Zoe flies more, rare Albatross incubate their egg…and more news in Bird World

24 November 2022

Good morning to everyone and the best of Thanksgiving to those celebrating in the US today.

It has been wonderfully warm on the Canadian Prairies. I do not know if it is atypical for this time of year but, it certainly feels like it. The birds in the garden had some of their feeders rearranged and thanks to a lovely friend I swopped out some old feeders for some she gave me yesterday. One of the visitors today was a beautiful Starling. It’s an immature non-breeder. Note all of the white spots on his breast and it has yet to get its oily black head. The males and the female Starlings look alike. Did you know that? One difference is that the beaks of the males are a deep blue while those of the female are a pink colour. This then looks like an immature non-breeding male.

Look closely and you can see their rose coloured legs. It is also a pair of non-breeding adults. They are really loving this soft suet.

The Starlings will not perch on the metal. I do not know why. They want to lean down from the branches to get to the suet. You can see this behaviour in the image above also. So the feeder below was moved so they could more easily reach it! Who says I am a softie?

Junior was grateful for a bowl of corn today.

One of many varieties of the Sparrow family that visit the garden. They are particularly enjoying the Butter Bark Balls on these damp days.

The kittens have had great fun watching the birds and the squirrels. They continue to find places in the house to get into mischief. And they do not always come when they are called setting in a panic that they have miraculously gotten outside in the cold. Of course, they are somewhere laughing (do cats laugh?) while I panic!

Missy has discovered a Rodney Mott sculpture that is just perfect for hiding in. Lewis is in the overturned basket not even showing a whisker.

At the Australian nests, Zoe took off for her first flight of the day at 0901. It was an absolutely perfect take off and her landing at 0907 was spot on, too. She is a very strong osplet. I do hope she gets some nice fish. It has been 24 hours since she last had some food.

While the camera was down for a couple of yours, Dad brought in fish. We are only seeing the tail of the fish but I hope that Dad had some nice fish – the entire head – and that it was big enough for Mum and Zoe to also have a good feed. This family would really enjoy a day with several deliveries but, I am grateful to know that there was a delivery mid-afternoon.

Zoe had a nice crop.

At the scrape in Orange, things were decidedly low key. Xavier and Diamond in and out of the scrape box and Diamond enjoying sleeping in the box all by herself at night. They have busy days chasing after Indigo and Rubus. Little Rubus is, apparently, doing more flying and getting much better.

This was the news from Orange: “Rubus and Indigo both seen within the last hour. Rubus is exploring the campus, going from building roofs to trees etc. He fledged on 20th November. Indigo is way ahead getting flight training from parents, visiting the box etc. He fledged on 11th November at 41 days.”

If you haven’t checked out the FalconCam site in a few days, I urge you to do so. Someone is really adding historical data and you can go back to 2007 to see earlier chicks and read about the big events at the scrape. Here is that link if you lost it.

https://science-health.csu.edu.au/falconcam/home

Oh, it is stormy up near Jacksonville. Samson and Gabby have been on the nest today working despite the wind and the bad weather that looks like it is moving in.

I put this image in not so you could peer at the fluffy bottom of a big Bald Eagle but, rather, for you to see the colour of the legs and feet of Gabby. Then look at their beaks. This is a bright chrome-yellow. This is a very healthy bird.

Harriet and M15 are sleeping at the nest and so far no eggs, just like at NEFL.

At the E-3 nest in the Kistachie National Forest, they have their second egg today. Congratulations Andria and Alex.

There is also news coming out of the Midway Atoll about a very rare pair of Albatross.

As we give thanks for all the birds that bring our lives joy, remember that we are the cause of much of their suffering. Please spread the word to anyone you know – or where you work – that there are solutions other than using rodenticide to get rid of mice and rats. Also teach them about secondary poisoning. It could be their dog or cat but, it is often one of our beautiful raptors.

At small islands in New Zealand, Dr Digby and his team care for the rare non-flying parrot, the Kakapo. In 2016, they hand-raised more than a dozen of these precious little birds. Today they continue to do that work when it is required. The work that Digby and his team do to restore the health of these birds and to keep them safe and try and increase their numbers is remarkable. So thankful.

No 13. The Red List. The Marsh Tit

At first I thought these were out Black capped Chickadees. The Marsh Tit is small, it is mainly shades of a soft grey-brown or taupe with a shiny black cast, a black bib, and a pale ivory underbelly. The bill, eye, and legs are black. They are not plain by any means, look closely at the plumage patterns. Simply lovely.

The woodlands of the United Kingdom – and elsewhere – are changing and that it causing a huge decline in the number of this very small song bird, the Marsh Tit. The woods are more fragmented now, separated by grazing pastures, a growing number of introduced deer. Marsh Tits, according to Mike Toms, “favour woodlands with a complex understory and require surprisingly large patches of suitable habitat in order to breed successfully.” And they’re like their woodlands to be “wet”. Climate change has meant that they are now laying their eggs at least ten days earlier than they were 50 years ago. This change has had a decided impact on available or peak food supplies for the chicks which is also contributing to a decline in population numbers. The Marsh Tit is also known to visit older gardens, copses, and parks, and has sometimes been seen on feeders.

Marsh Tit” by Vine House Farm is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

They feed mostly on insects, seeds and berries, and often cache food over winter if they find a good supply. They nest in existing tree holes, rather than excavating their own, and produce seven to nine eggs.

Their song sounds like a sneeze “pitchoot”.

Here is their range.

Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that each of you had a wonderful day no matter where you are — or will have a great day if you are just waking up reading this. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NEFL-AEF, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, KNF, Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery and Dr Digby Twitter, Openverse, and RSPB.

Is it really Little Bit 17? and other Sadness and Gladness in Bird World

3 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I was out almost all day yesterday and returned to find some sad news. We will get this over and move on to all the good news!

The situation at the #4 Osprey nest in Finland turned darker. An intruder appeared and the chicks ‘fell or flew’ off the nest. The youngest who had not as yet flown was predated. This is also the chick that was so vigorously attacked by Mum the other day. So sad. Thank you ‘N’ for letting me know. This is 81 lost so far in the past 13 months on streaming cams.

The Mum and the surviving fledgling on the #4 nest. Keep them in your warmest thoughts.

Ervie. Bazza Hockaday was doing some photography for a client and found Ervie, too. Can you spot Ervie on top of the pine tree? This park is across from the barge – so Ervie is staying close. (Magnifying glass almost required!)

Meanwhile Mum and Dad are making sure that Mum is quite comfortable on those eggs – they are lining the nest with a Silver Gull, one of the favourite foods of the Sea Eagles.

Everyone wondered if anyone would be keeping an eye for Little Bit ND17. It seems that lots of people who loved the eagle that fought so hard to live continues to have a loyal fan club. This evening on the Notre-Dame FB page, the following was posted. It looks as if our Little Bit has been very resourceful and is doing fantastic. Tears, joyful tears!

SF Ospreys have not received the DNA results from Brooks and Molate. Brooks continues to enjoy herself at the other nest and the visitor seems right at home. He is certainly a lovely Osprey – and talented.

The ‘visitor’ at the nest of Richmond and Rosie has done something very special – it caught a Spiny Dogfish (Shark) that lives in the Bay. (Reminds me of those brought to the nest at Mispillion Harbour in Delaware – bet it is just a slight difference in name from one region to the other but the same fish). The juvenile very proudly brought it to the nest. SF Ospreys say this is highly unusual. They have only seen a juvenile do this once. Round of applause!

Here is the video clip:

At the Black Stork nest of Karl II and Kaia, Karl was busy flying back and forth to the fish basket. He delivered 3 big meals to the storklets. Kaia delivered 1 on the 2nd of August. There was some concern that Karl II’s GPS was not working but it seems to be fine now. Thank goodness. I do worry about them all the time for some reason – storklets not yet fledged and requiring much food before migration.

Bonus has been standing on the curved perch with 1 leg. Great balance. Bonus is the oldest of the four. He is 72 days old on 2 August.

The four storklets of Betty and Bukacek are doing fantastic. The female- Fifinka- often spends time on the nest of the adults and then flies to the natal nest when food arrives. Sometimes she holds back from the bigger males but she wastes no time getting there if she is hungry. In the image below she is at the top flying in.

There is no reason for it other than sheer dominance at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. Lady feeds SE29 and 30 at least every hour if not sooner. Things were going relatively well until 0911 when 29 decided to not be nice and attack 30.

Three minutes later 29 is going into a food coma and 30 is being fed (0917 below).

SE30 keeps its head down to protect it.

Notice how 30 is slinking around the back ready to move forward and eat when 29 calms herself. Very clever tactic.

SE 30 is still being fed four minutes later. All is right with the world.

Mom and Dad on the nest of the Port Lincoln Barge early on 3 August.

Did you fall in love with Louis and Anna at the Kisatchie National Park Bald Eagle cam? couldn’t believe your eyes the day 18 fish were on the nest? did you melt and worry when Kisatchie fledged? when Kincaid hatched this year? Well, Cody and Steve have more fun for everyone. You will be able to watch 2 Bald Eagle nests from the Louisiana! Here is the announcement:

Humans and wildlife rehabbers helping another juvenile eaglet so that it has a second chance at life. These stories are always welcome!

The fish have been arriving in various sizes to the Osoyoos nest. ‘H’ sent me a note this morning saying the tally was at least 13 yesterday. Olsen is keeping up the numbers and some of them had to be good a good size. Sometimes the chicks are full and sometimes they aren’t. The last fish for 2 August was delivered at 20:01. Dad brought it in and Big Chick (BC) grabbed the tasty little twiddler. Dad rooted around and found an old piece of fish and fed Little Chick (LC). The family is nourished and hydrated. They have a break in the weather for a few days. This is all good news.

Here comes Olsen! BC rushes over to get the little prize.

Fortunately for LC, Dad found a piece of fish and is feeding him while BC works on the twiddler. It is all good.

The fish started arriving at the Osoyoos nest around 0523. The first was a small one but it seems to have changed possession at least 6 or 7 times. BC has been grabbing and self-feeding. Soo got into the action so that her and LC had some breakfast too. It is starting off to be another great day at this nest with 7 fish before 00700. Thanks Olsen!

Beautiful Iris. She continues to work on her nest. Precious are these moments – every year we wait til she leaves and wonder if she will return in the spring after migration. 29 years?

There are no updates on L4. It is now presumed that it was another window strike on the Cornell Campus. That would mean that of the four eyases – three struck windows at Cornell whose Bird Lab is one of the world leaders. Of those three, two are in care and one died. It is time Cornell made its windows bird strike proof like all of us try to do. I have not see at this time 1052 CDT an image of the head of the juvenile believed to be ND17. Elsewhere things seem to be steady but that could change as I hit the word ‘publish’.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, postings, videos, etc: Osoyoos Ospreys, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Mlade Buky, The Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Center for Wildlife, US Forest Service at the Kistachie NF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and SF Bay Ospreys. They have been turned into my screen captures.

Monday in Bird World

2 May 2022

Oh, I cannot tell you the level of elation when – just stopping in to check on a fledging that it is there on the nest, yelling at the parent it sees in the distance bringing in a headless fish. Oh, Kincaid, it was so very nice to see you. Thank you Louis for that great meal! The time on the Kistachie National Forest streaming cam was 15:48:36.

There is Kincaid on the branch. Oh, how lovely. I have not checked in on you enough but, it so reassuring that you are still at the nest with your parents, getting food and getting stronger at flying. That is how you will survive! Maybe you won’t ever leave. There is plenty of lake, lots of fish, and an empty eagle’s nest.

Kincaid saw Louis flying towards the nest way in the distance and she rushes down to get her dinner.

Kincaid was sure ‘wheeing’ very loud as the adult approached the tree and landed. Kincaid mantled the nice headless fish perfectly.

Kincaid did a great job feeding. She was still on the nest eating an hour later.

This morning DC9 at the National Arboretum Nest was banded. The eaglet was taken in a pouch down from the tree and returned. It was a very hot day in Washington, DC. 27 degrees C or 80.6. It is hotter on the top of the nest. DC9 was panting. The immediate reaction of the bander was that DC9 was a male. If I hear differently, I will let you know. Here are some images of that event.

DC 9 valiantly defended its nest. It is 10:52. DC9 is 35 years old. The perfect age for banding.

The bander sat very quiet talking gently to the little eaglet and slowly, ever so slowly got him to where he could place him in the sack.

In you go.

Down they go.

Done and dusted. The bander stayed to see that DC9 was alright. Watched his breathing etc.

DC9 is panting due to the heat and probably some of the stress. He is not going to show us his bling either.

Mr President was on a branch of the nest tree called the ‘balcony’ at 15:43. He flew down to the nest and fed DC9 at 16:22. I wonder if DC9 told Dad what a day he had had!

The cuteness factor at the nest of Big Red and Arthur is way up there. L4 is quite the ‘corker’ as my Mum would have said. Yesterday evening he was trying to eat the same piece of rabbit as its older sibling, L1. The wee one isn’t afraid of anything – even attempting to eat a bird leg this morning. It was quite hilarious. At least once Big Red had to rescue the poor darling from choking. Did I say she was a great Mum?

L4 is on the far right with that big piece of meat. Right now it is the only eyas that does not have the grey down coming in. The others are preening and itchy! Soon enough, little one. Don’t grow too quickly.

Everyone is getting a nice crop.

Then it started raining. Poor Big Red. She is getting soaked.

Then the rain stopped. All of the babies are completely dry and kept nicely warm.

It often seems like Big Red never stops feeding them! Adding one extra sure changes things on a nest!

Iris came to visit her nest today at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula. No eggs yet.

Someone commented that they thought raptors bonded for life (meaning if the mate disappears they do not take another mate) today in a short discussion about Nancy and Harry at the MN-DNR nest. Harry has been missing since Tuesday evening. He is Nancy’s second mate. Should Harry not return to the nest, Nancy will have her choice of suitors. She is an experienced female with a beautiful nest and according to the statistics there are too many single male eagles. II really hope that Harry is off healing and will return. Nancy is taking good care of E1. (E2 was shoved off the nest by E1 and subsequently euthanized due to its injuries both from the fall and from the beaking from E1 on the nest).

The oldest eaglet on the Dale Hollow nest branched today. A parent was in with a chunk of fish for Big and was feeding some fish to Middle.

The eaglets are big! Just look at the size of them.

Wow. That big beautiful wing. The eaglets are (counting hatch day) 64 days old today. They hatched on the 28th of February.

Louis and Dorcha at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest in Scotland now have three eggs. Congratulations.

Male Ospreys are quite funny. Some bring toys and bright objects to the nest. Others land on their mates and use them as a pillow hoping to get some incubation time. At the Dyfi Nest in Wales, Idris pulls Telyn’s feathers when he wants a turn! Telyn is incubating three eggs!

Idris is also known for being ‘Daddy Longlegs’ and for his fantastic fishing abilities!

This is a reminder that Annie and Alden, the Peregrine Falcons at the Campanile on the grounds of the University of California at Berkeley are incubating three eggs which are set to hatch in four days – 6 of May (possibly the 5th). Two eggs are believed to belong to Annie’s former long term mate, Grinnell, and one is thought to belong to Alden. Everyone is very excited. When the chicks are banded, snips of feathers will be taken and a DNA test will happen. We will know the genders and hopefully which chick belongs to which Dad.

Don’t know what to expect from a Peregrine Falcon nest? or need a refresher? or just want 15 minutes of cute? Have a look at a season compilation from Glasgow.

I have not had a chance to check all of the nests! Adding the falcons and ospreys in with the eagles has been running – which is a good thing! Those nests I have checked appear to be just fine.

It is sunny and dry in Manitoba! American White Pelicans are on the river near to where I live. The floodway seems to be regulating the water inside the city the way it was designed. Thankful.

Thank you for joining me this afternoon. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Dfyi Osprey Project, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, DHEC, Scottish Woodland Trust, NADC-AEF, MN-DNR, KNF, and the Montana Osprey Project.