Star Fledges at Redding and brief news in Bird World

19 June 2022

We have been watching and waiting and Star fledged today at the Redding nest at 17:12. It was off camera. Congratulations to Liberty and Guardian, to Star, and to everyone who loves these beautiful eagles.

The camera found her. She will learn about which branches to land and take off. There were two prey deliveries after – Liberty and Guardian want Star and Sentry to come to the nest for food until they get their full flying credentials.

Another fledgling from today, L4, is trying to figure out how to land and take off! It looks very difficult.

Peregrine Falcons and Hawks eat pigeons. They love them! If you know of buildings that are putting out poison on their roofs because of the pigeons, speak to them. That rodenticide kills more than the pigeons. But there is now another threat to the falcons and the hawks – and that is pigeon nets. Stop with trying to get rid of the pigeons! Let the raptors do it!

This Peregrine Falcon at Leeds University was lucky!

https://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2022-06-13/university-pledges-to-remove-pigeon-nets-after-bird-rescue-goes-viral?fbclid=IwAR05H94OudOx9OkDWH3nVWtA0geQh3EjYzG9UYtmaaJzZY9RRSBuBz09J9o

At 15:19:47 Dad brought in a sucker to the ND-LEEF nest. 15 got it first. Little Bit watched and waited and at 15:45:53 did his now-famous ‘Snatch and Grab’ and stole the tail and a whole lot of fish on it! Way to go Little Bit 17. After working on that Raccoon earlier, that fish must have tasted really good!

Little Bit has moved in for the steal. You can see how much of that nice fish is left.

He goes for it!

Still eating. How could anyone not admire Little Bit 17? He has sure fought hard to live on this nest and now we are all anticipating a good fledge from this third hatch. Way to go Little Bit.

There is no good news coming out of the Loch of the Lowes. No fish deliveries. My own personal opinion is that something is wrong with Laddie – he is injured in some way and cannot fish ———–or there are otherwise no fish in that loch for him to catch! Blue NC0 has left the nest twice and returned wet but talons empty. If you hear anything about what is happening at this nest, please let me know.

There is a kestrel nest in Germany. The wee ones are so cute. They are also so hot. It is part of the heat wave that is hitting western Europe. 37 degrees C. The parents are Nanny and Ricky. It is unclear how the heat is going to impact this lovely family.

There were originally 9 eggs and there are five eyases. Here is a video of a feeding and below is the link to the camera.

You could hear him coming! Grinnell Jr returned to The Campanile after fledging. These visits will become less frequent and I know from hearing from many of you that you are having Lindsay and Grinnell Jr withdrawal. Cal Falcons will continue to post videos when the fledglings are in camera range. There is also the Instagram account of moon_rabbit_rising

Here is Junior’s visit today.

There are going to be two Peregrine Falcon nests to watch in Australia. One has a 24/7 feed from 3 cameras at Charles Sturt University at Orange. The other are the CBD (Central Business District) couple at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Both are worth watching at the same time. One is rural and one is as urban as you can get! Melbourne will come on line when there are eggs. Here is the link to Diamond and Xavier’s scrape in Orange. They are precious and you can often see prey deliveries from Xavier to Diamond in the scrape and ritual bonding there. There are two other cameras. Check them out on YouTube. One looks out to the exterior view from the back and the other is of the entire water tower where the scrape is located.

This is a very short posting. Was very very happy to see Little Bit had a good feed today – lots of raccoon and sucker. Just wonderful. The hot weather in Germany and in Europe might impact a lot of the nests in a very negative way – let us hope not but it could happen. And send every positive wish you can to the Loch of the Lowes nest. We have lost one chick to siblicide due to poor food deliveries. I just feel Laddie is injured. Will someone help Blue NC0 and the chicks? Ospreys are rarer than Golden Eagles in the UK. Let’s hope!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, Friends of Redding Eagles, Cornell RTH, and Windsbach Kestrels.

Victor Hurley answers your questions

If you missed the Q & A with Dr Victor Hurley, the researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Project, was live last week but if you missed it, here it is on YouTube. It is only audio- great presentation. There are some very good questions and answers that apply to the general population of peregrines.

My interest is in a small part of this discussion whereby corporations would be bound by a simple change in the wording of the law to protect the birds. Listen carefully. Check out your local situation if you can. See if you can help amend laws so that our lovely birds are protected.

There are some lovely books on Peregrine Falcons. Several in paperback. I highly recommend these:

  • The Peregrine by JA Baker
  • Falcon by Helen MacDonald
  • On the Wing. To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon by A Tennant
  • Peregrine Falcon by Patrick Stirling-Aird
  • The Peregrine’s Journey. A Story of Migration by Madeline Dunphy.

There are many others. Some better than others. The top three are my favourites.

For those of you that might have missed it, our darling Osprey, Ervie – the Little Bob who became the Big Bob – continues to be the ‘biggest’ and the leader. Ervie fledged yesterday at 13:17:38. Here it is:

What an amazing bird you are, Ervie.

I am outside for the rest of the day trying to make the garden inhabitable for the birds. The woodboxes have more than 45 cm of snow on top of them and so does the deck and the lawn. I will be checking on our bird families much later.

I hope that your Sunday is a good one. I do urge you to listen to Victor Hurley. It is a great discussion. You can turn it on and cook your dinner or have your tea and listen. Take care everyone! Thank you so much for being here.

Grinnell update!

The plumage on a Peregrine Falcon is incredibly cute. Those beautiful slate grey heads, the horizontal striped pantaloons, the white chest, the gorgeous yellow legs and talons and cere.

One of the cutest is the little 8 year old lad below, Grinnell. Grinnell was, until the 29th of October, the resident male along with his mate, Annie, at The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley in San Francisco. On that day, Grinnell had an altercation with two falcon interlopers. He was found grounded on a garbage can about a mile and a half from The Campanile. Was he driving the interlopers out? was he fleeing? We will never know. Fortunately, he was found and taken into care at the Lindsay Wildlife Centre. There he had surgery on his wing and received antibiotics, anti-parasites, and anti-inflammatory drugs. He was doing well enough when he arrived at the clinic that he could feed himself. Apparently he quite loved the quail!

As you can see from the FB posting below, Grinnell is doing well.

Decisions will be made as to where he will be released by a couple of agencies. It is not known if Grinnell will return and fight for his territory and Annie, his mate of 6 years. Only time will tell. The good news is that Grinnell is recovering from his injuries.

Meanwhile, Annie has been getting friendly with the intruder. Oh, I wish it would go away! Annie does not know where Grinnell is and she has been scraping in the box, etc indicating that she is receptive to the new male. Falcon experts have stated that Annie will not enter into the battle if the two males rival for the territory – prime real estate! She will want to protect herself so that she will be healthy during breeding season.

Keep sending positive thoughts Grinnell’s way.

I know that some have been worried about the falcon left on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. At 11:12, Dad brought a huge prey item onto the ledge. You can see the eyas beginning to mantle, very excited. The bird was not prepped and Dad worked on it but the chick was not eating. I am not a vet but it appears that something is causing the chick to not be able to open its beak wide enough to eat. The chick appears not to be preening despite the floof (this normally causes them to itch and preen constantly) and I am concerned that there is ‘something’ not right.

I am not that familiar with the birds in Australia but it looks like it could be a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo or a Gull.

I feel really sorry. The Dad is working hard to feed and get the little one to eat and well, it appears that it can’t. It is only a guess as to what is wrong with the chick. Will anyone do anything to get it into care, I do not know. Every country and even every state is different in their laws and attitudes. All we can do is hope that the wee bird will improve on its own.

The weather in Port Lincoln is dire. One of the boats near the barge has gone under the water in the rough waves. No one was on board. It is a cold front moving through the area. It is 13 degees C with 32 kph winds. It is not a good day for fishing with the choppy water but the osplets have been doing some hovering. I hope they don’t get blown off the nest prematurely! So far they are all safe and secure!

I wish I had better news about the little falcon on Collins Street. Send lots of love and positive wishes for there to be a turn around or — for a miracle and someone approve it going into care.

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank the individuals who have shared the FB posting about Grinnell.

Seeing Double?

If you are starting to wonder what is going on with the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne, you are not alone! Early this morning there was only one falcon (I believe a female) left on the ledge of the building to fledge. She was pretty frantic early in the morning looking up and acting like there was a bird – maybe on the next ledge. She ran back and forth excited stopping to look. Then an adult brought in prey, she ran down to the other end of the ledge away from the camera to eat.

She was quite excited seeing the other bird.

Something really interesting happens after 11am. It has started to rain and the eyas on the ledge is quite dry. She is not agitated like she was a few hours earlier leading me now to believe that it was an adult with prey trying to lure her off the ledge as opposed to a sibling. Without another camera, we will never know for certain.

What we do know is that around 11:00, the lone eyas on the ledge began to look around. It is raining in Melbourne. You can see it on the ledge of the building and in the distance.

It is fairly dry – this ledge is a good place to be on a rainy day.

Something has her curiosity.

Ah, maybe it is just time to see if there is any leftover prey in the gutter.

After exploring, she gets very close to where the camera is and acts like she is going to run to the other end.

She does a pivot and runs back.

She finds an old piece of bone with some feathers in the scrape box and begins playing with it.

Then she stops and just looks out over the horizon very calmly.

Our girl cannot believe her eyes. Look at who is running down the ledge – a sibling!

People wondered if she might be lonely. It would certainly be different going from four to being the only one left and seeing the others flying about.

She turns her head really funny to see the sibling in the scrape.

Within a couple of minutes they are both sitting on the ledge, trying to stay dry. Whether or not they are enjoying one another’s company is anyones guess.

Yes, you are seeing double. People always wonder whether or not the falcons will fly back to the location of the scrape box. You now have an answer: yes, they will.

With hawks, the fledglings might continue to come back to the nest to be fed, sometimes they sleep on the nest or perch, and in other years, they never come back to the nest preferring to roost in trees or buildings. So, the answer is it varies from year to year and nest to nest. It sure is nice to see another one though, isn’t it? It just confirms that at least two of them are safe and sound. One fledgling, one nestling.

Maybe this returnee will encourage the nestling to fledge – after it stops raining. Falcons know that it is much easier flying with dry feathers than wet ones!

For those of you that might have been wondering what is going on, I thought I should let you know that there are two on the ledge. It could become more. Funny. The one that fledged has more fluffy down still stuck to its juvenile feathers. There is a tiny little mohawk on the crown.

Take care all. See you soon. Thank you so much for joining me and thanks again to 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and video clip.

Collins Street Commotion

This morning at 5:59 one of the eyases at 367 Collins Street started ‘carrying on’. She was quite worked up.

She is calling and running back and forth on the ledge. In fact, she has been doing this and looking up for the past fifteen minutes. She is the last one on the ledge and there is someone on a higher ledge edging her on. You can certainly hear her! Is it a sibling? is it Mum or Dad?

Around 07:59, there was a prey delivery at the other end of the ledge. Our lonely little ‘last one on the ledge’ ran, very hungry. All went quiet! Maybe she got the entire pigeon to herself.

Breakfast has arrived.

Oh, she sure can run when food is involved! Amazing parents.

The last chick on the scrape hatched three days later than the others. This could, of course, be the reason. But it could also be that she is a large female. One year there was a large female left on the nest, the last to fledge. She was Big Red and Arthur’s J1 from 2020. She really did not want to leave the light stand. She didn’t seem to have the confidence to fly but she did once that Little J3, the third hatch, flew. Sadly, J1 flew into a window a week or so later. J2 and J3 survived and left the area for their own territory many weeks later but, I always wondered if J1 had just waited a little longer would it have made a difference? Perhaps not.

Three ringed osplets in nest, Mum on perch, Dad in his man cave. 10 November 2021

Yesterday, the Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge fed the three ringed nestlings for over two hours, from 14:05-16:32. Someone felt sorry for her. I would like to take a different view. Yes, it was a long feeding but she knows that these three wonderful chicks will not be on the nest much longer. Yes, this might appear to be anthropomorphizing but she knows that they are about ready to fly. Just like keeping control of the food so everyone eats, she knows.

There are a lot of people thinking that Ervie is going to be the first to fledge. Here he is winging it right as the sun is coming up on the peninsula.

Mum has just flown off the nest. Ervie is watching her.

She returns with a fish. Mum has control and everyone has eaten. You will notice that Ervie is still up at her beak.

Oh, and Ervie is still getting fed 9 minutes later! What a guy. I really hope he is a good fisher and he remembers all these nice fish that Dad brought to the nest because that is going to be his ‘job’ as a male Osprey. He is the supplier of fish.

There is some very good news coming out of Port Lincoln. The osplets on Thistle Island were ringed, weighed, measured, and named yesterday. Guess what? Two healthy females. The largest came in at 1630 grams – 250 grams or nearly half a pound – large than Ervie on the PLO nest. That female was named Meg and carries a Maroon band. The other female is named Lucy and she has an Orange band. I began to imagine these lads at the PLO nest pairing up with them in a couple of years. Buy some more barges PLO!

There was more excitement on Thistle Island. Two other Osprey nests with chicks were found! Incredible. So happy for the success of the Ospreys in the region. If you want to read more about this or see the images please go to FB and search for Port Lincoln Osprey.

It is a beautiful day on the Canadian prairies. Tomorrow they are promising – 100% rain or snow. The squirrels are busy finding nuts and there are fewer and fewer geese about. It has been so nice for so long that I began to doubt if we were going to have winter. Silly me.

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

Thank you to the 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clip.

Updates on Diamond and Grinnell

Diamond slept in the scrape box last night. She continues to limp and her wing feather was drooping a bit this morning when she was feeding Yarruga. That said, the fact that she fed Yarruga instead of having Xavier undertake it seems, in my untrained eyes, to indicate that she is feeling a wee bit better.

It is a bit foggy in Orange. Diamond and Yarruga are waiting for Xavier to deliver breakfast.

Here comes Xavier! Yarruga is 28 days old. She knows when the parents make certain sounds that a prey delivery is coming. Look, she is calling with Diamond.

Xavier has arrived.

Sweet Xavier. Diamond is pulling the breakfast over. Yarruga doesn’t think she is going fast enough and wants to help! Diamond did not stumble nearly as much as she did yesterday. That is so good to see.

Bye Dad. In the image below you can see that the right wing is a bit droopy.

However, in the image below, taken 5 seconds later, the wing tips are crossing as they should. This is very good.

Breakfast is over. Both need to clean their beaks.

Ah, Yarruga has found some scraps on the gravel. It will not be long until she is wanting to self-feed all the time. She is really growing fast.

Is there another word for cute? Maybe it is Yarruga.

At this stage she reminds me of a Christmas ornament I have that is a fluffy sheep.

The Mercury News reported on Grinnell:

//www.mercurynews.com/2021/11/03/uc-berkeleys-beloved-peregrine-falcon-injured-in-turf-war/

The Daily California is reporting on Grinnell as well.

Grinnell who is 8 years old and has been the mate with Annie for 5 years on University of California at Berkley’s Campanile had to undergo minor surgery and is being treated with antibiotics. One of the spokespeople said, ““Raptors heal relatively quickly … so Grinnell might be fit enough to start working on moving and flights so that he can be released,” Schofield said. “He will need to put on some extra weight to make sure he can fly strong enough to be released.”  The clinic at Walnut Creek will release Grinnell back on the UC-Berkeley Campus but not at the Campanile as the intruders are there.

I have quoted ‘intruders’ as indicated in the news bulletin. This morning UC Cal Falcon cam is only stating one male falcon and that it went into the scrape and is wanting to court Annie.

UC Cal Falcons will hold a Q & A session giving updates on Grinnell’s condition and the territory issue on Friday at 2pm. If you are interested, you can set a reminder on the link below.

I will be reporting on the announcement as soon as the session is over if you cannot attend on line.

Send good positive energy out to these two amazing birds. Swift recovery and back home with Annie, Grinnell.

It is sunny and just a lovely cool day on the Canadian Prairies. All of the Slate Eyed Juncos are gone from the garden but 3. Junior got to enjoy the corn cob this morning without Dysons’s interference, and there are still some Canada Geese on the golf course nearby. Most of the migrating birds have now left despite the fact that it will be 10 degrees C on Friday.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me.

Thank you to Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

How is Diamond?

Diamond is the female at the Charles Sturt University Peregrine Falcon scrape box on the University’s water tower. Her mate is Xavier and their only chick this season is Yarruga. Yarruga is 27 days old today. Its name means ‘Sunny’ in Maori.

Several days ago Diamond injured herself, probably in a hunting incident. Her right wing was a bit droopy and she continues to have difficulty putting all of her weight on her right foot. Her mate, Xavier, has often taken over the feeding duties of Yarruga because feeding requires putting pressure on the feet to hold the prey and pull up to get the bites off for the chick.

Yarruga was particularly hungry this afternoon. Diamond was on the ledge of the scrape watching over her baby, trying to get some sleep, and also attempting to keep the weight off the right leg.

Instead of writing how Diamond is doing, I thought it was just best to take a few video clips so you can see for yourself. They do say a picture is worth a 1000 words.

Here is the first one. Diamond has been resting on the ledge of the scrape. She has kept her right leg slightly elevated and has been able to sleep some. Yarruga is hungry and, since this is the big growth spurt for Yarruga, she sees a parent and thinks it is dinner time. Poor Diamond. Yarruga is prey begging.

Xavier brings in the Starling that was left over from an earlier feeding. The falcons have a place where they stash food. It is a great idea. They never waste a single bit of the prey they kill for food. (We could all take a lesson from them!). Diamond wants to feed Yarruga. The following two clips are from later in the feeding.

The feeding went on for some time. This is the last bit of where Diamond finishes feeding Yarruga and then flies off with the rest of the Starling. Despite the fact that she doesn’t like Starling (prefers pigeons and parrots), it would not be easy for her to hunt now while she is healing so she will happily eat the Starling leftovers.

It still appears that Diamond is in a lot of pain. She is really limping but her wing appears to be better. It must be difficult because she wants to take care of her baby. I think that is why I actually believe she is improving. She could have flown out and let Xavier feed Yarruga but she chose to do it herself. It is going to take some time for her to heal and we need to continue to send her our best and most positive wishes.

A quick glance at other nest news:

The 367 Collins Street ‘Four’ decided to run along the gutter and let us have some really good glimpses of how they are growing and changing today. Remember when you look at them that they are precisely one week older than Yarruga. It is hard to imagine that they were mostly covered with white down a week ago! Here they are wanting to fly – and way too soon, they will.

The down is really coming off. They are so curious about the world outside of the scrape. Mum and Dad have been doing aerial demonstrations for them. This is something that the adults do to try and entice the eyases to fledge.

The Port Lincoln Osplets will be banded, named, and at least one will get a sat-pak on Monday 8 November, Australian time. Remember! It is possible that we will only get to see the event on tape. It is exciting. I cannot wait to see if Little Bob is a female with those thick stubby legs!

Just look at the size of Dad’s wing. Together they would be wider than the nest! He is bringing in the second fish of the day. Now when Mum begins calling the chicks join in. It is really sweet.

Mum is so quick to pull that fish off Dad’s talons. I often wonder if the males ever get injured when this happens.

Today, Little Bob is more interested in watching Dad go down to his man cave on the deck of the barge than being first in line to eat. That is almost shocking.

The trio are pancaked. They have eaten so much. Mum brought another fish in at 13:50 – their third of the day. On average, the osplets have 7 feedings a day so far. Fantastic parents. Can’t say enough good things about how well they have worked together this season.

There has been no new updates on WBSE 27 since 1 November, Australian time. When I hear anything, I will let you know.

Thank you for joining me and checking in to see how Diamond is progressing. We just have to be patient – and that is hard when we see her in pain. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Charles Stuart University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

The Falcon

We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

If you have not read Henry Beston’s book, The Outermost House. A Year of life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod, you might want to check and see if your local library has a copy. Or, like me, you might want to check out the many on line used book shops unless, of course, you happen to live close to one. It is also very reasonably priced new at $17.99

Beston is entranced by his surroundings. His intent was to spend only a fortnight in the cabin on the windblown dunes but, as he became more and more enthralled with the seaside, the migrating birds, the blowing sand and the waves that surrounded him day in and day out, he could not leave. Beston spent a year living on the shore. He listened, observed, and began to understand the natural world. Beston would sit and write, often looking out a west window, observing the Terns and the Hawks. His descriptions of their lives is nothing short of vivid. You can almost reach out and hear the splash of the waves as a storm approaches or feel the warmth of the sun on a summer’s day or hear the birds.

As an art historian (at least in another life), I appreciate Beston spending some time reflecting on how the ancient Egyptians depicted the birds and animals in their art. He said, “The longer I live here and the more I see of birds and animals, the greater my admiration becomes for those artists who worked in Egypt so many long thousand years ago, drawing, painting, carving in the stifling quiet of the royal tombs.” Beston believed that the Egyptians were the only ones who were able to portray their true psyche. “A hawk of stone carved in hardest granite on a temple wall will have the soul of all hawks in his eyes. Moreover, there is nothing human about these Egyptian creatures. They are self-contained and aloof as becomes folk of a first and intenser world.”

Indeed, the Egyptians covered the inner chambers of their burial tombs with images of hawks, carved statues out of stone, painted their portraits on papyrus, and cast small amulets.

“Horus” by swanksalot is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“Horus – Temple of Seti I” by Riley and Amos is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Sheet gold collar depicting a falcon representing the god Horus found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb New Kingdom 18th Dynasty Egypt 1332-1323 BCE” by mharrsch is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis. Osiris is the God of the Dead as well as the God of Resurrection. His partner, the goddess, Isis , helps the dead through the afterlife. Together with their son, Horus, who is depicted with a falcon head wearing a crown with a cobra, they are to Egyptians, the holy family.

The name Horus means ‘the one who is above’ or ‘the one who is distant’. The eye of Horus, the Wedjat, is depicted in many works of art. It is said that the god’s right eye held the sun while his left eye held the moon. They represented power and healing and appear on many works of art and amulets as protective devices.

“The Eye of Horus, the Great Hypostyle Hall, the Temple of Hathor, Dendara, Egypt.” by ER’s Eyes – Our planet is beautiful. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Eye of Horus, seen in the centre of the tomb painting above, became a powerful amulet in Old Egypt. The notion that Horus can protect a person continues today. Talismans of all types appear at the stalls in the old markets throughout Cairo and even on running shoes worn by teenagers.

Horus is a falcon. All one has to do is look at the profile of the peregrine falcons to see the similarity between the Egyptian representations of Horus. Peregrine Falcons are Apex Predators. That means that there are very few animals that will harm them – they are at the top of the food chain, so to speak. They are capable of flying at 390 kmh making them the fastest bird or animal on the planet. The falcons would have been known, of course, to the ancient Egyptians. There are written records of the falcons as early as 10,000 BCE in the Middle East.

There are many books on falcons. One that I particularly like was released in 1967. It is The Peregrine by J.A. Baker. There is a recent reprint with an excellent introduction by Robert MacFarlane, British nature writer and critic. If you are into falcons, I highly recommend it.

I have been thinking a lot about falcons. Yesterday when Diamond did not return to the scrape box at Orange for nearly ten hours, Xavier just stepped in and took care of their eyas. Just watching Yarruga or the 367 Collins Street Four in Melbourne gives me pause to contemplate Beston’s quote at the beginning of this blog. I can also ‘hear’ the falconer, Laura Culley, answering someone who asked if Big Red, the Red-tailed Hawk at Cornell, would know that one of her fledglings had died. Laura fired back, “And why wouldn’t she?!” One of the ways that we can move forward to find a balance between humans and the natural world is for us humans to stop thinking that we are superior. Beston is right – we aren’t. For so many people that I know, the birds continue to be the messengers of the gods giving us signals and warnings – if only we could recognize them.

Xavier did a top notch job of taking care of little Yarruga. This morning he brought in a Starling for Diamond to feed the little one. Diamond’s right wing was still a little droopy then.

Diamond gave the chick part of the bird and left with the remainder. A little later Xavier flew into the scrape box with a nice plump pigeon. He stuffed Yarruga til the wee one could hold no more.

Xavier is getting the hang of feeding Yarruga but he gets anxious the more Yarruga begs for food (or screams for it) as he finishes plucking the prey. So today, once again, Xavier fed Yarruga lots of feathers and, also, one of the legs of the pigeon. It had to have been larger than the one the other day. Yarruga struggled for awhile. Then bit the leg into two parts and Xavier then continued to feed her pigeon.

Yarruga’s crop was getting bigger and bigger. Xavier is doing a fantastic job feeding his chick. Do you remember all those days Xavier wanted to feed the newly hatched Yarruga and Diamond wouldn’t let him? Oh, he is making up for that desire to care for his baby now.

At the end, he is still wanting to make sure that Yarruga is no longer hungry. Diamond would be proud.

Diamond rested herself in one of her spots – possibly a nearby tree or on top of the water tower. Her shoulder or wing might just be bruised or sore. However, by the early afternoon, her wing was looking better and was back in place. You can see that in the image below.

The 367 Collins Street Four are losing down and losing down. They now look like Peregrine Falcons instead of fluffy little samurai warriors running up and down the gutter.

Here they were a few days ago:

Here they are today:

They have really changed. Just look at the one in the background standing on the ledge outside the scrape. What beautiful juvenile plumage.

All of the falcons seem to be just fine – including Diamond. She just needed to rest. With only one chick in the scrape and not four, Diamond can let Xavier be more active in both hunting and feeding. Having one is certainly less stress. It is, however, such a relief to have Diamond and her wing back to normal.

The following is an update on WBSE 27:

Thank you so much for joining me. Falcons are wonderful birds. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: the 367 Collins Street Falcon Cam by Mirvac and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross. I would also like to than the Sea Eagle Cam FB Page for the update on WBSE 27 which I have cut and pasted here.

Please note: The blog for Monday, 1 November may not appear until late evening. I hope the weather is not too bad so that I can get out and catch up on the ducks and geese and there is, apparently, an influx of Robins in our City.

Diamond is home!

Yesterday, Diamond, the female Peregrine Falcon at Orange, flew out of the scrape box at 7:44:33. Xavier was watching for Diamond from the ledge as well as looking out for Yarruga. Xavier was such a sweetie. He fed Yarruga three times, getting better with each meal.

After eight hours and Diamond had not returned, worry was setting in.

I am overjoyed to tell you that Diamond returned at 17:21 after being away for almost ten hours. What a relief! One of her wings is drooping and she might have been involved in ‘something’ but hopefully, she will be back to herself when she wakes up today, 1 November, in Australia.

Diamond stared at the two eggs but she did not incubate them. She slept upright on her stones in the corner.

Yarruga was so happy to see Mum. Sadly, you can see that right wing drooping in the image below.

Send all your positive wishes to Diamond for a quick recovery.

If you love Peregrine Falcons, Xavier and Diamond are a great family to watch. I do adore the Melbourne ‘Four’ but, I want to add that because this falcon family is in this scrape box and there are two cameras, you can always see what is happening.

Please check them out. Here is the link to the streaming cam:

This is just such a relief. I knew you would want to know!

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you again soon!

Thank you to Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Yurruga just wants food!

Diamond and Xavier’s little eyas doesn’t seem to care who feeds it – or if it is a Starling or a Parrot – Yurruga just wants food!

Xavier brought in a Starling last evening. As everyone knows, Xavier loves to feed his chick but, he often doesn’t get the chance. Diamond is a very protective Mum.

Xavier arrives at 18:51:01. Diamond is not in the scrape. Yurruga is hungry and starts squealing immediately. It is Xavier’s chance to feed his baby!

“Sssssshhhhhh. Be Quiet Yurruga. Diamond will hear you.”

Yurruga is so hungry it won’t let Xavier pluck the bird before it starts snipping at the feathers in Xavier’s beak.

At one point there were feathers stuck to both Xavier and Yarruga’s beak. They looked like they were putting on moustache disguises.

Oh, dear. At 18:53:06, Xavier feeds Yurruga the leg of the Starling. Diamond is not going to like this.

Xavier realizes what has happened. He watches Yurruga trying to hork (gobble) the leg and foot down its throat.

Oh, dear. Xavier tries to take it back.

Xavier tries to get the leg and foot out of Yurruga’s throat but he can’t. He looks like he is in a panic. The chick will not let go of the leg!

At 18:53:33, Yurruga finishes horking the leg and immediately turns and bites Xavier’s beak.

Yurruga is really, really hungry. It starts squealing and Xavier starts feeding it the meat of the Starling and the organs. Xavier must be terribly relieved that the chick did not choke on that leg! Maybe Diamond won’t find out!!!

Here is a video clip of the incident with its ending.

The morning sun is just waking up and so is Yurruga. It is Monday, 25 October in Orange, Australia. This can only mean another day of adventures with Yarruga, Xavier, and Diamond. No telling what is going to happen! This scrape box is full of surprises.

Here is the link to join in:

This is a great streaming cam and falcon family to watch!

Fact of the Day: Peregrine Falcons are known to lay their eggs and raise their chicks on the sides of cliffs and in human made scrape boxes. It was understood that they did not make or use twig nests because of the chance of disease and pests. At the Knepp Castle, Isabella Tree reports that a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made a nest in a tree. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule but this might prove interesting if other falcons make the estate their home using trees as nesting sites.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care of yourselves.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University’s Falcon Project and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam. That is where I took my screen shots and video clip.