It’s not all about Raptors…

19 October 2020

Hello Everyone,

The first feeding at Port Lincoln was a good one, save for Mum. She has two big osplets that could sit and eat fish all day. It went well. Smiling. And it is warming up on the Canadian Prairies. It is 11 degrees. Tomorrow is going to be beautiful. It will be a good day to get outside!

In the Mailbox:

‘D’ writes:  You often mention some of the visitors to your garden. Today the squirrels were included again. I’m interested to read that you have greys & reds visiting. As you know, the greys in the UK are a threat to the reds, I wondered are yours a different species?

A Eurasian Red Squirrel in the Scottish Cairngorms. Photo by Dani Connor Wild.

I did not know the answer to ‘D’s question right away although I knew that Little Red looked different than the Red Squirrels in Sweden and the UK that Danni Connor photographs. First, the Grey Squirrel is native to North America. It was introduced by the aristocrats of Victorian England as an ornamental species. It is very invasive and there are currently issues with it and the native Red Squirrel in the UK. In my garden, Dyson is the matriarch of all the grey squirrels. She has been visiting for several days now along with her babies from the summer. One of the young ones prefers the shelled peanuts and will spend hours eating on the deck in the warm sunshine. Dyson will eat anything – as all of you know – but she much prefers the solid seed cylinders with the nuts and cranberries.

There are 3 species of Red Squirrel: the North America species is the one that lives in my garden in Canada. It has no ear tufts and has a single cache of winter food. Previously, Little Red used the garden shed but now he stores his nuts in the wood box. Eurasian Red Squirrels live in the UK, Europe, and parts of Asia. They have tufted ears and spread their cache to multiple sites. Gosh, I loved that question. It made me look closer at my own garden animals and it reminded me of Dani Connor Wild. I wonder what she has been up to?

Well, Dani has made a trip to Scotland to see rewilding and reintroduction measures. Wow. So today, it isn’t all about raptors…but imagine, in these Scottish Highlands, in the spring, the call of the Osprey!

Making News:

Arthur was caught on camera this morning at the Cornell Red Tail Hawk nest on the Fernow Light Tower. He delivered a single stick at 083726. It sounds like Big Red has chosen which nest to use for the 2023 breeding season. Arthur looks good!

Here he comes!

I am so fascinated at how they fly so fast, talons first and pull back their wings so they are not ripped off as they go through the metal bars.

Well, hello Arthur. It is really nice to see you!

The streaming cam at the nest of Southwest Florida Eagles Harriet and M15 is now operational again after Hurricane Ian. You can watch the nest building progress.

Australian Nests:

It is sometimes not easy watching raptor nests. We love the little gaffers and take them to our hearts. Most of the time all is well but, there are times when it isn’t and we lose one. Many of us still want to honour Little Bob in some way. We are discovering more and more about the legislation and who is responsible for permissions. When ways to help ask for intervention permissions are discovered, I will certainly let everyone know.

This was the day that the beaking began – 26 September. Little Bob was so tiny next to Big.

This is a video put together by Bart who is one of the moderators on the PLO chat that is beside the streaming cam. Difficult but best to watch to the very end.

I had so hoped that Big would settle and let peace reign on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. That happened until it didn’t. Let’s hope that today is different.

The first fish of the day, a whole fish, arrived on the nest at 063037. This is early and very promising. So far Middle has been able to have bites without being beaked…although he is visibly cautious of Big. Middle is the furthest away from the screen.

Oh, it’s a nice big fish. Middle is so hungry and he is getting so good at the old snatch and grab. Every once in awhile, if you watch it live, you will see Middle jerk over to the right with its head and shoulders – trying to get his head out of the way if Big goes for him. But so far, so good. Big has ‘leaned over’ to try and remind Middle she’s the boss but Middle is so hungry he is doing a great job at snatch and grab. Hopefully Big will be friendly all day long but she tends to get grumpy…let’s just blow the grump out of her!

Now Mum needs some fish. That was a great feeding. Back and forth between the two. Middle finished with a really nice crop. So happy. The feeding was over at 064511. Fifteen minutes to vacuum down a big fish with its head. Gracious.

Pigeons are arriving early in Melbourne. Mum waddled down the ledge with the breakfast offering before the lights in the CBD had come on. It was 05:42:33. That pigeon was finished and Mum flew off with a couple of bones at 06:06:22. Gosh, just stare at the eyases with their thick white down and the feathers beginning to appear. Many are beginning to look like that cartoon hero The Hulk or maybe a member of the Australian Rugby team as they try to stand and use their wings for balance.

Just look. One trying desperately to stand and the other all fluffy with a nice tail. They are changing before our eyes. The thermal down will be beneath their feathers when they finish getting their plumage before fledge.

Everyone looked like they were full.

At Orange, the kids are awake. Diamond has been restless and Rubus is starving! No surprise there. It is shocking how much prey that little one can hold. And here I must admit something. I think that Rubus is one of the cutest eyases I have ever seen. He is such a character. They are waiting for breakfast to arrive.

Xavier flew to the ledge with a freshly caught unplucked Starling at 055658. The kids got a lesson in plucking. Rubus was so excited to see prey that the little gaffer was happy to have a mouth full of feathers.

Xavier was visually delighted that Diamond was not in the scrape and he got a chance to feed Rubus and Indigo.

It is 1536 on the Canadian Prairies. The sky is cloudy but it is warming up. The Juncos are busy eating Millet off the red garden carpet, their favourite. What a nice way to close the blog with the garden birds happy and all the chicks in the Australian nests fed. It is such a relief that Middle got a good feed this morning first thing.

Thank you so much for being with me. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that made up my screen captures: Dani Connor Wild, SWFlorida Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, Cornell Bird Lab, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Early Friday in Bird World

7 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Two Juncos, 1 Grey Squirrel – one of Dyson’s little ones – and a single Blue Jay are up and feeding this morning. It is -2 degrees C. It is now time to seriously begin finding the puffer coat, the Alpaca boot socks and scarf! The Anorak is no longer enough for a walk at the nature centre! Burrrrrrr.

This is also the beginning of the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. The second Monday in October marks the end of the harvest and it is the fields with the grain left from the Combine Harvesters and Reapers that feed all the Canada and Cackling geese, Sandhill Cranes, and all the other birds landing in them during migration.

Making News:

Lori Covert, the owner of the property where the Captiva Osprey platform and Bald Eagle nest are put out an announcement for everyone today.

Harriet and M15’s rebuilding efforts continue to make the news in Fort Myers. The eagles are busy and they are inspiring everyone to move forward! I love how all of the raptors live in the moment. It is truly special to see them surviving the hurricane, checking the nest, deciding what to do, and then gathering up the materials to rebuild.

The correlation between factory farming and bird flu is being discussed more openly.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/06/bird-flu-an-urgent-warning-to-move-away-from-factory-farming

The article above comes from the most recent publication by Thijs Kuiken in Science.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf0956

We need to really examine our relationship with these industrial farming methods and what this means.

Nest News:

Oh, it is difficult to feed a much smaller eyas that cannot yet focus than it is an older one. That said, the wee one at Orange did get some nice bites around 18:34 at Orange. Soon its eyes will focus better and then, s/he should be able to position themselves better for Xavier and Diamond’s beaks.

There is a video of this feeding overlaid with a super interview with Dr Cilla Kinross, leader of the research project at Charles Sturt University at Orange. It is 10 minutes long and if you don’t have the time to sit and watch. Cilla Kinross has a great sense of humour – the water tower being dubbed the ‘Concrete Hilton’.

Cilla does mention how late the little one hatched and that it will be fed after the first one. Most of us are used to the falcons and hawks hatching close together and all of them making a circle of beaks reaching up for food with no prey competition. The issue is the height of the smaller one. Kinross says that Diamond and Xavier will feed the ‘strongest’ chick in this instance first. She also discusses the ability of Xavier to hunt in the horrific weather that Orange is having. She also discusses why it is important to study the falcons (and animals). Really, it is a good interview. Have a listen!

One single note. At the nest of Big Red and Arthur, L4 was tiny. That little one scrambled to the front of the line to get food with no fear of the others. In the end, L4 was the first fledgling to catch prey and, it is L4 that continues to reside on the territory of its parents on Cornell University. L4 turned out to be, perhaps, the strongest of the four eyases.

The weather in the Sydney Olympic Forest is dreary. The rain will continue until Sunday, and it is not such a great time for SE30 to decide to fly. SE29 and the adults continue to encourage SE30 higher on the branches. Not a lot of large prey is coming on the nest. SE30 got a small fish. There was no quibbling…is SE29 eating off nest? That is my question of the morning.

‘A’ wrote and mentioned that the Currawongs have become a problem around the nest of late. That is another good reason for SE30 to just sit and wait for the nice weather to come before venturing out into the forest with its first flight.

Oh, if Cilla Kinross wishes the falcons would eat more Noisy Miners, I wish the sea eagles would go after those Currawong! Have a banquet!!

SE29 is sleeping on the branch. Every once in a while, it moves, and you can see it – again above 30 as if the sibling is looking after and protecting the other sibling. What a pair these two have been this year. So fantastic to watch.

The parents at the Melbourne scrape are doing fabulous. I simply cannot say enough about how these two have come together as first-time parents (OK. parent and stepparent but I will call them parents) and are doing one fantastic job. The weather is not good in Melbourne either. You can always hear the faint call of the male telling the female of a fresh prey drop. (They also have a stash somewhere, like Xavier and Diamond, for the days when hunting is not good. Mum rushes off, has a break and a meal. Sometimes Dad feeds the four, sometimes Mum. Dad is pretty good at getting those bites in those beaks – and now, it seems the wee one is seeing better and holding that wobbly head upright. They are called Bobs – not in reference to the male name Bob or Robert but, because their heads ‘bob’.

Yesterday there were three feedings at Melbourne before noon. Several before light’s out.

Mum has been notified of a prey delivery and off she goes.

Every chick will be fed.

Look at that wonderful rainbow!

The four eyases are too big for Dad to brood! And even Mum is now having some difficulty.

When the 16:42 fish arrives on the nest on the Port Lincoln barge, all three osplets still have crops from earlier feedings. Little Bob managed well with getting himself up in the line in a position where he could get bites including stealing a few from Big Bob like he has done the past couple of days. At bedtime, all three were full – and that is wonderful. Today it will be partly cloudy in Port Lincoln, no rain predicted with temperatures ranging from 14 to 8 degrees C. The windspeed will be 16kph.

Little Bob has the same problem as the wee one at Orange. His neck is not long enough so eating position is key right now.

A nice fish arrives – big enough to feed everyone including Mum.

Mum tries her best to cover her fast growing family.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Lori Covert and Window to Wildlife, WINK News Fort Myers, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Early Sunday in Bird World

11 September 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that you had a lovely Saturday – and welcome to Sunday!

How many of you have used eBird ID? I would love to hear from you. I was so hopeful in finding an ID for the waterfowl below but, Merlin ID said they were Crows. Is Merlin serious?

After consulting many books and looking and looking at these birds, they are juvenile American Coots.

Every nook and cranny might just have a duck or two at our nature centre! Only when someone walks by on the boardwalk do they come out of hiding – sometimes.

The reeds are so tall and thick and abundant. They are making excellent hiding places for the ducks, the Coots, and the geese. You can see that some of the foliage is turning colour. Autumn is upon us. Our temperature dropped to 7 degrees C Saturday evening. The coolest it has been in a long time.

This one scurried out of the reeds.

This Mallard was feeding near to where I saw the baby duck the other day. I looked and looked and could not find the wee one today. Hopefully I will spot it sunning itself in the next couple of days.

There are geese everywhere.

This little fella was flitting around the trees. It looks like a juvenile Least Flycatcher with its dark pointed beak and the white circle around the eye. The wings should show two white bars. They do not just feed on flies – all insects and flies are welcome.

This female Downy Woodpecker was working very hard to try and get some peanut pieces out of this feeder! She had them all to herself!

Making News:

Ospreys are making the news in the UK as re-introduction efforts continue.

NZ vets see huge rise in storm weary sea birds arriving at their clinics.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/300676591/massey-vets-see-rise-in-sick-and-exhausted-stormblown-seabirds-this-winter?fbclid=IwAR2ko10AwxyY4RfvoxYNR6XxOggK9nfKIYZMvMoqGQK0XQwDykT4L6o-dYQ

The Dyfi Osprey Project announced they would be shutting off the live streaming cam and chat today at 8pm nest time BUT they have changed their mind and will leave it on until Padarn and Idris are gone from the nest.

A group of White Storks escaped from a zoo and went to the beach – they were rescued.

https://www.birdguides.com/news/white-stork-flock-rescued-from-devon-beach/?fbclid=IwAR21k3ssMsNc-c3771J1QFVNznkM93j00-DIjfo20z4uHGrIiywLaGTbQlA

Nest News:

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are walking stronger and working their wings – just like they are supposed to be doing right now. It is nice when they turn back to the centre of the nest with all that jumping. Your heart can fall out if they get near the edge!

Lunch arrives for these two hungry eaglets.

Padarn is still on the Dyfi nest keeping Idris busy bringing in some fish. She is breaking records everywhere in the UK for the longest lingering female Osprey (or any Osprey). She hatched on the 26th of May. She is now 108 days old. How many days will she stay on the nest?

Enjoy this beautiful gal.

Blue 497 remains at the Glaslyn nest also. Aran continues to bring in nice fish – the boys and Mrs G have left the area.

Let’s go back to Australia. That is where the action is!

The new female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is sure not giving the cute little male much time on those eggs this year! Perhaps she doesn’t know too or maybe she is like Diamond and reluctant at times. Hopefully it will all work out with a chick or two.

At Port Lincoln, it is less than a week til hatch watch!!!!!!!!

L4 seems to be enjoying being back on the Cornell Campus after 5 weeks in the rehab centre. It is lovely to see her flying so strong and doing her own hunting. Suzanne Arnold Horning caught her this morning looking out on the territory. L4 has a lovely necklace, just like her Mum, Big Red.

Migration News:

Loch Arkaig appears to be empty with Sarafina on her way to the south for her migration.

News for Karl II’s family: Karl II has not sent any tracker information since 4 September. He is in an active war zone near Kherzon, Ukraine. It is not expected that we will hear any reports form Karl II for 5-6 weeks form that date as per his normal behaviour and time staying at this location during past migrations.

Waba is still in Ukraine.

Kaia is still in the Desna River area of Ukraine.

Bonus remains in the Prypjat River area of Belarus.

From the Archive:

Who is the eaglet? Gold stars if you can name the nest and the parents! Hint: This was the natal nest of the eaglet’s dad.

The eaglet grew up into this beauty.

There is not a lot going on in Bird World. We are seeing migratory birds moving throughout the UK some landing on nests for a rest. There are still Ospreys at Dyfi but all of the other birds from the streaming cams seem to be gone now. Incubation continues at three of the Australian nests. Hatch watch is coming up for Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Some of the Bald Eagles are returning to their nests in the southern US. Avian Flu is still about as owners of factory poultry farms continue to cull birds. The latest was 3 million.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope all of you are well and that you got a chance to see the beautiful harvest moon last night. The skies cleared on the Canadian Prairies just in time to enjoy it rising above the tree tops.

See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, photographs, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: sea eagles@Birdlife Australia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Tim Mackrill, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Looduskalender, NEFL-AEF.


Answer to From the Archive: The nest is the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest that once belonged to Romeo and Juliet and passed on to their son, Samson. Samson and his mate Gabrielle (Gabby) had one hatch in 2020. The eaglet’s name was Legacy and she was a beauty.

Updates on the Ls, Red Kite shot in Epping Forest and more news in Bird World

8 September 2022

Oh, good morning to you! I hope that your week has been a really good one. I see changes…in the colour of the vines growing up the hydro poles which are now turning a beautiful burgundy and the number of children going down the sidewalks in the morning and afternoon with their backpacks. Truly summer has just about come to an end although the official day for the beginning of autumn is a couple of weeks away. The temperatures are still in the mid-20s C and I am not ready to box up the linen just yet.

It was a gorgeous evening with a nice crisp breeze. The sun was setting and it looked like a Monet painting as it reflected on the pond where the ducks and geese were gathering. To my surprise there were a pair of Loons and about 8 Greater Yellowlegs punching in the soft mud at the edge of the pond for a meal with those long bills.

A pair of Loons
Greater Yellowlegs
A couple of American Coots in with the other water fowl

It is always good to get outside if you can. I remember when my mother fell and broke her hip. She was reluctant to get up and walk again and her doctor was quite stern in his response – “Either use them or loose them!” It is good for me to remember on those days when I would rather curl up with a book instead of getting out in the fresh air. The long hours of book reading and sipping hot tea will be here soon enough!!!!!! It was not a terribly long walk around the pond and blood was given to the mosquitoes! It is a shame that they love to come out at dusk and feed right when all of the migrating birds are landing and settling down for the night.

I want to go back to this location during the day to see the shorebirds better. Wish me luck! There is a chance that a Blue Heron might be there as well.

In the Mailbox:

Question from ‘A’: “I am worried the new mum at Collins Street is inexperienced and this may affect the success of the breeding season. Today, at least 10 days into hard incubation, she left the eggs for nearly two and a half hours. Dad did not arrive to take over. It is a relatively warm but very wet and overcast day in Melbourne, so there was no warming sunshine to maintain egg temperature. How dangerous could such a long gap in incubation be to the developing chicks inside?”

This is a very timely question, ‘A’. Thank you for asking it. There has been quite a bit of concern about the new female at the Melbourne scrape. We learned much and were incredibly surprised about incubation times with Milda at the White-tailed Eagle nest. Her mate died and she stayed on the nest for 8 solid days before seeking food. It was cold and wintery. At one time the two eggs were left for 8 hours and at other times for shorter but considerable time. No one believed they would hatch but hatch the two did. Sadly they did not live because Mum was starving and there was no food even from a male that seemed to want to play Dad. Now these eggs were in a big twig nest that holds heat but the temperatures were much lower than those in Melbourne which are in a scrape. The gravel will hold heat but perhaps not as much as the twig nest. Dr Victor Hurley has stated on FB that an hour and a half will cause no damage at all. I would think that the time she was away is fine but my concern would be if the surface of the eggs were damaged at all by the rain. This can cause undue problems. We wait. There is often a failure for first time parents – in this case just the Mum. Dad and our former Mum worked like clockwork – they were a great team but that takes time to know the other partner well. We will wait but my hope is that only a couple of the eggs develop well as it will be easier for a first time Mum to cope. Many experienced females have difficulty with four!

I found this article on the issues with egg development and incubation that might be helpful:

https://sheffieldperegrines.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/the-failed-eggs-explained/

Question from ‘B’: “Do male Osprey fledglings migrate before female Osprey fledglings?”

That is a fantastic question and I do not have the scientific data at hand to state that the males go first although many believe that this is true. I want to check some data and will get back to everyone on Saturday morning with a data driven answer to this question. The research will be limited to the UK birds because they are ringed and measured. Let’s see what we can find out. Thanks, B!

A rant and a question from ‘J’: “There is a lot of arguing going on over calling the parents of nestlings Mum and Dad at the Melbourne scrape. There is a person telling everyone to stop and use male and female so that we are not anthropomorphizing the birds. What do you think?” Thank you so much ‘J’ for sending me this question. I actually went and found the post and made a comment – something that I do not often do but I feel very strongly about this particular subject and I am happy to address how I ‘feel’ about this!

I get outraged when I see someone jump on another individual for giving human qualities to a non-human. In the study of animal behaviour, anthropomorphizing is attributing human characteristics to non-humans. That is the simple definition. Using words such as joy, grief, embarrassment, anger or jealousy are anthropomorphic terms. Dr Marc Bekoff, an expert in animal behaviour and emotions, and his colleagues use human terms all the time when they are dealing with the emotional lives of animals. “Being anthropomorphic is a linguistic tool to make the thoughts and feelings of other animals accessible to humans.” (123) Bekoff continues, “If we decide against using anthropomorphic terms we might as well pack up and go home because we have no alternatives. Should we talk about animals as a bunch of hormones, neurons and muscles???” (124). “When we anthropomorphize, we’re doing what comes naturally, and we shouldn’t be punished for it. It’s part of who we are.” (125).

Bekoff continues for many pages noting that we observe animals being happy, feeling grief. You have seen these behaviours. Anyone watching a streaming cam of any raptor will, at one time or another, note joy, anger, and all too often, grief. I can still “see” Connie and Clive standing over the dead body of their eaglet who had been flapping and jumping and broke a blood feather. She died of rodenticide poisoning like her younger sister. The blood in the growing feather should have coagulated but it didn’t because someone decided to poison the rats and Clive brought one to the nest. It was an incredibly moving time and Clive never got over the deaths. He left the nest.

We must acknowledge that animals experience joy, passion, grief, and suffering. They feel love and they feel pain. If we fully grasp that the animals and the birds are really no different than we are, then we might stop to think about how we treat them. That would be the beginning of real change in our world. I personally believe that it is our duty to make the planet a better place – to do all that each of us can do to make the lives of non-humans better. If calling them Louis or Sarafina helps to do this then fine. The adults at the Collins Street scrape are parents as we know it. The female is the Mum and the male is the Dad. What in the world does it hurt to call them that!?

Making News:

The only surviving Osprey chick from the Pitkin County Open Trails platform is now out of ICU and in the flight aviary! What fantastic news. In June, the female pulled her two chicks out of the nest when her talons inadvertently got caught on nesting material entangled with monofilament line. One chick died as the result of the long fall; the other was lucky that passersby took immediate action to get it into care.

Sharon Dunne posted some really good information about issues related to plastic and sea birds today. Thanks, Sharon, for reminding us that humans seem to use the ocean as their garbage can – or as is the case with the UK reporting, as their toilet for releasing raw sewage. We need to clean up our act.

Can you image if this beautiful little Albatross chick was fed that plastic horse? Thankfully the parent seems to have regurgitated it on the ground. It could have killed them also. We want the sea birds to eat fish and squid and not fill up on plastic so they are not hungry and die. That is just horrid.

Fledgling osprey from the UK flies west and gets into a bit of a pickle landing on the RRS Sir David Attenborough west of Sula Sgeir. Thankfully they are heading into port. This youngster will get a second chance to get his flight coordinates set!

Two announcements have come for L4 and L3. The first was for L4 who appears to have done so well that release is now almost at hand. This was followed by a statement that L3 is also a candidate for release at a later date. This is great news. L4 was the first of the four siblings this year to catch its own prey and was a real favourite of many of us. I will never forget the fearlessness when L4 wanted to be first at Mum’s beak and scrambled over the older bigger siblings to get there. If you are wondering — will L4 be fine. Absolutely!

Another raptor has been shot in the UK. This was a Red Kite that was shot at Epping Forest! It is now undergoing extensive rehabilitation and vet treatments. The police are appealing for help in finding the perpetrator.

Nest News:

Sarafina had to go between Louis’s legs to get her tea time fish! ‘B’ reminded me that Sarafina is now 97 days old today (Wednesday), the same age as Vera in 2020 when she fledged. If Sarafina stays on another day, she will have the record for Loch Arkaig’s longest lingering fledgling.

Yes, Sarafina now has the record for the longest lingering fledgling at Loch Arkaig! She may also get the award for tackling Dad with her landings to get the fish he continues to supply.

Padarn now has the record at the Dyfi Nest for the longest lingering fledgling.

Aran still has his entire family at Glaslyn this morning. No sign of anyone thinking of packing their suitcases.

Xavier is really enjoying incubating those eggs in the scrape in Orange. I love how he talks to them in ‘falconese’. Diamond is not always obliging in his requests for ‘eggie time’. Xavier is simply adorable. Oh, let us all hope that there is one great big healthy chick this year like Izzi. And if there are more – let them be healthy too…and let the pigeon population increase so that everyone is full to the brim.

Xavier hoping for some more time with the eggs…

The Sea Eagles are nothing short of gorgeous. They are now almost completely covered with their juvenile plumage. It is SE29 standing. SE30 is still a little lighter at the shoulder and the beard.

Just look at the expressions on their face – so intently watching and taking in ‘something’ outside the nest. Great development.

The Sea Eagle FB page reminds individuals that there is an entire website devoted to the Sea Eagles. There is all kinds of interesting information there. Have a look if you are interested. Here is the link:

https://sea-eaglecam.org/?fbclid=IwAR0J6f2m0AzrMyfnpm2kgnNCZtzJ2tAwYfU7NRYQiRcu8RXr8VNlhqZHF-Q

Mum has been doing quite a bit of yelling at Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for the last couple of days. Sometimes Dad will slowly eat the fish he has caught and bring her the leftovers….don’t think she is any too happy about that. Maybe if he brings her another big fish she will take it and let him incubate the eggs longer. Could be a good strategy Dad!!!!!!!!!! Just like Xavier, Dad loves time with the eggs in the nest.

Marrum shows her partner, Partney, the second egg of the 2022 breeding season on Tumby Island, South Australia. Congratulations!!!!!!

Migration News:

Rutland has confirmed that all of Manton Bay Ospreys are now officially deemed to be on migration and away from the nest. Here is the announcement with the last image of Maya before she departed. What a grand year it was and what beautiful daughters they raised.

A great article on Osprey migration with maps and dates to answer almost all of your questions and to refresh our memories.

avianreport.com/osprey-migration/

Here is a good article on the tools that scientists use to study bird migrations. Thanks Sharon Dunne for bringing this to my attention!

https://theconversation.com/birds-migrate-along-ancient-routes-here-are-the-latest-high-tech-tools-scientists-are-using-to-study-their-amazing-journeys-187967?fbclid=IwAR0DxCrzhLBZsSaMSy5jZwPacTBBUSil5tufCL6ZUcj6HxlvBKreVVVXgdM

There is still no tracking data for Karl II who is known to have been in the Kherzon region of Ukraine where the fighting is said to be intense as Ukrainian forces seek to take back the region from Russian forces. There are 2 reports for the 7th of September. Bonus remains in Belarus and we have heard from Kaia who is in Ukraine but appears to have found a good spot to fish.

Kaia did not fly far. She is fishing in the Desna River.

Tweed fledgling positively IDed and photographed on the Iberian Peninsula.

On 1 September at 17:44 Iris stood proudly with her mate, Louis, at the Hellgate Canyon Osprey nest in Missoula, Montana staring straight into the camera. It is one of the most poignant, beautiful, eerie and haunting images (all wrapped up into a lot of emotions) of this year. It felt like goodbye. Is this the last image of the year? I hope not for forever – but that is why it strikes me as so strange. Sealed in our memories in this singular instant is the fact that Iris is happy to stand next to Louis, happy with the way things are, happy with her life. They look beautiful together. If they were humans they would be having this image printed on cards to send to all their friends.

Safe travels dear one…we hope to see you in late March or April.

There have been a lot of questions about the Melbourne scrape and a lot of anxiety amongst viewers. I propose a deep breathe or several and let us wait and see what happens. Not every nest is a success. Xavier and Diamond often lay 3 eggs with only 1 developing and hatching and this could be a good thing for the new Mum in Melbourne. One healthy eyas is a great thing! A blessing. We will continue to keep our eyes on those UK nests for migration but no one appears to be wanting to go on a holiday to the south as yet. We just had a hummingbird in the garden and the rabbit was on the deck eating being protected by the crow who was above it in the bird bath. How beautiful!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams, their Tweets, etc where I took my screen captures: Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, NZ DOC, Hugh Venables, Cornell Hawks, Raptor Persecution UK, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Friends of Osprey, LWRT, Looduskalender, Conservation without Borders, and Montana Osprey Project.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

23 August 2022

Today turned out to be a very special day (22 August). OK. It is always special when I can go out to the nature centre and do my long walk. It is also a good way to check every nook and cranny for the geese and ducklings. A few had moved from where they were yesterday but many stayed in or close to their normal pond area. I continue to be fascinated that there simply are no Wood Ducks at the nature centre. It is like the two species – Mallards and Wood Ducks – sat down and signed a truce and decided who would go where! There were a lot of birds at the ‘winter’ feeding stations — they must fill the feeders year round. There were several Downy Woodpeckers, two American Goldfinches, a number of Black-capped Chickadees and then a bird sitting in the squirrel feeder that I did not recognize. After going through the birding book, it appears that the little lovely below is an immature female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I certainly welcome any help with this ID.

The most excitement came this evening, however. It is hard to imagine sitting next to a pond which is about 6 metres away from, perhaps, the busiest highway in our City and seeing a Great Egret fly to a tree to join two others. They are part of the heron family but they are very large. In North America they have black legs and a yellow bill. They gather in groups near ponds and wetlands if there is plenty of food. Otherwise, if food is relatively scarce, you will see them alone.

What a magnificent creature.

In the mailbox. Following up with the question about Titi and Boris and the reason for the Janakkalan nest cam in Finland to go offline. We have answers. Thank you ‘S’ for getting back so quickly to us. Boris was seen on the nest two days after Titi’s fledge. It was the morning of 12 August. Titi did not return to the nest while the camera was still operating.

There is a video of Boris’s nest visit.

There were difficulties with the camera and it completely broke down. It will be fixed and will be up and running again next year. ‘N’ did receive a response from the Finnish Osprey Foundation stating that there were a number of Osprey fledglings in the Muonio in Northern Finland. Thank you ‘N’.

Can you help? There is a new book on Peregrine Falcons being written by Richard Sale in the UK. Susan Sale writes with the following information and a question. “My husband is self-publishing a book on the Peregrine Falcon and I am trying to source the following Peregrinus Casini, Japonensis and Pealei. Do you have any photographs of them or perhaps give me some contacts who may and if you or they would be willing to allow use in the book.” If you have any images of any of the three sub-species of Peregrines or you know someone who might be able to help, please contact Richard and Susan at this e-mail address: Richard@snowfinch.co.uk

Several have been wondering about Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 that are currently in care. They ask “Will they, if ever released, be placed near their family so BR and Arthur can find them? If not, Who and How will they learn to hunt after all these WEEKS in the clinic???” L3 and L4 are in very good hands. Just like they would if they were patients in my local wildlife rehabilitation centre, they will learn to fly and they will also be taught how to hunt and catch their own prey. I do not know where they will be released.

‘B’ sent a note and wondered if I had seen Thunder and Akecheta on the West End nest together. I had not and went quickly to rewind and there they were. Thanks ‘B’. We are always happy to see the parents on the nest as well as the fledglings!

‘L’ wrote: “When I grew up in the north of England, along the Pennines…near the Lake District….I never saw an Osprey, Kite, Goshawk, Golden Eagle that were native to our islands as we had eradicated them… I thought all was lost .it wasn’t and these efforts wipe away the despair that can overwhelm you when you ask how can we make a difference. WE make a difference.”

‘L’ you will then be thrilled to learn that the National Trust, RSPB, and the Peak District RaptorGroup just announced two successful Hen Harrier nests this year! And, as you know, the Ospreys are thriving and so are the Goshawks. Isabelle Tree’s re-wilding at Knepp is taking off…there will be more raptors.


Nest News. It is hard to imagine sitting in the heat of summer in the Northern hemisphere but, the forecast is for snow in Orange, Australia. Holly Parsons who heads up the FB group was posting an image of Xavier and Kelli HissiFit Walker, one of the new mods on the streaming cam chat, dressed Xavier for the occasion. I chuckled so loud – I hope you enjoy it. If I were Diamond I would not want to lay eggs in that cold!

Thanks Holly and Kelli for letting me share!

Like Titi at the Janakkalan Osprey nest, LC at the Osoyoos nest doesn’t seem that much interested in fledging — yet. LC is 66 days old today.

As of the 22nd, Telyn was still at the Dyfi Osprey nest. She has not begun her migration yet. There is no rush and the females need to be in top form before they depart. Taking care of three big female chicks really has to be draining because they require much more food.

I went to check on the Sydney Sea Eagles and Lady was feeding SE29 and 30. It was very civil. SE30 did a few quick grabs and kinda looked to make sure 29 wasn’t going to do anything. Lady had it all in hand – a bite for you and then one for you. Back and forth. How lovely.

Sometimes 29 did seem to get more bites than 30.

and then 30 would get a few more…

There is plenty of fish. Both will be full. Just look at the ‘blood feathers growing in on SE29’s back and wings. Oh, they are changing so quickly — and the are simply adorable.

It rained later in the day and Lady spread her big wings and covered those babes who do not, as you can see above have their feather covering.

Dad was in the nest and on alert to any intruders that might be around,

Migrating tracking. Kaia flew in a big loop today staying in the same area that she flew to after she flew north out of the Ukraine.

There is considerable worry for Kaia’s mate, Karl II, and migration has not begun. He normally spends much time at a nature reserve on the Black Sea near Odessa. The area is currently a war zone.

A lovely image of Little Bit 17 was posted by S Basly on the Notre-Dame FB page. It was taken on the 28th of July.

What a wonderful way to end today’s blog with a look at Little Bit 17. He is, of course, a prime example of what an intervention and wildlife rehabilitation can do to give a raptor a second chance at life. Little Bit deserved it and he is living it. Such a beautiful juvenile.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts that made up my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles, Looduskalender, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Raptor Persecution UK, Explore.org and the IWS, Finnish Osprey Foundation, and the Orange Australia Falcon Cam FB.

Featured image is Thunder and Akecheta on the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. 22 June 2022

Ervie, fledges and more – early Tuesday in Bird World

9 August 2022

First a correction! Shame on me for saying we know where Telyn winters. It is not Telyn but, the beautiful Seren from Llyn Clywedog that spends her winters in The Gambia. I knew that and wrote Telyn. Thanks, ‘C’ for alerting me. Much appreciated!

One other clarification that ‘CE’ caught that needs explaining. Osprey fledglings are the raptors that do not require their parents to teach them to hunt or fish. Others do. You will have seen the eagles and hawks showing their fledglings how to hunt prey! I bet Ervie did chase Dad around in his efforts to find some good fishing spots, though!

Ervie, dear Ervie. Port Lincoln posted images after I had sent out my blog last evening so our dear Ervie is up first. Thanks to ‘B’ for alerting me to these.

As so many of you are aware, Port Lincoln Ospreys is working hard to introduce our fish eagles to Southern Australia. They are getting attention from government agencies and, of course, the population is growing to love these birds – many because of our dear Ervie. Here are the latest postings from Port Lincoln and the beautiful pictures of Ervie out fishing with Dad by Fran Solly. There are more on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page. Head over and have a look. This is the place to continue checking on Ervie and his antics with Dad — or alone.

It is always good to see you, Ervie.

Is there room for you, Ervie??????!!!!!!

Remember when we worried that Ervie would only be able to catch puffers? Well, he has certainly adjusted to fishing without that other talon (I have not seen it fully grown in on the pictures but I would love to be corrected!). That is a beautiful fish. Well done, Ervie.

At the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest of Karl II and Kaia, Bonus, the adopted storklet of Jan and Janika, Bonus, fledged first today. He was followed by Volks who hears Bonus in the forest and flies off to the left.

Both returned to the nest. Ilks is looking at his reflection in the camera. Will you fly next? So funny when they find themselves. After fledging the Black Storks will stay at least a week around the nest being fed. If the food is plentiful they may stay longer before venturing out to find food for themselves and beginning migration.

As ‘B’ says, it is hard to beat the WBSE for cuteness. SE30 is a bit of a corker. When it was 2 days old, 30 beaked at 29. Not a good thing to do. We have all worried about 30 but unless there is an unexpected ‘something’, they should both be fine. SE30 gives as good as it gets and they both fool around with one another and then seem to stop before it gets too rough.

Chubby little bottoms. Their soft down on the head is giving way to pin feathers and the feathers are coming in nicely along the wings. They will begin to do a lot more preening as things get itchy. You can see their black talons and those big clown feet getting started. So cute.

Of the streaming cams in Australia, we now have the WBSE eaglets and the first egg at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for Mum and Dad as of yesterday. We are awaiting the beginning of the season for Peregrine falcons Xavier and Diamond and the Melbourne CBD – 367 Collins Street. Xavier and Diamond are amping up the bonding in the scrape! Eggs before the end of the month?

The only chick on the Landscape Arboretum platform at the University of Minnesota fell off yesterday. It has not fledged. Here is the video of that incident. This could have turned out badly – and would have if not for the quick actions at finding the chick and getting it back on the nest. Thanks to all involved!

Boris and Titi (yet to fly) on the Janakkalan nest in Finland. 9 August 2022. Handsome!

All of the White Storklings of Betty and Bukacek have fledged. They seem to spend their time finding the parents and following them back to the nest for good feedings.

Look carefully. Bukacek is flying into the nest from the left (right above the grassy area at 930 on the nest).

All of the storklings came to the nest quickly so as not to miss a meal.

All of the UK chicks have fledged. This year the three at Foulshaw Moss did not get the best attention from me – in terms of publicizing the nest activities here on the blog. Last year I followed every move because of the third hatch – Blue 463 who survived and did extremely well. Waiting for her return next year! The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust have put out a very nice blog with an overview of the nest activities including some links to videos.

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/blog/alasdair-mckee/there-were-three-nest-and-littlest-fledged?fbclid=IwAR3EmfM6q7y1XNIqdvENXGlh8x4VhZve9AwmrsA4vAFcs_XRrvXubF76BhM

There appears to have been a fledge this morning at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey platform near Canmore Alberta. Thanks ‘H’ for the tip off! They seem to all be relatively equal – perhaps the others will fly today. You can see Mum looking on over the nest at her three beautiful chicks from the perch.

The fledge was a quick take off, fly around the nest and return landing on the right side.

I am counting a fledge as a flight off the nest and a return. In my mind, the chicks jumping up or getting to the many perches is equivalent to branching for Eagles, not a full blown official fledge. The real question is how far away is the perch? It is too difficult to tell. Mum certainly looks small and if it is a distance, then it might be counted as a fledge. If that is the case, then there were two fledges at Canmore this morning so far.

Big Red, Arthur, and L2 have all been accounted for by Suzanne Arnold Horning this week. Excellent news. Still no recent updates on L3 or L4.

L2 in the top picture screaming for a prey item and Big Red and Arthur calmly relaxing in the second.

Everyone remains curious as to how Victor got so much zinc in his system that he almost died. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has indicated that there are fishing lures coated with zinc. Thanks ‘B’. Here is the posting on the chat at the IWS. The question still remains: how much zinc does a fledgling eagle have to ingest to almost kill it? I do not know the answer to that question but I hope to find out.

The posting of the images of Little Bit 17 prompted a lot of mail. Everyone is thrilled and so very reassured that it is our little tenacious eagle. So grateful to the boots on the ground for chasing after this family and sharing their photos and videos with us on the Notre Dame Eagles FB.

‘CE’ had a very interesting analogy that seems quite fitting given the sponsors of the camera and the university that they are associated with – Notre-Dame. CE noted that the image of Little Bit looks like a Franciscan Friar with his friar’s crown. He said, “In the 5th century, the tonsure was introduced as a distinctive sign. In the East, the Pauli tonsure was used (all hair was cut), in the West, the Petri tonsure (only the top of the head was shaved). This was also called Corona Christi (Crown of Christ). Since the 16th century, the tonsure of regular clerics has been reduced to a small circle.” Friar Little Bit. It sounds nice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is lovely to have you with us and the birds. I will continue to monitor the nests during the day. Tomorrow I am heading north for two days to count and enter the GPS for the Bald Eagle nests in and around Hecla Island. That information will be sent to David Hancock whose foundation monitors bald eagle nests in Canada. I hope to get some good images of the adults and juveniles before they leave for their winter homes. There will not be a newsletter tomorrow morning but I will try my best to get some images out to you tomorrow evening. Please take dare. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

I want to thank everyone who wrote in and sent me news. I still have some of your images to post! Much appreciated. I want to also thank the following for their streaming cams and/or posts or their photographs that I used for my screen captures: Fran Solly and the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, the Notre-Dame Eagles FB, the Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, Fortis Exshaw, the Finnish Osprey Foundation, the IWS, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.

Late Sunday in Bird World

7 August 2022

It was a lovely trip to a small town on the Canadian Prairies to check out waterfowl – which turned out not to be Greater Yellow Legs – but, a small variety of ducks. What is so nice and relaxing is a single area around Crescent Lake and Island Park. There are walking and biking paths as well as benches to look out over the water and watch the ducks. It was beautiful and quiet, something someone living in a big city does not realize they need until they are sitting surrounded by the sound of hardly anything.

As it was nearing dusk, the water glistened with silver striations. The ducks were quite camouflaged. You could only spot them when they were moving. All of the bird ID technology available to me identifies this as a pair of Common Goldeneye. They were about 100 m or 328 ft away.

The duck in front with its wings raised preparing to fly is a female. She has a chocolate brown head, lighter grey breast. You can sometimes see a thin white collar.

This Eared Grebe was finding food and feeding this little one. It had two with it and this is a male.

This cute little female Wood Duck with her tear-shaped eye-ring did not seem to mind having her picture taken.

The Duck at the back of the group is a Northern Pintail. She almost fooled me but her bill is grey while that of the Mallard in the front right is orange. The Pintail does not have the eye line of the Mallard either.

Another American Pintail on the rock.

The American Coot came along and stood on one of two large stones at the edge of the marshy area. If you look carefully you can see the black ring at tip of the white bill. Coots have red eyes, long green-yellow legs and a charcoal grey plumage all over their body.

Mallards.

What surprised me the most was the fact that there were recently hatched ducklings! I started counting the months til they would migrate and began wondering what on earth. It is possible that they will not fly away for winter. There is a river called the Assiniboine that is south of Crescent Lake. There are several dozen ducks that remain on that river near to where my daughter lives in Winnipeg.

The way that the ducks camouflage themselves in the reeds was simply remarkable – just like the striations on the river in the evening when you cannot see them.

It was a lovely day away and it was nice to get home having the Crows complain that all the peanuts and cheesy sausages were gone!

It was nice to come home to have an update about the Poole Harbour Ospreys. Here is the official announcement if you have not seen it.

CJ7 and H51 along with Blue 022 have now been on the nest. These images are from the 6th.

H51 eating a fish.

CJ7 came in with a fish for H51. They will be careful of the nest now that they know there is a Goshawk in the area. Just like Ospreys are being introduced so are Goshawks. These Ospreys then will always need to take great care.

The family is not sleeping on the nest at night.

Annie and Alden certain are enjoying their quiet time when Lindsay and Grinnell Jr don’t pop out of a corner chasing them. This is a four-minute bonding ritual complete with many kisses! If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, I do not know what would. They start off with what appears to be a conversation or a long permission to enter the scrape and amp it up from there.

The Sea Eaglet chicks have crossed over that stage of beaking and bopping and are now teasing one another.

This is just too funny!

Then a beak kiss. Lady just takes it all in stride. Notice that their crops are rather full and squishy providing the perfect cropillow.

The pin feathers can be seen much easier on the eaglets today.

There were six feedings on the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest of Karl II and Kaia. The storklets have been jumping and hovering and preening as well as eating. In fact they ate really well today.

The storklings can tell that an adult is approaching with food. They begin their begging dance which helps to stimulate the parent to bring up the food.

Karl II delivers a lot of fish. The basket must have been replenished.

Bonus is 77 days old today. Under normal conditions, Bonus would have fledged. Urmas believes that maybe it is delayed development due to a lack of food. The longest recorded time to first flight for Black Storks comes from China at 76 days. Bonus broke a record! The record for earliest fledge is 56 days (Saxony). Generally the chicks fledge before the female leaves for migration. But will this happen this year? Kaia left on 11 August last year. When they leave we must send them positive thoughts – it is a long, long journey through an area of war. I wonder what the nature refuge at Odessa looks like? was it shelled? or just the port area?

Titi at the Janakkalan nest has been really eating and growing – he seems to have caught up with Boris in size in a couple of days. He has not fledged and both osplets hatched on the same day. I wonder if the difference in feeding – like that with Little Bit 17 and Bonus – has really impacted his development too? All of us were aware that Boris was getting much more but how much we could not easily measure.

Titi hovering.

I understand that Titi is now sleeping alone on the nest while Boris is perched in the trees – near Dad?

The Osoyoos Osplets of Soo and Olsen are still on the nest! Whenever you go away you hope that chicks do not fledge but — that can’t be controlled! You also hope to come home and have all safely in the nest just as it was when you left. The family continues to deal with the heat domes they have experienced. This is the second one. It is currently 36 F and will climb to 38 tomorrow. It seems Olsen is still able to find fish.

Love and Peace remain on the nest at Glacier Gardens. They should be branching soon. Love and Peace will not migrate. They will remain in Alaska where they will feed off the local Salmon just like their sibling, Kindness, from 2021.

If we want everyone to respect nature and wildlife we have to make an effort to educate them, to get them to ‘love’ and ‘respect’ the birds like we do, to get them to understand their challenges — and to get them involved. Port Lincoln Osprey just posted an event that is intent on doing just that!

It looks like Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln Osprey Barge could become grandparents this year. This is Calypso on the left watching her mate eat a fish…I presume he knows that he is supposed to feed her, right? Calypso was the 2020 hatch with Star. Star has not been seen. —— She is Ervie’s sister. Gosh, I wish there was word about Bazza and Falky.

It is a very foggy morning on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. You can just see the trees below the water tower where the scrape of Xavier and Diamond is located.

The fog goes away quickly. Diamond looks out over her territory. We should be having eggs in what? 3 weeks?

There is news that L3 is doing well with her flight training. That is great news. L2 has been hanging out with Big Red and Arthur learning more hunting techniques. I do not have an update on L4 but I am assuming that the soft tissue injury will heal rather quickly. The Boathouse was back on ‘Highlights’ so if you go there to check on the three osplets just make sure you look down at the left corner….Highlights often shows an empty nest! Good way to get a heart attack. :))))

Thank you for joining me this evening for a quick check up on the birds. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB posts where I took my screen captures: Friends of Poole Harbour, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Osoyoos Ospreys, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Charles Sturt University falcon cam, and Glacier Gardens.

Early Tuesday in Bird World!

2 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It looks like rain here on the Canadian Prairies – and when finally believe it is coming, the sun pops out. I am heading up north to check on the Ospreys along Lake Winnipeg. Fingers crossed! I may only make it as far as the nature centre.

Just some housekeeping. The NCTC streaming cam on Bella and Smitty’s nest has been hit by lightning. It will be replaced in time but not when the eagles are about. Phillipe Josse posted on the Notre Dame Eagles FB that all of the eaglets were seen flying about on 1 August. Great news. Victor Hurley reminds everyone that the CBD (Central Business District) 367 Collins Street Falcons generally lay their eggs around the end of August. The camera at the Boathouse Osprey nest in Maine is on the blink. I just about had a heart attack when I did not see 3 chicks in the nest yesterday when I went to their stream. Thankfully I finally figured out it was ‘Highlights’. Check in the left bottom corner if you go so the same thing does not happen to you. The word ‘Highlights’ will appear. The situation at the #4 nest in Finland where the mother attacked the youngest on the nest and the fledgling when it returned has calmed. No clear understanding of the reason behind the attacks but the youngest seemed to get the blunt of the wrath. No updates on L4 taken into care. Good news. The one surviving osprey from the Pitkin County Trail Platform (they were pulled off the nest by female caught in nesting material) remains in care at a wildlife rehab centre. The chick is now eating on its own and its feathers are growing in. Great news! That incident happened on 22 June.

Olsen delivered a very large fish on the Osoyoos nest at 1137 on 1 August (Monday). It was the 13th fish of the morning. Large and with its head. Soo fed the chicks til they were so full they could not eat another bite and then she took the fish to the perch where she enjoyed it.

Soo and BC and LC know Olsen is arriving.

Look at that nice fish! Olsen must have found a super spot to fish today even with the heat.

Everyone ate and ate.

After taking the fish up to the perch to eat her portion, Soo returned a nice piece to the nest.

There were more than 13 fish arriving at the nest of Soo and Olsen Monday. Another one came in at 18:58.

The chicks have eaten well and have spent much of the day with one or the other hanging their heads over the rim of the nest scaring the wits out of viewers. All is well!

Soo and Olsen got a bit of a break in the weather. It dropped to 33 today but….sadly another heat dome is coming in a week. Olsen has already delivered ​fish small fish at these times: 0521:46, 0533:10, 0541:22, 0620:46, 0625:11. A larger fish with head came at 0656:53 with the 7th fish at 0715:06 which was smaller and headless. If you count that is 7 fish by 0715 Tuesday. Olsen, you are amazing.

The good news at The Campanile is that the bonding rituals between Annie and Alden are increasing…and often they are sans Lindsay and Grinnell Jr. How lovely. Stay safe Annie and Alden!

If you did not see my earlier announcement, L4 was taken into care. He was found on the ground unable to fly during the evening of 31 July. Thank you to those who rescued him and took him to the Swanson Wildlife Clinic at Cornell. No updates so far.

Suzanne Arnold Horning caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on the campus Monday evening.

Big Red is moulting.
Arthur on the stacks.
L2 yelling for food.

It is fledge watch at the Black Stork nest of Karl II and Kaia. Yesterday it was raining which halted any thoughts of flying but, this morning the storklets are jumping around and flapping. Bonus is the oldest at 72 days with the other three at 66, 66, and 63 days.

The camera was off for awhile and it is unknown if they had a feeding or not. Yesterday Kaia brought in 1 feeding, Karl II travelled to the fish basket but it was empty because he went further to try and find fish. His transmitter stopped at 10:01 on 1 August. It is not know what the problem is and everyone is waiting not so patiently to see if data is uploaded today or if he appears at the nest with food. Fingers crossed. These are the only four Black Storklets that I am aware of in Estonia this year to survive.

Bonus is 77 days old and is the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika of the original six.

Andor delivered a fish and Lilibet sure enjoyed it. The top image is the 30th of July.

Lilibet on 30 July 2022.

Then he delivered a fish and no one showed up.

Everyone began to question if Lilibet had left the territory. Lilibet has gone no where! She is around the nest a few minutes ago being quite loud – with what appears to be a nice crop.

Lancer is still calling Two Harbours home and Chase & Cholyn are busy delivering fish. Lancer has earned the name ‘Miss Sassy Pants’ by the Bald Eagle community. She practically tore Chase’s leg off with the delivery. — I am sure Mum and Dad do not mind. She will really be able to stand up for herself when she leaves the safety of the nest area.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are ‘darling’. Just cute little fluff balls eating and growing. Start watching for the slightest hint of little black dots which are feathers coming in.

It is August and we have another month, perhaps, with Iris at the Hellgate nest in Missoula, Montana. For those unfamiliar, Iris is the oldest unbanded Osprey in the world believed to be 29ish. It is remarkable. Mrs G in the UK is their oldest at 22 years.

Iris spent much time at the nest earlier working and bringing in sticks and she has, on occasion, lately graced us with her beauty. She was there this morning when an intruder arrived. Louis went swiftly over to remove the visitor.

Each of us needs a good rescue story! It gives us faith in ‘humans’.

Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge seems fine. Bonding taking place!

That is a hop, skip, and a jump around the nests this morning. So far everything seems calm. It is a strange time of year. The US Ospreys are eating and preparing for migration at the end of August or beginning of September. We have eaglets in Sydney and we await the arrival of the eggs for Mum and Dad at the barge and the peregrine falcons at CBD and Orange. I do not know about you but I really need a ‘fix’ of little ospreys. Simply cannot wait.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Osoyoos Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Audubon Explore.org, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, and Suzanne Arnold Horning for her lovely pictures of Big Red and family.

L4 has been taken into care!

1 August 2022

Big Red and Arthur’s fourth hatch of the 2022 breeding season was found on the ground unable to fly last evening. He has been taken into care. Here is the announcement:

Send the most positive wishes!

Of the four juveniles L1 was killed by window strike on the Cornell Campus, l3 is in care due to an injury, and now L4. The only fledgling that is flying free at the moment is L2.

Monday Morning in Bird World

1 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, one half of the sky is blue with cottonball-like clouds. The other side is a solid mass of heavy grey clouds. It is 22 C and more rain forecast for 1700. The Crows are already in the bird bath eating their ‘sandwiches’ and peanuts. Given a chance tens of sparrows gather in there after they have left. The squirrels are running about and the birds are flitting in and out. Dyson came to drink out of the bird bath yesterday and all the rabbits have been here. The weather is hot for here and having water out for the animals is, hopefully, helping them to cool down. It is so reassuring – just like when we check on the streaming cams and everyone is home!

The three young Crows are constantly with one another. Their flying is improving. The bird bath water is in constant change for one reason – everything is washed by the Covids. I wonder if it was to soften the shell of the peanut??

One of the fledgling Blue Jays waited its turn until the Crow departed.

This Blue Jay is yelling at Dyson! The squirrels do not wait in line – they just go and grab the peanuts. It is too funny. The juveniles are just getting their crests.

Poor Junior. He is moulting. If you see a Cardinal or Blue Jay looking scarce on top, they are not ill, just replacing their feathers.

Hello Dyson. Thank goodness the new bird bath is heavy enough that Dyson doesn’t go flying when he jumps up for a drink.

Adorable Hedwig. He spent about an hour eating the spilt seeds under the feeder. Hedwig was discovered under the Peony bush. He was such a wee rabbit. He never left the garden but ate the seeds as the birds flitted around him. He is never frightened by them. His burrow is somewhere else now but you can always count on his arrival around 1730 rain or shine, winter or summer. He’s an Eastern Cottontail.

Olsen really seems to have outdone himself on Sunday. As I begin to write this, there are two partial fish sitting on the nest. The chatters have been keeping close tabs and ‘H’ provided detailed time stamps. These are invaluable for viewers coming on line. Much appreciated. By 0900, Olsen had delivered 8 fish of varying sizes. Everyone was chock full of fish. It appears that there was some nibbling on the old fish (gosh they must be like dried fish now!) with another fish delivery at 18:33.

Soo has done a fabulous job keeping the chicks shaded. It is currently 37 C but rose to 40. Or 98.6 F to 104 F.

The nest still has horrific temperatures tomorrow. They seem to just keep adding on an additional day of heat. When did I ever believe I would say that 34 C was a welcome drop in temperature? The night will be welcome cooling off periods. The Osprey parents are doing the best they can and thank goodness those two chicks are feathered nicely this year.

Send positive thoughts, please. Soo and Olsen deserve success. In 2020 they lost a chick and one fell out of the nest and in 2021 the three died in the heat dome that stayed over the area. This year we have had one fall over the nest so let us keep fingers crossed. I think Soo and Olsen will succeed this year.

It is now Monday morning and Olsen has already brought at least five fish according to the chatters and here he is at 0656 feeding his babies fish number six!

I do not know if you have read the history of this nest but it is one of those great cooperative measures. FortisBC worked with the Town of Osoyoos put up a separate de-commissioned hydro pole for the Osprey and also donated the funds for the camera – the nest and streaming cam you are watching. They were proactive – indeed, it is in their best interests not to have the local power knocked out but, grateful, so grateful.

It is cooler at the Fortis Exshaw Nest in Canmore, Alberta. Mum and the trio are doing very well it seems.

Because it is in the same heat warning area, I have been checking on and off at the McEuen Park Osprey platform in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

There were two of the fledglings on the nest when I popped in.

With all the heat warnings, it is nice to have something to laugh at and it is provided by Bukacek and the adult only nest. You might well remember that Bukacek had built a second nest for him and Betty. Having four large White storklets on the natal nest gets a little crowded. Now that the storklets are flying – they have taken over the new nest! Bukacek will have to build another!!!!!! Betty meanwhile lures them back to their own nest with food. Perfect. Ooops….they ate and left. Oh, goodness.

Beautiful Betty.

There has been some concern about a blood spot near the wing of SE30 on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. What was the cause? Often the eaglets get fish blood or bird parts on their body but this does not seem to be that. It looks instead as if some feathers have clumped together either with fish juice or ps and they were, perhaps, pulling and it annoyed the eaglet who pulled them out and left a small bloody spot. The eaglet appears to be fine.

You can clearly see the spot on the right wing- and that enormous crop of SE29’s. 30 is eating well. No worries. Lady sometimes feeds it so much that 29 gets itself in a little knot. With the amount of prey coming on the nest there is no need for food competition – and even with feedings spreading a bit, everything should be fine. The eaglets are getting older. Getting ready to get some really itchy pin feathers soon. As long as food continues and Lady keeps up her remarkable feeding schedule..these two are going to grow and fledge.

There will not be any ringing or DNA tests unless one or both wind up in rehab after fledge. But I might be already inclined to guess that we have a really big sister in 29 and a little brother in 30.

We can always use good news in our lives. Here is another story of an eagle rescue that will warm your hearts! Thanks, ‘L’, much appreciated.

Our beautiful Victor. I love this photo of him standing on a low perch. You are progressing, Victor. Keep up the good work!

Since the rescue of Victor, some of us have been more than perplexed about where the zinc came from that poisoned his body. I have rattled my brain with several of you – flakes coming off of anything galvanized, warnings on garden hoses about zinc, the shale in the area contains zinc, etc. I really do not think our dear Victor sat and ate pennies knowingly. ‘C’ sent me the findings of a study by a Brazilian researcher. It has been translated by Google from the Portugese. If you are interested in how Victor might have gotten the zinc and how our contamination of the planet spreads to birds 10,000 miles away even…have a read.

Thank you, ‘C’. Much appreciated.

Title: “Not even the “end of the world” is free from human-caused pollution”

Animals that live in the waters of the Kerguelen archipelago, 3,000 km from the nearest inhabited region, are contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury.

Not even the “end of the world” is free from the pollution generated by humanity. Located in the south of the Indian Ocean, 3,300 km from Madagascar, the nearest inhabited region, the Kerguelen archipelago, formed by about 300 islands and islets, is contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury, copper and zinc. The observation is made by Brazilian researcher Caio Vinicius Cipro, a postdoctoral fellow at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP), in two studies he carried out at the University of La Rochelle, in France, in partnership with scientists there.

Of volcanic origin, Kerguelen is 4 thousand kilometers south of India and 2 thousand kilometers north of Antarctica. The archipelago belongs to that country and is administratively part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). There is currently a scientific station and structures associated with it. “There is also fishing activity due to France’s exclusive economic exploitation zone”, says Cipro. “Biologically, there are countless species of birds and marine mammals that have established colonies on the island and many others, in addition to significant amounts of fish and invertebrates thanks to the high primary productivity of local food. There are also several species introduced by humans, such as mice and reindeer, and some plants.”

He says that the idea for the study came during a period when he worked as a guest researcher at the University of La Rochelle. “My supervisor at the time, Professor Paco Bustamante, had told me about a dataset he had obtained years before, which he began working on during his own doctorate, and whose publication he never had time to pursue,” he says. “I volunteered to carry out the task and write the publication.”

Cipro then went on to study the occurrence of four chemical elements (cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc and selenium) in more than 30 species of invertebrates and fish, most of them at a lower trophic level (of the food chain). The objective was to understand how the concentrations of these inorganic pollutants behave at these lower levels that will influence organisms above them in the food chain.

Cipro’s first study was carried out in 2014, shortly after he arrived in France, on samples that had been collected by Bustamante’s team in the southern summers of 1997 and 1998. The Brazilian scientist analyzed metal contamination in a species of bird, the black shearwater petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). “We found contamination by cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium and zinc”, he says. “An article about the work was published in 2016 in the scientific journal Polar Biology.”

The second research was carried out in 2018 and yielded another article, published in the same journal. “In this case, we analyzed the levels of contamination of the same metals, with the exception of selenium – there were no conditions at the time to do this with this element in the laboratory at the University of La Rochelle – in 18 species of fish and 11 of invertebrates”, explains Cipro . The result of the work also pointed to the contamination of animals by metals.

According to Cipro, what can be concluded from the results of his research is that in this specific case of Kerguelen, cadmium values ​​varied much more than mercury values ​​(four orders of magnitude against one) and depended more on specificity in food ecology. and in the habitat than at the level of the food chain plain and simple.

In other words, the results of the studies showed that, contrary to what happens in most cases, the concentrations of pollutants found in animals depended little on their position in the food chain, but more on specific mechanisms of physiology and exposure, in such a way that predators from lower trophic levels could be more subject to some contaminants than others from higher positions.

This means, according to Cipro, that work with species of higher trophic level or sentinels needs more in-depth food ecology studies before reaching certain conclusions and that the food chain by itself does not mean much in this environment. “Furthermore, my research provides solid foundations on the exposure to which predators are subject, as in most cases this discussion remained on hypothetical terrain due to lack of field data,” he explains.

The work also showed a possible influence of a local secondary source of contaminants, probably the bird colonies themselves, a hypothesis confirmed in the Antarctic environment during his current research project. Going into more detail, Cipro explains that the analyzed metals have natural sources, but human activity certainly plays a bigger role than them in general. For mercury, for example, current emissions are estimated to be three to five times higher than before the industrial age. This element can reach the Kerguelen archipelago from dumps made by factories located 10,000 kilometers away.

Nevertheless, locally, in addition to bird colonies, some other natural sources may be significant, such as certain rocks and fossil fuels. “In the case of bird colonies, some studies that I proposed suggested and later confirmed their role as a local and relevant source of some elements and also of organic pollutants”, says Cipro. “In Kerguelen, we raised this hypothesis, comparing mussels from inside and outside the Gulf of Morbihan, and it seemed to be confirmed by the results obtained.”

The Dad at the Janakkalan Nest, Red CCL, continues to deliver the fish. The chatters have nicknamed the pair. Boris is the oldest and Titi is the youngest. The fish are so big that they take turns with no need to squabble. Titi is on the left. He has not figured out – yet – to hold the fish down with its talons.

Dad arrives with another fish at 1805. Titi is in the back with the huge crop from eating the fish in the image above. Boris is going to claim this one and Titi is absolutely too full to care! Lovely. Thanks, Dad.

The four Black Storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia are really wanting a food delivery. While they wait it is raining – they shake off their feathers, flap about, and jump on and off the perch. Kaia arrives with food at 16:58, the last image.

Just look at this beautiful juvenile Red-tail Hawk, L4. Stunning. L2 and L4 will probably be soaring in the thermals soon and leaving the Campus. Every moment with them is special as it is with Big Red and Arthur.

The latest update on L3 from the Cornell Lab:

L3 is gorgeous. Looking forward to her release when she is all healed.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have such good news in Bird World. To my knowledge, all of the UK Ospreys have fledged. They will be eating and gaining weight as will their mothers for migration. Soon these flights will be charted. In the meantime continue to enjoy them. The same with the storks! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, websites, and postings where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Coeur d’Elene, Idaho, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Bird Lab, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Fortis Exshaw.