Late Thursday in Bird World

In my excitement about the eaglets this morning at the KNF and the NEFlorida nests, I really did forget to say thank you to the people and the companies or government departments that sponsor and take care of the streaming cams so that we can learn about wildlife. My great hope is that by learning and caring about these amazing creatures and the challenges that they face, the more each of us will do to help out the environment whenever and wherever we can so that the lives of these beautiful raptors and seabirds continues.

Some of you might have seen the posting elsewhere but I want to mention it here in case you did not. A fully grown adult Bald Eagle flew into a plate glass window in a house in PA. It is in care.

https://www.wagmtv.com/2022/01/27/bald-eagle-crashes-into-houses-front-window/

This is nor the first time an Eagle has flown into a window although you are probably more familiar with the smaller birds that hit the windows and either get stunned and are alright or their necks are broken. There are solutions to this problem. The first one is to not clean your windows so that you can see reflections in them! Yes, I am inviting you not to make ever window in your house spotless. What a concept. The second is to install decals to prevent bird strike. Some of these work better than others. The third is to have ultraviolet barriers put on your windows. The last is something ingenious that I saw at our nature centre yesterday. They had 2 x 2 wooden boards cut the width of the window. Holes drilled in the bottom of the boards every 3 inches. Inserted inside were 1/4 inch nylon cords cut to the length of the window. They were glued into the holes. You could easily put the hole all the way through and tie the cord. These were hung outside the windows of the nature centre. The cords blew in the wind and they have never had a window strike despite having so many windows. I will take a photo the next time I am out there. I have so many birds in my garden and they all go flying madly in all directions if Sharpie arrives so, my windows are never spotless clean – never. I also have vines that hang down and the birds sit there and eat the berries or build their nests so – so far, any window strike problem has ceased.

In other Bald Eagle news, R-7, nicknamed Rover by the people of Brooklyn, was in Central Park giving everyone an absolute delight. How many Bald Eagles have you seen in Central Park? Incredible.

If you love urban raptors as much as I do and want to keep up with what is happening in New York City, I highly recommend Bruce Yolton’s blog urbanhawks.com

Everyone knows that I have a huge soft spot for the little eaglet of Anna and Louis. How could you miss it? At 15 days old this little one is a real charmer. What a beautiful image of it looking so lovingly up to its Mum.

The pantry is full of the most amazing things – all freshly provided by Kincaid Lake – Coots, ducks, all manner of fish including a large Bass today, and yes, turtles. With such a varied diet, this little eaglet and its parents are super healthy.

I am getting more than curious. Anna is feeding the eaglet on the KNF nest and there are 50 people watching.

Just look at that little one’s crop. No shortage of food, great parents, beautiful setting, super mods on the chat, super cameras, and great sound! That is what KNF has to offer.

There are 2129 people, as opposed to 50 at the KNF nest, watching the Bald Eagle incubate eggs at Big Bear.

What makes one nest more popular than another? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to write me a comment or send me a note at maryannsteggles@icloud.com I seriously do not understand and want to!

The streaming cam at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge is still on the blink. For a few minutes Ervie was caught on the nest sleeping so all is well there.

For those of you that are fans of Xavier and Diamond, you might be aware that the temperatures in parts of Australia have hit all time highs of 50.7 C or 123.6 F. That heat really impacts the wildlife including the Peregrine Falcons who are being brought to the wildlife rehabbers for care. The one below is doing well!

Speaking of falcons, one of the pair (I could not make out which ones) was on the NE ledge of The Campanile just now at UC-Berkeley.

Diamond was on the ledge of the scrape. It was a bit foggy early in the morning with what looks like some rain. I checked and the temperatures seem to have cooled down considerably.

Well, I said it was civilized but despite an overflowing pantry provided by Samson, NE26 wants to be a bit of a ‘not so nice’ big sib at the most recent feeding. AWWWWWW.

Samson is really in competition with Louis for the most items in the pantry! Gabby is fabulous mother. “26, you need to settle down. Everyone gets fed.”

The eaglet at the Kisatchie National Forest just ate.

Anna filled up its crop. That baby is sound asleep in slumberland.

So if you don’t want to watch 26 bash 27 a bit, tune into the cutest eaglet at KNF. Here is the link:

Jack and Diane at the Achieva Osprey Nest were caught on camera mating on the nest today. Everyone is on egg watch as Diane settles. There is certainly excitement brewing amongst the chatters as Osprey season in Florida quickly approaches! Jack and Diane are the parents of Tiny Tot Tumbles – the third hatch no one though would survive last year but who did and became the dominant bird on the nest.

After watching Port Lincoln this year, we know that the atmosphere on a nest can change from year to year depending on the fish availability, the health of the adults, the temperature, and the gender make up of the chicks as well as the difference in hatch times. We wait to see how it will go.

The link to that camera is:

Thanks so much for joining me today. All other nests are doing well. We wait for Port Lincoln’s camera to get up and working again although there is no guarantee that Ervie will be there very much. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: NEFlorida Bald Eagle and the AEF, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Falcon Cam Project at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Achieva Credit Union, and Minton Farms Animal Rescue FB, and Cal Falcons.

National Bird Day

Today is 5 January and in North America this marks National Bird Day. As all of you are aware, our feathered friends have many challenges. Climate change, warming oceans, loss of habitat, hydro pole electrocution, window strike, disease, rodenticide secondary poisoning, lead poisoning, illegal pet trade, and many more are threats. This is a day to raise awareness. For me, it is also a day to contemplate the joy the birds bring to my life and all their teachings.

Well, I truly messed up. When I was writing about the National Arboretum Nest, I said The First Lady. This lovely couple is Mr President and Lotus – not The First Lady. Apparently, TFL left and this young lady showed up and Mr President took a liking to her. Wow. I missed that!

This is the new couple at The National Arboretum in Washington, DC Bald Eagle Nest. I checked on the American Eagle Foundation and they still have TFL listed for this nest but, that is not TFL, it is Lotus.

Two things happened in our birding community yesterday. One of them is important to everyone. It concerns photographing birds. One of the members of the Manitoba Birding and Photography group was out taking photos of Snowy Owls in rural Manitoba, about an hour outside of our main city, Winnipeg. He was on a public gravel road and had pulled over to eat his sandwich and drink the tea in his thermos. He was not trespassing. Without warning, two pick up trucks with three men blocked his car. They accused him of being an environmental spy on their hog operation. He showed them his camera and told him he was taking pictures of Snowy Owls. They did not believe him. They told him others had said the same thing. He knew that it would only be members of our group but, he just kept his mouth shut. He felt threatened. He was finally able to get out of the situation but, when he returned he gave some advice to all of us which I am passing on to you. He advised anyone going out birding and taking photographs to make sure their cell phone is charged and that they have cell service. He suggested not stopping in areas of no cell service. Apparently he had neither. I am going to go a little further and suggest that 1) you have a charger for your phone in your car; 2) you make sure you have cell service; 3) if possible have another person with you; 4) make sure you have lots of petrol; 5) know where you are located; and 6) tell someone where you are going!

I also want to add a little something to this. I lived near to where this man might have been photographing owls for a long time. People used to stop and take photographs of the animals. It did not bother me. That said, the world has changed and people are more fearful than the days when we didn’t lock our doors and left the keys in our vehicles. Exercise caution. Someone might really be afraid that you are taking photos of their property for other reasons.

The other thing was a listing of things you can use to feed birds that was being circulated on FB. if you didn’t see it, I am posting it below. This might come in handy if you run out of birdseed and suet. I note that Crows like other items such as hard boiled eggs and hamburger meat. They sometimes will eat fruit.

The two eaglets of Harriet and M15 have been both naughty and nice this morning. Both are well feed and thank goodness they have had a quiet sleep. They keep those adults on their toes!

Port Lincoln posted several photographs of Mum on their FB page. She was having a bit of a spa day. How gorgeous! You can check out Ervie’s progress and any postings about the family by searching for Port Lincoln Osprey on FB. You do not have to be a member of the group to look at the media, the discussions, or to make comments.

This note is also from Port Lincoln: “Ervie had watchers worried a couple of days ago when he took over Bazza’s spot on the nest and didn’t move but today he has really spread his wings and crossed the Peninsula to Proper Bay. This is a favoured fishing location for Mum and Dad so it certainly looks as though they are showing him the ropes.”

Ervie is growing up and maybe, just maybe, he was saying goodbye to all the other day. Mum and Dad did well this year with the three boys. It was simply a great Osprey nest to watch.

If you are a fan of Pale Male, Bruce Yolton has posted some lovely images of him. I want to also note that Pale Male and Octavia were seen in Central Park the other day hunting as well. I believe this Red-tail Hawk is 32 years old. Amazing.

If you cannot open some of the things I post and they have that little sideways ‘V’ on the bottom right, if you click on it you will find the link and you can cut and paste.

I will be checking on all the nests throughout the day. There are intruders hanging around the Achieva Osprey nest. One of them is the one that Tiny Tot Tumbles battled several times. I can see no action on the third egg at Miami-Dade but it is hard to see in that nest. There was supposed to be signs of a pip yesterday morning. It is getting busy, thankfully. And on a personal note, the repairman is returning to put a part on my furnace within the hour – thank goodness for small miracles as our temperatures begin to plummet again to -32 C.

Take care everyone. It is wonderful to have you with me. Be safe, stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page, National Arboretum Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the D Pritchett Family.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

We are continuing to have a real blustery winter night with road conditions deteriorating. For the first time, our new furnace has decided that it did not want to work. As a result, I am getting to stay up and wait for the technician to fix/repair or whatever magic they can do to get us heat. Meanwhile, I am grateful that in our new addition we have electric heat. It is a great back up. The wait has given me a chance to check the nests again!

It is so wonderful to have YRK back on the nest at Taiaroa Head with OGK hopefully having a nice fish lunch. There are tonnes of Albies flying in and banking right above YRK. They are so peaceful to watch with those big wings.

Here comes another one.

Bazza is on the nest hoping for a fish meal when Dad flies in at 16:13. Immediately Falky flies over to the nest from the ropes.

There is a bit of a kerfuffle.

Bazza gets his fish! Bazza had a fish tail leftover around 06:00 and Falky got the morning fish so both lads will have a fish today. It appears that Mum and Dad are only bringing in 1 or 2 fish per day now trying to encourage the lads to be independent. So if they want more, they are going to have to go fishing!

Ervie has to be fishing. That lad is used to being fed first and lots. The other day when Ervie was on the nest all day was unusual. He was either extra hungry and tired or maybe it was his farewell day to his natal nest. Have you seen this before? Sometimes we begin to wonder why the bird is spending so much time on the nest and then, they never return. It is good to take nice long looks on days like that.

As it happens all of the PLO fledglings this year are males so that means that there will need to be more Osprey platforms or nests around the barge when these young men have their own families.

A pip was seen Tuesday morning at the Miami-Dade Bald Eagle Nest of Rita and Ron. There should be a new little one tomorrow – the third. Rita looks quite content as the end of Tuesday approaches. I hope the two older siblings are kind. Ron is a good fisher so there is lots of food for everyone.

Oh, and for all your Redding Eagle fans, I understand that the chat function will come alive next week. This nest has been recommended to me by someone I really trust. Thanks ‘B’. The female is Liberty and she is 23 years old so a very experienced Mum. Her mate is Guardian and he is 8 years old. Guardian is Liberty’s third mate. They have been together since 2019. Last year the couple fledged three: Honor, Glory, and Rebel. Liberty has fledged 24 juveniles altogether! Just wonderful.

Oh, she is beautiful.

This is the link for the Redding Eagle Cam:

I could be delirious from lack of sleep (just kidding) but yesterday I posted some images from the Achieva Osprey Nest. The one female kept bothering me. I knew it wasn’t Diane and I had looked at that face so much and then just now looking again. I am certain that this is Tiny Tot Tumbles. This would not be the first time she has returned to the nest. There is that distinctive thin V on the head with the heart. Jack is also happy to feed her! She is still as elegant as she was when she stood on the perch. If it isn’t it is her twin sister!!!!!!

If you do not know the story of Tiny Tot, please send me a note. I will be happy to tell you. She is one of the third hatch success stories of 2021.

Tiny Tot defended the nest last summer by herself and with Jack. She was incredible and, if this is really her, well….’It is so nice to see you!’

These are some images of Tiny Tot Tumbles.

Well, the technician has given us the good and bad news. I am off to bed. The blog might be quite late tomorrow!

Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be careful if you have wintery weathery.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Redding California Eagle Cam, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Tuesday in Bird World

It is a blustery snowy day on the Canadian Prairies. We woke up to more snow and the birds wondering where to find food underneath it. It is fine for the birds that eat out of the feeders but those that feed on the ground will have a tough time of it. I feel for them on days like today. Our temperatures are ranging from -22 C to -14 C. So not warm! And the snow will continue throughout the day and night. It is definitely winter in Canada. We have had 4 or 5 years of drought and hopefully the moisture and rain in the spring will change that!!!

Everyone is trying to see if there is a pip or a crack in the third egg at the WRDC Nest in Miami-Dade county. The two nestlings are doing quite well. R1 does a little of the bonking but R2 is eating very well. Both have had full crops. Personally, I am hoping that R3 does not hatch. These two are doing well and the third hatch – well, we all know that often it is a real challenge for them even with experienced parents.

R1 and R2 are simply ‘can’t take my eyes off them cute’. Adorable. Cuddly. Soft.

A little one peeking out from under Mum after their nice meal. They have been enjoying a variety of fish including Tilapia. Dad seems to always have several varieties on hand for feeding.

Harriet and M15’s E19 and E20 are continuing to do well, also. They are starting to get their pin feathers now that they are 8 and 7 days old. We can look forward to them being ‘itchy’ by the weekend, I would think. They grow so fast.

You can see the pinfeathers easier in the image below. They are just tiny black flecks right now but they are growing in.

Adorable.

Gabby has about a week more of incubation before her and Samson will be busy feeding the bobbleheads! Fingers crossed for both eggs to hatch up at The Hamlet near Jacksonville. I cannot wait. This is one of my favourite nests. Last year the couple fledged Legacy. As an only child on the nest, Gabby and Samson did everything they could to replace the lessons Legacy would learn from having siblings. At one point, when Legacy was so so tiny, they tested her to see if she would walk over to the fish out of the nest bowl. She did and she kept getting stronger and stronger. What a beautiful juvenile she was when we last saw her in the summer.

Mr President and The First Lady have been to visit their nest at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Since 2015, the pair have made this nest their home and during that time they have fledged 7 eaglets. Don’t expect eggs for a bit.

Here is the link to their camera.

This morning their nest had another visitor – a Red-tailed Hawk hoping to catch some breakfast.

Jack and Diane have been working on their Osprey nest on the grounds of the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida for awhile now. Jack brought Diane her first breakfast fish the other day and this morning she was waiting for another. Looking for eggs to be laid in a few weeks.

Last year Jack and Diane were one of a few couples, world-wide, that fledged three chicks. For a long time it was touch and go with Tiny Tot Tumbles but Diane started bringing in extra fish including her huge catfish and things turned around for that little one. She must have a secret place to go fishing because she always leaves and comes back with a large fish to feed everyone.

So far this nest has not had the problems with predators taking the eggs like Lena and Andy at Captiva. However, I am a little uneasy at times as the fish deliveries are inconsistent. I even thought that Jack was providing for another nest last year. So, fair warning – this nest can cause one to be anxious at times.

Here is the link to this Osprey camera:

Another good Osprey Nest to watch is up at Oyster Bay, NY, where there were three fledges last year, also. Here is that link and I will bring it and Achieva back up again – along with others – when eggs are about to hatch.

Sometimes it is nice when not much is happening in Bird World. We can sit back and relax and enjoy all of them without the drama. I have not seen nor have I had word that Daisy the Duck has returned to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest since she visited on 1 January with her mate. I surely hope that she finds another spot and tries it. Anything is better than the Sea Eagles nest! We want her to succeed. My contact has not sent me an image of her down in the water so let us all image her paddling in the duck pond!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay warm, stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett Family, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, the WRDC, The National Arboretum Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Achieva Credit Union.

Christmas Day in Bird World

It is a gorgeous Christmas morning over Big Bear Lake in San Bernadino County, California. This is the home of Bald Eagle couple, Jackie and Shadow. What a beautiful view as the sun rises to wake up the forest and the animals that live around the lake.

A little later the camera operator gives us a treat by panning around the area where Jackie and Shadow live.

Jackie and Shadow have been delivering some nice (some large) twigs to the nest. This wonderful couple live in the hope of hatching eaglets and we send them positive energy as we hope with them.

Harriet and M15 might be wishing for a little bit of the cooler northern Californian weather in Fort Myers. The couple began ‘listening’ to their eggs last evening. It is pip watch!

About four days before hatching, the eaglets will grow their egg tooth. Imagine it as a sharp spike facing outward towards the shell on the tip of the beak. The little ones will chip away at the shell. They will take their first breath and continue picking away until they have broken through and hatched. This whole process can take up to four days.

Last year Harriet and M15, fledged E17 and E18 – the twins that won all of our hearts from their first bobblehead days, to going into care for conjunctivitis, to their return. Beautiful fledglings. Best friends.

I am so glad that Samson and Gabby did not lay their eggs at the same time as Harriet and M15. This way we will get to enjoy having two nests of bobble heads independent of one another! Last year, Gabby and Samson had one hatch, Legacy. S/he turned out to be a beautiful and formidable juvenile.

Gabby is on incubation duties.

Anna and Louis are also incubating two eggs and have a wait similar to that of Samson and Gabby. Their nest is in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. This is the couple’s second breeding attempt. Last year they fledged Kisatchie, the first eaglet hatched and fledged on this nest in central Louisiana since 2013. Wow. Cody and Steve have installed sound at the nest this year.

It was fun watching Anna and Louis last year figure out what to do as new parents. Louis is a fabulous provider. When he is not loading the nest down with fish, he is aiming to give Anna the softest Spanish Moss he can find for the egg cup! Just look at it.

Clive and Connie are incubating two eggs over at Captiva. They have had some terrible weather there lately and this image is from yesterday. The camera appears to be down this morning.

Clive is a new mate for Connie. Last year, Connie and Joe hatched two eaglets, Peace and Hope, who died on the nest from rodenticide poisoning.

One of the ospreys over wintering at Urdaibai in the Basque Country of Spain waking up to Christmas morning.

While many of the Ospreys are opting to stay on the Iberian Peninsula instead of making the long journey down to The Gambia or Senegal, there are still celebrations as the December count along the Senegal coast was 1100 birds this year. Jean-Marie Dupart did an amazing job going out and counting all of the beautiful fish eagles. Thank you!

German Osprey along the coast of Senegal.

Closer to home, Jack and Diane have been working on their nest. Some really nice strips of bark have been brought in. Last year, the pair fledged three for the first time: Sibling 1, Sibling 2, and the miracle bird who survived against all the odds and became dominant, Tiny Tot Tumbles.

Cilla Kinross is celebrating the third camera at Charles Sturt Falcon Project. There is a ledge and box camera and now one that shows the falcons flying around the outside of the water tower. Congratulations, Cilla.

Here is the link if you wish to check out the new tower cam:

Big Red and Arthur have been spotted out hunting so all is well with the Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus. Hope to have images I can post for you shortly.

The countdown is on for all the hawk and osprey fans…three months til Big Red is incubating eggs and three months til the first arrivals of the Western Ospreys back in the UK. Oh, and the beautiful storks of Latvia and Estonia. May they all stay safe until then.

Wishing all of the birds who bring us such joy, extra prey items, good weather, and safe flying.

Thank you for joining me today. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope that you have a peaceful, joyful day, with something a little special. For those birds not with us today, we thank them for the happiness they gave to us – and as one of my readers ‘B’ so eloquently said, ‘and all they taught us.’ So true. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, KNF Eagle Cam, Captiva Eagle Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the Achieva Osprey Cam.

Note: Port Lincoln Osprey Cam is down or we would all get a look at those lads!

Oh, for the love of Ervie

It is no secret that my long-term research project on third hatch Ospreys that survive can cause a whole lot of heart ache. The opposite side of that is the sheer joy in watching these ‘thirds’ come into their own. Some suffer much more than others. In 2021, one of the worst was Tiny Tot Tumbles on the Achieva Osprey nest in Florida.

There is Tiny Tot Tumbles beside sibling 1. I often called her ‘Big Nasty Sister’. She is the reason that many people do not like to watch the Osprey nests. That said, sibling 1 stopped a lot of the beating on Tiny Tot because sibling 2 started. That nestling would purposefully eat and eat and eat so that Tiny Tot had no food.

Beaten and starved. It was hard for anyone to imagine Tiny Tot Tumbles surviving. There she is all submissive, literally starving, while the others eat.

What a beautiful bird Tiny Tot Tumbles became.

Elegant. Tiny Tot Tumbles is one of the most striking juvenile ospreys I have ever seen. Before she left the nest, her plumage was super espresso with only the thinest of white scallop revealing she was not an adult. She was smart. She remained on the nest honing her flying skills, getting stronger, learning how to fight off intruders. It is a shame she is not banded but she has a very distinctive pattern on her crown.

At Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria, no one expected Tiny Little Bob to survive more than a couple of days. The weather was miserable and the two older siblings were 4x her size.

The size difference increased. That is how she got the name ‘Tiny Little Bob’ because she was just so small.

I love this image. Tiny Little Bob really wants some of the flounder that Mum, Blue 35 has. She has watched and waited til the older siblings are full. Then she will make her move. She exhibits all of the hallmarks of a third hatch survivor – patience, fortitude, and ‘focused watching’. They can read the nest.

I wish I had this video recorder earlier so that I could have captures Tiny Tot Tumbles ousting the intruders from the nest! Or more of Tiny Little Bob. I did get it in time to show you Blue 463 in the nest. It is the third week in August. All three of the Foulshaw Moss chicks have fledged. White YW is an incredible provider and he will stay until Tiny Little Bob migrates before he leaves. She will be the last one to leave. Smart girl. She really fattened up for that migratory trip. I only hope that she survived. Few British Ospreys have been spotted in The Gambia and Senegal. There are lots without bands along the coast of West Africa but not the ringed British. Where are they?

Tiny Little Bob is banded as Blue 463. She is the bird on the back of the nest on the right. She is food calling. I want you simply to notice how big she is. Tiny Little Bob became the dominant bird on the Foulshaw Moss nest for 2021. She could fight for the fish with the best of them. Most of the time she used her patience and ‘snake eye’ to get the siblings off their lunch!

At Port Lincoln, Bazza aka Big Bob, tried several times to dominate but, Ervie aka Little Bob wasn’t having it. If you have been following me most of the time you will know that when the three males were banded, Little Bob got the sat-pak because he was the biggest of the three. Unlike Tiny Tot Tumbles who missed 12 full days of meals in the first five weeks of her life, Tiny Little Bob made sure he was right up front by Mum’s beak. I don’t think he ever missed a meal and he would certainly stay til he was full. On the morning of the banding, Little Bob had landed the breakfast fish. That probably helped a lot with that weight in!

There is Little Bob in front with his beak wide open. Just look at those little wings. Oh, my goodness is there anything cuter than a recently hatched osplet?

The thing about the third hatch survivors is that they have lived out of sheer willpower and cleverness. I can almost hear Ervie say, ‘I am not taking anything from you, Bazza!’ They become kinda’ street wise. They watch, assess, and attack. Does anyone remember Tiny Little Bob staring down both of her big siblings? They were not going to get anything by her. You might also remember that Tiny Tot Tumbles took on any intruder protecting the nest. She was fierce. That is how they survive — and I believe that they are actually better able to cope out in the world of Ospreys far away from the nest than their siblings.

Ervie sure showed us what he is made of today.

Bazza had the fish and had been eating. Ervie really likes the back portion and the tail. So he is watching Bazza. I could have made this into a video but what I want you to do is focus on the ‘look’ on Ervie’s face and his actions.

Ervie is the bird on the right. Bazza is in the middle with the fish tail. Falky is on the left and is not interested.

Look at Ervie’s eyes and his open beak as he lands on the nest. He is telling Bazza he wants that fish tail now. Ervie means business.

Ervie is twisting his body. He is not looking at Bazza’s face. He is looking at the fish tail.

Ervie moves up and over pushing Bazza’s head. Ervie raises his wings.

Ervie is totally in front of Bazza. Notice that Bazza is not looking at the fish.

Ervie turns his head around. You can draw a line from his eye and beak to the fish. Ervie is completely focused.

He goes for it.

Ervie dives down to get the fish tail.

He has it. He turns his body and raises his wings. Bazza is being pushed out of the way so Ervie can turn.

He’s got it. Wow. Just look at the impressive wings of Ervie.

Ervie moves over to the other edge of the nest where he finishes the fish tail. The entire take over bid took 19 seconds.

Bazza does not seemed phased and Falky probably wishes he were somewhere else!

These three have just been a joy to watch. I wish each of them had been given a sat-pak so that we could watch their lives unfold. I hope that the hydro poles in South Australia have their protective covers placed on them just as quickly as it can happen. The loss of Solly was a tragedy in terms of understanding the dispersal and long term survival of these Eastern Osprey.

I hope that I have not bored you too much with these third hatches. Each is really a miracle and for me, remembering them helps honour the pain and suffering that they went through to live.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.,

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or my video clips: Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Hold on to your seats

The three males on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge were – as I said many, many times – the most polite and civil trio I had ever witnessed. Well, today all bets are off. It was expected that once the lads had fledged and were moving into being independent that the conflict over fish deliveries would increase. It hasn’t actually been that bad. There was a tussle between Ervie and Falkey this morning over the breakfast fish. Ervie won.

Well, the fish isn’t even on the nest and Ervie and Falkey are going at one another. Caught in the cross-fire is Mum and Bazza. It is 14:10 in the afternoon and all is not well. I just hope the two do not injure one another.

There is only the anticipation of a fish because Mum is on the nest and the boys might have seen dad. Bazza is staying out of everything. He is by Mum but already Ervie and Falkey are eyeing one another.

Falkey goes over to jump on Ervie. Ervie is under Falkey and on top of Bazza. Poor Mum. I wonder if she has ever had a nest of all boys?

Everything is wings and twisting and turning.

Bazza stands up and Mum ducks.

Falkey is standing on top of Bazza.

Ervie is watching trying to see what Falkey is doing to Bazza.

Then everyone gets into the mix again.

I ‘think’ it is Falkey on the left, Bazza in the middle, and Ervie on the right. Poor Mum is in there, too.

Ervie is full of adrenalin and he gets Bazza on his back. This is not going to end well at all.

They are going down. This is definitely not good at all. Falkey who precipitated all of this with Ervie is simply looking on from the left as the two brothers have it out.

Bazza winds up in Dad’s man cave. He is alright. But he will not have the lift to fly up to the nest. Remember, Bazza is the only one that has not fledged.

The owners are monitoring the situation. They say that Bazza will probably fly to the ropes and then on to the nest but, perhaps, not just right now. They won’t intervene because they do not believe it is necessary and it would ‘freak’ out the other birds.

Falkey is left on the nest.

Mum arrives and Dad flies in with a whopper. Falkey will be much nicer after he eats his fish.

Falkey still has control of the fish. Mum is on the nest – she would some fish, too and there is Ervie right behind Falkey. He would like some fish, too. You can see Bazza down in the man cave.

Some of you will remember Tiny Tot Tumbles from the Achieva Osprey Nest. She went on to very proudly defend the nest against adult intruders. These birds have to be able to ‘fight’ so to speak. They are getting ready to leave the natal nest territory and set out on their own. It is just like Grinnell having to go in and take back his territory. We might like to think birds are sweet and only sing lovely songs and get along but even in my garden sometimes it is a real battle between some rivals.

It doesn’t look like there will be any dull moments on this nest now. To be continued at the next fish delivery….

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took these screen captures. Take care everyone!

Is it Tiny Tot Tumbles?

There is never 100% certainty in identifying a bird four months or a year or two after it has flown off the nest unless there are Darvic rings and bands. For ospreys, there are facial features – the head – that remain the same for their entire life once they have reached the age of fledging. I have been told, by Osprey experts that I respect, that an osplet born in the spring of 2021 could no longer have the white curved feathers on its wing tips. I am trusting that information to be true.

As many of you know, I have a very special interest in Osprey third hatches. I am particularly focused on these little ones that survive but who have been denied food by their siblings and who might have died due to siblicide. I will be collecting data from nests for the next decade to see if there are any patterns on these particular survivors. Do they do better in the long haul than their siblings? It is extremely difficult if they have not been ringed. The best way to study their survival is both a Darvic ring and a sat-pak with a battery that would last for four years, like the one on Solly who hatched in 2021 at the Port Lincoln nest.

Over the past month or so, a number of Ospreys have landed on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Several remind me of the intruder that Tiny Tot Tumbles battled last summer. Have Jack and Diane visited? Maybe. I admit to being so focused on Tiny Tot Tumbles that I ignored the other two siblings and parents in terms of identification markers.

On 30 October an osprey landed on the Achieva nest. I stared at that ‘face and head’ for two days. Could it be?

Staring at me every time I open the fridge or close it is a large magnet of Tiny Tot Tumbles. The screen capture was on 20 June, two weeks before she left the nest for good. Tears began to flow.

There are thousands of images of Tiny Tot in my external hard drives. From the moment she hatched, to the little one running around the rim of the nest trying to get some food. There were days that I counted each bite of food that she got. Notebooks full. That fridge magnet image was taken on a day when Tiny Tot was at her loveliest. She would sit on the perch for hours – she was elegant! And she was a formidable opponent. Any intruder was ousted from the nest. She often battled them alongside Jack, her dad.

A slider to move back and forth to compare.

I am convinced that the amazing osprey that landed on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg at 12:57 on 30 October is, in fact, Tiny Tot Tumbles. She has been away and survived for four months, grown and matured. The white plumage forming the V is very thin on both of those images.

There have been visitors that have, of course, a similar V but the amount of white plumage varies with each of them. The bird below has visited the nest often but it is not Tiny Tot.

This was Tiny Tot Tumbles on 3 July. Look at the white lines from the beak forming a ‘V’. They are thinner on Tiny Tot than on the bird above.

Here is Tiny Tot Tumbles on 27 June mantling.

This is an image of Tiny Tot Tumbles on 26 June. I had enlarged it from a screen capture so that everyone would note the very specific head – the thin white lines, the heart shape of the white. Sadly, the resolution is not good.

These following two images were posted on 20 and 21 June, respectively. The top one is the one on 20 June that I used for my fridge magnet. The next one is the following day, Tiny Tot on the perch.

She is so elegant. She has grown and filled in since she flew off the nest. There she is on the perch looking like she is applying to be on the runway for the most beautiful Osprey of 2021!

Here she is as a wee babe. It was easy to imagine with the difference in age and size that Big Bob might cause problems. In the end, both Big and Middle Bob, sibling 1 and 2, prevented Tiny Tot from eating for a total of 12 full 24 hour periods during the first six weeks of her life.

There is Tiny Tot submissive and hungry over to the right. Big Bob has been unmerciful in its attacks on her on this day.

What changed on the nest was Diane going out and fishing. She began to bring back big catfish and there was always enough to feed Tiny Tot. By 7 April, Tiny Tot has grown and is getting big enough that the older siblings might try to thwart her from eating but she is unstoppable. If she did not get enough to eat, Tiny Tot would root around in the nest. She always found scraps and was known for even cleaning off fish flakes from discarded bones. It is difficult in the ‘real world’ and it takes this kind of tenacity to survive.

Tiny Tot has a nice big crop on 9 April! Just look at her there in the middle of the image below.

This is 10 May. Tiny Tot is gorgeous. She is beginning to get that characteristic head that we all recognized. Her juvenile feathers are coming in and she has survived! In the end, Sibling 1 fledged and returned to the nest once, the following day. Sibling 2 fledged returning for a bit for food. Then Tiny Tot was all alone. Jack brought in fish for her and she stayed – as she should – honing her flying skills and getting ‘street smart’ protecting the nest. On 5 July, precisely four months after she hatched, she flew off the nest. We never thought we would see her again.

I am grateful that Tiny Tot has paid a visit to the nest to show us all that she is thriving. She has put on weight from the elegant pose on the perch post but that striking head remains the same.

I hope that Tiny Tot visits the nest over and over again. She was gallant in her protection of it for Jack, her dad, and with him on occasion. And, for the record, she could be a he. There were never DNA tests taken or any banding. Just keep your eye out for this beautiful osprey. Could we be lucky enough to see s/he raise osplets on this very nest in the future?

Take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for its streaming cam in St Petersburg where these screen shots were taken.

Waiting for hatch at Orange

We are all waiting with Xavier and Diamond for the first (or all) of the eyases to hatch in the scrape box at Orange, Australia. There is, perhaps, a pip. Fingers crossed. BTW. The Peregrine Falcons made it to the final vote in the Australian Bird of the Year. We now wait to see who wins.

The chicks on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest certainly did get another big feed at 16:28. A small fish tail was brought on the nest at 19:57 but everyone had a big crop. Mum got off the nest for a bit a little later. Everyone is great. As I continue to say, all three chicks are doing well and I sure haven’t seen any of the rivalry of past years.

The chicks are still eating the whopper of a fish brought in at 14:49. This is going to really fill them up. It is also late in the day.

Some are still eating at 15:23.

Dad is still on the nest after delivering the 16:28 fish. You can see that the chicks still have large crops from the feeding they just finished.

This fish will really top them off.

There was certainly not a lot of fish left on that tail that Dad brought in. It does not matter. I hope that Mum got some of it. The chicks are definitely full and will be fine til tomorrow.

I am always looking for great videos by the people that advertise for the various camera companies. The reason? Their footage is simply the very, very best. So when I spotted Mark Smith’s video about the migration of the mullet off Florida, I knew there would be some great Osprey images. I would also like to think that our very own Tiny Tot, Achieva Osprey’s miracle third hatch survivor in 2021, might be out there during that annual mullet run filling her crop. Here is the link. It is about 8 minutes long and worth all of it.

Enjoy those wonderful shots of Mark’s.

Thank you for joining me this morning. All of the nestlings in Australia are doing great. I have one last image to leave with you. One of the FB members posted this gorgeous screen shot of the 367 Collins Street Falcon faily. I am reposting it here because it is priceless and a lovely way to leave our blog. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the 367 Collins Street FB Page.

Late Saturday in Bird World

I want to thank the person who wrote and thanked me for keeping everyone abreast of what is happening with the Port Lincoln Osplets. It is truly my pleasure. The situation of siblicide last year with Tapps really touched our or tore out our hearts. People can say that nature is not like Disneyland – and it surely isn’t – but, it is still hard. How many times did we want to scoop up little Tapps and feed him? I almost quit watching Ospreys entirely because of Tapps. I do understand – completely.

I began to wonder about these third hatches. The Osprey nests had such a hard time last year that there were few with three hatches that survived. The first was Tiny Tot at Achieva. Aka Tumbles. What an amazing bird. I will not bore you with all of the intricate details but, in the first two six weeks of her life, Tiny Tot had 12 days – 12 whole days – without food. At least twice, she went for 72 hours. That bird wanted to live. She was clever! And, yes, she got angry and lashed out at the older ones twice. I believe it was the last instance when Diane, the female, took notice. She began bringing in food to the nest. Those big catfish saved Tiny Tot’s life. And then Tiny Little at Foulshaw Moss. Neither of the Tinys should have survived but they did and were stronger birds for it. My interest in third hatches was cemented with the two Tinys. I want to see if their survival rate is higher than the big siblings. The problem is that so few of them are ringed or have satellite trackers. Someone in France just photographed Blue 494 from the Dyfi Nest. Maybe they will see Blue 463, Tiny Little, too. Oh, I hope so.

What I can tell you is that the PLO are doing fine. Little Bob has a good appetite. He can’t eat as many bites as Big Bob but at the most recent feeding, Little Bob ate enough to go into food coma! Mom seems particularly focused on making sure that each gets bites. She is doing really well this year and so is Dad with bringing in the fish. It is 11 degrees C in Port Lincoln and the winds are still blowing strong at 24 kmh. That is 14.91 miles an hour. It might not sound like a lot but it can certainly disrupt fishing.

Here is a close up. Little Bob is the one that is being fed. You can see that he already has the makings of a very good crop.

This is Little Bob getting some nice bites. The one that looks asleep is actually Big Bob. She has eaten and is taking a ‘breather’. Meanwhile Little and Middle Bob are enjoying the morning breakfast.

There is Big Bob back up at the table! Doesn’t take long. She can eat bigger pieces and more of them now. But there is no problem with Little or Middle Bobs eating. Everyone is doing well.

Every once in awhile their eyes lock on one another and my body goes rigid but, so far, nothing. Mom goes around making sure everyone has bites. It is that kind of security that keeps things tranquil.*

These are really well behaved youngsters. Food is plentiful and they line up with mouths open letting out little peeps. Middle Bob is getting some bites now while Little and Big wait their turns.

As I said, Little Bob has a very good appetite and he won’t leave the table until he falls over in food coma or mom calls it quits. Remember, she does not want them to catch cold. Right now the feedings are lasting about nine minutes.

Little Bob is full and in a food coma. The crops are filling on the older two. Oh, what a delight this nest is to watch this year. Of course, it can all change. Just continue to send the warmest of wishes to this family. We want three survivors! Three.

Closer to home. I was heading out to check on the Wood Ducks at the park. The last time I was there the male Wood Ducks – save for one – were in the equinox. They were moulting and getting their fall plumage. They were certainly not their brilliant beautiful selves.

As soon as I was out the door I could hear the familiar pecking of the male Downy Woodpecker in the garden. He comes several times a day. Rumour has it that he lives inside the 123 year-old Maple tree in front of my house.

In the winter I rub peanut butter suet on the bark and I often see him eating away. This summer he brought his baby to find the suet. The strange thing is – we have never seen the female. It is so odd.

Little Woodpecker is such a sweetie. One day when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk, was in the garden, the little woodpecker was on the suet like he is today. For 45 minutes, he held on tight, not moving, just blinking his eyes rapidly. He was so afraid he was going to be Sharpie’s lunch. I felt so sorry for him. Sharpie was sitting on a branch under him pretending to be. feeder! Needless to say Sharpie wasn’t successful that day.

It is a beautiful fall day and the park was full of Canada geese and people having picnics and playing cricket.

Over in the pond, the male Wood Ducks really stand out. They have finished their moult. Just look at the range of colour in those feathers. Even the golden beige ones are gorgeous.

Here is a different one. The shape of the head is slightly different on this one.

The female Wood Ducks have really grown, too. My goodness. What a change in a a week. They were so tiny when I left but they seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.

There were definitely more females than males.

The Mallards were particularly annoying today. We noticed that the female Wood Ducks tended to stay close to one another.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The male Mallards are in the middle of moulting. Soon they will have those beautiful emerald green heads that are so characteristic. For now, they look a little bit like peeling duck decoys instead of living breathing water fowl.

There were lots of female Mallards in the pond today.

Two Canada Geese came flying in creating a bit of a ruckus.

Then they slithered along the surface of the pond. They looked rather strange and everyone stopped to try and figure out what they were doing.

We presumed that they were sipping water.

Speaking of water. The pond is pretty clean this year. There are two fountains and everyone is abiding by the signs and not feeding the ducks. If they do it is wild bird seed. What a huge difference from the algae infested muck of last year.

It is early morning in Australia. There will be more meals for the youngsters. All of the birds in our park are safe and sound tonight. We have had no frost. In decades past there was always a freeze in August. I wonder if this might impact migration dates?

Thank you so much for joining me. Have a lovely rest of the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to try and break my unlucky streak and catch that juvenile Green Heron that is hanging about our City. Take care all. Stay safe.

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