24 August 2022
It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. The teachers and students do not go back to class until after Labour Day here but they continue to have classes throughout June. There is a different look to the top of the trees and I noticed today that my tomato plants are looking a little rough. In his book Mistletoe Winter, Roy Dennis describes Autumn as ‘the altruism time of diligent creatures’. He is referring to the Blue Jays which “only reached the North of Scotland in the last 40 years” and who are busy storing away acorns for the winter. Dennis notes that some of their stash will be forgotten or overlooked. The acorns will germinate inside the bramble bush protected from the deer and will, in effect, grow nuts for future generations as well as the old Oak trees. Likewise, the Red Squirrels will be working away at the hazel nut trees. The animals in the garden are becoming increasingly interested in stashing food for the winter here in Winnipeg despite the fact that the day time temperatures are still in the high 20s C.
In the Mailbox:
‘P’ wrote: “Last year you and I connected when the chick was forced off the nest and died….Was there any nesting this season? I cannot find any thing on the site at all.” It turns out that the nest in question is Collins Marsh. To refresh everyone’s memory, one chick hatched last year at Collins Marsh in Wisconsin. The fish delivered to the nest were small and not always plentiful. One or another parent seemed to be absent at times. The little osplet was adorable. One of my readers ‘S’ suggested the name, Malin meaning ‘Little Warrior’ and it won. Malin would need to be a warrior to survive on that nest. Then one day an intruder came, Mum flew off and Malin, scared to death flew off the nest, too. Malin was not ready to fledge. ‘S’ and I spent hours on the phone trying to get immediate help. It did not come. (That is a long complicated story and I am still unhappy about the response of the naturalist at the time). The platform was on top of a moved fire tower. It had no perch and it was deathly hot. As a result, the ospreys did not make a nest there this year, 2022. Were they old? did they no survive migration? Or did they also realize it was not a safe place to raise their family? I was told by DNR personnel doing nest surveys that there was an unused nest about a mile away. They might have gone there. But with the intruder and a poor food source they might have moved out of that area altogether.
‘B’ wrote and wondered, awhile ago, if there was anything else that we can do to gather things up for the rehab clinics and what might they be? So who else better to answer that question that ‘L’ who works at the Audubon Centre in Florida. ‘L’ says “I often reach out to our neighbourhood communities because as you rightly say, money is so tight for so many but its amazing what we have in our homes that would just be thrown out. I ask for any donations that are paper related. Paper towel and toilet roll cardboard inserts, newspaper for lining crates and are used for enrichment will continue to become more and more scarce since the news is on the Internet plus old or ignored dog toys like kongs and ropes. Believe it or not, one of the most popular enrichment items are paper flowers and streamer type decorations (I swear I will make raptor friendly piñatas lol). They all LOVE paper in various degrees of thickness.” What an amazing list! I will continue to add clean loved but well used towels and sheets plus all manner of cleaning supplies. Sometimes the rehab clinics have their own lists on line. You can check for local needs. I wonder about having a sort of neighbourhood drive to gather up items. And I never thought of gently used dog toys!
‘W’ writes: ‘There is a nest of baby robins in my tree. I am disturbed by persistent distress calls from from one bird and then another. I don’t know why, and I feel helplessly alarmed. I’m sitting watching the nest, hoping to see one of the robins go to the nest, during this whole time of callings neither parent has appeared. What can it be? As it happens I have asked our local wildlife veterinary student this same question only with regard to another species. The parents will move away from the nest alarming to scare the intruder away but, at the same time, they do not go to the nest to show the predator where it is. —- I have noticed also when I am on walks in the nature centre that the Canada Geese are quite protective of their little ones. One will act as a security guard while some of the others will be decoys trying to get my attention elsewhere and away from where the goslings are located. That could definitely be what is happening with the Robin family. Have any of you had similar experiences?
‘S’ asks, “YRK has been coming in to feed QT very frequently. Do you think she is looking for OGK?” I think YRK is absolutely looking for OGK. They often came in or landed close to one another when they were raising Miss Pippa Atawhai. It was really delightful to see the two of them rejoice in being close to one another. I know that YRK has even gone up the hill to Pippa’s nest – she has to be wondering what has happened to OGK and why she has not seen him. The NZ DOC will not declare OGK officially deceased until he doesn’t return in October of 2023. He was injured once and was away for 40 days but he has not been seen since the middle of May. We wait with hope but, I am a bit of a realist and I believe he is no longer with us.
‘P’ asked: Do any of the raptors fish at night? What a timely question! Last night Dad at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest brought in a fish late at night. Alden at the Cal Falcons nest seems to always hunt at night. It is thought it could be his injured leg and he hunts then to avoid the other big raptors at night. Of course the song birds are about and with the light of SF he seems to do quite well. There have been others who have brought in fish at night. We certainly know that Ospreys do fish at night but the nests escape me this morning. — Then there are the Great Horned Owls and other owls who silently hunt at night. This is their time!
From the News – Digital and Broadsheet:
It may not seem like much but this is a major victory for the anti-grouse hunting movement in the UK. What is at issue is that pheasants and grouse are imported so they can be shot by visitors to the big estates where shooting continues to be a sport. The problem is that the game’s keepers often kill raptors that come on to the estate lands to hunt. Today, the Ritz in London announced that grouse is off the menu. Expect others to follow! Yes.
Canadians are watching the geese and raptors and this morning lines of Canada Geese were seen flying south from 2 hours north of Winnipeg. This is early. Since 2019 the associations studying the climate crisis and its impact on birds have given us warnings that things are changing quickly. The insects that many depend on to feed their young are hatching earlier. If the birds arrive at the same time as what has been normal, there will be less food and thus, less offspring. The floods this spring and summer have left many moving to other areas and we have fewer and fewer ducklings and goslings in the City of Winnipeg this year. As I have noted in earlier blogs my concern is now with the few little fuzzy ducklings that are in some of the ponds. Will they survive to fledge? A heating planet means that we may well see many of the raptors breeding a month early.
In 2020, the UN had an autumn lecture on how the changing climate will impact raptors. Two years ago…things change quickly. I will be looking for an update for us for this fall but this is a good beginning to understand what changes we may see in our favourite raptor families as the planet heats.
Today, we have two fantastic fledges to celebrate. We have been waiting and waiting for LC to fledge from the Osoyoos nest of Soo, Olsen, and BC. This afternoon, after spending the morning jumping from the nest to a cable, LC flew!!!!!!!! The time was 14:29:24 the 23rd of August 2022. “H’ sent a video (thank you ‘H’ for this and confirmation of the time). Don’t blink. It is only seconds long.
‘A-M’ lives a bit of a distance from the Osoyoos nest. You might remember that she travelled to Osoyoos to search for the chick that fell off the edge of the nest. ‘A-M’ found the wee one dead but she placed it in a quiet spot in a very dignified way. Today, excited like everyone waiting for this moment at Osoyoos, ‘A-M’ drove in to see if she could see the family. This is her report: “I went to the nest around 4:15pm LC was on the camera pole and BC joined, they sat there for a good half hour chatting to each other. Mum flew on to pole around 16:37 and BC flew to nest. I watched Soo sit with LC on the pole and BC fly to the tree where Olsen hangs out. So beautiful to see BC fly around the area and to see LC out the nest, they both are stunning. I will check on them in a few days to see if I can capture a video clip of LC in flight.”
The other fledge was at Glacier Gardens. Love fledged. Now we will wait for Peace. Here is the video of her first flight:
There have been no sightings of the Notre-Dame Eagle family. ND15, Little Bit’s caring sibling, left the territory earlier. Little Bit has been easy to spot on his perch on the St Joseph River but the birders on the ground report that not even a squee has been heard anywhere. It is that time of year. If they have left for their migration may we all wish them strong wings, lots of prey, and a good long productive life.
There is a lot of curiosity about Trey, Mama Cruz’s 2019 fledgling with her mate, Pride. Someone has put together a video of the ‘dust up’ between Mama Cruz and Trey at the nest:
We are waiting for the first egg to arrive at the Charles Sturt falcon scrape in Orange, Australia. Today, Xavier brought in what appeared to be some road kill and Diamond was quite happy to eat it. The moderator added that the falcons are quite happy to eat road kill when other prey is scarce. All I could think of was — we don’t want a year where the prey is scarce!
The sea eaglets continue to do well. If you look at the other camera, rather than the one looking down on the nest, you will always get a good look at Lady’s fluffy white bottom! It is also nice to see the chicks in profile. Gives you a whole different understanding of their size.
They had nice crops around 1220.
And there was another feeding a few hours later.
In Port Lincoln, it has been rainy and a bit miserable. Mum thinks Dad is just taking far too long with the fish for her liking. She does do some screaming at him and is quick to get off the eggs when he arrives. Estimated hatch day is 19 September.
According to the Port Lincoln FB page, Ervie has been showing off his skills o visitors staying in the Port Lincoln Hotel! I wonder how many of us would love to be on the roof watching him????????
And just when I thought that all attention would soon be turning to the birds in Australia, look who shows up at their nest inside the Miami Zoo! Rita and Ron.
Look at that crop…it appears to be bursting the feathers at the seams.
The Papadam nest seems to have worked great for R1 and R2. If you are fans of Ron and Rita they might start working on getting it into shape for the next breeding season.
Cal Falcons caught Alden in the scrape calling Annie.
What a beautiful place to raise osplets – the Dyfi nest in Wales, home to Idris and Telyn.
It is a damp grey morning but, oh, so green and lovely. Quiet.
Earlier there was a Magpie on the nest and one of the fledglings eating a fish. I wonder if the Magpie was waiting for leftovers?
There has been an intruder on the nest today, possibly a Scottish juvenile on the move. The whole of the UK Osprey population (and all other migrating birds) are beginning to move to the south so there will be lots of visitors just stopping in at nests. I hope to have a good list of all the departures on Friday. Mrs G is still at Glaslyn. She stole a fish off one of the juveniles that Aran delivered not long ago.
Checking on Kaia, the Black Stork mate of Karl II who turned back from the Ukraine to feed in Belarus. I am watching Kaia’s movements closely as this could give us some insights into the other storks and raptors migrating from the north through the area of The Ukraine.
Kaia began her day near the Veluta Lake in Belarus where she has been for about a week. She then flew a distance of 143 km and is in the wetlands near the Pripyat River, a little northeast of Veresnitsa, and southeast of Povchin in the Gomel Oblast in Belarus. The small village has 1070 citizens. Looduskalender notes that Kaia is feeding within a few metres of another Black Stork with a tracker, Timmu. So she is feeding and remains safe. Relief. It is hoped that the storks and other raptors can find a way around the Ukraine. War has many sides and none of them are good for birds.
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being with me today. Congratulations to Osoyoos and Glacier Gardens on their fledges. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for the streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, ‘H’ and ‘A-M’, Glacier Gardens, Explore.org and the IWS, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, WRDC, Cal Falcons, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and Looduskalender and the Estonia Eagle Club.