The Daisy Chronicles Day 16

Is that Ring-tail possum responsible for Daisy not leaving the nest to go foraging til later? It was spotted on camera at 04:27 climbing around the rim of the nest and on the branches and again at 04:47.

Ring-tail Possums are not a direct threat to Daisy’s eggs – they will not eat them. That said, the possum is looking for nesting material and Daisy does not know if it is friend or foe. She must be uneasy because she has always stayed on the nest not leaving for the foraging until the possum goes into his hole in the base of the big nest and goes to sleep.

They are a Marsupial – not like the opossums in North America.

“Ring-tail Possum” by _Stickybeak is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Once the possum is not moving about, Daisy prepares to leave for her foraging. She covers the nest well with all that soft fluffy down.

She flies off at 05:08:41 for her breakfast.

How many of us get tense when Daisy does not return from her foraging? I sure do in the morning. Scared to death that those Ravens are going to set the alarm and be out in the forest early.

While Daisy was away, the cam operator gave us a really nice close up of that nest! It is so beautiful. I never thought a bunch of duck down and old leaves could be so stunning.

Daisy returned at 07:01:38. She took her time, checking around to see if any predators were near, and drying off her feathers.

Daisy had settled in nicely and those fabulous Rainbow Lorikeets could be heard arriving to wish this amazing little duck a good morning.

It is certainly difficult to see Daisy on the nest unless you know you are looking for a duck!

I have heard the Ravens in the distance at 07:50:11 but they have not come to the nest – yet. The Rainbow Lorikeets did return again. They have such a sweet voice.

Daisy, like all ducks, did not get serious about taking off down until she was finished laying eggs. Every day the amount of down seems to grow making that lovely cloud bigger and bigger. She is an amazing Mum.

Daisy’s nest is really quite comfy looking. Look at her extended esophagus or crop, it is quite full. She had a nice foraging venture this morning. That is good. It is set to get warmer today on the nest – up to 34 C. She will need the hydration.

Daisy heard them before I did —— the Ravens flying through the forest. They landed on the high branches of the nest tree but did not come down to the nest near Daisy. They are definitely checking to make sure she is incubating those eggs. I must plot their fly through times. It seems that it is always around 09:00 or so in the morning with possibly 2 others pass throughs later.

Daisy got still and put her head down a bit when they were up in the tree. Her eyes change. You can tell she is afraid but she certainly does not let the Ravens know that. She gave it to them twice. So interesting they don’t bother trying to get her off the nest with their threats.

Other Bird News: I feel so guilty not checking on the Port Lincoln Osprey fledglings. So, after Daisy returned this morning I went to their streaming cam to see how the boys were doing. Mum and Dad are still delivering meals and Ervie, dear Ervie, is still dominant. At the end of the afternoon, yesterday, Ervie had finished one fish. He was so full. Then he got the next fish. He literally ‘sat’ on that fish for an hour and a half before he started eating it. Today, Ervie got the first fish at 06:06:21. Falky got the next delivery at 06:21. Bazza is waiting his turn. What do you want to bet that Mum brings her baby boy a nice fish?

Gabby has been on the nest this morning. Will this be the day for an egg for her and Samson at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville?

And Gabby did! It was 17:19:21. Congratulations Samson and Gabby! I think that they count the egg that did not hatch – so Legacy was NE24, ‘Eggie’ was NE25 so this must be NE26. So excited.

We will check back on 20 December for egg 2. This is splendid. This will be Samson and Gabby’s third breeding attempt as bonded mates. They fledged Romey and Jules (2020) and Legacy (2021). Samson is using the nest that belonged to his parents, Romeo and Juliette. — and where he hatched.

Harriet and M15’s eggs are set to hatch at the Bald Eagle Nest in Fort Myers in a week (egg 1). Can you believe a snake came on that nest?! They love eggs. Harriet was able to stomp on it and kill it without harming those two precious eggs. Here is the video:

So for something a little different. Need a holiday pick me up? The other evening I found the most amazing site – a feeding station for Roe Deer. Every day the same man brings pellets and hay but he delivered carrots today! Here is the video of the delivery.

Here is the live stream to this amazing site. It warms one’s heart to see the generosity and caring for these beautiful animals. The deer live around Saaremaal, the largest island in Estonia. They are a small reddish-brown deer that live in the coldest of climates.

It is -13 degrees C in central Canada with snow due to start falling at 23:00. Everything is grey or brown! We woke up to a fresh white blanket covering everything. There were 29 European Starlings sitting on the tips of the lilacs waiting for the Bark Butter delivery! Squirrels were scurrying everywhere and there was evidence that Hedwig had been out at night eating the birdseed on the ground. I should have called her Dyson, too!

The morning light is filtering through the branches of the Old Ironbark Tree and Daisy is illuminated. Just gorgeous in that light.

No sooner had I taken this image than a few minutes later Daisy is frozen in fear. She will remain like this until 09:52:43 – almost three minutes. It was hard to see her even take a breath.

Daisy remains cautious. You can see the shadow of a bird flitting around. The vocalization sounded like a Pied Currawong – the bird that harasses Lady and Dad and the fledglings, the bird that sent WBSE 27 into care from a mob attack. I hope they move along and leave Daisy in peace.

Daisy appears a little more relaxed but she is very alert. Fingers crossed that things settle down in the forest and the rest of her day is uneventful. I will monitor Daisy throughout the evening here in Canada and the wee hours of the morning.

Thank you so very much for joining me. I am so grateful for all of these amazing birds. They give me joy (and anxiety) each and every day. I hope that they bring the joy to you! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, and RMK Hirvekaamera.

The Daisy Chronicles Day 15

Oh, my goodness. I missed it. Sharon Dunne posted a video of the Lorikeets visiting yesterday but, in that video is a split second visit of Lady to the nest. She is chased by the Pied Currawong – they simply do not just harass the fledglings – they also harass the adult WBSE. Lady was more interested in the Currawong and did not notice Daisy’s nest. Lady was on the nest for just a blink, nothing more while Daisy was away foraging! ——— Seriously, this is one lucky duck!

I took that screen capture from Sharon’s video that is posted on YouTube. You can watch the entire visit of the Lorikeets and Lady. Thanks, Sharon! Here is the link:

It is Day 15 and is 17 December in Australia. Daisy has already had two breaks today. She appears to now be taking shorter breaks but more of them. She first left for foraging at 01:10 returning at 03:10. This departure is right in the middle of her usual foraging breaks.

She returns and spends time drying off her plumage so that the down will not stick to her wet feathers.

Her second break of Day 15 comes at 05:09:04. She returns at 06:36:15.

There is no indication that either of the White-bellied sea eagles came to the nest this morning while Daisy was away. The Lorikeets did return in mass to say good morning to Daisy.

Some of the Rainbow Lorikeets were climbing in the top of the tree. Maybe they will lossen some of those dry leaves so Daisy has some more material to cover those eggs.

So far, the Lorikeets and the Noisy Miners have been the only birds to visit — so far this morning! The possum has been moving about, too. It is no danger at all to Daisy just maybe to that fluffy down.

The shadows are across the big nest. You can hardly see Daisy but she is there.

Daisy is sleeping in the warm sunshine. Look at all that down. It looks like our smart and brave little duck is sleeping on a cloud of twinkling stars.

Oh, just look at that purple/blue sometimes green (depending on the light0 wing pattern. How beautiful.

Daisy is very content to sleep and do her little wiggle moving the eggs. She takes time to fix the down, move the leaves, and sleep. Did you notice that there are a few more leaves that have fallen down to the nest?

Thank you cam operator for these great close ups!

The Lorikeets are returning to the tree. You can just see one on either side in the middle ground. You can hear more of them in the background.

What amazing colour patterns these beautiful birds have!

I hope that they climb around on the branches above Daisy. They could really help with leaf collection.

They must be so curious about this quiet little duck who has taken on a ‘time lease’ on the WBSE nest. They have been coming to visit more often each day.

The camera operator checked the Parramatta River. One of the WBSE – Lady or Dad – is on the River Roost!

Sometimes Daisy’s eye gives her away. Despite the fact that she has her beak tucked in behind her wing as if she is sleeping, she is very much alert and away. Has she heard something in the forest that concerns her?

I love how the leaves are getting tangled in with the down. Better camouflage to help conceal those eggs.

It is after lunch and so far all has gone well. Our little brave duck has weathered today with two breaks. I hope that she can wait til sunset to go for her last one of the day. Sunset today is 20:03. No showers or rain in the forecast. The temperature is 23 – a far cry from the 40 degrees C last time she had a clutch of eggs. Join me in wishing Daisy an uneventful afternoon incubating eggs!

Thank you so much for joining me today to check on our brave little duck. We might have to start calling her the ‘brave lucky duck’. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 14

Daisy left for her break at 04:46:45 and returned at 06:08:22. Since then she has had visitors. The Noisy Miners came at 07:31 and the Rainbow Lorikeets arrived at 08:03 to say good morning to their favourite little duck.

The cam operator checked to see if the White-Bellied Sea Eagles were at the River Roost early this morning. No. They were not there!

You could hear them before they arrived. The Ravens cawed at 09:29:51. They flew by and then it sounded like they landed on an upper branch. They never landed on the tree. Made a small racket and flew off. Poof. They are smart. They know the eggs are there and they will continue to check hoping to catch Daisy off her nest!

Besides the visitors, the morning has been peaceful. Even the weather forecast changed to cloudy with no rain. Seriously, this is wonderful news. I am not sure it could be any better unless the Ravens went for a holiday to Singapore, the WBSE stayed at Goat Island til mid-January, and somehow we were able to make a bit of a ramp for those ducklings. “Hope for the best, stay positive but prepare for the worst.”

It is nearing 11:00 and all is well with our beautiful Daisy. She has the most fluffy nest – like laying on a cloud.

Other Bird World News: The Duke Farms Bald Eagle Cam went live today for their fans. Oh, last year, I ached for the Mum. She seemed to spend all her incubation duties buried under snow and ice. Here is your link to that cam:

The State of Pennsylvania has raised the fine from $200 to $2000 for killing a Bald Eagle. I might have added another zero on to that figure and included ‘any raptor’.

The Bald Eagles really need protecting but so do the other raptors whose body parts are considered trophies or good luck charms. Sadly to say that in the state where I grew up, Oklahoma, there is a reward out for any information leading to the arrest of the person who mutilated a Bald Eagle.

People are just beginning to understand the damage from the tornados last Friday. In Tennesse, the Bald Eagles have lost their homes in the 210 year old Cypress Trees that were ripped up.

Wisdom, the oldest living Albatross in the World at 70, has returned to Midway Island for another breeding season. Yahoo!

Gabby is still making us wait. No egg at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest yet. Nine days to go til hatch watch for Harriet and M15 though! Yes.

Daisy’s day will be quiet providing the Sea Eagles do not arrive and make a ruckus. The Ravens will return at least once more to check Daisy is on the nest. So thankful for no rain and so far, everything is good. We just need some more leaves to fall. I will continue to monitor Daisy til she leaves for her evening break. If everything is quiet, you will not hear from me again til tomorrow.

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

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 12

Daisy has not taken a break since Day 12 began at midnight on 14 December in Australia. She had a short break after sunset on Day 11.

This morning Daisy did have a number of visitors. The first was a Galah and then some Rainbow Lorikeets arrived. At one time the Galah screeched and it woke up the Ringtail Possum who came out of its nest.

The Galah flew away and the Lorikeets stopped chattering.

The Ravens flew around the tree making noise checking on whether anyone was sitting on those eggs. Daisy was there and they left – just stirring up a little anxiety. It is interesting that they have not landed on the nest the last few days. Maybe that little duck scared them enough that they will never come if she is there.

Once the Ravens left, the Lorikeets came back up on the nest.

It is nearing noon. It has been so quiet that it is almost eerie.

The cam operator must have left as we have had a wide shot most of the day. I scrolled back through the footage and found a few close ups for us to enjoy.

Look at all that lovely down!

Don’t you love how the golden light of the sun falls on our beautiful duck?

Daisy must be very tired and hungry.

Daisy is going to have to take a break. Let us all hope that she can wait until sunset.

It has been so quiet on Daisy’s nest the past couple of days. I would love for it to stay this way but anything can happen in a second. There is rain forecast for tomorrow. If Daisy goes out foraging at sunset – which she has to do (or go before) and if she does the same before sunrise, she might be on those eggs to protect that down when the rain comes. That down is precious because it is making up for a lack of leaves.

It is after lunch on the nest and everything is so quiet. It is like all of the other birds were boxed up and sent out of the forest. I can hear the hum of the streaming cam and about every half hour a bird. So strange. Maybe it is siesta time.

Can you see Daisy?

That said…I do wish it would be his way til about the 6th of January when those ducklings leap off that nest. If Daisy does manage to get those eggs to hatch – against every obstacle she could have – I think we should each toast her with whatever your favourite beverage is when Daisy and her babies leap. My goodness I cannot think of a better way to enter into 2022.

I have the sound turned up way too loud. If anything happens on this nest I will be alerted. For now, I am going to go and look through a book on raptors and have some nice green tea.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me and Daisy. She is so hidden in the shade of that big tree – she blends in perfectly with the nest. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@ BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 5. The Ravens Arrive

No more than Daisy laid her 5th egg at 06:32:55 and got comfortable, you could hear the ‘caw’ of the Ravens in the distance. At 07:32:04 those calls are loud!

Daisy is frightened. She knows they are on the branches above her nest. Look at her eye!

There are two Ravens on the nest attacking Daisy! They were relentless.

At 07:39:17 the Ravens are gone. Daisy held them off for 13 minutes. My goodness this little Pacific Black Duck is brave.

Our brave little duck puffed herself up to look larger than she is. She stretched her neck and was fearless in trying to keep the Ravens away from her and those precious five eggs.

It appears that Daisy has thwarted the Ravens for the time being. This is one brave little duck. It is now 08:02 and our little Daisy seems to be alright. I cannot hear any Ravens in the distance only the nectar and plant eating birds of the forest.

Laura Culley has always said that worrying means that the outcome has already established itself, wrongly, in our minds. Still Daisy has a very difficult situation. There was one raven visiting the nest sniffing about on day 4. Two came today. Now the ravens know that there is an egg cup there. What does Daisy do? She has no mate to help her with security. Will she cover the eggs and leave today? We don’t as yet know how many eggs she will lay.

It is 08:09 and I can hear the Rainbow Lorikeets on the nest even though the cam operator is not showing them. Perhaps the Ravens are off elsewhere? For the moment?

Are they trying to tell Daisy something?

Daisy appears relieved, more relaxed, with her friends surrounding her.

The Lorikeets should alert Daisy to the arrival of those birds that would do her or her eggs harm. They are still about Daisy and the tree at 08:20.

I wonder if Daisy tried to lay her eggs elsewhere and predators came and then she rushed on Day 1 to lay her egg in the WBSE nest? It is curious. This might mean that Daisy might not lay any more eggs. I guess time will reveal the answer to that question and to whether or not Daisy can leave the nest during the day without the Ravens consuming her eggs. It has certainly been a harrowing morning for our beautiful Daisy.

At 08:29 Daisy begins to gather leaves. Then she settles back down. Normally she would leave about 2 hours after laying her egg. Today that would be around 08:32. Let’s see if she does.

At 08:35 Daisy rolls eggs and begins to gather leaves. She is still on the eggs at 08:45. Much later than normal.

I will bring updates later tonight or – if everything goes well for Daisy’s eggs the rest of the day – you will not hear from me til Day 6. You can watch Daisy here:

In other Bird World News: If you watched the new Bald Eagle couple, Anna and Louis, at their nest in the Kisatachie National Forest, you will be excited to learn that Anna laid egg 1 for the 2021-22 season on 5 December at 20:44:51. All of the lads were fed at least one fish yesterday at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. They continue to thrive. Gabby and Samson have had a sub-adult female on their nest this morning. Gabby escorted her out of the neighborhood! The Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Rescue of Dad County now have three eggs. The female at Berry College has also laid her first egg of the season. Oh, it is going to be really busy towards the end of December and January with all the Bald Eagle eggs hatching.

Thank you for joining me. Please send your most positive energy to our brave little Duck! Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

The Daisy Chronicles, day 5

Daisy, that little Pacific Black Duck, arrived at the old Ironwood Tree deep in the Sydney Olympic Forest at 05:10:31 on 7 December. She is due to lay her fifth egg today.

Little is Daisy aware that a Raven came to the nest on Day 4, yesterday, and became curious. It did not, however, disturb the eggs. I am led to believe that this is because they cannot smell them. So if Daisy is able to gather more leaves – these are large eggs – she will be able to thwart the Ravens until such time she runs out of leaves and twigs and must use her down.

Also unknown to Daisy is the fact that Lady and Dad have returned to their River Roost from Goat Island. The streaming cam picked them up today roosting. Will Day fly into the nest to check today? He often does a quick security run.

See the two white dots on the tree in the middle. That is Lady and Dad.

The camera could not focus in on them but it is definitely the White-Bellied Sea Eagle couple that own this nest!

Last year Dad broke one of the eggs and ate it. He did not like the taste. Neither sea eagle likes the down – it sticks to their beak. They simply do not understand it – it is foreign to them. They were curious as to who was using the nest and Dad understood that eggs are not bothered. Indeed, one time I thought Dad was going to incubate those eggs of Daisy’s!

Daisy arrived at 05:10:31. Once again she was very cautious approaching her eggs.

Look who has come to see Daisy! Last year 8 or 9 Rainbow Lorikeets would come and visit Daisy every morning. They were all over the tree surrounding her. It was simply beautiful.

The bird coming down on the top right is called a Noisy Miner. Noisy Miners are members of the Honeyeater family. They are grey with a black head, a yellow-orange beak and feet with a light yellow patch behind the eye. There are also white tips on the tail feathers. They will not hurt Daisy or her eggs. They are curious but it is possible that they could draw the attention of other birds, like the Ravens, that could predate Daisy’s eggs.

The Lorikeets seemed to come every morning like they were saying hello to Daisy. And here they are today. The one must have told the others that their friend, the little Duck, was back in the nest of the sea eagles.

I don’t know about you but I had to run and get a tissue.

No words necessary as the Lorikeets continue to gather around Daisy.

We are nearing the time that Daisy laid her egg yesterday. I can still hear the Lorikeets and the Noisy Miner.

Oh, how grand it was to see the Lorikeets come to welcome Daisy!

Yesterday Daisy laid her 4th egg at 06:19:36. Egg 3 was laid at 06:55:07. I am hoping that it is earlier for Daisy today so that she can wait for the egg to harden, cover the eggs well, and get away from the nest before the Raven or the Sea Eagles arrive. Fingers crossed they stay away!

Daisy began gathering leaves around 06:23.

With the Sea Eagles back at the River Roost, I am so nervous for Daisy. Last year Dad visited often – curious to find out who was using his nest. I do not believe they would harm Daisy but Daisy and Dad certainly played tag with one another. I hope it is more peaceful for our little duck this year but who knows! Wonder when Dad will come and check on this nest?

It is 06:28 nest time. Daisy hasn’t laid her 5th egg. You can still hear the Lorikeets in the tree. Last year they seemed to be around when the larger predators weren’t. Come on Daisy, hurry! Lay your egg and get out of the forest.

At 06:32:55, Daisy lays her 5th egg!

Daisy moves around in the nest bowl clockwise.

She is moving the eggs about but she appears also to be using her paddle feet to enlarge the egg cup. How smart is that?! She needs those eggs to sink down low especially if she is going to lay several more. Notice how big those eggs are. It takes a lot of nutrients out of Daisy’s system to lay all those eggs.

Daisy has settled down lower than on previous days. She has also brought in some more leaves closer to the egg cup.

Daisy is trying to rest. If today, follows what has happened on the previous four days, Daisy will stay on the eggs for about 2 hours, cover them and depart. Let us hope that she is not disturbed and has time to get those leaves over so that nothing seems out of place if Dad or the Raven come calling.

At 06:42, there was only one Sea Eagle at River Roost. Is Dad fishing? or is he coming to the forest? We wait.

Daisy is way down on the eggs, her head tucked in. So far no Sea Eagle coming. Sometimes last year Daisy just got away in the nick of time. She needs to cover those eggs well though and not be in a rush.

Thank you for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy until she departs and check on the nest throughout the day. If anything happens, I will let you know. Take care. Keep sending your positive wishes to our little duck, Daisy!

Thank you to the Sea Eagle@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures.

White-Bellied Sea Eagles and the birds that visit their nest

In a 2014 article in The Smithsonian Magazine, Rachel Neuwer asks why there is a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in a Renaissance image of the Virgin and child, Madonna della Vittoria. Rebecca Mead examines the image by Andrea Mantegna, painted in 1496. You can see the painting of the Madonna and child with saints in the article below (sorry, it has a copyright so I can’t show it). The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is above the Virgin’s part in her hair a little to the left.

As I drank my morning coffee several days ago, I flipped through the latest New Yorker. In that 5 July edition, there is an article, Invasive Species.

Each writer considers how the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo made its way from AustralAsia all the way to Italy focusing on the initial discovery of the bird in the painting by Heather Dalton, a British historian living in Australia.

The Mantegna is not, however, the first time that a parrot is included in a picture. Parrots show up in the murals of Pompeii, the Italian city buried by ash when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. They are also the subject of floor mosaics in the region. Indeed, exotic birds (not just parrots) appear as subjects in many mosaics and frescoes in the Roman domus.

Alexander the Great’s army went as far as parts of India before stopping on their eastern expansion of his empire. Their presence on what is today the Indian subcontinent heavily influenced the art of the Gandharan region. In turn, Alexander acquired a parrot from the Punjab in 327 BCE. If parrots were in Italy 1700 years before the Mantegna, one might begin to ask what is all the fuss? The Barber Institute of Fine Art in Birmingham, England hosted an exhibition solely on parrots in art in 2007. They were exotic, they were status symbols, and it appears that they were present in the art of the Italian Peninsula for some 2400 years to today. Of course, they were not all Sulphur-headed Cockatoos and that could well be the reason for the continuing discussion about the Mantegna. Other species of parrots came from the southeastern coast of Africa and from the region of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos originate in Australia and the islands of Indonesia and it was surely the trade through the islands of Indonesia that spirited the bird all the way to the port of Venice along with black peppercorns and other spices.

“20121210 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) – a first-time visitor” by Degilbo on flickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos are extraordinarily beautiful and are the largest of the white parrots. I have never seen them in the wild. Indeed, it was not until I watched the White-Bellied Sea Eagle streaming cam in the Sydney Olympic Park that I heard them before I saw them. It sounded like someone being murdered in the forest! Seriously. One of the moderators answered the question, “What is that?” Later, these lovelies were seen climbing all over the old Ironbark Tree.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are nut, root, and fruit eaters and live for up to eighty years. They make their nests in tree hollows where the female lays one to three eggs. Those eggs are incubated for thirty days. The little ones remain in the nest being fed by the parents for a period of approximately sixty-five days after hatch. The breeding season for these parrots is August to January in the Southern Hemisphere.

Why am I talking about these parrots today? It is because of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles (WBSE), Lady and Dad. The two eggs that Lady has been incubating will be hatching in approximately two weeks. There is a live streaming cam that is on day and night, 24/7 year round except for maintenance. If you like birds of Australia, you can often see them coming and going around the Sea Eagles nest. The birds are either curious as to what is going on in the nest or they would like the Sea Eagles to leave! The streaming cam in the Sydney Olympic Park is the only one in the world that observes the second largest eagles in Australia.

It is in the middle of the night. This is the WBSE nest in the Ironbark Tree in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park.

The Rainbow Lorikeets are curious. They come as a group climbing all over the branches of the tree. They are easy to spot!

“rainbow lorikeets” by cskk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Every once in awhile the Galahs come to the Ironbark Tree. I think they are adorable. One of the WBSE chatters from Australia said that if anyone visits Australia and someone calls them a ‘Galah’, it is an insult meaning the person is not very smart. I have no idea how the Galah got that reputation except that I have seen several in the talons of Peregrine falcons in Australia.

“Galahs in Love” by David Cook Wildlife Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Noisy Miners are definitely heard before they are seen. They are a constant in the forest around the WBSE Nest.

“Noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) (24 – 27 centimetres)” by Geoff Whalan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Pied Currawong flits around the WBSE nest all the time. I do not like them! Once the nestlings have fledged the Currawongs gather and try to chase them out of the forest. They did this on the first try with WBSE 25 last year and during the re-fledging of WBSE 26.

“Pied Currawong” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Then there is the smallest owl in Australia, the BooBook. Isn’t it cute? This owl, like all others, flies silently and it can see very well in the dark. It comes in the night hitting the WBSE has they roost for the night. They fly low over the nestlings trying to hit them and make them leave. One attack injured Lady’s eye last year. Despite their size they are to be taken very seriously. The BooBook often has a nest in the forest the same time as the WBSE so it is very protective and wants the eagles gone for fear they will eat its young.

“Boobook owl” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here is a compilation video of Lady and Dad after the first egg was laid through the 23rd of June. It shows the actual labour of the second egg and a changing of the incubation shift from Lady to Dad.

Here is the link to watch the WBSE in the Sydney Olympic Park:

Be sure to check out the time difference. One of the most beautiful moments of the day is when the adults do a duet at sunrise. It is an amazing way to start the day. It wakes up the forest but it is also a continuous bonding method between the birds. The nestlings will join in with their parents when they are older. It will warm your heart. Here3 is a video clip I made after Lady laid the first egg. She leaves the nest and joins Dad on the branch for the singing.

Thank you for joining me today. It is now three days since Tiny Tot was at the nest. We are all having Tiny withdrawal. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the WBSE Streaming Cam, BirdLife Australia, and the Discovery Centre and Twitch TV where I took my screen shots and video clips.

Rainbow Lorikeets miss Miss Daisy

The Rainbow Lorikeets came to check on Miss Daisy Duck almost every day that she was incubating her eggs in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. Yesterday was no exception. The beautiful coloured parrots showed up in droves yesterday wondering where Daisy had gone. You could almost hear them saying , ‘Where is Daisy?’ to one another.

Despite the fact that Daisy isn’t there incubating her eggs anymore, it really does put a smile on your face to see these beautiful parrots coming early in the morning to check on their friend. Daisy had not even been away from the nest for twelve hours when they arrived. I wonder if they will come and check again? They were chattering so much to one another. Maybe they thought that Daisy had covered her nest and gone out dabbling? It is possible. Will keep everyone posted if they return.

For the Rainbow Lorikeets it must have been a shock to see the gentle duck on the nest of the big sea eagles. These parrots, too, would be at the mercy of some of the bigger birds such as the Ravens and no doubt the Ravens have raided their nests as well. Thinking about the Ravens got me to wondering about the White-Bellied Sea Eagles. The behaviour of the Ravens was the same as normal, what you would expect from a Raven. They wanted Daisy out of there so they could eat her eggs! No doubt about it. They came several times when she was incubating and knew that there were eggs. They just waited when she was no longer on the nest.

Daisy happily incubating her eggs.

But it makes me wonder. The WBSE were perplexed and curious. At first, they were upset about ‘something’ trespassing on their nest and their territory. Lady tore more duck down off the nest than Dad who has mellowed over the years. He is now 19 and I believe that Lady is about 6 or 7 years old. I expected the sea eagles to eat all of the duck eggs but they could not manage them with their bills in the same way the Ravens could with their sharp pointed beaks. But the sea eagles kept coming to check. Were they trying to catch Daisy? what were they thinking? and why were they not very aggressive? And then it occurred to me last night and you know what? I was glad that the Ravens got the eggs before the sea eagles came and killed the ducklings when they were born. If all of the eggs had hatched and we certainly know that the one was fertilized with a growing duckling inside, then imagine the peeps and peeps in the forest and Daisy trying to keep the ducklings quiet til they were 24 hours old, old enough to take that leap of faith to the forest floor and follow their mom to water. The sea eagles and the Ravens and other predators would hear those same peeps.

A very sad day when the ravens arrive and eat Daisy’s eggs.
WBSE Lady is very curious about those eggs.

In a way, the Rainbow Lorikeets and Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, had a lot in common. Kindred spirits I would like to think of them. They both enjoy eating plants, pollen, the nectar from flowers. Like the ducks, the Rainbow Loris do not hunt prey like the sea eagles and the ravens. In fact, Rainbow Lorikeets are known to be terribly territorial and are parrots that do not like other birds. I am sure that they were very curious by the gentle duck in the big sea eagle nest. Indeed, both would be a meal for the sea eagles if the eagles decided that was what they wanted. And both of their hatchlings would also warrant attention by birds of prey. I wonder if that was what drew the lorikeets back to the nest, a kind of kinship?

Hi. Just dropping in to say hello, Daisy.

Daisy understood which of the birds coming to the nest were friendly and which were predators. She seems to always have welcomed the Rainbow Lorikeets!

Thank you to Sea Eagle cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre for the streaming cameras where I captured these images.

Ravens threaten Daisy!

Daisy’s Monday morning in Australia (Sunday in North America) started out as beautifully as it ended the evening before. She had gone to forage returning at 19:45 yesterday evening. It appears to be a growing pattern, leaving in the heat of the afternoon and returning right before dusk. This pretty much ensures that she will miss the sea eagles if they come.

While she was away yesterday, the Rainbow Lorikeets came to visit Daisy, full of energetic chatter but, at the same time, wondering where she was! They are so cute. They almost look like stuffed plushies someone has placed on Daisy’s nest tree.

Where’s MY Daisy?

It is going to be hot again today for Daisy. They are predicting temperatures of 34 climbing to 39 tomorrow. Our pour little duck needs a paddle pool up there with her!

Daisy decided not to leave this morning for a bathroom break or to forage. Instead, she stayed on the nest. The Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos can be heard around 7:15 but it is an Unkindness that rattles Daisy’s world at 8:04. A group of Ravens is called an Unkindness and they were certainly not nice to Daisy. In fact, they were downright threatening. They moved from the top of the tree down closer. It was impossible to get am image of them in the tree (see second image below) but their shadows could be seen and their noise was deafening. Daisy was so frightened.

Australian Raven. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Look at the image below. Notice that Daisy has spread her feathers out in a manner similar to when a raptor mantles its prey. Her tail is fanned out and the feathers on her back are raised. She is protecting her clutch of eggs from these predators. The Ravens try harder and harder to get Daisy off her nest of eggs so they can eat them!

Daisy flattens her feathers and her head against the nest.

The Unkindness bullied Daisy trying to get her off her nest for five minutes. It must have seemed like a life time. And then they were away!

Except for the heat, the rest of the day has been relatively uneventful. The birds and animals of the forest are trying to expend as little energy as they can and remain cool in the hot Australian heat.

Daisy gathers up leaves and methodically covers her clutch of eggs and flies off to forage at 13:04:44.

Daisy leaving her nest to forage.

Notice how Daisy has moved leaves over on top of her down and tucked it in tight today. She might be worried about the Ravens coming back to try and find her nest. Or maybe she thinks the sea eagles might stop in to see if anyone is incubating the eggs.

Daisy flies from the nest.

Look at the image above. You can just see Daisy flying off. It got really hot on the nest today. The afternoon is the worst. Daisy left a little earlier than usual. Eggs are incubated at 37.5 degrees. It is possible that the heat from outside and the down stuffed around could keep the eggs toasty warm until later today. I wonder if Daisy will return around 17:00 or if she will wait til almost dusk.

Update: It was a very short foray for Daisy. She was gone only until 14:32 – so under an hour and a half. When she returned it looked like she was pretending like she had just landed on the nest. Like always, she looked around and walked very slowly before going over to her nest. What I find interesting is that she does not immediately move the leaves or open the down. It is always like she is simply waiting a little more being overly careful. Daisy is so cautious. What a good little mother!

Thank you for joining us and checking in on the little duck that built her nest inside the nest tree of the big sea eagles.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre for the cameras that provided the images.

Oh, it is going to be hot for Daisy!

Oh, welcome to The Daisy Chronicles, a daily update on the life of the little Black Pacific Duck that has made a nest in a White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. It is Day 13 of incubation. We could be half way to hatch!

Och, witamy w The Daisy Chronicles, codziennej aktualizacji życia małej kaczki Black Pacific, która założyła gniazdo w gnieździe bielika morskiego w lesie olimpijskim w Sydney. Jest 13 dzień inkubacji. Mogliśmy być w połowie drogi do wyklucia!

————————————————————————————-It is 7:44 on the nest in Sydney, Australia and Daisy knew what the weather was going to be today. She got up early, at 4:13:44 to go for a swim and some foraging. The weather news says it will be 36 in Sydney today and it will be hotter on the nest with the direct sunlight at times.

How many times have you checked the weather only to find out that the weather report was wrong? When I was a little girl staying with my grandmother, she would open the front door of her house and ‘sniff’. Then she would declare that it was going to rain. At the time, not knowing anything, I thought she was a witch! How silly was that? But how do birds know the approaching weather?

Some say that the hollow bones of a bird help them determine the barometric pressure and, thus, they are able to anticipate incoming weather. Others say that it is the pressure plates within their ears. Daisy is not a bird but a waterfowl and still she anticipates the changing in temperature, rain, etc. That is because she, also, has hollow bones. Recent research at The University of Western Ontario suggests that birds have an internal barometer. They can tell even the slightest change in barometric pressure and temperature. And, of course, they have these skills because knowing if they should forage or hunt immediately, if rain or snow are coming, are essential to their survival. Researchers at the University tested their ideas by lowering and raising the air pressure inside a specially built wind tunnel. If they lowered the air pressure, the birds would immediately start looking for food and prey. Low pressure means that a storm or rain and winds is approaching. They might even have to find a safe place to stay for hours or even days depending on the strength of the storm. Likewise, if the barometric pressure and temperature rise a bit, the birds will have a reasonable morning in the nest preening before heading out to hunt or forage. Today, Daisy leaves her nest early because she knows that it is going to be very hot during the day and she may need to dabble several times rather than just one long foraging trip.

For those of you who are ‘sort of’ keeping up with Daisy, things have been relatively quiet for a few days. Today is day 13 of brooding. The WBSE ‘Dad’ made a surprise visit to the nest tree last evening at 16:59:24 but as quick as he appeared, he left at 17:03:43. I am sure he thought he would catch whoever was brooding in his nest. But Daisy has been very smart. And with the heat she may stay out foraging or dabbling longer. She landed on the rim of the nest at 19:49:49 but was very cautious looking around before venturing over to her eggs. In fact, she did not actually go over to the nest cup until 19:52, three minutes after arriving.

Daisy lands on the right side of the nest. She does not look at her nest and proceeds with caution in case there are predators about.
Daisy is listening and looking.

Daisy is very much aware that the White Bellied Sea Eagles come and go in the forest. Sometimes they stay for a few minutes, other times for many hours. She listens for the vocalizations from the other animals and birds in the forest to let her know if they might be coming. Her survival depends on it.

Daisy aerating her nest.
Satisfied that no one is around, Daisy sits on her eggs.
Daisy is busy as the sun sets and the Infra-Red cameras come on. Here she is fixing the down.

At 4:13, it is already more than 22 degrees C on the nest. Daisy is anticipating a very hot day. She has decided to go dabbling early before all of the other birds and animals in the forest are awake. You can see from the image below that it is still very dark in the forest. What we are learning is that Daisy, a Black Pacific Duck, can see in the dark better than the WBSE.

In fact, anyone observing this nest is learning a lot. No one can remember a Black Pacific Duck making their nest on a Sea Eagle camera or a place where we could easily observe without threatening the wildlife.

Daisy turns in the down and scatters the plant material around so no one will notice her eggs.

If you look carefully at the image above, you can see Daisy’s tail on the right behind the tree branch. She is just preparing to fly off to the water.

Daisy tucks her bill under her wing resting.

Daisy forages for a little over an hour. She returns to the nest and quickly bets on her eggs to incubate them. She rolls them with her paddle feet carefully and turns in the nest gently.

Daisy has returned from her morning foraging.

Daisy returns just after 5am. Sunrise is at 6:05. She knows that the sea eagles often fly into the forest at dawn. In the image below she has heard the sound of ravens. Ravens, you will remember, often chase the sea eagles. She listens carefully for several minutes before settling down.

Daisy raises her neck and listens for intruders.
Daisy resting.

By 8:30, Daisy has already had visits from at least one Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos and the Ravens were alarming at 8:04. Now the Rainbow Lorikeets can be heard in the forest but I cannot see them on the nest yet.

A Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

It is now after 10:00, and the sun is shining on Daisy in the nest. She has already starting panting in order to regulate her temperature.

The hot sun pounding down on Daisy.

It will be 36 degrees C in the forest today. It is understood that it is hotter on the nest. Look carefully and you can see Daisy’s bill open. That is her panting. The shade is ever so slowly moving over Daisy but the heat is almost unbearable. Instead of panting slowly, now it is a fast clacking of her bill.

Let us hope that it is way too hot for the sea eagles to be in the forest today. A day without sea eagles is a safe day for Daisy! And it is going to be so very hot that she doesn’t need a hassle with other predators either today.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Center for the camera that supplied the scaps of Daisy and her nest.