25 November in Bird World

I hope that anyone celebrating Thanksgiving today had a wonderful meal with friends and family. All of us have so much to be grateful for – including our beloved birds – every day.

So, let’s start with the not so great news and move into the good, shall we?

Everyone has been waiting for Grinnell to step up to the plate and stay in the scrape box on The Campanile or on the ledge waiting for Annie. So far that has simply not happened. Today, however, it was the ‘new male’ that was there. Grinnell may still lack the confidence to engage with the intruder that injured him. Here is that video:

Port Lincoln has posted that the official autopsy on Solly, the 2020 fledgling of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and the first Osprey in Australia to have a tracker, was, indeed and very sadly and unnecessarily (my words) the victim of electrocution.

Oh, just look at her. What a beauty. Her necklace would have been the envy of everyone. She reminds me, so much, of Iris. Stunning.

Port Lincoln also posted the following information on their FB page. I am delighted to see that they are going to use the information gathered by Solly’s tracking to understand where to put protectors on the hydro poles.

Thank you to all my readers who wrote to the South Australian Minister of the Environment and Water, David Speirs. You may remember that Speirs travelled to Port Lincoln to help band the chicks there and at Thistle Island. Ervie is named after the town in Scotland where Speirs was born. Every letter and every phone call does help. It is a tragedy and one that did not need to happen!

Blackland Prairie Raptor Rescue posted the following image of a hawk caught up in fishing line. Look closely at the outward damage that line caused and imagine the pain and suffering. This was in Lucas, Texas but it could be anywhere people fish and do not care to clean up after themselves. Please spread the word to anyone you know who fishes. And if you want to do something to help, put bags in your car and pickers (those tools people use to pick up litter) along with gloves. Go for a walk along a shore and clean it up. Take the family. The birds will thank you. They really will!

And now for some really good news.

Port Lincoln has a couple of items. The first is a posting about Port Lincoln fledgling from 2019, Calypso. It seems that she has been spotted a few times with a male. Could this be pair bonding?

And lastly out of Port Lincoln, Ervie is doing more flying and getting stronger. He even flew over houses! The trio – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky – are doing great. All are flying and eating and life is good on the barge.

Ferris Akel’s tour meant a lot to lovers of Big Red today. About a week or ten days ago I posed the question on the Cornell Chatter’s FB page: Has anyone seen Big Red since 16 October? No one had. News came on the Cornell Twitter Page that Karel and Bogette had seen Big Red on 21 November at Beebee Lake. There was a lot of worry.

Everyone on Ferris’s tour were overjoyed to see her back sitting on the building where her ‘throne’ is located.

Oh, she is a beauty and is so dear to everyone. Such joy she has brought to people from around the world. Indeed, at one time, she was said to be ‘the most famous’ Red Tail Hawk. I am certain she still is! Ferris also spotted Arthur so everything is right with the world in Ithaca.

Soon the NZ DOC will select the Royal Cam family for the 2021-22 season. I wonder who they will choose?

And remember to mark your calendars. #1031 Iniko will be released back into the territory where she hatched in Big Sur on 4 December. It will be so exciting to seeRedwood Queen and Kingpin’s daughter return to the wild after surviving the Dolan Fire in 2020. This is one of those events that will warm your heart. No one believed Iniko could survive that fire. Her father, Kingpin, is believed to have perished but the wee one lived. Jubilant is the word I am looking for – everyone associated with the rescue and the release will be jubilant for a long, long time.

Take care everyone. I am thankful for each and everyone of you because you love and care for the environment where our beloved birds live and hunt and raise their families. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB Pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Ferris Akel Tours, Blackland Prairie Raptor Rescue, and Cal Falcons.

Annie and Grinnell

I included a brief note about Annie and Grinnell in my news about Diamond and Xavier. The news is very good so I think it warrants a quick posting.

According to Cal Falcons, Annie has been seen for the first time on The Campanile this morning since Grinnell was released. These are some screen shots of her on the ledge that I took.

In a message from Cal falcons, they have stated that the new male interloper who injured Grinnell has not been seen since Wednesday. This contradicts a posting that said Annie had been soaring with the interloper. I am going to assume that was earlier. Remember Grinnell was released on Wednesday and he flew straight to The Campanile from Lawrence Hall.

For the past few days Grinnell has been perched on and off The Campanile. I believe that Annie is looking for Grinnell.

You can watch Annie and Grinnell on three cameras. Here are the links:

Join me in sending positive wishes that Annie and Grinnell will be united soon!

Thank you to Cal Falcons for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots of Annie.

Diamond is so patient

Little Yurruga has really been shaking it up – or should I say ‘off’? Those fluffy white down feathers, so soft and so cute when she was younger, must be driving her crazy. Underneath what is left is going to be a lovely bird, just like her Mum, Diamond.

There is no doubt that Yurruga can be loud and she certainly almost claims those eggs as her own in the video above. She can also persuade the parents to go to the ledge or leave entirely. But, Yurruga feels like a much gentler soul than Izzi. Diamond is simply a patient observant Mum and after a bit, Yurruga stops with the prey calling when she sees that nothing is coming. Rather nice.

A few minutes later, Yurruga was running around with a Starling beak. What a character!

There have been several fish deliveries at Port Lincoln. Ervie got the first fish and left a little for the brothers. That came in at 6:50:24. There was another delivery at 12:11 and another at 14:25:11. I could not tell who got the last fish but, Bazza picked up the noon delivery. Maybe Falky got the last one. Ervie didn’t. They are all getting fish to eat and no one is hungry despite the scramble for the latest delivery.

Port Lincoln posted Ervie’s flight path yesterday. He is definitely exploring around the barge.

Falky continues his flying and landing exercises and Port Lincoln adds that Bazza seems to figure if he stays on the nest, he has the best chance of getting a fish! One of the chatters wondered if he was too ‘heavy’ for lift off. Bazza will fly when Bazza is ready. We don’t need to urge him on. I am certain Ervie and Falky are very capable of doing that.

I am continuing to read and enjoy Emry Evans Monty more and more. I am on my second reading of parts of this marvellous book. While it is about the foundational male of Welsh Ospreys it is also about this wonderful species and insights into their behaviour. I was particularly moved by the essay on Monty’s mourning the loss of his daughter, Ceri, and the links drawn to all of the studies that demonstrate that animals not only experience ranges of emotion but also pain and suffering and to Dr Marc Bekoff’s writing as well as to that of Jane Goodall. One of those is The Ten Trusts.

Those trusts, according to Goodall and Bekoff are: 1. Respect all life; 2. Live as part of the Animal Kingdom; 3. Educate our children to respect animals; 4. Treat animals as you would like to be treated; 5. Be a steward; 6. Value the sounds of nature and help preserve them; 7. Do not harm life in order to learn about it; 8. Have the courage of your convictions; 9. Act knowing that your actions make a difference, and 10. Act knowing that you are not alone.

Because of the unnecessary death of Solly, the 2020 hatch at Port Lincoln, on the power line at Streaky Bay, I am particularly interested in #9. Each of us can make a difference and I note that in Wales, all that had to be done to keep the Ospreys off the power lines where they love to eat fish was to place two diagonal rods. How simple is that?! The South Australian Government could do this with all of the power lines near the coasts where the birds fish and eat.

There is an update on Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon who was injured in a turf war. Of course, everyone hopes that Grinnell is super fit and able to take on his assailant who is now courting Grinnell’s mate, Annie. This was 19 hours ago:

https://hoodline.com/2021/11/celebrity-berkeley-falcon-in-avian-love-triangle-close-to-recovery-after-injury/

It is a another grey day with the promise of more snow. Meanwhile everything seems to have a crust of ice on it or, in the case of walkways, several centimetres of ice making it nearly impossible to walk. The birds are very inventive. They have been burrowing tunnels in the snow and then standing in the holes – it is like having one’s on private igloo.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB groups where I took my screen captures and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project Cam and FB Page, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Grinnell update!

The plumage on a Peregrine Falcon is incredibly cute. Those beautiful slate grey heads, the horizontal striped pantaloons, the white chest, the gorgeous yellow legs and talons and cere.

One of the cutest is the little 8 year old lad below, Grinnell. Grinnell was, until the 29th of October, the resident male along with his mate, Annie, at The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley in San Francisco. On that day, Grinnell had an altercation with two falcon interlopers. He was found grounded on a garbage can about a mile and a half from The Campanile. Was he driving the interlopers out? was he fleeing? We will never know. Fortunately, he was found and taken into care at the Lindsay Wildlife Centre. There he had surgery on his wing and received antibiotics, anti-parasites, and anti-inflammatory drugs. He was doing well enough when he arrived at the clinic that he could feed himself. Apparently he quite loved the quail!

As you can see from the FB posting below, Grinnell is doing well.

Decisions will be made as to where he will be released by a couple of agencies. It is not known if Grinnell will return and fight for his territory and Annie, his mate of 6 years. Only time will tell. The good news is that Grinnell is recovering from his injuries.

Meanwhile, Annie has been getting friendly with the intruder. Oh, I wish it would go away! Annie does not know where Grinnell is and she has been scraping in the box, etc indicating that she is receptive to the new male. Falcon experts have stated that Annie will not enter into the battle if the two males rival for the territory – prime real estate! She will want to protect herself so that she will be healthy during breeding season.

Keep sending positive thoughts Grinnell’s way.

I know that some have been worried about the falcon left on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. At 11:12, Dad brought a huge prey item onto the ledge. You can see the eyas beginning to mantle, very excited. The bird was not prepped and Dad worked on it but the chick was not eating. I am not a vet but it appears that something is causing the chick to not be able to open its beak wide enough to eat. The chick appears not to be preening despite the floof (this normally causes them to itch and preen constantly) and I am concerned that there is ‘something’ not right.

I am not that familiar with the birds in Australia but it looks like it could be a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo or a Gull.

I feel really sorry. The Dad is working hard to feed and get the little one to eat and well, it appears that it can’t. It is only a guess as to what is wrong with the chick. Will anyone do anything to get it into care, I do not know. Every country and even every state is different in their laws and attitudes. All we can do is hope that the wee bird will improve on its own.

The weather in Port Lincoln is dire. One of the boats near the barge has gone under the water in the rough waves. No one was on board. It is a cold front moving through the area. It is 13 degees C with 32 kph winds. It is not a good day for fishing with the choppy water but the osplets have been doing some hovering. I hope they don’t get blown off the nest prematurely! So far they are all safe and secure!

I wish I had better news about the little falcon on Collins Street. Send lots of love and positive wishes for there to be a turn around or — for a miracle and someone approve it going into care.

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank the individuals who have shared the FB posting about Grinnell.

Soap Opera at the Campanile and other nest news

The soap opera playing out with the Peregrine Falcons at tThe Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley made the Los Angeles Times this morning:

Annie only knows Grinnell is not there and it appears she might be taking up with the interloper that caused Grinnell’s injuries. My goodness!

The birds are stirring at Port Lincoln this morning. Before 6am there was calling from the nest. There were only 3 birds but it was Mum calling Dad with the breakfast order. No. It was the chicks calling Dad wanting their fish! They are so big. Ready to begin flying.

Just look at those three birds. I sure hope they stay in the nest and pancake when they are to be ringed today but I am worried the sound of the motor boat is going to make them bolt off the nest early. I so want to be proven wrong, for the sake of the birds, and foolish for even thinking such a thing.

Janet Forster says they will come in a boat and dingy when the boat gets back from the Sea Lion Tour. Fingers crossed. We will not be able to see this live but I am hoping either pictures or a video will be shared later. The trio were fed six times yesterday. It should have been seven but dad lost a fish and he found it and decided he would eat the entire thing!

Is this to be the day that at least one of the 367 Collins Street Four fledges? They slept on the ledge last night. Will they fly off together?

Yurruga had a lot of prey items yesterday. She sported a nice crop and is doing really well with her self-feeding. What a lovely independent eyas. In one instance, Xavier came in with a Rosella. Even with a crop Yurruga seemed to want to have some of it – they must be very tasty. Someone told me they are the equivalent to the pigeons in the city – parrots everywhere – but I have no idea if that is true. In the end, watch and see what happens. Oh, and before I forget. Diamond’s limp is still there but it is improving every day.

There is an updating on WBSE 27 by Judy Harrington. This is what she posted: “SE27 is doing well, gaining strength and is feeding by itself. It has moved to a larger raptor cage to allow it to exercise and recover.
The treating vets have advised that SE27 will be in care for a few weeks while it recovers and will be released back into the wild as soon as it’s well enough. Healing takes time so please be patient. Updates will follow when possible. BTW, we hear fish and mice have been on the menu!
It is unlikely any photos will be issued while in captivity.
There are no reported sightings of SE28.” That is good news for this beautiful sea eaglet, WBSE 27.

It is really windy down in Ft Myers, Florida. M15 has been bringing his mate, Harriet, some nice treats in the last few days. The other day it was a Cattle Egret. She was delighted. The pair continue to work on their nest. Wonder when the first egg will appear?

Harriet being blown a bit by the wind. 6 November 2021

It is stormy over in Jacksonville, Florida. Still Samson and Gabby were both on the nest in the wind and rain preparing it for this season. Oh, goodness, this couple just warms my heart! (Yes, we all have our favourites. I admit it).

The weather out in Colorado is perfect and the Bald Eagle couple on the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle Nest are busy working, too. Last year they raised one chick. Wonder if they will make it two this year?

There is one eagle, at this very moment, working on the nest in the Kisatchie National Forest. I do not know if it is Anna or Louis. This is their second season together. So glad to see the couple returned. Last year was the first since 2013 that an eaglet had hatched and fledged in this nest. Nice to see the young family here. That is a great image on the two cameras and the sound is excellent this year. Cody and Steve have really been working on the set up. (Thank you!)

I am afraid that I could go on checking Bald Eagle nests and we would see the same image – one or both adults working on the nest. The eagles have really come back from nearly being wiped out. I hope there are enough big trees for them for nests!

It is going to be awhile til the PLO chicks are ringed and, believe it or not, it is 14 degrees C on the Canadian Prairies. Summer weather. Well, this is what our summers used to be like: 14-17 degrees C. Now you can double that. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and so far, Dyson is leaving Mr Blue Jay’s corn cob alone. It is a great day for a walk. See you later. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: X-Cel Energy, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and the Pritchett Family, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, the KNF Bald Eagle Nest, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

How is Grinnell?

It was a great discussion by Lynn and Sean from Cal Falcons and Cheryl from Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on Grinnell. I taped it to post here but the file size is too large. Lynn and Sean archived the discussion. Here is the link:

Grinnell is the male Peregrine Falcon whose mate is Annie. Their territory for the past five years has been the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in San Francisco. Their scrape box is in the most iconic building on campus, The Campanile.

On 29 October, Grinnell was observed to be in a territorial fight with two intruder falcons. He was found 1.5 miles away from the Campanile grounded. The eight year old falcon was taken into care. Grinnell had minor surgery related to an injury on his wing. He also had a significant injury to one of his legs, his top beak end was also broken and there were other injuries related to the fight. Grinnell is on medication twice a day that includes anti-inflammatories, anti-parasites, as well as antibiotics. It is not clear if Grinnell could have survived without human interference since he was grounded. He was given fluids and was very hungry and ate on his own instead of being fed by clinic staff. This means that they put food in his hospital cage and he eats when he wants. They checked the sutures in his wing and the wound has not completely healed. They will continue to check that and Grinnell’s parasite load. All birds have parasites at various levels and of various kinds. They do not know for certain but Grinnell will be in care for another week to a month. He has to be fully healed and capable of hunting and flying before he will be released. His beak tip is keratin like our fingernails and will grow back. It is not like a broken bone. At this time they do not know where they will release Grinnell. The experts note that if Grinnell wants to return to his territory even if they released him 100 miles away with the falcon’s keen navigation systems he would find home. So there will be continuing discussions about an appropriate location.

One of the most asked questions was: what about Annie? First, Annie and Grinnell have been together for 5 years raising chicks. Grinnell is an excellent falcon dad partaking in many activities raising the chicks – more than most falcon males who simply do the hunting. This is a big plus for Grinnell. Annie does not know where Grinnell is. He is just gone. Not there. Annie is currently maintaining her territory on top of the Campanile. Annie has been scraping in the scrape box, displaying breeding behaviours towards the ‘new guy’. The falcon experts say that Annie will not likely enter into a fight with the interloper. She does not want to get injured and not be able to breed next year. If Grinnell returns to fight the interloper, she will likely stay out of it to avoid injury. Someone asked if Annie would know Grinnell if he returned. The answer was ‘certainly yes’. Annie would know Grinnell by a sound of his voice miles away. But right now, Annie just knows that Grinnell is not there. She does not know where he is.

Annie in the scrape box. 5 November 2021.

I hope you will listen to the discussion. The questions and the responses were quite informative.

There has been an update on the Joburg Spotted Owls – the foster owlet put in the box with a mother and her two. It has been returned to the box once and has jumped out again. It is now in the garden of the owners. There is a carport and the parents will continue to feed it. They are opting not to return it to the nest box because it will only jump out again.

The weather was grand. 10 degrees C. I visited two of our parks in search of Wood Ducks and was not disappointed. At one there were 25 Mallards, 2 Wood Ducks, and about 400 Canada Geese. At the other there were 6 Wood Ducks, a few Mallards, and about 50 Canada Geese. I will post images tomorrow.

Take care everyone. I hope your weekend is starting off well. See you soon.

Friday in Bird World

There is an update on WBSE 27 but, first, some background for those that do not know what happened. White-Bellied Sea Eaglet 27 had a forced fledge. The Pied Currawong were attacking 27 who was alone in the nest after WBSE 28’s fludge. 27 flew to the camera tree and then was, more or less, escorted out of the forest by the Currawong. A few days later, 27 was spotted. It was on some pavement. When it flew up, the Currawong began to attack its head. 27 fell to the ground. Thankfully help was at hand! WBSE 27 was taken into care and checked. Luckily there was nothing broken. The latest news is promising. I do really hope they will keep 27 til it is a very strong flyer. Maybe we will also find out if 27 is a male or a female.

This is the latest update this morning from Judy Harrington: “SE27 is doing well, gaining in strength and is feeding by itself. It has moved to a larger raptor cage to allow it exercise and recover. The treating vets have advised that SE27 will be in care for a few weeks while it recovers and will be released back into the wild as soon as it’s well enough. Healing takes time so please be patient. Updates will follow when possible.”

Oh, it is so good to hear that 27 is improving.

Photo taken by Cathy Cook.

There is a lot of discussion and concern for Grinnell, the mate of Annie, at the Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley in San Francisco. An undergraduate student wrote a great article on the falcon family for The Bay News. I was excited when I read it because it mentions Holly Parsons, who runs the FB group for Xavier and Diamond on the Charles Sturt Campus, and the Manitoba Peregrine Recovery Project in the city where I live and the City’s 19 year old female falcon, Princess. The article is really informative. What a good writer this undergraduate is. Have a read:

I was hoping to have an image of the Spotted Eagle Owlet in Joburg back in the nest but it isn’t there.

In fact, the Mum has just noticed that one of the babies is out of the nest box. You can see its fluffy head under the Mum’s left leg. Poor little thing. It must be scared and hungry. I understood that someone was to place it back in the nest box. Hopefully this will happen soon.

Xavier flew in with a Starling to the Peregrine Falcon scrape on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange. Yurruga had been waiting and watching!

Yurruga spends a lot of time looking at the world outside the scrape. She is 28 days old today.

Here comes Xavier with a freshly caught Starling. Yurruga is so excited!

Dad can hardly get the bird into the scrape.

Yurruga is tugging and pulling.

Xavier looks like he really wants Diamond to fly in and feed Yurruga.

Yurruga reaches up and bites Dad’s beak. Look at how big ‘she’ is! Notice also that the down is coming off from around Yurruga’s eyes. She will look like she is wearing goggles tomorrow. Yurruga is right on track in the transitioning from the down to her juvenile feathers.

Xavier cannot prepare the Starling with Yurruga wanting to eat ‘now’.

He opens up the bird and feeds Yurruga some of the nice meat.

Then he flies out of the scrape with the remainder of the bird. He will either put it in storage for later or eat it himself or give it to Diamond. Clearly Yurruga is very healthy and doing quite well. It is nice to see Xavier feeding the little one. Maybe Diamond needs to rest her leg. No doubt Yurruga will have a couple more feedings today. Fingers crossed. She needs all the lunch she can hold.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Dad brought in a fish tail. Little Bob got it and Big Bob tried to take it. No real tussle and it looked like Little Bob was able to keep it. Just look at the strong mantling (putting wings over prey to protect it from being stolen). These three are going to be a handful to band on Monday!

Despite the mantling, the chicks definitely were remaining civil. This was not a real tussle for food.

Good practice for the future. Dad is so cute. He acts like he isn’t paying attention but he is. These parents are watching everything the three of them do. Everything is about being able to survive in the real world. They have done an amazing job.

Friday has started out pretty good. I hope it continues that way. Diamond is healing but still a bruise on her foot. 27 is improving and so is Grinnell. Yarruga is growing like a bad weed and soon will be bigger than Xavier. There are still four falcons at 367 Collins Street and it is hoped that someone will put the owl back in the box – again.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone and have a great day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, EcoSolutions JoBurg Owl Cam, and the Sea Eagles FB Page for the image of 27.

Oops, Grinnell update

Lindsay Wildlife Clinic in Walnut Creek, California just posted an update on Grinnell. Grinnell is one of the UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons. His mate is Annie and their natal nest is on top of the Campanile. Grinnell was involved in an altercation, protecting his territory, with an intruder male. He was found on the 29th sitting on a trash can unable to fly with multiple injuries. He was taken to the Lindsay Wildlife Clinic where he underwent surgery.

This is their update today:

GRINNELL UPDATE, AND THANK YOU: Grinnell the Peregrine Falcon continues recovering from his injuries in our wildlife hospital. The surgical site on his wing is healing and he underwent additional radiographs on Nov. 2 to check the bruising on his right leg. He is eating well (he’s pictured here with a full crop after dining on a quail) and our veterinary team expects it will take 10-14 days to heal from his injuries. On Grinnell’s behalf, we would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and for their donations and support as we work to return him to the wild, where he belongs. Photos by Dr. Krystal Woo, Lead Wildlife Veterinarian.

So glad he is doing well. Hang in there, Annie. Grinnell will be home shortly. If you wish to make a donation, go to the Lindsay Wildlife Clinic FB Page. There is a donate button.

Thank you to the Lindsay Wildlife Clinic FB Page where I took this screen capture.

Checking on the birds

Oh, how they have entertained us. How we waited to see if that fourth egg would hatch. How we watched as Dad was incubating during the earthquake. It has been quite the season with the Melbourne Peregrine falcons. Today, there is another nice article on the 367 Collins Street Falcons today. I have attached it in case you missed it!

We are so lucky that the four of them have decided to come out so that we can see them. Those downy feathers are disappearing quickly and they look like grown up falcons capable of taking on the skies of Melbourne -for awhile – til Mom and Dad boot them out. Certainly Mom and Dad have been doing flying demonstrations trying to lure them into thinking about taking the leap! They are a little over 5 weeks old today. Forty days and onward is approximate for fledging.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/for-melbourne-s-falcons-and-their-fans-a-new-domestic-drama-20211001-p58who.html?fbclid=IwAR1bgeKR4w2H622TETCdcJ0r0bgzLtVEE9BoK_35wrlcuWA4b0BzJ9VC0JI

Over in Orange, or should I say ‘up’ in Orange, Yarruga was one hungry chick waiting for supper that did not arrive. S/he had two feedings yesterday so she is going to be ravenous when breakfast arrives. There is no need to worry, though. She had a nice crop, larger than Diamond’s and Yarruga will not starve. In the world of raptors there are days of plenty and days of naught. Little ones need to learn that, too. Yarruga is 28 days old today. Four weeks.

Diamond was seen putting her entire weight on her right leg in the middle of the night to clean her talons. This is very good news. She has moved over to the ledge to grab some sleep before dawn and Diamond seems to be doing much better. How grand.

The Port Lincoln osplets are sound asleep. Little Bob is 50 days old today – while the two big siblings are 52 days old. We will be keeping an eye on those numbers because last year Solly fledged at 65 days (in the Northern Hemisphere it is 49 days onward). Solly was banded at 47 days and DEW at 46. On Monday, 8 November, these three will be banded, named, measured, and at least one will get a tracker. They are just wonderful – the three of them. I am surely going to miss this nest – perhaps the most civilized brood I have ever seen.

There is sadly some commotion going on at Taiaroa Head. Our beloved OGK may have realized that his mate, YRK, is not returning. He tried to mate – rather vigorously – with BOK who is also waiting for her mate to return. Being the gentleman that he is, OGK, returned to apologize in the Albatross way by doing a sky call with BOK later.

If it happens that YRK, Pippa Atawhai’s mum, does not return, it will not be from old age but from being caught in the lines of the fishing trawlers. I hope that you will think about our beloved Pippa and what a horrible death that would be – and it is entirely preventable! I feel rather gutted because these are all useless deaths that never have to happen. An albatross does not need to be decapitated every 5 minutes! The fixes are really easy. They include setting the lines at night, line weighting, and bird scaring lines. Some organizations are supplying these measures for free to the boats. The deaths are preventable. There needs to be international laws. Every country needs to stand up and demand that the fishing factories take these simple steps or not be able to fish. Write letters, phone your political representative – do it for Pippa. Then check out what the RSPB is doing. They are working alongside the Albatross Task Force to help end bycatch. Check out their website, ask who to contact. And remember – writing e-mails does help. Public pressure helps.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/policy-insight/marine-and-coastal/saving-seabirds-globally/the-albatross-task-force/

The Bald Eagles are really busy working on their nests in the US while the ones who came to Manitoba for their summer breeding are very slowly making their migration. Images of 30 or 40 along the river in my City have been posted locally the last few days but are not available to share beyond the Manitoba Birding and Photography FB page. I still have a few Slate Grey Juncos and today that meant a trip to the seed seller to get some more Husked Millet for them. The day is just starting in Australia and New Zealand so no telling what will happen. I long for YRK to fly in and just land on OGK’s head! That would be a rather dramatic entrance fitting for this very patient male who has been working on a nest for about six weeks now. No doubt Yarruga is going to be screaming for breakfast! I will post the updates on Grinnell tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, thank you for joining me and take care everyone.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Tuesday in Bird World

Grinnell and Annie are working hard to prepare the three boys for fledging and starting their lives outside of the scrape box. Today is 25 May and fledging should fall into 27-29 May – two days away! It is possible the youngest will be the 31st but you never know.

Grinnell has had the three lined up getting lessons and is working hard on teaching them aspects of self-feeding.

Not so sure they are listening to the instructions on plucking the pigeon!

Ever wonder what it might be like feeding your chicks when they are almost as big as you and there are three of them? Have a look.

Here is a very short clip of Kaknu taking the lunch and running away with it today:

This year has been plagued by a lack of chipmunks. Instead, the Ks seem to have been living on Starling. Something unexpected happened this morning – Arthur brought in a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk! Big Red had to have been delighted.

Sometimes Big Red takes a break and flies over to another of the light stands. She can keep a close eye on the Ks from here. On occasion Arthur will do a prey drop for her there and many times you will see the two of them sitting side by side looking out onto their territory.

Big Red was delighted with that chipmunk for breakfast! It looks like there is a partial chipmunk sitting on the nest. Maybe we will see more.

It is not going to be long until these Ks are running and jumping on the ledge, flapping their wings, and getting stronger to fly. Their first flight is usually from this ledge across the street to one of the trees where the parents are waiting for them.

Just look at Big Red’s eyes and face. Oh, she loves being a mother.

“Oh, don’t you want just one more bite?”

Big Red did look tired this morning. Here she is taking some ZZZZs along with the Ks. In three and a half weeks time, the Ks will fledge. It is hard to believe. They will remain with Big Red and Arthur who will teach them to hunt and give them all kinds of exercises to help them later. Big Red and Arthur will also gradually expand the area the Ks are hunting in to include the entire campus. Sometimes they even go on family hunting trips for squirrels – working cooperatively to get the prey out of the tree.

I would like to introduce you to another species of raptor. It is the Booted Eagle, the Hieraaetus Pennatus. This pair of Booted Eagles lives in a pine forest within the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park near Madrid. The elevation is 1400 metres. The Booted Eagles are the largest group of raptors living in the park. They estimate that there are approximately twenty-five pairs. The nest you are looking at has been active every year since 2002.

The female is on the left. You can see she is much darker. The male is on the right.

Just like Annie and Grinnell and Big Red and Arthur, the female is much larger than the male. This is called reverse sexual dimorphism. There are many reasons for this disparity. They are: 1) females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves in order to produce eggs; 2) the size difference allows the two to hunt different prey and reduce the competition for food. Raptors that hunt birds are generally smaller and faster leaving the females to specialize in larger prey; 3) historically females have selected smaller mates; and 4) to protect the female during mating from being injured by large males.

In Booted Eagles, the male is smaller with darker feathers on its back, yellow ochre on the crown of its head, darker tear shape feathers on its chest which is light. The female tends to the nest and the chicks and the male is primarily responsible for hunting, delivering prey, and territorial protection. You can easily differentiate them in the image above.

There are normally two eggs that are incubated for 37-40 days. The chicks remain on the nest for around 48 days when they began branching and flying. By August, the male is the primary carer. The female has left the territory for a rest. The male will provide prey for the young to self-feed on the nest and will remain with them until mid-September teaching them to hunt and fly.

I received a letter from one of my readers asking about Kisatchie. Kisatchie is the eagle from the Kisatchie National Forest Nest in Central Louisiana. His parents are Anna and Louis (great names). You might recall that Kisatchie is the first eaglet to hatch on this nest since 2013. He brought so much joy and then he fledged and now the camera is down. This is the current information from the Forest Services personnel:

“If you have visited the eagle cam in the past 72 hours, you will have noticed the nest is empty and more recently, the eagle cam is down. This is because our Kisatchie eagle flew the nest on Saturday, May 22, around 3:30 p.m. As luck would have it, Kisatchie chose to take its first flight from a branch ABOVE the camera, so we were unable to capture Kisatchie soaring over the Kisatchie National Forest. Bummer. The eagles will now migrate north for the summer and will return late fall/early winter. Our wildlife biologists will use the summer months to make any repairs on the eagle cam, checking wiring, camera housing, and things like that. We want to be ready for the next round! Thank you for joining us on this journey of watching our first captured-on-camera eaglet hatching. Through ice storms and thunderstorms, it was an exciting 88 days (from hatching to fledging) and a great learning experience for us all.”

Everyone is wondering if anyone has seen Kisatchie or heard. I have written a letter to the Forestry Services and if I hear anything, I will let you know. Here is an image of Kisatchie on 17 May during his branching phase looking out over Lake Kincaid:

There is absolutely no news coming out of the Glaslyn Osprey Nest. As soon as there is any news about Aran and Mrs G and the Bob 2 and 3, I will let you know.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the KNF Service, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Cal Falcons, and SEO Birdlife.