From Port Lincoln to Kauai to Juneau

Oh, gosh. We really are going to miss these three boys when they finally leave the Port Lincoln barge. Ervie was wet this morning. He has been focusing very hard on finding a fish and catching it. We might never know, sadly, when that moment occurs – unless he brings it up to the ropes like Dad. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Bazza seems to have landed the first fish this morning on the nest. Falky doesn’t seem bothered and Ervie had flown off earlier.

Port Lincoln gave us a nice image of Bazza over on the ropes. These three males are quite handsome.

When Ervie flew back to the barge he was really keen on preening those feathers.

You can really see that sharply hooked beak that helps to tear the fish so they are easier to eat. Unlike Peregrine falcons, Ospreys do not have a tomial tooth. In my images it is a bit difficult to see that valve which seals the Osprey’s nostrils when they dive for their fish but, it is there.

Looking at that beautiful image of Ervie below you will notice that the Ospreys lack that very heavy eyebrow of some of the other raptors. Instead, they have that incredible black line which passes from the eye down to the neck. That black line helps them with the glare.

Ervie missed the the 8:14:14 fish that Dad brought in. Falky claimed in.

Port Lincoln has reported that Ervie has been flying farther. They also note that he has been checking out the coast. Here is the latest map of Ervie’s movements from the barge.

Ervie and his siblings will get their adult plumage at their first moult which is fully completed by the time they are a year old. That change in plumage does not indicate Ervie’s sexual maturity. Osprey do not normally breed until they are three years of age. The 2019 fledgling from Port Lincoln, Calypso, has been spotted sitting on a branch with a male. Might there be chicks next year? That would be marvellous!

When Penny Olsen’s book on the raptors of Australia was published in 1995, the map of Australia indicated that the Eastern Ospreys were located only around the coast. Ironically, that map did not indicate any ospreys in the Eyre Peninsula. This is one of the things that has changed since its publication. We have to look no further than the Port Lincoln Opsrey Barge and Thistle Island. We also know from Solly being the first tracked Osprey that the birds do go inland. Not all that far but further inland than anyone had understood previously. We are fortunate that Solly was able to provide so much information to us in the 14 months that she was alive. Port Lincoln can now compare the dispersal of a female to that of a male with the tracking of Ervie.

There are many threats to Osprey. I imagine that everyone reading my blog can name at least four. I want to add warming seas and the decline in fish numbers as yet another.

As you know, I highly recommend Dr Marc Bekoff’s book, The Emotional Lives of Animals. He also wrote The Ten Truths with Jane Goodall. A very moving story is coming from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some of you might recognize the name of Hob Osterlund. She posted a very moving story that can be added to the cornucopia of evidence that Bekoff and Goodall have that support animals having emotions which they express. Once you have read those two reasonably priced books, you will never ever apologize again for anthropomorphizing animals again.

Here is that posting:

Tears.

One of my readers ‘B’ asked me if I had seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I had not! So I went to check. Oh, my goodness, it is so beautiful. If you close your eyes you can see that beautiful Kindness using that nest and those branches like a trampoline. What a magnificent juvie Kindness was. She is off eating Salmon along the river.

On Taiaroa Head, 122 birds have been seen so far and there are 36 eggs laid. No mention yet on who the Royal cam stars for 2021-22 will be! Soon. And there has been no update on Grinnell. No further updates on WBSE 27 either.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and to Hob Osterlund and her FB page for that moving story. Much appreciated.

Diamond, Xavier, and the eggs

Whew! It was a terrifically busy day yesterday in Bird World and it was all good. To recap Yurruga did a beautiful fledge at 6:03:54 Monday 22 November (camera time). Bazzy officially flew a little over three hours later at 09:25:45. If that was not enough, Cornell’s Red Tail Hawk couple, Big Red and Arthur, were spotted on a branch together at BeeBee Lake. It was all together amazing. Bazza did cause a search party to go out but, in the end, he returned safely to the nest at 10:24:48. Ervie had left quite a large piece of fish and Bazza was very happy to finish it off.

Cilla Kinross posted this news about Yurruga.

Dr Kinross also posted this video of the event.

Everyone has been concerned about Diamond and her eggs. It seemed the closer Yurruga came to fledging, the more broodier Diamond became. We know that one egg was unviable. There is indication that the other egg had a chick that tried to break out of the shell but was just not strong enough as evidenced by the egg-tooth make a hole in the shell and seeing the beak.

Diamond used up a lot of her good health making those three eggs. She would have depleted her calcium and lost about 20-30% of her weight. Now that Yurruga has fledged it is time for Diamond to get herself back into tip top form.

Around 11:47, Dr Kinross removed the two eggs from the scrape box. She is going to check to see if the National Museum would like them for their collection. Diamond was not happy hearing voices inside the tower.

It seemed each time Cilla tried to get one of the eggs, Diamond would come calling loudly. Cilla tried to shooo her away. In the end both eggs were retrieved. Diamond returned to her scrape now devoid of eggs and began ‘scraping’ the area.

It is difficult not to feel sorry for Diamond. Her chick has fledged and she is still feeling the urge to mother.

Even Xavier has returned today to the scrape box to look for the eggs.

It is very sad trying to understand what Xavier and Diamond are feeling. I am busy reading Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff’s Ten Truths and Bekoff’s The Emotional Lives of Animals. Can the actions of Diamond and Xavier be anything but a sense of confusion – where did the eggs go, they were here? and sadness. They were ‘potential chicks’.

Decades ago there was a guinea hen that arrived at the little acreage in Southern Manitoba. Having not see her in the attic of the barn for some time she was found incubating at least two dozen eggs. She had made a nest cup in the grass. There was no mate; the eggs were infertile. She would have risked her health or life as she was broody. They had to be broken. This past spring we witnessed Milda, the White-tailed Eagle in Durbe County, Latvia try and incubate eggs after her mate, Ramsis, had not returned. For eight days she remained much to the detriment of her health. It is with delight that Milde is back with a new mate Mr L working on her nest.

This is the latest report on Annie and Grinnell. It is from the Instagram Feed for Cal Falcons:

Oh, I so hope that Grinnell will come to the scrape. He might not feel 100% secure in taking on the interloper. Only time will reveal what will happen with this love triangle. I am reminded when I say that of the very happy Bald Eagle Nest on the Mississippi River with Star and the two males, Valor I and II. For several years that nest has benefited from having three parents. I wonder?????

And with that thought I am off. It is a horrible grey white day on the prairies. It is -8 C.

Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor the news on both of these peregrine falcon nests. Take care everyone. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and the Instagram account for Annie and Grinnell.