QT is now Lillibet, Little Bob has a huge crop and other news in Bird World

6 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, goodness. One area of my City had its first snow last evening and the temperature for the rest of us is 1 degree C. (Think of 0 as 32 degrees F). We had our first heavy frost last night. This cold snap will surely put some of the birds that are arriving in our City on a path south!

The active nests remain in Australia while the Bald Eagles work on their nests for egg laying later in the year in the US. Rain is the issue at some of the nests. Melbourne received 3 inches of rain or 7.5 cm. Mum worked so hard to keep those eyases dry. Sadly, the Collins Street scrape will have more rain today – perhaps an inch – starting at around 0800. My weather report says that should end around 1300. It has really rained in Sydney and there are some areas that are flooding. Rain should begin in the Olympic Park where the Ironwood Tree nest of the Sea Eagles is located at around 1100 and then stop. Port Lincoln could be dry today! Yippee. It looks right now that Orange could be dry as well. We wait and see how the forecasts hold up BUT regardless, these amazing raptor families are doing well despite the heavy downpours that are occurring. That is simply wonderful.

There is word that Friends of Osprey – think Janet Foster, Ian Falkenburg, Fran Solly – from Port Lincoln and all those who donated or joined Friends of Osprey – have received four sat pack transmitters for this year. There will be one available for Port Lincoln and one each going to the three other nests should they have fledglings. Calypso has been seen numerous times and is flying well. She is the 2019 fledgling from PLO. Ervie is, of course, out and about being the man about town in Port Lincoln. This is excellent news. More platforms are planned for South Australia as well as the number of Ospreys grow in the area.

Friends of Ospreys has a new website and they are grateful for all donations. All funds go directly to the camera, etc at Port Lincoln, new platforms in the area, and those precious transmitters. This is their new site and it is packed with information. Not a member? Consider donating. Membership is $20 Australian.

Here is the latest news from the blog on our darling Ervie:

https://friendsofosprey.com.au/our-tracked-osprey/

An announcement came out of the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head yesterday that a decision was made and accepted by all members that the Royal Cam Chick known as QT be officially named ‘Lillibet’ after Queen Elizabeth II.

I was worried about Little Bob at Port Lincoln yesterday. Big and Middle continue to go at one another and well, I will sound like a broken record but, it is a real blessing that they stop fighting and act nicely at the fish table. ‘A’ noticed yesterday that Little Bob’s lack of a long neck is hampering him if he is not at the right position during feeding. That said, he walked away with several nice size crops later yesterday when larger fish came to the nest.

In the image below, have a look at Middle Bob. Notice the dark woolier down that is now replacing that light grey coat of down the osplets had when they hatched. They will retain this thermal wooly layer to help them regulate their temperature. Feathers will begin to appear. You can already see the rusty-gold ones on their head and nape. These will be followed by the wing, tail, and body feathers until they get their full juvenile plumage. They are going to be very itchy and will spend much time preening.

Remember that the feathers are often called ‘blood feathers’. The feathers grow from blood quills which will disintegrate and fall off as the feathers grow.

Little Bob looks great with that big crop of his. You will notice that all three chicks are in the full reptilian phase including having ‘clown feet’.

We all wondered if Little Bob would be another Ervie. He certainly does his best to get up front and at the beak for feeding. The beaking between the two older siblings does send him into safe positions and it does appear that he is often afraid of them — and for good reason. He is still very small. Let the older more evenly matched siblings take their angst out on one another!

Dad continues to provide lots of prey for the Melbourne eyases and he does his best to feed them and keep them covered from the sun. It is difficult for him to brood them – even last year, Old Dad has a huge problem when it came to four chicks. They all seem to be doing well including the smallest one.

Mum has been notified that prey is delivered. She has flown off to have a break and eat.

Dad arrives and stays with the eyases til Mum returns.

Some chatting and bowing and Dad is off!

The older chicks can see well. It is hard to determine if the 4th has its eyes fully open and focused yet. Oh, how I wish there was a zoom on that camera!

The wee one at Orange is getting some food while Big Bob is growing like crazy. Everything is going well at Orange for Xavier and Diamond and we will all get to see how these two manage as parents of two this year instead of one.

There have been lots of feedings and Xavier has been able to feed and brood his family! He so loves being such an active part in everything instead of just providing prey.

SE30 has not fledged yet. The heavy rains in the forest should slow down any flying but, SE29 does not seem to be bothered flying in and out of the nest. SE29 is roosting elsewhere. SE30 is so excited to see its sibling when it flies in. They seem to have such a special bond with one another this year.

Fish have been coming to the nest and Lady often feeds SE30 and also SE29 should s/he show up on the nest. SE29 is often more interested in what is going around making one wonder if s/he is not also being fed elsewhere.

All of the nests are as quiet as they can be in the middle of the night in Australia. Despite the weather, all of the parents are able to feed and keep their little and not so little youngsters fed and warm (if needed).

Migration:

Checking on Karl II family for 5 October. Bonus continues to stay in the same area of Romania. Tracking shows that he flew a lot. This is a map of where he is and an image of the area.

Waba is still in Moldova at an area around Glodeni.

Waba seems to be enjoying a pond in the landscape. You can see by the blue dots that he visits there often. How wonderful he has found a source of fish and frogs.

Karl II has just astounded people with a 450 km flight. He is now in Turkey!

I see that there are no tracking reports yet for Kaia. On 4 October she was 31 km from the Mediterranean Sea. She is perhaps in areas where there is little satellite transmissions available.

Don’t forget that 8 October is Big Bird Day at Cornell Bird Lab. Go to their website to register for the bird count if you are not already a part of eBird. It is free. Here is the information to get you started:

https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-2022

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts where I took my screen captures: Friends of Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Looduskalender Forum.

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

8 September 2022

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

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

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

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

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

In the Mailbox:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nest News:

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

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

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

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

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

Xavier hoping for some more time with the eggs…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Migration News:

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

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

avianreport.com/osprey-migration/

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

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

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

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

Tweed fledgling positively IDed and photographed on the Iberian Peninsula.

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

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

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

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

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

Victor flies in the aviary…and other news on Friday

2 September 2022

Friday is going to be a much nicer day in terms of weather. It has been sweltering on the Canadian prairies. The high will be 21 and not 32! It is hard to imagine it being 32 degrees at the beginning of September in Winnipeg. The sun is bright and the sky is blue without a cloud in sight. It will be a good day to go to the nature centre for that long walk and to see how those little ducklings have grown this week. The egrets were still in Winnipeg last night. They attracted a few of us to gasp at their beauty as they flew into their roosting tree at sunset.

No matter what is happening today in your life, take the time to marvel at the work of the wildlife rehabbers who are giving our darling raptors a second chance to live out their lives soaring in the skies. Smile. Victor is flying!!!!!!!!!!!!

Making News:

The Ojai Raptor Centre has done an amazing job getting Victor to flying in the large aviary from the patient that arrived with severe zinc toxicity. They posted a Victor of our dear Victor flying so well. So thankful for Dr Sharpe and everyone who gave Victor his second chance! What a wonderful sight to see ——-Victor flying and not having to do physio being supported by a human lifting a towel. Tears.

Whenever you think about intervention and someone says ‘nature will take care of it’ ——think of our dear Victor and tell them about him. Maybe you can gently change their mind. Or you could tell them about Little Bit ND17 – or both!!!!!!

You might remember that one of the two eaglets on the US Steel Bald eagle nest fludged and, in the process, tore many of its feathers. It was taken into care. Here is the most recent news on this lucky eaglet who is getting its second chance!

Rosie’s broken feather on the right.

The new feathers being inserted. They will fall out when Rosie has her first moult. Oh, what a very lucky eaglet! Just like Victor and Little Bit.

Migration counts at Hawk Mountain:

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

As hurricane season is with us, researchers are looking at how our warming earth and hurricanes are impacting our feathered friends.

https://www.audubon.org/news/how-bird-researchers-are-tracking-impacts-intensifying-hurricane-seasons

If you are living where Baltimore Orioles will or are passing through, heading to their winter homes, remember to put out the oranges and the jelly (they love other flavours than grape, too) for them to help build their energy.

The RSPB gives us all some ideas about how we can better ‘green’ our lives.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/community-and-advice/green-living/

I was extremely interested in their article on how to create a garden that is beneficial for wildlife. It is always good to look for new and better ways to take care of those garden friends that come to us for food, shade, and shelter.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/gardening-for-wildlife/creating-a-wildlife-friendly-garden/

Nest News:

Who could have predicted that the Hellgate Canyon nest would have a visit from both dear Iris and Louis on Thursday? What a pleasure it is to see her. Like so many of you, I have growled at Louis but, in the end, Iris seems much happier when he is about so…I am going to stop moaning when I see Louis. I wonder if this is the pair together, Iris saying goodbye to all of us until next spring?

Beautiful Iris. If this is the last time we see you this year, travel safe, always have a full crop, enjoy your winter but return in the spring. You give us hope and inspiration.

And she is off, the oldest osprey in the world living in the wild.

Feeding time for the Sea Eagles. Notice how much progress they are making in terms of plumage but also, in standing.

There was another prey delivery at 1200 and SE30 did some impressive mantling on its arrival.

Xavier brought Diamond a nicely dressed pigeon for breakfast. She was thrilled and Dad got to spend some time incubating those three eggs in the scrape at Orange.

At the 367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne, the little Dad loves taking care of the eggies just as much as Xavier does. Here is an early morning hand over.

The Collins Street Mum just found ‘us’!

Mum and Dad have such a good routine at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum knows that Dad is coming with a partial fish for her. She would have seen him eating his portion on the ropes before arriving at the nest and transferring the rest of the fish to her. Typically, the males eat the heads of the fish. Then Dad gets a chance to incubate the eggs, too. Great system. Gives Mum a nice quiet time to have her lunch. It sure won’t be quiet in a couple of weeks!!!!!!

Dad brings in some more decorations for the nest later.

The check on Karl II and his family as they migrate shows us that Karl II is following his normal flight path. Everyone hopes that he will be changing his trajectory as this normal path will have him flying directly into Kherson an area that is quite unsafe. Looduskalender posted the different colours for his flight this year and Karl II’s last two years.

Karl flew fast and quick to get into Belarus. Let us all hope that the winds carry him to his favourite tree -safely and quickly- in the very centre of Africa.

Bonus appears to be in Belarus near Makarychy in the Gomel Oblatst. He must be finding a good food source in the Pripyat River marshes.

Kaia’s tracker came on and showed she had traveled 28.8 km. She remains in Ukraine.*

Waba – no data since 30 August.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Wishing our Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia safe, safe travels. It will be interesting to see what Karl II does as he approaches Ukraine. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following whose posts, videos, and streaming cams made up my news for the day: Ojai Raptor Centre, Hawk Mountain, Audubon, RSPB, Montana Ospreys, Tamarack Wildlife Centre, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Looduskalender.

  • I have inadvertently been using the term ‘the Ukraine’. Having lived in the 2nd largest area of Ukrainians many decades prior to the country’s independence, it became a habit to say ‘the’. Now it is not appropriate. Ukraine is, of course, its own independent country. Apologies to anyone who might have been offended by my oversight.

4 eggs for Melbourne, Victor is moved outside and other news in Bird World…Monday morning

30 August 2022

What happened to August? It seems as if we blinked and it flew by. Despite the heat there is a look about the leaves on the trees and the wilting of the tomato plants despite their being well watered that is alerting us to the end of summer, not just the calendar. There is another 9 or 10 days before the teachers and students are back to their classrooms in Manitoba. It is a reminder that it is time to get a small delivery of firewood. There is something so cosy about a wood fire on a crisp autumn morning and if August is any indication, autumn will be here in two blinks.

The colour of the light and the water of the pond seemed to be taking on the hues of autumn.

The rain started in the early morning hours of Monday and everything has turned green in the garden again…it is raining so hard! And for once, I am so glad to see it! Monday will be a good day for reading the small pile of books accumulating on my desk.

In the Mailbox:

‘N’ writes: “Do all falcons incubate the eggs the same no matter where they live? Do all ospreys?” Oh, what an interesting question! I am not a specialist on incubation, the term used for the behaviour whereby adult birds keep the eggs warm until they hatch. My experience watching the nests of different species is that birds are very individualistic and even within a single species, the attention that they give to their incubation duties varies. I found a paper that actually discusses the different approaches to this important task. It is not a recent one but it is quite interesting. The author covers some birds that are unknown to me but, I believe the findings and the data can enlighten us as to the full answer to your question, ‘N’.

In the News:

RSPB created an extremely short video about Avian Flu killing the White-tail Eagle chicks on the island of Mull. What is so intriguing is the landscape of the island and the beautiful chicks so alive in the nest. It is clearly not the be all- end all informative presentation but it was nice to see where these eagles live.

Just a couple of months before Avian Flu began killing the White-tailed Eagles on Mull, this beautiful 7 minute video was made showing them on their island setting. Have a watch:

The attempt to rid Gough Island of its House Mouse problem has hit a wall. The eradication of the mice that were biting and killing Tristan Albatross chicks and adults is now being viewed as a failure. Everyone had such high hopes that the island would be rid of these invasive mice but an unknown problem presented itself – the slug. Have a read:

https://www.acap.aq/latest-news/4427-alien-slugs-thought-to-be-the-cause-of-failure-of-the-house-mouse-eradication-on-gough-island

I found an excellent story dealing with the tragedy of the mice and the Tristan Albatross and why the eradication attempt is so important.

In his newsletter, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife just posted the following information about the Delta 2 nest in British Columbia, Canada: “Firstly, both Ma and DM have gone on their migration. Ma was last seen at the Delta 2 nest/territory on July 25th. DM (taking his new role as Ma’s mate very seriously) hung around for another week keeping an eye on things. He was last seen there on August 1st. Thanks to all who donated to the GoFundMe campaign, as well we received a a few private donations which are greatly appreciated. These donations are going to cover the costs associated with the installation of a sturdy new nest pole and two (2) new cameras at Delta 2.”

Nest News:

It is egg 4 for the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon couple on the ledge of 367 Collins Street! Oh, my goodness. Dad you are going to so hope that the pigeon population of the city is very plentiful!

Here is a video of that last egg being laid:

It was a prey drop and a chance for Dad to get himself acquainted with how you have to wiggle around to get 4 big falcon eggs under so they can stay warm.

It is a lot easier for Mum to get those four eggs tucked in tight. Do you think there will be a 5th?

We have a ways to go before hatch for Melbourne and Diamond might not be finished laying eggs. Incubation is a time for the females to rest. It is going to be very hectic if all the hatch at Melbourne! And exciting.

The Sydney Sea Eagles are developing right to schedule. Their plumage continues to come in and they are picking up sticks in the nest and preening. SE29 is standing and walking better each step. They really are gorgeous. The Monday morning feeding saw both 29 and 30 with nice crops full of fish. I have seen no concerning aggressive behaviour on the part of 29 to 30 that would cause me to worry.

We are about 3 weeks away from hatch watch at Port Lincoln. Mum and Dad continue to take turns incubating. That said, Mum will always have night duty and Dad will provide Mum with her meals.

You would think that Mum would be very stiff incubating the eggs all night. Dad has arrived and is nudging her off so he can have a turn. Mum goes away for her breakfast and a break, returning in about half an hour.

You are doin’ good, Dad.

There has been an unknown male visit Annie in the tower.

There is a notable change in the behaviour of the female Ospreys in the UK this year. Normally they would depart the nest about 10-14 days prior to the fledglings leaving on their migration. This year it appears the majority are choosing to remain on the nest while some or all of the fledglings depart. While we will not know the specific reason, I wonder if it is, in part, due to the raising of these large female chicks and the Mums needing more time to get in top shape. Or could it be that prey is plentiful, the weather is nice in the UK, and they just want to be home for a little longer?

Idris, Telyn, Padarn and Paith are still at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales as of Sunday the 28th. Idris has stayed on the perch all night. Pedran was last seen on the 11th of August at 0905.

If you follow Tweed Valley, the three fledglings are going in very diverse directions including Glen who remains on the nest. Kirk is in Ireland having flown south and turning back to the land. Tweed is nearing land in Portugal.

Ruthland is updating us on their second hatch at Manton Bay, 1H2:

Tiger Mozone says that the fledglings need good DNA and luck. 1H2 certainly has great DNA. Let us all hope she has some awfully good luck, too.

1H2’s parents, Blue 33 and Maya, along with older sibling 1H1 were all still at the Manton Bay Nest at Rutland on the 27th and there is no news of either 1H1 or Maya departing since.

Seren was on the Llyn Clywedog nest early this morning and Dylan even popped in for a few minutes to join her later.

It is just incredible. Bonus continues to prove that he is a very special Black Stork! He flew from the nest in Estonia and spent the night in Latvia on the 27th. He has now flown through Lithuania and is in Belarus near Minsk. That was a total of 279 km.

Kaia, Bonus’s foster mother, remains in Belarus in the Prypjat Wetlands near Shestovicy.

So what intrigues me is this. If Kaia remains where she has been for the last several days since she flew north out of the Ukraine, is it possible that Bonus might also wind up in the same wetlands? Or will Bonus fly into the Ukraine? and remain there? or turn back north like Kaia? We should have our answer in a day or two.

Here is the distance shown by Google Maps:

Waba has begun the journey also and the tracker shows that he crossed into Latvia from Estonia on 28 August. He then flew a short distance.

I have received word that Karl II has left the nesting area in the Karula National Forest and has begun his migration. More on that to come tomorrow.

Victor has done so well since Dr Sharpe travelled to the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands to take him to be treated for zinc toxicity at the Ojai Raptor Centre. He has now been moved out to the big flight area! It just doesn’t get too much better than this until he is released. Wow. Victor. Way to go!

Looking forward to Lena and Andy at Captiva next year? or Connie and her mate? Window to Wildlife posted a 7 minute video about updates changes to the cameras, etc with some lovely pictures of Lena feeding the wee nestlings last year.

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

Thank you so much to the following for their streaming cams, their videos, and their posts that make up my screen captures: RSPB, 367 Collins Street Falcons and Mirvac, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Dyfi Osprey Project, Tweed Valley Ospreys, Rutland Osprey Project, LWRT, CarnyxWild, Looduskalender, CIEL, and Window on Wildlife.

Ervie goes fishing, Egg 2 for Diamond and Xavier and more…Sunday morning in Bird World

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.

Nest News:

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.

Handsome, Aran.

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.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/pedran-what-has-happened-her?fbclid=IwAR2nZUelKdPCJFEW-3PIjKlcohXunU9JSBevJA8wFl4XpT1ICR9H8O8bepA

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.

2 Fledges in Bird World and more…Wednesday morning

24 August 2022

It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. The teachers and students do not go back to class until after Labour Day here but they continue to have classes throughout June. There is a different look to the top of the trees and I noticed today that my tomato plants are looking a little rough. In his book Mistletoe Winter, Roy Dennis describes Autumn as ‘the altruism time of diligent creatures’. He is referring to the Blue Jays which “only reached the North of Scotland in the last 40 years” and who are busy storing away acorns for the winter. Dennis notes that some of their stash will be forgotten or overlooked. The acorns will germinate inside the bramble bush protected from the deer and will, in effect, grow nuts for future generations as well as the old Oak trees. Likewise, the Red Squirrels will be working away at the hazel nut trees. The animals in the garden are becoming increasingly interested in stashing food for the winter here in Winnipeg despite the fact that the day time temperatures are still in the high 20s C.

In the Mailbox:

‘P’ wrote: “Last year you and I connected when the chick was forced off the nest and died….Was there any nesting this season? I cannot find any thing on the site at all.” It turns out that the nest in question is Collins Marsh. To refresh everyone’s memory, one chick hatched last year at Collins Marsh in Wisconsin. The fish delivered to the nest were small and not always plentiful. One or another parent seemed to be absent at times. The little osplet was adorable. One of my readers ‘S’ suggested the name, Malin meaning ‘Little Warrior’ and it won. Malin would need to be a warrior to survive on that nest. Then one day an intruder came, Mum flew off and Malin, scared to death flew off the nest, too. Malin was not ready to fledge. ‘S’ and I spent hours on the phone trying to get immediate help. It did not come. (That is a long complicated story and I am still unhappy about the response of the naturalist at the time). The platform was on top of a moved fire tower. It had no perch and it was deathly hot. As a result, the ospreys did not make a nest there this year, 2022. Were they old? did they no survive migration? Or did they also realize it was not a safe place to raise their family? I was told by DNR personnel doing nest surveys that there was an unused nest about a mile away. They might have gone there. But with the intruder and a poor food source they might have moved out of that area altogether.

‘B’ wrote and wondered, awhile ago, if there was anything else that we can do to gather things up for the rehab clinics and what might they be? So who else better to answer that question that ‘L’ who works at the Audubon Centre in Florida. ‘L’ says “I often reach out to our neighbourhood communities because as you rightly say, money is so tight for so many but its amazing what we have in our homes that would just be thrown out. I ask for any donations that are paper related. Paper towel and toilet roll cardboard inserts, newspaper for lining crates and are used for enrichment will continue to become more and more scarce since the news is on the Internet plus old or ignored dog toys like kongs and ropes. Believe it or not, one of the most popular enrichment items are paper flowers and streamer type decorations (I swear I will make raptor friendly piñatas lol). They all LOVE paper in various degrees of thickness.” What an amazing list! I will continue to add clean loved but well used towels and sheets plus all manner of cleaning supplies. Sometimes the rehab clinics have their own lists on line. You can check for local needs. I wonder about having a sort of neighbourhood drive to gather up items. And I never thought of gently used dog toys!

‘W’ writes: ‘There is a nest of baby robins in my tree. I am disturbed by persistent distress calls from from one bird and then another. I don’t know why, and I feel helplessly alarmed. I’m sitting watching the nest, hoping to see one of the robins go to the nest, during this whole time of callings neither parent has appeared. What can it be? As it happens I have asked our local wildlife veterinary student this same question only with regard to another species. The parents will move away from the nest alarming to scare the intruder away but, at the same time, they do not go to the nest to show the predator where it is. —- I have noticed also when I am on walks in the nature centre that the Canada Geese are quite protective of their little ones. One will act as a security guard while some of the others will be decoys trying to get my attention elsewhere and away from where the goslings are located. That could definitely be what is happening with the Robin family. Have any of you had similar experiences?

‘S’ asks, “YRK has been coming in to feed QT very frequently. Do you think she is looking for OGK?” I think YRK is absolutely looking for OGK. They often came in or landed close to one another when they were raising Miss Pippa Atawhai. It was really delightful to see the two of them rejoice in being close to one another. I know that YRK has even gone up the hill to Pippa’s nest – she has to be wondering what has happened to OGK and why she has not seen him. The NZ DOC will not declare OGK officially deceased until he doesn’t return in October of 2023. He was injured once and was away for 40 days but he has not been seen since the middle of May. We wait with hope but, I am a bit of a realist and I believe he is no longer with us.

‘P’ asked: Do any of the raptors fish at night? What a timely question! Last night Dad at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest brought in a fish late at night. Alden at the Cal Falcons nest seems to always hunt at night. It is thought it could be his injured leg and he hunts then to avoid the other big raptors at night. Of course the song birds are about and with the light of SF he seems to do quite well. There have been others who have brought in fish at night. We certainly know that Ospreys do fish at night but the nests escape me this morning. — Then there are the Great Horned Owls and other owls who silently hunt at night. This is their time!

From the News – Digital and Broadsheet:

It may not seem like much but this is a major victory for the anti-grouse hunting movement in the UK. What is at issue is that pheasants and grouse are imported so they can be shot by visitors to the big estates where shooting continues to be a sport. The problem is that the game’s keepers often kill raptors that come on to the estate lands to hunt. Today, the Ritz in London announced that grouse is off the menu. Expect others to follow! Yes.

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2022/aug/20/game-over-the-ritz-takes-grouse-off-the-menu-in-victory-for-environment-campaigners

Canadians are watching the geese and raptors and this morning lines of Canada Geese were seen flying south from 2 hours north of Winnipeg. This is early. Since 2019 the associations studying the climate crisis and its impact on birds have given us warnings that things are changing quickly. The insects that many depend on to feed their young are hatching earlier. If the birds arrive at the same time as what has been normal, there will be less food and thus, less offspring. The floods this spring and summer have left many moving to other areas and we have fewer and fewer ducklings and goslings in the City of Winnipeg this year. As I have noted in earlier blogs my concern is now with the few little fuzzy ducklings that are in some of the ponds. Will they survive to fledge? A heating planet means that we may well see many of the raptors breeding a month early.

In 2020, the UN had an autumn lecture on how the changing climate will impact raptors. Two years ago…things change quickly. I will be looking for an update for us for this fall but this is a good beginning to understand what changes we may see in our favourite raptor families as the planet heats.

Nest News:

Today, we have two fantastic fledges to celebrate. We have been waiting and waiting for LC to fledge from the Osoyoos nest of Soo, Olsen, and BC. This afternoon, after spending the morning jumping from the nest to a cable, LC flew!!!!!!!! The time was 14:29:24 the 23rd of August 2022. “H’ sent a video (thank you ‘H’ for this and confirmation of the time). Don’t blink. It is only seconds long.

‘A-M’ lives a bit of a distance from the Osoyoos nest. You might remember that she travelled to Osoyoos to search for the chick that fell off the edge of the nest. ‘A-M’ found the wee one dead but she placed it in a quiet spot in a very dignified way. Today, excited like everyone waiting for this moment at Osoyoos, ‘A-M’ drove in to see if she could see the family. This is her report: “I went to the nest around 4:15pm LC was on the camera pole and BC joined, they sat there for a good half hour chatting to each other. Mum flew on to pole around 16:37 and BC flew to nest. I watched Soo sit with LC on the pole and BC fly to the tree where Olsen hangs out. So beautiful to see BC fly around the area and to see LC out the nest, they both are stunning. I will check on them in a few days to see if I can capture a video clip of LC in flight.”

The other fledge was at Glacier Gardens. Love fledged. Now we will wait for Peace. Here is the video of her first flight:

There have been no sightings of the Notre-Dame Eagle family. ND15, Little Bit’s caring sibling, left the territory earlier. Little Bit has been easy to spot on his perch on the St Joseph River but the birders on the ground report that not even a squee has been heard anywhere. It is that time of year. If they have left for their migration may we all wish them strong wings, lots of prey, and a good long productive life.

There is a lot of curiosity about Trey, Mama Cruz’s 2019 fledgling with her mate, Pride. Someone has put together a video of the ‘dust up’ between Mama Cruz and Trey at the nest:

We are waiting for the first egg to arrive at the Charles Sturt falcon scrape in Orange, Australia. Today, Xavier brought in what appeared to be some road kill and Diamond was quite happy to eat it. The moderator added that the falcons are quite happy to eat road kill when other prey is scarce. All I could think of was — we don’t want a year where the prey is scarce!

The sea eaglets continue to do well. If you look at the other camera, rather than the one looking down on the nest, you will always get a good look at Lady’s fluffy white bottom! It is also nice to see the chicks in profile. Gives you a whole different understanding of their size.

They had nice crops around 1220.

And there was another feeding a few hours later.

In Port Lincoln, it has been rainy and a bit miserable. Mum thinks Dad is just taking far too long with the fish for her liking. She does do some screaming at him and is quick to get off the eggs when he arrives. Estimated hatch day is 19 September.

According to the Port Lincoln FB page, Ervie has been showing off his skills o visitors staying in the Port Lincoln Hotel! I wonder how many of us would love to be on the roof watching him????????

And just when I thought that all attention would soon be turning to the birds in Australia, look who shows up at their nest inside the Miami Zoo! Rita and Ron.

Look at that crop…it appears to be bursting the feathers at the seams.

The Papadam nest seems to have worked great for R1 and R2. If you are fans of Ron and Rita they might start working on getting it into shape for the next breeding season.

Cal Falcons caught Alden in the scrape calling Annie.

What a beautiful place to raise osplets – the Dyfi nest in Wales, home to Idris and Telyn.

It is a damp grey morning but, oh, so green and lovely. Quiet.

Earlier there was a Magpie on the nest and one of the fledglings eating a fish. I wonder if the Magpie was waiting for leftovers?

There has been an intruder on the nest today, possibly a Scottish juvenile on the move. The whole of the UK Osprey population (and all other migrating birds) are beginning to move to the south so there will be lots of visitors just stopping in at nests. I hope to have a good list of all the departures on Friday. Mrs G is still at Glaslyn. She stole a fish off one of the juveniles that Aran delivered not long ago.

Checking on Kaia, the Black Stork mate of Karl II who turned back from the Ukraine to feed in Belarus. I am watching Kaia’s movements closely as this could give us some insights into the other storks and raptors migrating from the north through the area of The Ukraine.

Kaia began her day near the Veluta Lake in Belarus where she has been for about a week. She then flew a distance of 143 km and is in the wetlands near the Pripyat River, a little northeast of Veresnitsa, and southeast of Povchin in the Gomel Oblast in Belarus. The small village has 1070 citizens. Looduskalender notes that Kaia is feeding within a few metres of another Black Stork with a tracker, Timmu. So she is feeding and remains safe. Relief. It is hoped that the storks and other raptors can find a way around the Ukraine. War has many sides and none of them are good for birds.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being with me today. Congratulations to Osoyoos and Glacier Gardens on their fledges. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, ‘H’ and ‘A-M’, Glacier Gardens, Explore.org and the IWS, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, WRDC, Cal Falcons, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and Looduskalender and the Estonia Eagle Club.

Goshaw attacks Llyn Clywedog nest, a Victor update, and other news in Bird World

14 August 2022

Sadly, the attacks by Goshawks on Osprey nests is becoming more common than one would like. Today, Dylan had no more than brought a fish in for the three fledglings and left – followed by the two – than the Goshawk that has been seen in the area knocked Blue 553 off the nest along with the fish. It was only 8 days ago that another Goshawk attack – this time in Poole Harbour – took the life of 5H2.

Here is the video of that attack in real time at Llyn Clywedog:

Here is that attack in slow motion:

The nest remained empty for the night.

There are two fledglings on the Llyn Clywedog nest this morning. One of them is Blue 554. I cannot read the other Darvic ring.

The attack happened so late at night. It is unclear if Blue 553 has been located or what the situation is but John Williams should be letting us know as soon as he can. He keeps very good track of Dylan and Seren and the chicks.

It is 05:54 and two are waiting for Dylan to arrive with breakfast.

There are new pictures of Victor looking rather bright eyed! The Ojai Raptor Rehabilitation Centre and Dr. Sharpe & Co really gave Victor a chance at a second life. They did not give up on him! You are doing great Victor.

Just look how clear and bright his eyes are – oh, Victor, we are all cheering you on to good health and a successful release ——– and a long life.

Titi has not returned to the Janakallan nest since fledging. This is a huge worry with the goshawk around the forest and the nest. If you know of any visits by Titi, please do let me know. I am concerned that he has fallen victim to the goshaw who would have lured him into the forest.

I lost about 2 hours of work – it flew off into the sunrise with all the fledging ospreys! I will include that news tomorrow but will put in two that survived on my screen because they are hugely important.

Kaia is now in the Ukraine. Kaia is the mate of Karl II, the Black Storks in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. She is in very dangerous territory – if migration were not enough! Please send her your warm thoughts.

SE30 had a nice big crop in the mid afternoon feeding. Lady is feeding it in the top image. Look at that crop. You can tell SE30 because it is whiter with less wing feathers showing. SE30 got a top up in the nest feeding. All is well at the Sea Eagles nest! Breathe.

Please send all the birds your best wishes! They are all fattening up in the Northern Hemisphere for migration – a challenge in itself without the local goshawk attacks. Thank you for being with me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts which formed my screen captures: CarnyxWild, Ojai Raptor Center, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Looduskalender, and Sydney Sea Eagles at Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

Migration woes and daily threats to our feathered friends

5 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.

Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!

Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.

Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.

As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.

I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.

Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.

Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/resources/migration-data

Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!

The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.

Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!

Hi Sweetheart.

The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.

The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”

In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.

It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.

Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!

Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.

Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.

The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.

Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.

The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.

The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up

Waba is on the perch.

Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!

Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.

The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?

The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*

Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.

He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.

Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.

There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.

Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:

The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.

https://theecologist.org/2022/aug/01/avian-flu-outbreak-killing-wild-birds?fbclid=IwAR1erpdLzQUUobsxWqc5oQM5e9hURsLjGxXpP0vVS1Eu7HzmlSDPbLXIc1E

Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

  • If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.

Urmas creates a miracle for Janika and her storklets!

3 June 2022

The people who live in Lithuania and Estonia treasure their Black Storks. When something happens the Ornithologists and persons in charge of the nests do their best to intervene in a positive way.

Urmas set up a fish basket that he is stocking to feed the storklets. He has taken the decoy up to the nest with a basket of fish.

No one knew if it would work – and tears, tears rolling down people’s faces and jumping up and down ———. They are stuffed.

Things were getting very dire on the nest as the Mum was so hungry also. Now we can celebrate. While it is a tragedy that Janika has lost her mate, Urmas and his helpers are providing fish to keep her and the chicks alive. It is fantastic. This is a very positive intervention!

Thank you for being with me on such a positive occasion. Take care!

Thank you to Looduskalender and Liz for this postings and for the video of Janika feeding the storklets.

White-tailed Eagles in Poland

3 April 2022

One of my favourite White-tailed eagle females is Milda. I have mentioned her before in my blog. Her nest is in Durbe County in Estonia. It has been a rough year for Milda since her long-term mate was missing and presumed dead in late March of 2021. Milda heroically tried to incubate the eggs without food for 8 straight days to the point of starvation. Several males offered hope and then didn’t. As if with a miracle the two chicks hatched and we all celebrated only for them to perish because of one of the males taking the food off the nest and then not covering them. But, that was last year, and there was hope for this one but again, disappointment when the eggs laid were broken by an interloper.

The females on the nests need a good strong partner who is working with them cooperatively!

The White-tail Eagle is so rare in Eastern Europe. Latvia, Estonia, and Poland are doing what they can to encourage breeding sites.

The White tail eagles are Haliaeetus Albicilla. They are the largest raptors in Europe and are located from Greenland to Asia. The Eagle Directory describes the plumage like this, “White-Tailed Eagles are almost entirely brown. They have a yellow-gray head, neck, breast, and lesser wing coverts, and the belly, thighs, and rump are dark brown. The flight feathers are close to black and their wedge-shaped tail, as their name would indicate, is white. The tibia are feathered, though the tarsi are not, and the legs and feet are yellow. The eyes, beak, and cere are yellow.”

As you can seen from the images of the White-tailed Eagles below, the plumage can vary and of course, we have to take into account the lighting and settings on these streaming cams. These eagles grow to be from 74-92 cm long with a wingspan of 193-244 cm. The females are larger than the males as in most raptor species and weight between 3.7 and 6.9 kg. The males come in at 3.1 to 5.4 kilos. Their life expectancy can be up to 36 years. They eat mainly fish but also hunt mammals such as rabbits and birds. I have seen them also be opportunistic and bring some carrion to the nest. Indeed, it was a crane brought to the White-tailed eagle nest last year that killed two wee chicks because that crane brought with it the highly pathogenic Avian Flu, H5N1. While the birds are listed as not being under threat in some areas, they are very rare in Eastern Europe and the UK is trying to reintroduce them. While they may lay 1-3 eggs, it is most typically 2 eggs that will be incubated by both parents (as you see below) and hatch within 34-46 days. Fledging typically takes place between 77-90 days after which the fledglings are depending on the parents for 4-6 weeks while they learn to fly and hunt.

In older White-tailed eagles, the head and neck can be almost white.

The adults in the images are in a nest in the Woziwoda Forest District. It is a special project of the Eagle Conservation Committee, the Woziwoda Forest District and Polish Radio promotion both old forests and the White-tailed Eagles. The nest is highly protected. There can be no activity within a radius of 200 m. Setting up the camera were problematic and the workers who installed it had to do this cautiously when the eagles were away.

The nest you are looking at is on a 140 year old pine tree at a height of 25 metres. This nest has been occupied for four years. It is known that there was one fledge in 2021.

For transparency, I do not know any of the history of this nest so I do not know whether to give you caution or not. I am attempting to find out. The setting is simply beautiful and if some of you have been watching this nest in the past, please let me know. The chat is in Polish and I understand eggs are being incubated but it is not clear how many or when they were laid by the information provided.

Here is the link:

Just an update on 2 other nests: The adults at Dale Hollow have brought in a teaser 2 bite fish and a small sucker early in the morning. Big ate both of them. No other food has been provided to the eaglets up to 18:30 this evening. I sure wish they would bring a whopper on the nest tonight for both. That said, Little Middle ate well yesterday and is OK. Sadly, Little Middle continues to pull that monofilament line. Thank you to ‘CA’ from Belgium who sent me this 15 second video clip. I could not see him dragging the nesting material, my mistake.

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxv7V8o6oR9Gyt8aIgJyQ8dTxjUZI3Copk

Annie and the new male continue to bond in the scrape box. I have caught him incubating a few times today. I sure hope he is a good guy to our Annie! I don’t think any male will ever fill Grinnell’s shoes – he was a huge character in every aspect of a raptor’s life but any bird who will care for Annie, Grinnell’s eggs and now on of his own is gold in my books!

Karl II has spent his 4th night in the Ukraine not far from Kyiv. Anne7 posted this image of where he was hunting for food this afternoon. I am so grateful for the Looduskalender Forum and their English pages and to the tirelessness of Anne7 to inform all of us of Karl’s whereabouts. I wish him to replenish his energy and get to Estonia! Fast.

You may find yourselves spending too much time looking at the Dale Hollow nest hoping for a miracle. I had to begin to pull back today. It is mentally exhausting. We cannot make the adults bring in more food and legions of you have contacted enough people to get help. ‘L’ has had a promising conversation with Al Cerere who asked the important questions. If help can come, he is the guy to make it happen. We simply have to wait and hope. My heart breaks for both of these eaglets but, of course, most especially Little Middle.

Our weather is set to soar to a high of 8 degrees Celsius. We will all be outside in our summer clothes! Well, not quite but it will feel like that. It was a damp day, cold to the bones British type weather today. Birds are arriving and I really hope to get out to see some of them in the morning tomorrow. My post will likely arrive late in the afternoon.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons and Bieluki On line Bory Tucholskie.