Hovering, Nest building…Saturday in Bird World

19 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that you are well. So nice to have you with us this morning. It is a blue sky cold day, -14 C, on the Canadian Prairies. The kittens are up carrying toys and watching the Crows come for their morning feeding. The Grackles have already been to the suet feeder and the little Sparrows are all puffed up keeping warm in the lilac bushes.

It is a type of soft suet that the Starlings like. They can stand back and poke at it with their long sharp beaks.

The Blue Jays that fledged from the nest across the lane are still here. One was eating peanuts while these two were in the lilacs sunning themselves.

Nest News:

Yesterday Zoe got some really good height in her hovers. Thankfully she remained on the nest and did not fledge into those strong winds as that storm did roll in.

If you missed it, here are those beautiful early morning hovers.

Later, Mum is down in the nest with Zoe taking care of her only ‘baby’. Dad was not out fishing. If you remember, Zoe ate really well on Friday so did Mum. On Saturday morning, Mum took Dad’s fish and returned with the tail portion for Zoe. That has been the only meal so far and if the weather stays, it could be it for the day. Zoe will be fine. She is not going to starve.

Indigo continues to fly out of the scrape and return. This is excellent. Most of you watch the Bald Eagle nests as well as the Ospreys and it is ‘normal’ for fledglings to return to the nest for food, to fly and strengthen their wings being fed by the parents for a period of 4-6 weeks.

Rubus continues to do his wingers and the pair enthusiastically eat all that is brought into the scrape. There are still a few dandelions on Rubus but not many.

The brothers 9 days ago.

Just look at them all covered in down with Indigo revealing some lovely back and tail feathers.

Oh, little Rubus had to get to the front and jump in the beginning to get some prey. Hard to imagine now when both of them are screaming and running all over the scrape. Diamond and Xavier have raised two healthy feisty chicks.

‘A’ reports that it was raining so hard in Melbourne yesterday that the wipers had to be on full speed. Of course, all we can think of are the fledglings from 367 Collins Street. Positive wishes out to them to be safe and fed.

As the season in Australia winds down, everyone is on egg watch at the nest of Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers, Florida. The pair have been working diligently to rebuild their nest after Hurricane Ian. Sadly, that GHOW continues to plague our beloved eagle couple. Oh, I wish their nests were further apart!!!!

Harriet and M15 continue to work on their nest together. They are amazing.

Samson and Gabby have been at their nest, too, working away. They have had a three year old Eagle visiting the nest and I began to wonder if it could be Jules or Romey.

Mum and Dad have been rebuilding the nest in St Patrick’s Park in South Bend, Indiana. You will remember that this is the home nest of Little Bit ND17. They are making good progress and now, some snow has arrived. I sure wonder where Little Bit is! Gosh, we long for them to fledge and then we grieve to see them again hoping they survived that almost insurmountable first year.

Humane Wildlife Indiana sent out a clever fundraiser. They are asking for donations for the strays in their care to have a full fledged Christmas dinner. You can purchase one for one animal or more. I wonder why more animal sanctuaries do not do this? You might mention this to your local care group. It is a marvelous idea.

Making News:

Sadly, for the wrong reasons the adorable Melbourne Four make the news.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/collins-street-falcon-chick-dies-days-after-taking-wing-20221115-p5byi1.html?fbclid=IwAR22J_pnOqqPaRA8JqL7WcplN8ddPreG3bIpfCVw8kNgpVudjgCKWoSHXgI

Oh, our beloved Canada Geese are making news in the UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/18/country-diary-canada-geese-are-on-the-move-with-a-melancholic-honk-but-why?CMP=share_btn_link

No 9 The Red List: The Nightingale

It is the song of the Nightingale that has attracted writers for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder described its song more than 2000 years ago when animals were denied artistic abilities. He wrote: “the sound is given out with modulations, and now is drawn out into a long note with one continuous breath, now made staccato . . .” Ellen Finkelpearl continues in her short article on Pliny and the Nightingale that he did believe, strongly, that the natural world including our feathered friends can be artistic!

https://classicalstudies.org/plinys-cultured-nightingale

If you are a lover of Shakespeare, you will know that the Nightingale shows up in more of the plays, not just when Juliet educates Romeo on the wonderful song of the Nightingale.

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

Here is a fantastic blog that captures the portrayal of the Nightingale in all of Shakespeare’s works.

https://blogs.bl.uk/sound-and-vision/2016/04/shakespeare-and-the-nightingale.html#:~:text=The%20morning%20after%20their%20secret,is%20not%20yet%20near%20day.

In his entry in Red Sixty Seven, writer Luke Massey says, “…We should be ashamed that in our quest to clean our landscape, in our acrimonious divorce from nature, we have forgotten this songster and let it suffer. Despite its song we have ignored it ; we have let it fall silent in our copses, our scrub and our hedgerows. We have failed it and with that we have failed nature. Will we really let this be the last song of the Nightingale?”

Its very last space in the UK is under threat.

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/animals/2018/04/last-stronghold-of-nightingale-under-threat

There are problems with the Nightingale’s wings getting shorter due to climate change. That is mentioned in this great report for The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/01/nightingales-at-risk-due-to-shorter-wings-caused-by-climate-crisis

Changes in farming practices, the destruction of hedgerow and copses for more modern farming are all adding to end the life of this most beloved bird who nests are on the ground. There are fewer and fewer sites for this beloved bird to raise their young safely.

As I read more and more of what we have done to halt the lives of so many birds, it is readily apparent that the world needs to return to some of the ‘old ways’ and continue policies or re-wilding if we are to save our precious wildlife.

In the Mailbox:

‘EJ’ was wondering how these transmitters work – like the one put on Zoe at Port Lincoln. She found a great article and you might be wondering how these transmitters work, too. Thank you, ‘EJ’. Here is the link. You should be able just to click on it.

Technology (ospreytrax.com)

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. As I look at the weather report there is a severe weather alert for wind in both Orange and Port Lincoln. Maybe Zoe and Rubus – as well as Indigo – will take care today. Send best wishes to them!

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: RSPB, The Guardian, Osprey Research, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, The Age, Lady Hawk and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett, NEFL-AEF, and Notre Dame Eagle Cam.

Late Sunday in Bird World

The other day, Jean-Marie Dupart took photographs of a Scottish Osprey in the Saloum Delta in Senegal. The band on the leg, slightly obscured, could read JJ2 or JJ7. JJ2 was believed to be a female at the time of banding. JJ7 was believed a male at the time of its banding.

Here is the photograph Jean-Marie Dupart took of the Osprey in question:

The Woodland Trust and People’s Post Code Lottery put out the following announcement today:

I had so hoped it was JJ7 but, in the end, it is wonderful to see a healthy Scottish fish eagle that hatched in 2019.

In a sadder note, the H5N1 highly pathogenic strain of Avian Flu that killed the two white-tailed eaglets in the spring of 2021 is striking again in the UK. First swans were culled and now the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary in Yorkshire.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-60188953

Ervie has been waiting on the nest hoping that Dad would either bring him a fish or that he would catch one as he focused on the beautiful waters of the cove. And then, at 8:20:39, Ervie finds an old fish tail on the nest. He did several double takes when he saw it a few seconds earlier. What a delight! An old dried up fish tail for our lovely boy.

Ervie really enjoyed that old piece of fish.

Ervie had been standing fish calling to the parents missing that piece of tail down by his talons. In the image below you can see that this is not a big piece of fish but for Ervie, it must have felt like he had found gold in that nest.

Gosh, Ervie is a handsome Osprey.

Ervie is still working on that old piece of dry fish. He is not giving up.

And he is still working on it…

You can see from the time how long Ervie has been pulling this dry fish. He is making good progress. Ervie would love to share some of the fish from the KNF nest! But he is not going to give up until he eats every single scrap of this tail. That is why you are a survivor, Ervie.

While Ervie is dreaming of having a big fish soon, the eaglet at the KNF nest in Louisiana has been filled to the brim by Anna. Look at that crop. Incredible.

Anna is making up for missing the feedings yesterday afternoon but, at the same time, Louis did a fantastic job taking care of the eaglet. The baby was never hungry and always had a bit of a crop. Louis was extraordinary – just like Samson was when Gabby was away for 24 hours before NE26 and 27 hatched.

Diamond did not seem to spend the night at the scrape but she is on the ledge early this morning. I wonder how much the hot weather impacted her and Xavier? As you know, many Peregrine Falcons wound up in care from dehydration.

Last breeding season the Mum at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle nest spent most of it buried in snow. This year is starting off the same way. Whether it is extreme heat or extreme winter storms, our feathered friends are being impacted.

Mum will keep the eggs warm and dry. These eagles are amazing.

I wanted to do a last check on the WRDC eaglets, R1 and R2. They are doing fine. R2 is being fed at the moment which must mean that R1 is full! You can tell the difference between the two because R1 still has a big drop of light natal down on its head.

If you are a Pittsburg-Hayes eagle fan, the couple were just mating on the tree. Eggs are not normally laid til 15 February or after. I wonder if they will be early this year? Looks like they have a nice egg cup created. Last year this couple raised triplets. Yes, three eaglets. 3.

Thank you for joining me today and for all your letters and comments. I really enjoy hearing from you. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: WRDC, KNF Bald Eagles, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Duke Farms, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, and Pix Cams.