Message on Port Lincoln Obs Board

2 November 2022

Hello Everyone,

I want to draw your attention to the message that has been posted on the Port Lincoln Osprey Observation Board.

“Today will be a tough day for all.

This is a wild nest. Whatever happens happens. And it happens for a reason. The main point is survival. And that means the first priority for mum is with #1, and then #2.

It’s been hard on the birds these past few days.. And there was little food, and both the kids and the parents are hungry. Hopefully there will be enough fish today to recover. The weather is looking up, but even today there will be lots of wind.

Intervention is out of the question at this moment. There are very strict policies about intervening. So don’t ask.. Anything that is possible will be done. Be assured of that.

I ask you to keep a check on the chat. Stay positive and if that’s hard.. Don’t be too negative. But making speculations and criticisms doesn’t benefit anyone.

Especially the people working hard in Port Lincoln and are more concerned than anyone I can imagine. They need our support! Not our advice (however well meant that might be)!”

__________________________________________________________________

I am aching and hurting like all of you. If there was something positive we could do at this stage to change the situation at Port Lincoln, I would absolutely tell you. What I can say is that if there is anyway to help Middle, I believe that Janet Forster will be able to do it and if she can’t, no one else can. She has made this entire project at Port Lincoln work and has expanded it.

The legislation regarding intervention is very restrictive. Port Lincoln Ospreys applied for licenses and there were many restrictions placed on them. They cannot break the law or they will lose the right to have the streaming cam, put up platforms and have the streaming cam.

It is the laws that regulate the permissions and licenses that needs changing. In order to do that, politicans must understand that the life of our sea birds has changed based on the current state of the climate and the oceans. It is not just the laws in South Australia but, everywhere. They were written in an era of non-intervention at a time when humans did not understand how much we have altered the ability to exist for the wildlife of our planet.

John Watson is the head of Sea Shepherd. He is a Canadian committed to taking direct action on the high seas to ending the slaughter of endangered and threated marine wildlife. I am so proud he is a Canada. Watson will tell you that the oceans are depleting at an alarming rate. “Marine life is disappearing right before our eyes” is his mantra. Watson is concerned about the animals – I am concerned about the availability of fish for our sea birds.

It is also the fish in the seas that feed the sea birds like our beloved ospreys, Albatross, and Sea Eagles need to eat to stay alive that are also being depleted by human action. If the oceans were teeming with fish, Dad and Mum would not have trouble getting fish on the nest except in circumstances where the weather just doesn’t allow them out to fish. This is when we need the intervention statues to allow for feeding at the nest. This has happened in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Canada. In Canada, one attempt was unsuccessful because they used frozen fish. Fresh fish caught can be dead but never frozen; Ospreys have not shown they are willing to eat fish that has been frozen.

We may not be able to get fish on the nest to save our beloved Middle (although I hope beyond hope that something positive happens today). If you feel so inclined you might want to write to the Minister of the Environment and Water for South Australia to consider the wildlife acts and allow for interventions in situations like Middle. He is 43 days old today and completely feathered. If he were retrieved too near fledge he might bolt and drown and so might Big. It is an opportune time but permissions and legislations grind on for years, if not decades. It is seldom hours or minutes unless the permissions are in hand prior to an event. The laws are out of touch with the reality and urgency at the nests.

The new Minister of the Environment and Water is: The Honourable Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment and Water. She won the seat in June as a member of the Labor Party but has close associations with the Greens. She could be the best chance that our Ospreys have in South Australia as the permits and the legislation go through her office.

Minister.Plibersek@dcceew.gov.au 

I would like to point out that the Friends of Osprey chair is The Honourable David Speirs. You might recall that Ervie was named after the village in Scotland where he was born. Speirs is the former Minister of the Environment and Water and is now the Official Leader of the Opposition. On more than one occasion, Speirs has said that he is against intervention as has Ian Falkenberg, also one of the board of Friends of Osprey. Their reasons hinge on the existing wildlife act and permissions and permits, the fact that there is no place to care for an osprey in South Australia, and their understanding that ospreys do not do well in care. On this last point, I am attempting to collate evidence based information for them so that they might understand and rethink their position.

The morning has started in South Australia. The sea is calmer. Please send your very best wishes to Mum, Dad, Big, and Middle as they try their best to survive in miserable circumstances. We have to remember that the adults must eat and Mum has not had much fish either. So please…warm wishes.

Thank you for joining me. I hope to have better news tomorrow. I live in hope of miracles.

Worry for Middle at Port Lincoln as fish are few…and other bird world news

1 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that your beginning of the week has been a good one. We are on the third bad weather day at Port Lincoln and Middle has had little food. It is a very somber day. We wait to see if the weather changes and then to see if Big will allow Middle to eat. Things are not looking good. I wish I had great news for you this morning but ever so sadly, I do not.

Some of you are coming in late to the Alphabet-Name Game. It is for fun but, I have also discovered that it is a really good way to remember our feathered friends. Someone wrote that SE26 needed to be remembered and, well, the tap started running. That sea eaglet was such an inspiration to so many. I am so utterly deflated that she is not with us! — But, back to the fun part. Take a digital or physical piece of paper and put down all the letters of the alphabet. See what names of the streaming cam birds you come up with for each one. E is for Ervie. A is for ______________. Who can come up with a name for U? Anyone watching those Finnish Osprey nests? Send me your list by e-mail before midnight the 2nd of November. I will then set about collating them hopefully with some pictures! I hope to have the list complete over the weekend. Thank you to those that have already sent in their names. I saw so many that I knew and had forgotten! And do not feel bad if you come up with a lot for one letter and none for others, just send them in to me and join the challenge! That e-mail is: maryasteggles@maryannsteggles.com

In the Mailbox and Comments:

‘F’ comments: ‘The Port Lincoln nest is the hardest I’ve seen since I started seeing ospreys at the beginning of the year, very hard, the only thing missing is for the mother to be sick.’

You are so right, ‘F’. Yesterday I thought we had lost Mum and my heart just sank watching Dad try to feed the two osplets, Big and Middle, and failing miserably. It is very difficult to watch a nest that does not have enough fish. As I continue to mention, I have huge concerns over the commercial tuna fishing fleets that are based in Port Lincoln. Are they taking all the fish? I hope to find out more about this later.

NOTE: There was only 1 fish yesterday, 1 November, in Port Lincoln. Big attacked Middle many times. Mum is currently sleeping on top of Middle. I am concerned now that Middle will not survive unless there is a massive amount of fish brought to the nest. There will be no intervention. Port Lincoln would not have permission unless as Ian Falkenberg and others have said they deem the bird to be ‘near fledge’. There have been ospreys taken into care who have done well at Audubon’s Centre for Birds of Prey at Mailand, Florida such as Smedley who lived to be 28 and Bailey. I am attempting to find other factual information on Ospreys in care. If you know of any, please let me know.

Smedley and Bailey at the Audubon Birds of Prey Centre in Maitland, Florida. Smedley passed away in the past year at the age of 28. Bailey is still alive at the Centre and I understand there is another osprey in care…perhaps more. I must check with our friend ‘L’ that works with these amazing raptors to find out precisely how many ospreys have gone through the centre. Some have stayed as ambassadors while others are returned to the wild.

Making News:

Just more research findings supporting birds and nature are good for our health and might, in the future, be prescribed by doctors! Have a read and smile.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/bird-birdsong-encounters-improve-mental-health-study

There is a new article on birds and pollution by the British Trust for Ornithology. Have a read when you get a chance. We can all learn something new every day!

https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/articles/birds-and-pollution-%E2%80%94-masterclass

Australian Nests:

One of the older siblings of the Melbourne Four looks up perhaps seeing the parents flying about. Next to her in the gutter is the wee 4th hatch, a little boy.

Victor Hurley, the head researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Research Group, has posted what he believes are the genders of the Melbourne Four on FP. Here is that announcement:

Oh, goodness. Ervie’s tracker has been off line for a few days and last night the camera went down on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge just when we were all getting more than concerned for Middle. Ervie has been seen roosting on a tree near the water so he is fine. He had flown away early probably hoping to find some fish.

The waves are really, really choppy at Port Lincoln. Rain and gales have hit the nest and the number of fish deliveries has been dwindling since the start of the stormy weather. There was only one fish delivered on Tuesday.

This is one gorgeous osprey looking at us with their crest up high.

They are hard to differentiate between unless they are standing up and you can compare size and then see both head’s. Middle is missing feathers from the nape and so is this bird with this gorgeous crest. Is this Middle? or is it Big fooling me?

‘A’ tells me that there is even snow predicted for Port Lincoln. I simply cannot believe this is happening. This nest is ‘fragile’.

Everything is fine at the scrape box on the water tower in Orange. Indigo is really flapping those wings and Little Rubus watches and then he does some precious little flaps, too. He copies everything that Indigo does – my goodness what an utter joy it is to watch these two grow up together.

Indigo works her wings all during the day. Little Rubus often watches closely and if you look, he will give a little flap to his wings.

Xavier brings in a European Starling for breakfast. Indigo gets frightened and moves back toward the wall and then scurries to the Cilla Stones.

Just look at that beautiful Dad, our loving Xavier.

Xavier decides to take the prey and prepare it elsewhere. By this time Indigo is curious and hungry and comes down from the stones. Will that Starling return?

Yes, it does. Xavier returns in about 50 minutes and Diamond flies in to take the prey and feed Indigo and Rubus. Oh, dear. Look at that is left on the stones!!! The Starling Head. Indigo is going to be scared out of her wits when she sees it.

Just look at those beautiful tail feathers now revealed. If you look at Rubus, he is now losing the soft down from around his eyes and on his wing tips.

Every time Indigo really gets to flapping more down flies through the scrape.

The eyases had a Starling feeding but the head was left. Diamond comes in to take it and Rubus rushes over to take it. Poor Indigo. Rubus is going to put it right near the wall where she is sleeping. Will she be frightened when she wakes up and there is that beak and eyes staring at her? Rubus has never been frightened and Indigo is so easily scared. It would be a trick a younger sibling would pay on its older one!

Rubus grabs the head.

He carries it over and places it next to Indigo!

Diamond returns in a few minutes and retrieves the head and feeds it to Rubus. I don’t think Indigo even moved. Rubus is an endless pit when it comes to prey. Where does he put it? Definitely not in his skinny long legs.

Indigo and Rubus had a European Starling and a Large Honeyeater (Noisy Miner) for their morning meals. Rain is forecast for Orange, too. You can see some dark clouds looming in the distance.

The Melbourne Four continue to be fed and to find out when you have to listen and watch them scurry down the gutter towards the adult with the prey. Their legs are certainly getting stronger and the oldest is starting to look like a juvenile falcon!

Just checking on some of the Bald Eagle nests in the US as the couples continue to do nestorations or rebuilding.

Jackie and Shadow’s nest at Big Bear in California.

Gabby and Samson’s nest near St Petersburg, Florida.

Ron and Rita’s nest in the Miami Zoo.

Bella and Smitty have been bringing in nesting materials to the NCTC nest.

Lady and Dad were bonding at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

My thoughts go out to the Port Lincoln nest this morning as we wait to see if Middle will survive. I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it feels like our heart has been pulled out of us. The turn in the weather and the amount of fish at Port Lincoln has put our beautiful Middle’s life in jeopardy.

The other two scrapes we have been watching are doing just fine. Much of the fluff is now off three of the falcons at 367 Collins Street. There is plenty of food available at both scrapes.

Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me. See you soon.

It is freezing in Port Lincoln tonight. Turned really, really cold. Mum is working hard at keeping Middle warm. Beautiful Mum.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took the screen captures: ‘A’ and ‘H’, Audubon’s Birds of Prey, The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Victor Hurley and 367 Falcon Watchers, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Egg shells and pelting rain…late Saturday in Bird World

22 October 2022

Good afternoon everyone,

It is a miserable day in Port Lincoln and in Orange…I have not checked Melbourne but, it is also kinda’ miserable in Winnipeg today, too. Grey skies, bare branches on brown trees, spits of rain falling.

The view of the landscape looks dead and barren – but, we all know that, in fact, those leaves are protecting all of the pollinators and invertebrates. This is why you must Leave the Leaves! It will annoy your neighbours to no end but, you will be doing yourself, your garden, and the birds a huge favour.

Ah, I have a retraction. Books do not work for everyone. My friend, Sally Michener, a Vancouver ceramic artist, told me once that “getting old is only for the brave!” She was 83 at the time and stunningly beautiful, always in red, and still working on her ceramic sculptures. She is right. Eye sight goes. Our minds still think like the 20 somethings we once were but, sadly, not always our eyes. ‘H’ reminded me that e-Books are fantastic as you can adjust the size of the font. Of course! ‘H’ also tells me that both of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys are available as e-Books. Thanks, ‘H’.

Wow. A ‘V’ of Canada Geese just flew over my head. They were as low as the top of the telephone poles in the back lane. Incredible.

——————————————————————————————————————————

It is pelting down rain in Port Lincoln. Mum is soaked and I wonder how miserable the kids will be with their circumstance? Dad has proven himself quite capable of catching fish in rain and wind but the waters look pretty chopping. Wishing him luck today.

The weather at Orange is rather bleak also. So bleak that Diamond was finding scraps to feed Rubus and Indigo decided she would just eat one of the egg shells being tossed around all over the scrape.

Look at Rubus in the corner flapping those little wings. Oh, this eyas melts my heart.

Indigo’s wing feathers are growing, can you see them? And if you look closely you will see the feathers on the tail coming as well. Such a beautiful healthy big sister for little Rubus.

The skies look heavy with rain – like the ones above me. But, oh, look at that green…green fields and trees. Beautiful.

The little raptors hatch so that by the time they fledge, their prey will be waking up from winter.

The first prey of the morning came in at 062814 in Melbourne. Am I seeing things? Has it stopped raining in Melbourne?

I absolutely cannot tell you what it is!

Well, Dad did not disappoint Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. he brought in a nice big fish for breakfast. I cannot tell you precisely how much fish Big got or Middle but Middle stayed by the side of Big and you could tell from his movements that he was snatching and grabbing. At one point I saw a small crop. This is all good. There was no cowering in the corner in submission to Big. Let us all send warm wishes to this nest for continued fish and both chicks eating. Here are a few images of that feeding – and bravo Dad!

It is always reassuring to see the chicks on all the nest fed first thing in the morning. The three are starting out the day absolutely fantastic. Let us hope that this continues.

Thank you so much for joining me. Everyone is good. Let us hope that all of the nests in Australia continue with many prey deliveries today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Leave the Leaves!, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

What a Mum…and other news Early Thursday in Bird World

20 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

I am starting tomorrow’s blog at 2130 Wednesday evening. I have appointments early tomorrow morning and I wanted to give you an idea of how the day progressed at the three nests we are watching in Australia. When it is Thursday in Canada, it is Friday in Australia. The day names and dates can be confusing!

I have started with Port Lincoln. The two falcon scrapes are stable although anything could happen at any moment to change that. The worry remains with the barge nest. It is Thursday in Port Lincoln. Big should have calmed herself by now but, she hasn’t. The nest is very volatile. Warning that the images below are graphic. They show an intense attack on Middle. The feeding after 1500 is very interesting. Notice that Big does keep Middle from eating but, Big is full and leaves. Mum moves the fish and feeds Middle. Don’t ever think she doesn’t know what is going on!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, the water was calm and such a beautiful blue compared to the choppy waves of day’s past. At 063037 a whole fish arrived. It was so early that everyone hoped that this early start meant it would be a day full of lots of fish. So far, that has not been the case. As I write this, it is after 1300 and Big is attacking Middle. I was actually fearful that Big would push Middle off the nest.

I really had to hold my breath. It was clear that Big could have pushed Middle right out of the nest.

Middle stayed in the tight ball of submission and then, a few minutes later, wanted to move away from being by Big. Big started attacking Middle again.

Mum used a stick as a diversion. Would this get Big to turn away from attacking Middle?

Well, it did for a minute.

Mum flew off. Middle slowly slithered to the other side of the nest. Even if Mum brings in a fish right now, it is doubtful that Middle will get any. Big is in key form to block her younger sibling in any way that she can. The attack was ruthless. It was meant to instill fear and to let Middle know that Big is the boss. The food is for Big. Middle might get some, maybe, but only if Big is full to the tip of its beak.

I don’t think we will see any attempt by Middle to snatch and grab ————– I want to be wrong.

Another fish came in at 1504. It was a zebra fish. Big ate and ate and ate and starts on Middle at 1551. But Mum still has some fish left. And look! She physically moves the fish over to Middle so that it can have some food. I am so impressed.

Middle is hungry and hoping that a fish will arrive. Look at the crop on Big.

The last fish of the day arrives at 1838. It was almost impossible to see how the feeding went. The camera was zoomed out and then to close but Middle ate.

Big has a crop but did Middle eat??? Yes, he moved carefully around big to get to Mum’s beak.

Middle keeps its head down and waits for big to move out of the way.

Now Middle has its head up and is facing Mum. You can see its crop. Middle will not go to bed hungry.

The only problem at the 367 Collins Street scrape is the heat and that is slowly becoming not a problem as the eyases – at least three of them – can easily run dwn the gutter to the other end of the ledge to get in the shade.

The parent is afraid that the fourth hatch is wandering too close to the ledge. Notice the attempt to pull back by the scruff of the neck. It is interesting that both parents use that method to get the chicks to stop doing what worries them – or to get them out of trouble -.

Mum leaves and the 4th hatch gets down into the gutter into the shade. I couldn’t help myself. What a cutie pie this one is. Love the nice big crop. All of the Melbourne Four are being well fed. Food is not a problem. My concern until now was the absences of Mum, the heat, and lack of shade. The four have solved that themselves by growing big and strong. They can get in the shade and simply wait for Daddy Door-Dash.

A little Buddha.

It is now very difficult to gauge the feedings at Collins Street because of the heat from the sun on the scrape. The eyases are down at the other end, in the other scrape where there is no camera, and we can hear the calling and feeding but we cannot see it now.

Rubus and Indigo have had a Starling breakfast, a feeding started by Xavier and finished by Diamond. Four and a half hours later, at 11:01:10, Darling feeds her two babies a Crimson Rosella. Oh, they loved it.

Oh, just look at how fluffy Indigo is and Rubus is getting fluffy, too. That white down will fly off their wings, their bodies, their heads revealing beautiful juvenile feathers. Underneath those feathers will be an insulating layer of grey.

More feedings arrive. The last one is a Starling at 1829 and neither Rubus or Indigo are hungry. They have crops from the earlier feedings! There are some gorgeous pictures of Diamond with Rubus before the arrival of that prey item.

Indigo would rather play on Cilla’s rocks and be in the corner wandering around that eat any more food. These two are absolutely adorable.

Peregrine Falcon scrapes are peaceful and fun to watch. The eyases are always cute in every stage of their development. in the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape, the way it is set up there is no fear for too much sun and rain on the chicks. They are protected. This close proximity to their lives allows us to begin to see the individual characteristics of each of the eyases. What a joy this can be.

Thank you for being with me for this brief look at the state of the Australian raptor nests. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Update on SE30 and other news in Bird World

18 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The sky is a beautiful royal blue, not a cloud in sight and it is -7 on the Canadian prairies. On Thursday, we will warm up by 21 degrees C to a balmy +14. I cannot wait! I can hear the Crows but, I cannot see them. The Blue Jays are already finding corn and the Dark-eyed Juncos are still in Canada. Meanwhile, despite the break in the weather which will be wonderful for checking duck numbers in the city, it is time to get all the winter closed organized, put up the garden hose, and store the summer deck furniture.

Making News:

The birders on the ground, the bogs, near the Discovery Centre really need a great pat on the back. Thanks to them we have been able to keep up with SE 30 since s/he fledged. It is fantastic. Just look at this beautiful juvenile. SE 30 looks to be doing very well, indeed. Here is the latest announcement:

I really hope that SE30 is getting their own prey and we do not see them hungry in a couple of weeks on the sidewalk. Send this wonderful fledgling all the good wishes that you can!

Floods in the State of Victoria, Australia are causing havoc for wildlife.

Native wildlife flee flood waters across northern Victoria – video | Environment | The Guardian

From the Bookshelf:

I realized that I should create a link to a book list for everyone who is searching for books on different species. I promise to do that over the winter. The latest questions have been about books on Ospreys – questions about general knowledge books and others more specific. ‘H’ gave me a poke and reminded me about one on migration that she had just read. So here goes a few good books on Ospreys to get you started.

I have two books by Alan Poole on Ospreys. They are excellent reference books. The first is Ospreys. A Natural and Unnatural History published by the University of Cambridge in 1989. There are no beautiful colour photos – it is all black and white. The second is Ospreys. The Revival of a Global Raptor published in 2019 by John Hopkins University Press. The second book is much more up to date in terms and has made use of technological advances in studying raptors to bring our understanding up to date on their lives.

One of favourite books on Ospreys is by Roy Dennis who has spent the last 60 years re-introducing raptors to England (and various sites in Europe such as Spain). His book, A Life of Ospreys, of 2009, is very good.

The book that ‘H’ wants me to mention to you is Belle’s Journey. An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard. As ‘H’ points out it is not just for children and the reviews say it is loved by those from 9 to 90. The book follows a fledgling osprey with a satellite tracker to her winter home so it is about migration and its challenges. Extremely well written and easy to understand.

A book by David Gessner, Soaring with Fidel, is written on the back of Belle’s Journey and offers us even more insight into the migration of the Ospreys from the NE US who winter in Brazil and Columbia. It was this book that has prompted me to want to take that journey to Cuba to sit on top of a mountain with thousands of Ospreys flying overhead. Gessner is a charismatic writer and it is not boring science which one can easily get tired of reading. Like Bierregaard, Gessner weaves the science in like a parent sneaking cough syrup to a child and they didn’t know it.

Gessner wrote a second book, Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. Equally well-written but this one focuses on the breeding season, not migration.

I know that many of you are fans of the Chesapeake Bay nest. Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season takes you up close and personal with a newly mated pair of Ospreys. Their eggs fail. Will they accept foster chicks? It is a moving narrative with incredible pictures.

If you can get your hands on a copy, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival by Philip Brown is excellent. It was published in 1979 and, like the first Poole edition, has mostly black and white illustrations. It is an excellent historical account of the demise of the Osprey in the UK and the reintroduction efforts that have been underway by individuals such as Roy Dennis.

Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey by Helen Armitage tells the story of Lady who lived to have 20 breeding seasons in Scotland. It gives special insights into the challenges of the birds, banding, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed it but, it is a book about a special Osprey in a special area of Scotland. If you are looking for general knowledge, get the second book by Poole first.

There are many others some written to celebrate a notable male bird such as Monty or the history of Rutland Water and its Ospreys. I will include that in the long list for everyone.

Nest News:

The Melbourne Four are really keeping the two first time parents busy. All of them are capable of getting up and down out of the gutter and today, when I checked, there were only three near the scrape. I did, literally, hold my breath til that little head appeared. ‘A’ loves the sound of the eyases ‘stomping’ down that metal piece of the ledge because it means that they can now get into the shade. ‘A’ might be happy but the parents appeared particularly bewildered at times today.

Poor Dad got down in the gutter with them. Just think. These two didn’t have one eyas to deal with in their first season as parents. Oh, no. They got four…lively, healthy, fat little bottomed chicks. It is perfect.

The parents must have decided that they need to bring in more pigeons. The kids had pigeon at 0646. When next I checked, Mum had come in with a pigeon and was feeding them at 1014. They had just settled down and Dad comes in with ‘something’. The time was 1031. I hope someone identifies this prey. It was big. It is so odd watching the falcons attach the prey to one taloned foot and hobble down to the scrape. It was not clear if the eyases would get up to eat but, they did. They are literally just ‘eating machines’ right now growing bigger and bigger every day.

At Orange, a Starling showed up at 0624. It was the parrot that came in at 0941 that caused the most excitement. We are going to start calling Rubus ‘Rubber Neck’. My goodness Xavier makes Rubus work for his dinner. He jumps and stretches and squeals. Meanwhile, Indigo just sits there occasionally raising her neck and sometimes taking food out of Rubus’s beak. She is unphased by his antics. What a live wire Rubus is. ‘Full of vinegar’ my grandmother would say rolling her eyes thinking of all the mischief he will be getting into.

At Port Lincoln, the day was rather calm. A large fish came in early – at 0748. It was followed by a much smaller fish at 0954.

At Port Lincoln, Dad brought in a total of six fish for the day. That is a lot of fish! Just look that the crop on Big.

Middle also has a crop. Yippee. I hope that Mum was able to get enough fish for herself. It is so hard to determine that when she is so busy feeding these two growing osplets.

Rubus and Indigo ate well. The Melbourne Four could have had more prey but, the osplets were stuffed. In all it was a good day in Australia yesterday. The Melbourne Four can now easily move up and down the gutter to the scrape so they can get into the shaded area if Mum is not about.

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

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Amazon, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

Late Sunday in Bird World

16 October 2022

Once upon a time, someone asked me why I write a bird blog. What was in it for me? I smiled. First, I have met hundreds of the most caring people I could ever hope to meet. You. Your passion for and love of our feathered friends is infectious. Secondly, I cannot help myself. I love all birds and want to do whatever I can to help improve their living conditions and educate humans on what we can do to enrich their lives now that we have taken away their habitat, put toxins in the water where they get their fish, caused changes in climate. All of you know these things – which is also what makes you very special to me. You get it. One day I looked into the eyes of a female Sharp-shinned Hawk and ‘something’ transformed me. I will never be able to fully explain the connection with that raptor, at that moment, but it was intense. Not fear. It was as if the entire world stopped for those minutes. I have also learned something very special – nature and birds enrich our lives. They calm us when we are stressed out by daily living. Spending time with them is much better than paying a therapist!

In the Mailbox:

From ‘R’: “How do you deal with watching so many osprey chicks be killed by their sibling”?

‘R’, that is a great question and many have asked me something similar this morning. The real answer is that I don’t get over them. Each time one dies a piece of me goes off into the ether with them. I never forget them and their struggles and, I shed more tears than anyone knows for days after. At the same time, I rejoice – I mean jumping up and down cheering – when a third hatch that has been terrorized survives. It is my belief that they are clever, problem-solving, and will eat anything including the dry skin off a bone to survive. What I want to find out is if that translates into returning at two years to breed. Years of data still to come. As for Little Bob at Port Lincoln, my heart still aches and tears still flow. We watch them grow, we love them, we cheer them on to eat…it is difficult to see them come to harm.

I was touched by the many letters expressing the joy that Little Bob had brought to your lives and the sadness that nothing could be done to help him. Let us continue to support intervention. As one reader reminded me, ‘B’Dr Sharpe acted quickly to get permissions to help the eaglets in the Channel Islands clinging on the edge of a cliff for their life. Perhaps the authorities that give the permission for interventions in South Australia will come to understand that the tide of change in public opinion has already happened. We want nature protected and cared for! As humans we realize that many of the challenges faced by our raptors is because of us. Let us support having fish at the ready or by removing chicks to feed them and return them to the nests. Fix their eyes like CROW did for those little eaglets of Harriet and M15 (E17 and E18) or the removal of monofilament line at Captiva. Whatever it takes – much of their suffering is because of our bad habits – let’s fix things for them by being active in their lives in a positive way.

Making News: Videos and Posts:

Harriet and M15 have doubled the size of their nest. My goodness what a hard-working pair of Bald Eagles getting on with the job of replacing their home after Hurricane Ian destroyed it. Industrious. That is the word my mother would have used for these two! Well done, Harriet and M15!

Fishing gear – in the oceans, in the lakes, along the rivers and streams. It is absolutely dangerous for our water birds and other animals that live in the oceans. Individuals who partake in recreational fishing should take a course on how their equipment can harm wildlife. Commercial fishing vessels have to be held accountable in a manner that will harm their profits if they do not comply. They should also be required to load their hooks at night so as to lessen the chance for decapitating an Albatross. It is such a simple fix.

New study reveals ‘staggering’ scale of lost fishing gear drifting in Earth’s oceans | Fish | The Guardian

Nest News:

I really want to start with some good news and it is about Ervie and Dad. According to Fran Solly, Take2 Photography, Dad fishes at a place called Murray Point which is about 2-3 kilometres from the nest. It just so happens that is where Ervie fishes, too! They have plotted it on his tracker. So Dad and Ervie are fishing together. Just makes me smile.

Breakfast is being served in the three nests in Australia or, at least, I hope it is. Let’s check in and see what is happening.

At 367 Collins Street, that beautiful glow of the city just waking up had Mum flying off the nest at 06:16.

Off she goes!

Mum returned at 0639. She looked around. Was she expecting Dad to show up and feed the eyases? Then she began feeding them that fresh pigeon. One of the great things about falcon and hawk nests is the way the chicks are fed. Everyone gets food. Lessons are taught – Mum holds the prey higher or stands further back getting them to stretch those necks and get them strong. It was a great feeding.

Aren’t they adorable?

In Orange, Xavier came to the scrape at 06:20:59 with an unplucked Starling. Diamond was less than impressed. Xavier quickly took the bird to pluck it.

Xavier did not return with the Starling – well, not yet and it is 07:14. Rubus is really hungry. He is prey calling very, very loud.

Xavier returned to the scrape at 07:17:10 and got to feed his two babies a Rainbow Lorikeet. Oh, my goodness, Rubus was full. Talk about dancing talons (a phrase ‘A’ uses for the Mum at Port Lincoln when she sees Dad coming with a fish). Rubus was excited. Both chicks ate well. Xavier was determined to do a good job. He sure had them stretching their necks.

Xavier is very good at feeding Rubus and Indigo.

Loo, at that big bite Rubus is going to hork. Incredible. And Xavier in his cute little pajamas. Gosh, these male falcons are adorable.

When Rubus is full, he turns his back on the parent.

Xavier thinks otherwise….please eat some more, Rubus.

It is half an hour earlier at Port Lincoln and all were sleeping as the falcon scrapes prepared to begin their day.

The wind at Port Lincoln is making the water really choppy with some white caps on high waves. Apparently Murray Point is a sheltered area where Dad can find fish. He leaves early in the morning according to the local observers.

It is nearly 0800 at Port Lincoln and there is still no fish. The waves seem to be getting higher with more white caps. It could be a difficult day – easy to catch but hard to fly against that strong wind back to the nest. I have yet to see any beaking between Big and Middle. That is a good thing.

We will all wish for fish – enough for Mum, too.

Migration:

Checking on Karl II and his family, the Black Storks whose nest is in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The Mum, Kaia, is in a dry part of Chad. She has flown the furthest.

Karl II is in Israel.

Bonus remains in Bulgaria near the River Bazau.

Waba is also in Bulgaria, east of Plowdiw.

Everyone in the family is fine. The transmissions have been good so far the last couple of days.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, their streaming cams which form my screen captures: Looduskalender Forum, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, SWFlorida Eagles and video by Marti Lord, and The Guardian.

Early Sunday in Bird World

9 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. Nippy as it is only 7 degrees C at noon but, beautiful blue skies, a wee breeze, and no rain in sight. I hope that all of you have had a joyful weekend, have had some time to watch our beloved bird families as they face challenges of feeding two eyases at Orange or delayed food deliveries at Port Lincoln.

Making News:

The RSPB is urging everyone to let the wild grow. While they are focused on the UK, other agencies are doing this throughout the world as the number of insects decreases dramatically.

Did you know?

While Peregrine Falcon chicks are almost born blind, as juveniles they will be able to see a Starling a mile away (or .6 km). That is the reason that some at Cal Falcons Berkeley believe that Annie might have seen her precious Grinnell killed. With the difference in size of the two eyases at Orange and with the eyesight getting more focused daily by the little one, here is a brief article to help us understand how falcons actually see so well.

https://intobirds.com/eyes-of-a-peregrine-falcon/

I thought I would also include Kate St John’s article on Peregrine Falcon Development week by week. It is an excellent reference to what is happening as you watch the eyases at Melbourne and Orange grow and develop.

Nest News:

I know that you will be delighted to see that the adults at the Notre Dame Bald Eagle nest, home of Little Bit ND17, are beginning to rebuild their nest on the cam tree. Smile.

The names for the eyases of Diamond and Xavier at the Orange, Australian scrape are Indigo for the oldest and Rubus for the youngest. How lovely!

I haven’t been counting the bites that Rubus has gotten at each meal; I only do that with third hatch ospreys who are being badly beaked by older siblings or when watching a nest that could become unstable, such as Port Lincoln right now. I have, however, looked for a wee crop on the little one at Orange and haven’t seen one until yesterday. ‘A’ assures me that Diamond is getting better at feeding it and certainly the second feeding appeared to be better than the first with a wee crop on Rubus. Indigo is a great big sibling; she is just bigger and well her neck is longer. She will be getting pin feathers when, today, Rubus is really getting its eyes opened.

There were 5 feedings yesterday with the little one getting a bit more than the day prior. Those feedings were a Starling at 6:39:48; a pigeon at 8:42:33; 10:25:42; leftover pigeon at 12:58:11; another Starling feeding at 15:19:05 and 18: 31:26.

Here are some images of those feedings yesterday. Enjoy! Please note that the top image is the late feeding of the day.

I had actually hoped that Xavier would get a chance to feed the wee ones.

The first fish of the day did not come in until after 1300 at Port Lincoln. There had been some beaking as the three became hungrier and hungrier. It was also the first feeding where I have witnessed beaking. There was a reason. The lineup was Middle, Little, and Big at the farthest point from Mum’s beak. Middle and Little got quite a few big mouthfuls with Little Bob eating a piece of an organ that fell on the nest at 13:10:52. (Thanks, ‘A’). All of the chicks were ever so happy to see a fish that it looked like they were frantically gobbling the food. Big wasn’t getting any, though. He beaked the siblings and had them both afraid of being fed. S/he ate and then when s/he had their fill, the others ate some more. At the end of the feeding all had eaten well except for Mum who must have been ravished herself. Fighting continued at various times throughout the day with a few feeds. Big’s target was, for the most part Middle. Those two do not like each other at all and Big has always been trying to establish its dominance since they were 8 days old.

The chicks were absolutely ravenous when that 1307 fish arrived. I wonder what is keeping Dad from getting the fish to the nest early in the morning? The late deliveries are causing the nest to become unstable. Still, until yesterday, the feedings had not been impacted by food competition. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day of attacks by Big.

Little Bob eats the dropped piece of fish organ all by himself. It was a great horking just like Big did with the fish tail the day prior.

Despite the discord on the nest, all of the chicks managed to get their crops nicely filled at the feedings. Let us all hope that Dad will be able to overcome whatever it is that is stopping him from delivering fish early in the morning.

The four eyases at Melbourne are well fed. Mum spends a long time making sure that each is fed. In the last feeding of the day, you can barely see them as Mum has her back to the camera. There are a couple of glimpses. The eyases are beginning to look like raptors and you can clearly see their crops and the shiny skin on their chest where the feathers are worn off. Great work by Mum and Dad at Melbourne.

The Sydney Sea Eagle camera has been offline sometimes. SE30 spent the night on the nest with a parent above on the parent branch. No sign of SE29 yesterday although it could easily be on the nest tree out of view of the camera. That said, in days prior, SE29 was happy to jump down on the nest with the family so it does make me wonder.

The Bald Eagles in the US continue to visit their nests making a few nestorations or rebuilding an entire nest. They can do it! Let us all send warm wishes to Port Lincoln today for several fish early in the morning. That would go a long way to settling down Big and its fears about food supply. It would be wonderful if the cam would be operating at Sea Eagles – would love to see SE30 when it fledges or a visit from SE29. Meanwhile, we know that the Melbourne Four are going to begin to get itchy and start preening. We also know that they will have loads of prey. Dad is keeping the pantry full. I am especially looking forward to seeing Rubus with its eyes more focused today.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following for their postings and stream cams that made up my screen captures today: RSPB, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Early Sunday in Bird World

25 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone. Clear beautiful blue skies on the Canadian Prairies and a temperature of 13 degrees C. It is fantastic. The forecast calls for no rain this week which, is excellent. We are really into migration and it will be fantastic to bundle up a bit and watch the geese and ducks fly into the ponds this week without rain.

Last evening I went to a pond in an industrial area that I have started to frequent. The Canvasbacks had moved from the two smaller ponds to the big one and the Blue Heron was there as well along with a couple of Greater Yellow Legs, other ducks, a single Double-crested Cormorant, and some geese. The Blue Heron flew off to what I am now calling the secret pond to roost for the evening with the Great White Egret.

Canvasback
Great Blue Heron taking flight to the other pond.
Greater Yellowlegs swimming instead of punching at the mud.

Nest News:

It was a wet late feeding for the three osplets at Port Lincoln. Little Bob was absolutely soaked but, they all had full crops and did well even when the fish was flapping about. I always worry when chicks get soaked to the bone when they are just wee with only their soft natal down. They cannot regulate their own temperatures and, well, they can get a chill. Mum got right back on top of them and her body heat will keep them right toasty and they will dry off, thankfully.

Incubation continues at 367 Collins Street. According to the calendar, hatch watch starts on the 27th and that is tomorrow in Melbourne. It is also unclear which male is providing food. I did not see the ‘line’ that the second male has now being called M2. As a result, my identification went to M1 or the old male. I hope that there can be some good clear shots of that male once these chicks hatch so we know who is providing food and who is around or not. This female should get a golden award. She has had no help with incubating these eggs. I realize that this does not take a lot of energy but normally this part is shared with the male. She is hanging in there well for a bird believed to be a first time Mum.

Xavier and Diamond also continue their incubation. We have 5-6 days to go before we start to look for a pip in those eggs. Those cameras in that scrape at Orange will give you a ring side seat to see the hatch. At Collins Street, it will only be from a distance.

There are very interesting lessons being taught at the Sydney Sea Eagles – or at least, trying to be taught. These two are the most laid back sea eagles I have seen in years. Dad brought in a teaser of a piece of fish at 1715. Mum was on the nest and SE29 and SE30 stood there, looking at the fish, waiting for Mum to feed them with no move to steal it! Meanwhile, Lady is eating the fish…

That is a very good crop on one of the eaglets.

Notice how Mum waits before doing anything. Lady and Dad must be wondering what is up with these two…is it possible that we have two males this year? I wonder. They are so calm.

Making News:

Toxic chemical pollutants are killing our raptors – and if it happens in one country, you can be assured that the problematic toxins will be found elsewhere.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/25/how-birds-of-prey-are-exposing-a-toxic-time-bomb

It is really incredible. Normally the fledglings of Big Red and Arthur are not seen after the end of August and here we are getting to the end of September and Suzanne Arnold Horning is still finding them for us on the Cornell Campus. This is just fantastic.

This is L4. What a magnificent hawk with her beautiful red feathered apron just like her Mum, Big Red.

The Bald Eagles continue to arrive at their nests in the US with sticks and a determination to rebuild the nest after last year’s clutch. You can almost check on any streaming cam and find that the couple have been there at some point working. Pa Berry and Missy have been busy for weeks now at Berry College! And Cody and his gang at the Kisatchie National Forest are getting some strange sounds made by eagles with their new ‘sound system’. We will jump out of our shoes when those eaglets start hatching- their cheeping will be so clear!

Listen to Louis pant when he lands on the nest:

It looks like it will be an interesting year. I urge you to add the KNF nest to your roster of eagles to watch — I know, you have too many already but, this is a great couple. Their third year together.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning as we wait for the hatches at the falcon nests in Australia. Right now everyone is sleeping! I hope that you have had a lovely weekend so far. Take care of yourself. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or posts/videos where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Suzanne Arnold Horning, and Kistachie National Forest Eagle Cam.

Good Morning Australia

23 September 2022

Everyone is starting to wake up in Australia and there is some action at the Captiva Osprey nest, also. So…I thought I would send you a few pictures as their day begins and ours in a growing colder Canadian begins to wind down.

Gosh, those Sydney Sea Eagles are simply stunningly beautiful. There are not showing any signs of flapping their way up to the branches yet. They are walking all over the nest and it is incredible, if you look carefully, how well they are camouflaged (best when the camera is pulled out).

The sun is just casting that beautiful golden glow on the 367 Collins Street nest. Mum looks good. Someone is providing food – I wonder if we will get a glimpse of old dad today?

Mum is just waking up at Port Lincoln and it is going to be a busy day with those three! Gracious, goodness, those beaks are always open.

Right now, Big Bob is about twice as big as Little Bob. I was holding my breath when Middle and Big were beak to beak and eye to eye. Avoiding eye contact between siblings seems to help.

Beautiful Mum waits for the first fish delivery of the day.

Xavier has been and gone with a breakfast order from Diamond. I can almost hear her telling him, ‘Xavier, darling. An Eastern Rosella topped by a Galah would be perfect for breakie.’

Diamond took a quick break and we got a chance to see those gorgeous falcon eggs.

Meanwhile, in Florida, is trouble brewing? Lena has been at the new nest and so has this younger male. It is not Andy but he has a full crop and he is checking out the new camera and look at those nice perches. Remember. If it is an artificial nest the Osprey need perches!

Thank you so much for stopping in. I hope you enjoyed these images as the day begins with our four raptor families in Australia. Captiva will become interesting in a couple of months but, for now, we wait to see if Andy shows up. Take care. See you tomorrow.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife.

Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!

Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.

Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.

Making News:

There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.

British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.

If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.

Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.

Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.

Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.

National Arboretum Nest

They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!

Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.

Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.

Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!

The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.

In the image below you can see what little is left.

It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.

At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.

Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?

If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)

The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.

Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.

The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.

For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

From the Archive:

I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?

Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.


From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?