Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, check in

Today was a day for me to go outside, walk, and enjoy a beautiful, warm, fall day in the country. I did check on the Port Lincoln Ospreys before I left and Dad had brought in a fish and they were eating. It is now noon in Port Lincoln, Australia and there have been two feedings. Everything is fine. I believe the following images will dispel any concerns. We had great days with 8 to 10 feedings and then they slowed down. The chicks are older and their crops can hold more so they get more food but there are less feedings. The older two are in the reptile phase. Some people love the rubbed oil effect and the bald heads, the dark plumage – I am usually glad when they get through this phase!

So here, with little narration are some images from the first 4 hours of the day. Check out the time stamps as you go through.

I love the golden rays of the morning sun falling on Mom and the nest. She is really beautiful.

First feeding. None of the chicks are fighting and this fish came in much earlier today than yesterday (past noon).

Mum makes sure that everyone is full. You can see, look carefully, that all three chicks have nice crops. She is still checking to see if Little Bob wants any more bites.

Right now it is really easy to tell Little Bob from Big and Middle Bob.

Mum is eating some fish. She deserves to eat just like dad and it is hard to get bites in with these three. But, look, does Little Bob want some more fish?

If anyone says this mum feeds herself before her osplets, they are wrong. She is breaking off a piece above and below she is offering it to Little Bob to make sure that he is full.

Look at the crops and the bald oily looking heads. Oh, dear! These kids are changing right before our eyes.

Oh, gosh. Little Bob just finished and now the other two are up at the table again. Mom is feeding both Big and Middle again.

“Last Call at the Fish Bar!”

Mom lets them fall into food comas and makes sure they are covered and warm. Maybe they will sleep for a few minutes.

Oh, no. They are starting to wiggle their way out. Just look at those pin feathers. These babies are going to be doing a lot of preening very soon.

An hour later and Mom is feeding them again. This is feeding 3 and they still have crops from the earlier feeding. No one is going to feel hungry today.

Little Bob stays up at the table. The other two are full.

Finally – food coma.

Happy, full Osplets sleeping in a pile!

There will be more fish meals today. These three are doing fine. We had one worrisome day. Let us all hope that is the last for this family. Right now – in this very moment – all is well.

Take care everyone. Thanks for stopping in. See you soon!!!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Fish delivery at PLO. Tears of joy.

It is 11:36 on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest and Mom is still waiting for Dad to bring in a fish. I have peeked but, she is up and waiting and hopeful. The chicks are behaving themselves. That is a relief. I don’t know what will happen when the fish does arrive on the nest. Thinking positive!

What is very noticeable is the change in appearance of the two older osplets from yesterday. They have really lost that light down and are quickly transitioning to the reptile stage. That is part of the reason that they might have looked ‘skinny’ to some on those days when they were full with crops.

Hatch Information:

  • Big Bob. 13 September. 22:03
  • Middle Bob. 14 September. 02:30
  • Little Bob. 16 September. 00:51

Little Bob still has the light down. It is difficult to distinguish between big and Middle sometimes but I believe that the chick on the left is Big Bob and the one on the right, Middle Bob.

Oh, joy. 11:44:35. It looks like the chicks are anticipating a feeding.

And it looked like shadows of parents moving. Sadly, the camera angle is focused here and we cannot see for sure. I really hope that there has been a fish delivery. These three are behaving themselves but they are really, really hungry ——– and so is Mom!

Waiting.

Fish? No Fish? I think that I am full of anxiety as I watch these three. They are not fighting. They are waiting. Is there food for them?

It is 12:13 on the nest. If a fish was caught, it has not come to the nest nor have the chicks been fed. Mom is calling loudly.

They are still waiting for lunch. Look at the image above and notice where Little Bob is. Now look at where he has gone in anticipation of a fish delivery.

The view from the nest.

Mom is working hard to keep them focused on her so they will not fight.

The real fish finally came in. 12:46:07. Mom does not need to do the fake feeding anymore!

Little Bob is curled up. No doubt they are hungry and their energy is depleted. There is enough fish for everyone. He can wait and let the others get theirs first.

This is very unusual for Little Bob. He is normally up at the table immediately. Big Bob has come up to eat. Wake up Little!

Little Bob came around! You can see his crop getting fuller through the sequence of images. Look at that crop on Middle Bob who is on the left. Then Big Bob and then Little Bob.

It is a nice fish. Mom really needs to eat too. I hope she fills these three up until they pop.

Everyone is happy and behaving themselves. That is also a relief after the earlier skirmishes around dawn.

One last image as those crops get fuller and fuller.

I am just so excited to tell you the good news. These little ones will be full for a bit. They can eat more and I hope that mom continues to feed them – like I said, til they popped. Continue to send warm wishes and positive thoughts to this nest. It is at such a vulnerable stage today.

I am sending this off toggled to my phone as our Internet is out. So thank you again. Take care everyone.

Thanks to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Trouble at Port Lincoln?

Yesterday there were not as many fish deliveries as there had been on the days when the wind was blowing at 34 kph. It was a bit concerning but the chicks seemed to be fine.

The PLO camera was down for a long time – frozen. The temperatures are cool but the winds are only around 11 kph. It is now after 8:45 am and no fish delivery yet. The chicks are fighting and hungry.

Mom has called and has tried to sit on them. This is a tragic turn of events if a large fish doesn’t come on this nest soon. They need the food – constantly. This is day 9 and 10 for these chicks. I continue to remind myself when watching the events this past hour that Tapps left us on day 18.

Why is this happening? That is my big question. The Dad has been good. Things let up a bit yesterday in terms of the deliveries but — please send your good wishes to this nest. Things can change in a second and we want the civil state and full chicks back.

One of the key persons with the nest said, “​In this phase, you will notice feedings further apart, but they will stuff those crops which now can handle a bit more. A bit slower growth than some are use to, different continent.” I hope she is right!

Thank you to the PLO for their streaming cam where I took this image.

Wednesday in Bird World

Lady Hawk has posted some close ups of the Royal Albatross cam chick, Tiaki, doing some wing exercises. Tiaki is all grown up, a beautiful juvenile, the daughter of LGL and LGK. She will fledge soon beginning her five or six year journey at sea – never touching land – til she returns to the headland to begin finding a mate. Perhaps one day Tiaki’s chick will be the Royal cam chick. I do hope so. It will mean that the seas are safer places for our beautiful squid eating birds.

“Masked Bobwhite (female ) (subspecies of Northern Bobwhite) | BANWR | AZ | 2016-04-15at07-43-413” by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Audubon Society has posted some really good news. The Masked Bobwhites are once again seen in southern Arizona. They were believed to be on extinct or on the edge of extinction because of cattle grazing in the Arizona deserts. Today they are listed as ‘critically endangered’.

They are a small round quail. When I was a child, we would travel to visit relatives in Arizona every summer. Oh, was it hot! But there were always Bobwhites. It is nice to hear that they are now returning.

This photo was taken on the 10th of September. I wrote about it at the time because in migration news, this is great. The son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 at the Pont Cresor nest in the Glaslyn Valley – and the grandson of Monty and Glesni – had reached Brittany. That was 12 days ago. He would now be further on his migration, perhaps stopping in Spain. The photo of Blue 494 was taken by Colette Leclerq.

Photo by Colette Leclerq, Brittany France

Speaking of migration and waiting and wanting news of Blue 464, it is more than time to check on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia.

First up, Karl II, his daughter Pikne, and his son Udu. They are from the Black Stork nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia. This map is taken from the Karl II migration pages of the Forum.

Udu is now in Hungary near the fishponds at Banhalma. Karl II remains around Kherson Oblata in the Ukraine. Pikne has doubled back and remains in Moldova. What I think is interesting about this map is that Udu has turned and is heading towards the Asia Minor route. There was a question as to whether he might go the western route to Africa but it seems he will be flying over Greece.

This is the data from BirdMap. You can access the BirdMap here:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

I was wanting to see about the Black stork Julge. He is Jan and Janika’s only surviving chick this year. He is now in france. You can see him still heading over the westerly routing.

The birds that are in the centre of Africa are two Ospreys!

So far everything looks in order and everyone is still safe.

I cannot bring you a late afternoon update on the Port Lincoln Ospreys. The camera was frozen for most of the day and has just returned to normal. Mom has the kids covered tight. It is only 8 degrees at 16:00 with winds blowing over the water at 11 kph.

I can show you a bit of what a beautiful day it was on the Canadian prairies. I really need to practice with my camera and my tripod. These are some images today taken at a distance of about 68 metres. I found the tripod tricky to use – I need a counterbalance for it – so these are all hand held. The set up was heavy. But there were a few passable images.

A female Mallard. This species is very common in Manitoba. They have, on occasion, fooled me so I have had to go to our local eBird expert. This is a real beauty.

The Canada Geese would like the entire pond to themselves. They swim after and honk as they pursue the ducks.

There is your dabbling duck. She knows that goose is there but is trying to ignore it.

The park was just beautiful. It was 25 degrees today. One of the fountains was not working and that end of the pond had men working. Still the geese on the other side were a bit curious.

All of the Wood Ducks were either up on the islands or down by the fountain that was working. This is a female and she is such a cutie. I sat and watched her swim in and out of the water droplets for quite awhile.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow is a day away chasing shore birds. I hope to have a posting tomorrow evening (Thursday). Take care everyone. Stay safe. Stay Positive!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Ospreys, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia, BirdMap, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Everyone is Fine

One of the problems with the streaming cams is the ‘chat’ feature. There, I have said it. The same persons come on at different times of the day, every day or every other day and say the same negative things. There is one on the PLO chat that always says, ‘The mother never feeds the youngest’. ‘Mama feed in order never feeds youngest.’ Seriously! Either they can’t rewind, they don’t watch, or they just want to stir the pot of negativity. I think that it is all three. So I go back to an old cry out of mine, Streaming cams need 24/7 knowledgable moderators. They need them to stop the bots coming in and they need them to stop the negative chatter. Even more so, if something happens on the nest they need to have emergency numbers to call or place them on the streaming cam site at the top.

The Port Lincoln Osplets are doing fine! And it is something to celebrate. One of the most exciting things is to watch them grow and grow they are. these chicks are losing their light grey coat to get their second, darker grey down. You can see the little pin feathers starting. still, each retains a tiny bit of its egg tooth. The feet are getting bigger, wings are growing and the tiny tails are starting. If you didn’t know the different species at this age of 9-10 days, just look at that beautiful dark mask going from the cere to behind the eye. that is the distinctive bandit mask of the Osprey!

Dad comes in with another fish. the big one that arrived earlier is all gone.

The chicks are getting bigger and they don’t like sleeping under Mum like they did when they first hatched. Indeed, these little ones seem to be tumbling around underneath her much of the time.

Awwww. Such sweeties.

Because it is winter in Australia, the light changes early. Mum and dad are on the nest and the little ones are getting another feed. Notice how much they have grown. It is as if someone took them and stretched them in the last couple of days. They no longer appear like short fat little chicks but they are entering another phase where they will begin to look like thin reptiles with long necks.

Each is doing fine. There were not as many big fish yesterday as during the high winds but everyone was fed and no one was left out.

I literally checked into the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest to see how WBSE 27 and 28 are doing. Lady was feeding them.

That is WBSE 28 at the front of the nest with its big crop. 27 is practicing its self feeding with a small piece of prey.

This nest will have two fledges this year. I so hope the Pied Currawong do not chase them out of the forest so they can fly and return to the nest for more meals while they get their piloting in order.

Lady Hawk did a video of 27 learning to self-feed and 28 nibbling at her toes. Have a look:

The strongest earthquake in recorded history hit Melbourne, Australia yesterday.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/earthquake-tremor-felt-across-melbourne-and-regional-victoria/news-story/f8dca1048e48a500e3308dabedfdb1c1

The first thing many thought of were the four eggs of the Peregrine Falcons at 367 Collins Street.

Dad was on the eggs at the time and stepped off wondering what was happening.

Everything appears to be fine. Some buildings were damaged but no one was killed. Thankfully! We are nearing hatch watch for this couple.

In Orange, the running joke has been Xavier wanting his time to incubate the eggs.

Xavier doesn’t want to give up his incubating time!

Do you know why the male Peregrine falcon is called Xavier? It is one of those heart wrenching stories that makes you love this little male bird even more.

Diamond’s eggs were ready to hatch. Her mate, Bula, disappeared and was presumed dead. As we all know, the chicks would have died. Instead, enter a new male who starts helping with the chicks and raises them as if they were his own. Because he was a ‘saviour’ of the family, he was named Xavier.

The researcher at Orange is Cilla Kinross. She did a cute video of the negotiations between Diamond and Xavier over the incubation duties.

Everything is changing at these four nests in Australia. The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are exercising their wings, jumping, and hopping about. They are getting more adept at self-feeding although 27 still is the one that gets to the prey first it seems. Lady does come in and feed them. Branching will be next but not for a bit, thankfully. We will be watching for the four at Collins street to hatch in about four or five days. Diamond and Xavier’s chicks will follow but not for a week or a little more. And, of course, the change in the Osplets at Port Lincoln will be significant. They will look like skinny reptiles all wound around one another. The key is that everything, at this moment in time, is just fine. There are no worries. So enjoy them!

It is another beautiful fall day in Manitoba. The Green Heron has departed and I always missed it. Perhaps another will come next year! The Blue Heron is also gone but I hear there are waves of Dark-Eyed Juncos headed towards the city. I cannot wait. They love to pick apart my red outdoor carpet. Such cuties. I am going out for a long walk and to check on the Wood Ducks. Perhaps they will cooperate and there will be some good photos for me to share with you.

Thank you for stopping by. Check out the streaming cams – the birds are doing great. And, if you feel up to it, shut down the negativity. There is already enough in the world. The birds bring us joy. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street by Mirvan, Falcon Project Cam at Orange, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

The Miracle Chick

If I mention the name Aran, who is the first to come to mind?

This morning there was a posting about a ‘miracle’ chick – indeed, 2 miracle eggs and one of those being a chick that never should have hatched but did. These stories always interest me because, I immediately think that they are third hatches. This was not the case with these two little bundles of joy.

What a beautiful couple. They have been together now six seasons. You can see Aran’s prominent feather problem.

Mrs G (left) and Aran (right). July 2021.
Mrs G 3 September 2021
Aran in one of his favourite spots before he migrates. September 2021

Aran arrived at the Glaslyn nest, unringed and, as you know if you follow the Ospreys of the UK or Wales, specifically, in 2015. The public wanted the couple named. The female who had raised chicks at the nest previously was to be Mrs G, after Glaslyn. Aran was named after the local mountains, Eryri. The story is lovely and deserves to be read in its entirety. I am enclosing the news from Glaslyn. The story of how Mrs G and Aran came together and how Mrs G’s sixth and seventh eggs – yes – 6 and 7 – came to hatch is remarkable. It makes you feel good. I can add that WO was last seen a couple of years ago in the north of England. So, he really was a survivor! (I intend to check the listings to see if W0 has been spotted this year and the circumstances).

I did get my hair cut and the minute I got home I went to check on the PLO nest. In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner explains the term ‘Kathleening’. It is when a person claims to have seen the biggest, and the most after someone tells their story. I do not want to sound like I am ‘Kathleening’ but, seriously, Mum was feeding those kids – again. When I left they were eating and when I got home they were eating.

Are those babies getting squirmy? She hardly got them covered and she is feeding them again1

Mom has decided that she wants the fish on the other side.

Yeah for Mom. She pulled that fish over the nest of babies without clobbering one of them.

Mom has decided that it is time for some more fish. The little ones will make their way to the table shortly.

That’s Little Bob on the left with the two older sibs facing in the same direction. Little Bob has his mouth open and he is looking at Mom.

Little Bob has a nice crop. He is the one on the far left. You can still see his egg tooth. It will be gone soon! Big Bob is in the middle. She is the one with the most pin feathers and Middle Bob is on the right.

Mom is looking for another delivery and the three Bobs are waiting at the table with their napkins tucked in and forks at the ready.

It is 12 degrees C with 11 kph winds. What a difference from the days when it was blowing at 34 kph. Dad was able to get some rather large fish those windy days. I wonder if it is the same with the calm water???

I have been notified that the Season of the Osprey, the much awaited documentary put out by Nature and PBS will be shown in the US on 27 October at 00:00:30. Please do check your local stations to make sure this is correct!

That is it for me tonight. There will be at least another 7 or 8 feedings today before Mom gets some time to rest. I will bring you the details tomorrow. Take care everyone! Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project’s and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn’s streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Oh, Little Bob!

Oh, another glorious fall day on the Canadian Prairies. The sun is shining bright and the sky is blue. The leaves of the vines looking like stained glass ranging in colour from rust to orange, light yellow, and chartreuse. Just stunningly beautiful.

I always worry about the third hatches. I have worried about the third at the Port Lincoln nest the minute the egg was laid. Last evening one of the chatters called #3 “Tuffet.” That is a great nickname for Little Bob.

And Little Bob looks like such an angel. If you are having trouble telling who he is, he still has his egg tooth today. That is him wide awake smiling at the camera.

My goodness. I have begun to feel sorry for Mum. She has only to wiggle or get up to stretch and he has his mouth wide open!

Big and Middle are not bothered at all. Little Bob still has a crop but he is sure curious as to whether or not Mom will give him some bites!

“What cha’ doin’ Mom?”

Little Bob is decidedly not hungry. When I last left the family Dad had brought what was left of the ‘whale’ that he had brought in at 12:35:44.

There was another feeding around 13:08.

If you are wondering, yes, that is Little Bob being fed!

By 13:24 Mum has them all tucked and Dad is over on the ropes.

Around 16:00 the chicks are fed again.

With the whale finished, Dad is going to need to go out and fishing. At 16:49 Dad comes to have a consultation with Mom. She puts in an order for a fish as the kids are growing restless.

The delivery comes in half an hour. Well done, Dad. I wonder if he has a stash of these nice large fish?

Notice that all of the chicks have some fish still in their crop from the earlier feeding.

Oh, dear. That fish was flapping. Hope that little one is OK. It sure isn’t stopping Little Bob with his crop from wanting a meal. There he is near that flapping tail.

Oh, these three are really going to be a handful when they are older. Dad is going to have to bring further reinforcements for the walls. Mom finishes feeding them and then…

She moves the fish and starts again! They all line up again.

Look carefully at the back of Little Bob on the end. Can you see the two dark stripes starting to emerge? and just look at how adorable those little wings are. Gosh these kids are cute.

Dad will remove the fish and return it at 18:20:01.

There’s Little Bob flaunting his crop – wondering if his is the biggest or not.

Mom probably thought she could have a few bites in peace and quiet. What do you think? Yes, that is Little Bob with his mouth open! Poor Mom.

Now another wants some fish. You can still see their crops from the 18:22 feeding. But there is also something else we can see. Look, pin feathers are coming. Soon they will look like reptiles. Their light coat of down will be replaced by a darker woolier coat at 10-12 days. That is followed by the reptile phase.

We are entering the second week. Already these chicks have more than likely tripled their body weight. It should, in fact double again in the next three to four days. The fastest period of growth will come at 15-30 days. This is when we need fish on this nest.

It is possible that when Mom got up to eat some fish she fed some of the Osplets around 21:13.

It was hard to tell because Mum swung herself around so we couldn’t see.

Little Bob wiggles his way out from under Mom in the middle of the night and is calling for fish!

And we are back where we started. Around 1:13, Mom wants to stretch her legs and Little Bob thinks it is time to eat again – crop or not.

It is now 2:51 in the morning, 22 September in Australia. Mom and chicks are fast asleep. No doubt Little Bob will be right up front at the table the minute that fish lands on the nest.

This third hatch is anything but shy or afraid. This nest has really turned itself around thanks to the good deliveries of fish by Dad and the continuous feedings by Mom. No one on this nest has been hungry.

The crucial period is not here yet. We need to make it through weeks 3 and 4.*

Looking for hatch watch with the Peregrine falcons in Melbourne in 6 days. That will liven things up a bit. Over at the WBSE in the Sydney Olympic Park, the parents are dropping prey now that the eaglets are self-feeding. Most of the time 27 gets the food. Yesterday, Mom did the feeding. 28 had a nice crop. The first seen in awhile. The pair continue to work their wings.

Thank you so much for joining me today — and thank you for your interest in the Eastern Ospreys at Port Lincoln, Australia. So far, so good. Continue to send warm wishes to all the nests.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

* Last year, the feedings were not as good at the PLO. Around Day 15 there was a perceived drop in food delivery. Siblicide occurred and sadly, little Tapps died when he was 18 days old.

PLO rock

It seriously does not get better than this: I take a break to check on our federal election results and turn around to check on the chicks at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest and they are being fed —— again!

The whale of a fish that Dad brought in this morning still has some left even after the last feeding. I have genuinely lost count of the feedings but we are up to at least five and I think maybe six. The last one began with Dad bringing the remaining fish to mom at 12:14. The kids ate and it is now 12:36 nest time. They will be fed at least three or four more times before they tuck it in for the night. Fantastic. Like the little songbirds in their nests whose parents fly in and out continually, this trio of osplets are thriving with more frequent feedings at this stage in their development.

It was time for a nap. One of the chatters was worried about Little Bob being out from under Mom. You can also see the heads of Big and Middle Bob sticking out. Little Bob was too warm or he would have been under. And if he got chilled, he would push to get under mom. If she was worried she would have scooped him up. She did look and check on him several times.

There is still some fish remaining that you can see at the bottom right. The chicks were full when mom finished feeding and got them settled again.

Less than an hour later, Dad is back on the nest. Just look at mom’s eyes. You can also see one of the wee babes with its head out.

Mom feeds the babies again! I don’t even know if they were hungry.

Everyone is fed and tucked. Dad is over on the ropes and I bet mum is wanting to catch a little sleep. It looks like the whale of a fish was finished.

During my walk today, I noticed a lovely pine tree. It had three Black capped chickadees on the branches. Then I stopped at another yard and saw no less than 15 bird feeders and various bird baths and watering containers. At the corner was the house with the pollinator garden. Long before it became a stylish phrase ‘I have a pollinator garden’, my neighbour was doing just that. People reported him to the city authorities because, well, his boulevard and yard looked a mess. Today, the flowers are growing in the pots hanging between the trees and the rest are native plants helping the environment. I don’t think anyone looks at that garden with disdain any longer. I mention this because I got a note this evening from a reader asking me what are all the things they can do to help the birds. Gosh, I didn’t know where to start there is so much to be done. So let’s start with the basic principle that everything is connected. Here are a few ideas and we will add to them on a regular basis.

  • Shrinking your lawn is one of the first one that comes to mind. In their book, Planting in a Post-Wild World, the authors suggest that we think of turf or lawn as an area rug, not the whole floor. Use the grass areas to draw attention to something. Most eco-gardeners suggest having no more than 50% turf. It is suggested that you set your mowers to 3 inches or 7.5 cm. You will not kill your grass by cutting it too short and you will also not kill the turtles or little bunnies that hunker down. Do not mow at sunset as many species come out at that time of day.
  • Do not treat your turf with anything. No matter how green the companies claim their products to be, if they kill something they will also kill other things. You can also save a lot of money.
  • If you are doing some fall planting, use native plants and pollinators. These will be good for the insects and small birds.
  • Plant a native tree.
  • Do not rake your lawn. Leave it. Just leave it alone. If you must, rake the leaves into areas and spread them being as gentle as possible.
  • Locally we are recommending leaving out hummingbird feeders. The little ones are still staying in some of our more northern areas. They are migrating through and really can use the energy.
  • The small songbirds migrating have really been eating my suet cylinders. That fat and those specialized seeds and insects give them fuel also.

I will stop there. There is so much we can do from supporting bird friendly coffee and building bubblers (small fountain areas) and little ponds, window decorations to stop bird strike, etc. A friend of mine wrote to me today and they had been in an area where there were no birds. They said that it was ‘eerie.’ Can you imagine a world without birds?

Thank you so much for checking in with me. It is going so well for the family at Port Lincoln. What a joy! Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

A whale of a fish for the PLO kids

In the middle of the night, the osplets were restless. Mom needed to stretch her legs and they all stood up, beaks wide open thinking it was time for yet – another – meal. They were so well fed during the day it is hard to imagine them being hungry at 02:45 but they thought they were.

Mum worked hard and finally corralled Big and Middle back under her wings and chest! But not before they peeked out again and had another try for a feeding! Just look at how wide they can open their mouths. Goodness.

Mum went sound asleep and was looking really comfy when this image was taken at 05:10.

Mom needed another stretch before the sun rose. Oh, goodness. It was mayhem.

Big and Middle started pecking one another and Little Bob ducked! All I could think was get a fish on this nest quick.

Mom was having none of it. She sat on the chicks and stopped all the nonsense in its tracks. I thought she looked rather pleased with herself.

A couple of minutes later, Dad was on the ropes with a whale of a fish. He ate part of the head and got rid of the sharp teeth before transferring it over to the family.

That fish is big enough to last them all day! What a great catch.

They all got themselves lined up nicely in order of age – Big Bob on the outside, Middle Bob, and then, of course, that character Little Bob eating first! Yes, his crop does get full and yes, he does pass out in a food coma. This kiddo isn’t afraid of anything. It was almost slapstick comedy watching him duck when Big and Middle thought they would have a go at one another. Smart kiddo.

Nice crops!

Feeding is over. Dad returns to pick up the fish.

Dad returns the fish. It was so sweet. He waited a bit watching her feed their three healthy little ones.

I don’t know. These two are like a well oiled machine this year, synchronized. I want to knock on some wood. It is like they went to parenting classes or something – a sea change from last year. I want this so much to stay throughout the season to fledging.

Mum decides that feeding is over. Just stop for a minute and look at the size of that fish on the nest. I am still amazed. Everyone is full and the chicks are falling asleep.

Dad returns to the nest. The adults have a chat and they decide that Dad will leave the fish on the nest as Mum will need to feed the little ones again soon.

I sound like a broken record but this year we have seen fish delivered to nests that were described as ‘big’. I am referring to a few that went to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest. This fish is ‘big’. Look at its circumference and length. There is lots of flesh for this family on this one catch. It is not a twiddler.

Isn’t Mum cute? She is hungry and has figured out a way to brood the babes and eat in peace! Enjoy it Mum. You have earned it!

Dad has returned and has removed the fish after Mum had some good bites. He will bring it back, no fear. Look at those two little heads poking out. How cute.

No doubt there will be a lot more feedings throughout the day. This Osprey nest is in excellent shape. Dad has proved that he can fish in high winds and Mom can keep the peace with the youngsters and make them line up and eat properly. I am so impressed.

If you missed it, Lyn Brenig’s proposed all terrain World War II vehicle tours around the nature centre has been scrapped after public protest. If you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does!

This news is not about Ospreys but, we might discover that our beloved fish eagles will also be breeding farther north. Birdguides.com is reporting the successful breeding of the Audouins Gull on France’s Atlantic coast – farther north than has ever happened. Have a read:

https://www.birdguides.com/news/audouins-gull-successfully-breeds-on-french-atlantic-coast/?fbclid=IwAR2I1fHwgsu9gmObxB9AE1HxbzcHZeWFBKSw5ldICoPX_K0HvYgmKi7xVQk

Last, but not least, another mention of the documentary on the Ospreys that has been in production for several years. Everyone will have to check their local PBS stations to see when it will be available in their country. I did write them and a DVD will be sold later. Here is that great trailer to get us all excited:

Keep sending your warm wishes to the Port Lincoln Ospreys. Life is good there. We want it to stay that way!

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

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Monday in Ospreyland

How does Osprey fishing differ from Bald Eagle fishing? The National Eagle centre answered the question this way:


“Bald Eagles and ospreys are both raptors (keen eyesight, curved beaks, and powerful talons), and are both primarily fish-eaters, but the technique they use to catch fish is quite different… and that difference directly influences their relationship to each other. Bald Eagles catch fish that are just under the surface of the water by dipping their feet into the water. Their success rate is about 30%. Ospreys, on the other hand, are built to plunge feet first into the water about 1-2 feet, grab the fish with their talons, and then shoot back out of the water and fly to a perch, something a Bald Eagle cannot do. Thus, their success rate is around 70%! Because ospreys (aka “fish hawks” and “sea hawks”) enjoy a much higher rate of success, Bald Eagles in the same area as ospreys will often perch, watch, and wait for an osprey to make a catch. Then they swoop into action and chase it in an attempt to get the osprey to drop the fish allowing the Eagle to scoop it up. In fact, one of the murals in the National Eagle Center features a depiction of two eagles chasing an osprey with a fish! As a result, areas with larger populations of Bald Eagles tend to have smaller populations of osprey, and vice versa.” The author also added a fun fact about Ospreys: “When they catch a fish, they orient the fish in their talons so that the head faces forward because it is more aerodynamic in flight! .”

“Eagle Fish 2018” by The Back Road Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
“Osprey Fishing” by TomJByrne is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

As the birds migrate from the north of Europe and the UK, many fly through areas where hunting is banned but there are legal loopholes. Did you know that it is estimated 11 million birds are illegally shot each year? Here is a good article on this.

The sad news of the demise of a ringed (tan with number) Finnish Osprey killed has rocked everyone. The poachers displayed the bird as a trophy as it was dying on social media. I refuse to show those images – they made me ill but I urge everyone – wherever you are – to step up and try and protect these amazing creatures. Each of us can play a part to protect the birds whether it is lobbying to get rid of lead in hunting and fishing gear, having cities turn off their lights during migration season, working to ban rodenticide and sticky traps, or making others aware not to feed the birds bread but good food (wild birdseed, grapes, hardboiled eggs, etc). Feeding birds and providing water is right up there, too. Do what you can to help no matter how small or large.

Poor Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. It is the middle of the night and she is trying to get some sleep. She got up to stretch her legs and the chicks immediately thought “fish!”

Maybe they are trying out for the local choir?

Where is the third one? Behaving itself!

I wish it were not so hilarious. I cannot even imagine having three wiggly bodies under me never mind incubating four eggs like the peregrine falcons in Melbourne. They had a joke on their FB posting the other day that it felt like sitting on four footballs. Poor Mum and Dad.

It is election day in Canada. The sky is cloudy, the leaves are beautiful, and I think we will go for a walk and do our civic duty. Take care everyone. I will have a full report on Port Lincoln tonight. Thanks so much for dropping by.

Thanks to the Port Lincoln Streaming Cam where I took the screen shots today.