Harriet lays her first egg of the season! and more news in Bird World

30 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I want to thank everyone who sent an e-mail or who made a comment about the loss of Orange’s dear darling Rubus. It was extremely difficult for everyone not least of all those wonderful people at Orange. We all loved the feisty little eyas. What joy he brought!

It would be helpful if there were an international protocol in place that everyone agreed on and knew. If a raptor is grounded and does not flee when a human approaches, it should be placed in care for an examination. No guessing, no regrets. Just a clear protocol. If the raptor requires care, it can receive it. If it doesn’t, it is released where it was found or at its nest, if known. Perhaps protocols could be put in place in memory of Rubus.

Meanwhile, Indigo is doing very well and thriving. Wonderful news. This is him yesterday eating a huge prey item! So glad he is visiting the scrape.


Sulphur-crested Cockatoo” by NathanaelBC is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

It is not about raptors but, after the week we have had and now with Harriet having an injury from the GHOW hit last night, we need a laugh. We seriously need a laugh just to take us away even for a few minutes. This Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo will certainly help.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-30/cockatoo-video-dropping-pot-plants-melbourne/101710478?fbclid=IwAR2dBBKdcL_6wP-BBMZYqu9IC3iaThR1hi0dMv1wI_hkPV5nwOpS_Pn2sjk


“G’ sent me a great article on Glen, the only surviving Tweed Valley osprey fledgling. It is a great article and you realise how miraculous this bird’s adventure has been – almost blown out to sea, having to flap its wings for 36 hours over the ocean! And finally finding a small piece of land to rest for 11 hours. Thanks, ‘G’. Glen deserves a long and safe life.

Here is the link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-63795390

Congratulations to M15 and to Harriet for their first egg of the 2022 season! The time was 18:09:34. M15 was there with Harriet during her labour.

Sharon Pollock posted a video of the happy moment:


At the nest of Pa Berry and Missy, Pa has had to deal with a GHOW strike like Harriet did the night before she laid her egg.


Many of you will have seen Tiger Mozone’s name on the PLO chat. Tiger runs a FB group re Ospreys and is encyclopaedic when it comes to the history of UK Ospreys. Tiger and Chloe Baker have a web site with much information on the UK Ospreys – magicats. He also has a Twitter account. Check him out.

Tiger and I have been chatting today about the state of the fish at Port Lincoln. I have been – well, almost, pulling my hair out over the lack of fish. Is it because of commercial fishing? flooding and silt? changing water temperatures due to climate change? Dad’s age? You have probably asked yourself the same thing. So far no one seems to have come up with an answer but Tiger and I talked about practical or possible solutions. I have always maintained that fish must be provided. But how do you provide fish? Well, large commercial-like tanks such as the ones that the Ospreys in South America steal from is one solution. Tiger thinks a fish pond or stocking the lagoon where the barge is located. I wonder how many regulations there are for doing this? Are there any more than all of the permissions required for intervention?

Zoe is wide awake and wanting fish. Dad will deliver early today. I wonder if she spotted him flying off.

Did you know that there is a river that was created and stocked just so photographers could take images of Osprey fishing? Yes. It is the River Gwash and Tiger told me about it today. So if you can build a river in the UK and stock it so Ospreys can fish and charge people to photograph them in a hide doing just that then, why not stock the lagoon where the barge is and – from a safe distance – allow people for a charge to photograph them? Why not? It might bring more tourism to the area, too! That along with Osprey Excursions.

The Gwash River runs through Rutland, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire.

Other places stock ponds and lochs for the osprey such as Rutland and Keider. It is time that everyone considered this as humans have mismanaged our planet so much. We owe it to these beautiful birds.


Alden has still not been seen. A video clip of Annie reacting to the visiting male.

Dear Gabby waits for Samson’s return. If you did not see my correction, Samson was not injured. There was a posting on FB showing what appeared to be an injury to Samson’s head; I carried that information in a blog. The AEF wishes for everyone to know that he was not seen injured when he was at the nest. I had posted the update in a later blog but it seems some did not see it. Apologies for any confusion.

This is the latest announcement from the AEF on FB at the time of writing this blog:

We know that Bella returned to her nest after three weeks and there is a story surfacing out of Hanover of the resident female returning to her nest after being absent for a week. It gives me hope that Samson will return!

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2018/04/09/hanover-nests-resident-female-eagle-returns-fighting-expected/497774002/

Jackie and Shadow always put a smile on my face and here they are working on their nest at Big Bear. Adorable. I received a note that Shadow had been away since the 24th returning today, 5 days later (the information is second hand but comes from a trusted source). So, let us all take a deep breath and believe that Samson just took a wee break before it all begins, too.

The Southern Royal Osprey are a delight to watch and I know that many of enjoyed watching Lillibet, the 2022 Royal Cam chick grow and fledge and the marvelous care that YRK gave to her daughter after OGK went missing in May. There is a new Royal family and Dad, GLY, is incubating that precious egg. Sharon Dunne (aka Lady Hawk) has published a video of the new family and some visitors.

Migration News:

Waba is still in the Sudan.

Bonus is still in Turkey but he has started moving South! Well done, Bonus.

There is a silver lining in today’s news with the arrival of the first egg at the Bald Eagle nest of M15 and Harriet in Fort Myers, Florida.

Please send your best wishes to Rita so that she is strong enough for her operation. ‘H’ wrote this morning to tell me it is scheduled for 1500 Eastern time today. Send good wishes to Alden and Samson wherever they are please come home if you can, and to everyone at Orange and all those who loved little Rubus. He is much missed.

Thank you for being with me. This is not a very long blog but I hope there is something good in there for everyone. I am now ready to try and start packing! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘H’ and ‘G’ for their notes, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and S Pollock, Berry College, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, NEFL-AEF, River Gwash Ospreys, abc.net.au, York Dispatch, FOBBV, NZ DOC and Sharon Dunne, and Looduskalender Forum.

Early Sunday in Bird World

23 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

As is my usual routine, I am starting my blog for Sunday morning late on Saturday evening. That flu shot has had me a bit under the weather and I have not ventured out to check on the local duck populations. I hope to do that tomorrow with some new images for you. The number of birds in the garden is certainly dwindling. Instead of 40 or more Dark-eyed Juncos there are only a handful and the number of sparrows is about half. The squirrels continue to hoarde the peanuts at the dismay of both the Blue Jays and a single crow. All four of them are in the neighbourhood but, one family has taken to feeding them bread. Crows love bread – it is sweet and salty. It is junk food. And the ones that come to my garden would much rather have bread than healthy nuts, fruit, and protein. Drives me crazy! Angel Wing is why – when we went for a walk around the local duck pond on Thanksgiving, we found two Mallards with Angel Wing. They have since been taken to the wildlife rehab clinic. It is unclear if they will survive. People believe they are helping because the ducks come running for the bread. Sadly, not.

Have you ever heard of Angel Wing? It is a condition in waterfowl caused by a nutritional deficiency. The wings droop or are crooked. The birds cannot fly. It is normally caused by humans feeding bread to the ducks and geese! It can kill them. Feed only high nutrition feed such as wild bird seed OR do not feed them at all.

Making News:

The United Kingdom has been hit particularly hard by Avian Flu. Indeed, scientists now believe that this deadly disease for wild birds and commercial poultry farms will remain in the country year round. The plan is to require anyone who has poultry to move them inside — no more free range eggs or chickens. That is very sad and, well, it is known by Virologists such as Thijs Kuiken -who examines the spread of Avian Flu – that factor farms are the likely cause. I wonder if what is being done in the UK will spread to other European countries?

The finalists in the funniest wildlife shots of the year:

Do you like Chimney Swifts? Have you ever gone birding in Central Park? Are you wondering what the 33 year old Pale Male, the resident Red-tail Hawk of 927 Fifth Avenue is doing? (Yes, he really is 33. He hatched in 1990 and has his own Wikipedia page!). I urge you to check out the blog of Bruce Yolton. Yolton is an excellent wildlife photographer and knows Central Park and its surrounding area as if it were his own hand. He has recently changed his blog template and it is easy to search using the box on the right. There are recent YouTube videos of the swifts as well as one of Pale Male from the 1st of September. Yes, he is still alive. Just do a search using Pale Male on Yolton’s site to see the latest video.

Urbanhawks.com

‘H’ wrote and said she had just watched the film about Pale Male. With all that has gone on at PLO, it is sometimes easy to forget what brings one happiness. So, if you haven’t seen it or if you are like me and you need to watch something that clearly demonstrates just how people can influence a hawk’s life, check it out. It’s free and it is very heart warming and uplifting.

thelegendofpalemale.net

LGK (Lime-Green-Black) is one of the favourite male Albatrosses and is the father of Taiki, last year’s Royal Cam chick. LGK has returned to Taiaroa Head! Here is the announcement by Sharon Dunne:

Damon and Gabby continue to work on restorations on their nest. Just look at the huge stick Samson brought in!

Harriet and M15 continue to work on their nest and rebounding.

Nest News:

The eyases at 367 Collins Street are simply having a fabulous time wandering up and down the gutter. It seems to cause some confusion in the adults still but everyone is coping well. Mum loves her perch and as ‘A’ notes, the pair of them don’t seem to fully understand their duties so both are hunting and bringing prey. I love it – cooperative parenting. In fact, Osprey Mums often start hunting when the ospreys turn 30 days. It really helps during then and fledge when more prey is required.

The Melbourne Four were fed 5 times yesterday. In fact, five seems to be the average feeding per day. I have not sat down to compare delivery times. Once I tracked a hawk family that delivered prey 7 times a day at almost the exact same times. It was like they had a food supply delivery! The four ate at 0628 for 20 minutes, then again at 1108 for 7 minutes (a snack), at 1209 for 22 minutes, at 1540 for 17 minutes and their last meal at 1915 for 16 minutes. Mum continues to perch above the scrape box.

This adorable video of Diamond feeding little Rubus and Indigo popped up on my screen. It is now 6 days old but, it just shows hot cute these two eyases are and how much they have changed. Indigo was a cotton ball then. Poor Little Rubus. I wondered if he would ever get any feathers. Rubus is quite the character, full of vinegar and mischief with as loud a voice as his brother, Izzy. ‘A’ says he is as loud as Yurruga, too!!! It is hard to imagine how much they have grown in 5 days. Just look. They are all white down with no pin feathers.

Meals are coming in on a regular basis for Indigo and Rubus. The pair of them are a delight. Like any younger sibling, Rubus wants to do everything that Indigo does. He has now migrated over to Cilla’s stones to stay with Indigo! And he is enjoying the camera.

The weather appears to not be so good at Port Lincoln. It is now 1439 and I have not seen a fish arrive on the nest since the large breakfast fish. It is entirely possible that Dad has not been able to catch anything. There is an image of Mum eating a fish by herself at 2016 (the clock on the camera is incorrect). She is the one that I worry about. She needs to eat – a bite for Big, one for Middle, and then one for Mum. That would be good! She does not require as much prey as Dad as he is actively fishing but, she has been out fishing and will probably continue to do so to supplement the takings.

If you have been watching the Port Lincoln nest and noted more deliveries to the ospreys on Sunday in Australia (when they wake up it will be Monday), please do let me know.

The cam operator did some really good close ups of the ospreys yesterday. You can see how their feathers are developing and once again, we get a look at those gorgeous amber eyes.

Migration:

We have been following the Black Stork family of Karl II from Estonia to their winter homes in the central part of Africa. There has been no recent transmission from the female, Kaia. Her last transmission was from Chad on the 16th of October. There has been no news from Karl II. His last transmission was from Egypt on the 18th of October. It is likely that both of the adults form the Karla National Forest nest are out of range for transmissions. The two fledglings with satellite transmitters are Bonus and Waba. Waba flew 161 km and is now in Turkey near Antalya along the coast.

Bonus flew 106 km and is near the village of Gravita in Romania.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Wish for fish at Port Lincoln. All is well at the other nests. The Bald Eagles are busy building and there is word that an artificial nest might go up for Connie and Clive at Captiva as the trees are mostly destroyed – the ones good for Eagles. Take care everyone – see you soon! Please note that my check on breakfast feedings in Australia will be coming out late. Just wanted to let you know.

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sharon Dunne aka Lady Hawk videos, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, AEF-NEFL, Looduskalender, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, BBC, Royal Albatross FB Group, and Charles Stuart Falcon Cam.

Thursday in Bird World

Oh, we started out with more snow this morning! And with it came the return of the European Starlings – a few of them! The phone caught the flakes coming down reasonably well. For now it has stopped and the small feeders with the butter bark, mealworms, and hand chopped peanuts have been filled for the third time. Gosh, they love those mealworms in the winter.

Poor things. This is before we cleared a bit between the piles of snow. You can see one Starling down with thee Sparrows trying to find seed that had dropped from the feeder.

There are at least 60-75 House Sparrows (at a quick count) in the Lilacs. Dyson, our seed sucking Grey Squirrel, has found a litre of Black Oil seed in the square feeder with the dome. He sits and eats and sways like he has his own personal swing. No one bothers Dyson when he is eating but they do hope he gets off balance and dumps a lot of seed below. We won’t tell Dyson that in the evening we put our special food under that feeder for Hedwing, the garden rabbit, who has been showing up at dusk and dawn and sometimes in the middle of the night. It appears he lives under our deck.

So my birds are fed and as happy as they can be til the wind and the snow start again in a few hours.

There is some good news in the world today and there is some very sad news regarding wildlife. Lots of animal rights issues rising to the top of the news. Brief highlights:

The City of Dallas, Texas is protecting two of the cities favourite raptors!

https://dallas.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-09-22-bald-eagles-white-rock-lake/?fbclid=IwAR3j0kOCOyuruYEWEsoR0wtkkaeceODJB8zLsnaWWodWzzPi3rilKJ3a31Y

As Dallas protects, people in Britain are calling for criminal charges to be laid to the individuals that killed 2 of the 5 White-tailed Eagles reintroduced to the Isle of Wright. The shooting took place near or over a shooting estate. Chris Packham and other environmentalists have called for the end of killing animals for fun!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/10/two-white-tailed-eagles-found-dead-in-southern-england

Criminal charges have also been laid against one of England’s footballers for dropping and kicking his cat. The fine is set at 250,000 GBP – yes, you read that right. You can find the story on line if you are interested. Now if we could please get all authorities involved and people educated on the rights of animals – and our beloved birds.

The one thing that sent my granddaughter to becoming Vegan six years ago was the culling of male chicks. At the time they were simply tossed alive into a machine not unlike a wood chipper. Today, Germany has ended the practice of culling the male chicks from the females.

Everyone continues to wait to see how the current H5N1 highly pathogenic avian flu will impact European birds. It has been around since 1998 according to virologist Thijs Kuiken. It is rearing its head this year in the UK and has already crossed the Atlantic into Newfoundland, Canada. At least one wildlife rehabber has had almost all the birds in their care killed because of it. Very sad. That was the Whitby Wildlife Centre. They will not be able to resume caring for the wildlife injured for at least 1 year, perhaps 2.

The camera is working on the Port Lincoln Barge and so is the sound. We just can’t see anything but the deck! Ervie was definitely there earlier. I had to turn the sound down. He even sounded like he was getting hoarse and then everything stopped. I hope he got a fish or flew off to find one.

Gabby and Samsons, NE26 and 27 are really changing. They are certainly no longer little fluffy balls. Today they had the rest of the bird on the nest following by some fish. They were really full!

The weather has really improved in Jacksonville.

It is a gorgeous day to incubate eggs over at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.

OGK has returned after three days at sea to relieve his mate, YRK at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Royal Albatross. The image below is actually of YRK feeding the Royal Cam chick that I took late last night. How touching.

To date 26 Royal Albatross eggs have hatched out of 35. The other 9 will not hatch due to embryo deaths.

Dennis Brecht makes frequent and regular visits to the nest of The Love Trio on the Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. So far this year he has not spotted Valor I working with Starr and Valor II on the nest. This trio was extremely unique and popular. The question is: does Valor I have his own nest or has something happened to him? We wait for an answer. Brecht has contacted the Stewards of the Mississippi for assistance and finding the answer to the mystery.

The Ventana Wildlife Society is releasing a few condors into the wild currently. One of those was Condor 340 who was treated for lead poisoning.

Condor 340 hatched in 2004 in the Oregon Zoo. Its name is Kun-Wac-Sun. It was released into the Pinnacles National Park in 2005.

Wheeee. How beautiful. A wild Condor flying free again in the Pinnacles.

Kincaid at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle nest of Anna and Louis was 4 weeks old yesterday. Oh, this eaglet is getting so big! Finishing up getting its thermal down and you can see the tips of a few juvenile feathers.

I was so happy to see the Captiva Osprey Cam back up and running. Lena is rolling eggs and calling Andy wanting a fish and a break.

You can see the three beautiful eggs. Oh, let us all hope that by laying their eggs a month early this couple will be able to fledge Osprey chicks off Santibel Island.

Hatch watch begins this weekend.

Those are just a few of the many nests to check on. I am really hoping to see Ervie today with a fish! Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Osprey Cam, NEFlorida and the AEF, Duke Farms, KNF Bald Eagles, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, and Ventana Wildlife.

OGK sees his chick for the first time!

OGK returns to Taiaroa Head, the home of the Royal Albatross colony, at the end of the Otago Peninsula in New Zealand on the 28th of January 2022.

“Taiaroa Head Lighthouse, NZ” by Don Shearman

OGK (Orange-Green-Black) has been away from the Quarry Track nest for five (5) full days and a lot has happened while he has been foraging out on the seas. His chick, the Royal Cam chick for 2022, hatched at 19:40 on the 26th of January. On the nest when the chick was returned from the incubator was OGK’s mate of fifteen (15) years, YRK (Yellow-Red-Black).

Before anyone could even sense that OGK was near, YRK started looking around and then she broke into a sky call at 12:32:19.

At 12:33:07, OGK appears. He has landed up above and walked down to the Quarry Track where the nest is located.

OGK breaks into a sky call as he gets nearer to the nest and YRK. Sky calls are a way of greeting.

The formality of the greeting was followed by gentle allopreening between the couple.

Preening is when a bird grooms its own feathers. Allopreening is when it grooms the feathers of another bird. In the case of this Royal cam couple, the allopreening is a form of bonding, of renewing their ties, of a rite of courtship.

The Royal Albatross spend so much time away. The opportunities when they switch duties when there is a small chick on the nest are rare moments. When the chick is older, they will both be out foraging. They may or may not arrive back at the nest at the same times. In the past we have been lucky to see them and to watch them spend time together.

YRK stops and spends some time sitting on the grass by OGK and their chick before leaving for foraging. She departs at 12:45.

OGK is perfectly content brooding his new chick!

The NZ Department of Conservation put together a short information page about Albatross behaviours. They might have included some you have been wondering about. Check it out!

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/royal-albatross-behaviour-on-and-off-royal-cam/

Here is a short video clip by Liz of YRK feeding the chick. It is absolutely fascinating and a delight to see how this wee bill and Mum’s go together to get nourishment. The chick is checked two times a day and weighted to ensure that it is getting enough ‘squid shake’. If not, the rangers will step in and supplement the feeding. There are no worries here. The chick is steadily gaining weight!

The Royal Albatross are so gentle and so loving. The streaming cam for the Royal Cam couple of the year is certainly a place to turn to if you are feeling stressed out by the happenings on other nests. It is very calming for the soul. You will also gain an acute appreciation of the New Zealand Government and its Department of Conservation. All of the birds are cared for. They get medical attention, spraying when it is too hot, and supplementary feedings whether they are a chick or an adult. It is certainly a place that gives back to these beautiful sea creatures for all the joy they bring us.

Here is a link to the live streaming cam. It won’t be long until there will be a contest for the name of the chick. That is always exciting.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is just wonderful news that OGK is home safe! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Just a quick note: My Friday blog might be late. The garden birds will finish off all their seed and suet tomorrow so I will be off to replenish their stock. I am hoping that the weather is conducive to checking out some more of our local birds. Maybe even see that Bald Eagle! Wish me luck.

Late Friday in Bird World

There is excitement on Taiaroa Head. The Royal Cam chick for 2022 pipped its egg today and the NZ DOC rangers promptly removed that egg from under YRK replacing it with a dummy. Why you ask? Fly strike is when flies lay their eggs, in the hot summer months, on various things including hatching Albatross chicks. Fly strike can be fatal as the fly eggs hatch into maggots that eat their host. So, for the safety of the very endangered Royal Albatross, the eggs are removed at pip to hatch in an incubator. The chick will be returned to the parents to feed and brood as soon as it is safe to do so. Last time OGK was on the nest. Wonder if he will fly in just time time for the return of the chick? Oh, it is so exciting.

The NZ DOC made a short video of the removal of the egg:

At the end of the day, the Kisatchie National Forest yet-to-be-named eaglet was fed 14 times between 06:52 and 17:41. That is 14 feedings in 10 hours and 45 minutes. Wow.

Anna wanted to feed the little eaglet at 17:08 but the baby had something over its beak. You can see it in the image below. Turns out it is some of Anna’s underbelly feathers. Anna tried to feed the chick but it could eat with that big wad over its beak.

Anna realizes the problem and begins to pull the fluff off the little one.

To the relief of everyone, Anna removed the fluff without a problem and the baby had its penultimate feeding of the day.

This is one of the most hilarious Bald Eagle couples I have ever seen. Louis fills the nest with food, so much it could not possibly be eaten. If he comes around to try and have a snack without having to go fishing, Anna perks up.

This is precisely what happened below. Anna was brooding the eaglet and she sees Louis arriving. She makes this very interesting vocalization and gets up and goes over to move a piece of fish. Louis is watching all of this. The little one says, ‘Sure, Mum, if you want me to, I will eat again!’

Louis decides he will be cool and he plays ‘hide the baby’ while Anna is trying to feed the eaglet (again). In the end, Louis winds up digging in the nest and finding a piece of old fish bone which he takes with his beak and flies off the nest. Meanwhile, the little eaglet is still being fed by Mum! That was the last feeding documented before the camera froze. Maybe you had to be watching. The interaction between these two parents is so funny. Louis did do something very useful today. He brought in some more branches to build up the walls of the nest. There are places with holes in them that will need to be covered.

Dad delivered Ervie’s breakfast fish to the nest at 08:30:59.

Here comes one dedicated Osprey dad with a fish!

Ervie was so happy when he saw Dad flying in with a fish.

Later, the cam operator gave everyone some really nice close ups of Ervie staring at the water looking for fish.

Ervie focused.
Even when he was looking for fish, Ervie was prey calling to Dad.

I made a short video clip. It was wonderful to see Ervie interested in the water and the fish! Enjoy. There is a severe weather warning for Port Lincoln. The warning is for intense rainfall, severe warnings for heavy rain beginning at 16:00. Later in the evening possibilities of thunder and lighting. Stay safe Osprey family!

At the WRDC nest, it has been hot. Tomorrow they are looking for temperatures around 18 with a 40% chance of rain. I am happy to report that R2 ate and both eaglets seemed perky and happy. In the image below, R1 is full and looking out of the nest while R2 is eating.

R1 full and distracted so R2 can get a nice feeding.

Happy sleeping babies.

R1 and R2 in a food coma.

CROW has announced a virtual speaker series. Some of you might be interested. The guest is Ron Magill, ‘Mr Miami Zoo’ who is responsible for this human made nest for Ron and Rita. It sounds like a really interesting topic.

It will get down to 11 degrees C at the nest of Samson and Gabby in Jacksonville, Florida. That is 51.8 F. There is a chance of rain on Saturday.

Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Nest. 21 January 2022. Gabby rolling the eggs.

The American Eagle Foundation posted the following information today about hatching. Super informative as we wait for Gabby and Samson’s eggs to pip!

Hatching is hard work. Before starting to break out of the egg the chick has three things it must accomplish. It must first switch from being dependent on the oxygen diffusing through the pores in the eggshell into the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell and start to use its own lungs to breathe. The chick takes its first proper breath and fills its lungs the moment it punctures the air cell inside the top of the egg. (Internal Pip) This step is essential because by this stage of development there is not enough oxygen diffusing through the pores in the shell to support the chick’s respiratory requirements. Taking a breath from the air cell provides the oxygen and the energy necessary to break through the eggshell. Before it takes that first breath, the chick has to start shutting off the blood supply to the network of blood vessels that line the inner surface of the shell, and withdraw that blood into its body. The blood vessels are programmed to close off at the point where they emerge from the bird’s umbilicus, and just before the chick starts cutting round the shell. Third, the chick has to take what is left of the yolk and draw it into its abdomen. It does this by sucking up the remaining yolk through the stalk that connects the yolk to the chick’s small intestines. This “yolk sac” is a food reserve for the first few hours or days after hatching.

Hopefully we will have a pip tomorrow at NEFlorida. We are also watching the Achieva Osprey nest of Jack and Diane. There have been gifts of food and mating on the nest. Diane normally lays her eggs on the 22 or 23rd of January. Oh, so close! Stay tuned for news. So we are on pip watch, hatch watch, and egg watch! Crazy.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and my video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the WRDC.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 11 continued

It is 13:14 in Sydney Australia’s Olympic Park Forest. Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, has 8 eggs she is incubating in the White-Bellied Sea Eagles nest. So far today she has had a visit by three Ring-tail possums in the night and two Ravens. The possums did not bother Daisy’s eggs and the Ravens sitting and cawing in the upper branches of the tree did not cause any issues for Daisy. She seemed to ignore them completey – she kept her cool. They might well come back today and the sea eagles might show up but for now, our little duck is resting. She took 5 hours off -divided into two time periods – to go and forage. She has taken the opportunity to sleep while incubating.

Daisy seems to be developing a strategy to thwart both the Ravens and the sea eagles. She stays on the nest leaving right at sunset and then leaving again 2 or 3 hours before sunrise. That way she can eat while the others are sleeping and be on her eggs to protect them if the Ravens visit. Last year she played tag with Dad. So far they have not encountered one another. Dad did come one evening but Daisy was foraging.

Daisy is such a beautiful duck. I love how the down looks like it has little twinkle stars in it.

At 13:46 a visitor came to the nest – a quiet visitor. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird fly from the right to the left across the nest and land. My heart sank. I thought the Ravens had gone into stealth mode. But, no. It was a Pied Currwaong. You might recall that it is the Currawongs that chase the Sea Eagle fledglings out of the forest. Or you might recall that a group of them pecked at the head of WBSE 27 causing it to have to go into care (it was also hungry and dehydrated). They can be mean. Daisy kept her head down but keeping her eye on every movement the bird made.

In the top image, the Currawong is flying between the two branches on the left.

The Currawong has landed on the branch directly in front of Daisy. Daisy is watching with one eye and keeping still.

You can see it better in this image. It continues to fly around the tree. I can see its shadow. Perhaps it is more curious. It is unclear to me if the Currawongs are a threat to Daisy. I must check.

The first half of the day has not been totally uneventful. Ravens did land on the tree but did not go to the nest and Daisy ignored them. Now the Currawong. She seems nonplused so I am going to presume she is not taking the bird as a threat. Whew. Anxious for a moment there. In fact, I am certain that all of us are anxious and would like to grab Daisy and give her a safe nest box. Sometimes watching but not being able to do anything is extremely frustrating. I suspect you feel the same. I wonder how many of you are eating more cookies or candies watching Daisy to help with the stress???? I certainly am! The holiday baking is not going to last long at this rate.

Other Bird World News. The State of Illinois has passed a Bird Safe Buildings Act to eliminate the death of millions of migrating birds. Dallas has been turning off the lights to help during migration but Illinois is taking this to the actual construction of the building. This is a good thing!

I have found a new Bald Eagle Streaming Cam for you. There is a huge interest in birds where I grew up – Oklahoma. There are so many hawks and eagles. Bartlesville has set up a streaming cam for their Bald Eagle couple. I do not know anything about this nest but it has been recommended to me. Here is the link:

If you like images of beautiful birds, here are some amazing captures in super 8k resolution. Thanks ‘S’ for sending me this link. Some of these are simply stunning.

Speaking of beautiful bird images. Every year we travel to Toronto where the Royal Ontario Museum puts the winners of the international bird and wildlife photography contests – from youngsters to seniors, amateur to professional – on display. The results of one of the many photographic contests have been posted on the Internet. There were 22,000 entries for Bird Photographer of the Year. The prize went to an amazing image – you will have to go to the link to see it – I do not want to spoil the surprise. There are categories for young and old. You will not be disappointed and if you love them, there is a book with the 300 winning entries in all categories. Here is the link to this year’s winners:

https://www.birdpoty.com/2021-winners?fbclid=IwAR0GP7AE4gxcS3iREKgIYPmJViqp07iDOvsU9dUnFZGG_odSMvCarCIboLs

I will be monitoring Daisy throughout the rest of the day. Other than the Noisy Miners and horrific sounding Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, I hope to hear absolutely nothing more than the hum of the streaming cam. My next report on Daisy will be tomorrow (Monday the 13th) around 13:00. All of the other nests are doing just fine. I am hoping to see an egg on the nest of Gabby and Samson tomorrow or the next day. Fingers crossed. And mark your calendars because in less than two weeks – 12 days to be exact – we could have a hatch on Harriet and M15s nest in Fort Myers. Honestly, I can’t wait – it is called ‘Bobble head Withdrawal.’ The couple spent some time bonding today before they get busy with little ones. And YRK has flown in to relieve OGK after 8 days of incubating duties at the Royal Albatross Colony on Taiaroa Head, NZ.

Thank you so much for joining me and caring so much for Daisy. I believe that thousands of people sending love and positive wishes to Daisy and her precious eggs is nothing short of wonderful. If only she knew. Wow. I am blown away just thinking about it.

Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and to ‘S’ for sending me the link to those amazing bird images.

Royal Cam Family for 2021-22

Just go OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. It is OGK and YRK, Princess Pippa Atawhai’s parents. Oh, how lucky we are! Here is the announcement posted by Sharon Dunne:

Oh, my gosh. I am speechless. This is such wonderful news. Is there an Albatross Jig that we can do to celebrate?

You can watch the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22 right here:

Wow. Just wow. OGK has to be one of the greatest dads to land on Taiaroa Head. This is going to be such fun.

Wednesday in Bird World

Let’s start off with what is on everyone’s mind: Has there been a confirmed sighting of Yurruga? Yesterday, Dr Cilla Kinross was inspired by a very quick prey drop at the scrape. Diamond flew into the trees. Cilla was in the trees looking half an hour later – she only saw Diamond. Diamond returned to the scrape with quite a large crop also. Some believed they had heard Yurruga calling but, Cilla is unable to confirm that. So the answer is – we simply do not know. Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday when he was on a building during a storm. We can only wait.

My goodness that little one was such a cutie.

October 20. Yurruga and Diamond

Diamond was really beautiful this morning as the soft glow of the sun worked its way through the fog.

Both parents, Xavier and Diamond, have been inside the scrape – scraping. They also had some bonding moments this morning at sunrise.

My heart aches for them.

The second question of the day is what is going on with Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon of the Campanile, mate to Annie, that was injured by a male intruder that is trying to cosy up with Annie? Here is the latest news.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers on Taiaroa Head are shutting down the streaming cam so that they can move it to the site of the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22. There are lots of guesses as to who the couple might be. The announcement is due tomorrow.

One of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Samson and Gabby, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville have been putting the finishing touches on their nest. They are perfecting the Spanish moss lining the nest cup. Now all we need are some eggs!

Gabby doing some final inspections this morning.

The three lads at the Port Lincoln all had fish yesterday. Falky had more than Ervie or Bazza. Falky has become a master at slipping the fish out of Dad or Mum’s talons. A magician.

There is a lovely shot of the PLO Mum. She has done an extraordinary job raising these three boys to fledge this year (with Dad’s good help). Yesterday she even spent some time feeding Bazza. He is definitely a Mum’s boy!

Bazza can be a bit naughty. I know that the banders were certain that there were three males. Someone looking at Bazza’s legs and that beautiful necklace in the image below might mistake him for a lovely female.

Bazza and Falky sleep with their heads tucked under their wings – adult style – standing on the nest. Ervie is sleeping over on the perch or the ropes. They are all doing well. I continue to pinch myself. This Osprey nest really turned itself around this year to fledge all three hatchlings.

There are many articles coming out in international newspapers and academic journals on the effect of warming oceans on the seabirds including the beloved Osprey. I picked one of those for you as some are frustrating. They allow me to embed the article but then want you to subscribe to read it! That is a major irritant to me – like Subarus are to Ferris Akel!

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-albatross-60906

It is a grey damp day, 3 degrees C. The snow is melting. There are lots of birds at the feeders. A large European Starling is sharing the peanut and bark butter feeder with some cute little House Sparrows.

The tiny suet balls called Bark Butter by our supplier are a really big hit since winter has set in. Junior has been around to get the corn while Dyson was busy elsewhere. Nice to see all of them.

One of my former students posted this today on FB. It is a perfect little giggle for all of us!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Eagle and the AEF for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

From Port Lincoln to Kauai to Juneau

Oh, gosh. We really are going to miss these three boys when they finally leave the Port Lincoln barge. Ervie was wet this morning. He has been focusing very hard on finding a fish and catching it. We might never know, sadly, when that moment occurs – unless he brings it up to the ropes like Dad. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Bazza seems to have landed the first fish this morning on the nest. Falky doesn’t seem bothered and Ervie had flown off earlier.

Port Lincoln gave us a nice image of Bazza over on the ropes. These three males are quite handsome.

When Ervie flew back to the barge he was really keen on preening those feathers.

You can really see that sharply hooked beak that helps to tear the fish so they are easier to eat. Unlike Peregrine falcons, Ospreys do not have a tomial tooth. In my images it is a bit difficult to see that valve which seals the Osprey’s nostrils when they dive for their fish but, it is there.

Looking at that beautiful image of Ervie below you will notice that the Ospreys lack that very heavy eyebrow of some of the other raptors. Instead, they have that incredible black line which passes from the eye down to the neck. That black line helps them with the glare.

Ervie missed the the 8:14:14 fish that Dad brought in. Falky claimed in.

Port Lincoln has reported that Ervie has been flying farther. They also note that he has been checking out the coast. Here is the latest map of Ervie’s movements from the barge.

Ervie and his siblings will get their adult plumage at their first moult which is fully completed by the time they are a year old. That change in plumage does not indicate Ervie’s sexual maturity. Osprey do not normally breed until they are three years of age. The 2019 fledgling from Port Lincoln, Calypso, has been spotted sitting on a branch with a male. Might there be chicks next year? That would be marvellous!

When Penny Olsen’s book on the raptors of Australia was published in 1995, the map of Australia indicated that the Eastern Ospreys were located only around the coast. Ironically, that map did not indicate any ospreys in the Eyre Peninsula. This is one of the things that has changed since its publication. We have to look no further than the Port Lincoln Opsrey Barge and Thistle Island. We also know from Solly being the first tracked Osprey that the birds do go inland. Not all that far but further inland than anyone had understood previously. We are fortunate that Solly was able to provide so much information to us in the 14 months that she was alive. Port Lincoln can now compare the dispersal of a female to that of a male with the tracking of Ervie.

There are many threats to Osprey. I imagine that everyone reading my blog can name at least four. I want to add warming seas and the decline in fish numbers as yet another.

As you know, I highly recommend Dr Marc Bekoff’s book, The Emotional Lives of Animals. He also wrote The Ten Truths with Jane Goodall. A very moving story is coming from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Some of you might recognize the name of Hob Osterlund. She posted a very moving story that can be added to the cornucopia of evidence that Bekoff and Goodall have that support animals having emotions which they express. Once you have read those two reasonably priced books, you will never ever apologize again for anthropomorphizing animals again.

Here is that posting:

Tears.

One of my readers ‘B’ asked me if I had seen the snow at Glacier Gardens. I had not! So I went to check. Oh, my goodness, it is so beautiful. If you close your eyes you can see that beautiful Kindness using that nest and those branches like a trampoline. What a magnificent juvie Kindness was. She is off eating Salmon along the river.

On Taiaroa Head, 122 birds have been seen so far and there are 36 eggs laid. No mention yet on who the Royal cam stars for 2021-22 will be! Soon. And there has been no update on Grinnell. No further updates on WBSE 27 either.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and to Hob Osterlund and her FB page for that moving story. Much appreciated.

Thursday in Bird World

Peregrine Falcon, Grinnell, is making all the headlines out in San Francisco. He was released yesterday and was seen on the Campanile. There are watchers on the ground but so far, everything seems to be relatively quiet. Everyone is cheering for Grinnell to get back with Annie. Only time will tell but, for now, stay safe Grinnell!

Was it a fludge? a recovery? not a real fledge? I have no idea but yesterday after having a robust encounter with Ervie, Bazza found himself in Dad’s man cave. He quickly figured out he could fly to the ropes and then to the perch – which he did in record time (2.5 hours). Then he flew overhead before landing on the nest wanting fish.

Bazza was rewarded this morning with the first fish of the day. Congratulations! That delivery came at 06:28:00.

Both Falkey and Ervie are very interested in Bazza’s fish. Very interested.

Oh, dear. Ownership of the fish is being challenged.

Ervie got it!

Ervie is still working on that fish. Maybe he will pass some of it along to Falkey who is getting closer to wanting to try and take it.

Oh, my. Mum has decided to fly in and get that fish! Here she comes. Mum is teaching them a good lesson about how they can lose their dinner – from another bird flying in and taking it.

Mum gets the fish from Ervie and flies off with it. A good lesson for the lads. Eat fast! Protect your fish. Another bird can swoop in and take it.

News coming out of the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, NZ, is that there are now 34 eggs laid. The NZ DOC rangers have candled 11 of those eggs and everyone of them was fertile. Amazing. There are still eggs to be laid and it is noted that there are quite a few first time breeding birds. Their eggs have been placed in an incubator and will be returned to the parents once a regular pattern is established for them to incubate. Until then, they will have dummy eggs. For those of you wondering about Button and his partner (Button is Grandma’s son), they have yet to lay an egg. Fingers crossed! No Royal Cam family has been selected yet.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.