Friday in Bird World

The Lost Words is a book by Robert MacFarlane, Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Its focus is on the words that the editors of the Oxford Children’s Dictionary removed. Its 128 pages, 27.9 x 37.6 cm in size, are gorgeously illustrated with the watercolours of Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator, who lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The missing words that concerned MacFarlane are the following: acorn, Adder, Bluebell, Bramble, Conker, dandelion, fern, heather, heron, Ivy, Kingfisher, Lark, Magpie, Newt, Otter, Raven, Starling, Weasel, Willow, and Wren. At a time when our focus as adults should be to strive to install the wonder of the natural world and our responsibility to it in the children, why, then, would anyone choose to remove words that are directly connected with our environment.

I mentioned this book awhile ago. I have returned to it many times always admiring the illustrations, such as the images of the Ravens on the forest floor amongst the fallen conkers. Conkers are the fruit of the Horse Chestnut Tree, Aesculus hippocastanum. Horse Chestnut trees can grow quite large. Ironically, the conkers are poisonous to horses and I believe, all other animals. The type of poison is called esculin.

That illustration conjured up a beautiful memory of the time my family spent in England. Up on the gorse was a Conker Tree. We had never seen conkers – it was something wonderful and new. The children played a game with them. First you had to drill a hole and run a cord through the conker and secure it with a nice big knot at the bottom. The children would then ‘conk’ their conkers trying to see whose would break first! It was free entertainment and kept them busy for hours.

“Conkers on a string” by MrsEds is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Creative Commons had this historical picture of two young lads trying to break the others’ conker.

“Its conker time” by theirhistory 

The rolling hills with their public paths were marvellous places for the children and the adults to take walks and breathe in the air. We were fortunate to have a ‘gorse’ within 50 or 60 feet from where we lived. It was full of butterflies and birds and the most delicious blackberries. It was a time when children played outside with their mates. No one set in front of the telly or spent hours looking at screens. Bikes were ridden and trees were climbed. In the three years we lived in Lincolnshire, it snowed once. There was about 4 cm on the ground – just enough. Still, everything stopped. Children stayed home from school and anything and everything that could be used as a sled was used to slide down the hills of the gorse. I wonder what all those children would think about the snow in my garden today?

The nice thing about snow is that it can cause people to slow down. To enjoy a cup of hot tea and a book. To stop running around worrying about things that are not always that important, to pause long enough to take in the moments.

It seems like it is rather quiet in Bird World but, is it really? Eaglets are growing bigger by the day all the while their plumage is changing. Thankfully, none are ready to fledge. E19 and E20 spend time flapping their wings as does the Osceola eaglet. Other eagles are incubating eggs. It is not time for Osprey season unless they are in Florida. Diane is incubating 3 eggs at Achieva in St Petersburg while Lena, laying hers a month early at Captiva, will be on hatch watch this weekend. Annie and Grinnell are only dreaming of eyases. Today Grinnell had to tell a 2 year old juvenile female to get off the ledge of The Campanile. Cal Falcons posted a video of that encounter.

Ervie continues to fish call off the barge at Port Lincoln. We can hear him but we cannot see him.

Kincaid is 29 days old today. He is starting to walk. It is so cute to see those first ‘baby steps’. Louis brought in what looks like an egret (or a part of an egret). When it looked like Louis might want to eat some of it, Anna promptly arrived at the nest. To Anna, prey brought to the nest belongs to her and Kincaid, not Louis who brought it! Anna is pretty strict in that regard. Not all female Bald Eagles behave that way. Anna proceeded to try and remove one long leg while Kincaid, with an already large crop, waited patiently.

Kincaid is mimicking what Anna is doing as he grabs the other leg and pulls on it. So cute. Kincaid also keeps himself busy moving around nesting material. These little eaglets learn from watching the adults.

Kincaid is already making attempts at self-feeding.

Kincaid is, of course, not the only one trying out eating by itself. I posted an image of R2 at the WRDC nest a week ago eating a fish. The eaglets of Harriet and M15 are also attempting eating on their own. E20 has become a bit of a pro. It seems like all of the eaglets grew up faster than they have ever done previously. Does it seem that way to you?

At the White-tailed Eagle nest of Milda and her new mate near Durbe, Latvia, the snow has melted. Milda will be laying her eggs about the same time as Big Red in Ithaca, New York – the third week of March – if all goes to plan.

There is more snow forecast for Big Red’s territory. The temperature in Ithaca is 1 C.

What I like about the image below is that you can see the nest cup area that Big Red and Arthur have been working on. In Milda’s nest sprigs of pine with their cones line the area of the egg cup. It is so fascinating watching the couples prepare for the upcoming breeding season. It is so intriguing. I would love to ‘speak hawk’ and sit by Big Red and Arthur when they discuss what needs to be done!

At least five eagles poisoned, one dead, four in serious condition in Manchester Maryland. Was this lead poisoning? or was this something else more sinister to impact all of the birds at the same time? There is an investigation underway.

Here is a short informative video of why eagles eat carrion in the winter.

https://fb.watch/b6jnYJByKa/

There is good news coming out of Australia about WBSE 27. You might remember that twice, after fledging, 27 was taken into care. 27 was not taught by the parents to take care of itself. Once 27 fledged, it was taunted and chased by the Pied Currawong. Both times 27 was extremely dehydrated. The last time the Currawong had gathered and had pecked 27s head. When 27 was taken into care the last time, I hoped that rehabilitation would include flight training as well as training for getting prey. This takes longer than a two week stay in a clinic. Some wildlife rehabbers keep birds for 2 years to make certain they are capable of caring for themselves with confidence. It looks like 27 is getting that great training. The news is excellent!

Isn’t she lovely? And – yes – 27 is a she!

I wish that all of the sea eagles that fledge from the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park would not be harangued by the Pied Currawong. They chase them out of the forest. They never learn to fly or to catch prey. How many of them survive, if any, unless they wind up in care?

The camera is now working again at Port Lincoln. Ervie was on the nest and, at various times, in the shed with Dad. Sometimes he was in the shed alone. I cannot tell you if he had a fish but there was definitely a lot of fish calling.

Checking in on Jack and Diane at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest and Jack is busy delivering fish and helping incubate the eggs.

If you are into garden animals and song birds, with a few surprises, you might want to check out Wildlife Kate. She has several wildlife cams and is featured on Springwatch in the UK. Have a look. You might find something really interesting like Yew Pond, or the Kestrel Box, or the Woodland Pond.

This is Woodland Pond. The cameras are live with no rewind. Enjoy.

https://www.wildlifekate.co.uk/

I haven’t posted anything about the eaglet at Berry College for a few days. Thermal down is coming in nicely. Pa Berry did a great job feeding the little one this morning. B15 is still walking around on its tarsus (not yet with its feet) and doing a lot of preening. B15 is doing great. Missy and Pa Berry are doing a great job raising this baby.

B15 is a sweet little eaglet. You can see how its plumage is beginning to change.

I will leave you with a gorgeous image of Jackie incubating her eggs at Big Bear Bald Eagle nest in California. Fingers crossed for a great season for her and Shadow!

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 captures: Friends of Big Bear, Achieva Credit Union, Wildlife Kate, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, Latvian Fund for Nature, and Sea Eagle Cam FB Page.

Thursday in Bird World

It is still super cold on the Canadian Prairies. You don’t even have to look at the temperature on the phone when you hear a super loud crunch when you walk on the snow. It is so dry, the snow, that you cannot even pack it into a snowball or a snowwo/man. The European Starlings were waiting for the first food drop, all lined up on the tips of the Lilac Bush branches. Surprisingly, the Sparrows beat them out. Four sparrows to one Starling. They will all eat but, most of the time, the Sparrows get shut out. The other day Little Woodpecker was here. He just stays away from all of them. Which reminds me – I need to go and fix his suet!

Looking back on the history of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, I realize that we probably have another month with the three lads. Last year DEW was last seen on 17:01 25 January. He was never sighted again after that time. Solly departed and flew West on 2 February. We know from her tracker that Solly thrived until that tragic day this fall when, after catching a fish, she landed on a power pole and died. I know that Port Lincoln has lobbied hard to get those poles covered and I understand that the power company is cooperating. For those who wrote letters to the Minister, thank you. Public pressure can help.

Ervie had advanced from flying to the fishing ramps to hanging around the commercial shipping yards over at the Marina!

That is Ervie on his perch. You can see that is crop is full.

Ervie and Falky on the nest hoping to get a fish from Dad.

The nest of White-tail Eagle, Milda, at Durbe has been covered with snow. Still, nest visits have taken place. Just look at the forest and the view. So beautiful. This nest will not become active until spring when I will be reporting daily on the happenings. Looking the White-tail Eagles raising chicks and the return of the Black storks.

Kindness’s nest is all covered in snow up at Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska.

If you are wondering what Kindness might be doing, please have a look at this 2 minute video. It is a bit dated in the sound but the information is correct to the present time. The images of the eagles flying and eating are gorgeous. The video ends abruptly. I would have loved to hear about the two clans but, another time! There are so many Eagles in Alaska. They sometimes take over small trucks delivering fish to the canneries.

The Roe Deer feeder is in Latvia. Yesterday, for the first time, they caught a female deer cow and her calf coming to eat. You can see them arriving on the right to try and get some food. The males are the ones with the antlers and from my reading it can be dangerous. The mother and her baby will wait after being escorted by the leader of the bucks and return.

You can see the little one eating here. There is a hierarchy in all of the groups. This is, of course, why our birds try so hard to be dominant and why Ervie, once he established himself, expected to get the first fish of the morning. E19 and E20 are going through this process currently.

Andy and Lena were both alert and alerting at the Captiva Osprey Nest this morning.

Of course their eyes are so good. All I could hear were people below. I wonder if that is the issue? They sure have a beautiful site for a nest! Hopefully it will be a successful season for this lovely pair who continue to try and continually have the Crows steal their eggs.

You can watch Andy and Lena here:

Harriet and M15 are being kept busy by E19 and 20. You can hear the little ones chirping away to Mum and Dad.

The pair got started on all the beaking as soon as Harriet got up to feed them. Oh, my.

There are over 4000 people watching these two at any one time and a myriad of videos coming up on YouTube. You won’t be able to miss them!

Everything is just fine in Bird World. The eggs at Taiaroa Head have been candled and OGK and YRK’s egg is developing normally. We are a month away from hatch. Gabby and Samson are taking turns up at NEFlorida and you will see me getting pretty excited in a couple of weeks. Thankfully, Daisy has not yet returned to the WBSE nest that I am aware. The latest news was awhile ago on WBSE27 who is currently in rehabilitation. The two chicks at Hilton Head are doing great. My copy of The Season of the Osprey arrived in the post this morning. That is on the agenda for today. It is far too cold to be outside for very long.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay warm, stay safe and take care until I see you again.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens, Roe Deer Feeder in Latvia, SWFlorida Eagles and D Pritchett Family, Port Lincoln Osprey, Captiva Osprey Cam, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

The Daisy Chronicles, Day 20

Daisy flew off the nest – very early – at 02:56:25 for her early morning foraging trip. She did not return until 07:05:08. It was an anxious time waiting for her to fly back to the nest. Sunrise was at 05:38. As always, I worry about the Ravens. They are such intelligent birds. They know there are big delicious eggs in that nest and they want them. So far they have flown by or landed on the upper branches of the Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest checking to see if Daisy is there. The Ravens do have a routine – arriving between 08:30 and 10:00 – but, that is not to say they would not come early!

To my mind, Daisy has had an unusually quiet day after returning to the nest. She has moved leaves, shifted back and forth turning the precious eggs over, and she has slept.

The cam operator has checked a couple of times and the Sea Eagles are not at the River Roost – but, we should all remember that anything can change in an instant.

The camera operator has also given us some really nice close ups of our adorable duck!

It is now almost 16:00. All is well. It has been such a quiet day. Sometimes all you could hear was the hum of the camera and the traffic. It almost seemed like all the birds had left the forest! We will take it. Hopefully the remainder of Day 20 will be completely uneventful! She has one more foraging trip. I will report on that tomorrow.

Before I close, Judy Harrington has given an update just minutes ago on WBSE 27: December 22 latest report on SE27 – a Seasonal message. “SE27 is doing as well as can be inspected for the short time she has been in care. She is building up her confidence and her weight and when the weather clears will be moved into the larger flight aviary.” I think she meant ‘expected’ not inspected. It is wonderful to hear 27 is improving. I hope that when 27 leaves it has the confidence that Iniko has!

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to have so many people sending their love and positive energy to this darling little duck. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Daisy Chronicles Day 16

Is that Ring-tail possum responsible for Daisy not leaving the nest to go foraging til later? It was spotted on camera at 04:27 climbing around the rim of the nest and on the branches and again at 04:47.

Ring-tail Possums are not a direct threat to Daisy’s eggs – they will not eat them. That said, the possum is looking for nesting material and Daisy does not know if it is friend or foe. She must be uneasy because she has always stayed on the nest not leaving for the foraging until the possum goes into his hole in the base of the big nest and goes to sleep.

They are a Marsupial – not like the opossums in North America.

“Ring-tail Possum” by _Stickybeak is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Once the possum is not moving about, Daisy prepares to leave for her foraging. She covers the nest well with all that soft fluffy down.

She flies off at 05:08:41 for her breakfast.

How many of us get tense when Daisy does not return from her foraging? I sure do in the morning. Scared to death that those Ravens are going to set the alarm and be out in the forest early.

While Daisy was away, the cam operator gave us a really nice close up of that nest! It is so beautiful. I never thought a bunch of duck down and old leaves could be so stunning.

Daisy returned at 07:01:38. She took her time, checking around to see if any predators were near, and drying off her feathers.

Daisy had settled in nicely and those fabulous Rainbow Lorikeets could be heard arriving to wish this amazing little duck a good morning.

It is certainly difficult to see Daisy on the nest unless you know you are looking for a duck!

I have heard the Ravens in the distance at 07:50:11 but they have not come to the nest – yet. The Rainbow Lorikeets did return again. They have such a sweet voice.

Daisy, like all ducks, did not get serious about taking off down until she was finished laying eggs. Every day the amount of down seems to grow making that lovely cloud bigger and bigger. She is an amazing Mum.

Daisy’s nest is really quite comfy looking. Look at her extended esophagus or crop, it is quite full. She had a nice foraging venture this morning. That is good. It is set to get warmer today on the nest – up to 34 C. She will need the hydration.

Daisy heard them before I did —— the Ravens flying through the forest. They landed on the high branches of the nest tree but did not come down to the nest near Daisy. They are definitely checking to make sure she is incubating those eggs. I must plot their fly through times. It seems that it is always around 09:00 or so in the morning with possibly 2 others pass throughs later.

Daisy got still and put her head down a bit when they were up in the tree. Her eyes change. You can tell she is afraid but she certainly does not let the Ravens know that. She gave it to them twice. So interesting they don’t bother trying to get her off the nest with their threats.

Other Bird News: I feel so guilty not checking on the Port Lincoln Osprey fledglings. So, after Daisy returned this morning I went to their streaming cam to see how the boys were doing. Mum and Dad are still delivering meals and Ervie, dear Ervie, is still dominant. At the end of the afternoon, yesterday, Ervie had finished one fish. He was so full. Then he got the next fish. He literally ‘sat’ on that fish for an hour and a half before he started eating it. Today, Ervie got the first fish at 06:06:21. Falky got the next delivery at 06:21. Bazza is waiting his turn. What do you want to bet that Mum brings her baby boy a nice fish?

Gabby has been on the nest this morning. Will this be the day for an egg for her and Samson at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville?

And Gabby did! It was 17:19:21. Congratulations Samson and Gabby! I think that they count the egg that did not hatch – so Legacy was NE24, ‘Eggie’ was NE25 so this must be NE26. So excited.

We will check back on 20 December for egg 2. This is splendid. This will be Samson and Gabby’s third breeding attempt as bonded mates. They fledged Romey and Jules (2020) and Legacy (2021). Samson is using the nest that belonged to his parents, Romeo and Juliette. — and where he hatched.

Harriet and M15’s eggs are set to hatch at the Bald Eagle Nest in Fort Myers in a week (egg 1). Can you believe a snake came on that nest?! They love eggs. Harriet was able to stomp on it and kill it without harming those two precious eggs. Here is the video:

So for something a little different. Need a holiday pick me up? The other evening I found the most amazing site – a feeding station for Roe Deer. Every day the same man brings pellets and hay but he delivered carrots today! Here is the video of the delivery.

Here is the live stream to this amazing site. It warms one’s heart to see the generosity and caring for these beautiful animals. The deer live around Saaremaal, the largest island in Estonia. They are a small reddish-brown deer that live in the coldest of climates.

It is -13 degrees C in central Canada with snow due to start falling at 23:00. Everything is grey or brown! We woke up to a fresh white blanket covering everything. There were 29 European Starlings sitting on the tips of the lilacs waiting for the Bark Butter delivery! Squirrels were scurrying everywhere and there was evidence that Hedwig had been out at night eating the birdseed on the ground. I should have called her Dyson, too!

The morning light is filtering through the branches of the Old Ironbark Tree and Daisy is illuminated. Just gorgeous in that light.

No sooner had I taken this image than a few minutes later Daisy is frozen in fear. She will remain like this until 09:52:43 – almost three minutes. It was hard to see her even take a breath.

Daisy remains cautious. You can see the shadow of a bird flitting around. The vocalization sounded like a Pied Currawong – the bird that harasses Lady and Dad and the fledglings, the bird that sent WBSE 27 into care from a mob attack. I hope they move along and leave Daisy in peace.

Daisy appears a little more relaxed but she is very alert. Fingers crossed that things settle down in the forest and the rest of her day is uneventful. I will monitor Daisy throughout the evening here in Canada and the wee hours of the morning.

Thank you so very much for joining me. I am so grateful for all of these amazing birds. They give me joy (and anxiety) each and every day. I hope that they bring the joy to you! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, and RMK Hirvekaamera.

Oh, Bazza Baby

The Port Lincoln Lads seem to always be up to something. This morning Falky was flying about and Bazza and Ervie were on the nest. They had to have been full because there was a lovely fish tail on the nest and neither one of them were paying any attention to it.

It was very windy and Bazza entertained Ervie for about half an hour trying to land and stay on the perch. Have a look.

Are you finding that sometimes you could just use a little bit of ‘cute’ as we wait for new bobble heads in the raptor families to be born? What about a Korora?

They used to be called Little Blue Penguins. They are the smallest of the New Zealand penguins. This little one will weigh about 1 kg and be about 25 cm tall when it is fully grown. Their population is in decline due to dog, cat, stoat, and ferret kills. This group of predators has arisen because of the destruction of the penguin’s natural nesting sites for development. Sad.

And I want to give a shout out to ‘TAS’ for introducing me to this cute little non-raptor!

WBSE 27 has been observed being hounded by the Pied Currawong. This report comes from Cathy Cook on the ground:

As is usual in the Reserve, SE27 found herself being escorted & swooped by Noisy Miners, Magpies, Currawongs and Ravens, from the time she hopped out of the carrier. We saw her take 4 seperate flights, with her finally being observed (by credible people in the wharf cafe) to cross over the Parramatta River, just a little west of River Roost. The last picture shows SE27’s individual flights within the first 40 minutes after her release — at Newington Nature Reserve, Sydney Olympic Park.

Cathy posted pictures and a short video. I hope she does not mind my including one for you.

@ Cathy Cook

The saddest part about being a juvenile Sea Eagle is that for the rest of his life, 27 will be hounded by the smaller birds who, as you already know, are very effective in driving the juveniles out of the forest. I hope that Lady and Dad return to the River Roost on the Parramatta River to find 27 so they can feed her.

For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving with your friends, families and/or other loved ones in the USA, have a wonderful day. For those in Canada who celebrated in October, tomorrow is just another day. Take care. Always be thankful. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for its streaming cam where I video captured Bazza and to the Sea Eagles FB Page and Cathy Cook for the update on WBSE 27.

Port Lincoln Lads

It was really difficult to keep up with the number of fish coming on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest yesterday but, everyone got something to eat. It does not appear that any of the brothers were left out and some, if not all, had two fish.

The winds picked up and the lads were all hunkered down at 18:57:22. It is often hard to tell what the weather is like just looking at the screen but it sure appears to be windy and later on the boys have some rain drops on their wings.

Dad is still out fishing for them. Ervie got the next fish delivery after being hunkered down. He was eating it at 19:49:37. Falky is hungry! Bazza is just watching.

Dad flew in with another fish at 20:22 and Falky got that one. So all the lads went to bed with some fish in their tummies. Dad, you are really amazing.

Bazza had a really nice fish at 14:03:54. He sure had to defend it. Ervie came flying in and the pair had a very short brotherly tussle but, Bazza maintained control. Good for you, Bazza!

It might have looked horrible watching it, these three have been so polite to one another. They may never have the competition for food some regions have but it is good to be able to protect your ‘fish’ and Bazza did a great job handling Ervie.

Bazza enjoying his fish in peace.

Today might just be the day that Bazza joins the skies with his brothers. I wish there were cameras all around the barge to watch them flying and having fun with one another!

The Audubon Society posted an interesting picture of an Osprey named Smedley. Some of you might know the story of Smedley. I didn’t and it is quite heart warming. Smedley fell out of his nest in 1998 and injured himself to the point that he would never be able to be released into the wild. He could not fly. He has remained at the Audubon Centre for Birds and Prey – count it – 23 years! His wing injury began to bother him and a sling was constructed so that he could move about comfortably.

There he is with his sling. What a wonderful story. Just heart warming. If you travel to the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida you might see Smedley. It is near Orlando.

One of the reasons this is such a heart-warming story is that many Osprey do not do well in care. Smedley is certainly the exception and maybe a look back at what – in particular – the rehabbers did when he arrived could help improve the success rate of Ospreys going into care now.

The Bald Eagles continue to work on their nests. Harriet was hit very hard by the GHOW that has a nest near to hers and M15s’ in Fort Myers. This was a growing problem last year with both the adults and the eaglets. Yurruga continues to grow and develop her self-feeding. She is adorable. There is no news on WBSE 27’s release. One of my eagle friends tells me that the GHOWs have been to visit the nest in Farmer Derek’s field but there is a problem – the raccoons have dug a hole in thee nest. She suggests that he get a raccoon baffle – great idea! Funny thing. We all loved watching those owls hatch and grow but my goodness they can kill everything in sight – and do.

Take care everyone. If I see Bazza fledge I will let you know. If I miss it – let me know. Thank you for joining me today.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures and to the FB page of the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey where I grabbed that image of Smedley.

WBSE 27 update

The last update that we had on White-Belled Sea Eagle fledgling 27 was on 5 November. That was a week ago and despite the fact that it was not that many days, it was easy to get restless waiting for some news. I am delighted to bring you some really good news.

Here is the posting:

“An update on the progress of SE27 in care “The Sea Eagle is doing very well under veterinary care and will soon be released back into the wild in Newington Nature Reserve. It has been identified as a male. He is eating well and strengthening his wings in a flight aviary. “

Oh, we just needed some good news. This is fantastic. Others were out and about today and there is still no sighting of WBSE 28.

YRK lays her egg at Taiaroa

It is still the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand so not a lot is happening in Bird World.

The rangers at Taiaroa Head in NZ shocked everyone when they announced that OGK’s mate, YRK, laid her egg yesterday. She obviously snuck in and visited with OGK and no one saw her. Chris McCormack shared an image of OGK and YRK at the nest OGK prepared down the hill from where Atawhai hatched. This was on the Royal Cam Albatross FB Page. Thanks, Chris. This will be the couple’s 8th breeding attempt. As most of you know, they were the parents of the Royal Cam chick in 2020.

For all Royal Albatross fans, the rangers also announced that 111 birds are on the island and 15 eggs have been laid. Eggs take approximately two months to hatch.

There are still two Peregrine Falcon chicks to fledge at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne. The first fledged at 06:34 on 8 November and the second at 07:46 on 9 November. Take note that those are early morning times. Falcons typically fledge in the early morning or early evening but not normally during mid-day.

The adults have brought prey onto the ledge for these two. In fact, the parents will continue to provide food to all four of their chicks until the chick makes its ‘first kill’. These two could fledge at any moment.

What you are looking at below, is an image of Bazza (Red band) looking enviously at the empty talons of Ervie (Dk Green band). Ervie managed to take the fish tale from Falky (yellow band) and didn’t share a scrap. Bazza was hoping there would be some left. No. Never. Fish tails must be very special – everyone wants them!

There’s Ervie eating that precious tail. Awwww. It is nice to know that having that sat-pak has not changed Little Bob at all!

I am a raptor person but so many enjoy watching the feeders for the Boreal birds. There is one that is just up and running, sponsored by Cornell. It is located in Northwestern Ontario. Here is the link if you would like to check it out.

Last but not least, those pesky Spotted Eagle owlets in Joburg. Yesterday there was only one owlet left in the nesting box. The adoptee and one of the resident owlets are both wandering around in the garden of the owner. Mum, in the meantime, is having to feed the one inside the box and then go and feed the other two. She is busy! Here is a short video of the one in the box. It is really watching its siblings and well, who knows, it could be down there any minute!

It is 17:35, still day light, and the little one is still in the box.

This is just a quick check. There have been no updates on the satellite trackers of Karl II, Udu, and Pikne, the Black Stork family from the Karula Forest in Estonia. It is hoped that they are out of range and enjoying their winter vacation. If so, we will have to wait until next spring to find out if they are alright. There is also no update on WBSE 27. The last one was 5 November. There is, however, going to be a webinar where Ranger Judy talks about her work with the WBSE as well as other guests. It is later in November. If you are interested in joining in, check out this link and follow the instructions.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: EcoSolutions, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac and to Royal Cam Albatross FB Page and Chris McCormack for the image of OGK and YRK.

Monday in Bird World

One of the most wonderful things about the time I spent teaching university classes is the students you meet. Often you get to see them grow up from being first years to graduating and, at other times, you are lucky enough to follow them through adulthood. I often think I was so blessed as I continue to stay in contact with so many watching their extraordinary lives unfold. One of those students is an artist living in northern Manitoba who treated me to a late Halloween treat – images of the Northern lights or the Aurora Borealis from where she lives in Northern Manitoba. These colourful dancing lights are energized particles from the sun slamming into our atmosphere. They say that this happens at 72 million kmh (or 45 million mph). My mind cannot even comprehend how fast that is. When this happens, Earth’s magnetic field redirects those same particles toward the North Pole. That redirection is what causes the Aurora Borealis. I would like to share them with all of you.

Aren’t these incredible? When my children were little, living on the acreage in southern Manitoba, you could look out over the flat landscape of the prairies and see them so clearly.

Oh, what a wonderful treat. Thank you!

The moderators on the chat at the scrape box of Diamond and Xavier have confirmed that Diamond was also limping and had a droopy wing the day that she was away from Yarruga for ten hours. She appears to be getting better. Yesterday little Yarruga was so hungry. Yarruga is definitely as loud as big brother, Izzi. If we ever worried, right after hatch, that Yarruga might have trouble feeding, we do not have to anymore. Here is a clip of Yarruga trying to take the prey and self-feed! Yarruga is 3 weeks old. S/he is going to be a formidable falcon.

Xavier is doing all of the hunting. This morning Diamond fed Yarruga early.

The sun is casting a golden glow on the trio of the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It has been confirmed that they will definitely be ringed, named, and at least one of them will receive a sat-pak on either 8 or 9 November. When I hear the precise time I will let you know. Last year PLO posted a video of everything later. I do hope they will do that again this year.

I am also told that the two chicks at Thistle Island are a bit younger than the PLO trio. I am so selfishly hoping that Little Bob gets a tracker.

There is going to be a live-streamed Condor release tomorrow. The Zoom event will start at 9:30 am Pacific time (that is 11:30 CDT) with the release pen opening at 10 am PT or 12 noon CDT. Every year young condors are released into the wild on the Central Coast of California. This year they will release six which includes #1031 Iniko, the daughter of Kingpin and Redwood Queen, who survived the Dolan fire. Iniko will be released on 4 December but three other birds will be released tomorrow. If you would like to watch this event – and any release into the wild of a condor is fantastic – then you need to sign up. Here is the link to do that:

https://www.ventanaws.org/zoom-chats.html

If you would like to watch the live-streaming condor cams, here is the link to the Ventana Wildlife Society where you can locate the camera you want:

https://www.ventanaws.org/condor_cam.html

I am so very grateful for these Zoom events. It is one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. I hope that every group continues using them so that those of us far away can join in.

A report on the Ospreys in Finland has been published. It is in Finnish but you can cut and paste and use Google Translate. There are a few images of the nests, etc. They are lovely. Here is that link as I know that some of you watch the Finnish Osprey nests faithfully.

http://128.214.237.21/sites/default/files/files/linnut_vk2020_086-093_saakset_artikkelit_10293.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2HZ8k187x2tvZvT0UfesEMjKgQyZQ2WpxcJDJpycQsmlAFuzeckF6IoXg

There have been images of a pair of Ospreys on the Achieva nest in St Petersburg, Florida. At this point, I cannot confirm they are Jack and Diane. They certainly could be but as one loyal watcher has said, “They do not behave like Jack and Diane.” There is time yet. Last year eggs hatched the first week of March which means they were laid the end of January/early February. If they are not Jack and Diane, Jack will surely run them out of town!

The only confirmation on WBSE 27 is the following from yesterday:

We all hope that WBSE 27 will be kept until it is completely healed and flying well so that it can be released with some hope that it will be able to survive. What a beautiful bird. Those Pied Currawongs are quite dangerous. It is not always safe to be the juvenile of the Apex Raptor on the block! Get well soon WBSE 27.

There have been no new transmissions from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne. It is assumed that Karl II has reached his wintering grounds in the Sudan since his last GPS showed that he had arrived there safely. Pikne was along the waters of the Red Sea. There are real worries for little Udu. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea which would have been exhausting. He will need food and water. His last location was an oasis but they use hot sulphur water for the crops and this is not good for Udu. It is hoped that he made it to the Nile River. Send positive energy to him and also to WBSE 27.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Everyone is fine. You cannot see the Collins Street Four unless they are running down the gutter but they are doing well. More down is being shedded off those wings every hour. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Eagle Club of Estonia Forum, and for the FB Page of the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for the image and announcement about WBSE 27.

Good News in Bird World

There is a lot to celebrate in Bird World this evening. Everyone on the Taiaroa Peninsula and perhaps the whole of New Zealand are celebrating the arrival of the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Princess, Tiaki, at the feeding grounds just 70 km off the coast of Chile – safely! This really is amazing. As was pointed out on the Royal Albatross FB page, this young bird fledged on 25 September and arrived in the waters off the coast of Chile, 8500 km away, in 35 days. Incredible. Congratulations!

For those watching the return of the Royal Albatross to Taiaroa Head for the upcoming breeding season, OGK has flown off the peninsula to feed. He continues to wait for his mate, YRK. I have asked and been told that OGK is not the only male still waiting for its mate. That gives me some hope that this adorable couple will still be reunited. They were the parents of last year’s Royal cam princess, Pippa Atawhai.

There has been no new tracking data for Karl II but, on the 28th of October, he had reached Umm Harazat in the Sudan close to where he winters. Udu was at the Farafa Oasis in Egypt on the same day and Pikne was along the Red Sea. I expect that Udu and Pikne could be further into Africa by the time the next transmission comes in.

The Farafa Oasis is an area known as the White Desert.

Udu made a splendid flight across the Mediterranean Sea. The White Desert is home to a number of wells and there is farming in the area. It is most know for its white rock figures.

Pikne’s position:

Karl II’s position:

Moving away from the migrating birds back to Australia, little Yurruga took some big steps today. What a sweet little falcon! Here is a short clip I made of this momentous event.

Yesterday, Dad fed the 367 Collins Street Four in an area that could be viewed easily. There are, of course, concerns that the falcons will fledge from the end where there is no camera view. The owners of the cameras have stated that they will not change the direction of the camera again as it is too disturbing for the birds. That is quite understandable at this stage. No one wants to frighten these lovely eyases and have them fly and fall to their doom. And there is no telling which end of the ledge they will fledge. We just simply wait. They are so strong and healthy. Mum and Dad have been heroic in their efforts to sustain them. So please keep feeding the pigeons in Melbourne – our falcons need them!

There has been no word from the vet team about the condition of WBSE 27 since it was attacked by the Pied Currawong and found on pavement near to the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The Sydney Sea Eagle Cam FB page had originally posted WBSE 27 on the pavement unconscious. This disturbed some people so it was replaced with the image below. I have said that no news is good news but this has been several days since the incident. Send all the positive energy to this beautiful bird that you can!

There is good news at the Kakapo Recovery. The team has discovered that the eggs that are laid but do not hatch are not always infertile. Since the beginning of trying to help the Kakapo to recover numbers, it was always believed that the eggs were simply infertile and that is why there was no chick to hatch. The chicks are dying at an early stage. If they can figure out what is the cause, they might be able to assist these lovely non-flying parrots to have more successful hatches. Here is the posting on the Kakapo Recovery FB page. It talks about their efforts with the University of Sheffield to understand the issue and be able to have more live births of this critically endangered bird. Bravo!

The ospreys on the PLO barge are doing great. Little Bob is 45 days old today. Fledging is coming soon. Oh, how I am going to miss this wonderful trio. They have delighted hundreds and hundreds of people this season. Pure joy!

Look at Little Bob showing off! Besides loving to eat Little Bob really does like to give those wing muscles a go. I don’t think Big Bob is very amused.

In the image below, from left to right: Middle Bob (2), Little Bob (3), and Big Bob (1). If I were to have to base a guess on their gender due to the legs, I am afraid that I would have to change my prediction.

Middle Bob’s legs are definitely shorter and stockier than either Little Bob or Big Bob. Big Bob’s legs look like those of a male. That leaves us with Little Bob that I continue to believe is a female. Oh, I cannot wait for those measurements. They are not 100% certain but, perhaps, they will also do DNA testing on the three when they ring them!

Little Bob gives its two older siblings a big hug.

There is Little Bob looking off to the left after the morning breakfast. Three gorgeous nestlings. Ringing, naming, and measuring will take place the week of 8 November. I will keep you posted to the more exact date when I find out.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that you are all well. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots, video clips, and maps: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Birdmap, Kakapo Recovery FP Page, Wikimedia Commons, and Wildlife Computers.