Glacier Gardens, Ervie on the nest, and other news in Bird World

19 May 2022

It has been a rather dreary damp day. The garden has been full of Orioles, Chipping Sparrows, European Starlings, and Harris Sparrows. They sure bring a lot of joy. At the same time, they let you know that your place is to fill the feeders and then get inside and do not disturb them. They can be rather loud about that. Little Red was about a metre from his new home. I do not know if he found it. Will continue to watch on and off. Fingers crossed!

Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle streaming cam is now live at the new nest of Liberty and Freedom! It is also a brand new camera.

Here is the link to the Glacier Gardens camera:

Big and Middle (known as Warrior by some) were both on the Dale Hollow nest this morning. Then Big left and Middle has been flapping his wings. Our time with them could be limited. So nice to see these two beautiful juveniles.

Yesterday it seemed that Big was up on a high branch. Middle kept looking up. If there is a fledge the camera might not catch it if they are up on those high branches.

Look how big Warrior is. After Big killed Little Bit, we did not know if Middle would make it. We can now rejoice that all is well and we can hope that he or she has an amazing and long life.

I have not seen a prey delivery today at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy. The weather is not great and it is unclear if there are any intruders about. Nancy has been up on the branch watching over the territory.

Nesting material is being delivered to the Barnegat Light Osprey nest in New Jersey today by both Duke and Daisy.

Lady and Dad both spent the night on the old Ironbark nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest where they raise their little White-Bellied Sea Eagles. Sea Eagles are the second largest raptor in Australia with the Wedge-tail Eagle being the largest. Lady and Dad normally have two eggs and fledge both chicks. That said there are birds in the forest that chase them far away so they cannot map the route to and from the nest in their GPS systems. This means the fledglings do not learn from the parents how to fish or have the opportunity to be fed on the nest and get their flying stronger. Last year WBSE 27 went into care twice and was finally trained to hunt and get their flying strong before release the last time. 28 is believed to have returned to the nest recently – to everyone’s surprise – but it was very gaunt. There can be some food competition.

If you have never heard the ‘Dawn Duet’ by the White-Bellied Sea Eagles you are in for a real treat. I taped it last year on 22 June – have a listen. The couple do this every morning at dawn to wake the forest. The chicks also join in!

Many have commented that it looks like the Manton Bay trio of Blue 33 and Maya grow right before our eyes. They are certainly moving from the soft fluffy new born nestling phase and will soon enter the dark wooly period. As the plumage changes the osplets do tend to get a little edgy. Those feathers must be really itchy and irritating. No worries – it is just ‘feather stress’ (that is what I call it). There will be no problems with siblicide on this nest!!!!!! Blue 33 has spent a lot of time on the nest with Maya and he has been feeding the chicks every once in awhile.

They are considered to be a Power Couple in the Osprey World. They are certainly very strong together.

Maya was first seen at Rutland in the summer of 2009. She is the only Rutland osprey to have a name. The letters for Maya come from Manton Bay (first and last two letters to form Maya). The Greek word ‘Maia’ means ‘coming of spring’. Maya successfully bred with 5R (04) from 2010 to 2013. They raised 11 chicks! At least five of those have returned to Rutland – if not more. I have not checked the last two year’s stats. Sadly, Maya’s mate did not return in 2014. She waited and then finally paired with 28 (10). She laid three eggs. But Blue 33 (11) wasn’t having it. He wanted both the nest and Maya as his mate and he persisted – finally kicking the other males eggs out of the nest!!!!! Blue 33 and Maya have been together ever since. They are utterly devoted to one another and with the exception of this year, have often arrived from their winter migration within minutes of one another. They first raised successful chicks in 2015.

So why are they considered a power couple within the Osprey world? In addition to the 3 chicks in 2015, there were 17 chicks from 2016-2020 including two years of clutches of 4 chicks raised to fledge!!!!!!!!!!! Two years of four chicks. Think about that. 2019 and 2020. In 2021, they fledged 2 making a grand total of 22 chicks fledged with three now in the nest. In total, Maya has fledged 33 chicks. Incredible. I love this nest. This year will make that 36 chicks.

Here is a video of Blue feeding the chicks. I should mention that Blue is quite different to other male ospreys; he likes to be involved in every process, spends a lot of time on the nest, sometimes feeds Maya and brings in a heck of a lot of fish!

I am a great fan of the California condors and have followed the trials, tribulations, and the victories of both Redwood Queen 190 and Iniko 1031. Everyone was waiting for Iniko to be reunited with her mother after they were separated because of the Dolan Fire. Indeed, if you do not know the story of Iniko – it is beautiful and it should give us hope that things do work out. Iniko was in the Redwood nest that her father, Kingpin and Redwood Queen shared, when the Dolan fire ripped through Big Sur in 2020. The fire raged around the nest tree. Iniko survived but was knocked out of the tree by Ninja 729. Redwood Queen came to the rescue! Iniko was taken into care at the Los Angeles Zoo supported by the Ventana Wildlife Society. Redwood Queen has a new mate, Phoenix, and they had an egg this year that was believed to be non-viable. Iniko was released on 4 December and this is the first time Mum and daughter have been seen together. Both females dive into the pack and get close to the carcass!

@Ventana Wildlife Society

The only surviving chick on the Dahlgren Osprey nest of Jack and Harriet has a nice crop at 1800 today. The heavy storms and rain caused the waters to rise and be murky. Not good if you are an osprey trying to catch a fish. The water is now clearing and let us hope everything stays on track with this one Bob.

It was nice to see Louis cuddled up with Dorcha at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest in Scotland. The weather has been terrible – that along with a mess of intruders have really not made it a good start to the year for these two.

I can hear rain falling on Theo’s nest in Latvia and see that some work continues to be made on the nest but no Theo and no mate. Beautiful birds singing in the distance.

Black Storks are very, very rare in Latvia and Estonia. Because of this conservation status, they are much loved by the people – and many of us. Karl II and Kaia have four eggs on their Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The first egg was laid on 24 April with the last on 1 May. We should be looking for a pip in what? Incubation is normally 32-38 days (varies by author). So we are at 25 days with the oldest egg.

Here is the link to Karl and Kaia’s streaming cam:

The Black Stork nest of Jan and Janika is also in Estonia in Jogeva County. There are five eggs. The couple are, according to the chat moderator, on day 34, 31, 31 and 30 (counted from laying). Here is the link to their streaming cam:

There was one Black Stork nest that was monitored in Latvia. It was the nest of Grafs and Grafiene. I have not been able to confirm any activity for this couple this season.

There was a scary moment on the nest of Big Red and Arthur when Big Red brought in greenery at 11:47 and L3 looked as if she would fall backwards off the nest.

There is tug-o-war with some prey and the inklings of self-feeding with bits of prey left on the nest. Too cute. L4 looks on and wants to join in the fun.

I checked on Ervie a few minutes ago and he was not on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Then ‘B’ checked after me and Ervie flew onto the nest and is now sitting in Dad’s cave!!!!!!! Oh, we are truly blessed. Thank you ‘B’. Now anyone can go to the Port Lincoln streaming cam and see our beautiful boy!

Seeing Ervie brings tears of joy! So happy for this third hatch. He is much loved and adored by so many. Thank you ‘B’ for taking the time to send me a note! It is much appreciated. Ervie might well bring a puffer back. He seems to find them around the barge.

Thank you for joining me today. It was a whirlwind around the nests. Too many. Too much going on. It is hard to keep up with them. Take care all. If you want to see Ervie, here is the link to his camera:

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB pages: Ventana Wildlife Society, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Glacier Gardens, Cornell RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Latvian Fund for Nature, Friends of Loch Arkaig and People’s Post Code Lottery, Barnegat Light Ospreys, Sea Eagles @BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, MN-DNR, Dahlgren Ospreys, DHEC, and LRWT.

Saturday in Bird World

14 May 2022

Today is Big Bird Day when all the world is counting. The lists of the birds coming into the garden is growing and growing. For the first time, there have even been some Baltimore Orioles and the numbers of Harris Sparrows continues to grow. The rain forecast for this afternoon has been cancelled by the weather station and it is hoped that those traveling long distances to get to the north of our province have a good rest and feed before starting up that journey again. I made a decision to put out at separate stations many different kinds of food: sliced oranges, grape jelly, peanuts, Butter Bark, Black Oil Seed, White Millet, Solid Seed Suet, and Meal Worms. Gosh those European Starlings love the Butter Bark and the Meal Works while the Harris and Chipping Sparrows are taking to the Millet. It should be a big count by the end of the day.

Southwest Florida. The big eagle nest of Harriet and M15. Everyone thought that E20 had left for the long goodbye but look who is back on the nest branch this morning?

The streaming cam for the nest of Anna and Louis will probably be turned off on 20 May. It was a fabulous season down there with Kincaid that beautiful female. What a treat that she hung around the nest tree for so long. Indeed, she was there this morning proving to be a delight for everyone. It was so nice that Cody got the cam up and running after the latest storm.

Kincaid arrives at 11:19:20.

All of these fledglings will be leaving their parents territory – if they haven’t already – to find their own place in the world.

Speaking of fledglings, the Three Amigos at the West End nest are thinking about flying. Kana’kini hovered this morning. Here it is:

The security system seems not to be bothering the ospreys at the new Llyn Brenig Osprey nest in Wales. LM6 laid her first egg on the 25th of April. Dad LJ2 has been bringing in some fantastic fish. Wishing this couple all success this season.

It is sometimes very difficult to tell which osplet is which at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest. While this is a good thing, it is often hard to focus on who is eating and who isn’t. This morning was very interesting. I am hoping that the dominance attacks on Middle by Big are behind us.

A fish was delivered – it looked like it had been hacked up by a chain saw – by Dad at 08:32. The kids were squawking to be fed but Dad didn’t, as usual, by into that. He left the fish. While both of the chicks pecked about, it was Middle that really got into the self-feeding. Of course, he has had to do this for several weeks now to get any food at times. He is doing well. Mum comes in a little over an hour later and feeds the two. Both were fed.

There are male Ospreys that really like to feed their chicks. This Dad doesn’t seem to enjoy this part of the parenting. I am glad to see a big hunk of fish on the nest.

Middle has found the open spot and he should be able to get some good fish. Notice the ‘design’ of the feathers on the top of its head. That is a way of distinguishing the two. Big’s plumage is darker with a much longer tail, also.

Middle has done a good job on that fish. Another difference is the size of the wings. You can clearly see this below. All bets say Big sibling is another one of those robust aggressive females and our Middle is a male.

Mum comes to the nest. She is feeding Middle. Big is behind her just like yesterday. Interesting.

I wonder if Middle ever wishes that Big would just flap those wings and fly off? She will, Middle! The plumage is gorgeous. There is still a long way to go for that tail to be long enough for flight.

When Big Red laid four Red-tail Hawk eggs at the nest she shares with Arthur on the Cornell campus, everyone went into shock. Almost immediately thoughts of doom and gloom went through the community – fearing that the wee one, L4, would have the same fate as the youngest eaglets and osplets. Not so with hawks and falcons normally. Little L4 has been the first in line making its way through the gang if necessary to get on the front row. Today, L4 is skipping and flapping its wings! Big Red is going to be tired and Arthur has had to bring in more food than ever to feed his family but life is good and everyone is well.

Get the worry beads out! When these four start running and flapping from one end of the ledge to the other your heart will sink several times. But all will be well if you don’t see them as there are blind spots on the cameras. It looks like chippy is for lunch!

The California Condor chick that was hatching yesterday has hatched. You can get a wee glimpse of the newest member of the Condor family at Tom’s Canyon under Mum. The female is 846 and the male is 462. 462 hatched in 2008 and 846 hatched in 2016.

Here is a short video of the hatching:

Alden is trying so hard to be the best Dad and mate he can be. Alden will figure it out. Precious. He caught a moth and brought it in to feed to the chicks. I adore Alden! You know he will get this and he will want to take part in every aspect of the nestlings lives.

He is really hunting and getting the pantry full an those wee white balls are growing! The oldest is 9 days old today! And the youngest is 8 days old.

There are so many nests but I know that some of you will want to go and check on E20 or Kincaid if you didn’t know they were around the nest trees. Have a lovely Saturday. Please take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Llyn Brenig, Cal Falcons, SWFlorida Bald Eagles and D Pritchett, KNF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and the Cornell Bird Lab (RTH and Condors).

Early Saturday in Bird World

13-14 May 2022

First up. By the time you open this blog, it will be Saturday the 14th of May – Global Big Day. Join in. Check out the link in the notice by Cornell and follow the directions. Join in everyone around the world counting birds!

At 18:55:06 Friday the 13th, a fish landed on the Osprey nest at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Typically, Mum would feed Big almost exclusively but today, something else happened. Middle got himself positioned perfectly and he was fed, almost non-stop, for 13 minutes until the fish was entirely gone. The Mum feeds fast and this time, instead of Big getting all the fish, Middle did. He seemed desperately hungry. Relief.

Middle’s position is perfect. Big tries to get under Mum and for some reason cannot seem to move forward to get up to the beak. That was a good thing as Middle just snatched and grabbed all of those bites encouraging Mum to feed faster and faster.

I kept capturing images but, in the end, they all look the same. Big on the right side of Mum (if you face the image) and Middle on the left getting fed.

It was really nice to see Middle get a good feeding. Earlier in the day but, typically, Mum feeds Big about 15 bites to every one for little. This is a great way to end Friday!

Blue 33 (11) kept good tabs on Maya and the three Bobs at the Manton Bay nest. There was another flippy fish that came in today but no chick was injured. Thank goodness. Each time I saw Blue there I thought how supportive it was if something happened again. He even got to feed the kids a couple of times. Super Dad!

The fish came in on a regular basis and sometimes Maya fed the kids more frequently than every two hours. Look at them all lined up so sweet.

There is something so cute about the Bobs at this stage. They can get a little aggressive when they enter the Reptilian phase. I wonder if it is in part that they are growing so fast and are so itchy with the feathers coming in??

Maya feeds each one until it is so full it passes out in a food coma. Blue 33 looks on at his trio. I love this family.

Next week we will be looking for a hatch at the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Last year the couple hatched three eggs with two chicks fledgling. Third Bob died within a couple of days. It was very tiny and weak and could not compete with a ‘Big’ sister.

Hatch watch will begin for Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest in Wales on 23 May. That is 10 days away. Idris is incubating the eggs while Telyn enjoys her meal down on Monty’s perch.

It is just starting to get light at the Dyfi nest. The train is going by. Idris is on the nest again with Telyn on his perch having a break and a meal.

The surviving chick of Jack and Harriet’s at the Dahlgren Osprey platform on Machodoc Creek in King George, Virginia looks as if it will survive. The other two died this past week – probably multiple reasons such as lack of food and maybe cold and damp issues.

The triplets of Thunder and Akecheta are such striking eaglets. Here is a three minute short video of them – as we get closer and closer to fledge. Kana’kini, the only female of the three, has begun hovering. She will be 67 days old on the 14th.

One of the little eyases at the Cal Falcons scrape, is sleeping on the non-viable egg. It reminds me of those ‘medicine’ or exercise balls that people sometimes use for exercise or to sit on for their posture. Annie is such a sweet Mum brooding those fast growing chicks!

Every California Condor egg is precious. Many are not viable but when one begins to pip and hatch it is a time for hopeful joy. There is a Condor hatching right now. Here is a short clip of Cornell showing the pip. The egg tooth and beak are moving and the chick is alive! The nest is located in Tom’s Canyon which is part of the Hopper Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy.

It is past midnight and I am heading off to read and hopefully have ‘Sweet Osprey Dreams’. Thank you for joining me. Remember – join in and count the birds. Let’s find out where they are during spring migration! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, LRWT Manton Bay, Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Dahlgren Ospreys, and Cal Falcons.

Mother’s Day in Bird World

8 May 2022

It’s Mother’s Day and every year I send a shout out to all those great bird mothers who don’t know anything about flowers, chocolates, or going for brunch but who, as best they can, as old as some are, keep our skies filled with the sound of hawks, eagles, falcons, Sky Calls, and song. They have brought us great joy, sorrow, and have taught us so very, very much.

Each of you will have your own list. I have discovered that birds are very personal. So pause and thank your favourites!

The first bird mother I always think of is Big Red. She is not a big strong eagle or a fish hawk. No, she is a medium sized hawk that melts our hearts year after year. Big Red, the Matriarch of the Red-tail Hawks is enjoying early morning sunshine and a necklace of eyases – four of them. She surprised everyone with those four eggs. This nineteen year old probably has a lot more tricks up her talon for us.

We know she hatched in 2003 and that she was hatching chicks in 2005 but the camera did not come live until 2012. That is 7 years unaccounted for. Big Red has consistently laid three eggs and the only time since 2012 she did not fledge three was last year because of K2s beak issue. Potentially she has fledged 51 hawks. 51. Incredible.

She is always happy when there are chicks in the nest and she seems energized this year with the four.

Cholyn at the Two Harbours Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands gets the thumbs up this morning. At the age of 24, she is still busy raising eaglets. This year her and Chase had the soon-to-be-banded Only Child, TH1, this year. Cholyn is the mother of Thunder at the West End nest and is the grandmother to another generation of Channel Islands eagles.

Redwood Queen is 23 years and 11 months old and is currently either incubating an egg in Big Sur or brooding a chick! She survived the Dolan Fire and is famously known for her chick, Iniko Orange 1031, who also survived that fire to the surprise of many. She has hatched and fledged 6 condors and fostered and fledged 3. She is currently with 477 Phoenix. It is their second season together. Their egg failed last year. Fingers crossed for this year. Fitting that they both survived massive fires to rise again.

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the UK, at the age of 21-23 years is currently brooding three eggs with her mate, Aran, at the Glaslyn Nest. They had a rough patch last year so I am really hoping that this year turns out incredibly well for them.

If we count this year, she has laid 57 eggs with 46 hatched and 41 fledged.

There are lots of Ospreys. I can easily put Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest at the top of a list – 20 fledglings in 6 years. Is that correct? But I want to give a hat’s off to a much overlooked female at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. Blue 35 was smart and sneaky and made sure that her third hatch —–1/8 the size of the other two older siblings at hatch – survived. She removed fish and once the older ones were asleep returned to the nest and fed Blue 463. As a result, 463 thrived and became a huge female and quite dominant on the nest. Thank you Blue 35. She was also one of the only Osprey nests to fledge three in 2021.

Peregrine Falcon Mothers. Hats off to the Mum at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape for keeping those five eyases in tip top shape. Not easy when some are extraordinarily larger than the youngest! The tiniest one is in the front. So small you can’t see it! Mum is doing a great job.

All full and sleepy.

There is one other Peregrine Falcon Mum who is now raising two eyases after losing her mate during the egg laying part of this breeding season. That falcon is Annie at the UCal-Berkeley scrape in The Campanile. She is a grandmother – they know that her daughter is on Alcatraz Island and that this is at least her second year if not more to raise chicks.

There are now too and it appears that Lynn Scofield was completely correct. The last egg is unviable. This means that egg 1 and egg 3 hatched with the potential for one chick to be Grinnell’s and the other to be possibly Alden’s. I hope so! Annie survived the death of her long term mate, Grinnell, to hatch the two chicks. Heart warming.

Why not think about your favourite ‘Bird Mums’ today? It is a great way to thank them ———— each and everyone of them ——— for the joy they bring to our lives!

Have a great Sunday everyone. There will be a nest check in later today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or webpages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Ventana Wildlife Society, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Falcon Network Manchester NH, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

26 April 2022

It has been a great day in Bird World. When everything seemed so bleak with the ‘Only Baby’ at the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands holding on after a fall ten feet below the nest, the sun rose. When daylight came Dr Sharpe and two volunteers hiked for an hour to reach the nesting site. The trio rescued the eaglet, built up the walls of the nest, and placed the wee one back. Everyone held their breath hoping that the parents, twenty-four year old Chase and Cholyn, would appear immediately. They waited almost three hours to return. Everyone was on pins and needles. What if they did not return was the question on everyone’s mind. One did a fly by, and then they both arrived – Cholyn with some nesting material and Chase with the first fish of the afternoon. Baby was home! It was less than 24 hours but, it felt like an eternity. Would the eaglet be able to hold on? That strong brave little one stayed put until help came!

Dr Sharpe and the rescue were interviewed by ABC news:

https://abc7.com/eagle-eaglet-catalina-island-baby/11794228/

“Oh, please, just one more bite,” Cholyn insists. Meanwhile, TH1’s crop is about to pop. Can you see it? The parents were overjoyed to have their chick back on the nest.

Cholyn and Big Red believe that no one should leave the table hungry. Tonight, squirrel was on the menu at the Red-tail Hawk nest in Ithaca, New York.

There are still three for Big Red and Arthur. As you can see, Arthur has really been packing the pantry and I am happy to say that most of it is squirrel and chippy.

There has been little mention of egg 4. It pipped and the chick was alive last night. It is difficult to tell because the other three Ls lay on it. If it is to hatch we should see that wee one in the morning. Personally, three eyases is great!!!!!! The three Ls appear quite healthy.

Liberty and Guardian’s eaglets for the 2022 season now have names. They are Sentry and Star. Well done everyone who took part in the voting for these two at their Redding, California aerie. Just look at them. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Spirit and Jackie shared a meal together today. It is hard to grasp but just look at the size of Spirit. They said that she would be the size of a Canada Goose now!

It is often hard to go back to a nest when the older siblings have been responsible for the death of the younger. It took me a long time to ‘get over’ being upset with Solly at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest when she caused the youngest, Tapps, to die at the age of 18 days due to starvation. It was only after she fledged that I warmed up to her again and I was honestly very sad when she died on an electrical pole in South Australia eating a fish. The two surviving ospreys at the University of Florida’s Gainesville Osprey nest are really doing well. The food competition appears to have dissipated. It is quite sad that the third hatch has to be sacrificed, or so it seems, for the good of the whole in terms of brood reduction.

The two eyases at the Presidio Red-tail Hawk nest in San Francisco are also eating well and growing without much of a problem. Once in awhile the eldest tries to be dominant but things seem to be alright.

It was sunny with wind gusts at the Two Harbours nest. Chase and Cholyn had to hover and approach the nest twice to land. It was dreary and windy just around the corner at the West End Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Of the three trips up the cliffs in less than two weeks, Dr Sharpe rescued the youngest male from the West End nest who had fallen and then returned a few days later to measure and band the three. It is easy to spot the big sister in the group now with her two little brothers.

On Thursday the 28th, the Ventana Wildlife Society is holding a Zoom-chat. It is free and it begins at 4pm Pacific Time. When you register you can submit questions to the staff. Because Condors eat carrion, I submitted questions related to the current Avian Flu in relation to those beautiful California Condors.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

Here is the link for registration, if you are interested:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

In Latvia, the first egg at the Lesser Spotted Eagle nest has been laid. The nest is in a beautiful Spruce forest in Zemgale. The map below was posted on the English Forum, Looduskalender, and shows the area of the nest in green.

The nest is 17 metres off the floor of the forest and from its size, is believed to be at least five years years old. The couple are Anna and Andris. Lesser Spotted Eagles normally lay two eggs. If there is enough food available, both chicks will grow and fledge. If there is not, then siblicide will occur on the nest. It is good to understand this before you begin watching a Lesser Spotted Eagles nest (or a Greater or a Golden Eagle).

Andris is being shown the egg by Anna. Notice how small he is compared to the female in front.

Here is a short video of that first egg.

Here is the link to the streaming cam:

Do you love Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world? She is not only the Queen of the Ospreys but she is also one beautiful bird. Just look what good shape she is in after doing her winter migration. I am very impressed. I wonder what 28 or 29 Osprey years translates into human years??? or is there such a thing? I hope I look that good at the equivalent age!!!!!

Here is Iris this evening on her nest at Hellgate Canyon, Missoula, Montana.

Earlier, at 18:20 her mate, Louis, brings her the second fish of this season! For those who do not know Iris, Louis and Iris have this rather jaded bond. Louis also has a nest with Starr at the baseball park. This is the first year that I remember Louis bringing fish to Iris in several years. And now he has brought two! Wow.

Iris knows Louis is approaching and she does some quiet little fish calls.

Wow. That is a nice big fish. Notice the head is missing. Traditionally, males eat the head before delivering the fish to the nest.

Iris accepts Louis’s gift and flies over to the pole to eat it for her dinner. I wonder if we should be expecting eggs soon???

A marvellous book arrived in the post today. It is called Eagle Man and is about Charles Broley and his dedication to the Bald Eagle. Broley lived in Florida and in Canada. Broley was a banker; when he retired he devoted himself to bird watching. Broley became a world authority on the Bald Eagle. His observations taught us about courtship rituals, nesting, feeding, and even the migratory patterns of the eagles. I landed a copy in very good condition. It was obviously treasured by its owner, D. Gordon, who wrote on the flap that he received it in May of 1956. It is signed by Charles Broley. Inside the binding is the obituary of Broley who died on 7 May 1959 in Delta, Ontario. I am so looking forward to reading this book that inspired many to respect the Bald Eagles as many, like Dr Sharpe today, fought to bring their numbers up after most were wiped out by DDT.

Thank you for joining me. There are so many nests to cover and some will find themselves here tomorrow. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or webpages where I took my screen captures: Looduskalendar Forum, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Montana Osprey Project, Explore.org, Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Latvian Fund for Nature, Presidio Trust, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 19 late-20

It is after lunch in Sydney, Australia and Daisy is fast asleep incubating her eggs. The morning has been quiet.

Daisy has 8 eggs in her clutch that she has been hard incubating. Daisy laid egg 1 on 3 December nest time. The 8th egg was laid on 10 December. She began hard incubation on 10 December if not December 9. Today is 22 December – the summer solstice – for Daisy. Daisy has been incubating her eggs for 13 days. Hatch will be 3-6 of January in Australia should the eggs survive.

Daisy really had a quiet afternoon. I could see nothing happening. The cam operator checked several times to see if the WBSE were at the River Roost but they were not.

As I remind everyone, there is no reason to believe they would do anything to Daisy from their behaviour last year which was curiosity about the down and Dad going into territorial protection wanting to catch who was using his nest. He was mesmerized by the eggs and at one time everyone thought he might incubate them. It was like he went into some kind of a ‘trance’ — seeing eggs in that place immediately reminded him of Lady’s eggs. It was quite interesting behaviour. He finally broke one but he did not like the taste. I am hoping that he remembers that if he scares Daisy off the eggs again this year.

Throughout the afternoon, Daisy kept gathering up leaves that she could see. She would stretch her long neck and pick them out from under the twigs. You could hardly see her on the nest when the shadows crossed over where the egg cup is located.

Every once in awhile she would see a piece of a leaf and pull it towards her using her bill as a kind of shovel.

Daisy began to cover the eggs around 18:03.

Daisy flies off the nest at 18:03:18 for her evening meal content that her eggs are covered enough to keep predator’s eyes away from them.

It is almost precisely two hours before sunset. Daisy is taking a chance that the Ravens will not come this time of the evening! On the other hand, the Sea Eagles might and that would be a good thing if she were not on the nest. Remember Lady was chased by the Currawong and was so busy watching them so they would not hit her head that she landed on the nest, honked a few times and flew off – she didn’t even look at the nest bowl and see the down. Oh, Daisy is lucky.

Daisy returned at 20:25:39.

It was – what appears to be – a relatively quiet day and evening for Daisy.

I was surprised, however, when Daisy prepared to leave the nest at 02:56:25. I say surprised because of the visit by the Bushtail Possum in the wee hours of the morning before.

I was even more surprised when Daisy walked straight forward, instead of taking the right turn she normally takes, to fly off. It then occurred to me that Daisy might begin to check places to leave the nest for the ducklings to follow. Could this be why?

She flew off the parent branch. Maybe it is a cleaner drop? If you look at the side she normally flies from there is a large piece of the nest with all its bits and pieces of twigs and branches extending out that the little ones might get caught in.

Sunrise is at 05:41.

Daisy returns from her foraging at 07:05:08.

The solstice is upon us. It is ‘winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere and ‘summer’ for Daisy in the Southern. It is the longest ‘dark’ day for us or the longest ‘light’ day for Daisy. In Canada, we look for the light that each day stays with us a little longer. The word Solstice comes from the Latin meaning the time when the ‘sun stood still’. Today, the sun is at its most southern position from Earth. It seems to stop and stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn only to then reverse its direction. It is a turning point in the seasons. It is a symbol of the Earth’s rebirth.

Wishing the rebirth of the sun to fill your lives, your home, your garden, and your heart with warmth and happiness…. Happy Winter Solstice to each of you. And to Daisy, our most favourite adorable duck, Happy Summer Solstice. We wish you an uneventful, boring day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor Daisy throughout the day with a brief posting later today on the day’s events. Take care. See you soon!

Note: Congratulations to Samson and Gabby on their second egg which was laid yesterday at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Watch Iniko live – and other Bird World news

For those of you excited about the release of California Condor #1031 Iniko, you can watch her and all the other condors up by the sanctuary live! Remember that Iniko and those released with her wear an Orange tag with black numbers!

The camera moves around the sanctuary. Here are a couple of screen captures of the site for you.

For those who love the Royal Albatross, OGK arrived home at 18:40:19 to relieve YRK so she could go and feed. There was a lot of allopreening (preening of another not yourself), sky calling, and cuddling. YRK let OGK on to incubate but stayed close to the nest for awhile. What a lovely couple.

Ranger Sharyn checks OGK’s egg and gives the thumbs up.
OGK admiring his egg and talking to it. So sweet!
OGK allopreening YRK on arrival.

Sharon Dunne posted a video of the exchange. Enjoy!

Last year was a very sad year for many bird nests. I recall the great sadness when both Peace and Hope died on the Captiva Island Bald Eagle nest. Those were two very unnecessary deaths. Someone near Lori’s property where the nest is located used rodenticide! Just crazy. The two beautiful chicks died. The parents, Joe and Connie, were overcome with grief. Indeed, it was that grief that Joe suffered that – well, caused him to leave or not defend his area well. It reminds me so much of Samson’s father Romeo’s grief. Connie is now with another male, Clive. Connie laid her first egg sat 05:55:37 this morning. We wish them well – and I certainly wish that people would remember and recommend RATS: Raptors are the Solution!

Good luck this year, Captiva!

Here is the link so that you can watch Connie and Clive. There is also a side camera. I just prefer the overhead to see all the action.

It has been a really busy day. Daisy did, as she has done the past two days. She stayed with her three eggs now until the newly laid one was dry and hard. She stretched to try and find leaves. This seems to be an issue – fewer leaves on the nest this year. One of my friends told me that there is also something different this year than last – a pair of Ring-tailed Possums has a nest in that same tree. That could be the reason that Daisy has not pulled out any down yet. Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Sea Eagles that are unwittingly leasing their nest to Daisy were at Goat Island. It is hoped that they will remain there for the full month! My friend also noticed that the egg cup is very small this year. She hopes Daisy does not lay very many eggs so they can be covered properly allowing us the hope and Daisy that we will see ducklings jump. Anyone have any ideas on how to dump several huge baskets of leaves on that nest? The Port Lincoln lads continue to do well.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care all. See you tomorrow for Day 4 of the Daisy Chronicles.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Center, Captiva Bald Eagles, Ventana Wildlife and Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC.

Iniko is released!

It was a perfect morning in San Simeon for the release of three female condors. They included Rachel Carson, Dian Fossey, and Iniko. What a wonderful tribute to those two dedicated women who cared so much for the birds and the environment. Rachel Carson alerted everyone to the effects of DDT and her writing and outreach caused it to be banned. Dian Fossey was responsible for bringing international attention to Mountain Gorillas.

At 12 noon the lower door to the release cage was opened. Iniko #1031 was already down there. All bets were on this very confident female to leave first. She was very cautious of her surroundings and the open space. In the end, Iniko flew ‘upstairs’ with the other birds and it was Dian Fossey who flew out first quickly followed by Iniko. The staff had placed a cow outside for them – a food reward – to mark the return to the wild. After some scuffles, it turned out that Iniko is the most confident dominant bird of that group! She got right on top of the carcass.

In the image above, the two females, Iniko and Dian are upstairs. The door will be opened from another structure. Ever since the California Condor chicks were captured, the level of interaction with humans has been kept to a bare minimum.

Two images of Iniko out of the release cage on top of the cow having a much deserved lunch!

The video of the release will be posted later today or tomorrow. You can see other release videos here:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

It was just a wonderful event for all the people at Ventana Wildlife and the Los Angeles Zoo who worked diligently to get these magnificent birds back to the wild at the Big Sur Condor Colony.

Before the Dolan Fire in 2020, there were 102 Condors. There were 79 after. With the release of these Condors, the numbers in the wild will be back up to 91 in Central California. Each of the released birds carries a bright orange and black number indicator. They also have GPS transmitters. The staff will be watching to see if Iniko finds her mother, Redwood Queen. Redwood Queen was not in the area of the release today but with the transmitters, they will be able to see if they find one another in the wild.

It was just one of those moments when you know that wonderful things are going on. We might have to look for them but often, they are so positive that it gives us joy and hope.

Take care everyone. Lovely to have you with me for this momentous occasion.

Thank you to the Ventana Wildlife Society and the San Simeon Condor Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

Condor 1030 Iniko – the miracle – set to be released

With the uncertainty and sadness surrounding little Yurruga and our deepest condolences to Cilla Kinross and the team at Orange, it is heart warming to know that miracles do happen in Bird World.

On 4 December at 09:30 PT, you can witness one of those. Condor 1031, Iniko, will be released into the wild!

As the Dolan fire decimated the beautiful Redwood Forest where Iniko’s nest tree was, everyone believed that the wee babe of Redwood Queen and Kingpin had perished. The streaming cam did not survive the fire and there was no way to find out until it was safe enough to enter the forest. I think that you can well imagine the astonishment on the faces of those that first saw the little condor alive on the small remote camera inserted into the tree.

Here is that video from the Ventana Wildlife Society.

This video shows that rescue!

Here is a link to Iniko’s bio and all of the videos since this amazing California Condor hatched!

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor1031.html

On Saturday, you can watch live when Iniko is released back into the wild of its Big Sur Condor Community. You need to sign up and the Ventana Wildlife Society will send you the link for the Zoom event. It is free! And, yes, we could all use some good news today.

If you want to watch the event life, go to this link and sign up:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

Today is also ‘Giving Tuesday’. No doubt you have had lots of e-mails from everyone who depends on donations to survive including those wonderful wildlife rehabbers who give our birds a second chance at life. Many have patrons that will match the total received. It is a good time to double the impact of your gift, if you are able.

Thank you for joining me. If you cannot make the release of Condor 1030 Iniko, the Ventana Wildlife Society will definitely be posting this event. It represents that miracle. I would like to think that maybe there might be a miracle for little Yurruga today.

Port Lincoln chicks ate well!

The streaming cam has been down at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge most of the morning. It was also a dreadfully wet and miserable start to the day. Mum tried as she might to snuggle up with her three babies (can we call them babies anymore?). At 10:30 they were wet, cold, and probably hungry.

The first fish arrived at 11:09:12. Even the sun came out for the occasion. Mum was still feeding the trio at noon.

In the image below, Dad is eating his share and making certain the fish is dead before he delivers it to Mum and the chicks.

Mum has the fish and she is getting ready to feed the three hungry chicks. It is late for the breakfast fish.

There is Little Bob at the end. What is he looking at so intently?

I wonder if it is Dad flying away. Look at the expression on his little face.

Whatever it is, Little Bob is more interested in what is happening off the nest than eating his first fish of the day. That is pretty incredible. Little Bob is always the one who wants to be fed first!

Oh, two of the chicks are watching instead of eating. Is Dad giving a flying demonstration? These chicks are developing just as they should. They are becoming much more interested in things happening outside of the world of the nest. They are standing more and beginning to flap their wings. Think they are dreaming of flying? Little Bob is 29 days old today. The two older siblings are 31 days.

For those that are worried, Little Bob has stood up to ‘sometimes nasty’ Big Bob. Little has done that twice that I am aware. This nest is really calm and the chicks are so big that we should all expect them to fledge with their satellite packs. I understand they will be ringed, get their sat paks, and get their names in early November. Oh, I cannot wait to find out what the names will be this year.

When the three fledge, this will be a historic moment for this nest. Perhaps with the first fledgling of all three hatches, the curse of this nest will be lifted. These two adults have demonstrated clearly that they are highly capable parents and can easily raise a nest of three chicks from hatch to fledge.

Oh, look at Little Bob and look carefully – there is another chick looking up in awe, too. What an expression!

Now down to the business of breakfish!

After eating for 40 minutes, the chicks are beginning to get nice filled crops.

By noon, the fish is finished. Everyone is full and ready for a bit of a snooze.

The three osplets had no more than settled down when the second fish arrived on the nest at 12:35:28. Little Bob is on the right. He is turning around and probably cannot quite believe what he is seeing – another fish!

The role of the crop is to grind up the food before it enters the stomach. It also serves as a storage tank. The chicks can ‘drop their crop’ when they need nourishment. The reality of a raptors life is that they might eat well one day but not have any food for another two days. They need to eat as much as they can when they have the opportunity.

There they are lined up very politely for Mum again. I do not believe I have ever seen such a civil nest of growing ospreys. They might have their spats but not at the table. They line up and Mum feeds them. She is very fair. I have not noticed her favouring one over another. She does, in fact, often feed them as they appear in the line – one bite each and then back to the beginning. The other thing that is noticeable is the chicks do stop eating when they are full allowing the line to close so the other two are only being fed.

Is this behaviour down to the simple fact that they are so close in age? There is only 51 hours separating Big Bob from the time Little Bob hatched.

Just look at how close they are in size.

One of the chicks has left the table. Little Bob (see the roundish spot on the top of his head?) is still hungry. Of course, he is.

The second fish was done and dusted by 13:02. Little Bob is still looking. Maybe he sees some fish skin? or is there a piece of tail? He has a very nice crop.

In terms of size, I can no longer tell Little Bob from the other two. If the roundish spot disappears I will no longer be able to identify him as easy. He is growing so much. Wonder if Little Bob is a female?

Ah, it is silly to try and guess the genders but we all do it. They will measure the chicks when they are ringed. Of course, the measurements are not foolproof. Only DNA or an egg or mating can confirm.

Once the three are fed and all is well, it is much easier for me to sleep. The wee eyas of Xavier and Diamond’s have also had several meals today. You can clearly see that it has more than doubled in size from hatch.

Xavier is on the ledge while Diamond feeds the chick the prey he delivered. Look at the size of the wee one’s wing. Is it looking over to Xavier?

When Xavier turned around, I thought it was last year’s chick, Izzi.

Only Bob is looking directly at the beak and eyes of Diamond. Diamond is so delicate with the tiny little bites she feeds her baby.

The chick’s neck is now so much stronger. It can hold its head still for longer so that Diamond can feed it. The bobbling days are pretty much over. Notice, at times, that the chick instinctively keeps its balances by placing its wing tip on the gravel.

I absolutely love this image of Xavier looking so tenderly at his baby.

All full. The little one has now had four meals. Unlike the Ospreys, Only Bob needs many meals and fewer bites. Her crop is tiny. She is now collapsing into a food coma.

Awww. I wonder if Xavier wishes that Diamond would let him brood the chick? Perhaps she will in a few days but the falcon mothers are extremely protective in the beginning.

The Collins Street Four have been eating, sleeping, growing, and decorating the walls around the scrape. Their world is that of the scrape box. They are not as interested – yet – in what is happening outside of their world. They will become more interested, just like the Osplets at Port Lincoln, in a couple of weeks.

As the days pass, we will begin to notice a difference in size. This is not due to the amount of food the eyases eat individually. It will be because some of them are males and some are females. The females will be approximately 30% larger than the males and they will consume about 25% more food (nothing staggering). When fledge time comes, it is normally the males that fledge first. Their feathers will have covered them quicker because they are smaller! It is that simple.

Last year we did not notice a difference in size in the triplets. That is because they were all females. I do hope Dad gets a break this year and has a couple of males. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to try and feed four large females!

They are beginning to look slightly different in their faces. Notice the one facing the back who looks more ‘hawk’ like.

These eyases are more than full. Look at that shiny big crop. My gracious.

If you missed the live streaming of Iniko 1031 arriving at the pre-release containment area at Big Sur, here is the video of that moment. The condors are so endangered and there is no telling how many more wildfires will rage. Fingers crossed!

It is late on the Canadian Prairies. Our damp is supposed to go away on Saturday. Meanwhile, it is the annual birdseed sale at our nature centre this weekend. It is a great time to get high quality feed for a big discount and help out the centre as well. You might check and see if your local nature centre does this. The savings can be substantial. I will also continually remind people that if you have a local feed and seed store, you might be able to find Millet, corn, Black Oil seed, peanuts in their shells at a substantially lower price point. My neighbours introduced me to this years ago but, sadly, the big feed store moved. The distance makes it no longer viable as a source.

Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to receive your notes and letters. I appreciate the time you take to write to me whether it is an e-mail or a public comment. You take care. See you soon. All of these nests are doing so well that we can all rest easy. Life is good!

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