Gold Star for PLO Dad – again!

It was a gorgeous day to be outside clearing up after the birds and replenishing their feeders and bowls. The gossip around the City is that the Robins are making their way through and stopping over for a bit before heading farther South. I don’t blame them. The wind is hardly blowing, the leaves are now golden, and the sky is blue. It is 24 degrees F. I would enjoy a vacation here if I didn’t live here, too!

It is nasty down in Port Lincoln, Australia. It is 11 degrees with 37 mph winds. Not as bad at the moment as yesterday but, the waves were fairly high and rough a bit earlier. That said I am just gobsmacked by the Port Lincoln Dad. A really nice fish hit the decks of the nest on the barge at 7:00:33. From some of the flapping going on, it appeared to be still alive. Little Bob doesn’t care! He just wants breakfast. I am certain that he currently has no idea of the effort his Dad went to getting that prize on the table.

There is a wee bit of chaos on the nest when the fish arrives. In front, with those lovely light grey stomach markings, and ‘staring’ at the fish is Little Bob. Oh, he does love his fish.

It really helps to get in the right position for Mum to see you. Little Bob keeps his eye on Mum and that fish. He needs to get himself up to the table and Big Bob is in the way.

Ah, Little Bob moves up. He is in the foreground or on the left of the choir but it is not a good place to be. Mom is feeding from the front of the fish. Little Bob really does like to go first. Will he move or stretch his neck?

They are all lined up nicely.

OK. Little Bob has relocated. He wants Mum to see his wide open mouth and fill it with fish. Do you think this is a better spot?

Bingo. The sun shines down on the ‘Golden Child’. The two older sibs look like they would rather lay down and not have the wind hit their faces. Little Bob prefers to eat.

Both Eyes wide open as well as beak open.

Yes! Little Bob is in the perfect spot. The others don’t seem to care. Indeed, they could well be used to him going first. There is always lots of fish to go around.

I wish you could see the smile on my face. Remember the day that Big Bob wanted to push her weight around and try and be dominant? You will recall that it didn’t work. Some of these third hatches are just brilliant. Little Bob is one of those. He doesn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer so he figures out a strategy. Moving worked today.

Something happens. Mum starts feeding the big sibling in between Little Bob and the fish! Little Bob opens his mouth wide over and over again to try and get Mum’s attention.

It looks like the same image below, it isn’t. Little Bob tries over and over again. “Hey, Mum. Look, my mouth is open. Right here”.

Will his persistence pay off?

Finally!

Little Bob is getting some good bites. You can see the fish on his beak.

Little Bob is still opening wide. He has dropped the little crop he had and he is wanting more fish. Mum and Dad might have different ideas about that.

Did Dad want fish left for another feeding in case he couldn’t catch another one for awhile? It is unclear. At 7:32:57 Dad comes to retrieve the fish.

Every chick ate. Little Bob wanted some more bites but Mum said it was time to stop.

Surprise! Dad ate some of the fish and brought it back to Mum and the kids at 8:09:50.

It is difficult to see but it looks like everyone is crowded around Mom. The nest looks wet and cold. Hopefully that sun will come out and dry it tomorrow.

Is there someone still eating?

There is no telling who got what or how much. It is really windy and I bet chilly on the nest. Mom has them tucked in tight. The worst thing would be to get a chill in that damp nest.

Despite the cool windy weather, the chicks have had two feedings off that nice fish in the space of an hour and a half. Mom has them tucked in and they will be super toasty. Everything is fine on this nest. Just fine.

Mum and Dad are busy getting groceries for the four little falcons. My goodness they are growing and seem to be getting bigger and stronger by the hour. All you need to do is to take a look at the size of that wing in the image below to see the growth in a couple of days. Wow.

Xavier got a chance to incubate the eggs this morning so he was super eggcited.

WBSE 27 and 28 had an early feeding and they are both perfect – strengthening their legs and wings and getting very interested in the world outside of the nest. This has also been a great family to watch this year, just like the Port Lincoln Osprey family. No big dramatic events in either.

That is it for me today. I hope you had a very good weekend no matter where you are or what time it is. Take care everyone. See you soon!

And a last reminder. Mark you calendars. 9 October is eBird count day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange.

Sydney White-Bellied Sea Eaglets

There was concern that siblicide was occurring on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is time to put those fears aside. Prey delivery has become regularized and the two are fed regularly, growing, and are becoming curious about what is happening outside the nest.

The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are Australia’s second largest bird of prey. They have a wing span of 1.8-2.2 metres or 6-7 feet. They weigh up to 4.2 kg or 9 lbs. The female is larger and weighs more than the male. This is known as reverse sex size dimorphism. The adults on the Sydney Olympic Park Ironbark Tree are Lady and Dad. There have been a succession of breeding couples using this tree nest for decades.

In 2021, WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July at 4:57 and WBSE 28 hatched 31 July at 5:48 pm. Just to remind you how tiny they were here are two images in those first few days.

In the first image WBSE 27 was not quite 24 hours old.

In this one, WBSE is not quite 24 hours old and WBSE 27 is almost 48 hours old. You can clearly see the egg tooth, the white piece on the tip of the beak that helps them break through the hard egg shell.

Now look at the two of them. WBSE 27 is on the right with WBSE 28 on the left. You can see how 48 hours difference in age impacts the growth of the juvenile feathers.

In terms of the development, we are entering weeks 5 and 6. By week 5, the chicks will still have their white down. Pin feathers will appear on the shoulders, the back and the wing tips. If you look at the image above you can see these dark feathers coming in on each of the chicks. They should be standing on both feet, checking out the nest, and trying to pick up food. They may start to flap their wings. As we get to week 6, more and more of the dark feathers will begin to show all over the chick’s body. They will preen a considerable amount of time per day. They will now do more wing flapping and standing on both of their feet without the aid of the wings. They will continue efforts at self-feeding (if allowed, Lady does love to feed them!).

Looking forward to developments during week 7, the chicks will do a lot more preening as the dark brown juvenile feathers will continue to grow over their entire bodies. It has to be really itchy – those feathers coming in. Their tail will become noticeable. When they sit they may spread their wings. You may see them begin mantling. They will become more steady on their feet. One notable change is the chick’s interest in grapsing twigs and food with their feet. They should continue to work on self-feeding but this, of course, depends on whether or not prey is left on the nest for them to practice.

WBSE 27 is standing nicely on his feet. WBSE 28 still has a crop from an earlier feeding. You can really see how many wing feathers are coming in. Just look at that little tail developing.

It looks like 28 has a bit of a food coma. 27 is busy looking at what is happening outside the nest.

WBSE continues to work on its balance. Notice how it is holding out its wings for balance. Often the birds will use the tip of the win to keep them steady on their feet. By the end of the 6th week, they should be standing without using the wings. WBSE 28 is working hard to do this.

WBSE is also curious as to what the adult is doing up on the branch. Notice how 28 is sitting with its wings loose to the sides. Sometimes I find that the chicks on the nest are actually ahead of the development scales for that week.

Lady has come a long way in her parenting skills. Both chicks wait their turn to be fed. She will give 28 a few bites and then 27 and then back to 28. This method has given the chicks food security and reduced the pecking of 28 by 27.

Lady always looks like she is smiling to me.

Here is the link to the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam.

Thank you so much for joining me. I know that there are so many people who love these little eagles and I wanted to reassure all that the nest is very calm and peaceful and the chicks are developing normally. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Monday in Bird World

If you are looking to take ‘decent’ photos of Canada geese, if it is a hot day in the afternoon, don’t bother. They are all taking siestas! Best time is in the morning and early evening. The Cooper’s hawks were not about either.

We had a lovely walk through the park anyway. It was just a beautiful end of the summer day i. The flowers are still blooming in the English Garden and there were more than eight people with their cameras cuddled up by the Bee Balm trying to see if they could catch a glimpse of a hummer. They were probably sleeping like the ducks.

Most of the time this pond is full of Canada geese. Not a one. A couple of lonely ducks out on the water.

This is the tower at the Duck Pond at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

All of the water features and the move from full sun to shade gardens made the stroll delightful. There were a few people wishing they could put their feet in the lotus pond.

So we drove to a different, small park. That is actually where we found the geese sleeping and alerted me to why we could not see them in the big park. Only a few were foraging in the grass.

The juvenile wood ducks are getting bigger! They have tripled in size in a couple of weeks.

The Mallards were so busy digging in the dirt under the bark they hardly noticed me.

What is she looking for?

They are sifting through the mud and bark near the pond searching for bugs, maggots, and anything else that they can feed on including little plants. The behaviour is perfectly normal!

This gentleman got back in the water and cleaned himself off later.

There were a few geese not sleeping. These were hot and stood at the edge of the pond drinking for about five minutes.

Then they decided to do a lot of preening.

Mr Crow was simply upset at everyone today. There were people having picnics not too far away. I wonder if he was looking for some treats? It was actually good to see that no one was feeding the ducks cakes and bread. The signs are working!

Gosh, isn’t this male Wood Duck lovely? What stunning colours and that big red eye.

Another one of the juvenile Wood Ducks.

This little male decided to swim right up so I could get a good shot of him. They have the most gorgeous patterning. The swept back crest and those iridescent feathers are just stunning. He had to be the most handsome male at the pond today.

He swam away.

And then he turned around again.

Male ducks are called ‘drakes’.

This is a male Wood Duck undergoing eclipse during the summer. During this time he will lose his beautiful male plumage but he will get it back in the fall. Some ducks are unable to fly when they molt. The females also molt too.

Oh, isn’t this female Mallard gorgeous?

She might not be as colourful as the male Wood Duck but she is always a beauty. Did you know that female ducks are called ‘hens’?

The Mallards were simply going crazy splashing up and down in the water today. It was like they were trying to shake the plants up from the bottom of the pond so they could eat them.

What a beauty. Just before she flew off.

All of the ducks will hatch their eggs, take care of their babies, molt, regrow their feathers, and everyone will hope to eat well before they migrate.

The ducks in the nature centres and parks are not ringed so that they can be counted if they are shot! We enjoy learning about their life cycles and watching their babies grow. Oh, I would not be popular in places where hunting is popular!

Just a some notes about what is happening in the rest of Bird World. The people running the Sydney Sea Eagle cam have turned it back on. They believe that the danger for WBSE 28 has passed. Both of the little sea eagles have been eating well and prey has been regular. This is fantastic news.

The last of the Black Storklings that was fed on the nest in Jegova County took an unusual flight path when it left for migration. And then,Julge decided not to fly but to get on a boat and it is now heading for Primorsk, Russia. It should be there on 31 August. Julge is the purple line showing in the middle of the sea on the Birdmap tracking. I hope that Julge is OK and corrects his flight path. It would be very cold in that northern part of Russia in the winter.

Diamond even accepted a Starling from Xavier today for her lunch. There has been lots of mating – sounds heard on the camera – but no egg yet.

This morning Idris was on the Dyfi nest defending it. What expressions came on this Osprey! His son, Dysynni has not been seen since Saturday the 28th at 10:57.

I know that lots of people like to plan trips – when we can travel again – to see the Osprey. It seems that those down in Poole Harbour, England have hit the jackpot. All of the migrating birds are stopping there to feed and rest. So think end of August – Poole Harbour!

Thanks for joining me today. Tiny Tot and Tiny Little are out somewhere making their way in the world. We want them to stay safe – all the birds – and all of you. Take care.

Thanks to the following for their screen cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University, Orange, and Cilla Kinross, the Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre and the folks running the BirdMap.

Late Tuesday happenings in Bird World

There is an excellent and rather cheeky article on the penthouse of our Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Meanjin Quarterly coming out of Australia. The author is Ester Anatolitis. It is outrageously funny and clever. Check it out!

For anyone who missed the news, the female at Collins Street laid that second egg today at 16:43. Yahoo!

I am posting a video that was shared on one of my Osprey FB groups today. There is a bit of foul language but it is the subject and the ‘heart’ of what is going on that is important and that is why I want you to find it and watch it. It also happened in Canada! Near Ottawa. A juvenile Osprey takes its first flight. Where does it land up? On the ground, of course! It is found by this couple who help it. If you have read my posts about Malin, this is what should have happened Thursday night. The wildlife rehabber should have been allowed access to the gate and stairs to get to the top of the tower with her binoculars. She could have found Malin and helped him – just like this couple did this Osprey!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/829595230542720/posts/1938586209643611

I was actually trying not to mention Malin for once but, this video caught my eye because it is the ‘right thing to do’. The man found the Osprey in the grass after its first flight. He helped the little one out of the grass. And flapped his arms and helped it until it could fly back to its nest. Bravo.

I am really keen on tracking and banding. Originally satellite trackers were used to study the foraging ranges of sea birds. In fact, that is precisely what is going on with the Royal Cam adults in New Zealand currently. More recently, however, trackers are used to study the migratory strategies and to identify the wintering grounds of several species. Others use them to study how weather conditions influence migration. This information and much more data like it will become paramount as we try to establish if the climate crisis has an impact on breeding and wintering grounds.

This is Karl II. Karl has been fitted with a satellite transmitter for a number of years. This is his last appearance of the nest that she shares with Grafiene in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The couple raised three healthy fledglings this year. Karl II was last seen on 22 August at 15:50. Satellite tracking indicated that Karl II was on his usual routing towards the Black Sea.

Karl II is an expert at migration. He travels from his breeding area in the Karula National Park in Estonia to spend the night in the Sebezhsky National Part in northwest Russia.

The latest transmission on the 24th shows Karl II travelled 278 km and is now near the Berezina River east of Minsk in Belarus.

The satellite tracking further showed that Karl II looked for food in the wet areas around the river and went to sleep in a forest on the bank of the river. It is an area known as the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.

The following information was posted about the place where Karl II is located.

“It is situated on the flat watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, in low valley in the basin of the Berezina River. Landscape is a mosaic of coniferous and deciduous forests, lakes, peatlands (60 %), rivers, floodplain and small arable fields. Climate is temperate continental, humid, precipitation total: 690 mm/year. Average annual air temperature is 5.2 °C.
The Berezina is the main river in the reserve, flowing through its territory for over 110 km. There are 7 small lakes with the total area being about 2000 hectares in the reserve. The flora comprises more then 2000 species with 804 species of vascular plants (42 rare for Belarus).”

“File:Spring day on the river Biarezina in April.jpg” by Maria Gnedina is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The female, Pikne, was the last fledgling to leave the nest for her migration. She loved being fed by dad. She is also the fledgling that has made the most straightforward routing. She flew from Latvia to Belarus and then on to the Ukraine. The map below shows the leg from Belarus to the Ukraine. She will do doubt be further still when her transmitter data is next recorded. In one day she flew 379 km.

Udu was confused in his travels. Everything seems corrected now. It is like driving a different way than Google Maps tells you and Google adjusts for the error. At the time of the latest satellite transmission, Udu had traveled 604 km in total. What the researchers are noticing is that while, Pikne is going the normal Asia Minor or Eastern route, Udu is heading towards Germany and the Western route. He was last in Poland heading southwest to Germany. This is very interesting.

There are issues, as I stated in an earlier posting, with the transmissions from the other male, Tuul. The transmission data showed little movement. I am awaiting news. It is possible that the transmitter is faulty.

The last combined image of the routes of the three for comparison.

At the same time I would like to show you what other information that the researchers and citizen birders can access. On the left hand side you can find the precise location of the bird, the speed they are travelling, and their altitude – just as if you were tracking a plane on FlightRadar. This particular information is for Pikne.

Things are not going well on the WBSE nest of Lady and Dad in the Sydney Olympic Park. Everyone was hopeful that the two sea eaglets, similar size, would get along and thrive. There was some bonking in the beginning but not a lot. That, however, has changed significantly because of the lack of prey delivered to the nest. WBSE 27 totally dominates the now much smaller 28. 27 is 27 days old and 28 is 25 days old. The rains started the issues related to prey delivery.

In the image below 27 has completely controlled the feeding and has a large crop. 28 was too frightened to try and eat.

Even when the parent is gone Little 28 is afraid to move. Like every little abused second or third hatch, 28 knows to keep its eyes open, to listen, and to keep its head down.

Little 27 waits til 28’s food starts making it sleepy and the little one moves up to the piece of prey left on the nest. 27 doesn’t care now. This is the perfect time for the parent to return to the nest and feed this baby who is so hungry.

The survival stories of our Ospreys Tiny Tot and Tiny Little are being played out on this nest in the life of 28. The Little one is starving. It needs food. It will be the first to self-feed. It is unclear if 28 got any of the food but it knows what to do. Let us hope that it is as clever as our two great survivors this year!

27 has fallen asleep. It is unclear if 28 was able to get any food. I somehow doubt it.

Lady returns. Wakes up the ‘beast’ and 27 begins hammering 28. This is turning into a horrible situation. Please send your positive energy that lots of food will come to this nest so that both are fed full! This little one needs to eat to survive.

This image was shot later in the day, hours after the morning attacks by WBSE 27.

I was told that a big fish had come on to the nest and both were fed well but I cannot find that in the footage of the streaming cam. What I do see is continued dominance and abuse by 27 over 28. No one will intervene.

I want to close with something nice because it is out there and we have to remind ourselves continually that there is ‘light’. At the same time, positive energy needs to go out to little 28 so that he can survive and thrive like Tiny Tot and Tiny Little.

One of the chicks destined to die of starvation on a nest was Tiny Little Bob, Blue 463, at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria. But, she didn’t. She lived to become the dominant one on the nest (as did Tiny Tot at Achieva). My last post had Blue 463 screaming her head off for a fish. Well, guess what? It worked! Dad, White YW, brought her in a really nice headless fish. Tiny Little went to bed with her crop full.

So when you think that the worst is happening with WBSE 28 just remember that the ones who survive do it by being clever, by watching and listening, learning how to overcome and get what they want ——— just like that big fish about to arrive on the Foulshaw Moss nest for her queen, Tiny Little!

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me. I hope you do not mind my including some repetition on the satellite tracking of the Estonian Black Storks. I wanted you to know where Karl II had been and is. Some do not read the newsletter every day and it is good to remember that banding and tracking are valuable tools in studying our beloved birds. I hope to have updated information on the Udu and Pikne’s locations tomorrow. Perhaps there will also be word on Tuul.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, The Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

Pair Bonding

The term ‘Pair bonding’ was first used in the 1940s. In terms of birds, it refers to a long-lasting relationship that results in breeding, care of one another, the nestlings and fledglings.

Pair bonding is “reinforced by ritual behaviour.” That is a very simple definition. A good example of on going pair bonding, is the ‘Morning Duet’ of Lady and Dad on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia. In fact, the rituals associated with pair bonding often occur at various intervals as a means of reinforcing the relationship not just before breeding.

This is Lady and Dad doing their duet together.

Pair bonding rituals also take place as many ‘bird couples’ prepare to begin their long migration. Working on nests is also happening, preening one another is on the rise. It reminds me of certain war movies where the couples seal their relationship as the male heads off to the field of battle – that sealing often consisting of an engagement ring or a promise to wait for the other. It is precisely the same with our birds. In this instance, both will migrate and each will hope that the other returns to the nest in the spring to renew their bond.

Aran has undertaken any number of sky dances with fish deliveries for Mrs G this week at their nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Blue 022 and CJ7 continue to work on a nest in the midst of sky diving, fish deliveries, and mating. Sadly, they have chosen one of the Poole Harbour nests that doesn’t have a camera! Still, it is wonderful that they have remained together since spring and that brings promise to everyone that osprey chicks will hatch in Poole Harbour once again.

This evening, my friend, ‘R’ sent me the links to the two short videos below. It seems that Bukacek, the single father White Stork, in Mlade Buky and his new love, are sealing ‘the deal’. You can see some of the community coming out to watch – what a happy ending to such a tragic season for Bukacek.

Xavier and Diamond, the resident bonded pair of Peregrine Falcons whose scrape box is on top of the water tower of Charles Sturt University, are not migrating. Indeed, they are just beginning their breeding season. They continue to pair bond in the scrape. Here is a short video clip I made today so you can see this ritual:

According to the Falcon Cam Project of Dr Cilla Kinross, the average date for the first egg is 27 August. Here is the historical information for Diamond:

  • 2015 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2016 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2017 with Xavier. 26 August, 28 August, 31 August
  • 2018 with Xavier. 20 August, 22 August, 24 August
  • 2019 with Xavier. 28 August, 31 August, 2 September
  • 2020 with Xavier. 27 August, 29 August, 1 September

It is going to be so exciting when the little white balls of fur hatch. Can’t wait!

Other Nest News:

Some of us watching Malin on the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam are simply left shaking our heads. The female has been absent from the nest the last three Saturday nights in a row. There is no perch to the nest (they seriously need one). In addition, fish delivery just goes ‘off’ at the weekend. Malin slept alone through a thunder storm with lighting and rain last night and did not receive a single fish today – Sunday. Oh, I can hear you thinking that Ospreys do not need to eat every day and you are absolutely right. In fact, Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest had 12 full 24-hour days that she did not get food. Often the parents teach the chicks that food does not always come every day. Still, the weekend pattern with this pair of adults mystifies me. Both came to the nest for short spurts without fish today. Malin was food calling (finally) late in the day. She is such a sweet little Osprey – and everyone is delighted that her droopy wing and feathers seem to be filling in and correcting themselves. So, once again, let’s put the optimist’s hat on and hope that there will be 5 fish deliveries tomorrow for Malin! Come on Mom and Dad prove me wrong and bring 6 big ones.

Malin’s beautiful feathers quickly dried out.

At one point, Malin was so excited when Mom arrived that she began to flap her wings and so some little hops. It is reassuring to see those feathers improve every day. We are all hoping for some big fish for your tomorrow, Malin!

A few of us have been calling the Collins Marsh chick, Malin which means ‘mighty little warrior’. That is because it had neither a number or a name. The Neustadter Nature Center at Collins Marsh is having an official naming contest. My friend ‘S’ just told me about this. I am so sorry it is such short notice but please go to their FB site and enter a name in the comments. Put in your favourite name – it doesn’t have to be Malin! I want the Nature Centre to see that there are many people, from around the world, interested in these Ospreys! But be fast. The names must be in by closing time tomorrow, Monday, 10 August. Here is the link where you can go and simply add a name in the thread:

https://www.facebook.com/Neustadter-Nature-Center-at-Collins-Marsh-140052786074932

After Monday, the names will be short listed. Please go back to this FB site and vote for your favourite. Thank you!

There are now three eggs in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. They were laid on 3, 6, and 9 August. That means that there is already six days between the first and the last. This nest always makes me nervous because of its history of siblicide. But, I am going to strike an optimistic note this year and take a wait and see attitude.

The White Rock Fire that was threatening Dr Christian Sasse’s property where he live streams his programmes on Ospreys and Bald Eagles is no longer out of control. Rain and the gallant efforts of the firefighter’s seem to have stifled this wildfire. This is great news for all the people and the wildlife. Let us hope that rain pours down on all the wildfires.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to have you here. Please go on line and put in a name for the little chick. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Dr C Kinross.

Tiny Little, it is good to see you!

Friday morning started off fantastic with Tiny Little on the nest alone food calling. She was later joined by older sibling, 462.

What you need to know is that Tiny Little had an entire fish to herself a little earlier for breakfast! Just look at her enjoying that fish!

7:45 nest time. Nice fish delivered by White YW to his girl.

Tiny Little returned later and was joined by 462. Yes, I said that already! They waited and waited. All that waiting and food calling paid off! Both Tiny Little (or Bobbie to some) and older sibling got a fish – older sib gets the flounder, Tiny Little has something else (?). Dad, you are fantastic. This is the way to keep the kids happy and quiet.

Tiny Little is the fledgling on the right. She is a ‘big’ girl! I am just so delighted to be able to see her. She is growing and growing. Tiny simply doesn’t fit anymore!!!!!!

This is the link to the Osprey Nest at Foulshaw Moss managed by Cumbrian Wildlife Trust:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

But there was more happiness. To top it off, the little Osprey nestling at Collins Marsh Nature Centre had two feedings before 9:30 this morning. If this pace keeps up Malin is really going to have a big growth spurt this week. Already the tail and back feathers are remarkably changed from last week.

And another feeding here. So happy to see these parents stepping up the food. Malin is really starting to present as a juvenile Osprey now. I keep looking at those little feet – wonder if we have a little boy here? Male or female it doesn’t matter. Malin is really a gorgeous/handsome.

The link to the Osprey nest at Collins Marsh is here:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

One of my readers was asking about the nest for the Black Storks in Latvia. I was able to find some information and a couple of images so that you can see the beautiful forests in the area.

The nest is in a forest in the Sigulda region of Latvia. It is 53 km southeast of the capital, Riga. It is the orange area on the map below.

The area is home to Sigulda New Castle and the remains of a medieval castle built in 1207.

The image below is the New Castle.

“Siguldas jaunā pils (Sigulda Castle)” by twiga_swala is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Through the forest you can see the New Castle.

These are the remains of the medieval castle. It is a major tourist site and because of this, Latvia has stabilized some of the walls so it can be fully appreciated.

The nest in the forest is on a pine branch that extends about 1.8 metres from the trunk of the tree. So, in plain English, the nest is on a branch that is sticking out —- just a big branch! I know. Take a deep breath. It could make you nervous. The nest is 18 metres from the ground. Imagine these storks on such a branch! I kept thinking they could slide off the edge.

The youngest storkling is 53 days old today. It is flapping its wings and gets really excited. The eldest is 56 days old and the middle one is 54 days.

The adults, Grafs and Grafiene, have to be very careful when they come to feed their little ones now so they do not slide off the nest. It is getting a little crowded as the nestlings grow!

One of the moderators for the nest forum created a video of Grafiene coming to feed the storklings about one month ago. It is very short but shows us just how much these nestlings have grown in that time. Just look how tiny they were.

All of the storks meet to begin their migration. ‘S’ tells me that they land on the tops of all the houses, the hydro poles, and the trees. And then they begin clacking and this is the beginning of their long journey as far as South Africa. Everyone is a little sad when they leave.

The link to the Latvian Black Storks is here:

Don’t all babies look sweet when they are sleeping? The little sea eaglets are no exception. You would never know that they are so tired from all the mischief they cause when their parents aren’t watching.

They look like little angels.

Dad is making sure that there is lots of food on the nest.

Here is the link to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is the only WBSE nest in the world that is streaming live. One of the really neat things is just listening to the forest sounds when the streaming cam is on. You will hear many Australian birds. There are lots of YouTube videos of the birds and the sounds they make. Just do a search of ‘Australian Bird Sounds’.

There has been a lot of chatter about when the female ospreys in the UK will be leaving the nests and heading off on their migration. Blue NC0 is still up at the Loch of the Lowes working hard, along with Laddie, to feed LM 1 and LM 2. She is known to catch big fish and this morning she brought in a whopper. The sad part was NC0 worked so hard to get this fish out of the water and on to the nest and one of the kids let it fly off the nest. It happens but we all must appreciate the real effort these parents put into feeding these juveniles especially when they must be eating themselves, fattening up, to make their journeys.

NC0 has turned into one wonderful mom over the season. It has been such a joy to watch her develop from when the little ones hatched and we had no idea if she was going to figure out how to feed them!

The fledglings still associate the nest with food so you might still get in some good action. This has to be one of the most beautiful nest locations in the world. When I went to check, I could see the Ospreys flying around and food calling on the branches at the top left of the image below. So turn up your sound and look there when you check on this nest.

Here is the link to their camera:

I checked to see if the names had been announced for Louis and Dorcha’s chicks on the ‘other’ Lock Arkaig nest. There seems to be no mention or I have missed it. So hold on. Will let you know as soon as I hear anything! I am also waiting for the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon cam to come on live. You are going to be in for a real treat with that falcon nest! I promise.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope everyone is well. Tomorrow I am heading out to find the local hawk. Expect news to come in the late afternoon for all the nests. Enjoy your weekend. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cameras where I took my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Sigulda Black Stork Nest, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, the Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes.

Early Monday in Bird World, 2 August 2021

Many who read my newsletter have a love for all birds and a particular fondness for one or two species and a number of nests. My personal journey began with an encounter in my own garden – literally, getting up close and personal with a female Sharp-shinned hawk in the dead of winter who, I believed at the time, was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig. She wasn’t. Our eyes locked to one another’s, ‘something’ happened. I cannot describe it but those minutes changed my life. I know that many of you have had a similar experience as well as others who have gone on to write books about their journeys.

Philip Brown’s, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival, written in 1979, is just such a book. My used copy arrived in the post a couple of days ago from the UK. The only time that I have had to read has been late at night. The book is so well written that I was often hesitant to stop reading. His enthusiasm and love for these fish-eating birds animates the drive in Scotland to reintroduce the Osprey after years of extinction. Brown gives a good solid history but it is his personal stories of spending time with others at the eyries of Loch Garten guarding the nests that draws the reader into sympathy with the birds. Brown worries about the trees that are partially dead but have nests, about the poachers that are killing the birds, and how to halt the illegal practice of egg collecting. Those are woven in with the growing understanding of osprey behaviour and the efforts to grow public interest in the birds. If Ospreys tug at your heart then this is a book that you should read. When I was looking for a copy I discovered that the book could be ordered from the UK with standard post for a very reasonable price. It is a hardback book and used copies are available for less than 5 GBP.

I want to re-mention another book, available only in paperback. Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey is by Helen Armitage. There are a couple of ways it is different than the Brown volume. It is newer, written in 2011. The book covers the reintroduction of the Osprey to Scotland also but does it by focusing on a single bird, Lady, at the Loch of the Lowes. Lady raised 48 chicks migrating to Africa and back 20 times. That is simply astounding. Armitage’s book is different in another way. The lens is female, a welcome change when the majority of books on Osprey are written by men. She includes details not found in other volumes including one that I found particularly interesting. In trying to protect the Osprey, “In September 1899, Queen Victoria confirmed that certain regiments would stop wearing osprey plumes…” She also notes that it was women who continued the fight to stop the use of bird plumes including the Duchess of Portland who became the head of the Society for the Protection of Birds. It is time to think of fall reading and these are two really excellent books to curl up with.

In nest news, it appears that Bukacek or Father Stork is the only member of his family sleeping on the nest at Mlade Buky.

It is possible that both Pankrac, the female, and Servac, the male are with other fledglings preparing for their migration?

The normal practice with raptors is the female leaves for migration first. The male remains feeding the fledglings and bulking up himself. Once the fledglings depart, the male begin his long journey. Is this also the same ritual for storks?

I had a beautiful letter from a reader, ‘S’. She confirms the special status of storks in her country, Latvia. The people of Latvia have a special name for the White Storks, svētelis. She says the term speaks to the “embodiment of something holy and brings peace and protection from bad things.” This belief explains so much about the great love the people of Latvia have for their storks and that same understanding of storks being special must extend to surrounding countries where people go to great lengths to care for these amazing birds.

In regards to the migration of the storks, ‘S’ says that every year the storks gather on the trees, the roofs of all the houses and buildings, as well as on the electricity poles close to where she lives. When they are all ready to leave they begin clacking their bill together similar to what they do when the storklings are wanting food. Close your eyes and try to imagine how wonderful it would be to see this enormous gather of storks, each being called by the winds to begin their journey. The only equivalent we have in Manitoba are the Canada Geese. Every year they gather on the large ponds near to our nature centre, Fort Whyte. They arrive as the sun is setting calling one another. It is extremely moving. I can only imagine if it were storks!

There are several videos on YouTube about Klepetan and Malena, the famous Croatian white storks and the man, Sljepan Vokic, who has cared for Malena for more than 22 years. Sometimes, it is nice to see one of those videos just to remind ourselves that the world is full of kind caring people.

Skipping down to Australia, the two little sea eaglets, 27 and 28, are doing really well. It is mystifying watching Lady feed them the tiniest morsels of fish from her large beak.

Just look at the size of fish flake Lady is feeding to 28. She is so gentle.

There is plenty of fish in the nest and, so far, I have not seen any signs of food competition. Both of the little ones have nice tiny crops after their feedings. So far, so good. Fingers crossed it keeps up. Indeed, the only cheekiness I have seen is 28 trying to take a bite of 27’s head!

I love the look in Lady’s face as she stares at those two precious little fluffy bobbles. In many ways Lady reminds me of NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes nest in that she has grown into being an excellent – and loving – mother.

There is a gentleness about her movements with the two chicks this year that is striking. These moments of both of them tenderly tucked under mom will pass so quickly – they grow so fast!

A quick early Monday morning check on the UK Osprey nests reveals that Aran and Mrs G have been on the nest together since approximately 4 am.

Amidst the bleating of the sheep and the cows mooing, Aran brought in a fish for Mrs G and did a survey of their nest.

It is reported that Aran’s wing is much improved. He is flying more and fishing for himself as well as delivering fish to Mrs G. This is all good news since it was unknown at the time of his wing injury in late May whether or not he would be healed in time for migration.

One of Laddie and NC0’s chicks is on the Loch of the Lowes nest hoping for a food drop. Of course, that band is in hiding so it is anyone’s guess which chick is calling for fish!

The scene at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn and their two fledglings is simply pastoral. That said, no one is home!

The nest of Tiny Little is equally beautiful. I love the gentle yellows of the sun kissing the Dyfi Nest as it moves above the horizon and the gentle golden pink colouring the landscape of the Foulshaw Moss nest below.

A little later the Foulshaw Moss is magical. No Tiny Little though.

I cannot think of a better way to start a Monday morning than collapsing into the serenity of one of these landscapes. You can feel the stillness while, at the same time, soaking in the freshness of the smell of dew on grass.

Thank you for joining me. I will get the synopsis of what is happening with the Gough Island Recovery project this week. Once I started reading Brown’s book on Ospreys many other things went to the wayside. I hope that you have a great start to the week. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Sunday news in Bird World

The sun is bright but not too hot, the Hibiscus continues to bloom, and Tiny Little is on the Foulshaw Moss nest eating a large fish. That is a great beginning to the day.

This is actually ‘the tea time’ fish for our favourite little fledgling on the Foulshaw Moss nest. It is about 16:00 in Cumbria.

Tiny Little is so smart. She doesn’t waste her time and energy fighting with the mouth and eyes of the fish, she rips a part of the belly open and begins to eat the side and the bottom of the fish. She is ever mindful that there are also two hungry siblings lurking about.

Tiny Little ate off that fish for more than an hour. She got a lot of really nice fish Great work, Tiny Little!

After what appears to be an hour and a half, big sibling 464 arrives. I missed the hand off. Was Tiny Little finished or did 464 come in and take the fish? We will never know. 464 has been fighting with the front of that fish for over an hour now. Sibling 462 is waiting their turn! Tiny Little has flown off.

In the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park, Lady has been busy feeding 27 and 28. Oh, they are so cute! I love this stage. Lady is so gentle feeding them with her big beak. They look like two little snow people with arms.

The Only Bob or Bobette in the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin has had a couple of feedings this morning and perhaps more by now; it is now 13:33 on that nest. The fish that are being brought to the nest by both parents are quite small. I wonder if all the fish are that small? or are the bigger fish lurking around in deeper water?

The chick is being watched for feather development. It is hoped that the ‘blood’ feathers will grow fully and, at the time of fledging, the chick will have a full set of juvenile plumage.

In the image below, you might want to look at what some people call the quills on the left wing. As the feathers grow, those quills break open and eventually fall off. This is what we are watching.

Yesterday I reported that Bonifac, one of the male storklings cared for by the people of Mlade Buky had been electrocuted just like its mother. The other male, Servac had not been to the nest but was seen flying with other storks. Pantrac has been to the nest to be fed. There were no storks on the nest so far today. This is not unusual! The storks are beginning to gather for their migration to Africa. Yesterday might well have been the last day for them in Mlade Buky.

Before the age of Immarsat M and GPS, the only way to study the migration of the storks was if they were ringed. In 1933, a short entry in Nature Magazine (30 September, p 509) says that ‘Storks nesting east of the River Elbe have been found to use the Asia Minor route when migrating, and those nesting west of the Elbe are stated to take the route through Spain.’ Today those similar routes are simply called the Easter and the Western. The western is through Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar while the eastern has the birds flying through Egypt following the Nile. With Satellite tracking, the birds are now known to winter in Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Nigeria and the Niger River Basin.

The observations of the success of the migration and the concerns in 1933 are similar to those in 2021. It is a two month journey for the Danish storks – anything can happen between the time the storks leave and arrive. Even with laws protecting migrating birds, these lovely creatures have been known to have been shot down in France, Malta, and in parts of Egypt. There are many other things that impact this hazardous journey – changing climates, lack of food and water can all contribute to the loss of the birds.

Because we are talking about European laws, it is essential that the countries that make up the European Union – and many who do not- work together to ensure that the killing of migrating birds in European states is halted. There also need to be uniform protections in the territories where the birds migrate. As the world changes, following the SARS Covid-19 pandemic, countries in African that have been devastated by wars, famine, droughts, and epidemics need to understand that ‘birding’ can be an economic success story. People will begin to travel. Bird Tourism can bring vital monies into these struggling economies.

There is, however, another very troubling trend. As the climates change some of the storks are not migrating. Traditionally, they travelled to Africa where food supplies were plentiful during the winter when they were not in Europe. One troubling occurrence is that many of the European storks who take the western route are now stopping and living in garbage dumps in Spain and Portugal during the winter. There are groups that are not happy with the storks being there year round. One of them is called ‘Stop Storks’. A discussion of the issues is in an article, “European Storks become Couch Potatoes and Junk Food Junkies” in Environment.

https://www.dw.com/en/european-storks-become-couch-potatoes-and-junk-food-junkies/a-19172154

Speaking of storks, one of the nests that I have, embarrassingly not mentioned for some time, is that of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia. The camera was broken during a severe storm on 25 June and was not operational again until 15 July. Oh, those wee babies sure have grown. Their parents are Karl II and Kaia.

The trio was ringed on 9 July. You can see the bands. Those bands contain Kotkaklibi transmitters. To my knowledge this is the first instance this type of satellite tracker has been used on the Black Storks. The band numbers are as follows 716U for the oldest chick, 716P for the middle, and 716T for the youngest. Names are pending.

In the image below you can see both the banding ring and the transmitters on the legs a little better. Hopefully reports will come back on a regular basis so that we can follow these three as they undertake their first migration.

Here is the link to the streaming cam of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please go and see those lovely Black Storks. We are now at 1 August and they will not be with us for much longer. I hope everyone is well. Take care. Enjoy.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, the Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, the Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, and the the Eagle Club of Estonia.

Please Note. I have very strong opinions and will always advocate hard for ways in which to protect birds. My son sent me an article with some videos on a troubling conspiracy theory in the United States. It is the ‘Birds are Not Real’ group. They believe that birds are equipped with transmitters and are actually drones that are for surveillance. Those beliefs would cause the killing of innocents. If you know of someone who believes this, please have a gentle conversation with them. If you want to check out their beliefs and what is happening, please Google: Birds are Not Real.

Saturday morning in Bird World

Lady and Dad at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest welcomed WBSE 28 at 5:41 pm on 31 July.

The egg began to split open at 17:08. You can see the egg tooth of the chick that is banging away at the shell. Once it is all cracked like it is now, the chick will wiggle and push to get out. Lady often helps by pulling off the bottom of the shell. She removed the shell of 27 so that it would not adhere to 28’s shell and cause difficulties. The females often eat the shells to help them regain their calcium that has been partially depleted making the eggs.

By 17:41 WBSE 28 was completely out of the shell and for some crazy reason the streaming cam decided to switch to IR mode! Let us all hope that 27 is a gentle and caring older sibling til these two get big enough and out of the bobble head stage!

Congratulations to everyone down in Sydney!

It was wonderful luck to wake up in Canada and see Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. It was 14:15 and she was busy eating a nice big fish all alone. Wow.

Tiny Little kept looking about while devouring her afternoon meal. With two big siblings and no where to hide I am certain that she is hoping they don’t show up.

Tiny Little has grown into a beautiful fledgling. At the time of banding they believed that Tiny Little (or Little Bob, LB) was a female but could not say for certain as her growth was so much behind the other two but, she has caught up. Look at those strong stout legs. She is a gorgeous female.

Thinking maybe I might get lucky, I decided to check on the Collins Marsh chick just in case there was an early morning fish delivery. At first, it did not look hopeful and then the chick and Mum began food calling. Dad must have been in sight of the nest.

Ah, what a relief to see this little one getting fed early in the day. Let us hope that the deliveries continue in rapid succession. This chick needs a lot of fish to grow as big as Tiny Little before it needs to migrate.

It seems everyone is eating! Zenit, on the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest in Romania, has received a delivery, too. Here is Mom arriving with the prey at 11:01:09. She calls out to Zenit.

It is not even a second before Zenit arrives, very excited, on the nest.

Mom moves off that nest quickly as Zenit mantles his lunch.

In Romania, as in other cultures, the Golden Eagle is a symbol of noblility and power. Images of double-headed eagles can be found on the buildings and coins of ancient civilizations in the Middle East such as Sumer and Babylon. The Romans, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Byzantines each used the symbol of the Golden Eagle for their empires. The Aquila (eagle) appears on the standards (the top of the spears of the Romans while the Byzantines were fond of the double-headed eagle which symbolized the dual role of the emperor as both secular and religious head.

An illustration of the vexilloid of the Roman Empire with the Golden Eagle standard:

This is the flag of the Holy Roman Empire:

Wikimedia Commons

Today the Golden Eagle continues to appear as an emblem of the government for various countries and rulers of Europe including that of the President of the Russian Federation. So even in contemporary times the beautiful eagle adorns the coins, buildings, flags, and uniforms representing their power and authority.

Historically, the Golden Eagle was widespread throughout Romania. There was a steep decline in the numbers of breeding pairs in the 20th century due to the use of pesticides both for agriculture and the control of mosquitoes. Hunting and the lack of sufficient food also caused a decline in the numbers. In 2002, it is estimated that there were only 30-40 nesting pairs in the country. This figure doubled in 2012 to 50-60 pairs. There are approximately 300 breeding pairs in Romania today. Current threats to the Golden Eagles continue to be a lack of prey, illegal logging, loss of habitat, poaching, and poisoning. The Golden Eagle is, thus, very rare in Romania.

“Golden eagle (2)” by jack_spellingbacon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Zenit is an adult, his wings will be up to 2.1 metres or 7 feet and he will weigh from 3.2 to 6.6 kilograms or 7 to 14.5 lbs. Females are one quarter to one half larger than the males. Juveniles have been known to travel up to 1000 km or 621 miles after they leave their natal nest. Zenit will reach maturity when he is around 5 years old. Golden Eagles have been known to live up to 32 years but the average is 15-20 years.

At the time he is an adult, Zenit will be an ‘Avian Apex Predator’. That means that healthy adult birds are not prey to any other raptor or mammal. They are at the top of the food chain. Zenit’s eyesight is 8 times that of a human – much better than mine! He will hunt rabbits, young deer, goats, and ibex but he will also eat carrion, birds, and squirrels.

It has been a great learning experience watching Zenit grow from being a chick into this beautiful juvenile.

It is a dark and gloomy Saturday. It is difficult to tell if the strange look in the sky is from the fires, perhaps an impending rainy day, or both. It might be a great day to sip hot tea and read. A copy of The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival arrived from a used book store in the UK yesterday. It looks like it is a perfect day to dig into it.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and The Discovery Center, Collins Marsh Nature Reserve Osprey Cam, Asociata Wild Bucovina, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Mom returns to Collins Marsh and a Pip Watch in Australia

The female Osprey with a chick on the Collins Marsh Reservoir nest in Wisconsin was away from the nest for 21 hours. This is most unusual. At this time, no one is clear about what happened to her or where she was. She remained on the nest all Sunday, without leaving once and Sunday night. She returned Sunday morning around 9:40 and began feeding the chick. She has already fed the chick this morning. There remain concerns for the condition/growth of the chick’s feathers, particularly those on the wings.

Update: I have just heard from Stephen Easterly, the DNR Biologist for the area, and he feels that the chick is progressing fine. It is walking, self-feeding and we will all now look towards a successful fledge. Thanks to everyone in Collins Marsh for their concern for this chick and their quick response to viewer’s calls.

Sadly, it is going to be another scorcher in Wisconsin today.

Did you watch the Barlineck Osprey Nest in Poland? That nest is on top of a 35-meter pine tree with an artificial platform. There were four eggs laid, but only two hatched – the first on 25 May and the second on 31 May. There was a huge size difference (of course) between the two. Despite that, I received word from Michael Zygmunt of the Polish Eagle Committee in Poland this morning that both chicks fledged successfully. Their camera is out of operation. They replaced the router but discovered that the cable connecting the camera and box is damaged. They will not repair it while the nest is active. So please don’t forget about this wonderful Osprey nest next year. And so happy that both of those babies are flying.

Everyone loved Aila, Louis’s mate at Loch Arkaig, that did not, sadly, return this year from her migration. Louis has a new mate on a nest that has no camera. Today, a short video clip of the two chicks was put on YouTube when they were ringed. Both chicks are believed to be males, and their ring numbers are Blue LW3 and Blue LW4.

And, as the Osprey season dies down in the Northern Hemisphere with the chicks honing their flying skills and staying off-camera, things are about to pick up in Australia. The pip watch for the White-bellied Sea Eagles, Lady, and Dad, begins today, 27 July, in Australia.

The White-bellied or White-breasted Sea Eagle is the second largest bird of prey in Australia. They have a wingspan of 1.8-2.2 meters or 6-7 feet. There is the same reverse size-sex ratio in these birds as in other raptors meaning that the female is larger than the male. Sea-eagles, or Fish Hawks as they are called in some places, live along the coasts of Australia, Southeast Asia, and India. You can also see them in New Guinea, and there is quite a number around Singapore.

The adults have a white head and belly, underwing coverts, and tail. The upperparts are the most beautiful slate blue-grey. The juveniles change from a white fuzzy bobblehead to a bird with a light brown head and breast with underwing coverts of rust, a ginger red and dark brown mixed with white. Their tails are white with dark tips (only present in the first year). After several annual molts, the juveniles will change to adult plumage.

The breeding season is from June to January. A clutch of two off-white eggs is laid two to three days apart in a huge stick nest.

There is a nest cup in the middle. Both parents will incubate the eggs. As of 23 July, Lady has incubated the eggs for 215 hours, and Dad has incubated the eggs for 131 hours since the first egg was laid. Both parents feed the chicks, but, in general, the male brings in the prey, and the female at this nest feeds. The chicks will fledge at around 75-85 days. If all goes well, they will remain in the nest area for several months, being fed by the adults as they gain their flying skills.

Lady and Dad have their nest in an old Ironbark Tree in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. There is restricted access around the nest during the breeding season.

It isn’t just the Sea Eagles, though. Mom and Dad have been busy refurbishing the nest on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. In fact, Dad has been cleaning up the coastline, bringing several plastic bags lately to the nest. Hopefully, someone will remove them. Why do Osprey males like to bring non-bird items into the nest? I wonder if Mom likes the softness of the bags compared to the sticks?

Last year’s fledglings from this nest, Solly and DEW, made the news on Sunday in Australia. The picture is of

Solly has a satellite tracker, and it has really helped with our understanding of Osprey.

The lead researcher, Ian Falkenberg, commented: “Solly has so far traveled about 520km from Port Lincoln. We didn’t expect her to travel that distance because ospreys in Australia are non-migratory,” he said. “The second thing that surprised us was the distance flown inland. They live predominantly on fish so why she would spend time out there in those areas we’re not sure, other than taking exploratory trips.”

Solly has spent most of her time around Streaky Bay and Eba Anchorage. A few days ago, she moved to Smoky Bay, where the fishing is supposed to be very good.

The last check on Tiny Little at the Foulshaw Moss Nest revealed no one is on the nest in the late afternoon in Cumbria! Apparently, Tiny Little no only held off its big sibling from getting its fish yesterday but got upset with Blue 464 and pecked at its head rather hard! Now that is a first, too.

Thanks, everyone, for joining me on a partly cloudy morning on the Canadian prairies. See you soon! Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screenshots: WBSE Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Sydney Discovery Center, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam.