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.

Ervie flies!!!!!!

Here is a video clip of that fabulous moment. Ervie is 60 days old and the event happened at 13:17:38 on 14 November.

Many of you might already know this. I ‘thought’ I had hit send on this notice but, obviously, I did not. So enjoy.

It is always a bittersweet moment. We want them to stay a little longer as i did yesterday morning with Ervie and they need to meet their destiny. Ervie will be practising on and off the nest. His brothers are hoping that he gets better with his landing. I am certain they are suggesting trying the perch.

Thank you Port Lincoln Osprey Project for your streaming cam where I took this video clip —— and thank you for joining me on this day of celebration.

Congratulations Ervie and Port Lincoln!

Oh, Ervie

So many are the greatest defenders of the ‘under dog’. You have watched and would have held talons, if you could, or delivered fish or chicken breasts! Oh, how you love the birds. I know that many of you could not watch the Port Lincoln Osprey nest this year because of Little Tapps last year. I promise you that I felt that pain. So, it was only right that we all worried about the third hatch this year – Little Bob. The history of the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest tells us that the third hatch has never survived. Never!

Born 51 hours after Big Bob, Little Bob proved us all to be wrong. We never had to worry but we sure did cheer him on and I know for a fact that I was not the only person watching him get in line to eat. As it happened, the few times that one of his siblings tried to claim nest dominance – and pick on Ervie – he turned it back on them. I stand to be corrected but I did not see him once back down. In fact, the aggression by Big Bob (again it really was only tussles), just made Little Bob more determined to be first in line.

You can really see the 51 hours difference in the image below taken when Ervie was 10 days old. He is in the middle. Big Bob is on the right. Middle Bob on the left.

Last year the sat-pak was placed on Solly. I don’t know if it was because she was the largest of the two surviving chicks or if she was judged to be the one that had the best chance of survival by her actions on the nest. This year PLO wanted a male – to compare the dispersal with a female. They had their choice of the three.

Little Bob was chosen because he was actually the ‘biggest’ of the Bobs. Over the course of the past 59 days of his life, Ervie has proven that he will try as he might to be the first up at the dinner table. As a result, he weighed more than the other two Bobs on the selection date. Is that single fact an indicator of his chances for survival in the wild?

Today, in 42 kph wind gusts – it was truly terrible in Port Lincoln – Dad proved that he was up to bringing in a fish to the nest. Mum normally still feeds the lads but she did not do that this morning. Was it because of the wind gusts? or was it so that they would begin to learn to fight for the fish in the wild? The fish came in at 07:04:55.

Look at the spread of Dad’s wings as he lands on the nest. Incredible. In fact, I really have to give Dad a lot of gold stars. He has come through the worst weather to deliver fish to this nest. I am truly impressed with his fishing capabilities. Not once was there food insecurity – and there was not a single stress line in the feathers of any of the three boys on this nest.

So Mum is not doing the feeding. She is down on the lower deck perch. I wonder if her and Dad discussed this?

Three hungry lads on that Osprey nest. All of them fit but only one is going to get that fish. Turns out it was a nice flounder.

There is your answer – Ervie! Nice mantling job. I wonder if Dad reports to Mum??

Ervie does a great job mantling that fish!

What was interesting to me was that neither Bazzy (Big Bob) or Falky (Middle Bob) did anything. Nothing. They were completely passive. they looked at the fish and ‘sniffed’ around but there was not a single second of any aggression.

Ervie was not going to share. He was still eating at 07:46:08. His brothers are watching and terribly interested but they are the same civil brothers that have lined up for their Mum to feed them.

Ervie was still eating ten minutes later.

In the end, Ervie ate all of the fish but the tail and he let Falky have it for breakfast. Hopefully the others will get some fish later but for now, this nest remains the most civil Osprey nest I have ever seen. My hope is that Bazza and Falky will be more aggressive out in the wild, if they need to. Perhaps with the low number of Ospreys in South Australia, they will not need to be aggressive.

Indeed, this nest ‘won’ this year because of the civility of the three brothers. Big Bob and Middle Bob are both 61 days old and Ervie is, said it twice, 59 days old. Solly fledged on day 65. So the count down is on. We wish them all well. History will be made with three fledges – a first for these parents and this nest.

It is rather bittersweet because I know that we are all still feeling the sadness from the death of Solly. I hope that the powers at be work hard to make South Australia a safe place for these beautiful sea birds. Our condolences go out to Port Lincoln and also to those at 367 Collins Street on the loss of Baby Bob.

The snow and blowing snow continue. The forecast is for much of the same – snow, blowing snow, and rain for the next week. Hunkered down it is. Tomorrow it will be shaking the conifers to get the heavy snow off. The garden birds and animals seem to have found the food inside the wood boxes and Dyson is on his belly eating seed out of the hanging tray. What a character. No sign of Mr Blue Jay and his family.

Thank you so much for joining me. Please do take care. See you soon.

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

A new book by Roy Dennis

My intention had been to go to the nature centre to check on the geese and ducks but that didn’t happen. First, a note came in my mail about a new book by Ron Dennis and second, I spent way too much time talking about bird feeders, seed, and trays at my local seed store.

First up is Roy Dennis’s latest book, Mistletoe Winter.

The description on the web site says:

Times of darkness offer opportunities to reflect. In Mistletoe Winter, Roy Dennis offers his reflections on the natural world from the past year – from the welcome signs of change to the ongoing problems we are posing for nature, and what humankind must do about them.

roydennis.org

Signed copies can be purchased through roydennis.org I have ordered a copy and will tell you all about it when it arrives.

We feed several hundred birds a day. I am not Kathleening!!!!!! One of the biggest problems is the seed or shells falling on the ground and accumulating, particularly in winter. It is not difficult to clear in the summer and early fall except when it rains. In the winter it is a real chore. We have tried various types of seed and feeders. Today’s experiment is a feeder with a tray that can be screwed on the bottom, covered by a dome, and filled with chipped sunflower seeds. Fingers crossed!

There are definitely changes with the Australian birds. The three osplets at Port Lincoln are looking more and more like juveniles. That is Little Bob there in the very middle looking towards Mum.

I did not see it but it was reported to me that one of the trio mantled a prey delivery at 16:12 yesterday.

Little Bob has turned around and is calling to Dad – helping Mum. How cute. The other two are completely oblivious to what is going on. Maybe Little Bob is in training for its role as the female????

There is a bit of a flurry when Dad arrives.

Little Bob has a nice crest from the blowing wind. It doesn’t look like anyone is mantling at this feeding.

All lined up nicely for the last meal of the day.

The Collins Street Four are one month and one day old. The fluffy down on their backs covering their juvenile feathers is falling off fast! This was early morning. I imagine that there will be more juvenile plumage revealed as the day goes on. It is hard to imagine but in a fortnight these four could fledge.

Yurruga is trying to stand and walk. That cannot be an easy feat in the scrape box. She seems to like to sleep tucked into the corner. Meanwhile, Diamond will move the eggs close together trying to keep them warm. I feel so sad for her.

Little Yarruga face planted in the corner!

Cilla Kinross posted a very short video of Yarruga trying to stand up and walk two days ago.

I want to give you a giggle. Richmond and Rosie are the Ospreys on the Whirly Crane in the Richmond Shipping Yards. Richmond is known for bringing interesting items to the nest. Rosie doesn’t particularly like all of this stuff! This video was posted yesterday on their Throwback Thursday videos. It is very short. Be sure to watch until the very end.

The incident took place in 2017. Thank goodness. If this were live we would all be worried that Richmond is going to get his head caught in that back opening of the cap!!!!!!! That is actually very dangerous for birds.

Thank you for joining me. It is a nice day in the garden. Mr Blue Jay is eating his corn on the cob and Dyson is busy at one of the feeders! Take care everyone.

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

Thursday Late in Bird World

It might still be drizzly and cold on the Canadian Prairies but the rain has stopped on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest – Thankfully! The kids had a last feed at 19:44:28 yesterday. Today, two fish were delivered before 08:30.

Dad is eating his share before the delivery to the nest.

The second fish that arrived, in the image below, is a flat fish. The previous one was a round. You can check the difference quickly. There are Leather Backs and Mullets in Australia. But, sadly, while my father and sons and grandson could tell you the names of most fish, I can’t.

Little Bob is the only one left eating.

Little Bob is usually first to the table and the last to leave. That may be the only way that we recognize him in the future.

Even Little Bob finally got full down to the tip of his talons and Mum was able to enjoy some of that nice fish. Beautiful.

Yesterday, Xavier delivered a food item to the scrape box at Orange. Diamond was not home! He looked at his little one and went over and fed it some of the bird. What a sweet moment.

There have been several feedings already this morning. Diamond and Xavier’s Only Bob can see them – its eyes are wide open.

Peeking out!

Remember that very tired little one that could not hold its head still so you could count to 3? Look today! Those eggies will turn out to be props and toys to play with for this little one other than competition in the nest.

It looks like the Collins Street Four were treated to having a pigeon plucked in the scrape box. Here is the before. The scrape isn’t all that tidy but…

Did Mom make this mess? Or was it Dad?

That is the little one that look so hawk like with that bulging crop. Cute. Everything that they see they imprint. By plucking the pigeon in the nest they will quickly learn the method.

Everything is alright in Bird World and there is still most of a day to come.

This is a quick check on everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

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

And now for some cuteness…

As soon as you read that title, I bet you thought I was going to bombard you with more floofs, cute little Peregrine Falcon eyases. Not today. Surprise! The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge cam operator gave everyone a present by zooming in on the adorable faces of the osplets.

There are several interesting things about these close ups. First, notice that the chicks still have remnants of their egg tooth remaining at the tip of their beak. Can you see the white dot? That will grow and wear off. Ospreys must keep their beaks clean and sharp! You can also see the dark charcoal down that is actually underneath the feathers. It remains while the white fluff disappears. I cannot see any quills but the feathers are growing out of quills that contain blood. Feathers have to have blood to grow. For those who have been reading my blog regularly, they will know that I have carried on and on about how to identify Little Bob. Because he is a third hatch Osprey, I have a special interest in him and his survival and future success so I have to be able to recognize him. So, I discovered that his cere, the part above the beak but before the feathers, has a lot of white. It looks like someone sloshed white paint. That white continues more under Little Bob’s eyes, too. Big Bad Bob has a smooth black cere with little white. As it happens, Big Bob and Little Bob hang out together. So on the left is Big Bob and on the right is Little Bob. Throughout the images below, Big Bob will remain on the left and Little Bob will be on the right. The portraits were snapped off the streaming cam every 5 seconds. There are subtle differences in their expressions.

Oh, just look at that face staring directly at us! So cute.

The angle of Little Bob’s head shows you all the white on the cere and under the eye. It is a degree more than the other chick.

Oh, how I wished Little Bob had looked up like Big Bob earlier.

They are adorable. Several of those will become fridge magnets. Awhile ago now, my ‘eagle expert’ that I consult with my questions, told me that they always make magnets out of their favourite juveniles for each year. I started doing it. It is a super way to wake up in the morning when you open the fridge and say hi to all of them!

There is the following thinking in raptor circles. The first theory is that two females never hang out together. Female raptors do not get along. There is the further belief, since medieval times, that the third, the tiercel, is always a male. Additionally, there is also a belief that the first hatch is a female. If all of those things are true, then Big Bob is a female and Little Bob is a male. In the end, of course, only DNA tests and an egg prove one way or the other. However, since these three will get satellite-paks and will be banded, I am assuming that they will also determine the gender just like was done with Solly and DEW last year. You do not want to band the chicks too early but, the rule is before they are 35 days old. After that, the stress and the approach by humans might force an early fledge. Any earlier and their legs would not be the size of an adult bird and the bands might prove to be problematic.

Tomorrow is the October Big Bird Day. You can help. All you need to do is look out your window for at least 15 minutes and count the birds that you know. You do not have to spend all day and you don’t have to travel if you don’t want to or can’t. Here is the information to sign up. The information helps track declining and increasing population numbers, locate migrate waves, check on how climate change is impacting the birds during migration, etc. Everyone can join in. It is free and it would be very helpful if you did a count. Go to this link for all the information that you need.

https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-2021

There is still only one hatch for Xavier and Diamond. And at 367 Collins Street, Mum finally let dad feed the kids.

It is easy to look at the scrape and think it is a mess. Falcon experts say that couples look for a scrape box where there is a lot of ‘ps’ markings everywhere as they know that means it is a prey rich area.

After Dad fed the little ones, Mum came in with a huge fresh pigeon and fed them again! No one goes hungry on a Peregrine Falcon scrape.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the close ups of the Ospreys. I have to admit that out of all the birds of prey I am extremely partial to Ospreys, falcons, and hawks. Take care of yourself. Have a lovely weekend. See you soon!

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

Everyone is Fine

One of the problems with the streaming cams is the ‘chat’ feature. There, I have said it. The same persons come on at different times of the day, every day or every other day and say the same negative things. There is one on the PLO chat that always says, ‘The mother never feeds the youngest’. ‘Mama feed in order never feeds youngest.’ Seriously! Either they can’t rewind, they don’t watch, or they just want to stir the pot of negativity. I think that it is all three. So I go back to an old cry out of mine, Streaming cams need 24/7 knowledgable moderators. They need them to stop the bots coming in and they need them to stop the negative chatter. Even more so, if something happens on the nest they need to have emergency numbers to call or place them on the streaming cam site at the top.

The Port Lincoln Osplets are doing fine! And it is something to celebrate. One of the most exciting things is to watch them grow and grow they are. these chicks are losing their light grey coat to get their second, darker grey down. You can see the little pin feathers starting. still, each retains a tiny bit of its egg tooth. The feet are getting bigger, wings are growing and the tiny tails are starting. If you didn’t know the different species at this age of 9-10 days, just look at that beautiful dark mask going from the cere to behind the eye. that is the distinctive bandit mask of the Osprey!

Dad comes in with another fish. the big one that arrived earlier is all gone.

The chicks are getting bigger and they don’t like sleeping under Mum like they did when they first hatched. Indeed, these little ones seem to be tumbling around underneath her much of the time.

Awwww. Such sweeties.

Because it is winter in Australia, the light changes early. Mum and dad are on the nest and the little ones are getting another feed. Notice how much they have grown. It is as if someone took them and stretched them in the last couple of days. They no longer appear like short fat little chicks but they are entering another phase where they will begin to look like thin reptiles with long necks.

Each is doing fine. There were not as many big fish yesterday as during the high winds but everyone was fed and no one was left out.

I literally checked into the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest to see how WBSE 27 and 28 are doing. Lady was feeding them.

That is WBSE 28 at the front of the nest with its big crop. 27 is practicing its self feeding with a small piece of prey.

This nest will have two fledges this year. I so hope the Pied Currawong do not chase them out of the forest so they can fly and return to the nest for more meals while they get their piloting in order.

Lady Hawk did a video of 27 learning to self-feed and 28 nibbling at her toes. Have a look:

The strongest earthquake in recorded history hit Melbourne, Australia yesterday.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/earthquake-tremor-felt-across-melbourne-and-regional-victoria/news-story/f8dca1048e48a500e3308dabedfdb1c1

The first thing many thought of were the four eggs of the Peregrine Falcons at 367 Collins Street.

Dad was on the eggs at the time and stepped off wondering what was happening.

Everything appears to be fine. Some buildings were damaged but no one was killed. Thankfully! We are nearing hatch watch for this couple.

In Orange, the running joke has been Xavier wanting his time to incubate the eggs.

Xavier doesn’t want to give up his incubating time!

Do you know why the male Peregrine falcon is called Xavier? It is one of those heart wrenching stories that makes you love this little male bird even more.

Diamond’s eggs were ready to hatch. Her mate, Bula, disappeared and was presumed dead. As we all know, the chicks would have died. Instead, enter a new male who starts helping with the chicks and raises them as if they were his own. Because he was a ‘saviour’ of the family, he was named Xavier.

The researcher at Orange is Cilla Kinross. She did a cute video of the negotiations between Diamond and Xavier over the incubation duties.

Everything is changing at these four nests in Australia. The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are exercising their wings, jumping, and hopping about. They are getting more adept at self-feeding although 27 still is the one that gets to the prey first it seems. Lady does come in and feed them. Branching will be next but not for a bit, thankfully. We will be watching for the four at Collins street to hatch in about four or five days. Diamond and Xavier’s chicks will follow but not for a week or a little more. And, of course, the change in the Osplets at Port Lincoln will be significant. They will look like skinny reptiles all wound around one another. The key is that everything, at this moment in time, is just fine. There are no worries. So enjoy them!

It is another beautiful fall day in Manitoba. The Green Heron has departed and I always missed it. Perhaps another will come next year! The Blue Heron is also gone but I hear there are waves of Dark-Eyed Juncos headed towards the city. I cannot wait. They love to pick apart my red outdoor carpet. Such cuties. I am going out for a long walk and to check on the Wood Ducks. Perhaps they will cooperate and there will be some good photos for me to share with you.

Thank you for stopping by. Check out the streaming cams – the birds are doing great. And, if you feel up to it, shut down the negativity. There is already enough in the world. The birds bring us joy. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street by Mirvan, Falcon Project Cam at Orange, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

The Miracle Chick

If I mention the name Aran, who is the first to come to mind?

This morning there was a posting about a ‘miracle’ chick – indeed, 2 miracle eggs and one of those being a chick that never should have hatched but did. These stories always interest me because, I immediately think that they are third hatches. This was not the case with these two little bundles of joy.

What a beautiful couple. They have been together now six seasons. You can see Aran’s prominent feather problem.

Mrs G (left) and Aran (right). July 2021.
Mrs G 3 September 2021
Aran in one of his favourite spots before he migrates. September 2021

Aran arrived at the Glaslyn nest, unringed and, as you know if you follow the Ospreys of the UK or Wales, specifically, in 2015. The public wanted the couple named. The female who had raised chicks at the nest previously was to be Mrs G, after Glaslyn. Aran was named after the local mountains, Eryri. The story is lovely and deserves to be read in its entirety. I am enclosing the news from Glaslyn. The story of how Mrs G and Aran came together and how Mrs G’s sixth and seventh eggs – yes – 6 and 7 – came to hatch is remarkable. It makes you feel good. I can add that WO was last seen a couple of years ago in the north of England. So, he really was a survivor! (I intend to check the listings to see if W0 has been spotted this year and the circumstances).

I did get my hair cut and the minute I got home I went to check on the PLO nest. In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner explains the term ‘Kathleening’. It is when a person claims to have seen the biggest, and the most after someone tells their story. I do not want to sound like I am ‘Kathleening’ but, seriously, Mum was feeding those kids – again. When I left they were eating and when I got home they were eating.

Are those babies getting squirmy? She hardly got them covered and she is feeding them again1

Mom has decided that she wants the fish on the other side.

Yeah for Mom. She pulled that fish over the nest of babies without clobbering one of them.

Mom has decided that it is time for some more fish. The little ones will make their way to the table shortly.

That’s Little Bob on the left with the two older sibs facing in the same direction. Little Bob has his mouth open and he is looking at Mom.

Little Bob has a nice crop. He is the one on the far left. You can still see his egg tooth. It will be gone soon! Big Bob is in the middle. She is the one with the most pin feathers and Middle Bob is on the right.

Mom is looking for another delivery and the three Bobs are waiting at the table with their napkins tucked in and forks at the ready.

It is 12 degrees C with 11 kph winds. What a difference from the days when it was blowing at 34 kph. Dad was able to get some rather large fish those windy days. I wonder if it is the same with the calm water???

I have been notified that the Season of the Osprey, the much awaited documentary put out by Nature and PBS will be shown in the US on 27 October at 00:00:30. Please do check your local stations to make sure this is correct!

That is it for me tonight. There will be at least another 7 or 8 feedings today before Mom gets some time to rest. I will bring you the details tomorrow. Take care everyone! Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project’s and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn’s streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

A whale of a fish for the PLO kids

In the middle of the night, the osplets were restless. Mom needed to stretch her legs and they all stood up, beaks wide open thinking it was time for yet – another – meal. They were so well fed during the day it is hard to imagine them being hungry at 02:45 but they thought they were.

Mum worked hard and finally corralled Big and Middle back under her wings and chest! But not before they peeked out again and had another try for a feeding! Just look at how wide they can open their mouths. Goodness.

Mum went sound asleep and was looking really comfy when this image was taken at 05:10.

Mom needed another stretch before the sun rose. Oh, goodness. It was mayhem.

Big and Middle started pecking one another and Little Bob ducked! All I could think was get a fish on this nest quick.

Mom was having none of it. She sat on the chicks and stopped all the nonsense in its tracks. I thought she looked rather pleased with herself.

A couple of minutes later, Dad was on the ropes with a whale of a fish. He ate part of the head and got rid of the sharp teeth before transferring it over to the family.

That fish is big enough to last them all day! What a great catch.

They all got themselves lined up nicely in order of age – Big Bob on the outside, Middle Bob, and then, of course, that character Little Bob eating first! Yes, his crop does get full and yes, he does pass out in a food coma. This kiddo isn’t afraid of anything. It was almost slapstick comedy watching him duck when Big and Middle thought they would have a go at one another. Smart kiddo.

Nice crops!

Feeding is over. Dad returns to pick up the fish.

Dad returns the fish. It was so sweet. He waited a bit watching her feed their three healthy little ones.

I don’t know. These two are like a well oiled machine this year, synchronized. I want to knock on some wood. It is like they went to parenting classes or something – a sea change from last year. I want this so much to stay throughout the season to fledging.

Mum decides that feeding is over. Just stop for a minute and look at the size of that fish on the nest. I am still amazed. Everyone is full and the chicks are falling asleep.

Dad returns to the nest. The adults have a chat and they decide that Dad will leave the fish on the nest as Mum will need to feed the little ones again soon.

I sound like a broken record but this year we have seen fish delivered to nests that were described as ‘big’. I am referring to a few that went to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest. This fish is ‘big’. Look at its circumference and length. There is lots of flesh for this family on this one catch. It is not a twiddler.

Isn’t Mum cute? She is hungry and has figured out a way to brood the babes and eat in peace! Enjoy it Mum. You have earned it!

Dad has returned and has removed the fish after Mum had some good bites. He will bring it back, no fear. Look at those two little heads poking out. How cute.

No doubt there will be a lot more feedings throughout the day. This Osprey nest is in excellent shape. Dad has proved that he can fish in high winds and Mom can keep the peace with the youngsters and make them line up and eat properly. I am so impressed.

If you missed it, Lyn Brenig’s proposed all terrain World War II vehicle tours around the nature centre has been scrapped after public protest. If you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does!

This news is not about Ospreys but, we might discover that our beloved fish eagles will also be breeding farther north. Birdguides.com is reporting the successful breeding of the Audouins Gull on France’s Atlantic coast – farther north than has ever happened. Have a read:

https://www.birdguides.com/news/audouins-gull-successfully-breeds-on-french-atlantic-coast/?fbclid=IwAR2I1fHwgsu9gmObxB9AE1HxbzcHZeWFBKSw5ldICoPX_K0HvYgmKi7xVQk

Last, but not least, another mention of the documentary on the Ospreys that has been in production for several years. Everyone will have to check their local PBS stations to see when it will be available in their country. I did write them and a DVD will be sold later. Here is that great trailer to get us all excited:

Keep sending your warm wishes to the Port Lincoln Ospreys. Life is good there. We want it to stay that way!

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

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

Lights Out for Little Bob

With the strong winds and mist blowing around I wanted to make one more check on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest before turning off the computer for the day. Let’s face it. I was nervous – always nervous when something happens that could change a civil well disciplined nest into one of food insecurity and beakings. Just had to check.

What a surprise. Between 10:11 and 13:00, there were four feedings. Think about that. We are talking about 2 hours and 40 minutes. So, on average, a feeding every 40 minutes. This is quite incredible.

The first feeding lasted more than 12 minutes. Mom’s back was to the camera so the wind didn’t bother the little ones. The 10:21 feeding was still going at 10:24:50.

You can see the increase in the size of the crop belonging to the osplet on the left.

All of the chicks have crops and are finished eating even before mom stops feeding them.

At 11:13, Dad comes to the nest with a fish. Mom takes the fish at 11:14:22 (image below) and feeds the kids. She is still feeding them at 11:20:44.

You can see Little Bob the best in this image. Look at that nice crop and that fat little wing. These chicks are growing and doing so well. Mom and Dad seem to have their mojo this year.

Dad was back on the nest at 12:04 and Mom feeds the trio – again.

The last feeding was around 12:50ish. Little Bob was up to the table first. Indeed, he is usually first. Mom filled him right up. That little crop was stretched! He literally passed out between Middle and Big Bob and they continued to eat. It was just far too funny. I ask myself: why am I worried about this Little Bob?

Lights out for Little Bob!

Despite everything, these parents are really coming through for their three chicks. This is how an Osprey nest with three week-old osplets should function. Lots of little meals at first increasing the amount and the time of the feedings in the 2-3 week period. That is starting now and this couple is right on the money, so to speak. I am delighted. Their little wings and bottoms are filling out and you can see the tiny little tails forming. It is just simply the best! And this was a windy day.

These winds and the good fish reminded me of watching the Cormorants last week at our national park. The winds were so strong, like these, that they blew the fish to the shore. The Cormorants just stood there eating. Maybe that is what is happening here! Please feel free to correct me. Whatever it is, it is wonderful.

You can watch them here:

Thank you for joining me for this quick catch up. No doubt there will be several more feedings before it is night. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

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