur, and L3 who was recently released in the area after being in rehab for around 9 months (please feel free to correct me on the time but it was many, many months).

Arthur out hunting new Holey Cow.

Big Red, our beautiful matriarch who is now 20+ years young.

L3 who is now flying beautifully and has her own red tail!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, observations, videos, photos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Ian L Winter and the Ospreys of Newfoundland and Labrador, Sally Whale and Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project, Dyfi Osprey Project, Osoyoos, Severna Park, Forsythe, PSEG, Collins Marsh, Clark PUD, MN Landscape Arboretum, Sandpoint, Cowlitz PUD, Boulder County, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour, LOTL, Llyn Brenig, RSPB Loch Garten, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Finnish Osprey Foundation, SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles, and Ferris Akel Tours.

Beautiful Mini…Thursday in Bird World

3 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

We are almost at the end of the week. The time is flying by, and in Canada this is the August long weekend. It will be 30 C, and everyone will rush to their cottage near a lake to refresh. For me, it will mean continued diligence in keeping the bird baths and bowls full of water. It also means that it is the weekend for local corn, time to finally pickle the beets, harvest the first of the potatoes (I planted the seed potatoes in fibre bags), and take several gallons of peaches and turn them into jam. About 6 blocks away, our award winning ice cream shop will have the first of the Louis Lavender flavour available. Everything they make is local and this is lavender mixed with Saskatoons – they are sort of like blueberries but I like them better. Looking forward!

There is lots of good news coming in. This is just a thin slice of what has been happening.

I am thinking Ospreys!

Some wonderful rescues! Every one of these speaks to the dedication of the people at the wildlife rehab clinics – most volunteers – and to the power of people to cause change. Never give up!

Do you fish?

We are still elated that the osprey was untangled without incident to it or the other sibling on the nest.

It takes an international community to help the wildlife. They cannot speak for themselves. They have a right to live without our debris, without their lives and those of their chicks being endangered by our garbage – balloons, baling twine, fishing line. Just as was the case with the osplet above, please do not give up. Phone the local wildlife rehabber, the USFWS offices, television and radio stations in the area – do whatever it takes to right the wrong. The Migratory Bird Act allows for interventions when human debris endanger the life of wildlife even chicks on the nest.

Encourage the owners of every streaming cam to do annual clean-ups and repairs to their nest platforms just like they perform on their cameras. Be alert to fishing line, baling twine, hooks and line on the nests and make those phone calls and send those e-mails. You could save a life and I promise you, you will wake up feeling better and more determined to help others. They cannot get themselves out of our mess. Just look at that twine below.

A group of people came to the rescue.

One last information post before we move to the nests. The term ‘Crossing the Rainbow Bridge’ is familiar to all of us. Have a look at this!

The results of the necroscopy on Tuffy2, the Red-tail Hawklet on the Redding Bald Eagle nest, are published. The photo is by Doug Gifford.

This is the summary:

Bay Raptor RescueAuthor Here is a summary of the necropsy: 1. The analysis supports my post-mortem findings that the hatch year female was in very poor nutritional condition. 2. Her body and head had wounds that are consistent with talon punctures. 3. The body wounds were older and partially healed, and include a fractured sternum. 4. Two head wounds were more severe and recent, with the larger, rear wound penetrating the skull and causing brain damage. 5. The diagnosis is predator trauma leading to reduced food intake and emaciation.

Bay Raptor Rescue, 2 August 2023

Time to check in our nests…let’s start with the reports from ‘H’ today!

Fortis Exshaw: It was an intruder-filled day, with many intruder fly-bys, and even an attempted landing.  It started early, while Louise was away from the nest.  At 0635 Mr.O landed urgently in intruder-defense mode. He jumped up to intercept an intruder and ended up falling on his face. Then he flew off after the intruder.  Mr.O also flew to the nest a couple other times to help keep intruders away.  At 1237 Mr.O stayed on the nest for a full 50 minutes to provide protection while Louise fed the chicks.  There were six fish brought to the nest.  Just before noon portions of the livestream video image pixelated making identifications of the ospreys difficult.  There is a possibility that Mr.O may have delivered the fish at 1907.  At 0605 chick #2 grabbed the first fish and began to eat, but #1 stole the fish four minutes later, and a bit later #2 stole it back.  Both chicks ate well from that fish.  Chick #1 ate the second fish at 1135.  Louise fed both chicks at 1230.  Chick #1 ate the next fish at 1756.  At 1907 a small whole fish was dropped off and #2 grabbed it and mantled, but then surprisingly he walked away from it, so #1 ate the fish.  Finally, at 2005 Louise brought in a large fish and provided a long feeding for chick #2.  Chick #1 joined in the feeding later on.  

Forsythe: There were only two fish delivered to the nest by Oscar on 8/2.  It is impossible to know if the fledglings are being fed off the nest.  But, Ollie in particular spends a lot of time at the nest.  Owen acquired the first fish at 1001.  Ollie was the winner of the second fish at 1619, and she flew off with it.  However, Ollie arrogantly circled back around and buzzed Owen on the nest while still holding the fish.  At 1630 Ollie tried to land on the nest to eat her fish, but Owen wouldn’t let her.  A battle ensued with Owen taking possession of the fish, but both sibs ended up going overboard.  They were seen chasing each other, and neither one had the fish!   Ollie had lost her only fish of the day!  These two siblings had several knock-down-drag-out fights throughout the day.  It was awful to see.  They are so hungry.

Osoyoos –  Eight fish were brought to the nest, and all was well for this family of three.

Kent Island – At 51 days of age, Tom and Audrey’s chick did a nice job self-feeding from a fish delivered by Tom.  An official name for youngster will be announced on 8/4!

Thank you so much, ‘H’!

Shifting to our Mini. I wonder how many of you continue to stop in to see if you can see Mini on the Patchogue nest? Clearly I do…she is such an inspiration. And today, she had at least one nice fish!

Mini sees Dad coming with the fish.

Gorgeous Mini two hours later. Hoping for another delivery.

The bird that got the 1948 fish was Mini! The hearts are a give away along with the dirty front part of the legs.

Steelscape: The cam is on highlights. Three had not even hatched!

Before that happened, ‘PB’ caught the oldest sibling flying for the first time. The time was 0944. Throughout the day, Mum has been fighting off intruders.

Llyn Clywedog: John Williams keeps some amazing statistics on events at the nest of Dylan and Seren and the number and type of fish form month to month is one of those.

Loch Arkaig: A Hooded Crow visits the nest when Louis has been there. Is this Dyson?

Tartastan RU Eagles: Those two Eastern Imperial Eaglets are looking out to the world of Tartastan and dreaming of it being theirs.

MN Landscape Arboretum: It has been hot and Mum has tried to keep her gloriously large only osplet cool on Wednesday.

Collins Marsh: Two beautiful osplets. Collins Marsh should be very thrilled this year to see these handsome birds. One has fledged – I believe the other still has to fly but correct me, please!

Boulder: They have all flown successfully. Congratulations! Dad flies off with his fish – no one is home. Notice that the markings on Dad’s legs are like those of Mini.

Charlo Montana: The cam is up and running and just look at those two precious osplets.

Glacier Gardens: Hope is another beautiful raptor and what a wonderful name. It is something that each of us could use more of in our lives. Hope is flapping those wings and dreaming of a world off the nest.

Did you know that the farther north you go the larger the raptors are in size? And did you know that Hope will fledge around 89 days – the average for Alaskan eagles. That is almost a fortnight longer in the nest that her southern counterparts. The American Eagle Foundation found a huge difference in weight which is logical, “Northern eagles are larger than Southern eagles. Male Bald eagles’ weight may range from 6 to 9 pounds, with females’ weights usually 20 to 30 percent greater. Alaskan females reach up to 15 pounds. Florida males may weigh only 6 pounds.”

At San Jose City Hall, Soledad’s parents, Monty and Hartley, are finding some time -now that their vivacious daughter has fledged – for some bonding.

Cal Falcons: And checking in with Annie and Lou – looks like Annie devoured one huge pigeon! I always find it interesting that the fuller the crop is the more ‘Lacey’ the feathers on the chest/breast area appear…just beautiful. Annie looks like she needs to go and loaf and fall into a food coma.

Kuopio Kallaesi: Only the smallest of the chicks, K7Y, who weighted only 1100 grams at the time of ringing, remains on the nest. The other two K8Y and K9Y have fledged and have returned to the nest. Poor thing is all wet this morning. The parents are still taking great care and this one gets a really nice fish and is self-feeding without any interference from the others. Grand.

Ilomantsin: Everything looks fine.

Cornell Red-Tail Hawks: So many of you have written after the death of M2. It is not clear whether she hit a building or a window. But, as most agree, Cornell should be setting the gold standard in terms of safety for. irds. It is, after all, the home of the internationally respected Cornell Bird Lab. So with $30.8 million of assets for the Cornell lab in fiscal year 2022 (annual report below, thanks EJ), couldn’t they spare what is needed to make each window safe? Last year a very kind and empathetic donor gave $20,000 to collusion proof the breezeway where K1 broke her neck. In other instances, Karel and Cindy used their own resources to collision-proof the bus shelters. Just say’in.

Because of M2’s death, it is reassuring that Suzanne Arnold Horning found all four remaining family members on campus on Wednesday.

Last, a photo of Murphy at the World Bird Sanctuary. His foster eaglet has been released and Murphy is enjoying being – just Murphy! I do wonder if he will ever incubate an egg again….we wait.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Have a fabulous day. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, pictures, Videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog for today: ‘EJ, H, JN, PB’, The Times, Parkes Champion Post, APCH, Linda McIlroy and Raptors of the World, Montana Osprey Cams, Christine’s Critters, KSBW TV News 8, Bay Raptor Rescue, Doug Gifford, Fortis Exshaw, Forsythe, Osoyoos, Kent Island, PSEG, Steelscape, The Clywedog Osprey Group, Tartastan Eagle Cam, MN Landscape Arboretum, Collins Marsh, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Boulder County, Charlo Montana, Glacier Gardens, SK Hideaways and SJ CH, SK Hideaway and Cal Falcons, Kuopio Kallaesi, Ilomantsin, Suzanne Arnold Horning and the Cornell RTH Chatters Group and the World Bird Sanctuary.

Ervie has a female friend, M2 dies…Wednesday in Bird World

2 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Before we get on with the news…I really want to put a smile on everyone’s face this morning. Ervie. Dear Ervie. A female was hanging out in Ervie’s territory. Now Ervie is visiting hers. Jumping up and down for joy and little tears…Can we even begin to imagine? Just remembering that tenacious little third hatch taking on big Bazza continues to bring joy…and of course, all the scraps with Falky. The puffers. The worry and now this!

Gosh, I thought I would not be adding to the Memorial Page at this time of year, but here we are at # 127. Three new additions in the last 24 hours. One of them is the second hatch of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus, who was discovered in bushes under a roof, indicating a building or window collision. M1 and M3 had been spotted on Campus. Condolences…everything was just going so well, and it would not be long until they would be leaving the territory and finding their way.

The other two deaths were the Black Stork fledglings, Jola and Derek.

Just breathe. That seems to be the mantra this season. Just breathe because balancing out all the deaths are some very good things that are happening.

You might recall that the Friends of Big Bear Valley were petitioning to have Labour Day fireworks cancelled in the Valley because of the stress put on Jackie and Shadow. This year it was several days before they returned to their nest. FOBBV asked for and received many articles on the damage fireworks cause to wildlife and domestic pets. ‘B’ wrote me this afternoon to inform me that there will be no more fireworks in the Big Bear Valley. Isn’t this wonderful? It should give us the understanding that what we do can matter – that our actions can drive meaningful change. We cannot give up in despair.

Sandy wrote in her FB post on 31 July: “Thank you for keeping up with Jackie and Shadow even as they are enjoying their summer break. They would like to announce that all of us can now relax—they heard that the Labor Day fireworks show planned for September in Big Bear Lake has been cancelled. Hooray!! Sandy”

This is the latest news from Loch of the Lowes. Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and PF5 has not been seen since 28 July.

More good people helping an Osprey!

Oh, these Osprey fledglings are getting themselves into some mischief. Another rescue.

Checking in on a few nests:

At Patchogue, Mini continues to fare rather well. On Tuesday a fish arrived at 0826. I believe it was Mini that took the fish and flew off the nest with it. If it wasn’t she was definitely on the nest at 1028 and received a smaller fish. At 12:53 she was on the nest watching for Dad to fly through with a fish.

At 1700, Mini was ready and waiting when Dad delivered a magnificent fish! Look at the size of that fish. Mini will not need a late night top up. Way to go Dad!

Mini flies off with that big fish!