We want fish! and more news in Bird World

24 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

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.

Making News:

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!

Nest News:

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!

Migration News:

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.

Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

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.

Making News:

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.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

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.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

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.

National Arboretum Nest

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!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

From the Archive:

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?

Iris is still here and more news on Tuesday in Bird World

13 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is 11 degrees C (51.8 F) and will only rise to 17 C (62.6) – a great day for a long walk! As the temperatures begin to fall and the summer clothes make way for sweaters, it is a reminder to enjoy every moment outside that we can – here on the prairies of Canada. Winnipeg has been known to actually be colder than Mars in the winter so every precious minute outside is a gift.

Oh, it was a nice day yesterday. The best treat was I found the little duck. It is the tiniest wild duck I have ever seen in my life. There is still a lot of down and its wings seem ‘small’.

5 September:

12 September. The head is larger and it appears that some more feathers on the back have grown in. The little one was so busy scooping up what looks like confetti made out of leaves. It is called Duck Weed and is not the best thing to have growing on the ponds but – the ducks love it!!!!!!! In fact, ducks will eat whatever food is in front of them including pondweed, sea weed, reeds and flowers as well as berries and seeds and we have seen them eat frogs, too.

The Canada Goose couple that had lost one another the other day and were honking up a storm had taken possession of the only island in the pond. It seems that the water level is rising due to the staff at the centre draining one area to move the water to another. The geese were sharing with some Mallards but they were not moving and giving up their lease!

Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

In past years there seem not to have been as many juvenile American Coots. They are everywhere at the nature centre – hiding in the reeds, riding on pieces of branches, or just standing quietly around a corner this year and I have seen others at ponds around the city.

You can see how thick that duckweed is on the pond. Someone of it should be cleaned with a filter – and maybe that is what the staff are doing.

Over the years the Mallards have just gotten more beautiful to me. They are common and often over-looked because of it. So many sweet little females around the edge of the pond.

Most looked nice and full from their foraging. It was bottoms up everywhere!

Oh, look at those beautiful primary and secondary feathers. Let us all hope that our wee one will have as many by the end of October.

In the Mailbox:

No questions just outpourings of love for Izzi who was the subject of yesterday’s archival photo. Oh, what a character he was and each of us that watched Xavier and Diamond’s scrape and Izzi so intently has so many stories of his antics.

Making News:

A Bald Eagle death in Canada attributed to Avian Flu. This is very sad. It was believed that the H5N1 was slowing down. Now it might be spread again by migratory birds.

The EU is being heavily criticized for not protecting marine life from overfishing. Why is this in a bird blog? Well, the birds that eat fish need them so the setting up a moratorium for fishing for human consumption might help.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/12/eu-slammed-over-failure-to-protect-marine-life-from-destructive-fishing

One of my favourite books, Goshawk Summer, has won the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. James Aldred spent the early part of the pandemic in the New Forest. His assignment was to document the life of a Goshawk family. Written like a daily diary, Alden captures the solitude of the forest and the magical experiences of the chicks. “The wood holds its breath, the only sound the begging of the chicks and the gentle breeze through trees. The forest hasn’t been this peaceful for a thousand years.” Despite Aldred being a wildlife photographer there is not a single image of the Goshawks in the book but, they are not necessary. Through his words their presence is evoked as clearly as a newly cleaned window.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/sep/07/wainwright-nature-writing-prize-goes-to-inspirational-goshawk-summer

Two lucky Bald Eagles were helped in Maine when they were relieved from being entangled with one another. They were mid-air and crashed into the water. Both could have died with out the help of the kind couple.

Nest News:

I wasn’t quite sure where to put this wonderful news. Many of you will have already heard that Iris – thought, perhaps, to have migrated from her spring and summer home in Montana – was eating an enormous fish she had caught on the Owl Pole today in Missoula. The oldest Osprey in the world looks magnificent.

Here is a 4 minute video of this magical event.

12 September is a very special day. It is the day that Gabby normally returns to her nest near Jacksonville, Florida that she shares with her partner, Samson. Out of 4 years, 3 of the returns have been on the 12th of September. How incredible. Samson has been waiting and looking and bringing in some sticks. Gabby did not disappoint! She arrived today!!!!!!!!!!!!! The couple got busy working together getting ready for the wee eagles this year. Oh, it is so wonderful to see you home, Gabby.

Good night Samson and Gabby. All is well with the world. See you tomorrow.

Lady Hawk caught the reunion on video!

Padarn appears to still be with Idris at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales.

Blue 497 is still on the nest at Glaslyn and Aran delivered a really nice fish for tea time.

Did you know that both Padarn and Blue 497 hatched on the same day? It was 26 May. 497 is the oldest and Padarn is the middle chick. Both, as we can see, are still at home.

Idris brought a flat fish later and is looking around for Padarn. Is she gone?

Everything seems to be fine on the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The eaglets had an early breakfast. Looks like one of the Silver Gull chicks from the old barge down the Parramatta River.

Even with a great big nest SE29 and 30 prefer to snuggle together. Lady keeps watch.

A lovely family portrait.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been rooting around in the nest and rolling those three precious eggs. It is the 14th of September in South Australia. Is it really possible that in 4 more days we could have a hatch? At times it felt like it has taken forever and on other days it seems like we just had the last egg laid. Does it feel that way to you?

At the 367 Collins Street scrape, Mum got up to stretch her legs. Gosh these birds must get stiff sitting on those eggs for so long —- yes, I am projecting human needs on them! If they had a little buzzer to remind them to stand up and get the circulation moving it might help. Oh, she made me ache as I watched her raise off those eggs. She was hardly gone…someone played a trick on this female. They told her that she had to do all the incubating herself. Hopefully she will give Dad some more time.

Oh, just when you say the birds eat off camera, someone brings a nice juicy pigeon and there you go – eaten on the nest! It is like having a sick child and taking it to the doctor and your little one is immediately well on arrival!

Migration News:

Just imagine 428 million birds making their migration flights tonight.

Remember it is time for lights out. If you want to check your own area of migration, go to this link and put in your postal code or the name of your city – sadly lower mainland US only.

Karl II’s family migration – Waba is still around the area of Manachyn and has flown a short distance south where he has discovered a little lake.

Bonus is still in the wetlands along the Prypjat River south of Makarichi.

Kaia is still around the Desna River. So all three appear to be doing well. What a glorious relief. No news from Karl II.

From the Archive:

Do you know my name? I was the only eaglet on an enormous nest. My parents names are Liberty and Freedom. When I branched and started jumping and flapping my wings, your got very worried.

I hope that your day is as lovely as ours on the Canadian Prairies. Thank you so very much for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their blogs, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Wreckhouse Weekly News, The Guardian, Bangor Daily News, Montana Ospreys and Cornell Bird Lab, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, BirdCast, Looduskalender, and Glacier Gardens.


The eaglet was Kindness who hatched in Glacier Gardens, a large botanical garden within the Tongass National Park, Juneau, Alaska. The year was 2021.

Sarafina flies, Too many fish at Osoyoos, and other good news in Bird World

31 August 2022

Good Morning! I hope this finds all of you well. For those of you waiting to see Sarafina fledge, she did it at 0655 Sunday morning, 31 July. Congratulations to Louis and Dorcha and to all at Loch Arkaig!

I am so glad that Saturday is over! This means that if the forecast is correct, the nests in the Pacific Northwest that are broiling will begin to get some relief from the heat in two days. Gosh, that seems like such a long time but they have weathered extreme heat for nearly a week and all are still with us.

Olsen and Soo have really done an amazing job keeping the two osplets in the shade on Saturday and, well, anyone who has ever fished know that the fish go down deep to get into cooler water. Ospreys are only able to dive 1m or 3 feet below the surface of the water – so they need those fish swimming around near the top not going deep to get cooler. By 0930 Olsen had delivered quite a number of fish, apparently some better sized than others. I did not count them. There was one delivery around around 19:30ish. It appeared that the two chicks were super full and Soo got some nice fish, too. — They look good at the end of today. Such a relief.

‘H’ sent this image of the ‘unwanted’ fish.

At 08:55 Sunday morning, One chick is sleeping on a fish piece, the unwanted is still there, and Soo has a super nice crop. I sure hope Olsen got some good fish, too. This family is depending on him! And Olsen, you get the gold star for the week. You and Soo are doing amazing.

On Saturday, Ferris Akel ended his tour, as always, with a stop at the Cornell Campus home to Big Red and Arthur. He found L4 prey calling to Mum and Dad. Big Red was also located.

Oh, my goodness, what a handsome fledgling. L4 has lovely light grey-blue eyes that will get darker and darker turning into an exquisite espresso colour in adulthood. He will also get his red tail when he is a year old.

L4
L4
L4
Big Red

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest is becoming much calmer. There is plenty of prey. Lady feeds SE29 and 30 still about every hour. I noticed that the feedings are getting a little longer and that both chicks have nice crops at the end. It will not be long until there are fewer feedings with the chicks consuming much more prey.

What to expect as we end week 2 and prepare for week 3? The chicks will have doubled their size. You might also notice that their shape is changing – they are getting longer and so is their beak! We will begin to see them climb out of the nest or egg cup exploring their surroundings and pecking at leaves. By week 4, some pin feathers on the wings will begin to show.

The last feeding before night fall in the forest. If you look carefully you can see how the down is ‘looking different’. There will be little ‘black dots’ soon.

If you love White-tail Eagles then you will be excited to know that the oldest WTE couple on Mull Island just fledged their 25th chick! Skye is 28 and Frisa is 30. Look at that beautiful baby!

https://www.birdguides.com/news/uks-oldest-known-white-tailed-eagle-pair-fledge-25th-chick/?fbclid=IwAR2VaicG4ZgKYXqWASf-x4qjwOstyti3NUx0uEiQnEJ51PY8waezLbHO-ig

Another article about our dear Victor’s recovery.

Please note that Victor is not standing on a towel but has moved to a low perch. Lovely.

https://www.ojaivalleynews.com/news/sick-bald-eagle-recovering-at-orc/article_c4540a4a-0f08-11ed-91fc-4ba35f94378b.html?fbclid=IwAR1dT0-m8dw_Q5mF4p4ZyPyaGIuZ6Wo_9uuVq1-WpQ4PLlLe3CI0LF-Fs3Q

I am certain that everyone will agree that you can see the improvements in Victor. The top image is a couple of days ago- the lower one is when Victor began his physio.

I saw no images but on thee Notre Dame chat, Little Bit ND17 was seen by someone at the park. That is good news.

Our other lad, Ervie, really flew about Port Lincoln yesterday!

You may recall that the Port Lincoln Osprey Project carried in parts of a new tower platform nest for the couple at Turnby Island. Previously their eggs had been predated by foxes on the island. The new tower was to stop that predation with a plan in place to rid the island of its invasive fox population. The time for egg laying is near – and look what is causing the ospreys to alert.

Port Lincoln says this foxes’ days are numbered. He cannot, however, get to the eggs which were previously laid on the ground. Thank you Port Lincoln!

The two Ospreys at the Janakkalan nest are safe from the Goshawk again. They eat and sleep, sleep and eat…

Eating..

Dad with another delivery.

Last but he could never be least – one of our ‘saviours’ of the year – Alden. Alden who insured that Annie’s eggs and the last of Grinnell’s chicks would hatch – with maybe a contribution of his own! (No word on that yet). Alden finally found a little time to ‘loaf’.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a little wet on the Canadian Prairies – again. My garden is like a jungle. The three fledgling Blue Jays and the three fledgling Crows continue to visit. Images to follow tomorrow. I hope that all of you are well and enjoying some time in nature today. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB postings, etc which have become my screen captures: Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Osoyoos Ospreys and ‘H’, Sydney Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Sydney Olympic Forest, BirdGuides, Ojai Raptor Centre, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Cal Falcons.

White Bellied Sea Eaglet 28 dominates feeding

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

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

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

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

Here is a short video clip of the feeding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WBSE Lady and Dad Sing the Duet

For several days I have been trying to figure out how to get the sound with the video clips I record. It was driving me crazy.

Years ago, I found myself a new faculty member at Acadia University. The very enlightened new President of Acadia was starting a programme called the Acadia Advantage. Each faculty member would get an IBM ThinkPad as would every first year student. The goal was to have all students using the newest technology – the Internet! And it was new. Most people did not have it nor had they heard about it.

I signed up as one of the first 30 faculty members —— not because I was an IT whiz, no, far from it. Because I wasn’t. We had specialist training in Lotus Notes and Tool Box. Several major corporations set up ‘Smart’ classrooms. Students and faculty could plug their computers specialty outlets and actually take their exams on line, search for material, create their own websites. I had one very clever student, WP, who managed to get the OM mantra going at the same time on my desktop computer and my colleagues down the hall. It was rather funny.

When I came to the University of Manitoba in 1999, the art historians were using still slides. They thought I was crazy when I suggested Powerpoint and digital learning. We did not get smart classrooms for art history til when? 2008?

So to not be able to get audio when something was recorded with the audio just simply did not seem possible. If any of you have the same problem with WordPress what you need is another app. FonePaw Screen Recorder seems to be the most popular and it is easy to use. And it is free if your recordings are less than 3 minutes long. My hint for the day!

I wanted to show you Lady and Dad singing ‘The Duet’ yesterday. I could not get the sound. You just needed to see and hear the two bonding through their morning song. Lady did what she did yesterday. She got up incubating the egg and went up and joined her mate, Dad.

So here is this morning’s version straight from the White Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park, 22 June 2021 featuring Lady and Dad.

The featured image is Dad taking his turn at incubating the egg while Lady goes off to have some rest and relaxation after being on the nest all night.

To start the video with sound, just click on the arrow. Enjoy.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam, BirdLife Australia, and the Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took this video clip.

Let’s Talk White-Bellied Sea Eagles

My ‘love affair’ and complete obsession with birds goes back to a single moment looking into the eyes of a large hawk only 30 cm away from me. I have not looked back, as they say, since that day. It is the behaviour of the birds that I find so interesting – the challenges they face, their daily rituals, how they learn and respond to events that simply amazes me.

There had never been a plan to even observe a White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest. It was one of those things that simply happened. The events that unfolded last year on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park were utterly inspiring. A chick born, its leg broken almost immediately, couldn’t stand for well over a month that was determined to self-feed, branch, and fledge taught a lot of people that you never give up, you continue to strive for your goals, and you darn well don’t complain. Literally hundreds of people that had mobility issues stepped up and were determined to face their demons and challenges – ‘if 26 can do it, so can I’ became a bit of a mantra. I doubt if another chick will ever take her place in the hearts of so many where she ‘lives now’.

One of the things that 26 loved to do was to sing the duet as dawn broke with Lady and Dad. Oh, how I wish that I knew how to record those mornings then but, I didn’t.

The Duet is a form of bonding. The adults – well, sing isn’t quite the word..honk it?? Lady and Dad do this every morning. It is also a way to wake up the forest, a way of thanking the sun for living through the night and welcoming the day.

Dad is higher up on the branch. Lady has been incubating the egg over night and has gotten upon the branch to do the duet with Dad. I do not have the sound which really bothers me but I love the way that Lady moves up from the nest cup to join Dad.

I have put another YouTube Video of the duet in 2017 below my video non-audio.

So enjoy!

The juveniles join in. I can’t find a clip with WBSE 26 singing with Lady and Dad so right now this one from 2015 will have to do. However, it is wonderful because you can see the beautiful rich plumage of the eaglets.

The juveniles are really beautiful and here is a longer look at WBSE 25 and 26. WBSE 26 – the one who won everyone’s heart for its dedication, has the lighter head and is facing the viewer in the image below.

You can watch the gorgeous White-Bellied Sea Eagles yourself. Lady has laid one egg and we will be expecting a second in about a day. Then she will incubate those eggs and hatch will be around the 23 or 24th of July. It is marvellous to watch these beautiful birds. I hope all goes well this year for them.

The couple have already done their duet – it is early morning the 21st of June in Australia. Remember that if you go to watch this nest! I sometimes forget. These is not much that goes on at night except for Boo Book Owl trying to knock the sea eagles off their branches. Last season Boo injured Lady’s eye. He is tiny but fierce and has a nest close to this one.

Thank you for joining me. Have a great start to the week. Take care.

Thank you to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Cam, BirdLife Australia and the Discovery Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took my video clip and screen shots.

There is an eagle under there and more stories

The Nor’easter moving up through the eastern United States is having a big impact on birds that are trying to incubate their eggs for a spring hatch. At the Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey, the female was buried under snow and her mate cut away the snow to help her get out and have a break. Because of the snow that seems to be worsening, I am going to embed the youtube feed here in my blog so that you can check to see that everyone is alive and well after. This Bald Eagle is incubating three eggs that hatched over a period of time from 17 January to 23 January.

The birds of prey really amaze me. Big Red, the 19 year old Red-Tail Hawk at Ithaca was encased in ice and snow several times before being deluged last year trying to incubate and raise her eyases. Laura Cully said, in her always very wise way, “She’s got it under control, don’t worry.” Oh, those words really helped me. Bird Red is not incubating any eggs or trying to feed little one’s, of course, with Arthur’s masterly help, but their nest is getting increasingly full of snow at Ithaca. Big Red should be laying her eggs around the third week in March. Can’t wait! Here is the live feed to that nest:

If you are missing Big Red and Arthur and their little ones, here is a summary of the goings on in 2020. Oh, how I love these birds!

The summary starts with Arthur and Big Red selecting the nest and bringing in more twigs, the two of them incubating the eggs, Arthur taking care of Big Red in a snowstorm and taking his turn and then, the ‘live chipmunk’ along with a whole bunch of prey. Big Red is drenched in rain and blown off the nest. Babies hatch and grow and fledge. If you are just starting to watch bird cams, this is a grew introduction to the life cycle of the eyases.

While the Bald Eagles are getting covered with snow in the northeastern US, it is too hot for the Royal Albatross in New Zealand. The Rangers that work with the New Zealand Department of Conservation installed pipes today so that all of the parents feeding little ones or still incubating eggs are cooled off. Incredible. Hats off to New Zealand for taking such good care of its wildlife.

The camera is focused on Lime-Green-Lime (LGL) and Lime-Green-Black (LGK) and this week old chick who is this year’s Royal Cam Chick. These two are hilarious. Neither one wants to give up taking care of the baby! Parents take turns going out to sea and returning to feed the little one ‘squid shakes’ while the other one keeps it warm and feeds it. Eventually, the little one will be big and old enough to stay on its nest while both parents go out to sea. It is particularly touching the times that the two parents have together – minutes, sometimes an hour to be together, preening and doing sky calls. They truly are gentle giants.

And last, but never least, are the two little ones of Harriet and M15 from the SWFL Eagle Cam in Fort Myers. The little ones developed an eye infection. Because of the two recent deaths of eaglets at Captiva, everyone went into fast forward to get these two off the nest and to the vet. They are enjoying eating rat and quail fed by a veiled attendant with tongs so as not to imprint on humans. And they are gaining weight. But the eye infection, while improving, has not improved completely enough to send them back to their nest. They are hoping soon. Here is the link to the SWFL cam. Keep an eye out. You will see the large cherry picker bring the babies back to their eagerly awaiting parents this week, we hope.

Here is one of the first videos that CROW released. You can see how infected the eyes of the two were and at the end, you can get to see them eating from the tongs. It doesn’t take the place of the parents but these two have a ferocious appetite that has grown in the two days since this video was made.

Image of E17 and E18 courtesy of CROW.

The link is to the main cam. I believe that there are 3 or 4 different cam views.

And the last thing I want to do is to post Phyllis Robbin’s poem that she wrote for Daisy the Duck. So many people joined with us in hoping that Daisy would be able to raise her clutch to fledge. It wasn’t to be but Daisy is alive and well and is paddling in the water near to the Sydney Olympic Park.

Thank you so much for checking in today. Stay safe if you are in the eye of the snow storm pelting the northeastern US and stay cool if you are down in NZ and Australia. See you tomorrow!

From calm to the Unkindness of the Unkindness.

There has been, so far, not a speck of drama on Daisy’s nest on a cool, wet Sydney Saturday. From the last posting, you will know that Daisy’s vision allowed her to get off the eggs and have a week break in the middle of the night, from 2:45-3:30.

She anticipated the sea eagles might arrive for dawn but, no one came. Maybe it is too wet and soggy for them to go into the forest to try and catch the stranger using their nest? Or maybe it is Saturday and Dad is taking a day off. That would be splendid.

When I asked my friends who normally watch the sea eagles using this nest if they thought that Daisy would still be on this nest incubating her eggs for the 18th day, everyone said no way. They believed that Daisy would be evicted early on. If you have kept up, you will know that the Sea Eagles behaviour has been one of confusion and, increasingly, perplexity. But they don’t appear hostile. I worry more about the Ravens who would love to eat those eggs that Daisy keeps rolling or, better still, grab a duckling right at hatch. The Ravens have been around today but left just as quickly as they came and made a ruckus.

It was so quiet in fact that Daisy took a short break from 9:11:27 to 10:03:59. Just as she has done over the last few days, she cautiously approached her nest while doing some preening.

And it would seem that she is rolling her eggs much more today than she has previously. This morning alone, between the first roll at 7:22 and the last one at 11:34, she did one more big roll after she returned to the nest at 10:03. Does the frequency of rolling the eggs increase as hatch approaches? or does Daisy roll the eggs more often so none of them will get soaked with the rain?

Wild duck eggs are said to have a thicker membrane than domestic birds. One of the reasons that care is needed is so the pores in the eggs do not get clogged. Apparently sitting in a lot of water can do that. If in water for too long, the pores that help regulate the air can be blocked. It is interesting, however, that ducks naturally get wet. In fact, people that raise ducks and artificially hatch their eggs, note that duck eggs require at least 55% humidity. Some actually spray the eggs in their incubators. So it would seem that Daisy does that when she returns from dabbling. The moisture remaining on her feathers coats the eggs. Well done, Mother Nature. You think of everything. Certainly the humidity in the forest is 55% or higher. Today it is 100% again! Not a surprise. Still showers and it is cool, around 21.6.

Daisy is taking more frequent shorter breaks. She is off again at 12:32. She tries very hard to completely cover up her eggs but the down is wet. The little duck tried to pull everything over so that nothing would see her precious eggs.

About thirty minutes after Daisy left to go and eat, the Unkindness showed up at the nest. The first raven looked around and then went over to the nest of eggs. One egg was removed.

That egg was broken and eaten. It was a viable egg with the growing form of a duckling that could be seen as the raven consummed it. We now know that Daisy was sitting on a nest with at least one duckling that would have hatched had this tragedy not happened.

More Ravens came.

Eggs were carried away til all of the eggs were gone.

Daisy returned to the nest. She stopped and ate the egg shell. Remember egg shells give the birds their calcium and Daisy would have depleted much of hers forming the eggs and brooding.

Daisy went to the nest and for the past hour she has been looking for her eggs. She is making the nest larger and larger as she tries to find them.

Daisy has been looking for her eggs for more than an hour and a half since she returned to the nest. While other birds, such as eagles, have mates to protect the nest, Daisy had to do this all alone.

I feel a huge sadness for this little duck who made her nest in the big sea eagle’s nest. I have always thought that she might have already lost a clutch of eggs with a nest on the ground so that was why she chose this unusual spot in the forest.

There is some information about Pacific Black Ducks that says the male helps protect the nest while the female is away. The male was only seen on this nest back in December when it was with Daisy on the first visit. Perhaps he has died. The life expectancy of Pacific Black Ducks is very short, two years.

Daisy remains on the nest. She continues to look for her eggs and to dig the nest a little deeper and wider in her search. She continues to talk to the missing eggs in the same way she talked to them when she was rolling them around today.

It is a sad ending for a little Pacific Black Duck who confused the sea eagles and defied the odds of lasting a single day. Daisy has been on the nest now for nearly a month and in about 8 days her ducklings would have hatched had all gone well.

I do not know how long Daisy will stay on the nest looking for her eggs or how she will process her grief. But I know that we all are glad she is alive and that she will live to lay more eggs. She has proven what a good little mom she is!

Thank you to all of you who believed in Daisy. Thousands of people from all around the world joined together to wish this little duck well. She was very brave and outsmarted the sea eagles many times.

Daisy, we wish you good health and many ducklings in the future! Your presence has enriched all of our lives. We just hoped the ending of this story would have been different.

Daisy, happily brooding her nest of seven eggs.

Catching up with Miss Daisy

You will remember from my earlier posting today that our favourite little duck, Daisy, got home to her nest at 19:03. A couple of hours later and not having any evening contact with the mated pair of White Bellied Sea Eagles, Daisy was relaxing. And then BooBook Owl came and scared the wits out of her. She did not leave her nest but she got in defensive posture ready to protect her nest. At first Boo flew low right over Daisy on the nest. It is 20:51:40.

In the image below, Boo is nothing more than a blur as she flies directly over the centre of the big sea eagle nest. She is so close that she almost touches Daisy when she does the fly through.

The blur of BooBook Owl.

Daisy immediately gets into defensive posture. Boo circles the nest flying around the branches, going round and round. It keeps Daisy attentive and moving with the small owl. She always wants to know where the owl is. At 21:06:35 Boo lands on one of the small branches up near the top right corner of the image below. You can see the legs on the branch but not clearly. Look carefully. The left leg appears lighter than the right.

Defensive posture.
Boo moves closer down the branch to have a good look at Daisy.

BooBook Owl finally decides to sit closer to Daisy. Now you can see the eyes, the beak and the left leg along with the little owl’s body.

Boo is a nuisance to our Daisy, right now. She is also curious about this little duck in the sea eagle nest. Boo is used to bumping into the eagles in the night often injuring Lady’s eye. Boo is especially aggressive when she has her own nest of babies, November-December, and would love it if she could harass the sea eagles enough to get them to leave the forest. Fat chance on that happening!

BooBook Owl courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Boobook is the smallest owl in Australia. Owls are nocturnal so that is why Boo only pesters Daisy after dark. Boo will hunt all kinds of insects and very small mammals such as mice, small bats, and moths. Boo is about 27-36 cm tall or 10-14.5 inches, and weighs only 140-360 grams or 5 ounces to 12.6 ounces. The wings span ranges from 188-261 mm, or 7-10 inches. In comparison, remember that the White-Bellied sea eagle is the largest bird in Australia with a wing span of 2-2.3 metres, standing 80-90 cm tall and weighing 2.5 to 4 kg. Pacific Black Ducks are approximately 54-61 cm or 21 to 24 inches in length and they weigh 1025-1114 grams or 2.25 to 2.4 pounds. Daisy is bigger than Boo but the most important thing for her right now are her precious eggs and their protection. Boo could make a terrible mess and while the little owl does eat insects and bats along with mice, it might also be interested in Daisy’s eggs.

The sea eagles did not show up this morning. They were at Goat Island and it was raining and windy. Daisy’s morning was, as posted earlier, rather uneventful til she starting listening and raising her neck listening to the vocalizations from the other birds in the forest.

At 9:29 the ravens arrive. You cannot see them but Daisy heard them coming and knows they are about on the nest tree. The little duck immediately goes into a defensive posture. Notice, in the image below, how she has fanned out her tail and she has her feathers puffed up. This makes her look larger.

The Unkindness stay for approximately twenty minutes. Daisy moved as they did, just like she did when Boo was on the nest tree. She always kept her head tucked, her tail fanned, and her other feathers puffed.

As the day wore on, there were periodic showers on the nest. Daisy did some housekeeping, moving leaves closer to the nest in case she needed them for cover.

By noon, Daisy was relaxed and ready to take a wee bit of a rest. She tucks her bill in under her wing for warmth. Instead of being 40 degrees C like it was two days ago, today it is only in the low 20s with showers. What a change in temperature!

Daisy begins sweeping the leaves toward the nest and tucking the now dry down inside. She is preparing to go foraging. It is 13:58:14. This is quite a bit earlier than the last several days.

Daisy has camouflaged her nest well. In with the fluffy down are some leaves and twigs.

Leaves and twigs help hide the nest.

It is now 16:04 and Daisy has not returned to the nest. She often returns around 19:00 or 20:00 right before dusk but when she has left this early she has come back around 16:45. One day Dad had arrived and she had to abort her landing on the nest to avoid him seeing her. I wonder when she will come home today?

Thank you so much for joining Daisy and her adventures in the big sea eagles nest!

Thank you to Sea Eagle cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre for providing the cameras where I did my screen captures.