WBSE 27

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.

Tuesday in Bird World

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.

Port Lincoln chicks ate well!

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.

Checking on Chicks

There was a lot of chatter over the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon scrape at 367 Collins. The concern was because the Mum had not been ‘seen’ since 19:06:24 when she left the little ones after feeding them.

The chicks at Melbourne are enormous! I honestly can’t even find the small one anymore. Underneath the fluffy down that remains there are pin feathers coming in and if you look closely, those sweet pink little beaks are turning into a rather adult looking beak.

There is no need for concern for Mum. The problem is that the eyases are simply too big for her to brood anymore because there are four of them. Can you see where Mum is?

The image on the left is a week ago. The one on the right was yesterday.

I haven’t reported on Port Lincoln Ospreys for a day. These were the feeding times for yesterday: 6:52, 10:02:43 (small), 10:43:15, 14:43:39, 14:55:50, 16:11:51, 16:23 (mum caught this one), and another fish delivery somewhere around 17:59:58. It was hard to differentiate when the osplets started eating one fish and began on another during the afternoon.

The Mullet that came on the nest at 10:43:15 was still alive and Mum flew off with it, killed it, and returned at 10:44:30. When Mum brought the 16:23 fish onto the nest, part of the fish that dad had brought earlier was still there. This could have been the 17:59 feed. It is not clear. What is certain is that the chicks had massive crops throughout the day. With Mum fishing – and she seems to catch the bigger fish these days – the nest is eating well. The supplementary fish she brings in is making a huge difference to all including Mum who also needs to eat. And Dad.

One thing that I found very interesting was our dear Little Bob. Later in the evening on the 10th, the Middle sibling had caused a bit of a spat between Big Bob and Little Bob. Middle Bob seems to do this and then it ducks to get out of the way. Little Bob was not having any of it and well, we might begin to believe that Little Bob is the ‘boss’ of the nest. This was the second time that I have seen Little thwart any attempts by Big to be the dominant one in the nest. (The other was awhile ago0. I say this because Little Bob took the fish tail at 10:02 yesterday and ate it with no problem. The fish tail is a bit of a prize in an Osprey nest.

These are just some shots from the various feedings. Notice that they all line up and eat very civil!

Little Bob has the fish tail!

Little Bob had no difficulty eating the fish tail. Well done, number 3.

By the time the last fish arrived, many were so full they couldn’t even think of eating much more. Mum had a really nice feed. How grand!

Diamond and Xavier’s Only is growing well.

Today will sort out if there was a pip or not in one of the eggs. It is simply not clear. For the chick to survive, it would need to hatch today. Diamond rested better last night and wasn’t shuffling the eggs around so much. Perhaps we will have another Only Bob like Izzi last year and that is just fine. Cilla Kinross says they have never had three hatch at this nest despite three eggs being laid. In many ways raising one is so much less stressful than four. The Melbourne parents have to be worn out!

Everything is fine for the nest and the two scrape boxes. I will check in with the White-Bellied Sea Eagles later today. I understand that they are fine but that the Pied Currawong continues to be a nuisance. The Bald Eagle couples are restoring nests from last season and the Albatross for the upcoming breeding season are landing on Taiaroa Head. The world is working as it should be.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon.

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

Dad brought in a whopper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for your mid-afternoon pigeon everyone!

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

Yummy.

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

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

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

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

First Feeding at Orange

Diamond brought part of a pigeon into the scrape box at 13:37 to see if the eyas was ready for its first feeding. It was not. The little fluff ball continued to sleep, all tired out. The egg was full of nutrients and the chick does not need a feeding til tomorrow morning. Still, Diamond will continually check and when the chick sits and opens its beak by instinct to be fed, she will know it is ready for food.

Diamond first went to the corner in the image below where she considered leaving the pigeon. Then she went to the other corner.

Eventually she decided to fly out with it.

She returned in ten seconds and immediately went over to brood the chick and incubate the two remaining eggs. The eggs were laid on 31 August at 10:40, 2 September at 20:55, and the last on 4 September 6:28. Diamond started incubation with second egg and then hard incubated with the third.

Last year Diamond and Xavier also had three eggs. One did not hatch. The second hatchling was not strong and died and Izzi, that beautiful character, was their only fledge. Xavier is an amazing hunter and this family can certainly provide for three.

Half an hour later, Diamond decides to try and feed the eyas again. She gathers the prey from the left corner pantry. I have taped a portion of that first feeding for you. This chick is very strong. It is approximately 7 hours old. It fell over and lifted itself back up. I was amazed at how long it held its head relatively still and its beak open. This first hatch definitely had some nice bites of the prey.

Just look at that little one. So happy for Xavier and Diamond.

Over in Port Lincoln, Dad brought a fish in at 10:05:13. All three osplets lined up to eat. I noticed several times that Mum fed them in sitting order. It was quite interesting. Food security remains in the positive. It is simply grand. Little Bob is now 22 days old. The other two are 24 days old.

In the image below, the chick at the back has a nice crop from the earlier feed. You can see it clearly.

It is definitely getting difficult to tell who is who unless you can get a glimpse of their beak. Little Bob has on the left side of the cere a kind of white netting pattern.

Dad brought in another fish at 14:17.

Now looking carefully, see the little osprey’s head in the middle of the image below. That is Little Bob. I want to point him out to you because you can clearly see that whitish netting on his cere. It sometimes looks like someone took a white paint brush and went over the cere and under the eye of this third hatch. You will also notice that Little Bob is being himself – getting to the front of the table where Mum is feeding and never taking his eyes off that fish until he is full.

Little Bob is in a very good position to get a lot of fish.

You might also notice that spot in the feathers between Little Bob’s eyes. That pattern might not stay there but for now, it is also helpful in finding him in the group.

In the image below you can see those two indicators clearly.

Little Bob has quit eating. There you can see him on the far right. Just look at that crop. Talking about ready to pop. I think that Mum fed Little Bob most of the fish in the beginning. He should really sleep well. Dad should be in with another fish in a couple of hours! Oh, these three are so well fed and behaving so nicely.

So far, the feedings at Port Lincoln have been at 07:49, 10:05:13, 11:26, and 14:17. That is four and it is only the middle of the afternoon. Well done, Dad.

It is time to call it a night. So happy for Xavier and Diamond that their first hatch is so strong. It ate so well and so did our little Ospreys at Port Lincoln. As I sign off the day continues to look good in Australia. Oh, and I almost forgot. The Superb Fairy Wren was voted Australia’s Bird of 2021. That is an image of a male Superb Fairy Wren below. That plumage is amazing. During breeding season, the electric blue plumage becomes iridescent. They are common across Southeast Australia and are known to sing to the chicks when they are in the egg – the chicks recognize the parents by their voice when they hatch.

“superb fairy wren male” by Ralph Green is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Over 400,000 votes were cast this year. The Guardian said, “The superb fairywren has been voted bird of the year for 2021, narrowly defeating the tawny frogmouth in a nail-biting finish.” Here is the story:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/08/superb-fairywren-crowned-2021-australian-bird-of-the-year-winner-in-hotly-contested-vote#:~:text=The%20superb%20fairywren%20has%20been,during%20the%2010%2Dday%20competition.

Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

A Red Rump Parrot for Diamond!

The wait is now over. The first of the three eggs of Xavier and Diamond has now hatched. That was at 04:56.

In the image below you can catch a glimpse of the little furry ball and the shell that Diamond has moved.

At 06:42, the eyas was much more dry and fluffy.

But where is Xavier? He hasn’t been in the scrape at the usual time. There he is caught doing a fly by at 07:44. Whew.

Diamond will be very protective of the eyas for the first several days when it is so vulnerable. We continue to watch and to hope that all three eggs hatch and that there are three healthy chicks that fledge for this adorable couple.

Everyone joked that Xavier was out hunting for a very special breakfast for the chick and Diamond and Xavier did not disappoint. He delivered a Red-rumped Parrot! Remember. The main diet of the Melbourne falcons is pigeon while it is other birds in the rural areas. I am told that parrots are as plentiful in rural Australia as the pigeons are in the cities.

Diamond is taking it from Xavier. She will pluck it but she decides not to try and feed the newly born eyas but, instead, to take a break herself. Indeed, the eyas has had the advantage of the nutrients in the egg and does not require feeding right away. Look how tiny it is between those two eggs. Meanwhile, Diamond is going to enjoy her parrot breakfast. Thank goodness it is not a Starling – Diamond hates Starlings.

This is a male Red Rumped Parrot. They are considered to be highly intelligent and are often sought after as pets as they have a very pleasant voice. They are also called the Red back or Grass Parrot. They are large populations of them in Austral-Asia.

A nice image of the new family! Xavier gets to see the new baby!!

The little eyas is a little wiggly but showed no signs of interest in food. It was hard work getting out of that shell and that was only a couple of hours ago. It must have been exhausting work. Diamond continues to pluck the parrot but takes it away from the scrape to eat it.

It is hot in Australia. The chicks in Melbourne have been fed and Mum is being the umbrella. It will be 21 degrees C in Melbourne today.

Just look at how much they have grown! Look carefully at the one sitting up. See the shiny spot with no feathery down? That is the crop. It is full. When the eyases sleep on the gravel and wiggle around, the crop is hard and the feathers come off. It is nothing to worry about.

The camera has been acting up at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. The trio of nestlings had a large fish arrive this morning.

Everyone was still eating 25 minutes later. no doubt they will all be full and as you can see they are lined up in their typical manner. Look at the one on the right. Notice that there are more feathers coming on the top of the wings and on the back. That is Little Bob in the middle.

All of the birds are doing well. It is exciting to have a new chick to watch grow and hopefully those other two eggs will hatch quickly. Last year Diamond and Xavier had one chick, Izzi.

The voting for Australian Bird of the Year 2021 has closed. The Peregrine Falcons made it to the final voting. The winner will be announced at mid-day on 8 October in London.

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

Here is the link to the streaming cam in Orange, Australia where you can watch Xavier and Diamond:

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

Late night check in with the PLO and Collins Street kids

The males have been working overtime it seems making sure that there is food for all of the nestlings.

As many of you know, the weather in Port Lincoln has been anything but ideal. The winds were blowing from 40-50 kph and there were white caps on the water. At one time the barge and nest appeared to be rocking around quite a bit. Still, a miracle happened. Having been hunkered down, Dad brought in the first fish for the osplets at 8:37:58. It was truly remarkable. But what was more outstanding was that he delivered a second fish at 8:38:02, a third at 10:14:25, and a fourth at 13:53. It is just now turning 15:00 on the nest. This is simply joyous. Everyone has eaten, they have had crops, and there has been complete civility.

I put in the image below for two reasons. The crops of the two osplets on the front row are getting bigger. Secondly, because that is Little Bob who is on the front left. I want you to have a very good close look at his cere, the lighter bits below the beak and the black line through his eye. Look at its thickness. It is thinner than the other two. additionally, his head is just a wee bit lighter, for now.

I believe that it is Little Bob and Big Bob eating with Middle Bob holding back. It will get fed. Do not worry!

You can almost lose them on the nest these days. Little Bob has decided to flap his wings a bit while Middle Bob eats some fish.

Just look at Little Bob. Chubby tail, wings, fat little bottom and those soft pantaloons to go with the big white clown feet. They are so adorable. I never knew pin feathers could be so strikingly beautiful.

Oh, dear, watch out Mum!

Ah, look at those legs! These osplets are nice and healthy.

In Melbourne, the eyases are being fed just about every hour. Birds, mostly pigeon, arrived at 6:12:50, 7:10:34, 8:07:39, 9:12, 10:20:07, 12:42:14, 14:40, and 15:51:06. Everyone who was hungry got fed until they fell asleep. We will be seeing some remarkable growth for these little fluff balls. Tomorrow their eyes will be open wider, their necks will be getting more stronger and the amount of space they take up in the scrape box will be larger. Of course, we are only mid-afternoon, and already eight feedings. There will be quite a number before it is time for these wee ones to tuck it in for the night.

Oh, wonderful. They are ready for a snack.

Oh, relief. It is not a pigeon.

Here I come with another Melbourne Blue Plate Special kids.

Wake up everyone! It’s tea time!!!!!

Open wide!

Sleeping babies.

Let us all remember the great joy that the birds brought us last year and now. Hopefully you had an opportunity to take a deep breath. Maybe you were able to enjoy your garden or the wildlife in your area. Perhaps you came to love many of the bird and animal families on the streaming cams. I know that I felt more joyful just by becoming more connected with nature. So when someone asks you if you are ready for things to return to normal, think about your answer carefully.

Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin remark, “Under a dark cloud of fear and confusion people all over the world found solace and respite in nature; it improved the quality of their lives and their physical and mental health.” I believe that everyone reading my blog finds joy and inspiration in birds. You also do whatever you can to make their lives better. Each and every one of you has either aided or is aiding birds in one or in many ways. We all do what we can. The simple act of providing water during migration can be a huge help. Making sure your windows are left dirty or have deflectors so the there is no bird strike is another. Writing to people who can lobby for laws that ban lead in hunting and fishing equipment as well as the designer poisons such as rodenticide help tens of thousands a year. Educating people and working with your local parks authority to eliminate the feeding of bread to ducks can keep the waterfowl healthy. Donating even the smallest amount can keep the streaming cameras running for some not-for-profit nature centres and bring joy to hundreds of others. The list is endless.

Thank you for popping in to check on these two nests. Take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Port Lincoln Kids doing well

Many will disagree with me about whether or not birds getting pin feathers are ‘cute’. When I went back to check on the Port Lincoln osplets and their feeding times yesterday, there was this moment when all are so full they are in ‘food coma’ – passed out on the nest.

Just look at those fat little bottoms and those stubby tails! Now what is that if it isn’t cute?

The Port Lincoln kids had the following food deliveries on 2 October: 6:09:52, 9:16:15, 13:10:09, 13:59:11 (?), 16:10:51, 17:14:02, and 18:41:50.

Here are just a few images from those feedings.

This is the second delivery of the day.

Here is number three. Mom is sure being kept busy this year feeding the trio.

All lined up behaving themselves.

All lined up nicely waiting their turn, once again. No shoving, no beaking. Polite kids. This time Little Bob is in the middle but, often, now, it is difficult to tell who is who! Remarkable.

This is the way it should be and this is why everyone watching this Osprey nest in Australia should be overcome with joy. These parents are working so well together and so hard this year to ensure that each one of these chicks is successful.

Dad has been fantastic to bring in the fish. He always has a nice crop. Hoping that mom is getting enough fish from the feedings. These three sure can pack it away!

All of the chicks went to bed quite full. Dad and Mum are really helping them during this ‘big’ growth period with lots of fish. If there has been beaking, I have missed it. This nest just feels happy – and it should – everyone is doing well.

A quick check on the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon nest. I am only going to show you one image. You can see that the parents are ready with additional pigeon if it is needed.

That is Dad in the scrape and Mom behind just in case. It must have been a little overwhelming to see ‘four’ mouths instead of the usual three.

If you are not familiar with Peregrine Falcons, it is safe to say that the incidents of siblicide are minimal. That is because the chicks hatch so close to one another. It is the same with other hawks. There is always concern for the little one but, in this instance, there should be no worries. These four will be fed – a mouth open and it will get food.

There they are singing like members of a choir. The last hatch will not yet eat as much as the bigger ones and it will go into food coma quicker but the parents will make sure all get food. No worries!

I am trying to read three books at once. They are all good. Still, I hope to finish Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin’s Back to Nature. How to Love Life – and save it, soon. While the focus is definitely on the United Kingdom during the first year of the pandemic, the central core of the book can be applied to all of us. During the lockdowns we discovered our gardens, the birds, and our love for nature. Packham challenges us to take those interests and concern and bring them forward: if wildlife and the wild helped us through that abyss, then we need to help them now! Wise words.

It is another beautiful fall morning on the Canadian prairies. The sky is blue and the sun is shining bright and it is a good day for a walk around the wetlands. Hopefully there will be some interesting bird images for you later today. Meanwhile, Grey Squirrel would like his morning peanuts.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. And to those who have written lately, thank you. You are never an intrusion – never!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

Bird World Happenings

There is a lot of news in Bird World this morning. Early sat-packed Ospreys are finding their way to Africa. A 2013 hatch from Rutland, the famous 4K, arrived on the coast of guinea on 23 September at 17:00. Chris White has also sent photos of other unringed Ospreys arriving. So nice to hear they are safe.

Sharon Leigh-Miles posted a long list on the Montana Osprey FB Page. Sharon reported the following (abbreviated):

First out of the gate for migration was Avery. Many of you know Avery. She is from the Class of 2016. She returned to her nest by the Yellowstone River about April 19, 2021. This year she fledged three healthy chicks again. Dr. Marco Restani of the Yellowstone Osprey Project banded her chicks. Avery must have needed a rest because she left for her home in Veracruz about September 1st. Avery’s sister or half-sister, Boots, Class of 2018, seemed to find a home in Idaho this year. She is now on the coast of Louisiana. It is decision time for Boots. Will she fly east to Cuba, her first winter home, or will she veer back westerly and return to the Chiapas, Mexico? We believe hurricanes and tropical storms may have blown Boots off course last year and she settled in Chiapas. We have three chicks that fledged on MPG Ranch in the Bitterroot Valley. Kove was banded and outfitted on July 21, 2021. He was the eager beaver and left on his first migration on September 11th. He is currently right outside Tampico. Lupine from the Class of 2020 found her winter home slightly northeast of Kove’s location. Sainfoin was banded and outfitted on August 10th. This chick left on migration on September 16th and just crossed the border into Mexico. Rio is our last chick this year. She was banded and outfitted on August 10th as well. Rio seems to think that having fish delivered and having a full crop is just the ticket, as she is still at her natal nest being supplied by her dad. Don’t worry. The urge to migrate will soon move her south. In addition to Lupine, three additional ospreys from the Class of 2020 remain at their winter homes. Zinnia and Dahlia have made Louisiana their winter home. Lucky settled down on the coast of Tabasco, MX.” Thanks, Sharon!

Satellite Packs and even simple banding give us a lot of information about the travels of our beloved birds. Audubon FL reported that a Banded juvenile Bald Eagle Green K/48 from Florida was located far from home in Virginia. Have a read:

https://fl.audubon.org/news/banded-eagle-spotted-hundreds-miles-nest-site?fbclid=IwAR3nNRp2wMD5NjudQ_vUwAoexk2NMJiWABT6FGFBWmL6XeDxMzXYnaJsnns

There are currently only 10 Albatross chicks left on Taiaroa Head, NZ. One of those is Tiaki. Tiaki is the Royal Cam chick of the year, daughter of LGL and LGK. She is a beauty. She has already mastered hovering and when Tiaki decides it is time to fledge, we will all be cheering for her. We can also watch her travels because she also has a sat-pack!

If you are a fan of Turkey Vultures, the San Diego Zoo announced that it has successfully hatched an Egyptian Turkey Vulture in captivity.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2021/sep/23/first-egyptian-vulture-bred-captivity-san-diego/?fbclid=IwAR32UpOxdtf2MCrJx5-3jlE62cpSE7gEG5bvTdvvlsJGWLPMQeGXl3nAWBM

Last but never the least, the Port Lincoln Ospreys had several feedings after I turned out the lights on the Canadian prairies. Dad brought in a whale at 13:56:56. Mom was still feeding the chicks at 14:29. That is a total of 34 minutes. It is good to compare this with earlier feedings that were only 6 minutes long. It will give you some idea of the amount of food the chicks are now consuming. There was another feeding at 15:04:54 and again at 16:03. The kids – each and everyone of them – had nice crops! It was a good day in Port Lincoln.

At 12:51, the trio still have crops from their earlier feeding.

Look at that great fish Dad just delivered!

More than half of it was gone at the end of the feeding. Remember when this fish would have lasted all day?

Mom cleaning her beak at the end of the feeding.

Happy babies wanting more.

Their crops are full. one is passed out in a food coma. Little Bob and one of the older siblings are holding out for a bit more. Little Bob never leaves the table early. He seems to have an endless pit.

The Port Lincoln chicks are all doing well. Little Bob is beginning to lose the soft down on top of his head and you can see the dark feathers coming in. Little Bob is 51 hours younger than Big Bob. He will be catching up in plumage very soon. There are a lot of people that think that he will catch up in size but, the general rule – rules, of course, always broken – is that the third hatch is a male. If that is the case with Little Bob then he is going to be smaller than Big Bob who is probably a female. At least 30% smaller.

Everything is wonderful in Bird Land. Lots of good stories about migration coming out.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is another grand fall day with summer temperatures on the Canadian prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project and Sharon Leigh-Miles for allowing me to use their information from their FB page. Thanks to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.