Ervie has a dust up with Mum!

26 May 2022

We all love Ervie. He melted our hearts the second he hatched. For a long time, until the day he was banded, I called him Tiny Little Bob.

  • Big Bob hatched on 13 September at 22:03
  • Middle Bob hatched on 14 September at 02:30
  • Little Bob hatched on 16 September at 00:51

In the first two images, Ervie is four days old.

In this sequence of images, Ervie is 11 days old. The lads are in the Reptilian Phase. From left to right – Ervie, Falky, and Bazza.

Bazza was trying to assert his dominance on the nest and was not very kind to either Ervie or Falky. Bazza was known on the chat as ‘Big Bad Bazza’.

After Bazza had beaked and frightened Falky, he started on Ervie. Just look at the difference in size in their wings despite there being only 51 hours between them in age.

Ervie was always clever. He got out of Bazza’s way and Bazza went back to beak Falky. Ervie watches and listens to what is happening. It was rare for Ervie to khow tow to Bazza.

Twenty-two seconds later they are lined up being civil to one another and eating their fish. Ervie has already learned to be right up front near the beak.

Here is Ervie at 28 days old (14 October) still right up by Mum’s beak. By now Ervie is standing up to Bazza. Ervie is the first to eat and the last to leave the table most days. Even with a full crop Ervie enjoyed as much fish as he could get.

Just look at how our boy has changed in the image below. It is 30 October. Ervie is now 44 days old. The three will be ringed on the 8th of November and Tiny Little Bob will officially become our ‘Ervie’. All three will be pronounced to be males.

Ervie is the closest to the top of the frame intently watching Mum break off bites of fish.

Just adorable.

Ervie is doing ‘kissy-kissy’ with Falky. I looked at Ervie’s short stout legs and was certain that he was a female. Not according to the banders.

It was only after they fledged that the lads started being lads -fighting for fish and generally not wanting to share the nest. Ervie with his wings out wants part of the fish that Dad has delivered. It is his favourite – the portion back by the tail and Ervie is intent on getting it.

Ervie just walks through Bazza. It will be one of many ‘dust ups’ that he has with the older sibling.

On this particular occasion, Bazza is pushed off the nest and Ervie winds up hanging by his talons upside down!

Today, if we count Ervie’s hatch day, he is 253 days old. Until yesterday, Ervie has always known the ‘barge’ as his home. In some ways you could say the nest was probably a little like a security blanket. It was familiar. He would, on occasion, go down and chat with Dad in his den. No one but his brothers ever tried to force Ervie off the nest. It must have been a shock when he came to eat his Puffer on the nest yesterday (the 26th of May) and Mum ushered him off the nest.

‘A’ captured the action on the nest yesterday, thankfully. Thank you ‘A’ for sharing these with me so we can all see what happened.

Ervie has landed on the nest with his puffer. Mum is flying down to give Ervie the ‘boot’. Dad is over on the right side perch.

I have seen parents evict their juveniles from the nest – it has happened at the SWFlorida nest with E15 and with Diamond and Xavier when Mum had to give Izzy the cold shoulder. They certainly were not as ‘into your face’ as the event between Ervie and Mum.

Indeed, Ervie is, as I said, probably shocked at the reaction. One day he is welcome and the next not. He has 252 days of being welcomed to the nest – and there is nothing in Ervie’s own experience that would prepare him for his removal.

Ervie did take off with his puffer. I do wonder if the old barge is still around or if there is a close place where Ervie feels comfortable eating his fish.

Tonight there was another ‘dust up’ between Ervie and Mum. This time Ervie was hesitant to give ground. If you look carefully, you can see Ervie fly off with Mum on the nest. She will eventually go back and join Dad. It is interesting to me that it has been the female – Diamond at the Charles Sturt scrape and now Mum here on the PLO barge – to do the evicting.

Here is the video of the latest interaction between Mum and Ervie.

No doubt there will be some more attempts by Ervie to land on the nest and more evictions by Mum. We want both of them to be safe. I wish Ervie had his own private barge!!!!!

Thank you for joining me as we catch up with Ervie over the past couple of days. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and video clip. We are so every grateful for this opportunity to watch the lives of Ospreys in the wild. It has been a fantastic season.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

18 May 2022

The torrential downpour is back again! The skies are dark grey in places and there is a lot of thunder. The ground is super soaked and outside the city the flood waters were receding yesterday. I wonder if that is still true today. What is different is the shade of green from all the trees. Old Maples, planted in 1902, make a canopy on the streets and that is now tinged with green, more chartreuse, than the green the leaves will be in a week. The leaves on the the trees, the lilacs, and the vines in the garden are beginning to pop. I would like to say that we will have beautiful summer weather but it is to go down to 3 degrees C – they even predicted snow – this weekend. All of the annual plantings are out in the rain enjoying it but will come in if that forecast is correct. Despite the rain the garden visitors were here early – a flock of Harris sparrows, Junior (the Blue Jay – sadly his parents are not with him this year), Mr Crow, and a dozen or more Chipping Sparrows. In about an hour the Starlings will arrive. You can almost set a watch on their timing – 0900 and 1700.

It was sure a good morning at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Dad came in with a fish at 06:54:13. And then a second one arrives around 07:31. Middle has his mojo back. Only once did he move away because of Big that I could see. He is getting better – or is Middle a she? -. What joy to see the birds eating first thing in the morning. Such a huge relief.

There is Middle next to the rim. Big still has a longer tail and larger wings but you have to look carefully to see who is who sometimes. Middle has a very sweet face.

This is, of course, the way to deliver fish – two right in a row – if there is food competition on a nest. Dad, you did well this morning!

The second fish played out like this: Big was distracted trying to self-feed. Yes, please, don’t fall over! ——- Mum is feeding Middle. Mum continues to feed Middle. Both chicks will have nice crops and a beautiful start to their day. Happy. Very happy.

In other Bird World news, Mr Blue Berry from Duke Farms fledged at 06:43:47. Didn’t think twice – flapped the wings and off! Let us hope we see him on the nest getting food and getting those wing muscles stronger for a few more weeks.

The two eaglets are really thinking about fledging at the Dale Hollow nest!

Richmond and Rosie have a hatch as of the 17th. I wonder what is going on with egg 3? Rosie isn’t telling.

Iris, the grand dame of US Ospreys and the oldest Osprey in the world at 28 years old (29?) is finally free to enjoy her summer. One egg was ruined the other day and the Crows finished off the other last evening.

There were 8 feedings that I counted between 06:32 and 13:20 on the Manton Bay Osprey nest of Blue 33 and Maya today. Those kids have at least tripled their size since hatch last week!

Blue 33 flew in wanting to feed the kids some Perch.

Just look how big they are! It is hard to imagine that a few days ago we worried about that flapping fish and whether or not chick 2 would survive. All three are strong and growing bigger almost before our eyes thanks to the great work by Mum and Dad.

Blue 33 loves to feed his kids and be on the nest with Maya and them when he isn’t fishing. If I were an osplet I would definitely wanted to have hatched in this nest!!!!!!!

The water has finally cleared and Jack should be able to bring some nice fish to Harriet and the one surviving chick out of three at the Dahlgren Osprey nest in King George County, Virginia. Richmond arrives and Rosie gives him the morning breakfish order. What a wonderful change. Hoping to see some nice fish on this nest and a few less toys and sticks.

Jack will return at 07:30 with a partial fish for Harriet and Big Bob.

It is too bad that those torrential rains came and muddied the river but it is nice to see the surviving chick doing well. It is now getting that dark wooly down and will soon be in the Reptilian phase.

Did you say you love Kestrels? The five eggs are due to hatch at the Prairie Dy Chien Kestrel nest box in Wisconsin starting today! Kestrels are the smallest of the falcons. They feed on insects and small rodents, small birds, and amphibians. They are quite common in the southern part of my province during the summer where they breed.

Here is a link to that camera!

Sadly, a nice fish came on the ND-LEEF nest around 0808 but, Middle did not get any. There are some bones left on the nest with some flesh. I bet it will go after those. Oh, how I wish the fish would fly on to this nest. The little one did have a good PS this morning and did do some wing exercises. It just needs food!!!!!!

Despite its size that fish is really only enough food for one of the bigger siblings. Lots more deliveries needed!

So far it is a nice morning at the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and Harriet (E1). I wonder if they are going to get the storms we are having? Harriet is waiting for some breakfast! On the nest are a lot of turtle shells – it must be a good time of the year for hunting turtles. They seem to be on every eagle nest we have been watching.

Dad’s cave at the Port Lincoln Barge has had a make over getting ready for the new season. It was pulled into place, washed, and given a once over.

Guess who was eating a fish all the time the work was going on? Ervie! And apparently it didn’t bother him one bit. Ervie, you are looking so good. I wish we could see how your talon is doing but it is so good to see you.

I still cannot imagine feeding five little eyases. Everything was quiet and then Dad arrived at 1135 and everyone got excited for food! All is well at the Manchester New Hampshire peregrine scrape!

It is pitching rain and my garden shed/garage is almost completely demolished. Strange equipment. Been working 2 hours. Little Red and Mr Crow definitely are not happy.

Have a wonderful day everyone. Wish for fish for 17 at ND-LEEF. Check out the PLO camera. Ervie might return today. Wouldn’t that be grand? Take care. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Duke Farms, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, DHEC, Montana Osprey Project, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, LRWT Manton Bay, Cornell Bird Lab Kestrels, ND-LEEF, MN-DNR, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Peregrine Networks.

Late Sunday Afternoon in Bird World

06 March 2022

The first hatch at Big Bear Valley, the nest of Bald Eagles Jackie and Shadow, has had five feedings so far. The first was at 05:51 followed by 07:57, 09:06, 10:15, and the last one, just finished, at 13:24. The wee one is doing so well and already looks like it has doubled its size in just three days (or nearly). The wee chick did its first poop shot (ps) at 10:15:59 demonstrating that all of its plumbing is working.

The eagles are restless today. Jackie is currently being very careful to roll that second egg. With the wet straw in the egg cup, it is difficult to tell if there is a pip or a pip and a crack.

Here are some images from the Big Bear nest of Jackie and Shadow from the late morning to early afternoon for you to enjoy.

Shadow helped Jackie with the feeding at 10:15 and took over brooding and incubation duties much to his delight. Shadow will remain on the nest until Jackie returns at 13:19. They will then both feed the wee chick.

Both adults have been staring at the chick and the egg and moving ever so slowly around the nest. I love how they back off the egg and chick so they can see them. They could, so easily, step all over everything if they got off incubation/brooding by moving forward. If you watch, they are ever so careful with their big feet and talons.

Oh, what a big yawn!

Do you see anything like a pip or a crack on this egg?

Both help with the 13:24 feed. You can hear the Corvids in the background. That must frighten Jackie and Shadow alerting them that they have to be ever so careful about coming and going from the nest – making sure that someone is always home.

The chick is eating much bigger bites than yesterday. Look how big it is compared to the egg. That is how much this wee babe has grown in 70 hours.

The nestling eats small pieces of the meat or fish along with saliva from the parents and juice from the prey items. This provides much needed antibodies and nutrients as well as electrolytes. Electrolytes keep our bodies balanced, in terms of fluids and in terms of salt and sugar. if you have dehydrated animals, electrolytes are given like an IV to rehydrate. They are essential for a healthy system.

This chick is getting fed approximately 8-10 feedings each day.

Such a good baby.

The egg has been rolled several times. Did it pick up wet and dirty straw that has clung to it so that we think it is a pip or a crack? I wonder. Big Bear has not announced a pip on the second egg.

Adorable. Jackie is such a proud Mama. She takes over from Samson and lets him have a much needed break. Meanwhile, the weather is just so much better than yesterday.

Other Bird World News:

The Pied Cormorant is still hanging around Dad’s perch at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge.

The trio at Captiva Osprey nest have been enjoying a nice afternoon fish that arrived sometime around 14:15.

Everyone will stagger away with a nice big crop and be rehydrated. They are hot in that Florida sun.

The two nestlings at Duke Farms Bald Eagle nest are doing just fine.

Anna and Louis have been spending a lot more time with Kincaid over the last week. It will not be long til this 8 week old eaglet is branching and before we know it, Kincaid will fledge. These are adorable parents. It has been a real privilege watching them take care of Kincaid.

Jasper and NE27 continue to do well. NE27 is so far ahead of Jasper on the self-feeding but slowly, ever so slowly, Jasper is catching on. I hope that we have a name for NE27 this coming week. That would be super. Beautiful eagles out of the NEFlorida nest of Samson and Gabby.

Just a few hours ago E20 branched up to the Veranda at the SWFlorida nest of Harriet and M15. Now both eaglets have branched. It will not be long until these two fledge.

Lady Hawk caught the branching in a short video:

Thank you so much for joining me for this end of the day nest check on Sunday. Everything is fine. Our sweet Ervie has not been back to the barge and continues to hang out around the North shore. I hope he is enjoying every mouthful of fish that he catches. Oh, the joy he brought us. I wish he would just take a quick fly over to the barge and hang out for a bit. I bet you do, too. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, KNF Bald Eagles, and Duke Farms.

Thursday in Bird World

3 March 2022

It is afternoon on the Canadian prairies. The skies are partly blue, the sun is shining really, really bright and as I look out my window, I can see that Little Red has now been joined by several other Red Squirrels chasing one another up and down the telephone poles. It must be spring in their minds! It is -14 and hopefully it will warm up before the astronomical spring is officially here.

A hospital architect, Roger Ulrich, did a study about nature and healing/recovery or gall bladder patients. The paper he wrote for Science, ‘View Through a Window May Influence Recovery From Surgery’ compared gall bladder surgery patients who had windows that looked out to trees with those who had a brick wall view. Ulrich found that those that had the tree view ‘spent less time in hospital, required fewer painkillers, had better evaluations from nurses and experienced fewer post-operative complications’. This leads me to believe that it is important – for each of us – that the place where you spend most of your time has a view of nature! This is the primary reason my desk is located where I can look out on to the garden with all of the birds flying in and out and the squirrels running around. Having moved from a space with no windows, I know that what Ulrich discovered works on normal daily living. So turn your world upside down and move your favourite chair to a window! Your spirits will be lifted and it could be of great benefit to your health, both mental and physical.

Thankfully my posting of the Pip at Big Bear last evening was true. Often times it is easy to think a dirty smudge is the little chick pecking away with its egg tooth. That pip is bigger this morning. Thankfully. Along with 6589 other people, I am holding my breath (well, figuratively) until this chick has hatched. These are anxious moments for this lovely couple.

The two images below were captured at 07:28 nest time. You can still go back and rewind if you wish. The pip hole is clearly bigger. Jackie looks down with great hope – as she hears her baby working to hatch.

The pip is noticeably bigger. It began at 15:47:26 on the 2nd of March.

Send your most positive wishes to Jackie and Shadow and this wee one. Tears from around the world will flow when it is free! Get the tissue box ready.

It is -3 in Ithaca, New York. The snow on Big Red and Arthur’s nest is slowly melting with the bright sun shining in on the Fernow light stand.

I have not seen Big Red or Arthur at the nest today – oh, but I could be so wrong. Arthur is so quick delivering those sticks that if you don’t go very slowly on the rewind you will miss him.

I ached for Lena and the trio at the Captiva Osprey nest last night. Lena kept calling for a fish delivery for the evening so the babies could go to bed full. I did not see that happen. Lena flew off and brought up a small piece of fish tail at 07:27:31 this morning, you can imagine how hungry the three were. Still there was no beaking. The second fish, a really nice one, came in at 09:37:27.

Here is that tiny piece that comes in first thing. I am not sure where Lena found it. Perhaps there is a stash under the tree or she went under the tree to Andy to get it??

It is easy to see that this 09:37 fish will fill all the little ones up and provide some nourishment for Lena, also. Little Bob is right up front with Middle Bob. Big Bob will join them as s/he turns around to get in line. The two older siblings continue to be noticeably darker than Little Bob whose head is clearly turning oily black in the image below. Little Bob will enter the reptile stage soon enough.

Lena filled them all up. Despite the irregularity, the chicks are growing and developing according to schedule and Mum looks alright. Would I like for them to have the 7 daily fish deliveries like Dad provided at Port Lincoln, absolutely.

Fans of Ervie continue to check in at the Port Lincoln Barge. Yesterday, the cam operator zoomed in on a beautiful Cormorant that has taken a liking to Falky’s perch.

This is an Australian Pied Cormorant. They are large black and white birds. They fish in the shallow waters around the barge.

If you are used to the dark brown Double-crested Cormorants of North America, it might take you awhile to recognize these Australian versions on the barge.

I did a couple of nest checks. My goodness, R1 and R2 at the WRDC nest at the Miami Zoo have grown in the last couple of days. They are walking much more steady and both are self-feeding and doing quite a good job of it. Beautiful beautiful birds.

Both are really tearing up the pantry to try and find some more food!

This has turned out to be a fabulous nest design. I really wish that something like this would be placed on both the Dahlgren and the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nests. It could make a huge outcome to the success of any future breeding seasons. — Richmond and Rosie need some help, too, with their nest on the Whirley crane. My goodness they no more than get the twigs and the Ravens and Crows take them! Can you hear me screaming unfair????????????

Despite some shenanigans by the oldest of the twins at the Dale Hollow nest, DH16 seems to be doing alright. So cute and fluffy with their tiny little wings.

In the next photo they are lined up by hatch time with the biggest in front.

Those three wee ones are quite a contrast to Kincaid at the KNF Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis. Kincaid is 50 days old today. Wow. And what a beautiful eaglet he is!

Louis and Anna have done a superb job raising their second eaglet.

It is time for me to get ready and go for my walk. It will be so nice to be outside in the fresh winter air. If you have been longing to move your chair near a window and cannot do it yourself, ask someone to help you. Don’t try and do it by yourself! It really will improve your day.

Please continue to send your warm and special wishes to Jackie and Shadow! Remember that tomorrow, Friday, 4 March at 2pm San Francisco time, there will be a Q & A on Annie and Grinnell by the Cal Falcon team. Here is that link. You can set it to alert you.

If you need more falcon activity, the couple at the New Hampshire falcon scrape are doing a lot of kerchuffing lately at the scrape box.

There is an adult on the perch on the left top.

Their eggs are normally laid in less than three weeks. Here is the link to that nest cam:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

A deep thanks to the streaming bird cams sponsored by the following where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Cornell Bird Lab, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey, WRDC Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles and the KNF Bald Eagles.

Late Saturday in Bird World

It has not been a great day for Lena on the Captiva Osprey nest. She has had only 2 fish for her and the hungry osplets and no break to go down and get that yucky fish juice off of her. In other words, she is loudly calling Andy as the sun sets desperate for a break and to fill those babies up for bed. If the last feeding was at around 13:30 they will be ravenous by the time the fish lands on the nest in the morning.

While Lena might be rather upset, everything seems really good over at the Dale Hollow Lake Eagle nest. Obey came in to see what he needed to bring to the pantry around 17:00. He then helped River with a tandem feeding of the youngsters while also eating some of the pantry himself. This really is a fabulous nest!

I honestly cannot believe that I had never heard about this nest until today. It is wonderful. Very experienced adults and healthy twins. Still one to hatch. Those little eaglets are tucked under River sound asleep. Happy Eagle dreams!

Ferris Akel found both Big Red and Arthur who were sitting on top of Bradfield enjoying the view. Arthur is on the left with his gorgeous scapula V plumage and Big Red is on the right. She is much darker than Arthur.

Arthur is such a cutie pie. I often just want to cuddle him!

Big Red was doing a lot of preening and simply didn’t seem to want to look at the camera.

So gorgeous. Both are busy bees working on their nest on the Fernow light tower on the campus of Cornell University.

There has been an update about HH3 – the eaglet who fell out of the nest at the Hilton Head Island nest.

There has also been an update on the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB on Ervie’s tracker. It looks like he is extending his travels over to the right of North Shields and the airport.

Ervie always seems to roost at the same spot. I wonder if PLO knows where this is?

Early this morning the cam operator gave everyone a great view of the Calypso Star as she set out for the day. It is a good thing to remember that the Port Lincoln Osprey Project sponsors our camera view of the barge and the barge out of the earnings from the Calypso Star. They take no donations. So, if you visit Port Lincoln, take a tour with them as a way of thanking them.

At the nest of Jackie and Shadow, Mum is being very limited in her movements and allowing us any view of the eggs. She has been aerating the nest cup which improves the softness of the nest cup as well as providing oxygen during hatching and brooding. Is there a chick pipping under there? The answer could be just maybe there is!

The Quarry Track Royal Cam Chick aka QT is really too large for the adults to brood. They must be thrilled that the little one is out of the nest so they can actually rest their legs! I promise you this is one big boy. If not, I will make a donation to the Albatross Centre!

In the image below, YRK has to stand all the time in order to brood the chick. In the image above she is able to lay down! It must be quite nice. I wonder when they will have the contest to name the chick? And when the parents will stop staying with QT only returning to Taiaroa Head to feed their ever growing chick?

If you are in need of more Osprey nests, the male at the Williamsburg Landing has returned to the nest early – on the 23rd of February. He is working feverishly on this nest.

This Gloucester Point, Virginia nest can be viewed here:

This is an overview of a view of the birds that I do not always cover. I really hope that Andy brings in a huge fish for the Captiva nest very early in the morning. Speaking of Captiva, Connie and Clive were working on the Bald Eagle nest at Captiva this evening together. Will there be a second clutch? We should know tomorrow if Jackie and Shadow have a pip! Life is good except when eagles are falling out of nests. Will continue to monitor the Hilton Head situation for everyone.

Thank you for joining me. I hope Ervie visits the barge today! What a treat that would be. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Hilton Head Island Eagles, Ferris Akel Tours, Williamsburg Landing, Dale Hollow Lake Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

The King of the Puffer Hunters

2.24.2020

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

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

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

Here comes Ervie!

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

Incoming.

Getting ready to land.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Monday in Bird World

22 February 2022

The three osplets at the Captiva nest of Andy and Lena continue to do well. Their first meal of the morning came at 06:52:18 when Andy brought in a nice sized catfish. Although the two older siblings are bigger and eating more at each feeding, Little Bob seems to be doing fine. Here is a collage of images from this mornings fish and feedings.

That catfish got whipped around the nest bowl. The osplets are going to need to learn to duck when a fish comes in! This one had its head one and Lena struggled with it before feeding them as all of the Mums do with the catfish.

Everyone had some breakfast. Little Bob got himself turned around the right way!

It is 08:59 and the trio are eating again. Andy has returned the fish to the nest.

Lena is also struggling with the skin of the catfish. It is not yet suitable for the chicks. And Little Bob is really hungry this feeding!

Everyone had some fish and they will be nice and full and ready for a nap.

Lena ate everything including the lovely fish tail and skin. Nothing is wasted on an Osprey nest.

You should not worry if you tune in to watch Lena and Andy and their family and there are no fish on the nest. First, Andy is an excellent angler and secondly, if they leave fish on the nest it attracts predators. Those predators have killed their babies in the past. This family is now working very hard for that not to happen this year. Andy may also have a stash where he puts fish as well. But, do not worry if there is not a pile like you might see on a Bald Eagle nest – there are reasons for that not to be the case here at Captiva.

NE26 and NE27 are still waiting for a breakfast delivery. It is after 09:00 and Gabby and Samson have them in training for self-feeding. Here are some images of the two of them from this morning. The first one is synchronized preening. Those pin feathers coming in are very itchy.

Oh, you just have to feel sorry for them.

These two are now completely covered with dark thermal down except for a few remaining dandelions on the tops of their heads.

The last remains of the natal down. It is hard to believe but in a week they will be covered with feathers coming in.

Sleepyhead.

There were two feedings at the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita in Miami. R1 and R2 are covered with juvenile feathers. They are steady on their feet and their wings are as wide as the nest now. They self-feed and the adults also come in and fill them up. The feeds so far have been at 06:49 and 08:44.

I don’t know if it is just the camera angle but this nest looks very precarious at the front side.

E19 and E20 at the nest of Harriet and M15 are spreading their wings and sitting on the rim of the nest as well as working on their self-feeding. They are the oldest of this group of eaglets followed by the pair at the WRDC nest.

Visitors to the nest area can see the eaglets above the sides of the nest peering out to the world.

Sleeping duckling style.

The first breakfast for Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald eagle nest of Anna and Louis was at 06:49.

At 08:21:20 Louis arrives with a small fish. Kincaid immediately grabs it and wants to self-feed but is having some difficulty. He is going to need some help unzipping this fish. Kincaid is getting the same lessons that NE26 and NE27 are having – let him try and then Mum or Dad will come along and feed. The chick will observe how they open up the fish and hold it with their talons.

Anna arrives and begins to feed Kincaid.

While Anna is feeding herself and Louis (Anna loves to eat), Louis arrives with another fish and begins to eat it on the nest.

Louis is known for his excellent angler skills. Last week he brought 20 fish to the nest in a single day. I wonder if he is going to try for 10 or more today?

Big Red and Arthur have been flying in and out of their nest on the Fernow Light Stand at Cornell University this morning. They are making quick work of the 2022 nest. Greenery is even beginning to appear.

Here is Big Red landing at 09:34:26. She is in really good shape to be a 19 year old hawk!

Big Red is watching for Arthur.

She flies off and Arthur flies in with more twigs. Now Arthur is peering out looking at Big Red.

They are going back and forth delivering materials. I wonder if this will go on all day?

Big Red and Arthur are adorable. Arthur is lining the nest cup with soft foliage.

This feverish pace is making me wonder if they might have eggs on this nest the middle of March. It is looking good. Stay tuned!

Port Lincoln has posted an update for Ervie. He was hanging around one of the local coffee shops yesterday. They are really hoping that people will take lots of images of Ervie and submit them to them so they can put them on their FB page.

Dad visited the PLO barge yesterday at least twice. Sadly, he never connected with Ervie. There is always today! It looks to me like Ervie is not moving out of the main area around the barge.

Thank you so much for joining me today. There is no snow for us but we are once again in an extreme cold warning area with -30 C temperatures and bright sun. Take care! See you soon. I hope that each of you have a wonderful day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Window on Wildlife and Captiva Osprey Nest, NEFlorida and the AEF, WRDC, KNF, Cornell Bird Lab, and SWFlorida and D Pritchett Family.

Late Monday in Bird World

It was not a particularly nice day in Ithaca, New York. In fact, it was 2 degrees C when Arthur arrived at the nest this morning at 08:16:35. He brought some twigs, tested the nest bowl, and looked around. Arthur has really been bringing twigs at an exhaustive pace recently. According to one of the founders of the FB group, Big Red did once lay her first egg on 13 March. Are we in for an early start this year? Or does Arthur know that bad weather is coming and realize that when it is good to restore Big Red’s nest he should waste no time? Arthur, you are quite adorable.

Arthur was still scurrying back and forth with sticks two hours later.

My very first love was an urban hawk – a Sharp-shinned Hawk that visited my garden one frosty January day. I ran out in my slippers and housecoat thinking that the hawk had killed and was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig I. The hawk kept eating until I got within 15 cm or 6 inches of her. I have learned so much since that early morning and I would never ever go out and interfere with Sharpie having some breakfast or lunch now. She was not eating the rabbit but a sparrow. We looked into one another’s eyes for several minutes, not moving. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. And how blessed I was – looking into her eyes that morning changed my life. Thankfully, I quietly returned to the house and Sharpie finished.

As a result of this beautiful, close encounter, I have an interest in urban raptors that has grown over the years. Sharpie still comes to visit the garden. Of course, I now also know that Sharpie is a male! He is very cheeky – always pausing to see if I am watching from the window he will turn his head til our eyes meet and then he flies away. I always wonder where he roosts and how far his territory extends. It seems that the peregrine falcons are in the centre of the downtown area which is between 4 and 4.6 km away from where I live. So it would seem that their territories do not overlap. It is curious. I think he has a route and I know that he is ‘mad’ at me for removing a twenty-foot tall cedar tree. The little birds would get inside that tree filling it up. Sharpie would come ripping through a small space between my house and the neighbour’s making a sharp right angle turn into the tree. He was always successful at hunting – always. Sadly for all of us, we had a four year drought and no matter how much water the tree was given it simply was not enough and wasn’t the heavy rains that nature provides. It died and had to be removed. Now, Sharpie really has to work for his lunch. And if you are wondering, yes, I have thought about planting another large conifer for Sharpie! It isn’t a cat or dog that rules our house but the garden animals!

Sharpie was very puffed to stay warm on his last visit. It was -32 that day. He is sitting on his plucking post and if he raises his head slightly, he can see me watching him from the kitchen window. I do not go outside when Sharpie is hunting so all of the images are through glass – and he is fast. Not as fast as a Peregrine Falcon, of course, but fast enough for me not to be able to grab my good camera — unless, of course, he is eating lunch which takes about 35-40 minutes.

He glances back to me and is gone in a blur. Such a beautiful much loved raptor.

Robert Yolton writes a great blog on urban raptors. His focus for years has been the Red-tail Hawks that live in and around Central Park in NYC. While he writes about other birds in the area, I really enjoy this time of year when he begins to report on the hawks preparations for spring breeding season. On 16 February, five days ago, he has lovely images of the couple whose nest is on a balcony of a high rise apartment at 84th and East End Avenue. He wonders if they are merely working on the nest or if the eggs will be laid early this year. And that, of course, is what we are wondering about Big Red and Arthur. Yolton’s reports are always accompanied by beautiful photographs. One other recent one has images of hawks, Kestrels, and a Great Horned Owl in Central Park. I urge you to take a look at his blog: urbanhawks.com You will not be sorry!

I have checked in on the three Osplets at the Captiva nest in Florida on and off today. It was actually wonderful to see my daughter today which meant that I was not sitting and counting the bites Little Bob got in a feeding! Here they are all lined up from the eldest on the far end to Little Bob on the end close to us. They look like a choir. I hope this continues. It reminds me of the three Port Lincoln lads (until they fledged).

Speaking of Port Lincoln lads, if you missed it, Ervie visited the barge yesterday. He was there from 19:15-20:31. He missed seeing Dad who arrived half an hour after he left.

Port Lincoln has asked everyone along the north shore to kept an eye out for Ervie. This is his latest tracking in the area. The green pin indicates his position at the time of the tracking. Continue to notice that Ervie goes back to the nest on the barge. For several weeks I have said that I felt Ervie would continue to stop in. Let us all hope so! It was lovely to see him yesterday. He is in good form.

One of Ervie’s greatest fans is ‘A-M’. She believes that Ervie stopped by to see Dad and to tell him, “ I found a place, it’s cool. I need help moving sticks and nest stuff. Come visit and bring fish!” It brought tears to my eyes. This is the first time I have been able to watch the interaction between the adults and the juveniles after they have fledged other than the adult bringing a fish and getting out of the way quickly. There was something very heartwarming about seeing Ervie and Dad just sitting around the sticks, as if it could be a campfire, with one another.

So keep watching the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. You might catch a glimpse of our handsome Ervie.

After seeming to be missing in action for two days, the male GHOW at the Savannah Owl nest has returned. The Mum was so excited. His return is on video when he brings a nice fat rodent for her to feed the owlet. The sounds from the owls is adorable.

That is excellent news. With all the intruders at that nest, including that Red-tailed Hawk, it would have been almost impossible for the Mum to raise the owlet alone. Cornell did a very cute video of the female GHOW feeding the two-day old owlet Dad’s prey. Have a peek:

Gabby and Samson are doing a great job trying to entice NE26 and 27 to self-feed. Fish are brought to the nest unzipped and left for the two hungry eaglets. So far NE27 who learned to feed itself more than a week ago has done the best. After the eaglets work on the fish then either Gabby or Samson comes in and fills the two up! This nest is doing so well. No one is hungry.

That old saying is knock on wood. And that is what I am doing. It seems that the nests are doing well. If you are a fan of the National Arboretum nest, Lotus laid her second egg yesterday – the 20th of February – at 18:39. Bella and Smitty are both working on the NCTC nest. Another eagle has been seen soaring and both Bella and Smitty have taken to easing it out of the territory.

The couple at the new Bartlesville Oklahoma Bald eagle nest are incubating two eggs laid on 15 and 18 February. I grew up in Oklahoma and it will always hold a special place for me. I hope this couple are successful and have to great fledges. The link to the camera is:

Look closely at the image below. Do you see a ‘meadow muffin’ or a ‘cow pie’? Looks like the Oklahoma eagles have a unique item that they are going to line their nest with!!!!!!! Can I say ‘only in Oklahoma’?

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB where I took my screen captures: The Sutton Group, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Window on Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab, and NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.

Hello Ervie!

Dad just missed seeing Ervie. In fact, Dad has come several times as if he is checking to see if Ervie is on the barge. Oh, I wish they had connected. Ervie arrives on the barge 17:41.

Here comes Ervie. He is in really good form flying in. No one else is home.

Oh, what a handsome Osprey you are, Ervie! We are so lucky that the cam operator noticed you Ervie and zoomed in so we could have a good look – and also confirm that it was, indeed, you.

There you are. You did come back to the barge as I expected. I think the barge will remain your stopping off point. Oh, I hope it will be!

Ervie, do you have to get to your own home now since no one is on the barge? Were you waiting to see if anyone would come?

Off you go. It is 20:28. You need to get home before it gets really dark. Maybe we can figure out where that is from your tracking, Ervie.

Sadly, Ervie, you missed Dad after waiting for so long by only half an hour.

Dad arrives at 20:58 on the perch.

Dad stays until after 02:25 and then he must fly over to the old barge. Ervie, he would have loved a chat down in the shed with you. He will also want to know that you are hungry or not. Have you found a good fishing spot? Can he quit worrying about his youngest?

It was so nice to see you Ervie! If your fans want to check the footage, they can still see you on the re-wind camera for awhile. The link to your camera is here:

After checking on you Ervie, I went over to see the little osplets at Captiva. They are doing really well. The little one reminds me of you, Ervie, standing tall and getting your food between Bazza and Falky sometimes. This one likes to be up front, too. Hopefully they will be good to one another in the nest like the three of you were.

Thanks for dropping by so all of us could see that you are doing well, Ervie. You are missed enormously.

Thank you for joining me this morning and thank you to the streaming cams at Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Window on Wildlife where I took my screen shots. See you soon. Take care everyone.

21 February 2022

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.