The King of the Puffer Hunters

2.24.2020

It is the 25th of February at the Port Lincoln Barge.

I would have missed it. My friend ‘B’ sent an e-mail with the subject line: Ervie is on the Nest! My heart skipped a beat and I rushed to get the Port Lincoln streaming cam up on the computer. And there he was – our Ervie!

Ervie arrived empty taloned at 11:03:42. He flew off at 11:31:51. His approach sent the pigeons scurrying. Was Ervie checking to see if Dad was on the nest?

Here comes Ervie!

Ervie returned to the nest at 11:46:45 with a puffer. I remember a line in an old movie that I loved to watch on New Year’s, Year in Provence. It refers to someone being the King of the Truffle Hunters. That is the only part I recall but the rhyme made me think of Ervie, the King of the Puffer Hunters. Are they a delicacy for Ervie? How many Puffers are there? Will he eat up the entire stock?

Incoming.

Getting ready to land.

I wonder if anyone would make an Ervie lamp with the Puffer Fish as the globe for the light? That would be something!!!!!!!!!

That is some balancing act. So glad Ervie didn’t lose that precious catch.

Ervie is still eating on that puffer fish at 12:53:54.

Oh, what a gift to see Ervie! Crazy odd things go through your head as you watch Ervie devour his puffer. Has he developed a taste for this particular fish that no one else wants? Will he tell his future mate that he has a Puffer Fish fetish and his kids will only eat Puffers?

Ervie must know where they are. That was a fifteen minute break between leaving the nest and returning with his catch. Oh, gosh, Ervie. What a darling you are. And just look at you. You look terrific. We have missed you. Thanks for coming to visit.

Thank you ‘B’ with all my heart for taking the time to send me that note. Tears coming down. So happy to see our Ervie in such wonderful condition.

Thank you to the rest of you for joining me tonight. Take care! And if you want to catch Ervie at the nest or rewind to see these great moments, here is the link to the streaming cam:

Thank you Port Lincoln for your streaming cam where I took my screen captures of everyone’s favourite juvenile Osprey – Ervie, King of the Puffer Hunters.

Ervie, you melted our hearts

As a pigeon cleans the nest and a Cormorant dries itself on the perch of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Ervie, we are all missing you! You hatched on 16 September at 00:51. You are five months and three days and you have been away from the barge for 48 hours. Are you gone for good? We all wondered until you surprised us returning to the nest at 12:42 and you stayed until 13:30. How wonderful. When you left a couple of days ago, we all worried that we would not see you again. What a real treat, Ervie. Thank you. You are looking really well.

You did your fish calling right before you flew off. Did you see Dad? Will you return later today?

Here the pigeon is looking for scraps and the Cormorant has returned to the perch after you left.

You hatched on 16 September were 51 hours younger than Bazza, the oldest sibling in the nest. As late as 27 September, when you were 9 days old, Bazza was trying to take over dominance in the nest. Yes, he pecked at your head and tried to stand tall to intimidate you but, you never gave in, Ervie. Never.

None of us will ever be able to be precise about what it was that made your melt our hearts but, you did – in spades. Is it the cheering for the under dog? You never felt like an under dog to me, Ervie. You were spirited, you knew what you wanted. You learned early to get where Mum could see you and close to her beak in the sweet spot in order to get the fish. You were a survivor. You never cowered in submission to Bazza or Falky. OK. Maybe one or two times when you were very little, close to hatch, but by the 27th of September, you had the drive and the determination to get what you wanted.

There you are with that fish bladder. All of you were curious about it.

Look how much you have changed in just a few days. In the image above you are still sporting you soft grey down and in the one below, four days later, almost full reptilian.

Look how tiny you are in thee middle of Falky and Bazza.

Ervie, you loved your fish!

All lined up like children in a choir behaving. That was the tone of this wonderful nest at Port Lincoln. No one could believe it. The early angst was gone and each of you just lined up and ate your fish. Dad made sure there was plenty on hand even when it was storm and the winds were blowing at 37 kph. Mum made sure each was fed. You could not have chosen a better family in which to hatch than this one at this time and place.

You are 20 days old Ervie, looking and wanting that fish standing behind the others. Adorable.

You wiggle around and come to the side and you will get fed.

There you are, already sporting a big crop, up at Mum’s beak wanting more fish!

You are 34 days old in the following image. you are the one closest to Mum’s beak. Look at the beautiful juvenile feathering that each of you is getting.

It is 27 October and you are the one getting the fish bites in the image below. Look at how well you are standing. All of you are growing up.

Your eyes never move away from the fish that Mum is feeding. There you are n the back ready to grab a bite!

There you are with your sat-pak, Ervie. You were all banded and given official names. They even put some nice fish on the nest so all of you could eat. There was enough for Mum and Dad, too.

  • Big Bob, first hatch, has a red band, weighed the least at 1280 grams and is named Bazza. The name celebrates Take 2 Photography’s husband, Barry Hockaday, who did so much to bring the Osprey Barge to a reality.
  • Middle Bob, second hatch, has a yellow band, weighed 1330 grams and is named Falky after Ian Falkenberg, the bander.
  • Little Bob, third hatch, has a dark green almost black band, weighed 1380 grams and is named Ervie. It is the name of the Scottish town where Australia’s current Minister of the Environment grew up. This choice focused on the fact that the growth in the Eastern Osprey population and this project would not be possible without the Minister’s support.

And that is how ‘never miss a meal Little Bob’ became the biggest Bob! And got the sat-pak! Well done, Ervie.

Your bling is beautiful and we hope that sat-pak does work for 7 or more years so we know how you are doing.

It seemed that all of you grew up after you were banded. You were feeding yourselves and hovering and then fledging. Once everyone got their bling it was so much easier to identify who was right up at Mum’s beak – as she often chose to feed her boys even though they could easily feed themselves. That is you, Ervie, getting fed with your beak almost touching Mum’s head!

When Mum was not there and Dad delivered a fish, Ervie, you were often the one to get that fish first and mantle it.

On 14 November, you fledged, Ervie.

First to get the fish again.

Falky really wanted the fish Ervie had. Ervie, you were fast as lightning to get those fish deliveries – not always, but often and normally the first one of the day.

As all of you got older and more independent, the dust ups began. There was never any love lost between you and Bazza.

No one will ever forget the dog fight that you had with Falky!

Or your first puffer catch. Did you actually develop a taste for the Puffer, Ervie? You would bring in another one to the nest a few days before you departed.

You are four months old on 16 January and what a handsome fellow you are. You are now the king of the nest.

Super handsome Ervie.

You could hear your loud cry for fish across the cove. We will all miss it. Wonder if anyone tried to make a ring tone for their phone?

Oh, Ervie. You brought such joy to our lives. Every day we waited to see what you would be up to from the moment that you hatched. Thank you for staying with us for five months and for returning today to the barge. We never know when you fly off if you will return.

This is your latest tracking. Port Lincoln confirms that you are enjoying the Boston Bay area and the fishing is good by the National Park. We will look forward to more adventures.

If you do not return, Ervie, each of us wishes you the best life. Fly high. Live well and safe. Never be hungry. Come back to see us! And if for some reason you decide to use the barge as ‘home base’, I am sure no one will mind! At least not until Mum and Dad decide to take over the nest in the late summer.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam and FB pages where I took these screen captures and video clips. Thank you for letting us share in the lives of this beautiful Osprey family.

Oh, Falky!

Anyone watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge has felt that all three of the lads have been out fishing elsewhere. To date, as far as I know, none of the brothers – Bazza, Falky, or Ervie – have caught their own fish on camera.

Bazza has not been seen on camera today. Ervie picked up the 06:28 fish and the 10:41 fish. Falky flew over and tried to take that one from Ervie but he failed.

Falky takes off from the ropes when Dad delivers the fish to Ervie on the nest.

You can see Falky on the upper left above the nest.

Dad had better get out of the way. Falky is hungry!

Ervie secures the fish by moving it over to the rim of the nest in his beak.

At 11:30:00 Falky is watching the water closely. Have a look at what happens!

Oh, Falky was hungry and he was really enjoying that fish he caught.

I have never seen a juvenile fledgling catch their fish, not this young. This is a rare glimpse into their lives as they adjust to becoming independent. Each of them might have caught a fish off camera but this was quite incredible today.

I am hoping that Falky and Ervie will set up a fishing competition! At this very moment, Falky is on the perch looking for another fish.

That was just marvellous. Earlier in the morning a dolphin jumped close to the barge.

Another fish was delivered at 14:15:46. Here comes Dad with it to the nest. Falky sees it. Ervie wants it.

Here comes Falky!

Too late. Ervie gets it!

It has simply been a super morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia. There is more news in Bird World but it can all wait til tomorrow. This is to be relished. It is rare to see a juvenile catch a fish. Enjoy it – and it alone.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and my video clips.

Ervie, ‘the main man’

I cannot possibly tell you what joy – sheer joy – the Port Lincoln Osprey nest has brought to me this year. There is a huge lesson in that statement. The biggest one is: Do not let something that happened on a bird nest in a previous breeding season deter you from returning to that nest. There are so many different factors that impact a season from the time the eggs are laid to the chicks fledging.

These factors can be as simple as the weather – and we all know that weather is not simple. Chicks can die on a nest from cold damp or extreme heat. They can also thrive, of course. A parent might be injured or die. This year Aran, the male at the Glaslyn Nest in Wales, was injured in a territorial battle and could not provide fish for his family. At the same time, the Glaslyn Valley was hit by a bitter wet storm that lasted days on end. The three chicks of Aran and Mrs G perished. Aran and Mrs G survived through the generous donations of fish on a feeding table. Some eggs are thin and break easily due to lingering DDT in the area even after it has been banned for 50 years. Food supplies can shift. Predators. The list is long including the gender of the siblings on the nest and the number of days between hatches.

I disliked Solly so much last year after Tapps died of starvation that – well, it was hard for me to return to the Port Lincoln nest. The history of the nest told me that the likelihood for another siblicide event was acute. Many of you felt the same. My need to witness and try to understand the survival of third hatches, ultimately, compelled me to return to the PLO barge.

What then are the adjectives to describe the 2021-22 Osprey breeding season at the Port Lincoln barge? Beautiful. Serene. Delightful. Joyous. Come on, you can help me! It certainly was enlightening and instructive. It will also be unforgettable for all the right reasons.

It is possible to do a full scale analysis of weather, wind, fish deliveries, etc. Port Lincoln keeps all of the information on a myriad of events on the nest and everything could be fed into a computer. A really quick glance of fish deliveries tells me that this year is pretty comparable to last year. Certainly Mum and Dad didn’t change their behaviour. Is it possible then that it comes down to the time between hatches and the gender of the nestlings? Does it have anything to do with how the third hatch presents itself to the oldest? I don’t yet know the answer to those questions but, I am hoping to have more insights after another decade for collecting data. For now, I just want to celebrate the achievement of this nest. Three fledges! A first for them. Well done.

Let’s go back in time – almost four months ago. This video clip is a feeding from 16 September.

This feeding is 6 November, not quite two months later.

This year, on the Port Lincoln Barge, Ervie is the ‘main man’. Hatched 51 hours after Bazza, the oldest, Ervie did not have the challenges that many third hatches have. He was not that smaller than Bazza after several days of eating. We still worried because Bazza was picking on Ervie. Ervie, however, didn’t take it. He refused to be submissive or lose his place at Mum’s beak. Indeed, he insisted that he was the first fed!!!!!! Talk about an attitude. I openly admit to adoring this bird for his spunk, his confidence, and determination. Yes, I really do believe that there are some birds that are more confident than others – just like humans.

When it came time to measure, band, and put a satellite pack on the back of one of the three, everyone believed that it would go to a male bird so that the data could be compared to that provided by Solly’s tracking. Did they think there were three males on the nest? I wonder. Someone must have decided then that if all three were male, the biggest would get the tracker. That morning Ervie weighed the most. Ervie, who came from third to be the dominant bird on the nest, got the sat-pak. It really was an inspired choice.

A few days ago we worried because Ervie spent the night and the next day on the nest with his head held down. Granted it was very windy and having noticed the others doing this, that behaviour was not worrisome. But Ervie – all night and day on the nest??!! I have now joked about there being a kind of rota chart for nest time.

For a couple of days after Ervie spent all that time on the nest we didn’t really see him much. He flew in around 13:00 yesterday and, typically, with his arrival, chaos ensued. Ervie enjoyed the last fish of the day before spending the night sleeping on the nest.

When Ervie woke up in the morning, Dad delivered the breakfast fish – and because Ervie was on the nest, he got it. It was 07:02. Falky would have liked it but he stayed on the ropes.

Ervie also got the 09:36:52 fish delivery from Dad. This time Falky was again on the ropes but this time, Falky flew to the nest to try and get the fish. He failed. This means that Ervie had the last three fish deliveries!

At 11:00 both Ervie and Falky are on the nest. Falky finds a fish tail left from Ervie. He grabs it and flies over to the ropes to have a snack.

At 11:12:56 Falky flies over to the nest to join Ervie. Falky probably wants to see if Ervie left any more tasty tidbits.

The arrival of Falky on the nest does not sit right with Ervie and there is a dust up.

Ervie decides he has had enough and leaves. After all, he has had 3 of the last 3 fish deliveries.

Falky gets the 12:45 fish delivery from Dad.

Falky is on the left and he has relieved Dad of the fish. Dad is on the right. You can see that the fledglings are as large as their parents.

Two hours later, Falky remains on the nest. I wonder if this is his reservation day??? We wait to see.

Will Falky occupy the nest and get the next three or four deliveries? Will he spend the night on the nest? We have to wait and see.

I hope that each of you really learned a lot from this Osprey nest and that all of you will tell a friend to watch with you next year.

The Fosters do a great job with The Port Lincoln Osprey Project. They have successfully advocated for satellite trackers for the birds and we have learned much from Solly’s travels. Now we have the opportunity to learn from Ervie. The Fosters also advocate for safety measures for the birds including covers for the hydro poles. Hopefully they will post how that is going on their FB page. I am very grateful to them for this streaming cam and for their FB page. That is where I took today’s screen captures and video clips.

Thanks for joining me! Take care everyone. See you soon.

New Year’s Eve in Bird World

The Audubon Society has posted a list of five rules when photographing Bald Eagles. I think that they apply to every bird. Be respectful. Prey is often scarce and if you see a raptor hunting food don’t disturb it, please. Their life could depend on it!

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter-2017/five-rules-photographing-bald-eagle-nests?fbclid=IwAR0rgIDuOUG1oXKaHil_H4B_mFz6TF6JzcL-1fuIpMJG8Hgw4Smxbh_02BE

The other day I called E19 and E20 little stinkers. What a pair! One of them was even beaking an adult this morning! E20 holds its own – it just makes everyone a little anxious. They are strong and healthy. The images are a little fuzzy as I tried to crop them so you could see the little ones better.

Here they are going at it first thing while Mum tries to get over to feed them breakfast. Both had huge crops and at the second feeding weren’t interested in eating just dusting it up.

This cheeky eaglet facing Mum was beaking at her feathers!

Even with all the action, they are both adorable with their spiky tops.

Harriet has just finished feeding the pair some nice fresh fish.

Harriet is so experienced. It is often one bite for you and then a bite for your sibling.

Here is a video showing Dad, M15 giving E19 and E20 the last meal of the day yesterday!

It was a gorgeous morning at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson.

Gabby is having a break looking over their territory in the morning mist.

Samson always enjoys getting some time with the eggs. Oh, so handsome.

Anna and Louis seem to have perfected transitioning incubation duties while protecting that one precious egg of theirs.

It is a beautiful nest full of pinecones for this little eaglet to use to learn how to grip with its talons.

It is already New Year’s Day in Australia and the Port Lincoln Lads were up early trying to get the first fish from Dad. It was 06:23 and Falky was on the nest!

Dad didn’t even eat the head!

Well done, Falky.

Diamond does not seem to have spent the night in the scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University but she did arrive early. There was a lot of eee-chupping. It sounded like she was calling Xavier to come and join her. Xavier might have been off hunting for breakfast. It was a beautiful morning.

You are so beautiful, Diamond.

Everyone in Bird World seems to be doing just fine today. Big Red and Arthur have been spotted hunting together over by the power plant. It is comforting that all are doing well. We hope that all of the 2021 fledges fly safe, stay healthy, and have lots of prey items.

Thank you so much for joining me. Wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2022. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF.

Snow for Birds on the Canadian Prairies – and no eaglets in Fort Myers, yet

We are in the middle of a snowstorm here on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starling are using those really long and sharp beaks of theirs to try and forage food under the feeders. The sparrows are flitting around from branch to branch as the wind blows the snow in tiny little tornado-like gusts. For a long time we have wondered what to do for the birds when the weather is like this. A carport for birds and feeders????

The camera does not catch the snow blowing – and I don’t have a slow enough shutter speed on my phone. You can see the snow on the domes of the feeders and the little pine tree is almost completely covered.

All those white dots are snow blowing around. So hard to capture it so that you can really see the amounts. The depth is about 34 cm or over a foot. I do so feel for the birds – and other animals living in the wild – on days like this.

The eaglets, E19 and E20, in the eggs under Harriet are still working their way out. You can see what appears to be a large crack in one of them below. Or is this a piece of grass stuck to the egg?

The view of the eggs changes each time Harriet rolls them. Last evening a large piece of the moss stuck to one of the eggs making it appar that there was a crack going all the way around.

It is currently 24 degrees C in Fort Myers. It will rise to 27 degrees mid afternoon for Harriet and M15 today.

Poor Harriet. She is already panting to regulate her temperature.

Harriet is certainly restless this morning. I don’t blame her. Those pips came about 14 hours ago. She has been so careful moving around the eggs.

The camera has been down at Port Lincoln for a couple of days. I can see what I believe are the three lads. If they are in their usual spots it is Bazza on the nest, Ervie on the perch, and Falky on the ropes in his favourite diving spot. It is 03:00 on the barge.

The temperatures in Jacksonville, Florida are currently 18 degrees C rising to 23 during the middle of the afternoon for Gabby and Samson.

I found a new bird feeder cam that I really like for the variety of birds that arrive to eat. This feeder will not allow me to embed the link for you so go to youTube and search for LIVE Feeder Cam Gettysburg PA. They aren’t raptors but they sure are fun to watch when waiting for eagles to hatch!

The Starlings can be bullies but I still love them!

And for those looking for a new board game, look no further than ‘Wingspan’. Don’t be fooled – there are two parts. First is the book, Celebrating Birds and then there is the actual board and playing disks. I wish they were sold together. The book and game were developed with the Cornell Lab, Natalie Hargrave, and a couple of creative women, Natalie Rojas and Ana Maria Martinez. The images are beautiful – each is a watercolour. It is a great way to learn about the birds of the world but, you need to do your homework and check prices. I found that they can vary by as much as 40% for the actual board game and pieces. The book is quite reasonable and there are various extensions including the birds of Oceania.

I hope all of you are well. Thank you so much for joining me this morning as we anxiously await for the arrival of E19 and 20. Take care and stay safe. I hope to see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Live Bird Feeder Cam Gettysburg PA.

Oh, Bazza Baby

The Port Lincoln Lads seem to always be up to something. This morning Falky was flying about and Bazza and Ervie were on the nest. They had to have been full because there was a lovely fish tail on the nest and neither one of them were paying any attention to it.

It was very windy and Bazza entertained Ervie for about half an hour trying to land and stay on the perch. Have a look.

Are you finding that sometimes you could just use a little bit of ‘cute’ as we wait for new bobble heads in the raptor families to be born? What about a Korora?

They used to be called Little Blue Penguins. They are the smallest of the New Zealand penguins. This little one will weigh about 1 kg and be about 25 cm tall when it is fully grown. Their population is in decline due to dog, cat, stoat, and ferret kills. This group of predators has arisen because of the destruction of the penguin’s natural nesting sites for development. Sad.

And I want to give a shout out to ‘TAS’ for introducing me to this cute little non-raptor!

WBSE 27 has been observed being hounded by the Pied Currawong. This report comes from Cathy Cook on the ground:

As is usual in the Reserve, SE27 found herself being escorted & swooped by Noisy Miners, Magpies, Currawongs and Ravens, from the time she hopped out of the carrier. We saw her take 4 seperate flights, with her finally being observed (by credible people in the wharf cafe) to cross over the Parramatta River, just a little west of River Roost. The last picture shows SE27’s individual flights within the first 40 minutes after her release — at Newington Nature Reserve, Sydney Olympic Park.

Cathy posted pictures and a short video. I hope she does not mind my including one for you.

@ Cathy Cook

The saddest part about being a juvenile Sea Eagle is that for the rest of his life, 27 will be hounded by the smaller birds who, as you already know, are very effective in driving the juveniles out of the forest. I hope that Lady and Dad return to the River Roost on the Parramatta River to find 27 so they can feed her.

For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving with your friends, families and/or other loved ones in the USA, have a wonderful day. For those in Canada who celebrated in October, tomorrow is just another day. Take care. Always be thankful. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for its streaming cam where I video captured Bazza and to the Sea Eagles FB Page and Cathy Cook for the update on WBSE 27.

Up Close with Ervie

Port Lincoln gave everyone a real treat today by getting up close and personal with Ervie when he was on the perch.

Alan Poole calls the feet the ‘business end of the osprey.’ You can see the rough sandpaper bottom of the feet that stops the slippery fish from falling off and that reversible toe that swings backwards to hold the fish taut. The hooked talons join the barbs on the bottom of the feet and that amazing reversible toe to give the Osprey or ‘fish eagle’ its advantage when diving for its dinner.

I have never touched an Osprey. Would I like to? Of course, if it didn’t stress them out. If I were to rub the feathers of an osprey, Poole tells me that they would feel oily. The layers of these waterproof feathers really helps this raptor that will be diving (if a male) many times per day during the nesting period to feed his family. Of course, the females fish, too. Some better than their mates.

Ervie has something caught in his beak. It looks like an old piece of fish skin. He has been rooting around in the nest for leftovers ever since Falkey got the breakfast fish. Hopefully that old skin will dislodge.

Ervie’s beautiful juvenile feathers will wear out and will need to be replaced. It is called molting. The osprey has adapted for the feathers to be replaced gradually without disrupting their ability to fly and fish.

As an adult, Ervie will not have that beautiful white tip to his back and wing feathers. The plumage on his head will remain in the same pattern. Sometimes the pattern on the crown of the head is so distinctive that an unringed bird can be identified simply from that formation.

There is Ervie on 4 October. He was only 20 days old. A perfect little reptile waiting for the fish. Ervie was always my focus because he was the third hatch. I believe, however, that is Bazza closest to your screen with Falkey out of view. Ervie loved his fish just like he does now and he always liked to have his breakfast first. He was not shy about getting in the line even if Bazza tried to dissuade him.

Today, however, Falkey seems to be the only one eating. He landed the 06:55 fish. Bazza then found an old piece of fish and Ervie took that (probably what was hanging from his beak). Dad came with another delivery at 09:21 and Falkey got that one, too. This didn’t sit too well with Ervie and it got him a little agitated. Ervie starts fighting with Bazza while Falkey eats away. Both Ervie and Bazza wind up on the deck again. Will this be their time out corner?

Ervie pushes Bazza out of the nest backwards.

These two have been very lucky that they did not go in the water.

Just look at Ervie’s eyes. Bazza may be his sibling, the one who picked on him when he was younger but, I don’t feel any ‘love’ between these two.

By 09:56, some 35 minutes later, both brothers are back on the nest.

Eventually Ervie flies over to the other side of the ropes, Bazza and Falkey are in the nest (surely Falkey cannot eat a third fish), and Mum and Dad are in the shed or man cave. Everyone is screaming at Dad for fish. It reminds me of Emyr Evans saying that Ceri would be screaming her head off at Monty wanting fish and she would be standing on one. Endless pits. These Dads sure need to be fit if they are going to do a good job of providing for these big chicks.

Ervie is no shrinking violet, that is for sure. I am surprised, however, that he struck out at Bazza and didn’t go over and take the fish from Falkey. The day is young. It is not even noon on Sunday 21 November. Lots can still happen. Maybe Ervie will decide to try fishing. Now that would be simply grand.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

Hold on to your seats

The three males on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge were – as I said many, many times – the most polite and civil trio I had ever witnessed. Well, today all bets are off. It was expected that once the lads had fledged and were moving into being independent that the conflict over fish deliveries would increase. It hasn’t actually been that bad. There was a tussle between Ervie and Falkey this morning over the breakfast fish. Ervie won.

Well, the fish isn’t even on the nest and Ervie and Falkey are going at one another. Caught in the cross-fire is Mum and Bazza. It is 14:10 in the afternoon and all is not well. I just hope the two do not injure one another.

There is only the anticipation of a fish because Mum is on the nest and the boys might have seen dad. Bazza is staying out of everything. He is by Mum but already Ervie and Falkey are eyeing one another.

Falkey goes over to jump on Ervie. Ervie is under Falkey and on top of Bazza. Poor Mum. I wonder if she has ever had a nest of all boys?

Everything is wings and twisting and turning.

Bazza stands up and Mum ducks.

Falkey is standing on top of Bazza.

Ervie is watching trying to see what Falkey is doing to Bazza.

Then everyone gets into the mix again.

I ‘think’ it is Falkey on the left, Bazza in the middle, and Ervie on the right. Poor Mum is in there, too.

Ervie is full of adrenalin and he gets Bazza on his back. This is not going to end well at all.

They are going down. This is definitely not good at all. Falkey who precipitated all of this with Ervie is simply looking on from the left as the two brothers have it out.

Bazza winds up in Dad’s man cave. He is alright. But he will not have the lift to fly up to the nest. Remember, Bazza is the only one that has not fledged.

The owners are monitoring the situation. They say that Bazza will probably fly to the ropes and then on to the nest but, perhaps, not just right now. They won’t intervene because they do not believe it is necessary and it would ‘freak’ out the other birds.

Falkey is left on the nest.

Mum arrives and Dad flies in with a whopper. Falkey will be much nicer after he eats his fish.

Falkey still has control of the fish. Mum is on the nest – she would some fish, too and there is Ervie right behind Falkey. He would like some fish, too. You can see Bazza down in the man cave.

Some of you will remember Tiny Tot Tumbles from the Achieva Osprey Nest. She went on to very proudly defend the nest against adult intruders. These birds have to be able to ‘fight’ so to speak. They are getting ready to leave the natal nest territory and set out on their own. It is just like Grinnell having to go in and take back his territory. We might like to think birds are sweet and only sing lovely songs and get along but even in my garden sometimes it is a real battle between some rivals.

It doesn’t look like there will be any dull moments on this nest now. To be continued at the next fish delivery….

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures. Take care everyone!

Is it? or isn’t it?

It looks like the order of fledging at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is the exact inverse of the hatching. Ervie fledged yesterday and almost identical to the number of hours between them, Falky fledged this morning at 09:07. Bazza should fly around 13:00 if they hold up the pattern.

Bazza was sure itching to go and Port Lincoln recognized this and zoomed out on the camera.

So is it a fledge? or just great hovering? I would say the latter.

Notice how the boys get one another going though. Falky is going to fly off and he will find himself down in Dad’s man cave. Ervie is flying around and Bazza really wants to join his brothers and have some fun flying. I am afraid I will miss it. It is time to call it lights out in Canada. If Bazza fledges, send me a note with the time stamp – it will be appreciated.

Thank you for joining me. Oh, it is terrific to watch these lads, isn’t it. Take care all and see you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my video clip.