What is better than a Peregrine Falcon Kiss?

Lots of people keep track of hurricanes and tropical storms. Most watch because they or their loved ones, or both, live in the line of the storm. Bird watchers also track weather systems. There are currently two systems that might impact our beloved Big Red and family as well as the birds that are migrating over Hawk Mountain, PA.

Henri is going to give some heavy rain and wind. Ithaca is west of the darkest green band but could get some rain.

Tropical Disturbance Fred will also give some heavy rain in the same area. There were flash flood warnings for Ithaca last night. It is 1:03 am Thursday morning in Ithaca and there are rain drops dripping off the metal supports of the light stand that Big Red and Arthur’s nest is on. The rain does not look heavy at the moment. There is also a peculiar corn plant growing out of the centre of the nest!

Heavy rain will impact the hawks ability to hunt. They would have felt the pressure system coming and hopefully caught more food yesterday.

This isn’t the beginning of the season. Hurricane season runs until 30 November.

Baby Kindness (I wonder if she would mind if I call her that?) is not worried about hurricanes. Today, she is 83 days old. Kindness branched yesterday and all she has on her mind is ___________________. If you said flying you are 100% correct. She has really been putting on a show for the people watching the live stream today.

Oh, she really gets some nice air under those wings going back and forth from the branch to the nest.

Wow. Look at those wings. Magnificent.

Kindness has spent a lot of time considering what is below that branch she is sitting on. Sometimes she gets the branch to bouncing a bit and that seems to unnerve her slightly and she flies back to the nest.

For several days, I have been talking about the migration of Ospreys in Wisconsin, like Malin, or those living in the United Kingdom or in Northeastern Europe. The Bald Eagles in Alaska do not migrate south of Alaska unless there is no food. In 1972, the State Legislature established a long stretch of the In Chilkat River as critical bald eagle habitat. The goal was to protect the birds, some 4000 of them, that move from the interior to the Chilikat River Valley where they feed on the Chum Salmon run during the late fall and winter. The juveniles normally eat spawned and dead salmon or the carcasses left behind by bears.

The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is located in the Tongass National Forest just fifteen minutes away from Juneau. This is where Liberty and Freedom have their nest and where Kindness will fledge. There are meadows, forests, and glaciers. What a spectacular place to be a Bald Eagle!

“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the features of the park is the Mendenhall Glacier.

“Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest” by jcsullivan24 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Liberty, Freedom, and Kindness are not far from the Chilikat River Valley and the Alaska Chilikat Bald Eagle Reserve.

In the spring, many of the Bald Eagles will head to areas rich with Herring and Eulachon. These include the Stikine River, Copper River Delta, Silka Sound and Kenai Bend. You can see some of those on the map below. The Copper River flows from Prince William Sound while Silka Sound is closer to Juneau on the far right bottom.

Kindness is fortunate to live in such a beautiful state with what we all hope are abundant resources for her and all the wildlife forever.

There are so many worries in the world. The birds bring so much joy to each of us filled with nail-biting anxiety and that bittersweet moment when our friends fledge to begin their lives off the nest.

Malin is beginning to feel the wind beneath his wings. For so long I did not believe that Malin’s feathers would develop and he would fly – but here he is preparing just for that. Joy.

Like other birds, Malin is doing much more wing strengthening flapping as fledge approaches. The energy from the fish he is eating gives rise to lots of exercising after a feed.

For tonight though, Malin is sleeping like a duckling dreaming of fish.

While Kindness and Malin are dreaming of fish and flying, Xavier and Diamond are constantly pair bonding while preparing for their 2021 eggs and hatches. After doing their courtship dance in the scrape box today, they sealed the deal with a kiss – peregrine falcon style.

Can you think of a better way to end this newsletter? I can’t!

Want to catch the adventures of Xavier and Diamond, here is the link:

Well, what could be better than a Peregrine Falcon kiss? Three Black storklings eating the fish that Urmas brought them. That is actually cause for a big celebration!

When the storklings woke up at dawn and found the fish gift from Urmas, they began to eat.

The feeding of the storklings is a success! Congratulations.

Thank you for joining me this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and the Falconcam Project Charles Sturt University, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, Google Maps, Cornell Bird Labs Red Tail Hawk Streaming Cam, and the National Hurricane Centre.

A Cracker of a Day for Malin

Oh, it’s a cracker of a day! We know that the Sharp-shinned Hawk that comes to our garden is here often but since the extreme head we had not seen him. He flipped around on the lines bringing the Internet into the house and then in a blink was in the lilac bushes. He stayed there for about ten minutes and out he flew between the houses heading north. No chance for a photo but I tried! We feed approximately 300 urban birds a day – yes, you read that right. I never grieve over the single sparrow that Sharpie is sometimes able to catch. He has to eat, too.

Sharpie is an aberration according to Cornell Bird Labs. He should not be living on the Canadian Prairies in the winter but he does! He is a year round resident. It was his mate – in January 2017 – that changed my life. It is so good to see him.

Malin is such a sweetheart. He has the sweetest face. It has been a good day for Malin, too.

Last night, Malin slept on a piece of fish about the size of the one in front and to the right of him. There was also a small Bullhead on the nest last night. Malin woke up and ate the fish he was sleeping on. Mom arrived and shared the Bullhead with him. On top of those two, Malin had four other deliveries today. A total of 6 fish! His crop is about to pop. We have never seen this Osprey chick this full. I wonder if he will use this fish as a pillow? save it for breakfast? or finish it off a little later? He is one lucky little Osprey today.

Those pesky little sea eagles will have several good feeds today, too!

WBSE 27 is the one on the left and cutie pie WBSE 28 is on the right.

There is still a tiny bit of egg tooth left but it is disappearing quickly. If you look closely under that soft down are there little pin feathers growing?

WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July and WBSE 28 hatched on 31 July. Today, they are 17 and 15 days old. This is the end of week 2 going into week 3.

  • Week 2: The wee ones are covered all in white down. Their beak is starting to grow longer but the egg tooth (the white dot) is still visible.
  • Week 3: We should be seeing the bill and the eyes enlarged but still the white down. The chicks are now doubled in size from when they hatched. They are looking around and noticing things.
  • Week 4: Those pin feathers I wondered about are starting to show on the wings. You will see them begin to preen their feathers and they should be moving around the nest picking up sticks and leaves. They will also be resting on their tarsus assisted by their wings for balance. The tarsus is the part of the leg from the top of the foot to the knee.

Ah, so sweet when they are asleep and growing!

The day is yet to begin in Latvia and Estonia. We wish that those beautiful Black Storklings get lots of fish today.

Thank you so much for joining me for this quick update on Malin. We are so pleased that Malin has had lots of fish today. He is getting so big and no doubt the more he eats the stronger the little one will get for fledge. The featured image is our little cute Malin. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.

Fishy Dreams and Fish Tails

Today, the Collins Marsh Osprey chick, Malin, had six fish deliveries. SIX! Feel free to correct me but I don’t ever remember this much fish on this Osprey nest. Ever.

In fact, there was so much fish with deliveries coming in on top of one another that Malin simply could not eat all the fish. There is a bullhead left – it is on the left below the light. Malin is sleeping on half of a bigger fish. What a grand pillow for an Osprey. He can have fishy dreams all night! And, Malin can wake up in the morning and not have to wait for a fish delivery.

Fish. It makes all the difference in the health and well-being of our Ospreys and Storks.

In the image below, the setting sun puts a soft glow over our little one. Please note that the big feathers are now beginning to cross. Malin is also standing and walking more and is flapping his wings much more often to get them strong for flying.

A month ago there was concern that Malin would not develop his plumage and would be unable to fly successfully off the nest. Now just look! Food – the right kind of food and the amount of it – makes all the difference in the world in Malin’s development.

Malin is miracle #3 for 2021.

Here on the Foulshaw Moss nest, Blue 463 or Tiny Little Bob, is eating the fish her dad delivered. White YW would have heard her several miles away screaming for fish. Blue 462 had gotten the earlier fish and Tiny Little wasn’t liking it. Dad came to the rescue! Indeed, White YW and Blue 35 should get a round of applause. They pulled off a nest of three fledglings this year. They did not lose a hatch.

The crows are hoping that Tiny Little will leave some bites for them! I don’t know. She is a bit like a nest vacuum when it comes to food falling between the twigs!

Tiny Little is miracle #2 and, of course, miracle #1 is Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. I am certain that there are others that will come to mind when I publish this newsletter. For now, however, these three were enough to cause lots of anxiety.

I did a Sunday hop-skip-and-jump through some of the UK Osprey Nests to see if anyone was home. This is the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. On the nest is Ystwyth, their daughter. Telyn is on the nest perch and Idris is on the far perch.

Idris and Telyn together. How beautiful.

Does he need an introduction? The chick on the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Only Bob? Only Bob was so big when he was ringed that everyone believed him to be a large female. Nope. It is just all that fish that Dylen and Seren fed him. My goodness did Blue 496 grow.

He has spotted Dylan flying in with a fish. We are so lucky to see this. Indeed, to see so many of the UK fledglings on the nests today is fantastic.

That is a gorgeous fish for dinner. Only Bob looks pretty excited.

Watch out for your toes Dylan.

Only Bob learned well despite the fact that he was the only chick on the nest. He is excellent at mantling. But, stop, and take a look at that tail and the size of those wings. I would be ever so grateful if Malin’s was half that size when he fledges.

Oh, let’s just move this beauty over here so I can eat it!

At least one of the chicks on the Loch of the Lowes has a huge crop. It is so big, it looks like it could pop. The other is hoping for a fish delivery. Of course, neither is showing us their pretty blue bands.

NC0 and Laddie have done an amazing job raising these two. NC0 has really moved up to be one of the females that I want to watch. She is becoming super mom. She can fly and haul fish to the nest just like Iris – and she isn’t afraid to do it!

Grafs was able to find enough fish for two deliveries today. The first was a bunch of small fish at 15:29 and the second came at 19:41 with some bigger fish. The storklings are starving. They are already beginning to show the signs of malnutrition.

Grafs makes sure he moves around so that each one gets a little something.

It was mentioned that not only the sunken bodies but also the fact that the bills are turning a bright colour indicates starvation.

Once the people watching these nests realized what was happening, they became very vocal in their demands that the birds be fed. Everyone knows about the fish table that the two engineers set up for the White Storks in the village of Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. The people demanded that their storks be fed and the wildlife staff heard them. After seeing only one feeding by 15:00, Janis Kuze wrote the following on 15 August 2021: “It may be necessary to support the operation of the feeder – to bring live fish there regularly (once a day or two). I will write about it in the coming days.”

Liz01, the moderator of the looduskalender.ee/forum (English forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and this Black Stork Nest) posted this notice:

“Due to the fact that the female has not been seen in the stork nest for several days, she has probably started migrating, opportunities are being sought to artificially feed this nest. Currently, the only feeder is the male, whose capacity is too small for the young birds to be successfully.
One way of trying to help the inhabitants of this nest is to set up an artificial feeder. There is one ditch near the nest where it can actually be done. Ornithologist Jānis Ķuze is ready to take over the management of this event, but he needs the help of the society. Therefore, we are looking for:
1) people on the Sigulda side who would help to set up a feeder,
2) human or fish feeders on the Sigulda side, which would be willing to donate and / or catch small fish (they must be still alive), with the possibility, to put these fish into the feeder, thus regularly
replenishing fish stocks in the feeder a third person or another link in the chain).
If anyone has the opportunity to help with this event, please send a message to Jānis Ķuze by e-mail: janis.kuze@ldf.lv.
This is currently the only real way you can still try to help the young birds in this nest survive and fly successfully! It is not known whether it will work, but we think it would be better to try not to do anything and just watch.”

Immediately, there were too many offers to help the Black Storklings and Grafs. Tears. People are so generous. All we have to do is ask.

If you wish to follow the discussion about what is happening at this particular nest in English, please go here:

When I have news of what is happening at the Estonian Black Stork nest, I will let you know.

You can watch the Black Stork Nest in the forest near Sigulda, Latvia here:

We all send our prayers and warm wishes to these beautiful birds and the people helping them. We need a miracle like that at Mlade Buky.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is wonderful to bring you such good news. Please send all your positive energy to Latvia and Estonia so that the efforts to save the Black Storklings from starving to death will be successful. It is heart warming to see so many people answer calls for help.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: The Latvian Fund for Nature, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest and CarnyX Wild, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Just a note. My newsletter will be posted late on Monday 16 August. Thank you!

3 Cheers for Tiny Little Bob!

White YW delivered the tea time fish – a nice large one – to the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. Blue 462 nabbed it first and then guess who pinches it off big sibling! Tiny Little!

Big Sibling 464 on the left and 462 on the right – all waiting for Tiny Little to make a wrong move with that nice fish. Go away both of you!!!!!

Then 462 got it back!

The first round both 462 and 463 struggled with the mouth and eye area. Wonder who is going to get that fish when it is nicely opened.

Ah, White YW cannot stand to hear one of his fledglings call for food. He promptly went out and got another one. Blue 464 got that one. It was such a nice fish that 464 was eating on it an hour later. Tiny Little flew off the nest probably chasing Dad. No one should be worried thought. Tiny Little had a nice crop prior to snagging that fish off 462. None of these chicks are hungry!

Blue 464 is enjoying his nice big fish – alone! No one is around sniffing for some pieces.

Good Night Foulshaw Moss Ospreys!

In Wisconsin, Malin is busy self-feeding on a piece of a fish that Dad delivered. What captivates me today are the wing feathers. They are looking so good. There is a condensation mark but if you look to the right that one dangling feather from earlier in the month is now ‘crossing over’ the way that it should. The other wing feather scallops are lined up perfectly. Oh, Malin, you are growing up!

The nests are so big and every streaming cam distorts the images (or so it seems). It is difficult to try and determine how big Malin actually is.

There is no time code on the Collins Marsh camera. I believe that there was another delivery by Collins to Malin – this time another piece of a fish. That is really helpful for Malin to work on its self-feeding and not get caught up with the bony mouths and eyes. Eventually Malin will need to do that. Right now one of the wonderful things is Malin’s anticipation of the food drop and his excitement and mantling on its arrival.

In the imager below, Malin sees Collins flying into the nest. Look at his eyes. He has also dropped his wings in anticipation of mantling that fish.

Malin pivots. Wings stretched down and out for mantling with beak forward to grab the fish from Collins’s talons.

Get out of the way Collins! Malin has secured the food.

Ah. Over. I notice also that Collins’s crop is nicely full. He has eaten the head and perhaps part of the fish before the delivery.

These two food drops for Malin to self-feed come after the aggressive manner that Malin approached the fish yesterday with Marsha. We are moving on to the next phase: no more feedings by mom? Let’s watch and see.

Is this the tail of a little Bullhead?

It is a beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. For the first time in ever so long we can see blue sky, not sky filled with smoke. It is 21 degrees C. That is 69.8 F. Just lovely for a trip to the one of our local parks.

It was a delight to walk up to the duck pond and discover that our Parks Department has put up signs to educate people on why they should not feed the ducks bread. Last year the local birding group had a big campaign to get this practice stopped. Today, the signs are up. They are large and prominently placed at strategic entrances and exits. No one was feeding the ducks, they were just enjoying them! Well done Parks Department!!!!!!

Thanks to the recent rains many of the geese were out on the fields where people play soccer or cricket eating green grass.

A male juvenile Mallard enjoying the water fountain at the rocks.

There was real discussion on the identification of the duck above and the one below. The discussion ended when the little duck below showed us her feeding behaviour. She is a dabbler so she is a female Mallard – not a female Blue Winged-teal.

Mallards come to Manitoba to breed. They arrive in the spring and leave in the fall. Here the little female is mottled brown with a whitish tail, and orange feet.

When feeding, she tips up and dabbles in the shallow waters of the duck pond for pondweeds and aquatic invertebrates. They also feed on larval amphibians and fish eggs.

The female Wood Duck and her ducklings. You can tell the Wood Duck by its white tear-eyed eye patch. Her breast is a mottled brown and white.

Wood Ducks are migratory birds in Manitoba. They arrive in the spring, normally April, and will head south in October. They are cavity nesters. They will lay their eggs in a tree cavity or specially built enclosed wood boxes. The ducklings are ready to bounce from the nest when they are 24 hours old. Precocial animals and birds hatch/born with all their feathers, skin, etc. and are able to see, hear, and move about.

The little Wood Duck and her ducklings mingled with the Canada Geese. Only once did I see a goose get aggressive towards one of the little ones.

Malin’s initial feather issues have caused me to spend more time looking at the back and wings of birds than I ever would have thought possible. Each individual feather is simply beautiful – taken together they are like a wonderful musical symphony – each performing their own task to help this Canada goose swim, walk, and fly.

The tail and wing feathers of a non-breeding male Mallard.

As we were leaving, a Juvenile Bald Eagle was soaring above us.

Then the Northern Goshawk beats its large wings. The Northern Goshawk lives in Manitoba all year round except for the southern part where they can be seen only in the summer or in the winter if food supplies in the North fall.

It was a good day! The skies are turning grey and the wind is picking up a little and maybe, just maybe, we will have some more rain. Wishing and hoping.

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

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest.

Oh, Malin!

The Collins Marsh Osprey chick is due to get an official name. Suggested names have been turned in and voting should begin tomorrow for the name. Please go to the Neustadter Nature Center FB page and cast your vote. Here is the link to that FB page. Be patient if the names are not up on Tuesday. However, check back often because the voting will be open for only a short time.

https://www.facebook.com/Neustadter-Nature-Center-at-Collins-Marsh-140052786074932

Since ‘S’ came up with the name Malin meaning “little warrior”, everyone from the Achieva Osprey chat group has called this little one ‘Malin.’ It is difficult to let a name go once it imprints itself in one’s mind. My children could not say ‘Granny’ when they were talking about my grandmother, they said ‘Candy.’ And so, in her 80s, that is what she was called for the rest of her life – not only by my children but, by everyone. And so, it might well be the same for Malin.

Malin’s parents are Collins and Marsha – named after Collins Marsh. Malin hatched on approximately 16 June making him 55 days old today.* That means Malin is one day shy of his 8-week hatch birthday.

Sometimes fish deliveries are good and some times they are abysmal. Malin had no food from early evening Saturday until Monday morning. There were two deliveries Monday morning. It was the third delivery that roused my interest. I have taped several short segments of that feeding. It is better if you watch the one-minute clips than my trying to describe them. Pay close attention to Malin’s behaviour. The fish arrived around 6:43 pm (there is no time on the streaming cam).

Act 1: Fish Delivery

Act 2. Malin is ravenous.

Act 3. Malin wants every morsel of fish!

Act 4: Malin and Mom finish off the fish.

After Malin finishes eating, s/he is so energized. She begins flapping her wings. Watch out Mom!

According to Alan Poole, the female Osprey loses between 10-15% of their body weight during the nestling period. Only when a piece of food is too large or when the chick/s stop food calling will she take bites for herself. He says, “It seems likely that the female parents are hungry much of the time they are raising young, especially as the young get older and take more food.” Certainly that is what we are seeing on the Collins Marsh nest today.

In terms of growth, Osprey chicks triple their body weight during their first 8 days after hatching. They will double this, on average, in the next four days. From 15 to 30 days after hatch, the Osprey nestlings “gain an average of forty grams or .09 lbs, about 2-3% of their body weight, every day,” says Poole. At the end of the 30 days, Osprey chicks will be 70-80% of their adult weight. On average, the Osprey nestling will take its first flight between 50 and 60 days. There are two exceptions to that timing: if the bird hatched on a non-migratory nest or if the chick had less food.

Malin is definitely in a migratory nest but, Malin is behind in development because of a lack of food. Precisely how far behind is unclear. Still, growth is clearly evident. Today there were four distinct dark bands on the tail with a 5th peeking through. The feathers are coming in nicely but they are not fully formed. Roy Dennis says that the full set of juvenile feathers should have grown in at 6 weeks. Malin, at 8 weeks, is still working on his.

Malin is clearly not ready to take his first flight. He is beginning to exercise his wings. Fledglings normally remain on the nest for at least a month after their first flight. This time helps them hone their flying skills. During this period, the male parent provides the fish. Fledglings do not normally catch their first fish until they begin migration – that said there are always exceptions to the rule. Migration for the Wisconsin Ospreys normally begins around the end of August or the beginning of September. Let us all wish that Malin is fed and afforded the time to perfect his flying before he has to leave the nest for his journey south.

There is really positive news coming out of Hawaii that I want to share with you. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is installing glow-in-the-dark diverters on electricity lines to try and stop seabirds that fly at night from crashing into the lines. By the end of 2021, the utility company expects to have installed 773 power line spans to help protect the Hawaiian Petrel, Newell’s Shearwater, and the Band-rumped Storm Petrel. Already Hawaii has banned the release of helium balloons.

“Hawaiian petrel chick in its burrow. Photo credit: Andre Raine/Kaua’i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project” by USFWS Pacific is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

It has been a good day. Thunder woke me up early on Monday and we had some nice downpours. Then the heavy rain changed to showers. Now the thunder and the pouring rain have started again. Every blade of grass has turned emerald green, the bushes and trees have all perked up, and the birds sang as loud as they could at dusk. It is simply wonderful!

Thank you so much for joining me. Everyone take care. See you soon.

Thanks go out to the Collins Marsh Nature Centre for their Osprey streaming cam where I took my video clips. A big thank you to ‘S’ who alerted me to the actions of the utility company on Kauai to divert night flying sea birds away from their power lines.

Hawks definitely do not like children

By 18:30, the smoke and the temperatures were cooperating and it seemed like a good time to go and check on the Cooper’s Hawk family in Assiniboine Park. When I arrived at the Park, there were several cricket games going on, families were meeting and sharing a pot luck outside – many for the first time since spring 2020, there were birthday parties and children running around.

When I found the spot and knew where the hawks had their nest and were hunting for bugs and chipmunks the other day, there were children running around. I could see the hawks in the sky circling. They never went to the nest tree or came to the ground. It is the life of a birder. It would be wonderful to see them a few more times before migration. The Canada Geese do not usually begin leaving until the middle of September through to the end of October. I have seen some miss the group and wind up walking about on an early snow. Weather is such a significant factor in the challenges our birds face.

For those who are not sure what migration actually is. Our feathered friends Move from one area for breeding during the spring and summer to another area for winter. They have adapted to the pattern of coming and going in order to survive. It is based on food supplies.

Different species travel different routes to their winter homes. These are long journeys. For example, the Ospreys in the United Kingdom will travel some 8,000 kilometres or 5,000 miles to places in Africa. The birds will fly over land, sea, and desert to reach their destinations. People wonder why the birds just don’t live in Africa all the time. The answer is rather simplistic: there would not be enough nesting sites or food for all of them plus their chicks. There are also a lot of very hungry predators ready to take those lovely fluffy little ones. So they disperse from Africa to sites in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The birds decide when it is time for them to migrate. The hormones in their body begin to change. Unlike spring when this hormone change leads to breeding, the autumn sees the birds restless until they know that it is time to depart. These hormones trigger a lot of eating. Fat begins to gather under their skin. They gain weight. It is that fat that will see them through their migration. Still, they stop and feed along the way. Normally they hunt for food in the early mornings and late afternoons. High pressure systems are good for flying but low pressure systems bring winds and rain. When the birds get into a low pressure system, they will normally stop flying, if they can, and wait til another high pressure system comes through. Migration times vary because of the winds and the weather. Birds that soar and ride the thermals can travel as much as 465 km or 300 miles in a stretch. Some gather in flocks like the storks in Latvia and Estonia. Sometimes birds pair up to migrate. For the Ospreys, the female leaves and the male stays behind until there are no fledglings crying for food.

Not all birds migrate. Even I have a sedentary Sharp-shinned Hawk that defies all logic to stay on the Canadian prairies for the winter. The Osprey in Australia do not migrate. The birds in the Amazon Rainforest do not migrate. There is plenty of food and nesting sites for them year round. This past spring and early summer there was much discussion over the migration of birds from Florida. In Jacksonville, Samson, the father of Legacy, stays in the area of the nest year round. Gabrielle, on the other hand, migrates north – yes north – to cooler summer climates. This year she might have discovered it is hotter up north! Even some of the Ospreys in Florida do not migrate; they stay year round. There are plenty of fish for them as well as nests.

Birds take different routes. The White Storks from Latvia either taken a western route or an eastern route. Dr Erick Greene and his team in Montana study the migratory movements of the Ospreys from the Clark Fork River area with satellite transmitters. In the United States, some fly over Hawk Mountain where there is an annual count. In fact, you can go to this site to see the number of birds traveling over this marvellous area with its thermals. Here is the link for you for their autumn migration count that will being in about a week!

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

Migration is extremely challenging and we hope that all of the adults will return to their nests the following spring and that we will see the juveniles who take their first flight to Africa in a couple of years.

And now for some birding and nest news

Poole Harbour: Blue 022 and CJ7 who were so visible until a few weeks ago sky dancing, mating, and working on the nest with the streaming cam are now working on another nest in the area. There is no camera. They are still doing everything together and everyone is looking forward to the first hatches in Poole Harbour for 200 years.

Dahlgren: A large part of the nest in King George, Virginia, collapsed today. It will be fixed in the fall well after Jack and Harriet’s migration.

Kielder Forest: All 16 of the 2021 juveniles have fledged successfully. Everyone is elated. This is 6 more fledglings than their previous best year. Congratulations everyone!

Mlade Buky: Bucachek and his new love spent the night on the nest in Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. Oh, how sweet! Just as the dawn is beginning to appear, they are both preening.

Balloons, something that impacts all birds: Virginia, Maine, Maryland, and Delaware have or are going to pass shortly the release of balloons. Hawaii has already passed a law on helium balloons.

Port Lincoln Ospreys, Australia: Dad and Mom have been taking turns incubating the eggs. Here is dad on the nest. A little earlier he had been pestering Mom. He kept pulling on that turquoise rope wanting his turn. It was too funny. The Port Lincoln Ospreys are an example of sedentary birds. They do not migrate. There is no need.

Loch Arkaig: The two juveniles of Louis and Dorcha have now fledged. I have not heard anything about the chosen names yet.

Collins Marsh: Malin was a little wet off and on during Saturday. S/he is sleeping on the nest alone tonight. There is no perch – let us hope that the parent or both parents are in a nearby tree in case there are any owls about. It seems like a pattern. Does mom always spend Saturday night off the nest?

WBSE, Sydney Olympic Forest: 27 and 28 continue to eat until their crops almost burst and sleep. Meanwhile there has been an intruder today and Lady and Dad were honking in alert.

And last but very special, A Place Called Hope. Along with other wildlife centres, they are receiving quite a number of starving Great Blue Herons and other herons. Why would they be starving? It has been raining in the Connecticut area and all the herbicides and pesticides that people put on their lawns and gardens makes its way into the environment, into the water table, into the ponds. It is poison. If your gardening centre or lawn care person tells you that the chemicals they use are ‘Green’ – well, think again. Whatever they are using kills. So sad. It is OK if your lawn doesn’t look emerald green.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Have a lovely Sunday. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and their FB pages where I grab my screen shots: A Place Called Hope, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

The featured image is Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge taking his turn incubating his two eggs.