The Daisy Chronicles, Day 20 The Raven Came

I had no more than posted my last blog thinking that the rest of the day would be quiet like the beginning. That changed with the arrival of a single Australian Raven at 18:08:21. You could hear it before you could see it. Daisy froze!

The cawing was singular so it was only one Corvid on the nest. In the distance there was, at one time, what sounded like another Raven. To my knowledge it never flew to join the other Raven in the branches of the Ironbark Tree.

Daisy keeps her bill under that one twig – not moving. I once saw Little Woodpecker cling to a suet holder for 45 minutes when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk was sitting on a branch under it pretending to be a bird feeder. Little Woodpecker was terrified. You could tell it only from his eyes.

Daisy is quick. The Raven flies over to the branch. She turns quickly so that she can keep an eye on it.

At one point the Raven hid behind the big branch. you can see its tail on the right. Did it think Daisy would think it was gone? and move off her eggs?

Daisy lunges and the Raven moves to the other larger branch to the right.

Daisy knows the Raven is still in the tree. Every once in awhile it will make a very eerie sound.

Daisy watched and listened. She did not relax until 16:21. That was a total of 13 minutes.

Whew! I must remember not to take anything for granted. Our brave little duck is doing the absolute best that she can.

The weather forecast for Daisy is not good. There is a 40% chance of rain beginning shortly. It looks like there are chances of showers increasing to 70% probability after midnight. There could be a thunderstorm around 10:00 tomorrow morning. Sadly Daisy might not be able to stay dry. It looks like there could be showers on and off for the next week.

Thank you for joining me. We forget what a challenge laying the eggs, incubating them, and then finally the hatching is for Daisy. She is just doing so well that sometimes I need a good reminder that this is not easy. Send her all your good energy! I certainly am. She is very brave despite being frightened.

And if you want to know what this might look like should those eggs hatch, here is a cute little video of a female Mallard and her ducklings – from hatch to freedom. OK. The distance is very different but these fuzzy yellow ducks are so cute and look how their Mum knows when one of them is missing. It is amazing —– and they don’t have a 75 foot jump!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 11 continued

It is 13:14 in Sydney Australia’s Olympic Park Forest. Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, has 8 eggs she is incubating in the White-Bellied Sea Eagles nest. So far today she has had a visit by three Ring-tail possums in the night and two Ravens. The possums did not bother Daisy’s eggs and the Ravens sitting and cawing in the upper branches of the tree did not cause any issues for Daisy. She seemed to ignore them completey – she kept her cool. They might well come back today and the sea eagles might show up but for now, our little duck is resting. She took 5 hours off -divided into two time periods – to go and forage. She has taken the opportunity to sleep while incubating.

Daisy seems to be developing a strategy to thwart both the Ravens and the sea eagles. She stays on the nest leaving right at sunset and then leaving again 2 or 3 hours before sunrise. That way she can eat while the others are sleeping and be on her eggs to protect them if the Ravens visit. Last year she played tag with Dad. So far they have not encountered one another. Dad did come one evening but Daisy was foraging.

Daisy is such a beautiful duck. I love how the down looks like it has little twinkle stars in it.

At 13:46 a visitor came to the nest – a quiet visitor. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird fly from the right to the left across the nest and land. My heart sank. I thought the Ravens had gone into stealth mode. But, no. It was a Pied Currwaong. You might recall that it is the Currawongs that chase the Sea Eagle fledglings out of the forest. Or you might recall that a group of them pecked at the head of WBSE 27 causing it to have to go into care (it was also hungry and dehydrated). They can be mean. Daisy kept her head down but keeping her eye on every movement the bird made.

In the top image, the Currawong is flying between the two branches on the left.

The Currawong has landed on the branch directly in front of Daisy. Daisy is watching with one eye and keeping still.

You can see it better in this image. It continues to fly around the tree. I can see its shadow. Perhaps it is more curious. It is unclear to me if the Currawongs are a threat to Daisy. I must check.

The first half of the day has not been totally uneventful. Ravens did land on the tree but did not go to the nest and Daisy ignored them. Now the Currawong. She seems nonplused so I am going to presume she is not taking the bird as a threat. Whew. Anxious for a moment there. In fact, I am certain that all of us are anxious and would like to grab Daisy and give her a safe nest box. Sometimes watching but not being able to do anything is extremely frustrating. I suspect you feel the same. I wonder how many of you are eating more cookies or candies watching Daisy to help with the stress???? I certainly am! The holiday baking is not going to last long at this rate.

Other Bird World News. The State of Illinois has passed a Bird Safe Buildings Act to eliminate the death of millions of migrating birds. Dallas has been turning off the lights to help during migration but Illinois is taking this to the actual construction of the building. This is a good thing!

I have found a new Bald Eagle Streaming Cam for you. There is a huge interest in birds where I grew up – Oklahoma. There are so many hawks and eagles. Bartlesville has set up a streaming cam for their Bald Eagle couple. I do not know anything about this nest but it has been recommended to me. Here is the link:

If you like images of beautiful birds, here are some amazing captures in super 8k resolution. Thanks ‘S’ for sending me this link. Some of these are simply stunning.

Speaking of beautiful bird images. Every year we travel to Toronto where the Royal Ontario Museum puts the winners of the international bird and wildlife photography contests – from youngsters to seniors, amateur to professional – on display. The results of one of the many photographic contests have been posted on the Internet. There were 22,000 entries for Bird Photographer of the Year. The prize went to an amazing image – you will have to go to the link to see it – I do not want to spoil the surprise. There are categories for young and old. You will not be disappointed and if you love them, there is a book with the 300 winning entries in all categories. Here is the link to this year’s winners:

I will be monitoring Daisy throughout the rest of the day. Other than the Noisy Miners and horrific sounding Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, I hope to hear absolutely nothing more than the hum of the streaming cam. My next report on Daisy will be tomorrow (Monday the 13th) around 13:00. All of the other nests are doing just fine. I am hoping to see an egg on the nest of Gabby and Samson tomorrow or the next day. Fingers crossed. And mark your calendars because in less than two weeks – 12 days to be exact – we could have a hatch on Harriet and M15s nest in Fort Myers. Honestly, I can’t wait – it is called ‘Bobble head Withdrawal.’ The couple spent some time bonding today before they get busy with little ones. And YRK has flown in to relieve OGK after 8 days of incubating duties at the Royal Albatross Colony on Taiaroa Head, NZ.

Thank you so much for joining me and caring so much for Daisy. I believe that thousands of people sending love and positive wishes to Daisy and her precious eggs is nothing short of wonderful. If only she knew. Wow. I am blown away just thinking about it.

Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to ‘S’ for sending me the link to those amazing bird images.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 10 -11

Daisy has spent the day peacefully sleeping, pulling some down, and rolling eggs most of the day.

A Raven arrived on the nest at 16:40, cawed, and left by 16:41:43. Daisy did not seem agitated by its presence.

It is now 5 minutes since the Raven was at the nest, I heard it briefly further into the forest. Daisy continues to rest. She has been incubating the eggs since 21:55:42 last evening without a break. It is assumed that her strategy is to leave right after sunset, go to the river and forage. Last evening she covered her eggs well with the down but she needs more leaves. My eagle friend told me that the Ring-tail Possums were up in the tree getting leaves for their nest which is below Daisy’s. She wished they would drop some of their leaf load for Daisy. Wouldn’t that be splendid?!

Daisy took her first break at 20:01:33. Six minutes earlier than the day prior. She returns at 22:32:40.

Daisy decided to take another break in the middle of the night. She flew off at 03:08. Great idea. She is currently still away but she will return before dawn! What an intelligent young duck. She’s pretty much got it. By going foraging right after sunset and right before sunrise not having to leave during the day but having had two feedings herself, she just might do this!

It is such a privilege and a blessing to be able to watch this amazing and brave little duck try to have ‘a family.’ She is working so hard – so many of you have written wanting a miracle for our darling Daisy. It would seem that everyone is both excited and frightened at the prospects. So for now, let us just revel in the fact that so far today, on Day 10, that all is well. It has been relatively quiet. The Raven came once but Daisy didn’t even flinch. So far Dad and Lady have not shown up so that Daisy has to scramble off her eggs. There is much to be thankful for today.

It is 03:36:45. I am expecting Daisy to return in about an hour. My next report will come late today. There were few close ups of Daisy yesterday. I included the 2 during the time the cam operator zoomed in on Daisy at the end of the evening. Isn’t she just beautiful?

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking in on our favourite duck. It is now Day 11. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 9 continued

The Ravens came around 09:37. They were in the branches of the Ironbark Tree where Daisy has her nest. They made loud noises, stayed for a couple of minutes and left. They never went down to the nest. The day was relatively uneventful until the Ravens returned at 15:52. Daisy froze. They made loud ‘caws.’ They sounded frightening. From the camera position I could not tell where on the tree the Corvids were. Daisy turned around once as if they had moved behind her and then, they were gone. Throughout the day Daisy has been plucking more down off her breast and sides.

It has been reported that the White-Bellied Sea Eagle couple, Dad and Lady, that ‘own’ the nest Daisy has her eggs in have left Goat Island. The cam operator looked over at River Roost and they were there.

Hard to see but 2 white dots on tree middle ground 1/4 in from left edge – those are the WBSE

Meanwhile, Daisy is snoozing. She has spent a lot of time today sleeping which is really good since she had less than 3 hours to forage. It doesn’t take a lot of her energy to incubate. Hopefully she won’t have to use what she has to escape from the WBSE if they show up or if the Ravens return before dark.

No predators came. Daisy spent much time putting down between the eggs before she flew off the nest for her break at 20:07:47. So she left just a minute or so after sunset. The nest looks nicely covered. Well done, Daisy!

Thank you so much for joining me. Tomorrow is Day 10 for this brave little duck. Take care.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for its streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 9 – updated

It is actually still Day 8 for Daisy as I write this. The clock on the streaming cam says that it is 19:28. It is 02:28 on the Canadian Prairies. Daisy remains on her eggs.

Does she know that the two Ravens are on the branches above the nest? She must. They are right above her. One on one side and one on the other.

Every once in awhile they make a noise. They know that sooner or later Daisy is going to have to leave the nest. When she does, they will take her eggs. I am hoping that Daisy can sleep a bit and conserve all of her energy. She has not left the nest for at least 14.5 hours. Unlike raptors that have true crops to store food, ducks have an enlarged esophagus that is capable of handling large amounts of food before it moves into the a thin-walled area of the stomach called the proventriculus.

The White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Lady and Dad, are not at their River Roost.

Daisy has been very vigilant about the Ravens but she had another intruder. That was the Ring-tailed Possum who has its own nest in that big nest. This possum will not harm Daisy’s eggs. It might scare her – which it did but it is the Bushtail Possum that likes the eggs. That possum wanders around at night. Daisy remained on the nest until the possum quieted down. Poor thing they will wear her out by not letting her eat! I wish there was some type of sci-fi invisible protective dome we could place around Daisy and her eggs.

Daisy flew off the nest at 1:40:55. She waited for the Ravens to leave and then had to wait for the possum. By leaving in the middle of the night she outwitted the Ravens. She will have a few hours to forage before she has to return to her eggs. I hope our little duck got lots to eat. She must be tired fighting off all these intruders who want her eggs!

It is now 03:50 in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest. Daisy should be returning to her eggs within an hour. It appears that the on line camera continues to go on and offline. I cannot access live after 01:59 – so, for now, this is my Daisy report. So many of you have dropped all your other bird watching to cheer Daisy on. Continue to send your good wishes to her. She needs all she can get. Will the little duck outwit all of them? We wait. It appears we have 8 eggs – hopefully no more. Daisy did a bit better covering. Fingers crossed.

Daisy returned to her nest at 04:59 ahead of the Ravens. Our little girl is smart!

Our girl looks good and the down coming around the nest will make it easier for her to cover. Cloudy today but no rain forecasted for Daisy.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. Be safe out there.

Thank you to SeaEagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 8 The Ravens return AGAIN

No more had Daisy relaxed along with the other nectar eating birds in the forest than the Ravens returned.

Daisy is OK. As you can see from the images, she had to reveal the eggs twice trying to thwart off the Ravens. The Ravens were actually moving sticks which made Daisy a bit nervous. I was hoping they would loosen up some leaves.

Our little duck is very brave. But will more than two Ravens return.

Daisy shows everyone just how brave a little duck she is in the following segment.

It is nearing 11:30. Daisy is able to relax. The winds are picking up quite a bit and you can hear some distant thunder. I hope that the poor weather coming on will keep the Ravens home and not out plotting those lovely duck eggs. Rain should start at noon and continue until sunset. If Daisy stays on the nest like she has the past days – leaving about 15 minutes before sunset, the eggs should be safe til she returns. Sunset is at 19:56. I hope.

The winds are picking up.

Still it is not yet noon and Daisy has had two visits from the Ravens. They want those duck eggs. They did manage to get them last season but only when Daisy was away from the nest. Perhaps the timing will work this year?

Daisy has chosen this nest and she must feel that it is safer than being down on the ground by the river.

You can watch Daisy here:

Thank you for joining me again as we watch the brave little Pacific Black Duck who laid her eggs in the big Sea Eagles nest – Daisy.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and my video clips.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 8 The Ravens Return

The Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre’s streaming cam was off line. It came back on line at 07:49 on 10 December, Day 8 for Daisy.

Daisy is on the nest and has been removing more down for the nest cup. I am going to have to presume that she arrived as she would any typical day, before sunrise which was at 05:38 today. She would have laid egg 8 and it would have dried. She is now incubating the eggs as she has for the past couple of days.

The wind is starting to pick up. It is 08:49 and the forecast is for an 80% chance of rain beginning at 09:00 changing to 100% chance of rain for the rest of the day. Certainly the rain will not bother Daisy and as long as she is on her eggs they are warm and dry. The rain might help keep the predators away – I am not sure. As you know I have been wondering about the amount of down that Daisy has and I was reminded this morning by a good friend that Daisy is actually laying these eggs one month earlier than the last time she attempted to hatch eggs here the beginning of January 2021.

You can see the big duck eggs in the egg cup. Daisy is removing down.

She tucks it in around the edge of the eggs.

Once Daisy finishes tucking, she rolls around on the eggs.

Except for the visit by the two Ravens and Lady and Dad arriving one evening when Daisy was gone, it has been relatively quiet for our little duck. Last time she played tag with Dad. He was determined to find out who was using his nest. They would only miss one another by seconds. I ‘think’ that might be more difficult this clutch because of the lack of nest material to cover the eggs. It makes it very worrisome. Once Daisy finishes laying all of the eggs – oh, geez, I really hope she is done – she will have another long month of incubation.

Daisy was not more than comfortable and the Ravens came to the nest. Here is a video. You need to hear the distant sound, see Daisy hunker down, and see her protect her eggs.

Oh, Daisy is such a brave and determined little duck! As long as there is only one or two Ravens, she just might be able to hold her own. And as long as she is on those eggs I do not think they can get them – unless, of course, they come with 5 or 6 friends. Whew. That was nerve wrecking. I cannot even imagine how Daisy felt when she heard those Ravens coming and had that one right on the nest. My goodness.

Keep sending your positive wishes to Daisy. As long as everything stays OK on the nest with Daisy, you will not hear from me until tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for joining me. Stay safe.

Thank you to the SeaEagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and video clips.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 6 continued

The Pacific Black Duck Daisy laid egg 6 at 06:42:50.

Since then she has been very alert. She has rolled her eggs often and pulled down off her breast adding it to the egg cup. It is nearing noon and so far there have been no predators. The cam operator checked the WBSE River Roost and saw no sea eagles there. And, so far, I have only heard the cawing of the Ravens around 08:11. They have not come to the old Ironbark Tree – yet – today. They did not show up yesterday either!

Here are some images from the morning with Daisy.

I will bring updates on the afternoon and evening happenings tomorrow. Daisy may stay until nearly 15:30 like she did yesterday. Today is the first day that she has removed significant down from her breast. Poor thing she has pulled in leaves and twigs as she finds them. I see some behind her. She will need to bring those over, too. Those are huge eggs. She is extremely alert, listening to every sound in the forest – it could save her life and her eggs.

I am hearing the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos in the distance but no Ravens. Maybe Daisy will have another quiet day. We can only hope and take it one day at a time.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Tuesday in Bird World

Daisy arrived at her eggs in the Sydney Olympic Forest at 04:47:25. She is a little earlier than yesterday. There will be a full report on Daisy later today. She is alert and perhaps slightly nervous with what happened yesterday with the Ravens.

Ventana Wildlife Society have posted the release video of Iniko. Here it is:

The Port Lincoln Lads continue to fly around the cove and their parents continue to provide them with lots of fish to keep them in fit shape. Deliveries after noon include: 12:32 for Ervie, 14:45 for Bazza (a huge fish), 16:29 for Falky, and Ervie picks up the 16:34 delivery.

Ervie is on the left and Falky is on the right eating their fish. Look at how good those feathers are. These three are just doing fantastic!

I have to admit that I really miss the little Ospreys. Jack and Diane have been working on their nest at Achieva and the Osprey couple at Captiva were trying to mate yesterday.

My friend ‘S’ has sent me a great video showing Osprey fishing. It gives you some good insight into how physically fit these birds have to be to fish. Think about it. The male fishes all day long when there are eggs and chicks on the nest. Incredible.

Ken Phung is from Taiwan.

In Bald Eagle world, everyone is waiting for Anna at the KNF Bald Eagle Nest in Central Louisiana and Connie at the Captiva nest in Florida to lay their second egg today. Indeed, all of the Bald Eagle nests are busy – one way or the other. Gabby escorted the sub-adult female off her nest yesterday.

This is a short report. Daisy seems to have taken over my life – and I am happy but the other nests sure don’t get much attention. In our garden are 27 European Starlings and several hundred sparrows. It is cold today, -16 C. Feeders are full and everyone is depleting them!

Take care everyone. Full report on Daisy later today but for now the eggs were safe over night. Rain and storms predicted again which might help our little Duck. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project. A big shout out to ‘S’ for the Osprey video. That is fantastic.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 5. The Ravens Arrive

No more than Daisy laid her 5th egg at 06:32:55 and got comfortable, you could hear the ‘caw’ of the Ravens in the distance. At 07:32:04 those calls are loud!

Daisy is frightened. She knows they are on the branches above her nest. Look at her eye!

There are two Ravens on the nest attacking Daisy! They were relentless.

At 07:39:17 the Ravens are gone. Daisy held them off for 13 minutes. My goodness this little Pacific Black Duck is brave.

Our brave little duck puffed herself up to look larger than she is. She stretched her neck and was fearless in trying to keep the Ravens away from her and those precious five eggs.

It appears that Daisy has thwarted the Ravens for the time being. This is one brave little duck. It is now 08:02 and our little Daisy seems to be alright. I cannot hear any Ravens in the distance only the nectar and plant eating birds of the forest.

Laura Culley has always said that worrying means that the outcome has already established itself, wrongly, in our minds. Still Daisy has a very difficult situation. There was one raven visiting the nest sniffing about on day 4. Two came today. Now the ravens know that there is an egg cup there. What does Daisy do? She has no mate to help her with security. Will she cover the eggs and leave today? We don’t as yet know how many eggs she will lay.

It is 08:09 and I can hear the Rainbow Lorikeets on the nest even though the cam operator is not showing them. Perhaps the Ravens are off elsewhere? For the moment?

Are they trying to tell Daisy something?

Daisy appears relieved, more relaxed, with her friends surrounding her.

The Lorikeets should alert Daisy to the arrival of those birds that would do her or her eggs harm. They are still about Daisy and the tree at 08:20.

I wonder if Daisy tried to lay her eggs elsewhere and predators came and then she rushed on Day 1 to lay her egg in the WBSE nest? It is curious. This might mean that Daisy might not lay any more eggs. I guess time will reveal the answer to that question and to whether or not Daisy can leave the nest during the day without the Ravens consuming her eggs. It has certainly been a harrowing morning for our beautiful Daisy.

At 08:29 Daisy begins to gather leaves. Then she settles back down. Normally she would leave about 2 hours after laying her egg. Today that would be around 08:32. Let’s see if she does.

At 08:35 Daisy rolls eggs and begins to gather leaves. She is still on the eggs at 08:45. Much later than normal.

I will bring updates later tonight or – if everything goes well for Daisy’s eggs the rest of the day – you will not hear from me til Day 6. You can watch Daisy here:

In other Bird World News: If you watched the new Bald Eagle couple, Anna and Louis, at their nest in the Kisatachie National Forest, you will be excited to learn that Anna laid egg 1 for the 2021-22 season on 5 December at 20:44:51. All of the lads were fed at least one fish yesterday at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. They continue to thrive. Gabby and Samson have had a sub-adult female on their nest this morning. Gabby escorted her out of the neighborhood! The Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Rescue of Dad County now have three eggs. The female at Berry College has also laid her first egg of the season. Oh, it is going to be really busy towards the end of December and January with all the Bald Eagle eggs hatching.

Thank you for joining me. Please send your most positive energy to our brave little Duck! Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.