Friday Morning in Bird World

Have you ever started looking for something and found something else, equally as interesting? As it happens, yesterday I was looking for a short film about a Japanese man living in Hokkaido with his falcon. What was found was a new film released on 1 June 2021.

The documentary is the story of the only African American falconer, Rodney Stotts. Stotts says falconering for him is all about second chances – for people and for the birds. Have a look at the trailer for The Falconer:

Yesterday there seemed to be no news in Bird World and then there was. Do you follow the Welsh Osprey Nests? If you do, you will recognize the name Aran immediately because he is currently Mrs G’s mate. Aran injured his wing (primary flight feathers) at the end of May or beginning of June. He had been battling crows around the nest and then the storm came. No one knows how he got his injury. No one saw. But he was unable to provide fish for the nest while Mrs G was hatching the chicks. The volunteers and people of Glaslyn set up a fish table for Aran and Mrs G. They lost their chicks and both have been rebuilding their strength.

Yesterday, Aran was in a ferocious battle with a blue ringed bird a distance enough from the nest that it caught the attention of Elfyn Lewis of the Glaslyn FB group who posted the following image that made the rounds of several groups so I am reposting it here. Aran is the bird on the bottom. The white is the injury he sustained earlier. Are there birds attempting to usurp Aran from the Glaslyn nest? Always it would seem.

@ Elfyn Lewis

Other news comes out of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii bans the release of ‘Albatross Killing helium balloons’. It seems they are not banning the balloons but the intentional release of them. Here is that announcement through the AP:

https://apnews.com/article/hawaii-environment-and-nature-government-and-politics-fb9c1cd959ffaad608f08610be548428

What child does not love a balloon? and how many young women did I see lined up at a shop with balloons in hand for a party the other day? The question is how to dispose of them properly — and it isn’t sending them off in the air with wishes attached! Release the air, put them safely in a scrapbook, etc. Or eliminate balloons from festivities altogether. It is not only the helium balloons that injure the birds, it is also the normal ones that blow away in the wind. It is a good way to educate your children about the many challenges the birds face and that balloons and strings can kill them.

Speaking of Albatross, the Royal Cam chick, Taiki, is now 165 days old (nest time). On 5 July she weighed 8.3 kg or 18.3 lbs. She will be stabilizing her weight so that she can fledge in mid-September. Her dad, Lime-Green-Black (LGK) has now travelled over 42,000 km or 26,000 miles in total since he received his satellite tracker in February to feed his precious chick. (The mother is alive but her tracker stopped working).

It is still two months until Taiki fledges in mid-September. She is just getting her beautiful black wings, she is building play nests, and the parents are flying in to feed her. It is all very interesting and it is such a calm nest to watch. The Rangers weigh all of the chicks on Tuesday morning and that is fascinating to watch also. Humiliating for such a beautiful girl to be stuffed in a laundry basket but – it is necessary. Supplementary feedings are given should any of the chicks require it. NZ really takes good care of their birds! As North American streaming cams wind down for the breeding season, why not have a look at some of the amazing birds in the Southern hemisphere?

Taiki stretches her wings and flaps them to help them get strong.

Here is the link to the Royal Cam chick on Taiaroa Head New Zealand:

Lady and Dad will be on hatch watch in about two weeks time. This is the only White Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the world. These beautiful birds are the second largest group of eagles in Australia. The nest is in an old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is not always an easy nest to watch because their can be sibling rivalry but the sea eagle chicks are so cute and the juvenile plumage is simply gorgeous.

If you are a lover of Ospreys, there is still plenty of action in the UK nests where the nestlings have fledged or are getting ready to fledge. They will be around for another five weeks or so until they leave for their migration to Africa.

In Australia, the Osprey couple on the barge in Port Lincoln have just finished lining their nest with soft materials and the streaming cam is now live. These are the parents of Solly and DEW. Solly is the female Osprey with the satellite tracker. This is also not an easy nest to watch because of siblicide.

There are two falcon cams in Australia. One is on year round and the other, the CBD Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne, will start once the falcons are back in the scrape box. Here is the link to Xavier and Diamond’s scrape box on top of the water tower on the campus of Charles Stuart University. No one knows what will happen this year. The couples’ 9 month old son, Izzi, still continues to come to the scrape box and might even believe it is his own home. In the UK, chicks from an earlier hatch have helped the parents raise their new brood. In Australia, we watch and wait!

In Eastern Europe, there has been some concern over the amount of prey being brought in to the little Golden Eaglet in Buconovia, Romania. Lady Hawk was able to capture the delivery of a hare by the father and a really good feeding yesterday. That is excellent news! When the camera was first installed he was afraid of it and he is becoming more comfortable day by day.

That’s it for Friday. The Achieva Osprey Nest has not return visit from Tiny Tot and Electra is at the nest less and less. The Canadian chicks in Alberta seem to be doing fine as is Kindness up in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest. Fingers crossed for continuing good health to all the birds.

Thank you for joining me today in Bird World. Have a wonderful Friday. Take care, stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC Albatross Cam.

Nest Hopping News for 1 July

Juvenile Osprey Blue 096 has fledged from the Rutland Manton Bay Nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). It happened at 12:12:27 pm.

He looks up.

Wings begin flapping. Blue 095 goes, “oh, not this again! This nest is getting too small for flapping. I wish you would just go away!”

He’s on tippy toes and grabs the wind and…

Blue 096, male chick of Maya and Blue 33 (11) fledges on 1 July 2021.

Jack delivers a breakfish to Tiny Tot this morning. Oh, thank goodness! It is 28 degrees C and the weather service says there is a 40% of a thunderstorm around 5pm in St Petersburg, Florida. Thanks, Jack!

By 9:29 Tiny Tot will have that fish out of dad’s talons and she will be saying ‘Yum’.

There were, to my knowledge no fish deliveries to Tiny last evening. She was really waiting and watching for dad. Turns out it is a small headless fish, a bit of a teaser for our gal who chowed down on that whopper the other day, this morning.

Look at those magnificent wings. Tiny, you are such a gorgeous bird!

Well, one of those nests that I suggested you watch when others get stressful just turned up the noise. Lady Hawk posted a video of the Royal Cam chick going to visit her neighbor SSTrig and the neighbour gets into a big territorial dispute. Taiki is very social and meant no harm but we now know there won’t be any afternoon tea parties with these two. Here is that video:

There is great news coming out of New Zealand. Remember I love this country for the way in which it takes care of its wildlife. Well, today, New Zealand announced that it is putting surveillance cameras on all of its fishing boats to make sure that they comply with safe fishing so that no seabirds are caught as bycatch. Way to go New Zealand!

The landscape at the Glaslyn Nest of Mrs G and Aran in Wales is stunningly beautiful. I admit to dreaming of trees and places where you can look out and see birds and not the concrete of the city. Of sitting and smelling the wet grass and hay and not the petrol fumes of cars. Of disappearing into the wilderness.

Aran and Mrs G are spending more and more time together. Aran is able to fish after his injury in early June but he is still healing. There will be no more chicks this year but the couple was seen bonding. That is fantastic!

Aran brought in a big fish earlier that he was eating. I wonder if he shared it with Mrs G who now has a nice chunk and the tail in her talons. He has provided at least one fish to her that was caught on camera which is a great indication of Aran’s continuing progress in healing.

The two Bobs at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales are enjoying a lovely fish that Idris delivered. Telyn is a fantastic mom but that nest is getting a little crowded. She may have to stand on the rails to feed her babies soon. These two are growing like crazy! You might remember that Dysynni, the male, is the largest male Osprey born on this nest ever. Idris has really brought in some of the large fish. It has been determined that many of those fish actually weigh more than Idris – breaking another myth that Ospreys can only carry a % of their actual weight.

It also demonstrates how much food and the quantity of it matter to the health and well being of the chicks. This is the nest of a super dad – as are many of those in Wales and other parts of the UK.

Meanwhile, over in Scotland, the two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes nest are waiting for NC0 or Laddie to bring them in a tea time fish. Gosh these Bobs are beautiful. The time has flown by and they will soon be hovering and fledging but, in those very first days, I really wondered if Bob 2 would survive the bonking from Bob 1.

And goodness, I woke up this morning and had to look twice to figure out which of the chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35 was Tiny Little Bob! Which one do you think is Tiny Little?

If you said the one closest to the right looking out, you would be right. She or he is watching for one of the parents to arrive with a fish! As noted from the people who ringed the chicks, they could not determine the gender of Tiny Little from the measurements because of its small size at the time. Rumours had gone around that Tiny Little is, in fact, a female.

Today, the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust put out their announcement about the ringing of these three Ospreys. Part of the celebration is that Tiny Little was the 100th osprey chick to be banded in Cumbria since 2001. That is amazing. Here is part of the text that was posted:

“I’m incredibly pleased that we have ringed another three osprey chicks at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve this year. For a time we we’re unsure if the smallest chick was going to make it. It was rapidly being outgrown by its bigger siblings but it carried on fighting for its share of the food from mum and dad. Now there’s not much difference in weight – and it was the smallest one that was the 100th osprey chick to be ringed in Cumbria since 2001! Osprey chicks are weighed by the licenced bird ringer and each chick is given a coloured leg ring. This year we have Blue 462, a female weighing 1.6kg, Blue 463 weighing 1.5kg – gender unknown, and Blue 464, a male weighing 1.6kg”.

Paul Waterhouse, Cumbria Wildlife Trust

I wanted to check in on the little Golden Eaglet in Bucovina, Romania. He has changed so much in just a few days. Most of the white feathers are gone and are now replaced with the beautiful dark black kind of espresso coloured ones for the juveniles.

The female has come to the nest to feed the eaglet. There were lots of bones and scraps of meat left on them. It is unclear to me whether or not the mother has brought in new prey or is using what is in the pantry.

You can look and see the remote mountain area where this nest is located. I continue to hope that the parents are able to find enough prey for this little one to thrive and fledge.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I regret I have no images of the Ks for you – maybe later today. They are off exploring the trees and some of the buildings with Big Red and Arthur. Everyone is fine; they are just not around the nest!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Asociatia Wild Bucovina, LRWT and Manton Bay Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Cam Royal Albatross and NZ DOC, and Dyfi Osprey Projec. I would also like to thank Lady Hawk for her video clip of the territorial dispute between Taiki and SSTrig.

Two Fish for Tiny, a single mom and a Golden Eaglet and a pigeon egg in an owl’s nest?

Wow. Tiny Tot didn’t get any fish yesterday. It would appear that Jack is attempting to make up for that today. A fish was delivered at 7:53:25 and a second at 10:03:55. Needless to say, Tiny Tot is very happy and has a nice crop!

Tiny was really hungry. I hope he didn’t grab on to dad’s talon! There is always a flurry of wings and talons during a prey drop.

And that second delivery. Tiny was just as excited and mantling just as frantically as the earlier fish drop.

Tiny Tot is still working on that last fish. It is going to get up to 31 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida today. These fish should really help hydrate Tiny Tot, too. Thanks, Jack!

There is a Golden Eagle nest in Romania where there is now a single mother taking care of her chick. Why is this the case? What would scare off a father eagle from helping his family? Could it possibly be someone who knew that there was an eaglet on the nest and decided any how to install the solar powered camer. No one puts up a camera unless they know that it is an active nest. Cameras and time are expensive. Sadly, it frightened the male. The male is so afraid of the camera that he has not returned to the nest since it was installed. To be clear, those actions might have cost this eagle family their nest. The chick is fortunate in that there is enough prey and the mother is a very good hunter.

Many of you will have watched Spilve struggle last year after Virsis did not return. Sadly, Klints died. I so hope this little one survives. The Golden Eagles are opportunistic hunters and the other has brought in a fawn and now she has been bringing in parts of an adult deer.

The little one is just starting to get some of its juvenile feathers. Here the mother keeps it warm. She will not waste any of the prey. The other day the chick was eating what looked like an ear from the deer.

The female has all of the duties. She has to bring in the prey, brood the chick, and also protect the nest. It is fortunate that she has the stamina to do all of those duties.

Last week residents of my City including myself were successful in stopping our public utility from cutting trees in the area of a known raptor nest. It is essential that individuals stay away as the adults can be so easily traumatized by a human presence. How sad for this family – and how difficult the life of this female has become.

The camera to this nest is here:

Some of you might be familiar with the videos of Lady Hawk. She is covering this nest because she started Golden Eagle coverage with Spilve and Virsis in Latvia last year. Virsis disappeared and Spilve was left to raise Klints by herself. She had to perform all of the duties like this mother and, in the end, Klints, who was almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Lady Hawk really wants to see a Golden Eagle chick grow up. She has created a number of videos of the happenings on the nest if you go to YouTube and do a search for Bucovina Golden Eagles or search under Lady Hawk. Here is the one of the chick eating the ear by Lady Hawk:

Many of you will remember Bonnie and Clyde, the Great Horned Owls that took over the Bald Eagle Nest in Kansas earlier this year. I did not know that so many people loved owls. Where I live they are mostly responsible for people running outside and screaming as they raid the nests of smaller birds including the local Crow family. That said, for those of you that do enjoy owls, my friend ‘S’ told me about a nest of Barn owls in the Hula Valley of Israel. There are seven owlets in that nest – they are all sizes. Right now they do not look very soft and cuddly! But guess what? A pigeon laid an egg in that nest! I wonder what is going to happen.

Here is the link to the live camera in Israel with the Barn Owls if you want to watch:

UPDATE: The mother owl evicted the pigeon and the pigeon’s egg broke. All done and dusted.

Ah, thank you for joining me today. Lots of things happening. Always think before you get around an area that could have a bird nest! And please be pro-active like the residents of East Fort Garry – they knew of an active nest and stopped a major utility company from cutting down the trees! Help protect our wildlife and their nests. Thank you!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Achieva Credit Union, the Charter Group of Wildlife and Barn Owl Israel, and Asociatia Wild Bucovina.