Oh, good morning to you. It is Winter/Summer Solstice depending on where you live. The shortest day/longest night OR if you are in Australia, the longest day and the longest night.
It is cold on the Canadian Prairies. The temperatures plummeted. Yesterday we had beautiful blue skies and sun but it is overcast today and still cold. It is -24 this morning as I write this.
Oh, I do love getting your letters and comments. I learn something new every day. In the mail, ‘V’ asks, “Are you aware that Blue Jays are rare in the PNW? I live in the Seattle area and we have scrub jays and stellar jays but, I haven’t seen a blue jay since I left the midwest.” I had no idea! So, as you are reading this, think about dropping me a line to let me know if you have Blue Jays where you live. I would be very interested to know!
It would be really nice to walk along with the dogs and see all the raptors, to be followed by a Red Kite. How grand!
Maybe what New York City needs is a lot more raptors. Raptors are proven to get rid of more vermin than any of the modern day rodenticides that if consumed by rats can cause huge secondary poisoning in pets and raptors. Just think of those lovely Red-tail Hawks living around Central Park seeing a slow moving rat because it ate rodenticide! I hope that the individual who has this position considers an alternative and if you live in New York City and love the birds and raptors, who take your pets for a walk, maybe you should write this new rat ridder a letter and let him know your views about using raptors.
Thank you to geemeff, we have the final link on YouTube for the discussions with the Flight of the Osprey tem. Topics how important tagging is in conservation, finding out the challenges for the ospreys in their winter homes, and this wonderful bird, 4K from Belvoir Castle. Please take the time to listen. You will really enjoy the effort, the villagers, and then the spotting of 4K. You will learn much but, this entire programme sets out to help the conservation of the ospreys at their winter homes, their spring and summer breeding grounds and their migratory routes. It is so heart warming that the visit of Sasha Dench and others to the villages where the UK Osprey winter will help them appreciate the birds and the need to help them if they get caught in the fishing nets. Maybe someone – a kind resourceful individual will figure out a way to remove the garbage from Africa – the plastic bottles and the nets that are no longer useful so that they do not wind up in the rivers, the mangroves and the oceans. It can be done if there is a will to do it.
The Flight of the Osprey is about migration and conservation. Today, Hawk Mountain released its end of the year report for the migration over the mountains in Pennsylvania. Here is that count:
Elain can capture a day in the life of the Peregrine Falcons at Orange, Australia in a few minutes. Thank you! Your editing is so welcome and wonderful. It seems that Indigo is very loud and still at home. Diamond has been sneaking in and taking Indigo’s stashed prey out of the corner and eating it. There is a lesson there: eat everything you can when you can – you don’t know who will steal it and when your next meal will arrive!
At Port Lincoln, Zoe is developing her diving skills. Do not be surprised if she comes up with a fish one day!
Someone spread the word around Ron’s nest that he is now an eligible bachelor according to Sassa Bird and the females are coming from hither and yon to try and win his affections. The WRDC nest is turning out to be like Gabby’s. Who knew so many eagles wanted to be streaming cam stars?
She seems to like him! But does he like her?
At the NE Florida nest of Gabby, we await our ‘Queen of the Nest to return’ and guess who is on a branch waiting for her too? V9. It is nearing 1700 when Gabby returns to the nest. Fingers crossed.
Gracie Shepherd caught V9 and Gabby last night getting closer on the branch.
In Louisiana, it has been pitching rain. Louis came to the nest to protect Anna. What a darling.
Except for Zoe, it is all about the eagles right now. There are so many nests. At this time of year as many worry if Gabby will have a mate, if Ron will settle with one of the females, or if you are worrying about Avian Flu, let us stop. I have posted this thirteen minute video before but, it is good to do it again so that we can be reminded that human intervention can save the lives of our birds and it can also help them in being able to return to the wild. We can make a positive difference!
Look at those faces. Oh, I can’t wait to see little eaglets and osplets again!
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their questions, posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘Geemeff’ and ‘V’, KNF A-1, Gracie Shepherd and the NEFL-AEF Bald Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Elain and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Hawk Mountain, Conservation without Borders, The Guardian, and Stockholms Vildfågel Rehab.
It is a bit like a winter fairyland outside if you can stay in and not have to drive. The main City streets are clear but in the country cars have been sliding into the ditch all of Friday. Hopefully no one was injured and…everyone can stay home until the weather improves.
I am having a hard time getting over the fact that someone stomped four beautiful Hen Harrier chicks to their death. It is simply unimaginable. And, yet, cruelty to animals appears to be on the rise. What has happened to us? We pollute our planet til it is gasping for breath and then treat the wildlife that we share it with in disdain. I say ‘we’. Anyone who reads my blog does not harm anything but, how can we cause a sea change in the rest of humanity? Of course, those four chicks are only the tip of the iceberg as evidenced by the listing of 77 Hen Harriers killed or missing (those known) since 2018 when the persecution of the birds was to end. Humans can be very disgusting. One of the latest below. If you wish to follow Dr Ruth Tingay’s blog, Raptor Persecution UK, go to raptorpersecutionuk.org
While the UK is battling this intentional killing, there are serious persecutions of raptors happening throughout the world. No country is immune it seems. What a sadness.
This morning, we need something uplifting and I cannot think of a sweeter sound that little eaglets wanting more bites of prey and being fed by their mum. In this case, it is Muhlady at the Superbeaks nest. You can hear them and see them, finally. That nest bowl is deep! And a good thing. We will not worry about them falling over!
The soap opera continues at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest. It is surely a good thing that Gabby has not laid her eggs yet because it is a revolving door of suitors. Just when we think V3 is the winner – ‘behind door number 3’- he disappears and is missing for 24 hours and then V1 shows up! My question is: will V2 return?
According to ‘J’ who is watching this nest closely, Gabby was not too happy when V1 showed up instead of V2. (Rollin’ Rag is calling this one new but some have identified him as V1). ‘H’ says we need to buy more popcorn!!!!!! Yes, ‘H’, it is the best soap opera in Bird World at the moment. Indeed, I have not ever seen anything like it. Have you?
Here is another announcement – with another sub-adult visitor.
Gabby waits, looking off in the distance. Oh, I would give anything if Samson would fly in!
As Ron waits for Rita to return in the WRDC nest at the Miami Zoo, Rita is busy getting well in the clinic. Here is the latest news form Ron Magill:
The WRDC welcomes any and all donations to help with Rita’s care.
At the Bald Eagle nest on the grounds of Berry College in Georgia, Pa and Missey welcomed their second egg on Friday. Let hard incubation commence. Oh, I hope the snow and ice are not bad this year. Poor Missey is often buried, just like some of the other Mums.
Jackie and Shadow are used to snow and, as we all know, eagles prefer it cooler than hotter. The couple were caught working on their nest in Big Bear Valley today. Lovely to see you Jackie and Shadow.
This is the view of the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest of Nancy and her new mate today.
There is also snow at our favourite US Osprey nest – of Iris in Missoula, Montana. She is the oldest living Osprey that we know of…And we can look forward to her return the first week of April. While it is doubtful there will ever be osplets fledged off this nest again, it is always good to see Iris. Reassuring that everything is right with the world.
Good news coming out of San Jose City Hall. Annie and Grinnell’s 2020 hatch Sequoia is bonding with her mate! on camera!!!!!!!! It doesn’t bring sweet Grinnell back but his amazing personality will hopefully live on in his children and grandchildren!
Grandmother Annie’s ‘new guy’ sure does like to scrape! He’s hoping she will choose him. Let’s wait and see!
In Port Lincoln, Zoe remains on the natal nest and Dad continues to feed his big girl. She flew off the nest to get that fish! Look at that plumage. Zoe is rather magnificent.
A short but very precious video of Indigo lekking.
In the UK, the banning of certain fishing might help to keep some birds from extinction~including the darling Puffin. This is very good news. Now let us just hope that there will be oversight. Perhaps more and more governments will begin to take seriously the needs of our wildlife for food and habitat and begin restricting other fishing and building permits to help protect the sea birds.
Ever wonder what Ospreys do after they fly from their spring and summer breeding grounds to their winter homes? Well, apparently they don’t do much! I became particularly interested in 4K because of Belvoir Castle (pronounced ‘Beaver’ Castle). When I was studying at Leicester University, Belvoir Castle and the Benton Estate were frequent haunts of mine when I needed to clear my head. There were no Ospreys back then so this is very exciting!
Tim Mackrill is giving a free talk on Ospreys. Here is the information:
When I was a student of Dr Klaus Klostermaier, I visited Germany for the first time. It was eons ago. I returned commenting on being able to open the windows and have no ‘bugs’. Manitoba is always awash with mosquitoes. Well, my tutor set me down and gave me a good talking to – you see he grew up in Germany before heading to Rome to become a priest and then to India where he was disavowed. It seems I was quite ‘wet behind the ears’. Germany’s industrial pollution had killed the insects so vital to life. That said, Germany spent considerable effort cleaning up its rivers and I wonder today about the insect population. So a world without insects biting us is not a good world at all!
It is now a week until the Christmas holiday celebrations for some of my readers. Others are celebrating Hanukah which ends on 26 December – right when Kwanza beings. It is a busy time of year.
I have been overwhelmed by the urge – the sheer panic – I see in so many when I go out. They are scampering about like starved mice to buy and buy. In keeping with the notion that the world has too much stuff, we are cancelling presents this year and from now forward. Instead ,we are opting for a simple Vegan pot luck. Today, I also got a fantastic idea to make that potluck even more fun from my friend, Sassa Bird. She is going to teach her friends and family to make bird seed ornaments. What a delightful idea. She is happy for all of us to join in the fun! It is a win-win.
Here is an easy recipe for that very expensive Bark Butter that my garden birds love: 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal, 1/2 cup of oatmeal (either quick or original, it doesn’t matter), 1/2 cup of lard (you need real lard not shortening and you can ask your butcher if you cannot find it), and the last ingredient is 1/2 cup of peanut butter (either smooth or chunky). It should be a wee bit sticky so it doesn’t crumble. I add more peanut butter if I need to. You can smear this on the trunks of trees, you can dip the tops of pine cones in it. One clever way I saw was to roll it in a log and chill it. Then roll it in cranberries. Cut in shapes and place in suet holders. I promise your guests will learn something and all the birds will be grateful. There is not a visitor to my garden that doesn’t love this mixture.
Thank you so very much for being with me today. I hope that all of you are well. I wish you good friendships, some good food, and lots of smiles and laughs as we bring 2022 closer to an end. We are all hoping in Bird World that it will be a better year. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, their videos, their posts, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘H’ and ‘J’ for all the news on NEFL and the giggles, Sassa Bird for the great holiday idea, The Guardian, Tim Mackrill Twitter feed, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, San Jose City Hall, Cal Falcons, Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, MN-DNR Bald Eagle Cam, FOBBV, Berry College Eagles, Ron Magill and the WRDC, NEFL-AEF, Rollin Rag, and Superbeaks.
Friday morning turned out to be a fantastic day to go and check on the birds in a pond in one of the industrial areas of the city. There had been a Great Blue Heron spotted there according to eBird and I hoped to get a glimpse. That beautiful bird and the Lesser Yellowlegs, the Canada Geese, the Mallards, and the gulls did not disappoint.
Then as I was driving around the other side to leave I looked over and saw something ‘white’. It was a beautiful Great Egret wading in the water fishing.
What a lovely way to start the morning! I feel blessed. It is always good for the mind and soul to get out into nature, however long or short one can, and if, by chance, we get to see these beautiful creatures then it is doubly wonderful.
It is also the full moon. Around the world people will be looking up and hoping for clear skies. It is known as the Harvest Moon and is a time of thanksgiving. Many years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Kyoto during the Tsukimi or Moon Viewing Festival. Moon Viewing has been practiced in Japan since the Nara Period from 710-794. One did not look at the moon directly but, rather, observed the moon’s reflection normally in a beautiful pond. Many residences of the aristocracy had moon viewing platforms. Poems were written. Auspicious gifts placed on the tokonama while the flowers, the incense, and the hanging were changed to reflect the move to autumn. I recall stacks of mochi and vases with beautiful sheafs of grain. ‘A’ also reminds me that it is a time for eating dumplings – which we will do later this evening while watching the rabbits pound the mochi in the moon!
Yesterday I reported that Big Red and Arthur’s youngest hatch for the 2022 breeding season had been released on the Cornell Campus. Here is the YouTube video of this fantastic event! Please note that L2 is still on campus and has not left- as believed- and hopefully these two will hook up. They were always best friends.
L4 was spotted on the Campus this morning. She has made herself right at home! Suzanne Arnold Horning got a shot of her with her phone.
The raptors really need our help to spread the word. Making the news today is an Osprey with a balloon tangled around its legs. Don’t wait to get to the state that I am in – chasing after every loose balloon I see – but help educate. Tell everyone you know and ask them to tell 5 friends and family. Soon, the web of knowledge will grow and the birds will be safer.
If you live in this area, please keep your eyes open for this bird. Thank you.
It is sadly that time of year. The Bald Eagles and other birds of prey that eat carrion get lead poisoning because our governments will not outlaw the use of lead in any hunting and fishing equipment! They need to ban the manufacture, remove the supplies off the shelves, and stop this senseless pain, suffering, and death. We know the solution. Tell your elected officials. There are alternatives. ——— Of course, as you know, my alternative is to end the recreational shooting of animals – it is barbaric.
Idris brings his daughter, Padarn, a flat fish for her evening tea. What a fantastic dad he has been to this healthy and robust female that will soon, should the winds blow in the right direction, head off on her migration leaving Dad some time to recuperate from what has to have been a tiring summer with three girls and Telyn to take care of!
Padarn was on the perch for the night.
She was still there on Saturday!
The sun was setting on Loch Arkaig. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if Sarafina is still with us! But there has been no activity on the nest today.
On Saturday Louis was seen on the nest. The last time that Sarafina was seen on the nest was at 0634 on the 9th of September. There have been no visits and no nest calls by Sarafina on Saturday.
Who is home at Glaslyn? It looks like it is Aran and 497. The boys and Mrs G are gone!
Aran is over in the Oak Trees.
497 has been in the nest and on the perch. Aran did not seem to be responding! 497 has had a hard time with siblings and Mrs G around to get some of those fish. Perhaps a few days longer will get this little one in shape to fly if Dad obliges with a nice big breakfast tomorrow!
Talk about beautiful. You can sure tell she is Aran’s offspring. She may have the glare of a female Osprey, but that lovely head turned…that is Aran. Until you see the dark necklace – then Mrs G comes in.
Her dark necklace she gets from Mum, Mrs G.
The nest was empty at dusk.
497 was there on Saturday and Aran was busy bringing her fish!
Xavier convincing Diamond that it is time for her to have her breakfast so he can get some eggie time.
You can see a big change in the Sea Eagles at the Sydney Olympic Park nest. They are standing more on their feet and walking about the nest more. SE29 is really flapping its wings and investigating the branches! Yesterday, SE29 got the fish that Dad had brought to the nest but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Lady took it and fed both!!! ‘J’ wrote that she thought this was the cutest part of it – 29 trying to figure out what to do with the fish! I am grateful she mentioned those moments. You might have seen that instance. I am certain SE30 was delighted when Lady fed both of them.
Look at those nice strong legs. Great wings, too! Developing those muscles. These two are simply precious.
It is fascinating – looking at the nest – how the branches help to camouflage the eaglets.
SE29 will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. What to expect for the next couple of weeks in their development? Their wings will begin to get heavy and you will notice that they will begin to sit with them drooping. There will be more hopping and flapping of their wings and by the end of week 9 they should be able to mantle, hold their food and tear off pieces to eat. They will begin sleeping upright with their head tucked into their wing like the adults. Their feathers will continue to develop all over their body. Watch at the end of the two weeks to see them standing on one leg!
Dad on the ropes and Mum on those three eggs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is the 11th of September in Australia. Do you know what this means? We could be one week from hatch!!!!!!!!!!!
Incubation continues at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne! But there are strange things going on…I wonder how this will turn out.
Mum departed around 0856. Dad came and stayed on the eggs after they had been left for an hour. He stayed about 15 minutes. The eggs were left uncovered for another 43 minutes…and then Mum finally comes and settles down after 2 hours. She then leaves again briefly a little later. This couple appears to have trouble getting their rhythm going…let’s hope it is all worked out by hatch.
Mothering is not always easy, especially the first time!
There are still chicks on one of the Finnish Osprey nests.
CROW provided a really good post today especially with regard to birds and window strike. It is migration season…have a read. Tell your friends and family to turn off their lights and also tell them how to help stunned birds. Thanks so much!
Continuing in our tracking of the Estonian Black Stork family of Karl II, there is no tracking or transmissions for Karl II today.
Bonus remains in Belarus in the same general area of the Priyapat River he has been feeding at. The fish and frogs must be plentiful!
Kaia is still feeding near the Desna River in Ukraine.
Waba is near the Makachinsky Hydrological Reserve which is also in Ukraine like his parents Kaia and Karl II.
Maya and Blue 33’s first hatch of the 2022 season, 1H1, has been seen in Portugal.
From the Archives. Two images today!
First: Can you name this nest? Do you remember the names of the chicks? It was 29 September 2021. Gold stars for anyone who can put the name with the right osplet!
Second: Do you remember the circumstance where these two images were taken?
Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that you have a wonderful start to your weekend. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams that formed my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, Suzanne Arnold Horning, A Place Called Hope, Raptor Educational Group, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Ospreys, BirdCast, CROW, Looduskalender, LRWT, and Cape Wildlife Clinic.
Answer to From the Archives:
First. It is the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum is feeding Bazza (top), Ervie (middle), and Falky (bottom). You can see that the osplets have lost their soft down and are in the Reptilian Phase – looking like dark black crude was poured over them.
Second. This is Arnold and Amelia the bonded pair of Canada Geese. Arnold had its foot injured by a snapping turtle and had to have surgery. It shocked the vets when they heard a tapping on the glass door. There was Arnold’s mate. The vets realized that the pair had to be together. Amelia was allowed to share meals and whenever Arnold was moved outside she would break into the pen to be with him. This was a really learning moment if every wildlife rehabber paid attention ——–do not take one Canada Goose into care without its mate. Many times volunteers pick up the injured one and whisk it off tens of miles away. The remaining one of the couple is ‘lost’ and depressed and sometimes does not eat.
Oh, good morning to you! I hope that your week has been a really good one. I see changes…in the colour of the vines growing up the hydro poles which are now turning a beautiful burgundy and the number of children going down the sidewalks in the morning and afternoon with their backpacks. Truly summer has just about come to an end although the official day for the beginning of autumn is a couple of weeks away. The temperatures are still in the mid-20s C and I am not ready to box up the linen just yet.
It was a gorgeous evening with a nice crisp breeze. The sun was setting and it looked like a Monet painting as it reflected on the pond where the ducks and geese were gathering. To my surprise there were a pair of Loons and about 8 Greater Yellowlegs punching in the soft mud at the edge of the pond for a meal with those long bills.
It is always good to get outside if you can. I remember when my mother fell and broke her hip. She was reluctant to get up and walk again and her doctor was quite stern in his response – “Either use them or loose them!” It is good for me to remember on those days when I would rather curl up with a book instead of getting out in the fresh air. The long hours of book reading and sipping hot tea will be here soon enough!!!!!! It was not a terribly long walk around the pond and blood was given to the mosquitoes! It is a shame that they love to come out at dusk and feed right when all of the migrating birds are landing and settling down for the night.
I want to go back to this location during the day to see the shorebirds better. Wish me luck! There is a chance that a Blue Heron might be there as well.
In the Mailbox:
Question from ‘A’: “I am worried the new mum at Collins Street is inexperienced and this may affect the success of the breeding season. Today, at least 10 days into hard incubation, she left the eggs for nearly two and a half hours. Dad did not arrive to take over. It is a relatively warm but very wet and overcast day in Melbourne, so there was no warming sunshine to maintain egg temperature. How dangerous could such a long gap in incubation be to the developing chicks inside?”
This is a very timely question, ‘A’. Thank you for asking it. There has been quite a bit of concern about the new female at the Melbourne scrape. We learned much and were incredibly surprised about incubation times with Milda at the White-tailed Eagle nest. Her mate died and she stayed on the nest for 8 solid days before seeking food. It was cold and wintery. At one time the two eggs were left for 8 hours and at other times for shorter but considerable time. No one believed they would hatch but hatch the two did. Sadly they did not live because Mum was starving and there was no food even from a male that seemed to want to play Dad. Now these eggs were in a big twig nest that holds heat but the temperatures were much lower than those in Melbourne which are in a scrape. The gravel will hold heat but perhaps not as much as the twig nest. Dr Victor Hurley has stated on FB that an hour and a half will cause no damage at all. I would think that the time she was away is fine but my concern would be if the surface of the eggs were damaged at all by the rain. This can cause undue problems. We wait. There is often a failure for first time parents – in this case just the Mum. Dad and our former Mum worked like clockwork – they were a great team but that takes time to know the other partner well. We will wait but my hope is that only a couple of the eggs develop well as it will be easier for a first time Mum to cope. Many experienced females have difficulty with four!
I found this article on the issues with egg development and incubation that might be helpful:
Question from ‘B’: “Do male Osprey fledglings migrate before female Osprey fledglings?”
That is a fantastic question and I do not have the scientific data at hand to state that the males go first although many believe that this is true. I want to check some data and will get back to everyone on Saturday morning with a data driven answer to this question. The research will be limited to the UK birds because they are ringed and measured. Let’s see what we can find out. Thanks, B!
A rant and a question from ‘J’: “There is a lot of arguing going on over calling the parents of nestlings Mum and Dad at the Melbourne scrape. There is a person telling everyone to stop and use male and female so that we are not anthropomorphizing the birds. What do you think?” Thank you so much ‘J’ for sending me this question. I actually went and found the post and made a comment – something that I do not often do but I feel very strongly about this particular subject and I am happy to address how I ‘feel’ about this!
I get outraged when I see someone jump on another individual for giving human qualities to a non-human. In the study of animal behaviour, anthropomorphizing is attributing human characteristics to non-humans. That is the simple definition. Using words such as joy, grief, embarrassment, anger or jealousy are anthropomorphic terms. Dr Marc Bekoff, an expert in animal behaviour and emotions, and his colleagues use human terms all the time when they are dealing with the emotional lives of animals. “Being anthropomorphic is a linguistic tool to make the thoughts and feelings of other animals accessible to humans.” (123) Bekoff continues, “If we decide against using anthropomorphic terms we might as well pack up and go home because we have no alternatives. Should we talk about animals as a bunch of hormones, neurons and muscles???” (124). “When we anthropomorphize, we’re doing what comes naturally, and we shouldn’t be punished for it. It’s part of who we are.” (125).
Bekoff continues for many pages noting that we observe animals being happy, feeling grief. You have seen these behaviours. Anyone watching a streaming cam of any raptor will, at one time or another, note joy, anger, and all too often, grief. I can still “see” Connie and Clive standing over the dead body of their eaglet who had been flapping and jumping and broke a blood feather. She died of rodenticide poisoning like her younger sister. The blood in the growing feather should have coagulated but it didn’t because someone decided to poison the rats and Clive brought one to the nest. It was an incredibly moving time and Clive never got over the deaths. He left the nest.
We must acknowledge that animals experience joy, passion, grief, and suffering. They feel love and they feel pain. If we fully grasp that the animals and the birds are really no different than we are, then we might stop to think about how we treat them. That would be the beginning of real change in our world. I personally believe that it is our duty to make the planet a better place – to do all that each of us can do to make the lives of non-humans better. If calling them Louis or Sarafina helps to do this then fine. The adults at the Collins Street scrape are parents as we know it. The female is the Mum and the male is the Dad. What in the world does it hurt to call them that!?
The only surviving Osprey chick from the Pitkin County Open Trails platform is now out of ICU and in the flight aviary! What fantastic news. In June, the female pulled her two chicks out of the nest when her talons inadvertently got caught on nesting material entangled with monofilament line. One chick died as the result of the long fall; the other was lucky that passersby took immediate action to get it into care.
Sharon Dunne posted some really good information about issues related to plastic and sea birds today. Thanks, Sharon, for reminding us that humans seem to use the ocean as their garbage can – or as is the case with the UK reporting, as their toilet for releasing raw sewage. We need to clean up our act.
Can you image if this beautiful little Albatross chick was fed that plastic horse? Thankfully the parent seems to have regurgitated it on the ground. It could have killed them also. We want the sea birds to eat fish and squid and not fill up on plastic so they are not hungry and die. That is just horrid.
Fledgling osprey from the UK flies west and gets into a bit of a pickle landing on the RRS Sir David Attenborough west of Sula Sgeir. Thankfully they are heading into port. This youngster will get a second chance to get his flight coordinates set!
Two announcements have come for L4 and L3. The first was for L4 who appears to have done so well that release is now almost at hand. This was followed by a statement that L3 is also a candidate for release at a later date. This is great news. L4 was the first of the four siblings this year to catch its own prey and was a real favourite of many of us. I will never forget the fearlessness when L4 wanted to be first at Mum’s beak and scrambled over the older bigger siblings to get there. If you are wondering — will L4 be fine. Absolutely!
Another raptor has been shot in the UK. This was a Red Kite that was shot at Epping Forest! It is now undergoing extensive rehabilitation and vet treatments. The police are appealing for help in finding the perpetrator.
Sarafina had to go between Louis’s legs to get her tea time fish! ‘B’ reminded me that Sarafina is now 97 days old today (Wednesday), the same age as Vera in 2020 when she fledged. If Sarafina stays on another day, she will have the record for Loch Arkaig’s longest lingering fledgling.
Yes, Sarafina now has the record for the longest lingering fledgling at Loch Arkaig! She may also get the award for tackling Dad with her landings to get the fish he continues to supply.
Padarn now has the record at the Dyfi Nest for the longest lingering fledgling.
Aran still has his entire family at Glaslyn this morning. No sign of anyone thinking of packing their suitcases.
Xavier is really enjoying incubating those eggs in the scrape in Orange. I love how he talks to them in ‘falconese’. Diamond is not always obliging in his requests for ‘eggie time’. Xavier is simply adorable. Oh, let us all hope that there is one great big healthy chick this year like Izzi. And if there are more – let them be healthy too…and let the pigeon population increase so that everyone is full to the brim.
Xavier hoping for some more time with the eggs…
The Sea Eagles are nothing short of gorgeous. They are now almost completely covered with their juvenile plumage. It is SE29 standing. SE30 is still a little lighter at the shoulder and the beard.
Just look at the expressions on their face – so intently watching and taking in ‘something’ outside the nest. Great development.
The Sea Eagle FB page reminds individuals that there is an entire website devoted to the Sea Eagles. There is all kinds of interesting information there. Have a look if you are interested. Here is the link:
Mum has been doing quite a bit of yelling at Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for the last couple of days. Sometimes Dad will slowly eat the fish he has caught and bring her the leftovers….don’t think she is any too happy about that. Maybe if he brings her another big fish she will take it and let him incubate the eggs longer. Could be a good strategy Dad!!!!!!!!!! Just like Xavier, Dad loves time with the eggs in the nest.
Marrum shows her partner, Partney, the second egg of the 2022 breeding season on Tumby Island, South Australia. Congratulations!!!!!!
Rutland has confirmed that all of Manton Bay Ospreys are now officially deemed to be on migration and away from the nest. Here is the announcement with the last image of Maya before she departed. What a grand year it was and what beautiful daughters they raised.
A great article on Osprey migration with maps and dates to answer almost all of your questions and to refresh our memories.
Here is a good article on the tools that scientists use to study bird migrations. Thanks Sharon Dunne for bringing this to my attention!
There is still no tracking data for Karl II who is known to have been in the Kherzon region of Ukraine where the fighting is said to be intense as Ukrainian forces seek to take back the region from Russian forces. There are 2 reports for the 7th of September. Bonus remains in Belarus and we have heard from Kaia who is in Ukraine but appears to have found a good spot to fish.
Kaia did not fly far. She is fishing in the Desna River.
Tweed fledgling positively IDed and photographed on the Iberian Peninsula.
On 1 September at 17:44 Iris stood proudly with her mate, Louis, at the Hellgate Canyon Osprey nest in Missoula, Montana staring straight into the camera. It is one of the most poignant, beautiful, eerie and haunting images (all wrapped up into a lot of emotions) of this year. It felt like goodbye. Is this the last image of the year? I hope not for forever – but that is why it strikes me as so strange. Sealed in our memories in this singular instant is the fact that Iris is happy to stand next to Louis, happy with the way things are, happy with her life. They look beautiful together. If they were humans they would be having this image printed on cards to send to all their friends.
Safe travels dear one…we hope to see you in late March or April.
There have been a lot of questions about the Melbourne scrape and a lot of anxiety amongst viewers. I propose a deep breathe or several and let us wait and see what happens. Not every nest is a success. Xavier and Diamond often lay 3 eggs with only 1 developing and hatching and this could be a good thing for the new Mum in Melbourne. One healthy eyas is a great thing! A blessing. We will continue to keep our eyes on those UK nests for migration but no one appears to be wanting to go on a holiday to the south as yet. We just had a hummingbird in the garden and the rabbit was on the deck eating being protected by the crow who was above it in the bird bath. How beautiful!
Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. Stay safe. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams, their Tweets, etc where I took my screen captures: Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, NZ DOC, Hugh Venables, Cornell Hawks, Raptor Persecution UK, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Friends of Osprey, LWRT, Looduskalender, Conservation without Borders, and Montana Osprey Project.
The families are back at work and the children will be in school. There will be no more loud yelps when a grasshopper has been found and checked off the list of treasures in the ‘Nature Scavenger Hunt’ at the nature centre or toddlers trying to pull the tails of the ducks. It will be quiet.
it was 26 degrees C on a sunny Sunday afternoon as I set about trying to find that dear wee duckling at Ft Whyte. Originally there were two. I did not see the second one today either when I went around the final bend but I did find the tiny one sleeping in the sunshine. Now that the water level is falling all manner of little islands are appearing in the ponds. They are nice places for ducks to sun themselves in the middle of the day.
The wee darling even had its eyes closed. You can see the downy fluff on its back. I am so worried that the feathers are not developing correctly – a little bit like Yurruga last year at the Orange scrape of Diamond and Xavier. Will they fill in, I wonder.
Have you had experience with ducklings? Can you offer advice. The little one has grown since I was there a couple of days ago.
Sibley tells us that the wing feathers of the Mallard require 60 days to fully grow so that the duck can adequately fly. This little one is about 3 weeks old or 21 days – the closest I can guess from my visits and seeing it – at the nature centre. We need 40 more days. This duckling will make it. That would be the 15th of October! Help me cheer it on.
This beauty looks so gorgeous in the sun between the springs of plants. I love how the tail feathers are fanned out and look like lace with a beautiful satin blue ribbon trimmed with black and white. Mallards are lovely. The more I see them, the more special they become.
All of the ducks seem to have been eating rather well and filling out. They will need all of that energy for their long flights.
The plants are beginning to change adding some oranges, reds, and browns to the green leaves. The ducks can melt into the landscape if you do not look closely. These three were characters. Just look at their crops, especially the one facing us nearly straight on. Well fed I would say!
Sometimes it is nice to be able to look down and see the gorgeous orange legs paddling – it means that the water is no longer murky. This duck seemed to be smiling at me.
This one was tucked up nice and tight on one of the islands. It took some time to see her.
One of the silliest things that happened today was between two Canada geese. They were both on the boardwalk. On stayed put while I tried, as quietly as I could, to pass. The other decided to walk in front of me going around the corner out of sight of its partner. They then started ‘talking’ to one another. This went on for nearly 6 minutes without either moving to go to the other…I left to go and check on the wee duckling that I had spotted ahead of me. I wonder if those geese are still honking?
This morning I woke to the alarm calls of the three Crows in the garden and sure enough, there was the cat – and the rabbit. They are protecting little Hedwig by calling me out to chase the cat away. I do wish that people would be responsible for their pets.
In the Inbox:
‘J’ wrote to tell me the story of the two Sea Eagles and the fish tail. I had not seen it. ‘J’ said, very appropriately, “It seemed more educational for them both than anything.” I missed this specific occasion and I am terribly grateful that ‘J’ gave me the time stamp because I was able to catch a few minutes of SE29 and SE30 doing some friendly exchanges with that tail – they even got a few nibbles of fish, too!
‘R’ writes: Why do the Magpies continually dive bomb the sea eagles? Anyone who has been watching the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest will have seen the most recent attacks by the Magpies on the Sea Eagle nest. There will be others such as Boo Book Owl, too. The Magpies have their own nests. It is believed that there are about 50 breeding pairs of Magpies in the forest. The Sea Eagles are the top predator in the forest. The Magpies have no hope when it comes to a challenge with them but they dive bomb them hoping if they are such a nuisance the eagles might leave the forest. Of course they will not! That said, the smallest owl has inflicted injury to Lady in the past. They are silent when they attack and have hit Lady and hurt her eye. You might also have seen the Great Horned Owls attacking the SWFlorida eagle nest of M15 and Harriet. The GHOWs are formidable enemies to the eagles but Boo Book is so much smaller. Still he can do harm and any of them might want a tasty eaglet for dinner. The sea Eagles must be careful with the owls. The Magpies are a nuisance to the adults but can and do drive the youngsters from the forest when they fledge, like the Pied Currawong do. You will often see larger predators being constantly attacked by smaller birds. The Mockingbirds continually follow Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus.
‘A’ asks: “Why don’t the Osprey parents just kick their fledglings off the nest or stop feeding them?” That is a great question and I am certain that there are a lot of people wondering the same thing. I am going to use the term that is often employed ‘good parents’, if you will excuse me for that. The goal of the breeding season is to raise healthy chicks and to either increase the population of the species or, as one researcher noted, hope to have a replacement for each parent when they die. Not feeding the chicks or kicking them off the nest is counter to all of that. The adults might begin to limit the feedings encouraging independence but the chicks will depart for their own territories or for migration when they are strong enough. When that day comes, nothing will hold them back! Until then, ‘good parents’ continue to feed their chicks as best they can while also building up their own strength. Louis and Idris are great examples. Everyone has left but Sarafina and Padarn. They will continue to feed their girls until such time as they leave. Both are excellent dads. Aran and Mrs G are doing the same. None of the fledglings have left. Fish is continually supplied. Mrs G would normally leave before the fledglings. Let’s keep an eye out and see what happens.
Padarn is one of the most beautiful fledglings I have seen!
You may recall that Loch Garten’s Osprey chick 1C1 died after being unwell for several days. It was believed that she had an infection and it was confirmed today through the necroscopy that it was a case of salmonella. It is unclear how the little osprey got salmonella.
Do you know the term ‘war wilding’? Ukraine re-flooded the Irpin River so that the Russian army could not get to Kyiv. What is fascinating to me is that this has created a wonderful wetland for the birds that could last for years creating new opportunities out of war.
The author cites cases where warWilding has been used to create biodiversity hotspots and bring new hope for wildlife such as in Mozambique but, he also tells us how this can be turned against wildlife – when water is drained to cause harm to people and, as a result, to the birds and animals. It is a good read. Check it out when you have time. There is a link to another very good paper within the article on the same topic, if you are interested.
There is a new book, Peregrines in the City by Andrew Kelly and Dean Jones. Do you recognize the scrape? More to follow after I have had a chance to read this book on such an interesting topic!
It appears that there might be only one Osprey nest in the entire UK that has both adults and all the fledglings still at home. That is the nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales.
The sun is just starting to show. You can hear the songbirds, the cows mooing, and the sheep bleating. One chick is already fish calling!
It might have been the one that was calling from the perch as the sun was setting on Monday!
It has been a wonderful year for Aran and Mrs G, one that certainly made up for the loss of their three nestlings last year and Aran’s injury. Everyone is really healthy and getting strong.
At the Charles Sturt scrape box on the campus at Orange, we will be on pip watch for the first of Xavier and Diamond’s eggs on the 29th of September with hatch watch from 1-3 October. Mark your calendars!
Handsome Xavier got some eggie time!!!!!!!!!
If pip watch is the 29th for the Orange Peregrine falcons, then we have to be checking on the Melbourne falcons earlier. I am going to mark my calendar for the 23rd for pip watch at 367 Collins Street!
At Port Lincoln, if all goes to plan, we are less than 2 weeks away from the first hatch!!!!!!!!!! In the meantime, Dad had everyone a little anxious when he brought a live whole fish on to the nest for Mum’s breakfast. Let us all hope that the eggs are OK.
At the Sea Eagles nest, it looks like an eel was brought in – or was it a fish? – at 1330.
In Florida, Samson has delivered at least one stick to start rebuilding the nest in NEFlorida and Harriet and M15 have returned to the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers.
Blue 022 fooled everyone. Believed to have left for his migration after his family, he shows up at another platform in Poole Harbour. Is he scouting for another nest after the goshawk attack? or just resting?
No tracking news for Karl II. It could be that his tracking signal is being jammed as he is in the location of Cherson (Kherzon), Ukraine. Bonus is still in Belarus near the River Pryjpat. Kaia flew a short distance but remains near the Desna River in Ukraine. Waba is between two rivers, the Buzhok and Slutsch. Please keep this beautiful Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia in your warmest thoughts.
From the Book Stack:
Bill McGuire’s, Hothouse Earth. An Inhabitant’s Guide, minces no words when it comes to the destruction of our planet and the inability of anyone to stop the warming. McGuire is Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College, London. He accepts neither climate deniers or climate doomists and insists that we must be prepared for what is currently happening and for what will come in the future. We have not been able to halt the 1.5 degree C rise in temperature that was thought to be the tipping point. “How Bad can things get?” is a complex and intertwined question surrounding the relationship of the climate, the natural world, and human society and economics. McGuire says, “…what we can be certain of is that climate breakdown will be all-pervasive. Insidiously worming its way into every corner of lives and livelihoods, no one, anywhere – not even the tech billionaires in their guarded redoubts – will be immune” (143). He warns against all of the geoengineering methodologies and climate hakes being proposed including volcanic cooling and the refreezing of the poles. Instead, McGuire is very pragmatic. If we want to limit the worst effects of climate chaos til the end of the century, then there are some things that humans must do immediately: 1) methane emissions is a top priority; 2) the scraping of subsidies for the oil and gas industry; 3) the ceasing of new exploration licenses for gas and oil must stop forthwith; 4) banks must be made not to invest in gas and oil ventures; 5) damaged and desecrated land must be restored by reforestation and rewilding; 6) progressive phasing out of beef and dairy farming; 7) the restoring of peatlands and wetlands – places that store more carbon; 8) cutting back on flying and shipping consumer goods around the planet; 9) massive investment in home insulation and green domestic energy. I note that he questions the cost and value of electric vehicles (replacing world’s 1 billion fossil fuel vehicles, the lithium farming, etc) and focuses instead on green public transportation, journey based car pools, and car shares and more cycling and walking. ————Of course, it is not just humans that are impacting by the escalating heating of the planet but our beloved wildlife – and our dearest feathered friends, many who are struggling now. McGuire says his intention is to frighten people into the reality of what we are facing.
Tomorrow a look at Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behavior.
Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to hear from so many of you. Stay safe. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their tweets, postings, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Dyfi Ospreys, Loch Garten RSPB Abernathy, The Guardian, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, SWFlorida Eagle Club, and the Birds of Poole Harbour.
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.
Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?
I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.
Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!
Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.
Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.
As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.
I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.
Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.
Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.
Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!
The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.
Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!
The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.
The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”
In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.
It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.
Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!
Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.
Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.
The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.
Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.
The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.
The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up
Waba is on the perch.
Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!
Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.
The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?
The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*
Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.
He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.
Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.
There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.
Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:
The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.
Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!
If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.
Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.
I never do well with Daylight Savings Time. Never. So I am late getting started on my blog this morning and have an appointment. This will be a quick view of some news and a couple of nests we have been watching.
It was Laddie LM12 that I tried to get you to see on top of the Silver Birch at the Loch of the Lowes. He is on the nest this morning getting it ready for the arrival of NC0!
Laddie, you are very handsome and you are looking good. You had a good migration. Positive wishes for Blue NC0 to arrive soon!
One of the things that I like about the Scottish Ospreys is that no one is allowed on the trails on or on the lake from the time breeding season starts til the end of September. Nothing to disturb the wildlife. After that non-powered boats – think canoes – can go on the water. That is fantastic. I wish other places would adopt that practice.
Rutland Water has announced seeing one bird but they have not IDed it yet. eBird shows major Osprey activity with birds flying north out of Spain! They are on the move.
Andy isn’t quite as busy with the fish at Captiva Osprey nest this morning but he has already brought in three deliveries before 10:00. They came at 07:35, 08:33, and 09:27 which was fed to the osplets at 09:31.
These deliveries are going to go a long way to return this nest to the calm that it had earlier. Little is eyeing the fish and has already eaten some and Big has turned around and is full. Life is good.
The three at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta are also doing well. As far as I could tell with the bobbling grey heads and big little eagle eyes, all of the babies ate.
Proud couple. They had to fight off the Ravens yesterday again. It is good that Cheta is staying close to the nest for security.
Peeking out first thing in the morning.
“I want some fish!” Oh, gosh, they are so cute with their hair all sticking up on their heads and those big eyes. The third one has to wake up. It is on the far left.
These parents feed these kids so fast. Some eagles are slow and methodical. Thunder is “here, eat it quick!”
Sleepy head is waking up.
Here you go.
I think it is Big that just woke up, Little, and then Middle on the right.
The Finnish Osprey cam at Saakset is now on line. The Osprey are not expected home until at least the 22nd but they are ready. Laddie is 8 days early!
Look for a comprehensive report this evening! Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, and West End Bald Eagles.
Gracious. Andy is sure hauling in the fish. There have been 9 fish deliveries at the Captiva Osprey nest before 14:30!!!!!! Needless to say everyone has eaten well and all chicks are sporting blood feathers, tail feathers, and contour feathers. It is a good day at Captiva. Lena is even looking much refreshed.
It is busy at the West End Nest of Thunder and Akecheta. The newness of parenthood has not worn off Cheta. He is bringing in fish, brooding babies, and being security guard. The third hatch had its first taste of fish juice, saliva, and fish flake at 11:28. There it is in the image below.
Thunder and Cheta with their three babies on a beautiful California morning. This just puts a smile on my face! Beautiful.
Here is a video of the third chick getting its first meal from Thunder and one of the older siblings doing a great poop shot. Its plumbing is definitely working!
There is now going to be no time to rest. The UK Ospreys are arriving and it looks like the first one at a streaming cam is Laddie, LM12, at the Loch of the Lowes nest! So Laddie is here on 13 March. Last year he arrived on the 21st of March. He is eight days earlier than in 2021. Last year Laddie and NC0 raised two beautiful chicks to fledge. NC0 arrived on 25 March last year.
To see the Osprey you need to go to the lettering at the top. Stop at the ‘c’ in camera and looking down. Laddie is sitting in his favourite spot on the very top of the dead Silver Birch tree.
Here is the link to the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Cam:
I was expecting Blue 33 and Maya to be the first to return! That nest looks very empty. I cannot wait til they get back. They are one of my absolute favourites of the UK nests.
There is a new camera at the Loch Garten nest in Scotland. Here is the link:
Loch Garten holds a very special place in the heart of Osprey lovers in the UK. In the 1950s, a pair of Ospreys settled on the nest and began breeding. It was then the very first nest to have a breeding pair after the ospreys were made extinct in the UK. Indeed, the pair returned to the ancient Caledonian forest, part of Abernethy Forest Wildlife Reserve, near Aviemore, in 1959. It was a perfect place for Ospreys. There were lochs, rivers and estuaries full of fish. There is a little paperback that tells the story of the nest and the return of the Ospreys to the UK. It is Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey by Helen Armitage.
There are high hopes for attracting a new breeding pair to the fine new nest that has been erected for them!
Talk about hoping to have a new breeding pair. The folks at Poole Harbour cannot wait for CJ7 the resident female who did not have a mate and Blue 022, a male who courted her last year, to return and raise chicks on CJ7’s nest. It this happens it will be the first time in 200 years that an Osprey chick has hatched at the site! Incredible.
Turning back to North America, everyone is on pins and needles waiting for Iris, the oldest osprey in the world, to return to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. No one expects Iris to raise chicks. Her mate, Louis, has another nest that he cares for. I have a soft spot for Iris and feel that at 29 years old it is time she enjoyed her summer holiday. Raising chicks is a lot of work and really diminishes the health of the mother who loses approximately 30% of her weight.
Each of the three chicks at the Dale Hollow nest of River and Obey had a good feed around 11:28ish. Even Little Bit. They all stood in line and were very good as River fed them.
The wee one is doing well. The two older siblings are generally well behaved towards it – such a relief.
You can see that the snow is really melting as we see more and more of the edge of the nest. All of the babies are having a nice sleep in the warm sunshine.
I happened to look over at the Captiva nest. Andy just delivered the 10th fish of the day and it is a nice one. Little Bob is really enjoying this fish. Everyone is being civil and the kids are stuffed to their eyeballs…It is 15:48. Look at Little Bob open his mouth wide for delicious fish. Big is not paying him any mind at all. Food security is back in the mind of Big. Yippeeee. And well it should.
little Bob is still up near the table. Big looks like she has eaten so much she is going to get sick.
Little says there is room for more Mum!!!
What a beautiful image. All three chicks so full that they are passing out in food comas and Lena is getting some nice fish to herself. It just puts tears in your eyes. This nest has had a few really rocky days but today is one for the record books.
Every nest is doing really well. That is just wonderful. We can all rest easy tonight. Here is a sweet moment at the nest of Jackie and Shadow. Keep your eyes on the little one.
Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB Pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Loch Garten, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Rutland Wildlife Trust, and West EndBald Eagles.
It has been a bit of a day in the bird and wildlife world. Coming hot on the heels of the banning of trail hunting on Natural Resources Wales land and the National Trust properties in the UK, the State of Washington in the US has suspending bear hunting. It was well known that the adults were killed right when they came out of hibernation leaving cubs to fend for themselves, often dying. People, like you and me, called for these archaic practices to halt. The government listened. Remember that because every person can make a difference! You want hunting suspended in your state or province, phone and find out who to talk to. Write an informed letter. Demand change. Ask like-minded people to join you.
I am not going to start off with the streaming cams just yet. It was a grey damp day – with a little sunshine at times – on the Canadian prairies. The garden was full of birds, mostly sparrows and some Starlings. Mr Blue Jay came and went quickly. He does not seem to like the frozen corn cob. And, of course, there was Dyson & Company, along with Little Red.
All these years I have pondered the sheer amount of ‘bird’ seed that we go through in a week. It is true that there are normally 250-300 birds singing and eating daily but, how much can they eat? It appears that not all that new seed – seedless chipped sunflower and peanuts – is going to birds!
Dyson didn’t like the frozen corn either and didn’t bother to even take it for later. He has discovered how to vacuum out that new bird seed. I think I now know who broke my other feeder. Dyson has no shame. He lives to eat.
Dyson looks a little thinner in the image above but the one below is more of a likeness of this little one. Dyson brings us so much joy that we are thrilled he is healthy going into what might be a very bad winter.
With Dyson occupied on the sunflower/peanut feeder, it meant that Little Red could sneak on the tray feeder and eat all the cashews, fruit, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. If you are wondering, yes, the birds and animals possibly eat better than I do! Little Red is so cute.
Little Red lives in the penthouse. It is a ‘shed’ the size of a garage that is taxed like it is a new garage by our City. We haven’t had the heart to evict the little fellow even thought he fills everything up with Maple seeds and knocks everything off its hooks and generally makes a complete mess of the space.
There were a few European Starlings still in the garden. They will migrate returning next April but they are lingering just like some of the ducks and the Northern Cardinals. Who knows? Maybe they know what winter will be like better than anyone. They certainly have enjoyed eating the suet cylinder.
Others felt like Black Oil Seed today.
Isn’t she cute with her rosey legs and slightly pink tinted beak? Female house sparrows get short shift in the bird guides. It is a pity. They are quite lovely.
Last year I planted Scarlett Runner Beans and at the end of the summer the sparrows went wild shredding all of them and eating the greenery. What you are looking at below is a Flame Willow shrub. In winter the branches are red – super beautiful in a world of grey, white, and beige. There is some little vine or plant growing on that shrub. The sparrows have discovered it and they are doing the same thing – shredding and eating. Has anyone seen this behaviour?
And now back to the streaming cams for a quick update.
Port Lincoln Osprey Barge: By 09:30, three fish had been delivered to the nest. Bazza initially got the first fish when it arrived at 06:23. Ervie took it away from him. Bazza did nothing to try and get it back. Falkey got the 06:49:38 fish. The third fish arrived at 09:11:09 and Falkey got it, too. Ervie had a huge crop. He wasn’t bothered. Yesterday Cilla Kinross of the Orange Peregrine Falcons said that “Shrinking violets will not last long in the real world.” Bazza is hungry and he needs to challenge his brothers despite that he might be fearful of another incident like he had with Ervie.
Falkey has the fish. Bazza is crying to Mum and Ervie with his big crop is looking out to sea on the right. Will Mum take the fish and feed Bazza?
The White Tailed Eagle Nest in Durbe, Latvia. Milda and Mr L were at the nest working on more renovations. It was getting ready to rain and the image is a little ‘foggy’. Sorry about that. It is nice to see Milda. I hope that this will be a successful year for her after the tragedy of spring 2020.
The Minnesota DNR has turned on its Bald Eagle cam. Here is a video of that amazing couple – the sub-adult male who fathered his first chicks at the age of four last year – and the older female. This video was made on 18 November. It looks like Dad has his adult plumage this year! How wonderful. He will have turned 5.
Cornell Red Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca. The camera has been frozen for awhile. I wrote to the Cornell Bird Lab to inform them and to also ask them if there have been any confirmed sightings of Big Red since the last one on 16 October. I will keep you informed.
Annie and Grinnell. I have not seen any updates. As well, nothing on the WBSE juvenile.
You might remember Tiny Little Bob from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. That little one is a fine example of a third hatch so tiny everyone thought it would die and well, she became the dominant bird on the nest. Her number is Blue 463. I am watching all of the announcements for her arrival in warmer climates. Today, however, the 2016 hatch from Foulshaw Moss, male Blue V8, was spotted in Tanji Marsh in The Gambia. He was seen there in January 2021 and was in Cumbria during the summer of 2021. This is the good news you want to hear. Survival.
And on that wonderful sighting, I will close. Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. Stay safe. Thank you so very much for joining me.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Latvian Fund for Nature, Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and to Lady Hawk for her video on the arrival of the two Bald Eagles to the MN DNR nest.