Who has 3 breakfasts? and 2 lunches?

Xavier and Diamond are on a roll to keep their week old chick fed. Xavier came in with a pigeon while Diamond was away. He might not have had long to feed his baby before Mum returned but, Xavier did a splendid job and Only Bob got some very nice bites.

Xavier was very good at connecting with the little one’s mouth.

It is so cute when they can finally see their parents and that beak of food. Look at it opening wide. What a little sweetheart.

Priceless.

Xavier had really been enjoying feeding his chick. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he wants – very much – to be more involved in the care of the eyas. Hopefully, Diamond will be less protective soon.

Bye Xavier!

There were, of course, many more feedings during the day.

Xavier had some time to cuddle with the little one after he brought in the prey for Diamond for one of the evening meals. So sweet, that little one leaning up against Dad.

Only Bob is ready for its 17:30 meal – beak wide open!

Look at how big the little chick’s wings are getting. Yesterday, this wee one was only a week old.

There might be only one but it looks like it is going to be big and strong!

Thank you so much for joining me. So many of you really enjoy watching Xavier and Diamond. If you haven’t ever looked into their scrape box, here is the link. They are fantastic parents – lots of fun with the prey and Xavier trying to get some ‘chick time’.

Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Thursday Late in Bird World

It might still be drizzly and cold on the Canadian Prairies but the rain has stopped on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest – Thankfully! The kids had a last feed at 19:44:28 yesterday. Today, two fish were delivered before 08:30.

Dad is eating his share before the delivery to the nest.

The second fish that arrived, in the image below, is a flat fish. The previous one was a round. You can check the difference quickly. There are Leather Backs and Mullets in Australia. But, sadly, while my father and sons and grandson could tell you the names of most fish, I can’t.

Little Bob is the only one left eating.

Little Bob is usually first to the table and the last to leave. That may be the only way that we recognize him in the future.

Even Little Bob finally got full down to the tip of his talons and Mum was able to enjoy some of that nice fish. Beautiful.

Yesterday, Xavier delivered a food item to the scrape box at Orange. Diamond was not home! He looked at his little one and went over and fed it some of the bird. What a sweet moment.

There have been several feedings already this morning. Diamond and Xavier’s Only Bob can see them – its eyes are wide open.

Peeking out!

Remember that very tired little one that could not hold its head still so you could count to 3? Look today! Those eggies will turn out to be props and toys to play with for this little one other than competition in the nest.

It looks like the Collins Street Four were treated to having a pigeon plucked in the scrape box. Here is the before. The scrape isn’t all that tidy but…

Did Mom make this mess? Or was it Dad?

That is the little one that look so hawk like with that bulging crop. Cute. Everything that they see they imprint. By plucking the pigeon in the nest they will quickly learn the method.

Everything is alright in Bird World and there is still most of a day to come.

This is a quick check on everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Late Wednesday Bird World check in

The streaming cam is now back on line at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Instead of being late Wednesday it is Thursday. It is a wet miserable day there, too. The osplets are waiting for their breakfast fish to arrive. It is currently 10:30.

The stark contrast between that gorgeous blue of the Port Lincoln waters and the white of the talons makes it almost appear as if Mum and the chicks had gone shopping for those vinyl ‘mod’ boots of the Twiggy era.

Mum is amazing. She tries absolutely everything to try and crowd the chicks under here so they will not get wet. Of course, their feathering will not keep them dry but there is nothing so nice to keep a chill off as being toasty warm under Mum.

The chicks are standing a bit more. Isn’t that one cute? You can really see the development of the tail. Their pantaloons are showing, too. The term has been adopted for decades when talking about the upper leg feathers of the raptors. Originally, the casual name for them was ‘britches’. They are actually the crural feathers and they cover the tibial area of the leg. They continue up to the chest.

Look at those wing and tail feathers! Wow. Growing before our eyes they are.

The skies open again around 9:37 and Mum works hard to crowd in next to the chicks.

Once the rain stops she is off to try and catch a fish for everyone’s breakfast. She has been fishing more and it is certainly keeping the wee babes happy – and full.

It is really beginning to be difficult to tell which chick is which. Each had some type of a mark on their head. Little Bob had a big circle and he had the white webbing pattern on his cere with a huge white swipe with a wide paint brush under his eye. If that him in the middle?

Big ‘sometimes-not-so-nice’ sibling is in the very front. Her eye is much darker with a wider eye stripe. She has always appeared much darker than the other chicks. Did you know that professional ball players adopted adding a black line under their eyes to keep off the glare?

You can really see the very dark wooly down on the chick standing up. You can also see how the crural feathers continue on to the chest area easier, too.

Now look. Is that our Little Bob at the back? I think so. The circle and the white are there as is the white on the cere. Oh, but they could be fooling us. Even their sizes are coming together so that it is difficult to recognize one from the other.

Let us hope that a nice fish for their breakfast arrives soon!

Ah. There is Little Bob turned around facing Mum in case a fish lands right there.

Awwww. Xavier. What a sweetie. He has arrived with the third item of prey for the baby at 10:14 but Diamond is ignoring him. The chick is full having had two feedings already. Maybe Xavier will get a chance to enjoy that Starling himself.

Remember to go and vote on the names for Xavier and Diamond’s baby. Cilla Kinross selected Maori names for weather. You can find the form here:

https://forms.gle/iPQhxDCLtEh19jp38

As the sun sets in central Louisiana, Anna and Louis are still on the nest making adjustments for the upcoming eggs. They have now flown off and are roosting elsewhere.

Wish for a fish! The trio at Port Lincoln will be very hungry when it arrives.

Take care. Thank you so much for joining me this evening.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Dad brought in a whopper

At 8:56:34, Dad brought in a massive fish (despite having eaten his fair share) to the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest.

The image below shows the size of the fish a little better despite much of it hidden under mom. Imagine that the top part is up at her beak where she is feeding one of the chicks to get an idea. Little Bob is in the middle. You can see the white lace on his cere and the black circle on top of his head.

Dad returned at 9:11:33 to see if Mum was finished feeding the chicks. She wasn’t and she did not let him take the fish.

The trio lined up again. Big Bob, who had eaten first, is full and is moving away from the feeding line. She is letting the two younger siblings have their share.

Middle and Little are right in there. Their feathers are growing so quickly. Look along the edge of Little Bob’s wing. They are beginning to look like fringe.

Oh, goodness. Dad is rather anxious this morning. He returns a second time at 9: 28:20.

Mum is still feeding Middle and Little Bob. Oh, and look. Big Bob is waking up again. Is he ready for another round of fish?

You can see that there is still lots of fish left. The chicks have now been eating for 34 minutes and it looks like half the fish is left. Dad is really having a close look. Mum does not give the fish to him, again. She seems to have decided that he is not going to rush her today.

Ah, Big Bob is back up at the end of the line wanting some more. This is such a polite nest. Big Bob does not push his way to the front of the line, she waits.

By 9:29, Mum decides to move the fish around to the other side. Maybe she thought Dad was going to take it. She continues to feed the chicks and herself.

Despite the fact that the chicks have moved so that they can pass out in their respective food comas, Mum continues to feed Little Bob.

Little Bob is ‘stuffed’ and has turned away from any more bites of fish. Mom is doing a good job eating that nice fish near the tail. She needs to eat, too! Dad seems to have nodded off waiting! In the end, I do not think Dad even got a nibble of the tail. We have to remember that he did have a big chunk before he brought the fish to the nest.

The trio and Mum finished off that extra large fish in 47 minutes. Amazing.

Dad brings another fish to the nest at 13:29:38. Everyone is fed and it is not even the middle of the afternoon. This is a good example of how the feedings change. When the three were wee, they needed more feedings with less fish at each one. Now they will eat much more fish but, there will be less feedings. They are really, really growing. Little Bob is 24 days old today while Middle and Big are 26 days old.

Xavier watches from the ledge of the scrape box as Diamond feeds their wee babe. So far there appears to be no pip or crack on a second egg. It is unclear if there is even a pip.

It is the middle of the afternoon and Xavier is again resting on the ledge. He was seen limping and he is probably resting that leg. Instead of Starlings and Parrots, Xavier has been bringing in pigeon which is a much larger prey item. He might have strained his leg when he was hunting.

I also wonder if he can hear the second chick? or if he just wants to be there with Diamond in the scrape? or wants to brood the chick and incubate the eggs?

The waiting must be frustrating for these two. Big Bob (or Only Bob) is poking its head out from under Diamond to the right of the egg. Cute.

At the nest of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s Olympic Park forest, a Pied Currawong will not leave WBSE 27 and 28 alone. It has been harassing them on and off all day. It is the Pied Currawongs who are intent on chasing the little sea eagle fledglings out of the forest. Normally, eagles fledge and return to the nest for the parents to feed them while they strengthen their flying skills. Many will return to the nest for feedings for up to a month. If they are rushed away, the ‘map’ or return to the nest might not be imprinted in their memory.

27 and 28 are smart. They can hunker down duckling style and watch but the Currawong cannot harm them. These birds can knock them off if they were standing on a branch or injure them if they were standing up.

These two will be branching so soon and then fledging. They can walk and stand and both are self-feeding. We are entering the 11th week. From hatch to fledge for the Australian White-Bellied Sea Eagles is 80-88 days. The median is 83.1.

Here is a video of WBSE 28 stealing the prey from 27. Fantastic!

At the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon scrape, Mum has left the scrape box and is off for a break and to retrieve prey for the eyases. Look at how much room they take up today!

They look like a large white Persian cat if you squint.

Time for your mid-afternoon pigeon everyone!

Dad had it prepared and ready for Mum to bring and feed the youngsters.

Yummy.

The oldest two are getting more hawk like in their appearance.

Except for the Pied Currawong’s harassment, all of the nestlings are doing very well. It is, indeed, a pleasure to be able to watch them grow from hatch to fledge. How fortunate we are!

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 365 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

Checking on the Aussie Birds

Everyone is still waiting for any sign of a pip or a hatch with Xavier and Diamond’s eggs at their scrape box on the water tower on Charles Sturt University at Orange. It is now mid-afternoon on the 7th of October. Diamond has been restless but she sure is not revealing anything to anyone!

Meanwhile the week-old chicks at 367 Collins Street are growing by leaps and bounds. It was really hot today and Mum was a great ‘Mumbrella’ to keep the heat off their pink skin underneath all that white fluffy down. Mom was panting, too.

Those four are really getting stronger too. Each of them can easily sit with their neck held relatively still. It is so much easier for the parents to feed them.

This is Mom feeding.

The baby or the 4th hatch is doing great too. There it is on the right. Their eyes are open wide. Such cuties. Just notice how much of the scrape box they take up today. We will compare this with them next week. It should be interesting.

This is Dad feeding. If you have trouble recognizing them, one of the best ways is to look behind the legs and between the tail. Mum has lots of long dirty feathers from brooding the chicks. Dad doesn’t. Dad has more yellow on the eyes and is, of course, much smaller. But the feathers behind the legs are a giveaway that it is Mum.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Cam was offline for a good part of the early morning. I do not know when the three osplets were fed but each had large crops when the stream returned. I think they must have had a really good feed.

If you are wondering how Little Bob is doing, well that ‘ps’ of his in the image below says it all.

Everyone is waiting for a fish, snoozing in the sunshine of a beautiful Australian afternoon. It is 17 degrees C and the winds are blowing at 16 kph.

The Sydney Sea Eagles are incredibly beautiful. We are getting near and nearer to branching. This nest has been full of wonderful surprises this year, just like the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest.

Lady Hawk did a 5 minute video of some of the cuteness that these two WBSE have gotten into. Have a look:

I took a drive on a very hot day to check out the number of Pelicans and Cormorants still around and to see the geese come into the fields. They begin around 15:00 and continue to dusk.

Manitoba has one-third of North America’s American White Pelicans during the summer season. There are often 100 or more on our Red River near the dam at Lockport Heritage Park. Today, there were only four Pelicans and two Cormorants. There were, however, quite a few Greater Yellow Legs. The birds were back lit and more than a football field away so the images are not as good as I had hoped.

This is a non-breeding immature Greater Yellowlegs.

The Double-crested Cormorant had just landed on the water and was drying off its wings. There were fish jumping and everyone will eat well today, if they already haven’t.

There are always lots of Ring-billed Gulls.

I have one last thing to share with you. Sandhill Cranes. I missed seeing the hundreds of them when they landed south of Winnipeg about a month ago as they began their migration. On Saturday, during Ferris Akel’s tour, he filmed a number of Sandhill Cranes at Montezuma. They are such beautiful birds. He has posted that edited video. Here is the link:

Thank you so much for joining me. I had hoped to have hatch news for you but we wait, just like Xavier does. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: The Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

Is it a hatch or two for Diamond and Xavier?

The Guardian is hosting its 2021 Australian Bird of the Year competition and the Peregrine Falcon has made it to the final 20. The voting started out with 50 birds with 5 eliminated each day. The falcons are down to the wire! Here is the link to cast your vote for your favourite bird but Xavier and Diamond really hope that you will vote for the Peregrine Falcon!

Oh, Mom, Dad, and the four eyases on Collins Street in Melbourne really hope that you will also vote for the Peregrine Falcon! No pressure. LOL.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/sep/27/australian-bird-of-the-year-2021-vote-now-for-your-favourite

It is not even dawn in Orange, Australia. Diamond has been restless all night. Is there a hatch? a pip? Most bets were for a hatch on 7 October and that is today!

Xavier always arrives around 06:00. Today it was 05:56. He approached Diamond cautiously. She is not going to budge. Something is happening! Diamond is sure not giving away any hints. Xavier is making sounds like a squeaky door. I wish I could speak falcon. Must be an eyas under there breaking out of its shell. Yippee..confirmation to come later.

Remember, you can watch the action here:

WBSE 27 and 28 are awake as dawn approaches. Both have been joining in the morning duet with their parents. Just precious. Both are healthy. WBSE 27 will be 10 weeks old on Thursday and WBSE 28 will be 10 weeks old on Saturday.

In the 10th week, the sea eaglets are fully feathered. There could be some downy feathers still developing under their wings. All of the feathers should be out of the blood quill and hard pinned now. The two will do much more wing flapping. Watch for them to stand more on one leg. The eaglets can self-feed but Lady does love to feed them, too. Flapping up to the branches is called branching and this can occur at any time as can fledging, the first flight.

I hope that the Pied Currawongs do not chase them out of the forest. They need to imprint the way back to the nest so they can get their flying better. Fingers crossed.

There appears to be a problem with the streaming cam of the Port Lincoln Ospreys. I can tell you that three fish had been delivered to the nest before I went to bed last night. The first was at 9:00:06, the second at 12:02, and the third was at 14:09:33. Everyone was really full with that last feeding. Based on the past history of fish deliveries that would have been at least two more fish deliveries if not three before the day was over. The nest is doing really well.

All three had big crops like these two. The third osplet has passed out behind the two still looking hopefully at mom to see if there is anything left.

Wonder what those brown things are in the nest?? What has Dad brought in?

Remember to vote for your favourite bird and also mark on your calendar 9 October for the Big Bird Count. I will remind you again how to participate the day prior.

Thank you for joining me. We are definitely in for a hatch or two or three today at Orange. Xavier is waiting anxiously! Take care. Stay safe!

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

The Birds ‘Down Under’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mom arrives for her turn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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