Our thoughts go out to all that are being lashed about by tropical storm systems and hurricanes.
It is a quiet drizzly grey Saturday morning in the garden. Little Red has been eating at the solid suet cylinder and the Blue Jays are pecking away at the cob of corn left for them. The sparrows have not really been around much. I hope to have some photos of Little Red cleaned up for tomorrow. But, so far, the gang is all here – Junior and the 3 fledgling Blue Jays and the 3 fledgling Crows plus Little Red, Dyson, and Scraggles. Dyson’s two from the summer come and go as well. There has been no sightings of Little Hedwig and the neighbours and I are beginning to fear the worst about those cats. Fingers crossed we see a bunny shortly.
The temperatures are dropping at night. All of the Grape tomatoes have been picked and will turn green in the lovely Birch basket. All of the plants to come inside are here but one which means a trip to the garden centre today for soil. Even so, we have not had a hard frost in the garden and this is absolutely remarkable considering it is now the 24th of September.
In the Mailbox:
The other day I was asked if non-parental male peregrine falcons could harm the eyases in the scrape. I told a story of an Osprey that had kicked the eggs out of the nest when he suspected they belonged to another male. Today, a cartoon that Chloe Baker did of Odin and EJ showed up on FB.
It was Loch Garten, 2013, and here is the video of that egg being kicked out of the nest. Odin waited til EJ went for a break! (not HD) I wish some of these great old videos could be cleaned up. They are fantastic. Of course, Odin was not the only male. Some of us waited to see if Aran would go after Mrs G’s eggs this season but, he didn’t. Presumably they were his and not the Pont Cresor Aeron Z2.
This also happened at Dunrovin a couple of years ago – much clearer image.
And here is another a couple of years ago. There are many examples. We do not know what will happen if the young male totally ousts the old male at Melbourne. Indeed, we do not even know if that will happen this year. My fingers are crossed that he goes and sits and waits til this breeding season is over! But, we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst. It is much better when the males get rid of the eggs.
Some additional images were released of Victor taking his flight to freedom. He sure must have been so excited to be back in the wild. Victor is a magnificent eagle! Thanks to Paul K for cleaning these up!
It is all about life lessons at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. The parents are deliberately branching, demonstrating how to ward off the Currawong, and then how to eat a fish. It is really a privilege to be able to watch the daily lives of these amazing raptors.
Xavier looking at the eggs. Hatch watch is 1-3 October! Xavier is one of the most devoted male Peregrine Falcons that I know. This is an incredible nest to watch and there are several cameras and a chat.
Xavier has been doing some of that enfluffing in the scrape.
I wonder how many of you are counting the number of fish flakes that Little Bob is getting at Port Lincoln. Big Bob is bigger and will need more and Mum is smartly feeding it several nice helpings before moving on to Middle and Little Bob. Dad, for his part, brought in a whomping size fish that will last the day.
Oh, Little Bob you are going to have to push and figure out how to get to the front with Big Bob in the front line!
Little Bob got himself in the right position for the next feeding at 10:50. Big Bob has a super crop and Middle is laying down. Little is going to get some really nice bites.
The camera operator gave us some fabulous close ups of the three after the 1415 feeding so we could see that each had a nice crop. Little Bob is holding its own. You can really see the egg tooth of each of the osplets – that hard piece of white beak used like a pick axe to get out of the shell. Enjoy this soft fluffy down. We will not realize it but time passes quickly and soon they will be in their reptilian phase.
Incubation continues at the 367 Collins Street scrape box. It is now the 25th in Melbourne and we are on hatch watch for the 27th.
For everyone who cannot wait for the Bald Eagle nests to be full of little eaglets, the first on streaming cam mating of the year occurred at the Northwest Florida nest of Samson and Gabby!
Do you know about EuroBirdPortal.org? It tracks all of the European Ospreys movements during the migration period.
I will be checking on Karl II and his family for tomorrow.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Little Bob is doing well. He isn’t our Ervie – no one could ever be Ervie but, I hope he holds his own against Big Bob and thrives. Mum and Dad are doing a great job. I fear that when Dad is late with fish it is either the wind or the gulls. Let’s blow those gulls away! Take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that form my screen captures: Chloe Baker, Loch Garden RSPB, Dunrovin, Castnet, Bald Eagles 101 and the Ojai Raptor Centre, The Wonderful World FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, EuroBirdPortal, and NWFL-AEF.
Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!
Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.
Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.
The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.
The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.
It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?
In the Mailbox:
‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.
There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.
Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.
British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.
If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.
Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.
Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.
The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.
Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.
Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.
They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!
Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.
Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.
Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!
The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.
In the image below you can see what little is left.
It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.
At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!
497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.
To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.
Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?
If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)
The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.
Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.
The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.
For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.
Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!
Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.
I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?
Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.
From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?
Oh, it is Saturday. I hope everyone is doing well. In Winnipeg we had a huge unexpected treat. At least 100 Canada Geese in a single formation flew over the City at 1930 heading north. Are these late arrivals due to the flood? I also saw two other smaller V formations with about 39 geese in each. What a treat. It was mesmerizing and they were so high up you could barely hear their honks. No pictures other than the extraordinary one emblazoned in my mind.
Orion, Martin and Rosa’s eaglet, fledged from the Dulles Greenway nest on the 3rd of June. What a beautiful flight it was! Since this he has been perfecting his take off and landings at the nest. What a gorgeous fledgling.
‘L’ sent me two links to the Osprey cams at Patuxent River Park. One nest has one nicely chubby but hot osplet and the other has three. It looks like the river is covered with lily or lotus pads.
Looking at those images reminds me of the fostered osplet placed on nest 2 last year and it falling off the edge into the water! What a scramble it was to find someone to help because the park office had just shut down. Thankfully the chick was saved by a dedicated staff member who listened to all the messages and took her canoe and partner out to find the little one. So grateful.
Kana’kini fledged on the 10th of June. She is currently above the nest on a stone cliff. It looks like an excellent place for a prey drop from either Thunder or Akecheta – or will they want her to return to the nest?
Here is a video of Kana’kini’s fledge and her return:
Oh, wow. Lancer, Chase and Cholyn’s eaglet is now 9 weeks and 3 days old on the 11th of June. Or in days – 66 days old. We have a little while to go before fledge but not long.
There could be a fledge by Star or Sentry at Liberty and Guardian’s Bald Eagle nest in Redding. Both eaglets are high up in the nest tree looking out even though an adult is on the nest.
Spirit is doing what all eagle fledglings should do – return to the nest for food provided by the parents. Spirit flies in several times a day. She eats, sometimes she sleeps duckling style – flying has to be tiring. And sometimes she sits for a bit with one of her parents and sometimes both. How privileged we are to be able to watch that little check develop into this strong juvenile.
Three fish were delivered to Spirit today – wow. Way to go Jackie and Shadow. The last image shows Spirit with a huge crop.
Food is a great motivator and Spirit loves her dinner. Jackie and Shadow are very smart to keep feeding their big girl very well and keep her coming to the nest til she is really ready to leave. So grateful for their wisdom.
Mr President and Lotus’s eaglet has also branched and will be fledging soon. This reminds me. I had a question today about the adults feeding their eaglets. First, Takoda had a fish around 0600 on Friday the 10th. The adults will withhold food to teach the eaglets to eat everything and store it because they do not know when more food will be available. They also withhold food to encourage fledging. Likewise, they will feed an eaglet to full and bursting if they do not want them to fledge at that particular time. The adult eagles are very wise – they do what is necessary when using food as a motivator.
It is not the first time in British Columbia, Canada’s most western province, that a Bald Eagle took a hawklet into their nest for dinner and wound up raising it. The other hawklet was in a nest in Victoria. It fledged. David Hancock and Christian Sasse often presented video clips and discussions about this phenomena. That one could be seen catching and eating fish. This one is on Gabriola Island just off the coast of Vancouver Island a little north of Victoria. The hawklet has been in the nest for a week and is being fed by both the eagle adults.
The eagle is feeding the hawklet Saturday morning. Lovely.
Please note that there is no rewind. You can watch the action here:
Idris landed on the Dfyi nest at 04:19. Chicks just waking up – a little earlier today – ready for breakfast.
Lots for everyone. Big and Little are up front while Middle is going to sleep a bit longer.
The Dyfi are looking for name suggestions for the three osplets of Idris and Telyn this year. Here is the announcement:
There have been two more fledges at the Manchester Peregrine scrape. Both Cinquey and Blue flew out this morning. This leaves Colby – the baby – who isn’t such a baby anymore!
The three little storklets of Jan and Janika have been seen begging at the decoy mum. Amazing.
The weather is nasty up in Scotland. Louis did deliver a fish and now he is hunkering down with Dorcha and the kids on the Loch Arkaig nest. Let us hope this system goes through quickly. They are such wee babes. I hate this prolonged wet weather. It causes so many issues.
The bad weather has left the Loch of the Lowes. All that remains is the very strong winds. Laddie has brought in a fish and the two big ones were eating first with Little Bob hanging behind. He has now moved over as the older ones are getting fuller.
It has dried out for Seren and Dylan and the three Bobs at Llyn Clywedog. They have also been fed and all is well. Everyone is growing – even the little one.
It has been windy at Glaslyn and Aran has been fishing. Mrs G might not like flounder but the osplets don’t care!
Meanwhile down in Rutland it is a gorgeous day. Blue 33 has just delivered another fish to May and the osplets.
Both fledglings at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest continue to return happily to the nest to be fed. They are really honing their flying skills and getting those wing muscles strong. Fantastic to see them both doing so well.
The two chicks of Richmond and Rosie in SF Bay are certainly not ready to fledge but they are becoming more and more interested in what is happening around them at the Richmond Shipping docks. They are 25 and 24 days old.
Lady and Dad have their second and final egg at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam in the Sydney Olympic Forest. I have not seen an official time posted but it appeared to be laid around 01:12 on 12 June nest time. Now the long wait during incubation!
Other nest news: If you are a fan of Loch Garten Ospreys, there was a hatch this morning! And for those that follow the Royal Albatross, OGK has been confirmed to have returned to feed QT chick. Fantastic news. Little Bit 17 is waiting with the two older sibling for more food deliveries. Dad brought in a fish around 08:20. He did get some raccoon yesterday which he ate on the porch side. Fingers crossed for some big fish today for all of them! At the Decorah North Bald Eagle nest, DN15 fledged. Mr President and Lotus were on the branches at the National Arboretum nest where Takoda had a nice fish very early this morning – around 0559.
Quite a busy Saturday.
Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a beautiful day in Winnipeg with the promise of rain tomorrow. The wee bunny is still visiting the garden – it is safe and away from houses that have dogs or cats. It is wonderful to see him eating away at the grass. Dyson has been seen along with Scraggles but it is difficult to get photos because the lilacs are simply full of leaves. It is a real forest out there for them this time of year!
The Hibiscus are also blooming. Thankfully all of the critters leave the flowers alone so that the butterflies and bees can enjoy them.
Take care everyone. See you tomorrow! Have a fabulous Saturday wherever you are!!!!!!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or video clips, FB posts where I took my screen captures: Dulles Greenway, Patuxent River Park, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Friends of Redding Eagles, FOBBV, NADC-AEF, GROWLS, Dyfi Osprey Project, Peregrine Networks, Eagle Club of Estonia, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery, and the Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, LRWT, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, and the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.
Ron and Rita welcomed R3 early this morning. It appears that R3 hatched around 07:58. Notice also how Rita puts her beak at the tip of R1’s beak when it is wanting to peck R2. Very interesting.
Here is a very short video of R3 hatching.
R3 is officially fully hatched at 10:32:01.
Rita is now showing us anything as R1 and R2 look outside the nest cup.
That nest cup is very small. Fingers crossed for this little one to catch up and the older siblings to be kind. There is lots of food and experienced parents.
Congratulations Rita! (and Ron)
I have yet to see Daisy the Duck return to the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest since her and her mate came to check it again on New Year’s Day. The Ring-tailed Possum still has its own nest amidst the twigs that have been added to this enormous structure over the years. It was running up and down around the tree last night.
It is hard to see it but if you look at the left side of the ‘V’ branch, it is running down to the bottom of the V and on the nest image, it is running up the other side.
The Port Lincoln Osprey Lads must have a pact. Each one of them gets to spend an entire day on the nest! First it was Bazza, then Falky came the other day, and now it is Ervie’s turn again! Ervie flew in with a piece of fish yesterday and it is believed that he must have caught it himself. However, later, he also received a fish from Dad, the last fish of the day. They have also been diving off the barge – Falky is very good at this and it is wonderful to see them figure out how to fish. We most often do not get this opportunity.
There is Ervie protecting his fish on the nest from any siblings that think they will fly in and grab it.
Falky and Bazza are leaving Ervie alone to enjoy his dinner.
And perhaps by prior arrangement or reservation, Ervie gets to sleep on the nest alone. So when we see that one of them is staying by themselves all day on the nest, we will not worry about them. It looks like they are taking reservations for occupancy! What characters these three boys are.
There are so many things that humans use for one thing that wind up harming anyone that comes near them. Today, let’s look at ‘sticky paper’. Strands of sticky paper used to be common where I live to catch mosquitoes and flies. In France they are still used to catch birds! What horror and today there are used to catch mice and rats. Any bird or animal that gets near this gooey paper will be harmed. This was posted by CROW. The last sentence is not there but they suggest calling your local wildlife rehabber. Do not try to do anything yourself.
The wee ones at Hilton Head are still small and fuzzy but E19 and E20 are growing fast. Today, they are out of the nest cup and sleeping with their head on the sides of the nest. This is a major change for these two. Their pin feathers are also coming in and we can see their little tails starting to grow as their wings get bigger and bigger.
Another possum was just brought on deck for dinner along with the remains of yesterday’s two fish.
Eating and growing make for one very tired E19.
An earlier feeding of fish.
All is well at Harriet and M15’s. The beaking has really slowed down. Let’s hope it stays that way!
We are on egg watch at Big Bear for Jackie and Shadow.
Here is the link to the camera of this favourite Bald Eagle couple. We wish them the best of luck as they struggle to have nestlings up in northern California. It is perhaps the lingering DDT in the area that continually causes the shells of their eggs to be thin or the eggs to be unviable. But, let’s start 2022 off with all your warm wishes. I hope this is their year – they are so dedicated to one another.
Pip watch for those followers of Connie and Clive at the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest this weekend. Hoping that this year is better for Mum Connie and her new partner, Clive. Connie lost both of her chicks to rodenticide secondary poisoning last year. They were Hope and Peace. It was tragic. And, of course, rodenticide, like sticky paper, needs to be banned. Raptors and Cats are the answer to getting rid of rodents.
Here is the link to the Captiva Bald Eagle Cam:
I am trying to find streaming cams for raptors in Japan. In my quest to find a raptor cam in Japan for one of your fellow readers, I have found squirrel cams, monkey cams, cams for traffic and temples, cooking, etc. But I have yet to find a mention of a raptor cam. I will continue my quest but if any of you know of one, please let me know so we can all enjoy. Thank you so much!
The squirrels are adorable!
And the most incredible monkeys and deer but no raptors! This is Awaji Island.
Thank you so much for joining me. It is so reassuring to know that there are so many people, from all of the world, that love the raptors – and all the birds and animals. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following where I took my screen captures: Hilton Head Bald Eagle Cam, SW Florida Bald Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Friends of Big Bear, Captiva Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, CROW FB page, Awaji Island Monkey Center, and Yatsugatake Today.
New Year’s Day started off wonderfully with the uniting of Annie and Grinnell. Cal Falcons posted a note that the interloper that had injured Grinnell and sent him into rehabilitation on 29 October has not been seen in the past two weeks. It appears that our little Grinnell watched, got stronger, and got rid of him! That is a good thing. Grinnell is far too experienced a mate and knows how to take good care of the eyases – that is invaluable to Annie. I only wish Daisy had a mate half so invested in the eggs and nestlings!
10,600 people have watched Annie and Grinnell ring in the New Year together! Look closely at the image. Notice just how much bigger Annie is than Grinnell. That is reverse sex-size dimorphism – in raptors, the female is normally 30% larger than the male.
These little falcons like to live on the highest buildings so they can have a great view if anyone larger than them should want to arrive at their scrape box. Thousands of years ago they lived on the highest cliffs (some still do in certain geographical regions) but, like other birds they have adapted as humans take over their space. They have adapted to our skyscrapers like this perfect building on the University of California at Berkeley, The Campanile.
Oh, what a beautiful sight first thing in the morning. So happy. This is just such a relief.
The White-Bellied Sea Eagles were up on the branch together to sing the morning duet. They had a rough night of it. They were chased and harassed by the Pied Currawong first. The Curra are the birds that injured WBSE 27 – gathering in a group to fly and hit its head. The Curra are also the birds that chase the eagle fledglings out of the forest before they have learned from Lady and Dad how to fish and survive. I really do not like them and their numbers have grown in the forest over the past few years. They are more than a nuisance. They can be deadly.
As soon as the Curra were in bed, it was not long until BooBook Owl and its mate started their silent attacks. They spent five full hours harassing the WBSE. They are also dangerous. One injured Lady’s eye last year and she could have been blinded.
Here is a video of the attacks with the eagles falling off the branch.
To my knowledge, the WBSE do not eat the hatchlings of either the Curra or the Owls. These little birds just want the big Apex raptors out of the forest and they will do everything they can to accomplish this.
The pair sang The Duet and promptly left the forest. I wonder if there is another nest location for them? The old nest of Dad’s collapsed but there could be other suitable sites.
I made this video clip a few months ago in mid-September. I love the beauty of Lady and Dad singing their song to wake up the forest. Scroll your mouse or tracker over the left hand corner and then click on the arrow to play.
I have never liked this nest because of the Currawongs and now Boo and his family are older and bolder. It is not good for the eaglets who hatch or for Daisy. My eyes in that area tell me that the Ravens have also been coming to the nest to check for eggs every couple of days. So sad. If Daisy does return, I have no hope for her eggs hatching. I just do not want her to get injured if a large number of Ravens would come at the same time.
This morning on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge Bazza was on the nest when the fish arrived at 08:09. Falky flew over from his perch hoping to get it but Bazza was the clear winner and kicked Falky off the nest! You will remember that yesterday Bazza flew in and took the fish right when Dad brought it in. Bazza is going to be called Bold Bazza for sure. He is getting street smart for sure – all good survival skills.
Here comes Dad with the fish. Bazza can see him and he is prey calling louder and louder.
Bazza is starting to mantle the fish (on the left side of the nest). Mantling is when a raptor spreads their wings over the food item so that others cannot get to it. It is almost like hiding it. Falky is on the right edge of the nest. Ervie is up on the perch and Mum is on the ropes.
What interested me was not Bazza getting the fish or Falky trying to take it but, Ervie’s behaviour. Ervie did not move off the perch. He did not care. He was not hungry. This tells me that Ervie had already been out fishing for his morning breakfast. He will continue to get more and more independent.
E19 was being a bit of a stinker today. His attacks on E20 were frequent and sometimes brutal.
So what do Harriet and M15 do when this happens? Well, often, they will ‘sit’ on the chicks but, at other times, they will do a tandem feeding. That is precisely what happened today. M15 stepped in to help Harriet with the cantankerous two.
Just lovely. Both eating at once. They will learn, over time, that everyone gets fed. No one goes hungry in Harriet and M15’s house.
Ferris Akel held his tour today. Viewers were treated to the sightings of five Snowy Owls at the Finger Lakes Airport.
Snowy Owls are moving south from their home in the Arctic to find food. They mostly eat rabbits, grouse, mice, weasels and small waterfowl and marine birds. Open fields, golf courses, or small airports like this one are perfect for them to find food.
Not far away were what seemed like a thousand Sandhill Cranes. Some were feeding in the fields, some were in the marsh, and some were flying from the fields to the marsh. There seemed to be Sandhill Cranes everywhere!
The adults have grey bodies with a distinctive crimson red cap. Their long legs and necks immediately tell us that these are ‘wading’ birds. They stand 90-122 cm tall or 36-48 inches. They have long pointed beaks for finding food in the muddy waters of wetlands. They also have a ‘bustle’ or tufted tail. You can see those tufts on the cranes in the image below.
The Sandhill Cranes migrate during the winter leaving their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic and Northern Canada in large groups. They will gather in the thousands in staging areas.
With their long beaks they probe in the waters feeding on plant tubers, roots, seeds, and small invertebrates. In the image below you can see how their long legs and neck really assist them in finding food.
Oh, these cranes are so gorgeous. Sandhill cranes have been the subject of Japanese art for centuries. They are a traditional symbol of immortality because it is believed that the cranes live for a thousand years.
The panel below is called Cranes in a Winter Landscape. This is clearly a good wish for longevity.
The screen below is part of a series of two six-panelled screens done in the 1700s. Typically the backgrounds would have been painted gold. Both the old twisted pine and the crane signal immortality or wishes for a long life. These would have typically folded and divided rooms.
Thank you so much for joining me. Stay warm, stay safe. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: SWFlorida Bald Eagle cam and D Pritchett, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, UC-Berkeley Falcon Cam, and Ferris Akel.
It has been a day of great heartbreak with Daisy losing her eggs to the Unkindness. Although she will never know the thousands of people who were quietly (or loudly) cheering her on. As ‘B’ in the UK says, ‘She was doing so good.’ She was. This morning Daisy did not like the rain hitting her bill and head. She would toss her head about trying to get the drops off. She had puffed her feathers so that they would cover the down on the nest so it would not get wet. Whether the showers contributed to Daisy deciding to leave late, we will never know. And will will never know if it was the end of the showers that prompted the Ravens to come to Daisy’s nest in the hope she would be away.
Last season some wondered if Daisy’s eggs were fertile. This year we could tell that they were. Some old timers reviewing Daisy’s incubation – she stayed on the eggs for most of the day before she finished laying the 8th egg – felt looking at the one egg that Daisy flew away with that hatch could have been 10-11 days away. It was not to be.
Daisy returned to her nest at 07:50:02 to find her nest and eggs destroyed. I simply cannot imagine how she must have felt seeing that precious down scattered all over the nest – and then to see some egg shells – and one large portion of an egg. It was immediately clear that there had been a duckling developing in that egg – it was not simply a yolk. Daisy gathered up that portion of an egg and flew off the nest with it at 07:51:10. Six minutes later at 07:57:19, Daisy returns to the nest.
On this return, Daisy surveyed the entire nest. She found some shells, she went to the rim of the nest where she normally flies off, and hesitates. It is 07:59:07. She goes back near the egg cup. Daisy gathers some of the down and looks for more shells. At 08:07:21 Daisy again walks over to the rim of the nest. She stands looking out for nearly a minute. At 08:08:19 she goes back to the nest cup. At 08:08:27 Daisy lays down on the nest cup. She begins tucking and rolling – it would have been easy to imagine that the Ravens might have missed some of the eggs due to our little duck’s behaviour.
Daisy continues to gather up down, tucking, and rolling what would have been eggs with her strong legs and webbed feet.
While Daisy was on the nest, there were periods where she froze just like she would do when the Ravens came on the nest. I have three separate incidents and there could have been more. One instance was 17 minutes long.
Daisy flew off the nest in the old Ironbark Tree for the last time at 09:10:45.
I wish I could look at the nest and pretend Daisy is just off foraging.
As I am reminded, the odds against Daisy hatching these ducklings was only 15%. This season was so different. Daisy was not playing tag with Dad, the White-Bellied Sea Eagle. Indeed, the Sea Eagles had visited and paid no mind they were so busy with the Pied Currawong attacking them. There was then this hope that developed especially since Daisy so valiantly defended her nest against the Ravens twice.
Daisy might begin laying eggs for her second clutch in 47 days. The laying of eggs and the incubation period really puts demands on the body of the hen. It takes some time for her to regain her health in order to begin the process over again. There are only two clutches per season.
It has been a difficult year for each of us. Your list will be different than mine but mine began first with the loss of Malin, then K2 Big Red and Arthur’s second hatch, then ‘Little 4’ of 367 Collins Street Falcons, and last but not the least of them, Yurruga at the Orange Falcon scrape. There were, of course, others – the Finnish Ospreys and their Mum, Milda’s two chicks…the list grows longer thinking about it.
Take some time to breathe. Daisy was a remarkable duck and we all began to believe that she would overcome the odds. I have asked a friend who is often down by the Discovery Centre to find Daisy and send us a picture if she would. It would give us each some closure to see Daisy in her element paddling around and eating.
Thank you to everyone that wrote to me. It is so touching that so many people care about this wonderful duck. It will take me some time to answer each of you but, I will. For now please take care of yourselves.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video captures.
I had no more than posted my last blog thinking that the rest of the day would be quiet like the beginning. That changed with the arrival of a single Australian Raven at 18:08:21. You could hear it before you could see it. Daisy froze!
The cawing was singular so it was only one Corvid on the nest. In the distance there was, at one time, what sounded like another Raven. To my knowledge it never flew to join the other Raven in the branches of the Ironbark Tree.
Daisy keeps her bill under that one twig – not moving. I once saw Little Woodpecker cling to a suet holder for 45 minutes when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk was sitting on a branch under it pretending to be a bird feeder. Little Woodpecker was terrified. You could tell it only from his eyes.
Daisy is quick. The Raven flies over to the branch. She turns quickly so that she can keep an eye on it.
At one point the Raven hid behind the big branch. you can see its tail on the right. Did it think Daisy would think it was gone? and move off her eggs?
Daisy lunges and the Raven moves to the other larger branch to the right.
Daisy knows the Raven is still in the tree. Every once in awhile it will make a very eerie sound.
Daisy watched and listened. She did not relax until 16:21. That was a total of 13 minutes.
Whew! I must remember not to take anything for granted. Our brave little duck is doing the absolute best that she can.
The weather forecast for Daisy is not good. There is a 40% chance of rain beginning shortly. It looks like there are chances of showers increasing to 70% probability after midnight. There could be a thunderstorm around 10:00 tomorrow morning. Sadly Daisy might not be able to stay dry. It looks like there could be showers on and off for the next week.
Thank you for joining me. We forget what a challenge laying the eggs, incubating them, and then finally the hatching is for Daisy. She is just doing so well that sometimes I need a good reminder that this is not easy. Send her all your good energy! I certainly am. She is very brave despite being frightened.
And if you want to know what this might look like should those eggs hatch, here is a cute little video of a female Mallard and her ducklings – from hatch to freedom. OK. The distance is very different but these fuzzy yellow ducks are so cute and look how their Mum knows when one of them is missing. It is amazing —– and they don’t have a 75 foot jump!
Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.
Daisy flew off the nest – very early – at 02:56:25 for her early morning foraging trip. She did not return until 07:05:08. It was an anxious time waiting for her to fly back to the nest. Sunrise was at 05:38. As always, I worry about the Ravens. They are such intelligent birds. They know there are big delicious eggs in that nest and they want them. So far they have flown by or landed on the upper branches of the Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest checking to see if Daisy is there. The Ravens do have a routine – arriving between 08:30 and 10:00 – but, that is not to say they would not come early!
To my mind, Daisy has had an unusually quiet day after returning to the nest. She has moved leaves, shifted back and forth turning the precious eggs over, and she has slept.
The cam operator has checked a couple of times and the Sea Eagles are not at the River Roost – but, we should all remember that anything can change in an instant.
The camera operator has also given us some really nice close ups of our adorable duck!
It is now almost 16:00. All is well. It has been such a quiet day. Sometimes all you could hear was the hum of the camera and the traffic. It almost seemed like all the birds had left the forest! We will take it. Hopefully the remainder of Day 20 will be completely uneventful! She has one more foraging trip. I will report on that tomorrow.
Before I close, Judy Harrington has given an update just minutes ago on WBSE 27: December 22 latest report on SE27 – a Seasonal message. “SE27 is doing as well as can be inspected for the short time she has been in care. She is building up her confidence and her weight and when the weather clears will be moved into the larger flight aviary.” I think she meant ‘expected’ not inspected. It is wonderful to hear 27 is improving. I hope that when 27 leaves it has the confidence that Iniko has!
Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to have so many people sending their love and positive energy to this darling little duck. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.
Daisy flew off the nest at 05:07:04. Then the camera went offline. Thankfully Dasha moved the Twitch streaming cam so that we could see Daisy instead of a wide view of the nest tree. It is unclear when Daisy returned precisely but she was on the nest and dry at 07:29.
The cam operator (I think it was Dasha – thank you) gave us some beautiful close ups of our favourite duck. Daisy is just so beautiful.
This first image with the wee bit of sunlight falling really shows off Daisy’s plumage and that amazing down.
That blue bill really differentiates the Pacific Black Ducks from the ones in North America.
There is that beautiful distinctive creamy tan line from the bill above the eye and then the wider one below.
Oh those bits look like twinkle stars. I never knew Duck down was so beautiful — just warm!
Sometimes you can hardly see Daisy on the nest.
It has been a very quiet morning for Daisy as it nears noon. I can hear the Noisy Miners in the forest but, there appear to be no Sea Eagles over on the River Roost.
What a blessing! I do not believe the Sea Eagles will harm Daisy and I don’t even think that they will mess with the down because Lady doesn’t like it. But Daisy would leave quickly and she would not be able to cover her eggs leaving them in view of predators.
Of course, Daisy being a very intelligent duck would wait in a nearby tree for the WBSE to leave and then she would fly over quickly, right?
Daisy doesn’t often stay in the same position for a long time. She is twisting and moving about, turning the eggs, tucking in down.
You can see the shadows moving over the nest at noon. It will be a hot day for our girl and those eggs. Hopefully she will not leave the nest too early this evening.
Daisy has moved a little. It is noon and all is well.
It is a little after noon. Daisy is rolling eggs and reaching out to find leaves underneath the branches and twigs. I really hope she is not thinking of a break. Oh, please, Daisy. Just stay put for six and a half more hours, please.
I will continue to monitor Daisy til she leaves for her evening foraging and then will check on her periodically. I am hopeful that nothing untoward will happen. Fingers crossed.
In other nest news, OGK has flown in and replaced YRK on the Royal Albatross Cam in New Zealand. Also a 2017 hatch, Royal cam chick, Tumanko, landed on Taiaroa Head. This is amazing. He is four years old and has survived. As a chick he was not always well so this gives us all hope for all the birds. Over at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, Falky has been trying his hand at fishing. He made two dives off the barge this morning. The first was at 07:04:41 and the second at 07:20:07. In the image below, you can see the nice form Falky has. It will not be long until he catches his own fish. Mum looks on proudly while Bazza is on the nest waiting for his fish. Is it really Bazza Baby??? Ervie is off flying!
Here are a couple of lovely morning views of Diamond, the Peregrine Falcon female at Orange. She is adorable.
It has been a good day in Bird World. M15’s injury from the GHOW is improving and we wait for Gabby’s second egg — oh, and it is getting close to hatch watch at SWFlorida with M15 and Harriet. Oh, I am in dire need of some bobble head action! And if you are missing the Ospreys, her is a great image of Aran, the male at the Glaslyn Nest who was injured during the storm that hit Wales at the end of May. The community was so generous. They brought out a fish table for him and Mrs G – allowing them to grieve the loss of their three osplets and heal. Oh, Aran is a handsome one – and he is also a good fisher. Three and a half more months – Osprey action in the UK!
Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screencaptures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.
Daisy only took an hour break last evening (Day 18).
It was extremely hot on the nest reaching to more than 98 degrees F on the forest floor or 37 degrees C. Did you know that extreme heat can kill the embryos? just like extreme cold? My friend told me that the layers of down that Daisy folds over can protect the eggs from either. Daisy was awfully not yesterday. She was often seen panting.
Daisy had a few hours reprieve from any intruders after she returned from her foraging. After midnight they arrived. Then at 00:41 she had to defend her nest and eggs from a Bushtail Possum! Daisy lunged at the Possum just like she did the Ravens. Gosh, our little duck mother is very protective and brave. Someone caught the action of the Bushtail Possum, the Ringtail Possum and a Lizard! My goodness.
There appears to be no consensus as to whether or not the Bushtail Possums will harm the eggs. Many say they ‘hiss and look scary’ (my friend) but won’t be interested in the eggs while many individuals in Australia believe that the Bushtail have taken their eggs from the hen house.
The main streaming cam, cam4, that I watch continues to go offline. The cam operator for Twitch has moved it to focus on Daisy. Thank you. The Ringtail Possum continues to climb around the tree. Daisy may not take her break before sunrise because of them but after sunrise she runs a risk of the Ravens. That also applies to the afternoon if she leaves too early.
Here is a video – the image is grainy – of the Ringtail Possum coming up the tree to pester Daisy. I believe Daisy will wait to leave for her morning break until this possum goes into its nest and quiets down.
Daisy first started thinking about leaving for her morning foraging at 05:03 when she began tucking the down around her body. Then she stopped. Then she started again.
Wee get a wee peek at the eggs in the first image.
Daisy is very thorough.
She will move around the nest several times scooping up and pulling down and leaves over those 8 eggs.
She is almost done. This is her third swing around the nest.
Satisfied that the eggs are covered as best she can, our lovely little Duck – this brave duck – heads off for a quick breakfast.
Sunrise is at 05:41 today. The temperature in the forest will range from 21 degrees C which it is presently to 31 degrees C mid afternoon. The wind is only 2 km/h so no creaks on the old Ironbark Tree today for Daisy! It could be a perfect day for the Sea Eagles to come and check on their nest. That is a horrible thought but they are due and the weather is good. Hopefully they will come when Daisy is away from the nest. Otherwise, she will flee leaving the eggs exposed.
While we wait for Daisy to return, there is some good news. When the camera maintenance is undertaken on the WBSE nest, there will be an attempt to remove the monofilament fishing line. They can’t go up while Daisy is incubating so it will not help the legs of her tiny goslings should they hatch and make their way to get off the nest. It could frighten Daisy and she might not return to the nest. It will, however, help the Sea Eagles – all of them. It must have come in one of the fish deliveries. This fishing line is so dangerous – along with the lead and the hooks.
It is cold on the Canadian Prairies which means the sun is shining! It is -17 C today. A good day for reading and hot tea. The summer solstice will occur at 02:58 on Wednesday the 22nd of December for Daisy. For North America the winter solstice is at 09:58 tomorrow, 21 December.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I will continue to monitor Daisy on the nest throughout the day and evening. Let us all hope it is boring and uneventful! Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and also for their videos. Thank you to Pat for the alert about the possums and Dasha for turning the Twitch cam on Daisy instead of the wide view of the tree while the main cam is down. Much appreciated.