From Port Lincoln to Kauai to Juneau

Oh, gosh. We really are going to miss these three boys when they finally leave the Port Lincoln barge. Ervie was wet this morning. He has been focusing very hard on finding a fish and catching it. We might never know, sadly, when that moment occurs – unless he brings it up to the ropes like Dad. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Bazza seems to have landed the first fish this morning on the nest. Falky doesn’t seem bothered and Ervie had flown off earlier.

Port Lincoln gave us a nice image of Bazza over on the ropes. These three males are quite handsome.

When Ervie flew back to the barge he was really keen on preening those feathers.

You can really see that sharply hooked beak that helps to tear the fish so they are easier to eat. Unlike Peregrine falcons, Ospreys do not have a tomial tooth. In my images it is a bit difficult to see that valve which seals the Osprey’s nostrils when they dive for their fish but, it is there.

Looking at that beautiful image of Ervie below you will notice that the Ospreys lack that very heavy eyebrow of some of the other raptors. Instead, they have that incredible black line which passes from the eye down to the neck. That black line helps them with the glare.

Ervie missed the the 8:14:14 fish that Dad brought in. Falky claimed in.

Port Lincoln has reported that Ervie has been flying farther. They also note that he has been checking out the coast. Here is the latest map of Ervie’s movements from the barge.

Ervie and his siblings will get their adult plumage at their first moult which is fully completed by the time they are a year old. That change in plumage does not indicate Ervie’s sexual maturity. Osprey do not normally breed until they are three years of age. The 2019 fledgling from Port Lincoln, Calypso, has been spotted sitting on a branch with a male. Might there be chicks next year? That would be marvellous!

When Penny Olsen’s book on the raptors of Australia was published in 1995, the map of Australia indicated that the Eastern Ospreys were located only around the coast. Ironically, that map did not indicate any ospreys in the Eyre Peninsula. This is one of the things that has changed since its publication. We have to look no further than the Port Lincoln Opsrey Barge and Thistle Island. We also know from Solly being the first tracked Osprey that the birds do go inland. Not all that far but further inland than anyone had understood previously. We are fortunate that Solly was able to provide so much information to us in the 14 months that she was alive. Port Lincoln can now compare the dispersal of a female to that of a male with the tracking of Ervie.

There are many threats to Osprey. I imagine that everyone reading my blog can name at least four. I want to add warming seas and the decline in fish numbers as yet another.

As you know, I highly recommend Dr Marc Bekoff’s book, The Emotional Lives of Animals. He also wrote The Ten Truths with Jane Goodall. A very moving story is coming from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some of you might recognize the name of Hob Osterlund. She posted a very moving story that can be added to the cornucopia of evidence that Bekoff and Goodall have that support animals having emotions which they express. Once you have read those two reasonably priced books, you will never ever apologize again for anthropomorphizing animals again.

Here is that posting:

Tears.

One of my readers ‘B’ asked me if I had seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I had not! So I went to check. Oh, my goodness, it is so beautiful. If you close your eyes you can see that beautiful Kindness using that nest and those branches like a trampoline. What a magnificent juvie Kindness was. She is off eating Salmon along the river.

On Taiaroa Head, 122 birds have been seen so far and there are 36 eggs laid. No mention yet on who the Royal cam stars for 2021-22 will be! Soon. And there has been no update on Grinnell. No further updates on WBSE 27 either.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and to Hob Osterlund and her FB page for that moving story. Much appreciated.

Diamond is so patient

Little Yurruga has really been shaking it up – or should I say ‘off’? Those fluffy white down feathers, so soft and so cute when she was younger, must be driving her crazy. Underneath what is left is going to be a lovely bird, just like her Mum, Diamond.

There is no doubt that Yurruga can be loud and she certainly almost claims those eggs as her own in the video above. She can also persuade the parents to go to the ledge or leave entirely. But, Yurruga feels like a much gentler soul than Izzi. Diamond is simply a patient observant Mum and after a bit, Yurruga stops with the prey calling when she sees that nothing is coming. Rather nice.

A few minutes later, Yurruga was running around with a Starling beak. What a character!

There have been several fish deliveries at Port Lincoln. Ervie got the first fish and left a little for the brothers. That came in at 6:50:24. There was another delivery at 12:11 and another at 14:25:11. I could not tell who got the last fish but, Bazza picked up the noon delivery. Maybe Falky got the last one. Ervie didn’t. They are all getting fish to eat and no one is hungry despite the scramble for the latest delivery.

Port Lincoln posted Ervie’s flight path yesterday. He is definitely exploring around the barge.

Falky continues his flying and landing exercises and Port Lincoln adds that Bazza seems to figure if he stays on the nest, he has the best chance of getting a fish! One of the chatters wondered if he was too ‘heavy’ for lift off. Bazza will fly when Bazza is ready. We don’t need to urge him on. I am certain Ervie and Falky are very capable of doing that.

I am continuing to read and enjoy Emry Evans Monty more and more. I am on my second reading of parts of this marvellous book. While it is about the foundational male of Welsh Ospreys it is also about this wonderful species and insights into their behaviour. I was particularly moved by the essay on Monty’s mourning the loss of his daughter, Ceri, and the links drawn to all of the studies that demonstrate that animals not only experience ranges of emotion but also pain and suffering and to Dr Marc Bekoff’s writing as well as to that of Jane Goodall. One of those is The Ten Trusts.

Those trusts, according to Goodall and Bekoff are: 1. Respect all life; 2. Live as part of the Animal Kingdom; 3. Educate our children to respect animals; 4. Treat animals as you would like to be treated; 5. Be a steward; 6. Value the sounds of nature and help preserve them; 7. Do not harm life in order to learn about it; 8. Have the courage of your convictions; 9. Act knowing that your actions make a difference, and 10. Act knowing that you are not alone.

Because of the unnecessary death of Solly, the 2020 hatch at Port Lincoln, on the power line at Streaky Bay, I am particularly interested in #9. Each of us can make a difference and I note that in Wales, all that had to be done to keep the Ospreys off the power lines where they love to eat fish was to place two diagonal rods. How simple is that?! The South Australian Government could do this with all of the power lines near the coasts where the birds fish and eat.

There is an update on Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon who was injured in a turf war. Of course, everyone hopes that Grinnell is super fit and able to take on his assailant who is now courting Grinnell’s mate, Annie. This was 19 hours ago:

https://hoodline.com/2021/11/celebrity-berkeley-falcon-in-avian-love-triangle-close-to-recovery-after-injury/

It is a another grey day with the promise of more snow. Meanwhile everything seems to have a crust of ice on it or, in the case of walkways, several centimetres of ice making it nearly impossible to walk. The birds are very inventive. They have been burrowing tunnels in the snow and then standing in the holes – it is like having one’s on private igloo.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB groups where I took my screen captures and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project Cam and FB Page, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.