Friday the 19th in Bird World

It has been a bit of a day in the bird and wildlife world. Coming hot on the heels of the banning of trail hunting on Natural Resources Wales land and the National Trust properties in the UK, the State of Washington in the US has suspending bear hunting. It was well known that the adults were killed right when they came out of hibernation leaving cubs to fend for themselves, often dying. People, like you and me, called for these archaic practices to halt. The government listened. Remember that because every person can make a difference! You want hunting suspended in your state or province, phone and find out who to talk to. Write an informed letter. Demand change. Ask like-minded people to join you.

I am not going to start off with the streaming cams just yet. It was a grey damp day – with a little sunshine at times – on the Canadian prairies. The garden was full of birds, mostly sparrows and some Starlings. Mr Blue Jay came and went quickly. He does not seem to like the frozen corn cob. And, of course, there was Dyson & Company, along with Little Red.

All these years I have pondered the sheer amount of ‘bird’ seed that we go through in a week. It is true that there are normally 250-300 birds singing and eating daily but, how much can they eat? It appears that not all that new seed – seedless chipped sunflower and peanuts – is going to birds!

Dyson didn’t like the frozen corn either and didn’t bother to even take it for later. He has discovered how to vacuum out that new bird seed. I think I now know who broke my other feeder. Dyson has no shame. He lives to eat.

Dyson looks a little thinner in the image above but the one below is more of a likeness of this little one. Dyson brings us so much joy that we are thrilled he is healthy going into what might be a very bad winter.

With Dyson occupied on the sunflower/peanut feeder, it meant that Little Red could sneak on the tray feeder and eat all the cashews, fruit, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. If you are wondering, yes, the birds and animals possibly eat better than I do! Little Red is so cute.

Little Red lives in the penthouse. It is a ‘shed’ the size of a garage that is taxed like it is a new garage by our City. We haven’t had the heart to evict the little fellow even thought he fills everything up with Maple seeds and knocks everything off its hooks and generally makes a complete mess of the space.

There were a few European Starlings still in the garden. They will migrate returning next April but they are lingering just like some of the ducks and the Northern Cardinals. Who knows? Maybe they know what winter will be like better than anyone. They certainly have enjoyed eating the suet cylinder.

Others felt like Black Oil Seed today.

Isn’t she cute with her rosey legs and slightly pink tinted beak? Female house sparrows get short shift in the bird guides. It is a pity. They are quite lovely.

Last year I planted Scarlett Runner Beans and at the end of the summer the sparrows went wild shredding all of them and eating the greenery. What you are looking at below is a Flame Willow shrub. In winter the branches are red – super beautiful in a world of grey, white, and beige. There is some little vine or plant growing on that shrub. The sparrows have discovered it and they are doing the same thing – shredding and eating. Has anyone seen this behaviour?

And now back to the streaming cams for a quick update.

Port Lincoln Osprey Barge: By 09:30, three fish had been delivered to the nest. Bazza initially got the first fish when it arrived at 06:23. Ervie took it away from him. Bazza did nothing to try and get it back. Falkey got the 06:49:38 fish. The third fish arrived at 09:11:09 and Falkey got it, too. Ervie had a huge crop. He wasn’t bothered. Yesterday Cilla Kinross of the Orange Peregrine Falcons said that “Shrinking violets will not last long in the real world.” Bazza is hungry and he needs to challenge his brothers despite that he might be fearful of another incident like he had with Ervie.

Falkey has the fish. Bazza is crying to Mum and Ervie with his big crop is looking out to sea on the right. Will Mum take the fish and feed Bazza?

The White Tailed Eagle Nest in Durbe, Latvia. Milda and Mr L were at the nest working on more renovations. It was getting ready to rain and the image is a little ‘foggy’. Sorry about that. It is nice to see Milda. I hope that this will be a successful year for her after the tragedy of spring 2020.

The Minnesota DNR has turned on its Bald Eagle cam. Here is a video of that amazing couple – the sub-adult male who fathered his first chicks at the age of four last year – and the older female. This video was made on 18 November. It looks like Dad has his adult plumage this year! How wonderful. He will have turned 5.

Cornell Red Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca. The camera has been frozen for awhile. I wrote to the Cornell Bird Lab to inform them and to also ask them if there have been any confirmed sightings of Big Red since the last one on 16 October. I will keep you informed.

Annie and Grinnell. I have not seen any updates. As well, nothing on the WBSE juvenile.

You might remember Tiny Little Bob from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. That little one is a fine example of a third hatch so tiny everyone thought it would die and well, she became the dominant bird on the nest. Her number is Blue 463. I am watching all of the announcements for her arrival in warmer climates. Today, however, the 2016 hatch from Foulshaw Moss, male Blue V8, was spotted in Tanji Marsh in The Gambia. He was seen there in January 2021 and was in Cumbria during the summer of 2021. This is the good news you want to hear. Survival.

And on that wonderful sighting, I will close. Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. Stay safe. Thank you so very much for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, The Latvian Fund for Nature, Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and to Lady Hawk for her video on the arrival of the two Bald Eagles to the MN DNR nest.

Caring for the Animals and Birds

There has been a real leap forward against animal cruelty. You may recall that several months ago, the home of Chris Packham in the New Forest had its gate burnt and a car set on fire. Packham has been leading the call for a banning of ‘the hunt’ on the grounds of animal cruelty. Today, trail hunting has been banned on all the land owned by Natural Resources in Wales. The amount of land is 362,456 acres or 146,681 hectares.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-59337295

Trail hunting is supposed to involve dogs and hounds following scent without actually harming, chasing, injuring, or killing a fox. It has been proven that this is not always the case and Wales said that they did not have the resources to police the land for those who do not follow the law so they are not outlawing the practice altogether. Recently, Packham demonstrated that one of the riders was unusually cruel to her horse – an incident filmed that went viral. In October, the National Trust in England outlawed trail hunting on its properties as well. This is a great move forward in outlawing any cruelty to animals.

Speaking of cruelty to animals, Animal Nation, has called for people to stop using doves and pigeons at memorial ceremonies. The birds are released and die or if they are lucky wind up in a wonderful centre to receive care. They are not bred to live in the wild. Please tell your friends. No wonder it was so easy for Dad to catch that dove and take it to try and feed his #4 chick at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne.

The text was too long so that I had to take two captures. If you know of anyone considering memorial doves or pigeons, please talk to them, respectfully, about the implications to the birds. This is tragic. Thank you.

Whenever it looks a little dark, there is always someone or a group of people doing a really good thing for the birds and animals. A Place Called Hope posted images of the new osprey platform going up in Branford, Connecticut. A pair of Osprey nicknamed the Pretzel Pair had a poor location for a nest and annual failures. The community hopes that this brand new platform on a telephone pole will attract the couple and that there will be fledglings next summer. How thoughtful!

Wow. A lot can be done when a few dedicated people get together to help our birds. The platform on the pole will be lifted into place tomorrow. Fingers crossed the osprey couple find this to their liking!

It is raining in Port Lincoln. The three lads are wet. This might calm their adrenalin. Falkey is eating the latest fish delivered after Mum retrieved an earlier fish that Bazza got from Dad and that Ervie managed to take later. (They both ate). It felt like a lesson that Mum was teaching them when she swooped in and grabbed that fish. Sadly, it is time to toughen them up for the real world – which I hope is not so full of ospreys that they do not thrive.

Little Yurruga is very interested in what is going on outside and below the scrape. She has given viewers today more than a little scare. It was only a year yesterday that her big brother, Izzi, fell out of the scrape!

For some time now, Cilla Kinross, the main researcher at this scrape box, believed Yurruga to be a female. Now with the fluffy down falling away, Kinross now believes Yurruga is a male. She showed images of Yurruga next to Diamond and said she would expect Yurruga to be much bigger at 41 days and she isn’t.

Do we really care? I think everyone wants a lively, beautiful, and successful falcon – male or female!

I have seen no news on Grinnell or on the release of the WBSE fledgling in Sydney.

Take care everyone. Enjoy the end of the week. Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams. That is where I took my screen shots. I would also like to thank A Place Called Hope for the posting and images of the new osprey platform at Branford. That is where I took my information and images.