Early Thursday in Bird World

4 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I was not going to write my newsletter until the end of the day but some of you might wish to know about the banding of the Royal Cam chick. There is a bit of other news as well. Both chicks at the Loch Garten Osprey platform fledged today – so every osprey chick in the UK has now fledged. Fantastic. I am getting notices that the cameras at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 and the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson will go live in two weeks. Wow. Time is speeding by. Those cameras will turn on just about the time we have Osprey and falcon eggs in Australia.

The little fledgling Blue Jay has decided that it is time that I get some more peanuts outside for the three of them! Too funny. These wee ones can be quite loud when they want to be. They are getting their beautiful blue crests. I believe this is the smaller of the three – a little female -. She has that developing crest raised up high because she is excited! They are so cute and so animated.

The NZ DOC rangers will be banding the chicks on Taiaroa Head today. Here is the announcement by Ranger Sharyn Broni posted by Sharon Dunne on the Royal Cam FB page. There is no mention of the time. There will be an archived video of the banding of QT if you miss it!

I know many of you are anxious to also find out about the naming of QT. They may mention how this will be done this year. On line voting took place during the pandemic but this might change now.

Here is the link to the camera:

An Osprey rescue in Scotland that warms our hearts. You might have to keyboard the URL if it doesn’t give you an automatic link. It is the story of the collapse of the Balgavies Osprey nest mentioned a few weeks ago in my blog – this one has pictures!

scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

The youngest chick on the Janakkalan Nest has yet to fledge. Titi often remains on the nest now that Boris is flying about for longer periods of time. With intruders and goshawks in the area, it is dangerous for Titi not to be flying.

Boris arrives in the bottom image to protect the nest. Hopefully s/he will take care of its sibling.

This brings me back to the mystery of why a normally wonderful Mum on a Finnish Osprey nest would attack her children. Nuppu on nest #4 attacked her youngest who had not fledged and the eldest who had fledged (much less) last week. Humans wondered how this loving mother could turn on her children. One of my readers ‘L’ suggested that it might have been to get the youngest to fly. Nuppu, knowing that a goshawk was in the area, wanted both of her chicks off the nest and flying free to lessen the threat of predation. I spent some time asking several osprey experts if this could be the case and they said, ‘absolutely’. The youngest did not fly and was predated when the intruder came to the nest. The eldest flew. So, there we are – the mystery of the physical attacks was to get the second chick off the nest and flying. Nuppu wanted to save her chicks, not harm them.

The only surviving fledgling on nest #4.

I do not understand why Titi on the Janakkalan nest has not flown yet. S/he has been doing some exercising of the wings. Hopefully soon!!!!! This is the nest without a female so Boris has taken on the job of security when Dad is not around.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are doing fantastic. The tips of the wing feathers are beginning to show. You can see them coming in on both chicks – look carefully at the wings.

You will notice that the time between feedings is a little longer. That is because the eaglets can eat much more at a sitting than when they had just hatched and needed a few morsels of fish every 45-60 minutes from dawn to dusk.

SE30 even did a little beaking of 29 yesterday. Nothing major but it was cute when it sat up and gave it a bop.

Both had nice crops! Fish will not be stacked on the nest so much now because it could cause predators to become interested in the nest and the eaglets. They are not big enough yet to be out of danger. They need to be 28-30 days old.

It is raining in Orange and Diamond arrives at the scrape box on the water tower soaking wet! But with a full crop. Looking for eggs in a couple of weeks.

The high temperature for the day will be 23 C at the Osoyoos nest. What a change! A nice fish arrived early on the nest and Soo fed both of the chicks. They made it! Olsen and Soo you should receive a reward – you did fantastic in your strategies to protect the two osplets. Just look at them.

Right now the camera is fairly clear at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey nest in Canmore, Alberta. We can get a good look at those three good looking osplets! We are on fledge watch for this nest. At least two are flapping and starting to hover. It will not be long.

Karl II delivered a number of fishes just a few minutes ago to the four Black storklets in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. So far all is well. The storklets are hovering and jumping and practising their perching to prepare for fledge.

A portrait of the three females at the Loch Arkaig nest this year. From left to right: Willow, Sarafina, and Mum Dorcha (unringed). When we talk about the females having beautiful necklaces have a look at these three! Gorgeous.

I am not sure I have ever seen three females with such elaborate necklaces. Dorcha is really influencing the genetics at this nest. Bravo!

A blast from the past. The four Peregrine Falcon eyases being fed at the CBD-367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne. Time is ticking away. The camera will be up and running in September. Just in case you forgot how incredibly cute little falcons are!!!!

Thank you for joining me this morning. Things look pretty good in Bird World. Take care. See you soon!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Eagle Club of Estonia, Fortis Exshaw, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Finnish Osprey Foundation, CBD-367 Collins Street Falcon Cam, and Royal Cam Albatross NZ.

Wednesday in Bird World

Let’s start off with what is on everyone’s mind: Has there been a confirmed sighting of Yurruga? Yesterday, Dr Cilla Kinross was inspired by a very quick prey drop at the scrape. Diamond flew into the trees. Cilla was in the trees looking half an hour later – she only saw Diamond. Diamond returned to the scrape with quite a large crop also. Some believed they had heard Yurruga calling but, Cilla is unable to confirm that. So the answer is – we simply do not know. Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday when he was on a building during a storm. We can only wait.

My goodness that little one was such a cutie.

October 20. Yurruga and Diamond

Diamond was really beautiful this morning as the soft glow of the sun worked its way through the fog.

Both parents, Xavier and Diamond, have been inside the scrape – scraping. They also had some bonding moments this morning at sunrise.

My heart aches for them.

The second question of the day is what is going on with Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon of the Campanile, mate to Annie, that was injured by a male intruder that is trying to cosy up with Annie? Here is the latest news.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers on Taiaroa Head are shutting down the streaming cam so that they can move it to the site of the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22. There are lots of guesses as to who the couple might be. The announcement is due tomorrow.

One of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Samson and Gabby, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville have been putting the finishing touches on their nest. They are perfecting the Spanish moss lining the nest cup. Now all we need are some eggs!

Gabby doing some final inspections this morning.

The three lads at the Port Lincoln all had fish yesterday. Falky had more than Ervie or Bazza. Falky has become a master at slipping the fish out of Dad or Mum’s talons. A magician.

There is a lovely shot of the PLO Mum. She has done an extraordinary job raising these three boys to fledge this year (with Dad’s good help). Yesterday she even spent some time feeding Bazza. He is definitely a Mum’s boy!

Bazza can be a bit naughty. I know that the banders were certain that there were three males. Someone looking at Bazza’s legs and that beautiful necklace in the image below might mistake him for a lovely female.

Bazza and Falky sleep with their heads tucked under their wings – adult style – standing on the nest. Ervie is sleeping over on the perch or the ropes. They are all doing well. I continue to pinch myself. This Osprey nest really turned itself around this year to fledge all three hatchlings.

There are many articles coming out in international newspapers and academic journals on the effect of warming oceans on the seabirds including the beloved Osprey. I picked one of those for you as some are frustrating. They allow me to embed the article but then want you to subscribe to read it! That is a major irritant to me – like Subarus are to Ferris Akel!

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-albatross-60906

It is a grey damp day, 3 degrees C. The snow is melting. There are lots of birds at the feeders. A large European Starling is sharing the peanut and bark butter feeder with some cute little House Sparrows.

The tiny suet balls called Bark Butter by our supplier are a really big hit since winter has set in. Junior has been around to get the corn while Dyson was busy elsewhere. Nice to see all of them.

One of my former students posted this today on FB. It is a perfect little giggle for all of us!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Eagle and the AEF for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Saturday in Bird World

There is still time for you to put in your count for the October Big Bird e-Bird Count. You have until midnight as far as I know. In one hour we had 37 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 Blue Jays, 3 Harris’s Sparrows, 1 American Robin, and a host of House Sparrows. There were also 3 grey squirrels and 1 red and then Little Woodpecker came when the new suet cylinder went up. I wonder if they sit and watch? or how good their noses are.

Everyone of them seems to know the minute the feeders are full and once the suet cylinder is finished when a new one is put in place. It is much cooler than it was a few days ago and the sky has been a light grey all day. I wonder how long the Dark-eyed Juncos will be with us?

There is, as far as I know, only one hatch at the Peregrine Falcon scrape box in Orange. The little one has been fed several times already. It gets full with 3 or 4 nice bites of prey.

And then it will pass out quickly in a food coma! It is quite frightening the first time you see this happen, especially with a newly hatched chick.

Yesterday I made a video clip of one of the feedings at the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon Scrape.

The Collins Street Kids are really growing. The two larger ones now jump a bit to get up to Mum’s beak for the prey.

There was a beautiful golden glow on Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge this morning. Viewers got a treat. The cam operator showed the Calypso Star I taking clients out for shark cage diving. You might know it but it was that business that allowed the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and streaming cam to come into existence. Thank you Calypso Star!

It is 8:23 just now and the kiddos are still waiting for breakfast. They will certainly not starve! Never. Last night when they went to sleep their crops were bursting.

Once of those funny crop shots when they lean back to preen. Look how big that is. Each of them was the same.

Here’s Little Bob! Look at that crop and then look at his feet!!!!!! I love Clown Feet Time.

I am learning just to keep quiet on bird chats. A couple of days ago, a dear woman, who has been quite ill and is recovering, was more than put down because she suggested that birds have emotions. There is a lot of research on this subject. For the next week or so, I will post some academic/scientific papers on this topic. Some will be shorter and some longer. The one today concerns two particular emotions: fear and frustration. It is titled, “Avian Emotions: Comparative Perspectives on Fear and Frustration.” It was published in Frontiers of Psychology in December 2018.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6344452/

I grew up in Oklahoma (home of the Five Civilized Tribes before it became a state) where there are strong beliefs about animals and birds. They serve as messengers of the Spirits of the Indigenous people. Some offer warnings – others are there to help. Here is an interesting article birds as symbols.

We are looking for a hatch for Xavier and Diamond today. It might not happen. If it doesn’t, it is just fine. Those who watched their scrape last year certainly came to love their only hatch, Izzi. He was quite remarkable.

Thank you for stopping in today. Remember to turn in your bird count if you haven’t already. Take care. See you soon!

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

Blustery winds in Port Lincoln

The blustery winds and water blowing onto the nest have made for a rough morning at Port Lincoln. Still, hats off to Dad. He managed to land one hefty fish that he brought to the nest at 6:49:35. Did he catch another? or return that big fish at 7:59:26? It was a bit chaotic. Right now the nest is rocking and the winds are blowing steady at 34 kmh.

Fish were coming and going and feedings and attempted feedings with the wind and the mist off the water.

The weather really turned and Mom hunkered down on top of those babies. She cannot afford for them to get wet or even damp. It is only 9 degrees C.

Notice that Mom has kept that big fish on the nest.

As soon as there was a break in the weather, she fed the kids!

Even then Little and Middle Bob were cold and tucked under Big Bob after they had some bites.

The bad weather is still holding on in Port Lincoln. Mom is doing her best to keep those babies dry and warm.

I really want to say how impressed I am with this Osprey family. Both Mom and Dad are there for these three and at every opportunity they are trying to get some morsels in them – maybe not a lot but some – because they really cannot afford to have them get damp. Send your warm wishes for the winds to calm, please.

It did get up to 29 C on the Canadian prairies and everyone who had a kayak was out on the river. Yes, that meant that the Green Heron was no where in sight! I will try again this week. The fish are still jumping and there will be no let up in our nice weather so the heron should still be here. Wish I could send some of this off to Port Lincoln.

Mr Squirrel and Mr Blue Jay did make an appearance at the bowls at precisely the same time. One wanted nuts and the other wanted a bath.

It is always wonderful when they arrive about an hour before sunset. Nice to know that they are safe and sound.

Mr Blue Jay was not pleased with the amount of water in ‘his’ bowl. He refuses to use the bird bath. Only this ceramic bowl. Notice the square chipped out. That is from his talons! Every year I have to drag this bowl out. He refuses to go to any other even if they are full.

Notice that the Vermillionaires are still blooming. The hummers love them and there was a sighting in our City today of a hummer so they have not all migrated.

I love how he has his crest up. Look at this image from the front and then the next one from the side.

Mr Blue Jay is quite adorable.

Let us all hope the weather calms completely down at Port Lincoln. That said, Mom and Dad are doing everything they can to feed and keep those babies warm and as full as they can. Everything in the other nests is fine. We will be on hatch watch at the Collins Street falcons in about 6 or 7 days. After that it will be Xavier and Diamond’s hatch. The sea eagles continue to grow and are vigorously flapping their wings. The Bald Eagles are working on their nests in the US. Meanwhile, us Osprey lovers are waiting for news of our favourite birds being sighted on the way to Africa (or Spain).

And did you say an Osprey Plushie? Seriously, I did. When the Dyfi on line shop opens in October they will be for sale. I have never seen one. What a brilliant fundraiser! If you are outraged that they will have all terrain vehicles roaming around Lyn Brenig, get on to their website and tell them so. First the filming crew, then the nest being cut down, and now this. What is the purpose of a nature centre? and if it is funds that need to be raised then why isn’t the government understanding how valuable our wildlife and wild areas are to getting this planet a little more normalized.

Thanks so much for stopping in. Take care!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

It’s a Pip for Port Lincoln …and is Iris still in Montana?

The poor mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge nest has certainly been stared at! Chatters want a stick moved and Dad seems to continue, on occasion, to bring in some more nest materials.

At 02:06, many were certain there was a bump. By 05:33:13 there was a definite pip. The bump expanding for three hours certainly seems logical.

You can see it here – the back egg! The first egg was laid on 3 August. I think it makes it 40 days on the dot – but don’t trust me, do your own math, please. It looks like there will be a little Osprey by morning tomorrow. Lovely. I hope the weather is good for mum and chick.

Thanks to the two ‘Ss’ for alerting me. It seems that Iris was enjoying a fish yesterday on her favourite tree at Mt Sentinel. You will read later in this newsletter that Ospreys prefer trees without branches. This one is certainly perfect. She can see all around her. Oh, the survival skills the Ospreys have developed over millions of years.

Oh, these birds are so smart. If the weather is bad, maybe they know it. Certainly they anticipate local weather and act accordingly!

Hurricane season officially lasts from 1 June to the end of November. Last year several of us worried about Tiny Tot and we became curious about the impact of hurricanes on the Ospreys and other birds.

This is an excellent document on the subject.

In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner talks about visiting Sanibel Island after Hurricane Charley hit the area in August of 2004. Santibel took a direct hit and it is home to many sea birds including lots of Ospreys. Some of you might have watched the Captiva Bald Eagle nest last year – Joe and Connie. That nest is on Santibel Island.

According to Gessner’s friend, Tim Gardner who lives on Santibel, the hurricane hit with 140 mph winds, a category 4. “The Ospreys, according to Tim, moved lower and lower in the trees, until they hunkered down near the ground in the brush.” “But no amount of hunkering could protect them.” Gardner revealed to Gessner that all of the nests were gone after the hurricane. Blown away. Gardner also added, “The remarkable thing was the birds’ resilience: those that had lived through the hurricane had come back to rebuild on the same spots”. He noted that the few trees that remained looked just like sticks pushed up out of the ground with no branches —– well, lo and behold, our Ospreys love trees without branches. Perfect. They can see all around them. As hurricane season continues for 2021, let us wish all the wildlife resilience and strength.

I have so enjoyed Gessner’s writing that I was able to find his first book at a used book shop. It is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I hope that it is as informative as it is a good read. Certainly Soaring with Fidel fit that. I continue to return to that book. It is a delight.

After posting the article, “The Tears of the Albatross,” my friend, ‘L’ send me a link to this wonderful video, Albatross – A Love Story! It is excellent. Have a look. Thank you, ‘L’!

So many of you have sent me the most beautiful images of your the birds. Thank you! The care, love, and concern that each of you have for the wildlife visiting your gardens is so endearing. I wish we could spread that love and care like an aerosol.

Oh, the joy and laughter the birds and animals bring with their antics! This evening as the sun was setting, the three Blue Jays that visit my garden and two of the large grey squirrels had noticed the ears of dried corn that had been put in a bowl for them. My view was mostly blocked but oh, you could see the crest of the Blue Jay pop up and down and, on occasion, the cob would roll and you could see the Jays getting a kernel and eating it. One decided to have a bath. Of course, he will never use the bird bath. This fellow, the male, prefers the old gold water bowl.

I am also certain that he can hear when I take the cap off the lens since he absolutely refuses to pose! Seriously, he had been looking straight at me prior to this.

The Blue Jay couple are year round residents in the back garden. They always come out in the morning and late afternoon to almost sunset. They often arrive with a single juvenile every summer. To my amazement, they get along with the other regulars – the little Downy male woodpecker (and his juvenile in the summer), the lone Black-Capped chickadee, the three Grey Squirrels, Sharpie the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Hedwig the Rabbit, and ‘Little Red’, the Red Squirrel. OK. Red and the Grays dislike each other completely.

These characters that give us so many giggles are really a part of the family. It is always comforting, at the end of the day, to check off that each has been seen.

The link to the Port Lincoln Osprey cam is here:

My newsletter will be late tomorrow, very late. I am hopping to get a glimpse of some birds during the day if the weather cooperates. On the list are Sandhill Cranes. In fact, it might not arrive until Tuesday late morning so don’t worry.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on our friends in Bird World. No doubt everything will happen at once – the chick at PLO will hatch the moment that Tiaki fledges and Iris arrives at her nest! The birds certainly keep us on our toes. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my images: Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, Sharon Leigh Miles from the Montana Osprey Project who allows me to use images from their FB Page she posts, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.