Caring for the Animals and Birds

There has been a real leap forward against animal cruelty. You may recall that several months ago, the home of Chris Packham in the New Forest had its gate burnt and a car set on fire. Packham has been leading the call for a banning of ‘the hunt’ on the grounds of animal cruelty. Today, trail hunting has been banned on all the land owned by Natural Resources in Wales. The amount of land is 362,456 acres or 146,681 hectares.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-59337295

Trail hunting is supposed to involve dogs and hounds following scent without actually harming, chasing, injuring, or killing a fox. It has been proven that this is not always the case and Wales said that they did not have the resources to police the land for those who do not follow the law so they are not outlawing the practice altogether. Recently, Packham demonstrated that one of the riders was unusually cruel to her horse – an incident filmed that went viral. In October, the National Trust in England outlawed trail hunting on its properties as well. This is a great move forward in outlawing any cruelty to animals.

Speaking of cruelty to animals, Animal Nation, has called for people to stop using doves and pigeons at memorial ceremonies. The birds are released and die or if they are lucky wind up in a wonderful centre to receive care. They are not bred to live in the wild. Please tell your friends. No wonder it was so easy for Dad to catch that dove and take it to try and feed his #4 chick at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne.

The text was too long so that I had to take two captures. If you know of anyone considering memorial doves or pigeons, please talk to them, respectfully, about the implications to the birds. This is tragic. Thank you.

Whenever it looks a little dark, there is always someone or a group of people doing a really good thing for the birds and animals. A Place Called Hope posted images of the new osprey platform going up in Branford, Connecticut. A pair of Osprey nicknamed the Pretzel Pair had a poor location for a nest and annual failures. The community hopes that this brand new platform on a telephone pole will attract the couple and that there will be fledglings next summer. How thoughtful!

Wow. A lot can be done when a few dedicated people get together to help our birds. The platform on the pole will be lifted into place tomorrow. Fingers crossed the osprey couple find this to their liking!

It is raining in Port Lincoln. The three lads are wet. This might calm their adrenalin. Falkey is eating the latest fish delivered after Mum retrieved an earlier fish that Bazza got from Dad and that Ervie managed to take later. (They both ate). It felt like a lesson that Mum was teaching them when she swooped in and grabbed that fish. Sadly, it is time to toughen them up for the real world – which I hope is not so full of ospreys that they do not thrive.

Little Yurruga is very interested in what is going on outside and below the scrape. She has given viewers today more than a little scare. It was only a year yesterday that her big brother, Izzi, fell out of the scrape!

For some time now, Cilla Kinross, the main researcher at this scrape box, believed Yurruga to be a female. Now with the fluffy down falling away, Kinross now believes Yurruga is a male. She showed images of Yurruga next to Diamond and said she would expect Yurruga to be much bigger at 41 days and she isn’t.

Do we really care? I think everyone wants a lively, beautiful, and successful falcon – male or female!

I have seen no news on Grinnell or on the release of the WBSE fledgling in Sydney.

Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week. Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams. That is where I took my screen shots. I would also like to thank A Place Called Hope for the posting and images of the new osprey platform at Branford. That is where I took my information and images.

Breakfast at 367 Collins Street!

It is 5 degrees C or 41 F on a grey Saturday on the Canadian Prairies. The Slate-Grey Juncos have departed and only a few brave souls are in the lilacs around the feeders. Even the squirrels and Mr Blue Jay seem to still be hunkered down and it is already mid-afternoon.

It is, however, morning in Australia. I have to hand it to the parents of the Collins Street Four, they are really working this year to keep these energetic and healthy eyases fed. Here is a two minute video clip of the first feeding of the day. Watch it all. You will notice that the chick on the far left really gets the first bites and this might cause you to worry that it would eat all the food but as the two minutes progress everyone is getting bites and that is how it is – they will all be fed. Another pigeon will come in shortly to top this one off!

For those Rutland Water fans reading this, sad news has come this morning. Blue 2AA known as Duracell has been killed. Duracell has been wintering in Portugal for the past five years and today, he landed on an unprotected hydro pole and was killed instantly. The authorities responded swiftly to cover the lines but, it is just devastating that an Osprey who has lived for six years navigating migration and poles should come to such a sad end – one that could be entirely avoided if every country had laws that required bird protections on hydro poles. I know that many of you are concerned and steps are being taken but, it generally takes a death of a beloved bird to bring about action. How about prevention?!

Speaking of preventions. I promised that I would do a full scale review of Chris Packham’s and Megan McCubbin’s book, Back to Nature. How to love life-and save it. I will do that but for now, if you live in the UK, I highly recommend this book. It is paperback and very inexpensive. It will give you great insights into what is really happening in the United Kingdom and why some things do not change. For those fans of Roy Dennis, Packham doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to to why the estates want to keep their grouse hunting and how the tax payer is their major subsidy. Why would taxpayers subsidize hunting I ask. Packham gets to the point and if you are a UK taxpayer, you need to understand the environmental issues at hand and the stakeholders.

If you visit or live in the UK, I invite you to look up Knepp Wildland Estate. It is 3500 acres south of Horsham, West Sussex. It is the vision of Charlie Burrell and Isabella Tree and is the only place you can hear turtle doves. Go to their website and read about what they have done to return the land back to the wild and if you haven’t read it, Isabella Tree’s book, Wilding will give you inspiration. Burrell and Tree have been influenced by the Dutch ecologist, Frans Vera.

https://knepp.co.uk/home

Here is the link to their page that talks about their vision. It is a good read.

https://knepp.co.uk/the-inspiration

I am a huge fan of their short videos showing the wildlife. Here is one of a White Stork but there is a host once you get to their website. I just know that you will enjoy them.

Here is another of the wild pigs and Robins.

And here is Isabella Tree talking about Rewilding – and how it can help save the environment, the wildlife, and us.

On my trip to Scotland next year to see the Ospreys I hope to find a way to get to Knepp as well as to Poole Harbour to see the Ospreys gather before migrating.

Everyone in the nests is fine today. It is just such a relief that all is going well. The individuals that run the cameras in Melbourne have said that they will not move the camera and have asked that this information be passed on. They have also asked that viewers not panic if they do not see all of the chicks. They would be out of sight but perfectly safe with Mum and Dad keeping watch over them. So I am passing it on. I know that we would really appreciate that other camera if the eyases decide to spend the majority of their time at that end. But, for now, let us be grateful to be able to watch this amazing family struggle with those four growing falcons!

Thank you for joining me today. Take care, be safe. Smile. See you soon.

Thank you to the Collins Street Falcon Cam by Mirvac for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip.

Port Lincoln Osprey check in

The Port Lincoln Osplets had a good fish day yesterday and I am expecting the same once Dad moves off the ropes and goes fishing.

After I finished my blog yesterday another fish landed on the nest at 12:47. It was a nice one and everyone of the osplets had a really good feed.

Can you tell which is which? From left to right: Middle, Little, and Big Bob. Middle and Big have more peach on the back of their head and neck and those feathers are slightly longer than Little’s (yesterday).

As is the tradition, Little Bob ate first with Big and Middle waiting their turns.

Last evening Dad delivered a fish at 18:41:15. The kids were sleeping and despite waking and having a look at a fish that close, they were not interested but Mum was. She ate and then Dad took the rest and was eating it on the ropes at 19:10:02.

It’s a new day. Mom has been fish calling and I presume that once Dad gets tired of listening, he will fly off and bring in breakfast.

Everyone is waiting patiently. One of the things I have noticed is that despite the books saying the chicks get interested in what is happening off the nest at four weeks, Middle Bob has certainly been doing some looking around.

There is he is looking off while Little and Big wait for the delivery that Mom believes is coming.

Fingers crossed. I will update your later but for now, everyone is behaving themselves.

A new book just arrived. It is my much anticipated Chris Packham, Back to nature. How to love life – and save it. Will give you a synopsis when I have finished it.

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

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.