I did not go anywhere exotic. I rarely left my home and garden, and it was a joyful week – full of time with Hope trying to socialise this bundle of joy, calming and reassuring Lewis, petting and reading to Calico and Missey, and writing two articles. There was also time to do what was intended – begin writing up the report on the 2023 Osprey breeding season data forms, focusing on the deaths and why they occurred. I needed the cats to balance off the sadness. Sometimes, you can see the birds waiting for their mate to return, and they don’t. Or the babies starving on the nests because society has yet to understand our need to care for them. If we are to survive, the birds, the animals, and the insects need to as well. As I mentioned before the break, the cats have taught me to live in the moment, enjoy, be thankful, and not dwell on the past or the future so that it wrecks ‘the now’. Still, there is an obligation to do what can be done to make the lives of those around me – the neighbourhood community cats, the garden animals, or the birds – as good as possible. Having travelled the world many times, missing what is right at one’s doorstep is easy. For me – now – ‘there is no place like Home’. I am as joyful watching the Blue Jays flit into the little covered feeder for peanuts as I would be walking along the waterfront in Kuching or Penang.
There was also another cat tree to put together. Poor Missey has been looking out a small window with bins full of birdseed stacked one on the other and a wicker basket with a blanket at the top. But this cat tree is nothing like the solid one I have had for two decades. It was obnoxious to assemble with the holes and screws not always lining up easily. Tip: If you have the funds and know someone handy with wood, get them to build you a solid one out of good plywood. You can take it to a local upholster to get it covered. At the end of the day, Missey prefers the wicker basket on the bins. Of course. My house looks like I have opened a cat daycare centre at times. Too funny, but it is driving me a little nuts, so there will be some consolidation this week!
Before checking what happened while I was away, Geemeff sent me a link to the BBC1 programme on Birds of Prey. Ospreys are about halfway through the 57 minutes, and the couple is Brodie and Asha from Loch Garten. But don’t just skip ahead because you will miss the most beautiful landscapes, and the images of the raptors are extraordinary. Enjoy.
Ranger Sharon confirms Manaaki fledged. Thanks, ‘R’.
Mum L came to feed Manaaki. She looked for him twice. Bittersweet moments for these dear parents.
Sunday: It seems that a nest of Ospreys is causing trouble for some organisers of a Green Man Festival in Wales. Let us hope that this does not result in any harm to the platform or any birds.
Ervie travelled and might have met his sister, Calypso.
Ron and Rose began making changes to their refurbished and refortified nest in Miami-Dade County.
PG&E put up a new pole and nest for ospreys in the SF Bay Area. We need more of this!
Many Ospreys are still in Canada and have not started their migration. Lucky is well known in the Newfoundland Virginia Lake area.
Sea Eaglets enjoyed another ‘eel meal’.
Mini visited the nest again Sunday evening at 2018 (17 September). It was already dark. Her leg looked to be bothering her. I wonder if the water has been rough and fishing hard? Mini will be 4 months old, 123 days.
My Mini mug arrived. She and I will have morning coffee together. The screen capture images work well for digital printing on items. The company I used said it was not a high enough resolution, but I told them to print it anyway. The image turned out lovely.
This will be the last sighting of our dear girl. She has come to the nest to say goodbye. Soar high for decades, dear one. May your crop always be full, may your leg heal, and may you thrive. You gave us such joy and showed us what determination can do.
Thunder and Akecheta were together at the West End.
Gabby arrived at the NE-Florida Nest early. She looks out on her territory and its uncertain future. V3 was last seen on the 16th of September. He has been missing for two days now.
Tuesday: Black Storks flying over the Straits of Gibraltar.
Hope is growing and changing. She is no longer ’round’.
Calico loves her cuddles and still wants a story whenever I am with them. It is such a great way to get them used to your voice.
Cuddle time with Mamma and Baby Hope.
How did Avian Flu or HPAI impact the breeding season? News from the BTO gives us insight.
Has HPAI impacted breeding raptors?
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been in the news because of its all too obvious impacts on our breeding seabird colonies and wintering goose populations. However, the disease has affected a wide range of bird species, including birds of prey. Because raptors tend to be more dispersed and often inhabit remote locations, there has been concern that the impact of HPAI on these species could have been underestimated.
BTO Scotland staff Mark Wilson, Anthony Wetherhill and Chris Wernham were commissioned by NatureScot to examine Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (SRMS) data for any evidence of an impact. The team compared SRMS data from the 2022 breeding season with equivalent data from previous years, assessing whether there had been significant changes in reported numbers or breeding success of raptor pairs, and whether any of the changes detected were likely to be caused by the HPAI outbreak.
The analyses provided strong evidence for declines in breeding success consistent with impacts of HPAI on the productivity of Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle in 2022. These impacts were evident in most of the Scottish regions where these eagles breed but, for both species, they appear to have been greater in areas where pairs had access to coastal and marine habitats, indicating a possible link to predation and scavenging of infected seabirds and waterfowl.
Other factors that could explain the differences observed between 2022 and other years, particularly in breeding success, include variation in weather, prey availability and survey effort. Of these, the weather recorded in 2022 may have contributed to the observed differences but seems unlikely to entirely account for all of them.
The work, which has been published as a NatureScot report, highlights the valuable role played by coordinated monitoring of our raptor populations.BTO, e-mail of 19 September 2023
And in Melbourne…
At Patchogue, a local enthusiast and lover of Mini, Isac, said on Tuesday when he went checking, “just saw an osprey crossing from the creek to the lake and have a fish in her talons. I think this our lil 4”.
Do you live in Alabama?
M15 and F1 are getting serious. Androcat brings us the action.
It is a beautiful poem to the Welsh Ospreys…completely written by AI.
Black Storks on the move. No data from Bonus and no new data from Karl II.
One of Atlantic Canada’s favourite male Ospreys, Lucky, is still providing fish to his chicks.
The fledgling from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest was still home.
CORRECTION TO INFORMATION I WAS GIVEN: The male at the Arboretum nest is not 21 years old. Here is the correct information: “This male is G/B MS….a five year old that was hatched in 2018 on a nest in Carver Park.”
RUTLAND WATER, home to many ospreys but my fav male Blue 33 and Maya fledged their 250th Osprey chick in 2023. Congratulations. The event is being celebrated widely and there is even a BBC Radio Programme on the 22nd of September.
Mini has not returned to the nest since Sunday the 17th. That was three days ago. A local believes they saw Mini fishing.
SE 31 and 32 are getting more steady on their feet.
It’s scandalously hot on F22 at the 367 Collins Street nest. Question: Last year, we witnessed the effects of the hot sun and heat on the eyases. So why was the scrape not taken down in that area or, instead, why wasn’t a shade put on it like at the other end?
Thursday: Mark Avery gives us a brief update on Bird Flu in the UK.
“In 2023, up until 17 September, 46 species have tested positive. The last month has seen just one addition – 4 Pheasants in Moray. Here’s the list: Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Curlew, Ringed Plover, unspecified heron (!), Grey Heron, dove/pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Red Grouse, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Reed Warbler and Carrion Crow.”
What is happening at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby? V3 has not been seen in some days and I fear that the tragedy of Samson has beset a potential mate for Gabby. Will there be a clear partner before breeding season in 2023? or will all be lost due to territorial disputes?
Friday: New studies on migration with relation to Black-tailed Godwits and Red Knots reveals much about how young birds travel to their winter homes.
There has been chaos at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier due to the persistent presence of a young female falcon. Diamond has engaged with the female, and as of today, Friday, the nest is calm and back to normal. We need Diamond safe. She is not a youngster and she is incubating eggs.
Here is the video of that moment! This must be very unsettling for Diamond and Xavier.
Lotus and Mr President have been photographed together at the Washington Arboretum Bald Eagle nest.
Ervie is exploring more territory.
The Pritchetts are getting ready for a new season with M15 and his young and beautiful new mate. I hope that they have many successful years – even a decade – together raising little eaglets that spend time at the pond.
Saturday: Ervie is flying inland.
Gabby has been working on the nest with the new visitor. There has been no sightings of V3 and the AEF says they have not seen any fights on camera. There now could be two suitors. ‘As the Nest Turns’ has begun. Poor Gabby. The AEF is labelling them A1, A2, etc. Gabby prefers the smaller A1 and not A2. Hoping that V3 was just run out of the territory but, what a way to start the year.
Now Anna has been injured. She returned to the KNF E-1 nest – limping with a head injury. None of this is good…. but let us hope it is all minor with Anna.
Jackie and Shadow have been seen together in the tree on cam 2. I still love the diamonds that appear on the nest when the sun is just rising at Big Bear.
SE31 and 32 have changed significantly over the past week. Just look at that plumage. My friend, the late Toni Castelli-Rosen, loved the plumage of the White-Bellied Sea Eaglets. The two are much more steady on their feet and they are flapping their wings. Beautiful eaglets.
Dad has been working on the ND-LEEF nest. The new female has also been present. (Home of ND17, that wonderful third hatch survivor that went into care at Humane Wildlife Indiana – finally!).
Eagles at Duke Farms.
Calico has come out of her operation in fine form. She has been playing like a kitten for the past 3 days, and Hope loves it. They both seem to have springs on the pads of their feet. What joy it is to see Mamma and Hope play together. After, they can often be found sleeping side by side on the top of their makeshift tent where they can look out at the garden animals.
The bells will be ringing in New Zealand as the first two Royal Albatross have returned for the 2023-24 breeding season!
This short article explains this much-anticipated event.
‘A’ is very excited and provides more details and a video explanation of the ringing. ” Meanwhile, the official ringing of the bells in nearby Dunedin to welcome the returning toroa will occur this Monday, 25 September, at 13:00 local time (in the US on Sunday 24 September at 3pm Hawaii time/6pm PST/9pm EST). Here is a brief explanation of this beautiful tradition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uanfnBN6OPI&t=36s. How adorable is the little girl?”
Sunday: Lady and Dad reinforce the side rails as SE31 and 32 become more active in the nest!
Ervie got home safely!
Speaking of getting home safely, V3 has returned to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby. He is a little worse for wear in places. Will Gabby show up? Will V3 take the prize? We wait.
Pepe and Muhlady are working on their nest in Central Florida as are many other eagle couples throughout North America.
Akecheta was visiting the West End nest.
This is disgraceful! You can look no further than the driven grouse estates. This is precisely what Hamza was referring to when discussing the persecution of the Hen Harriers in Scotland!
Thank you so much for being with me this morning as I ate back into Bird World. I hope each of you had a good week and are enjoying the crisp autumn air. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter over the past week: ‘A, H, Geemeff, L’, Geemeff and BBC1, PSEG, Sharyn Broni, Conservation Without Borders, The Sunday Times, PLO, WRDC Pam Kruse and SF Osprey Cam with Rosie and Richmond, Ian Winter and Ospreys of Newfoundland and Labrado, Sydney Sea Eagles, IWS/Explore.com, NEFL-AEF, Birdlife, BTO, Karen Lang and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcon, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Alabama Coastal Briefest. Androcat and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, SK Hideaways, Looduskalendar, Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch, Mark Avery, Inatra Veidemane and Bald Eagles in the USA, Hakai Magazine, MI McGreer, Karen Long, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Katie Phillips Conners, Tonya Irwin and KNF-E1, FOBBV, ND-LEEF, Duke Farms, The Royal Albatross Centre, Superbeaks, Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, and Raptor Persecution UK.