How do you say ‘cute’ in Falconese

One of the last feedings for the little eyas at the scrape box in Orange, Australia was around 18:19:00 yesterday.

This little one is eight days old. It has sure grown!

I took three video clips to cover the entire time Diamond was feeding the chick. Watching the movements and the interactions instead of seeing a still image can give you a more in-depth look at the size of the bites and the sheer cuteness of the moment.

The total number of fish delivered to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest was 7 yesterday. They were delivered at 7:11:22, 8:23:54,12:47:30, 13:52:18, 14:54:09, 16:37:00, and 18:08:37. This is a capture of Dad delivering the fish at 7:11 and Mum coming to the nest from the perch as well as a capture from the 14:54 feeding:

There appeared to be an adult on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida yesterday. The marks on the crown of the bird seem to be that of the male, Jack. Today, another adult showed up at the same nest at 11:16:09.

Jack appears to be alarming.

This is the image of the adult from yesterday (right) and an image of Jack bringing Tiny Tot Tumbles a fish on the left. It seems likely that the adult visiting the nest is Jack. There is a lot of prep work to be done before Diane returns.

The White Bellied Sea Eagles 27 and 28 entered hatch watch the other day! That date range for fledging is 75-80 days from hatch. WBSE 28 was 77 days old on 16 October (yesterday) when it branched! Watch closely to see what 28 uses to make the leap.

Fledging is getting closer for these two. No doubt they will have contests to see who can get higher up on the tree!

Today is starting off as a fantastic day in Bird World. While there are little ones to feed or fledge in Australia, staff at many of the nature centres in the UK are refurbishing Osprey nests. A new pole and platform has been installed at Lyn Brenig and today the work was completed on Pont Cresor, the nest of Aeron, Z2 and Blue 014.

Thank you for joining me today. It is beautiful and sunny. All of the garden animals are having their lunch and the world is simply right with itself. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St. Petersburg.

Late Wednesday Bird World check in

The streaming cam is now back on line at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Instead of being late Wednesday it is Thursday. It is a wet miserable day there, too. The osplets are waiting for their breakfast fish to arrive. It is currently 10:30.

The stark contrast between that gorgeous blue of the Port Lincoln waters and the white of the talons makes it almost appear as if Mum and the chicks had gone shopping for those vinyl ‘mod’ boots of the Twiggy era.

Mum is amazing. She tries absolutely everything to try and crowd the chicks under here so they will not get wet. Of course, their feathering will not keep them dry but there is nothing so nice to keep a chill off as being toasty warm under Mum.

The chicks are standing a bit more. Isn’t that one cute? You can really see the development of the tail. Their pantaloons are showing, too. The term has been adopted for decades when talking about the upper leg feathers of the raptors. Originally, the casual name for them was ‘britches’. They are actually the crural feathers and they cover the tibial area of the leg. They continue up to the chest.

Look at those wing and tail feathers! Wow. Growing before our eyes they are.

The skies open again around 9:37 and Mum works hard to crowd in next to the chicks.

Once the rain stops she is off to try and catch a fish for everyone’s breakfast. She has been fishing more and it is certainly keeping the wee babes happy – and full.

It is really beginning to be difficult to tell which chick is which. Each had some type of a mark on their head. Little Bob had a big circle and he had the white webbing pattern on his cere with a huge white swipe with a wide paint brush under his eye. If that him in the middle?

Big ‘sometimes-not-so-nice’ sibling is in the very front. Her eye is much darker with a wider eye stripe. She has always appeared much darker than the other chicks. Did you know that professional ball players adopted adding a black line under their eyes to keep off the glare?

You can really see the very dark wooly down on the chick standing up. You can also see how the crural feathers continue on to the chest area easier, too.

Now look. Is that our Little Bob at the back? I think so. The circle and the white are there as is the white on the cere. Oh, but they could be fooling us. Even their sizes are coming together so that it is difficult to recognize one from the other.

Let us hope that a nice fish for their breakfast arrives soon!

Ah. There is Little Bob turned around facing Mum in case a fish lands right there.

Awwww. Xavier. What a sweetie. He has arrived with the third item of prey for the baby at 10:14 but Diamond is ignoring him. The chick is full having had two feedings already. Maybe Xavier will get a chance to enjoy that Starling himself.

Remember to go and vote on the names for Xavier and Diamond’s baby. Cilla Kinross selected Maori names for weather. You can find the form here:

https://forms.gle/iPQhxDCLtEh19jp38

As the sun sets in central Louisiana, Anna and Louis are still on the nest making adjustments for the upcoming eggs. They have now flown off and are roosting elsewhere.

Wish for a fish! The trio at Port Lincoln will be very hungry when it arrives.

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

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Checking in with the Australian Birds

Yesterday I waited until the trio at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest had their morning feast before I headed off to read and sleep. There was a smile on my face. The chicks had a huge fish to share with mum at 8:57:45. They looked like they were going to pop those crops! I did one last check and goodness gracious, one of them was having some extra bites at 10:20:16. I hope Mum got some good fish! Where in the world are these osplets putting all this food?

Here is an image of that breakfast fish. It is a nice one and all of the chicks ate well and behaved themselves.

Nice crops.

It’s clown feet time! Just look at how full Little Bob is – and the size of those feet.

Mum offering a chick some more bites. Just in case they might still be hungry. What a great Mum she is!

Dad made another delivery at 13:32:17. The chicks still have some crop left from the morning ‘whale’ of a fish.

Bigger crops. These three should sleep for the rest of the afternoon.

There is another small fish delivery at 17:00:36.

That little fish was gone very quickly.

And another fish was delivered at 18:18:57.

No one went to bed hungry.

It has been raining in Orange and Melbourne. There is no indication that there is a pip in any of the eggs at the 367 Collins Street scrape. That said it is really hard to see because the couple chose to use the scrape at the far end of the ledge away from the camera.

You can see the rain gathering in the gutter area. Stay dry falcons!

It is supposed to rain for the next couple of days. Maybe the eyases will wait. What lousy weather to hatch if you do not have any protection from the rain like the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond in Orange. It is about 8 days for hatch there.

Xavier arrived with a full crop and soaking wet to see if Diamond wanted him to take a turn incubating. While Diamond made up her mind, Xavier caught a little sleep. Oh, what a sweetie. Look at his crop – wow.

But look at how dry it is for these two. I wonder if anyone in Melbourne would consider putting some kind of a cover over those two scrapes for next year? Can’t do it now as it would stress out and disturb the birds but, maybe next.

Lady Hawk recorded WBSE 27 and 28 doing the morning duet with their parents. Oh, I remember when WBSE 26 sang with its parents. That was such a delight. Now we have these two joining in the family tradition. As you can see they are both doing fabulous.

There nest is quite dry. Sleeping duckling style!

That is the morning check in with our Australian nests and scrapes. Let’s hope that the forecast for rain in Melbourne is wrong! Otherwise, every bird is doing great. No worries here.

Thank you for joining me. It is another blue sky sunny day on the Canadian Prairies. We are blessed. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Falcon Cam Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

The Birds ‘Down Under’

As people in North America wait for the Bald Eagles to begin preparing their nest and breeding, much of the ‘bird’ action is in Australia. I pulled up a map so that we can locate the nests that are on streaming cams in Australia – fondly known as ‘Down Under’ here in Canada.

I made the map a little larger just so it is easier to see. Or is it just me that is having trouble reading all that small print?!

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest is in Sydney. On the map it is in bold letters on the lower right hand side. The Peregrine Falcon Nest of Xavier and Diamond is in Orange. Orange is just outside of Sydney. Trace your finger to 10 o’clock from Sydney and you should see Orange in grey letters. The 367 Collins Street Falcons are in Melbourne. It is at the very bottom in black letters. The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is in Port Lincoln. This is a small place. Locate Adelaide which is up the coast from Melbourne on the left. Take your finger and move it over in a straight line to the left from Adelaide to the bottom of the second peninsula. There is Port Lincoln. I am also going to include Solly’s Location so you can see where she is relative to where she hatched and fledged at Port Lincoln. Solly is currently staying the majority of the time at Eba Anchorage. Solly is 311 km from the place she fledged. Prior to Solly, the general understanding was that Eastern Ospreys stayed much closer to their natal nest. The evidence from the satellite tracking is changing the understanding of how far these fledglings might travel upon fledging.

Time flies. It was only a blink and Pippa Atawhai, the 2020 Royal Cam chick, had fledged — BUT, that was a year ago. Now we are waiting for Tiaki to fledge soon. It seemed like the month of August just melted. It was on the 3rd, the 6th, and the 9th that Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge laid her eggs for the 2021 season. At this very moment, the PLO FB Page is taking guesses on when the eggs will hatch. Yes, we will be moving into hatch watch within a week. Baby Ospreys are coming. Oh, those lovely little reptiles!

Dad continues to bring in materials for the nest. They are all over the place – big strips of bark and moss – even some more rope. He is a bit of a pack rat. Thank goodness he hasn’t been bringing in toys like Richmond and Jack in the US. It would be awfully crowded if that were to happen.

Watching this nest is not for the faint of heart. Siblicide is a regular occurrence.

The dominant hatch of 2021 was Solly. She is 352 days old on 7 August, Australian time. Solly was considered, out of the two surviving chicks, to be the one that would succeed. We have no news of DEW and unlike Solly, DEW was not equipped with a satellite transmitter. Solly has, however, demonstrated that she can survive and today she flew rom her normal home tree in Eba Anchorage to Perlubie to check out the fish. This is the graph from the satellite transmission.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Project is taking guesses as to the date of the first hatch on their FB page. You don’t need to be a member to pick a day – go and have some fun!

The White Bellied Sea Eaglets are doing fine. They are well fed and protected and they are growing so fast. Those beautiful juvenile feathers are coming in changing their appearance almost daily. They had a good fish feast the morning of the 6th and the wee ones slept and then woke up and began picking up sticks and leaves on the nest moving them about with their beak. They are not yet steady on their feet but they are standing more and 27 was attempting to walk today.

Both still had big crops after the fish breakfast. 28 got the majority.

Just look at those beautiful colours coming in. 27 is on the left and 28 is on the right.

Here 27 is standing watching 28 play with some sticks with its beak and talons. The sea eaglets are developing at a normal pace. It is all good.

The golden glow of morning fills the scrape box of the Peregrine Falcons, Xavier and Diamond, in Orange.

Each parent takes turns incubating the eggs so that the other can have a break. Diamond will do the overnight incubation and Xavier will be the security guard.

Here is a short video of the hand over of incubating duties from Diamond to Xavier:

Remember that the males are about 30% smaller than the females. Xavier works with his feet and wings to get those three large eggs under him so they can all be warm.

It is even harder for the tiny male at the 367 Collins Street nest who has four eggs to warm!

Mom arrives for her turn.

She is working her wings too to get those four eggs under her.

Looked at how poofed out all those feathers are. Wow.

Here is Dad. His feathers are all poofed, too. He is so tiny compared to mom. My goodness – he really does have to work to get all four under him properly.

After wiggling about he gets everything settled. We will be looking for hatch towards the end of September.

Thank you so much for joining me. All of the birds in Australia seem to be doing just fine. We will watch the sea eagles change colour before our eyes and anticipate the arrival of the Ospreys. It’s a few weeks before falcons start hatching. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: The 367 Collins Street Falcons, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.

PLEASE NOTE: I am taking my computer in for servicing. I hope to have it returned to me sometimes on Thursday so I will be back with another newsletter Thursday or Friday.