The Daisy Chronicles, day 2

We are going to start off with a check on what is happening in San Francisco – before moving on to Daisy.

An absolutely adorable 4 min 16 sec radio discussion on The Love Story in the Sky at The Campanile.

Did you know that Peregrine Falcons were virtually wiped out in California? In the late 1970 there were only two nesting pairs? This was the result of DDT. There is lots of literature but reading Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, is a very good start.

DDT might have been banned after the revelations of Rachel Carson and others but it remains in the soil in various places. One of those is Big Bear California where DDT was sprayed on Big Bear Lake to kill the mosquitoes. It is still a contributing factor in thin egg shells which may be part of the problem with Jackie and Shadow, the Bald Eagles that have their nest at Big Bear.

Daisy the Duck did not spend the night on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest.

She arrived before sunrise to check on the nest. No one else was there. Daisy will be very cautious. She does not want to draw attention to the egg cup where her first egg was laid.

She goes over to where her egg is and checks. It is still there. Safe.

We can see where Daisy’s egg is because we know it is there but it is nicely covered with leaves and nest material so the predators cannot find it.

Daisy leaves right as the sun is rising and the forest is waking up.

Daisy carefully waits on a branch when she returns an hour and a half later. Can you see her?

She is checking and rolling her egg.

Daisy is very still. When she is in labour, her tail will move up and down.

There are now two eggs! Look you can see them both. Daisy is holding herself up so as not to break the second egg. When the eggs are laid they are soft. The air will dry off the surface and make them hard.

Daisy has settled on the eggs nicely. She is having a rest. Daisy will not do hard incubation until all of the eggs are laid. That is so they will hatch at the same time.

This last image of Daisy was taken a few minutes ago. It is nearly 08:30 in Sydney, Australia.

So far Daisy has been lucky. Lady and Dad did visit the nest tree a week ago and then on the day that WBSE 27 was released from care, they were not at the River Roost. They will often go to Goat Island if there are no eaglets to look after. Still, we know that they do come to check the nest.

Someone asked me why Daisy does not stay on the eggs now all the time. If she did they would not all hatch on the same day. Secondly, she is a very smart little duck. Her presence on the nest makes all of the other forest animals and birds curious. Last January they had never seen a duck on the big sea eagle nest — and neither had anyone else! I think Daisy will try and protect her eggs really well this year from the Ravens. She is almost a year older and she is ‘wiser’ now. Her breeding and the laying of eggs normally coincides with plenty of food and water. Her mate, who came to inspect the nest last year, only takes part in the mating ritual. The rest is up to Daisy. That is why she is so vulnerable. Only 20% of Pacific Black Ducks live to be 2 years old. Indeed, the average life span is only about two years. Oh, I so hope that she is successful this year! There are so many people hoping for Daisy!

You can join in and become a real Daisy fan. She needs all the love and positive energy we can all send her. Soon the name of the streaming cam will be changed from Sea-Eagle to Duck Cam! Here is the link to the streaming cam. Daisy arrives about 13:15 CDT or around 05:15 Australian Time. I am not expecting her to stay all day but she might surprise me.

Once Daisy lays all of her eggs (there could be 11), she will begin her hard incubation. Incubation will last for 29 days after the laying of the last egg. This is the difficult time. Daisy still has to eat and have some relaxing time. Last year she even went out during the night. It is then that the eggs are vulnerable. As long as she is incubating them, the Ravens seem not to bother. Our fears of the sea eagles proved to be nothing. They could behave differently this year but they were not a threat last save for the fact that scattering the down nesting material allowed the eggs to be seen. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sydney Sea Eagle @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Falcon and Red-Tail Hawk Cams

I had a lovely note form ‘M’ asking about other peregrine falcon cams. Thank you for your letter, ‘M’.

Each one of us feels a little ’empty’ when the eyases fledge. Without trackers, we have no idea what happens to them. We just wish them well and I know that everyone is working hard to make their environment better. The only birds on the nest who have fledged and not left permanently are the PLO Lads – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the birds have migrated to warmer climates. I will, however, be checking on nests in Asia to see if there are any for you to watch.

This is not an exhaustive listing but it is a beginning and I will be adding to it for all of you as the camera streams return. We have streaming cams on the falcons in Winnipeg as part of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery. I will post those at the beginning of the summer. Most of our birds are in southern Texas or Mexico right now.

So here goes – and if you have a favourite falcon or hawk cam, let me know!

One of my favourites are the Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne. They are known as the CBD or 367 Collins Street Falcons. The cam is currently not live. Will come back on line September 2022

Cornell Red-tail Hawks (Big Red and Arthur), Ithaca, New York. The construction work at Bradfield has caused a power outage on the Athletic Fields. Those building works are winding down and this camera should be live shortly. Big Red and Arthur will be very busy once late February and March roll around. There are only two Red-tail hawk streaming cams in the world and this is the best. Big Red is 19 this year. Arthur is 5 or 6 years old. They are a fantastic couple that normally fledge three eyases a year. There are birders on the ground that keep track of the fledglings so you get to see the parents do team training in hunting, etc. Highly Recommended.

Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Yurruga has fledged. Look for egg laying in the fall of 2022. This is the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. They are a well established couple. For the past two years three eggs laid but only one fledgling each year which is fine. It is a nice comparison with the Melbourne falcons who fledge 3 consistently. Orange is more rural and, of course, Melbourne is urban. The camera is left on and the falcons come and go regularly.

The Campanile Falcons on UC-Berkeley. This is the scrape box and cams for the Peregrine Falcon Couple, Annie and Grinnell. Grinnell was injured by a male interloper on 29 October. He was in care, as a result, and has been returned to his territory. The male interloper is still at The Campanile. It is unclear which of the males Annie will choose. Nesting activity late March, 2022. Annie and Grinnell are incredible parents who traditionally fledge three adorable babies.

The following are falcon cams that I have watched ‘on and off’ and that have come highly recommended to me from viewers:

Illkirch, France:

Great Spirit Bluff, Minnesota

Anacapa Island, California. There are current a large number of Pelicans to watch.

I will definitely be posting more including a couple of streaming cams from the UK. All of that action will begin when spring arrives. I also want to post some sites in Asia which I will do over the weekend. There will also be the Northern Hemisphere Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, as well as the returning storks to Latvia and Estonia.

For now, things are really pretty quiet except for the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Diamond and Xavier coming in and out of the scrape box in Orange, and the Bald Eagles laying eggs in the US. There are two nests that you might wish to consider and if you have never watched a Royal Albatross nest then you definitely need to check out the Royal Cam Family in New Zealand who are incubating an egg laid on 9 November. They are very experienced and adorable parents, OGK (Orange Green Black) and YRK (Yellow Red Black). They are already grandparents. I often suggest this site to individuals who have a difficult time watching any nest if there is sibling rivalry. The Albatross lay one egg every two years. Parents rotate all of the duties. Last year the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, had a sat-pak attached to her. We are currently watching her fish off the coast of Chile.

It is a bit wet in NZ this morning. This is YRK’s 6th day on the nest. OGK will be flying in soon and they will switch. Should something happen, the NZ DOC rangers are there to step in and intervene. No one goes hungry, injuries are taken care of, etc. It is a great site and in the process you will bear witness to a country that really protects its wildlife!

There are way too many Bald Eagle streaming cams to list them all. For now, I am only going to recommend one. These are experienced parents Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family. Their eggs are due to hatch soon – December 25-28. Once Gabby lays her egg in NE Florida I will post that information. For now, you can have fun watching Harriet and M15 change places. The only un-fun thing is the GHOW that attacks the eagles regularly.

There is no word on Yurruga. Cilla says she will look for a few more days. Just so you know the building that Yurruga was last seen on is a gabled (triangle) pointed roof, a bit steep. It is a single story building with clay tiles. Yurruga is not there – not alive, not dead. He was there on Thursday – seen twice during a big storm. I would expect to hear this fledgling screaming for food. Falcons are loud! Is it at a distance from the tower? is Yurruga injured? is Yurruga somewhere else? There are no answers I am afraid. If I hear anything you will be the first to know. Now, it is time for me to go and take care of all my feeders. The gang will be here soon!

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Wednesday in Bird World

Let’s start off with what is on everyone’s mind: Has there been a confirmed sighting of Yurruga? Yesterday, Dr Cilla Kinross was inspired by a very quick prey drop at the scrape. Diamond flew into the trees. Cilla was in the trees looking half an hour later – she only saw Diamond. Diamond returned to the scrape with quite a large crop also. Some believed they had heard Yurruga calling but, Cilla is unable to confirm that. So the answer is – we simply do not know. Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday when he was on a building during a storm. We can only wait.

My goodness that little one was such a cutie.

October 20. Yurruga and Diamond

Diamond was really beautiful this morning as the soft glow of the sun worked its way through the fog.

Both parents, Xavier and Diamond, have been inside the scrape – scraping. They also had some bonding moments this morning at sunrise.

My heart aches for them.

The second question of the day is what is going on with Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon of the Campanile, mate to Annie, that was injured by a male intruder that is trying to cosy up with Annie? Here is the latest news.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers on Taiaroa Head are shutting down the streaming cam so that they can move it to the site of the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22. There are lots of guesses as to who the couple might be. The announcement is due tomorrow.

One of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Samson and Gabby, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville have been putting the finishing touches on their nest. They are perfecting the Spanish moss lining the nest cup. Now all we need are some eggs!

Gabby doing some final inspections this morning.

The three lads at the Port Lincoln all had fish yesterday. Falky had more than Ervie or Bazza. Falky has become a master at slipping the fish out of Dad or Mum’s talons. A magician.

There is a lovely shot of the PLO Mum. She has done an extraordinary job raising these three boys to fledge this year (with Dad’s good help). Yesterday she even spent some time feeding Bazza. He is definitely a Mum’s boy!

Bazza can be a bit naughty. I know that the banders were certain that there were three males. Someone looking at Bazza’s legs and that beautiful necklace in the image below might mistake him for a lovely female.

Bazza and Falky sleep with their heads tucked under their wings – adult style – standing on the nest. Ervie is sleeping over on the perch or the ropes. They are all doing well. I continue to pinch myself. This Osprey nest really turned itself around this year to fledge all three hatchlings.

There are many articles coming out in international newspapers and academic journals on the effect of warming oceans on the seabirds including the beloved Osprey. I picked one of those for you as some are frustrating. They allow me to embed the article but then want you to subscribe to read it! That is a major irritant to me – like Subarus are to Ferris Akel!

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-albatross-60906

It is a grey damp day, 3 degrees C. The snow is melting. There are lots of birds at the feeders. A large European Starling is sharing the peanut and bark butter feeder with some cute little House Sparrows.

The tiny suet balls called Bark Butter by our supplier are a really big hit since winter has set in. Junior has been around to get the corn while Dyson was busy elsewhere. Nice to see all of them.

One of my former students posted this today on FB. It is a perfect little giggle for all of us!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Eagle and the AEF for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Friday and Australian Raptors

The FB of the Orange Australian Peregrine Falcons posted an interesting article with the vocalizations of Peregrine Falcons. Want to understand what those falcons are doing or saying?

When Victor Hurley did his Q & A session about the Melbourne Collins Street Falcons, he mentioned a book. That volume, Australian Birds of Prey by Penny Olsen is one of the most informative and beautiful books. Published in 1995 most of the information remains relevant today. The statistics on how many birds exist will change but the information on all of the falcons, size, ID, brooding, etc remain the same. One of the things I love about it are the drawings of the raptors.

Note: Do not be fooled by books of a similar name. Check and make sure it is Penny Olsen 1995.

Images from old print collections. In this instance it is the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the largest raptor in Australia, in a hand coloured drawing from the early 19th century.

The stories of how these early drawings came to be made just wrenches your heart especially when foreigners to Australia would injure the birds and hope to take them back to England. This bird managed with a wound to claw its way through a rope and escape, thankfully. Our ideas of the rights of animals are changing but we still have much much more to do!

The image below is of a Hobby. Olsen comments that young raptors spend much more time lying down than they do standing. The photographer has caught this small falcon resting. What a lovely capture!

The Hobby is also known as ‘The Little Falcon’ or the ‘Little Duck Hawk.’ It is a member of the Falconidae family of diurnal, day time hunting, raptors.

One of the things that I like about the book are the tables that compare the various raptors in Australia to one another and the topics that cover everything from ecology (habitat, dispersion, , mortality), predators, reproduction, health, raptors and humans as well as conservation.

This is an impressive book and if you can get your hands on a copy – there are no reprints – it is, as Victor Hurley says, ‘essential for a library’.

Continuing on with the raptors from Australia, Cilla Kinross posted a video of a bonding session between Xavier and Diamond. Listen for the vocalizations (after you read and listen to the first article today).

There is no current update on Yurruga. He was seen day before yesterday on a roof. It rained hard and steady yesterday and Orange and I imagine our wee fledgling was hunkered down somewhere wanting to stay dry. Not good to try and hone your flying skills in a down pour!

I have not seen any updates or sightings of the 367 Collins Street fledglings. If something comes up I will let you know! It is still bittersweet looking at the four of them and the wee male not making it. But, on the brighter side, we could have lost all of the eyases this year. “Be thankful for what we have and don’t wish for what we don’t” was a common mantra of my grandmother.

The season in Australia is winding down as our lads on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge continue to get stronger and stronger and will become more independent and learn how to fish soon. It is wonderful that we will be able to follow Ervie on his adventures with his sat-pak. Let’s see if PLO has posted anything today!

This is the last posting when Ervie flew over land on 23 November. To the surprise of many, Solly also flew over land and into the interior a bit which will go a long ways to informing the power companies where they need to put those protectors on the hydro poles.

All three are sleeping adult style, standing up with their head tucked under a wing.

As to the situation with Annie and Grinnell and the interloper, the interloper male flew in to the Campanile and was greeted by Annie. UC Falcons have not seen Grinnell and Annie together as yet. Challenges and conflict over territory could happen. Fingers crossed.

As things go quiet in Australia, I will begin to list some of the Bald Eagle and Osprey nests in North America that you can watch. If you have a favourite, let me know and tell me why you like it so I can pass that along to others. Thank you!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Orange, Australian Peregrine Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Updates from Bird World…or, oh, gosh…WBSE released 6 days ago!

Holly Parsons posted an update from Dr Cilla Kinross on the FB page for the Orange Peregrine Falcons. Thank you Holly!

(Nov 23):”I had a look at the eggs. One was clearly unfertilised. The other was, I think fertilised, but there was no chick inside. It exploded (big POP) all over me and it was just yellow liquid. No chick remains. I’ll do updates later. I’ll also try to get some confirmation from the museum where there are candling experts (I am not).”

One great report that was featured by Sunnie Day on FB is this. Just look at those numbers. Now how do we take care of these amazing birds – our Osprey?

Osprey Report for 2021, USA

The entire report on the Ospreys for the 2021 season can be read here:

https://www.ctaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Osprey-Nation-Report-for-the-2021-Season.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3gLbtstZokgb5Ii6EVTE6gj5_ifSVGCQQGaUiFUUmj61p3SMgUJy-WkUQ

If you want to protect our Ospreys, The Observer focuses on them this week. They say:

“A growing cause of death for ospreys is entanglement:  If adults incorporate monofilament or other discarded non-natural twine into their nests, these can end up wrapped around chicks’ feet, injuring or trapping them.  And, as food specialists, with one main food source, a grave threat to our osprey populations is contamination of their aquatic ecosystems; our Sarasota waterways.  As top predators, they’re exposed to the highest concentrations of toxins (such as mercury) in our environment. 

To protect these beautiful birds, who are key members of our ecosystem, we can keep toxins out of our waterways, and plastic litter, including twine and fishing-line, out of our environment.”

White Bellied Sea Eagles. 28 on the left and 27 on the right.
Is this WBSE 28 and not 27?

And great news coming out of Sydney, Australia. Someone let the cat out of the bag. The juvenile WBSE that was grounded by the Pied Currawongs was released six days ago on 18 November. I am using the term ‘juvenile WBSE’. There is no proof that it is either 27 or 28. It is a juvenile WBSE.

Just like we compared the Peregrine Falcons on the ledge yesterday, I want you to look carefully at the two images above. Someone that I trust very much indicated to me that the juvenile taken into care was not WBSE 27 but, rather, it was WBSE 28.

Dr Christian Sasse is one of my favourite people. He is so dedicated to the wildlife of British Columbia and in particular the Bald Eagles. Have a look at this beauty!

https://fb.watch/9t2vM9rY8t/

It is 14:47 and Harriet and M15 appear to still have one egg in the nest at Fort Myers, Florida on the Pritchett Farm.

Falky scored the 06:37 breakfast fish. At that point, Ervie took off flying behind Dad. Maybe Ervie is gonna go and see if he can get a fish himself.

The Eastern Osprey in Australia do not migrate. Unlike the Northern fish eagles that do shift to warmer climates during the winter and catch their first fish when they migrate, the Eastern Osprey will fish before they leave the parent’s territory.

There goes Ervie off the perch. I sure hope he learns to fish. He can get his own breakfast and eat it somewhere away from the brothers!!!

I have seen no further news coming out of UC-Berkeley on Grinnell and Annie.

It is not late in the day but it feels like it. It will be totally dark in less than an hour and a half. So I am off to clear up things outside.

Thank you for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures or for their FB Pages: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre and their FB Page, Sunnie Day and Holly Parsons.

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.

Annie and Grinnell

I included a brief note about Annie and Grinnell in my news about Diamond and Xavier. The news is very good so I think it warrants a quick posting.

According to Cal Falcons, Annie has been seen for the first time on The Campanile this morning since Grinnell was released. These are some screen shots of her on the ledge that I took.

In a message from Cal falcons, they have stated that the new male interloper who injured Grinnell has not been seen since Wednesday. This contradicts a posting that said Annie had been soaring with the interloper. I am going to assume that was earlier. Remember Grinnell was released on Wednesday and he flew straight to The Campanile from Lawrence Hall.

For the past few days Grinnell has been perched on and off The Campanile. I believe that Annie is looking for Grinnell.

You can watch Annie and Grinnell on three cameras. Here are the links:

Join me in sending positive wishes that Annie and Grinnell will be united soon!

Thank you to Cal Falcons for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots of Annie.

Friday the 19th in Bird World

It has been a bit of a day in the bird and wildlife world. Coming hot on the heels of the banning of trail hunting on Natural Resources Wales land and the National Trust properties in the UK, the State of Washington in the US has suspending bear hunting. It was well known that the adults were killed right when they came out of hibernation leaving cubs to fend for themselves, often dying. People, like you and me, called for these archaic practices to halt. The government listened. Remember that because every person can make a difference! You want hunting suspended in your state or province, phone and find out who to talk to. Write an informed letter. Demand change. Ask like-minded people to join you.

I am not going to start off with the streaming cams just yet. It was a grey damp day – with a little sunshine at times – on the Canadian prairies. The garden was full of birds, mostly sparrows and some Starlings. Mr Blue Jay came and went quickly. He does not seem to like the frozen corn cob. And, of course, there was Dyson & Company, along with Little Red.

All these years I have pondered the sheer amount of ‘bird’ seed that we go through in a week. It is true that there are normally 250-300 birds singing and eating daily but, how much can they eat? It appears that not all that new seed – seedless chipped sunflower and peanuts – is going to birds!

Dyson didn’t like the frozen corn either and didn’t bother to even take it for later. He has discovered how to vacuum out that new bird seed. I think I now know who broke my other feeder. Dyson has no shame. He lives to eat.

Dyson looks a little thinner in the image above but the one below is more of a likeness of this little one. Dyson brings us so much joy that we are thrilled he is healthy going into what might be a very bad winter.

With Dyson occupied on the sunflower/peanut feeder, it meant that Little Red could sneak on the tray feeder and eat all the cashews, fruit, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. If you are wondering, yes, the birds and animals possibly eat better than I do! Little Red is so cute.

Little Red lives in the penthouse. It is a ‘shed’ the size of a garage that is taxed like it is a new garage by our City. We haven’t had the heart to evict the little fellow even thought he fills everything up with Maple seeds and knocks everything off its hooks and generally makes a complete mess of the space.

There were a few European Starlings still in the garden. They will migrate returning next April but they are lingering just like some of the ducks and the Northern Cardinals. Who knows? Maybe they know what winter will be like better than anyone. They certainly have enjoyed eating the suet cylinder.

Others felt like Black Oil Seed today.

Isn’t she cute with her rosey legs and slightly pink tinted beak? Female house sparrows get short shift in the bird guides. It is a pity. They are quite lovely.

Last year I planted Scarlett Runner Beans and at the end of the summer the sparrows went wild shredding all of them and eating the greenery. What you are looking at below is a Flame Willow shrub. In winter the branches are red – super beautiful in a world of grey, white, and beige. There is some little vine or plant growing on that shrub. The sparrows have discovered it and they are doing the same thing – shredding and eating. Has anyone seen this behaviour?

And now back to the streaming cams for a quick update.

Port Lincoln Osprey Barge: By 09:30, three fish had been delivered to the nest. Bazza initially got the first fish when it arrived at 06:23. Ervie took it away from him. Bazza did nothing to try and get it back. Falkey got the 06:49:38 fish. The third fish arrived at 09:11:09 and Falkey got it, too. Ervie had a huge crop. He wasn’t bothered. Yesterday Cilla Kinross of the Orange Peregrine Falcons said that “Shrinking violets will not last long in the real world.” Bazza is hungry and he needs to challenge his brothers despite that he might be fearful of another incident like he had with Ervie.

Falkey has the fish. Bazza is crying to Mum and Ervie with his big crop is looking out to sea on the right. Will Mum take the fish and feed Bazza?

The White Tailed Eagle Nest in Durbe, Latvia. Milda and Mr L were at the nest working on more renovations. It was getting ready to rain and the image is a little ‘foggy’. Sorry about that. It is nice to see Milda. I hope that this will be a successful year for her after the tragedy of spring 2020.

The Minnesota DNR has turned on its Bald Eagle cam. Here is a video of that amazing couple – the sub-adult male who fathered his first chicks at the age of four last year – and the older female. This video was made on 18 November. It looks like Dad has his adult plumage this year! How wonderful. He will have turned 5.

Cornell Red Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca. The camera has been frozen for awhile. I wrote to the Cornell Bird Lab to inform them and to also ask them if there have been any confirmed sightings of Big Red since the last one on 16 October. I will keep you informed.

Annie and Grinnell. I have not seen any updates. As well, nothing on the WBSE juvenile.

You might remember Tiny Little Bob from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. That little one is a fine example of a third hatch so tiny everyone thought it would die and well, she became the dominant bird on the nest. Her number is Blue 463. I am watching all of the announcements for her arrival in warmer climates. Today, however, the 2016 hatch from Foulshaw Moss, male Blue V8, was spotted in Tanji Marsh in The Gambia. He was seen there in January 2021 and was in Cumbria during the summer of 2021. This is the good news you want to hear. Survival.

And on that wonderful sighting, I will close. Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. Stay safe. Thank you so very much for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Latvian Fund for Nature, Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and to Lady Hawk for her video on the arrival of the two Bald Eagles to the MN DNR nest.

Thursday in Bird World

Peregrine Falcon, Grinnell, is making all the headlines out in San Francisco. He was released yesterday and was seen on the Campanile. There are watchers on the ground but so far, everything seems to be relatively quiet. Everyone is cheering for Grinnell to get back with Annie. Only time will tell but, for now, stay safe Grinnell!

Was it a fludge? a recovery? not a real fledge? I have no idea but yesterday after having a robust encounter with Ervie, Bazza found himself in Dad’s man cave. He quickly figured out he could fly to the ropes and then to the perch – which he did in record time (2.5 hours). Then he flew overhead before landing on the nest wanting fish.

Bazza was rewarded this morning with the first fish of the day. Congratulations! That delivery came at 06:28:00.

Both Falkey and Ervie are very interested in Bazza’s fish. Very interested.

Oh, dear. Ownership of the fish is being challenged.

Ervie got it!

Ervie is still working on that fish. Maybe he will pass some of it along to Falkey who is getting closer to wanting to try and take it.

Oh, my. Mum has decided to fly in and get that fish! Here she comes. Mum is teaching them a good lesson about how they can lose their dinner – from another bird flying in and taking it.

Mum gets the fish from Ervie and flies off with it. A good lesson for the lads. Eat fast! Protect your fish. Another bird can swoop in and take it.

News coming out of the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, NZ, is that there are now 34 eggs laid. The NZ DOC rangers have candled 11 of those eggs and everyone of them was fertile. Amazing. There are still eggs to be laid and it is noted that there are quite a few first time breeding birds. Their eggs have been placed in an incubator and will be returned to the parents once a regular pattern is established for them to incubate. Until then, they will have dummy eggs. For those of you wondering about Button and his partner (Button is Grandma’s son), they have yet to lay an egg. Fingers crossed! No Royal Cam family has been selected yet.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care. See you soon.

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

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.