Indigo fed on top of tower…and other Early Friday news in Bird World

18 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope this newsletter finds all of you well. It is the end of the week. In a fortnight I will be on the island of Grenada in the West Indies visiting my son and looking for birds. He doesn’t know it but I have plotted the spots on the island and I am hoping that we can see at least 25% of the birds on the island – that would be about 40 new species. There are Ospreys right by his office and I am told hummingbirds and hawks in his garden. Can’t wait. With the pandemic, it has been far too long since I have seen him. There are many birds that I do not know or some that have similar names such as the Coot but the one in the Caribbean has a white shield on its head along with its white beak. There are any number of shore birds. So excited. I have a copy of the small book, Birds of the Eastern Caribbean on my desk to help me get acquainted.

In the Mailbox:

An absolutely timely and great question from ‘H’: “Funny you mentioned about the three Stepdads for Peregrine families. I was just thinking about that yesterday. I had wondered if you had ever known any other species where that had occurred. Have you known of any cases where another male had taken over responsibilities of hunting/incubating/parenting duties at the nests of Ospreys or Eagles, for example? (Not including where a chick had intentionally been placed on a different nest) Is this just a Peregrine Falcon thing?”

A bit of background for those not familiar. It is hard to imagine Diamond without Xavier. I recounted in my last blog how Xavier came and helped Diamond with her eyases when Bula disappeared. He was named Xavier because he was a saviour to our dear Diamond and her clutch. The eyases would not have survived having just hatched without Xavier bringing food to Diamond. We all know that Alden stepped in for Grinnell at the University of California at Berkeley scrape belonging to Annie. And we have recently witnessed Male2022 help raise Male2017’s eyases at the ledge scrape of 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. There are a number of instances coming out of the UK where a step dad or extended family members have helped raise clutches including fledglings. But, to get back to the question at hand.

Ospreys go absolutely crazy at the thought the eggs that are in the nest might belong to another male. I posted a couple of video examples a few months back of an osprey kicking the eggs out of the nest that he believed belonged to another male. I have never seen a male Osprey raise another male’s osplets. I have also never seen an eagle of any species take over the role of the male and raise another’s eaglets.

There are, as you seem to have indicated, many instances whereby the fostering of eggs and/or chicks has been successful but that is an entirely different situation to what you are asking. I have tried to find literature on the topic to more fully answer your question and if there is anyone reading this that knows of examples other than Peregrine Falcons becoming active step-dads, please do bring that to my attention.

After reading about ‘J’s’ budgie, Wolpe, Raj writes that they had a very similar incident with their pet birds. ” My pet budgie Daisy was best friends with Blue. Both inseparable. Loving each other always side by side. One day Daisy died. I held Daisy in my palm. Blue was so distressed and loudly screeched when Daisy died. Blue was very quiet not eating or playing.” When a new budget, Sky, came to the family, Blue was not interested. He was only in love with Daisy.” Thank you, Raj. This another beautiful example of the emotions that our feathered friends feel and express.

In the News:

Humans must steer clear of Yew trees as they are very poisonous to us but, not to our charming Nuthatches!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/16/country-diary-the-nuthatch-takes-a-toxin-that-can-paralyse-our-hearts

Australian Nests:

Zoe is a big girl. We knew that when they weighed and banded her but today, Mum purposefully left a nice fish (sans head) for Zoe to see what she would do. Well, Zoe took the fish and ate every last bite including the tail as watchers cheered her on. The fish tail was horked at 11:11.

Zoe takes pulls the fish over so she can eat it as Mum looks on. This is crucial – Mum is full and knows that Zoe needs to self feed and will be fledging soon.

“Nice talons you have, Zoe.” “All the better to scratch you with!”

At Orange, panic might have set in if you looked at the scrape and did not see any eyases in there. Indigo flew out and was on top of the tower. Look carefully and you will see Rubus sleeping in the corner – bottom left reveals his tail.

A really nice and informative interview with Cilla Kinross about the history of the scrape and the Peregrine Falcons at Orange.

Indigo left the scrape at 101439 and he returned at 121012. Diamond had been in the scrape with prey and flew out with it right when Indigo came back. Rubus was really wondering what was going on and gave some of his very loud prey cries.

After a busy morning with 4 prey deliveries in 5 hours – and one being removed – the two lads, Indigo and Rubus, settled down to a nice sleep on the ledge.

I don’t know about anyone else but, I am really pleased that Indigo is returning to the scrape box, flying off for short periods to strengthen him flying techniques, and then returning again for prey and rest. Surely this will help him to be much more successful!

‘A’ sent a link to a video of Indigo being fed on top of the water tower. Thanks, ‘A’! Great clip.

The Red List. No 8. White-tailed Eagle

White – tailed eagle” by gcalsa is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

At one time there were thought to be at least 1400 pairs of breeding White-tailed Eagles in the United Kingdom. By the beginning of the 20th century, the White-tailed Eagle was almost extinct. Before their recent re-introduction, the birds last bred in England and Wales in the 1830s, in Ireland in 1898 and in Scotland in 1916.   The RSPB reports that the last UK birds was shot in Shetland in 1918.

White-tailed eagle” by Ignacio Ferre is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Reintroduction efforts began in 1959 and 1968 in Scotland. They were not successful. Then in 1975, juvenile eagles brought to the UK from Norway were released on the Isle of Rum in the Hebrides. The first pair bred successfully a decade later and now there are 130 pairs of White-tail breeding Eagles across the west and north of Scotland.

White-tail Eagles have added much to the economy and at the Isle of Munn where there are so many, the boost to the local coffers from bird tourism was 5 million GBP. Still, humans kill these beautiful birds.

The reintroduction efforts were the hard work of Roy Dennis and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation. Continuing efforts are now overseen by the Sea Eagle Project Team – a joint effort of the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage. The biggest threats are predation by illegal killing particularly around the grouse hunting estates and secondary poisoning.  

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘A’, OpenVerse, The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and OmarGlobal.

Early Sunday in Bird World

9 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. Nippy as it is only 7 degrees C at noon but, beautiful blue skies, a wee breeze, and no rain in sight. I hope that all of you have had a joyful weekend, have had some time to watch our beloved bird families as they face challenges of feeding two eyases at Orange or delayed food deliveries at Port Lincoln.

Making News:

The RSPB is urging everyone to let the wild grow. While they are focused on the UK, other agencies are doing this throughout the world as the number of insects decreases dramatically.

Did you know?

While Peregrine Falcon chicks are almost born blind, as juveniles they will be able to see a Starling a mile away (or .6 km). That is the reason that some at Cal Falcons Berkeley believe that Annie might have seen her precious Grinnell killed. With the difference in size of the two eyases at Orange and with the eyesight getting more focused daily by the little one, here is a brief article to help us understand how falcons actually see so well.

https://intobirds.com/eyes-of-a-peregrine-falcon/

I thought I would also include Kate St John’s article on Peregrine Falcon Development week by week. It is an excellent reference to what is happening as you watch the eyases at Melbourne and Orange grow and develop.

Nest News:

I know that you will be delighted to see that the adults at the Notre Dame Bald Eagle nest, home of Little Bit ND17, are beginning to rebuild their nest on the cam tree. Smile.

The names for the eyases of Diamond and Xavier at the Orange, Australian scrape are Indigo for the oldest and Rubus for the youngest. How lovely!

I haven’t been counting the bites that Rubus has gotten at each meal; I only do that with third hatch ospreys who are being badly beaked by older siblings or when watching a nest that could become unstable, such as Port Lincoln right now. I have, however, looked for a wee crop on the little one at Orange and haven’t seen one until yesterday. ‘A’ assures me that Diamond is getting better at feeding it and certainly the second feeding appeared to be better than the first with a wee crop on Rubus. Indigo is a great big sibling; she is just bigger and well her neck is longer. She will be getting pin feathers when, today, Rubus is really getting its eyes opened.

There were 5 feedings yesterday with the little one getting a bit more than the day prior. Those feedings were a Starling at 6:39:48; a pigeon at 8:42:33; 10:25:42; leftover pigeon at 12:58:11; another Starling feeding at 15:19:05 and 18: 31:26.

Here are some images of those feedings yesterday. Enjoy! Please note that the top image is the late feeding of the day.

I had actually hoped that Xavier would get a chance to feed the wee ones.

The first fish of the day did not come in until after 1300 at Port Lincoln. There had been some beaking as the three became hungrier and hungrier. It was also the first feeding where I have witnessed beaking. There was a reason. The lineup was Middle, Little, and Big at the farthest point from Mum’s beak. Middle and Little got quite a few big mouthfuls with Little Bob eating a piece of an organ that fell on the nest at 13:10:52. (Thanks, ‘A’). All of the chicks were ever so happy to see a fish that it looked like they were frantically gobbling the food. Big wasn’t getting any, though. He beaked the siblings and had them both afraid of being fed. S/he ate and then when s/he had their fill, the others ate some more. At the end of the feeding all had eaten well except for Mum who must have been ravished herself. Fighting continued at various times throughout the day with a few feeds. Big’s target was, for the most part Middle. Those two do not like each other at all and Big has always been trying to establish its dominance since they were 8 days old.

The chicks were absolutely ravenous when that 1307 fish arrived. I wonder what is keeping Dad from getting the fish to the nest early in the morning? The late deliveries are causing the nest to become unstable. Still, until yesterday, the feedings had not been impacted by food competition. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day of attacks by Big.

Little Bob eats the dropped piece of fish organ all by himself. It was a great horking just like Big did with the fish tail the day prior.

Despite the discord on the nest, all of the chicks managed to get their crops nicely filled at the feedings. Let us all hope that Dad will be able to overcome whatever it is that is stopping him from delivering fish early in the morning.

The four eyases at Melbourne are well fed. Mum spends a long time making sure that each is fed. In the last feeding of the day, you can barely see them as Mum has her back to the camera. There are a couple of glimpses. The eyases are beginning to look like raptors and you can clearly see their crops and the shiny skin on their chest where the feathers are worn off. Great work by Mum and Dad at Melbourne.

The Sydney Sea Eagle camera has been offline sometimes. SE30 spent the night on the nest with a parent above on the parent branch. No sign of SE29 yesterday although it could easily be on the nest tree out of view of the camera. That said, in days prior, SE29 was happy to jump down on the nest with the family so it does make me wonder.

The Bald Eagles in the US continue to visit their nests making a few nestorations or rebuilding an entire nest. They can do it! Let us all send warm wishes to Port Lincoln today for several fish early in the morning. That would go a long way to settling down Big and its fears about food supply. It would be wonderful if the cam would be operating at Sea Eagles – would love to see SE30 when it fledges or a visit from SE29. Meanwhile, we know that the Melbourne Four are going to begin to get itchy and start preening. We also know that they will have loads of prey. Dad is keeping the pantry full. I am especially looking forward to seeing Rubus with its eyes more focused today.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following for their postings and stream cams that made up my screen captures today: RSPB, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Late Saturday in Bird World

8 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

Oh, gosh, golly. It is 16 degrees C with clear blue skies and hardly a breeze. It was the most amazing day to be out at the nature centre. While there are few birds about save for the thousand or more Canada Geese, it was just the smell of the damp leaves underfoot and the warmth of the sun that made the walk so enjoyable today.

As I am sitting here, a male Northern Flicker is drinking at the bird bath. It was a first for the garden and today is Big Bird count day!

This is not my photo but aren’t these just beautiful birds. Of course, no camera when this visitor was in the garden! Typical. It was also just refreshing to sit and watch this gorgeous bird drink and drink. I wonder where it came from and where it is going.

Northern Flicker” by cdbtx is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I wonder if it has been feeding on some of the old wood stumps left in the garden to rot. They provide lots of insects for birds like the Northern Flicker.

Making News:

The RSPB in the UK is making news along with thousands of other people and many organizations over the recent policies that could harm wildlife in the UK – many reversals of previous policies and platforms. Many are picketing throughout the country to draw attention to the need for protecting the birds and animals. It is being called a ‘growing rebellion of ordinary people’ over the anti-nature programme of the current government. For me, the fact that people, just like you and me, are up in arms about attitudes that do not protect our beloved birds and animals – and fish – is a huge step in letting governments around the world know that we do care and that they must generate programmes to protect our precious wildlife.

At the same time, the RSPB has a super website (especially an area for teachers) with all kinds of fun facts, activities, and news. I was reminded to take a look at how well my attempts at being ‘green’ are doing. It is time for me to do a double check. What started with my granddaughter earning badges for her Girl Guides set me on a path to trying, as much as one person can do, to make the future better for her and the animals we both love. We know more now so it is time to see what else I can do. How are you doing?

Here are some ideas from the RSPB.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/community-and-advice/green-living/ways-to-go-green-at-work/

It is also the time of year when you can sit back and relax. No need to rake and bag those leaves that are falling. Leave them! Here is an article that tells you the many reasons to do nothing.

The Raptor Persecution UK group are investigating three raptors that were killed in my old home county of Lincolnshire. The killing of raptors appears to be growing and growing as are the number of investigations. Many have been extremely concerned with the lack of penalties for those admitting killing the birds of prey.

https://raptorpersecutionuk.org/blog-2/

Morning Catch up with the Australia Nests:

The first breakfast served up was no surprise – the Dad at Melbourne sounded the alarm that prey was ready at 0630!

At Port Lincoln, Mum is decorating the nest while Little Bob yells at Dad to bring in some fish! She is also finding old pieces of fish as she cleans the neck and one of the big Bobs enjoyed a nice fish tail at 0701. They are all waiting for breakfast.

Over the years I have counted the bites that the third hatch osplets are getting, often with tears streaming down my cheeks when they get nothing – nothing for days on end. I have to admit, set against that background, that I tense up watching the feed at the Orange scrape. Breakfast began at 0639. Eleven minutes passed before the little one got any bites. The poor thing almost used all its energy keeping its head erect and beak often – the wee one did fall and twist and often it was frustrating for Diamond who did try, on a couple of occasions prior to 0650 to put bites in its mouth. At 0650 until well near 0654, the wee one got some nice big bites. Relief. Absolute relief.

Gosh, I feel so much better after seeing this feeding first thing in the morning. I never thought I would be shy of watching Diamond feeding chicks but, I have certainly become that way. It appears that the little one is not going to get fed as long as the big siblings head is way above its. When big sibling gets full, it leans down and then Diamond will lean over easily and feed the baby. Soon, its eyes will focus and if the big nice bites continue it will get stronger and all worries will be cast aside.

It is a very wet day in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE30 is soaked to the core and is continually shaking off the rain. Lady and Dad flew into the nest to deliver a nice fish for breakfast for SE30. At the same time, they began honking and alarming at the Currawongs that had followed them. SE30 will surely not fledge today if this heavy rain persists.

One of the parents stayed on the nest tree watching so that SE30 could eat. I wonder where SE29 is this morning?

Thank you for this quick check in at all four of the Australian nests. Everyone – on screen – has been fed but the Port Lincoln Osplets and we could not see where or if SE29 had a breakfish. Meanwhile, let us all hope that the weather breaks at Sydney and that the Currawongs decide to take a holiday! Wouldn’t that be lovely? Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their images, posts, or streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Creative Commons, The Gardening Channel, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

Late Thursday in Bird World

6 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for joining me for a late check in. Our weather turned. Yesterday it was 21 C and we woke to 2 degrees C. It is now a balmy 4 degrees!!! Time to pull out that Possum beanie and a heavier jacket.

I have spent so much time checking on the Australian nests and worrying about Little Bob at Port Lincoln always getting his fill of fish that other nest news has been – well, neglected turns out to be the right word. So I have brought in some news form various sources that has been posted that should be of interest to everyone. I was particularly interested in Victor Hurley’s discussion of peregrine falcons and what has happened at the lege scrape – it certainly helps our understanding. Sadly, it does not bring our beloved M17 back. Other reports about eagles rebuilding and a lovely video on the banding of osplets. We will be looking forward to November when Port Lincoln chicks will be banded and weighed and measured. They will get names and one of them will get a sat-pak.

Making News:

Victor Hurley has posted an update on the adult falcons, M17 and F17, that were at the nest on the ledge at 367 Collins Street. This information is very helpful to understand what is going on at the scrape box with M22 and F22.

Photographs of Connie and Clive, alive and well, on Captiva have been released by Window to Wildlife. They will rebuild! I have seen no news on Lena and Andy. Their nest platform was completely destroyed and will, when the time is right, need to be replaced.

Harriet and M15 have been photographed rebuilding at their nest tree on the property of the Pritchett Family in Fort Myers, Florida following Hurricane Ian.

A great video showing the ringing of osprey chicks. Have a look!

The Bald Eagle couple on the E-3 nest at Kistache National Forest in Louisiana were caught on camera. The male delivered a fish to the nest and you should see the female squeeing and grabbing – first his poor talon and finally the fish. A quick look and then slo-mo. Incredible footage.

Cilla Kinross posted a video of the feeding of chick 2 at Orange. So cute. There has been some concern that the little one is not getting enough bites. Let’s see how it does today. I witnessed a few good bites at one feeding yesterday.

The sun came up at Melbourne and Mum22 went and found some leftover pigeon in the family pantry and is feeding the wee ones. It is 0645.

SE29 spent the night perched on the parent branch of the old Ironwood tree. SE30 did not have to be lonely. Later, you can see that an adult is higher up on the branch. SE29 and that adult have been encouraging SE30 to get higher on the branch and it worked! SE30 so wants to do what 29 is doing – flying but, s/he will in their own good time. Best to have the confidence than to get caught up being afraid with the Currawongs around.

Look carefully. SE29 is on the branch above SE30 and a parent is to the far left. You can see the white of their head in the V of the branch.

SE30 can sleep adult style!

You can see SE29 and the adult better in the image below.

SE30 is being encouraged by 29. It is up on the branch. Did I say that these two remind me so much of 25 and 26?

Well done 30!

29 has flown off and 30 is back down lower towards the nest looking out at that big world.

SE30 looks up to 29 (under the adult). I am sure we will see 30 getting higher on the branch, today. He so wants to be with his sibling.

They are waiting for a fish delivery at Port Lincoln. Big and Middle have already been at one another – the minute Mum gets off of them. Little just curls up and hides. It is the one difference from Ervie. Ervie stood up, looked at Big and gave it back. In this instance the beaking is much more violent than it was with Bazza. I don’t blame Little for just staying out of the way. No need to enter into the conflict. Just eat your meal and get out of the way.

Mum puts an end to it all but just sitting on them as best she can!

There was a feeding at 0633 at Orange. I could not possibly tell you how much the wee one got – but some, once its little head was still. Then, Diamond turned her back to the camera!

Such a big yawn out of such a little eyas.

Oopsie!

It appears that the wee one, once straightened up, did get some good bites.

Thank you so much for being with me this late afternoon. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures, their posts, and videos: 367 Collins Street Watchers, Window to Wildlife, SWFL Eagles and Donna Lee, RSPB, KNF, Dr Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

Victor flies in the aviary…and other news on Friday

2 September 2022

Friday is going to be a much nicer day in terms of weather. It has been sweltering on the Canadian prairies. The high will be 21 and not 32! It is hard to imagine it being 32 degrees at the beginning of September in Winnipeg. The sun is bright and the sky is blue without a cloud in sight. It will be a good day to go to the nature centre for that long walk and to see how those little ducklings have grown this week. The egrets were still in Winnipeg last night. They attracted a few of us to gasp at their beauty as they flew into their roosting tree at sunset.

No matter what is happening today in your life, take the time to marvel at the work of the wildlife rehabbers who are giving our darling raptors a second chance to live out their lives soaring in the skies. Smile. Victor is flying!!!!!!!!!!!!

Making News:

The Ojai Raptor Centre has done an amazing job getting Victor to flying in the large aviary from the patient that arrived with severe zinc toxicity. They posted a Victor of our dear Victor flying so well. So thankful for Dr Sharpe and everyone who gave Victor his second chance! What a wonderful sight to see ——-Victor flying and not having to do physio being supported by a human lifting a towel. Tears.

Whenever you think about intervention and someone says ‘nature will take care of it’ ——think of our dear Victor and tell them about him. Maybe you can gently change their mind. Or you could tell them about Little Bit ND17 – or both!!!!!!

You might remember that one of the two eaglets on the US Steel Bald eagle nest fludged and, in the process, tore many of its feathers. It was taken into care. Here is the most recent news on this lucky eaglet who is getting its second chance!

Rosie’s broken feather on the right.

The new feathers being inserted. They will fall out when Rosie has her first moult. Oh, what a very lucky eaglet! Just like Victor and Little Bit.

Migration counts at Hawk Mountain:

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

As hurricane season is with us, researchers are looking at how our warming earth and hurricanes are impacting our feathered friends.

https://www.audubon.org/news/how-bird-researchers-are-tracking-impacts-intensifying-hurricane-seasons

If you are living where Baltimore Orioles will or are passing through, heading to their winter homes, remember to put out the oranges and the jelly (they love other flavours than grape, too) for them to help build their energy.

The RSPB gives us all some ideas about how we can better ‘green’ our lives.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/community-and-advice/green-living/

I was extremely interested in their article on how to create a garden that is beneficial for wildlife. It is always good to look for new and better ways to take care of those garden friends that come to us for food, shade, and shelter.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/gardening-for-wildlife/creating-a-wildlife-friendly-garden/

Nest News:

Who could have predicted that the Hellgate Canyon nest would have a visit from both dear Iris and Louis on Thursday? What a pleasure it is to see her. Like so many of you, I have growled at Louis but, in the end, Iris seems much happier when he is about so…I am going to stop moaning when I see Louis. I wonder if this is the pair together, Iris saying goodbye to all of us until next spring?

Beautiful Iris. If this is the last time we see you this year, travel safe, always have a full crop, enjoy your winter but return in the spring. You give us hope and inspiration.

And she is off, the oldest osprey in the world living in the wild.

Feeding time for the Sea Eagles. Notice how much progress they are making in terms of plumage but also, in standing.

There was another prey delivery at 1200 and SE30 did some impressive mantling on its arrival.

Xavier brought Diamond a nicely dressed pigeon for breakfast. She was thrilled and Dad got to spend some time incubating those three eggs in the scrape at Orange.

At the 367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne, the little Dad loves taking care of the eggies just as much as Xavier does. Here is an early morning hand over.

The Collins Street Mum just found ‘us’!

Mum and Dad have such a good routine at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum knows that Dad is coming with a partial fish for her. She would have seen him eating his portion on the ropes before arriving at the nest and transferring the rest of the fish to her. Typically, the males eat the heads of the fish. Then Dad gets a chance to incubate the eggs, too. Great system. Gives Mum a nice quiet time to have her lunch. It sure won’t be quiet in a couple of weeks!!!!!!

Dad brings in some more decorations for the nest later.

The check on Karl II and his family as they migrate shows us that Karl II is following his normal flight path. Everyone hopes that he will be changing his trajectory as this normal path will have him flying directly into Kherson an area that is quite unsafe. Looduskalender posted the different colours for his flight this year and Karl II’s last two years.

Karl flew fast and quick to get into Belarus. Let us all hope that the winds carry him to his favourite tree -safely and quickly- in the very centre of Africa.

Bonus appears to be in Belarus near Makarychy in the Gomel Oblatst. He must be finding a good food source in the Pripyat River marshes.

Kaia’s tracker came on and showed she had traveled 28.8 km. She remains in Ukraine.*

Waba – no data since 30 August.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Wishing our Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia safe, safe travels. It will be interesting to see what Karl II does as he approaches Ukraine. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following whose posts, videos, and streaming cams made up my news for the day: Ojai Raptor Centre, Hawk Mountain, Audubon, RSPB, Montana Ospreys, Tamarack Wildlife Centre, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Looduskalender.

  • I have inadvertently been using the term ‘the Ukraine’. Having lived in the 2nd largest area of Ukrainians many decades prior to the country’s independence, it became a habit to say ‘the’. Now it is not appropriate. Ukraine is, of course, its own independent country. Apologies to anyone who might have been offended by my oversight.

Remembering Lindsay…and more. It’s Friday in Bird World

26 August 2022

Amidst the joy of Peregrine Falcon eggs in Australia at both Orange and Melbourne, the loss of dear Lindsay, the eldest of the two siblings hatched at The Campanile on the grounds of the University of California-Berkeley, remains heavy – a real heartbreaker. From the news it is apparent that Lindsay died several weeks ago; her body just being found today. She was last seen on the Campanile on 5 August precisely three months after she hatched on 5 May. A life cut way too short.

Lindsay was one of a two-part miracle. Lindsay’s Mum, Annie lost her mate Grinnell when he was killed after chasing an intruder away from The Campanile. There was worry that there would be no chicks this season. Alden arrived in 5 or 6 hours hours (already a friend of Annie and Grinnell’s) and offered to help Annie incubate the eggs and take care of the chicks. We rejoiced at the love the two siblings had for one another, when they played, and when they chased moths. They grew strong and they flew. It is with such deep sadness that we say goodbye to Lindsay today. Fly high, Sweet Girl. Soar to new heights you never imagined.

Here is the full announcement from Cal Falcons. It appears that Lindsay’s death, from the evidence found from her body, was killed by another raptor.

It is heartbreaking. Lindsay had such potential and, of course, it is very possible that she was the last chick our beloved Grinnell fathered. She brought us such joy! I would like to share a few images of this remarkable falcon moving back in time from the last sighting of her on The Campanile on 5 August to the day she hatched.

Lindsay and Grinnell, Jr adopted many of the quirks of Alden including loafing. Annie has perfected it!

Annie and Grinnell, Jr playing together at The Campanile. The two siblings seemed to really enjoy playing with one another, something that I have not seen for a long, long time. It was refreshing.

Lindsay on the roof of the library on 18 June after fledging. Just look at this exceptionally beautiful juvenile. Stunning.

Do you remember banding day 27 May (on the right)? Lindsay was frightened but quiet. Alden would not stop being loud! Lindsay was still sit ting with a not so scared look on her face in early June.

Lindsay was also sitting in that same pose on 22 May.

Hatch day for Lindsay, 5 May. Grinnell wants to come and help. Annie is not sharing – yet – but she will and each of us will rejoice watching this wonderful family.

‘H’ just sent this press release on Lindsay. Thank you, ‘H’. Just made it before I hit send! Grateful.


From the Mailbox:

‘M’ writes: What do you think about this from Dyfi project? I am not sure I would pass off some of that behaviour as just “playing”, at least not based on how the smaller chick reacts. Wondered about your view, based on your study of third hatches.”

For transparency, I posted the information from Dyfi in one of my blogs. Emyr Evans has a long history with the Dyfi Nest in Wales. I have great respect for him but, in this instance, I choose to disagree.

In the UK Osplet deaths are generally attributed to either very poor weather in the early days after hatching or lack of prey, starvation not siblicide. There is little history of siblicide; there are so few breeding pairs and chicks compared to North America. This year, however, we did see it at the Loch of the Lowes Nest. It was rather horrific treatment of the third hatch that was killed by the eldest during a period of low prey delivery.

As you are aware, my research is on siblicide and, in particular, the success of any third hatch osplets vs the other two siblings. Because I track the juveniles long term this is limited to those that are ‘ringed’ and/or ringed with SAT tracking. My findings also rely on the good fortune of someone seeing the juveniles in the future and providing that information to various data bases! In my experience, the aggression shown by older siblings ranges from mild displays of dominance to more serious concerns that seem to taper off around the age of 26-28 days. Serious aggression often ends in the death of the smaller weaker sibling. There is much research to support the fact that it is not always about food. Sometimes it is just dominance.

‘M’ this, in my opinion, is not play. It is establishing the dominant bird on the nest. The dominant bird will eat first and if there is little food it will be the only chick that eats. Had food been scarce the treatment might have escalated but, thankfully, it didn’t. Gender may play significant roles also with the females requiring more food to grow 1/3 larger and feather a larger body. Thus, the females, especially if they are the first hatch, tend to be more aggressive.

Multiple times this year we have seen the third hatch killed by the eldest sibling and sometimes in conjunction with the middle one. As mentioned, this happened at the Loch of the Lowes this year when food was scarce. It also happened at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest amongst others. It also happens on eagle nests and other species. However, there appears to be a higher rate of siblicide among North American Ospreys than those in the UK. It is likely that these numbers reflect the higher population of Ospreys in North America. In addition, the lochs are full of fish and there are restrictions on many of them to prevent human intrusion during the breeding season.

Loch of the Lowes

In the News:

We are going to start with some fantastic news. When I lived in the UK, I studied in Leicester but lived in Lincolnshire and Belvoir (pronounced Beaver) Castle was a regular haunt for me – so close to where I resided. For the first time in 200 years, we have Ospreys breeding on top of Belvoir Castle! Oh, my goodness. I am delighted. Here is the BBC News report.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-62675910?fbclid=IwAR2oh_nwcQ04Sgqp9W2VubAHNIWEVdklHCduT0KiCfsp1lu7y_-92-kc-hI

There is more news coming in about the sad state of the White-tail Eagles on Mull Island — known internationally for the birds and their nests.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/mull-white-tailed-eagle-chick-dead-from-bird-flu/?fbclid=IwAR1dQ2AI_bU07KxyTS0T6CeKgHBU0FFA5bnjUFrTF1LOCudnRC2vPFJhjhU

Bird Flu is also killing Black Vultures. Deaths from migration, Avian Flu, human disturbance and killings, fires, habitat loss, lack of food…how many of our raptor friends will be left?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/24/bird-flu-has-killed-700-wild-black-vultures-says-georgia-sanctuary

There is a lovely documentary on YouTube on the return of the Black Storks to Germany in the 1980s. The cinematography is excellent as is the narration. So much to learn – 53 minutes. Find a nice quiet time to watch!

Nest News:

The 367 Collins Street Falcon Cam in Melbourne is up and running. So far there are 2 eggs!

Here is the link to the camera:

As you will be aware, the first egg of the season for Xavier and Diamond at their scrape in Orange was laid at 0713:48.

Diamond resting in the scrape after her labour and the delivery of the first precious egg for these two.

Diamond incubating the egg. How beautiful.

Xavier comes to the scrape to relieve Diamond. A short bonding ritual takes place before Diamond flies off.

Xavier scraping and trying to turn the egg as he settles down.

Xavier carefully rolls the egg.

Everything is alright with the world. Oh, what a joy to finally see the first egg for Diamond and Xavier. Let us all hope that their year is as successful as it was in 2020 with the hatch of the ever adorable Izzi.

Here is the link to one of three cameras for Xavier and Diamond:

I am so used to the Ospreys in the UK and the Dads bringing in a fish right before or when the sun is rising in the morning. That first fish delivery for SE29 and 30 at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest did not come until 12:31 today. Thankfully the chicks were civil and it was not huge but was a good size.

Images from early morning to feeding.

Early morning preening of those itchy feathers.

Beautiful Lady listening and waiting for Dad to bring food to the nest.

SE29 and 30 watching Mum aerate the nest. Just look at how carefully they are looking at her every move. This will imprint in their mind’s and they will know to aerate their own nests.

Finally, a fish has arrived!

Things appear to be going good at the Port Lincoln barge except for Mum making cries for fish. On occasion Dad has flown in eaten more than his fair share while Mum is fish calling. He then delivers the remainder to her. Come on Dad! Dad is taking his turns incubating.

Oh, it seems so long until 19th of September – may the time pass quickly! There is nothing cuter than nestlings a couple of days old.

Checking on Kaia’s transmission. She remains in Belarus. On the 25th of August she flew 123 km. She is now near the village of Liaskavicy. It is in an area that is part of the wetlands of the Pripjat River. There is a national park and the area is considered to be quite safe for Kaia.

Karl II is looking a little tired. Thanks to Urmas the supply of fish continues so that he can feed the four Black Stork fledglings. Soon they will fly and hopefully Karl II will have some days to recover and gain some weight before he leaves. Of course, when they do depart we shall all be worried for them. I wonder if by some means Karl II and the children will meet with Kaia and decide another route to their winter home???

It appears that all of the White Storks from the nest in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic have left for their migration. It is raining heavily and both of the nests of Bukacek and Betty appear so lonely. Safe travels dear family.

Suzanne Arnold Horning has caught L2 on the Cornell Campus! So happy she is here with us. In the history of the nest, it seems that the 28th of August is the last day to see fledglings in the past. Enjoy these moments then with our first fledge of the year. Gosh, she is beautiful. We know that she is catching her own food – she was the second of the fledglings to do so more than a month ago. So all is well with L2.

It is Friday. A friend sent this to me to cheer me up because of Lindsay. I did giggle…love those sour worms. Thank you ‘S’.

Thank you so much for joining me today. If you have any questions, you can send them through the comments page or through e-mail. My address is maryannsteggles@icloud.com Have a fabulous Friday! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and posts that form my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Berkeley News, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB, The Guardian, BBC, 367 Collins Street Falcons and Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydeny Olympic Park, Looduskalender, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky, and Suzanne Arnold Horning.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

23 August 2022

Today turned out to be a very special day (22 August). OK. It is always special when I can go out to the nature centre and do my long walk. It is also a good way to check every nook and cranny for the geese and ducklings. A few had moved from where they were yesterday but many stayed in or close to their normal pond area. I continue to be fascinated that there simply are no Wood Ducks at the nature centre. It is like the two species – Mallards and Wood Ducks – sat down and signed a truce and decided who would go where! There were a lot of birds at the ‘winter’ feeding stations — they must fill the feeders year round. There were several Downy Woodpeckers, two American Goldfinches, a number of Black-capped Chickadees and then a bird sitting in the squirrel feeder that I did not recognize. After going through the birding book, it appears that the little lovely below is an immature female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I certainly welcome any help with this ID.

The most excitement came this evening, however. It is hard to imagine sitting next to a pond which is about 6 metres away from, perhaps, the busiest highway in our City and seeing a Great Egret fly to a tree to join two others. They are part of the heron family but they are very large. In North America they have black legs and a yellow bill. They gather in groups near ponds and wetlands if there is plenty of food. Otherwise, if food is relatively scarce, you will see them alone.

What a magnificent creature.

In the mailbox. Following up with the question about Titi and Boris and the reason for the Janakkalan nest cam in Finland to go offline. We have answers. Thank you ‘S’ for getting back so quickly to us. Boris was seen on the nest two days after Titi’s fledge. It was the morning of 12 August. Titi did not return to the nest while the camera was still operating.

There is a video of Boris’s nest visit.

There were difficulties with the camera and it completely broke down. It will be fixed and will be up and running again next year. ‘N’ did receive a response from the Finnish Osprey Foundation stating that there were a number of Osprey fledglings in the Muonio in Northern Finland. Thank you ‘N’.

Can you help? There is a new book on Peregrine Falcons being written by Richard Sale in the UK. Susan Sale writes with the following information and a question. “My husband is self-publishing a book on the Peregrine Falcon and I am trying to source the following Peregrinus Casini, Japonensis and Pealei. Do you have any photographs of them or perhaps give me some contacts who may and if you or they would be willing to allow use in the book.” If you have any images of any of the three sub-species of Peregrines or you know someone who might be able to help, please contact Richard and Susan at this e-mail address: Richard@snowfinch.co.uk

Several have been wondering about Big Red and Arthur’s L3 and L4 that are currently in care. They ask “Will they, if ever released, be placed near their family so BR and Arthur can find them? If not, Who and How will they learn to hunt after all these WEEKS in the clinic???” L3 and L4 are in very good hands. Just like they would if they were patients in my local wildlife rehabilitation centre, they will learn to fly and they will also be taught how to hunt and catch their own prey. I do not know where they will be released.

‘B’ sent a note and wondered if I had seen Thunder and Akecheta on the West End nest together. I had not and went quickly to rewind and there they were. Thanks ‘B’. We are always happy to see the parents on the nest as well as the fledglings!

‘L’ wrote: “When I grew up in the north of England, along the Pennines…near the Lake District….I never saw an Osprey, Kite, Goshawk, Golden Eagle that were native to our islands as we had eradicated them… I thought all was lost .it wasn’t and these efforts wipe away the despair that can overwhelm you when you ask how can we make a difference. WE make a difference.”

‘L’ you will then be thrilled to learn that the National Trust, RSPB, and the Peak District RaptorGroup just announced two successful Hen Harrier nests this year! And, as you know, the Ospreys are thriving and so are the Goshawks. Isabelle Tree’s re-wilding at Knepp is taking off…there will be more raptors.


Nest News. It is hard to imagine sitting in the heat of summer in the Northern hemisphere but, the forecast is for snow in Orange, Australia. Holly Parsons who heads up the FB group was posting an image of Xavier and Kelli HissiFit Walker, one of the new mods on the streaming cam chat, dressed Xavier for the occasion. I chuckled so loud – I hope you enjoy it. If I were Diamond I would not want to lay eggs in that cold!

Thanks Holly and Kelli for letting me share!

Like Titi at the Janakkalan Osprey nest, LC at the Osoyoos nest doesn’t seem that much interested in fledging — yet. LC is 66 days old today.

As of the 22nd, Telyn was still at the Dyfi Osprey nest. She has not begun her migration yet. There is no rush and the females need to be in top form before they depart. Taking care of three big female chicks really has to be draining because they require much more food.

I went to check on the Sydney Sea Eagles and Lady was feeding SE29 and 30. It was very civil. SE30 did a few quick grabs and kinda looked to make sure 29 wasn’t going to do anything. Lady had it all in hand – a bite for you and then one for you. Back and forth. How lovely.

Sometimes 29 did seem to get more bites than 30.

and then 30 would get a few more…

There is plenty of fish. Both will be full. Just look at the ‘blood feathers growing in on SE29’s back and wings. Oh, they are changing so quickly — and the are simply adorable.

It rained later in the day and Lady spread her big wings and covered those babes who do not, as you can see above have their feather covering.

Dad was in the nest and on alert to any intruders that might be around,

Migrating tracking. Kaia flew in a big loop today staying in the same area that she flew to after she flew north out of the Ukraine.

There is considerable worry for Kaia’s mate, Karl II, and migration has not begun. He normally spends much time at a nature reserve on the Black Sea near Odessa. The area is currently a war zone.

A lovely image of Little Bit 17 was posted by S Basly on the Notre-Dame FB page. It was taken on the 28th of July.

What a wonderful way to end today’s blog with a look at Little Bit 17. He is, of course, a prime example of what an intervention and wildlife rehabilitation can do to give a raptor a second chance at life. Little Bit deserved it and he is living it. Such a beautiful juvenile.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts that made up my screen captures: Notre-Dame Eagles, Looduskalender, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Osoyoos Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Raptor Persecution UK, Explore.org and the IWS, Finnish Osprey Foundation, and the Orange Australia Falcon Cam FB.

Featured image is Thunder and Akecheta on the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands. 22 June 2022

Late Tuesday in Bird World

14 June 2022

I want to start this newsletter off with something wonderful! At the Redding California Bald Eagle nest, Sentry and Star are both on a high branch of the tree. Sentry has found his way home to Liberty, Guardian and Star who has yet to fledge. This is fabulous news!!!!!!!!

The weather in California is beautiful.

The bad weather returned to the Canadian Prairies and thus, also, to the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and E1. The tree is twisting around in the heavy winds at the moment and rain is pouring down.

There are floods in Montana and, we should check on Iris and her nest at Missoula. Iris did not spend the night on the perch or the nest that I could see. There is a wee bird that has made its home and nest under Iris’s big one. Can you see it?

The waters in the Clark Fork River are said to be rising. There are floods in various parts of Montana which means that it is difficult for the Osprey to catch fish. No wonder Iris did not want to share her fabulous catch yesterday with an intruder. Iris is simply amazing. There she is holding that precious fish and fighting off the intruder at the same time! Bless her heart.

The weather is quite bad at the Charlo Montana platform. (For Ospreys but occupied in March by geese…and not aware of current occupants, if any).

There are birds singing at Dunrovin!

Harriet continues to sit on her eggs even though they are well past the day to hatch. Swoop is supporting her. We wonder as do the folks at Dunrovin when they will quit hoping for their miracle.

Why do eggs not hatch? Dunrovin in their newsletter listed the following causes: cold weather, high humidity, lack of food, lack of egg fertilization. They noted that like many places it has been a very cold and wet spring in Montana.

The camera is still down at the ND-LEEF nest. It is 96 degrees at the nest – perhaps more higher up. Thoughts go to Little Bit 17 who desperately needs food (as do the other two but less so than 17).

The tea time feeding at the Loch of the Lowes left Middle and Big with gigantic crops. There was clearly enough fish for three. But we need fish for four – Mum has to eat, too.

Before Little Bob at the Loch of the Lowes was fish begging to Blue NC0 before she tucked them all in for the night. He first looked to see if Big Bob was in a food coma. He was. Little Bob is smart.

It would have been the perfect time for a fish to arrive. Little Bit would have had his fill along with Blue NC0! Sadly it was not to be.

Blue NC0 stood waiting and waiting for a delivery. Finally, everyone is in bed.

They are a beautiful couple – CJ7 and Blue 022 at the Poole Harbour Osprey Platform. Blue 022 brought in a nice big fish for CJ7 and the three Bobs at 21:08. These are first time parents making history in Poole Harbour. There have been no ospreys hatched in Poole Harbour for 200 years.

Know what? They are doing a fantastic job!!!!!!!!!

All is well at the nest of Idris and Telyn in Wales near the River Dyfi. Bobs are well fed and sound asleep. Another great Osprey couple. This is good news…we need all the good news we can muster. Good night Telyn. Good night Bobs. Good night wherever you are, Idris.

Gracious. Look at the crop on Mrs G!

Louis delivered a real whopper to Dorcha and the two surviving chicks at Loch Arkaig. What a monster. Everyone is going to eat well – a good time for it to come on the nest. Hopefully the weather will start giving this nest a break.

Middle Bob looks sassy!

The sheep are bleating. Aran is on his perch and the kids are asleep. It looks like Mrs G is going to go into food coma, too!

Notice the grass growing in the nest. In Finland they have noticed that grass growing in the Osprey nests actually helps hide the chicks from predators. Quite interesting.

At Rutland, the three osplets are fast asleep and Maya is going to take some time to enjoy some fish before lights out, too. Looking forward seeing these three ringed any day now.

The Bobs are still quite small compared to those at the Loch of the Lowes but everything at RSPB Loch Garten with Mr and Mrs AX6 and chicks seems fine.

It is 21:30 at the Llyn Clywedog nest in Wales – the nest of Dylan and Seren and the three Bobs. Seren is giving Dylan grief and telling him to go and get some more fish. Meanwhile the Bobs have eaten very well today. It takes a lot more fish to feed these fast growing large Bobs – and Mum.

Did you know that there are less than 1500 ospreys in the whole of the UK? That includes juveniles, too. There are a little less than 100,000 in the US. I hope to find out the distribution in the US. There are many in the US and the Cape area in the NE area of the US.

At the Manchester NH Peregrine falcon scrape, Clem was returned this morning. It looked like she wasn’t going anywhere for some time and then – she fludged again.

Colum, one of the males, is at the nest now. Little Colby fludged too but photos of him doing well have been posted on the groups FB page.

Lindsay and Grinnell Jr were ‘loafing’ earlier this morning and now I can only find one of them playing hide and seek. Fledge watch is on.

Alden is doing some ‘loafing’ too. Once those two chicks fledge he is going to be even more busy! So glad he signed up for all of this. You are fantastic, Alden.

Gosh. Do you remember when Alden had no idea how to feed a chick? maybe he had never seen one! – most likely.

Both fledgling ospreys from the UFlorida-Gainesville nest were having a fish dinner at 18:00! Lovely. These two have figured it out perfectly. Fly and get your wings strong. Learn about landings and take offs. Fly to the nest and be fed by Mum and Dad. When you are ready, 60 million years of knowledge will have you catching fish without realizing it….if there are fish to be caught.

They are gorgeous!

Oh, those three Black storklets of Jan and Janika are doing fabulous in rehab care at the Vet Clinic. The plastic decoy mother fell into the nest and the chicks were delighted!

Notice also that a couple of times they work to stand on their feet not walk on the ankles. It will not be long til they are standing and walking. Lovely crops. So healthy!

Today has had some really good news. We will continue to watch the Loch of the Lowes nest as well as wait for word of the ND-LEEF nest and Little Bit 17. Did I saw it was 96 degrees on the ground at the nest – hotter above! I hope 17 got some food.

Thank you so much for being with me. Lots of fledge watches – Star at Redding, Star at West End, the Cal Falcons, L4 at Cornell, National Arboretum, etc. The list is long! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen captures, for their FB postings and for the videos uploaded: Liz M and EMU, Peregrine Networks, Cal Falcons, Friends of Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Redding Eagles, MN-DNR, Montana Osprey Project, Owl Research Project Explore.org, Dunrovin, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, LRWT, RSPB Loch Garten, Scottish Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig and People’s Post Code Lottery, and CarnyXWild.