Will the Sea Eaglets fledge today? and other brief news in Bird World

1 October 2022

It is 15:44 on the Canadian Prairies and it is Saturday. The sky remains cloudy with a temperature of 12 degrees C. In Australia, our raptor families are waking up and I wonder what will be in store for them today.

At the Sydney Sea Eagles nest in the Olympic Forest near the Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, SE29 and 30 were particularly active around 0522. If official branching has not been called, it could certainly be done this morning. The eaglets are very interested in the world beyond the nest and are hopping and flapping and standing on the parent branch. An adult flew in but had no food in its talon. Oh, I would love those two eaglets to follow an adult out of the forest to the River Roost on the Parramatta River. There, safely away from the Pied Currawongs, Lady and Dad could continue to feed them while teaching them to hunt their own prey and letting the eaglets get their flying perfected.

At any rate, it feels like fledgling is imminent.

At the 367 Collins Street scrape, the eyases woke up to a feed. Mum looked around, rushed down the ledge, and flew back with a small item of prey. Was it the leftover pigeon? or a Starling? It was hard to tell.

‘A’ has assured me – much to my relief – that male2 is providing the food for Mum and the trio at the Melbourne scrape. There was much e-chuffing and Mum flew out to retrieve the prey from the hidey-hole. Meanwhile, Male2 comes down the ledge, stands over the chicks as if to protect them, and then moves out of the way watching as Mum feeds the three white furry balls. All is well in Melbourne. Relief. Thank you ‘A’.

Xavier and Diamond’s first hatch had Starling for breakfast this morning. It is a running joke at this scrape that Diamond hates Starling. She will refuse to eat it if Xavier brings her a fresh bird but, she is happy to feed it to the eyases!

Meanwhile, the osplets had a nice fish delivery – everyone seems to have eaten well although Mum moved and it is hard to see how much Middle and Little are getting.

Everyone still had a nice crop over an hour later.

So far this morning in Australia all is well on each of the four nests. There are three eyases and a Mum being fed in Melbourne by the new male who we all hope will turn out to be as lovely as Alden and Xavier. The Sea Eagles are more than ready to fledge and they are beautiful. I wonder if they will take their first flight together? Port Lincoln was relatively calm this morning with the feeding and Little Bob is beginning to turn into a reptile, too. Diamond and Xavier could not be happier with their first hatch.

Thank you for joining me on this catch up again with our Australian raptors. If you did not hear, Harriet and M15 have been seen and photographed at their old nest tree and Samson and Gabby are home, too. We continue to hope that all of the others impacted so badly by the storm at Captiva will be seen – but, it is unclear if there is anyone to check on them the area was simply destroyed I am told. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and to ‘A’ for letting me know about the prey delivery at Melbourne: 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

It is a wild Wednesday in Bird World

28 September 2022

It was really a difficult day to sit and think of hurricanes and osplets beaking one another. After Ian made landfall, I headed for the nature centre to check on that wee duckling. For the second visit in a row, I did not find it. I did find, however, a Solitary Sandpiper, some other Mallards, a couple of Northern Pintails, various Vireos, an adorable squirrel to mention a few of the birds that greeted me today.

A baby American Coot.

The White-breasted Nuthatch stayed at the peanuts for a really long time. The nature centre has a ‘hide’ (a building of sorts with openings where you can watch the birds and not disturb them). It was fantastic to see this beautiful bird make its gravity-defying struts over the wire mesh container.

What a darling. This little Red Squirrel had no idea I was watching him. He is in a perfect spot below the feeder with the American Goldfinches who are dropping seedings all over the place.

A very nice gentleman saw me looking at the Coots but pointed this Solitary Sandpiper out to me on the shore. There had apparently been a Green Heron here the week prior.

This is believed – by me – to be a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet female. But I am waiting for e-Bird to write back with confirmation. Our bird books with their images are often lacking in the kind of detail to make a certain ID and Merlin and I seem not to get along very well!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are moulting – these American Goldfinches.

Being out in the forest with the birds and a few people passing by, with school children researching leaf configurations, and Canada Geese honking in the sky was fantastic. It is the best way to relieve any kind of stress. Shinrinyoku – forest bathing.

In the Mailbox:

Mark your calendars for October 8. This is Cornell Bird Lab’s Big Bird Count Day. I will be posting more information nearer to the time.

As we sit with our eyes glued to the eggs on the ledge of 367 Collins Street waiting for hatch, ‘A’ sent me a note and reminded me of the day the eggs got pretty wet from the rain. Oh, I needed that reminder. It is possible that they will not all hatch. It is possible that none of them will hatch. And bless this young couple if all four do hatch! That new male will really have to show that he is up to the task of feeding a family of 6 including himself. The old dad sure was!

Making News:

The news continues to be about the impact of Hurricane Ian on our beloved raptors. Captiva/Sanibel took a direct hit from the hurricane’s core with winds at 155 mph.

Across the State and a little north is Jacksonville which is home to Samson and Gabby’s nest. This is a video of the impact of the winds on their nest.

Across the country, in the Channel Islands, Thunder and Akecheta were at their nest. It looked like there might have been some intruders as both appeared to be alarming at times. They are a super Bald Eagle couple and it is nice to see you, Cheta.

Australian Nest News:

A super nice fish has shown up at Port Lincoln at 08;28:53. Fantastic. Hopefully these osplets will calm down a little.

It is really nice to see Little Bob right up there in the sweet spot. That fish should fill them all up and put them into super food comas. Mum can have some fish, too, and the kids can sleep.

Little Bob is getting some really good bites and both the older siblings seem, at this moment in time, to be behaving and letting Mum share the fish all around.

A food delivery came around 0740 for the Mum at 367 Collins Street. She flew off the ledge but when she returned she ran from the opposite end of the ledge to the nest. She carefully placed herself over the eggs and rolled them.

My heart goes out to this Mum. She has had food -thankfully but, no real help with incubation. She has almost had to do it all. In Orange, Xavier is so anxious to incubate the eggs and take care of the chicks that it just puts a smile on your face.

How much longer will we get to enjoy the not-so-little Sydney Sea Eagles? They are jumping and flapping and seem to have mastered self-feeding in spite of themselves! Still, it is nice to be fed by Mum and I am sure Lady knows that the days are limited for her to feed her babies.

Thank you for joining me this evening for a brief check on the nests. Head over to Port Lincoln and re-wind to catch that 0830 feeding. Take care of yourselves and continue to send the warmest wishes to the people and nests being impacted by weather around the world. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Northwest Florida-AEF, Explore.org and IWS, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Late Monday in Bird World

26 September 2022

It stayed cloudy with temperatures reaching a lovely 15 degrees on the Canadian prairie. It will be a good evening to go and check out the migration of the ducks and geese as they move through the city at dusk.

I wanted to do a quick check on the Australian nests to see if there has been any change from yesterday, especially at Melbourne.

Making News:

It is the weather that is making news as Hurricane Ian could make a huge impact on the Florida nests! That purple and red is right in an area that could hit Fort Myers and the nests on Captiva. Look like it is lots of rain for the Gainesville area and Jacksonville.

Folks are expecting the hurricane to hit the Captiva area tomorrow. The individuals who built the new Osprey nest and perch have said that it has been built to withstand a hurricane. Well done, everyone!

Falcons are hatching on a balcony in Perth, Western Australia in a flowerpot and not for the first time! You can check them out at their Twitter feed.

In Britain, scientists are changes in autumn – in trees that are sending out more seeds and a decline in insects. All of that will have an impact on our birds.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/25/autumn-uk-milder-season-flora-fauna

Nest News:

The Pritchett Family has turned on the streaming cam for the Southwest Florida eagles, M15 and Harriet.

I don’t quite remember a year when everything seemed to be happening at once. The Bald Eagles are busy working on their nests or arriving to start work. Connie was seen at Captiva yesterday. I have caught three nests with adults visiting, sleeping and/or doing nestorations: Two Harbours where both Chase and Cholyn are active, West End with another visit from Thunder, and Andor and Mama Cruz were at Fraser Point.

Thunder simply looks majestic on the rocks at the West End nest in the Channel Islands. Isn’t she simply gorgeous in that early morning sunshine? Where is Akecheta? Maybe I have missed him.

At Two Harbours, one adult was on the nest looking about and it was not long before both were there greeting one another and beginning to work on those rails. Just look at the height of that nest above the sea. We were all so grateful that Dr Sharpe climbed up that steep cliff to rescue Lancet last year.

Cholyn will be 25 years old this year. Incredible.

They are certainly a power couple and if you didn’t know, Cholyn is Thunder’s mother!

Andor spent the night on the Fraser Point nest that he shares with Mama Cruz.

Mama Cruz showed up before the day began to start working on the nest. This couple fledged Lillibet and our beloved, Victor, this year.

Hello Andor. You are looking very handsome, indeed.

Gabby and Samson stayed at the nest tree near Jacksonville perched high on the branches and when the sun was up work began again on that nest.

The day is just getting ready to start in Melbourne and our beautiful new Mum, sitting on those precious eggs, could be feeding wee ones before long! And about these eggs – I am beginning to wonder if there is any possibility that they are a mix of old dad’s and new dad’s?? That would require DNA testing of everyone so…it isn’t going to happen. But, so far, fingers crossed for healthy and very lively eyases! Food is being provided and there has been no attempt to harm the eggs.

I am so looking forward to the little white eyases with their pink beaks, eyes and legs. Such a contrast to the wee Osplets.

Are the eyases cheeping?

Yesterday there was a flapping fish and wee moments of discord at Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is a wonder those Bobs weren’t hurt by that whacking fish! You might recall that this happened at Manton Bay at Rutland when Blue 33 brought in a big size perch and it flipped and flapped landing on top of the wee babes. They did survive it – and so did the Bobs yesterday. Wonder what is in store for today?

As I write this, the trio at Port Lincoln are waiting for their breakfast.

In the middle of the night at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest, Lady is sleeping on the branch with her head tucked in. SE29 is standing with its head tucked in and SE30 still prefers to sleep duckling style.

These two are really antsy this morning once the sun came up in the forest. They are extremely interested in what is happening beyond the nest and both have been on the branch. True branching looks like it could happen soon.

Xavier waits for Diamond to want a break and let him take care of the eggs.

That is a quick look at what is happening at the Australian nests. Today brings new promise of a hatch at Melbourne and well, those Sea Eaglets are really jumping and flapping. And they are gorgeous.

Thank you so much for being with me. Take care and I will see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or posts that were used for my screen captures: NOAA, Crawley Falcons, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Explore.org and the IWS.

Late Saturday afternoon with our Australian nests

24 September 2020

Good Evening!

It has been a gorgeous 17 degree C afternoon in Manitoba. The dreary morning left around noonish, and it was lovely to be outside without a jacket. I cleared up some plants and have not gone to work on the images of Little Red eating up the suet cylinder, but I will try to get to that sooner than later. He has just about finished it today! The Crows have had lots of their sandwiches and dry corn, the squirrels are still about but, there have been fewer and fewer songbirds.

I thought we would just check in on the Australian nests as their day is beginning.

The breakfast feeding at Port Lincoln was terrific. Mum rose around 06:29:19 and found an old piece of fish on the nest sufficient to fill up the three youngsters and she could get a couple of bites herself. Hopefully another nice fresh fish will land on the nest shortly.

Little Bob was sleepy. It took him a few seconds to figure out what was happening and get himself turned around the right way.

Ervie learned really quickly that you need to be up front if you are the short one. Let’s see how long it takes Little Bob to figure that out.

It wasn’t a huge piece of fish that Mum found and Big and Middle sure put down a lot of huge pieces. I thought they would eat it all.

Little Bob got 4 bites while Big Bob had about 17. Then…Little Bob got a couple more.

Then for a second, Big Bob had a food coma. Middle Bob is still standing and it sure put down the fish early too – and some big pieces. But Little Bob is right up in the sweet spot. Let’s hope he remembers where it is.

Mum filled Little Bob up and ate some of the skin herself. All of the kids were full and out in food comas. Now she can brood them until Dad comes in with the fresh fish. He has been having some trouble getting there early. I wonder if it is windy seas or gulls??

What a gorgeous morning in Melbourne. Mum is waking up.

This is the old dad. He has come to tell her where her breakfast is stashed.

He looks over the eggs for a bit – from a distance – and then flies off. I am noting that the second male has not made an attempt to rid the nest of the eggs and this is a good thing.

Mum is back safely on the eggs. We are two days from hatch watch! The 27th. OK. Technically that is less than 2 days. Oh, goodness.

It was a misty morning in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE29 and SE30 spent a lot of time looking over the rim of the nest. At the point in the first image below, it looked like the pair were having a great conversation. Perhaps they are wondering if Mum will bring in a fish and eat it all herself again?? Or almost eat it all.

Look at that adorable face.

Some wing flapping going on. The wings of the eaglets are almost as wide as the nest. Amazing.

As the sun comes up in Orange, Australia, Xavier is on the ledge of the scrape box hoping that Diamond will give him some time with those eggies. Did I say that hatch watch is now only 5 days away!

Thank you for joining me at this quick peek of what is going on in Australia. Take care everyone. See you soon!

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

Good Morning Australia

23 September 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can AI save raptors from wind turbines and other news in Bird World?

23 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone.

It is a gloomy day today. The sky is solid cloud cover and it is cool enough that I can hear the furnace kicking in once in awhile. The juvenile Blue Jays are quite busy eating along with one squirrel and a few sparrows this morning. It has also rained. Today is Open House at the rehabilitation centre. It is about half an hour outside the City. We always wish them to have a beautiful sunny day. Perhaps tomorrow. It is going to be a good day to finish reading some of the books sitting on my desk before the pile gets higher!

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ wonders if the intruder male falcons ever kill the eyases.’

That is a question on everyone’s mind that is watching the 367 Collins Street Falcons. So, first. I am more knowledgable about Ospreys – for transparency! Osprey males if they believe the eggs to be of another male will wildly kick them out of the nest. I hope to find an old YouTube video of that happening. It is simply crazy the flap they get into. Of course, they do not want to spend the time feeding and raising another male’s chicks. This is why Xavier and Alden, Peregrine Falcons, are so special. They did not have to compete with a male – the male was deceased but, they did step in and help the female raise the chicks. What a civil way to get a mate and a fantastic piece of territory, too. But to answer your question, the second male has not been able to get rid of those eggs of the old male and we must wait and just see what happens. The old male is a ‘sitting duck’ so to speak if he incubates so he has chosen only to bring prey items to the female. If he is flying and hunting to feed the family he is less of a target. Sadly, we have to wait and see how this plays out but I have seen non-parental males kill the eyases. Yes.

Making News:

Wind turbines” by ali_pk is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Technology is going to come to the aid of endangered eagles in Germany because of the deaths caused by wind turbines. Let’s support the effort and get every wind turbine trained to keep our raptors from being killed!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/20/germany-hopes-ai-can-stop-rare-eagles-flying-into-wind-turbines

Nest News:

Things seem to be going rather well at Port Lincoln. These are the time stamps for yesterday, thanks to the chatter, Gtr Kitarr. 11:30 & 12:35 chicks close-up. 12:36 & 14:23 & 17:42 fish delivery/feeding. 17:55 Dad takes the fish. 18:05 fish back/feeding. 18:12 Dad takes the fish. 18:25, 18:42 & 21:55 feeding. There were the two earlier feedings as well and I might have missed one. Everyone is eating including the little gaffer.

Thankfully Mum is managing to get some sleep. These three are healthy and active.

Victor Hurley, the researcher for the 367 Collins Street Falcon Scrape and the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Association posts some wonderful information weekly. This was part of this week’s early posting and you might be interested in it. It is specifically about the site at 367 Collins Street. Indeed, earlier in his PDF, Dr Hurley says that many of the Victoria Peregrine Falcons are using stick nests due to the lack of high locations.

“The reason Peregrine Falcons were first (and continue to be) attracted to 367 Collins Street is because of the building design has inset windows with external ledges and an architectural feature of indented corners to the building structure. The original ledge selected (and the one used to this
day) faces south east. This orientation provides warmth from the rising sun until late morning by which time the shadow from the building’s own south wall provides shade across the selected ledge. With the prevailing rainstorms tending from the west/north west means that most of Melbourne’s late winter rains blow over and past this ledge. Peregrine Falcons have had “the freedom of the city” to select alternatives and yet once the gravel filled trays were installed in 1992 pairs have repeatedly placed their thumping big feet to claim this one as their own ever since.”

No one knows how this season is going to turn out. We cannot even possibly begin to guess. We are, however, three days prior to a potential hatch and the female – and she is gorgeous – is holding firm to those eggs.

Dr Hurley did do a Q & A session and it is posted on the 367 Falcon Watchers FB Group, not YouTube. Indeed, Dr Hurley has posted lots of information on that site so please join their group if you are not a member already so you can access it.

Here is the link to that very informative PDF by Dr Hurley mentioned above.

file:///C:/Users/marya/Downloads/FFS%2005-22%20Why%20367%20Collins.pdf

The Sydney Sea Eagles will certainly win the beauty contest this week. Just look at the light on that beautiful plumage. The pair are still figuring out how to self-feed. They are not branching or hovering so there will be more time with them. When they stand on those branches and begin flapping then you can think fledge!

The cam operator did an amazing job and the light was just perfect to see that rusty peach. Incredible. I wish they would stay this way! Like the juvenile Ospreys, the plumage – to this person anyway – is much more beautiful than the adults!

At the scrape on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Xavier and Diamond are patiently waiting and eating, eating and waiting, for the eggs to hatch the first week of October.

I will be so excited when this very devoted couple have their first hatch.

Some of you might not know about Xavier. Diamond was at the scrape with her mate Bula. Bula died when the eyases hatched. Diamond could not have done all of the duties and kept them alive – and then Xavier came along. He did not actively care for the chicks but he brought food for Diamond and the chicks so everyone could live. The chicks survived and the rest is history. Xavier’s name means Saviour and he was definitely a saviour to this nest, like Alden for Annie at Cal Falcons. If something untoward were to happen at Melbourne, we might all begin to hope that the second male would be as kind as Xavier and Alden.

Thank you so very much for being with me this morning. Stop in and check on the PLO Chicks. They are quite adorable and keep your eyes on those lovely sea eagles. Take care of yourselves, too. Thank you for your letters and comments. They are always appreciated. I try to answer as quickly as I can. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB posts which make up my screen captures: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, 367 Collins Falcons FB, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Late Thursday in Bird World

22 September 2022

Good Afternoon Everyone. I hope that this finds each of you well whether you are starting or ending your day. It remained a glorious day on the Canadian Prairies – a crisp fall one. There are so many songbirds in the garden now all wanting to eat and have baths. It is impossible to differentiate between the hundreds of sparrows and what looks like a few Grosbeaks but, they all seem happy and the two bird baths this year are really making a difference. They are so thirsty. The usual group comes around 1800 so these are the early birds.

Mr Blue Jay is here. There is a cob of corn for him as well as some individual kernels. Let us see if he gets it or if Dyson does! Dyson should be here in about an hour. It is amazing how they have their own timetables and really stick to them. Oh, two of the three Blue Jays have arrived. This will be interesting. One is eating from the cob of corn and the other is taking the corn kernels that I broke off a second cob.

This is Junior. He is the Dad of the three fledgling Jays that remain in the garden and at their nest tree across the lane. Junior still needs to grow in his crest. He is easy to spot.

He knows I am watching and he also knows that I am the one that puts out the corn. No, Junior. It is not just to take your photograph! Junior is 5 years old this year.

A little female squirrel has arrived.

One of the Crows just flew in to check out the evening’s buffet.

Our wildlife rehabilitation centre has its annual open house this week. If you live in Southern Manitoba or Winnipeg and want to go out and see the amazing facilities including a brand new surgery and our super flight training buildings, go to line to Wildlife Haven and order your tickets. Remember, too, if you go out – check for clean old towels and sheets. They can never get enough of them. And if you have some spare savings or are in need of a tax donation, every wildlife rehabilitation clinic will thank you and give you a receipt for your donation. It is the only way they survive.

Australian Nest News:

Oh, what a glorious day it was to wake up to a brand new osplet – and, so, as all of you probably know, the clutch at Port Lincoln is complete. Congratulations to everyone! Dad came in with a really nice fish for the brood. It is unclear if Little Bob got much or any – he has to be tired from working so long on that egg but, you can bet the other two got their fish!

Let us hope that the fish keep coming. We are off to a good start with that big fish. The key will be for Big and Middle to get full and then Little Bob to eat but let us see if it works out that way! Our dear Ervie had to be right up there preferring to thwart any attention Bazza wanted to pay on someone to Falky.

Just look at that nice fish. It is incredible to me that birds of all makes and models are hardwired to hold their heads up high and their beaks wide open for food from the git go.

You can watch all the action at Port Lincoln here:

It looks like a super day starting in Melbourne. I hope it is as it is the 23rd of September and gosh, golly, we are looking for a hatch on the 27th. Four days. Fingers crossed that the second male – who Mum is not interested in – is thwarted. I know. It is wishful thinking but, let’s all send good wishes out to our wonderful old dad. This could be his last clutch and he is remarkable. One of the great Peregrine males out there and so ever funny in his pjs.

Mum left for a break. Food is being brought in and stored elsewhere but not near the nest and this probably won’t happen til the chicks arrive. The falcons like, for some reason, to keep that scrape box really clean while there are eggs. Then when they begin feeding their eyases it can be mayhem with blood, bones, and feathers flying everywhere. The old dad used to love to pluck and feed the fresh pigeons right in the scrape. I don’t think the former Mum appreciated that at all.

Xavier has arrived early at the scrape box hoping that Diamond might want a break. He is such a devoted Dad. We are looking at the first week in October for hatch. For the past two years only one of the three eggs has hatched. I am wishing for one strong eyas! Two would delight Xavier to no end. Three might be overwhelming but these two very seasoned parents would manage.

Some of you might be wondering what is going on at the Sydney Sea Eagles. Yesterday, Mum flew in with a fish and stood on the nest eating it while 29 played with its tail. Lady wanted to see if the eaglets would fight for that fish and take it from her. That is what they will need to do in the wild. They did not. Eventually she offered and 30 got some nice bites. It was a very interesting educational moment. And so, here we are today.

The sea eaglets are up looking around in their beautiful plumage. Those feathers are almost all completely in.

One of the parents is in the tree watching every move the eaglets are making with that fish on the nest.

Both parents are now on the branch watching the eaglets. Do not ever think for a second that these parents do not know what they are doing. They do. They are letting go – and they are trying to provide their two kids, SE29 and 30 – with the skills so that they can survive in the wild. They need the eaglets to be hungry, to need to get that fish and eat and they need them to know how to hold it down and pull off the flesh. At some point in time Dad might bring them a live fish to see how they respond.

Making News:

The new Kestrel Ambassador for the Ojai Raptor Centre has a name. It is Topa and the word comes from a mountain range near to the wildlife centre called the Topa Topa. What a lovely bird to help teach youngsters and us about the challenges raptors face daily.

The new Osprey cam is now installed and working at Captiva in Florida. Just look – we have an adult. Last year Andy and Lena managed to end their years of not having chicks due to predation by Crows. How did they do it? They laid their eggs one month early. Very smart Ospreys. We had three magnificent chicks – and we ended with two, Middle and Little Bob, who turned out to be a male and a female. Big Bob died of an indeterminate cause but he did have enlarged organs similar to some other ospreys lost this year. That was determined to be salmonella in one case. Big Bob had also been ruthless in his eating claiming all the fish for nearly 72 hours before he died. The other two thrived and were very civil fledging with the male staying around Captiva and the nest for us to enjoy for some time.

In the Mailbox:

EJ sent us a great video of a juvenile sea eagle fishing. It is short and quite amazing. Thanks, EJ!

From the Book Shelf:

In a few of my blogs I have been writing about the campaign by Chris Packham, Mark Avery, and the Raptor Persecution Group in the UK to get rid of sport hunting and killing. In this instance I am referring to Grouse Hunting and Killing on large estates for sport. The problem is that the game keepers of the properties kill the raptors. Raptors such as the Hen Harrier who covered the wet lands and moors and heath was a common sight in England during the Mesolithic Age, ten thousand years ago. It has really gone into decline with the advent of the Enclosures Act in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Now, sadly, heath burning, the escalation in killings and diseases brought in by the imported birds has caused a swift and rapid decline in the number of breeding pairs of Hen Harriers in the UK. In 2012, there was only one breeding pair left.

David Cobham has set out and written an incredible little book on the history and decline of this amazing low flying raptor. It is based on the promising life of Bowland Beth and the title is, Bowland Beth. The Life of an English Hen Harrier. You are drawn into Bowland Beth from the minute her father returns to his natal nest in the Bowland Forest to find a mate. You will discover this amazing and most promising bird and her daily activities (she is tagged with a sat pack). And you will come to understand so fully why the grouse hunting and the killing of all the raptors that find their prey on the wrong piece of land need to be kept safe. It is essential that the law be changed. I rarely head deep into politics but this is an archaic practice that needs to end for the sake of the wildlife. They need to thrive without fear of catching a vole and being shot.

$18.40 CDN for the hardback at your local on-line book seller.

Thank you so much for joining me this afternoon. I hope that you are well and that you will enjoy watching the sea eaglets and those cutie pie osplets. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and postings that made up my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Ojai Raptor Center, Robert Full and ‘EJ’, David Cobham, Captiva Ospreys and Windows for Wildlife.