Birding Action has started in Australia

Wow. At 00:52:40, Mom goes into labour. She is the female Osprey on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in Australia. Dad is sitting right at nest side in support. It was magical. The minute the egg was, Dad was off. My time said 00:57:58. And with that single significant event, the Port Lincoln Osprey season for 2021 is underway!

Mom looks very content in the early morning Australian sun.

I was very glad to see Dad there. Last year Dad just about ended my love of Ospreys. The death of Tapps, the third hatch in 2020, practically cemented that. The Achieva Osprey nest brought back the pain but the triumph of Tiny Tot gave me faith. It also has made me question the entire notion of ‘survival of the fittest’. So this year I am wishing for consistent fish drops when the eggs hatch – Dad, that means enough fish for everyone every day with no breaks.

The Northern Hemisphere fledglings are preparing to migrate (if they hatched in an area where the birds travel to warmer climates during the winter) so for all Osprey lovers this is a chance to start at the very beginning again — in Australia.

The adults spent a lot of time bringing in new twigs and lining the nest cup with bark. It is quite beautiful. This nest looks like someone cares!

Of the chicks that have fledged from this nest, Calypso (2019) fishes and is seen regularly in the Port Lincoln area. Solly (2020) was fitted with a satellite tracker as well as a leg band. It is reassuring to know that she is well. There have been no reported sightings of her brother, DEW, that I am aware of.

Solly is 317 days old and she is at her favourite place, Eba Anchorage.

The two eggs have hatched at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park. They are WBSE 27 and 28. Both are doing fantastic. Dad has been bringing in Bream, Pigeon, several other types of birds, and Eel-tailed Catfish. The chicks are not wanting for food or variety!

The link to the Sea Eagle Cam is here:

Are you a Peregrine Falcon lover? There are two excellent nests in Australia on streaming cam. One is on all year round and has covered the antics of Xavier, his mate Diamond, and their son, Izzi. The scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, NSW. This family is part of a research project of Professor Cilla Kinross.

I should tell you that this nest is hilarious. Xavier is such a sweetie and he is courting Diamond now even though they have been a bonded pair for a number of years. He brings her gifts of prey to the scrape box and they do a courtship dance. Sometimes Xavier forgets and brings Diamond a Starling. Diamond hates Starlings and refuses to accept the gift from Xavier! And then there is Izzi. Izzi is like the cutest almost one year old falcon. He should not be at the nest but he is. You see, Izzi fledged three times. The first was accidental so he was taken back up the 170 stairs to the scrape box on the water tower. The second was a good fledge but he ran into a window. He was in care for several days and returned to the scrape box. The third time was the charm. The problem? Well, Izzi should have left his parent’s territory before the beginning of 2021. Yes, it is now August. That is the problem.

I mean seriously – could you tell this cutie pie to leave home?

Both Diamond and Xavier have been ‘scraping’ in the scrape box. The indentation they are creating is where Diamond will lay the 2021 season eggs. The couple have already been mating on the top of the water tower.

This is Xavier. The yellow around the eyes, the cere (part above the beak), and the legs and feet are a deep yellow when falcons are adults. Look at the beautiful plumage patterning.

This is Xavier scraping in the scrape box.

This is Diamond scraping in the scrape box. Notice the colour of the stones. In his book, The Peregrine, J.A. Baker states that “Peregrines bathe every day…The bed of the stream must be stony and firm…They favour those places where the colour of the stream-bed resembles the colour of their own plumage.” Absolutely. Camouflage. But why do they take so many baths? Baker believed that it was so they would not transfer any lice or other parasites from their prey onto them that could cause illness or disease. The same is true of the scrape box. Peregrine falcons lay their eggs in gravel and not on a twig nest to avoid illness or disease.

Here is a very short but loud pair bonding in the scrape box. Have a look at the dance that Xavier and Diamond do together. Xavier is the smaller of the couple. Falcons, like other raptors, have reverse sex size diamorphism – meaning the female is larger.

Here is the link to the box camera. There are in fact two cameras: one looks at the inside of the box as above and the other is positioned to look forward from the back taking in the ledge and a bit of the outside world. That is cute little Izzi looking out to that big world beyond.

The chat feature has moderators, often Professor Kinross, as well as a FB Page where you can get great information.

The second is the Collins Street Falcons better known as the CBD Falcons in Melbourne. The camera is not operational yet. There are many videos from last year if you search for Collins Street Falcons on YouTube. In 2020, the couple had triplet girls. Triplets? Three eggs hatch within a period of 24 hours. These girls grew like crazy. They grew bigger than their dad.

I am including one video of the male delivering a pigeon to feed them. I just love this tiny little male. He melts my heart every time I look at him.

The diet of the two falcon families is different. The Melbourne falcons are urban. Their diet is almost exclusively pigeon. In contrast, the falcons in Orange are rather rural with a more varied diet including Starlings (remember Diamond dislikes those), Galah, sometimes a Supreme Parrot, other parrots, and birds. One thing that eyases love are cicadas. They hold them in their foot and eat them like a popsicle. It is crazy. In one day last year, Izzi ate 17 cicadas in a row. There had to be a swarm of them! It was incredible.

As night comes to the Canadian prairies the sun is rising on a new day in Europe for all of the birds. The rain falling in the Latvian forest where the three Black storklings nest sounds wonderful.

It was reported today that my city had only 1/10 the average amount of rain in July. It has been 150 years since this small amount of rain was last recorded. We long for a day just to listen to the sound of rain falling like it is here on the Black Storklings in Latvia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you with me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University and the Falcon Cam Project, Port Lincoln Osprey Project and PLO FB Page for Solly’s transmitter data.

Note: The next newsletter will appear late Tuesday.

Happenings in Bird World 2 August 2021

It is a gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies. The extreme heat of the past has dissipated and the sun is shining. There is no wind, every leaf is still. The only thing moving in the garden are the little songbirds waiting for the feeders to be filled. No wind means there is no smoke from the wildfires farther north. It is a nice change. We are all hoping for big downpours and, if the weather report is correct, that will come at the weekend.

A serious lump came in my throat this morning when I went to check on Tiny Little at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. No one was there this morning (nest time) and now the crows are picking at the nest. Normally, at this time of day, Tiny Little would be on the nest waiting for a fish drop. There appear to be no birds in the parent tree in the background. The Crows are a reminder that the days of seeing our Ospreys are precious ones.

I returned to the Foulshaw Moss nest several times. The last visit revealed Blue 464 – the first of White YW and Blue 35’s chicks to fledge – on the nest food calling. You could see the shadow of another bird on the camera at times.

There are some ‘late’ nests and some just starting in case you are having empty nest syndrome.

One of those nests is at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre in Wisconsin. So as not to confuse everyone, the constant watchers got together. Each felt the chick needed a name, even if it was just for us. ‘S’ from Hawaii suggested Malin which means ‘strong little warrior.’ It fit perfectly for this small chick. Voted for unanimously amongst our small but caring group! So from now on I will refer to him or her as Malin, just so you know.

The female was not on the Collins Marsh nest when I checked. She is absent for long periods of time. I want to think she is fishing and will be back to feed Malin or she is just resting. The male has made a fish delivery. This time it is headless. Malin is confused because Dad will not ever do any feeding. Malin is standing and walking much better than last week but he still wants to be fed by the adult.

Malin continues to try and get the male to feed him the fish but it is not happening!

Once Malin realized that he was being left to fiend for himself, he started self-feeding on the fish. Because this one is headless, Malin is making much better progress. This little one is trying very hard.

There is a concern about the feather growth of Malin. Unfortunately, the camera is not clear. Yesterday, ‘S’ took some screen shots that indicated some wing feathers near the tips could be missing. If you look carefully at the image below, you can see the green grass through both wings clearly. This could be a serious concern for this young bird.

Thinking about Malin’s development, a search through the FB pages of the nature centre indicates that three chicks hatched on this nest on 16, 18, and 20 of June. Historically, the smallest – the third – has died on this nest with the exception of one year. This year Malin is the only one to survive leaving us to believe that he was either the first or second hatch. That would mean that he is either 46 or 44 days old. From Osprey development charts, it appears that Malin is about two weeks behind the average in growth. This is most likely due to the low food deliveries.

Maris Strazds, from the Institute of Biology at the University of Latvia states that the availability of food determines the dates of fledging and also that the survival rate of chicks is better if they spend more time on the nest after fledging. Strazds is speaking specifically about storks but this is also known to be true in hawks and falcons and I would like to think that it also extends to Ospreys and Bald Eagles.

While the feather growth is being monitored by the Wisconsin DNR Biologist and a concerned Wildlife Rehabber of the area, access to the nest is a problem. The nest is situated on top of a wildlife tower that was moved to this site so that people could climb the stairs and view the countryside. Here is a close up view. It appears that a metal roof with a peak was fabricated to fit on top of the flat roofed water tower.

In this image the nest looks quite deep. This image was taken several years ago and it seems that the nest has been reduced in size – perhaps by strong winds. Photographic comparison of the nest cup now with the chick and a couple of years ago also indicates a loss of nesting material, perhaps substantial amounts, missing.

It is difficult to determine if there is a wooden support under the twigs. If you look at the images of the nest with Malik (above) it appears that there is something ‘square’ underneath a couple of layers of twigs.

My concern is that if the feather development on Malin is problematic, there is no emergency access to the nest from the observation box. In other newsletters I have indicated that there should be a means to access the nest without compromising the safety of the individuals trying to help the birds.

There is only one operational White-Bellied Sea Eagle cam in the world. It is at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park and the excitement there is just beginning. These two little ones, 27 and 28, appear to be getting along without food competition. Of course that can change but there has been plenty of Catfish Eels (or is it Eel Catfish?) on the nest.

Right now the sea eagles are sleeping. One little babe can be seen sleeping on Lady’s leg.

You can access this streaming cam here:

Tomorrow I will give you some information on other nests in Australia including two Peregrine Falcon streaming cams.

If it is Bald Eagles you love then the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest in Juneau, Alaska is not to be missed. Kindness is such a little sweetheart. Liberty and Freedom are helping her by trying to get her self-feeding skills honed. The eagles fledge later in Alaska because they are bigger in size than the ones hatching in the Southern US who are already off the nest.

‘L’ also sent me the link to an Osprey nest that she has just discovered. The chick hatched on 23 June. It is a real little sweetheart ——- and the camera definition is excellent!

It is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey Nest. There is only one surviving chick. The other perished on 26 June; the cause is not clear. This chick looks extremely healthy. The nest is on top of a platform at the University of Minnesota. Enjoy!

Because so many of you love storks, I want to mention two that my friend, ‘S’ in Latvia says are very special. One nest is in Latvia and the other is in Estonia.

The Black Stork nest in Latvia is very special. The birds are listed as critically endangered and it is rare to see them in Latvia even though the White Stork population is healthy. The male is Grafs. ‘S’ explains to me that the nest is late because Grafs was a bachelor and waited a very long time for his mate, Grafiene, to arrive. The three storklings hatched on 12, 14, and 15 of June. There are many challenges for this couple and their trio. The first is the late hatching date and the worry about whether or not the parents will remain with the storklings until they are developed and strong enough for migration. The storklings will be ready for fledging in 20 or more days. That puts it at the third week of August. As we know, storks are already gathering for their migration so watchers can only wait and hope and take the beauty of this nest a day at a time – as we always do with other nests. The second concern has been the dangerous heat that has hit nests all around the world causing a drop in prey delivery. The third is the nest itself. It appears to be unsafe despite the fact that other stork couples have fledged chicks in previous years.

I want to add that the chicks are very healthy – they are doing so well so I want all of us to be optimistic. This year I have seen miracles happen on nests – I only have to look at Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest and Tiny Little on Foulshaw Moss to know that positive things can happen if we all send warm wishes. Even the turning of the deadly storm cells away from the nest at Collins Marsh was another of those miracles or the safe return of the male at the Barnegat Light Osprey Nest in NJ after being missing for a day due to that same weather system. So, we wait, watch, and hope.

You can watch this beautiful nest here:

It is raining today on the nest. Oh, how I wish the beautiful storklings could send some of that moisture to Canada!

There is also a forum in English for this nest where you can go back and see the long history and discuss the nest. You can access it at

The second Black Stork nest is actually in Estonia. As in Latvia, Black Storks are loved in Estonia and are rare.

It is also raining at this nest today, too.

The parents are Jan and Janika. The nest is very stable so there are no worries with the structure. But because of the horrific heat that has impacted all nests, food deliveries have sometimes been problematic. Janika, like the mother on the Collins Marsh Osprey nest also disappears for long periods. These storklings will also have a challenge to be flight ready for when the migration begins. Again, we can watch with wonder at these extraordinary birds but we must be aware of some of the challenges that birds encounter. Life is not easy.

There is also a forum for this nest. It is here:

I really want to thank ‘S’ for bringing these two Black Stork nests to my attention plus sending me all of the information about them. They are such beautiful and rare birds and it is a real privilege to see them hatch, grow and learn, and then begin their journeys. In addition, I want to thank ‘L’ for sending the information on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Ospreys and ‘S’ for finding all the images of the tower at Collins Marsh and the Nest and the great name for the Collins Marsh chick – Malin.

And I want to thank you for joining me today. It is always a pleasure to have you here with all the other bird lovers around the world. Stay safe everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Eagle Club of Estonia, Latvian Fund for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Center, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey Cam.

Early Monday in Bird World, 2 August 2021

Many who read my newsletter have a love for all birds and a particular fondness for one or two species and a number of nests. My personal journey began with an encounter in my own garden – literally, getting up close and personal with a female Sharp-shinned hawk in the dead of winter who, I believed at the time, was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig. She wasn’t. Our eyes locked to one another’s, ‘something’ happened. I cannot describe it but those minutes changed my life. I know that many of you have had a similar experience as well as others who have gone on to write books about their journeys.

Philip Brown’s, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival, written in 1979, is just such a book. My used copy arrived in the post a couple of days ago from the UK. The only time that I have had to read has been late at night. The book is so well written that I was often hesitant to stop reading. His enthusiasm and love for these fish-eating birds animates the drive in Scotland to reintroduce the Osprey after years of extinction. Brown gives a good solid history but it is his personal stories of spending time with others at the eyries of Loch Garten guarding the nests that draws the reader into sympathy with the birds. Brown worries about the trees that are partially dead but have nests, about the poachers that are killing the birds, and how to halt the illegal practice of egg collecting. Those are woven in with the growing understanding of osprey behaviour and the efforts to grow public interest in the birds. If Ospreys tug at your heart then this is a book that you should read. When I was looking for a copy I discovered that the book could be ordered from the UK with standard post for a very reasonable price. It is a hardback book and used copies are available for less than 5 GBP.

I want to re-mention another book, available only in paperback. Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey is by Helen Armitage. There are a couple of ways it is different than the Brown volume. It is newer, written in 2011. The book covers the reintroduction of the Osprey to Scotland also but does it by focusing on a single bird, Lady, at the Loch of the Lowes. Lady raised 48 chicks migrating to Africa and back 20 times. That is simply astounding. Armitage’s book is different in another way. The lens is female, a welcome change when the majority of books on Osprey are written by men. She includes details not found in other volumes including one that I found particularly interesting. In trying to protect the Osprey, “In September 1899, Queen Victoria confirmed that certain regiments would stop wearing osprey plumes…” She also notes that it was women who continued the fight to stop the use of bird plumes including the Duchess of Portland who became the head of the Society for the Protection of Birds. It is time to think of fall reading and these are two really excellent books to curl up with.

In nest news, it appears that Bukacek or Father Stork is the only member of his family sleeping on the nest at Mlade Buky.

It is possible that both Pankrac, the female, and Servac, the male are with other fledglings preparing for their migration?

The normal practice with raptors is the female leaves for migration first. The male remains feeding the fledglings and bulking up himself. Once the fledglings depart, the male begin his long journey. Is this also the same ritual for storks?

I had a beautiful letter from a reader, ‘S’. She confirms the special status of storks in her country, Latvia. The people of Latvia have a special name for the White Storks, svētelis. She says the term speaks to the “embodiment of something holy and brings peace and protection from bad things.” This belief explains so much about the great love the people of Latvia have for their storks and that same understanding of storks being special must extend to surrounding countries where people go to great lengths to care for these amazing birds.

In regards to the migration of the storks, ‘S’ says that every year the storks gather on the trees, the roofs of all the houses and buildings, as well as on the electricity poles close to where she lives. When they are all ready to leave they begin clacking their bill together similar to what they do when the storklings are wanting food. Close your eyes and try to imagine how wonderful it would be to see this enormous gather of storks, each being called by the winds to begin their journey. The only equivalent we have in Manitoba are the Canada Geese. Every year they gather on the large ponds near to our nature centre, Fort Whyte. They arrive as the sun is setting calling one another. It is extremely moving. I can only imagine if it were storks!

There are several videos on YouTube about Klepetan and Malena, the famous Croatian white storks and the man, Sljepan Vokic, who has cared for Malena for more than 22 years. Sometimes, it is nice to see one of those videos just to remind ourselves that the world is full of kind caring people.

Skipping down to Australia, the two little sea eaglets, 27 and 28, are doing really well. It is mystifying watching Lady feed them the tiniest morsels of fish from her large beak.

Just look at the size of fish flake Lady is feeding to 28. She is so gentle.

There is plenty of fish in the nest and, so far, I have not seen any signs of food competition. Both of the little ones have nice tiny crops after their feedings. So far, so good. Fingers crossed it keeps up. Indeed, the only cheekiness I have seen is 28 trying to take a bite of 27’s head!

I love the look in Lady’s face as she stares at those two precious little fluffy bobbles. In many ways Lady reminds me of NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes nest in that she has grown into being an excellent – and loving – mother.

There is a gentleness about her movements with the two chicks this year that is striking. These moments of both of them tenderly tucked under mom will pass so quickly – they grow so fast!

A quick early Monday morning check on the UK Osprey nests reveals that Aran and Mrs G have been on the nest together since approximately 4 am.

Amidst the bleating of the sheep and the cows mooing, Aran brought in a fish for Mrs G and did a survey of their nest.

It is reported that Aran’s wing is much improved. He is flying more and fishing for himself as well as delivering fish to Mrs G. This is all good news since it was unknown at the time of his wing injury in late May whether or not he would be healed in time for migration.

One of Laddie and NC0’s chicks is on the Loch of the Lowes nest hoping for a food drop. Of course, that band is in hiding so it is anyone’s guess which chick is calling for fish!

The scene at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn and their two fledglings is simply pastoral. That said, no one is home!

The nest of Tiny Little is equally beautiful. I love the gentle yellows of the sun kissing the Dyfi Nest as it moves above the horizon and the gentle golden pink colouring the landscape of the Foulshaw Moss nest below.

A little later the Foulshaw Moss is magical. No Tiny Little though.

I cannot think of a better way to start a Monday morning than collapsing into the serenity of one of these landscapes. You can feel the stillness while, at the same time, soaking in the freshness of the smell of dew on grass.

Thank you for joining me. I will get the synopsis of what is happening with the Gough Island Recovery project this week. Once I started reading Brown’s book on Ospreys many other things went to the wayside. I hope that you have a great start to the week. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Sunday news in Bird World

The sun is bright but not too hot, the Hibiscus continues to bloom, and Tiny Little is on the Foulshaw Moss nest eating a large fish. That is a great beginning to the day.

This is actually ‘the tea time’ fish for our favourite little fledgling on the Foulshaw Moss nest. It is about 16:00 in Cumbria.

Tiny Little is so smart. She doesn’t waste her time and energy fighting with the mouth and eyes of the fish, she rips a part of the belly open and begins to eat the side and the bottom of the fish. She is ever mindful that there are also two hungry siblings lurking about.

Tiny Little ate off that fish for more than an hour. She got a lot of really nice fish Great work, Tiny Little!

After what appears to be an hour and a half, big sibling 464 arrives. I missed the hand off. Was Tiny Little finished or did 464 come in and take the fish? We will never know. 464 has been fighting with the front of that fish for over an hour now. Sibling 462 is waiting their turn! Tiny Little has flown off.

In the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park, Lady has been busy feeding 27 and 28. Oh, they are so cute! I love this stage. Lady is so gentle feeding them with her big beak. They look like two little snow people with arms.

The Only Bob or Bobette in the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin has had a couple of feedings this morning and perhaps more by now; it is now 13:33 on that nest. The fish that are being brought to the nest by both parents are quite small. I wonder if all the fish are that small? or are the bigger fish lurking around in deeper water?

The chick is being watched for feather development. It is hoped that the ‘blood’ feathers will grow fully and, at the time of fledging, the chick will have a full set of juvenile plumage.

In the image below, you might want to look at what some people call the quills on the left wing. As the feathers grow, those quills break open and eventually fall off. This is what we are watching.

Yesterday I reported that Bonifac, one of the male storklings cared for by the people of Mlade Buky had been electrocuted just like its mother. The other male, Servac had not been to the nest but was seen flying with other storks. Pantrac has been to the nest to be fed. There were no storks on the nest so far today. This is not unusual! The storks are beginning to gather for their migration to Africa. Yesterday might well have been the last day for them in Mlade Buky.

Before the age of Immarsat M and GPS, the only way to study the migration of the storks was if they were ringed. In 1933, a short entry in Nature Magazine (30 September, p 509) says that ‘Storks nesting east of the River Elbe have been found to use the Asia Minor route when migrating, and those nesting west of the Elbe are stated to take the route through Spain.’ Today those similar routes are simply called the Easter and the Western. The western is through Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar while the eastern has the birds flying through Egypt following the Nile. With Satellite tracking, the birds are now known to winter in Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Nigeria and the Niger River Basin.

The observations of the success of the migration and the concerns in 1933 are similar to those in 2021. It is a two month journey for the Danish storks – anything can happen between the time the storks leave and arrive. Even with laws protecting migrating birds, these lovely creatures have been known to have been shot down in France, Malta, and in parts of Egypt. There are many other things that impact this hazardous journey – changing climates, lack of food and water can all contribute to the loss of the birds.

Because we are talking about European laws, it is essential that the countries that make up the European Union – and many who do not- work together to ensure that the killing of migrating birds in European states is halted. There also need to be uniform protections in the territories where the birds migrate. As the world changes, following the SARS Covid-19 pandemic, countries in African that have been devastated by wars, famine, droughts, and epidemics need to understand that ‘birding’ can be an economic success story. People will begin to travel. Bird Tourism can bring vital monies into these struggling economies.

There is, however, another very troubling trend. As the climates change some of the storks are not migrating. Traditionally, they travelled to Africa where food supplies were plentiful during the winter when they were not in Europe. One troubling occurrence is that many of the European storks who take the western route are now stopping and living in garbage dumps in Spain and Portugal during the winter. There are groups that are not happy with the storks being there year round. One of them is called ‘Stop Storks’. A discussion of the issues is in an article, “European Storks become Couch Potatoes and Junk Food Junkies” in Environment.

https://www.dw.com/en/european-storks-become-couch-potatoes-and-junk-food-junkies/a-19172154

Speaking of storks, one of the nests that I have, embarrassingly not mentioned for some time, is that of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia. The camera was broken during a severe storm on 25 June and was not operational again until 15 July. Oh, those wee babies sure have grown. Their parents are Karl II and Kaia.

The trio was ringed on 9 July. You can see the bands. Those bands contain Kotkaklibi transmitters. To my knowledge this is the first instance this type of satellite tracker has been used on the Black Storks. The band numbers are as follows 716U for the oldest chick, 716P for the middle, and 716T for the youngest. Names are pending.

In the image below you can see both the banding ring and the transmitters on the legs a little better. Hopefully reports will come back on a regular basis so that we can follow these three as they undertake their first migration.

Here is the link to the streaming cam of the Black Storks in the Karula National Park in Estonia:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please go and see those lovely Black Storks. We are now at 1 August and they will not be with us for much longer. I hope everyone is well. Take care. Enjoy.

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

Please Note. I have very strong opinions and will always advocate hard for ways in which to protect birds. My son sent me an article with some videos on a troubling conspiracy theory in the United States. It is the ‘Birds are Not Real’ group. They believe that birds are equipped with transmitters and are actually drones that are for surveillance. Those beliefs would cause the killing of innocents. If you know of someone who believes this, please have a gentle conversation with them. If you want to check out their beliefs and what is happening, please Google: Birds are Not Real.

For the love of storks

Do people who love storks like to send me private notes? Most often, no one will mention in a comment that their favourite bird is actually ‘the stork’. It is curious. My interest in storks is their behaviour, and sometimes their actions can be alarming. This is especially true when the adults decide there is not enough food available for seven storks, only three or four. Of course, the question lingers: why do some storks lay so many eggs that hatch when there is not nearly enough food for even half? The only answer that I have is that they are ‘insurance eggs’ like the second egg in an eagle nest.

For those people who love storks, here is something special. This video clip is of the White Stork nest in Mlade Burky, Czechoslovakia, this afternoon when two are on the nest in the hope of getting a meal from Father Stork. You might think that this is a ‘contemporary’ stork dance! They are incredibly graceful.

Pantrac with Father Stork. 31 July 2021

This video clip shows Pantrac, the female, on the nest. She has just flown in. She sees Father Stork arriving in the distance and is food begging.

This is the link to the streaming cam for the White Storks in Mlade Buky:

The storks were given lovely names. Pankrac (CE887) is the female seen in the video clip above with the dad, Bukacek. Servac (CE886) and Bonifac (CE885) were the two males. Sadly, I received a message today that Bonifac has been electrocuted in the same manner as his mother. He was killed on 29 July at approximately 14:08. It was not the same pole.

Is there a silver lining? My reader ‘S’ believes so. There are two healthy storks alive thanks to Sandor Havran and Jin Zeman, who organized feeding the little ones and then feeding Bukacek separately to not frighten the growing storks. Bukacek often fed his little ones ten times a day. That is incredible. The issue of electrocutions is not limited to Czechoslovakia. It has happened in my province also.

My reader, ‘S’, informs me that a law was passed to place protections for the birds on the electric transmission lines in 2009. That law was 458/2009 Coll. According to ‘S’, “it imposes a duty to secure all high voltage lines against bird injury by 2024.” The work is scheduled to begin in August of this year. I am not surprised that the company is waiting until the very last minute to put these protections for the birds. Ironically, it might have been much more cost-effective if they had begun the project in 2009 instead of eleven years later. It is only through the public’s caring that our Manitoba Hydro follows the laws in my province. Just a few months ago, they were caught clear-cutting around hydro poles in an area with active nests. Phone calls to the company, our provincial premier, and the newspapers and television stations paused until the birds left the area. Sadly, in Czechoslovakia, it is too late for Bonifac and his mother, Barunka and hundreds of other birds of all species who die annually.

I see only Pantrac sleeping on the nest tonight. The father, Bukacek, came to the nest to feed the two fledglings before night. He called Servac, but he did not come, so Servac is not close to the nest. Only Pankrac got to eat. Here is she sleeping so beautifully on one leg! Servac was seen flying with other storks during the afternoon.

I found another little video on YouTube. It is only about a minute long and was shot by someone ‘shocked’ by all the stork nests! The community in a village in Poland love their storks. In fact, more storks live in the village than people who share their rooftops with these amazing birds.

In other bird news, the cuteness factor certainly exists on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest. Here is Lady feeding the two little ones, 27 and 28, a couple of hours ago.

The Collins Marsh chick has had a few feedings today. This one was about 4pm nest time.

If you have been wondering about the Black-Browned Albatross that is at Bempton Cliffs in the UK and not in the Southern Ocean, here is an excellent article:

I found only an empty nest every time I checked on Tiny Little today. So, let us assume that with wonderful parents like she has, she had some fish sometime today!

I would like to introduce you to some of the ‘wildlife’ that live in my urban garden that has ‘gone to the birds’.

This is ‘Little Woodpecker’. He shares the large suet cylinder with insects with the Blue Jays, three grey squirrels, and Little Red. It was not so long ago that Little Woodpecker brought the fledgling to find the feeder.

This is Little Red. He has decided to come and have a drink while the bowls were lined up to be cleaned. Little Red – and all the Little Reds after – have a lifetime lease on our large shed. The City believes it is a garage, and they have no sense of humour when I tell them my car won’t fit in there, and it is a squirrel that lives there! He takes all the seeds from the Maple Trees and builds very warm baskets throughout the space.

This is Hedwig. Hedwig’s mother brought him and left him under the bird feeders when he was about a month old. Here he is at one year with his short little ears. To this day, Hedwig sits under the bird feeders and loves it when they are full of birds tossing seeds everywhere!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am so sorry to bring you the sad news about Bonifac. Send warm wishes out to all our bird friends for plenty of food and a safe environment. We owe it to them! Take care, everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘S’ for writing to inform me about Bonifac and the laws regarding protections. It is much appreciated. Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots and video clip: Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Osprey Cam, and the Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre.

A joyful day

It was just so nice to start the day knowing that the Collins Marsh osprey chick was still with us. It was nothing short of a miracle that the very serious storm cells turned and headed away from the nest – and all the other Osprey nests in the area! Watching the satellite feed and then seeing those cells turn southeast – well, it was hard to believe. After 1am, the lightning strikes began to wane.

The site of the Collins Marsh nest is at the red pinpoint. In this area are also numerous Bald Eagle nests along with countless other Ospreys. The storm turned as it approached Lake Winniebago.

The little one has had several feedings today and, hopefully, this will be the last big drama this baby has to face before fledge.

‘S’ just wrote to tell me that the Dad on the Collins Marsh Nest had brought in a sizeable fish for Mum and babe just after 6pm. Many of the fish have been small. Thank you ‘S’. Much appreciated!

Right before the fish delivery the chick was being fed. Oh, what a lovely image – a little crop growing and mum on the nest feeding this very brave baby.

Here’s dad just about to leave after dropping off a bigger fish for these two. So glad that the waters were not stirred from the rain and storm last night.

Wee Bob had a nice crop. Mum is finishing up that nice fish. Both of them are going to sleep well tonight.

Everyone is celebrating the hatch of WBSE 27 and the pip of 28. Thankfully, they will be hatched close together. The sea eaglet bobbles are known for their sibling rivalry and fights over dominance in the nest. Perhaps this will help. We will see. For now, WBSE 27 is simply a little cutie leaning on ’28’.

This is not a great image of the chick. Apologies. But you can see the pip starting in the second egg.

Lady sure looks happy with that little fluff ball sticking out in front of her.

Two things to notice. First, that white line down the front of the beak is the egg tooth. It actually sticks up like a little spike. The chick uses it to pound away at the shell. It will eventually disappear as the beak grows. Secondly, if you are used to Bald Eagle babies, you will notice that the natal down on the White-bellied sea eaglet is white, not grey.

This is the first breakfast of fish for this little one.

We are having wildlife fires in Canada just like parts of the United States. On Vancouver Island, the Bald Eagle juveniles have been heavily impacted by the fires, the drought, and the lack of fish in some areas. There are lots of eagles, ospreys, and other species in care.

My daughter sent me an article this morning about how the people on Vancouver Island have joined together to provide fish for the Bald Eagles in care. It is one of those feel good comings together – just like the people of Mlade Buky who fed Father Stork and the little ones or the people of the Glaslyn Valley in Wales who provided fish for Aran and Mrs G when Aran was injured and could not fish for his family.

Here is the link to this wonderful story of a community helping these amazing birds.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fish-for-hungry-baby-eagles-1.6121415

No one will ever hire me to be a wildlife photographer! I have a large lens that intimidates me at times but, after today, there will be another trip north to one of our provincial parks to take Osprey pictures ‘properly’.

This is the marshy wetland in front of the Osprey nest. There were lots of pelicans who did not want me to take their picture!

There is a mother and her two chicks in the nest. The mother is leaning down. Before I could get my camera ready the Dad had delivered a fish and left. My goodness. When this mother and the chicks saw the fish delivery getting closer, they were so loud that you could hear them easily 45 metres away.

You can see the profile of the mother better in the image below. The sky is so hazy because of the wildfires and smoke in the area.

This is an area of the park between the West and East entrance gates. This is where the Dad fishes.

Just across the road is this area full of pelicans fishing.

What you are seeing below is an Osprey platform that is unused. It is only about 7 metres from the road leading into and out of the park. The noise of the traffic would be a big deterrent to occupancy – at least to this auntie.

There is going to be camera and lens practice this weekend with a return visit before these juveniles fledge. As it turned out, the images taken with my phone were better than with my small camera. Next week, I will try and be brave when I use that other lens – like the Collins Marsh chick was during the storm.

Tiny Little has evaded me today. Hopefully tomorrow!

Thank you for joining me. It was so nice to get out of the city and get to see and hear the Ospreys that travel here to breed in the summer. It was a gift to see all four of the family today. Take care everyone. Keep sending warm wishes to the Collins Marsh nest. They are certainly working.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagle, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre and the Collins Marsh Nature Reserve.

Hatch is imminent at WBSE nest…red fish, Polish storks, and Tiny Little gets a fish

My virtual friend ‘S’ and I probably never thought we would be pouring over fish ID charts trying to identify partially eaten fish. OK. I can’t fully speak for her but even growing up with a dad who lived to fish, a son that travels the world to fish and feels more at home in a boat than on land, and a grandson that fishes in all his spare time – I never thought for a second I would spend more than a few minutes looking at the type of fish the Ospreys are eating. Surprise. The fish that comes to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest is making some of us very curious as to what it is and where mum is catching it.

The DNR of Wisconsin is great. They have games you can plan, fish ID charts by name or identifying marks. It was not until I found their posters today that I even believed there was hope of figuring out this fish. It looks like my late mother’s Siamese Fighting Fish but for its colour and size.

Thanks ‘S for this great screen capture.

Seriously I thought that the Mum at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest had found someone’s ornamental fish pond to raids. This is at least the second fish of this species brought to the nest in a 24 hour period.

These are some of the top game fish in Wisconsin but nope. Nothing on this poster resembles that fish.

It isn’t a Roach but it could be a Rudd. But the Rudd hasn’t got red scales! There are suckers that look like a closer match.

This is beginning to drive me a little nuts. And don’t be shy. If you recognize that fish the mum is feeding her chick – tell me. I will be smiling for a week. Tomorrow I am going to ask the Naturalist at Collins Marsh. To be continued.

Dad was only seen on the Collins Marsh nest once today. Mum was busy bringing in these smaller fish for her and the chick. It is a good thing that she isn’t afraid to get wet – because if she were her baby would not be alive.

The chick will eat this species but it is certainly not its favourite and Mom, on the other hand, seems to like it or is so hungry she leaves hardly any scraps.

Speaking of eating, the female at the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest brought in an Eurasian Hare for Zenit. Zenit wasn’t close to the nest tree when mum arrived and called but he quickly comes in mantling like crazy. When you see this eaglet or any of the fledgling Osprey aggressively going after prey, the term is hyperphagia. Every bird that migrates needs to eat as much as they can – compulsive overeating – in order to store fat for their migratory journey.

Lady Hawk caught all of the action and Zenit’s enormous crop in a video:

Some of the biggest news of the day is that 8:54 am on 28 July a pip was first noticed in one of the two eggs of Lady and Dad, White Bellied Sea Eagles, whose nest is in an Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

This was Lady checking, listening, and gently rolling the eggs about forty minutes later.

There is now a hole in that egg. So hatch is close.

I adore the little sea eaglets but this nest really broke my heart last year with WBSE 26 striving to live, to fly, to be a bird and then to have it end with her being euthanized.

I have seen prosthetic legs made for birds, 3D printed beaks for eagles, sophisticated operations on the webbed feet of Canada geese, and more. I have witnessed pain management programmes for animals in care and wildlife rehabbers like those at A Place Called Hope in Connecticut that not the extra mile – they go ten extra miles. All we have to do is remember the state that The Old Warrior was in when he arrived at their clinic. His lead levels were 48, he had multiple fractures in his leg, and his beak was so damaged that he could hardly eat. That old eagle wanted to live and he was treated accordingly. His lead levels are around 10, he is eating well, his feather condition is improving all the time. He is happy! Today he remains with the clinic as they await a permit for him to be their ‘forever Warrior’. I had hoped, like so many others, that something would be done to help 26.

There are several ways to access the cam for the sea eagles. There is even one with a chat room. I will try and locate those other links for you.

Here is cam 4. The definition is good.

I want to thank a follower from Poland who sent me a note suggesting I look at the beautiful stork nest in Ostroleka, Poland. So I did! There were five storks sleeping on this nest in the northeast of Poland.

What a picturesque village. The farmer’s fields are so lovely. Tranquil is the word I want to use as the sun rises on a new day.

I need to find out more about this nest which I will do in the coming days. I am trying to imagine the challenges for the parents to feed five – or is it four chicks and the parent is off the nest? Here is the link to the camera for this nest:

Tiny Little is not sleeping on the Foulshaw Moss Nest tonight. It is not clear to me whether he had a fish drop later last night or not. But after waiting for big sibling to get their fill of a large fish, Tiny Little is now eating for sure. It is 17:01 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Of course, big older sister is sitting there waiting in line! Poor things. They always get caught up spending so much time around the cheek and mouth, the bony bits. Hopefully Tiny Little will get full before it gets tired.

I love it when the mother’s get out there fishing. We see that in the mom at the Collins Marsh Nest and here comes NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes.

That fledgling just about tore her leg off! I am looking at those strong thin legs of NC0. She has been diving and bringing in fish to this nest for at least a month. Soon she is going to have to begin bulking up for her flight to Africa. It’s that word: hyperphagia.

It has been a pretty exciting day. So nice to see some of the fledglings on the nests! It is comforting to know that they are surviving.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that everyone has a great day. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Nest and the Neustadlter Nature Center, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles, Birdlife, and Sydney Discovery Center, Ostrolekas White Stork Nest, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes. I would also like to thank the Wisconsin DNR for the fish poster files and ‘S’ for sending me that great shot of that ‘gold’ fish.

White-Bellied Sea Eagles and the birds that visit their nest

In a 2014 article in The Smithsonian Magazine, Rachel Neuwer asks why there is a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in a Renaissance image of the Virgin and child, Madonna della Vittoria. Rebecca Mead examines the image by Andrea Mantegna, painted in 1496. You can see the painting of the Madonna and child with saints in the article below (sorry, it has a copyright so I can’t show it). The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is above the Virgin’s part in her hair a little to the left.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-there-australian-cockatoo-italian-renaissance-painting-180950227/

As I drank my morning coffee several days ago, I flipped through the latest New Yorker. In that 5 July edition, there is an article, Invasive Species.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/07/05/where-did-that-cockatoo-come-from

Each writer considers how the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo made its way from AustralAsia all the way to Italy focusing on the initial discovery of the bird in the painting by Heather Dalton, a British historian living in Australia.

The Mantegna is not, however, the first time that a parrot is included in a picture. Parrots show up in the murals of Pompeii, the Italian city buried by ash when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. They are also the subject of floor mosaics in the region. Indeed, exotic birds (not just parrots) appear as subjects in many mosaics and frescoes in the Roman domus.

Alexander the Great’s army went as far as parts of India before stopping on their eastern expansion of his empire. Their presence on what is today the Indian subcontinent heavily influenced the art of the Gandharan region. In turn, Alexander acquired a parrot from the Punjab in 327 BCE. If parrots were in Italy 1700 years before the Mantegna, one might begin to ask what is all the fuss? The Barber Institute of Fine Art in Birmingham, England hosted an exhibition solely on parrots in art in 2007. They were exotic, they were status symbols, and it appears that they were present in the art of the Italian Peninsula for some 2400 years to today. Of course, they were not all Sulphur-headed Cockatoos and that could well be the reason for the continuing discussion about the Mantegna. Other species of parrots came from the southeastern coast of Africa and from the region of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos originate in Australia and the islands of Indonesia and it was surely the trade through the islands of Indonesia that spirited the bird all the way to the port of Venice along with black peppercorns and other spices.

“20121210 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) – a first-time visitor” by Degilbo on flickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos are extraordinarily beautiful and are the largest of the white parrots. I have never seen them in the wild. Indeed, it was not until I watched the White-Bellied Sea Eagle streaming cam in the Sydney Olympic Park that I heard them before I saw them. It sounded like someone being murdered in the forest! Seriously. One of the moderators answered the question, “What is that?” Later, these lovelies were seen climbing all over the old Ironbark Tree.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are nut, root, and fruit eaters and live for up to eighty years. They make their nests in tree hollows where the female lays one to three eggs. Those eggs are incubated for thirty days. The little ones remain in the nest being fed by the parents for a period of approximately sixty-five days after hatch. The breeding season for these parrots is August to January in the Southern Hemisphere.

Why am I talking about these parrots today? It is because of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles (WBSE), Lady and Dad. The two eggs that Lady has been incubating will be hatching in approximately two weeks. There is a live streaming cam that is on day and night, 24/7 year round except for maintenance. If you like birds of Australia, you can often see them coming and going around the Sea Eagles nest. The birds are either curious as to what is going on in the nest or they would like the Sea Eagles to leave! The streaming cam in the Sydney Olympic Park is the only one in the world that observes the second largest eagles in Australia.

It is in the middle of the night. This is the WBSE nest in the Ironbark Tree in the forest of the Sydney Olympic Park.

The Rainbow Lorikeets are curious. They come as a group climbing all over the branches of the tree. They are easy to spot!

“rainbow lorikeets” by cskk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Every once in awhile the Galahs come to the Ironbark Tree. I think they are adorable. One of the WBSE chatters from Australia said that if anyone visits Australia and someone calls them a ‘Galah’, it is an insult meaning the person is not very smart. I have no idea how the Galah got that reputation except that I have seen several in the talons of Peregrine falcons in Australia.

“Galahs in Love” by David Cook Wildlife Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Noisy Miners are definitely heard before they are seen. They are a constant in the forest around the WBSE Nest.

“Noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) (24 – 27 centimetres)” by Geoff Whalan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Pied Currawong flits around the WBSE nest all the time. I do not like them! Once the nestlings have fledged the Currawongs gather and try to chase them out of the forest. They did this on the first try with WBSE 25 last year and during the re-fledging of WBSE 26.

“Pied Currawong” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Then there is the smallest owl in Australia, the BooBook. Isn’t it cute? This owl, like all others, flies silently and it can see very well in the dark. It comes in the night hitting the WBSE has they roost for the night. They fly low over the nestlings trying to hit them and make them leave. One attack injured Lady’s eye last year. Despite their size they are to be taken very seriously. The BooBook often has a nest in the forest the same time as the WBSE so it is very protective and wants the eagles gone for fear they will eat its young.

“Boobook owl” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here is a compilation video of Lady and Dad after the first egg was laid through the 23rd of June. It shows the actual labour of the second egg and a changing of the incubation shift from Lady to Dad.

Here is the link to watch the WBSE in the Sydney Olympic Park:

https://www.twitch.tv/seaeaglecam

Be sure to check out the time difference. One of the most beautiful moments of the day is when the adults do a duet at sunrise. It is an amazing way to start the day. It wakes up the forest but it is also a continuous bonding method between the birds. The nestlings will join in with their parents when they are older. It will warm your heart. Here3 is a video clip I made after Lady laid the first egg. She leaves the nest and joins Dad on the branch for the singing.

Thank you for joining me today. It is now three days since Tiny Tot was at the nest. We are all having Tiny withdrawal. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the WBSE Streaming Cam, BirdLife Australia, and the Discovery Centre and Twitch TV where I took my screen shots and video clips.

Bird World – late Monday and early Tuesday ramblings

It has been a day for extreme weather. 44 degrees C in the Pacific Northwest and a snow storm on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Northern Royal Albatross colony and their chicks. It is 38 degrees C – and ‘boiling’ my friend living at the base of the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia said. It is 24 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida where Tiny Tot lives and 27 degrees C in Ithaca, NY where the Ks live. It is 27 degrees where I am on the Canadian prairies with the temperature climbing to 36 degrees C in a couple of days. We will fill extra bowls of water and try and find a sprinkler for the birds as well as keeping their feeders topped up.

Our local crow colony displayed some interesting behaviours in the late afternoon. First, two were on sentry duty on the telephone poles nearby. Each was making a different alarm. Then four other crows flew in and over our house. They were quickly joined by another five or six until 19 crows were in our front tree. We did not see the Great Horned Owl that lives over on the golf course coming to check if there are any nests it could raid. So we are still left wondering what was going on.

Crows defend their territory by summoning friends and relatives to help them annoy the intruder enough so it leaves in our neighbourhood. As things settled down, Mr Blue Jay flew out of the trees to come for his 5pm bath and food but, something alerted him and he decided he would wait. I don’t blame him. Those crows were really in a dither! The intruder remains a mystery.

All of this got me to thinking about Electra. Electra, if you do not know, is the mate of Wattsworth at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington. Electra hatched two chicks this year. The nest is notorious for not having sufficient food and the chicks dying. This year there was one siblicide and yesterday, a chick with promise -if enough food came in- died of heat stroke. It was the first known Osprey death due to the extreme heat in the region but it is very possible that it will not be the last. Electra was out fishing since Wattsworth seems incapable. Believe me I have a lot I could say about him! But, right now I want to pull my human heart out of the equation and look at Electra’s behaviour in light of Aran’s present to Mrs G today. So, I want to rewind and I needed to go for a walk to think this through.

Electra leaves the nest to go and fish for her and the remaining chick. When she returns, that chick has died due to the extreme heat on the nest. Electra has a fish that was for her and the chick. Wattsworth arrives at the nest. Electra refuses to give Wattsworth any fish. Then Electra stays on the nest, fish in her talon. There is no need to brood a little one. It is dark and is unsafe for her to fly. Some Ospreys are known to fish in the night – certainly Louis at Loch Arkaig would fish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed Aila and the three chicks last year. But Electra is going to hold tight on the nest until dawn breaks. She then leaves the nest taking the fish with her. Electra’s motherly duties are over. It is unclear what the nest actually signifies to Electra now that the chicks are dead. We know that Aran brings Mrs G a fish today as a means of bonding. Iris returns to her nest to renovate. But what, if anything, this place is to Electra right now is not known.

Electra returns to the nest with what I want to call a ‘fish tail’ later. It certainly wasn’t the big hunk of fish she had with her last night. It could be what remains of it. There is no one to feed on the nest. So why is she up there with a fish? She could eat it on a tree branch in the cool shade of the river, right? That would have been the smart thing to do to do in this heat. She is horrifically hot, panting hard to try and cool herself.

I know of two male Ospreys who like to steal the fish from their mates – you possibly know many more! But I am thinking of Louis and Iris and now Wattsworth and Electra. I am also beginning to consider the need to bond after a tragedy. We see that with Aran and Mrs G. The need for Aran to be able to provide for Mrs G and for her to accept the fish from him.

Electra is looking and calling while she is on the nest with the fish. I now believe that she was calling for Wattsworth. I also believe that she was going to give the small fish piece to him. It doesn’t matter what I think of Wattsworth. Electra needs to bond with her mate after the death of her last chick. It is precisely what is happening on the Glaslyn Nest. Aran and Mrs G are bonding, too. This is just another way to look at the behaviour of Electra. The reality is we will never really know. We all wish her well.

The big winner in the fish category today had to be Tiny Tot over on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest. My goodness, gracious. Jack came in with a fish for Tiny Tot at 6:41:16 and it was a whopper. I wish we could have seen Tiny’s eyes – they were probably popping out! But never fear. Tiny Tot learned its lesson months ago – you sit there and eat that fish as fast as you can because someone might come along and want to steal it. And you never ever leave anything on your plate!

Tiny Tot must have thought she had won the lottery. Jack has certainly been very good to make sure that Tiny gets fed. I would like to think that he is making up for when Tiny Tot was starving to death but, that would be putting another human spin on things. Obviously, Jack likes Tiny around. She protects the nest and he isn’t in any hurry for her to move on or he would stop bringing fish. It is a sweet deal for both of them. Jack doesn’t have to worry about getting injured fighting off an intruder. He can spend his time down by the water fishing and bringing Tiny Tot a few fish each day. Tiny is getting heaps of real life experience. Personally I am glad that he is feeding Tiny Tot. If she is to be the survivor of the chicks on this nest (the average is only one out of three), then the longer she is fed and the longer she stays on this nest, the better equipped she will be if she ever leaves the nest. Tiny is a bit like Izzi, the Peregrine Falcon juvenile, of Xavier and Diamond. Izzy is still around the scrape box and she should have left for his own territory long ago. But that is another story for another day. There should be no worries about Tiny being able to fish. It is embedded in them. Jack doesn’t have to teach her. That is ingrained into her and every other Osprey and has been for 65 million years. Now she might not be as good a fisher as an osprey more experienced but she knows the moves and just has to find fish. I loved the stories of Bellie in Belle’s Journey, the way she honed her fishing skills. Tiny will do that, too.

Look at those legs and that little bottom. I think that the chicks on Cowlitz really got to me because of what Tiny Tot went through early on. But, as those who watched the Achieva nest, things turned one day. Diane brought in fish and I quit calling Jack a ‘dead beat dad’. They began to be a team and they succeeded in fledging three chicks. Amazing.

When I think of those super male Ospreys that get wall murals or the ones people talk about decades after they have passed, it is always the praise for providing for their family. Yes, people talk about Blue 33 and Idris’s fishing abilities and the whoppers – but it is always tied to them bringing those to their family and how healthy their chicks are and the pride in counting the children and the grandchildren in the family lineage.

So we go back to the survival of the fittest, perhaps. Wattsworth’s DNA is not being passed along but Monty’s, Blue 33s, and Idris’s is. And I hope Tiny Tot’s!

It was raining in the Sydney Olympic Park today. The beautiful canopy of leaves on the old Ironbark tree where the nest of Lady and Dad, the resident White-Bellied Sea Eagles, is located kept Lady from getting soaked. Lady is incubating two eggs. It is awhile until we will be on hatch alert. I will let you know when that happens so you can join the fun.

The rain finally stopped in Ithaca and the Ks were quite happy. K3 is eating again! It is nice to see the sun come out so they can dry off. It is even nicer to see the pair together on the nest safe and sound.

And, last I am showing you an image of the nest at Loch of the Lowes. I will also try and find the short videos that someone took of NC0 fishing in the loch. She is good! In this image the nest is getting a little crowded with the wingersizing of these two big osprey chicks. Safer for NC0 to get out of the way and sit on the perch, for sure! I was fascinated in the camera set up. That is why I am including this image. It is rather amazing. There is also a microphone in the nest so that you can hear the chicks when they are peeping in the egg right before hatch.

Here is NC0 fishing:

A snow storm and high winds have put out the cameras on Taiaroa Head in New Zealand where the Northern Albatross and their chicks are. They will love it. These birds like the cold. The staff of the NZ DOC (Dept of Conservation) have sprinklers to cool off the chicks. That camera should be back on line along with the weighing of the chicks. The chicks are weighed weekly, unless there is an issue and they might be weighed more. Supplemental feedings by the staff are given if the weight of the chick is not where it should be. That could come from parents not returning, being injured and delayed in their return, etc. NZ looks after their wildlife and accepts that humans have impacted it. There are not the complications with intervention like there are in the US.

Sad news coming out of Canada and the Osoyoos Osprey Nest. It appears that two of the three chicks have died to the incredible heat in the area in the same way that the chick on Cowlitz did. The other chick will require lots of fish but it is not looking very well this morning. A former student and close friend of mine now lived on the edge of the water at Osoyoos and really enjoyed seeing the Osprey family fish. They were forced to move because of the smoke from the wildfires that hits the area every summer. Prayers for all the birds. The heat wave is spreading across North America.

Thank you for joining me today. There will be a big nest catch up later today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Wildlife and Loch of the Lowes, and Sea Eagle Cam Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

Featured Image is Lady incubating her eggs in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park.

WBSE Lady and Dad Sing the Duet

For several days I have been trying to figure out how to get the sound with the video clips I record. It was driving me crazy.

Years ago, I found myself a new faculty member at Acadia University. The very enlightened new President of Acadia was starting a programme called the Acadia Advantage. Each faculty member would get an IBM ThinkPad as would every first year student. The goal was to have all students using the newest technology – the Internet! And it was new. Most people did not have it nor had they heard about it.

I signed up as one of the first 30 faculty members —— not because I was an IT whiz, no, far from it. Because I wasn’t. We had specialist training in Lotus Notes and Tool Box. Several major corporations set up ‘Smart’ classrooms. Students and faculty could plug their computers specialty outlets and actually take their exams on line, search for material, create their own websites. I had one very clever student, WP, who managed to get the OM mantra going at the same time on my desktop computer and my colleagues down the hall. It was rather funny.

When I came to the University of Manitoba in 1999, the art historians were using still slides. They thought I was crazy when I suggested Powerpoint and digital learning. We did not get smart classrooms for art history til when? 2008?

So to not be able to get audio when something was recorded with the audio just simply did not seem possible. If any of you have the same problem with WordPress what you need is another app. FonePaw Screen Recorder seems to be the most popular and it is easy to use. And it is free if your recordings are less than 3 minutes long. My hint for the day!

I wanted to show you Lady and Dad singing ‘The Duet’ yesterday. I could not get the sound. You just needed to see and hear the two bonding through their morning song. Lady did what she did yesterday. She got up incubating the egg and went up and joined her mate, Dad.

So here is this morning’s version straight from the White Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park, 22 June 2021 featuring Lady and Dad.

The featured image is Dad taking his turn at incubating the egg while Lady goes off to have some rest and relaxation after being on the nest all night.

To start the video with sound, just click on the arrow. Enjoy.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam, BirdLife Australia, and the Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park for their streaming cam where I took this video clip.