Without words…Middle dies at Port Lincoln

2 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

When I went to sleep last night, I knew that I would wake up and Middle would no longer be with us. What an absolutely tragedy. He was so dehydrated that he was no able to lift his little head and eat despite the fact that fish after fish came on the nest….and the one time he did, Big attacked him. I apologize for this newsletter being highly disjointed. I do get upset when one dies, it digs at my heart for the days leading up to the death and then after. Somehow Middle is hurting the most. He was 43 days old, fully feathered, and his death did not need to happen.

Middle when he was still alive. Cold and needing comfort.

At this moment in time, I cannot tell you how rare it is in % for two osplets to die of siblicide on the same nest. Yes, siblicide. Textbook siblicide again just as with Little Bob. Port Lincoln is the only osprey nest that I have ever encountered where a double siblicide has now been recorded in three years: 2022, 2016, and 2015.

In 2017, the eldest threw the youngest (only 2 hatched) off the nest at 65 days. Stevie went into rehab and died a few months later. It might well be this single incident 5 years ago that makes the Friends of Osprey believe that Ospreys do not do well in care. I say now – for the future – take a bold step Port Lincoln. Get permission to remove the chicks when it is not too late. Get them to a rehabber that cares – someone like Dr Madis in your area, there must be someone in the whole of Australia! – and let’s try this again! Don’t wait for them to be thrown out of the nest or get so weak they can’t raise their head.

Claudio Eduardo and I are developing the International Data Base for Ospreys. It is to find out this % on streaming cams. No one has ever tracked predation and siblicide internationally. Sadly, Port Lincoln is our first entry for the year.

Despite the anticipation of what seemed the inevitable, I was having a really hard time anticipating the death of Middle so, as usual, I began my blog for today quite early yesterday. Dear Middle wanted to be warm and wanted some fish. And darling you, you got spunky and we just knew you would make it — against the odds of this nest – with a big aggressive female as first hatch. I am so very, very sad that you didn’t.

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Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that this finds you well. There were some changes in my house yesterday. Two small rescue kittens, 11 weeks old, have come to stay. One is a soft long hair tabby female and the other is a grey tabby with white runners in front, tall boots in the back, a white bib and tummy and he is Lewis – after Lewis Hamilton, the race car driver from the UK. The reason is simple – Lewis runs around the house so fast from the front of the L to the conservatory barely stopping and heading back the other direction. I fell in love with him for his energy and love of toys. The yet-to-be-named female is sweet but, like the female raptors, she let Lewis know immediately that she is one week older and is ‘the boss’. He agreed and went on playing. They are getting along splendidly.

It was a real delight to watch Lewis sitting under the table peering out of the windows at the birds. I was ever so hopeful that they would enjoy watching them…they will never be outside to bother them. Did you know that, on average, outdoor cats live to be 5-6 years old while indoor cats live to be 17-20? Less vet bills, fewer infections. It is a no brainer — and the birds live. Not killed by an overfed pet to be left lifeless on the grass. Nope. Lewis and his sister can only dream!

It is very, very dark on the Canadian Prairies as the time nears 2100. The temperature is 11 degrees C. Warm for this time of year with clear skies and lots of stars. The temperature will rise overnight until it is an unthinkable 18 degrees C tomorrow. For those used to F, that is 64.4 degrees. In Port Lincoln, it is 14 degrees C at noon; it is 13 degrees in Melbourne. Similar. But for Port Lincoln this is freezing.

There are rumours making the circuit that Middle had a ‘ps’ (poop shoot) at Port Lincoln this morning. If that is the case, then Middle has had some fish. Osplets that have not eaten much in 3 days are dehydrated, no ‘ps’. I find that somewhat promising. And then I don’t. It is extremely cold and windy for Port Lincoln.

Fish arrived. Lots of fish. Big ate and ate. Middle got none.

It is now after 1400 on the nest. Middle has had scant food for more than 3 days. He appears to be slowly drifting away. His energy is gone. He is totally dehydrated. It is a horrible way to die. With winds gusting to sometimes 50 mph, I feel that there is no hope for this little fighter. It is a tragedy. I did not ever think that I would see this when things were looking up last week.

It is 2300 in Winnipeg. I know that Middle will not be here when I wake in the morning. We weep for all the Littles and sometimes a Middle…the people in the area that live and work in Port Lincoln, that care and love these Ospreys needs to have a serious look at the depletion of the fish in that region. More on that shortly.

I cannot even express how sad this is.

In his book, Bowland Beth. The Life of an English Hen Harrier, David Cobham says, ‘These young lives are full of hazards: they need to be able to contend with prolonged periods of bad weather; they run the risk of being shot; in the excitement of chasing prey they may collide with vehicles or overhead wires; ground predators sometimes catch them unawares at their roost sites; and inter-guild predation by buzzards and goshawks may also be responsible for culling weak and unwary juveniles.’ (90) We could change the language slightly for our Ospreys but, right now, the entire family at Port Lincoln is having to contend with a 3 or 4 day period of prolonged stormy and cold weather.

I am almost finished reading Bowland Beth. Cobham is a gifted writer. I know the ending of the story. Most that pick up the book already do but, we are draw into the life of this exceptional raptor that was cut short by the Red Grouse hunts. It is a riveting and moving book and a must read if you want to understand why it is so important to ban the annual shooting hunts on the big estates and why the burning of the heather should be banned, at the same time. It is also about the short live of a very exceptional raptor and that was enough to get me reading. Cobham draws you into the day to day life of this bird trying to survive.

Did you know that the origins of ringing birds is traced to the Reverend Gilbert White? I didn’t. He would tie a cotton ring around the leg of a swallow to see if it would return to the same nest the following year. The metal and coloured rings that we are familiar with today are credited to Harry Witherby and Landsborough Thomas of the British Trust for Ornithology in 1937.

When Bowland Beth was ringed, this was how she was described, ‘Bowland Beth was one of those birds that you come across now and then that are absolutely perfect – her plumage, a rich, glossy chocolate brown, the most wonderful eyes, yellow irises, and vivid chrome-yellow legs with formidable black talons. She’s what I call a ‘super’ hen harrier.’ (74-75) Oh, had she lived!

There are no issues with either the scrape at Orange or at 367 Collins Street. Regular meals, the eyases developing right on schedule as if they read the textbook! Rubus – I almost called the new kitten Rubus because it is so energetic – is being his usual self. Or is it a her? It will be interesting to see what Cilla says. Rubus has certainly had a spurt in growing but its legs seem long and thin to me for a female. But, I am not a falcon expert. Let’s see what Cilla has to say.

Following Diamond’s instructions, Xavier brought a Starling in for Rubus and Indigo. He left it on the scrape despite the prey begging from Rubus. These two will need to learn how to self-feed if they are to survive in the wild.

Rubus is very curious and picks on the feathers and the head under the watchful eye of Dad. Indigo is not dazed or interested.

Xavier leaves. Indigo has joined Rubus staring at the prey wondering what they are supposed to do with it.

In this image you can get a really good look at the difference four days makes in growth. Examine the length of the tail feathers and the amount of down left on the back and wings of each eyas. Rubus still looks like he has been playing in the cotton candy machine.

Rubus goes back and works on the head of the Starling.

Then Diamond arrives to feed these two…look at Rubus almost push Mum over trying to get a bite of food.

Rubus is very aggressive. S/he is very hungry!

What a bunch of characters. Just look at their eyes!

Speaking of adorable…here is a video of selfies from the Orange scrape from yesterday. Rubus and Indigo can put a smile on our face and take away the utter sadness that we feel for Middle and his plight.

There are falcons on the 367 Collins Street nest! Just look at them and look at that mess – poop shots everywhere, feathers all over the place, the messier the healthier. Seriously.

Sharon Pollock put together a good video highlighting the new female – the Mum of the extraordinary Melbourne Four of 2022.

Back in the world of Bald Eagles working on their nests and we find the female at nest E-3 at the Kistachie National Forest not liking the wires that Cody put up for the camera and the sound. Let’s hope she doesn’t decide to do serious damage! The white wire is the sound.

At the Bald Eagle nest on the campus of Berry College in Georgia, Missy and Pa Berry are getting their nest in order. They fledged B15 last year and what a fabulous fledgling he was!

The GHOWs are starting early at the Southwest Florida nest of Harriet and M15. They are already knocking Harriet off the attic branch and her and M15 haven’t even finished rebuilding the nest.

Making News:

This is a great read. One of the things that I want to point out is the thank you at the bottom to all those who voted. 50,000 Euros were at stake and that prize has gone to a place that can really use it to help protect the albatross. Next time you see a chance to vote, look over the possible recipients and make your mark. It can truly make a huge difference.

Dr Sharpe and all the researchers at the Institute for Wildlife Studies have developed a mobile hospital to take on the needs of the raptors. Now, isn’t this a great idea. Something like this might work well in places like South Australia where there are no such services for Ospreys! And if they could get an Urmas and Dr Madis on staff – willing to take on an extraordinary project to try and give birds a chance that are normally written off as not doing well in care — well, everyone would be a winner. I am still sending loud cheers to the team in Estonia who advanced knowledge in the care and rehabilitation of Black Storklings. Bonus is living proof that their theories on how to care for the storklets worked!

https://www.iws.org/mobile-wildlife-research-hospital

Someone asked me once – oh, more than once – how I can deal with siblicide. It tears a piece of your heart out every time. Today is particularly difficult. Keep Middle in your thoughts. May he fly far, never to be hungry, never to be hurt, never to be cold – again.

In the memory of Little and Middle and all the other osplets that died on this nest because of siblicide and the few who did live to fledge, It has to be asked, based on the historical evidence at this Osprey nest in South Australia, WHY is siblicide so prevalent? Is it the lack of fish in the area? the erratic fish deliveries? Are we witnessing in Australia the need to raise fish for our Osprey families because we are depleting the oceans? is climate change impacting the number of fish?

Someone needs to be asking these questions. As I was once told, Australia and New Zealand are on the front line for climate change. Australia do something bold. Show the world that you care for your wildlife. Be proactive like New Zealand is at Taiaroa Head. Feed the chicks! Feed them. Put fish on the nest at Port Lincoln. Stand up and make the argument to the Ministry of the Environment and Water. Raise the fish and place them on the nest openly and with permission. Pull an Urmas and Dr Madis – get so proactive that the world will not stop talking about your kindness and care for your wildlife.

I will be taking a day off in memory of both Little and Middle Bob. I will be back with you on the 4th of November.

Thank you for being with me today. We will collectively grieve for that beautiful second hatch at Port Lincoln who had such potential… a life that we will never witness now. Take care everyone. Be gentle on yourself.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Albatross Lovers and BirdLife Australia, IWS, KNF, SWFL and the Pritchett Family, and Berry College Eagles.

Worry for Middle at Port Lincoln as fish are few…and other bird world news

1 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that your beginning of the week has been a good one. We are on the third bad weather day at Port Lincoln and Middle has had little food. It is a very somber day. We wait to see if the weather changes and then to see if Big will allow Middle to eat. Things are not looking good. I wish I had great news for you this morning but ever so sadly, I do not.

Some of you are coming in late to the Alphabet-Name Game. It is for fun but, I have also discovered that it is a really good way to remember our feathered friends. Someone wrote that SE26 needed to be remembered and, well, the tap started running. That sea eaglet was such an inspiration to so many. I am so utterly deflated that she is not with us! — But, back to the fun part. Take a digital or physical piece of paper and put down all the letters of the alphabet. See what names of the streaming cam birds you come up with for each one. E is for Ervie. A is for ______________. Who can come up with a name for U? Anyone watching those Finnish Osprey nests? Send me your list by e-mail before midnight the 2nd of November. I will then set about collating them hopefully with some pictures! I hope to have the list complete over the weekend. Thank you to those that have already sent in their names. I saw so many that I knew and had forgotten! And do not feel bad if you come up with a lot for one letter and none for others, just send them in to me and join the challenge! That e-mail is: maryasteggles@maryannsteggles.com

In the Mailbox and Comments:

‘F’ comments: ‘The Port Lincoln nest is the hardest I’ve seen since I started seeing ospreys at the beginning of the year, very hard, the only thing missing is for the mother to be sick.’

You are so right, ‘F’. Yesterday I thought we had lost Mum and my heart just sank watching Dad try to feed the two osplets, Big and Middle, and failing miserably. It is very difficult to watch a nest that does not have enough fish. As I continue to mention, I have huge concerns over the commercial tuna fishing fleets that are based in Port Lincoln. Are they taking all the fish? I hope to find out more about this later.

NOTE: There was only 1 fish yesterday, 1 November, in Port Lincoln. Big attacked Middle many times. Mum is currently sleeping on top of Middle. I am concerned now that Middle will not survive unless there is a massive amount of fish brought to the nest. There will be no intervention. Port Lincoln would not have permission unless as Ian Falkenberg and others have said they deem the bird to be ‘near fledge’. There have been ospreys taken into care who have done well at Audubon’s Centre for Birds of Prey at Mailand, Florida such as Smedley who lived to be 28 and Bailey. I am attempting to find other factual information on Ospreys in care. If you know of any, please let me know.

Smedley and Bailey at the Audubon Birds of Prey Centre in Maitland, Florida. Smedley passed away in the past year at the age of 28. Bailey is still alive at the Centre and I understand there is another osprey in care…perhaps more. I must check with our friend ‘L’ that works with these amazing raptors to find out precisely how many ospreys have gone through the centre. Some have stayed as ambassadors while others are returned to the wild.

Making News:

Just more research findings supporting birds and nature are good for our health and might, in the future, be prescribed by doctors! Have a read and smile.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/bird-birdsong-encounters-improve-mental-health-study

There is a new article on birds and pollution by the British Trust for Ornithology. Have a read when you get a chance. We can all learn something new every day!

https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/articles/birds-and-pollution-%E2%80%94-masterclass

Australian Nests:

One of the older siblings of the Melbourne Four looks up perhaps seeing the parents flying about. Next to her in the gutter is the wee 4th hatch, a little boy.

Victor Hurley, the head researcher for the Victoria Peregrine Falcon Research Group, has posted what he believes are the genders of the Melbourne Four on FP. Here is that announcement:

Oh, goodness. Ervie’s tracker has been off line for a few days and last night the camera went down on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge just when we were all getting more than concerned for Middle. Ervie has been seen roosting on a tree near the water so he is fine. He had flown away early probably hoping to find some fish.

The waves are really, really choppy at Port Lincoln. Rain and gales have hit the nest and the number of fish deliveries has been dwindling since the start of the stormy weather. There was only one fish delivered on Tuesday.

This is one gorgeous osprey looking at us with their crest up high.

They are hard to differentiate between unless they are standing up and you can compare size and then see both head’s. Middle is missing feathers from the nape and so is this bird with this gorgeous crest. Is this Middle? or is it Big fooling me?

‘A’ tells me that there is even snow predicted for Port Lincoln. I simply cannot believe this is happening. This nest is ‘fragile’.

Everything is fine at the scrape box on the water tower in Orange. Indigo is really flapping those wings and Little Rubus watches and then he does some precious little flaps, too. He copies everything that Indigo does – my goodness what an utter joy it is to watch these two grow up together.

Indigo works her wings all during the day. Little Rubus often watches closely and if you look, he will give a little flap to his wings.

Xavier brings in a European Starling for breakfast. Indigo gets frightened and moves back toward the wall and then scurries to the Cilla Stones.

Just look at that beautiful Dad, our loving Xavier.

Xavier decides to take the prey and prepare it elsewhere. By this time Indigo is curious and hungry and comes down from the stones. Will that Starling return?

Yes, it does. Xavier returns in about 50 minutes and Diamond flies in to take the prey and feed Indigo and Rubus. Oh, dear. Look at that is left on the stones!!! The Starling Head. Indigo is going to be scared out of her wits when she sees it.

Just look at those beautiful tail feathers now revealed. If you look at Rubus, he is now losing the soft down from around his eyes and on his wing tips.

Every time Indigo really gets to flapping more down flies through the scrape.

The eyases had a Starling feeding but the head was left. Diamond comes in to take it and Rubus rushes over to take it. Poor Indigo. Rubus is going to put it right near the wall where she is sleeping. Will she be frightened when she wakes up and there is that beak and eyes staring at her? Rubus has never been frightened and Indigo is so easily scared. It would be a trick a younger sibling would pay on its older one!

Rubus grabs the head.

He carries it over and places it next to Indigo!

Diamond returns in a few minutes and retrieves the head and feeds it to Rubus. I don’t think Indigo even moved. Rubus is an endless pit when it comes to prey. Where does he put it? Definitely not in his skinny long legs.

Indigo and Rubus had a European Starling and a Large Honeyeater (Noisy Miner) for their morning meals. Rain is forecast for Orange, too. You can see some dark clouds looming in the distance.

The Melbourne Four continue to be fed and to find out when you have to listen and watch them scurry down the gutter towards the adult with the prey. Their legs are certainly getting stronger and the oldest is starting to look like a juvenile falcon!

Just checking on some of the Bald Eagle nests in the US as the couples continue to do nestorations or rebuilding.

Jackie and Shadow’s nest at Big Bear in California.

Gabby and Samson’s nest near St Petersburg, Florida.

Ron and Rita’s nest in the Miami Zoo.

Bella and Smitty have been bringing in nesting materials to the NCTC nest.

Lady and Dad were bonding at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

My thoughts go out to the Port Lincoln nest this morning as we wait to see if Middle will survive. I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it feels like our heart has been pulled out of us. The turn in the weather and the amount of fish at Port Lincoln has put our beautiful Middle’s life in jeopardy.

The other two scrapes we have been watching are doing just fine. Much of the fluff is now off three of the falcons at 367 Collins Street. There is plenty of food available at both scrapes.

Take care everyone. Thank you for being with me. See you soon.

It is freezing in Port Lincoln tonight. Turned really, really cold. Mum is working hard at keeping Middle warm. Beautiful Mum.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took the screen captures: ‘A’ and ‘H’, Audubon’s Birds of Prey, The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Victor Hurley and 367 Falcon Watchers, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

What a Mum…and other news Early Thursday in Bird World

20 October 2022

Hello Everyone,

I am starting tomorrow’s blog at 2130 Wednesday evening. I have appointments early tomorrow morning and I wanted to give you an idea of how the day progressed at the three nests we are watching in Australia. When it is Thursday in Canada, it is Friday in Australia. The day names and dates can be confusing!

I have started with Port Lincoln. The two falcon scrapes are stable although anything could happen at any moment to change that. The worry remains with the barge nest. It is Thursday in Port Lincoln. Big should have calmed herself by now but, she hasn’t. The nest is very volatile. Warning that the images below are graphic. They show an intense attack on Middle. The feeding after 1500 is very interesting. Notice that Big does keep Middle from eating but, Big is full and leaves. Mum moves the fish and feeds Middle. Don’t ever think she doesn’t know what is going on!

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, the water was calm and such a beautiful blue compared to the choppy waves of day’s past. At 063037 a whole fish arrived. It was so early that everyone hoped that this early start meant it would be a day full of lots of fish. So far, that has not been the case. As I write this, it is after 1300 and Big is attacking Middle. I was actually fearful that Big would push Middle off the nest.

I really had to hold my breath. It was clear that Big could have pushed Middle right out of the nest.

Middle stayed in the tight ball of submission and then, a few minutes later, wanted to move away from being by Big. Big started attacking Middle again.

Mum used a stick as a diversion. Would this get Big to turn away from attacking Middle?

Well, it did for a minute.

Mum flew off. Middle slowly slithered to the other side of the nest. Even if Mum brings in a fish right now, it is doubtful that Middle will get any. Big is in key form to block her younger sibling in any way that she can. The attack was ruthless. It was meant to instill fear and to let Middle know that Big is the boss. The food is for Big. Middle might get some, maybe, but only if Big is full to the tip of its beak.

I don’t think we will see any attempt by Middle to snatch and grab ————– I want to be wrong.

Another fish came in at 1504. It was a zebra fish. Big ate and ate and ate and starts on Middle at 1551. But Mum still has some fish left. And look! She physically moves the fish over to Middle so that it can have some food. I am so impressed.

Middle is hungry and hoping that a fish will arrive. Look at the crop on Big.

The last fish of the day arrives at 1838. It was almost impossible to see how the feeding went. The camera was zoomed out and then to close but Middle ate.

Big has a crop but did Middle eat??? Yes, he moved carefully around big to get to Mum’s beak.

Middle keeps its head down and waits for big to move out of the way.

Now Middle has its head up and is facing Mum. You can see its crop. Middle will not go to bed hungry.

The only problem at the 367 Collins Street scrape is the heat and that is slowly becoming not a problem as the eyases – at least three of them – can easily run dwn the gutter to the other end of the ledge to get in the shade.

The parent is afraid that the fourth hatch is wandering too close to the ledge. Notice the attempt to pull back by the scruff of the neck. It is interesting that both parents use that method to get the chicks to stop doing what worries them – or to get them out of trouble -.

Mum leaves and the 4th hatch gets down into the gutter into the shade. I couldn’t help myself. What a cutie pie this one is. Love the nice big crop. All of the Melbourne Four are being well fed. Food is not a problem. My concern until now was the absences of Mum, the heat, and lack of shade. The four have solved that themselves by growing big and strong. They can get in the shade and simply wait for Daddy Door-Dash.

A little Buddha.

It is now very difficult to gauge the feedings at Collins Street because of the heat from the sun on the scrape. The eyases are down at the other end, in the other scrape where there is no camera, and we can hear the calling and feeding but we cannot see it now.

Rubus and Indigo have had a Starling breakfast, a feeding started by Xavier and finished by Diamond. Four and a half hours later, at 11:01:10, Darling feeds her two babies a Crimson Rosella. Oh, they loved it.

Oh, just look at how fluffy Indigo is and Rubus is getting fluffy, too. That white down will fly off their wings, their bodies, their heads revealing beautiful juvenile feathers. Underneath those feathers will be an insulating layer of grey.

More feedings arrive. The last one is a Starling at 1829 and neither Rubus or Indigo are hungry. They have crops from the earlier feedings! There are some gorgeous pictures of Diamond with Rubus before the arrival of that prey item.

Indigo would rather play on Cilla’s rocks and be in the corner wandering around that eat any more food. These two are absolutely adorable.

Peregrine Falcon scrapes are peaceful and fun to watch. The eyases are always cute in every stage of their development. in the Charles Sturt Falcon scrape, the way it is set up there is no fear for too much sun and rain on the chicks. They are protected. This close proximity to their lives allows us to begin to see the individual characteristics of each of the eyases. What a joy this can be.

Thank you for being with me for this brief look at the state of the Australian raptor nests. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Grieving? Surviving? A look at Bird World early Monday

17 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The mailbox has been full. So many of you want to help Port Lincoln get permission to intervene should siblicide be apparent in the future, others want to know if raptors grieve, many are concerned about the hot sun on the eyases at Collins Street. What a caring community you are! It warms my heart. The outpouring of love for a small little Osplet still brings tears to my eyes. It is so very difficult to lose one. It takes days to get over it.

It was cold this morning. -5 C. We are being told that there will be a warming period with temperatures up to 13 the end of this week. I hope to go and check on the ducks that day and see how many remain in our City. The past two evenings there have been no Canada Geese flying overhead. It will be interesting to see how many are still at the nature centre.

Today, however, I have appointments this afternoon and I expect that my breakfast updates will be arriving late.

In the Mailbox:

My mailbox has been full of individuals wanting to help Port Lincoln get permission to intervene in the future should the fish deliveries run low. I would love to help Port Lincoln secure those permissions. There have also been other questions – ‘Is Big really a survivor’. My answer is below in Nest News’.

One question that is very important comes from ‘F’ who writes: ‘Will the mother know that the youngest has died because of the eldest?’

The answer to that question is ‘yes’. At times Mum even ‘sat’ on the three when they were younger to stop the beaking. Other osprey and eagle parents have tandem fed so that the youngest gets food. There are many examples of tandem feeding but Harriet and M15 come to mind immediately. I always refer back to the falconer, Laura Culley, who insists that raptors have a higher level of communication than humans – that we have lost that ability. She would answer this question with this answer, ‘And why wouldn’t the Mum know what happened?’

Animals and raptors grieve. A few good examples are when the sweet Moli chick, Ka ha Ki’i died unexpectedly in April 2021. His Mum, Laysan Alobatross, Kauai often visited his grave. When Hope and Peace died on the Captiva Bald Eagle nest due to a rat brought to the nest by their dad, Joe. The rat had eaten rodenticide poisoning. Both parents stood over the body of the second dead eaglet and mourned before it was removed for testing. Humans only believe that we are the only ones with feelings and emotions. This is not true. One of the best books on the subject of the emotional lives of animals which includes grieving is Marc Bekoff’s The Emotional Lives of Animals.

It also needs to be understood that most parents do not get the opportunity to grieve because they have other chicks to care for. In many instances, when the male has felt responsible for the deaths of the babies, such as the case with Joe at Captiva, he is mourning, leaves the area, and never returns. Connie, his mate, has taken several mates since him but has had no eaglets to fledge.

Making News:

The attacks on Chris Packham and calls for his BBC presence to end by Nature’s Alliance are not being supported by the public. Indeed, the mood of the UK population is to support nature, not harm it. Packham has been lobbying to end grouse hunting on the hunting estates. He has had his gate and car burned and has threats on his life.

Public support for Chris Packham overwhelms Countryside Alliance’s latest vindictive attack – Raptor Persecution UK

If you ever travel to Port Lincoln, they have indicated that Ervie often perches in front of the hotel on the Morton Bay Fig Tree.

Nest News:

‘A’ wrote to me about Indigo and the Starlings head wondering if anyone would mention it. Yes, it comes in the form of a video! It was one of those great moments in streaming cam history.

If Academy awards could be given out in Bird World surely the ‘Starling Head Scene’ at the Orange scrape would rate right up there with the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Here is the video of that interaction with the Starling head.

If you are trying to watch Orange today, you will not be able to see the chicks from the side camera (the one I use) very well. Indigo made a perfect bull’s eye with a big ps. I wonder if Cilla will climb up the 170 steps to get to the scrape to clean it? I am betting she does.

Victor Hurley has announced that Mirvac is going to install a second camera at the 367 Collins Street scrape in Melbourne next year. He also indicated that the camera will be panned out to show part way down the gutter now that the eyases are becoming more mobile. There are a few of us that are hoping they might put a shade cover and rain protector – like they have at the other end of the ledge on the other scrape box – on this one if the F22 is going to continue leaving her eyases alone in the heat of the day.

‘H’ takes very detailed notes of the Collins nest. She counted 5 feedings yesterday: At 1640 for 15 Minutes; at 0852 for 11 Minutes; at 1343 for 19 Minutes; at 1657 for 27 Minutes; and the last feeding at 1920 for 21 minutes. I was astounded at how fast the Melbourne Four could eat a large pigeon yesterday. Thanks, ‘H’.

At Port Lincoln, Big decided a few times that Middle was getting too much of the fish. The beaking was not awful and you can see Middle has a crop in the image below but, the intimidation remains. I continue to hope that her angst slows. Today Big will be 30 days old.

Let us all be clear about ‘Big Bob’. Big Bob did not have to survive anything. Big Bob ate all the fish including times when Mum needed some nourishment, intimidated its siblings, even killing one of them by starvation and possible injury. Right now Middle is having to survive Big and Middle is ‘clever’. She went under mum’s bottom and between her legs to eat. Middle has -so far – survived Big. Sadly, Little did not. Big has had no hardships to face. As ‘H’ puts it, ‘How would Big do if it went up against some bird bigger than it?’ ‘H’ is right. We would then see if Big was a survivor. The use of the word is misleading – you must survive ‘something’ to be a survivor.

The weather was not good yesterday with choppy water and strong winds. Dad managed to bring in several fish – one whole and the others partially eaten. The fish he brings in must feed four. If he is to provide, he has to eat. So does Mum. Dad has no control over the wind, the waves, and the gulls that attack the Ospreys wanting their fish. We hope that he has much better fishing luck today. The nest could use some large fish to fill everyone up — and I am speaking mostly of Mum since you will notice that both Big and Middle had crops at several feedings.

With the first eggs due to laid in November for the Bald Eagles in the US, ElfRuler has posted links to all of the streaming cams for eagles. Here is the link to their blog to find those cams.

LINKS TO STREAMING CAMS | Bald Eagles (elfruler.com)

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. I hope not to be too late with the breakfast news today. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to all those who wrote in with questions or comments, to ‘A’ and ‘H’ who are my eyes in the middle of the night, and to the following for their posts and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Raptor Persecution UK, ElfRuler Blog, 367 Collins Falcon Watchers, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

Early Sunday in Bird World

16 October 2022

Good morning, Everyone,

It was a very long night. I want to thank you for your outpourings of love and empathy for Little Bob at PLO. If love – human love – could have saved him, that nest would have been full of fish. Little Bob died of the effects of siblicide (starvation and a possible early morning injury) in the late afternoon of the 16th of October at the age of 24 days. Port Lincoln received permission to remove his body from the nest. Fran Solly (?) moved the camera away from the nest to the landscape while Little Bob was being taken off the nest.

Port Lincoln posted the following information on their observation board:

A sad day at port lincoln as #3 didn’t survive. It didn’t get fed properly these last few days and collapsed around 1 pm this afternoon and died at the end of the afternoon. PLO got permission to retrieve it for burial, but didn’t get permission to interfere before that. It is sad, but also the way of life in any nest. The other two siblings are thriving and have every chance to successfully fledge in a few weeks.

If you go to the obs board, you can also join in guessing the fledge time of the two surviving osplets. That obs board can be viewed here:

It is a shame that Port Lincoln did not get permission to intervene once they realized what was happening on the nest.

There are divided feelings on which osplet should be removed when food competition is present. Most researchers believe you remove the eldest if it can self-feed instead of the youngest – leave the youngest with the adult who will feed it. In other instances, smaller birds being beaked have been removed and fed and returned to the nests to live happily. Perhaps, in the future, should this occur again (and it almost seems inevitable at this nest if the first hatch is a big female), permission to intervene can be gained even before the eggs are laid. Just a thought.

Little Bob was loved by so many and we remain heart broken. I am glad that his suffering has ended, however. The parents have little time to grieve – they have two large osplets to care for and get to fledge.

Making News:

Warming seas, overfishing, hotter temperatures are all having a huge impact on birds. Will there be a time when Ospreys will only be able to find enough food for the parents and one chick to survive?

We have just witnessed at Port Lincoln the ospreys eating fish that were fresh and left on the nest or the one that magically appeared on the barge. Since climate change is human caused, it is time that we began to consider ways in which we can help our Osprey friends adapt – and that is through intervention. Providing fish when there is not enough. Fish tanks. There are figures of how many fish come to an Osprey nest with three chicks. The average, if I recall correctly, is somewhere around 450 fish.

Already scientists are seeing a 43% decline in Penguins. Here is the story:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/12/australian-scientists-observe-rapid-decline-in-adelie-penguin-numbers-off-antarctic-coast

The article might be about penguins today but, it is easy to see that the Royal Albatross chicks are requiring more supplementary feedings. What others will we be reading about?

Here is a story coming from Cyprus about the Griffon Vulture. When will countries realize that wildlife and bird watching tours add much income to an economy. So instead of trying to wipe them out with poisons why not embrace the beauty of all and celebrate it?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/10/its-a-serious-problem-battle-to-save-griffon-vulture-heats-up-in-cyprus

Nest News:

There remain three active nests in Australia with chicks to fledge: 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne, Charles Sturt Peregrine Falcon scrape in Orange (Xavier and Diamond), and the two Osplets at Port Lincoln. There are currently no concerns for the falcons at Orange. Both are eating well and food is arriving with no issue. There is concern about the amount of time the female is away from the scrape box at Melbourne. My understanding is that there will be two very hot days this week that will impact the eyases. They do not, as yet, have the ability to run up and down the gutter nor are they feathered to further help them regulate their temperatures. Big and Middle should thrive at Port Lincoln.

The Melbourne Four had several feedings yesterday. The last was at 1832. The four were absolutely bursting at the seams!

Indigo and Rubus ended their day with a duckling feed. Yesterday they had Starlings, a parrot and a Rosella. Xavier is bringing in quite a variety for his family. The Rosella feeding was at 16:29:58

At 1740 a duckling arrived on the ledge which Diamond happily took to feed Indigo and Rubus. Rubus did not have a crop from the earlier Rosella feeling an hour prior and so, this little one got to fill its tummy before bed with a favourite, duck.

At Port Lincoln, after the removal of Little Bob’s body, Mum fed the two surviving chicks one of the fish that was left by Port Lincoln. She also enjoyed some of it herself. It is worth remembering that both Mum and Dad have to retain their health or the entire nest suffers. Mum worked hard to find Little Bob fish when he was eating – at the expense of herself. The females lose weight and body mass as they produce eggs, incubate, brood and feed the chicks until such time as they fledge. Often, at about 30 days, Mum will, in fact, go fishing and supplement the fish Dad brings to the nest.

I do not personally believe there will be any more problems on the Port Lincoln nest. It is not always the case, however. At the UFlorida-Gainesville nest, after the third hatch died, the eldest began to take their angst out on the second hatch. The competition continued but as Middle got bigger, it was clear that Big could not kill it. At that nest, it was evident that the Mum often favoured the eldest. It was a very interesting nest to watch – it had two strong fledglings in the end.

Middle has grown a great deal in the last couple of days as she began to figure out how to get fish and be away from Big. Let us all hope that lots of fish continues to come in and that Mum will also get her share.

Breakfast has not yet arrived at all the nests. I hope to have a very late day report on the comings and goings early on a Monday morning at the nests in Australia. Thank you for being with me and thank you for all of your outpourings of sympathy for Port Lincoln over the death of sweet Little Bob. It will be very difficult to watch that nest for many. Port Lincoln is not a nest for the faint of heart. For those of you that love Ospreys, I want to now recommend three nests in the UK: Rutland’s Manton Bay with Blue 33 and Maya. That Osprey family has raised four osplets twice!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are Super Stars in the Osprey world. The second is at Dyfi in Wales, the home of Idris and Telyn. It just so happens that Telyn is Maya’s daughter from Rutland! The other is the home of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig. Louis melted our hearts when he helped his former mate, Aila, feed their three chicks in 2020. He is an amazing provider just like Blue 33 and Idris.

Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their stories, posts, and our streaming cams where I took my screen captures: The Guardian, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Soar High, Little Bob

15 October 2022

Little Bob,

It is nearing midnight on the Canadian Prairies, and it is just after 1500 on the 16th of October in Port Lincoln, Australia. As the tears pour down my cheeks, like the monsoon rains in Chennai in July, you are struggling to take your very last breath. It is so very, very hard to say goodbye to you.

Siblicide. We have to say the word to acknowledge that your life was taken away from you. You did not die of a disease. You died because you were physically tortured, mentally terrorized, and kept from eating by your oldest sibling. Those are the facts. What began as a perfect nest of three osplets, fell apart.

You hatched 24 days ago. Oh, how you tugged at our heart strings from the moment you popped out of that shell. I am so very grateful for the joy that you brought into my life and the lives of so many others.

Little Bob, you need to know that you did not die alone. Hundreds of people from around the world wrapped you gently in their arms, rubbed your face and your feet, surrounding you with warmth and love. You will not be forgotten little one.

Soar high.

Deepest condolences to Mum and Dad, to the Port Lincoln Osprey community, and to all those who loved this little bundle of fluff and feathers. May we all live to realize the challenges that our wildlife face every day of their lives and in memory of Little Bob work hard to make the environment better.

Thank you, Port Lincoln, for your streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Little Bob battered…afraid to eat

15 October 2022

The dreary cool day continued on the Canadian Prairies. The garden has been very energetic all day. Notable were visits for 7 Black-capped Chickadees, some adult and juvenile Clay Sparrows, Junior and his three Jays, one Crow, all of the squirrels, and about 150 House Sparrows. Oh, yes, and about 25 Dark-eyed Juncos and 4 European Starlings.

Dark-eyed Junco
Dyson and Co dumped the covered feeder. Two of Junior’s fledglings are in the middle of it eating their corn.

All the joy in my garden doesn’t compare to the sadness and despair bracketed by hope that people have for Little Bob at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge.

At 06:38:32, Big Bob decided it was time to give Little Bob a good thrashing – for nothing more than being there – and Big anticipating that an early fish was coming in.

Little Bob got nothing of that fish. He is so afraid that he did not even raise his head.

Mum flew off and came in with a big fish. Little Bob was too scared to move. He had Middle on one side and Big on the other. Middle is doing well and when I last looked both Middle and Big had huge crops.

Everyone is hoping that another fish or two will come in quick succession and Little will get to eat. He had some fish – not tons and not enough to make a big crop but, some, 24 hours ago. Little needs a really good feed today. He needs to be able to raise his head up and not be intimidated and hurt by Big.

Breakfast was confusing at 367 Collins Street. Mum flew in with a freshly caught pigeon which she began to pluck. She changed her mind after the Melbourne Four were excited for an early feed. – Oh, she gave one or two of them a few feathers. She flew off with the bird. Then she returned with it mostly plucked. Went to feed the eyases and then changed her mind again and flew off at 07:33. I would not be surprised if Dad shows up and feeds the Four.

No real breakfast yet. Back to sleep.

I wonder if these chicks are as confused as I am. What is going on, Mum?

There was a frenzied breakfast feeding at Orange. Diamond came in with a Starling at 07:11 and Rubus was ready to go. Diamond is working to get Rubus to stretch its neck and the little one did not disappoint. At the end of the feed, both Rubus and Indigo had nice crops. Well done.

Another prey item came in at 0724. Cilla Kinross said it was definitely not Starling. Diamond stayed with the chicks and Xavier either ate his breakfast or put it in the pantry for later. All is well at Orange. No worries here. Indigo’s feathers are developing very well. Rubus continues with his loud screams..and life is good in rural Australia.

The only nest to have had breakfast by the time I finish writing this is Orange. The four chicks at Melbourne would love to have had some of that fresh pigeon. They wait. Middle and Big (of course) ate well. Little needs food. ‘A’ observed a very tiny PS from Little last evening – a sure sign that he is becoming very dehydrated. Please wish for fish. Send all your positive energy Little’s way.

Thank you for being with me. That is a wrap for me in Manitoba. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Early Friday in Bird World

14 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Some snow fell last night and it was still here – not melting – until half an hour ago. Everyone has been in the garden this morning and Canada Geese have been flying overhead. Everyone is visiting the garden. The number of Dark-eyed Juncos has increased, and the Starlings are here waiting for me to go and get Meal Worms and Butter Bark. I plan to do that shortly. They do cause chaos, but they are such beautiful birds and they also deserve a good feed on a cold day.

Making News:

Oh, I adored Rosa and Martin’s 2022 eaglet, Orion, at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest. What a gorgeous chick. Orion hatched on the 13th of March. Well, guess what? Orion returned to the nest! But it gets better ———— Martin and Rosa were there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the video:

Harriet and M15, the famous Fort Myers Bald Eagle couple, have made The Washington Post with their rebuilding activities! The raptors can show us all the way. Don’t grumble about what life throws at you, just get on making it better!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/10/14/bald-eagles-rebuild-nest-hurricane/?fbclid=IwAR2VxX84BEELvFGm6uHJXCm2lIm2qfvsDUHwDj4GLnnYCx9GTfPR0YsTYZU

Abby and Blazer from Eagle Country are on their nest tree. Just look at what Hurricane Ian did to their wonderful nest. I wonder if they will rebuild in the same place?

Do you adore the Kakapo, the charming green flightless parrots of New Zealand that are so threatened? Well, I do and am always thankful for the care they are given. They were New Zealand’s Bird of the Year for two straight years but, because of that, they have been struck from the ballot this year. Some are wondering if that is fair.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/12/new-zealand-bird-of-the-year-contest-favourite-kakapo-blocked

New research comes from all the poo samples collected of the Kakapo. Here are the results that shows gut health is key to their survival.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/10/kakapo-gut-bacteria-key-to-its-survival.html?fbclid=IwAR3ArV1bv8gLBVh4wIP0drEOQQICOkkxbimeWUZwoMlwQTou2g6UZz5S3Is

Nest News:

Today, at Port Lincoln, Big is 27 days old, Middle is 26, and Little Bob is 23 days. Those four days and, perhaps, a gender difference with Big Bob certainly being a female, sure set those two apart. According to Port Lincoln’s data chart, there were 4 fish delivered with 5 feeds. That does not tell us much about what happened on this nest. I was, however, delighted to see that Little Bob had a feeding around 0100 Friday morning. That is interesting as the night before, Middle had been the recipient of those precious bites. I could not rewind to see how much fish Little Bob got but, on Friday in Australia, Big ruled the roost in frenzied attacks on all the siblings. Little Bob had some fish around 10:45 before it was attacked by Big three minutes later. That feeding was highlighted in my last blog.

There was a feeding at 12:36. Little stayed rolled up tight and did not get any. The third feeding at 16:28 Middle got some but Little did not. It was the break through very large whole fish that helped Little Bob. It arrived at 17:17:45. Little Bob moved up to eat with Middle at 17:36 getting its first bite at 17:37:58. After that Mum worked that fish tail again giving Little huge bites at the end. Little Bob went to bed full of fish. That is a good thing.

There was not a late fish delivery like there had been the night before. It sure would have benefitted Mum and Little. Big is out for the count so full after gorging all day. I remember the second hatch at Achieve Ospreys in 2020. That osplet would eat and eat and eat so that Tiny Tot could not get any food. We wondered how it could even hold another bite.

Looking at Port Lincoln and the age of the Osplets, let us remember that the beaking started on day 8. The late and only fish delivery that day came after 1500. It was also the onset of the Reptilian phase. We are now moving out of the Reptilian Phase and this nest should settle —- if it is going to. It is why the ages of the osplets are now important as the development of their juvenile feathering. Oh how I wish we could measure their hormonal levels leading up to that Reptilian Phase and then coming out of it.

The chicks at Melbourne were once again left out in the hot sun yesterday. I am mystified at the female at this scrape. I have never seen a female consistently leave her chicks for an hour and a half or longer every day. They were so hot. Hopefully in another week – when, according to the Melbourne weather reports it is to get hotter – they will be able to run to the other end of the gutter for shade. I want to say ‘should Mum leave them alone in the hot sun again’ but, it seems that a pattern has formed and that is precisely what Mum will do, sadly.

Indigo and Rubus are being well fed and taken care of. Rubus now gets lots of food and you can see that it knows precisely where Mum’s beak is. The eyes are open and they are focusing. When Rubus is an adult it will be able to see a prey item a mile away. There were six feedings yesterday at Orange.

Rubus and Indigo are just cute little buttons of things. Indigo is so calm and Rubus seems to be a live-wire. I do love watching Indigo take food out of Rubus’s mouth – but, only if, Diamond replaces it for Rubus!

There is no news about SE29 or SE30. I will be back with updates on migration later today along with the breakfast news from the nests. For those watching the Finnish Ospreys, Salli left Finland on August the 25th and she arrived at her winter home in Rwanda on the 13th of October. She is now feeding at Lake Llaema. Fantastic. The adult Royal Albatross have been arriving on Taiaroa Head. Some have been around Lillibet’s nest. Check it out.

Thank you so much for being here with me. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their news, their posts, and their screen cams where I took my screen captures: ‘A’ and ‘H’, Dulles-Greenaway, Osprey Friends, Eagle Country, Kakapo Recovery, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Big Bob and the beaking…Port Lincoln gets its first fish of the day

13 October 2022

Good evening, Everyone.

I couldn’t end the day without checking on Little Bob. When I closed my earlier blog, the Port Lincoln trio and Mum were waiting for Dad to bring in the first fish of the day. The osplets were already antsy and had been beaking one another. Each started the morning with a crop left from the late feeding last night but, by 0900 they had all dropped that crop and were hungry.

The first fish delivery arrived at 10:41:36. It was assumed, and rightly so, that Big Bob would eat the majority of any fish that arrived if not all of it. As it happened, Little Bob was getting some nice bites for several minutes even having a tug-o-war over a piece at 10:47:24. At that point, Little Bob had a small crop.

At 10:48:19, Big moves Middle out of the way so that he can brutally attack Little Bob. —The one saving grace this morning was that Little Bob did get up opposite Big and ate with his siblings. That is a big step from cowering yesterday and not even making a motion to eat. At 10:50:49, Big attacks Middle.

The long-awaited fish arrives. Even the osplets are fish crying to Dad.

Big is to the far left with Middle in the middle and Little Bob to the right.

At one-point Little Bob stands up to Middle and looks him in the eye. I just held my breath.

Little Bob has gotten some nice bites. Of course, not nearly as many as Big but, he is eating and he is up at the table and there is a small crop coming.

All is good and then it isn’t. Was the tug-o-war with Big and Big decided she had had enough of Little? I say ‘she’. Big is enormous. Not just from all the food she is consuming compared to the others but also because she has to be a female. It is also well known that the females are much more aggressive siblings especially if they are the first hatch. Their bodies will be at least 1/3 larger than the males and they have all those feathers to produce. They are often the last to fledge because of the time it takes them to fully develop compared to the smaller males.

Big is viscious. Just mean. She has had a lot of fish and yet, she is determined to terrorize the other two.

Then Big takes exception to Middle. Perhaps Big thought Middle had some food while it was dealing with Little. I want you to look at the size of Big’s wings and then look over at Little. Big is huge.

I have included this image. Big had a ps over the back of Little. I just want you to look again at the size. Little might have a peck at Big – which it shouldn’t – but Big is simply too big and could kill Little if she set her mind to it.

The fish is finished and both Middle and Little are fish calling at Mum. Let us all hope that much fish – great big fish – arrive on this nest today. Still, Little has eaten up at the table and that is a big step. Let’s watch and see what it does next time.

I wish I knew what it is that causes certain osprey nests to be more prone to siblicide and food competition. Is it toxins in the water? is it genetics? Is it just the psychological makeup of the osplets? is it gender? is it a mixture of all of these factors?

Thank you for joining me as I checked on Little Bob at Port Lincoln. Take care all. See you tomorrow.

Thank you Port Lincoln Ospreys for your streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

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.