There is never a dull moment at Port Lincoln

How many times have I said that watching the Port Lincoln Osprey lads are better than anything streaming on the telly? From hatch to today, they have not disappointed.

To recap. Bazza, the eldest, has not been seen since 9 January – 2 days ago. It could mean many things. Bazza could be off camera on the nest barge. He could be over on the old barge with Mum. He could be somewhere near to the nest barge OR Bazza could have left to find his own territory. It is interesting to note that Mum has not been seen since yesterday morning and Bazza could be with her. I did often call him ‘Mama’s Boy’. Yesterday, Falky, the middle hatch, caught what I believe is the only fish by a juvenile on camera at the nest. That was just fabulous. He was brilliant. As one of the watchers noted ‘JL’, to celebrate Falky flew a victory lap around the barge! I suspect Falky was so proud of that fish he caught he wanted everyone to see including Mum and Dad!

Ervie was ‘prime time Erv’ today. He might have been on the nest for several days and not moving too much but, there is nothing wrong with his flying and his attitude. Twice this morning Ervie engaged with Falky in what can only be described as ‘aerial dog fights’ just like you might have seen in movies or airshows about World War II. It was Ace Pilot Ervie at his best.

There are two main events with an intermission.

As you can see I cut out some of the time in between. In those minutes, you could see the shadows of the two going over the barge but, you could not see them. When they landed, before Ervie took after Falky again, they had both arrived wet so somewhere the pair of them went into the water. Good gracious. Is this really boys playing? or is this dominant Ervie deciding he wants the nest and barge all to himself?

That attitude of the third hatch wanting to take over the nest completely as the dominant bird has been seen elsewhere. Tiny Tot Tumbles at the Achieva Nest returned and even fought off adult interlopers. I clearly think that Ervie would do the same if that same instance happened.

I wonder. Will Ervie return to this barge and want it for his nest in a few years time? Only time will tell. So glad that he has a tracker on.

Ervie is not behaving like Falky is on the barge. When he sees someone he fish calls but he doesn’t appear to be willing to give up that nest to go out fishing independently – yet – since his return from his long flight a few days ago.

Here is the link to the Port Lincoln streaming cam.

I was going to bring you a report on the lack of streaming cams for raptors in Japan today but this will be delayed by a few days. I have not had time, sadly, today, to put all the strings together.

I have also not seen any news of any pips although Anna at the Kisatchie National Forest Nest looks like she is expecting something. She has been rolling the eggs and try as we might it is difficult. There is a mark on the egg but I think it is vegetation and not a pip. Perhaps later this evening.

The first egg at Berry College Eagle nest of Pa Berry and Missey is 35 days old today.

Gabby and Samson have been listening to the egg and rolling. They are getting really close to a pip watch.

R2 and R3 continue to do really well over at the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest in Miami-Dade country. Rita removed the Coot that had been on the nest and had a big meal herself. You can ‘sort of’ see the nice crop she has. The kids are well fed, no worries!

It is a wrap for today. We will wait together for those pips at Captiva, KNF, Berry College, and NEFlorida Bald Eagle nests!!!!!! Waiting is hard.

Thank you for joining me. I am delighted to have you here with me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and my video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, and the WRDC Eagle Cam.

Captiva Ospreys have their first egg and other Bird World News

Calling all Osprey fans. We have lift off. The new couple at the Captiva Osprey Nest have their first egg. Meet Lena and Andy 2. (The previous pair were also Andy and Lena).

Lena 2 laid her first egg at 10:04:08. From her actions, it appears that she could be a first time Mum from her reactions to the egg. She was very cautious which is a good thing and seemed a bit unsure about incubation at first.

Just imagine laying an egg for the first time!

The wind was really blowing. The weather station says it is 18 kph but, the gusts have to be much more than that. I have to remember that the breeze would feel good in southern Florida where the nighttime temperature is currently 24 C.

There is our proud Mum. Isn’t she lovely?

Oops. A big gust caught Lena when she was trying to incubate the egg and almost sent her flying off the nest.

Hang on, Lena!

Ahhh, nice and settled.

The nest is on the same property as the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. The land is owned by a Canadian, Lori Covert.

The first Andy and Lena laid eggs on this nest before. Sadly, the Corvids in the area come to the Osprey nests once the chicks hatch and eat them. As a result, Andy and Lena 1 did not fledge any chicks.

There is currently a discussion about having a poll to see if watchers want the cam left on if the eggs do hatch or have it turned off so that if the Crows come, we do not see what happens. The ultimate decision is, however, with the land owner.

This couple arrived early and laid their egg a month ahead of most. Hopefully that will help them with the Crows as well as any issues with the red tide that can occur in this area. Currently there is no red tide. If you would like to know the impact of the red tide, here is some very good information:

https://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Water-Quality/Sanibel-H2O-Matters/Red-Tide-Information

Oh, let’s send this young couple positive wishes. You can watch Andy and Lena 2 here:

My intention was to report -again- on the Port Lincoln lads but it was so exciting to check on this nest first and find an egg had just been laid. Oh, I sure hope they do well.

It is quite clear from happenings on the Port Lincoln Barge why Ervie and Falky don’t have enduring brotherly love for Bazza. But, before I begin, this morning both Ervie and Falky had fish delivered which they ate on camera. Ervie got the first fish from Mum at 07:08 and Falky got a fishy shortly after from Dad at 07:23:25. When I went back to look at Bazza he had a nice crop so he has eaten off camera. I expect that one of the parents made a delivery to him but, it is possible Bazza was fishing and caught it himself.

In the image below, Bazza is on the bottom right perched on the yellow and black ropes. You can see he has a crop. It looks nice and full to me.

A few minutes earlier an incident between Bazza and Falky occurred. Please watch carefully as Bazza attacks Falky shoving him into the water. You will see Falky floating in the water below the ropes. Falky will make three attempts to get out of the water.

Falky kept his cool and did not panic. He managed the situation really well. That said, it is possible that Falky might have drown. I know that I have been watching the dust ups between the three brothers but there are instances when it can go very badly. It was such a relief to see Falky flying free of the water.

Ervie remained on the nest all day. Mum delivered a small fish to him at 15:29:44. Port Lincoln provided some really nice close ups of Ervie.

He’s a lovely juvenile.

There is a rare Stellar’s Sea Eagle that is making its way South. It was up around the Atlantic coast of Canada not that long ago and bird watchers, especially those working on Life Lists were ever so excited!

I want to leave you with a smile on your face. Have you seen anything cuter today than Harriet and M15’s babies, E19 and E20? It is getting much more difficult to tell them apart! They are adorable with their clown feet and big wings. They both have crops and enjoyed the ‘mystery’ meal that Dad brought in.

We could have pips Sunday morning from Captiva and the KNF Nest. Stay posted. We are also monitoring Berry College. So much going on.

Right now there is snow falling on Missey at Barry College. My goodness she just survived a hail storm and incredible winds. Now snow.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Window to Wildlife Osprey Cam, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Was it Yurruga?

My goodness. It is just past 09:00 on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge and already there have been three fish delivered – one of those was really quite a bit one!

Ervie got the first fish that arrived at 06:16.

There was another delivery at 07:22 and Falky takes that fish. Falky is still eating when Mum flies in with a bit of a whopper. At the time of this delivery, Ervie is on the perch and Bazza is on the nest rail. Falky quits eating the old fish (not much left) and starts eating the big fish.

In the image below you can see Falky with that prize fish. That is a nice one.

Falky is still eating at 8:56! Bazza has given up and has gone down near the mancave to put in a personal request to the parents for breakfast. Ervie has found some leftover fish around the rim of the nest – remember he is really good at that. But I am also thinking that Ervie knows Falky is going to get full and stop eating that fish! He wants to be on hand when that happens.

The only time I have seen a sibling eat and eat so that a sibling could not get food – eating beyond the norm of comprehension – was sibling #2 at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida last year. #2 would eat and eat so that Tiny Tot Tumbles did not get anything or there was only a little left.

Ervie is smart. The third hatch survivor. Falky did finally get full and Ervie is now eating that Mullet. Bazza is still on the deck below by Dad’s cave.

It has been snowing in Northern Europe. In Durbe County, Latvia, snow is covering the nest of Milda. Still, her and Mr L have come home to the nest to check on it today. Liz caught it in a video:

There are some concerns about a thin red line on the right ankle of Mr L which you can see directly below the arrow to start the video. Here is another view. Milda needs for this to heal so that Mr L can provide for her this year and their chicks will thrive. Observers say that Mr L appears to be moving fine. Thank goodness.

Oh, it looks so dreadfully cold for the White-tailed Eagles. I hope there is plenty of prey for them that is not sleeping. There should be no worries about any egg laying until spring. It is normally timed so that when the chicks hatch the little animals are coming out of hibernation.

If you research the floods that are happening in Canada’s province of British Columbia or some of the flooding in the eastern provinces recently, there are many causes. In British Columbia the logging of old growth forests has proven to be tragic. In their discussions, Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock talked about the impact to the wildlife of these events. They also mentioned that some of the birds caught in the horrific heat during the summer of 2021 that survived and had trackers put on them —- those birds flew straight to Alaska. As the climate warms, the birds, including my beloved Osprey, will be looking for cooler temperatures where fish and their eggs are not dying from the heat nor are the larvae that the fish eat dying. Look north to Alaska and parts of Canada. These areas need protection.

An article has just appeared that discusses the Tongass National Park in Alaska and the changes in some laws that are coming in to place to make certain that the old growth forests are not logged. If you are interested, here is that article.

Last there is some confusing information coming out of Orange, Australia, about Yurruga. I had received an e-mail this morning from Cilla Kinross where she expressed her concern at not seeing Yurruga since Thursday, her worry and also her love for the wee one. This morning Xavier delivered prey to Diamond in the scrape and she flew out of the box quickly and into the trees. I have personally never seen Diamond eat prey in the scrape unless she was feeding a chick. While we all remember Izzi coming to the scrape, normally the prey deliveries and feeding would take place away from the scrape for the fledglings.

In the chat room, Cilla Kinross said of the delivery and departure, “The prey transfer looked hopeful; I couldn’t hear the calls. I need to get a new speaker.” Individuals have said that at 8:32:55-56 they believed they could hear Yurruga prey calling.

Here is the sequence of images related to that prey drop to Diamond. You can see the time stamp in the corner to understand why Cilla could be thinking that this is very quick and hopeful.

Diamond gets the prey.

In the image above that white spot between the trees right above the ‘s’ in the word ‘trees’ that I typed, is Diamond. Cilla has indicated that she knows the tree Diamond landed in and she is going to check in at work and then go and search that area.

I will bring you any news as I hear it. If you want, you can watch the camera and at least see the chat, if you go to this link. To access the ledge cam – for a better overall view – go to the link below this cam once you get on Youtube.

At 10: 33:55 you can make out a person walking among the trees. It could be Cilla or a helper. Chatters and mods are hoping that they walk further back as that is where they saw Diamond go. We hold our breath. It has been a sheer roller coaster.

In the image below you can see them – that bright white spot. You can see how tiny she is compared to the trees. If Diamond is like the hawk that visits our garden, they can be almost invisible sitting ever so still so as not to be seen.

The person is still looking at 10:49. She is in the whitish coat to the right of the green tree in the centre. Again, look at the height. If Yurruga is in a hole in the tree or somewhere on those trees with leaves it could be difficult to see him. I wonder if Diamond is still there?

We wait for word. That is all we can do. Wait, hope, send warm wishes and prayers. My friend, ‘T in Strasbourg’ reminds me that miracles do happen. Yes, they do. I hope this is one of them.

Thank you for joining me. It is a been a day full of up and down emotions. That is the only thing for certain about this Tuesday – or Wednesday – depending where you live. Take care everyone. If I hear anything at all, I will let you know. Pardon any serious grammatical or spelling mistakes. I am writing this quickly so you will know what is happening on the ground in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, the Latvian Fund for Nature, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

From Port Lincoln to Kauai to Juneau

Oh, gosh. We really are going to miss these three boys when they finally leave the Port Lincoln barge. Ervie was wet this morning. He has been focusing very hard on finding a fish and catching it. We might never know, sadly, when that moment occurs – unless he brings it up to the ropes like Dad. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Bazza seems to have landed the first fish this morning on the nest. Falky doesn’t seem bothered and Ervie had flown off earlier.

Port Lincoln gave us a nice image of Bazza over on the ropes. These three males are quite handsome.

When Ervie flew back to the barge he was really keen on preening those feathers.

You can really see that sharply hooked beak that helps to tear the fish so they are easier to eat. Unlike Peregrine falcons, Ospreys do not have a tomial tooth. In my images it is a bit difficult to see that valve which seals the Osprey’s nostrils when they dive for their fish but, it is there.

Looking at that beautiful image of Ervie below you will notice that the Ospreys lack that very heavy eyebrow of some of the other raptors. Instead, they have that incredible black line which passes from the eye down to the neck. That black line helps them with the glare.

Ervie missed the the 8:14:14 fish that Dad brought in. Falky claimed in.

Port Lincoln has reported that Ervie has been flying farther. They also note that he has been checking out the coast. Here is the latest map of Ervie’s movements from the barge.

Ervie and his siblings will get their adult plumage at their first moult which is fully completed by the time they are a year old. That change in plumage does not indicate Ervie’s sexual maturity. Osprey do not normally breed until they are three years of age. The 2019 fledgling from Port Lincoln, Calypso, has been spotted sitting on a branch with a male. Might there be chicks next year? That would be marvellous!

When Penny Olsen’s book on the raptors of Australia was published in 1995, the map of Australia indicated that the Eastern Ospreys were located only around the coast. Ironically, that map did not indicate any ospreys in the Eyre Peninsula. This is one of the things that has changed since its publication. We have to look no further than the Port Lincoln Opsrey Barge and Thistle Island. We also know from Solly being the first tracked Osprey that the birds do go inland. Not all that far but further inland than anyone had understood previously. We are fortunate that Solly was able to provide so much information to us in the 14 months that she was alive. Port Lincoln can now compare the dispersal of a female to that of a male with the tracking of Ervie.

There are many threats to Osprey. I imagine that everyone reading my blog can name at least four. I want to add warming seas and the decline in fish numbers as yet another.

As you know, I highly recommend Dr Marc Bekoff’s book, The Emotional Lives of Animals. He also wrote The Ten Truths with Jane Goodall. A very moving story is coming from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some of you might recognize the name of Hob Osterlund. She posted a very moving story that can be added to the cornucopia of evidence that Bekoff and Goodall have that support animals having emotions which they express. Once you have read those two reasonably priced books, you will never ever apologize again for anthropomorphizing animals again.

Here is that posting:

Tears.

One of my readers ‘B’ asked me if I had seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I had not! So I went to check. Oh, my goodness, it is so beautiful. If you close your eyes you can see that beautiful Kindness using that nest and those branches like a trampoline. What a magnificent juvie Kindness was. She is off eating Salmon along the river.

On Taiaroa Head, 122 birds have been seen so far and there are 36 eggs laid. No mention yet on who the Royal cam stars for 2021-22 will be! Soon. And there has been no update on Grinnell. No further updates on WBSE 27 either.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and to Hob Osterlund and her FB page for that moving story. Much appreciated.

Bird World 15 November 2021

In the first chapter of her book, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, Julia Zarankin talks about the rather spartan apartment she had as a graduate student. She talked about the compromises with her husband’s collection of 300 stone elephants only to realize what happened when she discovered birds. She said: “Within a year, the barometric pressure in my apartment shifted. Stuffed-animal squeaky hooded warblers learned to coexist with tigers; bird-shaped vases stood next to the elephant-shaped salt shaker; sculpted owls flirted with the faux-malachite elephant’s plastic tusks…more frightening: a pile of bird-themed stationary of every persuasion and a shelf dedicated to field guides…Not to mention the nondescript felt bird, the two paintings of birds, and the stained glass owl..” Later she adds the parrot notebooks, bird-themed t-shirts and all the bird magazine subscriptions. How many of us see ourselves in those same words?

I was, despite all of the warnings by Zarankin, delighted to see Emry Evans’s book, Monty, in the post along with some pins. The Dyfi online shop is now open. All of the nature centres will ship overseas. Roy Dennis’s Wildlife Fund has his three books and shipping internationally is calculated at check out. Lots of good things at all the on line shops for Osprey fans.

Emyr Evans writing is exceptional as are the images in Monty. Written with a deep, abiding love and respect for a bird – 50 stories from the pen of Emyr Evans.

It is a horribly grey day on the Canadian prairies. Will it snow or will it rain? Do birds get arthritis? Would they like a heated area to warm their little feet? Those are the silly thoughts that have gone through my head today.

Dyson decided it was best to just be off the snow altogether and sit in the tray feeder filling his cute little face.

Dyson doesn’t share. He is like Ervie, the Port Lincoln super star fledgling who grabbed the first fish of the morning from dad at 6:50:24. Oh, I love this image of Ervie in front of Dad grabbing that fish with his leg just like Mum does. Ervie watched and learned. Sorry, Bazza.

Falky just loves to fly and he was much more interested in checking out the area than the first fish. He flew in just a little too late.

Falky’s landings are actually really good. Ervie did a few spins yesterday and wound up landing on Bazza – Ervie needs landing training. That is great form that Falky has on this landing. Ah, the lads will all improve. This flying thing is just new. What fun it must be to whip around the bay!

Now Bazza – it is your turn!

Diamond brought prey in for Yurruga at 07:09. Yurruga was ready!

I thought Diamond would drop the prey and leave like Xavier but she had a different idea.

Diamond who incubated the two eggs during the night decided she was also going to feed her nestling.

Look carefully. Yurruga is changing. The white down is really coming off those wings and the head. She looks like a bird, not a fluffy column with a sort of bird head. Even, the fur boa is disappearing.

You can see the pin stripes on Yurruga’s chest and her head now looks like that of a falcon. Amazing. Equally impressive is the length of Yurruga’s tail. What a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon she is going to be.

Ah, and if you are watching the dates, Izzi fludged a year ago today. Izzi is the 2020 hatch of Diamond and Xavier and quite the character.

Oh, such delight. There is no news – at least not yet today – on Grinnell. I hope he is ready to be released shortly. And no news on WBSE 27 but there was a gorgeous Galah in the nest this morning poking about.

One of the Aussie chatters always said that if someone called you a ‘galah’ it meant that you were rather ‘slow, dim witted’. Ah, terrible. They are such incredibly beautiful pink and grey cockatoos. A few minutes of a cute bird that loves to have ‘tickle tickle’.

Bazza still has plenty of time to fly today but I don’t. Thank you for joining me — and if you loved Monty, you seriously need to get to the Dyfi store and get a signed copy of Emry’s book. I promise you will not be sorry but you will need a box of tissues. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Port Lincoln Lads

It was really difficult to keep up with the number of fish coming on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest yesterday but, everyone got something to eat. It does not appear that any of the brothers were left out and some, if not all, had two fish.

The winds picked up and the lads were all hunkered down at 18:57:22. It is often hard to tell what the weather is like just looking at the screen but it sure appears to be windy and later on the boys have some rain drops on their wings.

Dad is still out fishing for them. Ervie got the next fish delivery after being hunkered down. He was eating it at 19:49:37. Falky is hungry! Bazza is just watching.

Dad flew in with another fish at 20:22 and Falky got that one. So all the lads went to bed with some fish in their tummies. Dad, you are really amazing.

Bazza had a really nice fish at 14:03:54. He sure had to defend it. Ervie came flying in and the pair had a very short brotherly tussle but, Bazza maintained control. Good for you, Bazza!

It might have looked horrible watching it, these three have been so polite to one another. They may never have the competition for food some regions have but it is good to be able to protect your ‘fish’ and Bazza did a great job handling Ervie.

Bazza enjoying his fish in peace.

Today might just be the day that Bazza joins the skies with his brothers. I wish there were cameras all around the barge to watch them flying and having fun with one another!

The Audubon Society posted an interesting picture of an Osprey named Smedley. Some of you might know the story of Smedley. I didn’t and it is quite heart warming. Smedley fell out of his nest in 1998 and injured himself to the point that he would never be able to be released into the wild. He could not fly. He has remained at the Audubon Centre for Birds and Prey – count it – 23 years! His wing injury began to bother him and a sling was constructed so that he could move about comfortably.

There he is with his sling. What a wonderful story. Just heart warming. If you travel to the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida you might see Smedley. It is near Orlando.

One of the reasons this is such a heart-warming story is that many Osprey do not do well in care. Smedley is certainly the exception and maybe a look back at what – in particular – the rehabbers did when he arrived could help improve the success rate of Ospreys going into care now.

The Bald Eagles continue to work on their nests. Harriet was hit very hard by the GHOW that has a nest near to hers and M15s’ in Fort Myers. This was a growing problem last year with both the adults and the eaglets. Yurruga continues to grow and develop her self-feeding. She is adorable. There is no news on WBSE 27’s release. One of my eagle friends tells me that the GHOWs have been to visit the nest in Farmer Derek’s field but there is a problem – the raccoons have dug a hole in thee nest. She suggests that he get a raccoon baffle – great idea! Funny thing. We all loved watching those owls hatch and grow but my goodness they can kill everything in sight – and do.

Take care everyone. If I see Bazza fledge I will let you know. If I miss it – let me know. Thank you for joining me today.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and to the FB page of the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey where I grabbed that image of Smedley.