Fall to winter

The beautiful weather that we had on the Canadian Prairies yesterday was due to dramatically change over night.

Footpath linking Portage Avenue with Assiniboine Park over the Assiniboine River

Our weather will go from nice blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures to snow and then snow mixed with rain. It is currently 0 degrees C and will warm up to a balmy 2 degrees C in the morning when the precipitation begins. My daughter messaged me to tell me there were still some Canada Geese and ducks in the Assiniboine River. It seemed like a good time to get out and go for one last nice walk.

The little Red Squirrel at Assiniboine Park knows that the warmth is not going to last. It was busy pulling off the seeds from a Maple tree and cramming them into holes and in the grooves in the bark of a tree. He was so busy he did not even notice the people standing and watching him.

The geese were looking for any blade of grass to eat they could find.

Some were in the duck pond flapping their wings trying to stir up the plants from the bottom of the pond.

Others were simply enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the warm sunshine.

It gets dark around 17:00 and as I was leaving some of the geese were flying away. Are they heading south for the winter?

I really hope that the geese and ducks got out of the City last night like the ones above taking flight. As promised, we have snow. Mr Blue Jay has come to visit and the sparrows are trying to find seed under the snow.

There are many feeders filled with sunflower chips, suet, black oil sunflower seeds, and then that wonderful ‘trail’ mix which looks better than what I make.

The sparrows in the snow on the deck know there are goodies underneath. Why they are not back at the feeders I cannot tell you. There is room for everyone there.

What a handsome little House Sparrow this fellow is. You can always tell them by their grey caps!

So how do birds cope with winter? This article was published by Daisy Yuhas in 2013 but it is still accurate now. Have a read – it is really interesting:

“Each autumn as many birds begin epic journeys to warmer climates, there are always some species that stay put for the winter. These winter birds have a better chance of maintaining their territory year-round, and they avoid the hazards of migration. But in exchange they have to endure the cold.Like us, birds are warm blooded, which means their bodies maintain a constant temperature, often around 106 degrees Fahrenheit. To make enough heat, and maintain it, they’ve evolved many different strategies–some similar to our own.Sparrows, for example, seek out shelter in dense foliage or cavities to avoid the elements. They also huddle, bunching together to share warmth, and try to minimize their total surface area by tucking in their head and feet and sticking up their feathers. Cardinals, impossible to miss against the snow, and other smaller birds puff up into the shape of a little round beach ball to minimize heat loss.”Big birds, like geese and grouse, do what we do,” says physiologist David Swanson at the University of South Dakota. “They put on insulation.” Their insulation often involves growing an extra set of insulating downy feathers.Birds can also put on fat as both an insulator and energy source: More than 10 percent of winter body weight may be fat in certain species, including chickadees and finches. As a result, some birds spend the vast majority of their daylight hours seeking fatty food sources, making feeder food even more precious for surviving a frosty night.When asked which birds are toughest winter survivors, Swanson points to little ones like chickadees. These small creatures can’t put on too much bulk for aerodynamic reasons. Instead, explains Swanson, they are experts in shivering. This isn’t the familiar tremble that mammals use to generate heat. Birds shiver by activating opposing muscle groups, creating muscle contractions without all of the jiggling typical when humans shiver. This form of shaking is better at retaining the bird’s heat.Another adaptation shared by many species is the ability to keep warm blood circulating near vital organs while allowing extremities to cool down. Take gulls. They can stand on ice with feet at near-freezing temperatures while keeping their body’s core nice and toasty.Keeping warm when the sun is up is one thing, but few winter challenges are more daunting than nightfall, when temperatures drop and birds must rely on every adaptation they have to survive their sleep. Some birds save energy by allowing their internal thermostat to drop. Hummingbirds are a famous example of this, undergoing torpor nightly as their body temperature drops close to outside temperatures. But torpor is not too common in winter birds, because the morning warm up would take too much extra energy. Instead, black-capped chickadees and other species undergo a more moderate version of this, reducing their body temperature as much as 22 degrees Fahrenheit from their daytime level in a process called regulated hypothermia.One simple way to help birds when the weather outside is frightful is to hang feeders. To attract a diversity of birds, select different feeder designs and a variety of foods. A tube feeder filled with black oil sunflower or mixed seeds, for example, will attract chickadees and finches. Woodpeckers devour suet feeders. And a safflower or sunflower-filled hopper feeder entices the usual visitors plus larger birds like cardinals and red-winged blackbirds. The birds benefit from the backyard buffet, and you’ll have a front-row seat to numerous species flocking to your plants and feeders.” Some raptor species, lower their body temperatures. More on that another day as we shift from fall to winter.

It is not clear how many birds are on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. The Mum was there overnight with one – the one with some floof still on its back and wings in the scrape box below. There were two. Where is the other one? at the other end? flown off? difficult to tell. The one on the scrape box has just vocalized and headed down the gutter. I suspect it could be breakfast.

It is almost flying along the gutter now.

Fledging will be happening soon down in Port Lincoln and if you want to see how a hungry falcon acts just go over to the scrape in Orange. Yurruga is a week younger than the eyases in Melbourne. It is really foggy in Orange this morning so breakfast could be delayed. That link is:

Look for a lot of wing exercises and hovering from the trio at Port Lincoln. Ervie was doing a fabulous job yesterday.

Oh, I am really going to miss these lads when they fly to find their own way. Last year it was this Osprey nest that almost put me off my interest in third hatch ospreys. Siblicide is horrific. And it is this same nest (along with Achieva and Foulshaw Moss) that gives me hope that things can turn around for the good for the chicks. It has been incredible this season.

It is time for some hot tea. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Checking on the birds

Oh, how they have entertained us. How we waited to see if that fourth egg would hatch. How we watched as Dad was incubating during the earthquake. It has been quite the season with the Melbourne Peregrine falcons. Today, there is another nice article on the 367 Collins Street Falcons today. I have attached it in case you missed it!

We are so lucky that the four of them have decided to come out so that we can see them. Those downy feathers are disappearing quickly and they look like grown up falcons capable of taking on the skies of Melbourne -for awhile – til Mom and Dad boot them out. Certainly Mom and Dad have been doing flying demonstrations trying to lure them into thinking about taking the leap! They are a little over 5 weeks old today. Forty days and onward is approximate for fledging.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/for-melbourne-s-falcons-and-their-fans-a-new-domestic-drama-20211001-p58who.html?fbclid=IwAR1bgeKR4w2H622TETCdcJ0r0bgzLtVEE9BoK_35wrlcuWA4b0BzJ9VC0JI

Over in Orange, or should I say ‘up’ in Orange, Yarruga was one hungry chick waiting for supper that did not arrive. S/he had two feedings yesterday so she is going to be ravenous when breakfast arrives. There is no need to worry, though. She had a nice crop, larger than Diamond’s and Yarruga will not starve. In the world of raptors there are days of plenty and days of naught. Little ones need to learn that, too. Yarruga is 28 days old today. Four weeks.

Diamond was seen putting her entire weight on her right leg in the middle of the night to clean her talons. This is very good news. She has moved over to the ledge to grab some sleep before dawn and Diamond seems to be doing much better. How grand.

The Port Lincoln osplets are sound asleep. Little Bob is 50 days old today – while the two big siblings are 52 days old. We will be keeping an eye on those numbers because last year Solly fledged at 65 days (in the Northern Hemisphere it is 49 days onward). Solly was banded at 47 days and DEW at 46. On Monday, 8 November, these three will be banded, named, measured, and at least one will get a tracker. They are just wonderful – the three of them. I am surely going to miss this nest – perhaps the most civilized brood I have ever seen.

There is sadly some commotion going on at Taiaroa Head. Our beloved OGK may have realized that his mate, YRK, is not returning. He tried to mate – rather vigorously – with BOK who is also waiting for her mate to return. Being the gentleman that he is, OGK, returned to apologize in the Albatross way by doing a sky call with BOK later.

If it happens that YRK, Pippa Atawhai’s mum, does not return, it will not be from old age but from being caught in the lines of the fishing trawlers. I hope that you will think about our beloved Pippa and what a horrible death that would be – and it is entirely preventable! I feel rather gutted because these are all useless deaths that never have to happen. An albatross does not need to be decapitated every 5 minutes! The fixes are really easy. They include setting the lines at night, line weighting, and bird scaring lines. Some organizations are supplying these measures for free to the boats. The deaths are preventable. There needs to be international laws. Every country needs to stand up and demand that the fishing factories take these simple steps or not be able to fish. Write letters, phone your political representative – do it for Pippa. Then check out what the RSPB is doing. They are working alongside the Albatross Task Force to help end bycatch. Check out their website, ask who to contact. And remember – writing e-mails does help. Public pressure helps.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/policy-insight/marine-and-coastal/saving-seabirds-globally/the-albatross-task-force/

The Bald Eagles are really busy working on their nests in the US while the ones who came to Manitoba for their summer breeding are very slowly making their migration. Images of 30 or 40 along the river in my City have been posted locally the last few days but are not available to share beyond the Manitoba Birding and Photography FB page. I still have a few Slate Grey Juncos and today that meant a trip to the seed seller to get some more Husked Millet for them. The day is just starting in Australia and New Zealand so no telling what will happen. I long for YRK to fly in and just land on OGK’s head! That would be a rather dramatic entrance fitting for this very patient male who has been working on a nest for about six weeks now. No doubt Yarruga is going to be screaming for breakfast! I will post the updates on Grinnell tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, thank you for joining me and take care everyone.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Less can be more

Hopefully today’s ramblings will make a point on how to help our birds. Bear with me. I love to tell stories and revisit memorable moments.

More than a decade and a half ago, I was in Beijing teaching some special workshops at the International School and also giving lectures on the history of Chinese ceramics. Yes, you read that correctly. A Canadian was in China talking about Chinese pottery! I had been there several times before and always enjoyed myself and treasured the friendships that I made. This particular visit I was staying in a hutong that had been converted into a small guest house. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard houses, many torn down now. During breakfast I met a very interesting lady whose name was Fanny Farkles. She had retired from owing a restaurant, catering, and cooking school in New York City. I asked her, being terribly curious, what she was going to purchase and take with her as a reminder of her time in Beijing. What she told me has stuck with me. She said, ‘I spent the first 50 years of my life acquiring stuff and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it’. Instead of ‘something’ she was going for an experience – a 17 course Ming-Dynasty meal fit for the emperor.

It wasn’t until later that I fully grasped the wisdom of what Farkles was saying but when I did, it hit me hard and, like all great insights, you wish you could turn back the clock and start again sometimes. Stuff. This coming year I will be spending much time finding new homes for ‘the stuff’. Thankfully, my resolution for 2021 was not to buy any new books. I almost made it had it not been for Chris Packham’s Back to Nature or Emyr Evans, Monty. Almost any book can be purchased used from a myriad of international sellers but not those two when I checked.

Speaking of Emyr Evans’s book on Monty, the DFYI on line shop is now open. If you are interested, here is the link to their on line shop:*

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/

A signed copy is 15 GBP. If you live in the UK, the postage is a very low flat rate. The round the world flat rate is 11.99 GBP. If you are a fan of the Dyfi’s Monty, the super star of the male Osprey world (by some), it is a great book or gift. It is also a fundraiser for the Dyfi Osprey Project.

One other year a young woman asked women around the world not to buy any new clothes. To wear one thing and switch it up with what was in the closet. It was the year of my black sheath dress. The money saved was given to young women in India to purchase school uniforms because we all know that education is important but you cannot go to school without a uniform in India. It was a brilliant idea.

An article in the environmental section of The Guardian today talks about ‘stuff’ and how to save the environment by not buying. Several months ago, an economist suggested that if everyone in the world cut their spending of non-essential goods by 15% it would have a major impact on climate change. If it is good for the environment then it is good for the birds. Have a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/20/we-need-to-stop-buying-stuff-and-i-know-just-the-people-to-persuade-us

A quick check on those adorable feathered creatures that inspire us to leave the world a better place reveals that Middle Bob and Little Bob on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge had a tug o war over the fish tail this morning. I think Middle Bob won but, that’s OK. Little Bob won when he pulled with Mum!

Despite their amazing growth and those awesome curved juvenile feathers, you can still tell Little Bob from the circle on top of its head. You can also count on Little Bob being as near to where Mum is handing out the food as anyone. They line up and he is there, right at the beak with gleeful anticipation in his eyes.

Mum is happy to oblige!

The feeding is over and Little and Middle are tugging for the tail. The osplet behind Mum is Big Bob. It looks like a circle on its head but it isn’t. It has lines radiating out when you can see the full design.

Middle Bob is eating the tail and Little Bob is checking to see if Mum finds any more food on the nest. Oh, he loves leftovers, too. First up to the table and normally the last to leave. Sounds like Little Bob is a female to me. They need about 25% more food than the males.

Yurruga is currently sleeping off that entire Starling that Xavier fed it for breakfast. It is a wonder the baby didn’t pop but, like a good falcon, when Xavier suggested it eat more and made that chumping sound, Yurruga ate. It is learning to eat when food is available. You don’t always have the luxury of a stash in the corner of a scrape box in the real falcon world.

At least one of the Collins Street Four looks like it wants to try out for one of the local rugby teams. My goodness these chicks are enormous. Look at those feathers coming in. One day we will wake up and they are going to look like their Dad and Mum – it will happen in a blink I am afraid.

No other news from the little sea eaglets that flew off the nest yesterday. Keep them in your positive thoughts.

Thank you for joining me today. Everything at the nests is just fine. What a lovely relief. You take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

* I might mention books or other things in my blog. I do not make any money if you purchase the items and never will. My purpose is to simply bring news of the birds as they add so much joy to our lives and to alert you to ways that you can help make the world a better place for those birds.

Birds, the Environment, Cop 26

With world leaders set to meet in Glasgow for Cop26, there are plenty of individuals expressing their opinion on what needs to be done to ‘slow’ the impact of climate change. Individuals reading my blog will have seen the devastating effects that the heat surge of summer 2021 in the Pacific Northwest had on the Ospreys and Cooper’s Hawks. Many Osprey chicks died on their nest while the Cooper’s Hawks jumped out of their nests to a sure death because they didn’t want to roast to death. Luckily a few were saved by brave wildlife rehabbers and friends who removed the chicks from their nests and took them into care before the heat could kill them.

Many of you know who Roy Dennis is – the man who translocates Ospreys as well as the individual solely responsible for reintroducing the White-tailed Eagle back into the UK. Dennis, 81, is a big presence on the environmental and bird scene in Scotland and he has just been awarded the RSPB’s most prestigious metal last evening. I cannot think of a more deserving individual.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/rspb-medal-2021/?fbclid=IwAR39tGEvVUnGRXhUwthohCpEou-0ViAicVAXRAXU7oa3I6SFJxboARYuIIM

Dennis has also written his last blog on swans and what he feels – along with others – must be done to protect the land for both humans and birds. It is an excellent read. If you haven’t found his website this is a good entry point.

We can’t all be a Roy Dennis but each of us can help! It is not too late to tell your government officials what you expect they will do for our future.

I want to close today (the birds are all crackers) by giving you one of those moments of laughing til you cried – or at least as one Australia woman did when she saw my comment on the 367 Collins Street Falcon FB Page.

This was the image:

Anyone that knows me, knows that I look for falcon and osprey chicks that have some ‘fat’ on them. It shows they are getting more than enough food. To me, that eyas with his ‘necklace ps’ surely qualifies as a fat little bottom and legs!

Once I realized that there is actually a company in Australia that sells chicken legs, I was also laughing til I cried. Enjoy the joke on me. Thank you Kirsty Wain!

Have a great Sunday. I am off in search of Wood Ducks today. It is finally sunny!!!!!!!!! and not raining. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the 367 Collins Street Falcon Cam and FB page where I took my screen shots.

Incredible

The weather in Port Lincoln, Australia deteriorated further with winds blowing at 47 kph around noon with even stronger gusts. The humidity is 74% and it is 14 degrees C.

The little ospreys were fed at 7:00:33 and again with the same fish returned at 8:09:50.

Dad delivered a whopper of a fish at 11:20:11 for the third feeding. Just look at the size of that nice fish. Little Bob is staring. It looks like his eyes are going to pop out! I bet he is already calculating where to get in the feeding line. Right now it looks like Big Bob is eating first. That is Middle Bob kinda’ slumped over. He still has a crop from the earlier feeding and he looks like he would rather sleep than eat.

That is an amazing fish. Thanks, Dad.

Nothing has changed in those three seconds. Little Bob is still staring and Big Bob is still eating.

Well, you can see from the image below, taken 29 minutes later, that not only did Little Bob figure out where to sit at the table but he has already been fed enough to make a nice sized crop. Middle Bob seems to have woken up and is ready to eat, too. Of all the chicks, Middle Bob seems to be terribly laid back for a raptor.

Thirty-eight minutes later and the only one remaining at the table is – yes, you guessed it – Little Bob. This kid can sure pack away the food. And he doesn’t seem to stop when he is full but keeps on going if there is fish to be eaten.

Speaking of fish. Look! There is hardly any fish left. What a feeding.

It had to be difficult trying to feed the chicks in such wind gusts. Can you believe it? Little Bob is still at the table, still eating.

Little Bob has one of those nice big crops that looks as if it would feel rock solid if you touched it. Of course, Little and Big are still waiting to see if there is any fish left. Middle Bob is out! Meanwhile, Mom has also gotten to eat some good pieces. She needed fish. That huge fish fed the entire family very well.

Little Bob is certainly doing well and can hold its own on this nest as long as Dad keeps getting the food in. He is certainly growing.

Everyone is full. Mom is holding those babies down tight on that nest – as tight as she can. The trouble is trying to get them all under! Look at that tail and those big feet. These osplets are doing well.

Let’s keep their hatch dates in mind. Big Bob on 13 September 22:03, Middle Bob on 14 September 02:30, and Little Bob 16 September 00:51. Little Bob is 51 hours younger than Big Bob. Today, Big Bob is three weeks old.

As you can see the chicks are getting their feathers. The rusty-gold-coppery ones (I often call them peach) are coming in nicely on the head and neck. You can see in the image above, the feathers starting on the wings and the little tails. Those feathers are often called ‘blood feathers’. Feathers need blood to grow. The blood quills will disintegrate once the feathers push through that quill. The flight feathers on the wings and tail will be the last to appear. The chicks are already doing some preening and, indeed, will spend a substantial amount of their time cleaning those feathers. Some researchers say as much as 70% of their time is spent working on their feathers. Right now we are in a rapid growth period where the size of the chicks is continually doubling with the feathers growing and the muscles in the legs and the wings developing. They seem to change their appearnance almost before our eyes. Most times it is hard to differentiate one from another.

The Collins kids are doing well, too. Here is a good look at all four of them from this morning:

This is an image from their last feeding about a half hour ago. No worries here either. Eyes are all open, everyone keeps their head up nice and high for food, and Dad is really cutting down on the number of pigeons in the area.

It is early afternoon for these Australian bird families. It is late on the Canadian prairies. I always sleep better when I know that all of the ‘babies’ have eaten. Take care everyone. Continue all those powerful positive thoughts you have been sending to Port Lincoln during this period of bad weather. It is obviously working!!!! See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

Late night check in with the PLO and Collins Street kids

The males have been working overtime it seems making sure that there is food for all of the nestlings.

As many of you know, the weather in Port Lincoln has been anything but ideal. The winds were blowing from 40-50 kph and there were white caps on the water. At one time the barge and nest appeared to be rocking around quite a bit. Still, a miracle happened. Having been hunkered down, Dad brought in the first fish for the osplets at 8:37:58. It was truly remarkable. But what was more outstanding was that he delivered a second fish at 8:38:02, a third at 10:14:25, and a fourth at 13:53. It is just now turning 15:00 on the nest. This is simply joyous. Everyone has eaten, they have had crops, and there has been complete civility.

I put in the image below for two reasons. The crops of the two osplets on the front row are getting bigger. Secondly, because that is Little Bob who is on the front left. I want you to have a very good close look at his cere, the lighter bits below the beak and the black line through his eye. Look at its thickness. It is thinner than the other two. additionally, his head is just a wee bit lighter, for now.

I believe that it is Little Bob and Big Bob eating with Middle Bob holding back. It will get fed. Do not worry!

You can almost lose them on the nest these days. Little Bob has decided to flap his wings a bit while Middle Bob eats some fish.

Just look at Little Bob. Chubby tail, wings, fat little bottom and those soft pantaloons to go with the big white clown feet. They are so adorable. I never knew pin feathers could be so strikingly beautiful.

Oh, dear, watch out Mum!

Ah, look at those legs! These osplets are nice and healthy.

In Melbourne, the eyases are being fed just about every hour. Birds, mostly pigeon, arrived at 6:12:50, 7:10:34, 8:07:39, 9:12, 10:20:07, 12:42:14, 14:40, and 15:51:06. Everyone who was hungry got fed until they fell asleep. We will be seeing some remarkable growth for these little fluff balls. Tomorrow their eyes will be open wider, their necks will be getting more stronger and the amount of space they take up in the scrape box will be larger. Of course, we are only mid-afternoon, and already eight feedings. There will be quite a number before it is time for these wee ones to tuck it in for the night.

Oh, wonderful. They are ready for a snack.

Oh, relief. It is not a pigeon.

Here I come with another Melbourne Blue Plate Special kids.

Wake up everyone! It’s tea time!!!!!

Open wide!

Sleeping babies.

Let us all remember the great joy that the birds brought us last year and now. Hopefully you had an opportunity to take a deep breath. Maybe you were able to enjoy your garden or the wildlife in your area. Perhaps you came to love many of the bird and animal families on the streaming cams. I know that I felt more joyful just by becoming more connected with nature. So when someone asks you if you are ready for things to return to normal, think about your answer carefully.

Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin remark, “Under a dark cloud of fear and confusion people all over the world found solace and respite in nature; it improved the quality of their lives and their physical and mental health.” I believe that everyone reading my blog finds joy and inspiration in birds. You also do whatever you can to make their lives better. Each and every one of you has either aided or is aiding birds in one or in many ways. We all do what we can. The simple act of providing water during migration can be a huge help. Making sure your windows are left dirty or have deflectors so the there is no bird strike is another. Writing to people who can lobby for laws that ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment as well as the designer poisons such as rodenticide help tens of thousands a year. Educating people and working with your local parks authority to eliminate the feeding of bread to ducks can keep the waterfowl healthy. Donating even the smallest amount can keep the streaming cameras running for some not-for-profit nature centres and bring joy to hundreds of others. The list is endless.

Thank you for popping in to check on these two nests. Take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

1,976 people watch the hatch at Collins Street!

And at 10:02:38 the second eyas broke through its shell. Mum picked through the yolk and it is right in the middle of her breast.

Now she is looking around for Dad to tell him all the good news if he doesn’t know already.

One of the things I find fascinating about falcons (all birds that I know) is that they talk to the chicks encouraging them to hatch. That coupled with hearing the peeps from their siblings must be invigorating.

Let us hope the other two are out by noon. It could certainly happen.

Wait, are there three now? That one egg was pretty smushed. Oh, gosh. It could be. We will wait to be sure.

Meanwhile there has been a feeding at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Dad was taking a fish to the nest around 7:25. The camera was focused on the ropes so it was hard to tell. By 7:48:46, the trio had small crops. (The fish did not look huge).

The babies are so sweet with their big feet, fat little bottoms and tails that are beginning to grow.

Wow. It is an absolutely great morning down in Australia. How could it be any better?

Well, it just did. I heard Mom talking to Dad and she is letting him brood and incubate while she takes a break. Way to go!

Looking forward to the next two confirmed hatches at Collins Street. Tomorrow they will be soft and fluffy with little pink beaks and feet! Adorable. I cannot wait.

Meanwhile, you can check it out yourself on YouTube. If you have never watched peregrine falcon eyases eat and grow, then I encourage you to do so.

Bye everyone,. Thanks for joining me on this very short announcement. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

Gabby is home!

Gabrielle or Gabby flew into the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville today, 12 September. She might well have been on the branches or around earlier but I have her at 19:33:12. What a wonderful sight – to have this fabulous couple back safe and sound on their nest. Samson doesn’t migrate and he was seen several times during the summer and, in particular, when the camera maintenance was taking place. Both eagles got busy inspecting the nest. They were digging around and I wondered if they were looking for ‘Eggie’ that Samson had buried last year after Legacy spent so much time taking care of it, incubating and rolling. Oh, Legacy, what an amazing character you turned out to be!

They seem to have a discussion. Samson is on the left in his Levi Black Stretch ‘Slim Fit’ jeans and Gabby is on the right.

I wonder why they are so preoccupied with this one spot. Is this really where ‘Eggie’ could be buried?

More discussions!

All is right in The Hamlet. How comforting seeing them both roosting on their branches of the nest tree. In 2020, Gabby returned on 12 September, too.

This is their third season. In 2019 they fledged Jules and Romey named after Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliette. This was their nest – indeed, it is the nest where Samson hatched. Last year, they fledged Legacy. What a sweetheart. She sure stole a few hearts!

After all the excitement in NE Florida, I decided just to check on the other nests. No hatch, yet, at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. For those of you watching the Royal Cam chick, it has been confirmed that her neighbour chick, SSTrig, fledged late afternoon 12 August nest time. SSTrig is the first chick to hatch and fledge of adults, Green Lime Green and Red Lime Black. Tiaki and SSTrig did not always get along very well. You might remember their little altercations.

At the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia, a bird arrived around 13:35 13 August. WBSE 28 was more or less in a submissive pose during the entire feeding. WBSE 27 ate 98% of the gull. I wondered what had happened earlier but the camera feed would not let me rewind that far back – which seemed odd since you can always go back at least 8-12 hours. But, not today.

The adults at the 367 Collins Street Osprey Nest in Melbourne continue to make their well rehearsed handover of incubation duties. These two are really quite incredible.

I know that some of you have been wondering why dad isn’t bringing mom food at the nest. Prey will not be brought until the eyases hatch. There is a place up above the nest where the male leaves prey for the female so she can eat.

Here is cute little dad.

And beautiful mom. A couple more weeks. These two better rest as much now as they can! Four eyases. Oh, my goodness. I cannot wait.

Xavier has come in to see if he can have a turn to incubate their eggs. Diamond doesn’t get off and hand over the duties as easily as the mom at Collins Street. Poor Xavier. Xavier will often bring prey to the ledge and Diamond will take it and fly out of the scrape to eat it.

Why do the two falcon couples do this? keep prey out of the scrape when there are eggs? For cleanliness and not to bring in any parasites or insects. That is also the reason that falcons do not use twig nests.

It is now the wee hours of the morning on the Canadian Prairies. I didn’t intend to write another blog but, oh how I wanted to let you know about Gabby. This is wonderful news. Harriet and M15 are back at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest. And that reminds me that I need to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

Thank you for joining me for this quick alert. Have a great Monday everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross, The 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Sea Eagles Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

Everyone at the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre are working hard to provide videos and updates on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the Sydney Olympic Forest. A number of days ago I simply had to quit watching the live camera feed. The level of prey had dropped coming into the nest and WBSE 27 was overly aggressive to WBSE 28. It appears that the current delivery of prey items is quite good and, 28 has figured out how to wait and watch and then get fed. These are all good things and helped our Ospreys, Tiny Tot Tumbles and Tiny Little survive.

In the image below, both WBSE 27 and 28 are full to the brim. This is excellent. Soon WBSE 28 will be too big and any worries of siblicide should evaporate. Fingers crossed for this little one.

Gorgeous light on these two. 27 is quite large compared to 27. But both are full and clown feet are coming!

Diamond, the female at the Peregrine Falcon nest in Orange, Australia continues to think about laying that first egg. It is Sunday morning in Canada and I just checked on Diamond. Still waiting for that egg.

If you missed it, the female at 367 Collins Street laid her fourth egg.

My goodness what a beautiful morning in Wales. I wonder what impact the streaming cams will have on tourism when the world can travel again?

I love seeing the cows going in from the fields. It is all so serene.

These little birds seem to be all around the nest. Do you know what they are?

Aran came to visit the nest before the mist was gone.

He looked around every direction and then left. Yesterday he was on the perch with Mrs G. This morning, Sunday, Aran was at the nest around 6am. He will probably leave when Mrs G does. They may be staying longer to make sure Aran is fit for migration – every day of healing helps – or they may still be protecting that nest against Monty’s kids. Maybe they will wait for them to leave!

Yesterday, both of the boys, Idris and Dysynni, were on the nest at Dyfi. Dysynni was 100 days old. This morning all is quiet. Are they still around? Telyn migrated on 21 August with Ystwyth following on the 24th. There are sure lots of people including Emyr Evans watching the Dyfi nest this morning to see if either Idris or Dysynni or both show up.

Idris has arrived with a nice fish for his son. He is looking around. Doing his duty. Idris flies off the perch with the fish looking for Dysynni. Will he find him? has he left? It is about 6am.

Idris arrived back in Wales on 29th of March. He is reputed to always be one of the last Ospreys to leave Wales. What a fabulous dad he has been. With all the sadness this year, Idris raised one-quarter of all Wales’ hatches to fledge. You are a great dad, Idris. I remember those whoppers you brought in this year. Incredible. You deserve your break now.

It is equally quiet up at The Loch of the Lowes. The Scottish Wildlife Trust has issued their official statement that Laddie, LM12, Blue NC0, LR1 and LR2 have departed for their migration. Stay safe all.

Rutland Manton Bay’s Osprey nest seems very lonely as well.

Are you interested in Goshawks? Here is a lovely six minute video I found of a compressed breeding season. It is quite nice. I love when the three are learning to self-feed. So cute.

We have Northern Goshawks that live in Manitoba year round. They only come down to the southern areas of our province if prey is limited in the north.

My heart skipped a beat. There is an Osprey on the Foulshaw Moss nest! Is it Tiny Little? No. It is White YW also doing his duty, like Idris, to make sure that his chick has breakfast. White YW has been looking about and calling. There is no Tiny Little rushing to the nest to tear at his toe or grab the fish. While he waits, White YW decides to do some nestorations. Gosh, it must be hard trying to figure out if they are just over at the river or have left.

White YW flies away from the nest. Will this be his last visit to check on Tiny Little? Blue 463 – our fantastic Tiny Little – could be in Brittany by now.

My garden is filled with birds this morning. It is a roar to go out to the feeders. Today we may have to fill them up four times. The delight, however, came in the form of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Vermillionaires. Did you know they are capable of speeds up to 100 km per hour. Their wings beat up to 1200 times a minute – which is precisely why it is hard to get decent photographs of them.

We are just so delighted to see them.

If this is a normal year – and so far it has been anything but, the hummers will be gone by 3 September.

We did not put our the sugar water for them this year because of the wasps. Our City has been consumed with them and they take over the feeders. The wasps do not, however, bother with the Vermillionaires.

Soon all of the Ospreys in the UK and Europe will be making their way to Africa. We wish them good winds, great feeding places enroute, and a safe arrival. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you have a fabulous Sunday or start to the week depending on where you are. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots and video clips: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre FB Page, LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

It’s number 4 for Collins Street

Mom was in labour for about seven minutes. This is a short clip of the last minute. You can see how she is contracting.

The time was 10:20:11 on 29 August 2021.

Dad, you are going to be so busy!!!!

Oh, Dad, you are the cutest. Look at you incubating those three eggs just half an hour before the 4th arrives.

You can watch all of the action in Melbourne here:

If this is the last egg to be laid, Mom and Dad will begin hard incubation.

Last year Mom and Dad at 367 Collins Street hatched three big females – triplets born within a single hour. They all fledged. Poor Dad. He was mobbed by them when he brought prey.

Congratulations Collins Street Peregrine Falcons. We can’t wait.

Thanks for joining me on this quick announcement. I am soooooo excited. I love this falcon family and you will, too.

Thanks to 367 Collins Street by Mirvac for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clips.