WBSE Release

Here is an image of WBSE 27 being released last week. It was determined by the scale lines in her toes that the bird was in fact, 27 not 28. So happy that ID was solved! The day the bird was released was the first day that the parents were not at their River Roost. I hope the three connect! There is a video of the release and it shows 27 as a really strong bird. I hope she thrives in the wild for eons. What a gorgeous bird.

The following was posted on the FB page of the Sea Eagles:

Here is a news report:

https://www.9news.com.au/videos/national/incredible-moment-sea-eagle-returns-to-wild/ckwd1mylj000n0go2tpq6dkcs?fbclid=IwAR1LEfr-N1vKUIgUAawVmy477RlTUb7sTU0yFDQwedhjs2gAW9t_FQQJva0

The Kakapo Recovery are doing their annual fundraiser. As many of you know, we started out the pandemic with 208 Kakapo in existence. There are now 202. Dedicated individuals do wellness check ups which mean they have to find these elusive non-flying parrots. The only way to do that is with a transmitter. The transmitters and batteries require check ups and replacements (batteries) on a regular basis. Medical treatment, etc. If urgent and life threatening, the bird is flown to Dunedin, NZ for veterinary care.

Many are considering doing one special gift on behalf of their family to help wildlife and the planet (as opposed to fast fashion that winds up stacked in the deserts of Africa). The Kakapo Recovery is hoping you might choose them.

Last year we adopted Rangi! He happily lives in the living room plants when he is not cuddling up with Pippa the Albatross or Big Red the Red-tailed Hawk!

It is something everyone needs to think about even if it is $5 to a streaming cam that you love. It can make all the difference. You can also adopt other types of birds. Last year there was a huge rush to help Aran and Mrs G at the Glaslyn Bywyd Gwyllt. You might recall that two horrific events came together in the perfect storm at Glaslyn. A heavy rain storm with cold temperatures hit the area when the chicks hatched and Aran got in a territorial fight and injured his wing and he could not fish. The community came together and provided a fish table for the family. Sadly the chicks did not survive but Mrs G and Aran did and Aran got his strength and migrated on time. To help that cause many went to the website and adopted Aran and his family.

You will have your own list as well. Other ways that you can help is to check with your local wildlife rehabilitation clinic. They often post a list of items that they need. You would be surprised but clean old towels are usually at the top of the list! So next time you are looking at a pile of towels and old sheets, think of your local clinic for wildlife! It doesn’t cost anything but getting the items there and often the clinics have volunteers that pick up for them.

Books for children and teens on how to help wildlife thrive are, of course, invaluable in building the next generation to care for our beloved birds.

Holly Parsons posted an update on Yurruga on the FB page for the Orange Australian Peregrine Falcon:

“Post from Cilla approx. 5pm 24 November:I haven’t seen Yurruga since I placed him in the tree, but I’m pretty sure he is still there as the parents have been coming and going with prey and giving me warning calls if I approach too close. I only check once a day and the foliage is really thick so hard to find him if he’s quiet.”

That is great news coming out of Orange! That is the kind of news I wish were coming out of Sydney with WBSE 27 – that the parents have been feeding it. Fingers crossed.

This is a short update. It is extremely quiet in Bird World now that the falcons and ospreys and WBSE in Australia have fledged. Eggs are happening in the Bald Eagles nests in the US and there will be lots of action around the holidays in December.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my information: Orange Australian Peregrines FB, Kakapo Recovery FB, and Sydney Sea Eagle Cam.

Late Saturday in Bird World

It is difficult to try and describe the weather we have been having to someone who might never have experienced it. Someone took a video of the blowing snow on the highway, a huge buck, and some of the issues people face trying to drive on the road in a storm. When you cannot see the road for the blowing snow, we call it a ‘white out’. This is the time of year we also call ‘the rut’. The bucks dig and spray marking their territory. We are seeing many in the fields around the city and in larger treed forests within the City.

Ah, but I am not here to talk about the horrible winter weather we are having.

My last blog focused on Ervie, the third hatch at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in South Australia. Ervie managed to get the first fish of the day. He only left the tail for Falky. To show how congenial these three are, Ervie did not even try to get the 10:48:28 delivery from Dad. Instead, Bazza (Big Bob) snatched it.

There he is enjoying his fish.

The camera is zoomed out in case one of the lads decides to fledge. Oh, I do hope they stay a little longer – another week, maybe.

Little Yurruga at the Charles Sturt University falcon scrape had 5 prey items for breakfast today. Yesterday was not a good day for feedings but, Diamond and Xavier have made up for it today. I am thinking that the parents might be teaching Yurruga that there are days with little food and some days with a lot.

Yurruga was really hungry when Xavier came with breakfast! Really hungry.

Yurruga has just finished that breakfast. Another prey item sits on the scrape, a Starling, and Xavier has brought more food. Notice that Yurruga is not running up and tackling Xavier to get the prey. Yurruga is probably wondering why there is so much food today.

Diamond came in to help Yurruga finish up that delivery. The Starling is still where it has been all morning. Diamond really dislikes Starlings!

Yurruga has an enormous crop. It isn’t her crop that interests me, however, but, the change in her plumage. Much of the fluff has disappeared. Peregrine Falcon juveniles have beautiful banded chests. Their bars are vertical. When Yurruga is an adult, the bars will be horizontal. Notice also the beautiful dark head and the tip of the wing. Oh, she is morphing right before our eyes into a very beautiful juvie.

She does not seem to be interested in the Starling that she pulled over to the rocks earlier. Oh, wait…maybe she is!

The feathers are almost off the left side of Yurruga’s head. Notice her beak. We get a chance to see how it has developed in this profile image. Yurruga is becoming very ‘falcon like’. Those chest feathers – that coppery brown – are just lovely. She looks like she has a feather boa around her neck – something she might need where I live today.

Oh, Yurruga means business. She is going to do something with that Starling.

She is showing us how strong she is! There are still some soft pantaloons but the down is coming off with every flap of those wings. Is there anything cuter than a little peregrine falcon at this stage in their development?

She is dragging that old bird back into the centre of the scrape.

There is our Peregrine Falcon with her large beak standing victorious on her prey. This pose really reveals how much Yurruga has grown. All of the feathers necessary for flight are growing in. Amazing.

Awww. Yurruga gave up on that old bird. No one seems to really want it. Wonder if Starlings have ‘Best Before’ dates on them?

WBSE 27 @Chris Bruce

If you missed it, here is the latest update on White Bellied Sea Eagle Fledgling 27, three days ago:

I wanted to bring you an update and some good news. The Port Lincoln Osplets are doing fine and I am certain that Falky will have a fish before the end of the day. Yurruga has already eaten enough to last her well into tomorrow. It also appears that WBSE27 is doing extremely well in care. The last update on Grinnell was on 10 November. He was getting to go into foster care for a few days before being released. All of the Kakapo are alive and the NZ DOC Rangers at Taiaroa Head will not decide which Royal Albatross couple will be on the Royal Cam until all eggs are laid.

Thank you. It is really nice that you are joining me. Take care wherever you are. Stay safe.

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

Good News in Bird World

There is a lot to celebrate in Bird World this evening. Everyone on the Taiaroa Peninsula and perhaps the whole of New Zealand are celebrating the arrival of the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Princess, Tiaki, at the feeding grounds just 70 km off the coast of Chile – safely! This really is amazing. As was pointed out on the Royal Albatross FB page, this young bird fledged on 25 September and arrived in the waters off the coast of Chile, 8500 km away, in 35 days. Incredible. Congratulations!

For those watching the return of the Royal Albatross to Taiaroa Head for the upcoming breeding season, OGK has flown off the peninsula to feed. He continues to wait for his mate, YRK. I have asked and been told that OGK is not the only male still waiting for its mate. That gives me some hope that this adorable couple will still be reunited. They were the parents of last year’s Royal cam princess, Pippa Atawhai.

There has been no new tracking data for Karl II but, on the 28th of October, he had reached Umm Harazat in the Sudan close to where he winters. Udu was at the Farafa Oasis in Egypt on the same day and Pikne was along the Red Sea. I expect that Udu and Pikne could be further into Africa by the time the next transmission comes in.

The Farafa Oasis is an area known as the White Desert.

Udu made a splendid flight across the Mediterranean Sea. The White Desert is home to a number of wells and there is farming in the area. It is most know for its white rock figures.

Pikne’s position:

Karl II’s position:

Moving away from the migrating birds back to Australia, little Yurruga took some big steps today. What a sweet little falcon! Here is a short clip I made of this momentous event.

Yesterday, Dad fed the 367 Collins Street Four in an area that could be viewed easily. There are, of course, concerns that the falcons will fledge from the end where there is no camera view. The owners of the cameras have stated that they will not change the direction of the camera again as it is too disturbing for the birds. That is quite understandable at this stage. No one wants to frighten these lovely eyases and have them fly and fall to their doom. And there is no telling which end of the ledge they will fledge. We just simply wait. They are so strong and healthy. Mum and Dad have been heroic in their efforts to sustain them. So please keep feeding the pigeons in Melbourne – our falcons need them!

There has been no word from the vet team about the condition of WBSE 27 since it was attacked by the Pied Currawong and found on pavement near to the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB page had originally posted WBSE 27 on the pavement unconscious. This disturbed some people so it was replaced with the image below. I have said that no news is good news but this has been several days since the incident. Send all the positive energy to this beautiful bird that you can!

There is good news at the Kakapo Recovery. The team has discovered that the eggs that are laid but do not hatch are not always infertile. Since the beginning of trying to help the Kakapo to recover numbers, it was always believed that the eggs were simply infertile and that is why there was no chick to hatch. The chicks are dying at an early stage. If they can figure out what is the cause, they might be able to assist these lovely non-flying parrots to have more successful hatches. Here is the posting on the Kakapo Recovery FB page. It talks about their efforts with the University of Sheffield to understand the issue and be able to have more live births of this critically endangered bird. Bravo!

The ospreys on the PLO barge are doing great. Little Bob is 45 days old today. Fledging is coming soon. Oh, how I am going to miss this wonderful trio. They have delighted hundreds and hundreds of people this season. Pure joy!

Look at Little Bob showing off! Besides loving to eat Little Bob really does like to give those wing muscles a go. I don’t think Big Bob is very amused.

In the image below, from left to right: Middle Bob (2), Little Bob (3), and Big Bob (1). If I were to have to base a guess on their gender due to the legs, I am afraid that I would have to change my prediction.

Middle Bob’s legs are definitely shorter and stockier than either Little Bob or Big Bob. Big Bob’s legs look like those of a male. That leaves us with Little Bob that I continue to believe is a female. Oh, I cannot wait for those measurements. They are not 100% certain but, perhaps, they will also do DNA testing on the three when they ring them!

Little Bob gives its two older siblings a big hug.

There is Little Bob looking off to the left after the morning breakfast. Three gorgeous nestlings. Ringing, naming, and measuring will take place the week of 8 November. I will keep you posted to the more exact date when I find out.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that you are all well. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots, video clips, and maps: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Birdmap, Kakapo Recovery FP Page, Wikimedia Commons, and Wildlife Computers.

The Great White Egret

Sometimes there are birds that seemingly get forgotten as I rush to find out if Tiny Little beat the big older siblings to the fish or to check on Malin’s feather growth. Clearly one of those has been the Kakapo. There are now only 202 Kakapo, parrots that cannot fly and who love to eat Rimu, on a couple of small islands near New Zealand. They are continually monitored and all have satellite transmitters. They get health checks and are flown off island for care, if needed.

The Kakapo Recovery has partnered with On the EDGE Conservation to create the Kākāpō Run game. As a player you can help the Kakapo evade their predators will collecting Rimu Fruit. Because it is filled with facts about these amazing birds, it is a good way to learn about them. You can download the game here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/kakapo-run/id1569861836

Ferris Akel spent most of the Saturday tour at Sapsucker Lake near Ithaca, New York. It was magical. We never made it to see Big Red and her family at Cornell University but it was a great time. One of the highlights was a Great White Egret which is rare to Sapsucker Lake.

Great Egrets are also called the Common Egret or Great White Heron.

Great Egrets will generally stand and wait to see their fish. They also slowly and quietly wade through the water until their neck snaps quickly and they get their fish.

Patience. Quiet. The Great White Egret gets its dinner.

Great Egrets nest in trees.

The beautiful white plumage that adorns these graceful wading birds was used for women’s hats in the late 19th century. Those silky white plumes are called aigrettes – which gives the bird its name. At the beginning of the 20th century, an ounce of Great Egret feathers was worth $32 USD, more than an ounce of gold according to the authors of Birds of Canada. People were so outraged that some of the first legislation to protect birds and their feathers was because of the Great Egret being brought to near extinction for hats!

In Canada, the Great Egrets nest in a very small number of places – in the very southern parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, a small part of southeastern Alberta, and southern Quebec. They are found in the Americas, Asia, and parts of southern Europe.

“Great egret rising” by wolfpix is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Great Egrets are large birds. They are 94-104 cm (or 37-41 inches) with a wing span of 1.3 m or 4.2 feet. They weight about 1000 grams or 2 pounds. They are all white with black legs and a yellow bill like the one shown above. During breeding season, a patch between its eyes turns neon green and long plumes grow out of its back.

“Great Egret Pointing the Sky” by TexasEagle is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Non-breeding Great Egrets have a small yellow patch between its eyes and bill.

“Great Egret on nest with chicks” by Photomatt28 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Great Egrets build a flat nest or platform of twigs and sticks. They will lay between 1-6 eggs which are incubated for a period of 23-26 days. It will be another 21-25 days til fledging for the youngsters. Aren’t they cute!

I am getting so excited for Peregrine Falcon season to begin in Australia. The male at the 367 Collins Street Nest also known as the CBD Nest arrived with prey for the female today. He is just such a cutie. The nest camera that streams on YouTube is not up and running. It will begin operations after the eggs are laid (normally). For now there is a camera operated by the owners of the building, Mirvac. Here is the link:

https://367collins.mirvac.com/workplace/building-overview/falcons-at-367-collins?fbclid=IwAR3vGCMkdnScju_KTKjhCrcHRnbsYxJm3kAKTLIOzylSVe8PX3UmwaJEn-s

The other Peregrine Falcon nest is that of researcher, Dr Cilla Kinross, at Charles Sturt University. The scrape box is home to Xavier and Diamond and they have been working on the scrape for some time now. We expect eggs at both nests by the end of August.

If you watch both nests you will get a good glimpse into the difference between a falcon nest on a high rise building in a major city, Melbourne, and the more open rural area of Orange, Australia. The prey is very different!

As it turns nearly midnight on the Canadian prairie, the day is just starting on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. No doubt our beautiful Blue 463, Tiny Little, will fly out from where she is roosting on the branches of the tree in the distance, to the nest. White YW has a trio of big Osprey fledglings to feed. He has demonstrated that he is perfectly capable of feeding a family of five.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. I hope to have some local images of bird life in Manitoba for you shortly.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Ferris Akel and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Feature Image Credit: “Great egret (Ardea alba) in flight at sunrise at Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida” by diana_robinson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Awww…..Thursday in Bird World looks like it will be a good day

Sometimes it just feels like it is going to be a good day the minute you click on a streaming cam to check on the birds and you see the little ones are being fed. That is what happened when I went to peek on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest. Wattsworth had brought in a fish. I did not stop to see how big it was because both chicks were up being fed by Electra. It is just all good. Of course, 3 more fish today or – how about 4? – would be magnificent.

Oh, and a fish had just been brought in by White YW to the Foulshaw Moss Nest- was I ever lucky. There is no rewind on their camera.

Just look at Tiny Little Bob’s face when White YW brings in that fish. You can almost hear him screaming, “Hurry up Dad before the big guys notice there is a fish!”

For the first time Tiny Little Bob’s eyes look great. I was so worried that Big Bob had damaged his eyes but just look at them popping out today – and that crop. Doin the happy dance.

Notice how Tiny got right up there in the sweet spot for the food. Oh, this little one is clever. I am also seeing that the big ones are not being aggressive towards Tiny Little Bob anymore. I don’t know what Blue 35 did but she did something to get those two big ones to stop tormenting Tiny Little Bob.

And look, Tiny Little Bob is getting some fat on his cute little bottom and his wings are filling out. This is all good news. Such a relief. I think he might be another one of those tiny little third hatches that goes on the list of survivors who turn out to do great things.

Wonder if they are going to band these three – surely they will. Must check!

And the other Tiny Tot is doing really well. It is always a good day when he turns up on the nest just to say ‘hi’. I suspect from looking at him that he has been fed off nest sometime this morning. He had quite the time with the intruders yesterday. Hopefully the nest will be quiet today.

The fledge watch on the Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus remains. Little K3 seems to like to live on the wild side going around and almost falling off the nest. Arthur made a quick chippie drop this morning and got out quick. It is a warm summer day but even as the three walk around on the grate no one seems quite ready to fly.

K3 really wins the award for cute hawk poses! Look at that adorable face.

The other good news is that K2 is eating well and seems to be looking better this morning. She could not close her beak yesterday and appeared to have issues around her eye. Warm wishes for getting everything sorted before fledge! Last year J2 fledged first. J1 was a big beautiful female. She actually fledged last – on the same day as J3 but after. I wonder if she was not as confident a flyer? or at least felt she wasn’t? It always bothers me that such an elegant bird broke her neck flying into Weill – a building on the Cornell Campus that should have window treatments so birds do not hit them! Seriously.

Idris caught another whopper today. The two Bobs on the Dyfi Nest and Telyn are full from the top of their crop to the tip of their talons!

These two are really looking nice and healthy. Awww Idris, you are amazing. You keep this up and in years to come you might get a wall with a perch, too, just like Monty, Telyn’s former mate.

You can watch all the action at the Dyfi Nest here:

One of the birds that we have not checked on lately are those parrots that do not fly, the Kakapo. I was reminded of this today when the post arrived and there was the adoption certificate for Rangi.

Many of the not for profits or various government agencies have adoption schemes to help fund the work they do. For example, the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre has certificates and photographs of Aran and Mrs G and their chicks last year if you adopt the family. The money goes directly towards what is needed at the centre. Everyone is a volunteer. There is no big board of directors getting funds. The volunteers are still helping to feed Aran and Mrs G in Wales.

As for Rangi, my adopted Kakapo. He is a bit of a character.

@ Kakapo Recovery Twitter Feed. 2019

He was transferred to Whenua Hou in 1987. The minute he was out and free Rangi went and hid. He was not located again until 2009. Twenty-one years they couldn’t find him! Thank goodness these flightless parrots live for about 90 years if they are not harmed by pests or disease.

Today, visits are made by researchers and conservation officers to change the batteries in the satellite GPS trackers of the birds. They are given health checks and moved off island if necessary to a wildlife clinic in Dunedin, New Zealand (normally).

The Kakapo are only found in New Zealand and they are critically endangered. These non-flying parrot like birds exist only on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou, Anchor Island and Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island. There are only 204 Kakapo in the world. According to the Kakapo Recovery Information Page:

The history of kākāpō is a story of drama, despair and hope. Before humans arrived, kākāpō were abundant throughout New Zealand. Population numbers dropped swiftly due to hunting, introduced predators and land clearance. Conservation efforts began in 1894, but by the mid-1900s, kākāpō teetered on the edge of extinction.

The biggest threats are infertility, genetic inbreeding, pests and vermin such as Pacific Rats and cats, as well as diseases. Here is a great coloured document giving the history of the Kakapo, the threats, and the hope.

Each wildlife centre, streaming cam, and conservation group has different adoption and donation plans. One day I want to write about them in an effort to try and sort out the individuals who monetize the birds for their own personal gain and those that really do help to conserve and protect. It is like a minefield out there! That said, it is really beneficial to give to those organizations that run on donations such as the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre, Foulshaw Moss (Cumbria Wildlife, etc). You might want to begin thinking about a way to help the birds and also have a gift to give to your grandchildren – or yourself! I am in awe of all the fundraising that The Friends of Loch Arkaig FB group undertake. Their last big project was a drawing turned into a print. The gorgeous detailed drawing was donated by Laura Grady – quite a talent. She did a great job capturing Louis and Aila.

So there are small groups working hard to help the various birds and their nests. Foulshaw Moss estimates that it costs 11,000 GBP to run their streaming cams. They also depend on donations.

But before you donate please do some checking. If you are wanting to help a bird that has been injured with the vet bills, for example – check and make sure that the vets are not donating their own time and expertise to the project or check to make sure that you are donating to the right agency. Send them an e-mail and ask! I am aware that a number of people wanted to help with the vet bills of a particular bird and donated to the streaming cam by accident a couple of years ago. It can happen so please check. Many groups also issue tax receipts so ask about that also!

Tomorrow is World Albatross Day!

Thank you for joining me today. I hope the weather is nice where ever you are and you can see some of your local birds or at least hear them. Take care. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen captures: Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.

Friday Morning Nest Hopping

Sad news arrived on Thursday night. Millie, a young Kakapo, was found deceased. This brings the total number of Kakapo to 204.

Millie sadly died.

In Latvia, the rain has been falling hard all day Thursday. The heavy drops sounded like hail hitting the microphone of the streaming cam. Milda has to work hard to both feed her miracle chick and to keep it warm and dry. That little one has no protection against the weather! That will come when she gets some thermal down but still, she will not be protected fully from the weather until we have juvenile contour feathers.

Rain had stopped on 23 April and Milda looks at her miracle baby.

The wind was really strong on the White-Tailed Eagle nest at Durbe, Latvia Friday morning but the rain had stopped. Milda looks at her little miracle in the nest. By afternoon the winds had calmed and the songbirds sing to Milda as she calls out to Mr C.

Milda is talking to Mr C. 23 April 2021

Milda’s eaglet is so cute and so healthy. Bird World needed something wonderful and the miracle of this little chick hatching in a nest in Latvia was it! It is really endearing to watch Milda feed her last chick with her deceased mate, Raimis.

Milda feeding her chick. 22 April 2021

I wrote with tears running down my cheeks earlier because Tiny Tot had really done well with the feedings, trying to steal a piece of fish from an older sibling, and having success grabbing a large piece from Mom that Dad has just delivered. Well, why did I think that would be the end of the day? At 6:59:57 on Thursday evening Jack arrives on the nest with a really nice headless fish.

One of the older chicks wants that whole fish but Jack seems to be waiting around for Diane to arrive. Maybe he shared the head with her? Let’s hope so. She has done an amazing job today equalizing the feeding on this nest.

But wait! Diane has other ideas. She arrives with another fish at 7:02:58. Wow. Within three minutes the nest has two fish deliveries. This is how this nest should have been going all along. Keep it up!

Of course, 2 thinks she should have both fish.

Diane looks like she is comparing her catfish to the one that the older sibling has from Jack. Oh, Diane’s fish is still alive!

I could paste fifty screen shots but, instead, I will just cut to the chase. 2 has its own fish so Diane is feeding 1. But where is Tiny Tot?

At 7:14:28 Tiny Tot is between mom’s legs getting fed. Diane moves the fish to the right corner of the nest. Tiny Tot only stopped eating to do a ps at 8:09:15.

Tiny Tot is full to the brim and finally quits eating at 8:10:10. He has eaten approximately half a catfish in this last feeding. Look at the picture above. His legs are fatter and you can see his round little bottom again. Tiny Tot staggers to the middle of the nest and passes out in a food coma. Sweet dreams little one!

It was a brilliant day on this nest on Thursday. Jack and Diane seem to have gotten their act together in terms of what is needed for food. Giving the older siblings small fish or their own piece allows Diane to feed Tiny Tot. We know that he can also self-feed. Let us hope they remember this strategy and do the same tomorrow. Diane finished feeding the big ones at 8:28 and she also got some nice bites herself – well deserved.

On Friday morning, there was some catfish left from last night (a bit and the bones) and 2 deliveries on the Achieva Nest. One looked like a flounder (or a flat fish) and another was a chunk of catfish. Tiny Tot did not get any of the first flat fish that I could see but he did get some of the big chunk that came at 8:08:18. Diane fed him some and then he took a piece at 8:28:50 and was self-feeding. Diane also fed Tiny something (perhaps the piece he was self-feeding and the old piece of catfish). There is Tiny Tot standing up nicely at the rim of the nest looking at mom when he is all finished.

Grinnell is doing the late night Thursday feeding at the UC Berkeley falcon nest. Isn’t he handsome? And as of Friday morning we still have three little marshmallows.

22 April 2021. Grinnell comes in for a late feeding of his adorable eyasses.

It is a gorgeous day on Skidiway island and there are two very healthy and alert Osplets on that nest. No sign of anything happening with that third egg (yippee).

Lunch for two. 23 April 2021

Over at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville, Legacy really enjoys her fish delivery early this morning. She is a super strong beautiful ebony coloured eaglet. All eyes are on Samson and Gabby’s 2021 chick as she continues branching. Fledge is coming soon!

Gabby and Samson continue to feed Legacy well and teach her lessons about stealing food – things she did not learn with another sibling in the nest. Legacy is going to be a magnificent eagle!

Legacy enjoying her breakfish. 23 April 2021
Legacy looking out to the wide world. She will be flying soon. 23 April 2021

Tomorrow, 24 April is the expected hatch of Big Sur’s California condors, Redwood Queen and Phoenix. Oh, I hope that egg is viable. It was laid on 4 March. What a wonderful thing for these two that both survived huge fires in their lives.

Phoenix coming in to incubate the egg. Hatch watch tomorrow. 23 April 2021

And you might remember that I was looking into third hatch Ospreys – the ones like Tiny Tot that had been battered by their older siblings. My friend ‘T in Strasbourg’ had contacted someone in Wales for me. I am very interested in the ‘survival’ rate of the ‘threes’ and Z1 was identified as an osprey like Tiny Tot who returned as a juvenile as a fierce Osprey. The last sighting I could find of him was 4 April 2020. Well news came this morning in a list on the Loch Garten FB page that Z1 arrived at his nest in Snowdonia on 1 April along with his unringed female mate. Oh, I wish I could put together a list of these third hatches that survived. Z1 is the only one of his clutch to migrate and return – now three years! Fantastic. If you think of any third hatches that were bonked and battered but survived to return from their first migration, please do let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for joining me today. As you can tell I am really excited about the progress that Tiny Tot has made in the past few days. It looks like all of the birds heading into the weekend are doing well. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society, Achieva Credit Union Osprey, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Latvian Wildlife Fund, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidiway Audubon. Thanks also to the Kakapo Recovery FB Page where I took the image of Millie.

A Kakapo Celebration

A fantastic announcement was sitting in my Inbox this morning. It was from the New Zealand Department of Conservation. It was to celebrate the 40th hatch days of Heather and Zephyr and to give an update on a juvenile, in care, Milford.

There are only 205 Kakapo in the world. They live on small islands not occupied by humans. Their movements are monitored by transmitters and there are teams of individuals that care for them. If something cannot be ‘fixed’ they are sent off island to the Wildlife Hospital in Denedin, NZ. That is precisely where Milford is at the moment. Milford is a juvenile and he lives on Whenua Hou or ‘Cod Island’.

“Whenua Hou” by Bruce McKinlay is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

During a wellness check, the rangers noticed that he was unable to use his left foot properly. They could not tell precisely what was wrong but, in the forest he would need both of his feet working properly. Milford was sent off island for an evaluation and treatment. X-rays showed that this juvenile had no broken bones. Even so, the technicians were not sure what was the cause of the problem. Milford will undergo a CT scan to see if there are issues with his tendons or subtle changes in his bones that the x-rays could not show. While Milford is waiting for the scan, he wears a blue jandal to help support his muscles and tendons. Isn’t he adorable?

One of the things about Kakapo is that even tho they do not fly, they can get around rather well and they are masters of camouflage. Look at the two images of his feathers below and imagine Milford hiding from the rangers in plain sight!

Hugh is the kakapo in the forest below. The camera is focused on him and he is not trying to hide but imagine if he were! These parrots blend in so well. Their satellite transmitters help the technicians to find them, do wellness checks, and change the batteries in their devices. The human carers try not to interfere with the lives of these critically endangered parrots who cannot fly. However, when it is necessary they will intervene to help them.

“‘Hugh’ Strigops habroptilus (Kākāpō)” by TheyLookLikeUs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This month everyone is celebrating the hatch days of two Kakapo, Heather and Zephyr. Both of them hatched forty years ago on Kakiura Island in 1981. No one knows their specific day of hatch. And no one knows the true life expectancy of these beautiful creatures. What we do know is that Heather and Zephyr are the two oldest living female kakapo.

Heather was not found until she was a juvenile in 1982. At the time of her discovery, she still had the pointy tips on her wing feathers which kakapo have until they have their first moult. Then they become round. When she was found, cats were killing the kakapo on Rakiura and she was relocated to Hauturu-O-Toi.

Zephyr was discovered in Nora’s nest on 17 March 1981 – St. Patrick’s Day. Her father is Rangi. It was thought she was about a week old. Zephyr and her sibling, Adler, were monitored closely until they fledged. At that point each of them disappeared into the forest. Zephyr was discovered nine years later but Adler has never been seen and is feared dead.

Zephyr and Heather have, according to the Kakapo Research team, made amazing mothers. Their personalities are very different. Heather is not a mother who will allow anyone near to her chicks. She is extremely protective. On the other hand, Zephyr loves people and will climb all over them. She does not mind people checking on her chicks. Zephyr’s chicks have become quite the celebrities. Hoki was the first kakapo to ever be hand reared and then there is the international superstar, Sirocco.

Sirocco was born on 23 March 1997 and today – this very day – he is 24 years old. Happy hatch day Sirocco! You became famous, you naughty boy, when you tried to mate with Mark Carwardine, a zoologist, on live television.

I am truly fascinated by these beautiful green parrots that cannot fly. I also admire the work that the New Zealand Department of Conservation does. It is remarkable the care that the wildlife get and every day I get a smile knowing that everything is being done for them that can be. I simply wish that this were the case elsewhere in the world. So, in celebration of my birthday which is also within the range of all of these kakapo this month, my present was symbolically adopting one of the Kakapo. The funds help to take care of them and each year the NZ Department of Conservation earns funds through these adoptions.

My little fellow is Rangi. The word means ‘sky’ in Maori. Rangi was discovered on Rakiura Island in 1981. Through the genetic testing that is done, Rangi is Zephyr’s father. He is also the grandfather to all of the Wind Dynasty Kakapo. Like his daughter Zephyr, he was removed from Rakiura Island because of the cats and relocated to Whenua Hou in 1987. Rangi sure might help the population of Kakapo grow but once they moved him to Whenua Hou, he escaped into the forest and was not seen until twenty-one years later – 2008. That year he received his transmitter. Rangi still does not like people and he will run to the deepest part of the forest to avoid them. He knows precisely where to hide where it is hard to catch him. Somehow I simply admire his tenacity! He is older than Zephyr and Heather who turned 40 – indeed, the researchers must wonder how old he is since he is Zephyr’s father. Rangi, are you the oldest living Kakapo regardless of gender? I wonder.

“‘Rangi’ Strigops habroptilus (Kākāpō)” by TheyLookLikeUs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. This is also the feature image credit.

He is certainly handsome – .

I hope that your day is going really well. And while spring is on pause because it is now snowing in my garden, I hope wherever you are the day is sunny!

Thank you to the Kakapo Recovery for their care of these amazing creatures and their FB Page where I retrieved images for this post.

Hey…birds down under

The 38 day old Royal Cam chick at Taiaroa Head is having some time on its own as the ‘pre guard’ stage sets in. The parents are leaving their little one alone for various short periods. The satellite trackers on both Lime-Green-Lime (LGL, mom) and Lime-Green-Black (LGK, dad) indicate that they are fishing just off the shores of this peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand.

LGL gave a sky call as she approached her beautiful little chick. The Royal chick had a really good feeding before LGL headed out to sea to fish.

LGL gives a sky call before feeding her little one. Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.
Nice squid shake for the little one before LGL heads to sea. Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.

After LGL left to go fishing around 9:30 NZ time, the little one kept itself busy playing with the nest, preening, looking around, and enjoying the sprinklers at the NZ DOC bring out to keep the chicks cool. This helps the chicks to not get stressed by the 25 degree Celsius heat (77 F).

Oh, how refreshing! Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.
NZ DOC rangers hook up the sprayers on March 3 for the little ones. Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.
Playing with its nest. Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.

And sometimes, when you are all alone, you have to defend your nest in case a stranger walks by! As the stranger approaches, the Royal Cam chick stands alert and begins clacking its bill mimicking precisely what its parents would do.

Chick is on alert!

And here comes Henry the Heron! Henry lives on Taiaroa Head and loves to photo bomb the Royal cam chick! Sometimes Henry even does a kind of snake dance with its neck. Henry would never hurt the little chick but he does love to come for a visit to check in on the little one. We will see him often before the fledge in September.

Have I seen you before? Cornell Labs and NZ DOC streaming cam.

Where’s Solly? Solly is the 163 day old Eastern Osprey that was born on a barge in Port Lincoln. We checked in on Solly a couple of days ago and she was heading south from Eba Anchorage back to the Streaky Bay area. Well, Solly is now back in Eba Anchorage! Solly spent the night in the same marshy area as she did on her previous visit. You can see the green pin in the satellite image below. From that central point Solly has been busy going out fishing. It is always so nice to know where the birds are. These satellite trackers are quite amazing.

Port Lincoln Osprey Project Image.

It is early March. The White Bellied Sea Eagles whose nest is in the forest of Sydney’s Olympic Park will not be actively undertaking nestorations for a few months but already they have come back to the nest to do some inspections. I wonder if Daisy the Duck making a deep hole for her eggs will cause them any extra work? Last night the bonded couple, Lady and Dad, spent their night sleeping on the ‘parent branch’ of the natal nest after checking out the condition of the nest earlier and making a list of what they needed to do.

Lady and Dad sleeping on parent branch. WBSE Streaming Cam.

The Kakapo Recovery had sad news. Uri was taken into care because he was unwell. He had lost weight and the team felt that he would improve significantly with regular food and some checkups. Uri’s blood tests looked good and he had gained weight. But Uri seriously did not like being in a building with humans. The decision was made to return him to the island and to provide supplementary feedings and check ups for him there. When the team showed up this morning to do their check up, Uri had died. Uri had no outward signs or symptoms of Aspergillosis, a fungal disease that affects Kakapo. A necroscopy will be performed to determine the precise cause of death. There are currently 205 Kakapo.

Aren’t they cute? Three little Kakapo chicks.

This is a link about the disease and the treatment that you might find interesting. The Kakapo in the video is such a sweetie as are all of these non-flying parrots. Everyone is working hard for their care and welfare.

https://www.audubon.org/news/fast-acting-kakapo-scientists-curb-fungal-disease-killed-seven-birds

Thank you so much for joining me today to check in on the birds that make our lives so interesting and joyful.

Kakapo and more

Everyone is talking about the Kakapo today because two of the 208 died. These events are always full of sadness.

Have you heard of Kakapo?

They live in New Zealand and they are parrots that cannot fly. Wings are only for balance and support. Some people think they look like an owl. In fact, they are nocturnal and only move around at night. Their plumage is a beautiful moss green with some yellow and black. Their feathers are very soft because they do not need them for flight. Their bill, legs, and feet are grey. Using those grey feet they run all over the ground and climb trees. They blend in perfectly to the forests of the small islands where they now live. These islands are designated nature reserves and only authorized personnel can go on them.

Before humans arrived on the shores of new Zealand, the forests were full of these amazing creatures. Many of the early settlers kept them as pets saying that they were as friendly as dogs. They are still friendly towards humans today. In the 1990s, only fifty existed. The predators of the adults were cats and stoats while rats were known to eat the eggs and the chicks. The New Zealand Department of Conservation undertook an amazing intervention in order to try and save the Kakapo. They literally gathered up the fifty that were alive and moved them to islands where there were no predators. In June there were 210. Sadly, today there are now 206. Every Kakapo has a radio transmitter whose battery needs to be changed at least once a year. They are carefully monitored and health checks are undertaken on a regular basis. Birds may receive supplemental feeds and eggs and chicks can be rescued and raised by hand. Because there are so few, the genetic diversity is extremely low and there is also a very low fertility rate. The Kakapo are managed on three islands and there is now managed mating using artificial insemination to help manage genetic loss. They are currently sequencing the genomes of all living kakapo to aid in their conservation. The females start breeding around five years but the males are not able to fertilize the eggs until they are about ten years old. They are said to only breed when the fruit of the Rimu trees bloom which is every 2-4 years. The males get off pretty easy. The females have to incubate the 1-4 eggs, feed themselves and their chicks, and also protect their nest and young. That is the reason that so many fell victim to cats and stoats in the past. They are strict vegetarians. Kakapo generally live to be ninety years old if they do not come to harm by predators or viruses.

They are so very cute. They love to hide from the Rangers when they come to change their transmitters but they also love their almond treats after!

If you would like to learn more about the Kakapo, this is a seven minute video that is quite good:

And if you are a teacher or you know someone who is and who might like to show their students this amazing non-flying parrot – that is so utterly sweet – head over to this site sponsored by the NZ Government:

https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/conservation-education/resources/kakapo-recovery/

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It’s time for updates:

That Great Horned Owl on the Bald Eagle nest near Kansas City is still there. The Bald Eagles have not evicted her. Poor thing. That snow is really packed around her. The flakes stopped coming down and while it has warmed up, it is still a frigid -4 F. Our owl (I was tempted to say little but they really are not little) is trying to sleep and keep those eggs warm. Her mate, Clyde (gosh that was my dad’s name- who would name their little son Clyde???????) is very good at bringing her prey during the night. Last mouse deposit was right before dawn broke this morning.

Bonnie took a break – less than two minutes off those eggs. Gosh she was fast! That got me to wondering how quickly that -5 temperature would impact those eggs.

It doesn’t look like any of the snow fell in over the eggs. I wondered if the warmth of Bonnie’s body would have made a bit of a crust??? Just a silly thought but, maybe.

The Bald Eagle sitting on the nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey at Duke Farms is getting some relief. The snow has stopped falling and is actually melting there. We can finally see the nest. Let’s hope she catches a break and doesn’t get hit by the system moving through on Wednesday. This poor mother has had snow for twice as long as anyone else with eggs underneath them. She should get some kind of endurance prize!

And there is some really good news on the nest of Gaby and Samson over at NEFL. Little E24 was having problems with its right eye. This morning it was completely closed again but later in the day it opened up. I could not see any discharge. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it just got a poke from some of that nest material. And give a hand to Samson who brought in five big fish. I wonder if he is expecting bad weather to set in?

Oh, just look. There is the little one’s tiny little foot close by its mom. How precious.

Samson can be my weatherman any day. He brought in such a big pile of fish earlier. Now you can hardly make out his silhouette as the rain pelts down at the nest near St. Augustine, Florida. There are also thunderstorms in the area but no tornadoes. Smart dad. That little one will be under its mother staying dry while she continues to incubate an egg that will never hatch.

It has been a beautiful day out at Big Bear. That snow and chilly winds are gone! How nice for Jackie and Shadow.

I am also very happy to report that there was so much food on the SWFL Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 that the bopping of 17 towards 18 was next to nothing today. In fact, I hope they are growing out of that behaviour. There is lots and lots of food. Indeed, hold on. Harriet even brought in some road kill today in the form of a grey tabby cat. So again, if you ever find yourself near someone who is saying eagles only eat fish, well they sure don’t on Harriet and M15’s nest. They are great opportunistic eagles. At the same time it is extremely worrying when the hawks, falcons and eagles land on the streets and highways to get the carrion and get hit themselves. It is also, of course, tragic when someone’s pet gets hit by a car.

And last, let’s check up on Solly to see what she is up to. To date Solly has re-written a lot of aspects of Osprey behaviour in Australia. That is fabulous news and supports putting satellite transmitters on birds for additional research and learning. Of course, the streaming cameras that I watch, like you, are invaluable as are the BOGs (Birders on the Ground).

Solly is 149 days old and she is still enjoying Eba Anchorage and flying over to Kiffin Island to find her dinner. Look at that seabird go!

And speaking of Ospreys, one of the Scottish Kieldner Ospreys Blue Y6, White EB’s youngest daughter, that hatched in 2016 was seen at Tanji Marsh Bird Reserve in The Gambia by bird guide, Fansu Bojang. This is just excellent news. You might recall that Avian Flu went through the Pelican population in Senegal and there was some worry for the UK Ospreys. This is just wonderful news! Last year was Blue Y6’s first year to raise chicks. She had two with her mate at a nest in Perthshire. Let’s hope she does it again this year.

There is lots of good news all around in the bird world. Even the Kakapo Recovery said that they are grateful for the growth in the numbers and with that also comes higher numbers of those dying.

The Ospreys will be making their way back to their nests across the UK and Europe soon. We wish them all safe travels. The hawks and falcons will be finding twigs for their nests and in a few weeks we will begin to welcome another group of baby eagles.

I am keeping a particularly close eye on that nest of Big Red and Arthur.

Stay safe and stay warm! Thank you for joining me today. See you tomorrow!

Thank you to the Kakapo Recovery, the AEF for the streaming cams at Big Bear and NEFL, the SWFL streaming cam and the D. Pritchett family, Derek the Farmer’s streaming cam, Port Lincoln Osprey for the tracking information on Solly, Duke Farms streaming cam, and Kielder Ospreys.

January 5 is National Bird Day!

Today is National Bird Day. Did you know? And, if not, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Why is there a day to celebrate birds?

National Bird Day seeks to raise awareness about birds. It is that simple. It began fourteen years ago in the United States and spread. So today, Canadians, too, are shouting out the love for our feathered friends. Everyone is joining together to find ways to enrich the lives of these, the closest living relative to the dinosaurs, better. And why should we care? Well, there are lots of reasons but let me begin with the fact that we have over fished the oceans, made the waters toxic and decreased the amount of fish that was present at the end of the nineteenth century by 80%. We have populated the world and allowed cities to sprawl, taking away the normal territory of the birds to hunt prey and survive. We spray our lawns so they are green, use toxic pesticides, construct buildings with gorgeous winds that are not strike proof (they could easily be), while driving fast and well, quite honestly, some people go out of their way to do harm. The coffee we drink, for 94% of that grown, comes from crops grown in direct sunlight. Yes, drinking coffee causes deforestation! So part of today is to examine how we can deal with these issues and offer protection and survival to our feathered friends. Did you know that 12% of the 10,000 bird species are in danger of extinction? There is a doctor from Studio City, California traveling the world to try and photograph every species of hummingbird before they are gone. Her name is Carole and she runs Hummingbird Spot, a bird cam and chat on youtube to raise awareness.

Kakapo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

So what can you do to help? You might think about bird adoption. I am particularly fond of the work that the Kakapo Recovery do to help the only remaining 208 kakapo. Have you ever heard of the kakapo?

The kakapo is also called the ‘owl parrot’. The forage around on the ground of the forests in specific areas of New Zealand. They do not fly! And they are extremely endangered. Every Christmas the Kakapo Recovery issues certificates for adoption. You get a photo of your kakapo and a plushie along with other swag. The purpose of the adoption is to help fund the Kakapo Recovery. Cost of adoption ranges from $100 to $500 NZD. The birds wear transmitters that require annual or semi-annual changing of batteries. Those transmitters allow the researchers on the islands to find the birds and check their health. Today, there are only 207 Kakapo. Their existence was compromised due to habitat destruction. Today, they are threatened by disease and intruders. Don’t want to adopt a kakapo? why not buy a great beanie that comes with a really beautiful Kakapo pin?

If you have been one of the millions enjoying watching wildlife make their nests, lay their eggs, and raise their young, you can donate to the wildlife cams that make this happy. You can donate just as much as you can afford. Cornell University runs a multitude of bird cams partnering with others around the world. They monitor the lives of Osprey, Royal Albatross, Red Tail Hawks (my favourite), along with countless other species living in manmade cliffs in Bermuda to fruit eating birds of Panama. Check them out! The bird cams are free! In 2020, during the pandemic, millions watched and discovered great empathy with these beautiful feathered creatures. They also learned many things. Did you know that the parents of the Royal Albatross chicks being incubated talk to their young before they hatch? Did you know that a damp nest can cause disease killing the young? If you have ever watched any of these birds feeding their young, you will marvel at how those big beaks can get such tiny pieces of food into the nestlings mouth! You will marvel at how they grow and you will come to imagine that humans might want to be so focused at the dining table. One of my favourite falconers, Laura Cully, thinks that every human should have to watch hawks raise their eyases before the humans commit to having children. Bird cams are wonderful but along with the joy there is also sadness. The norm is that only 1 out of 3 juvenile birds will live to see its first birthday. Those watching the camera of the pair of Red Tail Hawks, Big Red and Arthur, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York were thrown in despair this past summer when the big beautiful female, who had recently delighted everyone with her baths in puddles, was killed when she flew into the window of a building. And those who watched the two White Bellied sea eaglets growing in the nest in Sydney Olympic Park, WBSE 25 and 26, learned what determination was. SE26 had its leg broken shortly after hatch. For over a month it could not stand. It would scoot on its ankles. But, the eaglet persevered and forced itself to walk despite the pain. It branched, learned to feet itself, and fledged. SE 26 returned to the nest six days later much to the delight of everyone who thought they would never see her again.

Last photo of WBSE 26 I took off the screen.

Many who watch the bird cams contend with their own physical issues and it was very easy to identify with SE26. Everyone hoped that when she had overcome everything to fly that she would be able to be a real sea eagle living in the wild. The day after this photograph, WBSE 26 was found on the balcony of a condo, 22 stories up. She was taken into care. It was determined that she was in a lot of pain, there was scar tissue on her feet, injuries to both from overcompensating only using the left leg, and the break had not healed properly. She was euthanized. It broke everyone’s heart. If anyone were to suggest that the life of a bird is one of fun and freedom, I would have them watch a bird cam for awhile.

What else can you do in your own area? You can donate money or items to your local wildlife rehabilitation centre. The one near Winnipeg is Wildlife Haven. Check their website for what they need. Take a drive out and see their resident Bald Eagle who was found in NW Ontario and who now is one of their ambassador birds. You can attract birds to your back garden. You can add feeders and bowls of water. They will thank you immensely. Crows and Blue Jays love grapes, dog kibble, hard-boiled eggs which are good for them. Avoid feeding birds bread. It is like Junk food to them. They love it and will fill up on it but will ultimately die of starvation. If you see plastic mesh bags or the plastic tops that hold cans, cut them and put them in the garbage. Avoid the use of balloons at all cost. Birds die from getting tangled in them. And last, three ideas. Coffee. Do you drink it? Do you know where those coffee beans come from? 94% of the world’s coffee is grown in the sun with only 6% grown in the shade. Coffee grown in the shade does not destroy the habitat of birds and animals. In Canada, you can order ‘bird safe’ coffee from birdsandbeans.ca It is not any more expensive than some of the other leading brands and if you order $45 worth, the shipping is free. It is also delicious, organic, and fair trade.

Only one of the signature blends at BirdsandBeans.

If you live in the United States, you can order directly from the Smithsonian who certifies the coffees that are grown in the shade.

And if you really want to get into the politics of wildlife, then go and read the website of the Albatross Task Force. You might never eat factory fish again! Lobby your government to make these fishing trawlers comply with standards so that there is no bycatch. What do I mean by bycatch? Sea birds are attracted to the fish used as bait and they get caught on the industrial hooks if they are not protected. A Wandering Albatross is decapitated every five minutes. The goal of the Albatross Task Force is to get every industrial trawler to use bird scaring lines, fish at night, and add weight to the long lines. These are inexpensive remedies meant to save 80% of the bycatch and protect the growing number of endangered sea birds.

Get a friend to join you! Have your children enter many of the bird contests. Join in on Bird counting days. Read about birds and nature. We need to protect the birds and their habitat so that they can help protect us.