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.

Wednesday in Bird World

Lady Hawk has posted some close ups of the Royal Albatross cam chick, Tiaki, doing some wing exercises. Tiaki is all grown up, a beautiful juvenile, the daughter of LGL and LGK. She will fledge soon beginning her five or six year journey at sea – never touching land – til she returns to the headland to begin finding a mate. Perhaps one day Tiaki’s chick will be the Royal cam chick. I do hope so. It will mean that the seas are safer places for our beautiful squid eating birds.

“Masked Bobwhite (female ) (subspecies of Northern Bobwhite) | BANWR | AZ | 2016-04-15at07-43-413” by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Audubon Society has posted some really good news. The Masked Bobwhites are once again seen in southern Arizona. They were believed to be on extinct or on the edge of extinction because of cattle grazing in the Arizona deserts. Today they are listed as ‘critically endangered’.

They are a small round quail. When I was a child, we would travel to visit relatives in Arizona every summer. Oh, was it hot! But there were always Bobwhites. It is nice to hear that they are now returning.

This photo was taken on the 10th of September. I wrote about it at the time because in migration news, this is great. The son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 at the Pont Cresor nest in the Glaslyn Valley – and the grandson of Monty and Glesni – had reached Brittany. That was 12 days ago. He would now be further on his migration, perhaps stopping in Spain. The photo of Blue 494 was taken by Colette Leclerq.

Photo by Colette Leclerq, Brittany France

Speaking of migration and waiting and wanting news of Blue 464, it is more than time to check on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia.

First up, Karl II, his daughter Pikne, and his son Udu. They are from the Black Stork nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia. This map is taken from the Karl II migration pages of the Forum.

Udu is now in Hungary near the fishponds at Banhalma. Karl II remains around Kherson Oblata in the Ukraine. Pikne has doubled back and remains in Moldova. What I think is interesting about this map is that Udu has turned and is heading towards the Asia Minor route. There was a question as to whether he might go the western route to Africa but it seems he will be flying over Greece.

This is the data from BirdMap. You can access the BirdMap here:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

I was wanting to see about the Black stork Julge. He is Jan and Janika’s only surviving chick this year. He is now in france. You can see him still heading over the westerly routing.

The birds that are in the centre of Africa are two Ospreys!

So far everything looks in order and everyone is still safe.

I cannot bring you a late afternoon update on the Port Lincoln Ospreys. The camera was frozen for most of the day and has just returned to normal. Mom has the kids covered tight. It is only 8 degrees at 16:00 with winds blowing over the water at 11 kph.

I can show you a bit of what a beautiful day it was on the Canadian prairies. I really need to practice with my camera and my tripod. These are some images today taken at a distance of about 68 metres. I found the tripod tricky to use – I need a counterbalance for it – so these are all hand held. The set up was heavy. But there were a few passable images.

A female Mallard. This species is very common in Manitoba. They have, on occasion, fooled me so I have had to go to our local eBird expert. This is a real beauty.

The Canada Geese would like the entire pond to themselves. They swim after and honk as they pursue the ducks.

There is your dabbling duck. She knows that goose is there but is trying to ignore it.

The park was just beautiful. It was 25 degrees today. One of the fountains was not working and that end of the pond had men working. Still the geese on the other side were a bit curious.

All of the Wood Ducks were either up on the islands or down by the fountain that was working. This is a female and she is such a cutie. I sat and watched her swim in and out of the water droplets for quite awhile.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow is a day away chasing shore birds. I hope to have a posting tomorrow evening (Thursday). Take care everyone. Stay safe. Stay Positive!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Ospreys, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia, BirdMap, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Thursday in Bird World

Everyone that I know either loves to see an Osprey fish or they wish they had the opportunity to do so. This is one of the best two minute videos I have ever seen showing the physical stamina that the male needs to land his fish and get it out of the water for the family. Look at it closely.

John Williams kept a list of the fish that Dylan brought to the nest for Only Bob, Blue 496. That was the Lyn Clywedog Nest. There were 354 fish seen at the nest including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and 10 Grey Mullet. This is for one chick and his mate. I wonder how this number of fish increases for nests of more than one chick? Does anyone know?

Last night, at 18:15, the Dad at the PLO Barge brought in a nice fish. He had eaten the head off. Mum proceeded to provide three feedings to the Osplets between then and 22:15. After the last feeding, she ‘hid’ the fish. Lots of times the fish are hidden to keep insects off. In some countries, the fish buried in the strawy nests stay fresher. I am thinking of the White Tailed Eagles in Latvia. Or maybe she did want to hide it from Dad!

One thing that we always need to remember is that video from the beginning. The male’s role is often forgotten in terms of its importance.

The Osprey nests ONLY succeed when the male is in tip top condition. Tiger Mozone made that point last night on the PLO chat. The nest will fail if the male is not a good fisher or is in poor physical condition. The male must eat. How could he keep up his strength otherwise? Dad eats first and brings the remainder to the nest. Eating the head – which might be the best part (I doubt it) – might also stop that fish from flapping (it doesn’t always). So do not begrudge the male a meal – cheer him on. We need the male healthy so he can exert the type of energy it takes to catch the fish. Many say it is 8 to 15 tries to get a fish. That is a lot of diving. Of course, we also hope that there are lots of fish around the surface for the male to catch.

This image has been circulating. I have no idea who took it, where it originated but it was in my inbox awhile ago sent from a friend. Thanks ‘M’.

The next time you look at the legs of the males – think strength. They do not need a gym membership!

Dad on the ropes eating the head of one of the fish he brought in.
The 3 Bobs stand at attention if they are hungry. This is an image after that fish was delivered.

The little ones at the PLO nest need bites of fish often now. Like I said, Mom fed them at 18:15 and then twice again before bedtime. In 2 weeks time they will need more fish. It is important that the 2-3 week period be stable with deliveries. This will be a big growth period.

This was at 18:15:54. It is less than a minute after the fish delivery. I am including this image so you will then notice how those three get to attention when it is feeding time.

In 30 seconds, they have all turned around and gotten in line. Well done, little ones.

The last feeding of the day. They look like they are singing!

It has been some days since I checked on the Black Stork family of Karl II and Kaia whose nest is in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The current tracking is for Karl II, Pikne, and Udu.

Udu is now in Hungary. The comment on the forum is that Udu seems to have an affinity for finding good fishing spots.

I like this map the best as it shows Karl’s family plus Jan and Janika’s Julge. Julge is the purple. You might recall that he got on a ship and went the wrong direction but righted himself and is now taking the Western route to either southern Spain and Portugal or on to Africa. I wonder if he will stop in Spain?? Karl II is near to where he was when I last checked on him. Near the Black Sea in the Ukraine. A great stopping off spot it seems.

While a few days might not change Karl II’s trajectory that much, it sure has changed the plumage of the White Bellied Sea Eaglets 27 and 28. Wow. They are gorgeous. And, yes, Toni Castelli-Rosen, they are as pretty as the Red Tail Hawks! Indeed, I have had to admit to Toni that they are double gorgeous. I love the plumage on these juveniles.

The last time Aran was seen was Tuesday morning so he might have left on his migration. The Glaslyn Valley will be waiting for him next year. Isn’t it gorgeous? I understand they are leaving the camera on all winter. Wow. What a treat.

It is not clear if Iris has left Missoula, Montana yet. There were photographs of an Osprey on Iris’s favourite branch eating a fish on 12 September. That was four days ago. Did she leave without saying goodbye to her nest? Maybe. Tiaki, the Royal Cam chick, had a feeding today (LGL) and Tiaki is still on Taiaroa Head. Samson has been bringing in sticks and him and Gabby are working on the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me today. I had hoped to do a quick check on all the nests but the long drive in the rain was exhausting. I will do that this weekend. Stay safe everyone. Check out the trio at the PLO Barge. They are darlings.

Thank you to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, the Eagle Club of Estonia and BirdMap for their streaming cam and FB pages.

The little osprey

It has been several weeks since I travelled to check on the two osprey chicks in their nest at Grand Beach Provincial Park. A friend sent me word on Tuesday that the two chicks were still at the nest with mom. Circumstances kept me away until today. It was a bright sunny day with no chance of rain – seemed like the perfect chance to go and have a last visit with the osprey family if they were still home.

Manitoba is a summer breeding ground for Ospreys. They arrive in April and are usually gone by mid-September. Due to public outcries because many of the birds were electrocuted on hydro poles, our public utility, Manitoba Hydro, began erecting platforms for the birds in the hope that they would build their nests on them and not on the high voltage lines. The place that I visited is Grand Beach Provincial Park. Close to the West Beach is one platform that is occupied. There is another platform near Grand Marais, only a few moments away. It is unoccupied and was not in good condition. The water around it seems to have dried up eons ago and it is very close to the highway.

The nest that I visited is located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Locate Winnipeg and then move your eye 45 degrees north-northeast til you see the green type indicating Grand Beach.

Lake Winnipeg is the world’s 10th largest fresh water lake. It is very shallow by most standards. On average it is only 3.6 metres or 12 feet deep although there are a few places where it is 10.9 metres or 36 feet deep. The lake measures 436 kilometres or 270 miles in length and 111 km wide or 68 ft at the widest point. It has more than a 1609 kilometres or 1000 miles of shoreline – many areas with beautiful white sand beaches.

“File:Grand Beach and Provincial Park in Lake Winnipeg in Fall 2009 Manitoba Canada.JPG” by Shahnoor Habib Munmun is licensed under CC BY 3.0

It is a perfect place to raise an Osprey family!

This young lady was the only one home while we were there. She was food calling most of the time despite the crop she had. It reminded me so much of Tiny Little. You could hear her half an American football field away quite clearly! She was not letting up.

What was especially funny was the large chunk of fish she was holding in one of her talons. Did she want mom to come to the nest and feed her?

Along with the food calling this juvenile certainly did a lot of wing flapping but, she never left the nest while we were watching.

The sun played havoc with the lighting casting everything almost in silhouette.

Look at those big beautiful wings. She has no idea what is in store for her but she has imprinted on her brain the fresh water marsh and the lake where she hatched. If she survives, she will visit this nest or a place near to it in the future.

For an area that tends to have lots of water birds, it was relatively quiet. There were only a couple of Canada Geese, a Crow, a duck, and some small birds.

There was a crow who came to see what all the commotion was about with the Osprey and to make sure that I didn’t cross the barrier to get closer to the nest.

There was also this lonely little duck all by itself. My Manitoba birding book suggests that this is a female Common Goldeneye. She is so far away this is the best I could do in terms of an image.

This seems like a perfect place for this little diving duck that is 41-51 cm long. She could be looking for tubers, frogs, insect larvae, or even small fish.

In North America, the Labour Day long weekend marks the end of summer and all of its activities. Everyone will be back in school in a few days. The beaches will be empty and the leaves will continue to turn yellow, orange, and gorgeous shades of red. Meanwhile, the birds who are still here will ready themselves for their long migration south. The seasons are changing. It is in the air and the smell of the leaves when you walk on them. There is no more need for air conditioning but, rather, a light jacket. I love this time of year.

Before I leave, I want to show you the map of the Black Stork’s migration today. I am so proud of little Pikne, the last one to leave Karl II’s nest. She has headed straight and is doing so well. She is in Moldova. Indeed, all of the birds are progressing at a good pace it seems.

You can also see that Julge – the Black Stork that got on the boat heading the wrong direction – is now in Germany. Udu is crossing Poland. Both of them appear to be going the Western route but Udu might correct his course. We wait. Karl II is relaxing on the shores of the Black Sea.

Thank you for joining me on my short visit to check on our Ospreys and the Black Storks. I wish them good winds, lots of fish, safe travels, and a long life. Stay safe everyone!

I want to thank the individuals in charge of the tracking of the birds and their posting of the current maps on the Estonia Eagle Club Forum pages.

Good News in Bird World, 31 August

The sky is blue, the sun is shining bright and it is 21 degrees C on the Canadian Prairies. Just a grand day for everyone. And it is a good day for our birds. Let’s dig into those good news stories.

Jan and Janika’s Black Stork fledgling, Juleg, is not in Russia! He managed to turn around. It would appear he flew because the speed is faster than a tanker but, does it matter? Juleg is back on course having spent the night at Jaroslawiek in Poland. Fantastic news!

The question now is whether ‘the brave one’ will continue going southwest or try to correct his heading heading through Greece and Turkey? We wait. He is alive and well. That is what matters most.

Hurricane Ida temporarily took out the connection to the streaming cam at the Kistachie National Forest in Louisiana. Everyone was worried. However, the winds and rain did not damage the system that the USFWS has put in place to watch the Bald Eagles, Louis and Anna. This is great news!

If you have been watching the Boulder Osprey Cam and were frustrated that it quit working, it is back on line today. The female is still delivering food to the fledgling. Everything is good.

Remember Only Bob? The only hatch of Dylan and Seren at the Llyn Clywedog Nest? the largest male Osprey ever to be born? Today the researchers issued the list of fish that were delivered to Blue 496. There were 354 of them! Rainbow trout were almost exclusively the fish at the beginning and end of the season with Brown trout making up the middle time slot. There were also 10 Grey Mullet that Dylan took from the Dyfi Estuary 15 miles away! —— Ah, you remember! Dylan is the one that flew 25 minutes one way, got a trout, and flew back 25 minutes with it. What a guy.

Here is Dylan delivering one of those whopper trout to Blue 496, Only Bob.

The arrival of fish at the Llyn Clywedog Nest in the Hafren Forest has puzzled some of the observers. It is now thought that when Dylan chased intruders away he sent them packing and instead of returning empty handed, he would stop and fish. Hence the reason from the Brown trout from Nanty Moch which is 7 km from the nest and the mullet from the Dyfi Estuary which is 12.7 km away. Dylan and Seren, Blue 5F, did a great job with their only hatch. Seren left and will be seen where she always spends her winters – in the Tanji Marsh in The Gambia.

Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Mrs G has not been seen since 30 August. Can you see him?

The tiny little birds all over the Glaslyn Nest yesterday have been identified as Mistle Thrushes.

Mistle Thrushes are common and are found all over the United Kingdom. They eat berries, earthworms, and insects. They would have had a grand time foraging in the Osprey nest!

Here is a short video showing the Mistle Thrust eating berries in the winter. Listen for their song.

All you have to do is look at the photograph of WBSE 27 and 28 – yes, that is 28 with that massive crop – to see that things are going quite well on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney. What a relief.

It feels like a good day. It would only be better if someone had a sighting of Tiny Little, Blue 463. White YW was seen on the nest today so he is still around.

Take care everyone. Enjoy the rest of the day wherever you are. I am off to check on the local Ospreys.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, City of Boulder Osprey Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Carnyx Wild and Llyn Clywedog Osprey Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and BirdMap.

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 Friday and Saturday in Bird World, 28 August

It is late Friday night on the Canadian Prairies. The much needed rain has paused and the weather news says it will start again soon. The rosemary and thyme growing in the garden boxes are thriving as are the Vermillionaires, planted specifically for the hummers. Perhaps they will find them as they return to their winter grounds.

This is the first year that there have not been hummers in early July around the flowers.

The tracking information for Pikne and Udu is in. These are the two fledglings of Karl and Kaia. Sadly, Tuul passed.

26 August tracking map shows Pikne flew only 11.5 km from her last stop. The Forum postings says, “S/he is still between the villages Mykhailivka, Khvoshchivka and Stavychany, Khmelnytskyi Oblast in Ukraine.” Do not let this short distance worry you. She has found a nice place to rest and feed for a day or two.

It looks like a beautiful area for Black Storks to pause in their long journey.

“File:Khmelnytskyi, Khmel’nyts’ka oblast, Ukraine – panoramio (59).jpg” by durik1980 is licensed under CC BY 3.0

The report for Udu on 26 August indicates that he is also taking a bit of a break. He flew only 6.19 km. He is eating and gaining strength from all the flying near a wildlife park in Niezgoda, Poland.

There is also a big water area for Udu similar to where Pikne is eating and resting.

This is the latest map for Udu:

The only surviving Black Storkling, Julge which means brave one), seen recently on Jan and Janika’s nest has begun his migration. This is remarkable – five days after fledging. He travelled 224 km and appears to be flying the same direction as Udu, Karl II’s male fledgling. Well done Julge. You have survived the horrors of the forest and the Raccoon Dogs that killed your siblings and you are flying. Stay safe!

One of the chatters for the Latvian Forum has been to the feeder to check on it and on Grafs and Grafiene’s storklets. The heron that we see often in the photographs remains at the feeder. Live carp could still be seen in the pond. While there, two black storklings came flying over him and into the forest. Sadly, in the excitement, he lost the card from his camera so there are no pictures. But the good news is that the feeder still has fish and that the two storklings of Grafs are together and alive. The third is believed to have followed Grafs off the nest and is feeding in a different area. This is all fantastic news.

There appears to be no activity on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. Polly Turner caught White YW looking for our Tiny Little but no Tiny Little. She is believed to have begun her first migration. White YW and Blue 35 raised three lively chicks. Dad stayed on until Tiny Little had the call of the winds to leave and made sure she was fed well. This is a great nest and we look forward to the return of White YW and Blue 35 next spring and to Tiny Little, Blue 463 (remember that number), when she returns in two years.

That nest looks so lonely and empty without Tiny Little there screaming her head off! The visual clue for an Osprey fledgling wanting food is that yelling that Tiny Little to White YW every time she saw him —- in case he forgot that she was hungry!

Diamond is still holding that egg! She had everyone excited yesterday but no, no egg yet.

Mrs G and Aran are still in Wales. The lovely couple sitting close to one another on the perch looking over the beautiful valley that is their territory and fighting off any intruders.

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom. Lovely. We hope they both return safe and well to raise a lovely clutch next year.

The camera operator gave a tour of the other side of the nest. Have a wee peek.

The nest has everything! A river with fish!

What a magnificent valley, so serene.

Maya is still at the Rutland Water Manton Bay nest with Blue 33. She was caught on camera for a couple of brief seconds today. So like Mrs G, Maya is still hanging back from starting her migration.

I have received word that WBSE 28 ate well and had a crop at one of the feedings yesterday. Here is a video that the Sea Eagle Cam posted to reassure everyone.

At Taiaroa Head, the Royal Cam Princess for 2021, Taiki, is getting really good at hovering. She is busy as a bee these days wandering around and visiting with her neighbours. If you want to see more of this little fluff ball, now is the time to watch her. It is near the beginning of September and fledge is usually the middle of the month. Perhaps she is precocious and will fly off earlier!

Can’t you just hear her saying wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! She is destined to spend the next 5 or 6 years of her life flying over the seas of the Southern Ocean in search of food. Remember – every chance you get lobby to stop long-line fishing without bird protections. They are easy fixes and every fishing trawler can use these covered hooks and sparkly lines without much cost. They can bait the hooks and lower them at night at no cost with no harm to the sea birds.

About the time Tiaki flies off, Gabby will be arriving at the Bald Eagle nest to meet her handsome Samson near Jacksonville. Doesn’t time go by so quickly?

Every day I learn something new. In researching nature centres and the rights of animals I have come across some interesting information. I thought I would share it with you in the form of a very short little game. Meant for fun!

  1. Approximately how many birds were killed in 1886 to provide feathers for women’s hats in the US? a) 10 million; b) 15 million; c) 2 million; d) 7 million; or e) 5 million.
  2. Which of the following, mixed with Xylene and fuel oil, was sprayed in the Patuxent River in 1945? a) chlorine; b) Agent Orange; c) DDT; d) 2.4 D; or e) MPCA.
  3. Which of the following began in elite hunting circles? a) environmentalism; or b) conservation
  4. Which of the following was first concerned with air and water pollution? a) environmentalism; or b) conservation
  5. Who is the individual credited with lobbying to protect the Bald Eagle from hunters in the early 20th century?
  6. Can private citizens in the US sue over alleged violations of the US Endangered Species Act on behalf of a tree, an Osprey, spotted owls, red squirrels, etc? a) Yes or b) No
  7. Jackie and Shadow are Bald Eagles who have their nest at Big Bear, California. What chemical, not outlawed for nearly 50 years, continues to cause their egg shells to be thin?
  8. In 2021, deep sea explorers discovered something horrific off the coast of Catalina in California. It was a dumping ground for barrels of what pesticide?
  9. What is the biggest killer of songbirds in Canada?
  10. I am a nestling raptor. I am flapping both of my wings up and down in unison with my head held low. What am I doing?
  11. I am a nestling raptor. I am pancaked in the nest cup, keeping my head as low as I can. Am I happy that food is arriving on the nest? Afraid of a predator? or signalling that my mum is flying to the nest?
  12. How many deer hunting licenses were sold through the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin (or on line) in 2020? a) 226,718; b) 873,001; c) 174,569; d) 820,299; or e) 547,223

Thank you so much for joining me. It is cool and the day promises more rain on the Canadian prairies – and that is a good thing. After the heat of the summer, so many are telling me the crisp air of fall is their favourite time of year.

Several are working behind the scenes to get the information over what happened to Malin and what the outcome might have been — remember that video by Scotty Watson rescuing the juvenile Osprey on its initial flight — to the responsible authorities of Collins Marsh. This may take time but it is done so that Malin’s tragedy is not only remembered but also used to educate those who have Ospreys in their care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross. I would also like to thank the Forum with the tracking for Karl II and his family.

Here are the answers to the fun quiz. Maybe we should do another just about the birds we love one day!

  1. The answer is 5 million, E. Birds of every species was used in millinery not just in the United States but also in Europe. It was one of the reasons that our beloved Ospreys became extinct. Some women decorated their hats with not only feathers but the stuffed remains of entire birds with their beaks, feet, and glass eyes!
  2. The Patuxent River was sprayed with DDT mixed with Xylene and fuel oil, C. When individuals returned from World War II having used DDT in various ways, it was accepted that it was harmless. Almost immediately, when DDT began to be used as an insecticide, problems were noted but this was not before vast areas of rivers were sprayed with DDT to lessen the mosquito population. The result was dead fish floating to the surface within days.
  3. Conservation is linked to the elite hunting and fishing clubs, B. Conservationists believe/d sport hunting was a worthwhile pursuit and they sought to protect entire species so that they could be hunted!
  4. Environmentalism is focused on a global connection and a global vulnerability of all life on the planet. Their early work was on air and water pollution and how they relate to every species. They promoted the interconnectedness of every living thing. When one thrives, we all thrive.
  5. Rosalie Edge took on the Audubon Society and hunters and lobbied to get the Bald Eagle protected. She eventually purchases Hawk Mountain and puts an end to sport hunting there.
  6. The answer is ‘yes’. The Endangered Species Act was signed into law after an argument before the US Supreme Court on giving legal representation to natural objects. The argument was first presented in a law review article titled, “Should Trees Have Standing?’. Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas wrote the preface. The first case was The Sierra Club versus Disney Corporation. The Sierra Club lost but, various legal arguments have been held to uphold the rights of owls, Florida Key deer, etc.
  7. The residual DDT in the ground and Big Bear Lake continues to wreck havoc on the shells of many birds including Shadow and Jackie at Big Bear. See Pesticides Documentation Bulletin, Volume 2, Issues 21-24.
  8. Deep sea divers have discovered leaking barrels of DDT at 3000 feet below sea level off the coast of Los Angeles near Catalina as reported in the LA Times, 26 April 2021, by Rosanna Xia. https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-04-26/ddt-waste-barrels-off-la-coast-shock-california-scientists
  9. Cats. Some areas are now requiring that domestic cats be licensed and kept strictly inside. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cats-the-no-1-killer-of-birds-in-canada-1.3130437
  10. Mantling to protect my prey item.
  11. Keeping still so a predator near the nest will not see me.
  12. 820,299. The sales of hunting licenses during the first year of the pandemic were up 3.5% in Wisconsin. https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2020/12/01/wisconsin-dnr-releases-deer-hunt-harvest-totals-license-sales-information/