Catching up with WBSE 27 and 28

The WBSE are both in the 11th week after hatching. With the average of 75-80 days after hatch for fledgling, WBSE 27 and 28 are ready. Their feathers have developed, they have grown, and you can see them getting excited with all the wing flapping and catching air enabling them to rise above the nest.

What are they watching so intently from the nest? Is it a Pied Currawong?

Of course, the Pied Currawong are right there. The Pied Currawong is closely related to the Butcherbirds or the Magpies in Austrlia. They are a medium sized passerine. They have a large black beak with yellow eyes.

Here is a short video of the calls/songs the Pied Currawong make:

The Currawong become more of a menace around fledging time. Their attacks increase in number and they could injure the chicks, knock them off the branches, or chase them out of the forest before they can imprint the route back to the nest in their mind’s GPS system.

Lady was on the nest honking and flapping her wings at the Currawong so the eaglets could finish their lunch. At other times, the eaglets have to learn to defend themselves or hunker down really low in the nest. Because the WBSE are at the top of the ‘food chain’, they will always be followed and attacked by the smaller birds. What do the smaller birds want? They want the WBSE to pack up and leave!

Lady is honking really loud, warning the intruder to leave.

Lady was in the nest much earlier feeding both of her eaglets. Many of you have probably noticed that despite the fact that the nestlings are fully capable of self-feeding, she seems to enjoy feeding them.

The eaglets know to stay alert for intruders while flapping their wings and jumping to stretch their legs.

They honk at the Currawong just like the adults.

The Pied Currawong are very brave. Indeed, their attacks on the almost-fledglings is relentless. Ironically, I don’t believe the WBSE eat Currawong. Sometimes I think that they should rethink that!

Both of the nestlings have branched. They are standing on the parent branch looking around. Soon they will fledge.

It has been a wonderful season for Lady and Dad at their nest. Both of their eggs hatched and both of the nestlings thrived under their care. Both are healthy and fit and we hope that they both fledge successfully, returning to the nest or other areas so Lady and Dad can continue to feed them while they learn to fly better.

We wish them a long and successful life. It has been a remarkable year.

Lady and Dad are ‘honking’ their duet in June. It is a really special way to end another good day!

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

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen and video captures.

Gold Star for PLO Dad – again!

It was a gorgeous day to be outside clearing up after the birds and replenishing their feeders and bowls. The gossip around the City is that the Robins are making their way through and stopping over for a bit before heading farther South. I don’t blame them. The wind is hardly blowing, the leaves are now golden, and the sky is blue. It is 24 degrees F. I would enjoy a vacation here if I didn’t live here, too!

It is nasty down in Port Lincoln, Australia. It is 11 degrees with 37 mph winds. Not as bad at the moment as yesterday but, the waves were fairly high and rough a bit earlier. That said I am just gobsmacked by the Port Lincoln Dad. A really nice fish hit the decks of the nest on the barge at 7:00:33. From some of the flapping going on, it appeared to be still alive. Little Bob doesn’t care! He just wants breakfast. I am certain that he currently has no idea of the effort his Dad went to getting that prize on the table.

There is a wee bit of chaos on the nest when the fish arrives. In front, with those lovely light grey stomach markings, and ‘staring’ at the fish is Little Bob. Oh, he does love his fish.

It really helps to get in the right position for Mum to see you. Little Bob keeps his eye on Mum and that fish. He needs to get himself up to the table and Big Bob is in the way.

Ah, Little Bob moves up. He is in the foreground or on the left of the choir but it is not a good place to be. Mom is feeding from the front of the fish. Little Bob really does like to go first. Will he move or stretch his neck?

They are all lined up nicely.

OK. Little Bob has relocated. He wants Mum to see his wide open mouth and fill it with fish. Do you think this is a better spot?

Bingo. The sun shines down on the ‘Golden Child’. The two older sibs look like they would rather lay down and not have the wind hit their faces. Little Bob prefers to eat.

Both Eyes wide open as well as beak open.

Yes! Little Bob is in the perfect spot. The others don’t seem to care. Indeed, they could well be used to him going first. There is always lots of fish to go around.

I wish you could see the smile on my face. Remember the day that Big Bob wanted to push her weight around and try and be dominant? You will recall that it didn’t work. Some of these third hatches are just brilliant. Little Bob is one of those. He doesn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer so he figures out a strategy. Moving worked today.

Something happens. Mum starts feeding the big sibling in between Little Bob and the fish! Little Bob opens his mouth wide over and over again to try and get Mum’s attention.

It looks like the same image below, it isn’t. Little Bob tries over and over again. “Hey, Mum. Look, my mouth is open. Right here”.

Will his persistence pay off?

Finally!

Little Bob is getting some good bites. You can see the fish on his beak.

Little Bob is still opening wide. He has dropped the little crop he had and he is wanting more fish. Mum and Dad might have different ideas about that.

Did Dad want fish left for another feeding in case he couldn’t catch another one for awhile? It is unclear. At 7:32:57 Dad comes to retrieve the fish.

Every chick ate. Little Bob wanted some more bites but Mum said it was time to stop.

Surprise! Dad ate some of the fish and brought it back to Mum and the kids at 8:09:50.

It is difficult to see but it looks like everyone is crowded around Mom. The nest looks wet and cold. Hopefully that sun will come out and dry it tomorrow.

Is there someone still eating?

There is no telling who got what or how much. It is really windy and I bet chilly on the nest. Mom has them tucked in tight. The worst thing would be to get a chill in that damp nest.

Despite the cool windy weather, the chicks have had two feedings off that nice fish in the space of an hour and a half. Mom has them tucked in and they will be super toasty. Everything is fine on this nest. Just fine.

Mum and Dad are busy getting groceries for the four little falcons. My goodness they are growing and seem to be getting bigger and stronger by the hour. All you need to do is to take a look at the size of that wing in the image below to see the growth in a couple of days. Wow.

Xavier got a chance to incubate the eggs this morning so he was super eggcited.

WBSE 27 and 28 had an early feeding and they are both perfect – strengthening their legs and wings and getting very interested in the world outside of the nest. This has also been a great family to watch this year, just like the Port Lincoln Osprey family. No big dramatic events in either.

That is it for me today. I hope you had a very good weekend no matter where you are or what time it is. Take care everyone. See you soon!

And a last reminder. Mark you calendars. 9 October is eBird count day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange.

White Bellied Sea Eaglet 28 dominates feeding

The golden glow of the morning sun kissed the branches of the old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Forest. WBSE 27 and 28 were sound asleep in the nest bowl while an adult was on the parent branch keeping watch.

This morning breakfast arrived at 9:20:11. It was a nice chunk of fish.

28 was up at the breakfast table right away and dominated the feeding. There was no pecking and 28 was on the left side! Well, well.

It is easy to see that 28 really loves the fish! One of the things people have noticed is that the birds actually do have preferences. Some prefer fish, others prefer birds. Some don’t like specific species of birds. WBSE tend to really love their fish!

Here is a short video clip of the feeding.

WBSE 28 is still being fed after ten minutes. Indeed, Lady will still be feeding 28, almost exclusively, for another twenty minutes.

At 9:30:11 either a Pied Currawong or an Australian Magpie swooped down on the nest. Lady alerted and both of the sea eaglets pancaked on the nest.

Anyone watching the feeding would have immediately known that Lady’s alert call meant ‘danger’ and the sea eaglets stopped everything and became very still. This is what all raptors do, as far as I know. It is certainly what Osprey chicks do when their parent is alerting.

Oh, these eaglets love this fresh fish! 28 has gotten very good at the quick snatch method as well. He is very cute.

Lady finished feeding the pair at 10:01:27. They both settled down, each with a crop – 28’s was the biggest! He is in front sort of sitting up.

Right now it is easy to tell the difference – 27 has more juvenile feathers on its shoulders and wings.

No doubt, WBSE 27 might well dominate the next feeding. But it is significant to note that 28 stepped up first and was fed – and went to sleep with a very large crop. There was absolutely not a hint of sibling rivalry other than the typical ‘snatch and turn’ of 28 at times. The ‘snatch and turn’ is often a side effect reaction – grab the food quickly and turn – protecting one’s head from being pecked earlier in the chick’s life.

These two are doing very well. I hope that the Magpie or the Currawong – as well as BooBook Owl, and others do not inflict any injuries on any of the sea eagles. In fact, some of you might remember that it was a Magpie that helped WBSE 26 last year against the Pied Currawong.

The top two images are of a Pied Currawong and the bottom one is an Australian Magpie. Sometimes you only see a blur. Those familiar with the sounds of the forest might be able to tell who caused the ruckus.

“Pied Currawong ( Strepera graculina)” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Pied Currawong” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are decided differences between the two but a split second sweep of black and white makes it difficult. The Pied Currawong has been a constant in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Perhaps it has a nest near to the sea eagles and wants the big birds – the top of the food chain – to get out of town!

“Australian Magpie” by Lisa.Hunt is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sadly, the Currawong did chase 26 out of the forest and she wound up the next day, after a storm that evening, on the 22nd floor of a condo building about 1.5 kilometres away from the nest. The Currawong are a big problem in the forest. They also chased 25 out when it fledged and I suspect they have done this in years past. 25 never returned to the nest. No one knows what became of her. Ideally, these two beauties fledge and return to the nest for rest and food just like the Bald Eagles or the sea eagle fledglings are fed down by the Parramatta River by the parents til they can survive on their own.

It has to be mentioned that Sydney’s Parramatta River is full of dioxins. Commercial fishing is banned after elevated levels of the toxins were found in seafood from the Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.

“Parramatta River, NSW, Australia” by Terrazzo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”

In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.

https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/contaminated-storm-water-pumped-from-camellia-site-into-parramatta-river/news-story/83b1a3c9e5e5c226d687ad47f0ee982e

That lovely fish that the two sea eaglets ate this morning came from this river. It is a tragedy.

Thank you so much for joining me. These are just the cutest little sea eagles. 28 is quite the character. Spend some time watching them. Everything is good.

Thank you to the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia’s Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip.

Early Monday in Bird World, 2 August 2021

Many who read my newsletter have a love for all birds and a particular fondness for one or two species and a number of nests. My personal journey began with an encounter in my own garden – literally, getting up close and personal with a female Sharp-shinned hawk in the dead of winter who, I believed at the time, was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig. She wasn’t. Our eyes locked to one another’s, ‘something’ happened. I cannot describe it but those minutes changed my life. I know that many of you have had a similar experience as well as others who have gone on to write books about their journeys.

Philip Brown’s, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival, written in 1979, is just such a book. My used copy arrived in the post a couple of days ago from the UK. The only time that I have had to read has been late at night. The book is so well written that I was often hesitant to stop reading. His enthusiasm and love for these fish-eating birds animates the drive in Scotland to reintroduce the Osprey after years of extinction. Brown gives a good solid history but it is his personal stories of spending time with others at the eyries of Loch Garten guarding the nests that draws the reader into sympathy with the birds. Brown worries about the trees that are partially dead but have nests, about the poachers that are killing the birds, and how to halt the illegal practice of egg collecting. Those are woven in with the growing understanding of osprey behaviour and the efforts to grow public interest in the birds. If Ospreys tug at your heart then this is a book that you should read. When I was looking for a copy I discovered that the book could be ordered from the UK with standard post for a very reasonable price. It is a hardback book and used copies are available for less than 5 GBP.

I want to re-mention another book, available only in paperback. Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey is by Helen Armitage. There are a couple of ways it is different than the Brown volume. It is newer, written in 2011. The book covers the reintroduction of the Osprey to Scotland also but does it by focusing on a single bird, Lady, at the Loch of the Lowes. Lady raised 48 chicks migrating to Africa and back 20 times. That is simply astounding. Armitage’s book is different in another way. The lens is female, a welcome change when the majority of books on Osprey are written by men. She includes details not found in other volumes including one that I found particularly interesting. In trying to protect the Osprey, “In September 1899, Queen Victoria confirmed that certain regiments would stop wearing osprey plumes…” She also notes that it was women who continued the fight to stop the use of bird plumes including the Duchess of Portland who became the head of the Society for the Protection of Birds. It is time to think of fall reading and these are two really excellent books to curl up with.

In nest news, it appears that Bukacek or Father Stork is the only member of his family sleeping on the nest at Mlade Buky.

It is possible that both Pankrac, the female, and Servac, the male are with other fledglings preparing for their migration?

The normal practice with raptors is the female leaves for migration first. The male remains feeding the fledglings and bulking up himself. Once the fledglings depart, the male begin his long journey. Is this also the same ritual for storks?

I had a beautiful letter from a reader, ‘S’. She confirms the special status of storks in her country, Latvia. The people of Latvia have a special name for the White Storks, svētelis. She says the term speaks to the “embodiment of something holy and brings peace and protection from bad things.” This belief explains so much about the great love the people of Latvia have for their storks and that same understanding of storks being special must extend to surrounding countries where people go to great lengths to care for these amazing birds.

In regards to the migration of the storks, ‘S’ says that every year the storks gather on the trees, the roofs of all the houses and buildings, as well as on the electricity poles close to where she lives. When they are all ready to leave they begin clacking their bill together similar to what they do when the storklings are wanting food. Close your eyes and try to imagine how wonderful it would be to see this enormous gather of storks, each being called by the winds to begin their journey. The only equivalent we have in Manitoba are the Canada Geese. Every year they gather on the large ponds near to our nature centre, Fort Whyte. They arrive as the sun is setting calling one another. It is extremely moving. I can only imagine if it were storks!

There are several videos on YouTube about Klepetan and Malena, the famous Croatian white storks and the man, Sljepan Vokic, who has cared for Malena for more than 22 years. Sometimes, it is nice to see one of those videos just to remind ourselves that the world is full of kind caring people.

Skipping down to Australia, the two little sea eaglets, 27 and 28, are doing really well. It is mystifying watching Lady feed them the tiniest morsels of fish from her large beak.

Just look at the size of fish flake Lady is feeding to 28. She is so gentle.

There is plenty of fish in the nest and, so far, I have not seen any signs of food competition. Both of the little ones have nice tiny crops after their feedings. So far, so good. Fingers crossed it keeps up. Indeed, the only cheekiness I have seen is 28 trying to take a bite of 27’s head!

I love the look in Lady’s face as she stares at those two precious little fluffy bobbles. In many ways Lady reminds me of NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes nest in that she has grown into being an excellent – and loving – mother.

There is a gentleness about her movements with the two chicks this year that is striking. These moments of both of them tenderly tucked under mom will pass so quickly – they grow so fast!

A quick early Monday morning check on the UK Osprey nests reveals that Aran and Mrs G have been on the nest together since approximately 4 am.

Amidst the bleating of the sheep and the cows mooing, Aran brought in a fish for Mrs G and did a survey of their nest.

It is reported that Aran’s wing is much improved. He is flying more and fishing for himself as well as delivering fish to Mrs G. This is all good news since it was unknown at the time of his wing injury in late May whether or not he would be healed in time for migration.

One of Laddie and NC0’s chicks is on the Loch of the Lowes nest hoping for a food drop. Of course, that band is in hiding so it is anyone’s guess which chick is calling for fish!

The scene at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn and their two fledglings is simply pastoral. That said, no one is home!

The nest of Tiny Little is equally beautiful. I love the gentle yellows of the sun kissing the Dyfi Nest as it moves above the horizon and the gentle golden pink colouring the landscape of the Foulshaw Moss nest below.

A little later the Foulshaw Moss is magical. No Tiny Little though.

I cannot think of a better way to start a Monday morning than collapsing into the serenity of one of these landscapes. You can feel the stillness while, at the same time, soaking in the freshness of the smell of dew on grass.

Thank you for joining me. I will get the synopsis of what is happening with the Gough Island Recovery project this week. Once I started reading Brown’s book on Ospreys many other things went to the wayside. I hope that you have a great start to the week. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Saturday morning in Bird World

Lady and Dad at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest welcomed WBSE 28 at 5:41 pm on 31 July.

The egg began to split open at 17:08. You can see the egg tooth of the chick that is banging away at the shell. Once it is all cracked like it is now, the chick will wiggle and push to get out. Lady often helps by pulling off the bottom of the shell. She removed the shell of 27 so that it would not adhere to 28’s shell and cause difficulties. The females often eat the shells to help them regain their calcium that has been partially depleted making the eggs.

By 17:41 WBSE 28 was completely out of the shell and for some crazy reason the streaming cam decided to switch to IR mode! Let us all hope that 27 is a gentle and caring older sibling til these two get big enough and out of the bobble head stage!

Congratulations to everyone down in Sydney!

It was wonderful luck to wake up in Canada and see Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. It was 14:15 and she was busy eating a nice big fish all alone. Wow.

Tiny Little kept looking about while devouring her afternoon meal. With two big siblings and no where to hide I am certain that she is hoping they don’t show up.

Tiny Little has grown into a beautiful fledgling. At the time of banding they believed that Tiny Little (or Little Bob, LB) was a female but could not say for certain as her growth was so much behind the other two but, she has caught up. Look at those strong stout legs. She is a gorgeous female.

Thinking maybe I might get lucky, I decided to check on the Collins Marsh chick just in case there was an early morning fish delivery. At first, it did not look hopeful and then the chick and Mum began food calling. Dad must have been in sight of the nest.

Ah, what a relief to see this little one getting fed early in the day. Let us hope that the deliveries continue in rapid succession. This chick needs a lot of fish to grow as big as Tiny Little before it needs to migrate.

It seems everyone is eating! Zenit, on the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest in Romania, has received a delivery, too. Here is Mom arriving with the prey at 11:01:09. She calls out to Zenit.

It is not even a second before Zenit arrives, very excited, on the nest.

Mom moves off that nest quickly as Zenit mantles his lunch.

In Romania, as in other cultures, the Golden Eagle is a symbol of noblility and power. Images of double-headed eagles can be found on the buildings and coins of ancient civilizations in the Middle East such as Sumer and Babylon. The Romans, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Byzantines each used the symbol of the Golden Eagle for their empires. The Aquila (eagle) appears on the standards (the top of the spears of the Romans while the Byzantines were fond of the double-headed eagle which symbolized the dual role of the emperor as both secular and religious head.

An illustration of the vexilloid of the Roman Empire with the Golden Eagle standard:

This is the flag of the Holy Roman Empire:

Wikimedia Commons

Today the Golden Eagle continues to appear as an emblem of the government for various countries and rulers of Europe including that of the President of the Russian Federation. So even in contemporary times the beautiful eagle adorns the coins, buildings, flags, and uniforms representing their power and authority.

Historically, the Golden Eagle was widespread throughout Romania. There was a steep decline in the numbers of breeding pairs in the 20th century due to the use of pesticides both for agriculture and the control of mosquitoes. Hunting and the lack of sufficient food also caused a decline in the numbers. In 2002, it is estimated that there were only 30-40 nesting pairs in the country. This figure doubled in 2012 to 50-60 pairs. There are approximately 300 breeding pairs in Romania today. Current threats to the Golden Eagles continue to be a lack of prey, illegal logging, loss of habitat, poaching, and poisoning. The Golden Eagle is, thus, very rare in Romania.

“Golden eagle (2)” by jack_spellingbacon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Zenit is an adult, his wings will be up to 2.1 metres or 7 feet and he will weigh from 3.2 to 6.6 kilograms or 7 to 14.5 lbs. Females are one quarter to one half larger than the males. Juveniles have been known to travel up to 1000 km or 621 miles after they leave their natal nest. Zenit will reach maturity when he is around 5 years old. Golden Eagles have been known to live up to 32 years but the average is 15-20 years.

At the time he is an adult, Zenit will be an ‘Avian Apex Predator’. That means that healthy adult birds are not prey to any other raptor or mammal. They are at the top of the food chain. Zenit’s eyesight is 8 times that of a human – much better than mine! He will hunt rabbits, young deer, goats, and ibex but he will also eat carrion, birds, and squirrels.

It has been a great learning experience watching Zenit grow from being a chick into this beautiful juvenile.

It is a dark and gloomy Saturday. It is difficult to tell if the strange look in the sky is from the fires, perhaps an impending rainy day, or both. It might be a great day to sip hot tea and read. A copy of The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival arrived from a used book store in the UK yesterday. It looks like it is a perfect day to dig into it.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and The Discovery Center, Collins Marsh Nature Reserve Osprey Cam, Asociata Wild Bucovina, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

A joyful day

It was just so nice to start the day knowing that the Collins Marsh osprey chick was still with us. It was nothing short of a miracle that the very serious storm cells turned and headed away from the nest – and all the other Osprey nests in the area! Watching the satellite feed and then seeing those cells turn southeast – well, it was hard to believe. After 1am, the lightning strikes began to wane.

The site of the Collins Marsh nest is at the red pinpoint. In this area are also numerous Bald Eagle nests along with countless other Ospreys. The storm turned as it approached Lake Winniebago.

The little one has had several feedings today and, hopefully, this will be the last big drama this baby has to face before fledge.

‘S’ just wrote to tell me that the Dad on the Collins Marsh Nest had brought in a sizeable fish for Mum and babe just after 6pm. Many of the fish have been small. Thank you ‘S’. Much appreciated!

Right before the fish delivery the chick was being fed. Oh, what a lovely image – a little crop growing and mum on the nest feeding this very brave baby.

Here’s dad just about to leave after dropping off a bigger fish for these two. So glad that the waters were not stirred from the rain and storm last night.

Wee Bob had a nice crop. Mum is finishing up that nice fish. Both of them are going to sleep well tonight.

Everyone is celebrating the hatch of WBSE 27 and the pip of 28. Thankfully, they will be hatched close together. The sea eaglet bobbles are known for their sibling rivalry and fights over dominance in the nest. Perhaps this will help. We will see. For now, WBSE 27 is simply a little cutie leaning on ’28’.

This is not a great image of the chick. Apologies. But you can see the pip starting in the second egg.

Lady sure looks happy with that little fluff ball sticking out in front of her.

Two things to notice. First, that white line down the front of the beak is the egg tooth. It actually sticks up like a little spike. The chick uses it to pound away at the shell. It will eventually disappear as the beak grows. Secondly, if you are used to Bald Eagle babies, you will notice that the natal down on the White-bellied sea eaglet is white, not grey.

This is the first breakfast of fish for this little one.

We are having wildlife fires in Canada just like parts of the United States. On Vancouver Island, the Bald Eagle juveniles have been heavily impacted by the fires, the drought, and the lack of fish in some areas. There are lots of eagles, ospreys, and other species in care.

My daughter sent me an article this morning about how the people on Vancouver Island have joined together to provide fish for the Bald Eagles in care. It is one of those feel good comings together – just like the people of Mlade Buky who fed Father Stork and the little ones or the people of the Glaslyn Valley in Wales who provided fish for Aran and Mrs G when Aran was injured and could not fish for his family.

Here is the link to this wonderful story of a community helping these amazing birds.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fish-for-hungry-baby-eagles-1.6121415

No one will ever hire me to be a wildlife photographer! I have a large lens that intimidates me at times but, after today, there will be another trip north to one of our provincial parks to take Osprey pictures ‘properly’.

This is the marshy wetland in front of the Osprey nest. There were lots of pelicans who did not want me to take their picture!

There is a mother and her two chicks in the nest. The mother is leaning down. Before I could get my camera ready the Dad had delivered a fish and left. My goodness. When this mother and the chicks saw the fish delivery getting closer, they were so loud that you could hear them easily 45 metres away.

You can see the profile of the mother better in the image below. The sky is so hazy because of the wildfires and smoke in the area.

This is an area of the park between the West and East entrance gates. This is where the Dad fishes.

Just across the road is this area full of pelicans fishing.

What you are seeing below is an Osprey platform that is unused. It is only about 7 metres from the road leading into and out of the park. The noise of the traffic would be a big deterrent to occupancy – at least to this auntie.

There is going to be camera and lens practice this weekend with a return visit before these juveniles fledge. As it turned out, the images taken with my phone were better than with my small camera. Next week, I will try and be brave when I use that other lens – like the Collins Marsh chick was during the storm.

Tiny Little has evaded me today. Hopefully tomorrow!

Thank you for joining me. It was so nice to get out of the city and get to see and hear the Ospreys that travel here to breed in the summer. It was a gift to see all four of the family today. Take care everyone. Keep sending warm wishes to the Collins Marsh nest. They are certainly working.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagle, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre and the Collins Marsh Nature Reserve.

Hatch is imminent at WBSE nest…red fish, Polish storks, and Tiny Little gets a fish

My virtual friend ‘S’ and I probably never thought we would be pouring over fish ID charts trying to identify partially eaten fish. OK. I can’t fully speak for her but even growing up with a dad who lived to fish, a son that travels the world to fish and feels more at home in a boat than on land, and a grandson that fishes in all his spare time – I never thought for a second I would spend more than a few minutes looking at the type of fish the Ospreys are eating. Surprise. The fish that comes to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest is making some of us very curious as to what it is and where mum is catching it.

The DNR of Wisconsin is great. They have games you can plan, fish ID charts by name or identifying marks. It was not until I found their posters today that I even believed there was hope of figuring out this fish. It looks like my late mother’s Siamese Fighting Fish but for its colour and size.

Thanks ‘S for this great screen capture.

Seriously I thought that the Mum at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest had found someone’s ornamental fish pond to raids. This is at least the second fish of this species brought to the nest in a 24 hour period.

These are some of the top game fish in Wisconsin but nope. Nothing on this poster resembles that fish.

It isn’t a Roach but it could be a Rudd. But the Rudd hasn’t got red scales! There are suckers that look like a closer match.

This is beginning to drive me a little nuts. And don’t be shy. If you recognize that fish the mum is feeding her chick – tell me. I will be smiling for a week. Tomorrow I am going to ask the Naturalist at Collins Marsh. To be continued.

Dad was only seen on the Collins Marsh nest once today. Mum was busy bringing in these smaller fish for her and the chick. It is a good thing that she isn’t afraid to get wet – because if she were her baby would not be alive.

The chick will eat this species but it is certainly not its favourite and Mom, on the other hand, seems to like it or is so hungry she leaves hardly any scraps.

Speaking of eating, the female at the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest brought in an Eurasian Hare for Zenit. Zenit wasn’t close to the nest tree when mum arrived and called but he quickly comes in mantling like crazy. When you see this eaglet or any of the fledgling Osprey aggressively going after prey, the term is hyperphagia. Every bird that migrates needs to eat as much as they can – compulsive overeating – in order to store fat for their migratory journey.

Lady Hawk caught all of the action and Zenit’s enormous crop in a video:

Some of the biggest news of the day is that 8:54 am on 28 July a pip was first noticed in one of the two eggs of Lady and Dad, White Bellied Sea Eagles, whose nest is in an Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

This was Lady checking, listening, and gently rolling the eggs about forty minutes later.

There is now a hole in that egg. So hatch is close.

I adore the little sea eaglets but this nest really broke my heart last year with WBSE 26 striving to live, to fly, to be a bird and then to have it end with her being euthanized.

I have seen prosthetic legs made for birds, 3D printed beaks for eagles, sophisticated operations on the webbed feet of Canada geese, and more. I have witnessed pain management programmes for animals in care and wildlife rehabbers like those at A Place Called Hope in Connecticut that not the extra mile – they go ten extra miles. All we have to do is remember the state that The Old Warrior was in when he arrived at their clinic. His lead levels were 48, he had multiple fractures in his leg, and his beak was so damaged that he could hardly eat. That old eagle wanted to live and he was treated accordingly. His lead levels are around 10, he is eating well, his feather condition is improving all the time. He is happy! Today he remains with the clinic as they await a permit for him to be their ‘forever Warrior’. I had hoped, like so many others, that something would be done to help 26.

There are several ways to access the cam for the sea eagles. There is even one with a chat room. I will try and locate those other links for you.

Here is cam 4. The definition is good.

I want to thank a follower from Poland who sent me a note suggesting I look at the beautiful stork nest in Ostroleka, Poland. So I did! There were five storks sleeping on this nest in the northeast of Poland.

What a picturesque village. The farmer’s fields are so lovely. Tranquil is the word I want to use as the sun rises on a new day.

I need to find out more about this nest which I will do in the coming days. I am trying to imagine the challenges for the parents to feed five – or is it four chicks and the parent is off the nest? Here is the link to the camera for this nest:

Tiny Little is not sleeping on the Foulshaw Moss Nest tonight. It is not clear to me whether he had a fish drop later last night or not. But after waiting for big sibling to get their fill of a large fish, Tiny Little is now eating for sure. It is 17:01 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Of course, big older sister is sitting there waiting in line! Poor things. They always get caught up spending so much time around the cheek and mouth, the bony bits. Hopefully Tiny Little will get full before it gets tired.

I love it when the mother’s get out there fishing. We see that in the mom at the Collins Marsh Nest and here comes NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes.

That fledgling just about tore her leg off! I am looking at those strong thin legs of NC0. She has been diving and bringing in fish to this nest for at least a month. Soon she is going to have to begin bulking up for her flight to Africa. It’s that word: hyperphagia.

It has been a pretty exciting day. So nice to see some of the fledglings on the nests! It is comforting to know that they are surviving.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that everyone has a great day. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Nest and the Neustadlter Nature Center, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles, Birdlife, and Sydney Discovery Center, Ostrolekas White Stork Nest, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes. I would also like to thank the Wisconsin DNR for the fish poster files and ‘S’ for sending me that great shot of that ‘gold’ fish.