Monday Morning in Bird World

26 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the start of your week has been a good one. It is 10 degrees C this morning and the birds in the garden are not happy. The men have come to put the skirting on the conservatory and they have a big saw. It is not very appealing! I did work outside and have moved in the some hot pink trumpet plants to reside inside along with the Hibiscus. Perhaps it will feel like a tropical paradise on the coldest days of winter. It is supposed to be excellent weather for the goose and duck flight arrivals as migration truly gets underway this week. Sandhill cranes have been spotted south of me and the honking and quacking at the ponds around the City is louder each night.

In the Mailbox:

‘L’ sends us a joyful little video she found showing ducks, swans, geese, flying.

‘A’ wonders if there are any raptors unique to Australia.

That is a great question since we are primarily looking at nests with eggs or youngsters pre-fledge in Australia right now. I cannot, at the first instance, think of a single raptor that is unique to Australia. One might think of the largest eagle, the Wedge-tail as living in Australia only it doesn’t. I have pulled out Penny Olsen’s Australian Birds of Prey to scour over today and this evening with hopefully an answer tomorrow.

If you are looking for information on Australian raptors, you can do not better than Penny Olsen. The book is sadly out of print and should be revised and reissued. If you happen to be able to find a copy, it is worth gold so hang on to it. The information is detailed and Olsen has a very interesting way of making data seem quite interesting. Very informative book and there seem to be a couple available at a very decent price on an on-line Australian bookseller. Just Google the name of the book if you are interested. Should be in everyone’s library – and not just those interested in Australian raptors as it covers raptors that reside around the world.

Many of you will have watched the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest of Harry and Nancy. Harry did not return to the nest and Nancy raised one eaglet to fledge. The other was pushed off the nest by its older sibling and subsequently had to be euthanized. Well, Nancy has been photographed on the nest with a new male interest. Congratulations, Nancy!

Another study for the reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle to Cumbria:

Farmers are putting out water in the UK for all manner of wildlife. For us, living in other places, it is essential that the birds – songbirds, raptors, all of them, have water. They need it to rehydrate themselves while they are feeding so that they can have a safe and healthy flight – so please, keep the water out!

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-suffolk-62575058?fbclid=IwAR33H4tIitpYoIDG2Ixm-33435ppk3e-bU5t6W2DpENpWwg5rDniU_ZaYkU

The Swiss were set to be the first European country to ban factory farming on the 25th of September. Instead, they voted to retain the practice.

Nest News:

I could watch Samson and Gabby working on their nest in Northeast Florida all day. The moving the big sticks, the negotiating (or not) where they should go, and then moving them again. What an absolutely privilege to be able to see these two prepare for another breeding season.

They are an absolute riot – these two -you can laugh yourself absolutely silly for 10 or 15 minutes in one of these sessions especially if Samson brings in one of his huge twigs.

Thunder visited her nest at the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands Sunday morning. She brought in a fish, ate it, and sunned herself on the rock. Isn’t she gorgeous?

SE29 has walked up to the branch of the White-bellied Sea Eagles in the Sydney Olympic Forest. This is not ‘branching’ – the eagles need to fly up to the branch but, we are getting close!

Dad brought in an enormous fish that has supplied the fish from Mum and the three osplets at Port Lincoln for four meals! Little Bob did miss a meal and sometimes he just gets turned in the wrong direction but, when he is up there he is getting full. Mum is fantastic at figuring out the feeding order.

Dad brought in more fish and at the end of the day, Little Bob had eaten so much fish and his crop was so big he could hardly stand up. Now isn’t that incredible.

Look carefully at the top image. There is Big Bob. Notice the head. After the chicks lose their fine light grey down they move into the reptilian phase. To me, they look like they have attended Carnival in Grenada and been out the morning when people throw oil, paint, or mud at one another as a way of freeing themselves from the past and in celebration of the new. That day is called J’ouvert and it marks the beginning of Carnival. Sometimes people dress as red and blue devils as they parade through the streets — and I always remind myself that it is in this phase that the older siblings can become unruly and domineering. Fingers crossed for Port Lincoln. Mum and Dad are doing fantastic and Little Bob is eating – not always at every meal – but, well.

It appears that the female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is accepting food gifts and that the bearer of those gifts is also on the ledge, sometimes in view of the camera and sometimes not. It appears that this is male 2. I stand to be corrected. The ID of the male falcons is very difficult unless you can see their neck!

The male arrived with a prey item when the female was off the eggs. He waited and then flew off with it. The exchange, if it took place, was off camera. Mum did not return for a few minutes so it is possible she was munching away on that nice food gift.

He is clearly looking for the female and he has made no indication of any attempt to try and harm the eggs. All of this is good news especially if the old male is no longer ‘in the picture’ and if those are the ‘old male’s eggs’. I will happily be corrected that this is the old male….

Peregrine Falcon males are, thus, quite interesting in their behaviours. If this is male 2 accepting the eggs and helping to raise the eyases (yet of course to be seen), then he grows a growing list of males that will help a female raise a clutch in order to gain the female and the territory. We know of both Alden and Xavier and studies in the UK have indicated that even fledglings of another year have worked to help with a clutch. These falcons get more unique. I would love to hear your stories if you have any examples.

Earlier in the day a male – I still cannot see the neck and the line that male 2 has – is on the ledge.

This is male 2 in the image below with the female. I believe then it is also male 2 in the image above that frequented the ledge several times on Monday (in Australia).

Diamond gave us a good look at the eggs when she left for a break today. Wonder where Xavier is??? He is missing eggie time.

1at the Captiva Osprey Nest in Florida, Lena is having nothing to do with the young male who keeps showing up. He has been dubbed ‘Romeo’ because of the small heart on his chest.

Migration News:

I want to begin with the news from the family of Karl II, the Black Storks from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There is good news over the past couple of days. The father, Karl II, normally spends much time in the area around Odessa in Ukraine. When we last had a signal transmission from him, he was known to be in the area of heavy fighting on the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. Karl II survived! he flew 361 km after deciding he did not wish to stay in Odessa to Olanesti in Romania. He is very near where his mate, Kaia, is. Tears are flowing.

Bonus, the foster storklet from the nest of Jan and Janikka, is also in Romania! So three from the nest – Karl II, Kaia, and Bonus – were safely in Romania, out of Ukraine, on the 25th. Waba is in Moldova.

Here is a crazy colourful map to show you where they are in relation to one another.

It is hard to imagine how dangerous it is for the birds that must migrate back and forth to their winter and spring homes.

You can see what I am talking about in the bright white going right down the centre of North America. Where I live we are in the yellow area. Those light areas are beginning to spread eastward.

Oh, it is joyful to hear that Karl II and his family are safe. I find it very interesting that they flew west and got out of Ukraine. We must be watching for hatch at Melbourne. The eyases can be heard, close to hatch, and I have noticed – and perhaps you have also – that the female is looking at the eggs sometimes. Today is the 27th and it is the first day of hatch watch for these urban falcons. We will mark down the 1-3 of October for Xavier and Diamond. The Sea Eagles will be jumping up and down on the branches but let’s see which one flies up there first – and they must be working on self-feeding. These two truly do love Lady to feed them. By the end of the week all three of the osplets will look different – enjoy the last of that light grey fluff for now.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Everything seems to be going very well everywhere. What a relief. Perhaps I should not have said that! Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts where I took my screen captures: NEFL-AEF, Explore.Org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Looduskalender, Stepmap.com, and BirdCast.

Early Monday in Bird World

12 September 2022

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

I had a lovely time at an industrial park in the city again Sunday. There was the Great Egrets, the Great Blue Heron, the fast little shorebirds, some ducks, some gulls, and a lot of Canada Geese. As the Egret was flying away, a couple stopped on their bicycles and chatted with me for a long time. After they made me feel rather good by saying they watched and noticed that I did not get near the birds but rather used that long lens on my camera so as not to frighten them. (I was 250 ft away). I was very humbled. I have seen people find out there is an owl and take their children running and practically land on the raptor or people using fishing poles with line and a mouse to try and get that perfect ‘shot’ of the owl flying directly at the camera person. To me, those are not ‘birders’ they are a special irritating ilk of photographer. At any rate the couple told me about another lake not that far from where we were standing and we talked about how the city planners required the area to keep 30% of the land for nature. It is certainly a beautiful green area in the middle of gravel pits!!!!!!! Yes, I am serious. I also got a tip about a cemetery with a Cooper’s Hawk family. That was so nice.

Decades ago I looked at the world through the eyes of a ‘human’. Oh, I can hear you laughing, I haven’t turned into a hawk yet!!!!!!! Or have I? At that time I considered golf courses and cemeteries as wastes of precious land — and that was a time when I was researching British cemeteries on the Indian subcontinent! Today, the view from my eyes is very different. As humans eat up all the land they can with bigger houses and ever expanding amounts of land, the golf courses and the cemeteries are places of refuge for the birds and the raptors. The geese fill the newer cemeteries that only allow flat markers while the Crows and hawks make their homes in the older ones with the mausoleums and large head stones. If I could increase the number of golf courses and cemeteries I would! And that is a 180 degree change in thinking. (Of course the golf courses should not be using rodenticide!)

From the Mailbox:

‘L’ writes: I don’t see the male at Melbourne bringing prey to the female. Do you know what is happening?”

What a really good question because we often see Xavier bring prey directly into the scrape box at Orange for Diamond. It seems, at Melbourne, that the male has hidey-holes on the other ledges and behind some of the architectural features of the building. He will have a stash of food there for the Mum and for her to feed the eyases. You might have seen Xavier put prey in the corner of the scrape at Orange. Rest assured, she is eating and the amount of time she spends incubating, she is not catching it but the little male is doing the hunting. He is also a very good hunter from previous years – if prey stocks remain good.

Just a note about Melbourne. ‘A’ wrote and asked what was on the nest fluttering around and then answered her question. A white plastic bag had made its way up to that scrape! That is so worrisome. The Mum got it off by tearing it but oh, we humans need to pick up after ourselves.

Making the News:

There is a webinar today on migration. I just saw this posting on the Cornell Chatters FB page. Apologies for not knowing about it earlier. I hope that they will post the webinar on YouTube after. Fingers crossed.

Six more Golden Eagles were released in the UK as part of a reintroduction programme.

The bird photographers of the year have been announced….It is so sad to see that some of the images of the urban birds are around human garbage but that is their reality. Indeed, many of the European storks – and those Adjutant Storks in India – spend their time in the landfills trying to find food. I was chatting with my granddaughter this afternoon about the need for dead but not diseased animals to be taken to a specific spot for all the birds that eat carrion. It would be a tremendous help. Instead of running big incinerators using energy and pouring ash into the air, the animals like Bald Eagles, Crows, and Vultures would have food.

A detail of Kerry Wu’s award winning image of a Barred Owl.

The winners are shown in this article of The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2022/sep/09/bird-photographer-of-the-year-2022-winning-pictures

This beautiful Golden Eagle gets a second chance at life because of the Audubon Centre and now she has a new home!

Nest News:

Thanks to ‘J’ I was able to go and see the Magpies attacking the two little sea eaglets on the streaming cam. Thank you ‘J’.

A number of years ago I was mortified when I saw the Magpies and Currawongs swooping at the little sea eaglets. My heart sank to my feet and my palms got sweaty. It is a difficult thing to watch for the very first time… maybe even the second. Far more enjoyable are the visits of the Rainbow Lorikeets! I did not see Lady or Dad to the rescue today…another learning experience for these two eaglets who are now in their 8th week. Soon they will have to contend with these aggressive little birds alone – even without a sibling – so best they get used to them and honk those wonderful horns of theirs.

The Sea Eaglets will be the top dogs wherever they take up residence like Lady and Dad are in the Sydney Olympic Forest. For the remainder of their lives, the smaller birds will be annoying – sometimes even downright dangerous – because they have nests with babies, too and they don’t want the big Apex Predators around them. We see it with the Mockingbirds attacking Big Red all the time. The older the eaglets get the more they will ignore the smaller birds but, for now, this is good training. I caught it on video for you.

The Sea Eaglets were fed early. You sure miss those hourly feedings when Lady was giving those wee ones little bites. Now it is so long between meals.

The adults were in the nest tree looking about for pesky intruders around mid-day.

Cornell has been busy posting images of L4 since her release from care as well as other members of the family including L2. It is so good to see the four of them – Big Red, Arthur, L2 and L4 out in the wild doing what hawks do. Cornell has said that it is working to improve the areas where the hawks might get injured – let us hope they get to it fast!

The two posts below are from Cornell’s Twitter feed.

They were not together long-Idris and Padarn. The moment reminded me of Iris and Louis on the Hellgate Canyon Osprey platform in Missoula, Montana a week plus ago. There was Idris with his daughter, Padarn, on the Dyfi nest in Wales. Idris wasn’t looking straight at the camera but Padarn was – and it gave me that same feeling of ‘goodbye’ like that eerie image of Iris and Louis. Stunning image of father and daughter – Padarn looks even more like Mrs G with ‘that look’.

BTW. Some of you will remember a question about which gender migrates first. I had used the Dyfi statistics which were colour-coded. My good source tells me that the first hatch, Pedran (2022), who was identified as a female at the time of ringing, is now deemed to be a male by Dyfi. Is this from mouth swabs? or because Pedran migrated so much earlier than Paith and well…Padarn is still with us, bless her heart. She is one healthy and robust Osprey who is well taken care of by Dad. Just look at those legs – short and stout.

Blue 497 is still at Glaslyn with Aran. It started raining last night and looks a little miserable this morning, too!

Something has caused Xavier and Diamond to leave the eggs and check on their territory at Orange.

There was a lot of alarming and looking at the sky but nothing could be seen on the ledge or tower cams. There is work, however, going on somewhere near the tower. You can hear the machinery in the background.

It was, however a great day for Xavier to have some time with the eggs. He had a two hour incubation!!!!!!!! Couldn’t hardly believe it.

Alden and Annie have been bonding and doing their little kisses in the scrape box today. Oh, isn’t it fantastic to get to see them together outside of breeding season?!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum had had enough of that pesky piece of pine bark and was moving it. While she did, we got a good glimpse at those precious eggs that are due to hatch at the end of the week. Can you believe it? We are finally getting there!!!!!!!

It could be my imagination but things seem to be settling down a bit at the Melbourne Collins Street scrape. The new Mum does not give Dad a lot of incubation time which he has really enjoyed in previous years. So far today, though – and it is only mid-day (1335), the eggs have not been left for long, long periods of time (like hours).

What a gorgeous view!

Migration News:

It appears that Sarafina is on her journey. It is unclear if Louis has left Loch Arkaig. He might well be eating and resting up after feeding his daughter well into September!

Checking on Karl II’s Black Stork family. Waba remains in Ukraine in an area around Manachyn.

He is fishing along the river bank.

Bonus remains in Belarus around the Priyapat River.

There is no transmission signal for Karl II. In the Kherzon region some of the villages are only now getting their cell service restored. No transmission that I can see for Kaia either.

From the Bookshelf:

Jonathan Elphick is no stranger to birds. Just Goggle his name and you will find a long list of titles by this wildlife writer and ornithologist. Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour is the first title of his on my bookshelf and what a great addition it is. The book begins with a look at birds and their relationship to dinosaurs and moves quickly to bird anatomy. Anything and everything you could possible ever want to know is in this detailed chapter. The chapter on ‘flight’ was one of my favourites with its intricate drawings of the wings with the feathers labelled as to their correct names. How different birds fly, their speed, discussions on wing loading are all there along with hovering and energy saving flight. Further chapters examine food and feeding, birds as a group or society, breeding, where birds live and migration. It is, in effect, an excellent reference book filled to the brim with the most beautiful imagery. I was particularly interested in the discussion on birds and humans and was not disappointed. Elphick starts with the earliest assaults by us on birds and continues to the problems of today including human overpopulation and climate change. There are also surprises – I learned a myriad of things from each page. We listen to the duets by the White-bellied Sea Eagles at Sydney but did you know that there are actually 44 distinct bird families that sing duets? The Eastern Whipbird and the Common Swift are two. There is an excellent index and a good bibliography. Highly recommended if you are looking for a comprehensive book on all aspects of our feathered friends — including some of their quirky behaviours.

From the Archives:

Everyone fell in love with me. I have the loudest voice of any eyas! I kept the researcher fully fit walking up the stairs to keep putting me back in my scrape box. Who am I? Who are my parents? and where is my scrape box?

I have seen no recent updates on Victor or tracking information on Ervie.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, The Guardian, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Hawks, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cal Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender.


I am Izzi. My parents are Xavier and Diamond and I hatched in 2020. First I fludged – fell over the edge when I was sleeping. Cilla Kinross climbed the 170 stairs to put me back in my scrape. Then I fledged but hit a window and went to rehab and was taken back up the 170 stairs by Cilla Kinross. Finally, I fledged! But Mum and Dad couldn’t get rid of me. Finally as the 2021 season approached, Diamond blocked my way into the scrape which is on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Aren’t I the cutest little falcon you have ever seen?

Early Sunday in Bird World

11 September 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that you had a lovely Saturday – and welcome to Sunday!

How many of you have used eBird ID? I would love to hear from you. I was so hopeful in finding an ID for the waterfowl below but, Merlin ID said they were Crows. Is Merlin serious?

After consulting many books and looking and looking at these birds, they are juvenile American Coots.

Every nook and cranny might just have a duck or two at our nature centre! Only when someone walks by on the boardwalk do they come out of hiding – sometimes.

The reeds are so tall and thick and abundant. They are making excellent hiding places for the ducks, the Coots, and the geese. You can see that some of the foliage is turning colour. Autumn is upon us. Our temperature dropped to 7 degrees C Saturday evening. The coolest it has been in a long time.

This one scurried out of the reeds.

This Mallard was feeding near to where I saw the baby duck the other day. I looked and looked and could not find the wee one today. Hopefully I will spot it sunning itself in the next couple of days.

There are geese everywhere.

This little fella was flitting around the trees. It looks like a juvenile Least Flycatcher with its dark pointed beak and the white circle around the eye. The wings should show two white bars. They do not just feed on flies – all insects and flies are welcome.

This female Downy Woodpecker was working very hard to try and get some peanut pieces out of this feeder! She had them all to herself!

Making News:

Ospreys are making the news in the UK as re-introduction efforts continue.

NZ vets see huge rise in storm weary sea birds arriving at their clinics.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/300676591/massey-vets-see-rise-in-sick-and-exhausted-stormblown-seabirds-this-winter?fbclid=IwAR2ko10AwxyY4RfvoxYNR6XxOggK9nfKIYZMvMoqGQK0XQwDykT4L6o-dYQ

The Dyfi Osprey Project announced they would be shutting off the live streaming cam and chat today at 8pm nest time BUT they have changed their mind and will leave it on until Padarn and Idris are gone from the nest.

A group of White Storks escaped from a zoo and went to the beach – they were rescued.

https://www.birdguides.com/news/white-stork-flock-rescued-from-devon-beach/?fbclid=IwAR21k3ssMsNc-c3771J1QFVNznkM93j00-DIjfo20z4uHGrIiywLaGTbQlA

Nest News:

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are walking stronger and working their wings – just like they are supposed to be doing right now. It is nice when they turn back to the centre of the nest with all that jumping. Your heart can fall out if they get near the edge!

Lunch arrives for these two hungry eaglets.

Padarn is still on the Dyfi nest keeping Idris busy bringing in some fish. She is breaking records everywhere in the UK for the longest lingering female Osprey (or any Osprey). She hatched on the 26th of May. She is now 108 days old. How many days will she stay on the nest?

Enjoy this beautiful gal.

Blue 497 remains at the Glaslyn nest also. Aran continues to bring in nice fish – the boys and Mrs G have left the area.

Let’s go back to Australia. That is where the action is!

The new female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is sure not giving the cute little male much time on those eggs this year! Perhaps she doesn’t know too or maybe she is like Diamond and reluctant at times. Hopefully it will all work out with a chick or two.

At Port Lincoln, it is less than a week til hatch watch!!!!!!!!

L4 seems to be enjoying being back on the Cornell Campus after 5 weeks in the rehab centre. It is lovely to see her flying so strong and doing her own hunting. Suzanne Arnold Horning caught her this morning looking out on the territory. L4 has a lovely necklace, just like her Mum, Big Red.

Migration News:

Loch Arkaig appears to be empty with Sarafina on her way to the south for her migration.

News for Karl II’s family: Karl II has not sent any tracker information since 4 September. He is in an active war zone near Kherzon, Ukraine. It is not expected that we will hear any reports form Karl II for 5-6 weeks form that date as per his normal behaviour and time staying at this location during past migrations.

Waba is still in Ukraine.

Kaia is still in the Desna River area of Ukraine.

Bonus remains in the Prypjat River area of Belarus.

From the Archive:

Who is the eaglet? Gold stars if you can name the nest and the parents! Hint: This was the natal nest of the eaglet’s dad.

The eaglet grew up into this beauty.

There is not a lot going on in Bird World. We are seeing migratory birds moving throughout the UK some landing on nests for a rest. There are still Ospreys at Dyfi but all of the other birds from the streaming cams seem to be gone now. Incubation continues at three of the Australian nests. Hatch watch is coming up for Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Some of the Bald Eagles are returning to their nests in the southern US. Avian Flu is still about as owners of factory poultry farms continue to cull birds. The latest was 3 million.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope all of you are well and that you got a chance to see the beautiful harvest moon last night. The skies cleared on the Canadian Prairies just in time to enjoy it rising above the tree tops.

See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, photographs, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: sea eagles@Birdlife Australia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Tim Mackrill, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Looduskalender, NEFL-AEF.


Answer to From the Archive: The nest is the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest that once belonged to Romeo and Juliet and passed on to their son, Samson. Samson and his mate Gabrielle (Gabby) had one hatch in 2020. The eaglet’s name was Legacy and she was a beauty.

A new supporter for the Albatross? has Mrs G left for migration…early Friday in Bird World

9 September 2022

Thursday was truly a bit of an uneventful day mostly spent waiting on a parcel delivery that came much, much later than anticipated! It was a good time to just watch the garden to see what was happening. For Dyson fans, she is back to her normal self since having the babies. She was flying off branches today, landing on the deck, grabbing peanuts and running so fast I could not catch her on camera! Two of the Crows alerted me to the presence of the cat under the bird feeders. My goodness, they are quite remarkable and were given ‘extra treats’ – cheesy sausages – for their good work in protecting the rabbit and the songbirds. It has also been quite in Bird World, pretty much. These images have been shot quickly through a screen!

The Crows on the line cawing very loudly and looking at the cat below the feeders.
The culprit – a well fed pet!

In the Mailbox:

A couple of days ago, ‘B’ asked which gender migrated earlier – males or females? I have spent time asking Osprey experts and have uncovered some preliminary data using the Dyfi charts. It seems that gender is always discussed with regard to fledging but is only a footnote when it comes to migration. With a very small sample, males are 75% more likely to migrate first than females 90 days and under.

The chart below is of the Dyfi chicks. So those who fledged at 90 days, 75% more males than females. As you can see the older the chicks get, there are more females that take longer in the nest to migrate after fledging. I cannot assume that this is the same for other nests but, for now, this is the clearest data chart I have found for us to interpret. I will be looking for others in the days to come.

‘L’ wrote to me about the new climate bill in the US. The Audubon Society had posted an article on the 12 ways that it will help birds – and other wildlife. Thanks for sending me that article, ‘L’. I am certain others will find it of interest, too.

Making News:

The Osprey lost at sea that hitched a ride on a boat is making news in Scotland.

https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/uk-news/boaty-mcboatface-rescue-osprey-lost-27938175

Mississippi Power is putting up some Osprey Poles. How wonderful! Maybe they will place some more nests and other utility companies will follow suit. Sitting on the Canadian Prairies it is easy to imagine the number of Ospreys that might choose to winter along the Gulf or in the Gulf States.

The Royal Albatross and the campaign to change the long line fish trawling practices may have a new champion in King Charles III.

Nest News:

Based on their size and weight, the wildlife rehabber believes that Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 are both female! Nice. That explains a lot about L4’s behaviour in the nest — not afraid of anything, just barreling over the others to get to the beak. Is it possible they were all females?

L4

At the Osprey nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales, all three of this years fledglings have joined the 100 Club. This means that they have been on the nest for over 100 days and counting before migrating. Today they are 106, 105, and 102 days old! Aran might be wondering if everyone has decided to over winter.

This was early Thursday morning. Mrs G is in the second photo. It was the last seen of her. The time was 08:58. If she isn’t hiding down in the Oaks or trying to fool us, Mrs G has now left for her migration. She took a piece of fish off one of the fledglings just to top up her tank! If you have left Mrs G, safe travels, lots of fish, and return again next spring – you remain the oldest osprey in the UK and what a lovely group of offspring this year!

Idris continues to deliver fish to Padarn. It looks like some are very happy to stay in Wales!

Padarn this morning. She is still in Wales!

Louis still has Sarafina fish calling!

The Melbourne scrape seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. First up, the building number is 367 Collins Street. There are now 36.7 members of the FB group. That is an incredible number of supporters. Here is the announcement:

There has been much concern over the incubation time and whether or not there was another male falcon present at the building. Victor Hurley, the chief researcher of the nest for the Victorian Peregrine Falcon Research group posted this today on FB:

The images that I have taken today appear to me to be the same male that has been at this nest since I began watching some years ago. Dad is relieving Mum so she can have a break this morning.

Later the couple were having a conversation.

In Orange, there is heavy rain falling. Diamond watches it from inside the scrape. Xavier has been in and out helping with incubation duties. I hope he is somewhere trying to stay dry.

At the Sea Eagles nest, it was chilly and the two eaglets wanted nothing more than to be able to shrink so all of them would fit under Mum.

Dad brought a little fish in for their breakfast so that Lady could feed the two.

Both SE29 and SE30 are really getting much more steady on their feet and they are spending more time walking on top of this twig nest. That surely cannot be easy!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been hungry. Dad has been known to bring in a fish, eat a large portion of it before bringing her a piece. Today he brought her a really nice sized larger fish for her tea. How wonderful. Thank you, Dad! Mum was really excited for that lovely dinner.

Looks like Alden’s funny quirks have rubbed off on Annie who was caught ‘loafing’ on the ledge of The Campanile on Thursday.

Oh, how I love Samson. He was at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest today waiting for his mate, Gabby, to arrive from her migration. Like Richmond, the SF Bay Osprey, Samson stays in the area of the nest and does not migrate. Both Rosie (Richmond’s mate) and Gabby, do. Gabby is usually home by the 12th of September.

Migration News:

There is information from Bonus, Jan and Janika’s Black Storklet that was fostered by Kaia and Karl II. Bonus remains in Belarus near the Pripyat River where he has been feeding for some time.

Kaia remains in the general vicinity she has been in Ukraine.

Karl II is still believed to be in the area of Kherzov. We now know that the telecommunications in the area is down. Storks should, unless shelled by accident, wish to stay away form the people and there are the many nature reserves in this area where Karl II stayed for long periods in previous years. I am trying to remain positive for him!

Waba has had trouble with the tracker so there is no conclusive report.

From the archive:

Do you know which nest this was? The year is 2020. The older sibling supported the younger. The Magpie helped ‘this eaglet’ when the Pied Curra were attacking? The third image is the last one at the nest.

Thank you so much for being with me on this very quiet Friday in Bird World. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Dfyi Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, The Scottish Daily Express, Mississippi Power, Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, and Looduskalender.

From the Archive Answer: That is SE25 supporting SE26 after its little leg was broken. Lady is feeding both of them. SE26 struggled in the forest after fledging. After 6 days returned to the nest massively hungry and exhausted. Lady and Dad fed SE26. When 26 had recuperated, she flew to the camera branch where she was attacked by the Pied Currawong. A Magpie came to help 26. That is the last picture we have of SE26 in the forest. She flew out, chased by Curra, during the time of a storm and landed on the balcony of a 22nd floor condo some 1.5 km away in Horn Bush. SE26 was taken into care and euthanized, sadly. It was believed the damage to her leg would cause extensive pain and could not be repaired properly. It was a very, very sad day. SE26 was inspirational to all you watched her struggles to ‘be an eagle’…she flew. That is one consolation. What we learned was that the Pied Currawong are unrelenting in chasing the Sea Eagles out of the forest. This has caused extensive difficulties which have been noted in recent years with SE27 going in and out of care and requiring training to fly and hunt prey.

QT will get a name, photos of Victor and more in Bird World

7 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone. The first part of the week has flown by. I hope that you had a lovely long weekend (if you had a holiday) and that Tuesday was good.

The Crows continue to alarm every time “THE cat” comes into the garden and, in particular, when the rabbit is visiting and eating under he bird feeder. Today it happened twice. That bunny doesn’t know he has three guardian angels! How lucky.

Meanwhile Junior, the male Blue Jay, is moulting. Poor thing. He has lost his beautiful crest and he looks so out of proportion. He has finished up all of the peanuts and has decided to try some of the seed spilled when filling the feeders.

At sunset, hundreds if not a thousand gulls flew low to the ground looking for their evening resting area. The sky was simply full of them in every direction moving and looking like a swarm of mosquitoes. Several ‘V’s of Canada Geese could also be seen. The expectation is that the majority of duck and geese migration will take place starting the third week in September. If so, I hope to get some great images for you.

In the Mailbox:

‘G’ wonders how on earth an osplet could get salmonella poison and die? The necroscopy tests have revealed that the Loch Garten chick died of salmonella poisoning. The chick was lethargic several days before dying on the nest. A number of studies and several reports and articles such as “Incidence of Salmonella in fish and seafood” published in 2000 states, “Field laboratories of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration collected and tested 11,312 import and 768 domestic seafood samples over a 9-year period (1990 to 1998) for the presence of Salmonella. The overall incidence of Salmonella was 7.2% for import and 1.3% for domestic seafood. Nearly 10% of import and 2.8% of domestic raw seafood were positive for Salmonella”.

The study was, of course, related to the risk of food poisoning in humans but this would be the same way that osplets would get salmonella is by eating raw seafood that contains the bacteria.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10826714/#:~:text=Nearly%2010%25%20of%20import%20and,and%20one%20shark%20cartilage%20powder.

Making News:

The NZ DOC has done an 180 degree turn and has decided to hold a naming competition for the Royal Cam Quarry Track chick. QT, instead of leaving her with her code name. Here is the announcement:

Some additional images of Victor in the large flight area have been posted by the Ojai Raptor Centre. Oh. Victor is doing so well. I wonder if he is still rejecting the Trout and only wanting to eat Whiting??

Victor is getting stronger every day! Oh, how lucky this beautiful juvenile is to have such good care.

If you are intending to donate and/or purchase some items from the Ojai Raptor Centre’s shop, remember to include that it is for Victor! I might have mentioned that they have included a shopping option for Canada in addition to the US. If you live elsewhere, send them a note and they will set up the shipping. I received the two t-shirts and the tote bag today. They are super!

There is a wildfire in the Big Bear Valley. It is being called the Radford Fire. Many were concerned that it might bring harm to Jackie and Shadow and their nest but they are safe. The fire is on the SE part of the lake. We all love Jackie and Shadow and many of you might have heard about the fire and were worried. Here is that confirmation:

University of Louisiana grounds keepers saw the hawk tangled in fishing line and acted quickly in order to save its life. Remember and spread the word – be responsible. Clean up monofilament line both yours and that of others if you see it. Make the shores, lakes, and rivers safe for the birds and fish.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister for Scotland has announced a draft bill on grouse moor licensing to be introduced in this year’s parliamentary legislation. Many like Mark Avery and Chris Packham have lobbied to end the senseless killing of the raptors on the driven grouse moors. This is a huge step forward and is coming none too soon.

The Guardian carried an article, “Dark matter and lithium water: 15 big issues poised to affect oceans and coastlines” today. You will already be aware of some of the concerning actions and issues including the dumping of toxic chemicals into the oceans. The example came from Senegal but it could easily have come from large westernized countries! My biggest disappointment was the glossing over – no, not just glossing over – not even acknowledging what will ultimately happen to the sea birds that depend on the oceans for food.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/06/water-issues-oceans-coastlines-marine-coastal-biodiversity

Nest News:

Mrs G and the three fledglings remain at the Glaslyn nest with the male, Aran. They are the only ‘full family nest’ still resident in the UK.

All three siblings lined up waiting for Aran and fish.

Mrs G is hiding!

News coming out of the Dyfi nest other than Idris continuing to feed Padarn is that Pedran, the first fledgling, did not fly straight south from the nest to begin migration but, rather hung around the UK and has been spotted! So remember this – the birds do not always fly directly south but can spend time flying and perfecting their fishing while getting strong! (Note- all three were deemed to be female. Disregard the use of the words he/him below).

Bella has arrived at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest waiting for her mate, Smitty.

An unknown female Peregrine Falcon interrupted Alden’s ‘loafing time’. Let us hope that this is not the female intruder that Grinnell had chased away from The Campanile scrape.

After an encounter with a female intruder at The Campanile, Annie and Alden renew their bond in the scrape.

All is well at the Australian nests. The only one with chicks is, of course, the Sydney Sea Eagles and SE29 and 30 are growing and changing and, like clockwork on the development chart, getting all of their juvenile feathers. It may be difficult to tell them apart soon!

It is incubation duties at the other three nests – the two Peregrine Falcon scrapes at Orange and Melbourne and the Port Lincoln Osprey barge.

Sunny in Melbourne.

Beautiful Diamond.

The sunshine gave way to rain later in the day at Port Lincoln.

Dad eating his portion of fish before taking it to Mum. Thanks, Dad. We don’t want any more flapping fish on those precious eggs!!!!!!

Migration News:

No tracking news for Karl II or Kaia. Karl II is in the most dangerous area of Ukraine at the moment. Their transmitters could be jammed. The only news is of Waba and he is doing fine and has found a small area to fish. We wait.

Memory Lane:

Do you remember these two cutie pies? Who are they? what is their natal nest? and what are the names of their parents?

Thank you so much for joining me today. I will be pulling out photos from the archives for the next week or so to see if we can tell who is who! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Answer to Memory Lane: This is E17 and E18 from the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. They were removed to CROW for conjunctivitis and safely returned to Harriet and M15 after a successful treatment. Known for their early sparring the twins became best buddies.

Thank you to the following for their posts, their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC,, Ojai Raptor Centre, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Bald Eagles 101, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, NCTC, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and CROW.

Ervie goes fishing, Egg 2 for Diamond and Xavier and more…Sunday morning in Bird World

28 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that each of you had a lovely Saturday. Thank you so much for joining me today!

From the Mailbox:

‘A’ asks: What is the average time difference or gap for Peregrine Falcons to lay their eggs? Diamond looks like she is ready today. Thank you, ‘A’. That is a very timely question as we sit staring at Diamond’s bottom for her tail feathers to begin to go up and down when she is in labour. In the nest notes that Cilla Kinross, the researcher at the Orange Falcon cam compiled, it says that the average time difference is 56 hours. As I write this, the time in Orange is 13:21 on Saturday. That egg is due anytime.

‘L’ asks: What is the purpose of molting? The feathers of our bird friends get damaged just like our clothes from normal living. They break and get tears. Moulting is the annual replacement of the feathers. In fact, think about it. Feathers are so important to birds – they keep them warm and dry and, of course, are needed for flying. They should be in tip top shape which is why birds spend so much time preening. Some birds begin to moult in the spring. Others wait until nesting has finished. Moulting is really hard on the birds and it is normally done when there is an unusually high level of prey so they can keep their energy up.

‘C’ writes: “I’m glad I helped with that information about galvanized steel that contains zinc. But in stainless steel, the component is chromium. Is it also bad for the health of birds? I searched very quickly, and in a very superficial search, I didn’t find anything that chromium is also bad for.” The information you provided was very useful. As one of our other readers ‘L’ writes there are some uses for zinc that are also helpful such as in ‘Zinc Ointment’ for baby rashes. I do not know a lot about chromium. It is also used in ceramics to make certain shades of green glazes and is highly toxic in its powdered form. It is not toxic after the pottery has been fired to a specific degree, however. — We assume that the things that we use for cooking are all ‘safe’. Sometimes it is only later we discover that there could be connections to specific ailments. However, if I had a beloved bird that lived in a cage – the cage wires would be stainless. We have a metal shop in our city that made all the SS backings for my kitchen and my island top. I am certain there are similar facilities in other cities where they could make the wires. I am still finding this whole zinc toxicity that impacted Victor very curious. I wish I knew more!

In the News:

The UK is still celebrating the arrival of more than 100 Hen Harriers.

The New York Times published the following article about how climate change will impact the birds we love and which are more likely to go extinct first. The cover shows the Kakapo and my readers know that the Kakapo Recovery Group is working hard to make sure that the flightless parrots survive. Today there are 205 of them on a couple of mall islands of New Zealand.

Nest News:

Chase showed up with a nice big fish and waited and waited on the Two Harbours nest for Lancer on Saturday morning around 10:38. Lancer never showed up. What a change it must be for the parents from nearly getting their talons torn off to sitting quietly to see if anyone will arrive. If you have left the territory, Lancer – soar high, be safe and always have a full crop!

Such dedicated eagle parents. Did you know that Chase & Cholyn have been together for 19 years?

Ferris Akel had a terrific tour on Saturday afternoon around Ithaca, New York. I was listening and doing other things until he got to the Cornell Campus where he caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on camera. Oh, it is lovely to continue seeing L2. According to Suzanne Arnold Horning, the latest a juvenile has been seen at the Cornell Campus is 28 August. L2 looks pretty comfortable. I wonder if she will shatter that record?

Arthur was hunting.

L2 could see Big Red in the distance when she was on the pole and was prey crying really, really loud. Since L2 was the second juvenile to catch her own prey in June I am imaging that Big Red’s answer to that is: “Get your own!”

Big Red looks a little ‘rough’. She is moulting. Like other Red-tail Hawks, Big Red undergoes a complete moult once a year. Normally, hawks begin their moult in spring and every feather has been replaced by September or October. Big Red, however, appears to begin her moult after the eyases fledge.

Xavier has been bringing Diamond some extra special treats during Sunday to help Diamond keep her energy up for the egg laying. One was an Eastern Rosella which is a very colourful parrot and the other was a nicely prepared pigeon. Diamond was excited for both!

The arrival of the Rosella meant that cute little Xavier could have some time with ‘eggie’.

Diamond had a very large crop when the pigeon arrived but she certainly wasn’t going to turn her nose up at that special food gift.

It is 13:57 in Orange and Diamond is sitting on the ledge of the scrape box while we wait and watch for an indication that the second egg might be arriving.

Diamond is back on the egg at 1400.

Diamond is very focused and she looks ‘heavy in the rear’. Egg 2 could be coming shortly. Diamond normally lays 3 eggs. For the past two years, only one egg has been viable each year.

Diamond laid egg #2 at 17:27. Yippppppeeee. Why am I so excited? Well, falcon eggs do not always hatch and for the last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only 1 out of 3 eggs hatch so it makes the chances better of having a successful hatch.

Xavier arrives at 17:33 to see the second egg and to bring Diamond her dinner. Notice that Diamond is being very careful. Falcons lay their eggs standing up. She is protecting the egg while the shell hardens in the air. The gap between eggs is 57 hours.

Diamond did not want to eat. She had already had two big meals. She remained in the scrape box. During the night she would sometimes incubate or, alternatively, stand above the eggs protecting them. Remember the Currawong know there are eggs in that scrape and they will eat them if the opportunity arises!

The Melbourne couple seem to be finished with three eggs and each takes turns incubating. Dad was very anxious to demonstrate that he was well seasoned in incubation. The Melbourne crew even made a video of the persuasion.

It is a very short and cute clip. Oh, do you ever wish you could speak falconese?

Friends of Osprey have posted some photographs of Ervie near the Marina where he had dived and caught the lovely fish he is eating. They were taken by Alex Ditton. Oh, goodness. It is always such a joyous occasion when someone shows us that Ervie is doing very well indeed! Check out the Friends of Osprey for more images of Ervie.

Kaia remains in Belarus around the Priypat River. This is what the area looks like where she is resting and fishing.

Bonus, the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika that was fostered with Kaia and Karl II has begun his migration. His tracker tells us that he traveled 109 km and is now in Latvia near the village of Vietalva.

Travel safe dear Bonus, fly high, stay out of the war zones, always have a stream full of frogs and fish — prosper.

There should be more news but it appears that all might have left for their winter homes from the Karula Forest nest of Kaia and Karl II. I will confirm this tomorrow.

Bonus was always a very special Black Storklet. He would not have survived without the intervention of Urmas and Dr Madis and his team. They would have died on the nest. Urmas’s foresight to provide fish baskets meant that everyone had lots of fish. A special thank you to all who donated towards the food for the nest.

The Dahlgren Osprey nest in the US has announced that the male, Jack, has not been seen for a few days so that now Harriet, the female, and the sole surviving fledgling from the nest in King George County are on their journey south.

No one has been seen at the Loch of the Lowes since yesterday. Laddie LM 12, Blue NC0 and both of the fledglings appear to also be heading south.

It was another successful year for Ospreys in Wales and John Williams gives us the run down in his last blow of the season for Llyn Clywedog. The numbers of Ospreys in Wales are growing. There are now 7 ‘known’ pairs who produced 17 chicks this year. John catches up with all the nest news.

John also produced a chart for all the chicks hatched at Llyn Clywedog – noting that there is simply too much grey. Were those chicks ever seen or not? Sometimes they do get missed.

Handsome Aran on the perch at the Glaslyn nest this morning. He remains bringing fish to the nest for the fledglings. Mrs G was still home as well today.

Handsome, Aran.

Emyr Evans has provided us with the data of the fledges at the Dyfi nest asking the question: what happened to Pedran? Emyr is great with statistics and this is a good read about migration and young fledglings.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/pedran-what-has-happened-her?fbclid=IwAR2nZUelKdPCJFEW-3PIjKlcohXunU9JSBevJA8wFl4XpT1ICR9H8O8bepA

Rosie was still on the perch at the SF Bay Osprey nest this morning! Brooks has not been seen at the nest for some time now – this is not alarming. She is out exploring!

Congratulations to Glacier Gardens. Both Love and Peace have fledged. Here is a video of that moment on 25 August when Peace took to the air. Congratulations for another successful year Liberty and Freedom!

Thank you so very much for joining me this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that you are doing well and I will look forward to having you with us again in Bird World.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their posts, and their videos that form my screen captures: The New York Times, Explore.org and IWS, Ferris Akel Tours, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Friends of Ospreys, Looduskalender, Dahlgren Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Williams and The Clywedog Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

Oh, some good news!

The past couple of days have been full of sadness. Where did it begin? with WBSE 27? with Grinnell being injured by an interloper? with the death of Collins Street’s Littlest Bob from Trichomoniasis? Will this string of the unthinkable come to an end with the electrocution of Solly, such a successful and promising female Eastern Osprey? I sure hope so. Everyone needs to do some self-care —— because you care.

Karl II with tracker and Kaia on left. Spring 2021

There is some very good news and I had to share it with you. We have been following the migration of the Black Stork family of Karl II. Their nest is located in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The female, Kaia, migrated early so we have watched the satellite transmissions forKarl II, Udu (male), and Pikne (female); the other male, Tuul, died. We know that Karl II has made it to his wintering sites in the Sudan. Udu took a different route that had him stopping in Crete and then having to fly across the Mediterranean. That is no small feat. Everyone worried but his tracker showed he was in the White or Western Desert in Egypt – an area that uses salt water for its irrigation as water is very scarce. At the same time, Pikne was along the Red Sea. Then all transmissions stopped. Many hoped that the issue was related to bad satellite connections but, under the surface, many worried that something had happened to Udu and Pikne. Cautious optimism.

The tracker of Little Udu came on and to the shock and dismay of all, he had made it across the desert – a distance of 2000 km. Tears flowed.

Oh, Udu is one strong Black Stork. First the longer routing and then having to fly across the Mediterranean when all others go overland. Udu could not stop, he had to just keep going. Then landing in such a desolate area – exhausted, thirsty, and hungry. Add to that he had to cross the Sahara. My, oh, my. This is just fantastic. For just fledging, Udu is an extremely strong flier.

This graph shows Udu’s stops before reaching what could well be his final destination in the Darfur area of Sudan at Wadi Salih.

The red indicator point is where Udu is. You will notice that he has found an area with trees and a body of water.

So what is a ‘wadi’? My simple definition is a valley or a ravine with steep slopes where water gathers in the rainy season. A more scientific explanation is, “Wadis are natural surface channels draining seasonal run off to a larger Wadi, a river or endoric basins. Wadis are typical drainage channels in arid and semi-arid areas.” This area of Sudan, like much of Africa, is suffering from a water shortage.

Many agencies including UNESCO are working with the people of the region to increase the sustainability of the wadis with the goal of having water security.

There have been no new transmissions for Udu. Nothing from Karl II and Pikne as well. It could well be spring before their transmitters begin working. Udu’s last transmission indicated that he has 78% battery capacity remaining. Fantastic. I think Pikne’s was only showing 21% on her last transmission. Each of us knows about problematic batteries! and areas where there is no cellular service. I am not worried now that Udu has reached what is hoped to be a good spot to spend winter.

This really is a cause for celebration. Black Storks are so rare in Estonia and this year had much sadness in both Latvia and Estonia. Little Udu gives us that ray of hope that we all need today. Congratulations to everyone in Estonia.

Thank you for joining me. I am so delighted to have some great news. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Eagle Club of Estonia’s Forum where they are tracking Karl II and his family and also for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Monday in Bird World

One of the most wonderful things about the time I spent teaching university classes is the students you meet. Often you get to see them grow up from being first years to graduating and, at other times, you are lucky enough to follow them through adulthood. I often think I was so blessed as I continue to stay in contact with so many watching their extraordinary lives unfold. One of those students is an artist living in northern Manitoba who treated me to a late Halloween treat – images of the Northern lights or the Aurora Borealis from where she lives in Northern Manitoba. These colourful dancing lights are energized particles from the sun slamming into our atmosphere. They say that this happens at 72 million kmh (or 45 million mph). My mind cannot even comprehend how fast that is. When this happens, Earth’s magnetic field redirects those same particles toward the North Pole. That redirection is what causes the Aurora Borealis. I would like to share them with all of you.

Aren’t these incredible? When my children were little, living on the acreage in southern Manitoba, you could look out over the flat landscape of the prairies and see them so clearly.

Oh, what a wonderful treat. Thank you!

The moderators on the chat at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier have confirmed that Diamond was also limping and had a droopy wing the day that she was away from Yarruga for ten hours. She appears to be getting better. Yesterday little Yarruga was so hungry. Yarruga is definitely as loud as big brother, Izzi. If we ever worried, right after hatch, that Yarruga might have trouble feeding, we do not have to anymore. Here is a clip of Yarruga trying to take the prey and self-feed! Yarruga is 3 weeks old. S/he is going to be a formidable falcon.

Xavier is doing all of the hunting. This morning Diamond fed Yarruga early.

The sun is casting a golden glow on the trio of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It has been confirmed that they will definitely be ringed, named, and at least one of them will receive a sat-pak on either 8 or 9 November. When I hear the precise time I will let you know. Last year PLO posted a video of everything later. I do hope they will do that again this year.

I am also told that the two chicks at Thistle Island are a bit younger than the PLO trio. I am so selfishly hoping that Little Bob gets a tracker.

There is going to be a live-streamed Condor release tomorrow. The Zoom event will start at 9:30 am Pacific time (that is 11:30 CDT) with the release pen opening at 10 am PT or 12 noon CDT. Every year young condors are released into the wild on the Central Coast of California. This year they will release six which includes #1031 Iniko, the daughter of Kingpin and Redwood Queen, who survived the Dolan fire. Iniko will be released on 4 December but three other birds will be released tomorrow. If you would like to watch this event – and any release into the wild of a condor is fantastic – then you need to sign up. Here is the link to do that:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

If you would like to watch the live-streaming condor cams, here is the link to the Ventana Wildlife Society where you can locate the camera you want:

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor_cam.html

I am so very grateful for these Zoom events. It is one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. I hope that every group continues using them so that those of us far away can join in.

A report on the Ospreys in Finland has been published. It is in Finnish but you can cut and paste and use Google Translate. There are a few images of the nests, etc. They are lovely. Here is that link as I know that some of you watch the Finnish Osprey nests faithfully.

http://128.214.237.21/sites/default/files/files/linnut_vk2020_086-093_saakset_artikkelit_10293.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2HZ8k187x2tvZvT0UfesEMjKgQyZQ2WpxcJDJpycQsmlAFuzeckF6IoXg

There have been images of a pair of Ospreys on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg, Florida. At this point, I cannot confirm they are Jack and Diane. They certainly could be but as one loyal watcher has said, “They do not behave like Jack and Diane.” There is time yet. Last year eggs hatched the first week of March which means they were laid the end of January/early February. If they are not Jack and Diane, Jack will surely run them out of town!

The only confirmation on WBSE 27 is the following from yesterday:

We all hope that WBSE 27 will be kept until it is completely healed and flying well so that it can be released with some hope that it will be able to survive. What a beautiful bird. Those Pied Currawongs are quite dangerous. It is not always safe to be the juvenile of the Apex Raptor on the block! Get well soon WBSE 27.

There have been no new transmissions from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne. It is assumed that Karl II has reached his wintering grounds in the Sudan since his last GPS showed that he had arrived there safely. Pikne was along the waters of the Red Sea. There are real worries for little Udu. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea which would have been exhausting. He will need food and water. His last location was an oasis but they use hot sulphur water for the crops and this is not good for Udu. It is hoped that he made it to the Nile River. Send positive energy to him and also to WBSE 27.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Everyone is fine. You cannot see the Collins Street Four unless they are running down the gutter but they are doing well. More down is being shedded off those wings every hour. Take care all. 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, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Eagle Club of Estonia Forum, and for the FB Page of the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for the image and announcement about WBSE 27.

Good News in Bird World

There is a lot to celebrate in Bird World this evening. Everyone on the Taiaroa Peninsula and perhaps the whole of New Zealand are celebrating the arrival of the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Princess, Tiaki, at the feeding grounds just 70 km off the coast of Chile – safely! This really is amazing. As was pointed out on the Royal Albatross FB page, this young bird fledged on 25 September and arrived in the waters off the coast of Chile, 8500 km away, in 35 days. Incredible. Congratulations!

For those watching the return of the Royal Albatross to Taiaroa Head for the upcoming breeding season, OGK has flown off the peninsula to feed. He continues to wait for his mate, YRK. I have asked and been told that OGK is not the only male still waiting for its mate. That gives me some hope that this adorable couple will still be reunited. They were the parents of last year’s Royal cam princess, Pippa Atawhai.

There has been no new tracking data for Karl II but, on the 28th of October, he had reached Umm Harazat in the Sudan close to where he winters. Udu was at the Farafa Oasis in Egypt on the same day and Pikne was along the Red Sea. I expect that Udu and Pikne could be further into Africa by the time the next transmission comes in.

The Farafa Oasis is an area known as the White Desert.

Udu made a splendid flight across the Mediterranean Sea. The White Desert is home to a number of wells and there is farming in the area. It is most know for its white rock figures.

Pikne’s position:

Karl II’s position:

Moving away from the migrating birds back to Australia, little Yurruga took some big steps today. What a sweet little falcon! Here is a short clip I made of this momentous event.

Yesterday, Dad fed the 367 Collins Street Four in an area that could be viewed easily. There are, of course, concerns that the falcons will fledge from the end where there is no camera view. The owners of the cameras have stated that they will not change the direction of the camera again as it is too disturbing for the birds. That is quite understandable at this stage. No one wants to frighten these lovely eyases and have them fly and fall to their doom. And there is no telling which end of the ledge they will fledge. We just simply wait. They are so strong and healthy. Mum and Dad have been heroic in their efforts to sustain them. So please keep feeding the pigeons in Melbourne – our falcons need them!

There has been no word from the vet team about the condition of WBSE 27 since it was attacked by the Pied Currawong and found on pavement near to the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB page had originally posted WBSE 27 on the pavement unconscious. This disturbed some people so it was replaced with the image below. I have said that no news is good news but this has been several days since the incident. Send all the positive energy to this beautiful bird that you can!

There is good news at the Kakapo Recovery. The team has discovered that the eggs that are laid but do not hatch are not always infertile. Since the beginning of trying to help the Kakapo to recover numbers, it was always believed that the eggs were simply infertile and that is why there was no chick to hatch. The chicks are dying at an early stage. If they can figure out what is the cause, they might be able to assist these lovely non-flying parrots to have more successful hatches. Here is the posting on the Kakapo Recovery FB page. It talks about their efforts with the University of Sheffield to understand the issue and be able to have more live births of this critically endangered bird. Bravo!

The ospreys on the PLO barge are doing great. Little Bob is 45 days old today. Fledging is coming soon. Oh, how I am going to miss this wonderful trio. They have delighted hundreds and hundreds of people this season. Pure joy!

Look at Little Bob showing off! Besides loving to eat Little Bob really does like to give those wing muscles a go. I don’t think Big Bob is very amused.

In the image below, from left to right: Middle Bob (2), Little Bob (3), and Big Bob (1). If I were to have to base a guess on their gender due to the legs, I am afraid that I would have to change my prediction.

Middle Bob’s legs are definitely shorter and stockier than either Little Bob or Big Bob. Big Bob’s legs look like those of a male. That leaves us with Little Bob that I continue to believe is a female. Oh, I cannot wait for those measurements. They are not 100% certain but, perhaps, they will also do DNA testing on the three when they ring them!

Little Bob gives its two older siblings a big hug.

There is Little Bob looking off to the left after the morning breakfast. Three gorgeous nestlings. Ringing, naming, and measuring will take place the week of 8 November. I will keep you posted to the more exact date when I find out.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that you are all well. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots, video clips, and maps: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Birdmap, Kakapo Recovery FP Page, Wikimedia Commons, and Wildlife Computers.

Comings and Goings in Bird World

Over the course of the year I get a lot of questions. Some of them I can answer, some I find the answers for, and others seem to elude everyone. I want to provide you with two really good sites for information. The first is the “everything you would ever want to know about Bald Eagle” blog. Your answer to any question will be found right there. It is also a great way to get introduced to other Bald Eagle nests. Many of you will recognize the name Ranger Sharyn. She is the NZ DOC Ranger on Taiaroa Head and she has a site where she answers questions and discusses issues. She also gives up to the minute information on the Royal Albatross Colony.

The Bald Eagle breeding season is underway in the United States. Last year, the very first egg was laid during the first week of November! Wow. The days pass like water flowing between your fingers sometimes. There is one person that has all of the information you need on one single site. I really applaud the work done including a listing and the ability to click on a link for absolutely every single Bald Eagle streaming cam. Yes, you read that right. There are also data sheets showing dates for eggs laid, hatchings, and fledgings. There is information on how to measure an eagle, etc. It is mind-boggling all the information devoted to Bald Eagles in one place. That blog is written by elfruler and the latest offering is entitled, Ready to Roll? Here is the link. Please sign up to get the latest information if you are a Baldie fan!

I know that many of you love the Royal Albatross and are anxiously awaiting news of returnees including OGK’s YRK. I also know that most of you are following the Royal Albatross group’s FB page. But what about following Ranger Sharyn Broni on DISQUS? Here is the link to the latest and other information.

https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JDCTCk0WoB/

The Port Lincoln nestlings (can we still call them that when they have juvenile feathering?) had their first meal at 08:35:57 on 25 October. They are so civilized. I just adore this nest.

Little Bob is on the left and he will stop eating at 08:57:56 and move to the rim of the nest. It is quite odd for him to leave first. It was a nice sized fish and he looks like he might want to go back to sleep! I do hope that Mum gets to eat some, too.

You can see Little Bob’s ‘beard’.

Mind you, there is nothing ‘little’ about Little Bob or the other two siblings. They are really taking up nest real estate now!

This was the trio 17 days ago on 8 October. That gorgeous copper red feathering on the back of the heads is prominent and they are getting feathers on the tips of their wings and tails.

This is the trio on 26 September, one month and 3 days ago. Little Bob is there in front, up by Mum’s beak. So tiny you can’t see it.

I was so worried about Little Bob but the pattern that was set early continues until today. Little Bob is up eating and Middle and Big Bob are together waiting their turn or taking turns getting bites. The two older Bobs are right in the middle of the reptile phase.

This is 21 September. Oh, look at Little Bob. He still has all his soft light grey down and his egg tooth. The big sibling behind him is getting its pin feathers and transitioning into the reptile phase. It is hard to imagine looking at them then – and now!

The fast growth of all of the birds is simply incredible.

I have been following the advances of Karl II and his children, Pikne and Udu. It is time to bring everyone up to date on the Black Storm family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The last time I posted about them Udu was in Poland, Pikne was in Moldova, and Karl II was in the Ukraine.

In the map below you will see that Pikne and Karl II are following the Eastern land route while Udu finds himself on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The green line is Udu and he is currently at the village of Vainia on the island of Crete. The red line is Pikne. She is now in Egypt near Hurghada. She is being described as ‘flying like a rocket’. Indeed, there have been storms and strong winds and there was a worry that Udu would try to cross the sea but he did not. Smart stork. He hunkered down on Crete. We are very anxious for news of the father, Karl II. He was flying along the Jordan River and returned to Israel. There has been no transmission for almost five days now. The last was 21 October. Perhaps there is a problem with the ability of the area to transmit data or the GPS tracker is not operating because of cloud cover. (As someone said, Karl II could be in the Sudan now. I hope it is one of these reasons.) Karl II is an incredible dad. He stayed with Pikne til she was ready to leave the nest – my hat is off to him. These beautiful storks have almost reached their wintering grounds safe and sound. Please send them the very best wishes for a safe arrival with lots of food!

There have been a number of sightings and photos taken of WBSE 27 around the Discovery Centre. There was a sighting of a juvenile being chased by Currawong and the poster thought that it might be WBSE 28. I sure hope so because that means it is mobile and not on the forest floor where the foxes are.

All of the other nests are doing really well. There is not much to report in the way of Bald Eagles save for the Captiva nest on Santibel Island in Florida. Connie seems to be attracting at least two potential mates who are battling it out for dominance. As far as I know, other than sub-adult and some juvenile intruders, all of the other nests are secure. I wonder if the Bald Eagles will attempt to make a nest in Farmer Derek’s tree this year or have the Great Horned Owl family secured it? Time will tell.

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I want to thank the public forum for the Eagle Club of Estonia for posting the map of the locations of Karl II and his family.