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.

Ervie defends his fish!

No doubt all of the Ospreys on the barge at Port Lincoln are hungry first in the morning. It could have been 10 or more hours since they had a fish, depending on who landed the last one/s of the day.

At 09:37, the three lads were snoozing duckling style on the nest. Was anyone thinking about breakfast?

Dad flew in with a nice fish at 09:38:15, just 20 seconds later, waking them all up in a start. My goodness, Ervie is quick. He is mantling that fish (on the far right in front of Dad).

Wings are starting to flap.

As the competition for the breakfast fish amps up, Dad is getting ready to take off.

There he goes just clearing Ervie’s left wing tip. It looks pretty crazy down there but this is what we want to see – these three really being able to grab the fish and defend it. Ervie is a bit like a magician when it comes to getting the fish, he is so fast.

Dad has lift off.

Bazza is on the far left. Falkey is in the middle. He would not mind challenging Ervie for that fish. Look at Falkey looking over. Bazza, meanwhile, is looking out over the water, unconcerned.

Falkey thinks he will try to get that fish by flapping his wings.

Ervie counters. They are looking at each other so intently – it is a wonder Bazza doesn’t slip through and take the fish. Just look at those two! Ervie is saying, “I dare you to try.”

Ervie flips Falkey’s wing back causing him to lose his balance.

There, it is all over and it only took 14 seconds. No feathers or wings injured in the process. Wow.

Ervie aka Little Bob has really become a force to reckon with since he hatched. He has never given in to his older siblings. Focused. A survivor. Every day he amazes me. I look forward to seeing his progress years from now.

Ervie was still eating at 10:10. He is up on the top left near the perch. It is not clear if there will be anything left for one or both of the others. Ervie looks pretty hungry!

There will be plenty of fish for all of the boys today. Dad will make sure of that. It is very interesting to see the competition between the two fledglings. It will help them in the real world and it was not a serious tussle. Ervie pretty much dominates the deliveries like he did when Mum was feeding everyone.

You might be interested in what it is like in the African desert for animals. I have become more and more keen on learning about the places where the UK and European Ospreys and Black Storks go for the winter. (More water there but this is enlightening). It is night in the Namib Desert but move the time line back. There are Wildebeests, Ostrich, Giraffes, Jackals, Hyeans, etc. depending on the time of day. Enjoy.

The Namib Desert is said to be the world’s oldest desert. It is in the southwestern part of Africa whereas the sites for the Ospreys are in the Northwest, south of the Atlas Mountains, in Senegal, The Gambia, etc. The Namib is home to iron rich soil creating red sand dunes and formations like those where I grew up in Oklahoma. It is also known for its nature reserves. The camera is at one of those.

There is Namibia northwest of South Africa.

Red iron oxide gives the soil its beautiful terracotta colour.

The lodge where the camera is located borders a really iron red rich area.

I have no new news on Grinnell other than he flew out of the rehabber’s box and was up on The Campanile. The UC-Berkley band started playing when he arrived! There is such an incredible amount of love for this beautiful falcon. Let us hope that it all ends well. Grinnell seems determined to take his territory and he is much healthier than when he was attacked 20 days ago. The image below is from the Instagram feed of Annie and Grinnell. Oh, he looks good. Nice deep yellow colouring on his beak, around his eyes, and legs. The vets indicated that his beak is growing and his wing is healing. They felt that it was much better to release him now. Thank you everyone at Lindsay Wildlife! Grinnell looks in great form.

Thank you for joining me. This has been a really great day with Grinnell’s release. It would only be better if he was sitting next to Annie on The Campanile. Maybe tomorrow. No news on the WBSE juvenile in care.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to the Annie and Grinnell Instagram where I captured the image of Grinnell flying.

Joburg’s Spotted Eagle Owlets

The family that owns the property and runs the streaming cam for the Joburg Spotted Eagle Owl box loves Harry Potter. They named the male to honour the central character of the books and films, Harry Potter! No surprises there. The female is Heroine. They hatched two owlets, Gryffindor and Huff and one adopted owlet, a week older than theirs, Slytherin.

The family has built many owl boxes over the years, some with sides and some without. They also indicate that the owls do not require boxes at all.

Hermoine. 15 October 2021

African Spotted Eagle Owls are incredibly beautiful. While they are part of the larger species of ‘Eagle’ Owls, they are actually small, growing to only 45 cm (or 18 inches) in length. They weight 454 grams to 907 grams (or 1 -2 lbs). That said, its wingspan reaches up to 1 metre (3.2 feet) and like all owls, it is silent when it hunts. The feathers are a brownish-grey and, normally, marked with white spots and blotches. Looks like a Donegal tweed to me. Just lovely. The eyes are yellow and are quite large. The Spotted Eagle Owl has ear tufts similar to the Great Horned Owl.

Adult African Spotted Eagle Owl. Wikimedia Commons.

This image is of a juvenile. What a cutie. For those who watched the Great Horned Owl use the Bald Eagle nest on Farmer Derek’s property last year, you will remember how fluffy and cute those little owlets were. But look at that sharp beak. These owls are serious predators. Do not underestimate them ever.

Juvenile African Spotted Eagle Owl. Wikimedia Commons.

A similar owl box in Africa showing the female with chicks in the box. She is feeding them.

A Spotted Eagle Owl in flight, hunting. Look at that wing span. Wow.

At 19:25:31, Gryffindor, the only remaining owl in the box fludged and joined his sibling Huff on the platform below the owl box.

Look at those beautiful eyes and little talons and beak. Gryffindor looks like a stuffed toy sitting, just looking around.

Huff is down on the platform and Gryffindor is very curious about what he is doing.

That curiosity got the best of him and off he went, over the edge of the box to join his sibling. It will not be long til they are on the ground wandering around the family’s car port waiting for Hermoine to bring food.

Oh, owls are so cute! But deadly.

For those of you that watched Bonnie and Clyde last year take over the Bald Eagle nest on Farmer Derek’s property, Farmer Derek has that streaming cam on. The GHOW have been seen! Will they begin working on the nest soon and raise owlets again? Stay tuned. Here is the link to that streaming cam:

It has been a horrible last 24 hours for the birds in Manitoba. We are still under a snow advisory and some birds got caught here that should be well on their way south. One of those was some European Starlings. I had 5 or 6 in the garden yesterday as the snow began to come down at noon. They left a few hours later after eating. Larger numbers were spotted south of me.

European Starling 11 November 2021

It is just miserable out there today. Dyson, the squirrel who eats like he has a vacuum inside him —- or like Ervie aka Little Bob at Port Lincoln – decided laying in the one feeder tray was a good way to get as much food while preventing anyone else from eating. He quickly ran away when he saw me coming!

The goal was to get all of the wet seed out, clean and refill the feeders – a bit. The snow caused the seed to just clump and clog up the feeders. Thankfully, the birds will just kick it aside but it was so wet that most of the seed had frozen and would not go down the hopper. For now, though, everyone is taken care of and there are still no new snowflakes. Fingers crossed.

We had 11 degree C temperatures and then it plummeted and then more snow in 24 hours than we have had for years.

I will be checking on the Port Lincoln Ospreys and Yarruga later today, once they wake up and start moving. If you missed it, WBSE 27 is doing well and will be released shortly back into an area around the Newington Armory. I will also check for updates on Grinnell.

Take care everyone. Stay safe. Do not go outside if it is slippery and icy. Whatever you think you need to do can wait! No one wants to fall. Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to EcoSolutions Joburg Owls streaming cam where I took my screen shots.