12 September 2022
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.
I had a lovely time at an industrial park in the city again Sunday. There was the Great Egrets, the Great Blue Heron, the fast little shorebirds, some ducks, some gulls, and a lot of Canada Geese. As the Egret was flying away, a couple stopped on their bicycles and chatted with me for a long time. After they made me feel rather good by saying they watched and noticed that I did not get near the birds but rather used that long lens on my camera so as not to frighten them. (I was 250 ft away). I was very humbled. I have seen people find out there is an owl and take their children running and practically land on the raptor or people using fishing poles with line and a mouse to try and get that perfect ‘shot’ of the owl flying directly at the camera person. To me, those are not ‘birders’ they are a special irritating ilk of photographer. At any rate the couple told me about another lake not that far from where we were standing and we talked about how the city planners required the area to keep 30% of the land for nature. It is certainly a beautiful green area in the middle of gravel pits!!!!!!! Yes, I am serious. I also got a tip about a cemetery with a Cooper’s Hawk family. That was so nice.
Decades ago I looked at the world through the eyes of a ‘human’. Oh, I can hear you laughing, I haven’t turned into a hawk yet!!!!!!! Or have I? At that time I considered golf courses and cemeteries as wastes of precious land — and that was a time when I was researching British cemeteries on the Indian subcontinent! Today, the view from my eyes is very different. As humans eat up all the land they can with bigger houses and ever expanding amounts of land, the golf courses and the cemeteries are places of refuge for the birds and the raptors. The geese fill the newer cemeteries that only allow flat markers while the Crows and hawks make their homes in the older ones with the mausoleums and large head stones. If I could increase the number of golf courses and cemeteries I would! And that is a 180 degree change in thinking. (Of course the golf courses should not be using rodenticide!)
From the Mailbox:
‘L’ writes: I don’t see the male at Melbourne bringing prey to the female. Do you know what is happening?”
What a really good question because we often see Xavier bring prey directly into the scrape box at Orange for Diamond. It seems, at Melbourne, that the male has hidey-holes on the other ledges and behind some of the architectural features of the building. He will have a stash of food there for the Mum and for her to feed the eyases. You might have seen Xavier put prey in the corner of the scrape at Orange. Rest assured, she is eating and the amount of time she spends incubating, she is not catching it but the little male is doing the hunting. He is also a very good hunter from previous years – if prey stocks remain good.
Just a note about Melbourne. ‘A’ wrote and asked what was on the nest fluttering around and then answered her question. A white plastic bag had made its way up to that scrape! That is so worrisome. The Mum got it off by tearing it but oh, we humans need to pick up after ourselves.
Making the News:
There is a webinar today on migration. I just saw this posting on the Cornell Chatters FB page. Apologies for not knowing about it earlier. I hope that they will post the webinar on YouTube after. Fingers crossed.
Six more Golden Eagles were released in the UK as part of a reintroduction programme.
The bird photographers of the year have been announced….It is so sad to see that some of the images of the urban birds are around human garbage but that is their reality. Indeed, many of the European storks – and those Adjutant Storks in India – spend their time in the landfills trying to find food. I was chatting with my granddaughter this afternoon about the need for dead but not diseased animals to be taken to a specific spot for all the birds that eat carrion. It would be a tremendous help. Instead of running big incinerators using energy and pouring ash into the air, the animals like Bald Eagles, Crows, and Vultures would have food.
The winners are shown in this article of The Guardian:
This beautiful Golden Eagle gets a second chance at life because of the Audubon Centre and now she has a new home!
Thanks to ‘J’ I was able to go and see the Magpies attacking the two little sea eaglets on the streaming cam. Thank you ‘J’.
A number of years ago I was mortified when I saw the Magpies and Currawongs swooping at the little sea eaglets. My heart sank to my feet and my palms got sweaty. It is a difficult thing to watch for the very first time… maybe even the second. Far more enjoyable are the visits of the Rainbow Lorikeets! I did not see Lady or Dad to the rescue today…another learning experience for these two eaglets who are now in their 8th week. Soon they will have to contend with these aggressive little birds alone – even without a sibling – so best they get used to them and honk those wonderful horns of theirs.
The Sea Eaglets will be the top dogs wherever they take up residence like Lady and Dad are in the Sydney Olympic Forest. For the remainder of their lives, the smaller birds will be annoying – sometimes even downright dangerous – because they have nests with babies, too and they don’t want the big Apex Predators around them. We see it with the Mockingbirds attacking Big Red all the time. The older the eaglets get the more they will ignore the smaller birds but, for now, this is good training. I caught it on video for you.
The Sea Eaglets were fed early. You sure miss those hourly feedings when Lady was giving those wee ones little bites. Now it is so long between meals.
The adults were in the nest tree looking about for pesky intruders around mid-day.
Cornell has been busy posting images of L4 since her release from care as well as other members of the family including L2. It is so good to see the four of them – Big Red, Arthur, L2 and L4 out in the wild doing what hawks do. Cornell has said that it is working to improve the areas where the hawks might get injured – let us hope they get to it fast!
The two posts below are from Cornell’s Twitter feed.
They were not together long-Idris and Padarn. The moment reminded me of Iris and Louis on the Hellgate Canyon Osprey platform in Missoula, Montana a week plus ago. There was Idris with his daughter, Padarn, on the Dyfi nest in Wales. Idris wasn’t looking straight at the camera but Padarn was – and it gave me that same feeling of ‘goodbye’ like that eerie image of Iris and Louis. Stunning image of father and daughter – Padarn looks even more like Mrs G with ‘that look’.
BTW. Some of you will remember a question about which gender migrates first. I had used the Dyfi statistics which were colour-coded. My good source tells me that the first hatch, Pedran (2022), who was identified as a female at the time of ringing, is now deemed to be a male by Dyfi. Is this from mouth swabs? or because Pedran migrated so much earlier than Paith and well…Padarn is still with us, bless her heart. She is one healthy and robust Osprey who is well taken care of by Dad. Just look at those legs – short and stout.
Blue 497 is still at Glaslyn with Aran. It started raining last night and looks a little miserable this morning, too!
Something has caused Xavier and Diamond to leave the eggs and check on their territory at Orange.
There was a lot of alarming and looking at the sky but nothing could be seen on the ledge or tower cams. There is work, however, going on somewhere near the tower. You can hear the machinery in the background.
It was, however a great day for Xavier to have some time with the eggs. He had a two hour incubation!!!!!!!! Couldn’t hardly believe it.
Alden and Annie have been bonding and doing their little kisses in the scrape box today. Oh, isn’t it fantastic to get to see them together outside of breeding season?!
At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum had had enough of that pesky piece of pine bark and was moving it. While she did, we got a good glimpse at those precious eggs that are due to hatch at the end of the week. Can you believe it? We are finally getting there!!!!!!!
It could be my imagination but things seem to be settling down a bit at the Melbourne Collins Street scrape. The new Mum does not give Dad a lot of incubation time which he has really enjoyed in previous years. So far today, though – and it is only mid-day (1335), the eggs have not been left for long, long periods of time (like hours).
What a gorgeous view!
It appears that Sarafina is on her journey. It is unclear if Louis has left Loch Arkaig. He might well be eating and resting up after feeding his daughter well into September!
Checking on Karl II’s Black Stork family. Waba remains in Ukraine in an area around Manachyn.
He is fishing along the river bank.
Bonus remains in Belarus around the Priyapat River.
There is no transmission signal for Karl II. In the Kherzon region some of the villages are only now getting their cell service restored. No transmission that I can see for Kaia either.
From the Bookshelf:
Jonathan Elphick is no stranger to birds. Just Goggle his name and you will find a long list of titles by this wildlife writer and ornithologist. Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour is the first title of his on my bookshelf and what a great addition it is. The book begins with a look at birds and their relationship to dinosaurs and moves quickly to bird anatomy. Anything and everything you could possible ever want to know is in this detailed chapter. The chapter on ‘flight’ was one of my favourites with its intricate drawings of the wings with the feathers labelled as to their correct names. How different birds fly, their speed, discussions on wing loading are all there along with hovering and energy saving flight. Further chapters examine food and feeding, birds as a group or society, breeding, where birds live and migration. It is, in effect, an excellent reference book filled to the brim with the most beautiful imagery. I was particularly interested in the discussion on birds and humans and was not disappointed. Elphick starts with the earliest assaults by us on birds and continues to the problems of today including human overpopulation and climate change. There are also surprises – I learned a myriad of things from each page. We listen to the duets by the White-bellied Sea Eagles at Sydney but did you know that there are actually 44 distinct bird families that sing duets? The Eastern Whipbird and the Common Swift are two. There is an excellent index and a good bibliography. Highly recommended if you are looking for a comprehensive book on all aspects of our feathered friends — including some of their quirky behaviours.
From the Archives:
Everyone fell in love with me. I have the loudest voice of any eyas! I kept the researcher fully fit walking up the stairs to keep putting me back in my scrape box. Who am I? Who are my parents? and where is my scrape box?
I have seen no recent updates on Victor or tracking information on Ervie.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, The Guardian, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Hawks, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cal Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender.
I am Izzi. My parents are Xavier and Diamond and I hatched in 2020. First I fludged – fell over the edge when I was sleeping. Cilla Kinross climbed the 170 stairs to put me back in my scrape. Then I fledged but hit a window and went to rehab and was taken back up the 170 stairs by Cilla Kinross. Finally, I fledged! But Mum and Dad couldn’t get rid of me. Finally as the 2021 season approached, Diamond blocked my way into the scrape which is on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Aren’t I the cutest little falcon you have ever seen?