Early Monday in Bird World

4 July 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that you had a marvellous weekend and for those celebrating independence day in many countries around the world, have a fun and safe time.

With all the talk about storks, ‘L’ asked a question in the comments. Did I know what happened to the White Stork couple, Malena and Klepetan? Thank you ‘L’ – that is a great question and I bet many are wondering too.

Klepetan and Malena are the best romance story in all of Bird World. The intervention to save Malena’s life after she was shot by a man in Croatia is a testament to what love can move us to do for our wildlife friends.

If you do not know the story, before you read further, please watch at least the first one of these videos so you know the background to this truly remarkable story.

Perhaps the most famous stork couple in the world were Klepetan and Malena. Malena stayed year round with Stjepan Vokic in Croatia. As you will know from the video, Malena was shot and it was only through the gentle care of Vokic that her life was spared. What devotion to keep her, clean her, feed her, prepare the nest and fish for both adults and chicks so that Klepatan and Malena could spend all their time together.

For 20 years, Klepetan migrated back and forth from South Africa to Brodski Varos, Croatia. Malena died peacefully on 7 July 2021 of old age. She was 28 years old. Klepetan was by her side when she died along with her other faithful companion, Vokic. Malena was buried in one of her favourite places. Klepetan continued to come every day wondering where his mate was. They had been together for 20 years and had raised 66 storklets. Klepetan was fitted with a transmitter. He did not return to the nest he shared with Melana in 2022. Did he also die? or find a different nest with a new mate? I am hoping to be able to find the time and help to see if Klepatan’s transmitter is still working.

Want to help out Humane Wildlife Indiana? They have an extensive wish list on Amazon including a xylophone for chickens. I have learned through one of our readers, ‘L’ how important it is to have creative stimulation or enrichment for all of the animals in care. Who would want to live strapped to a perch with nothing to do? There are lots of things on the list from a few dollars to $30 or $40. Here is the link. It is good to see what the wildlife clinics are asking for. You can always help out your local clinic too – they always need laundry detergent, bleach, hand sanitizer, wipes, and those old clean towels I keep repeating…Even if you do not intend purchasing anything for the clinic, have a look. It is possible that you intend to get rid of items that could be used at your local clinic.

Here is the link.

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/12TH5G1M7K4DC?fbclid=IwAR26cBDgVhsmN3_U_rzTCKHLaamk0zys4DS3eN8P0piyppMkdBox9oJs1Ms

So busy with Little Bit and the JJ storklets that some others get forgotten so I am also playing catch up this morning. The only surviving eaglet at the Fort St Vrain nest in Colorado, 46, fledged on the 1st of July. Congratulations everyone!

It is not just Annie and Alden bonding in the scrape! As breeding season in Australia gets closer, Diamond and Xavier are doing a lot of bonding rituals in the scrape – some short, some long. Oh, you are going to fall in love with little Xavier if you don’t know him already. Here is that video clip.

‘B’ sent me a newspaper article on the rescue of the US Steel Eaglet. It is a good read with one troubling bit – they state that he eaglet will learn to fly and be released in an area away from the natal nest. My concern is that they must teach that eaglet to hunt – just like Little Bit needs that training. In order to do that the eagles need a little of time, trained professionals, and specialized structures. It is expensive and time consuming and well worth it if neither wind up back in care. Thanks ‘B’.

https://www.post-gazette.com/life/outdoors/2022/07/03/bald-eagle-pittsburgh-pennsylvania-us-steel/stories/202207030127

I want to include a screen capture that ‘H’ sent me on Sunday. It is just a beautiful sunrise at the Boathouse Osprey nest on Hog Island, Maine. How stunning. Thanks ‘H’ for sharing this beautiful image with all of us!

The boathouse osprey cam on Hog Island is currently offline and is only showing highlights.

Two chicks on the Osoyoos Osprey nest on a misty wet morning. Let’s hope that dad gets a pile of fish on the nest today since the weekend festivities have passed.

There is a severe thunderstorm watch in the area of the Canmore Fortis Exshaw Osprey nest…send positive wishes to all!

There was also beautiful sunrise in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic. Betty has flown in and is feeding those four great big storklings.

It is early morning in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The four chicks of Karl II and Kaia are sound asleep. It is so good that Bonus, one of JJ’s chicks, has integrated so well into this family. It is Day 5 for Bonus.

‘T’ sent me an image of Karl II. Last year he discovered the fish basket that Urmas provided. It is about 9-10km from the nest and this year Karl II has been visiting the fish basket and bringing lots of fish to the four storklets on the nest. They are hoping that the herons do not find the basket as it will limit the fish Karl II will find.

This is the other nest where Janus, the middle chick of Jan and Janika, in Urmas and Dr Madis V’s experiment has been placed. It is doing well. Thank you ‘T’.

Takoda decided to come and visit the National Arboretum nest on Sunday. He has found his reflection in the camera. There are some great ‘selfies’ that Takoda is taking! Have a peek.

Some of you became very interested in what your country is doing to help stop avian electrocutions. Knowing what is being undertaken to help the birds is a good way to begin understanding what you can do to spread the word about the dangers and solutions. ‘A’ wanted to find out what Japan was doing and she discovered that there is a special institute working on this problem on the northern most island of Japan, Hokkaido.

“Birds of prey have the habit of perching on high places with a good view and will use tall trees as well as man-made structures such as streetlights and utility poles as perches. When raptors perch on utility poles or pylons, or when they are about to take off from a perch, they are electrocuted when their wings or other body parts come in contact with parts of the body that conduct electricity.

In Hokkaido, accidents involving electrocution of Blakiston’s fish owls, hawk eagles, white-tailed eagles, and Steller’s sea eagles have occurred to date. Electrocuted birds of prey may show severe burns and blackened feathers. Red spots called electric current spots may also be seen on the skin where the electric current was applied.

To prevent electric shock accidents, electric power companies install insulators on current-carrying parts and devices to prevent birds of prey from perching on utility poles. They also install safe perches on top of utility poles to prevent electrocution. The Institute for Birds of Prey Medicine is working to prevent electric shock accidents by analyzing electric shock accidents and consulting with electric power companies and other parties in order to develop more effective countermeasures in areas where electric shock accidents have occurred or are likely to occur.”

Thank you, ‘A’.

I wanted to see what work the Institute for Birds of Prey Medicine is doing and came across something very interesting. Fifteen years ago the use of lead (Pb) ammunition was outlawed in Japan. Today, lead poisoning remains a serious problem for raptors who accidentally consume lead pellets from illegal hunting in various places in Japan but the overall testing of raptors and discovery of those who have ingested lead has dropped significantly (lower than 25%). In comparison, the US Geological Survey discovered that between 2010-2018 (the end of the study) more than 50% of all raptors in the US had been poisoned by lead either in hunting or fishing equipment. The soft lead bullets that break into fragments have the worst impact on the raptors. Other lead fishing equipment can be mistaken by birds such as Loons who think these lead weighs are pebbles and eat them!

There is no nationwide ban in the US for the use of lead. California is the only state to ban the use of lead entirely. New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Maine have partial bans in fishing gear. In 1987, Minnesota banned the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting. In 1991, a federal law in the US also banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting. The problem rests with the DNR who has lobbied against imposing any other lead restrictions on hunters. In April of 2021, three states – Maine, Minnesota, and New York introduced bills that would ban lead completely in all hunting and fishing gear. I am checking to see if HF2556 has been signed into law in Minnesota in 2022.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220217141324.htm

Do you remember the ‘Old Warrior’? He was taken into care after being found on the side of the road lethargic. He went to A Place Called Hope, another great wildlife rehabber. His lead levels were measured at 49. Very extensive lead removal treatments resulted in the old eagle with the broken leg and beak being able to go into an outside enclosure. A Place Called Hope applied to the USFWS for a license to keep the Old Warrior as an educational bird. I reached out to A Place Called Hope and they said that sadly the lead issues had caused so much damage that the Old Warrior had died. He was a poster child of trying to beat the odds. There are other kinds of ammunition – stainless steel and copper. Lead is not the answer!

There has been some concern about Blue 022 at the Poole Harbour nest. He has now been caught on camera and all is well. The two chicks have been ringed and they are both girls! Well done Poole Harbour. Congratulations and relief.

At the Rutland Mantou Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33, 1H2 and 1H3 fledged this morning. All girls are flying about and there is definitely an empty nest! They will return to harass dad for fish, no worries.

Whew! You might need an extra cup of tea or coffee to make it through this today – sorry! Lots happening in Bird World. The kids up at Loch of the Lowes are starting to get the hover going, too. Thank you for joining me today. Please take care. Thanks to everyone who sent news, photos, or comments. They are always appreciated. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages or videos where I took my screen captures: The Dodo, HRT, Ft St Vrain and Excel Energy, Falcon Cam, Audubon Explore.org, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, Fortis Exshaw, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, NADC-AEF, A Place Called Hope (APCH), Poole Harbour Ospreys, and LRWT.

Another siblicide at Loch of the Lowes and other news in Bird World

14 June 2022

I want to start this blog off today with one of the cutest videos called ‘My Turn’. It is from one of the first – if not the first – osprey cams on Dennis Puleston’s property on Long Island. I would like to quietly show this to every third hatch osprey!!!!!!!! It always lifts my spirits when it has been a rough day in Bird World.

Dennis Puleston was a remarkable man who spotted the decline of the Osprey populations in the US due to DDT.

Sadly, the Little Bob at the Loch of the Lowes fell victim to a brutal Big sibling that refused to let him eat and who finally killed him this morning shortly after 0530. Little Bob was alive in the image below, barely, from not having eaten in at least three days.

Laddie LM12 arrives on the nest but flies away. No fish.

Big Bob brutally attacks Little Bob and kills him.

Blue NC0 stares at the body of her Little one. It has not been a good year for this wee one who, like the others, just wanted some fish. It is unclear why there is so few fish coming to this nest. It has been a discussion about the other nests and people are conflicted. Is it intruders? has the loch not got the fish? is something going on with Laddie? All of the other nests are not having difficulties. Fly high Little one, fly high.

Sadly my list of siblicide victims this year is getting longer.

Blue NC0 looks worn out and hungry. She is hardwired, like all other Osprey Mums not to interfere. She looks down at her wee little babe. So sad. I do hope that whatever is troubling this nest that it goes away so that this family can heal.

There is another nest that remains worrisome.

To the relief of everyone cheering Little Bit 17 on at the ND-LEEF nest, that camera is back working. It is unclear if 17 got any food since the camera went down but he was seen doing wingersizing according to many of the chatters who watch the camera. He is not acting like the third hatch at Loch of the Lowes. 17 seems fine. I will not presume anything but let us all hope that if it is cooler tomorrow – which they say it will be – that the fish will be flying onto this nest. — I want to be optimistic. Many third hatches benefit from the older ones fledging. It seems both 15 and 16 are branching —- and not wanting to sound nasty but it would be nice if they would take a 2 day trip to see the beautiful area where their nest is! Little Bit could eat it all!

The eaglets on this nest are the following ages. ND 15 is 76 days old, ND16 75 days old, and ND17 is 71 days old. Little Bit is not ready to fledge. His tail needs to grow more. The feathers on his head are growing longer and covering up the bald spots caused by 16’s scalpings. This Little one has worked so hard to live. I want to believe I am seeing something of a crop under his beak and that he did get some nourishment today. Hang in there Little Buddy!

The streaming cam is also back up at the Cape Henlopen State Park Osprey Platform. It was a very interesting Tuesday morning. The female intruder with the torn feathers was in the nest. Another osprey landed on the nest and she got rid of them quickly. A third bird or was it this one that landed ?? could be seen flying by the nest on several occasions to the left of the platform.

The bird that almost looks like I cute and pasted it on was quickly shooed away by the female intruder on the nest. From that behaviour we might assume that this was not a bird associated with her.

She removes the body of the oldest and largest of those beautiful chicks from the nest.

As the sun was setting on Lewes, Delaware, the female intruder has now cleared the nest of any remnants of its former occupants. It is just gut wrenching what has happened here. I do wonder if the Mum is alive and if it is her flying to the nest? No one was at the nest overnight.

I have been praising Betty on the Mlade Buky White Stork next in The Czech Republic for not eliminating the smallest, the fifth storklet. Well, she has now done so. Let us hope that all four remaining chicks thrive! (The storklet did not survive the 9 metre/30 ft drop but it was quick, not like starving to death on the nest).

There is wonderful news coming out of Cal Falcons. Laurentium is one of Annie and Grinnell’s fledglings. She has a nest on Alcatraz. She has successfully fledged chicks in years before but not it is confirmed that she has two healthy grand chicks for Annie and Grinnell again. How wonderful!

I have neglected the Foulshaw Moss nest this year despite the fact that it is one of my favourites. Last year White YW and Blue 35 successfully fledged 3 osplets including Tiny Little Bob, Blue 463. The chicks below are around the 3 week period. They are healthy and doing well! Excellent parents. I cannot say enough good things about them.

I do not like the cam. You cannot rewind so if you don’t see it, the event is gone. Or if you do see it and don’t get a screen shot it is gone, too. That style of camera is very annoying if you are trying to document events on a nest.

Congratulations to everyone at the Ithaca Peregrine Falcon scrape. They had their first fledge today. It was Percy! One more eyases to go. How exciting. Falcon Watch Utica posted this gorgeous picture of Percy taking off. Look – those legs are held tight against the body and the feathers are in perfect shape. What a wonderfully healthy fledgling!

Even before the three Bobs had their breakfast Wednesday morning, Telyn was chasing after an intruder with feather wear – perhaps a moulting bird. Emyr Evans wants him to come back so they can get a ring number and ID the bird. He is evading all of the cameras. Emyr believes it is Teifi and if so, it is Telyn and Idris’s 2020 hatch come home to the natal nest. After, Idris brings in a lovely sea bass for Telyn and the kids.

Emyr Evans posted this on the 23rd of May. I think he will be updating his number after the intruder this morning to 8. Tegid – of the white egg – is one of my favourite hatches. Lovely to see his son back!

There was an intruder at the Llyn Brenig osprey nest. LM6 just about tore the nest up when Blue 416 from the Lake District arrived. Gracious. I thought she was going to toss the two wee chicks out, too. Lots of two years old successfully returning this year (like this one) causing mischief.

Aran was up early fishing for Mrs G and the gang.

Everything seems fine on the Glaslyn nest.

Sentry returned to the Redding Bald Eagle nest on 14 June after fledging on the 11th. He was tired and spent the night with Star in the nest sleeping duckling style. Star has yet to fledge.

It is getting to be time to check in with some of the Australian nests. Dad brought Mum a very nice fish on the nest. Oh, she looks so good. Last year she took raised the Port Lincoln three – Bazza, Falky, and our dear Ervie.

Beautiful Diamond with a full crop after a prey gift from Xavier at the Charles Sturt University falcon cam in Orange, Australia.

Lady incubating the two eggs of hers and Dad’s on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. If you look close, you will see Dad sleeping and protecting the nest on the parent branch.

The CBD 367 Collins Street Falcon cam will not be back on line until September. It is usually started once eggs are laid.

Fledge watch started yesterday for the Cal Falcons. Here is Grinnell Jr with his super crop last evening! Looks like he is going to fly anywhere! So cute.

Thank you for joining me. This is a very early Wednesday morning check in. I will have a later report Wednesday evening. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB announcements where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey, Friends of Redding Eagles, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, ND-LEEF, Cape Henlopen State Park Ospreys, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Emyr Evans, Falcon Watch Utica, Mlade Buky, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and Cal Falcons.