What’s happening in Bird World?

I don’t know a person watching a nest on a streaming cam that doesn’t get anxious if food is not brought to the nestlings and fledglings on a regular basis. Most of us start doing a bit of nail biting. Today, for example, Malin had 4 feedings. It isn’t as good as five but it is better than nothing! And last Sunday Malin had nothing. We are all hopeful for tomorrow. The weather is cooling off – Malin we are wishing for six fish tomorrow!

Malin 13 August 2021
Malin 13 August 2021 after a feeding

Jake Koebernik of the Wisconsin DNR did a great job answering a lot of questions that some of us have had about Malin’s nest. One was ‘why are the fish that are delivered are so small?’ and the other was ‘why do fish deliveries drop at the weekend?’ This is his answer, “As for the nest at the Collins Marsh NC, the streams and marshes around that territory probably only offer smaller species such as bullhead, bluegills, small bass and northern pike. There aren’t large lakes or real productive rivers in that part of the state, so they are going after what is abundant and available.” Jake’s answers cleared up a lot of the mysteries. —— And tomorrow, when Malin wakes up, Malin will have its official name! Fingers and toes crossed for it to be Malin!!!!!!!

My friend ‘S’ sent a screen shot of a delivery that Telyn made to the Dyfi nest this afternoon. We both agreed that Malin’s eyes would pop out if he saw a fish this big land on the nest at Collins Marsh. That fish is bigger than Blue 491! Wow.

And if you did not hear, Idris had been missing since Wednesday and he was on the nest today, albeit with a completely sunken crop. He brought a nice fish to one of the chicks. Hoping he gets his own fill of fish. Where in the world could he have been? It is worrisome.

Telyn delivered a whopper for 491, Ystwyth who is 82 days old on 14 August

Oh, if only places that have ponds could stock them for the birds. The Pritchett Family in Fort Myers has a stocked pond for Bald Eagles Harriet and M15 and their kids and the water also allows them to cool off and clean their feathers.

We are told by the IPCC that we can expect the droughts and extreme heat to be with us. Since these changes to our climate are known to be directly caused by human activity, maybe it is time to figure out ways to help the wildlife. Providing water and food is a start.

These two little sea eaglets are just adorable and a little spunky, too. They are growing like the sunflowers in my garden that the birds planted.

Both had nice crops after this feeding.

Judy Harrington, the researcher observing the WBSE Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park forest, just released her report on what these two have been eating during the last fortnight (14 days). In fact, it is the first two weeks of their life. Harrington also records the amount of time spent feeding by both the male and the female has been recorded. Lady took on 109 feedings for a total of 21 hours and 20 minutes. Dad did 8 feedings for a total of 42 minutes. Dad has been providing most of the food – he brought in 25 items and Lady brought in 5. These consisted of the following in total: 16 Bream, 4 catfish, 2 fish, 1 Mullet, 2 Whiting, 1 Yellowtail, 1 Ibis chick, 1 nestling, 1 pigeon, and 1 bird. They have now morphed into sea eagles, the second largest bird in Australia.

Sadly, it appears that Lady was hit during the night by Boo, the BooBook Owl that lives nearby in the forest. Despite its very small size the BooBook Owl has caused injuries to the large sea eagles in the past.

It is thought that Boo, as the little owl is so fondly called, has a nest near to the Sea Eagles. To my knowledge, the WBSE have never bothered their nest but, – hey. Every parent is afraid of a larger predator and wants them to leave the area.

“Boobook owl” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Legacy on the Fortis Red Deer Nest has fledged. She has been on and off the nest a few times today. One was to get some fish! Here she is with Mum. After all the nestling deaths during the heat wave, this is just one of the happiest moments from that nest. Look how big Legacy is next to mom. Congratulations.

It is almost impossible to see what is happening on the Fortis Alberta Exshaw nest up at Canmore. Both chicks appear to be on the nest and calling for food. It is unclear to me if one or both have fledged.

The love story of the two Canada Geese has gone viral. It warms our hearts to see these two devoted birds – Amelia finding and waiting for Arnold during his surgery and recovery and now their reuniting. My friend, ‘R’ found two more stories on them and I want to share with you what she sent to me. You could read about these two all day – and you will always walk away with a smile.

Female reporter admits to being teary eyed! 

https://whdh.com/news/goose-who-underwent-emergency-surgery-released-back-into-the-wild-to-be-with-his-devoted-mate-on-cape-cod/Shirts for sale: “Honk If you Love Arnold!”

The story of Arnold and Amelia has taught us all something. If you find an injured Canada Goose and are taking it into care, please take the time to find its mate! The outcome might be much more positive. If you live in an area where there are Canada Geese – let your local wildlife rehabber know about the story of Arnold and Amelia. They will understand why it is important to keep bonded mates together (and their goslings if necessary).

And news about Kona. It is nearing 100 F or 38 C on the nest in Montana. The foster mother, Scout, has been shading Kona. Everything is going well with this foster. How grand.

@ Montana Osprey Porject

Leaving you with a gorgeous image of Loch of the Lowes. It just looks so still and peaceful in the early morning hours of 14 August.

And a last peaceful image of Diamond on the ledge of her scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. We will be looking for eggs before the end of the month. Izzi was last in the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond 6 August. He was photographed on 10 August and someone thought they heard him this morning.

Thanks for joining me today. I am off to try and find some hawks tomorrow so this is coming out early. I will bring you some late Saturday news in the evening. Take care. Stay safe! If you hear of interesting bird stories – and in particular, raptors – let me know.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Sydney Discovery Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Falcon Cam Project at C Sturt University, Fortis Alberta Exshaw and Fortis Alberta Red Deer. Thank you to ‘R’ for sending me the links on the coverage of Arnold and Amelia and to ‘S’ for the information on Telyn and her whopper of a fish delivery. It is much appreciated! Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project FB page for the image of Scout and Kona.

They Don’t Look like Ospreys!

Maybe it is better not to make plans! We have so hoped for rain and this morning the forecast said – ‘70% chance of rain’. My heart skipped a beat. If it would just pour. As I write this I can hear thunder.

One of my readers wrote to ask about the fires we are experiencing. First, just so everyone knows the area where are talking about you need to know where Manitoba is. Our province is on the Canadian prairies between Saskatchewan and Ontario. We are directly north of Dallas, Texas. If you drove without stopping, it would take you 24 hours to reach Manitoba if you started in Dallas.

There are two very large lakes, Lake Winnipeg on the east and Lake Manitoba in the West. Both are north of Winnipeg; it is about a 90 minute n drive to the southern tip of each. Many of the migrating shore birds and large raptors, Ospreys and Bald Eagles, have their summer breeding areas around these lakes.

Our provincial Department of Conservation and Climate reports that there are currently 159 wildfires in our province today. 17 of those started in the last 48 hours. They also reported that the yearly total of acres lost to wildfires is 904,111. That impacts wildlife. There can be no question. Here is the current fire map:

The purple areas are fires that are being monitored; the red areas are fires that are out of control; the green areas are fires under control while the yellow ones are fires being held. We are fortunate that fire crews from other provinces have come to help. The smoke from the fires impacts everyone but the city of Winnipeg is not under any threat. My concern is the area around the Osprey nests and that is in a monitored area.

That is the state of our wildfires. Of course, our thoughts are also with those people in California where the Dixie Fire is raging and has already scorched 275,000 acres.

With the promise of rain, we head to one of the most beautiful areas in our City: Assiniboine Park. It is named after one of the two rivers that meet here; the other is the Red River. The park has our zoo, an area known as the English Gardens and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden (Mol is a noted local sculptor who worked in bronze) as well as the Duck Pond.

“Leo Mol Sculpture Garden” by D-Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Turns out this was a great decision. We managed to get lost and when we asked directions, a wonderful woman offered to show us the way. Then she stopped. “You know we have a family of Cooper’s Hawks right in that tree”. If it was not for pandemic restrictions, I would have thrown my arms around her in thanks. As it was, I quietly stood jumping up and down in my mind. It was simply magical.

The couple have three fledglings this year. They are all about the grounds catching bugs. The tripod proves cumbersome. Remember I have only practiced with this lens at home. This is the test to see if I can manage it.

A squirrel has the attention of the hawk in the back.
This hawk is looking up at a chipmunk.

Cooper’s hawks are about the size of crows. The Cooper’s are constantly confused with the Sharp-shinned Hawk. In flight, the Sharp-shinned has a squared-off tail and the Cooper’s is rounded. The prey for both are small birds, chipmunks, small squirrels and the books say small hares but Sharpie, who visits my garden) has never bothered the garden rabbit, Hedwig. The Cooper’s were busy eating bugs but also keeping their hawk eyes on a squirrel and a chipmunk! The eating of ‘bugs’ is not mentioned in any of the bird books. These hawks are adorable. It was fun to stop photographing and sit and watch the adults teaching the fledglings to hunt. They were having so much fun!

Next stop – Canada Geese! They are not Canada’s national bird. That is the Canada Jay – a grey version of a Blue-Jay (OK that is simplistic but it is a good description). The Canada Geese were in the pond but also seemed to be everywhere eating grass. Sadly, it looks rather dead in places from the lack of rain. Speaking of rain, we did get some. Probably not enough to even measure but it might help the grass!

And we have an update on your favourite goose – Arnold! The veterinary team at the Cape Wildlife Centre decided to remove Arnold’s bandage and boot today. Their assessment is that Arnold is doing great. He will not need any more bandages and will get to spend some time in the outdoor enclosure with a pool. Amelia comes every day and they get to spend time together having meals in the playpen. It will not be long until Arnold will be able to be in the wild with Amelia again. Isn’t that positive news?! What a great team.

@ Cape Wildlife Centre

Before I close, here is a reminder of a great fundraiser going on right now. I do not normally mention fundraisers unless I know that the funds really go to help the project – so I am delighted to mention this one again. I realize it is only August and everyone who has children or is a student is thinking about getting ready for ‘back to school’. I would like for you to think about birthdays and holiday gifts, too! If you are looking for something unique associated with the matriarch of Ospreys, Iris, whose nest is in Missoula, Montana – well, this is for you!

Dr Erick Greene of the University of Montana and the Montana Osprey Project gathers up the twigs that have dropped from Iris’s nest. These are twigs that Iris has broken off of trees and bushes in the area. The type of wood varies. Dr Greene then sends off a box of twigs to South Carolina to the workshop of master wood workers, Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles. They turn those twigs into beautiful pens. The patterns and colour depend on the type of wood. Iris goes out and gets Black Cottonwood, Douglas Fir and, sometimes, Choke cherry. Everything is sustainable and no one interferes with Iris when she is on the nest. Those sticks get knocked off and Iris will not go down on the ground and pick them up just like she won’t pick up fish that falls off the nest. This is such a unique fundraising even for the Ospreys but the number of pens are very limited.

I think they are gorgeous and can’t wait for mine to arrive. It is on its way. The cost is $45 USD. That includes postage within the United States and maybe parts of Canada.

@ Montana Osprey Project

This time I want to include the directions for you. Sometimes it is hard to find things on FB.
1) Send an email to montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
2) If your mailing address is in the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by Pen Order
For example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
Subject: Your Name – Pen Order
3) If your mailing address is outside the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by International Pen Order
For example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
Subject: Your Name – International Pen Order
If yours is an international order we will get back to you with a few additional instructions.
4) The email’s body should include the following information:
a) Your name
b) Your email
c) Number of pens you would like to order.
d) Total amount ($45.00 per pen). Shipping is included in this price.
e) Your mailing address just as it should be on the envelope.
f) Send the email to MontanaOspreyProject@gmail.com
5) For those of you who live in the United States, make out a check out to:
Montana Osprey Project – Erick Greene
(We are not set up to take credit card or Pay Pal orders. Sorry – has to be a personal check or money order)
6) Mail your check to:
Dr. Erick Greene – Montana Osprey Project
Division of Biological Sciences
32 Campus Drive
University of Montana
Missoula, Montana
USA 59812
7) For those of you who live outside of the US, send us the email with all of your information, but hold off on sending a check. We will get back to you with a few more instructions.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is always great to hear from everyone. I have received a few letters this morning and there is some excellent information in those that I will share with everyone tomorrow! For those wondering about Malin, her feathers seem to be improving. We hope that her fish deliveries do the same. Take care. Stay Safe.

Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project FB page and the Cape Wildlife Clinic FB where I took my screen shots of the Iris pens and Arnold.

Thursday Morning in Bird World

Living on the Canadian prairies, we know that spring is coming when the Canada Geese return from their winter migration. Indeed, Canada Geese are usually one of the first birds to arrive. You can hear them honking flying overhead in their large ‘V’ shape formations. They arrive in late March and stay with us until late October or November.

Like other bird species, Canada geese bond for life. They also return to the same nesting site year after year. That is the sad part. Our City is growing so fast that to see these beautiful creatures laying their eggs on dirt in the midst of broken up pieces of concrete on a building site is a tragedy.

It is spring and these geese have arrived at one of our nature centres, Fort Whyte.

You can easily tell a Canada Goose from other geese with its long black neck, its white chinny chin chin, its black legs, and light grey-brown underparts and wings.

I had gone to the park near me to put up signs not to feed the birds bread. A group of the geese came over to see what was on offer and, when they saw corn and peas, they grumped at me. These geese are so used to eating bread that they will shun the food that is good for them! That is sad. The bread makes its way into the water and decomposes creating horrible algae.

This guy was particularly offended by an offer of peas! Geese will hiss and if you get close to their nests or goslings they can bite really hard. Be forewarned!

In the fall, there are several places where you can go – including the Fort Whyte Nature Centre – to see them fly in and land on the pond. There are thousands of them. The sky fills up with the silhouettes against the orange and pink at dusk. It is beautiful.

Our nature centre had – until the pandemic – an annual Goose Flight Dinner. It was a charity event with a great meal and an opportunity to see the geese up close flying in. I had my phone. There are geese in the apricot background but they are too difficult to see. So close your eyes and imagine a black blur honking.

Have you been following the love geese? Their names are Arnold and Amelia.

On 13 July the staff at the Cape Wildlife Centre in Barnstable, Massachusetts noticed that one of the geese that lives on a pond behind their centre had a limp. The staff knew the wild bird and wanted to help. The goose was caught and it was determined that he had two open fractures in his leg. The staff explained that an open fracture means that the tissue and skin are pulled away from the bone. You can see this in the top right photo. Their best guess was that a snapping turtle had harmed Arnold. Arnold had surgery and while he was recovering, there was a tap tap at the door. It was Arnold’s mate, Amelia. Amelia waited for the surgery to be complete watching Arnold from the glass window.

@ Cape Wildlife Centre

The couple became instant celebrities. Who doesn’t need a warm fuzzy story these days?

Arnold is healing nicely. His bandages get changed and he is getting stronger. Amelia comes to visit him every day, looking in the glass door of the porch. The staff were so moved by the devotion of the geese to each other that they fixed up a pen so that Arnold and Amelia can share a meal. The good news is that Arnold will be moved to an outdoor pen once he has finished his medications. He will be returned to Amelia and the wild once his foot has completely healed.

Wow. That puts a smile on your face! Everyone loves a love story – especially if it is two birds – ‘love birds’ or is it ‘love geese?’

@ Cape Wildlife Centre

Some quick Osprey news. At the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Tiny Little slept like an adult on the perch. White YW (dad) brought in three fish so that everyone could have a nice meal during the day. That is fantastic.

After calls for emergency numbers, I received an e-mail from Katherine at the Patuxent Osprey Nest 2. They have now included the park e-mail at the top of the streaming cam. This is fantastic. There is no phone at the park that is operable 24/7.

I still recommend that everyone who watches particular nests make their own list of emergency numbers so that if you see something happening you can act quickly.

Here is a better look at that Patuxent Osprey nest as it sits in the water. Thanks ‘S’ for sending me the time stamp! Gosh, that is a really nice place for a nest.

When I checked the Foulshaw Moss nest last, no one was home! Tiny Little is out working those wings. That is fantastic.

Thank you for stopping in today to check on the birds. Everything appears to be fine on a Thursday morning in Bird World. The Osprey fledges are working their wings and getting stronger in the UK. There are still chicks to fledge there and in the US. No doubt there will be a flurry in the next couple of weeks. Take care everyone. Stay safe. I will be checking on Tiny Little throughout the day!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and the Patuxent Park Osprey Nest 2. Thank you to the Cape Wildlife Centre where I grabbed the images of Arnold and Amelia from their FB Page.