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.

Tracking…birds and hurricanes

Hurricane Ida has made landfall on the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that wrecked havoc and caused so much destruction to Louisiana. Throughout the day I have been checking on the Kisatchie National Forest, the home of Bald Eagles, Anna and Louis. The Bald Eagles are likely north of the storm area as they do not spend the hot summer, as far as is known, at Lake Kincaid (although they could).

The winds were getting stronger and the waves more choppy as the morning broke into the afternoon. That camera quit working at 15:39:19. You just get a circle. The KNF is in parishes that are northwest of New Orleans. They include Grant, Natchitoches, Winn, Rapides, and Vernon.

Isn’t that just the most beautiful area to raise a Bald Eagle family?

Cody and Steve did a great job running the camera, answering all of the chatters questions, and even held a contest to name the eaglet. Please send them warm wishes to stay safe.

At 18:00, Hurricane Ida just went through Mathews, Louisiana.

There are several other maps that I am also watching today. One of those is just fantastic. If you want to follow the Black Storks on their migration, you need to know this link.

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

The ‘Birdmap’ has several Ospreys along with the Black Storks who have satellite trackers. They are first sorted into species and then by name of the bird. Click on the name of the bird and you can see where the birds are located. It is magnificent.

I clicked on Karl II’s name. Then I clicked on the player at the bottom and I could see the precise route that Karl II has taken since he left the nest in the Karula National Forest. He is heading to the Black Sea. I wonder if Karl has a favourite spot there?

I owe Karl a big apology, too. I know that Pikne and Udu are ‘his’ storklings and brain keeps telling my fingers to type Grafs. Big apology, Karl!

Oh, how I wish Tiny Little had a tracker. It would be so much fun (well, if everything went well) to watch her journey rather than hoping by mere chance that someone would see her blue Darvic Ring and record the number. Perhaps it would be too much to ask them to take a photo, too?

There is not a lot of news in Bird World. Maya was photographed at Rutland Water today so she has not left for her migration. The Collins Street Falcons have started the hard incubation now that the 4th egg has been laid.

This is mom. She always has a bit of grumpy face and she takes up most of the scrape box.

This is cute little dad. He is much smaller as you can see – he doesn’t take up so much room in that scrape box. If in doubt, he has really neat bright yellow “goggles” around his eyes.

I know that it is hard to see what is going on and you are afraid that you will miss all of the action. There is another scrape box at the other end of the ledge with a camera and these parents have a tendency to move the chicks about. There is nothing funnier than seeing 3 large juvenile females chase after poor little dad with his pigeon. This year it will be 4! I hope the pigeon population in Melbourne is robust!

Diamond is keeping everyone guessing. The latest that she has ever laid an egg is the 31st of August and that is tomorrow, Australia time! At this point I am not even going to guess. Diamond has been fooling me for days on end.

When in Australia, I have to remind myself to check on Solly. She is 344 days old – my goodness, almost a year since she hatched on the PLO barge. Look at this map of her travels. She is so confident now that she is taking the short cut back to Eba Anchorage from the coast near Streaky Bay instead of going the land route. Well done, Solly! So proud of you.

The nest of Mom and Dad looks so much more together than it did after Solly and DEW fledged last year! Oh, I hope that there is lots of food and all three of those eggs hatch and fledge. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I have to admit that I did not feel so kind towards Solly last year but, in the end, I was glad to see two strong birds fly off that old boat. The satellite tracker put on Solly opened up everyone’s eyes to how far the Eastern Ospreys travel from their natal nest. I do hope they will do this again this year. At the same time, I would like to see trackers on all the birds from this nest. Everyone wants to also know where DEW is. If it is the cost, do some crowd funding up front – there will be people from around the world willing to chip in and help with the costs.

‘S’ sent me some images of the Osprey juveniles in Alberta this morning. My goodness did I ever feel guilty. I checked in on them for the first time yesterday in ever so long – and that was because I had heard of an unmonitored nest fledging two from the interior of British Columbia this morning.

There were three eggs that hatched at the Red Deer Osprey nest in June. Two of the three died on 3 July during the wretched heat and then rainy/stormy weather.

This beautiful juvenile fledged sometime the first two weeks of August when the cameras were down. This is a strong bird, a real survivor. It has been given the name, Little Braveheart, by her fans.

The two juveniles at the Fortis Exshaw nest up at Canmore are doing really well, too. Both fledged and they are waiting, just like the juvenile in Red Deer, for the call to fly south. That is such an incredibly beautiful spot to have an Osprey platform with the Canadian Rockies in the background.

Thank you so much for joining me. Do check the Birdmap and see how it works. Satellite trackers are wonderful tools. And please send your warm wishes and positive thoughts to those in the path of Hurricane Ida. Take care and stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Fortis Alberta Red Deer, Fortis Alberta Exshaw, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, The Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross, the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

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.

Checking in on Australia

It is raining in parts of Australia. Orange got 50 mm and there are floods about while there was 37 mm out at the Campus where the scrape box of Peregrine Falcon couple, Xavier and Diamond, have their scrape box.

Diamond has spent time on the ledge and going back to the scrape box looking like she is concentrating on that first egg. What do you think? Maybe today?

Sadly, the poor weather might be impacting Dad’s ability to bring in prey to the two babies in the Ironbark Tree. Until now, there has been little to no demonstrations of dominance but yesterday the prey diminished and WBSE 27 started telling the little one who is boss. It is unclear if WBSE 28 had any of the morning fish. WBSE 27 is 26 days old today and WBSE 28 is 24 days old. Oh, I hope this stops. There is enough for everyone! Most people say that the parents will not step in. And, as you know, if I hear survival of the fittest one more time I might scream loud enough for someone to hear me in Australia! All you have to do is to think about Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest or Tiny Little — those tortured little ones turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. I wish Tiny Tot had a tag and a satellite transmitter. I sure would like to see what she is doing in a couple of years. If there are two Ospreys that will survive it is those two. And they started out like WBSE 28. Of course, only worse for Tiny Tot.

Mom was looking particularly beautiful over in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. The colour of the water contrasted with the nest lining — well, it is gorgeous.

The female at Collins Street in Melbourne certainly looks like she is going to lay her second egg today. She is getting full in the bottom just like Diamond. She is certainly plunked down in that scrape box with that stern look she can give. It must be quite uncomfortable laying eggs!

I don’t do a lot of reporting on the Albatross despite the fact that not only am I fond of them but I really want our oceans to be cleaned up and the fish stocks renewed so that all of the sea birds are promised some kind of a decent life. Sharon Dunne does a great job running the FB group as well as keeping us abreast of everything ‘Tiaki’, the Royal cam chick of the 2021 year.

Ms Pippa Atawhai was just the cutest little albatross chick and her parents were incredible. She was the 2020 Royal Cam Chick. Her nest was close to the visitor’s centre. Tiaki’s nest is down close to other nests. Some are less than 3 metres away. This has led to a lot of ‘drama’ between the chicks! Seriously. I thought it was only the juveniles that caused mischief. Oh, no. These gals can seriously get with the squabbling.

The Cornell Bird Lab caught that on camera today. Have a look:

It reminds me of my garden. Before I seriously started watching birds and their behaviour, it seemed they all got along and lived in some kind of sing song happy land. Oh, geez. There is even a hierarchy in our garden! Incredible. Have you noticed this behaviour at your feeders? Is this why we say ‘Pecking Order’?

This was a quick check in. I am restless – not knowing for sure if Malin is alive or dead or nothing can be determined. But I want to leave you with an uplifting story and a lesson. Yesterday I reported on the Osprey that had been hanging upside down in a tree for two days because of being entangled in fishing line. The beautiful bird had pulled all of its muscles from being upside down. The bird, at 45 feet, was ten feet more than the climber could reach so he used an extension net and a pole saw to cut the line and catch the bird in one swoop. On the ground the bird was detangled from the line. A stainless steel treble hook – for catching 3 fish at once – had gone through the talons of this baby. Today, this young one is healing. The lesson is ——- clean up after you go fishing. Join in groups to clear the shores of rivers and lakes of fishing debris that gets caught in them. Help our water birds!

I took these screen shots from A Place Called Hope’s FB page. They have a wonderful video on their site of this rescue and I urge you to search FB, find their home page, and watch it. It is very moving. What wonderful people these people are – there is not a situation too challenging and if a bird can be saved, A Place Called Hope will give it that chance.

Thank you for joining me today. I am certain that Collins Street will have another egg tomorrow and well, Diamond might have one as well. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cornell Bird Lab, The Falcon Project with Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and A Place Called Hope FB page.

The Biggest Adventure of their Lives

Chris Wood from Rutland described what he believes is Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s 2021 fledglings leaving home and starting their own journey. It was so poignant that I thought I would include it in its entirety here today.

No one home. Manton Bay, Rutland Water, UK

For those of you who do not know, Blue 33 (11) and Maya are the resident couple on Rutland Water’s Manton Bay Osprey Nest. They are normally the first to arrive back from migration and often within a half hour of one another. Imagine – 4000 miles and landing that close. Do they spend the winter together? No one seems to know. They are a Super Osprey couple, hatching and fledging 19 chicks as of today. This year the couple had 2 fledglings but they have had nests of four and it has not been a problem for either of them.

A video from a month ago. Maya is not ringed. The two fledglings are. In the image for the video, Blue 33 (11) is on the front left. Maya is looking at the fish and one of the chicks, now a fledgling, is in the back. Blue 33 always made sure that there was a fish on the nest first thing in the morning – right at dawn! Which is why his behaviour Yesterday was so unusual.

Chris Wood says:

“Yesterday at Manton Bay an extra shift proved to be quite eventful very early on. 095 had been very active early on in the morning, we get there for 6am, ok I was late yesterday, 6.45. She was flying around the bay, diving from the camera perch and from the air, skimming across the water as if to wash her feet and as usual plenty of food begging. But 33 wasn’t present, in fact we didn’t see him until midday, had he planned this? Around 9.10am, ten minutes into the extra shift 095 suddenly took to the air and started to fly across the bay, she started circling, round and round, gaining height slowly and gradually she passed over Waderscrape hide continuing on over the trees to the rear of the hide until we could see her no more, was she gone? Only 3 minutes later, 096, who had been sat on the far left perch all the time suddenly took flight and headed very purposely across the bay. He too headed towards the hide circling to the right and headed on past over the trees, he was gone. Had he seen his sister in the distance circling higher and higher heading away, south from the bay. Was he following, had they both left or was it just coincidence. Had 33 stayed away yesterday morning to encourage the youngsters to leave? All in all it was a spectacular sight if they had left, one tinged with sadness another with how fantastic to see two young Ospreys make it to migration and start the biggest adventure of their short lives, another great success for the Manton bay pair of Maya and 33(11).” Another person watching this, added, “Just before 095 left she also flew across to 096 on his perch – chipping at him – and Maya took to the air for the first time that morning as they left and circled upwards as if watching events.”

095 as she begins migration.
096 as he begins his migration 3 minutes after his big sister.

Oh, I wish those two had satellite transmitters.

Blue 33 is already doing some bonding with Maya before she leaves now that the kids are gone.

There has been no one home on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest of Tiny Little at the times when the kiddos would normally have been there screaming for food.

Does this mean that they caught that same wind that draws our juveniles to start their own independent lives?

Someone who is home is Kindness, the fledgling Bald Eagle at the Glacier Bay Park in Juneau, Alaska. Kindness fledged on 21 August. Since then she has been enjoying short trips around her beautiful natal tree. So far she has slept on the nest but soon she will move to roosting on a branch.

Where Kindness is standing is called the ‘Bouncy Branch’. Oh, she looks so tiny next to those huge Pine Siskin Trees!

Kindness bounces and flies.

Liberty and Freedom always lure her back with a meal! And it works – Kindness has learned that if you leave food someone else will eat it. She is normally back on the nest within 3-5 minutes of a delivery.

This is precisely how fledging should go. Remember that and if you watched E17 and E18, Harriet and M15’s two fledglings from 2020 – that is a perfect example of a normal raptor fledge, the fledglings flying and playing with parents providing food.

When I last checked, the female peregrine falcon on the Collins Street nest was sure bulking up like she was going to lay that second egg today. Let me check!

Mom needed a break. Still only one egg at 4am 24 August. Sometime on the 24th for sure.

Another Australian bird, the Galah. Here is a very short video of an exchange between this fabulous pink and grey bird and some kangaroos. Try cutting and pasting. So cute! We need cute today. It is from the Kangaroo Sanctuary at Alice Springs.

https://fb.watch/7zJYVKBHM5/

Today there were some visitors to the garden in addition to the hundreds of various sparrows. The rain is coming down and it seems that they prefer the cylinder suet – fantastic. Even with domes the bird seed seems to still get wet. What a mess. Rain doesn’t stop the birds and squirrels from being hungry! The light was terrible and my laptop didn’t want to recognize the new card in the camera so I am attaching these even tho they are not the best images.

The image below is ‘Little Red” who has a life-lease for the garden shed penthouse.

Merlin identifies the bird image below as a Juvenile Male Ruby-throated hummingbird. If this is the case, the hummers are moving south on their way to winter vacations.

One of the resident Blue Jays who would love Little Red to get off the suet — or for me to go out and hang a new cylinder up in another place. He looks like he is doing a little moulting.

There is no word on Malin. Again, ‘no news is good news’. I am practicing patience or at least pretending that I am trying! We are all anxious for Malin and the youngsters of Grafs and Jan. Yesterday Grafs was in once and Jan twice. Better than nothing! And those storklings are starting to fledge. That feels like a miracle. I hope that they find the feeders.

I hope to have news soon on Malin. I am guessing that there are difficulties with the identification of the two birds – maybe neither is Malin. We wait.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone, see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or found photographs: The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Glacier Gardens Park in Juneau, Alaska, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Chris Wood and the Rutland Osprey Project FB Page, and the Collins Street Falcon Cam by Mirvac.

The First Egg for the Collins Street Falcons

Oh, my goodness. The male at the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest is nothing short of adorable. I spent all last year wanting to scoop up this stealth fighter in my arms and cuddle with him. Or dreaming of a Peregrine Falcon onsie. Wouldn’t that be cute on a toddler?

The first egg of the 2021 season has been laid on 21 August. Wow. It is eggciting.

You might be asking why the female is not incubating that egg. The female will not start incubating the eggs until the last one is laid. This is because the adults want the nestlings to be about the same size for the first fortnight so that there is no rivalry over food. Last year, the three big girls all hatched within a 24 hour period. There was never any sibling rivalry – that is what I love about falcons and kestrels. Once the last egg is hatched, they will be incubated for 32-40 days.

Mom looks so proud of herself!

These are some images from last year:

Mom brooding the triplets.

Dad feeding the girls when they are a little older – before they lose all that fluffy white down.

This year Mirvac, the property owners, are in charge of the streaming cams of the Victorian Falcon Project. You can watch these falcons from the very beginning.

Telyn at the Dyfi Nest, Wales. 20 August 2021

Some more great news. The Season of the Osprey will premier on PBS October 27 at 8pm! Please check your local stations for the exact time in your area. This is what they are saying about this documentary:

“Birds of prey exist in myriad shapes and sizes. Scores of eagles, hundreds of hawks and countless kites and falcons have all adapted form and behavior to fit diverse habitats. But in all the world, there is only one osprey. Following a single evolutionary path, it has conquered every continent save Antarctica. One bird, one design, unchanged. It is the only truly aquatic raptor, the sole member of its own taxonomic family. This one-hour, blue-chip special brings viewers into the life to this incredible raptor with a depth and intimacy never before attempted. Shot in and around Great Island Marsh, where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, cameraman Jacob Steinberg has achieved unlimited access to an osprey nest and captured the struggles, failures and triumphs of a single osprey family.”

Oh, I can’t wait!

I am afraid that I am having Malin withdrawal. A week or more ago I took a few video clips of Malin being fed by Marsha. I would like to share one of those with you now.

And another one of Malin exercising his wings.

It is so much easier when you know that the little one fledged, returned to the nest for food for 36 days or so, and then flew off to find their life. There is a level of anxiety when it doesn’t happen that way. I sure miss that little one. I have not, as yet, received any images of the two Osprey chicks found or any other news. I am hoping for tomorrow or Monday. It is a busy time of year for the wildlife rehabbers.

Two of the storklings have fledged at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Siguldas – the youngest was first and then the oldest yesterday. Only the middle remains. All have returned to the nest safely. The one that had its wing up against the far branch seems to be alright as well. That is good news. I have heard of no feedings since Grafs came in with some very small fish for the trio on 19 August. That means that if the storklings did not find the feeder – the two that fledged – they have had little food but nothing for two days. This is critical. There is concern that Grafs has left for his migration — it was the very initial concern. I want to remain hopeful.

Jan has fed his storklings but the meal was only tiny fish or worms. Urmas has not brought any more fish to the nest. Since he has fed them once and they accepted the fish, I hope that Urmas will do this again (he also left fish when he banded them and put on the trackers). It is not clear whether the anxiety of starvation is worse than having a human bring food to the nest.

These are very difficult times for everyone but they are especially difficult circumstances for these six starving Black Storks – rare Black Storks!

At the Black Stork Nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Karl II was still in the nest area. His transmitter told us. The two early fledges, Tuul and Udu, headed the wrong direction due to weather concerns and then turned south. Pikne travelled south from the beginning. New tracker information should be coming in soon. Safe travels all of you!

Oh, this youngster can really scream for food on the Loch of the Lowes nest. What a beauty. This is another good example of a ‘normal’ fledge. The chicks return to the nest to be fed and fattened up for migration.

I really want to put a plug in for the administration of the lochs in Scotland. No one is allowed on those lakes from April to the end of September so that humans do not disturb the birds. It means that motor boats with their leaking fuel are not chasing the Ospreys and making the water toxic. Gosh, I hope that only human powered boats are allowed. What a great idea – leave the lakes to the birds during breeding season. Three cheers for Scotland! This could well be the case throughout England and Wales also. I will try and find out.

And look what is on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is a flounder for the lucky chick that makes it to the nest first. Tiny Little!!!!!!!!! Where are you Tiny Little?

It’s a few minutes later and I missed that lucky fledgling that snagged that flounder! It’s gone. That leads me to believe that it was probably Blue 464, the male, the first to fledge. He likes to take the fish and eat it on the branch of the parent tree.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are looking forward to those falcons hatching as much as I am. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Mirvac Corporation and the Collins Street Falcon Cam, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, and The Dyfi Osprey Project.

The Great White Egret

Sometimes there are birds that seemingly get forgotten as I rush to find out if Tiny Little beat the big older siblings to the fish or to check on Malin’s feather growth. Clearly one of those has been the Kakapo. There are now only 202 Kakapo, parrots that cannot fly and who love to eat Rimu, on a couple of small islands near New Zealand. They are continually monitored and all have satellite transmitters. They get health checks and are flown off island for care, if needed.

The Kakapo Recovery has partnered with On the EDGE Conservation to create the Kākāpō Run game. As a player you can help the Kakapo evade their predators will collecting Rimu Fruit. Because it is filled with facts about these amazing birds, it is a good way to learn about them. You can download the game here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/kakapo-run/id1569861836

Ferris Akel spent most of the Saturday tour at Sapsucker Lake near Ithaca, New York. It was magical. We never made it to see Big Red and her family at Cornell University but it was a great time. One of the highlights was a Great White Egret which is rare to Sapsucker Lake.

Great Egrets are also called the Common Egret or Great White Heron.

Great Egrets will generally stand and wait to see their fish. They also slowly and quietly wade through the water until their neck snaps quickly and they get their fish.

Patience. Quiet. The Great White Egret gets its dinner.

Great Egrets nest in trees.

The beautiful white plumage that adorns these graceful wading birds was used for women’s hats in the late 19th century. Those silky white plumes are called aigrettes – which gives the bird its name. At the beginning of the 20th century, an ounce of Great Egret feathers was worth $32 USD, more than an ounce of gold according to the authors of Birds of Canada. People were so outraged that some of the first legislation to protect birds and their feathers was because of the Great Egret being brought to near extinction for hats!

In Canada, the Great Egrets nest in a very small number of places – in the very southern parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, a small part of southeastern Alberta, and southern Quebec. They are found in the Americas, Asia, and parts of southern Europe.

“Great egret rising” by wolfpix is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Great Egrets are large birds. They are 94-104 cm (or 37-41 inches) with a wing span of 1.3 m or 4.2 feet. They weight about 1000 grams or 2 pounds. They are all white with black legs and a yellow bill like the one shown above. During breeding season, a patch between its eyes turns neon green and long plumes grow out of its back.

“Great Egret Pointing the Sky” by TexasEagle is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Non-breeding Great Egrets have a small yellow patch between its eyes and bill.

“Great Egret on nest with chicks” by Photomatt28 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Great Egrets build a flat nest or platform of twigs and sticks. They will lay between 1-6 eggs which are incubated for a period of 23-26 days. It will be another 21-25 days til fledging for the youngsters. Aren’t they cute!

I am getting so excited for Peregrine Falcon season to begin in Australia. The male at the 367 Collins Street Nest also known as the CBD Nest arrived with prey for the female today. He is just such a cutie. The nest camera that streams on YouTube is not up and running. It will begin operations after the eggs are laid (normally). For now there is a camera operated by the owners of the building, Mirvac. Here is the link:

https://367collins.mirvac.com/workplace/building-overview/falcons-at-367-collins?fbclid=IwAR3vGCMkdnScju_KTKjhCrcHRnbsYxJm3kAKTLIOzylSVe8PX3UmwaJEn-s

The other Peregrine Falcon nest is that of researcher, Dr Cilla Kinross, at Charles Sturt University. The scrape box is home to Xavier and Diamond and they have been working on the scrape for some time now. We expect eggs at both nests by the end of August.

If you watch both nests you will get a good glimpse into the difference between a falcon nest on a high rise building in a major city, Melbourne, and the more open rural area of Orange, Australia. The prey is very different!

As it turns nearly midnight on the Canadian prairie, the day is just starting on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. No doubt our beautiful Blue 463, Tiny Little, will fly out from where she is roosting on the branches of the tree in the distance, to the nest. White YW has a trio of big Osprey fledglings to feed. He has demonstrated that he is perfectly capable of feeding a family of five.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. I hope to have some local images of bird life in Manitoba for you shortly.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Ferris Akel and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Feature Image Credit: “Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at sunrise at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida” by diana_robinson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tiny Little, it is good to see you!

Friday morning started off fantastic with Tiny Little on the nest alone food calling. She was later joined by older sibling, 462.

What you need to know is that Tiny Little had an entire fish to herself a little earlier for breakfast! Just look at her enjoying that fish!

7:45 nest time. Nice fish delivered by White YW to his girl.

Tiny Little returned later and was joined by 462. Yes, I said that already! They waited and waited. All that waiting and food calling paid off! Both Tiny Little (or Bobbie to some) and older sibling got a fish – older sib gets the flounder, Tiny Little has something else (?). Dad, you are fantastic. This is the way to keep the kids happy and quiet.

Tiny Little is the fledgling on the right. She is a ‘big’ girl! I am just so delighted to be able to see her. She is growing and growing. Tiny simply doesn’t fit anymore!!!!!!

This is the link to the Osprey Nest at Foulshaw Moss managed by Cumbrian Wildlife Trust:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

But there was more happiness. To top it off, the little Osprey nestling at Collins Marsh Nature Centre had two feedings before 9:30 this morning. If this pace keeps up Malin is really going to have a big growth spurt this week. Already the tail and back feathers are remarkably changed from last week.

And another feeding here. So happy to see these parents stepping up the food. Malin is really starting to present as a juvenile Osprey now. I keep looking at those little feet – wonder if we have a little boy here? Male or female it doesn’t matter. Malin is really a gorgeous/handsome.

The link to the Osprey nest at Collins Marsh is here:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

One of my readers was asking about the nest for the Black Storks in Latvia. I was able to find some information and a couple of images so that you can see the beautiful forests in the area.

The nest is in a forest in the Sigulda region of Latvia. It is 53 km southeast of the capital, Riga. It is the orange area on the map below.

The area is home to Sigulda New Castle and the remains of a medieval castle built in 1207.

The image below is the New Castle.

“Siguldas jaunā pils (Sigulda Castle)” by twiga_swala is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Through the forest you can see the New Castle.

These are the remains of the medieval castle. It is a major tourist site and because of this, Latvia has stabilized some of the walls so it can be fully appreciated.

The nest in the forest is on a pine branch that extends about 1.8 metres from the trunk of the tree. So, in plain English, the nest is on a branch that is sticking out —- just a big branch! I know. Take a deep breath. It could make you nervous. The nest is 18 metres from the ground. Imagine these storks on such a branch! I kept thinking they could slide off the edge.

The youngest storkling is 53 days old today. It is flapping its wings and gets really excited. The eldest is 56 days old and the middle one is 54 days.

The adults, Grafs and Grafiene, have to be very careful when they come to feed their little ones now so they do not slide off the nest. It is getting a little crowded as the nestlings grow!

One of the moderators for the nest forum created a video of Grafiene coming to feed the storklings about one month ago. It is very short but shows us just how much these nestlings have grown in that time. Just look how tiny they were.

All of the storks meet to begin their migration. ‘S’ tells me that they land on the tops of all the houses, the hydro poles, and the trees. And then they begin clacking and this is the beginning of their long journey as far as South Africa. Everyone is a little sad when they leave.

The link to the Latvian Black Storks is here:

Don’t all babies look sweet when they are sleeping? The little sea eaglets are no exception. You would never know that they are so tired from all the mischief they cause when their parents aren’t watching.

They look like little angels.

Dad is making sure that there is lots of food on the nest.

Here is the link to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is the only WBSE nest in the world that is streaming live. One of the really neat things is just listening to the forest sounds when the streaming cam is on. You will hear many Australian birds. There are lots of YouTube videos of the birds and the sounds they make. Just do a search of ‘Australian Bird Sounds’.

There has been a lot of chatter about when the female ospreys in the UK will be leaving the nests and heading off on their migration. Blue NC0 is still up at the Loch of the Lowes working hard, along with Laddie, to feed LM 1 and LM 2. She is known to catch big fish and this morning she brought in a whopper. The sad part was NC0 worked so hard to get this fish out of the water and on to the nest and one of the kids let it fly off the nest. It happens but we all must appreciate the real effort these parents put into feeding these juveniles especially when they must be eating themselves, fattening up, to make their journeys.

NC0 has turned into one wonderful mom over the season. It has been such a joy to watch her develop from when the little ones hatched and we had no idea if she was going to figure out how to feed them!

The fledglings still associate the nest with food so you might still get in some good action. This has to be one of the most beautiful nest locations in the world. When I went to check, I could see the Ospreys flying around and food calling on the branches at the top left of the image below. So turn up your sound and look there when you check on this nest.

Here is the link to their camera:

I checked to see if the names had been announced for Louis and Dorcha’s chicks on the ‘other’ Lock Arkaig nest. There seems to be no mention or I have missed it. So hold on. Will let you know as soon as I hear anything! I am also waiting for the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon cam to come on live. You are going to be in for a real treat with that falcon nest! I promise.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope everyone is well. Tomorrow I am heading out to find the local hawk. Expect news to come in the late afternoon for all the nests. Enjoy your weekend. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cameras where I took my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Sigulda Black Stork Nest, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, the Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes.

Birding Action has started in Australia

Wow. At 00:52:40, Mom goes into labour. She is the female Osprey on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in Australia. Dad is sitting right at nest side in support. It was magical. The minute the egg was, Dad was off. My time said 00:57:58. And with that single significant event, the Port Lincoln Osprey season for 2021 is underway!

Mom looks very content in the early morning Australian sun.

I was very glad to see Dad there. Last year Dad just about ended my love of Ospreys. The death of Tapps, the third hatch in 2020, practically cemented that. The Achieva Osprey nest brought back the pain but the triumph of Tiny Tot gave me faith. It also has made me question the entire notion of ‘survival of the fittest’. So this year I am wishing for consistent fish drops when the eggs hatch – Dad, that means enough fish for everyone every day with no breaks.

The Northern Hemisphere fledglings are preparing to migrate (if they hatched in an area where the birds travel to warmer climates during the winter) so for all Osprey lovers this is a chance to start at the very beginning again — in Australia.

The adults spent a lot of time bringing in new twigs and lining the nest cup with bark. It is quite beautiful. This nest looks like someone cares!

Of the chicks that have fledged from this nest, Calypso (2019) fishes and is seen regularly in the Port Lincoln area. Solly (2020) was fitted with a satellite tracker as well as a leg band. It is reassuring to know that she is well. There have been no reported sightings of her brother, DEW, that I am aware of.

Solly is 317 days old and she is at her favourite place, Eba Anchorage.

The two eggs have hatched at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. They are WBSE 27 and 28. Both are doing fantastic. Dad has been bringing in Bream, Pigeon, several other types of birds, and Eel-tailed Catfish. The chicks are not wanting for food or variety!

The link to the Sea Eagle Cam is here:

Are you a Peregrine Falcon lover? There are two excellent nests in Australia on streaming cam. One is on all year round and has covered the antics of Xavier, his mate Diamond, and their son, Izzi. The scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, NSW. This family is part of a research project of Professor Cilla Kinross.

I should tell you that this nest is hilarious. Xavier is such a sweetie and he is courting Diamond now even though they have been a bonded pair for a number of years. He brings her gifts of prey to the scrape box and they do a courtship dance. Sometimes Xavier forgets and brings Diamond a Starling. Diamond hates Starlings and refuses to accept the gift from Xavier! And then there is Izzi. Izzi is like the cutest almost one year old falcon. He should not be at the nest but he is. You see, Izzi fledged three times. The first was accidental so he was taken back up the 170 stairs to the scrape box on the water tower. The second was a good fledge but he ran into a window. He was in care for several days and returned to the scrape box. The third time was the charm. The problem? Well, Izzi should have left his parent’s territory before the beginning of 2021. Yes, it is now August. That is the problem.

I mean seriously – could you tell this cutie pie to leave home?

Both Diamond and Xavier have been ‘scraping’ in the scrape box. The indentation they are creating is where Diamond will lay the 2021 season eggs. The couple have already been mating on the top of the water tower.

This is Xavier. The yellow around the eyes, the cere (part above the beak), and the legs and feet are a deep yellow when falcons are adults. Look at the beautiful plumage patterning.

This is Xavier scraping in the scrape box.

This is Diamond scraping in the scrape box. Notice the colour of the stones. In his book, The Peregrine, J.A. Baker states that “Peregrines bathe every day…The bed of the stream must be stony and firm…They favour those places where the colour of the stream-bed resembles the colour of their own plumage.” Absolutely. Camouflage. But why do they take so many baths? Baker believed that it was so they would not transfer any lice or other parasites from their prey onto them that could cause illness or disease. The same is true of the scrape box. Peregrine falcons lay their eggs in gravel and not on a twig nest to avoid illness or disease.

Here is a very short but loud pair bonding in the scrape box. Have a look at the dance that Xavier and Diamond do together. Xavier is the smaller of the couple. Falcons, like other raptors, have reverse sex size diamorphism – meaning the female is larger.

Here is the link to the box camera. There are in fact two cameras: one looks at the inside of the box as above and the other is positioned to look forward from the back taking in the ledge and a bit of the outside world. That is cute little Izzi looking out to that big world beyond.

The chat feature has moderators, often Professor Kinross, as well as a FB Page where you can get great information.

The second is the Collins Street Falcons better known as the CBD Falcons in Melbourne. The camera is not operational yet. There are many videos from last year if you search for Collins Street Falcons on YouTube. In 2020, the couple had triplet girls. Triplets? Three eggs hatch within a period of 24 hours. These girls grew like crazy. They grew bigger than their dad.

I am including one video of the male delivering a pigeon to feed them. I just love this tiny little male. He melts my heart every time I look at him.

The diet of the two falcon families is different. The Melbourne falcons are urban. Their diet is almost exclusively pigeon. In contrast, the falcons in Orange are rather rural with a more varied diet including Starlings (remember Diamond dislikes those), Galah, sometimes a Supreme Parrot, other parrots, and birds. One thing that eyases love are cicadas. They hold them in their foot and eat them like a popsicle. It is crazy. In one day last year, Izzi ate 17 cicadas in a row. There had to be a swarm of them! It was incredible.

As night comes to the Canadian prairies the sun is rising on a new day in Europe for all of the birds. The rain falling in the Latvian forest where the three Black storklings nest sounds wonderful.

It was reported today that my city had only 1/10 the average amount of rain in July. It has been 150 years since this small amount of rain was last recorded. We long for a day just to listen to the sound of rain falling like it is here on the Black Storklings in Latvia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you with me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University and the Falcon Cam Project, Port Lincoln Osprey Project and PLO FB Page for Solly’s transmitter data.

Note: The next newsletter will appear late Tuesday.