It is a wild Wednesday in Bird World

28 September 2022

It was really a difficult day to sit and think of hurricanes and osplets beaking one another. After Ian made landfall, I headed for the nature centre to check on that wee duckling. For the second visit in a row, I did not find it. I did find, however, a Solitary Sandpiper, some other Mallards, a couple of Northern Pintails, various Vireos, an adorable squirrel to mention a few of the birds that greeted me today.

A baby American Coot.

The White-breasted Nuthatch stayed at the peanuts for a really long time. The nature centre has a ‘hide’ (a building of sorts with openings where you can watch the birds and not disturb them). It was fantastic to see this beautiful bird make its gravity-defying struts over the wire mesh container.

What a darling. This little Red Squirrel had no idea I was watching him. He is in a perfect spot below the feeder with the American Goldfinches who are dropping seedings all over the place.

A very nice gentleman saw me looking at the Coots but pointed this Solitary Sandpiper out to me on the shore. There had apparently been a Green Heron here the week prior.

This is believed – by me – to be a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet female. But I am waiting for e-Bird to write back with confirmation. Our bird books with their images are often lacking in the kind of detail to make a certain ID and Merlin and I seem not to get along very well!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are moulting – these American Goldfinches.

Being out in the forest with the birds and a few people passing by, with school children researching leaf configurations, and Canada Geese honking in the sky was fantastic. It is the best way to relieve any kind of stress. Shinrinyoku – forest bathing.

In the Mailbox:

Mark your calendars for October 8. This is Cornell Bird Lab’s Big Bird Count Day. I will be posting more information nearer to the time.

As we sit with our eyes glued to the eggs on the ledge of 367 Collins Street waiting for hatch, ‘A’ sent me a note and reminded me of the day the eggs got pretty wet from the rain. Oh, I needed that reminder. It is possible that they will not all hatch. It is possible that none of them will hatch. And bless this young couple if all four do hatch! That new male will really have to show that he is up to the task of feeding a family of 6 including himself. The old dad sure was!

Making News:

The news continues to be about the impact of Hurricane Ian on our beloved raptors. Captiva/Sanibel took a direct hit from the hurricane’s core with winds at 155 mph.

Across the State and a little north is Jacksonville which is home to Samson and Gabby’s nest. This is a video of the impact of the winds on their nest.

Across the country, in the Channel Islands, Thunder and Akecheta were at their nest. It looked like there might have been some intruders as both appeared to be alarming at times. They are a super Bald Eagle couple and it is nice to see you, Cheta.

Australian Nest News:

A super nice fish has shown up at Port Lincoln at 08;28:53. Fantastic. Hopefully these osplets will calm down a little.

It is really nice to see Little Bob right up there in the sweet spot. That fish should fill them all up and put them into super food comas. Mum can have some fish, too, and the kids can sleep.

Little Bob is getting some really good bites and both the older siblings seem, at this moment in time, to be behaving and letting Mum share the fish all around.

A food delivery came around 0740 for the Mum at 367 Collins Street. She flew off the ledge but when she returned she ran from the opposite end of the ledge to the nest. She carefully placed herself over the eggs and rolled them.

My heart goes out to this Mum. She has had food -thankfully but, no real help with incubation. She has almost had to do it all. In Orange, Xavier is so anxious to incubate the eggs and take care of the chicks that it just puts a smile on your face.

How much longer will we get to enjoy the not-so-little Sydney Sea Eagles? They are jumping and flapping and seem to have mastered self-feeding in spite of themselves! Still, it is nice to be fed by Mum and I am sure Lady knows that the days are limited for her to feed her babies.

Thank you for joining me this evening for a brief check on the nests. Head over to Port Lincoln and re-wind to catch that 0830 feeding. Take care of yourselves and continue to send the warmest wishes to the people and nests being impacted by weather around the world. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Northwest Florida-AEF, Explore.org and IWS, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Late Monday in Bird World

26 September 2022

It stayed cloudy with temperatures reaching a lovely 15 degrees on the Canadian prairie. It will be a good evening to go and check out the migration of the ducks and geese as they move through the city at dusk.

I wanted to do a quick check on the Australian nests to see if there has been any change from yesterday, especially at Melbourne.

Making News:

It is the weather that is making news as Hurricane Ian could make a huge impact on the Florida nests! That purple and red is right in an area that could hit Fort Myers and the nests on Captiva. Look like it is lots of rain for the Gainesville area and Jacksonville.

Folks are expecting the hurricane to hit the Captiva area tomorrow. The individuals who built the new Osprey nest and perch have said that it has been built to withstand a hurricane. Well done, everyone!

Falcons are hatching on a balcony in Perth, Western Australia in a flowerpot and not for the first time! You can check them out at their Twitter feed.

In Britain, scientists are changes in autumn – in trees that are sending out more seeds and a decline in insects. All of that will have an impact on our birds.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/25/autumn-uk-milder-season-flora-fauna

Nest News:

The Pritchett Family has turned on the streaming cam for the Southwest Florida eagles, M15 and Harriet.

I don’t quite remember a year when everything seemed to be happening at once. The Bald Eagles are busy working on their nests or arriving to start work. Connie was seen at Captiva yesterday. I have caught three nests with adults visiting, sleeping and/or doing nestorations: Two Harbours where both Chase and Cholyn are active, West End with another visit from Thunder, and Andor and Mama Cruz were at Fraser Point.

Thunder simply looks majestic on the rocks at the West End nest in the Channel Islands. Isn’t she simply gorgeous in that early morning sunshine? Where is Akecheta? Maybe I have missed him.

At Two Harbours, one adult was on the nest looking about and it was not long before both were there greeting one another and beginning to work on those rails. Just look at the height of that nest above the sea. We were all so grateful that Dr Sharpe climbed up that steep cliff to rescue Lancet last year.

Cholyn will be 25 years old this year. Incredible.

They are certainly a power couple and if you didn’t know, Cholyn is Thunder’s mother!

Andor spent the night on the Fraser Point nest that he shares with Mama Cruz.

Mama Cruz showed up before the day began to start working on the nest. This couple fledged Lillibet and our beloved, Victor, this year.

Hello Andor. You are looking very handsome, indeed.

Gabby and Samson stayed at the nest tree near Jacksonville perched high on the branches and when the sun was up work began again on that nest.

The day is just getting ready to start in Melbourne and our beautiful new Mum, sitting on those precious eggs, could be feeding wee ones before long! And about these eggs – I am beginning to wonder if there is any possibility that they are a mix of old dad’s and new dad’s?? That would require DNA testing of everyone so…it isn’t going to happen. But, so far, fingers crossed for healthy and very lively eyases! Food is being provided and there has been no attempt to harm the eggs.

I am so looking forward to the little white eyases with their pink beaks, eyes and legs. Such a contrast to the wee Osplets.

Are the eyases cheeping?

Yesterday there was a flapping fish and wee moments of discord at Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is a wonder those Bobs weren’t hurt by that whacking fish! You might recall that this happened at Manton Bay at Rutland when Blue 33 brought in a big size perch and it flipped and flapped landing on top of the wee babes. They did survive it – and so did the Bobs yesterday. Wonder what is in store for today?

As I write this, the trio at Port Lincoln are waiting for their breakfast.

In the middle of the night at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest, Lady is sleeping on the branch with her head tucked in. SE29 is standing with its head tucked in and SE30 still prefers to sleep duckling style.

These two are really antsy this morning once the sun came up in the forest. They are extremely interested in what is happening beyond the nest and both have been on the branch. True branching looks like it could happen soon.

Xavier waits for Diamond to want a break and let him take care of the eggs.

That is a quick look at what is happening at the Australian nests. Today brings new promise of a hatch at Melbourne and well, those Sea Eaglets are really jumping and flapping. And they are gorgeous.

Thank you so much for being with me. Take care and I will see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or posts that were used for my screen captures: NOAA, Crawley Falcons, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Explore.org and the IWS.

Wednesday in Bird World

21 September 2022

Good Morning!

It is early (for me). The garden birds are very quiet. It is starting out to be a beautiful day as I work on getting to know this computer but, rain is to start today and be with us again on Friday and Saturday. It is always good to get the trees that have grown so much over the summer with all the torrential downpours a good soaking before frost.

One of the things that was lost were the images that I took yesterday at one of the ponds. So I want all of you to use your imagination. I could not believe my eyes. There before me were seven young ducklings just like the singular one at the nature centre. No feathers just fuzz on their bodies. They were all cuddled up together keeping warm. Today it is 10 degrees C. We are at the time of migration. All of the nature centres are opening up for special events as the birds from the north make their way to the wetlands and the big ponds enroute to their winter homes far south of us. Will the arrival of winter be late? What will happen to these wee ones? I have never seen small ducklings like this at this time of year. The spring floods and destruction of eggs has certainly caused issues. There are ducks that overwinter on our Assiniboine River near to where my daughter lives but…what about these little gaffers?

Making News:

Victor at his release. 19 September 2022.

For all of those wondering, the site where Victor was released is at the coast right across from the Channel Islands. Great choice! Let us all hope to see Victor near Fraser’s Point in a couple of years! Wouldn’t that be grand. It appears it was the best site for release like the Channel Islands but the closest point to his nest without breaking any regulations. Isn’t Dr Sharpe the best?

It seems that once we get a good population of birds established we then want to take their habitat away. This is what is happening in Albania wit the pelicans!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/21/albania-dalmatian-pelican-colony-narta-faces-threat-vlora-airport-aoe

Nest News:

So far, there are still only two osplets at Port Lincoln. The third egg is 37 days old and there is still time for it. Some chatters are wondering if there is any movement inside. We will have to keep our eyes opened! The other two and Mum seem to be doing splendidly.

The streaming camers (3) at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 will be going live during the first week of October.

Xavier brought an Eastern Rosella, well prepared, for Diamond who was excited and got off the nest. Xavier is a lovely! Hatch not expected til the first week in October but we are getting there…2 weeks?

Beautiful Diamond.

Xavier gets some ‘eggie time’. Yes! Can you tell how much I love this cute little falcon who is no longer in his prime but gosh, he is a fantastic mate and he loves his chicks. I sure hope this season turns out well for these two.

So many of you are marveling at the plumage colours of the little sea eaglets. They are gorgeous. A friend laughed at me for loving the feathering of the Red-tail Hawks. “Just wait til you see the Sea Eagles!” Oh, she was so right. It is hard to see the colours when the sun is at a certain angle but have a good look at them.

Our eagles are approaching their 10th week. They are still growing some feathers under their wings. Their wing flapping and jumping around is going to continue to get every more vigorous. Just breathe. They can scare the wit’s out of you when they start jumping on and off the rim of the nest and the branches . In week 11 you will see them gain some real height in their hovering. They will begin to sleep more and more with their head tucked into their wings rather than duckling style although fledglings also prefer duckling style on occasion. It must be much more comfortable! Self-feeding is getting better.

We do not want to talk about fledging but, after 70 days it is possible. And we are at that point. So spend your time watching these two and the hatches at Port Lincoln. SE29 and 30 will be gone in a blink and the osplets will be growing and changing so fast it will be hard to recognize these sweet fuzzy babies in a week!

Victor Hurley is going to post a pre-recorded session where he answers your questions about what is going on at Melbourne on Thursday, Australia time. That will be in a few hours. If you have questions, you can submit them on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB page. Dr Hurley asks that you read the PDF that he posted on the top of the FB site before submitting questions.

We are all very curious to see what will be happening. The second male does some quick on and off mating which – well, we are now nearing hatch which should be 5 days away. Mum’s hormones will not be in breeding but incubation and caring for young. It appears that the old male continues to provide food for Mum. Oh, I hope that this clutch makes it but we are going to just have to wait and see.

Migration News:

Checking on the Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There has been no transmission for Karl II since the 4th of September. Bonus and Kaia were still in their respective areas with their last report coming in on the 20th of September. Hopefully this evening there will be some new news.

Birdmap is showing tremendous progress for the Ospreys and, one, in particular, flew across Europe to Spain instead of going directly South. Brilliant! The Ospreys are already heading into central Africa! You can go to BirdMap and get the animated version of their journeys.

Did you know:

How long do Bald Eagles live?

https://birdfact.com/articles/how-long-do-bald-eagles-live?fbclid=IwAR28ZeEq0BVJMgSX852wOBP7kcICCL6iKHdzvl0FIB7TUUxGNZSliJdQBFk

Thank you so much for being with me today. We are looking forward to the third hatch in Port Lincoln but, for now, in the night, Mum is getting some much needed rest! Take care of yourself and I will look forward to seeing you again real soon.

If you are sending me e-mails (which I love), please use this new address: maryasteggles@outlook.com Thanks so much!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, and BirdMap.

Tuesday in Bird World

20 September 2022

Good Evening or Good Morning to you!

I hope that this newsletter finds you in good spirits and good health. I continue to appreciate your good wishes and today, I can tell you that I am back to 90%. Was its Victor’s release that caused my system to soar? One will never know but, I did get out for two walks at two different ponds. To be able to do this at the end of September, without there ever being a frost, is ‘different’ and, of course, harks at changes to come.

At the first pond the temperature was 17 degrees C but the wind was blowing at 23 kph. There were not a lot of birds around it seemed. Then I heard their call – the Greater Yellow Legs. There were two of them in the marsh area flying out to the shore.

Please note. I had to switch to the lowest quality of image as my card was filling up! So even my non-wildlife photographer images are not as crisp as they could be when blown up. You can see the normally mirror-still pond’s waves lapping.

Across the road, in this industrial area of our city, the recent rains have created two other water areas and there were a few geese and a couple of ducks – one in each pond! No sharing there.

So what are they? There is a distinctive white eye ring, a long sloping forehead and grey-blue bill. a gorgeous rusty head with a mottled back. I was unable to see the colour of the legs but its eyes are brown. The sloping shape of the forehead to the beak is very distinctive and what appears to be a white eye ring could be throwing me off a quick ID. It appears to be a Canvasback.

There it was on page 160 of the Crosley! Crosley says it lacks a forehead. Yes, he is right – the head just slopes into the bill. The shape is a wedge. Don’t forget it! Those south of me will see these gorgeous waterfowl flying by. Crosley calls the colour of the head and neck ‘chestnut’ – what a lovely word for that description. The eye should be a vivid red if it is a male but either the camera did not get that or it was the angle of the light or this is a female fooling us because of her not pure white back or a juvenile. I will keep you posted!

I will bring you news of the other pond later. My laptop decided to emit smoke and I have kindly been loaned another computer so I can finish the blog today. What troubles me about the second pond is that there are no less than 8 small fluffy ducks – with less feathers than the small one at the nature centre. So, if we have no frost and it is now 19 degrees C – do these ducks have a chance?

Making News:

I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to see Victor released by Dr Sharpe yesterday – and from the mail pouring in – he touched all of our hearts. We will never forgot those adorable images with Lillibet, when Victor could not stand to eat and the entire eagle family tried to comfort him, to his rescue, to his walking in a towel with holes held up by a staff member at the Ojai Raptor Centre, to his release. What a time this juvenile eagle has had.

Images provided by the Ojai Raptor Centre FB this morning:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307133153_10159085394581453_2304853790248402682_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307341384_10159085394606453_8936664518710999867_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307309290_10159085394726453_8147611667506775357_n.jpg

One of the letters in the mailbox was ‘Where is Hollingsworth Ranch’. Here it the information on where Victor was released:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2022-09-20-at-11.36.39-am.png

The Hollingsworth Ranch

This is the Ventura River running through the rugged mountainous area. Those in California might know its status better now because of the droughts the last few years. I hope it is the same. It looks like a great place for an eagle named Victor.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2319878242_ba63a50a55_b.jpg
Ventura River, one” by …-Wink-… is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Every day there are thousands of raptors – and other wildlife – saved by the wildlife rehabbers. I often say the streaming cams get all the glory (and donations) because they are the first place we learn to leave these bird families but it is the rehabbers that love and care for and put the birds back together if they get into trouble. Their time, effort, and expenses often last years.

Another little eaglet made the rehab news because it was released, too, by the Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre in Pennsylvania. I love the pictures. They give you a real behind the scenes look at what goes into caring for a wee one who is well but has no nest or family. Notice that stuffed eaglet plush toy. When you are clearing up and you look down and see the stuffies that you have collected – and you don’t know what to do with them – the wildlife rehab centre is your answer!!!!!!!!!!!! They bring comfort to the birds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2022-09-20-at-11.18.12-am.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307100274_462926395870708_8776787193193903584_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307298605_462926412537373_1788372428230233508_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306992135_462926399204041_1110098907117793956_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307089140_462926695870678_2502442713803080517_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306331071_462926599204021_2504802476909499040_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306834287_462926619204019_5814899631025685081_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307094035_462926765870671_3635125037051743098_n.jpg

http://ojaihistory.com/the-hollingsworth-ranch/embed/#?secret=jzkIzleQDS#?secret=NzEkoT3MUb

Nest News:

This will be short with a longer analysis of what is happening tomorrow.

The second male at the Melbourne nest has been trying to mate with the Mum while she is incubating the eggs. She is having nothing to do with him but, the old male is holding back providing food. I wish the young male would leave and allow them to raise this clutch but his ideas are otherwise. We are 6 days from hatch!

We are still waiting for the third hatch at Port Lincoln as the sun is rising soon. It was raining in the middle of the night – not much but, Mum kept those chicks nice and snug. No doubt #2 is going to be hungry and up there to eat today. I wonder how #1 will treat its sibling? Fingers crossed. It seems they do not get too rowdy until day 8.

At Orange, the hatch dates range from 36-39 days so we are not expecting any action until after 1 October. We have a ways to go. Melbourne is ahead. Xavier has been getting Diamond out of the box with prey and getting some good time with the eggs. This scrape is very stable, thank goodness. But not this morning. Xavier brought a Starling, Diamond left without it and Xavier took it away minutes later. Diamond is extremely picky – poor Xavier. I hope the parrot population is good this year!

They have been together for a long time. Xavier probably is over feeling completely dejected by Diamond when he brings her breakfast. She does much prefer the fat already plucked and prepared pigeons too.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are simply marvellous – what an incredible civil nest. Two females? Two males? Let’s watch their size as they leave their 9th week and into the 10th. It is refreshing not to see discord on a nest – no, the word is sheer relief. Last year’s breeding season was horrific. It was NOT at this nest. Last year and the year prior were fantastic. Lady and Dad are doing really well. Other nests did not fare so well.

Let’s keep an eye on Melbourne and, of course, Port Lincoln for this third hatch. I hope it comes soon! I am now off to investigate and agonize over what new computer to get. I use one all the time as you know but I like portability. You don’t get the lovely big images I am looking at with portable though!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street at Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre.

Victor is Released!

19 September 2022

Fraser Point eaglet, Victor, who had suffered from acute zinc toxicity and had been in care at the Ojai Raptor Centre in Ojai, California has been released today!

Absolute tears. Thank you to Dr Sharpe, his team and the great folks at the Ojai Raptor Centre for returning this amazing eaglet to the wild.

A special thank you to ‘B’ who sent me the wonderful news!!!!!!

Thank you to the Ojai Raptor Centre for their posting and video on their FB page where I took my screen captures.

Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!

Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.

Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.

Making News:

There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.

British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.

If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.

Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.

Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.

Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.

National Arboretum Nest

They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!

Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.

Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.

Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!

The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.

In the image below you can see what little is left.

It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.

At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.

Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?

If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)

The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.

Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.

The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.

For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

From the Archive:

I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?

Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.


From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?

QT will get a name, photos of Victor and more in Bird World

7 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone. The first part of the week has flown by. I hope that you had a lovely long weekend (if you had a holiday) and that Tuesday was good.

The Crows continue to alarm every time “THE cat” comes into the garden and, in particular, when the rabbit is visiting and eating under he bird feeder. Today it happened twice. That bunny doesn’t know he has three guardian angels! How lucky.

Meanwhile Junior, the male Blue Jay, is moulting. Poor thing. He has lost his beautiful crest and he looks so out of proportion. He has finished up all of the peanuts and has decided to try some of the seed spilled when filling the feeders.

At sunset, hundreds if not a thousand gulls flew low to the ground looking for their evening resting area. The sky was simply full of them in every direction moving and looking like a swarm of mosquitoes. Several ‘V’s of Canada Geese could also be seen. The expectation is that the majority of duck and geese migration will take place starting the third week in September. If so, I hope to get some great images for you.

In the Mailbox:

‘G’ wonders how on earth an osplet could get salmonella poison and die? The necroscopy tests have revealed that the Loch Garten chick died of salmonella poisoning. The chick was lethargic several days before dying on the nest. A number of studies and several reports and articles such as “Incidence of Salmonella in fish and seafood” published in 2000 states, “Field laboratories of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration collected and tested 11,312 import and 768 domestic seafood samples over a 9-year period (1990 to 1998) for the presence of Salmonella. The overall incidence of Salmonella was 7.2% for import and 1.3% for domestic seafood. Nearly 10% of import and 2.8% of domestic raw seafood were positive for Salmonella”.

The study was, of course, related to the risk of food poisoning in humans but this would be the same way that osplets would get salmonella is by eating raw seafood that contains the bacteria.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10826714/#:~:text=Nearly%2010%25%20of%20import%20and,and%20one%20shark%20cartilage%20powder.

Making News:

The NZ DOC has done an 180 degree turn and has decided to hold a naming competition for the Royal Cam Quarry Track chick. QT, instead of leaving her with her code name. Here is the announcement:

Some additional images of Victor in the large flight area have been posted by the Ojai Raptor Centre. Oh. Victor is doing so well. I wonder if he is still rejecting the Trout and only wanting to eat Whiting??

Victor is getting stronger every day! Oh, how lucky this beautiful juvenile is to have such good care.

If you are intending to donate and/or purchase some items from the Ojai Raptor Centre’s shop, remember to include that it is for Victor! I might have mentioned that they have included a shopping option for Canada in addition to the US. If you live elsewhere, send them a note and they will set up the shipping. I received the two t-shirts and the tote bag today. They are super!

There is a wildfire in the Big Bear Valley. It is being called the Radford Fire. Many were concerned that it might bring harm to Jackie and Shadow and their nest but they are safe. The fire is on the SE part of the lake. We all love Jackie and Shadow and many of you might have heard about the fire and were worried. Here is that confirmation:

University of Louisiana grounds keepers saw the hawk tangled in fishing line and acted quickly in order to save its life. Remember and spread the word – be responsible. Clean up monofilament line both yours and that of others if you see it. Make the shores, lakes, and rivers safe for the birds and fish.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister for Scotland has announced a draft bill on grouse moor licensing to be introduced in this year’s parliamentary legislation. Many like Mark Avery and Chris Packham have lobbied to end the senseless killing of the raptors on the driven grouse moors. This is a huge step forward and is coming none too soon.

The Guardian carried an article, “Dark matter and lithium water: 15 big issues poised to affect oceans and coastlines” today. You will already be aware of some of the concerning actions and issues including the dumping of toxic chemicals into the oceans. The example came from Senegal but it could easily have come from large westernized countries! My biggest disappointment was the glossing over – no, not just glossing over – not even acknowledging what will ultimately happen to the sea birds that depend on the oceans for food.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/06/water-issues-oceans-coastlines-marine-coastal-biodiversity

Nest News:

Mrs G and the three fledglings remain at the Glaslyn nest with the male, Aran. They are the only ‘full family nest’ still resident in the UK.

All three siblings lined up waiting for Aran and fish.

Mrs G is hiding!

News coming out of the Dyfi nest other than Idris continuing to feed Padarn is that Pedran, the first fledgling, did not fly straight south from the nest to begin migration but, rather hung around the UK and has been spotted! So remember this – the birds do not always fly directly south but can spend time flying and perfecting their fishing while getting strong! (Note- all three were deemed to be female. Disregard the use of the words he/him below).

Bella has arrived at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest waiting for her mate, Smitty.

An unknown female Peregrine Falcon interrupted Alden’s ‘loafing time’. Let us hope that this is not the female intruder that Grinnell had chased away from The Campanile scrape.

After an encounter with a female intruder at The Campanile, Annie and Alden renew their bond in the scrape.

All is well at the Australian nests. The only one with chicks is, of course, the Sydney Sea Eagles and SE29 and 30 are growing and changing and, like clockwork on the development chart, getting all of their juvenile feathers. It may be difficult to tell them apart soon!

It is incubation duties at the other three nests – the two Peregrine Falcon scrapes at Orange and Melbourne and the Port Lincoln Osprey barge.

Sunny in Melbourne.

Beautiful Diamond.

The sunshine gave way to rain later in the day at Port Lincoln.

Dad eating his portion of fish before taking it to Mum. Thanks, Dad. We don’t want any more flapping fish on those precious eggs!!!!!!

Migration News:

No tracking news for Karl II or Kaia. Karl II is in the most dangerous area of Ukraine at the moment. Their transmitters could be jammed. The only news is of Waba and he is doing fine and has found a small area to fish. We wait.

Memory Lane:

Do you remember these two cutie pies? Who are they? what is their natal nest? and what are the names of their parents?

Thank you so much for joining me today. I will be pulling out photos from the archives for the next week or so to see if we can tell who is who! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Answer to Memory Lane: This is E17 and E18 from the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. They were removed to CROW for conjunctivitis and safely returned to Harriet and M15 after a successful treatment. Known for their early sparring the twins became best buddies.

Thank you to the following for their posts, their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC,, Ojai Raptor Centre, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Bald Eagles 101, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, NCTC, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and CROW.

Eggs, Electrocutions, Migrations and more…Tuesday in Bird World

30 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

We are nearing the end of August. I keep saying the month has disappeared and it surely has! It is simply hard to believe. We had a magnificent rain that brought the garden back to life. There is nothing like a good soaking – watering from the tap doesn’t seem to do it. The garden also had a visitor this morning. I know the hawk has been around but, with all of the foliage it is hard to spot him. The new fence has, however, attracted a lot of attention and today it got approved to be the new plucking post! The image is not good. I got so excited that I hit the silly video button on the phone and not the photo. It is also from a distance through a screen -I was hiding in the shadows hoping that she would not see me inside the house taking her photo – hawks have to eat, too.

By now you will have noticed that I have added some sub-titles to my blog. There will not always be questions in the post to answer – that is up to you! But if you are wondering something, ask. I will absolutely not always know the answers but I have friends and colleagues to ask that do and they are happy to share what they know with all of us. There is generally some news and there are always things happening at the nests despite it being quite slow the end of August. I hope also to incorporate a book review section once in awhile —- when there is time to read a new book. I am currently working on two: Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour. It is excellent so far – a great reference that includes topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Flight, Food and Feeding, Breeding… The second is After They’re Gone. Extinctions Past, Present and Future by Peter Marren who tackles some of the very uncomfortable truths that we have to face. It is time, after all, to get our heads out of the sand and listen to what individuals like Marren have to tell us. Full review to follow in a few weeks when I have had time to digest and reflect the latter.

In the Mailbox:

‘B’ writes: “I have been watching Osprey nests for years. Why do the siblings attack one another after fledging when they have been nice on the nest?” Oh, this is such a timely question as the nests begin to empty themselves of parents and fledglings in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some of you will remember that the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021 – Bazza, Falky, and Ervie – were sweet to one another as nestlings. Bazza tried a couple of times, early on, to boss Ervie but, even as little as he was, Ervie wasn’t having any of it. So the nest was very peaceful. Then they grew up. They fledged and even became interested in fishing. When Dad would bring a fish, they would descend on the nest and fight – or, rather, let’s use the Australian term, “a dust up” would occur. If you are watching the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, two of the three girls remain in Wales. Whenever a fish comes on the nest, they practically knock each other about to get to that food. This is perfectly normal behaviour. They no longer see one another as siblings but as rivals who might take the only food supply. Soon, they will go their separate ways and no would have been hurt-normally -although Bazza and Ervie did get pretty rough. Please note that the PLO nest had 3 males and the Dyfi had 3 females – same gender on the nest. Same sex nests tend to be very civil after a brief set to at the beginning.

‘S’ sent me some news and included in it is a video/PowerPoint on what to expect at the Royal Albatross Taiaroa Head Colony in September. I know that many of you are fans of the albatross and watch Quarry Track chick, this year’s Royal cam chick, faithfully. I do not cover her but I look in on her. Sharon Dunne does an excellent job of providing all the information needed! This is a great information packet – have a peek. Thanks, ‘S’.

Making the News:

Drought and hydro poles killing off Europe’s White Storks. Only 10% of the hydro poles in Hungary are insulated and yet 150,000 beautiful White Storks are electrocuted each year. This well done video shows the birds, where they live, the deaths, and the fix that is required. It is now time for humans to step up to the plate and take care of the wildlife instead of doing what we have always done — put ourselves first.

And, of course, Hungary is not the only country that has this issue. We saw it in Canada when Junior was killed near the nest on Gabriola Island, in The Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-62690344

A Polish Photographer has been stirring up real interest on the Internet with his image of an Osprey fishing. His name is Krzysztof Stasiaczek and the image was taken in August 2022 in Eastern Masuri, Poland.

Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia used their GoFund Me and some other private donations to build a new sun-shaded nest for Ma and Dad at Delta 2. Why? Rising temperatures in the area of the nest due to the increased heating of our planet. They released the images today. That is David Hancock with the light blue long sleeve shirt working tirelessly to continually improve the lives of the Bald Eagles…he has been doing this for at least 65 years!

Somehow we all knew that the numbers of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands is growing – thanks in large part to Dr Sharpe ensuring the eaglets do not tumble into the sea or die under a nest from zinc toxicity.

News is coming out of the Channel Islands Eagle Lovers group that there is the possibility of a new Bald Eagle pair spotted on Santa Cruz! Sauces 2016 hatch A-63, a male named Whisk, has been seen at the old Fraser Point nest with a subadult female of approximately 3 years. Fingers crossed.

A blog by Rosie Shields who monitors the Borders nests in the UK found its way into my inbox today. You might not be interested in these Ospreys but, it is the behaviour of the female that is important. She left a nest with three chicks she was feeding to begin her migration, landed on a nest she had visited before, and sat herself down now for 9 days being fed by the resident male who is willingly catching fish for her. It is always good to learn more and more about the behaviours of Ospreys – they never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Nest News:

Annie and Alden decided it was a good idea to renew their bond in the UC-Berkeley scrape on The Campanile after the sudden visit of a mysterious male falcon. Alden initiated the bonding session. “Annie, do not look at another male falcon. Alden is a keeper!”

Alden was caught loafing in the setting sun last evening. How adorable.

Everyone is sitting waiting really impatiently to see if Diamond will lay a third egg at the Charles Sturt Orange Falcon cam in Australia. Diamond’s average between eggs is 56 hours. The second egg was 57 hours this year. Will there be a third? and will it be on time?

Xavier loves his ‘eggie’ time and Diamond was obliging this morning to let him take a turn.

Xavier left and returned around 0700 with a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (IDed by Holly Parsons). Xavier always brings something special on egg laying day. What a sweetheart.

Xavier waits for one and a half hours to incubate those precious eggs…it is caught on video.

Diamond looks pretty contented. Let’s see what is happening in a couple of hours.

There are still only 2 eggs at Orange. It is the middle of the night. If Diamond is to lay a third egg I would surely think that it will come before 0800 on the 31st.

In Melbourne, the little Dad is getting his turn, too and those four eggs look awfully big as he wiggles and squiggles to get them under him. Yesterday he looked down and noticed one was outside!

You can almost hear him saying he hopes the new mate doesn’t lay 5! She could. Keep hoping the population of pigeons is bursting at the seams in Melbourne!

Everything seems to be going well with the Sea Eagles. They are six weeks old and standing sturdier by the day and changing their appearance with those gorgeous feathers coming in.

At Port Lincoln, Dad took over incubation and Mum is enjoying a really nice dinner time fish before tucking it in for the night.

Updates on Tweed’s three fledglings from yesterday’s post.

A Tweet from County Cork with a great photograph of an osprey believed to be Kirk. Fantastic. He has had quite the adventure. Glad Kirk is safely on land. Now to get his GPS coordinates polished.

In the UK, Louis and Sarafina are still at Loch Arkaig. Dorcha was last seen on 18 August and it appears that Willow, LW5, began her journey on the 28th of August.

Louis delivered a lovely Mackerel to the nest for Sarafina today. She has been seen down at the loch attempting to catch a fish, too. Isn’t that splendid?

Louis brought a lovely fish to Sarafina at 16:16:33 on the 30th. She is still with us as of today.

The last sighting of Willow was on the 28th.

Maya is still at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey platform. She flew in with a fantastic fish this morning at 0619. While many of the females have now departed, Maya raised three very large and strong female chicks with Blue 33. She is taking good care of herself so she is in good shape for migration. Normally we can expect to see her and her mate, Blue 33, back in the UK at the end of March. The first eggs and the first hatches!

Seren, Blue 5F, was with Dylan this morning at the Llyn Clywedog nest looking around their beautiful territory.

It appears that Mrs G from the Glaslyn Valley nest is now on her way south. Aran was on the nest earlier and one of the fledglings was shouting out for a fish.

At the Dyfi Nest, Telyn was last seen on the 25th of August. Pedran left before Mum, and Padarn was still at the nest today. Paith has not been seen on the 30th that I am aware of so it could just be the second hatch, Padarn, and Aran left at Dyfi.

Stephen Basly posted another great image on the Notre Dame Eagles FB Group of our Little Bit 17! It was the 25th of July and is such a great image. I think Stephen worked to get it cleaned up well for all of us. Thanks Stephen!

I have not been able to access Looduskalender today for updates on the Black Storks, Karl II and his family, as they migrate.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a gorgeous day here – I hope it is for you, too and that you have been able to enjoy being out in nature, if possible. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, videos, streaming cams, and blogs that make up my screen captures: NZ DOC, BBC News, Krzysztof Stasiazek, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, CIEL Rosie Shields, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Conservation without Borders, Dave McGrath, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LRWT, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, and Notre Dame Eagles.

4 eggs for Melbourne, Victor is moved outside and other news in Bird World…Monday morning

30 August 2022

What happened to August? It seems as if we blinked and it flew by. Despite the heat there is a look about the leaves on the trees and the wilting of the tomato plants despite their being well watered that is alerting us to the end of summer, not just the calendar. There is another 9 or 10 days before the teachers and students are back to their classrooms in Manitoba. It is a reminder that it is time to get a small delivery of firewood. There is something so cosy about a wood fire on a crisp autumn morning and if August is any indication, autumn will be here in two blinks.

The colour of the light and the water of the pond seemed to be taking on the hues of autumn.

The rain started in the early morning hours of Monday and everything has turned green in the garden again…it is raining so hard! And for once, I am so glad to see it! Monday will be a good day for reading the small pile of books accumulating on my desk.

In the Mailbox:

‘N’ writes: “Do all falcons incubate the eggs the same no matter where they live? Do all ospreys?” Oh, what an interesting question! I am not a specialist on incubation, the term used for the behaviour whereby adult birds keep the eggs warm until they hatch. My experience watching the nests of different species is that birds are very individualistic and even within a single species, the attention that they give to their incubation duties varies. I found a paper that actually discusses the different approaches to this important task. It is not a recent one but it is quite interesting. The author covers some birds that are unknown to me but, I believe the findings and the data can enlighten us as to the full answer to your question, ‘N’.

In the News:

RSPB created an extremely short video about Avian Flu killing the White-tail Eagle chicks on the island of Mull. What is so intriguing is the landscape of the island and the beautiful chicks so alive in the nest. It is clearly not the be all- end all informative presentation but it was nice to see where these eagles live.

Just a couple of months before Avian Flu began killing the White-tailed Eagles on Mull, this beautiful 7 minute video was made showing them on their island setting. Have a watch:

The attempt to rid Gough Island of its House Mouse problem has hit a wall. The eradication of the mice that were biting and killing Tristan Albatross chicks and adults is now being viewed as a failure. Everyone had such high hopes that the island would be rid of these invasive mice but an unknown problem presented itself – the slug. Have a read:

https://www.acap.aq/latest-news/4427-alien-slugs-thought-to-be-the-cause-of-failure-of-the-house-mouse-eradication-on-gough-island

I found an excellent story dealing with the tragedy of the mice and the Tristan Albatross and why the eradication attempt is so important.

In his newsletter, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife just posted the following information about the Delta 2 nest in British Columbia, Canada: “Firstly, both Ma and DM have gone on their migration. Ma was last seen at the Delta 2 nest/territory on July 25th. DM (taking his new role as Ma’s mate very seriously) hung around for another week keeping an eye on things. He was last seen there on August 1st. Thanks to all who donated to the GoFundMe campaign, as well we received a a few private donations which are greatly appreciated. These donations are going to cover the costs associated with the installation of a sturdy new nest pole and two (2) new cameras at Delta 2.”

Nest News:

It is egg 4 for the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon couple on the ledge of 367 Collins Street! Oh, my goodness. Dad you are going to so hope that the pigeon population of the city is very plentiful!

Here is a video of that last egg being laid:

It was a prey drop and a chance for Dad to get himself acquainted with how you have to wiggle around to get 4 big falcon eggs under so they can stay warm.

It is a lot easier for Mum to get those four eggs tucked in tight. Do you think there will be a 5th?

We have a ways to go before hatch for Melbourne and Diamond might not be finished laying eggs. Incubation is a time for the females to rest. It is going to be very hectic if all the hatch at Melbourne! And exciting.

The Sydney Sea Eagles are developing right to schedule. Their plumage continues to come in and they are picking up sticks in the nest and preening. SE29 is standing and walking better each step. They really are gorgeous. The Monday morning feeding saw both 29 and 30 with nice crops full of fish. I have seen no concerning aggressive behaviour on the part of 29 to 30 that would cause me to worry.

We are about 3 weeks away from hatch watch at Port Lincoln. Mum and Dad continue to take turns incubating. That said, Mum will always have night duty and Dad will provide Mum with her meals.

You would think that Mum would be very stiff incubating the eggs all night. Dad has arrived and is nudging her off so he can have a turn. Mum goes away for her breakfast and a break, returning in about half an hour.

You are doin’ good, Dad.

There has been an unknown male visit Annie in the tower.

There is a notable change in the behaviour of the female Ospreys in the UK this year. Normally they would depart the nest about 10-14 days prior to the fledglings leaving on their migration. This year it appears the majority are choosing to remain on the nest while some or all of the fledglings depart. While we will not know the specific reason, I wonder if it is, in part, due to the raising of these large female chicks and the Mums needing more time to get in top shape. Or could it be that prey is plentiful, the weather is nice in the UK, and they just want to be home for a little longer?

Idris, Telyn, Padarn and Paith are still at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales as of Sunday the 28th. Idris has stayed on the perch all night. Pedran was last seen on the 11th of August at 0905.

If you follow Tweed Valley, the three fledglings are going in very diverse directions including Glen who remains on the nest. Kirk is in Ireland having flown south and turning back to the land. Tweed is nearing land in Portugal.

Ruthland is updating us on their second hatch at Manton Bay, 1H2:

Tiger Mozone says that the fledglings need good DNA and luck. 1H2 certainly has great DNA. Let us all hope she has some awfully good luck, too.

1H2’s parents, Blue 33 and Maya, along with older sibling 1H1 were all still at the Manton Bay Nest at Rutland on the 27th and there is no news of either 1H1 or Maya departing since.

Seren was on the Llyn Clywedog nest early this morning and Dylan even popped in for a few minutes to join her later.

It is just incredible. Bonus continues to prove that he is a very special Black Stork! He flew from the nest in Estonia and spent the night in Latvia on the 27th. He has now flown through Lithuania and is in Belarus near Minsk. That was a total of 279 km.

Kaia, Bonus’s foster mother, remains in Belarus in the Prypjat Wetlands near Shestovicy.

So what intrigues me is this. If Kaia remains where she has been for the last several days since she flew north out of the Ukraine, is it possible that Bonus might also wind up in the same wetlands? Or will Bonus fly into the Ukraine? and remain there? or turn back north like Kaia? We should have our answer in a day or two.

Here is the distance shown by Google Maps:

Waba has begun the journey also and the tracker shows that he crossed into Latvia from Estonia on 28 August. He then flew a short distance.

I have received word that Karl II has left the nesting area in the Karula National Forest and has begun his migration. More on that to come tomorrow.

Victor has done so well since Dr Sharpe travelled to the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands to take him to be treated for zinc toxicity at the Ojai Raptor Centre. He has now been moved out to the big flight area! It just doesn’t get too much better than this until he is released. Wow. Victor. Way to go!

Looking forward to Lena and Andy at Captiva next year? or Connie and her mate? Window to Wildlife posted a 7 minute video about updates changes to the cameras, etc with some lovely pictures of Lena feeding the wee nestlings last year.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you so much to the following for their streaming cams, their videos, and their posts that make up my screen captures: RSPB, 367 Collins Street Falcons and Mirvac, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Dyfi Osprey Project, Tweed Valley Ospreys, Rutland Osprey Project, LWRT, CarnyxWild, Looduskalender, CIEL, and Window on Wildlife.

Ervie goes fishing, Egg 2 for Diamond and Xavier and more…Sunday morning in Bird World

28 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that each of you had a lovely Saturday. Thank you so much for joining me today!

From the Mailbox:

‘A’ asks: What is the average time difference or gap for Peregrine Falcons to lay their eggs? Diamond looks like she is ready today. Thank you, ‘A’. That is a very timely question as we sit staring at Diamond’s bottom for her tail feathers to begin to go up and down when she is in labour. In the nest notes that Cilla Kinross, the researcher at the Orange Falcon cam compiled, it says that the average time difference is 56 hours. As I write this, the time in Orange is 13:21 on Saturday. That egg is due anytime.

‘L’ asks: What is the purpose of molting? The feathers of our bird friends get damaged just like our clothes from normal living. They break and get tears. Moulting is the annual replacement of the feathers. In fact, think about it. Feathers are so important to birds – they keep them warm and dry and, of course, are needed for flying. They should be in tip top shape which is why birds spend so much time preening. Some birds begin to moult in the spring. Others wait until nesting has finished. Moulting is really hard on the birds and it is normally done when there is an unusually high level of prey so they can keep their energy up.

‘C’ writes: “I’m glad I helped with that information about galvanized steel that contains zinc. But in stainless steel, the component is chromium. Is it also bad for the health of birds? I searched very quickly, and in a very superficial search, I didn’t find anything that chromium is also bad for.” The information you provided was very useful. As one of our other readers ‘L’ writes there are some uses for zinc that are also helpful such as in ‘Zinc Ointment’ for baby rashes. I do not know a lot about chromium. It is also used in ceramics to make certain shades of green glazes and is highly toxic in its powdered form. It is not toxic after the pottery has been fired to a specific degree, however. — We assume that the things that we use for cooking are all ‘safe’. Sometimes it is only later we discover that there could be connections to specific ailments. However, if I had a beloved bird that lived in a cage – the cage wires would be stainless. We have a metal shop in our city that made all the SS backings for my kitchen and my island top. I am certain there are similar facilities in other cities where they could make the wires. I am still finding this whole zinc toxicity that impacted Victor very curious. I wish I knew more!

In the News:

The UK is still celebrating the arrival of more than 100 Hen Harriers.

The New York Times published the following article about how climate change will impact the birds we love and which are more likely to go extinct first. The cover shows the Kakapo and my readers know that the Kakapo Recovery Group is working hard to make sure that the flightless parrots survive. Today there are 205 of them on a couple of mall islands of New Zealand.

Nest News:

Chase showed up with a nice big fish and waited and waited on the Two Harbours nest for Lancer on Saturday morning around 10:38. Lancer never showed up. What a change it must be for the parents from nearly getting their talons torn off to sitting quietly to see if anyone will arrive. If you have left the territory, Lancer – soar high, be safe and always have a full crop!

Such dedicated eagle parents. Did you know that Chase & Cholyn have been together for 19 years?

Ferris Akel had a terrific tour on Saturday afternoon around Ithaca, New York. I was listening and doing other things until he got to the Cornell Campus where he caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on camera. Oh, it is lovely to continue seeing L2. According to Suzanne Arnold Horning, the latest a juvenile has been seen at the Cornell Campus is 28 August. L2 looks pretty comfortable. I wonder if she will shatter that record?

Arthur was hunting.

L2 could see Big Red in the distance when she was on the pole and was prey crying really, really loud. Since L2 was the second juvenile to catch her own prey in June I am imaging that Big Red’s answer to that is: “Get your own!”

Big Red looks a little ‘rough’. She is moulting. Like other Red-tail Hawks, Big Red undergoes a complete moult once a year. Normally, hawks begin their moult in spring and every feather has been replaced by September or October. Big Red, however, appears to begin her moult after the eyases fledge.

Xavier has been bringing Diamond some extra special treats during Sunday to help Diamond keep her energy up for the egg laying. One was an Eastern Rosella which is a very colourful parrot and the other was a nicely prepared pigeon. Diamond was excited for both!

The arrival of the Rosella meant that cute little Xavier could have some time with ‘eggie’.

Diamond had a very large crop when the pigeon arrived but she certainly wasn’t going to turn her nose up at that special food gift.

It is 13:57 in Orange and Diamond is sitting on the ledge of the scrape box while we wait and watch for an indication that the second egg might be arriving.

Diamond is back on the egg at 1400.

Diamond is very focused and she looks ‘heavy in the rear’. Egg 2 could be coming shortly. Diamond normally lays 3 eggs. For the past two years, only one egg has been viable each year.

Diamond laid egg #2 at 17:27. Yippppppeeee. Why am I so excited? Well, falcon eggs do not always hatch and for the last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only 1 out of 3 eggs hatch so it makes the chances better of having a successful hatch.

Xavier arrives at 17:33 to see the second egg and to bring Diamond her dinner. Notice that Diamond is being very careful. Falcons lay their eggs standing up. She is protecting the egg while the shell hardens in the air. The gap between eggs is 57 hours.

Diamond did not want to eat. She had already had two big meals. She remained in the scrape box. During the night she would sometimes incubate or, alternatively, stand above the eggs protecting them. Remember the Currawong know there are eggs in that scrape and they will eat them if the opportunity arises!

The Melbourne couple seem to be finished with three eggs and each takes turns incubating. Dad was very anxious to demonstrate that he was well seasoned in incubation. The Melbourne crew even made a video of the persuasion.

It is a very short and cute clip. Oh, do you ever wish you could speak falconese?

Friends of Osprey have posted some photographs of Ervie near the Marina where he had dived and caught the lovely fish he is eating. They were taken by Alex Ditton. Oh, goodness. It is always such a joyous occasion when someone shows us that Ervie is doing very well indeed! Check out the Friends of Osprey for more images of Ervie.

Kaia remains in Belarus around the Priypat River. This is what the area looks like where she is resting and fishing.

Bonus, the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika that was fostered with Kaia and Karl II has begun his migration. His tracker tells us that he traveled 109 km and is now in Latvia near the village of Vietalva.

Travel safe dear Bonus, fly high, stay out of the war zones, always have a stream full of frogs and fish — prosper.

There should be more news but it appears that all might have left for their winter homes from the Karula Forest nest of Kaia and Karl II. I will confirm this tomorrow.

Bonus was always a very special Black Storklet. He would not have survived without the intervention of Urmas and Dr Madis and his team. They would have died on the nest. Urmas’s foresight to provide fish baskets meant that everyone had lots of fish. A special thank you to all who donated towards the food for the nest.

The Dahlgren Osprey nest in the US has announced that the male, Jack, has not been seen for a few days so that now Harriet, the female, and the sole surviving fledgling from the nest in King George County are on their journey south.

No one has been seen at the Loch of the Lowes since yesterday. Laddie LM 12, Blue NC0 and both of the fledglings appear to also be heading south.

It was another successful year for Ospreys in Wales and John Williams gives us the run down in his last blow of the season for Llyn Clywedog. The numbers of Ospreys in Wales are growing. There are now 7 ‘known’ pairs who produced 17 chicks this year. John catches up with all the nest news.

John also produced a chart for all the chicks hatched at Llyn Clywedog – noting that there is simply too much grey. Were those chicks ever seen or not? Sometimes they do get missed.

Handsome Aran on the perch at the Glaslyn nest this morning. He remains bringing fish to the nest for the fledglings. Mrs G was still home as well today.

Handsome, Aran.

Emyr Evans has provided us with the data of the fledges at the Dyfi nest asking the question: what happened to Pedran? Emyr is great with statistics and this is a good read about migration and young fledglings.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/pedran-what-has-happened-her?fbclid=IwAR2nZUelKdPCJFEW-3PIjKlcohXunU9JSBevJA8wFl4XpT1ICR9H8O8bepA

Rosie was still on the perch at the SF Bay Osprey nest this morning! Brooks has not been seen at the nest for some time now – this is not alarming. She is out exploring!

Congratulations to Glacier Gardens. Both Love and Peace have fledged. Here is a video of that moment on 25 August when Peace took to the air. Congratulations for another successful year Liberty and Freedom!

Thank you so very much for joining me this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that you are doing well and I will look forward to having you with us again in Bird World.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their posts, and their videos that form my screen captures: The New York Times, Explore.org and IWS, Ferris Akel Tours, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Friends of Ospreys, Looduskalender, Dahlgren Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Williams and The Clywedog Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.