Wow! Just look at the PLO Chicks

I am sorry to be so late in sending off my newsletter today. It was not intended and if you have worried, I apologize. The day wasn’t meant to be so busy but it simply turned out that way with a last minute trip to get 200 lbs of bird seed tacked on to the end.

Just look at these beauties. Overnight the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Barge turned into juvenile beauties. Those are serious feathers! Just look, all pushed out from their quills, perfect layering with that gorgeous white line and tip of the juvenile. Each one also seems to have grown a perfectly white beard over night. Their eyes are also that dark amber colour that will, when they are adults, turn to yellow.

Gosh. I can hardly take my eyes off of them. They are stunningly beautiful. If I could look like a bird it would seriously be a juvenile Osprey.

Mum was looking out over the water hoping that Dad was off fishing – and he was. He landed on the nest at 7:46 with a breakfish for everyone.

Little Bob, the closest to Mum’s beak and the front, is 34 days old today while the two older siblings are 36 days old. There is a ways to fledge – thank goodness, but, for now, we can enjoy how grown up they all are and how wonderful this Eastern Osprey nest has been this year. It has brought nothing but tears of joy! It goes to show how having chicks that hatch close together and plenty of food deliveries are a great combination to success.

Dr Victor Hurley heads up the research on the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons. He has been doing this for many years. He wrote a very good article about what the differences are for the two falcon nests in Australia with streaming cams – 367 Collins Street Falcons in Melbourne and Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross. The 367 Collins Street scrape box had 4 hatches this year while the Orange scrape box of Diamond and Xavier had one. So what is the difference to the falcons? is it better to have one or four? Dr Hurley believes for the falcons it is better to have four eyases and be run off your feet feeding them because the chance of one of them surviving to adult hood is greater than a scrape having only one chick. He believes, however, that it is beneficial to the chicks to be the ‘only One’ instead of one of four in terms of food resources. Still, others believe that the stress on the parents to feed four instead of one is immense but, we are looking at it from the chick’s perspective. Anyone watching the scrape boxes just know these growing chicks just want food!

While Dr Hurley did not address other issues, I wonder if being part of a larger hatch group helps in terms of understanding how to live in the real world where there will be pressure from others. Maybe it doesn’t matter? Last year, the male from the Collins Street scrape used to come into the nest and pluck a freshly caught pigeon. It was a terrific mess but those three girls could sure pluck a bird – and do it fast before they fledged – a skill essential to survival. Catch, pluck, eat, and go! I beg to be corrected but it seemed that Izzi had some difficulty with plucking even after an age when he should have had his own territory. So I wonder if they learn quicker and faster as part of a group??? and having plucking imprinted on them so many times?

The little eyas at Orange is 13 days old today while the Collins Street Four are starting their third week. Each is right on track in terms of development. Indeed, the little Orange eyas has been scooting around on its tarsus for a couple of days now and is very strong and healthy. – slightly ahead of the curve The plumage is changing radically on the Collins kids and they are standing and walking.

Kate St John did a wonderful blog on the developmental stages of the peregrine falcons. I want to share that with you.

Dad is trying out larger pieces of pigeon on the four. The prey came in one after another the other day. They are losing the soft down around their eyes and getting the juvenile feathers and they are also getting their wing feathers.

I am afraid that I got a little carried away with the images of Xavier and Diamond’s eyas. Not only is it loud – soon to rival Izzi – but it can also make the cutest faces.

They are all doing well. Last I checked the Bald Eagles in the United States are all still working on their nests. There is some intrigue at the Captiva Nest and the speculation as to who the male will be this season. Joe is gone and it appears Martin has been ousted also. Meanwhile, Harriet and M15 along with Samson and Gabby are steady as you go! To my knowledge there has not been a fledge at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic forest but this could happen any time. And – for the lovers of Jack and Diane – it seems that the couple might be back on the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg together. They have a lot of nestorations to do!

Thank you for joining me for this quick catch up. I will be shaking my head and smiling at just how beautiful three juvenile ospreys look in the PLO nest. Take care all. See you soon.

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

Tuesday in Bird World

It is a grey and windy day. As the weather channel promised, our summer heat wave in October seems to have come to an end (for the moment) with the arrival of single digit temperatures. The recent rains have caused the ground and old tree stumps to come alive and the sparrows and thrashers are thumping the ground having a good old time. It reminds me – continues to remind me – why we should not be raking our leaves or mowing the grass. Gently rake them into a corner if you have to. The birds really will thank you!

It is also nearing Halloween and all around me I can see the windows and doors decorated – many have elaborate displays outside.

I believe Halloween was the favourite holiday of my children – you got to dress up, get candy, and have parties at School. I recall pulling the two oldest in a sled one year as the snowflakes fell faster and faster. We did not need to go more than a block. Their pillowcases were full because they were the only ones out on such an incredible wintery night. The grandchildren enjoyed decorating the trees and, sadly, I remember using some of that web material with little black plastic spiders. That was a long time ago when I did not know better – but I do now. As a reminder to everyone, please be careful if you decorate. It will be a tragedy if animals get caught and have to be euthanized just for a bit of fun.

Oh, gosh, golly. Xavier and Diamond’s little chick just took its first steps!

Meanwhile, the Collins Street Four – which are a week older – are now standing up. They are also getting curious about the outside world and one nearly gave several streaming cam viewers a heart attack when it walked up to the edge of the ledge.

The Collins Four having some fun. Look at the size of the wings!

In case you are wondering why the scrape box is so messy this year, it is because the wind does not blow through it like it did at the other end. On a positive note, the chicks have been supplied with some shade and neither them or Mum have been as hot and panting as much as last year.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, the osplets had, at least, five fish yesterday – probably a couple more. I could not rewind the camera prior to 16:00 and all had big crops at that time. One of the most interesting interactions was between Little Bob and Mum. They had a tug-o-war with the fish tail. Mum won!!! It was very cute. that fish tail was from the 18:02:17 fish Dad brought in.

The osplets are doing really well walking around in that twig lined nest, too. They are covered more and more with feathers each day. Those feathers seem to be pushing out of those quills right before our eyes.

Dad brought in a bedtime fish for the family at 19:39:16. It is difficult to tell one from the other but there is Little Bob in its usual spot, right up by Mum’s beak.

Where is Solly, the first hatch of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in 2020? She seems to have decided to take a quick trip to Streaky Bay before heading back to her special tree in Eba Anchorage. It is such a relief to see the movements of the birds – to know they are safe, living their lives well.

If you were following some of the Montana Ospreys, a map of their locations has been released on the Montana Osprey FB page this morning. It shows that all of the Ospreys arrived in Mexico or Central America. Such good news. Their satellite trackers are working splendidly.

Both of the little sea eagles, WBSE 27 and 28, were still on the nest early this morning. That doesn’t mean that they will be there in a couple of hours.

I am a huge fan of Gabby and Samson’s at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. The morning was just starting. The couple spent the night on the branches and as the sun came up, Gabby could be seen working on the nest.

At various times during the day, Samson, Gabby, or both, can be seen preparing their nest for the new breeding season. Here is a link to the streaming cams (there are several but this one looks directly into the nest), so you can check on them.

Tiaki, the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Chick, is making really good time on her way to Chile. She was well beyond the International Date Line this morning. So, with that news, everyone in Bird World is doing well today. Smile. It is all good!

The sun is out and the Slate-grey Juncos are on the deck and the sparrows are having a drink out of the bowls. I wonder what other garden critters will show up? No Halloween candy for them! But they are getting extra dry corn cobs.

Thank you for joining me. Take care each and every one of you. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Montana Osprey Project and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Pages for the sat-pak maps showing the location of the migrating Montana Ospreys and Solly.

How do you say ‘cute’ in Falconese

One of the last feedings for the little eyas at the scrape box in Orange, Australia was around 18:19:00 yesterday.

This little one is eight days old. It has sure grown!

I took three video clips to cover the entire time Diamond was feeding the chick. Watching the movements and the interactions instead of seeing a still image can give you a more in-depth look at the size of the bites and the sheer cuteness of the moment.

The total number of fish delivered to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest was 7 yesterday. They were delivered at 7:11:22, 8:23:54,12:47:30, 13:52:18, 14:54:09, 16:37:00, and 18:08:37. This is a capture of Dad delivering the fish at 7:11 and Mum coming to the nest from the perch as well as a capture from the 14:54 feeding:

There appeared to be an adult on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida yesterday. The marks on the crown of the bird seem to be that of the male, Jack. Today, another adult showed up at the same nest at 11:16:09.

Jack appears to be alarming.

This is the image of the adult from yesterday (right) and an image of Jack bringing Tiny Tot Tumbles a fish on the left. It seems likely that the adult visiting the nest is Jack. There is a lot of prep work to be done before Diane returns.

The White Bellied Sea Eagles 27 and 28 entered hatch watch the other day! That date range for fledging is 75-80 days from hatch. WBSE 28 was 77 days old on 16 October (yesterday) when it branched! Watch closely to see what 28 uses to make the leap.

Fledging is getting closer for these two. No doubt they will have contests to see who can get higher up on the tree!

Today is starting off as a fantastic day in Bird World. While there are little ones to feed or fledge in Australia, staff at many of the nature centres in the UK are refurbishing Osprey nests. A new pole and platform has been installed at Lyn Brenig and today the work was completed on Pont Cresor, the nest of Aeron, Z2 and Blue 014.

Thank you for joining me today. It is beautiful and sunny. All of the garden animals are having their lunch and the world is simply right with itself. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St. Petersburg.

Who has 3 breakfasts? and 2 lunches?

Xavier and Diamond are on a roll to keep their week old chick fed. Xavier came in with a pigeon while Diamond was away. He might not have had long to feed his baby before Mum returned but, Xavier did a splendid job and Only Bob got some very nice bites.

Xavier was very good at connecting with the little one’s mouth.

It is so cute when they can finally see their parents and that beak of food. Look at it opening wide. What a little sweetheart.

Priceless.

Xavier had really been enjoying feeding his chick. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he wants – very much – to be more involved in the care of the eyas. Hopefully, Diamond will be less protective soon.

Bye Xavier!

There were, of course, many more feedings during the day.

Xavier had some time to cuddle with the little one after he brought in the prey for Diamond for one of the evening meals. So sweet, that little one leaning up against Dad.

Only Bob is ready for its 17:30 meal – beak wide open!

Look at how big the little chick’s wings are getting. Yesterday, this wee one was only a week old.

There might be only one but it looks like it is going to be big and strong!

Thank you so much for joining me. So many of you really enjoy watching Xavier and Diamond. If you haven’t ever looked into their scrape box, here is the link. They are fantastic parents – lots of fun with the prey and Xavier trying to get some ‘chick time’.

Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Port Lincoln chicks ate well!

The streaming cam has been down at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge most of the morning. It was also a dreadfully wet and miserable start to the day. Mum tried as she might to snuggle up with her three babies (can we call them babies anymore?). At 10:30 they were wet, cold, and probably hungry.

The first fish arrived at 11:09:12. Even the sun came out for the occasion. Mum was still feeding the trio at noon.

In the image below, Dad is eating his share and making certain the fish is dead before he delivers it to Mum and the chicks.

Mum has the fish and she is getting ready to feed the three hungry chicks. It is late for the breakfast fish.

There is Little Bob at the end. What is he looking at so intently?

I wonder if it is Dad flying away. Look at the expression on his little face.

Whatever it is, Little Bob is more interested in what is happening off the nest than eating his first fish of the day. That is pretty incredible. Little Bob is always the one who wants to be fed first!

Oh, two of the chicks are watching instead of eating. Is Dad giving a flying demonstration? These chicks are developing just as they should. They are becoming much more interested in things happening outside of the world of the nest. They are standing more and beginning to flap their wings. Think they are dreaming of flying? Little Bob is 29 days old today. The two older siblings are 31 days.

For those that are worried, Little Bob has stood up to ‘sometimes nasty’ Big Bob. Little has done that twice that I am aware. This nest is really calm and the chicks are so big that we should all expect them to fledge with their satellite packs. I understand they will be ringed, get their sat paks, and get their names in early November. Oh, I cannot wait to find out what the names will be this year.

When the three fledge, this will be a historic moment for this nest. Perhaps with the first fledgling of all three hatches, the curse of this nest will be lifted. These two adults have demonstrated clearly that they are highly capable parents and can easily raise a nest of three chicks from hatch to fledge.

Oh, look at Little Bob and look carefully – there is another chick looking up in awe, too. What an expression!

Now down to the business of breakfish!

After eating for 40 minutes, the chicks are beginning to get nice filled crops.

By noon, the fish is finished. Everyone is full and ready for a bit of a snooze.

The three osplets had no more than settled down when the second fish arrived on the nest at 12:35:28. Little Bob is on the right. He is turning around and probably cannot quite believe what he is seeing – another fish!

The role of the crop is to grind up the food before it enters the stomach. It also serves as a storage tank. The chicks can ‘drop their crop’ when they need nourishment. The reality of a raptors life is that they might eat well one day but not have any food for another two days. They need to eat as much as they can when they have the opportunity.

There they are lined up very politely for Mum again. I do not believe I have ever seen such a civil nest of growing ospreys. They might have their spats but not at the table. They line up and Mum feeds them. She is very fair. I have not noticed her favouring one over another. She does, in fact, often feed them as they appear in the line – one bite each and then back to the beginning. The other thing that is noticeable is the chicks do stop eating when they are full allowing the line to close so the other two are only being fed.

Is this behaviour down to the simple fact that they are so close in age? There is only 51 hours separating Big Bob from the time Little Bob hatched.

Just look at how close they are in size.

One of the chicks has left the table. Little Bob (see the roundish spot on the top of his head?) is still hungry. Of course, he is.

The second fish was done and dusted by 13:02. Little Bob is still looking. Maybe he sees some fish skin? or is there a piece of tail? He has a very nice crop.

In terms of size, I can no longer tell Little Bob from the other two. If the roundish spot disappears I will no longer be able to identify him as easy. He is growing so much. Wonder if Little Bob is a female?

Ah, it is silly to try and guess the genders but we all do it. They will measure the chicks when they are ringed. Of course, the measurements are not foolproof. Only DNA or an egg or mating can confirm.

Once the three are fed and all is well, it is much easier for me to sleep. The wee eyas of Xavier and Diamond’s have also had several meals today. You can clearly see that it has more than doubled in size from hatch.

Xavier is on the ledge while Diamond feeds the chick the prey he delivered. Look at the size of the wee one’s wing. Is it looking over to Xavier?

When Xavier turned around, I thought it was last year’s chick, Izzi.

Only Bob is looking directly at the beak and eyes of Diamond. Diamond is so delicate with the tiny little bites she feeds her baby.

The chick’s neck is now so much stronger. It can hold its head still for longer so that Diamond can feed it. The bobbling days are pretty much over. Notice, at times, that the chick instinctively keeps its balances by placing its wing tip on the gravel.

I absolutely love this image of Xavier looking so tenderly at his baby.

All full. The little one has now had four meals. Unlike the Ospreys, Only Bob needs many meals and fewer bites. Her crop is tiny. She is now collapsing into a food coma.

Awww. I wonder if Xavier wishes that Diamond would let him brood the chick? Perhaps she will in a few days but the falcon mothers are extremely protective in the beginning.

The Collins Street Four have been eating, sleeping, growing, and decorating the walls around the scrape. Their world is that of the scrape box. They are not as interested – yet – in what is happening outside of their world. They will become more interested, just like the Osplets at Port Lincoln, in a couple of weeks.

As the days pass, we will begin to notice a difference in size. This is not due to the amount of food the eyases eat individually. It will be because some of them are males and some are females. The females will be approximately 30% larger than the males and they will consume about 25% more food (nothing staggering). When fledge time comes, it is normally the males that fledge first. Their feathers will have covered them quicker because they are smaller! It is that simple.

Last year we did not notice a difference in size in the triplets. That is because they were all females. I do hope Dad gets a break this year and has a couple of males. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to try and feed four large females!

They are beginning to look slightly different in their faces. Notice the one facing the back who looks more ‘hawk’ like.

These eyases are more than full. Look at that shiny big crop. My gracious.

If you missed the live streaming of Iniko 1031 arriving at the pre-release containment area at Big Sur, here is the video of that moment. The condors are so endangered and there is no telling how many more wildfires will rage. Fingers crossed!

It is late on the Canadian Prairies. Our damp is supposed to go away on Saturday. Meanwhile, it is the annual birdseed sale at our nature centre this weekend. It is a great time to get high quality feed for a big discount and help out the centre as well. You might check and see if your local nature centre does this. The savings can be substantial. I will also continually remind people that if you have a local feed and seed store, you might be able to find Millet, corn, Black Oil seed, peanuts in their shells at a substantially lower price point. My neighbours introduced me to this years ago but, sadly, the big feed store moved. The distance makes it no longer viable as a source.

Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to receive your notes and letters. I appreciate the time you take to write to me whether it is an e-mail or a public comment. You take care. See you soon. All of these nests are doing so well that we can all rest easy. Life is good!

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

Checking on Chicks

There was a lot of chatter over the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon scrape at 367 Collins. The concern was because the Mum had not been ‘seen’ since 19:06:24 when she left the little ones after feeding them.

The chicks at Melbourne are enormous! I honestly can’t even find the small one anymore. Underneath the fluffy down that remains there are pin feathers coming in and if you look closely, those sweet pink little beaks are turning into a rather adult looking beak.

There is no need for concern for Mum. The problem is that the eyases are simply too big for her to brood anymore because there are four of them. Can you see where Mum is?

The image on the left is a week ago. The one on the right was yesterday.

I haven’t reported on Port Lincoln Ospreys for a day. These were the feeding times for yesterday: 6:52, 10:02:43 (small), 10:43:15, 14:43:39, 14:55:50, 16:11:51, 16:23 (mum caught this one), and another fish delivery somewhere around 17:59:58. It was hard to differentiate when the osplets started eating one fish and began on another during the afternoon.

The Mullet that came on the nest at 10:43:15 was still alive and Mum flew off with it, killed it, and returned at 10:44:30. When Mum brought the 16:23 fish onto the nest, part of the fish that dad had brought earlier was still there. This could have been the 17:59 feed. It is not clear. What is certain is that the chicks had massive crops throughout the day. With Mum fishing – and she seems to catch the bigger fish these days – the nest is eating well. The supplementary fish she brings in is making a huge difference to all including Mum who also needs to eat. And Dad.

One thing that I found very interesting was our dear Little Bob. Later in the evening on the 10th, the Middle sibling had caused a bit of a spat between Big Bob and Little Bob. Middle Bob seems to do this and then it ducks to get out of the way. Little Bob was not having any of it and well, we might begin to believe that Little Bob is the ‘boss’ of the nest. This was the second time that I have seen Little thwart any attempts by Big to be the dominant one in the nest. (The other was awhile ago0. I say this because Little Bob took the fish tail at 10:02 yesterday and ate it with no problem. The fish tail is a bit of a prize in an Osprey nest.

These are just some shots from the various feedings. Notice that they all line up and eat very civil!

Little Bob has the fish tail!

Little Bob had no difficulty eating the fish tail. Well done, number 3.

By the time the last fish arrived, many were so full they couldn’t even think of eating much more. Mum had a really nice feed. How grand!

Diamond and Xavier’s Only is growing well.

Today will sort out if there was a pip or not in one of the eggs. It is simply not clear. For the chick to survive, it would need to hatch today. Diamond rested better last night and wasn’t shuffling the eggs around so much. Perhaps we will have another Only Bob like Izzi last year and that is just fine. Cilla Kinross says they have never had three hatch at this nest despite three eggs being laid. In many ways raising one is so much less stressful than four. The Melbourne parents have to be worn out!

Everything is fine for the nest and the two scrape boxes. I will check in with the White-Bellied Sea Eagles later today. I understand that they are fine but that the Pied Currawong continues to be a nuisance. The Bald Eagle couples are restoring nests from last season and the Albatross for the upcoming breeding season are landing on Taiaroa Head. The world is working as it should be.

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

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

A Red Rump Parrot for Diamond!

The wait is now over. The first of the three eggs of Xavier and Diamond has now hatched. That was at 04:56.

In the image below you can catch a glimpse of the little furry ball and the shell that Diamond has moved.

At 06:42, the eyas was much more dry and fluffy.

But where is Xavier? He hasn’t been in the scrape at the usual time. There he is caught doing a fly by at 07:44. Whew.

Diamond will be very protective of the eyas for the first several days when it is so vulnerable. We continue to watch and to hope that all three eggs hatch and that there are three healthy chicks that fledge for this adorable couple.

Everyone joked that Xavier was out hunting for a very special breakfast for the chick and Diamond and Xavier did not disappoint. He delivered a Red-rumped Parrot! Remember. The main diet of the Melbourne falcons is pigeon while it is other birds in the rural areas. I am told that parrots are as plentiful in rural Australia as the pigeons are in the cities.

Diamond is taking it from Xavier. She will pluck it but she decides not to try and feed the newly born eyas but, instead, to take a break herself. Indeed, the eyas has had the advantage of the nutrients in the egg and does not require feeding right away. Look how tiny it is between those two eggs. Meanwhile, Diamond is going to enjoy her parrot breakfast. Thank goodness it is not a Starling – Diamond hates Starlings.

This is a male Red Rumped Parrot. They are considered to be highly intelligent and are often sought after as pets as they have a very pleasant voice. They are also called the Red back or Grass Parrot. They are large populations of them in Austral-Asia.

A nice image of the new family! Xavier gets to see the new baby!!

The little eyas is a little wiggly but showed no signs of interest in food. It was hard work getting out of that shell and that was only a couple of hours ago. It must have been exhausting work. Diamond continues to pluck the parrot but takes it away from the scrape to eat it.

It is hot in Australia. The chicks in Melbourne have been fed and Mum is being the umbrella. It will be 21 degrees C in Melbourne today.

Just look at how much they have grown! Look carefully at the one sitting up. See the shiny spot with no feathery down? That is the crop. It is full. When the eyases sleep on the gravel and wiggle around, the crop is hard and the feathers come off. It is nothing to worry about.

The camera has been acting up at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. The trio of nestlings had a large fish arrive this morning.

Everyone was still eating 25 minutes later. no doubt they will all be full and as you can see they are lined up in their typical manner. Look at the one on the right. Notice that there are more feathers coming on the top of the wings and on the back. That is Little Bob in the middle.

All of the birds are doing well. It is exciting to have a new chick to watch grow and hopefully those other two eggs will hatch quickly. Last year Diamond and Xavier had one chick, Izzi.

The voting for Australian Bird of the Year 2021 has closed. The Peregrine Falcons made it to the final voting. The winner will be announced at mid-day on 8 October in London.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care. See you soon.

Here is the link to the streaming cam in Orange, Australia where you can watch Xavier and Diamond:

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

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.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.