Ervie, you melted our hearts

As a pigeon cleans the nest and a Cormorant dries itself on the perch of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Ervie, we are all missing you! You hatched on 16 September at 00:51. You are five months and three days and you have been away from the barge for 48 hours. Are you gone for good? We all wondered until you surprised us returning to the nest at 12:42 and you stayed until 13:30. How wonderful. When you left a couple of days ago, we all worried that we would not see you again. What a real treat, Ervie. Thank you. You are looking really well.

You did your fish calling right before you flew off. Did you see Dad? Will you return later today?

Here the pigeon is looking for scraps and the Cormorant has returned to the perch after you left.

You hatched on 16 September were 51 hours younger than Bazza, the oldest sibling in the nest. As late as 27 September, when you were 9 days old, Bazza was trying to take over dominance in the nest. Yes, he pecked at your head and tried to stand tall to intimidate you but, you never gave in, Ervie. Never.

None of us will ever be able to be precise about what it was that made your melt our hearts but, you did – in spades. Is it the cheering for the under dog? You never felt like an under dog to me, Ervie. You were spirited, you knew what you wanted. You learned early to get where Mum could see you and close to her beak in the sweet spot in order to get the fish. You were a survivor. You never cowered in submission to Bazza or Falky. OK. Maybe one or two times when you were very little, close to hatch, but by the 27th of September, you had the drive and the determination to get what you wanted.

There you are with that fish bladder. All of you were curious about it.

Look how much you have changed in just a few days. In the image above you are still sporting you soft grey down and in the one below, four days later, almost full reptilian.

Look how tiny you are in thee middle of Falky and Bazza.

Ervie, you loved your fish!

All lined up like children in a choir behaving. That was the tone of this wonderful nest at Port Lincoln. No one could believe it. The early angst was gone and each of you just lined up and ate your fish. Dad made sure there was plenty on hand even when it was storm and the winds were blowing at 37 kph. Mum made sure each was fed. You could not have chosen a better family in which to hatch than this one at this time and place.

You are 20 days old Ervie, looking and wanting that fish standing behind the others. Adorable.

You wiggle around and come to the side and you will get fed.

There you are, already sporting a big crop, up at Mum’s beak wanting more fish!

You are 34 days old in the following image. you are the one closest to Mum’s beak. Look at the beautiful juvenile feathering that each of you is getting.

It is 27 October and you are the one getting the fish bites in the image below. Look at how well you are standing. All of you are growing up.

Your eyes never move away from the fish that Mum is feeding. There you are n the back ready to grab a bite!

There you are with your sat-pak, Ervie. You were all banded and given official names. They even put some nice fish on the nest so all of you could eat. There was enough for Mum and Dad, too.

  • Big Bob, first hatch, has a red band, weighed the least at 1280 grams and is named Bazza. The name celebrates Take 2 Photography’s husband, Barry Hockaday, who did so much to bring the Osprey Barge to a reality.
  • Middle Bob, second hatch, has a yellow band, weighed 1330 grams and is named Falky after Ian Falkenberg, the bander.
  • Little Bob, third hatch, has a dark green almost black band, weighed 1380 grams and is named Ervie. It is the name of the Scottish town where Australia’s current Minister of the Environment grew up. This choice focused on the fact that the growth in the Eastern Osprey population and this project would not be possible without the Minister’s support.

And that is how ‘never miss a meal Little Bob’ became the biggest Bob! And got the sat-pak! Well done, Ervie.

Your bling is beautiful and we hope that sat-pak does work for 7 or more years so we know how you are doing.

It seemed that all of you grew up after you were banded. You were feeding yourselves and hovering and then fledging. Once everyone got their bling it was so much easier to identify who was right up at Mum’s beak – as she often chose to feed her boys even though they could easily feed themselves. That is you, Ervie, getting fed with your beak almost touching Mum’s head!

When Mum was not there and Dad delivered a fish, Ervie, you were often the one to get that fish first and mantle it.

On 14 November, you fledged, Ervie.

First to get the fish again.

Falky really wanted the fish Ervie had. Ervie, you were fast as lightning to get those fish deliveries – not always, but often and normally the first one of the day.

As all of you got older and more independent, the dust ups began. There was never any love lost between you and Bazza.

No one will ever forget the dog fight that you had with Falky!

Or your first puffer catch. Did you actually develop a taste for the Puffer, Ervie? You would bring in another one to the nest a few days before you departed.

You are four months old on 16 January and what a handsome fellow you are. You are now the king of the nest.

Super handsome Ervie.

You could hear your loud cry for fish across the cove. We will all miss it. Wonder if anyone tried to make a ring tone for their phone?

Oh, Ervie. You brought such joy to our lives. Every day we waited to see what you would be up to from the moment that you hatched. Thank you for staying with us for five months and for returning today to the barge. We never know when you fly off if you will return.

This is your latest tracking. Port Lincoln confirms that you are enjoying the Boston Bay area and the fishing is good by the National Park. We will look forward to more adventures.

If you do not return, Ervie, each of us wishes you the best life. Fly high. Live well and safe. Never be hungry. Come back to see us! And if for some reason you decide to use the barge as ‘home base’, I am sure no one will mind! At least not until Mum and Dad decide to take over the nest in the late summer.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam and FB pages where I took these screen captures and video clips. Thank you for letting us share in the lives of this beautiful Osprey family.

Thursday in Bird World

There were certainly tears flowing and hands clapping around the world as the identification of the juvenile Osprey that flew 350 km from its natal nest in a week was confirmed as Falky, the 2021 hatch at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. This is simply incredible and Falky has now changed the understanding of how far male Ospreys travel from their natal nest. Yes, indeed, it is a game changer for sure. Now we can start looking for Bazza, DEW, and Star with the mindset that just because no one sees them around the area of the barge, it doesn’t mean they are not out there. They could be near Adelaide or north of Eba Anchorage or even farther afield. Perhaps a South Australian contest to spot the raptors would be appropriate. Get everyone looking while, at the same time educating them to the challenges the declining number of Osprey face in Australia.

Speaking of threats to raptors, my friend ‘S’ sent me a link this morning because I have mentioned the growing concerns over Avian flu. Thank you, S. It is a great list of the threats to the birds regardless of their geographical location and a good reminder to us all. Have a read:

https://hawkwatch.org/learn/threats-to-raptors

Today, the eaglet in the Kisatchie National Forest is one week old, according to the rangers. To celebrate, Louis brought in a Razor Backed Turtle. It is a delicacy and quite the favourite of Bald Eagles.

You can just see it above Anna’s back. The temperature is 3 C (37.4 F) and dropping at the site of the nest to -2 C as that cold front moves through the region. Stay warm everyone!

That baby might like a taste of that turtle! Will Anna save it for herself??

Louis continues to stock the pantry and I am thrilled because it means there is always food! Good thing we don’t have to have the smell with the sound and visuals from the nest. Whew.

The KNF nest is just beginning to dry out after last night’s torrential rains.

Before the thunderstorms hit, Anna filled up the eaglet to the brim. As she has done for several days, Anna had the eaglet stretch its neck to get the food. All of this helps to strengthen the little one’s muscles.

Within minutes of finishing, the rains came down. Anna was a fantastic Mumbrella. She held that pose just like she was a statue.

The storm passed earlier than forecast. Anna might have been soaked but just look at that little one. It is dry and fluffy. Thank you, Anna! You are a fantastic Mum.

Yesterday, the camera zoomed in on Ervie at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. He had been fishing and is preening and drying off his feathers.

Ervie had three fish deliveries yesterday – 06:37, 07:41, and 14:02 which was a huge fish. Ervie still had a nice crop hours later!

For the fans of Jack and Diane at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, Jack delivered a fish to Diane. Here is a video clip of that offering this morning. I wonder when we should be expecting some eggs at this nest???? Fish offerings remind me that the time is drawing close. It is 22 degrees C at Jack and Diane’s nest – a nice day, not too hot.

That little eagle needs to stay under Pa Berry and Missy. The temperatures have dropped and it is 4 C or 40 F at the nest at the moment.

B15 is energetic and happy. Quite the handful! And like the eaglet at the KNF nest, it has the cutest little tail.

E19 and E20 both had good sized crops after the noon feeding on the SWFlorida nest of Harriet and M15. We can relax. All seems to be going well. It is 24 degrees C – another nice day in a Florida winter!

I wish I could say the same for Big Red and Arthur up in Ithaca. At the present time it is -8 C. There are a few flakes of snow and what was on the ground is not melting. So why is this temperature bad for Big Red and Arthur if there aren’t any eggs to worry about? It is the prey. When it gets cold, those voles, mice, chippies, squirrels, etc hunker down and go to sleep. The hawks go hungry. I wish I could deliver them a care package!

It is a good day in Bird World albeit a cold one. Send warming wishes to all of the nests. These winter storms in the US are not over yet! But the tears of joy for Falky and the implications of that distance in searching for the other birds continue to fall.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, KNF Bald Eagles, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey, Achieva Credit Union FB, and SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett.

There is never a dull moment at Port Lincoln

How many times have I said that watching the Port Lincoln Osprey lads are better than anything streaming on the telly? From hatch to today, they have not disappointed.

To recap. Bazza, the eldest, has not been seen since 9 January – 2 days ago. It could mean many things. Bazza could be off camera on the nest barge. He could be over on the old barge with Mum. He could be somewhere near to the nest barge OR Bazza could have left to find his own territory. It is interesting to note that Mum has not been seen since yesterday morning and Bazza could be with her. I did often call him ‘Mama’s Boy’. Yesterday, Falky, the middle hatch, caught what I believe is the only fish by a juvenile on camera at the nest. That was just fabulous. He was brilliant. As one of the watchers noted ‘JL’, to celebrate Falky flew a victory lap around the barge! I suspect Falky was so proud of that fish he caught he wanted everyone to see including Mum and Dad!

Ervie was ‘prime time Erv’ today. He might have been on the nest for several days and not moving too much but, there is nothing wrong with his flying and his attitude. Twice this morning Ervie engaged with Falky in what can only be described as ‘aerial dog fights’ just like you might have seen in movies or airshows about World War II. It was Ace Pilot Ervie at his best.

There are two main events with an intermission.

As you can see I cut out some of the time in between. In those minutes, you could see the shadows of the two going over the barge but, you could not see them. When they landed, before Ervie took after Falky again, they had both arrived wet so somewhere the pair of them went into the water. Good gracious. Is this really boys playing? or is this dominant Ervie deciding he wants the nest and barge all to himself?

That attitude of the third hatch wanting to take over the nest completely as the dominant bird has been seen elsewhere. Tiny Tot Tumbles at the Achieva Nest returned and even fought off adult interlopers. I clearly think that Ervie would do the same if that same instance happened.

I wonder. Will Ervie return to this barge and want it for his nest in a few years time? Only time will tell. So glad that he has a tracker on.

Ervie is not behaving like Falky is on the barge. When he sees someone he fish calls but he doesn’t appear to be willing to give up that nest to go out fishing independently – yet – since his return from his long flight a few days ago.

Here is the link to the Port Lincoln streaming cam.

I was going to bring you a report on the lack of streaming cams for raptors in Japan today but this will be delayed by a few days. I have not had time, sadly, today, to put all the strings together.

I have also not seen any news of any pips although Anna at the Kisatchie National Forest Nest looks like she is expecting something. She has been rolling the eggs and try as we might it is difficult. There is a mark on the egg but I think it is vegetation and not a pip. Perhaps later this evening.

The first egg at Berry College Eagle nest of Pa Berry and Missey is 35 days old today.

Gabby and Samson have been listening to the egg and rolling. They are getting really close to a pip watch.

R2 and R3 continue to do really well over at the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest in Miami-Dade country. Rita removed the Coot that had been on the nest and had a big meal herself. You can ‘sort of’ see the nice crop she has. The kids are well fed, no worries!

It is a wrap for today. We will wait together for those pips at Captiva, KNF, Berry College, and NEFlorida Bald Eagle nests!!!!!! Waiting is hard.

Thank you for joining me. I am delighted to have you here with me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and my video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, and the WRDC Eagle Cam.

Monday in Bird World. 10 Jan 2022

I was so very excited last evening that I could barely sleep. It really is marvellous to be able to look into the lives of wild birds without harming them – watching them from egg to fledge. What an honour it was to see Falky catch a fish off the Port Lincoln barge yesterday. As far as I am aware, it is the first time a fledgling has been seen on camera catching a fish at the nest. Here is that incredible moment again:

Several hours later, with the camera focused on Falky’s perch, the sunlight playing on the water seemed to agree that Falky was a star.

Falky had another fish at 20:26:33 that he brought onto the ropes and ate. From the background noises, it would appear that this was a delivery to the nest.

Bazza has not been seen on camera since the 9th. At that time he had a nice crop indicating that he is either catching his own fish or is being fed off camera. He could be anywhere on the barge nest and we cannot him or he may have decided he wanted to move on to find his own territory ahead of Falky and Ervie. Right now Ervie is enjoying having fish deliveries. The lads are still sleeping. It is Tuesday, January 11 in Southern Australia. Wonder what will happen today on the Port Lincoln barge?

I continue to check on the three or four Bald Eagle nests I monitor for pipping. So far, I have heard nothing but, it is entirely possible that I missed something! Which reminds me. Thank you to ‘A-M’ for sending me a comment about Falky catching the fish. I am incredibly grateful. Luckily I had been watching and seen the catch but, if I had not known…well, thank you for the alert, ‘A-M’. It was an incredible moment. Still smiling.

The Kakapo Recover Project in New Zealand reported that the non-flying parrots had started breeding on Christmas Eve. This information was posted on their website yesterday.

R1 and R2 continue to do well on the Wildlife Recovery Nest of Dade County in Florida. Ron is keeping the pantry full of fish today and both of them have been feeding the eaglets.

The two eaglets of Mitch and Harriet on the nest at the Hilton Head Island Trust in South Carolina are really growing and doing fantastic.

Just look at the full crops on those kids!

The second egg for Lena and Andy 2 at the Captiva Osprey Nest on Sanibel Island is due tomorrow.

If you ever want to recommend a Bald Eagle cam to anyone, especially a first time streaming cam viewer, you cannot do any better than Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Nest. Experienced parents – and that makes a huge difference! Cool headed. Both help one another. Everyone gets fed at Harriet’s table.

E19 and E20 are really beginning to change their feathers and are moving into the next phase of their growth period. Both are having lunch and both have nice crops. One has stopped eating and is resting on his ‘cropillow’.

Hopefully there will be some pip or hatch news from some of the Bald Eagle nests for this evening and I will continue to monitor the lads at Port Lincoln during the day.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for your alerts and also thank you for your research into raptor cameras in Japan, ‘A’. I will include that information in my next report. Much appreciated.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB Pages where I took my screen shots and my video clip: The Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Kakapo Recovery, Berry College Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Hilton Head Island Trust Eagle Cam, WRDC Bald Eagle Cam, and the Captiva Island Osprey Cam.

Oh, Falky!

Anyone watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge has felt that all three of the lads have been out fishing elsewhere. To date, as far as I know, none of the brothers – Bazza, Falky, or Ervie – have caught their own fish on camera.

Bazza has not been seen on camera today. Ervie picked up the 06:28 fish and the 10:41 fish. Falky flew over and tried to take that one from Ervie but he failed.

Falky takes off from the ropes when Dad delivers the fish to Ervie on the nest.

You can see Falky on the upper left above the nest.

Dad had better get out of the way. Falky is hungry!

Ervie secures the fish by moving it over to the rim of the nest in his beak.

At 11:30:00 Falky is watching the water closely. Have a look at what happens!

Oh, Falky was hungry and he was really enjoying that fish he caught.

I have never seen a juvenile fledgling catch their fish, not this young. This is a rare glimpse into their lives as they adjust to becoming independent. Each of them might have caught a fish off camera but this was quite incredible today.

I am hoping that Falky and Ervie will set up a fishing competition! At this very moment, Falky is on the perch looking for another fish.

That was just marvellous. Earlier in the morning a dolphin jumped close to the barge.

Another fish was delivered at 14:15:46. Here comes Dad with it to the nest. Falky sees it. Ervie wants it.

Here comes Falky!

Too late. Ervie gets it!

It has simply been a super morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia. There is more news in Bird World but it can all wait til tomorrow. This is to be relished. It is rare to see a juvenile catch a fish. Enjoy it – and it alone.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and my video clips.

Sunday in Bird World

Oh, wow. It is a bright sunny Sunday on the Canadian Prairies. There is no snow falling and the temperature dropped from that very nice -14 C at midnight to -24 C this morning. It is supposed to further drop to -29 C. When I went out to fill all of the feeders, Dyson was on top of the large suet cylinder chewing away. He took no mind of me as I worked around him until I got the camera out. Then he scurried away! The now regular 28 European Starlings were the first to arrive. They were followed by the several hundred Sparrows. The chickadee seems to find a way to manage in the midst of all of them but I have not seen Junior or Mr and Mrs Blue Jay for a couple of weeks. Little Red will wake up sometime around 14:00 and join the garden gang. When it is cold like it is today the feeders are all filled twice. Thank goodness for bulk buying!!!

Louis just gave up his incubation duties at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest. He gave us a quick glimpse of the egg. Doesn’t look like a pip yet.

Louis had his talon caught in some of the Spanish Moss and it completely covered the egg. I wonder if this is egg #2? One of them was broken by Anna when she was landing one day in December. If it is #2, then pip watch could be delayed until Tuesday.

Annie arrives at 12:00:33 and there is a nice view of the egg after the moss is cleared away. Anna is looking at the egg closely. The adults will be able to hear the eaglet inside if all is well as we near pip.

The news coming out of Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel Island is that there is no pip yet for Connie and Clive. Last night Lena 2 laid the first egg for the Captiva Osprey Nest.

Pa Berry is incubating the egg at the Berry College Eagle Nest. There is no pip there and they are expecting rain today. The weather has been terrible for this pair. There was snow last night and high winds and hail the other day. I honestly did not think the tree would survive that storm never mind Missey who was hanging on and keeping those eggs safe.

E19 and E20 are fast asleep at the SWFlorida Eagle Nest in Fort Myers. Their only job is to grow – so they eat and sleep. Adorable.

It got a little too hot under Mum but the shade is really nice! The Mumbrella.

Bald Eaglet spells ‘cute’. These two are really growing. Notice the egg tooth is almost completely gone.

R1 and R2 are ready for some lunch at the WRDC nest. It will be around 26 degrees C for these Miami-Dade eaglets today. I hope there is a nice breeze.

Here is a view of the Hilton Head Bald Eagle Nest in South Carolina. What a magnificent nest.

The two eaglets of Harriet and Mitch are in a food coma. They are doing very well. I love their fat little bottoms and tails. They scoot around pushing and moving with their wings.

Awwww. I have been watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge closely. You will recall that both Ervie and Falky had early morning fish. Then Bazza, who had a crop, decided to push Falky off the ropes. I was quite afraid for Falky but, on his third try, with a cool head, he was able to free himself from the water. It was brilliant.

Ervie decided that he was not giving up the nest. Indeed, control of the nest is all important by the dominant bird. That is how it came to be that Erive had four fish deliveries yesterday. The deliveries were at 07:08, 15:29:44, 18:05, 18:30, and at 18:40 Ervie seems to find another fish on the nest! His crop should have popped! There is clearly a reason that there is competition for the nest!!!!!!!

At 17:40, Ervie still had a crop from the 15:29 fish.

Ervie spots one of the adults coming in with a fish. It is Dad.

That was a nice fish for Ervie.

Ervie was still eating the 18;05 fish when Mum landed on the nest with a small fish. Falky flies over from the ropes to retrieve that little fish.

So there is Ervie in the back eating his fish and mantling. Mum is in the middle with the fish under her left talon. Falky has gotten turned around and is facing us.

Mum decides she wants out of there quick. Falky is still facing the wrong way. Ervie has his fish under his talons and is mantling.

Ervie decides he doesn’t like Falky on the nest and boots him off. Ervie takes both of the fish.

Now Ervie has two fish to eat! It seems like Ervie has been eating all day. There is no sharing like they did as youngsters. These are three males that will be future rivals if they are not fully already.

Ervie was selected for the sat-pak because he was believed to be the best bet for survival. I continue to say that made a perfect choice. It may feel entirely unfair but it takes confidence, creativity, and cleverness to survive it seems.

Ervie sleeping on the nest in the middle of the night.

Ervie is on the nest and Falky is on the ropes waiting for that first fish delivery. Wonder who will get it?

Other Bird News: Rafa Benjumea has reported that the recent count of Ospreys in the Sanctuaire des Balbuzards in Senegal is 161. That is excellent news. How many Bald Eagle nests and couples do you think are in the small state of New Jersey? The 2021 count shows 247 Bald Eagle Nests. Out of those, 222 were active. 296 eaglets hatched and there were 27 new Bald Eagle couples. That is quite the count! There are growing numbers of Bald Eagles being admitted to Rehab Clinics with high lead levels. A few make it while a lot perish. It is a simple fix: stop using lead in hunting and fishing equipment! If there is one thing that you can do this year to help the birds is to get on your computer and write to the politicians in your area asking them to ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment. While you are at it, you might want to ask them to ban the manufacture and sale of any type of rodenticide. We remain on pip watch for Captiva, KNF, and Berry College – and we are getting close to a pip watch for NEFlorida with Samson and Gabby.

Thank you so much for joining me today. So happy there are so many people who get joy from the birds! It is heart warming. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Hilton Head Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, WRDC Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagle Cam, and the KNF Eagle Cam.

Captiva Ospreys have their first egg and other Bird World News

Calling all Osprey fans. We have lift off. The new couple at the Captiva Osprey Nest have their first egg. Meet Lena and Andy 2. (The previous pair were also Andy and Lena).

Lena 2 laid her first egg at 10:04:08. From her actions, it appears that she could be a first time Mum from her reactions to the egg. She was very cautious which is a good thing and seemed a bit unsure about incubation at first.

Just imagine laying an egg for the first time!

The wind was really blowing. The weather station says it is 18 kph but, the gusts have to be much more than that. I have to remember that the breeze would feel good in southern Florida where the nighttime temperature is currently 24 C.

There is our proud Mum. Isn’t she lovely?

Oops. A big gust caught Lena when she was trying to incubate the egg and almost sent her flying off the nest.

Hang on, Lena!

Ahhh, nice and settled.

The nest is on the same property as the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. The land is owned by a Canadian, Lori Covert.

The first Andy and Lena laid eggs on this nest before. Sadly, the Corvids in the area come to the Osprey nests once the chicks hatch and eat them. As a result, Andy and Lena 1 did not fledge any chicks.

There is currently a discussion about having a poll to see if watchers want the cam left on if the eggs do hatch or have it turned off so that if the Crows come, we do not see what happens. The ultimate decision is, however, with the land owner.

This couple arrived early and laid their egg a month ahead of most. Hopefully that will help them with the Crows as well as any issues with the red tide that can occur in this area. Currently there is no red tide. If you would like to know the impact of the red tide, here is some very good information:

https://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Water-Quality/Sanibel-H2O-Matters/Red-Tide-Information

Oh, let’s send this young couple positive wishes. You can watch Andy and Lena 2 here:

My intention was to report -again- on the Port Lincoln lads but it was so exciting to check on this nest first and find an egg had just been laid. Oh, I sure hope they do well.

It is quite clear from happenings on the Port Lincoln Barge why Ervie and Falky don’t have enduring brotherly love for Bazza. But, before I begin, this morning both Ervie and Falky had fish delivered which they ate on camera. Ervie got the first fish from Mum at 07:08 and Falky got a fishy shortly after from Dad at 07:23:25. When I went back to look at Bazza he had a nice crop so he has eaten off camera. I expect that one of the parents made a delivery to him but, it is possible Bazza was fishing and caught it himself.

In the image below, Bazza is on the bottom right perched on the yellow and black ropes. You can see he has a crop. It looks nice and full to me.

A few minutes earlier an incident between Bazza and Falky occurred. Please watch carefully as Bazza attacks Falky shoving him into the water. You will see Falky floating in the water below the ropes. Falky will make three attempts to get out of the water.

Falky kept his cool and did not panic. He managed the situation really well. That said, it is possible that Falky might have drown. I know that I have been watching the dust ups between the three brothers but there are instances when it can go very badly. It was such a relief to see Falky flying free of the water.

Ervie remained on the nest all day. Mum delivered a small fish to him at 15:29:44. Port Lincoln provided some really nice close ups of Ervie.

He’s a lovely juvenile.

There is a rare Stellar’s Sea Eagle that is making its way South. It was up around the Atlantic coast of Canada not that long ago and bird watchers, especially those working on Life Lists were ever so excited!

I want to leave you with a smile on your face. Have you seen anything cuter today than Harriet and M15’s babies, E19 and E20? It is getting much more difficult to tell them apart! They are adorable with their clown feet and big wings. They both have crops and enjoyed the ‘mystery’ meal that Dad brought in.

We could have pips Sunday morning from Captiva and the KNF Nest. Stay posted. We are also monitoring Berry College. So much going on.

Right now there is snow falling on Missey at Barry College. My goodness she just survived a hail storm and incredible winds. Now snow.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Window to Wildlife Osprey Cam, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

So you asked about Ervie…

Ervie. It is quite easy to tell, from the time the three boys hatched, that Ervie the third born, was my favourite. I will not deny it. I look for third hatches that become the dominant bird on the nest and Ervie is certainly that.

So a question came in – did Ervie’s reservation on the nest yesterday include a later fish and a breakfish?

Last night, Ervie got a huge fish delivered to the nest. It was one of the largest I have seen there. The time was about 20:09. Ervie has been eating for about 20 minutes. If you look very carefully – sorry the sun is setting and it is difficult to see – you will see how big that fish is. Falky and Bazza on the ropes as Ervie munches his way into full Osprey heaven.

And, yes, Ervie did get the breakfish this morning. Mum delivered it around 07:08.

In the image below Ervie is on the nest and Falky is his usual spot on the corner ropes fish calling. They can see Mum flying in with the fish.

It is a kerfuffle. Everyone wants that fish.

Mum gets out of there. All three are after the fish. Bazza is hovering over Ervie and Falky.

They scramble.

Ervie, facing towards us, has the fish!

As you can see everyone wanted that fish. Falky flew in from the ropes and Bazza flew in from being off camera. If you ever wonder where Bazza is, he is usually on the barge somewhere just not on camera.

Dad delivered a fish that Falky got at 07:23:25. Falky is down in Dad’s man cave working on that fish.

Falky decides to take it to the ropes.

So Ervie and Falky have eaten. I wonder if Bazza is being fed elsewhere??? is he also fishing? Mum used to favour him and there is no reason to believe that they only deliver to the nest.

So, yes, Ervie got his full reservations worth. Now if the rota is working correctly, Falky will be on the nest tonight. We wait.

Thank you for joining me and thank you for sending me your questions and comments. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Sadness on the WRDC Nest and other Bird World News

Yesterday we celebrated the arrival of R3 on the WRDC in Miami-Dade County. The third hatch of Ron and Rita did not make it and died. It would be seriously impossible to tell what caused the death. The nest cup is so deep and narrow that it might have just been suffocated. We will not know for sure. Rita removed its body from the nest cup at 11:18 this morning and placed it along the rim of the nest at 06:00. It will probably become part of the nest unless Rita or Ron remove the body completely from the nest.

R1 and R2 are healthy and growing. Let us celebrate that! As you know I had hoped that R3 would not even hatch. It is always better to have strong healthy eaglets, fewer of them, than more not so healthy.

It is also wonderful that the adults continue to work on this nest. Spanish Moss is coming in to fill up the nest cup and make everything soft while branches are going up on the side. I was a little worried about these curious Rs climbing on what appears to be chicken wire like construction. Yes, just another worried auntie!!!!

Rita looking lovingly at her two surviving chicks, R1 and R2 after R3 passed.

At the time, I actually thought that R2 might have been dying but it was only in a deep food coma. Seriously, I almost panicked. Thankfully, both chicks are fine as you can see from the time stamp above. They have been eating a green parrot and fish.

As the day progresses, the heat comes on the nest. Rita is busy helping R1 and R2 stay cool. As we know from the heat wave going through the Pacific Northwest in May and June of 2021, heat can cause bird deaths. In Canada, many jumped from their nests to avoid being ‘cooked to death’ during that heat wave. It is currently 27 degrees C in Miami with a chance or rain. These two little ones are unable to regulate their own temperatures so the parents must help them.

Here is the link to the WRDC nest:

Anna and Louis are approaching pip watch and official hatch watch (is there a difference?) tomorrow. The KNF Wildlife staff posted this notice on their FB page this morning. Steve and Cody, the Rangers who maintain the cam, appear to be super excited. So am I!

Here is the link to the KNF nest. There is one egg for Anna and Louis as the second egg was broken by accident when Anna landed one day. They fledged their first chick last year, Kisatchie. Kistachie was the first eaglet to hatch at this nest since 2013. Incredible. It is a beautiful nest close to Kincaid Lake in central Louisiana and belonged to an elderly Bald Eagle couple that quit using it in 2013. Louis and Anna arrived and then last breeding season returned to take over the nest and raise their family. Louis is an excellent fisher! No shortage of fish. Indeed, last year this pair could have started a fish exporting business to other eagle nests as they had way too much food!

Here is the link to their camera:

Well, gosh. There are going to be a lot of little eaglets hatching in the next week. I could not even begin to count them but we have Captiva and, of course, my faves, Samson and Gabby up at NEFlorida.

It is windy and there are showers near the Jacksonville nest of Samson and Gabby today. It is currently 15 degrees C – wow. That is a whole lot cooler than Miami or Fort Myers who are both reporting high 20s today.

Here is the link to Gabby and Samson up at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. They are a great couple to watch. I put them and Harriet and M15 right up at the top of the ‘do not worry’ list. For those of you that do not know, this was the adult male, Samson’s, natal nest. He has great DNA. His parents were Romeo and Juliet. Samson hatched 23 December 2013. He returned with his mate Gabby after the 2018-19 sadness with his parents. The American Eagle Federation gives this account, “However, the 2018-2019 season was very different, as several large mature eagles disturbed the peace and tranquility of this nest. The expectations of the season ended in heartache as Juliet returned to the nest with an injury and was subsequently driven from the nest by a rival just days before the eggs were to hatch, leaving Romeo to do the work of two. When an egg hatched on Christmas Day 2018, a female eagle following Romeo to the nest swooped down and took the hatchling. This was not A2.” The A2 they are referring to is Gabby who later partnered with Samson. Romeo and Juliet raised 19 eaglets to fledge in 10 seasons.

Gabby and Samson raised two their first season, Jules and Romey. They fledged Legacy – one spectacular juvenile – last breeding season. I am really looking forward to this year. Can you tell?

It is hot on the SWFlorida nest of Harriet and M15 today. All I can say about E19 and E20 is that they are absolutely precious. Harriet is keeping them cool.

You can see that Harriet is shading them but the two eaglets have moved into shady patches on the nest, too. They are older than Ron and Rita’s chicks and are moving quickly around this large nest.

Down in Port Lincoln, Australia, there are wee showers. It looks like Falky did have the nest reservation. He spent the afternoon, all evening on the nest, and he will be there, hopefully, to get the morning breakfast fish in about 3 or 4 hours.

Falky and Ervie had quite the dust up yesterday. Falky might have thought Ervie was not going to honour his reservation departure time!

Falky decided to lay down duckling style late in the day.

It is hard to see him but he is on the nest, nearly in the same spot. For some reason they all stand or sleep there. Must be something magical about that space.

Just look at this beautiful fledgling. Se McGregor posted a recent image taken of WBSE 27 by the National Parks and Wildlife Services of NSW. Gorgeous. She is doing well. Let us all send warm wishes for continual improvement. Many rehabbers believe it takes two years to fully train an eagle that has not been trained by its parents. I wonder how long they will keep 27? I hope a long time til this bird is confident and strong.

Annie and Grinnell continue to bond and have total control of their territory. Cal Falcons posted an image of Grinnell with a large crop on the ledge on National Bird Day.

Other than the death of R3, things in Bird World are looking pretty good at noon on a Friday. It is -27 C on the Canadian Prairies dropping to -32 later today. That is exactly 54 degrees C different than the temperatures Harriet and M15 and Ron and Rita are experiencing in southern Florida today. That is a 129.5 degrees F difference! Whew. Temperature extremes.

Thank you for joining me this morning. I will continue to monitor the reservation rota at Port Lincoln! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: WRDC Eagle Nest, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, KNF Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Center FB Page, and Cal Falcons Twitter Page.

Ervie, ‘the main man’

I cannot possibly tell you what joy – sheer joy – the Port Lincoln Osprey nest has brought to me this year. There is a huge lesson in that statement. The biggest one is: Do not let something that happened on a bird nest in a previous breeding season deter you from returning to that nest. There are so many different factors that impact a season from the time the eggs are laid to the chicks fledging.

These factors can be as simple as the weather – and we all know that weather is not simple. Chicks can die on a nest from cold damp or extreme heat. They can also thrive, of course. A parent might be injured or die. This year Aran, the male at the Glaslyn Nest in Wales, was injured in a territorial battle and could not provide fish for his family. At the same time, the Glaslyn Valley was hit by a bitter wet storm that lasted days on end. The three chicks of Aran and Mrs G perished. Aran and Mrs G survived through the generous donations of fish on a feeding table. Some eggs are thin and break easily due to lingering DDT in the area even after it has been banned for 50 years. Food supplies can shift. Predators. The list is long including the gender of the siblings on the nest and the number of days between hatches.

I disliked Solly so much last year after Tapps died of starvation that – well, it was hard for me to return to the Port Lincoln nest. The history of the nest told me that the likelihood for another siblicide event was acute. Many of you felt the same. My need to witness and try to understand the survival of third hatches, ultimately, compelled me to return to the PLO barge.

What then are the adjectives to describe the 2021-22 Osprey breeding season at the Port Lincoln barge? Beautiful. Serene. Delightful. Joyous. Come on, you can help me! It certainly was enlightening and instructive. It will also be unforgettable for all the right reasons.

It is possible to do a full scale analysis of weather, wind, fish deliveries, etc. Port Lincoln keeps all of the information on a myriad of events on the nest and everything could be fed into a computer. A really quick glance of fish deliveries tells me that this year is pretty comparable to last year. Certainly Mum and Dad didn’t change their behaviour. Is it possible then that it comes down to the time between hatches and the gender of the nestlings? Does it have anything to do with how the third hatch presents itself to the oldest? I don’t yet know the answer to those questions but, I am hoping to have more insights after another decade for collecting data. For now, I just want to celebrate the achievement of this nest. Three fledges! A first for them. Well done.

Let’s go back in time – almost four months ago. This video clip is a feeding from 16 September.

This feeding is 6 November, not quite two months later.

This year, on the Port Lincoln Barge, Ervie is the ‘main man’. Hatched 51 hours after Bazza, the oldest, Ervie did not have the challenges that many third hatches have. He was not that smaller than Bazza after several days of eating. We still worried because Bazza was picking on Ervie. Ervie, however, didn’t take it. He refused to be submissive or lose his place at Mum’s beak. Indeed, he insisted that he was the first fed!!!!!! Talk about an attitude. I openly admit to adoring this bird for his spunk, his confidence, and determination. Yes, I really do believe that there are some birds that are more confident than others – just like humans.

When it came time to measure, band, and put a satellite pack on the back of one of the three, everyone believed that it would go to a male bird so that the data could be compared to that provided by Solly’s tracking. Did they think there were three males on the nest? I wonder. Someone must have decided then that if all three were male, the biggest would get the tracker. That morning Ervie weighed the most. Ervie, who came from third to be the dominant bird on the nest, got the sat-pak. It really was an inspired choice.

A few days ago we worried because Ervie spent the night and the next day on the nest with his head held down. Granted it was very windy and having noticed the others doing this, that behaviour was not worrisome. But Ervie – all night and day on the nest??!! I have now joked about there being a kind of rota chart for nest time.

For a couple of days after Ervie spent all that time on the nest we didn’t really see him much. He flew in around 13:00 yesterday and, typically, with his arrival, chaos ensued. Ervie enjoyed the last fish of the day before spending the night sleeping on the nest.

When Ervie woke up in the morning, Dad delivered the breakfast fish – and because Ervie was on the nest, he got it. It was 07:02. Falky would have liked it but he stayed on the ropes.

Ervie also got the 09:36:52 fish delivery from Dad. This time Falky was again on the ropes but this time, Falky flew to the nest to try and get the fish. He failed. This means that Ervie had the last three fish deliveries!

At 11:00 both Ervie and Falky are on the nest. Falky finds a fish tail left from Ervie. He grabs it and flies over to the ropes to have a snack.

At 11:12:56 Falky flies over to the nest to join Ervie. Falky probably wants to see if Ervie left any more tasty tidbits.

The arrival of Falky on the nest does not sit right with Ervie and there is a dust up.

Ervie decides he has had enough and leaves. After all, he has had 3 of the last 3 fish deliveries.

Falky gets the 12:45 fish delivery from Dad.

Falky is on the left and he has relieved Dad of the fish. Dad is on the right. You can see that the fledglings are as large as their parents.

Two hours later, Falky remains on the nest. I wonder if this is his reservation day??? We wait to see.

Will Falky occupy the nest and get the next three or four deliveries? Will he spend the night on the nest? We have to wait and see.

I hope that each of you really learned a lot from this Osprey nest and that all of you will tell a friend to watch with you next year.

The Fosters do a great job with The Port Lincoln Osprey Project. They have successfully advocated for satellite trackers for the birds and we have learned much from Solly’s travels. Now we have the opportunity to learn from Ervie. The Fosters also advocate for safety measures for the birds including covers for the hydro poles. Hopefully they will post how that is going on their FB page. I am very grateful to them for this streaming cam and for their FB page. That is where I took today’s screen captures and video clips.

Thanks for joining me! Take care everyone. See you soon.