QT is now Lillibet, Little Bob has a huge crop and other news in Bird World

6 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, goodness. One area of my City had its first snow last evening and the temperature for the rest of us is 1 degree C. (Think of 0 as 32 degrees F). We had our first heavy frost last night. This cold snap will surely put some of the birds that are arriving in our City on a path south!

The active nests remain in Australia while the Bald Eagles work on their nests for egg laying later in the year in the US. Rain is the issue at some of the nests. Melbourne received 3 inches of rain or 7.5 cm. Mum worked so hard to keep those eyases dry. Sadly, the Collins Street scrape will have more rain today – perhaps an inch – starting at around 0800. My weather report says that should end around 1300. It has really rained in Sydney and there are some areas that are flooding. Rain should begin in the Olympic Park where the Ironwood Tree nest of the Sea Eagles is located at around 1100 and then stop. Port Lincoln could be dry today! Yippee. It looks right now that Orange could be dry as well. We wait and see how the forecasts hold up BUT regardless, these amazing raptor families are doing well despite the heavy downpours that are occurring. That is simply wonderful.

There is word that Friends of Osprey – think Janet Foster, Ian Falkenburg, Fran Solly – from Port Lincoln and all those who donated or joined Friends of Osprey – have received four sat pack transmitters for this year. There will be one available for Port Lincoln and one each going to the three other nests should they have fledglings. Calypso has been seen numerous times and is flying well. She is the 2019 fledgling from PLO. Ervie is, of course, out and about being the man about town in Port Lincoln. This is excellent news. More platforms are planned for South Australia as well as the number of Ospreys grow in the area.

Friends of Ospreys has a new website and they are grateful for all donations. All funds go directly to the camera, etc at Port Lincoln, new platforms in the area, and those precious transmitters. This is their new site and it is packed with information. Not a member? Consider donating. Membership is $20 Australian.

Here is the latest news from the blog on our darling Ervie:

https://friendsofosprey.com.au/our-tracked-osprey/

An announcement came out of the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head yesterday that a decision was made and accepted by all members that the Royal Cam Chick known as QT be officially named ‘Lillibet’ after Queen Elizabeth II.

I was worried about Little Bob at Port Lincoln yesterday. Big and Middle continue to go at one another and well, I will sound like a broken record but, it is a real blessing that they stop fighting and act nicely at the fish table. ‘A’ noticed yesterday that Little Bob’s lack of a long neck is hampering him if he is not at the right position during feeding. That said, he walked away with several nice size crops later yesterday when larger fish came to the nest.

In the image below, have a look at Middle Bob. Notice the dark woolier down that is now replacing that light grey coat of down the osplets had when they hatched. They will retain this thermal wooly layer to help them regulate their temperature. Feathers will begin to appear. You can already see the rusty-gold ones on their head and nape. These will be followed by the wing, tail, and body feathers until they get their full juvenile plumage. They are going to be very itchy and will spend much time preening.

Remember that the feathers are often called ‘blood feathers’. The feathers grow from blood quills which will disintegrate and fall off as the feathers grow.

Little Bob looks great with that big crop of his. You will notice that all three chicks are in the full reptilian phase including having ‘clown feet’.

We all wondered if Little Bob would be another Ervie. He certainly does his best to get up front and at the beak for feeding. The beaking between the two older siblings does send him into safe positions and it does appear that he is often afraid of them — and for good reason. He is still very small. Let the older more evenly matched siblings take their angst out on one another!

Dad continues to provide lots of prey for the Melbourne eyases and he does his best to feed them and keep them covered from the sun. It is difficult for him to brood them – even last year, Old Dad has a huge problem when it came to four chicks. They all seem to be doing well including the smallest one.

Mum has been notified that prey is delivered. She has flown off to have a break and eat.

Dad arrives and stays with the eyases til Mum returns.

Some chatting and bowing and Dad is off!

The older chicks can see well. It is hard to determine if the 4th has its eyes fully open and focused yet. Oh, how I wish there was a zoom on that camera!

The wee one at Orange is getting some food while Big Bob is growing like crazy. Everything is going well at Orange for Xavier and Diamond and we will all get to see how these two manage as parents of two this year instead of one.

There have been lots of feedings and Xavier has been able to feed and brood his family! He so loves being such an active part in everything instead of just providing prey.

SE30 has not fledged yet. The heavy rains in the forest should slow down any flying but, SE29 does not seem to be bothered flying in and out of the nest. SE29 is roosting elsewhere. SE30 is so excited to see its sibling when it flies in. They seem to have such a special bond with one another this year.

Fish have been coming to the nest and Lady often feeds SE30 and also SE29 should s/he show up on the nest. SE29 is often more interested in what is going around making one wonder if s/he is not also being fed elsewhere.

All of the nests are as quiet as they can be in the middle of the night in Australia. Despite the weather, all of the parents are able to feed and keep their little and not so little youngsters fed and warm (if needed).

Migration:

Checking on Karl II family for 5 October. Bonus continues to stay in the same area of Romania. Tracking shows that he flew a lot. This is a map of where he is and an image of the area.

Waba is still in Moldova at an area around Glodeni.

Waba seems to be enjoying a pond in the landscape. You can see by the blue dots that he visits there often. How wonderful he has found a source of fish and frogs.

Karl II has just astounded people with a 450 km flight. He is now in Turkey!

I see that there are no tracking reports yet for Kaia. On 4 October she was 31 km from the Mediterranean Sea. She is perhaps in areas where there is little satellite transmissions available.

Don’t forget that 8 October is Big Bird Day at Cornell Bird Lab. Go to their website to register for the bird count if you are not already a part of eBird. It is free. Here is the information to get you started:

https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-2022

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts where I took my screen captures: Friends of Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Looduskalender Forum.

Late Monday news in Bird World

3 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

It is going to begin to be a rainy week across Australian raptor nests and this is going to impact the birds and their feeding as well as their flying!

There is welcome beginning to come out of Captiva. Lori Covert’s house (Captiva Ospreys and Eagles) survived but the brand new camera and pole with perch did not. Connie and Clive have been seen and are rebuilding their nest and, if they are safe, then I am going to presume that Lena most likely is too. She just has no nest!

In the Mailbox:

‘P’ would like to know when Peregrine Falcon eyases can see?

Peregrine Falcon eyases are normally born with their eyes closed. The eyas at Orange has its eyes open as do the ones at Collins Street but they will not be able to completely ‘focus’ until they are about a week old.

This will be a really short update. The weather at Port Lincoln is horrible. As predicted, Dad brought in a very large fish but the rain was coming down so hard that Mum did not risk feeding the osplets. She is really having to spread herself out. Oh, I see Mum shaking off the rain at 0909. Poor thing. This lot are going to be in a right grumpy mood once they get some more fish even if they went to bed with huge crops. Poor Mum is hungry, too.

The forecast shows that it is supposed to continue raining all day at Port Lincoln. Fingers crossed that Mum will find an opening so she can feed the kids – and herself. These Osprey mothers – all raptor mothers – work so hard in bad weather to protect the chicks.

The little one at Orange has been well fed this morning. Xavier brought the prey and then went and ‘talked to his baby’ before departing. Diamond was really enjoying whatever it was that Xavier brought. Yesterday someone said that he brought in a Honeyeater and she was particularly delighted.

The four at Collins Street are doing marvelous. The wee one had some bites this morning and all seem to be thriving with a pair of parents that are trying their best.

Both 29 and 30 slept on the nest last night.

SE29 took off on a flight about 0748. I wonder if SE30 will follow today?? 30 is really flapping those wings. It would not surprise me.

In migration news, our little Black Stork Mum, Kaia, is now on the edge of the Mediterranean! Bonus is in Romania and Karl II is still feeding at the Danube River in Ukraine. How amazing. Little Kaia has flown so much!

Thank you for joining for me for this quick check in with our Australian raptor families. Wish for Mum to be able to feed some fish to the osplets and for continued safe flying for the Sea Eagles! Take care everyone. See you soon.

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, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Early Sunday in Bird World

11 September 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that you had a lovely Saturday – and welcome to Sunday!

How many of you have used eBird ID? I would love to hear from you. I was so hopeful in finding an ID for the waterfowl below but, Merlin ID said they were Crows. Is Merlin serious?

After consulting many books and looking and looking at these birds, they are juvenile American Coots.

Every nook and cranny might just have a duck or two at our nature centre! Only when someone walks by on the boardwalk do they come out of hiding – sometimes.

The reeds are so tall and thick and abundant. They are making excellent hiding places for the ducks, the Coots, and the geese. You can see that some of the foliage is turning colour. Autumn is upon us. Our temperature dropped to 7 degrees C Saturday evening. The coolest it has been in a long time.

This one scurried out of the reeds.

This Mallard was feeding near to where I saw the baby duck the other day. I looked and looked and could not find the wee one today. Hopefully I will spot it sunning itself in the next couple of days.

There are geese everywhere.

This little fella was flitting around the trees. It looks like a juvenile Least Flycatcher with its dark pointed beak and the white circle around the eye. The wings should show two white bars. They do not just feed on flies – all insects and flies are welcome.

This female Downy Woodpecker was working very hard to try and get some peanut pieces out of this feeder! She had them all to herself!

Making News:

Ospreys are making the news in the UK as re-introduction efforts continue.

NZ vets see huge rise in storm weary sea birds arriving at their clinics.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/300676591/massey-vets-see-rise-in-sick-and-exhausted-stormblown-seabirds-this-winter?fbclid=IwAR2ko10AwxyY4RfvoxYNR6XxOggK9nfKIYZMvMoqGQK0XQwDykT4L6o-dYQ

The Dyfi Osprey Project announced they would be shutting off the live streaming cam and chat today at 8pm nest time BUT they have changed their mind and will leave it on until Padarn and Idris are gone from the nest.

A group of White Storks escaped from a zoo and went to the beach – they were rescued.

https://www.birdguides.com/news/white-stork-flock-rescued-from-devon-beach/?fbclid=IwAR21k3ssMsNc-c3771J1QFVNznkM93j00-DIjfo20z4uHGrIiywLaGTbQlA

Nest News:

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are walking stronger and working their wings – just like they are supposed to be doing right now. It is nice when they turn back to the centre of the nest with all that jumping. Your heart can fall out if they get near the edge!

Lunch arrives for these two hungry eaglets.

Padarn is still on the Dyfi nest keeping Idris busy bringing in some fish. She is breaking records everywhere in the UK for the longest lingering female Osprey (or any Osprey). She hatched on the 26th of May. She is now 108 days old. How many days will she stay on the nest?

Enjoy this beautiful gal.

Blue 497 remains at the Glaslyn nest also. Aran continues to bring in nice fish – the boys and Mrs G have left the area.

Let’s go back to Australia. That is where the action is!

The new female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is sure not giving the cute little male much time on those eggs this year! Perhaps she doesn’t know too or maybe she is like Diamond and reluctant at times. Hopefully it will all work out with a chick or two.

At Port Lincoln, it is less than a week til hatch watch!!!!!!!!

L4 seems to be enjoying being back on the Cornell Campus after 5 weeks in the rehab centre. It is lovely to see her flying so strong and doing her own hunting. Suzanne Arnold Horning caught her this morning looking out on the territory. L4 has a lovely necklace, just like her Mum, Big Red.

Migration News:

Loch Arkaig appears to be empty with Sarafina on her way to the south for her migration.

News for Karl II’s family: Karl II has not sent any tracker information since 4 September. He is in an active war zone near Kherzon, Ukraine. It is not expected that we will hear any reports form Karl II for 5-6 weeks form that date as per his normal behaviour and time staying at this location during past migrations.

Waba is still in Ukraine.

Kaia is still in the Desna River area of Ukraine.

Bonus remains in the Prypjat River area of Belarus.

From the Archive:

Who is the eaglet? Gold stars if you can name the nest and the parents! Hint: This was the natal nest of the eaglet’s dad.

The eaglet grew up into this beauty.

There is not a lot going on in Bird World. We are seeing migratory birds moving throughout the UK some landing on nests for a rest. There are still Ospreys at Dyfi but all of the other birds from the streaming cams seem to be gone now. Incubation continues at three of the Australian nests. Hatch watch is coming up for Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Some of the Bald Eagles are returning to their nests in the southern US. Avian Flu is still about as owners of factory poultry farms continue to cull birds. The latest was 3 million.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope all of you are well and that you got a chance to see the beautiful harvest moon last night. The skies cleared on the Canadian Prairies just in time to enjoy it rising above the tree tops.

See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, photographs, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: sea eagles@Birdlife Australia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Tim Mackrill, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Looduskalender, NEFL-AEF.


Answer to From the Archive: The nest is the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest that once belonged to Romeo and Juliet and passed on to their son, Samson. Samson and his mate Gabrielle (Gabby) had one hatch in 2020. The eaglet’s name was Legacy and she was a beauty.

Saturday in Bird World

10 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Friday morning turned out to be a fantastic day to go and check on the birds in a pond in one of the industrial areas of the city. There had been a Great Blue Heron spotted there according to eBird and I hoped to get a glimpse. That beautiful bird and the Lesser Yellowlegs, the Canada Geese, the Mallards, and the gulls did not disappoint.

Then as I was driving around the other side to leave I looked over and saw something ‘white’. It was a beautiful Great Egret wading in the water fishing.

What a lovely way to start the morning! I feel blessed. It is always good for the mind and soul to get out into nature, however long or short one can, and if, by chance, we get to see these beautiful creatures then it is doubly wonderful.

It is also the full moon. Around the world people will be looking up and hoping for clear skies. It is known as the Harvest Moon and is a time of thanksgiving. Many years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Kyoto during the Tsukimi or Moon Viewing Festival. Moon Viewing has been practiced in Japan since the Nara Period from 710-794. One did not look at the moon directly but, rather, observed the moon’s reflection normally in a beautiful pond. Many residences of the aristocracy had moon viewing platforms. Poems were written. Auspicious gifts placed on the tokonama while the flowers, the incense, and the hanging were changed to reflect the move to autumn. I recall stacks of mochi and vases with beautiful sheafs of grain. ‘A’ also reminds me that it is a time for eating dumplings – which we will do later this evening while watching the rabbits pound the mochi in the moon!


Making News:

Yesterday I reported that Big Red and Arthur’s youngest hatch for the 2022 breeding season had been released on the Cornell Campus. Here is the YouTube video of this fantastic event! Please note that L2 is still on campus and has not left- as believed- and hopefully these two will hook up. They were always best friends.

L4 was spotted on the Campus this morning. She has made herself right at home! Suzanne Arnold Horning got a shot of her with her phone.

The raptors really need our help to spread the word. Making the news today is an Osprey with a balloon tangled around its legs. Don’t wait to get to the state that I am in – chasing after every loose balloon I see – but help educate. Tell everyone you know and ask them to tell 5 friends and family. Soon, the web of knowledge will grow and the birds will be safer.

If you live in this area, please keep your eyes open for this bird. Thank you.

It is sadly that time of year. The Bald Eagles and other birds of prey that eat carrion get lead poisoning because our governments will not outlaw the use of lead in any hunting and fishing equipment! They need to ban the manufacture, remove the supplies off the shelves, and stop this senseless pain, suffering, and death. We know the solution. Tell your elected officials. There are alternatives. ——— Of course, as you know, my alternative is to end the recreational shooting of animals – it is barbaric.

Nest News:

Idris brings his daughter, Padarn, a flat fish for her evening tea. What a fantastic dad he has been to this healthy and robust female that will soon, should the winds blow in the right direction, head off on her migration leaving Dad some time to recuperate from what has to have been a tiring summer with three girls and Telyn to take care of!

Padarn was on the perch for the night.

She was still there on Saturday!

The sun was setting on Loch Arkaig. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if Sarafina is still with us! But there has been no activity on the nest today.

On Saturday Louis was seen on the nest. The last time that Sarafina was seen on the nest was at 0634 on the 9th of September. There have been no visits and no nest calls by Sarafina on Saturday.

Who is home at Glaslyn? It looks like it is Aran and 497. The boys and Mrs G are gone!

Aran is over in the Oak Trees.

497 has been in the nest and on the perch. Aran did not seem to be responding! 497 has had a hard time with siblings and Mrs G around to get some of those fish. Perhaps a few days longer will get this little one in shape to fly if Dad obliges with a nice big breakfast tomorrow!

Talk about beautiful. You can sure tell she is Aran’s offspring. She may have the glare of a female Osprey, but that lovely head turned…that is Aran. Until you see the dark necklace – then Mrs G comes in.

Her dark necklace she gets from Mum, Mrs G.

The nest was empty at dusk.

497 was there on Saturday and Aran was busy bringing her fish!

Xavier convincing Diamond that it is time for her to have her breakfast so he can get some eggie time.

You can see a big change in the Sea Eagles at the Sydney Olympic Park nest. They are standing more on their feet and walking about the nest more. SE29 is really flapping its wings and investigating the branches! Yesterday, SE29 got the fish that Dad had brought to the nest but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Lady took it and fed both!!! ‘J’ wrote that she thought this was the cutest part of it – 29 trying to figure out what to do with the fish! I am grateful she mentioned those moments. You might have seen that instance. I am certain SE30 was delighted when Lady fed both of them.

Look at those nice strong legs. Great wings, too! Developing those muscles. These two are simply precious.

It is fascinating – looking at the nest – how the branches help to camouflage the eaglets.

SE29 will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. What to expect for the next couple of weeks in their development? Their wings will begin to get heavy and you will notice that they will begin to sit with them drooping. There will be more hopping and flapping of their wings and by the end of week 9 they should be able to mantle, hold their food and tear off pieces to eat. They will begin sleeping upright with their head tucked into their wing like the adults. Their feathers will continue to develop all over their body. Watch at the end of the two weeks to see them standing on one leg!

Dad on the ropes and Mum on those three eggs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is the 11th of September in Australia. Do you know what this means? We could be one week from hatch!!!!!!!!!!!

Incubation continues at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne! But there are strange things going on…I wonder how this will turn out.

Mum departed around 0856. Dad came and stayed on the eggs after they had been left for an hour. He stayed about 15 minutes. The eggs were left uncovered for another 43 minutes…and then Mum finally comes and settles down after 2 hours. She then leaves again briefly a little later. This couple appears to have trouble getting their rhythm going…let’s hope it is all worked out by hatch.

Mothering is not always easy, especially the first time!

There are still chicks on one of the Finnish Osprey nests.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has produced a video diary of the 2022 season. It is delightful. I am missing Laddie and Blue NC0 already. Here is the link: https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/2022/09/osprey-diary-at-loch-of-the-lowes-so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish/?fbclid=IwAR3JhvUSWIUsN8cXuNCKE7jsqFG9pmHwewEXuPBkGB4B__4gCLFpE1O7dsA

Migration:

CROW provided a really good post today especially with regard to birds and window strike. It is migration season…have a read. Tell your friends and family to turn off their lights and also tell them how to help stunned birds. Thanks so much!

Continuing in our tracking of the Estonian Black Stork family of Karl II, there is no tracking or transmissions for Karl II today.

Bonus remains in Belarus in the same general area of the Priyapat River he has been feeding at. The fish and frogs must be plentiful!

Kaia is still feeding near the Desna River in Ukraine.

Waba is near the Makachinsky Hydrological Reserve which is also in Ukraine like his parents Kaia and Karl II.

Maya and Blue 33’s first hatch of the 2022 season, 1H1, has been seen in Portugal.

From the Archives. Two images today!

First: Can you name this nest? Do you remember the names of the chicks? It was 29 September 2021. Gold stars for anyone who can put the name with the right osplet!

Second: Do you remember the circumstance where these two images were taken?

Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that you have a wonderful start to your weekend. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams that formed my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, Suzanne Arnold Horning, A Place Called Hope, Raptor Educational Group, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Ospreys, BirdCast, CROW, Looduskalender, LRWT, and Cape Wildlife Clinic.


Answer to From the Archives:

First. It is the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum is feeding Bazza (top), Ervie (middle), and Falky (bottom). You can see that the osplets have lost their soft down and are in the Reptilian Phase – looking like dark black crude was poured over them.

Second. This is Arnold and Amelia the bonded pair of Canada Geese. Arnold had its foot injured by a snapping turtle and had to have surgery. It shocked the vets when they heard a tapping on the glass door. There was Arnold’s mate. The vets realized that the pair had to be together. Amelia was allowed to share meals and whenever Arnold was moved outside she would break into the pen to be with him. This was a really learning moment if every wildlife rehabber paid attention ——–do not take one Canada Goose into care without its mate. Many times volunteers pick up the injured one and whisk it off tens of miles away. The remaining one of the couple is ‘lost’ and depressed and sometimes does not eat.

A Victor update and more news in Bird World, early Saturday

27 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Friday turned out to be one of the best birding days I have had in my City because of the birds and the three people that I met — and, of course, an Osprey story. No, I didn’t add lots to my life list but, I will add a few when I can get some help doing the IDs. It was hot in the afternoon for the walk at the nature centre. The little Mallard mother that had 11 ducklings still has the 9 she had the other day. She has moved them to a different pond where the water and plants appear to be a little healthier.

In some areas the algae is just stifling the life out of the pond. The geese were all resting in the shade and only the song birds were exerting themselves. In particular, 5 or 6 Black-Capped Chickadees were around the ‘winter’ feeding area. I had the most glorious chat with a woman about the fate of insects and she mentioned a book, The Insect Crisis.

This lovely woman spent a few minutes explaining the concept behind the book – the collapse of the insect population and the shocking collapse of everything from birds to crops. I suspect that almost everyone who reads my blog is aware of the domino-effect that is or will take place as the insects die. The rest of the population has surely heard about what is happening even if they don’t understand it — or worse, choose to ignore it. Why then do people still hire companies to come and ‘kill’ the weeds on their lawn so that it is pristine all the while what they believe the company is using a green chemical is actually toxic! or the spraying of roses and other flowers? the use of pesticides used in farming? It is time to put a stop to these practices and embrace companion planting or the use of certain birds and animals that will weed but not kill the crops or flowers.

All the while we were talking, the lovely lady, perhaps in her 90s, was pulling out sunflower seeds for the Chickadees.

An hour before dusk I went to another site where a Bald Eagle had been spotted. OK. I am not the luckiest birder on the planet – far from it. All I could find were some Mallards resting….

and then, I didn’t hear it but something caused me to look up. There was an osprey flying overhead. My heart stopped for a second. An Osprey – sorry Bald Eagle people but this was fantastic. I have been trying to find the Osprey living in this area of my City and have always failed…and there it was.

It has been a good year to be surprised by Ospreys flying overhead. I only know where one nest is but that is fine…seeing them flying at dusk is very special.

The sun was nearly setting but, just on the chance that the Egrets were landing near the pond on the other side of the City, I took off…

As the sun set, 7 Great Egrets descended on the pond and their night time tree.

They continued to arrive as the sun set lower and lower in the sky. It was just a calm, beautiful summer evening spent looking at a ‘sedge’ of Egrets – a most unusual sight for a Canadian Prairie city.

I am not a wildlife photographer. Let’s be clear about that. There are people who are and two of them spent time with me taking photos of the Egrets, talking about where the birds might be spending their days and the anticipation of the arrival of ‘THE’ Green Heron this year (he was really lost last year when he landed south of our city in a small little river). Quite the celebrity that heron was! Of course, everyone is looking and comparing the ‘kit’ each of us had….I take photos because I love the garden animals and the birds – to show you! So they are taken with love not great technical expertise although there are many times I wish I had that level of talent.

In the Mailbox:

The Ojai Raptor Centre updated Victor’s progress in an e-mail posting today: Just look at this magnificent eaglet. This is a very special day. His zinc levels are normal!!!!!!!!

Here is the announcement from ORC:

Bald Eagle patient 22-635, who was rescued from Santa Cruz Island with zinc toxicosis on July 11, continues to make progress. The most recent test for zinc showed the patient within normal levels. This means the eaglet no longer needs to go through chelation therapy to remove the toxic metal from the bloodstream. The eaglet’s ataxia (lack of balance) seems to have resolved as well!

‘L’ sent me a lovely screen capture she had in her archives of Ma Berry. The year is 2018. Do you know who she is?

Berry College is located in Mount Berry, Georgia. Ma Berry was the mate of Pa Berry until 2020 when she was last seen the 17th of November. Ma Berry had a injury to her left talon – she was easily recognized. She had no difficulties fishing or catching prey with her injured foot. She was dearly loved despite there being a heavy loss to the chicks on the nest. In 2017-18, two eggs hatched with one chick fledging and the other sadly died from falling off the nest. The following year, 2018-19 both eggs hatched again but the chicks died within a week. The following year one egg cracked and the second was not viable. Ma Berry has a huge fan club and as one article at the time said, “There’s been a scandal brewing behind the Cage Center at Berry College.” A new female and Ma Berry had a bit of a stand off. For awhile many worried that Ma Berry had been injured or killed but on the 21st of January 2021, Ma Berry was seen at a lake (again easily recognizable by her injured and twisted foot). She is enjoying her retirement. The new female named Missy had two eggs in 2021. One was not viable and the other baby died – both of starvation and hypothermia. Missy just didn’t know what to do as a Mum. However, this year Missy and Pa Berry fledged B15 – a fine strong eagle. Pa Berry must have been very pleased.

https://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/news/local/new-female-at-berry-eagle-nest-has-observers-buzzing/article_30c90372-3e2e-11eb-85f9-c717a7baead0.html

Three questions came in from ‘G’: What would have happened to the female at the 367 Collins Street Falcon nest? Did she find a new mate? Second question: What is a scrape? The third question: Why do falcons use gravel for nests and not twigs like eagles? OK. Let’s start at the beginning. I have included some images of the male at 367 Collins Street and his mate from previous years below with their four eyases from 2021. You will often hear that Raptors mate for life. From reading the information about Ma Berry above, you will then know that this is not always the case. Some females get usurped from the nest as do some males. Some are injured and die. Some leave and are discovered elsewhere. Some Ospreys have had two mates. A good example is Seren, Blue 5F in the UK. From 2015-2020, she was Aran’s ‘other woman’ at Glaslyn while Mrs G was his primary mate. In 2020 she decided not producing chicks and have a faithful mate was reason enough to pack her bags and leave. She did. She flew to Llyn Clywedog and became the mate of Dylan! So the saying mate for life is not always the case but it is more the standard than anything else. It is presumed, however, that the female at 367 Collins street has died and a new female has taken her place. If this is her first year as a Mum, let us wish both a very good year.

Scrape is the name of the ‘nest’ that Peregrine falcons use to lay their eggs and raise their eyases. Eyas is the proper term for the chick.

Peregrine Falcons traditionally made their nests on cliffs. There the sand and gravel would be gathered and a small indentation made for the eggs so they would not slide out of the nest cup. It is believed that by using this kind of nest insects and diseases that often form in twig nests – especially if it is cold and wet – would, thus, not impact the falcon chicks. That said, there are some stick nests being used by falcons in Poland that have been very successful.

An early morning question from ‘T’: Why aren’t the falcons in Australia sitting on their egg and eggs all the time? Great question! You can see them leaving the eggs in the images below today. Some raptors practice delayed incubation. They will keep the eggs warm for a few hours a day but will not begin 24/7 incubation known as ‘hard incubation’ until all of the eggs are laid. This ensures that there is not such a discrepancy in their dates of hatch. This lessens the chance of siblicide. In addition, many times the eyases hatch within 24 hours of one another like those at Collins Street the last few years.

In the News:

Hen Harriers remain in the UK news. As their populations begin to recover at 100 birds the illegal killing of the raptors remains a huge problem for the reintroduction programme.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/26/more-than-100-hen-harriers-fledge-in-england-for-first-time-in-a-century

In Australia, there is dismay as to the protection of the forest industry and the lack of concerns from some of the wildlife going extinct. In 2022, people are starting to get upset and angry. Will the government respond?

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/25/swift-parrot-recovery-plan-changes-downplay-logging-threat-experts-say

Nest News:

Holly Parsons has posted the links to the four Falcon cameras at Orange along with a link to FAQs. Thanks, Holly! Here it is:

Diamond has been the female at the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape at orange since 2015. Xavier has been her mate since 2016. This means that they are at least 9 years old for Diamond and 8 years old for Xavier. Peregrine Falcons have been known to live for nearly 20 years in the wild.

Diamond is looking out the window of the scrape at Orange. Galahs, a pink and grey parrot, are flying by the tower. Do they not know they would be a remarkable mid-morning snack for Diamond? If Xavier sees them, she will have one!

Later Pied Currawong were observed doing flybys while checking out the scrape box. They eat eggs! Diamond and Xavier are going to have to be vigilant.

There is no hard incubation yet at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Does this mean that Mum and Dad Peregrine Falcon are thinking of a 4th?

For those of you who have watched the Melbourne nest in previous years and, perhaps, did not notice or know. This is a new female this year with Dad. My first thought was is it possible that Mum died from trichomonosis like the 4th eyas last year? We might never know – unless Victoria Hurley does, the researcher at this nest.

Dad has the biggest eyes. Oh, such a cutie with one of his prepared pigeons for the kiddos.

It would be very difficult to forget these four. They were incredible. The year before Mum and Dad had 3 girls…they towered over little Dad.

Mum and Dad with the four eyases for the 2021 season. Mum was amazing. She often appeared to be gruff but if you are having to chase after four eyases with independent minds, she seemed to have to be to keep them from falling off the edge of that ledge. Thankfully birds are afraid of heights (or so I am told). Soar high, Mum. You took such great care of your little ones.

The new female shows Dad the third egg early on a misty Melbourne morning. It arrived at 22:18 on the 26th of August.

Oh, I adore the little male falcon at Collins Street. Sometimes he looks like a toy in his cute little pajamas.

A few more images today of Dad and the new Mum taking turns incubating the eggs. You will get to know Dad rather quickly with the thick yellow around his eyes and if he is next to New Mum, he will be quite a bit smaller

Neither Diamond or the Melbourne Mum will begin ‘hard’ incubation until all of their eggs are laid. This is one of the reasons that there is less competition between all the eyases as they are close in size and birth date. Some Ospreys and eagles begin hard incubation immediately and this means that the third catch could be several days difference in size and development than the first.

Just look at SE 29 and 30. 29 is standing so tall with its big crop while 30 is enjoying a private feeding from Lady. Look very carefully at 30 since we can see the top of the head, the chest, the wings and back and – of course those pink legs standing so tall. Weeks 5 and 6 show the biggest change from the fluffy chicks with their down to the stage of an eaglet. There is now down left on the head (maybe a dandelion or two on 30). Dark feathers are starting to show everywhere – they are the most gorgeous espresso brown. The chicks are spending a lot of time preening now as feather growth is said to be itchy (how does a human know that?). They are now able to stand like 29 is doing without the aid of the wing tips. They will begin flapping and might make some attempts at self feeding.

Notice that beautiful light rust that is appearing on both of the eaglets. If you have never seen a juvenile Sea Eagle you are going to be so surprised at how stunning their plumage is. Notice also how those beaks continue to grow long and strong.

Dad was nudging Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest to get up and give him a turn. It was 23:42!

Andor visited the Two Frasers Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. It looks like he now has some time to regain his strength after helping Mama Cruz raise Lilibet and Victor. He certainly must have had a nice lunch!

The streaming cam at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest is now offline until the 17th of November. Mark it on your calendars. I wonder if Nancy will have a new mate for the next breeding season????

Both eaglets at the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle nest have now fledged. Congratulations to Liberty and Freedom for another successful year. Believe it or not, the Bald Eagle season will be getting underway in Florida in the next 4 weeks or thereabouts. Goodness.

Kielder Forerst posted that one of the 2022 fledglings, Frankham, is now in Spain enjoying himself on the llobregat River in Catalonia. His ring number is Blue 439 and he was the first to leave Kielder this season. Frankham was from nest 1A where Mrs YA raised the chicks after Mr YA did not return after they had hatched. Congratulations Kielder Forest!

Did you know that there are 10 Estonian Black Storks with trackers on them this year? Kaia and Karl II along with Waba and Bonus from the Karula Nest are amongst the ten. It is going to get busy once they start moving. Kaia remains near Liaskavicy in Belarus in the wetlands of the Priyjpat River.

A new book, Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behavior by Jonathan Elphick has arrived on the desk. Review to come.

Have a lovely Saturday everyone. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon….and remember, if you have a question, send it in. There could be 50 or 100 people wondering about the same thing!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, and videos that form my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Berry College and ‘L’, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, The Guardian, Orange, Australia FB, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey, Explore.org and the IWS, and Looduskalender.

Goshaw attacks Llyn Clywedog nest, a Victor update, and other news in Bird World

14 August 2022

Sadly, the attacks by Goshawks on Osprey nests is becoming more common than one would like. Today, Dylan had no more than brought a fish in for the three fledglings and left – followed by the two – than the Goshawk that has been seen in the area knocked Blue 553 off the nest along with the fish. It was only 8 days ago that another Goshawk attack – this time in Poole Harbour – took the life of 5H2.

Here is the video of that attack in real time at Llyn Clywedog:

Here is that attack in slow motion:

The nest remained empty for the night.

There are two fledglings on the Llyn Clywedog nest this morning. One of them is Blue 554. I cannot read the other Darvic ring.

The attack happened so late at night. It is unclear if Blue 553 has been located or what the situation is but John Williams should be letting us know as soon as he can. He keeps very good track of Dylan and Seren and the chicks.

It is 05:54 and two are waiting for Dylan to arrive with breakfast.

There are new pictures of Victor looking rather bright eyed! The Ojai Raptor Rehabilitation Centre and Dr. Sharpe & Co really gave Victor a chance at a second life. They did not give up on him! You are doing great Victor.

Just look how clear and bright his eyes are – oh, Victor, we are all cheering you on to good health and a successful release ——– and a long life.

Titi has not returned to the Janakallan nest since fledging. This is a huge worry with the goshawk around the forest and the nest. If you know of any visits by Titi, please do let me know. I am concerned that he has fallen victim to the goshaw who would have lured him into the forest.

I lost about 2 hours of work – it flew off into the sunrise with all the fledging ospreys! I will include that news tomorrow but will put in two that survived on my screen because they are hugely important.

Kaia is now in the Ukraine. Kaia is the mate of Karl II, the Black Storks in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. She is in very dangerous territory – if migration were not enough! Please send her your warm thoughts.

SE30 had a nice big crop in the mid afternoon feeding. Lady is feeding it in the top image. Look at that crop. You can tell SE30 because it is whiter with less wing feathers showing. SE30 got a top up in the nest feeding. All is well at the Sea Eagles nest! Breathe.

Please send all the birds your best wishes! They are all fattening up in the Northern Hemisphere for migration – a challenge in itself without the local goshawk attacks. Thank you for being with me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts which formed my screen captures: CarnyxWild, Ojai Raptor Center, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Looduskalender, and Sydney Sea Eagles at Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

Late Friday in Bird World

12 August 2022

The most wonderful aspect of the trip to Hecla Island was not what I went for – to do a survey of the Bald Eagle nests for David Hancock – but, the two sightings of the Osprey at the Gimli Marina. Last night was simply a blessing. Those quiet wings helping the male to hover about 5 or 6 metres (or less) than 20 feet above my head. It was nice to see the pelicans and the cormorants and the swans. It is not the lack of any Bald Eagle sighting but the REASON there was not a single sighting that is worrisome.

Hecla Island is known as one of the Bald Eagle hotspots in our province. Every tourist brochure inevitably mentions the Bald Eagles. My brother-in-Law’s cabin would normally have a dozen eagles flying up and down catching fish within eye distance any day of the week from May-September.

So what happened this spring? One of those unexpected ‘Black Swan Events’ known in economics as an outlier (thanks CE for educating me on this phrase). It was the consistent heavy rain and flooding. There is still water standing and some cottages around Lake Winnipeg still have basements and yards full of water. As I noted in my blog last evening, despite there being an abundance of trees, the Bald Eagles have, according to the park rangers, historically made their nests around the edge of the lake along Black Wolf Trail which is on the causeway leading into the park. It is still flooded there. They are ‘afraid of what they will find’ when they are able to clear the area. So I was left with many questions:

  • Did the eagles abandon the traditional nests and lay a second clutch in a newly made tree nest?
  • Did the eagles abandon the area heading further north? Did they then lay a second clutch?
  • What was the real number of eagles arriving at Hecla this year?
  • Did Avian Flu play any part in any of this?

A single adult bald eagle has been recorded and a juvenile the end of June. I could not locate any tree nests other than a single old long abandoned/falling apart one. I was told the eagles had been nesting there for some 35 years. I think it is a sad situation but there should be some clarity as the birds begin their fall migration and counts are started. So while not seeing the Bald Eagles is a bit of pickle, the worrisome aspect is that those eagles – and many others – lost their opportunity to raise young this year just like other water fowl that breed in our province in the summer. That includes Pelicans, Cormorants, Geese, and ducks.

Thanks, ‘M’ for reminding me about the unringed visitor to the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales. This is a fledgling about the same age as the three ‘Ps’ of Idris and Telyn. Where did she come from? The theories are quite interesting.

This bird is a beauty!

It is always stories like this that prompt a conversation between me and Tiger Mozone and they tend to waiver back and forth about the history of Welsh nests leading to more questions. She is unringed. So where did she come from? What you also have to realize is that Aran on the Glaslyn nest and Idris on the Dyfi nest are also unringed. This leads to the very heart of the issue. Idris and Aran are males. So was Dai Dot. Tiger believes that there is at least one other nest, a very significant nest connected with the early Ospreys – the Welsh pool- that is producing these males. He asks, ‘Otherwise where did these males come from?’

Here is the link to that story:

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/extremely-rare-visitor-unringed-fledgling

The story coming out of Wales that I am really keen on is Tegid’s children. Tegid is Z1, 2016 son of Glesni and Monty at the Dyfi Nest. He was the third egg. Egg 1 hatched that year, Ceri. Egg 2 did not hatch. Tegid was egg 3. Tiger did not believe that Tegid would ever return. Well, he did and he took over the ON4 nest, the first osprey platform erected in Wales by the group, Friends of the Osprey. His two chicks of 2020 (his first ever clutch) have returned. They are Z5, daughter, and KC8, a male. There is really good DNA floating around those two – they are the grandchildren of Monty and Glesni.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/blue-z5-another-dyfi-grandchild-returns-wales?fbclid=IwAR1VVJ3WvtSmfSNM-gHrlR7VnUjglkFuhOYIgOVuho_UJSDWodDvEFTB7jE

Looking at the Dyfi Family Tree and adding these two birds to my return list, gives me the following data for my third hatch survivors/returnees for the Dyfi nest:

  • 34 chicks hatched from 2011-22
  • 29 out of the 34 chicks lived to fledge
  • 14 male chicks to 15 females fledged
  • 9 chicks have returned out of 28 eligible
  • 5 first hatches and 4 third hatches have returned. Big Note: Not a single instance of a second chick returning has been recorded.
  • Of the 9 returning, 7 were male and 2 were female.
  • Return survival rate is 32.14%

I wish that every other osprey nest kept such good records as Emyr Evans at the Dyfi Osprey Project in Wales. Rutland did until 2015. This kind of information is really enlightening. For example, the likelhood of a second hatch female fledgling returning using these stats is nil. Despite the low sample size, how accurate for the broader population of Western Ospreys is that 32% survival rate? This would mean that 68% of all ospreys will perish during their first or second year. Something to think about as we move into our discussion on migration Monday.

This is a beautiful little video of Cholyn, the matriarch of the Two Harbours Eagle Nest in the Channel Islands. Mum to Lancer this year and to Thunder who is the mate of Akecheta at the West End, Cholyn is 23 years old.

It was nice to come home and see that the little sea eaglets are as spunky as ever! and being fed like crazy. Just look at the crops on those two! Remember there are now less frequent feedings but they will eat much, much more at a single meal.

Those feathers are really coming in and the chicks are itchy – and they are preening. Lady or Dad are not far away but you will find, as has been the practice for a bit, that Lady is leaving them in the nest alone more and more.

They are also wandering out of the nest cup. Development is spot on.

We have egg 2 at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Well done Mum and Dad. Right on time.

All of the Black storklets at the nest of Karl II and Kaia have fledged. They are now often off the nest flying in when an adult arrives with fish. Today it was Karl II delivering lots of fish. I wonder if Kaia has started her migration? Must check!

Karl II waited for the chicks to arrive at each of the two deliveries below.

Karl II arrives with no one on the nest…they will rush in!

‘H’ writes to say that at least one of the osplets on the Boathouse nest has fledged. The only way to observe the nest is from a distance using a different streaming cam. What a disappointment after watching Dory and Skiff raise those three this year.

I have had no confirmation that Titi has returned to the Janakkalan nest in Finland after fledging.

Victor and 16 were spotted today on the branches of the trees at the St Joseph River in South Bend.

It is always reassuring to see the fledglings and especially Little Bit 17.

I have not seen any recent updates on L3 and L4, the Red-tail fledglings of Big Red and Arthur at Cornell.

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

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Notre Dame Eagles FB, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, and Dyfi Osprey Project.

Migration woes and daily threats to our feathered friends

5 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.

Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!

Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.

Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.

As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.

I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.

Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.

Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/resources/migration-data

Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!

The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.

Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!

Hi Sweetheart.

The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.

The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”

In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.

It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.

Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!

Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.

Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.

The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.

Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.

The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.

The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up

Waba is on the perch.

Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!

Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.

The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?

The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*

Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.

He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.

Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.

There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.

Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:

The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.

https://theecologist.org/2022/aug/01/avian-flu-outbreak-killing-wild-birds?fbclid=IwAR1erpdLzQUUobsxWqc5oQM5e9hURsLjGxXpP0vVS1Eu7HzmlSDPbLXIc1E

Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

  • If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.

Early Thursday in Bird World

4 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I was not going to write my newsletter until the end of the day but some of you might wish to know about the banding of the Royal Cam chick. There is a bit of other news as well. Both chicks at the Loch Garten Osprey platform fledged today – so every osprey chick in the UK has now fledged. Fantastic. I am getting notices that the cameras at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 and the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson will go live in two weeks. Wow. Time is speeding by. Those cameras will turn on just about the time we have Osprey and falcon eggs in Australia.

The little fledgling Blue Jay has decided that it is time that I get some more peanuts outside for the three of them! Too funny. These wee ones can be quite loud when they want to be. They are getting their beautiful blue crests. I believe this is the smaller of the three – a little female -. She has that developing crest raised up high because she is excited! They are so cute and so animated.

The NZ DOC rangers will be banding the chicks on Taiaroa Head today. Here is the announcement by Ranger Sharyn Broni posted by Sharon Dunne on the Royal Cam FB page. There is no mention of the time. There will be an archived video of the banding of QT if you miss it!

I know many of you are anxious to also find out about the naming of QT. They may mention how this will be done this year. On line voting took place during the pandemic but this might change now.

Here is the link to the camera:

An Osprey rescue in Scotland that warms our hearts. You might have to keyboard the URL if it doesn’t give you an automatic link. It is the story of the collapse of the Balgavies Osprey nest mentioned a few weeks ago in my blog – this one has pictures!

scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

The youngest chick on the Janakkalan Nest has yet to fledge. Titi often remains on the nest now that Boris is flying about for longer periods of time. With intruders and goshawks in the area, it is dangerous for Titi not to be flying.

Boris arrives in the bottom image to protect the nest. Hopefully s/he will take care of its sibling.

This brings me back to the mystery of why a normally wonderful Mum on a Finnish Osprey nest would attack her children. Nuppu on nest #4 attacked her youngest who had not fledged and the eldest who had fledged (much less) last week. Humans wondered how this loving mother could turn on her children. One of my readers ‘L’ suggested that it might have been to get the youngest to fly. Nuppu, knowing that a goshawk was in the area, wanted both of her chicks off the nest and flying free to lessen the threat of predation. I spent some time asking several osprey experts if this could be the case and they said, ‘absolutely’. The youngest did not fly and was predated when the intruder came to the nest. The eldest flew. So, there we are – the mystery of the physical attacks was to get the second chick off the nest and flying. Nuppu wanted to save her chicks, not harm them.

The only surviving fledgling on nest #4.

I do not understand why Titi on the Janakkalan nest has not flown yet. S/he has been doing some exercising of the wings. Hopefully soon!!!!! This is the nest without a female so Boris has taken on the job of security when Dad is not around.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are doing fantastic. The tips of the wing feathers are beginning to show. You can see them coming in on both chicks – look carefully at the wings.

You will notice that the time between feedings is a little longer. That is because the eaglets can eat much more at a sitting than when they had just hatched and needed a few morsels of fish every 45-60 minutes from dawn to dusk.

SE30 even did a little beaking of 29 yesterday. Nothing major but it was cute when it sat up and gave it a bop.

Both had nice crops! Fish will not be stacked on the nest so much now because it could cause predators to become interested in the nest and the eaglets. They are not big enough yet to be out of danger. They need to be 28-30 days old.

It is raining in Orange and Diamond arrives at the scrape box on the water tower soaking wet! But with a full crop. Looking for eggs in a couple of weeks.

The high temperature for the day will be 23 C at the Osoyoos nest. What a change! A nice fish arrived early on the nest and Soo fed both of the chicks. They made it! Olsen and Soo you should receive a reward – you did fantastic in your strategies to protect the two osplets. Just look at them.

Right now the camera is fairly clear at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey nest in Canmore, Alberta. We can get a good look at those three good looking osplets! We are on fledge watch for this nest. At least two are flapping and starting to hover. It will not be long.

Karl II delivered a number of fishes just a few minutes ago to the four Black storklets in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. So far all is well. The storklets are hovering and jumping and practising their perching to prepare for fledge.

A portrait of the three females at the Loch Arkaig nest this year. From left to right: Willow, Sarafina, and Mum Dorcha (unringed). When we talk about the females having beautiful necklaces have a look at these three! Gorgeous.

I am not sure I have ever seen three females with such elaborate necklaces. Dorcha is really influencing the genetics at this nest. Bravo!

A blast from the past. The four Peregrine Falcon eyases being fed at the CBD-367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne. Time is ticking away. The camera will be up and running in September. Just in case you forgot how incredibly cute little falcons are!!!!

Thank you for joining me this morning. Things look pretty good in Bird World. Take care. See you soon!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Eagle Club of Estonia, Fortis Exshaw, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Finnish Osprey Foundation, CBD-367 Collins Street Falcon Cam, and Royal Cam Albatross NZ.

Victor is standing, Malala chasing Mum,Lady gives a great feeding, and happiness when there is fish

22 July 2022

Thank you to everyone who sent a note saying that they are ‘fed up’ with the electrocutions and want to help. It is much appreciated. People underestimate their own power. Send those-mails to BC Hydro.

But it is Friday evening and it is time for some good news.

First up is Victor. Victor is able to stand without assistance! and flap his wings…and joy oh joy.

Here is Victor talking and flapping his wings! Tears. Get the tissues out now! And if you can afford it, please help with Victor’s medical bills. Ridding a raptor of metal toxicity is very expensive.

Second, if you have wondered about Malala, you can see her chasing Mum behind the nest tree in the 35 second video clip below. Watch carefully. They will fly from left to right near the bottom. Malala has also been seen on the top branches of the nest and the adults still bring prey to the nest.

Malala later came to the nest to eat the fish brought earlier. Oh, was she hungry. And this is my point about Little Bit ND17. Some raptor parents only feed on the nest. It would be good to see Little Bit get some prey!

There is nothing nicer than seeing a nest full of fish – and I do mean full! Dad struck gold in his fishing and has left Lady a pile of nice fish for Lady and for SE 29 and 30. Watch carefully. SE30 can be a little stinker pecking its big sibling. Not a smart thing to do, 30.

The intervention is now in his 23rd day at the Karula National Forest nest of Karl II and Kaia. Bonus is doing great and the family is doing very well. Karl II did 3 feedings today and Kaia did 2 for a total of 5. In one Karl II brought in lots of nice fish! So proud of Urmas and Dr Madis giving Bonus a second chance at life.

Earlier Bonus in the front at the left is casting a pellet. Pellets are compressed food items that cannot be digested by the stomach and are thrown out (cast). You can see the pellet. It looks like a barbecue briquette. Researchers study the pellets to tell them what the birds have been eating!

Gosh, it is lonely turning on a streaming cam and seeing an empty nest. It is even more frustrating to find that you have checked 18 odd times with no fledglings and you missed them by 20 seconds! The oldest fledgling on the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest paid a visit today. Thanks, ‘H’ for the identification. The fledgling looks well and must see parents somewhere close as it is madly prey calling.

There were 3 fish brought to the Osoyoos Nest this morning. One small one and two good size ones. Those deliveries came at 0452, 0530, and 0754. Thank you for the time stamps, Burky 4. I need to go and check to see if anything came after – and no, I do not see any other fish. Olsen is smart to do the fishing early with the continuing heat wave in the region. Hopefully something will come during the evening.

It has been a good day on the nests. We must celebrate every possible minute because we know how quickly something can happen. Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their FB postings and/or videos or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, GROWLS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR.