Victor update and a little news from Bird World

11 August 2022

It was really quite a treat to get an update on Victor. It appears that he is improving but, not out of the woods yet.

My day to Hecla Island did not turn out quite like expected. I had left hoping that the water levels near Black Wolf trail were dry and that the parks staff had cleared the trails. This has not happened.

For those of you watching streaming cams, you are used to seeing the nests in trees. According to provincial parks staff at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Parks, some do have nests in trees. Most, however, have their nests along the shore on the Black Wolf trail. Those nests were ruined by the extreme rain and flooding in our province. Because it is still too wet, the parks staff cannot even start to think about clearing. I might have said – one told me he is very worried about what he will find. A single Bald Eagle has been seen by some.

Not to be disappointed, the challenge came to see what birds I could find. Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows were constants.

On the road from the Black Wolf trail there was a turkey vulture in a tree. It flew off the minute the camera was ready! Of course.

There were two American White Pelicans.

Some Canada Geese.

There were a lot of Double-breasted Cormorants including some immatures. What a delight to see some youngsters.

There were four Trumpeter Swans – in two separate locations. I caught the white out of the corner of my eye. First thought was pelicans but when I went down a rather lonely and quite muddy road, it turned out they were swans. I could see no cygnets anywhere. Perhaps they were hiding.

There were ducks taking advantage of the still flooded fields and ditches just like the swans.

Things change. So tomorrow I will head back and give those eagles one more try but the real event came after I had returned to my hotel. My legs needed stretching and the ice cream stand across a small street had been beckoning to me ever since I arrived. It was a lovely late afternoon and I took that cone down to the marina to see the gulls. Then I stopped. About 6 metres in the air above the marina right in front of me was ‘the’ Osprey. He was hovering. I know that it was not several minutes but it felt like it. Tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It doesn’t matter how many Ospreys you see, they are always special. This is the closest I have been to one in the wild. What a moment. He did not see any fish and moved on but, nothing can surpass that time standing there watching an Osprey look for its fish dinner – not even a Bald Eagle.

I had hoped to write an extensive blog on migration for tomorrow. This will not happen until Monday now so you have time to send me what you think are big challenges to the birds as they make their fall travels. Every bird that I saw today will begin leaving Manitoba in about a week -some earlier and some later waiting until October.

Thank you so much for joining this evening. It is lovely to hear about Victor. Take care. See you soon!

A quick hello and brief news in Bird World

As I was driving out of Winnipeg it seemed like a good idea to give you a sense of the area where I am going to look for Bald Eagle nests.

My first stop is at Gimli, Manitoba on the West side of Lake Winnipeg. Lake Winnipeg is said to be the 8th largest freshwater lake in the world. With all of the rain and the storms this past spring – and the flooding – the lake is beginning to claim some of the land along the shore. I am headed to Hecla Island to count Bald Eagle nests but, there will be a problem. The Bald Eagles traditionally nest along Black Wolf trail – on the shore! But with the flood the area along the trail is still wet, according to the park ranger I spoke to yesterday. Trees have fallen and nothing has been cleared and he tells me he is afraid of what he will find. So instead of a lot of juvenile Bald Eagles, it seems there are tonnes of cygnets this year.

My first stop is Gimli. Gimli is also known as ‘New Iceland’. The citizens of Gimli make up the second largest population of Icelanders outside of Iceland. They are very proud of their Viking heritage.

There is a small harbour at Gimli with lots of gulls hoping for some fast food leftovers. This is a Ring-billed Gull, a very common sight in southern Manitoba. White head and underbelly, grey wings, black tail, yellow beak and legs. They are named after the black ring at the tip of their bill.

How to cause a flurry of gulls? A large order of unsalted fries.

There is a small marina.

As I walked along the pier – in the midst of babies crying and children giggling, there was a very distinctive sound. Kip-Kip-Kip. You would have known it immediately. High up in the sky was an Osprey! It was soaring looking for a fish in the shallow waters.

It turned and headed to my left – far away – to start its dive. What a wonderful welcome. I hope that the sight of this magnificent raptor is a good omen!

There is good news in Bird World today. As I was loading the car, ‘CE’ sent me a message that Titi had fledged. That is the best news. Now the fears of the Goshaw getting this beautiful osplet are lessened. Time 13:33 10 August. Fantastic! Thanks CE.

The Janakkalan nest is empty tonight.

It has been raining at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum needed a break and Dad came in to take over the shift just a couple of minutes ago at 11:07 nest time. Mum has been very careful to keep that precious egg dry.

A beautiful image of our Little Bit 17 sitting on his perch on the shores of the St Joseph River.

As we near the start of migration, it is nice to see that Iris still visits her nest and is still keeping it in tip top shape – just like she is. Iris is the oldest Osprey in the world at 28 or 29 years. It is not known where she winters but many suspect it is in south Texas.

The Sydney sea eagles still like to spar! Notice the two big crops. I do not really have any concerns for these two. Each one seems to hold their own. SE30 is spunky, for sure.

The big news is Titi’s flight today. The body of 1C1 was removed from Loch Garten. It had been a really sad scene with the adults just staring at their little one wondering what in the world happened. Hopefully the tests will tell us.

Mrs AX6 feeding her surviving fledgling today.

Thank you for joining me for this unexpected post. Take care everyone. I hope to have some more local images for you tomorrow.

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Loch Garten, Loch Garten RSBP, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Center, Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Montana Osprey Project, ND-LEEF, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Early Thursday in Bird World

4 August 2022

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

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

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

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

Here is the link to the camera:

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

scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

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

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

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

The only surviving fledgling on nest #4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning in Bird World

1 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, one half of the sky is blue with cottonball-like clouds. The other side is a solid mass of heavy grey clouds. It is 22 C and more rain forecast for 1700. The Crows are already in the bird bath eating their ‘sandwiches’ and peanuts. Given a chance tens of sparrows gather in there after they have left. The squirrels are running about and the birds are flitting in and out. Dyson came to drink out of the bird bath yesterday and all the rabbits have been here. The weather is hot for here and having water out for the animals is, hopefully, helping them to cool down. It is so reassuring – just like when we check on the streaming cams and everyone is home!

The three young Crows are constantly with one another. Their flying is improving. The bird bath water is in constant change for one reason – everything is washed by the Covids. I wonder if it was to soften the shell of the peanut??

One of the fledgling Blue Jays waited its turn until the Crow departed.

This Blue Jay is yelling at Dyson! The squirrels do not wait in line – they just go and grab the peanuts. It is too funny. The juveniles are just getting their crests.

Poor Junior. He is moulting. If you see a Cardinal or Blue Jay looking scarce on top, they are not ill, just replacing their feathers.

Hello Dyson. Thank goodness the new bird bath is heavy enough that Dyson doesn’t go flying when he jumps up for a drink.

Adorable Hedwig. He spent about an hour eating the spilt seeds under the feeder. Hedwig was discovered under the Peony bush. He was such a wee rabbit. He never left the garden but ate the seeds as the birds flitted around him. He is never frightened by them. His burrow is somewhere else now but you can always count on his arrival around 1730 rain or shine, winter or summer. He’s an Eastern Cottontail.

Olsen really seems to have outdone himself on Sunday. As I begin to write this, there are two partial fish sitting on the nest. The chatters have been keeping close tabs and ‘H’ provided detailed time stamps. These are invaluable for viewers coming on line. Much appreciated. By 0900, Olsen had delivered 8 fish of varying sizes. Everyone was chock full of fish. It appears that there was some nibbling on the old fish (gosh they must be like dried fish now!) with another fish delivery at 18:33.

Soo has done a fabulous job keeping the chicks shaded. It is currently 37 C but rose to 40. Or 98.6 F to 104 F.

The nest still has horrific temperatures tomorrow. They seem to just keep adding on an additional day of heat. When did I ever believe I would say that 34 C was a welcome drop in temperature? The night will be welcome cooling off periods. The Osprey parents are doing the best they can and thank goodness those two chicks are feathered nicely this year.

Send positive thoughts, please. Soo and Olsen deserve success. In 2020 they lost a chick and one fell out of the nest and in 2021 the three died in the heat dome that stayed over the area. This year we have had one fall over the nest so let us keep fingers crossed. I think Soo and Olsen will succeed this year.

It is now Monday morning and Olsen has already brought at least five fish according to the chatters and here he is at 0656 feeding his babies fish number six!

I do not know if you have read the history of this nest but it is one of those great cooperative measures. FortisBC worked with the Town of Osoyoos put up a separate de-commissioned hydro pole for the Osprey and also donated the funds for the camera – the nest and streaming cam you are watching. They were proactive – indeed, it is in their best interests not to have the local power knocked out but, grateful, so grateful.

It is cooler at the Fortis Exshaw Nest in Canmore, Alberta. Mum and the trio are doing very well it seems.

Because it is in the same heat warning area, I have been checking on and off at the McEuen Park Osprey platform in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

There were two of the fledglings on the nest when I popped in.

With all the heat warnings, it is nice to have something to laugh at and it is provided by Bukacek and the adult only nest. You might well remember that Bukacek had built a second nest for him and Betty. Having four large White storklets on the natal nest gets a little crowded. Now that the storklets are flying – they have taken over the new nest! Bukacek will have to build another!!!!!! Betty meanwhile lures them back to their own nest with food. Perfect. Ooops….they ate and left. Oh, goodness.

Beautiful Betty.

There has been some concern about a blood spot near the wing of SE30 on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. What was the cause? Often the eaglets get fish blood or bird parts on their body but this does not seem to be that. It looks instead as if some feathers have clumped together either with fish juice or ps and they were, perhaps, pulling and it annoyed the eaglet who pulled them out and left a small bloody spot. The eaglet appears to be fine.

You can clearly see the spot on the right wing- and that enormous crop of SE29’s. 30 is eating well. No worries. Lady sometimes feeds it so much that 29 gets itself in a little knot. With the amount of prey coming on the nest there is no need for food competition – and even with feedings spreading a bit, everything should be fine. The eaglets are getting older. Getting ready to get some really itchy pin feathers soon. As long as food continues and Lady keeps up her remarkable feeding schedule..these two are going to grow and fledge.

There will not be any ringing or DNA tests unless one or both wind up in rehab after fledge. But I might be already inclined to guess that we have a really big sister in 29 and a little brother in 30.

We can always use good news in our lives. Here is another story of an eagle rescue that will warm your hearts! Thanks, ‘L’, much appreciated.

Our beautiful Victor. I love this photo of him standing on a low perch. You are progressing, Victor. Keep up the good work!

Since the rescue of Victor, some of us have been more than perplexed about where the zinc came from that poisoned his body. I have rattled my brain with several of you – flakes coming off of anything galvanized, warnings on garden hoses about zinc, the shale in the area contains zinc, etc. I really do not think our dear Victor sat and ate pennies knowingly. ‘C’ sent me the findings of a study by a Brazilian researcher. It has been translated by Google from the Portugese. If you are interested in how Victor might have gotten the zinc and how our contamination of the planet spreads to birds 10,000 miles away even…have a read.

Thank you, ‘C’. Much appreciated.

Title: “Not even the “end of the world” is free from human-caused pollution”

Animals that live in the waters of the Kerguelen archipelago, 3,000 km from the nearest inhabited region, are contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury.

Not even the “end of the world” is free from the pollution generated by humanity. Located in the south of the Indian Ocean, 3,300 km from Madagascar, the nearest inhabited region, the Kerguelen archipelago, formed by about 300 islands and islets, is contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury, copper and zinc. The observation is made by Brazilian researcher Caio Vinicius Cipro, a postdoctoral fellow at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP), in two studies he carried out at the University of La Rochelle, in France, in partnership with scientists there.

Of volcanic origin, Kerguelen is 4 thousand kilometers south of India and 2 thousand kilometers north of Antarctica. The archipelago belongs to that country and is administratively part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). There is currently a scientific station and structures associated with it. “There is also fishing activity due to France’s exclusive economic exploitation zone”, says Cipro. “Biologically, there are countless species of birds and marine mammals that have established colonies on the island and many others, in addition to significant amounts of fish and invertebrates thanks to the high primary productivity of local food. There are also several species introduced by humans, such as mice and reindeer, and some plants.”

He says that the idea for the study came during a period when he worked as a guest researcher at the University of La Rochelle. “My supervisor at the time, Professor Paco Bustamante, had told me about a dataset he had obtained years before, which he began working on during his own doctorate, and whose publication he never had time to pursue,” he says. “I volunteered to carry out the task and write the publication.”

Cipro then went on to study the occurrence of four chemical elements (cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc and selenium) in more than 30 species of invertebrates and fish, most of them at a lower trophic level (of the food chain). The objective was to understand how the concentrations of these inorganic pollutants behave at these lower levels that will influence organisms above them in the food chain.

Cipro’s first study was carried out in 2014, shortly after he arrived in France, on samples that had been collected by Bustamante’s team in the southern summers of 1997 and 1998. The Brazilian scientist analyzed metal contamination in a species of bird, the black shearwater petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). “We found contamination by cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium and zinc”, he says. “An article about the work was published in 2016 in the scientific journal Polar Biology.”

The second research was carried out in 2018 and yielded another article, published in the same journal. “In this case, we analyzed the levels of contamination of the same metals, with the exception of selenium – there were no conditions at the time to do this with this element in the laboratory at the University of La Rochelle – in 18 species of fish and 11 of invertebrates”, explains Cipro . The result of the work also pointed to the contamination of animals by metals.

According to Cipro, what can be concluded from the results of his research is that in this specific case of Kerguelen, cadmium values ​​varied much more than mercury values ​​(four orders of magnitude against one) and depended more on specificity in food ecology. and in the habitat than at the level of the food chain plain and simple.

In other words, the results of the studies showed that, contrary to what happens in most cases, the concentrations of pollutants found in animals depended little on their position in the food chain, but more on specific mechanisms of physiology and exposure, in such a way that predators from lower trophic levels could be more subject to some contaminants than others from higher positions.

This means, according to Cipro, that work with species of higher trophic level or sentinels needs more in-depth food ecology studies before reaching certain conclusions and that the food chain by itself does not mean much in this environment. “Furthermore, my research provides solid foundations on the exposure to which predators are subject, as in most cases this discussion remained on hypothetical terrain due to lack of field data,” he explains.

The work also showed a possible influence of a local secondary source of contaminants, probably the bird colonies themselves, a hypothesis confirmed in the Antarctic environment during his current research project. Going into more detail, Cipro explains that the analyzed metals have natural sources, but human activity certainly plays a bigger role than them in general. For mercury, for example, current emissions are estimated to be three to five times higher than before the industrial age. This element can reach the Kerguelen archipelago from dumps made by factories located 10,000 kilometers away.

Nevertheless, locally, in addition to bird colonies, some other natural sources may be significant, such as certain rocks and fossil fuels. “In the case of bird colonies, some studies that I proposed suggested and later confirmed their role as a local and relevant source of some elements and also of organic pollutants”, says Cipro. “In Kerguelen, we raised this hypothesis, comparing mussels from inside and outside the Gulf of Morbihan, and it seemed to be confirmed by the results obtained.”

The Dad at the Janakkalan Nest, Red CCL, continues to deliver the fish. The chatters have nicknamed the pair. Boris is the oldest and Titi is the youngest. The fish are so big that they take turns with no need to squabble. Titi is on the left. He has not figured out – yet – to hold the fish down with its talons.

Dad arrives with another fish at 1805. Titi is in the back with the huge crop from eating the fish in the image above. Boris is going to claim this one and Titi is absolutely too full to care! Lovely. Thanks, Dad.

The four Black Storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia are really wanting a food delivery. While they wait it is raining – they shake off their feathers, flap about, and jump on and off the perch. Kaia arrives with food at 16:58, the last image.

Just look at this beautiful juvenile Red-tail Hawk, L4. Stunning. L2 and L4 will probably be soaring in the thermals soon and leaving the Campus. Every moment with them is special as it is with Big Red and Arthur.

The latest update on L3 from the Cornell Lab:

L3 is gorgeous. Looking forward to her release when she is all healed.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have such good news in Bird World. To my knowledge, all of the UK Ospreys have fledged. They will be eating and gaining weight as will their mothers for migration. Soon these flights will be charted. In the meantime continue to enjoy them. The same with the storks! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, websites, and postings where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Coeur d’Elene, Idaho, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Bird Lab, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Fortis Exshaw.

A Christmas Miracle for ‘Christmas’ the Fawn

It is always heart warming to find that individual effort can really move people to action to help wildlife. We have been fortunate to see this happen many times this year and it gives us hope.

Some of you might remember Carrot the Deer. Everyone knew her and then she showed up with an arrow in her head last year. The community of Kenora, Ontario were devastated. Carrot got help! Well, meet ‘Christmas with the broken leg’ – and the woman who saved Carrot goes into action and will not take ‘no’ for an answer until she gets help for another deer in Kenora, Ontario!

I wonder why Harriet is such a popular name for Bald Eagle females???? Does anyone know? News is out that the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Mum, Harriet, has a confirmed pip today. Congratulations Mitch and Harriet. That is one substantial pip.

Oh, can you tell I am really missing these Bobble heads? The Pritchett Family has confirmed that there is no pip or Harriet and M15 yet. Perhaps tomorrow – 26 December, Boxing Day!

I can’t think of a better way to end this newsletter than with this beautiful tribute to adorable Yurruga. It’s lovely. Please have a look.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me this evening. See you soon!

Gorgeous day for birding

It is a gorgeous day today. 24 degrees C. We still, for at least today, have summer weather. This meant seeing new and old friends today at the park. There were at least 12 male Wood Ducks, as many females, a host of female and a few male Mallards, and, of course, Canada Geese.

This adult male Wood Duck with its distinctive red eye and green helmet thought that I might have some seed for him to eat. He did not seem to want to take ‘sorry’ as a proper answer.

The duck below is all wet from diving around in the park stream.

Their plumage is absolutely outrageously gorgeous.

There were a few adult female Wood Ducks but not nearly as many as the males at Kildonan Park today. Because there are issues with identification between the juveniles and those in eclipse, I have come upon a bit of a foolproof method for me. The duck below is an adult female Wood Duck. She lacks the red iris and eye ring of the adult male; she does have a yellow eye ring and a distinctive white eye patch. Her bill is dark. I do not want the iridescent green on the top of the head to fool me. This bird is lacking in the 2 pale lines from the throat extending around the neck and onto the cheek. To see those, look at the images of the adult male.

There were a number of Mallards, both male and female.

All of the animals were having a wonderful morning around the duck pond. There were many who brought specialty bird seed just for them. Others, like this little Red Squirrel, were finding acorns and seeds in the grass.

As I was sorting through these images to show to you, there were several knocks on the front door. Several times I went out and no one was there. There are times that sounds carry but, then the knocking got louder and louder. This time I caught the visitor! My house is covered with cedar shakes. It looks more like a cottage in a forest but there is someone who loves those cedar shakes. When I opened the door he flew to the apple tree.

Unfortunately the automatic focus set its mind on the leaves and not on the woodpecker! And she was not certain that he wanted his picture taken or not.

I say ‘she’ because that gorgeous read crest would extended all the way down to the bak if this were the male. But, it is not, it is a female.

You can see that its body is mostly covered in black feathers with a flaming red crest. There is a white throat and its beak is a long dagger shape sadly hidden by the leaves. This particular Pileated Woodpecker lives around my garden year round (and the neighbour hood). She will make her nest in the cavity of a dead or dying tree lining it with wood chips. When she is knocking on my cedar shakes she is looking for ants, wood-boring beetles, and insect larvae. She also likes berries and nuts and I have seen her on the large suet cylinder as well as the telephone pole drilling away. The woodpeckers particularly like the bug and nut suet if you are trying to attract them.

I am particularly concerned for both this Pileated Woodpecker and the male and female Downy that live around my garden. My city has sprayed orange dots on two of the 119 year old Maple Trees in front of my house on the boulevard. If they are to cut them down, is one or both the home and nest of the woodpeckers?

The Grey Slated Juncos are still here today along with a few White Throated Sparrows and Song Sparrows.

It is easy to tell the White-throated Sparrow because of that distinctive white patch under the beak forming the throat – hence, the name. There are also two black bands and three white on the crown along with two very distinctive yellow patches above the eye. The White-throated Sparrows come to Manitoba to breed during the summer. By the end of the month, all of them will be gone to their winter homes.

The Song Sparrow comes to Manitoba also for summer breeding. Soon they will also be away on their journey south. For now, a few are in the garden scratching around the grass and leaves for insects and bug larvae. They are beautiful with that plumage of rust and grey with streaks of white.

It has been a lovely day. I have it on good authority that all of the nestling falcons are fine as are the osplets at Port Lincoln. Yesterday, they once again had 7 feedings! Speaking of feedings, the list of what Mum and Dad have brought in for the Collins Four is anything other than 99% pigeon. This year they have averaged 7.4 prey items per day with 3 being the lowest number of deliveries and 11 being the highest. They have had pigeon, New Holland Honeyeater, Rainbow Lorikeets, Quail, Silver-eyed Gulls, Sparrows, Spotted Pardalotes, Starlings, Wattlebirds, and a White plumed honeyeater. This is quite the surprise. Normally the urban falcons exist primarily on pigeon. I wonder if the people in Melbourne are no longer feeding the pigeons so that the falcons have to look to other species? In Orange, the diet is varied with lots of parrots and Starlings.

A late delivery yesterday was a green parrot. I do not specifically recognize the ‘type’ but will try to find out.

The only streaming cam I have not checked on today is the one for the White-bellied Sea Eagles. Indeed, WBSE 27 was jumping all over the tree and it or both might have fledged. I will alert you if this is the case.

Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the ducks! Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the Collins Street Falcon Cam by Mirvac where I took my screen shot of the delivery of the green parrot.