Mum saves the fish…and other tales from Bird World

25 October 2022

Oh, good morning to everyone!

I hope that your day is starting off wonderfully well.

For those living in Melbourne, oh, enjoy those 24 degrees C temperatures for me, too. My forecast is for it to snow in the next hour! And for it to be -1 C tomorrow. Now…I don’t know about your meteorologists but, ours are sometimes not correct and I am really hoping that they will be wrong. Not for me but for all the birds that remain in our City. There are even reports of the first Snowy Owls arriving in the southern part of our province. Cold weather is really and truly on its way. I have never seen all the Snowys on the fields in our province. Looking forward to finally seeing one this year.

There was no snow when I woke up but it is 1 degree and grey. The Blue Jays are gathering peanuts in the shell and the Lilacs are full of little sparrows singing away eating their Black Oil Seed and millet. Just a few seconds ago six Canada Geese flew over.

Thankfully I had the camera ready because I was wanting to try and catch Little Red. He was too quick!

My attempts to lure the European Starlings down from roosting in the far trees did not work. There were, however, some wrens and sparrows that promptly went over to eat the Meal Worms and the Bark Butter. The squirrels were also busy today and Little Red continues to go in and out of the big box that holds the wood. That is where I put his new house – if he would move into it. I am afraid to go and check but it is possible that he is entering from the back hole to the house. Fingers crossed. It would be a great place for him.

There are a few Dark-Eyed Juncos still around looking for Millet.

Dad brought in one of the nicest fish I have seen to the Port Lincoln nest. Mum had been doing her talon dance and Middle had joined in prey calling. When Dad arrived, the fish, like all fish being slimy, slipped…oh, it looked like Mum was going to lose it down the side of the nest. But…she didn’t. She managed to get that very much alive fighting fish up on that nest and then she decided to fly off with it. I do not know what Mum did to that fish in the few seconds she was off the nest but it sure wasn’t wiggling and jerking when she got back. How many times have we witnessed these big fish, alive and fighting, being brought to nests only to hold our breath as they flipped and flopped over the ospreys??? Manton Bay comes to mind for this past season in the UK. My goodness I thought those two babies were going to die. How the one survived I will never know but, she did.

It is not the first time I have seen this happen and I am certain that you have, at one time or another, if you have watched Osprey nests, seen a fish go overboard. It is heart breaking. I cannot say for certain but many say that it takes about 15 dives to get a catch. That is a lot of energy expended to go over the side. And, as we all know too well, a fish can sometimes mean life or death to one of the chicks.

Mum fought that fish pulling and pulling so it would not go overboard.

The other thing that I find interesting in these situations is that the male does not help. It is as if once the fish is delivered he is done..gone. At any rate, three cheers for Mum. She did an amazing job wrestling that fish.

Middle is very clever. Mum is getting the fish situated and Big is already to eat. Middle does not waste any seconds getting to the table but he doesn’t just rush in either. He can see how long that fish is and slowly moves into place.

Middle is going to get a truly good feed.

It is hard to tell but, Middle has a very large piece of fish he is getting ready to hook.

Just have a look at our dear Middle. That crop could pop!

Notice also how heavy the wings are now. The ospreys will let them droop. I also like to point out the dark down on the chest. The ospreys will have a thermal down underneath their feathers that will help them regulate their temperature.

All is quiet. Two very full ospreys. As I write this, the time is just past 1500 in Port Lincoln. I have not seen another fish come to the nest yet but there will be at least 1 more if not 2 today.

It is so nice to have these three nests progressing along nicely without too much worry of anything untoward happening. Oh, yes, I always say that the fortunes of a nest can turn in an instant – and they can. Thankfully we have no worries about predators, like Eagles, owls, or goshawks, diving down to snatch the chicks out of the nest! Those are constant worries at some nests such as those in Finland and now, of course, at some in the US like Cowlitz PUD where all three ospreys were taken by a Bald Eagle.

Oh, how precious. Indigo walked over to give her little brother a cuddle.

Xavier arrived with the afternoon tea. For a moment I thought that he might get to feed Indigo and Rubus but, no…Diamond arrived. It looked like a Starling but then as Diamond plucked it looked less so. The fact that it took longer to remove the feathers with Rubus getting anxious and walking away to Cilla’s stones indicated that it must have been something larger. Oh, my goodness. When Diamond started feeding the two were jumping and stretching for joy! It was a great feeding.

Notice that Little Rubus is at the kind of cotton ball stage too…the fluffy white down just hanging on as the juvenile feathers grow underneath. Indigo is doing a lot of preening and if you catch a glimpse of her tail, it is really growing nicely. They are changing almost right before our eyes. It is now Wednesday in Orange and by the weekend we should see some dramatic differences in the plumage of both.

It sure looks like a Starling!

Diamond arrives and takes the prey. Xavier has a last look. Oh, he loves being a Dad and what a wonderful one he is!

Some of you more familiar with the prey available around Orange can probably identify this tea time treat. It looks like a Starling to me but please correct me if it is something larger.

Poor Indigo. Both ‘J’ and I noticed that she let Little Rubus be right up in front. I do wonder about the fright she had with that one Starling head having a lasting impression or lasting fright.

Rubus gets impatient waiting for the plucking to end and walks over and gets on Cilla’s stones. Do you know why the stones are placed where they are? It is so Diamond will have to lay her eggs so the camera can see them, not hidden in the corner.

Rubus has a ferocious appetite! Not to worry. Indigo did get some food!

Notice how Indigo is changing. You can see those beautiful tail feathers and we are now getting a reveal of her back as the soft down comes away from her eyes. She is going to be just a stunner.

Oh, and thankfully, someone caught the morning feed at 367 Collins Street on video! (I am not able to use my video app on this machine…I hope to be able to make video clips for you soon but, for now, we will rely on others!)

Around 1345 at the scrape of the Melbourne Four in the CBD of Melbourne, the parents are on alert. One is calling from the ledge and they seem to be spending time on the ledge protecting the eyases.

Even if there was an intruder about, the Melbourne Four managed another four feedings lasting over ten minutes. They were at 0641 for 17 minutes, 1126 for 11 minutes, 1629 for 12 minutes, and a really big feed at 1855 lasting for 18 minutes. Thank you ‘H’ for all those times.

Other News in Bird World:

One of our favourite Ospreys, Richmond from the San Francisco Whirley Crane nest in the Richmond Shipping Yards, has had to protect his territory from Ravens today.

This is the latest news on SE30 who was found in a residential neighbourhood. I sound like a broken record. It is incredibly sad that the eaglets are rushed out of the forest so they cannot get their flying strong and be taught how to hunt for prey by their parents. This scenario is repeated annually. Thankfully, all those wonderful people around the Discovery Centre who love these eagles from here and beyond keep an eye on them. It is also reassuring that the right protocols are in place to rescue the eaglets and get them into care. Let us hope that SE29 and SE30 are both kept in care until they are flying strong and know how to hunt! Thank you Judy Harrington!

There is also some progress being made at the North Dame Bald Eagle nest in St Patrick’s Park, South Bend, Indiana. This is the natal nest of Little Bit ND17. Good luck Mum and Dad. They have a huge job ahead of them!

How much is a Bald Eagle’s life worth? Sadly, not much. A Devon, Ohio man shot and killed a Bald Eagle. WKBN27 First News is reporting that a federal judge gave the man a one year’s probation, a fine of $4000 and another $1200 to USFWS.

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

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Norte Dame Eagles FB, Eagle Cam, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

Early Sunday in Bird World

9 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. Nippy as it is only 7 degrees C at noon but, beautiful blue skies, a wee breeze, and no rain in sight. I hope that all of you have had a joyful weekend, have had some time to watch our beloved bird families as they face challenges of feeding two eyases at Orange or delayed food deliveries at Port Lincoln.

Making News:

The RSPB is urging everyone to let the wild grow. While they are focused on the UK, other agencies are doing this throughout the world as the number of insects decreases dramatically.

Did you know?

While Peregrine Falcon chicks are almost born blind, as juveniles they will be able to see a Starling a mile away (or .6 km). That is the reason that some at Cal Falcons Berkeley believe that Annie might have seen her precious Grinnell killed. With the difference in size of the two eyases at Orange and with the eyesight getting more focused daily by the little one, here is a brief article to help us understand how falcons actually see so well.

https://intobirds.com/eyes-of-a-peregrine-falcon/

I thought I would also include Kate St John’s article on Peregrine Falcon Development week by week. It is an excellent reference to what is happening as you watch the eyases at Melbourne and Orange grow and develop.

Nest News:

I know that you will be delighted to see that the adults at the Notre Dame Bald Eagle nest, home of Little Bit ND17, are beginning to rebuild their nest on the cam tree. Smile.

The names for the eyases of Diamond and Xavier at the Orange, Australian scrape are Indigo for the oldest and Rubus for the youngest. How lovely!

I haven’t been counting the bites that Rubus has gotten at each meal; I only do that with third hatch ospreys who are being badly beaked by older siblings or when watching a nest that could become unstable, such as Port Lincoln right now. I have, however, looked for a wee crop on the little one at Orange and haven’t seen one until yesterday. ‘A’ assures me that Diamond is getting better at feeding it and certainly the second feeding appeared to be better than the first with a wee crop on Rubus. Indigo is a great big sibling; she is just bigger and well her neck is longer. She will be getting pin feathers when, today, Rubus is really getting its eyes opened.

There were 5 feedings yesterday with the little one getting a bit more than the day prior. Those feedings were a Starling at 6:39:48; a pigeon at 8:42:33; 10:25:42; leftover pigeon at 12:58:11; another Starling feeding at 15:19:05 and 18: 31:26.

Here are some images of those feedings yesterday. Enjoy! Please note that the top image is the late feeding of the day.

I had actually hoped that Xavier would get a chance to feed the wee ones.

The first fish of the day did not come in until after 1300 at Port Lincoln. There had been some beaking as the three became hungrier and hungrier. It was also the first feeding where I have witnessed beaking. There was a reason. The lineup was Middle, Little, and Big at the farthest point from Mum’s beak. Middle and Little got quite a few big mouthfuls with Little Bob eating a piece of an organ that fell on the nest at 13:10:52. (Thanks, ‘A’). All of the chicks were ever so happy to see a fish that it looked like they were frantically gobbling the food. Big wasn’t getting any, though. He beaked the siblings and had them both afraid of being fed. S/he ate and then when s/he had their fill, the others ate some more. At the end of the feeding all had eaten well except for Mum who must have been ravished herself. Fighting continued at various times throughout the day with a few feeds. Big’s target was, for the most part Middle. Those two do not like each other at all and Big has always been trying to establish its dominance since they were 8 days old.

The chicks were absolutely ravenous when that 1307 fish arrived. I wonder what is keeping Dad from getting the fish to the nest early in the morning? The late deliveries are causing the nest to become unstable. Still, until yesterday, the feedings had not been impacted by food competition. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day of attacks by Big.

Little Bob eats the dropped piece of fish organ all by himself. It was a great horking just like Big did with the fish tail the day prior.

Despite the discord on the nest, all of the chicks managed to get their crops nicely filled at the feedings. Let us all hope that Dad will be able to overcome whatever it is that is stopping him from delivering fish early in the morning.

The four eyases at Melbourne are well fed. Mum spends a long time making sure that each is fed. In the last feeding of the day, you can barely see them as Mum has her back to the camera. There are a couple of glimpses. The eyases are beginning to look like raptors and you can clearly see their crops and the shiny skin on their chest where the feathers are worn off. Great work by Mum and Dad at Melbourne.

The Sydney Sea Eagle camera has been offline sometimes. SE30 spent the night on the nest with a parent above on the parent branch. No sign of SE29 yesterday although it could easily be on the nest tree out of view of the camera. That said, in days prior, SE29 was happy to jump down on the nest with the family so it does make me wonder.

The Bald Eagles in the US continue to visit their nests making a few nestorations or rebuilding an entire nest. They can do it! Let us all send warm wishes to Port Lincoln today for several fish early in the morning. That would go a long way to settling down Big and its fears about food supply. It would be wonderful if the cam would be operating at Sea Eagles – would love to see SE30 when it fledges or a visit from SE29. Meanwhile, we know that the Melbourne Four are going to begin to get itchy and start preening. We also know that they will have loads of prey. Dad is keeping the pantry full. I am especially looking forward to seeing Rubus with its eyes more focused today.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following for their postings and stream cams that made up my screen captures today: RSPB, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!

Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.

Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.

Making News:

There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.

British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.

If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.

Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.

Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.

Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.

National Arboretum Nest

They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!

Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.

Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.

Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!

The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.

In the image below you can see what little is left.

It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.

At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.

Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?

If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)

The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.

Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.

The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.

For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

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

From the Archive:

I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?

Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.


From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?

An inspiring wildlife photographer, Little Bit 17 and more…Bird World on Saturday

3 August 2022

There is not a lot happening in Bird World right now other than some of the last ospreys leaving their nests in the UK, the just perfect fledge of the QT Chick off Taiaroa Head in New Zealand yesterday, and perhaps a season’s goodbye from Iris and Louis at Hellgate Canyon. Birds are flying and each of us has that ’empty nest’ syndrome. At the same time, there are a few Osprey dads in the UK that might wish their darling daughters were on their way!

I paid a visit to a couple of the local ponds yesterday afternoon. It was not so hot and many of the birds were quite active compared to what they had been in days prior.

Wood Duck, female
Immature American Goldfinch
At the feeder: American Goldfinch (breeding male), American Goldfinch (non-breeding male), Black-capped Chickadee

The local Egrets fooled everyone last night choosing to stay at another roosting site and leaving photographers dismayed!

One flew over the pond. Noticed that no one else was on the roosting tree and took over for another pond about a kilometre away.

Meanwhile, I found one of the little ducklings – oh, the tiniest little things last week – in the water yesterday. There were originally two. I wonder if the other is hiding under the board walk. This one was out diving and eating. You can still see the downy fluff. It is also hard to tell from the image but the duckling is about 15 cm long or 6 inches.

In the evening, the geese were flying over in their perfect ‘V’. Did you know that the leader changes positions when it gets tired and moves to the back allowing another to take over while it rests at the back?

From the Book shelf:

The book stack is growing. I am so excited to introduce you to a wonderful wildlife photographer, Oliver Hellowell. Do you know him? Born with Down Syndrome, his mother was told that Oliver would never be able to accomplish anything. Thankfully, Oliver’s mother did not listen to the doctors and she created opportunities for him in sports, taught him sign language, gave him the gift of the love of reading. His Mum has worked tirelessly from the time Oliver had his first open heart surgeries, to find new ways for Oliver to communicate. She never gave up and her believe and the support circle that grew around this young man are inspirational in that they show us what ‘defying the odds’ really means. When he was 11, his stepfather put a camera in his hands ——-Oliver never looked back! The introduction of the camera changed Oliver’s life giving him a wonderful way of communicating with the world. Oliver is now 25.

Oliver’s book and a packet of cards arrived yesterday morning. It was a delight to see the postmark from the UK.

Oliver Hellowell’s book, Birds, is one of the nicest coffee table books I have handled. The cover and the paper are first-rate, the images are crystal clear and amazing. Oliver loves water and he often captures the finer water droplets on a shore birds beak or wing. Each bird is identified often with a comment by Oliver on what it was about that particular bird that interested him. He loves gulls and wrens!

Oliver has his own website where you can meet him and see his images of birds and the landscapes where he has traveled. There is also a ‘shop’ section. If you are looking for beautiful cards that fit in their envelopes, different from those on the racks at your local shop, check out the ones that Oliver has for purchase. I picked a landscape pack and have no regrets! Keep Oliver Hellowell in mind if you are looking for a special holiday or birthday gift for a birding friend.

You can find Oliver’s books and cards at his website and I have also included a BBC article about this very talented young man who is living his dream to be a wildlife photographer.

https://www.oliverhellowell.com/

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-29107894

Making News:

As more and more wildlife become extinct, researchers in Hawaii are working hard to keep the K’auai Creeper -who is predicted to go extinct because of mosquitoes carrying Avian Malaria – alive.

Nest News:

Stephen Basly continues to post the most wonderful images of Little Bit ND17 on the Notre Dame Eagles website. So grateful to him and all the birders on the ground who continued to chase after our adored Little Bit supplying us daily with information when he was near the nest territory. These images now are of course so welcome – fly high, Little Bit. Stay safe. Eat well.

These are just beautiful images. Thank you, Stephen!

One of these is going to be a magnet on my fridge. Several years ago, my Sea Eagle contact, suggested that magnets are a way of remembering those special birds. Of course, at the time, I swore that there would not be bird items all over my house…who was I fooling? The magnets are fantastic. I still say good morning to many including Legacy, Big Red, and others. Room will be made for Little Bit and Victor this year!

Checking the trackers from the north of Europe and Bonus is still in Belarus. No check in from the others. Salli, the Finnish Osprey, is in Ukraine. Some have suggested that the birds might be safer flying through a war zone than being shot over Malta and Lebanon deliberately. That person has a point.

At the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn, Idris continues to deliver fish to his daughter, Padarn who joined the 100 day club today. What is the 100 day club? Well, normally, the mum and fledglings are all departed by 100 days leaving Dad to gather his strength for migration. But some of them – three in fact – have been slow to leave and have made the ‘Century Club’ at the Dyfi Nest. They are Berthyn in 2019 who stayed 101.4 days and Dysnni who stayed 100.1 days in 2021. Padarn looks pretty comfy with Dad bringing her good meals. Maybe she will stay the longest!

No signs of leaving in the late day. Idris can hear her fish calling down at the Dyfi River!

Aran is still chasing after the chicks and sometimes Mrs G, too, at the Glaslyn nest.

Dear Louis at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest is still providing nice fish for Sarafina, too. I think Sarafina is a bit like Padarn – they love being the ‘only ones’ in Dad’s life!

That is it for Saturday. The Australian birds are still napping. Every nest seems to be fine – looking forward to hatch at Port Lincoln in 2 weeks…oh, let us hope the time does fly.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Oliver Hellowell, The Birding Project, Notre Dame Eagles and Stephen Basly, Laji.Fi, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, and Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust.

Eggs, Electrocutions, Migrations and more…Tuesday in Bird World

30 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

We are nearing the end of August. I keep saying the month has disappeared and it surely has! It is simply hard to believe. We had a magnificent rain that brought the garden back to life. There is nothing like a good soaking – watering from the tap doesn’t seem to do it. The garden also had a visitor this morning. I know the hawk has been around but, with all of the foliage it is hard to spot him. The new fence has, however, attracted a lot of attention and today it got approved to be the new plucking post! The image is not good. I got so excited that I hit the silly video button on the phone and not the photo. It is also from a distance through a screen -I was hiding in the shadows hoping that she would not see me inside the house taking her photo – hawks have to eat, too.

By now you will have noticed that I have added some sub-titles to my blog. There will not always be questions in the post to answer – that is up to you! But if you are wondering something, ask. I will absolutely not always know the answers but I have friends and colleagues to ask that do and they are happy to share what they know with all of us. There is generally some news and there are always things happening at the nests despite it being quite slow the end of August. I hope also to incorporate a book review section once in awhile —- when there is time to read a new book. I am currently working on two: Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour. It is excellent so far – a great reference that includes topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Flight, Food and Feeding, Breeding… The second is After They’re Gone. Extinctions Past, Present and Future by Peter Marren who tackles some of the very uncomfortable truths that we have to face. It is time, after all, to get our heads out of the sand and listen to what individuals like Marren have to tell us. Full review to follow in a few weeks when I have had time to digest and reflect the latter.

In the Mailbox:

‘B’ writes: “I have been watching Osprey nests for years. Why do the siblings attack one another after fledging when they have been nice on the nest?” Oh, this is such a timely question as the nests begin to empty themselves of parents and fledglings in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some of you will remember that the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021 – Bazza, Falky, and Ervie – were sweet to one another as nestlings. Bazza tried a couple of times, early on, to boss Ervie but, even as little as he was, Ervie wasn’t having any of it. So the nest was very peaceful. Then they grew up. They fledged and even became interested in fishing. When Dad would bring a fish, they would descend on the nest and fight – or, rather, let’s use the Australian term, “a dust up” would occur. If you are watching the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, two of the three girls remain in Wales. Whenever a fish comes on the nest, they practically knock each other about to get to that food. This is perfectly normal behaviour. They no longer see one another as siblings but as rivals who might take the only food supply. Soon, they will go their separate ways and no would have been hurt-normally -although Bazza and Ervie did get pretty rough. Please note that the PLO nest had 3 males and the Dyfi had 3 females – same gender on the nest. Same sex nests tend to be very civil after a brief set to at the beginning.

‘S’ sent me some news and included in it is a video/PowerPoint on what to expect at the Royal Albatross Taiaroa Head Colony in September. I know that many of you are fans of the albatross and watch Quarry Track chick, this year’s Royal cam chick, faithfully. I do not cover her but I look in on her. Sharon Dunne does an excellent job of providing all the information needed! This is a great information packet – have a peek. Thanks, ‘S’.

Making the News:

Drought and hydro poles killing off Europe’s White Storks. Only 10% of the hydro poles in Hungary are insulated and yet 150,000 beautiful White Storks are electrocuted each year. This well done video shows the birds, where they live, the deaths, and the fix that is required. It is now time for humans to step up to the plate and take care of the wildlife instead of doing what we have always done — put ourselves first.

And, of course, Hungary is not the only country that has this issue. We saw it in Canada when Junior was killed near the nest on Gabriola Island, in The Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-62690344

A Polish Photographer has been stirring up real interest on the Internet with his image of an Osprey fishing. His name is Krzysztof Stasiaczek and the image was taken in August 2022 in Eastern Masuri, Poland.

Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia used their GoFund Me and some other private donations to build a new sun-shaded nest for Ma and Dad at Delta 2. Why? Rising temperatures in the area of the nest due to the increased heating of our planet. They released the images today. That is David Hancock with the light blue long sleeve shirt working tirelessly to continually improve the lives of the Bald Eagles…he has been doing this for at least 65 years!

Somehow we all knew that the numbers of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands is growing – thanks in large part to Dr Sharpe ensuring the eaglets do not tumble into the sea or die under a nest from zinc toxicity.

News is coming out of the Channel Islands Eagle Lovers group that there is the possibility of a new Bald Eagle pair spotted on Santa Cruz! Sauces 2016 hatch A-63, a male named Whisk, has been seen at the old Fraser Point nest with a subadult female of approximately 3 years. Fingers crossed.

A blog by Rosie Shields who monitors the Borders nests in the UK found its way into my inbox today. You might not be interested in these Ospreys but, it is the behaviour of the female that is important. She left a nest with three chicks she was feeding to begin her migration, landed on a nest she had visited before, and sat herself down now for 9 days being fed by the resident male who is willingly catching fish for her. It is always good to learn more and more about the behaviours of Ospreys – they never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Nest News:

Annie and Alden decided it was a good idea to renew their bond in the UC-Berkeley scrape on The Campanile after the sudden visit of a mysterious male falcon. Alden initiated the bonding session. “Annie, do not look at another male falcon. Alden is a keeper!”

Alden was caught loafing in the setting sun last evening. How adorable.

Everyone is sitting waiting really impatiently to see if Diamond will lay a third egg at the Charles Sturt Orange Falcon cam in Australia. Diamond’s average between eggs is 56 hours. The second egg was 57 hours this year. Will there be a third? and will it be on time?

Xavier loves his ‘eggie’ time and Diamond was obliging this morning to let him take a turn.

Xavier left and returned around 0700 with a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (IDed by Holly Parsons). Xavier always brings something special on egg laying day. What a sweetheart.

Xavier waits for one and a half hours to incubate those precious eggs…it is caught on video.

Diamond looks pretty contented. Let’s see what is happening in a couple of hours.

There are still only 2 eggs at Orange. It is the middle of the night. If Diamond is to lay a third egg I would surely think that it will come before 0800 on the 31st.

In Melbourne, the little Dad is getting his turn, too and those four eggs look awfully big as he wiggles and squiggles to get them under him. Yesterday he looked down and noticed one was outside!

You can almost hear him saying he hopes the new mate doesn’t lay 5! She could. Keep hoping the population of pigeons is bursting at the seams in Melbourne!

Everything seems to be going well with the Sea Eagles. They are six weeks old and standing sturdier by the day and changing their appearance with those gorgeous feathers coming in.

At Port Lincoln, Dad took over incubation and Mum is enjoying a really nice dinner time fish before tucking it in for the night.

Updates on Tweed’s three fledglings from yesterday’s post.

A Tweet from County Cork with a great photograph of an osprey believed to be Kirk. Fantastic. He has had quite the adventure. Glad Kirk is safely on land. Now to get his GPS coordinates polished.

In the UK, Louis and Sarafina are still at Loch Arkaig. Dorcha was last seen on 18 August and it appears that Willow, LW5, began her journey on the 28th of August.

Louis delivered a lovely Mackerel to the nest for Sarafina today. She has been seen down at the loch attempting to catch a fish, too. Isn’t that splendid?

Louis brought a lovely fish to Sarafina at 16:16:33 on the 30th. She is still with us as of today.

The last sighting of Willow was on the 28th.

Maya is still at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey platform. She flew in with a fantastic fish this morning at 0619. While many of the females have now departed, Maya raised three very large and strong female chicks with Blue 33. She is taking good care of herself so she is in good shape for migration. Normally we can expect to see her and her mate, Blue 33, back in the UK at the end of March. The first eggs and the first hatches!

Seren, Blue 5F, was with Dylan this morning at the Llyn Clywedog nest looking around their beautiful territory.

It appears that Mrs G from the Glaslyn Valley nest is now on her way south. Aran was on the nest earlier and one of the fledglings was shouting out for a fish.

At the Dyfi Nest, Telyn was last seen on the 25th of August. Pedran left before Mum, and Padarn was still at the nest today. Paith has not been seen on the 30th that I am aware of so it could just be the second hatch, Padarn, and Aran left at Dyfi.

Stephen Basly posted another great image on the Notre Dame Eagles FB Group of our Little Bit 17! It was the 25th of July and is such a great image. I think Stephen worked to get it cleaned up well for all of us. Thanks Stephen!

I have not been able to access Looduskalender today for updates on the Black Storks, Karl II and his family, as they migrate.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a gorgeous day here – I hope it is for you, too and that you have been able to enjoy being out in nature, if possible. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, videos, streaming cams, and blogs that make up my screen captures: NZ DOC, BBC News, Krzysztof Stasiazek, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, CIEL Rosie Shields, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Conservation without Borders, Dave McGrath, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LRWT, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, and Notre Dame Eagles.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

23 August 2022

Today turned out to be a very special day (22 August). OK. It is always special when I can go out to the nature centre and do my long walk. It is also a good way to check every nook and cranny for the geese and ducklings. A few had moved from where they were yesterday but many stayed in or close to their normal pond area. I continue to be fascinated that there simply are no Wood Ducks at the nature centre. It is like the two species – Mallards and Wood Ducks – sat down and signed a truce and decided who would go where! There were a lot of birds at the ‘winter’ feeding stations — they must fill the feeders year round. There were several Downy Woodpeckers, two American Goldfinches, a number of Black-capped Chickadees and then a bird sitting in the squirrel feeder that I did not recognize. After going through the birding book, it appears that the little lovely below is an immature female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I certainly welcome any help with this ID.

The most excitement came this evening, however. It is hard to imagine sitting next to a pond which is about 6 metres away from, perhaps, the busiest highway in our City and seeing a Great Egret fly to a tree to join two others. They are part of the heron family but they are very large. In North America they have black legs and a yellow bill. They gather in groups near ponds and wetlands if there is plenty of food. Otherwise, if food is relatively scarce, you will see them alone.

What a magnificent creature.

In the mailbox. Following up with the question about Titi and Boris and the reason for the Janakkalan nest cam in Finland to go offline. We have answers. Thank you ‘S’ for getting back so quickly to us. Boris was seen on the nest two days after Titi’s fledge. It was the morning of 12 August. Titi did not return to the nest while the camera was still operating.

There is a video of Boris’s nest visit.

There were difficulties with the camera and it completely broke down. It will be fixed and will be up and running again next year. ‘N’ did receive a response from the Finnish Osprey Foundation stating that there were a number of Osprey fledglings in the Muonio in Northern Finland. Thank you ‘N’.

Can you help? There is a new book on Peregrine Falcons being written by Richard Sale in the UK. Susan Sale writes with the following information and a question. “My husband is self-publishing a book on the Peregrine Falcon and I am trying to source the following Peregrinus Casini, Japonensis and Pealei. Do you have any photographs of them or perhaps give me some contacts who may and if you or they would be willing to allow use in the book.” If you have any images of any of the three sub-species of Peregrines or you know someone who might be able to help, please contact Richard and Susan at this e-mail address: Richard@snowfinch.co.uk

Several have been wondering about Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 that are currently in care. They ask “Will they, if ever released, be placed near their family so BR and Arthur can find them? If not, Who and How will they learn to hunt after all these WEEKS in the clinic???” L3 and L4 are in very good hands. Just like they would if they were patients in my local wildlife rehabilitation centre, they will learn to fly and they will also be taught how to hunt and catch their own prey. I do not know where they will be released.

‘B’ sent a note and wondered if I had seen Thunder and Akecheta on the West End nest together. I had not and went quickly to rewind and there they were. Thanks ‘B’. We are always happy to see the parents on the nest as well as the fledglings!

‘L’ wrote: “When I grew up in the north of England, along the Pennines…near the Lake District….I never saw an Osprey, Kite, Goshawk, Golden Eagle that were native to our islands as we had eradicated them… I thought all was lost .it wasn’t and these efforts wipe away the despair that can overwhelm you when you ask how can we make a difference. WE make a difference.”

‘L’ you will then be thrilled to learn that the National Trust, RSPB, and the Peak District RaptorGroup just announced two successful Hen Harrier nests this year! And, as you know, the Ospreys are thriving and so are the Goshawks. Isabelle Tree’s re-wilding at Knepp is taking off…there will be more raptors.


Nest News. It is hard to imagine sitting in the heat of summer in the Northern hemisphere but, the forecast is for snow in Orange, Australia. Holly Parsons who heads up the FB group was posting an image of Xavier and Kelli HissiFit Walker, one of the new mods on the streaming cam chat, dressed Xavier for the occasion. I chuckled so loud – I hope you enjoy it. If I were Diamond I would not want to lay eggs in that cold!

Thanks Holly and Kelli for letting me share!

Like Titi at the Janakkalan Osprey nest, LC at the Osoyoos nest doesn’t seem that much interested in fledging — yet. LC is 66 days old today.

As of the 22nd, Telyn was still at the Dyfi Osprey nest. She has not begun her migration yet. There is no rush and the females need to be in top form before they depart. Taking care of three big female chicks really has to be draining because they require much more food.

I went to check on the Sydney Sea Eagles and Lady was feeding SE29 and 30. It was very civil. SE30 did a few quick grabs and kinda looked to make sure 29 wasn’t going to do anything. Lady had it all in hand – a bite for you and then one for you. Back and forth. How lovely.

Sometimes 29 did seem to get more bites than 30.

and then 30 would get a few more…

There is plenty of fish. Both will be full. Just look at the ‘blood feathers growing in on SE29’s back and wings. Oh, they are changing so quickly — and the are simply adorable.

It rained later in the day and Lady spread her big wings and covered those babes who do not, as you can see above have their feather covering.

Dad was in the nest and on alert to any intruders that might be around,

Migrating tracking. Kaia flew in a big loop today staying in the same area that she flew to after she flew north out of the Ukraine.

There is considerable worry for Kaia’s mate, Karl II, and migration has not begun. He normally spends much time at a nature reserve on the Black Sea near Odessa. The area is currently a war zone.

A lovely image of Little Bit 17 was posted by S Basly on the Notre-Dame FB page. It was taken on the 28th of July.

What a wonderful way to end today’s blog with a look at Little Bit 17. He is, of course, a prime example of what an intervention and wildlife rehabilitation can do to give a raptor a second chance at life. Little Bit deserved it and he is living it. Such a beautiful juvenile.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts that made up my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles, Looduskalender, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Raptor Persecution UK, Explore.org and the IWS, Finnish Osprey Foundation, and the Orange Australia Falcon Cam FB.

Featured image is Thunder and Akecheta on the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. 22 June 2022

Little Bit 17 makes the news!

21 August 2022

I thought everyone would be excited to see that our dear Little Bit 17 made the news paper as the ‘Little Eagle that Could’! We knew he was very special from the moment he hatched. It is nice that everyone else sees that, too!

Kim Weiniger posted some images on the Notre Dame Eagles page. I am attaching one in the hope that she will not mind since it was on FB. 17 is looking so well.

Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon.

Thank you to the Notre Dame Eagles FB page for their continuing coverage of the eagles and, in particular, Little Bit 17.

Early Sunday in Bird World

21 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone. It is a gorgeous sunny day – a good day to go out checking on ducks! It did get a little excited and a little tragic. There was a scratch scratch behind one of those switch covers. For awhile I worried that a squirrel had gotten into the wall but listening carefully you could hear the flutter of wings. All light had to be shut out, all doors closed and two layers of plates and plugs had to be undone…and we still could not get to a cavity where the bird could fly free out the open door. If the birds make their way down the chimney in the wood stove, we have a fool proof way to deal with this but…not where this little bird got itself. I have to admit that at first all I could imagine was as squirrel leaping out. The key now is to find out how that bird got where it did so that no others get themselves in this predicament. Sadly we cannot save it.

As many of us wait with much ‘impatience’ for eggs to appear at either the Charles Sturt scrape in Orange or the ledge scrape on the 367 Collins Street skyscraper in Melbourne, I will try and find as many short video presentations or articles so that we can learn more and more about the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest raptor on Earth. In this less than four minute video, David Attenborough shows us how the Peregrine sets about to catch its prey in Rome.

Cal Falcons caught Annie and Alden doing some bonding in the scrape….and then Alden saw a moth!!!!!!!! It is so amazing how a parent’s behaviour influences eyases (or human parents on their children). I had never seen any of the chicks at the UC-Berkley scrape box in The Campanile ever chase moths until his year! ‘B’ commented that it is a great strategy for teaching eye-talon coordination – essential to being a falcon.

Stephen Basly worked for a very long time cleaning up the images that he took of Little Bit ND17 on his perch at the St Joseph River so we could really see this fine juvenile. There are two other images on the Notre-Dame Eagle FB page.

It is so wonderful to still be able to see this amazing fledgling. So grateful.

Someone else is still coming to her nest, too, and that is Iris! Every visit to her nest and every time we see her is so very, very precious. Iris is possibly 29 or 30 years old this year and she lives in the wild. She migrates. No one knows where but it is often thought it could be the south of Texas. Other Ospreys from this particular Montana area have transmitters and either go to Central America or parts of Mexico.

Many of the females on the Osprey streaming cams are still at home. Maya, the mate of Blue 33 at Rutland, is still home as of Saturday morning, the 19th. It appears that 1H2 and 1H3 have begun their migration leaving the eldest daughter, 1H1, at the nest with Mum and Dad.

At the nest of Rosie and Richmond, Rosie is the only one of the couple that migrates. Richmond remains in the San Francisco Bay area. Here is Rosie in the golden glow of a fine August morning.

During the week of 11 August at the Dyfi Nest in Wales, it was 30 degrees C – the exact same temperature that the Ospreys will have in Africa. Emyr Evans says that he never remembers this happening before ever. Telyn, the mate of Idris and the daughter of Rutland’s Maya, was still at the Dyfi nest as of Friday the 19th. Yesterday she flew to the nest with a mullet which Padern and Paith were very much interested in…

Meanwhile, the first hatch of Idris and Telyn for the 2022 season, Pedran, has not been seen at the nest since the 11th of August. She was 77 days old and it is believed she started her migration earlier than all.

Mrs G is also still with us, too. Here she is with all three of her 2022 fledges on the Glaslyn Valley nest she shares with her mate, Aran.

Mrs G is the oldest UK Osprey – at 23 (?).

In the world of Bald Eagles, Chase & Cholyn were caught perched together. They have been raising chicks at the Two Harbours nest together for at least 19 years. They are the parents of Thunder who is breeding at the West End nest with Akecheta.

Their fledgling this year was Lancer — and thanks to Dr Sharpe, Lancer got a second chance at life when he fell off the nest and was clinging to the side of the cliff for 24 hours. Thank you Dr Sharpe for always taking such good care of the Channel Island eagles.

The camera at Two Harbours – the one for the old Overlook Nest that they used to use – has Lancer on it. The camera cuts in and out of ‘Highlights’ but Lancer can be seen around 0702, 0710, and 0721. Here are some of those lovely images this morning of Lancer looking out to the sea.

What a lovely wild place to hatch — and return to, Lancer.

Andor is spending the night on the Fraser Point nest that he shares with his mate, Mama Cruz. They are the parents of Victor who is in care at the Ojai Raptor Centre and Lilibet.

I have seen no other mention of the three year old, Trey, who returned to her natal nest (parents Mama Cruz and Spirit). Mama Cruz had taken exception to her being at the nest while Andor had ignored the visit. At one time Trey was under the nest like Victor. Many of you wrote and asked me if Dr Sharpe would rescue her. I have written to find out the status of Trey. I will let you know if I hear anything. If, however, you are aware of Trey’s status, please let us know.

Speaking of Victor in rehab because of heavy zinc toxicity. ‘C’ writes me today to tell me that one of the serious issues with bird cages. He asks, “Did you know that cockatiels raised at home have a problem with zinc in the body? There is an interesting research done by veterinarians in Brazil. It is common to find a lot of zinc in cockatiels when they go to the vets. They found in the research that the source of zinc was in the cages. There is a lot of zinc in the cage bars. And when the cockatiels are biting the bars, they consume zinc.” This is very, very interesting. Victor would have been larger than a cockatiel so how much lead would he need to consume to be so sick? And wouldn’t all caged birds including Budgies be threatened by the zinc in the bars?

Mark Avery was with the RSPB for nearly 30 years. He writes a blog about many things including governmental policies, the end of grouse hunting calls, etc. in the UK. Yesterday, however, he published a blog by Les Wallace. The focus was the promotion of a documentary film looking at what wildlife would have been in the UK if humans had never existed. It is all about rewilding and Wallace draws some very interesting connections on which species should be introduced first. It is a good read.

Kaia is still in Belarus. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be for the Black Storks of Estonia if there were no humans living in any area on their migration route. What will happen? where will she go? The Ukraine is dangerous for the wildlife and many of the natural areas that the storks visited to eat and eat and get their strength to fly to the centre of Africa have been destroyed.

Big Red and Arthur were spotted by Suzanne Arnold Horning. Big Red is in her stage of moulting where I often call her ‘Big Blond’. L2 has not been seen since Thursday and it is now fully possible that s/he has left to find their own territory. Big Red and Arthur do not migrate. It is entirely possible that the other hawks in the region do not migrate either. Must find out!

Big Red. August 20 2022
Arthur. August 20 2022

Karl II has brought fish in for Iks, Waba, and Voog. Bonus was not at the feeding. You will remember that Bonus is the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika. He was fitted with a transmitter. If he has begun his migration the information should be showing up on one of the migration charts. Will check and report later today or tomorrow.

Hatch is not expected to happen at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge until the 18th or 19th of September.

This is the latest satellite tracking of Ervie. There is some speculation as to why he might have headed to the same area as Calypso.

Port Lincoln has also posted some information about their new Friends of Osprey FB and Website. As many of you are aware, Port Lincoln could not take donations as much as everyone asked to help pay for the streaming cam. They formed this group as a response and it has morphed into a good site for information. There is a $20 AUD charge.

We are expecting eggs at the CBD 367 Collins Street scrape any day now. If you want to check out the status there is a 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB group. Victor Hurley has said they will turn on the camera the minute eggs are laid. Yahooo.

The Sydney Sea eaglets are doing great. SE30 does not always trust 29 and for good reason. Yesterday it found some ingenious ways to eat including between Lady’s legs – something seen on numerous Bald Eagle nests.

The only eaglets on a North America streaming cam left to fledge are those at the Glacier Gardens nest in Alaska. The larger eagles take longer to fledge than those in the south. Love hatched on May 29 with Peace hatching on June 1. Historical records indicate that GG1 fledged on day 86, GG2 on day 83, GG3 on day 85, GG4 on day 97, GG5 on day 98 and Kindness, GG6 last year, fledged at 86 days.

Unfortunately there is a branch that always seems to make it impossible to see the entire nest. So GG7 Love is 84 days old if we count hatch day and Peace is 82 days old. It is entirely conceivable that both will fledge within the next week.

I want to thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB posts and websites where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Notre Dame Eagles, Montana Osprey Project, LRWT, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bwywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Explore.org and IWS, Mark Avery, Looduskalender, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Eagle Club of Estonia, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Friends of Ospreys, and Glacier Gardens.

Little Bit ND17 and more…Friday morning in Bird World

19 August 2022

Good morning everyone! It is the end of the week. We blink and time whizzes by us. There is not a lot of news in Bird World. Sometimes that is nothing short of a welcome relief – a time to breathe.

What a way to start a Friday morning! Getting up and seeing Little Bit ND17 perched on his river roost in the evening. Oh, what a magnificent bird he is. Stephen Basly posted three images on the Notre-Dame FB page. This is the full zoomed in version. Oh, Little Bit looks so confident. A few little springs of baby down working their way out of the juvenile feathers. What a joy to see him!!!!!! So I want to move ahead a year and wonder if Little Bit will come to this same perch next year? Basly added that he had not seen 16 since Little Bit kicked him off the perch a few days ago! Way to go Little Bit. 16 was a nasty big sister!!!!!!

You will remember the two eaglets that were on the Pitkin Trail nest. The Mum flew off and pulled them out of the nest in the third week of June – one perished. The other was saved by passersby who got in touch with help immediately. I wrote to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails to find out if there are any updates on the little one. This was their quick response to my query: “The last update we received, on Aug. 8, was brief: “This Osprey is doing well so far. He is still being monitored at our ICU. Normally, this chick would have fledged in late July and would be making fewer and fewer appearances at the nest by now.” This ultimately means that the osplet will most likely not be in fit shape to take on the fall migration.

It is so nice when humans stop and do everything that they can to help our wildlife in need. It is often that immediate attention that is crucial to whether they will survive or not. Here is another amazing story of a passerby reaching out to help an electrocuted eagle. This one certainly got a chance at a second life thanks to an individual who saw the injured bird and called for help. Please cut and paste this link. I hope it still works! https://youtu.be/SCoigRwwA-Q

As you are aware, I am extremely concerned about the birds migrating from Scandinavia, Estonia, and Lativa who would normally be flying through the Ukraine. The other day Kaia, the mate of Karl II from the Karula National Forest Black Stork nest landed in the Ukraine and immediately headed back to Belarus. She has flown a bit east from her previous position but has not left Belarus. I understand from my colleagues that there are other migrating birds in the area where Kaia is resting and feeding.

August 19. Looduskalender gives the following information for where Kaia is this morning. “The Pripyatsky National Park is a protected area of swamp & oak forest, noted for wading birds, rare lynx and a herd of European bison.Pripyatsky National Park or Pripyat National Park in a natural reserve in Gomel Region, Belarus. It was founded in 1996 for preservation of natural landscapes around the Pripyat River from which it takes its name. Much of the park’s area is occupied by turf swamps.”

Hesgyn (KA3, 2019) was the last chick that Monty, the famous Welsh osprey, fathered, with Telyn. He returned as two year old in 2019 and sadly, at the blossoming age of 3 years, he was found dead. The wildlife centre that will do the post-mortem returned Hesgyn’s silver band and his coloured Darvic ring to the Dyfi Osprey Centre in Wales so that it could be placed on the family tree board. The results of the post-morten will be published when they are available.

I have been praising the Dyfi Osprey Project and Emyr Evans for their data driven website. It is wonderful to be able to go and find clear and accurate information. I also loved their family tree. Llyn Clywedog has now published their own family tree for their ospreys. Here it is:

Seren was still at the Llyn Clywedog nest in the Hafren Forest of Wales at 2055 on 18 August. She appeared on the nest wet and with muddy feet covering most of her Darvic band. Poor thing. How do I know this is not an Osprey chick? What would you say?

If you said the adult plumage you would be absolutely correct! If the plumage had been juvenile feathering then, it could have been the third hatch, Blue 555 (male).

Just look at all those males that will be returning to find mates and start their own families. My goodness, Dylan and Seren have had only one female. The largest male chick every to hatch and fledge was Blue 496 last year. He was a whopper! If every Osprey nest would design one of these family trees and have it on their website, it would be a great educational tool especially for studying the returnees, the dates of their return, and their gender and hatch ranking.

Oh, those little sea eagles are developing nicely. Breakfish arrived at 0614 with another meal following in about 4 hours. The eaglets eat more and are not fed as regularly. They are left longer in the nest alone but there is always a parent close at hand. We will see much more feather development and more balancing with the wing tips and standing up in the coming weeks. Grasping twigs and moving them about will be seen much more often, too.

Oh, this probably feels like a baby book for the sea eagles. I just got a note from ‘J’ that SE29 was playing with 30’s toes and so I went to look immediately. Thanks for the time stamp, J. Much appreciated. The cam operator gave us some great close ups. Also look, 29 is standing on its feet. Still shaky but fantastic.

‘J’ is right – it is a really cute bonding moment!

The two chicks on the Loch of the Lowes nest, LP8 and LR0, of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 were really fish calling when they saw an adult fly towards the nest. How said they must have felt when it was an intruder. There are many intruders landing on nests now as the birds being shifting away from their natal nests, exploring around them, and moving south for migration.

Blue NC0s chicks are really loud — just like their Mum. I often wondered if we should donate a pair of noise cancelling headphones to Laddie.

Laddie has been busy delivering fish to the pair on the nest and it is fantastic – like it is at all the nests – to see the birds on the streaming cams. So often they are simply not around. This year appears to be a bit of an exception no matter where the nest is located.

Fish delivery from Dad. Is Blue NC0 around or has she left for migration? Last week she took off for spa time for about 3 days and then returned with a big fish for the kids. She is quite the Mum.

Gosh these two are healthy! They are ‘fattening up’ nicely for their long adventure. Laddie is doing a great job keeping the fish on the nest.

Lancer is still getting room service from Chase & Cholyn at the Two Harbours nest. Lancer is certainly a really beautiful eaglet.

‘H’ sent a lovely close up of Sloop, the third hatch of Dory and Skiff at the Boathouse Osprey platform in Maine. What a cutie pie. She adds that Sloop is now loving the perch that he was afraid to move from before fledging. Grand news, indeed.

Sloop is quite handsome. So many of us worried when he was wee making sure Dory got some fish flakes in his little beak. Dory was an amazing first time Mum and Skiff kept the fish coming in.

Sadly, the Osprey rescued hanging from the tree with fishing line had to be euthanized and its sibling was found in the nest, image below, tangled in human debris. This is the announcement. Please read it and look at the tangled mess that killed these poor chicks. It seems that our rivers, lakes and oceans are nothing more than dumping grounds for human garbage carried back by the birds to their nests – innocently or tangled.

‘T’ sent me this very concerning story this morning. Another migration hazard – human meanness. Thank you ‘T’. A migrating White Stork has been shot through the neck with an arrow. The photograph of it on top of a house is below. It is not clear where the bird was shot. You do not need to hear what I am saying!!!!!! We have culprits like this in our City who think it is fun to do the same to the geese.

https://www.milliyet.com.tr/gundem/leylegin-okla-goc-yolculugu-turkiyede-vurulma-ihtimali-yuksek-6809314?fbclid=IwAR2IK2rnRzR1YU01Rr6LyAyD1s4AeC5MCREmLznuO-gzOGTSNzR9YnhXQ7U

The RSPB in the UK has released the initial findings on the post-mortem of ICI, the Loch Garten chick that passed away after being lethargic in the nest. Please have a read. I find it interesting that they mention an enlarged organ. The inconclusive findings of Big at the Captiva Nest when he died stated, ‘enlarged organs’. They did not state that this could have been due to an infection. I would like to hear more about this – and I wonder if it is the same for Molate who also was lethargic for several days and died.

https://community.rspb.org.uk/placestovisit/lochgartenospreys/b/lochgartenospreys/posts/osprey-update-post-mortem-results?fbclid=IwAR36xBdBt84rAMULZAgotA8uRz2CnQFsNCEkI4CDKkoB5DzacVMQDbsa4Mg

Thank you to everyone for being with me today. I hope that each of us is enjoying a lovely end of the week. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles FB, Looduskalender, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyxWild, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Explore.org and the IWS, Audubon Explore and ‘H’, and The Raptor Centre.

Sloop fledges and Little Bit ND17 soars!

17 August 2022

Good Morning everyone! The sun is shining bright and there is not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky. It looks like it is going to be a fantastic day albeit a hot and humid one reaching 29 C (or 84.2 F) on the Canadian prairies. In fact, it isn’t really the heat but the humidity that is wrecking havoc with everything! Meanwhile my tomato crop continues to flourish. How many tomatoes can one eat and give away?

Yesterday the third hatch of Dory and Skiff was ‘stuck’ for more than 7 hours on the perch. Dory tried to lure him down with fish but Sloop was not moving! Viewers worried about the little osplet ‘afraid to fly’. Well, ‘H’ wrote this morning – Sloop flew!!!!!!! Time 0948. He was 57 days old. How wonderful. Thanks ‘H’.

You can see him flying over the water between the sailboat and the nest. Congratulations Boathouse Ospreys!

‘H’ sent a video of this first flight…did it like a pro. Congratulations Sloop for a lovely flight around the bay and a return to the nest. Thanks ‘H’ for sending all of us the video of that special moment in this Osprey’s life.

There is news of Little Bit ND17 soaring in the skies too. Always so grateful of news. 17 is doing fantastic — we always knew he was a survivor if given the chance. What joy to see him living the life of an eagle in the wild — and I still start giggling thinking of 17 pushing 16 off the perch!

You can see how Little Bit has his landing gear down. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

The two White-bellied Sea eaglets continue to do well and be cheeky to one another. No worries, it is all good. Look at those crops! And then look at the clown feet and growing beaks.

I belong to many groups that work hard to ban lead in the environment as well as rodenticides. As fall approaches and with continuing sightings of people fishing it is a good time to review the ways that lead gets into the environment that can harm our raptors. This is also a threat to our migrating birds who fly through areas where the guts of the deer killed are just left – full of lead shot – in the bush.

https://www.wildlifecenter.org/how-do-raptors-get-lead-poisoning?fbclid=IwAR3wjQapFMv31LJUcqxIXxI70nfQNwHvL8PSeMrgF0zMuPceCCHpy9K_uuk

The Osprey fledglings are still in the UK screaming for fish. As the next two weeks pass, the females will leave, then the fledglings, and finally the males once they are assured all fledglings have departed. I will eventually put up a complete list of who is home and who is not. For today we will just look at a couple of our favourite nests.

This is a 101 Guide to UK Osprey migration:

https://birdfact.com/articles/osprey-migration

At Loch Arkaig, Louis brought in a nice one this morning and Willow retrieved it. Safafina was not the least bit happy about that and had a bit of a tizzy fit on the nest. No worries, Louis is one of the great fishers and she will get her lunch soon! Just for a second look at the great condition this fledgling is in for migration. Gosh these two are dark like their mother, Dorcha. Just look at the necklaces. The envy of any fledgling!

All three fledglings at Llyn Clywedog hoping for Dylan to get fish to them. Seren Blue 5F was at the nest this morning with Dylan so she has not departed yet.

Telyn is still at the Dyfi Nest in Wales, too. Idris is busy feeding the three girls. This is Paith on the nest enjoying some fish and still screaming about it!

Telyn down by the river. She has caught a very large fish and is enjoying it.

Idris has a beautiful flounder for the girls.

At the Glaslyn nest, Aran has been busy chasing intruders —- and, indeed, as the fledglings and the two year olds (and older) begin their movement south, the nests will have lots of visitors.

A great image of Aran and Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom, two days ago.

And will there be a fledge at the Osoyoos Osprey platform today? If so, it should be the last fledge for the Canadian Osprey nests.

I will try every day to check in on Kaia as she has left Estonia. She flew as far as the Ukraine and then immediately turned back heading north to Belarus where she remains. This is where she is today (she flew a little north in Belarus to a nice area for feeding.

Will all the storks fatten up in Belarus? And then attempt to fly around or through the Ukraine without stopping? War creates a horrible situation for wildlife.

Thank you for joining me this morning for this quick glimpse at some of the nests we have been monitoring over the breeding season. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB postings where I took my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles, Audubon Explore and ‘H’, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Osoyoos Ospreys, and Looduskalender.