Christmas Day in Bird World

It is a gorgeous Christmas morning over Big Bear Lake in San Bernadino County, California. This is the home of Bald Eagle couple, Jackie and Shadow. What a beautiful view as the sun rises to wake up the forest and the animals that live around the lake.

A little later the camera operator gives us a treat by panning around the area where Jackie and Shadow live.

Jackie and Shadow have been delivering some nice (some large) twigs to the nest. This wonderful couple live in the hope of hatching eaglets and we send them positive energy as we hope with them.

Harriet and M15 might be wishing for a little bit of the cooler northern Californian weather in Fort Myers. The couple began ‘listening’ to their eggs last evening. It is pip watch!

About four days before hatching, the eaglets will grow their egg tooth. Imagine it as a sharp spike facing outward towards the shell on the tip of the beak. The little ones will chip away at the shell. They will take their first breath and continue picking away until they have broken through and hatched. This whole process can take up to four days.

Last year Harriet and M15, fledged E17 and E18 – the twins that won all of our hearts from their first bobblehead days, to going into care for conjunctivitis, to their return. Beautiful fledglings. Best friends.

I am so glad that Samson and Gabby did not lay their eggs at the same time as Harriet and M15. This way we will get to enjoy having two nests of bobble heads independent of one another! Last year, Gabby and Samson had one hatch, Legacy. S/he turned out to be a beautiful and formidable juvenile.

Gabby is on incubation duties.

Anna and Louis are also incubating two eggs and have a wait similar to that of Samson and Gabby. Their nest is in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. This is the couple’s second breeding attempt. Last year they fledged Kisatchie, the first eaglet hatched and fledged on this nest in central Louisiana since 2013. Wow. Cody and Steve have installed sound at the nest this year.

It was fun watching Anna and Louis last year figure out what to do as new parents. Louis is a fabulous provider. When he is not loading the nest down with fish, he is aiming to give Anna the softest Spanish Moss he can find for the egg cup! Just look at it.

Clive and Connie are incubating two eggs over at Captiva. They have had some terrible weather there lately and this image is from yesterday. The camera appears to be down this morning.

Clive is a new mate for Connie. Last year, Connie and Joe hatched two eaglets, Peace and Hope, who died on the nest from rodenticide poisoning.

One of the ospreys over wintering at Urdaibai in the Basque Country of Spain waking up to Christmas morning.

While many of the Ospreys are opting to stay on the Iberian Peninsula instead of making the long journey down to The Gambia or Senegal, there are still celebrations as the December count along the Senegal coast was 1100 birds this year. Jean-Marie Dupart did an amazing job going out and counting all of the beautiful fish eagles. Thank you!

German Osprey along the coast of Senegal.

Closer to home, Jack and Diane have been working on their nest. Some really nice strips of bark have been brought in. Last year, the pair fledged three for the first time: Sibling 1, Sibling 2, and the miracle bird who survived against all the odds and became dominant, Tiny Tot Tumbles.

Cilla Kinross is celebrating the third camera at Charles Sturt Falcon Project. There is a ledge and box camera and now one that shows the falcons flying around the outside of the water tower. Congratulations, Cilla.

Here is the link if you wish to check out the new tower cam:

Big Red and Arthur have been spotted out hunting so all is well with the Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus. Hope to have images I can post for you shortly.

The countdown is on for all the hawk and osprey fans…three months til Big Red is incubating eggs and three months til the first arrivals of the Western Ospreys back in the UK. Oh, and the beautiful storks of Latvia and Estonia. May they all stay safe until then.

Wishing all of the birds who bring us such joy, extra prey items, good weather, and safe flying.

Thank you for joining me today. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope that you have a peaceful, joyful day, with something a little special. For those birds not with us today, we thank them for the happiness they gave to us – and as one of my readers ‘B’ so eloquently said, ‘and all they taught us.’ So true. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, KNF Eagle Cam, Captiva Eagle Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the Achieva Osprey Cam.

Note: Port Lincoln Osprey Cam is down or we would all get a look at those lads!

Falcon and Red-Tail Hawk Cams

I had a lovely note form ‘M’ asking about other peregrine falcon cams. Thank you for your letter, ‘M’.

Each one of us feels a little ’empty’ when the eyases fledge. Without trackers, we have no idea what happens to them. We just wish them well and I know that everyone is working hard to make their environment better. The only birds on the nest who have fledged and not left permanently are the PLO Lads – Ervie, Bazza, and Falky. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the birds have migrated to warmer climates. I will, however, be checking on nests in Asia to see if there are any for you to watch.

This is not an exhaustive listing but it is a beginning and I will be adding to it for all of you as the camera streams return. We have streaming cams on the falcons in Winnipeg as part of the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery. I will post those at the beginning of the summer. Most of our birds are in southern Texas or Mexico right now.

So here goes – and if you have a favourite falcon or hawk cam, let me know!

One of my favourites are the Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne. They are known as the CBD or 367 Collins Street Falcons. The cam is currently not live. Will come back on line September 2022

Cornell Red-tail Hawks (Big Red and Arthur), Ithaca, New York. The construction work at Bradfield has caused a power outage on the Athletic Fields. Those building works are winding down and this camera should be live shortly. Big Red and Arthur will be very busy once late February and March roll around. There are only two Red-tail hawk streaming cams in the world and this is the best. Big Red is 19 this year. Arthur is 5 or 6 years old. They are a fantastic couple that normally fledge three eyases a year. There are birders on the ground that keep track of the fledglings so you get to see the parents do team training in hunting, etc. Highly Recommended.

Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam in Orange, Australia. Yurruga has fledged. Look for egg laying in the fall of 2022. This is the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. They are a well established couple. For the past two years three eggs laid but only one fledgling each year which is fine. It is a nice comparison with the Melbourne falcons who fledge 3 consistently. Orange is more rural and, of course, Melbourne is urban. The camera is left on and the falcons come and go regularly.

The Campanile Falcons on UC-Berkeley. This is the scrape box and cams for the Peregrine Falcon Couple, Annie and Grinnell. Grinnell was injured by a male interloper on 29 October. He was in care, as a result, and has been returned to his territory. The male interloper is still at The Campanile. It is unclear which of the males Annie will choose. Nesting activity late March, 2022. Annie and Grinnell are incredible parents who traditionally fledge three adorable babies.

The following are falcon cams that I have watched ‘on and off’ and that have come highly recommended to me from viewers:

Illkirch, France:

Great Spirit Bluff, Minnesota

Anacapa Island, California. There are current a large number of Pelicans to watch.

I will definitely be posting more including a couple of streaming cams from the UK. All of that action will begin when spring arrives. I also want to post some sites in Asia which I will do over the weekend. There will also be the Northern Hemisphere Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, as well as the returning storks to Latvia and Estonia.

For now, things are really pretty quiet except for the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Diamond and Xavier coming in and out of the scrape box in Orange, and the Bald Eagles laying eggs in the US. There are two nests that you might wish to consider and if you have never watched a Royal Albatross nest then you definitely need to check out the Royal Cam Family in New Zealand who are incubating an egg laid on 9 November. They are very experienced and adorable parents, OGK (Orange Green Black) and YRK (Yellow Red Black). They are already grandparents. I often suggest this site to individuals who have a difficult time watching any nest if there is sibling rivalry. The Albatross lay one egg every two years. Parents rotate all of the duties. Last year the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, had a sat-pak attached to her. We are currently watching her fish off the coast of Chile.

It is a bit wet in NZ this morning. This is YRK’s 6th day on the nest. OGK will be flying in soon and they will switch. Should something happen, the NZ DOC rangers are there to step in and intervene. No one goes hungry, injuries are taken care of, etc. It is a great site and in the process you will bear witness to a country that really protects its wildlife!

There are way too many Bald Eagle streaming cams to list them all. For now, I am only going to recommend one. These are experienced parents Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest on the property of the Pritchett Family. Their eggs are due to hatch soon – December 25-28. Once Gabby lays her egg in NE Florida I will post that information. For now, you can have fun watching Harriet and M15 change places. The only un-fun thing is the GHOW that attacks the eagles regularly.

There is no word on Yurruga. Cilla says she will look for a few more days. Just so you know the building that Yurruga was last seen on is a gabled (triangle) pointed roof, a bit steep. It is a single story building with clay tiles. Yurruga is not there – not alive, not dead. He was there on Thursday – seen twice during a big storm. I would expect to hear this fledgling screaming for food. Falcons are loud! Is it at a distance from the tower? is Yurruga injured? is Yurruga somewhere else? There are no answers I am afraid. If I hear anything you will be the first to know. Now, it is time for me to go and take care of all my feeders. The gang will be here soon!

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

Friday the 19th in Bird World

It has been a bit of a day in the bird and wildlife world. Coming hot on the heels of the banning of trail hunting on Natural Resources Wales land and the National Trust properties in the UK, the State of Washington in the US has suspending bear hunting. It was well known that the adults were killed right when they came out of hibernation leaving cubs to fend for themselves, often dying. People, like you and me, called for these archaic practices to halt. The government listened. Remember that because every person can make a difference! You want hunting suspended in your state or province, phone and find out who to talk to. Write an informed letter. Demand change. Ask like-minded people to join you.

I am not going to start off with the streaming cams just yet. It was a grey damp day – with a little sunshine at times – on the Canadian prairies. The garden was full of birds, mostly sparrows and some Starlings. Mr Blue Jay came and went quickly. He does not seem to like the frozen corn cob. And, of course, there was Dyson & Company, along with Little Red.

All these years I have pondered the sheer amount of ‘bird’ seed that we go through in a week. It is true that there are normally 250-300 birds singing and eating daily but, how much can they eat? It appears that not all that new seed – seedless chipped sunflower and peanuts – is going to birds!

Dyson didn’t like the frozen corn either and didn’t bother to even take it for later. He has discovered how to vacuum out that new bird seed. I think I now know who broke my other feeder. Dyson has no shame. He lives to eat.

Dyson looks a little thinner in the image above but the one below is more of a likeness of this little one. Dyson brings us so much joy that we are thrilled he is healthy going into what might be a very bad winter.

With Dyson occupied on the sunflower/peanut feeder, it meant that Little Red could sneak on the tray feeder and eat all the cashews, fruit, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. If you are wondering, yes, the birds and animals possibly eat better than I do! Little Red is so cute.

Little Red lives in the penthouse. It is a ‘shed’ the size of a garage that is taxed like it is a new garage by our City. We haven’t had the heart to evict the little fellow even thought he fills everything up with Maple seeds and knocks everything off its hooks and generally makes a complete mess of the space.

There were a few European Starlings still in the garden. They will migrate returning next April but they are lingering just like some of the ducks and the Northern Cardinals. Who knows? Maybe they know what winter will be like better than anyone. They certainly have enjoyed eating the suet cylinder.

Others felt like Black Oil Seed today.

Isn’t she cute with her rosey legs and slightly pink tinted beak? Female house sparrows get short shift in the bird guides. It is a pity. They are quite lovely.

Last year I planted Scarlett Runner Beans and at the end of the summer the sparrows went wild shredding all of them and eating the greenery. What you are looking at below is a Flame Willow shrub. In winter the branches are red – super beautiful in a world of grey, white, and beige. There is some little vine or plant growing on that shrub. The sparrows have discovered it and they are doing the same thing – shredding and eating. Has anyone seen this behaviour?

And now back to the streaming cams for a quick update.

Port Lincoln Osprey Barge: By 09:30, three fish had been delivered to the nest. Bazza initially got the first fish when it arrived at 06:23. Ervie took it away from him. Bazza did nothing to try and get it back. Falkey got the 06:49:38 fish. The third fish arrived at 09:11:09 and Falkey got it, too. Ervie had a huge crop. He wasn’t bothered. Yesterday Cilla Kinross of the Orange Peregrine Falcons said that “Shrinking violets will not last long in the real world.” Bazza is hungry and he needs to challenge his brothers despite that he might be fearful of another incident like he had with Ervie.

Falkey has the fish. Bazza is crying to Mum and Ervie with his big crop is looking out to sea on the right. Will Mum take the fish and feed Bazza?

The White Tailed Eagle Nest in Durbe, Latvia. Milda and Mr L were at the nest working on more renovations. It was getting ready to rain and the image is a little ‘foggy’. Sorry about that. It is nice to see Milda. I hope that this will be a successful year for her after the tragedy of spring 2020.

The Minnesota DNR has turned on its Bald Eagle cam. Here is a video of that amazing couple – the sub-adult male who fathered his first chicks at the age of four last year – and the older female. This video was made on 18 November. It looks like Dad has his adult plumage this year! How wonderful. He will have turned 5.

Cornell Red Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca. The camera has been frozen for awhile. I wrote to the Cornell Bird Lab to inform them and to also ask them if there have been any confirmed sightings of Big Red since the last one on 16 October. I will keep you informed.

Annie and Grinnell. I have not seen any updates. As well, nothing on the WBSE juvenile.

You might remember Tiny Little Bob from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. That little one is a fine example of a third hatch so tiny everyone thought it would die and well, she became the dominant bird on the nest. Her number is Blue 463. I am watching all of the announcements for her arrival in warmer climates. Today, however, the 2016 hatch from Foulshaw Moss, male Blue V8, was spotted in Tanji Marsh in The Gambia. He was seen there in January 2021 and was in Cumbria during the summer of 2021. This is the good news you want to hear. Survival.

And on that wonderful sighting, I will close. Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. Stay safe. Thank you so very much for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Latvian Fund for Nature, Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and to Lady Hawk for her video on the arrival of the two Bald Eagles to the MN DNR nest.

Statues for beloved birds, why not?

If you have read my bio, you will know that part of my life was spent studying statues placed in the public realm. I wanted to study the History of Ceramics but, at the time, there was no such programme in existence. The rest is more or less history. My niche was the public statues exported from Britain to the India sub-continent and Southeast Asia. If anyone asked me why, I would tell them that I loved to meet new people and travel and certainly that topic facilitated many adventures. On occasion, I still write an article or two. Public statues to men – there were hardly ever any celebrating women – are always controversial as we have witnessed over the past several years with the toppling of many public figures. Can a statue of a much beloved goose be controversial? I hope not!

Derek was a Snow Goose that arrived in Watchet Harbour in Somerset, UK, a decade ago. There are no other Snow Geese and everyone believed her to be a male until she laid an egg. Derek never migrated like the other geese. The boat owners feed her broccoli and Weetabix every morning. If they are late, Derek would board their boats and honk and honk and honk til she is fed. Charming. Sadly, Derek disappeared with only feathers being found a few weeks ago. The community fears a fox killed her. She delighted people near and far. As a result of the joy she gave there is a collection to have a statue of her made for the wharf. What a lovely idea. You can read about it here.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-59252269

David Cohen’s statue to Ezra, Big Red, and chick

You might recall that a wooden sculpture was created to honour Ezra, Big Red’s Mate at Cornell. The work shows Ezra, Big Red, and a chick from their last brood. The detail in the carving is stunning. The artist, David Cohen, used acrylics for the plumage.

https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2021/10/cornell-hawk-family-immortalized-sculpture

It is a lovely work celebrating a much beloved Red-tailed Hawk. It will remain on display for three years.

The only problem with this beautiful tribute to Ezra is that it cannot be placed outdoors. I am hoping that the Rock Star of the group, Big Red, will receive a bronze statue in her own garden in front of the Fernow Building which is across from the nest and where her fledglings always flew to first.

There are many animal and bird statues around the world. They are touching and quite lovely. Why not erect something to celebrate the birds that have brought us so much joy? Seriously, the politicians that find themselves immortalized often cannot make that claim!

Checking on the nests: At Port Lincoln, Dad brought in a fish at 06:22. Guess who stole the fish tail? If you said Ervie aka Little Bob you are 100% correct. Here is our lad finishing it off. Later, he was nosing around the nest looking for leftovers. Quite the guy you are, Ervie.

It is kind of wet in Port Lincoln. Don’t think any of the lads are going to be taking off flying today but…the birds always surprise us! The puffer fish is still being batted about on the nest but the chicks did not touch it. You can see it behind the chick on the far right, Bazza.

Yurruga has also had her breakfast. Oh, she is such a little sweetheart. She is changing every day. The wing flapping is really helping to get the floof off!

Mum and daughter looking out to Diamond’s territory waiting for breakfast delivery. I know that Yurruga is closer to the camera but she is really growing and, well, she is larger than Dad. What does that tell you?

When Yurruga is really hungry, she often picks at Diamond’s talons. See how much floof has disappeared since yesterday. Beautiful juvenile feathers hiding – and what a nice tail. I might not have noticed it because of those fluffy pantaloons. But there it is. Its length will be revealed once that white down is off. I keep saying it but looking at her it is just so hard to imagine her fledging in a week.

Xavier is excellent hunter. The girls hardly ever have to wait in the morning. In fact, most falcons have a place where they ‘stash’ prey. A pantry for those days when prey items might not be sufficient or for leftovers. The birds do not waste anything. We might all take some lessons from them.

Yurruga is doing really well at the self-feeding.

Self-feeding is tiring and Diamond helps get every last piece of meat off the bones – teaching the little one. Look at how carefully Yurruga watches. She is imprinting everything including the type of prey that is alright to catch. Her plucking is getting better, too. Again, she learned that from watching her parents.

The latest news about Grinnell is that he is healing nicely and has specialized home care. He is preparing to be released back into the wild. Send all your warm wishes his way that him and Annie regain their territory together. Oh, Grinnell you are so cute and so tiny with your wings all bandaged. Look at those yellow sticks for legs. Oh, my. You take care little guy.

Everyone seems to be alright. The big snow promised for this afternoon did not materialize. Thankfully. The garden birds have really been eating — and thank you for your kind notes. No, I am not going to get out in this mess. I put on my big boots with great grip and took care of the birds and that is it. I appreciate the concern. So very, very kind of you.

Thank you for joining me today. It is nice to see all the birds doing well today. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Lindsay Wildlife Hospital, and Suzanne Arnold Horning for the photo of the Ezra statue.

Tuesday in Bird World 5 October 2021

It is another glorious day. The sky is blue and it is going up to 28 or 29 degrees. Winds are a bit gusty. Still a noon walk around the pond seems to be something to aim for. Will it be too hot for the ducks and geese? Will they be sleeping on Duck Island and not on the water?

Before anything else happens during the day, I always check on a couple of nests, especially those in Australia to see if there are any surprises or if all is well.

The Port Lincoln Dad continues with his good fishing streak. Added to the already 3 or 4 feedings yesterday were two more: 16.41:26 and 18:33:08.

Everyone was fed yesterday. Each of the three is doing well and changing so much. What a magnificent Osprey nest to watch this year and despite some of the chatters fearing the worst (why I ask?), there is no evidence this year to indicate anything other than three successful fledges with their own sat paks.

It is only 6:33 in Port Lincoln. Not breakfast time yet.

There are four! A viewer was worried that something had happened to one of the little eyases. You have to be very creative in recognizing the individual falcons sometimes. They tend to collapse in a pile keeping each other warm. There is the baby looking right out at us. Each is thriving. Those parents are busy stocking the pantry! These kids can eat. This is not a nest that is going to have issues unless a real tragedy hits (like a parent dying). These are well seasoned parents that know precisely how to take care of their little ones. Not a worry at all. Just enjoy them!

How many of you watched the Peregrine Falcon nest at Orange with Xavier and Diamond last year? If you did, I know that Izzi, their only hatchling, stole your heart. Today, Izzi is having his one year birthday. Holly Parsons did a slideshow tribute to Izzi and posted it on YouTube. Here is the link:

Today we are waiting for the first hatch of Xavier and Diamond’s 2021 brood. It will happen anytime! Here is a link to the camera in Orange. You won’t want to miss any of that action.

The best guess on the first hatch is 7 October – tomorrow in Australia. This morning Xavier really wanted to incubate those eggs and Diamond let him! He is not giving us any hints if there is a pip. One happy Dad!

Do you know why Xavier is named Xavier? It comes from Saviour. In 2016, Diamond’s eggs were ready to hatch and her mate Bula went missing. Xavier showed up and helped Diamond raise the chicks that year. He provided all the food for them. Xavier and Diamond are a bonded pair raising their own chicks for the past five years. Xavier ‘saved’ (hence Saviour) the chicks lives that year. He is a very devoted Dad and a great mate.

Speaking of devoted mates, the Cornell Bird Lab has unveiled a Tupelo wood sculpture of Big Red and Ezra and their 2016 nest titled Hello Daddy. The artist, David Cohen, wanted to do a tribute to Ezra as he died the following year. The wood was decorated by burning and acrylics and depicts the first hatch with the other two eggs in various stages of hatching. Ezra wears the real metal band that he wore in life. The sculpture was unveiled today and will be on display for three years.

The trip to the duck pond to see the progression of the plumage changes in the male Mallards and the Wood Ducks was a bit of a bust. It is just too hot and almost everyone was on ‘Duck Island’ staying cool in the shade.

There was one lonely White-breasted Nuthatch foraging on one of the tree trunks as I arrived. They lack the black eye line and the rosy breast of the Red-breasted Nuthatch.

A few of the Canada Geese were out. Perhaps they were hoping that some of the picnickers might share some of their lunch with them. I don’t think it was working. Everyone seems very mindful of the signs saying “Do Not Feed the Wildlife”.

There were a couple taking a bath and flipping themselves over like people in a kayak. It was quite interesting to watch although it would have been much better as a video!

A few Canada Geese were flying in and landing.

What a great landing!

I could watch them all day!

Thank you for stopping in. I hope that you have had a really good day and that it continues that way. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac. I would also like to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to post her images on my blog. She kindly attended the opening reception of Hello, Daddy.

Friday in Bird World

Someone has a sense of humour over at the Dyfi Osprey Project. Have a look at their season highlights (oh, I had forgotten what a horrid spring these birds had!). There are some great images in this video compilation.

There was a really short feed at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest before the sun came up.

The golden rays of the morning are falling on mom has she has those three little osplets under her keeping warm. It is 11 degrees C – coolish and the winds are blowing at 23 km/h. Brisk. I hope Dad has a good day fishing. The forecast is for rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Glaslyn has officially announced that Aran is now on his migration. He has not been seen since Tuesday.

Closer to home. The Great Blue Heron wins the award for patience. He stood positively still and because of that, he was very successful in his fishing today in a river south of Winnipeg. I wish I could find the words to describe how quiet it was on the river and what a privilege it was to see this really beautiful bird catch its dinner.

This Great Blue has been keeping the juvenile Green Heron company but if the latter was around, he is still alluding me.

There was not a sign of a Wood Duck or a Cormorant but the Mallards and the Canada Geese were the usual suspects at the urban pond today.

For some reason today, the grass seemed greener to the geese on the other side of a major paved thoroughfare. We ushered them back but not without a lot of hissing and honking. The grass was definitely not greener and the cars were not being respectful. If you see geese, please slow down.

How many of you are Big Red and Arthur fans? The Red-tail Hawk couple at Cornell University? If so, the folks at the Cornell Bird Lab have put together a compilation video like the one for the Dyfi Osprey Nest. Here it is:

It is that time of year. First, I remind everyone to please not rake your yard. There are insects growing there. Just leave the leaves. Someone’s ears will thank you for not using the blower as well. And, finally, this is the time of year that the eagles, the condors, and many other bird species show up in the wildlife clinics because of lead. Please tell everyone you know that fishes and hunts to use lead free kit. Thanks!

The Bald Eagle is not, of course, the symbol of Canada but many breed here during the summer and we want all of the birds safe.

I hope that each and everyone of you have a wonderful weekend. Maybe the weather is sunny and dry – go for a walk, say hi to your favourite birds. Check out the little ones at the PLO nest or WBSE 27 and 28 at the Sea Eagles nest in Sydney. Hatch watch for the falcons is still a ways away.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Cam where I took my screen shots.

Taiki to get GPS tracker

It is 9 September in Australia. My computer tells me that it is 17:34 on the Canadian Prairies on the 8th of September. In three hours, around 20:00. CDT, the NZ DOC rangers will fit Tiaki with the tracker. She is 228 days old and could fledge any time.

Here is the link so that you can watch. Both LGL and LGK were fitted with trackers. LGK’s is still working providing valuable information on where the adults forage for food for their chicks.

In other nest news, it has been confirmed that Z2 (Aeron) and his family have now all departed for migration. Aeron’s nest is the Pont Cresor in Glaslyn. At the same time, Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Many worry about his late spring wing injury but, he most often doesn’t leave until mid-September.

Wales issued a statement that due to the cold spring weather and misfortunes, their six nests produced only six chicks to fledge.

9 October is one of Cornell’s big bird submission dates. This year they are even calling it October Big Day. They want everyone to do a bird count around the world. Mark it on your calendar. I will give you more details closer to the day.

eBird submissions are very helpful. Some recent discoveries, sadly, include bird and plane collision information.

A photo of an adult Osprey yesterday leads everyone in Missoula to think that Iris is still in Montana. The image was taken from the Owl Pole Camera.

Let’s chick on where the Black Storks are today.

Pikne is in Moldova.

Udu is in Southwest Poland.

Udu’s area is full of lakes!

There was no data update for Karl II.

Julge, the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika, has made its way through Germany and looks like he is flying into France. This stork picked the Western Route! Julge is the purple line going into Belgium. It is nice to know he is safe.

The last time that Big Red and Arthur’s K1 and K3 were spotted was 3 September. If they are truly gone and starting their own lives, we wish them and those that are migrating good winds, food, and safe landings.

My original computer issue was fixed but now it seems that some of the keys are sticking. It isn’t fun to keyboard. I will leave you with a couple of images of ducks and geese from my excursion to the park today. It was quiet. Everyone was off tracking down a Green Heron that had flown into town!

A juvenile male Wood Duck.
Juvenile Female Wood Duck
Adult male Wood Duck,moult
Canada Geese

Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to drop in and see Tiaki get her tracker! My hope is that it is equipped with a 7 year battery. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Montana Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and BirdMap.

Iris and Louis defend nest

In my last post, Tiny Little Bob or Blue 463 from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest was screaming at White YW (aka dad) for a fish. He could have flown to Wales and he would have still heard her.

What is that about the squeaky wheel always gets the oil first? Perhaps screaming daughters do, too. It is the last fish of the evening probably and Tiny Little is eating it. Blue 462, the other female on the nest, would like Tiny Little to share. Somehow I don’t think so ——- it was, after all, Blue 462 who was such a meanie to Tiny Little when she hatched. Birds have good memories.

These are the areas adjacent to Iris’s nest in Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. It is very beautiful. We always see the nest in the parking lot but just on the other side are trees, grass, and water.

Iris is the oldest living Osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. After her mate Stanley died, she bonded with Louis. They had one chick survive, Lele, in 2018. Louis has another nest at the baseball park with Starr. They fledged two chicks this summer. When Stanley died, Louis also took over the territory that includes the two nests. Every year Iris returns, goes through the rituals of breeding, lays her eggs, and everything falls apart. People get upset. They think very little of Louis. I am of a divided mind. Right now I prefer Iris taking care of herself, eating well, and bulking up for migration than running around with a nest full of juvenile fledglings. She has done her bit for the DNA of the species. But that is just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs, for sure. But the one solid thing that binds all of us together is our love for this most amazing of Ospreys.

Iris tends to spend more time at her nest before she leaves on migration. Last year she departed on 8 September. Everyone gets a little teary eyed right about now because there is no promise that Iris will return but, we live in hope that this strongest of female Ospreys graces the screens next spring. Along with that hope is that the rains come and there is plenty of food for all.

There have been a number of intruders, both male and female, this summer. Do they want to usurp Louis? take Iris for a mate? Certainly when Dunrovin’s Congo came on the scene everyone was hopeful! or are they just curious and checking out what nests are available? Perhaps all of those things. Today, Louis flew to the nest alarming and Iris flew in and joined him – showing off her big crop!

Erick Greene and his team in Montana are considering many ways in which to commemorate Iris. Stay tuned or check out the Montana Osprey FB page. If you wanted to order an Iris pen and forgot, if you will send me a note I will send you the details. They are gorgeous and made from those sticks she brought to the nest.

In the image below, Rosie, the female adult on the San Francisco Bay Osprey cam at the Richmond Yards, is bringing Poppy, one of two female hatches, a beautiful trout. Poppy is 110 days old today.

The average age for Richmond and Rosie’s female chicks to stop feeding at the nest is 105 days. The longest a female stayed was in 2018 and that was Kiskasit who was 124 days old. Lupine was last seen on Monday. She was 103 days old. Sage, the only male, was last seen on 28 July at the age of 86 days. The average for the males to stop feeding on this nest is 93 days so Sage left a little early. There is no reason to believe that Sage and Lupine have begun any type of migration. Richmond stays in the SF Bay area year round. Mom Rosie will migrate and the female adults normally leave before the fledglings. And whose to say they will migrate! If there is plenty of food and the weather is fine – well, it certainly agrees with Richmond – may be they will stay!

And, of course, just thinking about fledglings returning to the nest to be fed until they are 90-100 days old just makes me think about Malin. Susan, the wildlife rehabber that is over the area where Collins Marsh is located, was to get in touch me later today. She wrote me a long note yesterday and she is also firm in her knowledge that Malin was a forced fledge. As we have learned, normal fledges do not require our attention. The chicks return to the nest, take short flights, and are fed by the parents. Malin was not ready despite his age. He had suffered a lack of food. His forced fledge meant that he was in jeopardy and boots on the ground were needed immediately. This did not happen. As noted earlier, she found two chicks – one dead, one alive. I am hoping that ‘no news is good news’.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus and she found the two Ks. No sightings of Big Red and Arthur but, guess what? Getting to see K1 and K3 on the 22nd of August is a bonus. Here they are hunting. That is K1 on the top. She looks so much like Big Red and has turned out to be such a fantastic hunter. Suzanne said they were not food calling – just being quiet and hunting. These two seem so much more independent this year.

Ah, the little cutie, K3 looking down and hoping to find a chippie.

What a nice treat to get to see the Ks. And, of course, theirs could be a migration dilemma. Big Red and Arthur stay in the area year round. Perhaps with the changes in weather so will the Ks. If someone could put the average date that birds leave for migration this year against last and create a global directory (surely someone does this already), tracking of changes related to climate could be measured. We have seen Poppy stay longer as are many others and now perhaps the Ks.

Thank you for joining me today. I will let you know as soon as I hear about Malin – it is heartwarming to hear from so many around the world who came to love that little nestling. If you are in line with any of the storms hitting the coast of the US, going over Hawaii, or elsewhere, take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

UPDATE: Aug 23 at 17:35:35 No2 (7182) fledged at the Estonian nest of Jan and Janika. Slept as an adult off nest.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clips: Montana Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon. I would also like to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning who allows me to download her images to share with you.

What is better than a Peregrine Falcon Kiss?

Lots of people keep track of hurricanes and tropical storms. Most watch because they or their loved ones, or both, live in the line of the storm. Bird watchers also track weather systems. There are currently two systems that might impact our beloved Big Red and family as well as the birds that are migrating over Hawk Mountain, PA.

Henri is going to give some heavy rain and wind. Ithaca is west of the darkest green band but could get some rain.

Tropical Disturbance Fred will also give some heavy rain in the same area. There were flash flood warnings for Ithaca last night. It is 1:03 am Thursday morning in Ithaca and there are rain drops dripping off the metal supports of the light stand that Big Red and Arthur’s nest is on. The rain does not look heavy at the moment. There is also a peculiar corn plant growing out of the centre of the nest!

Heavy rain will impact the hawks ability to hunt. They would have felt the pressure system coming and hopefully caught more food yesterday.

This isn’t the beginning of the season. Hurricane season runs until 30 November.

Baby Kindness (I wonder if she would mind if I call her that?) is not worried about hurricanes. Today, she is 83 days old. Kindness branched yesterday and all she has on her mind is ___________________. If you said flying you are 100% correct. She has really been putting on a show for the people watching the live stream today.

Oh, she really gets some nice air under those wings going back and forth from the branch to the nest.

Wow. Look at those wings. Magnificent.

Kindness has spent a lot of time considering what is below that branch she is sitting on. Sometimes she gets the branch to bouncing a bit and that seems to unnerve her slightly and she flies back to the nest.

For several days, I have been talking about the migration of Ospreys in Wisconsin, like Malin, or those living in the United Kingdom or in Northeastern Europe. The Bald Eagles in Alaska do not migrate south of Alaska unless there is no food. In 1972, the State Legislature established a long stretch of the In Chilkat River as critical bald eagle habitat. The goal was to protect the birds, some 4000 of them, that move from the interior to the Chilikat River Valley where they feed on the Chum Salmon run during the late fall and winter. The juveniles normally eat spawned and dead salmon or the carcasses left behind by bears.

The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is located in the Tongass National Forest just fifteen minutes away from Juneau. This is where Liberty and Freedom have their nest and where Kindness will fledge. There are meadows, forests, and glaciers. What a spectacular place to be a Bald Eagle!

“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the features of the park is the Mendenhall Glacier.

“Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest” by jcsullivan24 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Liberty, Freedom, and Kindness are not far from the Chilikat River Valley and the Alaska Chilikat Bald Eagle Reserve.

In the spring, many of the Bald Eagles will head to areas rich with Herring and Eulachon. These include the Stikine River, Copper River Delta, Silka Sound and Kenai Bend. You can see some of those on the map below. The Copper River flows from Prince William Sound while Silka Sound is closer to Juneau on the far right bottom.

Kindness is fortunate to live in such a beautiful state with what we all hope are abundant resources for her and all the wildlife forever.

There are so many worries in the world. The birds bring so much joy to each of us filled with nail-biting anxiety and that bittersweet moment when our friends fledge to begin their lives off the nest.

Malin is beginning to feel the wind beneath his wings. For so long I did not believe that Malin’s feathers would develop and he would fly – but here he is preparing just for that. Joy.

Like other birds, Malin is doing much more wing strengthening flapping as fledge approaches. The energy from the fish he is eating gives rise to lots of exercising after a feed.

For tonight though, Malin is sleeping like a duckling dreaming of fish.

While Kindness and Malin are dreaming of fish and flying, Xavier and Diamond are constantly pair bonding while preparing for their 2021 eggs and hatches. After doing their courtship dance in the scrape box today, they sealed the deal with a kiss – peregrine falcon style.

Can you think of a better way to end this newsletter? I can’t!

Want to catch the adventures of Xavier and Diamond, here is the link:

Well, what could be better than a Peregrine Falcon kiss? Three Black storklings eating the fish that Urmas brought them. That is actually cause for a big celebration!

When the storklings woke up at dawn and found the fish gift from Urmas, they began to eat.

The feeding of the storklings is a success! Congratulations.

Thank you for joining me this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and the Falconcam Project Charles Sturt University, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, Google Maps, Cornell Bird Labs Red Tail Hawk Streaming Cam, and the National Hurricane Centre.

Late Thursday and early Friday nest news

It was a rare treat to check on the Black Storks and find that Karl II was at the nest feeding the three fledglings. It was around 18:00I had been missing this. The ritual of the feeding and the eating is entrancing. This nest is in the Karula National Park in Estonia. As in Latvia, the Black Stork is very rare and much loved. Karl II and Kaia raised three healthy hatchlings this season. Congratulations!

In my last newsletter, everyone was waiting for the second egg at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest to arrive. If you missed it, it was around 3:27 am nest time on 6 August.

Last year’s PLO fledgling, Solly, is 320 days today. Wow. It is about time to get out the party hats and celebrate her one year hatch day. This just gives you hope. Today, Solly is going in and out and in and out at Eba Anchorage. She apparently has a favourite dead tree in the area that she likes to roost in.

Oh, it seems nestlings are just like human children. Let mom or dad get out of sight and they start picking on one another. This was the case with 27 and 28 at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia. If this is all these two get up to – let them have a little fun. They are so close in size that neither has an advantage. Have a peek.

Dad and Mom are continuing to bring in fish about 5 fish a day to the Collins Marsh Nest. This is a big improvement over a few weeks ago. Malin’s tail now reveals three rows of dark bands and the beautiful scalloped juvenile feathers.

Oh, Malin is becoming such a gorgeous bird. The stepped up deliveries and the drop in heat seem to be suiting this Osprey family in Wisconsin, USA.

Such a little sweetie. Malin really loves this part of the nest. You can catch her sleeping there during the day (like in the image above) or at night. All tucked in with Mom watching over her. If we could only slip a little pillow under that wee head.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus this evening and found K3. Oh, this is such a cute Red-Tail Hawk fledgling! She did not find the other three and commented that K3 must have missed the memo on where to meet tonight. He was apparently flying around food calling!

I didn’t think another Red-tail Hawk fledgling could ever win my heart like J3 did but look at that sweet face on K3. I am melting.

K3 is over on one of the light towers. What a gorgeous image of this third hatch against that clear blue sky. He has really grown into an amazing fledgling. These two, K1 and K3, are simply great fliers and K1 has turned into a fantastic hunter just like her parents, Big Red and Arthur.

Other Nest News:

Congratulations to Rutland Water. It is their 25th anniversary and today, the 200th chick, Blue 360, fledged! Wow. What a fantastic record for the translocation project. The announcement and photo of that lucky chick is on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/324266140960825/posts/4294404503946949/

Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig (nest not on camera) have their first fledge this morning. Voting has ended to name their chicks. Hopefully we will know tomorrow! What fun. That Loch Arkaig nest was so empty this year without Aila. Hopefully another couple will claim it for the 2022 season or maybe Louis and Dorcha will move from the nest off camera to the one where we can watch their every move.

Between now and the beginning of the third week in August, the females of the UK nests will begin their migration to as far away as Spain/Portugal or West Africa. The males will remain as long as there are chicks calling for food. This is normally 2-3 weeks.

This is what fish calling sounds like thanks to one of the fledglings up at the Loch of the Lowes. This chick could be heard all the way to Glasgow! They are so loud. You can easily imagine that the male will know if there is a chick on the nest who is hungry.

Things seem to be going really well on the nests today. That is always worth a big smile!

Thank you so much for joining me. I will be back late Friday evening with a nest update. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen shots: Eagle Club of Estonia, Collins Marsh Osprey Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Page, and Suzanne Arnold Horning for letting me share the beautiful images of K3.

The featured image is K3 on the light stand taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning.