This is a moment I have been waiting for like so many of you. Please – if anyone ever tells you that our feathered friends do not have feelings – show them this video that LizM made of the moment when Karl II and Kaia are reunited.
Thank you to Liz and the Eagle Club of Estonia. You can watch Karl II and Kaia at Must-toonekurg on YouTube.
I hope that each and everyone of you has had a wonderful start to this first weekend in November. Here on the Canadian Prairies we are really saying goodbye to autumn as the days get colder and colder. It is now time to put away any light to medium weight jackets and pull out the scarves, toques, boots, gloves and all other paraphernalia such as snow scrapers and shovels. The forecast is for a 70% chance of snow on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!! Then a further possibility next Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, it is going to rain in between which means icy roads. I dislike winter until we are right in the middle of it and life has settled down to something resembling a hibernating bear with a mug of hot chocolate.
Are there days in your calendar where events coincide? The 5th of November is one of those for me. It is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. Fawkes was part of a Catholic group that tried to burn down Parliament in 1605. It is now better known as Bonfire Night when effigies of Fawkes are burned on bonfires along with the traditional eating of the ‘jacket’ potato. There are many fond memories of the smell of the leaves, the smoke and the fires, the potatoes with all their fillings, and just the camaraderie of friends gathering on a fall evening. 5 November is also the birthday of my late mother-in-law Vi (she was a real sweetheart), the birthday of my late friend Joanne (who died in a fire), and very much the birthday of my BFF here in Winnipeg who is celebrating her birthday today in Dublin. Happy Birthday, ‘S’.
There are many good things in life – ‘good’ friends, ‘close and loving family’, sunshine warming our face, a soaking forest walk, watching birds, warm cookies from the oven, warm bread from the oven, a smile from a stranger, our wonderful feathered friends with their large beaks and huge talons, and our pets, if we are able to share our lives. Many can’t. Of course, that is not an all inclusive list and everyone will have their own and I can add each of you to that list also. A community of empathetic, caring, concerned individuals. I am so lucky.
My Dad loved all animals. He hand fed the Cardinals and Blue Jays in our garden, took in and found homes for all the stray dogs and cats that mysteriously wound up in our yard and tended a gorgeous rose garden…I am so very grateful to him for opening up the beauty of the natural world to me before I could walk. That is where I turn – the birds, the trees, the animals – when life is at what seems its bleakest.
Lewis and Missy really helped me ‘adjust’ (I never get over) the death of Middle. They could not have come into my life at a better time.
Forget factory made toys, roll up a piece of aluminum foil! Everyone will want to play with it.
Missy likes the in floor heating.
It is not always the little brother that starts all the dust ups.
Lewis just loves toys —————- and food! I don’t know where he puts it.
In the News:
Want to understand more about climate change and its impact on the seabirds of the UK, here is an excellent article from the British Trust for Ornithology. The implications could be applied to other areas as well. It is a good read and it will help us to better understand the challenges that seabirds have and will continue to have only multiplied.
It seems that we need to be careful with our toques (knit caps) in Canada. An owl might just swoop down and take it right off your head! I wonder if it had a pom-pom? or what colour the toque was? do owls prefer cool or warm colours?
This article talks about the prowess of Crows getting carrion off the highway. Want to help them? It wasn’t mentioned but, seriously consider stopping and putting the dead animal off to the side of the road – as far as you are able – to keep the Crows, Eagles, Vultures, etc – birds of prey- from getting killed trying to get food.
At Port Lincoln, the camera will sometimes find Mum along the opposite shore having a bath but I have never seen one close up. Here is a wonderful opportunity to see an Osprey enjoying a bath close up!
There are so many places to adopt birds. Our local wildlife rehabilitation centre will announce their holiday fundraiser shortly – you can adopt one raptor or the whole lot of them. Many of the nature centres connected with Osprey streaming cams in the UK also have fundraising programmes including adoptions. Many rely on calendar sales for 2023 – lovely images of the raptor families from this year to brighten your day and remind you of their bigger than life personalities. If you are looking for a gift that will have a huge impact and not wind up in a landfill, think about these fundraisers.
I have mentioned the Kakapo Recovery last week and I promise this is the last time…but, they do such a fantastic job monitoring, finding, assessing, and caring for this rare flightless parrot. They have limited adoptions available. Every cent goes to the welfare of the birds! (And I promise I do not get a single cent for mentioning them!)
Here is the announcement from the Kakapo Recovery: In case you missed our announcement last week, adoptions are once again open! If you’re ordering for delivery outside of New Zealand by Christmas you have until Monday the 7th to get these in. Kiwis, you have until the end of the month. Please note that if you log in to PayPal to make the purchase it automatically takes the shipping address from your PayPal account details – if your order is a gift then select ‘pay with card’ in order to be able to enter different shipping details!
If you live in the UK, the British Trust for Ornithology has a programme for youth to stimulate learning about birds. They provide binoculars and guidebooks to youth. It is part of their Equipment Donation Scheme. If you live in the UK and have a pair of binoculars to donate, please get in touch with the BTO. You can check out the programme at http://www.bto.org/equipment
If you live elsewhere and are wondering how to help youth get involved with nature and learn to appreciate our feathered friends, why not get in touch with your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or birding groups to see if they would like to start an equipment donation programme for youth. It is a win-win.
Jackie and Shadow, one of the most popular American Bald Eagle couples flew into their nest in Big Bear Valley this morning to find snow. The pair are used to it. Indeed, they could be lucky. Raptors do better in cooler weather! They are working on their nest. You might remember that they fledged Spirit last year – she stole our heart! And theirs. A successful hatch following several years of no chicks. Let us wish them the best of luck again this breeding season.
It is so good to see you, Jackie and Shadow!
Dad came in with a big fish for Mum and Big at Port Lincoln this morning. There wasn’t much time to sit on the nest and get hungry! Look at that time stamp.
I miss Middle. He was like a gentle soul on that nest. But, now, I need to live in the present with the birds, not wishing what could have been. We need to see Big grow and get ready to fledge. Banding and the name giving will take place between the 12th and 14th of November. That is one week away.
It took about 24 minutes for that large fish to be consumed. Wow. I sure hope Mum got enough. She was very careful in the delivery to make sure that she had control of the delivery, not Big. Good for Mum. Once Big starts taking the prey and self- feeding Mum will need fish, too. Wonder if she will just fly out and get them?
Big and Mum saw Dad come in with the fish. He was eating it on the ropes. Everyone had dinner before it was light’s out.
It was a bit of a change this morning at the scrape on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University. It seems that Indigo got a lot of the prey delivery. Goodness. Rubus was a little pouty. Still, they both had plenty. Diamond and Xavier will not let either eyas go hungry.
Rubus decides that if he isn’t going to be fed, he will just eat the prey himself! Remember Rubus has already successfully plucked and eaten a Starling’s head.
Thanks to ‘C’ who sent me this great screen capture of Xavier and Diamond putting on flying demonstrations yesterday. This will be to lure Indigo into joining the fastest raptor on the planet club. There is still fluff and Indigo is about a week behind Collins Street – and the older eyases could fledge there any time! They have their plumage – it is fully developed.
At 131730 Indigo has decided to pull Rubus across the scrape by its toe. Poor thing. You could hear Rubus crying.
A meal came in and all was well. No damage done! It was one of the most pleasant feedings I have seen in a long time at this scrape…equal shares.
When I last checked there were still four eyases living – running, flapping, eating – on the ledge at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Just beautiful beautiful eyases. I wonder when we will have our first fledge? It will be soon!
I had to watch and wait for all four heads.
Sometimes we get a tip of a wing showing and we know someone is still home.
There was some confusion surrounding a falcon that flew off the ledge at 0956. It was Mum, not one of the eyases fledging.
There goes Mum. There are 2 eyases in the scrape, one in the gutter, and another on the ledge. It will not be long but it did not happen at 0956. And it is an easy thing to assume until you begin to count bodies. We are all on pins and needles waiting for the first fledge – and it could happen while I sleep tonight!
All four were still present at 1730. Mum and Dad have done a fantastic job raising four healthy – very healthy eyases – for the first time. Just look at the place – what a mess.
There has been no news from either Kaia or Karl II for some time. They had each arrived in Africa and it is assumed that they are in their winter grounds without satellite service. This happens every year. We lose contact until the spring. As always, extremely grateful to the wonderful folks at Looduskalender that report on the transmissions and create the maps and landscape views. It is terrific.
Waba is now in Sudan. He is still feeding along the Nile River – just in Sudan now and not in Egypt.
Bonus is near Baskaraoren in the Turkish Province of Konya. He seems to have found good feeding spots.
Thank you so very much for being with me. It is always a pleasure to have you here. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: British Trust for Ornithology, The Guardian, Sprotborough Flash, Kakapo Recovery, FOBBV, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender Forum.
Gosh, I cannot believe it is November. Today marks the beginning of the cooler weather for the Canadian Prairies. It is -5 and the Crows and the Blue Jays have been telling me all morning that we need to bring out the heated bird bath! The problem with the heated baths is that you must, in my climate, put small boards across the surface so they can drink and not bathe. It is too cold. Well, actually it is easy to put the boards across the top, it is the Crows that whack them out of alignment causing the entire exercise to be futile.
I can see no more double digit days ahead – maybe not until May! The Snowy Owls continue to arrive in the province while the number of Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Dark-eyed Juncos is dropping dramatically. I do not blame them! I need to go out and have a last check at three local ponds and do the duck and geese count but, I have been having so much fun watching Missey and Lewis play that I just have not done it.
In the garden, the Blue Jays are here and so are the Crows. The Black Capped Chickadee stays all winter as does the Downy Woodpeckers. There are about 40 or 50 Old World House Sparrows that remain also. The numbers feeding drops substantially but, there is always a huge push for food from those migrating and that happened on Tuesday.
I am so glad that you have enjoyed the photos of the kittens. To all who realized what a wonderful distraction they are for the sadness at Port Lincoln, it is true. Lewis and Missey have really helped ease that tragedy. There is nothing more wonderful than your own animal or bird friend at home. The energy of Lewis and Missey is unmatched in my mind as my last cat, a lovely Red Aby rescue, was 14 and much slowed down when she passed away in July 2021. It took awhile to get ready for other fur ball companions. There is not a place that these two haven’t explored. I will include more pictures tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! But for now, ‘H’ cheered me up with this compilation of the two Lewises. So cute.
This image of Big at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge pretty much sums up this nest for this season. Look at Big’s crop. I would also like to see that size on Mum!
Big is massive.
Dad brought an enormous fish to the barge early yesterday morning. He had a good fill, so good that Mum was screaming at him to get that fish over to her and Big.
She is not too happy thinking Dad is going to eat that entire fish! He wouldn’t but…what we have to still consider is that during the stormy cold weather – our dear Middle got little to eat. At the same time, Mum had only the head of a fish more than Middle and some bites she could ‘steal’ while feeding Big. She was absolutely famished and still is hungry. You know I always say how much these adults lose in terms of body mass raising their chicks, it can be tremendous. I am hopeful that Mum will step back and, while feeding Big, take some care for herself.
The fish was estimated to actually weigh more than Dad. He had some trouble dragging it on to the ropes. It was just the kind of fish this family needed to start the day. Good work, Dad!
Mum and Big ate for an hour and a half.
There was some fish left for Mum, too, at the end which she ate by herself. Big was full – can you believe it? And moved away from the beak.
Last evening Mum went down and spent some time with Dad in the shed. Remember these two are grieving the loss of two chicks. Mum has fed Dad and now she has slipped down so they can spend some time together. I actually do not recall Mum being down in the shed very often. This has been a difficult season after the triumph of last year with the three males.
The attention at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne is not how much prey is brought to the nest but when the eldest eyas or two will fly. They are sure getting ready! Here are a mixture of images from today.
Dad missed the ledge – thanks, ‘H’.
Most of you will be familiar with the term ‘branching’ when it comes to eaglets. The flight from the nest to the branch. Well, there are no branches for either the Collins Street or Orange flacons but, ‘H’ caught the eldest having flow up to the other ledge at Collins Street – branching Melbourne style!
Rubus seems to have taken over the entire Orange scrape. From that tiny wee eyas that had to really jump to try and get any prey in its early days to now when it intimidates Xavier and seems to be eating everything, Rubus is a force to be reckoned with. Indigo, meanwhile, is becoming the most beautiful falcon, just like her mother Diamond.
Indigo reminds me of Izzi in this picture!
Rubus has been self feeding and plucking. He made quick work of a Starling head the other day. I wonder what he will do with this piece of prey?
I still say he but that does not mean Rubus is a ‘he’. Indeed, Rubus is eating so much and growing so big that we might be looking at another female. I don’t think Cilla has declared yet – if you know and I missed that, let me know please.
In Taiaroa Head, the first egg of the Royal Albatross breeding season has been laid and everyone of the NZ DOC rangers is looking forward to an exciting season! If you want to watch a mostly ‘unstressful’ nest, the Albatross is your seabird of choice. Why? The NZ DOC rangers take such good care of their birds. Eggs are removed right before hatch so that fly strike will not happen, eggs are shifted around between parents if a foster family is needed, and — there is normally no starvation as the chicks are weighed and topped up if their parents cannot supply enough food or if one or both are lost.
I will not say that the nests do not have their sadness. They do. We waited and waited for the return of OGK this year – he was last seen in mid-May-. He was young! Albatross can live to be quite old. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from Midway Atoll, will be 71 or 72 this year.
The NZ DOC has posted a video of what to expect:
On the Bookshelf:
I am not certain that this isn’t a book that all ages would enjoy. It was intended for children – to introduce them and convince them that birds are stunningly extraordinary. The topics cover every aspect of a birds’ life from their ancestry, to their behaviours, how we can help protect them and how to make your garden more bird friendly. The images are gorgeous and, the message is clear – protect the birds they are amazing! It is by David Lindo. Published in the UK, price varies but roughly $22 CDN for the hard cover. Highly recommended as a fantastic holiday or birthday gift.
The Name Game:
I want to thank everyone who took the time and sent in some of the names of their favourite streaming cam birds. It was quite fun.
Finally this morning, the ‘Name Game’. Thank you to absolutely everyone who sent in names. There were many duplicates and quite a few that I did not know. The letters in brackets are meant to help you figure out the nest but some, like (BS) stand for Black Stork. The Welsh names are either the Glaslyn or Dyfi nest. There were 3 names that tied for being submitted the most – 27 times each: Ervie, Izzi, and Xavier!
A: Annie and Alden (UC-B), Aila (LA), Andor (FP), Akecheta (WE); Andy (Captiva), Arthur (Cornell), Aran (Glaslyn), Aeron (Pont Cresor), Axel, Abby (EC), Alex and Andria (KNF), Audrey (CC)
B: Bazza (PLO), Big Red (Cornell), Blaze (EC), Bonus (BS), Blue33 (Rutland), Betty and Bukachek (Mlady Buky), Bella (NCTC), Brooks (SF), Baron Blue and Baroness Barefoot (WTE), Boone (JC), Bailey (HI), Barb (BPF), Bonnie (GHOW), Boris (Finnish nest)
C: Chase and Cholyn (2H); Captain JJ7 (LA), Carson and Cade (UC-B, 2020), Connie and Clive (Captiva), Ceulan, Clarach, Cerist, CJ7 (PH), Cookie (BBV), Charlie and Charlotte (Charlo Montana), Claire (USS), Clyde (GHOW)
D: Diamond (Orange); Dorcha (LA), Doddie (LA), DEW (PLO 2020); Daisy Duck (WBSE 2021), Dylan (LC), Dinas, Delyth, Della (MH), Dory (Boathouse), Diane (Achieva), Decorah North Mom and Dad, DM2, Duke and Daisy (Barnegat L)
E: Ervie! (PLO), Einion, Eitha, Eerie (BS), E9 and all the Es (SWFL)
J: Jackie (BBV), Jasper (NEFL), Joe (Captiva), Juliet (NEFL), Jan and Jannika (BS), Jack (Achieva), Jack (Dahlgren), Junior (GI), Jolene (JC)
K: Kaknu (UC-B), Kana’kini (WE), Kindness (GG), Kaia and Karl II (BS), Kincaid (KNF), Kisatchie (KNF), Klints, Kalju (GE), Kingpin (CC)
L: Louis (LA), Lady (WBSE), Lotus (NADC), Lena (Captiva); Little Bit ND17 (ND), Legacy (NE FL), Lindsay (UC-B); Lancer (2H), Lillibet (FP), Lawrencium/Larry (UC-B), Love (GG), Liberty, Louis (KNF), LGK and LGL (RA, Taiki’s parents), Louis (HG), Lily (GHOW), Lady (LOTL), Laddie LM12 (LOTL), all of Big Red and Arthur’s Ls
M: M15 (SWFL), Mama Cruz (FP), Mr. President (NADC), Monty (Dyfi), Merin, Menai, Mrs G (Glaslyn), Martin (Captiva), Mitch (HH), Maya (Rutland), Mahala (GI), Missy (BC), Molate (SF), Malin (CM), Ma Berry (BC), Mom Decorah, Milda (WTE)
N: Nancy (MN-DNR), Nora (Dyfi)
O: OGK (RA)
P: Pedran, Padarn, Peace (GG), Pa Berry (BC), Pikne (BS), Pa Decorah, Phoebe (HI)
R: Rosie and Richmond (SF), Rocket (NEFL), Rick, Rubus (Orange), Rocket (NEFL), Ron and Rita (WRDC), Romeo (NEFL), Rachel (HI), Redwood Queen (CC)
S: Shadow (BBV), Samson (NEFL), Solly (PLO), Simba (BBV), SE26 for the brave eaglet she was (WBSE), Spirit (BBV), Seren (LC), Star and Sentry (RE), Skiff (HI), Sloop (HI), Schooner (HI), Slapjack (HI), Sarafina (Loch Arkaig), Star (WE), Smitty (NCTC), Spilvie, Superman (WE), Swoop (Dunrovin), Salli (Finland)
T: Thunder (WE), Takoda (NADC); dear Taps (PLO), Taiki (RA), Telyn (Dyfi), Tuul (BS), Titi (FN), The First Lady (NADC), Tom (CC), Tiny Tot Tumbles (Achieva), Tiger (GHOW)
U: UV (KF), Udu (Black Stork)
V: Victor (FP), Vera (Loch Arkaig), Voldis (WTE)
W: Wek Wek (UC-B), Willow (Loch Arkaig), Warren (MH), Waba, Wilfred and Wilma
Y: Yurruga (Orange), Ystwyth, YRK (RA)
Z: Z1 aka Tegid (AO4, Wales, one of Monty’s boys), Z2 aka Aeron (PC, one of Monty’s boys)
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their videos, streaming cams, and posts that make up my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the NZ DOC.
Thank you for your very kind messages. I am phenomenally lucky to have such empathetic people in my life. The collective mourning of Middle is a way of healing our hearts and our minds. For many it will be some time when we can look at Big and not think of Little or Middle. The circumstances this year were very challenging to this Osprey family and it was not only the osplets that suffered from lack of fish but also, Mum and Dad. It was worrying watching Mum not have fish to eat. The water has calmed today and an enormous fish arrived early. Big and Mum ate for more than an hour and a half. The seas are calm and the weather is better.
You will, of course, notice that I say ‘she’ and I have always referred to Big as a female. Some wonder if it makes a difference on a nest if the first hatch is a big female. So, let me try to explain. If the entire clutch is female – and there were several Osprey nests in the UK this year with just females – Manton Bay at Rutland and Dyfi in Wales – there are no problems. If the clutch is all male such as that at Port Lincoln last year, the lads are angels. Put a big female at the head of a mixed clutch on a nest with problematic fish deliveries and well, you have trouble. The key phrase is ‘problematic fish deliveries.’ It can be as simple as only one fish arriving on a particular day mid-afternoon and immediately, the eldest female, who requires 50% more food (all females require more food to feather than the males) is alert that there might not be enough fish available to feed the entire family. In some instances, there are no problems with mixed clutches because the fish land on the nest, the feeding is extremely democratic, and well, life is good. If there is a problem, the first place to look is gender/birth order and a period of few fish being delivered. Because so few nests band and take DNA tests, it is impossible to say with 100% accuracy that the culprit is a large female first hatch but, overall, it appears that is the case.
It is very true. New kittens are a distraction. These two came on a day when I needed that, a wee break from the ospreys. (I highly recommend taking mental health time from the nests – it is very beneficial). These two are rescues. They were found as newborns along with their siblings and Mum. They went into foster care before they could be adopted. They are not related but, knock on wood, they are getting along splendidly.
This is Lewis. Named after Lewis Hamilton the race car driver because he zips around everywhere too fast.
This is Missey. She is a week older than Lewis, a really tiny fluffy girl. All that fur makes her look bigger than she is and she fooled Lewis right away, establishing her right to dominance. Lewis did not care! He just wants his food and his toys and some loving attention! Lewis enjoys seeing all the birds and squirrels in the garden and Missey could care less. She likes her cat tree and she has taken over the hidey-hole in it.
In the Mailbox:
Many wrote to ask if they were seeing things. ” Were there really fish left after Middle’s body was retrieved?”
The answer is ‘yes’. There is a standard practice by banders to leave fish on the nest after they remove the chicks from the nest and return them. Additionally, there were fish placed on the Port Lincoln barge nest just around 0906. You could see two hands. It is apparent that Port Lincoln applied for and was given permission to supplement the fish for the nest. Sadly, those fish came late. Hopefully permission can be given to PLO for eventualities, a blanket permission if this situation presents itself in the future.
The Australian Nest and Scrapes:
367 Collins Street. The Melbourne Four. Look at that eyas below. There are only a couple of dandelions on the head and wing, reminders of its fluffy youth. What a beautiful falcon. It is the 4th of November in Melbourne. If the scrape at Charles Sturt University in Orange goes on fledge watch around the 12th, this means that we are entering fledge watch at the Melbourne scrape for the eldest tomorrow. I must check that!
‘H’ reports that there were at least two prey drops on camera and one off yesterday. The eyases have also been chewing on all the leftovers in the scrape.
And if you are wondering, no one cleans up the area. The wind and the rain between the end of this season and the beginning of next seem to do a good job. Falcons also like to know that wherever they raise their eyases is a good prey area so if they see a scrape like this one, well, they will know in an instant. That said, you will notice, that when the eyases are quite tiny the Mum will keep the scrape pristine for a bit. It helps to detract predators if there are any.
Wow. Look at those wings!
Mum deserves to be proud. Look at her four ‘babies’. They are nearly ready to fly off the ledge and start learning how to hunt their own prey. Soon – if they have not already started – Mum and Dad will do flying lessons, some with and some without prey, to lure the eyases into fledging. There is still some time to go. They need their fluff gone!
Do you remember when we worried so much about this particular scrape? I have almost forgotten Mum leaving these wee ones in the middle of the day in the Melbourne heat before they could stomp down to the other end. They survived. Mum and Dad did well – first time parents.
Rubus and Indigo are precious. Fledge watch will start for Indigo on the 12th of November. I simply hope that Rubus doesn’t do what he always does and copy her immediately. He will not be ready.
The only prey so far at Orange is the early delivery of that large prey item. It is now 1439. As the chicks get older, the number of feedings drops considerably because the eyases can eat more and more at one sitting. I bet they would love a parent to fly in with a nice fat pigeon right about now.
One of the most tender moments on any nest is when one of the adults feeds the other. In this case, this morning Mum fed Dad at Port Lincoln. He brought in a huge fish and Mum and Big had been eating for an hour and a half. What a wonderful way to thank your mate. And it was more than one bite!
We need to pause and imagine just how hungry Mum was. I need to remind myself of this. How many times did we see her feed almost every bite of fish to the osplets? or just to Big without having more than a handful of bites herself. She must stay healthy and the same goes for Dad. I often say it is like flying in the plane, ‘Put the oxygen mask over the adult before the child.’ Mum did not always do that and there were plenty of times that Dad came to the nest and there was no leftover fish.
Both of these parents are mourning the loss of their chick. They don’t have the liberty to take a mental health day like I did, they must be there and carry on, making sure Big fledges.
The arrival of the big fish on the nest this morning.
It was a lot of fish and would keep Big until tomorrow if another does not come on the nest today.
Port Lincoln has expressed some concern that other chicks were lost on unmonitored nests during this period of bad weather where the males were unable to bring in enough fish.
Let us all hope collectively that permissions to assist with fish come in a timely manner or a blanket permission.
Bonus has found a good place to rest and feed now that he has left Greece. He is currently in Konya Province in Turkey just north of Lake Seydisehir.
Waba is feeding along the Nile River in Egypt.
Making News Elsewhere:
I am finishing reading Bowland Beth, the story of an extraordinary Hen Harrier who died way too young. A second book, The Hen Harrier’s Year by Ian Carter and Dan Powell (newly released) arrived today. I am very interested in the topic of the Hen Harrier because they are becoming more rare than they already are because of persecution by grouse hunting community and the games keepers. In the Foreword to the book, Roger Riddington states, ‘In recent years the Hen Harrier has become the de facto flagship species for the birding community in its stance against raptor persecution.’ While the Hen Harriers are, in particular, being shot with their populations on the knife edge, it is also other raptors that we should be concerned with as well – such as the White-tailed Eagle.
A recent report talks about the ghastly people who are these games keepers and how sadistic they are. It is good that the Scottish government has taken a stance and the prison terms will be such that they might deter the practice. The real way is to outlaw hunts. Fox, Red Grouse, you name it…outlaw them.
What if there are no birds to create the images the artist depicted above? What if the climate is heating faster and faster and warming the seas quicker? There are many sobering questions for humans who have caused the destruction of our planet and the myriad of challenges for our beloved birds (and all wildlife). The warnings of our planet heating faster than anticipated are beginning to make headlines in certain papers.
There is also news coming in regarding SE29 from the Sea Eagle Cam. There is no news on SE30.
November 2 : news from the vet caring for SE29 : today SE29 has moved into a slightly larger room that can be monitored with CCTV -doing as well as can be expected , everything is stable at this point.
Harriet and M15 on the branches after working hard on rebuilding their nest destroyed by Hurricane Ian. If they don’t put a smile on your face, I honestly do not know what will!
The first Bald Eagle egg of the year has been laid in Florida. That honour goes to the nest of Superbeaks, Muhlady and Pepe. The first egg of the Royal Albatross season has been laid at Taiaroa Head. Those parents are GK (Green Black) and BKW (Blue Black White).
Remember to send some of the names you came up with for the Alphabet Game by midnight tonight! E-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for being with me this morning and being the caring community that you are. Please take care as we all collectively heal. See you tomorrow!
Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos and/or their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, The Guardian, and those great people at the Looduskalender Forum.
I hope this finds everyone well with a smile on their face!
Going for a walk, no matter how short or how long, can be invigorating for one’s mind and for our bodies. I remember when my mother broke her hip. Her surgeon, at that time, was the surgeon for the OU Football Team. I have forgotten his name but, I will never forget the day he looked into my mother’s eyes and told her if she didn’t get up out of that hospital bed, she was going to lose her ability to walk. It had been 2 days since the surgery and I laughed when he told me he was ‘nothing but a glorified carpenter’. What a character and an amazing surgeon. My Mum took it to heart and got herself up and within the month was walking 2 miles. Oh, she did well. The weather was lousy and her and her best friend, Dorothy, would go to the mall and window shop as they got their exercise. It was a good lesson for me, too!
It was a frigid early afternoon yesterday. It was 1 degree and the wind was blowing over the pond and bringing a chill even through the wool coat. I reminded myself that it will soon be parka weather. The state of the Wood Ducks needed checking. There was only one lonely male that I could find. He came swimming towards me thinking I had food. What a tragedy. Several of the ducks at that particular park pond had ‘Angel Wing’ this year. It is doubtful that they will survive. I left before he wasted his energy coming all the way to the shore. What a beautiful sight he was!
Did I tell you that I have the greatest fondness for ducks?
It is rather miraculous. When I look at a male Wood Duck, the patterns in the plumage remind me of weavers in India. Those women have the patterns emblazoned in their minds but, for these precious ducks, the pattern is laid out as the feather emerges from the follicle and grows. Feathers grow out of a quill or shaft. In young birds, we call these ‘blood feathers’ because they actually contain blood until the feather is completely finished growing.
A single follicle can produce, like a weaving, multiple colours and patterns. If I think about it for a long time my mind just becomes boggled. Just look at the multiple colours that go into this handsome duck. Did you know that the male Wood Duck plays no part in raising the young? Absolutely none just like poor Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck that laid her eggs on the Sea Eagle’s nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Daisy had absolutely no help – not even security. So if the male doesn’t bring food for the female or provide security or help with the little ones, what does he do? Well, guess what? He just has to look extremely handsome! The female picks him for his beautiful plumage – they want a male that stands out from all the others.
On the other hand, the female needs not to stand out in a crowd but, blend in with her environment. She needs to have good camouflage in order to not call attention to predators.
I really adore female Wood Ducks. It is because they are quiet and shy, often hovering in the background wanting seed tossed on the ground and concrete by visitors but not daring to do so. They are often chased by the geese and by the Mallards.
The females have a tiny crest compared to the males and instead of a red eye ring and eye they have a yellow eye ring in a gorgeous white teardrop shaped eye patch. No flamboyant colours for them. Grey leading into a dabbled brown breast with some lovely blue on the wing to match their bill.
Oh, to me she is the most beautiful delicate little thing. I missed seeing the females. This image was taken on 10 October. I will check again in the next couple of days as the weather warms to see if any were just lurking on the island where I could not see them.
In the mailbox:
‘L’ sent me a great article from BirdLife on a recent study on how to make overhead power lines safe so that birds do not collide with them. It is a good read.
Besides the sight of a few ducks putting a big grin on my face, it was absolutely the state of the Port Lincoln Osprey nest that has had me grinning from ear to ear. I continue to say that it is horrific to lose a chick, heart breaking every time and they are not forgotten. Never.
Middle is doing so well. He is really showing his stuff – sitting right by Big, doing the snatch and grab, not being fearful to eat the last bite offered. Confidence. Middle was doing really well for the past several days and most of Thursday in Australia and then…he wasn’t. Middle now has a bald spot on his head!
Another fish arrived on the nest and while it wasn’t as big as some of the early morning ones, it was large and everyone got a good feed. I almost think Mum caught it as she appeared slightly damp when she returned to the nest. I cannot be 100% sure, however.
Middle is on the left side of Mum and Big is on the right when she begins feeding. We can just see cute Middle peaking out from under Mum’s wing.
Middle standing getting ready to stretch his wings. You can see the dark thermal down that will be under their juvenile feathers on Big who is leaning over.
In the image below you can really see Big’s tail feathers coming in and her thick
In between rain and wind, Middle and Big continued to eat and eat and eat. It is difficult to even imagine where they put all that fish. In both of the subsequent feedings that I watched – and that was even before mid-afternoon, Middle got the lion’s share of the fish. There were no quarrels, no disputes, just Middle full of confidence eating away. It just put a smile on my face from one side to the other. Here are a selection of images from those later feedings.
Middle got the lion’s share of this feeding as well. By 1321 he is full and has moved away looking back at Mum with such a precious delicate face. Big is now having a turn.
The rain and the wind begin and Middle gets under Mum as best he can.
The storm passed and Mum flew off the nest. Look what is over on the rim of the nest? The rest of the fish that Mum was feeding Middle and Big when the rain and the wind started. Middle sees it. This time next week Middle would go over and grab that fish and start eating it but, he isn’t going to do that today.
Mum returns to feed her babies. Middle has found some room for some more fish. I honestly do not know where these two are putting the fish – they have almost been eating non-stop all morning.
At the end of that feeding, Middle, standing in profile, his showing off his enormous crop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been a really good day so far for Middle and it isn’t even the middle of the afternoon.
Was Middle just feeling his oats when he decided to peck Big at 18:10? (I want to send a thanks to ‘H’ here. I was up with my coffee and had not rewound the end of the days footage. So thankful for her warning). As ‘H’ said, ‘It is a reminder not to mess with Big.’ It was a frenzied attack. Both had eaten well. Middle more than Big. I hope Middle has learned to leave his Big sister alone. Enjoy the peace and quiet and don’t push it or she will attack if provoked and Middle could be the big loser. As it stands, if you see feathers missing, Big did it but Middle provoked the attack. Gracious.
Big, satisfied that Middle, was submissive and would never do that again stopped the ferocious attack at 18:13:52 – a little over two and a half minutes from when it started.
The Melbourne Four are the most energetic and expressive eyases. They run up and down the gutter until their batteries are all worn down and their tummies are full and then they stop. All in a big puddle, altogether keeping one another warm on a drizzly day.
One of the highlights of the feedings today was when Dad brought in a freshly killed pigeon and began plucking it right in front of the four ravenous eyases. Now I say pigeon because once upon a time someone told me that the only reasons there are pigeons is for the falcons and hawks to have something to eat! The feathers were white and some of you might have a more clear idea if it was a pigeon or a gull or something more exotic. Then when the prey was plucked and all the kids were ready for some real bites instead of feathers — Dad flew off with the pigeon. What?! He did bring it back and was ready to fill those crops and then Mum showed up. She pulled a Diamond taking the prey away from Dad who had almost lost it to the oldest eyases. Mum then proceeded to fill their tanks.
Then Dad leaves taking the pigeon with him and leaving only feathers.
A few minutes later he returns with the prey.
Then Mum arrives to take over! Diamond-style.
Dad is off!
Everyone is hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
‘H’ clocked 7 feedings of various links at the 367 scrape on Thursday.
At Orange, Rubus and Indigo have been eating and eating, too. I love when Little Rubus gets full and turns his back to the adult who is feeding. When did he start this behaviour?
I could watch the expressions on Rubus’s face all day. He is quite the character.
Once Indigo finishes eating she goes over to cuddle with her little brother in the corner. A little cotton candy pile.
Beautiful Diamond looks over lovingly at her two eyases. What a real treat it has been seeing Diamond and Xavier with two – the very quiet grown up Indigo and the feisty little Rubus. Such treasures.
How many times a day do we need to thank these bird families for bringing such joy to us?
Bonus crossed the Dardanelle Strait and flew to the Greek island of Lesvos.
Bonus is feeding near this creek. It looks like a lovely place to be.
Little Waba was in Israel. He flew into Jordan and decided to return to Israel.
This is where Waba is feeding. There were reports of 85 Black Storks at this site. Hopefully Little Waba is there among others, safe and getting full and strong. There is still more flying to do!
There has been no transmissions from either Karl II who was last heard from in Egypt and Kaia whose last transmission was from Chad. Please send them your most positive best wishes, please.
Please send all kinds of positive wishes to Middle so that he will just leave Big alone from now on. No need to bother Big. Everything was going just fine. Middle has to remember that Big is the boss even if he gets to eat first. That is only because she is letting him.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross and to Looduskalender for their maps and news of Karl II and his family.
It is just past 2300 on the Canadian Prairies on Sunday evening the 23rd of October. Within the hour we are supposed to have the beginning of thunderstorms that are forecast to last through all of Monday. We could use the moisture. It is always good when the trees and shrubs get a really good soaking before the ground freezes.
And we did. The thunder boomed throughout the nite and everything is soaked this morning. The wind is gusting and there are few birds at the feeders. The only ones that appear to be nonplussed by it are the Blue Jays. What a change from yesterday when the sparrows and finches were splashing about in the bird bath. Today they are hiding at their roost.
It is always great to get a picture of Ernie, everyone’s favourite Port Lincoln Osprey. This image was taken by Pam Hewstone and posted on Fiends of Osprey FB page. His tracking indicates that Ernie continues to hang around the Main Wharf and the ‘silos’. This image was taken at Delamare Beach where Ernie and Dad like to fish together. Oh, he looks so good. Can’t see how that talon is growing back in but, it looks like Ernie is having no problem catching good sized fish. He already has a nice-sized crop.
Friends of Ospreys have been erecting Osprey platforms. You might recall they put in place one on Turnby Island for the bonded couple whose eggs were always predated when they laid them on the ground. Sadly, the two eggs the couple laid this year are now 45 and 46 days old and deemed unviable.
Monday was a really good day at Port Lincoln. What a joy to watch Middle be able to enjoy a meal without once being beaked by Big. Ironically, if you just started to watch this Osprey nest and knew nothing of the background and what happened a little over a week ago, you will talk about how calming it is to watch the ospreys fed by Mum. Big is 36 days old and Middle is now 35 days old.
So far there have been three feedings on Monday at Port Lincoln. There will be more at all of the nests as Canada slips into evening and darkness.
They came at 06:57:57. That was a flat striped fish. The second fish was at 0908. Middle Bob got the lion’s share of that fish and waddled away with a big crop. The third fish landed on the nest at 13:07:52. It was a huge fish. Mum and the two ospreys are going to eat well. So far Middle is doing well and the last I checked he was already getting a nice crop. Just brilliant.
Middle is the chick closest to the viewer. Notice that nice crop. Just look at how much of that fish is left. Everyone is going to have a good feed — including Mum! Thank goodness.
Seriously. Did you think you would ever see Middle with a crop like the one he has on display?? And just look at Mum. The two ospreys full and she is finally getting to enjoy a fish lunch, too.
For two days now this nest has been calm. It took Big 33 days, not 28-30 to settle but, in the end, she did. Grateful.
Middle and Big are at the age that Mum can now roost over on the ropes if she wishes.
Middle and Big do a lot of preening all day long keeping those feathers that are coming in good shape. Oh, didn’t you love it when they left that Reptilian stage and got this gorgeous plumage that is coming in. ‘R’ and I decided awhile ago that the juvenile Osprey plumage is much prettier than the adults.
Rubus and Indigo have had their second feeding. Xavier flew in with what looked like a Rainbow Lorikeet to me – and I will happily change that. It is the closest I could come to identifying that multi-coloured prey item that Xavier brought to the scrape at 092921. Oh, Rubus was ravenous. I have no idea where this eyas puts all of this prey but this wee one sure has an appetite! Xavier does a great job feeding his babies. Diamond doesn’t arrive for 12 minutes- the feeding is almost over. Xavier fed both Rubus and Indigo nice big bites.
A nice big pigeon arrived at 11:40 – all part of a crash landing by Dad (?) into the scrape box. Everyone had their fill and immediately starting working on those leg and wing muscles. ‘H’ notes that Dad fed them for 12 minutes while eating himself for about 25% of the time.
There was once again 5 feedings at the 367 Collins Street scrape yesterday. They came at 0634. That feeding lasted 18 minutes. A second feeding was at 1120 for 16 minutes then the 3rd hot on the heels of the second at 1140. Then there was a break with the 4th feeding at 1707. The Melbourne Four ate well. Then Mum came in with a pigeon at 1859 and looked around and only fed for about 1.5 minutes. ‘H’ thank you for the times and the notes. Mum and Dad need to coordinate their delivery times!!!!!!!!
It is now past midnight. The day is halfway over at our Australian nests. Everyone is doing fantastic. The Melbourne Four are growing faster than any good weed in your garden! Rubus continues to bug Indigo by following her everywhere. Such a sweet character. Most of all Middle is a confident Osprey. That nest is just so satisfying to watch now. I do hope that it continues. The banding of Big and Middle will take place in about 3 weeks.
In migration news, there are no new transmissions from Karl II and Kaia. Last time we heard from them Karl II was near Aswan in Egypt and Kaia was in Chad. I can also not find any new information on Bonus who has spent much time in Romania. The real news has come from little Waba who was in Turkey, flew near to Beirut and is now in Israel and has been feeding at some fishponds there.
While it is expected that there will be little transmissions coming from certain areas in Africa, I really do hope that we hear from Bonus soon.
The Bald Eagles are continuing to do their nest building. For those who watched Little Bit ND17 at the Bald Eagle nest in St Joseph’s Park in South Bend, Indiana, both Mum and Dad have been working on that nest. They are making slow progress. Harriet and M15 are doing a terrific job. Both couples lost their nests – Harriet and M15 in Hurricane Ian and the nest at Norte-Dame just fell apart. It is amazing what eagles can do in a short period of time. An adult has been on the perch at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg. I could not see its head to determine any markings. That nest is going to need a lot of work. In Redding, California, Liberty and Guardian are also working on their nest. Liberty has been using this nest for 18 breeding seasons. She has fledged 26 eaglets and has had 3 mates. Liberty is 24 years old and Guardian is 9 years old. Bald Eagle season is not far away!
Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Osprey and Pam Hewstone, Port Lincoln Osprey, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Looduskalender, and Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.
It is 14 degrees C in Winnipeg. That is really hard to believe and it is almost 2200. I am again starting my newsletter for tomorrow early. With the improved weather I hope to get some photographs of the birds foraging and building their strength to migrate tomorrow. I wonder if that little fuzzy duckling that was getting its back feathers is still around? Tomorrow will be a lovely day to be outside and this morning newsletter might be my only one for the day with a little brief account late about the breakfast feedings.
Oh, how things change overnight. My super powerful flu shot seems to have given me the flu! I am behind in answering e-mails as a result but I wanted to get the bird news off to you. I plan is to feel better. You hear a lot about my grandmother. She was a great believer in honey ginger tea and sweating out the sickness. We will see if she was right. Have a wonderful day. Thank you!
SE30 has been taken into care. The birders on the ground in the vicinity of the Discovery Centre near the Sydney Olympic Forest have been keeping an eye on her. No details are given on what caused her to go into care. It was, however, believed that she had not been fed by the parents. It is very challenging for the WBSE fledglings once they leave their natal nest in the forest. The Magpies and the Currawongs continually chase and harass them. It has been happening for years, never slows down, and always seems to wind up in tragedy for our eaglets that we treasure.
This was the announcement:
There are two main spotters of European Ospreys in their winter homes in Senegal and The Gambia. Jean-marie Dupart reports from Senegal and Chris Wilson reports from The Gambia. The images give you an idea of their winter homes along the coasts of Africa and the inland waters. These are the latest sighting reports by duPart:
Jean-marie Dupart travels to various sites in Senegal reporting throughout the season. You can find his page on FB. Just do a search using his name.
Australian Nest News:
For those that missed it, the second camera at 367 Collins Street has been activated and you can now watch the comings and goings of the Melbourne Four. So grateful to Mirvac for acting so quickly. We were all in a panic.
The heat from the sun was such a worry especially with this first time falcon mother leaving her eyases for extended periods of time. When she was with them in the heat of the day, Mum made a magnificent umbrella. ‘A’ and I were counting the days until the eyases could run down the gutter to the other end and get in the shade. This area is also protected from the rain. Perhaps the four will persuade Mum to choose that end next year to lay her eggs!
Rubus and Indigo could have their own comedy programme on cable television. What a pair they are.
Rubus and Indigo have had 3 feedings so far today. They were leftovers at 070557, a parrot at 074247, and what looks like to be another parrot or rosella at 105333.
Be sure to notice Rubus’s little wing flaps. Seriously. What an adorable eyas. I could watch his antics all day!
Indigo had been flapping her wings and Rubus had been watching. Just look at him give it a go!!!!!!!
There was high hope in Port Lincoln that the arrival of that huge fish at 0649 was a good omen and that many fish would be brought to the nest in quick succession. You can see from Big’s enormous crop that it had a fantastic breakfast. Middle had some beaking from Big but, wound up with a nice crop, too.
The pattern has been that Big is not so ‘grumpy’ at breakfast but gets more anxious as the day progresses. This translates into the beaking of Middle. It is now after noon and a second fish is yet to arrive.
The cam operator did give us some wonderful close ups. You can see the feather development on Big.
Please note that Port Lincoln have set the 12-14th of November as ringing day on the barge. The chicks will get their names and their measurements should give us an indication as to their gender. What do you think?
The amber eyes of the youngsters will change to yellow when they are adults. The only exception to this that I know is Monty at the Dyfi nest in Wales. He kept his amber eyes – something that was very striking in an adult bird.
At 1300 Dad brought in a flat fish – at times it looked like one of the Zebra fish. It looked a little stiff. Middle immediately took the fish doing a superb mantling job. Big was not going to let Middle have a whole fish to himself and a brutal attack occurred. Big took the flat fish while Middle was curled up in submission. Big managed to open the fish and eat.
Yeah for Middle!
Middle defends himself and the fish.
Big uses her brute strength and size to push Middle over. Look at her enormous legs and feet.
Big also has quite the bottom – a sign of a chick that has not gone without.
Having whipped Middle into submission, Big moves over to the rim of the nest. She has completely forgotten about what she was fighting for.
Then she remembers.
Big was able to find a place and tear off the skin and eat.
At 1312 Mum flies in with a whole big fish. She caught it. You can see the white feathers of her fluffy behind are wet. Big immediately drops the fish Dad brought and moves up to Mum to be fed. Middle stays in submission. At 132939 Middle moves over and Mum begins to feed her second chick. Six minutes later, Big decides he wants more fish! He eats, moves, then Mum feeds Middle again.
Once Big leaves, Middle moves over slowly to get some food. Remember. Big ate the majority of the breakfast fish and still had a big crop at 1300. Middle has only had ‘some fish’ – hard to tell how much but, clearly Middle needs to eat much more, just like Mum does.
Big gets a hankering for more fish.
Topped up, Big goes to watch the water while Mum finishes up the big fish she caught. I bet she thought she might get to eat something, too. Big reminds me so much of the second hatch at Achieva Ospreys in 2021. That osplet would eat and eat just to spite everyone else.
At 1346 Mum takes the flat fish and begins to feed Middle. She will move this fish and eat some herself. She is ‘very’ hungry. These two leave little fish for her.
Middle has a crop. Mum must eat to replenish her energy.
Mum ate some but could not ignore Middle’s calls for fish. She turned around and fed Middle and, at the end, treated herself to the fish tail. I want you to look at the size of Middle’s crop. There are no worries for Middle. If he gets no more food today, he will be fine. If he does, it will be a bonus.
Note the time. Mum has really been feeding these chicks! She should get a reward for looking out for Middle. She has certainly done that in very subtle ways the last two days.
Middle’s crop is just about to pop!
There are no new transmissions for Karl II who was in Egypt and Kaia who was in Chad. They could be in areas with very little service. Everyone was quite worried because no transmission had come in for Bonus. It is well known by the data kept in Estonia, that only 20% of Black Stork fledglings survive their first migration. This caused much anxiety and then…Bonus’s data came in. He is still in Romania near Latinu.
Waba had his breakfast at a lake formed by the Koca Stream (?) then he flew 284 km and was at Baklankuyucak, Turkey.
Send all your warm wishes for their continued safe travels.
Thank you so much for joining me. Take good care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Sea Eagles Cam FB, Jean-marie Dupart FB, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Looduskalender Forum.
Oh, goodness. One area of my City had its first snow last evening and the temperature for the rest of us is 1 degree C. (Think of 0 as 32 degrees F). We had our first heavy frost last night. This cold snap will surely put some of the birds that are arriving in our City on a path south!
The active nests remain in Australia while the Bald Eagles work on their nests for egg laying later in the year in the US. Rain is the issue at some of the nests. Melbourne received 3 inches of rain or 7.5 cm. Mum worked so hard to keep those eyases dry. Sadly, the Collins Street scrape will have more rain today – perhaps an inch – starting at around 0800. My weather report says that should end around 1300. It has really rained in Sydney and there are some areas that are flooding. Rain should begin in the Olympic Park where the Ironwood Tree nest of the Sea Eagles is located at around 1100 and then stop. Port Lincoln could be dry today! Yippee. It looks right now that Orange could be dry as well. We wait and see how the forecasts hold up BUT regardless, these amazing raptor families are doing well despite the heavy downpours that are occurring. That is simply wonderful.
There is word that Friends of Osprey – think Janet Foster, Ian Falkenburg, Fran Solly – from Port Lincoln and all those who donated or joined Friends of Osprey – have received four sat pack transmitters for this year. There will be one available for Port Lincoln and one each going to the three other nests should they have fledglings. Calypso has been seen numerous times and is flying well. She is the 2019 fledgling from PLO. Ervie is, of course, out and about being the man about town in Port Lincoln. This is excellent news. More platforms are planned for South Australia as well as the number of Ospreys grow in the area.
Friends of Ospreys has a new website and they are grateful for all donations. All funds go directly to the camera, etc at Port Lincoln, new platforms in the area, and those precious transmitters. This is their new site and it is packed with information. Not a member? Consider donating. Membership is $20 Australian.
Here is the latest news from the blog on our darling Ervie:
An announcement came out of the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head yesterday that a decision was made and accepted by all members that the Royal Cam Chick known as QT be officially named ‘Lillibet’ after Queen Elizabeth II.
I was worried about Little Bob at Port Lincoln yesterday. Big and Middle continue to go at one another and well, I will sound like a broken record but, it is a real blessing that they stop fighting and act nicely at the fish table. ‘A’ noticed yesterday that Little Bob’s lack of a long neck is hampering him if he is not at the right position during feeding. That said, he walked away with several nice size crops later yesterday when larger fish came to the nest.
In the image below, have a look at Middle Bob. Notice the dark woolier down that is now replacing that light grey coat of down the osplets had when they hatched. They will retain this thermal wooly layer to help them regulate their temperature. Feathers will begin to appear. You can already see the rusty-gold ones on their head and nape. These will be followed by the wing, tail, and body feathers until they get their full juvenile plumage. They are going to be very itchy and will spend much time preening.
Remember that the feathers are often called ‘blood feathers’. The feathers grow from blood quills which will disintegrate and fall off as the feathers grow.
Little Bob looks great with that big crop of his. You will notice that all three chicks are in the full reptilian phase including having ‘clown feet’.
We all wondered if Little Bob would be another Ervie. He certainly does his best to get up front and at the beak for feeding. The beaking between the two older siblings does send him into safe positions and it does appear that he is often afraid of them — and for good reason. He is still very small. Let the older more evenly matched siblings take their angst out on one another!
Dad continues to provide lots of prey for the Melbourne eyases and he does his best to feed them and keep them covered from the sun. It is difficult for him to brood them – even last year, Old Dad has a huge problem when it came to four chicks. They all seem to be doing well including the smallest one.
Mum has been notified that prey is delivered. She has flown off to have a break and eat.
Dad arrives and stays with the eyases til Mum returns.
Some chatting and bowing and Dad is off!
The older chicks can see well. It is hard to determine if the 4th has its eyes fully open and focused yet. Oh, how I wish there was a zoom on that camera!
The wee one at Orange is getting some food while Big Bob is growing like crazy. Everything is going well at Orange for Xavier and Diamond and we will all get to see how these two manage as parents of two this year instead of one.
There have been lots of feedings and Xavier has been able to feed and brood his family! He so loves being such an active part in everything instead of just providing prey.
SE30 has not fledged yet. The heavy rains in the forest should slow down any flying but, SE29 does not seem to be bothered flying in and out of the nest. SE29 is roosting elsewhere. SE30 is so excited to see its sibling when it flies in. They seem to have such a special bond with one another this year.
Fish have been coming to the nest and Lady often feeds SE30 and also SE29 should s/he show up on the nest. SE29 is often more interested in what is going around making one wonder if s/he is not also being fed elsewhere.
All of the nests are as quiet as they can be in the middle of the night in Australia. Despite the weather, all of the parents are able to feed and keep their little and not so little youngsters fed and warm (if needed).
Checking on Karl II family for 5 October. Bonus continues to stay in the same area of Romania. Tracking shows that he flew a lot. This is a map of where he is and an image of the area.
Waba is still in Moldova at an area around Glodeni.
Waba seems to be enjoying a pond in the landscape. You can see by the blue dots that he visits there often. How wonderful he has found a source of fish and frogs.
Karl II has just astounded people with a 450 km flight. He is now in Turkey!
I see that there are no tracking reports yet for Kaia. On 4 October she was 31 km from the Mediterranean Sea. She is perhaps in areas where there is little satellite transmissions available.
Don’t forget that 8 October is Big Bird Day at Cornell Bird Lab. Go to their website to register for the bird count if you are not already a part of eBird. It is free. Here is the information to get you started:
Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts where I took my screen captures: Friends of Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Looduskalender Forum.
It is going to begin to be a rainy week across Australian raptor nests and this is going to impact the birds and their feeding as well as their flying!
There is welcome beginning to come out of Captiva. Lori Covert’s house (Captiva Ospreys and Eagles) survived but the brand new camera and pole with perch did not. Connie and Clive have been seen and are rebuilding their nest and, if they are safe, then I am going to presume that Lena most likely is too. She just has no nest!
In the Mailbox:
‘P’ would like to know when Peregrine Falcon eyases can see?
Peregrine Falcon eyases are normally born with their eyes closed. The eyas at Orange has its eyes open as do the ones at Collins Street but they will not be able to completely ‘focus’ until they are about a week old.
This will be a really short update. The weather at Port Lincoln is horrible. As predicted, Dad brought in a very large fish but the rain was coming down so hard that Mum did not risk feeding the osplets. She is really having to spread herself out. Oh, I see Mum shaking off the rain at 0909. Poor thing. This lot are going to be in a right grumpy mood once they get some more fish even if they went to bed with huge crops. Poor Mum is hungry, too.
The forecast shows that it is supposed to continue raining all day at Port Lincoln. Fingers crossed that Mum will find an opening so she can feed the kids – and herself. These Osprey mothers – all raptor mothers – work so hard in bad weather to protect the chicks.
The little one at Orange has been well fed this morning. Xavier brought the prey and then went and ‘talked to his baby’ before departing. Diamond was really enjoying whatever it was that Xavier brought. Yesterday someone said that he brought in a Honeyeater and she was particularly delighted.
The four at Collins Street are doing marvelous. The wee one had some bites this morning and all seem to be thriving with a pair of parents that are trying their best.
Both 29 and 30 slept on the nest last night.
SE29 took off on a flight about 0748. I wonder if SE30 will follow today?? 30 is really flapping those wings. It would not surprise me.
In migration news, our little Black Stork Mum, Kaia, is now on the edge of the Mediterranean! Bonus is in Romania and Karl II is still feeding at the Danube River in Ukraine. How amazing. Little Kaia has flown so much!
Thank you for joining for me for this quick check in with our Australian raptor families. Wish for Mum to be able to feed some fish to the osplets and for continued safe flying for the Sea Eagles! Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.
It was the perfect day to go out to the industrial area looking for ducks – and shorebirds. And then it wasn’t. Things to remember: empty the memory card in the camera after downloading all of the images to your computer or to an external hard drive and – take an extra battery, one that is fully charged! As a result of not following such advice, it became a great morning to just relax and watch the shorebirds!!!!!!!!
I am becoming quite attached to these Greater Yellow Legs (or are they Lesser?). Their movements are quick and they bob their heads up and down like falcons and hawks getting their prey into focus. So cute.
The geese have certainly been making a ruckus everywhere for a couple of days. Because there are so many of them, it is like they are taking over all the ponds and vacant fields.
Once the geese had left the area, the two Greater Yellow Legs rushed to the other end of the pond where there was a nice muddy shore. Don’t let anyone ever tell you ducks and shorebirds are ‘slow’ – they are decidedly not!
Once home, it was a real treat to see Junior. Last time we saw the Dad of the three Blue Jay fledglings, he was moulting and had lost his beautiful crest. Junior is not longer bald on the top of his head. The bright blue is coming in and it is easy to imagine what he will look like once that crest grows longer! Like the Greater Yellow Legs staying away from the geese, Junior seems not to like coming around when the Crows are about. Those three fledglings have really grown and they can be quite intimidating. Junior has also decided that he likes the Black oil seed and the White Millet that is on the ground. If you look you can see two brown legs. they are four legs to a little feeder with a roof but, this morning our dear friend Dyson & Co decided to make the feeder go sideways and everything dumped all over the place. It will not take them long to clean it up.
Look at Junior’s tail. He has kept enough to fly and has moulted the others which will grow in and replace any damaged feathers.
Have you ever heard of the term ‘fright moult’? A fright moult is when a bird’s tail feathers all fall out at once. This normally happens when a predator grabs the bird’s tail feathers. In order to save its life, the bird being attacked moults all of its tail feathers at once!
Another interesting and strange fact about Blue Jays. Their feathers are actually brown but appear to us as being the blue colour we identify with the birds because of light interference from the feather structure. If the feather is crushed, the blue colour disappears (https://www.thoughtco.com/blue-jay-birds-4692850.
I am so grateful being back in the sunroom where I can watch the birds go about their daily lives without causing them any stress. Hopefully our dear Dyson will slow down and let me get a picture of her soon. She is sooooo beautiful. Her fur is all back to normal and is bright and shiny. Did I tell you that Little Red is around, too? He loves the new fence because he can now run from his new home in the neighbour’s tree along the top of their fence to the new one here and then with a single jump he can land in the square hanging feeder and dump every seed everywhere!
In the Mailbox:
‘A’ has been watching the Sea Eagles carefully and believes that SE30 is a female. “SE30 has always been a feisty eaglet, except for a short period about three weeks ago where she seemed fearful of SE29 at feedings. Since then, she often seems to have been getting most of the food and nearly always grabs any fish tails, mantling if necessary to keep them! Size and temperament point to female. What do you think?”
Alison, I totally agree with you. SE30, at 8 weeks plus a few days, is showing every sign of being a dynamic female. She takes charge of the food and is really growing and no longer ‘takes grief’ from 29. It is unfortunate that the eaglets are not tested and ringed!
Holly Parsons posted one of those great intervention stories of an Albatross who had had hook caught in its beak. Always happy to have a success story – and that hook just makes me ache. Poor baby.
Here is the announcement:
Thank you, Holly, for also making everyone in Australia aware of the petition for banning the release of helium balloons. This should be a world-wide effort but, it should be to ban all balloons other than those required for weather research. This is, however, a start!!!!!!!!!!
It is an ad for a camera but, for us, what is interesting are the beautiful images of the Peregrine Falcons!
The California Condor chick in Tom’s Canyon is 4 months old today!!!!!!!!!! Fantastic.
Ron and Rita continue to work on their artificial Bald Eagle nest in the Miami Zoo designed by Ron McGill. Gosh, the eagles seem to be busy making nestorations everywhere. Is it going to be an early season? We haven’t even said goodbye to the last UK ospreys yet!!!!!
The cameras will be coming on soon at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers. Harriet and M15 have been diligently working to get their nest into shape after E19 and 20! In the meantime, here is a video of M15 and Harriet working on the nest yesterday.
Shadow is at the Big Bear Valley nest starting to bring in those whoopers of sticks that only Shadow seems to find.
In Australia, the ‘little’ (not really sure that term is applicable anymore) Sea Eaglets 29 and 30 are continuing to practice their self-feeding. They are standing so much more and at least one of them is standing on the very rim of the nest. This always makes me nervous! Both Dad and Lady are also stepping in and feeding both of them. All is well in the Sydney Olympic Forest.
Diamond and Xavier continue to take turns incubating the eggs. There are a couple of weeks to go til we have hatch watch at Orange. Sadly, Diamond is also having to deal with an intruder female at Orange this year. Neither Diamond or Xavier are ‘young’ falcons but rather, slightly older.
I adore little Xavier and here he is bringing Diamond a yummy lunch.
Thank you, ‘H’ for letting me know about Victor Hurley’s posting on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB Page. Hurley is the key researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Project that includes the Melbourne falcons. He has now stepped in to comment on what is happening at Melbourne. Please read carefully to the end…
The new female arriving to incubate the eggs after a meal.
Victor Hurley has also included another fact sheet on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB and has changed some of the data based on this new knowledge. (It is formatted so I cannot just post it here so you can read it, you must go there). A great article!
At Port Lincoln, the eggs are 38, 35, and 33 days old. On the 19th, egg 1 will be 41 days. Time is going to pass quickly. Hatch watch should begin on Monday.
Things are just going quiet with the Ospreys in the UK. The last two lingering nests seem to be empty. No one appears to be home at the Glaslyn nest – Aran and Blue 497 both seem to have started their journey south. Padarn was last seen on the 12th of September at 19:20 with Idris last seen on the Dyfi Osprey nest 24 hours later on the 13th of September at 19:41. Safe travels, full crops. See you in the spring!
‘H’reports that there are still family members at the Boat House Osprey platform in Bremen, Maine. Sloop, the third hatch and reluctant fledge, is eating well having had at least 3 deliveries yesterday! She has sent a photo of Sloop excited for a delivery! She has not seen Schooner or Skipjack on the nest for 5-6 days but other osprey calls have been heard so it is unclear who remains as of today.
I am finding this very interesting. This nest is one of the most northern of all the US nests. It is migration season and we continue to have ospreys on the nest. Let’s watch and see when they depart.
Karl II and family:
All of the family members transmissions show them in the same areas that they were previously. There is no transmission for Karl II. He is believed to be at his favourite nature reserve in the Kherson Oblast region of Ukraine. I found several active reports on the current activity in the region yesterday.
Stay safe Karl II!
If you are following the new Osprey family at Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire (my old haunt), Tim Mackrill has posted news!
From the Archives:
Do you remember: who are the storklets? what is their story?
Thank you so very much for joining me this morning. Please take care! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, tweets, etc that make up my screen captures: Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, Orange,Australia, Peregrine Falcons, Sony A1, WRDC, Condor Cam, SWFL Eagles, FOBBV, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Victory Hurly and the 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Tim Mackrill, ‘H’ and Audubon and Explore.org, Ukinform.net, and Dr Madis and the EMC plus the Eagle Club of Estonia.
The Black Storks of Estonia are rare and treasured. When Jan did not return and was deemed injured or dead, Janika had to try and feed her storklets. She could not manage even with the fish basket she found that Urmas, the Ornithologist for Estonia, provided. It was decided that the three surviving storklets would be taken into care at the Vet School in a stunning attempt to keep them alive by feeding with a decoy male and having a decoy female. In the image, Bonus is the largest of the three. The stotklets thrived. Two were placed with Eedie and Bonus was placed to be fostered with Karl II and Kaia. A goshawk attacked Eedie’s nest killing all the storklets. Bonus is now on migration and in Ukraine where he appears safe. Bonus is the only one of Jan and Janika’s six storklets of 2022 to survive.