Was the rat brought to the WRDC nest poisoned?

Last season, a rat was brought on as prey to the Bald Eagle nest at Captiva on Sanibel Island. It was fed to Peace and Hope. Both died of rodenticide poisoning. There have been far too many deaths due to rodenticide. The list is too long for me to type but every wildlife rehabber will tell you that everyone of those deaths was preventable!

Today a rat was brought to the WRDC nest of Ron and Rita and the eaglets, R1 and R2, ate it. The following was posted on a FB group that I belong to. Rodenticide is meat for rats and mice but it often causes the secondary poisoning of raptors as well as domestic cats or dogs. Everyone is working very hard to get this designer poison banned.

The rats are so easy to catch once they have eaten the poison. They become sluggish and are easy to catch.

Please send your positive wishes to this nest and help the raptors by not using rodenticide and telling everyone you know to not use it and why. I have first hand experience with our lovely cat, Duncan, dying from this. It is a horrific death. Agonizing.

Ervie had two fish deliveries so far. One was at 10:24 and the other was at 12:47:44. Ervie has also been off the nest exploring the area which is wonderful news.

Port Lincoln also zoomed in the camera on Ervie eating his fish. The result was some beautiful portraits of my favourite Osprey fledgling. Told you I was biased!

In the image below, Ervie is giving the ‘snake eye’ look that many Ospreys, like Iris at the Hell Gate Canyon Nest in Montana is so famous for.

Ervie loves to eat! He is really doing a great job eating this nice fish!

The hatch at Berry College is progressing. The extra shell was over the smaller end of the egg. One small victory! B15 is doing very well, too. Let us all hope that B15 is very nice to its sibling once it has hatched.

By 16:00, the little one at the KNF nest was chattering away wanting more fish. Anna waited a couple of minutes and got up and gave that sweetie a really nice feeding. I was surprised that it could hold any more fish after the previous meal but, there was room for a few nice size bites. At that time, 5 fish or parts of fish could be seen on the camera. The one that Anna is feeding yet-to-be-named eaglet had just been brought in by Louis. This baby will never have to worry about there not being enough fish! Last year Louis brought in a turtle but, as far as I know there are no worries about rats coming on to this nest as prey. Lake Kincaid is right out the front door!

I went back to check the WBSE nest and Daisy has not returned since she was there in the morning. There is still much time left in the day, however.

I am so sorry to worry anyone about the eaglets on the WRDC nest. It is reassuring that they are being monitored and I hope at the first sign of a problem they will be removed from the nest and taken into care — with positive results! Three things that would really improve the lives of the raptors ——- ban rodenticides along with lead in hunting and fishing equipment.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on the latest comings and goings. This is brief because I wanted to alert you to the issue at hand. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Bald Eagles Rodenticide and Lead FB page.

Friday in Bird World

Just about the time I begin to think, and then say, that it looks like the parents at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge are slowing down with fish deliveries, they bring two nice sized fish to Ervie. There was a huge chunk at 07:34 and another nice fish arrived at 15:20. Ervie didn’t actually start eating it until 16:25. Ervie was the only lad about. Bazza was last seen on Sunday the 9th and Falky was last seen on the ropes with Mum and Dad at 19:40 on the 12th. Will Ervie stay or go?

Ervie is still full from the morning fish when the afternoon delivery arrives.

Ervie is still eating at 17:34! My goodness those were nice fish brought to the nest. Ervie finished off his fish and flew off the left side of the nest.

Will that be our last sighting of Ervie on the nest? No one slept on the barge last night. We wait.

Missy has been feeding the little one on the Berry College Eagle Nest. It appears to be doing fine. Everyone is watching for the second egg. Sadly that broken shell has really attached itself to that egg.

I believe this is Missy’s first eaglet to survive. She is figuring feedings out!

B15 is getting stronger. You can see the issue with the second egg clearly here. I cannot tell if the extra piece of shell is over the narrow or wide part of the egg. The eaglets pip on the wider end. Pip watch coming for that second egg.

The nest is empty this morning at Big Bear, California but everyone is on egg watch for Shadow and Jackie.

Anna let Louis brood the chick this morning! Last year she waited a long time and Lous is delighted to be involved with his chick. Both Anna and Louis have been on the KNF nest this morning and the eaglet is eating well. Lots of nice fish for everyone on that nest!

There seem to be two words used for Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20. They are ‘nice’ and ‘cute’. Look at the feathers coming on E19 and E20 and then look at Anna’s baby above. They change so quickly!

This is a great little film about the Kakapo. Since it is breeding season and we are looking at eggs, it seems like a good time to refresh what we know about this very endangered non-flying parrot and how they are cared for. The update on the numbers is that there are now 202 Kakapo down from 208 the beginning of last year.

Daisy the Duck has not returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest to lay eggs since she visited with her mate on 1 January. That was two-weeks ago. Fingers crossed she has found another spot and is successful. One of the women who visits the centre was to send us images of Daisy paddling but nothing so far. Maybe Daisy is away from the area of water around the Discovery Centre and the Duck Pond.

Great Horned Owls have been mating on the Savannah Osprey Nest and the GHOWs have been mating on the nest that was stolen from a young Bald Eagle couple in Newton, Kansas last year. The couple who became known as Bonnie and Clyde raised two of the cutest little owlets on this nest. When the eggs are laid, I will definitely let you know.

For the most part the Owls and the Eagles live cooperatively but I really don’t like the owls when they try to knock the eagles off or hurt their eyes and heads as at the WBSE Nest by the small BooBook Owls and at SWFlorida when it is a GHOW hitting M15 and knocking him off the branch into the nest, sometimes.

One thing I did not know is that there are no Great Horned Owls near the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest in Miami-Dade County. The Coot delivered yesterday, the second one to arrive as prey on the nest, is gone! They seem to love the taste of that waterfowl. My eagle expert tells me that the WRDC are thinking about putting up more nests like this one for the eagles. Fantastic. It seems to be a really good design and they can work out any kinks watching this nest.

R1 ate well and now Dad is making sure that R2 is full to the brim. Ron, you are a great Dad! You can see R1 passed out in a food coma and Ron has even moved across the nest to feed the youngest sibling. Fantastic.

Today is Day 40 for the eggs at Captiva Bald Eagle Nest on Sanibel, Island. It is the home of Connie and her new mate, Clive. There is some chatter that the eggs might not be fertile. Let’s wait and see.

I haven’t seen any of Ervie’s tracking uploaded since 26 December. I will be checking on the PLO nest during the rest of the day to see if anyone returns to the barge at Port Lincoln. That wing of his could be our last sighting of the Erv until people along the coast send in images of him. There appears to be a huge interest ‘and caring’ for the Osprey in the region. That really helps!

Take care everyone. Have a great end to your week. Thank you for joining me. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Berry College Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagles, Friends of Big Bear, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest, Captiva Bald Eagles, Farmer Derek Owl Cam, and the WRDC Bald Eagle Nest.

Sunday in Bird World

Hi Everyone!

It is another cold day on the Canadian Prairies. The European Starlings were sitting on the tips of the Lilac branches on a bright sunny morning. It is -30. Notice how blue the sky is on a cold, cold day.

The Starlings puff up all their feathers. They seem more interested in sunning themselves than eating today.

Little Red was leaping from the fence to the feeders and back again, collecting nuts as quick as he could. It looks like Dyson & Co have decided to hibernate during this week or two of extreme weather. I do not blame them!

M15 found a possum that had been killed on the road and brought it to the nest in Fort Myers. That is one of the ways that Eagles get killed – removing carrion from the roads and taking it to the nest OR sitting on the road and eating the prey item. Our wildlife rehabbers suggest carrying a shovel in your car and stopping and removing dead animals from the road and placing them way back in the ditch. It will certainly help all the raptors.

In a late Sunday afternoon feeding, E20 got smart for a bit and stood behind E19 when Harriet got up to feed them.

If you are wondering which one is which, it is easy to identify them. Currently, E19 has a bit of PS and food on its back and it is slightly bigger. E19 is in front. E20 is a fluffy clean white ball. A sweetie.

So far their eyes are looking great. No sign of any infection.

The other day when E20 climbed out of the nest cup for a feeding, it was too close to Harriet’s beak making it difficult for her to feed it. By standing behind E19, E20 is at the right place for food and away from E19’s beak. So the first bites go to E20.

The next bite goes to E19. Harriet is such a good mother. There should never been any feelings of food insecurity on this nest.

Adorable.

I was a bit shocked to see an individual on the FB group of the SWFlorida Eaglets write expecting E19 to kill E20. Siblicide in Bald Eagles is very rare. I include below some information from a study. You will see that storms cause more deaths. There has never been a death due to siblicide on this nest in SWFlorida. Everyone can rest easy.

From the researcher in Maine:

“I studied 62 webcam Bald Eagle nests with direct observations of the nest bowl recorded over a period of up to 8 years. The total number of nest seasons was 240. Of that number, there were 91 with just one hatch or none, 105 nestings with 2 hatches, 42 with 3 hatches and 2 with 4 hatches. (These are all direct observations of egg-laying, hatch, eaglet development and fledge.)

Of the 105 nestings with 2 hatches, both eaglets successfully fledged 77 times (73%), 1 eaglet fledged and 1 died 22 times (21%), and both died 6 times (6%). Of the 34 who died, the cause of death was parent neglect (6), killed by intruder (4), storm (4), failed in the first day or two (3), accident (5), illness (1), unknown (7), possible siblicide (1), and known siblicide (3). Based on these figures (including the possible siblicide), the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 2 eaglets is 3.8%.

Of the 42 nestings with 3 hatches, all 3 eaglets fledged 35 times (83%), 2 fledged and 1 died 3 times (7%), 1 fledged and 2 died 2 times (5%), and all three died 2 times (5%). Of the 13 who died, the cause of death was storm (eight), poison (2), accident (1), unknown (1), and siblicide (1). Based on these figures, the incidence of siblicide on a nest with 3 siblings is 2%.

Of the 2 nestings with 4 hatches, all 4 eaglets successfully fledged on one, and 2 on the other. The cause of death of the 2 who died was storm (1), died in the first day or so (1).

The known incidence of siblicide on these 62 random nests of 396 hatched eaglets was 4 eaglets, 3 of whom were from the same nest in Maine, and all were attributed to lack of food and/or parent neglect. That’s 1%. It would be less than 0.3% if I discounted that one nest in Maine.”

That should put everyone’s mind to rest when they are watching the Bald Eagle nests.

And as I close, E20 is eating again and E19 is looking at something else. It was a good feeding!

Lady and Dad, the White-Bellied Australian Sea Eagles, did not return to their nest in the Sydney Olympic Park after having been harassed by both the Currawong and the BooBook Owls the previous night.

It has been confirmed that there are boxes for ducks at the Duck Pond but our Daisy seems to prefer nests to them. Let us all hope she changes her mind.

Samson is giving Gabby a break at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam near Jacksonville. He is incubating NE26 and 27. (Legacy was NE24 and the unviable egg was considered NE25). We will be on hatch watch in about 12 days. How wonderful.

It is an interesting morning at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. Ervie is the one who has been on the nest and who is prey calling – very loudly.

Falky has landed on the nearby ropes and is hoping for a chance at the breakfast fish this morning, too. I wonder how much fishing Ervie is actually doing??? He has been sitting on that nest a long time prey crying instead of fishing….

The other Bald Eagle nest that currently has two little eaglets is Hilton Head. The eaglets are doing fine. I will include the link to the camera since they are not on YouTube. They are adorable and I urge you to stop in and have a look. There is no rewind function, however!

The link to the camera is here:

https://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/hilton-head-land-trust-eagles

Someone asked me what nest I am looking forward to the most in 2022. That is a real hard one! In the United States, it would have to be Big Red and Arthur, the Red-tail Hawks at Cornell University. Here are K1 and K2 from last spring’s nest. K3 will hatch the day after. They are just super parents. Big Red will be laying her eggs in March.

Unlike Bald Eagles who hatch with grey soft natal down, Red-tail Hawks have the most beautiful soft white down and white spikey hair on the top of their heads! They melt my heart instantly.

5 May 2021. K1 and K2.

I love Peregrine Falcons so Annie and Grinnell will be at the top of my list and as for Osprey Nests in the US, you can’t get better than Richmond and Rosie out in California. I try to keep track of several Osprey nests in the UK, the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia, and for this year, the Osprey nests in Finland. Then there is the Black Kite Nest in a Taipei Cemetery. That should keep me out of trouble!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, NWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Hilton Head Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

New Year’s Day in Bird World, late edition

New Year’s Day started off wonderfully with the uniting of Annie and Grinnell. Cal Falcons posted a note that the interloper that had injured Grinnell and sent him into rehabilitation on 29 October has not been seen in the past two weeks. It appears that our little Grinnell watched, got stronger, and got rid of him! That is a good thing. Grinnell is far too experienced a mate and knows how to take good care of the eyases – that is invaluable to Annie. I only wish Daisy had a mate half so invested in the eggs and nestlings!

10,600 people have watched Annie and Grinnell ring in the New Year together! Look closely at the image. Notice just how much bigger Annie is than Grinnell. That is reverse sex-size dimorphism – in raptors, the female is normally 30% larger than the male.

These little falcons like to live on the highest buildings so they can have a great view if anyone larger than them should want to arrive at their scrape box. Thousands of years ago they lived on the highest cliffs (some still do in certain geographical regions) but, like other birds they have adapted as humans take over their space. They have adapted to our skyscrapers like this perfect building on the University of California at Berkeley, The Campanile.

Oh, what a beautiful sight first thing in the morning. So happy. This is just such a relief.

The White-Bellied Sea Eagles were up on the branch together to sing the morning duet. They had a rough night of it. They were chased and harassed by the Pied Currawong first. The Curra are the birds that injured WBSE 27 – gathering in a group to fly and hit its head. The Curra are also the birds that chase the eagle fledglings out of the forest before they have learned from Lady and Dad how to fish and survive. I really do not like them and their numbers have grown in the forest over the past few years. They are more than a nuisance. They can be deadly.

As soon as the Curra were in bed, it was not long until BooBook Owl and its mate started their silent attacks. They spent five full hours harassing the WBSE. They are also dangerous. One injured Lady’s eye last year and she could have been blinded.

Here is a video of the attacks with the eagles falling off the branch.

To my knowledge, the WBSE do not eat the hatchlings of either the Curra or the Owls. These little birds just want the big Apex raptors out of the forest and they will do everything they can to accomplish this.

The pair sang The Duet and promptly left the forest. I wonder if there is another nest location for them? The old nest of Dad’s collapsed but there could be other suitable sites.

I made this video clip a few months ago in mid-September. I love the beauty of Lady and Dad singing their song to wake up the forest. Scroll your mouse or tracker over the left hand corner and then click on the arrow to play.

I have never liked this nest because of the Currawongs and now Boo and his family are older and bolder. It is not good for the eaglets who hatch or for Daisy. My eyes in that area tell me that the Ravens have also been coming to the nest to check for eggs every couple of days. So sad. If Daisy does return, I have no hope for her eggs hatching. I just do not want her to get injured if a large number of Ravens would come at the same time.

This morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge Bazza was on the nest when the fish arrived at 08:09. Falky flew over from his perch hoping to get it but Bazza was the clear winner and kicked Falky off the nest! You will remember that yesterday Bazza flew in and took the fish right when Dad brought it in. Bazza is going to be called Bold Bazza for sure. He is getting street smart for sure – all good survival skills.

Here comes Dad with the fish. Bazza can see him and he is prey calling louder and louder.

Bazza is starting to mantle the fish (on the left side of the nest). Mantling is when a raptor spreads their wings over the food item so that others cannot get to it. It is almost like hiding it. Falky is on the right edge of the nest. Ervie is up on the perch and Mum is on the ropes.

What interested me was not Bazza getting the fish or Falky trying to take it but, Ervie’s behaviour. Ervie did not move off the perch. He did not care. He was not hungry. This tells me that Ervie had already been out fishing for his morning breakfast. He will continue to get more and more independent.

E19 was being a bit of a stinker today. His attacks on E20 were frequent and sometimes brutal.

So what do Harriet and M15 do when this happens? Well, often, they will ‘sit’ on the chicks but, at other times, they will do a tandem feeding. That is precisely what happened today. M15 stepped in to help Harriet with the cantankerous two.

Just lovely. Both eating at once. They will learn, over time, that everyone gets fed. No one goes hungry in Harriet and M15’s house.

Ferris Akel held his tour today. Viewers were treated to the sightings of five Snowy Owls at the Finger Lakes Airport.

Snowy Owls are moving south from their home in the Arctic to find food. They mostly eat rabbits, grouse, mice, weasels and small waterfowl and marine birds. Open fields, golf courses, or small airports like this one are perfect for them to find food.

Not far away were what seemed like a thousand Sandhill Cranes. Some were feeding in the fields, some were in the marsh, and some were flying from the fields to the marsh. There seemed to be Sandhill Cranes everywhere!

The adults have grey bodies with a distinctive crimson red cap. Their long legs and necks immediately tell us that these are ‘wading’ birds. They stand 90-122 cm tall or 36-48 inches. They have long pointed beaks for finding food in the muddy waters of wetlands. They also have a ‘bustle’ or tufted tail. You can see those tufts on the cranes in the image below.

The Sandhill Cranes migrate during the winter leaving their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic and Northern Canada in large groups. They will gather in the thousands in staging areas.

With their long beaks they probe in the waters feeding on plant tubers, roots, seeds, and small invertebrates. In the image below you can see how their long legs and neck really assist them in finding food.

Oh, these cranes are so gorgeous. Sandhill cranes have been the subject of Japanese art for centuries. They are a traditional symbol of immortality because it is believed that the cranes live for a thousand years.

The panel below is called Cranes in a Winter Landscape. This is clearly a good wish for longevity.

The screen below is part of a series of two six-panelled screens done in the 1700s. Typically the backgrounds would have been painted gold. Both the old twisted pine and the crane signal immortality or wishes for a long life. These would have typically folded and divided rooms.

Thank you so much for joining me. Stay warm, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, UC-Berkeley Falcon Cam, and Ferris Akel.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 12

Daisy has not taken a break since Day 12 began at midnight on 14 December in Australia. She had a short break after sunset on Day 11.

This morning Daisy did have a number of visitors. The first was a Galah and then some Rainbow Lorikeets arrived. At one time the Galah screeched and it woke up the Ringtail Possum who came out of its nest.

The Galah flew away and the Lorikeets stopped chattering.

The Ravens flew around the tree making noise checking on whether anyone was sitting on those eggs. Daisy was there and they left – just stirring up a little anxiety. It is interesting that they have not landed on the nest the last few days. Maybe that little duck scared them enough that they will never come if she is there.

Once the Ravens left, the Lorikeets came back up on the nest.

It is nearing noon. It has been so quiet that it is almost eerie.

The cam operator must have left as we have had a wide shot most of the day. I scrolled back through the footage and found a few close ups for us to enjoy.

Look at all that lovely down!

Don’t you love how the golden light of the sun falls on our beautiful duck?

Daisy must be very tired and hungry.

Daisy is going to have to take a break. Let us all hope that she can wait until sunset.

It has been so quiet on Daisy’s nest the past couple of days. I would love for it to stay this way but anything can happen in a second. There is rain forecast for tomorrow. If Daisy goes out foraging at sunset – which she has to do (or go before) and if she does the same before sunrise, she might be on those eggs to protect that down when the rain comes. That down is precious because it is making up for a lack of leaves.

It is after lunch on the nest and everything is so quiet. It is like all of the other birds were boxed up and sent out of the forest. I can hear the hum of the streaming cam and about every half hour a bird. So strange. Maybe it is siesta time.

Can you see Daisy?

That said…I do wish it would be his way til about the 6th of January when those ducklings leap off that nest. If Daisy does manage to get those eggs to hatch – against every obstacle she could have – I think we should each toast her with whatever your favourite beverage is when Daisy and her babies leap. My goodness I cannot think of a better way to enter into 2022.

I have the sound turned up way too loud. If anything happens on this nest I will be alerted. For now, I am going to go and look through a book on raptors and have some nice green tea.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me and Daisy. She is so hidden in the shade of that big tree – she blends in perfectly with the nest. See you soon!

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@ BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Oh, Bazza Baby

The Port Lincoln Lads seem to always be up to something. This morning Falky was flying about and Bazza and Ervie were on the nest. They had to have been full because there was a lovely fish tail on the nest and neither one of them were paying any attention to it.

It was very windy and Bazza entertained Ervie for about half an hour trying to land and stay on the perch. Have a look.

Are you finding that sometimes you could just use a little bit of ‘cute’ as we wait for new bobble heads in the raptor families to be born? What about a Korora?

They used to be called Little Blue Penguins. They are the smallest of the New Zealand penguins. This little one will weigh about 1 kg and be about 25 cm tall when it is fully grown. Their population is in decline due to dog, cat, stoat, and ferret kills. This group of predators has arisen because of the destruction of the penguin’s natural nesting sites for development. Sad.

And I want to give a shout out to ‘TAS’ for introducing me to this cute little non-raptor!

WBSE 27 has been observed being hounded by the Pied Currawong. This report comes from Cathy Cook on the ground:

As is usual in the Reserve, SE27 found herself being escorted & swooped by Noisy Miners, Magpies, Currawongs and Ravens, from the time she hopped out of the carrier. We saw her take 4 seperate flights, with her finally being observed (by credible people in the wharf cafe) to cross over the Parramatta River, just a little west of River Roost. The last picture shows SE27’s individual flights within the first 40 minutes after her release — at Newington Nature Reserve, Sydney Olympic Park.

Cathy posted pictures and a short video. I hope she does not mind my including one for you.

@ Cathy Cook

The saddest part about being a juvenile Sea Eagle is that for the rest of his life, 27 will be hounded by the smaller birds who, as you already know, are very effective in driving the juveniles out of the forest. I hope that Lady and Dad return to the River Roost on the Parramatta River to find 27 so they can feed her.

For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving with your friends, families and/or other loved ones in the USA, have a wonderful day. For those in Canada who celebrated in October, tomorrow is just another day. Take care. Always be thankful. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for its streaming cam where I video captured Bazza and to the Sea Eagles FB Page and Cathy Cook for the update on WBSE 27.

Bird World. 16 November

Viewers of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are starting to wonder if Bazza isn’t eating so much fish that he can’t get lift off the nest. He sure does love his fish.

At 08:00 Dad flies in with the first fish of the day. Falkey gets that one fighting off Bazza who would just love to have breakfast. At 8:50, Falky is full and he walks away leaving a beautiful fish tail on the nest. Ervie spied it immediately and finished that off quick.

They remain such a civil trio. There is Falkey getting to enjoy his breakfast.

Ervie turns around and probably doesn’t believe his luck – a nice fish tail just in front of him. He was there claiming it in the snap of a finger.

Ervie made quick work of the fish tail. Falky is full and Bazza really doesn’t seem interested.

At 09:36:53, Dad flies in with another fish, quite a large one this time. He puts it right at Bazza’s feet. Talk about luck. Bazza was still eating on that fish an hour and a half later. I don’t think he will be leaving too many scraps.

Just look at the size of that fish!

Bazza is still eating. My goodness. It could be true. Maybe he is too big for take off. Bazza certainly seems to be wider than the other two lads.

Do you follow the falcons at Orange? If so, then you probably know that this is the one year anniversary of last year’s chick, Izzi’s fludge. For those unfamiliar, Izzi was the only hatch of Diamond and Xavier in 2020. He dozed off on the ledge and literally fell out of the scrape box. Cilla had to find him and carry him back up the 170 steps to the box. When he did fledge, the first time, Izzi flew into a window and went into care. Cilla returned him to the scrape to do it properly the third time. Isn’t that what they say? The third time is a charm. It worked. In memory of the fludge, someone has put together a video clip of it and Izzi being returned to the scrape.

As for ‘Little’ Yurruga, Xavier delivered three prey items for his daughter before 06:45! Diamond will come in later and help Yurruga but she is doing a good job of the self-feeding. I love how she watches Diamond so intently when she is plucking and eating – memorizing / imprinting it all.

Rumours are circling that the WBSE Juvenile will be released from care into an area around the Newington Armoury by the Discovery Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park. The juvenile injured by the Curras is believed to be 27. (There are some that believe it is 28 and with no bands and no DNA who knows.)

There is really not a lot going on in Bird World. Waiting for Bazza to take the leap, waiting for some of the first Bald Eagles to lay their eggs, waiting to find out who is the Royal Cam Albatross family this year. Feels like a lot will happen at once!

Oh, I had to just go and check on the lads one more time to see if it is possible Bazza has flown. Nope. It is an hour later and Bazza is still eating!!!!!!!! Bazza has been eating for two hours. I kid you not. Did someone get Little Bob mixed up with Big Bob?

Flying uses up a lot of calories. Look at the difference in size between Falkey and Bazza. Gracious.

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

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

Bird World 15 November 2021

In the first chapter of her book, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, Julia Zarankin talks about the rather spartan apartment she had as a graduate student. She talked about the compromises with her husband’s collection of 300 stone elephants only to realize what happened when she discovered birds. She said: “Within a year, the barometric pressure in my apartment shifted. Stuffed-animal squeaky hooded warblers learned to coexist with tigers; bird-shaped vases stood next to the elephant-shaped salt shaker; sculpted owls flirted with the faux-malachite elephant’s plastic tusks…more frightening: a pile of bird-themed stationary of every persuasion and a shelf dedicated to field guides…Not to mention the nondescript felt bird, the two paintings of birds, and the stained glass owl..” Later she adds the parrot notebooks, bird-themed t-shirts and all the bird magazine subscriptions. How many of us see ourselves in those same words?

I was, despite all of the warnings by Zarankin, delighted to see Emry Evans’s book, Monty, in the post along with some pins. The Dyfi online shop is now open. All of the nature centres will ship overseas. Roy Dennis’s Wildlife Fund has his three books and shipping internationally is calculated at check out. Lots of good things at all the on line shops for Osprey fans.

Emyr Evans writing is exceptional as are the images in Monty. Written with a deep, abiding love and respect for a bird – 50 stories from the pen of Emyr Evans.

It is a horribly grey day on the Canadian prairies. Will it snow or will it rain? Do birds get arthritis? Would they like a heated area to warm their little feet? Those are the silly thoughts that have gone through my head today.

Dyson decided it was best to just be off the snow altogether and sit in the tray feeder filling his cute little face.

Dyson doesn’t share. He is like Ervie, the Port Lincoln super star fledgling who grabbed the first fish of the morning from dad at 6:50:24. Oh, I love this image of Ervie in front of Dad grabbing that fish with his leg just like Mum does. Ervie watched and learned. Sorry, Bazza.

Falky just loves to fly and he was much more interested in checking out the area than the first fish. He flew in just a little too late.

Falky’s landings are actually really good. Ervie did a few spins yesterday and wound up landing on Bazza – Ervie needs landing training. That is great form that Falky has on this landing. Ah, the lads will all improve. This flying thing is just new. What fun it must be to whip around the bay!

Now Bazza – it is your turn!

Diamond brought prey in for Yurruga at 07:09. Yurruga was ready!

I thought Diamond would drop the prey and leave like Xavier but she had a different idea.

Diamond who incubated the two eggs during the night decided she was also going to feed her nestling.

Look carefully. Yurruga is changing. The white down is really coming off those wings and the head. She looks like a bird, not a fluffy column with a sort of bird head. Even, the fur boa is disappearing.

You can see the pin stripes on Yurruga’s chest and her head now looks like that of a falcon. Amazing. Equally impressive is the length of Yurruga’s tail. What a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon she is going to be.

Ah, and if you are watching the dates, Izzi fludged a year ago today. Izzi is the 2020 hatch of Diamond and Xavier and quite the character.

Oh, such delight. There is no news – at least not yet today – on Grinnell. I hope he is ready to be released shortly. And no news on WBSE 27 but there was a gorgeous Galah in the nest this morning poking about.

One of the Aussie chatters always said that if someone called you a ‘galah’ it meant that you were rather ‘slow, dim witted’. Ah, terrible. They are such incredibly beautiful pink and grey cockatoos. A few minutes of a cute bird that loves to have ‘tickle tickle’.

Bazza still has plenty of time to fly today but I don’t. Thank you for joining me — and if you loved Monty, you seriously need to get to the Dyfi store and get a signed copy of Emry’s book. I promise you will not be sorry but you will need a box of tissues. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Less can be more

Hopefully today’s ramblings will make a point on how to help our birds. Bear with me. I love to tell stories and revisit memorable moments.

More than a decade and a half ago, I was in Beijing teaching some special workshops at the International School and also giving lectures on the history of Chinese ceramics. Yes, you read that correctly. A Canadian was in China talking about Chinese pottery! I had been there several times before and always enjoyed myself and treasured the friendships that I made. This particular visit I was staying in a hutong that had been converted into a small guest house. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard houses, many torn down now. During breakfast I met a very interesting lady whose name was Fanny Farkles. She had retired from owing a restaurant, catering, and cooking school in New York City. I asked her, being terribly curious, what she was going to purchase and take with her as a reminder of her time in Beijing. What she told me has stuck with me. She said, ‘I spent the first 50 years of my life acquiring stuff and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it’. Instead of ‘something’ she was going for an experience – a 17 course Ming-Dynasty meal fit for the emperor.

It wasn’t until later that I fully grasped the wisdom of what Farkles was saying but when I did, it hit me hard and, like all great insights, you wish you could turn back the clock and start again sometimes. Stuff. This coming year I will be spending much time finding new homes for ‘the stuff’. Thankfully, my resolution for 2021 was not to buy any new books. I almost made it had it not been for Chris Packham’s Back to Nature or Emyr Evans, Monty. Almost any book can be purchased used from a myriad of international sellers but not those two when I checked.

Speaking of Emyr Evans’s book on Monty, the DFYI on line shop is now open. If you are interested, here is the link to their on line shop:*

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/

A signed copy is 15 GBP. If you live in the UK, the postage is a very low flat rate. The round the world flat rate is 11.99 GBP. If you are a fan of the Dyfi’s Monty, the super star of the male Osprey world (by some), it is a great book or gift. It is also a fundraiser for the Dyfi Osprey Project.

One other year a young woman asked women around the world not to buy any new clothes. To wear one thing and switch it up with what was in the closet. It was the year of my black sheath dress. The money saved was given to young women in India to purchase school uniforms because we all know that education is important but you cannot go to school without a uniform in India. It was a brilliant idea.

An article in the environmental section of The Guardian today talks about ‘stuff’ and how to save the environment by not buying. Several months ago, an economist suggested that if everyone in the world cut their spending of non-essential goods by 15% it would have a major impact on climate change. If it is good for the environment then it is good for the birds. Have a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/20/we-need-to-stop-buying-stuff-and-i-know-just-the-people-to-persuade-us

A quick check on those adorable feathered creatures that inspire us to leave the world a better place reveals that Middle Bob and Little Bob on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge had a tug o war over the fish tail this morning. I think Middle Bob won but, that’s OK. Little Bob won when he pulled with Mum!

Despite their amazing growth and those awesome curved juvenile feathers, you can still tell Little Bob from the circle on top of its head. You can also count on Little Bob being as near to where Mum is handing out the food as anyone. They line up and he is there, right at the beak with gleeful anticipation in his eyes.

Mum is happy to oblige!

The feeding is over and Little and Middle are tugging for the tail. The osplet behind Mum is Big Bob. It looks like a circle on its head but it isn’t. It has lines radiating out when you can see the full design.

Middle Bob is eating the tail and Little Bob is checking to see if Mum finds any more food on the nest. Oh, he loves leftovers, too. First up to the table and normally the last to leave. Sounds like Little Bob is a female to me. They need about 25% more food than the males.

Yurruga is currently sleeping off that entire Starling that Xavier fed it for breakfast. It is a wonder the baby didn’t pop but, like a good falcon, when Xavier suggested it eat more and made that chumping sound, Yurruga ate. It is learning to eat when food is available. You don’t always have the luxury of a stash in the corner of a scrape box in the real falcon world.

At least one of the Collins Street Four looks like it wants to try out for one of the local rugby teams. My goodness these chicks are enormous. Look at those feathers coming in. One day we will wake up and they are going to look like their Dad and Mum – it will happen in a blink I am afraid.

No other news from the little sea eaglets that flew off the nest yesterday. Keep them in your positive thoughts.

Thank you for joining me today. Everything at the nests is just fine. What a lovely relief. You take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac.

* I might mention books or other things in my blog. I do not make any money if you purchase the items and never will. My purpose is to simply bring news of the birds as they add so much joy to our lives and to alert you to ways that you can help make the world a better place for those birds.

White-Bellied Sea Eagles have an Empty Nest

It was not the way the morning should have started. When we think of fledging, most of the time we recall juveniles reaching a certain age and flying out from the nest on their own. Sometimes it does not go to plan. Many are actually forced out by intruders. We will never know, for example, what larger bird of prey forced Malin (the Osplet at Collins Marsh) to fledge causing its death. Other times the birds fludge like Izzi last year when he went to sleep on the ledge and fell out of the scrape box. Izzi was lucky. He had a guardian angel to get him back to safety. Malin did not.

Today, WBSE 27 and 28 got up and 28 seems to have snagged the morning breakfast delivery. I don’t know what it is with eating and early morning air but young raptors seem to become energized. That is precisely what happened to 28, the youngest. It started flapping its wings and jumping around the nest. Meanwhile, 27 was minding its own business on one of the parent branches. 28 decided to fly up to where 27 was. It was at that moment that I remembered Big and Little at Duke Farms last season. Both were on the branch and one of the birds wanted on the other side and they both fludged. Theirs was a happy ending but that wasn’t know for a few days. Both made their way back to the nest to be fed by the parents for some time. That is the way it is supposed to happen. Well, it is unclear about WBSE 28. He fell off the nest.

Here is a sequence of still images showing the build up to the fludge. In the first one, 27 is on the branch and 28 is still eating.

28 begins to flap and jump.

Look at those beautiful wings.

27 flies up to the branch.

At 07:22:02 WBSE 28 almost took both of the birds off the nest. He fell to the left. You can see his wings. WBSE 28 composes itself on the branch.

Meanwhile the cam operator searches the ground for WBSE 28.

Almost immediately the Pied Currawong begin their relentless attack on WBSE 27.

There were three Pied Currawong taking turns at WBSE 27. You see it is in their best interests to keep these sea eaglets out of the forest despite the fact that I have never seen a WBSE eat a Pied Currawong. They certainly might want to start doing that. This is not the first time these birds have rushed a sea eaglet to fledgling and flying out of the forest never to return. They did the same thing last year.

27 does well honking and spreading its wings in a defensive manner. It had to be frightened.

At one point 27 flew at the Currawong.

WBSE 27 off the nest at 8:33:56.

One of the Sydney Sea Eagle chatters caught WBSE 27’s fledge and made a video clip of it. 27 flew to the branch by the camera tree. You can see it in the clip. It was a beautiful first flight. You can also see 27 flying out of the forest to the left.

There are many types of fledges and the anxiousness of WBSE 27 being harassed by the Pied Currawongs – well, you can decide if he flew off the nest because he was frightened or not.

Many believe that when the nestlings fledge, it is a successful season and life goes on. I always wonder what happens to these fledglings. It pulls at my heart and mind to have the Currawong run them out of the forest.

When raptors fledge, many take short flights from the nest returning for up to a month to be fed by their parents until they are just strong enough to fly off on their own. One of the best examples of success in this way were E17 and E18, the two Bald Eaglets of Harriet and M15’s at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers this year. There on the Pritchett Property the little eaglets were watched – they played in the pond, flew out and returned. They did this for about a month and then, one morning they were gone. By doing short flights from the nest at their leisure, the eagle fledglings imprinted the map back to the nest in their mind. That is not what has happened at the Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Will the eaglets return to the nest to be fed by Lady and Dad? Will Lady and Dad find them and feed them elsewhere? Is 28 tangled up in a tree in the forest? Will anyone rescue it? Where are the foxes? These are my questions. I hope that there is someone – many someones – actively looking for 28. If I hear anything, I will let you know.

The sea eaglets were right within the fledge range. I expected them to fledge any moment. It is unfortunate that 28 fell out of the tree. I do hope it recovered. No reason to think it would not. We will probably never know what happens to WBSE 27 and 28. Sadly, there is no programme for monitoring and tracking. I wish there were like with the Ospreys at Port Lincoln. It would be very interesting to see if they make it away from the nest and find a beach with carrion and other juveniles and survive and thrive.

UPDATE: Ranger Judy Harrington says that no one will be looking for 28 in the forest. It was heard on camera and they believe the Currawong will let them know where it is.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Take care all.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.