Ervie, fledges and more – early Tuesday in Bird World

9 August 2022

First a correction! Shame on me for saying we know where Telyn winters. It is not Telyn but, the beautiful Seren from Llyn Clywedog that spends her winters in The Gambia. I knew that and wrote Telyn. Thanks, ‘C’ for alerting me. Much appreciated!

One other clarification that ‘CE’ caught that needs explaining. Osprey fledglings are the raptors that do not require their parents to teach them to hunt or fish. Others do. You will have seen the eagles and hawks showing their fledglings how to hunt prey! I bet Ervie did chase Dad around in his efforts to find some good fishing spots, though!

Ervie, dear Ervie. Port Lincoln posted images after I had sent out my blog last evening so our dear Ervie is up first. Thanks to ‘B’ for alerting me to these.

As so many of you are aware, Port Lincoln Ospreys is working hard to introduce our fish eagles to Southern Australia. They are getting attention from government agencies and, of course, the population is growing to love these birds – many because of our dear Ervie. Here are the latest postings from Port Lincoln and the beautiful pictures of Ervie out fishing with Dad by Fran Solly. There are more on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page. Head over and have a look. This is the place to continue checking on Ervie and his antics with Dad — or alone.

It is always good to see you, Ervie.

Is there room for you, Ervie??????!!!!!!

Remember when we worried that Ervie would only be able to catch puffers? Well, he has certainly adjusted to fishing without that other talon (I have not seen it fully grown in on the pictures but I would love to be corrected!). That is a beautiful fish. Well done, Ervie.

At the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest of Karl II and Kaia, Bonus, the adopted storklet of Jan and Janika, Bonus, fledged first today. He was followed by Volks who hears Bonus in the forest and flies off to the left.

Both returned to the nest. Ilks is looking at his reflection in the camera. Will you fly next? So funny when they find themselves. After fledging the Black Storks will stay at least a week around the nest being fed. If the food is plentiful they may stay longer before venturing out to find food for themselves and beginning migration.

As ‘B’ says, it is hard to beat the WBSE for cuteness. SE30 is a bit of a corker. When it was 2 days old, 30 beaked at 29. Not a good thing to do. We have all worried about 30 but unless there is an unexpected ‘something’, they should both be fine. SE30 gives as good as it gets and they both fool around with one another and then seem to stop before it gets too rough.

Chubby little bottoms. Their soft down on the head is giving way to pin feathers and the feathers are coming in nicely along the wings. They will begin to do a lot more preening as things get itchy. You can see their black talons and those big clown feet getting started. So cute.

Of the streaming cams in Australia, we now have the WBSE eaglets and the first egg at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for Mum and Dad as of yesterday. We are awaiting the beginning of the season for Peregrine falcons Xavier and Diamond and the Melbourne CBD – 367 Collins Street. Xavier and Diamond are amping up the bonding in the scrape! Eggs before the end of the month?

The only chick on the Landscape Arboretum platform at the University of Minnesota fell off yesterday. It has not fledged. Here is the video of that incident. This could have turned out badly – and would have if not for the quick actions at finding the chick and getting it back on the nest. Thanks to all involved!

Boris and Titi (yet to fly) on the Janakkalan nest in Finland. 9 August 2022. Handsome!

All of the White Storklings of Betty and Bukacek have fledged. They seem to spend their time finding the parents and following them back to the nest for good feedings.

Look carefully. Bukacek is flying into the nest from the left (right above the grassy area at 930 on the nest).

All of the storklings came to the nest quickly so as not to miss a meal.

All of the UK chicks have fledged. This year the three at Foulshaw Moss did not get the best attention from me – in terms of publicizing the nest activities here on the blog. Last year I followed every move because of the third hatch – Blue 463 who survived and did extremely well. Waiting for her return next year! The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust have put out a very nice blog with an overview of the nest activities including some links to videos.

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/blog/alasdair-mckee/there-were-three-nest-and-littlest-fledged?fbclid=IwAR3EmfM6q7y1XNIqdvENXGlh8x4VhZve9AwmrsA4vAFcs_XRrvXubF76BhM

There appears to have been a fledge this morning at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey platform near Canmore Alberta. Thanks ‘H’ for the tip off! They seem to all be relatively equal – perhaps the others will fly today. You can see Mum looking on over the nest at her three beautiful chicks from the perch.

The fledge was a quick take off, fly around the nest and return landing on the right side.

I am counting a fledge as a flight off the nest and a return. In my mind, the chicks jumping up or getting to the many perches is equivalent to branching for Eagles, not a full blown official fledge. The real question is how far away is the perch? It is too difficult to tell. Mum certainly looks small and if it is a distance, then it might be counted as a fledge. If that is the case, then there were two fledges at Canmore this morning so far.

Big Red, Arthur, and L2 have all been accounted for by Suzanne Arnold Horning this week. Excellent news. Still no recent updates on L3 or L4.

L2 in the top picture screaming for a prey item and Big Red and Arthur calmly relaxing in the second.

Everyone remains curious as to how Victor got so much zinc in his system that he almost died. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has indicated that there are fishing lures coated with zinc. Thanks ‘B’. Here is the posting on the chat at the IWS. The question still remains: how much zinc does a fledgling eagle have to ingest to almost kill it? I do not know the answer to that question but I hope to find out.

The posting of the images of Little Bit 17 prompted a lot of mail. Everyone is thrilled and so very reassured that it is our little tenacious eagle. So grateful to the boots on the ground for chasing after this family and sharing their photos and videos with us on the Notre Dame Eagles FB.

‘CE’ had a very interesting analogy that seems quite fitting given the sponsors of the camera and the university that they are associated with – Notre-Dame. CE noted that the image of Little Bit looks like a Franciscan Friar with his friar’s crown. He said, “In the 5th century, the tonsure was introduced as a distinctive sign. In the East, the Pauli tonsure was used (all hair was cut), in the West, the Petri tonsure (only the top of the head was shaved). This was also called Corona Christi (Crown of Christ). Since the 16th century, the tonsure of regular clerics has been reduced to a small circle.” Friar Little Bit. It sounds nice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is lovely to have you with us and the birds. I will continue to monitor the nests during the day. Tomorrow I am heading north for two days to count and enter the GPS for the Bald Eagle nests in and around Hecla Island. That information will be sent to David Hancock whose foundation monitors bald eagle nests in Canada. I hope to get some good images of the adults and juveniles before they leave for their winter homes. There will not be a newsletter tomorrow morning but I will try my best to get some images out to you tomorrow evening. Please take dare. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

I want to thank everyone who wrote in and sent me news. I still have some of your images to post! Much appreciated. I want to also thank the following for their streaming cams and/or posts or their photographs that I used for my screen captures: Fran Solly and the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, the Notre-Dame Eagles FB, the Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, Fortis Exshaw, the Finnish Osprey Foundation, the IWS, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.

Updates on Victor, Ervie and more in Bird World

10 July 2022

I want to start by putting a smile on everyone’s face. Ervie. The photo was taken yesterday around the North Shore where you will see that Ervie has caught a really nice sized fish – not a puffer! Thank you ‘B’ – I have been so preoccupied with Victor and a couple of osprey nests that I missed checking on Ervie since they posted his last tracking. — Good things happen to talons. They grow!

That is a beautiful fish and good form, Ervie! Does everyone realize that Ervie could be the best thing that happened to Port Lincoln tourism? Maybe, as a male, he will just hang around til he can take over the barge from Dad. Why not? There is lots of fish and he will not bother Mum and Dad – house rules.

Update on Victor, Sunday morning: Victor was active around 0619. He was doing some wing flapping and some hopping. He stood for a short while. He appeared to sleep better during the night.

This is the latest posting from Dr Sharpe about 42 minutes ago- 9am PST.

These are the images from this morning.

Andor and Mama Cruz are bringing in bedding for Victor. He was more alert. I understand that Dr Sharpe has approved a banner with a link for donations. If you have been wanting to donate, this is a great chance to support the wonderful work that Dr Sharpe does for these eagles on the Channel Islands. as ‘B’ and I were discussing, the only person we know that would work so hard to save this eaglet is Dr Sharpe. — I will also add that donations are tax deductible and you can give $100 and have it spread out over 12 months at $8.96 a month. You will get a beautiful thank you and a gift. Mine was an embroidered T-shirt and a super digital image of the nestlings of Thunder and Akecheta.

The information below on Victor comes from late Saturday.

Some close up images of Victor’s left leg and talons and a reminder of the many challenges and obstacles that need to be cleared away before Dr Sharpe can get the fledgling help.

Lillibet stayed with her brother – these two have always been close. They remind me of E17/18 and E19/20. It would be comforting for Victor to have his sister beside him. It has been a hard day to watch Victor. He has clearly appeared to be in pain. Hoping that Andor or Mama Cruz will feed him tomorrow.

Dr Sharpe is not the only person that is having trouble getting volunteers. Around the world it is the same – fewer and fewer people are stepping up to assist in the rescue of our wildlife. The high rise in the cost for everything has placed many who have helped in a situation where they cannot – fuel is one of those issues. I do not know a wildlife rehabilitation centre that is not overwhelmed in the middle of the summer. Every one relies on donations. It has been mentioned twice that Victor will need a place to go to get the care and treatment he requires. Will there be someone answer Dr Sharpe’s call for help if he gets permission to retrieve the eaglet. Will someone provide a boat? Is there a motel that will allow Victor in its rooms? Each leg of the rescue of eaglets in the Channel Islands has its many challenges and its costs.

I am actually starting Sunday’s blog Saturday night. It has been a roller coaster day in Bird World. The Osprey expert who is my go to -if I do not know the answer about an issue or who fills me in on the back story to everything happening in Osprey Land -sent me a letter. It said: “Isn’t it amazing how people are in denial about what is happening to juvenile ospreys?” It was ‘just the other day’ that ‘A’ wrote and said she will never look at an adult raptor the same – she now appreciates the struggle that they went through to live beyond their first year never mind to 8 or 10 years! As everyone reading my blog knows, ‘that list’ grows but, at the same time, I told my friend that there is a silent army out there working for the betterment of our birds and I meant all of you! Thank you for what you do for the birds – the smallest gesture can have the most impact.

Case in point. Just look at the Osprey nest below. The original one kept being destroyed in high winds. It was decided to consult some experts on design in order to shore up the nest and make it safer for the Ospreys on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. There is information in the posting below the image – but everyone there deserves a huge shout out. Well done.

Iris is, of course, a miracle. At the age of 28 or 29 she is as fit as they come. She is an excellent fisher and she continues to work on her nest in Missoula, Montana. and what a nest that is! Iris is an example that we should all follow – she eats well, has lots of exercise, and keeps herself busy. Iris is truly amazing and we are so glad that she is spending so much time this summer on this ever growing penthouse of hers because we get to watch. Beautiful wings, fabulous legs. By every measure she is a real senior but she looks like a fit youngster.

Mr President and Lotus teach Takoda life lessons since he is an ‘only’. They are doing a great job showing him how easy it is to steal his fish!

The four storklets are waiting for either Kaia or Karl II (or both) to bring some nice fish for breakfast. Frogs would be OK, too.

Bonus is squatted down on the left, facing right. He is fully transitioned into the family. The intervention appears to have been very successful – a rare Black Storklets life is saved by two people taking a chance on an idea – Urmas and Dr Madis V.

The climate is changing and it is having an impact on our feathered friends around the world. Warming seas, a shortage of fish, high day time temperatures. You name it. It is harming the bird’s ability to thrive. They are not birds but those cute little penguins that visit the Royal Cam chick on occasion are not the only New Zealand wildlife that could be having trouble.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/14/search-for-clues-as-bodies-of-hundreds-of-little-blue-penguins-wash-ashore-in-new-zealand

‘H’ has reported that all three have fledged from the Carthage Tennessee Osprey nest. Congratulations everyone! That is fantastic news. ‘H’ also reports that there is really good hovering going on at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest. The kids are 52 days old and they were doing some super hovering as well as being nice to one another and trying self-feeding. Thanks, ‘H’. Like Ervie these two got forgotten with Victor’s injury.

All eyes are on that egg in the Chesapeake Conservancy nest of Tom and Audrey. The first hatch is doing fab…

So far it looks like at least 2 fish have come to the Osoyoos Osprey nest this morning. 07:28 and 08:11.

Dory and Skiff’s trio are doing fine as well. Lots of fish come to this nest. I would like to give one of them to Osoyoos sometimes. The chicks at both Osoyoos and Hog Island are getting feathers coming out of those shafts. Lovely.

That is a hop skip and a jump through the nests. Great news on Ervie. Always makes my heart stop – that Osprey! Thank you Dr Sharpe for all you do – this man needs to be given an award with a huge prize for all he does. Everyone else seems to be holding and doing good.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and or F/B or web sites where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey FB, Institute for Wildlife Studies, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Bald Eagles Live Nest and News, Sunshine Coast Council, Montana Osprey Project, NADC-AEF, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys, Chesapeake Bay Conservancy, Osoyoos Ospreys, and Audubon Explore.

Ervie has a dust up with Mum!

26 May 2022

We all love Ervie. He melted our hearts the second he hatched. For a long time, until the day he was banded, I called him Tiny Little Bob.

  • Big Bob hatched on 13 September at 22:03
  • Middle Bob hatched on 14 September at 02:30
  • Little Bob hatched on 16 September at 00:51

In the first two images, Ervie is four days old.

In this sequence of images, Ervie is 11 days old. The lads are in the Reptilian Phase. From left to right – Ervie, Falky, and Bazza.

Bazza was trying to assert his dominance on the nest and was not very kind to either Ervie or Falky. Bazza was known on the chat as ‘Big Bad Bazza’.

After Bazza had beaked and frightened Falky, he started on Ervie. Just look at the difference in size in their wings despite there being only 51 hours between them in age.

Ervie was always clever. He got out of Bazza’s way and Bazza went back to beak Falky. Ervie watches and listens to what is happening. It was rare for Ervie to khow tow to Bazza.

Twenty-two seconds later they are lined up being civil to one another and eating their fish. Ervie has already learned to be right up front near the beak.

Here is Ervie at 28 days old (14 October) still right up by Mum’s beak. By now Ervie is standing up to Bazza. Ervie is the first to eat and the last to leave the table most days. Even with a full crop Ervie enjoyed as much fish as he could get.

Just look at how our boy has changed in the image below. It is 30 October. Ervie is now 44 days old. The three will be ringed on the 8th of November and Tiny Little Bob will officially become our ‘Ervie’. All three will be pronounced to be males.

Ervie is the closest to the top of the frame intently watching Mum break off bites of fish.

Just adorable.

Ervie is doing ‘kissy-kissy’ with Falky. I looked at Ervie’s short stout legs and was certain that he was a female. Not according to the banders.

It was only after they fledged that the lads started being lads -fighting for fish and generally not wanting to share the nest. Ervie with his wings out wants part of the fish that Dad has delivered. It is his favourite – the portion back by the tail and Ervie is intent on getting it.

Ervie just walks through Bazza. It will be one of many ‘dust ups’ that he has with the older sibling.

On this particular occasion, Bazza is pushed off the nest and Ervie winds up hanging by his talons upside down!

Today, if we count Ervie’s hatch day, he is 253 days old. Until yesterday, Ervie has always known the ‘barge’ as his home. In some ways you could say the nest was probably a little like a security blanket. It was familiar. He would, on occasion, go down and chat with Dad in his den. No one but his brothers ever tried to force Ervie off the nest. It must have been a shock when he came to eat his Puffer on the nest yesterday (the 26th of May) and Mum ushered him off the nest.

‘A’ captured the action on the nest yesterday, thankfully. Thank you ‘A’ for sharing these with me so we can all see what happened.

Ervie has landed on the nest with his puffer. Mum is flying down to give Ervie the ‘boot’. Dad is over on the right side perch.

I have seen parents evict their juveniles from the nest – it has happened at the SWFlorida nest with E15 and with Diamond and Xavier when Mum had to give Izzy the cold shoulder. They certainly were not as ‘into your face’ as the event between Ervie and Mum.

Indeed, Ervie is, as I said, probably shocked at the reaction. One day he is welcome and the next not. He has 252 days of being welcomed to the nest – and there is nothing in Ervie’s own experience that would prepare him for his removal.

Ervie did take off with his puffer. I do wonder if the old barge is still around or if there is a close place where Ervie feels comfortable eating his fish.

Tonight there was another ‘dust up’ between Ervie and Mum. This time Ervie was hesitant to give ground. If you look carefully, you can see Ervie fly off with Mum on the nest. She will eventually go back and join Dad. It is interesting to me that it has been the female – Diamond at the Charles Sturt scrape and now Mum here on the PLO barge – to do the evicting.

Here is the video of the latest interaction between Mum and Ervie.

No doubt there will be some more attempts by Ervie to land on the nest and more evictions by Mum. We want both of them to be safe. I wish Ervie had his own private barge!!!!!

Thank you for joining me as we catch up with Ervie over the past couple of days. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and video clip. We are so every grateful for this opportunity to watch the lives of Ospreys in the wild. It has been a fantastic season.

Breakfast with Ervie, Middle, and Little 17

21 May 2022

I cannot think of a better way to start a Saturday than having breakfast with Ervie, Middle Bob, and Little 17! What a positive way to kick off the weekend.

‘A’ sent me a note that Ervie was on the nest at Port Lincoln. Thank you, ‘A’! I would have missed him! Much appreciated. How grand to have the time to rewind and see our special Osprey fledgling. ‘A’ said she hoped that Mum and Dad would not kick Ervie off too soon. I am hoping that they will allow him to stop by for a visit continually as long as it does not disturb the next breeding season for them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

There was something very satisfying seeing Ervie on the barge. He arrived at 16:17 wet from catching his fish, shaking off the water droplets on arrival. In the footage below, look carefully. It is not a puffer! I cannot tell you what kind of fish it is but it is a nice size normal looking fish — which means that even with his tiny talon, Ervie can now catch a much bigger fish. He certainly looks healthy.

I was thinking the other evening that perhaps that tiny talon saved Ervie’s life. It is not clear to me what the first year survival rate is for Eastern Ospreys – ones that do not have to migrate like those at Port Lincoln. By staying in a familiar area and learning how to fish -starting with those puffers- Ervie appears to have a better than average chance at long term survival.

Here is a video clip of Ervie eating some of his precious fish while being bombarded by sea gulls.

Sometimes you just feel ‘lucky’ and I decided to check on Middle at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Yesterday Middle had delighted in having an ever so tiny fish and Mum and Dad have been dropping off fish so that the two can get proficient in self-feeding for their life after fledging.

It is 09:02. Mum has a fish and she is eating some bites. Middle, despite having a bit of a crop, is anxious for some more fish and is tugging at the new delivery. Big is there but doesn’t seem bothered.

Middle is getting a lot of bites! I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Big is on the left facing the opposite direction and Middle is on the right. It is difficult to catch the action. Middle is very quick doing his snatch and grabs. Middle is definitely aware of Big’s presence. He would get a lot more fish if Mum would feed a little faster!

Big does turn around and get interested in the food. Notice how Big is watching Middle do his snatch and grab. She is not liking this and after a few minutes, she pecks at Middle and he moves over to the rim of the nest. Big eats for a few minutes and then moves away with Middle going in to eat the last of the fish.

It was a real positive morning so far and could it also be that something good was happening on the ND-LEEF nest? To my shock and to everyone else on the chat, the female actually fed Little 17 some food this morning. It was like she remembered that she had three chicks and not just two. Will 17 get more food today – let us all hope so!

There is, of course, so much happening in Bird World but for now — this is quite enough. Smiling.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you later with a check on more of the nests in Bird World.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and ND-LEEF.

Thank you, Dad!

The camera has been offline at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. It was difficult not knowing what was going on with Ervie!

When the cam came on, I could hear Ervie fish calling. Oh, he is loud! In a few minutes Ervie was mantling the nest.

Here comes Dad with a headless fish. It is a perfect sharing. Dad catches the fish, eats the head, and gives the rest to his son on the nest.

Ervie was hungry!

He is mantling that fish really well.

Ervie has that fish firmly under his talons. It is not going anywhere – head or not!

Dad pauses for a moment on the edge of the nest. Thanks Dad!

Ervie really enjoyed his breakfast.

Ervie was cleaning his beak at 10:57. Ironically, he had left a little fish. It is on the nest just below his tail. Looks like half of the actual fish tail with some meat on it.

Ervie flew off the nest and the clean up crew were grateful for the morsels of fish. There is a pigeon at the middle of the nest on the right side. It blends in with the wood.

Ervie was definitely hungry. With all of the outages it is hard to know when he last had a fish dinner.

After he finished eating and cleaning his beak, Ervie looked off in the distance.

Then Ervie began to fish cry again! He almost started mantling.

Ervie raised his wings and flew off the nest at 11:09, Monday the 14th of February. Did he land on the shed near Dad? Did he go somewhere else?

Port Lincoln Posted the tracker for Ervie and a beautiful photo. It was taken by Keith Daniels. Ervie was on his front fence in the Lincoln Cove Marina.

Isn’t he gorgeous sitting there looking in? What would you give to have an Osprey sit on your front fence? and what if it was Ervie!!!!!!!! How grand.

Before I close, I went to check on Little Bit at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest. It had a really nice crop before bed! Yippeeeeeeee.

So all is right with the world.

Thank you so much for joining me. It was just wonderful to see these two fed. It is very reassuring that everything is just fine. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Cam and Port Lincoln Osprey FB and Keith Daniels for the photo of Ervie on his fence and the NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF Bald Eagle Cam where I took my screen captures.

Friday in Bird World

Just about the time I begin to think, and then say, that it looks like the parents at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge are slowing down with fish deliveries, they bring two nice sized fish to Ervie. There was a huge chunk at 07:34 and another nice fish arrived at 15:20. Ervie didn’t actually start eating it until 16:25. Ervie was the only lad about. Bazza was last seen on Sunday the 9th and Falky was last seen on the ropes with Mum and Dad at 19:40 on the 12th. Will Ervie stay or go?

Ervie is still full from the morning fish when the afternoon delivery arrives.

Ervie is still eating at 17:34! My goodness those were nice fish brought to the nest. Ervie finished off his fish and flew off the left side of the nest.

Will that be our last sighting of Ervie on the nest? No one slept on the barge last night. We wait.

Missy has been feeding the little one on the Berry College Eagle Nest. It appears to be doing fine. Everyone is watching for the second egg. Sadly that broken shell has really attached itself to that egg.

I believe this is Missy’s first eaglet to survive. She is figuring feedings out!

B15 is getting stronger. You can see the issue with the second egg clearly here. I cannot tell if the extra piece of shell is over the narrow or wide part of the egg. The eaglets pip on the wider end. Pip watch coming for that second egg.

The nest is empty this morning at Big Bear, California but everyone is on egg watch for Shadow and Jackie.

Anna let Louis brood the chick this morning! Last year she waited a long time and Lous is delighted to be involved with his chick. Both Anna and Louis have been on the KNF nest this morning and the eaglet is eating well. Lots of nice fish for everyone on that nest!

There seem to be two words used for Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20. They are ‘nice’ and ‘cute’. Look at the feathers coming on E19 and E20 and then look at Anna’s baby above. They change so quickly!

This is a great little film about the Kakapo. Since it is breeding season and we are looking at eggs, it seems like a good time to refresh what we know about this very endangered non-flying parrot and how they are cared for. The update on the numbers is that there are now 202 Kakapo down from 208 the beginning of last year.

Daisy the Duck has not returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest to lay eggs since she visited with her mate on 1 January. That was two-weeks ago. Fingers crossed she has found another spot and is successful. One of the women who visits the centre was to send us images of Daisy paddling but nothing so far. Maybe Daisy is away from the area of water around the Discovery Centre and the Duck Pond.

Great Horned Owls have been mating on the Savannah Osprey Nest and the GHOWs have been mating on the nest that was stolen from a young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas last year. The couple who became known as Bonnie and Clyde raised two of the cutest little owlets on this nest. When the eggs are laid, I will definitely let you know.

For the most part the Owls and the Eagles live cooperatively but I really don’t like the owls when they try to knock the eagles off or hurt their eyes and heads as at the WBSE Nest by the small BooBook Owls and at SWFlorida when it is a GHOW hitting M15 and knocking him off the branch into the nest, sometimes.

One thing I did not know is that there are no Great Horned Owls near the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest in Miami-Dade County. The Coot delivered yesterday, the second one to arrive as prey on the nest, is gone! They seem to love the taste of that waterfowl. My eagle expert tells me that the WRDC are thinking about putting up more nests like this one for the eagles. Fantastic. It seems to be a really good design and they can work out any kinks watching this nest.

R1 ate well and now Dad is making sure that R2 is full to the brim. Ron, you are a great Dad! You can see R1 passed out in a food coma and Ron has even moved across the nest to feed the youngest sibling. Fantastic.

Today is Day 40 for the eggs at Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel, Island. It is the home of Connie and her new mate, Clive. There is some chatter that the eggs might not be fertile. Let’s wait and see.

I haven’t seen any of Ervie’s tracking uploaded since 26 December. I will be checking on the PLO nest during the rest of the day to see if anyone returns to the barge at Port Lincoln. That wing of his could be our last sighting of the Erv until people along the coast send in images of him. There appears to be a huge interest ‘and caring’ for the Osprey in the region. That really helps!

Take care everyone. Have a great end to your week. Thank you for joining me. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Berry College Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest, Captiva Bald Eagles, Farmer Derek Owl Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest.

Sunday in Bird World

Oh, wow. It is a bright sunny Sunday on the Canadian Prairies. There is no snow falling and the temperature dropped from that very nice -14 C at midnight to -24 C this morning. It is supposed to further drop to -29 C. When I went out to fill all of the feeders, Dyson was on top of the large suet cylinder chewing away. He took no mind of me as I worked around him until I got the camera out. Then he scurried away! The now regular 28 European Starlings were the first to arrive. They were followed by the several hundred Sparrows. The chickadee seems to find a way to manage in the midst of all of them but I have not seen Junior or Mr and Mrs Blue Jay for a couple of weeks. Little Red will wake up sometime around 14:00 and join the garden gang. When it is cold like it is today the feeders are all filled twice. Thank goodness for bulk buying!!!

Louis just gave up his incubation duties at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. He gave us a quick glimpse of the egg. Doesn’t look like a pip yet.

Louis had his talon caught in some of the Spanish Moss and it completely covered the egg. I wonder if this is egg #2? One of them was broken by Anna when she was landing one day in December. If it is #2, then pip watch could be delayed until Tuesday.

Annie arrives at 12:00:33 and there is a nice view of the egg after the moss is cleared away. Anna is looking at the egg closely. The adults will be able to hear the eaglet inside if all is well as we near pip.

The news coming out of Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel Island is that there is no pip yet for Connie and Clive. Last night Lena 2 laid the first egg for the Captiva Osprey Nest.

Pa Berry is incubating the egg at the Berry College Eagle Nest. There is no pip there and they are expecting rain today. The weather has been terrible for this pair. There was snow last night and high winds and hail the other day. I honestly did not think the tree would survive that storm never mind Missey who was hanging on and keeping those eggs safe.

E19 and E20 are fast asleep at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest in Fort Myers. Their only job is to grow – so they eat and sleep. Adorable.

It got a little too hot under Mum but the shade is really nice! The Mumbrella.

Bald Eaglet spells ‘cute’. These two are really growing. Notice the egg tooth is almost completely gone.

R1 and R2 are ready for some lunch at the WRDC nest. It will be around 26 degrees C for these Miami-Dade eaglets today. I hope there is a nice breeze.

Here is a view of the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest in South Carolina. What a magnificent nest.

The two eaglets of Harriet and Mitch are in a food coma. They are doing very well. I love their fat little bottoms and tails. They scoot around pushing and moving with their wings.

Awwww. I have been watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge closely. You will recall that both Ervie and Falky had early morning fish. Then Bazza, who had a crop, decided to push Falky off the ropes. I was quite afraid for Falky but, on his third try, with a cool head, he was able to free himself from the water. It was brilliant.

Ervie decided that he was not giving up the nest. Indeed, control of the nest is all important by the dominant bird. That is how it came to be that Erive had four fish deliveries yesterday. The deliveries were at 07:08, 15:29:44, 18:05, 18:30, and at 18:40 Ervie seems to find another fish on the nest! His crop should have popped! There is clearly a reason that there is competition for the nest!!!!!!!

At 17:40, Ervie still had a crop from the 15:29 fish.

Ervie spots one of the adults coming in with a fish. It is Dad.

That was a nice fish for Ervie.

Ervie was still eating the 18;05 fish when Mum landed on the nest with a small fish. Falky flies over from the ropes to retrieve that little fish.

So there is Ervie in the back eating his fish and mantling. Mum is in the middle with the fish under her left talon. Falky has gotten turned around and is facing us.

Mum decides she wants out of there quick. Falky is still facing the wrong way. Ervie has his fish under his talons and is mantling.

Ervie decides he doesn’t like Falky on the nest and boots him off. Ervie takes both of the fish.

Now Ervie has two fish to eat! It seems like Ervie has been eating all day. There is no sharing like they did as youngsters. These are three males that will be future rivals if they are not fully already.

Ervie was selected for the sat-pak because he was believed to be the best bet for survival. I continue to say that made a perfect choice. It may feel entirely unfair but it takes confidence, creativity, and cleverness to survive it seems.

Ervie sleeping on the nest in the middle of the night.

Ervie is on the nest and Falky is on the ropes waiting for that first fish delivery. Wonder who will get it?

Other Bird News: Rafa Benjumea has reported that the recent count of Ospreys in the Sanctuaire des Balbuzards in Senegal is 161. That is excellent news. How many Bald Eagle nests and couples do you think are in the small state of New Jersey? The 2021 count shows 247 Bald Eagle Nests. Out of those, 222 were active. 296 eaglets hatched and there were 27 new Bald Eagle couples. That is quite the count! There are growing numbers of Bald Eagles being admitted to Rehab Clinics with high lead levels. A few make it while a lot perish. It is a simple fix: stop using lead in hunting and fishing equipment! If there is one thing that you can do this year to help the birds is to get on your computer and write to the politicians in your area asking them to ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment. While you are at it, you might want to ask them to ban the manufacture and sale of any type of rodenticide. We remain on pip watch for Captiva, KNF, and Berry College – and we are getting close to a pip watch for NEFlorida with Samson and Gabby.

Thank you so much for joining me today. So happy there are so many people who get joy from the birds! It is heart warming. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Hilton Head Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, WRDC Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagle Cam, and the KNF Eagle Cam.

It’s three for Ron and Rita and other news from Bird World

Ron and Rita welcomed R3 early this morning. It appears that R3 hatched around 07:58. Notice also how Rita puts her beak at the tip of R1’s beak when it is wanting to peck R2. Very interesting.

Here is a very short video of R3 hatching.

R3 is officially fully hatched at 10:32:01.

Rita is now showing us anything as R1 and R2 look outside the nest cup.

That nest cup is very small. Fingers crossed for this little one to catch up and the older siblings to be kind. There is lots of food and experienced parents.

Congratulations Rita! (and Ron)

I have yet to see Daisy the Duck return to the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her and her mate came to check it again on New Year’s Day. The Ring-tailed Possum still has its own nest amidst the twigs that have been added to this enormous structure over the years. It was running up and down around the tree last night.

It is hard to see it but if you look at the left side of the ‘V’ branch, it is running down to the bottom of the V and on the nest image, it is running up the other side.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Lads must have a pact. Each one of them gets to spend an entire day on the nest! First it was Bazza, then Falky came the other day, and now it is Ervie’s turn again! Ervie flew in with a piece of fish yesterday and it is believed that he must have caught it himself. However, later, he also received a fish from Dad, the last fish of the day. They have also been diving off the barge – Falky is very good at this and it is wonderful to see them figure out how to fish. We most often do not get this opportunity.

There is Ervie protecting his fish on the nest from any siblings that think they will fly in and grab it.

Falky and Bazza are leaving Ervie alone to enjoy his dinner.

And perhaps by prior arrangement or reservation, Ervie gets to sleep on the nest alone. So when we see that one of them is staying by themselves all day on the nest, we will not worry about them. It looks like they are taking reservations for occupancy! What characters these three boys are.

There are so many things that humans use for one thing that wind up harming anyone that comes near them. Today, let’s look at ‘sticky paper’. Strands of sticky paper used to be common where I live to catch mosquitoes and flies. In France they are still used to catch birds! What horror and today there are used to catch mice and rats. Any bird or animal that gets near this gooey paper will be harmed. This was posted by CROW. The last sentence is not there but they suggest calling your local wildlife rehabber. Do not try to do anything yourself.

The wee ones at Hilton Head are still small and fuzzy but E19 and E20 are growing fast. Today, they are out of the nest cup and sleeping with their head on the sides of the nest. This is a major change for these two. Their pin feathers are also coming in and we can see their little tails starting to grow as their wings get bigger and bigger.

Another possum was just brought on deck for dinner along with the remains of yesterday’s two fish.

Eating and growing make for one very tired E19.

An earlier feeding of fish.

All is well at Harriet and M15’s. The beaking has really slowed down. Let’s hope it stays that way!

We are on egg watch at Big Bear for Jackie and Shadow.

Here is the link to the camera of this favourite Bald Eagle couple. We wish them the best of luck as they struggle to have nestlings up in northern California. It is perhaps the lingering DDT in the area that continually causes the shells of their eggs to be thin or the eggs to be unviable. But, let’s start 2022 off with all your warm wishes. I hope this is their year – they are so dedicated to one another.

Pip watch for those followers of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest this weekend. Hoping that this year is better for Mum Connie and her new partner, Clive. Connie lost both of her chicks to rodenticide secondary poisoning last year. They were Hope and Peace. It was tragic. And, of course, rodenticide, like sticky paper, needs to be banned. Raptors and Cats are the answer to getting rid of rodents.

Here is the link to the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam:

I am trying to find streaming cams for raptors in Japan. In my quest to find a raptor cam in Japan for one of your fellow readers, I have found squirrel cams, monkey cams, cams for traffic and temples, cooking, etc. But I have yet to find a mention of a raptor cam. I will continue my quest but if any of you know of one, please let me know so we can all enjoy. Thank you so much!

The squirrels are adorable!

And the most incredible monkeys and deer but no raptors! This is Awaji Island.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many people, from all of the world, that love the raptors – and all the birds and animals. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CROW FB page, Awaji Island Monkey Center, and Yatsugatake Today.

From Port Lincoln to Kauai to Juneau

Oh, gosh. We really are going to miss these three boys when they finally leave the Port Lincoln barge. Ervie was wet this morning. He has been focusing very hard on finding a fish and catching it. We might never know, sadly, when that moment occurs – unless he brings it up to the ropes like Dad. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Bazza seems to have landed the first fish this morning on the nest. Falky doesn’t seem bothered and Ervie had flown off earlier.

Port Lincoln gave us a nice image of Bazza over on the ropes. These three males are quite handsome.

When Ervie flew back to the barge he was really keen on preening those feathers.

You can really see that sharply hooked beak that helps to tear the fish so they are easier to eat. Unlike Peregrine falcons, Ospreys do not have a tomial tooth. In my images it is a bit difficult to see that valve which seals the Osprey’s nostrils when they dive for their fish but, it is there.

Looking at that beautiful image of Ervie below you will notice that the Ospreys lack that very heavy eyebrow of some of the other raptors. Instead, they have that incredible black line which passes from the eye down to the neck. That black line helps them with the glare.

Ervie missed the the 8:14:14 fish that Dad brought in. Falky claimed in.

Port Lincoln has reported that Ervie has been flying farther. They also note that he has been checking out the coast. Here is the latest map of Ervie’s movements from the barge.

Ervie and his siblings will get their adult plumage at their first moult which is fully completed by the time they are a year old. That change in plumage does not indicate Ervie’s sexual maturity. Osprey do not normally breed until they are three years of age. The 2019 fledgling from Port Lincoln, Calypso, has been spotted sitting on a branch with a male. Might there be chicks next year? That would be marvellous!

When Penny Olsen’s book on the raptors of Australia was published in 1995, the map of Australia indicated that the Eastern Ospreys were located only around the coast. Ironically, that map did not indicate any ospreys in the Eyre Peninsula. This is one of the things that has changed since its publication. We have to look no further than the Port Lincoln Opsrey Barge and Thistle Island. We also know from Solly being the first tracked Osprey that the birds do go inland. Not all that far but further inland than anyone had understood previously. We are fortunate that Solly was able to provide so much information to us in the 14 months that she was alive. Port Lincoln can now compare the dispersal of a female to that of a male with the tracking of Ervie.

There are many threats to Osprey. I imagine that everyone reading my blog can name at least four. I want to add warming seas and the decline in fish numbers as yet another.

As you know, I highly recommend Dr Marc Bekoff’s book, The Emotional Lives of Animals. He also wrote The Ten Truths with Jane Goodall. A very moving story is coming from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some of you might recognize the name of Hob Osterlund. She posted a very moving story that can be added to the cornucopia of evidence that Bekoff and Goodall have that support animals having emotions which they express. Once you have read those two reasonably priced books, you will never ever apologize again for anthropomorphizing animals again.

Here is that posting:

Tears.

One of my readers ‘B’ asked me if I had seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I had not! So I went to check. Oh, my goodness, it is so beautiful. If you close your eyes you can see that beautiful Kindness using that nest and those branches like a trampoline. What a magnificent juvie Kindness was. She is off eating Salmon along the river.

On Taiaroa Head, 122 birds have been seen so far and there are 36 eggs laid. No mention yet on who the Royal cam stars for 2021-22 will be! Soon. And there has been no update on Grinnell. No further updates on WBSE 27 either.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and to Hob Osterlund and her FB page for that moving story. Much appreciated.

Up Close with Ervie

Port Lincoln gave everyone a real treat today by getting up close and personal with Ervie when he was on the perch.

Alan Poole calls the feet the ‘business end of the osprey.’ You can see the rough sandpaper bottom of the feet that stops the slippery fish from falling off and that reversible toe that swings backwards to hold the fish taut. The hooked talons join the barbs on the bottom of the feet and that amazing reversible toe to give the Osprey or ‘fish eagle’ its advantage when diving for its dinner.

I have never touched an Osprey. Would I like to? Of course, if it didn’t stress them out. If I were to rub the feathers of an osprey, Poole tells me that they would feel oily. The layers of these waterproof feathers really helps this raptor that will be diving (if a male) many times per day during the nesting period to feed his family. Of course, the females fish, too. Some better than their mates.

Ervie has something caught in his beak. It looks like an old piece of fish skin. He has been rooting around in the nest for leftovers ever since Falkey got the breakfast fish. Hopefully that old skin will dislodge.

Ervie’s beautiful juvenile feathers will wear out and will need to be replaced. It is called molting. The osprey has adapted for the feathers to be replaced gradually without disrupting their ability to fly and fish.

As an adult, Ervie will not have that beautiful white tip to his back and wing feathers. The plumage on his head will remain in the same pattern. Sometimes the pattern on the crown of the head is so distinctive that an unringed bird can be identified simply from that formation.

There is Ervie on 4 October. He was only 20 days old. A perfect little reptile waiting for the fish. Ervie was always my focus because he was the third hatch. I believe, however, that is Bazza closest to your screen with Falkey out of view. Ervie loved his fish just like he does now and he always liked to have his breakfast first. He was not shy about getting in the line even if Bazza tried to dissuade him.

Today, however, Falkey seems to be the only one eating. He landed the 06:55 fish. Bazza then found an old piece of fish and Ervie took that (probably what was hanging from his beak). Dad came with another delivery at 09:21 and Falkey got that one, too. This didn’t sit too well with Ervie and it got him a little agitated. Ervie starts fighting with Bazza while Falkey eats away. Both Ervie and Bazza wind up on the deck again. Will this be their time out corner?

Ervie pushes Bazza out of the nest backwards.

These two have been very lucky that they did not go in the water.

Just look at Ervie’s eyes. Bazza may be his sibling, the one who picked on him when he was younger but, I don’t feel any ‘love’ between these two.

By 09:56, some 35 minutes later, both brothers are back on the nest.

Eventually Ervie flies over to the other side of the ropes, Bazza and Falkey are in the nest (surely Falkey cannot eat a third fish), and Mum and Dad are in the shed or man cave. Everyone is screaming at Dad for fish. It reminds me of Emyr Evans saying that Ceri would be screaming her head off at Monty wanting fish and she would be standing on one. Endless pits. These Dads sure need to be fit if they are going to do a good job of providing for these big chicks.

Ervie is no shrinking violet, that is for sure. I am surprised, however, that he struck out at Bazza and didn’t go over and take the fish from Falkey. The day is young. It is not even noon on Sunday 21 November. Lots can still happen. Maybe Ervie will decide to try fishing. Now that would be simply grand.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

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