Birds ‘Down Under’

Go and grab the tissue box or a handkerchief, you are going to need it. Lady Hawk has put out the season highlights for the Royal Cam family – LGL, LGK, and Tiaki! And while you are watching it, Tiaki is off being an albatross 95 km off the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is going about her day, flying, landing on the water, and looking for squid!

Holly Parsons posted an article about Tiaki that appeared in a NZ paper. You might enjoy reading it. There are some interesting facts such as 2.3 million people watched the Royal Cam chick from 1 December til fledge which amounted to 400,000 hours of streaming cam time! Wow.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/300416181/royal-cam-star-tiaki-leaves-the-nest-as-bumper-albatross-breeding-season-wraps-up?fbclid=IwAR3mU94gmZpSDSRkFJ5U6MyqECSisvbspK0u9XXu3fAh3GXRGeUHegbLXDw

Clearly none of us knows what it is like to have to incubate four large peregrine falcon eggs for over a month but, early in the morning the Mom in the scrape box in Melbourne has been getting much more restless. Will all four hatch within six hours? Wow. That will just be crazy. I hope little Dad has been stashing pigeons somewhere close. If Mom refuses to give up her incubation duties, we will know that she is listening to the chicks and there could be a pip or a crack.

Thank goodness the earlier rains have stopped!

Here is the link to this streaming cam so you can watch the action when these sweeties hatch:

It will be about a week before there will be a hatch at the scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange. Mom is trying to catch all the sleep she can before the trip join her and Xavier.

It would be wrong to put the link to the camera in Melbourne and not the one to Xavier and Diamond. This couple is such a sweet pair.

It is a little wet at Port Lincoln Osprey barge this morning. Mom is, no doubt, giving Dad some ‘Door Dash’ orders for breakfast.

The little one doesn’t seem to mind the few drops of rain. I just can’t get over how well these chicks blend in with the nest. Nature is the best designer!

If you have hesitated to watch this nest, I encourage all Osprey lovers to embrace it. The chicks are doing so very, very well. Here is that link:

The White Bellied Sea Eaglets are doing well this year, too. This nest has also experienced little aggression and both eaglets are thriving. Lady was in early to feed them.

They are beginning to explore the lower branches. It will be a blink before they are really branching. It has been a pleasure to watch the lives of these beautiful sea eagles this year.

I will update you on the feedings on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest later today and if there is any confirmation of pips or cracks at 367 Collins Street.

For now it is 31 degrees C or 87.8 F on 29 September on the Canadian Prairies. Unbelievable. It is a great evening to go and check on the ducks.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me. Be kind to all living things.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University at Orange, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac. Thanks Lady Hawk for the video!

Godwits…and more

I have heard the name but have never seen the bird – or, at least, I do not think I have. With my lousy shorebird IDs, I might have even confused this beautiful long-legged shorebird with a Greater Yellowlegs. Of course, everyone would have laughed.

Godwits are ‘very’ long legged shorebirds but their legs are not yellow! Their beak is ‘very, very’ long and is bi-coloured – light rose and espresso -and ever so slightly upturned at the end. They are called waders because they live in the mudflats and the estuaries. See how their legs go deep into the mud, too. They feed by sticking that very long beak into the mud, rooting around for worms and small shellfish.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by naturalengland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The breeding adults have a chest that ranges from a deep terracotta for the males to a brighter orange for the females. The wing and back feathers are more brown and white overall with a touch of the breast colour, sometimes. They have gorgeous dark eyes.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The juveniles have a cream coloured breast with overall brown and white feathering.

“Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What is so miraculous about these shorebirds is their migration. They breed in Alaska and fly in September to New Zealand! They make only one stop, normally. And they do the trip in record time. It is an 11,265 kilometre journey or 7000 miles. They accomplish this in eight days! Yes, you read that correctly, eight days.

“Bar-tailed Godwits” by naturalengland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Neils Warnock, the Executive Director of Alaska Audubon in 2017, remarked,These godwits are epic migrants. We had a bird, E-7, that we had tagged, and she left New Zealand in the spring. She flies non-stop seven days, ten thousand kilometres, to the Yellow Sea. All of the Bar-tailed Godwits of Alaska, they stop at the Yellow Sea.”

The Yellow Sea is located between mainland People’s Republic of China and the Korean Peninsula.

Historically the mudflats of the Yellow-Sea have been rich with food for the Bar-tail Godwits so they can fatten up and make the rest of the journey to their winter homes in New Zealand without having to stop. Today, the mudflats of the Yellow Sea are under threat – they are disappearing with coastal development. This could prove to be a major challenge for these beautiful shorebirds. There have been many studies and the researchers have seen a drop in the number of shorebirds by 30% in the last few years because the mudflat areas have been reduced by 65%.

https://www.science.org/news/2017/04/migrating-shorebirds-danger-due-disappearing-mudflats

The reports of the shrinkage of the mudflats has been coming in since 2013 with alarms sounding.

Today the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre in New Zealand reported that Bar-tailed Godwit 4BYWW made his flight in 8 days and 12 hours arriving home at 03:00 on 26 September. He flew 12,200 km. His average speed was 59kph. 4BYWW may have set a new distance record for the Bar-tail Godwits. We will know when the others return home. Isn’t that amazing?

What I found most interesting was her route. She does not appear to have gone via the Yellow Sea. Is this because of the decline of the mud flats? Have the birds adapted their migratory route? I definitely want to look at this more closely.

This was the satellite tracking image posted by the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre FB page:

The Centre was tracking another four adults and 3 juveniles on their journeys home. One of those, 4BWWB, has been reported as flying non-stop for 163 hours and over 10,000 km. Seriously, my head can’t comprehend what that must be like. I am also truly amazed at what these sat-paks can tell us about the birds and their amazing resilience. Just incredible.

Tiaki officially fledged on the 25th of September. The Royal Albatross cam chick of 2021 is foraging off the coast of New Zealand at the present time. She will eventually make her way to the waters off of South America near Chile. We wait for her return in four to six years to Taiaroa Head where we will hear that beautiful Sky call, again.

While millions and millions of birds are moving from their summer breeding grounds to their winter homes, others are waiting for eggs to hatch. Holly Parsons posted a table of Diamond’s incubation history.

Xavier and Diamond’s first egg was laid in the scrape box on top of the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia on 31 August this year. Cilla Kinross, the main researcher, is expecting a hatch from 6-9 October with the most promising day being the 7th. Can’t wait!

Diamond was catching some sleep this morning. If all of the eggs hatch, her and Xavier are going to be very busy!

If the hatch is expected around the 7th of October at Orange, then what about those Melbourne Peregrine Falcons? The first egg was laid on the 21st of August – yes, that is right. Ten days before the Orange falcons. So, I am going to be looking for a hatch at Melbourne starting in two days!!!!!! This means that all of the Melbourne eggs, if viable, will hatch before those in Orange. It will be nice to get to enjoy them without trying to watch both at the same time!

For those of you wondering about those beautiful White-bellied Sea Eagles, 27 and 28, here they are. Talk about gorgeous.

Things will really be starting to ramp up shortly. Bald Eagle breeding season in the United States begins in a few days. Looking forward to checking on some nests to see if the birds have returned – such as Anna and Louis who had the first hatch on a nest in the Kisatchie Forest last year since 2013. His name was Kistachie – very appropriate.

Then there is always the trio at Port Lincoln. They had two feedings this morning and a third at 11:31:27 when Dad brought in a very small fish. All of the chicks were well behaved – quite civil to one another. And, of course, Little Bob is right there in front! Look carefully you can see him.

Life is good. Everything seems to be going really well for all the nests.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed learning about the Godwits as much as I did. Incredible birds. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or for postings on their FB pages that I have shared with you: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Feature image credit: “Bar-tailed Godwit” by 0ystercatcher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Wednesday in Bird World

Lady Hawk has posted some close ups of the Royal Albatross cam chick, Tiaki, doing some wing exercises. Tiaki is all grown up, a beautiful juvenile, the daughter of LGL and LGK. She will fledge soon beginning her five or six year journey at sea – never touching land – til she returns to the headland to begin finding a mate. Perhaps one day Tiaki’s chick will be the Royal cam chick. I do hope so. It will mean that the seas are safer places for our beautiful squid eating birds.

“Masked Bobwhite (female ) (subspecies of Northern Bobwhite) | BANWR | AZ | 2016-04-15at07-43-413” by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Audubon Society has posted some really good news. The Masked Bobwhites are once again seen in southern Arizona. They were believed to be on extinct or on the edge of extinction because of cattle grazing in the Arizona deserts. Today they are listed as ‘critically endangered’.

They are a small round quail. When I was a child, we would travel to visit relatives in Arizona every summer. Oh, was it hot! But there were always Bobwhites. It is nice to hear that they are now returning.

This photo was taken on the 10th of September. I wrote about it at the time because in migration news, this is great. The son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 at the Pont Cresor nest in the Glaslyn Valley – and the grandson of Monty and Glesni – had reached Brittany. That was 12 days ago. He would now be further on his migration, perhaps stopping in Spain. The photo of Blue 494 was taken by Colette Leclerq.

Photo by Colette Leclerq, Brittany France

Speaking of migration and waiting and wanting news of Blue 464, it is more than time to check on the Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia.

First up, Karl II, his daughter Pikne, and his son Udu. They are from the Black Stork nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia. This map is taken from the Karl II migration pages of the Forum.

Udu is now in Hungary near the fishponds at Banhalma. Karl II remains around Kherson Oblata in the Ukraine. Pikne has doubled back and remains in Moldova. What I think is interesting about this map is that Udu has turned and is heading towards the Asia Minor route. There was a question as to whether he might go the western route to Africa but it seems he will be flying over Greece.

This is the data from BirdMap. You can access the BirdMap here:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

I was wanting to see about the Black stork Julge. He is Jan and Janika’s only surviving chick this year. He is now in france. You can see him still heading over the westerly routing.

The birds that are in the centre of Africa are two Ospreys!

So far everything looks in order and everyone is still safe.

I cannot bring you a late afternoon update on the Port Lincoln Ospreys. The camera was frozen for most of the day and has just returned to normal. Mom has the kids covered tight. It is only 8 degrees at 16:00 with winds blowing over the water at 11 kph.

I can show you a bit of what a beautiful day it was on the Canadian prairies. I really need to practice with my camera and my tripod. These are some images today taken at a distance of about 68 metres. I found the tripod tricky to use – I need a counterbalance for it – so these are all hand held. The set up was heavy. But there were a few passable images.

A female Mallard. This species is very common in Manitoba. They have, on occasion, fooled me so I have had to go to our local eBird expert. This is a real beauty.

The Canada Geese would like the entire pond to themselves. They swim after and honk as they pursue the ducks.

There is your dabbling duck. She knows that goose is there but is trying to ignore it.

The park was just beautiful. It was 25 degrees today. One of the fountains was not working and that end of the pond had men working. Still the geese on the other side were a bit curious.

All of the Wood Ducks were either up on the islands or down by the fountain that was working. This is a female and she is such a cutie. I sat and watched her swim in and out of the water droplets for quite awhile.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow is a day away chasing shore birds. I hope to have a posting tomorrow evening (Thursday). Take care everyone. Stay safe. Stay Positive!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Friends of Ospreys, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia, BirdMap, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Fall Migration on the Prairies

There has been a lot of noise in the Winnipeg birding community about a Green Heron at a park south of our City. People love to watch the herons fish and the sheer gracefulness of their movements.

There was no heron. We had missed it by half an hour but, it was a beautiful place to walk. The only thing you could hear was the chattering of a Red Squirrel.

Groups of Canada Geese were in the fields where the farmers had harvested the grain.

As we continued down the gravel road, overhead two skein of geese in the typical ‘V’ formation flew in front of us. Did you know that by flying in the ‘V’ formation, the geese not only conserve some of their energy by it is thought that their hearing and sight are enhanced. We decided to try and locate where the geese were going.

There were geese everywhere. They cannot read the sign!

Besides geese, there were Double-Crested Cormorants, Ring Billed Gulls, and a few Mallards.

Oh, this one was a beauty. He has been in the water and was drying his wings. Those feathers are not waterproof. To help them underwater, they have sealed nostrils, great underwater vision, and look at that tail – it functions as a rudder.

I thought he was a rather attractive bird.

The plumage of the Double Crested Cormorants below is lighter than the one above which is a breeding adult. I believe these two are immature.

There is always one very cute little female Mallard.

The Ring Billed Gull had a few friends in the water. I had a very hard time determining the colour of this one’s bill. If it is yellow with the black tip, it is an adult. If it is pink with a black tip, it is a juvenile. Are its legs and feet also pale pink? If so, it is a juvenile.

The birds continue to travel through our City as fall migration continues. All of the birding organizations in my province are gearing up for fall workshops. If you live in Manitoba, you might want to check these two out. If you live elsewhere – as I know most of you do – check your local birding associations.

Near me have been fields of Sandhill Cranes, many of them dancing. Someone spotted three Moose together on a farmer’s field, too. Because of the fires and the drought, all of the animals and birds are hungry.

There has been no word from Sharyn Broni, the Ranger at Taiaroa Head about Tiaki. Her GPS indicates that she has fledged but she is on land!

Here is the link to check on both Tiaki and her dad, Lime Green Black (LGK):

Chicks have been rescued if they got off to a rocky start on their fledge. I want to wait and hear what the rangers say about Tiaki.

Thank you for joining me. I hope that wherever you live you can get outside and enjoy some beautiful fall weather with the birds. Take care. See you soon!

Did Tiaki fledge?

The winds were blowing strong over Taiaroa Head yesterday. Albies filled the skies.

Even the container ship was pulling to one side they were so strong.

Hovering chicks were trying their wings. One, in particular, caught the eye of the camera operator.

Is this Tiaki fledgling? the 9th of September at 18:18? at 229 days old? If it is, the Rangers were really lucky to have gotten her GPS tracker on her yesterday.

We will have to wait for confirmation from Ranger Sharyn on Friday. Wow. I wonder how many other hovering chicks fledged yesterday in those strong winds? See how the Albie catchies the right wind and they are simply off. That is what Albatross and Ospreys do. They catch the winds. This allows them not to expend so much energy flapping. They are like gliders covering great distances with little effort.

Have a great day everyone. I will watch for the announcement and confirm later today. Ranger Sharyn and her team will have to be out checking all of the chicks to see who is still with them. Hopefully, they will go and check on Tiaki first. She did not sleep in or near the nest last night.

Thanks to your GPS we will get to see Tiaki’s location til her first molt. Yippee.

Tiaki practicing her hovering earlier. Stay safe Tiaki – good winds and lots of fish.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Checking in on Australia

It is raining in parts of Australia. Orange got 50 mm and there are floods about while there was 37 mm out at the Campus where the scrape box of Peregrine Falcon couple, Xavier and Diamond, have their scrape box.

Diamond has spent time on the ledge and going back to the scrape box looking like she is concentrating on that first egg. What do you think? Maybe today?

Sadly, the poor weather might be impacting Dad’s ability to bring in prey to the two babies in the Ironbark Tree. Until now, there has been little to no demonstrations of dominance but yesterday the prey diminished and WBSE 27 started telling the little one who is boss. It is unclear if WBSE 28 had any of the morning fish. WBSE 27 is 26 days old today and WBSE 28 is 24 days old. Oh, I hope this stops. There is enough for everyone! Most people say that the parents will not step in. And, as you know, if I hear survival of the fittest one more time I might scream loud enough for someone to hear me in Australia! All you have to do is to think about Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest or Tiny Little — those tortured little ones turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. I wish Tiny Tot had a tag and a satellite transmitter. I sure would like to see what she is doing in a couple of years. If there are two Ospreys that will survive it is those two. And they started out like WBSE 28. Of course, only worse for Tiny Tot.

Mom was looking particularly beautiful over in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. The colour of the water contrasted with the nest lining — well, it is gorgeous.

The female at Collins Street in Melbourne certainly looks like she is going to lay her second egg today. She is getting full in the bottom just like Diamond. She is certainly plunked down in that scrape box with that stern look she can give. It must be quite uncomfortable laying eggs!

I don’t do a lot of reporting on the Albatross despite the fact that not only am I fond of them but I really want our oceans to be cleaned up and the fish stocks renewed so that all of the sea birds are promised some kind of a decent life. Sharon Dunne does a great job running the FB group as well as keeping us abreast of everything ‘Tiaki’, the Royal cam chick of the 2021 year.

Ms Pippa Atawhai was just the cutest little albatross chick and her parents were incredible. She was the 2020 Royal Cam Chick. Her nest was close to the visitor’s centre. Tiaki’s nest is down close to other nests. Some are less than 3 metres away. This has led to a lot of ‘drama’ between the chicks! Seriously. I thought it was only the juveniles that caused mischief. Oh, no. These gals can seriously get with the squabbling.

The Cornell Bird Lab caught that on camera today. Have a look:

It reminds me of my garden. Before I seriously started watching birds and their behaviour, it seemed they all got along and lived in some kind of sing song happy land. Oh, geez. There is even a hierarchy in our garden! Incredible. Have you noticed this behaviour at your feeders? Is this why we say ‘Pecking Order’?

This was a quick check in. I am restless – not knowing for sure if Malin is alive or dead or nothing can be determined. But I want to leave you with an uplifting story and a lesson. Yesterday I reported on the Osprey that had been hanging upside down in a tree for two days because of being entangled in fishing line. The beautiful bird had pulled all of its muscles from being upside down. The bird, at 45 feet, was ten feet more than the climber could reach so he used an extension net and a pole saw to cut the line and catch the bird in one swoop. On the ground the bird was detangled from the line. A stainless steel treble hook – for catching 3 fish at once – had gone through the talons of this baby. Today, this young one is healing. The lesson is ——- clean up after you go fishing. Join in groups to clear the shores of rivers and lakes of fishing debris that gets caught in them. Help our water birds!

I took these screen shots from A Place Called Hope’s FB page. They have a wonderful video on their site of this rescue and I urge you to search FB, find their home page, and watch it. It is very moving. What wonderful people these people are – there is not a situation too challenging and if a bird can be saved, A Place Called Hope will give it that chance.

Thank you for joining me today. I am certain that Collins Street will have another egg tomorrow and well, Diamond might have one as well. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cornell Bird Lab, The Falcon Project with Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and A Place Called Hope FB page.

Tiny Little finds a whole fish, Only Bob does a proper fledge and other tales in Bird World

Whenever there are sad moments in Ospreyland, I find it is always comforting to head down and spend some time with Taiki, the Royal Cam Albatross in New Zealand. Taiki was 170 days old today and she weighed 8 kg. She was at 8.2 kg. Around this stage in their lives the weight of the chicks stabilizes – meaning they will not gain vast amounts of weight as they will be focusing on getting their wings strong for flight. If, however, the chick’s weight drops too much, the rangers will provide supplementary feedings. Taiki is right at that point where they are watching her.

Lady Hawk posted a video of Lime-Green-Lime, the mom, coming in to give Taiki a feeding. If you haven’t seen the adults feed their chicks, please have a look. Taiki will be making food callings and her bill will be clacking at the parent’s. That is to stimulate the feeding. Taiki was taught this when she was just a day old. How precious. LGL does beautiful sky calls.

Tiny Little spent his first night alone in that big Osprey nest at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria. When asked if Tiny Little would be lonesome for his older siblings now that they have fledged, one person on FB said, ‘Not the way they treated him’. Yes, Tiny Little might not have survived but he did! And we are all so happy. Tiny Little was flapping his wings hard wanting to fly but it will be a few days more. Hopefully he won’t get too restless.

Both White YW and Blue 35 have been alarming and flying on and off the nest. This happened around 6:10 am.

Tiny Little did what he had been taught. Stay as still as you can and don’t move – keep your head down!

By 6: 19 the disturbance seemed to be over and Tiny was looking around hoping for a fish delivery.

There are advantages of being on the nest alone. Tiny Tot at Achieva was a pro at finding fish scraps. Look what Tiny Little finds around lunch time! You got it – an entire fish hidden in the nest!!!!

He looks around to check and see if anyone else is around and then he tucks in. He is still eating when Blue 462 lands in the nest two hours later.

Tiny Little is not showing 462 what he is mantling. Meanwhile 462 is pecking around the nest to see if there are any fish scraps left. Smart one Tiny Little!

What an absolutely tranquil scene at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. The cows are out in the fields and Dysynni was in the nest with his sister, Ystwyth, waiting for a breakfast delivery from dad, Idris.

It is a beautiful day up in Scotland at Loch of the Lowes and both fledglings, LR1 and LR2 are in the nest waiting for breakfast, too.

Those two are just beautiful. Well done Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Looks like they decided to pose and look at the camera instead of turning away. Thank you! You are both gorgeous fledglings!

The Rutland Manton Bay nest is growing grass after the Two Bobs fledged. Little birds have been around but seldom do we see any of the Ospreys —–until there is a fish drop and then everyone seems to show up.

Blue 33 shows up with a nice Bream and both 095 and 096 land simultaneously. 095 gets the fish in its talons.

You can see Blue 33 flying off leaving the two kids to sort the fish.

Blue 33 returns less than a minute later. Is he looking for Maya to feed the chicks? He leaves as quickly as he arrives.

Blue 095 is starting to eat the fish. No worries there will be plenty for 096.

Have a look back in time. Here are 095 ad 096 exactly two months ago tucking into a Bream. Just imagine. They are so tiny and now they are preparing themselves to migrate in about six weeks. Gosh they were cute!

It is now around noon in the UK. Only Bob, Blue 496 decided to take a flying spin around the Llyn Clywedog Nest straight to the trees where Dylan goes around 11:47. Yesterday, Only Bob flew to the camera post but today they are counting this as his official fledge! It was a great one, too. Mom, Seren 5F was on the nest with him watching her baby take those next steps.

Seren leaves and Only Bob moves over to the rim of the nest looking at his target. Those trees that he sees dad come out of.

And he’s off. If you look at the right side of the image you will see his two legs flying and heading for the trees! Gosh that must feel fantastic.

A couple of hours later, Seren has a nice fish on that nest trying to lure Only Bob over to have some lunch. It was really interesting watching Seren look at or for Only Bob. At times it sounded like she was talking to him – has slipped trying to land on the rim and is on a lower branch of the tree. Only Bob is 50 days old today.

What a great day in UK Ospreyland. Things are going really well. Aran was seen flying high over at Glaslyn today which is a good sign of an improvement. Hopefully he is not having to contend with intruders. Z2 actually landed on the Glaslyn nest the other day – his nest and chick are at the Pont Cresor nest which many consider to be close to Glaslyn. Sadly, one of the chicks on the Charlo Montana Osprey nest died because of bailing twine. If you don’t know, it is what farmers use to tie up large hay bails. So sad. Montana seems to be having a rather bad year with this twine winding up in the nests.

That is it for me today. Thank you for joining me to check in on all the babes. Take care. Enjoy your Tuesday wherever you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots and to Lady Hawk for her videos: Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LRWT and the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey Nest, and Carnyx Wild and the Clywedog Osprey Nest.

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.

Need a relaxing bird nest to watch?

After the trauma of the Cowlitz and Osyoos Osprey Nests, it is time sometimes good to pull back – to breathe – and watch a bird nest where there is absolutely no drama. Right now, these nests can be hard to find. The juvenile Bald Eagles in almost every nest in the United States have fledged. The Osprey chicks in certain areas of the US have already fledged. The Osprey chicks in the United Kingdom are preparing to fledge. In Australia, Lady and Dad have two eggs on their White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest while Mom and Dad at Port Lincoln are thinking about eggs (or were the last time I checked). Xavier and Diamond have yet to kick Izzi out of the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange and nothing as yet is happening with those two cute Peregrine Falcons on the CBD in Melbourne. So I am going to recommend two quite different nests for you to try. The chicks are nothing short of adorable. I have mentioned both of these nests at one time or another but they both need to be mentioned again.

Kindness is nothing short of cute. She just has her nice charcoal thermal down and she is just beginning to take steps. It doesn’t get much better than the Bald Eagle Nest up at the Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska, this time of year. Her dad sometimes gets six big fish up to the nest in a day!

Kindness is 41 days old today. As per the average fledge age in Alaska, she is not even half way there. Look – she still has cute little dandelions on her head! 89 days to fledge in Alaska. So, please check her out.

Kindness is having her evening meal. Look at that crop and dad is still feeding her! (I think it is dad). She is going to be a big healthy girl.

Here is the link to watch Kindness:

The second nest is always calm. It is the Royal Albatross Cam on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. Join the FB group administered by Sharon Dunne otherwise known fondly by so many of you as Lady Hawk, guess the chick’s weight every Monday, meet some nice people, and learn about the challenges these beautiful sea birds have.

This year’s royal cam chick’s name is Taiki. She is the daughter of Lime Green Lime (LGL) and Lime Green Black (LGK). She is old enough to be left alone on her nest while her parents fly out to sea to forage for food for her. And don’t worry. It isn’t like sitting around wondering if Wattsworth will ever show up with a fish or will Jack bring one to Tiny Tot – if something happens the NZ Department of Conservation Rangers will jump into action. Any chick that does not get fed and is under weight gets supplementary feedings of squid. If they get hot, they have their own sprinkler system! NZ knows that wildlife is at risk because of climate change. No one needs to ask for permissions that take days or weeks to come to help a bird.

Taiki is 157 days old. Her name means protector and carer. She weighed 8kg at the last weigh in. That is 17.64 lbs. The weight of the chicks is stabilizing now. Instead of gaining they will level off. Taiki will fledge in mid-September. So you have quite awhile to watch her build play nests, flap her wings, and change from a chick into a beautiful looking fledgling. Her black wings are coming through nicely.

Here is one of the feedings a few weeks ago. More of Taiki’s black wing feathers are visible now.

You can watch the Royal cam chick, her parents flying in to feed her, the rangers doing the weight checks using a laundry baskets, and Taiki visiting with adults and the chick close by. Remember to also check out the Royal Cam FB group.

Here is Taiki just waking up in New Zealand today. She will stretch her legs and wings as she looks out over the beautiful landscape.

Here is the link to the camera:

Thank you for joining me. I hope that you will check in on these two nests once in awhile. They can bring a lot of comfort when other nests get stressful.

Thank you to the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam and to the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC for their streaming cams. That is where I took my screen shots.