Looking back at WBSE 26

6th of November 2022

Sometimes there are very special birds that elevate our spirits higher than we thought could be imagined. This was the case with WBSE 26.

I received so much mail from individuals with terminal illnesses – some in hospital – and from others with physical challenges. Each spoke to the inspiration they received from this single little Sea Eaglet.

Today I was telling one of our readers about WBSE 26 and I wondered how many others do not know the story of 26. So, I decided to post an old blog in the anticipation that it will bring joy. Like Bowland Beth, those of us who know the story, know the ending and it still brings tears. 26 was a very, very special eaglet.

Anything you can do, I can do it, too! and an update on SE29 and other tales in Bird World

28 October 2022

It has simply been an extraordinary day on the Canadian Prairies. Here it is 2113 and the temperature is +10 C. Earlier it was 13 C. There were individuals walking around with their summer flip flops! Fall is such a harbinger of the cold, cold winter that well, it is nice to have a break. I am starting the news for tomorrow because it is happening right now in Australia. Tomorrow I hope to get out early and find some Snowy Owls in the fields north of where I live. Perhaps a Northern Harrier or two and might there be a duck?

Snowy Owls arrive in Manitoba when the temperature begins to drop. You can see Snowy Owls on the utility poles, hay bales, and in the fields of Southern Manitoba. They rarely venture to the center or the north of our province. They blend in perfectly – their beautiful white plumage with its dark flecking – with the snow covering the land. Their eyes are a bright yellow as are their legs. They feed on grouse, lemmings, rabbits, and weasels in the winter. Any that remain here in the summer live off of voles and mice in the fields. We always think of owls as hunting from dusk to dawn but, the Snowy Owls hunt during the daytime. They range in size from 50-70 cm with reverse sex size dimorphism (the female is noticeably larger than the male).

This beautiful image is “Snowy owl (female)” by Marie Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Making News:

Update on the status of SE29. Oh, my goodness, a broken leg above the talon. Sweet baby. So glad 29 is in good care!

Missing Annie and Alden? They were bonding in the scrape box yesterday!! ‘H’ caught it!

Progress is being made on the Notre-Dame Bald Eagle’s nest that collapsed. This is the natal nest of Little Bit ND17. Parents working very hard to get it ready for the upcoming breeding season.

Australian Nest News:

Friday on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge has simply been ‘interesting’. The day arrived with a small fish and deep breaths as I wondered whether Big would attack Middle. Or would Middle decide to give Big a peck again? ‘H’ calls what Middle got last night as ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ – it certainly was! But, today both have been civil. That said, something else is happening.

If one of the chicks does something, the other immediately does the same thing. Now seriously bear with me. This meant that both of them stuck their little bottoms in the air and did a PS in the window of 1030 and 1031. I kid did you not.

Big was sleeping and Middle was looking out over the water with a really nice crop.

Middle begins flapping his wings.

Then Big stands up and flaps her wings.

Middle raises up its fat little bottom with its head bent down low and gets ready. At the same time Big begins to lower her head and raise her bottom.

Middle goes first. Just look at that incredible ps. This chick has been eating well…if we did not know it we could ascertain that from the volume and the velocity of this incredible perfectly white ps. (There are some sticks there as well, check above or below so that you can tell what is ps. Middle has strong legs and a fat bottom and is growing like an incredibly bad weed.

Nine seconds separate the ps of each osplet.

Then Big decides to do some wing flapping.

Then Middle! The one good thing about their method is that it allows room for both to flap on the nest. I sure wonder what Mum thinks when she watches these two.

Then they both quiet down.

Dad arrives with another fish. It is 1232.

Gosh, I couldn’t see the size of that fish but Mum was still feeding the osplets at 1300. Big appears to have gotten the largest share. In the image above you can already see the crop that is large and — it will continue to grow!

At 1301 Middle had to stop eating and have another ps. Then he went back to the table probably hoping to get some more good bites which he did get. Now will he get that important fish tail?

Then – all of a sudden – the two osplets look up and there is Dad landing with another fish. Can you believe this?

Dad lands with a very small fish. A good practice fish for self-feeding. Mum ignores him and continues to feed Middle. She also gives some bites to Big who seems to always be able to find room for more.

At 1315 Dad takes his unwanted little fish and I presume goes over on the ropes to have his own lunch.

Dad returns empty taloned. He is looking closely at the fish that Mum is still feeding Middle and Big. Mum has been feeding the two and herself for over an hour. That was a BIG fish!

Incredible. At 1350 Mum is just finishing up that fish. Happy to see her eating well today, too.

Middle and Big had another meal at 1945. Wow. Dad is having some excellent fishing days.

Rubus and Indigo are adorable. Indigo ran off the Cilla Stones this afternoon to join Rubus in the corner. Oh, these eyases are so cute! That cuteness comes in part from their behaviour – their facial expressions, their interaction with one another and with Xavier and Diamond and their environment inside the scrape.

Rubus has been playing with the feathers. Is he looking for food scraps?

Indigo is over on the Cilla Stones watching her little brother as he intently stares at a feather.

Wow. That was a bit of a leap. Has Indigo been secretly going to gymnastics classes? I wonder how many points she would get for that landing?

Indigo is so curious as to what Rubus is doing and finding in those stones in his corner of the scrape.

Ah, two little sweeties! ‘A’ tells me that Cilla is certain that Indigo is a female as she is already as large as Xavier and still growing but, will not declare gender of Rubus for a bit. Four days younger and he is growing and growing. I have always called Rubus a ‘he’ and said ‘little brother’ but, in fact, Rubus could be a little sister for Indigo.

‘A’ notes that Indigo is losing all of her cotton fluff and will be looking much more like a falcon as Rubus continues to copy everything she does and remains a ball of cotton. From the time stamps that ‘A’ sent me, these two had a few good meals yesterday. Looks like there were five – that is appearing to be the daily average for the scrape at Orange.

The Melbourne Four seem to have relocated – for part of the afternoon – to the other end of the ledge.

The eyases are running up and down and then resting. All is well. No need to panic! ‘H’ caught them doing their famous gutter stomp heading to the other end for prey!

The weather report from ‘A’ for the eastern coast of Australia is rain and more rain. Storms put out power and pumps were working over time. This could inpact hunting for the Melbourne adults. We wait to see.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. See you soon! (Please be advised if the weather is grand, I could well be out birding until late Friday. There might not be a late evening newsletter going out after this one. If that is the case, I will see you Saturday morning!).

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: ‘H’ for her video clips of Cal Falcons and the Melbourne Four, ‘A’ for her over view of the nests, the Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

Mum saves the fish…and other tales from Bird World

25 October 2022

Oh, good morning to everyone!

I hope that your day is starting off wonderfully well.

For those living in Melbourne, oh, enjoy those 24 degrees C temperatures for me, too. My forecast is for it to snow in the next hour! And for it to be -1 C tomorrow. Now…I don’t know about your meteorologists but, ours are sometimes not correct and I am really hoping that they will be wrong. Not for me but for all the birds that remain in our City. There are even reports of the first Snowy Owls arriving in the southern part of our province. Cold weather is really and truly on its way. I have never seen all the Snowys on the fields in our province. Looking forward to finally seeing one this year.

There was no snow when I woke up but it is 1 degree and grey. The Blue Jays are gathering peanuts in the shell and the Lilacs are full of little sparrows singing away eating their Black Oil Seed and millet. Just a few seconds ago six Canada Geese flew over.

Thankfully I had the camera ready because I was wanting to try and catch Little Red. He was too quick!

My attempts to lure the European Starlings down from roosting in the far trees did not work. There were, however, some wrens and sparrows that promptly went over to eat the Meal Worms and the Bark Butter. The squirrels were also busy today and Little Red continues to go in and out of the big box that holds the wood. That is where I put his new house – if he would move into it. I am afraid to go and check but it is possible that he is entering from the back hole to the house. Fingers crossed. It would be a great place for him.

There are a few Dark-Eyed Juncos still around looking for Millet.

Dad brought in one of the nicest fish I have seen to the Port Lincoln nest. Mum had been doing her talon dance and Middle had joined in prey calling. When Dad arrived, the fish, like all fish being slimy, slipped…oh, it looked like Mum was going to lose it down the side of the nest. But…she didn’t. She managed to get that very much alive fighting fish up on that nest and then she decided to fly off with it. I do not know what Mum did to that fish in the few seconds she was off the nest but it sure wasn’t wiggling and jerking when she got back. How many times have we witnessed these big fish, alive and fighting, being brought to nests only to hold our breath as they flipped and flopped over the ospreys??? Manton Bay comes to mind for this past season in the UK. My goodness I thought those two babies were going to die. How the one survived I will never know but, she did.

It is not the first time I have seen this happen and I am certain that you have, at one time or another, if you have watched Osprey nests, seen a fish go overboard. It is heart breaking. I cannot say for certain but many say that it takes about 15 dives to get a catch. That is a lot of energy expended to go over the side. And, as we all know too well, a fish can sometimes mean life or death to one of the chicks.

Mum fought that fish pulling and pulling so it would not go overboard.

The other thing that I find interesting in these situations is that the male does not help. It is as if once the fish is delivered he is done..gone. At any rate, three cheers for Mum. She did an amazing job wrestling that fish.

Middle is very clever. Mum is getting the fish situated and Big is already to eat. Middle does not waste any seconds getting to the table but he doesn’t just rush in either. He can see how long that fish is and slowly moves into place.

Middle is going to get a truly good feed.

It is hard to tell but, Middle has a very large piece of fish he is getting ready to hook.

Just have a look at our dear Middle. That crop could pop!

Notice also how heavy the wings are now. The ospreys will let them droop. I also like to point out the dark down on the chest. The ospreys will have a thermal down underneath their feathers that will help them regulate their temperature.

All is quiet. Two very full ospreys. As I write this, the time is just past 1500 in Port Lincoln. I have not seen another fish come to the nest yet but there will be at least 1 more if not 2 today.

It is so nice to have these three nests progressing along nicely without too much worry of anything untoward happening. Oh, yes, I always say that the fortunes of a nest can turn in an instant – and they can. Thankfully we have no worries about predators, like Eagles, owls, or goshawks, diving down to snatch the chicks out of the nest! Those are constant worries at some nests such as those in Finland and now, of course, at some in the US like Cowlitz PUD where all three ospreys were taken by a Bald Eagle.

Oh, how precious. Indigo walked over to give her little brother a cuddle.

Xavier arrived with the afternoon tea. For a moment I thought that he might get to feed Indigo and Rubus but, no…Diamond arrived. It looked like a Starling but then as Diamond plucked it looked less so. The fact that it took longer to remove the feathers with Rubus getting anxious and walking away to Cilla’s stones indicated that it must have been something larger. Oh, my goodness. When Diamond started feeding the two were jumping and stretching for joy! It was a great feeding.

Notice that Little Rubus is at the kind of cotton ball stage too…the fluffy white down just hanging on as the juvenile feathers grow underneath. Indigo is doing a lot of preening and if you catch a glimpse of her tail, it is really growing nicely. They are changing almost right before our eyes. It is now Wednesday in Orange and by the weekend we should see some dramatic differences in the plumage of both.

It sure looks like a Starling!

Diamond arrives and takes the prey. Xavier has a last look. Oh, he loves being a Dad and what a wonderful one he is!

Some of you more familiar with the prey available around Orange can probably identify this tea time treat. It looks like a Starling to me but please correct me if it is something larger.

Poor Indigo. Both ‘J’ and I noticed that she let Little Rubus be right up in front. I do wonder about the fright she had with that one Starling head having a lasting impression or lasting fright.

Rubus gets impatient waiting for the plucking to end and walks over and gets on Cilla’s stones. Do you know why the stones are placed where they are? It is so Diamond will have to lay her eggs so the camera can see them, not hidden in the corner.

Rubus has a ferocious appetite! Not to worry. Indigo did get some food!

Notice how Indigo is changing. You can see those beautiful tail feathers and we are now getting a reveal of her back as the soft down comes away from her eyes. She is going to be just a stunner.

Oh, and thankfully, someone caught the morning feed at 367 Collins Street on video! (I am not able to use my video app on this machine…I hope to be able to make video clips for you soon but, for now, we will rely on others!)

Around 1345 at the scrape of the Melbourne Four in the CBD of Melbourne, the parents are on alert. One is calling from the ledge and they seem to be spending time on the ledge protecting the eyases.

Even if there was an intruder about, the Melbourne Four managed another four feedings lasting over ten minutes. They were at 0641 for 17 minutes, 1126 for 11 minutes, 1629 for 12 minutes, and a really big feed at 1855 lasting for 18 minutes. Thank you ‘H’ for all those times.

Other News in Bird World:

One of our favourite Ospreys, Richmond from the San Francisco Whirley Crane nest in the Richmond Shipping Yards, has had to protect his territory from Ravens today.

This is the latest news on SE30 who was found in a residential neighbourhood. I sound like a broken record. It is incredibly sad that the eaglets are rushed out of the forest so they cannot get their flying strong and be taught how to hunt for prey by their parents. This scenario is repeated annually. Thankfully, all those wonderful people around the Discovery Centre who love these eagles from here and beyond keep an eye on them. It is also reassuring that the right protocols are in place to rescue the eaglets and get them into care. Let us hope that SE29 and SE30 are both kept in care until they are flying strong and know how to hunt! Thank you Judy Harrington!

There is also some progress being made at the North Dame Bald Eagle nest in St Patrick’s Park, South Bend, Indiana. This is the natal nest of Little Bit ND17. Good luck Mum and Dad. They have a huge job ahead of them!

How much is a Bald Eagle’s life worth? Sadly, not much. A Devon, Ohio man shot and killed a Bald Eagle. WKBN27 First News is reporting that a federal judge gave the man a one year’s probation, a fine of $4000 and another $1200 to USFWS.

Thank you so very, very much for joining me today. Take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Norte Dame Eagles FB, Eagle Cam, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.

SE30 is in care, Middle and the two fish…and other news in Bird World

21 October 2022

It is 14 degrees C in Winnipeg. That is really hard to believe and it is almost 2200. I am again starting my newsletter for tomorrow early. With the improved weather I hope to get some photographs of the birds foraging and building their strength to migrate tomorrow. I wonder if that little fuzzy duckling that was getting its back feathers is still around? Tomorrow will be a lovely day to be outside and this morning newsletter might be my only one for the day with a little brief account late about the breakfast feedings.

Oh, how things change overnight. My super powerful flu shot seems to have given me the flu! I am behind in answering e-mails as a result but I wanted to get the bird news off to you. I plan is to feel better. You hear a lot about my grandmother. She was a great believer in honey ginger tea and sweating out the sickness. We will see if she was right. Have a wonderful day. Thank you!

Making News:

SE30 has been taken into care. The birders on the ground in the vicinity of the Discovery Centre near the Sydney Olympic Forest have been keeping an eye on her. No details are given on what caused her to go into care. It was, however, believed that she had not been fed by the parents. It is very challenging for the WBSE fledglings once they leave their natal nest in the forest. The Magpies and the Currawongs continually chase and harass them. It has been happening for years, never slows down, and always seems to wind up in tragedy for our eaglets that we treasure.

This was the announcement:

There are two main spotters of European Ospreys in their winter homes in Senegal and The Gambia. Jean-marie Dupart reports from Senegal and Chris Wilson reports from The Gambia. The images give you an idea of their winter homes along the coasts of Africa and the inland waters. These are the latest sighting reports by duPart:

Jean-marie Dupart travels to various sites in Senegal reporting throughout the season. You can find his page on FB. Just do a search using his name.

Australian Nest News:

For those that missed it, the second camera at 367 Collins Street has been activated and you can now watch the comings and goings of the Melbourne Four. So grateful to Mirvac for acting so quickly. We were all in a panic.

The heat from the sun was such a worry especially with this first time falcon mother leaving her eyases for extended periods of time. When she was with them in the heat of the day, Mum made a magnificent umbrella. ‘A’ and I were counting the days until the eyases could run down the gutter to the other end and get in the shade. This area is also protected from the rain. Perhaps the four will persuade Mum to choose that end next year to lay her eggs!

Rubus and Indigo could have their own comedy programme on cable television. What a pair they are.

Rubus and Indigo have had 3 feedings so far today. They were leftovers at 070557, a parrot at 074247, and what looks like to be another parrot or rosella at 105333.

Be sure to notice Rubus’s little wing flaps. Seriously. What an adorable eyas. I could watch his antics all day!

Indigo had been flapping her wings and Rubus had been watching. Just look at him give it a go!!!!!!!

There was high hope in Port Lincoln that the arrival of that huge fish at 0649 was a good omen and that many fish would be brought to the nest in quick succession. You can see from Big’s enormous crop that it had a fantastic breakfast. Middle had some beaking from Big but, wound up with a nice crop, too.

The pattern has been that Big is not so ‘grumpy’ at breakfast but gets more anxious as the day progresses. This translates into the beaking of Middle. It is now after noon and a second fish is yet to arrive.

The cam operator did give us some wonderful close ups. You can see the feather development on Big.

Please note that Port Lincoln have set the 12-14th of November as ringing day on the barge. The chicks will get their names and their measurements should give us an indication as to their gender. What do you think?

The amber eyes of the youngsters will change to yellow when they are adults. The only exception to this that I know is Monty at the Dyfi nest in Wales. He kept his amber eyes – something that was very striking in an adult bird.

At 1300 Dad brought in a flat fish – at times it looked like one of the Zebra fish. It looked a little stiff. Middle immediately took the fish doing a superb mantling job. Big was not going to let Middle have a whole fish to himself and a brutal attack occurred. Big took the flat fish while Middle was curled up in submission. Big managed to open the fish and eat.

Yeah for Middle!

Middle defends himself and the fish.

Big uses her brute strength and size to push Middle over. Look at her enormous legs and feet.

Big also has quite the bottom – a sign of a chick that has not gone without.

Having whipped Middle into submission, Big moves over to the rim of the nest. She has completely forgotten about what she was fighting for.

Then she remembers.

Big was able to find a place and tear off the skin and eat.

At 1312 Mum flies in with a whole big fish. She caught it. You can see the white feathers of her fluffy behind are wet. Big immediately drops the fish Dad brought and moves up to Mum to be fed. Middle stays in submission. At 132939 Middle moves over and Mum begins to feed her second chick. Six minutes later, Big decides he wants more fish! He eats, moves, then Mum feeds Middle again.

Once Big leaves, Middle moves over slowly to get some food. Remember. Big ate the majority of the breakfast fish and still had a big crop at 1300. Middle has only had ‘some fish’ – hard to tell how much but, clearly Middle needs to eat much more, just like Mum does.

Big gets a hankering for more fish.

Topped up, Big goes to watch the water while Mum finishes up the big fish she caught. I bet she thought she might get to eat something, too. Big reminds me so much of the second hatch at Achieva Ospreys in 2021. That osplet would eat and eat just to spite everyone else.

At 1346 Mum takes the flat fish and begins to feed Middle. She will move this fish and eat some herself. She is ‘very’ hungry. These two leave little fish for her.

Middle has a crop. Mum must eat to replenish her energy.

Mum ate some but could not ignore Middle’s calls for fish. She turned around and fed Middle and, at the end, treated herself to the fish tail. I want you to look at the size of Middle’s crop. There are no worries for Middle. If he gets no more food today, he will be fine. If he does, it will be a bonus.

Note the time. Mum has really been feeding these chicks! She should get a reward for looking out for Middle. She has certainly done that in very subtle ways the last two days.

Middle’s crop is just about to pop!

Migration News:

There are no new transmissions for Karl II who was in Egypt and Kaia who was in Chad. They could be in areas with very little service. Everyone was quite worried because no transmission had come in for Bonus. It is well known by the data kept in Estonia, that only 20% of Black Stork fledglings survive their first migration. This caused much anxiety and then…Bonus’s data came in. He is still in Romania near Latinu.

Waba had his breakfast at a lake formed by the Koca Stream (?) then he flew 284 km and was at Baklankuyucak, Turkey.

Send all your warm wishes for their continued safe travels.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take good care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their videos and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Sea Eagles Cam FB, Jean-marie Dupart FB, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Looduskalender Forum.

Big shuts Middle out of fish…and other breakfast news from Australia

20 October 2022

Yesterday was a good day. All four of the Blue Jays were seen along with all four of the Crow family. The two Chickadees came flitting through. Four grey squirrels and one red one. Loads of Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. I know I have mentioned all of them recently but there is something so reassuring to see them – alive. Urban environments present particular challenges for our feathered friends and, it is like knowing that your whole family is fed, warm, and tucked in for the night. It feels good just like watching the little falcons eat. Something very rewarding.

Making News:

SE 30 was seen in a residential area around the Discovery Centre. What a beautiful sea eagle.

Jackie and Shadow have been working on the nest in the Big Bear Valley. Shadow has a new hair style to show off for this breeding season!

It is that time of year that lead begins to make news – and never in a good way. Read the post by one of my favourite Wildlife Rehab Clinics in the US, A Place Called Hope. It takes one lead pellet or one lead sinker to damage or kill an eagle. When there are alternatives, this is unacceptable. If lead paint is outlawed because it can harm humans, then lead hunting and fishing equipment that causes death to our raptors needs to be outlawed as well.

I wish that I could tell you that all is well at Port Lincoln. A whole fish arrived at 090824. Middle did get some bites but Big ate the majority of that fish making Middle have to do the snatch and grab. At 124709 another fish arrived on the nest. Big is going to eat all of it. She has beaked Middle so that he is afraid to come up to the table. Middle was tucked in tight. Listening and watching. At 13:10:58 Middle slithers up to Mum. Is there any fish left? No. Mum just ate the fish tail.

There will, of course, be other fish. But there is still a problem. We had high hopes that Big would calm down and everything would be civil on the Port Lincoln Nest on Monday. Big did get most of the fish but she was not chasing Middle away from the table.

Both eating on Monday.

By Wednesday everything had changed significantly. If Big continues to eat the way she is, Mum is not getting enough food and Middle will continue to be intimidated and afraid to go and eat.

Big will stop eating to intimidate Middle.

Middle really needs to have a good meal.

There were other fish but beyond the 0909, Big did not allow Middle much. Those fish came in at 1247, 1651, 1931, and 1952.

If Middle moves a speck, Big raises its head. This is not a good situation. Middle neeeds to eat today, Thursday in Australia.

At Melbourne, the problem was the heat. The eyases were very hot. Some made it to the other end of the ledge to enjoy the shade. Mum and Dad had turns acting as umbrellas to block the sun.

Both parents dug in their talons and tried to help the Melbourne Four.

Thankfully the shade came! What a difference a couple of hours makes.

Lots of prey came for the Melbourne Four. It looks like Mum took charge of all the 5 feedings. Thanks to ‘H’ and ‘A’ for the time stamps and information. At the 0552 feeding, the eyases ate for 9 minutes; at 0749 it was 21 minutes, at 1627 for 32-33 minutes, at 1734 for 12 minutes, and a bedtime snack came in at 1859 and the kids ate for 5 minutes.

Indigo and Rubus had five feeds yesterday, too. Those came at 072721, 100848, 105425, 144754, and the last one before light’s out was at 181056. The prey thought to be a Red Waddle bird at 100848 was positively identified as a Noisy Miner later.

Have a close look at little Rubus. He is starting to get pin feathers.

Diamond is making sure that Indigo uses her neck muscles, too!

Diamond is fascinated by the camera!

Migration News:

The news coming for Karl II and his family of Black Storks from the Estonian Karula National Forest appears to be all good. Little Waba flew 298 km and is now in Turkey. S/he did that in one day!

This is an image from where Waba’s tracker indicated s/he is feeding. Just lovely.

There was no new transmission from Kaia. She continues to be in Chad in a dry area it is believed.

Bonus is still in Romania feeding in the ditches east of Latinu.

Karl II really got to flying. he covered 373 km in one day and is now feeding along on the eastern side of the Nile River near Asswan.

Great News.

Two things I try to avoid when bringing you news about our feathered family are politics and religion. Sometimes, politics cannot be avoided because our wildlife are wrapped up in particular views and policies that belong to the different parties in the various governments around the world.

There is a quiet movement behind the scenes to see what can be done to change the intervention laws in South Australia in the memory of Little Bob. What we have learned is that David Speirs -often seen with the ospreys, Janet Forster (Port Lincoln Osprey founder), and who is now President of Friends of Ospreys- was the Minister of the Environment for the State of South Australia and, as you can tell, extremely supportive of the Ospreys. The Liberals lost the last election and the Labour Party is in power. David Speirs (Ervie is named after the village in Scotland where Speirs was born) is now the leader of the Opposition.

Every day something new is discovered. Current regulations and policies are being examined to see how to move forward. The last thing anyone wants to do is to damage the fine work that Port Lincoln and Friends of Osprey have already done. It takes time for change but, no one is forgetting Little Bob least of all Port Lincoln who support intervention but cannot within the current policies and guidelines or they would lose their licenses and everything they have gained in terms of being able to provide for the Ospreys. All of this is good. Little Bob is not forgotten.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you later today with the breakfast news. Send positive wishes to Port Lincoln, please.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Friends of Big Bear Valley, A Place Called Hope, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Looduskalender.

Wednesday in Bird World

12 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that all of you had a good start to the week. It is cooler on the Canadian Prairies today with really cloudy skies and reports of possible showers starting at noon. The animals have really been busy in the garden gathering nuts and eating. I wonder if we will have another cold snap? The European Starlings have come to the tree in the back lane but, for some reason they have not come to the garden. Is it because I have no Butter Bark or Meal Worms out for them? I plan to go and get some later today. We will see if that is what they are looking for.

Of the four nests in Australia, the real concern is at Port Lincoln and I will be monitoring that nest closely.

The gold star for the week goes to the male at Melbourne who really kept the nest together when Mum was away for over 3 hours and the hot sun was beating down on the youngsters.

To tell the difference between Dad (below) and Mum, look at the breast area. Dad has hardly any lateral barring – with a full crop, his chest area looks like fluffy Victorian handmade lace. Isn’t he adorable? I have come to love this tiercel so much. He has really saved the lives of these four eyases, now known affectionately in my house as The Melbourne Four.

Making News:

The causeway to Captiva and Sanibel Islands is now restored and vehicles are going in to restore communication systems, power, etc. This is incredible news. Who would have imagined this would be completed in October! (Not sure what was done or if private vehicles can travel but the causeway is functioning). Connie and Clive have been seen and photographed and Lena has been heard. Everyone is just waiting to get the cameras back up and running.

There are lots of boots on the ground checking for SE30. She was found on the ground being harassed by Currawongs and Magpies yesterday. She flew and seemed to be fine and was seen near the River Roost with a parent. That should put a smile on all our faces!

The text and images come from the Eagle Cam FB page.

I have seen no further reports on SE29 who was found in a residential area and taken by WIRES to a vet where it was receiving fluids and pain killers.

Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk) has completed her tribute video to Lillibet, the Royal Cam Albatross chick, daughter of OGK and YRK, for 2022. As always, get the tissues out. OGK was last seen the middle of May on camera. It has saddened everyone to think that this fabulous mate and father has perished. We will wait to see if he returns for breeding season in October 2023. He was injured in 2020 and was away from the nest for 40 days. What a joy it was when he returned. Miss Pippa Atawhai was so happy. They had a very close bond.

Sadly, the Albatross continue to be killed at an alarming rate by the long-line fishing trawlers. As anyone knows reading my blog, there are quite a number of easy fixes to stop these endangered seabirds from being slaughtered. They include setting the lines at night – how easy is that?

Nest News:

The Melbourne Four continue to be well fed. At least three persons noted that there were 9 separate feedings yesterday. They were a mixture of stashed prey (as at breakfast) followed by fresh kills when there was not enough meat on the pantry item. Raptors eat everything unlike us humans who are said to waste 40% of all food we purchase. All of those pigeons are turning into beautiful falcons! Mum had her lunch time break (from 11:19:45-13:01:37). Thanks ‘H’.

Nine feedings. If they can keep the intruders away from their penthouse scrape and maintain their territory in the non-breeding season, we will have years of watching this incredible couple raise their families. The male has really stepped up and has actively engaged with the eyases and from his protective mode the other day has a strong bond with the little ones.

Port Lincoln Ospreys keeps a running timestamp of happenings on the barge. Its listing yesterday pretty much sums up what is happening. The nest has gone off the rails. Little Bob had a few bites of prey yesterday. It is so hungry that it is trying to take food off Middle’s beak. Big Bob is unrelenting in her (it has to be a female) rampage. The osplets are 25, 24, and 21 days today. In general, nests like this ‘settle’ at 28 days just like they start on day ‘8’. We have a week to go. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. The oldest sibling on this nest has pushed its younger off the nest at 65 days and killed it. It is going to be a long week.

Mum was up having a snack and she tried to reach down and give Little Bob a bite of fish while Big was asleep. The time is 01:27:54. Little Bob is awake but Big Bob moves. Oh, if Little Bob would just slide up and open its beak, he would get a good feeding.

Middle Bob did eat some fish along with Mum. Sadly, Little Bob never woke up. Both Middle and Little will be hungry but Little really needs to have a good feed.

You can see Middle Bob’s crop. I just wanted to shake Little and get it awake so it could it. That feeding would have made all the difference. Mum has fish leftover for morning but will there be enough for Little to eat or only Big?

At the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond in Orange, Australia there were six feedings starting at 07:46:35 and ending at 18:48:40. Rubus is getting some bigger bites. Both of the eyases, Indigo and Rubus, are adorable.

Little Rubus had a nice big crop before bed!

From the Bookshelf:

Do you love Hen Harriers as much as I do? Those beautiful owl-faced low flying raptors that can be seen over the heather? There is a new book out by Ian Carter that looks very promising, The Hen Harrier’s Year. Here is the review:

https://raptorpersecutionuk.org/2022/10/12/book-review-the-hen-harriers-year-by-ian-carter-dan-powell/

So many factors play into a successful nest – lots of prey, healthy parents, no intruders…the list can be fairly long including Avian Flu. Despite all that has happened at Melbourne, that Peregrine Falcon nest is doing really well right now. That lovely tiercel is delivering fresh prey to Mum, the chicks are growing, and Dad has been able to help shield them from the sun during Mum’s noon day absences. Rubus is doing better at Orange. That wee one had a nice crop before bed last night. SE29 is in care and SE30 is being closely monitored. Thank you to all the boots on the ground near the Discovery Centre. The problem nest is Port Lincoln and this will not dissipate soon. We can only hope that Little gets one decent meal today.

Thank you for being with me. Take care everyone. I will be sending out breakfast news at the nests in the early evening. See you then!

Thank you to the following for their posts, their video tributes, and their streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk), Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Sea Eagles FB, Raptor Persecution UK, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Good morning Australia!

11 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Summer temperatures have returned to the Canadian Prairies. It is currently 19 degrees C. outside. Dare I say that the conservatory is 26. The tropical flowers brought in from the garden are going to thrive. Meanwhile, the Blue Jay, the Dark-eyed Juncos, the Black-capped Chickadee, and the squirrels are having a marvelous day.

This morning, very early, I caught Little Red taking peanuts into the small, three sided woodshed. For those who do not know him, Little Red is a Red Squirrel, quite tiny. For a number of years, he lived in our old woodshed that was torn down so that we could legally add the conservatory without getting a variance. Permits take a month; variances in our city can take up to 18-24 months! So Little Red lost what was his ‘forever home’. I have felt bad ever since and bought a squirrel house on-line which the grey squirrels took over. So, the light bulb went off this morning. So, two wooden slat boxes, 45 x 60 cm, with cut out handles have been attached to one another and to the interior of the wood box. Wood shavings and a gallon of Maple seeds are lining the bottom. It is surrounded by firewood. Now we wait to see if Little Red will move in. Cross all your fingers and toes. (I think he also has a tree down the back lane but, I would like to know he is safe here). That is Little Red above. Could you leave this little cutie homeless? I don’t think so.

This is Dyson. For a long time, she stayed on the solid seed cylinder eating when I was working on Little Red’s mini-penthouse. I was about 2 metres away. She just watched me. I do wish the squirrels were more afraid of people, but they have lived in the garden for so long. Hopefully they do not trust everyone.

Making News:

Fran Solly of Take2Photography and Friends of Osprey FB page reports that Ervie is doing well. He is still in the Port Lincoln area and has his favourite hunting and perching spots. Isn’t that fantastic? Would love to see our lad!

I know that many of you have been worried about SE30 since she fledged especially since we saw images of her hanging upside down in the nest tree harangued by the Pied Currawongs. This is the latest news that I can find. Thanks ‘L’.

My concern for SE30 is that the parents tend to feed on the nest. You might recall SE26 being in the forest for a week and finally making it back to the nest exhausted and starving. Lady and Dad immediately brought fish. Last year, they went to Goat Island early. Let us hope they stay around and SE30 makes it back to the nest.

Connor from Window to Wildlife has gone to Captiva and has given his report on the condition of the nests, hearing Lena, and the fate of the cameras from Hurricane Ian etc. So happy to know Lena was doing her loud Osprey call! Such wonderful news. Buildings can be replaced. Trees grow back. Our raptor friends do not recover if they were severely injured in the hurricane or worse, killed.

If you have travelled to India or read the news, you are probably aware of the air pollution in India’s large cities and, in particular, Delhi/New Delhi. Two brothers have spent the past two decades striving to save Black Kites from the toxic air. Their story is in a new film, All That Breathes. Check your local theatre or the local streaming channels in your area for it after its release on the 14th of October.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/oct/11/all-that-breathes-review-delhis-birdmen-on-a-mission-to-save-the-black-kite

In the UK, the RSPB is not ruling out direct action in its fight to save nature.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/10/rspb-not-ruling-out-direct-action-to-defend-nature-from-government-policy

Nest News:

SE30 was sighted in the Sydney Olympic Forest and observed for 45 minutes yesterday. SE30 has not returned to the nest and neither parent slept on the natal tree last night.

At Port Lincoln yesterday, the osplets ate very, very well including the fish delivery at 12:48:22. Sadly, there was no more fish and the chicks are going to be especially ravenous when they wake up this morning. Big might well be in a mood.

It is currently raining at Port Lincoln. Mum is trying to keep those osplets dry. It is difficult as they are growing big and strong. Dad is particularly adept at fishing in the rain so I am hoping he doesn’t disappoint this morning.

Nothing has arrived at Port Lincoln so far. It is only 07:37 so there is plenty of time. But, oh, I hope several large fish come in at once!

Diamond is waiting for Xavier to bring in the early prey for Rubus and Indigo.

Yesterday it was reported that Rubus had 90 bites of prey. The little one did eat better.

To fully understand if one chick is fed well, you must consider the composition of the prey item – was it meat or fish or feathers? (There is nothing wrong with feathers as they clean the crop but not just an all feather feeding). The analogy might be white bread vs. protein. Indigo requires more food. S/he is older. What is the ratio of bites between Indigo and Rubus? are the prey items equal? We would have to dissect them and weight them! So it is not easy. Better guide might be to observe if both chicks have crops at the end of the feeding. It is just a thought. That would mean for their age and size they are ‘full to the brim’. Rufus appears to be getting stronger every day and what we want is for both of the eyases to thrive. Indeed, we want that for all our bird families.

It was a bit of a wait for Xavier to deliver the prey this morning. It arrived at the Orange scrape box at 07:46:39. I could not tell what it was. Indigo was ravenous and pushing her head up with her legs to eat. Of course, Rufus is equally as hungry but no matter what it does, it just can’t get that beak equal with Indigo’s so it has to wait and hope there is lots of prey and that Diamond is very patient.

At 07:50:10, Indigo has a crop and is still getting prey. Rufus is desperately trying to do anything to get some food including biting Indigo’s beak. She has not had a single bite as of that time stamp. Rufus gets its first bite at 07:51:03 but, Indigo continues to be fed and has a hard crop.

Once Indigo is full, Rubus is getting some nice bites at the end of the feeding. It has become the custom of the nest for Indigo to be fed first and then Rubus. She will be full. They are nice big pieces of prey.

Yesterday ‘A’ and I were discussing the scrape box at the other end of the ledge at 367 Collins Street. The eyases will be able to run down the gutter getting to the other end safely where they will have shade and be protected from the rain. I made a quick call to the local experts and they said this could occur at 21-25 days (the stability in running). That would be a big help if the Mum is going to be absent at the height of the noon sun. Dad tries to shade but the chicks are getting so big.

I found a blog post on the stages of growth for the falcon eyases. It has nice images and I thought some of you might be interested.

https://falcoperegrinus-froona.blogspot.com/2008/04/eyases-from-day-to-day.html

What will Melbourne have in store for us today? I hope nothing eventful. Boring would be good.

Mum left the 367 Collins Street scrape at 06:33:09 returning at 06:35:26 with a very boney piece of pigeon. I assume a fresh one will come in shortly.

Dad was right there with a fresh pigeon at 06:37:34. He landed, the parents chatted, and he took it up to Mum to feed the kids. Did I tell you how much I adore this male?

It is cloudy and rain is now falling in Melbourne.

One last check on our migrating Black Stork family form Estonia, Karl II, Kaia, Waba, and Bonus. Kaia is the first of the family to reach Africa. Her last transmission was near the Karakoram Mtns. It is an area where there is little cell or satellite service. We hope to hear form her again when she is out of the Sahara. Waba is in Bulgaria. Karl II is in Turkey near the Syrian border. Bonus is in Romania. All of this is good news.

This will be my only post for today. I will continue to monitor the Port Lincoln nest for a feeding and also 367 Collins Street to see what happens around 1100 with Mum. I hope she stays home! And lets Dad get the pigeons. Tomorrow morning will have a full report. Until then, thank you for being with me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or posts that form my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB, Window to Wildlife, Port Lincoln Osprey, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

SE 30 fledges and other news in Bird World

9 October 2022

It is only 11 degrees C but the sun pouring through the Conservatory is ever so warming. Enough that I have to open up one of the windows and let the cool breeze from outdoors filter through the back of the house. I can hear Little Red somewhere in the Lilac bushes telling the Sparrows what he thinks. Has he noticed the new solid seed cylinder?

The event we have been waiting for happened at 07:15:58. SE 30 fledges!

Making News:

A short but lovely article on a ferry trip from Ullaport to Storoway and the sight of Gannets flying. If I close my eyes, I can smell the sea air and hear the sea birds – so many of them. How many more will Avian Flu take from us? or climate change?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/07/country-diary-the-awful-relief-of-seeing-gannets-in-flight

Hot on the heels of the Lincolnshire raids and the finding of three birds of prey killed, there is news of another raid in Shropshire. The growing concerns in the UK over the raptors killed near or on Red Grouse hunting estates might mean that, at some point, the penalties will be enough to stop them killing the Hen Harriers and White-tailed Eagles. The real solution is to also save the Red Grouse – simply ban hunting and killing of birds.

Nest News:

At 367 Collins Street, Mum was acknowledging a prey delivery at 0625. She flew off the ledge a minute later.

Dad arrives at 0627 on the ledge and goes over to watch over the four eyases. He seems overwhelmed by how much they have grown overnight.

Mum returns with what appears to be the ‘last legs’ of a pigeon.

It didn’t last long at all and by 0634, Mum is off the ledge and out to find more breakfast prey. No little crops visible.

Oh, what a great pair. Dad lands on the ledge with a fresh plucked pigeon and Mum arrives to fetch it and feed the eyases. Brilliant.

The breakfast feeding at Orange was much improved this morning on yesterday. Rubus had 23 good bites – not counting the ones Diamond put in its mouth and took out. Indigo appeared to have 5x that amount. Indigo is a wonderful big sibling – sitting up and being so very calm. Rubus is definitely much less wobbly today also. Both had crops at the end of the Starling feed which began with the delivery from Xavier at 06:38:55.

SE29 was not seen on the camera at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest yesterday. SE30 spent the night with a parent sleeping on the parent branch. Early this morning Lady flew in, chased by Currawongs. with a fish for SE30. SE30 was watching the Curras dive around the nest tree. I wonder if they are intimidating enough to keep 30 on the nest. I so fear that they will rush it out of the forest. And I do wish we knew the disposition of SE29. Has anyone seen her? She did so well coming to the nest for food. I hope that she is down by the river with Dad!

In this image, SE30 has an enormous crop. Did I miss a feeding or 30 finding a fish on the nest?? SE30 is clearly watching the Currawongs in the image below and not as interested in the fish Lady has brought.

No, the Currawong did not phase SE30. What a beautiful flight at 07:15:58.

What a beautiful take off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lady was in shock.

It is 0726. SE30 has not returned to the nest tree yet. I wonder if it is sitting over by the camera?

Sadly, Mum flew off the nest early and Big started in on both Middle and Little. They continue to wait for a fish arrival. I hope a big one arrives soon.

Oh, I was so happy to be watching when SE30 fledged. What a beautiful sight and what a great year that it was at the Sydney Sea Eagle nest. I cannot imagine a year as perfect.

Thank you for being with me. I knew that you would want to know about SE30’s amazing fledge. Wish for fish for Port Lincoln. I will be back with you tomorrow morning. Take care.

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

Early Sunday in Bird World

9 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. Nippy as it is only 7 degrees C at noon but, beautiful blue skies, a wee breeze, and no rain in sight. I hope that all of you have had a joyful weekend, have had some time to watch our beloved bird families as they face challenges of feeding two eyases at Orange or delayed food deliveries at Port Lincoln.

Making News:

The RSPB is urging everyone to let the wild grow. While they are focused on the UK, other agencies are doing this throughout the world as the number of insects decreases dramatically.

Did you know?

While Peregrine Falcon chicks are almost born blind, as juveniles they will be able to see a Starling a mile away (or .6 km). That is the reason that some at Cal Falcons Berkeley believe that Annie might have seen her precious Grinnell killed. With the difference in size of the two eyases at Orange and with the eyesight getting more focused daily by the little one, here is a brief article to help us understand how falcons actually see so well.

https://intobirds.com/eyes-of-a-peregrine-falcon/

I thought I would also include Kate St John’s article on Peregrine Falcon Development week by week. It is an excellent reference to what is happening as you watch the eyases at Melbourne and Orange grow and develop.

Nest News:

I know that you will be delighted to see that the adults at the Notre Dame Bald Eagle nest, home of Little Bit ND17, are beginning to rebuild their nest on the cam tree. Smile.

The names for the eyases of Diamond and Xavier at the Orange, Australian scrape are Indigo for the oldest and Rubus for the youngest. How lovely!

I haven’t been counting the bites that Rubus has gotten at each meal; I only do that with third hatch ospreys who are being badly beaked by older siblings or when watching a nest that could become unstable, such as Port Lincoln right now. I have, however, looked for a wee crop on the little one at Orange and haven’t seen one until yesterday. ‘A’ assures me that Diamond is getting better at feeding it and certainly the second feeding appeared to be better than the first with a wee crop on Rubus. Indigo is a great big sibling; she is just bigger and well her neck is longer. She will be getting pin feathers when, today, Rubus is really getting its eyes opened.

There were 5 feedings yesterday with the little one getting a bit more than the day prior. Those feedings were a Starling at 6:39:48; a pigeon at 8:42:33; 10:25:42; leftover pigeon at 12:58:11; another Starling feeding at 15:19:05 and 18: 31:26.

Here are some images of those feedings yesterday. Enjoy! Please note that the top image is the late feeding of the day.

I had actually hoped that Xavier would get a chance to feed the wee ones.

The first fish of the day did not come in until after 1300 at Port Lincoln. There had been some beaking as the three became hungrier and hungrier. It was also the first feeding where I have witnessed beaking. There was a reason. The lineup was Middle, Little, and Big at the farthest point from Mum’s beak. Middle and Little got quite a few big mouthfuls with Little Bob eating a piece of an organ that fell on the nest at 13:10:52. (Thanks, ‘A’). All of the chicks were ever so happy to see a fish that it looked like they were frantically gobbling the food. Big wasn’t getting any, though. He beaked the siblings and had them both afraid of being fed. S/he ate and then when s/he had their fill, the others ate some more. At the end of the feeding all had eaten well except for Mum who must have been ravished herself. Fighting continued at various times throughout the day with a few feeds. Big’s target was, for the most part Middle. Those two do not like each other at all and Big has always been trying to establish its dominance since they were 8 days old.

The chicks were absolutely ravenous when that 1307 fish arrived. I wonder what is keeping Dad from getting the fish to the nest early in the morning? The late deliveries are causing the nest to become unstable. Still, until yesterday, the feedings had not been impacted by food competition. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day of attacks by Big.

Little Bob eats the dropped piece of fish organ all by himself. It was a great horking just like Big did with the fish tail the day prior.

Despite the discord on the nest, all of the chicks managed to get their crops nicely filled at the feedings. Let us all hope that Dad will be able to overcome whatever it is that is stopping him from delivering fish early in the morning.

The four eyases at Melbourne are well fed. Mum spends a long time making sure that each is fed. In the last feeding of the day, you can barely see them as Mum has her back to the camera. There are a couple of glimpses. The eyases are beginning to look like raptors and you can clearly see their crops and the shiny skin on their chest where the feathers are worn off. Great work by Mum and Dad at Melbourne.

The Sydney Sea Eagle camera has been offline sometimes. SE30 spent the night on the nest with a parent above on the parent branch. No sign of SE29 yesterday although it could easily be on the nest tree out of view of the camera. That said, in days prior, SE29 was happy to jump down on the nest with the family so it does make me wonder.

The Bald Eagles in the US continue to visit their nests making a few nestorations or rebuilding an entire nest. They can do it! Let us all send warm wishes to Port Lincoln today for several fish early in the morning. That would go a long way to settling down Big and its fears about food supply. It would be wonderful if the cam would be operating at Sea Eagles – would love to see SE30 when it fledges or a visit from SE29. Meanwhile, we know that the Melbourne Four are going to begin to get itchy and start preening. We also know that they will have loads of prey. Dad is keeping the pantry full. I am especially looking forward to seeing Rubus with its eyes more focused today.

Thank you for joining me. Take care. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you to the following for their postings and stream cams that made up my screen captures today: RSPB, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Late Saturday in Bird World

8 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

Oh, gosh, golly. It is 16 degrees C with clear blue skies and hardly a breeze. It was the most amazing day to be out at the nature centre. While there are few birds about save for the thousand or more Canada Geese, it was just the smell of the damp leaves underfoot and the warmth of the sun that made the walk so enjoyable today.

As I am sitting here, a male Northern Flicker is drinking at the bird bath. It was a first for the garden and today is Big Bird count day!

This is not my photo but aren’t these just beautiful birds. Of course, no camera when this visitor was in the garden! Typical. It was also just refreshing to sit and watch this gorgeous bird drink and drink. I wonder where it came from and where it is going.

Northern Flicker” by cdbtx is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I wonder if it has been feeding on some of the old wood stumps left in the garden to rot. They provide lots of insects for birds like the Northern Flicker.

Making News:

The RSPB in the UK is making news along with thousands of other people and many organizations over the recent policies that could harm wildlife in the UK – many reversals of previous policies and platforms. Many are picketing throughout the country to draw attention to the need for protecting the birds and animals. It is being called a ‘growing rebellion of ordinary people’ over the anti-nature programme of the current government. For me, the fact that people, just like you and me, are up in arms about attitudes that do not protect our beloved birds and animals – and fish – is a huge step in letting governments around the world know that we do care and that they must generate programmes to protect our precious wildlife.

At the same time, the RSPB has a super website (especially an area for teachers) with all kinds of fun facts, activities, and news. I was reminded to take a look at how well my attempts at being ‘green’ are doing. It is time for me to do a double check. What started with my granddaughter earning badges for her Girl Guides set me on a path to trying, as much as one person can do, to make the future better for her and the animals we both love. We know more now so it is time to see what else I can do. How are you doing?

Here are some ideas from the RSPB.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/community-and-advice/green-living/ways-to-go-green-at-work/

It is also the time of year when you can sit back and relax. No need to rake and bag those leaves that are falling. Leave them! Here is an article that tells you the many reasons to do nothing.

The Raptor Persecution UK group are investigating three raptors that were killed in my old home county of Lincolnshire. The killing of raptors appears to be growing and growing as are the number of investigations. Many have been extremely concerned with the lack of penalties for those admitting killing the birds of prey.

https://raptorpersecutionuk.org/blog-2/

Morning Catch up with the Australia Nests:

The first breakfast served up was no surprise – the Dad at Melbourne sounded the alarm that prey was ready at 0630!

At Port Lincoln, Mum is decorating the nest while Little Bob yells at Dad to bring in some fish! She is also finding old pieces of fish as she cleans the neck and one of the big Bobs enjoyed a nice fish tail at 0701. They are all waiting for breakfast.

Over the years I have counted the bites that the third hatch osplets are getting, often with tears streaming down my cheeks when they get nothing – nothing for days on end. I have to admit, set against that background, that I tense up watching the feed at the Orange scrape. Breakfast began at 0639. Eleven minutes passed before the little one got any bites. The poor thing almost used all its energy keeping its head erect and beak often – the wee one did fall and twist and often it was frustrating for Diamond who did try, on a couple of occasions prior to 0650 to put bites in its mouth. At 0650 until well near 0654, the wee one got some nice big bites. Relief. Absolute relief.

Gosh, I feel so much better after seeing this feeding first thing in the morning. I never thought I would be shy of watching Diamond feeding chicks but, I have certainly become that way. It appears that the little one is not going to get fed as long as the big siblings head is way above its. When big sibling gets full, it leans down and then Diamond will lean over easily and feed the baby. Soon, its eyes will focus and if the big nice bites continue it will get stronger and all worries will be cast aside.

It is a very wet day in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE30 is soaked to the core and is continually shaking off the rain. Lady and Dad flew into the nest to deliver a nice fish for breakfast for SE30. At the same time, they began honking and alarming at the Currawongs that had followed them. SE30 will surely not fledge today if this heavy rain persists.

One of the parents stayed on the nest tree watching so that SE30 could eat. I wonder where SE29 is this morning?

Thank you for this quick check in at all four of the Australian nests. Everyone – on screen – has been fed but the Port Lincoln Osplets and we could not see where or if SE29 had a breakfish. Meanwhile, let us all hope that the weather breaks at Sydney and that the Currawongs decide to take a holiday! Wouldn’t that be lovely? Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their images, posts, or streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Creative Commons, The Gardening Channel, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.