Tuesday in Bird World

It is a grey and windy day. As the weather channel promised, our summer heat wave in October seems to have come to an end (for the moment) with the arrival of single digit temperatures. The recent rains have caused the ground and old tree stumps to come alive and the sparrows and thrashers are thumping the ground having a good old time. It reminds me – continues to remind me – why we should not be raking our leaves or mowing the grass. Gently rake them into a corner if you have to. The birds really will thank you!

It is also nearing Halloween and all around me I can see the windows and doors decorated – many have elaborate displays outside.

I believe Halloween was the favourite holiday of my children – you got to dress up, get candy, and have parties at School. I recall pulling the two oldest in a sled one year as the snowflakes fell faster and faster. We did not need to go more than a block. Their pillowcases were full because they were the only ones out on such an incredible wintery night. The grandchildren enjoyed decorating the trees and, sadly, I remember using some of that web material with little black plastic spiders. That was a long time ago when I did not know better – but I do now. As a reminder to everyone, please be careful if you decorate. It will be a tragedy if animals get caught and have to be euthanized just for a bit of fun.

Oh, gosh, golly. Xavier and Diamond’s little chick just took its first steps!

Meanwhile, the Collins Street Four – which are a week older – are now standing up. They are also getting curious about the outside world and one nearly gave several streaming cam viewers a heart attack when it walked up to the edge of the ledge.

The Collins Four having some fun. Look at the size of the wings!

In case you are wondering why the scrape box is so messy this year, it is because the wind does not blow through it like it did at the other end. On a positive note, the chicks have been supplied with some shade and neither them or Mum have been as hot and panting as much as last year.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, the osplets had, at least, five fish yesterday – probably a couple more. I could not rewind the camera prior to 16:00 and all had big crops at that time. One of the most interesting interactions was between Little Bob and Mum. They had a tug-o-war with the fish tail. Mum won!!! It was very cute. that fish tail was from the 18:02:17 fish Dad brought in.

The osplets are doing really well walking around in that twig lined nest, too. They are covered more and more with feathers each day. Those feathers seem to be pushing out of those quills right before our eyes.

Dad brought in a bedtime fish for the family at 19:39:16. It is difficult to tell one from the other but there is Little Bob in its usual spot, right up by Mum’s beak.

Where is Solly, the first hatch of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in 2020? She seems to have decided to take a quick trip to Streaky Bay before heading back to her special tree in Eba Anchorage. It is such a relief to see the movements of the birds – to know they are safe, living their lives well.

If you were following some of the Montana Ospreys, a map of their locations has been released on the Montana Osprey FB page this morning. It shows that all of the Ospreys arrived in Mexico or Central America. Such good news. Their satellite trackers are working splendidly.

Both of the little sea eagles, WBSE 27 and 28, were still on the nest early this morning. That doesn’t mean that they will be there in a couple of hours.

I am a huge fan of Gabby and Samson’s at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. The morning was just starting. The couple spent the night on the branches and as the sun came up, Gabby could be seen working on the nest.

At various times during the day, Samson, Gabby, or both, can be seen preparing their nest for the new breeding season. Here is a link to the streaming cams (there are several but this one looks directly into the nest), so you can check on them.

Tiaki, the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Chick, is making really good time on her way to Chile. She was well beyond the International Date Line this morning. So, with that news, everyone in Bird World is doing well today. Smile. It is all good!

The sun is out and the Slate-grey Juncos are on the deck and the sparrows are having a drink out of the bowls. I wonder what other garden critters will show up? No Halloween candy for them! But they are getting extra dry corn cobs.

Thank you for joining me. Take care each and every one of you. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Montana Osprey Project and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Pages for the sat-pak maps showing the location of the migrating Montana Ospreys and Solly.

Catching up with WBSE 27 and 28

The WBSE are both in the 11th week after hatching. With the average of 75-80 days after hatch for fledgling, WBSE 27 and 28 are ready. Their feathers have developed, they have grown, and you can see them getting excited with all the wing flapping and catching air enabling them to rise above the nest.

What are they watching so intently from the nest? Is it a Pied Currawong?

Of course, the Pied Currawong are right there. The Pied Currawong is closely related to the Butcherbirds or the Magpies in Austrlia. They are a medium sized passerine. They have a large black beak with yellow eyes.

Here is a short video of the calls/songs the Pied Currawong make:

The Currawong become more of a menace around fledging time. Their attacks increase in number and they could injure the chicks, knock them off the branches, or chase them out of the forest before they can imprint the route back to the nest in their mind’s GPS system.

Lady was on the nest honking and flapping her wings at the Currawong so the eaglets could finish their lunch. At other times, the eaglets have to learn to defend themselves or hunker down really low in the nest. Because the WBSE are at the top of the ‘food chain’, they will always be followed and attacked by the smaller birds. What do the smaller birds want? They want the WBSE to pack up and leave!

Lady is honking really loud, warning the intruder to leave.

Lady was in the nest much earlier feeding both of her eaglets. Many of you have probably noticed that despite the fact that the nestlings are fully capable of self-feeding, she seems to enjoy feeding them.

The eaglets know to stay alert for intruders while flapping their wings and jumping to stretch their legs.

They honk at the Currawong just like the adults.

The Pied Currawong are very brave. Indeed, their attacks on the almost-fledglings is relentless. Ironically, I don’t believe the WBSE eat Currawong. Sometimes I think that they should rethink that!

Both of the nestlings have branched. They are standing on the parent branch looking around. Soon they will fledge.

It has been a wonderful season for Lady and Dad at their nest. Both of their eggs hatched and both of the nestlings thrived under their care. Both are healthy and fit and we hope that they both fledge successfully, returning to the nest or other areas so Lady and Dad can continue to feed them while they learn to fly better.

We wish them a long and successful life. It has been a remarkable year.

Lady and Dad are ‘honking’ their duet in June. It is a really special way to end another good day!

Thank you for joining me this evening. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took these screen and video captures.

How do you say ‘cute’ in Falconese

One of the last feedings for the little eyas at the scrape box in Orange, Australia was around 18:19:00 yesterday.

This little one is eight days old. It has sure grown!

I took three video clips to cover the entire time Diamond was feeding the chick. Watching the movements and the interactions instead of seeing a still image can give you a more in-depth look at the size of the bites and the sheer cuteness of the moment.

The total number of fish delivered to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest was 7 yesterday. They were delivered at 7:11:22, 8:23:54,12:47:30, 13:52:18, 14:54:09, 16:37:00, and 18:08:37. This is a capture of Dad delivering the fish at 7:11 and Mum coming to the nest from the perch as well as a capture from the 14:54 feeding:

There appeared to be an adult on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida yesterday. The marks on the crown of the bird seem to be that of the male, Jack. Today, another adult showed up at the same nest at 11:16:09.

Jack appears to be alarming.

This is the image of the adult from yesterday (right) and an image of Jack bringing Tiny Tot Tumbles a fish on the left. It seems likely that the adult visiting the nest is Jack. There is a lot of prep work to be done before Diane returns.

The White Bellied Sea Eagles 27 and 28 entered hatch watch the other day! That date range for fledging is 75-80 days from hatch. WBSE 28 was 77 days old on 16 October (yesterday) when it branched! Watch closely to see what 28 uses to make the leap.

Fledging is getting closer for these two. No doubt they will have contests to see who can get higher up on the tree!

Today is starting off as a fantastic day in Bird World. While there are little ones to feed or fledge in Australia, staff at many of the nature centres in the UK are refurbishing Osprey nests. A new pole and platform has been installed at Lyn Brenig and today the work was completed on Pont Cresor, the nest of Aeron, Z2 and Blue 014.

Thank you for joining me today. It is beautiful and sunny. All of the garden animals are having their lunch and the world is simply right with itself. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen captures: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St. Petersburg.

Everyone is Fine

One of the problems with the streaming cams is the ‘chat’ feature. There, I have said it. The same persons come on at different times of the day, every day or every other day and say the same negative things. There is one on the PLO chat that always says, ‘The mother never feeds the youngest’. ‘Mama feed in order never feeds youngest.’ Seriously! Either they can’t rewind, they don’t watch, or they just want to stir the pot of negativity. I think that it is all three. So I go back to an old cry out of mine, Streaming cams need 24/7 knowledgable moderators. They need them to stop the bots coming in and they need them to stop the negative chatter. Even more so, if something happens on the nest they need to have emergency numbers to call or place them on the streaming cam site at the top.

The Port Lincoln Osplets are doing fine! And it is something to celebrate. One of the most exciting things is to watch them grow and grow they are. these chicks are losing their light grey coat to get their second, darker grey down. You can see the little pin feathers starting. still, each retains a tiny bit of its egg tooth. The feet are getting bigger, wings are growing and the tiny tails are starting. If you didn’t know the different species at this age of 9-10 days, just look at that beautiful dark mask going from the cere to behind the eye. that is the distinctive bandit mask of the Osprey!

Dad comes in with another fish. the big one that arrived earlier is all gone.

The chicks are getting bigger and they don’t like sleeping under Mum like they did when they first hatched. Indeed, these little ones seem to be tumbling around underneath her much of the time.

Awwww. Such sweeties.

Because it is winter in Australia, the light changes early. Mum and dad are on the nest and the little ones are getting another feed. Notice how much they have grown. It is as if someone took them and stretched them in the last couple of days. They no longer appear like short fat little chicks but they are entering another phase where they will begin to look like thin reptiles with long necks.

Each is doing fine. There were not as many big fish yesterday as during the high winds but everyone was fed and no one was left out.

I literally checked into the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest to see how WBSE 27 and 28 are doing. Lady was feeding them.

That is WBSE 28 at the front of the nest with its big crop. 27 is practicing its self feeding with a small piece of prey.

This nest will have two fledges this year. I so hope the Pied Currawong do not chase them out of the forest so they can fly and return to the nest for more meals while they get their piloting in order.

Lady Hawk did a video of 27 learning to self-feed and 28 nibbling at her toes. Have a look:

The strongest earthquake in recorded history hit Melbourne, Australia yesterday.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/earthquake-tremor-felt-across-melbourne-and-regional-victoria/news-story/f8dca1048e48a500e3308dabedfdb1c1

The first thing many thought of were the four eggs of the Peregrine Falcons at 367 Collins Street.

Dad was on the eggs at the time and stepped off wondering what was happening.

Everything appears to be fine. Some buildings were damaged but no one was killed. Thankfully! We are nearing hatch watch for this couple.

In Orange, the running joke has been Xavier wanting his time to incubate the eggs.

Xavier doesn’t want to give up his incubating time!

Do you know why the male Peregrine falcon is called Xavier? It is one of those heart wrenching stories that makes you love this little male bird even more.

Diamond’s eggs were ready to hatch. Her mate, Bula, disappeared and was presumed dead. As we all know, the chicks would have died. Instead, enter a new male who starts helping with the chicks and raises them as if they were his own. Because he was a ‘saviour’ of the family, he was named Xavier.

The researcher at Orange is Cilla Kinross. She did a cute video of the negotiations between Diamond and Xavier over the incubation duties.

Everything is changing at these four nests in Australia. The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are exercising their wings, jumping, and hopping about. They are getting more adept at self-feeding although 27 still is the one that gets to the prey first it seems. Lady does come in and feed them. Branching will be next but not for a bit, thankfully. We will be watching for the four at Collins street to hatch in about four or five days. Diamond and Xavier’s chicks will follow but not for a week or a little more. And, of course, the change in the Osplets at Port Lincoln will be significant. They will look like skinny reptiles all wound around one another. The key is that everything, at this moment in time, is just fine. There are no worries. So enjoy them!

It is another beautiful fall day in Manitoba. The Green Heron has departed and I always missed it. Perhaps another will come next year! The Blue Heron is also gone but I hear there are waves of Dark-Eyed Juncos headed towards the city. I cannot wait. They love to pick apart my red outdoor carpet. Such cuties. I am going out for a long walk and to check on the Wood Ducks. Perhaps they will cooperate and there will be some good photos for me to share with you.

Thank you for stopping by. Check out the streaming cams – the birds are doing great. And, if you feel up to it, shut down the negativity. There is already enough in the world. The birds bring us joy. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street by Mirvan, Falcon Project Cam at Orange, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

Third Egg for Diamond and a Rescue

Saturday Morning. I don’t think that this Swainson’s Thrush knew that he would be spending so much time with me. I suspect that he did not know that he was in for an adventure and a car ride.

Indeed, it is unclear how this little one wound up behind my kitchen in the grass. There were no window strikes. He turned around and faced different directions and thinking that it was simply stunned, I waited for 45 minutes. Still nothing. It tried to fly but that wouldn’t work so…….into the comfort of the transport box on soft, soft sheets and away we went to Wildlife Haven. It was still alive on arrival. Thank Goodness.

As I answered all of the questions by the intake helper, it was a reminder that it is migration season – something we have been talking about for several weeks. Juveniles are finding themselves in trouble all over the place – so what do you do?

  1. You should have the phone number of your nearest wildlife rehabber in your contact list. Check and see if you have that and it is current.
  2. As much as you would like to, please do not feed the wildlife anything – anything. It could cause the to be worse. No cow’s milk, no baby formula! You can offer them a very shallow bowl of water – think saucer actually so they don’t drown.
  3. Do not pet them. The bird or animal is stressed enough. Any undue stress could cause them to have a heart attack.
  4. Keep them in a quiet, dark place. I have a large box that my organic groceries come in. On each side are holes for handles. This is good for the air circulation and allows the box to stay warm and dry while at the same time they are not seeing you.
  5. Don’t let your pets around the injured bird or animal.

Swainson’s Thrush does, during migration, often find itself in back gardens and parks. It often gleans for food on the ground. In our case it could also have been at any one of the feeders or on the ground where the other birds kick off seed. Something, however, had caused it not to be able to fly. It wanted to but just didn’t have the battery power. I hope that it does well in rehab and is on its way to its winter home soon.

Speaking of wildlife rehabbers, they love donations. Many of the raptors like to play with toys. Did you know that? It helps them from being bored. I cannot imagine being a Red Tail-Hawk imprinted on humans that cannot be allowed to fly free. The rehabbers are always in need of food including rabbit and cat/dog kibble. Many rehabbers post a list of wanted items on their website and, of course, they are happy for donations no matter how big or small. So when you think of gifting, think of these folks that are not for profit and survive on donations, please.

Our wildlife rehabber also has one other concern for people who feed the birds. “If you feed the animals in your yards, they may learn to depend on the availability of food from you and may not store for the winter months. So if you are going to feed later in the fall, it is best to continue feeding until the spring months.”

There is very little news out in Bird World. Birds are flying or sitting on eggs. The only ones that seem to be feeding little ones are the White-Bellied Sea Eagles and that continues to go well. Those babies are getting big. Look at those beautiful juvenile feathers coming in.

WBSE 28 can give as good as it gets. This nest has turned around for the good.

Tiny Little’s dad, White YW, is still in his territory as of this morning.

Aran still remains at the Glaslyn Nest. Mrs G was last seen on Sunday, 29 August. Aran does not normally leave til the middle of the month so his presence is not unusual. I need to check on the dates for White YW.

Can you see Aran?

Another male that is still at home is Louis up at Loch Arkaig. In fact, Louis is still feeding Aspen and Alder. I am not sure when it was that Dorcha left on her migration. This makes Louis’s fledglings some of the last to migrate. Here they are sunning themselves on a branch. — You will recall that Louis’s mate, Aila, did not return from migration this year. He made a nest with his new mate, Dorcha, away from the old nest with the camera. Louis is simply a fabulous dad. He even fishes at night if the family needs food. We wish them all the best when they do leave and look forward to their safe return next spring.

Last but never least, Diamond, the Peregrine Falcon in the scrape box on the ground of Orange University laid her third egg this morning around 06:29. Will she lay 4 eggs like the female in Melbourne? or will this be it and she will start the hard incubation. We wait and watch.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care and stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB Pages where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB Group, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

Late Friday and Saturday in Bird World, 28 August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the latest map for Udu:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The nest has everything! A river with fish!

What a magnificent valley, so serene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Checking in on Australia

It is raining in parts of Australia. Orange got 50 mm and there are floods about while there was 37 mm out at the Campus where the scrape box of Peregrine Falcon couple, Xavier and Diamond, have their scrape box.

Diamond has spent time on the ledge and going back to the scrape box looking like she is concentrating on that first egg. What do you think? Maybe today?

Sadly, the poor weather might be impacting Dad’s ability to bring in prey to the two babies in the Ironbark Tree. Until now, there has been little to no demonstrations of dominance but yesterday the prey diminished and WBSE 27 started telling the little one who is boss. It is unclear if WBSE 28 had any of the morning fish. WBSE 27 is 26 days old today and WBSE 28 is 24 days old. Oh, I hope this stops. There is enough for everyone! Most people say that the parents will not step in. And, as you know, if I hear survival of the fittest one more time I might scream loud enough for someone to hear me in Australia! All you have to do is to think about Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest or Tiny Little — those tortured little ones turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. I wish Tiny Tot had a tag and a satellite transmitter. I sure would like to see what she is doing in a couple of years. If there are two Ospreys that will survive it is those two. And they started out like WBSE 28. Of course, only worse for Tiny Tot.

Mom was looking particularly beautiful over in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. The colour of the water contrasted with the nest lining — well, it is gorgeous.

The female at Collins Street in Melbourne certainly looks like she is going to lay her second egg today. She is getting full in the bottom just like Diamond. She is certainly plunked down in that scrape box with that stern look she can give. It must be quite uncomfortable laying eggs!

I don’t do a lot of reporting on the Albatross despite the fact that not only am I fond of them but I really want our oceans to be cleaned up and the fish stocks renewed so that all of the sea birds are promised some kind of a decent life. Sharon Dunne does a great job running the FB group as well as keeping us abreast of everything ‘Tiaki’, the Royal cam chick of the 2021 year.

Ms Pippa Atawhai was just the cutest little albatross chick and her parents were incredible. She was the 2020 Royal Cam Chick. Her nest was close to the visitor’s centre. Tiaki’s nest is down close to other nests. Some are less than 3 metres away. This has led to a lot of ‘drama’ between the chicks! Seriously. I thought it was only the juveniles that caused mischief. Oh, no. These gals can seriously get with the squabbling.

The Cornell Bird Lab caught that on camera today. Have a look:

It reminds me of my garden. Before I seriously started watching birds and their behaviour, it seemed they all got along and lived in some kind of sing song happy land. Oh, geez. There is even a hierarchy in our garden! Incredible. Have you noticed this behaviour at your feeders? Is this why we say ‘Pecking Order’?

This was a quick check in. I am restless – not knowing for sure if Malin is alive or dead or nothing can be determined. But I want to leave you with an uplifting story and a lesson. Yesterday I reported on the Osprey that had been hanging upside down in a tree for two days because of being entangled in fishing line. The beautiful bird had pulled all of its muscles from being upside down. The bird, at 45 feet, was ten feet more than the climber could reach so he used an extension net and a pole saw to cut the line and catch the bird in one swoop. On the ground the bird was detangled from the line. A stainless steel treble hook – for catching 3 fish at once – had gone through the talons of this baby. Today, this young one is healing. The lesson is ——- clean up after you go fishing. Join in groups to clear the shores of rivers and lakes of fishing debris that gets caught in them. Help our water birds!

I took these screen shots from A Place Called Hope’s FB page. They have a wonderful video on their site of this rescue and I urge you to search FB, find their home page, and watch it. It is very moving. What wonderful people these people are – there is not a situation too challenging and if a bird can be saved, A Place Called Hope will give it that chance.

Thank you for joining me today. I am certain that Collins Street will have another egg tomorrow and well, Diamond might have one as well. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cornell Bird Lab, The Falcon Project with Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and A Place Called Hope FB page.

Pair Bonding

The term ‘Pair bonding’ was first used in the 1940s. In terms of birds, it refers to a long-lasting relationship that results in breeding, care of one another, the nestlings and fledglings.

Pair bonding is “reinforced by ritual behaviour.” That is a very simple definition. A good example of on going pair bonding, is the ‘Morning Duet’ of Lady and Dad on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia. In fact, the rituals associated with pair bonding often occur at various intervals as a means of reinforcing the relationship not just before breeding.

This is Lady and Dad doing their duet together.

Pair bonding rituals also take place as many ‘bird couples’ prepare to begin their long migration. Working on nests is also happening, preening one another is on the rise. It reminds me of certain war movies where the couples seal their relationship as the male heads off to the field of battle – that sealing often consisting of an engagement ring or a promise to wait for the other. It is precisely the same with our birds. In this instance, both will migrate and each will hope that the other returns to the nest in the spring to renew their bond.

Aran has undertaken any number of sky dances with fish deliveries for Mrs G this week at their nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Blue 022 and CJ7 continue to work on a nest in the midst of sky diving, fish deliveries, and mating. Sadly, they have chosen one of the Poole Harbour nests that doesn’t have a camera! Still, it is wonderful that they have remained together since spring and that brings promise to everyone that osprey chicks will hatch in Poole Harbour once again.

This evening, my friend, ‘R’ sent me the links to the two short videos below. It seems that Bukacek, the single father White Stork, in Mlade Buky and his new love, are sealing ‘the deal’. You can see some of the community coming out to watch – what a happy ending to such a tragic season for Bukacek.

Xavier and Diamond, the resident bonded pair of Peregrine Falcons whose scrape box is on top of the water tower of Charles Sturt University, are not migrating. Indeed, they are just beginning their breeding season. They continue to pair bond in the scrape. Here is a short video clip I made today so you can see this ritual:

According to the Falcon Cam Project of Dr Cilla Kinross, the average date for the first egg is 27 August. Here is the historical information for Diamond:

  • 2015 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2016 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2017 with Xavier. 26 August, 28 August, 31 August
  • 2018 with Xavier. 20 August, 22 August, 24 August
  • 2019 with Xavier. 28 August, 31 August, 2 September
  • 2020 with Xavier. 27 August, 29 August, 1 September

It is going to be so exciting when the little white balls of fur hatch. Can’t wait!

Other Nest News:

Some of us watching Malin on the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam are simply left shaking our heads. The female has been absent from the nest the last three Saturday nights in a row. There is no perch to the nest (they seriously need one). In addition, fish delivery just goes ‘off’ at the weekend. Malin slept alone through a thunder storm with lighting and rain last night and did not receive a single fish today – Sunday. Oh, I can hear you thinking that Ospreys do not need to eat every day and you are absolutely right. In fact, Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest had 12 full 24-hour days that she did not get food. Often the parents teach the chicks that food does not always come every day. Still, the weekend pattern with this pair of adults mystifies me. Both came to the nest for short spurts without fish today. Malin was food calling (finally) late in the day. She is such a sweet little Osprey – and everyone is delighted that her droopy wing and feathers seem to be filling in and correcting themselves. So, once again, let’s put the optimist’s hat on and hope that there will be 5 fish deliveries tomorrow for Malin! Come on Mom and Dad prove me wrong and bring 6 big ones.

Malin’s beautiful feathers quickly dried out.

At one point, Malin was so excited when Mom arrived that she began to flap her wings and so some little hops. It is reassuring to see those feathers improve every day. We are all hoping for some big fish for your tomorrow, Malin!

A few of us have been calling the Collins Marsh chick, Malin which means ‘mighty little warrior’. That is because it had neither a number or a name. The Neustadter Nature Center at Collins Marsh is having an official naming contest. My friend ‘S’ just told me about this. I am so sorry it is such short notice but please go to their FB site and enter a name in the comments. Put in your favourite name – it doesn’t have to be Malin! I want the Nature Centre to see that there are many people, from around the world, interested in these Ospreys! But be fast. The names must be in by closing time tomorrow, Monday, 10 August. Here is the link where you can go and simply add a name in the thread:

https://www.facebook.com/Neustadter-Nature-Center-at-Collins-Marsh-140052786074932

After Monday, the names will be short listed. Please go back to this FB site and vote for your favourite. Thank you!

There are now three eggs in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. They were laid on 3, 6, and 9 August. That means that there is already six days between the first and the last. This nest always makes me nervous because of its history of siblicide. But, I am going to strike an optimistic note this year and take a wait and see attitude.

The White Rock Fire that was threatening Dr Christian Sasse’s property where he live streams his programmes on Ospreys and Bald Eagles is no longer out of control. Rain and the gallant efforts of the firefighter’s seem to have stifled this wildfire. This is great news for all the people and the wildlife. Let us hope that rain pours down on all the wildfires.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to have you here. Please go on line and put in a name for the little chick. Take care. 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, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Dr C Kinross.

Oh, Tiny Little!

Oh, what a relief to go to the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and see all three of White YW and Blue 35’s fledglings on the nest. Big Sibling 462 had the fish.

Of course, Tiny Little had her back of tricks open to try and get that fish and sibling 462 knows that Tiny Little is getting much better at stealing fish.

So, 462 decides that the best approach is to take off with the fish in talon! Meanwhile, 464 is at the back of the nest, only partly paying attention.

Tiny Little reminds me so much of Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey Nest. No matter what, Tiny Tot would dig around in the nest and find food. That is precisely what Tiny Little is doing right now. The first thing she eyes is a nice fishtail.

She eats all of the fish and horks down that tail like the pro at self-feeding she now is.

Then after digging around a little more, look what she finds. Wow. A great big piece of fish. Way to go, Tiny Little.

When she finished those treasures, Tiny Little began to move sticks around. Was this to pass the time? Or was it in search of more hidden treasure?

Both Tiny Little and 464 ‘think’ that a fish drop is imminent. They have seen an adult, and they are both food calling.

Each has tried to find the perfect position to get in close and take the fish from dad, White YW.

And now both have flown off the nest! That fish drop must have been made somewhere else, off-camera. It was so good to see all of them but, particularly, Tiny Little. She is looking really well.

News has come in from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation that this year’s chicks, eight of them taken from nests in Scotland, were successfully translocated to Poole Harbour. They were placed in cardboard boxes filled with moss and closed – kept in a temperature-controlled van. The party stopped in Staffordshire for the night. The chicks were fed then and fed again in the morning. They have all been at Poole Harbour for about a fortnight and will be released the first week in August. Let us hope that the birds that have been translocated return and help build up the population of Ospreys at Poole Harbour in the future.

Roy Dennis’s website is full of information. You should check it out when you have time. Roy Dennis is one of the main individuals responsible for bringing back the Ospreys and other large raptors to the UK. Here is the link:

There should be another hatch – WBSE 28 – today. Indeed, maybe Lady isn’t given up secrets, and we already have two soft little chicks. Meanwhile, WBSE 27 could not get any cuter. It is hard to imagine that this little soft ball of down will be a big sea eagle by October!

I did check on the Collins Marsh chick before things got hectic. By 13:13, the wee babe had at least three feedings. Oh, that was really wonderful to see. This is not a popular Osprey nest. When I look down and see ‘3 people watching’, I know precisely who those three are! This is an image of the last fish delivery around 13:00.

Despite two earlier feedings, our wee babe is happy to tuck in. So three feedings in one morning. That is sometimes better than what happens in an eight hour period on this nest. Yeah, dad! Keep it up. This wee one needs to really grow and begin to put on some fat, too.

Ferris Akel has been out finding that beautiful Roseate Spoonbill, and he has made another video of it fishing. In past images or videos, this gorgeous bird has been in the trees. Here that is for your pleasure:

The White Storks at Mlade Buky are doing fantastic. They come to the nest for food, but it also appears that they are now spending time off the nest doing their own fishing. Here are some images from the late afternoon.

There were always only two storks on the nest. The other one must be catching enough fish to try and be on the nest when Father Stork returns to feed.

They did a lot of preening.

They also did a lot of looking for Father Stork, but he did not show up.

One flies off to the left. That bird will fly over the rooftops and fly beyond the highway on the other side of the tree line about 3/4 from the bottom of the image.

Then the other one departs. What beautiful wings.

Tomorrow I will bring you some more news from the Gough Island Recovery Project to eradicate the mice and rats killing the Sooty and Tristan albatross chicks and adults.

The only news in my garden included the ‘usual gang’ was a Golden-Crowned Sparrow this morning. Not very exotic for sure, but since the heatwave came through, there are fewer ‘visitors’ to the garden despite plenty of water and food.

“Golden-crowned sparrow” by jimculp@live.com is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thank you so much for joining me today. We will hope that Tiny Little landed another fish before the fishing stops for the day. Regardless she looks really great – and that necklace of hers is more prominent along with her stout legs. I hope you are all doing well. I will look forward to bringing you updates and news about the Gough Island Recovery tomorrow. Take care! Stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Sydney Discovery Centre, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Nest, and the Mlade Buky White Stork Cam.

Mom returns to Collins Marsh and a Pip Watch in Australia

The female Osprey with a chick on the Collins Marsh Reservoir nest in Wisconsin was away from the nest for 21 hours. This is most unusual. At this time, no one is clear about what happened to her or where she was. She remained on the nest all Sunday, without leaving once and Sunday night. She returned Sunday morning around 9:40 and began feeding the chick. She has already fed the chick this morning. There remain concerns for the condition/growth of the chick’s feathers, particularly those on the wings.

Update: I have just heard from Stephen Easterly, the DNR Biologist for the area, and he feels that the chick is progressing fine. It is walking, self-feeding and we will all now look towards a successful fledge. Thanks to everyone in Collins Marsh for their concern for this chick and their quick response to viewer’s calls.

Sadly, it is going to be another scorcher in Wisconsin today.

Did you watch the Barlineck Osprey Nest in Poland? That nest is on top of a 35-meter pine tree with an artificial platform. There were four eggs laid, but only two hatched – the first on 25 May and the second on 31 May. There was a huge size difference (of course) between the two. Despite that, I received word from Michael Zygmunt of the Polish Eagle Committee in Poland this morning that both chicks fledged successfully. Their camera is out of operation. They replaced the router but discovered that the cable connecting the camera and box is damaged. They will not repair it while the nest is active. So please don’t forget about this wonderful Osprey nest next year. And so happy that both of those babies are flying.

Everyone loved Aila, Louis’s mate at Loch Arkaig, that did not, sadly, return this year from her migration. Louis has a new mate on a nest that has no camera. Today, a short video clip of the two chicks was put on YouTube when they were ringed. Both chicks are believed to be males, and their ring numbers are Blue LW3 and Blue LW4.

And, as the Osprey season dies down in the Northern Hemisphere with the chicks honing their flying skills and staying off-camera, things are about to pick up in Australia. The pip watch for the White-bellied Sea Eagles, Lady, and Dad, begins today, 27 July, in Australia.

The White-bellied or White-breasted Sea Eagle is the second largest bird of prey in Australia. They have a wingspan of 1.8-2.2 meters or 6-7 feet. There is the same reverse size-sex ratio in these birds as in other raptors meaning that the female is larger than the male. Sea-eagles, or Fish Hawks as they are called in some places, live along the coasts of Australia, Southeast Asia, and India. You can also see them in New Guinea, and there is quite a number around Singapore.

The adults have a white head and belly, underwing coverts, and tail. The upperparts are the most beautiful slate blue-grey. The juveniles change from a white fuzzy bobblehead to a bird with a light brown head and breast with underwing coverts of rust, a ginger red and dark brown mixed with white. Their tails are white with dark tips (only present in the first year). After several annual molts, the juveniles will change to adult plumage.

The breeding season is from June to January. A clutch of two off-white eggs is laid two to three days apart in a huge stick nest.

There is a nest cup in the middle. Both parents will incubate the eggs. As of 23 July, Lady has incubated the eggs for 215 hours, and Dad has incubated the eggs for 131 hours since the first egg was laid. Both parents feed the chicks, but, in general, the male brings in the prey, and the female at this nest feeds. The chicks will fledge at around 75-85 days. If all goes well, they will remain in the nest area for several months, being fed by the adults as they gain their flying skills.

Lady and Dad have their nest in an old Ironbark Tree in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. There is restricted access around the nest during the breeding season.

It isn’t just the Sea Eagles, though. Mom and Dad have been busy refurbishing the nest on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. In fact, Dad has been cleaning up the coastline, bringing several plastic bags lately to the nest. Hopefully, someone will remove them. Why do Osprey males like to bring non-bird items into the nest? I wonder if Mom likes the softness of the bags compared to the sticks?

Last year’s fledglings from this nest, Solly and DEW, made the news on Sunday in Australia. The picture is of

Solly has a satellite tracker, and it has really helped with our understanding of Osprey.

The lead researcher, Ian Falkenberg, commented: “Solly has so far traveled about 520km from Port Lincoln. We didn’t expect her to travel that distance because ospreys in Australia are non-migratory,” he said. “The second thing that surprised us was the distance flown inland. They live predominantly on fish so why she would spend time out there in those areas we’re not sure, other than taking exploratory trips.”

Solly has spent most of her time around Streaky Bay and Eba Anchorage. A few days ago, she moved to Smoky Bay, where the fishing is supposed to be very good.

The last check on Tiny Little at the Foulshaw Moss Nest revealed no one is on the nest in the late afternoon in Cumbria! Apparently, Tiny Little no only held off its big sibling from getting its fish yesterday but got upset with Blue 464 and pecked at its head rather hard! Now that is a first, too.

Thanks, everyone, for joining me on a partly cloudy morning on the Canadian prairies. See you soon! Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screenshots: WBSE Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Sydney Discovery Center, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam.