Late Friday in Bird World…or is it Breakfast in Australia?

14 October 2022

A good late afternoon to everyone. It is 1640 on the Canadian prairies. The temperature has warmed up to a balmy 5 degrees C. The sky is very overcast. The Juncos are feeding on the White Millet and there is a large group of American Tree Sparrows that have joined the regulars in the garden. Having been for Bark Butter and Meal Works the Starlings have yet to show up again. I have a feeling they are feeding elsewhere and roosting in the big trees at the back in the evening. I hope they see their special set up. They generally like to eat out in the open tearing through the goodies rather quickly.

Let’s check and see what is happening at the homes of the Melbourne Four, Indigo and Rubus, and the three osplets at Port Lincoln. Of the three I am most anxious for Little Bob at Port Lincoln.

At Port Lincoln everyone is curled up tight. Just have a look at how big Big is! There was no middle of the night snack for Little Bob and Mum last night.

We should, of course, be astounded by the growth of ospreys. They normally “triple their body weight in the first eight days they are out of the egg, and then double it again in the nest four days. During the period of fastest growth, between the ages of fifteen to thirty days, chicks are gaining an average of forty grams or .09 of a lb a day which is translated to 2-3% of their final weight. By thirty days of age, Osprey chicks have achieved 70-80% of their total body mass and growth slows.” (Alan Poole, Ospreys, 101).

This is what I hope will happen to Big. She will plateau. Not requiring so much food for that accelerated growth that has caused her to become nothing short of huge, her beaking and need to keep the others at bay should slow as well.

The first arrived at 06:25. Thankfully, it was a nice big one. Little Bit winds up in the middle of Big on the right and Middle on the left. At 06:52, Little Bit gets a good 3 or 4 bits. Then the two older siblings find yet more room in their full crops. At around 06:53 Mum really reaches her neck over and feeds Little Bit.

It is hard to imagine that Big could hold another bite, but she continues to get some bites until 06:58 when she backs off. Little Bit will move around the left side of Middle to get closer to Mum and the fish tail. Middle has eaten well but is still getting bites. Mum works hard to get the rest of the meat out of the tail for Little.

During the feeding, Little Bob was very aware of Middle and kept back. That was very smart. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next feeding.

It was the most congenial breakfast I have seen in more than a week. Fantastic. We should all be smiling. Little Bit did not get tons of food, not like Big and Middle but he ate without being pecked and was not too scared, just careful. Also, clever moving around Middle to get closer to Mum.

Mum needs some food. That is a fact.

The sun is coming up over the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne. The Melbourne Four will be waking up and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first prey item of the day.

Mum left the eyases and it looks like she went hunting. She flew in with a ‘just killed’ pigeon with all its feathers!

Mum left with that prize pigeon at 07:38. The eyases have not been fed and neither adult has arrived back. As I write it is now 08:40. This is the strangest behaviour at a Peregrine Falcon scrape with four little ones I have ever seen in my entire life. It does not take an hour to pluck a pigeon!

At 0847 an adult arrives on the ledge with a plucked pigeon. I cannot tell if it is Dad or Mum but, the behaviour is like Dad. Ahhh…and it is Dad. He has arrived to feed the little ones who are ravenous.

Dad did a fantastic job feeding the four and they are still eating as I finish writing. What on earth is going on with this female? Most females will go without eating to feed their chicks. Clearly the Mum at Port Lincoln is like that. This female catches prey and leaves. Why didn’t she pluck it on the ledge? The old Mum and Dad often did that. Why did Dad come in with a plucked pigeon looking around and not seeing Mum. Was it the pigeon she caught? Too many questions.

Diamond is awake in Orange as the camera gets ready to change over from IR light.

Indigo and Rubus are awake. Rubus is when breakfast is arriving.

Xavier arrived with a Starling at 0642. Oh, I thought he was going to get to fed Rubus and Indigo. Maybe Xavier did, too! He started plucking that Starling…and then Diamond arrived and took it over.

Diamond had her back to the camera during the feeding.

Both Rubus and Indigo appear to have had plenty to eat. Diamond has now moved ‘eggie’ back into the nest cup. I wonder if she will move it out when she goes to brood the two.

Migration News:

There is good news coming from the satellite transmissions of Karl II and his family. Everyone has sent out their locations.

Karl II has left Turkey and is now in Lebanon in the mountain area near Hos ech Chadoura Ridge.

Waba is still in Bulgaria near Rakowski. He is feeding at the River Marizu and in the canals between the fields.

Kaia is still in Chad. She is feeding in a seasonal river near Baouda.

Bonus is still in Romania.

Everyone has eaten but it sure is a strange morning at 367 Collins Street. Just about the time Port Lincoln is due to calm down the scrape in Melbourne continues to confound. Rubus and Indigo had a good feed and Little Bob did not get a full crop, but he had a good meal on top of his full crop last night. Life is good.

Thank you for being with me. I hope that you have a lovely start to your weekend. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Early Thursday in Bird World

13 October 2022

Good morning, Everyone,

I hope that you had a very good mid-week.

For us on the Canadian Prairies, we have been plummeted into cooler wetter weather. Chilled to the bones and it is raining snow. It reminds me of when I moved to the UK to go to Leicester University. It was December and it rained every day – heavy, beating down, cold rain. I understood immediately why a pot of hot tea, always at the ready, was important! And my friend from the Shetland Islands showed me why ‘wool’ socks and sweaters were her mainstay. I learned my lesson – I have my ‘woolies’ on right now and there is a big pot of hot tea sitting beside me.

It is 13:36 in Melbourne, Sydney, and Orange and a half hour earlier in Port Lincoln. Here it is 21:36 on a Wednesday. As I write this, the Melbourne Four are having another feeding. Geez to be such a rainy day, these urban falcons have been eating pretty good! Nice fat freshly caught pigeon has been on the menu and Mum has tried to make absolutely sure everyone is full at every feeding today as if there might not be another prey item brought in for a fortnight! She is teaching them a valuable lesson. All raptors know it – live for the now, eat all you can because you might not see food for a day or two.

The feeding is over, and Dad is now at the scrape giving Mum her long break in the middle of the day.

‘H’ summarized the day at Melbourne after I went to bed as 5 good feedings with Mum out for lunch with the girls from 1345-1518. Mum is training Dad well and my goodness, look at him in the picture above. He is so bonded to the care of those little ones.

Are you familiar with the term ‘food coma’? If not, you will hear it a lot when discussing raptors. It is when a chick has eaten so much, they literally fall asleep. It is an induced sleep caused by eating. That is precisely what happened to Rubus and Indigo at the Orange scrape today. They collapsed into a very sound food coma. They had a duckling for breakfast and not long after, Dad brought in a bird with some green feathers. Someone mentioned it was a ‘King Parrot’. Diamond kept filling their beaks and it was surprising when little Rubus had some really big bites but, also lovely. Diamond almost spent as much time feeding Rubus as Indigo!

The images below are from the second feeding – a King Parrot. The two eyases had previously had a duckling for breakfast.

This was a very large parrot and when the feeding was over 25 minutes later there was only a scrap left. Diamond had some good parrot at the end but, she really forced the food on the youngsters. She might well know that the weather is changing and they should eat all they can now. The little ones can only hold so much but, as you look through the images you will see when they begin to get really full and don’t care. Mum is still offering food.

Rubus is just so much more stable. He balances himself on his wing tips like in the image below and sometimes he leans on Indigo but not nearly as much as earlier in the week. He is also raising himself up, stretching his neck, to try and get level with Indigo’s beak.

The hawk and falcon mothers will raise the prey higher to get their eyases to stretch their necks. It helps develop their muscles! The eyases develop so fast that everything is a learning experience.

Rubus has a very nice crop…see the shiny purple area where the feathers are gone? For those of you that do not know what a crop is, it is a very thin-walled pouch at the bottom of the esophagus that stores food before it enters the rest of the digestive system. It is also the place where the raptors create pellets of prey parts that are not easily digested. They will ‘form a pellet’ and then regurgitate it. Scientists study the contents of these pellets to tell them what prey items the raptors have been eating.  The raptor can eat and ‘drop the crop’ (allow the contents to enter the digestive system) so they can eat more. When the crop is very flat or sunken in, you know that the bird has not eaten for a while.

These two are just adorable. Indigo is so sedate and Rubus looks like he is going to be a real feisty one! What we want, of course, are two very healthy fledglings.

Diamond offers some big bites, Rubus can’t eat them. Sometimes she will break them into smaller pieces for the little one. Sometimes Indigo gets them but, today, she had more patience and tried more times to make sure that Rubus got really nice bites of prey. Even if he was no longer hungry.

They are both so full.

And now this is a food coma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were all so joyful and relieved when Little Bob at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge got fed by Mum early Thursday morning in Australia. Despite the wind and the white caps, Dad did deliver a fish at 13:22:05. On its arrival, Little Bob was closest to the camera with Big on the other side and then Middle. Big Bob consumed 99% of the fish. Middle Bob moved from beside Big Bob and maneuvered its way around to the left side of Little Bob. All this time Little Bob has been rolled up like a roly-poly, tight, head down. Middle Bob kept its eye and ears open and did not move to get any fish until Big Bob had really slowed down. At 13:50:41, you can see the big crop that Middle Bob has. Little Bob made no effort to eat. The fish was all gone at 13:57:54.

I am only attaching one image. Little Bob was like this, curled up between both siblings the entire feeding.

There was another fish delivery at 14:54:33. ‘A’ informs me that Big had an enormous crop but kept eating. Middle did well and Little Bob was simply too frightened to eat. Mum offered and finally he had a good feed for three and a half minutes at 15:38:52. Mum fed Little Bob fast just like she did with the fish tail so that he could get as much as he could before Big started with the anger.

Little Bob was so hungry. He just appeared ‘beaten down’ in his demeanor prior to receiving these bites. I suspect he is just being careful. Big Bob is so large in comparison.

This image prior to Little Bob having bites.

The best feedings for Little Bob were the one early in the morning where Mum pulled all she could out of the tail and with the 2003 fish delivery where Little Bob had a big crop at the end of that feeding.

Just look at that crop! Tears with the coffee this morning.

As much as I am troubled by what is happening at Port Lincoln, the average time for nests to calm down that have had troubles is 28 days. By early next week, if this nest is going to calm down, it will. Please send them your warmest wishes. Little is not the only one hungry – Mum is, too! She did eat some during the night but she worked hard to find anything to feed Little Bob early yesterday morning. She needs a spa day.

367 Collins Street just keeps putting a smile on my face. There is so much food. Dad also seems to be enjoying his time with the kids every day around noon. Today Mum was a little late in leaving. He brooded the Melbourne 4 and then went to get them a pigeon so he could feed them. How fantastic is that?

Everyone did well including Little Bob. The birds are all sleeping in Australia now. Meanwhile the snow is getting heavier here in Manitoba. The Starlings are here, a Raven has come to visit the garden, and all seem to be in a bit of their own panic. I don’t blame them. They are outside in our dreadful weather. Speaking of dreadful weather, ‘A’ tells me there is very hot weather coming to Melbourne. She checked the dates and the two eldest eyases are 2 weeks old today (the 14th in Australia). They need about one more week before they can run down the gutter to the shade. So, let’s wish everyone well while it is rainy and then when it is hot. I wish I could send them some of the cold winds blowing this morning through my garden.

Thank you for being with me today. There will be a posting later with all the breakfast news. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘A’ and ‘H’ for being my eyes when mine are closed. Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Breakfast with our Birds in Australia

10 October 2022

I still cannot get over the happenings at the four Australian nests yesterday. Just when you begin to relax, things begin to happen – some good and some worrisome. SE 30 did not return to the nest last night. At least one adult is sleeping on the nest tree. From experiences with the sea eagles in the past, it is not clear if fledglings are fed elsewhere or if the parents want the eaglets to return to the nest for prey. What is clear is that the Currawongs are, while quite small, dangerous as a group to the eaglets. They force them to do things they might not do if they were older and more experienced. SE29 is in care. I hope SE30 is being seen by boots on the ground or is found. Port Lincoln Osplets ate well despite the nest being somewhat unstable with Big still needing to have firm control. Diamond was doing better with Rufus early on and all the anxiety over the eyases overheating at Melbourne is passed.

Australian Nests:

So what is in store for us today at the four Australian nests? Right now, it is 12:43 pm in Canada and it is the wee hours of the morning in Australia. Everyone is still sleeping.

Mum flew off of the 367 Collins Street nest at 06:12:30 returning at 06:16 to feed the four eyases. Looks like a nice pigeon breakfast.

As the rose gold of the morning filtered over the scrape, Mum was just finishing up the feeding at 06:33:30 when she was clearing up the scraps from the pigeon. Every eyas was well fed and ready for a nap.

An adult is at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest looking out for SE29 and SE30 to come to the nest for breakfast. Oh, how I had hoped that SE30 would be on that nest. It looks as if the inevitable – the Currawongs chasing the fledglings out of the forest – has come to pass. A few of us went to that place where you wish you could just rid the forest of the Pied Currawong.

It is 06:40 in Orange and Diamond is waiting anxiously for Xavier to bring in breakfast. You can tell as she raises and lowers herself that the wee ones are getting restless. Xavier is normally here right at dawn!

Just a note about the feeding of Rufus. It appears that there are several individuals counting ‘bites’. The only bites that count are the ones that have prey and are eaten. Diamond is a master of placing food in Rufus’s beak and then removing it. So just be careful…

Diamond went to the ledge at 06:57 giving us a good look at those cute eyases, Rufus and Indigo. Rufus is ravenous and has this incredible thing of moving its nest way back with its beak wide open. This morning he is thinking that Indigo might feed him. So, now we know that those eyes are not fully working yet.

Diamond does some amazing stretches. It must make birds ‘stiff’ too after brooding all night.

‘Indigo, can you feed me?’

Diamond returns empty taloned.

Xavier arrived at 08:03 with a nice fat pigeon which Diamond quickly took and fed Rubus and Indigo.

At Port Lincoln, everyone appears to be awake and they are waiting for the first fish of the day to arrive from Dad.

That fish did come in at 07:24 and everyone had an amazing breakfast with big crops.

Other Nest News:

Lady Hawk posted a video of Samson and Gabby bonding in the Jacksonville Bald Eagle Nest. I thought you might be interested. Parents to Romey and Jules (2019), Legacy (2020) and Jasper and Rocket (2021).

Lady Hawk has also posted an update on the nest building of Harriet and M15. They are making great progress after Hurricane Ian completely destroyed their nest.

Lori Covert, owner of the Captiva property with the nests of ospreys, Andy and Lena, and eagles, Clive and Connie, has helped Connor of Window to Wildlife secure transportation to Captiva Island to retrieve the cameras from the Osprey platform destroyed by the Hurricane Ian. I am certain he will be taking video footage and posting information for us when he can. He anticipates that the bridge connecting the mainland of Florida to the barrier islands will not be repaired til late November or December. This might make it difficult to replace the nest and camera but, there are always boats!

In Manitoba, where I live, a Red-tail Hawk has been killed on an unprotected hydro pole. Letters and images will be sent to Manitoba Hydro and to the leader of our opposition to make Manitoba Hydro accountable.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. They all had a good breakfast on the three nests and we wish for SE30 to be safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Manitoba Birding Wildife and Photography FB, and Lady Hawk.

Parent arrives at Melbourne scrape

9 October 2022

After nearly an hour of being MIA, a parent landed back on the ledge of 367 Collins Street scrape. Thank goodness. The chicks were panting so fast and hard, their beaks wide open accompanied by frantic movements that, at one point, it looked like one might actually go off the edge. Instead, two of the chicks went down into the gutter with two in the scrape.

At one point in time on her return, Mum tried to pick up the two eyases in the gutter to get them back into the box. Eventually with that encouragement, one made it up. I believe that the eldest eyases is still below in the gutter. Mum has done the best she can – she initially alternated between the two groups of two to cool them off. You could see her trying to figure out how to get the two back up. There is only one down in the gutter as I write. Shade is covering the area and it seems a wee bit perky. Let us hope that it gets up with the others.

The question remains: what happened? It is highly unusual for raptor parents to be gone for an hour when their chicks are little. Normally, at this scrape, the male would come and going over and stand above the chicks. That did not happen this time.

Are there two adults? Were there intruders? We will have to wait to see if the male turns up with food. Right now I feel like someone has run over me with a truck…I cannot even contemplate having only one parent at this scrape after all that has already happened this season.

Continue to send this nest your very warmest and most positive wishes. It was good that all of the eyases were fed good this morning. They need hydration. Now we wait for the wee one to get up to the box and for the other parent to come with food. I am trying to be the most positive I can be.

We were worried about Port Lincoln getting fish and the Currawongs at Sydney. Concerned about Rubus getting enough to eat at Orange. I had relaxed and was enjoying Melbourne. This incident just shows us that we cannot assume anything. ‘A’ sent me a Buddhist saying, ‘The only certainty is uncertainty.’ So true. I want to be certain that this is still a family of six and not five.

Thank you for being with me. I will give a full update tomorrow. As I leave you, Mum is down in the scrape with the eldest. She is trying to encourage it to get up. Fingers crossed.

Thank you to the 367 Collins Street streaming cam by Mirvac where I took my screen captures.

What is happening at the Melbourne scrape?

9 October 2022

It has been a good day at all the nests – SE30 fledged and returned in 45 minutes with an adult on the tree. There have been 2 fish deliveries at PLO, and Mum seems to be happy to look for Rufus’s beak at Orange. Everything was going well at Melbourne. There was a feeding that ended at 10:57 and Mum flew off the ledge.

Mum has not returned. As I write to you it is 11:35 and counting. It is 14 degrees C in Melbourne. The chicks are ‘hot’. They are panting heavily. Two got out of the scrape and had their heads in the shade at one point.

Where is Mum or Dad?

Birds go into heat coma if their systems get overly heated and these four beautiful eyases need their mum to shade them. Oh, let us hope a parent returns quickly and/or the shade covers this area of the ledge very, very soon.

Please send your warm wishes to these little ones. Their mother has been gone almost an hour. This is highly unusual. Let us hope that she returns quickly so an enormous tragedy is averted.

Thank you to 367 Collins Street by Mirvac for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

SE 30 fledges and other news in Bird World

9 October 2022

It is only 11 degrees C but the sun pouring through the Conservatory is ever so warming. Enough that I have to open up one of the windows and let the cool breeze from outdoors filter through the back of the house. I can hear Little Red somewhere in the Lilac bushes telling the Sparrows what he thinks. Has he noticed the new solid seed cylinder?

The event we have been waiting for happened at 07:15:58. SE 30 fledges!

Making News:

A short but lovely article on a ferry trip from Ullaport to Storoway and the sight of Gannets flying. If I close my eyes, I can smell the sea air and hear the sea birds – so many of them. How many more will Avian Flu take from us? or climate change?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/07/country-diary-the-awful-relief-of-seeing-gannets-in-flight

Hot on the heels of the Lincolnshire raids and the finding of three birds of prey killed, there is news of another raid in Shropshire. The growing concerns in the UK over the raptors killed near or on Red Grouse hunting estates might mean that, at some point, the penalties will be enough to stop them killing the Hen Harriers and White-tailed Eagles. The real solution is to also save the Red Grouse – simply ban hunting and killing of birds.

Nest News:

At 367 Collins Street, Mum was acknowledging a prey delivery at 0625. She flew off the ledge a minute later.

Dad arrives at 0627 on the ledge and goes over to watch over the four eyases. He seems overwhelmed by how much they have grown overnight.

Mum returns with what appears to be the ‘last legs’ of a pigeon.

It didn’t last long at all and by 0634, Mum is off the ledge and out to find more breakfast prey. No little crops visible.

Oh, what a great pair. Dad lands on the ledge with a fresh plucked pigeon and Mum arrives to fetch it and feed the eyases. Brilliant.

The breakfast feeding at Orange was much improved this morning on yesterday. Rubus had 23 good bites – not counting the ones Diamond put in its mouth and took out. Indigo appeared to have 5x that amount. Indigo is a wonderful big sibling – sitting up and being so very calm. Rubus is definitely much less wobbly today also. Both had crops at the end of the Starling feed which began with the delivery from Xavier at 06:38:55.

SE29 was not seen on the camera at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest yesterday. SE30 spent the night with a parent sleeping on the parent branch. Early this morning Lady flew in, chased by Currawongs. with a fish for SE30. SE30 was watching the Curras dive around the nest tree. I wonder if they are intimidating enough to keep 30 on the nest. I so fear that they will rush it out of the forest. And I do wish we knew the disposition of SE29. Has anyone seen her? She did so well coming to the nest for food. I hope that she is down by the river with Dad!

In this image, SE30 has an enormous crop. Did I miss a feeding or 30 finding a fish on the nest?? SE30 is clearly watching the Currawongs in the image below and not as interested in the fish Lady has brought.

No, the Currawong did not phase SE30. What a beautiful flight at 07:15:58.

What a beautiful take off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lady was in shock.

It is 0726. SE30 has not returned to the nest tree yet. I wonder if it is sitting over by the camera?

Sadly, Mum flew off the nest early and Big started in on both Middle and Little. They continue to wait for a fish arrival. I hope a big one arrives soon.

Oh, I was so happy to be watching when SE30 fledged. What a beautiful sight and what a great year that it was at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest. I cannot imagine a year as perfect.

Thank you for being with me. I knew that you would want to know about SE30’s amazing fledge. Wish for fish for Port Lincoln. I will be back with you tomorrow morning. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Late Thursday in Bird World

6 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for joining me for a late check in. Our weather turned. Yesterday it was 21 C and we woke to 2 degrees C. It is now a balmy 4 degrees!!! Time to pull out that Possum beanie and a heavier jacket.

I have spent so much time checking on the Australian nests and worrying about Little Bob at Port Lincoln always getting his fill of fish that other nest news has been – well, neglected turns out to be the right word. So I have brought in some news form various sources that has been posted that should be of interest to everyone. I was particularly interested in Victor Hurley’s discussion of peregrine falcons and what has happened at the lege scrape – it certainly helps our understanding. Sadly, it does not bring our beloved M17 back. Other reports about eagles rebuilding and a lovely video on the banding of osplets. We will be looking forward to November when Port Lincoln chicks will be banded and weighed and measured. They will get names and one of them will get a sat-pak.

Making News:

Victor Hurley has posted an update on the adult falcons, M17 and F17, that were at the nest on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. This information is very helpful to understand what is going on at the scrape box with M22 and F22.

Photographs of Connie and Clive, alive and well, on Captiva have been released by Window to Wildlife. They will rebuild! I have seen no news on Lena and Andy. Their nest platform was completely destroyed and will, when the time is right, need to be replaced.

Harriet and M15 have been photographed rebuilding at their nest tree on the property of the Pritchett Family in Fort Myers, Florida following Hurricane Ian.

A great video showing the ringing of osprey chicks. Have a look!

The Bald Eagle couple on the E-3 nest at Kistache National Forest in Louisiana were caught on camera. The male delivered a fish to the nest and you should see the female squeeing and grabbing – first his poor talon and finally the fish. A quick look and then slo-mo. Incredible footage.

Cilla Kinross posted a video of the feeding of chick 2 at Orange. So cute. There has been some concern that the little one is not getting enough bites. Let’s see how it does today. I witnessed a few good bites at one feeding yesterday.

The sun came up at Melbourne and Mum22 went and found some leftover pigeon in the family pantry and is feeding the wee ones. It is 0645.

SE29 spent the night perched on the parent branch of the old Ironwood tree. SE30 did not have to be lonely. Later, you can see that an adult is higher up on the branch. SE29 and that adult have been encouraging SE30 to get higher on the branch and it worked! SE30 so wants to do what 29 is doing – flying but, s/he will in their own good time. Best to have the confidence than to get caught up being afraid with the Currawongs around.

Look carefully. SE29 is on the branch above SE30 and a parent is to the far left. You can see the white of their head in the V of the branch.

SE30 can sleep adult style!

You can see SE29 and the adult better in the image below.

SE30 is being encouraged by 29. It is up on the branch. Did I say that these two remind me so much of 25 and 26?

Well done 30!

29 has flown off and 30 is back down lower towards the nest looking out at that big world.

SE30 looks up to 29 (under the adult). I am sure we will see 30 getting higher on the branch, today. He so wants to be with his sibling.

They are waiting for a fish delivery at Port Lincoln. Big and Middle have already been at one another – the minute Mum gets off of them. Little just curls up and hides. It is the one difference from Ervie. Ervie stood up, looked at Big and gave it back. In this instance the beaking is much more violent than it was with Bazza. I don’t blame Little for just staying out of the way. No need to enter into the conflict. Just eat your meal and get out of the way.

Mum puts an end to it all but just sitting on them as best she can!

There was a feeding at 0633 at Orange. I could not possibly tell you how much the wee one got – but some, once its little head was still. Then, Diamond turned her back to the camera!

Such a big yawn out of such a little eyas.

Oopsie!

It appears that the wee one, once straightened up, did get some good bites.

Thank you so much for being with me this late afternoon. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures, their posts, and videos: 367 Collins Street Watchers, Window to Wildlife, SWFL Eagles and Donna Lee, RSPB, KNF, Dr Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Little one at Orange gets first breakfast and more news in Bird World

5 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

This is a quick check in to see what is happening with a few of our nests.

The second hatch of Xavier and Diamond at Orange had its first bites of prey this morning. Goodness, there is certainly a difference in size. Diamond did a great job handling two different heights with one chick who can now see and another than can’t.

Just look at that big sibling flap its wings. Wow. What a strong chick!

The wee one is so tiny.

When eyas #2 connected with Mum’s beak and the prey, the first bite was quite a substantial one.

Both so very cute. It will be exciting to watch Xavier and Diamond with two chicks this year.

This is a video of the big sibling from the other day having an encounter with Dad and flipping over.

Yesterday it was pitching down rain in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE29 and SE30 were having a bang-up time flapping in the pouring rain. Today, the camera appears to be down. So, we might not know if SE30 fledges or not. I suggest continually checking as it could come back online anytime.

It has been raining in Melbourne. Mum has fed the four eyases and is working really hard at being a great Mumbrella for the little ones. They are warm and dry.

Port Lincoln osplets were waiting for the first fish of the day. It looks like it will be a sunny morning in Port Lincoln turning cloudy with rain arriving around 1600. Hopefully Dad will get some good fishing in before those drops start falling.

In migration news: There is a lot of activity happening at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey platform in Delaware. And it is not necessarily ospreys! You might recall that a banded Peregrine Falcon arrived on the nest the other day drenched to the bone from the rain from Hurricane Ian. ‘H’ has been watching the nest and has been surprised to see at least one Bald Eagle on the nest today, if not two or three. They are not banded. Thank you ‘H’.

When I think of migration, Delaware doesn’t readily come to mind but I absolutely do not know why it doesn’t! After ‘H’ contacted me about the falcon and then the eagle – eagles bringing fish and turtles to the nest – I began to wonder what migration is like on the easter seaboard of the United States. Then I found this article on the birds that fly through there, some of them staying. I would also think that all birds would hug that shore, not flying out in the Atlantic so there would be tens if not hundreds of thousands of birds flying through.

https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/delaware/stories-in-delaware/delaware-fall-bird-migrations/#:~:text=Birds%20like%20Green-winged%20Teal%2C%20Blue-winged%20Teal%2C%20Northern%20Shoveler%2C,the%20north%20arrive%20to%20spend%20the%20winter%20here.

Here is the video that ‘H’ made of the visit and uploaded to YouTube.

For those who are Jackie and Shadow fans, this much beloved Bald Eagle couple were working on their nest in Big Bear today.

Thank you for joining me for this quick check in. Isn’t that little one of Xavier and Diamond’s adorable — and there are two of them! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Mispillion Harbour and the Delaware DNR and ‘H’.

Early Sunday in Bird World

2 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is going to be 21 degrees C on the Canadian Prairies. Just a fabulous autumn day to be outside checking on the geese and the ducks and other birds that are migrating through the area. That is where I am headed shortly. It is so rare to get this kind of weather in October that it has to be enjoyed.

I want to thank everyone, before I forget, for all their letters and comments. Much appreciated!

In the Mailbox:

I have had word that it will be a long time before anything can be confirmed about the eagles and ospreys on Captiva/Sanibel. Individuals have seen both eagles and ospreys flying in some of the news broadcasts from the area. The area was more or less completely destroyed I was told. So sad for everyone’s property but thrilled that the raptors appear to be around.

Several have written in to ask if there is something wrong with Mum’s eye at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge? Thank you, ‘M’ for the image of Mum!

What you are seeing is the nictitating membrane or third eye lid. This thin membrane helps the Ospreys to see under water and instead of lowering this third eye lid, it raises up from the bottom. You will often see the birds pull up the nictitating membrane when they are resting. Some people call them a windshield/windscreen. Their function is to hold in the lubricating fluids of the eye. — So there is absolutely nothing wrong with Mum’s eyes!

Making News:

A recent poll in the UK reveals that the majority of individuals believes that nature is in need of protection! While I do not have a crystal ball, it seems that this might be the sentiment in most countries in the world. So why is there not being more done to protect the land and the wildlife – not just words – but action?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/30/most-uk-adults-think-nature-is-in-urgent-need-of-protection-poll

Cornell Bird Lab reminds us that October 8 is Big Day for Bird Counting.

Here is how you can take part:

https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-2022#:~:text=Mark%20your%20calendars%20for%20October,birds%20to%20bring%20people%20together

The Tweed Valley Osprey Project has given an update on Blue 694, a fledgling, seen in Portugal!

https://forestryandland.gov.scot/blog/osprey-update-29-september?fbclid=IwAR2DpHTcmnVUilg0fnubkJ2CgXBsTLFLADdXdpZdKJ4HPflqdvep8_RjknE

Mr Kes at the Robert Fuller nests in the UK has a new mate!

Nest News:

If you are a fan of Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus, then you will be thrilled to hear that L4 was caught on Karel Sedlacek’s streaming cam catching a squirrel yesterday. This is the longest that any of this popular couple’s fledglings has ever been seen on campus. It is fantastic.

The osplets at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge just seem to be ravenous. Big Bob is 2 weeks old and they are entering their big growth spurt and consuming more and more fish will help that. Dad brought a small-medium fish in at 1334 and it was completely gone by 1400. At first Big Bob was right up there followed by Little Bob. Little Bob got a couple of good bites and then Middle joined the line. Middle had the advantage in terms of position with Middle and Little seemingly getting all the bites. I wondered when Big would tear into them but s/he didn’t and all left the table with crops. I wondered about the heat – it is 19 degrees C in Port Lincoln and they are in the direct sun. They had a nice meal and that is all that counts. What was interesting was that both Big and Middle made attempts to pick at the fish themselves! Keep the fish coming in, Dad!

The three had another fish and finished it off around 1900. Look closely. Little Bob is losing his soft light grey downy coat. Oh, he will be a reptile soon!

It was really hot up in the scrape box at 367 Collins Street. Mum was just panting and it appears that both Mum and Male2 provided the eyases with some much needed shade until the sun was no longer on the scrape.

Yesterday I said something that confused one reader and I presume more, so my apologies. The couple at the Melbourne 367 Collins scrape are both new parents. I had been watching the old couple for about 5 years -.

What I ascertained from the 13:13 feeding is that it is possible the male has now served as a umbrella to shade the chicks, is bringing in prey for the female and the chicks, and has fed them. I admit to being completely confused by these two unless they are side by side and I can see the line of black in the white at the neck of the male. Both have extremely dark heads. The be all end all of this is that we should not be worrying. These first time parents are working this out and it seems that male2 will be another ‘saviour’ like Xavier.

They are soooooo cute!

Everyone is wondering whether or not Xavier and Diamond will have a second hatch at the scrape box on the water tower in Orange. Big Bob (or Only) is only a day old. Yes, many times falcon eggs hatch within 24 hours of one another but, that not happening in Orange does not mean it can’t. The last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only one hatch out of three eggs – Izzi in 2020 and Yurruga in 2021. It is common for not all of the eggs to hatch – there is one egg still in the 367 Collins Street scrape that hopefully will not hatch!

Mum and Dad have done wonders with SE29 and 30 this year. Big beautiful eaglets ready to fly.

I love this image of SE29 up on the parent branch with Lady. SE29 has ‘officially’ been declared as branching at 1445 on Saturday. Thanks, ‘J’.

Thank you for being with me this morning as we check on all the action that happened late Sunday in Australia. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts that make up my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, Robert E Fuller, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Will the Sea Eaglets fledge today? and other brief news in Bird World

1 October 2022

It is 15:44 on the Canadian Prairies and it is Saturday. The sky remains cloudy with a temperature of 12 degrees C. In Australia, our raptor families are waking up and I wonder what will be in store for them today.

At the Sydney Sea Eagles nest in the Olympic Forest near the Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, SE29 and 30 were particularly active around 0522. If official branching has not been called, it could certainly be done this morning. The eaglets are very interested in the world beyond the nest and are hopping and flapping and standing on the parent branch. An adult flew in but had no food in its talon. Oh, I would love those two eaglets to follow an adult out of the forest to the River Roost on the Parramatta River. There, safely away from the Pied Currawongs, Lady and Dad could continue to feed them while teaching them to hunt their own prey and letting the eaglets get their flying perfected.

At any rate, it feels like fledgling is imminent.

At the 367 Collins Street scrape, the eyases woke up to a feed. Mum looked around, rushed down the ledge, and flew back with a small item of prey. Was it the leftover pigeon? or a Starling? It was hard to tell.

‘A’ has assured me – much to my relief – that male2 is providing the food for Mum and the trio at the Melbourne scrape. There was much e-chuffing and Mum flew out to retrieve the prey from the hidey-hole. Meanwhile, Male2 comes down the ledge, stands over the chicks as if to protect them, and then moves out of the way watching as Mum feeds the three white furry balls. All is well in Melbourne. Relief. Thank you ‘A’.

Xavier and Diamond’s first hatch had Starling for breakfast this morning. It is a running joke at this scrape that Diamond hates Starling. She will refuse to eat it if Xavier brings her a fresh bird but, she is happy to feed it to the eyases!

Meanwhile, the osplets had a nice fish delivery – everyone seems to have eaten well although Mum moved and it is hard to see how much Middle and Little are getting.

Everyone still had a nice crop over an hour later.

So far this morning in Australia all is well on each of the four nests. There are three eyases and a Mum being fed in Melbourne by the new male who we all hope will turn out to be as lovely as Alden and Xavier. The Sea Eagles are more than ready to fledge and they are beautiful. I wonder if they will take their first flight together? Port Lincoln was relatively calm this morning with the feeding and Little Bob is beginning to turn into a reptile, too. Diamond and Xavier could not be happier with their first hatch.

Thank you for joining me on this catch up again with our Australian raptors. If you did not hear, Harriet and M15 have been seen and photographed at their old nest tree and Samson and Gabby are home, too. We continue to hope that all of the others impacted so badly by the storm at Captiva will be seen – but, it is unclear if there is anyone to check on them the area was simply destroyed I am told. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and to ‘A’ for letting me know about the prey delivery at Melbourne: 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.