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.

Fish Fairies…Monday in Bird World

13 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, oh….Sunday was so warm. It went up to +6 C. The sky was blue. There was a little bit of wind, and it was a perfect day for a long walk at the nature centre. There were 2 Bald Eagles, a Northern Shrike, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, many Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos, about 26 Hooded Mergansers, a single Cormorant, a host of gulls, a pair of ducks and squirrels running everywhere. Everyone was happy and smiling and greeting their fellow birders. Such a wonderful reprieve!

Here are a few images to share with you. The sun was about 3/4 of the way towards setting, and the light was so bright. I worked on some of the images, but still, they continue to look as if they were in silhouette. Apologies.

One of the nicest parts of my walk was sitting on a bench, closing my eyes, and listening to the sound of the geese honking as they flew in. Oh, how I miss that sound when they are all gone. The silence is simply too much.

A lone Cormorant.

Part of the Hooded-Merganser families that have been at the centre since the babies hatched in the early summer.

Nearer to the feeders, the squirrels were busy trying to pull the peanuts and other seeds out from the wire mesh.

S/he got one!

Hairy or Downy? I think it is a female Downy. Remember if you purchase these type of suet feeders to get the ones with the wooden triangle at the bottom. It helps the woodpecker to keep their tail straight and they can feed much more efficiently. They are a little pricer but I promise you they enjoy them that much more.

A Junco hoping to get some seed that one of the birds or squirrels knocks out of the feeders.

It was simply stunning. The light made everything so beautiful. The benches, the empty nests, the lake…even the ice!

The hide is where one of the feeding stations is located. It is perfect for watching the squirrels and little songbirds without scaring them. The wire mesh is to protect the newly planted trees from the deer, while the plastic sleeve around the trunk is to keep the rabbits from destroying the trees.

Before I went for my walk, the girls helped me clean the house. They are too funny. Hope has now managed to take over two of Missey’s favourite spots – the top of the wicker basket looking out to the garden and, of course, the sacred basket with Missey’s baby blanket.

Missey is waiting to see how long it will take Hope to find this other basket in the conservatory! Of course, the good thing is – Hope cannot be in three places at once so there will be a place for Missey (there are many others but Missey is particularly fond of wicker and baskets).

Calico has been getting many brushes during the day and I am rubbing her legs and back. Poor thing. I remember how thin she was when Hope (and any siblings) were newly born. Calico ate and ate…she would rush to finish to get back to her kittens. I worry that her young body paid for that…

They certainly keep me sane.

I missed the photo op, but little Hope was very curious today when ‘the boyfriend’ was eating. His missing fur on the tail and back are coming back in, and he sleeps regularly in the shelter. Geemeff suggested that he might be a good candidate for the male cat in the house…we will see. He was looking in the garden door today!!!!!!!!!!!! You might recall that Calico did that as well when she began to fully trust me.

I want to imagine that all of you are checking on three different nests – you are watching while holding your breath for Marri and Barru to fledge, worried to death about M15 and F23 and the GHOs, and watching those darling babies at PLO and praying for fish deliveries. Certainly that is where my focus has been while also waiting for news of the sea eaglets.

First, thank you to ‘M’, who wrote to remind me that M15 and Harriet had another nest on the Pritchett Property. I had forgotten. This is marvellous news. The GHOs concern me. We have witnessed them taking over eagles’ nests on the streaming cams. The first one that comes to mind is the young eagle couple on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas.

The GHOs hit F23 three times Saturday evening. M15 came to protect her, and they were on the branch together in the morning. M15 delivered a nice fish in the nest for his new lady, and fingers and talons crossed, things go smoothly.

Lady Hawk put the attacks together in a single short video.

At Port Lincoln, Dad came through with a morning fish for Mum and the kids—those precious babies. Yesterday, one of them fed the other a morsel. It melted my heart. My bet is on these two being males. Gentle little males that will go wild once they fledge fighting for fish! Just like Ervie did with his siblings but, until then, perfect little gentlemen.

One large supplementary fish came on the nest, and my goodness, I am not good at identifying fish, but it sure looks like a shark.

Mom’s eyes look like they will pop out.

The look on Giliath’s face tells it all!!!!!!!!!!

#2 likes the shade of Mamma…this fish will last a long time. Maybe #2 will begin pecking at the tail, too. How wonderful. Thank you, Fish Fairies.

They cleaned up the fish. Giliath might have been in a perfect position, but #2 got lots of fish. Both left the feeding with bulging crops – and happily, Mum could also get a good meal. Let us hope Dad brings another nice fish to the nest for his family later in the day. Otherwise, it will be a long time until the fish arrive tomorrow. Dad came and took the fishtail at 13:53, but Mum seemed to have quite a few scraps in the nest, and the chicks were already thinking it might be good to eat them.

You can see #2’s crop in the image below. Giliath’s head is behind Mum’s right wing.

Food comas.

Ah, and I bet you have noticed…we don’t have reptiles anymore. Look at the beautiful feathers and that deep thermal down that will help our ospreys regulate their temperature. Look at the size of the wings and those cute tails. Growing up!

‘A’ comments on those feedings at PLO: “Every year, there comes a moment when I genuinely wonder whether a crop has ever literally burst. Surely a crop the size of Giliath’s or Little Bob’s must be extremely uncomfortable. I wonder whether they need to leave the food there for a period of time for primary digestion before crop dropping it into their stomachs and whether it is uncomfortable or painful to swallow too much too soon. They don’t seem to do it all that often, though we do see smaller hatches doing it if they’ve waited a long time and suddenly get some fish or occasionally when they are trying to fit more in during a particularly lengthy feeding to which they return several times. (Little Bob has done it once or twice when mum has been particularly insistent during one of her hour-plus feedings. Some of these fairy fish are gigantic, thank goodness.) But this evening (it is 18:20 in Port Lincoln) everyone is full. Mum has eaten heaps. Dad has taken the fish away, eaten, and brought back leftovers. He’s a good dad. He tries. Sometimes, it’s very gusty and the waves are extremely choppy. I imagine it could be very difficult fishing there at those times, which occur most days – some days are just particularly bad. “

Several other news items from Port Lincoln. It was Calypso’s mate (he is the 2019 hatch at Port Lincoln) that was found hanging upside down on a pole. The female flew off but has not been seen. People are watching out for her. Calypso was at the nest looking and calling for her.

Did Ervie go to help search for his brother’s mate? –Sadly, Fran Solly has now posted that Calypso’s mate has been found dead. This is so sad. So many Osprey’s lost, so few because they are so endangered in South Australia. Now for Calypso to find another female. Condolences to all.

Love the Port Lincoln Ospreys? Friends of Osprey Sth Australia have calendars and I understand that it is full of Fran Solly’s amazing photographs – even Ervie!

The money from all of the fundraising projects goes directly to put up the platforms, the trackers, etc. Here is a copy of the August 2023 newsletter telling you what was accomplished up to that date.

I am over the moon that Fran, Bazz, and Janet fought to intervene at the nest this year with supplementary feedings, just like in NZ with the Royal Albatross Chicks. I look forward to their research findings and want to help in any way I can so that they know their compassion for this family is appreciated…that is why I am posting the information about the calendar.

Partney and Marrum lost their only osplet to predation by a raptor (presumed) on Tumby Island. The Crows then took over the nest and the nest is now reclaimed by a pair of ospreys. It is not confirmed if it is Partner and Marrum.

More problems with Crows could have been the cause of the death of the osplet on the Sunshine Coast. So sad.

We have all been biting our fingernails watching Marri and Barru. Barru had a close call slipping out of the scrape, but thankfully, he recovered! It is 2130 on the Canadian Prairies Sunday evening, and neither has fledged, but they sure could while I am sleeping. These two are ready. Their interest is in the outside world. Diamond and Xavier are doing a good job keeping them focused on their flying – doing aerial displays and carrying prey. Everything the adults do is a lesson imprinted on the minds of Marri and Barru to take with them into their futures.


Still there…it is past midnight in Canada…

The Osprey Cam on Captiva will go live today!

The cameras at the West End are now live, too, and you can see both the old and new nests of Thunder and Akecheta! Amazing, Dr Sharpe. Thank you.

The cameras are back at Lock Arkaig and there are more visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest!

Was it Smitty?

‘H’ reports that “‘F’ eagle is back at Notre Dame Eagles, per post by Phillipe Josse 11/12, both she and Dad were in the nest briefly on 11/12.” Wonderful news for Little Bit ND17’s Dad!

Deb Stecyk gives us an update of some of the Bald Eagle nests in Canada and the impact of the wildfires this past summer.

Good news coming out of the Kakapo Recovery on one of the Kakapo that had to go for treatment to Dunedin.

‘A’ sent this to me and I missed it so did not include it with the Sunday newsletter. Hopefully there will be some sightings of the eaglets.”Finally, the report for 11 November from WBSE: November 11: Prey delivery last evening at 6:30 to Mangrove Island, not sure if juvenile was about. This morning at 7:45, an adult, I think Dad, was on mangroves where seen yesterday. Hard to see if a juvenile is there in the shadows. Lots of river traffic, with scullers going close and loud microphones yelling training orders. Rivercats passing, dozens of watercraft – Dad ignores them it seems. At 8:01, I heard a juvenile squawk and a currawong – close to an adult. Lots of rubbish under the mangroves, and I heard another threat. Hearing a Koel – is it yelling at the juvenile as well? Pied Oystercatcher flying past. Striated Heron. Great Egret with breeding plumage. Mangrove Gerygone behind me. Later, around midday, the ground team reported adults on Mangrove Island and circling over the area, but no juvenile or feeding was seen.”

And then the report for yesterday from WBSE, thanks ‘A’: “November 13: Early in the morning, I saw one of the adults down in the mangroves, then the other as well. One soared so high overhead, I could no longer see it. The adults were hard to spot on the river, not always in their familiar roosts, and seemed to be moving further into the mangroves. Later, at last, we saw one of the juveniles on a branch in the mangroves – so hard to spot in the shadows, with its brown colouring (see the picture). It stayed still there for over 2 hours while we were watching, with not a sound. One of the adults was moving in and out, but we saw no prey delivered. Again the mullet are jumping. We saw the male Osprey over the Nature Reserve wetlands, flushing out about a dozen lapwings. No more news during the afternoon. As there is an “empty nest” now, or mostly, we rely on ground observers to report any action on the river.”

Oh, I wished I lived closer to Vancouver! If you do, then here is a real opportunity.

HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is claiming so many of the sea and shore birds.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. We hope to have you with us again really soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, comments, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, M’, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, PLO, Friends of Ospreys Sth Australia, Anita Corran, Eric Kotz, Wildlife at Osprey House, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Window to Wildlife, Jan Gallivan, Geemeff, Deb Stecyk, Kakapo Recovery, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and Bird Guides.

Beaky kisses and SE32 eating in the mangroves…Monday in Bird World

6 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that the weekend was good and that the beginning of the week is even better for each and everyone.

It was a damp Sunday in southern Manitoba. It rained. Not enough to melt all the snow but enough to make you worry if you went out if the temperature drops quickly and turns that rain into ice. Still, I wanted to get to the nature centre for some suet and walk around checking on the geese and ducks.

But, before we even start on that…Pepe and Muhlady have their second egg of the Bald Eagle season at Superbeaks!!!!!!!! 32 days til hatch watch. Write that in your calendars. 7 December 2023.

Now back to the nature centre. I spotted 27 Hooded Mergansers. Others have seen more. There were Ring-billed gulls, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, a Rusty Blackbird, two American Coots and 8 Mallards. I did not see a single Canada Goose.

You might remember that earlier in the summer, there were lots of young Hooded Mergansers being cared for by two pairs of adults. I believe that these might be those same waterfowl all grown up!

These are female Hooded Mergansers.

I saw two Males. You can tell them immediately by the white on their hoods and neck.

A małe Downy Woodpecker was really enjoying the suet. Remember when it gets cold suet provides wonderful energy for the birds with all the added fat.

It is the same little Red Squirrel hoping that one of the birds would cause some seeds to drop from the feeders.

Every time I go for a walk in the nature centre, I rub the Buffalo Stone.

In the winter, kids of all ages – seniors, too – will take their sleds to the top of the run and go down the ramp on to the ice of Devonian Lake below. Of course, the lake is frozen solid by then.

Devonian Lake. The only leaves left on the trees are brown. The branches are so bare. The sky is a light dove grey while the lake is a little darker. Everything here in the winter turns into blacks, espressos, deep browns and beaver brown, and a range of greys. I miss the colour of spring! And fall.

At Pork Lincoln, the waters are not as calm as Devonian Lake, but they are calmer than yesterday. Dad will bring in a fish at 08:08 and another one around 13:00 at the time of writing this blog. There could be more and there will also be the fish fairy delivery. There has been no real beaking of any consequence.

Look at the feathers and the down feet. #2 often stars Giliath right in the eyes. It is never the thing to do. One beak by #2. Giliath says not doing that to me. Returns the beak and all is over.

The osplets are getting stronger on their ‘feet’. Just look at Giliath.

Looking out to the world beyond. Those beautiful feathers coming in on the hand and at the tail.

Mum is telling Dad to get on with the fishing. The chicks are going to be hungry.

Mum has flown off the nest. It is nearly 1300. Babies are panting and are hungry. Dad will arrive with a fish shortly. Everyone will get their fill.

‘A’ gives us the remaining report of the day at Port Lincoln: “The fish fairy arrived late this afternoon and delivered five medium-sized fish, mainly red mullet. This was greatly appreciated by mum, Giliath and Little Bob, who ate and ate and ate. For over an hour. Even dad benefitted, because when he caught a fish at 17:39, he was able to eat most of it himself on the ropes. When he brought the remainder to the nest, mum deigned to eat a little before returning to the red mullet. Mum does love her fish, but she tries so hard to fill up those osplets. She feeds fast, and she is always conscious of both chicks, feeding them alternately most of the time (one bite for Little Bob, two or three bites for mum, two bites for Giliath, more bites for mum, three bites for Little Bob, and so on). Oh they are sweet. An osprey nest without undue aggression is a beautiful thing. Rare and wonderful. I have never truly enjoyed an osprey nest until now. “

This is the weekly summary report from Port Lincoln:

They have discovered another nest in South Australia with a wee Osprey babe and an egg.

At Orange, the eyases were looking out of the scrape in the golden glow of morning, waiting for Xavier to bring in the breakfast. Look at how much of the down is now gone. They are developing so fast. Yes, we could have a fledge in a week. That is hard to believe.

These are a series of images from the scrape. Marri and Barru spend a lot of time looking out of the window at the great big world beyond the scrape. The feathers on the bottom of the scrape box not only belong to prey but also have been shed from their back, wings, and head. You can clearly see the falcon head and shape appearing. At times, the pair look like they are on a haute couture runway in Paris with the latest layered satin capes with fine feathering designs. They are simply beautiful although a big bedraggled. In a few days we will not remember what they looked like with their baby down.

There is nothing earth-shattering about these images. They are not fabulous for any reason. I love the state that their plumage is in at the moment. The feathers appear to have a quilted pattern in the first image, with the fine little pieces of down being the ties. The down on their heads is confined to a mini-mohawk. Look at the drape of the cape at the back and imagine a winter wonderland.

‘A’ remarks: “At Orange, little Barru is ADORABLE. Okay, they both are. With their tufts of fluff rapidly disappearing and their feathers coming through, and most importantly those gorgeous eyes. Oh they are so beautiful. Mum and dad are almost reluctant to enter the scrape at this point, as they are immediately mobbed by the eyases, and Xavier needs to count his talons after delivering prey. Mum still feeds the chicks when they let her, but usually, they grab and self-feed, The tugs of prey are risky, as Marri’s near-tumble the other day demonstrated. She really did fall out of the scrape – it was very lucky she got a talon-hold on that tiny ledge beneath the ledge, as it were, and then that she had the strength to flap her own weight back up and into the scrape. It was very dramatic for a few seconds there. But as I said, she learned absolutely nothing from the experience and returned immediately to exactly the same activity in precisely the same spot. Food, food, food!! “

SK Hideaways gives us the video of Diamond not wanting to be in the scrape with the two eyases anymore! Watch those little dandelion feathers go flying…my goodness. This scrape got so small with these two! https://youtu.be/aOZRU7A-Epw?si=Zccfxse3FC1Jh9on

News from Sydney. Images of Rohan Geddes in my blog of for Sunday the 5th of November.

And from Jen for the 6th November, 2023 – As promised, news on SE32 from yesterday. SE32 is with Dad and Lady at river roost! Another thanks to ground obs team – Jen, for the awesome video of SE32 flying with parents. More from the team later on what they saw today. How do we know, which one? SE32 has a high pitched squeal, easily heard over the river and evident when parents were feeding (in mangroves).

And even better news from ‘A’: “November 6: Again all was quiet overnight. Ground crew was down by the river early – and reported both adults and what we think is SE32 in mangroves near River Roost. During the morning I actually spotted SE32 hidden away in the mangroves -superb camouflage and heard it calling. After I left, at around 13:20 SE32 was seen eating under the mangroves, with prey delivered by one of the parents, standing guard nearby. So one of the juveniles at least is with the parents and has been delivered prey, which is wonderful news. Later in the afternoon I again saw both adults in the mangroves in a similar spot, Lady eating a fish and then a juvie possibly eating as well, out of sight. We have possibly heard 2 juveniles calling from that area during the day as well. I went for a walk through the forest, though saw no eagles this time, nor currawongs warning of the presence of a juvenile.”

We are so delighted with SE31 and 32 and knowing they are with Lady and Dad, being fed, getting their flying skills even stronger and learning to hunt. But could you stop for a moment? In recent memory, Lady and Dad have not been able to enjoy these moments either. The eaglets were either lost or taken into care. This must be the most glorious year for these sea eagle parents. Smile. Shed tears. How many years have we waited to see these wonderful fledglings living their lives and being fed without the onslaught of the Currawongs…it is beautiful.

Connie has spent an inordinate amount of time in the nest she shares with Clive on Captiva. Will this be the second eagle couple to lay an egg this season?

Moving sticks and beaky kisses with Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear!

At NE Florida, Gabby is determined to get her nest just right. Now we need eggs!

On Sunday, Smitty had been gone from the NCTC nest for four days. We wait to see what will happen. The young male intruder was seen at the nest on Sunday.

‘A’ gives us a report from the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand: “At the albatross colony, OGK’s brother has been confirmed as an arrival this season. And as we know, YRK has returned, seemingly aware that OGK will not be coming home. Discussion on this led to someone posting this: https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-55416365. What an amazing photo. There is so much we assume about birds and their emotions (or lack of them) and we actually KNOW so very little. So far, there has not been an egg laid at the colony, but as eggs begin to hatch in the second half of January after an average incubation period of about 11 weeks (77 days), that means we should be expecting eggs to start being laid within the next two or three weeks. They will candle all of the eggs to ascertain which are fertile before deciding on this year’s Royal Cam family. It is a very long period of dedication from the parents – nearly three months of incubation, then eight months of feeding their chick before it fledges. That’s the best part of a year! Now that’s parental devotion.”

The GPS tracking systems on the migrating birds are so good that you can locate the precise pole that the bird was killed on. Indeed, some of them will change the image on the transmission to a skull and crossbones when the bird dies. This is where Karl II took his last breath.

This was sent to me this morning by my friend, Sassa Bird. We had been talking about the great loss that Karl II’s death has done to the people who work so hard for this endangered species to grow in Estonia (and Latvia). We remembered Urmas. He has to be more gutted than any of us will ever know. He has worked tirelessly for the Black Stork families in Estonia.

“NFO BIRDMAP: An adult Black Stork, tracked with support of BAltCF project. Breeding in webcam nest of Karula National Park since 2019. Karl II owned the nest after the previous male stork Karl died during the spring migration in Syria. In the spring of 2020, the former female stork Kati did not return from her migration, and a young female, whom observers began to call Kaia, appeared belatedly in May. Kaia laid two eggs, but left the hatching unfinished. After the breedind appeared unsuccessful we got a chance to capture Karl II and install a transmitter on him. So we know that in the previous two autumns, Karl II made a long migration stop on the Black Sea coast between Kherson and the Crimea, and from there flew west around the Black Sea to Africa. During the 2022 migration, this area was a war zone, and Karl II’s data was cut off on September 4 before reaching the occupied area. The next data transfer took place only on September 22, when Karl II reached the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, in the Dniester River delta. Then we saw that Karl II had flown to his usual stop over area on the Black Sea coast at Perekop Bay by evening September 5th, but the next day he flew away from there, 80 km north to the Dnipro river flood plaines, while checking the feeding places of previous years. In 6-19 September, Karl II stopped at the floodplains of the Dnipro river, in a militarily sense rather hot place between Kherson and Kahovka. On September 19th, Karl II went to see if the conditions on the Black Sea coast had calmed down, but turned back to the Dnipro river and from there in morning of September 20th, he flew further to the northwest, looking for suitable feeding places. In two days, without finding a good place to forage, Karl II reached the border of Moldova, in the delta of the Dniester River (by the evening of September 22). We will see if that will be a longer stop over or only for a single night. When he arrived in Africa, the connection with Karl II disappeared, as it does every autumn. But at the beginning of March 2023, Karl II started flying towards Estonia from his wintering place (from the border of the Central African Republic and DRC). Karl II made a migration stop over on April 1 due to rainy weather, but the rain turned to snow on April 4, and according to the forecast, the snow will not melt until a week later. The north is free of snow, but Karl II probably doesn’t know that. Nevertheless, Karl II breeds successfully in season 2023. There grow up three chicks of four eggs. Last is Karl II to leave for autumn migration. He doesn’t know that it will be his last one. Between 1st and 2nd October Karl II lands on electric pylon for night, but got electrocuted. Turkish colleagues searched and found dead body, took away the transmitter.”

If you are in Malta, please read this and help.

North Ronaldsay is in the Orkneys. It has broken its own record with more than 226 species observed on the island.

We have Wild Turkeys in Manitoba. I remember with some disgruntlement when eBird told me that I was incorrect in spotting and hearing a Wild Turkey at Fort Whyte Alive in the spring. Well, turns out I was right and several others saw the turkeys, too. Want to know more about their behaviour? Have a read.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: “A, H, Sassa Bird”, PLO, Fran Solly, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, SK Hideaways, Rohan Geddes, Jen, Cathy Cook, Inatra Veidemane, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, AEF, Sassa Bird, Maria Marika, Birdlife Malta, Bird Guides, and Cool Green Science.

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…

That buzzard continues to visit the Loch Arkaig nest and is, as Geemeff notes, awfully talkative. Is it calling Louis to bring in dinner?

Saving vultures in Tanzania.

I received a note asking about the hunting in Scotland (both fox and beaten grouse) and why I am so against it. The girls and I are reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and in the chapter we were reading today, she recounts T H White’s first fox hunt and what he said after. ” Riding out with the Old Surrey and Barstow Hunt, White recorded the first time he saw a kill with distanced fascination. The fox was dug out of a drain where it had taken refuge and thrown to the hounds. They tore it to pieces while a circle of human onlookers ‘screeched them on’. The humans, White thought, were disgusting, their cries ‘tense, self-conscious, and hysterically animal’. But the hounds were not’. The savagery of the hours,’ he wrote, ‘was deep-rooted and terrible, but rang true, so that it was not horrible like that of the human.’ I think that says it all. The gameskeepers at the grouse hunting estates are (some of them) as viscous in killing the raptors that take some of the grouse for meals. One recent incident of the stomping on a nest of little goshawk hatchlings was particularly gruesome in my mind’s eye.hese are sports of the wealthy and the influential and I hope that they stop due to the fact that people care about wildlife and the compassionate voices, I hope, will prevail.

Mark Avery’s, Inglorious. Conflict in the Uplands, gives particular insight to field sports – grouse hunting – and their links to the class system in the UK. Of course, it is also political as many of the men (they are almost exclusively men) are wealthy donors or politicians or even sit in the courts. It will be difficult to abolish the practices but not impossible. Ever so hopeful.

As you know, I am a big fan of Merlin Bird ID. Here is a list of some other apps that might be helpful.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Forest & Bird, Kakapo Recovery, Lady Hawk, Deb Stecyk PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, FORE, PIX Cams, Superbeaks, NEFL_AEF, Duke Farms, Raptor Resource Project, SWFL Eagle Cam, WRDC, Eagle Country, Dulles-Greenway, Geemeff, Birdlife International, and the Guardian.

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!

It is difficult to measure just how well each of the three osplets is being fed at Steelscape in comparison one to the other but the third hatch is still with us.

Pont Cresor: Home to Aeron Z2 and Blue 014. Three chicks fledged – 11, 16, and 19 July. Congratulations!

Collins Marsh: This nest continues to do amazingly well. Nice fish and the two chicks growing – one already fledged.

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails: It is good to remind ourselves that the battles for fish on the nest are helping our fledglings learn how to survive in the wild when there are many more vying for that fish they have in their talons. We have to breathe. In order to live, the ospreys must eat and that often means being ruthless.

Imperial Eagles, Tatarstan RU:

Port Lincoln Osprey: Dad brings Mum a fish on the nest!

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange: Loving Xavier and Diamond. Wishing for a good season.

Sydney Sea Eagles: So delicate how Lady gives the tiniest of fish flakes to SE31 and SE32. Dad is keeping the pantry nice and full. He even fed Lady while she was brooding.

“Dad brought in the customary fresh fish at 06:52:25 this morning. It was intact and relatively large for this area. A lovely breakfast for the family. Mum had already fed them a first breakfast about an hour earlier, but SE32 was not really over-interested in eating at that time of day (exactly as it did yesterday morning). By the end of the morning, both had eaten plenty of lovely fresh fish. Always a happy sight.” – ‘A’ reports.

‘PB’ has been keeping an eye with ‘H’ on Fortis Exshaw. In fact, I am pretty certain that many of you are checking in and sending your wishes to this nest that is struggling with intruders. ‘PB’ writes: “Small fish 18:16 that #1 gets (from Mr O?), then Louise with bigger fish 18:26 and she feeds 2 and herself, mom is on extreme alert.”

Fortunately that chick 1 was busy with the earlier fish so Louise and 2 could eat.

I noted another fish that came in at 19:55. Chick 1 got that one and is getting really good at self-feeding! It is a good thing that Louise and chick 2 had the fish that Louise brought in – they must have been very hungry! In fact, we often forget that the parents have to eat as well…not just the chicks on the nest.

Oh, another fish at 2128! Did 2 get this one? It was mantling the delivery.

And ‘PB’ writes that Louise brought another fish in right after this one. Well, that is one way to make sure the very hungry second chick gets fed – one fish right after another and then another and another til the big one is so full it doesn’t care.

Louise flew off the nest. Has she engaged with an intruder? Two cannot self-feed and is picking at the fish – chick on the left.

One eventually goes into a food coma, while Two really tries to figure out what to do with his fish. And bravo…self-feeding for the very first time. This is a good thing.

‘H’ was keeping track and she put it very well…I love how she says Louse went into high gear! “It was touch-and-go for a while at the Exshaw nest.  On 7/31, Chick #2 only had one meal, around noon.  Chick #1 has begun to rush Mom or Mr.O to grab the fish upon delivery.  #1 is quite capable of self-feeding an entire fish.  Chick #2 is not at that level as yet, in fact #2 is downright polite about it, and won’t even try to steal a piece from #1.  By 1800, there had only been two fish delivered, and #1 had claimed and eaten both of them.  We were very worried about #2.  Well, then Louise kicked it into high gear and delivered five fish between 1813 and 2137.  Oh, bless her!  Chick #1 grabbed the fish at 1813.  And for the first time, #2 grabbed the fish at 1825, and tried to self feed.  After a few minutes, Louise took the fish and fed #2.  Yeah!  Chick #1 claimed the fish delivered at 1955.  Then at the 2128 delivery, chick #2 grabbed the fish from Louise and mantled it!  Yeah!  Chick #1 had designs on that fish too, and she seemed quite taken aback at #2’s new confident behavior, lol.  There was one more fish brought by Louise at 2137, which was claimed by #1.  Chick #2 did a nice job self-feeding from his fish, and was still eating it well after dark.  I believe that Louise delivered all of the fish to the nest on 8/1.  There was a delivery at 1103 where we had a very limited view of the adult, but there was a brief view of Louise’s distinctive back-of-head markings (quite different from Mr.O).  Another questionable identification of the adult was at 2128, however both top and back head markings proved it to be Louise.  In my opinion, Mr.O did not make an appearance on camera on 8/1.  But, don’t worry, Mr.O was probably guarding the area so that Louise was free to do her thing.”

367 Collins Street: Not live yet. They were just testing the system! That said, it could be up and running right now.

Boulder County: ‘PB’ notes that the storm that swept through the area has taken out the camera on the Osprey nest. At the time all three osplets were on the nest. Let us hope that everyone is fine.

Cowlitz PUD: Everything appears to be just fine and the metal guards have protected the nest and not impeded any movement of the adults or the fledgling.

Hellgate Canyon, Montana: Everyone has a picture of Iris with her huge fish today on the Owl Pole. It is always good to see her here or on the nest! Looking’ good, Iris.

Osoyoos: There has been a question about removing the Middle chick’s body from the body. All of you have watched Osprey nests and chicks dying at various ages. Sometimes the adults remove the body of their dead chick while, at other times, it is left on the nest and becomes part of that historical object.

‘H’ reports: “Olsen brought 9 fish to the nest on 8/1, and a few of them were large.  Soo, and her remaining chick were well fed.  I have seen a few nests where a chick died from siblicide from aggression that was fueled by a lack of fish on the nest, and then the next day there were lots of fish.  Chatters would ask, “where were all those fish when they needed them?”  The weather conditions have not improved at Osoyoos . . it is still quite hot, and the air is smokey from the nearby wildfire.  One difference seems to be that Soo was missing the last 52 hours of chick #2’s life.  The Osoyoos osprey family of three carries on . . and we support them.  The youngster is 37 days old.”

‘H’s other reports:

Kent Island – The livestream returned after having been down for nearly four days.  It seems that Audrey and Tom’s 51-day-old chick may have grown a bit in those four days.

Severna Park – It was so nice to find both juvies on the nest in the afternoon.  Earlier, one of the fledglings landed on the nest carrying a partial fish.

Barnegat Light – News Flash: Dorsett went diving and swimming!  Dorsett spent a fair amount of time on a piling at the Bay beach, when at 1002 she decided to take the plunge into the Bay.  Later in the afternoon she waded in the water and took a bath at the shoreline of Barnegat Bay.

Dahlgren –  Members of this lovely osprey family are often seen at the nest.  It is always good to see them.

Forsythe – In a flurry of fishing, Oscar delivered six fish to the nest for his two fledglings between 0724 and 0920.  Owen and Ollie each received three fish.  There were no fish delivered to the nest later in the day.  The older sibling, Owen, seems to be spending the most time away from the nest.  

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. L ooking forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, B. H, PB’, Fran Solly and Friends of Sth Australia, Cornell Bird Lab, Maria Marika, FOBBV, Loch of the Lowes Visitor’s Centre and Wildlife Reserve, Laura Asbell Stansfield, Barbara Walker and Osprey Friends, PSEG, Steelscape, Inc., Nyth Pont Cresor, Collins Marsh, Pitkin County Open Trails and Spaces, Imperial Eagles RU, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Fortis Exshaw, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Cowlitz PUD, Montana Osprey Project, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Forsythe Ospreys, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, and Dahlgren Ospreys.