Bird World Happenings

For those of you hoping for a second hatch at Diamond and Xavier’s scrape box, it is not to be. Either the eggs were not viable or the second chick died trying to hatch. What we have, however, is one really healthy eyas whose eyes will open in the next few days and what a delight that will be. One healthy baby is just fine!

A video was made of one of the chick’s feedings. I cannot wait til it can see its parents! How wonderful.

It is pitching down rain in Port Lincoln. Mum and the three osplets are absolutely soaked to the core.

Mum is the best. She is trying as hard as she can to keep her three babies from catching a chill. Sadly, Melbourne’s weather says it is to have rainy periods through Saturday. I do hope the nest gets a chance to dry out for this incredible Osprey family.

To my knowledge no breakfast has come in yet. Mum is really tired and would appreciate the sleep. She has a smelly wet pillow!

It is an hour later and Mum is beginning to dry out just a little. Hopefully Dad will be in with a fish soon.

The Melbourne Four have already had three meals today – before 8:30! These parents are working overtime. It has to be exhausting. Look how big that little one is and how big its crop is. These four are also healthy and strong. Well done Mum and Dad.

Skipping over to the US, those who fell in love with Anna and Louis during their first year as Bald Eagle parents will be excited to know that the streaming cam is up and running. Here is the link to that nest at Lake Kincaid in the Kisatachie National Forest. Last year, Anna and Louis had one eaglet fledge, Kisatachie. It was wonderful to watch the parents grow into their roles as parents. One time Louis was so eager to provide food early on that he had 18 fish in a pile. I can sure imagine quite a few nests that would have liked some of that! Kisatchie grew big and strong and honoured this old Bald Eagle nest that had not had an eaglet hatch or fledge in 13 years. Incredible.

Cody, Steve and the gang are handling the chat to answer any of your questions.

I have not checked on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia for some time. There is some troubling news, perhaps. regarding Julge. This latest report is on Birdmap.

“In the morning September 8, Julge crossed border between Germany and Belgium and from next overnight there was not long distance up to France border, anymore. 20-30 km, depends in what direction Julge continues migration. But perhaps, there is time to improve energy sources? Interesting, if quarry is good place to find food for stork…. Anyway, Julge flew south in September 12. That means France is next country Julge visits. And stayed in a village called Saint-Hilaire-le-Petit. Nor dare not fear the closeness of people. He could be seen picking up insects from the lawn in the parking lot of the nearby Pontfaverger supermarket … But on the afternoon of September 21, Julge flew some 30 km in direction of Paris. On 22 September, Julge reached a stopover between Paris and Reims, where the latest data were received on the morning of 25 September. Next behaviour of Julge is unknown. A local newspaper is also involved in the searches of Julge.”

You can check the migration status of the Ospreys, Black Storks, White-tailed Eagles, Eurasian Cranes, and the Lesser Spotted Eagles here:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

I also wanted to check on Karl II and his three children and on their migration status.

First is Udu. This is from the Forum: “It is now becoming unlikely that Udu will find/follow the ‘usual’ eastern migration route, I fear. All other options to cross the Mediterranean Sea are far more complicated, difficult and dangerous. Unless Udu will winter in southern Italy, or in Greece?” Udu is now in Kosovo.

Here is the map showing the three members of the family: Karl II, his daughter, Pikne, and son, Udu . They are making wonderful progress!

You can follow the Black Stork family whose nest was in the Karula National Forest in Estonia here:

This was just a quick check on the developments at the Orange Australian scrape box of Xavier and Diamond. I am certain that chatters and followers would loved to have seen two eyases hatch but, it was not to be. We can, however, wait with wonder to see the little one open its eyes and see its parents for the first time – and grow, thrive, and fledge. Send positive wishes for a fish to arrive at the PLO and for the rain to let up so the nest can dry.

Thank you for joining me. It will get chilly on the Canadian Prairies tonight – down to 4 C. It will certainly feel more seasonal. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or Forums where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, the Latvian Fund for Nature, the Estonian Eagle Club, and BirdMap.

Wednesday in Bird World

Lady Hawk has posted some close ups of the Royal Albatross cam chick, Tiaki, doing some wing exercises. Tiaki is all grown up, a beautiful juvenile, the daughter of LGL and LGK. She will fledge soon beginning her five or six year journey at sea – never touching land – til she returns to the headland to begin finding a mate. Perhaps one day Tiaki’s chick will be the Royal cam chick. I do hope so. It will mean that the seas are safer places for our beautiful squid eating birds.

“Masked Bobwhite (female ) (subspecies of Northern Bobwhite) | BANWR | AZ | 2016-04-15at07-43-413” by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Audubon Society has posted some really good news. The Masked Bobwhites are once again seen in southern Arizona. They were believed to be on extinct or on the edge of extinction because of cattle grazing in the Arizona deserts. Today they are listed as ‘critically endangered’.

They are a small round quail. When I was a child, we would travel to visit relatives in Arizona every summer. Oh, was it hot! But there were always Bobwhites. It is nice to hear that they are now returning.

This photo was taken on the 10th of September. I wrote about it at the time because in migration news, this is great. The son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 at the Pont Cresor nest in the Glaslyn Valley – and the grandson of Monty and Glesni – had reached Brittany. That was 12 days ago. He would now be further on his migration, perhaps stopping in Spain. The photo of Blue 494 was taken by Colette Leclerq.

Photo by Colette Leclerq, Brittany France

Speaking of migration and waiting and wanting news of Blue 464, it is more than time to check on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia.

First up, Karl II, his daughter Pikne, and his son Udu. They are from the Black Stork nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia. This map is taken from the Karl II migration pages of the Forum.

Udu is now in Hungary near the fishponds at Banhalma. Karl II remains around Kherson Oblata in the Ukraine. Pikne has doubled back and remains in Moldova. What I think is interesting about this map is that Udu has turned and is heading towards the Asia Minor route. There was a question as to whether he might go the western route to Africa but it seems he will be flying over Greece.

This is the data from BirdMap. You can access the BirdMap here:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

I was wanting to see about the Black stork Julge. He is Jan and Janika’s only surviving chick this year. He is now in france. You can see him still heading over the westerly routing.

The birds that are in the centre of Africa are two Ospreys!

So far everything looks in order and everyone is still safe.

I cannot bring you a late afternoon update on the Port Lincoln Ospreys. The camera was frozen for most of the day and has just returned to normal. Mom has the kids covered tight. It is only 8 degrees at 16:00 with winds blowing over the water at 11 kph.

I can show you a bit of what a beautiful day it was on the Canadian prairies. I really need to practice with my camera and my tripod. These are some images today taken at a distance of about 68 metres. I found the tripod tricky to use – I need a counterbalance for it – so these are all hand held. The set up was heavy. But there were a few passable images.

A female Mallard. This species is very common in Manitoba. They have, on occasion, fooled me so I have had to go to our local eBird expert. This is a real beauty.

The Canada Geese would like the entire pond to themselves. They swim after and honk as they pursue the ducks.

There is your dabbling duck. She knows that goose is there but is trying to ignore it.

The park was just beautiful. It was 25 degrees today. One of the fountains was not working and that end of the pond had men working. Still the geese on the other side were a bit curious.

All of the Wood Ducks were either up on the islands or down by the fountain that was working. This is a female and she is such a cutie. I sat and watched her swim in and out of the water droplets for quite awhile.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow is a day away chasing shore birds. I hope to have a posting tomorrow evening (Thursday). Take care everyone. Stay safe. Stay Positive!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Ospreys, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia, BirdMap, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Thursday in Bird World

Everyone that I know either loves to see an Osprey fish or they wish they had the opportunity to do so. This is one of the best two minute videos I have ever seen showing the physical stamina that the male needs to land his fish and get it out of the water for the family. Look at it closely.

John Williams kept a list of the fish that Dylan brought to the nest for Only Bob, Blue 496. That was the Lyn Clywedog Nest. There were 354 fish seen at the nest including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and 10 Grey Mullet. This is for one chick and his mate. I wonder how this number of fish increases for nests of more than one chick? Does anyone know?

Last night, at 18:15, the Dad at the PLO Barge brought in a nice fish. He had eaten the head off. Mum proceeded to provide three feedings to the Osplets between then and 22:15. After the last feeding, she ‘hid’ the fish. Lots of times the fish are hidden to keep insects off. In some countries, the fish buried in the strawy nests stay fresher. I am thinking of the White Tailed Eagles in Latvia. Or maybe she did want to hide it from Dad!

One thing that we always need to remember is that video from the beginning. The male’s role is often forgotten in terms of its importance.

The Osprey nests ONLY succeed when the male is in tip top condition. Tiger Mozone made that point last night on the PLO chat. The nest will fail if the male is not a good fisher or is in poor physical condition. The male must eat. How could he keep up his strength otherwise? Dad eats first and brings the remainder to the nest. Eating the head – which might be the best part (I doubt it) – might also stop that fish from flapping (it doesn’t always). So do not begrudge the male a meal – cheer him on. We need the male healthy so he can exert the type of energy it takes to catch the fish. Many say it is 8 to 15 tries to get a fish. That is a lot of diving. Of course, we also hope that there are lots of fish around the surface for the male to catch.

This image has been circulating. I have no idea who took it, where it originated but it was in my inbox awhile ago sent from a friend. Thanks ‘M’.

The next time you look at the legs of the males – think strength. They do not need a gym membership!

Dad on the ropes eating the head of one of the fish he brought in.
The 3 Bobs stand at attention if they are hungry. This is an image after that fish was delivered.

The little ones at the PLO nest need bites of fish often now. Like I said, Mom fed them at 18:15 and then twice again before bedtime. In 2 weeks time they will need more fish. It is important that the 2-3 week period be stable with deliveries. This will be a big growth period.

This was at 18:15:54. It is less than a minute after the fish delivery. I am including this image so you will then notice how those three get to attention when it is feeding time.

In 30 seconds, they have all turned around and gotten in line. Well done, little ones.

The last feeding of the day. They look like they are singing!

It has been some days since I checked on the Black Stork family of Karl II and Kaia whose nest is in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The current tracking is for Karl II, Pikne, and Udu.

Udu is now in Hungary. The comment on the forum is that Udu seems to have an affinity for finding good fishing spots.

I like this map the best as it shows Karl’s family plus Jan and Janika’s Julge. Julge is the purple. You might recall that he got on a ship and went the wrong direction but righted himself and is now taking the Western route to either southern Spain and Portugal or on to Africa. I wonder if he will stop in Spain?? Karl II is near to where he was when I last checked on him. Near the Black Sea in the Ukraine. A great stopping off spot it seems.

While a few days might not change Karl II’s trajectory that much, it sure has changed the plumage of the White Bellied Sea Eaglets 27 and 28. Wow. They are gorgeous. And, yes, Toni Castelli-Rosen, they are as pretty as the Red Tail Hawks! Indeed, I have had to admit to Toni that they are double gorgeous. I love the plumage on these juveniles.

The last time Aran was seen was Tuesday morning so he might have left on his migration. The Glaslyn Valley will be waiting for him next year. Isn’t it gorgeous? I understand they are leaving the camera on all winter. Wow. What a treat.

It is not clear if Iris has left Missoula, Montana yet. There were photographs of an Osprey on Iris’s favourite branch eating a fish on 12 September. That was four days ago. Did she leave without saying goodbye to her nest? Maybe. Tiaki, the Royal Cam chick, had a feeding today (LGL) and Tiaki is still on Taiaroa Head. Samson has been bringing in sticks and him and Gabby are working on the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me today. I had hoped to do a quick check on all the nests but the long drive in the rain was exhausting. I will do that this weekend. Stay safe everyone. Check out the trio at the PLO Barge. They are darlings.

Thank you to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, the Eagle Club of Estonia and BirdMap for their streaming cam and FB pages.

Taiki to get GPS tracker

It is 9 September in Australia. My computer tells me that it is 17:34 on the Canadian Prairies on the 8th of September. In three hours, around 20:00. CDT, the NZ DOC rangers will fit Tiaki with the tracker. She is 228 days old and could fledge any time.

Here is the link so that you can watch. Both LGL and LGK were fitted with trackers. LGK’s is still working providing valuable information on where the adults forage for food for their chicks.

In other nest news, it has been confirmed that Z2 (Aeron) and his family have now all departed for migration. Aeron’s nest is the Pont Cresor in Glaslyn. At the same time, Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Many worry about his late spring wing injury but, he most often doesn’t leave until mid-September.

Wales issued a statement that due to the cold spring weather and misfortunes, their six nests produced only six chicks to fledge.

9 October is one of Cornell’s big bird submission dates. This year they are even calling it October Big Day. They want everyone to do a bird count around the world. Mark it on your calendar. I will give you more details closer to the day.

eBird submissions are very helpful. Some recent discoveries, sadly, include bird and plane collision information.

A photo of an adult Osprey yesterday leads everyone in Missoula to think that Iris is still in Montana. The image was taken from the Owl Pole Camera.

Let’s chick on where the Black Storks are today.

Pikne is in Moldova.

Udu is in Southwest Poland.

Udu’s area is full of lakes!

There was no data update for Karl II.

Julge, the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika, has made its way through Germany and looks like he is flying into France. This stork picked the Western Route! Julge is the purple line going into Belgium. It is nice to know he is safe.

The last time that Big Red and Arthur’s K1 and K3 were spotted was 3 September. If they are truly gone and starting their own lives, we wish them and those that are migrating good winds, food, and safe landings.

My original computer issue was fixed but now it seems that some of the keys are sticking. It isn’t fun to keyboard. I will leave you with a couple of images of ducks and geese from my excursion to the park today. It was quiet. Everyone was off tracking down a Green Heron that had flown into town!

A juvenile male Wood Duck.
Juvenile Female Wood Duck
Adult male Wood Duck,moult
Canada Geese

Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to drop in and see Tiaki get her tracker! My hope is that it is equipped with a 7 year battery. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Montana Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and BirdMap.

The little osprey

It has been several weeks since I travelled to check on the two osprey chicks in their nest at Grand Beach Provincial Park. A friend sent me word on Tuesday that the two chicks were still at the nest with mom. Circumstances kept me away until today. It was a bright sunny day with no chance of rain – seemed like the perfect chance to go and have a last visit with the osprey family if they were still home.

Manitoba is a summer breeding ground for Ospreys. They arrive in April and are usually gone by mid-September. Due to public outcries because many of the birds were electrocuted on hydro poles, our public utility, Manitoba Hydro, began erecting platforms for the birds in the hope that they would build their nests on them and not on the high voltage lines. The place that I visited is Grand Beach Provincial Park. Close to the West Beach is one platform that is occupied. There is another platform near Grand Marais, only a few moments away. It is unoccupied and was not in good condition. The water around it seems to have dried up eons ago and it is very close to the highway.

The nest that I visited is located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Locate Winnipeg and then move your eye 45 degrees north-northeast til you see the green type indicating Grand Beach.

Lake Winnipeg is the world’s 10th largest fresh water lake. It is very shallow by most standards. On average it is only 3.6 metres or 12 feet deep although there are a few places where it is 10.9 metres or 36 feet deep. The lake measures 436 kilometres or 270 miles in length and 111 km wide or 68 ft at the widest point. It has more than a 1609 kilometres or 1000 miles of shoreline – many areas with beautiful white sand beaches.

“File:Grand Beach and Provincial Park in Lake Winnipeg in Fall 2009 Manitoba Canada.JPG” by Shahnoor Habib Munmun is licensed under CC BY 3.0

It is a perfect place to raise an Osprey family!

This young lady was the only one home while we were there. She was food calling most of the time despite the crop she had. It reminded me so much of Tiny Little. You could hear her half an American football field away quite clearly! She was not letting up.

What was especially funny was the large chunk of fish she was holding in one of her talons. Did she want mom to come to the nest and feed her?

Along with the food calling this juvenile certainly did a lot of wing flapping but, she never left the nest while we were watching.

The sun played havoc with the lighting casting everything almost in silhouette.

Look at those big beautiful wings. She has no idea what is in store for her but she has imprinted on her brain the fresh water marsh and the lake where she hatched. If she survives, she will visit this nest or a place near to it in the future.

For an area that tends to have lots of water birds, it was relatively quiet. There were only a couple of Canada Geese, a Crow, a duck, and some small birds.

There was a crow who came to see what all the commotion was about with the Osprey and to make sure that I didn’t cross the barrier to get closer to the nest.

There was also this lonely little duck all by itself. My Manitoba birding book suggests that this is a female Common Goldeneye. She is so far away this is the best I could do in terms of an image.

This seems like a perfect place for this little diving duck that is 41-51 cm long. She could be looking for tubers, frogs, insect larvae, or even small fish.

In North America, the Labour Day long weekend marks the end of summer and all of its activities. Everyone will be back in school in a few days. The beaches will be empty and the leaves will continue to turn yellow, orange, and gorgeous shades of red. Meanwhile, the birds who are still here will ready themselves for their long migration south. The seasons are changing. It is in the air and the smell of the leaves when you walk on them. There is no more need for air conditioning but, rather, a light jacket. I love this time of year.

Before I leave, I want to show you the map of the Black Stork’s migration today. I am so proud of little Pikne, the last one to leave Karl II’s nest. She has headed straight and is doing so well. She is in Moldova. Indeed, all of the birds are progressing at a good pace it seems.

You can also see that Julge – the Black Stork that got on the boat heading the wrong direction – is now in Germany. Udu is crossing Poland. Both of them appear to be going the Western route but Udu might correct his course. We wait. Karl II is relaxing on the shores of the Black Sea.

Thank you for joining me on my short visit to check on our Ospreys and the Black Storks. I wish them good winds, lots of fish, safe travels, and a long life. Stay safe everyone!

I want to thank the individuals in charge of the tracking of the birds and their posting of the current maps on the Estonia Eagle Club Forum pages.