Early Monday in Bird World

18 April 2022

The sun is shining bright, the sky is blue with some clouds, and the Dark-eyed Juncos and European Starlings arrived in the garden three or four hours ago! There is not supposed to be more snow for another five or six days – thankfully.

Mr Woodpecker came for some of the suet a few hours later. Normally he goes to the suet cylinder with the wooden flap that helps him sit better but today he decided he wanted the peanut suet.

I love the rustic garden we have created that allows us to interact with wildlife in an urban setting rather than setting boundaries to keep the birds, the squirrels, the rabbits, and sometimes a raccoon separate and apart. We seem to have all found a way to coexist which certainly brings a lot of joy.

I received a note from a friend of forty years this morning. They live in a beautiful flat in New Zealand near a place where they can observe ducks and swans but, with the sale of the family cottage, they are now longing for a home with a large garden. Whether it is a large or small space, each of us can bring joy to our lives by helping our feathered or furred friends. In fact, it is often so much easier to manage a small space with a single feeder. Everything helps! Yesterday a huge flock of robins came to our neighbours. She didn’t have seed of any kind but she had dried cranberries, frozen blueberries, and some apples she chopped up. The Robins were very grateful.

The day started off really well for Little Bit at the UFlorida Osprey nest in Gainesville. Mum called and Dad brought another fish to her at 09:34.

Little Bit – in the middle – stretches its neck really far and gets some amazing bites of fish. This little one is not bothered at all when it comes to putting its head in front of Big sibling. Did I actually think at one time this wee baby would not survive? He is so feisty and what a great Mum he has. She tries each beak when she has flakes of fish. Not one of the chicks is ever left out. Slow and methodical. I am so impressed by her.

Big Bob (left) has its dark oily head today and has been seen doing a lot of preening as its new darker-grey wooly down comes in. Little Bit (middle) still looks rather soft and young. It is healthy – look at that fat little bottom. Middle Bob (top right) is in between the other two siblings. Tomorrow Middle Bob will look much more like Big Bob. The dinosaur phase is upon us.

Yesterday, at the Captiva osprey nest, the last fish was delivered around noon. Was recreational boat traffic the cause of no deliveries later in the day? I always wonder especially on a holiday weekend.

The first fish today came in and Middle grabbed it. I think Lena was planning on dividing it up but she didn’t get a chance. [Chat uses the term ‘Little’ when I say Middle]. I hope Andy brings in another fish soon for Lena and Little [Mini].

Idris brought in a super fish for Telyn at the Dyfi nest and then incubated the eggs for her so she could have a good feed.

Idris is one of my favourites.

Aran and Mrs G have both been on the alert this morning at the Glaslyn nest. No eggs so far – that’s a good thing.

Aran looking around from the rim of the nest.

Mrs G. looking at the intruder above the nest.

Both on the look out from the perch. There are still floaters around looking for a mate and a nest. They often cause a bit of chaos.

Yesterday, Blue NC0 laid her third and, hopefully, last egg of the 2022 season. If all three hatch, Laddie LM12 is going to be one busy male at the Loch of the Lowes. Last year the couple fledged two chicks.

Here is a short video clip of the third egg being laid.

Maya and Blue 33 (11) will have the first Osprey chicks to hatch on the streaming cams in the UK. I will alert you as we approach pip.

All three eaglets at the West End had a nice early breakfast. Thunder told them to stay away from the edge!

There were some gorgeous views from the Two Harbours nest at sunrise.

Chase wanted some time with the eaglet so he brought in a big stick and coaxed Cholyn off the nest. Sounds just like Shadow at the Big Bear Valley nest! You can see that stick to the side of Chase.

The Pittsburgh Hayes eagle nest would sure like some of that warm California Sun today. Everyone looks miserable. I can only imagine what that stock of fish smells like.

Unbelievable. Only Bob at the National Arboretum nest is no longer a fluffy little white teddy bear. Just look at that eaglet with that big crop. There is still some white natal down on its head.

The image below is the eaglet on 6 April. Twelve days ago! The saying is: An eaglet grows from three inches to 3 feet in 3 months. That is incredible.

Mother Goose has her eggs in the old abandoned Bald Eagle nest at Decorah North in Iowa. She seems to be doing fine. No disturbances and unlike dear sweet Diasy, Mother Goose has help.

The camera operator searched and found the Bald Eagles working on their new nest this morning. It is really windy!!!!!!!!

Harry and Nancy were both on the Minnesota DNR nest as snow was falling this morning. Everyone was having a big feast. Each parent was eating and feeding an eaglet. Beautiful.

Liberty and Guardian were both on the Redding Bald Eagle nest this morning too. It looks, from the size of all of these eaglets, that we are really going to be busy when they all start fledging at once!

Would you like an opportunity to name the two Redding eaglets? Here is where you go to fill in the form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepb87S7zrcMZI6PXzhLCeFD6t21xj5sjw7mEV9n2aT_34CWg/viewform

Names already used include the following: Liberty, Patriot, Spirit, Guardian, Conehead, Freedom, Hope, Peace, Shasta, Justice, Stormy, Windy, Lassen, Pi, Paddy, Poppy, Birdie, Bogey, Solo, River, Sky, Hope, Honor, Glory & Rebel.

The whole family was on the nest this morning at Big Bear after Shadow brought in a really super fish.

What a peaceful image. Spirit looking out on Big Bear Lake while Jackie finishes up some fish. Spirit has such a huge crop! Glad there was some fish left for Jackie.

While the ‘New Guy’ is incubating, Annie chases an unwanted male from The Campanile. Oh, and we so wished Annie would have some peace and quiet.

We are waiting for the announcement of the name for ‘The New Guy’.

Jan brought some moss to soften the nest that he shares with his mate, Janika. Their artificial nest is in Jogeva County in Estonia. It was built in 2021. Black Storks are very rare in Estonia and everything is done to encourage them to nest successfully. If you look carefully you can see that there are two eggs already in the nest.

Big Red and Arthur have been taking turns incubating the four eggs. In fact, this year, Arthur has become a bit bolder in his attempts to get Big Red off the nest so that he can care for the eggs, too. We will be on pip watch at the end of the week. I won’t be able to sleep!!!!!!

In past years we have seen Big Red encrusted in snow, blow off by high winds, and drenched by torrential rains. With four eyases it will be imperative that they get under the adult until they are able to regulate their own temperature if bad weather hits the Cornell campus.

Big Red is certainly a good name for the Queen of Red-tail Hawks. She has the most gorgeous deep red plumage whereas Arthur is lighter.

You can really tell the difference in the couple’s colouring by looking at BR above and then Arthur below.

It has been a wonderful day, so far, at the nests. That is a great way to begin the week. Thank you so much for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam, Captiva Osprey Cam and Window for Wildlife, Dyfi Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Scottish Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Explore.org, Pix Cams, NADE-AEF, MN-DNR, Redding Eagles, FOBBV, Cal Falcons, Eagle Club of Estonia, and Cornell Bird Lab RTH.

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.

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.

Great News for Karl II and family

There was quite a bit of worry a couple of days ago when there had beern no transmissions received from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne.

Karl II, 2021
Karl II and his mate, Kaia, 2021
Karl II with his and Kaia’s three chicks in the nest in the Karula National Forest, Estonia, 2021. Of the three, Udu and Pikne survived. Tuul sadly passed.

Sometimes we just have to trust and hope that the birds are alright. One of the best ways to keep the GPS trackers very light weight is to power them by the sun. Even in the Mediterranean, the sun does not always shine and the batteries can run very low and need a charge OR the birds can be outside of an areas with signals OR both. Today, we are going to celebrate! Just look at the tracking below for Karl II, Udu, and Pikne, the Black Storks from the Karula Forest in Estonia. Tears.

Ladies first today. Pikne is in the Eastern Desert of either Ethiopia or Eritrea and is currently out of signalling range. She has moved and is making great time!

The Eastern Desert is simply the area of the Sahara Desert on the east side of the Nile River. It is sometimes called the Red Sea Hills. There are mountains as well as the coastal waters along the Nile. The area is known for its beautiful clear waters and excellent scuba diving.

“Nile Class Sailing boat & Tridentte 16 on the Red Sea Egypt” by Sierragoddess is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Udu successfully crossed the Mediterranean and is now in the Western Desert of Egypt. So, Udu is west of the Nile River. That is incredible news. It is extremely challenging for the birds to cross the Mediterranean Sea and this fledgling did it on his first trip. What a strong bird Udu is!

“P5010091c Gilf Kebir. View at the top. Western Desert, Egypt. 1st May 2006” by Paul Ealing 2011 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Dad may have stayed around the Baltic Sea for awhile but he has really moved and look – he is at the Merave Reservoir in Sudan along the Nile River. He is alive!

“Nile River at Sunset, Sudan” by valerian.guillot is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The whole family is safe. What an incredible relief for everyone.

People in New Zealand and all the followers of Tiaki, the Royal Albatross Cam Princess for 2021, can also celebrate. She has reached the waters off the coast of Chile.

Another tracker that has been on the ‘fritz’ is Solly, the 2020 female fledgling from the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. People were also getting worried, just like they did for Karl II and his two children. But all is well with Solly, too. She is still staying at her favourite tree at Eba Anchorage.

In a week or so, one or all of the three Bobs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge will be fitted with a tracker like Solly. It is going to be so interesting to follow their travels and to see where those wings take them to fish and live.

Here is a great article on the use and benefits of satellite telemetry to study birds and their migration. It was written in 2012 but everything still applies today.

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/satellite-telemetry-and-its-impact-on-the-94842487/

It is raining on the Canadian Prairies just like it has been in Melbourne and Port Lincoln. Even so, the birds were fed and all are well. The falcons at Melbourne learned about thunder and lightning! It is hard to imagine but we will be on fledge watch in two weeks for those four running up and down the gutter – and the week after that we will be expecting Yurruga to fledge. My, my. Time passes so quickly.

Thank you for joining me today. For those of you who did get to see Season of the Osprey, drop me a line and tell me what you think. Take care all. Stay warm and dry and safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page for the figure showing where Solly is, for the NZ DOC and Wildlife Computers for the tracking of Tiaki, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia for its Forum page and its streaming cam where I took screen grabs of the family and the map showing where Karl and his family are currently located.

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.

Bird World Happenings

For those of you hoping for a second hatch at Diamond and Xavier’s scrape box, it is not to be. Either the eggs were not viable or the second chick died trying to hatch. What we have, however, is one really healthy eyas whose eyes will open in the next few days and what a delight that will be. One healthy baby is just fine!

A video was made of one of the chick’s feedings. I cannot wait til it can see its parents! How wonderful.

It is pitching down rain in Port Lincoln. Mum and the three osplets are absolutely soaked to the core.

Mum is the best. She is trying as hard as she can to keep her three babies from catching a chill. Sadly, Melbourne’s weather says it is to have rainy periods through Saturday. I do hope the nest gets a chance to dry out for this incredible Osprey family.

To my knowledge no breakfast has come in yet. Mum is really tired and would appreciate the sleep. She has a smelly wet pillow!

It is an hour later and Mum is beginning to dry out just a little. Hopefully Dad will be in with a fish soon.

The Melbourne Four have already had three meals today – before 8:30! These parents are working overtime. It has to be exhausting. Look how big that little one is and how big its crop is. These four are also healthy and strong. Well done Mum and Dad.

Skipping over to the US, those who fell in love with Anna and Louis during their first year as Bald Eagle parents will be excited to know that the streaming cam is up and running. Here is the link to that nest at Lake Kincaid in the Kisatachie National Forest. Last year, Anna and Louis had one eaglet fledge, Kisatachie. It was wonderful to watch the parents grow into their roles as parents. One time Louis was so eager to provide food early on that he had 18 fish in a pile. I can sure imagine quite a few nests that would have liked some of that! Kisatchie grew big and strong and honoured this old Bald Eagle nest that had not had an eaglet hatch or fledge in 13 years. Incredible.

Cody, Steve and the gang are handling the chat to answer any of your questions.

I have not checked on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia for some time. There is some troubling news, perhaps. regarding Julge. This latest report is on Birdmap.

“In the morning September 8, Julge crossed border between Germany and Belgium and from next overnight there was not long distance up to France border, anymore. 20-30 km, depends in what direction Julge continues migration. But perhaps, there is time to improve energy sources? Interesting, if quarry is good place to find food for stork…. Anyway, Julge flew south in September 12. That means France is next country Julge visits. And stayed in a village called Saint-Hilaire-le-Petit. Nor dare not fear the closeness of people. He could be seen picking up insects from the lawn in the parking lot of the nearby Pontfaverger supermarket … But on the afternoon of September 21, Julge flew some 30 km in direction of Paris. On 22 September, Julge reached a stopover between Paris and Reims, where the latest data were received on the morning of 25 September. Next behaviour of Julge is unknown. A local newspaper is also involved in the searches of Julge.”

You can check the migration status of the Ospreys, Black Storks, White-tailed Eagles, Eurasian Cranes, and the Lesser Spotted Eagles here:

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

I also wanted to check on Karl II and his three children and on their migration status.

First is Udu. This is from the Forum: “It is now becoming unlikely that Udu will find/follow the ‘usual’ eastern migration route, I fear. All other options to cross the Mediterranean Sea are far more complicated, difficult and dangerous. Unless Udu will winter in southern Italy, or in Greece?” Udu is now in Kosovo.

Here is the map showing the three members of the family: Karl II, his daughter, Pikne, and son, Udu . They are making wonderful progress!

You can follow the Black Stork family whose nest was in the Karula National Forest in Estonia here:

This was just a quick check on the developments at the Orange Australian scrape box of Xavier and Diamond. I am certain that chatters and followers would loved to have seen two eyases hatch but, it was not to be. We can, however, wait with wonder to see the little one open its eyes and see its parents for the first time – and grow, thrive, and fledge. Send positive wishes for a fish to arrive at the PLO and for the rain to let up so the nest can dry.

Thank you for joining me. It will get chilly on the Canadian Prairies tonight – down to 4 C. It will certainly feel more seasonal. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or Forums where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, the Latvian Fund for Nature, the Estonian Eagle Club, and BirdMap.

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.

Taiki to get GPS tracker

It is 9 September in Australia. My computer tells me that it is 17:34 on the Canadian Prairies on the 8th of September. In three hours, around 20:00. CDT, the NZ DOC rangers will fit Tiaki with the tracker. She is 228 days old and could fledge any time.

Here is the link so that you can watch. Both LGL and LGK were fitted with trackers. LGK’s is still working providing valuable information on where the adults forage for food for their chicks.

In other nest news, it has been confirmed that Z2 (Aeron) and his family have now all departed for migration. Aeron’s nest is the Pont Cresor in Glaslyn. At the same time, Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Many worry about his late spring wing injury but, he most often doesn’t leave until mid-September.

Wales issued a statement that due to the cold spring weather and misfortunes, their six nests produced only six chicks to fledge.

9 October is one of Cornell’s big bird submission dates. This year they are even calling it October Big Day. They want everyone to do a bird count around the world. Mark it on your calendar. I will give you more details closer to the day.

eBird submissions are very helpful. Some recent discoveries, sadly, include bird and plane collision information.

A photo of an adult Osprey yesterday leads everyone in Missoula to think that Iris is still in Montana. The image was taken from the Owl Pole Camera.

Let’s chick on where the Black Storks are today.

Pikne is in Moldova.

Udu is in Southwest Poland.

Udu’s area is full of lakes!

There was no data update for Karl II.

Julge, the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika, has made its way through Germany and looks like he is flying into France. This stork picked the Western Route! Julge is the purple line going into Belgium. It is nice to know he is safe.

The last time that Big Red and Arthur’s K1 and K3 were spotted was 3 September. If they are truly gone and starting their own lives, we wish them and those that are migrating good winds, food, and safe landings.

My original computer issue was fixed but now it seems that some of the keys are sticking. It isn’t fun to keyboard. I will leave you with a couple of images of ducks and geese from my excursion to the park today. It was quiet. Everyone was off tracking down a Green Heron that had flown into town!

A juvenile male Wood Duck.
Juvenile Female Wood Duck
Adult male Wood Duck,moult
Canada Geese

Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to drop in and see Tiaki get her tracker! My hope is that it is equipped with a 7 year battery. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Montana Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and BirdMap.

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.