Adorable osplets at Port Lincoln and more news in Bird World

19 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, goodness. The sky is the most beautiful blue this morning without a single cloud. The tree tops have been kissed and they are all turning slightly golden but, we have not yet had a frost. Decades ago, there was always a frost in August and people lost their tomatoes still growing in the gardens. This year the mint has eclipsed its pot and the tomatoes are still growing and turning red. Thankfully, my three-year old neighbour loves those little grape tomatoes – there were 1000s this year!

Dyson has already arrived along with the Blue Jays who let me know that there are absolutely no peanuts to be had. It was the first time that I really examined those nuts. No wonder the Jays are picky eaters. Some of those nuts are not good – dry or with only one peanut. I don’t blame them for giving them a shake to find the fullest heaviest one.

Scraggles loves peanuts and always tries to take two! Notice her tail. It is growing back after she used part of it for her nest this summer.

Dyson looks great. Her tail has grown in and it is so nice to see her in the garden every day. Dyson stayed and ate quite a few nuts before leaving with a couple. It is so good to see her looking so well. It is hoped that by providing good food and water the animals might live better and longer.

In the Mailbox:

A number of you have asked: “What happened to the old Mum at 367 Collins Street?”

That is a question on probably hundreds of mines watching that scrape. The old Mum had a really formidable face but she was a great female and raised many eyases. Mum and Dad had been there since 2016 so, like Dad, she was at least 8 or 9 years old with the average life expectancy of six years according to Victor Hurley. So let us rewind for a minute. Last year the camera went off right when the 4th chick died of trichomonosis.

Trichomoniasis is a disease that is transmitted between birds through direct contact and therefore can spread relatively easily. One characteristic of this disease is the lesions that will present on your bird’s crop and esophagus. Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by the protozoa trichomonas gallinae. This condition is highly contagious among birds. There is a loss of appetite and general inability to eat, they have difficulty standing and keeping their balance, etc. This year we saw the female at the Janakkulum Osprey nest in Finland contract what was believed to be trichomonosis and probably died. Luckily her two chicks did not contract the disease. I mention this disease because it is possible that the Mum did get trichomonosis.

The other possibilities include dying naturally from old age, severe injury or death caused by the urban environment, severe injury or death caused by the new female or another female.

Sadly, the camera was off and we have no clues. Indeed, what happened to the female might have taken place on the other side of Melbourne. We miss her and Dad together and the stability on the ledge. The life of an urban falcon is difficult at best and even more so when we have grown to love them as individuals.

“What is going to happen to the egg shells at Port Lincoln. Why doesn’t Mum get rid of them?” This certainly is a question on a lot of people’s minds as we sit and wait for the third hatch. It is a very good question, too!

The females make the egg shells using calcium from their bodies. As a result, their calcium levels are lower. Some females eat the egg shells to help replenish their stocks while others will kick the shells out of the nest or just allow them to break up and become part of the nest. At 0:40:40 Mum at Port Lincoln is seen eating some of the small pieces of egg under the chick.

In the News:

‘N’ sent me a lovely article and it is so appropriate – the challenges that urban raptors face appeared in The New York Times. It is a good read and continues to remind us of the importance of the wildlife rehabbers that care for the raptors we love after they leave the nest. I wonder what the gender % is at wildlife clinics? The ones where I live are more than 90% women, like those in this story. Thank you ‘N’ for sharing with us.

A Scottish Osprey, Glen, misjudged GPS for migration and wound up on two ships!

https://www.thenational.scot/news/21870390.scottish-osprey-found-hitched-lift-boats-migration/?fbclid=IwAR0nfVtGDTADEoI1zms4EiWN3MgwBmf2P9zrA5X0I-BQEtNqeetnBinPdsw

Nest News:

The second osplet hatched at 19:11:32 at Port Lincoln. The third is working on making its appearance. Here are a myriad of shots from yesterday. It is amazing just how strong the first hatch is. I have not counted how many feedings that chick has had. Mum is hungry and Dad is getting the fish to the nest. Adorable Dad. He has gotten to see the babies and Mum looks tired. Perhaps it was only because she went without any fish for so long while Big Bob was hatching.

Dad was drying off after being out fishing. Thanks, Dad, for all the fish!

What a beautiful picture with the sun shining down. It is lovely to see Dad and Mum on the nest with the new hatch. I guess Dad has news for Ervie now!

Oh, this first hatch always wants to eat. I sure hope it is nice to its siblings and shares.

Snug as bugs in a rub those two osplets are!

Rumour has it that Little Bob is making good progress. Oh, I hope so. Big Bob has eaten so much s/he will be twice as big by the time little one gets out of that shell.

‘A’ writes that SE30 has managed to get the good prey items but has, in turn, shared with 29. Fantastic. What a wonderful civil nest this has turned out to be – very similar to the last two years. I do have a warm spot for those Sea Eagles. Lady and Dad have done a fantastic job with these two!

While the little sea eaglets were having their breakfast, Xavier was trying his best to get Diamond to get up off the eggs so he could have some time and she could have her breakfast. Diamond was buying it! Poor Xavier went off to the ledge dejected.

I really hope that all is well at Melbourne. This morning, if you listen, you can hear one of the males calling from the ledge out of view of the camera and I saw a feather fly into the air. Breakfast for Mum is being provided by someone — and I hope it is old Dad. It would be good for him to raise his eggs!

I wish I could capture the feathers flying.

A male flies in to relieve Mum. I have not been able to get a good look to see which it is.

He will give us no clues. I hope that someone grabs a quick look when he leaves. But let us all send warm wishes to this nest for a successful outcome. We are a week from hatch.

On the Bookshelf:

This book is from Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkemp who brought us the book, Beauty and the Beak. The pair combine the stories of raptor rescues into moving tales. If you are a science teacher or have children aged 7-11 both of the books are for you. They are filled with information and amazing images – really good ones – along with stimulating ideas for students at the end. This one is about a nest that was blown down and the fostering of two little osplets from Idaho where Veltkemp has her practice. Thinking of holiday book gifts already? This is a good one!

Thank you so very much for joining me today. Everything appears to be going splendidly at the nests. Port Lincoln is going to be busy today. Remember the feedings occur almost every hour so you will be in luck during the daylight hours whenever you sign on. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: The New York Times, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.