Thursday in Bird World

Everyone that I know either loves to see an Osprey fish or they wish they had the opportunity to do so. This is one of the best two minute videos I have ever seen showing the physical stamina that the male needs to land his fish and get it out of the water for the family. Look at it closely.

John Williams kept a list of the fish that Dylan brought to the nest for Only Bob, Blue 496. That was the Lyn Clywedog Nest. There were 354 fish seen at the nest including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and 10 Grey Mullet. This is for one chick and his mate. I wonder how this number of fish increases for nests of more than one chick? Does anyone know?

Last night, at 18:15, the Dad at the PLO Barge brought in a nice fish. He had eaten the head off. Mum proceeded to provide three feedings to the Osplets between then and 22:15. After the last feeding, she ‘hid’ the fish. Lots of times the fish are hidden to keep insects off. In some countries, the fish buried in the strawy nests stay fresher. I am thinking of the White Tailed Eagles in Latvia. Or maybe she did want to hide it from Dad!

One thing that we always need to remember is that video from the beginning. The male’s role is often forgotten in terms of its importance.

The Osprey nests ONLY succeed when the male is in tip top condition. Tiger Mozone made that point last night on the PLO chat. The nest will fail if the male is not a good fisher or is in poor physical condition. The male must eat. How could he keep up his strength otherwise? Dad eats first and brings the remainder to the nest. Eating the head – which might be the best part (I doubt it) – might also stop that fish from flapping (it doesn’t always). So do not begrudge the male a meal – cheer him on. We need the male healthy so he can exert the type of energy it takes to catch the fish. Many say it is 8 to 15 tries to get a fish. That is a lot of diving. Of course, we also hope that there are lots of fish around the surface for the male to catch.

This image has been circulating. I have no idea who took it, where it originated but it was in my inbox awhile ago sent from a friend. Thanks ‘M’.

The next time you look at the legs of the males – think strength. They do not need a gym membership!

Dad on the ropes eating the head of one of the fish he brought in.
The 3 Bobs stand at attention if they are hungry. This is an image after that fish was delivered.

The little ones at the PLO nest need bites of fish often now. Like I said, Mom fed them at 18:15 and then twice again before bedtime. In 2 weeks time they will need more fish. It is important that the 2-3 week period be stable with deliveries. This will be a big growth period.

This was at 18:15:54. It is less than a minute after the fish delivery. I am including this image so you will then notice how those three get to attention when it is feeding time.

In 30 seconds, they have all turned around and gotten in line. Well done, little ones.

The last feeding of the day. They look like they are singing!

It has been some days since I checked on the Black Stork family of Karl II and Kaia whose nest is in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The current tracking is for Karl II, Pikne, and Udu.

Udu is now in Hungary. The comment on the forum is that Udu seems to have an affinity for finding good fishing spots.

I like this map the best as it shows Karl’s family plus Jan and Janika’s Julge. Julge is the purple. You might recall that he got on a ship and went the wrong direction but righted himself and is now taking the Western route to either southern Spain and Portugal or on to Africa. I wonder if he will stop in Spain?? Karl II is near to where he was when I last checked on him. Near the Black Sea in the Ukraine. A great stopping off spot it seems.

While a few days might not change Karl II’s trajectory that much, it sure has changed the plumage of the White Bellied Sea Eaglets 27 and 28. Wow. They are gorgeous. And, yes, Toni Castelli-Rosen, they are as pretty as the Red Tail Hawks! Indeed, I have had to admit to Toni that they are double gorgeous. I love the plumage on these juveniles.

The last time Aran was seen was Tuesday morning so he might have left on his migration. The Glaslyn Valley will be waiting for him next year. Isn’t it gorgeous? I understand they are leaving the camera on all winter. Wow. What a treat.

It is not clear if Iris has left Missoula, Montana yet. There were photographs of an Osprey on Iris’s favourite branch eating a fish on 12 September. That was four days ago. Did she leave without saying goodbye to her nest? Maybe. Tiaki, the Royal Cam chick, had a feeding today (LGL) and Tiaki is still on Taiaroa Head. Samson has been bringing in sticks and him and Gabby are working on the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me today. I had hoped to do a quick check on all the nests but the long drive in the rain was exhausting. I will do that this weekend. Stay safe everyone. Check out the trio at the PLO Barge. They are darlings.

Thank you to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, the Eagle Club of Estonia and BirdMap for their streaming cam and FB pages.

Wednesday in Ospreyland and elsewhere

The water on the lake is very smooth today. Strangely there were no gulls, only one Cormorant fishing, and a lone duck. The bison were not in their enclosure but the sky was the most beautiful blue and the Aspen trees are nothing short of gorgeous. It was a good day. I also learned a lot by plunking myself down and talking to the chap that runs the Nature Centre. So first with the terrible photos. The blame is on my ‘finger’. The setting on the camera was definitely not where it should have been.

This cormorant was rather amazing. He dove into the water and came up about 15 metres from where he went under – but not for several minutes. Incredible. I hope he found a fish for his efforts.

Feel free to help me identify this duck. I have three bird books in front of me and none of the descriptions fit this one. Ideas? I was told that there is a duck that should not be here but should be in British Columbia. I wonder if this is it?

The fawn was not going to cooperate! And why should it? But I do wish it would have turned and smiled.

Driving through the hills and gravel roads is such a change from the urban asphalt. These colours were stunning and changed from area to area in the park.

The national parks in Western Canada from 1915-1946 were built in part by some ten thousand foreigners, the unemployed, the homeless, conscientious objectors, and people deemed to be enemies of the state. I understand that they were not criminals but were perceived, at the time – during the Depression and the wars – to be persons who might cause civil unrest.

Four hundred and forty German POWs worked at Riding Mountain National Park. They were originally in detainment camps in Alberta that were crowded. They volunteered to come to Manitoba and work in the forests cutting wood. Each man’s quota was 3/4 of a cord of wood a day. Their camp was at Clearwater Lake. There were no fences and no barricades. In conversations with staff at the park, it was known that the men would often sneak out of camp and go to dances in some of the small towns. No one seemed to mind. They would be back in the POW camp in the morning for the roll call.

The men worked eight hour days. There was not a lot to keep them busy. They began wood carving. Many made dug out canoes from the large spruce trees in the forest. They raised pigs and grew vegetables in their gardens. They also caught a bear and tamed it and it became the camp mascot.

A number of the men returned to visit Riding Mountain on the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. It is totally fascinating – a part of the history of my province that I did not know.

Times have certainly changed. Look at the old canvas tent and the chairs. I love the moose calves. Not sure the rangers would like to see this happen today! I can’t wait to learn more about this beautiful area where I live.

This is a short video about the POWs and their role at the park.

Now to turn our minds back to the birds for a moment. The sun is just rising over the water at Port Lincoln, Australia. It is kissing the back of our Osprey mum with its golden rays.

Six or seven hours after the third Osplet hatched, it was holding its head high wanting some fish.

I am not quite sure where it is during this feeding! It will be a scramble but hatching out of that egg took a lot of energy and many do not even eat the first 24 hours. I have a feeling that this little one is strong. Let us all hope so and send good wishes down to them and their parents. I want to see this nest fledge three this year!

What a beautiful place for an Osprey nest. I hope there are a lot of fish for Dad to bring to the nest. Fingers crossed.

Looks like everything is going well at Port Lincoln. Here is another image of its first feed, less than six hours after hatch. Fantastic.

The researchers and administrators at the Port Lincoln Osprey Project have posted a number of videos on the Port Lincoln FB page. You do not have to be a member of their group to watch them. Check it out!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope to do a full check on all the nests – including returning Bald Eagles – tomorrow night. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the PLO for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

And then there were 3

Port Lincoln Ospreys welcomed the third hatch at 00:57:50.

This was one of the best images. Mum moved that eggshell later. Congratulations PLO. Let us hope that since the hatches are so close together, the rivalry will be minimal and all three will get to wear an antennae!

There is other good news. Laddie, LM12 and Blue NC0’s 2021 hatch, LR2 was photographed in Trebujena, Spain by Richard Page-Jones. Fantastic. Not sure if he will stay there or continue on to Africa. Well done Loch of the Lowes!

Three other interesting tidbits this morning. A study in Canada has revealed that if you put colourful collars on cats, it helps protect the songbirds in your garden. I might just buy these for the neighbour’s cats that come around my feeders!!!!!!!!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cat-collars-bird-deaths-research-university-northern-bc-1.6168493?fbclid=IwAR0ivf3W0erFnpo5TwYIOag2pxKP1yXuhYwmyddPthi-jpeQpBITJrB1Etk

There is another positive story coming out of my province, Manitoba. The Burrowing Owl Recovery Project has discovered the only known nest – a first for so many years – with two adults and six owlets. Well done.

This morning’s newsletter is short but it is packed with positives. Head over to the Port Lincoln Osprey streaming cam later today to check on that new hatch if you have time. Here is the link:

I am cautiously optimistic about the PLO this year since the hatch times are so close together.

Thank you for checking in. Have a great day.

Thanks to the PLO Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Bird World. 14 Sept 2021

Everyone loves a new hatch and the two little Osplets at PLO continue to just make me go “awwwwwwwwwww.”

Look at that nice fish Dad has brought in for Mom and the Little Bobs. They are both lined up, mouths open, watching with their eyes which aren’t focusing 100% yet. Oh, so sweet.

There is a pip in the third egg. It was seen about nine or ten hours ago. There is not much progress. Will it be a successful hatch? We wait.

The feedings seem to come often, sometimes an hour apart. That will do much to instil food security to these two – of course, along with those good catches of dad’s.

Around 08:07, viewers might have thought there was bonking going on but it is the lack of clear focus and just seeing a ‘beak’ that they try to aim for. Not intentional. You will know for sure when the pecking is meant to be harmful.

You get a glimpse of the crack in the third egg at 07:15.

The cam operator at Port Lincoln gave everyone a tour of the area. I want to share it with you in case you did not see these beautiful images.

It is a lovely area for an Osprey nest.

This is a great image. It shows you Mum and the nest on the left. You can see how it is raised up. Then look down on the deck. That is Dad’s man-cave. Looks pretty good. He has a nice perch there or there are perches on the ropes that eventually the juveniles might use.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Project has permission for three satellite trackers for this year. This is due to the success of Solly! Yes, you can close your eyes and see me jumping up and down. It is often difficult to demonstrate the merit of using technology but I think the data coming from Solly’s transmitter turned some heads. Now PLO just needs to get the funds to purchase them. With no eggs on Turnby Island, this means that all three of these chicks, if there are to be three, ‘might’ get one.

There have been a few visitors to the Achieva Osprey Nest since Jack and Tiny Little vacated in August. One of those came today – a very hungry young male, I think.

There was a posting on Twitter this morning showing an image of an Osprey eating a fish on the Mt Sentinel tree. It is presumed to be Iris. If so, she is still in Montana and has not come to say goodbye to her nest yet.

I ‘think’ Aran is still in the Glaslyn Valley. I caught sight of an Osprey as the trees were blowing. The Osprey is in the tree behind the pine branch.

Ring-Bill Gulls on the dock. They do not seem to mind the more choppy weather.

The leaves are turning and the landscape is simply stunning.

The Cormorants were very clever. The choppy waves were driving the little fish into the edge of Clear Lake. They waited and were catching their lunch. Very impressive.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is definitely fall in Northern Manitoba and there are few birds about. I was told about a possible sighting of a Blue Heron but I am holding out for some loons! Fingers crossed. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Double Cute – the two Little Bobs

Ospreys quite similar to the ones we know today were well established in much of their current breeding range at about the same time our earliest ape-like ancestors left forests and began to walk upright across the plains of Africa.

Alan Poole quoted in D. Gessner, Return of the Osprey, 158.

I could not wait to wake up this morning to check and see how the little Osplets are doing at the Port Lincoln Barge. Yesterday I wondered how you say cute in Osplet – but how do you say double cute? These kids are healthy and strong and by 18:00 necks were held high. No teaching these two what to do when mom gets up and dad delivers a fish, 50 million years of genetics have seen to that!

These images are in reverse order. They go from what I believe is the last feeding in the evening to when the little one was figuring out how to turn around to get some fish. Sorry about that. My mind must be operating in reverse!!! As you go back in time you will notice that the chicks have, in six hours, figured out how to line up for mom so they get some fish. It is nice they are almost the same size. Mom is so patient with these two.

I have left the time stamps on the the top ones, the most recent. Enjoy.

Mom trying to get some rest.

That is a nice fish that dad has brought in.

There were two close feedings together towards the end of the day.

Born with their mouths open like little tiny song birds.

Waiting for Dad.

A much needed rest. Mom will have to sleep as much as she can when those little Bobs are quiet.

This is the 11:54 feeding.

The ‘little’ one got himself straightened up and got some fish but, initially, his head went the opposite direction.

Oh, little one, you need to turn around!

More cuteness. I had so forgotten how incredibly quick these Bobs learn. In a week we will not recognize them from the size and the way they look today with their seemingly black face goggles.

It is now 01:04 in Australia and Mom is having a sleep. Can’t wait to check in on how the two are doing in about six hours. Thank you for joining me. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the PLO Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

How do you say ‘cute’ in Osplet?

The Port Lincoln Ospreys welcomed two osplets born so close together that it has made a record for the barge. No hatches at dusk and two hatches by dawn! And they are soooooooo cute.

Do you think they are born with their mouths open wanting fish?

First one.

First feeding for both was at 07:02.

Just look at that natural reflex to open their mouths. In fact, every time mom gets up to check on them they open their mouths.

Absolutely adorable with their light grey down and that distinctive dark eye mask.

Look at those fat little arms. Oh, these are two healthy new hatches. Simply adorable. I hope that their hatching times, so close together, brings this nest much luck. Hopefully the next egg will hatch really soon or not at all. Two healthy fledglings would be grand.

Mom is taking a much needed nap! Can you imagine having two hatching bumping little osplets under you all night????

While everyone was celebrating the good news at Port Lincoln, sadly, a fox took the two eggs from the Turnby Island nest. They were due to hatch any time. So sad for those parents.

I am toasting Port Lincoln with a much needed strong cup of coffee. Dad, we need fish! Lots of fish.

You can watch them here:

Thank you for stopping in. This is just a brief update on the news from earlier this morning. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the PLO for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

It is 2 Osplets for PLO

I barely got my camera ready to go and check on our Ospreys and the second Osplet hatched at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest in Port Lincoln, Australia. It has happened before BUT it is very rare. The closer the osplets hatch the better their chances are if there is sibling rivalry.

And it has happened, according to Tiger Mozone, that all three eggs have hatched on the same day. Must find out where that was and when. But, for now, we celebrate. Welcome #2.

Osplet

Wow! Dad. Get fishing!

Thanks PLO for your streaming cam where I took this screen shot!

Port Lincoln has an Osplet and a pip!

Oh, just look. Welcome to the world #1 Osplet at Port Lincoln.

A few hours later and the little one is all dried off sporting its soft light grey down with its distinctive charcoal stripe.

Close observers during the night note that another egg has started cracking. This image was taken at 09:21:13 on the 13th. You can see the bump in the front right egg and Mom has just turned the back egg with the prominent brown splotches very carefully with her talons. It is the second egg that is pipping. Oh, how grand. If two could hatch in 24 hours.

Here is mom turning the egg with her talons – very, very gently.

Congratulations to everyone at Port Lincoln.

Thank you for joining me. So many people stayed up or checked in on mom during the night. Will there be another hatch today? We wait! I am now off to check on some birds. Perhaps by the time I return we will have the second hatch. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Gabby is home!

Gabrielle or Gabby flew into the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville today, 12 September. She might well have been on the branches or around earlier but I have her at 19:33:12. What a wonderful sight – to have this fabulous couple back safe and sound on their nest. Samson doesn’t migrate and he was seen several times during the summer and, in particular, when the camera maintenance was taking place. Both eagles got busy inspecting the nest. They were digging around and I wondered if they were looking for ‘Eggie’ that Samson had buried last year after Legacy spent so much time taking care of it, incubating and rolling. Oh, Legacy, what an amazing character you turned out to be!

They seem to have a discussion. Samson is on the left in his Levi Black Stretch ‘Slim Fit’ jeans and Gabby is on the right.

I wonder why they are so preoccupied with this one spot. Is this really where ‘Eggie’ could be buried?

More discussions!

All is right in The Hamlet. How comforting seeing them both roosting on their branches of the nest tree. In 2020, Gabby returned on 12 September, too.

This is their third season. In 2019 they fledged Jules and Romey named after Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliette. This was their nest – indeed, it is the nest where Samson hatched. Last year, they fledged Legacy. What a sweetheart. She sure stole a few hearts!

After all the excitement in NE Florida, I decided just to check on the other nests. No hatch, yet, at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. For those of you watching the Royal Cam chick, it has been confirmed that her neighbour chick, SSTrig, fledged late afternoon 12 August nest time. SSTrig is the first chick to hatch and fledge of adults, Green Lime Green and Red Lime Black. Tiaki and SSTrig did not always get along very well. You might remember their little altercations.

At the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia, a bird arrived around 13:35 13 August. WBSE 28 was more or less in a submissive pose during the entire feeding. WBSE 27 ate 98% of the gull. I wondered what had happened earlier but the camera feed would not let me rewind that far back – which seemed odd since you can always go back at least 8-12 hours. But, not today.

The adults at the 367 Collins Street Osprey Nest in Melbourne continue to make their well rehearsed handover of incubation duties. These two are really quite incredible.

I know that some of you have been wondering why dad isn’t bringing mom food at the nest. Prey will not be brought until the eyases hatch. There is a place up above the nest where the male leaves prey for the female so she can eat.

Here is cute little dad.

And beautiful mom. A couple more weeks. These two better rest as much now as they can! Four eyases. Oh, my goodness. I cannot wait.

Xavier has come in to see if he can have a turn to incubate their eggs. Diamond doesn’t get off and hand over the duties as easily as the mom at Collins Street. Poor Xavier. Xavier will often bring prey to the ledge and Diamond will take it and fly out of the scrape to eat it.

Why do the two falcon couples do this? keep prey out of the scrape when there are eggs? For cleanliness and not to bring in any parasites or insects. That is also the reason that falcons do not use twig nests.

It is now the wee hours of the morning on the Canadian Prairies. I didn’t intend to write another blog but, oh how I wanted to let you know about Gabby. This is wonderful news. Harriet and M15 are back at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest. And that reminds me that I need to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

Thank you for joining me for this quick alert. Have a great Monday everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross, The 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Sea Eagles Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

It’s a Pip for Port Lincoln …and is Iris still in Montana?

The poor mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge nest has certainly been stared at! Chatters want a stick moved and Dad seems to continue, on occasion, to bring in some more nest materials.

At 02:06, many were certain there was a bump. By 05:33:13 there was a definite pip. The bump expanding for three hours certainly seems logical.

You can see it here – the back egg! The first egg was laid on 3 August. I think it makes it 40 days on the dot – but don’t trust me, do your own math, please. It looks like there will be a little Osprey by morning tomorrow. Lovely. I hope the weather is good for mum and chick.

Thanks to the two ‘Ss’ for alerting me. It seems that Iris was enjoying a fish yesterday on her favourite tree at Mt Sentinel. You will read later in this newsletter that Ospreys prefer trees without branches. This one is certainly perfect. She can see all around her. Oh, the survival skills the Ospreys have developed over millions of years.

Oh, these birds are so smart. If the weather is bad, maybe they know it. Certainly they anticipate local weather and act accordingly!

Hurricane season officially lasts from 1 June to the end of November. Last year several of us worried about Tiny Tot and we became curious about the impact of hurricanes on the Ospreys and other birds.

This is an excellent document on the subject.

In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner talks about visiting Sanibel Island after Hurricane Charley hit the area in August of 2004. Santibel took a direct hit and it is home to many sea birds including lots of Ospreys. Some of you might have watched the Captiva Bald Eagle nest last year – Joe and Connie. That nest is on Santibel Island.

According to Gessner’s friend, Tim Gardner who lives on Santibel, the hurricane hit with 140 mph winds, a category 4. “The Ospreys, according to Tim, moved lower and lower in the trees, until they hunkered down near the ground in the brush.” “But no amount of hunkering could protect them.” Gardner revealed to Gessner that all of the nests were gone after the hurricane. Blown away. Gardner also added, “The remarkable thing was the birds’ resilience: those that had lived through the hurricane had come back to rebuild on the same spots”. He noted that the few trees that remained looked just like sticks pushed up out of the ground with no branches —– well, lo and behold, our Ospreys love trees without branches. Perfect. They can see all around them. As hurricane season continues for 2021, let us wish all the wildlife resilience and strength.

I have so enjoyed Gessner’s writing that I was able to find his first book at a used book shop. It is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I hope that it is as informative as it is a good read. Certainly Soaring with Fidel fit that. I continue to return to that book. It is a delight.

After posting the article, “The Tears of the Albatross,” my friend, ‘L’ send me a link to this wonderful video, Albatross – A Love Story! It is excellent. Have a look. Thank you, ‘L’!

So many of you have sent me the most beautiful images of your the birds. Thank you! The care, love, and concern that each of you have for the wildlife visiting your gardens is so endearing. I wish we could spread that love and care like an aerosol.

Oh, the joy and laughter the birds and animals bring with their antics! This evening as the sun was setting, the three Blue Jays that visit my garden and two of the large grey squirrels had noticed the ears of dried corn that had been put in a bowl for them. My view was mostly blocked but oh, you could see the crest of the Blue Jay pop up and down and, on occasion, the cob would roll and you could see the Jays getting a kernel and eating it. One decided to have a bath. Of course, he will never use the bird bath. This fellow, the male, prefers the old gold water bowl.

I am also certain that he can hear when I take the cap off the lens since he absolutely refuses to pose! Seriously, he had been looking straight at me prior to this.

The Blue Jay couple are year round residents in the back garden. They always come out in the morning and late afternoon to almost sunset. They often arrive with a single juvenile every summer. To my amazement, they get along with the other regulars – the little Downy male woodpecker (and his juvenile in the summer), the lone Black-Capped chickadee, the three Grey Squirrels, Sharpie the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Hedwig the Rabbit, and ‘Little Red’, the Red Squirrel. OK. Red and the Grays dislike each other completely.

These characters that give us so many giggles are really a part of the family. It is always comforting, at the end of the day, to check off that each has been seen.

The link to the Port Lincoln Osprey cam is here:

My newsletter will be late tomorrow, very late. I am hopping to get a glimpse of some birds during the day if the weather cooperates. On the list are Sandhill Cranes. In fact, it might not arrive until Tuesday late morning so don’t worry.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on our friends in Bird World. No doubt everything will happen at once – the chick at PLO will hatch the moment that Tiaki fledges and Iris arrives at her nest! The birds certainly keep us on our toes. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my images: Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, Sharon Leigh Miles from the Montana Osprey Project who allows me to use images from their FB Page she posts, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.