A new supporter for the Albatross? has Mrs G left for migration…early Friday in Bird World

9 September 2022

Thursday was truly a bit of an uneventful day mostly spent waiting on a parcel delivery that came much, much later than anticipated! It was a good time to just watch the garden to see what was happening. For Dyson fans, she is back to her normal self since having the babies. She was flying off branches today, landing on the deck, grabbing peanuts and running so fast I could not catch her on camera! Two of the Crows alerted me to the presence of the cat under the bird feeders. My goodness, they are quite remarkable and were given ‘extra treats’ – cheesy sausages – for their good work in protecting the rabbit and the songbirds. It has also been quite in Bird World, pretty much. These images have been shot quickly through a screen!

The Crows on the line cawing very loudly and looking at the cat below the feeders.
The culprit – a well fed pet!

In the Mailbox:

A couple of days ago, ‘B’ asked which gender migrated earlier – males or females? I have spent time asking Osprey experts and have uncovered some preliminary data using the Dyfi charts. It seems that gender is always discussed with regard to fledging but is only a footnote when it comes to migration. With a very small sample, males are 75% more likely to migrate first than females 90 days and under.

The chart below is of the Dyfi chicks. So those who fledged at 90 days, 75% more males than females. As you can see the older the chicks get, there are more females that take longer in the nest to migrate after fledging. I cannot assume that this is the same for other nests but, for now, this is the clearest data chart I have found for us to interpret. I will be looking for others in the days to come.

‘L’ wrote to me about the new climate bill in the US. The Audubon Society had posted an article on the 12 ways that it will help birds – and other wildlife. Thanks for sending me that article, ‘L’. I am certain others will find it of interest, too.

Making News:

The Osprey lost at sea that hitched a ride on a boat is making news in Scotland.

https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/uk-news/boaty-mcboatface-rescue-osprey-lost-27938175

Mississippi Power is putting up some Osprey Poles. How wonderful! Maybe they will place some more nests and other utility companies will follow suit. Sitting on the Canadian Prairies it is easy to imagine the number of Ospreys that might choose to winter along the Gulf or in the Gulf States.

The Royal Albatross and the campaign to change the long line fish trawling practices may have a new champion in King Charles III.

Nest News:

Based on their size and weight, the wildlife rehabber believes that Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 are both female! Nice. That explains a lot about L4’s behaviour in the nest — not afraid of anything, just barreling over the others to get to the beak. Is it possible they were all females?

L4

At the Osprey nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales, all three of this years fledglings have joined the 100 Club. This means that they have been on the nest for over 100 days and counting before migrating. Today they are 106, 105, and 102 days old! Aran might be wondering if everyone has decided to over winter.

This was early Thursday morning. Mrs G is in the second photo. It was the last seen of her. The time was 08:58. If she isn’t hiding down in the Oaks or trying to fool us, Mrs G has now left for her migration. She took a piece of fish off one of the fledglings just to top up her tank! If you have left Mrs G, safe travels, lots of fish, and return again next spring – you remain the oldest osprey in the UK and what a lovely group of offspring this year!

Idris continues to deliver fish to Padarn. It looks like some are very happy to stay in Wales!

Padarn this morning. She is still in Wales!

Louis still has Sarafina fish calling!

The Melbourne scrape seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. First up, the building number is 367 Collins Street. There are now 36.7 members of the FB group. That is an incredible number of supporters. Here is the announcement:

There has been much concern over the incubation time and whether or not there was another male falcon present at the building. Victor Hurley, the chief researcher of the nest for the Victorian Peregrine Falcon Research group posted this today on FB:

The images that I have taken today appear to me to be the same male that has been at this nest since I began watching some years ago. Dad is relieving Mum so she can have a break this morning.

Later the couple were having a conversation.

In Orange, there is heavy rain falling. Diamond watches it from inside the scrape. Xavier has been in and out helping with incubation duties. I hope he is somewhere trying to stay dry.

At the Sea Eagles nest, it was chilly and the two eaglets wanted nothing more than to be able to shrink so all of them would fit under Mum.

Dad brought a little fish in for their breakfast so that Lady could feed the two.

Both SE29 and SE30 are really getting much more steady on their feet and they are spending more time walking on top of this twig nest. That surely cannot be easy!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been hungry. Dad has been known to bring in a fish, eat a large portion of it before bringing her a piece. Today he brought her a really nice sized larger fish for her tea. How wonderful. Thank you, Dad! Mum was really excited for that lovely dinner.

Looks like Alden’s funny quirks have rubbed off on Annie who was caught ‘loafing’ on the ledge of The Campanile on Thursday.

Oh, how I love Samson. He was at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest today waiting for his mate, Gabby, to arrive from her migration. Like Richmond, the SF Bay Osprey, Samson stays in the area of the nest and does not migrate. Both Rosie (Richmond’s mate) and Gabby, do. Gabby is usually home by the 12th of September.

Migration News:

There is information from Bonus, Jan and Janika’s Black Storklet that was fostered by Kaia and Karl II. Bonus remains in Belarus near the Pripyat River where he has been feeding for some time.

Kaia remains in the general vicinity she has been in Ukraine.

Karl II is still believed to be in the area of Kherzov. We now know that the telecommunications in the area is down. Storks should, unless shelled by accident, wish to stay away form the people and there are the many nature reserves in this area where Karl II stayed for long periods in previous years. I am trying to remain positive for him!

Waba has had trouble with the tracker so there is no conclusive report.

From the archive:

Do you know which nest this was? The year is 2020. The older sibling supported the younger. The Magpie helped ‘this eaglet’ when the Pied Curra were attacking? The third image is the last one at the nest.

Thank you so much for being with me on this very quiet Friday in Bird World. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Dfyi Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, The Scottish Daily Express, Mississippi Power, Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, and Looduskalender.

From the Archive Answer: That is SE25 supporting SE26 after its little leg was broken. Lady is feeding both of them. SE26 struggled in the forest after fledging. After 6 days returned to the nest massively hungry and exhausted. Lady and Dad fed SE26. When 26 had recuperated, she flew to the camera branch where she was attacked by the Pied Currawong. A Magpie came to help 26. That is the last picture we have of SE26 in the forest. She flew out, chased by Curra, during the time of a storm and landed on the balcony of a 22nd floor condo some 1.5 km away in Horn Bush. SE26 was taken into care and euthanized, sadly. It was believed the damage to her leg would cause extensive pain and could not be repaired properly. It was a very, very sad day. SE26 was inspirational to all you watched her struggles to ‘be an eagle’…she flew. That is one consolation. What we learned was that the Pied Currawong are unrelenting in chasing the Sea Eagles out of the forest. This has caused extensive difficulties which have been noted in recent years with SE27 going in and out of care and requiring training to fly and hunt prey.

Early Sunday in Bird World

4 September 2022

Oh, Good Morning Everyone. I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy.

It is a beautiful holiday Monday on the Canadian prairies. The sun is shining bright but the temperature is not going above 24 C today – a great day to go out and continue checking on the ducks and geese. Autumn is one of my most favourite times of year despite the fact that it leads us directly into winter and is often too short!

Yesterday the Cormorants and American White Pelicans were enjoying time in the shade near the dam at Lockport, Manitoba. The image below is one tiny section. There were more than 60 pelicans and 45 Double-crested Cormorants swimming and drying off in the sun.

If you live in or around Winnipeg, Fort Whyte will begin staying open Wed-Sunday beginning 21 September so that you can watch the Canada Geese arrive in the thousands at dusk. It is an amazing sight. There will be food trucks or you can bring your own picnic. The cafe might be holding its Goose Flight dinners but this is uncertain due to the same staffing shortages that are hitting the hospitality industry worldwide.

From the Mailbox:

‘H’ writes to ask me if I am familiar with moon_rabbit_rising on Instagram? Oh, yes, I am and if you love the Cal Falcons then you need to head over and see Bridgette Ahern’s incredible – and I do mean incredible – images of Annie and Grinnell and their family and now Annie and Alden and their family.

‘D’ wrote as did several others following my UK Osprey postings and information about the female departures: “Are the Dads usually the last to leave the nest?” Yes, the males are normally the last ones that leave the nest. The females usually depart about two weeks prior to the fledglings leaving and then the male stays, eats well getting his strength back, and then departs. There are always exceptions to the rule! I just had a couple of notes from ‘N’ who comments that the nests she normally watches generally have the males leaving first! It is a very poignant moment when the male arrives with a fish and waits – and waits some more – and no one comes to collect it. By now, Louis is wishing that Sarafina would fly in the same way that Idris would like to see Padarn off the nest.

Making News:

There are many times that I am proud to be a Canadian and today, it is so reassuring to see that the people in Callander, Ontario care about their Bald Eagle and its nest!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/callander-bald-eagles-1.6568714?fbclid=IwAR28VsUDKWDWjy5S-uop8h2WKVcyL8DVLdS-cV5llN-id623Kb0QHuE-hvg

If you missed the video that Ojai Raptor Centre posted of Victor flying – here it is. It is also worth a second or third viewing. Victor is doing so well.

Another juvenile eagle – this time caught up in fishing line is saved!

https://www.uticaod.com/story/sports/2022/09/03/eagle-rescue-canadarago-lake/65470809007/?fbclid=IwAR1CnT1OpPF1U68N8_S3q017q5b8WjnF56qr1ElgZt-RgvVTg9E0JePjfpk

The citizens living in the NE of England are demanding answers from the government on why hundreds of thousands of lobsters, crabs, and sea birds wound up on the shore dead.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/03/we-just-want-the-truth-british-coastal-towns-fight-for-answers-over-mystery-sealife-deaths

Raptor Persecution UK is calling out Natural England as being compromised in the handling of the killing of Asta, the Hen Harrier. This is their description of the crime:

“The level of depraved brutality involved in this crime is quite shocking, even to those of us who have become hardened to the relentless illegal killing of birds of prey in the UK. It’s virtually impossible not to look at these images of Asta and imagine the horror she faced at the hands of her killer.

The calculated deviousness of whoever committed this crime deserves the full attention of the statutory regulator, Natural England, and widespread publicity about the lengths these criminals will go to hide their ongoing, appalling violence towards this species and other birds of prey.” After 18 months nothing has been done and birds of prey continue to be killed over the grouse moor hunting estates. It is not just the brutality of the killing of this single Hen Harrier but also the other 72 that have been killed and the lack of accountability that is worrisome.

Along this same theme, the Countryside Alliance is waging an all out campaign to get Chris Packham removed from the BBC because of his views about ending grouse hunting and thus, the illegal killing of raptors. If you live in the UK and have a view on this matter, please make it known.

The raptors are moving and Cape May, New Jersey likes to call itself the ‘raptor capital of North America’. See what is happening and why people are getting excited.

A win for all the sea birds comes as a South Africa court refuses to give Shell permission for offshore gas and oil drilling.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/01/south-african-court-bans-offshore-oil-and-gas-exploration-by-shell

Nest News:

It is the 10th anniversary of the Bald Eagle nest at Berry College. Who didn’t love Ma Berry? and who of us did not lose their heart to B15 this season? The Bald Eagle experts take you on a trip down memory lane with the Berry Eagles but, you have to go to the Berry College FB page. They will – despite saying I can embed the link – well, it doesn’t happen! Regrets.

Suzanne Arnold Horning posted some great images of our lovely Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus over this past season on the FB banner! I have not seen a new update on L3 or L4 and in this case, no news is good news.

This is one of the last shots Suzanne took of L2 before his/her migration. L2 has not been seen in a week and so she/he is off to find their own spot in the world. L2 was the first to fledge and the second to catch her own prey. Often noted as being a ‘mini’ Big Red. Beautiful hawk. Soar high and always have a full crop!

Following Karl II’s family on their migration:

Waba is in Ukraine where he has been exploring the banks of rivers for food.

Kaia remains in Ukraine in des Desna near Vovchok. She only flew 47 km – around the area feeding.

Bonus is still in Belarus in the Prypjat wetlands near Makarichi.

There is no current tracking news for Karl II.

Thunder visited the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands at 10:38 Saturday morning. Listen to her calls. You will notice another bird flying around – you can just see the silhouette.

The Sydney Sea Eagles did not have to wait until afternoon for their breakfast today. I caught several feedings for these fast growing eaglets. Notice how well behaved they are!

It had rained and Lady is offering some comfortable out of the rain for SE29 and SE30’s heads. Poor things. They are too big to fit under her.

Dad brings in a nice fish. Lady jumps down from her parent branch to feed the wet youngsters.

Dad comes in with another prey item. It looked like a small bird but I am not entirely sure.

Ranger Sharyn posted the following information for viewers of the Royal Albatross streaming cam on Taiaroa Head, NZ after the fledgling of the Royal Cam chick QT yesterday.

It should be relative quiet while birds are incubating eggs but yesterday, there was an intruder at the scrape on the Charles Sturt campus in Orange. Cilla Kinross caught it in slow-motion:

Xavier has spent some time on the ledge protecting Diamond and their eggs.

At Port Lincoln, all is well. Mum is sleeping and incubating the eggs and Dad is down in his shed, a place he spent having some good old’ chats with Ervie. It is the 5th of September with hatch expected in a fortnight (2 weeks).

It is quiet in Melbourne at the 367 Collins Street scrape. Where is Dad you ask? He will be perched nearby – sometimes on the camera.

The amount of detail that people keep on the UK Osprey nests is truly impressive. If every nest in the world had a dedicated group keeping every single detail for each season what an impressive amount of information we would have on the breeding and behaviour of Ospreys. Llyn Clywedog just posted the number and type of fish and what this means in comparison to average deliveries elsewhere. Well done, Dylan!

Peace and Love, the two fledgling Bald Eagles of Liberty and Freedom at the Glacier Gardens nest, were on the natal nest this morning watching the traffic along the road. How lovely to see them.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and their posts that made up my screen captures today: moon_rabbit_rising, CBC, Ojai Raptor Centre, Cape May Hawkwatch, Cornell Hawk Chatters and Suzanne Arnold Horning, Looduskalender, Explore.org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, NZ DOC, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Llyn Clywedog Ospreys, and Glacier Gardens.

Featured image is L2 taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning.

QT flies and Louis and Iris together

2 September 2022

Hello Everyone,

Two moments caught in time. One a fledge or was the chick carried out by the wind and storm early? and Iris and Louis together. Both left a real lump in my throat and little tears.

Quarry Track chick had her wings spread wide. The rain made the mud a little slippery where she had been gardening.

She looked up to the sky calling.

And she flew. It could not have been a more perfect fledge although it might be argued that the storm helped. Her legs are tucked up and really, she looked ready to go.

The Royal cam chick flew at 12:53 on the 3rd of September 2022. She was known as QT for Quarry Track chick but everyone knew her as the way it is pronounced…Cutie. The daughter of YRK and OGK, she is the full sister of another Royal cam chick, Pippa Atawhai of 2020.

The winds were blowing and it was raining hard. QT gave a couple of beautiful sky calls like she was announcing she is meeting her destiny and flapped her wings. The strong winds lifted her up and off the nest.

It was unexpected but it was a beautiful flight and I can’t help but believe she was ready to go. No doubt YRK will be wondering where her daughter is…and where her mate OGK is. This adorable dad has not been seen on land since the 19th of May.

Here is a video of that great flight:

Cornell posted a video of Iris and Louis on the nest yesterday. I have posted individual images yesterday but, enjoy the video. I do not know about anyone else but this feels like a very strange poignant moment – the two of them together, looking out at us.

No matter what anyone thinks or has thought about Louis, Iris is completely devoted to him. She seemed to visit the nest much more often if he was around this year.

Is this goodbye?

Thank you so much for joining me for these two rather touching moments in Bird World. I will look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Please take care.

Thank you to Cornell Bird Labs, NZ DOC, and Montana Ospreys for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clip.

Eggs, Electrocutions, Migrations and more…Tuesday in Bird World

30 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

We are nearing the end of August. I keep saying the month has disappeared and it surely has! It is simply hard to believe. We had a magnificent rain that brought the garden back to life. There is nothing like a good soaking – watering from the tap doesn’t seem to do it. The garden also had a visitor this morning. I know the hawk has been around but, with all of the foliage it is hard to spot him. The new fence has, however, attracted a lot of attention and today it got approved to be the new plucking post! The image is not good. I got so excited that I hit the silly video button on the phone and not the photo. It is also from a distance through a screen -I was hiding in the shadows hoping that she would not see me inside the house taking her photo – hawks have to eat, too.

By now you will have noticed that I have added some sub-titles to my blog. There will not always be questions in the post to answer – that is up to you! But if you are wondering something, ask. I will absolutely not always know the answers but I have friends and colleagues to ask that do and they are happy to share what they know with all of us. There is generally some news and there are always things happening at the nests despite it being quite slow the end of August. I hope also to incorporate a book review section once in awhile —- when there is time to read a new book. I am currently working on two: Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour. It is excellent so far – a great reference that includes topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Flight, Food and Feeding, Breeding… The second is After They’re Gone. Extinctions Past, Present and Future by Peter Marren who tackles some of the very uncomfortable truths that we have to face. It is time, after all, to get our heads out of the sand and listen to what individuals like Marren have to tell us. Full review to follow in a few weeks when I have had time to digest and reflect the latter.

In the Mailbox:

‘B’ writes: “I have been watching Osprey nests for years. Why do the siblings attack one another after fledging when they have been nice on the nest?” Oh, this is such a timely question as the nests begin to empty themselves of parents and fledglings in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some of you will remember that the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021 – Bazza, Falky, and Ervie – were sweet to one another as nestlings. Bazza tried a couple of times, early on, to boss Ervie but, even as little as he was, Ervie wasn’t having any of it. So the nest was very peaceful. Then they grew up. They fledged and even became interested in fishing. When Dad would bring a fish, they would descend on the nest and fight – or, rather, let’s use the Australian term, “a dust up” would occur. If you are watching the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, two of the three girls remain in Wales. Whenever a fish comes on the nest, they practically knock each other about to get to that food. This is perfectly normal behaviour. They no longer see one another as siblings but as rivals who might take the only food supply. Soon, they will go their separate ways and no would have been hurt-normally -although Bazza and Ervie did get pretty rough. Please note that the PLO nest had 3 males and the Dyfi had 3 females – same gender on the nest. Same sex nests tend to be very civil after a brief set to at the beginning.

‘S’ sent me some news and included in it is a video/PowerPoint on what to expect at the Royal Albatross Taiaroa Head Colony in September. I know that many of you are fans of the albatross and watch Quarry Track chick, this year’s Royal cam chick, faithfully. I do not cover her but I look in on her. Sharon Dunne does an excellent job of providing all the information needed! This is a great information packet – have a peek. Thanks, ‘S’.

Making the News:

Drought and hydro poles killing off Europe’s White Storks. Only 10% of the hydro poles in Hungary are insulated and yet 150,000 beautiful White Storks are electrocuted each year. This well done video shows the birds, where they live, the deaths, and the fix that is required. It is now time for humans to step up to the plate and take care of the wildlife instead of doing what we have always done — put ourselves first.

And, of course, Hungary is not the only country that has this issue. We saw it in Canada when Junior was killed near the nest on Gabriola Island, in The Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-62690344

A Polish Photographer has been stirring up real interest on the Internet with his image of an Osprey fishing. His name is Krzysztof Stasiaczek and the image was taken in August 2022 in Eastern Masuri, Poland.

Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia used their GoFund Me and some other private donations to build a new sun-shaded nest for Ma and Dad at Delta 2. Why? Rising temperatures in the area of the nest due to the increased heating of our planet. They released the images today. That is David Hancock with the light blue long sleeve shirt working tirelessly to continually improve the lives of the Bald Eagles…he has been doing this for at least 65 years!

Somehow we all knew that the numbers of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands is growing – thanks in large part to Dr Sharpe ensuring the eaglets do not tumble into the sea or die under a nest from zinc toxicity.

News is coming out of the Channel Islands Eagle Lovers group that there is the possibility of a new Bald Eagle pair spotted on Santa Cruz! Sauces 2016 hatch A-63, a male named Whisk, has been seen at the old Fraser Point nest with a subadult female of approximately 3 years. Fingers crossed.

A blog by Rosie Shields who monitors the Borders nests in the UK found its way into my inbox today. You might not be interested in these Ospreys but, it is the behaviour of the female that is important. She left a nest with three chicks she was feeding to begin her migration, landed on a nest she had visited before, and sat herself down now for 9 days being fed by the resident male who is willingly catching fish for her. It is always good to learn more and more about the behaviours of Ospreys – they never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Nest News:

Annie and Alden decided it was a good idea to renew their bond in the UC-Berkeley scrape on The Campanile after the sudden visit of a mysterious male falcon. Alden initiated the bonding session. “Annie, do not look at another male falcon. Alden is a keeper!”

Alden was caught loafing in the setting sun last evening. How adorable.

Everyone is sitting waiting really impatiently to see if Diamond will lay a third egg at the Charles Sturt Orange Falcon cam in Australia. Diamond’s average between eggs is 56 hours. The second egg was 57 hours this year. Will there be a third? and will it be on time?

Xavier loves his ‘eggie’ time and Diamond was obliging this morning to let him take a turn.

Xavier left and returned around 0700 with a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (IDed by Holly Parsons). Xavier always brings something special on egg laying day. What a sweetheart.

Xavier waits for one and a half hours to incubate those precious eggs…it is caught on video.

Diamond looks pretty contented. Let’s see what is happening in a couple of hours.

There are still only 2 eggs at Orange. It is the middle of the night. If Diamond is to lay a third egg I would surely think that it will come before 0800 on the 31st.

In Melbourne, the little Dad is getting his turn, too and those four eggs look awfully big as he wiggles and squiggles to get them under him. Yesterday he looked down and noticed one was outside!

You can almost hear him saying he hopes the new mate doesn’t lay 5! She could. Keep hoping the population of pigeons is bursting at the seams in Melbourne!

Everything seems to be going well with the Sea Eagles. They are six weeks old and standing sturdier by the day and changing their appearance with those gorgeous feathers coming in.

At Port Lincoln, Dad took over incubation and Mum is enjoying a really nice dinner time fish before tucking it in for the night.

Updates on Tweed’s three fledglings from yesterday’s post.

A Tweet from County Cork with a great photograph of an osprey believed to be Kirk. Fantastic. He has had quite the adventure. Glad Kirk is safely on land. Now to get his GPS coordinates polished.

In the UK, Louis and Sarafina are still at Loch Arkaig. Dorcha was last seen on 18 August and it appears that Willow, LW5, began her journey on the 28th of August.

Louis delivered a lovely Mackerel to the nest for Sarafina today. She has been seen down at the loch attempting to catch a fish, too. Isn’t that splendid?

Louis brought a lovely fish to Sarafina at 16:16:33 on the 30th. She is still with us as of today.

The last sighting of Willow was on the 28th.

Maya is still at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey platform. She flew in with a fantastic fish this morning at 0619. While many of the females have now departed, Maya raised three very large and strong female chicks with Blue 33. She is taking good care of herself so she is in good shape for migration. Normally we can expect to see her and her mate, Blue 33, back in the UK at the end of March. The first eggs and the first hatches!

Seren, Blue 5F, was with Dylan this morning at the Llyn Clywedog nest looking around their beautiful territory.

It appears that Mrs G from the Glaslyn Valley nest is now on her way south. Aran was on the nest earlier and one of the fledglings was shouting out for a fish.

At the Dyfi Nest, Telyn was last seen on the 25th of August. Pedran left before Mum, and Padarn was still at the nest today. Paith has not been seen on the 30th that I am aware of so it could just be the second hatch, Padarn, and Aran left at Dyfi.

Stephen Basly posted another great image on the Notre Dame Eagles FB Group of our Little Bit 17! It was the 25th of July and is such a great image. I think Stephen worked to get it cleaned up well for all of us. Thanks Stephen!

I have not been able to access Looduskalender today for updates on the Black Storks, Karl II and his family, as they migrate.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a gorgeous day here – I hope it is for you, too and that you have been able to enjoy being out in nature, if possible. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, videos, streaming cams, and blogs that make up my screen captures: NZ DOC, BBC News, Krzysztof Stasiazek, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, CIEL Rosie Shields, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Conservation without Borders, Dave McGrath, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LRWT, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, and Notre Dame Eagles.

Migration woes and daily threats to our feathered friends

5 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.

Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!

Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.

Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.

As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.

I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.

Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.

Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/resources/migration-data

Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!

The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.

Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!

Hi Sweetheart.

The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.

The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”

In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.

It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.

Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!

Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.

Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.

The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.

Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.

The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.

The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up

Waba is on the perch.

Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!

Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.

The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?

The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*

Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.

He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.

Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.

There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.

Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:

The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.

https://theecologist.org/2022/aug/01/avian-flu-outbreak-killing-wild-birds?fbclid=IwAR1erpdLzQUUobsxWqc5oQM5e9hURsLjGxXpP0vVS1Eu7HzmlSDPbLXIc1E

Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

  • If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.

Early Thursday in Bird World

4 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I was not going to write my newsletter until the end of the day but some of you might wish to know about the banding of the Royal Cam chick. There is a bit of other news as well. Both chicks at the Loch Garten Osprey platform fledged today – so every osprey chick in the UK has now fledged. Fantastic. I am getting notices that the cameras at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 and the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson will go live in two weeks. Wow. Time is speeding by. Those cameras will turn on just about the time we have Osprey and falcon eggs in Australia.

The little fledgling Blue Jay has decided that it is time that I get some more peanuts outside for the three of them! Too funny. These wee ones can be quite loud when they want to be. They are getting their beautiful blue crests. I believe this is the smaller of the three – a little female -. She has that developing crest raised up high because she is excited! They are so cute and so animated.

The NZ DOC rangers will be banding the chicks on Taiaroa Head today. Here is the announcement by Ranger Sharyn Broni posted by Sharon Dunne on the Royal Cam FB page. There is no mention of the time. There will be an archived video of the banding of QT if you miss it!

I know many of you are anxious to also find out about the naming of QT. They may mention how this will be done this year. On line voting took place during the pandemic but this might change now.

Here is the link to the camera:

An Osprey rescue in Scotland that warms our hearts. You might have to keyboard the URL if it doesn’t give you an automatic link. It is the story of the collapse of the Balgavies Osprey nest mentioned a few weeks ago in my blog – this one has pictures!

scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

The youngest chick on the Janakkalan Nest has yet to fledge. Titi often remains on the nest now that Boris is flying about for longer periods of time. With intruders and goshawks in the area, it is dangerous for Titi not to be flying.

Boris arrives in the bottom image to protect the nest. Hopefully s/he will take care of its sibling.

This brings me back to the mystery of why a normally wonderful Mum on a Finnish Osprey nest would attack her children. Nuppu on nest #4 attacked her youngest who had not fledged and the eldest who had fledged (much less) last week. Humans wondered how this loving mother could turn on her children. One of my readers ‘L’ suggested that it might have been to get the youngest to fly. Nuppu, knowing that a goshawk was in the area, wanted both of her chicks off the nest and flying free to lessen the threat of predation. I spent some time asking several osprey experts if this could be the case and they said, ‘absolutely’. The youngest did not fly and was predated when the intruder came to the nest. The eldest flew. So, there we are – the mystery of the physical attacks was to get the second chick off the nest and flying. Nuppu wanted to save her chicks, not harm them.

The only surviving fledgling on nest #4.

I do not understand why Titi on the Janakkalan nest has not flown yet. S/he has been doing some exercising of the wings. Hopefully soon!!!!! This is the nest without a female so Boris has taken on the job of security when Dad is not around.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are doing fantastic. The tips of the wing feathers are beginning to show. You can see them coming in on both chicks – look carefully at the wings.

You will notice that the time between feedings is a little longer. That is because the eaglets can eat much more at a sitting than when they had just hatched and needed a few morsels of fish every 45-60 minutes from dawn to dusk.

SE30 even did a little beaking of 29 yesterday. Nothing major but it was cute when it sat up and gave it a bop.

Both had nice crops! Fish will not be stacked on the nest so much now because it could cause predators to become interested in the nest and the eaglets. They are not big enough yet to be out of danger. They need to be 28-30 days old.

It is raining in Orange and Diamond arrives at the scrape box on the water tower soaking wet! But with a full crop. Looking for eggs in a couple of weeks.

The high temperature for the day will be 23 C at the Osoyoos nest. What a change! A nice fish arrived early on the nest and Soo fed both of the chicks. They made it! Olsen and Soo you should receive a reward – you did fantastic in your strategies to protect the two osplets. Just look at them.

Right now the camera is fairly clear at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey nest in Canmore, Alberta. We can get a good look at those three good looking osplets! We are on fledge watch for this nest. At least two are flapping and starting to hover. It will not be long.

Karl II delivered a number of fishes just a few minutes ago to the four Black storklets in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. So far all is well. The storklets are hovering and jumping and practising their perching to prepare for fledge.

A portrait of the three females at the Loch Arkaig nest this year. From left to right: Willow, Sarafina, and Mum Dorcha (unringed). When we talk about the females having beautiful necklaces have a look at these three! Gorgeous.

I am not sure I have ever seen three females with such elaborate necklaces. Dorcha is really influencing the genetics at this nest. Bravo!

A blast from the past. The four Peregrine Falcon eyases being fed at the CBD-367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne. Time is ticking away. The camera will be up and running in September. Just in case you forgot how incredibly cute little falcons are!!!!

Thank you for joining me this morning. Things look pretty good in Bird World. Take care. See you soon!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their posts and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Eagle Club of Estonia, Fortis Exshaw, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Finnish Osprey Foundation, CBD-367 Collins Street Falcon Cam, and Royal Cam Albatross NZ.

Not our Spirit! and other late Saturday news

23 July 2022

A Correction. Ah, I got caught ‘off guard’. The Spirit at the Avon Lake School was not ‘our’ Spirit! Thank you, ‘B’. I hope that our Spirit is flying free and chasing Jackie and Shadow around Big Bear while the other Spirit, in Ohio, stays out of trouble!!!!! Sorry for the confusion…

Good news coming out of Osoyoos. Olsen has been working around the clock to bring fish to Soo and the two chicks on the Osoyoos Osprey platform. Even in the heat, he really broke through and found lots of fish — some twiddlers and some nice sized ones. There were no less than seven deliveries (according to the list on chat by ‘H’) with the first at 0502 and the last at 18:42. There could be another before night falls.

A short time ago I wrote about the male Osprey in Montana being shot. (I will not get started on how crazy this makes me!) The news is that the female has been able to carry on delivering fish to the nest where there is at least one chick. Send good wishes to her and to the female at Kielder 1A nest as well. Normally, the females leave the nest before the fledglings and the male. I wonder what we will learn from these two nests in that regard? Will the female feed the chicks til they depart the territory and start their migration to the southern parts of Texas, Mexico, or Central America? or will she wait til they have left and spend 2 weeks getting into condition so that she will have a successful flight to her winter home? We wait to find the answer.

Ferris Akel caught the four Red-tail Hawks on the grounds of Cornell University during his tour today. He had some incredible images of L2 and L4. Here is a number of them. It will also not be long until they depart to find their way in the world so, every minute is precious. They were both hunting. Such wonderful images – love the close ups. Thank you, Ferris!

L2 you are a beauty.

L4 decided that being in one of the pines after a squirrel was the most fun. Good luck!

Many of you watch the Southern Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head in New Zealand. We have all marvelled at the care and attention the albatross chicks get especially if their parents cannot supply them with enough food. It has been an anxious year with a number of chicks requiring supplementary feeding including the Royal Cam Chick, QT. Her mother YRK has been doing the best job she can with the male, OGK, missing for over two months now.

YRK visits Taiaroa Head on 24 July and gives Quarry Track (QT) chick a feeding.

Additional chicks like the one in the posting below are missing both parents and have to be fed by the rangers. Without the supplementary feedings, the chicks would have perished —including QT. This is the first time that I have seen a request for donations to purchase fish for the chicks come from the Rangers.

Disappearing Gun Chick

‘H’ sent a really cute photo of the two fledglings at Mispillion Harbour Osprey platform. Remember this Mum loves yellow! She has kept this yellow mat on the nest. Once it flew off and Mum retrieved it and put it back. Then it got hidden under other nest material. Today, one of the fledglings pulled it up to the top when it got stuck on its talon. Thankfully, it came off. Mum will be so happy! Thank you ‘H’ for this great capture with the two fledglings on the nest at the same time!

Ah, this is just a quick check in to correct the issue of ‘Spirit’. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Osoyoos Ospreys, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR, The Albatross Centre, Ferris Akel Tours, and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate.

Late Saturday News in Bird World

16 July 2022

The ‘sunroom’ – the reason for Little Red’s eviction from the ancient shed – is not finished but, I am enjoying sitting here until I am tossed out so the workers can finish the floor and the dry wall on the one wall. It is almost like having eagle vision – I have a clear view of the garden and the critters. For Dyson, this means that I now know for certain that he sees himself as the ‘dominant osprey in the nest’. Poor Hedwig the Elder had no peace trying to have its breakfast and I have discovered that Junior also gets chased by Dyson. I have seen this behaviour before but was not aware of the extent of Dyson’s reign of terror. Of course, he is far too cute and the shenanigans he gets up to so he can enjoy just one more peanut or another cup of bird seed are precious.

Dyson first made a mess eating the peanuts and leaving the shells,. Then he decided to stash them instead of sharing with Junior. There he goes running. (Sorry for the not so clearly focused image…his coat is beautiful and that fluffy tail has all grown back — which clearly leads me to believe now that Dyson is a ‘she’ not a ‘he’. )

The birds gifted me sunflowers in the Vermillionaire boxes for the hummingbirds.

I was not quick enough to even get a bad picture of Junior but, it was Junior. Last week when we had everything going on with Victor, I came home and found a dead Blue Jay in the front garden. There had been a big fight between a Blue Jay and Mr Crow with Mr Crow winning – and well, I thought it was Junior. For days I worried about the three juveniles but, alas, it was not Junior. I was able to confirm by a distinctive mark that only Junior has that I saw this morning. Relief.

The other thing the garden critters battle, sadly, are cats. We have a bylaw that states people are not to let their cats out of their house. Is it enforced, no. But it called enough attention to the problem of rising feral cat numbers that most people abide by the law. But some don’t.

The bylaw has helped. The sheer number of feral cats has had significant declines. It is just getting humans to obey the laws – it is not the cat’s fault. I do not know who owns this particular cat but a gentle tap and it is gone. It is impossible to keep them out and well, the cat doesn’t know it isn’t supposed to be outside. There are advantages to cats staying inside – they won’t get hit by a car, they won’t get bitten by bees and have to go to the vet, they will not get injured in fights with other cats, they will not get their fur matted with plant material, they will not get caught in traps…


It really is a simple fix and could save tens of thousands or more birds each year if we would only trim our trees and shrubs before or after breeding season…not during. And keep the cats inside! The Guardian just featured an article on this very topic today. That said, I was planning to write about this regardless. Now that I have an eagle’s 270 degree view around my garden and neighbourhood, I just noticed yesterday that the man across the lane cut down the top third of his tree. In that part of his tree were two nests: the Blue Jays and a Red-squirrel. We were alerted to the issues when a squirrel sat on the power line screaming its head off for the entire day on Thursday. Did it have babies in a nest?

If you or someone you know is cutting down or trimming a tree, if your City is cutting them down, take the time to tell them if there is an unseen nest. Two years ago we had to lobby our power company over a Cooper’s Hawk nest – they backed down and we got a commitment to fall only trimming. Everyone can do their part!

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jul/15/think-of-nesting-birds-before-pruning-your-hedge

Akecheta and Thunder continue to have trouble with juveniles coming to the West End nest in the Channel Islands. Akecheta had to escort another one out of the territory today.

There has been a fledge at the Loch of the Lowes. It happened at 10:06 this morning. So both of the osplets of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 have fledged. Congratulations Laddie, Blue NC0 and everyone at LOTL. Well done.

There are some concerns about Louis’s mate, Dorcha, at the Loch Arkaig nest. She has blood on her lower abdomen. It looks rather nasty. I had originally thought it might have come from a fish but not so sure. Did she get injured trying to move one of her big sticks?

Fish continue to come on to the Osoyoos nest. The last one was a little larger but it took only 3 or 4 minutes to finish it. One osplet got it all but the tail which Mum ate. Please send wishes for more fish on this nest…we need so much more. It is a bad situation with the heat. Mum needs much more food to survive and we have chicks getting juvenile feathers now…I am really worried about this nest. The parents have to eat as well as the two chicks…hoping the heat wave will end!

Oh, I would love to send a big fish like the one that Dad just brought to the Mispillion Harbour nest over to Osoyoos! It is a nice lunch for everyone in Delaware today.

The three osplets are getting their juvenile feathers, too, at the Boathouse Osprey nest on Hog Island, Maine. They have been pancaked many times this morning..more problems with intruders it would appear.

Every once in awhile I want to remind you of special blogs or websites. One of those is Bruce Yolton – a bird lover and photographer – who covers the urban hawks in New York City. Today, he has some wonderful images of the Peregrine Falcons and Red-tail Hawks. Have a peek! urbanhawks.com

Image copyright. Bruce Yolton.

There were ospreys on the Henlopen State Park nest in Delaware today. Not sure who they are. Is this the same intruder that injured the Mum causing the three osplets to die?

Dear Victor. I love how Ojai Raptor Centre is helping Victor through the physical therapy. Everyone cross their fingers and toes and hope that they find out what is the cause of Victor’s problem. Poor Baby. You got this Victor!

It isn’t just Bald Eagles that raise other species, this showed up in my inbox today…an owl and a duckling.. So grateful that the duckling is precocial and can pretty much take care of itself if it finds water and plants to eat! Thanks Mama Owl.

https://www.sonyaz.net/foto-galeri/owl-mistakes-duck-egg-for-her-own-and-raises-it/521/?fbclid=IwAR2cJDFz7Tlp5UwB099kFhajw_DYxckz-hClWyLQTQyw2u1Ty3MQcDj510A

Keep Southern Royal Albatross male, OGK, father to Miss Pippa Atawhai and Quarry Track chick, in your thoughts. He was last positively seen on the 19th of May. It is unusual for a parent, especially one so devoted as OGK,, to be away for this long period of time. As is the practice of the NZ DOC, he will not be declared deceased until he does not return for the next breeding cycle in October 2023. Let us all hope he finds his way back to QT chick!

I have not seen any updates on Victor or Little Bit 17 this weekend. Perhaps on Monday. We know that Little Bit is working on his flying and Victor is getting therapy. Lots of fledging in the UK – too much to keep track of at times and intruders, many juveniles hatched from the nest in previous years such as KS7 and KS8 visiting Llyn Clywedog. KS7 fledged in 2018 and KS8 in 2021. Looking good! Continue to send your warm thoughts to all our birds.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone…see you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB posts, blogs, etc, that form my screen captures: Explore.org and IWS, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR, Audubon Explore, Bruce Yolton, Ojai Raptor Centre, Cornell and the NZ DOC, and the Dodo.

Tuesday in Bird World

5 July 2022

It is a gorgeous hot day in Manitoba- ‘sultry’ my mother would have called it. The walk at the nature centre felt like running a marathon inside a steam bath.

Chipmunk waiting to see if anyone had a peanut.

The only birds that were out were the American Goldfinches, the Redwing Blackbirds, the Black-capped Chickadees, and the Yellow Warblers.

American Goldfinch (m) and Black-capped Chickadee at the Nyger Seed Cylinder.
Yellow Warbler. Male. Adult.

As I was leaving I spotted the goslings. Oh, they are getting their long necks. The adults had them on a grassy knoll eating. Four adults caring for 4 goslings – it looks like two of the goslings are missing. You can one gosling near the centre with its long neck.

Crows. I learned something today that I want to pass on. If you see a Crow on the ground and it cannot fly, before you rush it off to the wildlife rehab centre, look at its eyes. What colour are they? If they are blue, the one on the ground is a fledgling. The adults have dark black eyes and they will be around watching their little one working its way on the grass. In a couple of weeks it will fly again. Of course, there are predators lurking about, too — feral cats, dogs, etc. Normally the parents will be in a place where they can dive bomb attempts at predation.

Fledgling Crow with Blue Eyes @Liz Henry

I want to give a big shout out to the NZ DOC. Once again they have come to the aid of Royal Cam chick QT with a supplementary feeding to bring her weight up. They are also feeding another chick 6 days a week – its parents have failed to return. Without the supplementary feedings, QT chick would not survive. A single parent simply cannot bring in enough food for these growing offspring. NZ takes really good care of its wildlife. Oh, for other birds to be so lucky. There are serious threats to the Albatross – the most significant are the long line fishing boats. The birds are literally decapitated. Yes, it is horrible. They go after the food on the fishing lines.

Of course, the solutions are very simple and do not cost much, if anything. 1. Instead of baiting the hooks during the day, do it at night! 2. Put sparkly streamer lines on the hook and bait. 3. Put the lines over the side of the vessel instead of at the rear. 4. Put weights on the lines to hold them down so the fish bait and the hooks do not dance on the surface of water. 5. Dye the bait blue and the albatross will never want it.

It is seriously that simple and we would not have to worry. As it stands, one Wandering Albatross is decapitated every five minutes. That species is now vulnerable to extinction.

How can you help? By insisting that the fish you purchase is ethically produced.

Much better images of this adorable chick getting a feeding from her lovely Mum, YRK yesterday.

If you are a fan of the Royal Albatross they will be ringing QT chick on the 29th of July. Remember – that is Australia, a day ahead of North America. She will be ready to fledge in September. I do not have a time for the ringing. When I find out I will let you know.

Llyn Brenig are looking for the names for the two osplets. The local school children have come up with ideas for 2 names for the female and 2 ideas for names for the male. Now it is time to vote. You can only vote by going to the Brenig Osprey Project FB page. You do not have to be a member. Here is the information and just look at those chicks. The camera does not do them justice – not at all. Just look at those white chins and beards and all that peach. Seriously, I wish the adults were this beautiful!

My friend ‘T’ sent me this video link for an event that took place 2 days ago. Thanks ‘T’. I cracked up and couldn’t help but share it with you. It is #3 nest at Saaksilvie in Finland. The back story is that the Mum loves her fish and sometimes eats first before she feeds the chicks and sometimes eats it all and doesn’t bring fish to the chicks (or that was her behaviour last year). You can create your own story about what is going on but be sure to watch the expression on Mum’s face!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Have a lovely evening. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for the streaming cams where I took my screen captures: NZ DOC and Cornell Bird Lab and Brenig Osprey Project.

World Albatross Day and other news in Bird World

18 June 2022

Everyone reading my blog loves birds —-that is what we have in common. We love great big raptors and tiny little hummingbirds. Some favour Ospreys because they eat fish over Eagles but, in the end, I do not think any of us would harm our feathered friends deliberately. Indeed, many of you care for birds, volunteer or work at wildlife rehabilitation centres, make donations, feed the birds in your garden, etc. Whatever you can to make their lives better. So, when you read the following article, you are going to get mad. I found myself remembering the two men who took the juvenile osprey chicks off the light stand (somewhere – it has gone out of my mind) and killed them rather than waiting til they fledged to change the bulbs. After you read this, take a deep breath. Then, if you live in the US, write to your local officials. I do often wonder if the people doing these terrible deeds – how would they feel if they were treated this way? Birds and animals are sentient beings.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/06/us-bird-flu-outbreak-millions-of-birds-culled-in-most-inhumane-way-available

Every June we have a problem in our City with tree cutters! While the City of Winnipeg is priding itself on planting 1 million trees, it has probably hired cutters to cut down some very old Maple trees that are not diseased or damaged. Do they check for nests? No. Last year, it was a battle with our public utility Manitoba Hydro and a Cooper’s Hawk nest. After lobbying by hundreds of us, Manitoba Hydro backed off and agreed not to trim the trees around their lines until nesting season was over.

Tree cutting should be limited to times when birds are not nesting. Simple. Write – scream – get your friends – if you see trimming going on and you know that there is a nest there!

There is still some anxiety at the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie LM12 did not deliver a fish to Blue NC0 until 10am. Big was unkind to Middle. What in the world is going on at this nest? 12 days ago Laddie brought in 9 fish. Oh, I wonder if he is not injured in some way and we cannot see it.

In contrast, Louis – despite the gale force wind and rain – has brought in at least 4 if not 5 large fish for Dorcha and the chicks today.

It really seems that there is something amiss at Loch of the Lowes. Again, is Laddie in some way injured that we cannot obviously tell?

Little QT chick is flapping her wings in the strong winds blowing over her nest at Taiaroa Head. Soon all of the fluffy baby down will be off those wings and our beautiful little fluff ball will look more and more like her parents, OGK and YRK.

The 19th of June is World Albatross Day. Of course, it is today in New Zealand and all other countries in different time zones. Many of you – and I – watch the Royal Cam Albatross Family on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand – YRK, OGK, and little QT. Did you know that OGK and YRK have been together since 2006? They are so lovely. OGK has melted my heart since the time he used to come and sit next to Pippa Atawhai.

I am forever grateful for the NZ DOC for intervening in the care of the chicks with their supplemental feedings, provisions against fly strike, and aid to them if injured. QT has had many supplemental feedings this season. While the cause is unknown, it could be warming waters and also large trawlers emptying the sea of the fish.

The Albatross Task Force posted 3 ways that 99% of the Albatross deaths could be mitigated. Here they are:

So how can you help? You can begin by purchasing fish that is not harvested using gill nets. Here is some information for those in the UK from the Task Force:

It is summer and there are parties and weddings. If you are going to use confetti – read this posting that showed up on my FB feed and think about using leaves for confetti. How brilliant and how sustainable.

Lindsay fledged early this morning at the Cal Falcons scrape on the grounds of the University of California at Berkeley. Here is younger brother, Grinnell Jr, looking out of the stonework wondering what it is like out there.

The hawklet being cared for by the Eagle family on Gabriola Island branched this morning. It is a beautiful scene when the Big Bald Eagle female feeds her ‘little baby’.

The hawklet has been given the name Malala meaning survivor. You might recall Malala Yousafzai, the young Afghan girl, who was almost killed by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school. Happily she graduated from Oxford after surviving. We all hope that the hawklet will live a long and prosperous life!

GROWLS is accepting donations for a new and much better camera. Christian Sasse said they they were sold an interior product -I sure hope they raise the funds. I wonder if this would ever happen again? It is rare – or it is thought that it is rare – eaglets adopting a bird as their own that has been brought in as a prey item.

Ferris Akel’s tour today ended up at the Cornell campus. He caught all of the family. Well done, Ferris. L4 has not fledged and people should not worry. There are eagles who have not fledged even though their siblings have for weeks. There is nothing wrong with L4. He is going to fly in his own time.

One of the Ls on Bruckner Hall. She will later fly to the top of the Rice building calling for prey.

Another L on the brick wall between the Soccer and Track fields.

The third fledgling on another building. I have always relied on the belly band to differentiate between them but it is impossible now unless I see them together. Gosh they are such gorgeous Red-tail Hawk chicks.

L4 was on the railing of the natal nest light stand.

The intruder couple at the Cape Henlopen Osprey platform in Lewes, Delaware were on and off the structure during the day.

Little Bit 17 had a good day. He is at the top of my list for checking followed by Loch of the Lowes. He had lots of raccoon and an entire fish to himself (minus a few bites going to 16), scrapes off the nest, and a little bit of Bluegill that Mum delivered at 15:57. So far four fish deliveries- 2 Blue gills, 1 salmon, and 1 small mouth bass (list by Jim one of the chatters – thank you). Those eagle-eye chatters also observed two PSs – fantastic.

At 19:39:48 Little Bit was eating the leftover bones with some meat on them by the rim of the nest. He was watching and when the older sibling finished, 17 made his move to get some of that. You can see the remains of the Raccoon being moved about on the nest.

Mum is in and all three were up at the table being fed. Oh, what a lovely image. I just wish she had a pantry full of fish and filled each of them up to the crown of their head.

Isn’t this just a beautiful image? Mom feeding her three eaglets – and knowing that each of them will fledge. One or two very soon.

Mum was still feeding them the remainder of that Raccoon when I last checked. Little Bit was loving it. He has eaten well today. Everyone is just elated.

Last thing today. Each one of us was horrified when the Bald Eagle cam and took Electra’s osprey chicks right off the nest. One of our readers ‘B’ lives very close to Lake Sacajawea in Cowlitz County, Washington. I asked her what might have changed to cause the eagles to go after the osprey nest. She gave the following information, “The rivers here are running high and probably muddy so fishing might be difficult. This has been one of the coldest, wettest springs on record in the northwest. Another day of rain today, temperature only 58° F.” Certainly Bald Eagles are opportunistic feeders – fish, road kill, etc. but the weather might have played a big part in this catastrophic event.

Poor Electra continues to come to the nest. She is still broody and probably in shock. Send her special wishes. This is so difficult seeing her there on that nest with three chicks doing well this year.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is a very windy evening but the sun is out. I managed to get a long walk in today (for me) and it is now time to go and check on all those weeds that grew over night. I will also be marvelling at all of the sunflowers that are growing in the garden thanks to the birds. I am leaving them and hoping that they grow high and then the birds can eat them in the fall. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cowlitz PUD, Ferris Akel Tours, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust. Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and the Woodland Trust, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Albatross Task Force, Keeper of the Cheerios Blog, Cal falcons, GROWLS, Cape Henlopen State Park, and ND-LEEF.