As the Nest Turns 11 Sept

The female on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge woke up to some rain and by mid-day there was rough weather. The moderator of the PLO chat said they hoped that the chick would choose to stay in the egg!

It is currently 12 degrees C with a wind speed of 42 km/h or 26.09 miles per hour. Blustery. Not good for fishing. Best wrapped up in a cosy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Hang in there mum.

Aran is still in the Glaslyn Valley. Doesn’t he look grand on one of his favourite perches looking over ‘his’ territory. As much as others might have their eyes on their natal nest, Aran doesn’t intend to hand it over to either Tegid or Aeron, Monty’s boys, Z1 and Z2, respectively.

Some are worried. My notebook just said that ‘Aran migrates after the middle of September.’ That was accurate but not precise enough.

As it happened, Tiger Mozone on the PLO chat and so I was able to ask him. Immediately – literally – there was a link to ‘Tiger and Chloe B’s Osprey Data’.

https://www.imagicat.com/Glaslynstats2021.html?fbclid=IwAR1uxYgOaHJ85Yo7zbbEpttPlKvHn_N4zWrrL-TLutWheHwn_AQQRZPLr8c

These are the dates that Aran was last seen at the Glaslyn nest from 2015-2020:

  • 2015. 25 September
  • 2016. 16 September
  • 2017. 12 September
  • 2018. 22 September
  • 2019. 16 September
  • 2020. 15 September

The average is September 17th. That is six days from now. There is no need for anyone to be alarmed that Aran is still in the Valley, worrying that he is unable to migrate due to his earlier injury. Aran is ‘being Aran.’

Everyone that watches the Royal Cam Chick at Taiaroa Head, Tiaki, you should be giving a shout out to Ranger Sharyn. She located Tiaki 150 metres from her natal nest and the streaming cam. She carried her back to the general area of the nest – and just in time. LGL flew in and fed her daughter shortly after.

Here is Tiaki seeing her mom and coming quickly for that delicious squid shake. These chicks can really move when food is involved — or running away from ‘the dreaded basket’ when the rangers come round to weigh the chicks.

Victor Hurley, the Peregrine Falcon specialist who uses the streaming cam in Melbourne to study the falcons, is looking for some help. He was on the 367 Collins Street Falcons FB page today asking for individuals to accurately provide the time stamp for the incubation hand over duties. Later, he will be looking for time stamps for prey delivery. If you would like to help, please go to the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers and PM Hurley.

Here is a great example of what he is looking for. Mum is getting off the eggs and Cutie Pie ‘Dad’ is falcon walking on the ledge. They are such a good team.

It is windy in Sydney, too. WBSE 27 and 28 had a tiny bird – looks like another gull chick – around 6:29. 28 held back until almost all of the bird had been eaten by 27. That is a bit unusual for the first feeding in the morning. Normally 28 is right up front ready to go.

Notice that 27 stood for its breakfast! Oh, these two are really developing. Both have been standing more and trying to walk.

Another food item comes to the nest around 10:00. This time Lady splits the meal between both of the chicks.

28 is on the left and 27 on the right. You will notice that while the wing and back feathers are growing in nicely on both, 27’s tail is longer and 27 is noticeably larger.

In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner reminds readers that at the time of migration the juvenile Ospreys are transformed in appearance from when they were first fledglings. Gone is the white scallop on the feathers, gone is most of the down, the eyes are yellow, the dark feathers are darker, and the birds have ‘slimmed down’ somewhat.

So today an Osprey appeared on the Achieva Nest in St Petersburg. Help me out here. Could we be looking at a slightly older Tiny Tot?

The top two images are of the visitor today. The top one looks more like the face of Tiny Tot with the trademark ‘heart’ on the top of the head.

These are the first images that I grabbed of Tiny Tot out of the hundreds that I have. I wish that I could get both of the birds in the exact position.

Of course, it could be my mind playing tricks. I would dearly love for this to be Tiny Tot.

When I was scrolling for images of Tiny Tot, I cam across this one of Tiny Little. The Two Tinys are the stars of survival for 2021. The most amazing, clever, determined to live little birds who beat the odds. What I wouldn’t give for Tiny Tot to have a Darvic ring! Then we would not be guessing who is on that nest.

I will leave all of you with this mystery and a reminder of how inspiring these two little ospreys are to all of us.

Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: PLO Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Achieva Credit Union St Petersburg, 367 Collins Street Falcons, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

The Birds ‘Down Under’

As people in North America wait for the Bald Eagles to begin preparing their nest and breeding, much of the ‘bird’ action is in Australia. I pulled up a map so that we can locate the nests that are on streaming cams in Australia – fondly known as ‘Down Under’ here in Canada.

I made the map a little larger just so it is easier to see. Or is it just me that is having trouble reading all that small print?!

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest is in Sydney. On the map it is in bold letters on the lower right hand side. The Peregrine Falcon Nest of Xavier and Diamond is in Orange. Orange is just outside of Sydney. Trace your finger to 10 o’clock from Sydney and you should see Orange in grey letters. The 367 Collins Street Falcons are in Melbourne. It is at the very bottom in black letters. The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is in Port Lincoln. This is a small place. Locate Adelaide which is up the coast from Melbourne on the left. Take your finger and move it over in a straight line to the left from Adelaide to the bottom of the second peninsula. There is Port Lincoln. I am also going to include Solly’s Location so you can see where she is relative to where she hatched and fledged at Port Lincoln. Solly is currently staying the majority of the time at Eba Anchorage. Solly is 311 km from the place she fledged. Prior to Solly, the general understanding was that Eastern Ospreys stayed much closer to their natal nest. The evidence from the satellite tracking is changing the understanding of how far these fledglings might travel upon fledging.

Time flies. It was only a blink and Pippa Atawhai, the 2020 Royal Cam chick, had fledged — BUT, that was a year ago. Now we are waiting for Tiaki to fledge soon. It seemed like the month of August just melted. It was on the 3rd, the 6th, and the 9th that Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge laid her eggs for the 2021 season. At this very moment, the PLO FB Page is taking guesses on when the eggs will hatch. Yes, we will be moving into hatch watch within a week. Baby Ospreys are coming. Oh, those lovely little reptiles!

Dad continues to bring in materials for the nest. They are all over the place – big strips of bark and moss – even some more rope. He is a bit of a pack rat. Thank goodness he hasn’t been bringing in toys like Richmond and Jack in the US. It would be awfully crowded if that were to happen.

Watching this nest is not for the faint of heart. Siblicide is a regular occurrence.

The dominant hatch of 2021 was Solly. She is 352 days old on 7 August, Australian time. Solly was considered, out of the two surviving chicks, to be the one that would succeed. We have no news of DEW and unlike Solly, DEW was not equipped with a satellite transmitter. Solly has, however, demonstrated that she can survive and today she flew rom her normal home tree in Eba Anchorage to Perlubie to check out the fish. This is the graph from the satellite transmission.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Project is taking guesses as to the date of the first hatch on their FB page. You don’t need to be a member to pick a day – go and have some fun!

The White Bellied Sea Eaglets are doing fine. They are well fed and protected and they are growing so fast. Those beautiful juvenile feathers are coming in changing their appearance almost daily. They had a good fish feast the morning of the 6th and the wee ones slept and then woke up and began picking up sticks and leaves on the nest moving them about with their beak. They are not yet steady on their feet but they are standing more and 27 was attempting to walk today.

Both still had big crops after the fish breakfast. 28 got the majority.

Just look at those beautiful colours coming in. 27 is on the left and 28 is on the right.

Here 27 is standing watching 28 play with some sticks with its beak and talons. The sea eaglets are developing at a normal pace. It is all good.

The golden glow of morning fills the scrape box of the Peregrine Falcons, Xavier and Diamond, in Orange.

Each parent takes turns incubating the eggs so that the other can have a break. Diamond will do the overnight incubation and Xavier will be the security guard.

Here is a short video of the hand over of incubating duties from Diamond to Xavier:

Remember that the males are about 30% smaller than the females. Xavier works with his feet and wings to get those three large eggs under him so they can all be warm.

It is even harder for the tiny male at the 367 Collins Street nest who has four eggs to warm!

Mom arrives for her turn.

She is working her wings too to get those four eggs under her.

Looked at how poofed out all those feathers are. Wow.

Here is Dad. His feathers are all poofed, too. He is so tiny compared to mom. My goodness – he really does have to work to get all four under him properly.

After wiggling about he gets everything settled. We will be looking for hatch towards the end of September.

Thank you so much for joining me. All of the birds in Australia seem to be doing just fine. We will watch the sea eagles change colour before our eyes and anticipate the arrival of the Ospreys. It’s a few weeks before falcons start hatching. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: The 367 Collins Street Falcons, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.

PLEASE NOTE: I am taking my computer in for servicing. I hope to have it returned to me sometimes on Thursday so I will be back with another newsletter Thursday or Friday.

Waiting for diamond to lay her first egg, 2021

Diamond laid her first egg of the 2020 season at 04:16:09 on 27 August! She looked uncomfortable during the day with her rear all puffed up. How grand! Here is the video of that magical moment last year. If you have never seen a bird lay an egg, have a good look. They go into labour just like human females. The egg inside is very soft. You have probably noticed that the female birds do not immediately begin incubating the egg once they have laid it. This is so the air can harden the shell. In fact, Diamond is not going to start serious hard incubation til all of the eggs are laid. This is so the eyases will be born closer together, be a similar size, and not have the issues that eagles and ospreys have with the tiny third hatch.

There are now two Peregrine Falcon nests in Australia on streaming cam. If you miss Annie and Grinnell then please check out either of these. This is the link to Diamond and Xavier’s camera. There is a chat and excellent moderators. There is also a FB page.

We continue to wait for the 2021 egg!

The other Peregrine Falcon nest is on Collins Street in Melbourne and that happy couple are already incubating three eggs. Last year they raised triplet girls. I just love this couple.

And before everyone gets nervous, don’t. There is more of a ledge in front of this scrape box than in Diamond and Xavier’s.

Falcons are amazing to watch raise their clutches. You do not get the sibling rivalry like you do in WBSE, Eagles, or Ospreys. That again is because the eggs are not hard incubated until all of them are laid. So sit back, relax and watch the fun!

Here is the link to their camera. There is no chat.

Tiny ‘Not so Little’ is still around! She was eating a nice fish after 20:00 last night. Some are beginning to wonder if she will be too heavy to fly for migration! LOL. She certainly will be well prepared. Tiny Not so Little is a very clever girl. Let those others go first. Let dad work and stay a little later, too.

Tiny Little, there are so many people who admire you and cannot wait for you to return in 2023. Meanwhile I keep thinking that you might be like the Sharp-shinned Hawk that frequents my garden in the winter. He is an anomaly. Are you?

Migration is really in full swing here in Manitoba. There will be a number of celebrations beginning in a week as the various species make their way south to get away from the harsh winters of northern Canada. I headed off to one of the biggest environmental projects in our City – Fort Whyte. More about that later. Surely there would be ducks and geese and other species. Well, not so many. A very cranky male Canada goose did not like me within 13 metres or about 40 feet of his two juveniles and the female. He kept a good close eye on what I was doing.

It was early afternoon and the geese were obviously very thirsty. Their goal before the male noticed me was to get to the pond and have a big drink.

Some of them did this sort of gargling motion!

This beautiful little female mallard didn’t seem to mind my presence across the boardwalk. She watched me for awhile and then began preening.

And if you ever wondered, mallards are dabbling ducks. Much of the time this afternoon they were busy searching for food.

Often nature centres have special events surrounding migration. Our first is on 2 September but the one that I really look forward to is later in September or early October. It is the Goose Flight dinners at this very nature reserve I visited today. Enjoy a great meal with local ‘everything’ and then enjoy the thousands of Canada geese that fly in at dusk. It is unforgettable.

We are now putting out extra suet cylinders and topping up the feeders during the day plus all the water bowls. Just like Tiny Little needs a nice layer of fat reserves, all of the migrating birds need to eat well to help them be successful.

Brush up on the difference between the terms environmentalism and conservation. We are going to play a game in my blog on Saturday!

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

The featured image is Xavier in the scrape box.

The First Egg for the Collins Street Falcons

Oh, my goodness. The male at the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest is nothing short of adorable. I spent all last year wanting to scoop up this stealth fighter in my arms and cuddle with him. Or dreaming of a Peregrine Falcon onsie. Wouldn’t that be cute on a toddler?

The first egg of the 2021 season has been laid on 21 August. Wow. It is eggciting.

You might be asking why the female is not incubating that egg. The female will not start incubating the eggs until the last one is laid. This is because the adults want the nestlings to be about the same size for the first fortnight so that there is no rivalry over food. Last year, the three big girls all hatched within a 24 hour period. There was never any sibling rivalry – that is what I love about falcons and kestrels. Once the last egg is hatched, they will be incubated for 32-40 days.

Mom looks so proud of herself!

These are some images from last year:

Mom brooding the triplets.

Dad feeding the girls when they are a little older – before they lose all that fluffy white down.

This year Mirvac, the property owners, are in charge of the streaming cams of the Victorian Falcon Project. You can watch these falcons from the very beginning.

Telyn at the Dyfi Nest, Wales. 20 August 2021

Some more great news. The Season of the Osprey will premier on PBS October 27 at 8pm! Please check your local stations for the exact time in your area. This is what they are saying about this documentary:

“Birds of prey exist in myriad shapes and sizes. Scores of eagles, hundreds of hawks and countless kites and falcons have all adapted form and behavior to fit diverse habitats. But in all the world, there is only one osprey. Following a single evolutionary path, it has conquered every continent save Antarctica. One bird, one design, unchanged. It is the only truly aquatic raptor, the sole member of its own taxonomic family. This one-hour, blue-chip special brings viewers into the life to this incredible raptor with a depth and intimacy never before attempted. Shot in and around Great Island Marsh, where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, cameraman Jacob Steinberg has achieved unlimited access to an osprey nest and captured the struggles, failures and triumphs of a single osprey family.”

Oh, I can’t wait!

I am afraid that I am having Malin withdrawal. A week or more ago I took a few video clips of Malin being fed by Marsha. I would like to share one of those with you now.

And another one of Malin exercising his wings.

It is so much easier when you know that the little one fledged, returned to the nest for food for 36 days or so, and then flew off to find their life. There is a level of anxiety when it doesn’t happen that way. I sure miss that little one. I have not, as yet, received any images of the two Osprey chicks found or any other news. I am hoping for tomorrow or Monday. It is a busy time of year for the wildlife rehabbers.

Two of the storklings have fledged at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Siguldas – the youngest was first and then the oldest yesterday. Only the middle remains. All have returned to the nest safely. The one that had its wing up against the far branch seems to be alright as well. That is good news. I have heard of no feedings since Grafs came in with some very small fish for the trio on 19 August. That means that if the storklings did not find the feeder – the two that fledged – they have had little food but nothing for two days. This is critical. There is concern that Grafs has left for his migration — it was the very initial concern. I want to remain hopeful.

Jan has fed his storklings but the meal was only tiny fish or worms. Urmas has not brought any more fish to the nest. Since he has fed them once and they accepted the fish, I hope that Urmas will do this again (he also left fish when he banded them and put on the trackers). It is not clear whether the anxiety of starvation is worse than having a human bring food to the nest.

These are very difficult times for everyone but they are especially difficult circumstances for these six starving Black Storks – rare Black Storks!

At the Black Stork Nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Karl II was still in the nest area. His transmitter told us. The two early fledges, Tuul and Udu, headed the wrong direction due to weather concerns and then turned south. Pikne travelled south from the beginning. New tracker information should be coming in soon. Safe travels all of you!

Oh, this youngster can really scream for food on the Loch of the Lowes nest. What a beauty. This is another good example of a ‘normal’ fledge. The chicks return to the nest to be fed and fattened up for migration.

I really want to put a plug in for the administration of the lochs in Scotland. No one is allowed on those lakes from April to the end of September so that humans do not disturb the birds. It means that motor boats with their leaking fuel are not chasing the Ospreys and making the water toxic. Gosh, I hope that only human powered boats are allowed. What a great idea – leave the lakes to the birds during breeding season. Three cheers for Scotland! This could well be the case throughout England and Wales also. I will try and find out.

And look what is on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is a flounder for the lucky chick that makes it to the nest first. Tiny Little!!!!!!!!! Where are you Tiny Little?

It’s a few minutes later and I missed that lucky fledgling that snagged that flounder! It’s gone. That leads me to believe that it was probably Blue 464, the male, the first to fledge. He likes to take the fish and eat it on the branch of the parent tree.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are looking forward to those falcons hatching as much as I am. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Mirvac Corporation and the Collins Street Falcon Cam, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, and The Dyfi Osprey Project.

Monday in Bird World

There is some sad news coming in from the Kakapo Recovery. During routine checks, Tutu was found dead. He hatched in 2019 and the team says he was quite ‘the character’. This brings the total population of Kakapo in the entire world to 201.

Photo of Tutu @ Petrus Hedman Kakapo Recovery FB

The news coming in is not all bad but, it could be a lot better. I reported that Grafs had provided two feedings for the Black Storklings on the nest near Sigulda. As it turns out, after I posted my newsletter, Grafs returned two ore times making a total of four feedings on 15 August. The team are hoping that Grafs will find the feeding table. If Grafs does and accepts the food, this nest could turn around quickly! At the present time the storklings are in a critical condition.

This is the news from Janis Kuze:

“I can report that fish were let into the feeder last night, the place is a few hundred meters from the nest and is easy to see from the air, but the bird still has to find it.
Thanks to everyone who provided support!”
Jānis Ķuze

Grafs arrived with some larger fish for the storklings at 14:47. He has yet to find the feeding table. Some are thinking that it might not be in his territory. There is a discussion about putting a decoy black stork to attract Grafs.

A feeding table has also been set up for the Estonian Black storklings of Jan and Janika. I understand a decoy – a White Stork decoy painted black – is at that table to try and lure the male to the fish for the storklings.

Yesterday I said that the storklings had eaten all of the fish. That was incorrect. They have been stomped into a pile but the Estonian storklings are still eating from them today and they have had a feeding from Jan. You can see the remaining fish today on the back left of the nest. Thankfully the nestlings are eating from them. If you look at their bills they are still a dull colour which is good. They are also not getting stress lines in their feathers like the storklings of Grafs. Stress lines are translucent feathers caused by all manner of stresses not just lack of food. Regular growth in feathers is not translucent.

Here is the link to the streaming cam of the Black Storklings in Latvia:

Here is the link to the streaming cam of the Black Storks in Estonia:

If you want to keep up to the minute with what is happening at either or both of these nests, please look under the information of each streaming cam. You will find the link to the English forums.

Please be mindful that these are extremely difficult times for the moderators and helpers on the chats and the forums. These two nests showed great promise – the best – and as I have said many times — the fate of our birds hangs on a fragile piece of thin thread. It can change any moment. The biologists and vets are doing everything possible. We need for the male storks to find the fish tables. Send your warm thoughts to all. The little ones need a miracle.

UPDATE: It appears that Jan has found the fish table. He has flown in and brought 2 very large fish to the nest in Estonia. There are also fish left there from the bander! Great news. Let us hope this continues and now we just need Grafs to find the fish.

And now on to some rather silly news. Blue 462 at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria, got the breakfast fish. And, of course….Tiny Little was right there making sure her big sibling could not eat in peace. Tiny Little is giving them back what they gave to her as a youngster in the nest!

Tiny Little loves moving around the sticks. It is really disturbing to the one who is trying to eat.

One of the cameras got knocked but what it did was give us a nice close up of all those sticks Tiny Littles moves and returns, moves and returns.

There were others wanting some of that fish – those pesky crows who seem to be around, too.

Tiny Little kept running at the crows to get them to go away but finally, it was 462 that flew away leaving Tiny Little that great big fish all to herself. Do you think Tiny has enlisted the crows to help her? with the promise she will leave some food? Normally, Tiny Little is like a vacuum cleaner removing every piece of fish!!

In the image below, 462 has just flown off the nest. Tiny Little is moving towards that big fish she is going to have for breakfast.

Tiny Little spends some time making sure the siblings and the crows are not going to bother her. At one time or another the crows were climbing and flying around that part of the nest. But never mind. Tiny Little started 16 August off with a nice big crop. Well done Tiny Little.

It’s now 17:30ish on the Foulshaw Moss nest and Tiny Little is there calling White YW for food along with another sibling. It looks like 464 to me but I cannot catch the band number. Tiny Little is the fledgling at the back.

Tiny Little is such a character. She is one of the good news stories of the year for sure! I really hope that when she returns to raise her family it is on one of the nests with a streaming cam.

Do you recognize this view?

That is the scrape box for the Collins Street Falcons in Melbourne! and the YouTube channel is up and running. This is fantastic news to all of us that have waited to see this couple and their eyases again. Dad is just the cutest.

Both parents are working on the scrape box. That is mom in the image below.

Here is the link so you can be in on the action from the very beginning:

It doesn’t get any cuter nor any happier than the little sea eaglets in the nest on the old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Both of them are thriving! That is 27 facing us with its big crop and 28 is still eating.

Yesterday, Malin went to sleep with his head on a fish and another whole Bullhead on the left side of the nest. He woke up this morning and finished off the “pillow fish” and Marsha flew in and fed him and ate a lot of the Bullhead herself.

Malin has a nice big crop! Mom is getting some fish and that catch did not go to waste. And that is a good thing.

Thank you so much for joining me today. This newsletter comes about six hours earlier than I expected. It is nearly 100 degrees F on the Canadian Prairies and the birds are in hiding. No photography until later. I will continue to monitor the two Black Stork nests and bring updates. Send your prayers and your warm wishes to those two Black Stork nests. They need a miracle to get the males to accept the fish! Bukacek did so we need Grafs and Jan to do the same!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen shots: The Kakapo Recovery FB, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, 367 Collins Falcons, The Eagle Club of Estonia and The Latvian Fund for Nature.

Birding Action has started in Australia

Wow. At 00:52:40, Mom goes into labour. She is the female Osprey on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in Australia. Dad is sitting right at nest side in support. It was magical. The minute the egg was, Dad was off. My time said 00:57:58. And with that single significant event, the Port Lincoln Osprey season for 2021 is underway!

Mom looks very content in the early morning Australian sun.

I was very glad to see Dad there. Last year Dad just about ended my love of Ospreys. The death of Tapps, the third hatch in 2020, practically cemented that. The Achieva Osprey nest brought back the pain but the triumph of Tiny Tot gave me faith. It also has made me question the entire notion of ‘survival of the fittest’. So this year I am wishing for consistent fish drops when the eggs hatch – Dad, that means enough fish for everyone every day with no breaks.

The Northern Hemisphere fledglings are preparing to migrate (if they hatched in an area where the birds travel to warmer climates during the winter) so for all Osprey lovers this is a chance to start at the very beginning again — in Australia.

The adults spent a lot of time bringing in new twigs and lining the nest cup with bark. It is quite beautiful. This nest looks like someone cares!

Of the chicks that have fledged from this nest, Calypso (2019) fishes and is seen regularly in the Port Lincoln area. Solly (2020) was fitted with a satellite tracker as well as a leg band. It is reassuring to know that she is well. There have been no reported sightings of her brother, DEW, that I am aware of.

Solly is 317 days old and she is at her favourite place, Eba Anchorage.

The two eggs have hatched at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. They are WBSE 27 and 28. Both are doing fantastic. Dad has been bringing in Bream, Pigeon, several other types of birds, and Eel-tailed Catfish. The chicks are not wanting for food or variety!

The link to the Sea Eagle Cam is here:

Are you a Peregrine Falcon lover? There are two excellent nests in Australia on streaming cam. One is on all year round and has covered the antics of Xavier, his mate Diamond, and their son, Izzi. The scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, NSW. This family is part of a research project of Professor Cilla Kinross.

I should tell you that this nest is hilarious. Xavier is such a sweetie and he is courting Diamond now even though they have been a bonded pair for a number of years. He brings her gifts of prey to the scrape box and they do a courtship dance. Sometimes Xavier forgets and brings Diamond a Starling. Diamond hates Starlings and refuses to accept the gift from Xavier! And then there is Izzi. Izzi is like the cutest almost one year old falcon. He should not be at the nest but he is. You see, Izzi fledged three times. The first was accidental so he was taken back up the 170 stairs to the scrape box on the water tower. The second was a good fledge but he ran into a window. He was in care for several days and returned to the scrape box. The third time was the charm. The problem? Well, Izzi should have left his parent’s territory before the beginning of 2021. Yes, it is now August. That is the problem.

I mean seriously – could you tell this cutie pie to leave home?

Both Diamond and Xavier have been ‘scraping’ in the scrape box. The indentation they are creating is where Diamond will lay the 2021 season eggs. The couple have already been mating on the top of the water tower.

This is Xavier. The yellow around the eyes, the cere (part above the beak), and the legs and feet are a deep yellow when falcons are adults. Look at the beautiful plumage patterning.

This is Xavier scraping in the scrape box.

This is Diamond scraping in the scrape box. Notice the colour of the stones. In his book, The Peregrine, J.A. Baker states that “Peregrines bathe every day…The bed of the stream must be stony and firm…They favour those places where the colour of the stream-bed resembles the colour of their own plumage.” Absolutely. Camouflage. But why do they take so many baths? Baker believed that it was so they would not transfer any lice or other parasites from their prey onto them that could cause illness or disease. The same is true of the scrape box. Peregrine falcons lay their eggs in gravel and not on a twig nest to avoid illness or disease.

Here is a very short but loud pair bonding in the scrape box. Have a look at the dance that Xavier and Diamond do together. Xavier is the smaller of the couple. Falcons, like other raptors, have reverse sex size diamorphism – meaning the female is larger.

Here is the link to the box camera. There are in fact two cameras: one looks at the inside of the box as above and the other is positioned to look forward from the back taking in the ledge and a bit of the outside world. That is cute little Izzi looking out to that big world beyond.

The chat feature has moderators, often Professor Kinross, as well as a FB Page where you can get great information.

The second is the Collins Street Falcons better known as the CBD Falcons in Melbourne. The camera is not operational yet. There are many videos from last year if you search for Collins Street Falcons on YouTube. In 2020, the couple had triplet girls. Triplets? Three eggs hatch within a period of 24 hours. These girls grew like crazy. They grew bigger than their dad.

I am including one video of the male delivering a pigeon to feed them. I just love this tiny little male. He melts my heart every time I look at him.

The diet of the two falcon families is different. The Melbourne falcons are urban. Their diet is almost exclusively pigeon. In contrast, the falcons in Orange are rather rural with a more varied diet including Starlings (remember Diamond dislikes those), Galah, sometimes a Supreme Parrot, other parrots, and birds. One thing that eyases love are cicadas. They hold them in their foot and eat them like a popsicle. It is crazy. In one day last year, Izzi ate 17 cicadas in a row. There had to be a swarm of them! It was incredible.

As night comes to the Canadian prairies the sun is rising on a new day in Europe for all of the birds. The rain falling in the Latvian forest where the three Black storklings nest sounds wonderful.

It was reported today that my city had only 1/10 the average amount of rain in July. It has been 150 years since this small amount of rain was last recorded. We long for a day just to listen to the sound of rain falling like it is here on the Black Storklings in Latvia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you with me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University and the Falcon Cam Project, Port Lincoln Osprey Project and PLO FB Page for Solly’s transmitter data.

Note: The next newsletter will appear late Tuesday.