Our thoughts go out to all that are being lashed about by tropical storm systems and hurricanes.
It is a quiet drizzly grey Saturday morning in the garden. Little Red has been eating at the solid suet cylinder and the Blue Jays are pecking away at the cob of corn left for them. The sparrows have not really been around much. I hope to have some photos of Little Red cleaned up for tomorrow. But, so far, the gang is all here – Junior and the 3 fledgling Blue Jays and the 3 fledgling Crows plus Little Red, Dyson, and Scraggles. Dyson’s two from the summer come and go as well. There has been no sightings of Little Hedwig and the neighbours and I are beginning to fear the worst about those cats. Fingers crossed we see a bunny shortly.
The temperatures are dropping at night. All of the Grape tomatoes have been picked and will turn green in the lovely Birch basket. All of the plants to come inside are here but one which means a trip to the garden centre today for soil. Even so, we have not had a hard frost in the garden and this is absolutely remarkable considering it is now the 24th of September.
In the Mailbox:
The other day I was asked if non-parental male peregrine falcons could harm the eyases in the scrape. I told a story of an Osprey that had kicked the eggs out of the nest when he suspected they belonged to another male. Today, a cartoon that Chloe Baker did of Odin and EJ showed up on FB.
It was Loch Garten, 2013, and here is the video of that egg being kicked out of the nest. Odin waited til EJ went for a break! (not HD) I wish some of these great old videos could be cleaned up. They are fantastic. Of course, Odin was not the only male. Some of us waited to see if Aran would go after Mrs G’s eggs this season but, he didn’t. Presumably they were his and not the Pont Cresor Aeron Z2.
This also happened at Dunrovin a couple of years ago – much clearer image.
And here is another a couple of years ago. There are many examples. We do not know what will happen if the young male totally ousts the old male at Melbourne. Indeed, we do not even know if that will happen this year. My fingers are crossed that he goes and sits and waits til this breeding season is over! But, we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst. It is much better when the males get rid of the eggs.
Some additional images were released of Victor taking his flight to freedom. He sure must have been so excited to be back in the wild. Victor is a magnificent eagle! Thanks to Paul K for cleaning these up!
It is all about life lessons at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. The parents are deliberately branching, demonstrating how to ward off the Currawong, and then how to eat a fish. It is really a privilege to be able to watch the daily lives of these amazing raptors.
Xavier looking at the eggs. Hatch watch is 1-3 October! Xavier is one of the most devoted male Peregrine Falcons that I know. This is an incredible nest to watch and there are several cameras and a chat.
Xavier has been doing some of that enfluffing in the scrape.
I wonder how many of you are counting the number of fish flakes that Little Bob is getting at Port Lincoln. Big Bob is bigger and will need more and Mum is smartly feeding it several nice helpings before moving on to Middle and Little Bob. Dad, for his part, brought in a whomping size fish that will last the day.
Oh, Little Bob you are going to have to push and figure out how to get to the front with Big Bob in the front line!
Little Bob got himself in the right position for the next feeding at 10:50. Big Bob has a super crop and Middle is laying down. Little is going to get some really nice bites.
The camera operator gave us some fabulous close ups of the three after the 1415 feeding so we could see that each had a nice crop. Little Bob is holding its own. You can really see the egg tooth of each of the osplets – that hard piece of white beak used like a pick axe to get out of the shell. Enjoy this soft fluffy down. We will not realize it but time passes quickly and soon they will be in their reptilian phase.
Incubation continues at the 367 Collins Street scrape box. It is now the 25th in Melbourne and we are on hatch watch for the 27th.
For everyone who cannot wait for the Bald Eagle nests to be full of little eaglets, the first on streaming cam mating of the year occurred at the Northwest Florida nest of Samson and Gabby!
Do you know about EuroBirdPortal.org? It tracks all of the European Ospreys movements during the migration period.
I will be checking on Karl II and his family for tomorrow.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Little Bob is doing well. He isn’t our Ervie – no one could ever be Ervie but, I hope he holds his own against Big Bob and thrives. Mum and Dad are doing a great job. I fear that when Dad is late with fish it is either the wind or the gulls. Let’s blow those gulls away! Take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that form my screen captures: Chloe Baker, Loch Garden RSPB, Dunrovin, Castnet, Bald Eagles 101 and the Ojai Raptor Centre, The Wonderful World FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, EuroBirdPortal, and NWFL-AEF.
It is early (for me). The garden birds are very quiet. It is starting out to be a beautiful day as I work on getting to know this computer but, rain is to start today and be with us again on Friday and Saturday. It is always good to get the trees that have grown so much over the summer with all the torrential downpours a good soaking before frost.
One of the things that was lost were the images that I took yesterday at one of the ponds. So I want all of you to use your imagination. I could not believe my eyes. There before me were seven young ducklings just like the singular one at the nature centre. No feathers just fuzz on their bodies. They were all cuddled up together keeping warm. Today it is 10 degrees C. We are at the time of migration. All of the nature centres are opening up for special events as the birds from the north make their way to the wetlands and the big ponds enroute to their winter homes far south of us. Will the arrival of winter be late? What will happen to these wee ones? I have never seen small ducklings like this at this time of year. The spring floods and destruction of eggs has certainly caused issues. There are ducks that overwinter on our Assiniboine River near to where my daughter lives but…what about these little gaffers?
For all of those wondering, the site where Victor was released is at the coast right across from the Channel Islands. Great choice! Let us all hope to see Victor near Fraser’s Point in a couple of years! Wouldn’t that be grand. It appears it was the best site for release like the Channel Islands but the closest point to his nest without breaking any regulations. Isn’t Dr Sharpe the best?
It seems that once we get a good population of birds established we then want to take their habitat away. This is what is happening in Albania wit the pelicans!
So far, there are still only two osplets at Port Lincoln. The third egg is 37 days old and there is still time for it. Some chatters are wondering if there is any movement inside. We will have to keep our eyes opened! The other two and Mum seem to be doing splendidly.
The streaming camers (3) at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 will be going live during the first week of October.
Xavier brought an Eastern Rosella, well prepared, for Diamond who was excited and got off the nest. Xavier is a lovely! Hatch not expected til the first week in October but we are getting there…2 weeks?
Xavier gets some ‘eggie time’. Yes! Can you tell how much I love this cute little falcon who is no longer in his prime but gosh, he is a fantastic mate and he loves his chicks. I sure hope this season turns out well for these two.
So many of you are marveling at the plumage colours of the little sea eaglets. They are gorgeous. A friend laughed at me for loving the feathering of the Red-tail Hawks. “Just wait til you see the Sea Eagles!” Oh, she was so right. It is hard to see the colours when the sun is at a certain angle but have a good look at them.
Our eagles are approaching their 10th week. They are still growing some feathers under their wings. Their wing flapping and jumping around is going to continue to get every more vigorous. Just breathe. They can scare the wit’s out of you when they start jumping on and off the rim of the nest and the branches . In week 11 you will see them gain some real height in their hovering. They will begin to sleep more and more with their head tucked into their wings rather than duckling style although fledglings also prefer duckling style on occasion. It must be much more comfortable! Self-feeding is getting better.
We do not want to talk about fledging but, after 70 days it is possible. And we are at that point. So spend your time watching these two and the hatches at Port Lincoln. SE29 and 30 will be gone in a blink and the osplets will be growing and changing so fast it will be hard to recognize these sweet fuzzy babies in a week!
Victor Hurley is going to post a pre-recorded session where he answers your questions about what is going on at Melbourne on Thursday, Australia time. That will be in a few hours. If you have questions, you can submit them on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB page. Dr Hurley asks that you read the PDF that he posted on the top of the FB site before submitting questions.
We are all very curious to see what will be happening. The second male does some quick on and off mating which – well, we are now nearing hatch which should be 5 days away. Mum’s hormones will not be in breeding but incubation and caring for young. It appears that the old male continues to provide food for Mum. Oh, I hope that this clutch makes it but we are going to just have to wait and see.
Checking on the Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There has been no transmission for Karl II since the 4th of September. Bonus and Kaia were still in their respective areas with their last report coming in on the 20th of September. Hopefully this evening there will be some new news.
Birdmap is showing tremendous progress for the Ospreys and, one, in particular, flew across Europe to Spain instead of going directly South. Brilliant! The Ospreys are already heading into central Africa! You can go to BirdMap and get the animated version of their journeys.
Thank you so much for being with me today. We are looking forward to the third hatch in Port Lincoln but, for now, in the night, Mum is getting some much needed rest! Take care of yourself and I will look forward to seeing you again real soon.
If you are sending me e-mails (which I love), please use this new address: email@example.com Thanks so much!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, and BirdMap.
I hope that this newsletter finds you in good spirits and good health. I continue to appreciate your good wishes and today, I can tell you that I am back to 90%. Was its Victor’s release that caused my system to soar? One will never know but, I did get out for two walks at two different ponds. To be able to do this at the end of September, without there ever being a frost, is ‘different’ and, of course, harks at changes to come.
At the first pond the temperature was 17 degrees C but the wind was blowing at 23 kph. There were not a lot of birds around it seemed. Then I heard their call – the Greater Yellow Legs. There were two of them in the marsh area flying out to the shore.
Please note. I had to switch to the lowest quality of image as my card was filling up! So even my non-wildlife photographer images are not as crisp as they could be when blown up. You can see the normally mirror-still pond’s waves lapping.
Across the road, in this industrial area of our city, the recent rains have created two other water areas and there were a few geese and a couple of ducks – one in each pond! No sharing there.
So what are they? There is a distinctive white eye ring, a long sloping forehead and grey-blue bill. a gorgeous rusty head with a mottled back. I was unable to see the colour of the legs but its eyes are brown. The sloping shape of the forehead to the beak is very distinctive and what appears to be a white eye ring could be throwing me off a quick ID. It appears to be a Canvasback.
There it was on page 160 of the Crosley! Crosley says it lacks a forehead. Yes, he is right – the head just slopes into the bill. The shape is a wedge. Don’t forget it! Those south of me will see these gorgeous waterfowl flying by. Crosley calls the colour of the head and neck ‘chestnut’ – what a lovely word for that description. The eye should be a vivid red if it is a male but either the camera did not get that or it was the angle of the light or this is a female fooling us because of her not pure white back or a juvenile. I will keep you posted!
I will bring you news of the other pond later. My laptop decided to emit smoke and I have kindly been loaned another computer so I can finish the blog today. What troubles me about the second pond is that there are no less than 8 small fluffy ducks – with less feathers than the small one at the nature centre. So, if we have no frost and it is now 19 degrees C – do these ducks have a chance?
I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to see Victor released by Dr Sharpe yesterday – and from the mail pouring in – he touched all of our hearts. We will never forgot those adorable images with Lillibet, when Victor could not stand to eat and the entire eagle family tried to comfort him, to his rescue, to his walking in a towel with holes held up by a staff member at the Ojai Raptor Centre, to his release. What a time this juvenile eagle has had.
Images provided by the Ojai Raptor Centre FB this morning:
One of the letters in the mailbox was ‘Where is Hollingsworth Ranch’. Here it the information on where Victor was released:
This is the Ventura River running through the rugged mountainous area. Those in California might know its status better now because of the droughts the last few years. I hope it is the same. It looks like a great place for an eagle named Victor.
Every day there are thousands of raptors – and other wildlife – saved by the wildlife rehabbers. I often say the streaming cams get all the glory (and donations) because they are the first place we learn to leave these bird families but it is the rehabbers that love and care for and put the birds back together if they get into trouble. Their time, effort, and expenses often last years.
Another little eaglet made the rehab news because it was released, too, by the Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre in Pennsylvania. I love the pictures. They give you a real behind the scenes look at what goes into caring for a wee one who is well but has no nest or family. Notice that stuffed eaglet plush toy. When you are clearing up and you look down and see the stuffies that you have collected – and you don’t know what to do with them – the wildlife rehab centre is your answer!!!!!!!!!!!! They bring comfort to the birds.
This will be short with a longer analysis of what is happening tomorrow.
The second male at the Melbourne nest has been trying to mate with the Mum while she is incubating the eggs. She is having nothing to do with him but, the old male is holding back providing food. I wish the young male would leave and allow them to raise this clutch but his ideas are otherwise. We are 6 days from hatch!
We are still waiting for the third hatch at Port Lincoln as the sun is rising soon. It was raining in the middle of the night – not much but, Mum kept those chicks nice and snug. No doubt #2 is going to be hungry and up there to eat today. I wonder how #1 will treat its sibling? Fingers crossed. It seems they do not get too rowdy until day 8.
At Orange, the hatch dates range from 36-39 days so we are not expecting any action until after 1 October. We have a ways to go. Melbourne is ahead. Xavier has been getting Diamond out of the box with prey and getting some good time with the eggs. This scrape is very stable, thank goodness. But not this morning. Xavier brought a Starling, Diamond left without it and Xavier took it away minutes later. Diamond is extremely picky – poor Xavier. I hope the parrot population is good this year!
They have been together for a long time. Xavier probably is over feeling completely dejected by Diamond when he brings her breakfast. She does much prefer the fat already plucked and prepared pigeons too.
The Sydney Sea Eaglets are simply marvellous – what an incredible civil nest. Two females? Two males? Let’s watch their size as they leave their 9th week and into the 10th. It is refreshing not to see discord on a nest – no, the word is sheer relief. Last year’s breeding season was horrific. It was NOT at this nest. Last year and the year prior were fantastic. Lady and Dad are doing really well. Other nests did not fare so well.
Let’s keep an eye on Melbourne and, of course, Port Lincoln for this third hatch. I hope it comes soon! I am now off to investigate and agonize over what new computer to get. I use one all the time as you know but I like portability. You don’t get the lovely big images I am looking at with portable though!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street at Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre.
Good Morning Everyone. The first part of the week has flown by. I hope that you had a lovely long weekend (if you had a holiday) and that Tuesday was good.
The Crows continue to alarm every time “THE cat” comes into the garden and, in particular, when the rabbit is visiting and eating under he bird feeder. Today it happened twice. That bunny doesn’t know he has three guardian angels! How lucky.
Meanwhile Junior, the male Blue Jay, is moulting. Poor thing. He has lost his beautiful crest and he looks so out of proportion. He has finished up all of the peanuts and has decided to try some of the seed spilled when filling the feeders.
At sunset, hundreds if not a thousand gulls flew low to the ground looking for their evening resting area. The sky was simply full of them in every direction moving and looking like a swarm of mosquitoes. Several ‘V’s of Canada Geese could also be seen. The expectation is that the majority of duck and geese migration will take place starting the third week in September. If so, I hope to get some great images for you.
In the Mailbox:
‘G’ wonders how on earth an osplet could get salmonella poison and die? The necroscopy tests have revealed that the Loch Garten chick died of salmonella poisoning. The chick was lethargic several days before dying on the nest. A number of studies and several reports and articles such as “Incidence of Salmonella in fish and seafood” published in 2000 states, “Field laboratories of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration collected and tested 11,312 import and 768 domestic seafood samples over a 9-year period (1990 to 1998) for the presence of Salmonella. The overall incidence of Salmonella was 7.2% for import and 1.3% for domestic seafood. Nearly 10% of import and 2.8% of domestic raw seafood were positive for Salmonella”.
The study was, of course, related to the risk of food poisoning in humans but this would be the same way that osplets would get salmonella is by eating raw seafood that contains the bacteria.
The NZ DOC has done an 180 degree turn and has decided to hold a naming competition for the Royal Cam Quarry Track chick. QT, instead of leaving her with her code name. Here is the announcement:
Some additional images of Victor in the large flight area have been posted by the Ojai Raptor Centre. Oh. Victor is doing so well. I wonder if he is still rejecting the Trout and only wanting to eat Whiting??
Victor is getting stronger every day! Oh, how lucky this beautiful juvenile is to have such good care.
If you are intending to donate and/or purchase some items from the Ojai Raptor Centre’s shop, remember to include that it is for Victor! I might have mentioned that they have included a shopping option for Canada in addition to the US. If you live elsewhere, send them a note and they will set up the shipping. I received the two t-shirts and the tote bag today. They are super!
There is a wildfire in the Big Bear Valley. It is being called the Radford Fire. Many were concerned that it might bring harm to Jackie and Shadow and their nest but they are safe. The fire is on the SE part of the lake. We all love Jackie and Shadow and many of you might have heard about the fire and were worried. Here is that confirmation:
University of Louisiana grounds keepers saw the hawk tangled in fishing line and acted quickly in order to save its life. Remember and spread the word – be responsible. Clean up monofilament line both yours and that of others if you see it. Make the shores, lakes, and rivers safe for the birds and fish.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister for Scotland has announced a draft bill on grouse moor licensing to be introduced in this year’s parliamentary legislation. Many like Mark Avery and Chris Packham have lobbied to end the senseless killing of the raptors on the driven grouse moors. This is a huge step forward and is coming none too soon.
The Guardian carried an article, “Dark matter and lithium water: 15 big issues poised to affect oceans and coastlines” today. You will already be aware of some of the concerning actions and issues including the dumping of toxic chemicals into the oceans. The example came from Senegal but it could easily have come from large westernized countries! My biggest disappointment was the glossing over – no, not just glossing over – not even acknowledging what will ultimately happen to the sea birds that depend on the oceans for food.
Mrs G and the three fledglings remain at the Glaslyn nest with the male, Aran. They are the only ‘full family nest’ still resident in the UK.
All three siblings lined up waiting for Aran and fish.
Mrs G is hiding!
News coming out of the Dyfi nest other than Idris continuing to feed Padarn is that Pedran, the first fledgling, did not fly straight south from the nest to begin migration but, rather hung around the UK and has been spotted! So remember this – the birds do not always fly directly south but can spend time flying and perfecting their fishing while getting strong! (Note- all three were deemed to be female. Disregard the use of the words he/him below).
Bella has arrived at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest waiting for her mate, Smitty.
An unknown female Peregrine Falcon interrupted Alden’s ‘loafing time’. Let us hope that this is not the female intruder that Grinnell had chased away from The Campanile scrape.
After an encounter with a female intruder at The Campanile, Annie and Alden renew their bond in the scrape.
All is well at the Australian nests. The only one with chicks is, of course, the Sydney Sea Eagles and SE29 and 30 are growing and changing and, like clockwork on the development chart, getting all of their juvenile feathers. It may be difficult to tell them apart soon!
It is incubation duties at the other three nests – the two Peregrine Falcon scrapes at Orange and Melbourne and the Port Lincoln Osprey barge.
Sunny in Melbourne.
The sunshine gave way to rain later in the day at Port Lincoln.
Dad eating his portion of fish before taking it to Mum. Thanks, Dad. We don’t want any more flapping fish on those precious eggs!!!!!!
No tracking news for Karl II or Kaia. Karl II is in the most dangerous area of Ukraine at the moment. Their transmitters could be jammed. The only news is of Waba and he is doing fine and has found a small area to fish. We wait.
Do you remember these two cutie pies? Who are they? what is their natal nest? and what are the names of their parents?
Thank you so much for joining me today. I will be pulling out photos from the archives for the next week or so to see if we can tell who is who! Take care everyone. See you soon!
Answer to Memory Lane: This is E17 and E18 from the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. They were removed to CROW for conjunctivitis and safely returned to Harriet and M15 after a successful treatment. Known for their early sparring the twins became best buddies.
Thank you to the following for their posts, their streaming cams and videos that make up my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC,, Ojai Raptor Centre, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Bald Eagles 101, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, NCTC, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and SWFlorida Bald Eagles and CROW.
Friday turned out to be one of the best birding days I have had in my City because of the birds and the three people that I met — and, of course, an Osprey story. No, I didn’t add lots to my life list but, I will add a few when I can get some help doing the IDs. It was hot in the afternoon for the walk at the nature centre. The little Mallard mother that had 11 ducklings still has the 9 she had the other day. She has moved them to a different pond where the water and plants appear to be a little healthier.
In some areas the algae is just stifling the life out of the pond. The geese were all resting in the shade and only the song birds were exerting themselves. In particular, 5 or 6 Black-Capped Chickadees were around the ‘winter’ feeding area. I had the most glorious chat with a woman about the fate of insects and she mentioned a book, The Insect Crisis.
This lovely woman spent a few minutes explaining the concept behind the book – the collapse of the insect population and the shocking collapse of everything from birds to crops. I suspect that almost everyone who reads my blog is aware of the domino-effect that is or will take place as the insects die. The rest of the population has surely heard about what is happening even if they don’t understand it — or worse, choose to ignore it. Why then do people still hire companies to come and ‘kill’ the weeds on their lawn so that it is pristine all the while what they believe the company is using a green chemical is actually toxic! or the spraying of roses and other flowers? the use of pesticides used in farming? It is time to put a stop to these practices and embrace companion planting or the use of certain birds and animals that will weed but not kill the crops or flowers.
All the while we were talking, the lovely lady, perhaps in her 90s, was pulling out sunflower seeds for the Chickadees.
An hour before dusk I went to another site where a Bald Eagle had been spotted. OK. I am not the luckiest birder on the planet – far from it. All I could find were some Mallards resting….
and then, I didn’t hear it but something caused me to look up. There was an osprey flying overhead. My heart stopped for a second. An Osprey – sorry Bald Eagle people but this was fantastic. I have been trying to find the Osprey living in this area of my City and have always failed…and there it was.
It has been a good year to be surprised by Ospreys flying overhead. I only know where one nest is but that is fine…seeing them flying at dusk is very special.
The sun was nearly setting but, just on the chance that the Egrets were landing near the pond on the other side of the City, I took off…
As the sun set, 7 Great Egrets descended on the pond and their night time tree.
They continued to arrive as the sun set lower and lower in the sky. It was just a calm, beautiful summer evening spent looking at a ‘sedge’ of Egrets – a most unusual sight for a Canadian Prairie city.
I am not a wildlife photographer. Let’s be clear about that. There are people who are and two of them spent time with me taking photos of the Egrets, talking about where the birds might be spending their days and the anticipation of the arrival of ‘THE’ Green Heron this year (he was really lost last year when he landed south of our city in a small little river). Quite the celebrity that heron was! Of course, everyone is looking and comparing the ‘kit’ each of us had….I take photos because I love the garden animals and the birds – to show you! So they are taken with love not great technical expertise although there are many times I wish I had that level of talent.
In the Mailbox:
The Ojai Raptor Centre updated Victor’s progress in an e-mail posting today: Just look at this magnificent eaglet. This is a very special day. His zinc levels are normal!!!!!!!!
Here is the announcement from ORC:
Bald Eagle patient 22-635, who was rescued from Santa Cruz Island with zinc toxicosis on July 11, continues to make progress. The most recent test for zinc showed the patient within normal levels. This means the eaglet no longer needs to go through chelation therapy to remove the toxic metal from the bloodstream. The eaglet’s ataxia (lack of balance) seems to have resolved as well!
‘L’ sent me a lovely screen capture she had in her archives of Ma Berry. The year is 2018. Do you know who she is?
Berry College is located in Mount Berry, Georgia. Ma Berry was the mate of Pa Berry until 2020 when she was last seen the 17th of November. Ma Berry had a injury to her left talon – she was easily recognized. She had no difficulties fishing or catching prey with her injured foot. She was dearly loved despite there being a heavy loss to the chicks on the nest. In 2017-18, two eggs hatched with one chick fledging and the other sadly died from falling off the nest. The following year, 2018-19 both eggs hatched again but the chicks died within a week. The following year one egg cracked and the second was not viable. Ma Berry has a huge fan club and as one article at the time said, “There’s been a scandal brewing behind the Cage Center at Berry College.” A new female and Ma Berry had a bit of a stand off. For awhile many worried that Ma Berry had been injured or killed but on the 21st of January 2021, Ma Berry was seen at a lake (again easily recognizable by her injured and twisted foot). She is enjoying her retirement. The new female named Missy had two eggs in 2021. One was not viable and the other baby died – both of starvation and hypothermia. Missy just didn’t know what to do as a Mum. However, this year Missy and Pa Berry fledged B15 – a fine strong eagle. Pa Berry must have been very pleased.
Three questions came in from ‘G’: What would have happened to the female at the 367 Collins Street Falcon nest? Did she find a new mate? Second question: What is a scrape? The third question: Why do falcons use gravel for nests and not twigs like eagles? OK. Let’s start at the beginning. I have included some images of the male at 367 Collins Street and his mate from previous years below with their four eyases from 2021. You will often hear that Raptors mate for life. From reading the information about Ma Berry above, you will then know that this is not always the case. Some females get usurped from the nest as do some males. Some are injured and die. Some leave and are discovered elsewhere. Some Ospreys have had two mates. A good example is Seren, Blue 5F in the UK. From 2015-2020, she was Aran’s ‘other woman’ at Glaslyn while Mrs G was his primary mate. In 2020 she decided not producing chicks and have a faithful mate was reason enough to pack her bags and leave. She did. She flew to Llyn Clywedog and became the mate of Dylan! So the saying mate for life is not always the case but it is more the standard than anything else. It is presumed, however, that the female at 367 Collins street has died and a new female has taken her place. If this is her first year as a Mum, let us wish both a very good year.
Scrape is the name of the ‘nest’ that Peregrine falcons use to lay their eggs and raise their eyases. Eyas is the proper term for the chick.
Peregrine Falcons traditionally made their nests on cliffs. There the sand and gravel would be gathered and a small indentation made for the eggs so they would not slide out of the nest cup. It is believed that by using this kind of nest insects and diseases that often form in twig nests – especially if it is cold and wet – would, thus, not impact the falcon chicks. That said, there are some stick nests being used by falcons in Poland that have been very successful.
An early morning question from ‘T’: Why aren’t the falcons in Australia sitting on their egg and eggs all the time? Great question! You can see them leaving the eggs in the images below today. Some raptors practice delayed incubation. They will keep the eggs warm for a few hours a day but will not begin 24/7 incubation known as ‘hard incubation’ until all of the eggs are laid. This ensures that there is not such a discrepancy in their dates of hatch. This lessens the chance of siblicide. In addition, many times the eyases hatch within 24 hours of one another like those at Collins Street the last few years.
In the News:
Hen Harriers remain in the UK news. As their populations begin to recover at 100 birds the illegal killing of the raptors remains a huge problem for the reintroduction programme.
In Australia, there is dismay as to the protection of the forest industry and the lack of concerns from some of the wildlife going extinct. In 2022, people are starting to get upset and angry. Will the government respond?
Holly Parsons has posted the links to the four Falcon cameras at Orange along with a link to FAQs. Thanks, Holly! Here it is:
Diamond has been the female at the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape at orange since 2015. Xavier has been her mate since 2016. This means that they are at least 9 years old for Diamond and 8 years old for Xavier. Peregrine Falcons have been known to live for nearly 20 years in the wild.
Diamond is looking out the window of the scrape at Orange. Galahs, a pink and grey parrot, are flying by the tower. Do they not know they would be a remarkable mid-morning snack for Diamond? If Xavier sees them, she will have one!
Later Pied Currawong were observed doing flybys while checking out the scrape box. They eat eggs! Diamond and Xavier are going to have to be vigilant.
There is no hard incubation yet at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. Does this mean that Mum and Dad Peregrine Falcon are thinking of a 4th?
For those of you who have watched the Melbourne nest in previous years and, perhaps, did not notice or know. This is a new female this year with Dad. My first thought was is it possible that Mum died from trichomonosis like the 4th eyas last year? We might never know – unless Victoria Hurley does, the researcher at this nest.
Dad has the biggest eyes. Oh, such a cutie with one of his prepared pigeons for the kiddos.
It would be very difficult to forget these four. They were incredible. The year before Mum and Dad had 3 girls…they towered over little Dad.
Mum and Dad with the four eyases for the 2021 season. Mum was amazing. She often appeared to be gruff but if you are having to chase after four eyases with independent minds, she seemed to have to be to keep them from falling off the edge of that ledge. Thankfully birds are afraid of heights (or so I am told). Soar high, Mum. You took such great care of your little ones.
The new female shows Dad the third egg early on a misty Melbourne morning. It arrived at 22:18 on the 26th of August.
Oh, I adore the little male falcon at Collins Street. Sometimes he looks like a toy in his cute little pajamas.
A few more images today of Dad and the new Mum taking turns incubating the eggs. You will get to know Dad rather quickly with the thick yellow around his eyes and if he is next to New Mum, he will be quite a bit smaller
Neither Diamond or the Melbourne Mum will begin ‘hard’ incubation until all of their eggs are laid. This is one of the reasons that there is less competition between all the eyases as they are close in size and birth date. Some Ospreys and eagles begin hard incubation immediately and this means that the third catch could be several days difference in size and development than the first.
Just look at SE 29 and 30. 29 is standing so tall with its big crop while 30 is enjoying a private feeding from Lady. Look very carefully at 30 since we can see the top of the head, the chest, the wings and back and – of course those pink legs standing so tall. Weeks 5 and 6 show the biggest change from the fluffy chicks with their down to the stage of an eaglet. There is now down left on the head (maybe a dandelion or two on 30). Dark feathers are starting to show everywhere – they are the most gorgeous espresso brown. The chicks are spending a lot of time preening now as feather growth is said to be itchy (how does a human know that?). They are now able to stand like 29 is doing without the aid of the wing tips. They will begin flapping and might make some attempts at self feeding.
Notice that beautiful light rust that is appearing on both of the eaglets. If you have never seen a juvenile Sea Eagle you are going to be so surprised at how stunning their plumage is. Notice also how those beaks continue to grow long and strong.
Dad was nudging Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest to get up and give him a turn. It was 23:42!
Andor visited the Two Frasers Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. It looks like he now has some time to regain his strength after helping Mama Cruz raise Lilibet and Victor. He certainly must have had a nice lunch!
The streaming cam at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest is now offline until the 17th of November. Mark it on your calendars. I wonder if Nancy will have a new mate for the next breeding season????
Both eaglets at the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle nest have now fledged. Congratulations to Liberty and Freedom for another successful year. Believe it or not, the Bald Eagle season will be getting underway in Florida in the next 4 weeks or thereabouts. Goodness.
Kielder Forerst posted that one of the 2022 fledglings, Frankham, is now in Spain enjoying himself on the llobregat River in Catalonia. His ring number is Blue 439 and he was the first to leave Kielder this season. Frankham was from nest 1A where Mrs YA raised the chicks after Mr YA did not return after they had hatched. Congratulations Kielder Forest!
Did you know that there are 10 Estonian Black Storks with trackers on them this year? Kaia and Karl II along with Waba and Bonus from the Karula Nest are amongst the ten. It is going to get busy once they start moving. Kaia remains near Liaskavicy in Belarus in the wetlands of the Priyjpat River.
A new book, Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behavior by Jonathan Elphick has arrived on the desk. Review to come.
Have a lovely Saturday everyone. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon….and remember, if you have a question, send it in. There could be 50 or 100 people wondering about the same thing!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, and videos that form my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Berry College and ‘L’, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, The Guardian, Orange, Australia FB, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey, Explore.org and the IWS, and Looduskalender.
I have started writing this with the news of Wednesday the 17th that some of you might not have seen. It has been raining and raining with tornado warnings for a couple of days now and it is expected to continue. As a result I am scooting out to the nature centre and local ponds to continue the duckling and gosling counts whenever I can. Good thing. The skies opened up in the middle of the night – many friends had pets who were frightened by the fierceness of it all.
It always puts a smile on my face when I go out and all the waterfowl families are where they normally are. It is true that they develop an area to their liking and it is equally true that some wander from one place to another. I hope that some images might brighten your day, too. I did not do any colour adjustments. The water looks like pea soup – the surface is made up of tiny little leaf like bits.
This Mallard family lives in a particular spot. I have been following them since June.
I always know which pond to find them. Today, I saw them coming around a bend. Ducks paddle fast. The female kept a watchful eye but seemed not to be bothered by my presence. She has seen me so many times that it seems she just goes on about her business as if I am not there.
You can see the leafy bits easier in the image of the Mallard below. It is clearly a different surface from the much-needed-to-be-cleaned-full-of- human-debris pond at one of our other parks.
I found this bunch lounging under one of the benches in the shade trying to stay cool.
What has been most interesting to me is that the Mallards are thriving – what ones that survived – at the Nature Centre with their ever growing ducklings while the Wood Ducks have taken over a park and there are only 5 or 6 Mallards. I do know that they do not like one another!
The Ojai Raptor Centre has given us an ‘excellent progress’ update on our dear Victor.
Look how tall and handsome Victor is – remember when he could not stand and he required physiotherapy by being held by a towel with holes for his legs? What an amazing transformation! (At this point, it is perfectly permissible to shed a tear or two).
I wonder if Victor is yelling for fish?
Now, it turns out that Victor is a very picky eater!!!!!! He only likes Whitefish so the Ojai Raptor Centre has sent out a call for the fishermen to bring in fresh Whitefish. It is costly. If you have been thinking about donating or making a shop purchase in aid of Victor, maybe now is a good time to do this. He has really made fabulous progress with their great care.
There is very sad news coming out of the Arboretum in Minneapolis. The only osplet on the nest was near fledge. It had leapt off of the nest – and survived a couple of times – due to human activity below the platform. Two days ago the little one jumped off again in fright. Searchers have not found the youngster and it is assumed that it was predated. #85 on the list of feathered friends departed. I will happily delete that entry if the osplet turns up!
This was the announcement:
Of course, I have an opinion! (And I am certain you do, too) It won’t help this osplet but protocols need to be developed and put into best practices everywhere there is a raptor nest. Areas near Osprey platforms need some separation from human activity. This chick was known to leap out of the nest due to its fear of humans below. It was nearing fledge. Two options: Once a near fledgling has leapt out of a nest due to the fear of human activity, Kept the chick in care til it could fly OR stop the human activity around the platform until such time as the chick fledges. It really is that simple. When do non-emergency human activities take precedent over the safety and concern for wildlife?
Little Bit ND17 has been caught perched on ‘his’ branch and soaring over the St Joseph River near to the natal nest in St Patrick’s park. Oh, he is doing so well. Just brilliant. What a role model Little Bit is for all of us. He ate anything he could find on the nest to stay alive. I will never forget him scurrying back to the part we couldn’t see to eat something – normally the pelt of a squirrel or a raccoon so 16 could not come after him. It didn’t matter to him – it was food and it kept him alive. He kept his wits about him even when he did not have food for a couple of days…and he never gave up! Little Bit wanted to live and to soar like a big eagle — and he is doing just that. Look at him go!
Suzanne Arnold Horning found L2, the first of Big Red and Arthur’s 2022 clutch to fledge and the second to catch its own prey (L4 was first), today after there had been a brief storm. L2 is incredibly beautiful. He is out by the fields and it looks like he is sitting on a pole like a good hawk watching for voles and chipmunks. Red-tail hawks are gorgeous. Like the hawks that visit my garden on occasion during the fall and winter, they are capable of sitting like a statue for extreme periods of time waiting for prey.
Sadly we are entering a period where the raptors will be going into care because of lead poisoning or from being hit by cars. Those that eat carrion are especially at risk as many people will not stop and remove a dead animal from the road and place it safely away from the cars. — If you do see a dead animal, you need to think quickly on your toes because you do not want to be a casualty either. Not everyone carries a shovel and a collapsible pet carrier or cardboard box in their car but it really helps if you have a shovel or piece of wood to remove the carrion to the side of the road. Put your flashers on. Watch so you do not open the door when there is oncoming traffic. Then be bold. Wave your arms to stop cars. Most will but be darn quick to get out of the way if they don’t. Then scoop up the animal and put it away from the road in the ditch — we do not want it close to any cars. Thank you! Tonight, however, the culprit is monofilament line. None of the children at our nature centre, when questioned, realized that ‘fishing line’ was dangerous to wildlife. Education is key.
This little Osprey fledgling was lucky that people were willing to work after hours to give it a second chance when it was found tangled in fishing line.
Oh, what a sweet little thing. It looks like it is feeling better already.
Even the fish get caught up in line – many break the line leaving the hook inside of them. A kind person living in my city found this fish near the shore wrapped in monofilament line. They stopped, cut it off, and worked with the fish for 5 minutes to get the life back in it. That fish got a second chance, too.
Every living thing deserves our kindness.
The Sea Eaglets 29 and 20 continue to thrive. Lady fed them both a nice breakfast – not a crop buster but, a good start to the day.
30 is really starting to have a growth spurt. We can still tell them apart because 29 is just that little bit ahead. you can see the down gone from its entire head to the nape. There are more back and wing feathers.
The feathers are really developing. In a wink these two are going to look so different…and look, hardly any down bits left on those heads.
Most of us know Dr Eric Greene from his work with the Montana Ospreys and, in particular, his love of dear Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world. Yesterday he posted a video on the University of Montana website about a very special raptor family on the grounds of the campus.
Our City is home to numerous Cooper Hawk families and I am hoping to get out to see one of them at a park called Bunn’s Creek this weekend with a group. You might recall that a large female Cooper’s Hawk took up residence on my deck early this spring. It appears that they have ousted the little Sharp-shinned Hawk from the territory.
‘H’ sent some great images of Sloop. He doesn’t have his landings perfected — or does he mean to buzz those siblings???? Congratulations to Dory and Skiff – they fledged three beautiful ospreys this year who have ample time to get in form for migration.
The take off – wings up, Sloop!
The buzz. Thanks ‘H’. Great screen captures. Too funny.
The Black Stork, Kaia, continues to stay in Belarus travelling only a few kilometres to find food. Her battery is operating at 99%. Here is her current position.
Mama Cruz has visited the Fraser Point nest this morning. She is showing concern – there is a ‘stranger’ in her territory. It is Trey, her 2019 daughter with Spirit. Trey is under the natal nest in the bushes.
How do I know this is not Andor? There is no wing tag. Mama Cruz shed that tag in April 2021 and she has only one band, a federal silver band on her right leg because when she was ringed Dr Sharpe believed she was a male.
Has something happened to Trey? It is not clear why she is in the bush under the nest and not flying.
Migration is under way and you can go to this link to find an interactive map.
Emyr Evans has posted an image of Pedran, Idris and Telyn’s daughter, who is today 84 days old. She has not been seen at the nest for the last 7 days. Did she undertake the earliest migration in Welsh Osprey history? or will she return to the nest from some adventure? or, sadly, is she lost? No one can answer that question yet.
News coming out of Port Lincoln Osprey is really good. Dear Ervie has demonstrated that certain approaches to keeping birds off poles simply do not work!
And there is a great article about Mum and Dad’s three eggs this season. Osprey are so rare in South Australia.
Thank you so very much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves! We are expecting more and more rain but I hope to get out into nature somewhere — you sleep better. Your mind is refreshed. I hope that you will make an effort, no matter how small, to take in nature’s beauty today.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB posts where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Dyfi Osprey Project, BirdCast, Explore and IWS, Looduskalender, University of Montana, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Bobby Horvath, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Notre-Dame Eagles FB, Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch, and the Ojai Raptor Centre.
The condolences continue to pour into Poole Harbour for the loss of 5H2 due to the goshawk attack and to Loch Garten’s 1C1 to unknown causes. It is worse when the osplets are older and flying. The number of Osprey in the UK is very small compared to North America and the loss of these two chicks on significant nests took its toll today. Last year the osplets died due to weather issues when they were so little. This year we lost a wee one at Llyn Brenig, the third hatch at Loch Arkaig when its foot caught and it could not get under Mum during the worst weather. Siblicide at Loch of the Lowes. It is hard either way but raising chicks to fledge and then losing them is just tragic.
I have had many letters asking if Loch Garten is doing a post-mortem. Yes, they are! The cameras will be turned off during the removal of the chick and then turned back on. We have seen three ‘mysterious’ deaths this year on streaming cams of Ospreys -Big at Captiva, Molate at SF Bay, and now 1C1 at Loch Garten. I included Big because there was no confirmation of why she died. Molate was visibly unwell for a few days, just like 1C1. Is it the same? (It is unclear to me as to whether GG Audubon ever removed Molate’s body from the grid as fledglings Brooks and the Visitor continue to come to the nest. Speculation is a lung infection. I do recall Molate also had trouble breathing. Curious.
Elsewhere in Bird World, life seems reasonably stable but everything can change in a few seconds – without any warning – as was the case of H52.
The great experiment by Urmas and Dr Madis to save the Black storklets of Jan and Janika would have been significant if not for the loss of all the chicks on Eedi’s nest due to predation (possibly another Goshawk attack). There is one survivor, Bonus. Bonus is doing tremendously well. He is 78 days old today. Karl II and Kaia have found the filled fish baskets and the chicks are so full that when Karl II comes in with a delivery the four of them cannot eat all the fish. Yes, it is true!
Fledging could come at any time. Bonus is overdue but because of his delayed development due to stress and lack of food, he will fly once he is ready, not by a calendar. Kaia often leaves by 11 August so we are watching to see what will happen this year.
It is mostly quiet. Many of us are watching the females in the UK to spot on leaves when. Maya is still at Manton Bay in Rutland.
I could not get a good look at her face but this is that amazing female who raised three big girls with Blue 33 this year! She is the mother of Telyn at Dyfi.
1H3 has enjoyed a nice fish delivery today.
1H1 is screaming to goodness for Mum or Dad to get a fish on the nest for her!!!!!!!!! What a beauty.
All of the fledglings could catch their own fish. The parents do not have to teach them – 60 million years is hardwired into their DNA. The fledglings just do not know that they can do it! During migration they will have to begin to fiend for themselves.
These females are such characters. Blue 33 could hear his girl across the lake! “I want a fish now!” Blue 33 is one of my great loves as far as ospreys go. He is 11 years old this year and is ending his 9th breeding season. He has raised two sets of four osplets to fledge with Maya…They are a super couple in a realm of their own.
Remember that flapping fish that we thought had killed at least one of the little ones – they survived. All three nice big girls!
It is hot at the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. Tomorrow it will be 30 C. Telyn is still here. She has been chasing off an intruder which appears to be annoying her to no end. I do not blame her. Now is not the time for an injury. Telyn will leave Wales and fly to The Gambia. According to Chris Woods who travels to The Gambia in the winter, he knows precisely where her favourite perch is. Brilliant. It is always reassuring to know she has arrived safely.
Just look at all the cameras.
Relaxing down by the Dyfi River.
Emyr Evans has posted a very interesting blog testing different hypotheses about the unringed visitor to the Dyfi Nest. It has some information about fledging ages and the start of migration. Thanks EE – we love the Dyfi Data!
I see no word that Blue NC0 has left the Loch of the Lowes either. Both chicks have been flying for at least 3 weeks and they are doing some fancy landings and take offs from the nest. I was able to catch them on the nest today – one with a fish and the other screaming to Laddie LM12 (Dad) to bring another pronto! These males sure get a work out at the end of the season. No wonder their legs are so strong and muscular.
These two look to be in brilliant shape!
Mrs G is still here. She is on the perch to the left while Aran is on the one at the right.
Aran and Mrs G looking out on their territory from the Glaslyn nest. Aran is in the back, Mrs G, the oldest osprey in the UK, is in the front.
Fledgling eating a fish on the Glaslyn nest while Mrs G is at the nest.
I cannot read the Darvic rings but this looks like a different fledgling enjoying a meal earlier in the day.
I was also able to catch Seren and one of the chicks on the Llyn Clywedog nest in Wales. It is so rare to see chicks on the nest that I feel fortunate checking all of the nests and finding at least one today.
Dorcha and the two fledgling chicks were on Loch Arkaig! I did not see Louis but he is about bringing in fish.
This one desperately wants a fish!
They do not know that they are getting ready for the most challenging two years of their lives. If they live to get to the South of England or parts thereabouts, they will feed up. There are scores of birds that will be at Poole Harbour making their way to their winter homes. How many of them will survive? When we hear averages, it must be the entire raptor family, not just specific species. We know that the UK birds will either land on the Iberian Peninsula and winter or they will continue to Africa and winter in The Gambia and Senegal. I hope to get some figures for Ospreys only. It will be easy to get UK figures of 2 year survival – or thereabouts – as from the Dyfi note – all known birds have Darvic Rings except for a few nests in Scotland and maybe one hiding in Montgomeryshire in Wales. The figure is going to be low and it could provide us with more insights. Less than 1 in 3 I suspect.
Remember – send me the stories you remember about migration. I am particularly interested in the huge challenges these birds face. Get it to me by Thursday night. Thanks!
I peeked in at the Osoyoos and Fortis Exshaw nest briefly throughout the day. The heat dome is definitely hitting BC again but Soo and Olsen seem to be weathering it fine. I have also checked on Titi who has been hovering but has not fledged. Titi is in a very dangerous position if he cannot fly – he is literally the sitting osprey for that Goshawk that continues to fly around the nest! I wonder why he is not moving? We saw Nuppu try to beak her youngest to fly. Titi has no mother, only a sibling and Dad and he needs to work those wings and get out of there.
The latest updates on Victor came on 3 August. If you missed it, here it is. There has been nothing since. We must assume that Victor is continuing to progress. Treatments for heavy lead toxicity take a long time.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts where I took my screen captures: Finnish Osprey Foundation, The Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, CarnyXWild, LRWT, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Wildlife Trust.
It is a very early good morning to everyone- just past midnight. I am posting this newsletter early so that everyone will get to read the great news that is coming in – in case you do not already know. In the case of Victor and Little Bit, continued thanks to the wildlife rehabilitation staff that intervened and gave them a second chance on life.
My goodness, it is such a wonderful feeling as if you are floating on a cotton candy cloud when there is great news in Bird World. If you get emotional, I suggest you get the tissues out before reading further.
I want to thank ‘B’ and ‘L’ for alerting me to the special news about Victor in my inbox.
The Ojai Raptor Centre posted this announcement about Victor. When all of us were worrying he might not get well or he might not be able to feed himself ——– well, he is self-feeding and doing a grand job of it, too. He is in an outside enclosure not inside the clinic. Oh,, Victor, you have worked so hard to get well and all the staff at ORC have just being doing the best for you. Tears of joy, tears of joy.
Video of Victor self-feeding:
Video of Victor’s outdoor enclosure:
The other good news is, of course, Little Bit ND17. Images were taken and studied by several who go to the park on a daily basis to watch and photograph the Notre-Dame eagle family – Mum, Dad, ND15, ND16, and ND17 Little Bit. They have longed to get a good clear picture of 17 but wanted to be sure it was him. Here is the announcement in the Notre-Dame FB postings for today:
I was so skeptical when Little Bit was returned to the park without the ability to hunt his own prey. I am joyful to have been proven wrong! Notice the top right image. See how the hair kind of goes around in a partial donut shape. It reminds me of my late father-in-law who was bald but that circular band. It appears that some of the top is flat like strands of longer feathers covering up the places where feathers are missing. At the onset, I did not think he had a crop but, yes, that top right image appears to show that he has recently eaten. What a wonderful relief to see him looking and doing well. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to ensure Little Bit got a second chance on life and those birders on the ground who tried desperately to get images to reassure all of us. Thank you.
The Sea Eaglets are doing just fine, too. The crops of both of them are simply about to pop!!!!!!!
An hour later, Lady is urging them to have ‘just one more bite’! They are growing and will have a rapid growth spurt. Full crops will be the order of the day. Look at how the wings are forming and each has a cute little tail.
The two osplets on the Osoyoos Nest are looking good this evening. The forecast was correct and it has cooled down some – of course, it is still hot, just not as blistery. The chat for the streaming cams appears to be down. Not sure why unless it is all the spam.
Soo had a big crop at 10:46.
Looks like one of the chicks got the last delivery and is self-feeding.
One crop fuller than the other chick who is fish crying.
I cannot give you a fish count but it appears that both chicks ate today and so did Soo. Fantastic.
Ervie is out flying about and finding nice fish for dinner. He must miss hanging out with Dad on the barge and going to the nest to eat his fish. I wonder if he will try to return to the barge after this breeding season?
It is good to know he is safe – GPS trackers certainly help with that.
In the case of each of these nests or particular fledglings, it is so good to know that they are either improving in care or are doing splendidly on their own. There has been no word on L3 or L4. We wait.
I want to mention a book called Beauty and the Beak. How Science, Technology, and a 3D-printed Beak rescued a Bald Eagle. It is by a pair of talented women – writer Deborah Rose and wildlife rehabilitator, Jane Veltkamp. I first heard of the efforts to save this particular Bald Eagle when I was looking for information about the McEuen Park eagles in Idaho. The intended audience would be children ages 8-12 (I think) but I also enjoyed the gorgeous photos and learning about how science and new technology saved Beauty’s life. It is another fantastic book about positive interventions. If you teach science or know someone who does, I would highly recommend this book. (Cost in Canada is $11.46 for the glossy paperback).
It is a beautiful story of compassion and the commitment of Jane Veltkamp to help Beauty the Bald Eagle.
My regular newsletter that normally appears around noon CDT during the month of August will appear in the early evening on 4 August.
Thank you so much for joining me with all these good news stories. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their postings and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Notre Dame Eagles, Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.
Oh, one half of the sky is blue with cottonball-like clouds. The other side is a solid mass of heavy grey clouds. It is 22 C and more rain forecast for 1700. The Crows are already in the bird bath eating their ‘sandwiches’ and peanuts. Given a chance tens of sparrows gather in there after they have left. The squirrels are running about and the birds are flitting in and out. Dyson came to drink out of the bird bath yesterday and all the rabbits have been here. The weather is hot for here and having water out for the animals is, hopefully, helping them to cool down. It is so reassuring – just like when we check on the streaming cams and everyone is home!
The three young Crows are constantly with one another. Their flying is improving. The bird bath water is in constant change for one reason – everything is washed by the Covids. I wonder if it was to soften the shell of the peanut??
One of the fledgling Blue Jays waited its turn until the Crow departed.
This Blue Jay is yelling at Dyson! The squirrels do not wait in line – they just go and grab the peanuts. It is too funny. The juveniles are just getting their crests.
Poor Junior. He is moulting. If you see a Cardinal or Blue Jay looking scarce on top, they are not ill, just replacing their feathers.
Hello Dyson. Thank goodness the new bird bath is heavy enough that Dyson doesn’t go flying when he jumps up for a drink.
Adorable Hedwig. He spent about an hour eating the spilt seeds under the feeder. Hedwig was discovered under the Peony bush. He was such a wee rabbit. He never left the garden but ate the seeds as the birds flitted around him. He is never frightened by them. His burrow is somewhere else now but you can always count on his arrival around 1730 rain or shine, winter or summer. He’s an Eastern Cottontail.
Olsen really seems to have outdone himself on Sunday. As I begin to write this, there are two partial fish sitting on the nest. The chatters have been keeping close tabs and ‘H’ provided detailed time stamps. These are invaluable for viewers coming on line. Much appreciated. By 0900, Olsen had delivered 8 fish of varying sizes. Everyone was chock full of fish. It appears that there was some nibbling on the old fish (gosh they must be like dried fish now!) with another fish delivery at 18:33.
Soo has done a fabulous job keeping the chicks shaded. It is currently 37 C but rose to 40. Or 98.6 F to 104 F.
The nest still has horrific temperatures tomorrow. They seem to just keep adding on an additional day of heat. When did I ever believe I would say that 34 C was a welcome drop in temperature? The night will be welcome cooling off periods. The Osprey parents are doing the best they can and thank goodness those two chicks are feathered nicely this year.
Send positive thoughts, please. Soo and Olsen deserve success. In 2020 they lost a chick and one fell out of the nest and in 2021 the three died in the heat dome that stayed over the area. This year we have had one fall over the nest so let us keep fingers crossed. I think Soo and Olsen will succeed this year.
It is now Monday morning and Olsen has already brought at least five fish according to the chatters and here he is at 0656 feeding his babies fish number six!
I do not know if you have read the history of this nest but it is one of those great cooperative measures. FortisBC worked with the Town of Osoyoos put up a separate de-commissioned hydro pole for the Osprey and also donated the funds for the camera – the nest and streaming cam you are watching. They were proactive – indeed, it is in their best interests not to have the local power knocked out but, grateful, so grateful.
It is cooler at the Fortis Exshaw Nest in Canmore, Alberta. Mum and the trio are doing very well it seems.
Because it is in the same heat warning area, I have been checking on and off at the McEuen Park Osprey platform in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
There were two of the fledglings on the nest when I popped in.
With all the heat warnings, it is nice to have something to laugh at and it is provided by Bukacek and the adult only nest. You might well remember that Bukacek had built a second nest for him and Betty. Having four large White storklets on the natal nest gets a little crowded. Now that the storklets are flying – they have taken over the new nest! Bukacek will have to build another!!!!!! Betty meanwhile lures them back to their own nest with food. Perfect. Ooops….they ate and left. Oh, goodness.
There has been some concern about a blood spot near the wing of SE30 on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. What was the cause? Often the eaglets get fish blood or bird parts on their body but this does not seem to be that. It looks instead as if some feathers have clumped together either with fish juice or ps and they were, perhaps, pulling and it annoyed the eaglet who pulled them out and left a small bloody spot. The eaglet appears to be fine.
You can clearly see the spot on the right wing- and that enormous crop of SE29’s. 30 is eating well. No worries. Lady sometimes feeds it so much that 29 gets itself in a little knot. With the amount of prey coming on the nest there is no need for food competition – and even with feedings spreading a bit, everything should be fine. The eaglets are getting older. Getting ready to get some really itchy pin feathers soon. As long as food continues and Lady keeps up her remarkable feeding schedule..these two are going to grow and fledge.
There will not be any ringing or DNA tests unless one or both wind up in rehab after fledge. But I might be already inclined to guess that we have a really big sister in 29 and a little brother in 30.
We can always use good news in our lives. Here is another story of an eagle rescue that will warm your hearts! Thanks, ‘L’, much appreciated.
Our beautiful Victor. I love this photo of him standing on a low perch. You are progressing, Victor. Keep up the good work!
Since the rescue of Victor, some of us have been more than perplexed about where the zinc came from that poisoned his body. I have rattled my brain with several of you – flakes coming off of anything galvanized, warnings on garden hoses about zinc, the shale in the area contains zinc, etc. I really do not think our dear Victor sat and ate pennies knowingly. ‘C’ sent me the findings of a study by a Brazilian researcher. It has been translated by Google from the Portugese. If you are interested in how Victor might have gotten the zinc and how our contamination of the planet spreads to birds 10,000 miles away even…have a read.
Thank you, ‘C’. Much appreciated.
Title: “Not even the “end of the world” is free from human-caused pollution”
Animals that live in the waters of the Kerguelen archipelago, 3,000 km from the nearest inhabited region, are contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury.
Not even the “end of the world” is free from the pollution generated by humanity. Located in the south of the Indian Ocean, 3,300 km from Madagascar, the nearest inhabited region, the Kerguelen archipelago, formed by about 300 islands and islets, is contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury, copper and zinc. The observation is made by Brazilian researcher Caio Vinicius Cipro, a postdoctoral fellow at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP), in two studies he carried out at the University of La Rochelle, in France, in partnership with scientists there.
Of volcanic origin, Kerguelen is 4 thousand kilometers south of India and 2 thousand kilometers north of Antarctica. The archipelago belongs to that country and is administratively part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). There is currently a scientific station and structures associated with it. “There is also fishing activity due to France’s exclusive economic exploitation zone”, says Cipro. “Biologically, there are countless species of birds and marine mammals that have established colonies on the island and many others, in addition to significant amounts of fish and invertebrates thanks to the high primary productivity of local food. There are also several species introduced by humans, such as mice and reindeer, and some plants.”
He says that the idea for the study came during a period when he worked as a guest researcher at the University of La Rochelle. “My supervisor at the time, Professor Paco Bustamante, had told me about a dataset he had obtained years before, which he began working on during his own doctorate, and whose publication he never had time to pursue,” he says. “I volunteered to carry out the task and write the publication.”
Cipro then went on to study the occurrence of four chemical elements (cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc and selenium) in more than 30 species of invertebrates and fish, most of them at a lower trophic level (of the food chain). The objective was to understand how the concentrations of these inorganic pollutants behave at these lower levels that will influence organisms above them in the food chain.
Cipro’s first study was carried out in 2014, shortly after he arrived in France, on samples that had been collected by Bustamante’s team in the southern summers of 1997 and 1998. The Brazilian scientist analyzed metal contamination in a species of bird, the black shearwater petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). “We found contamination by cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium and zinc”, he says. “An article about the work was published in 2016 in the scientific journal Polar Biology.”
The second research was carried out in 2018 and yielded another article, published in the same journal. “In this case, we analyzed the levels of contamination of the same metals, with the exception of selenium – there were no conditions at the time to do this with this element in the laboratory at the University of La Rochelle – in 18 species of fish and 11 of invertebrates”, explains Cipro . The result of the work also pointed to the contamination of animals by metals.
According to Cipro, what can be concluded from the results of his research is that in this specific case of Kerguelen, cadmium values varied much more than mercury values (four orders of magnitude against one) and depended more on specificity in food ecology. and in the habitat than at the level of the food chain plain and simple.
In other words, the results of the studies showed that, contrary to what happens in most cases, the concentrations of pollutants found in animals depended little on their position in the food chain, but more on specific mechanisms of physiology and exposure, in such a way that predators from lower trophic levels could be more subject to some contaminants than others from higher positions.
This means, according to Cipro, that work with species of higher trophic level or sentinels needs more in-depth food ecology studies before reaching certain conclusions and that the food chain by itself does not mean much in this environment. “Furthermore, my research provides solid foundations on the exposure to which predators are subject, as in most cases this discussion remained on hypothetical terrain due to lack of field data,” he explains.
The work also showed a possible influence of a local secondary source of contaminants, probably the bird colonies themselves, a hypothesis confirmed in the Antarctic environment during his current research project. Going into more detail, Cipro explains that the analyzed metals have natural sources, but human activity certainly plays a bigger role than them in general. For mercury, for example, current emissions are estimated to be three to five times higher than before the industrial age. This element can reach the Kerguelen archipelago from dumps made by factories located 10,000 kilometers away.
Nevertheless, locally, in addition to bird colonies, some other natural sources may be significant, such as certain rocks and fossil fuels. “In the case of bird colonies, some studies that I proposed suggested and later confirmed their role as a local and relevant source of some elements and also of organic pollutants”, says Cipro. “In Kerguelen, we raised this hypothesis, comparing mussels from inside and outside the Gulf of Morbihan, and it seemed to be confirmed by the results obtained.”
The Dad at the Janakkalan Nest, Red CCL, continues to deliver the fish. The chatters have nicknamed the pair. Boris is the oldest and Titi is the youngest. The fish are so big that they take turns with no need to squabble. Titi is on the left. He has not figured out – yet – to hold the fish down with its talons.
Dad arrives with another fish at 1805. Titi is in the back with the huge crop from eating the fish in the image above. Boris is going to claim this one and Titi is absolutely too full to care! Lovely. Thanks, Dad.
The four Black Storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia are really wanting a food delivery. While they wait it is raining – they shake off their feathers, flap about, and jump on and off the perch. Kaia arrives with food at 16:58, the last image.
Just look at this beautiful juvenile Red-tail Hawk, L4. Stunning. L2 and L4 will probably be soaring in the thermals soon and leaving the Campus. Every moment with them is special as it is with Big Red and Arthur.
The latest update on L3 from the Cornell Lab:
L3 is gorgeous. Looking forward to her release when she is all healed.
Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have such good news in Bird World. To my knowledge, all of the UK Ospreys have fledged. They will be eating and gaining weight as will their mothers for migration. Soon these flights will be charted. In the meantime continue to enjoy them. The same with the storks! Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, websites, and postings where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Coeur d’Elene, Idaho, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Bird Lab, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Fortis Exshaw.