As the Nest Turns 10 August

Ranger Sharyn Broni of the NZ DOC confirms there had to be adjustments made to the data coming in about Tiaki. She is on the headland -probably down the hill – and has not left!

Tiaki is 230 days old today. She is definitely in the range for fledging. Let us all hope she comes back up the hill so that we can see her take off on this amazing adventure – her life.

The Juvenile Green Heron was still south of my city on a small river fishing this morning. I am hoping that he might still be there this evening. While Blue Herons are common in my province, a Green Heron is a very rare bird. It has created much excitement in the birding community here. A friend sent me an image from early this morning. Isn’t this a lovely bird?

Ever wondered about those beautiful lochs in Scotland where the Osprey live? My bucket list includes a trip to Loch Arkaig – the home of Louis and Aila and now Louis and Dorcha. Louis and Aila sealed my love for Ospreys when they took such good care of little JJ7, The Captain, last year. Someone posted a link to a video and it is grand. I want to share it with you. It is a quick trip around Loch Arkaig — the scenery is beautiful.

Today has been the day of sharing. My friend ‘N’ sent me the link to an article about parrots. I wish I knew more about these lovely birds other than seeing them as food for our raptors in Australia! Have a read! (I do hope you can open it!).

In other bird news. The wait is on for the first hatch at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. This will be followed by the Orange and Melbourne peregrine falcons towards the end of the month. The sea eagles are doing well. Jean-Marie Dupart who works at Nature et Oiseaux Senegal posted the images of the first two Ospreys to reach the shores of Senegal this year. If you want to have a look at some stunning avian images, check out Jean-Marie’s FB page! You do not have to be a friend to enjoy the variety of wildlife in Senegal. It appears that Aran has finally departed the Glaslyn Valley and started his migration. There has been no positive sighting of Iris and we await confirmation that she is still in Missoula or has left for her winter home.

We are being blessed with beautiful weather. In years past, there was always a frost in Manitoba in August but not this year. All of the flowers are still blooming. Indeed, my Hibiscus which has out performed any of the others has lots of new buds. One of them opened this morning. So happy to wake up and see that beauty in the middle of September.

Take care everyone. Have a great Friday. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shot: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC. Thank you to ‘N’ and ‘B’ who sent me the article and the photo. I really appreciate these.

Did Tiaki fledge?

The winds were blowing strong over Taiaroa Head yesterday. Albies filled the skies.

Even the container ship was pulling to one side they were so strong.

Hovering chicks were trying their wings. One, in particular, caught the eye of the camera operator.

Is this Tiaki fledgling? the 9th of September at 18:18? at 229 days old? If it is, the Rangers were really lucky to have gotten her GPS tracker on her yesterday.

We will have to wait for confirmation from Ranger Sharyn on Friday. Wow. I wonder how many other hovering chicks fledged yesterday in those strong winds? See how the Albie catchies the right wind and they are simply off. That is what Albatross and Ospreys do. They catch the winds. This allows them not to expend so much energy flapping. They are like gliders covering great distances with little effort.

Have a great day everyone. I will watch for the announcement and confirm later today. Ranger Sharyn and her team will have to be out checking all of the chicks to see who is still with them. Hopefully, they will go and check on Tiaki first. She did not sleep in or near the nest last night.

Thanks to your GPS we will get to see Tiaki’s location til her first molt. Yippee.

Tiaki practicing her hovering earlier. Stay safe Tiaki – good winds and lots of fish.

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

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Time with Tiaki

It is 6 September in Australia and the Royal Cam chick, Tiaki, is 225 days old. She is the daughter of LGL (Lime Green Lime) and LGK (Lime Green Black). They have been together as a couple since 2017. Their very first chick was also a Royal cam chick. Karere hatched in 2019 and successfully fledged. They laid their egg this season on 4 November 2020 and Tiaki hatched on 24 January. It looks like they will also have a successful fledge this year! Congratulations LGL and LGK!

It is early morning. Tiaki is not at her nest. She is looking out at what is happening around her. It is going to be a gorgeous day with lots of wind.

Tiaki has been really exercising her wings and has hovered quite high on several occasions.

Lady Hawk caught Tiaki’s first hovering – 3 weeks ago – in a short video.

Here she is today spreading those magnificent wings. There are only little pieces of the baby down left.

Her ultimate destination – the sea.

If the average age at fledge is 232 days then it is possible that in a week, Tiaki will begin her big adventure. She will remain on the open seas only returning to Taiaro Head in 5-6 years. It will be wonderful to welcome back and to watch her do all those amazing courtship dances with the other juveniles. For those of you that adore this lovely little albatross, stay tuned to the screen. This gal really wants to fly.

It is 15:32 and Tiaki is away from her nest. It is so windy. I wonder if a parent will arrive to feed her?

Dad, LGK – Lime Green Black- had been at sea for quite some time. He has now returned on 3 and 5 September to feed his squealing daughter. I love this video that Lady Hawk posted of LGK’s visit and the feeding. Note the sky calls! And also keep on the lookout for the neighbouring chick, SSTrig. This little corner is quite the soap opera!

I just went to check on Tiaki again and look – someone is flying in. Is it LGK or LGL, the mom?

It’s Dad.

Here comes Tiaki calling to Dad so he won’t leave without giving her that wonderful squid shake. She is moving as fast as she can.

Tiaki acts like she has eaten in weeks. She is so excited and you could hear her whee, whee for quite a distance.

Tiaki gets a nice short feeding – and she always wants more and more. Dad tries to oblige her.

Tiaki doesn’t want Dad to go. Since 3 September, LGK has been in three times to feed his daughter. That is a good record.

I wonder if he knows that his time with her is growing shorter and shorter. Perhaps he will fish close to the nest and maybe fly in when mom is there, too. Wouldn’t it be grand to have a family reunion one more time? Absolutely.

Dad has stopped for a rest a little ways from Tiaki. Tiaki is in the middle of the photo and LGK is the head to the right of Tiaki. It is almost impossible to just sit with Tiaki now. She gets excited and wants more and more food. Sometimes LGK returns to do a second feeding after he has rested but, since he was just here yesterday maybe he has fed Tiaki all the squid he has.

Perhaps he will wait awhile and see if the strong winds bring Mom in?

Several times, LGK, Dad, flapped his wings at the edge of the cliff as if to show Taiki that it was a good place to fledge.

A few times I thought he had left but Tiaki would still be doing some clacking. Then dad’s wing would appear. It was hard to know precisely when he took off there were so many birds flying around.

Oh, my. Look what is happening. Is this the other parent flying in? I was not able to confirm the leg band but the camera followed the bird and we could see a chick being fed. I sure thought it was Tiaki. Hopefully someone else will be able to confirm all of this. If it was LGL then her and LGK missed one another by minutes.

The parents will not know when Tiaki fledges – unless of course they are there. I wonder if this has ever happened? They will return a few times to feed their chick and then when they cannot find her, they will take off. The couple will spend the next 14 months on the open sea building up their energy and feeding themselves. They will both meet here on Taiaroa Head in November of 2022 to begin another season in the hope of having a third chick that survives to fledge.

It is near the end of the season on Taiaroa Head. To date there have been no fledges but they will begin soon. You can still join the action, here’s the link:

I know that so many of you love the Albatross. Did you know that 15 of the 22 species of Albatross are facing extinction? It is because of the long haul fishing trawlers. Albatrosses feed on the surface of the ocean. You can see them flying about the fishing vessels who put out fish head and guts as the process the fish on board. This attracts the Osprey who get caught by the cables and are dragged under the boat and drown. The Albatross also get caught on the baited hooks of the boats. It is horrible and it doesn’t have to happen. Please check out the information on the Albatross Task Forde to fead all of the information and the solutions. There are things you can do to help!

https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/policy-insight/marine-and-coastal/saving-seabirds-globally/the-albatross-task-force/#:~:text=The%20Albatross%20Task%20Force%20%E2%80%93%20an,the%20deadliest%20fisheries%20for%20albatrosses.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay well, see you soon.

Thank you also to the Cornell Bird Lab and the New Zealand Department of Conservation for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Late Friday and Saturday in Bird World, 28 August

It is late Friday night on the Canadian Prairies. The much needed rain has paused and the weather news says it will start again soon. The rosemary and thyme growing in the garden boxes are thriving as are the Vermillionaires, planted specifically for the hummers. Perhaps they will find them as they return to their winter grounds.

This is the first year that there have not been hummers in early July around the flowers.

The tracking information for Pikne and Udu is in. These are the two fledglings of Karl and Kaia. Sadly, Tuul passed.

26 August tracking map shows Pikne flew only 11.5 km from her last stop. The Forum postings says, “S/he is still between the villages Mykhailivka, Khvoshchivka and Stavychany, Khmelnytskyi Oblast in Ukraine.” Do not let this short distance worry you. She has found a nice place to rest and feed for a day or two.

It looks like a beautiful area for Black Storks to pause in their long journey.

“File:Khmelnytskyi, Khmel’nyts’ka oblast, Ukraine – panoramio (59).jpg” by durik1980 is licensed under CC BY 3.0

The report for Udu on 26 August indicates that he is also taking a bit of a break. He flew only 6.19 km. He is eating and gaining strength from all the flying near a wildlife park in Niezgoda, Poland.

There is also a big water area for Udu similar to where Pikne is eating and resting.

This is the latest map for Udu:

The only surviving Black Storkling, Julge which means brave one), seen recently on Jan and Janika’s nest has begun his migration. This is remarkable – five days after fledging. He travelled 224 km and appears to be flying the same direction as Udu, Karl II’s male fledgling. Well done Julge. You have survived the horrors of the forest and the Raccoon Dogs that killed your siblings and you are flying. Stay safe!

One of the chatters for the Latvian Forum has been to the feeder to check on it and on Grafs and Grafiene’s storklets. The heron that we see often in the photographs remains at the feeder. Live carp could still be seen in the pond. While there, two black storklings came flying over him and into the forest. Sadly, in the excitement, he lost the card from his camera so there are no pictures. But the good news is that the feeder still has fish and that the two storklings of Grafs are together and alive. The third is believed to have followed Grafs off the nest and is feeding in a different area. This is all fantastic news.

There appears to be no activity on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. Polly Turner caught White YW looking for our Tiny Little but no Tiny Little. She is believed to have begun her first migration. White YW and Blue 35 raised three lively chicks. Dad stayed on until Tiny Little had the call of the winds to leave and made sure she was fed well. This is a great nest and we look forward to the return of White YW and Blue 35 next spring and to Tiny Little, Blue 463 (remember that number), when she returns in two years.

That nest looks so lonely and empty without Tiny Little there screaming her head off! The visual clue for an Osprey fledgling wanting food is that yelling that Tiny Little to White YW every time she saw him —- in case he forgot that she was hungry!

Diamond is still holding that egg! She had everyone excited yesterday but no, no egg yet.

Mrs G and Aran are still in Wales. The lovely couple sitting close to one another on the perch looking over the beautiful valley that is their territory and fighting off any intruders.

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom. Lovely. We hope they both return safe and well to raise a lovely clutch next year.

The camera operator gave a tour of the other side of the nest. Have a wee peek.

The nest has everything! A river with fish!

What a magnificent valley, so serene.

Maya is still at the Rutland Water Manton Bay nest with Blue 33. She was caught on camera for a couple of brief seconds today. So like Mrs G, Maya is still hanging back from starting her migration.

I have received word that WBSE 28 ate well and had a crop at one of the feedings yesterday. Here is a video that the Sea Eagle Cam posted to reassure everyone.

At Taiaroa Head, the Royal Cam Princess for 2021, Taiki, is getting really good at hovering. She is busy as a bee these days wandering around and visiting with her neighbours. If you want to see more of this little fluff ball, now is the time to watch her. It is near the beginning of September and fledge is usually the middle of the month. Perhaps she is precocious and will fly off earlier!

Can’t you just hear her saying wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! She is destined to spend the next 5 or 6 years of her life flying over the seas of the Southern Ocean in search of food. Remember – every chance you get lobby to stop long-line fishing without bird protections. They are easy fixes and every fishing trawler can use these covered hooks and sparkly lines without much cost. They can bait the hooks and lower them at night at no cost with no harm to the sea birds.

About the time Tiaki flies off, Gabby will be arriving at the Bald Eagle nest to meet her handsome Samson near Jacksonville. Doesn’t time go by so quickly?

Every day I learn something new. In researching nature centres and the rights of animals I have come across some interesting information. I thought I would share it with you in the form of a very short little game. Meant for fun!

  1. Approximately how many birds were killed in 1886 to provide feathers for women’s hats in the US? a) 10 million; b) 15 million; c) 2 million; d) 7 million; or e) 5 million.
  2. Which of the following, mixed with Xylene and fuel oil, was sprayed in the Patuxent River in 1945? a) chlorine; b) Agent Orange; c) DDT; d) 2.4 D; or e) MPCA.
  3. Which of the following began in elite hunting circles? a) environmentalism; or b) conservation
  4. Which of the following was first concerned with air and water pollution? a) environmentalism; or b) conservation
  5. Who is the individual credited with lobbying to protect the Bald Eagle from hunters in the early 20th century?
  6. Can private citizens in the US sue over alleged violations of the US Endangered Species Act on behalf of a tree, an Osprey, spotted owls, red squirrels, etc? a) Yes or b) No
  7. Jackie and Shadow are Bald Eagles who have their nest at Big Bear, California. What chemical, not outlawed for nearly 50 years, continues to cause their egg shells to be thin?
  8. In 2021, deep sea explorers discovered something horrific off the coast of Catalina in California. It was a dumping ground for barrels of what pesticide?
  9. What is the biggest killer of songbirds in Canada?
  10. I am a nestling raptor. I am flapping both of my wings up and down in unison with my head held low. What am I doing?
  11. I am a nestling raptor. I am pancaked in the nest cup, keeping my head as low as I can. Am I happy that food is arriving on the nest? Afraid of a predator? or signalling that my mum is flying to the nest?
  12. How many deer hunting licenses were sold through the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin (or on line) in 2020? a) 226,718; b) 873,001; c) 174,569; d) 820,299; or e) 547,223

Thank you so much for joining me. It is cool and the day promises more rain on the Canadian prairies – and that is a good thing. After the heat of the summer, so many are telling me the crisp air of fall is their favourite time of year.

Several are working behind the scenes to get the information over what happened to Malin and what the outcome might have been — remember that video by Scotty Watson rescuing the juvenile Osprey on its initial flight — to the responsible authorities of Collins Marsh. This may take time but it is done so that Malin’s tragedy is not only remembered but also used to educate those who have Ospreys in their care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross. I would also like to thank the Forum with the tracking for Karl II and his family.

Here are the answers to the fun quiz. Maybe we should do another just about the birds we love one day!

  1. The answer is 5 million, E. Birds of every species was used in millinery not just in the United States but also in Europe. It was one of the reasons that our beloved Ospreys became extinct. Some women decorated their hats with not only feathers but the stuffed remains of entire birds with their beaks, feet, and glass eyes!
  2. The Patuxent River was sprayed with DDT mixed with Xylene and fuel oil, C. When individuals returned from World War II having used DDT in various ways, it was accepted that it was harmless. Almost immediately, when DDT began to be used as an insecticide, problems were noted but this was not before vast areas of rivers were sprayed with DDT to lessen the mosquito population. The result was dead fish floating to the surface within days.
  3. Conservation is linked to the elite hunting and fishing clubs, B. Conservationists believe/d sport hunting was a worthwhile pursuit and they sought to protect entire species so that they could be hunted!
  4. Environmentalism is focused on a global connection and a global vulnerability of all life on the planet. Their early work was on air and water pollution and how they relate to every species. They promoted the interconnectedness of every living thing. When one thrives, we all thrive.
  5. Rosalie Edge took on the Audubon Society and hunters and lobbied to get the Bald Eagle protected. She eventually purchases Hawk Mountain and puts an end to sport hunting there.
  6. The answer is ‘yes’. The Endangered Species Act was signed into law after an argument before the US Supreme Court on giving legal representation to natural objects. The argument was first presented in a law review article titled, “Should Trees Have Standing?’. Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas wrote the preface. The first case was The Sierra Club versus Disney Corporation. The Sierra Club lost but, various legal arguments have been held to uphold the rights of owls, Florida Key deer, etc.
  7. The residual DDT in the ground and Big Bear Lake continues to wreck havoc on the shells of many birds including Shadow and Jackie at Big Bear. See Pesticides Documentation Bulletin, Volume 2, Issues 21-24.
  8. Deep sea divers have discovered leaking barrels of DDT at 3000 feet below sea level off the coast of Los Angeles near Catalina as reported in the LA Times, 26 April 2021, by Rosanna Xia. https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-04-26/ddt-waste-barrels-off-la-coast-shock-california-scientists
  9. Cats. Some areas are now requiring that domestic cats be licensed and kept strictly inside. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cats-the-no-1-killer-of-birds-in-canada-1.3130437
  10. Mantling to protect my prey item.
  11. Keeping still so a predator near the nest will not see me.
  12. 820,299. The sales of hunting licenses during the first year of the pandemic were up 3.5% in Wisconsin. https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2020/12/01/wisconsin-dnr-releases-deer-hunt-harvest-totals-license-sales-information/