It was really difficult to keep up with the number of fish coming on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest yesterday but, everyone got something to eat. It does not appear that any of the brothers were left out and some, if not all, had two fish.
The winds picked up and the lads were all hunkered down at 18:57:22. It is often hard to tell what the weather is like just looking at the screen but it sure appears to be windy and later on the boys have some rain drops on their wings.
Dad is still out fishing for them. Ervie got the next fish delivery after being hunkered down. He was eating it at 19:49:37. Falky is hungry! Bazza is just watching.
Dad flew in with another fish at 20:22 and Falky got that one. So all the lads went to bed with some fish in their tummies. Dad, you are really amazing.
Bazza had a really nice fish at 14:03:54. He sure had to defend it. Ervie came flying in and the pair had a very short brotherly tussle but, Bazza maintained control. Good for you, Bazza!
It might have looked horrible watching it, these three have been so polite to one another. They may never have the competition for food some regions have but it is good to be able to protect your ‘fish’ and Bazza did a great job handling Ervie.
Bazza enjoying his fish in peace.
Today might just be the day that Bazza joins the skies with his brothers. I wish there were cameras all around the barge to watch them flying and having fun with one another!
The Audubon Society posted an interesting picture of an Osprey named Smedley. Some of you might know the story of Smedley. I didn’t and it is quite heart warming. Smedley fell out of his nest in 1998 and injured himself to the point that he would never be able to be released into the wild. He could not fly. He has remained at the Audubon Centre for Birds and Prey – count it – 23 years! His wing injury began to bother him and a sling was constructed so that he could move about comfortably.
There he is with his sling. What a wonderful story. Just heart warming. If you travel to the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida you might see Smedley. It is near Orlando.
One of the reasons this is such a heart-warming story is that many Osprey do not do well in care. Smedley is certainly the exception and maybe a look back at what – in particular – the rehabbers did when he arrived could help improve the success rate of Ospreys going into care now.
The Bald Eagles continue to work on their nests. Harriet was hit very hard by the GHOW that has a nest near to hers and M15s’ in Fort Myers. This was a growing problem last year with both the adults and the eaglets. Yurruga continues to grow and develop her self-feeding. She is adorable. There is no news on WBSE 27’s release. One of my eagle friends tells me that the GHOWs have been to visit the nest in Farmer Derek’s field but there is a problem – the raccoons have dug a hole in thee nest. She suggests that he get a raccoon baffle – great idea! Funny thing. We all loved watching those owls hatch and grow but my goodness they can kill everything in sight – and do.
Take care everyone. If I see Bazza fledge I will let you know. If I miss it – let me know. Thank you for joining me today.
Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and to the FB page of the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey where I grabbed that image of Smedley.
The beautiful weather that we had on the Canadian Prairies yesterday was due to dramatically change over night.
Our weather will go from nice blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures to snow and then snow mixed with rain. It is currently 0 degrees C and will warm up to a balmy 2 degrees C in the morning when the precipitation begins. My daughter messaged me to tell me there were still some Canada Geese and ducks in the Assiniboine River. It seemed like a good time to get out and go for one last nice walk.
The little Red Squirrel at Assiniboine Park knows that the warmth is not going to last. It was busy pulling off the seeds from a Maple tree and cramming them into holes and in the grooves in the bark of a tree. He was so busy he did not even notice the people standing and watching him.
The geese were looking for any blade of grass to eat they could find.
Some were in the duck pond flapping their wings trying to stir up the plants from the bottom of the pond.
Others were simply enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the warm sunshine.
It gets dark around 17:00 and as I was leaving some of the geese were flying away. Are they heading south for the winter?
I really hope that the geese and ducks got out of the City last night like the ones above taking flight. As promised, we have snow. Mr Blue Jay has come to visit and the sparrows are trying to find seed under the snow.
There are many feeders filled with sunflower chips, suet, black oil sunflower seeds, and then that wonderful ‘trail’ mix which looks better than what I make.
The sparrows in the snow on the deck know there are goodies underneath. Why they are not back at the feeders I cannot tell you. There is room for everyone there.
What a handsome little House Sparrow this fellow is. You can always tell them by their grey caps!
So how do birds cope with winter? This article was published by Daisy Yuhas in 2013 but it is still accurate now. Have a read – it is really interesting:
“Each autumn as many birds begin epic journeys to warmer climates, there are always some species that stay put for the winter. These winter birds have a better chance of maintaining their territory year-round, and they avoid the hazards of migration. But in exchange they have to endure the cold.Like us, birds are warm blooded, which means their bodies maintain a constant temperature, often around 106 degrees Fahrenheit. To make enough heat, and maintain it, they’ve evolved many different strategies–some similar to our own.Sparrows, for example, seek out shelter in dense foliage or cavities to avoid the elements. They also huddle, bunching together to share warmth, and try to minimize their total surface area by tucking in their head and feet and sticking up their feathers. Cardinals, impossible to miss against the snow, and other smaller birds puff up into the shape of a little round beach ball to minimize heat loss.”Big birds, like geese and grouse, do what we do,” says physiologist David Swanson at the University of South Dakota. “They put on insulation.” Their insulation often involves growing an extra set of insulating downy feathers.Birds can also put on fat as both an insulator and energy source: More than 10 percent of winter body weight may be fat in certain species, including chickadees and finches. As a result, some birds spend the vast majority of their daylight hours seeking fatty food sources, making feeder food even more precious for surviving a frosty night.When asked which birds are toughest winter survivors, Swanson points to little ones like chickadees. These small creatures can’t put on too much bulk for aerodynamic reasons. Instead, explains Swanson, they are experts in shivering. This isn’t the familiar tremble that mammals use to generate heat. Birds shiver by activating opposing muscle groups, creating muscle contractions without all of the jiggling typical when humans shiver. This form of shaking is better at retaining the bird’s heat.Another adaptation shared by many species is the ability to keep warm blood circulating near vital organs while allowing extremities to cool down. Take gulls. They can stand on ice with feet at near-freezing temperatures while keeping their body’s core nice and toasty.Keeping warm when the sun is up is one thing, but few winter challenges are more daunting than nightfall, when temperatures drop and birds must rely on every adaptation they have to survive their sleep. Some birds save energy by allowing their internal thermostat to drop. Hummingbirds are a famous example of this, undergoing torpor nightly as their body temperature drops close to outside temperatures. But torpor is not too common in winter birds, because the morning warm up would take too much extra energy. Instead, black-capped chickadees and other species undergo a more moderate version of this, reducing their body temperature as much as 22 degrees Fahrenheit from their daytime level in a process called regulated hypothermia.One simple way to help birds when the weather outside is frightful is to hang feeders. To attract a diversity of birds, select different feeder designs and a variety of foods. A tube feeder filled with black oil sunflower or mixed seeds, for example, will attract chickadees and finches. Woodpeckers devour suet feeders. And a safflower or sunflower-filled hopper feeder entices the usual visitors plus larger birds like cardinals and red-winged blackbirds. The birds benefit from the backyard buffet, and you’ll have a front-row seat to numerous species flocking to your plants and feeders.” Some raptor species, lower their body temperatures. More on that another day as we shift from fall to winter.
It is not clear how many birds are on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. The Mum was there overnight with one – the one with some floof still on its back and wings in the scrape box below. There were two. Where is the other one? at the other end? flown off? difficult to tell. The one on the scrape box has just vocalized and headed down the gutter. I suspect it could be breakfast.
It is almost flying along the gutter now.
Fledging will be happening soon down in Port Lincoln and if you want to see how a hungry falcon acts just go over to the scrape in Orange. Yurruga is a week younger than the eyases in Melbourne. It is really foggy in Orange this morning so breakfast could be delayed. That link is:
Look for a lot of wing exercises and hovering from the trio at Port Lincoln. Ervie was doing a fabulous job yesterday.
Oh, I am really going to miss these lads when they fly to find their own way. Last year it was this Osprey nest that almost put me off my interest in third hatch ospreys. Siblicide is horrific. And it is this same nest (along with Achieva and Foulshaw Moss) that gives me hope that things can turn around for the good for the chicks. It has been incredible this season.
It is time for some hot tea. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.
Oh, how they have entertained us. How we waited to see if that fourth egg would hatch. How we watched as Dad was incubating during the earthquake. It has been quite the season with the Melbourne Peregrine falcons. Today, there is another nice article on the 367 Collins Street Falcons today. I have attached it in case you missed it!
We are so lucky that the four of them have decided to come out so that we can see them. Those downy feathers are disappearing quickly and they look like grown up falcons capable of taking on the skies of Melbourne -for awhile – til Mom and Dad boot them out. Certainly Mom and Dad have been doing flying demonstrations trying to lure them into thinking about taking the leap! They are a little over 5 weeks old today. Forty days and onward is approximate for fledging.
Over in Orange, or should I say ‘up’ in Orange, Yarruga was one hungry chick waiting for supper that did not arrive. S/he had two feedings yesterday so she is going to be ravenous when breakfast arrives. There is no need to worry, though. She had a nice crop, larger than Diamond’s and Yarruga will not starve. In the world of raptors there are days of plenty and days of naught. Little ones need to learn that, too. Yarruga is 28 days old today. Four weeks.
Diamond was seen putting her entire weight on her right leg in the middle of the night to clean her talons. This is very good news. She has moved over to the ledge to grab some sleep before dawn and Diamond seems to be doing much better. How grand.
The Port Lincoln osplets are sound asleep. Little Bob is 50 days old today – while the two big siblings are 52 days old. We will be keeping an eye on those numbers because last year Solly fledged at 65 days (in the Northern Hemisphere it is 49 days onward). Solly was banded at 47 days and DEW at 46. On Monday, 8 November, these three will be banded, named, measured, and at least one will get a tracker. They are just wonderful – the three of them. I am surely going to miss this nest – perhaps the most civilized brood I have ever seen.
There is sadly some commotion going on at Taiaroa Head. Our beloved OGK may have realized that his mate, YRK, is not returning. He tried to mate – rather vigorously – with BOK who is also waiting for her mate to return. Being the gentleman that he is, OGK, returned to apologize in the Albatross way by doing a sky call with BOK later.
If it happens that YRK, Pippa Atawhai’s mum, does not return, it will not be from old age but from being caught in the lines of the fishing trawlers. I hope that you will think about our beloved Pippa and what a horrible death that would be – and it is entirely preventable! I feel rather gutted because these are all useless deaths that never have to happen. An albatross does not need to be decapitated every 5 minutes! The fixes are really easy. They include setting the lines at night, line weighting, and bird scaring lines. Some organizations are supplying these measures for free to the boats. The deaths are preventable. There needs to be international laws. Every country needs to stand up and demand that the fishing factories take these simple steps or not be able to fish. Write letters, phone your political representative – do it for Pippa. Then check out what the RSPB is doing. They are working alongside the Albatross Task Force to help end bycatch. Check out their website, ask who to contact. And remember – writing e-mails does help. Public pressure helps.
The Bald Eagles are really busy working on their nests in the US while the ones who came to Manitoba for their summer breeding are very slowly making their migration. Images of 30 or 40 along the river in my City have been posted locally the last few days but are not available to share beyond the Manitoba Birding and Photography FB page. I still have a few Slate Grey Juncos and today that meant a trip to the seed seller to get some more Husked Millet for them. The day is just starting in Australia and New Zealand so no telling what will happen. I long for YRK to fly in and just land on OGK’s head! That would be a rather dramatic entrance fitting for this very patient male who has been working on a nest for about six weeks now. No doubt Yarruga is going to be screaming for breakfast! I will post the updates on Grinnell tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, thank you for joining me and take care everyone.
Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.
The birds in my garden are always aware when I am watching them especially Mr Blue Jay and family. Sometimes he will stop and look right in the window and fly up into the lilacs and down to the corn as if he is teasing me. Other days he might sit on top of the deck chair calling to remind me that the corn cob has disappeared. Or maybe he is saying hello! Today, it was the youngest of the trio staring at me as he flew in and out to get kernels off the cob. Dad, Mr Blue Jay, was observing from the lilacs.
How do I know this is the youngest? He is a bit thinner and his legs are a charcoal grey, not black. I can also identify them by their facial markings and I still don’t know, after several years, where they roost or which is the male or the female. All I do know is that in exchange for a corncob, some peanuts, and some seeds, this family of three brings me year round joy.
Of course, the birds on the live streaming cams have no idea there are hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, watching them. Many have caught their reflection in the camera’s dome. I recall Izzi, the peregrine falcon eyas at Orange, and the little Golden Eagle in Romania liking to look at themselves. It is very cute.
Today, Little Bob was having some fun. It is a good thing he is not conscious or caring of anything to have to do with humans!
Yes, that is Little Bob. He is fanning out his tail like a peacock. While we are not able to see it clearly yet, Little Bob’s tail will have stripes, alternating white and espresso. This same type of barring will also be seen on the secondary feathers. The secondary feathers are those after the primary or wing tip feathers.
In studying other birds of prey, those dark stripes are often counted with the understanding that on a Red-tailed Hawk, for example, the nestling needs at least 5 dark bands to fledge. It is simply a way of gauging the length of the tail because tail length is one of the elements necessary for flight.
In the image below, Little Bob has lowered his tail a bit and is stretching his wings in what is known as the ‘W’ pattern. It will be familiar to you as it is the shape that gets tightened up when ospreys dive head long into the water.
The nest on the barge at Port Lincoln is getting crowded as these young ospreys grow. There is Little Bob looking out standing in front of Mum. You can clearly see that dark espresso line (it is neither brown or black) that runs from the beak, across the eye and down to the nape of the neck. This dark strip is your word for the day, it is the auricular. Many believe that this helps to stop the glare of the sun so the birds can see better.
There is a lot of speculation on the streaming cam chat as to the gender of Little Bob. Ospreys need strong legs and feet in order to fish and pull their prey out of the water. They grip their prey with their long black talons using those ‘scratchy pads’ – specialized barbs -on the bottom of the feet to hold the fish secure. They also are the only raptor to have a reversible outer toe which helps them secure their prey. They will, most often, position the fish so that the head is facing in front which is a help with wind resistance.
Ah, but back to telling the males from the females. Measurements will be taken when the three get their Darvic rings. Females tend to have thicker leg bones than males. A good example were the measurements taken of Laddie and NC0’s two fledglings, LR1 and LR2. With females being at least 20% larger than males (normally), the first to hatch and the largest was ringed LR1. The wing measurement of 337mm and weight of 1.51kg led the bander to state that LR1 was a female. The second chick was three days younger and had a wing measurement of 276mm. It weighed 1.4kg and was said to be a male. The differences are slight and the only real way to determine gender is through a DNA test or by seeing an egg laid.
Note: LR2, the male, is the fledgling that has been seen several times over the last week in Spain. Fabulous news!
That said there are a lot of people who believe that Little Bob is really Little Bobbette.
One of the other ways that people believe females are different is through their darker and wider ‘necklace’. Unfortunately, I believe this idea to be unreliable as there are a number of known males with very elaborate and dark necklaces. One good example is Blue 022 the ‘maybe’ mate of CJ7 at Poole Harbour.
It is often difficult to establish which chick is which on the nest. As my concern is in the third hatch, I have paid particular attention to Little Bob. Look at the top of his head. Whether you say Little Bob has a white V or a round circle on its head doesn’t matter – both apply. Look carefully at his head in the image below. One of the things that will not change over Little Bob’s lifetime will be the pattern on its head.
Oops… there Little Bob goes again!
Oh, my. This time he is going to spread his wings, too. Somehow I do not think Big Bob is going to be happy about that. Did I say this nest was getting crowded? Just wait til they all start flapping and hovering at once.
Just like Mr Blue Jay and family, Little Bob continues to delight me. I am so glad that he doesn’t know how many of us are watching his every move.
Take care and thank you for joining me. My newsletter will be late tomorrow. It is time to pick up a large order of birdseed and corn cobs for the garden animals for the winter.
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.
Over the course of the year I get a lot of questions. Some of them I can answer, some I find the answers for, and others seem to elude everyone. I want to provide you with two really good sites for information. The first is the “everything you would ever want to know about Bald Eagle” blog. Your answer to any question will be found right there. It is also a great way to get introduced to other Bald Eagle nests. Many of you will recognize the name Ranger Sharyn. She is the NZ DOC Ranger on Taiaroa Head and she has a site where she answers questions and discusses issues. She also gives up to the minute information on the Royal Albatross Colony.
The Bald Eagle breeding season is underway in the United States. Last year, the very first egg was laid during the first week of November! Wow. The days pass like water flowing between your fingers sometimes. There is one person that has all of the information you need on one single site. I really applaud the work done including a listing and the ability to click on a link for absolutely every single Bald Eagle streaming cam. Yes, you read that right. There are also data sheets showing dates for eggs laid, hatchings, and fledgings. There is information on how to measure an eagle, etc. It is mind-boggling all the information devoted to Bald Eagles in one place. That blog is written by elfruler and the latest offering is entitled, Ready to Roll? Here is the link. Please sign up to get the latest information if you are a Baldie fan!
I know that many of you love the Royal Albatross and are anxiously awaiting news of returnees including OGK’s YRK. I also know that most of you are following the Royal Albatross group’s FB page. But what about following Ranger Sharyn Broni on DISQUS? Here is the link to the latest and other information.
The Port Lincoln nestlings (can we still call them that when they have juvenile feathering?) had their first meal at 08:35:57 on 25 October. They are so civilized. I just adore this nest.
Little Bob is on the left and he will stop eating at 08:57:56 and move to the rim of the nest. It is quite odd for him to leave first. It was a nice sized fish and he looks like he might want to go back to sleep! I do hope that Mum gets to eat some, too.
You can see Little Bob’s ‘beard’.
Mind you, there is nothing ‘little’ about Little Bob or the other two siblings. They are really taking up nest real estate now!
This was the trio 17 days ago on 8 October. That gorgeous copper red feathering on the back of the heads is prominent and they are getting feathers on the tips of their wings and tails.
This is the trio on 26 September, one month and 3 days ago. Little Bob is there in front, up by Mum’s beak. So tiny you can’t see it.
I was so worried about Little Bob but the pattern that was set early continues until today. Little Bob is up eating and Middle and Big Bob are together waiting their turn or taking turns getting bites. The two older Bobs are right in the middle of the reptile phase.
This is 21 September. Oh, look at Little Bob. He still has all his soft light grey down and his egg tooth. The big sibling behind him is getting its pin feathers and transitioning into the reptile phase. It is hard to imagine looking at them then – and now!
The fast growth of all of the birds is simply incredible.
I have been following the advances of Karl II and his children, Pikne and Udu. It is time to bring everyone up to date on the Black Storm family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The last time I posted about them Udu was in Poland, Pikne was in Moldova, and Karl II was in the Ukraine.
In the map below you will see that Pikne and Karl II are following the Eastern land route while Udu finds himself on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The green line is Udu and he is currently at the village of Vainia on the island of Crete. The red line is Pikne. She is now in Egypt near Hurghada. She is being described as ‘flying like a rocket’. Indeed, there have been storms and strong winds and there was a worry that Udu would try to cross the sea but he did not. Smart stork. He hunkered down on Crete. We are very anxious for news of the father, Karl II. He was flying along the Jordan River and returned to Israel. There has been no transmission for almost five days now. The last was 21 October. Perhaps there is a problem with the ability of the area to transmit data or the GPS tracker is not operating because of cloud cover. (As someone said, Karl II could be in the Sudan now. I hope it is one of these reasons.) Karl II is an incredible dad. He stayed with Pikne til she was ready to leave the nest – my hat is off to him. These beautiful storks have almost reached their wintering grounds safe and sound. Please send them the very best wishes for a safe arrival with lots of food!
There have been a number of sightings and photos taken of WBSE 27 around the Discovery Centre. There was a sighting of a juvenile being chased by Currawong and the poster thought that it might be WBSE 28. I sure hope so because that means it is mobile and not on the forest floor where the foxes are.
All of the other nests are doing really well. There is not much to report in the way of Bald Eagles save for the Captiva nest on Santibel Island in Florida. Connie seems to be attracting at least two potential mates who are battling it out for dominance. As far as I know, other than sub-adult and some juvenile intruders, all of the other nests are secure. I wonder if the Bald Eagles will attempt to make a nest in Farmer Derek’s tree this year or have the Great Horned Owl family secured it? Time will tell.
Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I want to thank the public forum for the Eagle Club of Estonia for posting the map of the locations of Karl II and his family.
The following was posted on the Sea Eagle FB Page. I took a screen shot of the entire entry to share the good news with you. Thanks so much to Rohan Geddes for getting those great images.
Lady and Dad roost on the Parramatta River near to the Discovery Centre. I have put the red pushpin at the location of the Discovery Centre. You can see the Parramatta River just at the end of the walk. Many who visit the area have coffee along the river (see Orange Cafe sign) and watch the sea eagles if they are roosting.
This is just great news. Such a relief.
These are such challenging times for these juveniles. They have to get their flying – and as the poster says – their landing – under control while still navigating to get food from the parents. The fact that 27 is so close to the river shows great promise.
There has been only a glimpse of 28 and it is unclear if that was the one on the afternoon of the fludge or later. Send them both lots of positive wishes.
Just a couple of other mentions. The Collins Street Four are on the move. They were out of sight of the camera yesterday. Do not worry! They are running along the gutter to the other end exploring. Yesterday one started and all the others followed!
Yarruga continues to eat and grow stronger. Yesterday it was almost standing upright!
The Port Lincoln osplets had fish at 06:25, 12:56, 14:16 (Mum brought fish in), 17:32 was a fish tail, and 19:24. Here is a peek at that last feeding of the day:
Thank you for joining me this morning for this update on the WBSE fledglings. It is sunny and cold, 2 degrees C, on the Canadian Prairies. There are a few Slate-grey Juncos hanging on but the garden is fairly quiet this morning. I wonder if there will be any Canada Geese landing this evening? If so, I hope to get some good images for you. Take care all. Stay safe.
Thank you to the Sea Eagle FB where I took a screen capture of the posting of WBSE 27 and to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.
It is a grey and windy day. As the weather channel promised, our summer heat wave in October seems to have come to an end (for the moment) with the arrival of single digit temperatures. The recent rains have caused the ground and old tree stumps to come alive and the sparrows and thrashers are thumping the ground having a good old time. It reminds me – continues to remind me – why we should not be raking our leaves or mowing the grass. Gently rake them into a corner if you have to. The birds really will thank you!
It is also nearing Halloween and all around me I can see the windows and doors decorated – many have elaborate displays outside.
I believe Halloween was the favourite holiday of my children – you got to dress up, get candy, and have parties at School. I recall pulling the two oldest in a sled one year as the snowflakes fell faster and faster. We did not need to go more than a block. Their pillowcases were full because they were the only ones out on such an incredible wintery night. The grandchildren enjoyed decorating the trees and, sadly, I remember using some of that web material with little black plastic spiders. That was a long time ago when I did not know better – but I do now. As a reminder to everyone, please be careful if you decorate. It will be a tragedy if animals get caught and have to be euthanized just for a bit of fun.
Oh, gosh, golly. Xavier and Diamond’s little chick just took its first steps!
Meanwhile, the Collins Street Four – which are a week older – are now standing up. They are also getting curious about the outside world and one nearly gave several streaming cam viewers a heart attack when it walked up to the edge of the ledge.
The Collins Four having some fun. Look at the size of the wings!
In case you are wondering why the scrape box is so messy this year, it is because the wind does not blow through it like it did at the other end. On a positive note, the chicks have been supplied with some shade and neither them or Mum have been as hot and panting as much as last year.
At the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, the osplets had, at least, five fish yesterday – probably a couple more. I could not rewind the camera prior to 16:00 and all had big crops at that time. One of the most interesting interactions was between Little Bob and Mum. They had a tug-o-war with the fish tail. Mum won!!! It was very cute. that fish tail was from the 18:02:17 fish Dad brought in.
The osplets are doing really well walking around in that twig lined nest, too. They are covered more and more with feathers each day. Those feathers seem to be pushing out of those quills right before our eyes.
Dad brought in a bedtime fish for the family at 19:39:16. It is difficult to tell one from the other but there is Little Bob in its usual spot, right up by Mum’s beak.
Where is Solly, the first hatch of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in 2020? She seems to have decided to take a quick trip to Streaky Bay before heading back to her special tree in Eba Anchorage. It is such a relief to see the movements of the birds – to know they are safe, living their lives well.
If you were following some of the Montana Ospreys, a map of their locations has been released on the Montana Osprey FB page this morning. It shows that all of the Ospreys arrived in Mexico or Central America. Such good news. Their satellite trackers are working splendidly.
Both of the little sea eagles, WBSE 27 and 28, were still on the nest early this morning. That doesn’t mean that they will be there in a couple of hours.
I am a huge fan of Gabby and Samson’s at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. The morning was just starting. The couple spent the night on the branches and as the sun came up, Gabby could be seen working on the nest.
At various times during the day, Samson, Gabby, or both, can be seen preparing their nest for the new breeding season. Here is a link to the streaming cams (there are several but this one looks directly into the nest), so you can check on them.
Tiaki, the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Chick, is making really good time on her way to Chile. She was well beyond the International Date Line this morning. So, with that news, everyone in Bird World is doing well today. Smile. It is all good!
The sun is out and the Slate-grey Juncos are on the deck and the sparrows are having a drink out of the bowls. I wonder what other garden critters will show up? No Halloween candy for them! But they are getting extra dry corn cobs.
Thank you for joining me. Take care each and every one of you. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Montana Osprey Project and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Pages for the sat-pak maps showing the location of the migrating Montana Ospreys and Solly.
The streaming cam has been down at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge most of the morning. It was also a dreadfully wet and miserable start to the day. Mum tried as she might to snuggle up with her three babies (can we call them babies anymore?). At 10:30 they were wet, cold, and probably hungry.
The first fish arrived at 11:09:12. Even the sun came out for the occasion. Mum was still feeding the trio at noon.
In the image below, Dad is eating his share and making certain the fish is dead before he delivers it to Mum and the chicks.
Mum has the fish and she is getting ready to feed the three hungry chicks. It is late for the breakfast fish.
There is Little Bob at the end. What is he looking at so intently?
I wonder if it is Dad flying away. Look at the expression on his little face.
Whatever it is, Little Bob is more interested in what is happening off the nest than eating his first fish of the day. That is pretty incredible. Little Bob is always the one who wants to be fed first!
Oh, two of the chicks are watching instead of eating. Is Dad giving a flying demonstration? These chicks are developing just as they should. They are becoming much more interested in things happening outside of the world of the nest. They are standing more and beginning to flap their wings. Think they are dreaming of flying? Little Bob is 29 days old today. The two older siblings are 31 days.
For those that are worried, Little Bob has stood up to ‘sometimes nasty’ Big Bob. Little has done that twice that I am aware. This nest is really calm and the chicks are so big that we should all expect them to fledge with their satellite packs. I understand they will be ringed, get their sat paks, and get their names in early November. Oh, I cannot wait to find out what the names will be this year.
When the three fledge, this will be a historic moment for this nest. Perhaps with the first fledgling of all three hatches, the curse of this nest will be lifted. These two adults have demonstrated clearly that they are highly capable parents and can easily raise a nest of three chicks from hatch to fledge.
Oh, look at Little Bob and look carefully – there is another chick looking up in awe, too. What an expression!
Now down to the business of breakfish!
After eating for 40 minutes, the chicks are beginning to get nice filled crops.
By noon, the fish is finished. Everyone is full and ready for a bit of a snooze.
The three osplets had no more than settled down when the second fish arrived on the nest at 12:35:28. Little Bob is on the right. He is turning around and probably cannot quite believe what he is seeing – another fish!
The role of the crop is to grind up the food before it enters the stomach. It also serves as a storage tank. The chicks can ‘drop their crop’ when they need nourishment. The reality of a raptors life is that they might eat well one day but not have any food for another two days. They need to eat as much as they can when they have the opportunity.
There they are lined up very politely for Mum again. I do not believe I have ever seen such a civil nest of growing ospreys. They might have their spats but not at the table. They line up and Mum feeds them. She is very fair. I have not noticed her favouring one over another. She does, in fact, often feed them as they appear in the line – one bite each and then back to the beginning. The other thing that is noticeable is the chicks do stop eating when they are full allowing the line to close so the other two are only being fed.
Is this behaviour down to the simple fact that they are so close in age? There is only 51 hours separating Big Bob from the time Little Bob hatched.
Just look at how close they are in size.
One of the chicks has left the table. Little Bob (see the roundish spot on the top of his head?) is still hungry. Of course, he is.
The second fish was done and dusted by 13:02. Little Bob is still looking. Maybe he sees some fish skin? or is there a piece of tail? He has a very nice crop.
In terms of size, I can no longer tell Little Bob from the other two. If the roundish spot disappears I will no longer be able to identify him as easy. He is growing so much. Wonder if Little Bob is a female?
Ah, it is silly to try and guess the genders but we all do it. They will measure the chicks when they are ringed. Of course, the measurements are not foolproof. Only DNA or an egg or mating can confirm.
Once the three are fed and all is well, it is much easier for me to sleep. The wee eyas of Xavier and Diamond’s have also had several meals today. You can clearly see that it has more than doubled in size from hatch.
Xavier is on the ledge while Diamond feeds the chick the prey he delivered. Look at the size of the wee one’s wing. Is it looking over to Xavier?
When Xavier turned around, I thought it was last year’s chick, Izzi.
Only Bob is looking directly at the beak and eyes of Diamond. Diamond is so delicate with the tiny little bites she feeds her baby.
The chick’s neck is now so much stronger. It can hold its head still for longer so that Diamond can feed it. The bobbling days are pretty much over. Notice, at times, that the chick instinctively keeps its balances by placing its wing tip on the gravel.
I absolutely love this image of Xavier looking so tenderly at his baby.
All full. The little one has now had four meals. Unlike the Ospreys, Only Bob needs many meals and fewer bites. Her crop is tiny. She is now collapsing into a food coma.
Awww. I wonder if Xavier wishes that Diamond would let him brood the chick? Perhaps she will in a few days but the falcon mothers are extremely protective in the beginning.
The Collins Street Four have been eating, sleeping, growing, and decorating the walls around the scrape. Their world is that of the scrape box. They are not as interested – yet – in what is happening outside of their world. They will become more interested, just like the Osplets at Port Lincoln, in a couple of weeks.
As the days pass, we will begin to notice a difference in size. This is not due to the amount of food the eyases eat individually. It will be because some of them are males and some are females. The females will be approximately 30% larger than the males and they will consume about 25% more food (nothing staggering). When fledge time comes, it is normally the males that fledge first. Their feathers will have covered them quicker because they are smaller! It is that simple.
Last year we did not notice a difference in size in the triplets. That is because they were all females. I do hope Dad gets a break this year and has a couple of males. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to try and feed four large females!
They are beginning to look slightly different in their faces. Notice the one facing the back who looks more ‘hawk’ like.
These eyases are more than full. Look at that shiny big crop. My gracious.
If you missed the live streaming of Iniko 1031 arriving at the pre-release containment area at Big Sur, here is the video of that moment. The condors are so endangered and there is no telling how many more wildfires will rage. Fingers crossed!
It is late on the Canadian Prairies. Our damp is supposed to go away on Saturday. Meanwhile, it is the annual birdseed sale at our nature centre this weekend. It is a great time to get high quality feed for a big discount and help out the centre as well. You might check and see if your local nature centre does this. The savings can be substantial. I will also continually remind people that if you have a local feed and seed store, you might be able to find Millet, corn, Black Oil seed, peanuts in their shells at a substantially lower price point. My neighbours introduced me to this years ago but, sadly, the big feed store moved. The distance makes it no longer viable as a source.
Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to receive your notes and letters. I appreciate the time you take to write to me whether it is an e-mail or a public comment. You take care. See you soon. All of these nests are doing so well that we can all rest easy. Life is good!
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.
At 8:56:34, Dad brought in a massive fish (despite having eaten his fair share) to the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest.
The image below shows the size of the fish a little better despite much of it hidden under mom. Imagine that the top part is up at her beak where she is feeding one of the chicks to get an idea. Little Bob is in the middle. You can see the white lace on his cere and the black circle on top of his head.
Dad returned at 9:11:33 to see if Mum was finished feeding the chicks. She wasn’t and she did not let him take the fish.
The trio lined up again. Big Bob, who had eaten first, is full and is moving away from the feeding line. She is letting the two younger siblings have their share.
Middle and Little are right in there. Their feathers are growing so quickly. Look along the edge of Little Bob’s wing. They are beginning to look like fringe.
Oh, goodness. Dad is rather anxious this morning. He returns a second time at 9: 28:20.
Mum is still feeding Middle and Little Bob. Oh, and look. Big Bob is waking up again. Is he ready for another round of fish?
You can see that there is still lots of fish left. The chicks have now been eating for 34 minutes and it looks like half the fish is left. Dad is really having a close look. Mum does not give the fish to him, again. She seems to have decided that he is not going to rush her today.
Ah, Big Bob is back up at the end of the line wanting some more. This is such a polite nest. Big Bob does not push his way to the front of the line, she waits.
By 9:29, Mum decides to move the fish around to the other side. Maybe she thought Dad was going to take it. She continues to feed the chicks and herself.
Despite the fact that the chicks have moved so that they can pass out in their respective food comas, Mum continues to feed Little Bob.
Little Bob is ‘stuffed’ and has turned away from any more bites of fish. Mom is doing a good job eating that nice fish near the tail. She needs to eat, too! Dad seems to have nodded off waiting! In the end, I do not think Dad even got a nibble of the tail. We have to remember that he did have a big chunk before he brought the fish to the nest.
The trio and Mum finished off that extra large fish in 47 minutes. Amazing.
Dad brings another fish to the nest at 13:29:38. Everyone is fed and it is not even the middle of the afternoon. This is a good example of how the feedings change. When the three were wee, they needed more feedings with less fish at each one. Now they will eat much more fish but, there will be less feedings. They are really, really growing. Little Bob is 24 days old today while Middle and Big are 26 days old.
Xavier watches from the ledge of the scrape box as Diamond feeds their wee babe. So far there appears to be no pip or crack on a second egg. It is unclear if there is even a pip.
It is the middle of the afternoon and Xavier is again resting on the ledge. He was seen limping and he is probably resting that leg. Instead of Starlings and Parrots, Xavier has been bringing in pigeon which is a much larger prey item. He might have strained his leg when he was hunting.
I also wonder if he can hear the second chick? or if he just wants to be there with Diamond in the scrape? or wants to brood the chick and incubate the eggs?
The waiting must be frustrating for these two. Big Bob (or Only Bob) is poking its head out from under Diamond to the right of the egg. Cute.
At the nest of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s Olympic Park forest, a Pied Currawong will not leave WBSE 27 and 28 alone. It has been harassing them on and off all day. It is the Pied Currawongs who are intent on chasing the little sea eagle fledglings out of the forest. Normally, eagles fledge and return to the nest for the parents to feed them while they strengthen their flying skills. Many will return to the nest for feedings for up to a month. If they are rushed away, the ‘map’ or return to the nest might not be imprinted in their memory.
27 and 28 are smart. They can hunker down duckling style and watch but the Currawong cannot harm them. These birds can knock them off if they were standing on a branch or injure them if they were standing up.
These two will be branching so soon and then fledging. They can walk and stand and both are self-feeding. We are entering the 11th week. From hatch to fledge for the Australian White-Bellied Sea Eagles is 80-88 days. The median is 83.1.
Here is a video of WBSE 28 stealing the prey from 27. Fantastic!
At the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon scrape, Mum has left the scrape box and is off for a break and to retrieve prey for the eyases. Look at how much room they take up today!
They look like a large white Persian cat if you squint.
Time for your mid-afternoon pigeon everyone!
Dad had it prepared and ready for Mum to bring and feed the youngsters.
The oldest two are getting more hawk like in their appearance.
Except for the Pied Currawong’s harassment, all of the nestlings are doing very well. It is, indeed, a pleasure to be able to watch them grow from hatch to fledge. How fortunate we are!
Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 365 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.
There is still time for you to put in your count for the October Big Bird e-Bird Count. You have until midnight as far as I know. In one hour we had 37 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 Blue Jays, 3 Harris’s Sparrows, 1 American Robin, and a host of House Sparrows. There were also 3 grey squirrels and 1 red and then Little Woodpecker came when the new suet cylinder went up. I wonder if they sit and watch? or how good their noses are.
Everyone of them seems to know the minute the feeders are full and once the suet cylinder is finished when a new one is put in place. It is much cooler than it was a few days ago and the sky has been a light grey all day. I wonder how long the Dark-eyed Juncos will be with us?
There is, as far as I know, only one hatch at the Peregrine Falcon scrape box in Orange. The little one has been fed several times already. It gets full with 3 or 4 nice bites of prey.
And then it will pass out quickly in a food coma! It is quite frightening the first time you see this happen, especially with a newly hatched chick.
Yesterday I made a video clip of one of the feedings at the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon Scrape.
The Collins Street Kids are really growing. The two larger ones now jump a bit to get up to Mum’s beak for the prey.
There was a beautiful golden glow on Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge this morning. Viewers got a treat. The cam operator showed the Calypso Star I taking clients out for shark cage diving. You might know it but it was that business that allowed the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and streaming cam to come into existence. Thank you Calypso Star!
It is 8:23 just now and the kiddos are still waiting for breakfast. They will certainly not starve! Never. Last night when they went to sleep their crops were bursting.
Once of those funny crop shots when they lean back to preen. Look how big that is. Each of them was the same.
Here’s Little Bob! Look at that crop and then look at his feet!!!!!! I love Clown Feet Time.
I am learning just to keep quiet on bird chats. A couple of days ago, a dear woman, who has been quite ill and is recovering, was more than put down because she suggested that birds have emotions. There is a lot of research on this subject. For the next week or so, I will post some academic/scientific papers on this topic. Some will be shorter and some longer. The one today concerns two particular emotions: fear and frustration. It is titled, “Avian Emotions: Comparative Perspectives on Fear and Frustration.” It was published in Frontiers of Psychology in December 2018.
I grew up in Oklahoma (home of the Five Civilized Tribes before it became a state) where there are strong beliefs about animals and birds. They serve as messengers of the Spirits of the Indigenous people. Some offer warnings – others are there to help. Here is an interesting article birds as symbols.
We are looking for a hatch for Xavier and Diamond today. It might not happen. If it doesn’t, it is just fine. Those who watched their scrape last year certainly came to love their only hatch, Izzi. He was quite remarkable.
Thank you for stopping in today. Remember to turn in your bird count if you haven’t already. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.