Indigo flies out and in…plus more news in Bird World for Thursday Nov 17

17 November 2022

Oh, good morning to all of you. Thank you so very much for being with me today. I am so very, very happy to be with you! Thank you for all of the wonderful stories that you have sent. I will be working my way through them slowly. Much appreciated. We woke up to more snow. Everything is beautiful and white!

The kidlets, Missy and Lewis, had their first vet visit. I am a glowing proud parent. They were soooooo well behaved. They are not litter mates and the adoption person told us that they might not get along with one another. I have not had more than one kitten since I was a child and did not know what to expect.

I remember one stray that someone left at our gate. when I was a child. Oh, I loved that cat. To me the drab brown tabby was the most beautiful cat in the world. My grandmother was very diplomatic and said, ‘He sure is sweet’. I begged to keep this one particular cat. My dad agreed since it was a ‘boy’. Well, he apparently didn’t check very good…a few weeks later we had a pack of kittens. That tabby lived for more than 10 years. She was incredibly sweet. It is very different, having kittens outside with their mother and kittens in the house – in a conservatory, with very large plant pots and tall vines with flowers, or trees…yes, trees.

But, back to the topic at hand. Lewis and Missy are the best of mates. They do everything together including eating out of the same dish at the same time, drinking out of the same dish at the same time, having to have their paws touch when they are sleeping or sleeping in the same tent. Always together. So off they went in the same pet carrier, not separate, together. Not a single peep. At the vet they were so content. Proud Mum here!

I got a tip from the technician at the vet. One of the biggest culprits for cats will be their teeth. I hope if you have cats and dogs are brushing their teeth or giving them things to facilitate good gum health and clean teeth. If you have tried brushing their teeth and it didn’t work, get a nice flavoured tooth paste. Lewis and Missy like the chicken. Take clean nylon stockings or panty hose. Cut a square. Wrap it around your finger, put a dab of the toothpaste on it and away you go. Be sure to do the back ones and those sharp canines in the front. You can get them used to what you are going to do by rubbing on the outside of their cheek for a couple of days. Small toothbrushes or those prickly things you put on your finger did not – at least not for these two. Panty hose do! And I swore I would never wear the darn things again after I retired. So glad there is some use for them!

Missy is the ‘alpha’ You might recall she had Lewis well aware that she is the boss immediately. The vet saw it too! Indeed, the vet smiled and said, “Always the female!” Anyone watching a raptor on a streaming cam knows this. I said nothing. The odd thing is Lewis is so solid and looks ‘so tough’ and Missey appears to be ‘so fragile’. So funny. Missy is half Maine Coon – but both, at the end of the day, are literally ‘alley cats’. Found new borns taken to the shelter from different parts of my city. We are so lucky to have in our lives.

Missey likes to get inside plant pots – with or without soil. This is the tiny artificial tree that has been put up. The soft felted birds have had to be removed. LOL.

Looking so innocent! “We didn’t do it!”

Today’s action was still at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. Those parents are really making sure that both Rubus and Indigo are well fed. What a fantastic couple they are. The moderator put some history in the chat today and for those of you that do not know – we now have at least three male peregrine falcons that we know of that have started out as step-fathers.

The last sighting of Diamond’s mate, Bull, was on 30 September 2016. Their erases hatched on the 4th and 5th of October. The first sighting of Xavier in the scrape box at Orange was on the 7th of October. He brought prey to Diamond and the babies on the 8th of October. The rest is history as it is with Alden at UC-Berkeley and M2022 at 367 Collins Street.

Aren’t they adorable? Every day Rubus looses more and more dandelions.

Everyone has been wanting to know when Indigo would fly again. He certainly has been eating well and enjoying being back home. Today, right before 14:38 Indigo got a little frantic, running around the scrape just like he did the day before he fledged. At 143802, Indigo flew out of the scrape box. He returned 35 seconds later! I caught it on video for you.

​RECAP of feedings at Orange: 05:29:41 X/quail; 05 32 39 X/St.Quail Indigo Grabs; 06:05 38 X/juv star; 8 39 04 D/prey 8 47 58 D takes leftover quail; 15 41 31 D/pigeon; 18 32 52 X/red-browed Finch; 19 06 55 D/Live Star

‘H’ sent this link to me. It is a split screen video that Cilla Kinross made of a feeding. Disregard the word ‘kestrels’. It is definitely Rubus and Indigo. Thanks, ‘H’. Delightful.

Indigo and Rubus both in the scrape as the IR lights are turning off.

The wind was really blowing and there were lots of white caps at Port Lincoln. It made everyone wonder whether or not there would be any fish today but – alas, it turned out good.

At Port Lincoln, Zoe can surely scream for the fish! I have jokingly said that I hope she lives a long and healthy life with many osplets screaming their heads off to her…their poor Dad. Just imagine.

There have been at least 2 fish deliveries today. Mum was on the ropes eating a fish around 1400. Zoe took absolutely no notice. She was not hungry. Isn’t that grand? No one on this nest hungry. The fish are ever so unstable. But – we will take it. Today is a good day. Mum ate her bit and flew to the nest at 141408 and fed her large daughter.

Zoe doesn’t even seem to know or care if Mum is over on the ropes eating a fish. Normally she would be screaming her head off. Not today. It is a good fish day.

When the feeding was over, Zoe had an enormous crop.

All of the family together. Mum has a very nice crop from the earlier feedings.

Lots of food at Port Lincoln. These are the late time stamps from Gtr Kitarr:  19:16 headless fish by Dad, Mum off w the fish, back at 19:29 to feed Zoe. 20:24 Zoe wing flapping & 20:24:14 standing on one leg. 21:10 headless fish by Dad, Mum feeds Zoe in the dark.

Making News:

The investigation of the theft of four precious Albatross eggs continues.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/130488815/was-a-boat-used-to-steal-four-rare-albatross-eggs-in-daring-heist

How many of us love Iris? The oldest Osprey in the world whose nest is on the lot of Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula, Montana. A request has come in from lovers of Iris. Here it is:

Here is a very short report on the current status of Sea Eaglets 29 and 30. I also want to mention that my contact tells me that the sea eaglets are at different clinics. The specific names are not being mentioned as is the case with other popular birds to keep the phone lines open for injured wildlife.

The Red List 8. The Yellow Wagtail

Yellow wagtail” by hedera.baltica is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

There are many birds that I do not know. This bird is one of the first to be spotted when it returns from its winter migration in Africa to the fields in the UK. In Africa, they feed on the insects that the elephants kick up from under their feet so if you ever get to go to Africa on a safari and see a herd of elephants look for these dramatic sulphur yellow birds with their grey heads. In the UK, they follow the farm tractors kicking up the soil to reveal their next meal. They need a good supply of insects and spiders to survive. Besides fields, manure heaps and wet lands are good places for them to forage.

Yellow Wagtails raise two clutches a year if there is suitable nesting spaces and food. Their nests are low on the ground adjacent to wet lands, salt marshes, hay meadows, and some fields of vegetable crops.

Yellow wagtail” by hedera.baltica is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Changes to agriculture and crops grown put the Yellow Wagtail under threat. The RSPB has made some recommendations to farmers in the UK which would help stabilise and grow the numbers of these beautiful birds. This includes returning to having some manure heaps for them to forage through. They are beautiful songbirds. Let us hope that those who can do something to encourage their population growth will keep this in mind when they are planning their crops and how they do their farming in the upcoming years before it is too late.

We are waiting for both Zoe and Rubus to fledge. Rubus is not quite ready but is getting more and more interested as Zoe spends time in the scrape and now, that she has flown in and out again. Zoe is doing a lot of wingers. I am a bit old fashioned. The longer they stay on the nest or at the scrape and the stronger they are when they fledge, the more chance they will have of success. Weak tired birds do not do well in the field.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Send your best wishes to our beautiful sea eaglets as they recover. Take care of yourselves, too. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams which make up my screen captures: OpenVerse, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles FB, Montana Ospreys at Hellgate, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Royal Albatross FB.

Mum saves the fish…and other tales from Bird World

25 October 2022

Oh, good morning to everyone!

I hope that your day is starting off wonderfully well.

For those living in Melbourne, oh, enjoy those 24 degrees C temperatures for me, too. My forecast is for it to snow in the next hour! And for it to be -1 C tomorrow. Now…I don’t know about your meteorologists but, ours are sometimes not correct and I am really hoping that they will be wrong. Not for me but for all the birds that remain in our City. There are even reports of the first Snowy Owls arriving in the southern part of our province. Cold weather is really and truly on its way. I have never seen all the Snowys on the fields in our province. Looking forward to finally seeing one this year.

There was no snow when I woke up but it is 1 degree and grey. The Blue Jays are gathering peanuts in the shell and the Lilacs are full of little sparrows singing away eating their Black Oil Seed and millet. Just a few seconds ago six Canada Geese flew over.

Thankfully I had the camera ready because I was wanting to try and catch Little Red. He was too quick!

My attempts to lure the European Starlings down from roosting in the far trees did not work. There were, however, some wrens and sparrows that promptly went over to eat the Meal Worms and the Bark Butter. The squirrels were also busy today and Little Red continues to go in and out of the big box that holds the wood. That is where I put his new house – if he would move into it. I am afraid to go and check but it is possible that he is entering from the back hole to the house. Fingers crossed. It would be a great place for him.

There are a few Dark-Eyed Juncos still around looking for Millet.

Dad brought in one of the nicest fish I have seen to the Port Lincoln nest. Mum had been doing her talon dance and Middle had joined in prey calling. When Dad arrived, the fish, like all fish being slimy, slipped…oh, it looked like Mum was going to lose it down the side of the nest. But…she didn’t. She managed to get that very much alive fighting fish up on that nest and then she decided to fly off with it. I do not know what Mum did to that fish in the few seconds she was off the nest but it sure wasn’t wiggling and jerking when she got back. How many times have we witnessed these big fish, alive and fighting, being brought to nests only to hold our breath as they flipped and flopped over the ospreys??? Manton Bay comes to mind for this past season in the UK. My goodness I thought those two babies were going to die. How the one survived I will never know but, she did.

It is not the first time I have seen this happen and I am certain that you have, at one time or another, if you have watched Osprey nests, seen a fish go overboard. It is heart breaking. I cannot say for certain but many say that it takes about 15 dives to get a catch. That is a lot of energy expended to go over the side. And, as we all know too well, a fish can sometimes mean life or death to one of the chicks.

Mum fought that fish pulling and pulling so it would not go overboard.

The other thing that I find interesting in these situations is that the male does not help. It is as if once the fish is delivered he is done..gone. At any rate, three cheers for Mum. She did an amazing job wrestling that fish.

Middle is very clever. Mum is getting the fish situated and Big is already to eat. Middle does not waste any seconds getting to the table but he doesn’t just rush in either. He can see how long that fish is and slowly moves into place.

Middle is going to get a truly good feed.

It is hard to tell but, Middle has a very large piece of fish he is getting ready to hook.

Just have a look at our dear Middle. That crop could pop!

Notice also how heavy the wings are now. The ospreys will let them droop. I also like to point out the dark down on the chest. The ospreys will have a thermal down underneath their feathers that will help them regulate their temperature.

All is quiet. Two very full ospreys. As I write this, the time is just past 1500 in Port Lincoln. I have not seen another fish come to the nest yet but there will be at least 1 more if not 2 today.

It is so nice to have these three nests progressing along nicely without too much worry of anything untoward happening. Oh, yes, I always say that the fortunes of a nest can turn in an instant – and they can. Thankfully we have no worries about predators, like Eagles, owls, or goshawks, diving down to snatch the chicks out of the nest! Those are constant worries at some nests such as those in Finland and now, of course, at some in the US like Cowlitz PUD where all three ospreys were taken by a Bald Eagle.

Oh, how precious. Indigo walked over to give her little brother a cuddle.

Xavier arrived with the afternoon tea. For a moment I thought that he might get to feed Indigo and Rubus but, no…Diamond arrived. It looked like a Starling but then as Diamond plucked it looked less so. The fact that it took longer to remove the feathers with Rubus getting anxious and walking away to Cilla’s stones indicated that it must have been something larger. Oh, my goodness. When Diamond started feeding the two were jumping and stretching for joy! It was a great feeding.

Notice that Little Rubus is at the kind of cotton ball stage too…the fluffy white down just hanging on as the juvenile feathers grow underneath. Indigo is doing a lot of preening and if you catch a glimpse of her tail, it is really growing nicely. They are changing almost right before our eyes. It is now Wednesday in Orange and by the weekend we should see some dramatic differences in the plumage of both.

It sure looks like a Starling!

Diamond arrives and takes the prey. Xavier has a last look. Oh, he loves being a Dad and what a wonderful one he is!

Some of you more familiar with the prey available around Orange can probably identify this tea time treat. It looks like a Starling to me but please correct me if it is something larger.

Poor Indigo. Both ‘J’ and I noticed that she let Little Rubus be right up in front. I do wonder about the fright she had with that one Starling head having a lasting impression or lasting fright.

Rubus gets impatient waiting for the plucking to end and walks over and gets on Cilla’s stones. Do you know why the stones are placed where they are? It is so Diamond will have to lay her eggs so the camera can see them, not hidden in the corner.

Rubus has a ferocious appetite! Not to worry. Indigo did get some food!

Notice how Indigo is changing. You can see those beautiful tail feathers and we are now getting a reveal of her back as the soft down comes away from her eyes. She is going to be just a stunner.

Oh, and thankfully, someone caught the morning feed at 367 Collins Street on video! (I am not able to use my video app on this machine…I hope to be able to make video clips for you soon but, for now, we will rely on others!)

Around 1345 at the scrape of the Melbourne Four in the CBD of Melbourne, the parents are on alert. One is calling from the ledge and they seem to be spending time on the ledge protecting the eyases.

Even if there was an intruder about, the Melbourne Four managed another four feedings lasting over ten minutes. They were at 0641 for 17 minutes, 1126 for 11 minutes, 1629 for 12 minutes, and a really big feed at 1855 lasting for 18 minutes. Thank you ‘H’ for all those times.

Other News in Bird World:

One of our favourite Ospreys, Richmond from the San Francisco Whirley Crane nest in the Richmond Shipping Yards, has had to protect his territory from Ravens today.

This is the latest news on SE30 who was found in a residential neighbourhood. I sound like a broken record. It is incredibly sad that the eaglets are rushed out of the forest so they cannot get their flying strong and be taught how to hunt for prey by their parents. This scenario is repeated annually. Thankfully, all those wonderful people around the Discovery Centre who love these eagles from here and beyond keep an eye on them. It is also reassuring that the right protocols are in place to rescue the eaglets and get them into care. Let us hope that SE29 and SE30 are both kept in care until they are flying strong and know how to hunt! Thank you Judy Harrington!

There is also some progress being made at the North Dame Bald Eagle nest in St Patrick’s Park, South Bend, Indiana. This is the natal nest of Little Bit ND17. Good luck Mum and Dad. They have a huge job ahead of them!

How much is a Bald Eagle’s life worth? Sadly, not much. A Devon, Ohio man shot and killed a Bald Eagle. WKBN27 First News is reporting that a federal judge gave the man a one year’s probation, a fine of $4000 and another $1200 to USFWS.

Thank you so very, very much for joining me today. Take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Norte Dame Eagles FB, Eagle Cam, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

Late Sunday in Bird World

23 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

I hope that each of you has had a fabulous weekend!

In my earlier blog today, I did not catch the ‘auto correct’ of Samson when I posted that him and Gabby were working on their nest. It is, of course, Samson not Damon!!!! Goodness.

The Sparrows thought it was warm enough for a bath today. And it is. It is a beautiful 14 degrees C – for me the absolute perfect temperature. It could stay like this forever and I would never get tired of it. They had such a good time! For well over an hour, one group after another spent time in the bird bath. They were so excited! I really do love sparrows…and I hope that those that think they will go extinct are wrong! And those that refuse to feed them because they are ‘not special’ will think again. They are so varied that I have a 8 cm thick book on them and still have trouble sometimes with Clay Sparrows and Vesper Sparrows — and I shouldn’t!

During the last month I have seen hundreds of Crows fly over my house around 1700. I did not know what they were doing until ‘N’ posted a YouTube video on Crows flying to join one another at a communal roost. It happens an hour before sunset. Thanks, ‘N’.

But, why did Crows get the moniker ‘Murder of Crows’? Apparently the use of the name goes back to 15th century English literature but, the Crow expert at Cornell University said the term is incorrect. ‘Scientists would call it a flock’. Indeed, Crows are often connected with death because they are black and because they eat carrion (dead animals) like Vultures, Condors, and Eagles. So remember, the next time you see a large group of Crows it is a flock!

As you will know, from reading my blog, I love ‘my’ Crows. Mr Crow has been around the garden for a number of years but, this year, he was joined by three fledglings that grew and grew and grew. (I always say Mr Crow…it could well be Mrs Crow!). This summer they started alerting me to when the wandering well-fed domestic cats were in the garden. They were so loud that their caws could not be ignored. For several days it seemed that they were wanting more food. They must have think I am truly daft. It wasn’t food – it was the cats. I am so grateful to them for protecting the other garden animals. In fact, most of the garden animals live in harmony. There is enough space and lots of food. It is the cats that cause the unhappiness.

But back to the Crows. ‘H’ wrote to me that Crows are signs of bad luck or death in Australia. In North American Indigenous traditions, the Crow and the Raven are good signs. They are signs of protection and often are viewed as messengers of wealth. In Manitoba, the Crow is part of the Creation Story of many of the local tribes just as it is with those in northwestern California. There are ceremonies that use the symbol, the power, and the prayers of the Crow to invoke protections – and these are very sacred, only used and known by those who deal with the Spirits. For the Inuit who live in the far north of Canada, the crow and the raven are often considered the same. You will find the creation stories of the Inuit and the Haida from British Columbia, using the Raven or the Crow, to tell their myths. The myth ‘The Crow Brings Daylight’ describes the moment when the people who lived in total darkness first saw the light that was brought by the Crow.

https://prezi.com/r9jz3ih7karv/crow-brings-daylight/

I hope that the Crow will bring you much luck and will guard and protect you.

All of the nests have had breakfast in Australia early. No one has had to wait for food to arrive despite the ominous clouds that you can see out the window of Xavier and Diamond’s scrape or the rain drops collecting on the camera at Port Lincoln.

Xavier brought in a Starling for Diamond to feed Indigo and Rubus. That was at 063320. Indigo and Rubus watch everything their parents do intently – each is a learning opportunity. The chicks will learn how to pluck and feed through observation. They will watch their parents fly from the scrape and, after they fledge, Xavier will teach them how to hunt. (With hawks and raptors it is often the role of the Dad to teach the fledglings to hunt.) Still, I have seen many, if not most, of the females do this as well. The exception would be the female Ospreys that leave the nests in the UK prior to the chicks fledging.

Notice that Little Rubus is in the corner with Indigo. Everything Indigo does, Rubus copies.

Indigo was so frightened by the Starling head last week. And here is another Starling head dangling! Do falcons have nightmares?

Just about the same time in Melbourne, at 0634, a plump freshly caught pigeon landed on the ledge at 367 Collins Street.

This morning you could really hear the stomping on that metal gutter! The eyases ate and began running up and down getting their legs strong. They are also flapping those little wings. Soon the white dandelions will be covering everything as the down flies off revealing the gorgeous juvenile falcon plumage.

It did not take long for the Melbourne Four to ‘decorate’ the far end of the gutter. Did you know that when falcons are looking for a good territory/scrape box/cliff, they will check to see how much guano is spread all over. The more ‘ps’ the better – it means that the area is rich in prey. An ideal location to have a nest!

Flapping and flapping. The others are almost all the way down to the other end of the gutter. The little one, however, chose to stay in the scrape. Cute wings!

Thankfully, Dad was out fishing early at Port Lincoln (as I am told he always is) and he hauled in a flat Zebra fish at 065757. The feeding was absolutely civil. In fact, it looks like Middle got the largest portion of that early fish.

It is difficult to describe how thrilled I am that Big has settled down and that life on the Port Lincoln Osprey platform is civil. It helps everyone. Middle can now eat without too much fear of reprisal. Still, he should be a wee cautious just in case Big wakes up on the wrong side of the fish one morning.

The nests have had their first meal for Monday in Australia. All is well.

There is no further news on Sea Eaglets 29 or 30 – both are in care. Dad and Lady have been working on their nest. They must wonder where their fledglings have gone. I wonder if they will leave for Lady’s favourite spa location, Goat Island, soon?

Thank you so very much for joining me. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Pinterest, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross,. 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Forest, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Late Friday in Bird World

21 October 2022

The day turned out to be a lovely 14 degrees C. I am not feeling 100% but I do not have Covid. I am thankful but, I did call off the small celebration for my BFF’s birthday just in case. I know that some of you have symptoms of long Covid and my heart goes out to you every single day. My problem seems to be a response to the flu vaccine. Nothing serious and it will go away. Please do not worry. The chair I am sitting on is perfect and there is nothing more healing that watching the birds flit from one feeder to another and the squirrels run along the top of the fence. As a friend -who is healing from surgery reminded me this morning – watching the birds outside in the feeders is joyful and healing.

Awhile ago I posted some recent research that found that hospital rooms that had windows looking out to trees had patients who were happier, required less pain medication, and went home sooner!!!!! So look outside and smile!!!!

Making News:

The news on SE30 is coming in slowly. This is the latest from our friends down in Sydney.

Last year was tragic for Nancy and Harry at the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest. First, the dashing young Harry went missing leaving Nancy to have to not only provide security, at a time when intruders were about, but, also provide food for the two eaglets on the nest, E1 and E2. The weather was miserable. Nancy was unable to provide food for both and E1 threw E2 off the nest. E2 was euthanized. E1 went on to fledge. Nancy was, however, left alone with a beautiful nest but no mate. Well, that seems to be over.

I was thrilled to read that Bonnie Johnson consulted with Pat Burke for the name of the new male. Pat Burke has an encyclopedic memory of the Sydney Sea Eagles as well as many of the Bald Eagle nests. As a wealth of knowledge, she has graciously answered any and all eagle questions that I threw at her. She is a treasure.

Honestly I cannot think of anything scarier climbing up an Osprey nest. Can you?

The Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest on the coast of Delaware is one of the busiest nests off season. ‘H’ has made videos of the Bald Eagles coming and going, occasionally taking sticks. Today, the nest was visited by what appears to be a immature Norther Harrier. As a reminder, don’t think your favourite nest is idle, check it often!

It is often the fringe that gives the Harrier’s ID away. Their face actually looks like an owl at times and the fringe gives them the same ability to hear that an Owl has. Gorgeous birds.

It is time how to turn our attention to the Australian nests to see how they are doing for breakfast.

Dad arrived on the very wet ledge of the 367 Collins Street scrape with a pigeon at 065144. Mum flew in immediately after he landed to feed the Melbourne Four. So, despite the rain, prey is being brought up in good time – either freshly caught or from the pantry. It doesn’t matter as long as the erases get fed, right?!

Mum perched near the Melbourne Four during the night. The erases are too large to brood now and they will remain dry in the rain that Melbourne is experiencing at this end of the ledge.

I suspect something similar is happening at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier. Dad will fly in with the breakfast and Mum will come and feed Indigo and Rubus. What do you think?

You can see some blue sky and some clouds. It appears as if it will also be a rainy day in Orange. Xavier should be bringing in prey shortly. We all worry about them when the bad weather and heavy rains come. Take care Xavier.

Every time I think of Port Lincoln, I hold my breath before I start looking at the streaming cam. Big has been in such an attack mode lately that – well, since the loss of Little, it can make one overly anxious for Middle. There is, however, no reason to believe that Middle will not fledge. If Middle is a male he might to decide to get off that nest much faster than the lads last year so that he can get away from Big!

A fish arrived early. That could be a good omen but, not always. It does get the nest off to a good start. The times was 063456. It was a nice big fish. Of course, Big had to eat first. Middle was very nervous but by 065018, Middle was trying to figure out a way to get some breakfast. In the end, he decided to just move up next to Big and eat. Middle has become very good at snatch and grab and as long as Big doesn’t tear into him – and she does sometimes when she thinks Middle is getting more food than her – Middle should’ve be able to have a reasonable feed. There is fish left.

Middle is going to be fine. Big has moved away and Mum is finding all the scrap pieces of fish she can for Middle. Now…Mum needs food! Middle has a nice crop. Smiling.

If Big could just turn her attention more to nesting, Middle might be able to enjoy a carefree life til fledge. Remember the chicks will get names and will be banded on 12-14 November.

Everyone has had food but Orange. I am certain that Xavier will come into the scrape, possibly drenched, with prey before long. Indigo is really exploring the boundaries of the scrape and looking out to the world. Rubus has now moved to exploring the corner and sleeping there – Little Brother copying Big Sister!

Thank you for being with me today. Wish for fish and prey. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, ‘H’ and Mispillion Harbour Osprey Cam, Friends of the Non-Game MN-DNR Bald Eagle Nest, Cornell Bird Lab, Nature Heaven Group, and Sea Eagle Cam.

Big shuts Middle out of fish…and other breakfast news from Australia

20 October 2022

Yesterday was a good day. All four of the Blue Jays were seen along with all four of the Crow family. The two Chickadees came flitting through. Four grey squirrels and one red one. Loads of Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. I know I have mentioned all of them recently but there is something so reassuring to see them – alive. Urban environments present particular challenges for our feathered friends and, it is like knowing that your whole family is fed, warm, and tucked in for the night. It feels good just like watching the little falcons eat. Something very rewarding.

Making News:

SE 30 was seen in a residential area around the Discovery Centre. What a beautiful sea eagle.

Jackie and Shadow have been working on the nest in the Big Bear Valley. Shadow has a new hair style to show off for this breeding season!

It is that time of year that lead begins to make news – and never in a good way. Read the post by one of my favourite Wildlife Rehab Clinics in the US, A Place Called Hope. It takes one lead pellet or one lead sinker to damage or kill an eagle. When there are alternatives, this is unacceptable. If lead paint is outlawed because it can harm humans, then lead hunting and fishing equipment that causes death to our raptors needs to be outlawed as well.

I wish that I could tell you that all is well at Port Lincoln. A whole fish arrived at 090824. Middle did get some bites but Big ate the majority of that fish making Middle have to do the snatch and grab. At 124709 another fish arrived on the nest. Big is going to eat all of it. She has beaked Middle so that he is afraid to come up to the table. Middle was tucked in tight. Listening and watching. At 13:10:58 Middle slithers up to Mum. Is there any fish left? No. Mum just ate the fish tail.

There will, of course, be other fish. But there is still a problem. We had high hopes that Big would calm down and everything would be civil on the Port Lincoln Nest on Monday. Big did get most of the fish but she was not chasing Middle away from the table.

Both eating on Monday.

By Wednesday everything had changed significantly. If Big continues to eat the way she is, Mum is not getting enough food and Middle will continue to be intimidated and afraid to go and eat.

Big will stop eating to intimidate Middle.

Middle really needs to have a good meal.

There were other fish but beyond the 0909, Big did not allow Middle much. Those fish came in at 1247, 1651, 1931, and 1952.

If Middle moves a speck, Big raises its head. This is not a good situation. Middle neeeds to eat today, Thursday in Australia.

At Melbourne, the problem was the heat. The eyases were very hot. Some made it to the other end of the ledge to enjoy the shade. Mum and Dad had turns acting as umbrellas to block the sun.

Both parents dug in their talons and tried to help the Melbourne Four.

Thankfully the shade came! What a difference a couple of hours makes.

Lots of prey came for the Melbourne Four. It looks like Mum took charge of all the 5 feedings. Thanks to ‘H’ and ‘A’ for the time stamps and information. At the 0552 feeding, the eyases ate for 9 minutes; at 0749 it was 21 minutes, at 1627 for 32-33 minutes, at 1734 for 12 minutes, and a bedtime snack came in at 1859 and the kids ate for 5 minutes.

Indigo and Rubus had five feeds yesterday, too. Those came at 072721, 100848, 105425, 144754, and the last one before light’s out was at 181056. The prey thought to be a Red Waddle bird at 100848 was positively identified as a Noisy Miner later.

Have a close look at little Rubus. He is starting to get pin feathers.

Diamond is making sure that Indigo uses her neck muscles, too!

Diamond is fascinated by the camera!

Migration News:

The news coming for Karl II and his family of Black Storks from the Estonian Karula National Forest appears to be all good. Little Waba flew 298 km and is now in Turkey. S/he did that in one day!

This is an image from where Waba’s tracker indicated s/he is feeding. Just lovely.

There was no new transmission from Kaia. She continues to be in Chad in a dry area it is believed.

Bonus is still in Romania feeding in the ditches east of Latinu.

Karl II really got to flying. he covered 373 km in one day and is now feeding along on the eastern side of the Nile River near Asswan.

Great News.

Two things I try to avoid when bringing you news about our feathered family are politics and religion. Sometimes, politics cannot be avoided because our wildlife are wrapped up in particular views and policies that belong to the different parties in the various governments around the world.

There is a quiet movement behind the scenes to see what can be done to change the intervention laws in South Australia in the memory of Little Bob. What we have learned is that David Speirs -often seen with the ospreys, Janet Forster (Port Lincoln Osprey founder), and who is now President of Friends of Ospreys- was the Minister of the Environment for the State of South Australia and, as you can tell, extremely supportive of the Ospreys. The Liberals lost the last election and the Labour Party is in power. David Speirs (Ervie is named after the village in Scotland where Speirs was born) is now the leader of the Opposition.

Every day something new is discovered. Current regulations and policies are being examined to see how to move forward. The last thing anyone wants to do is to damage the fine work that Port Lincoln and Friends of Osprey have already done. It takes time for change but, no one is forgetting Little Bob least of all Port Lincoln who support intervention but cannot within the current policies and guidelines or they would lose their licenses and everything they have gained in terms of being able to provide for the Ospreys. All of this is good. Little Bob is not forgotten.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you later today with the breakfast news. Send positive wishes to Port Lincoln, please.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Friends of Big Bear Valley, A Place Called Hope, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Looduskalender.

Update on SE30 and other news in Bird World

18 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The sky is a beautiful royal blue, not a cloud in sight and it is -7 on the Canadian prairies. On Thursday, we will warm up by 21 degrees C to a balmy +14. I cannot wait! I can hear the Crows but, I cannot see them. The Blue Jays are already finding corn and the Dark-eyed Juncos are still in Canada. Meanwhile, despite the break in the weather which will be wonderful for checking duck numbers in the city, it is time to get all the winter closed organized, put up the garden hose, and store the summer deck furniture.

Making News:

The birders on the ground, the bogs, near the Discovery Centre really need a great pat on the back. Thanks to them we have been able to keep up with SE 30 since s/he fledged. It is fantastic. Just look at this beautiful juvenile. SE 30 looks to be doing very well, indeed. Here is the latest announcement:

I really hope that SE30 is getting their own prey and we do not see them hungry in a couple of weeks on the sidewalk. Send this wonderful fledgling all the good wishes that you can!

Floods in the State of Victoria, Australia are causing havoc for wildlife.

Native wildlife flee flood waters across northern Victoria – video | Environment | The Guardian

From the Bookshelf:

I realized that I should create a link to a book list for everyone who is searching for books on different species. I promise to do that over the winter. The latest questions have been about books on Ospreys – questions about general knowledge books and others more specific. ‘H’ gave me a poke and reminded me about one on migration that she had just read. So here goes a few good books on Ospreys to get you started.

I have two books by Alan Poole on Ospreys. They are excellent reference books. The first is Ospreys. A Natural and Unnatural History published by the University of Cambridge in 1989. There are no beautiful colour photos – it is all black and white. The second is Ospreys. The Revival of a Global Raptor published in 2019 by John Hopkins University Press. The second book is much more up to date in terms and has made use of technological advances in studying raptors to bring our understanding up to date on their lives.

One of favourite books on Ospreys is by Roy Dennis who has spent the last 60 years re-introducing raptors to England (and various sites in Europe such as Spain). His book, A Life of Ospreys, of 2009, is very good.

The book that ‘H’ wants me to mention to you is Belle’s Journey. An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard. As ‘H’ points out it is not just for children and the reviews say it is loved by those from 9 to 90. The book follows a fledgling osprey with a satellite tracker to her winter home so it is about migration and its challenges. Extremely well written and easy to understand.

A book by David Gessner, Soaring with Fidel, is written on the back of Belle’s Journey and offers us even more insight into the migration of the Ospreys from the NE US who winter in Brazil and Columbia. It was this book that has prompted me to want to take that journey to Cuba to sit on top of a mountain with thousands of Ospreys flying overhead. Gessner is a charismatic writer and it is not boring science which one can easily get tired of reading. Like Bierregaard, Gessner weaves the science in like a parent sneaking cough syrup to a child and they didn’t know it.

Gessner wrote a second book, Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. Equally well-written but this one focuses on the breeding season, not migration.

I know that many of you are fans of the Chesapeake Bay nest. Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season takes you up close and personal with a newly mated pair of Ospreys. Their eggs fail. Will they accept foster chicks? It is a moving narrative with incredible pictures.

If you can get your hands on a copy, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival by Philip Brown is excellent. It was published in 1979 and, like the first Poole edition, has mostly black and white illustrations. It is an excellent historical account of the demise of the Osprey in the UK and the reintroduction efforts that have been underway by individuals such as Roy Dennis.

Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey by Helen Armitage tells the story of Lady who lived to have 20 breeding seasons in Scotland. It gives special insights into the challenges of the birds, banding, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed it but, it is a book about a special Osprey in a special area of Scotland. If you are looking for general knowledge, get the second book by Poole first.

There are many others some written to celebrate a notable male bird such as Monty or the history of Rutland Water and its Ospreys. I will include that in the long list for everyone.

Nest News:

The Melbourne Four are really keeping the two first time parents busy. All of them are capable of getting up and down out of the gutter and today, when I checked, there were only three near the scrape. I did, literally, hold my breath til that little head appeared. ‘A’ loves the sound of the eyases ‘stomping’ down that metal piece of the ledge because it means that they can now get into the shade. ‘A’ might be happy but the parents appeared particularly bewildered at times today.

Poor Dad got down in the gutter with them. Just think. These two didn’t have one eyas to deal with in their first season as parents. Oh, no. They got four…lively, healthy, fat little bottomed chicks. It is perfect.

The parents must have decided that they need to bring in more pigeons. The kids had pigeon at 0646. When next I checked, Mum had come in with a pigeon and was feeding them at 1014. They had just settled down and Dad comes in with ‘something’. The time was 1031. I hope someone identifies this prey. It was big. It is so odd watching the falcons attach the prey to one taloned foot and hobble down to the scrape. It was not clear if the eyases would get up to eat but, they did. They are literally just ‘eating machines’ right now growing bigger and bigger every day.

At Orange, a Starling showed up at 0624. It was the parrot that came in at 0941 that caused the most excitement. We are going to start calling Rubus ‘Rubber Neck’. My goodness Xavier makes Rubus work for his dinner. He jumps and stretches and squeals. Meanwhile, Indigo just sits there occasionally raising her neck and sometimes taking food out of Rubus’s beak. She is unphased by his antics. What a live wire Rubus is. ‘Full of vinegar’ my grandmother would say rolling her eyes thinking of all the mischief he will be getting into.

At Port Lincoln, the day was rather calm. A large fish came in early – at 0748. It was followed by a much smaller fish at 0954.

At Port Lincoln, Dad brought in a total of six fish for the day. That is a lot of fish! Just look that the crop on Big.

Middle also has a crop. Yippee. I hope that Mum was able to get enough fish for herself. It is so hard to determine that when she is so busy feeding these two growing osplets.

Rubus and Indigo ate well. The Melbourne Four could have had more prey but, the osplets were stuffed. In all it was a good day in Australia yesterday. The Melbourne Four can now easily move up and down the gutter to the scrape so they can get into the shaded area if Mum is not about.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Amazon, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

Late Thursday in Bird World

13 October 2022

I know few people that do not love autumn with the kaleidoscope of oranges, yellows, and red foliage. It is what comes after that we don’t like and that is what has been happening this morning. It is raining snow. The three Blue Jays are eating as much corn as they can – 5 cobs already this morning! Plus, peanuts in the shell. Humans begin to dig around to find their winter parkas, toques, gloves and mitts, scarves, warm boot socks, and, absolutely essential, boots. All sandals, linens, and summer things can now safely be packed away without fear of being needed for another 8 months! Like the Box Turtles at the nature centre, most of us would like to hibernate under a down duvet, sipping tea, and reading a stack of good books for several months.

As for Little Red’s house, it appears to have been taken over by birds…it is a rather posh nest!

Making News:

We have all been wondering what is happening with SE 29 who was found injured in a residential area near the Discovery Centre and SE 30 who was mobbed by Currawongs and grounded. The news of 30 is very, very promising. He is at the river with the parents and not being chased by Currawongs any longer! Here is the latest news from Eagle Cam:

Always time for a good news story! A Bald Eagle is returned to the wild after being shot.

https://www.kezi.com/news/bald-eagle-to-take-flight-after-healing-from-shotgun-wounds/article_c06ce7e2-4a88-11ed-af16-57f7c95d00d0.html?fbclid=IwAR0hgBJtvaIGuknrq7gaeETtNeuFRLQrvwVAHZXc3D2McQnnKu6NE0eq9B8

This video shows the crews crossing the causeway bridge that had one large section destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Things are being restored. This is good news for all of us including Lori Covert and Windows to Wildlife. Hopefully cameras will be back in place by December at Captiva.

‘H’ has been watching the Mispillion Harbour Cam in Delaware. She discovered something very important – you need to watch the nests after the fledglings leave because you have no idea who will come calling and what will happen. First it was a drenched Peregrine Falcon, then one Bald Eagle and now it is two! Check out her other videos of visitors to the MH nest on YouTube.

Here is one with the Bald Eagle bringing an eel to the nest! Eagles seem to really love eel. Certainly, the Sea Eagles in Sydney do.

Speaking of nests, Harriet and M15 are making great progress rebuilding their nest on the property of the Pritchett family in Fort Myers, Florida after Hurricane Ian destroyed it. So happy. They should not be short of building materials – the locals say there is plenty around after such massive destruction in the area.

Harriet and M15 are not the only ones making nestorations. Jackie and Shadow were on the Big Bear Valley nest last night for a short time and it appears that all of the others including Eagle Country are working hard to get ready for the 2022-23 season.

Australian Nest News:

Have you noticed? One of the first things we wonder about the nests is: Have they eaten today? It is the big question on everyone’s mind. So far, Melbourne is in the lead with one feeding from Mum and another from Dad. It is after 8 in Orange and 0730 in Port Lincoln and, at the moment, they are both waiting for deliveries.

Good morning, Melbourne!

Mum was off the ledge scrape at 06:22:53. She returned with a rather bedraggled pigeon at 06:24:26. I suspect that Dad will be flying in with a nice fresh one any time.

Dad really likes to be actively involved with the family. He arrives at 07:01 with a prey item and feeds the eyases while Mum watches and broods. What a guy!

Mum has been gone for an hour flying off at 0853. The eyases are getting hot!

Everyone is still sleeping at Port Lincoln. I thought I saw a rain drop but the forecast is not seeming to call for rain there today, not until Monday and Tuesday. Big Bob will be 28 days old on Sunday. Little Bob will be 24. I am really hoping that by early next week we see some semblance of civility return to this nest. Big Bob had a huge crop – tears were flowing and there was joy in the air after that 20:03 feed last night. And three cheers for Dad for bringing in that late fish. It really saved the day for our third hatch.

Mum in the nest and Dad is over on one of the perches to the right. They certainly have a nice home here on the barge. Sure, loved watching when Ervie would spend time with Dad down in the shed having their little talks.

Gosh, do you remember how civil Bazza, Falkey, and Ervie were until after they fledged? A couple of little pecks at the onset by Bazza to Ervie which only caused Ervie to turn around and stare at Bazza…and get closer to Mum’s beak. But just thinking about their dust ups after. Gracious. What will this bunch be like????????

The crop on Little Bob last night gives me hope. Mum is looking out for him, even at her own expense of not getting food. Dad came in with a late fish. That was fantastic.

The nest is already antsy this morning. ‘A-M’ notes that Little Bob pecked Big and then Big pecked Middle. It all happened around 0628. Not a good start to the day. Now Little Bob is pecking Big and running away from the scene. ‘Not me, I didn’t do it!’

At 07:31 Little Bob is toasty warm underneath Mum waiting for the first fish delivery.

As they wait for the breakfast fish to be delivered at Port Lincoln, Mum has stopped brooding the chicks and we can really see the size difference between Big Bob and Little Bob.

They all still have crops from the 2003 feeding last night.

Sweet Mum waiting for Dad.

Sadly, Mum is still waiting. It is 0915.

In their scrape on the water tower on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Diamond waits with Rubus and Indigo for Xavier to bring breakfast.

Diamond is getting as restless for breakfast to arrive as Rubus and Indigo.

Diamond returned quite wet! Her talons were empty. It looks like it is raining pretty heavy in Orange.

Indigo and Rufus are having a Starling for breakfast around 0900.

Flashback Video:

Izzi, Diamond and Xavier’s 2020 fledgling with a female Superb Parrot.

Migration News:

Oh, there is good news coming out of the tracking of Karl II’s family’s migration. First up, little Mum, Kaia, is now in Chad. She has flown a total of 2, 298 km on her migration journey. People are predicting that she will winter in the same spot as Karl II!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is her map from flying from the Suez Canal to Chad.

Here is the area where she is in relation to where Karl II over winters.

Karl II is near the Syrian border with Turkey. Waba is still in Bulgaria.

Bonus is finding fish and frogs at the confluence of the Buzau and Siret Rivers in eastern Romania.

Oh, it would be just so nice if Mum were shading her chicks at Collins Street and Dad had delivered two huge fish already at Port Lincoln. We wait for both! That is it for today. Thank you so much for being with me. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos, and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Eagle Cam FB, ‘H’ YouTube Videos, NEFL and SWFL Eagle Watcher’s Club, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, CSU Falcon Cam Project, and Looduskalender.

Wednesday in Bird World

12 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that all of you had a good start to the week. It is cooler on the Canadian Prairies today with really cloudy skies and reports of possible showers starting at noon. The animals have really been busy in the garden gathering nuts and eating. I wonder if we will have another cold snap? The European Starlings have come to the tree in the back lane but, for some reason they have not come to the garden. Is it because I have no Butter Bark or Meal Worms out for them? I plan to go and get some later today. We will see if that is what they are looking for.

Of the four nests in Australia, the real concern is at Port Lincoln and I will be monitoring that nest closely.

The gold star for the week goes to the male at Melbourne who really kept the nest together when Mum was away for over 3 hours and the hot sun was beating down on the youngsters.

To tell the difference between Dad (below) and Mum, look at the breast area. Dad has hardly any lateral barring – with a full crop, his chest area looks like fluffy Victorian handmade lace. Isn’t he adorable? I have come to love this tiercel so much. He has really saved the lives of these four eyases, now known affectionately in my house as The Melbourne Four.

Making News:

The causeway to Captiva and Sanibel Islands is now restored and vehicles are going in to restore communication systems, power, etc. This is incredible news. Who would have imagined this would be completed in October! (Not sure what was done or if private vehicles can travel but the causeway is functioning). Connie and Clive have been seen and photographed and Lena has been heard. Everyone is just waiting to get the cameras back up and running.

There are lots of boots on the ground checking for SE30. She was found on the ground being harassed by Currawongs and Magpies yesterday. She flew and seemed to be fine and was seen near the River Roost with a parent. That should put a smile on all our faces!

The text and images come from the Eagle Cam FB page.

I have seen no further reports on SE29 who was found in a residential area and taken by WIRES to a vet where it was receiving fluids and pain killers.

Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk) has completed her tribute video to Lillibet, the Royal Cam Albatross chick, daughter of OGK and YRK, for 2022. As always, get the tissues out. OGK was last seen the middle of May on camera. It has saddened everyone to think that this fabulous mate and father has perished. We will wait to see if he returns for breeding season in October 2023. He was injured in 2020 and was away from the nest for 40 days. What a joy it was when he returned. Miss Pippa Atawhai was so happy. They had a very close bond.

Sadly, the Albatross continue to be killed at an alarming rate by the long-line fishing trawlers. As anyone knows reading my blog, there are quite a number of easy fixes to stop these endangered seabirds from being slaughtered. They include setting the lines at night – how easy is that?

Nest News:

The Melbourne Four continue to be well fed. At least three persons noted that there were 9 separate feedings yesterday. They were a mixture of stashed prey (as at breakfast) followed by fresh kills when there was not enough meat on the pantry item. Raptors eat everything unlike us humans who are said to waste 40% of all food we purchase. All of those pigeons are turning into beautiful falcons! Mum had her lunch time break (from 11:19:45-13:01:37). Thanks ‘H’.

Nine feedings. If they can keep the intruders away from their penthouse scrape and maintain their territory in the non-breeding season, we will have years of watching this incredible couple raise their families. The male has really stepped up and has actively engaged with the eyases and from his protective mode the other day has a strong bond with the little ones.

Port Lincoln Ospreys keeps a running timestamp of happenings on the barge. Its listing yesterday pretty much sums up what is happening. The nest has gone off the rails. Little Bob had a few bites of prey yesterday. It is so hungry that it is trying to take food off Middle’s beak. Big Bob is unrelenting in her (it has to be a female) rampage. The osplets are 25, 24, and 21 days today. In general, nests like this ‘settle’ at 28 days just like they start on day ‘8’. We have a week to go. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. The oldest sibling on this nest has pushed its younger off the nest at 65 days and killed it. It is going to be a long week.

Mum was up having a snack and she tried to reach down and give Little Bob a bite of fish while Big was asleep. The time is 01:27:54. Little Bob is awake but Big Bob moves. Oh, if Little Bob would just slide up and open its beak, he would get a good feeding.

Middle Bob did eat some fish along with Mum. Sadly, Little Bob never woke up. Both Middle and Little will be hungry but Little really needs to have a good feed.

You can see Middle Bob’s crop. I just wanted to shake Little and get it awake so it could it. That feeding would have made all the difference. Mum has fish leftover for morning but will there be enough for Little to eat or only Big?

At the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond in Orange, Australia there were six feedings starting at 07:46:35 and ending at 18:48:40. Rubus is getting some bigger bites. Both of the eyases, Indigo and Rubus, are adorable.

Little Rubus had a nice big crop before bed!

From the Bookshelf:

Do you love Hen Harriers as much as I do? Those beautiful owl-faced low flying raptors that can be seen over the heather? There is a new book out by Ian Carter that looks very promising, The Hen Harrier’s Year. Here is the review:

https://raptorpersecutionuk.org/2022/10/12/book-review-the-hen-harriers-year-by-ian-carter-dan-powell/

So many factors play into a successful nest – lots of prey, healthy parents, no intruders…the list can be fairly long including Avian Flu. Despite all that has happened at Melbourne, that Peregrine Falcon nest is doing really well right now. That lovely tiercel is delivering fresh prey to Mum, the chicks are growing, and Dad has been able to help shield them from the sun during Mum’s noon day absences. Rubus is doing better at Orange. That wee one had a nice crop before bed last night. SE29 is in care and SE30 is being closely monitored. Thank you to all the boots on the ground near the Discovery Centre. The problem nest is Port Lincoln and this will not dissipate soon. We can only hope that Little gets one decent meal today.

Thank you for being with me. Take care everyone. I will be sending out breakfast news at the nests in the early evening. See you then!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their video tributes, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk), Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Sea Eagles FB, Raptor Persecution UK, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

SE30 fledges and is mobbed by Curras, SE29 in care, Little Bob beaks Big – what a day the 10th of the 10th was in Australia

10 October 2022

Good Morning!

When I closed my blog yesterday, SE30 had fledged but not returned to the nest. The PLO were waiting for the arrival of the first fish. Would it come in the morning to help stop Big’s tirade? or later? Well, SE30 did fly back to the nest and honked at the Currawongs along with Lady. Dad did come through with a big whole fish for the family at Port Lincoln. The time was 08:04:02. So, sitting in Canada with the sun setting in less than 2 hours, the day in Australia began wonderfully well….and then it began to fall apart.

The fish for Port Lincoln arrived at 08:04:02. Little Bob was in a bad position but later, pushed itself up and got an even better location once Big had decided Middle had had quite enough fish at 03:30:46. Mum ate the fish tail at 08:36:18. After she looked around the nest for any scraps and fed them to the three osplets.

Dad did not get any of the breakfish. Mum had some good bites and skin but she could really use a whole fish to herself. Let us hope that Dad is motivated to go out and get another big one, eat 1/3 of it and take the rest to Mum and the kids before long.

Mum was sure screaming ‘happy’ when that whole fish arrived on the nest from Dad. What a great gift, Dad, to start the morning!

Little Bob was squished in between Middle (left) and Big (right) and was not getting many bites and neither was Big. Middle seemed to be at the right sweet spot for being fed.

Little goes every which way to try and get up to the fish. Poor little thing is so hungry.

In the image below, it is Little and Big up at the table. That is Middle in the back. Note the big crop. Big ‘encouraged’ Middle to move away.

All of the chicks had nice crops. Mum ate some, too, but she really good use more.

Mum flew off and returned and when she did, she began brooding them. It is chilly in Port Lincoln this morning.

Dad was hungry and went out fishing again straight away and was at the nest with another fish for everyone, headless and smaller this time, at 0911.

Big and Little Bob shared that fish. Middle was shut out. A third fish arrives within 2 hours. We would think that all would be well but, Big then took exception to Little eating so much and Middle. This time Little Bob gets cheeky – and at 12:12:00 decided to beak Big Bob.

Big Bob tore into Little, Middle even got afraid but, it did not stop Little Bob and Middle getting back up to eat some of that nice fish. They all had crops and were so full that even Mum got some fish.

A 4th fish comes on the PLO nest at 13:37. It was completely finished at 13:48. All ate well. Dad really made up for the last couple of days. I wonder what changed at Port Lincoln. (Dad does not intentionally catch fish – he is hardwired to provide for his family so what changed?).

Everyone had a big feed before bed. It was a great day for Port Lincoln. Let us hope that today, when everyone wakes up in Australia, it will be another 5 or 6 fish day.

There was a video posted of SE 30’s fledge. I know that you will want to see that. It was such a good flight and SE 30 did return to the nest after being away for about 45 minutes.

As all of you know, SE29 had been returning to the nest on a regular basis to sleep above SE30. They were the best of mates and well, we wondered why SE29 was not around. And we worried. SE29 was found in a residential area injured and is now in rehab getting much needed fluids. Here is the posting for SE29 followed by a video of SE30’s fledge.

It was such an eventful day yesterday with the small chicks left at Melbourne in the hot sun and the Mum doing the best she could to restore order. That appears to have ended well.

But things were not all rosey for SE30 after fledging. The Currawongs were all over 30 and at one time it found itself surrounded by attacking Currawongs upside down in a tree.

SE30 was able to get out of the predicament it was in. You can see the nest above. The Curras are unrelenting. Thanks ‘H’ for alerting me!

A parent slept on the parent branch but SE30 has not returned to the nest tree and did not sleep there. My fear is that the Curras drove the bird out to the Salt flats and away from where the parents are so that it can learn to hunt and hone its flying skills. Please send your best wishes to both 29 and 30.

Everything at Melbourne settled down. Mum demonstrated great skills getting the last eyas up to scrape box with the others.

The top image is Mum trying to brood those four large eyases. ‘H’ has helped me solve my problem with IDing these two adults. Mum has the lateral bars high up on her neck. You can see them no matter how she is positioned.

The eyases seem to be fine from the big ordeal earlier in the day when they found themselves in the hot sun without Mum shading them for nearly an hour.

For ID purposes, this is Dad looking after the eyases while Mum has a break and eats her meal. Notice that Dad is ‘white’ at the neck and has few lateral bars high up. I had been checking for a black line descending from the hood to identify Dad but it is often not visible. Thanks, ‘H’.

There was a bedtime feeding at Orange. It was impossible to see how much prey Rufus received. Indigo is getting her pin feathers and Rufus is still soft and fluffy getting its eyes focused.

You can see Indigo’s pin feathers coming.

What a day it was. To recap: At Port Lincoln, Dad amazed everyone by bringing in four fish before early afternoon. Even then Big was rip roaring upset. Once it had eaten, it was fine for the others. At one time, Big even let Little eat beside it when Middle was shut out. Then, of course, Little decided to be brave and beak Big. Still, all ate well at Port Lincoln yesterday including Mum. At Orange, Diamond is doing much better getting prey into Rufus’s beak now that its head is more steady and its eyes are focusing. It appeared that the wee one ate better yesterday but I could not tell from the last feed. SE30 fledged and got in trouble when the Currawongs began their attack in the late afternoon. I suspect that they have driven 30 out of the forest just in the same way they probably drove 29 out. (or it would have returned to the nest). Melbourne seems to have averted what could have been a tragedy.

When the day was over, sadly, the only nest without its resident fledgling or chicks was Sea Eagles. We hope that 30 is safe and we wish a quick recovery to 29.

Who knows what the 11th of October holds for Australian nests. I hope it is quiet! In the US, they are putting up a new camera for the Redding Eagles and Connor from Window to Wildlife is going to Captiva to check on the camera. There is lots going on but the action of the raptors and their lives continues to be in the four Australian nests. It is Thanksgiving in Canada. For all those celebrating, have a wonderful day today with your family and friends. My report will be coming in quite late this evening.

Thank you for joining me. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: to ‘J’, ‘H’, and ‘A’ who sent news and timestamps, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park and the Sea Eagles FB page, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac.

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.