Oh, for the love of Ervie

It is no secret that my long-term research project on third hatch Ospreys that survive can cause a whole lot of heart ache. The opposite side of that is the sheer joy in watching these ‘thirds’ come into their own. Some suffer much more than others. In 2021, one of the worst was Tiny Tot Tumbles on the Achieva Osprey nest in Florida.

There is Tiny Tot Tumbles beside sibling 1. I often called her ‘Big Nasty Sister’. She is the reason that many people do not like to watch the Osprey nests. That said, sibling 1 stopped a lot of the beating on Tiny Tot because sibling 2 started. That nestling would purposefully eat and eat and eat so that Tiny Tot had no food.

Beaten and starved. It was hard for anyone to imagine Tiny Tot Tumbles surviving. There she is all submissive, literally starving, while the others eat.

What a beautiful bird Tiny Tot Tumbles became.

Elegant. Tiny Tot Tumbles is one of the most striking juvenile ospreys I have ever seen. Before she left the nest, her plumage was super espresso with only the thinest of white scallop revealing she was not an adult. She was smart. She remained on the nest honing her flying skills, getting stronger, learning how to fight off intruders. It is a shame she is not banded but she has a very distinctive pattern on her crown.

At Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria, no one expected Tiny Little Bob to survive more than a couple of days. The weather was miserable and the two older siblings were 4x her size.

The size difference increased. That is how she got the name ‘Tiny Little Bob’ because she was just so small.

I love this image. Tiny Little Bob really wants some of the flounder that Mum, Blue 35 has. She has watched and waited til the older siblings are full. Then she will make her move. She exhibits all of the hallmarks of a third hatch survivor – patience, fortitude, and ‘focused watching’. They can read the nest.

I wish I had this video recorder earlier so that I could have captures Tiny Tot Tumbles ousting the intruders from the nest! Or more of Tiny Little Bob. I did get it in time to show you Blue 463 in the nest. It is the third week in August. All three of the Foulshaw Moss chicks have fledged. White YW is an incredible provider and he will stay until Tiny Little Bob migrates before he leaves. She will be the last one to leave. Smart girl. She really fattened up for that migratory trip. I only hope that she survived. Few British Ospreys have been spotted in The Gambia and Senegal. There are lots without bands along the coast of West Africa but not the ringed British. Where are they?

Tiny Little Bob is banded as Blue 463. She is the bird on the back of the nest on the right. She is food calling. I want you simply to notice how big she is. Tiny Little Bob became the dominant bird on the Foulshaw Moss nest for 2021. She could fight for the fish with the best of them. Most of the time she used her patience and ‘snake eye’ to get the siblings off their lunch!

At Port Lincoln, Bazza aka Big Bob, tried several times to dominate but, Ervie aka Little Bob wasn’t having it. If you have been following me most of the time you will know that when the three males were banded, Little Bob got the sat-pak because he was the biggest of the three. Unlike Tiny Tot Tumbles who missed 12 full days of meals in the first five weeks of her life, Tiny Little Bob made sure he was right up front by Mum’s beak. I don’t think he ever missed a meal and he would certainly stay til he was full. On the morning of the banding, Little Bob had landed the breakfast fish. That probably helped a lot with that weight in!

There is Little Bob in front with his beak wide open. Just look at those little wings. Oh, my goodness is there anything cuter than a recently hatched osplet?

The thing about the third hatch survivors is that they have lived out of sheer willpower and cleverness. I can almost hear Ervie say, ‘I am not taking anything from you, Bazza!’ They become kinda’ street wise. They watch, assess, and attack. Does anyone remember Tiny Little Bob staring down both of her big siblings? They were not going to get anything by her. You might also remember that Tiny Tot Tumbles took on any intruder protecting the nest. She was fierce. That is how they survive — and I believe that they are actually better able to cope out in the world of Ospreys far away from the nest than their siblings.

Ervie sure showed us what he is made of today.

Bazza had the fish and had been eating. Ervie really likes the back portion and the tail. So he is watching Bazza. I could have made this into a video but what I want you to do is focus on the ‘look’ on Ervie’s face and his actions.

Ervie is the bird on the right. Bazza is in the middle with the fish tail. Falky is on the left and is not interested.

Look at Ervie’s eyes and his open beak as he lands on the nest. He is telling Bazza he wants that fish tail now. Ervie means business.

Ervie is twisting his body. He is not looking at Bazza’s face. He is looking at the fish tail.

Ervie moves up and over pushing Bazza’s head. Ervie raises his wings.

Ervie is totally in front of Bazza. Notice that Bazza is not looking at the fish.

Ervie turns his head around. You can draw a line from his eye and beak to the fish. Ervie is completely focused.

He goes for it.

Ervie dives down to get the fish tail.

He has it. He turns his body and raises his wings. Bazza is being pushed out of the way so Ervie can turn.

He’s got it. Wow. Just look at the impressive wings of Ervie.

Ervie moves over to the other edge of the nest where he finishes the fish tail. The entire take over bid took 19 seconds.

Bazza does not seemed phased and Falky probably wishes he were somewhere else!

These three have just been a joy to watch. I wish each of them had been given a sat-pak so that we could watch their lives unfold. I hope that the hydro poles in South Australia have their protective covers placed on them just as quickly as it can happen. The loss of Solly was a tragedy in terms of understanding the dispersal and long term survival of these Eastern Osprey.

I hope that I have not bored you too much with these third hatches. Each is really a miracle and for me, remembering them helps honour the pain and suffering that they went through to live.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.,

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or my video clips: Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Who is in the scrape?

At 13:13:01 on 22 November an adult peregrine falcon landed on the Southwest ledge of The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley.

Annie visited the ledge early this morning just as the pink of dawn covered the horizon.

Oh, Annie, you are so beautiful. Look at your gorgeous patterned chest with that soft almost cotton-like collar.

The bird appears anxious. Is it Grinnell returning to his scrape but worrying about the interloper? Is it the interloper? or is it Annie and I am just reading the situation incorrectly?

Grinnell has two bands – the one on the left leg is either a dark blue or black with white letters and numbers. Then there is the standard metal band on the right with Grinnell’s federal number. I just can’t see bands on this birds legs!

That said, this is a comparison between Grinnell and the interloper male posted on the twitter feed of the CalFalconCam on 5 November 2021. Grinnell is on the left and the interloper is on the right. The angle makes the interloper on the right appear much larger than Grinnell but the UC Falcon team confirmed that both of the males are a similar size.

There is a hint. Look at the beautiful striped breast of Annie and how far it goes up her chest. We know that Grinnell doesn’t have a lot of stripes. The interloper does but it does not go up high enough for the bird on the ledge. (See images below).

Using the images of the three birds, it appears that the bird on the ledge after lunch should be Annie. But, why is she so nervous?

Sean Peterson of UC Falcons solved the mystery and confirmed that this is Annie for me. He says that “She might be a bit nervous about all the activity over the last week or so.” Thanks, Sean!

She is looking around everywhere and doing a little chumping. Oh, how I wish Grinnell would have landed on that ledge at that very moment. Maybe he doesn’t know the interloper has not been seen since Grinnell came back to his territory on Wednesday.

Annie jumps down from the ledge.

With a hop and a little flight she lands in the scrape box.

Gosh, Annie, you are beautiful.

Oh, I wish that Grinnell would fly in and join her in the scrape! Come on Grinnell!!!!!

We wait and hope.

Cal Falcons has a fundraiser going to thank Lindsay Wildlife Experience. T-shirts for $20 US plus postage. If you are interested, go to the falcons web page and click on the hoodies. The fundraiser will pop up immediately. In order to keep down costs, the shirts will be printed once the fundraiser is over. Estimated delivery time to Canada is 27 December.

In other Bird World news, both Diamond and Xavier have visited the scrape box in Orange today. The issue of the missing eggs does not seem to be an issue. At Port Lincoln, Bazza scored the breakfast fish at 07:37. Dad arrived with another at 08:28 and Ervie got that one. Once Bazza was full with his fish, Falky took over. I just checked and Bazza was eating again. Gosh.

For the fans of Jack and Diane at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, Jack delivered his first fish to Diane today. Don’t expect eggs for awhile.

The couple have been renovating their nest on the parking lot of the Achieva Credit Union. They have a massive egg cup! Here is the link to that camera:

I also want to remind you of the African desert cam at the bolt hole. A meteor shower was caught on camera and there were three Cheetahs that visited today. The beautiful birds arrive around sunrise.

The link to this camera is here:

It is pretty quiet these days. The Eagles are working on their nests and eggs are being laid but it will be a bit before we see some bobbles.

Take care everyone. Be safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the Namibia Cam.

Hold on to your seats

The three males on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge were – as I said many, many times – the most polite and civil trio I had ever witnessed. Well, today all bets are off. It was expected that once the lads had fledged and were moving into being independent that the conflict over fish deliveries would increase. It hasn’t actually been that bad. There was a tussle between Ervie and Falkey this morning over the breakfast fish. Ervie won.

Well, the fish isn’t even on the nest and Ervie and Falkey are going at one another. Caught in the cross-fire is Mum and Bazza. It is 14:10 in the afternoon and all is not well. I just hope the two do not injure one another.

There is only the anticipation of a fish because Mum is on the nest and the boys might have seen dad. Bazza is staying out of everything. He is by Mum but already Ervie and Falkey are eyeing one another.

Falkey goes over to jump on Ervie. Ervie is under Falkey and on top of Bazza. Poor Mum. I wonder if she has ever had a nest of all boys?

Everything is wings and twisting and turning.

Bazza stands up and Mum ducks.

Falkey is standing on top of Bazza.

Ervie is watching trying to see what Falkey is doing to Bazza.

Then everyone gets into the mix again.

I ‘think’ it is Falkey on the left, Bazza in the middle, and Ervie on the right. Poor Mum is in there, too.

Ervie is full of adrenalin and he gets Bazza on his back. This is not going to end well at all.

They are going down. This is definitely not good at all. Falkey who precipitated all of this with Ervie is simply looking on from the left as the two brothers have it out.

Bazza winds up in Dad’s man cave. He is alright. But he will not have the lift to fly up to the nest. Remember, Bazza is the only one that has not fledged.

The owners are monitoring the situation. They say that Bazza will probably fly to the ropes and then on to the nest but, perhaps, not just right now. They won’t intervene because they do not believe it is necessary and it would ‘freak’ out the other birds.

Falkey is left on the nest.

Mum arrives and Dad flies in with a whopper. Falkey will be much nicer after he eats his fish.

Falkey still has control of the fish. Mum is on the nest – she would some fish, too and there is Ervie right behind Falkey. He would like some fish, too. You can see Bazza down in the man cave.

Some of you will remember Tiny Tot Tumbles from the Achieva Osprey Nest. She went on to very proudly defend the nest against adult intruders. These birds have to be able to ‘fight’ so to speak. They are getting ready to leave the natal nest territory and set out on their own. It is just like Grinnell having to go in and take back his territory. We might like to think birds are sweet and only sing lovely songs and get along but even in my garden sometimes it is a real battle between some rivals.

It doesn’t look like there will be any dull moments on this nest now. To be continued at the next fish delivery….

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures. Take care everyone!

Is it Tiny Tot Tumbles?

There is never 100% certainty in identifying a bird four months or a year or two after it has flown off the nest unless there are Darvic rings and bands. For ospreys, there are facial features – the head – that remain the same for their entire life once they have reached the age of fledging. I have been told, by Osprey experts that I respect, that an osplet born in the spring of 2021 could no longer have the white curved feathers on its wing tips. I am trusting that information to be true.

As many of you know, I have a very special interest in Osprey third hatches. I am particularly focused on these little ones that survive but who have been denied food by their siblings and who might have died due to siblicide. I will be collecting data from nests for the next decade to see if there are any patterns on these particular survivors. Do they do better in the long haul than their siblings? It is extremely difficult if they have not been ringed. The best way to study their survival is both a Darvic ring and a sat-pak with a battery that would last for four years, like the one on Solly who hatched in 2021 at the Port Lincoln nest.

Over the past month or so, a number of Ospreys have landed on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Several remind me of the intruder that Tiny Tot Tumbles battled last summer. Have Jack and Diane visited? Maybe. I admit to being so focused on Tiny Tot Tumbles that I ignored the other two siblings and parents in terms of identification markers.

On 30 October an osprey landed on the Achieva nest. I stared at that ‘face and head’ for two days. Could it be?

Staring at me every time I open the fridge or close it is a large magnet of Tiny Tot Tumbles. The screen capture was on 20 June, two weeks before she left the nest for good. Tears began to flow.

There are thousands of images of Tiny Tot in my external hard drives. From the moment she hatched, to the little one running around the rim of the nest trying to get some food. There were days that I counted each bite of food that she got. Notebooks full. That fridge magnet image was taken on a day when Tiny Tot was at her loveliest. She would sit on the perch for hours – she was elegant! And she was a formidable opponent. Any intruder was ousted from the nest. She often battled them alongside Jack, her dad.

A slider to move back and forth to compare.

I am convinced that the amazing osprey that landed on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg at 12:57 on 30 October is, in fact, Tiny Tot Tumbles. She has been away and survived for four months, grown and matured. The white plumage forming the V is very thin on both of those images.

There have been visitors that have, of course, a similar V but the amount of white plumage varies with each of them. The bird below has visited the nest often but it is not Tiny Tot.

This was Tiny Tot Tumbles on 3 July. Look at the white lines from the beak forming a ‘V’. They are thinner on Tiny Tot than on the bird above.

Here is Tiny Tot Tumbles on 27 June mantling.

This is an image of Tiny Tot Tumbles on 26 June. I had enlarged it from a screen capture so that everyone would note the very specific head – the thin white lines, the heart shape of the white. Sadly, the resolution is not good.

These following two images were posted on 20 and 21 June, respectively. The top one is the one on 20 June that I used for my fridge magnet. The next one is the following day, Tiny Tot on the perch.

She is so elegant. She has grown and filled in since she flew off the nest. There she is on the perch looking like she is applying to be on the runway for the most beautiful Osprey of 2021!

Here she is as a wee babe. It was easy to imagine with the difference in age and size that Big Bob might cause problems. In the end, both Big and Middle Bob, sibling 1 and 2, prevented Tiny Tot from eating for a total of 12 full 24 hour periods during the first six weeks of her life.

There is Tiny Tot submissive and hungry over to the right. Big Bob has been unmerciful in its attacks on her on this day.

What changed on the nest was Diane going out and fishing. She began to bring back big catfish and there was always enough to feed Tiny Tot. By 7 April, Tiny Tot has grown and is getting big enough that the older siblings might try to thwart her from eating but she is unstoppable. If she did not get enough to eat, Tiny Tot would root around in the nest. She always found scraps and was known for even cleaning off fish flakes from discarded bones. It is difficult in the ‘real world’ and it takes this kind of tenacity to survive.

Tiny Tot has a nice big crop on 9 April! Just look at her there in the middle of the image below.

This is 10 May. Tiny Tot is gorgeous. She is beginning to get that characteristic head that we all recognized. Her juvenile feathers are coming in and she has survived! In the end, Sibling 1 fledged and returned to the nest once, the following day. Sibling 2 fledged returning for a bit for food. Then Tiny Tot was all alone. Jack brought in fish for her and she stayed – as she should – honing her flying skills and getting ‘street smart’ protecting the nest. On 5 July, precisely four months after she hatched, she flew off the nest. We never thought we would see her again.

I am grateful that Tiny Tot has paid a visit to the nest to show us all that she is thriving. She has put on weight from the elegant pose on the perch post but that striking head remains the same.

I hope that Tiny Tot visits the nest over and over again. She was gallant in her protection of it for Jack, her dad, and with him on occasion. And, for the record, she could be a he. There were never DNA tests taken or any banding. Just keep your eye out for this beautiful osprey. Could we be lucky enough to see s/he raise osplets on this very nest in the future?

Take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for its streaming cam in St Petersburg where these screen shots were taken.

Monday in Bird World

One of the most wonderful things about the time I spent teaching university classes is the students you meet. Often you get to see them grow up from being first years to graduating and, at other times, you are lucky enough to follow them through adulthood. I often think I was so blessed as I continue to stay in contact with so many watching their extraordinary lives unfold. One of those students is an artist living in northern Manitoba who treated me to a late Halloween treat – images of the Northern lights or the Aurora Borealis from where she lives in Northern Manitoba. These colourful dancing lights are energized particles from the sun slamming into our atmosphere. They say that this happens at 72 million kmh (or 45 million mph). My mind cannot even comprehend how fast that is. When this happens, Earth’s magnetic field redirects those same particles toward the North Pole. That redirection is what causes the Aurora Borealis. I would like to share them with all of you.

Aren’t these incredible? When my children were little, living on the acreage in southern Manitoba, you could look out over the flat landscape of the prairies and see them so clearly.

Oh, what a wonderful treat. Thank you!

The moderators on the chat at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier have confirmed that Diamond was also limping and had a droopy wing the day that she was away from Yarruga for ten hours. She appears to be getting better. Yesterday little Yarruga was so hungry. Yarruga is definitely as loud as big brother, Izzi. If we ever worried, right after hatch, that Yarruga might have trouble feeding, we do not have to anymore. Here is a clip of Yarruga trying to take the prey and self-feed! Yarruga is 3 weeks old. S/he is going to be a formidable falcon.

Xavier is doing all of the hunting. This morning Diamond fed Yarruga early.

The sun is casting a golden glow on the trio of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It has been confirmed that they will definitely be ringed, named, and at least one of them will receive a sat-pak on either 8 or 9 November. When I hear the precise time I will let you know. Last year PLO posted a video of everything later. I do hope they will do that again this year.

I am also told that the two chicks at Thistle Island are a bit younger than the PLO trio. I am so selfishly hoping that Little Bob gets a tracker.

There is going to be a live-streamed Condor release tomorrow. The Zoom event will start at 9:30 am Pacific time (that is 11:30 CDT) with the release pen opening at 10 am PT or 12 noon CDT. Every year young condors are released into the wild on the Central Coast of California. This year they will release six which includes #1031 Iniko, the daughter of Kingpin and Redwood Queen, who survived the Dolan fire. Iniko will be released on 4 December but three other birds will be released tomorrow. If you would like to watch this event – and any release into the wild of a condor is fantastic – then you need to sign up. Here is the link to do that:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

If you would like to watch the live-streaming condor cams, here is the link to the Ventana Wildlife Society where you can locate the camera you want:

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor_cam.html

I am so very grateful for these Zoom events. It is one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. I hope that every group continues using them so that those of us far away can join in.

A report on the Ospreys in Finland has been published. It is in Finnish but you can cut and paste and use Google Translate. There are a few images of the nests, etc. They are lovely. Here is that link as I know that some of you watch the Finnish Osprey nests faithfully.

http://128.214.237.21/sites/default/files/files/linnut_vk2020_086-093_saakset_artikkelit_10293.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2HZ8k187x2tvZvT0UfesEMjKgQyZQ2WpxcJDJpycQsmlAFuzeckF6IoXg

There have been images of a pair of Ospreys on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg, Florida. At this point, I cannot confirm they are Jack and Diane. They certainly could be but as one loyal watcher has said, “They do not behave like Jack and Diane.” There is time yet. Last year eggs hatched the first week of March which means they were laid the end of January/early February. If they are not Jack and Diane, Jack will surely run them out of town!

The only confirmation on WBSE 27 is the following from yesterday:

We all hope that WBSE 27 will be kept until it is completely healed and flying well so that it can be released with some hope that it will be able to survive. What a beautiful bird. Those Pied Currawongs are quite dangerous. It is not always safe to be the juvenile of the Apex Raptor on the block! Get well soon WBSE 27.

There have been no new transmissions from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne. It is assumed that Karl II has reached his wintering grounds in the Sudan since his last GPS showed that he had arrived there safely. Pikne was along the waters of the Red Sea. There are real worries for little Udu. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea which would have been exhausting. He will need food and water. His last location was an oasis but they use hot sulphur water for the crops and this is not good for Udu. It is hoped that he made it to the Nile River. Send positive energy to him and also to WBSE 27.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Everyone is fine. You cannot see the Collins Street Four unless they are running down the gutter but they are doing well. More down is being shedded off those wings every hour. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Eagle Club of Estonia Forum, and for the FB Page of the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for the image and announcement about WBSE 27.

Izzi’s very noisy sibling

Tomorrow I am going for the annual tour at our local wildlife rehab facility, Wildlife Haven. Every year they do this as a fund raiser but it is a good way to get a really good look at the varied and in-depth work that these people do. There doesn’t seem to be an animal or bird too difficult to try and help mend. I do not know if they will allow photographs but, I will try and take some to show to you.

This video was posted. It is the little ‘waiting to get a name’ eyas in the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Prey items come one after another. The chick already has a fine crop but will be fed more. But, turn the volume up and listen to this little one. Last year’s only chick, Izzi, was know to be such a character and part of it was his very loud voice. Everyone is beginning to wonder if this chick will be even louder than Izzi!

Have a look. It is such a cute clip.

One of the things that you can see are the chick’s ears. Look closely. It is also scooting around, and there are some pin feathers coming. This chick is, of course, doing very well under the excellent care of Xavier and Diamond.

Clearly as Dr Hurley notes, an Only chick gets all the food!

For those fans of Anna and Louis whose Bald Eagle nest is in the Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana, both eagles were working on the nest this evening around 18:54.

Wrestling with sticks seem to be what all the Bald Eagle couples are doing now – as well as trying to keep any would be intruders out of their territory.

It wouldn’t be right not to go and check on those gorgeous osplets at Port Lincoln before I sign off. They are just simply so beautiful in their full juvenile plumage. Here is the trio looking out probably seeing the parent flying in with their lunch.

That lunch arrived a few seconds later.

Everyone lined up and as I write this, they are still eating.

This is a reminder that Xavier and Diamond’s chick needs a name! This is the information as Cilla Kinross posted it under the information for the streaming cam:

VOTE FOR NAME FOR THIS CHICK You have until Friday 5 pm 22nd October to vote. You can only vote once. Note that multiple votes will be deleted. All names are in the Wiradjuri (local indigenous) language and relate to weather terms: cloud etc. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/iPQhxDCLtEh19jp38

Cilla Kinross, Charles Sturt University

I want to note that Cilla would like everyone to cut and paste the link into their own browser. So the time for voting is closing quickly. Why not join in?!

I will not be posting my newsletter until tomorrow late afternoon or evening depending on the tour at the wild life facility. Fingers crossed I can get you some good inside views of what goes on when animals come in needing attention.

Thank you for joining me. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Wow! Just look at the PLO Chicks

I am sorry to be so late in sending off my newsletter today. It was not intended and if you have worried, I apologize. The day wasn’t meant to be so busy but it simply turned out that way with a last minute trip to get 200 lbs of bird seed tacked on to the end.

Just look at these beauties. Overnight the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Barge turned into juvenile beauties. Those are serious feathers! Just look, all pushed out from their quills, perfect layering with that gorgeous white line and tip of the juvenile. Each one also seems to have grown a perfectly white beard over night. Their eyes are also that dark amber colour that will, when they are adults, turn to yellow.

Gosh. I can hardly take my eyes off of them. They are stunningly beautiful. If I could look like a bird it would seriously be a juvenile Osprey.

Mum was looking out over the water hoping that Dad was off fishing – and he was. He landed on the nest at 7:46 with a breakfish for everyone.

Little Bob, the closest to Mum’s beak and the front, is 34 days old today while the two older siblings are 36 days old. There is a ways to fledge – thank goodness, but, for now, we can enjoy how grown up they all are and how wonderful this Eastern Osprey nest has been this year. It has brought nothing but tears of joy! It goes to show how having chicks that hatch close together and plenty of food deliveries are a great combination to success.

Dr Victor Hurley heads up the research on the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons. He has been doing this for many years. He wrote a very good article about what the differences are for the two falcon nests in Australia with streaming cams – 367 Collins Street Falcons in Melbourne and Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross. The 367 Collins Street scrape box had 4 hatches this year while the Orange scrape box of Diamond and Xavier had one. So what is the difference to the falcons? is it better to have one or four? Dr Hurley believes for the falcons it is better to have four eyases and be run off your feet feeding them because the chance of one of them surviving to adult hood is greater than a scrape having only one chick. He believes, however, that it is beneficial to the chicks to be the ‘only One’ instead of one of four in terms of food resources. Still, others believe that the stress on the parents to feed four instead of one is immense but, we are looking at it from the chick’s perspective. Anyone watching the scrape boxes just know these growing chicks just want food!

While Dr Hurley did not address other issues, I wonder if being part of a larger hatch group helps in terms of understanding how to live in the real world where there will be pressure from others. Maybe it doesn’t matter? Last year, the male from the Collins Street scrape used to come into the nest and pluck a freshly caught pigeon. It was a terrific mess but those three girls could sure pluck a bird – and do it fast before they fledged – a skill essential to survival. Catch, pluck, eat, and go! I beg to be corrected but it seemed that Izzi had some difficulty with plucking even after an age when he should have had his own territory. So I wonder if they learn quicker and faster as part of a group??? and having plucking imprinted on them so many times?

The little eyas at Orange is 13 days old today while the Collins Street Four are starting their third week. Each is right on track in terms of development. Indeed, the little Orange eyas has been scooting around on its tarsus for a couple of days now and is very strong and healthy. – slightly ahead of the curve The plumage is changing radically on the Collins kids and they are standing and walking.

Kate St John did a wonderful blog on the developmental stages of the peregrine falcons. I want to share that with you.

Dad is trying out larger pieces of pigeon on the four. The prey came in one after another the other day. They are losing the soft down around their eyes and getting the juvenile feathers and they are also getting their wing feathers.

I am afraid that I got a little carried away with the images of Xavier and Diamond’s eyas. Not only is it loud – soon to rival Izzi – but it can also make the cutest faces.

They are all doing well. Last I checked the Bald Eagles in the United States are all still working on their nests. There is some intrigue at the Captiva Nest and the speculation as to who the male will be this season. Joe is gone and it appears Martin has been ousted also. Meanwhile, Harriet and M15 along with Samson and Gabby are steady as you go! To my knowledge there has not been a fledge at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic forest but this could happen any time. And – for the lovers of Jack and Diane – it seems that the couple might be back on the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg together. They have a lot of nestorations to do!

Thank you for joining me for this quick catch up. I will be shaking my head and smiling at just how beautiful three juvenile ospreys look in the PLO nest. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, the Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

How do you say ‘cute’ in Falconese

One of the last feedings for the little eyas at the scrape box in Orange, Australia was around 18:19:00 yesterday.

This little one is eight days old. It has sure grown!

I took three video clips to cover the entire time Diamond was feeding the chick. Watching the movements and the interactions instead of seeing a still image can give you a more in-depth look at the size of the bites and the sheer cuteness of the moment.

The total number of fish delivered to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest was 7 yesterday. They were delivered at 7:11:22, 8:23:54,12:47:30, 13:52:18, 14:54:09, 16:37:00, and 18:08:37. This is a capture of Dad delivering the fish at 7:11 and Mum coming to the nest from the perch as well as a capture from the 14:54 feeding:

There appeared to be an adult on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida yesterday. The marks on the crown of the bird seem to be that of the male, Jack. Today, another adult showed up at the same nest at 11:16:09.

Jack appears to be alarming.

This is the image of the adult from yesterday (right) and an image of Jack bringing Tiny Tot Tumbles a fish on the left. It seems likely that the adult visiting the nest is Jack. There is a lot of prep work to be done before Diane returns.

The White Bellied Sea Eagles 27 and 28 entered hatch watch the other day! That date range for fledging is 75-80 days from hatch. WBSE 28 was 77 days old on 16 October (yesterday) when it branched! Watch closely to see what 28 uses to make the leap.

Fledging is getting closer for these two. No doubt they will have contests to see who can get higher up on the tree!

Today is starting off as a fantastic day in Bird World. While there are little ones to feed or fledge in Australia, staff at many of the nature centres in the UK are refurbishing Osprey nests. A new pole and platform has been installed at Lyn Brenig and today the work was completed on Pont Cresor, the nest of Aeron, Z2 and Blue 014.

Thank you for joining me today. It is beautiful and sunny. All of the garden animals are having their lunch and the world is simply right with itself. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St. Petersburg.

Late Saturday in Bird World

I want to thank the person who wrote and thanked me for keeping everyone abreast of what is happening with the Port Lincoln Osplets. It is truly my pleasure. The situation of siblicide last year with Tapps really touched our or tore out our hearts. People can say that nature is not like Disneyland – and it surely isn’t – but, it is still hard. How many times did we want to scoop up little Tapps and feed him? I almost quit watching Ospreys entirely because of Tapps. I do understand – completely.

I began to wonder about these third hatches. The Osprey nests had such a hard time last year that there were few with three hatches that survived. The first was Tiny Tot at Achieva. Aka Tumbles. What an amazing bird. I will not bore you with all of the intricate details but, in the first two six weeks of her life, Tiny Tot had 12 days – 12 whole days – without food. At least twice, she went for 72 hours. That bird wanted to live. She was clever! And, yes, she got angry and lashed out at the older ones twice. I believe it was the last instance when Diane, the female, took notice. She began bringing in food to the nest. Those big catfish saved Tiny Tot’s life. And then Tiny Little at Foulshaw Moss. Neither of the Tinys should have survived but they did and were stronger birds for it. My interest in third hatches was cemented with the two Tinys. I want to see if their survival rate is higher than the big siblings. The problem is that so few of them are ringed or have satellite trackers. Someone in France just photographed Blue 494 from the Dyfi Nest. Maybe they will see Blue 463, Tiny Little, too. Oh, I hope so.

What I can tell you is that the PLO are doing fine. Little Bob has a good appetite. He can’t eat as many bites as Big Bob but at the most recent feeding, Little Bob ate enough to go into food coma! Mom seems particularly focused on making sure that each gets bites. She is doing really well this year and so is Dad with bringing in the fish. It is 11 degrees C in Port Lincoln and the winds are still blowing strong at 24 kmh. That is 14.91 miles an hour. It might not sound like a lot but it can certainly disrupt fishing.

Here is a close up. Little Bob is the one that is being fed. You can see that he already has the makings of a very good crop.

This is Little Bob getting some nice bites. The one that looks asleep is actually Big Bob. She has eaten and is taking a ‘breather’. Meanwhile Little and Middle Bob are enjoying the morning breakfast.

There is Big Bob back up at the table! Doesn’t take long. She can eat bigger pieces and more of them now. But there is no problem with Little or Middle Bobs eating. Everyone is doing well.

Every once in awhile their eyes lock on one another and my body goes rigid but, so far, nothing. Mom goes around making sure everyone has bites. It is that kind of security that keeps things tranquil.*

These are really well behaved youngsters. Food is plentiful and they line up with mouths open letting out little peeps. Middle Bob is getting some bites now while Little and Big wait their turns.

As I said, Little Bob has a very good appetite and he won’t leave the table until he falls over in food coma or mom calls it quits. Remember, she does not want them to catch cold. Right now the feedings are lasting about nine minutes.

Little Bob is full and in a food coma. The crops are filling on the older two. Oh, what a delight this nest is to watch this year. Of course, it can all change. Just continue to send the warmest of wishes to this family. We want three survivors! Three.

Closer to home. I was heading out to check on the Wood Ducks at the park. The last time I was there the male Wood Ducks – save for one – were in the equinox. They were moulting and getting their fall plumage. They were certainly not their brilliant beautiful selves.

As soon as I was out the door I could hear the familiar pecking of the male Downy Woodpecker in the garden. He comes several times a day. Rumour has it that he lives inside the 123 year-old Maple tree in front of my house.

In the winter I rub peanut butter suet on the bark and I often see him eating away. This summer he brought his baby to find the suet. The strange thing is – we have never seen the female. It is so odd.

Little Woodpecker is such a sweetie. One day when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk, was in the garden, the little woodpecker was on the suet like he is today. For 45 minutes, he held on tight, not moving, just blinking his eyes rapidly. He was so afraid he was going to be Sharpie’s lunch. I felt so sorry for him. Sharpie was sitting on a branch under him pretending to be. feeder! Needless to say Sharpie wasn’t successful that day.

It is a beautiful fall day and the park was full of Canada geese and people having picnics and playing cricket.

Over in the pond, the male Wood Ducks really stand out. They have finished their moult. Just look at the range of colour in those feathers. Even the golden beige ones are gorgeous.

Here is a different one. The shape of the head is slightly different on this one.

The female Wood Ducks have really grown, too. My goodness. What a change in a a week. They were so tiny when I left but they seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.

There were definitely more females than males.

The Mallards were particularly annoying today. We noticed that the female Wood Ducks tended to stay close to one another.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The male Mallards are in the middle of moulting. Soon they will have those beautiful emerald green heads that are so characteristic. For now, they look a little bit like peeling duck decoys instead of living breathing water fowl.

There were lots of female Mallards in the pond today.

Two Canada Geese came flying in creating a bit of a ruckus.

Then they slithered along the surface of the pond. They looked rather strange and everyone stopped to try and figure out what they were doing.

We presumed that they were sipping water.

Speaking of water. The pond is pretty clean this year. There are two fountains and everyone is abiding by the signs and not feeding the ducks. If they do it is wild bird seed. What a huge difference from the algae infested muck of last year.

It is early morning in Australia. There will be more meals for the youngsters. All of the birds in our park are safe and sound tonight. We have had no frost. In decades past there was always a freeze in August. I wonder if this might impact migration dates?

Thank you so much for joining me. Have a lovely rest of the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to try and break my unlucky streak and catch that juvenile Green Heron that is hanging about our City. Take care all. Stay safe.

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

Bird World. 14 Sept 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a lovely area for an Osprey nest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The leaves are turning and the landscape is simply stunning.

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

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

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