Caring for the Animals and Birds

There has been a real leap forward against animal cruelty. You may recall that several months ago, the home of Chris Packham in the New Forest had its gate burnt and a car set on fire. Packham has been leading the call for a banning of ‘the hunt’ on the grounds of animal cruelty. Today, trail hunting has been banned on all the land owned by Natural Resources in Wales. The amount of land is 362,456 acres or 146,681 hectares.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-59337295

Trail hunting is supposed to involve dogs and hounds following scent without actually harming, chasing, injuring, or killing a fox. It has been proven that this is not always the case and Wales said that they did not have the resources to police the land for those who do not follow the law so they are not outlawing the practice altogether. Recently, Packham demonstrated that one of the riders was unusually cruel to her horse – an incident filmed that went viral. In October, the National Trust in England outlawed trail hunting on its properties as well. This is a great move forward in outlawing any cruelty to animals.

Speaking of cruelty to animals, Animal Nation, has called for people to stop using doves and pigeons at memorial ceremonies. The birds are released and die or if they are lucky wind up in a wonderful centre to receive care. They are not bred to live in the wild. Please tell your friends. No wonder it was so easy for Dad to catch that dove and take it to try and feed his #4 chick at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne.

The text was too long so that I had to take two captures. If you know of anyone considering memorial doves or pigeons, please talk to them, respectfully, about the implications to the birds. This is tragic. Thank you.

Whenever it looks a little dark, there is always someone or a group of people doing a really good thing for the birds and animals. A Place Called Hope posted images of the new osprey platform going up in Branford, Connecticut. A pair of Osprey nicknamed the Pretzel Pair had a poor location for a nest and annual failures. The community hopes that this brand new platform on a telephone pole will attract the couple and that there will be fledglings next summer. How thoughtful!

Wow. A lot can be done when a few dedicated people get together to help our birds. The platform on the pole will be lifted into place tomorrow. Fingers crossed the osprey couple find this to their liking!

It is raining in Port Lincoln. The three lads are wet. This might calm their adrenalin. Falkey is eating the latest fish delivered after Mum retrieved an earlier fish that Bazza got from Dad and that Ervie managed to take later. (They both ate). It felt like a lesson that Mum was teaching them when she swooped in and grabbed that fish. Sadly, it is time to toughen them up for the real world – which I hope is not so full of ospreys that they do not thrive.

Little Yurruga is very interested in what is going on outside and below the scrape. She has given viewers today more than a little scare. It was only a year yesterday that her big brother, Izzi, fell out of the scrape!

For some time now, Cilla Kinross, the main researcher at this scrape box, believed Yurruga to be a female. Now with the fluffy down falling away, Kinross now believes Yurruga is a male. She showed images of Yurruga next to Diamond and said she would expect Yurruga to be much bigger at 41 days and she isn’t.

Do we really care? I think everyone wants a lively, beautiful, and successful falcon – male or female!

I have seen no news on Grinnell or on the release of the WBSE fledgling in Sydney.

Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week. Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams. That is where I took my screen shots. I would also like to thank A Place Called Hope for the posting and images of the new osprey platform at Branford. That is where I took my information and images.

Hold on to your seats

The three males on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge were – as I said many, many times – the most polite and civil trio I had ever witnessed. Well, today all bets are off. It was expected that once the lads had fledged and were moving into being independent that the conflict over fish deliveries would increase. It hasn’t actually been that bad. There was a tussle between Ervie and Falkey this morning over the breakfast fish. Ervie won.

Well, the fish isn’t even on the nest and Ervie and Falkey are going at one another. Caught in the cross-fire is Mum and Bazza. It is 14:10 in the afternoon and all is not well. I just hope the two do not injure one another.

There is only the anticipation of a fish because Mum is on the nest and the boys might have seen dad. Bazza is staying out of everything. He is by Mum but already Ervie and Falkey are eyeing one another.

Falkey goes over to jump on Ervie. Ervie is under Falkey and on top of Bazza. Poor Mum. I wonder if she has ever had a nest of all boys?

Everything is wings and twisting and turning.

Bazza stands up and Mum ducks.

Falkey is standing on top of Bazza.

Ervie is watching trying to see what Falkey is doing to Bazza.

Then everyone gets into the mix again.

I ‘think’ it is Falkey on the left, Bazza in the middle, and Ervie on the right. Poor Mum is in there, too.

Ervie is full of adrenalin and he gets Bazza on his back. This is not going to end well at all.

They are going down. This is definitely not good at all. Falkey who precipitated all of this with Ervie is simply looking on from the left as the two brothers have it out.

Bazza winds up in Dad’s man cave. He is alright. But he will not have the lift to fly up to the nest. Remember, Bazza is the only one that has not fledged.

The owners are monitoring the situation. They say that Bazza will probably fly to the ropes and then on to the nest but, perhaps, not just right now. They won’t intervene because they do not believe it is necessary and it would ‘freak’ out the other birds.

Falkey is left on the nest.

Mum arrives and Dad flies in with a whopper. Falkey will be much nicer after he eats his fish.

Falkey still has control of the fish. Mum is on the nest – she would some fish, too and there is Ervie right behind Falkey. He would like some fish, too. You can see Bazza down in the man cave.

Some of you will remember Tiny Tot Tumbles from the Achieva Osprey Nest. She went on to very proudly defend the nest against adult intruders. These birds have to be able to ‘fight’ so to speak. They are getting ready to leave the natal nest territory and set out on their own. It is just like Grinnell having to go in and take back his territory. We might like to think birds are sweet and only sing lovely songs and get along but even in my garden sometimes it is a real battle between some rivals.

It doesn’t look like there will be any dull moments on this nest now. To be continued at the next fish delivery….

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures. Take care everyone!

Ervie defends his fish!

No doubt all of the Ospreys on the barge at Port Lincoln are hungry first in the morning. It could have been 10 or more hours since they had a fish, depending on who landed the last one/s of the day.

At 09:37, the three lads were snoozing duckling style on the nest. Was anyone thinking about breakfast?

Dad flew in with a nice fish at 09:38:15, just 20 seconds later, waking them all up in a start. My goodness, Ervie is quick. He is mantling that fish (on the far right in front of Dad).

Wings are starting to flap.

As the competition for the breakfast fish amps up, Dad is getting ready to take off.

There he goes just clearing Ervie’s left wing tip. It looks pretty crazy down there but this is what we want to see – these three really being able to grab the fish and defend it. Ervie is a bit like a magician when it comes to getting the fish, he is so fast.

Dad has lift off.

Bazza is on the far left. Falkey is in the middle. He would not mind challenging Ervie for that fish. Look at Falkey looking over. Bazza, meanwhile, is looking out over the water, unconcerned.

Falkey thinks he will try to get that fish by flapping his wings.

Ervie counters. They are looking at each other so intently – it is a wonder Bazza doesn’t slip through and take the fish. Just look at those two! Ervie is saying, “I dare you to try.”

Ervie flips Falkey’s wing back causing him to lose his balance.

There, it is all over and it only took 14 seconds. No feathers or wings injured in the process. Wow.

Ervie aka Little Bob has really become a force to reckon with since he hatched. He has never given in to his older siblings. Focused. A survivor. Every day he amazes me. I look forward to seeing his progress years from now.

Ervie was still eating at 10:10. He is up on the top left near the perch. It is not clear if there will be anything left for one or both of the others. Ervie looks pretty hungry!

There will be plenty of fish for all of the boys today. Dad will make sure of that. It is very interesting to see the competition between the two fledglings. It will help them in the real world and it was not a serious tussle. Ervie pretty much dominates the deliveries like he did when Mum was feeding everyone.

You might be interested in what it is like in the African desert for animals. I have become more and more keen on learning about the places where the UK and European Ospreys and Black Storks go for the winter. (More water there but this is enlightening). It is night in the Namib Desert but move the time line back. There are Wildebeests, Ostrich, Giraffes, Jackals, Hyeans, etc. depending on the time of day. Enjoy.

The Namib Desert is said to be the world’s oldest desert. It is in the southwestern part of Africa whereas the sites for the Ospreys are in the Northwest, south of the Atlas Mountains, in Senegal, The Gambia, etc. The Namib is home to iron rich soil creating red sand dunes and formations like those where I grew up in Oklahoma. It is also known for its nature reserves. The camera is at one of those.

There is Namibia northwest of South Africa.

Red iron oxide gives the soil its beautiful terracotta colour.

The lodge where the camera is located borders a really iron red rich area.

I have no new news on Grinnell other than he flew out of the rehabber’s box and was up on The Campanile. The UC-Berkley band started playing when he arrived! There is such an incredible amount of love for this beautiful falcon. Let us hope that it all ends well. Grinnell seems determined to take his territory and he is much healthier than when he was attacked 20 days ago. The image below is from the Instagram feed of Annie and Grinnell. Oh, he looks good. Nice deep yellow colouring on his beak, around his eyes, and legs. The vets indicated that his beak is growing and his wing is healing. They felt that it was much better to release him now. Thank you everyone at Lindsay Wildlife! Grinnell looks in great form.

Thank you for joining me. This has been a really great day with Grinnell’s release. It would only be better if he was sitting next to Annie on The Campanile. Maybe tomorrow. No news on the WBSE juvenile in care.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to the Annie and Grinnell Instagram where I captured the image of Grinnell flying.

Oh, Bazza

Bazza, the first hatch at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, is the last nestling to fledge. OK. He hasn’t fledged yet but you might have been fooled at 06:15 this morning when you saw an empty nest. Bazza was doing amazing hovering. Maybe this will be his day to fly! Wouldn’t that be grand? Bazza could begin to explore the cove with his brothers, Ervie and Falkey.

He really seems to want to be out there enjoying all the fun! But to put all of this into perspective, Ervie fledged early at 60 days. Bazza is 65 days old and Solly fledged last year at 65 days. DEW did not fledge til 73 days. Ervie just got us all excited! And then of course, Falkey followed suit rather quickly, too. But if Bazza does fledge today it will be right in line with Solly.

Yurruga, the nestling Peregrine Falcon in the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia, is waiting for her breakfast. She is looking a little ‘ragged’ this morning. Almost all of the baby down is off!

Grinnell, the resident male Peregrine Falcon, at the Campanile on UC-Berkley’s campus, was released one hour ago in his territory. He has been in the Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital and in ‘home care’ since he was injured in a territorial take over bid on 29 October. That is the latest news that I have. The cameras are being rotated a bit to try and get a glimpse of what will ultimately happen when Grinnell tries to land on the Campanile and take his place beside Annie. Will he succeed? Will the interloper? Here is a link to one of the cams:

It is nothing short of a blustery winter day on the Canadian prairies. Snow is blowing everywhere, some more flakes are falling, and the temperature is warm enough to be causing ice. It was a bit worrisome when I stopped at the pond and found a few ducks in a small open space of water.

They seemed to be enjoying themselves. No one seemed to have feather or wing issues but that open water is closing in fast.

There they are from a distance. It will give you some perspective on the size of the little pond.

I was surprised to see a few standing on the ice. Ducks – at least here – tend not to like to get their paddles cold.

My garden has been ‘very loud’ all day with about 200 or more House Sparrows all clamouring for food – which is in abundance. This little fellow was all puffed up to stay warm.

There was one lone Black-Capped Chickadee eating something in the Flame Willow. Like the sparrows, the chickadees are year round visitors to the feeders.

The two books from Roy Dennis Wildlife – Mistletoe Winter and Cottongrass Summer – arrived today. I have just finished Chris Packham and Meg McCubbin’s book and Isabella Tree’s on wilding to help restore the environment. It will be interesting to see what Dennis says in his latest book, Mistletoe Winter. Now for a nice cup of hot tea to go with it.

Send out positive wishes to Grinnell and all our feathered friends.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone and be safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Bird World. 16 November

Viewers of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are starting to wonder if Bazza isn’t eating so much fish that he can’t get lift off the nest. He sure does love his fish.

At 08:00 Dad flies in with the first fish of the day. Falkey gets that one fighting off Bazza who would just love to have breakfast. At 8:50, Falky is full and he walks away leaving a beautiful fish tail on the nest. Ervie spied it immediately and finished that off quick.

They remain such a civil trio. There is Falkey getting to enjoy his breakfast.

Ervie turns around and probably doesn’t believe his luck – a nice fish tail just in front of him. He was there claiming it in the snap of a finger.

Ervie made quick work of the fish tail. Falky is full and Bazza really doesn’t seem interested.

At 09:36:53, Dad flies in with another fish, quite a large one this time. He puts it right at Bazza’s feet. Talk about luck. Bazza was still eating on that fish an hour and a half later. I don’t think he will be leaving too many scraps.

Just look at the size of that fish!

Bazza is still eating. My goodness. It could be true. Maybe he is too big for take off. Bazza certainly seems to be wider than the other two lads.

Do you follow the falcons at Orange? If so, then you probably know that this is the one year anniversary of last year’s chick, Izzi’s fludge. For those unfamiliar, Izzi was the only hatch of Diamond and Xavier in 2020. He dozed off on the ledge and literally fell out of the scrape box. Cilla had to find him and carry him back up the 170 steps to the box. When he did fledge, the first time, Izzi flew into a window and went into care. Cilla returned him to the scrape to do it properly the third time. Isn’t that what they say? The third time is a charm. It worked. In memory of the fludge, someone has put together a video clip of it and Izzi being returned to the scrape.

As for ‘Little’ Yurruga, Xavier delivered three prey items for his daughter before 06:45! Diamond will come in later and help Yurruga but she is doing a good job of the self-feeding. I love how she watches Diamond so intently when she is plucking and eating – memorizing / imprinting it all.

Rumours are circling that the WBSE Juvenile will be released from care into an area around the Newington Armoury by the Discovery Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park. The juvenile injured by the Curras is believed to be 27. (There are some that believe it is 28 and with no bands and no DNA who knows.)

There is really not a lot going on in Bird World. Waiting for Bazza to take the leap, waiting for some of the first Bald Eagles to lay their eggs, waiting to find out who is the Royal Cam Albatross family this year. Feels like a lot will happen at once!

Oh, I had to just go and check on the lads one more time to see if it is possible Bazza has flown. Nope. It is an hour later and Bazza is still eating!!!!!!!! Bazza has been eating for two hours. I kid you not. Did someone get Little Bob mixed up with Big Bob?

Flying uses up a lot of calories. Look at the difference in size between Falkey and Bazza. Gracious.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.