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.

Fish Fairy comes in with 4…Saturday in Bird World

18 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Before we blink, it will be 2024 and I think I have just gotten comfortable typing ‘2023’ without having to think about it! Where does the time go? And why does it seem to fly by so quickly?

Thank you for all your good wishes for Calico. As you know, I have a really warm spot for this cat that was probably dumped and had to live in the wild for last winter until she moved into the house in late August. I am so glad she became trustful. The good news is that Calico has an infection and will be 100% back to normal in a few days. It is the same as she had before when Hope was lost and the milk built up. She has a slight case of mastitis. But the bad news is she does have some arthritis in her legs or perhaps her health was compromised by having kittens and taking such good care of Hope when she was so young. You might recall that Calico was so very thin despite eating a lot of good cat food daily. For any of you who have arthritis (my gran did, and so do I), there are treatments but no real cure. Poor thing. That warming cat bed will be nice for her this winter and she has some vitamins now to help get her bones stronger. Geemeff has suggested adding Lysine and Cod Liver Oil and we will certainly do that. I suspect she will want to sleep in that warm bed year-round. There are anti-inflammatory medications she can be on, as well as feline acupuncture. Because she is very young (just a year and a fortnight), the vet is weighing the options and will get back to me on Monday with a plan for Calico. In the meantime, we will fight this infection! She is looking better already after 24 hours of antibiotics.

Hope and Calico on my grandmother’s quarter-cut oak round table. Hope quickly got on a plant stand that I had put a table mat on and has now claimed it as her own.


Hope stood up as if she were a model and then she did the contrapposto pose of the Ancient Greeks, almost. (It is when a person stands with their weight on one leg, allowing the other to be more relaxed and bent at the knee. It gives a rather relaxed pose). Oh, she is so cute I can’t stop taking photos of her…soon she will be a big girl.

Little Hope is being trained to go into the carrier so she can go for her operation this coming week. She is so easy. She loves treats! Thank goodness. Missey supervised!

The camera at Port Lincoln was able to get some beautiful close ups of Giliath early Saturday morning while the pair wait with Mum for a fish delivery. Gorgeous. Simply beautiful. Look at those lovely juvenile feathers growing in!

And #2.

They are exercising those wings!

Dad came through at 0903. Way to go, Dad!

The chat moderator and camera operator (and observation board), Bart, says that the Fish Fairies delivered close to 9 kg of fish on Friday to the nest. Way to go Fish Fairy!

The Fish Fairy arrived and left four really lovely fish at 1330 (the observation board says four, but I see three…where is the other one? under a chick?). What a nice feast they will have. Mum quickly got the fish and started feeding Giliath and #2.

So is it Giliath or #2 that went over to try and do some self-feeding? I am having difficulties telling them apart.

Mum finished feeding the first fish and started on the second – a red mullet. Despite the crops being full, the chicks are still eating. Surely, they will fill up, crop drop, and top up their holding tank again. This could be the last fish til Sunday, when the fish fairy visits again. That red Mullet must have been hiding.

Three down and one left. Mum is eating and is extremely hungry. They have stopped. The last fish is under one of the osplets. Will Dad come and have a meal? Surely he is easily as hungry – if not more – than Mum and the chicks.

Mum started on the last fish. She is eating most of it herself. She is obviously very hungry – she did a fantastic job feeding her youngsters now it is her turn for a really good meal.

Wow! Thank you to everyone supplying fish to this much-loved osprey family. This family and these chicks would not be what they are today without your empathy and generosity.

Note: Dad took one of the Whiting! So everyone had the best fish.

If you have considered donating, it could be an excellent time to show appreciation and help feed these osplets. If you are an international donor, you will do the stripe transfer. You will see a page with merchandise and amounts for donation. Once you begin the process, there is a place at check out to add ‘barge feeding’.

Fran Solly confirms (on FB comment reply) that ringing will occur the first week in December, and one of the osplets will get a satellite tracker. The dates that I have seen suggested are the 5-7th of December. I wonder who will get the tracker.

At Orange, the fledglings are being fed on the top of the tower!

Cathy Cook has been busy taking photographs and videos of the sea eaglets. You should check out the Sydney Sea Eagles FB page for the complete images. Lovely to see the youngsters flying strong and being heckled by the little birds but doing well. It has been a glorious year. Thanks, Cathy!

‘A’ sent the Ranger’s report:

“November18: Early the juvenile was down in the usual mangrove area, with Lady keeping watch above. Saturday morning the river is noisy with rowers training, much shouting and noise until 9am. Pleasing to see the juvenile fly a short way. At 12:30 the juvenile was on a mangrove branch in the shade and both adults on River Roost, no swooping or calls. 1:10 both adults took flight from River Roost and were away for some time. 1:20 juvie flew back again, then moved again a few metres and again, so hard to see. Later we were thrilled to see her make a couple of passes over the water, with talons reaching out- practising hunting? (see picture – ).The wind was very strong, hard for a young eagle. Then she was back again to the favourite patch. Not sure if a late feed was delivered.”

Let’s check that other Osprey nest at Osprey House with Atlantis and Kailani.

Gosh, Dad looks little delivering these fish. Gotta watch those talons.

An Osprey visitor at the Captiva nest in the Barrier Islands, Florida.

It was windy, stormy, and wet at the nest of Gabby and V3. Still V3 was on the branch being ever vigilant over their territory.

There is a lot of misinformation, and sometimes I get caught in it…this is the information from the AEF on who was at the NE Florida nest Friday night. Many still believe that V1 visited.

At the SW Florida Eagle Nest, Mr Hootie flew into the nest hooting for his mate with prey. He stayed in the nest, went up to a branch, and then returned to the nest calling. He left but he might come back. No sign of M15 while this was happening.

Then the eagles came! It was after midnight.

Lady Hawk shows us M15 giving a fish gift to F23.

It was a nice day on the other side of Florida at Captiva in the Barrier Islands. Clive and Connie have alternated incubation of their two eggs.

There is activity at Dulles-Greenway.

We are 19 days away from hatch at Superbeaks!

Late visit at Big Bear. It is sure windy there!

Looks like River is still at Dale Hollow. I wonder if she is still with the male that was there after Obey disappeared?

Some great images of Liberty at the Redding California nest. Wow. She is a beauty.

The Three Bridges Eagle Cam will go live shortly.

Did not die of lead poisoning. Someone shot this beautiful Bald Eagle, and it died. I have a hard time getting my head around the reasons that anyone would do such a thing.

Cody is still having some issues at the Kisatchie National Forest E-3 nest with the solar power…this time it is ants.

Osprey count from Gambia. 5F is Seren, Dylan’s mate, at Llyn Clywedog.

What species of birds live the longest in the UK?

A win-win.

Join me in reading about Canada’s National Bird – the Canada Jay. Nicely written…a joy.

Ever wonder how far Peregrine Falcons fly from Europe to their winter homes? Check this Finnish bird out! Incredible.

Be kind to your friends with pets this holiday season. Do NOT give them any of these plants!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, announcements, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, PLO, Fran Solly, Holly Parsons, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Cathy Cook, Osprey House Environment Centre, Val Gall, NEFL-AEF, Linda Russo, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, Window to Wildlife, Dulles-Greenway Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, FOBBV, Sassa Bird, FORE, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Carol Mandis-beadle, Cody Wayne, Jean-marie Dupart, Bird Guides, Brian Horne, and Atlas Obscurer.

Monday in Bird World

23 October 2023

Hello Everyone!

Sunday continued as a grey day with some drizzle. It did warm up a bit but we are now definitely into layers and toques (knitted hats). No gloves or mitts required – yet.

The fall colours are sensational.

There are still Mallards paddling in the ponds and there were approximately a hundred geese at mid-afternoon on the big lake. More will fly in at dusk.

At home, something wonderful happened on Sunday. All the girls were in the conservatory. Hope climbed up the big cat tree to play with Missey’s bushy tail while Mamma Calico was below on the floor. No problems. Everyone got along! Hope and Missey played for almost an hour. I was in tears. Missey has missed having someone to play with. I know the Feliway doesn’t work for all cats, but it has brought peace of mind to our house.

Hope is growing. Sometimes I have to look twice to see if it is her or Calico.

Hope also decides that she wants to share the same chair with Mamma.

About 1730, the garden came to life. The Blue Jays had been pecking at the seed on the big tray feeder. Then, the Dark-eyed Juncos arrived along with the little woodpecker. Dyson showed up with her three kits, and then Little Red had to come and push its weight around. He is a bully to all the grey squirrels. I think this is the opposite of what happens in the UK, but Little Red is decidedly ‘the boss’ and lets everyone know it. I find it unsettling when there is always plenty of food for everyone, and territory is not an issue.

The Dark-eyed Juncos are one of my favourite migrating visitors to the garden.

A female Hairy Woodpecker enjoying the new suet.

Dear Dyson. The Matriarch of the Clan still going strong. Dyson and her three kits appear to be in very good health. Their coats are lovely and their fur is getting nice and thick for winter. No one is missing a tail either!

Storm Babet hit the UK, leaving many without power, streets flooded, and damage to one or more of the Osprey nests and cameras. There are continuing worries in many areas. We wait for people to be able to get out and check – and they need to be careful – as the water is still high in many places, such as Alyth.

Stay safe everyone!

It looks lovely near the Loch Arkaig nest where there is another surprise visitor.

Lady is taking care of both of her fledglings on the nest. So far, so good. I am almost in shock – in a good way – that these two, SE31 and 32, are flying about and returning to the nest. This is priceless after years of the Currawong chasing them out of the forest the minute they fledge. So hopeful.

Fledge day for 32, if you missed it.

Both safely on the nest.

This was the summary from the WBSE. Thanks, ‘A’: October 23: a quiet night, with 32 sleeping on PB and 31 nearby – neither on the nest. However it was good to see them both find their way “home” in the early morning when swooped by currawongs. Dad brought a fish at 7:10 – as usual 32 quick, but Lady flew in and claimed it. She ate some then fed the eaglets, with 32 eating more. When Lady left 31 came back and self-fed a little. During the day, both were nearby, and swooped by currawongs at times. When I checked in the forest during the day, I could hear them clearly yelling at currawongs, though out of sight. In the late afternoon at 17:42, Lady brought in a gull, which she took off the nest to PB to de-feather. She fed 32, and then both, with them picking at scraps when she flew off. Shortly after Dad brought in part of a fish, which was claimed by 31. Both then preparing for the night, but not on the nest.”

Port Lincoln. Dad brought in a nice fish and both chicks got a reasonable feed at breakfast.

Dad came in with a nice big stick later but Mum was not impressed and despite the winds told him to go fishing!

He returned a few hours later. Fish!

‘A’ reports on the last fish delivery: “The day was very windy and no more fish were brought in for the day until 19:43. Again, the younger chick had the front position and mum gave it lots of bites. It did very well indeed at that feeding. It did become increasingly unsteady on its feet at one stage, even toppling over sideways, I think because it is totally unused to moving with such a gigantic crop. It has never had one before that I’ve seen. But both chicks ate well and will go to sleep with full tummies. That’s what we like to see. Leftovers on the nest for an early breakfast would make things ideal but this dad does like to help himself to them (though he does often eat, then bring back the last of the fish for mum and the kids). In this case, mum finished off most of the leftovers herself. There is a tiny bit of fish still on the nest. The family snuggled down for the night at 20:00.” 

Breakfast came early at Orange.

More prey later. Xavier is an incredible provider. Indeed, look at the summary provided by Orange: “Here is the day’s summary from Orange: PREY 06.02.38, 08:04:14, 09.10.54, 14:56:04, 19:03:58 FEEDING 06.03(X), 08:04, 09.15, 14:57, 19:04 XAVIER BROOD 13:07:24. PREY today: small grebe, eastern rosella, red wattlebird, starling, and pigeon for supper.”


Osprey counting in The Gambia with Jean-marie Dupart.

Thunder and Akecheta were at the old West End nest on Sunday. Oh, how nice it was to see them up close. Akecheta brought in prey and was eating it when Thunder arrived. There was not much left for her. (Akecheta still has his wing tag #61. Thunder lost hers).

Chase and Cholyn were home at Two Harbours as well!!!!!!!!

Gabby and V3 were very busy at the nest on Sunday.

At SW Florida, M15 is delivering food gifts to F23.

Nancy and Beau are creating a new nest. Sadly, there might not be a camera but after the unhappy season earlier in 2023, we all wish them well.

Rosa and Martin were working hard at Dulles-Greenway. Wonder how they will take to this new nest after their old one collapsed right at fledging.

There was at least one adult and one sub-adult at the Decorah Eagle nest in Iowa. Those fall colours are gorgeous.

Not much longer til the Redding Eagle Cam is back on line.

I know that we are all glad that Anna is greatly improved. She was back at the nest on Sunday with Louis, preparing for the upcoming breeding season in Louisiana.

The only Black Stork from the Karula National Forest in Estonia that is sending location transmissions is Kalvi who remains in Bulgaria.

On 12 October Waba was at the Taga Sea of Galilee in Israel. On 30 September Karl II was at Gold Lake, Turkey. On October 5, Kaia was at the fish ponds at Neve Eitan Israel. No transmissions for the three of them since those dates. Bonus’s tracker ran out of battery when he was in Ukraine.

Birds flying in areas of conflict hoping to find food makes me nervous.

More sad news as more birds and wildlife go extinct.

I know that many of you are fans of the owl nest in Corona and they are getting it all ready for season 4.

There are concerns over Avian Flu in Canada with cases expected to rise as migration occurs.

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, Livia Armstrong, Geemeff, Gracie Shepherd, Sandra Davies, Sydney Eagle Cam, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Jean-marie Dupart, IWS/Explore, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Sassa Bird, Dulles-Greenway, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, FORE, Tonya Irwin, Looduskalender, The Guardian, Live Owl Camera, and CTV News.

All is well in Bird World…Sunday

22 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Sleepy time.

Hope decided she wanted to help write the blog.

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

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

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

Guess who woke up hungry at Port Lincoln?

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

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

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

Chicks are hungry!

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

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

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

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


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

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

What a beauty.

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

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

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

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

Gabby and V3 were up early working on their nest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Made my Day! Seren Blue 5Fs mother is seen in Senegal

11 October 2023

Good Morning,

It is Wednesday, and today is the day that Lewis has his test. I am touched – you will never realise how much – by the outpouring of concern and care for this big goofy, lovable cat. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget your kindness.

I took him off his pain meds thinking that they might have been the cause of his distress. His vomiting returned in spades in the middle of the night on Monday. He had little reprieve. He has plenty of water and is drinking, but regardless of the food – thin broth with babyhood, pulverised chicken and broth, tinned food – he cannot keep it down. An ultrasound will be taken to see if there is an obstruction and, of course, fluids for any dehydration – all providing that the HPI test comes out negative. Send warm thoughts to our big guy!

Pets are our children. These cats are mine now that my children are all grown.

I have had cats since I could crawl – as a toddler, my playmates were the strays my dad fed and a three-legged dog. Those strays were very gentle. It was a different time. Did anyone talk about HPI? No. Teeth problems? No. Cats going to a vet? Not really. My Dad had his own ‘home remedies’. Gosh, I would love to have a chat with him now.

Of course, he was not always right about their gender. Or was he? A big brown tabby came to our porch one day. Oh, it was a sweet soul. “Could I have it? I asked. My dad dutifully checked under the tail, pronouncing it was a boy, and said “yes”. My grandmother always said that the cat was “sweet”. She declined comment when I insisted that it was the most beautiful cat. “She sure is sweet” was a constant. Of course, she had kittens a few weeks later and lived another ten years with us. A girl! Maybe my Dad knew but didn’t want to alert my mother. Who knows! I mean seriously could he not have known the difference? Those kittens were gorgeous. Each one was a smokey blue-grey colour with yellow eyes…yes, like Burmese. Being my dad, we kept them, too. ——– The point of all of this is that it is hard to deal with the members of our animal family when they are ill. They are family. They bring us joy in the same way that the birds do. We want to heal them when they are sick or injured. It is like we wanted to reach out and mend Little Mini’s leg at Patchogue or make F22 at Collins Street well so she could incubate her eggs.

For now, I am waiting to see if Lewis can be helped. It is the waiting that is hard. Watching him suffer eats away at my soul. If love could heal him, Lewis would be thriving. There are 15 more hours of waiting as I write this – waiting to find out if he is HPI negative or positive. The result of that test will determine the outcome. I have just given him his sedative and will give him another in the morning. A long walk in the park helped me clear my head and realise that whatever the result is – this is all about Lewis. Not me. Lewis. His quality of life is all that matters.

There were lots of geese and some ducks plus Dark-eyed Juncos everywhere, various types of sparrows flitting about, and a couple of hawks. Gulls, too. It was a beautiful clear, crisp fall day.

As I was walking through the park, it was World Mental Health Day. One thing I have learned by being out in the forests and the parks and spending time with the animals in my garden, the birds, and the cats – trees and nature in all its glory is a place where we can settle our troubled minds. Just find a bench and sit in the sun. Close your eyes and listen to the birds. Or listen to the stillness. It is gold.

Migration is in full swing in southern Canada. In the eastern US, Hawk Mountain gives us their most recent count. The birds follow the thermals over the mountains. The Broad-winged hawks are certainly doing well.

There was a lot of sadness in Osprey World last season and when good news comes it just makes you tingle. Well, it doesn’t get much better than this. Last week Blue 5F Seren, the female from Llyn Clywedog and mate of Dylan, was spotted on her normal concrete post in The Gambia. I posted those images just the other day. Well, look, at this – it is Seren’s mother!!!!!!! Yellow 30. Is she the oldest breeding female in the UK now that Mrs G is no longer with us?

My friend Tiger Mozone and I have chatted often about the Ospreys and how two things go into making success – good DNA and a heck of a lot of luck. Yellow 30 certainly has both and she passed that on to her daughter, Blue 5F Seren. I hope that continues down to Seren and Dylan’s fledglings, too.

Jean-Marie Dupurt counted 222 Ospreys in Senegal yesterday including ‘his old friend Yellow 30.’

Sadly, many migrating birds continue to be lost as they cross the border into Malta on their way to Africa. It is time to figure out how to help those in Malta deliver a message to the politicians that humans care about these birds and indiscriminate slaughter for sport needs to be banned.

GPS-Tracked Protected Birds Disappear As They Make It To Malta: https://lovinmalta.com/lifestyle/pets/gps-tracked-protected-birds-disappear-as-they-make-it-to-malta/

In Australia, the oldest 2023 chick, SE31 did branch – real branching! Congratulations. A bittersweet moment as this leads up to fledgling too soon.

Here is the video of that historical milestone for SE31.

SK Hideaways gives us another look!

Oh, gosh, Xavier is so tiny compared to Diamond! Here he is arriving with prey for the babies and Mum. Adorable isn’t a big enough word.

The chicks can now see. Consequently, they are also snatching morsels of food out of their parent’s beak. A milestone.

Doesn’t this image just make you melt? Notice the pin feathers coming in and you can clearly see the crops when they are full. Their eyes are bright and focused and their beaks and feet are losing that pink baby colouring.

This is Cilla Kinross’s latest blog on the 7 and 8 day old chicks of Xavier and Diamond and, as we can expect, it is a great report on these two healthy chicks. Gosh, golly they can take the gloom out of any day.

Martin and Rosa visit the brand new nest at Dulles-Greenway. They fledged three last year – fantastic parents – and one chick the year prior. Let us hope this new nest serves them well for years to come. They are an incredible couple. Watching them raise the three eaglets in 2023 was inspirational. Be sure to put this nest on your watch list.

Lady Hawk gives us some gorgeous images of F23 at SW Florida.

Pip watch officially begins today at Port Lincoln.

Victor Hurley has stated that the camera feed at 367 Collins Street will only be on for a few more days. For those who might be playing catch up, it appears that Mum, F22, was injured. Precisely what the problem was or what caused it is not known. she abandoned the eggs. The male tried to incubate them, and then Mum came for a few hours, but they are considered unviable by Victor Hurley, who monitors this and many other nests throughout Victoria.

Some really good information in the form of an easy to understand chart on Bald Eagle nesting. It is a great resource to keep you informed as to what is happening state by state.

Jolene and Boone have been working on the Johnson City, TN nest for the past day.

Checking on Jackie and Shadow. Did you know that their nest is one of the highest in terms of elevation in the US? It sits on top of a Jeffrey Pine Nest (145 feet up) at 7100 ft.

Did Jack go fishing and fly to the Achieva nest that he shares with Diane to dry off on Tuesday?

In New Zealand, YRK, the mate of OGK, has been seen on the headland! I am going to wish for a miracle – to see OGK waddling over a bumpy hill!

Help get snares banned in Scotland!

Following Karl II’s family. There remains no transmission from the beloved patriarch Karl II. Kaia, his mate, has reached the Sudanese border. This is fantastic news. Kalvi is till in Bulgaria.

Thank you so much for being with me and for all your notes and good wishes for Lewis. As someone reminded me today, if love could heal my dear Lewis, he would be in top form. I do want you to know how much I appreciate your kindness. Please take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me with my short report today: Woodland Trust, Hawk Mountain, John Williams, Jean-Marie Dupurt, Se McGreger, Sydney Eagle Cam, SK Hideaways, Cilla Kinross, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Dulles-Greenway, Lady Hawk, PLO, Linda McIlroy, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Baiba Grausting, Johnson City Bald Eagles, FOBBV, Achieva Credit Union, Royal Albatross Centre, Raptor Persecution UK, and Looduskalender Forum.

The menace that is Malta, Collins Street female injured?…Saturday in Bird World

7 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Thank you so much for your comments and letters. I appreciate hearing about your pets and your experiences with feline teeth – thank you for sharing and caring. I am pleased to report that the pain medication has helped Lewis, and he is eating well again. At this very moment, Lewis and Missey are glued to the living room window. A Hairy Woodpecker is going after one of the corner cedar shakes!

Hope and Calico are oblivious to everything going on with Lewis. They are just happy – loving watching the birds, playing and having stories. We are certainly going through novels!

It is interesting to watch Calico get settled for ‘a story’. She now expects this and curls up on my lap. The little one watches carefully from the edge of the chair as she is doing below. It is certainly one way to plough through books that have been sitting waiting to be read! It is wonderful.

Calico is putting on weight. Talk about a gentle soul. You can see that the dining room table in the conservatory is still their ‘safe dark’ spot…with its duvets piled on the floor for warmth and layers and layers to cover the top and the sides. It is getting cooler at night now that we are into October and the girls get the heat turned on once the sun goes down.

We punched the holes in a small pumpkin and filled them with peanut butter. It sits on the log Little Red uses to jump to the table feeder. Let’s see if this pumpkin treat works! Clearly will not win any awards for beauty but we will wait to see if it is something that the squirrels will enjoy.

In Canada, this is Thanksgiving weekend. The celebration is on Monday and coincides with what was traditionally the end of harvest and giving thanks for the land’s bounty. (Quite different than the American Thanksgiving).

I am so grateful to the garden animals that they will get special treats on Monday.

We are going to Australia right away. It is hot and the wind is really blowing. ‘A’ has already pointed out an interesting problem. M15’s mate at SW Florida has been named F23. We have F22, a falcon, at Collins Street. We are both hoping that there will not be another F23 this year anywhere or it will get confusing.

‘A’ has been watching the Sea Eagles and reports, “SE32 won the fish Dad brought in late this morning (6 October) at WBSE. He held onto it, mantled it, protected it from SE31 and self-fed most of it, before allowing SE31 to take the final piece. The head and tail had been removed from what was originally a medium-large fish, so with the fish unzipped, SE32 was able to get in some wonderful practice, and by the end, he was doing really well. He did get the majority of the fish, finishing with a very nice crop. He was obviously hungry, as he was simply fearless in claiming and hanging onto that food. At one point, there was some serious fighting over the fish (lunging with beaks was involved, along with much flapping), but SE32 fought his sister with great determination while hanging on tightly to his fish. He was NOT letting go. I was so proud of him. After watching that self-feeding, and the consequent boost to SE32’s confidence, I am way less concerned now than I was yesterday. Even though the food supply at this nest has not been as good as I would have liked over recent days, at least SE32 is not now missing out on his share of what there is. Both are doing a lot of wingercising and are looking strong and steady on their feet, with excellent balance. SE32 is doing more hopping than his sister, bounding across the nest like a small wallaby. 

There has been little or no sound or sign of crows or currawongs this season, though I don’t remember seeing them much or at all in previous seasons either until fledge day arrived. I remain hopeful that these two, with their strong relationship, will return to the nest after fledging, if only to be together. I do wish Dad and Lady would spend more time over the next week or two imprinting this nest in the eaglets’ minds as a smorgasbord of delicacies to which they will definitely return once they take the plunge. I think back to last year – in particular, the way SE29, after fledging, came back to sleep at the nest with SE30 each night and what may have happened had SE29 not gone into care the day before SE30 fledged. These two have a very similar relationship to the one between SE29 and SE30 last year, so there is a chance their bond will again help them survive after fledging this year.”

Please keep the female at Collins Street, F22 in your warm thoughts. ‘H’ just sent me the latest posting by Victor Hurley that explains why we have seen M22 incubating the eggs so much!

What a delight it is to watch Diamond and Xavier with the two eyases. The closeness in time of the hatch has made all the difference. These two are developing well – each getting their portion of food. You can see a slight difference in size but this is not hampering the second hatch at all. Xavier is working hard to get prey to the scrape and is doing a fantastic job despite some high winds that have been in the area. The temperature remains around 18-20 C.

Diamond got upset. A Currawong flew past the scrape!!!!!!!!!!! She is not going to let that bird get near her precious babies.

If you missed Dr Victor Hurley’s talk on Peregrine Falcons in Victoria Australia, here is that link.

Gabby and V3 continue to make restorations at The Hamlet. V3 has certainly won the heats and minds of everyone for his staunch protection of the territory around the nest. We are all hoping for little eaglets this year!

Anna’s injury is really improved. You might recall she even had problems landing. Well, that wasn’t the case on Friday when the landed on the nest with a nice fish and began chortling. How wonderful! Nice to see this improvement.

Osprey Season is over in North America, the UK, and Europe. Jeff Kear has posted a very informative article by the Scottish Wildlife Trust about their feathers that you might still find useful as we prepare for hatch at Port Lincoln.

Please keep your positive thoughts going for the migrating ospreys. Things in West Africa are changing and the once pristine habitat is being altered – either by climate or by habitat loss due to human expansion.

This is tragic. As you will remember from yesterday’s blog, there are Ospreys who navigate a route from their spring/summer breeding area in the UK to the precise concrete pillar. Our dear Seren 5F is being impacted. So what happens to those birds when the water and fish dry up or are irreparably flooded?

Countries do listen especially if tourists decide not to travel. Let those that allow poaching – Malta and Cyprus – know how you feel by travelling elsewhere – to places that value nature and wildlife.

Malta has long been a place that is renowned for its illegal songbird poaching.

The fact that Malta lies on the flyway that links Europe with Africa and the winter home of these migrating birds is particularly problematic.

Owls. I have a love-hate relationship with them – and get bloody upset when they start knocking M15 off the perch or fly in and take our precious osprey babies. Did you know that there are 234 different species of owls living around the world, from the ice-cold Arctic to the tropics and the deserts? Their keen eyesight and hearing and specialist feathers help them hunt at night – they are the silent killers.

Thank you so much for being with me today! We will be planting trees later today. It is Re-Leaf day and there are three Azur Maples arriving to add some more colour to the garden. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, pictures, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Liznm, Victor Hurley, NEFL-AEF, Tonya Irwin, Jeff Kear, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Chris Wood, Geemeff, Conservation Science and Practice, Responsible Travel, Google Maps, Cambridge Core, and Cornell Bird Lab.

Three for Diamond and Xavier…Friday in Bird World

8 September 2023

Gosh, another week has flown by. Honestly, I do not notice unless I have an appointment. All of the days blur together, and that is perfectly fine. It was nice to put up the watch and not have the calendar overflowing with appointments once I retired. As one former student says, ‘My days are busier and fuller,’ but my choice is what they are busy or full with. Garden animals, birds, and kittens…

When my grandmother could no longer make the elaborate patterned quilts of her youth -because her arthritis in her fingers was so bad in her 90s- she started making strip quilts. [The woman could not sit still for long. S he was gardening, raising chickens, doing embroidery or quilting til the day she died. She was an incredible role model.] That is what she called them – long strips of material pieced together. Sometimes, she would tie the layers together with bright embroidery thread that ‘tickled’ my children. They became known as ‘tickles’. Calico was sleeping on one of those today – a tired Mamma!

To see this little kitten follow its Mamma or to peek around the corner and see them sleeping together still brings tears to my eyes. Honestly, I did not think this would happen.

Both Calico and her daughter have a black tear on their left tear duct.

The sunlight is so crazy often the pair are bleached out in the images and no adjusting will help! Calico spends a lot of time washing her little one. There are so many kittens in the lost kitten postings and Hope is so healthy compared to them. S he has no eye problems, her fur is in incredible condition and she is ‘fat’.

Missey and Lewis are doing brilliantly. Today Calico wanted out of the conservatory, and when she was in the main part of the house, Lewis was friendly! I almost fell over. In fact, Lewis and Missey are back to their old selves – confident that there is lots of food and love – enough to go around to four. It reminds me of Ospreys and little eaglets in the nestHoping to have the kitten integrated by the end of the weekend as Mamma goes in for her surgery on Tuesday.

I was away for part of the day, and when I got home, the first nest I checked was Mini, and there she was. Mini arrived at 18:47. The left leg is still held – and may always be – out at an odd angle. It does not look any worse in my humble and non-wildlife rehabber/vet/vet technician-trained eye. Her crop was not as full as it often is, but it was still a gift to see her, and I hope she gets an evening fish or one first thing in the morning.

Mini was on the nest in the evening. It was good to see her resting her leg.

At 22:59 she raised herself up – it made me ache a bit to see her with that left leg still causing issues but, she did quite a normal looking ps. Thick and well projected over the edge. She is eating. Who is getting the fish is unknown.

At Alyth, Harry has been busy feeding Chirpy some really nice Flounder and other fish every single day, sometimes several times a day. Today Harry arrived with a fish and no Chirpy. Has Chirpy migrated? We wait to see but it certainly looks like it. That third hatch never wanted to miss a meal!

Swoop is still delivering to Crackle at Dunrovin.

‘H’ tells us what is going on with Molly and Dorsett – they are still home!

Kent Island, 9/7 – For the second straight day, we did not see the fledgling, Molly.  Some believe that Molly may be exploring a wider area, perhaps catching her own fish, and that we may see her again.  In the meantime, Tom was seen dining on a nearby dock, and we saw either Tom or Audrey perched in a tree.  The most pleasant surprise was when Audrey arrived at the nest around 9 pm, and spent the night on the nest.  It has been a very long time since she did that.

Barnegat Light, 9/7 – There were at least two fish brought to the nest by Duke for Dorsett.  Dorsett was a little conflicted as to where to eat her breakfish at 0645.  She first took the fish to the 22nd street pole and ate a bit, then she flew to the 24th street pole and ate some more, and then she changed her mind once again … back to the 22nd street pole with the fish, lol.

Tweed Valley’s Poul is now in central Algeria. Ah, he didn’t stay in Morocco like Glen. Curious path. We wait to see where he goes next.

Xavier and Diamond were right on schedule with their third egg on Thursday. I am going to say something that will be wildly unpopular and then I will forever hold my peace – I actually hope that only one egg hatches. Diamond does better with a single chick that grows to be big and strong like Izzi than she does when there are two. I can’t even begin to imagine three ——and I adore Diamond. Just my own personal observation which, in the world of nature, doesn’t mean a heck of a lot!

SE 31 and 32 are growing like crazy! 31 has become an expert self-feeder.

‘A’ reports: “SE31 is really getting serious about self-feeding, which is so funny, because we thought SE32 would master this skill first and of course during that week or so when he was being intimidated, he did make some early attempts but did not have the weight to hold down prey. Now, it is SE31 who is waiting for food while SE32 gets fed, and she is getting impatient enough to start self-feeding while she waits. This eel is perfect for the purpose, long enough for Lady to feed SE32 from one end while SE31 self-feeds from the other. She starts off having some problems opening the eel but soon works it out and is doing a great job of using her right foot to hold down the food. The eels can be difficult, and Lady sometimes has to work really hard to separate the flesh from the skin, so I am really impressed by SE31’s effort on this one. It has only been opened at one end, the end from which Lady is feeding SE32, so SE31 is doing great work. Check her out from around 15:40! Quite the professional. Well done SE31! SE31 is much more balanced on her feet than SE32 and is practising her walking and her wingercising with vigour. She is really starting to look more like a juvenile than a nestling, with her beautiful feathers growing in by the day. Two absolutely exquisite sea eaglets. How lovely it is to see them getting along so nicely again. This nest really does have something special, as according to my reading, many authors consider this an obligate siblicide species. Fledging two happy eaglets who get along well season after season is quite an achievement if that is the case, and one can only assume it has something to do with the parenting on the nest. It is not because we have single-gender clutches here (especially two males). As far as I can recall, the last three seasons have seen a female first hatch with a younger brother. So unless there’s something genetic that makes the offspring of this couple particularly laid-back, it seems to be more nurture than nature as it were.”

There should be another egg arrival at Port Lincoln.

At Collins Street, Dad brought in a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike for Mum. Wow. Way to go Dad!

These Shrikes range in size from 32-34 cm and mostly feed on insects, seeds, and some fruits. They are stunning birds in terms of their plumage. The body is a soft pearl pale gray often paler on the belly. Their face has a very distinctive ebony black mask and throat. If you look carefully there may be some white edges at the wing and feather tips. The eye is black blending in with the mask while the sharp bill is a deep charcoal. The bird is really a study in greys -. Gorgeous. They live in wooded areas as well as urban habitats and farmland in a large area that reaches from Indonesia to Australia.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

So are there two or three? We wait for the reveal at Collins Street.

At the Royal Albatross Colony, Manaaki is losing all of that fluffy baby down and starting to look like a juvenile who will soon embark on a journey so long and for so many years that it is hard for this human to fathom it.

Oh, wow. Good news from SWFlorida coming from ‘A’: “We have lovely news from SWFL, with M15 and his new lady love  having been observed bonding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHlwSU3y4uA&list=TLPQMDgwOTIwMjPQFEwHlsRyRQ&index=3 Does this not gladden your heart? What a loss it would be if the best eagle dad of all time did not get the chance to be a dad again.”

Checking on Karl II and his family:

Kaia is in the Ukraine near some fish ponds. Nice.

Waba is also in the Ukraine.

Bonus is alive, but the transmitter is only sending out an alive signal not a location.

Kalvi is in Bulgaria.

There has been no data available for Karl II, the patriarch of the clan. I have not but am hoping to find an update somewhere for today.

Pharmaceuticals kill birds that forage. India, one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals for humans and non-humans, is banning two veterinary drugs that have proven to kill vultures – Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac- can no longer be manufactured, sold and distributed throughout India. Are these being used in your country?

BirdLife International has launched a Seabird Conservation Handbook for West Africa. Have a look at what is being done in the latest press release.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Hoping to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, PSEG, Sue Wallbanks and Friends of Loch Arkaig Osprey Cam, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Tweed Valley Osprey Project, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Deborah Victoriana and Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, PLO, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, NZ DOC, Maria Marika, Looduskalender Forum, and BirdLife International.

Introducing Hope…Thursday in Bird World

7 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Whew! What a day. ‘The yet-to-be-named kitten’ was let out of the kennel in the Conservatory, allowing her to run around with Mamma Calico. It brought tears to my eyes seeing Calico lick her kitten for the first time in 10-11 days. Of course, the kitten loved being with its Mamma and wanted to suckle immediately! Then, it wanted to play with Mamma’s tail. What a sheer delight to see the wee one following Calico around copying everything she did. It is like a Mini Calico – at first glance, it is hard to tell which is which. They are six months apart in age, but Calico took such good care of her single surviving kitten that it is plump and robust and Calico is still trying to put on some fat. Thanks also to the neighbours who have their feral feeding stations this one was in good health when I trapped her.

Calico loves the cat tree, and she quickly found Lewis’s favourite spot – the little house. The kitten could not stand it and kept jumping up and around, trying to get in with Mamma. I have, at times, wondered how happy Calico is to see her baby. Still, I made her a promise, and I am still tearful that I was able to follow through. To see the two of them on a chair together, cuddling and washing, brings so much joy. I still have to pinch myself to realise that everything worked out. The lesson for all of us is never to give up! To not lose ‘hope’.

Calico washing her kitten for the first time in 10 or 11 days.

Mamma is very protective. Lewis and Missey will be staying in the main part of the house while Calico and baby are in the Conservatory for the next week. Then we will try them in a few rooms. Thank you ‘Geemeff’ for all the tips. We appreciate them!

Promises should never be made. A friend in Berlin and I were talking about this. It caused such anxiety that promise. T he night when Calico wanted to come into the house and leave the dark deck where these two had been living, I promised her I would find her kitten if it was alive. No one had seen the kitten. Everyone believed that a white kitten that had been found in the area was Calico’s wasn’t. It was simply too young. So what did happen to Calico’s kitten? Flyers, walking the streets, putting food under the deck where the kitten was born, stopping people on the street, and postings to FB groups netted nothing. From now on, there will be no more promises. It will simply be that I will do my best to make something happen – but, no promises.

I almost was going to name the kitten ‘Promise’ but ‘J’ pointed out that the word has a negative connotation because of the anxiety it caused me. After many fantastic suggestions, the name finally just came when Calico and her kitten were having ‘story time’. Her name is Hope. Hope is something that each of us needs in our lives.

Hope loves to play with toys. The tiny little crochet ones with the catnip inside which cling to their ever so sharp nails appear to the favourite for the moment.

Meanwhile, Missey and Lewis are, as always, together. They seem to nap more since they are a year old. Missey has slowed down more, but Lewis still loves having someone to play with and run through the house. Perhaps Hope will join the midnight romp.

Trips to the park to check on the ducks and geese have been neglected lately. It was time for me to get moving before they are all gone. The afternoon was beautiful. The leaves are turning quickly. You can see the yellow kissing the tops of what was once emerald-clad trees.

The small garden at the park is still beautiful. There were lots of bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers and this Mallard leading the way.

Many of the gardens have been planted for bees and butterflies with a nod to plants that are more drought tolerant.

On the island where most of the ducks and geese were having their afternoon nap, the trees have really turned yellow.

This goose was not being very nice to the two female Wood Ducks.

Others were napping on the warm walkway.

There is something marvellous about being outside. It was a lovely walk and it felt so good to sit with the warm sun on my face enjoying the geese and the few ducks that were meandering around. The kittens were all having their ‘nap’ time while I was away. They didn’t even notice I was gone! Fresh air not ‘sardine’ air was most welcome.

Taking this lovely walk and spending much time with the four kittens did not allow me to spend the hours required to give you a good run down of the nests. Today’s report is, thus, a little thin.

Patchogue: Observing their crop is one way to know if a raptor has been eating. Some also look at the amount and force of the ‘poop shot’ or ‘ps’. The proper term is guano. “To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it’s more important than we may think. In fact, droppings were once a very important commodity in the United States. Buying and selling bird poop is not as featherbrained as it may seem either. This stinky substance, referred to as bird guano, was sailed around the world during the 19th century to be sold as the principal agricultural fertiliser in the United States. (Natural History Museum)

Mini has been eating. One of the chatters has been keeping track of Mini’s ‘ps’. Here is the times from ElizaG: “10:13pm, 11:17pm 1:10am, 3:13am.” Mini flew off to the lake and returned to the nest at 19:19 (thanks, L for the alert). She is resting that leg, thank goodness.

She put the weight on her right leg, not her left. It seems to be the typical pattern where the leg is giving her trouble at the end of the day.

Good Night Mini. SOD.

Wonderful news comes from John Williams at Llyn Clywedog. He had spotted an Osprey and thought it was Dylan (of Dylan and Seren at the Llyn Clywedog Nest) but it wasn’t. It was another unringed male and it turned out that this male had a nest with a female Blue Z5. Now she is rather special because she is the daughter of one of my favourite ospreys, Tegid Z1. Monty’s boy. Blue Z5 hatched in 2020. She is the granddaughter of Monty. Turns out the couple raised one female chick to fledge, ringed as Blue 7B9. She weighed 1670 grams. What a fantastic surprise and another osprey family for the forms. John tells us about it in his blog.

A family portrait of Dylan and Seren and the two fledglings this year. The one was sadly killed by the goshawk when there was a fish delivery and the hawk attacked the nest directly while Seren was feeding.

Mum is still home at the Boulder County Fair Grounds Osprey Nest in Colorado. So is Dad!

The fledgling at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (the only one of three to survive) is being well fed.

Keo delivered at least three fish for Coco at the Sandpoint Nest on Wednesday. Mum Keke is still home and there was relief when she did not fight her osplet for the food. Keke should be out fishing! And preparing for migration.

The Cowlitz PUD cam was buffering so bad, but there is at least one osprey still home at that nest. The protective grids worked well! Spread the news.

For all the nests that are emptying out, good winds, safe travels and full crops. See you next year Idris and Telyn!

‘H’ brings her reports for us – looks like Molly might have started her migration!

Kent Island, 9/6 – “We had not seen Audrey since 8/29.  Today At 0645, Audrey landed on the nest with a large common carp.  Audrey must have had to dive deep for that one, because she was soaked to the bone!  Audrey nibbled on the fish, but she was waiting for Molly.  When Molly didn’t arrive, Audrey ate more fervently.  Soon, some crows started to harass Audrey, so Tom flew in to the rescue.  Tom stayed on the nest for about 25 minutes helping to ward off the unwelcome visitors, and he was later seen eating his own breakfast on the back of an Adirondack chair.  Audrey would eat some, then wait some, and by 0830 Audrey was still holding a large portion of the fish.  She was waiting for her girl to appear.  By 0910 Audrey had completely consumed the fish, but she still stood on the nest, seemingly waiting for Molly.  Molly never arrived to claim the fish her mom had brought for her.  Audrey flew away at 0953.  We have not seen Molly since she flew away from the boat lift at 0745 on 9/5.”

Barnegat Light, 9/6 – “Dorsett was a bit more of a homebody, staying at the nest or on Duke’s perch much of the day.  Duke delivered three fish to Dorsett.  She took the first fish (a whole black sea bass) to eat on top of a flag pole across the cove.  But, when she returned an hour later, she did not have as large a crop as one would expect, so she may have let part of the fish fall to the ground.  Dorsett chose to eat her next two fish at the nest.”

The Sea Eaglets had an early breakfast for a change! As I am writing no other food has come to the nest but ‘A’ spots another one of those great eels that Lady has been bringing to the nest. “After a nice breakfast of leftover eel, the eaglets went the rest of the day until Lady brought in another of her giant eels soon after 15:36. Immediately, SE32 is up to her beak and pecking at the eel. Lady immediately starts feeding him. SE31 waits next to SE32 but further from Lady’s beak for her turn to eat. There is no attempt to push in or intimidate SE32, who is eating fast and with great confidence. This eel means that there is now plenty of food here for everybody. These are nice big eels that Lady has been catching. She returns with them intact, panting a little but not particularly wet, and she is not gone long. Once again, it was as though she made a decision that food was required now and she went to get it, returning within 10 minutes or so with this eel. Perhaps this mid-afternoon feeding schedule is not so much teaching the eaglets about food availability in grown-up life as a wild sea eagle as it is Lady deciding she cannot wait any longer for Dad to bring home the bacon, as it were. She has definitely been doing extra hunting over the past few days, and it makes me wonder whether Dad’s advanced age is starting to tell, so that now the two eaglets’ appetites have increased dramatically, he is finding it difficult to hunt for four alone. Just a thought. It is an explanation that would fit the facts equally well.”

At Taiaroa Head, ‘A’ remarks: Manaaki is tucked and fast asleep on his nest. But our gorgeous little man is almost ready to leave us. Look at his hovers during flight practice this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBFx_GGakhM&t=5s. Look how strong his wings are getting, though he is still working on his balance. He is almost on his way, just as soon as he sorts out those face-plants! We need to enjoy every moment, because once he leaves, it will be at least four or five years (and up to eight years) before we might be lucky enough to see him again. If he comes home at all, Manaaki will return to that same headland. He will land, after all that time and up to a million miles, within 40 or 50 metres of the nest where he was born. He has been imprinting its location over recent days. I am not sure if he has cast his pre-fledge bolus but I know the rangers are picking them up all around the colony and Manaaki is one of the oldest couple of chicks there. I think he is within a week of leaving, but they can surprise us and fledge early if the winds are right, so the time is nigh. QT was 220 days when she fledged, remember, while Manaaki is 230 days old. On this headland, the two females (NTF and Quarry) are definitely ahead of the two males (UQ and Manaaki) in their flight skills.” 

Are you watching multiple eagle nests and wanting to keep up with what is happening? Elfruler has a calendar that spans decades with a space for this year.

We will be looking to see if there are further eggs at 367 Collins Street and Port Lincoln Osprey Barge today.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Missey, Lewis, Calico and Hope remind you to please put out water and to also turn off your lights at night for the migrating songbirds. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L, PB’, PSEG, John Williams, George Green and the Clywedog Osprey Group, Boulder County, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, Sandpoint, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NZ DOC, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Sydney Sea Eagles.

World Albatross Day…Monday in Bird World

19 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that each of you had a lovely weekend. It is World Albatross Day today and the theme this year is the harm that plastics due to the sea and to these fish eating beauties. They fill up with plastic ‘things and then get so full they cannot eat real food and die. They feed plastic to their babies like SP at Taiaroa Head, NZ. Th e Royal Cam chick of the year. Then they die. How can we help? Let’s start at home. The next time you purchase an item, try to go plastic free. Then do it again. Soon you will be doing so much good for the environment, yourself, and our precious wildlife.

‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ on World Environment Day 2018” by United Nations Information Service Vienna is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Today is a run-through of many nests because I have not caught up with some for a few days. There are only brief notes to say that they are alright. I know that many of you wait for the news of some of the nests that we are concerned about. Hopefully, this will give you a quick sense of how they are doing. I apologise that this reads a bit like a grocery list. It is also the day that I drive north to the Grindstone/Hecla Island Provincial Parks to attempt a count of the Bald Eagle nests around the island. Last year the nests were flooded. All of the eggs were lost. I will take you to the islands and show you a different part of my province and its wildlife.

The area was initially settled by people migrating from Iceland and many of the communities in the surrounding area are populated by people of Icelandic descent.

I am also looking forward to stops along the way and little day trips to areas where I have never been…a breath of fresh air from the City OR will it be with the forest fires?

We need a smile. Thanks, Cal Falcons.

I want to give a big shout-out to Kathleen at Marder’s. Two of their osplets died, and the third is not in good shape. They responded quickly. Marders has a lift ready to retrieve the two little eaglet bodies. They will be refrigerated so that they can be collected by the DEC. Dr Gavin Hitchener will perform the necroscopy if the bodies are not too decomposed. Marder’s loves their ospreys. This has been a sad year for them and others along this coast.

Nest and Scrape