Saturday Cuteness in Bird World

I thought that it was going to be hectic for Mum and Dad to keep the Collins Street Four supplied with pigeons. I never thought about the parents chasing them all over the gutter to make sure that each one gets fed! I don’t think any of us ever have to worry about the dedication and focus of these Peregrine Falcon adults. This feeding was quite extraordinary!

Did little Yurruga spend the night sleeping in the corner of the scrape box while Diamond tried to incubate her unviable eggs?

The feeding of Yurruga at Orange is so different than that of the Collins Street Four. However, looking ahead one week we should anticipate that Yurruga will be excited and nipping at the prey as the Melbourne falcons.

Yurruga makes some of the cutest faces and gestures.

There was a peanut size fish delivery at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge earlier but the three osplets and Mum are still waiting for Dad to bring in something substantial.

Dad brought the tiniest fish to the nest this morning in the Sydney Olympic Forest. He waited for about half an hour but no eaglet appeared. The Pied Currawongs were a menace to Lady, too, and eventually they ran him off the nest.

I remember Lady and Dad coming to the nest last year trying to lure 26 back so they could feed her. I wonder if one of the eaglets is still in the forest? There have been no reports since 15:30 on the day 28 fludged and 27 had its forced fledge.

OGK continues to wait for the arrival of YRK at the Taiaroa Head Royal Albatross Colony in New Zealand. Send every speck of positive energy his way. I so hope she flies in this week!

Here on the Canadian Prairies the weather has turned quite coolish. The number of birds in my garden have dwindled. Today there were only six Slate-grey Juncos and the House Sparrows. Grey Squirrel loved it because he had more than enough seed to fill him and four others to the brim! Tomorrow I will be at the nature centre to watch the thousands of Canada Geese land at dusk. It is eerie – the garden being quiet. I cannot imagine a world without the sound of the birds.

Thank you for joining me. Do take care. Stay safe and be happy.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagle @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Less can be more

Hopefully today’s ramblings will make a point on how to help our birds. Bear with me. I love to tell stories and revisit memorable moments.

More than a decade and a half ago, I was in Beijing teaching some special workshops at the International School and also giving lectures on the history of Chinese ceramics. Yes, you read that correctly. A Canadian was in China talking about Chinese pottery! I had been there several times before and always enjoyed myself and treasured the friendships that I made. This particular visit I was staying in a hutong that had been converted into a small guest house. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard houses, many torn down now. During breakfast I met a very interesting lady whose name was Fanny Farkles. She had retired from owing a restaurant, catering, and cooking school in New York City. I asked her, being terribly curious, what she was going to purchase and take with her as a reminder of her time in Beijing. What she told me has stuck with me. She said, ‘I spent the first 50 years of my life acquiring stuff and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it’. Instead of ‘something’ she was going for an experience – a 17 course Ming-Dynasty meal fit for the emperor.

It wasn’t until later that I fully grasped the wisdom of what Farkles was saying but when I did, it hit me hard and, like all great insights, you wish you could turn back the clock and start again sometimes. Stuff. This coming year I will be spending much time finding new homes for ‘the stuff’. Thankfully, my resolution for 2021 was not to buy any new books. I almost made it had it not been for Chris Packham’s Back to Nature or Emyr Evans, Monty. Almost any book can be purchased used from a myriad of international sellers but not those two when I checked.

Speaking of Emyr Evans’s book on Monty, the DFYI on line shop is now open. If you are interested, here is the link to their on line shop:*

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/

A signed copy is 15 GBP. If you live in the UK, the postage is a very low flat rate. The round the world flat rate is 11.99 GBP. If you are a fan of the Dyfi’s Monty, the super star of the male Osprey world (by some), it is a great book or gift. It is also a fundraiser for the Dyfi Osprey Project.

One other year a young woman asked women around the world not to buy any new clothes. To wear one thing and switch it up with what was in the closet. It was the year of my black sheath dress. The money saved was given to young women in India to purchase school uniforms because we all know that education is important but you cannot go to school without a uniform in India. It was a brilliant idea.

An article in the environmental section of The Guardian today talks about ‘stuff’ and how to save the environment by not buying. Several months ago, an economist suggested that if everyone in the world cut their spending of non-essential goods by 15% it would have a major impact on climate change. If it is good for the environment then it is good for the birds. Have a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/20/we-need-to-stop-buying-stuff-and-i-know-just-the-people-to-persuade-us

A quick check on those adorable feathered creatures that inspire us to leave the world a better place reveals that Middle Bob and Little Bob on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge had a tug o war over the fish tail this morning. I think Middle Bob won but, that’s OK. Little Bob won when he pulled with Mum!

Despite their amazing growth and those awesome curved juvenile feathers, you can still tell Little Bob from the circle on top of its head. You can also count on Little Bob being as near to where Mum is handing out the food as anyone. They line up and he is there, right at the beak with gleeful anticipation in his eyes.

Mum is happy to oblige!

The feeding is over and Little and Middle are tugging for the tail. The osplet behind Mum is Big Bob. It looks like a circle on its head but it isn’t. It has lines radiating out when you can see the full design.

Middle Bob is eating the tail and Little Bob is checking to see if Mum finds any more food on the nest. Oh, he loves leftovers, too. First up to the table and normally the last to leave. Sounds like Little Bob is a female to me. They need about 25% more food than the males.

Yurruga is currently sleeping off that entire Starling that Xavier fed it for breakfast. It is a wonder the baby didn’t pop but, like a good falcon, when Xavier suggested it eat more and made that chumping sound, Yurruga ate. It is learning to eat when food is available. You don’t always have the luxury of a stash in the corner of a scrape box in the real falcon world.

At least one of the Collins Street Four looks like it wants to try out for one of the local rugby teams. My goodness these chicks are enormous. Look at those feathers coming in. One day we will wake up and they are going to look like their Dad and Mum – it will happen in a blink I am afraid.

No other news from the little sea eaglets that flew off the nest yesterday. Keep them in your positive thoughts.

Thank you for joining me today. Everything at the nests is just fine. What a lovely relief. You take care. See you soon.

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

* I might mention books or other things in my blog. I do not make any money if you purchase the items and never will. My purpose is to simply bring news of the birds as they add so much joy to our lives and to alert you to ways that you can help make the world a better place for those birds.

“We need to protect all species while they are common so that they do not become rare.”  

Rosalie Edge urged everyone, in the quote above, to appreciate all of the birds (and other species) that are part of our daily lives. Edge knew that what is once common can go extinct quickly if we do not begin conserving the species when it is abundant. That is precisely why she purchased Hawk Mountain and why the continuing migration counts matter. If you count then you can plot a decline or a rise. If you don’t count, you never know. I will add that if you do not put a sat-pak on an Osprey chick in Port Lincoln, you will not know how far the fledglings travel from the natal nest. Solly’s tracking information confirmed that they venture much farther than ever imagined! Tiaki is more than half way to Chile today. She is making excellent progress. It is also comforting to see those GPS monitors moving on all the migratory birds including the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia. We learn, we appreciate, we treasure what we have in front of us and take care of it.

This is the article I was reading from the online Audubon Magazine. It is a Canadian who has gone to look for Snow Geese and, instead, gets fields of Canada Geese.

http://www.audubon.org/news/an-ode-common-birds-and-cherishing-what-weve-got?ms=digital-eng-social-facebook-x-20211000-nas_eng&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=20211000_nas_eng&fbclid=IwAR1IgW1HN7CnFVTuog07daZxKTAyrr_n5CSuRACCHXMVyz2B1H-QhzxFDzE

It is a good read. I love my sparrows and the regulars to the garden and rejoice in the seasonal visitors but it is the sparrows, the 3 Blue Jays, the 1 Black Capped Chickadee, and Mr and Mrs Woodpecker that are my regulars. And, then, of course, there is Mr Crow and the Squirrels. They keep me busy and happy when all the other exotics are gone to their winter homes. So have a read, it is short and really has a couple of good ‘hitting home’ messages.

If you did not see, boots on the ground in the Sydney Olympic Park around the Parramatta River report that WBSE 27 and 28 have been seen and heard them. This is excellent news. I hope that someone will get some good photos of these two. Wouldn’t it be grand if they did survive against the odds? Oh, I hope so.

This is one of the best video clips I have seen of the Collins Four. Dad, that little cutie, arrives with the pigeon meal. Two of the eyases are out of the scrape and into the gutter. The largest one – has to be a really big female – is ready to eat. Notice how she stands up erect and walks with her feet! Getting out of the scrape box, for the other two, is a little easier than getting back. Dad just seems to get smaller every day! Enjoy.

Yurruga is just waking up with a big yawn in the scrape box on the water tower of Charles Sturt University in Orange.

Xavier brings a completely unprepped bird into the scrape box for Yurruga. This might make a mess and the little one might be urging Xavier to hurry and finish but that chick is watching and it will be learning how to do this plucking itself.

Yurruga has a really loud screaming voice when it wants food. My goodness they can probably hear the little one clear across the campus.

The screaming for breakfast has stopped. Yurruga will be very full if it eats all of that Starling!

Yurruga ate all of the Starling except for the head and is stuffed!

Oh, wait! Xavier wants the chick to eat all of the bird. So here goes all of that Starling!

Xavier, that was an excellent feeding!

The trio at Port Lincoln are still sleeping. No doubt Dad will have a fish on the nest soon.

It looks like everyone is doing very well, indeed. That is fantastic. If you have been waiting for the Dyfi on line Shop to open in Wales, it is now functional. Emyr Evans’s book on Monty is for sale.

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

Thank you to Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac for their streaming cam 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.

Late Wednesday Bird World check in

The streaming cam is now back on line at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. Instead of being late Wednesday it is Thursday. It is a wet miserable day there, too. The osplets are waiting for their breakfast fish to arrive. It is currently 10:30.

The stark contrast between that gorgeous blue of the Port Lincoln waters and the white of the talons makes it almost appear as if Mum and the chicks had gone shopping for those vinyl ‘mod’ boots of the Twiggy era.

Mum is amazing. She tries absolutely everything to try and crowd the chicks under here so they will not get wet. Of course, their feathering will not keep them dry but there is nothing so nice to keep a chill off as being toasty warm under Mum.

The chicks are standing a bit more. Isn’t that one cute? You can really see the development of the tail. Their pantaloons are showing, too. The term has been adopted for decades when talking about the upper leg feathers of the raptors. Originally, the casual name for them was ‘britches’. They are actually the crural feathers and they cover the tibial area of the leg. They continue up to the chest.

Look at those wing and tail feathers! Wow. Growing before our eyes they are.

The skies open again around 9:37 and Mum works hard to crowd in next to the chicks.

Once the rain stops she is off to try and catch a fish for everyone’s breakfast. She has been fishing more and it is certainly keeping the wee babes happy – and full.

It is really beginning to be difficult to tell which chick is which. Each had some type of a mark on their head. Little Bob had a big circle and he had the white webbing pattern on his cere with a huge white swipe with a wide paint brush under his eye. If that him in the middle?

Big ‘sometimes-not-so-nice’ sibling is in the very front. Her eye is much darker with a wider eye stripe. She has always appeared much darker than the other chicks. Did you know that professional ball players adopted adding a black line under their eyes to keep off the glare?

You can really see the very dark wooly down on the chick standing up. You can also see how the crural feathers continue on to the chest area easier, too.

Now look. Is that our Little Bob at the back? I think so. The circle and the white are there as is the white on the cere. Oh, but they could be fooling us. Even their sizes are coming together so that it is difficult to recognize one from the other.

Let us hope that a nice fish for their breakfast arrives soon!

Ah. There is Little Bob turned around facing Mum in case a fish lands right there.

Awwww. Xavier. What a sweetie. He has arrived with the third item of prey for the baby at 10:14 but Diamond is ignoring him. The chick is full having had two feedings already. Maybe Xavier will get a chance to enjoy that Starling himself.

Remember to go and vote on the names for Xavier and Diamond’s baby. Cilla Kinross selected Maori names for weather. You can find the form here:

https://forms.gle/iPQhxDCLtEh19jp38

As the sun sets in central Louisiana, Anna and Louis are still on the nest making adjustments for the upcoming eggs. They have now flown off and are roosting elsewhere.

Wish for a fish! The trio at Port Lincoln will be very hungry when it arrives.

Take care. Thank you so much for joining me this evening.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

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.

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.

A joyful start to Monday in Bird World

Oh, my goodness. Just when you think the events in Bird World could not get any better but, they do!

Pippa Atawhai’s father, OGK, returned to Taiaroa Head yesterday to kick off what is the beginning of the 2021-22 breeding season. Orange-Green-Black stole everyone’s heart when he would come and spend long periods of time sitting by his daughter last year, Miss Pippa Atawhai, Royal Cam chick of the year. At one time he was missing and feared lost but he returned with a sore leg which after much worrying by those who loved him, healed! The challenges that these birds face out on the ocean are monumental and well, to have them returned nice and healthy is nothing short of a miracle.

OGK hatched in 1998 making him 23 years old. His mate, YRK, Yellow-Red-Black is four years older, hatching in 1994, so she is 27. They have been a couple since 2006. Remember SSTrig chick? the one that was a bit nasty to Taiki? SSTrig is OGK and YRK’s granddaughter. Her father, RLK, is their son and he was a first time dad this year.

The males normally arrive first on Tairoa Head picking out the nesting site before the females return. It is so special that OGK is the first back! What an amazing dad he was to Miss Pippa Atawhai.

Lady Hawk caught his arrival on video:

And there is more cause for celebration this morning. There were more feedings on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge yesterday despite the powerful winds. Dad delivered despite the obstacles with the winds. There were feedings at 7:00:03, 8:09:50, 11:20:11, 14:14, 16:49, and believe it or not a nice fish arrives for another feeding at 19:19. I am more than gobsmacked, I am stunned. This is quite incredible.

Here are some images surrounding those feeding times. In the image below, Little Bob is the one on the far right, furthest away from Mom’s beak. If you look really carefully, you can see a black dot on the back of Little’s head. While that is true, it is often difficult to get the right angle to see it.

Everyone ate very well yesterday. No doubt we are going to see some amazing growth on these three this week. Just the amount of space they are taking up on the nest is increasing at a phenomenal rate if you compare it to last week.

This image is from a week ago: Look at how small the chicks were.

That is Big Bob left, Middle Bob in the Middle, and Little Bob on the right.

The sun is pouring down on the Canadian Prairies and it is another beautiful fall day. The temperature is 22 C. Tomorrow it will be a scorcher of 28 – for this time of year. The four grey squirrels are acting like it is spring again. My rose bushes would like to add more buds and well, it is all a bit confusing.

While they might be a bit confused and think it is breeding season, all of the squirrels is stocking up on the nuts. Little Red is quite comfortable sitting on the large suet cylinder now that ‘something’ has broken the cover. He must think he has really hit the jackpot. ‘The Monk’ is the smallest grey squirrel who is always putting his hands together in thanks and prayer.

Have a very happy Monday everyone. Thanks for joining us today. See you soon.

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

Below is a bit of a comparison for you. On the left are the chicks on the 27th of September and on the right it is October 4. You can move the line back and forth.

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.