Worry for Middle at Port Lincoln as fish are few…and other bird world news

1 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that your beginning of the week has been a good one. We are on the third bad weather day at Port Lincoln and Middle has had little food. It is a very somber day. We wait to see if the weather changes and then to see if Big will allow Middle to eat. Things are not looking good. I wish I had great news for you this morning but ever so sadly, I do not.

Some of you are coming in late to the Alphabet-Name Game. It is for fun but, I have also discovered that it is a really good way to remember our feathered friends. Someone wrote that SE26 needed to be remembered and, well, the tap started running. That sea eaglet was such an inspiration to so many. I am so utterly deflated that she is not with us! — But, back to the fun part. Take a digital or physical piece of paper and put down all the letters of the alphabet. See what names of the streaming cam birds you come up with for each one. E is for Ervie. A is for ______________. Who can come up with a name for U? Anyone watching those Finnish Osprey nests? Send me your list by e-mail before midnight the 2nd of November. I will then set about collating them hopefully with some pictures! I hope to have the list complete over the weekend. Thank you to those that have already sent in their names. I saw so many that I knew and had forgotten! And do not feel bad if you come up with a lot for one letter and none for others, just send them in to me and join the challenge! That e-mail is: maryasteggles@maryannsteggles.com

In the Mailbox and Comments:

‘F’ comments: ‘The Port Lincoln nest is the hardest I’ve seen since I started seeing ospreys at the beginning of the year, very hard, the only thing missing is for the mother to be sick.’

You are so right, ‘F’. Yesterday I thought we had lost Mum and my heart just sank watching Dad try to feed the two osplets, Big and Middle, and failing miserably. It is very difficult to watch a nest that does not have enough fish. As I continue to mention, I have huge concerns over the commercial tuna fishing fleets that are based in Port Lincoln. Are they taking all the fish? I hope to find out more about this later.

NOTE: There was only 1 fish yesterday, 1 November, in Port Lincoln. Big attacked Middle many times. Mum is currently sleeping on top of Middle. I am concerned now that Middle will not survive unless there is a massive amount of fish brought to the nest. There will be no intervention. Port Lincoln would not have permission unless as Ian Falkenberg and others have said they deem the bird to be ‘near fledge’. There have been ospreys taken into care who have done well at Audubon’s Centre for Birds of Prey at Mailand, Florida such as Smedley who lived to be 28 and Bailey. I am attempting to find other factual information on Ospreys in care. If you know of any, please let me know.

Smedley and Bailey at the Audubon Birds of Prey Centre in Maitland, Florida. Smedley passed away in the past year at the age of 28. Bailey is still alive at the Centre and I understand there is another osprey in care…perhaps more. I must check with our friend ‘L’ that works with these amazing raptors to find out precisely how many ospreys have gone through the centre. Some have stayed as ambassadors while others are returned to the wild.

Making News:

Just more research findings supporting birds and nature are good for our health and might, in the future, be prescribed by doctors! Have a read and smile.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/bird-birdsong-encounters-improve-mental-health-study

There is a new article on birds and pollution by the British Trust for Ornithology. Have a read when you get a chance. We can all learn something new every day!

https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/articles/birds-and-pollution-%E2%80%94-masterclass

Australian Nests:

One of the older siblings of the Melbourne Four looks up perhaps seeing the parents flying about. Next to her in the gutter is the wee 4th hatch, a little boy.

Victor Hurley, the head researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Research Group, has posted what he believes are the genders of the Melbourne Four on FP. Here is that announcement:

Oh, goodness. Ervie’s tracker has been off line for a few days and last night the camera went down on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge just when we were all getting more than concerned for Middle. Ervie has been seen roosting on a tree near the water so he is fine. He had flown away early probably hoping to find some fish.

The waves are really, really choppy at Port Lincoln. Rain and gales have hit the nest and the number of fish deliveries has been dwindling since the start of the stormy weather. There was only one fish delivered on Tuesday.

This is one gorgeous osprey looking at us with their crest up high.

They are hard to differentiate between unless they are standing up and you can compare size and then see both head’s. Middle is missing feathers from the nape and so is this bird with this gorgeous crest. Is this Middle? or is it Big fooling me?

‘A’ tells me that there is even snow predicted for Port Lincoln. I simply cannot believe this is happening. This nest is ‘fragile’.

Everything is fine at the scrape box on the water tower in Orange. Indigo is really flapping those wings and Little Rubus watches and then he does some precious little flaps, too. He copies everything that Indigo does – my goodness what an utter joy it is to watch these two grow up together.

Indigo works her wings all during the day. Little Rubus often watches closely and if you look, he will give a little flap to his wings.

Xavier brings in a European Starling for breakfast. Indigo gets frightened and moves back toward the wall and then scurries to the Cilla Stones.

Just look at that beautiful Dad, our loving Xavier.

Xavier decides to take the prey and prepare it elsewhere. By this time Indigo is curious and hungry and comes down from the stones. Will that Starling return?

Yes, it does. Xavier returns in about 50 minutes and Diamond flies in to take the prey and feed Indigo and Rubus. Oh, dear. Look at that is left on the stones!!! The Starling Head. Indigo is going to be scared out of her wits when she sees it.

Just look at those beautiful tail feathers now revealed. If you look at Rubus, he is now losing the soft down from around his eyes and on his wing tips.

Every time Indigo really gets to flapping more down flies through the scrape.

The eyases had a Starling feeding but the head was left. Diamond comes in to take it and Rubus rushes over to take it. Poor Indigo. Rubus is going to put it right near the wall where she is sleeping. Will she be frightened when she wakes up and there is that beak and eyes staring at her? Rubus has never been frightened and Indigo is so easily scared. It would be a trick a younger sibling would pay on its older one!

Rubus grabs the head.

He carries it over and places it next to Indigo!

Diamond returns in a few minutes and retrieves the head and feeds it to Rubus. I don’t think Indigo even moved. Rubus is an endless pit when it comes to prey. Where does he put it? Definitely not in his skinny long legs.

Indigo and Rubus had a European Starling and a Large Honeyeater (Noisy Miner) for their morning meals. Rain is forecast for Orange, too. You can see some dark clouds looming in the distance.

The Melbourne Four continue to be fed and to find out when you have to listen and watch them scurry down the gutter towards the adult with the prey. Their legs are certainly getting stronger and the oldest is starting to look like a juvenile falcon!

Just checking on some of the Bald Eagle nests in the US as the couples continue to do nestorations or rebuilding.

Jackie and Shadow’s nest at Big Bear in California.

Gabby and Samson’s nest near St Petersburg, Florida.

Ron and Rita’s nest in the Miami Zoo.

Bella and Smitty have been bringing in nesting materials to the NCTC nest.

Lady and Dad were bonding at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

My thoughts go out to the Port Lincoln nest this morning as we wait to see if Middle will survive. I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it feels like our heart has been pulled out of us. The turn in the weather and the amount of fish at Port Lincoln has put our beautiful Middle’s life in jeopardy.

The other two scrapes we have been watching are doing just fine. Much of the fluff is now off three of the falcons at 367 Collins Street. There is plenty of food available at both scrapes.

Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me. See you soon.

It is freezing in Port Lincoln tonight. Turned really, really cold. Mum is working hard at keeping Middle warm. Beautiful Mum.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took the screen captures: ‘A’ and ‘H’, Audubon’s Birds of Prey, The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Victor Hurley and 367 Falcon Watchers, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Late Sunday in Bird World

23 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

I hope that each of you has had a fabulous weekend!

In my earlier blog today, I did not catch the ‘auto correct’ of Samson when I posted that him and Gabby were working on their nest. It is, of course, Samson not Damon!!!! Goodness.

The Sparrows thought it was warm enough for a bath today. And it is. It is a beautiful 14 degrees C – for me the absolute perfect temperature. It could stay like this forever and I would never get tired of it. They had such a good time! For well over an hour, one group after another spent time in the bird bath. They were so excited! I really do love sparrows…and I hope that those that think they will go extinct are wrong! And those that refuse to feed them because they are ‘not special’ will think again. They are so varied that I have a 8 cm thick book on them and still have trouble sometimes with Clay Sparrows and Vesper Sparrows — and I shouldn’t!

During the last month I have seen hundreds of Crows fly over my house around 1700. I did not know what they were doing until ‘N’ posted a YouTube video on Crows flying to join one another at a communal roost. It happens an hour before sunset. Thanks, ‘N’.

But, why did Crows get the moniker ‘Murder of Crows’? Apparently the use of the name goes back to 15th century English literature but, the Crow expert at Cornell University said the term is incorrect. ‘Scientists would call it a flock’. Indeed, Crows are often connected with death because they are black and because they eat carrion (dead animals) like Vultures, Condors, and Eagles. So remember, the next time you see a large group of Crows it is a flock!

As you will know, from reading my blog, I love ‘my’ Crows. Mr Crow has been around the garden for a number of years but, this year, he was joined by three fledglings that grew and grew and grew. (I always say Mr Crow…it could well be Mrs Crow!). This summer they started alerting me to when the wandering well-fed domestic cats were in the garden. They were so loud that their caws could not be ignored. For several days it seemed that they were wanting more food. They must have think I am truly daft. It wasn’t food – it was the cats. I am so grateful to them for protecting the other garden animals. In fact, most of the garden animals live in harmony. There is enough space and lots of food. It is the cats that cause the unhappiness.

But back to the Crows. ‘H’ wrote to me that Crows are signs of bad luck or death in Australia. In North American Indigenous traditions, the Crow and the Raven are good signs. They are signs of protection and often are viewed as messengers of wealth. In Manitoba, the Crow is part of the Creation Story of many of the local tribes just as it is with those in northwestern California. There are ceremonies that use the symbol, the power, and the prayers of the Crow to invoke protections – and these are very sacred, only used and known by those who deal with the Spirits. For the Inuit who live in the far north of Canada, the crow and the raven are often considered the same. You will find the creation stories of the Inuit and the Haida from British Columbia, using the Raven or the Crow, to tell their myths. The myth ‘The Crow Brings Daylight’ describes the moment when the people who lived in total darkness first saw the light that was brought by the Crow.

https://prezi.com/r9jz3ih7karv/crow-brings-daylight/

I hope that the Crow will bring you much luck and will guard and protect you.

All of the nests have had breakfast in Australia early. No one has had to wait for food to arrive despite the ominous clouds that you can see out the window of Xavier and Diamond’s scrape or the rain drops collecting on the camera at Port Lincoln.

Xavier brought in a Starling for Diamond to feed Indigo and Rubus. That was at 063320. Indigo and Rubus watch everything their parents do intently – each is a learning opportunity. The chicks will learn how to pluck and feed through observation. They will watch their parents fly from the scrape and, after they fledge, Xavier will teach them how to hunt. (With hawks and raptors it is often the role of the Dad to teach the fledglings to hunt.) Still, I have seen many, if not most, of the females do this as well. The exception would be the female Ospreys that leave the nests in the UK prior to the chicks fledging.

Notice that Little Rubus is in the corner with Indigo. Everything Indigo does, Rubus copies.

Indigo was so frightened by the Starling head last week. And here is another Starling head dangling! Do falcons have nightmares?

Just about the same time in Melbourne, at 0634, a plump freshly caught pigeon landed on the ledge at 367 Collins Street.

This morning you could really hear the stomping on that metal gutter! The eyases ate and began running up and down getting their legs strong. They are also flapping those little wings. Soon the white dandelions will be covering everything as the down flies off revealing the gorgeous juvenile falcon plumage.

It did not take long for the Melbourne Four to ‘decorate’ the far end of the gutter. Did you know that when falcons are looking for a good territory/scrape box/cliff, they will check to see how much guano is spread all over. The more ‘ps’ the better – it means that the area is rich in prey. An ideal location to have a nest!

Flapping and flapping. The others are almost all the way down to the other end of the gutter. The little one, however, chose to stay in the scrape. Cute wings!

Thankfully, Dad was out fishing early at Port Lincoln (as I am told he always is) and he hauled in a flat Zebra fish at 065757. The feeding was absolutely civil. In fact, it looks like Middle got the largest portion of that early fish.

It is difficult to describe how thrilled I am that Big has settled down and that life on the Port Lincoln Osprey platform is civil. It helps everyone. Middle can now eat without too much fear of reprisal. Still, he should be a wee cautious just in case Big wakes up on the wrong side of the fish one morning.

The nests have had their first meal for Monday in Australia. All is well.

There is no further news on Sea Eaglets 29 or 30 – both are in care. Dad and Lady have been working on their nest. They must wonder where their fledglings have gone. I wonder if they will leave for Lady’s favourite spa location, Goat Island, soon?

Thank you so very much for joining me. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Pinterest, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross,. 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Forest, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Egg shells and pelting rain…late Saturday in Bird World

22 October 2022

Good afternoon everyone,

It is a miserable day in Port Lincoln and in Orange…I have not checked Melbourne but, it is also kinda’ miserable in Winnipeg today, too. Grey skies, bare branches on brown trees, spits of rain falling.

The view of the landscape looks dead and barren – but, we all know that, in fact, those leaves are protecting all of the pollinators and invertebrates. This is why you must Leave the Leaves! It will annoy your neighbours to no end but, you will be doing yourself, your garden, and the birds a huge favour.

Ah, I have a retraction. Books do not work for everyone. My friend, Sally Michener, a Vancouver ceramic artist, told me once that “getting old is only for the brave!” She was 83 at the time and stunningly beautiful, always in red, and still working on her ceramic sculptures. She is right. Eye sight goes. Our minds still think like the 20 somethings we once were but, sadly, not always our eyes. ‘H’ reminded me that e-Books are fantastic as you can adjust the size of the font. Of course! ‘H’ also tells me that both of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys are available as e-Books. Thanks, ‘H’.

Wow. A ‘V’ of Canada Geese just flew over my head. They were as low as the top of the telephone poles in the back lane. Incredible.

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It is pelting down rain in Port Lincoln. Mum is soaked and I wonder how miserable the kids will be with their circumstance? Dad has proven himself quite capable of catching fish in rain and wind but the waters look pretty chopping. Wishing him luck today.

The weather at Orange is rather bleak also. So bleak that Diamond was finding scraps to feed Rubus and Indigo decided she would just eat one of the egg shells being tossed around all over the scrape.

Look at Rubus in the corner flapping those little wings. Oh, this eyas melts my heart.

Indigo’s wing feathers are growing, can you see them? And if you look closely you will see the feathers on the tail coming as well. Such a beautiful healthy big sister for little Rubus.

The skies look heavy with rain – like the ones above me. But, oh, look at that green…green fields and trees. Beautiful.

The little raptors hatch so that by the time they fledge, their prey will be waking up from winter.

The first prey of the morning came in at 062814 in Melbourne. Am I seeing things? Has it stopped raining in Melbourne?

I absolutely cannot tell you what it is!

Well, Dad did not disappoint Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. he brought in a nice big fish for breakfast. I cannot tell you precisely how much fish Big got or Middle but Middle stayed by the side of Big and you could tell from his movements that he was snatching and grabbing. At one point I saw a small crop. This is all good. There was no cowering in the corner in submission to Big. Let us all send warm wishes to this nest for continued fish and both chicks eating. Here are a few images of that feeding – and bravo Dad!

It is always reassuring to see the chicks on all the nest fed first thing in the morning. The three are starting out the day absolutely fantastic. Let us hope that this continues.

Thank you so much for joining me. Everyone is good. Let us hope that all of the nests in Australia continue with many prey deliveries today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Leave the Leaves!, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Port Lincoln’s Middle Bob is getting some confidence…and other tales in Bird World

22 October 2022

Oh, good morning to everyone,

I hope that you are already having a wonderful weekend by the time you read this update on our feathered friends. Things are really beginning to look up at Port Lincoln. I am cautiously optimistic that Big is moving out of her aggressive stage.

My friend “S’ and I were talking about books – holding books, feeling the paper, turning the pages – a few weeks ago. She is encouraging her graduate students at university to read real books, to go to the library, to feel the pages. Of course, she was talking to a ‘member of the choir’, so to speak, when we had our chat. I love books, good quality books with beautiful images. Today, it wasn’t a book that arrived in the post but Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Living Bird magazine that arrived. The cover featured a beautiful goshawk. Inside was a treasure trove of information for every species lover. There was a lot of information on migration, loss of biodiversity and what this means alongside reports on projects aimed at mitigating loss. The core of every article is how each of us can help mitigate the issues- sparking action to bend the curve.

As researchers and citizen scientists discovered with the great bird counts, the number of songbirds increased dramatically when ordinary people, just like you and me, began putting out bird feeders. Today, one of the most pressing issues is biodiversity. It is the word of the moment. One of the articles in this edition of Living Bird, ‘The Most Distinct Birds are at Greatest Risk of Going Extinct’ goes straight to the heart of the loss of entire species. On that list of Red Species, to my surprise, was the House Sparrow and the European Starling. The lead researcher, Emma Hughes from the University of Sheffield, said that birds with unusually long or short beaks, long or short legs were more likely to go extinct than others. Climate change and habitat loss is at the heart of the loss of these others such as the Red-headed Vulture, Giant Ibis, Seychelles Scops-Owl, the White-headed Duck, the Bee Hummingbird to name only a few on her list. They are going extinct because of their weirdness and the particular ecosystems that support them are being lost. For Hughes, the only way to stop the extinction is to increase efforts at biodiversity (21). This is precisely what they are trying to do with two species that depend on one another for survival – the White-barked Pine and the Clark’s Nutcracker. As the author of the article in Living Bird states, ‘Some pairings are so iconic that one is not complete without the other: Macaroni and cheese, Abbott and Costello. Peanut Butter and Jelly. In the northern Rockies and Sierra Nevadas, that duo is the white bark pine and Clark’s Nutcracker.’ (28)

To read the latest addition of Living Bird magazine, go to this URL: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/living-bird-latest-issue

There is a lovely video of the work being done on the Clark’s Nutcracker in this latest edition. Be sure to check it out.

I used the term ‘Red List’. Do you know what this means? It is the full name is the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. It just so happens that there are two wonderful and exquisitely produced books on these threatened birds. They are Red Sixty Seven and the most recent edition, Into the Red, by Kit Jewitt. Both editions are collaborations between authors and artists whose goals are to call attention to at-risk-birds as well as to raise funds to support conservation work to halt their extinction. The books were published by the British Trust for Ornithology. Go to bto.org for more information, to view some pages and read about the artists, and to purchase. The purchase will go directly to helping. I urge against buying through on line book sellers as the prices on their sites are way too high or they say not in stock.

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It is nearly 2300 on the Canadian prairies. There are no stars out tonight but there is one brave little Osprey in Port Lincoln, Australia who needs a round of applause. That ospreys name is Middle.

At 111232 a whole large live fish landed on the nest. Middle is being overly cautious not trying to grab any bites. Letting Big get those precious first bites and get her crop a little full. Meanwhile, Middle is pecking away at the tail of the fish. This is very interesting. You have probably seen, as I have, siblings eating from the tail while the breaking sibling is fed up at Mum’s beak. It is a good strategy once Middle figures out how to unzip that tail. By 112218 Middle is up by Big and is doing the snatch and grab. Sometimes Middle pulls back – he is very cautious. Mum gets to eat some fish. In fact, she is feeding the ospreys a little slower than usual. Big moves away from the fish feeding a couple of times. The first is at 112506. Big has been eating for 13 minutes and is getting full. Mum begins to feed Middle. At 112951 Big moves away. Middle remains cautious and then, at 114139, Middle pecks Big before he moves up to begin getting fish. So to summarize, even thought Middle is afraid and displays this as we watch, he is hungry and he is getting braver in order to get fed. Eating is essential to his survival. Middle is doing well. He will end the feeding with a nice crop.

I also noticed that Big is not as grumpy as yesterday despite there being 5 hours between fish deliveries. Perhaps she is slowing down, hitting that plateau. That would really bring peace to this nest.

By the time the 1637 Zebra fish arrives on the barge, Middle is feeling much better, more confident, and Big is being nicer. That feeding went well and even at 1817 when Mum and the two ospreys saw Dad and were feverishly calling for another fish, Middle (and Big) had enormous crops from the day’s takings. I have spent much time watching this nest as opposed to the two falcon scrapes because the fate of Middle was not quite clear. I will have said it twice today, at least, but, it appears that Port Lincoln has turned a corner.

Look carefully at the bottom image. That is Middle, full to the brim. Just sit and smile. Cry. Life appears to be good at Port Lincoln. Still, send all your best and warmest wishes to this family for continued supplies of fish.

It is getting more difficult to tell the female Peregrine Falcons from the males. You must look closely. Diamond just about fooled me yesterday. They lose weight. All of the females lose approximately 30% of their body mass during incubation and raising their chicks. Diamond now has the look of a male with his tight little striped pants.

The same is true for Melbourne where the camera is now positioned so we can see the happenings at the far end. Mum seems to be enjoying it. She has a nice perch above the chicks so that she can watch them but not have any one or all of the Melbourne Four rumbling around underneath her all night. Like human parents, she can get some sleep now!!!!! Thank you to ‘H’ who watched and clocked the feedings at 367 Collins Street yesterday. Much appreciated. There were 5 of them. At 0650 a large unprepared prey arrived on the ledge. The erases were fed for 22 minutes. Leftovers came at 1153 and that was an extremely short feeding of 4 minutes. At 1358 D arrives with a big prey item and feeds the eyases and then Mum arrives and takes over. That lasted 16 minutes. The final two feedings at 1657 and 1836, were large prey items fed for 24 and 18 minutes, respectively. Four active growing eyases can eat a large unprepared bird in such a short time!

This is just a short catch up. Everything is absolutely fine at the two scrapes in Australia – at the 367 Collins Street location and at Orange. I am cautiously delighted about the happenings at Port Lincoln and extremely proud of Middle Bob who is getting ever so clever. Middle Bob is a ‘survivor’.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are all well. I am back to normal. it was the flu shot that caused me to feel like I had been hit by a big truck. It is cloudy this morning but it appears to be a reasonable day to go and check on ducks. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Stuart Falcon scrape, and ‘H’ and ‘A’ and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Crops popping at Port Lincoln

10 October 2022

I am playing catch up with what has happened on the three other nests in Australia late this evening. After watching the step-dad care for the four eyases at 367 Collins Street (feed and shade), I turned my attention to Port Lincoln. What a surprise! Dad brought four fish in already and it is only early afternoon!

The first fish arrived at 07:23:40. It was a really nice size fish. The feeding ended at 07:44. All three Bobs had crops.

The second fish arrived at 08:16:13. No one was expecting another fish so soon. This time it was a whole fish that was very much alive. Big Bob got the first bites. By the time the fish was finished – and it is almost like the three of them vacuum up that fish – at 08:34:23, the crops of the three Bobs were bursting.

No one was really hungry when the third fish arrives at 10:31:26. The chicks were fed until the last flake was eaten at 10:49.

Just look at that crop on Little Bob!

The fourth fish arrives at 12:48:22. I cannot imagine that anyone had room for any more fish but, the one good thing about all of these deliveries is that Mum got to eat! I would like to have said that there was no beaking but Little Bob made the mistake of looking Big Bob directly in the eyes and he got a couple of beaks from Big for doing that. If there is discord, never look the other osplet in the eye. Never.

If Dad does not deliver another fish today, the osplets are quite full and have had plenty to eat. I have been reading about Hen Harriers and in the books, it states categorically that a Hen Harrier can live on two voles a day. That is good enough. Wow. I did not know that. Voles are small mouse like creatures that live in burrows.

So we can all relax. Port Lincoln is good. Sweet.

Thank you for joining me for this update on our osplets. Continue to send good wishes for good fishing for Dad. I will try and catch up with Orange and Sydney before midnight. Tomorrow, Tuesday, I have an appointment and my report will not be coming in until early evening. I just wanted you to know.

Update on Collins Street: Mum has returned to the ledge with a partial pigeon at 14:30:33. Incredible. What is this female doing???

Thank you to Port Lincoln Ospreys for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Early Sunday in Bird World

9 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. Nippy as it is only 7 degrees C at noon but, beautiful blue skies, a wee breeze, and no rain in sight. I hope that all of you have had a joyful weekend, have had some time to watch our beloved bird families as they face challenges of feeding two eyases at Orange or delayed food deliveries at Port Lincoln.

Making News:

The RSPB is urging everyone to let the wild grow. While they are focused on the UK, other agencies are doing this throughout the world as the number of insects decreases dramatically.

Did you know?

While Peregrine Falcon chicks are almost born blind, as juveniles they will be able to see a Starling a mile away (or .6 km). That is the reason that some at Cal Falcons Berkeley believe that Annie might have seen her precious Grinnell killed. With the difference in size of the two eyases at Orange and with the eyesight getting more focused daily by the little one, here is a brief article to help us understand how falcons actually see so well.

https://intobirds.com/eyes-of-a-peregrine-falcon/

I thought I would also include Kate St John’s article on Peregrine Falcon Development week by week. It is an excellent reference to what is happening as you watch the eyases at Melbourne and Orange grow and develop.

Nest News:

I know that you will be delighted to see that the adults at the Notre Dame Bald Eagle nest, home of Little Bit ND17, are beginning to rebuild their nest on the cam tree. Smile.

The names for the eyases of Diamond and Xavier at the Orange, Australian scrape are Indigo for the oldest and Rubus for the youngest. How lovely!

I haven’t been counting the bites that Rubus has gotten at each meal; I only do that with third hatch ospreys who are being badly beaked by older siblings or when watching a nest that could become unstable, such as Port Lincoln right now. I have, however, looked for a wee crop on the little one at Orange and haven’t seen one until yesterday. ‘A’ assures me that Diamond is getting better at feeding it and certainly the second feeding appeared to be better than the first with a wee crop on Rubus. Indigo is a great big sibling; she is just bigger and well her neck is longer. She will be getting pin feathers when, today, Rubus is really getting its eyes opened.

There were 5 feedings yesterday with the little one getting a bit more than the day prior. Those feedings were a Starling at 6:39:48; a pigeon at 8:42:33; 10:25:42; leftover pigeon at 12:58:11; another Starling feeding at 15:19:05 and 18: 31:26.

Here are some images of those feedings yesterday. Enjoy! Please note that the top image is the late feeding of the day.

I had actually hoped that Xavier would get a chance to feed the wee ones.

The first fish of the day did not come in until after 1300 at Port Lincoln. There had been some beaking as the three became hungrier and hungrier. It was also the first feeding where I have witnessed beaking. There was a reason. The lineup was Middle, Little, and Big at the farthest point from Mum’s beak. Middle and Little got quite a few big mouthfuls with Little Bob eating a piece of an organ that fell on the nest at 13:10:52. (Thanks, ‘A’). All of the chicks were ever so happy to see a fish that it looked like they were frantically gobbling the food. Big wasn’t getting any, though. He beaked the siblings and had them both afraid of being fed. S/he ate and then when s/he had their fill, the others ate some more. At the end of the feeding all had eaten well except for Mum who must have been ravished herself. Fighting continued at various times throughout the day with a few feeds. Big’s target was, for the most part Middle. Those two do not like each other at all and Big has always been trying to establish its dominance since they were 8 days old.

The chicks were absolutely ravenous when that 1307 fish arrived. I wonder what is keeping Dad from getting the fish to the nest early in the morning? The late deliveries are causing the nest to become unstable. Still, until yesterday, the feedings had not been impacted by food competition. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day of attacks by Big.

Little Bob eats the dropped piece of fish organ all by himself. It was a great horking just like Big did with the fish tail the day prior.

Despite the discord on the nest, all of the chicks managed to get their crops nicely filled at the feedings. Let us all hope that Dad will be able to overcome whatever it is that is stopping him from delivering fish early in the morning.

The four eyases at Melbourne are well fed. Mum spends a long time making sure that each is fed. In the last feeding of the day, you can barely see them as Mum has her back to the camera. There are a couple of glimpses. The eyases are beginning to look like raptors and you can clearly see their crops and the shiny skin on their chest where the feathers are worn off. Great work by Mum and Dad at Melbourne.

The Sydney Sea Eagle camera has been offline sometimes. SE30 spent the night on the nest with a parent above on the parent branch. No sign of SE29 yesterday although it could easily be on the nest tree out of view of the camera. That said, in days prior, SE29 was happy to jump down on the nest with the family so it does make me wonder.

The Bald Eagles in the US continue to visit their nests making a few nestorations or rebuilding an entire nest. They can do it! Let us all send warm wishes to Port Lincoln today for several fish early in the morning. That would go a long way to settling down Big and its fears about food supply. It would be wonderful if the cam would be operating at Sea Eagles – would love to see SE30 when it fledges or a visit from SE29. Meanwhile, we know that the Melbourne Four are going to begin to get itchy and start preening. We also know that they will have loads of prey. Dad is keeping the pantry full. I am especially looking forward to seeing Rubus with its eyes more focused today.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following for their postings and stream cams that made up my screen captures today: RSPB, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

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

14 September 2022

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

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

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

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

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

In the Mailbox:

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

Making News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nest News:

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

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

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

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

National Arboretum Nest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

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

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

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

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

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

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

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

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

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

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

From the Archive:

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

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

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


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

Her name is QT…and more news in Bird World early Monday morning

5 September 2022

Sunday afternoon really was a beautiful day. The temperature on the Canadian Prairies was in the low 20s with a light breeze and a bright blue sky. It was the perfect day to wind down summer. For many, Monday is a holiday and then everyone is back at school. The Ospreys are flying south from the Cape in the US and the geese are landing in the newly cut farm fields in Manitoba.

These geese just landed on one of the ponds at Oak Hammock Marsh.

Today I walked the perimeter helping to pull invasive weeds that are threatening the marsh and was more than miffed when my watch told me that I had walked precisely .7km. Looking at the map now, it was 18.7 km. The muscles in my legs know even if the watch doesn’t!

Hiding in some of the reeds in the middle of the afternoon were some Northern Pintail ducks. Aren’t they lovely? Please do not mistake them for a Mallard – look at the beautiful colour of that bill, a soft blue grey. This is a little female with her mottled plumage of tan and light brown. They are also dabbling ducks with their little bottoms stuck high in the air while they search for pondweeds.

It is so quiet and peaceful in the country.

The minute I parked my car at home, I could hear them – the Crows. But it was much more than Mr Crow and his family. There at the corner house where a lovely lady also feeds birds were more than 50 crows – in the trees, on the fence, on her roof, on the grass, on her garage roof. What in the world was up with them? Well, it was ‘THE cat’. Yesterday, this same cat tried to get little Hedwig and the three garden crows saw this. There they were – yelling and flapping at it in this lady’s garden. No doubt it was there to try and get a song bird. Don’t get me wrong. I love cats. From the time I could crawl until last July (2022), I always had cats. In my City cats are to be kept inside. It has substantially cut down on the feral cat population and it is safer for our pets. But one neighbour insists on letting their well fed cats out every evening at 5pm. Need I say more?

It was quite unbelievable. Then the cat ran out of the yard —–the Crows dispersed and everything was back to normal. Goodness.

In the Mailbox:

After posting about the Cape May Hawk Count, ‘H’ writes to ask me if I know about some other migration counting sites. I did not! So here from ‘H’ – thank you so much – is https://www.hawkcount.org/ You can find your local nests or others you are interested in. Counts are streaming across the bottom, too! What a glorious find. So, please check this useful tool. It is at the top of my list – and it is so easy to use.

Making News:

The staff of the DOC NZ at Taiaroa Head have decided that the newly fledged Royal Cam chick shall keep her code name as her name – QT.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018857429/dunedin-albatross-chick-takes-to-the-skies

Keeping with QT, Mum YRK returned to Taiaroa Head to feed her daughter on Monday (Australia time) and found the nest empty. She didn’t not stay very long and did not look about for the chick. She bowed her head a couple of times and flew off into the distance. YRK did a fantastic job taking care of her chick without OGK. My heart sank for her. Her and OGK often met at the nest of their chick and loved spending time together. So sad.

A clip from the Discovery Channel’s The Savage Edge – the Peregrine Falcon, a Living Missle.

Nest News:

Port Lincoln Osprey and all those in South Australia who have worked tirelessly for our beautiful fish hawks are celebrating. The first egg has been laid at the new platform on Turnby Island. Here is the announcement:

On Sunday, both Louis and Idris are still feeding chicks. Idris has been lucky and hasn’t gotten caught up with his daughter but Louis landed on Sarafina delivering her tea time fish and their wings got all tangled. It looked terrible but…all was well in the end. I think both of these dads will be looking for these girls to take off soon!

Xavier got to spend some quality time incubating the eggs today. Diamond seemed anxious to have a break when he arrived at 13:31. I love how Xavier always talks to the eggs when he rolls them and gets settled in!

Dad arrives at the Melbourne scrap in the CBD for a turn incubating the eggs in that bright sunshine.

Cody has the new canopy cam installed at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. It is a lovely clear view and there were eagles and chortles seen and heard this morning! I really like how Cody has the date and time at the top, white on black on the main screen.

Anna and Louis have now made three trips to the nest tree. I have a short video of one leaving and chortles from this morning.

Here is the link to the E1 camera for Anna and Louis:

Short video clip of one of the eagles at the E1 nest leaving this morning.

Here is the link to the E3 camera, the nest across the lake of the other eagle couple. It has a real crackling on the sound whereas the E1 cam is perfect.

Jak and Audacity were at the Sauces nest on the Channel Islands yesterday.

Lady and Dad are trying to encourage some self-feeding at the Sydney Olympic Forest nest. The eagles have dark brown feathers almost over their entire body. They will be hopping and flapping their wings more. We should see them figuring out how to hold the prey down with their talons while tearing bits off. You will see mantling – the spreading of the wings over the prey item to claim it. They will also stand on their feet for longer periods of time. It is hard to believe but we are about 4-5 weeks away from fledging. You will begin to bet anxious if one eaglet seems to get more food than the other. It normally works out!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Dad got some incubation time from 2339-23:54 and then Mum sent him to his cave. Dad acted like he would have incubated all night. What a sweetie!

You may recall that a raccoon climbed up the tree and took one of the two eaglets at Fort St Vrain in Colorado last breeding season. A raccoon guard has now been installed at the bottom of the tree.

It is now Monday and both Idris and Louis are still fishing for their ever ravenous daughters, Padarn and Sarafina. Top image is Padarn fish calling at Idris and the bottom is Sarafina with her fish from Louis. These girls should be leaving at any time but I wonder if anyone told them!??? LOL.

I cannot believe how dark Sarafina is – just like her Mum, Dorcha!

Migration News:

Tracking the latest news on the migration of Karl II’s family of Black Storks. Waba is in Ukraine.

Bonus remains in Belarus along the Prypjat Wetlands where he has stayed for several days now.

Kaia is in Ukraine near the River Desna which is close to Vovchok.

There is some concern for Kaia’s transmitter while she is in the war zone.

There has been no transmission from Karl II on Sunday.

But today on Monday the tracker indicates that Karl II flew over 600 km in a day and is now headed to Cherson in Ukraine which appears to be his second favourite stop enroute to Africa.

Karl II is such a strong flier and took such good care of his family. Now we need him to have some luck.

As our beautiful storks make their way to Africa, send them your best wishes for a safe trip and lots of food.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is another gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies. The sparrows and wrens are all over the millet seed in the garden and the Crow family has already had their “sandwiches”. Take care today wherever you are. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, videos, and articles which make up my screen captures: DOC NZ, Discovery Channel, Friends of Osprey, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam at Orange, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, KNF, Explore.org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birldlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Fort St Vrain Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Looduskalender.

Early Sunday in Bird World

4 September 2022

Oh, Good Morning Everyone. I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy.

It is a beautiful holiday Monday on the Canadian prairies. The sun is shining bright but the temperature is not going above 24 C today – a great day to go out and continue checking on the ducks and geese. Autumn is one of my most favourite times of year despite the fact that it leads us directly into winter and is often too short!

Yesterday the Cormorants and American White Pelicans were enjoying time in the shade near the dam at Lockport, Manitoba. The image below is one tiny section. There were more than 60 pelicans and 45 Double-crested Cormorants swimming and drying off in the sun.

If you live in or around Winnipeg, Fort Whyte will begin staying open Wed-Sunday beginning 21 September so that you can watch the Canada Geese arrive in the thousands at dusk. It is an amazing sight. There will be food trucks or you can bring your own picnic. The cafe might be holding its Goose Flight dinners but this is uncertain due to the same staffing shortages that are hitting the hospitality industry worldwide.

From the Mailbox:

‘H’ writes to ask me if I am familiar with moon_rabbit_rising on Instagram? Oh, yes, I am and if you love the Cal Falcons then you need to head over and see Bridgette Ahern’s incredible – and I do mean incredible – images of Annie and Grinnell and their family and now Annie and Alden and their family.

‘D’ wrote as did several others following my UK Osprey postings and information about the female departures: “Are the Dads usually the last to leave the nest?” Yes, the males are normally the last ones that leave the nest. The females usually depart about two weeks prior to the fledglings leaving and then the male stays, eats well getting his strength back, and then departs. There are always exceptions to the rule! I just had a couple of notes from ‘N’ who comments that the nests she normally watches generally have the males leaving first! It is a very poignant moment when the male arrives with a fish and waits – and waits some more – and no one comes to collect it. By now, Louis is wishing that Sarafina would fly in the same way that Idris would like to see Padarn off the nest.

Making News:

There are many times that I am proud to be a Canadian and today, it is so reassuring to see that the people in Callander, Ontario care about their Bald Eagle and its nest!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/callander-bald-eagles-1.6568714?fbclid=IwAR28VsUDKWDWjy5S-uop8h2WKVcyL8DVLdS-cV5llN-id623Kb0QHuE-hvg

If you missed the video that Ojai Raptor Centre posted of Victor flying – here it is. It is also worth a second or third viewing. Victor is doing so well.

Another juvenile eagle – this time caught up in fishing line is saved!

https://www.uticaod.com/story/sports/2022/09/03/eagle-rescue-canadarago-lake/65470809007/?fbclid=IwAR1CnT1OpPF1U68N8_S3q017q5b8WjnF56qr1ElgZt-RgvVTg9E0JePjfpk

The citizens living in the NE of England are demanding answers from the government on why hundreds of thousands of lobsters, crabs, and sea birds wound up on the shore dead.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/03/we-just-want-the-truth-british-coastal-towns-fight-for-answers-over-mystery-sealife-deaths

Raptor Persecution UK is calling out Natural England as being compromised in the handling of the killing of Asta, the Hen Harrier. This is their description of the crime:

“The level of depraved brutality involved in this crime is quite shocking, even to those of us who have become hardened to the relentless illegal killing of birds of prey in the UK. It’s virtually impossible not to look at these images of Asta and imagine the horror she faced at the hands of her killer.

The calculated deviousness of whoever committed this crime deserves the full attention of the statutory regulator, Natural England, and widespread publicity about the lengths these criminals will go to hide their ongoing, appalling violence towards this species and other birds of prey.” After 18 months nothing has been done and birds of prey continue to be killed over the grouse moor hunting estates. It is not just the brutality of the killing of this single Hen Harrier but also the other 72 that have been killed and the lack of accountability that is worrisome.

Along this same theme, the Countryside Alliance is waging an all out campaign to get Chris Packham removed from the BBC because of his views about ending grouse hunting and thus, the illegal killing of raptors. If you live in the UK and have a view on this matter, please make it known.

The raptors are moving and Cape May, New Jersey likes to call itself the ‘raptor capital of North America’. See what is happening and why people are getting excited.

A win for all the sea birds comes as a South Africa court refuses to give Shell permission for offshore gas and oil drilling.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/01/south-african-court-bans-offshore-oil-and-gas-exploration-by-shell

Nest News:

It is the 10th anniversary of the Bald Eagle nest at Berry College. Who didn’t love Ma Berry? and who of us did not lose their heart to B15 this season? The Bald Eagle experts take you on a trip down memory lane with the Berry Eagles but, you have to go to the Berry College FB page. They will – despite saying I can embed the link – well, it doesn’t happen! Regrets.

Suzanne Arnold Horning posted some great images of our lovely Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus over this past season on the FB banner! I have not seen a new update on L3 or L4 and in this case, no news is good news.

This is one of the last shots Suzanne took of L2 before his/her migration. L2 has not been seen in a week and so she/he is off to find their own spot in the world. L2 was the first to fledge and the second to catch her own prey. Often noted as being a ‘mini’ Big Red. Beautiful hawk. Soar high and always have a full crop!

Following Karl II’s family on their migration:

Waba is in Ukraine where he has been exploring the banks of rivers for food.

Kaia remains in Ukraine in des Desna near Vovchok. She only flew 47 km – around the area feeding.

Bonus is still in Belarus in the Prypjat wetlands near Makarichi.

There is no current tracking news for Karl II.

Thunder visited the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands at 10:38 Saturday morning. Listen to her calls. You will notice another bird flying around – you can just see the silhouette.

The Sydney Sea Eagles did not have to wait until afternoon for their breakfast today. I caught several feedings for these fast growing eaglets. Notice how well behaved they are!

It had rained and Lady is offering some comfortable out of the rain for SE29 and SE30’s heads. Poor things. They are too big to fit under her.

Dad brings in a nice fish. Lady jumps down from her parent branch to feed the wet youngsters.

Dad comes in with another prey item. It looked like a small bird but I am not entirely sure.

Ranger Sharyn posted the following information for viewers of the Royal Albatross streaming cam on Taiaroa Head, NZ after the fledgling of the Royal Cam chick QT yesterday.

It should be relative quiet while birds are incubating eggs but yesterday, there was an intruder at the scrape on the Charles Sturt campus in Orange. Cilla Kinross caught it in slow-motion:

Xavier has spent some time on the ledge protecting Diamond and their eggs.

At Port Lincoln, all is well. Mum is sleeping and incubating the eggs and Dad is down in his shed, a place he spent having some good old’ chats with Ervie. It is the 5th of September with hatch expected in a fortnight (2 weeks).

It is quiet in Melbourne at the 367 Collins Street scrape. Where is Dad you ask? He will be perched nearby – sometimes on the camera.

The amount of detail that people keep on the UK Osprey nests is truly impressive. If every nest in the world had a dedicated group keeping every single detail for each season what an impressive amount of information we would have on the breeding and behaviour of Ospreys. Llyn Clywedog just posted the number and type of fish and what this means in comparison to average deliveries elsewhere. Well done, Dylan!

Peace and Love, the two fledgling Bald Eagles of Liberty and Freedom at the Glacier Gardens nest, were on the natal nest this morning watching the traffic along the road. How lovely to see them.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and their posts that made up my screen captures today: moon_rabbit_rising, CBC, Ojai Raptor Centre, Cape May Hawkwatch, Cornell Hawk Chatters and Suzanne Arnold Horning, Looduskalender, Explore.org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, NZ DOC, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Llyn Clywedog Ospreys, and Glacier Gardens.

Featured image is L2 taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning.

Ervie, rare spine surgery for a Bald Eagle and more… Thursday in Bird World

1 September 2022

The temperature in Winnipeg rose to 32 degrees C Wednesday evening. It was unbelievably hot and the birds were making full use of the layers and layers of vines and the thick lilac bushes to keep cool. They would occasionally come out for a drink and a bath.

I saw a photograph of a converted wading pool. It was covered with a coated mesh pulled taut – small enough so that the birds could not get their feet caught and they could not drown in the water. A pump with a sprinkler system was positioned in the centre…it was full of little birds having a party. What a great idea. I have just the place for one of those for next summer so the garden visitors can cool down even more. I wonder if the Crows will try it out? or Dyson?

Making News:

Vet team in Canada performs rare spinal surgery on Bald Eagle, Buddy.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-eagle-spinal-surgery-1.6565558?fbclid=IwAR1JFvPcwTJYalzVwZp7cbqMgJUJI7BFifSdNEY73mcu4E_7ItO2FmDzURo

Did someone say Ospreys do not do well in care? Smedley did great at the Audubdon Centre. Now there is Charley!

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pinellas/charley-the-osprey-finds-a-new-home-at-moccasin-lake-nature-park-in-clearwater?fbclid=IwAR2BPuhQgSbMuGj2m3EUV2JJijZzEAO_06oKhp1bmX7qa-wB8xYnogWmJLQ

BirdCast has all the information on migration. You can go and find out how many birds flew over your region at any time in the United States. I checked on Minnesota because it is close to Manitoba – gosh I wish this map worked for the entire planet! They also tell you the birds that are migrating.

For your own information, go to birdcast.info

The Stellar’s Sea Eagle was first seen in Newfoundland/Labrador Canada some time ago. It made its way down the eastern coast of the US causing a stir in Maine. It is back up in Canada now! Some images were posted by Wade Jones. It will surely be making the news here again. Everyone was excited — and yet, there are more and more birds ‘far from home’. I often wonder if they are scouts for the species testing out new locations for living.

James Lovelock died on the 26th of July. Trained as a scientist and known as an early environmentalist and futurist, Lovelock suggested in 2007 that “we might actually choose to contaminate land to keep people out and make it safe for wild animals and birds” (quoted in Marren 274). Marren notes that there has been no mass movement to take up Lovelocks suggestion but that areas around Chernobyl and Fukishima Exclusion Zones are showing promise in this regard.

Jean-Marie duPart counted 54 ospreys fishing at the Langue de Barbarie Park. He will travel to the other areas in Senegal shortly. He says the 54 is the same count as he had in June. Thank you Jean-Marie!

Nest News:

So thrilled that the intruding male did not bring any harm to this beautiful Peregrine Falcon family. Annie and Alden continue to bond…and their little delicate kisses are just lovely.

Llyn Brenig says goodbye for the season. It is an empty nest!

https://www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/blog/kim-and-giuseppe-boccato/their-wintering-grounds?fbclid=IwAR2fo5Cv8K_Ba8nMrEcW5h0DKgg0ovxO-KiFDzBjCHLwFhmADHe6PhgaYQQ

The entire Glaslyn clan is still at home! Mrs G, Aran, and the three kids.

Aran hasn’t lost any talons yet.

Mrs G had her own fish over at the Oak Tree perch. Eating in quiet is important. Mrs G is the oldest osprey in the UK and she has had a busy year with those three fledglings. She needs her strength for her own migration.

Louis is still feeding Sarafina at the Loch Arkaig Nest.

Is Iris still with us? These are the departure dates for past years at the Hellgate Canyon nest in Missoula, Montana. Based on her past history, even thought she has not been seen, it is believed she is still around. Keep checking the nest!

Xavier and Diamond are so cute. Xavier cannot wait for the eggs to turn into chicks. He even brought prey to try and feed them this morning! What a darling. Then he stashed it for Diamond in the corner and she enjoyed it after a full mating ritual on top of the water tower.

Golden sun over the scrape as morning breaks in Orange, Australia.

Diamond flies off for a break.

Xavier arrives with some prey.

Would you like some pigeon?

Decides the eggs aren’t hungry so he will enjoy a few bites before stashing the snack in the corner for Diamond.

Diamond finds Xavier’s treasure.

Xavier loves to incubate the eggies and often, you will have noticed, Diamond does not give him a lot of time. Was it on purpose then that he brought the unprepared Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike in for Diamond’s tea? Imagine the time it will take her to prepare the bird and consume it? Meanwhile Xavier is in Daddyland Bliss.

So what is a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike? These large grey birds with their distinctive black masks are a protected species in Australia. They belong to the passerine family, eat mostly insects, and are found just about everywhere in Australia.

2010-08-19 15-10-21 – IMG_0359 Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike” by Degilbo on flickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

It is after 1200 noon and I still have not seen any prey items brought to the nest. An adult has landed twice with nothing in the talons? Are there intruders? are the prey deliveries arriving later in the day? what particular reason?

Only one fish was delivered yesterday. Dad brought it in at 1508. Both eaglets were fed, according to my source, but 29 got more than 30. It was thought that Lady might start fishing but she didn’t and the spotters on the ground saw Dad at the River Roost. He flew to the nest and the kids started telling him they needed food. It has happened in the past – “feast or famine” ‘P’ calls it. They had eaten lots but 30 had cast a pellet and its crop was completely empty so the little one was really hungry. It is like their life in the wild but sometimes, worrisome to us watching.

The Sea Eagle chicks are now in week 6 and entering week 7. They continue to develop quite well despite my worries about prey deliveries. I hope this worry is for naught. I have written to my contact. One of the adults is in the tree looking out and I think it is Lady. I hope to find out if there are worries also in Sydney. If you do see a prey delivery from Dad, please do let me know.

During this time you might still see a few of the fluffy feathers. The eagles are doing a lot of preening, wing flapping and sitting and spreading themselves. They are standing slightly more steady and they continue to move the twigs in the nest about. By the end of week 8 – coming soon- they should have all of their juvenile feathers even covering their head, chest, and tail. They will be mantling and attempts at self-feeding will continue.

Dad is on the nest on the Port Lincoln barge while Mum has a much needed break and some fish. We can start counting down now…18 more days!

Ervie is out and about doing what Ervie does! Just look at his travels. Oh, just imagine. You will be one year old soon, Ervie. No balloons but we will make you a fish cake.

Hi there handsome, Ervie.

Your talon is slowly, ever so slowly growing back in but look at that green band. Soon you might be two silvers!

Little Dad watched over his new mate and the four precious eggs at the 367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne.

In California, the Condor chick in Tom’s Canyon is doing fantastic! I don’t often write about the condors and that is a ‘shame on me’. Just look at how big and healthy this chick is.

Karl II remains in Estonia at the nest getting his strength and having some rest from feeding the four fledglings. Bonus remains at the Priyapat River in Belarus. Here is his tracker and an image of the area.

I am worried beyond belief for Kaia who entered The Ukraine near Chernobyl on the 30th. No updated tracking information for the past two days. Data due at 19:45. Will see if anything comes in. as of September 1, then no word on Kaia after landing, for the second time, in The Ukraine. Waba has sent in no data tracking. Karl II remains in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. Bonus was last in Belarus. Send them your warm wishes on their travels.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is going to be another 32 C day here in Winnipeg which means it could go a little higher. The tropical plants on the deck are doing marvellous. So strange. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and posts where I took my screen captures: CBC, BirdCast, Wade Jones, Cal Falcons, North Wales Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Montana Ospreys, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Ventana Wildlife, and Looduskalender.