Victor, Love is in the air in Australia…and did Dad really go head over heels?

30 July 2022

Good Morning everyone! I hope that your Saturday will be a good one and is already off to a nice start.

Bless their hearts. Friday hit 103 F in Osoyoos or 39.44 C. It had to be hotter on top of that Osprey platform. Gold stars go to Soo and Olsen who did the best they could in dire circumstances. Soo shaded the kids – she went for dips in the lake and came back to cool them. Olsen brought in one last fish for the day at 2031. They are alive- but the heat is not going to let up until Monday night.

It got me to thinking. If the chicks were flying they could go to the lake and cool off like the ones at McEuen Park in Idaho. Will the ospreys in this region adapt by arriving earlier – say a month? Even two weeks earlier for the dates the eggs would hatch would make the world of difference. It wasn’t the heat that caused Lena and Andy to adjust their breeding season on Captiva in Florida. For years the Crows predated their eggs, so this year Andy and Lena laid their eggs one month earlier than they had ever done before. The osplets were too big by the time the Crows came to do any harm. It was brilliant.

Soo trying so hard to keep her osplets cool.

No worse for wear – they seem to be watching something happening below on the grass.

Olsen has delivered nine fish at the Osoyoos nest before 0800. Loud cheers around the world. It is another scorcher there. Thanks to ‘AM’ – the 0753 delivery wasn’t wanted and Olsen got to enjoy it all to himself. Oh, keep this wonderful family in your thoughts.

It was equally as hot at the McEuen Park Osprey Platform in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Poor Mum. She is trying desperately to keep those big chicks shaded. Just look at them! Dedication.

There were some very unfortunate incidents on nest #4 in Finland yesterday. The cause is unknown by the female, the mother, turned on her osplets. One was on the nest and the other had fledged and returned. It was a frantic, crazed series of attacks that left you wondering if the female had gone crazy? did she think they were intruders and not her chicks? No one seems to have any answers. What is known is that fish is much needed on this nest. It does not have the level of deliveries as the Janakkalan nest does. Is this part of the issue? I was told by someone that I trust that he had seen a couple of these ferocious attacks in the past at other nests. The cause was never known and the nest settled down. — This is such a rare occurrence – an adult attacking their offspring at the fledge or near fledge state that it really does make you wonder what motivated the behaviour.

That is precisely what seems to have happened. Everything is much calmer.

Life appears to have returned to normal. Nuppu is an excellent mother. Positive wishes everyone – for fish and for calm.

Life is much calmer at the Janakkalan Nest since the intruding female that wanted to play at being a Mum left the area some days ago. Dad continues bringing in really good sized fish. One chick has fledged and the other continues to do some flapping. It is interesting that the one that can fly tends to stay on the nest with the other – eating and sleeping. They occasionally look around. So far they have been safe from the goshawk in the area. Unfortunately, we cannot see when Dad has to go into high alert as the nest’s security guard.

‘H’ sent a video showing another fantastic tug -o-war at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey platform in Delaware. This time the chick that missed out earlier got the fish on Friday. Well done. These two are really preparing for the real world of fledglings. Thank you, ‘H’.

Life on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest appears to be settling down. There is lots of food and Lady continues to feed the two at least every hour. You can almost set your alarm to the feedings. This really eases the issue of food insecurity and SE29 is clearly beginning to relax about any issues of dominance. I did not take a clip of every feeding but my goodness, there was sure a lot of harmony on this nest – most welcome! The eaglets are nothing short of adorable and it is an amazing nest to watch – the only sea eagle cam in the world.

Mum and Dad have been on the nest on the Port Lincoln barge most of the day. No Ervie in sight.

There was a very strange incident on the nest today. I made a video clip because – well, you will know when you watch it why it was difficult to figure out what was going on. Dad is in the nest digging out the nest cup. Mum flies in. Just watch…I promise you that you have never seen Dad in either of the two positions!

I wonder if Mum beaked him to see if he was alive? or to get him to turn over? Dad flies away fine. Here the pair are later in the afternoon.

On their FB page, Port Lincoln posted the following map of Ervie’s travels. I thought it quite intriguing that they say Ervie returned to the barge. Was he on the wheelhouse? I could not see him but, gosh, if he was there would love a photo!

Now that the Ospreys are mostly fledged and gaining fat for their first migrations which will begin sooner than we wish in the Northern Hemisphere, you can switch your attention to this nest in Port Lincoln Australia. I will not call it an easy nest to watch. Last year was marvellous – three lads no female – . Bazza, Falky, and our dear Ervie. There is a history of siblicide which you can read about and 2020 was rather difficult but still, I would give it a chance. There is a loyal group of chatters that are simply marvellous. The owners of the barge and Fran Solly, Take2Photography, provide loads of information and photographs. The chicks are always ringed and for the last two seasons one has received a GPS transmitter.

There is certainly love in the air at the scrape on the water tower at Sturt University in Orange. Xavier has been upping the treats for Diamond including an Eastern Rosella today. In the image below, you can see Diamond quick on his heels — a lovely treat. After watching Diamond for some years, you learn that she really does have her favourite prey items and sometimes if a European Starling appears, she just looks at Xavier and flies out disgusted. It is too funny.

I adore these two. For the past couple of years they have had only one egg hatch. In 2020 it was the ever adorable Izzi who got to fledge/fledge 3 times – he fludged and was brought back to the box, he fledged but hit a window and went to rehab and was returned to the box, and then he flew. But he loved being taken care of and everyone began to wonder if he would ever leave. Eventually Diamond put her talons down and he did. We all miss him terribly. Sadly, Little Yurruga did not survive after fledgling last year. She got caught in a horrific storm and is believed to have perished because of it. Her body was never found.

Xavier has been doing some rather dynamic scraping in the scrape creating the indentation where Diamond will lay her eggs.

There are several cameras – two in the scrape box and one so that you can follow the adults and fledglings flying around the water tower. Here is the link to one of them. There is a great chat group here as well.

This is an Eastern Rosella -the bird that Xavier brought to Diamond for her treat.

Eastern Rosella” by zosterops is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

An update on Victor who is doing well. It appears that he had elevated zinc levels. He is still being hand fed but is improving. Lovely article. Have a read:

Please keep these amazing bird families in your thoughts today – especially those in the Pacific NW that are struggling with horrifically hot weather and those in care like our dear Victor. Thank you for joining me this morning. Please do take care of yourselves also – if you live in the extreme heat areas drink lots of fluids. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, postings, etc. which have become my screen captures and videos: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sydney Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sturt Falcon Cam, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and ‘H’.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

19 July 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

We woke up to more rain with the promise of tornadoes in some parts of the Canadian prairies. When I first moved to Canada, tornadoes were rare – something that I knew a lot about coming from Oklahoma where F4s are the norm. Now everyone knows what the word ‘tornado’ means. It is 21 degrees C – almost half of what it is in parts of the UK and Europe. I am grateful for the rain – wells are full and so are lakes – instead of a drought and fire. The garden birds are happy today. Way too hot yesterday. Thunderstorms are headed to Llyn Clywedog in Wales but it looks like Glaslyn will be spared. The temperature at Heathrow Airport hit 40.2 C, a record. My thoughts go out to all the animals – human and not – around the world who are experiencing drought, massive flooding, fires, heat, or all of the above. We live in very challenging times.

In Finland, the female has returned to the Janakkalan nest. I have been missing her visits. Thank you ‘C’ for the time stamp. Reviewing footage, the Mum of the two beautiful osplets has tried to eat but she cannot keep the food down. She appears to be weak and tired. Her ‘ps’ is like water – not thick cream. It is so sad but we must be thankful that the chicks appear to be healthy, regardless. Dad is bringing in plenty of fish. One can eat well and the other one is getting there. There are, of course, fish squabbles and both wish their Mum was well and was feeding them. Send positive wishes to this nest – for Mum, so the chicks don’t get sick, for plenty of fish, and for cool weather as Mum is not able to shade the babies if it gets hot as she is normally not on the nest. This is a good thing since it appears that she could have trichomonosis which is highly contagious.

Rain is falling on the Ironwood Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Mum is keeping SE29 nice and warm and we are waiting to see where SE30 is in the hatching process.

Very first bites of fish for SE29. Sweet.

The last osplet, Farne, has fledged from nest 1A at Kielder at 11:10. The Mum of the three fledglings, Mrs YA, has a real task ahead of her keeping these fed. This may hinder her own preparation for getting her weight and fat levels up for migration. I wonder what will happen at the time of migration? Normally the UK females leave earlier than the males leaving the Dads to feed the young ones for 2-3 weeks. Once the fledglings fly south the Dad will leave.

Thanks to Suzanne Arnold Horning we still have wonderful images of Big Red and Arthur’s Ls flying around campus, accepting prey drops, and catching their own.

Cutie Pie L4. Notice that the juvenile hawks have the loveliest blue eyes, sometimes blue-green or blue-green. As they mature, those baby blues will turn dark espresso brown.

Brooks flew off the nest on the morning of the 18th and has not returned. Richmond and Rosie are on the nest. I wish we had some understanding on what happened to Molate. GGA said that they will not retrieve Molate’s body while Brooks is still in the area. So sad for this lovely Osprey couple in their beautiful nest on SF Bay.

Golden Gate Audubon mentioned that some of the chicks in this area actually go to other Osprey nests where they are fed. This apparently happened in 2018 when one of Richmond and Rosie’s chicks moved to another nest and was fed and stayed there until he left the area. That was Brisa.

At the Glaslyn nest of Aran and Mrs G, it appears that Blue 498 fledged this morning. Congratulations! The only chick remaining on the Glaslyn nest is 499!

Both of the fledglings sitting on Aran and Mrs G’s perch! Gosh, they look like they are going to be dark like Mum.

Padarn and Paith on the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn. Pedran fledged on the 15th of July. Waiting for these two to test their wings. Gosh, look at that crest. Gorgeous.

All of the chicks of Dylan and Seren’s at Llyn Clywedog have now fledged. what a fabulous year for this nest!

Dorcha continues to look quite fine after the scare with the blood on her abdomen/leg the other day. Louis continues to get the fish on the nest and the weather looks pretty good today. It is about 24 there today.

One of Blue 33 and Maya’s girls was on the Manton Bay nest this morning fish crying to Dad. These were the first to fledge and it is rare to catch them on the nest at Rutland.

Annie and Alden, the Peregrine Falcon couple on The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley might be wishing that Lindsay and Grinnell Jr would find their own territory!

What a gorgeous sunrise on the Channel Islands West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta this morning. Thunder even came to the nest and paid a visit at 05:45.

Everything looks good at the Boathouse Osprey nest of Dory and Skiff on Hog Island this morning. It is going to get pretty hot on Hog Island today…going up to 28 or 29 C with a 50% chance of rain.

No one slept on the Mispillion Osprey nest by the harbour in Delaware. Later Mum is on the nest with one of the fledglings feeding it and then enjoying some fish herself. I am surprised the other fledgling is not rushing in for some of that fish.

According to the chatters, fish of various sizes ranging from tiny to a little bigger arrived at 0501, 0516, 0534, and again at 0650 for Mum and the two osplets on the Osoyoos nest in British Columbia. Dad is making up in numbers what he isn’t able to supply in size with the heat in the region. Looks like it will be up to 33 C later today — it is 18 degrees C now. What a difference. Mum will be shading her babies!

I have seen no updates on Victor or Little Bit ND17 so far. It is 0939 CDT. All of the nests look fine but two which are worrisome. One is the nest in Finland which took a turn for the worst with one chick dying of starvation. The two older chicks, realizing that fish was at hand, learned to self-feed. There is also worry for Mrs YA at Kieldner nest 1A – how will she get herself in good condition to migrate while tending to all the chicks? Send them all your best wishes – and also for Brooks. I hope that he is safe and being fed elsewhere or that he gets himself home.

Thank you for being with me today. Take care. Stay cool if you are in an area of extreme heat. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their photos, videos, or their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Suzanne Arnold Horning, SF Ospreys and GGA, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch of Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LRWT, Cal Falcons, Explore.org and IWS, Explore and Audubon, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and DDNR, and Osoyoos Ospreys.

Monday in Bird World

There is news coming this morning from everywhere so this blog might feel a little disjointed.

In Canada, Prince Edward Island veterinary surgeons at the Atlantic Veterinary College will be the first to try and replace a broken spinal column in a Bald Eagle!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-bald-eagle-surgery-1.6263782

A Eurasian Hobby has been seen for the first time in Australia. The tiny raptor is similar to the Australian Hobby. The bird has been named Hubert and is the care of a veterinary due to a wing injury. Raptor specialists believe that the arrival of this bird is associated with climate change.

Jean-Marie Dupart has provided his Osprey count along the coast in Senegal and the word he used was ‘incredible.’ 950 Ospreys have been counted for the month of November along the coast and marsh.

Chris MacCormack at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head announced that 29 eggs have been candled and all are fertile. Seven more to go!

Most of you will be aware of the flooding – and the continual flooding – in British Columbia, Canada. It is also flooding and tearing up highways and rail lines in parts of Eastern Canada. Mother Nature is not happy. Yesterday I listened to a conversation with Dr Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock, Hancock Wildlife, about the flooding and its impact on the wildlife. I tried to embed that link and the system that Christian is using will not allow me to do that – or even post it! So I will give you some of the highlights – they are very enlightening and sobering.

Sumas Lake was the largest wildlife area in Northwest North American prior to the nineteenth century. Millions of birds stopped at Sumas Lake coming and going from the Arctic. One of the attractions was the intense number of mosquitoes which were food for the wildlife but were highly annoying to the people of the area. The Indigenous Population lived on stilt houses because they recognized that the area flooded from time to time.

Wikimedia Commons

The area flooded the Fraser Valley before 1894. There was another huge flood that came down the Fraser River in 1948.

Wikimedia Commons

Sumas Lake was drained and pump stations installed so that people could build on the flood plain. In 1990 and now in 2021, the main highway connecting Canada, the Trans-Canada or number 1 highway, has flooded. Dave Hancock was unequivocal: The Sumas Lake wants to be Sumas Lake! The flooding this year was compounded by the waters from the US flowing into the Fraser River. The Nooksak River.

Today 35-50,000 Bald Eagles winter in the Fraser Valley. They are in dire straits. They have lost their supply of food, the salmon, because of the flooding. The large land mammals could walk out (perhaps) but the smaller mammals and rodents which many falcons and hawks live on were drown in the flood waters. Dave Hancock is proposing that the carcasses of the dead cattle that are normally sent to Alberta to be burnt in the Tar Sands be kept in British Columbia. He is suggesting that half a dozen feeding stations be set up with these carcasses for the Bald Eagles. Hancock reminds everyone that the eagles are clever and will find the feeding stations. He also said that once the flood waters are pumped out the eagles will also find the carcasses of the salmon.

I like Dave Hancock. This man loves wildlife and the Bald Eagles and he doesn’t hold back any punches. He says the balance of nature has been lost in the area. The heat that the region experienced in the summer was just another indication of the impact of climate change. He says as it continues to warm the bird and fish eggs will not be viable. They are really susceptible to the slightest change in temperature. He reminded everyone that heat stress killed many raptors during the summer of 2021 as did the raging wildfires in the same area as the flooding. Several raptors were saved. Hancock Wildlife Foundation put trackers on them. He said once they were out of rehab they flew straight north to Alaska. Hancock wonders if they will return to British Columbia. It was a very sobering conversation and one that continually emphasized how human degradation of the environment is causing a huge shift to the extreme weather conditions impacting the birds and animals. Christian Sasse asked Dave Hancock if he had a solution and Hancock said, ‘It is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.’ He continued, ‘There are far too many people in the world. Human animals need to stop breeding.’

This is the link to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. (He is Canada’s equivalent of Roy Dennis!). You can find the tracking information and the live streaming cams that the Foundation supports.

There has been an update by Cilla re Yurruga:

Nov 29: “No sign of Yurruga today. I looked for him at the roost trees this afternoon after seeing a raptor (possibly Diamond) there earlier (too far for photo). I’ve looked every day, but he’s not been seen since last Thursday when spotted on a roof. It’s of concern, but he might simply be well hidden.”

Speaking of Peregrine Falcons, their range is expanding and they are returning to upper New York State. Some of you, if you have gone on Ferris Akel’s tour, will have seen the Peregrine Falcons roosting on the Bradfield Building near to where Arthur and Big Red normally roost. Here is a great article about this change.

I am not seeing any other updates on raptors we have been monitoring this Monday morning.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my images: Jean-Marie Dupart FB posting, NZ DOC Royal Albatross Centre FB, and Wikimedia Commons.

Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, rising water temperatures all impact our beloved birds

Is there anyone who is not aware of extreme heat that is in the Pacific Northwest? or the fact that the rivers and creeks are drying up? and the temperature of the water is getting hotter?

The Montana Osprey Project has just posted the following:

“In order to reduce the stress and disturbance on these fish, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has placed fishing restrictions on many rivers in Montana, including parts of the Clark Fork River, Big Hole River, Gallatin River, Madison River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson River, Ruby River and others. The trout populations in parts of the Clark Fork River (and other rivers) have dropped to fractions of their former sizes. The low water and warming temperatures are suspected to play a big role in these population declines.”

The river temperatures in Montana are at 75 degrees F. The authors of the FB Montana Osprey Project posting state that they will “not immediately kill the trout” but a long exposure could kill up to 50% of the fish. That is why they took such drastic actions. Those warm waters impact all the fish that the Ospreys consume including the grand dame, Iris. The authors say that they will follow up with a report on what they believe declining fish numbers due to heat will have on the Osprey populations.

“Mountain in a town” by Bitterroot is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There has been much discussion about the impact of weather systems on our birds and all of us are watching Elsa. My inbox has been full of queries – for which I am very grateful. It shows the love and concern we all have for these gorgeous fish hawks (and the other birds).

I wanted to find out what had happened to the birds on the island in the Caribbean where my son lives – Grenada. The year before he moved to Grenada, 2004, there were two hurricanes that hit the island directly, Ivan and Emily. Each struck the island. Ivan was slow and deadly churning over the islands of the Atlantic for twenty-three days. Ivan was enormous sustaining winds of 165 mph or 270 kph. It was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 season and destroyed the growing economy of Grenada. The palm trees lining one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its pure white sand, Grand Anse, were uprooted. Most houses lost their roofs. An old timer told me that they called the hurricane ‘Ivan Rufus’. People were in their houses and the roofs went spinning off. Centuries old nutmeg trees were destroyed along with much of the bird populations and their source of food. The worst hit were the birds that feed on nectar, fruit, and seeds. Nests in the forest were destroyed and breeding was delayed.

There is a really good article that my son sent me today that is called, “The effects of hurricanes on birds, with special reference to Caribbean Islands” by J.W. Wiley and J. M. Wunderle. It was printed in Bird Conservation International. While the article does deal with the Caribbean, it brings much insight to what could happen along the US Southern Coast.

Elsa is predicted to stay as a Tropical Storm so, as you do read the pages, please keep that in mind. There is nothing pointing to Elsa gaining strength to become a hurricane. Tiny Tot should weather the storm fine. She will be soaked and that nest could be missing some twigs but it should also have been built using hurricane standard methods. Still, all of us will keep watch and send warm wishes that all of the birds and wildlife are not impacted.

I am attaching the article here if any of you are interested. The same information could be applied to areas hit by hurricanes in the US.

At 4:55:17, Jack delivered Tiny Tot a really nice fish! Thank you, dad.

It looks like Mrs G gave up on Aran and went and got her own fish today!

At the Lyn Clywedog Nest, Seren has decided for their great Big Bob to see if he can begin self feeding. That is a really nice fish that Dylan brought in. Like all moms, Seren will give in and help Only Bob but he is giving it a good go before asking for help.

There is an easy way to deal with the rising temperatures, the droughts, and the declining fish stocks for the birds that rely solely on fish stocks for food. The first is for humans to take responsibility for climate change. Then build fish farms for these birds – not for humans, for the birds. When the Ospreys migrate to places in the northern part of South America, such as Columbia, they are often shot for stealing from the farms. So we know that they will get fish out of tanks – so build them if they are needed and put some enthusiasm behind the word ‘Conservation’.

That’s it for a hot Sunday in Canada. I do not know where the birds are that generally hang out in my garden but they are still not arriving and it is nearly 7pm. There is lots of water and food. Hopefully they will come soon.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me. Continue to monitor Elsa as she moves towards Florida. Stay safe Tiny Tot!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Lyn Clywedog and Carnyx Wild, Achieva Credit Union, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn. Thank you to my son for finding the academic article on the impact of hurricanes on our birds. So appreciated.

Featured image is Mrs G on the Glaslyn Osprey Nest, 4 July 2021.

Checking up on the state of the UK Osprey nests after the storm

The fall out from the force 11 winds and heavy rain in the UK continues to take its toll on the Osprey nests in the UK. Is the unseasonal weather a symptom of the climate changing? And how do the Ospreys cope when there is so much rain that the water is murky and the males cannot fish?

It has now been no less than 24 hours since Mrs G and the two osplets on the Glaslyn Nest had any food. The nest has been besieged by crows and Aran, the male, is protecting Mrs G and the babies.

Mrs G is screaming at Aran to get food for her and now three Bobs! It is now past 18:00 in Wales. Aran is hopefully off fishing. Mrs G cannot do anything because of the Crows. Send your warm wishes to them.

In many instances, the water has been so murky that the males cannot see to fish. Yesterday, Laddie (LM12) was only able to bring in a twiddler of a fish to the nest. Many feared that the two little ones would not survive the night. Laddie made up for it this morning by delivering a whopper to Nessie, Blue NC0 and the Two Bobs.

The third egg is due to hatch. A shell from an earlier hatch has slipped over the third egg – but that is on the small end it is believed. Most chicks begin pipping through the bigger end of the egg.

This nest is set for awhile. This is an enormous relief. Nessie is a first time mom.

Wow. I am so glad that I checked on Nessie and the Bobs at Loch of the Lowes before I closed. Bob 3 is hatching!

Laddie stayed on the nest so that Nessie could have a break and also eat some fish. You are doing a great job! Nessie has handled the weather and the Bobs just like she is an old timer at raising osplets not a first time mom.

One of the tragedies has been the death of chick 2 at the Dyfi Nest. You may recall that Telyn really had received some of the worst rain and wind. Idris brought in a fish and Telyn was feeding Bob 1 as Bob 2 was hatching. Sadly, it appears that chick 2 suffocated about eight hours after it was born. Meanwhile, E3 is set to hatch tomorrow.

The weather has calmed at Rutland and Blue 33 landed a big one for the Two Bobs this morning. Everything is fine or should I say, super fine, on that nest.

Now that the weather has calmed in Wales, Seren and Dylan at the Clywedog nest have had to content with human intruders in the nest area! Seren took a very short break while Dylan incubated the eggs. She returned in about three minutes! Hatch is coming.

I really feel for the Ospreys – the weather has been highly problematic for the past 48 hours. In Scotland, they said they felt they had returned to winter without having much of a spring, summer, or fall!

Thank you for joining me this morning. I will be keeping an eye on the Glaslyn Nest and Mrs G and Aran. I hope he brings in a whopper giving some hope for the Bob’s survival.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Dfyi Osprey Project, Llyn Clywedog Osprey and CarnyxWild Wales, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, LRWT, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

There are some bright spots in the bird world

There is been much sadness in the world of birds. But there is also a lot of happiness. The sheer joy that our feathered friends have given to millions trapped inside their rooms or homes this past year, during the pandemic, is to be celebrated. Over and over again I heard from people with physical disabilities who were entirely empathetic with the situation that WBSE 26 found itself in when no one thought she would be able to walk, never mind fly. Many said that seeing that little bird try so hard gave them the courage not to give up. Those letters were really heart warming. A woman in England told me that she was bedridden and dying of liver cancer but getting up in the morning and watching first the hawks in Ithaca and then the falcons in Melbourne gave her strength. And from my last post, you will know that the sea eagles and Daisy were the reason my friend, Phyllis, got up in the morning. So, never underestimate the power that nature has in lifting spirits. Daisy brought us so much joy and while we are distraught that she did not get to see her precious eggs hatch into ducklings, we are thankful for the time we got to learn about her and the behaviour of all the other birds around her, including the sea eagles. They were simply perplexed! I am most happy to know that Daisy is safe.

Tonight there is word from the wildlife clinic that handles SW Florida, CROW, that the little eaglets, E17 and E18 might be well enough from their eye infections to be returned to their parents, Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers tomorrow. That is wonderful news. The parents wait on the branch of the nest tree for the little ones to return.

Waiting for E17 and E18 to come home.

People noticed the little ones eyes getting more and more crusty. Reports went in and permission was given to retrieve them. The little ones are doing well on the antibiotics. Thrilling that they might be rejoined with Harriet and M15 so soon.

In New Zealand, the Royal Cam chick is growing by leaps and bounds. There the Royal Albatross have round the clock care. Once the eggs begin to pip they are moved inside to an incubator to hatch and a dummy egg placed under the parent. Once the little one has hatched it is returned. The reason for this is fly strike. The rangers continually check the chicks twice a day weighing them and doing supplemental feeds for any chicks or parents that need it. Nothing is left to chance. The New Zealand Department of Conservation and the people love their birds. They are aware of how much climate change has impacted the wildlife and they are doing everything possible to not allow any declines in populations.

LGL feeding his chick.
A good look at the new Royal Cam chick for 2021.
LGL and LGK watch as Ranger Sharyn weighs their chick.

The little Royal Albies are so tiny that they are weighed in a sock. But they grow so fast that they quickly outgrow that and move to the laundry basket! Parents take turns on the nest. One heads out to sea to feed while the other ones remains at Taiaroa taking care of the chick. When the chick is old enough, it is left on its own while both parents forage at sea. This is such an exhausting process that the Royal Albatross only have a chick every two years.

The chicks are fed from squid in a second stomach of the parent which is regurgitated in a rich oily liquid that helps the baby grow. The little one learns right away that tapping the bill of their parent will stimulate this process. When the Albie is older and can walk but not fly, they run to meet their parents so they can have some squid shake.

If you are interested in watching the Royal Albatross, Cornell University and the NZ DOC support a 24/7 cam. You can find it at:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/royal-albatross/

If you are interested in Bald Eagles, I suggest you go to the American Eagle Federation’s page on youtube where there are many 24/7 cameras. You can find them at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/BaldEagleInfo

Thank you for joining me today. Birds and wildlife enrich our lives. I cannot imagine a world without them!

Tomorrow I am going to review three new books for all your bird lovers!