Ervie and the fish

Before I begin, I want to thank ‘A-M’ for alerting me that Ervie had caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. I was not watching at the time and in my excitement to tell you, I forgot to thank her. My sincerest apologies. I always appreciate all of the news you send me, especially when I can only be in one place at a time! Thank you ‘A-M’.

Yes, Ervie caught a fish and brought it to the nest yesterday. It was magnificent and happened at 13:37:14. Ervie had to be so excited.

Ervie was so proud of his fish and rightly so. Indeed, he was so happy that he wasn’t paying full attention. And the fish was still alive. Yes…if you are thinking fluttering fish on nest, you have it. Ervie was a bit shocked when the fish started moving away and fell into a hole at the top right of the nest!

There is Ervie looking down that hole in amazement. It ate his fish!

Everyone had faith that Ervie, the chick who could dig out old fish tails from the nest, would be able to retrieve his fish ——- and he did!

Well done, Ervie. Today you gained some confidence and you learned a lesson – pin your fish down hard while you eat it!

The very curious thing is that Ervie, who was obviously hungry, did not gobble up his fish. He also walked around the nest like something distasteful was stuck to his foot. One of the knowledgable chatters suggested that it was a ‘toadfish’ and that maybe he didn’t like the taste of it.

So what is a toadfish? The Common Toadfish grows to approximately 15 cm or 6 inches in length. The fish is actually covered with some prickles which could account for why Ervie didn’t like it stuck to the pads on his feet. They are found along the coasts in shallow water and sometimes bury themselves in sand with only their eyes showing. The fish is toxic to humans who, if they consume the fish can die of respiratory failure. It carries the same neurotoxins in its tissue as the Blue-ringed Octopus or the Pufferfish. Those toxins are Tetrodotoxin.

I asked a biologist if this could harm the transfer of information from Ervie’s nerves to his muscles and they were unclear as to the impact. Perhaps the toxins do not harm the sea hawks like they do humans. Still, as my grandmother would say, it is a good thing Ervie did not like the taste of the fish and didn’t finish it just in case. Over time, Ervie will discover the fish that are good to eat and those that aren’t.

“Tetractenos hamiltoni Common toadfish has a deadly secret #marineexplorer #underwatersydney” by Marine Explorer 

Dad watched his son closely. At 17:52, he brought Ervie a nice fish to eat. Thanks, Dad!

Dad has a nice crop. It looks like he made sure that the fish was dead by eating its head before delivering to our sweet boy.

Ervie has spent the night in Dad’s shed hanging on to Dad’s favourite blue rope sleeping.

Other Bird World News: The Ravens came to attack the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Shadow was not home. Jackie defended the nest of two eggs valiantly. This will not be thee last time they come. They know there are eggs in there and Jackie and Shadow are going to have to be vigilant! It is believed that E20 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 has officially started self-feeding. Jean-Marie Dupart has counted 220 Ospreys at the Langue de Barbarie Park in Senegal. This is a record! Ferris Akel will be hosting his birding tour of the area around Ithaca today starting around 1pm Eastern time. Go to YouTube and Search for Ferris Akel Tour Live. For those fans of E19 and E20, they are some of the feature wildlife that are in CROW’s 2022 calendar. The calendars are now 50% off. Here is the link to order: https://bit.ly/2022CROWCalendar There is no news on Bella at the NCTC nest. She has not returned to the nest since the last time she was seen injured on 1 February. The search party was not able to find her. The new female and Smitty have been exchanging fish on the nest. We are on egg watch for the Redding Eagles. Lots and lots happening. The poor weather seems to have moved out of the nest areas!

This is Pittsburgh-Hayes a few minutes ago. We are on egg watch there, too.

The sun is shining down and the snow is melting in Ithaca for Big Red and Arthur.

Not-so-little Kincaid has a big crop this morning at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. The thermal down is coming in nicely and just look at those big feet! Oh, you are growing way too fast Kincaid.

It is a cloudy day on the Canadian Prairies. No snow warnings and it is now a balmy -15 C. Someone asked me how we stay warm. For the most part, the houses in Canada are well insulated with double or triple pane windows. Central Air is pretty standard. We pay very high heating bills (very high) in the winter even if our homes are insulated well and have great windows if the extreme cold weather lingers for several weeks. Smart persons really bundle up before going out in -35 degree weather. Coats, boots, ski pants all rated to -35 or -45 help tremendously along with gloves and toques (knit hats). I prefer the dry snow over the wet – that makes you cold to the bone!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Pix Cameras, Cornell Bird Labs, and the KNF Bald Eagle nest.

Three lads and a Puffer Fish

It is time to check on what is happening at Port Lincoln. Too soon these three fabulous males will fledge and oh, how we will miss their antics! Friendly banter amongst brothers.

Mum brought her boys a bit of a puzzle at 12:51:46. It was a Puffer Fish and she just let them go at it while she stood and watched each of the deal with this strange object.

“Puffer Fish” by ciamabue is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Puffer fish belong to the Tetraodontidae family. They are known by various names including blowfish, balloon fish, toadfish, globefish, bubble fish, and puffers. They carry a toxic poison – tetrodotoxin. It is one of the deadliest poisons found in the natural world. They are considered to be the second most poisonous creature in the world. These fish can live up to ten years and are found in tropical and subtropical oceans. Some species (there are 120) also live in fresh water. The puffers inhale air. This turns them into sphere. They also have poisonous spikes to try and keep from being eaten by larger fish. You can see those clearly in the image above. Their skin is also said to be extremely thick making it difficult for any predator to eat them. So why did the Mum bring the three boys a puffer fish? Was it a lesson?

I broke the event into two segments for you:

In the end, the lads left the ‘white football’ on the nest. You can see it on the left.

Ervie aka Little Bob could not stand to see the fish just go bad on the nest. The two other siblings didn’t seem to want anything to do with it so at 13:34:31, Ervie goes over and pulls the now mostly deflated fish over to the rim of the nest.

Ervie tries hard to eat that thick skinned fish.

Ten minutes later, Ervie has caught the attention of one of his siblings. In the end, Ervie lets his brother have a ‘go’ at the impossible fish. That is very unlike Little Bob. It must have been a struggle.

A half hour later the fish was abandoned again. It is lying on its side in the image below.

And it remains there. Possible lesson: Don’t ever waste your time catching a puffer fish, sons!

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that the three lads at Port Lincoln bring a smile to your face. They do mine. But before I close, we can all use some sunshine – Yurruga style. Oh, my. She reminds me of her brother, Izzi, so much. She is soooooo loud!

Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the streaming cam of the Port Lincoln Osprey Project where I took my video captures and screen shots.