28 August 2022
Good Morning Everyone. I hope that each of you had a lovely Saturday. Thank you so much for joining me today!
From the Mailbox:
‘A’ asks: What is the average time difference or gap for Peregrine Falcons to lay their eggs? Diamond looks like she is ready today. Thank you, ‘A’. That is a very timely question as we sit staring at Diamond’s bottom for her tail feathers to begin to go up and down when she is in labour. In the nest notes that Cilla Kinross, the researcher at the Orange Falcon cam compiled, it says that the average time difference is 56 hours. As I write this, the time in Orange is 13:21 on Saturday. That egg is due anytime.
‘L’ asks: What is the purpose of molting? The feathers of our bird friends get damaged just like our clothes from normal living. They break and get tears. Moulting is the annual replacement of the feathers. In fact, think about it. Feathers are so important to birds – they keep them warm and dry and, of course, are needed for flying. They should be in tip top shape which is why birds spend so much time preening. Some birds begin to moult in the spring. Others wait until nesting has finished. Moulting is really hard on the birds and it is normally done when there is an unusually high level of prey so they can keep their energy up.
‘C’ writes: “I’m glad I helped with that information about galvanized steel that contains zinc. But in stainless steel, the component is chromium. Is it also bad for the health of birds? I searched very quickly, and in a very superficial search, I didn’t find anything that chromium is also bad for.” The information you provided was very useful. As one of our other readers ‘L’ writes there are some uses for zinc that are also helpful such as in ‘Zinc Ointment’ for baby rashes. I do not know a lot about chromium. It is also used in ceramics to make certain shades of green glazes and is highly toxic in its powdered form. It is not toxic after the pottery has been fired to a specific degree, however. — We assume that the things that we use for cooking are all ‘safe’. Sometimes it is only later we discover that there could be connections to specific ailments. However, if I had a beloved bird that lived in a cage – the cage wires would be stainless. We have a metal shop in our city that made all the SS backings for my kitchen and my island top. I am certain there are similar facilities in other cities where they could make the wires. I am still finding this whole zinc toxicity that impacted Victor very curious. I wish I knew more!
In the News:
The UK is still celebrating the arrival of more than 100 Hen Harriers.
The New York Times published the following article about how climate change will impact the birds we love and which are more likely to go extinct first. The cover shows the Kakapo and my readers know that the Kakapo Recovery Group is working hard to make sure that the flightless parrots survive. Today there are 205 of them on a couple of mall islands of New Zealand.
Chase showed up with a nice big fish and waited and waited on the Two Harbours nest for Lancer on Saturday morning around 10:38. Lancer never showed up. What a change it must be for the parents from nearly getting their talons torn off to sitting quietly to see if anyone will arrive. If you have left the territory, Lancer – soar high, be safe and always have a full crop!
Such dedicated eagle parents. Did you know that Chase & Cholyn have been together for 19 years?
Ferris Akel had a terrific tour on Saturday afternoon around Ithaca, New York. I was listening and doing other things until he got to the Cornell Campus where he caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on camera. Oh, it is lovely to continue seeing L2. According to Suzanne Arnold Horning, the latest a juvenile has been seen at the Cornell Campus is 28 August. L2 looks pretty comfortable. I wonder if she will shatter that record?
Arthur was hunting.
L2 could see Big Red in the distance when she was on the pole and was prey crying really, really loud. Since L2 was the second juvenile to catch her own prey in June I am imaging that Big Red’s answer to that is: “Get your own!”
Big Red looks a little ‘rough’. She is moulting. Like other Red-tail Hawks, Big Red undergoes a complete moult once a year. Normally, hawks begin their moult in spring and every feather has been replaced by September or October. Big Red, however, appears to begin her moult after the eyases fledge.
Xavier has been bringing Diamond some extra special treats during Sunday to help Diamond keep her energy up for the egg laying. One was an Eastern Rosella which is a very colourful parrot and the other was a nicely prepared pigeon. Diamond was excited for both!
The arrival of the Rosella meant that cute little Xavier could have some time with ‘eggie’.
Diamond had a very large crop when the pigeon arrived but she certainly wasn’t going to turn her nose up at that special food gift.
It is 13:57 in Orange and Diamond is sitting on the ledge of the scrape box while we wait and watch for an indication that the second egg might be arriving.
Diamond is back on the egg at 1400.
Diamond is very focused and she looks ‘heavy in the rear’. Egg 2 could be coming shortly. Diamond normally lays 3 eggs. For the past two years, only one egg has been viable each year.
Diamond laid egg #2 at 17:27. Yippppppeeee. Why am I so excited? Well, falcon eggs do not always hatch and for the last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only 1 out of 3 eggs hatch so it makes the chances better of having a successful hatch.
Xavier arrives at 17:33 to see the second egg and to bring Diamond her dinner. Notice that Diamond is being very careful. Falcons lay their eggs standing up. She is protecting the egg while the shell hardens in the air. The gap between eggs is 57 hours.
Diamond did not want to eat. She had already had two big meals. She remained in the scrape box. During the night she would sometimes incubate or, alternatively, stand above the eggs protecting them. Remember the Currawong know there are eggs in that scrape and they will eat them if the opportunity arises!
The Melbourne couple seem to be finished with three eggs and each takes turns incubating. Dad was very anxious to demonstrate that he was well seasoned in incubation. The Melbourne crew even made a video of the persuasion.
It is a very short and cute clip. Oh, do you ever wish you could speak falconese?
Friends of Osprey have posted some photographs of Ervie near the Marina where he had dived and caught the lovely fish he is eating. They were taken by Alex Ditton. Oh, goodness. It is always such a joyous occasion when someone shows us that Ervie is doing very well indeed! Check out the Friends of Osprey for more images of Ervie.
Kaia remains in Belarus around the Priypat River. This is what the area looks like where she is resting and fishing.
Bonus, the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika that was fostered with Kaia and Karl II has begun his migration. His tracker tells us that he traveled 109 km and is now in Latvia near the village of Vietalva.
Travel safe dear Bonus, fly high, stay out of the war zones, always have a stream full of frogs and fish — prosper.
There should be more news but it appears that all might have left for their winter homes from the Karula Forest nest of Kaia and Karl II. I will confirm this tomorrow.
Bonus was always a very special Black Storklet. He would not have survived without the intervention of Urmas and Dr Madis and his team. They would have died on the nest. Urmas’s foresight to provide fish baskets meant that everyone had lots of fish. A special thank you to all who donated towards the food for the nest.
The Dahlgren Osprey nest in the US has announced that the male, Jack, has not been seen for a few days so that now Harriet, the female, and the sole surviving fledgling from the nest in King George County are on their journey south.
No one has been seen at the Loch of the Lowes since yesterday. Laddie LM 12, Blue NC0 and both of the fledglings appear to also be heading south.
It was another successful year for Ospreys in Wales and John Williams gives us the run down in his last blow of the season for Llyn Clywedog. The numbers of Ospreys in Wales are growing. There are now 7 ‘known’ pairs who produced 17 chicks this year. John catches up with all the nest news.
John also produced a chart for all the chicks hatched at Llyn Clywedog – noting that there is simply too much grey. Were those chicks ever seen or not? Sometimes they do get missed.
Handsome Aran on the perch at the Glaslyn nest this morning. He remains bringing fish to the nest for the fledglings. Mrs G was still home as well today.
Emyr Evans has provided us with the data of the fledges at the Dyfi nest asking the question: what happened to Pedran? Emyr is great with statistics and this is a good read about migration and young fledglings.
Rosie was still on the perch at the SF Bay Osprey nest this morning! Brooks has not been seen at the nest for some time now – this is not alarming. She is out exploring!
Congratulations to Glacier Gardens. Both Love and Peace have fledged. Here is a video of that moment on 25 August when Peace took to the air. Congratulations for another successful year Liberty and Freedom!
Thank you so very much for joining me this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that you are doing well and I will look forward to having you with us again in Bird World.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their posts, and their videos that form my screen captures: The New York Times, Explore.org and IWS, Ferris Akel Tours, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Friends of Ospreys, Looduskalender, Dahlgren Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Williams and The Clywedog Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.