Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

28-29 May 2022

Saturday was an incredible day for a long walk at the nature centre. Thankfully individuals have donated benches in their loved one’s names and they are scattered about the trails. Much of Ft Whyte has been covered with water and there are areas that are more wetlands than anything else. Those are the interesting places. The Red-winged Blackbirds and the Yellow-rumped Warblers seemed to love eating the seeds? of the bull rushes. It was a fascinating day. Way across the lake were two adult Double-breasted Cormorants and nine juveniles. The Cormorants make their nests on islands or in the tops of trees or platforms. Normally there are 5-7 eggs that are incubated for 25-59 days. This couple seems to have hatched 9!

They were at a great distance and the sky was getting very dark. Not touched up but a lovely scene.

The usuals were around – beautiful Yellow Warblers, American Goldfinches, the Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Downy and a Hairy Woodpecker.

What a striking difference between the male Red-winged Blackbird and their female mates, below. She is having a wonderful time gleaning for insects and seeds on the ground.

This female American Redstart flitted around the Cattail branches. She was very difficult to photograph! She was hovering around the pools of water foraging for insects.

The Canada Geese are still incubating. No one seems to know when the eggs are due to hatch at Ft Whyte! (or not anyone that I could find).

You often see evidence of the woodpeckers presence but, most times, you do not actually see them. So to see both a Hairy and a Downy over by the songbird feeding station was quite a treat.

A female Hairy Woodpecker.

The female Downy Woodpecker.

In fact, today was a fun day because so many of the female birds were out feeding. What a joy!

I had hoped to head out today, Sunday, but right now it is raining. The birds in the garden are not happy! Hopefully the sun will come out later for them and they can dry off and I can go for my walk.

Sadly, Saturday was not a good day on the ND-LEEF nest. The lack of prey coming to this nest is becoming highly problematic. The two older siblings have figured out how to self-feed. Little Middle 17 had an advantage when they didn’t know how to do this! There was someone on chat that made a comment that Little Bit 17 had some food from Dad last evening – a heron?? I did not see it. Perhaps some of you did. My notes indicate 48 hours without substantial food. Let us hope that the fish get on the nest tomorrow and are plentiful. In fact, one of the older siblings – I do think it is the Middle one 16 – attacked Little Bit today and Mum flew down from the branch and intervened. We need fish on this nest quickly. Send all positive thoughts to Little Bit 17.

Two fish have so far come to the ND-LEEF nest on Sunday morning. The second one right before 10:58 when Mum flies down and feeds 17. Originally the fish was left on the nest but no takers and Little Bit seemed reluctant to eat it. He is staying back in the part beyond the camera. After a few minutes Mum comes down and takes the fish. Little Bit eats. Then in a few minutes 16 steals the fish. How much did Little Bit get? It isn’t clear but when 16 stole the fish, there was only about half of it left. I know Little Bit can eat fast – he has had to. Let us hope he got enough and that another fish comes and then another. We need to get out of this bad loop on this nest. 16 continues to attack Little Bit. 16 is one nasty bird.

If you are at all sensitive, I would not watch this nest for a few days. Let it sort itself out. I am very concerned about the level of hunger and the attacks by 16 on Little Bit.

The eyases on the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur are changing by the day. Those juvenile feathers continue to grow and grow. Watch their tails. It is best if they have 5 or more dark tail bands for fledging.

That is little L4 showing off his beautiful wings. Big sister is in front. It is awhile til fledge from the look of the tails!

At the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, Middle was busy eating a really nice fish. And guess what? He did not share!

This nest is so civilized now. If you just tuned in you could never imagine that the third hatch died from siblicide or that the Middle chick had been beaked and stopped from eating. It is a lovely nest to watch.

Middle was making some headway 9 minutes later. It is hard for the osplets to figure out how to hold the fish down and unzip it at the same time. They need to watch Mum carefully when she digs her beak into the skin and pulls hard!

Both of the osplets have been eating on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest Sunday morning. Each has had a turn at a fish and there are fish on the nest if you look closely – well, pieces of them. These two are healthy and doing so well.

As the sun went down on a beautiful Saturday at the Loch of the Lowes, Blue NC0 was feeding the three nestlings. I am cautiously hopeful for this third hatch. It is a nice strong little one.

It was so windy earlier in the day that Blue NC0 was literally blown off the nest.

It is Sunday morning and Blue NC0 and the trio of Bobs are waiting for Laddie to deliver a fish!

Laddie came through – of course, he did! They have all eaten well and Little Bob felt like he wanted to start a fight. He is a little toughie. LOL. You can see the plumage changing on Big Bob.

Telyn had gone for a break at 0503 and Idris flew in with the breakfast fish two minutes later. He thought he was going to get to feed the Three Bobs but, no. Telyn had a different idea. Gosh, they are so cute…I wish they would stay this soft grey downy chick for awhile longer before becoming a Reptile-Dinosaur showing their DNA chick.

It is quite amazing how quickly they get stronger. Adorable. Nice dark bands around those eyes.

The Dyfi Osprey Project created a video log of the hatching.

Aran and Mrs G now have two Bobs at the Glaslyn Valley Osprey nest. One more egg to go!

These two look like they will be a hand full.

CJ7 and Blue 022 have already made history by laying the first osprey eggs in a nest at Poole Harbour in more than 200 years. The eggs were laid on 23, 26, and 29th of April. That means that the first egg is 36 days old now. I am thinking pip watch in a couple of days?? This morning CJ7 ate her fish off the nest so no hatch yet! Gosh this is going to be a difficult nest to see those historical hatches!

Oh, those three Bobs on the Manton Bay nest of Blue 22 and Maya are getting huge. It seems it was only yesterday that we were worrying that the flapping Perch had killed one or both of the nestlings. It was 13 days ago!

This is such a good nest. A fish is right there when Maya gets the chicks up in the morning. It must surely help to have a stocked lake that is free from leisure vehicles and people.

You can almost hear Maya saying, “Oh, please, just have one more bite.”

Maya looks like she is in shock as Blue 33 arrives with a fish.

And what a fish that was!!!!!!!!!! Oh, gosh, is it going to land on the chicks?

All lined up like the Osprey lads at Port Lincoln last season. No need to fight over food on this nest – everyone is fed regularly til they are full. Would love to send this fish to Little Bit 17.

Blue 33 also brought in some nesting materials this morning and dropped them over the chicks. The look on Maya’s face was priceless!

After Blue flies off, Maya turns and looks at the camera. My goodness she is a beauty.

I haven’t mentioned them for awhile – shame on me. There are three osplets in the Osprey platform at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware. They are doing fine and from their heads you can see they are now moving into the Reptilian phase.

Bukachek and Betty have five White Storks this morning in their nest in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic. Everyone is so excited. There is one more egg to hatch.

Here is an adorable video of the six storklets at the nest of Jan and Janika!

There are wee ones on the nest of Karl II and Kaia, too. With all the nesting material it is hard to see how many.

It is rainy and blowing at the MN-DNR nest. Nancy has gotten food on the nest and E1, Harriet, continues to do very well. Hopefully Nancy will have a new mate next year. So many of us still miss Harry. What a real shame to lose him – he was only 5 years old. Just starting his life really as an adult. And what a wonderful mate he was while he was with Nancy!

There are way too many nests! And too many things happening. There is Annie looking up at us at 05:53 this morning in San Francisco. She is asking you to pick ‘nice’ names for the two chicks that her and Alden have raised. Suggestions stop and then there will be a vote…it seems that there will not need to be a run off for the name of the male. Grinnell is running away with the numbers! How could it not be Grinnell, seriously?

To suggest a name go to https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu and click on the Facebook tag. Scroll down a few entries and put in your desire names. Suggestions end on the 30th with voting starting immediately for the finalists once they are listed. They are giving us a short time so do not delay choosing your favourites of the short listed. I will try and remind everyone, too.

Take care everyone. Have an absolutely fabulous Sunday. Thank you for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, MN-DNR, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky White Storks, Osprey Webcam for Cape Henlopen State Park, LRWT, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH cam, and ND-LEEF.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

20 April 2022

The number of intruders or interlopers – or floaters – causing tense interactions at or near nests is becoming increasingly more alarming. We have seen Grinnell at Cal Falcons chase a female intruder from The Campanile only to be killed. Both Alden and Annie have, since, had to defend their territory with one male interloper coming right into the scrape while eggs were being incubated!

When did we realize that the life of our feathered friends is not just fluttering around and singing at sunrise and dusk? It is becoming quite worrisome.

Rosie was incubating eggs at the SF Bay Osprey nest at the Richmond Shipping yard when an intruder arrived. Richmond does not seem to be around and well, just have a look. The adults that have eggs and chicks that depend on them need to be hunting for food not defending nests in situations that might injure or harm them fatally.

It is happening everywhere and events such as these are causing a lot of anxiety. This morning an intruder with a fish tried to land on the Llyn Clywedog nest with a fish after Seren had laid her third egg. Dylan chased it off! Is it my imagination or is it worse this year than last?

There is a real lack of suitable nesting sites. Ospreys have adapted well to various human made objects such as the Whirley Crane in SF or the light stand at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I just learned the other day that there is an Osprey nest on top of one of the light stands at the University of Manitoba. I had no idea. Ospreys will use human made platforms – what they require is that the sky be wide open so they have a 360 view of any predators arriving. Otherwise Ospreys like the tops of dead trees. Bald Eagles like trees but trees – good old sturdy trees – are in decline. Ron and Rita took to the Papadam nest that Ron Magill constructed and, as I have mentioned a couple of times, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia is construction eagle nests with sun shades! In San Francisco there is a real desire to have some of that prime real estate that The Campanile provides. Good trees and good territories with a growing number of birds looking for them tends to cause much distress.

It is a joy to see these two eaglets after the very rough start at the Dale Hollow nest. Both hatched on the 28th of February. If we count hatch day, they are 51 days old now. More growing, more wingersizing, and more jumping to do before fledging. Thankfully we will be enjoying them for awhile longer.

An adult brought in a small fish. Little Middle stayed back watching. Little Middle has not forgotten that he needs to be cautious. They have had days of many fish and then not much. Hunger could bring out the cranky side of Big. This is typical of eagle nests where the parents tend to show the older eaglets that sometimes it is feast or famine in the wild.

Little Middle moves up to eat before the fish is all gone, thankfully.

Cornell Bird Lab has posted a possible pip watch for Big Red and Arthur. They say they are in uncharted territory with four eggs. We will all be learning something. We will all be anxious to check on the status of this Red-tail Hawk nest first thing!

Wednesday morning. Cornell called a definite pip. Bit breezy there at times today.

You can see the pip in the third egg from the left as Arthur rolls the eggs this morning.

Big Red and Arthur are going to be really, really busy by the weekend.

B15 is 97 days old today. Pa Berry and Missy continue to come to the nest and to bring fish. Sometimes B15 self-feeds and sometimes she wants Mum to feed her. She tried both approaches Tuesday afternoon. It is such a joy that she is staying around the nest – getting strong, figuring out how to live on her own one day.

Well, the first fish of the morning did not arrive until 11:11:14 and it caused tension on the UFlorida Osprey nest at Gainesville.

Each of the chicks was hot and hungry and had been anticipating a nice piece of fish much earlier. As a result the eldest was cranky and Little Bit didn’t help itself by pecking at Big!

As you might well imagine a hot hungry bigger sibling wasn’t too happy and Big turned around and pecked Little Bit until he went into submission. Little Bit needs to not be so cheeky.

What was interesting to me was that, after a couple of minutes, the Mum got tired of the nonsense of the fighting and moved the fish and all three got in line and ate. Well done Mum!

Little Bit went and did a ps at 11:34 and went back to join the line. He has a bit of a crop forming and there is still fish left. Behave Little Bit!

There is a new study that is out in The Guardian this morning warning that protected areas aren’t always protecting the wildlife they should.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/20/protected-areas-dont-always-benefit-wildlife-global-study-finds-aoe

A quick check of what is happening in some of the nests.

Idris and Telyn have their second egg at the Dyfi Nest in Wales as of yesterday, the 19th.

Dylan and Seren 5F have three eggs at their nest at Llyn Clywedog as of today.

The Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 also have three eggs as of yesterday.

Everyone had a chance to eat fish at the Captiva Nest. Mum Lena is feeding Middle (Little) while Little (Mini) has his own fish on the left.

The two osplets are watching a Crow fly over head. Aren’t they just so beautiful? Look at those amber eyes and that plumage. Gorgeous. Did I say I love Ospreys?

The three eaglets on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta are still on the nest. Oh, these kids make me nervous.

Just look at the size of the eaglet standing by Thunder being fed. My goodness. Check out the size of those legs. Wow.

It is certainly a gorgeous morning with that deep cobalt blue water and golden glow filtering on the Two Harbours nest of Chase and Cholyn and their little one.

Voting closes today for the two eaglets of Liberty and Guardian. Be sure to fill in the form and get it in by 5pm Pacific time today! The link to submit a name is below the image.

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

At the Northeast Florida nest of Samson and Gabby, both of their eaglets have now fledged. Congratulations Rocket!

There will be an on line Q & A about the Cal Falcons on 22 April – that is Friday at 2pm Berkeley time. You can set a reminder!

Betyanka and Bukachek have their first egg at the White Stork nest in Mlade Buky The Czech Republic.

Thank you so much for joining me. There are so many nests with things happening that it is hard to keep up. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Capi Mlade Buky White Storks, Cornell Bird Labs, DHEC, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Redding Eagles, CarnyxWild, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and Berry College Eagles.

For the love of storks

Do people who love storks like to send me private notes? Most often, no one will mention in a comment that their favourite bird is actually ‘the stork’. It is curious. My interest in storks is their behaviour, and sometimes their actions can be alarming. This is especially true when the adults decide there is not enough food available for seven storks, only three or four. Of course, the question lingers: why do some storks lay so many eggs that hatch when there is not nearly enough food for even half? The only answer that I have is that they are ‘insurance eggs’ like the second egg in an eagle nest.

For those people who love storks, here is something special. This video clip is of the White Stork nest in Mlade Burky, Czech Republic, this afternoon when two are on the nest in the hope of getting a meal from Father Stork. You might think that this is a ‘contemporary’ stork dance! They are incredibly graceful.

Pantrac with Father Stork. 31 July 2021

This video clip shows Pantrac, the female, on the nest. She has just flown in. She sees Father Stork arriving in the distance and is food begging.

This is the link to the streaming cam for the White Storks in Mlade Buky:

The storks were given lovely names. Pankrac (CE887) is the female seen in the video clip above with the dad, Bukacek. Servac (CE886) and Bonifac (CE885) were the two males. Sadly, I received a message today that Bonifac has been electrocuted in the same manner as his mother. He was killed on 29 July at approximately 14:08. It was not the same pole.

Is there a silver lining? My reader ‘S’ believes so. There are two healthy storks alive thanks to Sandor Havran and Jin Zeman, who organized feeding the little ones and then feeding Bukacek separately to not frighten the growing storks. Bukacek often fed his little ones ten times a day. That is incredible. The issue of electrocutions is not limited to Czechoslovakia. It has happened in my province also.

My reader, ‘S’, informs me that a law was passed to place protections for the birds on the electric transmission lines in 2009. That law was 458/2009 Coll. According to ‘S’, “it imposes a duty to secure all high voltage lines against bird injury by 2024.” The work is scheduled to begin in August of this year. I am not surprised that the company is waiting until the very last minute to put these protections for the birds. Ironically, it might have been much more cost-effective if they had begun the project in 2009 instead of eleven years later. It is only through the public’s caring that our Manitoba Hydro follows the laws in my province. Just a few months ago, they were caught clear-cutting around hydro poles in an area with active nests. Phone calls to the company, our provincial premier, and the newspapers and television stations paused until the birds left the area. Sadly, in the Czech Republic, it is too late for Bonifac and his mother, Barunka and hundreds of other birds of all species who die annually.

I see only Pantrac sleeping on the nest tonight. The father, Bukacek, came to the nest to feed the two fledglings before night. He called Servac, but he did not come, so Servac is not close to the nest. Only Pankrac got to eat. Here is she sleeping so beautifully on one leg! Servac was seen flying with other storks during the afternoon.

I found another little video on YouTube. It is only about a minute long and was shot by someone ‘shocked’ by all the stork nests! The community in a village in Poland love their storks. In fact, more storks live in the village than people who share their rooftops with these amazing birds.

In other bird news, the cuteness factor certainly exists on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest. Here is Lady feeding the two little ones, 27 and 28, a couple of hours ago.

The Collins Marsh chick has had a few feedings today. This one was about 4pm nest time.

If you have been wondering about the Black-Browned Albatross that is at Bempton Cliffs in the UK and not in the Southern Ocean, here is an excellent article:

I found only an empty nest every time I checked on Tiny Little today. So, let us assume that with wonderful parents like she has, she had some fish sometime today!

I would like to introduce you to some of the ‘wildlife’ that live in my urban garden that has ‘gone to the birds’.

This is ‘Little Woodpecker’. He shares the large suet cylinder with insects with the Blue Jays, three grey squirrels, and Little Red. It was not so long ago that Little Woodpecker brought the fledgling to find the feeder.

This is Little Red. He has decided to come and have a drink while the bowls were lined up to be cleaned. Little Red – and all the Little Reds after – have a lifetime lease on our large shed. The City believes it is a garage, and they have no sense of humour when I tell them my car won’t fit in there, and it is a squirrel that lives there! He takes all the seeds from the Maple Trees and builds very warm baskets throughout the space.

This is Hedwig. Hedwig’s mother brought him and left him under the bird feeders when he was about a month old. Here he is at one year with his short little ears. To this day, Hedwig sits under the bird feeders and loves it when they are full of birds tossing seeds everywhere!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am so sorry to bring you the sad news about Bonifac. Send warm wishes out to all our bird friends for plenty of food and a safe environment. We owe it to them! Take care, everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘S’ for writing to inform me about Bonifac and the laws regarding protections. It is much appreciated. Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots and video clip: Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, and the Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre.