It was really quite a treat to get an update on Victor. It appears that he is improving but, not out of the woods yet.
My day to Hecla Island did not turn out quite like expected. I had left hoping that the water levels near Black Wolf trail were dry and that the parks staff had cleared the trails. This has not happened.
For those of you watching streaming cams, you are used to seeing the nests in trees. According to provincial parks staff at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Parks, some do have nests in trees. Most, however, have their nests along the shore on the Black Wolf trail. Those nests were ruined by the extreme rain and flooding in our province. Because it is still too wet, the parks staff cannot even start to think about clearing. I might have said – one told me he is very worried about what he will find. A single Bald Eagle has been seen by some.
Not to be disappointed, the challenge came to see what birds I could find. Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows were constants.
On the road from the Black Wolf trail there was a turkey vulture in a tree. It flew off the minute the camera was ready! Of course.
There were two American White Pelicans.
Some Canada Geese.
There were a lot of Double-breasted Cormorants including some immatures. What a delight to see some youngsters.
There were four Trumpeter Swans – in two separate locations. I caught the white out of the corner of my eye. First thought was pelicans but when I went down a rather lonely and quite muddy road, it turned out they were swans. I could see no cygnets anywhere. Perhaps they were hiding.
There were ducks taking advantage of the still flooded fields and ditches just like the swans.
Things change. So tomorrow I will head back and give those eagles one more try but the real event came after I had returned to my hotel. My legs needed stretching and the ice cream stand across a small street had been beckoning to me ever since I arrived. It was a lovely late afternoon and I took that cone down to the marina to see the gulls. Then I stopped. About 6 metres in the air above the marina right in front of me was ‘the’ Osprey. He was hovering. I know that it was not several minutes but it felt like it. Tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It doesn’t matter how many Ospreys you see, they are always special. This is the closest I have been to one in the wild. What a moment. He did not see any fish and moved on but, nothing can surpass that time standing there watching an Osprey look for its fish dinner – not even a Bald Eagle.
I had hoped to write an extensive blog on migration for tomorrow. This will not happen until Monday now so you have time to send me what you think are big challenges to the birds as they make their fall travels. Every bird that I saw today will begin leaving Manitoba in about a week -some earlier and some later waiting until October.
Thank you so much for joining this evening. It is lovely to hear about Victor. Take care. See you soon!
I hope that you have had a really lovely weekend. Thank you for taking the time to join me this evening.
There are two important moments in a young Red-tail Hawks life. Their first flight marks them as a fledglings. They need to fly out and return to the nest for the proper definition to apply. They become juveniles only after they catch their first live prey item by themselves. So everyone give a big shout out and congratulations to Big Red and Arthur’s L4 (that little cracker) and L 2 who officially became juveniles today. Wow. Didn’t I say that L4 is amazing. No fear. I will never forget him climbing right over those big siblings to get at the front of the food line. No worries about siblicide on Big Red and Arthur’s watch.
Across the pond, Osprey parents are working hard to get their chicks in perfect condition for migrating. While Osprey chicks will fledge and fly and return to the nest for a feeding from Dad, they normally do not catch their own fish until after they have begun their migration. The parents do not teach them. Fishing is hard-wired into 60 million years of Osprey DNA and memory.
Blue NC0 flew out and brought in a whopper to her two – a big girl and a boy.
Idris is trying to beat every Welsh record that there is for fishing! This is an unbelievable catch! Three big girls and Seren to feed plus himself! Idris is up to the challenge!
Dylan took the approach that more deliveries are the best so he recorded 8 fish deliveries for Seren and the kids before 1700. Wow. It looks like a perch this time.
It was very sad news to learn of Pikne’s demise on the 6th of June on a hydro pole in Turkey. Searchers for her body and the transmitter could find nothing so she has been taken by humans or larger animals. My immediate concern after hearing this is where is Udu, the only surviving juvenile of Karl II and Kaia of 2021. Finally some indication of his transmitter on 16 June but questions lately. He was in the Central African Republic at the time. But this was April 2nd…with battery power at 0%. Since Urdu’s tracker tries to send data but the location is the same as April 2nd. Perhaps someone will be able to establish what is happening. My fear is that Udu’s transmitter is in the hands of a human playing with it and Urdu is no longer with us. Please let me be wrong.
I continue to watch the experiment of Urmas and Dr Madis V with the Black storklet chicks of Jan and Janika with much interest. Bonus was been placed in the nest of Karl II and Kaia and this morning Bonus was not defensive when Karl II brought food. It would appear that Bonus has now accepted he is part of Karl’s family. Amazing news. Bonus has been in the nest for 4 days.
As you know I believe in intervention when it is more likely to benefit the bird. This is the first time that anyone has tried to raise Black Storklets in a clinical setting and then foster them with other Black Stork families. Urmas and Dr Madis V went to great lengths to try and ensure the success including decoy parents, the feeding Toto and making certain that sounds of the forest was present. Urmas also distributed fish baskets to try and take the burden of feeding an extra storklet off the parents. We celebrate today that Eedie has found the fishing basket provided by Urmas. Jan and Janika’s storklet, Janus, is in Eedie’s nest. There is a picture of Eedie going to the fish basket to get food for the family. Thank you ‘T’ for sending us this confirming image. Tears! So many are learning about the behaviour of the Black Storks in these circumstances — this will prove important in the future should another nest lose a parent during the breeding season.
When there were statements about the Bald Eagles feeding ND17 it was important to have ‘proof’ in some form. There wasn’t any. In fact, ND17 was either fed little or nothing due to his condition when the rehabbers picked him up. To demonstrate that the intervention is working and what aspects are helpful to the storks, photos are being taken. This photo proves that Eedie found the fish and now will return to the nest to feed the four storklets.
At the nest of Karl II and Kaia, there were 5 feedings today – 3 by Karl and 2 by Kaia. Bonus has now been part of their family for 4 days. Is he eating enough? Yesterday his ‘ps’ was thin but today there is an image of a healthy ps by Bonus proving that he is eating well.
At 12:12:55 Akecheta flies to the nest with a fish. He looks around wondering which one of the fledglings was going to fly down and grab it.
It was Sky!!!!!!
That is a great mantling job!!!!!!
At 16:02 it is Ahote’s turn to get the fish drop! Oh, I so admire these parents who continually risk their legs and talons to feed their fledglings. It is amazing.
If you see an empty nest at Two Harbours, do not despair. Lancet has been seen eating on the overlook cam.
This is a very short report. It was warm on the prairies today with a beautiful blue sky and lots of happy people. I was out counting American White Pelicans and Double-Crested Cormorants. I will not bore you with the panorama of photos that I took to ensure the count was accurate but..they are such beautiful birds. It is an honour to see them fishing and raising their little ones in the summer. There are places where sport fishing is popular where the pelicans are not appreciated. Authorities can, even with the Migratory Bird Treaty, give permission for people to shoot them! Pelicans were fishing out of the rivers long before people were sport fishing. If people needed to fish for their survival that is one thing (and some do) but…I will let you finish the sentence. You know me well and what I would say.
If you are ever sent to help out with a bird count, it is much easier if you take various shots of the stationary birds and then try, as best you can, to count those flying about.
Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me this evening. See you soon.
Thank you so much to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB or forum pages: Looduskalender, ‘my friend T’, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Services, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyXWild, Eagle Club of Estonia, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and Ferris Akel Tours.