Late Thursday in Bird World

6 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

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

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

Making News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SE30 can sleep adult style!

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

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

Well done 30!

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

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

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

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

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

Such a big yawn out of such a little eyas.

Oopsie!

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

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

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

Early Tuesday in Bird World

4 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is late Monday evening in Canada, and it is 14 degrees C. as I begin thinking about Tuesday’s blog. The difference in time between Canada and Australia means that I am going to bed when all of the action starts. I am very grateful to those readers who send me time stamps and information about the nests in case I missed it! So thank you.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful fall day. I would love to send a break in the rain to the Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln so they could get those three osplets fed. Part of the big fish was returned to the nest after Dad removed it. ‘A’ reports that Middle appears to be the only one to have had anything to eat; the other two desperately wanted to stay warm and dry. Melbourne will be getting the rain tomorrow and it looks as if it could continue at Port Lincoln for most of the week Xavier and Diamond’s wee eyas will be quite dry in the covered scrape at Orange. Eyes are on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park as it gets towards midnight in Canada. Will 30 fly while I am sleeping?


What does a Possum Merino beanie have to do with birds?

Well, it turns out that the beanie is sold at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand to fund the activities taking place on the headland. When you begin to think of donations or purchases, do keep the Royal Albatross in mind! Of course, like all the centres, they have more items for sale than beanies. That said, this beanie is the softest one I own and it is going to keep my head snug and warm when I am out birding in the winter here in Canada.

Everyone continues to be worried about Lena and Andy, their new platform and camera and, Lori Covert’s property. This is the latest announcement from Window to Wildlife with a satellite image of the nest on the left after Hurricane Ian and on the right, before the hurricane hit.

Wales is planning to increase areas of peatland to help biodiversity and to save species. After sitting in the grass near one of my city’s ponds this morning watching a Greater Yellowlegs, it is reassuring that countries are working hard to bring back conditions so that lovely shorebirds have a chance at survival.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/03/wales-unveils-plans-to-triple-rate-of-peatland-restoration

There is more news about the cost of Avian Flu to birds around the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/03/europe-and-uk-hit-by-unprecedented-number-of-bird-flu-cases-this-summer

There was a really informative programme (short) on the monitoring of the goshawks in Scotland. You can read about it or watch it if you have the BBC Player app.

Nest News:

The osplets were cold when Dad came with a fish at 16:23. Look at Little Bob all curled up. I so feel for the chicks when the weather is wet and miserble. They cannot yet regulate their temperature til they get all of that thermal down covering them from tip to talon.

If you are having trouble finding Little Bob, all of his soft down on the head is gone and he now looks like he dipped it into oil over the afternoon! I am so grateful that these three behave themselves when it is feeding time. This is a big, big help. Often the older ones do not allow the younger to eat at all until they are finished. Not the case here. Fantastic.

‘A’ tells me that Mum looked around for scraps for Little Bob after this feeding. He was still fish calling.

At Port Lincoln Dad came to the nest with a small much-needed fish at 19:14. It will be good for them to have fish in their tummies overnight. Gosh, those osplets lined up nicely but, each anxious for some fish. It looks like Little Bob certainly did get his share and did not get shut out by the big ones.

They all had nice little crops at the end of the feeding. Mum got right back on top of all of them – a great way to stop any dust ups and also it is cold and windy. These three need to stay super dry and warm.

So thankful Mum and the kids had some fish before bed. Mum had been screaming at Dad to get a fish on the nest. This one was not large but the osplets got fed. They would have liked more. It will be a long night and Mum is as hungry as the chicks. In fact, she is probably hungrier. Rain will start at 1100 on the 5th in Orange so hopefully, Dad will bring in a couple of nice big fish before then so that the family is stuffed to the gills as the rain drops fall later in the day.

It is, of course, the opposite problem at Orange right now but, they do not have any rain. Only Bob is enjoying the life of a single chick, nicely spoiled with plenty of food and no one to share it with but, Diamond. You might have noticed that Diamond does eat her share! Two extremely devoted parents sharing the life of their only chick. It is beautiful.

It does not appear that that either of the other two eggs have a pip. How long will Diamond continue to incubate them? Good question. Some will do so for 2-4 weeks. Many of you will remember the Dunrovin Osprey nest this summer where the eggs were incubated almost the entire summer with no hope of hatching. Shadow at Big Bear once incubated eggs for 60 days! They did not hatch. The little one will use the ‘eggies’ to prop on and, sometimes, in the case of the eagle nests anyway, the chicks actually incubate the eggs, too! Spirit did that with ‘eggie’ at Big Bear this year and Legacy at Northeast Florida became so attached to ‘eggie’ that people thought she would need a backpack so she could take the egg when she fledged. Samson, ultimately hid, it. It will be fun to watch to see what this little one does with those two extra egss.

Just look at the size of that little one!

Upside down roly-poly baby!

Here is a cute video with a good look at Xavier and Diamond’s chick.

There are reports coming out of Orange that Xavier and Diamond’s stash has been located. Many believed it was in the trees that you can see if you are watching the ledge cam but, it turns out the stash is on top of the tower. My goodness! Thanks, ‘A’ for that wonderful bit of news.

There is so much food coming to the 367 Collins Street scrape. This Dad keeps that pantry – at the opposite end of the ledge we think – full of nicely prepared pigeons. The four eyases are fed regularly and are growing like bad weeds. I so wish the camera was a little closer so you could see the change in their feathering. At least one of them is beginning to look like ‘bug eyed and thin necked’ as its plumage begins to change. There is nothing stopping this Dad from taking part in the lives of the eyases either. He has perfected feeding them but, because of his smaller size, still has some trouble getting them all under him for brooding.

The feedings at Collins Street generally last a full half hour. The top image is Mum brooding the eyases.

Mum has gone for a break and Dad is doing the feeding. He watched and learned.

Each eyas had a nice hard little crop after the long feeding.

Dad tries to brood them. Here comes Mum after she had a nice tea time and a bit of a rest.

Bye, Dad!

Mum feeding them again. They could hardly have been hungry but no one is going to go without on this nest. This couple have created perfect handovers and feedings. Just imagine how worried we were a fortnight ago? We can put that all aside now!

To my knowledge, SE30 still has not fledged. SE29 takes small flights and, so far, has been returning to the nest. I had been worried that SE29 was getting all of the fish deliveries as rewards for returning to the nest but, SE30 managed to get its talons on a delivery from Lady in the middle of the afternoon yesterday. SE29 flew in as 30 was trying to unzip the fish. No fights. No skirmishes. Totally civil.

It was really nice to see SE29 get that fish!

SE29 has just arrived on the nest. Look at Lady. She watches everything her eaglets do – she is looking at how well or not SE30 is self-feeding.

At one point, Dad flew in and both Lady and Dad were honking at the Currawongs. Yes, they want to keep them away from the nest and their eaglets. Sometimes I wish that the Sea Eagles actually ate the Pied Currawongs. Maybe then they would not bother this nest so much!

The chicks were more interested in the fish than the Curras.

Lady gave 30 plenty of time with the fish. SE29 did not come and take it over but wanted some fish and Lady has decided to feed both of them. I wonder how much longer she will get to enjoy her babies???

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Everyone in Australia is sound asleep. Now the weather app has rain starting at Port Lincoln at 1000. It is going to rain all day at the Sea Eagles nest and it will start raining at 0900 in Melbourne. Horrid days for keeping warm and dry and — for staying in the nest and not flying. Diamond and chick will be fine. They are nicely covered! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts that make up my screen captures: Royal Albatross FB Group NZ, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

And then there were 3 Bobs at Port Lincoln!

22 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The sun is shining bright, the skies are clear bright blue and it is 9 degrees C. It dropped down last night to 4 degrees C and thankfully no lower. The garden escaped the frost. In anticipation of the conservatory I bought some non-local tropical plants including a Hibiscus. Goodness those huge terracotta pots are heavy. Two came inside but required their bath of light dish detergent to get the outdoor bugs off so there was no room at the inn for the third. It will get its shower today. I have a friend who brings his in and out every year and has done so for at least a decade so we will see if there is any green in this thumb!

The big news is, of course, the hatch at Port Lincoln of the third chick. That came at 19:31:40 with the lid having come off at 18:45. Here is a view of all three a few hours later.

This nest has always caused a certain amount of worry because of its history of siblicide which extends back to many memories of Solly, DEW, and little Tapps who died after not being allowed to eat by Solly on its 18th day. The difference in hatch times in 2020 was huge and not anything like this clutch. That said, Big and Middle Bobs really know how to eat. I have images from the 12:26 feeding yesterday when they took in huge pieces of fish. And it does seem that Big Bob always has its mouth open regardless of the time of day or circumstance. You will need to be a toughie little one but you can do it.

While we waited and worried, Little Bob was working hard to get out of its beautiful shell. And just look at that soft light grey down covering the older siblings. Isn’t it beautiful?

You can see Little Bob’s left wing out of the shell.

There you are sweet baby. Relief.

We know that Dad was followed to the barge by a Pacific Gull yesterday intent on that fish. I had seen gulls being ruthless to one another down by the river but never to an osprey til I saw what the one did to Sloop at Hog Island to get that fish. While we cannot see off camera, I wonder how much hassle Dad gets from gulls?

Dad came in with the breakfast fish at 07:51, another fish arrives at 12:26 and again at 15:23 with a feeding at 16:05. Mum pushed the half eggshell out of 3 at 17:04:33 with, again, the hatch at 19:31:40. There is another fish delivery at 21:36.

Here are some images from that 12:26 feeding before the arrival of Little Bob. Big and Middle are keen eaters. They can only eat so many big bites until their crop is full and they fall into a food coma but they need to be fed frequently, for now.

And the 16:08 feeding.

Big Bob has a really nice crop! And there will be another feeding in about three hours. Mum and Dad you are doing fantastic.

I will be back later today with a review of all the nests in Australia but, for now, savour the moment. Three healthy Bobs at Port Lincoln, grey and fuzzy with their distinctive black eye stripe to keep the glare out of their eyes when they are older and fishing. Adorable. 65 million years of evolution to get to this point. Incredible.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is so exciting to have a clutch of osplets to watch again. We are also now within 4 days of hatch at Melbourne and so far Mum has kept the second male from harming the eggs. Fingers crossed. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures — and congratulations Port Lincoln! We are all cheering you on for a successful fledge of three strong chicks.